Reading List

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The above photo was taken in the Vancouver Public Library. Last weekend we explored Vancouver for Valentines Day weekend. It was cold and rainy, but it felt like we were on an adventure. The last time we visited Canada was two years ago and Samuel accidentally let his phone run during the day and he ended up with a $1200 phone bill! The phone company forgave the bill and sent him off with a warning. Scarred and frightened, we spent the weekend phone less. It was surprisingly pleasant.

We went into the library and I instantly spotted my favorite section…the German section.

Needless to say, I now have a desire to acquire more German books so I can practice my rusty language skills. Samuel and I are planning our next Germany vacation in Summer ’15 and I plan on returning with a suitcase full of books!

What books are you currently reading? I would love about your favorite reads and recommendations!

Books I’ve Read Recently

The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Relish by Lucy Knisley

 

Books I’m Currently Reading

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

 

Tschüss my friends.

Alyssa

New Beginnings

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3 phone interviews

2 on-site interviews

2 facility walk-throughs

Weeks and weeks of waiting

2 signed offer letters

Drug test

Background check

And after all of that, I’m happy to announce that I will be moving onto my next career endeavor! It’s a season of new beginnings and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the exciting new developments unfolding.

I will be working as a QA Technician for an Aerial Lift/Boom manufacturing facility located in Redmond, WA. Currently, I work in the natural supplement industry, but I am interested to be exploring another quality position in a different field.

With my new employment also comes a move for our family. We will be relocating to Kirkland and Sam’s commute will be shortened to eight minutes and mine will be the same (about 15 minutes). We’ve pretty much secured an apartment already, but are just finalizing the small details.

What a crazy experience this has all been! One month ago I would not have guessed this would be happening. I had just resided to the fact that I would be at the same place in life…FOREVER. Scary.

However, I am embracing this new beginning! All the changes might be overwhelming, yes, but I can already see the opportunity to grow. I’ve learned this lesson- get out of your comfort zone! Push your boundaries because only then will you meet your full potential. 

Dream big, my friends.

Alyssa

(Photo by: Joy Yagi)

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This picture was taken in Munich, Germany on one of the last days of our honeymoon. I love this picture because of the look of complete satisfaction on my face. It’s the simple things in life, like eating nutritious, delicious food, spending time with family, and hugging my husband, that gives life all the more meaning.

I hope you find joy in the small things this week.

Alyssa

Honeymoon Journal Series (Part 5)- Heidelberg, Germany

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Hello Everyone!

I hope you’ve had a good start to the 2014! Did anyone set any New Years Resolutions?

Today I’ll be sharing Part 5 of the Honeymoon Journal Series and I’ll be sharing my experience in Heidelberg! It’s one of my favorite places in Germany not only because of the beautiful castle, but also because of it’s quaint and charming feel.

Heidelberg, Germany

“We left Moselkern rejuvenated, embarrassed, and excited for our next adventure. Why was I embarrassed you may ask? During our hike to Burg Eltz we had lost track of time and returned an hour after check out! I had washed some of my delicates the night before and left them to dry on the balcony.

The first thing I thought when the bartender showed us our bags was, “Oh…where’s my underwear?” My panic must have been plain on my face because the man (bless his heart) pointed to the side pocket and stated, “They are in here.”

With our bags on our backs and looking similar to mules, we spent the day confined to hot, stuffy trains. But alas, we arrived finally when the sunset was setting. For having sat on a train all day- we were exhausted!

Samuel booked us the most amazing hotel room close to the Old Bridge and if you stood on the bridge you could see Schloss Heidelberg in plain sight. It was perched on a hill above the small college town.

Because Rick Steve’s recommended to bypass Hiedelberg, Samuel was urging us to pick another city instead. However touristy it may be, some places people flock to for good reasons! When I last came here in 2006. We spent almost six hours in this small idyllic town. When I left I still didn’t get my fill of it.

It’s near a university, so it’s bustling with college folk and has many restaurants and outside seating. Our hotel was right by an alleyway that had restaurant outside seating lined on both sides!

Wherever you look people were socializing and drinking beer. It was an amazing thing to experience. Although there was some occasions at 3:00am I wanted the people to disappear so I could get some rest.”

Tschüss!
Alyssa

Honeymoon Journal Series (Part 4)- Moselkern, Germany

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Hello Everyone:

Hope your weekend was awesome! I know mine certainly was. My little brother Kai turned one today! I can’t believe how much he’s grown. He walked to me for the first time on Saturday and boy let me tell you what…I had to hold back the avalanche of tears. :)

Onto the next part of the Honeymoon Journal series!

Moselkern, Germany

“My intentions for this journal was to record all our adventures on our honeymoon, but it has become clear that it has developed another meaning- a food journal as well. Samuel and I are foodies! We love food. Personally, eating is my favorite part of the day. It makes me so unbelievably happy and I thank God for being able to experience such tasty treats.

Hotel Moselkern, by far, has blown me away for breakfast! They served the typical German breakfast but for some reason, they just nailed it.

I love everything about the German breakfast- the eggs, the toast and jam, the mini cold cut and cheese sandwiches, the fresh yogurt, the selection of fruit, the muesli and of course, the yummy orange juice and coffee. I feel like I get a small taste of everything and never end up over stuffing myself. It’s a wonderful way to start the day off right!

This was the day we would hike up to the Burg Eltz- Rick Steves’ favorite castle. It is still perfectly intact because of its hidden location and its many connections with surrounding families (we later learned this going through the tour). Now in this journal I’m not going to go through much of the historical aspect of things, just a record of the activities we did. However, if you did want to learn more about the castle I would suggest visiting this website:  http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/germany/rhine.htm

We began our adventure towards Burg Eltz with a stroll through what remained of rural Moselkern. Scattered signs directed us to our destination along a lone, country road. We were held up a few minutes because we stumbled upon a cat that resembled one of the family cats, Scout. We took some photos and then went on our way.

About 30-40 minutes later we arrived at the trailhead. Up and onward we journeyed into the forest alongside the vanishing Eltzbach (creek). We hiked for an additional 30 minutes and were awe-stricken as the castle unveiled itself to us.  For being such an old castle, the upkeep was immaculate. When we arrived they had a whole team of workers doing maintenance on the grounds. I even had to dodge some gardeners and leave blowers as I bounded up the castles steps (with Samuel right behind me).

As you can see from the pictures we were ESTATIC!

Because we were still experiencing severe jetlag (more on my part- I was up till 4am that same morning), we decided to get there before all the tourists. Thankfully, they had a guided English tour available. Our tour included a walk through the family treasury and a preview and brief history lesson of some rooms in the castle. My favorite part was the bedrooms and their gorgeous view of the scenery engulfing the castle. At that moment I decided when we get a house I want to balcony!

Our visit was short and sweet and we made the trek back to the hotel and arrived around 12pm. The hotel was a ghost town. A man who I recognized as the hotel’s bartender was waiting outside the hotel…for us. We missed the memo that check out was at 11 am! We explained that we had lost track of time and the bartender was very forgiving. After paying he sent us on our way with HUGE bottles of water. Water can be like gold while traveling abroad. We hopped onto our next train that would lead us to our next destination- Heidelberg.”

Tschüss Everyone!

Alyssa