Food52 Holiday Market

I'd be happy spending all my Friday nights in a beautiful test kitchen surrounded by Christmas decorations. For those of you that don't know Food52, they are a recipe site that also sells decor and everything you need for cooking. And everything they touch is aesthetically perfect IMO. This includes their test kitchen in New York, a loft/office space with incredible design and top of the line kitchen gadgets. December 2-4, they are hosting a Holiday Market open to the public with yummy tastings and holiday shopping. So of course I went.

When you walk in to the sound of Christmas classics, surrounded by pine garland and string lights, you don't want to be anywhere else. I met up with my boss and my co-worker because I genuinely enjoy their company, and we walked around the market for about an hour, tasting and shopping. 

The market was set up so that you don't actually leave with purchases, but Food52 employees have a purchasing counter set up where you order what you like online with free 2-day shipping. It was quite convenient and very well managed. There were also vendors sampling cold-brew coffee and chocolate bark. More perfection. I spoke with a few girls that work at Food52 about possible career opportunities because I genuinely admire the company. Staying excited about the present and future!

I Was Ready to Vote - But I Couldn't

Not because I didn't want to. Actually, I wanted to more than ever before - because this was my first presidential election where I was eligible to vote. The 2012 election that gave Obama a second term was sadly not my first ballot, because I was only 17. 

I started preparing for this election while I was studying abroad in Spring 2016. I was sitting in my bed in Copenhagen when I realized the primaries were soon and I wanted to find out how to cast my vote overseas. As it turns out, I never declared a party when I got my driver's license, so I wasn't able to vote in the primaries. During this process, I realized that I would also not be home for the presidential election - In the same state, yes, but in New York City at school. 

Realizing this, I researched the process for obtaining an absentee ballot, and kept it in the back of my mind for when I returned to the states. In August, I submitted the FPCA, the Federal Post Card Application, which is a request for the absentee ballot. I also requested that my ballot be mailed to my school dorm address. I kept checking my mailbox through September and October - nothing. I probably should have taken action sooner than November 7th, the day before elections, but I had some sort of faith in the United States Postal Service and couldn't imagine that my ballot would go to anyone but me.

 (This is obviously blank for privacy purposes)

(This is obviously blank for privacy purposes)

I actually tried to call my County Board of Elections in Schoharie, NY on Friday, but the office was already closed. I crossed my fingers and impatiently waited to call on Monday morning. When I called, I explained that I did not receive my ballot. The clerk checked the records, and indeed it was mailed on October 14. You know what the woman said? She said that "this happens to a lot of college students." Wow. Great. This woman is from my small rural town in upstate New York - on that scale, how many is 'a lot' of college students? How many students is that across the country? She suggested I use my "most polite attitude" and ask my local post office for my zip code if there's an unsent letter sitting around. HA. My local post office happens to be the James A. Farley one - yea, that big one next to Penn station. I'm stuck at work today anyhow.

The woman at County Board of Elections was entertaining the idea that my ballot may have been sent to Kaufman Street, instead of 'Kaufman Hall'. Well, I just don't see how that's possible. I put my dorm information in the address line where you usually put apartment #'s, THEN I put my street address, and then state, zip etc. I don't need to explain, everyone knows how to address mail. Sorry, but if the post office could read the state and zip, they would realize there's no Kaufman St. in New York City. Was it really sent? Interestingly enough, I've never had missing mail before!

I'm ranting because MY ballot is out there somewhere - and there's nothing I can do to get it. Is it possible for someone else to use my ballot while it's floating around in the vortex of 'I swear it was sent - but never received' mail?There's also nothing I can do about the fact that I can't vote tomorrow. Which is why at the very least I'm taking action with this post. A last minute 4 hour trip home when my schedule is surrounded by class and work is not an option. According to an article in the New York Times published on October 31, over 22 million Americans have voted early already - those numbers include absentee ballots. If this is happening to a lot of college students - or a lot of people in general - I find that inexcusable, and while everyone's caught up wondering if the outcomes will be honest - this 'absent' absentee ballot is an issue in and of itself.  

Octobering on Long Island

Reunited and it feels so good! My friend Dakota, whom you may remember from my blog posts in Copenhagen, lives in Levittown on Long Island (an entirely different world from rural upstate). She also goes to the Fashion Institute, hence why we met while studying abroad for the same program. 

I took the train out to her this weekend for an overdue hangout. We originally planned to go pumpkin picking at a small farm near her town, but at the last minute we read about a farm on the North Fork at the end of L.I. called Harbes, which not only has pumpkin picking, but apple picking, cider donuts, a corn maze, hay rides, and everything you'd expect from a tourist farm in October. It was an hour away, but the last few miles took an extra HOUR because of traffic all heading to Harbes.

Due to our late arrival, we were ravenous and headed straight for food. I had an apple cider donut that was deliciously light and sugary. I wish I could share the smell coming out of the donut fryer. Dakota decided to have apply crisp à la mode. They were both good choices.

*Food porn of my donut available here*

Harbes Family Farm is a serious operation. There must have been over 100 employees, which provided for an entertaining corn maze. Upon entering, we were greeted by 'Robin Hood' and given a map to draw checkpoints on throughout the maze. I went in thinking 'I'm 21, this might feel easy and lame'. To my surprise, you literally get lost in the maze and are easily misled. 

It was really fun to do something silly, outdoors, without real consequences, with someone who's company I truly enjoy. After quite a bit of wandering, we came to the end where Dakota had to sword fight our way to the exit. I knew she could take him, so I just took a picture.

We saved pumpkin picking for last. The patch was huge, and there were wagons available to pull your pumpkins and your little children pumpkins around in. There were so many people at the farm that scouting for a wagon was like a competition. Well, being that we already won a sword fight, getting a wagon was no issue. We took turns pulling each other around and at one point had to flee the trail when we realized a tractor with a hay ride was heading for us. 

It was honestly a perfect Octobery day. And I got to carry a pumpkin back through Penn Station. One of the best things about New York City though is that there is always something weirder than you happening.

Trees Are Magical: Fall Edition

If I haven't mentioned it before, Fall is one of my top four favorite seasons.  ...I love every season, how can I not, they're all so unique! That's part of the reason I feel so blessed to have grown up in upstate New York. I get a white Christmas (usually), fresh syrup when Spring comes, hot and fruitful summers, and colorful, festive Falls. I decided to come home from school for Columbus Day weekend because the Fall colors are officially at their peak, which is truly a few specific days before the leaves get dark and fall off. For obvious reasons, I already like maple trees.. but even more so in the Fall when they paint the mountain side in spectacular color. 

SO beautiful, right?? Anyway, trees are also magical this time of year because it's apple season! I have to say, usually Mom and I apple pick all over our own property, but the apples froze off this year. Hardly any at all on the trees. It happens. So we went to a real orchard called Terrace Mountain, which is always fun because they have every familiar variety. For our own eating, the orchard is fine, but for making apple sauce to sell, it's a bit pricey. We'll have to forage around town a bit more. 

Did I forget to mention they have apple cider donuts? hehe. We picked mainly galas (how can you not like galas), golden delicious, which are my personal favorite, and northern spies, which are more tart than goldens but amazingly crisp. 

As you can see, Mom took all the pictures and I did all the heavy lifting.. no not really, but shout out to Mom for dealing with the photographer who's in front of the lens <3 

A True Country Wedding

I am so happy I was able to come home for my cousin Chase's wedding. He married the perfect girl, and now they're a couple of hitched, hardworking farmers. Chase and Danielle live just on the other side of town (like, 2 miles away) and they hosted the wedding at my aunt and uncle's campground next door to their farm.

10-01-16

Like a true country wedding, the bridesmaids wore cowgirl boots, the guests left with maple syrup (made by Chase and Danielle), and the cake was topped with a cow. The wedding was full of Fall colors, with ears of corn, sunflowers, and twinkle lights of course. 

It was so much fun to have the whole family (and the whole town) together to celebrate Chase and Danielle's love. It was a chilly day, but once everyone had a few drinks and started dancing, it wasn't that cold. I have worked at weddings before, but never attended a real one. The best man and maid of honor speeches were funny and heartfelt, I got to watch the couple shove cake at each other, and the DJ inevitably played "Shout". I loved getting dressed up and witnessing traditions, but celebrating with everyone was hands down the best part. 

And just a few more less-classy photos..

Seeking My Dream Internship

COLLEGE...

Freshman year: "OMG what do I wear? My roommate is so weird. College is so easy."
Sophomore year: "Help me, I'm poor."
Junior Year: "I watch too much Netflix, I'm going abroad."
Senior Year: "WHERE DID THE TIME GO, WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!"

I'd be in denial if I said I never panic about my future. Sometimes I get nervous that I'm supposed to have my life and career all mapped out. Advice for myself, and many others; Life is uncertain, just go with it. 

When I say just go with it, I don't mean float along effortlessly. Every day is an opportunity to build new skills, set new goals, and work to be the person you want to be. I spent many years visualizing what job I wanted and who I wanted to be. That's a great start, but picturing how I want my life to be and figuring HOW to make it that way are two very different things. I guarantee, someone out there is already living the life you want, so research the steps they took to get there, and start taking action. 

My personal challenge is that I have many different interests. It can be hard to decide where to focus my energy. I study people that are successful in all the same areas I am passionate about; a fitness Youtuber with their own clothing line, a popular blogger and photographer on Instagram, or an impactful organic farmer, and I try to identify specific things about them that caught my attention. I am inspired by these individuals, but I am my own worst enemy when I start to compare myself to others. I've learned to identify my own strengths, set goals, and believe the path to success will appear.

Okay time to lighten the mood a little and take my own advice!

I have always wanted to work for Refinery29, which is a digital media company excelling at lifestyle content. They provide thoughtful and slightly humorous inspiration, advice, and all things need-to-know. The company is offering an internship listed as Content Internship, Beauty. This is my “Dream Internship” and I know the application process is going to be competitive! I know that to have a chance at “My Dream Internship," I need to find a way to make my cover letter and resume stand out.

My research on how to write an outstanding cover letter has led me in a million different directions, but one bit of advice rang throughout. I needed to discuss what I could bring to the company and why they should hire me. I sat back and practiced listening to my heart. I want them to know I could excel at this position, now all I need to do is get the hiring manager to know that! I discarded anything that sounded generic and decided to keep the cover letter brief and straight forward. I wanted to introduce myself and let them know what I had to offer. After a few drafts in which I wrote and rearranged how self-motivated I am, how observant I am, and how detail oriented I am, I had a small epiphany. Instead of listing my strengths and describing my talents, I would show them.

Hence, the 'Charlotte Collins Video Introduction' exclusively created for “My Dream Internship” quest! It was at this point that “it’s the journey, not the destination” kept running through my head and I realized I really was taking my own advice. Tackle new skills, set new goals, and BE the person you want to be.

DIY Denim Cutoffs

I went to Cape Cod last week on a little vacation to catch up with friends and spend some time by the ocean. Tanning, swimming, walking down the beach taking photos - it was blissful. I might include some more details about the Cape in a separate post, but the point is I was in vacation mode. Which includes shopping.

At home I have to drive to Albany for clothing stores that I like, but I prefer shopping on the Cape even more because there are cute boutiques and tons of consignment and thrift stores. I was at a surf store looking for denim shorts, and was depressed because I don't know who can afford $50 shorts. So I hit up a popular thrift store called Wicked Thrift in search of jeans that I could make cutoffs out of. 

I've made cutoffs quite a few times. It seems that the secret is to find the ugliest pair of jeans that 'fit', but you would never wear, and they turn into perfect shorts. It's all about how the waist and upper thigh fits, because the rest is getting cut off. Even if the jeans squeeze your knees like crazy, but the thigh is loose, this is actually a perfect situation because once you cut them, the shorts won't pinch your upper thigh. Make sure your butt looks good though, because that won't change whether you cut them or not.

I tried on a pair of ancient Gap jeans that were too short and awkwardly bell bottomed, in other words, I would never wear them as is. But I felt the potential for cutoffs. All you really need is a flat surface and a steady pair of scissors. 

CUT THE SHORTS TOO LONG, because you can always cut more off. Making sure the pants are flat and centered is key to having even legs. I usually end up cutting more off one or two times. Just try them on and check the length. Seriously, a little at a time, because I've cut a few where they were uneven and too short, so half of my left butt was showing.. To make the shorts frayed, all you have to do is run them through the washer and dryer. And it only cost me $6!

Hiking Tales

The humidity has been ridiculous the past couple weeks. I love Summer weather in upstate New York because it's hot and sunny with occasional thunder storms, but humidity is something everyone complains about whether you're in Houston or here. But it didn't stop my cousin (best friend) and I from taking a hiking adventure! 

Yesterday was my cousin Callan's birthday, she turned 22. Yes, I asked her if she was 'Feeling 22'. For those of you who don't understand that reference, please listen below :)

We drove to John Boyd Thacher State Park, which is south of Albany along the Helderberg Escarpment. Apparently the Escarpment is one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world. To be honest, we were more interested in the giant cracks/caves in the limestone cliffs and looking out at the views. 

The hiking is very manageable, with intermittent steep staircases because the cliffside just wasn't suitable for walking in some areas. We have a few mountains closer than Thacher State Park that are common for hiking, but it was nice to have a change of scene and experience something new. I highly recommend visiting the park. 

After getting sufficiently sweaty and hangry, I took Callan to lunch at the Cobleskill Golf Club for shrimp cocktail and sandwiches. We sat out on the deck in the shade and talked about how nice it would be to be retired with an agenda of golfing and lunching everyday. But then we remembered that being 22 is awesome and we just complain too much. Afterwards we went to Grapevine Farms and each bought a new purse.. because sometimes we act like girls. 

My Top 5 Fitness Youtubers

I haven't written much about my passion for fitness. I've mostly mentioned whether or not I'll make it to the gym on any given day. Working out, and more specifically weight training, is a big part of my life and something I thoroughly enjoy. However, my fitness journey did not start with lifting weights.

I've always been an active person. I played track and soccer all through middle school and high school, which involved a lot of running, so naturally running became a refreshing hobby of mine. But I really didn't need to burn any more calories. I don't love being the really skinny girl, and in the past few years I've wanted to put on more muscle and get stronger. I've taught myself nearly everything there is to know about nutrition and fitness. In fact, I'm looking into getting my personal trainer certification. So this is a heads up that I will be writing more on this topic!

Much of my inspiration and knowledge comes from Youtubers. Some people don't understand why I'm always watching Youtube, but it has literally replaced tv for me. There are Youtube channels for every interest in the world and real people put a lot of effort into their channels. Anyway, I made a little list of my top 5 favorite fitness/lifestyle Youtubers that I currently love, so if you're looking for good channels or are interested in fitness and nutrition, go check them out!

#1 Christian Guzman

Christian's channel has completely evolved in the past year. He's the most dedicated and motivated person and he's only 23. He's definitely made a name for himself and his videos are the highest quality vlogs I've seen.

#2 Heidi Somers

I love Heidi because she moved from Alaska to Texas on her own to do more with her life. She got into fitness and is a a goofy, genuine, donut-loving girl that nicked named herself 'Buff Bunny'. But she's definitely one to be taken seriously, she has super power discipline. 

#3 Amanda Bucci

Amanda has great advice in her videos and is also very technical about her workouts. I go to her for proper form and tips. But she's also a fro'yo addict :) 

#4 Ashley Nocera

Ashley is a Long Island girl and her videos show you so much of her regular life. I like her channel because she sets attainable goals for herself and never puts fitness in a restrictive light.

#5 Emily Hayden

Emily and Ashley (above) are both Alphalete Athletes, which is the company that Christian Guzman (#1) owns. The fitness industry can be a small world. Anyway, Emily is a very dedicated athlete. She prays every day and has a great dane, so overall I love her values.   

It's Good to Have No Options

What? Who says that? It can be a small world in Schoharie County, New York but most of the time we like it that way. Jefferson, the town I grew up in, only has one gas station and one bar (lol not that relevant to me). But these 'popular by default' places are something we all enjoy without it being mentioned. Nothing is perfect, but no one expects or wants perfection in a small town. Sometimes I run into my own brother at the gas station having coffee and sharing news with some other guys in town. Everything is more than familiar. 

Anyway, this post is really about ice cream. There's only one true ice cream place shared by 5 surrounding towns that everyone looks forward to in the summer. When I say 'true' ice cream place, I mean there's no indoors, they ONLY serve ice cream, and you just order at the window and sit outside on picnic tables. Mac-A-Doodles is in a neighboring town called Stamford, and I drive right by it every time I go to the gym.. In fact, it's like 1/4 mile down the road. 

They have tons of hard ice cream flavors and milk shakes, but the soft serve is definitely what Mac-A-Doodles is known for. The soft serve cones are towering. Every time I get one I say 'I'll never be able to finish this!' but then it starts to melt, so I eat faster and finish the whole thing in 5 minutes. And I still lose a lot of sprinkles in the melting fight. Humph. I'll just have to come again and really savor it.. 

Home Sweet Home

I was in Copenhagen just long enough to feel very comfortable with the city, transportation, currency and the people. I am SUCH a homebody that I could never picture moving somewhere far away from family. Even in New York City, I make frequent trips home because it's convenient. However, while studying abroad I started to imagine that it is possible. You do start to feel comfortable, you make real friends, have new routines, and can confidently give tourists directions. BUT, I didn't have a job or my own place to settle into and I will never be able to silence my need for family and the country. 

My point is, Lord, it is good to be home. I am so blessed to live on this farm with hard working and supportive loved ones. I can feast my eyes on the expansive countryside and feast my body on freshly grown and produced food. When I'm in a city, I like to find urban gardens to volunteer at, but there's nothing like getting my hands back in our own dirt. The peas are climbing, chickens are laying, sun in shining, and I am happy. 

Down Home Cereal

Whenever I talk about any of the products we sell here at Buck Hill Farm, I end up saying 'it's one of my favorite!', or 'I eat it all the time'. I'm not just trying to sell the products, those statements are really true, I eat a lot of profits. Oops. Like today at work Mom and I made a batch of our maple granola, or as Mom likes to call it 'cereal' because she eats it with milk nearly every day. Just ask the cats. 

Making granola is fairly simple. We just toss oats and groats with some walnuts and syrup and throw it in the oven to get lightly toasted. When it comes back out, you add the raisins and start scooping. But the bags have to be labeled beforehand so that the labels stick nice and flat. I find that job oddly satisfying. Each bag gets weighed to one pound and anything left on the pan that doesn't fill a whole bag gets brought to the house... However, there is nothing stopping Mom or I from opening a bag off the shelf as soon as that's gone...

There's nothing like a bowl of down home cereal in the sunshine on the rock wall with Cowbella's local milk.

 

 

Strawberry Picking

I've been home from Copenhagen and my semester abroad for a few days now. After a few extra long nights sleep in my familiar bed, it's time to prioritize on the farm! I'm going to be working at home on Buck Hill Farm for the summer managing field work, marketing, waitressing in the restaurant, and attending a few local farmer's markets each week. In other words there will be plenty to write about on here when my hands are clean.

Our berry field is not quite up and running, so Mom and I spent the morning picking strawberries at Bohringer's Fruit Farm in the valley. It's absolutely gorgeous outside today so getting there bright and early was quiet and not too hot. 

We only picked 12 quarts this morning, but we'll be going back for a few weeks through the season because we use a whole lot of berries at our house. Strawberries in particular we use for jam that we sell at Buck Hill (made by my very own mother and you can get your own HERE!), and we also give some away, sell them at the markets, and freeze bags of them for the winter. You'd be surprised how incredible the flavor holds in frozen strawberries. 

Goodbye KEA

Yesterday was my last day at KEA. I haven't actually had school for about two weeks now, but my oral exam final was yesterday morning. I had never had an oral exam (and let me add that this was my ONLY exam and ONLY grade for the WHOLE semester) so there was a lot of stress leading up to this final hour (or half an hour). I won't try to explain the European grading system, but I got a 12 and that's the highest grade there is - ending the semester on an awesome high note. I cried at the end because I had spent so much time preparing for and thinking about the exam that I wasn't ready for the moments after and how sad I would be to leave KEA. 

There is a unique sense of teamwork and lack of judgement studying at KEA. I respect everyone I worked with at school and am confident that my studies here are sending me home with academic and life lessons I couldn't get anywhere else. It's also very easy to be positive now that it's June and the weather is up-lifting. None the less, it's going to be very surreal to go back to FIT. I will definitely miss the rhythm in Copenhagen. I'm sharing some pictures of KEA main campus to show a little of the whole lot that I'm leaving behind. 

Pros and Cons of Spending the Day Alone

So there's this huge music festival that happens every year in Copenhagen called 'Distortion'. Yes, that can be interpreted as everyone getting completely distorted. Danes already love to drink (seriously, it's 5 o'clock every hour of every day here if they feel like it). Distortion is a giant five-day party of random rappers and DJ's in the streets of the city, AKA the perfect excuse to get completely wasted. While my friends were participating in the 'fun' (I'm not bitter, I just have a very different opinion of fun) I decided to spend some time visiting quieter parts of the city because I can only study inside for so long. Here's a few pros and cons of my solo day yesterday:

PRO: I can spend too long deciding what I want to order at a café.

Skyr with granola and fruit - Café Det Vide Hus

CON: It's awkward taking pictures of food when you're eating alone.


PRO: I can make friends with the people I'm crammed next to while climbing the steep stairs of a church spire to see all of Copenhagen.

Church of Our Saviour - Copenhagen

 View from the top

View from the top

CON: Everyone's sweaty and the (dumb) people at the top of this church that are terrified of heights really don't want to talk. 


PRO: I can randomly jump off my bike to take a picture of a pretty wall.

CON: There's no one to watch my bike and bag if I want to walk away on a quick photo mission. 


PRO: I can also detour just to buy candy (I belong in Denmark because I'm obsessed with licorice). 

CON: I'm alone eating candy. OH WELL.

Torvehallerne

I still don't know how to pronounce the name of this market. When I hear a native pronounce it, it sounds something like tor-hellen. Regardless, Torvehallerne is a really cool market in city center with over 60 shops selling everything from fresh fish to gourmet chocolate almonds (they're amazing). The market is almost always packed because locals go grocery shopping here, and tourists come for a bite to eat or to pick up something special. 

Everything is always fresh. Most of the mini eateries inside also have shops located elsewhere in the city, but at Torvehallerne you can have the best of all worlds. If you're with friends or family, everyone can get what they are in the mood for. There's traditional open-faced sandwiches, juices, and coffee from The Coffee Collective (they ONLY sell coffee, so you know they know what they're doing). The Coffee Collective blends are also found in many other cafés throughout the city because their coffee is just that good. I'm also a little obsessed with the design on their cups. Another shop is called Grød, which means porridge. I'm an oatmeal fanatic (there are worse things to obsess over), and I've been to Grød's actual café, but it was prime to enjoy their oatmeal with a cappuccino from The Coffee Collective. 

Charlottelund

I've really been making the most out of my last weeks in Denmark. Today was no exception, but everything about the day was somehow 'not what we expected', but in a good way. I sort of felt like Alice in Wonderland, only 'Charlotte in Charlottelund'. Curious.

My good friend Roos (Rose) and I went to a sample sale in city center this morning (the same one we went to yesterday haha..) and then had cappuccinos on a nice bench outside. I also had some oatmeal because I went to the gym at 6am and by 10am it was time for breakfast #2. We stumbled upon a recycled clothing market on the way back to our bikes but there was so much stuff for sale that it was too overwhelming to find something worth the time. 

Our plan for the day was to bike to Finn Juhls Hus, a house museum in Charlottelund, North of Copenhagen. The bike ride was supposed to be about 30 minutes but it felt more like 30 miles. When we FINALLY got there, it was - not what we expected. The house was just part of a whole park with interactive art pieces, another museum, and a restaurant. Finn Juhls Hus was actually a bit expensive, but the park was free, so we peaked inside the house and then had fun looking at the giant misting circle and the mirror maze. Yep, that's the best I can describe them. 

Afterwards we biked into the town of Charlottelund to see the castle and grounds built by Princess Charlotte Amalie in the early 1800's (obviously I pretended that the castle and the whole town belonged to me). The palace grounds were so calm, especially compared to Copenhagen. We weren't expecting Charlottelund to feel like a ritzy beach town, but main street was quaint and full of designer shops, and we walked all the way to the water where people were BBQing and sailing. It was really a different kind of day and I loved it.

Stranded and Loving It on Paper Island

My friends and I have been trying to find a day to hang out at Papirøen (Paper Island) together. It's a magical place where everyone chills out, eats food from a different culture, and possibly jumps off the pier if it's hot enough. 

Today's mission was work first, then food and fun. Some of the girls had their final exams this morning, and some of us had to spend the morning prepping for the exam we have two whole weeks from now (can I plz just get it over with). Anyway, we all met at Copenhagen Street Food, which is synonymous with Paper Island and Papirøen in case that was confusing you. It's hyped up to be an awesome, but very crowded destination. However, on this gorgeous Wednesday it was practically empty compared to some days where it takes 40 minutes to get food and every table, chair, and pier-side seat is taken. 

 Roos, Dakota, and Lulia in the bottom left :) &nbsp;- Full Album  HERE

Roos, Dakota, and Lulia in the bottom left :)  - Full Album HERE

Seating might have gone smoothly, but deciding what to eat is a serious challenge. I walked up and down the aisles of food trucks 3 or 4 times. First you have to see all your options, then you have to see what's popular and decide what you're in the mood for, and even then you've only narrowed it down to probably 3 trucks. Then you just have to make up your mind and say you'll try the others next time. I had plantains that were smashed into circles and fried like patties, served with guac and salsa. Lulia tried a Moroccan flatbread and Dakota had a surf and turf burger with sweet potato fries. Casual Wednesday lunch. 

After we ate, it was time to chill. We sat on the very corner of the pier for the rest of the afternoon getting tan, taking pictures, and waving at the boats and canal tours going by. I really cherish the times I'm in the moment with my friends, enjoying the weather, just talking and laughing. 

 

 

 

 

Fro'yo in Frederiksberg

I woke up at 5:30 this morning, which sounds extremely early for a Sunday except the sun rose at 4:45. I'm use to waking up at dawn so when I wake up to full on daylight I already feel behind for the day. I had a few (few is always up for interpretation) cups of coffee and worked on end of the semester stuff. I worked until 10, which felt like forever but I am most productive in the morning and it felt good to cram in some work right away. 

I decided to venture out by myself today because it was 70 and sunny and I needed some fresh air. There's a southern part of Copenhagen called Frederiksberg that's a bit ritzier, has better grocery stores and cuter boutiques, but is most famous for Frederiksberg Park. I actually had never made my way to this part of town, but remember reading about a frozen yoghurt place in the area that is amazing because their yoghurt is actually skyr, which is delicious Icelandic yoghurt that is low in fat and high in protein. SO, I made a pit stop on the way to the park. 

The fro'yo was on point. I mixed original, vanilla, and coconut yoghurt (after taste testing the other 7 flavors) and put granola, licorice pieces, kit kat, and melon on top. I don't know where that combo came from but it worked. 

I headed to the park with my bathing suit on under my clothes and my towel and book in tow. The park was so much more than I expected. I don't really use the word 'lovely' but this park was lovely. And grand. The paths were canopied by giant, old trees and there was a winding river throughout where ducks were swimming and people were rowing small boats. I walked into an opening where a fountain appeared, and I could see the magnificent Frederiksberg Palace sitting on a hill in the backdrop. The palace had rows of what I think are English sycamores in front and the Danish flag waving on top. It felt royal. And peaceful. I continued walking and found my own sunny spot to read and nap for a few hours. 

We Have to Go to Botanisk Have

The highlight of today was finally visiting Botanisk Have, Copenhagen's botanical garden. I only have three weeks left in this wonderful city and I want to make sure I see everything I need to see. All of my housemates are also international students and we joke about having a 'Copenhagen Bucket List'. You can tell we're a wild bunch when visiting a garden is on the list. 

My housemate Dakota and I went out for lunch at one of my favorite spots in the city, Kalaset, that she had never been to. I told her to order the pancakes because many people rave about them, including my Mom who had them during her visit. Mom's thumbs up for pancakes says a lot considering she runs a pancake house. After lunch we bought some gifts for loved ones and headed to Botanisk Have. 

The park outside the main green house is full of walking paths surrounded by shrubs, cacti, flowers and waterfalls. The indoor garden is in a beautiful old white structure that actually adds to the outdoor scenery like a delicate grandmother watching over the garden's activity. The center of the green house had giant palm trees and other tropical plants which explained why it was SO humid. There was an old white spiraling staircase that led to an indoor balcony around the top of the palms and it was even HOTTER up there because heat rises. You know, science. I'm so happy we went because it was very peaceful after shopping in the city on a Saturday. Well, there was one other peaceful moment when we had ice cream and sat by a fountain.. I had pistachio in case you were wondering.