all too Thun: scenes from Switzerland

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Now that seemingly eternal January has concluded at last, my journey through the cold land of engaging architecture feels even more distant – but I can’t let it slip away completely without sharing my first continental castle photographs!

My family spent a misty Christmas in Bern(e), Switzerland, and although it proved too overcast for quality Alp-spotting, the architecture appeared hauntingly beautiful against the wintry skies. These scenes document our holiday day-trip to neighboring Thun, where teal water and gold trim glistened festively!

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kelp is on the way


On days such as this, I’m all the more eager to continue my plan of absconding to Atlantis, living beneath the waves in an isolated society of my own design.

A lost oceanic city may not be real (yet!), but there’s always Monterey Bay Aquarium, my personal “happiest place on Earth!” I could have stared into those seemingly endless open-ocean tanks forever, gazing at the soft spiraling arms of kelp until I was lulled into a meditative state to match the New Age music that constantly plays in these watery halls.

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Happy holidays!


Whether you are celebrating Christmas today or just want to rejoice in the beauty of the ocean & terrible puns (I wish there were a holiday specifically for that purpose!), I’m sending you all my best wishes. Thanks for reading my blog!

U.K. Travels, Past & Future


A view from the London Eye, March 2013
Glastonbury Tor, February 2013

Ten years ago, I was about to leave North America for the very first time–setting off on a journey to England for a summer writing program just days after my thirteenth birthday. I’d never been away from home for more than a night or two, and I couldn’t believe that I could hop on a plane and wake up in an entirely different country.

I enjoyed my sunny weeks in Cambridge so much as a preteen that I decided to return to the U.K. in college: except this time, I swapped the River Cam for the rugged cold! During my six months in Edinburgh, though, I did journey down from Scotland and into England a few times, eating chocolate-covered rice cakes from Tesco and navigating local bus systems in the rain to visit places like Glastonbury Tor and assorted non-Stonehenge megaliths.

And now, three years since I last left the British Isles, I’m going back!

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In Emily’s Garden

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A Bird, came down the Walk –
He did not know I saw –
He bit an Angle Worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,
And then, he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass –
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass –
After two years of living in the Pioneer Valley, I had only visited the Emily Dickinson Museum–the former home of a poet whose works have entranced me since childhood–twice. Both pilgrimages took place during grey October days, when the grounds were already showing slight traces of frost.
My visit to the museum this past weekend, however, showed me the truest glimpse into Emily’s world I may ever experience. The gardens that so influenced her writing were in full bloom, and I found myself wandering and wondering, trying to capture a sense of this shy yet intellectually feisty writer whom I identify as a real kindred spirit, even though we were born centuries apart.

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Fairy Days

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W.B. Yeats–one of my favorite poets–described my entire relationship to the natural world perfectly through his verse. Just like the narrator in “The Song of Wandering Aengus,” I very often essentially can say that “I went out to the hazel wood/Because a fire was in my head.”

Unlike Yeats’ speaker in that poem, though, my woods activities tend to be less related to fishing (and being amazed when trouts transform into glimmering girls) and more photography-heavy. True wildflowers have arrived at last in Massachusetts, and I plan to capture each one of them before they fade into summer greens.

(That said, if any magical glimmering girls want to materialize out of thin air à la Yeats and join me on my forest adventures: you are most welcome!)

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Shades of Sea and Sky

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I grew up in the North Pacific, slowly accepted the Atlantic as a second home, once sailed in the Gulf of Alaska, and spent one cold semester gazing out at the North Sea. Now I’ve discovered the oceanic love of my life: the Ligurian Sea, a gorgeously-hued part of the Mediterranean that gently troubles the shores of the Cinque Terre.

After a few months in the colorless, wintry haze of the East Coast, I basked in the colors of the Mediterranean as much as its warming sunshine. As a wannabe-mermaid and nature photographer, I wanted to take these blues and greens home with me like a piece of beach glass, hoarding them with all the other gems of seas and sunsets I’ve ever seen.

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