Its October :) Really I feel like that is all I need to say. There is no time of year that defeats October in the Wisconsin: bonfires, the colors of upper michigan, football, pumpkin spice lattes, leaves that sound like potato chips under your toes, jeans&sweatshirts, corn mazes, AH! What's not to love?! It kind of blows my mind that we are already at this time of year. However, if i recall that last 6 weeks or so, it sort of fits together...
Back in 2010, Joey had shown we Jeju Island, South Korea and I promised him I would show him what i know of Europe. We spent 3 weeks scampering around a few different countries, seeing new things, and visiting old friends. I can honestly say it was by far the exactly what I needed. I missed the amazing bread, meetings of fellow international travelers, that true sense of feeling tiny as you stand amongst the Austrian Alps, complete independence, waking up every morning knowing that adventure was just a few steps away- talk about rekindling the human spirit :)
Oh, I suppose I should probably mention that I am now ENGAGED too!... I couldn't have pictured a more perfect place for it to happen as well. We were in the heart of the Swiss Alps overlooking the city below us and next to this gorgeous green-blue lake. I was taking pictures over the edge and I turned to Joey and he was one knee... all I could do was smile and hug him. The coolest part was hearing the Swiss cow bells echo against the mountain walls from the valley below us :) Friday the 13th, on the side of Mount Titlis (pronounced as it appears ;), how romantic ) Recalling it still kind of blows my mind.
I would never have enough time or finger strength to type all the details of our European adventure, but I can recap a little bit. Oktoberfest is by far the most FUN party I have ever been to. Brooke and I traveled down a wooden slide in the world's oldest salt mine at 30.7kilometers per hour in Hallstatt. You never realize how small the world is until you get out into it, we met 4 fellow Wisconsinites at the Augusteiner Brauhaus in Salzburg. The doner is still by far the best and cheapest street food I have ever eaten. Lattes in Switzerland cost the equivalent to $10. Every time i hear the new Avicci song all I can think of is zipping on the autobahn. The best place to meet fellow world travelers is the hostel bar. We were so stinkin fortunate to have such great hosts every place we stayed!
Its almost a teaser to come back to the real world after such an adventure. I thought working swing shift for the first year and a half of my nursing career would've kind of prepared me... ha, no. It took all of our strength to stay up to 8pm after 29hrs of travel and 3 hrs of sleep the night we left Munich. We slept a solid 9ish hrs the first night and were awake by 0430 the following morning. We ended up walking to the beach to watch the sunrise and await the grocery store's opening to get food for breakfast... ha :) how ridiculous does that sound!?
If it wasn't enough to backpack Europe, get engaged, be challenged by jetlag, and catch up with everyone back home- Joey and I both accepted new jobs to begin once we got back as well. Holy life explosion, batman! Its a healthy type of explosion, which sounds somewhat oxymoronish. My first day as a new staff RN at the Milwaukee VA was on October 7th, my 25th birthday. I am oh so thankful for the gift of employment (and couldn't have picked a better time to join the federal system with the government being shut down and all-ha!). Its been going pretty stellar so far. It is so cool to see the approach everyone within the system takes in truly thanking the veterans. It is usually the 2nd thing EVERY employee will say, "Welcome to the VA. Are you a vetran? Yes? Thank you for your service." So freakin honoring!
Life has been pretty dang good to me at my quarter of a century mark. I love waking up in the morning and accepting the challenge of trying to figure out where the road wants to take me. What I think and what actually happens is so far beyond what I am capable of guessing. It usually ends up being a major laugh-fest because life's irony kicks in. But all in all, it keeps things trucking along.
I must be skedaddling along, my bed has been summoning me for a little while now. Hope everyone's week starts off just rockin and the coffee's nice and strong :)
Here's a song I've had in my head for about 4 weeks now, to help you get started.