Well, I am living abroad...yet again. After Singapore, Spain, Turkey, Korea the Netherlands (and returning to Spain for a Masters) I've unpacked my backpack a little closer to home in Mexico. I live in Culiacan where I am trying my hand at teaching English to University and high school students. Below you'll find random updates as I go to festivals, explore my city or just feel like sharing a random story.

What time is it?

Monday, December 21, 2009


I have pictures and more to write, but quickly for now I will just say the last three months have been a whirlwind!

Here's an album from October: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2254765&id=24606699&l=d49f245926 bigger and better pictures later :)

I passed my course!

And absolutely ADORE my au apair family (YAY!)

The Netherlands also got the most snow they've had since 1981! So yeah just for me I guess :P

Hope all is well

Friday, November 27, 2009


So, what's going on? Carissa leaves the Netherlands and she becomes a perverted racist? Nooo, this is Sinterklaas! He is helped by his little helpers (Zvart Pete is allegedly black because he goes down the chimney...not sure why Sinterklaas doesn't turn black). Sinterklaas comes in on a boat and meets the mayor and all the kids realize how cool their town is! The zvart Pete's dance and run and throw candy and cookies around. This is all paid for by the local stores (like Santa is paid for by Macy's back home).

Not quite what we have in San Diego I can remember putting my shoe outside the door for Sinterklaas when I was younger. Christmas was always the bigger deal but Sinterklaas involved chocolate which made it good enough for me :)

Couchsurfing in the Netherlands has a tradition of throwing a rather large CS party in Rotterdam so Lauren and I found a host and headed off to make new friends.

The first event was a "speed dating event" now, couchsurfing is NOT a dating site, but speed dating is a rather effective way to meet a large number of people in a short amount of time. Since there are about 200 people it was a nice way to get some names. The way the game is played is everyone has a paper on their back; a bunch of cards with questions are passed around. You ask your question "If you really had to pee on a train but the next stop wasn't for 45 minutes what would you do?" and the person responds, "hold it, use a bottle, pee in between the train cars etc" you then write some form of their answer on the back for everyone to read, "He pees in bottles," then you swap questions cards with them and find a new victim

There were quite a few of us sleeping at Hamid's

But really really awesome people :)

The next day we went on a city tour of Rotterdam it was COLD so there was some impromptu dancing to stay warm :)

Some more walking around, and shopping and one yummy beer tasting! But in the end we all went back to Hamid's for dinner and then went onto the party!

All good things must come to an end

Friday, October 23, 2009

Brussels with Lauren

The first week Lauren arrived I had her on a train to Brussels where we connected in Ghent to meet up with Veronique. She made yummy pasts Lauren slept and Veronique and I went to a few bars.

The next way we meandered around Ghent found a great place to have a BIG soup and an apple for under 5 euros! We also found some great postcards and basically just soaked up the cuteness of Ghent.

From there we were on a train to Belgium where we met up with a host who had TONS of beer:

We also got a chance

Got a tour of the city including the manekin pis:

YAY for French Fries!!

And of course, porn and chocolate

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rubix Cube Party

So...life is crazy. The stupid class (CELTA is a great course going well I am learning a lot, but it is SUPER time intensive!) takes up ALL my time.

But not this weekend! No! I headed to Koln to meet up with some surfers in Germany :)

This is my host:

This is the BEAUTIFUL K├Âlner Dom Really really pretty cathedral according to UNESCO it is an "exceptional work of human creative genius" and visited by over 20 thousand people in a day. It was started in 1248 and took until 1880 to finish (though there were some breaks) It was the was the tallest structure in the world (for four years)....but that was a while ago and that is not now, still awesome to look at though.

Then onto a bar for a quick drink before the party

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back to Korea (pizza)

Before I left Korea Patrick came over one night and we ordered pizza:

The funness that ensued!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Where I am

My room is still being built.

So Cleo has moved into the girls room:

And I have stolen (ok...borrowed) her room

So, I have officially been living in Maarssen for a week. And it really is a great town. I live on the river Vecht. It used to be similar to the Hamptons. The place away from the city where anyone who was anyone would have a second home.

It is a smaller town, though larger than a thought. The kids schools are less than 5 minutes away by walking. There is a bakery, a fish shop, several smaller restaurants and a few stores so it isn't like the Camino where I would be in cities with one bar and that was it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Be back to the Camino later...but for now...NETHERLANDS

LOTS to write but for now a quick post with pictures of the three little angels I'll be watching for the next 10 (or so) months

The oldest Cleo, she's is 5

Pippou (said kinda like Pepper) is 3

Pookie (no idea on spelling here people) is 3 as well

So yeah those are my precious little angels :)

Windmills and Babies

For my first au-pair family Dutch culture funness we went on a trip to the Zaanse Schans (basically a city with a collection of well preserved historic windmills and houses).

In true Dutch style it was raining
One of the first things we looked at was the Schipperplein. This basically means its a square that is surrounded by lots of warehouses that used to be used for storing exciting things like grains! They were traditionally built of wood (convenient) and tarred to protect from mildew and other gross stuff (practical)

Next up was a loooooooot of polder (which I now know is what we call, "reclaimed land"). The water around it is regulated by windmills (practial AND pretty)
About the windmills. There are more than 1,000 windmills in the Zaanarea! All of the windmills on the kalverringdijk are still in use. The next one is a mustard mill!

This place also has the first Albert Hein! (think like Vons)

Ending with a stop in the cheese shop as a lady explained (to a Russian tour group...in Russian) how cheese in made! (the tour group took more pictures of the twins than the cheese)

On our way home we stopped by a friend of Kristel's. Her friend had just had a baby boy. The Dutch tradition is that friends and family come over and congratulate you (fawn over the baby and give presents) and the mom gives guests "little mice" which is anis flavored sprinkles put on biscuits. Anis helps women recover after childbirth so by joining the guests in eating she's also helping herself. Nifty system!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009


The park what else to set a romantic stage

How about where people used to get killed for amusement?

The wall of lovers

Venetian Glass