Monday, September 4, 2017

The South

We landed in New Orleans Tuesday morning, and after we picked out our new rental car, we drove to my mum’s cousin Jerry, who lives north of New Orleans, in Diamondhead. After we took a quick nap, he came home from work and took Mia, Mattis and me flying in his Cessna. Seeing Mississippi and Louisiana from above was incredible; the ground is woven through by swamps, marshes and rivers. You could still see some of the wrecks left from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
New Orleans was one ongoing culinary and culturary experience. We walked through the streets of the garden district and French quarter, amazed by the architecture New Orleans is famous for, by the cemeteries above the ground, and the trees, still covered in beads from Mardi Gras.
The stops in cafés and restaurants were a welcome break from the beating heat and humidity. We tried everything: from Gumbo to Beignets, Jambalaya and Muffaletta, Snowballs and red beans with rice.
After 4 wonderful days close to the Gulf of Mexico, we left to see my mum’s other cousin Dagmar in Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville is a lovely city, not with quite as much old european influence as New Orleans, but with its own charme. 
Greenville has a pretty little center with shops and boutiques, and a river that flows through some parks, where you can hop in and cool down for a little bit. We also visited Asheville in the Blue Ridge Moutntains and went karting with Dagmar’s family.
On Wednesday we drove down to Myrtle Beach, the infamous “Spring Break”–beach, to see even more of my mum's family. They have been so welcoming and courteous and we were able to enjoy more of that southern charme and hospitality. It was great to spend a couple days just relaxing in the sun, or jumping around in the atlantic ocean. 
We all got matching tattoos as a delicate little finish of our trip.

During those 5 weeks we experienced an overwhelming amount of kindness and comfort, of love, warmth and open hearts. Everybody we met, from friends to family to strangers on the streets have been very pleasant to us, and every single one of them made our trip better. We were able to see whales every time we went to the coast in Oregon and California, we saw alligators and otters, we’ve had some seriously delicious food, but most of all we were able to make some great memories with a bunch of different people in the most diverse situations. We want everybody who was a part of our trip to know that we appreciate everything you have done for us and that nothing is taken for granted, and that we are blessed to have met all of you! Thank you!

Lots of Love, Malin, Mia, Mattis, Karin, Jochen

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


We're now at the end of our West Coast - Road Trip and about to fly to New Orleans. 

California has been so good, even driving through the Prairie while seeing nothing else than dead hills was somewhat exciting and definitely different to all the shades of green we'd been seeing in Oregon. 
Our first big stop was Yosemite National Park. We stayed in a cabin-tent in Half Dome Valley, which treated us to some amazing views across the Valley and of Half Dome. 
We hiked along the Merced river up to the Nevada- and Vernal falls. It had gotten slightly hazy in the afternoon because of forest fires in the region, so we weren't able to see as far as we thought we could, but it was still really impressive to see those steep granite walls and unique rock-formations. One of my favorite things was the star-covered sky at night.

After three days, we already left to San Francisco. It was my family's first time in San Francisco, and we were all really excited for it. And the city didn't disappoint. 
San Francisco is still as gorgeous and busy as I remember it. We walked across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and took the ferry back, which went past Alcatraz. This way, my dad at least got the chance to see it from the outside, since we'd decided we didn't really want to go inside. 
Taking a cable car from Fisherman's Wharf to Downtown and being able to hop on and off whenever we wanted was so much fun, because that way, we didn't have to walk those insanly steep streets. 
We stayed in a lovely Airbnb, which was located right at the Golden Gate Park, and it was easy to go everywhere by bus. 
Chinatown is always worth a visit, and has some amazing street food, like giant sesame-balls. 
It's incredible how diverse and multicultural San Francisco is and how easily districts change.
One minute you're walking down Chinatown and the next, you find yourself in midst of Little Italy, experiencing a completely different vibe.
San Francisco was the perfect way to end our time at the West-Coast and we're all very excited to go south and see something totally different (and also see some family!). 

Love, Malin

Nevada Fall

The Valley

Golden Gate Bridge

Cable Car

Lombard Street

China Town

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Back in the Northwest

Seattle, WA. Portland, OR. Corvallis, OR.
Three cities, two states, one car.

I fell in love with the Northwest during my exchange year and now I returnes to the place that feels like home - even if only for a short time. This summer, my whole family came with me. We flew from Frankfurt Airport to Seattle and stayed with Lily’s grandparents for a couple of days. Together, we explored West Seattle and Downtown, enjoyed the warm and welcoming atmosphere at the Beach house and had the best start of our trip we could have had. 
We drove down to Portland and stayed there two nights with a family, who was so kind and showed us around. Portland, Portlandia, the city of stumps, the city of roses; no matter what you want to call it, the city that stands behind those names is one of the most charismatic cities I’ve been too. With unique ice-cream shops, ginormous bookstores and music and fairy lights woven through trees everywhere, it’s been so much fun to poke around and enjoy the hipster-y lifestyle.
Two days later, we drove down to Corvallis. It was so great seeing everybody and spending time with my family and my friends, no matter what we did: 
Whether we went to the coast, where we were lucky enough to see whales, floated down the river in canoes, or just hung around.
Continuing driving down 101 along the rough Oregonian coast towards California was breathtaking, because after every turn there was another gorgeous scenery.
We arrived in California today and our trip will take us further through the Redwoods, Yosemite National Park and San Francisco.

Hope all is well, Malin & Family

Seattle skyline

Alki beach

Pike's place market



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sun, Sand & Salt

Those three components are by far my most favorite ones, especially in the summer. 
The car drive from where I live to the south of France is about 8 hours, but this year we went with a camper, so we had to drive slower. 
But it doesn’t matter how long the actual drive is, the last hour always feels the same; I’m just sitting there and after every hill we drive around I think ‘Now I can see the water’, but then there’s just another hill and I am thinking ‘but this time, really!’ . 

And then, after I told myself I can see the ocean for what feels like the thousandth time, I can.
 And every time I can’t help but to start smiling. As soon as the car stopped, I put on my bathing suit and me and my sister went to the beach and dove into the water. And that first taste of sandy saltiness is what I think summer tastes like (besides watermelon and mojito- cocktails).
The following week I spent at the beach, laying in the sun, swimming, or relaxing on an air- mattress, biking to cute little towns to do some shopping or diving into crystal clear, rocky saltwater with my family.

My sister is biking home from Marseillan (the town we stayed at) and I am really bummed school starts next week, otherwise I would have biked with her.
I love vacation, just for getting up in the morning and thinking about all the things you can do, but don’t have to do. One day my sister and I woke up at the break of down and watched the sun rising over the water.

There was a little boy at the beach and he said something to his mum, which perfectly describes how I feel. Vacation is so great, we should go there everyday. Smart one, baby boy.

I am more than sad to go, but I am also kind of excited for my first day at my new school. I hope it’ll be alright.

Oh, and I just realized; Today, excactly a year ago, I left to go to Oregon... 

Love, Malin

The beach was ours

The water was so clear, all I wanted to do was dive in all day

I always wanted to have my sisters hair when I was little

Candy cotton skies

There was a Harley Davidson parade, and that Rockerguy just wore a kilt 

And he was by far the coolest 

My Mum

My Dad

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Hey everyone!

I'm back since two months, and everything is getting normal. I was working for the first 5 weeks, which was exhausting, but it brought in a lot of money, so I tried not to complain to much about it. 
I was looking forward to my last day of work, not only because it would be my last day of work, but also because Lily would fly in a day later. I was really excited to see her again, and to show her germany! Unfortunately she could only stay for two weeks, but we tried to do as much as possible. 
We walked down cobblestone roads and dipped our feet into the little streams in Freiburg (which means we both have to marry people from Freiburg now), we spoiled ourselves with culture, history and food in Berlin, which contained turkish breakfast, french lunch and italian dinner (oh, and of course things like the Bundestag, the Brandenburger tor, the Holocaust memorial, the Charlottenburg palace and some retro photo booths). We also spent some time walking though the streets of Colmar, eating french pastries and then went to see an old castle. 
Becasue we did so much, I asked Lily to summarize the trip in short answers to the following questions: 

What was your favorite part about your trip? 
Freiburg! Watching little kids play in the streams, they're just so cute.

What was your least favorite part about germany?
Probably that we had to bike everywhere.

If you could take one thing back to the USA, what would it be?
That'd be you.  

She is such a cutie.

I think my favorite part about our time here was, besides seeing her again, the time in Berlin. It was my second time in the city, but it is still beautiful. 

School starts for me in two weeks, but before that, I am going to the southern france. I'm really excited to do nothing all day and just be at the ocean!

I hope all of you had (or still have) an awesome summer, enjoy it while it lasts!!

Love, Malin

Most of those pictures are from berlin, becasue I forgot my camera when we went to france...

The streets of Freiburg 

She was fascinated by that water fountain

That crying baby made my day

The Dome 

Bundestag (where Congressmen have their meetings)

The Holocaust memorial

East- side gallery

"Eat crêpes no crap"

Basic values of Berlin