San Diego! – Au Pair Adventures

California girls are unforgettable.. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am residing in California at the moment! For 8 days I am accompanying my hostfamily on spring break in the beautiful city of San Diego. We left yesterday afternoon and boy what a trip it was.

I dont know if you have kids but if you do you know how stressful it is to get him it her ready for a trip, let alone with 3 kids. My hostmom was running around doing last minute stuff while I was cleaning up and getting the kids ready. We left for the airport on time and we were there early enough to get seats next to each other thank goodness. We had to wait for a couple hours though but the kids were being good and finally we were able to get on the plane! And off we went.

Not. We were just all organized and comfortable when there was an announcement that there was gonna be a delay of about 30 minutes. Well okay, annoying but not the end of the world. The kids were doing artwork and the baby was even falling asleep. Then, they told us there was a leak in the right engine and we had to change planes. This is where the fun began. Of course the baby woke up and started crying. The kids had to be repacked and it was an overall mess getting from one gate to the other. At this new gate we had to wait for another good hour before we could board that plane. When we finally got on there the two oldest kids were good, settling in with some iPad games and later watching frozen on a portable DVD player. However, the baby cried about 3 of the 4 hours that we were on that flight. It was awesome.

When my hostmom was taking the other two to the bathroom I had the baby in my lap who was finally starting to fall asleep. And I kid you not, the second – and I mean the actual second – she was asleep the wench from the window seat in my isle wanted to get by. I was seriously pissed off. I had half a thought to just ignore her. This woman had been screaming and cursing to someone on the phone earlier and was drinking several bottles of vodka. I had no patience. Of course then the baby started screaming again. I wanted to cut a bitch.

We finally arrived in San Diego around 9:15 local time. That is 11:15 Chicago time and the kids were exhausted. The boy was asleep in the stroller but the oldest one had to walk. She did very well though and didn’t complain once. You should have seen us though, two women, three babies and three big suitcases. I’m sure we were a sight to behold. But it didn’t end there. We still had to pick up the rental car and get some essentials from a 24 hour cvs. That god for those. I think it was about 12:30 before we actually arrived at the resort. We all crashed into bed.

Then today we had a fun filled and busy day. Swimming pools, playgrounds, long walks, the kids made their own Sundae in a workshop and did a lot of art. They had a really good time. It’s funny though out of all the things we did, they remembered gathering sticks on the golf course the best. I had some time to take the baby for a walk by myself and buy some souvenirs. And at night my hostmom told me that I could pretty much do whatever and that she had things covered so I went for a swim in the “serenity” pool across the street from our villa. This is the first time I’ve swam in about 8 years, since I quit swimming and practicing 6 – 7 times a week. It was really weird but also really good. I definitely need to swim more and get into shape. It’s weird to realize how strong I must have been back then, it felt a lot easier then!

Now the kids are in bed and my hostmom and I going to order some food. I’m pretty much dead and my bad knee is definitely saying ‘no more’, so I’m going to take a rest. Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain so who knows what’s gonna happen. Seriously though, rain and cloudy on our spring break. Sigh. Come on.

Oh wel.. Better than Chicago snow!

I’ll tell you more about my Californian adventures soon!

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Life update

Hello friends!

Wait, what’s this? Why yes I am still alive. I have not disappeared from the face of the earth like it may seem. What did happen however is that my laptop had decided it needs a vacation and promptly handed in its resignation (read: it broke). I am going to negotiate with it tomorrow and hopefully I will get it back in working order without coming out of pocket too much. We shall see.

What have I been doing in the meantime? Well I went to see the Phantom of the Opera at the Cadillac palace theatre in chicago. It was absolutely amazing and I loved it and want to go again. I went to the aquarium with friends last sunday. I watched the oscars with friends, I went out a lot.. Basically I have acquired a social life. Yay me!

I do owe you all some reviews but it’s harder for me to write them on my phone or iPad. I will try though. Next up is the Every Day by David levithan review. I’m almost done with that. After that we shall see.

I am reading and updating my ‘read in 2014’ list regularly so if you’re interested, please have a gander at that. I have come to learn that it isn’t wise to check out too many library books at once. I learn fast.

Anywho, I shall rise from the ashes once more! Don’t give up on me yet!

Book Review: Forbidden

She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

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Title: Forbidden

Author: Tabitha Suzuma

Published: May, 2010 by Definitions

Time it took me to read: 27/01 – 31/01

Rating: 3 out of 5 

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Argh finally getting around to doing this review.. I have procrastinated on this for way too long. Especially since I have another Book Review on my to do list after this one. Shoot me now, I’m a bad blogger. Anyway lets just dive in here.

Lochan and Maya come from a broken home. Including them, there are 5 kids in the house and no parents. Technically, their mom is the one who is taking care of them after their dad left but aside from one or two nights a week when she sleeps of a hangover or the occasional checks to pay the bills, she is nowhere to be seen. It falls to Lochan and Maya to keep the house running, make sure everyone is fed and has clean clothes and then also try to do their own schoolwork. Lochan is especially struggling with this. He is the oldest and takes a lot of the responsibility, acting like a substitute father for most of the time. At school, he deals with crippling social anxiety that make him unable to speak in class at all. The only positive thing in his life is Maya, his 16 year old sister who tries to help out as much as she can.

When their mom starts showing up less and less, Lochan and Maya have no choice but to lean on each other even more to prevent one or both of them to collapse and have a breakdown. However, this very dependent relationship turns into something else when Maya gives in to her desires and kisses Lochan. They start a relationship that is both dangerous for their family and highly confusing. Will they make it out?

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I picked this book up at the library after seeing it on Goodreads and doing a double take. How many books about sibling incest that isn’t rape do you know? Not many, I’m guessing. It’s a very risky subject and if not done right it could be very damaging and offensive. However, the reviews were great so I decided to give it a go.

I think that the whole time I read this book I had an eyebrow raised in skepticism. Now, it’s not bad, it’s really not, but it’s not as good as the reviews made it out to be either. I wasn’t bawling at the end. In fact, I disliked the ending. It was overly dramatic and not very realistic I think. I wasn’t bawling in a corner like other reviewers.

However, I did like how the story was build up. I was afraid that the author would have chosen for a storyline where the brother and sister are already in a relationship when we start reading but that’s not the case. We see them grow closer and discover feelings that they shouldn’t be having and because she switches points of view throughout the book, we can see it for both Maya and Lochan. We see them struggling with trying to keep it in at first, then limiting themselves and finally keeping it all hidden. It was a good development, I think, like that could happen for real.

Even though the subject is very risky, it’s not a very memorable book for me. I wasn’t that impressed and I will probably never read it again. I rate this book a 3 out of 5. Not good, but not bad either. I would recommend this to you if the subject intrigues you but if you feel squeamish around graphic descriptions of incestuous relationships, steer clear.

Nashville, Tennessee – Au Pair Adventures

So… I’ve been gone for a while huh?

I’m so sorry. I’m so behind. I think I owe you 2 reviews even. Bad Emma.

Also, look who’s back to their old theme. I needed a change. So sue me.

But let me start making it up to you by updating you on my life. Because I have exciting things to tell you about.

Last weekend me and four other girls went to Nashville, Tennessee. It. Was. Amazing. I loved it so much and I didn’t want to leave and now that I’m back in Chicago and in the snow, I just wanna go back.

We left on Friday night, we got on the megabus as 10:30 from Union Station in Chicago. And after about nine and a half hours we finally arrived in Nashville. Let me tell you, that’s a long bus ride. It was good that it was overnight and we could sleep for most of the time. Another good thing was that there were little enough people on that bus that every one of our group could have 2 seats to themselves. Which was needed so we could stretch out a little bit.

Except of course me, because I’m that lucky. Somewhere after passing Memphis, Indiana I suddenly woke up to a guy sitting next to me, fast asleep. When I say sitting next to me, I mean that he was leaning heavily against me and at some point put his head on my shoulder. I had to violently shake him off but it was kinda funny. Once my friends woke up we had the best time laughing at him. What we didn’t understand was why the people in the back of the bus were also laughing at this guy. That is until he finally woke up and realized that he was in the wrong seat. Turns out that somewhere in the night he woke up and went to the bathroom but then was so out of it that he couldn’t find his own seat and for some random reason chose me to sit next to. I must look approachable when I’m asleep or something.

Anyway, after a long bus ride, we finally arrived in Nashville. Unfortunately for us it wasn’t the best first impression. We were dropped at this empty rundown parking lot in a not too nice looking neighborhood. The sky was gray and -get this- as soon as we got off the bus it started snowing. SNOWING!! Can you believe it? We were running from the snow!

First look at Nashville
First look at Nashville

We ordered a cab who took us to the hostel. It looked a bit weird , just a plain red door in the side of a building. But the inside was awesome. The kind of hostel you would want to stay at. It had a huge common room with a pool table and a piano and computers and board games and a big kitchen that we could all use. If you’re ever in Nashville and need a hostel to stay at, I definitely recommend the Nashville Downtown Hostel. It’s really cool, the rooms are clean and the people are awesome. Not to mention that it’s literally next to Broadway, where all the action is.

After we checked into the hostel we went to have breakfast at a place called Union 147. It was very American and for the first time in my life I ordered a breakfast with baked potatoes. I say ordered because I didn’t eat them. I am just not able to see potatoes as a breakfast food and gave them to my friend. After having breakfast, we walked towards the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum. By then the sun had broken through and it was turning out to be a very nice day. On the way we stopped to buy some souvenirs. I, of course, spent way too much money but who cares, once in a lifetime right? I got a hoodie, a cap that says Nashville, a key chain and some postcards.

Photobombed by my friend Saskia
Photobombed by my friend Saskia

The museum was pretty amazing. I saw and heard a lot of cool things. It’s pretty hard to describe and I don’t really want to upload 50 pictures on here so you’re just going to have to take my word for it. Or better yet, go there yourself!

After the museum we went to have lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe that was right around the corner from our hostel. We went by a little automated cart, which was hilarious. It was a little bigger than a golf kart and we had to hold on tightly so that we wouldn’t be thrown off while turning corners. It costs like 2 bucks per person and definitely worth it!

joy ride

After lunch we went back to the hotel room to put our bags into our rooms and freshen up a little bit. Because we arrived early in the morning we weren’t able to get into a room immediately so when we arrived back in the hostel at about 3:3o pm we had to take everything up then. We had a little room with two bunk beds, one of which was a double bed. I quickly called the top bunk and basically forced the two girls who were left to share a bed. You snooze you lose girls 😉

We headed out again at around 5. We were planning to go have dinner at this bar we spotted when we were walking to the museum but it was already almost packed when we got there. So instead we ended up at Honky Tonk Central. Best change of plans, ever. The plan was that we were going to hang out there for a little while until we all got hungry and then leave to find some food and a place to party for the rest of the night. But we didn’t. It was such an awesome place. It has 3 floors and basically when we got tired of one floor, we moved up one. The best part came at the third floor where the Sid Yochim Band was playing. Good music, good people, good friends and you have an amazing night on your hands. The band was very cool and we actually got to hang out with some of the band members after they finished their set at 22:00pm. Very cool people! We had such a good time that we basically forgot to have dinner. Fine with me though, I was having too good of a time to care. If it weren’t for the fact that we were going to have to go back onto the bus at 10:40 am the next morning, we probably would have stayed a lot longer. I didn’t want to leave! But leave we did at around 12:30 am and headed back to the hostel where we basically all crashed into sleep.

The next morning was pretty uneventful. We got breakfast and headed to the bus. Then there was another 9 hour bus ride. This time in a packed bus, so no stretching out for us! We were all very sad to leave. The sun was shining so warm in Nashville that I actually could take off my jacket and wear sunglasses. The image of the warmth was seared into my brain when the landscape changed from sunny to snowy as the road progressed.

I miss Nashville very much and I’m going to try my best to actually go back there. I am actually a little homesick for Music City! So I’m just sitting here in my Nashville hoodie and Nashville cap thinking back on all the awesomeness that managed to happen in the one day we were actually in the city. All in all not a bad way to spend my second free weekend. Man, can’t believe I’ve only been here for 2 months. Feels so much longer!

I am loving life right now. I never in a million years thought that this could be me; living in America, visiting amazing cities with my friends. It’s amazing how things can turn out. You never know where the road is going to take you.

Broadway.. Where the action is
Broadway.. Where the action is

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