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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Book Review: Struck by Lightning

Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips, who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker. At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school. At a time when bullying torments so many young people today, this unique and important novel sheds light with humor and wit on an issue that deeply resonates with countless teens and readers.

(Goodreads)

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Title: Struck by Lightning

Author: Chris Colfer

Published: November, 2012 by Brown Books

Time it took me to read: 19 September – 20 September 

Rating: 3 out of 5

Carson Phillips is a high school senior with high ambitions. It is his life’s goal to be the youngest ever editor of the New Yorker and to be published in all the big newspapers. But unfortunately he’s from a small town called Clover where the high school is filled with High School Clichés and the former beauty queen turned guidance counsellor has never even heard of Illinois and he’s dying to get out. To escape from his depressed, alcoholic mother, absentee father and that horrible little town. He will do anything. Already president of the writer’s club and the editor of the school newspaper, he is looking for another challenge to spice up his college application. And thus he starts a literary magazine. But, being tragically unpopular and even a little (a lot) hated by the student body, Carson finds it difficult to find people interested in contributing. So how will he convince them? Well.. let’s just say that operation Clovergate is a go.

×××

Okay so I read this book in less than a day but I found it really hard to review. I’ve had this same problem with the Percy Jackson Series. I read a book and I think it’s pretty cool/great but then I just can’t get myself to write about it. I think that’s because even though it’s entertaining and fun to read, I don’t have a lot to say about it. You’ll notice that I never got around (or I just didn’t do it) to reviewing the rest of the Percy Jackson books. Boo me. But I am going to review this one because of reasons.

So let me just start off with saying that I hate Christ Colfer. I hate his beautiful, talented face. Seriously. The boy is literally my age and he has 3 published best-seller books, a star role on one of the biggest TV shows today and a stellar voice. And he gets to make out with Darren Criss. Hate Hate Hate Hate. Eugh.

No but seriously, Struck by Lightning is a fine book. It’s entertaining and funny and cynical (which I love). But it’s also for the younger readers. I am sorry to say that it’s not especially thought-provoking or life changing. You read, laugh and forget about it. It’ll be a while before I think to pick it up again.

It got a lot better towards the end when Carson turns to look at himself and at his own behaviour. I especially loved the Literary Magazine that was part of the book itself. You’ve gotten to know these characters as the people who Carson hates and is mistreated by but then you get to look inside their minds and lives a little bit and you get to see things from their point of view. That was really cool. A good bit of writing if you ask me.

The very best part is the ending. I won’t spoil it for you, don’t worry. The ending is divided into two parts for me, one is related to his family, the other is the actual ending. When I first saw the movie (which I did before I read the book, yes shame on me) I got so so so so so so so angry with what happened with his family that I felt the need to actually write out a speech of what I wanted Carson to say to that particular person. Do you ever get that? That feeling when you come across something in a book of movie that is so unjustified that you get angry when the protagonist doesn’t get as mad as you want them to? I’ve only had it this bad when I read New Moon and Bella didn’t get angry with Edward. Bleh. Anyway, it was horrible. Especially when you arrive at the true ending of the book. It’s all just so unfair. I do admire Chris for having the courage to end it the way he did.

I have to say that I thought the movie was a little better. Especially since Chris played the role of Carson himself. It was very obvious that he got to play him exactly the way that he envisioned. I think Carson’s characteristics came across better on film than they did on paper.

I rate this book a 3 out of 5 because it was pretty good and entertaining but no more than that. I recommend this if you enjoy a light read to take your mind of things.

I do have to say that it was a quote goldmine.

Confirmation & Music – Au Pair Adventures pt. 6

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Today, after a long long long wait, I finally got that last email from Au Pair in America (APiA) that my application has been completely approved and that the matching process can begin. And not only that, but also that they have a family looking for a Dutch Au Pair that they’re sending my profile to directly. So who knows, if they decide to contact me things could be going extremely quickly now! I’ll be glued to my inbox.

Now excuse me while I party like it’s my birthday.

Seriously though, I was so stressed out. It was such a long time since I had heard anything and I was almost completely convinced that they saw something that created a problem with my application. What would that thing be? I have no idea. If you hit me dead as we Dutch would say (al sla je me dood – you could hit me to death and I still couldn’t tell you). Trust my brain to create problems where there are none. So I was extremely glad to hear that everything was alright and that I had officially been approved by all parties.

I will bake celebratory brownies.

I am officially – sooner or later – going to the US!

In other news, if you check in the widget section called ‘Check it Out‘ you see that there’s a new media player feature there. Right now it plays my friend Maia’s music. Click play to listen to her song Lemonade. It is brilliant and it speaks to me on a spiritual level. Also check out her Facebook, Twitter, Website and Soundcloud profile. You will not regret being witness to her awesomeness.

Now, to forth my friends, and frolic in the sunshine. Or rain. Depending on where you live. Anyway, enjoy yourself today. Today is a good day.

iTunes game: Perfect

I did this a couple of times on facebook. This time I wanted to share it with all of you. It’s just so much fun ^_^. If you want, you can do this too and maybe even tag a couple of people? Anyway, enjoy!

The Rules:

1. Put your music player on shuffle.

2. Press forward for each question.

3. Use the song title as the answer to the question even if it doesn’t make sense.

4. Tag friends.

5. Have Fun!

NO CHEATING!

If someone says ”are you okay”, you say?

Why Georgia – John Mayer

How are you feeling today?

Posh – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang OST

How would you describe yourself?

We were made for this – Train

How do your friends see you?

Strange World – Parachute

What do you like in a guy / girl?

Chu-Chu Face – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang OST 

What is your best friend’s theme song?

He Won’t Go – Adele 

What is your life’s purpose?

War of My Life – John Mayer    (Well.. That promises a lot of good..)

What is the story of your life?

Without Love – Hairspray OST ( .. Great. )

What’s your motto?

Just you wait – My Fair Lady OST  (he he he.)

What was high school like?

So What? – Cabaret OST 

What do your friends think of you?

I’m not that girl – Wicked OST    (Does that mean they’re jealous of me or think I’m jealous of them? .. )

How can you get ahead in life?

Didn’t Kill Me – They Might Be Giants (so.. by not killing anyone?)

What is 2+2?

Singin’ In the Rain – Singin’ In the Rain OST

What is the best thing about your friends?

Je, Maman – Mozart (.. I don’t know what to make of this?)

What is tonight going to be like?

You’ve Got the Love – Florence and the Machine  (Boy I wish..)

What is in store for this weekend?

Farmville – Hank Green (LOL I think not!)

What song describes you?

Defying Gravity – Wicked OST 

To describe your parents?

Lullaby – Johannes Brahms  (Is that an insult?)

How is your life going?

(Get off your) High Horse Lady – Oasis

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Your Body is a Wonderland – John Mayer

How does the world see you?

Heart Turns to Stone – Foreigner   (well.. awesome.. )

What will you dance to at your wedding?

Out of my Head – Puddle of Mudd (because it’s a nice, romantic song.)

Will you have a happy life?

Telescope – Nashville OST

What do you think about very often?

Missundaztood – Pink

What song will they play at your funeral?

Lovely Day – Lit (Seriously? Well I guess they’re all happy I’m gone then.)

Do people secretly lust after you?

Lie in the sound – Trespassers William (First line is ‘I love you more than I should’ so.. maybe?)

What do you think when you see the person you like?

Dog Days are Over – Florence and the Machine (so maybe I’ll get out of this romantic rut? 😛 )

What is your hobby / interests?

Same Direction – Hoobastank

How can you make yourself happy?

Less is more – Joss Stone

What is your greatest fear?

Remember me – Hoobastank (that’s about right.)

What do you want right now?

Super Heroes – RHPS OST (YES!)

What should you do with your life?

Go Away – Katy B (I am planning to, okay?)

What is your biggest secret?

Heaven for Everyone – Queen  (??)

What will you post this as?

Perfect – Pink  (Well.. how perfect is that?)

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So that was.. interesting. We’ve learned several things. One of which is that I listen to a lot of musicals. Hmm..