A whole new world

«The happiest place on earth.»    

Disneyworld doesn’t carry that title for nothing. Last week I could experience the magic in Florida and dive into a completely different world. I really like Disney and all their movies but I am not a fanatic. I can’t sing the soundtrack, I haven’t seen every movie (including Toy Story and the Lion King, yes I know guilty…) Still, I loved every minute in there. The rides might not be huge but they are really detailed and as cute as it can be.

But let’s talk about Magic Kingdoms big center: the castle. It’s in every movie and it’s also pretty disappointing when you realize that you’re not able to go in and that it’s not as sparkling as I imagined it. But let me tell you about one thing that is more magical than I ever expected it: the firework show. Every night at 9 PM they have a huge projected show on the castle, with the most famous songs featuring legendary scenes and matching fireworks that leave you speechless.

“It’s like stepping into all your favorite movies.”

After two days of Magic Kingdom we visited the Universal Studios and Universal’s Island of Adventure. I would definitely recommend you to go to Universal Studios if the weather isn’t great, because most rides are inside. Universal has a lot of 4D experience, where you think you’re on a rollercoaster but it’s only your chair that is moving and for example water or wind in your face. Island of Adventures has more rollercoasters and water rides, but each one is still movie themed. But by far my favorite part was Harry Potter World, which is separated in Diagon Alley in the Universal Studios, including all different stores and Hogwarts and Hogsmeade in Island of Adventures, where it is a must to try the sweet Butterbeer! It was like diving into a new world, full of magic. Also the rest of the park was as if you go from city to city, travel back in tme or into places that don’t even exist.

This was definitely a great experience and also a great last trip with my hostfamily, because in less than a month I’ll fly back and end this year.

Southern Vibes

Spring Break calls for a new trip and this time I ended up down south. A week ago, I was fully in vacation mood, but that faded as fast as my attempting tan. First, I was tanning (or at least I was trying to) on Cocoa Beach. This was directly next to Cape Canaveral which is famous for the launch of the first rocket in America. And I’m proud to tell you, that I even saw a rocket launch from our balcony. My literal highlight of the week was, when I was flying over the coast of Florida. And if you thought I was flying as a passenger, you were wrong because I was flying it myself (with of course pretty big help of an actual pilot).

After that we went on the road back home, but because the way is around 12 hours of driving we decided to stop on Jekyll-Island and the small city of Savannah, Georgia. Jekyll-Island is one of Georgia’s barrier-islands and extremely beautiful. The whole island is covered in green, is biking and if you bike to a lake you might spot alligators and turtles, which you for sure won’t get on a lake in Switzerland

Savannah. What can I say, Savannah is small, historic and incredibly charming. For me one of the most interesting things was the girl scout’s history that took place in the city. In Savannah the American girl scouts was founded and even if I’d say that the scouts I am part of in Switzerland is more like Americas boy scouts, it was interesting to see how this organization developed.

Savannah is picture perfect. The trees all over the city, a wonderful Soda Pop Shoppe from the 50s and a man that was singing for us, about a beautiful day in the city of Savannah 100 years ago. Unfortunately, that also ended the trip and it ended my spring break.

An important thing for me is no matter where I go, I have to see a sunrise, especially when I’m at the beach. Here you are with a cloudy, early morning in Florida.

 

Exploring Hawaii 2.0

From hiking to the top of the volcano to snorkeling between corals.

Life is about reaching for the top and finding something beautiful on the ground.

Hawaii’s nature is one of a kind, the islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean have probably some of the most famous beaches and hikes. To experience a little bit of both, I first went on to Diamond Head, which is a volcano on the island of Oahu. The hike was really easy and after walking for less than an hour I was on top of it all with a view over forests, the ocean and Honolulu. Unfortunately we didn’t have perfect weather conditions, but even with a cloudy sky, it was worth it.

Let’s be honest, if you think about the first thing that comes into your head if you hear Hawaii, it’s the beaches that leave us speechless. Almost everyday we somehow ended up on Waikiki Beach, maybe in a sunrise, maybe running in our bikinis because a sudden storm came up. Waikiki Beach, is not only the basic sand and shore, it’s the little things like the music playing from all the small speakers and still harmonizing, the little campfires warming the night and the park right next to the beach, giving you an alternative to all the sand.

But to be honest with you, this wasn’t my favorite beach, I fell in love with Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay is a beach in a former volcano along the southeast coast of the Island Oahu. This was the first time I went proper snorkeling and I am afraid of sharks, jellyfish and anything else that’s dangerous in the sea. Even the smallest touch makes me freak out. But none of this mattered anymore when I was diving in the crystal clear water. I saw millions of different fish, every colour, every shape and the thing that made me the happiest girl in the ocean was when I saw two sea turtles. The silence underwater is one of a kind, it’s making you appreciate the whole underwater world even more.

To come to an end, you probably realised that I fell in love with Hawaii and the week I spent there.

New York in a Day

“That was New York; a whole cacophony of sounds and tastes that all somehow came together to form something beautiful” 
― Aishabella Sheikh, Jungle Princess

Hi everyone!

I took some time without writing anything, but I’m back and as I’m writing this, I still think it was just a dream. For one day, and only one day, I experienced the big city lights of New York City.

After a bus ride of six hours, we came to Chinatown. 6:30 a.m., still dark and asleep, but only for a moment. With breakfast bagels in “Katz’s Delicates” and a sunrise behind the skyscrapers, New York presented us its beauty and noise. Yellow cabs rushing by, steaming streets and stressed out New Yorkers with a short “excuse me” pushing us to the side, and still I was in love with it.

A windy visit at the 9/11 memorial, which captures the tragedy that happened 16 years ago with black stone and a waterfall, that was partly frozen as we got there. Freezing this moment and leaving everyone there in silence. Then we searched our way to the Brooklyn Bridge, frozen ground and a hint of snow on the side, made me literally fall over and experiencing the hundreds of people from a ground perspective (thanks to the frozen ground…).

But what’s a visit in New York City in winter, without ice skating in Central Park? With cold feet and red cheeks, we enjoyed a white Central Park. Everyone was wrapped into big coats and scarves, forming the first snowballs or just walking calmly in the cold air. I couldn’t believe my eyes and didn’t even realize that I am here. So back to ice skating, we took our way to the ice skating rink (for 28$ per person!) and skated through the crowd, having our heads up with a view on all the immense towers.

Something that made me think of Switzerland was the Christmas markets, in Central and Bryant Park. We found hot chocolate, small clothing brands and even “Raclette”, a traditional dish from Switzerland in the small stands of the market, leaving us with the smell of Christmas.

Because it’s the middle of December, the sunlight went away around 4p.m. and we decided to take our journey to the lights. Next to Macy’s window, that showed us (and what felt like another million people) the story of Disney’s Snow White and across the street the well-known Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Unfortunately we never went closer because we thought that we would be runover by the mass of people surrounding the tree.

The lights of New York? Of course there was a bunch of Christmas decoration in every corner, but there’s no New York without Times Square. Lighting up the whole area and our European hearts as soon as we were surrounded by all the blinking billboards, we walked around, took our pictures and finally rested a little bit in a coffeeshop, some streets down.

Ending this long day was sad, because I had no intentions to leave. How perfect would it be, to just wake up again and be surrounded by the (not so fresh) New York air? Living between the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building and even enjoying taking a dirty subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn. I went to New York for the third time now, and I am sure that I will always return. This city took my Swiss heart and won’t give it back.