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Uli & Jenn
18 March 2010 @ 03:33 pm

Uli & Jenn at Ocean City, MD
March 18, 2010 (The day after St. Patrick's day, hence the clover on Jenn's face)

I was very blessed to be able to spend Spring Break with my schatz. Uli flew into JFK, then took the bus from NYC to Washington, DC, where my friend and I picked her up. Going to the beach was something that we'd always wanted to do but never had a chance to before. So although we were aware that it will still pre-season and we probably wouldn't be able to tan or catch the waves, we decided to venture to Ocean City anyway for a day trip with two pals.

As you can tell from the picture, we pretty much had the ocean for ourselves. The sun-kissed sands were devoid of obnoxious beach umbrellas, the clatter of clashing radio waves, and the smell of sweat simmering with SPF insert-number-here. We enjoyed an empty, literal golden mile and clear blue horizon that blended with waves and water. But for every second I spent entertaining tender and loving thoughts towards my love, there weren't enough grains of sand as far as the beach stretched in either direction.

I had been to the beach a few times since Uli had returned to Germany almost a full year earlier. Each time, I would quietly hum Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea." I'm sure you've all heard the tune before. If you were a fan of LOST, anyway, then you know that Rousseau's character sang the song as well. ;)


Somewhere beyond the sea
Somewhere waitin' for me
My lover stands on golden sand
And watches the ships that go sailin'

Somewhere beyond the sea
She's there watchin' for me
If I could fly like birds on high
Then straight to her arms I'd go sailin'

It's far beyond the star
It's near beyond the moon
I know beyond a doubt
My heart will lead me there soon

We'll meet beyond the shore
We'll kiss just as before
Happy we'll be, beyond the sea
And never again I'll go sailin'

I know beyond a doubt,
My heart will lead me there soon
We'll meet, I know we'll meet
Beyond the shore
We'll kiss just as before
Happy we'll be, beyond the sea
And never again I'll go sailin'

Besides the magnificent and awe-inspiring ocean, we also made sure to take Uli to the Candy Kitchen, where we introduced her to some delicious fudge and salt-water taffy. As much as I'm a sucker for sugary treats, though, my sweetheart surely takes the cake! I'd swim across the entire Atlantic for a single kiss.
 
 
Current Location: Ocean City, MD
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Bobby Darin - Beyond the Sea
 
 
Uli & Jenn
16 January 2010 @ 11:11 pm
**To read about the earlier events of the day, check out Uli's entry here!


Meine Liebe Uli, sparkling with snowflakes on the way back to her apartment in Mainz.
January 16, 2010

 
My significant other did a wonderful job of recounting the tale of the trip through the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt! It was indeed an adventurous trek through the labyrinth punctuated by several rooms displaying such interesting art. How strange it is to walk around on everyday city streets and then leave that level of reality entirely to find oneself in a place where up and down seem to be simultaneous and nothing is quite as it seems... I loved it!

I also loved the Korean restaurant that we decided to try after spotting it on our way to see Avatar on our last adventure to Frankfurt. If you visit Uli's entry, you'll see a picture of me stuffing my face with some absolutely delicious BiBimBap! Go on and have a look! (:

What my beautiful lady didn't mention, however, was that it snowed on the way back to her apartment from the train station! Apparently this is sort of a special event in Mainz! It hardly ever snows, or so I'm told! The sparkling snowflakes began to blanket the streets with pure white, painting the portrait of a winter wonderland! And so the walk home felt rather cinematic! Had someone cued the music, I would have waltzed with the love of my life on a glistening sidewalk flanked by majestic trees that stood like elegant ushers.

While art-viewing, film-going, and fine-dining are enjoyable endeavours, sometimes all you need is the simple pleasure of magical walks on nights like these. The events of the day were fantastic, but nothing could beat the joy of watching my schatz be clothed in natural diamonds. This was took my breath away! There is never a moment that I forget how blessed I am to have this woman in my life. Just thinking of her makes my heart melt, like the snowflakes did as they were captured on the tip of my tongue where the words "I love you" will forever remain.
 
 
Current Location: Mainz, Germany
Current Mood: exhaustedblessed
 
 
Uli & Jenn
**To read about the rest of the night, check out Jenn's entry here!

On our final trip to Frankfurt over winter break, we visited the Museum of Modern Art. There wasn’t a special exhibition and some of the artwork was kind of weird, but the architecture of the building was so impressive! It is definitely art itself! We walked through the halls, climbed the stairs, looked down from a bridge in the building… It was like a trip through another world! So we were "tripping out and spinning around" and glad that we found that place.

For dinner, we went to a Korean restaurant called CoCo and had BiBimBap. We discovered the place on a previous trip to Frankfurt. The owner, a Korean lady, was so nice to us and quite interested in Jenn. The food was delicious! Korean food is so good.



Jenn stuffing her face with BiBimBap at CoCo in Frankfurt.
January 16, 2010

 

After spending some time there, we went to the cinema again to see another movie: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. This time, we were in a room that was quite tiny and full of people. The movie was not as spectacular as Avatar but was still awesome and brought us to another trippy world!

The museum, the food, and the movie... all these things were so wonderful and special because they took us into another reality. They were definitely not something one experiences every day. And to enjoy of all this with a beautiful lady on my side made it all even more special!

 
 
Current Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
 
 
Uli & Jenn
**Check out Uli's perspective of the adventure here!


Jenn in front of the Staedel Museum for the Botticelli Exhibition
Frankfurt, January 7, 2010

 
One of the advantages of being in a relationship with a beautiful German woman is that she lives in Europe! As is common knowledge, the beautiful old continent is home to many famous pieces of art! While I've spent all of my life close to DC, enjoying the incredible selection of Smithsonian splendors on the mall, nothing compares to the incredible experience of the Louvre in Paris or the Gemaeldegalerie in Berlin! Italy has always been at the top of my list of places to go for art, but I haven't been able to make it there (yet) and was thus very blessed to learn that a Botticelli exhibit was coincidentally making its way to Frankfurt during the time I was visiting for Winter Break!!!

My love can tell you how excited I was to attend the exhibition! It's one thing to be captivated by artwork projected on a wall in a classroom and another to have your breath completely stolen by the real-life experience. I maintain that one truly hasn't seen a painting or sculpture until they have actually breathed in its presence.

 
 

Photocredit goes to Mario Vedder of Agence France-Presse

 
Sandro Botticelli was one of the leaders of later Quattrocentro Florentine Art. Treating the human form with an idealistic vision of beauty, Botticelli was famous for his exquisite attention to line over the reality of anatomy. You might be familiar with his daring depiction of the female nude in his Birth of Venus (1484-86)! While this particular painting was not part of the exhibition, the graceful goddess appeared in two fascinating oil studies, treating visitors with her seductive stance.

No photocopy or color slide can ever do justice to Botticelli's Beauty. The creamy colour of her skin was so perfect and pure. It was as though her divine essence was shining through her naked canvas, completely exposing herself to the people in front of her. And we mortals were somehow deemed worthy enough to be invited to bask in her powerful presence. The black background really enhanced the depiction of several fine, intricate strands of golden hair, also highlighting her entire frame with an ethereal glow.

It was magnificent to see, in person, original works by the hand of a master. I tried to close my eyes and envision the artist acting out his process, but unfortunately I was jostled too often from these thoughts by the several other visitors who had come for a delicious taste of the Italian Renaissance.

Fortunately the feast of fine art did not end with Botticelli! As Uli rightly stated, the Staedel Museum is indeed quite large! Upon venturing to the second floor, I found myself in a room full of all the artists I had studied from my 20th Century Art class. At long last I was in the company of Kirchner, Beckman, Dix, Marc-- the whole event was so overwhelming! Reproductions are unable to capture the texture of paintings vital to understanding the piece as a whole. I was very impressed by the collection and would like to return in the future for closer examinations!

After leaving the exhibition, my lover and I went to a very interesting mall in Frankfurt. In her entry you can see a picture of the stunning architecture! There were at least 5 floors with several escalators, including one that stretched from the very bottom all the way to the top. I loved the modern atmosphere and was thoroughly amused by the long line in front of Hollister. (As it so happens, I was wearing my only hollister hoodie that day, haha.) At the highest level is a food court that presents a diverse array of cuisine! Though a difficult choice, we decided to go with Indian (my favourite). Unfortunately, I think the spices were a little too intense for my love!!

Then, we made our way to the only movie theatre in Frankfurt that shows movies in their original format (that is to say, in English!). Although we were informed that the heat was broken, we decided that since we were wearing our winter coats, hats, and gloves, we would be okay. I decided the occasion called for booze, as well. (:

The theater was very large, but with a smaller screen than I am typically used to. Red, cushioned seats that were picked apart throughout the years gave the theater an old-fashioned feel. And although we ended up freezing our asses off during the film, it was such a fun experience!
 
 
Current Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Current Mood: coldcold
 
 
Uli & Jenn
**Check out Jenn's perspective of the adventure here!


Uli & Jenn in front of the Städel Museum
Frankfurt, January 7, 2010

When Jenn was in Mainz over winter break, we went to Frankfurt to see a Botticelli exhibition. It was absolutely amazing! His paintings are so delicate. The women he created look beautiful. Although it was a Thursday afternoon, the museum was very crowded due to the event, but it was worth it. And the Städel Museum is a very large so we were able to see not only Botticelli but also works by Kirchner, Beckman, Dix and many many more!


Mall in downtown Frankfurt
Photo credit goes to n3rd0, edited by Jenn.
 
Afterward, we went to an architecturally fascinating mall in downtown Frankfurt where we had dinner. We had some good Indian food, but Jenn’s food, because she likes it spicy, was a little too hot! We had to hurry because we wanted to go to the cinema to see Avatar. The cinema we went to is very old and they show only the original versions of the films. When we got there, they told us that the heating was not working. We decided to go anyway. We bought beer and sweet popcorn and entered the room. It was the largest room of the theatre and only 10 other people joined us!!

The movie was so great. We really enjoyed it and keeping each other warm during the movie was the best. :) After such an eventful day, we returned to Mainz happily! It was one of the many days we will never forget.

 
 
Current Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Current Mood: enthralledenthralled
 
 
 
Uli & Jenn
11 October 2009 @ 11:11 am
In October, I was so lucky to visit Jenn at her -- or let's say our -- college. And it was so wonderful! When I arrived, it felt like coming home again. I had missed the campus, the dining hall, the town but most of all I had missed my love and the people. We had something nice to do everyday but one of the most exciting days was when we went to D.C. to attend the National Equality March on the 11th!

I didn't know what to expect at all because Jenn only had told me that there was "some event" for gays and lesbians somewhere in D.C.. Or maybe I didn't hear her or recognize it because I couldn't really imagine what it was going to be! Katie and Yana were with us and Katie drove the four of us Downtown. Finally, we parked the car in a parking garage after an endless search for a parking space. When we left the car, I still didn't know where we were going. We started walking and then around the corner there was the march! Thousands of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, and their straight allies had gathered in D.C. to demonstrate with a march in front of the White House and the Capitol for equal rights. The longer we walked, the more people came. We walked down Pennsylvania Avenue in the beautiful weather and passed by the White House! It was a fantastic atmosphere. Everybody was so incredibly happy and enjoyed that day.

When we arrived at the Capitol, we took a rest from the long walk and seated ourselves in the shade of some trees. Hundreds of people were waiting there for speeches from celebrities-- even Lady Gaga. I felt so good among these people and will never ever forget that day. Hopefully, the world will learn from that, that every human is equal no matter whom he or she loves, be it a man if he is a man or a woman if she is a woman. Or if a man wants to be a woman or a woman wants to be a man.

Time passed and lady Gaga didn't come. We instead became really hungry. Before we came to D.C., we had already decided to eat Korean food! So we went to Mandu, a Korean restaurant in Dupont Circle. And there we had our favorite meal: Bibimbap! It was so delicious and we had a lot of fun eating and chatting and talking about the demonstration.

After that, we made our way back to the car, dropped Yana off at a metro station, and went with Katie to Tyson`s Corner, a huge shopping mall in Virginia! Unfortunately, we arrived just before closing time so we had to rush and were only able to take a glance. However, I was able to buy a nice pair of jeans at Martin + Osa! It was getting late and since we all really like the Cheesecake Factory, we dropped by there! We ordered some avocado rolls, two pieces of their famous cheesecake, and nice drinks. We talked and laughed a lot! The drive home with Katie`s music after such a long and eventful day was so peaceful. All we could do that night when we were back was go to sleep and dream of equal rights for us and the rest of the world.
 
 
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
Uli & Jenn
09 October 2009 @ 09:10 pm

Uli & Jenn enjoying dinner at Rosa Mexicano in DC
October 9, 2009

It was strange to return to campus for my senior year of college. I was without my darling love, whom I had spent a majority of my time with only two semesters before. The German House held so many precious memories, but felt a bit strange in her absence at first. Luckily, the new teaching assistant, who came from the same University in Mainz, was (and still is) very cool. We quickly became friends, bonding over a similar taste in music and both of our newly long-distance relationships. In October, he and I were very fortunate to have both of our loves come visit us! Christian told me that his girlfriend, the charming Angelina, loved Mexican food so I looked up a nice restaurant in DC and made reservations for the 4 of us to escape the dining hall!

Rosa Mexicano is an upscale, modern restaurant located across the street from the Gallery Place- Chinatown station on the Red Line (represent!!). The design and decorations were quite dazzling and the service was spectacular! As an appetizer, we were served deliciously fresh guacamole that was prepared right in front of us. The food was fresh and the plating on point. Only the best for my schatz. It was wonderful to be in the company of my darling as well as Christian and Angelina. They are such a cute couple and I am more than happy to have them as friends when I move to Mainz. Overall, it was a splendid night thanks to the blissful blend of amazing atmosphere, exquisite eats, and kick-ass company.
 
 
 
Current Mood: hungryhungry
 
 
Uli & Jenn
13 August 2009 @ 11:11 am
**To read Jenn's account of the Berlin trip, click here!

When Jenn visited Germany for the first time, we also went to Berlin. And I really have to thank my love for this unforgettable trip!! You must know that Jenn is an outstanding musician. She has created wonderful electronic songs and other masterpieces. Due to her musical talent and open personality, we were able to meet up with the German musician Schiller and spent 3 nights in a classy hotel in Berlin for free! We were the guests of Schiller. I am not joking!


We arrived in Berlin in the afternoon and checked in to our hotel. We were supposed to the meet up with Schiller's assistant in the Lobby. Jenn had conversed with him on the internet but we still only knew a little about him. Part of us still thought that this must all be kind of a joke! After we unpacked a little, we met Yves downstairs and he took us out to dinner. He told us about the plan for next days and the interview that Jenn was going to conduct with Schiller. After the delicious dinner, in a vegetarian restaurant called Samadhi, we went to the movie theater and saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in English. I bought some ice cream for my beautiful lady and our new friend Yves. After the movie, we went to bed somewhat early because we had a full program planned for the next day!

Yves picked up us in the morning and we enjoyed breakfast at Dunkin Donuts outside in the front of the famous TV Tower. (I must say, I had the best coffee ever there!) Afterward, we went to the big department store KaDeWE and enjoyed looking at the food. They are famous for that! We spent the rest of the day in the Gemäldegalerie with wonderful paintings. Jenn, as an art historian, could have spent much more time there, I guess!! In the afternoon, we met one of Jenn's friends, whom she met online. The musician Martin Herzberg! It was really nice having a drink with him and walking around Berlin.

 

 


Uli, Jenn, & Martin Herzberg at the Holocaust Memorial
Berlin, August 14, 2009

After a short break in our hotel room, we headed out again to the Potsdamer Platz to go to the club Adagio. This club is decorated like an old castle! At first, there weren't that many people but we enjoyed the free Prosecco and got pretty tipsy. Later on, we danced so much and had so much fun!! But we became hungry and spent a lot of time there and wanted to meet up with Schiller the next day so we decided to to leave before it got too late. However, before going to bed, we had a midnight snack at McDonald's before taking a taxi home.

The next morning, we met Yves, who was to bring us to Schiller. First, we were a little lost on our way but managed to make it in time by taking another taxi! Jenn and I were so excited because we were invited to his private apartment! The reason for this is that he has a home studio there, too. Schiller was so friendly and wholeheartedly welcomed us into his kitchen where we had some water. Jenn and Schiller got to know each other and prepared the interview. Somehow he needed to fix something before they could start, so the three of us went downstairs and had a cold tea in a nearby cozy café. Schiller came by to pick us up and then the interview started. I was standing in a corner behind all the cameras that were filming Schiller and Jenn. And she did such an amazing job! They both talked about their music and inspiration for it and traveling. It was great!! You can watch it online, here.

 


Jenn and Christopher von Deylen at the Schiller Home Studio
Berlin, August 14, 2009

After the interview, we received a big goody bag and forgot to take a picture with him. We had lunch with Yves and then, due to all the excitement and sightseeing, we needed a break and return to our hotel for a nap. On our last night, we went out to have Sushi! And also had a drink at a cool bar.
 


Jenn, Uli, and lots of Sushi!
Berlin, August 14, 2009


Click to see two more pics!Collapse )

The whole trip was full of excitement! I love Berlin and being there with such beautiful people made it perfect. Thank you, Schatz. The next day, we had to catch an early train back to Mainz-- there was an electro fest at King Kamehameha Beach and we were on the guest list of Gabriel le Mar!

 
 
Current Location: Berlin
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
Uli & Jenn
12 August 2009 @ 11:11 am
Before I begin to tell the tale of our amazing adventures in Berlin, I should branch off in a bit of a digression to explain how the entire trip came to be... Click here if you're interested in the backstory!Collapse )

For those who have been keeping up with the entries, you know that my better half has already covered most of the details of our trip. So instead of being redundant, I'm going to dig up all the details of my feelings and paint a picture of the sights to add more depth and insight into our adventure. **For pictures of Yves, Martin, and Schiller, check out Uli's entry.

My beautiful love and I arrived in Berlin on the afternoon of August 12th. We checked into a fabulous hotel provided by Schiller and carried our bags up to our room. The plan was to meet up with the web guru, a guy named Yves, who had been emailing me all the details and such for a few weeks, downstairs in the Lobby so he could take us out to dinner. Can I just say that I was so nervous that I downed a beer to calm my nerves? Haha. But I found out that it was so easy to be around Yves! As it turns out, he is just my type of person! A fellow introvert who enjoys Futurama and can be a bit awkward at times! Perfect! Aware that I was a vegetarian and that my favourite food is indeed Indian, he took us to a splendid place called Samadhi. During dinner, he briefly mentioned the itinerary for the next couple of days. I was still in a state of shock that all of this was happening (and that the food was so scrumptious)!!


Jenn & Uli in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall
August 13, 2009

Berlin is absolutely fantastic! The city is so colorful and bright albeit its stormy history. Creativity seems to blossom at every corner, every nook and cranny. Graffiti decorates many walls, even adorning the faces of houses, and paints a picture of freedom of self-expression. This is a place of artists, of musicians, of an entire blend of international guests who come to stare down the face of a broken wall and realize its profound significance. It is a place that breathes history, a place that weaves stories with every winding road.


Jenn with two soldiers at Checkpoint Charlie
August 13, 2009

I loved the technicolor round roof of the Sony center, the six floors of the Kaufhaus des Westerns (KaDeWe) with all the tantalizing displays of food, the wavy ground of the Holocaust Memorial with its labyrinth walls of varying height, the castle-like club Adagio with all the Prosecco ladies could drink (and with a wall of all the famous people who had ever been there like George Clooney, Tom Cruise, and Michael Jackson), and the famous TV Tower that essentially served as our only way of gauging where we were in proximity to anywhere else. I could have spent all 3 days in the Gemaeldegalerie! I was impressed that, for 4 euros, I was able to see at least two famous pieces of art from almost every artist I had ever studied (I've taken 15 art history courses...). Most impressive, in my opinion, was Caravaggio's "Amor Vincit Omnia." I must have stood in front of that painting for at least a half an hour!

It was absolutely splendid to meet up with the musician Martin Herzberg, who currently resides in Berlin! It was a joy to have him accompany us around the streets of Berlin, from the historic Checkpoint Charlie thru the Brandenburg Gate and more! We sat down for a drink with the ever-talented Martin and he gave us copies of his new CD. If you have a chance, please visit his site and listen to his music or buy the album! Run the Self is one of my absolute favourites! I often listen to it on repeat... so do check it out!

Now, without further ado, I'd really love to write about the interview with Christopher as that was the entire purpose of the trip!

Within a few seconds of absorbing the presence of Christopher von Deylen, it becomes apparent that one is in the company of someone absolutely extraordinary. There is a quiet, but strong intensity about him. He is very neat and clean cut, handsome, and has eyes that penetrate to the core of who you are. Needless to say, it was a bit intimidating to be around this musical genius. And yet, for all his fame, he was very down to Earth. When I was invited to sit down in his studio, Christopher asked me if I was nervous and when I said, "Admittedly yes," he replied, "Me, too." He is charming, quite effortlessly, too!

I'm not sure if you realize, but he has collaborated with several famous musicians such as Colbie Caillat, Sarah Brightman, Kate Havnevik, Peter Heppner, Lang Lang, September, and Tarja (of Nightwish fame). And yet this impressive list is not what sets him apart from all the rest. Christopher von Deylen has experienced many incredible things in his life. Only recently before our encounter had he returned from being aboard Polarstern, a scientific vessel in the Arctic Sea for a month! He also made the long journey from London to Beijing via car! His deeply introspective nature is profoundly apparently in his music (as well as his eyes). One begins to sink into the intricate layers of his melodies to find themselves enjoying such depth and texture that most mainstream music fails to achieve. It is a meditative experience to listen to this atmospheric music... the emotion is so personal, so raw, so honest. To be invited to probe the mind of the creator was an incredible blessing!

Having never conducted an interview before, I was shaking with nervousness. While sharing the sentiment that he, too, was a little nervous seemed to help, what really anchored me was seeing my love over Christopher's left shoulder. I was completely winging the questions, though everything came naturally and the whole event seemed more like a personal conversation. Seeing Uli in the corner with her gorgeous smile and thumbs up of encouragement instilled in me just the confidence I needed!

Berlin was an incredible trip! I gained a handful of new friends, experienced so many different parts of the city, and learned a lot more about myself during my encounter with Christopher. Of course with all the excitement of a full itinerary, it was really wonderful to enjoy some downtown in the hotel room, relaxing with the love of my life.
 
 
Current Location: Berlin, Germany
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
Current Music: You - Schiller ft. Colbie Caillat
 
 
Uli & Jenn
08 August 2009 @ 11:11 am
 

Jenn & Uli at the Heineken Experience, Amsterdam
August 8, 2009

Although the purpose of adventuring to Amsterdam was primarily so I could see Rembrandt's House and his famous Nachtwacht in the Rijksmuseum (I'm an Art Historian), we couldn't go without checking out the Heineken Experience! As a huge fan of foreign brews, I was eager to see what this was all about! Especially since I was still underage in the states, haha. 

What can I say? I was thoroughly impressed!! The Heineken Experience is quite the museum! For only 15 euros, you are invited to learn the history of the Heineken Brewery and the trademark smiling 'e's (complete with plenty multimedia videos and a gallery full of facts and photos as well as sports sponsorships), discover (and sample) the separate ingredients that blend together to contribute to the fresh taste, observe part of the brewing process and even stir some of the concoction yourself, see the famous Heineken horses in picturesque stables, become the beer on an interactive journey and find out what the bottling and labeling process is like, lay in a tv chamber that displays the various commercials throughout the decades, see many of the different creative uses for the bottles, learn how to pour and drink the beer properly to maximize the experience, and top it off when two more free beers at the tasting bar... where you are welcome to get sloshed along with the rest of the patrons.

I have to say, the beer tasted incredible! It was so fresh and delicious! So much better than the bottles you can buy at the store... but I guess that is to be expected. Uli and I spent 2 hours in the museum, enjoying every moment and savouring the experience! There is no one else I would have rather liked to be with. Uli is the perfect companion! Anyway, I highly recommend it to any and all who plan on visiting Amsterdam!

Click for three more pictures!Collapse )

 
 
Current Mood: drunkdrunk