Where to begin? (Berlin)

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The last I shared with all of you I was in Copenhagen and about to embark on the journey that is “international travel.” I HAD SO MUCH FUN!! The best part about all of it was spending two weeks with my long-lost, best friend, but aside from that, we took in so many cool things in that short time-frame and I loved it. My waist line may not have, but whateves…

The day after my last blog, Ashley became deathly ill. She had a really high fever and was coming down with something intense. While that was not ideal for our upcoming adventures, I will say it did give me a solid look into the reality of their healthcare system. Ashley called the doctor, we walked down the street, they scanned her card. We were in and out of the office with a prescription in less than 20 minutes. No lie. No paperwork. No waiting…. None of it. Ashley went to the pharmacy, got her antibiotics (or whatever) and we were good to go by the next day. BOOM! Aside from that, the  rest of my visit in Copenhagen was an absolute blast. We had the chance to go to the wake-boarding competition called “Copenwaken,” do the boat tour I talked about, enjoy the end of Distortion and try some of Ash’s favorite restaurants before heading off to Germany. Oh wait. I forgot to mention that I got hit by a bus on that damned BIKE. I told you guys!!!! Luckily it was more comical and less scary, but still..I knew it was all a bad idea from the start. Of course… Ashley thought it was hysterical.

Berlin was crazy! We stayed on Raumerstabe Street, just a little North East of Berlin “proper” in a really cute, but very HOT studio apartment. I mean. Fire pit. The neighborhood was really nice and there were tons of restaurants and coffee shops nearby. We were really set on not wearing ourselves out with too much “touristy” stuff, so we mostly just spent time exploring with sight-seeing sprinkled in. We had a chance to go to Check Point Charlie and visit the museum as well as take a Segway tour around the city for some all-inclusive, ‘here it is’ sights. We’re really low maintenance…. this became clear early on. Both of us were like..”Cool. We saw it. Okay… Bye.” Haha I will say, though, that learning about the intense history in any city/country is so fascinating. Standing at the Berlin Wall it was hard not to imagine the hundreds of thousands of people who, in that very space, fought tooth and nail to find a way back to West Berlin. That same wall! That IIIII touched! We also met two recent Georgia grads at the wall when we offered to take a picture. We bonded over The South and Football, and (no kidding) then RAN IN TO THEM later that night at one of Berlin’s fun bar/clubs, Club der Visionare. As if the world didn’t already seem small, our new Georgia friends knew Miss Georgia 2013, Carly Mathis! Might I remind you I was in Germany.

From Berlin to Paris, we explored the city of lights with a casual schedule. Much of our time was filled with sight-seeing and Rose (Don’t judge me. It’s summer). We did everything from the Lourve (I die.) to the Arc…. Versailles to Notre Dame.The history in Europe is just so vast! Versailles was probably my favorite experience, even if we were packed in like sardines. Seeing extravagant and ornate room after room was fascinating. We ate our way through Paris like the best of them, with our last meal culminating at Le Terrioir Parisien.

While that tiny recap I just gave you was nice, it certainly does not do my Europtrip any justice, but let’s face it…that was a while ago. So much is happening now it feels like I am on a roller coaster! When I got back, I had the chance to emcee the Miss Arizona Pageant and then attend the Miss California Pageant all before heading to New Orleans to Speak at the National Exchange Club Convention about Child Sexual Abuse. Being Miss America has afforded me so many opportunities to continue to travel and experience new things this year, and for that, I am so grateful.

When I traveled to the National Exchange Club this past week I realized it’s been since (nearly) September that I have really had a chance to stand up and speak about Child Sexual Abuse. For several reasons I have shied away from the topic of CSA since becoming a ‘forever’ in September, but it was really such a wonderful opportunity to share my family’s story and light a fire of passion with several Exchange Club Members who, otherwise, may not have thought twice about it. It didn’t hurt that being in NOLA gave me chance to eat some southern Creole food, see my girls Lauren and Candice, and experience a wonderful dinner in celebration of Lauren’s mom, Michelle, at my favorite restaurant ever R’evolution.

In the midst of all of this travel and adventure I have been working diligently to tie up loose ends in LA and get things settled in New York. I’m excited to say that Claire and I have found our apartment and we can’t wait to move in! Scheduling the movers, figuring out how to get my car back to Alabama, buying plane and train tickets, and even finding a new tenant in LA to take over my lease has just been one. giant. pain. I can’t say how much I am looking forward to the idea of just getting to New York and being settled. Well…settled and with all of my frannnnnnds!

In two days I’m off to Orlando to judge the National Princess Pageant and then I’m back to the West Coast once more to pack up and head out. By the time I’m back in New York and ready to get the ball rolling with school and work, it will be time for Miss America. It seems crazy that all of that hoopla was already almost a year ago. I ain’t mad. 😉

Anyway! Sorry it’s been so long. Here’s some pictures I made public from Europe. Enjoy!

 

Mal

 

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