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28 July 2014

Bath ● by Jess

I feel like I should start out this post by acknowledging that sometimes, when I'm super relaxed and traveling, I completely forget that I'm a photographer. I just lug around my huge camera and lenses and don't bother to pick it up, hence the short movie and scanty snaps.

That being said, hopefully thiese shots do it justice. There are few places I've been that make me as happy as this town.

How could anyone not love Bath? It is so insanely beautiful and definitely makes my little Neo-Palladian-loving soul sing with joy. *sigh* I love this place. 

Bath is the setting of several of Jane Austen's stories and was a place she lived for several years. We visited her house and took photos in front of this pensive statue. There was also a live male in costume, but he was skeevy, so we stuck to fake Jane.

Bath is quite literally named after the Roman hot springs that were here thousands of years ago. They were rediscovered in the Georgian era and the town exploded. The bath's can still be toured today + there is an awesome brand new spa for the modern spa-lover.

On this trip we used Airbnb for the first time and stayed in an amazing place! Our hosts were amazing and even brought us a full goodie basket. Seriously makes me a believer in Airbnb.

The best vacations are where you spend the bulk of your time eating, in my personal opinion. We had some *phenomenal* food. Our favorites were Sotto Sotto (this incredible underground Italian restaurant) and Sally Lunn's (which was around in Jane Austen's time and is world famous for their "Sally Lunn Bun"). 

Overall it was a relaxing wonderful trip and I highly recommend it to anyone heading to England anytime soon.

26 July 2014

Brighton ● by Jess

As per my nieces requests, I'm finally getting together some of the videos and photos from our travels in the last few months. This set is from our weekend in Brighton back in April. It is the funnest, whimsical little seaside town and it is so close to London!

My favorite part of Brighton is down on the beach. There is a long pier with an amusement park and dozens of fish and chips shops on it. A giant ferris wheel is on the beach, which gives awesome aerial views of the city. Each capsule has a speaker system with a voice-over tour that tells you history and information about the town. Unfortunately, the creators tried to make the dialog like a conversation which means there are long awkward pauses. Its so bad its almost good. 

[For some reason this picture looks like it has had some really crummy photoshopping. Still working on a solution... something to do with Blogger]

The beaches in Brighton are covered in pebbles instead of sand. These naturally occuring holes in the stones are very rare and Brighton is one of the only places in the world that has them. They are said to be magic and are have been called "hag stones" or "sailor stones" as people use them as good luck charms and to ward off witches. Today, they are very uncommon-- but I managed to find 8! Which is pretty cool. 

12 July 2014

Dream Job ● by Jess

Since I was fifteen, my plan has always been to get my bachelor's degree in Art and then a Master's in education. I keep trying... like every year. I apply to graduate schools, dance around the house in my underwear after getting in, then inevitably realize I'm broke and have to turn down the offers.

Its a very sad cycle.

Still, as much as I love photography, I keep feeling this deep visceral yearning to teach. I'm particularly obsessed with early education and Montessori based learning. Anyone that has followed me on Pinterest for the last year is probably aware of this (I really am sorry guys-- I know the incessant Montessori pins are probably clogging up your feed).

In the states it isn't too difficult to work in a Montessori environment, but in London it is hardcore. All Montessori teaching positions require International Montessori certification (which costs about $5000 to get). Every couple of months I fantasize about getting certified and becoming a teacher, but, obviously it has yet to happen.

However, not to be one of those weirdos that thinks there might be some credibility to "the Secret," but... I'm now a believer!!

Starting in September, I will be teacher for a private primary school in Notting Hill. In a magical twist of fate, they are not only paying me to teach, but also for the full Montessori certification. Praise!

My photography business will keep rolling on, but I will be scaling back to only doing weddings. No more families and babies, I'm afraid. But I imagine I'll still be photographing little ones at the school.

Anyway, it's a happy, happy day at the Young house! I get to start school on my birthday (September 1st), which is one of the best birthday gifts I could possibly imagine :)

06 July 2014

Lately ● by Jess

Celebrating Independence day, while living in the UK (and paying British taxes), definitely has a sort of quirky irony... But that doesn't stop us from having a party! Our friends, the Blocks, threw a BBQ (the pavlova above was made by our friend Stephanie, another guest-- it was AMAZING!). Such a fun evening of burgers, watermelon, and lots of America lovin'. 

As for what has been going on in the lives of the Youngs lately... I've started painting again! I'm sending my stuff out to a few juried shows and it just feel so good to be creating again. Photography, though I love it, has always felt more like archiving then actual art to me. It feels nice to have a paint brush in hand again, even though space is really tight.  

I've also had a lot of Jessica time lately, as Jonathan has been traveling a lot for work. In the past few weeks alone, he has been to France, Germany and Switzerland (on four separate occasions). Generally, I'd be ok with this, but I've been driven to the point of near insanity by a new mouse infestation. 

It started out when one jumped out at me in the kitchen one night. I ran out and bought a half dozen traps and, after several days, finally caught the sucker last week. 

Unfortunately, his life partner (who I've since named Lady Macbeth) is now on revenge plot to attack me in my sleep. I woke up one evening to her clawing and squeaking right next to my bed. 

The next day I went out and bought another six traps. 

Our flat looked like a mine field for awhile, until I realized the little she-devil was coming through the floor hole where the radiator pipes in. So, I barricaded the radiator with heavy wood and covered the exits with my traps. I was certain the problem would be solved before morning. 

Unfortunately, she is a crafty little thing started to chew through the wall instead.

Anyway, for the sake of my nerves and adrenaline levels (which shoot through the ceiling every time I wake up to her night-clawing), I'm headed back to Switzerland with Jon this week. I won't be seeing much of him, but I'll get to explore a bit on my own, which will be lots of fun. :)