Monthly Archives: March 2015


My week in Paris was amazing, so amazing that I almost forgot I still had another week of spring break left. Because I like to have free time and also because I am very disorganized, I had nothing planned. So, for the first few days, I played golf. A lot of golf. I am a poor golfer, and I golf very rarely, but I really went to town. After playing about 18 holes over the past year, I played 45 holes in four days. Now, golf and I have had a difficult relationship for many years, so this was a somewhat significant moment in my life.

My dad loves golf, and he has always wanted me to enjoy it as well. Not in a pressing way or anything, but he always encouraged me to play, and play with him. I’ve told myself a lot of reasons why I don’t like golf; it’s too slow, none of my friends play, it’s for country club white kids, etc. But really, it’s sort of a perfect game for me: it’s quiet, it’s relaxed, it’s independent. These are all things that I like. The real problem is that I don’t like to fail, and specifically, I don’t like to fail in front of my dad. It’s not his fault or anything; I just get very uncomfortable even considering disappointing him. And this is a feeling that I associate with playing golf with him, even though he really doesn’t care if I’m any good at golf. This has kept me from playing golf very much, and because I don’t play golf very much, I never get better. It’s a bad cycle.

So to go out by myself and just play, not think about anything, and enjoy walking around by the sea in Scotland, it was a big step for me. And I’m excited for my dad to get here in May so we can play together.

After my little golf marathon, I headed up to Inverness, the unofficial capital of the Highlands. I wanted to take at least one trip by myself during my semester, and this seemed like a good candidate. I took along the book I got in Paris, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and went exploring.

The first day I arrived, I took a little ride to Fort George, a very cool old military fort near the small town of Adersier. I chose this day trip not just because of the fort, which was very cool, but also because it required a couple mile walk along the shore of the Moray of Firth to get there. It was a nice sunny day, so I wanted to take a walk.

I walked, read, and went back to look around Inverness. It’s a nice city, not very big, but very scenic, especially by the River Ness, which cuts through the middle of it.

The next day, I headed to Loch Ness so I could see Nessie, which is pretty much the only reason I came to Scotland. I was unsuccessful, and considered flying back to the US right then and there, but I got over this crushing disappointment. I checked out Urquhart Castle, which is a dope ruin by the Loch, and walked along the shore some more and read.

I got back to town, checked out Inverness Castle, and watched soccer/football at a pub. I got to talk to some nice middle-aged Scottish guys, and we got along really well. Now if only I could learn to talk to college-aged girls like that.

I took a train back to St. Andrews on Friday. It’s sort of a tedious journey because you have to change three times, but the landscape is so beautiful that it was a pretty enjoyable journey. I spent the rest of the weekend playing more golf, reading, and drawing a lot. I think all the museums in Paris made me want to doodle.

Now the dorm is filling up again and classes have started back up. I have about two more months here. I think I’m going to play a lot of golf.




Side note: you’ve probably noticed that I never post photos. That’s because I don’t know how. If you want to see some of my pics, check my Instagram (@quinstagram___).


After that, Dylan and I were basically on our own, and we killed it. After the torrid pace set by Hannah and Taylor, we dialed it back a notch, and had a relaxing few days while also seeing a lot of cool Paris things. We also knew our limits; we only went to things within walking distance unless we were with Emma. Fortunately, Emma found us to be tolerable company, so she hung out with us a lot.

We all went to Sacre Coeur together, which is a gorgeous church up on this big hill overlooking the city. Then, Dylan and I ate a picnic dinner at the park by the Louvre, which is about as romantic as two heterosexual bros in Paris can get. It was lovely.

The next day, we stumbled onto the Pompidou, a modern art museum that ended up being really cool, especially the Jeff Koons exhibit they currently have going on. We got some back-to-back museum action later that night when we went to Louvre, which pretty much drained us of all museum-going energy for the week. However, we still found the energy to go out that night, and although the Irish bar we went to for St. Patrick’s Day was pretty lame, the other two bars we hit were very cool, very chill.

After a busy Wednesday, Thursday was pretty relaxed. Emma took us to the Eiffel Tower at night though, which was really cool. Friday was also relaxed, and then we took off early Saturday morning.

After spending just a couple days on other trips, it was great to have a whole week in Paris and get to know the city a bit. While it was very interesting to see all the various sights, it was also just nice to hang out, get coffee, and talk with friends. We also had an awesome apartment that was literally a block from the Louvre, so there was plenty to do right there.

It was also interesting to be in a place where I didn’t speak the language. I really was not prepared for how little French I knew. Like, I was aware that I didn’t speak French, but I was not totally aware that I would feel like a complete idiot every time I interacted with a French person. But it was kind of fun to really feel like I was ina foreign place. And I got to be there with some of my best friends, which was tremendous.

This week has been lovely so far, but I’ll talk more about it next time. That’s how you keep your readers coming back for more, take notes kids. Ttyl.


Sorry about the wait squad. After getting thousands* of angry emails from jilted readers, I have returned after missing last week’s blog post. Sorry not sorry I was living the dream in Paris. I’ve done a lot of cool stuff the past couple weeks, especially #Week8, so I’ll just cruise pretty quickly through #Week7.

The week was pretty nondescript, mostly spent reading and planning the Paris trip. I usually take a backseat on planning things because I’m a slacker and a bad friend, and this was a reminder why. Planning sucks! It is boring and time-consuming and I hate it. But it was certainly worth it because my week in Paris was all kinds of dope. Here’s the rough skeleton of what went down:

  • 16 (Friday): left for Paris early in the mo, met Hannah, Taylor, and Emma, checked in to apartment, walked around, went to Louvre, drank wine by the Seine.
  • Saturday: Musse d’orsey, Musee Picasso, watched Midnight in Paris IN PARIS
  • Sunday: Dylan arrives, Notre Dame, Shakespeare and Co., boat tour, steak and frites, squad gets #turnt
  • Monday: Champs-Elysees, Arc du Triomph, girls leave
  • Tuesday: Dyl and Q’s First Day, Sacre Couer
  • Wednesday: Pompidou, Louvre, bars for St. Patty’s Day
  • Thursday: Eiffel Tower
  • Friday: walked around, #treatyoself
  • Saturday: left early in the morning, got back via plane/trane/automobile

It’s pretty much impossible for me to say everything that happened unless I wrote like ten pages but you don’t want to read that and I definitely don’t want to write that. Seriously, I’m already bored and I think I’ve written like 100 words.

Anyways, it was an awesome week. I spent the first couple days with Hannah, Taylor, and Emma, who is Hannah’s sister living in Paris as well as a true homie. It was awesome to see them all again; you know you’re really good friends when catching up just takes like two minutes, and then everything’s like normal after that. Since Hannah and Taylor were only in Paris for a few days, we covered a lot of ground and did a lot of stuff. My personal fave was the Musee Picasso; in second grade I did a report on Picasso, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. I used to really love to draw as a kid, and this was a reminder of that, much like the dinosaur skeletons reminded me of my childhood paleontology dreams a couple weeks ago. I’ve actually been drawing quite a bit the past couple days, and it’s been a lot of fun.

Dylan arrived on Sunday morning, thus kicking off the 36 hours that the whole team was there before Hannah and Taylor left Monday afternoon. We walked over by Notre Dame and into the Latin Quarter, and stopped by Shakespeare and Co., a bookstore that is apparently old and famous. I got Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, my only purchase in Paris. Hannah and Taylor were pretty insistent that Dylan and I buy some clothes at some point during the week, but we declined.

We took a nice little boat tour down the Seine, then ate dinner at this awesome place that basically gives you unlimited steak and frites. As for our one night together, it fizzled out pretty quickly. We got rowdy, and fast, so what was intended to be a long and wild night ended with all of us asleep by midnight.

The next morning was appropriately hazy and groggy, but we got through it, and walked down Champs-Elysees to see the Arc du Triomph (I have no idea how to spell any of these things). Then, after hanging out a bit, Hannah and Taylor left; it was a bummer to see them leave so soon, but very cool we got to spend time together.