This year, I had the distinct pleasure of experiencing spring for the first time!
I've previously only lived in "semi-arid" climates where seasonal changes don't count for much, but in 2023, I got to experience winter thawing into spring at Chateau d'Orquevaux and the many phases of spring in Heidelberg, Germany.
Sam and I were even able to see the tail-end of the California super bloom when we popped home for a wedding.
With a name like Logan Rose, maybe I've got some nominative determinism because I LOVE flowers.
When we arrived here, there were daffodils everywhere. Then, tiny purple wildflowers and bright yellow buttercups took over the fields, along with daisies and dandelions. Wisteria vines blossomed, as well, which means all of Heidelberg smelled floral and delicious.
As the wisteria started to fade, the roses bloomed, diffusing a more subtle scent through the city (and an intensely pleasurable aroma when we stopped to smell the roses). Now, all the trees are green, the rhododendron bushes are in full bloom, and wild strawberries have started to sprout.
Some of the hardier flowers have also stuck around, so it feels beautiful, green, and alive - not to mention fragrant!
It really is a floral fantasyland here, and I have plenty of pressed flowers to prove it. I hope to make some kind of art project with them soon!
Attending a Wedding in Singapore
Known as "The Garden City," Singapore was another fabulous destination for flowers.
We hiked through the hot, humid jungle and visited Gardens by the Bay, but I think our favorite destination was the Botanical Gardens, specifically the diverse Ginger Garden and well-air-conditioned orchid Cool House.
Aside from the weather (soupy heat and humidity or torrential downpours of rain), our time in Singapore was pretty magical and rich with natural wonders. We saw monkeys, monitor lizards, wild jungle fowl, turtles, a frog, and even a flying squirrel.
We also got to see a couple of Sam's friends get married - congratulations Cheryl and Yuchen! The 8-course meal they served us was wonderful, and I got to try jellyfish, abalone, and sea cucumber for the first time.
The food in Singapore was also mouthwatering overall. We enjoyed several meals in the city's famous Hawker Centers and even visited five or six restaurants on the Michelin Guide.
My favorite meal was at Ji Ji Noodle House, where we shared some wonton noodles I will think about for years to come. I also loved Hainanese chicken rice, and we had some excellent Mapo Tofu and Xiaolongbao.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Singaporean specialties, Chili Crab, which was a little too spicy for me but still delicious, and Bak Kut Teh, a rich pork rib soup that was nicer than it had any right to be considering the heat.
Of course, it was Durian season when we were visiting, so we made sure to try the stinky, fleshy fruit. The best way I can describe it is that it tastes like a bit of custard that was left out for too long... next to a raw onion. In other words, not my favorite food.
For dessert, I preferred to skip fruit (sorry, body!) and have squishy Black Sesame Momoji from a bakery we found called Bread Talk - it's impossibly soft vanilla chiffon cake layered with sweet, sticky mochi and covered in rich, toasted black sesame powder... I'm drooling just thinking about it!
To be honest, I've been a bit of a funk lately, and I think our trip to Singapore helped me shake it off (at least I hope so). At the very least, I'm getting back to my blog, which I was feeling a bit discouraged about. Related: thank you so much for reading!
I'm also planning to get back to my novel, especially because we found a beautiful apartment (on top of an Italian restaurant!) and I'll be able to set up my office/studio/workspace. It really is important to have a room of one's own!
Lately, I've been so worried about what other people think of my work that I forgot to worry about what I think of it, and I still really believe in my project, so it's time to make some adjustments and get back to querying.
Hopefully the next time I have an update on my novel, I will also have an agent - or at least some interest.
I've already stirred up three personalized rejections (which are considered good in this business), so I just need to head back into things with some thicker skin.
It's all part of the process, and with the super long summer days (the sun rises at 5 a.m. and sets at 9 p.m. lately), I'm hoping for a productive season.
The blooming and growth spring required of me took a lot of energy, but I'm hoping I can soak up the sun and enjoy this green, fertile period -- both seasonally and in terms of my creativity.
Again, thank you for rooting me on -- I can feel your support from here and having you as a reader means everything to me.
You can even send me an email at loganrosereadsandwrites at gmail dot com. I'd be delighted to hear from you!