Autumn in Ukraine

There (Here?) And Back Again

Last week we made an impromptu trip to New York (again) for some business (again). We had another lovely stay at an apartment rented through AirBnb. We’ve stayed at AirBnb places five times now, twice in NYC and three places during our EuroRoadTrip this summer. It’s been mostly positive experiences–affordable, interesting, more personal than a hotel, and often you meet neat people. Plus, it allows us to cook for ourselves, which we generally prefer (though a year ago I never thought I’d prefer doing my own cooking–who am I?!).

peeling paint in the East Village

Now we’re back in Ukraine, but Thursday we’ll hop on the ol’ train back to Kiev to head to Dallas for my dissertation defense on October 19th! My head is all a-whirl with the packing, unpacking, packing, laundry, unpacking… I forget what stage of that we’re in currently, but it’s nearly impossible to locate any single item of clothing I want to wear.

Between that, the trailer for Peter Jackson’s upcoming awesomeness (Part 4 of 6!), and re-re-re-reading the beginning of The Hobbit last night, plus all the moving around… and there you have the blog post title.

In the midst of all this crazy, several friends took us out in the countryside surrounding Kharkov yesterday. It was fantastically beautiful, walking through a forest of tall trees beginning to flame into bright yellow, leaves softly falling to the ground while we looked for mushrooms–or rather, wandered aimlessly in the gorgeousness and managed not to get lost. Then we headed to the river, cooked sausages (stuffed with SWISS CHEESE, so amazing) over a fire, picked some grapes, and finally met a Ukrainian babushka before heading back. It was heavenly, a perfect fall day–and just in the nick of time, since it’s cold and rainy and dark today.

Autumn in Ukraine

I’ve turned in my full dissertation–boy is THAT surreal to say!–and am working on my slideshow for my 20-minute presentation to my committee during my defense. And trying to fathom life after PhD… but really, who has time when there’s all this unpacking/packing to do?

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7 thoughts on “There (Here?) And Back Again

    • Starr Hoffman says:

      Thanks for the reminder! I started a draft of that post while working on my final dissertation draft… but saved it on my desktop instead of as a draft post (why, who knows?), and therefore completely forgot about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Should be up soon.

  1. Chris says:

    You world traveler you! Sounds like fun even if it’s a little bit nuts. ๐Ÿ™‚ Miss you guys lots but I’m loving all the photos! Have a great trip to Dallas and try not to stress too much about your defense. You’ll be amazing! #drstarr ftw!

    • Starr Hoffman says:

      Thanks!!! Miss you guys, too. DFW should be fun–right now I’m excited about the defense, though I’m sure that will turn to SHEER TERROR soon enough. ๐Ÿ™‚

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