Atlanta, Jump on it

Would you believe me if I said I ended up in Atlanta because I googled Justin Bieber and that was the next city that he was playing a show in?

Well thats exactly what happened when my friend Ashley texted me asking me to get away for a weekend, I responded back a few days later and asked her if she wanted to go to a concert with me in Atlanta and well now here we are and it was one of my better life decisions because who doesn't love sweet tea and chicken friend steak?

Things to do/see:

  • Botanical Garden
  • Ponce Market Place
  • Oakland Cemetary
  • Living Walls
  • Jackson Street Bridge
  • Krog Street Marketplace
  • Piedmont Park
  • Centennial Olympic Park
  • Ferris Wheel 
Places to eat:
  • The Flying Biscuit
  • Dancing Goats
  • Bellina
  • Fish Camp
  • Stats
  • Hodgepodge Coffee shop
  • Fred's Meat and Bread
  • Jenis Ice Cream
  • Maxs Coal Oven Pizza

Thursday we both landed in Atlanta in the early evening and headed to our hotel (Hilton Garden Inn downtown) via Uber. Uber is seriously amazing- we never paid more that $20 for a ride, and that was our longest ride to the airport and back which was about 20 minutes. We freshened up real quick and headed to the Phillips arena, which was in walking distance of our hotel. Such a gorgeous arena, it makes me wish my hometown had an NBA team so badly! Jingle Ball was actually one of the most fun concerts I have gone to in awhile! There were so many acts, and each act only played for a little bit so it kept my attention the entire four hours- haha! 

the only photo of us from Jingle Ball is a still shot from a video

Australia Journey Journal: Melbourne

So it has been so long since I have posted about my trip to Australia I can't even tell you what days we went to Melbourne, but it wasn't as long as I would've like it. Melbourne has to be my favorite city in Australia. It actually has somewhat close to winterish temperatures, in fact I didn't pack any pants to bring and so I had to go and buy some!

January 25th: 

We landed in Melbourne from Sydney, a quick little one hour flight. We explored around the city after checking into our little apartment. We also had to find pants real quick, because silly me didn't think it would be so cold, but it was.

What went down in Washington, D.C.

So I can't stop counting my lucky stars that not only do I have friends all over, but that they also invite me to come visit them. a lot. When I was going through a rough time in March I had open doors in Nashville, Orlando and Los Angeles, and for that I can't even begin to explain how gracious I am. Plus having these people in my life makes it that much more fun, to like live and stuff.

This past weekend I found some cheap flights to Washington, D.C. and got to be reunited with one of my best, best friends from high school. I seriously love watching this girl drop herself in a new place and completely blossom, its truly amazing, she's so great. Not to mention when we were in high school and she worked at Wegmans (local grocery store and partial slice of heaven) she brought me a cookie cake that said balls on my forehead on it, yes she had to ask the person at the cake department to write that on my cake, and then she brought it into school.

Anyways down to the nitty gritty of the trip, aka the things you could also do if you visited Washington D.C:

One thing I love a lot about cities is the subway system, its so cheap! and so easy to navigate and really gets you where you need to go. I would always recommend doing a little research on weekend pass rates, and how late the subways run, depending on what you'll be doing, usually subways stop running as early as midnight and as late as 2am.

Places I stopped at on this trip:

Monuments/Things to do:
  • Smithsonian Institute (first smithsonian museum/castle)
  • Sculpture Park
  • Natural History Museum
  • Air and Space Museum
  • National Archives
  • American History Museum
  • Washington Monument
  • Abe Lincoln Memorial
  • World War II Memorial
  • Vietnam War Memorial
  • White House
  • Washington Wizards (NBA) game
  • Georgetown
  • Potomac River

Noms (Restaurants & Night life):
  • Chick Fil A (Fast food)
  • Busboys and Poets (bookstore/restaurant/performing arts)
  • Coffy Cafe (breakfast food)
  • Wok and Roll (chinatown)
  • The Good Stuff Eatery (burgers! and fries)
  • Pho (vietnamese)

I actually got in on Thursday Night after an all day flight delay, but just in time for Jess to meet me and take me to Chick-Fil-A, which is a really big southern thing and theres Waffle Fries, who can say no to those?
Also the view from the plane was incredible. I watched it for a good half an hour before we landed and was so preoccupied that right before we landed I saw the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial but only ended up with blurry photos of them, so disappointed in my photographer self.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

This past weekend my family and I ventured to a place I honestly forgot existed. Located directly North of Texas, we're not even sure if its considered "southern" USA or "midwestern" because it could honestly be both.

I was truly pleasantly surprised with my first time in OKC, you could tell it was a newer city in America, and having only celebrated its centennial year in 2007, it was pleasantly underpopulated which makes it enjoyable to walk around and not have your personal space totally invaded!

Whenever I travel around I like to ask complete strangers what the best things are to do, this list was compiled by some people I talked to on the internet and the lady in the airport with the dog I sat down next to:
  • National Cowboy Museum
  • Stockyards-Cattleman Restaurant
  • Bricktown River Taxi
  • OKC Memorial 
  • Lake Heffner
  • Pops in Arcadia
  • Blue Garden
  • Bessler Hall
We checked off most of the list while we were there! On Thursday night we landed in time for dinner and checked out Cattlemans steakhouse in the stockyards. The food was amazing! and they gave you giant croutons as an appetizer, so that had my vote. We also met God and his friend Constance who were in town for their church meeting. It was wonderful. Anyways, the stockyards were my favorite place because it had the southern, cowboy feel to it.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Was given the opportunity to head 14 hours south to North Carolina with a friend of mine and my little niece, so of course I couldn't say no, the ocean was calling my name!

Its been 6 months too long since I've had the sand between my toes, and this more than made up for lost time, having been my first time in North Carolina, it didnt disappoint.

My friends Boyfriend found us a little bungalow to sleep in for a few days through the website, Home Away. Kind of like Air BnB but more hotel like. I am so excited to try them for my upcoming travels!

The places shown in this vid include:

-Nags Head Beach, which was a short walk across the road from our Bungalow. It was the only public beach access walk way we noticed down the road we stayed on

-Our one room little dream Bungalow, could definitely see myself living in one of these

-Jeanettes Pier, we never made it down to the end, it cost $2 to walk all the way down and there was an aquarium of some sort inside 

-Duck Donuts, we got a complementary dozen of donuts with our stay and they were delicious

-Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, it was about an hour drive and when we got there only two of us could go up to the top because we couldnt carry the baby with us!

-Millers Restaurant, right on the main strip, very yummy, kind of pricey but you got little donuts as an appetizer for your meal, and its right on the water!

-Bodie Island lighthouse, we caught some good weather for this climb! It's $8 per person to climb both light houses we did. I would recommend doing at least one!

-A really more private beach that was  behind the sand dunes on the road to the lighthouses! Would recommend bug spray- the horse flies were pretty bad

-Jockeys Ridge State Park, LOVED it here, made me miss my favorite place ever (Carlo sandblow) and was so beautiful at sunset. The sand at these dunes feel like velvet in between your toes and make you feel so small the little blurb reads 

"Jockeys Ridge is the tallest Natural sand dune on the eastern coast of the United States, fluctuating between 80 and 100 feet above sea-level. Most geologists believe that the dune was formed by strong water currents caused by hurricanes and strong storms which washed sand from large, offshore shoals onto beaches. Over many years, the wind moved this sand inland. Shifting maritime winds blow billions of grains of sand in varying directions, constantly changing both the shape and size of the dune." 

-Scammells Corner Surf shop/Ice cream parlor, Josh made us go here three times, but we didnt even fight him because the ice cream was so delicious! The owners are two brother who are originally from florida, one was in the military and the other was involved with acting and drama, he sung the whole time he was making our ice cream, and his yellow lab zeus hung out in the shop!

Now you're in New York

So its making me cringe that the last time I blogged was like 8 years ago, but I am going to try to be better at updating. It's currently summertime in the lovely state of New York and if I'm not working (that wretched 40 hours a week) I am sleeping, or traveling. So I have a lot of updating to do and I'am working on being more on time with things, so stay tuned. Currently what I have for you is my first little VLog. How much work goes into one little video is crazy, so much more respect for YouTubers, especially the ones who talk in their videos in public! I'm honestly not a huge fan of videos because I am usually out and about and like something I can scroll through instead, but we'll see where the wind blows me, Let me know what you guys think!

I have been going to New York for 12 years now, roughly once or twice a year and still feel like I never do enough! It was my first Yankees game, first time at the Statue of Liberty and my first time in the row boats in Central Park.

Day 1: Yankees Game!

-Really cool bar called Reunion, right near times square, but completely hidden. We ran into Taylor Kitsch from True detective! (honestly would've had no idea if it wasn't for our friends boyfriend fan-girling)

Day 2: Statue of Liberty Crown Tour- we had to book these tickets back in March or they would've sold out. Highly recommend making some sort of reservation to skip the wait. There have been more people than I have ever seen in NYC this year. The boat stops at Ellis Island as well as the statue, so make time for both! If youre strapped for cash you can take the Staten Island Ferry for free around the Island and get close to the statue!

-September 11th museum: we bought our tickets when we got there, we only had about two hours here, which was just enough, we missed a lot, its a little confusing so grab a map right away. Was crazy interesting and so unreal.

-Midnight trip to Times Square, where as you can see was still packed. Found a frozen yogurt place that was open until two am!!

Day 3: Rise and Shine! We walked over to Park Ave, which was a block over from our hotel, where they closed the whole road down for a giant water slide (which we couldnt find) and so that people could walk/run/ride bikes down. 

-Central Park: We walked about 7 more blocks up to central park to find the row boats ($15 an hour plus 20 deposit)

-We had dinner at one of the most phenomenol restaurants I have ever been to- Villagio on central park south- you are waited on hand and foot, and fed the most mouth watering Italian food at really great prices.

Also while you're in New York you have to get a street hot dog, pizza, and some sort of breakfast or lunch sandwich on a roll. 

Other great places I explored in New York this summer that aren't in my video- Lizzmonade in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Bridge park, has the most stunning views of the bridges and the statue.

-If you'll be in the city over a weekend or a few days, you might want to consider getting an unlimited subway pass for 30 dollars and Google maps for directions on how to take the subways. Always be aware of your surroundings!

*We stayed at the Double Tree Inn on Lexington Ave and 51st, it was pretty central to everything and about a ten minute cab ride to Times Square. Most places were only 20-30 minutes on the subway, and the rooms were beautiful.

A dream is a wish your heart makes* Disney

When I first got home from Australia, it was tough to get out of a little funk I was in. I was coming back to a place I hadn't been in over a year, and it was really freakin cold. I decided to follow my wandering feet and empty the rest of my bank account. I am so grateful to have friends all over the country, and the world, so that when I am going through a little rough patch I have so many places to crash (thanks y'all are wonderful to me.) For this little spur of the moment get-away, I chose the happiest place on earth! It also doubled as a reunion for me and of of my oldest friends (I think we determined we've been friends for almost ten years now, so we've seen it all at this point haha, kidding but I do remember the day he turned sixteen and we took him out for his first drive-theres a youtube video out there somewhere)

I haven't been to Disney since I was maybe 19, but I used to go every year at Easter time on my family vacation. Theres even a little cement carving of 12 year old me forever at Epcot-not embarrassing at all.

Also I FINALLY got to go to Harry Potter World-so my 12 year old self was basically in her glory!

The first few days we bummed around Orlando and caught a free Blues travelers concert- missed those pretty Palm Trees and no jacket weather:

not too shabby, d-town Orlando
he likes me
I bought a 2 day 2 park Universal Studios and Island of Adventures pass, which was enough time to explore around both parks, they smartly split up Harry Potter world and Diagon Alley-one in each park and I wanted to do both! It was really awesome though that you took the Hogswart Express from one place to the other. It only ended up costing be about 25 bucks per day, per park. 

Islands of Adventure
watch ya spell limits 
dumbledoore needed to see me straight away
platform 9 and 3 qwuartahs this way!
on the train!
headed to diagon alley
3d minion ride
thinking about getting a palm tree for my bedroom
one of those robes cost $120!
oh hey Harry
the leaky cauldron
the knight bus! complete with the shrunken head in the window

fun little speech bubbles
hogwarts by night
The third day we did the parks I chose to head over to Hollywood Studios theme park. This was my dads favorite park to go to when I was younger, and its all about the magic of the movies. It was different going again as an "adult," still just as fun, but I have really been noticing lately how I used to feel about things when I was younger as opposed to now.

barrel of monkeys from toy story
UHM couldn't even contain my excitement
for this honey i shrunk the kids playground.
was my FAVORITE think when I was younger
giant play dough
huge pups nose; it had a loud speaker
that had a sniffing noise that made me
jump when i heard it
large mushrooms
huge light bright piece
the hollywood tower hotel ride
didn't catch any photos of the outside;
this ride is still amazing we went on three times
and i lost my stomach every time.
plus we caught it at sunset which made it
so much prettier
"take a photo of me and my new bf"
this giant bell hop was so good at his job
scared me straight when i nearly ran into him
we tried to catch fantasia the show,
but it was crowded and we couldn't see anything
glad i got my mickey ice cream:
life tip-buy this and a strawberry bar and eat them at the same time!

If you have never been to Disney you should sneak that baby on your bucket list! I am just realizing right now how lucky I am its only a two hour plane ride, and that every year at easter I was able to go on family vaca there, meeting so many people recently who have never been to Disney, go go go now! Josh was really great at taking my photo to text to my mom, she loved that. Out of all the tacky take homes (souvenirs) I picked up some Bertie Bots every flavor beans and a chocolate frog to bring home with me :)

*hopefully my photos aren't turning out blurry for you, but if they are you can click on them and make them bigger and more clear and scroll through them

oh and yeah I cut off 9 inches from my head to donate to great lengths Pantene- something I have been itching to do for ages to make wigs for cancer patients in memory of my cousin, both my grandpas and my nanny!

Smugglers Notch Vermont Ski-cation!

For my 25th Birthday, I packed myself and 150 of my closest friends on a party bus and took us to Smugglers Notch for the weekend. J/K, but I really did head up to Vermont for the weekend for some awesome winter weather conditions for snowboarding. As a part of my turning 25 depression, I proceeded to leave all my undergarments, bathing suit and gloves at home, and realized as soon as we finished about six hours of the nine hour bus ride, so cheers to being good at being an adult!

We arrived friday night late and got up early the next AM to indulge in the glorious weather we had while we were there. Not too cold, and blue skies!

It was also Carlys first winter, and first time snowboarding! I tried my best to teach her what I knew, so thanks mom for all those ski clubs and free lessons (incase you were wondering what your money went towards: about half the night me boarding and the other half fooling around in the ski lodge)

go on girl, get down withcha bad self
hey thats me!
i hoped on the chairlift with a random 17 y/o boy who told me that if i wanted
we could stop at the middle chairlift, but i chose to ride all the way up to the top
the view was breathtaking, and good thing he was with me or i would've
ended up going down a black diamond
oh hey,
nothing to see here, move along
waiting for carly to come out of the bathroom,
"wheres carly? she's over there...."
nekkminit she's dancing on the table with shelley
we didn't have any photos together, so we took one
the best veggie burger and fries made for a nice recovery
aid the next day. you use muscles you never knew you had skiing.

The trip was one of the weekend trips that UB offers through its super awesome ski club- schussmeisters! if you're a local college student around Buffalo, you can get a super cheap season pass and bus transport to a lot of semi-local ski resorts! They offer a few trips throughout the season that are a lot of fun. If you're ever looking to get involved in your college I would definitely think about joining a ski club, not only is it great exercise, but the people you meet are some of the best you'll ever meet in ya life, no kidding. 

More info about Smugglers Notch here - Vermont is a seriously gorgeous state all seasons of the year, and the skiing there is almost always awesome.