Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cape Cod

Last week Derek and I packed up the car (a whole one bag each) again and took off for his cousin’s wedding in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The morning was fairly uneventful, but the weather was cooperative. I didn’t start to get really excited until we approached Boston. Something about the city ignites adrenaline in me and I almost begged to skip the tunnel underneath Boston and head in for lunch!





We didn’t arrive in Chatham until nearly dinnertime so we checked into our hotel and drove around the little town before meeting up with his family for a BBQ in Eastham. We took a short walk on the beach and saw the Chatham Lighthouse, which I have to say was a little disappointing in size.



Next door to the hotel we barbequed at was a miniature golf place so Derek and I decided to have a go. I forgot my camera in the car so there aren’t pictures but I obviously dominated ;) (Just don’t ask him for his opinion on the score!)

The wedding was the following afternoon so we had plenty of time in the morning to wander the town more thoroughly. We went for lunch at the Chatham Squire and were quite excited about our stuffed clam appetizer and assorted seafood platter consisting of fried clams, calamari, shrimp and scallops. After lunch we walked through town looking for a belt for Derek’s suit since we packed in a hurry and he left his in Vermont.

The ceremony was held at the Chatham Bars Inn, right on the beach. It was absolutely stunning even though it rained on us a little bit. I wish it had been sunny for the sake of pictures, but it certainly didn’t ruin the wedding!







Following the wedding ceremony we all stepped inside the boathouse for a reception complete with champagne, snacks and dancing.







We woke up the next morning to beautiful sunshine but had to check out of the hotel by 10am. Instead of hopping in the car and driving home we decided to enjoy the Cape a little longer and drove to meet Derek’s sister for breakfast in Hyannis. We sat outside at The Egg and I, and before breakfast was over my skin was completely crispy. Such is the product of seeing no sunshine since May (it’s been a rainy summer in Vermont!)

While we ate breakfast the funeral procession for Eunice Kennedy Shriver passed by. No pictures of course, I didn’t want to be disrespectful… although I did get waved at by Ted Kennedy from the back seat of a limousine!

To conclude our time on the Cape we went for a walk down to the harbor.









The trip was a much needed relaxing getaway, but there’s something so refreshing about the mountains in Vermont. It’s good to be home.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Shadow Lake Getaway

As promised, here are the photos from our adventure to the summer cottage on Shadow Lake! Derek and I woke up at the crack of noon on Wednesday and packed the truck with our few belongings for the trip. The drive didn’t seem very long, but the lake is a solid hour and a half away. Once we arrived we began to get settled in and since I haven’t been able to take photographs in quite some time I took great pleasure in walking around the yard in my bare feet to capture the view.







Before nighttime settled in Derek and I decided to take a stroll around the lake and check out the other summer camps. We walked down and stuck our toes in the lake but decided it was most definitely too cold to swim in!



Once we finished our walk we grabbed a couple cans of soda and sat on the edge of the dock as the sun began to set.







As dinnertime neared we decided to take a ride up to the local general store to see what it had to offer. Derek decided he wanted to make us bacon wrapped scallops and steamed mixed veggies and I was in no position to turn down being cooked for! We played a few rounds of rummy while we waited for dinner to finish cooking and even opened up a jigsaw puzzle of a French café after dinner. I wish I could relax that way and be disconnected from the internet, cell phone, TV craze ALL the time!



I had a wonderful time taking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and am so grateful he asked me to accompany him! It’s too bad summer is nearing its end because I would love to go back and visit again, but I suppose there’s always next summer!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lost but not forgotten!

Aye Carumba! It would appear that I have long forgotten my blog. The real problem lies within the fact that I lost my camera charger and have had no pictures to tell tales about! I found it last week though and will soon have some new pictures to share. In the meantime though I’ll give a quick update about what’s been happening with me this summer.

I moved into a new apartment about 40 minutes south of my old city. I miss it up there and seeing all of my friends very much but it was a decision based around finances – or lack thereof. My apartment here is very cute! I managed to take a couple pictures with my new cell phone:









I’ve been hired on as a waitress at a little local BBQ joint here called Ed’s Barrr-B-Q. The staff is super fun to work with and we even get complimented on the food by southerners that stop in to visit! I’m a huge fan of the sweet tea of course. In addition to working in the restaurant we also run a concessions stand at the Vermont Moutaineers baseball games and even cater special events such as the Ted’s Flying Hogs Bikini Bike Wash.



Although the summer has been super rainy (worse than last year possibly) we’ve been having some decent weather lately. So tomorrow I am heading to a lake cottage in the Northeast Kingdom with my bartender boyfriend, Derek, for a little relaxation.



Also next week if I can swing a few days off at the restaurant we’ll be heading down near the Cape in Massachusetts for his cousin’s wedding. I’m very excited and will definitely have lots of pictures to share from those two outings when we get back!

We’ve also headed to the local racetrack a couple times this summer. Thunder Road hosted Tony Stewart the first time we went so I got to watch him race the local guys. There was a big buzz that he might be purchasing the track so it might not be the last time this little town sees a big star!Last week the King, Richard Petty was here to do a press conference and meet and greet fans. He didn’t race of course but having his presence at the track was pretty unbelievable. My favorite fan question was from a seven-year-old little boy who wanted to know why he always wears a big cowboy hat! The King’s answer? Because he didn’t want to put on the ‘wrong’ hat at the end of a race and make any sponsors angry. Smart guy!



In other small news I just turned 22. It was sort of anti-climatic, but then are there really any good birthdays left after one turns 21? I put in 12 hours at the restaurant, headed to the bar for about three hours and headed home for the night. A little good fun with a couple good friends, I suppose there isn’t really anything else to ask for!

My applications and registrations processes are in progress at the University of Alaska and the Community College of Vermont where I’ll be taking online courses to finish up my degree by May.

Overall life is going well. I’ll try to be better about getting on here now that my camera is back in action!

Sayonara!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Some thoughts about love

Lord Tennyson told us that "it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all."

But is it really? I am convinced that it must hurt much less to never love. Why did he tell us that? Did he never find love and was he jealous of those who had? If so, then what an ignorant quote, and we should be mindful to stop repeating it.

But here is one I have finally found solace in: "The truth shall set you free."

To finally hear the truth - I've found that it is the only thing that will ever allow me to move on. I have heard it now and so I am filled with sweet relief; a weight lifted from my chest and a smile across my lips.

You do not love me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Job Search Musing

In today's never-ending quest for a new job I find myself perplexed. There seems to be an abundant want on my end for anything that puts a few bucks in my pocket, and there also seem to be plenty of jobs out there. I can find at least 40 new jobs daily per job search engine! So why is it that I remain unemployed and many of the same jobs (amongst the new) keep popping up day after day?

The question is: Am I being too picky in what I'm looking for... or are they?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Free Cone Day

One of the MANY reasons I love living in Burlington, Vermont:


More pictures coming once Josh actually comes into Burlington to head downtown for free ice cream with me! :)


**Update: Josh didn't think standing in line ALL the way around the block was worth one scoop of ice cream we could get any old day. Is he crazy!?

America Mosaic

Last night I found this really neat website by Flickr where you can paste photo links from the web into slots and it will turn the photos into a beautiful mosaic. I started putting together photos of my favorite things and things that I think represent who I am and made it my desktop. I decided mosaics would be my latest form of expression (so prepare yourself for a few!)

Then today on the radio I heard Rodney Atkins' song "It's America" come on and for whatever reason, sometimes certain song lyrics just hit me in a way they never have before. I decided that I wanted to come home and make the lyrics into an America Mosaic. What would YOUR mosaic look like? Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

T-56 Days!

Until the big move! I have recently decided that I need some big changes in my life. Maybe it was the whole growing up in 9 states thing that instilled this need to constantly pick up and move all the time. Or maybe I just get bored easily. Either way, things haven't been going my way lately and I decided it was time.

I am signing a new lease for a one bedroom apartment in Barre, VT on Thursday morning and moving into it during the last week of May! I am beyond excited to get away from the college bustle of downtown Burlington. It's not that I didn't love this city while I spent time here because I did. It's just that I'm tired of listening to belligerent drunks scream down my street every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. I'm tired of looking out the one window in my bedroom to see another house sitting so close I could lean out and poke it with a yard stick. I'm tired of ignorant upstairs neighbors who think it's perfectly acceptable to blast their bass at 10:30 in the morning, or 11:00 at night during the week. I'm just done here. It's time to move on.

The hard part is facing the failing economy as an unemployed college student. It's not that I don't want to work. And it's not that I haven't been trying either. But when you put all the recent college grads still looking for work, plus all of the students about to graduate, plus students like me who are taking a little longer to graduate, and add to all of us the qualified workers who have been out in the force for at least 10 years ALSO looking for jobs... things start to look a little dreary for me.

But I'm trying.

I'll be leaving Champlain College in the fall and begin taking online courses through the Community College of Vermont. It's not a plan I would have ever forseen four years ago, but it's the reality. After 8 semesters of college I am DONE sitting in classrooms. Online courses for less cost are mighty appealing, and even more so since I'll be able to transfer my credits over to Champlain and still graduate with a bachelor's degree in Paralegal Studies in the spring of 2010.

For now, as hard as things may be, I've got to set my sights on the rest of this semester and finish April strong. I've got a family vacation to Hawaii, a celebratory trip to Alaska, and a new chapter of life to look forward to when this is over!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mount Redoubt

From ANCHORAGE, Alaska —

Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano erupted four times overnight, sending an ash plume more than 9 miles high into the air, but the state's largest city has likely been spared from any ashfall.

"The ash cloud went to 50,000 feet, and it's currently drifting toward the north, northeast," said Janet Schaefer, a geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

The first eruption occurred at 10:38 p.m. on Sunday night and the fourth happened at 1:39 a.m. Monday, according to the observatory.

The current wind patterns are taking the ash cloud away from Anchorage and instead heading toward Willow and Talkneetna, two communities near Mount McKinley, North America's largest mountain in Denali National Park.

Geophysicist John Power said no cities have yet reported any ash fall from the volcano, but noted that it's still early.

Using radar and satellite technology, the National Weather Service is predicting ash to start falling later Monday morning.

Dave Stricklan, a hydrometeorogical technician with the National Weather Service, expected very fine ash

"Just kind of a light dusting," he said. He said the significant amount of ash probably dropped immediately, right down the side of the volcano.

"The heavier stuff drops out very quickly, and then the other stuff filters out. There's going to be a very fine amount of it that's going to be suspended in the atmosphere for quite some time, but nothing to really affect anything such as aviation travel. The heavier stuff will filter out," he said.

The 10,200-foot Redoubt Volcano, roughly 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, last erupted during a four-month period from 1989-90.

But the volcano became restless earlier this year. The observatory had warned in late January that an eruption could occur at any time.

Increased earthquake activity over the past 48 hours prompted scientists to raise the alert level for Mount Redoubt on Sunday.

On Sunday morning, 40 to 50 earthquakes were being recorded every hour.

A steam plume rising about 1,000 feet above the mountain peak was observed Saturday.



Click here to see a Fox News video about Mt. Redoubt!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Please SUMMER don't be late!

Here it is! Spring time! I heard birds chirping outside my window this morning for the first time in 2009 and it pushed a big smile across my lips. It seems like just yesterday I was arriving in Alaska from my fall semester in Dublin and gazing out the airplane window at my first glimpse of snow for the winter.



I am certainly not complaining that winter is over even though the season was short for me this year. The sooner warm weather is upon us the better!

I love spring. I love seeing buds appear on the trees around Burlington that will slowly bloom into pink and white and purple flowers. I love the scent they toss into the soft wind that blows up the hill from the still semi-frozen lake. I love how the sun stays up just long enough that I can still enjoy the sunset when I am released from my night classes. I love how students around campus seem to smile more frequently. I get excited that I can finally tuck my boots and gloves away into my closet and pull out flip flops and bright green nail polish.

But I think what I love most is the promise of summer: Long days on my friend’s porches in a pair of overly large sunglasses with a beer in hand and making plans to go the beach or float down the river or take a boat out on the lake the next day; Driving around with no aim, windows down, radio cranked and singing at the top of our lungs as our hair relentlessly tugs away from our ponytails with the wind. There is just something in the summer air that makes me feel like I don’t have a care in the world. Maybe it’s the warmth in my skin from days spent under the sun. Maybe it’s because I don’t have to juggle school and clubs in the mix with my job. I can never seem to place my finger exactly on it, but I know that I am in love with the summer months and with spring upon us I know that summer is just around the corner. My heart already feels lighter and I cannot wait until it arrives!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Michelle

Sorry I haven't updated in a while! I've been having sort of a tough time this semester with school and unemployment, yadda yadda. College life.

But today I found something in my mailbox that made me smile really big! I got a card from Michelle who has been one of my best friends in the world since we were 13 years old. We shared lockers together in 8th grade and had pretty much all but one class together. It was meant to be! We've lived all the way across the country from each other for the past seven years now but still remain in touch - although not as frequently as either of us would like. She has moved out of Alaska and is living in Washington now with her wonderful boyfriend but we still get to see each other when we visit home at Christmas and sometimes during the summer. Here is a photo from the summer after our freshman year in college when we drove out to Beluga Point on a VERY windy day together:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Want to make a contribution? It could change my life!

Hey everyone! Here is a widget connected to my PayPal account. By donating through the box below I'll be able to add those funds to my account for my trip to China this summer (June 2009). Even a $5 or $10 contribution will help make a huge difference!

To read about my story and what our small group of 10 will be doing while we're there click here

If you have any other questions about the trip PLEASE don't hesitate to ask me!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tangents

Sometimes my train of thought gets a little carried away. Last night I was sharing my 2008 archived book list with one of the Student Life Staff members, Lina, who is just fantastic. I was super excited that I found someone new to exchange lists with! Well anyway, today it got me wondering what the Champlain College Community Book for (fall) 2008 was since I realized I hadn't read it. I was visiting the community book program's website and discovered that the book this year is called "The Tortilla Curtain." As I was exploring around the site I found a couple of cool tests and since I am easily distracted... I took them both. I wanted to share with you all and I'm curious about your results so feel free to share!

The first quiz was about your carbon footprint. You answer a bunch of questions about your lifestyle and the quiz tells you how many Earth's it would take to sustain everyone in the world if they ALL lived the exact same way you do. Then they show you plenty of really neat and easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint. It's definitely worth checking out! (P.S. I scored 4.23 Earths).

Carbon Footprint Test

This one was pretty cool too... Ever wonder what the new U.S. Citizenship Test is like for immigrants? It's pretty tough. Cut them some slack unless you can ace the darn thing! Here's your chance - (I scored 87%).

U.S. Citizenship Test

Friday, February 13, 2009

Help Me Go To China!

I know I already posted about my trip, but I'm doing it again!

I'm planning a two week trip to China this summer with a small group of 10 including one of my favorite and most inspirational professors on campus! Read on to find out how YOU can help for FREE! Here's a little information about the trip:

We're going to be traveling to the western parts of China, away from the big eastern cities to study the effects of globalization and modernization on smaller indigenous villages. We'll do this AFTER spending our first full day in Shanghai (where the effects are already in full swing!) so it really makes an impact. We'll be using a wide array of multimedia to document our travels and findings. Over the course of our trip we will stay in Tibetan monestaries, learn tons of Chinese history, and even meet with Chinese university students to hear their take on globalization and what it means in their lives. This is an incredible opportunity that I might never see again!

My goal right now is to raise the money to fund the trip. I'm asking you to help! All you have to do is sign up on our website:

www.dragonstudentexchange.org

and write my name in the referral box.

This will take $5 off of my trip. It may not seem like much but every dollar counts and the more people I get to do this the better! What would help even more is if you passed my request on to friends and family to do the same thing! I am so excited about this trip and really hope I can make it happen. If you have any other questions about it PLEASE feel free to write me back!

Go now! Do it! :)

If you'd like to pledge to make a larger contribution but aren't sure just yet then follow the link below to my pledge form. I'll contact you at a later date to follow up! This form is obligation free and you can make the decision to commit later:

Pledge Form

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hand Surgery

So I finally had my hand surgery a couple weeks ago. Nothing crazy, I had a benign cyst in my wrist that got on my last nerve so I got it taken out. I've been running around with a super annoying Ace bandage and gauze pads on for two weeks and today I finally got my stitches out! Hooray! :)


Montreal Day Trip

I have officially been accepted to study abroad at Champlain’s Montreal campus next semester! I am so excited that I am able to squeeze a second semester abroad in before graduation and still obtain all of my leftover requirements. What I quickly realized while working in the study abroad office though was that in my entire 3.5 years of living in Burlington, Vermont (an hour away from the Canadian border) I have NEVER visited Montreal. How ridiculous!?

Yesterday my golden opportunity arose. There was a bus trip planned for a day-trip to Montreal, all expenses paid. How could I possibly pass that up? We arrived in the Bader parking lot at 8:30am to check everyone in and pass out bagged brunches. Once the bus arrived we loaded up, took a head count, and then we were off! We passed through the border with no problems at all and were on our way to the city. I rode the bus next to Asa and once we started getting near the city he started getting really excited, which was SO contagious! He spent last semester there so I decided to stick near him all day so he could show me all of his favorite places nearby the campus. We were dropped off at the academic center on Sherbrook and went inside to say hello to a couple of the current students.



We met the interim director and she told us everything we needed to know about the academic program, the RA spoke to us about her job in the residence hall, and Brooke Zambroski told us about her experience so far this semester.


We split into groups and toured the rest of the building, four floors in all (I think), each with it’s own lounge and restrooms! The classrooms are pretty small, but just like in Dublin it’ll make an intimate learning environment which is so much more beneficial than sitting in large groups.
When our tours were over we met out front for the walk over to the residence hall. We are housed in the same building as UQAM (University of Quebec at Montreal) international students. I am so excited to live with people from all over the world once again! We visited one of the quads, the apartments seem nicer than the ones in Dublin, but they are also much smaller with lower ceilings and feel a bit more confined. On the plus side, every student is allowed his or her own bedroom! It’s nice to see the residence halls, but I spend most of my time outside of them so I’m not too worried about it.
Finally it was time to venture around and explore the city. I kept nearby Asa and Nick (another Montreal alum that I work with in the study abroad office) so they could show me their favorite hangouts.


Our first stop was Frite Alors where I was told I could order poutine (aka heaven in a bowl). Poutine is a big bowl of French fries with gravy and chunks of cheese. It might sound and look a little miserable but BOY was it tasty! I probably won’t be eating it too often taking preference to more healthy options, but it’s great to already know those little secret treats exist!



As we kept walking we decided we needed some coffee to keep us warm. Although the weather was up in the 20’s Montreal is quite the windy city! So we stopped in a Starbucks (I know, I know, not a very cultural place but hey! I have gift cards!). Then we headed up Saint Catherine Street to look at all the shops. I loved the way the city is an ecclectic mix of old and modern architecture.


I quickly realized that not only was I in shoe shopping heaven, I was in a very general shopping heaven. There are several mall complexes on the street, including an underground mall that the Metro has a stop in. Talk about convenience!


In addition of course there are plenty of smaller boutiques in the mix. I saw some museums I’d like to explore and even ran into a Titanic exhibit with real artifacts from the accident.
When we had finished walking through one of the malls we realized we had an hour and a half to kill before having to meet back up with the rest of the group and a mere $10 in our pockets. I asked where a good place might be to grab a beer and people watch, so we crossed the street into Les 3 Brasseurs, grabbed a seat and talked our time away.


3:30 finally rolled around and it was time to make our way to the meeting point and get back on the bus. I think I passed out as soon as we started rolling – all the excitement was exhausting!


I definitely can’t wait to get back up to the city and explore China Town and Old Montreal. I am so excited about spending my last semester of college there and think the experience will be equally as rewarding as my experience in Europe.

Senior Snowball

This past Thursday was my final Snowball (winter semi-formal) at Champlain College. It’s hard to believe I’ll never attend one again! All of the girls got ready together at Elizabeth’s apartment, but since Josh had just gotten home to Vermont the night before (hooray!), I “boy-sat” at my apartment. Then we headed up to meet everyone so we could all carpool over to the Sheraton together. We arrived on time and the dance floor was already jumping! The decorations looked fantastic and we were definitely ready to have a great time. Here are some pictures of everybody looking beautiful!







Unfortunately I had my wrist surgery two weeks ago and don't get my stitches out until today so I had this ugly arm wrap on all night! We all had a ball anyway :)