Sunday, April 30, 2017

New York, New York

I figured it's about time to write about my trip to New York City last month. It was my fourth time in the city, and every time I go, I leave even more in love with it. 

We went for my sweet friend Anna's 21st birthday. Kind of crazy, right? We got this idea in our head, found some cheap flights, got her mom on board, and off we went to the city that never sleeps! I've never done NYC quite like we did that weekend - usually I do the typical "touristy" things, but this time, we did it up like true New Yorkers. 

We stayed on Park Ave in Manhattan at an amazing hotel - I felt so fancy! When we got to the city, we went to the most amazing hidden bar called Beauty & Essex. It looks like a pawn shop, but when you go in and give them your name and reservation, they take you to the bar and restaurant. Seriously such a cool place - they even were giving out free champagne in the bathroom!

 ^ At Beauty & Essex where Anna ordered her first drink right at midnight!

We explored the city throughout our three days there. We went to the Met for a classic gossip girl picture on the front steps, which unfortunately got a little messed up from the rain! Then, we went to Serendipity for the classic frozen hot chocolate (it's as delicious as it sounds). That night, we went and got some good food and then made our way to a rooftop bar on 5th and Madison. We drank Manhattans while looking at Manhattan - it was definitely a night for the books!

^ Obligatory Madison Avenue picture!

^ Channeling our inner Serena van der Woodsen

^ About to drown ourselves in Serendipity frozen hot chocolate

^ just look at this!!!

The next day, we went to the top of the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Rockefeller Center, Chelsea Market, and Madison Square Park. I'm not sure how we accomplished all of that in one day, but we did! With aching feet, we walked all around the city. That night, we went to Chicago. My life was MADE - as a dancer, Chicago was life changing. I cried tears of joy when they did Cell Block Tango, I Can't Do It Alone, and pretty much everything else. I had the chills throughout the whole show! It was such dream. Then we made our way to Times Square and the Empire Hotel for some cocktails.

On our last day, we went to the 9/11 memorial. It was so, so beautiful. I couldn't help but feel so moved by what I saw. I felt so lucky to see it and pay my respects. It was one of the most memorable parts of the trip. Then, we made a trip to SoHo for some shopping and one last meal before our flight home. Funny story about the trip to the airport - so many Subway stations were closed for construction since it was a Sunday, so our supposed one hour Subway trip to JFK Airport turned into the worst 3 hour subway trip. I was literally having a panic attack on the Subway thinking we were going to miss our flight, and having to haul our luggage all around the city was seriously exhausting... good times, good times.

Throughout our time in NYC, we used the Subway everyday. By the end of it, I considered myself a Subway pro. Is it weird that the Subway was one of my favorite parts of the trip? I don't know why, but hopping from train to train gave me an adrenaline rush and made me feel like a true New Yorker!

This trip was honestly the trip of a lifetime. To be in one my favorite places in the world with my best friend was amazing! We ate the best food, had the best drinks, and had the best time. I feel so lucky I was able to go. Until next time New York!!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

I'm feeling 22!

Long time, no talk, huh? It's been a long time (a really long time) since I last wrote here. I hate when I go too long without blogging - this is such a good outlet to write, I just wish I had more time!

John's birthday and my birthday last week call for a blog post. Honestly, it was one of my favorite weeks ever. John came to Austin to celebrate with his brother and I! It came right after my spring break, so I basically had a two week spring break... :) 

When we got to Austin on Monday, I took John to class with me - he sat in the library near my classroom. It was so nice being able to walk on campus with him. I often think about what it would be like to have my boyfriend with me here, just walking to class or doing other normal things together. We rarely get to do that, since our time together is usually cut short. I loved just being a normal college student walking with my boyfriend... I don't know if that makes any sense, but for a second, it didn't feel like we were doing long distance!

The next day was Johnny boy's TWENTY FIRST birthday!! I was determined to make it a good day for him! We started the day with a walk around Town Lake and a visit to Homeslice Pizza, one of John's faves (and mine too!). John ordered his first beer of the day there! We got to sit, eat pizza, and split a beer. Being 21 is fun!

Later that afternoon, we made a liquor store trip... hahah, but we needed some supplies for the night ahead! Then we met up with Andrew and laid by pool for a couple hours. I felt so relaxed, laying out and drinking margaritas from a can. It was a summer teaser, that's for sure! 

We went to dinner later that night with some sweet friends of mine. I love love love when I get to introduce my friends to John - he is such an important part of my life. If you know me, you should know John, too. They loved him, of course! John and I ordered a pitcher of margarita and somehow we drank it all... we were feeling good!

We then made it downtown for the classic 6th street night. It was his 21st birthday, so we had too! We went from bar to bar, getting free drinks for John's birthday! We were seriously having so much fun! John and I have never been out like that together, so it was hilarious drinking together and so, so special.

^ A Photo Booth strip from 6th street, haha!
The next day, I was 22 - my favorite number! My golden birthday! Mine and John's birthdays are only a day apart, but I am 364 days older than him... so we got to be the same age for a day, at least. We went and got a yummy breakfast and then went to a favorite store of mine for a birthday gift! Then, we laid by the pool again and chilled. It was a super laid back birthday, just how I wanted it! That night we went to one of my new favorite restaurants with his brother and a couple of really good friends. It was a sausage and beer place (perfect for John) and had such a cool vibe. It had so many types of beer, I had no idea what to order. I am not a beer drinker, so I asked the waitress for something that I would actually like. She brought me the best beer I've ever had - I told her I liked margaritas, so she brought me a sweet beer that I absolutely loved! I have feeling the next time John is in town, we'll be visiting this place again. We ended the night with some Amy's ice cream, because why not?

The day John left Austin, I was a wreck. I don't know why, but I was already crying by 10:00 a.m. Saying goodbye to him is the absolute worst - my stomach drops just thinking about it. We went to Homeslice (again) and made one last dessert trip for bananarchy, another one of our favorites. Spending all day with him for three days was perfect. I felt so spoiled getting John all to myself! He is my best friend and one of my favorite people... I wish I could have him with me all the time! Till May, Johnny boy!

I am so, so thankful for all the birthday wishes and love. My friends made me feel so special, with their hugs, texts, gifts, cards and flowers. I truly am surrounded by some of the most caring people. Thank you Kappa Delta for putting them in my life! Here's to 22!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Coffee Talk with John

^ His & Her's snow boots... and Riley 

I loooove a good coffee shop. If you know me at all, you know coffee shops are like heaven on earth to me. But John on the other hand - he's not a huge fan. So today, I finally dragged him along with me to a Starbucks. It's been snowing here all day (which is crazy) and the Starbucks we are in is like, literally 30 degrees. It's as cold in here as it is outside. My hands are ice as I'm typing this, so I apologize for any typos. So I'm not too happy that John is finally in one of my favorite places and it's pretty miserable .

John is working on school stuff while I don't really have anything to work on, expect my blog and my peppermint mocha latte. So, to make things better, I've decided to ask John a few questions. 

What is your all-time favorite movie? "All time favorite? Hm. I Am Legend. Starring Will Smith. Because it's a great story of a courageous man finding himself... it's really cool because of zombies and action and stuff... but it's also kind of spiritual and it has a lot of reggae music. It has a weird but good message. It's pretty intense. At one point, I thought Will Smith was the best actor."

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? "I love my girlfriend" - him "People would be surprised to know that??? I'm offended." - me "Okay never mind. People would be surprised to know about the brain behind the brawn. I am a nerd. Just looking at me you wouldn't know it... but I'm the geekiest guy. Sometimes I think Madison doesn't even know that." *editor's note: I do know that.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? "Anywhere with you. Okay, actually I feel like living near a beach would be the most relaxing... life is so simple in a beach town. You can only work at the gas station or at the grocery store. I'd like to own the gas station."

What do you love most about me? "I love... I don't know, you're really fun and love to do things. You come up with fun things to do. Naturally, I'm a very sedated person... I don't venture outside the confines out of my house very often. But, you make me do fun things."

What do you like most Yale? "I want to say the people, but I don't like a lot of the people there as well. It's cool to be with people with such varying backgrounds, but the longer I've been there, the more I realize the people are all the same... It's annoying." *I then reminded him of the question* "Okay, it's really easy to have intellectual conversations. You can argue a point, expect about politics, without people getting super offended."

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year, New Me?

I guess it's that time of year again - time for some New Year's Resolutions. I've never been very good at them... actually I'm horrible at keeping them. But, it never hurts to try right? I have some resolutions, not just for 2017, but for my life in general. Resolutions to add positivity and happiness and better health to my life!

2016 was wonderful to me, as every year is. Life seems to exhausting and way too hard sometimes, but when I look back, I see how immensely blessed I am. That's not to say I had 2016 didn't have it's challenges - I said goodbye to my Grandpa which absolutely broke my heart. Anything else "bad" that happened this year seems so small in comparison. Life is funny like that - things that seem so important and horrible are forgotten as time goes on. Good things that happened  consisted of my family or friends or my Johnny boy. Too many happy things happened to simply list here. 

I'm excited for 2017 and what it will bring.  It's a humbling feeling sitting here thinking about the next year and not having any clue as to what will happen. What will I be doing this time next year? What will I feel? Who will I be with? I love this crazy mystery that is my life.

Some resolutions: 1. Be more present. Put my phone down more. Look around. 2. Don't freak out so much... recognize that things are out of my control. 3. Be there for anyone who needs someone. Love and help them. 4. WORK OUT!!! 5. Read more books. Just for fun. 6. Respond to people. Text, email, call them back, whatever. 7. Eat more fruits and veggies. 8. Stop being selfish - put other people before me. 9. Get outside more! 10. Spread more joy. As a pessimist... be positive!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas on the Beach (just kidding - kind of)

^ Matching with my favorite girlies!

If you know me at all, you know that Christmas is my jam. I wait all year long for this special time and when it's here, it goes by waaaay too fast! I started listening to Christmas music in November and even that isn't long enough to enjoy it. I think I may have been a North Pole elf in a past life. 

^ Walking in a weiner wonderland!

On Christmas Eve morning, John and I stuck with our tradition of going to Local Diner for breakfast. After some chocolate chip pancakes and a lot of coffee, I went home to finish up some wrapping. The weather here has been so warm and it was about 75 degrees on Christmas Eve (don't even get me started on the 80 degree Christmas Day weather...) so it didn't feel like Christmas at all! I tried to get into the spirit, but it proved to be really difficult! When your wearing shorts and a t-shirt on Christmas Eve, it's hard to feel very festive. John joked that we were spending Christmas on the beach... we might as well have!

For the first time, John got to tag along to my family's Christmas Eve. After 6 Christmases together, I'm so glad he finally got to come! I love getting to share him with my family. We played some games and exchanged white elephant presents, which was hilarious, per usual. We ate a lot of mexican food too, so that's always a plus!

Christmas morning consisted of opening presents, eating brunch and then taking a nap. As I get older, it feels less and less like Christmas every year. But, Christmas time is magical and it always will be.

^ My sweet, pooped puppies on Christmas morning.

^ Merry Christmas from John and I!

^ And just for funsies, here's a pic of the flowers John sent me for our 5 year (5 years?!) anniversary! He knows I love Christmas and sent me a Christmas bouquet he said! 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thankful Thoughts

^ It's always hard taking pictures with him... at least he's cute?

Every year around this time I realize how much I have to thankful for. It's an infinite list of wonderful things that makes me believe I'm the luckiest girl in the world. I am surrounded by the most loving and supportive family, loved by a kind and patient boy, a student at the greatest university in the world and cherished by sweet friends just to name a few. 

As thankful as I am for the incredible gifts in my life, I'm also thankful for the lessons I've learned. I'm learning to be more patient, understanding and forgiving. I'm learning to work hard for myself. I'm learning how to be a good friend and daughter. I'm learning so much every single day. 

Something about winter makes me so jittery and excited - I can't help but do a happy dance when I think about this time of year. Something about the cold and twinkly lights and memories truly makes it the happiest time of the year. I have a lot to be thankful for - the season being one of them.

This year's Thanksgiving was casual and comfortable. Just a few members of my family got together for some good food and conversation. Later that night, we decorated our tree and watched a movie (Bad Moms... raunchy, but hilarious to say the least). I ate a lot of pumpkin pie leftovers which is never a bad thing. Then today, my grandma put together another Thanksgiving for us! I will never argue against two Thanksgiving dinners!

Yesterday, John and I had a day to ourselves which was much needed! We cooked dinner and watched Gilmore Girls. Not to spoil anything, but I'm actually really upset about the way Gilmore Girls ended. After being an avid fan for years, it was not the ending I wanted... I'm obviously really passionate about Gilmore Girls - maybe a little too much?

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas! It truly is the best time of the year. Go eat a candy cane, listen to some Christmas music and hug your loved ones!!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pretending I Go to Yale

This weekend has been a dream. I got see my boy up at Yale!

I left early Friday morning (hello 3:30 am wake up call…) and watched him play football on Friday night. When I got to Yale, he came around the corner of Phelps Gate and my stomach was flip flopping! I was so stinkin’ excited to see him, you have no idea! I squeezed him so tight!

Saturday was spent with his family running around New Haven. We went apple picking which was definitely a first! I’ve never even seen an apple tree before. We walked around, picking apples off of trees, tasting them and then taking some home.  Even when it started raining, I was still grinning. It was such a north eastern fall thing to do… I loved it.

Later that night, we went to Pepe’s Pizza which is one of the best pizza places in the country. Google it – it’s seriously in every article about the best pizza places in America! Now I can scratch that off of my bucket list! It was a bit of a wait, but so worth it. I’ve never been so stuffed before. New Haven pizza is unreal! I dream of Yorkside pizza back home.

Today, John had practice, so I was left to explore Yale by myself. I love getting out on my own and walking around, exploring at my own pace. I stopped and got coffee, wandered in and out of stores and took a ton of pictures on campus (I’m such a tourist). I was even able to study for a bit in a library that looked like Hogwarts. I tried my best to blend in… I think people were catching onto me though as I had no idea where I was going and kept taking pictures of every building I walked by.

^ This was my view as I was studying in the library. UT, you're pretty and all, but...

Embarrassing story time: I locked myself out of John’s room at one point… without my phone, wallet or anything. I dropped my things off while he was in practice and left to go to the bathroom quickly. As soon as the door shut I realized what I had just done and may have said a curse word or two. I ended up knocking on doors, crying, begging people to let me borrow their phones. I finally got ahold of security and they told me there was nothing they could do for me since he had to be the one to contact them. I started crying since I had no way of reaching him. He wouldn’t even be able to get into the building, since he didn’t have his keys (they were in his locked room) or his wallet (it was in his locked room, in my purse).  After an hour of waiting and begging, security finally caved and came to help. Things never go smoothly when I’m around, but all is well now!   

Tonight, John and I are going out for one last date before I leave tomorrow morning! This trip has been nothing short of perfect (besides getting locked out, obviously). I’ve been relishing in the fall weather and have loved getting to wear some sweaters. And of course, being with John has been amazing. I miss him so much while we’re apart. Every time we get back together, I’m reminded of how much I love him. He really is the best.

Now it’s back to UT! As much as I love Yale, UT is my place. But, as long as John is at Yale, it will always hold a piece (a big piece) of my heart.