Travel meals + sights: San Diego.

Yesterday was the longest day I’ve had in quite a while. Time changes will do that to ya! My day started dark & early at 3:55. I jumped in the shower, threw on the clothes (already laid out, praise the Lord) and was out the door by 4:35.

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One sleepy flight later, and I made it to Chicago for my layover. Hungry & caffeine deprived, I wandered around the airport for a while before grabbing a coffee and enjoying the breakfast I had packed. It was a mix of all the leftovers in my fridge: carrots, cucumbers, eggs, salsa, and avocado. It was a random combination but ended up being pretty tasty! Followed by a banana + almond butter I had stashed in my backpack.

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Next up: A second flight (4:30 hours this time) where I tried to sleep but mostly listened to music and worked on my medical school applications– it’s almost time to submit them!

By the time I made it out to San Diego, I had been awake for 11 hours, but it was only 11 am CA time, so there was a lot of day ahead of me!

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^^can’t beat yoga pants for travel^^

I met up with my research partner– that’s why I’m in San Diego! For the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, to present research I did over the past year. We checked into our hotel and then headed out in search of food ASAP. It was way past ‘normal’ lunch time for us east coasters but unfortunately it was right in the lunch time rush for all the Californians, so every where we went was crowded with a huge wait.

We ended up at a cool Mexican place Don Chido, with lots of paleo/gluten free options. I got carne asada and pollo asado tacos served in lettuce wraps with a side salad. I was so hungry I grabbed a few corn chips and salsa as well (but only after learning that they cook them in house and there is not cross contamination with gluten!). I don’t normally eat chips, but I am  on vacation, plus I definitely needed the calories!

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^^carne asada, I think I love you^^

After registering at the conference and checking it out a little, we stumbled back to the hotel, exhausted and shocked that it was still only 2:30 pm! I rested for a little before doing an hour walk, just to stretch the legs.

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^showered and ready to explore some more. But also, I was half asleep as I got ready for dinner^

We hung out in the hotel lobby for a little, enjoying the free food + drinks at the ‘evening reception’. There are so many people here for the conference, it was fun to scope out the scene. Around 7 I was really fading (too many hours awake!) so we headed out for a quick dinner.

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Wedge salad (no cheese) for me + grilled chicken. I didn’t want anything to heavy because I knew I was going to fall asleep as soon as we made it back to our room– which I did. Bed by 8:55? Don’t mind if I do.

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spring break 2015: the highlights.

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 ^^nothing like these two friends for an 8 hour car ride. snacks, music, and entertainment included.^^

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^^a quick stop at Subway, which meant a chopped salad for me. not too shabby for a ‘fast’ food establishment.^^

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^^by the time we arrived around 6 (shaved an hour “off” our time thanks to the change from Eastern to Central time. for an easy/fun first night, we decided to walk down the street and see what we found. we ended up at a little restaurant, and they had karaoke! we didn’t really participate, but one friend got pulled into singing when she was too enthusiastic about a song coming on!^^

Sunday through Wednesday we were superbly lucky, and we were able to hang out on the beach all day!

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^^I started every morning with a 60-80 minute walk. I wanted to ‘rest’ from hard workouts, but I just love being active and a morning walk really puts me in a great mood!^^

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^^the beach was pretty sweet.^^

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^another thing I started most mornings with: some sauerkraut (and unpictured probiotics). being on vacation/out of my normal eating routine can throw digestion our of whack. a little fermented food and some probiotics helps me keep my tummy happy!^

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^^beach adventures^^

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^^I threw together a lot of salads this week. They’re quick, easy, and cold after sitting in the sun. the bacon I had lying around took my salads to the next level.^^

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^^eggs and veggies, perfect before a morning on the beach.^^

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^^sand art. he was the artist, my relaxing legs became the unwitting canvas!^^

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^^sand castle adventures. to be honest, digging the “moat” was my favorite part. back, legs, and arms were definitely sore the next day!^^

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^^isn’t it kind of required to eat ice cream at the beach? there was a homemade ice cream shop (Blue Mountain creamery) just one block off the beach which = dangerous/delicious. I honestly don’t remember what I had, but the chocolate chunks in it were amazing!^^

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^^a simple, throw together dinner. I cooked a bunch of veggies + chicken the first night we were there, and then I didn’t have to spend an hour on dinner every night^^

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^^we walked lots every day, which I loved. between that and my morning walk I was getting 30,000+ steps every day (#Fitbitnerd) which, in normal people terms is about 10-15 miles of walking every day. that being said, I really didn’t feel the need or want to workout every day. I enjoyed relaxing with my friends while still getting lots of movement throughout the day. The one day I did workout, was a more rainy day when we couldn’t get out to the beach. I did a 40 minute HIIT workout. 1.5 miles out, then I ran halfway back to a good hill. I did hill repeats for about 10 minutes, and then headed home.^^

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^^another day, another ice cream. personally, I think it’s amazing that I only ate ice cream twice. I normally like a 1 to 1 ratio of days at the beach/ice cream consumed ;)^^

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^^my best friend//sometimes we match {by accident}^^

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^^our big night out. the restaurant ended up being a disaster– pre cooked/cold food, unwilling to split our check, extra items on our bill, etcetera– but the company and laughter was great^^

Questions of the day:

Do you have a “spring break” this year?

Would you choose to travel to the beach or the mountains for vacation?

wedding weekend in LA!

Hey guys! It’s been a while. School has been crazy, and right in the midst of applying to medical schools, submitting a research abstract (hello days and night s spent in the lab) and multiple tests… my cousin got married. It was an amazing trip out to Los Angeles to visit my family and see the wedding. I was exhausted last week, after getting back and having 3 tests the next day, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

The wedding was in a house overlooking the valley of Los Angeles, and the view was spectacular. I thought it was beautiful during the ceremony, but it was even more spectacular when the sun went down. The wedding was very DIY and basically the exact wedding you see on Pinterest and think you want to recreate but never could.

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^The beginning… #ryanandgenie^

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^my date for the night was this stunner. AMT, my big sister!^

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^what a family.^

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^sass runs in our blood.^

The ceremony was about 20 minutes, and their heartfelt vows had at least half (more like 90%) of us in tears. After that, it was drinks and appetizers in the front of the house, then back out to the yard for food, dancing, and great company! I was definitely running on the energy around me- I had only barely been in Los Angeles for 24 hours at this point!

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^the first dance. it was perfect, and completely un-choreographed (much to my surprise!)^

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^a night time view over the valley.^

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^we love each other!!!!^

The next morning, we all re-gathered for a family brunch. I was basically starving at this point between the exhaustion + dancing the night away + the vegetarian wedding (which was delicious, i just didn’t eat much. soy chorizo, not my thing!). The brunch hit the spot, and it was great to see everyone again before we all headed home.

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^old cousins, new cousins^

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^the last picture I snagged with the married couple!^

It was an amazing weekend, and the first cousin to get married. How exciting! I have at least 2 wedding to go to in the next year, and after this wonderful weekend, I can’t wait for the festivities to continue! 

Weekend Updates!

aka OBC 12!

The short version:

Saturday:

work, Fall for Greenville (aka amazing food!), and babysitting.

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Sunday:

lots of homework, and some good eats.

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Monday:

adventures in Asheville with the roomie. It was a wonderful day of food, hiking, and Blue Ridge Parkway views.

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Questions of the day:

Did you get off this Monday?

What was the best thing you did this weekend?

Art Loeb Trail and Freshmen Adventures

These past few days, I was leading a camping trip. Every year, Furman runs a few different Pre-Orientation Programs for incoming freshmen who want to have an adventure, or ease into meeting all the new friends. I am getting into crunch time (less than 2 weeks!) for my MCAT studying, so I probably won’t be posting again until after my test. I did want to stop by and share some amazing moments from our trip.

We hiked in Pisgah National Forest, in North Carolina. It’s an amazing park with many hiking trails, campsites, and awesome wilderness areas.

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My pack, boots, and plenty of water ready to go!

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We made a pit stop at another park before heading to NC. So many freshmen. So much fun.

After getting to NC and eating lunch, we headed off on the trail. We went on the Art Loeb trail, which travels mainly along peaks and ridges- giving amazing views out of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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Trail time.

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We made it to camp pretty quickly. From here we headed out for a more challenging hike (but without our big packs, yay!)

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Sunrise after a stormy night. Definitely the most exciting night I’ve ever had in a hammock #bouncingallaround

It was an amazing trip and I’m so glad I got to introduce these freshmen to the awesome North Carolina outdoors!

Question of the day:

Do you like to hike/camp?

What’s the best place you’ve visited this summer?

Kinky Boots, Matilda, and lots of NYC fun.

On Saturday morning, my mom and I headed into NYC for an overnight stay with my aunt and cousin. We stayed in ‘Le Parker Meridien’ and it was lovely.

First of all- the hotel’s colors were white and orange , so I was already sold (orange is my favorite!). The closet was spacious, and the beds were big & comfortable.

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My favorite part though, was the bathroom. It was all stone, and the shower didn’t have a door, just a long glass wall. The cut out at the end is where the towels were. Everything felt so elegant and I definitely felt pampered.

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Unfortunately, I was sick all Saturday morning. I barely made the car ride. Basically I was nauseous and threw up multiple times. It was out of the blue and no fun at all. After we arrived at our hotel around 10 am, I laid down and drank some ginger ale. A little bit later, I was able to eat a little, and finally felt like a normal person again.

Just in time for us to head out to Matilda! It was so so cute and fun. I was blown away by how talented all the children were. They’re around 9 years old, but they can dance, sing, and act like any other Broadway star. Incredible. And I just left with feeling so happy and uplifted.

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After Matilda, we wandered around for a while before finding a cute place to enjoy dinner. We ate at 44 1/2 in Hell’s Kitchen. It was American cuisine, but I would say it had a modern spin.

I was pretty starving by the time we got here, considering the only things I had kept down were a mini ginger ale and some sourdough toast. My mom and I started off by splitting a spinach salad. It was spinach, blue cheese, prosciutto, marinated pears, and a poached egg. It was delicious. I didn’t go for the poached egg, but it was an interesting spin.

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For my entree, I ordered scalloped with vegetables. The scallops were actually my first, ever. They were fresh, and delicious. The texture wasn’t what I was expecting but I think I can definitely see more scallops in my future. The only downside was that this dish was relatively small, and I could have used more food.

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After dinner, it was time to head over to our second show of the day- Kinky Boots! This musical was so much fun, so energetic. Plus- the first song was “The Most Beautiful Thing in the World, is a Shoe” so I was pretty much sold after the first 5 minutes!

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NYC by night.

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On Sunday morning, my mom and I were both up early, so we decided to take a walk through Central Park. That was the other great thing about Le Parker Meridien- we were less than 2 blocks over from Central Park!

For brunch, we ate at Norma’s a top NYC brunch restaurant, that was right in Le Parker Meridien. The choices were delicious and so creative. Everything from eggs and bacon to french toast to a $100 dollar Caviar Lobster Frittata (with the $1000 dollar option if you want the 10 oz of caviar). I went with the Arepa (a corn pancake-esque thing) and eggs. I didn’t eat the sausage but I did steal some of my mom’s french toast. You should check out Norma’s if you are in NYC!

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My beautiful cousin Taylor and I.

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One last view of Time’s Square as we made our way to the train station for the ride home.

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Another lovely weekend in NYC. I am so fortunate to live so close to this amazing city!

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Another good day in NYC.

On Saturday, my mom and I decided to make an impromptu trip into the city and have a little adventure for ourselves.

Bright and early, we hopped into the car and made our way into the city. The drive was quick and easy- probably because no one besides us is crazy enough to be adventuring at 8 am on a Saturday…just a guess.

To start the morning, we ran by the Chelsea Market. Most of the shops were still closed, but it’s always fun just to window shop.

Next, we headed over the High Line. I’ve always wanted to check it out, but never have. The High Line is the revamped site of a historic freight rail line over the streets of the West side.

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These pictures speak for themselves but…it was gorgeous on the High Line. There are plants everywhere, and some beautiful overlooks.

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This amazing painting was one of the best things we saw. An old classic made new!

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We stopped by Tenth Avenue Cookshop for brunch. I had the Huevos Rancheros- eggs, salsa, beans, and cheese. I couldn’t finish it all, but it was awesome nonetheless.

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The rest of the morning was filled with a long walk downtown –> Times Square, enjoying the sights. After that, we hopped on the TKTs line (discounted broadway tickets) and were able to If/Then– the musical Idina Menzel is currently starring in.

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After grabbing some water, we walked around and then headed to our show. Idina Menzel sang so well- and the rest of the cast was amazing too. The story line wasn’t the most fascinating ever, but the performance was outstanding.

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When we came out of the show, it was pouring rain. My mom and I hopped on the subway to get downtown. We were both pretty hungry- considering we hadn’t eaten since brunch! We ended up back at the Chelsea Market to have a quick bite. I had some salmon from a little market, and my mom grabbed a delicious sandwich.

The drive home went (surprisingly) without much traffic. By the time we got home, however, I was starving again. All the NYC walking + way less food than usual made me a hangry girl!

Snacks to round out the night (while I caught up on some studying at my computer):

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^^Gluten Free Banana Bread, almond butter, and chocolate chips^^

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^^Popcorn. Always a winner^^

It was an amazing day with my mom, and definitely a good mental break from all the time I’ve been spending with my MCAT notes!

Where’s your favorite place for a day trip?

And: check out the Treat Yourself Tuesday for more fun posts!

New Orleans is pretty cool: Days 1 +2

Friday morning, I was up bright and early to head off to New Orleans. Easter 2014- New Orleans with my Dad and brother. My amazing twin is a Marine in the Marine Corps Band of New Orleans (1 of 10 in the country).

That meant an early morning on Friday, I was up and at ’em. I headed over to the gym around 5:30…only to find out they weren’t opening till 8 because of the holiday. No problem though, I headed back and did a circuit workout in my apartment. Quick &sweaty, just what I wanted!

These knees made it a little more challenging. Guess I haven’t quite learned to walk yet. Or I got attacked by a bear. But probably the first one.

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Workout done.
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I had a quick breakfast and then headed off to the airport. IMG_5095My layover was pretty short, but I enjoyed a quick walk around the airport to stretch my legs. Once I arrived in New Orleans, I met up with my Dad, rented a car, and we headed off to explore. The night was simple, catching up with my brother, walking around the park, enjoying each other’s company!

Saturday morning, we were up and moving early, off to see my brother perform at the Crescent City Classic 10K.

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The race went right in front of the St. Louis Catherdral and Jackson Square, two iconic parts of the New Orleans French Quarter.

My dad and I watched for about an hour as the brass band (and my awesome brother) performed. I was lucky enough to be serenaded by the Marines as their “Guest of Honor”- it was so sweet!

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^^Don’t they look snappy? The best!^^

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^^My amazing twin is the one rocking out on his trombone^^

After the race, and the clean up, we picked my brother up from his base and headed back downtown to grab some lunch. I was practically starved by this point and happy for any food at all. We went to a little restaurant in the French Quarter and it was great.

I had blackened chicken on a greek salad, and I braved some of the crawfish appetizer we ordered. We also had some Fried Green Tomatoes, a southern staple!

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The rest of our afternoon was spent exploring New Orleans and just taking in the gorgeous weather, and each other’s company.

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Unfortunately, my brother had to head back to base early evening to pack up a few more instruments for the band’s big trip the next day. My dad and I used the time to go for a long walk around the base (and look at all the big planes) before relaxing in our room a little. I did a circuit workout, and it felt great to move a little.

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For dinner, we just headed to a local place in Belle Chasse and enjoyed some Mexican food. Salad + shrimp- don’t mind if I do!

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To finish off the night, we practiced taking selfies… or just taught my Dad about them. It was a great night, only dimmed by the fact that my twin had to leave the next morning!

Did you travel for Easter?

The Rose Ball ’14

Woah, It’s been a while, y’all! I have been so crazy, and then I was gone on a trip this weekend.. for my boyfriend’s formal in Charleston. Then this Monday-Thursday was work, work and studying. But, that’s my priority and sometimes that means letting the blog hang on its own!

Let me fill you in on the amazing time we had in Charleston 😀

First off- the cooler. I think this is just a southern thing? The boys take you to a formal, you paint them a cooler and fill it with treats. This is mine:

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^Buckeyes for my Ohio boy^

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^Pi Kappa Phi, all the time^

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^This is my one foray into being an artist… mixing colors in the sea and sky… that is as creative as I get.^

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^Sort of an inside joke, basically just teasing my boy about how much he wanted a Yeti Cooler.^

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^His initials, initiation number, and a play on the good ol’ American flag.^

Late Friday afternoon, we drove down to Charleston with some friends, and checked into the hotel where we stayed for the weekend. We then headed downtown, into the Charleston Peninsula, and grabbed a late late dinner. I’m taking, 9:30 by the time we were eating.. not my usual. Needless to say, I was a hungry fir by the time we ate.

After dinner, we walked around for a bit before heading back to the hotel. We were kind of lame Friday night, because we were all so exhausted!! Nathan and I hung out with friends for a while, but I headed off to bed by 12 (early compared to the most people at the hotel!).

On Saturday morning, I got up and went downstairs to workout a bit. I was pretty tired, so I stuck with some easy incline walking followed by a 30 minute elliptical workout. I eventually got a text from Nathan that he was downstairs for the free breakfast, so I headed out there to get my breakfast on. I was starving by this point. I didn’t realize this, but I really never workout without eating something first, and I usually don’t workout until the afternoon. My body was ready for some nourishment.

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After breakfast I showered (just to get the sweat off) and then we headed over to the beach. The 10 mile drive to the beach took us an hour and 45 minutes! It was insane. But- good company, sunny sky, and loud music made for a pleasant trip. We scored a spot 1 block from the beach and headed out to relax. A bunch of other Pi Kapps were at the beach, and I chilled with the girls, while the boys played volleyball/soccer/beach sports. I tested out the water a bit, but it was still too cold for me. The sun was perfect though, and I made sure to cover up with some SPF- this girl burns easily.

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Our time at the beach passed all too quickly, and before I knew it, we had to head back to get ready for the Rose Ball, the name of Pi Kapp’s Formal. My friend Sarah was there with her boyfriend, and the two of us had fun getting ready together. I went all out- blow drying my hair, full makeup, painted my nails… I never do all that girly stuff. It’s fun though. If I had unlimited time in a day, I would probably paint my nails once a day. I love the look of freshly painted nails, but I can never seem to make mine last (chip-free) for more than 1-2 days. #clumsylife

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After getting all prettied up, Nathan picked me up and we headed downstairs to take as many pictures as possible before the dance. (sidenote- I’m totally wearing my Fitbit like a nerd in this picture. I forgot I had it on, but when I looked at this picture, I immediately took it off ha!).

Nathan’s grand-little was the only member of his family actually at Formal this year. Sadly, his big and little had school events they had to attend. We made the best of it though, and had a great time with the newest member of the family.

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We arrived at the dance, and immediately served up a delicious dinner buffet. I didn’t snap a picture but some (gluten free!) highlights were: salad, fruit, sautéed vegetables, green beans, rice noodle stir fry, and some cheesecake (with the crust eaten around 😉 ). After some speeches and awards for the seniors, we headed out on the dance floor for a few hours of super fun dancing. I have always loved dancing the night away, and thankfully NMK does too! He’s actually a much better dancer than I am, he puts me to shame. After the party ended, we hung out with friends for a bit (after putting on more comfortable shoes) but I headed off to bed around 12:30, tired as could be.

Sunday morning, I woke up early-ish again (it’s a curse) but I decided to take the day off of working out. I read and checked my email in the hotel business center. I had brought my computer with me, but there was no free wifi and I actually didn’t end up taking it out of my bag all weekend. 36 hours with no computer? It was so rejuvenating, I need to do that more often.

After the other 3 (Nathan, Sarah, and her date Tyler) woke up we grabbed breakfast, packed up everyone’s bags, and headed to the car. This year, we were all fortunate enough to not have any tests/papers/projects due the days after foraml, so we decided to head back into downtown Charleston and explore for a while.

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After parking in a cute little neighborhood, the four of us walked along the water a good ways before turning and walking all the way up King Street one of the biggest shopping/tourist streets in Charleston.

We were so surprised + delighted to realize that King Street was actually closed to cars for the day, and all sorts of cute vendors were out, as well as hundreds of people and hundreds of cute dogs (obviously that was the best part). We stopped for brunch in a little local place, and then walked up to a park to take in the sights. On the way back down King Street, Nathan and I stopped at the Jeni’s truck. Jeni’s is an ice cream company from Columbus, OH (NMK’s hometown!) and it is deliciously made with real ingredients. They sell it at some Fresh Markets, and online. You must check it out!!
With that (and lots of traffic) we concluded our weekend in Charleston. It was awesome!!

 

Any fun trips lately?

Where are you for this Easter weekend?

Tybee Island- Spring Break 2014! The quick version.

Spring Break. A wonderful and crazy week.

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The Overview:

Friday: Hanging out with the friends.

Saturday: Packing, work out, date with the boy, dinner with friends.

Sunday: Brunch, then off to Tybee Island, GA with the gang!

Monday: Beach all day, 3 hour Bachelor Finale (so not a JP fan anymore!) with my girl, hanging the rest of the night.

Tuesday: Beach day, hammocking, playing around the house.

Wednesday: Beach with another house of Furman kids (staying ~30 min from us), dinner out at the Tybee Social Club (amazing).

Thursday: Freezing day around Savannah (ok 55- but thats 15+ degrees colder than the first days we were there!). We went into Savannah, ate at Paula Dean’s restaurant, and did a walking tour.

Friday: Headed back to South Carolina!

Saturday-Sunday: Unpacking, homework, groceries, and movies with the friends.

Workouts:

Being healthy is a priority for me, and honestly it just makes me feel good. I didn’t eat as clean + healthy as I normally do, but working out was one thing I was able to keep up.

I mostly did walks/runs in the mornings before everyone else was up. One day that was 3 miles, one day 6, another day 4… whatever I was feeling.

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I also fit in some circuit workouts when we were just around the house (and when I watched the Bachelor! There’s an awesome Bachelor workout that had me sweating)!

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Fun:

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^^Paula Dean knows butter and sugar. Can’t argue with that.^^

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^^My favorite boy. It was awesome to hang out and not have work to do all week!^^

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^^Beach days = minimal makeup, and the simplest outfits possible^^

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^^So windy in Savannah! This is the only semi-decent picture we took!^^

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^^A walking tour that allows beer? Our boys were in heaven.^^

Eats:

We cooked dinners as a group, which definitely cut down on costs. I tried to keep breakfast and lunch as healthy as possible, but went with whatever I was feeling!

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Savannah:

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River Street Sweets has the most amazing pralines!

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I loved this store and if I was a millionaire, I would have bought everything.

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The City Hall of Savannah. Not too shabby.

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The largest oak in Savannah!

I recommend Savannah to anyone looking for a new vacation spot, or somewhere fun to explore. It’s close to the beach, really historic, and just fun! I hear it’s also pretty haunted if you’re into that (I am 100% not.).

Any fun vacations coming up?