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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Last Weekend

I have a lot of updating to do about New York city. I'm not quite sure where to begin, so I'll just start with a recap of last weekend, even though their are several other things to discuss.

Last weekend was a whirlwind. It started off Friday night with Anna and I heading down to the counterpart of a spot of ours in Dallas. We walked into this very classy place to have a glass of wine before meeting up with a friend for a late dinner of delicious Thai-ness. Then the three of us headed out to meet Azalea and Chris for some Mardi Gras celebration and then we headed out to dance the night away. A very very long, very very fun night.

Saturday morning we woke up late and went to get "brunch", which was really a late lunch. haha Brunch is huge here. I love it, very Sex and the City. Then we headed out to the MoMa, which was awesome, except it was abnormally (so I've heard) overly crowded, so I must make my way out there again to fully enjoy it. We managed to weave in and out of the people to see all the standard exhibits though. Then we walked around for a while and decided to stalk fashion week. As we neared Bryant Park, I ran into somebody who looked like he was on a mission. Anna and I both did a few double takes and were trying to figure out where we knew this guy from, we thought he was some important stylist or something. Then we longingly watched people in amazing shoes walk in and out of the tents and tried to think of ways we could get one of those important passes that lets you inside the tent. Then we needed more coffee and went home. haha

That night we made homemade pasta! It was so fun! While we were eating our pasta, we decided to watch the recorded Project Runway episode, and guess what? That guy I ran into was Jesus from Project Runway! I KNOW! I was so excited! I am basically famous now for being run into by a guy who got kicked off of Project Runway. hahaha 

The next day was Valentine's Day! I love Valentine's Day! I don't know why. haha I just think it's a really cute holiday. For breakfast we picked up bagels like true New Yorkers. It was an amazing bagel, haha. We went bowling that morning in Jersey. I did absolutely horrendous the first game, but brought it back some on the second. It was lots of fun. Then we headed to Soho to look around at all the fancy schmancy stores and go to Uni Qlo, a Korean American Apparel. After wandering around there, we headed to get a cup of coffee to escape the cold. One of the cutest best coffee shops I have ever been in. Then we wandered through Little Italy and Chinatown. After lots of walking, we went in to a little Mexican restaurant and had a wonderful dinner and then headed back to Hoboken to meet up with friends and do some dancing!

Monday we decided to take it easy. We were planning on seeing a movie, but it was $12.50 for a 3 o'clock movie!! So expensive!! We ended up going to The Strand, an amazing bookstore. Four floors of shelves and shelves of books. You could find any book there. Best bookstore I've ever been too. Could probably have stayed for days. Then we just headed home and made egg rolls for dinner! haha They were delicious. haha

Anyways, that's only a few days out of a few weeks of being here... much much more to come!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Boston Cream Pie

I went to Boston last weekend for the first time! I was so incredibly excited to go see that city, it's been hyped up a lot over the past few years from several people, and it did not disappoint! Anna and I left early Saturday morning and got on the bus for a few hours. When we got there, it was freeeezing. That was my first reaction. My second reaction was- "why is my hat not in my purse?" Of course, forgot my hat. haha I know that this doesn't contribute much to Boston, but I have never in my entire life ever been in such cold weather. Not good when you were planning on walking around all day and then you forgot your hat. But oh well. I got over and it gave me a good excuse to buy something at the amazingly huge Urban Outfitters that Anna kept talking about.

After burritos, we began our walk on the Freedom Trail, which has a zillion colonial sites on it. We didn't manage to do the entire thing (it was very very cold), but we did manage to see Boston Common, the State House, a very cool church (it had little rooms for the pews, I had never seen that before, very very cute), Boston Massacre Site and more. I had never seen so many things related to Paul Revere before. Texas social studies curriculum didn't touch on that much. After some shopping around and a few too many starbucks stops, we met up with a friend who took us to the Green Dragon Tavern and hang out for a while.

The next day Anna and I got up and went to check out Northeastern University (just in case...) and then headed to Cambridge to wander around and check out Harvard. We were heading back to Boston Common to hang out for a while, but then we realized that we were both falling asleep on the train and it would probably benefit both of us to get on an early bus home. It had been a busy couple days before and we were exhausted! I loved Boston though and it was a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Charleston and Columbia

I spent a few days in South Carolina visiting my cousins last week (before the horrendous train ride). They live in Columbia, so most of my time was spent there just hanging out and then one day Marty and I took a trip to Charleston. 

My first couple days in Columbia, everybody had to work, but that was just ine with me. I spent the days relaxing and half heartedly looking for jobs online. I spent a good deal of each day just walking around their neighborhood, which was really nice and I really like Carolina houses. haha I think they are adorable. The first night, Marty, Jeff, Melissa, Chad and I all got to meet up for dinner at this delicious pizza joint and the next night we went over to Melissa's and watched her cook. Marty pretty much had to guide her along, and it was something I imagine my sister and I doing one day. haha Melissa and Kristen seem like they would be very similar in the kitchen. But dinner turned out wonderfully and it was delicious. 

The next day, Marty took off work and the two of us went on a mini road trip to Charleston. Charleston is what you would imagine a post civil war city on the water to be like. Very Southern, very cute. It kinda reminded me of New Orleans, without the Mardi Gras-ness, if that makes any sense at all. We got there and had lunch (crab cake sandwich, very fitting) and walked through the old market and looked at the crafts and things. I can't remember exactly, but I think it's a tribe that weaves these absolutely baskets. I should probably look it up. Anyways, they were everywhere. Then we took a carriage tour through the city and saw the biggest houses I have ever seen and learned about Charleston green (a color, that looks like black, and something to do with the civil war) and saw some of the biggest houses I have ever seen. After the carriage tour we wandered around King's St. and did some window shopping and stopped at a candy shop to buy a bunch of yummy pralines! Then we headed back to Columbia and met up with Jeff for dinner!

The next day, Marty and Melissa both had the day off and we met up for lunch at Groucho's, which I loved mostly because of it's atmosphere. It was all college kids, packed, and reminded me of sandwich places in Waco. Then they drove me through University of South Carolina campus and around town. I saw where both of them worked and where some people used to live during college. Then we went to a baby boutique to get Melissa's diaper bag. That night, everybody came over for bbq and to hang out and watch the X games! Then I packed and got ready for the train ride to DC and the rest is history. haha Anyways, South Carolina was very fun and it was so good to see my cousins!

Monday, February 1, 2010


I've only had two experiences with Amtrak, both in the past week. My first trip was from Winter Park, Florida to Columbia, South Carolina. It went swimmingly. I boarded about 8 o'clock one night, read The Hobbit for an hour, fell asleep, and was woken up by the conductor at 4 the next morning when we arrived in Columbia. The only real problem with the ride was a very obnoxious passenger sitting a few rows ahead of me. But what are you t do about that? Really, not a big deal.

A few days ago, I had a reservation on a ride from Columbia to Washington DC. It was scheduled to leave at 4 in the morning and arrive in DC at 3 that afternoon, Saturday. Alright, the day before, Friday, I received an automated voice message saying that my train was cancelled. Seeing as I was leaving in 12 hours, I panicked and called Amtrak to talk to somebody and ask them when the next train was. I got online and called at the same time. Amtrak's website said that the train was still on time and scheduled. The guy that I talked to said that the phone message was a mistake and that the train was still coming. I was extremely relieved.

That night my cousins all came over and we had a little dinner party with bbq sandwiches and sangria and other yumminess. A wonderful time. By the time everybody had left it was close to midnight and we had to leave at 3:15. I still had to shower and pack, so I just decided to stay up all night and that way I cold sleep the entire train ride. My sweet cousin woke up in the middle of the night and drove me to the train station. It had started to rain and it looked like it might, maybe, possibly freeze. The train station was empty. I was greeted with a "Didn't anybody tell you that the train was cancelled? and a Why are you here?" The train had been cancelled. The guy I talked to on the phone was clueless.

We went back to her house, it's 4 in the morning on Saturday now. I called Amtrak. The Columbia station had been closed until further notice, maybe opening on Monday, they weren't sure. The next train and closest station was leaving out of Florence that morning at 11:30. Florence is an hour and half away. My cousin told me she'd drive me. I changed my reservation to that train and called Anna, who I was meeting in DC, to tell her I wouldn't be there until Saturday night...

I woke up at 9 to leave for Florence. The weather didn't look good. I called Amtrak to make sure my train was leaving that morning still because there was absolutely no way that I was going to drive all the way to Florence to only find out that I wasn't leaving. The website still said that the train was on time. 

That train was cancelled. Luckily, I found out before we left the house.

The next train was leaving at 11:45 that night. I wouldn't make it to DC until 8 on Sunday morning. Anna was already in DC waiting for me on Saturday morning. It had snowed. A lot. It was beautiful, Anna said. She also said that the bus ride was a little scary coming from New York and nobody was out. 

I went back to bed and was super lazy all day. It was really nice. I love a good lazy day. Finally saw Iron Man and The Hangover. Both good. Watched some of the X games. (Side note: I've never watched the X games before until this year. They are awesome. It is a good thing I've never watched them because I probably would've gone through a phase in my life where I thought that I would one day win gold in the snow mobile event, even though I've never even been near that much snow in my life before or even seen a snow mobile.) 

That night, I showered and repacked and called Amtrak every hour to make sure the train was still leaving. My cousin and her husband drove me all the way to Florence at 9:30 that night. On the way, it started to snow. The trees in Florence were really pretty, but they were pretty because they were covered in ice. It did not look promising. We got to the station and it was pretty full of people. The train was on time and ready to go.

Welcome to the train ride from hell. Remember how I was supposed to get to Washington around 7:45 Sunday morning. Well around 1 in the morning, the train stops. In the middle of nowhere (okay, somewhere in North Carolina). It was stopped for 5 HOURS. Seriously. 5 hours of sitting there. In the middle of nowhere. In the middle of the night. There was no announcement made about what was going on and nobody was walking down the aisles informing anybody of anything. Most of the passengers were sleeping. I was in and out because my seat partner, a red hat association lady who was loud and proud (a very very sweet lady) for some reason was not tired at all and was not very happy. At about 5 in the morning, most of the passengers were beginning to wake up. We were finally told that we had been waiting for the South bound trains to come by first because the tracks switched from two lanes to one and it had taken them "longer than expected." Then apparently a switch was frozen and that had to be fixed and that took "a couple hours." Everybody looked outside and saw that we were in a foot of snow (to be quite honest, I'm not sure how much it was, but to me it looked like we were in the north pole and Santa's elves and polar bears should've been hanging out outside.) The train finally starts moving at 6 that morning. 

We went along for a few more hours, very slowly. Then we started to gain some speed and everybody thought everything was going to be okay. Then all of a sudden we stopped. Quite suddenly. We waited a while. An announcement was made that a switch was frozen again. We were stuck for another hour and a half.

I should mention that this train was packed. Every seat was filled because we were the only train going north. All other trains had been delayed or cancelled the past several days, so everybody had been crammed on this one. People were not handling this situation very well. They had a right to be upset- most people had missed their next train or bus. I personally had missed my entire nice weekend in DC and left my best friend stranded by herself there. It kinda sucked. But there were only a few select people, including me, that chose to call and complain to somebody and then sleep through it. Most people fell into one of two categories- the people who took advantage of the free coffee or the people who took advantage of the bar car. It was very very bad mix. People began drinking either too much coffee or too much alcohol at 6 o'clock that morning. Everybody became very unfriendly, including the train conductors.

Anyways, I finally made it to DC at 2 that afternoon, a full 24 hours after I was supposed to arrive. I was extremely happy to be able to stand up, but to be quite honest I wasn't in a very touristy kindof mood. I only had about 3 hours to see DC. Anna and I went to get margaritas and on the way to the bus station we walked past the capital building.

Ya, we're gonna go back.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Sunshine-y State

Truly, the sunshine state. It was so beautiful in Florida the past few days! Sunshine-y the whole time, and super warm. I actually wasn't prepared for such nice weather. I had been stressing before leaving about needing socks and a coat and it turns out that I really should've brought a pair of shorts and flip flops for the past couple days. Visiting Ryan was lots of fun! We did an early morning 5k benefiting the unknown, some relaxing kayaking, and a couple art museums, including a roadtrip down to St. Pete to the Dali museum one day, which was very cool. It was fun meeting all Ryan's friends and seeing where he lived and grew up. It's weird to think that I got to know a few people so well over the past year in Thailand, but I don't know them at home! It was a great long weekend in Florida. Now, I'm in South Carolina visiting a couple cousins! They live in Columbia and I think we might take a day to go to Charleston! I'll update you later!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Hi! I'm going on a trip tomorrow! I'm very very excited for this adventure! The only problem is that I have to pack. I'm a horrible packer. I never know what to bring or what I'll want and blah blah blah. This time it's even worse because I'm leaving for an unknown amount of time and unknown events. (I mean, I have a general idea, I'm not just getting on any old random flight or anything), plus I'm taking trains and buses and planes and they all have different luggage guidelines and I'm just completely compluxed about what to do.

So to put off packing, I've been making snacks for my travels, cleaning, and spending most of my time making copies of my itinerary and decorating it with motivational stickers for my mom.

Next stop: Florida.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Texas!

That's right my friends, I am back in the states for 2010. A quick recap of the last few weeks:

My last week in Bangkok is a blur. I ran around the city doing last minute things and going to some favorite spots. There were lots of goodbye parties and Christmas celebrations and I ate a lot of exotic fruit for fear that I would never see it again. haha A few friends left a few days before me and the last two days were just weird. It was very very quiet and it made me do productive things like pack. Then I boarded a plane to Hong Kong where I met my dad for the weekend. It was lots of fun. We spent one night in Hong Kong and then headed to Macau for a couple days. I tried out the gambling thing and it was fun for a little bit, but I'm not sure if it's for me. The day I left to come home was full of transportation. haha I look back on it and realize how long of a day it was and then I get exhausted. We started the morning in Macau and left that afternoon, took a ferry to Hong Kong, a train ride to the airport, and then I boarded a plan at midnight. I would say that I've become a very good traveler. haha

I got home a few days before Christmas, which was wonderful. I've gotten to see all my homies, roommates, drill team friends, Anna, mom, sister, and cute cute Kaysen! Christmas time is def the best time to have a homecoming, because literally everybody is home. It was perfect.

I don't have a lot of plans right now. Short term for sure, but long term plans... not so much. I'll figure it out. Something will come along, I'm sure, right? haha I have all these ideas in my head but really, I have no idea.
Traveling around Thailand made me really want to travel around the US, soooooo I should be off on that adventure soon! I want to check out some cities that I might want to move to and just explore for a little bit! I'll keep you updated!