Saturday, January 8, 2011

Top Ten of Twenty Ten

Dear Friends,

Twenty Ten has been a year full of learning- not the type of learning that takes place in a classroom, but the type that requires deep thought and reflection. In between my figuring-out-life sessions, I've had the opportunity to travel the state, country, and world. Here's a few of my favorite trips (in chronological order).

 1. Visit to DC (April): After 4 months of being back in North Carolina, I was ready to return to the District to visit fabulous friends and familiar places. This photo was taken at Old Glory, a southern restaurant in Georgetown. It's one of the FEW places in DC that serves sweet tea, so it was always a favorite for us Carolina girls. :)

2. Trip to West Virginia (June): The last time I was in West Virginia was when our family was taking an RV trip. I can't remember if it was the trip to Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon, but I do remember we spent 12 hours at a gas station for repairs after the RV was rolling backwards down the hills of WV. Luckily the trip this year didn't involve such chaos. I went to visit a good friend who is studying for a PhD in Clinical Psychology. This picture was taken at Coopers Rocks State Park on a gorgeous afternoon.

3. Oak Island, NC (July): I spent a week at the beach with my mom, grandmother, and brother. We were able to catch up with my one of my mom's best friends from childhood and her parents who were good friends of my grandparents. I also got to spend some time with Kristen, a fellow Carolina alum who is studying in Chicago. Annnnd I spent many hours trying to piece together this puzzle.

 4. Newport, RI (August): From January to August of this year, I cared for a beautiful two year old girl who was recently adopted from Russia. In August, I accompanied the family on a trip to Rhode Island. We spent our days frolicking in the wake, baking cookies, kicking the ball, and learning to swim in the pool. This shot captures her exuberant spirit and childlike wonder.

5. Pumpkin Patch in Durham, NC (October): One of my good friends from college works at NCSSM in Durham. When I learned he was taking a group of students to a pumpkin patch, I was so excited to find out I could tag along. It was the first time I picked a pumpkin off the vine. It was an afternoon of good talks and lots of laughs.

6. First Grade Field Trip to NC Zoo (October): Since March, I've been tutoring a first grader through the Communities in Schools organization. In May, I watched him graduate from Kindergarten. I love my weekly visits with this precious boy and had a great time chaperoning his class's field trip to the zoo. This is a picture of my group for the day. We wandered through the zoo pretending to be giraffes, lions, and gorillas.

7. Honduras!!! (October - November): This wins best trip of the year award! I spent two weeks in Honduras with one of my best friends from college, Blair. She's been in Honduras since September of 2009 and was a great hostess throughout my visit. I ziplined through the rainforest canopy, spent many hours on buses, bought lots of bags of water, met other Peace Corps volunteers, ate too many baleadas (tortilla with beans, eggs, cheese) to count, and spent time catching up with a dear friend. Miss you Blair!

8. Thanksgiving at Mt. Mitchell (November): My mom's oldest sister hosted Thanksgiving dinner at her house this year. All of my mom's siblings, their spouses, and children were able to attend (that's 1 grandmother, her 5 children, 4 spouses, 13 grandchildren, 2 grandchildren-in-law, and 5 great grandchildren). It's not often that we're all in the same place at the same time, so I insisted on documenting the momentous occassion!

9. Snow in Chapel Hill (December): In the middle of December, Blair returned home for the holidays and we made a trip up to Chapel Hill for a good friend's wedding. While there, we met up with Rachel for an Old Well photo shoot. I never got snowy pictures at the Old Well while I was a student, so this was my chance! I do miss that place and all the people I met there.

10. Rockingham Reunion (December): I met up with these lovely ladies for a quick lunch in Rockingham. They were roommates our senior year and now are all living in big cities of Durban (South Africa!), Chicago, and Atlanta. During our lunch, we schemed a plan for us all to reside in DC after we complete our higher education goals. Can't wait to be living near them again. ;)

Twenty-ten was not what I expected, but I think it has prepared me for 2011. Here's to a new year and new adventures!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Home, At Last

Scott and I arrived home to Charlotte at 8:00pm on Saturday (almost 36 hours after we left DC on Friday morning). We unloaded my bed and left the rest for the morning. I turned in the truck Sunday afternoon... so glad to be done with that 3 day chapter of my life.

I have yet to begin the process of unpacking. Maybe I'll just leave everything in boxes- it'll make moving easier next time, right??? Things still feel a bit surreal now- probably partially because it's the holidays so I feel like I'm visiting home like I would be anyways and probably partially because of the extreme exhaustion I cannot seem to escape. All I want for Christmas is to sleep all day. :) Which might happen since it's supposed to rain and that is the best weather for sleeping in my opinion.

OK enough rambling for today. I should have something more constructive to provide the blogging world in the near future.

Much love during this Joyous Season!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

DC to NC: Day 1

Here is a play-by-play of day 1 of the move.
6:00AM Wake Up and finish packing the UHaul with brother's help (AKA I pack boxes and he carries them to the truck)
8:30AM Everything is out! We begin the journey South.
9:15AM Arrive to Alexandria, VA to meet up with one of Scott's friends from high school for breakfast
10:30AM Return to UHaul and find that the driver's side mirror has been knocked off (assuming hit and run, not vandalism). Begin the process of reporting the incident to UHaul and the police.
11:30AM Contacted by UHaul who is sending a mechanic to fix the mirror.
12:30PM After talking to mechanic, decide to drive to the Springfield, VA tow shop so he can fix it. I let my brother drive and insist that he keep the hazard lights on and "honk 5 times" when he decides to change lanes to the left. Luckily we had 2 right merges and only 1 left merge to get to the shop.
1:15PM Meet with mechanic and he determines that it is not fixable and that we need a new mirror. He is able to find one in Hyattsville, MD and sends a driver to pick up the mirror.
1:30PM Mechanic leaves for a tow job and leaves Scott and I chillin in the UHaul.
1:45PM After organizing my tote bag, I discover that I have 6 packets of oatmeal, blank greeting cards, and a "Tale of Despreaux" coloring & activity book. I decide that we can survive for at least 3 days in the UHaul.
2:30PM Mechanic returns and lets us sit in the "lounge" area of the tow company's center. I do all the word mazes in my activity book while Scott listens to his Ipod. Then I read a chapter of Breaking Dawn
3:30PM Mechanic has to leave again so Scott and I return to the UHaul to chill- literally. I decide it would be fun to quote Disney movies and let Scott guess what the quote was from. He gets them all right. Then he quotes something from "Zombieland" and I don't want to play anymore.
4:30PM I begin to sing songs from "Sound of Music" as well as songs about being hungry and cold.
5:45PM Driver arrives with the long-awaited mirror.
6:00PM Mechanic arrives to replace mirror. Scott and I return to the lounge.
6:15PM Mechanic opens box and discovers that the Hyattsville UHaul sent a passenger side mirror. not a driver's side mirror. I laugh. Mechanic says he's going to try to reconfigure the mirror to work on the driver's side.
7:45PM Mechanic and accomplice succeessfully complete the rebuild and installation of the mirror.
8:00PM I pay $570 for 6 hours of labor (4 hours of driving to get the part and 2 hours of reconfiguration/installation). We drive away.
8:15PM Scott and I stop at Wendy's for our first meal since breakfast. We scarf down way too hot food.
8:30PM We stop to get gas before we get on I-95. It starts to snow. We get on the interstate.
9:15PM It's snowing. Alot. Like I can't see out the windshield. We get off at the Quantico Exit to find a hotel. The exit ramp has already collected a significant amount of snow.
9:30PM We check-in at Ramada and are assigned to a room in a building behind the main building. The guest service attendant tells us to park back there.
9:40PM I decide I do not want to park the truck in the snow behind the building, nor do I want to be in a building separated from the majority of the hotel. We return to the desk and I explain this to the attendant while holding back tears.
10:00PM We finally arrive to our room for the night and I'm able to find my toothbrush, clean pajamas, and my furry boots all in the back of the moving truck (next time I move, I'm packing a carry-on bag with all my necessary items and a change of clothes).
11:15PM After showering and putting on clean dry clothes, I begin recording the day's events.

Things I'm thankful for right now:
Hot shower
Dry place to sleep
Wireless at the hotel

Things I wish I had:
Lysine (I'm getting a cold sore, probably from the stress)

I'll leave you with a photo of the current conditions.