Friday, June 29, 2012

Spanny Legs

I think I've found my sea Spanny legs. All it took was this guy. And the fact that I could finally get money. Yay for money!
I then proceeded to walk around the city all day.   I got lost for a bit and then went on a "free" walking Picasso tour.  After the tour, I explored the harbor area and the beaches.  Point 1 for Barcelona over Madrid - beaches.  Why, Aaron, how ever did you get a picture from so high in the air?

On my walk, I took the cable car to Montjuic! It's a beautiful area I will be exploring more of when I am wearing my tennis shoes.  Up the hill, I was able to cross of my first Spanish bingo item. I did a repeat little later. Then, I found my mom's heaven. Two pools and the beach.

Mom, you are definitely faster than all the people in this pool. 
After I got lost some more in the same neighborhoods, El Born, Barri Gotic, and Barceloneta. (Pardon the mix of Catalan and Castellano.) I had a typical Spanish lunch of a bocadillo in a bag while I walked. Think Subway.

Came home for a brief siesta to get caught up and then I walked even more, did a little shopping and then stopped for tapas. I kind of crossed off another bingo thing with this lovely tapa del día. (I didn't know what it was going to be or what was in it.)
Drink and 3 mini empanadas = approx. 3.67US
Now I am just getting everything ready for a morning of sightseeing and afternoon departure for Taize.  In a bit, I am headed out to meet a friend of a friend for drinks.  Love this country where people meet up at 11pm to start their night. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Well, Bessie Bones, nothing is ever easy for you."

Thanks, Mom. (She said this to me after the following ordeal.)

Let me explain. Whenever life is tough for someone, my mother calls said person "Bessie Bones." Today I arrived in Spain and it did not go the way I planned. The flight was fine. I can't really feel my butt and I think one kid burst my eardrum from his yelling, but the movies were great and there was free champagne so I can't complain. Landing in Spain was an entirely different story...

I pick up my luggage to find out that one of the wheels has been damaged. Awesome. So I know have a three-wheeled  43 pound bag and a bum shoulder. I could have handled that. What I couldn't handle was none and I mean none of my credit or debit cards working. And of course this terminal didn't have a a physical money exchange place. Oh yes, and the only way for me to get to where I am staying is by taking the bus. For which I cannot pay. So basically I wander around the airport trying pay phones to call Capital One collect. No está funciona. Eventually after going up and down the stairs with said luggage three times, I burst into tears. I try talking with the bus woman, but an all-nighter plus emotional breakdown meant my Spanish was not working. Next thing I know this man is asking what is wrong and what I need. "I just need to get where I'm stayyyyyinnnnngggg." He proceeds to buy my ticket and wish me a good holiday.

This girl<------------------pathetic.

Then I proceeded to get lost in the middle of Barcelona with the dang bum luggage and shoulder. The streets he told me to take do not in fact exist by those names. Needless to say I was a hot, sweaty mess upon arrival.

You're probably thinking, well silly didn't you call and tell your cards you were traveling. I did!!! Twice! The debit card I didn't and that's totally my fault because I swear last time I didn't have to, but after getting credit card scammed last week, I was super on top of those. UGH!

So I still don't have cash, but I can at least charge things if necessary.  Like at a Super Mercat for a Magnum White and a Coca-Cola Light. I'm calling it lunch and dinner because I just don't have it in me to leave again today.

Wish me better luck tomorrow!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What I Wear Wednesday

A two-part clothing post.

Part 1 - Yesterday I was searching for a lightweight rain jacket with a hood. I also didn't want to spend a lot of money. I went to a couple of stores and didn't find anything. Finally, I went into Target and lo and behold,  the perfect one.

It's pink and it has pockets!

But wait! It was the only one on the clearance rack. It was my size. It was $10.48 AND I had a $3 off coupon. It was meant to be :)

Part 2 - Here is the clothing plan for the next 15 hours of travel. Today I am wearing this...
Jersey blazers are the best for traveling
On the plane after dinner, I'll change into yoga pants, drapey sweater,  and comfy socks. I always take a scarf to wrap around my shoulders. I'll change back into this and hopefully look sort of like a person when I land.

¡Hasta pronto!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Things

1. I am beyond blessed and I forget that fact more often than I care to admit.

2. Somehow I managed to edit this closet down to the following 7 (take out the brown sandals) pairs for my trip. In my defense, the black flip-flops don't count since I have to have shower shoes.
Francisco, can you believe it???
3. Emotional eating is at a high right now. I fall prey to this a lot when I'm nervous, stressed, or should otherwise be doing something else. I was really moved by this post from Lindsay.

4. They make gadgets for literally everything. For example, this nifty little thing to weigh your bags without having to hold it on a scale.
Thanks, Corey!
5. Speaking of scales, my bag only weighs 40 pounds! That includes sheets and towels and some clothes I plan on throwing away after Taize. I'm a little bit proud of myself. That means I can bring back 10 pounds of new shoes :)

6. Hopefully I never have to use this. My mom would be so disappointed.
7. Airplane snacks - coconut roasted almonds, chia seed granola, baby carrots, pomegranate craisins, and lots of water.

8. Priorities. Like spending your last afternoon at home not cleaning, but doing other really important stuff. Like catching up on The Real Housewives OC.

9. Dancing nuns are the coolest. Especially when they are rocking out to a Christian rapper.

10.  I leave tomorrow?!?!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Goodbye, Vespa

So in the midst of leaving for my grand adventure and moving apartments, I also decided to sell my Vespa.  Today I sold it to a lovely woman and I'm sure she will give it a nice home, but I'm sad. I didn't think to prepare myself emotionally to let go of my baby. Yup, I cried after they drove away :(

See this Vespa represented a lot. It was my first big girl purchase and first act of rebellion....sorry, Mom. And it was purchased because an ex-boyfriend said he would never "let" me ride a motorcycle. Welp, I showed him. Nobody tells me what I can and can't do. SoI bought one. Granted it's not a Harley or anything, but still.

I loved riding this thing. It made me smile and the fact that I had a matching helmet just made my day. This little Vespa moved with me from St. Louis to Austin to Fort Pierce and now it's gone. It's for the best and could not have come at a more appropriate time, but I'm going to wallow for a few more days.

Thankfully, I kept my seafoam green helmet to get me through. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What time is it?

I made it past my last commitment before my trip! Steubenville Florida was a success and all that stands between me and Europe is a massive to do list and a few more sleeps. I came home utterly exhausted after 48 hours of nonstop awesomeness and immediately took a nap. Now it's late and I'm wired. I guess that's fine since in a few short days I'll be in a totally different time zone. Might as well get a head start on confusing my body.
Going from aqua to purple. (I don't actually like the color purple very much.)

In the past few years, I have come to realize that I enjoy writing things down.  I have always loved paper and pens and stationary and organizational tools - huge nerd, I know - and it's just getting worse the older I get. I take notes in Mass, I write down little one-liners all the time, and I still keep a paper and pencil (never pen!) planner.  I just can't convert to keeping my schedule on my phone. Moral of the story, I'm a pretty traditional person. This weekend I learned a lot about myself, it seems to be the theme of my "mid-20s." Get ready for some musings on that later. I should fully disclose that while this blog is by no means a religious blog, be prepared for some more self-reflective and faith-driven posts in the near future. Don't worry, there will also be plenty of "look at what I ate and bought and did" in Spain posts, too.

It's 10:31 and you are loved.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Life is Good pt2

I know many people think I'm crazy, but I love teenagers. I am so thankful I get to work with them and be with them on a regular basis. Crazy, I know.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Life is Good

I'm currently with 8 of my youth groupers and three other chaperones at Steubenville, Florida. Since I can't give a proper update, please enjoy the following snippets until my next post. "stinky spiritual diaper" "yes, I'm crazy. in a good way." "if you're lost, sing a long. if you're tired, sing along. if you're lost and tired, this is your song." a

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Today, I decided to...

a. pack for Steubenville.
b. pack for Europe.
c. clean my apartment.
d. pack up my apartment.
e. run errands.
f. write my Immigration unit.
g. make homemade pore strips from Pinterest.
h. write meaningful blog posts for when I'm gone this weekend. 

Answer: g with a sprinkle of c!

Like just about every other female on the face of the planet, I love Pinterest. It successfully combines all manners of procrastination and time-wasting into one nice, little website. I've actually made/done a lot of things I've pinned or seen on Pinterest. I have gotten packing tips, outfit inspiration, wedding present ideas, recipes, etc. Today it was homemade pore strips out of milk and gelatin. It was awesome and gross all at the same time.  If you're curious, here's the how-to

Sorry I can't stay and chat. I've got some pinning to do!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What I Wear Wednesday

Well I failed. I planned on having my little bags mostly packed by today, but alas it did not happen. I have made a packing list and I am being quite ruthless in editing my piles. This week, I have picked up a few key staples.  Some have been to replace old, worn-out items. Others have been on my list of things I need.  I've been buying in multiples recently, so forgive the repetition. I have finally realized that if something fits, looks good on you, and is decently priced - just buy them all! I used to make fun of my mom for this. Like the time she bought 6 pairs of the same Banana Republic corduroys, but now it makes sense.

This skirt is my new absolute favorite. I got it for $9 at Gap Outlet!!! So obviously I bought it in two colors. Would have bought the third, but it was a hard to match yellow/green.

They are super lightweight and go with lots of different tops. The best part is, they look good wrinkled

And they totally work with tights in the winter for Florida!

My closet has also been seriously lacking cute casual tops. And my Target V-neck pocket t's don't count. Even if I do have them in five colors. So below are some of my awesome bargains. The best part is all of the shirts go with both of the skirts. This mean I got six outfits for a grand total of $46.
Paid $12 for from Ann Taylor

Semi-sheer from Ann Taylor $6!

So soft. From Gap with a super long torso for $10.
And for reals, next Wednesday (when I'm on a plane!) I will have my "what I packed for 4 weeks in Europe" post. 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Things

1. You know it's windy when you have to pedal downhill. Look at those palms blowing in the wind!

2. Some things from childhood deserve to be carried on into adulthood. For example, jumping in the pool most definitely counts as a shower.

3. I'm starting to get VERY nervous about my trip.

4. I miss living at home and having a giant clothesline. Dryers are the devil.

5. I totally love this sign; I take pictures of it all the time. The lovely Huck family loaned me their fancy camera and this is definitely the best one yet.

6. Credit card scams actually exist! They caught me off guard tonight while I was shopping and let me tell you, the scammers are really freaking good at making you believe they are legitimate.

7. Ryan Reynolds is still beautiful and I may have watched The Proposal 1.5x today. 

8. Nordstrom's anniversary sale is just a month away! Shhh pre-sale starts July 11th and then it for real July 20th. I momentarily panicked thinking I would miss it.

9. Summer is awesome - bike rides, walks, checking out books from the library, Gardens shopping, Chipotle, rom-coms and wine. And deciding to buy the Canon EOS Rebel T2i!
10. SUPER awkward buying wine in Publix at 9:30 at night from a former student! Oh yes, and I was wearing the same outfit he saw me in at the same grocery store two days ago.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Motivate Me Monday

I realized that in 9 days I will be on a plane to Spain. That's pretty much all the motivation I need this week! 

However, I wanted to share a couple of the new "health" foods/items I've been obsessed with lately and the ways in which I have been using them. One of my goals is to eat more whole foods and less processed things.  In the summer I'm great at this, but during the school year it gets more difficult.  Here are a few things I have started incorporating.

Chia seeds - little black and white seeds considered an "ancient superfood." Chia seeds are said to have:
  • 2x the protein of any other seed or grain
  • 5x the calcium of milk
  • 2x the potassium of bananas
  • 3x the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
  • 3x more iron than spinach
  • TONS of omega 3s and 6s
I have made this yummy granola and this delicious fudge. I've started sprinkling them in my oatmeal in the morning and it makes it so good! I'm sure the almond milk and brown sugar also have something to do with it :)

In Vegan cooking, chia seeds mixed with water can replace eggs because they expand!

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar  - this one takes a little more getting used to, but I love it. I make a little drink of a ton of water, a little agave and 3T of ACV. 

I'll let you know if anything else catches my eye. In the meantime, should I go ahead and buy a big girl camera?!?


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father Figures

As a child who doesn't have a relationship with my biological father, Father's Day is sort of a weird day. Growing up we would give my step-dad a card and present, but the day never held any real significance. In college and sometimes now, I will send my mom a "Thanks for being my mother and my father" card. This year I forgot. Sorry, Mom. Oddly enough, I have never really felt like I was missing out. Of course, there are those awkward events for fathers & daughters and people discussing dancing with their dad at their wedding, but overall it hasn't really phased me. I think I figured out why....

I have constantly been surround by incredible male friends and role-models.

As I was laying by the pool today watching all of the dads with their children, I reflected on all the father figures and strong men I've had in my life. There was Harold, my next door neighbor from the time I was three who never missed a Grandparent's day and who showed my brother and I how to tie a tie. My step-dad, Sid, who taught me how to drive, has moved me more times than I can count, and gives me power tools for almost every holiday.  The fathers of some of my closest friends have even adopted me a little - Mr. Collins leaves me coupons for oil changes and fixed my tire :)

My friend group has always been a little male heavy and I realize now it has been God's way of giving me a "father."  In high school I had my swimmer boys, especially Mark, who wouldn't let me get away with anything and who disliked the boy I dated. (They were right about him.) In college there was Alex, who to this day gives me advice and tells me the things I don't want to hear, but need to hear. In ACE, I had so many friends looking out for me - listening to my struggles and supporting me along the way.  Cisco still does pretty much every single day.  

Finally, God gave me two incredible brothers who always have my back. Most girls picture their dad walking them down the aisle, but for me, it will be Briggs on one side and Seth on the other. And I'll be a big ball of tears.

Brothers, we need a new family picture!
There is something to be said about knowing I can pick up the phone and call any one of these men and they would help me with anything in an instant. I may not have a real dad, but honestly between God and these wonderful gentlemen, I am most definitely not lacking.

Happy Father's Day to all of those people who are fatherly in some way!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My First Summer

This is my first real "teacher summer" and I'm loving it! Yes, I have been a teacher for a few years, but I had school full-time during two of them and then the third I started a job a week after school ended. Last summer I was working, moving cross-country (I was in 14 states in the span on three weeks), and volunteering. Needless to say, I am so happy about this summer.

Today was an incredibly productive day. I started the process of cleaning my entire apartment which included doing about 6 loads of laundry(mostly sheets), organizing all my important papers, and cleaning out the fridge. I also got a great workout in and made these homemade pretzels. They make me super excited for Couponing & Cooking's Bread Challenge!

It's probably a good thing I will be gone for most of the summer because I'm not sure I could keep going at this pace! Here is what was happening in my kitchen tonight.

Easy ingredients.

The trusty KitchenAid I have had since I was 13.

I need to start using the dough hook more frequently!

I was patient enough to let it rise.

The people at Auntie Anne's make it look so easy.

Some are obese. Others skinny.

Don't worry about the espresso maker parts - I was multitasking.

The recipe called for an egg wash, but I didn't have an egg so they aren't super shiny. They are however, super delicious. This recipe yields 8 LARGE pretzels, but I opted to do things my way and make 11.
I made a few of them into cinnamon-sugar pretzels and they are happily living in my belly.

What should I make tomorrow?


Friday, June 15, 2012

Keeping in Touch

Yesterday I did something I thought I wouldn't do ever again. I reactivated my Facebook account. I had been off for a few months (minus a couple of days to test the waters) and had no intention of returning. And then my beyond-adorable, kind, sweet, baby (but not a baby anymore!) brother left for Germany.

Saying goodbye FaceTime style. Never mind the scary, turban'd blob in the corner.

I've always been quite vocal in my stance that if someone is important to you, then there are many other means of communicating - email, text, snail mail, but the reality is this only works if the other person doesn't rely on Facebook. A 16 year old relies on Facebook, so I'm back. But let me tell you,  going off of Facebook is a very interesting social experiment.  Let's just say - people get sorted.

In the past few Facebook-free months, I have had many meaningful phone conversations, sent a few letters and received a lovely handwritten thank you note and present from a dear friend. (Stephanie, thank you soo much! Wish you were here to go through the Wills and Kate mag with me.) On the flip-side, however, I missed out on some important news and forgot a birthday or two.

Since graduating from college, I have lived 1,000+ miles from home. My closest friends are spread throughout the country and everyone is always going somewhere. Facebook was and is a way to stay in the loop and keep up with my friends. Unfortunately, it became a tool for comparison rather than communication.You might be asking why I'm telling you all this, so here is the moral of the story...

Keep in touch; call, text, write, knock on the door of the people who are important to you! And be content in your life. Wherever you are right now is exactly where you (and I) are supposed to be.


My Facebook Round 2 trial period will be re-evaluated when I return from my Great Adventure.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What I Wear Wednesday

I hate looking like a tourist. Or being under dressed.  It's a huge pet peeve of mine. Two weeks from today I will be on a plane to Spain and I have no intention of being labeled a tourist. Granted, my blonde hair, blue eyes, and clearly non-Spanish skin will be a dead giveaway, but at least they won't know I'm American from my white tennis shoes and shorts. Spanish women do not wear shorts. Or ugly shoes for that matter.

In packing, I have a few requirements for each outfit:
1. It must lend itself to a variety of situations.
2. Each piece must interchange with at least one other outfit.
3. I have to be able to walk forever in it.
4. It doesn't wrinkle or it can pull off the "it's supposed to be wrinkled" look.
5. Must go with a jacket/wrap/scarf option from what I have already packed. (Especially important if you are visiting churches or religious sites where modesty is a must!)

Then there are the pieces that I wear regularly in "normal" life that become necessities when traveling.

*Jean jacket- I always wear mine with the collar popped and the sleeves cuffed. And mine has pockets. I instantly fall in love with anything made with pockets.
*A scarf or two. Or six. In various colors and weights. Perhaps a "lightweight summer scarf." (One day a 16 year old male student asked if the scarf I had on was a lightweight summer scarf. I couldn't help but laugh. Ohh high schoolers!)
*Drapey sweater - I LOVE these for airplanes. Pair this with a maxi dress and it's my idea of the perfect plane outfit.
*My ever-present sunglasses.
*Neutral metallic ballet flats - these can be dressed up or dressed down.
*Cross body bag with zippers - Mine is a camel colored leather. Must have zippers to deter pickpockets.
*TOMS - so comfy, so cute, so go-with-anything. Infinitely better than tennis shoes!

Do you have pieces you wear over and over again?

Next week I should have my packing list all done!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday Things

1. I love waffles. I made and ate two today. This one is by far my favorite. 

2. Today I found out that in grad school I was remembered for my walks. Not how I walk, but the fact that I went on walks all the time. Nothing has changed, I still love my walks.

3. I desperately want a new (good) camera. If you have one of these lying around, I would give it a really good home. I promise.

4. Reading blogs is one of my guilty pleasures. Sometimes two hours pass and I've been completely absorbed reading and don't know where the time went. Oops. Katie's blog started it all. She even inspired today's post.

5. I can't find my bucket list. I wrote one a long time ago and am really sad I lost it so I'm going to write another one. Here. So I can't lose it again.

6. Related to #5, I really need to organize all the files, pictures, documents on my computer!

7. Meaningful conversations with inspiring people make my face hurt. From smiling :)

8. I want to give up driving forever.

9. ACE constantly amazes me with the opportunities it provides.

10. I can't wait to go back to school as a student one day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth

Nope not talking about Disneyland. I'm talking about the one and only University of Notre Dame in good ol' South Bend, Indiana. While I didn't do my undergraduate work here, it has always held a special place in my heart.  The two years I spend as a grad student were unquestionably some of most favorite days.  Coming back always rejuvenates and motivates me for whatever I am about to tackle next.

To that end, I would like to introduce what I'm going to call Motivate Me Mondays. I will be using many of my Monday posts to think about the week in regards to working out, healthy choices, etc. Sometimes it will be workouts, other times recipes and maybe some quotes or article. I'm not really sure. I would love to hear things that motivate you!

Yesterday I started a Pilates challenge - this workout 5x a week for month. It only takes 20 minutes max and is a lot of my favorite Pilates moves.  So far I've done it twice and it made me sore.

What motivates you?


Sunday, June 10, 2012


Today I got home from the Bahamas and I really don't have the words to express how awesome it was. It broke my heart to leave. Even though it was a short trip, we filled all 48 hours and I even managed to check off some items on my bucket list.

Forewarning! These pictures will not look like a mission trip. In truth, the actual work will be taking place this week.  I was able to go early to help set up and get a feel for the trip to help with recruiting for next year.  I will be participating full next time.
[In order to maintain some privacy for the people who welcomed us, I did not include pictures of the school or the church.]

A few highlights...

Six of us left early from Florida to fly to Marsh Harbour to get everything ready.
Look! We flew over my house! It's in the horseshoe looking thing.
We stopped to get some supplies and I got some Bahamian change. 1:1 exchange rate, if you're curious.
After unloading at the church where we stay, we headed directly for the beach to take a look. My beach pales in comparison to this one - soft white sand, clear water. Perfection.
Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early and went for a long walk. Some people were fishing. 

Watching them, I was a little jealous...

Until it was our turn to go fishing!

First catch of the day! A very scary Barracuda.
I pondered the income inequality of the world while daydreaming about owning this boat. 
The haul - Yellowtail snapper.
Most of the fishing crew.

A boat named after me! It may not be the Mia Elise (go back a couple of pictures), but I'll take it!

Fishing makes a girl very tired. 

This morning, we woke up and watched the sunrise, but I forget my camera :( Then we did a little exploring before mass. It was a beautiful church up on a hill and we were able to see seven adorable kids receive their First Holy Communion. It was so special. After a quick dip in the ocean, I was on my way back home. This time it was only Alvin, the pilot, Bridget, the friend, and I on the plane. Soooo he let us take turns in the cockpit! I got to "land" the plane.

Almost home!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Travels, part 2

When you read this, I will be out on a fishing charter in the Bahamas. My Uncle Bill and David are going to be so proud! I'll post pictures when I get back. I promise. Since I'm out on the first leg of this voyage, I thought I better finish telling you about the European portion of the summer.  Let me back up and first tell you why I am going on this trip.

I haven't been out of the country in a few years and while this may sound like nothing big, to me it is a travesty. My wandering soul craves it. I also haven't been back to Spain or France since I studied abroad in Madrid my Junior year of college. I left a little part of me there when I left and I would like to go reclaim it. The trip is also something I need to do for myself. My friends are jokingly referring to it as my "Eat. Pray. Love." trip. Joking or not, there is some truth to it. Although I am calling it the Eat. Pray. Drink trip. And yes, that was an alternate title for this blog. So was Baguettes and Booze. (Mom, don't read the previous sentence.)  Everyone has a rough go at it sometimes so I'm not going to dwell on that part. Moral of the story - I just needed to do something for myself because I wanted to do it. Pure and simple.

Why Barcelona? I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but I have never been.  I've been to probably 10 other cities in Spain, but never Barcelona. So I kind of have to. My time in there will be broken up as I travel to France and to Sevilla and Granada.  I am going to Granada because the last time I was there I didn't fall in love with it.  I blame the weather. So I'm going to give it another chance and to go back to the Alhambra. Sevilla is my absolute favorite city in Spain and my grandmother loved it, too.  She and I didn't always agree on much or get along all the time, but we shared a love for Spain and for traveling.  I have a few non-planned days in Spain so I might add another city, go back to Madrid or extend my time in the other three cities. Not sure yet. What do you think?

And finally, Taize. I am going on an eight day retreat here. It is a site of Christian pilgrimage for mostly young people. The monastic order hosts over 100,000 people a year for prayer, Bible study, community, and work. It is described as a place of kindness, simplicity, and reconciliation.  I cannot wait! I have heard nothing but amazing things about this "life-changing" place.

To be brutally honest, the nerves are really starting to kick in. A whole month without anyone I know. I went to the AT&T store today to figure out what I am going to do with my phone. That in itself made me nervous. I am super independent and I know I'll be fine, but I'm praying I don't get lonely. Other than that, I am beyond excited! Less than three weeks to go.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Salvador Dalí

I kicked off this crazy summer by taking a group of 18 students to the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg. Another teacher and I loaded the bus at 6:15am in a torrential downpour and began the 3+ hour trip. I could not have asked for a better group of kids! They were excited, respectful, and fully engaged the entire day. The museum was incredible. The paintings took my breath away and the building itself is so impressive. One of the neatest things about this field trip was that I was able to arrange the whole thing for free! The museum is beyond welcoming to school groups.  So much so that they offer free admission and guided tours at specific times during the school year. Two a day and for every 10 students an adult gets in free plus they give you a private, docent-led tour.  We had an amazing docent, Jamie, who kept 18 teenagers totally engaged for almost an hour and a half. I can barely do that for 45 minutes. This tour would have cost us almost $500, but it pays to do some research for specials, especially at museums!  If you aren't familiar with Dalí by name, google him.  He was a surrealist painter and was quite the character. This is on my favorite quotes of his. I think it sums up his personality pretty well:

"The two most fortunate things that could happen to a person are, first, to be Spanish, and second, to be named Salvador Dalí. These two things have happened to me." 

I'm going to try to get to Figueres when I am Spain to see the Dalí Museum there as well. If not, I will definitely be visiting the one in St. Pete again. If you live nearby or are ever in the area, I highly suggest a trip here! Thursday nights after 5 are the cheapest.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

So Blessed

Today I have been running around like a crazy person getting all the things done that I put off in the last few weeks of school.  Instead of posting how well I did couponing, or more about my trip, I decided I would share some pictures I've taken over the past few months of where I live. (They are all from my iPhone so excuse the poor quality.)  I could be having the worst day, but as soon as I come over the bridge by my house and see the inlet and the ocean ahead, all is right in the world. It may sound silly, but water is my therapy. Maybe it is because I was a swimmer for so long or that my mom had me swimming before I could crawl, but anytime I am in the water, see the water, or can hear the water, my mood instantly improves.  So on this dreary day in South Florida, here are some of my favorite pictures to remind me of how blessed I really am. Maybe the water is your therapy too!
I bike to this beach at least once a week.

Sometimes I bike to the beach to get soft serve :)
The beach cruiser! She wishes she could actually cruise ON the sand.
I wish I would have turned around and taken a picture from the opposite side.  A massive storm was coming my way!

My favorite colors.

I desperately want to see a shark.
But not when my feet are in the water! Ahhh, the cheapest therapy money can't buy.