Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pre-Vacation Vacation

What's about 6 feet standing, black & grey, with four legs... and licking my feet right now? That would be my best friend's Great Dane, Dory.

That is my life right now, working my way North just to go even farther South. And honestly, it's like taking one step back (460 miles North) to take 5 steps forward (3,683 miles South).

And I wouln't have it any other way! I FINALLY get to see my bestest friends from University after being home for 2 months from Korea. Everyone lives so far away from me now, so I've packed 5 best friends into my 2-week pre-vacation .. vacation!

I took the Megabus to DC from Christiansburg, VA for the completely ridiculously expensive fare of $1.50 (would I lie to you?! , I know you're curious). It was an extremely relaxing 5 hour ride, reading the caddy drama 'Something Borrowed' the entire way there. It was sad saying farewell to my old man & my old lady.. especially to my Doggy & sweet MawMaw.. but my feet are itchy and it was time to get a move-on!

Highlights: I got to spend some fabulous quality time with Ashley and Heather. I enjoyed some awesome dinners with friends and got to do lots of catching up! Ashley and I went out in Arlington on Friday night, interesting night scene.. I think I could only dig it if I actually lived there and knew more people. Twas a bit of a pretentious crowd, but to be expected in a city namely for business careers. I'm fully surprised that I now have no desire to move back to DC. I suppose it isn't too surprising seeing as I picked up and moved across the globe to work in Korea and avoided that path. However, having Ashley in DC makes it quite tempting, we always have a blast regardless of what we do!

NICK'S- Country Bar
On Saturday night, some friends came up to play from Harrisonburg and we went to a COUNTRY BAR called Nick's in Alexandria, . It was like living a dream, I remember when I was a little girl and would watch Country Music Television with my Dad. They used to have a TV show in the 90's that purely video taped a country bar in Tennessee and you could watch everyone line dance. I remember loving every minute and wondering how the heck I would get down to Tennessee to go to one. Welp, I didn't even need to go South.. I headed North, and there was heaven! If you live in the area, you should go! There was a live cover band, that was amazing, a huge dance floor with people legit line dancing and two-stepping, AND on top of all of that goodness there was a room for country karaoke in the back. If you're worried about not having a dance partner, have no fear there are plenty of older men that would fancy a dance!

Sunday was funday, Heather and I met up with her boyfriend and brother for lunch & a hike. We realized during lunch that our 'hike' was really going to be climbing over a bunch of rocks, no mountains involved. I had my new hiking shoes ready and roaring to go.. Heather however only had tennis shoes. SO, we went out on a shopping trip (didn't surprise me at all being with Heather :), although I thought it would have taken at least 24 hours before we hit a mall! hehe). She found a great pair of Keens and we set out to drive to Maryland at FOUR o'clock, luckily it was only about 30 minutes away and daylight savings time day! Because I didn't bring my headlamp, AND Heather didn't bring her tent! :)

Billy Goat Trail was sweet, it was a bunch of hopping on and off huge rocks.. praying you didn't slip and break your leg and lots of laughs. Until the sun started to go down, and we realized that we weren't even on the 'real' trail because of flooding that had occurred which had completely wiped out the path..SO we decided to go much faster and head back, luckily we found the emergency exit pre-darkness!

Our friend Rose came to visit on Sunday night.. with a quick whirlwind visit, we caught up a bit and the next day Heather and I set out in the big city of DC to find a clinic for my yellow fever vaccine. We were successful, and spent the rest of the day shopping, eating, chatting and getting dinner with Ashley. I had to say my good-byes to Ashley that night, which was sad.. but I'll see her in 4 months, much sooner than our last separation!!

On Tuesday, Heather and I visited the Newseum, which was extremely overpriced at $20 a pop, but it was super interesting and makes me very thankful for the brave souls that bring us the News every day from crazy destinations! I'm still amazed by the luck that Heather and I had that day, we 'blonde-ly' (although neither of us actually ARE blonde) remembered to put my huge bags in the trunk when we parked in DC.. We did not, however, remember to put money in the meter. We realized this in the Newseum.. about 2 hours later.. booked it to the meter, where there were TWO parking people on the road, started running, just to find that we didn't have a ticket and didn't get towed.. nor did anyone else on that street. It was really strange, holler!

Then, it was back on the Megabus, my second home, and I said tootles to Heath, who was an amazing host. And then I said Hello to Lindsay.

Oh Philadelphia, why do you always toy with my emotions?! Philly and I have a love hate relationship.. I believe it began with the first time I traveled there, I had just came from 5 days in NYC.. so needless to say, my only thoughts were 'Take me back to NYC'! And my final thoughts about Philly, are mixed. I found areas I really liked, and areas I just didn't understand. I'm not a fan of the people, their personalities, or their bars. I did, however, enjoy the arts area, the murals, doors and their canolis!

I also love my friend Lindsay, who lives in the city with her sister, sister's boyfriend, sister's Great Dane, Mr. Bean & 2 cats! Luckily, we had the apartment to ourselves with the animals, because her sister was on vacation. I spent my first day in Philly with Lindsay's daddy who was in town visiting. We ran errands and plopped down on the couch to read for a few hours.. it's fun being lazy :) I love her family, and had missed them very much so it was great catching up!

Linds and I grabbed dinner most nights, on St. Patrick's day we ventured out and tried to have a good time. However, the bars were filled with sleezy married men and packed to the max. It was still fun roaming around with my besty! We also walked the dogs a lot and got to see different parts of her neighborhood that way. ALso, I went to my first dog park ever.. not my favorite thing in life.. I was just surprised to see no grass. After the dogs pee on the sidewalk non-stop, they're forced to play in ugly brown MULCH.. Thank God I grew up in the country!

Linds and I met up with my friend Amanda from JMU, we had lunch and ice cream at Not Just Ice Cream. For some reason, I thought this place only served ice cream, but that was their name to trick you.. turns out they make a decent lunch! Amanda lives and works right outside of Philly, and loves Philly to death!! We ate our fabulous ice cream while strolling the streets and chatting it up.

During the days, while Lindsay worked I milled about the city, and often stopped at cafes to do CELTA homework. It gave me much inspiration for beginning my own coffee shop, I've been wondering what I will be doing post this ESL business, and I think I MAY have discovered a passion! I seriously can't stop thinking about it and planning it in my mind!

Our last night together, Linds and I made a 'pot of (vodka) sauce', vegged out, watched movies, followed up with some yummy canolis! Tiramisu was our breakfast, and we walked to Love Park to take some cute pictures, followed by a sad good-bye! I missed her like crazy, and have to miss her yet again!

Back on my traveling home again, Megabus took me to the Big Apple, NYC.

Fresh off the bus, I strapped my bright orange backpack to my back and jumped on a subway headed Uptown. Imagining the worst in my head, I was pleasantly surprised that there weren't 'big gangsters' on the subway wielding gang paraphernalia, knives and guns questioning me why I was headed to Harlem. Seriously, before I arrived on the subway, and my bus was getting closer and closer I was preparing myself for the worst, 'if this happens, I'll do this' 'if someone says this, I'll say that'. And then I realized, America is crazy.. so long as you're confident and not doing ridiculously dumb things, people will hardly pay attention to you.. stop scaring everyone away from Harlem! If anything, I was harrassed more in Philly ("For being soo pretty, you sure do look evil!") than I was in freaking Harlem... HARLEM! Now, I think Harlem 'aint nothin but a G-thang'.. and I could honestly see myself living here! In fact, Harlem is quite entertaining.. while sitting on the subway today, Jules and I were blessed with the chance to eavesdrop on two guys talking about women. One guy was adamant that there were at least 18 women to 1 man in NYC, that NYC has "THE" FIIIINEST women, that all of the beautiful women around the world come all the way to NYC to live.. leaving their countries with no gorgeous women (he's been to Puerto Rico.. he knows.. "aint no beautiful women still livin there N*G*A they aaallll moved to NYC"). He also said that there were so many great women in this city, he'd even give 'an inch of his nub' to each one of'm. Hey, I don't imagine this stuff, that came straight out of his mouth. I find it quite astounding he would be so generous! I might just go hang out on the subway all day tomorrow, I could get hundreds of interesting quotes!

I'm here visiting a friend, Julie, who is attending Columbia for her Masters. I am so proud of her, I met her in Harrisonburg, VA and now my li'l baby's making it in The Big Apple! Her apartment is precious, she has almost graduated and currently looking for a job in the city. We hadn't seen each other in over a year, and couldn't stop talking. We went to her favorite bar, Walter's in the Chelsea area and chatted for a couple of hours over Chinese/Thai food and some PBRs. We're so proud of each other, we couldn't shut up!
Today, we went to Dinosaur's BBQ which is next to the Hudson River.. unfortunately it was raining all day, so I didn't get to wander around the streets as much as I would have liked, perhaps tomorrow!

My flight for Cartagena, Colombia will leave in exactly 30.75 hours!
Woah, I hope I can sleep tonight!!

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