Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beach Week!

I'm finally nearing the end of my adventures as I am with (most of) my family at the beach, soaking up the sun and salt water.

Kate, Ev, Pete and I ran a flashback 5k where I PR'ed by 1 second (though mostly by accident, not real effort).
Like our family tube socks?

Gram and Me :D
beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeach. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Southern Hospitality

In what has become a yearly migration, I once again passed through the extremely welcoming home of Rebecca and Pat (and his family). Since clearly, I hadn't completely broken the scales after leaving Texas, Pat and Rebecca set out to make sure that I would have to buy a second airplane seat on the next leg of my adventure.

We ate and we ate and we ate. Then we talked a long while and repeated it. I can't think of a better way to have spent my time in Decatur.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Austin, Texas

My trip to Austin was far to full of friends and food for me to find time to blog. Sorry y'all! In the end I managed to see a half dozen of my favorite people and still down food and drinks including Chuy's, snow cones, Shinerbock, Curra's, Magnolia Cafe, and make a trip to Barton Springs.

The Springs! I couldn't stop myself from watching the water when there was a rescue. That being said, I did refrain from yelling at kids who were running instead of walking. 

Not bad for only 2 fulls days in ATX.

(ok, I'll come clean that I also got Salk Lick BBQ and Amy's ice cream at the airport before I left)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Denver to Austin

I had a fantastic in Denver, but the party continues in Austin. I'm currently in the Denver airport and waiting for my flight.

My time with Amelia in Denver included LOTS of catching up, sun, attaya, drinks and dancing. I can't wait until I see her again (maybe Itriage wants to send her a business trip to Africa?! Wishful thinking)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Getting Ready

I've only been home a few days which has limited the amount that I can prepare for Togo. I'm slowly making gains though. The pile if shoes in the corner has morphed into a pile of shoes, toiletries, clothes and misc. items. Oh and I found 3,000 CFA leftover from study abroad so now I have about $6 when I land in Togo.

Ridgewood and Errands

20 days after leaving Montlucon, I'm finally back at my parents. My bags are somewhat unpacked, but at the same time being quickly refilled, as I leave on Thursday for a Denver, Austin, Atlanta, North Carolina circuit followed by a week at my parents and then my departure for Peace Corps Togo!

I've been running around doing errands, unpacking, repacking and going through endless shopping and checklists. There's always more to be done, but I'm starting to get a handle on it all. One item off the list- updated the blog!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Babysitting

I'm finally back in the Tri-State area! I have the lovely honor of babysitting my niece while Evan and Maria headed to DC for the weekend.

 

We had a crazy hair off over the weekend, but I think there is no winner in that game. 

That girl is cute, but tiring.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chicago Part Two

Sadly my time in Kalamazoo came to an end BUT Griff was nice enough to take the day off and show me around Chicago a bit.

We went all over,starting with the Peggy Notebaert Nature Center which includes a butterfly sanctuary.
  

Then we went to the Willis Tower (Sear Tower) Sky deck. We had a clear day and the views of Chicago were great. There's a part where you can stand on a glass floor which kind of scared the crud out of me and of course Griff pushed me a little to make me feel like I was falling off a building.


The gift shop offered some clearly American treats, such as this pizza hat. A new fashion trend?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Kzoo Grad



One of the best parts of visiting Kalamazoo was getting to see my old roommate Shelley. Shelley had some rough times in school, but I am SOOOOOOOOOOO proud of her as she finished her degree earlier this year. She may not have walked with the class of 2010, but she's definitely a part to me, which means I had to take cheesy grad photos (ok, I might have been the one to request that we take the photos...)
Congrats, Shelley! You earned it!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

KZoo Half Marathon

As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons that I came to KZOO was for the Kalamazoo Half Marathon. My goal became only the complete it in the weeks leading up, as a knee injury had kept me from running the last 7 weeks (since the Paris Half Marathon). 

I had a lot of energy BEFORE the race
 It was a rather painful run, certainly not my best BUT I finished with a time of 2 hours and 53 minutes, which is still 6 minutes faster than I ran my first half marathon last year. 
 
Not quite as sprightly after the race

It was a great run with a lot of support throughout. The only critique was not a fault of the organizers, but rather that the outskirts of Kalamazoo are not that pretty which didn't make for the most beautiful of runs. However, the way the race is set up makes it a great one for beginning half marathoners, (or just slow ones like me). 
 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Back on campus in Kalamazoo!

My trip to the Midwest was actually planned because of the Kalamazoo Half Marathon, but most of all, the opportunity to see my friends. The weekend started with Rachel being wonderful enough to pick me up in Chicago. 

We then drove out to Kzoo and of course, we settled into old ways, and with the sun shining, we hung out on the Kalamazoo College Quads. We felt like weird old people and that all the students we saw were little babies. 

Not the most charming of faces, but we still managed to have lots of fun. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chicago part one

I was pretty jet lagged my first day back in the states, but Griff welcomed me in the most American way possible-breakfast at Ann Sathers where you can get a total of four cinnamon buns as your sides to a meal.

We also hit up the Lincoln Park Zoo, and I loved the polar bear.


Though I really loved some of the added features of the conservatory. 


Apparently I've been doing waffles wrong all my life.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013