It’s been a long time, I mean a VERY long time! I haven’t had the time, energy or inspiration to really write in awhile. I’ve had plenty to write about, life events, a new career, new friends, ect. but I just haven’t really sat down and documented it. I have plenty of saved pictures on my phone, plenty of stories to share but it’s not until now that I’ve gotten the chance to sit and let it all out. I’m trying to make more time for the things I truly enjoy and I think this is a good first step. A lot has happened, and we have a lot to catch up on, so let’s get to it!
The last time I wrote, I was still living in Spain. Still in school and graduation seemed far off in the distance, something I didn’t have to worry or think about (I was wrong). Since then, I’ve graduated, traveled around Europe, started a job at a local gourmet food company, traveled to Iceland, traveled to the Caribbean, got promoted to godmother status and much, much more! It really doesn’t feel like Spain was that long ago, even though it’s been over 2 years now(!!). If I were to go back I could probably still point out all of the best places to go AND manage to not get lost on the metro. But, unfortunately this post isn’t about reminiscing on the past, it’s about getting you caught up on everything since, which I guess it technically reminiscing..
Throwback to Europe
Shortly after graduation, I traveled Europe and the Mediterranean for about 2 1/2 weeks along side my friends Katie and Shannon. Our stops included London, Barcelona (can’t keep me away), Venice, Milan, and Santorini. It was honestly one of the best trips/experiences and I cannot rave enough about Santorini.
Mostly everything you read about Santorini will tell you that it looks exactly like every picture you’ve seen, but it’s TRUE! It was breathtaking, the views, the white buildings, the bright blue ocean and ah-mazing sunsets. I probably dedicated 75% of my picture taking to Santorini, I wish I was kidding. I will definitely make it one of my repeat destinations.
Now that I’ve ranted about Santorini, I can talk about our other stops! London was one of our shorter stops, we were really only there for 1 day and we weren’t staying in the city. But we made the most of it and took the train into the city, saw Big Ben, ate some food and walked (a lot). I wish we had more time to really see the city but I enjoyed nonetheless.
I won’t spend much time talking about Barcelona because most of my prior posts were dedicated to something Spain/Barcelona related but I will say it was GREAT to be back. I missed it and it felt like I was returning home. I especially enjoyed showing Shannon and Katie around and taking them to some of my favorite spots. They even got to meet on of my best friend’s, Tina from Germany!
Venice was another one of those fairy-tale destinations that looks exactly like all of the pictures you see. I enjoyed Venice mostly because everything is surrounded by water. Every direction you look there’s either open water or a small canal. As much as I loved Venice, you really only need 2-3 days to see everything.
We took trips to two of the smaller little islands off Venice (Burano and Murano) and still had time for other sight seeing.
Milan was our other short stop, we only spent a day. I didn’t find the city to be super exciting, but it was still great to walk the streets and see the thousands (I’m not kidding) of pigeons that flock there.
Do you feel like you just took a quick tour of Europe? Good! Now moving on!
The 9-5 Lifestyle
Shortly after arriving home from Europe, I started a job at Stonewall Kitchen as an Inside Sales Representative. I actually had the job interview over the phone while I was in Greece. I was semi surprised I got the job just because I was trying to interview in the lobby of the hostel we were staying at and with the time difference it was like a Thursday night and everyone was getting rowdy so I could barely hear the questions, but nonetheless I ended up with a job! Yay for adulting!
I’ve enjoyed working with Stonewall, I really like my coworkers, which definitely makes life a lot easier. The team I work on is also extremely flexible with vacation and time off which has been a life saver and part of why I’ve been able to travel a bit since starting in the position.
Just recently I started a new position at Stonewall as an International Sales Rep, which I think is going to be a great change. I’ll be working with all of our international distributors and doing more sales coordinating rather than customer service. It’s definitely an exciting opportunity and a step in the right direction.
The Land of Ice
For my 23rd birthday I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Iceland with my close friend Casey. Our birthdays are only a few days apart so it was a joint birthday trip and it was amazing! The natural beauty of Iceland is breathtaking, not to mention there’s petite size horses everywhere! Tourist beware though, they enjoy chomping on poofy pom pom hats, I almost had mine stolen right off my head.
If you ever get the chance to travel to Iceland, I definitely recommend renting a car. Iceland’s natural attractions are pretty spread out and if you want to pick and choose your destinations, having a car is probably the easiest way. There are a lot of tour buses that can take you to many of the sights but this means loading onto a bus with 50ish other people, not being able to stop along the way and only being given a certain amount of time at each destination. Casey and I were able to pull over at every little spot that looked picturesque (there were a lot) and this included stopping and being able to meet the horses. The only downfall of renting a car is that it’s semi-expensive, but so is mostly everything else in Iceland. But to offset the price of the car, we were able to find a grocery store to prepare food instead of eating out for everything, at least that’s how I tried to justify it!
Where is that?
This past June, I was able to take a much needed vacation to Curacao. Where is that, you may ask? It’s in the Caribbean, near Aruba and (very far) off the coast of Venezuela.
I say this was a much needed vacation because after a stressful holiday season at work, a very cold winter and the constant yearning to see new places, I was ready for a new destination. I wanted to be warm, relaxed and to spend some quality time with Dan, my man, who had never been out of the good ole’ US of A.
We ultimately decided to go to Curacao based on how inexpensive it was to fly there. Dan also wanted to be somewhere warm for his first time out of the country and this seemed like a great choice. It worked out even better than we imagined because there wasn’t a language barrier, navigating the island was manageable and the trip itself was rather inexpensive compared to others I’ve taken.
We rented an Airbnb for our entire stay and the place was GORGEOUS, I mean, just take a look at some of these photos. We did splurge a tiny bit on this villa, but for what we received, it was well worth the cost. Our hosts were very nice and responded immediately, the location was in walking distance to everything in the downtown area, we had a pool and we were right on the water. I had zero complaints and I’m still (slightly) in awe that this place was ours for a week.
I would highly recommend renting a car in Curacao if you’re able to. We found a car rental service that was decently priced, which allowed us to travel to the opposite side of the island where we explored different beaches, visited an ostrich farm, and swam with turtles(!!). There are tours that will bring you to the different beaches but you don’t get to stay very long at each one, it’s more of a look, take pictures and leave type deal.
One last recommendation that I’m still gushing about is our diving trip. I’m not talking about snorkeling in shallow water slightly offshore, I’m talking about wet suit, oxygen tank, flippers diving. Dan and I were a little hesitant to book this because we weren’t sure what to expect but I am SO glad we did. We booked our trip with Curious2Dive and they were lovely. We had our own private 30-40 minute lesson on how to dive, it was informative but to the point and I was actually surprised we were done so quickly. Once we got in the water, it was definitely an adjustment on learning to breathe through the mouthpiece. I really had to focus on calming myself and slowing my breathing. Being underwater is definitely not somewhere you want to be anxious or panicked. Our guide watched out for us and made sure we were adjusting our buoyancy and unplugging the pressure that naturally builds up in your ears. He also did a great job of taking pictures; he took some of us, of the surrounding area and of course the fish.
There were tons of fish, some eels, and a jellyfish that felt like stinging me (I don’t recommend running into a jellyfish if at all possible). Overall, I can’t say enough about the experience. If I lived anywhere near warmer water, I would definitely get certified.
A little nugget is born
Onneee more thing, just to get you completely caught up. Last January, my two best friends, Nuel and Taisha, let me in on a little secret…they were having a baby! I think it was definitely a surprise, at least to me, but hey I’m kind of clueless sometimes. Needless to say this started a 9 month journey in which I was lucky enough to be a part of. I got to throw their gender reveal party, which I think turned out pretty well, only because I didn’t let it slip on whether it was a girl or boy! They decided to do the reveal with a balloon pop in which they found out it was a boy, whom they decided to name Brady (yes, after Tom Brady). A few short months later (Taisha would disagree, they were not short) the baby shower took place where 135(!) people showed up to celebrate. Obviously this is a very well liked couple! To my surprise, Nuel and Taisha asked me to be the godmother to their little bundle of joy. I immediately accepted and cried a little because I was so happy to be part of this little mans life. I was also asked to join them in the delivery room, which I was surprised by, just because I know how personal it is but I was honored. On October 3rd, the day finally came when Brady decided to make his arrival. It was a long day at the hospital, I arrived around 9 am and didn’t leave until around 11 pm, but it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever been a part of. Some of it wasn’t pretty, there was a lot of pain, some crying, but it was humbling and beautiful and I’m still in awe of the strength that Taisha has and her ability to be lighthearted in difficult moments. Nuel sat by her side the entire time and would whisper encouragement and this alone made me tear up. When Brady finally came into the world we all cried, it was an absolute miracle. I’ll forever remember that moment when he finally made an appearance. Two weeks after being born and he is still the cutest little nugget, even though he hasn’t let mom and dad sleep much. He is going to be so spoiled, especially by me and I can’t wait. I just hope for his sake he doesn’t get his fathers hairline…jk jk love you Nuel! Love all three of you!!
Keeping Up With ME!
If you’ve made it this far, congrats! You’ve been fully updated on (mostly) everything that has happened in my life! I promise I will keep writing, I’ll keep in touch more and I look forward to keeping you all updated! I’ve made the pact with myself that I will take more time to do the things I enjoy and this is on the top portion of my list, so keep an eye out for all things life related!