Once again I spent the weekend (a bit longer, really), traveling. The fella and I went to North Carolina for five days to visit friends and meet his dad (for me. Clearly he has met his father before)

We drove down on a Friday morning. I have never, honestly, been in a car for that long. I had been looking forward to the trip, but I was also nervous. Despite dating for so long, we’ve never really been away on a vacation together. The prospect made me a bit anxious. And being cooped up in a car for approximately 12 hours with anyone could drive a girl to madness, if you ask me, especially considering that most of that drive is through Ohio.
And Ohio is super boring. #norly
It’s a state that just keeps on going. Andy has issues with it because it’s flat and I have issues with it because it’s so…big. And uninteresting. And big.
(Did I mention it’s big?)

At about 6.30pm-ish we got to Raleigh and to our hotel, which was rather nice. We had a great dinner at this place called Picnic with Andy’s friends – who were very nice – and recommended the place. They also drove. We hung out with them until quite late and passed out in our hotel room.

The next day we went to the North Carolina Museum of Art and I felt a total pang of jealousy for not living there. While the DIA is amazing, the amount of outdoor things they could schedule because it never really gets cold made me totes jealous. They also had a nice collection of art. We walked around the sculpture garden and got suitably sweaty before dinner with our friend from high school, who moved down there to start a PhD program at UNC. Once again, dinner was a great bbq place (The Pit) and I was a content person. I spend a lot of time thinking about pork. So far, North Carolina was holding up their end of the deal.

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They were a lot bigger than expected, which was great. We spent hours there walking through and looking at all sorts of plants. I took photos with my relic of a black and white film camera. I’m not even sure it still works, but I guess we’ll find out?

After that, Andy and I went and toured a plantation house, which I didn’t even think to get a photo of. It was pretty hot by then and despite the tour being fascinating and the house being really interesting (and in turn, I learned some things about my own antebellum built home), I was getting tired. So, what does this mean?
Dinner. At an amazing Mexican place, Gonza. The tacos I had were to die for. A bit of fish and pork? #dying

Sadly, we had to leave the area Monday morning and head over to Asheville. Asheville is mountainous and gorgeous. We also had a cooldown in weather, which was a change of pace. We stayed with Andy’s dad and his stepmom, on their property. They have a camper that we slept in.
It’s safe to say I’m not that keen on campers. It was a nice camper just…small.

We went to the Biltmore on Tuesday and it. is. stunning. We spent nearly the whole day there. I once again didn’t take nearly enough photos, either with my camera or my phone. Vanderbilt sure knew what he was doing when he hired all those people to design it.

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On a whole though, Asheville didn’t appeal to me much. I was happy to come home, which is unusual for me. I can’t even say I was super excited about the food I ate.

I am, though, planning trips for 2018. In the meantime, it’s work work work. #ew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

When I was in high school, or maybe a bit earlier, I decided it might be interesting to be a photographer. This was after I gave up on being a ballerina (too fat and too clumsy), an astronaut (took calculus and couldn’t add), and for a brief time, Prince William’s Wife (too American and too common).

However, I eventually harbored a secret dream. I thought I might like to be a singer. Perhaps I would be on the stage and singing on Broadway, in some smash musical, or maybe I would be like Adele, except not nearly as good. I had settled, in my head, for an average career. Playing small venues perhaps, being a sort of “indie” artist. The one everyone listened to before it was cool to hear them on the radio.

The only problem to all of my planning and daydreaming about who I would write songs with and what gown I would wear to the Oscars (as I was obviously nominated for Best Song), is I have a massive case of stage fright. In high school I did a few plays and the act of speaking in front of others isn’t nerve wracking at all. I did it just fine.

Singing in front of other people, on the other hand, was a recipe for disaster. Sweaty palms, nausea, headaches, I just couldn’t breathe. Who, in their right mind, DID this sort of thing? I remember I auditioned once for a musical and I actually had to sing in front of ten other people.
TEN.
I nearly passed out. I started so quietly I think only bats heard me and I had my eyes closed. Sweating through my t shirt I sang “Fever”, which I’d done loudly and proudly many a time in the shower and car, terrified out of my mind. I had my audience (my friends, really (I went to a very, very, small school)) snapping along, trying to be encouraging, but when you’re in near tears, the only thing you want is for the floor to open and swallow you whole, or for God to smite you then and there for all of your sins. At 16ish, I didn’t have nearly enough sins to warrant it, I was an obnoxiously rule abiding child.

This single experience, this one audition in what can be considered by most basically all to be an annoyingly “safe space” was enough to convince me of my crippling stage fright. I was content to be backup in a musical (if needed), not on stage at all (even better), and to hold my own shows in the safety of my car, where no one could hear me.

Jam of the day – The Revivalists “Wish I Knew You”

 

Lows Bars Aren’t Something To Brag About

The bar for 2017 isn’t set particularly high. I know this because this time last year I was on the phone with insurance people, sorting out the car accident I was in the day before, courtesy of the seventeen-year-old who thought it would be fun to put an enormous dent in my front bumper, thus rendering my car undrivable.

I really should have known then that perhaps 2016 was off to a questionable beginning.

This year, so far, is going better. I didn’t have to work on New Year’s Day because I don’t work retail anymore. Not sacrificing my blood to the Retail Gods is really something I can (and d0) live without these days. Working a 9(ish) to 5 is a gift that I am grateful for. Paralegal school was hard, mostly because I’m a super nerd who doesn’t fuck around when it comes to classes and a mini nervous breakdown will do wonders for a girl’s figure. I mean, not eating will cause anyone to lose 10 or 15 extra pounds.

The only downside is you put it back on. Baby steps if you ask me. It’s the beginning of the year. As we know, anything can happen.
This is exactly what I’m afraid of.

Like Dory says, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming”.

Jam of the Day – One Direction “Night Changes”