Thursday, February 26, 2009

Living out of a suitcase.

As much as I love adventure and traveling, I think leaving every weekend is really taking it's toll on me. I am so tired all the time. I feel like I haven't slept in ages, and when I do sleep, I never want to wake up. This is pretty normal for me, however, because I am a complete insomniac and my sleep schedule has been messed up my entire life. It's tough getting up for class, even my 12:30 is hard to make it to! Hah. My ideal school schedule would be to start class at 3pm...:) Unfortunately, waking up early and starting class early is a universal thing. I wish more people were like me! Haha.

So, I went to Paris this past weekend and it started off pretty poorly. Honestly, I think the trip was doomed from the beginning. After only being there for an hour, we took the metro to the Louvre and it was completely crowded. Everyone was shoving one another to get in, and then suddenly I felt a tug. I am usually cautious about my bag, considering pick-pocketing is such a huge thing in Barca, but I just was worried about getting on the metro. So, I look down and see a hand inside my purse. I yanked it out and shoved the girl. She must have been 14 years old, tops, and she just looked at me and kind of laughed. Are you joking! So, I was so upset. I was crying and so scared to look to see if she got any of my stuff...I had my iPod, passport, camera, and wallet with me, and she could have easily taken any of them. Fortunately, she didn't get anything, thank God. I was so distraught from that, I couldn't even appreciate my surroundings, you know? I was shaking so badly and really just wanted to be in my comfort zone, which is currently Barcelona. After that, a big group of us (about 8 girls) went to the Louvre, but Shanna and I weren't interested in going inside. I like art, but I'm not really one to appreciate it. 

So, we made plans with our friends to meet up at the Notre Dame, and Shanna and I went shopping. We seriously went into every single souvenir shop in Paris, it feels like. I ended up finding a few things for family/friends, but nothing special. I was on the search for a Fleur-de-lis ring, but I found everything EXCEPT a ring. I knew I'd regret it if I left without anything, so I bought a cute charm and chain. New necklace for me! We ended up not finding the Notre Dame...I mean, it sounds like it'd be so simple to find. However, we asked about 5 people where it was and NO ONE knew. How does that happen? It's one of the highlights of the city! We walked around and found a cute park. 

I bought the best ice cream, to aide myself in feeling better after the pickpocketing incident. 

That night, we ended up eating at an Italian restaurant near the Eiffel Tower, and hung out with our waiter (who turned out to be a huge jerk) and drank champagne. It was really fun, and the tower is BEAUTIFUL at night! By that time, the Eiffel Tower was the only good thing about Paris thus far.

The next day, Shanna and I were both pretty over Paris. She had been there before, so she didn't have an agenda. I sure did not either, so we opted for Disneyland Paris! Let me tell you, that instantly made me happy. I am obsessed with all things Disney, so this absolutely made the trip so much better. The park was basically identical to Magic Kingdom in Orlando, but a few of the rides were different. I loved every single minute! After we left the park, we walked over to Disney Village, where there are restaurants, shops, bars, and a movie theater. We ate dinner at Planet Hollywood and I bought the most postcards ever. :) I was a happy camper.

Sunday we woke up late and just took our time getting ready to leave. We had lunch at a really cute French restaurant and then went to the Notre Dame (We actually found it this time!). It was a beautiful cathedral and I loved being able to walk through and see all the windows and paintings. I think it's so incredible that after all this time, the cathedrals are still a huge part of these big cities. I think it shows that religion is still such a huge part in our lives. 

We also walked around the outside, and in the back is a cute little park. We then HAD to shop some more, and we couldn't pass up the crepes being sold on every single corner. I am no longer a French Crepe Virgin...Mine was muy delicioso with Nutella (the death of me) and banana. It was fantastic. 

From there, we ended up back at the airport just in time for our flight. 

Although it may sound like an amazing trip, the first day was such a downer that it was hard to make up for that. I was trying really hard to not let that ruin my entire trip, but when multiple people [try to] pickpocket you, burps in your face, elbows you, pepper sprays your metro card, and tries to take advantage of one day...that pretty much ruins everything. Luckily I came home safe and sound, and I know what NOT to do on trips, from now on. Maybe someday I can go back to Paris when it's warm and pretty, and it can redeem it's poor reputation in my mind. We'll see.

For the last week, the Carnaval celebration has been going on all throughout Europe and Latin/South America. Barcelona itself does not celebrate, but all the cities surrounding it do. It's basically an excuse to dress up, drink up, and go crazy! I dressed up like a ballerina, and Shanna was a devil. 

We met some friends and hopped on the train to Sitges. It was so crazy. I have never seen so many people dressed up, inebriated, and ready to party. Seriously, I don't even think we walked two streets in the four hours we were there. It was so crowded, everyone was pushing everyone, and no one was getting anywhere. We saw all sorts of costumes like Mario, PacMan, Barbie, and Ronald McDonald. It's funny to see costumes that are so Joker, Batman, Saw...I took TONS of pictures (too many to post them all), and had a really great time.

Class yesterday, however, did not happen. I was so tired, all I wanted was to stay in my bed. So I did, for the most part. Last night CEA hosted an event to learn how to cook Tapas! It was soo fun. About eight of us made four different dishes: Spanish omelet, roasted sausage and peppers, garlic mushrooms, and fried potatoes with two different kinds of sauces. It was basically a carb-fest, and we ate every ounce of what we made! It was really fun to learn about the different foods and how to make them! I feel so accomplished. We also got the recipes, so when I go home I can make Spanish food for my family. YAY!

Today has been a really frustrating day. I was supposed to leave for Italy at 9am, and I caught the 7:15 Aerobus. It took longer than usual, 45 minutes instead of 25-30, so I ran to the self-check in, only to find that my name was not in the system. I had to wait in the LONGEST line, only to find that I am in the completely wrong terminal! I had to walk all the way to another terminal (about a 5-10 minute walk) and they had JUST closed the gate. UGH! It was so frustrating and I feel awful because my friend that I am visiting was supposed to meet me at the airport. So, I tried calling him, and my phone won't let me call him. I had to buy another ticket, 111euro, to leave later today. I took the Aerobus home (luckily it's cheap!) and had to go to class. This time, I'm leaving way way earlier, just in case, and I'll just sit in the airport and read or something. It's so frustrating when a day starts out like that because then for the rest of the day you feel like everything goes downhill. I guess it's one of those days/weeks/months! Haha. Seriously though, it's frustrating and I hope he understands. I feel awful! Now I have to add going to the phone place next week onto my agenda. I only have Tuesday, Wednesday, and some of Thursday before I jet off to Germany. Man, this traveling stuff can be so overwhelming. Luckily I will get to see a familiar face tonight, as I have known Taso since 8th grade. It will be good to spend time with someone who truly knows me.

Speaking of which, I am so excited because my dad bought a flight to come to London on April 30 (my layover destination), and we are going to spend 5 days touring London! I am so excited, especially since London has definitely been my favorite city so far. I am also so happy because I didn't expect my dad to actually follow through with it! Money is definitely an issue for our family, so I am so grateful he went ahead and booked it. I have been really sad lately when I hear of people's parents coming to visit. I know it wasn't really an option for them to visit (because of my mom), but I still wish it could have happened. It would be fun to give them a tour of the city and show them what I see and do every day. Oh well, I am just grateful that my sister and John are visiting in April, and now I get to hang out with my dad in London! That's a close second to my mom and dad visiting here. :) 

Monday, February 16, 2009

2 for 1: Individuality and Seville.

I've always thought of myself as an individual. I know, sounds cheesy, but let me explain: My whole life, I have been friends with all different groups of people, who usually aren't even friends with each other. I have my own style; I try to dress different, but nice at the same time (you know, for the most part). I'm not saying I am better, just that I value my individuality. I enjoy going against the grain and being my own person. I like me. In Barcelona, the locals dress in their own styles and seem to really respect their uniqueness. However, the majority of people within my program seem to be all the same. They all act, talk, and dress the same. I honestly have an extremely difficult time recognizing who is who, when they all blend together as the same person. I don't mean to generalize or stereotype, but these people, especially the girls, are all the same to me. One major issue I have is that they think they are entitled to everything. They walk into restaurants and expect the waiters to speak English. They complain about how "mean" the locals are, when really it's because they didn't respect them to begin with. Also, I have never seen anyone treat professors with such disrespect. We are now starting our fifth week of class, and I still have classmates asking if the professors will email the powerpoints so they don't have to take notes, or asking if we have to know certain things for the test. I honestly don't understand how they don't feel bad for interrupting professors with questions they have already answered 20 times. Have they never been in a college class before?  I have yet to leave a class without a story about how rude someone was, or how they are not concerned that they didn't have the presentations ready. Last week, a classmate said to our professor, who is FROM Spain, that she thinks Spaniards are plain and boring. Also, they "BBM" (BlackBerry Messaging) and have full-out conversations throughout the entire class. I never want to hear the sound of Blackberry typing EVER again. Anywho, the point is that I am so grateful I was raised to be an individual. The fact that these girls all act the same and wear the same clothes just proves that they are afraid to be themselves, and will do anything to be accepted. It just shows how self-conscious, but still self-absorbed, they are. Although I often feel self-conscious and like I might not fit in, I try to embrace my unique traits. I am thankful to have my own style. 

That said, I am really loving Spain. I haven't had any huge issues with locals being rude. I think they are just like anyone else...people are allowed to have a bad day! I think it's so important to at least attempt to speak their language. Afterall, we are in THEIR country. We can't walk around and feel like everything should be handed to us. No wonder people hate Americans. The majority of people in my program are loud, obnoxious, rude, and...drunk. There is a reason it's a stereotype, and I am glad I go against that, for the most part. I do NOT want to be associated with the bad ones. Spaniards appreciate if you at least try to speak Spanish when you ask them questions. Usually they chuckle and ask where I am from, but I know that they like that I gave it a shot. Isn't that how you learn? By doing. So, I am trying. I am pretty awful at Spanish, I'm not gonna lie. But if I get the keywords, I can manage to get through. I have already learned so much in the last month that I have been here, I can only imagine how much more I'll learn in the next 2.5 months!

This past weekend, my roommates went to Amsterdam. I honestly have never had an interest in going, and other than Anne Frank's hideaway, I don't know much about it. I mean, I just found out that it was in Holland...I thought it was in Germany for the longest time. Also, who knew Netherlands and Holland were the SAME thing? Not me. Needless to say, North Canton Hoover does NOT prepare you in world geography. Some people don't have maps...

Anywho. I opted to stay home, but at the last minute my friend Sara invited me to go to Seville, Spain with some of her friends. We booked with RyanAir, which is REAL sketchy and I have heard a lot of negative things about it. However, it is cheap. We got a roundtrip flight for 80 euro, which is good considering we got it so last minute. I went to her apartment on Thursday night and we were planning on sleeping until 3am, when we had to leave for the bus, but we couldn't fall asleep. We ended up staying awake and talking until we had to leave. The bus ride to the airport was was FREEZING and all I wanted was to sleep. An hour and a half later, we got to the airport and hopped on our plane. It wasn't a bad flight, but we were a little sketched out by the fact that everyone applauded when we landed. Were they NOT expecting to make it?! Not sure. Well, we were looking forward to going to the hostel and taking an extra long nap. Afterall, it was only 8am, but our hostel room wasn't going to be ready until 2pm. It worked out for the best though, because that forced us to not waste the entire day sleeping. I hadn't known much about Seville, so I had no idea what to expect. I think that worked out for the best because then we weren't going to be disappointed, regardless of what we did.

The buildings were so old and beautiful, and I loved the cobblestone streets!

I couldn't resist taking pictures of the nuns walking to the cathedral. This is just one of the 20 pictures I took of them.

Orange trees were all over the city, and I wanted one SO bad. Also, I am determined to buy a moped when I get home.

There were so many statues in the town square. I took full advantage.


They had some weird fixation with the KKK. I am sad I didn't actually buy one of these postcards just to have it. I mean, I don't get it?

Just perty.

Almost all the streets were like this.

Seville is on a river (don't ask me which one) and we walked all along it.

I sure did eat McDonalds for the first time. And it was delicious!

Tiramisu. It was amazing. And just 4 euro!

The hot chocolate in Spain is like...pure chocolate. Picture this: A melted Hershey's bar. In a cup. With more sugar. Yep.

She forgot her pants, so I didn't want her to feel left out. Shopping!

Sara and I with pretty Seville in the background.

While our friends were on a paddleboat in the middle of the river, we opted for drinks and food at an outside cafe. Strawberry Daquiri...YUM.

Our 2 cocktails apparently added up...

We sure did find a Ben & Jerry's! Brownie Cheesecake on top with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (my favorite kind of ice cream. Hands down.) on the bottom. I'd never had B&J's before this!

How sad. I'm in the middle of Spain, and they have McDonalds and Burger King side-by-side.

Ready to go out for Valentine's Day! However, it took so long to get ready that we didn't feel like going out anymore. So, Sara and I opted for sweatpants, McDonalds, and more pretty dessert.

This was delicious. No words.

I chose the wrong trip to either a.) pack a backpack, or b.) go on 2 major shopping sprees. I fit ALL of this into my backpack, but still had to wear 8 layers (3 on bottom, 5 on top) on the plane. Not joking. What can I say, I am talented!

I had a really great trip and a really great Valentine's Day. I am so glad I got to go somewhere this weekend, and I hope I can see more of Spain in a few weeks! The next few weekends will be spent traveling Europe. Next stop: Paris!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

100 Facts for my own enjoyment.

So, the Facebook note that has been going around (25 random facts) inspired me, along with Michelle, to try to come up with 100 random facts about myself. Seeing that I am not the most interesting person alive, I feel this will be quite a feat if I can do it.

So here goes:

1. I don't order dessert at restaurants. In fact, the only times I've ever gotten dessert are on my birthday or at Cheesecake Factory. I would always rather eat more salty carb dinner goodness than dessert. Unless that dessert is ice cream, in that case I'd rather eat more salty carb dinner goodness and top it off with a huge mound of ice cream.
2. I still sleep with my blanket from when I was born. My sister gets jealous because she lost hers a long time ago, but I literally cannot sleep without it. Yes, I am 21. Along with sleeping with my blanket still, I also try to wear my retainers as much as possible. I got my braces off 7 years ago, but I am terrified that my teeth will move back.
3. If I am laying on my side (fetal position), I cannot fall asleep without something in between my knees. I hate the feeling of my knees touching. It makes me cringe.
4. Sometimes my tongue feels too big for my mouth. I know it sounds ridiculous, but when I start noticing it, I subconsciously start talking in a lisp and wish I never noticed to begin with.
5. I don't eat red meat, and I haven't eaten red meat since 4th grade. I will, however, try new things, just to say I tried it. ie: I tried Spanish sausage yesterday, and hated it. The only red meat I will eat is Mids spaghetti sauce with meat and mushroom. It is literally heaven in a jar. But I have had a hard time eating it since I grabbed the expired jar out of the fridge and chomped onto a moldy mushroom...yeah...
6. I don't eat red meat because I had surgery on my digestive tract, and the doctors told me red meat was much harder on my stomach.
7. I had three surgeries on my liver/intestines. I had a cyst bigger than a softball in place of my bile ducts. They had to make bile ducts from parts of my intestines, but the bile leaked into my stomach instead of my intestines. So. My stomach was filled with bile and I apparently almost died. My second surgery was rerouting my bile ducts, and my third was when they had to remove scar tissue.
8. My hospital experience at Akron Children's is what inspired me to want to be a nurse. Before that, I wanted to be a teacher. Now I cannot imagine ever being a teacher.
9. I want to work with pediatric oncology. I know it's going to be tough, draining, and emotional, but someone's gotta do it.
10. I volunteer for a camp called Camp Quality. It's for kids with cancer and their siblings to be able to get away for a week and enjoy being a "normal" kid for a week. Each volunteer is matched with a camper so they get plenty of one-on-one time. We spoil the crap out of them. I have done CQ for two years, but hope to work there every summer that I can. Forever. I can't wait to see my camper grow up. She's already grown so much in just the year and a half that I've known her. She's a pistol, but I adore her. Because of CQ, I have met so many people who's friendships I treasure. Some of my closest friends are fellow companions, and I am grateful for that. It's nice to be friends with people who understand.
11. I don't like washing my jeans. I wash them maybe once a month. I don't like how stiff they get, but I also don't like how fat I feel when my jeans are not stretched out. After I wash them, I make fists inside my jeans and do lunges.
12. I am always thirsty. Always. I need drinks with me at all times. I carry water in my purse, and I go through 8 liter bottles a week. When I am hanging out around home, I line up 3 or 4 drinks and drink them all. I have been tested for diabetes multiple times, but apparently I am just thirsty.
13. I didn't like underwear in high school. I barely ever wore it. Now, I love underwear and think it's the greatest thing ever.
14. I am addicted to tv. I never used to be this bad, but when I suddenly got more free time last December, I started recording at least 15 different shows and watching them regularly. My favorite show, hands down, is Gossip Girl. At home, I watch Ellen Degeneres every day. She is my hero and I adore her. One of my biggest goals in life is to meet her. Sometimes I apply to get tickets for her show, just to see if they randomly choose me. If they did choose me, my mom and I would fly to LA for a spontaneous trip. She already told me so. Maybe someday.
15. I hate being cold, more than anything. I am bitter about having grown up in Ohio, where the winters are frozen. I hate that my mom keeps the house at 64 degrees, and I feel like I cannot fully appreciate things if I am cold. I am miserable when I am cold. I'd rather sweat to death than be cold. 
16. I think it is so important to have straight teeth. I think it is such an attractive quality for people to have nice teeth. If someone has nice teeth, it shows that they take care of themselves and want to make a good impression. Take care of your teeth, people!
17. I have loved Justin Timberlake since the very beginning. I'm not one of those fans that just says that...I truly was obsessed. In 5th grade, in the beginning of the Nsync days, I shook his hand. I cried for an hour and didn't use my right hand for the rest of the day. I saw them in concert 4 times, and I saw Justin when he came to Columbus. To this day, I still consider him my favorite music artist.
18. I used to change my screen name all the time when I was younger. AOL was the cool thing in 5th and 6th grade, until AIM came along. My past screen names include: MooMoo767, JCrlyNsync, HooverKel905, and HoneyGurl4ever7....Yep. I was cool. Now it's myneonlunchbox, and has been since 9th grade.
19. It is myneonlunchbox because I am a huge John Mayer fan, and my favorite of his songs were Neon and 83, where he talks about his lunchbox. I was creative and just put them together.
20. Since I got my Mac, I only use iChat. I don't understand people who use AIM on Macs. iChat is so much cooler, as are all things Apple.
21. I thought it would be so hard to learn to use my Mac, but it took me an hour to get used to it. Now, I get so confused when I use PCs, which is odd because I grew up using them. I don't understand people who waste money on Dells and Toshibas.
22. I didn't visit a single college I applied for. I applied for Akron U, Malone, OSU, Mt. Caramel, and Capital...I ended up at Capital, but the only reason I applied in the first place was because the online application was free.
23. I got into all of the above schools, but (aside from Mt. Carmel) Capital was the only school who's nursing school I was directly accepted to. I'm still not sure I made the right decision, but it's too late now.
24. I am not good at science and I'm awful at math. I took "Intermediate Algebra" my senior year of high school. Yep, I didn't even make it to Algebra 2.
25. Because of this, no one ever thought I'd make it through nursing school. Obviously I've had my fallbacks, but I'm still in it to win. I want to be a nurse, and no one can tell me otherwise.
26. I am a journalism minor. I know nursing and journalism are complete opposites, but journalism and English have always come easy to me. I wanted to take classes that I enjoyed and in which I didn't have to work my ass off. This was a good decision for me because I raised my GPA a ridiculous amount and only went to class half the time.
27. In high school, I applied for a scholarship I was sure I wouldn't get. I wrote an essay about losing my grandma, and I won the scholarship. I distinctly remember being shocked, and I still do not understand why they chose me, of all people. A good friend came to me and complained about not having received the scholarship, having no idea that I was the one who got it. I was pretty bitter about that.
28. Losing my grandma was so hard on our family for different reasons. It was so difficult living two hours away and knowing I would rather be spending time with her. To this day, one of my biggest regrets is not making more time to go see her while she was sick, but also when she was healthy.
29. My sister and I got tattoos for her on the year anniversary of her death. I went the subtle route, getting her handwriting on my foot. It says "I love you right back" because that is what she'd tell us when we said I love you. My sister, having the more loud personality, got an enormous yellow rose (my grandma's favorite flower) on her arm with a banner.
30. Apparently, my grandma thought I was annoying as a child, and she always favored my sister. My mom said it's because I was so ornery, which doesn't surprise me a bit. I vaguely remember feeling like she liked my sister more.
31. Jayme and I did not get along until she moved out. The best memories I have with her are when she had already graduated high school. Actually, the best memory I have with her is when we laid on her bed and went through all of our yearbooks. Instead of looking back on memories of people, we were trying to find the funniest names ever. We still have that list somewhere, number 1 is Angust Webendorfer. Yep, that's really his name.
32. My brother and I started getting along when my sister moved out. I remember telling him I hated him and wanted him to die, but then when Jayme moved out, we were best friends. My best memories with him are when we would drive to and from school together, blasting whatever music (his choice) and singing at the top of our lungs.
33. I worked at a nursing home for 2.5 years, and I loved it. I miss it a lot, and I miss taking care of the older people. I was a dietary aide, but my favorite part was getting to know the patients. I loved working holidays because I knew most of them didn't get visitors. I think it was the best job to have in high school.
34. I love "crappy" candy. My favorite candy ever is Wild Berry Skittles (the purple bag), but I'll eat all Skittles. I also love Gobstoppers, Nerds, Runts, FunDip, and Blowpops.
35. I also love gum, and I always have it on me. I only buy Orbit, and my goal is to try every single flavor they ever come out with (Yes, I set high goals in my life). My favorite is Maui Melon Mint, but I only chew that in the summer. I also chew BubbleMint in the summer. My winter flavor is Sweet Mint.
36. I try to be a healthy eater, but I have my temptations. My number one temptation is peanut butter, and I've already gone through two jars since I've been in Spain. I am determined to not buy it again while I'm here. For one, it's expensive since it's imported. And two, it's SO fattening.
37. Since being in Spain, I have discovered Nutella, which is equally as bad as peanut butter, but sadly, they make the best pair. My roommate and I made a pact to never buy either, as they are both our biggest temptations.
38. I don't consider myself a huge carb lover. I hardly eat sandwiches, and I always opt for a wrap instead of bread. However, one of my biggest weaknesses is a bagel and cream cheese. Yum.
39. Salads are my favorite food. I love grilled chicken salads from Texas Roadhouse. I also love Ruby Tuesday's salad bar. The weird part is that I love to dip them in barbecue sauce. Weird, but it's healthier than salad dressing anyway.
40. While we're on the topic of food, I have this weird habit with sandwiches. I eat a little more than half of it, but then I take them apart and eat it layer by layer. I'm not sure why I do this, but I've done it my whole life. I also do it with wraps, burritos, and even grilled cheese. When I eat a bean burrito from Taco Bell, I eat half of it, squeeze the insides onto the paper. I dip the insides into mild sauce, then I eat the rest of the tortilla. I know it's ridiculous.
41. I always ask for sauce/dressing on the side, and I dip it. I need sauce. I dip everything in some sort of sauce...Even if it already has enough flavor. I just like sauce.
42. I have tried many diets in my day, but the ONLY times I've ever lost weight successfully were unintentional. In 4th grade, I lost 30 lbs because of my surgery. This past year, I lost 20 because of depression. Maybe I shouldn't say "successfully" because I've gained most of it back.
43. I don't like my body, and the only time I've ever been confident about my looks were last year, when I was depressed. So even though I was down about life, I at least felt good about how I looked.
44. I pretend to be confident. Inside, I am insecure and dislike so many things about the way I look. But guys (and friends) don't like self-consciousness. So I pretend, which I think is better than nothing.
45. The best way to make a friend is to go up to them and start chatting. This is how I've made most of my greatest friends. You cannot just wait for them to come to you.
46. My freshman year roommate didn't like me at first. She thought I had too much of a loud and colorful personality. A few months later, we were great friends, and still are to this day. We plan on living together again, someday, and we've helped each other through a lot. Living together brings you so much closer.
47. I've never been able to have just one best friend. I've always had different friends in different groups. Usually, my best friends aren't even friends with each other.
48. I've had three "best friends" named Kaitlyn(n) in my life. My other "best friends" were Heather Quinlisk, Geoff Peterfy, Amanda Davidson, and now, Brittany Wasko. But I need a close clump, if you will, of good friends in my life.
49. I went to school with my current (and forever!) best friend since I was in 2nd grade. We were in the same Girl Scout troop in 5th grade, and were in the same classes all throughout our lives. However, we did not become friends until Junior year of high school. I don't understand how that happened, but I'm glad we discovered each other.
50. We are opposite in so many ways. She is clean, organized, goal-oriented, and always on time. I am messy, scatter-brained, and I work just enough to get through in life. She used to get SO mad at me in Speech class. She would spend a week practicing a speech, I would not know what I was going to say until I stood up in front of the class. For some reason, I always got better grades. I adore her.
51. As much as I want to be a nurse, the main thing I've always wanted is to be a wife and a mom. I think I'm going to stop working when I become a mom, but only for a little while. My "goal" was to be married by 23, but now that it's coming up fast, I don't think it's going to happen. I used to think that was so old, but now I realize I don't want to rush anything.
52. I struggle with knowing if I was ever in love. I have been in one serious relationship, and I loved the crap out of him. Looking back, however, I wonder if I was in love with him or just trying him, save us. Anyway, I still think true love lasts forever.
53. I hate when people say "anyways" and "towards." There is no s! I also hate when people say "expecially" and "I should have went." Ridiculous is not rediculous, know the difference between you're/your, and do NOT use apostrophes when you don't need them! Bad grammar and spelling are huge turn-offs for me.
54. So far, my favorite college course is Editing. Surprised? My favorite class in Spain is International Journalism. It's the only class I look forward to and pay complete attention to.
55. I won the spelling bee in 4th grade. I still have the trophy to prove it. However, I couldn't go to the district spelling bee because I wasn't old enough.
56. I laugh when people shorten their words on AIM/iChat. I will never use LOL, u, urs, or thanx. However, I do say omg and wtf.
57. I don't enjoy the taste of alcohol, and I only mix drinks that are fruity deliciousness. I cannot and will not drink beer. I don't understand why people tell me to drink it until I get used to it. I don't want to drink something that tastes bad, ever.
58. Drinks are too expensive and that's most of the reason I don't drink often. I didn't drink any alcohol until the summer after freshman year of college. Until recently, I could count how many times I'd been drunk on one hand.
59. I have learned not to be too embarrassed about what I do or say when I am drunk. People understand that you are not in the right state of mind, and usually brush things off. I am an AWFUL drunk texter/caller.
60. I had the flu on my 21st birthday. I woke up at 7am with the most awful stomach pains, and I laid in bed until 4pm. Then, I went to a baby shower for my sister's friend, and went back to sleep. My sister took me out that weekend, and it was the best birthday I could have ever asked for. I drunk dialed my mom (that's usually who I call anyway), and my night was even sealed with a kiss.
61. I never worked out in my life until this past year. I hate running and I refuse to run. It's kind of like drinking beer, I'm not going to do something I don't enjoy. So, I walk on the treadmill and I do the elliptical. I was determined to walk everywhere and NOT join the gym in Spain, but the classes they offered sounded super interesting. So, I caved. Joined the gym. And now I go at least three classes a week.
62. I failed my summer clinical last summer and am now a year behind in nursing. At first, it was the worst thing that could have happened. I had a really tough year (my previous posts have explained that) and this topped it off. It turned out to be the best thing that happened. I picked up a minor, was able to take fun classes and raise my GPA, and now I'm studying abroad in Barcelona.
63. I am nervous about going back to nursing because I am scared it's not what I'm supposed to be doing. If I'm not supposed to be a nurse, I'm not sure what I would do. It's all I've ever wanted to be.
64. I've thought a lot about being a flight attendant lately, but I think it's due to my being scared (#63).
65. I pride myself in my good taste in music. I love bands like Muse, MuteMath, Eisley, Copeland, Radiohead, and Coldplay. But I admit to liking awful, pop music on the radio. I also admit to country music being my guilty pleasure.
66. I hate drinking calories. I'd rather eat more, and drink water/diet pop/iced tea. Diet Coke is my favorite drink. I drink entirely too much artificial sweetener in coffee and tea.
67. I love Starbucks, but because of #66, I try to only drink the regular coffee. If I get a real drink, it's either a caramel macchiato (sometimes on ice) or a caramel light frappucino. If I drink these, I have to plan it so I don't eat as much. It's weird.
68. I count my calories, and I use regularly. It makes no difference because when I eat poorly, I get too embarrassed and ashamed to record it. So, it's sort of pointless.
69. I am a night owl. I think I am going to be a night nurse, at least to begin with, because I would much rather stay up late than wake up early. I love staying up at night and doing nothing.
70. I don't think sleeping too much is a waste. It's something I enjoy, and I don't think I am wasting time doing so. Knowing I can take a nap later is the best feeling, and I love random days where I can go to bed early and sleep in late. I love sleep.
71. I don't think my life is too hard to handle, and I don't like to complain about things that happen because I know that I will get through it. I know I still complain, but I don't do it to get attention. Sometimes I just need to vent.
72. I get really annoyed when people complain to me about "bad grades" that I would consider really good. ie: people who cry over getting B's...really? C's get degrees, people.
73. I am NOT an overachiever, and I don't think it's physically possible for me to be. I am a procrastinator, and you cannot be both. I am proud of myself when I start a paper before the day before it's due. I work much better under pressure. ie: getting an A on a 12 page research paper I started 8 hours before it was due, but getting a B on a paper I started a week before it was due.
74. I am a virgin and I am proud of it. It makes me sad that more people don't consider it such a prize...I would like to marry a virgin, too, but I haven't met a ton of those.
75. This does NOT mean I am innocent. I love to makeout and I don't see anything wrong with random makeouts. I mean, as long as I am not going past my personal boundaries, it shouldn't matter. I like to have fun.
76. I have a crush on my doctor and my gynecologist. I look forward to doctor's appointments so I can see Dr. Buchanan. Sometimes I make appointments for minor things JUST so I can see him. My gyno is a hot Indian, and my sister and I both want him.
77. I have really awful hearing. I like to blame it on the endless ear infections I've had and the tubes that were embedded into my ears. When doctors look in my ears, all they see is scar tissue. I know it's annoying when I say "what?" and "huh?" Most of the time, I actually didn't hear you. Other times, I just say it so I can comprehend what was said.
78. I used to hate feet. Not really because I thought they were disgusting, but because I thought I should hate feet. I mean, everyone hates feet. But. Now, I just hate my own feet. I also hate feet that are dry, crusty or smelly. So basically, take care of your feet and we'll be okay.
79. I have this weird idea in my head that if I eat things out of big bowls/bags/cartons, I am not eating as much as if I were to measure it out in a bowl. This is probably why I am overweight. I feel like if I am eating out of a carton of ice cream, there aren't many calories as eating an entire bowl. It's completely psychological and illogical, but I do it anyway. I don't like eating things when I know I am eating more than the serving size.
80. I have had really bad luck with guys in the past. In middle school, I was dumped after a day because he was embarrassed to be seen with me. I was also dumped via note that said "I'm dumping you." The best was junior year of high school when I was dumped at Ground Zero after three days of "dating." Basically, I should give up.
81. On that note, I really think the guy should be the initiator when it comes to relationships. The next guy I date, I want him to chase me and prove to me I am worth it. I think I deserve someone who goes out of his way to prove I am worth it. Then, I will spend my life proving to him that he is worth it. I have a lot to give, and I can't wait for him to find me.
82. I am awful at saving money. In fact, I didn't have a savings account until I decided to go abroad. However, I spend my money wisely. Aside from eating out way too much, I am really careful about where my money goes. I am a bargain shopper at heart, and only shop at places that are cheap to begin with or have really good sales. ie: Target, Forever 21, H&M, Wal-Mart, etc.
83. I love big cities. I love being overwhelmed by the size of cities. I love being on crowded streets. My favorite city in the US is New York City, New Orleans is a close second. I also LOVE Nashville, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Orlando. I've only been to 3 cities outside the US, but I adore London. I would live there.
84. I love being spontaneous and going on adventures. I have so much fun on random road trips and am always up to go on adventures. At the same time, I love routine and hate change. I think my issue is with adapting to change...It's just hard. But obviously a necessary part of life. I like change after it becomes routine...ya know?
85. I am a Christian and I love Jesus, but I hate when people shove it in your face. I also hate when people preach but don't try to live their lives for God. ie: Guy in my nursing class who preaches in your face and claims that he doesn't lust, but posts Facebook pics of him and his girlfriend all over each other. People like that make legitimate Christians look bad.
86. I wish I had a stronger relationship with God. I want to go to Him for more than favors and thank yous. Reading Christy Miller again inspired me to talk to Him like my friend, not just when I want something. I'm trying, but it's hard. I guess that's part of it.
87. I really like to take showers, but I hate the getting-ready process after. I mean, I would be much more motivated to shower if I could magically be ready: hair dried/straightened, makeup on, dressed, etc. I just felt the need to explain what exactly getting ready is, to me.
88. I went on a missions trip to Bolivia after my sophomore year of high school. It was really great and I loved it. The downfall was when we all got sick, and had to leave a few days early. It sucks being sick in a foreign country, when all you want is your mom.
89. Speaking of which, I cannot imagine (nor do I want to find out) life without my parents. My mom is my best friend, and I am really close with my dad, as well. There is nothing better than curling up with my mom to watch American Idol or Food Network. Honestly. There is also nothing better than my mom's grilled cheese, cheesy potatoes, sesame chicken, and chili.
90. I grew up in North Canton, and will always consider it my home. However, I really like living in Columbus. I don't miss high school and I don't miss North Canton. I thought I would, but I don't. I feel weird going back there because I don't have a permanent place there.
91. The only things I miss about high school are choir and the cafeteria food. I was in choir for 4 years, and in the select ensemble for 2. I really miss choir. I haven't sung since high school, and I miss it so much. I also miss chicken patty day. Wasko and I lived for that day. It came with spicy fries, california blend vegetables with cheese, and peaches. I want it now.
92. I learned how to knit for my first ex boyfriend. I made him a scarf for Christmas. Since then, I have only knitted a few scarves, and that's all I know how to knit. However, I love it, and I like giving them as gifts. I also made a striped one to match my winter coat, and I am proud of it. I'd like to learn to knit other things, but I don't know how to learn. I also want to learn how to crochet.
92. I think morning breath is disgusting. I don't open my mouth until I've brushed my teeth in the morning. I only mumble. If I know someone hasn't brushed their teeth yet, I hold my breath when talking to them. When I watch movies and they start talking to each other in bed or wake each other up, I often wonder if they have bad morning breath. Even though it's not real. I refused to kiss my ex-boyfriend when we first woke up, and he made it his goal to try to get me to cave. I never did.
93. I would much rather be a wizard than a vampire. I'd rather have magical powers and a wand. I started reading Harry Potter in 5th grade, and I still adore them. I also have a crush on Harry. I mean, what's not to love? Also, I will never think Twilight is better. Never. Also, I think Edward Cullen is overrated. I like Jacob, I've always liked him better. 
94. I always said I would never buy skinny jeans...I have a pair. I said I would never wear Uggs...I bought a pair of knock-offs. I also said I would never wear leggings. I started wearing them under dresses/long shirts. Today, I wore them AS pants. I washed all my jeans at once, and we don't have a dryer...So I resorted to leggings. I always swore I would never wear Crocs. That is one thing I WILL NEVER DO. Crocs are bad. Always. Just so bad.
95. I love to read, and I always have. I refuse to read anything for school...I've gotten through 3 years of college without opening a book. But I will read book after book for entertainment. I learned to read thanks to Sesame Street at age 3, and I read my first chapter book when I was 5. I like romances best. But you know, I'll read anything. For the most part, I enjoyed reading books in high school English. My favorites are: Catcher in the Rye, Memoirs of  a Geisha, The Color Purple, The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, Go Ask Alice...Ok, I could keep going. Right now, my favorite authors are Jodi Picoult and Sarah Dessen. You should try them sometime.
96. I like to walk places, ride my bike, rollerblade (ok I haven't done this in years, but I'd like to again.), and kayak. I would always rather walk somewhere if I can. My dad bought two kayaks, and I love to go out on the water with him.
97. I get really bad motion sickness. I think it might have to do with my ear condition, but I get really sick in cars, buses, subways, boats, name it. I can't swim in the ocean for a long period of time. I get sick texting in the car. I also get sick kayaking with my dad. Needless to say, Dramamine is my best friend.
98. My first kiss was the worst scenario possible. I snuck out to meet this guy, the one who dumped me because he was embarrassed of me. Anywho, it was in 8th grade, in the middle of winter. I had approximately 5 layers on, and we were sitting in someone's backyard talking. He literally pounced on me. I wish I could say my first kiss was cute and unexpected...and it was unexpected, but not remotely cute. Or fun. Or enjoyable. Gross.
99. I got lightheaded the first day of clinical last summer. This lady showed me all of her gaping wounds from a botched plastic surgery: tummy tuck, butt tuck, and liposuction. It was bad. Well, I got lightheaded a few weeks later when a lady had a gaping wound down her entire tibia. I tried to handle it. Wound dressings just are NOT my thing. I know I will have to do it countless times in nursing, but I think it's just something I have to get used to. Infected wounds floor= not my favorite.
100. I have asked for a puppy for my birthday and Christmas every year since I was born. Every year, there is another reason why I can't/don't get one. This year, after 22 years, I am going to be extremely disappointed if I don't get to pick a puppy out. I plan on naming her Lucy, after my favorite patient at my nursing home. I am going to get a purse and put bows in her hair. I am going to buy her pink sparkly collar and cute shirts. Yes. I will be that girl.

Well. There you have it. I'm sure I could have gone on and on. But, I like to think I am not that conceited. :)

Yesterday, we had our day trip to Torres Winery and Sitges Beach. I am in love with the beach, and I plan on taking my sister there when she visits.

I couldn't resist walking into the water.

Me with Sitges in the background.

I was basically obsessed.

I can't wait until it's warm and I can go back.

This will be fantastic in the Spring when I can wear a sundress and walk on the beach barefoot.

Couldn't resist this sexy man.

Monday, February 2, 2009

London calling...

My roommates, two friends, and I went to London this past weekend. Let me tell you, I never knew I could love a city so much! For one, it was really relieving being in an English-speaking country temporarily. The people are SO nice and helpful. When we got off the airplane, a lady rushed past us. Apparently she saw that we were trying to figure out where to go, and she stopped, offered us some advice and pointed us in the right direction. It was so crazy to think that she was obviously in a rush to get somewhere, but still stopped to help us. How great.

So the first night, we got there late and since it was Thursday, there wasn't really a lot to do. We went to the 24 hour deli next to our hostel and got sandwiches. 
Mary is the friend I met on the bus on the first day. She's turned out to be a great friend.

The Tube is so easy to take. We didn't get lost or go the wrong way at all.

The first day, we walked through Green Park to go to Buckingham Palace.

Does the queen actually live there?

I didn't even get to see the changing of the guards. I couldn't see a single thing, and the only reason I got this picture is from lifting the camera far above my head to catch it. Who knows what actually happens during this event?

We took a bus tour for about a half-hour, but we ended up stopping at the free art museum. We saw all kinds of paintings from the 1400s to present-day. Outside the museum, an artist had drawn on the sidewalk in chalk.

Of course I had to get a picture with this art. I mean, really. It's a masterpiece.

I took a ton of pics like this because I wanted to get me with London, but felt bad asking my friends to keep taking pics.

Big Ben was the most beautiful building in the city. No joke, I was in love.

The London view from the London Eye. It was a thirty minute tour-ride where you could see all of London...basically a really slow, enclosed ferris wheel.

Like I said, Big Ben was the most beautiful building. This reminds me of Peter Pan.

Friday night, we went to a musical called Blood Brothers. I had never heard of it, but read the reviews. It was amazing, and the story line was really intriguing and entertaining. It was a serious musical...maybe the most serious one I've ever seen, other than West Side Story. But I was really happy with it! Afterall, London Broadway is a must.

On Saturday, Mary went to hang out with a friend that was studying abroad in London. The rest of us walked on Oxford street and shopped a little. We stopped at Hamleys, a five floor toy store. I was basically in heaven.

I'm 5.

We ate at the Hard Rock cafe for lunch. It was so good, and such a relief to eat legitimate American food for once.

The London Hard Rock Cafe is the original one, and our waitress was one of the first workers ever!

So. The absolute highlight of my weekend, being the nerd that I am, was going to King's Cross station. Those of you who are bookworms like myself know that this is where the Hogwarts Express is...At Platform 9 3/4, I tried my hardest to get to the train.

Unfortunately, I didn't make it.

So we just took a silly picture instead.

The best part. Honestly, I wanted to go to London JUST for this. I mean, who wouldn't want to visit the spot where the idea for Harry Potter was born?! 

After that, we went to Camden Market. It was basically a huge area full of knock-offs and cheap souvenirs. I loved every bit of it. I got a scarf and a fake Puma bag. I also got an I <3>

We ate these amazing Belgian waffles with Nutella...mine had caramel too...Holy crap, I've never eaten anything more amazing in my life. No joke. (Notice how all of my entries ALWAYS seem to revolve around food? I'm fat.)

After a great, much-needed two hour nap, we headed to the bar downstairs in the hostel. It was full of young people like us that were traveling through Europe. It was fun to get to know people, and of course get free drinks. Around midnight, we headed to the Absolut Ice Bar. It was FREEZING, but so much fun!

Shanna and I got there first. They gave us parkas and mittens!

And a fun drink was given to us upon an ice glass!

Shanna told me to pretend like I was licking the pillar...of course, me being the crazy girl that I am, actually licked it. Booyah.

All of us, minus Mary, in the ice chair!

The toilet paper in London was just tissues...from a tissue holder. I thought it was amazing.

Roomies outside the Ice Bar! With roses that we found.

After the Ice Bar, we went to another bar called Digress.

It was expensive to get in, but after a few drinks, none of us cared! :) I met a guy named Matthew and he was so cute and nice.

How cute is he? Honestly. I was really excited about that.

So, we came back Sunday afternoon. Mary, Mackenzie, and I all had the same flight, so we got to the airport and ate lunch before our flight. The flight was delayed about an hour. I took full advantage of being in an English speaking country, so I bought two books.

All in all, I truly loved the city. I wished it was warmer because I can never fully appreciate things if I am cold and miserable. I am hoping to extend my layover at the end of my trip and stay in London for a few extra days. Maybe my dad can come meet me for an adventure before I start school again, May 11. As much as I love Barcelona, I really did LOVE London. It is a lot more Americanized...The first thing I saw when we got there were McDonalds and Burger King. AWESOME. Haha. But it was just a really beautiful and fun city. Three days is not enough time in such a great city.

Our next trip we have planned is Paris in a few weeks, but I am hoping to meet Taso in Italy at the end of February. We will see how that works out. For now, it's back in the old routine. I got a really bad cold while I was gone, and now I am struggling to stay awake and alive. I am exhausted, but can't sleep because of my stuffed nose and cough...It's miserable. I had to force myself to be productive today, otherwise I would have skipped class and stayed in bed the entire day. Since my roommate moved out last week (Single room, YEAHH!), I am now using her bed as a dryer for my clothes. I cleaned my room completely, even vacuuming and dusting. I know, very out of character. I also made a very important purchase today: Nutella, my new love.