Archive for August, 2013

Life: big, BIG goals

When I was 25, I thought I had all the time in the world so I created a ’30 before I’m 30′ list. Over the past 5 years, I’ve whittled that 30 item list down to 6 items. Not because I completed them all, but more because my interests changed and I slooooowly realized that some of my big, BIG goals just wouldn’t fit into a 5 year time span. I’m not made of money, ya know.

As they say, life happens when you’re busy making plans and here I am 8 months before I turn 30 and I still have 4 of those 6 goals just staring me in the face. Normally, I’d probably feel a little sad about that but I’ve done so much more than I intended in the past 5 years. I veered from my path, found my way back, and picked up a lot of great memories along the way. But that’s not to say I still don’t dream of crossing things off that list. And as it turns out, as of November 10, I’ll get to mark off Asia as I visit Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia!

But let’s back that train up for a minute as it’s kind of funny the way this year kicked off. In January, I declared 2013, the year of 12 adventures. Only a few weeks into my first month and adventure, I knew this was the year to finally bite the bullet on Asia, so I started planning and plotting. I planted seeds in the brains of colleagues, friends, and of course BF to see if I could convince anyone to come with me; but as it turns out, this is one adventure I’ll be doing on my own. Which of course, is crazy scary (but exciting too)!

I checked, double checked, and triple checked with BF and with work to make sure that while I would be absent, things wouldn’t fall apart all together. From both sides, I got a resounding go for it! I saved every last vacation day this year, penny pinched to the extreme, and even made plans with BF to make sure we would at least spend New Years together.

I’ll be gone for 50 days and while my original plan was 3 months, this plan works better for me personally and professionally. I also took into account that I’ll be a female traveler, in Asia, by myselfย  who hasn’t done the whole backpacker deal for awhile now. So while I have a few must-see things that I’ll probably end up doing somewhat solo, I’ve also tried to be smart about it and have booked a 20-day tour with other young adults throughout Thailand. I figured it’s something to get my feet wet and set me up nicely for adventures in Cambodia and Vietnam. Honestly speaking, I’ll probably end up on a few other tours as well, but going at my own pace. I’ve accepted that while this is something I REALLY, REALLY want to do, I’m also a little chicken shit. I’ve accepted my limitations and the fact that it’s a little more expensive to not just totally wing it, but I’ve saved & researched enough that I’m still well within my budget.

Professionally, I’ll have crossed every ‘T’ and dotted every ‘I’ to make sure I’ll have a job to come back to, including opting for unpaid days and offering to work 10-15 hours per week when my vacation days run out.

Personally, I’ve spoken with BF a hundred times to make sure we’ll be okay. He knows how important this is to me and I understand why he can’t come too. If we can make it through 2 surgeries in 2012, I think we can survive 50 days apart. We’ve worked out a plan for staying in touch and ways we’ll make up for lost time before and after I set sail.

So there you have it, the big finale to my 12 adventures of 2013.

I’m scared. I’m excited. I’m jittery. I’m cheesin’ from ear to ear.

But mostly, I’m relieved. Relieved that I’ve found a way to work towards my goals and to not throw in the towel or give up what’s also really important to me.

I loved how I changed when I first started to travel, so I can’t wait to see what else I’ll learn about myself.

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Weekend review: Same love

I recently made a comment to a friend that I felt like a wedding should be epic and they said ‘No, weddings aren’t meant to be epic.’ And I countered with ‘If it’s going to cost me $15,000 (and that’s on the shy side of festivities), the day better be pretty damn epic.’

This month, I’ve been in 2 weddings and while they were both a beautiful testament to love, they were completely different. All the way from the brides down to the shenanigans. Both featured lots of dancing, laughing, and fun pictures, but it can be said (without a doubt) that this past weekend was an epic wedding.

Cue the iPhoneography!

Sam & Mesha’s big day took place in Gaithersburg, Maryland up on a wee farm with a beautiful old barn as the venue. Fairy lights, candles, and burlap made the decorations classic and rustic. But of course, the day started outside of the barn with the wedding. I was honored to be a bridesmaid, but somewhere along the way, my phone was passed off and I was lucky enough to snag a few ceremony photos.

Here’s Sam’s dad giving away the bride to Mesha.

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And of course, the 2 love birds ready to exchange vows. I love that Sam’s laughing!

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Fast forward a few jokes and a memorably ceremony and we arrive at bridal party photos. Nothing too serious, just a whole lot of fun!

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After the photos, we all sneaked away to grab a few noms and some bevvies.

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And while the brides were still taking photos, BF and I checked out the photo booth. This one was snagged before we went in. I think he’s adorable in a yamaka.

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And of course, no wedding is complete without a few rounds on the basketball court (they also had putt-putt, cornhole, horseshoes, and a playground for kids). BF takes on Casey with an unfair height advantage…

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…and just look at my jumpshot! In a bridesmaid dress, no less.

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Somewhere in between all the fun at the photo booths and shooting a few 3-pointers on the court, dinner was served, toasts were given, and first dances were had. Funny side note, Mesha dipped Sam and totally ripped open the back of her dress. Did I say funny? I meant HILARIOUS!

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Luckily, both brides had a spare outfit handy to change into, but not before the bouquets were tossed from the barn balcony.

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Maybe now would be a good time to mention that Mesha plays rugby, so it should come as no surprise that when the bouquet was tossed, there was also a line-out (I think that’s what it’s called).

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And of course, there was a little karaoke done (paying homage to the first summer we all met and sang karaoke like it was our job!).

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Before we knew it, the night was ending and I still didn’t have a picture with the bride, just doing what we do best…being ridiculous, so here you go…

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I’m honestly still laughing at all the fun we had. BF loved it too and it was nothing short of epic. I mean, look at what came out of the photo booth.

photo(212)Epic. Indeed.

ps. and that’s a wrap for August’s adventure!

Weekend review: Birthday celebrations

This past weekend was BF’s birthday and I waited until today to share because we didn’t finish celebrating until last night!

Like years past, BF’s birthday tends to fall on the Mid-Atlantic GAA finals, so it’s pretty easy to get all the lads together because everyone is already planning to go out. After many, many hours of sitting in the sun, we finally headed out in Baltimore for a good laugh. There were loads of birthday shenanigans and I even wore heels! It probably wasn’t my smartest idea, but I looked good. ๐Ÿ™‚ Unfortunately, the only pic of the night, was a selfie I grabbed after a few drinks:

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I think we both look funny in this photo, since we’re trying to not act a little tipsy (but I lubs it all the same). I also think I’m biting my lip which isn’t normal at all. All in all, the night was really fun and BF said he really enjoyed his birthday…success!

But it wasn’t over just yet; I’m quite the fan of extended birthday celebrations! Since we both enjoy tasty noms and since it was Restaurant Week here in DC, we visited Filomena Ristorante in Georgetown last night for dinner. I couldn’t believe how good the food was, not to mention the size of the portions! I think we both ate the appetizers, brought home 2/3 of the entree, and at least 1/2 of the dessert. I won’t have to cook for the rest of the week!

I tried to snap a few photos inside, but I hate being that girl with the flash and it was romanticly lit (read: kind of dark inside) for dinner. None of those photos really turned out, but I did mange to get this photo of the “Pasta Mamma” upstairs making pasta as you walk in. Isn’t she adorable?

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So needles to say, if you’re in DC and looking for a really nice Italian restaurant – you can’t go wrong with Filomena!

And Happy Birthday boo, there’s no one else in the world that makes me smile like you!

Weekend review: The Killers

This past weekend felt like I stepped back in time. Back before there was wedding stress, back before summer craziness, and back before I didn’t have the time to enjoy everything. It was much needed and I loved it.

On the whole, the weekend was fairly laid back and the major event of the weekend was a bus trip to Merriweather Post Pavilion to see The Killers. This was my 4th time seeing Mr. Flowers, because I am that obsessed. Everyone’s got a favorite band, The Killers are mine!

We started the adventure at 4:30 and took a 24-seater bus to the venue. We had looked at other party bus services, but as it turned out, renting one for ourselves was much cheaper and more fun. It was the whole gang (+ lady friends so I wasn’t the only girl!) and plenty of shenanigans. Don’t they all look adorably Irish? ๐Ÿ™‚

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And of course, a few adorable yanks, waiting in line at the bathroom (so classy!).

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Since we had all purchased lawn tickets (so we could hang out and party together), the view of the stage wasn’t brilliant. However, the atmosphere was perfect. And a good time was had by all!

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This coming weekend is BF’s birthday and I’m already looking forward to celebrating his special day!

Weekend review: Hometown Weddings

Last week, I spent time in North Carolina with my family and at the weekend I celebrated my childhood friend’s wedding. I know everyone will say all weddings are beautiful, but this one was truly gorgeous.

The couple had included so many small details, that I couldn’t help but smile the whole day. The ceremony itself was particularly lovely as it combined American and Filipino wedding traditions; however, my favorite part had to be that the groom wore a grape soda pin (like from the movie UP), which was a gift from the bride, because it was their thing to always say Adventure’s out there! *swoon*

My only criticism of the day was that it all ended too soon, but I guess that’s small towns for ya. And we know the bride and groom had much more important activities on their agenda. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s the bride all ready to walk down the aisle:

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And a gratuitous selfie before I walked down the aisle:
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But enough of that, here are a few after everyone said ‘I do!’:
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And it wouldn’t have been a lovely night out without my boo:
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ps. Did I mention I caught the bouquet? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Adventure’s out there!

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