I finally went on a trip that has been on my bucket list for a long time: Los Angeles! I started planning this vacation a few months ago with two of my closest friends, Delane and Taylor. The three of us have fun together no matter what we do, especially when we visit one of the most famous cities in the world. I have family that lives in L.A., so we were very lucky to be able to stay with them. My cousin, Stephanie, also gave us rides everywhere, so we didn’t have to face the crazy L.A. traffic on our own.
In just a few short days, we packed in so many adventures that I don’t even know where to begin! We did a lot of the touristy things of course, such as reading the Hollywood Walk of Fame names, hiked to the Hollywood sign, stalk celebrity homes in Beverly Hills, a visit to Venice Beach and Canal, and shopping around Downtown Disney and Universal Studios. We considered all of these essentials when visiting L.A. We also did some things that are a little less traditional, such as a hot air balloon ride in Orange Country and browsing the Observatory in Griffith Park.
One of my favorite parts of traveling is trying new food. We considered going to famous restaurants, like having Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Instead, we ate less crowded places (well, at least a little bit) that locals recommended. I love cities like L.A. that are so diverse, so you can find such a wide variety of foods. My favorite dinner was the one at a Brazilian restaurant in Burbank. I tried plantains there for the first time. My favorite breakfast was at The Griddle Café in Hollywood. They had the largest and most unique dishes, such as Chips Ahoy French toast and Frosted Flakes pancakes.
It is has been a goal of mine to travel as much as possible before I graduate in less than a year. I like exploring a variety of cities so I can get a better sense of where I might want to move outside of St. Louis (if that’s what I end up deciding to do). Also, I know that once I have a full time job, it will be harder for me to take off work whenever I want. Something that surprised me about L.A. was how spread out everything was. It is not as compact as other major cities I have visited. Also, the weather was not as hot as I expected. Especially at night, it gets chilly there. Delane, Taylor, and I all really enjoyed our time in Los Angeles. I would like to spend more time there again someday. Who knows, maybe I will end up living there!
Recognize this sign?!
At the beginning of the summer, I moved into my first, very own apartment. It is exciting to be able to call this place my own. Although, it is also weird to think I am like an actual grown up now. After three years of living on campus, I have decided to move on. Whenever I get spare time, I have been settling things in. I will continuously be adding décor, because I tend to go overboard and don’t know when to stop decorating. Luckily, I haven’t had to spend much money on that sort of thing. There is plenty of décor, furniture, supplies, etc. that I can take from my home in St. Peters.
I live with my friend, Taylor. We met a few years ago at Gordmans. She does not work there anymore, but we continued to be friends after she left. She goes to school at Washington University, which is right next door to Fontbonne. Therefore, we were both looking for a place to live in the same general area. We live in Clayton in a very cute and safe neighborhood. The location is very ideal, because the drive to school and to my internship only takes a few minutes both ways. Also, many things are conveniently within walking distance, such as Forest Park, Concordia Park, restaurants, a vintage candy/ice cream shop, shops, and grocery stores. It’s everything I could have asked for. The only downside is the parking. There is only parallel parking, which I am not very good at. But it is good for me to practice since I have been spending more and more time in the city and that’s how I need to park at TalentPlus (my internship). That being said, I am still very happy with my current situation. I wish I could spend more time there, but I am so busy with work, interning, and babysitting. However, Taylor and I still manage to frequently find ourselves at the Kaldi’s Coffee house up the street (mainly working on homework). We also like to have picnics in the parks. I look forward to making many more memories in my new neighborhood!
My new room; an ongoing work in progress!
Yes, this year my family and I started the 4th all decked out in red, white and blue in Lambert airport. At 4 a.m., I was going through security to get on a plane to go to Mexico. Now, it wasn’t just a normal family vacation. My cousin was getting married. It was a week-long family vacation.
The resort we stayed at was all-inclusive. So, we had all the food and… alcohol we wanted. My family took full advantage of that. I had a lot of first experiences while I was there. I went Kayaking, which I was super nervous about at first. I’m glad I did it though, it was so much fun! I highly recommend it! I saw MJ for the first time. Not really, it was a Micheal Jackson impersonator. I had some Salmon and Lobster. I found out that I love salmon, and hate lobster. It was also my first time swimming in an ocean…with sting rays! No, it wasn’t an excursion. At first I was freaked out but I got use to them. Most importantly this was my first time seeing my cousin getting married and it was beautiful. I am so happy for him and his new wife.
Between all the shenanigans I made some new friends! Iguanas roamed around the resort. I saw at least 10 a day. Possibly could be the same ones but it is still a lot. We had a waiter throughout the whole week named Lorenzo and he was the sweetest. He went out of his way to make sure we were satisfied. He said he only makes $4 a day, so we made sure to tip him well because he deserves it, while he is trying to look for work in America. Within a year he will be able too, and I hope the best for him!
Selfie in Mexico
Set up for reception
I love this amphibian.
Well, this school year has definitely had its ups and downs. There were so many memorable moments, and I made lots of great friends. However, it was also very stressful moving away from home and keeping up with all my school work. I joined the honors program here, so I’ve had some harder classes, but I have definitely been challenged in a positive way. It was also great living in St. Louis this year – I got to try Ted Drewe’s ice cream, attend a Cardinals’ game, go to concerts, enjoy Forest Park, and do all sorts of fun stuff! There have been many exciting moments, but perhaps the best part of my first year of college was becoming a member of the third floor of St. Joseph’s Hall. Our floor is basically one big group of friends. We always eat lunch together and there is never enough room at the table, but we make room. We share each other’s clothes, food, joys, and troubles. If I’m ever having a bad day, I can always count on a member of the Third Floor Council to cheer me up. Yes, we have a council. I am truly going to miss my friends at Fontbonne over the summer. Three whole months without them?!?! Ah! Whatever will I do? Hopefully we will be able to stay in touch. Anyway, here is my number one piece of advice to any future freshmen: Make friends, and make good ones. No matter where you end up, there will always be people you can count on. Well, unless you move to like the Arctic circle or the outback or something. I’ve also compiled a list of a few other tips for surviving your freshman year:
1. Don’t procrastinate! Deadlines come sooner than you think, and you don’t want to be rushing to finish a paper at 3 in the morning the night before it’s due.
2. Read the syllabus! It is very important to know when your professor’s office hours are. I’m pretty sure I’ve had to schedule meetings with at least half of my professors, if not more. Although it can seem like a hassle, it is always a good idea to meet with them to ask questions about projects or papers. Not only will your assignments turn out better, but you will also rid yourself of additional stress and the professor will know you are a good student. The syllabus is also great for checking due dates. Like I said in #1, don’t procrastinate.