Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The day Prince Harry saw his face on my t-shirt

 If you can look at the following picture of me and still view me as a respectable member of society, please keep reading.

THE Royal Wedding 2018!!
Guys, I would be a bold faced liar if I didn't say that my sister and I orchestrated a trip to London in order to catch a glimpse of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their wedding day. As soon as the date was announced I confirmed that I'd be out of classes and called up Morgan. There really is nothing like a royal wedding, and this may be the last one of it's kind for quite a while! Morgan was on board, so we booked our flights and bought some crazy t-shirts to commemorate this exciting event.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when my fascination with all things Royal Family began. My mom was a big Princess Diana fan (who wasn't?) so it may have started then. I've read books and watched too many documentaries to mention. Then, when Prince William and Kate came to New Zealand in 2014 I was able to see them in our city of Christchurch. WHAT A THRILL. 


(RIP -- William's hair)

So it didn't really seem that crazy to want to fly across the Atlantic to witness the biggest royal event in years, but I suppose to an outsider it might seem like a bit much.

Nonetheless, Morgan and I arrived in London 2 days before the big day. We have both been there before, but still had a lot of new things that we wanted to see/do. We spent one afternoon at the natural history museum, had afternoon tea, and walked around the beautiful Chelsea neighborhood. 

On Friday we met up with my friend Jo, who is from the UK but whom I met while living in New Zealand. Jo was not as gung-ho about our ambitions to attend the royal wedding but was supportive and came down to join us for the ride. And while she may have been a bit embarrassed by our t-shirts, I think she was secretly just as excited about the big day :) Our outfit was complete!


I feel like you can only prepare so much before you attend one of these things with about 100,000 other people who are just as crazy as you. We took the train into Windsor the morning of the wedding, around 8:00am, but people had been camping on the streets for days beforehand! 

I likened the experience of arriving at Windsor that morning to walking into Disneyland but for Royal family fans. There were people dressed up, concession stands, and traffic was closed off to allow the throngs of people to walk the streets. There was also an alarming number of Harry & Meghan life-size cutouts everywhere. The hype for this thing was real!


After making our way through Windsor (which is a beautiful little town in its own right), we were lucky enough to still find a good spot on the lawn. This large grassy area (called the long walk) was along the route of the carriage processional that happened after the wedding was over. When staking out our spot we didn't even realize that this was also the route that Meghan and her mother would be arriving by. Her car whizzed by at about 11:55 for the 12 o'clock wedding.



During the wedding, we were able to follow along by watching large screens which had been placed around the lawn. The screen closest to us was angled a bit weird, so it didn't make for great viewing, but we could still generally follow along.

One of my favorite parts of the day happened when famous guests to the wedding were showing up and being broadcast on the screens. Suddenly, everyone in the crowd started shrieking and clapping for someone on the screen. We stood up quickly, afraid we were missing something important, to realize the person who had generated this response was David Beckham. Well played, Becks.

After the wedding ceremony ended, the real excitement began. Harry and Meghan rode a horse and carriage through Windsor, greeting the thousands of people who had shown up to wish them well. We were so excited for this part, the whole reason we came!


This was pure adrenaline. Because we were close to the end of the carriage route, we heard the crowds reacting long before we saw the couple. Luckily, the horses were moving at a slow pace, so when Harry and Meghan did reach us we were able to see them for quite awhile before they moved on. 




I kid you not when I say it seems like they waved RIGHT AT US. I was screaming. Loudly. And jumping. And basically acting like how you'd think a girl with Prince Harry's face on her t-shirt would act under these circumstances. 


And then it was over! But I can honestly say that the whole trip was so fun, not just this day or this moment (although it happened to be my favorite part). Morgan and I had such a blast in the UK, and witnessing a bit of the royal wedding was the cherry on top.
Until next time! (aka George's wedding)



Thursday, February 8, 2018

take a minute

With the semester back in full swing, my schedule has been a bit chaotic lately! Besides full-time classes and a part-time job I also landed an internship this spring. (praise!)

Although these are all great things, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when looking at the calendar. I've had to say no to a few things that sounded good, but in reality I knew I just didn't have the time for. I've also realized how terrible I am at saying no to things. Typical people-pleaser, over here.

That being said, when I do have down time it's hard not to completely crash. I feel like the line between relaxing and being a lazy sloth is a fine one and difficult for me to tread. I've tried to come up with some relaxing things to do around our apartment that help me unwind while not laying horizontally in bed. Although binging a new Netflix show is almost always preferred!

My go-to list of relaxtivites (ya like that one?) include daily reading (for fun! not for school), keeping my plants alive, taking a good bath now and then, and using my planner to get my week ahead organized. These are all small tasks that help break up the day and allow me to take a breath.

Do you have any end-of-the-day rituals that keep you calmed? Let me know!


Thursday, January 18, 2018

holidays 2017







Merry Christmas and Happy 2018! 
Kevin and I were lucky enough to visit both of our families over the holidays. We spent Christmas with his family in Georgia, then flew north to Pennsylvania for New years. It was a busy 2 weeks but it was so worth it to spend time with our family members who we only get to see a few times a year. We especially enjoyed spending Christmas morning with our niece, Lilly! 

I'm not much of a resolution person, but I love the sense of a clean slate that comes with a new year. This year, I will (fingers crossed!) graduate university, and focus on growing both personally and professionally. I hope to become a better wife, sister, daughter and friend. Finally, I want to write more! Both on this blog, in letters to friends, and in my personal journals.
Hope your 2018 is off to a great start!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

santorini


Santorini, Greece is one of those places that almost seems mythical. Like, we've all seen the photos of the blue domes atop whitewashed stone buildings overlooking the sea, but is that actually a real place? Does it really exist? When I booked out flights to Santorini it was almost like booking tickets to the lost island of Atlantis. But now I have proof! It does really exist. Although as I look at these photos again I have to remind myself that I'm the one who took them. It feels like a dream.

I'm so happy that Kevin and I got to visit in the middle of September, nearing the end of tourist season. The island is small, and seems especially so when walking the narrow streets that wind up and down the island towns. We stayed in Thira, which is a bit touristy but more affordable than some of the other upscale spots.

Probably our favorite thing about Santorini was the fact that we saw the whole island by way of an ATV. We rented one for 2 days and it was so worth it! You can drive on any road, beach, or alleyway that you come to, and parking is free. It's definitely the best way to get off the beaten path and see parts of the island that many tourists miss out on.

We enjoyed a few days in the town of Oia, as it is the perfect spot to see the sun dip below the horizon. And the sea food was perfection. The 3 days we had here was just enough to relax and revamp before hitting the ground running in Italy.



Thursday, October 19, 2017

athens


In 2008, when Kevin and I first started dating, he asked me where in the world I most wanted to go. This is a sly question, because in reality the list of places I don't want to go would be much more concise. Just as I learn about a new city or country or culture and begin to dream of travelling there, another would spring to mind. But the answer I gave him then, and one that I kept going back to year after year was Greece.

Last month--roughly 9 years after our first conversation on the topic- we went to Greece! I was so giddy on the plane, I could barely sleep. Greece lived up to each expectation I had. Most days I just walked around with my mouth gaping open like a moron. Even though I'd seen some of these places hundreds of times in books there is nothing like REALLY seeing it. Right there in front of you.

Everything in Athens is OLD. Like, incredibly old. So it was a fitting place to celebrate my 27th birthday. (hah!) But honestly, seeing architecture and statues that date back thousands of years BC was pretty mind blowing. And the Acropolis museum is definitely worth a visit if you are in Athens. We could've easily spent days here, but still felt like we got a grasp on the place after just a few hours.
Kevin and I like to stay in Airbnb's when travelling to new places and we found a great apartment in Athens. There's something about staying in a local's place that makes you better understand the little nuances of life there. The 'shower' at this place was barely tall enough for me to stand up in- let alone 6'5 Kevin! But we also got to wash our clothes and hang them to dry on the balcony, which I thought was just so cute.
Every meal was a gyro or a croissant. Or fish! A diet I could happily survive on, if only to become an extremely obese person.
A few other things we enjoyed in Athens included an outdoor flea & produce market, the botanic gardens which also had bird houses and turtle ponds, and a circus themed cafe that had delicious tea and crepes. We were sad to leave Athens but had to take in a bit more of the country that we'd waited years to see. Next stop: Santorini.