Monday, June 28, 2010

Paris Bound!

Current Location: Newark Airport, NJ

Hello all! I'm currently sitting in the Newark Airport, waiting for my flight to Paris. It has been a very exciting last few days in NYC, and while I am sad to go, I am SO EXCITED for my 5 weeks in Paris! I know its going to be an amazing experience, and I promise to blog and keep everyone updated on what I am doing.

So this past week has been non stop craziness. So wednesday I headed downtown to have drinks and snacks with my parents, and then we went and saw Memphis. It was very good quality, but they kinda rushed parts of the plot. Still liked it though. Thursday was work all day, and that night we had dinner with my grandparents that live in NYC. I hadn't seen them in a long time - they live in the Bronx, so it's not easy for me to get up there. We went to a great chinese place, Mr. K's, and had lots of food and caught up. Friday was my last day of work! I went in for the morning and left around 2 to finish packing up my room and run some errands that we needed to do. That night we went to Blue Smoke, a bar-b-que place. I got some scallops that were good, so I was alright.

Then we had the craziness that is known as move out. So I have a ridiculous amount of stuff. Really, it's actually completely ridiculous. So we had movers come and help me get everything out, and I will not even admit how large of a storage unit I got. That took all Saturday morning. After that we got lunch at Bryant Park Grille, and I was so exhausted that I went to my parents hotel room and fell sound asleep for a few hours. Watched the end of the USA Ghana game. I was torn on who to cheer for, since I live in the USA and I am heading to Ghana in August, but in the end I cheered for the US. Sadly, as you all know, we lost. So now I am cheering for Ghana all the way! YAY GHANA!

Sunday we went to see another show. The family split into two groups: the guys went to see Million Dollar Quartet, and the girls went to see Promises, Promises (with Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth!). I LOVED our show - Sean was so funny, and Kristin is just phenomenally good. After that, I headed out to dinner with Laura, Chris, Lili, and Laura's family. I hadn't seen them in about a year, so it was great they were in town. We got dinner at STK in the meatpacking district, and afterward, Laura, Lili, Chris and I went to the Marriott to the View for drinks.

Now I am at the airport! I will try to write often with everything I am doing in Paris. Au revior!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fam in NYC + I Hate Visa Applications

Current Location: New York, NY

This blog is in two parts - one is the happy part of spending time with my family in NYC, and the second part is the wanting to tear my hair out dealing with Visa applications! SO I'm going to do the happy family in NYC part first, so that you can skip over my ranting in the second part if you don't care to read it.

So Saturday early myself, my mom, and my dad all flew into NYC! The flight was pretty good and we landed in NYC before 9 AM, so we had a long day ahead of us. Unfortunately I didn't sleep the night before so I was pretty sleepy. We took a cab over to Dana and Nate's apartment and spent the day exploring Brooklyn and Prospect Park. That evening, we went to Grimaldi's - best pizza in NYC, right by the Brooklyn Bridge! We had to wait in line for a while, but it was worth it! I subwayed it back up to COlumbia that night, and I slept VERY well. I was sleepy!

Sunday was Father's day! I went that morning and ran a few errands - Needed to get passport photos for my visa app (more on that later). Family came up to Columbia, and we went for a delicious brunch at Community! The rest of that day was for me time, which was needed.

Monday night we had a delicious dinner at Del Posto! I had some amazing fish, and it was really a great dinner. 3 bottles of wine between 5 people, so I would say a REALLY good dinner! Tuesday night (yesterday) we did drinks and the dessert buffet at the top of the Marriott in Times Square. It's a rotating restaurant, so you get a 360 degree view of the city! Meghan came as well as the family + Nate, so it was a really fun evening. Tonight we have tickets to see Memphis, tomorrow dinner with our grandparents, and friday dinner at Blue Smoke, so its going to end up being a really great week.

Now to the not so great part. I HATE Visa Applications. Seriously, so much can go wrong and it takes forever! On a bright note, my Ghana Visa has been approved so I am now for sure going!!! But man, what a process. On Monday I skipped work to go, and sat at the embassy for 2 hours before having my number called. Then, when it was called, I was told I needed a "Letter of Invitation." However, since I didn't have one, they said a copy of my school ID was fine. So I went and did that, and waited for another 15 minutes or so and then got my whole application accepted. Day 1 was done. Then Day 2. I was told my Visa would be ready for pick up at 2 PM the next day. So I put in a half day of work, and left at 1 to go downtown to pick up my Visa. So I get there, hand over my receipt with everyone else and wait for them to call my name. So they call EVERYONE but me... so I'm just sitting there waiting. Finally they come and tell me that I actually do need the letter of invitation. I'm just like seriously? So they tell me to come back with it Wednesday and I'll be fine. SO I got the letter, and I showed up today at 10 AM, the second they opened. And FINALLY, it was approved, and my passport is back in my possession. Frustrating process, but I'm so glad its done!

I've also had the joy of packing this week. I have the most annoying packing situation. 1, I am packing for my month in Paris. 2, I am packing for my month is Ghana, because there is about 24 hours between my 2 flights, and everything else, I am packing for storage. SO MUCH PACKING! I am getting a good amount done, so that is optomistic.

That's all for now. Got the show and 2 dinners this week, and then official move out on SAturday. Staying 2 nights on the couch in Brooklyn, and Monday is flying to Paris! I will try to update once more before Paris, and in Paris I plan on updating most days. Keep following and checking in for more posts!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Back to NYC

Current Location: Jacksonville, FL

Hello world! I am currently sitting in a hotel in JAX before our flight back to NYC tomorrow morning at 6:15 AM. Not too excited about that early morning flight, but I'm ready to be back in the city, even if its only for about 10 days!

So the rest of my trip was fairly slow, but good. After my post on Wednesday, I ended up heading to the pool for a few hours for a tan - it was so freaking hot!! I kept having to get into the pool because I was dying from the heat. Tanning at 1 in Florida might not be the best idea. However, I got a nice tan in that short period, so I was pleased. That evening, I went for ice cream with my lovely friends Rachel and Lauren. It was really nice to see them, since it has been AGES since I've been home! We all chatted and caught up over some delicious Coldstone ice cream. After that I headed to Hooters with Lauren for some beers with her friends. I know, me at Hooters is a bit odd considering everyone goes there for wings, and I don't eat chicken, but we had a good time anyways. Her friends were all really funny. Finally, we drove back to Lauren's and walked over to Gator City for the night. A few friends came around, and I ran into Kim which was really fantastic! I hadn't seen her in ages, so once again, it was great to catch up. We ended the night with a brilliant idea to play retro power hour... smart Jenni. Needless to say, I woke up the next morning with a bit of a hangover :)

Thursday was a pretty fun day as well! After heading home, I changed and got ready to go to Satchel's with the high school band crew (Rachel, Lauren, Caraline, and Patrick) and Meg. Satchel's is only the best pizza place ever, so I was very happy to get to go there. I had recently seen Caraline and Patrick in NYC, but I hadn't seen Meg in a loooooooong time - maybe over a year! She will also be overseas this summer in Prague, so I'm hoping something might work out for us to meet up, but no plans have been made yet. After lunch, I headed home to spend some quality family time. Well not quite, but I needed to relax! My grandma came over for dinner again and my mom made delicious chinese! I called it an early night since I was tired from the night before

Today has been a lot of running around getting things done before leaving town. When I woke up, my mom and I headed out pretty quickly to run errands. We went to a outdoors store where I got some good pants for when I am in Ghana - I return to the states the day before I leave, so it was really important that I get everything I need before leaving for Paris. After that I went to the bookstore and got the 3rd Stieg Larson book, "The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest." It's a great series, and I can't wait to find out how it ends! We then went to the mall where I went to Victoria's Secret for a few things before going to Moe's for lunch. Moe's queso is the best! We returned home and got to packing for our upcoming trips. In the afternoon we went to say goodbye to Mama Doris. I'm going to miss her, I might not see her again until Christmas! After our goodbyes we stopped by Publix where I saw several of my old coworkers. After that, it was home to finish packing, and then we left for Jacksonville as soon as my dad finished his show!

So here I am now! We've got a busy week ahead with moving out of my dorm room and packing for my 2 trips. Here's hoping tomorrow's flight is good, and I will update again soon!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Home, Sweet Home!

Current Location: Gainesville, FL

Hello all! I am currently at home, and have been for some time, but things have been so busy that I haven't had time to post until now! It has been great being home and able to see some family and friends again and just relax. I finally have the ability to sleep in, which is one I had missed desperately.

So my journey home was on Saturday. I woke up at 5:15, and headed to the airport for my 8:15 flight. I got there with enough time to get some food and relax. It would have been perfect timing, except our flight was delayed because the TV wasn't working or something. Don't exactly know what the issue was, but after about 45 minutes, we were allowed to board and were on our way! The flight was good - take off was a little bumpy, but the flight and landing couldn't have been smoother. It's nice to have some good flights - I'm an awful flier and get very jumpy, so it calms me down when I've had some good flights.

So I get home Saturday, and it is HOT!!! The highs have been in the 90s every day, and the humidity is worse than I remember! Not living in Florida really messes with being used to the weather, so whenever I step outside, I'm almost dying. So both my parents pick me up at the airport - my dad came to surprise me since he had said he needed to do some work that morning, so that was a happy surprise. We made it home in good time and munched a bit around the house. My grandma, Mama Doris came over to the house and we had a delicious dinner of oysters, shrimp, and mashed potatoes! I've missed these home cooked meals!

Sunday was another fairly lazy day. I've been so exhausted without having much of a break since January. Spring break had a lot of traveling, and right when classes ended I headed to North Carolina for my sister's graduation, and when I got back to NYC, it was right back to working 35 hours a week. I was allowed to sleep in late, and most of the day was a bum around sort of day. However, that night I headed over to my friend Nick's parents house to watch the True Blood season premiere. One of his friends, Nichole, who I think I might have met once, also came, so it was a lot of fun. We had cherry and black vodka jello shots in honor of the show, which was pretty funny! It was a nice night and good to get out.

Monday was a fairly busy day for me with appointments. I woke up early that morning to go visit my high school guidance counselor, Mr. Mercer. He has always been great to me, and whenever I'm home, I try to visit and keep him updated on all the crazy things I've been up to. I had a nice chat with him, and then in the afternoon, I went to get my hair colored. Due to lots of pressure from my friends, I decided to go blonder again, even though the upkeep is a bit harder. I really like it a lot though, so I am pleased. Diana is the best at coloring hair, I am always happy with my results from her! I got some layers in my hair too. That night, I was feeling a bit of cabin fever, so I headed over to Nick's apartment, and we watched SuperBad. I hadn't seen that movie in forever, and I laughed a lot! Forgot how funny it was :)

Yesterday was a very special day - it was my Daddy's birthday!!! My parents continued to be nice and let me sleep in, which I really appreciated. We drove my dad to the station to drop him off for his show, and then my mom and I headed to Best Buy, where I got a new digital camera! My old camera had been having some issues with focusing and taking pictures, and with my travels this summer I needed a new one. It's super cute, its a Canon with 14 MP resolution. The pictures it takes are great, and I've gotta explore it to see all the special features it has. For dinner that night, we headed to Ember's a really great restaurant in Gainesville. We had a fantastic dinner for my dad's birthday - our waitress was named Jennifer as well! The food was really good, I got salmon, Mama Doris got coconut shrimp, my mom got a filet mignon, and my dad got a 22 oz porterhouse! That steak scared me!

Today is a chill day as well. I'm about to head to lunch with Mama Doris and might have some fun plans with Lauren tonight. We will see!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ready for my Mini Vacation!!

Current Location: Brooklyn, NY

So it's been a looooong week, but I am looking forward to a great week ahead of me!!! The week pretty much was me working. Today though, I had the fun of finding out how much fun it is to travel to Africa! Except not. I had to go and get 4 shots, one oral vaccine, and 2 prescriptions :( I didn't really like being treated like a human pin cushion. Thought it is nice to not have to worry about diseases! So currently my arms are really sore from the shots - but hopefully they will feel better tomorrow!

Speaking of tomorrow, I am taking an early morning flight home tomorrow morning! I am really excited to head back to Florida to see my family and friends back home. I haven't been home since January, so I hope to have a good week, and get a nice tan in the process! I haven't really had a vacation for a while - the last one was spring break, and I was so busy traveling I didn't get to relax too much. This week should be a nice break, and I'm looking forward to it!

Well I'm watching Old School now with Dana and Nate at their apartment, so I'm gonna stop writing and enjoy the movie! Though, I just found out that Locke from LOST is in the movie!!!!! He's Mitch's boss!!! I'm freaking out a bit lol.

Okay, that's it. Love to all!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Crazy Moving Weekend!

Current Location: New York, New York

Wow, what a weekend! You think the weekends are for relaxing, but this weekend was anything but! However, I did manage to have a fair amount of fun through all the craziness.

On Saturday, I had the lucky job of heading downtown to pick up Nate and Dana's apartment keys! The super wasn't working on Sunday, which was when they were arriving, so me, being the AMAZING sister which I am (hehehe) went down to get the keys. Well, with my luck, of course the 2-3 line was not running to Brooklyn. That means that I had to transfer trains. The train I was in had a weird messed up speaker (like half the subways in NYC) so I didn't hear that the 4/5 train was running on the 2-3 track for those Brooklyn stops. So because of that, I end up taking the D, and end up a mile away from the apartment, which I have to walk in the ridiculous heat. I love me a good walk, but in that heat, it was a little brutal. I've become since a wimp since leaving Florida! So I get there and get the keys, which goes pretty much like clockwork, and then I head uptown to meet up with Laura and Chris for some super depressing window shopping. I found my engagement ring, its only $400,000!!! I also am lusting over a rung form Van Cleef, its only $2100! Now I just need to find me a man to buy me all these pretty things!!! After that we grabbed some sushi, and headed back to the apartment to rest for a few hours before going out to the W hotel bar. Unfortunately, my foot started acting up again (I forgot to wear my brace) as well as I had a headache, so I hung out at the bar for about an hour, and then heading home. I felt bad that I was being so lame, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!

Then Sunday, I had to head down again to give Dana and Nate the keys, as well as to help them unload the U-haul and get settled. I am still a bit sore from all that lifting! A nice guy from the neighborhood came and helped us with some of the unloading which made it a bit easier. Then Nate and I had an epic adventure returning the U-Haul! At first they weren't going to take it and said we had to bring it to another location, but us smarties managed to trick them into keeping it. Win for us! We then walked back, and all collapsed at the apartment from exhaustion, and watched more episodes of Glee than I care to admit! I look forward to heading down later in the week once things are more settled and all the furniture has arrived and been put in place. it's a gorgeous apartment, and I think it will look great once they get unpacked!

Now I've got another basic week at work, working on postcards and other exciting projects. On Saturday though, I head back to Florida for a week to see my family and friends before my two overseas adventures this summer! I'm really looking forward to it, and it should lead to some interesting stories!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Working Girl

Current Location: New York, NY

It's Friday!!! SO I haven't updated this week because in all honesty there hasn't been much to update on. I came home from the Jersey Shore on Monday evening, with a wonderful tan I might add, and relaxed before a busy week of work. This week, since there was no work on Monday, I tried to get all of my hours in in 4 days, which was a challenge that I did not succeed in. However, I did make up some of Monday, so it will help out my paycheck!

On Tuesday, I went jogging, and I unfortunately twisted my ankle in the stupidest way - after my jog i was crossing the street, and i wasn't watching where I was going and stepped on uneven pavement and twisted my ankle :( So no running for me for a few more days while my ankle heals. I don't want to risk anything worse happening to it!

My best day this week was probably Thursday. First, I usually eat Lunch in the office, but Justin was in the area, so we went and got sandwiches and chatted. It was nice to get out of the office for a bit! Then that evening the lovely Meghna came up to see me and go out to dinner and drinks for some much needed gossip! We went to Campo, and then came back to my room with a bottle of wine to watch Glee and Chicago! It was a very relaxing evening to spend, which I much needed.

This weekend won't be anything too busy, but the most exciting thing happening is my sister and her boyfriend are moving up to NYC! Tomorrow I am going down to get the keys for their apartment for them (I'm so nice), and they get into the city Sunday afternoon! It will be fun to live in the same city as my sister again ( it's been 7 years since we've lived in the same place for more than a summer). She will be down in Brooklyn, so I'll be subwaying it down there occasionally! Hopefully I might see Laura at some point as well this weekend!

Well I will try to update more often, but work doesn't lead to the most interesting posts! Perhaps this weekend will bring some funny stories to share. In a week I will be home, which will DEFINITELY bring interesting stories, so keep checking in! Love to all!