Category Archives: Adventure

How Do You Like ‘Dem Apples?

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Have you ever read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? If you haven’t, you’re banned from reading this blog until you go read it. You think I’m joking? I never joke about cookies. And I only joke about mice on alternate Mondays.

The adventure I had to Carter Mountain with two of my suitemates very much resembles this childhood book, and it all began on one very misty mountain morning. The man explaining where each type of apple was located gave us these instructions: “Go down the road that you can’t see, take a right at the sign that you trip over, and pick from the first tree that you bump into”. So that’s exactly what we did…..

If You Give The Suitemates A Free Weekend….Then they’re going to go Apple Picking

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To Skydive or Not to Skydive, That Is the Question

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Answer me that, Hamlet. Well, after you figure out all that other stuff about whether it’s nobler to suffer in the mind or to take arms and fight and all that. Anyways, I’m leaning towards just going for it, but whenever I take too long to think about skydiving, I get irrationally (okay, slightly rationally) horrified. I might need some serious persuasion to make this happen.

First, let’s get something straight. I have never, ever had the desire to jump out of a plane. Therefore, it was only to be expected that skydiving did not make it onto my Bucket List the first time around. What in the world could be more ludicrous than hurling yourself from a flying contraption thousands of feet up (besides maybe Ludacris wearing a leotard and rapping Mary Had a Little Lamb)? But my biggest objection to skydiving is that I would be too scared for the entire ordeal and therefore wouldn’t get any enjoyment out of doing it. An activity that combines my intense fear of heights and my extreme dislike of the prolonged tummy-tickling feeling of free falling? No thank you, Tom Petty.

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It’s the Climb

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I’m sorry if you came here expecting something about a Miley Cyrus concert. I refuse to condone anything she does after she stopped wearing pants (and anything she did before she stopped wearing pants). Instead, this climb is meant to refer to my first real rock climb that I did with some friends in New River Gorge, West Virginia.

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Everything about the National Park was absolutely stunning. The cliffs overlooking the water; the contrast between the vibrant green leaves and the foliage just beginning to turn a fiery red. The air was that perfect fall mix of river and fresh earth.

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The New River is actually one of the oldest rivers on the continent. (It’s called the New River because it’s like those grandmas that insist they’re still 62 when they’re actually 83). I’ve heard rivers get more windy and run slower as they get older, but I still judge a river’s age by how many times it loses its glasses and if it gets huffy when the neighbors are making too much noise at 9:00 PM. While the New River still looks pretty young to me, the aged sandstone cliffs are beautiful wrinkled.

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Happy Birthday, Dalai Lama!

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IMG_2346The Internet has been pretty finicky up here, as predicted, so I figured an Internet Cafe was the best bet to make sure this post made it up for the Dalai Lama’s birthday. I’ll start by saying that the guy is nothing short of amazing. He’s traveled to 62 countries and been to 6 continents (I guess there isn’t a whole lot of demand for peace in Antarctica, all the penguins get along pretty well). He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, has written 72 books, and has been the Dalai Lama since he was 15. When I was 15, I was still crying over how to put contacts in my eyes and complaining about biology projects.

It’s not every day that you get the chance to hear words of wisdom from one of the greatest figures of our time, a man who practically eats and breaths nothing but compassion on a daily basis. I honestly wasn’t sure what it would be like to listen to him speak. I guess I thought it would be like listening to a demi-god or something. Maybe Yoda. But as soon as he opened his mouth, I was taken aback. I just didn’t expect him to be so down to earth and so funny.

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Welcome to Venice Beach

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Ever wondered where you could go to see a surfboarding clown, a man dressed as a pickle playing the ukelele, and a monkey on a unicycle all in one place? Surprise, they have it all at Venice Beach. Well, at least if you’re looking for those things, that’s probably your best bet. While I was in L.A. last February, we ended up walking along the Venice boardwalk, the place to be if what you’re in the mood for is a unique experience.

I half expected to be mobbed by people that looked like Lady Gaga with giant snakes draped around their necks, but instead I was just mobbed by people trying to get me to buy “medicinal marijuana”. I’ve seen a lot of determined salespeople before (you know the ones who show up at your door trying to sell Thin Mints), but nothing quite like this. Every third shop was selling this cure-all solution, and the sales people spread themselves across the street, handing out excuses for anyone who walked past. “You know, you look like you could use some for that broken leg that you clearly have. Or maybe for that elbow pain or those bothersome allergies. Your grandmother’s dog just got a haircut? Stressful times man, you could use some of this.” (But it’s all legitimate of course). The way they accosted everyone, you’d think that the whole planet was secretly walking around with something that could only be remedied by this sketchy Venice boardwalk medicine. Thank goodness we have Venice Beach looking out for us, is all I can say.

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Let’s Be Independent, Together!

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Go ‘Murica

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Fourth of July Eve has officially come and gone, making today the true Day of Independence. I want to wish everyone around the world a Happy Independence Day! (What, you don’t all celebrate America’s independence too? Oh. Well I guess this means you probably don’t all celebrate my birthday. I find that hurtful). For anyone who feels like joining in the festivities (I know you can’t pass up a free chance to celebrate), I leave you with the Independence Day Bucket List, or the Five F’s for the Fourth:

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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

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The Cut

What can I say? I was young, I was reckless. One day, I just decided my hair needed a little change. Before you get any ideas, I didn’t go all Britney Spears on it. It wasn’t that dramatic. I had decided it was just time to change up the long locks look and try a short, swishy style. Can you blame me for wanting a change? Once my hair grew past my shoulders as a tot, I’d had it long for my entire life, with one traumatic exception.

That distressing day in middle school, I went to a hairdresser and asked her to take 3 inches off. Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. 7 inches later and she presented the new, and very surprised, me. I made it about two feet out the door before I burst into tears. You’ve got to understand, it’s not like hair grows back or anything. This kind of thing follows you for life. She probably loved my long locks so much she just wanted to cut them all off (that’s the hairdresser reaction to things they find adorable; it’s like wanting to squish a precious baby’s chubby cheeks or cuddle a cute puppy to death). Now, before I go to a new hairdresser, I give her a good, long stare–just long enough to make everyone a little uncomfortable–to make sure that she’ll stick to what I ask her.

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