Laughing a little bit more with every mile.

So when did it become August? My summer is winding down and I am starting my job on Monday, the 13th–woah, did time fly! I have been busy these last couple of weeks spending time with family, working on my tan, watching the Olympics and my most recent trip to Philadelphia.

Family
This past week, Doug came home for an evening to spend some time with the family. Before heading out for our family dinner, Doug and I walked to the pond next to our neighborhood to throw a few lines. Using a lure and an 8lb. line, Doug caught a few largemouth bass. I even reeled one in!

Later, we went downtown to J. Christian’s  for a nice dinner. Kim and Kevin had celebrated their one year wedding anniversary on Monday, July 30th so it was nice to get the family together to look back at the last year and how fortunate we all are. We are so lucky to have each other in our lives!

Philadelphia
Besides a quick stop in Philadelphia during a road trip, I have never explored the City of Brotherly Love. My cousin, Lisa, is starting her second year at The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and had some free time in which I took the opportunity to go visit her in Philly. Her apartment is located in the Northern part of the city, off of Locust Street and is absolutely adorable. Everything needed is located in walking distance including great restaurants, bars and public transportation.

We spent the beautiful, summer afternoon walking around the ‘old city’ and then ate dinner at Pat’s King of Steaks. Pat’s is supposedly the original inventor of the Philly cheese steak sandwich and one of the best in Philadelphia. Since it was my first time having a Philly cheese steak, I didn’t have much to compare it to, but it was DELICIOUS. There is a certain way to order like a local and I got my ‘whiz wit’ and was definitely a GREAT choice. My steak sandwich came with onions and cheese whiz…yes, CHEESE WHIZ! So good!

The next morning Dana and I met Lisa at UPenn and got to explore the campus. Later we visited some landmarks (Art Museum, the ‘Rocky Steps’) and did a little shopping before heading to the Phillies v. Braves game. It was a perfect night for baseball and we enjoyed the atmosphere of the ballpark and each other’s company as much as watching the game. (Phillies lost 6-1. It’s okay– GO SOX!). The next morning, after an awesome breakfast at Marathon Grill, Dana and I got back on the road for CT after a fun visit to Philly.

(Blog title inspired by On My Highway by Jason Aldean)

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Drownin’ worms and killin’ time.

My father is the definition of a fisherman. Any free time that he has, you better believe he will have a fishing rod and reel in his hands, either fly fishing in a stream or marine fishing from the beach. My dad passed this love for fishing to my brother and they have shared countless hours of quality time together engaged in the sport. After a day of fishing, I always hear their stories about the one that got away. Now it was my turn to share these memories with dad.

Thursday night (7/19) my dad and I headed up to Boston to visit my brother, grab dinner and spend the night at his apartment before our fishing day on Friday. Doug lives in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts a cute little town on the outskirts of Boston. Newton is about 50 miles south from our fishing destination of Plum Island, making it a good in between point for the night.

For dinner we stayed in town and headed to O’Hara’s, an Irish pub, where we were able to catch up with Doug and his second year of residency at Beth Israel. He is definitely busy (and tired), but I am so proud of my brother and all of his accomplishments. I am certain that Doug always puts the patients needs first and will be a successful doctor in whatever field he decides to specialize in. But for now, the long hours of being on call, even over the weekend, had Doug jealous that he couldn’t join my dad and I on our trip to Plum Island, where the weekend before he caught a 30 inch striper!

Plum Island is located right off of Newburyport, an adorable New England town on the Merrimack River. The Merrimack River empties into the Atlantic Ocean and the mouth of the river is where we began our fishing adventure. Before hitting the beach, my dad and I stopped at Surfland Bait & Tackle to pick up a dozen sea worms. Sea worms are supposedly great bait for striped bass, but are also some of the ugliest, creepy crawlers I have ever seen (not to mention they ‘bite’). Let’s just say I left baiting the hook for my dad.

We threw our first casts out around 10 a.m. After countless casts, one lost lure, and many crab eaten sea worms later, my dad got his first hit around 1 p.m. He reeled in a striper about 18 inches long with a lure. That one fish raised our moods and with high tide at 1:15 p.m. we hoped to catch a few more. Unfortunately, the rest of the afternoon was unsuccessful and we decided to call it a day around 2 p.m.

Before making the drive home, we stopped for lunch in Newburyport at a place called Agave, a Mexican bistro. I don’t know if it was the salty sea air, the long day fishing or the company, but this was some of the best Mexican food I have ever had (I had a chicken tinga burrito with a bean and corn salad that was absolutely delicious). My dad and I were able to reminisce over our lunch about the day, our visit with Doug and just catch up altogether. After being away from home for five years, my dad and I have not had much time for just the two of us. So the 24 hours that we spent on our little daddy/daughter date was so special and we were so lucky to have the time to spend together.

At the end of the day, we may not have been the most successful fishermen on the beach, but we both knew we weren’t just fishin’–we were creating memories…

(Blog title inspired by Just Fishin’ by Trace Adkins)

I think I’ll go to Boston.

When I was a little girl, going to Boston was always a special trip. My family would make the two hour drive every now and again to attend a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. What’s a better memory than walking around Yawkey Way with a Fenway Frank and a small baseball helmet filled with soft serve ice cream? Needless to say, Boston was one of my favorite cities growing up and continues to be today.

Fortunately within the last couple of years I have found more excuses to travel up to Boston. Two of my closest friends from home attended Bentley University with one still residing in Brookline and my brother just entered his second year of residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Not to forget some of my closest girl friends from Elon now call Boston ‘home’. So since officially moving back to Connecticut a week ago, I have already made two trips up to Boston.

Boston Beer Marathon weekend (7/14-7/15)

Boston Beer Marathon

The Boston Beer Marathon is a day event dedicated to drinking and attempting to visit 26 bars without losing your swag (swag meaning gifts from sponsors of the event including a t-shirt, a viking helmet, Mardi Gras beads, etc.). Mike, Phil and I decided to forgo the $25 ticket to be ‘official’ marathon participants, but we were still able to enjoy the purpose of the day: drinking. We met up with Alison in Fenway at Jillian’s where we downed a few PBRs and attempted to bowl without bowling shoes. We got a few good laughs before getting told we couldn’t play without proper footwear and headed to another bar on the marathon, Cask ‘n Flagon. Alison and I took the time to have girl talk while stuffing our face with a delicious buffalo chicken dip, boneless buffalo wings, and rally sticks. Before long the boys and I had to head back to Brookline and we wished Alison luck checking off the rest of the bars.

Later that night we met up with Mike and Phil’s friends from Bentley and attempted to go to The Estate Nightclub. Unfortunately, this upscale club does not let guys in without pants so the five guys and I ended up at Hennessy’s. We danced to the band and I played a great wingwoman for the guys.

The next morning was a little bit rough for everyone and Phil and I put off driving the mini-van sans A/C back to Wallingford until the evening. The day was spent napping and watching the Sox and Yanks with a few mumbled jokes in between. It was nice to just spend the day with Mike and Phil since it has been forever that we were able to do that.

By the way, we did receive word that Alison survived the marathon, but lost all her swag by the end of the night.

(Blog title inspired by Boston by Augustana)

I’ve got a plan. I’ve got an atlas in my hands.

Wow. Where has 2012 gone? It feels like just yesterday I was starting the spring semester of my graduate program and was panicking about having a job by graduation (refer to Feb. 8th).

No, I did not have a job by graduation, but that was not due to lack of effort. I searched endlessly for open positions, sent hundreds of resumes, and received interviews with various places. With each rejection came disappointment, but I am thankful for the experiences and having the opportunity to explore a new direction after each one (It’s true: When one door closes, another opens). The process helped me narrow down what I was looking for in a career and eventually led me to accepting an offer for a Marketing Communications Associate position with King Industries, Inc. I am psyched to start this new chapter back up North.

But this chapter titled, Real World does not begin until mid-August. So I’ve decided to end this last chapter with some excitement. A trip out West? A fishing trip? A drive to see the Field of Dreams field? A visit to the PEZ factory (yes, this is located in CT)? Okay, maybe a few of these ideas are unlikely, but I want to make the most of having this time off. I will update my blog after each new adventure so make sure to check back!

Let me know if you have any suggestions on what I should do/where I should go before it’s high heels and skirt time.

(Blog title inspired by Atlas Hands by Benjamin Francis Leftwich)

Still Photos: Coffee

Different uses of coffee:

Jobs, Networking, & Office Space

Jobs have been on my mind a lot these past couple of weeks. Upon completion of our project with Tortuguias, reality hit hard that I was no longer on the beaches of Panama searching for sea turtles. Instead, I am starting my last semester of school, just four months away from entering the real world.

These next four months will be full of networking, informational interviews, cover letters, resumes, etc. Finding a job is a full time job. I met Friday with Ross Wade, the School of Communications career counselor, to talk about my plans for the future. As always, Ross gave great advice on how to be successful in the job search. My biggest takeaway from my session with Ross is to not be afraid of the process to finding a job. Ask for an informational interview. Reach out to alumni. Network through social media. BUT never ask for a job.

A past advisor and professor provided me with some advice recently:

“You have to ask yourself, ‘Do I want an office with a door or a cubicle?’ and that is how hard you have to work.”

I had an interview with a small agency a few weeks ago that was moving offices. When showing me around the new office, the CEO mentioned he HATES cubicles from experience and because of the movie Office Space. Having never seen the movie, I watched it this past weekend and now understand how miserable grey, cubicle walls would be. I appreciate the fact that this agency respects that people need privacy…and they do not require 37 pieces of flair.

So my answer to the question is yes, I want an office with a door…eventually. I know it is unlikely to get everything you dream of right out of school, but you better believe that I will work my ass off to earn that office with a door. And hopefully a window–closets won’t do!

New Year, New Experiences

2011 was a year full of growth, changes, and new experiences. The year started with a trip abroad to New Zealand. From hiking a glacier to canyoning down a waterfall, New Zealand proved to be an opportunity I will never forget. Senior spring flew by and before long my friends and I were in our cap and gowns under the oaks. With the end of senior year came a lot of uncertainty about the months ahead. Would I have a job? Would I have to move back in with my parents? Would my closest friends ever all be in the same place again? Some of the anxiety of the future subsided when I received my acceptance into the Interactive Media program and earned an internship position with Plaid Skirt Marketing.

The whirlwind of a year continued throughout the summer months. I started my internship after graduation and moved in with some new friends for a new experience in Raleigh. Not before long after getting settled in Raleigh, I flew to Chicago to join my family in attending my brother’s medical school graduation. This was the beginning of many airplane travels for the summer. I had the pleasure of being my sister’s maid of honor and between planning a shower, bachelorette party, and wedding I made many trips between North Carolina and Connecticut. The morning after my sister’s wedding, I was back on a plane to North Carolina and by that night had moved my stuff from Raleigh to Elon to start iMedia the next day.

‘Boot camp’ and fall semester was challenging. New apartment. New friends. New programs. New equipment. New professors. The novelty wore off fast and I was in the depth of the iMedia program. Before I knew it, the semester was over along with an exciting 2011. What a year!

Although it seems hard to believe that any year can stack up against 2011, 2012 has already shown some competition. This ‘Winter Term’ a team of seven iMedia students and I traveled to Panama to work with the NGO Tortuguias. Our goal of the trip was to provide our client with an interactive website containing video and photo elements. A more in depth explanation of our time there can be found on our group’s blog. Our final product can be viewed here.

As January comes to an end, I can’t believe that I am one month closer to getting my Masters and that familiar sense of uncertainty. Many more new experiences are in my future and I say, BRING IT ON!

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