Homecoming!

So I’m a little (actually a lot) behind and never got around to sharing my weekend with you guys, which is a shame because it was a fun one. Now that it’s almost a week later, it seemed like a good time to do it. Yeah, I’m a little bit of a slacker.

Friday I had class from 9 to 12:30, yep that’s a 3.5 hour class, on a Friday. Luckily it’s a pretty class so I don’t mind too much. And I got to print business cards on a super fancy and expensive printer. Fo free. The perks of taking a digital printing class.

Front:

 

 

 

Back:

I actually feel semi-legit now!

After class I headed to a 45-minute spin class, always awesome, and lifted a few weights afterwards. Gotta get those muscles!

Later on, a couple of friends and I took a trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see all of the beautiful fall leaves before they decide to shrivel up a die, which is what they tend to do when I go home for fall break. Here’s a couple pictures from our trip:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really love being in the mountains sometimes. At least until it snows.

Our rumbling tummies lead us back into town for dinner. We wound up at a favorite, Black Cat Burrito. They seriously make some of the best burritos ever. If I wasn’t living on a college budget I would probably consider eating there every night. Not even kidding.

 

I got the “Thai Me Up” burrito with tofu, spinach, curry sauce, rice and sunflower seeds, minus the tortilla, plus some sriracha. Gotta love any place that can put curry sauce in a burrito and still make it work. Actually that’s a lie, I’m pretty sure curry sauce just makes everything taste better.

After dinner we checked out some of the First Friday activities going on in downtown Boone. It was fun to walk around and check out some of the shops, while enjoying free snacks:

 

Free chocolate covered peanut clusters! Yeayuh. Oh and free wine! Yes, free booze in a college town, three guesses why students love First Fridays. I got a glass of Charles Shaw at an art store, it was pretty tasty, but I don’t remember what it was, except that it was red.

And I caught a glimpse of some of the homecoming fireworks while walking back to my car.

Saturday morning, my roommate and I headed out to farmer’s market. I have no idea what I’m going to do with my Saturdays once the farmer’s market closes. It makes me sad to think about, fresh produce makes life better.

After the farmer’s market we got a bunch of friends together for a chili lunch before heading out to the homecoming game. I didn’t think to get any pictures of the chili, but it was delicious. Chili is the best cold weather meal in my opinion, I’m sure you’ll see me eating it all winter, especially now that I have a handy dandy crock-pot!

At the game:

 

The lawn is a million times better than sitting in the student section, I wish I had discovered this like freshman year. I only made it to half-time before calling it quits, I’m not so into football. But we ended up winning!

And the night ended with wine, apple pie, and What A Girl Wants. No Shame.

Three Buck Chuck and pink fuzzy socks. Such a good combo.

 

And an apple crumble for people whose tummies don’t like gluten. I made it up as I went along but it still came out really well (I can post the recipe if anyone wants it!) and the best part was I didn’t have to share ūüôā

 

Do you like football? I think it’s kinda boring, but I’ll cheer on Appalachian!

What’s your favorite kind of pie? PUMPKIN.

 

Rough Ridge

Sunday afternoon I headed out with my roommates for a beautiful afternoon hike. Gotta take advantage of the beautiful fall weather while it lasts. And enjoy the Parkway before all the Floridians come and clog it up. I’m talking to you leaf-lookers.

We decided to tackle the Rough Ridge Trail just off the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile marker 302.5 if you’re interested!). Rough Ridge is one of my trails. It’s difficult, but fairly short, so you’re not dead by the time you reach the top.

And the view are AMAZING.

The hike begins with a small bridge over a waterfall.

Not a shabby way to start a hike.

The trail to the top is completely uphill and a little rough, hence the name. But it’s one of those hikes that looks far more intimidating than it really is. The trail is covered in large rocks which are kind of like stairs all the way to the top, which makes things pretty navigable.

About a third of the way in you reach a boardwalk which leads you out onto some large rocks. Oh yeah, and this view:

I spy an old man mountain, which is actually¬†Table Rock Mountain. It looks so close but it’s actually two counties away, it’s amazing how far you can see. Apparently on a really clear day you can see all the way to Charlotte. Which is a 2 hour drive on the interstate from where we were.

This rock reminded me of the Lion King (:

The road is level with the parking lot you start at, and we’re not even halfway to the top yet!

After a quick photo break we continued our way up the trail. There’s a second amazing overlook about 2/3 of the way to the top, this overlook was much less crowded than the one closer to the bottom (apparently we weren’t the only ones taking advantage of the beautiful weather) so we took a moment to soak it all in.

Roommates! Minus one who was being responsible and doing homework.

We peeled ourselves away from the beautiful views and headed the rest of the way up the trails. Even though there are so beautiful stops along the way to the top, making it to the top is so worth it. Plus you feel pretty awesome when you look down and see how far up you are from where you started. You end up climbing about 480 ft from the start of the trail.

What’s up mountains?

They’re definitely called the Blue Ridge Mountains for a reason. Fun fact: the mountains are blue because the trees release hydrocarbons into the air which causes a bluish haze to form around them. You learn something new everyday. I love the blue, it makes the mountains looks like an ocean.

That’s small looking bridge is actually the Grandfather Mountain swinging bridge, which is in the next county over.

Fuzzy caterpillar! This was as close as I could get with my zoom lens.

We eventually worked our way back down the trail, which is about twice as fast as walking up and headed back to Boone. I need to come back when the leaves start to change, I can’t even imagine how amazing the views will look. If I can make it past all the Floridians that is (no offense to Floridians, we just get a lot of tourists this time of year because we have actual seasons, and I’m just lucky to live in a really beautiful area. But really, drive the speed limit).

21st Birthday, Flea Market and Marvelous Mondays

I had quite the fun and jam-packed weekend this weekend!

The weekend started early with my friend’s 21st birthday, we went out to dinner at a local Thai restaurant, Cha Da Thai. This was my first time eating there but I’d heard very good things and was not disappointed. When my friend told me she wanted to go to Cha Da Thai I looked up their menu online and saw their menu had a curry section. I was ridiculously excited for this meal all week. I have a completely unnatural love for curry, can’t get enough!

So obviously that’s what I got! I ordered the Kaeng Panang Curry with tofu, which I’m sure I totally butchered the pronunciation of when ordering. Anywho, it was a “delicious, sweet red curry dish with coconut cream, broccoli, snow pea, carrot, bell peppers and kaffir leaves.” delicious indeed. I finished every last tasty drop of that curry sauce. Not sorry about it.

 

And the birthday girl got 4 birthday crowns and a light up wand. And apparently a super blurry picture. Sorry guys.

The celebrations continued on Friday night with cupcakes and daiquiris.

I whipped up some chocolate cupcakes using Bob’s Redmill Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix (hey, I wanted to eat some too!), and because I can’t seem to leave cake mix well enough alone, I swirled some peanut butter in on top. Best decision ever. They didn’t even need frosting after that, I would know because I ate 4 of them. No shame.

We ended our super girly night with Moulin Rouge. It was actually my first time seeing Moulin Rouge and it was pretty weird, but they sing Elton John’s “Your Song”. That sassy little gay man makes every thing better.

Saturday morning started off with a CrossFit workout (which was amazing!). Post-CrossFit (and shower!) My friends and I headed out to a flea market in nearby Deep Gap to see what treasures we could find. A good alternative to dealing with the drunk tailgaters on campus. Sidenote: I love how tailgating makes daytime drunkenness totally acceptable (but Appalachian beat Montana!).

 

If the cats were any indication of the things inside, we were in for a treat. We actually ended up finding some pretty cool things:


The pleasant regulator? I doubt that.


Lots of license plates.


Old soda bottles galore.


And some $0.05 fun.

And soooo much more. The place was full to the brim with stuff. We even found an old stop light, some samurai swords, and a family’s old Christmas stockings. I left with a $2 mini-buddha and a $0.50 unicorn figurine (best $0.50 I’ve ever spent!). Pictures when I decide to get off my lazy butt and take them (:

Then we ended up on the Blue Ridge Parkway:

 

So beautiful, I really love the mountains.

Sunday I just decided to be a lazy bum. I’m not even going to try to sugar-coating it, I didn’t leave my apartment once. Laziness at its finest.

Which brings us to Monday!


Today has been long, but surprisingly good. Things that made my Monday a little less miserable:

 

  • Oats in a jar for breakfast. Fewer dirty dishes ftw please! Though now I’m pretty sad that I’m out of almond butter‚Ķ and that this is the 4th jar of nut butter I’ve finished in 3 weeks. By myself. I don’t play when it comes to my nut butter consumption.
  • A square of unsweetened Baker’s chocolate followed this jar of oatmeal. Chocolate makes Mondays better. It’s a fact.
  • I took an unexpected spin class today after class. I was going to go for a 3-mile run but my foot is feeling like it’s starting to act up again, so I nixed the running idea, checked the group fitness schedule and saw that there was a 45 minute spin class at the same time I was going to go running. Lucky fitness coincidence!
  • University recreation FINALLY got new yoga/pilates mats! Inhaling foot stench was not the most zen thing in the world.
  • Speaking of Pilates, my class went awesome today. I’m starting to get in the teaching-zone and I’m really enjoying teaching every week. I have a few repeat students and it makes me so happy to see their faces every week. They like me! They really like me! (Kidding! But I’m happy they enjoy their workout)
  • The community service club I’m a part of has TRIPLED in size this year. I went to a meeting today and was amazed by amount of people I saw. It warms my heart that so many people want to do good in the world.
  • Gluten-free pizza leftovers. It has been 5 MONTHS (ridiculous!) since I last had pizza and I have been craving it something fierce. Thank you Amy for your delicious pizza, and an extra thank you for making it big enough for leftovers.


How was your weekend?

What made your Monday Marvelous?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Weekend.

It’s the last weekend before summer, only 4 days, 3 exams, 2 projects and 1 presentation stand between me and sweet summer freedom.

Friday afternoon I headed up to Howard’s Knob¬†to take some graduation photos for my friend Jessi. You can literally see the entire town of Boone from the top and the views are stunning.

Image

Hey Boone!

Image

Image

Graduate! I’ll miss her next year, now I have to find a new hiking buddy.

Afterwards we headed to Rough Ridge for hike. I love Rough Ridge, it’s a challenging hike, but not exhausting and the views are amazing. It’s also really rocky, which I think is fun, it tends to make things more interesting.

Image

Not even at the top yet.

Image

Those are the only pictures we got complements of Jessi’s iphone, I was sick of lugging around the DSLR at this point.

The weather was beautiful the entire way and it was a great hike. Rough Ridge is a favorite.

Post-hike I head straight out to dinner with my roommate. We ate at Black Cat¬†for a celebratory end of classes dinner. It was delicious, as always. I switched it up and got the “Gang of Four” which is steamed carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli served over rice. I was trying to be nice to my stomach and go gluten-free, it was good but the burritos are much tastier. But their burritos are tough to compete with.

A 10pm frozen yogurt run was necessary.

Image

There is frozen yogurt under all that fruit, I promise. Tart + fruit is my favorite combo.

Image

And the night was finished up with some cheap wine in a mason jar. We like to keep things classy around here.

Today is the Sticky Bun Run! I’m so excited!

Creepy Crawlies.

This afternoon some friends and I went walking on the Price Lake Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Image

The trail was a 2.3 mile loop around Price Lake. The weather was nice and the lake was really pretty. The wildlife not so much.

It rained quite a bit yesterday so the trail was pretty muddy (Toms might have been a poor shoe choice). Apparently the rain made all the critters wanted to come out to play. We ran into:

A snake. Funnily enough, when we ran into it we were talking about all the crazy animals we’ve run into while hiking (there was a cow incident once). Snakes are a new one. And hopefully not a reoccurring one.

Image

When you go hiking with a biology major, you will have to stop while she catches tadpoles. And then she’ll make you take a picture of it.

Image

She was very excited about finally catching one. We found a hidden Mickey too.

There were lots of beaver dams:

Image

And other beaver evidence

Image

But no beavers.

 No Biebers either.

It’s probably a good thing we didn’t find and beavers (or Biebers), I’ve heard they’re surprisingly vicious.

Pure terror.

It was a nice little trek through the woods. Minus the snake. It was nice to get out while the weather was nice because it’s been pretty gross all week.

Tomorrow I’m going for a 5 mile run (yikes!), I’m staying positive, I will do it and it will be awesome. I’ve still got my eyes on a 10k in May. Then I’m chaining myself to my laptop and getting some work done. So much to do before the end of next week. Luckily next week is the last week of class! Good thing too, I don’t think I’m going to make it much longer. So ready for summertime! And sleep.

Hiking Photos 3/23

Trails near the Greenwood parking lot:

ImageImage

Moses H. Cone House and path to Bass Lake:

ImageImageImageImage

Pseudo-Professional

The past two days have been nonstop. Thursday morning I was up a 6:30 (what is wrong with me?) to hit up the gym to lift some weights. I love lifting weights, but I always feel kind of lost in terms of what exercises to do, I need to start jotting down some ideas before I go. Also I’m not a fan of the meat heads in college gyms, I feel all the grunting and protein shake chugging is unnecessary. But maybe I’m just jealous I’m not curling 65 pound weights, yeah a little.

I also had a marketing exam and other gross schoolwork that kept me inside on a beautiful 75-degree sunny day. Super lame.

Some graphics and printing companies were coming to campus on Friday for so we could interview with them for potential internship/job opportunities. Thursday night, a couple of the companies came up early and there was an event with dinner/hors d’oeuvres and networking opportunities. I went to make a good impression, but it was awkward, a networker I am definitely not. But I did meet some nice people and talk to a couple of the interviewers.

Friday morning I was up early (at 6 am, ouch) to get ready for my interviews and hit up the continental breakfast they were providing. Unfortunately the breakfast was not worth getting up for, it was bagels, doughnuts, and danishes (can I get some fruit, some yogurt, anything remotely healthy). I ended up with half of a bagel and and cream cheese and chugged coffee like it was my job. Not a satisfying breakfast after only 6 hours of sleep.

I had 3 interviews starting at 9 (I was supposed to have 4 but one company couldn’t make it because of a family emergency). My interviews went pretty well except two of the companies were only looking to hire people graduating in the spring, but my third interview went really well, and the woman I talked to was super nice. I can tell my interview skills are definitely starting to get better. I’m still bad at them, and the most awkward conversationalist ever, but at least I get marginally less awkward with every interview I do.

After my last interview I went from this:

Image

to this

Image

in under 15 minutes to go hiking with a friend. It felt good to get out of professional clothes. They make me feel like a little kid playing dress up. And they give me a height complex, I’m 5’4″ and still have to shop in the petite section and get them hemmed. I guess I could wear heels, but I’m clumsy enough without the additional falling hazard. And Asics are 300x more comfy than my flats.

We hiked a trail near campus (2-3 miles maybe? it wasn’t marked) and we were going to walk around Bass Lake, off the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it decided to pour down rain when we got 1.7 miles down the 2.3 mile trail to the lake, so we turned around and went back. Of course it stops raining as soon as we get to the car.

Image

And we found a box full of letters on one of the paths. It was apparently like a geocaching type thing but with letters people had written, too bad they were all rained on and mushy.¬†I took more hiking pictures, I haven’t put them on my computer yet though, maybe later today?

I got back from hiking, back in to normal clothes and went out for Mexican food with some friends for dinner. It was not my favorite, I’m not a fan of Mexican (or I should say I’m not a fan of Mexican food in North Carolina, because I know it is nowhere near authentic) but I enjoyed the company. We went back to my friend’s apartment and watched The Holiday¬†the plot was pretty terrible but Jude Law was in it. He automatically makes every movie better.

See? (source)

Then I PTFO-ed at about 12:30. I was tired.

Now I’m just being a lazy butt and sitting around in bed. Which is perfectly acceptable because it’s Saturday morning. I also got 8 hours of sleep last night for the first time in like 3 weeks (that’s terrible, I know) and it felt glorious. I’m ready to conquer the weekend.