Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ice Cream and Wine

This week is just not my week, so I'm having three things guaranteed to make me happy- eating ice cream, drinking wine, and watching Hart of Dixie.

It's sort of midterms right now and I have a ton of work, so I won't be able to head home this weekend, which means I won't get to see B. I suggested he come down to visit me instead. Since he works on weekends, he would have come down tomorrow. We were both excited about it, and then it turns out that he has a work training tomorrow, so he won't be able to come down after all. I know it's not his fault, but I'm definitely extremely bummed that I won't get to see him until next week at the earliest and the following weekend at the latest. Granted, this is nothing like the six weeks we spent apart while I was in Galapagos, and I know that in the grand scheme of things this is not that big of a problem, but I can't help it. I miss him.

To add insult to injury, yesterday I found out that I didn't make the final round for a job I really wanted, and I've been putting off a pretty serious talk with my dad.

I'm feeling a bit unmotivated right now and a lacking in a bit of self-confidence. I would have loved to have B here to make me feel a bit better.

I know I don't normally write negative posts, but I thought that this might be relatable for some of you that are in an LDR.

Well, until I get to see my honey again, I'll have to console myself with my ice cream and wine.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

I am writing this blog post from a cozy apartment on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. I've been here for a week and a half and I have another week and a half left here. To anyone else, this would be a dream come true. Yet to me, it's a long road home.

Yeah, I know. Isn't it gorgeous?

Let me rewind. Last year, I got accepted into a program in my school where I get academic credit for working with a company for Spring semester and the summer break. I chose to do it with one of my dream organizations and as a result, they sent me to the Galapagos in late February for a month and a half and again for 3 weeks this month. At the tail end of last year, I wanted nothing more than to be gone in order to process things from last year and perhaps make a fresh start in the love life. Yet, in January I began to reconsider all of my escapist fantasies.

I hiked up this place in a dress, bikini, and flip flops. Baller!

I like turtles. :)

Last year, I was dating as a way to cope with a broken heart with no real intention to settle down. This year, I decided to take a baby step and begin dating once more, while putting some closure on my relationship from last year. Somehow both things happened at once. I simultaneously met an amazing guy- B, and I confronted my past and realized that my old relationship belonged in the past. I had no intention of moving quite so quickly, but somehow knowing that I was leaving soon made me ditch some of my walls and actually get to know B despite my doubts and fears. Of course, it helped that he and I just clicked right from the very beginning- heck, our first phone call was 4 hours long and our first date was 8 hours long.

My first trip here was really tough. He and I talked every day, thanks to internet messaging on our phones, and skyping, despite the crummy internet reception on the islands, but we hadn't established anything yet, so some of our time apart was spent with me trying to figure out if I could settle down with someone- no matter how great he was- so quickly and with him dating other people as we'd talked about previously. About halfway through the trip though, we had a conversation that nearly broke us apart and I realized just how much I definitely did not want to lose him, so we took a chance and decided to "go steady" even from thousands of miles apart.

I was worried that things would be different when I got back home, but it was even better than I could have imagined. He met my family and really seemed to fit in extraordinarily well. I met his and not only did I like them (and they seemed to like me too), but I just loved seeing him around them. And our own interactions with each other were just simply amazing.

This is the closest we've gotten to a real fight thus far... and I know you can't see his face, but maybe next time I'll pose a real picture of him. 
He's cute though, trust me! :)

Although I've talked a lot on here about waiting for the right person and knowing what I wanted, it's really funny to actually be in a situation where I think I might have found that. He gets me in so many ways and I feel like we connect as much as and even more than we did from the very beginning.

And so, being away from home, even for three weeks- which to me used to feel like nothing at all, is harder than anything I've done before because now I have something really important that's bringing me back.

Before you think I've lost all my zest for adventure though, I have done some fun things while exploring the islands. Last trip, I went snorkeling for the first time in my life and I got to swim with sea turtles- a dream come true. I hiked several mountains and explored an incredible cave, we went kayaking to the only penguin colony in South America, and I've spent crazy amounts of time at some truly beautiful beaches.

Kayaking and cave exploring...

But really though, I think I've gone soft. Hopefully though, my next adventure will be a trip for two. :)
Yeah, I swam in this beautiful little cove...

2011- A Reversion to my College Days...

New Places: I started 2011 with my big move to Monterey. This is my little house. :) Isn't it charming? My room has a skylight and a balcony overlooking the backyard, and we're located just a short distance away from cannery row and the recreational trail that hugs the coastline. Although my workout routine was hit or miss last year, I did spend quite a bit of time walking and jogging the trail.

My little house and Bixby Bridge. Monterey is truly beautiful...and I live here... for now!

My Birthday Celebrations: Last year was my 25th, so I decided to celebrate it big time. I started with a trip to Las Vegas with some of my closest friends. Since I was dating someone at the time, the trip was crazy fun, without being over the top. We got very lucky and had VIP treatment at pretty much every place we went. We stayed at the Venetian- which was incredible and granted us free access into Tao. Then we went to XS on the following night and somehow got on their VIP list despite them not having one.

Vegas with some of my nearest and dearest!

I also got to meet two of my celebrity crushes- Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles at Supernatural Con- a birthday gift to myself to celebrate my last birthday before real grown-up life.

Yes, I am a fangirl... get over it!

And then I had a birthday celebration put on by some of my new Monterey roommates and several other dinners. In February, the guy I was dating also took me to Reno for a snowboarding trip as a birthday/ Valentine's day gift, which was a lot of fun. Overall, it was one of the best birthdays I could have asked for. 

New School and Work: The new semester started in February and although I was worried about the fact that I hadn't been back to school full time in years, I think I managed to do well. Since the school is small, I got to meet several of my professors early on and I made an effort to attend office hours, apply for internships, and really try to focus my career goals so that I could get into the companies I wanted to. Despite my lack of experience, a local conservation organization in Monterey gave me my first internship at a super cool place and through a class assignment, I scored a summer internship with my dream organization.

This is me flying in a tiny plane during my first internship. We were collecting data on the MPAs in Monterey. Pretty badass if I do say so myself. :)

Through this internship, I learned a lot more about the marine conservation sector, the types of skills needed, and I got several perks- including a trip to Washington D.C. to attend a conference on enforcement of large marine protected areas.

I was also sent on a trip in October to the Galapagos where I got to work as a translator for a training we did for the park rangers. Of course I jumped at the chance, and although I didn't get to explore too much of the islands, I did get to enjoy some of the stunning vistas and made some excellent friends.

Otherwise, my work focused on writing a publication about the same topic and helping to plan a conference which is taking place this year (2012). The other bonus was that I got to spend the summer in the bay area with my family and that through a school program, I found out that I would get to work for them again in 2012 for the spring semester and summer break. 

Summer: Aside from my internship, I also managed to sneak away to Mexico for a little bit- alone. This trip was very last minute, but I spent an entire week in Mexico by myself. I thought it would be a bit weird, but I ended up hearing about the Quiksilver surf tournament down there and somehow I met a few of the surfers competing and ended up hanging out with them the entire week, with prime seating at their tables. It was a pretty awesome trip and set the tone for a very fun summer in the bay!
The first is the view from a little boat to Isla de la Piedra where I went horseback riding and kayaking. The second is a view of one of my favorite beaches in Mazatlan. And the third is my VIP seating while one of my new surfer buddies was interviewed after his heat. :)

Love: I've mentioned that I was dating someone in the beginning part of 2010. He was a good guy, but unfortunately, my fledgling relationship did not survive the distance. We broke up in March and although it definitely broke my heart quite a bit, I managed to enjoy the single life in Monterey and dated quite a bit. At the time, I thought that the distance was to blame for the relationship not working out, but in retrospect, I realize it's because he and I really weren't right for each other.

Symmetry: In some ways 2011, was a very symmetrical year. As weird as this may sound, the year seemed to begin and end in the same way, making it seem as if everything that happened was contained very neatly within the year. I won't go into too much detail, but one example of this is the celebrity meetings. I met J&J in the beginning of the year and I met Brandon Boyd (another one of my celebrity crushes) at the end. I also ended the year in Vegas celebrating another friend's birthday. Like I said, very strange.

Me and Brandon Boyd... yeah buddy!

Back in Vego!

In short, 2011 brought lots of heartache and angst, but also lots and lots of fun and plenty of learning experiences. It really paved the way for 2012, and well, this year has been incredible thus far. :)

Me and my Monterey roomie acting like the kids we are!

2010- The Year of Me

Well, I think I am officially the worst blogger! It's been about 2 years since I last wrote and so much has happened in my life. So, I guess I'll start with 2010's highlights.

Machu Picchu: I finally took my trip of a lifetime. My trip to Peru was my very first 100% solo trip and it thankfully went off without a hitch. I hiked the entire Inca Trail and I wasn't even the slowest one! It was an incredible experience and the trip helped me to realize exactly what I wanted to do with my life. It also made me realize how much I could accomplish when I set my mind to something.

Sitting in front of Machu Picchu and rocking the Tomb Raider pose in the second. :)

Some of the coolest parts of the trip included exploring the ruins around Cusco by horseback, rafting for the first time for several days, making plenty of good friends along the way, eating amazing food, hiking the Inca trail while listening to Tomb Raider music, and doing yoga on the ruins of Macchu Picchu. Yeah, I did that. :)
Exploring Cusco. The first is a Quechua woman and the second is the Plaza de Armas in Cusco.

Right before embarking on our rafting adventure. I sort of look like I know what I'm doing, right?

Work: After Machu Picchu, I realized that what I wanted more than anything was to go back to school. So I applied to get my masters in Environmental Policy from a little school in Monterey and quit my job to study Marine Conservation- a career that I had no idea even existed, but that is somehow a perfect combination of so many of the things I love.

Family: On a slightly philanthropic note, I helped my sister purchase her first house by co-signing on her loan. It was a tough decision since at the time she was just getting started, but now I know that it was a great decision since she has come a long way!

Love: Well, the year was definitely a bit rocky in this department. I met a couple of really great guys, but in the end they weren't for me. Nonetheless, I had fun, and one of them carried over into 2011 when he helped me move into my new house in Monterey and made the first part of my year a lot of fun.

Ruins en route to Machu Picchu and making a wish with some rocks. Did it come true?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Yoga Love!

I noticed that I haven't written much about my love of yoga. It's funny because I've been practicing for the past 7 years or so and it has truly become one of the things I most love to do. Recently I've been telling a few more people about it and I figured I should probably write about it on here as well.

Not exactly yoga, but ready to workout nonetheless!
{Image from my personal collection}

I started in high school practicing with a Vinyasa DVD after I quit swimming and water polo as a way to stay in shape. I continued in college by taking Iyengar yoga with one of the instructors on campus and it soon became the thing I looked forward to every week. Upon graduating, I took a couple classes at my gym, but craving more of a challenge, I started doing Bikram yoga. With Bikram, I definitely found a challenge and also a way to reconnect with that zen feeling I've been missing since college.

Partaking in my love of swimming
{Image from my personal collection}

Yoga has definitely changed my life. It's not only made me more aware of my body and the things it can do, but also given me a new appreciation for the things around me. Honestly, I think the world would be a much better place if everybody practiced yoga. I've been trying to get everyone I know to try it and I've even been considering getting certified as an instructor so I can share it with others. For now, I'm just excited to talk about it with anyone and everyone!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"I want someone. Not just anyone. For a while. And then longer."

It's funny being single. It seems like everyone (and their mom) literally, is trying to set me up with this great guy they know, whether it's a friend's son, their nephew, their stepdaughter's best friend's brother and so on. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the help, but is it so impossible that I'd like to do things my way. I don't want just anyone and I'm happy in my life. I'm happy enough that if I don't meet that someone, then I refuse to settle for just anyone.

"All is fair in love and war." ~ From Renaissance English poet and playwright John Lyly's Euphues (1578).
{Images from: Audrey Hepburn Complex}

And when I do meet a guy I think is worthy of my affections and it doesn't work out for one reason or another, I don't want to be comforted by someone telling me "You're a pretty girl. There's so many ugly people that find someone. Of course you'll find meet someone." As if that makes me feel better. It only points out that so-called ugly people are getting more lovin' than I am!

"The course of true love never did run smooth." ~ William Shakespeare
{Images from: Daydream Lily}

I also don't want to be told that I'm being too picky or that I'm looking for the wrong kind of guy. That just questions my judgment when I'm already down. I know that the people who say these things mean well and only want to cheer me up, but I know what I want and maybe it's not what everybody else thinks that I should want, but it's what I know will make me happy.

"Tis better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all." ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
{Images from:
Daydream Lily, So About what I said}

I'm sorry for the rant. Normally these types of posts are reserved for my private blog, but the quote I posted as my title (via Single-ish) really spoke to me today because it's exactly how I feel. So, I just want to say that I'm going to keep searching for that special someone and in the meantime enjoy my single-dom and be happy in my life until I do.

What would Angie do? She'd tell them all to take a hike! {Image from: Tomb Raider}

Friday, April 2, 2010

Have I Gone Mad? I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.

So last night I finally watched Disney's new Alice in Wonderland. Although I'd heard some negative reviews, I loved the film! It was just sheer visual eye candy, and I loved the storyline.

My favorite part though was when Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter recited the poem "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll. Of course, it might have helped that my movie companion also knew the poem and chose to recite it along with the Mad Hatter. ;) In any case, I had never heard the poem before and it was just so hauntingly beautiful.

Here's the poem in full:

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
{Poem from: Jabberwocky}

Isn't that lovely? I thought the cast was perfect with Johnny Depp as a phenomenal Mad Hatter. I also loved all the other minor characters like the Cheshire Cat, Rabbit, and Mouse.

Anne Hathaway was appropriately dreamy as the White Queen and Helena Bonham Carter was pretty perfect as the Red Queen.

My favorite characters were definitely the tweedles. Especially when the Red Queen called them her "fat boys." Hilarious!

And of course I loved Alice. Her clothing was to die for and I loved all the little details like calling Alice "Um"... priceless! Overall, I had a wonderful time and I definitely recommend it for children young (and old)!

{All images from: Disney}