Monday, May 23, 2011

It Begins Again

My long neglected blog. I promised myself that I’d continue to write here even after I returned from my travels last summer, and then school started up again. Teaching verbs of motion replaced writing about my own physical motion. It happens. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t travel in all that time. Adventures were had. So now as I find just days away from my return to Russia, I feel as though I should share some of my more recent travels.

The past few months I’ve been US-bound for my travels. My passport has been resting comfortably in my lingerie drawer as I’ve been trotting around the country visit favorite places and discovering new ones.


If one city could be my guilty pleasure it would be Miami. Part of me always feels as though I shouldn’t like Miami. I’m an academic. A serious person. My ideal night typically involves tea, my favorite quilt from Anthropologie and a stack of books. Yet part of me loves Miami. It’s a city of decadence, and there are times when I long for decadence. If it were a constant thing, I’m sure it’d get old, but as a once a year indulgence? Bring on Miami.

There’s something thrilling about spending hours getting ready for a night out. Slipping into a slinky little dress and sky high heels to go out. Every time I get waved into an impossible to get into club, I get a thrill. It’s my inner nerd feeling as though I’ve pulled one over those impossibly big bouncers as they pull my friend and I out from the line and slip us in to the a place that takes hours to get into. How can you not love nights that end with a private party where Jaime Foxx is the DJ?

This year’s trip to Miami was the perfect balance of over-the-top nightlife, and long languid day trips all over Florida. With my best friend and my family, we meandered down to Key West, balancing sandwiches on our laps as we make the five hour drive on the narrow two lane road. Just a quick trip to see the sunset and some roosters.

And, oh, the Isles of Capri. My hairbrained plan to show the family Alligator Alley which ended up working out so well it was the highlight of the trip. Switching drivers half way down the alley so everyone in the car had a proper view of the lazy and terrifying creatures. And then actually getting to the Isles of Capri, and finding that little fishhouse that I’ve been cooing over for months. It was just as perfect as I’d hoped. We sat there drinking pitchers of sangria, watching dolphins jump out of the water, and swearing this was the best clam chowder any of us ever had in our lives.

New Orleans:

A few months ago my friend LG told me she had a conference in New Orleans, and that her husband couldn’t go. I, in all of my impulsive glory asked, “Can I go?” and with that I had a ticket to New Orleans.

It’s a city I’ve always wanted to visit, and yet never had the opportunity to actually go to. Traveling there with one of my best friends in Charlottesville? Yes, please.

The city did not disappoint. I could probably write for a week on the food alone since one of LG’s former students gave us a step-by-step guide to eating our way through New Orleans with our first stop being the deliciously amazing Couchon. We kept a list of places to eat and things we had to try before we left, and we made our way slowly but surely through both. Jambalaya? Check? Beignets at Café Du Monde? Check. Alligator? Check. Massively big White Russians (how could I not?) in the French Quarter? Double check.

New Jersey:

And of course there were many trips back to my beloved home state. Though I love my current state of residence (as of November thanks to vaguely threatening letters from my insurance company). I made these numerous trips to see two of my most favorite guys including but not limited to this little guy.

And then there was the big day. Turning 30. I've had some friends freak out about that big number, but I relish it. 30. It feels real. I'm a person. An adult. I have plans. And goals and I'm accomplishing them. 30. I feel as though my life has just gotten sweeter and sweeter for the past few years so I'm looking forward to seeing where it all takes me. Celebrating in NYC with a few beloved family members & friends? What a way to start this new decade.

I cannot believe how quickly this semester went by. I feel like just weeks ago I was sipping hot chocolate and finding excuses to stay in New Jersey for just one more day. Now I'm still sipping hot chocolate thanks to two straight weeks of rain, and wondering just when I can break out my new silver shorts.

So now I sit here with my passport in hand once more slowly getting ready to pack for Russia again (whether I'll be packing said silver shorts or sweatshirts still remains to be seen--oh chaotic Russian weather, I've missed you).

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