Archive for the ‘megabus’ Tag

i had the time of my life and i’ve never felt this way before. and i swear this is true, and i owe it all to you. (part one)   2 comments

A.MAY.ZING.  That is the only way to describe this past weekend’s road trip back to Columbus, OH.  Exhausted, I’m sitting here debating whether to let my tired mind ramble on and on about the festivities or simply write: This weekend was, by far, (one of) the best weekend I’ve ever had in Columbus.  Let me reinstate that I lived in the city for over a year and there have definitely been some memorable moments in Buckeye Country since first visiting 7 years ago.  Okay, that’s it.  Let me give you the details instead of just writing that it was A.MAY.ZING.  But it really was quite A.MAY.ZING….because of all the people I spent it with.  So, to each and every one of you- Stef, Jen, Kristin, Jim, Jay, Ashley, Nicky, Tony, Brandon, Ryan, Charlie, and many new friends, etc.- THANK YOU!

Where do I even begin?  The beginning, I guess, sounds like a good start.  So the beginning of our trip to Columbus would be when Stef and I ventured downtown to catch our 10 pm Megabus.  I could tell you about some of the shenanigans of our overnight bus trip, but instead I”ll leave it at- what happens on Megabus, stays on Megabus.  Well I’ll just say that if it wasn’t so cheap and convenient, then I’d probably have stopped riding it by now.  With a feel restless hours of ‘sleep’ under our belts, and a whole lot of thinking & stressing for me, we landed at the intersection of High St. and Nationwide Blvd. around 6:30 am and immediately made our way to the hotel (aka our home for the weekend).  Although excitement was seeping through our veins, we opted for a little napping before we caffeinated ourselves with Starbucks and fueling with lunch at North Market

After crepes in Goodale Park (my backyard when living in my first C-bus apartment), Jen picked us up and carted our carless butts to (drumroll please) Easton!!!  I was (so happy that I had the chance to introduce Stef to Easton- my retail sanctuary for therapy.  We stopped at all the basics- H&M, Forever XXI, Buckeye Corner– and ironically and completely unexpected, ran into a former Hampton classmate of ours.  It’s a small world.  After buying new shoes (and a hat for me), we settled for some (more) caffeine and snacks at ‘bucks and sat outside to enjoy the rest of the cool fall afternoon. 

You know, for me, that was one of the most memorable moments of the weekend- and just only because I was sober.  Sitting there, enjoying the breeze, Stef’s company, and being back in Columbus was one of those rare moments were I didn’t want to be anywhere else.  Telling Stef more about Columbus and engaging in soul-searching & eye-opening conversations like we always do, I found myself back in love with the city- believing that I could actually see myself back there again.  Maybe?

Jen picked up her carpool (us) again and we headed back downtown for an evening out in my old stomping grounds.  Stef’s friend, Lindsey, and her brother, Mike, drove down from Cleveland and joined us for dinner.  Soon I was graced by the presence of my partner-in-crime, Kristin, and the rest of the weekend is a blur.  Thanks Kristin!  (I actually mean that!)

Heading to the Arena District, we began our adventures by meeting Jen’s friend, Kelly, at O’Shaughnessey’s– one of my favorite bars and full of memories (mainly with Sarah).  After a(nother) glass of wine, we found ourselves walking into the new bar (to me at least), Park Street Cantina.  You most certainly do not feel like you’re in Columbus, OH when you are inside that bar. 

If those Cantina walls could talk, they would tell you that this little blogger of yours turned into a little (old?) cougar- right in the middle of the crowded bar.  How it happened is all a blur, but it most certainly happened.  Before I say more, I have to once again come clean with my addiction: I love Ohio boys.  I really do.  And, for some reason, they love me.  I promise you, I will end up with a Ohio boy and/or Buckeyes fan.

With a third glass of wine in me, the details of the evening all blend together in my mind today- three days later- but I will admit that there were definitely boys that crossed my path.  Now perhaps using the term “boys”, instead of “guys” or “men”, is appropriate.  Yes, they were “boys”.  I did not come across a boy- other than the ones I was with- that was over the age of 25-years old.  Oops!  In my defense, I am commonly mistaken for an early-twentysomething (if not a teenager).  But still, it’s not like my 3 glasses of Merlot were the Fountain of Youth.  I’m telling you, something happens to me when I cross the border into Ohio.  I’m like a movie star or something.  Or maybe, it’s because I’m exuding happiness and confidence in my Happy Place.  Seriously, I’m not sure if I get it either, but I love it!

So yeah, “boys”.  A few of them.  There was one from Turkey….as in Istanbul, Turkey….who I believe was 24-years old.  We had an interesting conversation on the dance floor, but after having a flash (literally) that he resembled a certain guy (ck), I decided that I had to say my goodbyes.  (I think I gave him my phone number thought. Idk.)  Before I knew it I was engaged in a conversation with a 21-year old, but dismissed myself quite quickly to rejoin my girls.  After they abandoned me- Jen & Kelly for guys and Kristin for the bathroom- I found myself in the presence of Austin, someone who definitely showed that he can shoot-the-shit with me and put me in my place with equivalent sarcasm and humor.  I have to say that I enjoyed talking to him, and of course, Kristin thought that he could be the love of my life that leads me to moving back to Columbus.

Did I tell you about that?  I probably should as this knowledge will come in handy for Part Two of this weekend’s story.

Because I love her dearly, I granted Kristin the chance of a lifetime: To play wingwoman for me over the weekend.  The hope was that I’d meet the love of my life (this weekend) and move back to Columbus to live happily ever after- with her (Kristin) at least.  So, that being said, Friday began the hunt as we scouted out boys- beginning at O’Shaughnessey’s and continuing at Cantina.  I’m not sure if the love of my life was found in the Arena District that night, but Kristin did keep Austin at the top of her list…at least until Saturday night.  (More later.)

That’s really the most of Saturday night.  It was a late night.  A long day.  But it was wonderful!  The perfect beginning to an A.MAY.ZING. weekend back in Columbus, and you know what, it only got better from here-on-out.

athens to chicago in twelve hours   Leave a comment

I woke up in love Athens, OH and very, very soon I will be going to bed in Chicago.  I finally arrived home after almost 12 hours of being on the road and it feels almost as A.MAY.ZING. to be lying in my bed right now as this weekend was.  Almost A.MAY.ZING. but nowhere near as much so.  Athens, OH…it feels like home.  Different, but the same.  I’ll share many more details in the coming days.  I really need to go to bed because tomorrow proves to me be a very busy day, but fortunately no Skokie for me. 

Congratulations to Bill and Renee!  And a special thank you to my friends, Ashley, Mike, Jay, Meghann, Ryan, and Steve (aka Rook, or Snooki) for making this weekend so memorable.  It was great to be home with you.  Also, thank you to Jen, Joe, and Elise for spending time with me in Columbus on Friday. 

P.S. So I had this brilliant idea on the ride home today…an idea marked by exhaustion, I’m sure.  However, it was a good one and I’m only mentioning it on here to remind myself to g0 forth with this little plan.  It really is a favor, and one that can actually benefit the person being asked to perform the favor more than me; however it requires me to place the initial request.  Okay, I’ll spare you from listening to my rambles even more.

Good night.

twitter me this, twitter me that   Leave a comment

I swore I’d never do it.  Promised to stand strong and resist the pressures of my generation.  However, the day has come where the leader has become a follower.  I surrendered…  I am now on Twitter.  This letter “t” is my scarlet letter for trader.  The guilt is running through my veins…but let me explain my reasons, or rather my excuses.

For one, I promise you that I’m using it work purposes to promote my organization and our affiliate partners (such as the NFL and their PLAY 60 initiative).  Second, this social media phenomenon is not ending any time soon so why not just see what all the fuss is about.  Additionally, why not ‘stalk’ my favorite celebrities and hear all about their nonsense and rich, fancy lives.  And finally, I’m young, I’m single, I’m dedicated to trying new things…so why not?  @kristenieminnie

This is the first of two things (today) that I hold Ms. A(driana) responsible for.  And I can’t remember life before her name. 

The second way that A corrupted my life is, well my own fault mainly, but I got a new cell phone today…on pure impulse.  Since I didn’t bring my gym clothes to work today, I headed directly back to my apartment, especially since I got out of work later today.  I texted my dear friend on the way home about something else, adding a random question to see what phone we recently purchased.  Still not sure why my fingers typed that question on my old, scratched up phone.  But they did and the rest is history…

TA-DA.  Meet my new phone, the Eris Droid.  As Adriana said, “Phone Twins.”  Actually they are like bf-gf because my cover is blue and hers is pink. 

Gosh, Twitter and a new cell phone in one day.  What a day!  Actually it’s funny because Kristin said in an email today, with regards to our discussion about many things surrounding my need for a change, that I should either get a new job or a puppy.  Well getting a puppy is a little bit more realistic probably, but instead I’ll stick with the new phone for now.  Does anyone else have a Droid?  It’s going to take me a few days to get used to it, but I already feel like I made the right move.  Now if only I could figure out how to download my infamous Sex and the City theme song as the ringtone for my ladies then I’d be set…well sorta.

Apparently today is Wednesday.  Wednesday night, to be exact.  At this time tomorrow night I will be on my way to Columbus, OH via the lovely vehicle known as Megabus.  OMG.  I haven’t even finished packing yet!  While I started on Sunday when I got back from Memphis, I haven’t done anything since then.  On that note, and the fact that it’s 11 pm CT, I should probably sign off here and either pack or go to bed.  But will I?  New phone and new Twitter account, plus email messages to respond to…probably unlikely.  How am I still awake?

Actually much to my own surprise, work wasn’t that bad today.  If anything it went by very quickly as the day was filled with meetings and impromptu calls.  Life at AFHK is far from perfect, but I got some advice from my brother last night that reminded me that I need to ‘make the best of the situation and concentrate on enjoying it’.  Last night I thought it was bogus advice, but after a fresh start this morning I realize he was right.  Thanks, Nick. If I learned anything from today it’s that something a change is necessary…and sometimes it’s a change in attitude that is needed.

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‘Twitter is over capacity’ error message?  Say what?  I do love the whale…long story about Sarah and my little whale-collection hobby…but seriously?  Maybe this is proof that my initial feelings about Twitter being ‘not for me’ were right all along.  Stick with your initial instict right?

oh baby, baby, it’s a wild world it’s hard to get by just upon a smile   2 comments

Another night, another adventure on Megabus.  By now I’m sure we’re all shocked to hear that Megabus was somewhat on time last night- if you count ten minutes late ‘on time’.  Then again, I guess we didn’t depart then, so scratch that.  Megabus was not two hours late which unfortunately did happen to my poor friend, Adriana.  (Still sorry about that hun.)  At that time I was just happy to unload my bags and have a seat to myself, and even happier that I remembered to bring a pillow and blanket this time.  But looking back I should have seen the signs that we were in for an adventure.  First, the bus driver mistakenly either 1) didn’t realize that Cincinnati was in Ohio; or 2) had no freakin’ idea where she was driving too.  And I can say this because I’m kinda-sorta a blonde…she wasn’t even blonde.  I know, the stereotype gets old,  but it was a long night and my creativity isn’t quite there yet. 

Anyways, we boarded the bus and YES!!! the wi-fi was working.  And then it stopped.  While I was trying to log back on, the driver slammed on the brakes and started yelling,  “What the hell do you think you’re doing?  You cannot get on the bus here.”  Apparently some crazy women thought our bus was her bus and tried crossing in front of it in the middle of downtown Chicago to get us to stop.  Yeah, instead of going on about her stupidity, I’ll just say people are crazy…including our bus driver.  OMG.  She was a horrible driver.  It was impossible to sleep on that bus because she was continuously slamming on the breaks.  Do you really need to break that much when you’re driving on the Interstate?  Who am I to judge?

So yeah, let’s just say that I was happy to finally wake up and see the beautiful sunrise over OSU’s Horseshoe football stadium this morning.  Columbus, I’m home!!  As soon as I got off the bus at 7 am this morning (Eastern Time!  Love it.), I bee-lined over to my home for the day, Starbucks at Nationwide Arena, for a day of working remotely AND I have a lovely lunch date with the wonderful, Jen Morel.  She informs me that we will be having sweet potato fries (Love Love Love) as she needs to gear up on carbs for her half-marathon with Matt tomorrow.  I also feel the need to give a shout-out to the baristas here.  These three girls are so bubbly and their happiness is a bit contagious.  I LOVE OHIO!  Seriously, Chicago, what is wrong with you? 

Okay, that’s a perfect segue into what I was going to blog about last night- if I had wi-fi on the bus.  So I dropped into Akira last night on my way back to panic-mode packing at my apartment, and I’m so glad I did.  I have a new (gay) boyfriend!  I honestly have no idea what my secret is.  They love me and I love them!  So Bradley hit on me, okay he flirted with my A.MAY.ZING. turquoise Hunter rainboots, which I felt ridiculous wearing since it was no longer rainy by the end of the day.  But hey, if the ‘boys’ love them then it’s all worth it.

So Bradley (new beau) and I chatted awhile, and since he was fairly new to Chi-town I gave him my contact information.  Why not?  I mean if I cannot get a straight guy to ask me for my digits, then why not throw it around to the gays in town?  Before leaving, we talked a bit about where he lived before.  To simplify it, he’s lived a bunch of places (including LA and Miami), but most recently lived in Boston (which he characterized as being ‘stuffy’ and not really his crowd).  I don’t know exactly why, having just met him, but I found it very coincidental saying that Boston isn’t the scene for me.  Call it intuition.  Anyways, Bradley said that so far he loved Chicago because the people are ‘so friendly and always smiling’. 

Me: Really?  In Chicago?  I don’t recall many people smiling at me?  (Other than the gays that crush one me, oh and the homeless.)  Seriously though, to me, and this is generally speaking, I don’t get the whole “people in Chicago are so friendly and nice”.  Yes and HELL NO.  I have never been surrounded by, and unfortunately influenced by, such negativity.  I tell people that since moving to Chicago I have felt like I have to be bitchier. 

In thinking about that now and realizing that I don’t have to be anything but ‘me’ here in Columbus, I have to ask is that right?  Why should I have to change anything about me in order to fit in and/or survive somewhere?  How can I obtain the happiness I desire if I feel like I cannot simply be me…non-bitchy me?

I just sent an email to Darlene mentioning that even in my headcold, groggy state, I just feel so relaxed sitting here at Starbucks in downtown Columbus.  Sure it’s familiar to me.  I mean I used to bar-hop in this area and my old apartment is 5 minutes down the street.  I’m sitting here with three bags and no means of transportation (for the time being) and I really don’t feel one ounce of stress right now.  Gosh, I’m so bi-polar about this whole moving back to Columbus thing, but honestly right now I cannot help but wonder why I’m not staying here after the weekend is over.  And I haven’t even seen any of my friends yet and I feel this way.  Oh boy, my head is going to be messy this weekend…and add all of this wedding stuff into the mix.  Bring it on!  Afterall, I have cold medicine and wonderful friends to help me through all these thoughts and daydreams of mine.

While packing last night, my Sex and the City ringtone went off- indicating that one of my girl friends was calling.  I assumed that it was either Julie calling me back or one of the girls that will be in C0lumbus this weekend for Kristin’s wedding.  Wrong and wrong.  It was LIBBY!! 

Now I’ve mentioned by dear friend before, but here’s the background on us.  Lib and I met during my sophomore year at OU (her freshman year, and also my first year at OU) and after a few months of being acquaintance/friends, we realized that our friendship was going to stand the test of time.  Along with Brandon, I think it’s safe to say the Lib was one of my best friends in college.  We were one another’s rocks and really still are.  No matter how ridiculous things sounded in our heads, we always need that the other was there to listen to us.  It’s the kind of friendship that you cannot force, but rather it just works out naturally.

With Lib now living in Atlanta and me in Chicago, we haven’t gotten to see one another in about 2 years.  Additionally with our schedules we also play a lot of phone tag and FB wall postings and “I miss you” texts are our most common forms of communication.  It’s tough, but as we discovered last night, we’ll always be there for one another no matter how much time passes nor distance is between us.  Still it sucks that we cannot physically be there for one another…and I was reminded of that last night. 

Now I’m not going to indulge you in the details of our conversation because some things really are best to be kept between my lovely Libby and me.  But in essence, Lib is going through the same things that I’m going through: Questioning anything and everything.  This is really why Libby and I are such good friends and always will be.  We not only think way too much about things, but we doubt ourselves and our capabilities.  To others we have it altogether all the time, but things are not always how they appear on the outside.  Like other twentysomethings, we are trying to figure out who we are and where we want to be/go.  The world is just so big and it’s easy to get lost. 

Lib and I have worried ourselves sick over every topic imaginable, and you know that we’ve gotten through each stressor.  And we’ll get through this too.  In talking to her last night I really just wished that I could bring over a bottle of wine (or two) and hash through all of our doubts and insecurities in person.  Hopefully soon.  But at the end of our call I thought that these issues will most likely have dissolved by the next time we talk.  That’s just how it is with us.  We are both stronger than we realize, but sometimes you just need a friend to remind you of that.  Lucky for me, I have many friends who remind me of this every day.  Thank you. 

And thank you all for bearing with me through this post.  I don’t think I got as much sleep last night on the bus as I had hoped.  I’m trying to bypass the second cup of coffee until after my sweet potato fries and good friend time.  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and I’ll check in again when I can.  I’m sure I’ll have such life-changing things to say after Kristin and Jim’s wedding and my weekend back ‘home’ in Columbus.  If I can leave you wish just one last thought, it’s this:

Take a moment out of your busy, stressful day and just smile.  Smile at someone- maybe a child, an elder, a mother, a father, a cute guy/girl passing by.  Smile at something that makes you happy.  Smile when you think of a past memory, or perhaps a past love- someone that even hurt you but you can smile now just knowing that they helped you become the person that you are today. 

Or you know what, smile just to smile.  No one has to be around.  And in fact smiling just for the sake is probably the best thing you can do…for yourself.  We’ve done this to finish up yoga classes before and of course you feel foolish, but you also feel so much better.  Trust me. 

before i close my eyes   2 comments

I wasn’t sure where to begin, but this quote captures how I feel about my weekend in Columbus with a group of the most A.MAY.ZING. girls in the world (Kristin, Ruth, Sarah, Carrie, Jen) and their lovely families.  Fortunately for me,  these are only a few of the beautiful friends (and extended families) that I feel this way about.  I am blessed.

While I want to share all of the adventures of my weekend back in Columbus for Kristin’s Bachelorette party and bridal shower weekend, I have to admit that I’m exhausted and promise to fill you all in when I recover…probably this weekend, unless I get very bored at work.  (Okay, maybe you’ll hear about it all tomorrow.) 

Today was a long day.  Last’s night Megabus trip proved to be wild ride.  Apparently the bus driver decided to take a break around 2 am- somewhere in the middle of Indiana and forced all of us to drag our Zombie-butts off the big bad bus and kill a half an hour in some convenience store.  I’d think that this was a ‘dream’ except I unfortunately have evidence that it was indeed not.   I kinda-sorta remember purchasing these, after roaming the aisles (Zombie eyes and all) looking for something edible and healthy.  Trail mix it was…again.  Seriously, rest stops across the country, would it kill you to offer fresh fruit, yogurt, salads…anything but McDonald’s greese and sugary sugar-snacks with added sugar???

Anyways, trail mix it was, and I’m disappointed to say that I ate the whole bag.  I was so tired that I just kept eating while I waited to get back on the bus.  Not the best thing to do after a weekend of booze and no exercise…not to mention all of these weddings coming up.  Workout & dieting started today and fortunately there are no roadtrips in the very near future.  The next few weeks are going to be filled with Spinning Classes, Treadmills, Biggest Loser DVDs, Sweet Potatoes. Tofu, Veggie Omelets…doesn’t this sound fun?  Honestly, to me it’s does, but I’m also a girl who did the Master Cleanse for 10 days.  Yeah, don’t waste your time trying to understand me because sometimes I don’t understand myself.

Okay, Dancing with the Stars is almost over and I just realized that for the past 4 nights, I slept on a bus twice, a hotel bed with two other girls one night, and a couch the other.  So yeah, my bed is calling my name, even if it currently looks like this- which is a preview of the stories from my weekend.  You cannot see it in the photo, but that wonderful suitcase pictured on the right-hand side (in)conveniently ripped open last night before I hopped on the bus. 

One more dance love- by the mess that is Pamela Anderson- and then it’s time to crash.  My tired brain is convinced that my body will wake up and work out in the morning before the dreadful trek to Skokie, but we’ll see…  Good night. ♥K

good morning, columbus. i missed you.   Leave a comment

I’ll start with saying, Good Morning, and then say that I survived my overnight Megabus trip.  But being Megabus, there was an adventure of some sorts.  To keep it brief, I was running late and ended up taking a cab.  Nothing too special about that, but as soon as I got downtown to Union Station that all changed.  First, I got approached by numerous homeless people asking me for money. (Just another day in Chicago, but turning them down never gets any easier.)  Then, after getting to the actual Megabus stop I discovered that I either forgot my boarding pass at my apartment or in the cab.  Fortunately I brought my A-game last night and decided to 1) permit my parents to break into my email account (hope they didn’t find out about the tattoos…oh well); and then 2) try my best to ‘borrow’ someone’s Wi-Fi.  Option 1 wasn’t working out due to slowness of computers over in Pittsburgh, but fortunately an arriving Megabus to Memphis was courteous enough to bring me Internet service (Hllelujah!).  Indeed this prevented me from going ape-shit as it began to….HAIL…and HAIL some more.  By the way, I am NOT kidding.  Two days ago it was a very humid 80 degrees in Chicagoland, and last night it was below 30 degrees and hailing, and hailing some more.  Ridiculous?  This is the apocalypse, right?  Just making sure.

Anyways, the Mega of all Buses finally arrived- not too late, but not on time.  The driver was a sweetheart and accepted my written-down reservation number with ease.  (Love her.)  Unfortunately the bus was packed and I ventured to the upper deck, only to be stuck sitting with a group of high school students heading back to Cinci.  The girl I sat next to was a sweetheart, but the rest of the group was still..,well, high school kids.  Let your imagination doing the rest.  They were fine-ish.  It could have been a lot worse.  I decided to throw in a movie to distract me for awhile..but then I was interrupted…by the lovely Sarah Donley and Ruth Sharp.  I love these girls and cannot wait to see them today!!!  It’s been so long! 

Here’s some background on these girls and the others that I’ll be spending my weekend with: I met Sarah, Ruth, Kristin, and Carrie through my former roommate, Jackie, who was roommates with Ruth & Kristin the year before.  Sarah and Carrie went to high school with Ruth and Kristin in Lancaster, OH- which is in between Athens & Columbus.  (Think of it as a suburb of Columbus.)  Anyways, these were the main players in my blurry memories of nights on Court Street my junior year at OU, as well as many enjoyable (hungover) memories of girl time.  Those times continued after college when I reconnected with them in moving to Columbus.  Something I just remembered, during winter break (of my senior year, I believe) I came up to Lancaster to visit Sarah, Kristin, and Ruth and this is when I fell in love with Columbus.  After this trip I just felt like it was the city for me. 

That’s a perfect segue to where I am right now, as I sit at my happy place…yes, Starbucks.  In the photo to the left is a picture of Nationwide Arena: Home of the Columbus Blue Jackets (NFL Team) and Kristin’s beloved, #61 Rick Nash.  Behind those trees on the right is a Starbucks- where this lovely, somewhat tired blogger of yours is writing from.  This is familiar ground for me since I spend many nights at the Blue Jackets games with Kristin and her fiancée, Jim.  And if you walk north from here, you will pass through the Arena District- the imfamous Columbus bar scene- and eventually come across my first apartment in C-bus on Buttles & High Street.  9 Buttles.  Wow!  That feels like forever ago.  It was about 3 years ago when we first found that apartment.  (‘We’ being my former roommate, Tony, and I.  Actually, Tony still lives there with another female roommate.)

I lived in Columbus for about 15 months and I really was content with staying there…well, forever.  But with my AmeriCorps position coming to an end and being forced to find another job, I knew I had to seize the opportunity with Action for Healthy Kids (my current employer) and move to Chicago.  While everyone else thought it was exciting…‘Lucky you!  Chicago is a great city!’  Honestly, I heard it all; however, my heart was breaking in leaving Columbus, my friends, and the life that I spent 15 months creating.  But life happens.  Sometimes it doesn’t make sense at the time, but in looking back I truly believe that it was something I need to experience. 

I’ve only been here for 1.5 hours, but it already feels good to be back here.  I’m in my element here.  The people are nowhere near as crazy as they are in Chicago, in fact I find myself sitting here waiting for something to happen.  But instead, I’m caught off guard by the sanity all around me.  People are friendly, and maybe even happy….unlike Chicago (generally speaking).  Additionally, I keep seeing one hot guy after another.  I love Ohio boys so much, and oddly enough they always seem to love me too!  As Adriana and I joked about, I’m like a glittery vampire-esque version of Edward Cullen when I’m in Ohio.  It has to be the resurrection of my confidence because I honestly have no idea what else it could be.  But no matter what, I have to say: All non-crazy/ obsessive, Columbus boys.  I give you permission, this weekend, to fall in love with me.  My heart is yours for the taking.  Just be gentle with me.

By Your Side (Sade) was playing this morning when I first sat down at my table here in Starbucks.  I found myself listening attentively to the lyrics.  I will find you darling and I will bring you home; And if you want to cry; I am here to dry your eyes; And in no time, you’ll be fine.  Last night, while waiting for the bus, I was on the phone with my mom and the honesty began pouring out of me.  With the hail, lost Megabus reservation, and crazy Chicagoans, I just wanted to let it all pour out of me.  Part of me wanted to cry, just to get it all out.  But instead, I spoke my feelings and my mom was the ‘lucky’ one who got to listen to it.  She’s the best.  In essence I told her that all of these struggles, bad days, etc. are truly character building but in the end, I cannot help but keep thinking- Is this really worth it?  I’m at the point where I’m just living to support myself.  But am I happy…no.  That’s evident.  But the thing is, I was insanely happy in Cinci last weekend (Sorry A.  I’m most likely not moving there.) and I trust that I’ll be happy this weekend in C-bus too.  But in Chicago, I’m just dragging myself along, paying all of the bills that I’ve been accumulated, and truthfully just doing my best to keep the adrenaline rushing. 

Forgive my rambling.  Here’s my last thought.  I’ve learned firsthand that we must all challenge ourselves to grow.  We must do the things that we fear because we learn so much about our capabilities when we overcome these barriers- and we will overcome them.  But admist life’s struggles, there comes a time when you have to say- Is this really worth it?  I have had my share of struggles in my life and I’m not naive to think that there will come a day when they’ll end.  Truthfully, knowing how much I’ve learned through my struggles, I don’t want them to end.  But in saying that I really want to make sure I’m living, and in Chicago (to one’s surprise), I don’t feel like I’m doing that.  I think that just proves that it’s not about the place, but the people, and additionally, home is where the heart is.  This weekend, my heart is going to be right here, in Columbus, Ohio. ♥K

sometimes i wish i was a little girl again because bruised knees heal faster than broken hearts   4 comments

A child fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty. This is the little angel that I got to spend this past weekend with.  What a cutie!  Based on this photo, I now call her the Guac-Monster since she was saying ‘chip’ and ‘dip’ continuously after falling in love with Adriana’s guacamole like the rest of us.  The Guac-Monster’s name is Hazel Katherine, aka Big Sister to 6-week year old George Michael Francis, and she is my favorite little munchkin ever.  Not only is she a cutie pie, but she is gorgeous.  That girl is going to break some OU boys’ hearts! 

My weekend in Cinci was A.MAY.ZING.  My bus left Chicago around 7 am, with us driving through Indy on the way there and the NCAA festivities must have already begun.  It took us awhile to get through downtown Indy but we eventually made our way to Cinci.  Rebecca and the kids were stuck in traffic, so as luck would have it I ran over to Starbucks to get us some drinks before our trek back to her house.  It was so good to finally see Rebecca!  Hazel had just woken up from a nap so it took her awhile to warm up.  But before i knew it she was my little buddy again- showing me all of her boo-boos and showing me the ‘baby’.  Just melts my heart thinking about her! 

We headed back to Rebecca & Nate’s new house- which is lovely- to have some playtime with the Littleton ladies.  Before we knew it, it was time to meet Adriana and Pat at the imfamous Wildflower.  Officially meeting Pat was wonderful (!!!) but I felt like I already knew him.  It was just very comfortable, and I was so happy to see A glowing with love.  Love, love, love.  The only thing better than being in love is seeing people who you love in love.  It was hard to talk to him since we were sitting at opposite ends of the bar, but I knew we’d all get time later. 

Rebecca and I were so hungry by the time we got to Wildflower, so after a delicious side salad & my first glass of Riesling for the night, my entrée arrived: Butternut Squash Ravioli.  A.MAY.ZING.  Trust me on this.  All of the food there is organic and fantastic, but I swear on that nothing can beat this.  So good!  After our meal, Rebecca headed home and A, Pat, and I ventured back to A’s house so I could finally meeting her mom.  Love, love, love her!  And let me tell you, Adriana & Dawn together are a hoot.  I was so entertained just listening to them.  I had a great time just hanging with the ladies and the wonderful Pat.  (Seriously, such a great guy!  A’s a lucky girl but so is he!)

After a few hours of hanging out at the house, we ventured out to a dive bar with one of Adriana’s friends, Jason.  As luck would have it, they had Nudie Touch Screen (aka Erotic Photo Hunt).  If you do not know this game, you are missing out!  Here’s what it’s all about, but instead of general pictures, replace them with gross-ass, women or men.  We used to play this game all of the time during Happy Hours in Athens and at Crickets in Lancaster.  It’s a guilty pleasure for sure.  Anyways, we had a few drinks and enjoyed the shenanigans at the bar.  There were some characters there and a lot of drunkeness, but the four of us kept our cool…until Adriana got her moment in the spotlight to perform HER karaoke song, Total Eclipse of the Heart.  After a few lines, Jason decided that we should join her- and so we did.  We left shortly afterwards with A and I heading home.  We were zonked and decided that it was best to sleep in the following morning.

Before we knew it, it was TATTOO DAY!  I won’t lie, I was a bit hungover from being a wino the night before.  But A, being the fabulous friend that she is made me a pot of coffee after my shower.  Much to my surprise, I wasn’t nervous but that had a lot to do with A being with me and her knowing the tattoo artist (for years and years).  We ran over to grab some lunch at the convenience store before heading to see Brad (tattoo artist).  They were behind schedule, which worked out well because Rebecca and Nate stopped by with the kids.  After they left A and I laid on the floor (in a room that reminded me of a house in Athens) just hanging out and decided to figure out where she should get her anchor tattoo.  Somehow we started discussing her getting it on the top of her foot- which she said would hurt A.LOT.  So me, being me, opened my mouth without thinking to say, “If you want to get one on your foot, then I’ll get one on mine too.”  Impulsive? Abso-f***in-lutely!  So it was decided.  IN ADDITION to the purple heart on my wrist, I was getting a tiny blue star too.  Afterall why get one tattoo when you can get two?  Seriously, I have no regrets at all.  It helped so much to have Adriana there with me though.  I love that I got to share this special moment with her. 

For those of you who do not know me, these tattoos are a very un-Kristen Medica move, or at least one would assumingly categorize it as such.  I did this for me.  No one else.  And to be honest, I’m glad I lived in the moment and made the decision to get the blue star too.  This is just proof (for me) that I’m becoming much more comfortable in my now-tattooed skin.   

Can I have a moment to tell you about my dear friend, Adriana (aka A and/or Shawty)?  I came across this quote today and it fits her perfectly: Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.  Not while this certainly does not just pertain to the tattoos, it does for this respective situation. Adriana and I have only known each other for about 7 months now- meeting at Rebecca and Nate’s wedding in September (’09).  However we bonded almost immediately- which her even giving me a pair of sunglasses hours after meeting her.  While we officially announced our friendship over Facebook that weekend, our  true friendship blossomed shortly afterwards through email exchanges, texts, and then a weekend at my parents’ house in Pittsburgh.  Our friendship has been A.MAY.ZING. thus far and she truly brings out the best in me.  As Adriana has said about me, I must say the same about her: She’s helped me find me again.

After the tattoos, we headed over to the Littletons for pizza and play time.  We ended up going with Nate and Hazel to Kroger- with Hazel being the fairest kid of them all.  There was one woman there that had the worst plumber’s crack!  I mean how do you know feel the drift in the freezer aisle at least!  I’m still baffled about that one.  We headed back to the house and Pat came over a bit later.  We had a great time.  The food was A.MAY.ZING. and the company was even better! 

Being in total Ohio bliss, I decided that I wanted to (try to) put Hazel to bed- giving Nate and Rebecca a break.  I was so sure that I could do it, but I now know that Nate and Rebecca were expecting failure.  I cannot tell a lie: it was far from easy.  She cried for ‘mommy’ for awhile but I was finally able to get her into the rocking chair to read a few novels.  Hazel loves, loves, loves kitties and she’d Meow every time a kitty was on the page.  As time passed, her Meows got fainter, indicating that my little angel was falling asleep.  We eventually made it over to the bed, to read another book…and finally her eyes began to close.  I thought I had her, I really did.  But after about 10 minutes of laying with her I decided to head downstairs with my friends.  Of course, she woke up.  Nate came back up to get her down, as I went downstairs for a glass of wine.  We watched Boondock Saints II before A and Pat left and then the Littleton parents and I called it a night.

Sunday morning= Easter.  When did that happen?  So it’s April then?  Wow!  Am I behind on life.  We woke up early to get ready and head over to Rebecca’s parents house for breakfast.  I adore her parents- George & Kitty.  We had a great Easter morning with Hazel opening gifts and going on a mini-Easter egg hunt.  Afterwards we all headed over to Rebecca’s aunt’s house to have lunch with their extended family. Adriana met us over there and then I headed out early with her.  We had every intention of going home, showering, and taking a nap…but yeah, that didn’t happen.  Instead Adriana took me to Spring Grove Cemetary– swearing that I’d absolutely love it.  And I absolutely did!  It was gorgeous!!  Everywhere I looked was more breath-taking than the moment before.  I almost felt like I was in a movie, like The Secret Garden or a non-trippy Alice in Wonderland.  As I said to Adriana, it’s fascinating how a cemetary can make you think about the beauty of life.  It’s obvious that such a beautiful place like this can make you think about that, but for me I always find myself wondering about the lives of the deceased.  More so, it also made me think about loved ones that I have lost- especially my Pap.  In an odd way, it just makes me want to live more freely.

Back to reality, so after Spring Grove I believe we headed over to visit Pat and his mother- who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.  Afterwards A and I visted her grandmother for a little bit before Rebecca came over to Adriana’s with baby George.  I got the chance to look through Rebecca’s wedding photos- which were GORGEOUS– and also held baby George for awhile.  So just imagine the La La Land that my head was in.  Weddings and babies…oh my!

Rebecca got ready to head back home just as Pat and his mom stopped by.  I was so glad that Mrs. Douglas got to see baby George (and his little mohawk).  Shortly after Dawn came back home and the five of us hung out for awhile as we awaited Dawn’s infamous Sweet Potato Casserole.  A.MAY.ZING.  After everyone left, A and I headed upstairs for some girl time.  One of my favorite things about staying with friends or hosting them is the chat time before bed and in the morning when you wake up.  (I know.  This just says “I need a boyfriend.”)  Adriana finished up my special Easter project before presenting it to me.  She made me a HAPPY BOOK!  I’ve been wanting to do that for weeks/months now but haven’t started it.  She printed off all of these quotes and graphics and OMG I just LOVE IT!  She knows me so well.  I always enjoy meeting new people and boy was this day full of that!  As much as I enjoyed it though, I was exhausted.

Unfortunately the day came when I had to head back to Chicago.  The best idea A and I have ever has been taking Monday off.  Since her mom offered to make us omelets for breakfast, A ran me over to Starbucks at the Kroger nearby.  Oh Starbucks, how I’ve missed you!  After breakfast we hung out for a bit before getting ready.  It took me forever to pack up because I really didn’t want to leave.  I was just so relaxed this whole weekend- filled with friends, new family, kids, and puppies galore.  It was just a perfect weekend. 

It was Opening Day for the Reds, so downtown Cinci was filled with fans and/drunks-whichever you prefer to call them.  A had made plans to meet her friend, Mandy, for lunch so we headed over there before going to the bus stop.  Another great meal for this girl.  We were only a few blocks away from the Megabus stop- which was unfortunate because I didn’t get to officially give A a proper THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR AN INCREDIBLE WEEKEND chat.  Seriously A, thank you. 

Much to both of our surprise, the bus was already there…half an hour early.  That’s unheard of for the Bus of all Megas (aka Megabus).  So I said my goodbye and loaded my crap in.  With Starbucks only a block away, I checked with the driver getting his ‘permission’ to induldge in some more caffeine.  I have to say that the ‘bucks barista guy was fairly cool- total hipster.  No crush there, but I just like pointing out my love for the baristas in this world. 

I went back to the bus and offered to move over for an elderly woman who was traveling alone.  Being on a high from my trip home, I chatted with her for awhile before realizing that I was too exhausted to even think.  The bus ride wasn’t too bad, with us stopping twice in Indy before getting back to Union Station in downtown Chicago.  I mentioned the other night about my miserable CTA experience home, but all in all I survived. 

I’ll tell you what, these two tattoos are truly magical as my purple heart reminds me constantly that I’m 1) stronger than I believe and 2) serves as a reminder of everything I’ve been through.  And the blue star on my foot, well it 1) serves as a reminder of my past (dreamer-lifestyle) and 2) of the living in the moment person I’ve become to be.  I’ve really grown up a lot, haven’t I?  Years ago I never would have imagined having a tattoo, let alone two.  It’s taken a very, very long time but this is truly the most comfortable I’ve felt in my skin in a long time…maybe it’s the tattoos. Lol.  ♥K