Archive for the ‘starbucks’ Tag
Well kids, the sun has been shining here in Chicago, allowing us to flirt with the notion that winter may F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. be on its way out the door. So after the sad goodbyes to Kristin & Cindy (Kristin’s mom) early this morning, I pulled myself together- as much as possible- and headed downtown to the office. As soon as I saw the green awning, I knew a pit stop at Starbucks was a must. (Note: Anytime you wake up before 5 am, Starbucks is a must- at least once – that day.)
As I stood in line, I knew that my (hot) Soy AmeriMisto just wasn’t going to cut it today. Yes, my friends, I found it necessary to put the hot drink order aside and ordered a (cold) Strawberry Frapp and it was Pure Perfection. Is there anything better than Starbucks when you’re tired & emotionally drained?
I’ve been attempting to write a post on this topic for weeks now and cannot think of a better time to do so than today. Sorry but you’re not getting all of the reasons out of me, but I will share that this new favorite song of mine, Just A Kiss by Lady Antebellum, may have something to do with it. “And I don’t wanna mess this thing up”…let’s just go from here.
In the last two months, I’ve heard two A*MAY*ZING friends of mine, Sarah & Jenny, say, “…I’m sure I’ll find a way to ruin this somehow” in regards to the incredible guys (Tom and Phil, respectively) that have recently entered their lives. Two girls who found wonderful guys worthy of them; and guys that had enough common sense to adore them immediately. Two girls who, in my opinion, have nothing to worry about; however, I completely emphasize with them for the words they spoke.
And now, I’m admitting that I am the third one in our group of friends who has recently spoken this line- at least out loud to myself if no one else. However, unlike Jenny and Sarah, I’m pretty certain that The Jinx entered my life again and I found a way to ruin a potential something with someone pretty great.
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m pretty down about it right now. And what happened is so minor (!) and quite possibly a misinterpretation. However, when you care about someone, everything seems 1000x worse than it actually is. Gotta love those darn feelings!
After hearing my worries out, I find that I’m holding onto Jenny’s encouraging words- even if I don’t wholeheartedly believe them: “I’m sure everything will work itself out – he has to realize how wonderful of a person you are and he’d be an idiot to let you slip through his fingers.”
The truth is…I’m the idiot if I let him slip through mine.
What can I say about the past two days? Exhausting, with many wonderful moments mixed it? If you’ve been reading my blog and/or are one of my dear friends (that have been worrying about me lately), you know that I’ve been running myself down pretty low with constantly travel- for both work and pleasure (ie. wedding season).
My colleagues and I landed in DC on Wednesday afternoon and within two hours I was exploring the city with Laura. Shall I rewind? So my friend, Laura (pictured here), just so happened to me in DC for a conference this week and fortunately we were able to discover that our travel schedules coincided perfectly. Thank goodness she was there! Laura and I have both been so busy lately that a very long hiberation was probably what the doctor ordered; however, we’re stubborn twenty-six year olds who refused to listen to anything sensible so off we were!
Instead of R&R, we ran around downtown DC…but first stopping to get some Starbucks magic. It was funny because Laura said that she knew that even if I didn’t need one (Starbucks), that I would get another one with her anyways. My friends know me so well. I cannot tell if it’s a bad thing that I’m associated with Starbucks in their minds, amongst other noteworthy traits, or not. I guess it could be a lot worse.
So yeah, DC. We made our way to the Metra, which is clean(er) and much easier to figure than other metropolitan cities (take notes, Chicago). We filled up on a dinner of edamame, sushi, and cute little drinks (one with Bacardi 151 for the brave Laura). I think I made a no 151 pact in the summer of 2005 after a very blurry night in Athens.
After dinner Laura and I headed over to the Air and Space Museum for our own version of Night at the Museum- which we had private access through the conference she was in town for. We felt like kids again! It was so A.MAY.ZING.
Next stop was the Natural History Museum before the clock struck 10:30 and our passes were no longer good. We had a good time venturing around the exhibits, and Laura was patient with me as I tried to get a picture of her getting attacked by the T-Rex.
I also thought of my lovely friend, Alisha, during the African Safari exhibit. These giraffe photos are for you, A. Wish you were there!
After fun at the museums, Laura wanted to show me Chinatown and get some dessert. It was already past my weekday bed time (sad, I know), but why not stay out and enjoy DC. We found two cute places: one for delicious cupcakes (which I surprisingly ate) and another for frozen yogurt and smoothies. (Green Tea smoothie is A.MAY.ZING.) I”ll tag the places later.
We got back to the hotel and gave our gorgeous, stressed out bride friend a call. And on that note, I need to shut down and head up to Akron to play Maid of Honor.
Have a great weekend! Hopefully I’ll be back to regular posts on Sunday or Monday. Til then, take care.
Finally! I have finally found some time to rehash the details on my weekend in Columbus for Kristin’s Bachelorette Party and Bridal Shower. This is the beautiful bride-to-be at our dinner at Marcella’s in the Short North in downtown Columbus- a few blocks away from my old apartment. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start over….
After arriving in town via the ever-so-lovely Megabus, I dragged my luggage a few blocks to the Starbucks near Nationwide Arena to wait for Sarah to pick me up a few hours later. Now I don’t have to state my love of Starbucks, but I’ll share that I was consciously observing the other customers- noticing how happy people were (even at 8 am). I told Ruth, who used to live in Chicago, I sat in Starbucks waiting for something crazy to happen…like it always does in Chicago. But nothing. No insanely odd people nor rude behavior. Everyone was generally polite and respectful, not to mention a lot of good looking guys. Starbucks and cute boys are the perfect welcome home present. God, I love Ohio!
Sarah swung by around 10 am to pick up me, my luggage, and our two coffees that I was juggling. It was so great to see her! We hadn’t seen one another since our dinner in Chicagao (18 months+) and with her now living in Bermuda, we rarely get to talk other than a few Facebook messages/emails/letters every so often. Seeing her pull up in her SUV immediately brought about many flashbacks…especially those morning drivebys when Sarah would swing by my apartment at 9 Buttles after her night shift (as a nurse at Grant Hospital) and pick up/ drop off random things (clothes, shoes, movies, food, etc.)
Within minutes of our ride to the beauty that is Easton, it was as though no time had passed since our last adventure…with the exception that neither of us could navigate around Columbus as easily. Oh, something I should point out is that this group of girls refers to me as Minnie. It began in college when (for some reason) my screename was KristenieMinnie. Still I’m not sure how ‘Minnie’ caught on, but it may have something to do that all of the girls are at least a few inches taller than me. Anyways, so we headed up to Easton to do some shopping. With Sarah, the term ‘shopping’ can be deceiving, but instead of indulging you in pointless details I’ll just leave it to your imagine. One thing I’ll point out- which Sarah would be disappointed if I didn’t mention it- is that she found an adorable whale ring at Aldo, of all places. Again, I need to explain that Sarah & Minnie have this bond over whales. It started with a cute pair of pajama pants with whales on them, and now the back-and-forth whale gifts has continued. In Sarah’s mind this is the ultimate of all whale-purchases, and I have to agree (for now). How did she find this? Or better yet, who the heck made this?
After a few more stops and purchases for Kristin’s wedding festivities, Sarah and I headed over to The Cheesecake Factory. (FYI: I used to be a ho-stess at the CCF in Pittsburgh after graduation.) With our luck, we were entertained throughout the meal by our server, Jeffro…only to find out when getting the check that his name was something else. Now whether ‘fro was being faux-friendly or not, he bought a ticket on the Ohio Men Love Kristen (Minnie) Express. When Sarah went to the bathroom, he informed me that I was ‘a doll’, leaving me to make a joke out of that (of course) only to have him insist that I was ‘seriously downright adorable’.
Thank you, sir. I already tipped you- a fairly well. Before heading out, we were surprised to run into a friend of Sarah’s from Lancaster, who just so happens to be the sister of a someone’s latest crush. Small world, isn’t it.
Being very short on time, Sarah and I headed out of the beloved Easton to downtown C-bus to decorate the hotel before Kristin and Ruth’s arrival. About halfway into our decorating, the girls came a’knocking. I love my friends so much!! Again, it was as though it hadn’t been 18 months+ since this group was together. As we were getting ready for dinner, one of my favorite people in the entire world, Ms. Jackie Lugalia, joined our party. The gang was back together!! This was the first time the five of us Court Street troublemakers had been together since Summer 2005 when Jackie and I ventured to Lancaster to visit our girlies…or so Jackie claims we did, to which I vaguely remember. Did I make out with a boy that weekend too? Again, I love these girls and the (bad) influence they have on me.
Okay, back to the dirt. To my dismay, the non-Chicagoans decided to hop in the Arena District Shuttle instead of walking. Seriously! The restaurant was only 4-5 blocks away. It took more time to get there than it would have walking. I almost walked there myself, but I didn’t want a red ‘bitch’ flag hanging over my head. We arrived at Marcella’s fashionably late, to soon be joined by Jen (Kristin & my former roommate) and Carrie (Lancaster & OU friend)- who totally looked like a rockstar when she walked into the restaurant. More people began to arrive, including the lovely Mrs. Cindy Young (aka Kristin’s mom). I love, love, love her!! Unfortunately I hadn’t seen her since before my move to Chicago. And to catch you up, when I moved, Kristin & I (who were roommates with Jen at the time in a new townhouse) were not on good terms. (Long story.) Anyways, dinner was great, and as always the alcohol was flowing. I had some great conversations with Carrie, Jackie, Jen, and Laura and her mom (friends of Kristin & Jim, the groom), but the highlight of dinner for me was chatting with Mrs. Young- who continuously told me how happy she was that I came. She also made sure that I understood how much it mean to Kristin- which meant a lot to me especially because I almost didn’t go. FYI: Since I was in Cinci the weekend before, I thought that this was too much- which it really was. However, I followed my gut instinct and knew I had to be there- for Kristin, my friends, and myself.
Here’s a picture of Mrs. Young and her niece, Anna, who is an OU student and pretty kick-ass if I may say so myself. She looks so much like Kristin!
After our entrees, we received the dessert menu…which was a big mistake but a memory in itself. So, apparently, in reading the menu, Sarah prompted us to all be hard-core (like we used to be back at OU) and try the Death of Coffee drink, which contained Grappa– “the Moonshine of liquors”.
I wasn’t joking when I said that these girls were a bad influence on me. IT WAS SO AWFUL (!!!), but we all finished it…
…and the rest of the night is a bit blurry; however, the photos help put some of the pieces together. Here’s a teaser for you, which is clearly also evidence why you should stay away from Grappa. More tomorrow. Good night.
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
For those of you who haven’t had a chance to visit (me) in Chicago, here’s a quick look at my neighborhood. Technically I live in Lincoln Park; however I find myself venturing through the streets of East Lakeview more often- which is the bordering neighborhood north of mine. Just to give you a point of reference, if you continue going northwest you’ll run into Wrigleyville- home to Wrigley Field.
Anyways, this is my neighborhood. In fact, at 0:19 on the video clip, you’ll see the infamous/crazy-confusing Broadway/Clark/Diversey intersection that is four blocks away from my apartment. And at 2:30, the Red Hen Bread is right across the stress from my building. I love this neighborhood. There’s everything you need and more, including my home-away-from-home, Starbucks. Oh and those animals, yeah the Lincoln Park Zoo is about a 5-10 minute walk away.
Since I’m working from home today awaiting the fixing of my apartment lock/door, I knew that I had to get my ‘bucks kick in early since I was dressed and ready around 7 am. After the shitty day & night I had I’m not really sure how it was possible either. Now one thing you need to know about me is that I love exploring new routes. Since I got my license back in the day, I’ve always enjoyed finding different ways to get to places. Unfortunately there weren’t too many different paths to take home, but I’d mix it up as best I could.
But in Chicago, there is always a new path to take. For that reason, I’ll announce that I love Chicago. This morning, I ended up going to another Starbucks instead of my usual one near the Broadway/Clark/Diversey intersection. To get there I opted to take the more residential streets, ones that I wasn’t so familiar with. I love doing this. Not only does it break up the routine, but you never know what new place you’ll find. The buildings here are so gorgeous. Walking through the streets, I had the feeling like I could live here forever….or for awhile. But things certainly need to change because anyone who knows me (or has at least read this blog) knows that I’m not 100% happy in my current situation.
Still, as I said to my mom the other night, I feel like I cannot give up on Chicago just yet. Sure, I miss my friends and wish I was closer to my family. Those are definitely two things making me want to move back to Columbus, OH. Plus Columbus was the place where I felt most comfortable, maybe too comfortable?
I guess my question is, how do you know where you home truly is? For awhile I would have sworn that I had it all in Columbus, but when this opportunity surfaced I knew in my heart that I had to take the risk and move up here. But now that I’m here, I’m struggling to find that clear sign that this is where I need to stay. Sure I love walking the streets here and the convenience of my neighborhood, but does that outweigh all of the cons. If you’re not happy which where you are, then why not leave? How do you know where you’re- yes, I’m going to say it- meant to be?
Unless I really sit here and thinking about it, I could not tell you what today’s date is. Also, I really have to think about what day of the week it is. Okay, I know it’s not Monday nor Wednesday because I’m not just getting home from spinning class. You think I’m joking about this- I’m not. I woke up again this morning swearing that I just got back from work. I’ve had that feeling all week. Before I know it, my alarm clock is going off. It’s a never-ending cycle-
Wake Up. Commute to Work. (Starbucks.) Work. Commute to Gym. Workout. Walk Home. Shower/Dinner. Too Tired to Stay Up. Sleep.
Oh yeah. And at many points throughout my day I mix in my school work. I’ve lost all sense of time making me feel out of it, to say the least. Acknowledging that today is Thursday, I am grateful that tomorrow is Friday. At least I’ll have two days without the routine but of course tomorrow must be dealt with first. Yes, you don’t even have to ask…there will be Starbucks tomorrow.
Before I end this post, I want to share something that my professor posted today on our online Discussion Board:
In an earlier thread this term, I cited the story of the “trap” that was said to be set by natives in Southeast Asia to capture monkeys. They would take a coconut shell, and carve out just enough to allow the monkey’s hand to get inside. They would then put a piece of fruit into the shell and tie it to a tree. When the monkey came to put his hand in, and grabbed the fruit, it would have to make a fist, and the fist was too large to get out of the shell. The animal was trapped. However, all it had to do was let go of the fruit, so that it no longer made a fist, and the hand would slide out easily.
The afterthought: Sometimes, we need to let go of something in order to release ourselves from the traps we have gotten ourselves into.
I’m struggling to figure out how this pertains to my current situation. Obviously I’ve shared that I’m discontent/ frustrated with my current job, but have my eye on the goal of becoming a Child Life Specialist (hopefully within the next year.) Just sharing my daily routine with you it’s obvious that this is not the right lifestyle for me. I grin and bear it every day, but I’m not happy. I’m strong-willed enough to keep going through this, but I think there comes a point when you have to let go and release yourself from what’s holding you back. My job is holding me back from having the life I want to have here in Chicago and in general. But what do I do, knowing where I stand in the process of reaching my Child Life goal?
This morning’s commute was a little longer than usual with a lot of time waiting for the first train to come. Fortunately I knew that it was going to be a long day so I stopped at Starbucks before boarding my first train. Yes, I take more than one train to work. Long story for another day when I feel the need to vent.
Once again my mind was everywhere this morning. I’ve been reading this novel, Letters to God, which is a movie coming out. AND, I just learned right now when tagging the page that it was inspired by a true story. These stories get me and reassure me that Child Life is the career for me.
Okay where am I going with this? First, reading the novel this morning again made me think about how I’ve lost my faith. I tried reconnecting with my Catholic upbringing two years ago, and even looking into other religions by attending church with Julie and her family a few times. It never stuck though. I know I lost my faith awhile back in college when I really began questioning who I was. This happens. I know that. But I cannot help but wonder if I’ll ever get my faith back. We all need something to believe in.
In the novel, this little boy Tyler has cancer. So knowing my passion for Make-A-Wish kids, Child Life, and children in general, you can understand how much empathy I immediately felt for this little boy and his family. Again, this is just another reminder that I’m headed in the right direction with my new career path. Another reason why I’m fond of Tyler is because he reminds me of my little cousin, Ryan.
Enough of the tangents. In the novel, another character tells Tyler that he’s been chosen by God as one his warriors. Of course young Tyler doesn’t understand, so Grandpa Perryfield explains, “Because God has chosen you- the strongest, the smartest, the wisest- to receive this honor…When people see how brave and strong you are even though you’re sick, it makes them look closer at their own lives.”
You know I don’t mean this selfishly at all, but I think this is another reason why I am drawn to the Child Life career. Every time I’m around kids- sick & well- it makes me see my own life in a different way. It makes me see more pleasures and less problems. Kids have this power that the big kids in us easily forget in the journey of life. All the stresses blur our vision or prevent us from seeing anything at all. It’s stories- fiction & non-fiction- that make me feel alive again.
We’ve all had struggles; things we regret; people we’ve loved and lost; dreams that didn’t come true; etc, etc, etc. This is life. Each mistake is a lesson to be learned from. Every struggle reminds us what we’ve fighting for. We are warriors. Every day. We have to understand that we are stronger and braver than we believe, otherwise we wouldn’t be put in this position. Even must rely on our faith to pull ourselves through.
We all have scars- some deeper than others. Some that are visible and others that we’re able to cover. But they’re there as a reminder that- We are warriors. We have survived. We will survive.
(Blog Title: Lifehouse- Crash & Burn and lyrics)