I was scrolling through Instagram yesterday and I saw this girl who had posted that she was really excited to announce she had completed her goal of visiting 25 countries by the time she turned 25. She then went on to state that her new goal was going to be to visit 30 countries by 30. I commented, congratulating her and then said that I think I want to set the same goal and then I set about counting up my visited countries. Continue reading “35 by 35”
Gifting long distances is hard. Gifting is as much about the experience of watching them open the gift as it is the actual giving of a gift so when someone lives an entire ocean away, it can make gift giving and receiving feel difficult or less enjoyable.
For me, this gift giving/receiving stress is multiplied by the knowledge that my apartment is small, my status abroad is temporary, and I have champagne taste on a sparkling grape juice budget.
If you’re wondering what to do in Paris this weekend AND fancy crossing a few things off of your holiday shopping list – read on!
My friend over at Moonlit Wing is currently featuring a series of guest bloggers and she recently asked me to write a little something about Paris.
She gave me carte blanche to really take the post wherever I wanted to and what I ended up writing is one of my favorite things that I’ve written so far about life abroad.
I have good and bad news about this post:
Bad News: I can only find two of my photos from this trip to Nashville. I don’t know if something got messed up in the cloud (not a tech-savvy millennial) or what, but they are all gone.
Good News: This has made me angry so this blog post will be short and sweet with only three or four photos.
*A very special shout out to my friends Jason and Gary who not only let me crash at their house on Thursday night of this bachelorette week-end but then they bailed me out by sending me a few skyline photos from their office building to round out this post*
As seen in my previous blog post about Sawyer, Michigan, I have entered into the age where all my friends are getting married. After only 4 short days to recover from the Big Nasty Weekend, I drove down to Nashville, Tennessee for a second bachelorette party and let me tell you, it was a struggle.
I took my leftover Pedialyte (only pink was left, because like I said in my previous post, pink is gross) and the bottle of apple wine that I bought the weekend before. I planned to take it very easy. That did not happen.
Nashville is an amazing place for a bachelorette party. The people are nice, there are a million bars, the food is excellent, it isn’t crazy expensive – it’s a home run.
Without further ado: here is what we did on our Bachelorette Party in Nashville, Tennessee:
-pizza and games at our adorable airbnb in East Nashville. I tried to find the listing for you, but wasn’t able to. Just search one that sleeps 16 people and you might find it. It was perfect.
-went out to Kung Fu Saloon, left after a while and went down the street to Winners Bar where we watched the bride sing an interesting rendition of Night Moves and then we went BACK to Kung Fu Saloon. Fun fact, I left my credit card at Kung Fu Saloon and several very nice staff members helped me track it down when I realized it the next morning.
-woke up and took the Nashville Party Wagon tour. We had matching shirts, whistles, balloons and even though it was BYOB, we had a great time. I would definitely recommend this. How many other times can you say that a tractor actually pulled you and your friends through a downtown city?
-Lunch and a cocktail at Acme Feed & Seed – if it’s a nice day, you need to go up to their rooftop. It’s a beautiful view of the city and a cool vibe in general. I’m the most angry about this photo being gone.
-Home for a nap/rest/bride discussing potentially getting a tattoo/ bride recruiting people to go get a tattoo with her/everybody backing down from getting a tattoo and then taking a nap instead
-Dinner at Cabana – I have eaten here before, but it is always a good choice. The fried chicken and mashed potatoes were other level and their Peach Tea Cocktail Moonshine is a must.
-Went out to Tootsies (after I swung by Kung Fu Saloon to pick up the ol’ credit card) where the bride had to perform a scavenger hunt, and then wandered over to the Stage for some excellent live music. We hung around after the show and made a few new friends who decided to take us to the Diner, which is apparently where the party continues after-hours. I wish we had more time to stay at the Diner, because it seemed like a really cool place, but I knew I had to be in the car for 5 hours the following day, so I told everyone I needed to head back and we hopped in an uber home.
-brunch at Saint Añejo which went uneaten by me because I didn’t feel well and also am not a huge fan of spicy food. I should have taken the time to order better, but I just wanted to be back in bed.
I had an amazing time in Nashville on this bachelorette weekend, but my only advice to you, dear reader, is do not do back-to-back bachelorettes. It is rough on your wallet, liver, tummy, vocal chords, and dignity.
Back in Bloomington during my senior year, I lived in a house with 8 girls. It was so filthy and obscene that it was affectionately (and appropriately) called the Big Nasty. The house was crooked, had two kitchens, was also home to fleas and I think a mouse, had a wifi network called ‘the frathounds’ and was next door to a half-way house. Despite all of this, it is also home to some of my best and worst college memories. We had strangers wandering the halls, Jimmy John’s sandwiches covered in ants in our front yard, a Gumby costume that made its way out during special events, a big couch that was perfect for snuggling and 5,000 hot dogs filling the freezers. It has been 6 years since we lived in the Big Nasty and our first roommate got married this past weekend.
While I didn’t make it home for the wedding, I was lucky enough to be in the states for her Bachelorette party which was hosted in Sawyer, Michigan over Labor Day Weekend. Continue reading “All My Friends Are Dead – pt.1 Bachelorette Party in Sawyer, Michigan”
I started writing this post at the beginning of the summer and then I got distracted, but I’m sharing it with you now!
Once school was over for the summer I was essentially working for myself. When I’m not working in the schools, I have this freedom to schedule vacation whenever I want, which is terrifying. Don’t get me wrong… it’s amazing, but also dangerous. The temptation to ignore my to-do list, close off my online teaching schedule and go on perma-holiday is so real. This desire is only worsened by the fact that Paris is miserably hot and humid over the summer.
In the first few weeks of summer, Parisians were at each other’s throats. I actually watched a fight over a stroller break out on a bus. The bus driver had to get up out of his seat to yell at an entire bus full of adults. I have never seen that before. Shortly after, a man stole my cell phone out of my hands on the metro and then ran away as the doors slammed shut.
It was time to get out of Paris. Continue reading “2 days in Montpellier”
I have a job planning social events for a group of student interns that come to Paris for the summer (one of the many side hustles). Every year, I stress out about where to take them. I want them to genuinely experience life in France, but I’m usually on a pretty tight budget and language barriers can become a real problem, so I am ALWAYS looking for cool stuff for my interns to do that are anglophone friendly and bougie but on budget. I thought that today, I would share a few cool things we’ve done over the last two summers to hopefully inspire a few additional cultural activities for you on your next trip to Paris. Continue reading “Four English-Friendly Activities for Your Next Parisian Adventure”
One of the questions I get asked the most frequently is: How did you end up in Paris? It’s the second question an American abroad asks another expat when we meet each other, right after “where are you from in the states?”
“What’s your story?” Continue reading “What’s your story?”
Summer is here! It’s a gorgeous day today in Paris, Taylor Swift has come back to Spotify and life is very good.
As a general rule of thumb, I’d like to avoid “listicle” blog posts but this one seemed okay given the weather, the aforementioned music situation that is currently happening, and my resulting mood. Without further ado, I present to you a few of my favorite rooftop terraces in Paris. Continue reading “Cheers from the top!”