Short work week thanks to the holiday on Thursday. And I for one am having difficulty sitting still at work; I cannot wait to be back in STL for some time off! I love the city, but I’m a gal who loves stars and Oscar the dog, so I’m eager to get back to that life.
For this year’s Fam Fest/Gram Fest, we decided to participate in St. Louis Public Radio‘s MetroQuest–an adventure around St. Louis using only your feet and MetroLink (and okay wheels in our case). Rounding out our team were our fearless leaders, Grammy and Grandpa, Aunt Nan, Aunt Suzi, Mom and myself. Aunt Suzi named us (“Fam-A-Lam-A-Ding-Dongs”) and Mom dressed us (in capes and white sunglasses courtesy of Stoli). Then we literally were off.
Along each stop, you answered trivia and completed challenges. Not having a smartphone, we didn’t upload our photos to the site for points. Instead, we were the team creating chaos and laughter along the way. Case in point: the elevator.
It was here the wheels of the Gramses’ got tangled and refused to come apart. While the elevator door opened and closed at the Metro station, Grandpa used his cane to make it stop and Grammy attempted to use her arm. All to no avail. I made sure to document the fact the sisters could barely get it together in the back to figure out a plan.
Upon exiting, I think everyone was newly invigorated as we took the Missouri History Museum by storm in our photo scavenger hunts.
All in all, the day might have started out with this….
But it ended like this. Successful Fam Fest 2012!
Eager to get out of Chicago for a little R&R (again). This time: STL for a stopover and then Beale Street Music Fest with some gal pals from work. Already got my sunscreen, so all systems a go!
After a crazy two months in the office, followed by the heartache that was Monday night, heading off to get some R&R in the rural town of Birchwood out in Tennessee with some gals. Seeing as I’ve never been South of STL, this should be quite interesting. Oh, and there are rifles involved (hence the third “r”)as Amanda’s parent’s have quite the gun collection to shoot off on their land. Gulp.
And we’re having a crawfish broil. Or is it boil? Being a non-adventurous eater and one who doesn’t eat things that swim, this weekend will clearly be a lot of firsts…shooting guns, eating things from the ocean, drinking bourbon from mason jars…One things for sure, I cannot wait to start rural star-gazing on this four-day escape.
Grandpas aren’t just good for teaching you how to hold a golf club, play Rumy or teach you the art of chocolate milk making. They help make sure you keep your blog up to date and fresh. Well, at least mine does. Nor (of Nor/Nan fame for all of you who drive the roads in STL and see him in his Caddy with those personalized plates) informs me every time I talk to him on the phone I haven’t updated. So, this one’s for you Nor.
Last week, I checked something off my bucket list no one believed I hadn’t done before. The wish? To pull an all-nighter.
Now I know, how could I possibly graduate from college without pulling at least one all nighter per exam time? Or how did I manage to not stay up the whole time during the All-Night Grad party (bleachers = nap time)? It’s beyond me. Guess we’ll just chalk it up to the fact I know what I’m like with just 6 hours of sleep and it’s not pleasant. So why should I submit society to anything less than six? But last week, I did it, survived and actually managed to go out in public with friends.
It all started on Wednesday. After a successful first date night (which I believe that phrase is usually an oxymoron), I had to chat with everyone under the sun about it. Which leads to the 4 o’clock hour rolling around and me still wide-eyed. So I sleep for maybe 3 hours before heading in to Werk. Needless to say, it was a glasses kind of day.
After weening myself off my usual 8-10 hours of sleep with that Wednesday night antic, I stare Thursday in the face. Thursday was my last midnight showing with Harry Potter. I don’t need to go into detail how traumatic this night was going to be for me, let alone coupled with an all-nighter.
It’s 2:30 in the morning as we wizarding-lovers finally make our way to the streets. Between the sugar high and special edition 3D Harry Potter glasses, I know sleep is no where in the near future. So after going home, I realize I’m not tired and proceed to read in the hopes I’ll fall asleep.
But I don’t. Because when I’m in a book, I can’t stop reading. And I won’t stop reading until I finish. So much for chapter breaks.
Then I see myself staring at the clock reading 8:15 and it dawns on me, that not only did I read Commencement in one night, I just pulled my first all-nighter.
And there you have it. My all-nighter didn’t include memorizing notes, a whirlwind evening in a foreign city or pain spasms preventing me from a slumber. Mine involved a goodbye to my favorite literary characters and a book about graduating and entering the real world.
A proper way to celebrate the night when it all ended.
Note: As Maggie can attest, my nights’ of sleeplessness caught up with me on Sunday as I managed to only wake for dinner. Jet lag isn’t just for international affairs…
While back home in the STL for break, I went through all of my CDs and started uploading them to iTunes. And I found a gem. And now I’ve got the Wonders to sing me through my morning proposal writing. If only I had this on DVD…
This past weekend, I went to Indianapolis for the first time. The occasion? An old friend’s wedding. Like a friend from elementary school. We hadn’t talked in a while, I had yet to meet his new bride and a lot of Oakville people weren’t on the wedding roster, so I was a bit nervous. Also important to note, Kelly and I stayed with an old girlfriend who I hadn’t talked to in a while outside of the girls gathering events we always hold when back in STL.
Aside from being blown away by the city itself (I mean, not what I anticipated at all), I was utterly blown away by the fact you get a group of people who knew you when you were 10 and it’s like nothing changed, at all. It’s so amazing that you can go years without seeing someone or talking to them and you’re right back to where you started.
And then you have people in your life you see everyday, yet struggle to make conversation with.
For this, I’m so fortunate. I’ve got friends all over the country, who I rarely talk with or see, and yet, it’s like we haven’t missed a beat. Granted, we might not know all of each other’s latest gossip or online dating endeavors, but it’s like we’re still 16 and living in our parents’ houses.
My favorite moment: When Kelly woke up on Saturday morning and turned to Aubrey and goes “Thanks for not pulling a steamroller this morning.” And Aubrey retorts with: “I thought about it, but didn’t know if you would still get it.”
We all still get it, and we all clearly want to resurrect Lardo Fardo’s Steam Roller moves.
Growing up in a billboard ridden land, I’m used to reading billboards while driving along. And I was shocked to find some children actually live a childhood where they don’t know the lotto jackpot for the week or where Molly Brown’s fire stand will be so you can buy fireworks outside of your county as someone deemed them illegal.
When I came across A Love Letter For You, I loved it from the start. As someone who never drives, I’m constantly staring out the window when my nose isn’t in a book. Chicago doesn’t offer many reading options in the big city except for store fronts, their sales and other buses. Another reason why I love this project: it’s heavily based in community, which is a matter I’m personally invested in.
Here’s my favorite. And naturally, it got me thinking what I would submit. And also vaguely reminded me of that pathway on I-55 heading into the STL city (right around Afton I believe) that people used to rearrange cups in the fence to spell things out. Not nearly as advanced as this, but still effective.