9th Rock from the Sun

My adolescent development class this summer is kicking.my.lazy.lily.white.summer.ass so I haven’t had time to blog about July 4th in the heartland, aka OHIO! I’m in class 8 hrs a day with homework at night for the next two weeks, but on a short but sweet 15-min break today the professor showed this Stephen Colbert clip about Pluto. It’s both A W E S O M E & H I L A R I O U S. More importantly, Pluto has a heart on the surface that we haven’t been able to see for, like, billions of years. So good. I had to share!

 

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August First Bakery’s Roasted Sesame Chicken Bowl

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Not the prettiest picture, but I’ve gotten this twice this week: August First Bakery’s Roasted Sesame Chicken Bowl. It’s the best salad I’ve had in a long time, loaded with layers of spinach, chickpeas, roasted broccoli, wild rice, walnuts, roasted sweet potatoes cut into tiny slices, with a slice of lemon and sesame tahini dressing on the side.

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Copycat Catch-up!

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Maine in June
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Maine in June

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I’ve been in a bit of a blog funk as of lately, so I thought it’d be fun to catch up on a few little things and hopefully prompt more blogging this summer. One of my favorite blogs that I still read religiously is Simply B. Brooke used to live in Burlington, and then moved to Charleston (dreamy), and always has cute/fun/interesting/inspiring/real life posts. Copying THIS ONE!

ATE <–> Burlington brunches! Hit up two favorites – Penny Cluse + Leunig’s – this weekend. Usually go with a basic brunch anywhere I go – eggs over medium, toast, home fries, coffee, juice – and then try to steal bites from someone who ordered a more adventurous dish. We are who we are :D Also have made this and this and this!

DRANK <–> Anything with mint. I’m growing some herbs this summer, and have two kinds of mint. I made a Pimm’s cocktail and dig tiki drinks lately, so I’m dying to recreate the Zombie.

WENT <–> Up Camel’s Hump, a classic Vermont hike. And the trail steward was in a kilt, ha! Swimming has totally fallen to the wayside for my favorite summer activity of HIKING. I haven’t been to the pool since my class ended in May – so swimming across Lake Champlain sounds totally crazy – but I try to get out and hike most weekends. So far I’ve been up Mt Mansfield, Mt Abe, Snake Mountain, Mt Philo, Camel’s Hump, and the Beehive Trail in Maine.

WORE <–>Well, since it was 59 degrees on Sunday, I’m still digging my super cheap, completely faded black Old Navy Super Skinny Rockstar jeans…I wear these out at night and also hiked in Zion in them for days. THEY ARE THE GREATEST. Also love these sandals from Target (on sale for $15!) AND my Cobra Rock boots (big birthday splurge), which fulfill my wildest dreams of living on a ranch out west whenever they are on my feet.

REFLECTED ON <–>This quote…’No union is more profound than marriage’ -Justice Anthony Kennedy #LoveWins

ANTICIPATED <–>Sadly not London because my course didn’t fill for the first time in 8 years (I’m taking an intensive two-week education class on campus instead…), but I’m stoked for Fourth of July in Ohio! Mindi, Tom, Avery, and I are leaving in the wee early morning hours this Wednesday for our annual roadtrip from Vermont to Ohio for a week of 4th of July festivities with our families. I haven’t seen my family, besides Allison, since Christmas so I’m thrilled.

WATCHED <–> Ummmmmm I just watched Napoleon Dynamite for the first time ever this week. M I N D B L O W N. I’m mad it took me 11 years to watch that gem of a gem. Also hit up Inside Out, and breezed through 8 episodes of Grace & Frankie on Netflix. Lily Tomlin is so freaking hilarious!

LISTENED TO <–> “The Promise” by When in Rome (because I’m still thinking about Napoleon Dynamite) and Rickie Lee Jones. A friend was listening to her new album, and then we started listening to ALL of her stuff, and then researching her life with Tom Waits.…got a bit obsessed in the best possible way. She’s dreamy.

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Love & Mercy

After Inside Out was sold out at the theatre, I checked out Love & Mercy. It’s the Brian Wilson biopic with John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, and it’s fantastic! It got me looking at YouTube videos of the Beach Boys and I came across this Surf Police clip of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. LOL!

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P.S. In other summer entertainment news – I finished Girl On The Train and Saint Anything, and just picked up The Bronze Horseman from the library. My friend Rachel raved about it!

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Down in Louisiana: Voodoo Daiquiris, Rooftop Swimming, Elvis, Dream Wedding, & Adorable Children!

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Hi everyone!  Finally getting around to a recap from my time in Louisiana from a couple of weeks ago. I went down a few days early for Alison’s wedding with my plus one: little sister Allison. I actually brought my Nikon camera (and like three lenses) with me on this trip, but then didn’t use it once OR get a good photo of the bride. Argh camera fail! Here’s a random mix from my phone though :D

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–> After my sister Allison & I landed we high-tailed it into New Orleans with Laney for some Lafitte’s Purple Voodoo Daiquiris. I think it’s a mystery as to what is exactly in this drink, but I’m going to bet a mix of everything at the bar. It’s sweet and super strong. <–

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–> My first Bloody Mary – ever, I know!?!?!?!??! – @ Pat O’Brien’s. My sister Alison was like, “Girrrrrrrllll I can’t believe you’ve never had one of these. It’s like liquid pizza (my favorite food).” <–

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–> Giant ferns/street view/sweet sister @ Alison’s parent’s house! <–

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–> Pool things:) Allison and I stayed at the Hotel Monteleone and it had a rooftop pool. If only every morning could begin this way…. <–

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–> Frenchman Street <–

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–> More A+ ferns around the French Quarter <–

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–> Cute Happy Hour sign in the French Quarter <–

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–> Bourbon Street at night <–

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–> Morning selfie + the biggest iced coffee I’ve ever seen<–

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–> All dressed up for Alison’s wedding! Allison, Laney, me, and Abbey:) <–

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–> Bride’s wedding cake: GORGEOUS <–

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–> Groom’s cake: AMAZING! <–

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–> Wedding flowers: OUT OF THIS WORLD <–

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–> Wedding painter, painting their first dance: DREAMY <–

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–> Coffee bar at the Wedding: GENIUS <–

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–> Wedding Elvis: MY OBSESSION <–

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–> Laney’s children: MY OTHER OBSESSION <–

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Spontaneous backcountry camping in Zion

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Whoa, long time no see! It’s been a while. The semester wrapped at up UVM, my friend Eric from Ireland came to visit (first time to AMERICA!), and after a long dark winter in Vermont the sun came out, so I’ve been outside on walks OR sipping negronis OR eating ice cream.

But I keep talking about my Zion trip to friends and strangers. Unorganized hilarious magicalness would best describe it.

It was a bit impulsive. Liza (North Carolina), Peggy (Chicago), and I (Vermont) essentially got tickets to Las Vegas with no real plan as to where to go from there except get out of town.

We thought we’d camp. None of us have been “camping” in a while though. Our group texts looked something like this.

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I had to test whether I could still properly set up my tent.

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Then my cat, who has started to hate it when I go on trips, peed on my hiking gear. The night before. Soooooooo after laundering and repacking everything, I happily said good-bye to a still frozen Lake Champlain.

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The first day we all didn’t get in until late and spent the night at the Excalibur, which I deemed a grungy Game of Thrones, haha.

A quick pic of some slot machines.

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We stayed up late in Vegas catching up and eating Popeyes chicken until 3 a.m. Liza still wanted to get up early to head to Zion, so we thought we’d camp in a campground at the park and do an easy day hike or bike ride that afternoon.

So we rented a a car, which ended up being a giant white Texas SUV (random), and drove a few hours to UTAH!

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Then we got stuck in traffic for forever. Zion was a TOTAL zoo. It was Easter weekend so I guess we should have known…

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The park ranger laughed when we rolled up at 2 p.m., telling us that all the campgrounds filled up around 7 a.m. that morning. Although unprepared – and still in Vegas clothes – we thought we’d see about getting a day-of backcountry camping permit.

Best quote from Liza, who was decked out in leopard print & dripping in rhinestones: While I love my outfit, I really wish I wasn’t wearing it now.

After initially telling us there weren’t any backcountry spaces available, we pleaded, and she said that they had one cancellation on the West Rim Trail that we could use for the next three days (broken up between campsite #6 and campsite #3) but it was very remote, 8 miles away, and up a steep canyon with some treacherous switchbacks.

We said we’d take it.

And then we (okay, I) panicked because it was late in the day and we were unprepared. Liza had to tell me to go back to my “place of yes.” We quickly drove to an outdoor gear store in the town next to the park to buy a map and water purification tablets. I also bought like ten Cliff bars and extra batteries. We packed and changed in the store’s parking lot, and I scarfed down a corn dog from the gas station like it was my last meal before we started hiking just before 5 p.m.

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The hike was gorgeous but suuuuuuuuper hard. I had to laugh because we thought we’d take it easy and ended up on this crazy backcountry trek. The West Rim trail is a 16-mile long stretch that goes from the northern part of the park at Lava Point down to the Grotto inside Zion. Most people start the West Rim Trail up at Lava Point and hike down because otherwise it’s over 3,000 ft of elevation gain. WE started at the Grotto because of time/location and hiked up. It was intense – we hiked up part of the popular Angel’s Landing trail (Walter’s Wiggles 20 steep switchbacks in the beginning were killer in a heavy pack!) – and I occasionally was like, WTF am I doing? But the light in the canyon was one of the most gorgeous things I’d ever seen.

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It got dark on us – even taking the Telephone Canyon shortcut – but luckily there was a full moon, a real God-send since my headlamp broke (um, right?) and there were some super steep drop off points on the narrow trail.

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It took about five hours to get to our campsite. At that point it was 10 p.m. and freezing outside, so we quickly set up one tent, drank some rum, ate a bit (sardines for Peggy & Liza – ewww – and peanut M&M’s for me), and zonked out for the night.

The next morning we made instant coffee and macaroni and cheese for breakfast (and pretty much ALL meals thereafter, haha). We saw more deer than people and after a harrowing journey to get there, it was totally chill on the plateau. We lazed around our campsite reading for most of the day, except for our excursion to get water (interesting experience).

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At Cabin Spring, aka our beloved little mud hole for fresh water.

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The next night we moved from campsite #6 to campsite #3. The first campsite was in a wooded area, so we were like YOWZA with our new view. A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

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The next day we hiked 8 miles out, which was mostly downhill:) Check out this blue blue blue blue blue sky too <3

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We decided to make a spontaneous trip to see the Grand Canyon on Easter for sunrise, so we booked it to our car, stopped at Subway’s for sandwiches, and beelined it for Williams, Arizona. Made a quick stop at Lake Powell for an ice cold lake dip!

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Which then brings this recap up to date –> All about Easter @ the Grand Canyon.

Tomorrow I’m heading to my favorite city stateside – NOLA! – for Alison + Jason’s wedding. I’m staying in New Orleans for two days with my youngest sister who is tagging along, and then spending two days in Baton Rouge with LANEY <3 It’s like 90 degrees so I’m packing sundresses, swimsuits, hats, and plenty of sunscreen. Wee!

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Alternative Easter Sunday in the Southwest (\ /) <–my attempt at bunny ears:)

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Last Sunday was the last day of a three-day backpacking trip in the southwest! There’s a crazy story involving our spontaneous backcountry camping trip, but thought I’d start with a quick recap of our Easter day. Started with sunrise @ the Grand Canyon. Epic.

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Followed by huevos rancheros, biscuits & gravy, and a big ass cinnamon roll at a diner in Williams, AZ (super cool town). Please note that I did not eat a vegetable at all unless you count salsa – but it’s a condiment, right? – on this vacay.

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Three hours later we were back in Vegas for the afternoon. Whisky & David Bowie temporary tattoos by the pool.

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Sushi dinner at Jjanga.

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Red-eye back to the CHILLY east coast:(

P.S. Happy belated birthday Mom!

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