Wanderlust Wednesday: BKD Wedding Recap

Happy third of July y’all! After an afternoon doctor’s appointment, I’ll be hitting the (rainy) road to the beach so I’m sure my posts over the next few days may be a little sporadic. I guess that’s not new though, right? Today’s is a different kind of “Wanderlust Wednesday” post, a little reflection on last weekends roadtrip to Destin, Florida! Ohh man, the wedding weekend was great fun. 

On our way to Destin we stopped at an exit in Bonifay. We both needed a bathroom break, and maybe a snack. Of course there was a line, and then we decided to buy icecream (umm I know great roadtrip breakfast right?) and the woman working locked herself in the employee breakroom on the phone before she checked us out at the counter. Awwwkward. Then we hit crazy traffic on the way into Destin. So, I attempted to practice guitar. Then we went on a jacket hunt adventure at the outlets, (and of course a visit to JCrew was due because the whole store was 50% off!) Finally, we met up with my brother and his girlfriend for lunch at Harbor Docks. What a quirky, delicious little restaurant. I kid you not, the menu had photos of the cooks on it, and they served seafood, thai food, and sushi. You would think that’d make for weird service, but no I totally recommend it. Megan asked me about Bonnaroo so of course, lunch convo was fun haha. Luckily we were able to check into our hotel smoothly, and I literally got ready in about fifteen minutes, and we were still able to make it to the wedding early! 

It honestly was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed. I’m not an automatic wedding crier, and this one brought me to tears. I was so proud. Not to mention they’re a beautiful couple, and their love for one another is so visible it’s impossible not to smile at. The reception had so many personal touches to it, as well. Very sweet and great fun! It’s not very often that I don’t know a first dance song at a wedding (since you guys know I’m such a music freak,) but theirs was “My Love” by Third and Union and oh.my.goodness. SO SWEET. I have listened to it on Spotify multiple times now because I’m a dork like that. (And the six flower girls all huddled on the floor together watching the dance? Ohh, my heart.) Katie’s dad’s band sang a song (how cool!), and they had a really good band playing all kinds of music. The food was delicious, they had a cool teal signature drink called “Swamp Juice,” and our table mates were fun. (Ohh more, convincing conversation for me to head out to Portland. GAH!) Plus, it was so great to be reunited with my pirate friends. You know, as we get older the times where we’re all together in one place at the same time (under celebratory circumstances,) occur less often so I’ve learned to treasure them each time the opportunity comes. All the hugs are a little tighter, the laughs a little deeper, and the moments a little sweeter.

I’m not going to bombard you, but here are a couple of my favorite photos from the weekend (sorry about the bad iPhone photo quality, that’s why I switched to my camera!):

Okay, Okay I guess a little bombarding. I couldn’t be happier for these sweet friends starting their new adventure in life together! And to all of you readers, Have a Happy Wednesday!

PS: Look at this awesome rainbow on the drive back to Tally!

Advertisements

Bonnaroo Is My Neverland (Part One)

(I swear I clicked publish on this the other day, and it didn’t go anywhere! So since this draft is just sitting in my dashboard, I figured I may as well go ahead and share it now…at least the beginning.)

I know, I have been a horrible blogger in recent days, but in my defense I have absolutely been all over the place. So, you know how I’ve gone to several concerts lately? When I was at the Phoenix show back in May in Orlando, I made a new friend. I got his number because he wanted to buy my Postal Service ticket at Hard Rock a month later. We kept in touch over this time, becoming fast friends, an epic long phone conversation etc. One of the first things we talked about at House of Blues with people surrounding us in the crowd was Bonnaroo. At that time it was a distant dream, a someday bucket list check. (Because the original group I knew who wanted to go, then had a wedding to attend and bailed. And you know? I’ve planned all these other quick trips lately, and it didn’t seem as feasible anymore.) So, I would stare at the line-up online and we would discuss hypothetical, if you were going what would you see and compare scenarios. Then I went to Athens, and we were in this cool little bar and all of a sudden Bonnaroo came up. And we were drinking, so of course excitement escalated. One of the guys had been the previous year, so he was completely gung ho, and in joking I was like hey! tickets aren’t sold out yet, we could still go. So he started corralling people, and being like wanna go to Bonnaroo?! Of course, they thought we were crazy. Then a few more weeks passed, and it got closer and closer and the itch got stronger, and I was like hey! we could seriously still do this. I weighed the pros and cons of irresponsibility? How crazy was it, to up and go to Tennessee with like less than 48 hours notice? And some people spend a whole year prepping for this, and I was gonna do it in the window of time after work in two days? But I kept thinking of two Christmas breaks ago when I got invited to the Keys and I turned the offer down, thinking I can’t just run away from work like that (even though I had vacation time.) Then I sat at work with absolutely nothing going on during the holidays and got sent home early and I was kicking myself because I could’ve been on a boat in paradise! So, I vowed I wouldn’t let opportunities like that pass me by again. And here it was staring me right in the face. Plus, then James threw out the:

“You’ll never be in your 20s again! You’ll turn 30 next year if you don’t go to Bonnaroo!”

Which were like the magic words.  Hello, he’s right! I’d been saying the whole time, I wanna go while I’m young! The years are going by, and you’re not always at the place in life where you can just throw crap in a bag and road trip hours away on short notice to spend four days camping and concert watching on a farm in the middle of nowhere. (Think of all my married friends with babies?!) So. I posted a Facebook status inquiring about adventure partners, and one of my original adventure partners from growing up responded – Kaela. And she was in. So, she just had to work out the details but since I knew it was a giant possibility, I couldn’t sleep that night. I knew if we were going, we’d have to be prepared in some way so I started scouring the Bonnaroo Survival Blogs for tips and advice, and what to pack. Plus, James started passing on his Veteran knowledge, and a few other friends who’d attended in the past. That night, while I told my roommate there was a chance we’d go, but I didn’t wanna get my heart set on it – she was so super encouraging. So I had James with the you’re only in your twenties once spiel, and I had myself with my encouraging, no day but today story! Then Alex, who pulled out her photo album from the Woodstock anniversary concert, and her tales of awesomeness, and she was like YOU GUYS HAVE TO DO IT! So basically my heart was set on it, so there I was 4am, reading blogs on my phone while I couldn’t sleep. The next day Kae was like yeah, we need to do this – we have to do this. So, we bought tickets. Then that night, they sold out. So obviously, it was meant to be. That night, and the following day were a whirlwind of trying to pack and scrounge up items we would need (and I’ll probably do a blog post on a crash course of how to pack for Bonnaroo in 48 hours,) which included a zillion trips to Walmart/Target/Sams Club, lots of photo text messaging, and pure adrenaline that broke concentration on anything else.

Wednesday night, (I had returned to the house for a Voice watching break, and to scan the inventory) before I ran back out again. I sat surrounded by clothes and miscellaneous camping items, and food scattered throughout the living room, with re-runs of Freaks and Geeks playing in the background because why not? This was too exciting of a situation to be stressed, but there’s always an open door for some giggling in my life, and so what if I know that series by heart? Kae was driving from St.Augustine, and got there late. We hadn’t seen each other since November of 2010, so of course we needed a little catch up time! (Though we were gonna have a 7.5 hour drive to take care of that in a few hours.) But first things first – beast mode with the packing! Successfully threw four days worth of stuff in my car. Then we chatted, then we nodded off for about three hours, and then grabbed some last minute things from the house (including coffee of course,) and hit the road! We had a few stops, gas stations and bathrooms. A random exit in Georgia where we happened upon a Walmart, picked up some supplies, and later we stopped somewhere outside of Atlanta, (I think Marietta maybe who knows) and went to that Willy’s burrito place? One last hot meal in air conditioning! Yeahhh.

We were getting kind of anxious as we followed the live tweeting of #BonnarooTraffic and expecting to be sitting in the lines for hours. We might have played a little chinese fire-drill off some abandoned looking mountainous exit, so we could trade drivers and neither of us would throw up in the high altitude condition swap. Plus, we got mixed directions of driving to Coffee County High School to get our wristbands, or to just go to the tollbooth. I called customer service again, they sent us to the toll booth. We’d both read the warnings of not entering the grounds without a full tank of gas, but we were kind of out of luck on that note, not realizing exit after exit would be closed with cops guarding the ramps! So, all of a sudden there was the flashing sign and it was time to turn off! So, on we went with a half tank. And whoulda thought?

We got in, in like less twenty minutes! Though watching vehicle searches was definitely entertaining. (I have a feeling some of the people wandering the parking lot with vests on and no shirt weren’t actually volunteers, but just wanderers.) When it was our turn not much happened other than them throwing all the tampons out of my glove compartment everywhere, and some koozies from the console? Realll intense search, guys. Then we went to this trailer, got our wristbands and first they didn’t activate so we had to go back, THEN we got sent to park in the GA camping section! Dun dun dun! Since people had gotten there on Wednesday before the gates even opened we were thinking this parking situation could get interesting, but the Bonnaroo Guru was correct in telling us that it kind of works out for the later crowd because they get parked closer to Centeroo. We were thinking we were gonna be out miles away on that 50 minute walk (but next to the $1 grilled cheese.) Literally we were like a ten minute walk away in Pod 6 Camp Zoolander (holla!) right next to an RV lot. Our campsite neighbors were a couple from North Carolina who go to college in Boone, and then a crew of kids from Hudson, Florida (land of the youth soccer tournaments down in Central Florida near Tampa.) And a large group of southern kids behind us who were a constant source of amusement with their stories.

We started setting up our campsite, and of course in came rain. But we were smart and went ahead and got the canopy up, so we could work under it. Good thing Kaela is an expert outdoorswoman (first time setting up a tent,) or I would have been laying on a tarp on the ground with the tent in a pile. We got it all set up in less than thirty minutes, and bam! We were done. So we changed clothes, checked out our surroundings, and went on our way to check out Centeroo (where all the stages and tents are.)

Then the true adventure began. I don’t think we knew what we were in for, (and I mean that in the best way possible.)

Throwback Thursday: Lifelong Friends

This weekend, I’m hitting the road again. Larry and I are headed to Destin to see one of my oldest, dearest friends get married to his sweet fiance! I’ve been friends with Brad, Kyle, and Charlie since kindergarten. That’s twenty years of life right there. We coined ourselves the Pirates back in highschool, and they were my great adventure partners. We’d explore in the dried up lakes, go canoeing when there was enough water, roam the country club on nighttime golfcart rides (oh! the year I was on the golf team haha,) hit up Huddle House at odd hours of the night, they’d watch Degrassi with me since Charlie was the only one of us with that channel. Late night swims where they might’ve practiced scuba diving, or jumping off far too high awnings, climb trees (though I might’ve needed assistance getting down,) go to basketball games together, hit up Ocala just for Moe’s (small town kid life, alright?), sometimes head to the beach just for a day. Getting our liscenses definitely broadened our adventure scales – oh the places we could explore! Sometimes, that just meant finding an icecream shop that was open, and jamming out in the car with the windows down. Even being able to drive though, I can’t tell you how many countless nights we ended up just hanging out in the kitchen at Charlie’s house talking about life, looking up music, watching random videos on the internet. Aren’t the times you spend doing absolutely nothing, some of the best though? Of course, our ideas didn’t always align. (Very conservative versus my liberal self, and the lone Seminole in a room full of Gators – this led to a heated argument or two, and maybe some fierce pingpong matches.) They’d be just as down for a game of Guess Who or throwing darts, as they were to go hangout at this smokey dive bar in our hometown and throwaway money on the Jukebox, down Irish Car Bombs, or sing kareoke. As Maroon 5 would tell you, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, we’ve known each other long enough to hit some rough patches of life too – the hard stuff memorial services, family life changes, all kinds of stuff. Love these boys through thick and thin, and it’s been nice to know someone has your back. I’m so excited to see them all so happy about life, and so excited to celebrate with them this new chapter in Brad & Katie’s life! So! Today I’ve got a little photo spam of some highlights over the years. These boys are always down for making crazy faces with my ridiculous amounts of photo taking, so I’ve got some randoms:

Georgia Roads Bring Us Home

Passing somewhere through the middle of Georgia, after we finally found a rest stop. Bonnaroovians padded slowly down the same sidewalks, sleepy eyed and dazed after days of adventures. I watched a dark haired boy reach his tanned hand through the bars shielding the vending machine, attempting to retrieve some kind of snack. The moms dragging their toddlers across the slick restroom floors, didn’t know how odd it seemed to be using a bathroom with lights and flushing, and running water in the sink. We’d grown accustomed to the plastic box life of portapotties, and keeping a roll of toilet paper in your backpack, and following the path to a dusty street in early morning light. This early morning light was different. We were still alive with possibility, but sleep was battling for my brain waves and all my thoughts started to get hazy in the struggle to resist. I may have nodded off for a few minutes. I may have surrendered to the dreamy thoughts, not ready for all our beautiful moments to start the transformation into memories, a distance that can’t be crossed once it’s been created. I could only think of this land, a paradise carved out from the rest of the world where worries can’t reach you, and every stranger is a new friend to be made. The stories of these gorgeous people, and their journeys and their exquisite passion for life resounded in my ears lulling me to sleep. When I awake, my dreams weren’t real dreams, they were revisited thoughts of the same things I was pondering before I took that snooze. My mind is littered with the sensation of wet grass beneath your feet, moonlight bathing an open field in a soft glow, and the ease that accompanies life and the people you entwine yours with when you are absolutely, positively yourself. Love in its purest form because there’s no space for anything else.

The Magical Land of Bonnaroo

I’ve been attempting a text post for Bonnaroo, and it is just so hard. There are too many words, and simultaneously – not enough. I can tell you this: Bonnaroo is like Neverland. My Neverland. It is this complete judgement free zone, and no one cares about anything. Worries? They got dropped off somewhere on the interstate. Anxiety? Poof. Self-conciousness? Yeah, right. You’re on the middle of a 700 acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee where the temperatures near 100 and the sun blazes down on you, no one cares what you look like. The happiness will radiate out of every inch of your skin. There are miles of glowing happy people, all coming together for an ultimate common bond – the music. Ever since I can remember, (like seriously elementary school you guys,) I have felt like I was born in the wrong decade. My own parents, my best friend’s parents, have all agreed that somehow I ended up here, but I was made for another time. Well, it turns out that even though it’s 2013, even though we live in this crazy land of technology and nonsense, and stupid boxed in desk jobs – there’s this place carved out from the rest of the world. A mecca for the flower children. Once we arrived, I never wanted to leave. Who cares that you camp in a tent for four days? That you don’t take conventional showers? Um, no one because we’re all on the same page. Honestly this was the most blissful state of mind I’d reached since my study abroad stint five years ago. And this is different because then? There were things I was trying to escape still, things that I was happy to have a freakin’ ocean and continents between, but now? I am happy with life, I am content, my heart is full and bam it overflowed. To share this experience with one of my oldest friends of life? Priceless. The memories we made, the music we jammed out to, the strangers who became friends? They’re all irreplaceable moments that I turn over in my mind hundreds of instances a day. I felt like I had, “found my people” you know? Now, the withdrawals are real. We got back to Tallahassee early Monday morning, after driving through the night post Tom Petty show, and the pangs haven’t dissipated. I just wanna throw a bag in the car, and runaway and be a gypsy hippie. Plus, sleepovers are one of my favorite things (up there with grocery shopping with boys,) and I miss my adventure partner. This was definitely one of the best life decisions we could’ve made!

So now, is the perfect time as any to share a few photos with y’all and eventually even if they’re a mess I’ll just post the texty entries, so you can see my words, hear my thoughts:

Throwback Thursday

Heyyy! It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Throwback Thursday post, but since today I am going to be reunited with one of my favorite friends at her new home in Chicago I figured I’d throw out a few flashback photos!

Lauren was always down to go to crazy free stuff on campus with me, like this 90’s night where we watched old Nick Cartoons on big screens on the green sitting on inflatable furniture, and decorated fanny packs!

Sporting 3D glasses for the Mae concert at Club Downunder!

Or our epic adventure for the free concert Weezer put on at the Civic center! (Where we wound up in their music video for like .4 seconds!)

We were audience buddies at multiple CHS graduations

We rode to school together everyday of my senior year (her freshman year) where I constantly talked about the weather and played the same mixed CDs over & over.

Hanging out during freshman year Christmas break!

FSU Football games 🙂

And then reallly it doesn’t get more old school than this:

So how about that for some randomness?! Yeahhh, well I like to take lots of pics so don’t be surprised if I appear with a post again soon from this weekend. So excited! Hope you all have a terrific Thursday!

Fifteen Again.

The rain is really coming down right now. So much for my late night run, I’ll just save the energy for the morning, though I’m sure the downpour will still be happening. Funny though, I just got back from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It was playing at the Student Life Cinema on campus, and Jamie was going so I figured why not? Of course the movie gave me about nintey million feelings, and there were so many things I wanted to tweet but I think it might be too much, so instead I’m here and you get an unusual late night post from me.

First of all, I shouldn’t be surprised in the slightest that the night commenced in rain soaked Converse. Apparently this is the week for the fifteen year old self in my heart to thrive, and that shoe choice in this weather makes the most sense. It seems I’ve got a thousand memories from a decade ago of my life swirling through my head right now.

The moment when Ezra Miller is standing on the front porch as everyone departs from the Christmas party? He screams out I love you while his friends walk to their cars? Each time this scene reminds me of every high school Drama party I ever left. They always said I love you and to drive safe. Each time I would leave, regardless of what other angst was charging through my heart, feeling like the luckiest girl in the world, safe and comforted by the warmth of friendship. It was like a human security blanket being tossed over your shoulders. I always felt like, wow – these are my people. They care. (This memory always makes me think of the Jimmy Eat World song that goes “I fall asleep with my friends around me. The only place, I feel safe. I’m gonna call this home.”)

The last time I saw this movie in the theatre there were less than five others. I cried almost the whole time. I felt impossibly connected. It was like, hypnosis therapy and I was reliving events before my eyes. Except I was awake. And this was a fictional world. I left that theatre, albeit extremely happy about the movie – I thought I might explode with the insatiable desire to communicate face-to-face with another human being about all of it. This time was so different. Any movie at the SLC is interactive, and this was the same. The awws, the howls, the gasps, the applause – it changed the tone of things. Though, I didn’t sob this time, but I could still feel my eyes tear up.

And I still couldn’t help but feel each part of my life it makes me draw connections from.

As for the old 15 year old in my heart thing? This week, I listened to Something Corporate’s “Hurricane” in my room, thinking about life. Today I purchased a ticket to see The Postal Service. I watched Perks. Just typing this blog entry is characteristic of my fifteen year old self. Maybe typed out they don’t seem like much, but mentally the parallels feel enormous. I can’t help but think of monumental crushes. First real kisses. Mixed tapes. Endless numbers of days with friends. What it used to mean to hang out. Listening to music. Eating pizza. Doing absolutely nothing. Staring at the ceiling, talking about things felt tragically deep.

Some of it’s here, but it’s not all here because I’m not going to type all night. And I want to finish reading Ask the Passengers, and this rain will probably lull me to sleep soon.