Friday Favorites Makes a Comeback!

Hey guys! I know, I’ve been slacking on the Friday Favorites posts, but here I am, and they’re back.

(Found on Pinterest)

It’s been almost a month since Bonnaroo and I am still having withdrawals. I just can’t readjust to regular life, whatever that means? I just wanna follow where ever the road takes me. Where the sunshine lights the way, and when it rains? You just dance in it.

In the meantime, I got real hooked on reading the Bonnaroo Missed Connections posts. (And look! Some of them actually worked!)

This kid, (my awesome brother) turned 22 yesterday! Celebrated with a delicious dinner at Jasmine’s, fun times. And now it’s back to the beach this weekend. Fingers crossed for some sunshine at some point!

Last weekend I made my return to the world of 5Ks. So what if it was in a tropical depression, untimed, and not my prettiest run? It was enough to kick back in that competitive spirit I’d kind of lost touch with. This has been a good running week for me, I’ll get my groove back eventually. Yesterday morning, cotton candy skies greeted me good morning on my pre-work run and I can’t really ask for more.

Got tickets to see Kinky Boots in NYC next week. Excited for a trip to the city, time with old friends, and some good ole explorin’!

Oh, did I tell y’all I got a guitar?! This is going to be a long journey, but the dream’s still alive. (My sound still hurts my own ears right now, but I’ll get there – eventually!)

It’s no new thing that one day I will make my way to Glastonbury, but you have to see how awesome this video is. Could that stage hold any more talent?! Gah.

Oh, and if you hadn’t noticed I’ve given Meg Says & this blog Mugs Life face lifts, and I’m pretty excited! They’re long overdue.

Look how awesome my house-mate is. Like, beyond awesome. She knows me so well. And not just because these are cool presents, but because they’re so sweet! AND she made that stationery herself! On her friends letterpress in California! Seriously, so cool. Living with her is probably my favorite thing about Tallahassee.

One more thing? Don’t forget about the kindness of strangers. It’s always there. You’re always .2 seconds a way from making a new friend, some new connection. Heck. Dustin at Pep Boys took $10 off my oil change yesterday just because we engaged in conversation. Made my day, and helped me out. Plus it was just a reminder of how much the universe balances out.

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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.)

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.

Wanderlust Wednesday: Tennessee Edition

Remember when I promised I’d share a few pics from my trip to Tennessee? Well, I know I am a total slacker but here I am with photos to share!

I just love airports, so I had to snap a shot of the “Welcome to Knoxville” sign.

And my view from the adorable row of rocking chairs, located across from a Starbucks. I sat and drank coffee, and chatted with my mom, and skimmed Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like.

The title of my Facebook album was appropriately “Tennessee Stole My Heart.” Because my goodness, it did. Even the dog park was gorgeous!

Codey got to play with lots of other dogs.

One of my favorite parts was this gigantic used book warehouse called McKay’s.

Nerd heaven, I’m telling you.

This wine bar called Drink. is one of the coolest ideas ever.

Could we have asked for more beautiful scenery on the roadtrip to Nashville?

This angle makes it look like a short distance across, but that was not the case. The rock I landed on was not very sturdy and into the water I went.

Relaxing on the deck in the sun, airing out my shoe, munching on Dill Pickle pork rinds. (I recommend!)

Playing tourist in front of the Loveless Cafe sign.

These hot biscuits with homemade preserves? Worth the wait.

Southern Biscuit Sampler with hashbrown casserole. Ohmyword.

Goo Goo Cluster pie that I saved for a “midnight” (more like 3am ha) snack.

Your guess is as good as mine and what exactly this means? Dentist convention?

Happy hour at the hotel where we made new friends.

Love this pretty lady.

This is a classic Leah/Megs photo.

Canadian money from our new friends.

We decided it was a must to go to Jack in the Box since neither of us had ever been. Forget the fact that we had just eaten breakfast.

Someone needs to get Florida involved in this deliciousness. Mini churros!

Grand Ole Opry woo!

Shoutout to Blake!

Gorgeous flowers!

Delicious portobello eggplant sandwich at Fido.

Windy walk to explore Vanderbilt campus.

Seriously beautiful.

How cool is this bike rental system?

Mmm Whiskey Pecan and Salted Caramel icecream with a shot of espresso from Hot/Cold.

So there ya go! I am a little bit (and by that I mean a TON) in love with Tennessee now, and believe you me this will not be my last visit. I can’t tell you how many sweepstakes I’ve entered for country music festival/award show tickets in Nashville this past month, haha. Fingers crossed 😉

Believe In the Good

Okay, so I know I’ve been silent on the blog this week. Life has been a little bit crazy with some curve balls that got thrown during my trip, and then when I was driving back to Tallahassee I heard about the Boston Marathon bombing on the radio. Throughout the week things have still been a little crazy, and I have been trying to process what’s happened. Of course now as the events just get more wild it’s an even harder thing to comprehend but I have a few things I want to put out there! I will elaborate on my Knoxville and Nashville adventures sometime soon, and I will share pictures. In the meantime, I’ll tell you that Tennessee won me over instantly. I have a special spot in my heart for this state, now.

I was driving on the interstate when I heard the announcement over the radio. Immediately it felt hard to breathe. I kept trying to walk myself through deep breaths, and staying calm. So many thoughts flooded to my mind, between the people that I know were there, the people I know that could be there, but then beyond that – running in general. If you’ve visited this blog before you know how passionate I am about running. There is something incredibly special about races. When I participated in my first 5K in August of last year, I was instantly hooked. I totally felt that sense of camaraderie with the people surrounding me as our feet pounded the paths of the trails. I have never been disappointed about any race I’ve participated in – they’re too fun for that! Between the runners, volunteers, spectators, supporters – I’ve never come across anything quite like it. There is just this overwhelming positive energy that exists every time. These people, essentially strangers, all share one common bond. It doesn’t matter your place in the work world, your gender, race, or age. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been running, or how fast or slow you are. It’s an undeniable thread that connects each of us.

(My friend Lizzi who qualified for Boston 2014 posted this on Facebook this week, and it speaks volumes.)

Then there’s the other side of running. It has saved my sanity. Of that, I am sure. And I turn to running as outlet in times of frustration (that’s how it all began for me, anyway.) So to reek such malicious, cruel, havoc on an event of such celebration? I mean, this is like the Olympics of running. It’s a lifelong dream for many. It’s a big deal for everyone involved, the event organizers, the history behind the marathon, for the runners – their families and supporters. What is wrong with people? Such a heartbreaking thing for everyone involved. Just the attempt to take away something people love in such a dark violent way – it’s just sad and senseless. Thankfully, everyone I knew up there is safe. Because I didn’t have a phone, I wasn’t connected to an instant stream of info through email and Twitter like I normally would be, which probably helped my psyche at the time. But when I checked my email on my mom’s phone in Tallahassee I saw the flood of messages from GWTC list-serv, and wow. I was just floored. This is one of my favorite pieces I’ve read that relate to Monday’s events, and a runner’s heart.

While we have this frustrating situation, what is uplifting about everything is the awesome compassion that has shined such a light on everything – how inspiring it is to see pure intentioned people just helping one another – no questions asked, in whatever way that means. I am sure throughout the week, you’ve probably seen this quote from Mister Rogers (genius!) floating around:

I have to tell you, that I know things like this are scary. This morning I woke up and glanced at Facebook and saw some posts that didn’t make sense so I switched to Twitter and woke up immediately when I saw the news that was transpiring with the suspects. I went out of my room and told my roommate who had already turned on the TV (though it was barely 6am.) I was just blown away by how crazy it all seemed, so what did I do? Lace up my shoes and go for a run. Because that’s what I do. So, I’ll say that yeah I feel like this is just really hard to even mentally grasp (especially with the bombings Monday, the explosion in Texas, then with the lockdown and search…) texting my friend who’s parents live there, hearing it on the radio on my drive to work, and now on the TV while I’m at work and it’s just a lot to take in. BUT but so so so important some things to remember: like Mister Rogers says, look for the helpers. They are there. While the world can be so unpredictable, dark and scary – there is so much good. So much good.

I myself have been overwhelmed with the kindness of people in the past month. It hasn’t even been a month when my engine exploded on the way to Jacksonville, (and look what happened then? Cousin rushed to where I was on the interstate, Jules scooped me up en-route to Jax.) Over the weekend I accidentally left my cell phone in a cab. The manager of the cab company (Brett) was so nice and really tried to help as much as he could. No luck, but that is not worth spoiling a trip over. When I got back to Sanford on Monday (well, after another stranger who had helped me with my bag when I was flying out on Friday AND REMEMBERED ME we chatted about our trips, and he helped me with my bag, again!) I was walking to the parking lot and thought it was odd that my horn didn’t beep when I pressed the key. Come to find out my car battery had died over the weekend. So there I was with no phone and a dead car. A couple across the lot asked if I needed help, and they saved my day in a big way. The husband got out to help me, and let me borrow his phone, while his wife CIRCLED THE PARKING LOT attempting to find someone with jumper cables! She found someone, then that van load came over as well. (Weird coincidence the man was someone I remembered from the airport on Friday because he was also wearing running shoes sitting down the aisle from me.) This man jumped my car, and then looked in his GPS and gave me the address and directions to the nearest Advanced Auto Parts. Then the couple, offered to let me FOLLOW THEM to the store, to make sure I got there alright (not lost, and without breaking down.) Can you believe that? We stopped at a Napa first, and the man got out to go check on the battery so I wouldn’t need to turn off my car. Then we went further up the road to Advanced, and he went in and checked there (the other place didn’t do batter installations.) At that time the woman let me use her phone again to call my mom so she’d know I got somewhere that I could get a battery (She said, if it were my daughter I’d want her to be able to call and tell me.) Then the husband came out again and they did have the battery but he was soo nice in making sure I had the funds to pay for it because they didn’t want me to get stuck there! Then the Advanced Auto Parts guys, Chris & Michael were so kind as well. I was there for a while. They let me use the store phone. I made a plan with my mom. Figured out an exit to meet her at because they wanted me to take my car to a shop they were concerned at the levels it was showing up at on the test even with a new battery. I was there for more than an hour, and at one point it was like I was a fellow employee (they even joked that I should apply for a job there, and about how I should meet Brucey (apparently a grumpy sketchy old man.) They even let me behind the counter to use the phone and helped me with directions (another stranger letting me use their phone.) I was overwhelmed with gratitude towards this constant stream of generous, good spirited people. My “luck” (it’s not luck, it’s like this crazy combination of grace and guidance in this path of sweet people) continued throughout the week. I don’t know much about cars, so really anyone could take advantage of my weakness there, but they don’t. A friend from Inverness gave me her daughter’s old phone, so I didn’t have to buy a new one. I wasn’t charged for getting my car checked out, (when they didn’t find anything wrong with it!), a man at Sam’s had the installation fee waived on some new tires since I’d come in last week too. Then there was this weird thing going on with the windshield and the guy was like hey! this is no problem, I can just snap this little piece here and you’re good. Seriously. Not even kidding you.

My point is, life is crazy, the world is crazy, you never know what’s coming. If all these things came my way when I was in my earlier twenties, I’d have fallen apart some where. These days, I’ve learned to roll with the punches. You gotta take what comes your way and figure out how to keep moving, make a plan of action, do something. If I was sitting in the middle of a parking lot crying, I’d probably still be there. None of these people had any obligation to me, no one had to help, or offer anything but again and again they appeared. One person after another continued to be an example of compassion, love, and sweet-natured kindness. My faith in humanity couldn’t be stronger.

So now what? You continue to look for a helper. You BE a helper. Be nice. Everyone seems surprised at my own weird chain of events this week, but the thing is the nicer you are to people? They have to try really hard to be mean back. It doesn’t always work, but you have to try. And not being nice is stupid. Don’t let fear stop you from living your life. Appreciate where you are, what you have, who you’re surrounded by. For me, this is a year of reunions – a celebration of friendship, and with everything going on it just makes me more thankful for the time I’ve spent with people I love lately. Make the most of life, enjoy all the little moments. Make spontaneous decisions, take the adventures.

Tomorrow morning Tallahassians will take to the streets and run the Palace Saloon 5K wearing blue & yellow ribbons showing support. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll drive over to Orlando for Andrew McMahon’s show at The Beacham, but Sunday I want to be back in time for the 5.2 at 5 for Boston. I am looking forward to pounding the pavement with people I’ll feel connected to, without question.

Keep running, keep loving, keep living. Smile. Believe in the good. I promise, it’s there.

Friday Favorites #3

I’m on a roll right? All that neglect, and now you’re probably wishing I’d shut up! Well, well I don’t think you’ll be sorry for checking this out because for Friday Favorites I’ve got a few goodies to share this week.

Stumble Upon sent me an e-mail out of nowhere this week (I don’t remember the last time I logged in!) and directed me to Everyone’s Mixtape. Talk about awesome! I haven’t made any of my own yet, but I’m loving the concept and Stumble definitely knows me well. This description just melts my heart because it means people still get it. This is exactly how I feel when I make those mixes I mail out.

“Everyone’s Mixtape is not about adding songs and hitting shuffle. It’s about the time you looked at a cassette’s length as a challenge. About the time you stayed up most of the night making sure all the tracks flowed from song to song. It’s about the time your heart skipped a beat when the boy from science class handed you your first mixtape.”

Getting to spend the weekend with this pretty lady for her birthday last week! (Photo from our visit to Savannah MLK JR. weekend.)

We had boiled crawfish and homemade icecream and played cards and everyone enjoyed each others company. It was one of the most relaxing weekends in a while, (especially after all the craziness lately!)

The fact that the sun FINALLY shined for a little bit on the beach.

A Pretty Little Liars spinoff show called Ravenswood was announced this week! (Umm hello, they KNOW they can bank off of the PLL audience. I’m ok with that. It’s like L&O that doesn’t give me nightmares. But makes me feel like I’m keeping my investigative skills sharpened.)

OK, I know I did a Wish List post yesterday, so I don’t want y’all to think I’m super materialistic, but it would be mean of me not to tell you guys how awesome these Under Armour shorts are. I own my fair share of Norts (Nike Shorts) from over the years, but I found these when I was on the hunt for St.Patty’s gear and my word they are my new favorites. I wish I could wear them to work. I even went back and got the redish/coral color (with a Sports Authority coupon so I didn’t feel so guilty.)

Jax Weekend Recap Part Two: Piano Man, Beach Bars, Cemetery Run, & Irish Fun

PART TWO

Once I finally arrived in Jacksonville, and my friend picked me up outside of the Florida Theatre, the rest of the weekend was a lot smoother. I felt like a hitchhiker most of the time, but with awesome people donating rides. When Beth swooped me up they’d brought me a piece of pizza! Since all I’d eaten since 5ish was an orange, and it was almost 11 that was like heaven in a box. We went by her and Anna’s place real quick so she could let her dog Codi out real fast, and oh my gosh what a love muffin! So sweet! (I know, I’ve met SO MANY great dogs lately!) Then we went over to this place called Monkey’s Uncle where we met up with a bunch of their friends. There was karoke going on. I rarely drink anymore, but I also rarely go to bars anymore (red letter weekend!) but I definitely got a second wind of energy after such a crazy day. I had already decided that with me being in Jax and my car being in Georgia, there was no point in worrying about anything. So I did just that, and it was really nice to truly let things go. Their friends were a riot and if there is something I love it is definitely watching entertaining karoke. I mean seriously. ESPECIALLY when Piano Man is involved, seriously this guy (who they kept calling Yellowcard and since YC was from Jax I had to wonder if he was originally involved with the band?) did like THE BEST VERSION of Piano Man I’ve ever heard! Their friend Bo got reeeally into it, and it was awesome. Then their friend Courtney sang Friends in Low Places and she was on crutches for a foot injury and she definitely involved the crutch into her “routine,” and she had the whole bar clapping. Then a few of the girls did a rendition of Brown Eyed Girl. Annnd this adorable old man with a hat with feathers all over it sang Sweet Caroline, and of course that’s a classic crowd favorite. One girl sang Sweet Home Alabama, but the first time she changed Alabama to Jacksonville Beach, (which just doesn’t fit.) THEN she changed it to California for the rest of the song?! It was so long winded and bizarre. There was this woman that was wayyy shorter than me that was all about getting one of the guys to dance with her. She just wanted to twirl and twirl. So that was entertaining as well. (But don’t we all wanna twirl sometimes?) We stayed until they closed, and then eventually went to two of Beth’s guy friends house, where I got to pick the satellite radio station on the ride home (which is my favorite thing to do,) and we played with the dog Charlie Brown (another dog! Another adorable name!) and watched Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. I mean seriously, perfection because I know I’ve told y’all before how that’s another one of my favorite things, when people end up sitting around together just being. Simple. Love it.

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Saturday was a fabulous blend of everything. Brunch at The Brick (mimosa, grits, and spinach & goat cheese Benedict – DELICIOUS.) Wandering around that area, in the little shops. Picked up some flowers from the Farmer’s Market. Race packet pick up at 1st Place Sports. A short venture to the outlet mall in St.Augustine. Icees from Race Trac! And eventually we headed out to Lemon Bar (which is technically in Neptune Beach) and M Shack (OMGsh obsessed – like Shake Shack obsessed, except it might’ve stolen its spot. I got the mushroom burger and onion rings and I was too full for a shake, but those all sounded fabulous too.) It was just a laid back enjoyable day. The sun was shining, it was breezy, the music and company were good – what more could you ask for?

Sunday was St.Patrick’s Day. We got up super early and headed out to Evergreen Cemetery for the St.Patty’s Day 5k! We saw the sun rise on our drive over. It was a fun, fast run – it was cool, shaded and flat. Basically the opposite of Tallahassee runs, haha. It was super fun. The first mile was reeeeally crowded, but after that it thinned out. Beth and I left soon after (you know how I love to stay, but hey like I said mercy of people who give me rides!) we finished because it was still an hour before any awards would start. Apparently we both won second place in our respective age groups! (We’re five months apart, so we’re not in the same age bracket right now.) But it was worth it because she took me to the most amazing breakfast place that I’d heard everyone raving about. Metro Diner. (I had the cinnamon raisin pecan french toast, with hash-browns and Snickerdoodle coffee, but seriously all the choices were amazing – fried chicken Benedict served on a waffle?! Banana split waffle with pineapple and icecream?! Omgshhh, definitely need to go back if you can’t hear the enthusiasm of my inner fat kid right now.) Then we kind of went all over the place on a sunglasses search, with no results.But I did find a dress to wear for St.Pat’s for like $11 – haha can’t beat that. And of course I wanted everything in the surf shops we went in (but what I’d want more is for that sun to come and stick around here, with warmer temps not this freeze warning junk!)

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Later we went over to the girl’s house and hung out on the back deck drinking, chatting, jamming to Jimmy Buffett Pandora (and yes there was another dog involved!

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Eventually we made moves to a bar called Culhane’s for some St.Patty’s Day celebrating. (Including more of my favorites – Guinness and Irish Car Bombs and BAGPIPES!) We met this guy who was a DJ for the radio station, and even though it was kind of dark and rainy-ish it was a great afternoon. Eventually I got a cab back to Beth’s place so my mind could come scoop me up so I could get back to Tallahassee. The cab ride was definitely interesting. Remember how my one roadtrip rule is “DO NOT DISCUSS DELIVERANCE!” ?! Well, what do you know, I’m telling the cab driver my story and he’s singing the banjo song over – myohmy. Then I just went and hung out with the dog again for a while til my mom got me and I got a kid’s meal from Bojangles. Obviously this weekend was full of friends, food, and fun.

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