Plans For Summer

Well it's finally feeling like summer around here, and I'm actually enjoying it so far.  Talk to me in August, and I'm sure I'll be wishing the heat away hiding in black cave of cool, ethereal darkness.  Although summer tends to be my least favorite season, it does make for some really fun times.  For some reason, I couldn't think of how I spent my summer last year.  This morning I was thinking really hard about it and wondering what all I did because we didn't float the river - not even once, and we didn't do a whole lot of swimming aside from when we had friends and/or family visiting.  So I went back in my blog archive and remembered I went to Portland!  So maybe we didn't do very many little trips or things because I was saving money for that?  I guess that makes sense.  We did go to a few live shows, ate a ton of amazing homemade meals, moved to a new apartment and much much more.  For nostalgic purposes, here are a couple of my favorite posts from Summer 2012: one + two.

As for this summer, I am making great plans, people.  Just you wait and see.  I refuse to be a couch potato the whole summer!  I want to get out and do things and be active and love every minute of it!  So i've started compiling a list of things I want to do this summer.  Now, J and I are planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest for mid-September, so we won't be getting TOO wild, as we will be maintaining a budget for the upcoming trip.  At the very least, I would love to make a little day trip up to San Antonio for some Fiesta Texas theme park action.  I'm dying to awaken the daredevil inside of me!  She's been napping for far too long!  I miss running around Astroworld riding any and every ride/rollercoaster in my sight.

Last year, we did drive out west to Spicewood for a day of swimming in the fresh-water springs, and Jason and I have already talked about going back out there again this summer.  So this WILL be happening.  Two popular fresh-water swimming holes just west of Austin include Hamilton Pool, which we haven't experienced yet, and Krause Springs, which is where we went last year.  It was so relaxing and beautiful, and there was a little snow cone truck parked right there on the property.  I'm excited to return!

About 45 miles south of Austin you will find the quaint, small town of New Braunfels where the famous super-sized water park, Schlitterbahn, makes its home.  I haven't been to Schlitterbahn since my freshman year of college with the guy I was dating at the time.  If you don't show up super early, you run the risk of waiting in lines for hours the entire day, which can get a little frustrating.  However, there are two parts of the park - the older part and the newer part.  The older part is way better because most of the water rides are tube chute rides that last a long time so you get your money's worth and they make up for that long line you just waited in.  The older part is also a lot shadier with huge oak trees all over the places so you're not standing in line for an hour and in direct sunlight.  The newer part, from what I remember, is hotter, more annoying and the "Master Blaster" and "Dragon Blaster" rides, while loads of fun, are super short and not worth the two-hour wait.

Another fun summertime thing about New Braunfels includes tubing on one of the two rivers that run right through the town - the Guadalupe and the Comal.  In college, I used to float/tube a lot and we almost always picked the Comal or the San Marcos rivers, not really sure why.  They were probably more affordable and more convenient.  Floating the river can be so much fun!  Some of my fondest memories of my college friends were our floating adventures.  Tossing jello shots to one another, drinking Coors light all day and all night, getting flipped out of our tubes, hardly being able to stand up at the end of the float, and, of course, eating dinner and ordering margaritas by the pitcher at Adobe Verde on our way back to San Marcos.

Lastly, if time and money allows, I would love to make a trip down to Galveston beach at some point this summer, even if it's just for a couple of days.  I have wonderful childhood memories of Galveston - walking up and down the strip, eating amazing fresh seafood, biking along the seawall, building sandcastles and drip castles, getting painfully sunburned with no regrets, closing my eyes, hearing the waves softly crash into the beach, the sound of seagulls squawking from above, the smell of suntan lotion and sea salt in my hair and just letting time pass by without a single care or stress in my mind.  I would love to be able to stay at this Holiday Inn Resort right on the seawall, but it looks pretty pricey, and I doubt they'll accept my employee discount.  I'll just be beach-dreaming until I can actually get down there and experience all those beautiful, silly little things I remember from years ago.

What about you?  Do you have any plans for the summer?  Or any dreams for the summer?



Eight Years in Stars Hollow

Gilmore Girls, the quirky, beautiful story of an unbreakable friendship between a young mother and her daughter, will forever be at the top of my list of favorite TV shows.  Over the years, I collected all of the seasons on DVD which seems to always be a topic of conversation when someone new comes to my place of dwelling and spots the colorful boxes of girlish, not-so-guilty pleasure.

Although I do have favorite episodes and am partial to certain parts of the girls' story (Jess Mariano!), from 2000 to 2007 the show remained consistently entertaining and well-written.  From time to time, I just have to pick an episode or two or three or twenty to watch and remind myself just how in love I am with this show!  I've recently been watching the seventh, and final, season getting my Logan Huntzberger fix, even though I used to hate him... he does sort of grow on you with those devilish good looks and charming remarks.

I think I've mentioned the best website ever, but to refresh your memory - Forever Young Adult is the brainchild of Meredith Borders, the managing editor of the Alamo Drafthouse and Badass Digest.  Meredith is currently writing an ongoing FYA piece titled The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project in which she discusses, dissects and makes a drinking game out of three episodes at a time starting from the very beginning.  She has covered nine episodes so far, and publishes a new post every Wednesday much to my enjoyment!  I highly recommend following along with the Rewatch Project if you're a GG fan like me, or just check out the website because there are some hilariously addictive features on that thing!  I nearly died when I first found out about FYA because I am nothing if not forever a young adult.  I will admittedly NEVER cease reading every Sarah Dessen novel that comes out, even though they all have the exact same plot.  What can I say?  I'm hooked on young adult fiction about insecure teenage girls who only become their true selves when they meet a cute boy.  Not to mention, FYA features weekly analyses of The Vampire Diaries episodes, another of my sorry/not sorry adult-teenager indulgences.  Just be thankful I haven't started rewatching One Tree Hill... yet.  Because I'm pretty darn sure it's on Netflix Instant, guys.


Mother's Day 2013

I was, fortunately, given Sunday off from work so I took a little day trip to Houston to surprise my mom at my aunt Kandace's house where everyone was getting together to eat and celebrate!  Basically, doing what we do best - sitting around chit-chatting, eating non-stop, looking at old photo albums and listening to old 45s.  Needless to say, my mom was very surprised, as I was texting her the whole morning about how sad I was that I couldn't see her.  Nana looked really good and seemed to have a lot of energy.  She even had two servings of each dessert - lemon meringue pie and banana pudding!  I gave my mom the Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow pallet since she'd been eyeing mine and an InstaThis wood print of a family picture we took last Christmas.  She really loved her gifts and seemed really happy, so it was a trip well-worth making!

On a completely separate note, how adorable is the new app from A Beautiful Mess?!  Love it!


On Feeling Like I'm Finally Growing Up

Well, it came just in the nick of time.  In the midst of many unacknowledged job applications and unresolved phone interviews, I received an offer for a promotion at work, and I happily accepted!  I am now one of two Front Office Supervisors which means I am part of the management team and will have to play the role of Manager On Duty on several occasions.  It's a little nerve-racking, and I know it will be a challenge for me - yet another step out of my cushy comfort zone (eek!) - buuuutttt I know I can do it, and it can only be good for me, right?  Right.  So I began training for the new job exactly a week ago, and training continues through the end of this week and then I'll be on my own.  If I manage to get anything out of this, the management experience will be a wonderful new addition to my resume.  It's super nice to be making more money too!  To add to the good news, Jason also received a promotion that's been a long time coming for sure.  He even calculated that our new combined income is above the average household income in Austin, so that's pretty exciting!  It seems silly, but I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere in life, like I'm right where I need to be, and all will be well.  Everything is coming together in the best possible way, and it just makes me so so relieved and happy.  If all goes as it should, we'll be house-hunting in September!  Finally got a piece of the pie.