Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Yup, Monica came to visit this past weekend!!

Bright and early Saturday morning, I hit the highway to Buffalo to pick up my Richmond 408 Soul Sister. The weather was BEAUTIFUL. I mean, it was only the 20s, but sunny and clear days are perfect days as I’ve come to learn here in Erie.


So I’m driving along, making perfect time, when all of a sudden the road turns into a complete parking lot. I’m talking bumper to bumper cars as far as the eye can see. (I was to frustrated to take any pictures)

So we are driving along at about 10 mph when I see a digital road sign: New Traffic Pattern Begins at 8 a.m. It was 9:02 a.m. Apparently it was a big deal. Nothing seems out of the ordinary until I see what I’ve only seen in movies. A tractor trailer carrying 10 new Mercedes was in the shoulder and a red Mercedes was behind it. The red Mercedes was supposed to still be on the trailer. It fell off.

The truck driver was standing in the road with a flag trying to help the traffic (that was already confused by a new traffic pattern) maneuver around the runaway car. Then, before I know it, I’m driving Eastbound in a Westbound lane (yes, it was on purpose, Meredith).

I only lost 20 minutes. And wouldn’t you know it, Monica’s flight was delayed 20 minutes? Crazy coincidence.

I pulled into the airport parking garage, found a space right by the entrance to the terminal and rushed to the bathroom. I had a large coffee on the road and that extra 20 minutes was not in my plan. I ran up to the arrivals, hoping I didn’t miss my special delivery, and as I rise up the escalator and look right, I see Monica in her yellow plaid trench coat and Vera Bradley duffel walking towards me with the biggest smile on her face. Well, mine might have been bigger :)

We hugged, realized it wasn’t a dream, then headed back to the parking garage so Chadwick could take us home to Erie.

Don’t remember much of the ride back, other than there wasn’t a silent moment. We dropped off Monica’s stuff at my apartment then headed to a quick lunch and then to Claytopia!! We met up with Meredith at Claytopia and started Day 1 of fun. Monica painted a cheeseburger bank, Meredith painted a tractor, and I painted a tulip votive holder. Everything completely fit our personalities.


After Claytopia we hung out back at my apartment and decided that we needed it to be just like old times…which logically meant we needed to watch The Hills, which I’m not embarrassed to say I do own on DVD :)

Saturday night we went out to a lovely dinner, then attended The Magical Music of Disney Concert by the Erie Philharmonic at the Warner Theatre. I had goosebumps. As the Phil played selections and medleys from popular Disney movies, clips from the films were being played on a screen above the stage. Seriously, I wish I could accurately describe how fitting it was for Monica and I to attend the concert or to explain how happy it made me feel. We might have been in the second to last balcony row, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

You may ask, “How could Sunday ever top such an amazing Sunday?” Well, let me tell you, it almost did. We slept in, and I woke up to a pot of coffee already made and Monica working in the kitchen. We made cinnimon rolls for breakfast then headed to church. Of course, we then went shopping!! We spend about 5 hours shopping, not deciphering wants from needs, and enjoying each other’s company. We were exhausted after that so we finished up the night with more Hills, haha.

Now, how could Monday ever top that kind of Saturday and Sunday? I’m going to tell you.

Because of this.


I needed to show Monica the amazing Earth around me.

Take a look for yourself.


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In the above picture, you are looking at the Edge of America. The land on the right is Pennsylvania. The land past the Horizon is Canada.

How did I know that? Well, Monica and I were walking down the pier, and there was an older man taking pictures of the lighthouse. We made smalltalk with him about the snow, then Monica asked him if he was from Erie. The man said this was the first time he had seen this landscape since 1969. The first thing that crossed my mind? He just got out of jail.

In reality, he said he just retired from the Department of Defense and returned to Erie after having lived in Spain, England and the Caribbean for the past 40 years. I now think he was a spy (Laura M. thank you for always making this a totally legit reason for me).

After our trek to the Edge of America, we did a little Vera Bradley shopping and got pedicures. Amazing day.

Until I had to drive Monica back to Buffalo to catch a plane back to Baltimore.

I held back the tears until I got on 90.

Monica is my bff.

And our weekend solidified that :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

I’m still here, I promise

The craziness of the semester has taken over the blogging part of my life. I apologize.

Lots to catch up on, but this past weekend I went to West Virginia for an impromptu hiking trip with Mom. It was gorgeous weather.

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That’s all the news that’s fit to print, today, kids.

My blogging will get back on track soon. Keep me accountable!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Evolution of a Painting

The only logical way to celebrate the beginning of Spring Break 2011, was with sushi, the Erie Philharmonic and a little painting.

We closed yesterday at noon, and by 12:20 p.m. I had heard from all of the closing RAs, notified Housing and Kelly, and started my break! Jess and I went to get sushi to start off Break. Such a good idea. After sushi, I ran a few errands then headed back to my apartment to get ready for the evening. Ben and I were getting dinner at Jekyll and Hyde, then going to see the Erie Philharmonic perform Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Brahm’s German Requiem. Dinner was great, right down to our chocolate martinis. We walked over to the Warner Theatre in the wind and rain to wait for the concert to start. Ben and I were the youngest people there. It was quite fun to people watch. Ben got great tickets – we were in the 10th row orchestra. We might have been a little out of our element, but it was still an adventure.

So today, I wanted to do something that I never have time for: painting. My RAs in Perry Hall have been begging for artwork for the duty office for months. Since I don’t have any wall space in my apartment, I thought a nice pair of canvases would be fun to paint, and would look wonderful above the computer in the office. I only got one canvas painted today, but I thought it would be fun to take pictures of the process. Here is an original jb creation from start to finish.


DSC_0316 Maybe one day I’ll invest in an easel.













So I was planning to be finished at this point. I send the picture to Meredith to see if it needed anything else. She requested a sailboat on the left. I agreed. So this cute little vessel was added.



 DSC_0405 And that is canvas #1.

But of course I needed to take a few artsy photos as well.











Happy Spring Break 2011!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our Weekend in Pictures

Started with the Open House. No pictures.

Then we went to two wineries. Happiness.

Winter 20112 Then we went to the Skywalk at the Convention Center. It looks out over the bay side of the lake. No pictures.

After the convention center, we went to the WIntergreen Gorge to catch the sunset. We were there right at the end, but the lighting was amazing. Enjoy the following pictures from our adventure.

Winter 20111











After the Gorge, we went out to dinner at Under the Clock with Eric and Bekah. No pictures.

We then came back to my apartment and watched The Brave Little Toaster. SO DIFFERENT from the way you remember it as a kid.

So that was Saturday. It was packed, but great fun.

Then Sunday, we started our day with a quick tour of campus.

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Then it was on to Presque Isle. We thought we would just be going to see the majesty of the Lake, but The Frostbite Open was still going on when arrived. What is the Frostbite Open you ask? Well a 9-hole golf tournament played on the ice, of course!

FrostBite Open


The Open was on the bayside of the park. Therefore, we still needed to see the actual Lakeside. We drove to one of the lighthouses and walked out onto the beach. It honestly looked like we were in Antarctica.

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So funny story how we got this last picture taken. We were walking around and a guy about our age started walking up to us, mind you were are the only ones on the beach. He pulls out a disposable camera and asks me to take a picture of him looking out over the lake. Strange request, but I oblige. I take the picture, then he asks if he can take a picture for us, as it’s the least he can do to thank us for taking his picture. Ok, sure. So we start walking to the car, and notice that he has a Maryland license plate. I am honestly the only Maryland plate I’ve seen since I moved here in July. So Jaime and I walk to my car, and this guy notices my plate. He rolls down his window and asks what part of Maryland we are from. I said Baltimore, and he sounded disappointed. He said he was from Abingdon. Wouldn’t you know it, I just so happened to go to Abingdon Elementary. I’m for the Abingdon Eagles! (that was our slogan). I asked what he was doing in Erie and he said he just graduated grad school and was traveling the country before he started working. Looking back, I wish I would have talked to him more. I really have no idea if I would have known him in elementary school, but how crazy would that have been?

So anyways, after Presque Isle we went outlet shopping. Yay for spending money! We then drove home in a snowstorm and couldn’t see 10 feet in front of us, let alone the road. But Chadwick was a rockstar.

We came home and made dinner and Meredith came over to hang out for a little bit.

That was really the end of our whirlwind weekend. It was SO AMAZING to see Jaime and show her around my new digs. It was refreshing and energized me for this week of work. Can’t believe it’s Thursday already!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Everything was taken with my regular camera except for the Gorge pictures, Niko took those (yes, I just now named my DSLR).