"Aspire not to have more, but to be more"

Friday, January 24, 2014

First week in Seattle

This week has been full of apartment hunting...work...sleep...and sweat.

I've been staying with one of my friends for the past week as I've apartment hunted. My goal is to stay in the Capitol Hill area; I have discovered that if I travel too far down Madison, it gets kinda grungy. Of course, the grungier and closer to the city you get, rent skyrockets. I found a cute studio apartment with a built-in Murphy Bed, so I'm hoping that will work out...we shall see!

I was fortunate to be able to pick up some shifts  as soon as I got out here, so I've been working between two lululemons this week. Both crews are unique and wonderful! After tonight, I will have been to all four lululemons in the area -- hopefully I'll be able to venture up to the outlet and Vancouver sometime in the near future.

I mentioned I've been sweating ... well maybe just 4 times this week, but 3 of those times were in a span of 24 hours. The other day I went for a quick 3 mile run just to check out the area -- can I say hilly?! Last night I went to CrossFit for the first time, as well as sculpt yoga (basically hot yoga, but with weights). Then I went to a spin class this morning. Let's just say my whole body hurts right now and I could barely lift my arms to put a coat on this morning!! I definitely want to go back to CrossFit...the yoga, that's a different story. I'm not the biggest fan of Vinyasa, and the weights just kept falling, and people kept grunting and breathing super loud (one of my biggest pet peeves). The spin class this morning at 7am definitely woke me up, and it's nice because I've been able to lounge around all morning and  not that much of the day has passed!

I did some exploring after spin today and poked in the Pike Place Market and saw them tossing fish - how cool! Of course, it was before 9am so there was almost no one there, but that is the time to go! It reminded me of all of the other markets - like the market in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Broad Street Market in Philly, Lexington Street Market in Baltimore....the list goes on and on. I also popped in to the oldest Starbucks - it's pretty small. I already had my cup of coffee and a delicious waffle for breakfast, so I just bought a coffee cup. Now I just have to find a place to live so I can use it there!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 4: Billings, MT to Seattle, WA

I did it!!! I made it to Seattle! It's kind of funny because I feel like I didn't really drive that far (even though it took me four straight days of driving)... it honestly felt more like I was driving my car on a treadmill for four straight days (haha!).

I left my hotel yesterday morning in Billings, MT (the area smells really bad, just in case you were wondering), and went to the Cracker Barrel right down the street where I had the best blueberry pancakes that I've had in FOREVER and they even put peaches on top- it was the next best thing to heaven! I then hit the road...

The drive wasn't too boring yesterday-- I must say though, the drive between Missoula, MT and Coeur D'Alene was pretty hair raising. Just imagine driving through the mountains (so beautiful) but it had just snowed about two feet the night before so where there wasn't snow, there was melted snow that was actually ice. You want to slow down but you can't because there is a car on your tail and you can't switch lanes because then you'll be driving in ice/snow-- ahh!

I wound up stopping in Coeur D'Alene for a late lunch (it was BEAUTIFUL) and then got gas for $2.77! Onward to Seattle ! It was crazy because it's so humid that the water droplets froze midair so it looked like there was snow on all of the trees, but it was just frozen water . It was also super foggy for the majority of the last leg of my drive, but I arrived in one piece and can't wait to get my life started out here!

As soon as I arrive (7pm), one of the guys I'm staying with had a work party to go to and they just invited me as I walked through the door, so I put on my sparkly shoes and headed out the door. Turns out one of the guys works for Amazon and the other works for Microsoft... And we were going to the Amazon post-holiday party at the Seahawks stadium.

Wowee! That's all there is to say. There was SO much food, so many drinks, Vampire Weekend took the stage at 10pm, and the place was PACKED! Of course, I ran into someone I knew who graduated from Maryland this past May. What a small world!

We came back, and I fell asleep within 20 minutes of walking in. I can barely lift my arms today because I think all of the driving has finally caught up with me. Thank goodness I'm on this big, comfy cozy couch for a while. Go Seahawks!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:E Denny Way,Seattle,United States

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Day 3: Sioux Falls to Billings, MT

Am I there yet? Some people are extremely annoying and tick me off.

Today was a mostly bitter day but was sweet when I saw Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse! I did pass over the "Crazy Woman River" and was wondering if they named it after me? Ha!

I woke up and went to a DELICIOUS bagel shop in Sioux Falls. I then realized that Iowa was only a stone's throw away, so I did some off-roading and got there!

I then began the long drive to Mt. Rushmore.

I don't journal or write my thoughts and reflections down, except for when I'm blogging and I write it on my blog. One of my good friends at work wrote in a reflection journal every day for a year. If I did that, I couldn't imagine going back and reading everything and seeing some of the crazy thoughts I had! So when I'm not blogging, I just keep everything in my head, and when something (or someone) irritates me, I'll bring it to my full attention to resolve it. On my 13+ hour drive today, here were some of my reflections...

1. Oh my god there are some utterly obnoxious people in this world. I feel like everything they do is just for the approval from others. Seriously? Grow up! I can tell you right now that your friendships will probably not last long if this is you. Just sayin. Also, we are all different and have our own individual and unique gifts and talents, so embrace it!
2. I need to do a better job of keeping toxic people out of my life.
3. Although some long time friends drift away, it's important to just let whatever is going to happen, happen. The worst thing someone can do is fight with themselves to get something to work (relationships), even if they know it probably won't work out. What a waste of time!
4. I'm very happy I'm blazing a new trail and moving to Seattle, even with all of the uncertainty that may come with it.
5. Okay this one is a biggie, I never thought I'd say this, but if I could live in the woods in a cabin with just my role models (so maybe 4 people total) and never interact with a human being another day of my life (except for them), I'm okay with that.
6. I want to marry a farmer or a country bumpkin.

The end.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:I-90 E,Billings,United States

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Day 2: Chicago to Sioux Falls

I woke up this morning and realized I had an awesome dream and wanted to run downstairs and tell my parents... and then I realized I was in Chicago at my friend's and not home. Yes, I cried a little, but then got my day started and off I went!

I grabbed a box of instant coffee packets from Starbucks because I knew I had a long day ahead of me and wasn't sure if I was going to be in the middle of nowhere or not! It then took me 2 HOURS to get out of Chicago! Rush hour traffic there is awful. The roads are HUGE like Houston and the drivers are all insane. I think they should stick to riding the "L".

My dad called me to warn me about blizzard conditions in Minnesota and he gave me alternative directions, but I wound up just driving to Minnesota because I saw blue skies ahead and thought "what could go wrong?". Well, as soon as I saw snowplows and salt trucks in Wisconsin, I knew I was in trouble!

Well then it turned to this....
(Really high winds and snow blowing across the road)

And then it turned to this...
(Whiteout conditions)

It was pretty scary because you'd go from being able to see everything to being in a white tunnel of snow . That's when I decided it was time to get off the road.

I had lunch in Wisconsin and was looking forward to having dinner in Sioux Falls-- until the road was closed! It turns out there was a 20 car pileup earlier in the day and the road had been closed for 3 hours! I got gas and they had opened the road back up when I was done. I got to Sioux Falls and decided to call it a night because the roads were so hairy and they had closed I-90 west of Sioux Falls and all of the overhead road signs said "treacherous conditions- travel not advised". I was kind of bummed I couldn't make it to Rapid City, but I think it's for the better. 5 more hours of driving in this weather would have sucked.

I don't think they actually have paved roads here - I think they are all made out of snow! There is so much snow that you can't see pavement, they have big bulldozers plowing the streets, and businesses have shut down! I must say that the Walmart was open and talk about an interesting crowd haha. I was bummed that the Barnes and Noble was closed because I finished my book on "tape" today (Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point") and don't have another one and I'm only halfway across the country! I guess I'll swing by tomorrow on my way out or just buy one on my phone.

Tonight I'm just relaxing- I was thinking about going to the movies but that requires me going out in the cold so I think I'm just going to lay low and hit the hay early!

Hopefully my car starts tomorrow!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:W 8th St,Sioux Falls,United States

Day 1: Flight 93 Memorial, Cleveland, and Chicago

This morning, once my parents left and my brother went to school, it hit me that I was actually leaving. I teared up a little, packed a few last minute things, and was on the road at 7am.

It was super foggy when I first left, but I made pretty good time! Once I got to Pennsylvania, I saw signs for the Flight 93 Memorial so I decided to check it out. It was 30 miles out of my way, but it was totally worth it.

I was the only person there besides the Park Ranger (it is a National Park), and it was cold! The bathrooms there reminded me of the bathrooms in the Dominican Republic-- just holes in the ground!

I then headed to Cleveland to visit John Carroll University, where I spent my Freshman year of college.

It was weird being back in the area because I haven't been there in almost five years and so much has changed! There is even a lululemon right down the street, so I stopped by to check it out.

After grabbing lunch at Tommy's (a JCU favorite), I hit the road for Chicago!

The last time(and only time) I was in Chicago was my freshman year of college. I took the megabus from Cleveland to Chicago to visit a friend from high school. We had a dinner stop in Toledo and after we had left and were an hour west of Toledo, our bus driver got a call from dispatch that he had to turn around to get two people who he left behind at our dinner stop. It was extremely frustrating-- I wound up not getting in until like 1am! The trip was 6 hours! When I left Cleveland today, I thought it was going to take 6 hours, but (luckily) I didn't have any passengers I had to worry about leaving behind so I made it in 4-5hrs. My friend that I'm staying with took me to a great Italian place down the street for dinner. My observations of Chitown so far: craziest drivers I've ever seen, highways are huge like Houston, it's so cold it's like the Polar Vortex 24/7 and gas is expensive!

That's all for now! Off to South Dakota tomorrow!

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reflections the night before Cross Country Trip #3!

If you couldn't tell by the exclamation point in the title of this blog post, I'm STOKED! I am SO excited to go out to Seattle, you have no idea. Yes, I'm sad to leave my family, friends, and coworkers but it just feels so right.

A few months ago, as you may remember, I moved out to San Francisco to work for a startup. I was offered the position on a Tuesday, accepted it that Wednesday, and was driving cross country (solo!) just a few days later on that Sunday. The trip out was great, but once I got there, it wasn't as great as I had hoped it would be. The founders of the company I was working for got in a tiff and I wasn't really getting paid like my contract had originally said I would get paid, so I had to come home. It sucked. I felt broken, hurt, you name it. I was pretty bummed that I had to come back home, and wasn't sure if I would ever make it back out to the West Coast. I told myself on my drive back that I would try to get back out West around March. Then I thought about it a little more, and I convinced myself there was no way I'd be able to get back out within a year. To this day, I can't believe I sold myself short the night I told myself that.

I came home, started working at Charm City Run again and picked up a pretty awesome job at Lululemon Athletica. I was a little nervous at first about the job at Lululemon because I was so used to the family I had at Charm City Run and wasn't sure if I would really have a "family" at Lululemon, but oh my gosh, do I have a family there or WHAT! Every day that I've gone to work since I've gotten back from California, I've loved every minute of it and have never really felt like it was work -- it was more like "best friend time". In my interview at Lulu, they said that working around the holiday time is the best time .... and they nailed it! I can't believe how fast these past three months have flown by!! I have definitely made lifelong friends at both jobs. Last night I was driving home from my last shift at the Columbia Lululemon and it hit me - I really love everyone I work with. I feel like I have such a deep and unique connection with each person I work with--it's something I've never really experienced before. My coworkers always joke with me that I know everyone, so I'm excited to see who I run into as I trek cross country once again!

As my dad and I were talking last night, we both came to the realization that this is "THE move", like the one you always dream to take when you're a little girl -- chase your dreams kinda thing. I'm ready for an adventure!

Now to answer your questions....I'll be updating my blog each night as I make my way across the country, assuming that I have a reliable internet connection! Tomorrow I'll be leaving at 7am and eating lunch in Cleveland at one of my favorite restaurants from freshman year of college (I went to school up in Cleveland for one year before transferring to Maryland!) and then will be eating dinner / spending the night with one of my close friends from my first semester at UMD. Thursday my goal is to make it to Rapid City, SD. Friday I'll visit Mt. Rushmore and journey Westward -- the route I take all will depend on the weather at that point. I've never been to Montana and Idaho, so I plan to drive through them, but if the weather is too treacherous, I have plenty of room in my schedule to hang in a city for a few days if need be. Yes, I'll be driving by myself (it's the best and only way to do it!) and yes, I do have plenty of windshield washer fluid, gas money, and healthy snacks! (....well, except for the brownies that my friend Jenifer gave me!). I should be in Seattle by Saturday night, and will be staying with friends when I first get out there, and then I'll be finding a permanent address! WOOHOO!

Alright, that's all for now! Time to pack!!!!!


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