Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm going to be far too busy in Copenhagen...

Next Friday I am flying off to Copenhagen for ten days. My days will be packed with tea parties, fort building, book reading, dress up, discovering new play grounds, going to the zoo, and visiting Tivoli. As you can imagine, my niece will not give me any time to post. Also I will be too absorbed with meeting my brand new niece, I will not want to post... So I would like your help!
I will have Madic do a guest post, but I would love to have a few more of you "blog sit" for me. So if you are interested, please e-mail me at, and we can talk about your prompt and when you will be featured.
If you do a guest post I will get you a Danish shot glass as a thank you! Because, you know, I encourage tequila shots :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dearest ___________,

I received my first letter from Kelsey the other day and I loved everything about it. I loved that I got something in the mail that had nothing to do with student loans or medical bills. I loved that she stamped it with "Special Delivery for..." I loved that she wrote on the back of the envelope "From California to Vermont #1," I loved everything she wrote, and I love that I can write her back!
I love writing letters in general. In my busy, crazy life where my awake hours are all over the place (because I'm staying up all night with the twins), and my friends live all over the world, letters seem to be the easiest way to communicate. The funny thing is, I just figured this out.
It took weeks of phone tag, quick text messages, one line hellos on facebook, and me bursting at the seams to be able to catch a time to talk to my friends, for me to finally sit down and write it all out. And ever since, I have actually been happier.
It started with Panda when I took my five weeks off of facebook. Getting a hold of her was brutal. She was either in class or working diligently on her thesis, or I was at work or sleeping. It had been so long since we had spoken to each other and I just needed to communicate with her. Do you ever feel that way? Do you feel an intense pull to know that your best friend understands what you are going through, and to know what is going on with her? So finally, I e-mailed her.
It's funny what comes out in an email. We ended up telling each other more than we ever would in a phone call. We delved a little deeper than normal and just wrote out everything we were feeling. We've been emailing for a couple weeks now. Not every day, but when we get the chance. It feels so good to hear from her, and every time I finish a letter to her, I feel a great sense of relief. 
Although talking face to face, or even on the phone, is something wonderful, I think that writing letters is a beautiful form of communication. You are able to say exactly what you want to say. You can take the time to think over your words. Another example of letters being better is Penn. After his phone call the other night, he wrote me an email. I think it was because he knows of my utter infatuation with Jane Austen, I have mentioned how romantic everyone was back then, communicating solely with letters.
He also wrote because it was easier than stumbling over his words on the phone. He was nervous about what he had to say, and this way he could take his time in saying it. The result was something beautiful.
I am so happy I have rediscovered letter writing, and hope that you, too, decide to pick it up. You'll be surprised by how much it can change you.

Do you write letters? Do you have a pen pal? Tell me all about it!
Do you want to e-mail me? You absolutely can!
I promise to write back!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


We met the first night. I had been separated from my roommates and couldn't remember the way back to my apartment. I stood outside the building nervously looking around. Cursing myself for already losing my ID and not latching on to Sie after the meeting let out.
I spotted him standing nearby. He was with a tall boy who was smoking a cigarette. The boy offered him one, and he took it. I cringed. Everyone smoked here. I recognized them from when I was moving in earlier. They lived next door. I pulled together all my courage. It took everything I had to walk over to two random boys in a foreign country. But I was tired. And the burning behind my eyes had begun. I knew if I didn't find a way home soon I would start to cry.
I turned on the bubbly and hopped over. "Hi! You guys live near me! Want to walk me home?" I always acted extra outgoing and girly when I was nervous. I turned on the smiles, the hair flip, the giggles.
"Uh... sure, yeah." He said as he stubbed out his cigarette. The tall boy just grunted. And we fell into step together.
"I'm Annie! I just got in today from Copenhagen."
"I'm Penn."
And that was it. No small talk. My heart fell. It seemed that making friends would be a lot harder than I had thought. I was sure I'd be able to make friends with the boys. It had always been easy for me to fit in with boys. Girls were another story. I didn't know how to relate to them. I had spent my entire life surrounded by only my brothers. Girls made me feel uncomfortable, self conscious. But these boys were different too. They weren't like the Kingdom boys, or even New England boys.
After they dropped me off at my apartment I forgot all about them. I ran into another boy, a New England boy, and we became friends immediately. I forgot about the cold reception I got from my neighbors.
Three weeks later I came home from the bar. I was a little tipsy and brimming over with confidence. I knew this city now. I had my group of friends. I felt at home. I was singing and dancing my way down the street to my apartment. Penn was standing on our stoop, smoking a cigarette. Something about him made me stop. As our friends talked around us, I just kept looking at him. He was tall, dark and handsome. In my drunken state he looked like he came right out of a fairy tale. His arms looked like he could sweep me off my feet and carry me away to his castle. I put on my charm. I giggled, I chatted. And then I realized I had a pack of tampons tucked under my arm. Mortified that I had forgotten Sie had asked me to pick them up, I quickly excused myself, letting my friends know I would meet them at their apartment in a few minutes.
As I emerged from my apartment Penn was heading to his. I asked him not to leave yet, I asked him to join me with my friends upstairs. He invited me inside instead. Inside I looked at his collection of Nickleback on his itunes and Nicolas Cage in his CD case. I giggled at his bad taste, but was more amused by how he defended it. I saw his Orioles shot glass and told him I had to go. He asked me not to hold his terrible taste against him, and offered a chair. I sat down. I never made it to my friends' that night.
I thought it was a fling. I thought it was just one night. If more than one night, it still wouldn't last long. He was different. He wasn't my type. He seemed a little boring, a little reserved. He annoyed me during the day, but I was drawn to him at night. I was annoyed that all of my friends were in awe of him. I was annoyed he didn't make an effort to open up more. I was annoyed that I couldn't stop thinking about him.
We started to spend more time together, and he began to talk more. I would stop by his apartment where he was cooped up reading or watching a movie, and I would drag him out into the rain. He started to make me laugh. I noticed him laughing with me. As we would walk we would gravitate closer to each other. We would touch more often. We would share knowing looks when we were out with friends. I no longer had to seek him out, we just assumed we would do something together. Our friends would me where he was if we were ever apart. We were hardly ever apart.
It was when I read one of his travel writing pieces that I realized how much I was falling for him. He was sitting impatiently at his desk while I cuddled in his bed. I was dressed in sweats. My hair was a mess. I had been up all night writing my own piece, and I looked terrible. But I didn't care, because he wanted me to read his writing. He wanted to know what I thought.
It was beautiful. I knew he was good at writing, but I didn't know he was this good. I looked up at him, and he was gazing at me, exploring my face to find my reaction. My stomach erupted with butterflies. And then I was filled with dread.
This wasn't what was supposed to happen. He was supposed to just be a fling. He was supposed to just be a little fun. We were just going to have a good time and go on our way. Our time in that city together was too short to start anything. In just a couple months I would be returning to Copenhagen, he would be returning to the states. In just a couple months it would come to an end, there was no other option.
I pulled back. That small moment of butterflies, that moment where I could feel the love creeping up on me, set off weeks of confusion and turmoil in our relationship. We tried to end it, to not let it go any further. But by then our groups of friends were intertwined. There was no avoiding each other. It caused more hurt and confusion. We gave it up. We gave in and let the feelings take over.
The last month together was from a dream. I never knew a relationship could be that happy. Penn took all of my ideas about relationships - ideas that were ingrained in me from my last relationship - ideas I had thought were facts because of my four year emotionally abusive relationship - and destroyed them. He helped me build up new expectations. He helped me realize what was healthy. And he made me happy. Together we discovered London and Wales, we explored the city and ourselves. We brought out the best in each other.
I noticed him change, he emerged from his shell. He talked more when we were out, he made jokes with my friends. He initiated plans. He held my hand in public and kept me close when we were out at clubs. I changed too. I'm not sure how I changed outwardly, but I let my walls down inwardly. I became more trusting. I let go of all the hurt I had from my past relationship. I learned to just be happy with what I had at the time.
It was difficult saying goodbye. Difficult is an understatement. I can't remember the last time I cried that hard. I kept it together as we waited for his bus. We talked lightly. We hugged, we stood together in silence. Friends came to say goodbye. I stood in the background. The bus pulled up and his grip tightened around me. Now it was real. And now, it was almost impossible. We hugged, we kissed. He picked up his bags, turned to walk away. Then he turned back. We kissed some more. Finally he stepped on the bus. I kept myself from jumping on with him. I kept myself from jumping in front of it. I just stood there. And as the bus pulled away, I fell apart.

We stayed together after that. We didn't know how to end it. We skyped every day, and then every other day, and soon it was only once a week. Our schedules got in the way. The time change got in the way. He came to visit for a weekend almost three months later. We knew it was our last hurrah.

He called last night. It has been months since the last time we spoke. He was sorry it had been so long. His voice still gives me butterflies. But it's just a reflection of a memory. Of a time when he changed my life. I'm afraid I will always think, "What if." What if we could have stayed in London forever. What if we had met over here. What if we lived closer together. Would we be together? But there is no use thinking what if, because this is where we are. It won't change. So instead I am just grateful for those eight months we did have together. He made me a better person. And that is something I will never forget.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Is sight important? Texas Festivals and oh, I like ice cream.

Yesterday I went to the eye doctor again because I absolutely stink at putting contacts in and they itch to the point where I'm screaming to rip my eyes out of me PLEASE. But also I am super stubborn and WANT to wear contacts so I can show off my pretty green eyes (hello modesty) and rock over sized sunnies and wear an obscene amount of mascara on occasion. These are things I cannot do with my little spectacles.
I just realized, you may have noticed in ALL of my pictures I have posted I am not wearing my glasses. That doesn't mean I'm wearing contacts. Oh no, I just decide that it is totally okay to not see for a little bit (or entire night). I don't do it when I'm driving or anything. But I must confess I biked once when I forgot to put my glasses in my clutch in Copenhagen. Liiiitle bit scary. I don't recommend it. But yes, I don't like to wear my glasses because I think I'm much prettier without them. My mother disagrees, that's because she's my mother.I'm getting contacts anyway!
The last time I was at the eye doctor (last week), I was loudly bragging about my move to Austin. Well not really, but sort of. My oldest friend, Winnie, works there so I was telling her that I was moving. I always get so nervous about telling my hometown friends I'm leaving because they yell at me every time. "What?? But you just got back!" So I tried to make it sound like it was the best thing possible that I was moving 2,000 miles away (which it is!). Another woman who worked in the office overheard me and popped up.
"You're moving to Texas?? When are you coming in next? I have something for you! I'll bring it in to Winnie and she can give it to you!" That's something I love about small towns. I don't know this woman at all, but she is jumping up to give me something, just because.
This "something" is a package she got in the mail randomly - a guide to Texas. It has a map and a couple booklets that outline everything you need to know (ish) about every town in Texas. I wanted to gobble it up I loved it so much.
Madic returned from Seattle yesterday so he came over to catch up, which included him asking me what I did while he was gone for eight days...and all I could tell him was I discovered "A Very Potter Musical" on youtube and now have 20 Google followers (which dropped to 19 today... I'm sorry... I'll miss you!). Gosh my life is so exciting. HIS life is for real exciting and he had a lovely trip with his girly friend and they did many a lovely, artsy, fun thing.
After I was once again reminded how boring my life is, I pulled out my little package of Texas goodies and we perused. And - OH MY GOSH - do you know how many festivals there are in Texas?? I mean, we all know about SXSW, but there are like eleventy million others!! (please note that I turn into a six year old when I am excited). So I am adding that to my life list - which is going to have to not be called "30 before 30" and should be called "eleventy before babies" because there are just so many amazing things I want to do, and I don't want it to be before I die, because I want the pressure to get it done NOW! And I can't put an age on that, so babies arriving it is. And then I'll make a new list of awesome things to expose my babies to. (And mommy get-a-ways too).
My favorite sounding festival (cause I haven't looked all of them up yet) is the Texas Reds - Steak and Grape - Festival. Um, hi, let's be friends forever. My mouth is watering already. A festival dedicated to steak and wine! Is it October yet?
There are so many crazy festivals, all year long. There's also a BBQ goat cook off, World's Largest Rattlesnake Round-up, Wild Hog Explosion, and so so so much more! You should see me, I am giggling hysterically with excitement! My skin cells are excited!
You know what Vermont has? Well, we used to have a Ben and Jerry's festival - but New York took it from us. NEW YORK. What do they know about Ben and Jerry's? (Speaking of Ben and Jerry's, I'm extremely upset I'm missing free cone day while I'm in Copenhagen, so you all better get an extra free cone for me!)

Oh, hey, look at that, this post is all over the place! Much like my life.
Do you have festivals in your city? Tell me all about them because they are my new favorite thing!
And what free cone will you be getting on April 12th?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pen Pals!

#25 of my Before 30 list is to start a "snail mail" correspondence. It is something that I have attempted to do many times in the past but it never seemed to work out.
I think I had a pen pal when I was twelve. He was from a different country, but for the life of me I cannot remember where. It was something set up in my school, my class was writing to a class in -Mexico?- We wrote two letters. The last batch of letters got lost in the mail, and then I think my teachers just gave up on it. 
I remember sending a picture of myself. I told him my favorite past time (playing in my woods and skating...) and my favorite food and about my enormous family because that is a favorite subject of mine. Mainly because I have the coolest brothers in the world. And sisters, but the sisters were itty then, so there wasn't much to tell about them. "Boo learned how to say fork today, we are so proud." Before the letters stopped I day dreamed that this boy would end up being my future husband, and what a story we would have. Even at twelve I dreamt  of marriage. 
The year after high school one of my friend's and I decided to stay in touch via letters, but it became difficult because we both changed addresses too many times and Facebook just seemed easier. Then when I was living in Copenhagen I tried again, but the postal system was too difficult for me (or maybe I was just too lazy to figure it out) (and buying stamps scared me because I had to use my terrible Danish). 
But I absolutely love getting things in the mail! Except for lately I have been getting only bank statements and bills - awesome. I love getting fun things that are filled with happiness, something little to brighten a day. That may be the lamest sentence ever, but it is exactly what I think letters are. Happiness. 
The other day I got a tweet from the wonderful Kelsey at Harbor Cottage asking if I wanted help accomplishing number 25. I jumped at the chance. So we exchanged mailing addresses and today, I wrote the first letter.
Except, hold up, how do you write a good letter to someone you don't really know? I have to admit I think I sounded like the twelve year old that first had a pen pal. I was overly giddy, all over the place. Just throwing out facts and ideas and observations about the most random things. Poor Kelsey. Also, poor Kelsey because my handwriting is not very pretty. Sorry! 
About a page and a half in I had no idea what to write anymore but realized I hadn't really written anything of substance. So I googled "how to write to a pen pal" because I am super cool like that. can tell me how! It gave a list of things you "need" which included an etiquette book. I started to freak that I didn't have an etiquette book, I began to google it, but realized that I was not going to actually get one, or read one, so I just hoped that I had the proper etiquette I needed to write a letter. What would that be? Maybe I should google it. 
Then it bullet pointed things to say - your age, if you had a pet, what your hobbies were, if you had children, what your favorite color was. 
And it said to make sure to write things people would find interesting. And then it told me to be courteous and not overwhelm the reader. So I finished the letter with "I'm 23." Because I didn't want to overwhelm her. And what if she didn't think my pet Max was interesting? Or what if she hated my favorite color? And then we could never be friends! 
I actually said a little bit more but I don't want to say because Kelsey will read this and then what was the point of sending the letter to her? And also I don't want to overwhelm all of you with too much information about me. Like how I sleep with a teddy bear named Ellie or my obsession Vermont food. That would be maple syrup, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and Cabot Cheddar cheese. Something you should all love. I love them. Maybe not all at once... well... no, not all at once.  And I have an idea for give a way! But that shall be another post. 
I have already started to think about all the fun letters and trinkets I will send to her, and all the post cards she will get on my road trip/move down to Texas! It is so fun to have someone to send things too. I am so excited about that part, I almost forgot she'll be sending me letters too! Why did corresponding my letters become so old fashioned? It should be a timeless thing, don't you think?

DO YOU WANT A PEN PAL?? It turns out that Cait and I were on the same wave length with this pen pal thing and she is putting together a wonderful project. So if you want to take part in it, head on over and let her know. Also, become a follower! When she gets 500 she will do a give a way! And maybe you'll win! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

A little different..

Happy Monday! Although the first day of Spring was yesterday and last week we had a couple 50 degree days, winter seems to still be lurking wayyyy up here in Vermont. Chilly! I hope it is looking like a beautiful spring where you are!

Lately, although I cover it with humor, I've been freaking out about money. I returned from Denmark with a hundred kroner to my name (less than $20). And although I've been working over 40 hours a week since December and attempting to live like a hermit, life gets expensive. So I drew up a budget, looked at all my financials, and estimated the cost of moving, and rent for three months. And I balked. I could do it, but I would be skimping by.
I tried not to let it worry me. I have lived on very little before. I am a pro at living off the bare necessities. But knowing how far away I'd be from my family, not knowing when I would get a job, or how well it would pay... I couldn't help but let the worry creep over me.
So I started to pray about it. I asked God if He really wanted me to go to Austin, if this was really in His plan. I have done things before that were definitely against His plan, and I have suffered for it. So I wanted to go about it right this time. Is this what He wants?
As the plans came together I received positive reactions from the most important people in my life. I felt at ease, except for my lack of money, and the difficulty in getting a second job with my hours and the fact that I would be leaving in May. So I asked God, if this was his plan, could he maybe help me with my financial burden?
I didn't expect anything from it. Why would God help me with something like money. Why would He want me to move to Texas when I could just as easily stay here and not need any money. But I knew that I really couldn't stay here, and I hoped that God recognized it too. I was sure He did, He knows my heart.
Then last week I got a call for a baby sitting job, they would pay me $75.00 to watch a few kids for a couple hours. The next day $50.00 arrived in the mail for me. An old friend remembered he owed me money - I had completely forgotten. This extra income, if only a one time thing, was welcome. It was the exact amount I needed to pay for my eye doctor.
Saturday we got a phone call from a woman who lived up the road. I have never met her, and my parents only knew of her. She was calling to offer me a job as a night nanny. She had gotten my name, as well as rave reviews, from a woman who attends my church. The woman highly recommended me. I was surprised. I knew of this woman, I see her every Sunday, but have never spoken to her. I didn't know she knew who I was, or that I worked with children, but somehow she did.
It is the perfect job. I will be taking care of newborn twins, helping with their nightly feedings, as well as attending to the one and a half year old boy if he wakes during the night. And they only need me until May. After I accepted the job, I immediately prayed to God in thanks. I truly believe that Austin is where He wants me to be, everything has come together, and God has been answering all my prayers. I only hope that I am worthy.
I do feel bad, my parents have been struggling financially for a while, and yet I am the one getting helped. My mother says she understands. God just wants me to know He is there. We are in our Honeymoon-stage she says. He wants to know that I am loved, and no matter what I have done or gone through, He will always be there.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Spring!

Happy first day of spring everyone!
Since it's 23 degrees here are there is still a LOT of snow on the ground, I've decided to reminisce a little and show you pictures of this time last year, when I was living in London!

ME! enjoying the spring!

I absolutely love the way these trees bloom

Regent's Park - I love this bridge. I love this whole section of the park - so beautiful!

 Doesn't it look so wonderful?? Wow I miss it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The AMAZING B5 and his Sister (hey, that's me!)

Almost all of my conversations with B5 are about how accomplished he is. It is very well known in the family that he is the most successful, worldly, smart, handsome, respectable. Except in our family, we don't care. Well, my mom cares, B5 is amaaaazing. But us "children" are all about who has the most fun (right now no one is winning because we're all super fun beings).
But the point of this post is B5 thinks he's the top, in fact I bet he sings that song to himself all the time. Not only is he the top, but all of his friends are too. He surrounds himself with friends from Yale, Harvard, and Brown and always talks about how smart they are and how they are going to become President and Astronauts and stuff.

Being his sister - and the absolute complete opposite of him, I surround myself with musicians and writers and aimless world wanderers - I feel the need to bring him down to earth. To my level. So  sometimes, no matter what he says, I dumb it down.
Our last phone conversation:

"I went to my interview with (I don't know, some important tech-y, nerdy, boring place) and I'm pretty sure I got it. I was talking to the Vice President and he was really impressed with my resume and my work in Kenya. And my friend Meredith, she's a sophomore, and she just got offered a job at Microsoft."
"Cool. I'm really proud of you! (because I really am!)  finished an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's today."
"Uh... that's great Annie. So, um, what are your plans? How long are you staying at Mom and Dad's?"
"I'm moving to Texas."
"What? Why?"
"Because I'm awesome. My new life plan is to be awesome. Heyyy look at that, life plan ACCOMPLISHED."
There is silence on the other end as my little brother wonders how on earth we could be related.
"Um, great. Any other plans?"
"Yep, I'm going to date a musician and he is going to write a song about me. And then I'm going to break up with him. And then that song that he wrote is going to be his *big* song and he'll get all famous and I'll be like, hey, he wrote that song about me."
"Those are your plans?"
"I'm reaching for the stars B."
Then I change the subject to talking about all the awesome wine that I consumed that week. Because I love wine. And because until he turned 21 (last month), B5 was completely against drinking. And it still kind of bothers him how much I drink. So I talk about it. A lot.
To which he replies - word for word - "When I tell my friends about you, they don't believe me."
WIN! (haha I typed WINE first).
And then I squeal, "Oh my gosh you talk about me?!"

Finally he sighs and asks to talk to my mom. To which I reply "Catch you on the flip side, home dawg. Remember, Jesus loves me, and you should too."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Remember that time I had a meltdown about my about me page? Well, I finally got through it without hyperventilating! Check it out and tell me your thoughts!

My heathen brother and my wild imagination

B4 (brother number 4 in case you just started reading and you have no idea what all these Bs are. They are brothers. I have too many of them) (also when I told B4 what I referred to him as, he said "Before? why would you name me Before? Before what?")
Wow, ok, I'm going to start over.
B4 is a heathen. That is what we (and by we I really just mean my mother, but I say we so my mom doesn't start calling me a heathen too) call people in the family who don't believe in Jesus. People outside the family who don't believe in Jesus are beautiful, wonderful people. But, B4 is a heathen. I have to congratulate my mother in the fact that out of her eight children, only two of them are heathens. AND these two (B2 and B4) are the only two children in the family who have red hair. Which makes me giggle uncontrollably sometimes, because gingers don't have souls! This same fact does not make my mother giggle for some reason, even though I repeat it over and over again, just to make sure she understands.
I am not a heathen. As we have established, I love Jesus. We must also establish that drinking tequila with Jesus doesn't make you a heathen, it makes you awesome. And tipsy. And might also be the answer to bringing world peace because, as B1 once exclaimed, "I have never had a bad experience with tequila! Tequila just makes you HAPPY!" B1 is a 30 year old with two babies but always ready to go out and grab a margarita with me.
Anyway. The topic of B4's soul-less-ness has come up a lot lately. Every Sunday after church my family (grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and their babies) invades the local bagel shop (we literally take over) and we have a nice little chat about the Jesus and love and my plans for life (seriously, how does this conversation always come up?). But because of Lent my grandmother has been thinking about the family members who are not at the bagel shop because they are soulless, fiery, heathens.
So on Wednesday my grandmother called my restaurant to make a reservation for five people on St Patrick's Day and then asked to talk to B4, who is a cook in the kitchen. As soon as he got off the phone my mother called him. When he got off with her he turned to me.
"I think they are going to have an exorcism."
This got me all excited and giggly and intrigued.
"Ha! They are going to save your heathen ass!"
My grandmother had called to invite him to dinner and then my mother called to make sure he said yes.
"Who are the five people?" he asked me.
"Hm, probably you, Gram, Papa, Jesus and St. Patrick. They're bringing in the big guns for this."
"There is going to have to be a priest. To perform the exorcism."
"Um, St. Patrick is a priest. And you don't think Jesus can handle an exorcism? He is JESUS. He sent the devil into a pack of swine and drove them over a cliff. Oooo I wonder if they will send the devil into our goats? I hope not, I like our goats."
"Annie, the devil isn't in me."
"The devil told you to say that. Good thing St. Patrick is coming. He'll get the devil out of you like he got the snakes out of Ireland."
Notice my great knowledge of Catholic things?
"If St. Patrick does come, I will absolutely convert."
So I gave Jesus the finger pistols, with a wink, and said "Do your magic." Cause that's how we roll.

It turned out that the actual people joining my grandparents for dinner were two priests. Which made me giggle. And get REALLY excited because I thought something fun was going to go down.
I got into work this morning and hopped right over to B4. "Have you been saved?!"
"Humph, well did they try to save you?"
"Then what the heck were you there for?"
"Just for dinner, because we haven't had dinner in awhile."
"But the priests!"
"Annie, our grandparents always invite priests to dinner. They feel it is their duty to feed to the priests."
"They didn't try to throw Holy Water on you?"
"No Annie."
Well WHAT is the fun in that? All night I was imagining all sorts of crazy holy things going on at the restaurant. And they just had a nice dinner of corned beef and cabbage, drank Guinness, and chit chatted.
No Holy Water thrown about. No one yelling "The Power Of Christ Compels You!" Not even a, "Listen B4, it's time for you to come back to church, OR ELSE!"
Gosh, real life is boring.
But let's remember: Drinking tequila with Jesus = World peace

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Celebrating St Patrick's Day with Flowers!

My grandmother has been helping me learn the basics of flower arranging. I have been making bouquets and filling my house and workspace with vases full of pretty (or at least I hope they are!) arrangements. Because of this I was asked to do the St. Patrick's Day arrangements for the restaurant.
I made fourteen small arrangements for the tables (two pictured here) and a bigger one with the extra flowers for the desk I work at.
So here's a little St Patrick's Day/Spring for you!

I wish I had a better place to take this picture, probably could have brought it out to the dining room - but this is one of the arrangements for the tables at the restaurant

Spring/St Patrick's Day arrangement for the front desk - to provide me with a little spring happiness!

A little more spring for our sitting room - not green, just springy!

Another arrangement for the dining room - Happy St Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You are my favorite

Favorite Things

{1} food: anything with curry or coconut – Indian and Thai, I die :)

{2} color: purple and green

{3} animal: elephants

{4} sports team: Red Sox 

{5} dessert: strawberry rhubarb pie

{6} artist/singer/band: Ingrid Michaelson

{7} pair of shoes: my cowgirl boots :)

{8} outfit: for this time of year: leggings, long green blouse, long sweater, and my camel knee high boots

{9} store: the Loft

{10} brand: … I don’t have one?

{11} perfume: Gucci envy (from 5 years ago, they don’t make it the same anymore…)

{12} accessory: my peacock hair clip

{13} city: LONDON

{14} hobby: reading, writing… beginning to get into rock climbing… at the moment I spend all my time researching Austin

{15} beauty product: warmth – bare essentials

{16} snack: chips and hummus or cheese and (gluten free) crackers and green grapes

{17} holiday: Easter – the only holiday the entire family is together and the Inn is closed!

{18} movie: Princess Bride

{19} song: Lovers Waltz A.A. Bondy or The Call, Regina Spektor

{20} guilty pleasure: Wedding TV shows 

*Idea from Cait's favorite things

Man, I could have been seeing things!

I went to the eye doctor today, something I have done maybe 3 times in my life, even though I wear glasses. I just never get around to making sure my glasses are up to date. So today I went, and all I could think of was this...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What you should know if you are going to live with me

The other day I was terribly bored so I started a list for Madic of things he should know about living with me. We have been best friends for 11 years but living together is going to be a bit different. I can't help but worry that he has no idea what he is getting himself into. So Madic - here it is - are you ready?

Sometimes I need to be alone. I will close myself up in my room. I may get home, grab food, and head straight for my room and not come out for hours. But it doesn’t mean anything. I just need my time sometimes.

Sometimes I can’t be alone. Sometimes I am so starved for attention that I will seek you out. Sometimes I will chatter away without taking breaths. Other times I’ll just want to sit near you.

The kitchen cannot get dirty. I will make sure it doesn’t get dirty. You will make sure it doesn’t get dirty. My room may get dirty. My room usually reflects how put together my life is. If my life is falling apart, my room is a disaster. If I am happy, organized, life is good, then my room is organized. I’m working on not letting my mood affect my cleaning behavior.

Sometimes I cry for no reason. A hallmark commercial can make me cry. Sometimes I take everything to heart. I take on everyone’s emotions until they fall out of me. It’s nothing big. You don’t need to comfort me (unless I cry that I just need a hug). Sometimes I will try to continue on with things pretending tears are not streaming down my face. Not often, but sometimes. Just ignore them.

I don’t talk in the morning. Ever. I have my coffee, I get ready for the day, I leave for the day. There is no small talk. I react badly to small talk in the morning. After 10 am I am happy as a clam (and 3 cups of coffee in).

I am going to listen to country music. Not all the time. But occasionally. I will try to only listen to it when you are not in the house, but sometimes I just need it.

I will dance. I will be silly. I will want to have people over to have dinner with us. I will want to drink at home more often than I will want to go out on the town. I will want to surround myself with fun, amazing people. I will want to have game night, and I will want it to be taken seriously. I want our house to be fun and inviting.

I do not want our house to look like we just moved in. I want it to look lived in, I want it to be comfy. It will not be a bachelor pad, it will not be a boy’s dorm room or even a girls dorm. It will be a home.

Sometimes I like to go out until four in the morning. I will come home and I will destroy the kitchen trying to find something delicious to make. I will come home, and if you are in bed I will want to wake you up and have you listen to all of my stories. I will want you to eat food with me. I will apologize profusely, but I will still try to drag you out of bed.

Sometimes I might bring a boy home. He may be a one night stand. He may be something lasting (not likely). Please don’t judge me. It won’t happen often.  But it will happen. Please be nice to him if he comes to breakfast.

Sometimes I will cry about stupid boys. Sometimes I will wonder why they don’t call. I will ask you a million questions about what you think is going on in their heads. Because you are a boy. So you must know.

Sometimes I will fall in love with boys and be incredibly bored with them six days later. Try to keep up? Never mind, you do not need to keep up. Just don’t judge me. And try not to call the next guy by the last guy's name.

I will cook. I will clean. I will stretch a dollar as far as it can go, and then some. And then sometimes I will beg to get take out. I will beg to hire a cleaning lady. I will want to go on a shopping spree.

I will constantly want to buy things for the apartment. I will need your help controlling myself.
I will constantly want to buy things for me. Please help me.

In the beginning I may stress that we do not have any friends. I will want you to go out constantly. I will drag you to flea markets. I will make you wait outside where my interview is. I will try every bar around.

Sometimes I will whine.

Sometimes I will sing.

Sometimes I will start drinking at noon. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dreams, reality, and trying to figure out how to put them together, but just ending up feeling sad because I don't know how

Today a few things have inspired me. First - Chelsea Talks Smack's post - go there, read it, love it, never forget it - about doing things NOW! not waiting for... something, anything.
Second - Conor Grennan's book LittlePrinces, another thing to check out, love and never forget.
I have always wanted to visit Nepal. My dad lived there for two years while he was in the peace corps. It was the most inspiring time of his life. He still talks about it all the time, he takes advantage of any opportunity to pull out his slides (and now he is digitizing them - but I love the slide show on a blank white wall). He is so incredibly passionate about anything to do with Nepal.
Since I graduated high school I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I wanted to volunteer in a third world country, I wanted to make a difference in the world. That is what brought me to the Dominican Republic when I was nineteen. Since then I have wanted to do something else. I have dreamed of going to Africa and Nepal. But "Real Life" has gotten in the way. I had to go to college. I had to make money. I had to be here for my family. And I got in the way of myself. I had to experience Europe. I had to drink my way through the UK and Denmark.

Most of all my problem is I want to do too many things. I want to volunteer for Next Generation Nepal. I want to go to volunteer in a women's home in Kenya. I want to couch surf through Europe. I want to be near my family. I want to move to Texas. I want to be in the same place long enough to make friends, maybe meet a boy, to be able to change my permanent address to something other than my parents'.
All of my wants conflict. And none of them involve a steady job, something I need in order to make the money to fund all of these dreams.
I told my mother last night, "I want to go to Nepal to volunteer at Conor's children's home."
"Annie, you are moving to Texas in two months."
"I know, but this is really important to me. I want to do this too!"
To that I just mumbled. I don't know how. I can barely afford my move to Texas, let alone a plane ticket to Nepal. And not working, not getting an income, for those three months I would be volunteering.

Yes, I know I can do a lot of volunteering here and in Texas. And I do volunteer here. And I plan to in Texas. But my draw to Nepal has always been so deep. I want to connect with my father, to have a similar experience. To know what he went through. And I am so inspired by Conor Grennan's experiences that I just cannot stop thinking about him and the lost children of Nepal.

So I am adding it to my Before 30 list. Because I am absolutely going to do it. And maybe someday I'll get to Kenya. And maybe someday I will settle down. But be aware - "settling down" absolutely does not mean never traveling/volunteering abroad again. It just means I will pause long enough to establish a relationship - something I have been unable to do for the last five years.
Maybe Texas is my first step to settling down?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to write an "About Me" page and not crack under the pressure... this is not a how to - this is a serious question!

I have been trying to work on an "about me" page, but there is so much pressure! I read on a blog once that the page should be funny, it should not tell your whole life, it should be relevant. Here's my problem: I think I'm a lot funnier than I actually am. I think everything in my life is relevant. And I think my life story is extremely interesting and important. But deep down I know none of that is true. Or maybe it is? I think very highly of myself.
So what do I say? I am getting flashbacks of writing "story of me" essays for new classes in high school. For some reason at least three of my high school teachers had us write that essay. And I got so sick of it. So I would write stories instead, thinking this story will tell a lot more about me, and be a lot more interesting, than a "My name is Annie, I am the fifth of eight children, I grew up on a farm/inn." Oh my god I'm already bored.
So what do I say on my about me? Seriously, the pressure! I know when I find a new blog the first place I head is there "About" page. I want to know who they are, if they are funny, what they write about. If I am not amused by what I see there I most likely will not continue on to the rest of their blog. So I HAVE to make a good impression. And that scares the hell out of me. Why do I care so much?! I want you to love me. I never thought I would care whether or not people like to read me. But now, I want you to love me, to think of me, to be on the edge of your seat waiting for my next post. Mostly, because I love myself, I think I'm awesome. You should obviously think I'm awesome too.

My biggest problem is how to start? I have all these one liners - but no beginning. "I write a lot about Madic who is my head-like-a-bowling-ball best friend with whom I am moving to Austin because he convinced me that I can wear my cowgirl boots whenever I want and I never have to trudge through 3 feet of snow again!"
"Since I graduated from high school I have lived in the Dominican Republic, Martha's Vineyard, Rhode Island, London, Copenhagen, and now I live back with  my parents which is... well it is."
"In the past five years I have actively pursued these careers: preschool teacher, hospitality, nursing, nutrition, a doula, editing, and at this moment I would like to be a florist."
"My mother just smiles at me every time I tell her where I want to move or what I want to be when I grow up."

You're asleep aren't you?

Also - what the hell do I write about? My grandparents - my mother - Jesus - tequila - wine - my family - tequila - wine - London? basically whatever is on my mind (wine). But how do I explain that?

I can't take this pressure!

Maybe I should have a couple glasses of wine and then write it.
Or maybe Madic should write it?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The thought of Texas makes me all giddy and happy inside

I have been looking at the route Madic and I are going to take to get from Vermont to Texas and I am GIDDY. I can't stop smiling and emailing Madic about all the places I'm excited to see. Because once we get out of Massachusetts, I have never been to any of the states we are going to go through. It's like a dream come true. I get to move to Texas AND get to see so many new states.
My one goal is to get Madic to agree to stop in Nashville.
I am so giddy I can't wait. There are so many possibilities. Where will we stay? What will we see? THINK OF THE ADVENTURES!
It's funny, Madic and I had always planned on going on a road trip together. Since we met in sixth grade we have been planning the most epic of adventures. And then last year he went on a road trip with our friend Turtle while I was visiting home. He kept trying to convince me to go with him but I was only home for a little bit and had so many people to see and things to do before I returned to Denmark. He feigned being upset and said we would never have another chance to go on a road trip together.
AND LOOK AT US NOW! We're moving to Austin, and we're driving the whole way.
But. my God, it feels like the time is never going to come. Damn our prior obligations.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Drinking with Jesus and please don't hate me for this.

I've fallen in love with a new singer. Some blog led me to her a few weeks ago, and then I heard her again yesterday and then I finally looked her up and realized she is Christian singer and all of her songs are about Jesus. And I love her music so much that I keep thinking, maybe she will change my relationship with Jesus and I will become the Catholic that my mother wishes I was. And then I will start singing too, and telling everyone about the love of Jesus (which is great). And maybe this nun lifestyle I've started will really pan out into a real nun lifestyle and my grandmother will die happy and my mother will cry and peace will come to my family. Because I said yes to Jesus. All because of this singer.
Yeah, I love her that much.

Except that probably isn't how it will happen at all. Because I love her songs. And I love Jesus of course. But I also love to drink... a lot. So I feel like my relationship with Jesus will always be like Miranda Lambert's.
I'm pretty sure when Jesus and I meet up there will be a lot of wine drinking. And then I'll be like, "Hey Jesus, this is tequila!" and he'll be like "I know it's tequila Annie, I invented it. I also invented limes so please cut them up while I get the salt." And I'll be like "Our God is an awesome God." and he'll be like "I know right? But don't tell Mary." Which works both ways because both of our mothers' names are Mary. But he wouldn't really say that because we both know both Marys know all. Plus we love both Marys very much. And if I told my mother I was drinking tequila with Jesus she would just respond "Of course you are." Because she doesn't like confrontation. And everything is ok if Jesus is involved. And I am getting way too into this.
I love you Jesus. Now I'm going to have a glass of wine and sing about it.

I'm sorry if this offends you. I know it would offend my mother. But this is my relationship with Jesus, and so far things have been good between us, so I am going to keep it up.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quarter life crisis - mine involves flowers and gluten free cookies - this post may not make any sense

I have decided I want to become a florist. So maybe I can cross "figure out what I want to do with my life" off my before 30 list. Maybe.

But yesterday I had a moment of terror and a little bit of a freak out.. complete with hyperventilating and a little bit of oh my hell what am I doing with my life??? When I realized that I may never again work at a place where people make me gluten free cookies and I eat like five or more a day and I drink tea and read books and blog and "research" random things on the internet and sometimes do real research for gluten free things and sometimes I answer the phone and make reservations. But the point of this story is I eat a lot of gluten free chocolate chip cookies all day long. And it is heaven. And I have decided to leave this job. What am I thinking?? Really. My life is so cush. Isn't it?

And then I realized that this is what the quarter life crisis is all about. We are just at that moment when you actually have to start acting like an "adult." Where we start paying our student loans, where we have to get real jobs with real people that maybe provides health insurance? And you have to take what you learned from college and apply it to some sort of job that maybe has a little something to do with what you studied but probably doesn't because there are no real jobs available. And then you are me and you never actually graduated from college so instead you keep thinking - what do I actually want to be when I grow up?

That brings me to where I am. Working a comfy little job where I have an endless supply of gluten free yummies, for breakfast, for snack, for dinner, for whenevertheheckIwantandI'mgo ingtohavefivecookiesrightnowdamnit. So yeah - the quarter life crisis. When we realize life is no longer as comfy as it used to be. Where we realize we have responsibilities. Where we know we need to grow up but we remember too vividly the life we lived when our parents took care of everything. Where I realize I need to move out of my parents' house already and stop relying on them for a job whenever I run out of money whilst drinking tequila gallivanting around the world. Where I realize that I may not have gluten free food galore at my finger tips.
But I don't want to realize that! Yes I will move out of my parents' house. Yes I will start paying my own bills. Yes I will get a real job - even if it has to be a 9 to 5 (but I would much prefer to be a florist and make my own hours...). But no, no I do not want to give up the gluten free goodies. Is it asking too much to be able to drink tea and eat gluten free cookies at work? All the time? I don't think so. I don't to think so! What kind of life would that be??
Alright I am being a little dramatic.

Then Madic says, I will bake you gluten free cookies if you will just shut up already.
And this is why we are best friends.

Also, absolutely calling my grandmother this afternoon to see if she will apprentice me in her flower shop. You can eat cookies in flower shops all day right?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wine and other things of importance. Wait, what other things are as important as wine?

What the hell is this? here's the description "If you talk with your hands a lot, you will never have to worry about soaking your date or fellow party guest again. This silicone sling leaves your hands free for all kinds of gestures and activities."
Yeah, and you're going to look like an asshat and your date will leave you anyway. 

Also SIL is a genius, she turned a really weird wedding present of a giant bag of rice into a way to get wine. Except maybe she isn't a complete genius because she ordered three pounds of green peppers from peapod, and that is like 20 or more green peppers. For two people. So she made stuffed peppers with the giant bag of rice and invited people for a "dinner party" provided they bring the wine.

And now I absolutely want a bag of rice for a wedding present. Actually, a housewarming present, because I know I'm going to have to go to the soup kitchen when I move to Texas.
Do you think they'll accommodate my gluten allergy?
Also, do they serve wine at soup kitchens?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Generation gap - And my Gram is pretty awesome - Also I'm probably never going to settle down

It is horrendously cold. I just looked up the temperature in Austin and it is 70 degrees. Also there will be thunderstorms there tomorrow. Which makes me incredibly jealous. Although it will be a balmy 40 degrees here tomorrow it is going to rain cold, terrible, deathly rain drops. And right now the wind is so bad and going right through my window and I just put another blanket on my bed, so now I have four. And flannel pajama pants and a long sleeve shirt, and my smartwool socks. And I am freezing.
Also I hate snow.
Also I hate slipping and the ice.
It is 70 degrees in Austin right now.

I spent the evening with my grandparents. They are the absolute best people in the world. Except that they are old, and my grandfather is going senile, and my poor grandmother can barely walk yet my grandfather is always barking at her to do everything for him. She just smiles and hobbles along. Then she sits down and falls asleep. It's amazing how good she is at that. Doesn't even teeter, just sits, closes her eyes and is out. I'm a bit jealous.
Anyway we had dinner together because it has been awhile since I've sat down and chatted with them, and Bear and I were the only ones home tonight and we were going to order take out anyway (from our own restaurant because this lady is on a spending freeze!) so I figured, hey, let's hang out with the grandparents.
First thing Bear said when we got into the car was, "Does it smell like chlorine in here?" And I'm just about to blurt out "Actually, it smells like old people" because it really did, it was a real old person smell. But then I realized that of course it's an old person smell, my grandparents are old. But they've never smelled old before so this was a new thing. They have officially become old.
At dinner they asked me what I was up to these days and what my plans were. I was dreading this question. Before we left I told Bear we should take bets on how Papa would react to me moving to Texas. So I decided not to beat around the bush. "I'm moving to Texas!"
"Oh dear God" says Papa
"You can't move to Texas! It's too far away!" says Gram
"Texas is really great, you're going to love it" says Papa. Whoa, was not expecting that.
"Yeah, I am really excited to move to Austin, it seems to really fit with who I am, there are a lot of people there who are a lot like me."
"Oooh no," says Gram, cracking up and shaking her head vigorously "No one is like you!"
"Where the hell is Austin? I've never heard of it." says Papa
"Um, it's the state capital." And I try to make the shape of Texas out of my hands to point out where exactly in Texas Austin is, but that's impossible, what was I thinking.
"So what? It's not a city. Houston is a city. Dallas. What the hell is Austin? What are you going to do there? Are you going to finish school?"

At this point I pinch Bear because in preparation for this dinner she has been informed that it is her duty to keep the conversation away from getting my bachelor's. The last conversation we had he literally yelled at me to make me finish. "Go back to Rhode Island and beg them to take you back!"
"No Papa, I left Rhode Island because I was completely unhappy there. It was a terrible experience for me and I never want to return there."
"Who the hell cares about happiness??"
You should know my grandfather never got his bachelor's degree. Also when I was in high school looking at colleges he kept trying to convince me not to go to college. "I can teach you anything you need to know!" Which could be true. Because he never went to college and went from a traveling shoe salesman to a millionaire. But get your opinions straight buster, should I go to college or should I not?
Every year this man has a new opinion. He went from freaking out on me for trying vegetarianism one summer to the next summer telling me that MEAT IS DEATH! I can't handle this.

So Bear tries to cut in and start a new conversation about the shrimp he is eating - weak attempt there - but he cuts her off. "How old are you?"
"Uh huh, so this is your last little fling before you settle down and start a real life?"
"I don't know. Maybe not. There's still a lot of things I want to do."
"You know we had four kids by the time we were your age."
To which I try to reply that was crazy because they were married when they were 21, and that was just too quick to have babies (they had one set of twins) and even if I wanted to get married at this point my brothers would strongly object because I am way too young. Also I don't know where I want to settle down and have kids because it's definitely not here, and definitely not anywhere else I've lived. And I can't settle down and have kids until I find a man who wants to join me in this endeavor and I haven't found him yet and I know I won't find him here. Also we live longer now and I want to live in Texas but I also want to live in Kenya and I also want to live in London and I also want to travel all over the world and I wonder what it would be like to live in Asia... But while I am saying all of this he is going "Huh? What? What's that? Joanie, can you hear her?" Joanie's my gram. Papa pulls the "I'm deaf" card whenever he thinks we're talking crazy. Which is almost all the time with me.
Gram just giggles when I'm crazy. She thinks I'm awesome. "If I was your age I would totally go to Austin. Sounds rad." Gram also tries to be gangster. She once put one of those magnetic earrings in her nose and walked around with it for a whole day "I'm a cool Gram!" she kept saying.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Getting excited...

I have just booked a plane ticket to return to Copenhagen! I am beside myself with excitement, a little over a month from now I will be back in Europe (god I miss you) snuggling with my two favorite people in the world. Well, my favorite person in the world, and meeting Bitty Baby who I am sure will quickly become my second favorite person in the world. I'm talking about my nieces. And if you have been reading me, you know how important Clara is to me, and how Bitty Baby is about four weeks old. I've said "Hello" to her via facetime and skype, and I am positive she is beginning to recognize me and has already decided I'm her favorite Auntie ever.
I called B1 to let him know the tickets were purchased and he had to pick me up at the airport at 12:45 on Saturday the 9th. He told Clara and I could hear her yelling "yayy!" and asking if they could go to the airport right this instant to pick me up. Gosh that girl melts my heart!

The only drawback to my excitement is I need to return to the land of Facebook because I'm an idiot and didn't get any email addresses for my friends in Copenhagen and all of their numbers were on my Copenhagen phone which has been wiped clean for E's use. Silly. So I must return and request their contact information, and then I'm sure I'll get hooked reading up on everything I missed in the three weeks since I made my goodbyes and I'll never get off again. So I am putting off signing back on until I absolutely have to let them know when I am coming.

With that small drawback I am so completely absolutely ridiculously giddy about my future, which looks like this:
March: continue living the life of a nun, stop getting Thai food, go to the yoga studio I have already payed for rather than the one that I like, and pretend I'm a student so I can go to the climbing wall for free. Translation: SPENDING FREEZE!
April: Polishing off my halo and heading to church to be the best confirmation sponsor for my 16 year old sister (from here on referred to as Bear) there ever was, and a day later... COPENHAGEN! complete with baby snuggling, grabbing coffiee with Gerda (my favorite Latvian), spending two days with my favorite Parisian Nee, and of course going to Tivoli with Clara! Gaahh the excitement!
May: Celebrating Sie's graduation (you go girl!) and then moving to TEXAS!

Life = amazing

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Classy Birthdays...?

I have always wanted a classy birthday party. One where a few of my friends and I get together, dress up, and have dinner at a classy restaurant. We have lots of wine, eat good food, and laugh - but not too loud, because we are being classy. But alas, this has never happened.

This year was amazing, but everything short of classy.
My actual birthday was spent at work. I was spoiled with my dinner and was allowed to have a glass of wine on the clock. When I got home I had more wine, and a chocolate torte, it was lovely.
The next day I headed to the city for my real celebration. The first night was spent with SIL (B3 was on a business trip). We went out for sushi, drank copious amounts of wine, and watched Jersey Shore. I guess it could have been classy if I left that last part out...

My parents had booked a couple of rooms for me and some friends for Saturday (the perks of being in the hospitality business - we got them for free!). So all of my beautiful Londonites - except for Penn, he had school or something... - traveled to the city to help celebrate my birthday.
When the Londonites get together more alcohol is consumed than you would think is humanly possible. Especially tequila.
We all arrived at the hotel, seven boys, three girls. The boys went out to buy alcohol, but Panda and Sie were prepared - a whole bottle of patron - so we started to get dressed. Outfits were thrown back and forth "This one looked amazing on you when we went to Ministry of Sound, wear this one tonight." "I just found this top at Urban, you will love it!" "Hey, do you have that black belt that goes with this dress?"
And then the best exclamation, "I'm pouring the shots!"
The boys return and we are semi-dressed, semi-makeuped, and semi-drunk.
We drank a little more, giggled a lot, and finally I slumped onto the bed. "I think we should eat?" We bundled up and headed for Dick's Last Resort, the only place that would allow us in in our state.
When we arrived there was an hour wait, "but it's my birthday!" they took my phone number to call us when a table was ready. What do we do? We head for the pub, of course!
When we walked in, every one of the boys offered to buy my drink, because it's my birthday! But I was already sufficiently fuddled, so settled on just one for the moment... that quickly turned to two, maybe three? The bar was empty, as it was only eight pm, so we took over and started a dance party, what else?
On the way back to the restaurant we sang and danced and pretended like we werethe only people in the whole city. Sie spotted a perfectly untouched area of snow in the middle of a courtyard. All I remember is her saying something along the lines of "snow angel" and I was down on the ground, arms and legs sprawled out, making the best snow angel you ever did see. I arrived back at the restaurant completely covered in snow.
From there it's a blur. We got hats with horrendous statements written on them - mine said, ahem "I got Dick for my birthday!" ...because we were at Dick's, you know?
I drank a few too many margaritas, tipped the waitress far too much, sang with Elvis, and then headed back into the night. Somehow we found an Irish pub with live music - our favorite type of place to drink - and I decided I was an amazing Irish Step dancer. My cousin is an Irish Step Dancer, and she taught me a couple steps. So of course I am a professional.
I knocked over two beers, my friend started a fight with the bouncers, and we were kicked out. From there? I remember nothing. From cameras and random memories we figured we went to two other bars at least, and made a pit stop at a McDonald's where I made friends with everyone in the restaurant as well as a few unsuspecting passer-bys. Hellllooo! Who are you? What are you doing tonight?? It's my birthday! I'm 21! (lies) Meet me at the next bar and we'll daaannnce!  I'm so friendly.
Panda hooked up with the Greek. I called Penn with a drunken "I hate you because you're not celebrating my birthday... but I misshhh you sooo musshh." - that's me trying to type drunk? And Sie called Stien to give him the play by play. We could have been back in London again.
We somehow made it back to our hotel safe and sound, though I will never know how. I did hear one of my friends got stuck in the revolving doors for about five minutes...