So Much Pie.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving – ours was great.  The whole family was together for the first time in years, the ladies got “VIP” pedicures, it was 80 and sunny (we were in Arizona), and every time you turned around there was more food.  My kind of weekend!

Here’s a brief pictorial roundup…

First, we stopped by the store for some essentials.

Convenient travel size

Next, we baked up a hurricane.

Mmmmmmmmm….

We gathered around a lovely table to enjoy plentiful food and conversation.

And finally, most of the weekend was spent like this…

PJs + wine = bliss

Homemade margs

It was a wonderful holiday, and I’m already excited for Christmas!

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Thankful.

The season’s bounty

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I’ve compiled a list below of things for which I’m thankful…in no particular order.

  • My mom, who is and will always be the coolest lady I know.
  • My sweet brother, who always makes me laugh, even when I’m white-knuckle terrified on airplanes.
  • My new(ish!) family (how many people get to have a friend become a sister?), and my soon-to-be new family members. I will get out of control at all of your weddings. You’re welcome in advance.
  • Friends who make you laugh when you’re crying, and make you cry from so much laughing.
  • Sweet potatoes, for being a delicious vehicle for marshmallows.
  • Indiana for raising me, New York for challenging me, and Colorado for nourishing me.
  • My gold tooth, for taking no nonsense.

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, wherever you may be!

Rise and Shine.

I’ve decided the two most important ingredients for cooking are counter space and free time.  Since I’ve been out here I’ve made multiple real meals…from recipes!

This is very exciting, since I spent the past few years surviving on foods suitable only for college-age bachelors.  I often worried that if I were buried in an avalanche and future archaeologists dug me up and investigated the contents of my stomach, they’d assume that our generation survived on toaster waffles, salsa, and popsicles.  (That’s a normal thing to worry about, yes?)

I was delighted to discover that my ineptitude in the kitchen was due more to my lack of an actual kitchen than my skill level.  I won’t show photos of the real meals, since I have yet to see an appetizing photo involving ground beef, but here’s what I had for breakfast…

Beautiful breakfast!

Purple Mountain Majesty.

Image

This is what I get to see while driving around.  It’s very difficult to keep your eyes on the road here because those mountains are magnetic.  It makes you wonder – we have so much natural beauty in this country, why doesn’t everyone live in a place where, just by looking up, you can see something like this?

 

I Have Arrived.

I’ve decided that a pictorial timeline will be the best way to update all you lovelies on my cross-country journey.  After a ridiculous amount of packing (thank you to Kate M. for moral support), including a last-minute emergency run to the post office before my flight (see above), I boarded a plane and left New York City.  (It still feels like I’m just on vacation and will be back…weird!)

My mom and I set out through this Fall wonderland in my new (to me) Honda CR-V around 7:20 a.m. on Thursday, October 25.  And thus, the adventure began.

We stopped for coffee at a truck stop, somewhere on the far side of Kansas City.  Here we also downloaded an audio book – The Happiness Project.  While we didn’t have time to finish the book, the first half was enjoyable.  We eventually drove about 10 hours, stopping for dinner in Manhattan, KS, and then continuing on to Junction City to stay at the lovely Hampton Inn.

During Day 2 of driving, we stumbled upon a Mexican restaurant in WaKeeney, Kansas.  If you ever visit WaKeeney, please do yourself a favor and eat here.  Best fajitas, maybe ever.

Kansas, as it turns out, is quite flat.

Finally, our first glimpse of colorful Colorado!!!  The excitement and nerves began to mount.

Snow!!!  On tiny evergreen trees!!!

I’ve already been to this Target three times.  It was amazing all three.
Debi and I unpacked my stuff and organized my closet, so I’m pretty much settled in!  Debi left for home yesterday, and I’ve begun applying for internships and looking into freelance options, so keep your fingers crossed for me.
I miss my NYC buddies (so happy you all stayed safe during Sandy!), but I’m excited for this next phase, and I can’t wait for visitors!

Fare Thee Well.

5th borough – check!

Not to brag, but my going away party was epic.  Drew and Emily helped me fulfill a dream six years in the making: riding the Staten Island Ferry.  Not sure why I had never gotten around to it before, but the build-up imbued our round-trip journey with excitement.  It did not disappoint.

We headed to the boarding dock, jostled by the waiting crowd.  Sunset was approaching, showing up the Statue of Liberty’s steadfast beauty.  Finally, the double-decker orange boat churned into the station, and we eagerly trampled aboard – our first goal was to locate the bar.  $3.75 tall boy cans of Coors and Fosters in hand, we headed outside to enjoy the breeze.

When we returned to Manhattan, our friend Kate met us for some tasty tacos at Mexicana Mama, and then we cabbed over to Westside Tavern, the perfect dive-y but not grungy local hangout.

So many people came out to bid me farewell, and I appreciated everyone spending their evening with me, drinking beer and playing pool.  It was a great cross-section of the layers of my life: a couple friends from high school (including the talented Stephanie), lots from college, and many I met in NYC.  I miss them all already.

Chace Crawford, of Gossip Girl fame, also happened to be there.  No big deal.

Saying Goodbye.

A girl bought my kitchen cart today.  She responded to my ad on Craigslist, and we agreed on a price and arranged a time for her to stop by.  Thinking about her taking away the cart brought on a strange rush of emotions.

This is melodramatic, but it felt like I was sending a beloved pet to live with strangers because I was moving to a house with no yard.  Each piece of my furniture was hard-won (or, let’s be honest, mom-bought).  I carried my bookcase on the mile walk to my apartment from IKEA, a bookcase that seemed much lighter the first quarter mile.  I put together the futon by myself.  Without crying!  And only minimal cussing!

I bought the kitchen cart after moving into my studio apartment, which was an important marker of independence and “making it” in New York.  I was so proud and excited to create a home for myself.  I found the cart online after an overkill amount of research – it was the perfect size and on sale to boot.

The box containing the cart arrived at my office on a snowy, icy day.  I convinced a cab driver to take me to Brooklyn (for off-meter cash), and I forget the details, but he was terribly rude and dropped me at the corner instead of in front of my apartment and then scolded me for not tipping him, and I sloshed down the street with this heavy box, counting down the steps to my building.

So when we set up the day for this girl to pick up the cart, I thought about how the place where it had sat for over a year would now be empty.  I knew that more holes would follow.

Soon I won’t be able to call Emily to meet me at Cobble Hill Cinema.  I can’t run to the Brooklyn Bridge with Drew.  I can’t do yoga with Jenny.  I can’t sit on the couch at Sheffield watching hours of Game of Thrones during a “hurricane.”  I could go on for several more paragraphs.

I know that these friendships will last.  We all have dear friends who don’t live nearby, and you manage.  But I know there will be a day very soon when it fully hits me: a spell has been broken.  I’ve been surrounded by more friends than anyone deserves, living together in a city more exciting than anyone can ask.  I am so excited to be in Denver, and I know I’ll be happy, and I’ve got great friends there, too.  I am also very sad to leave these folks.

But I can’t think about that yet.  I’ve got lots more furniture to sell.