Friday, December 23, 2011

santy clause is coming! santy clause is coming!

Merry Christmas-Eve-eve, y'all! (And Happy 4th day of Hannukah, too!)

This year we went au naturel with the xmas tree. Straight out of a north florida pine forest (we got permission, don't worry). It might not be for everyone, but I personally love it. So does my kitty.
it looks better with the lights on. and i didn't fit the whole tree in this pic. don't hate.
As much as I don't prefer today's commercialized version of Christmas, I really do love the holiday season. I can't deny it. Things I have to look forward to in the coming days include:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

who i am-- part II

*note: this is part 2 of a series-- we wrote these independently, without knowledge of each other's responses. just sayin'.

Who I Am...
(part II: Zack)

I am…
I want…horns... 

who i am-- part I

Who I Am...
(part I: Maria)
Yours truly at birthday numero uno. Twenty years has gone by pretty fast.

I am…a college grad!
I want…to finish this last personal statement…

my "last" semester in pics.

Today, December 22, 2011, I officially "graduate" from Stetson University. My diploma is waiting for me in the Registrar's office. Crazy.

So before too much time passes (hey, it's not even Christmas yet, so I'm totally still in the allowable time frame), here's a [brief] layout of my semester in pictures. There is a lot omitted, I admit, but oh well.

Monday, December 19, 2011

mindful monday #12

Welcome to the first post-grad post from the M of "Z&M." Hopefully there will be some pretty regular blogging going on this Spring semester, but...let's not make any promises. For now, we'll just be thankful that I didn't collapse into an inescapable coma of exhaustion after finals week and am here to continue this Mindful Monday gig...

Friday, December 16, 2011

You had me at Blog.

A certain special little lady has informed me that I'm not pulling my weight in this blogging deal.  I tried to inform her that I have nothing to blog about, but she wouldn't relent.  Apparently she's convinced that my blank, open mouthed stares hide some sort of teeming intellect. So, bloggies, you get to be witness to my brilliant mind. Yeah, get pumped.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

one word: plastics.

just call me dustin hoffman.

wh-wh-whoa! i'm a college grad! and...i know i should feel like this:
it's a mugshot. get it?

...but instead i pretty much just feel like this:

yeah, it turns out that graduating kind of, well, hurts. but as my dear ol' pops pointed out, i guess that's a good sign, right? it means this place was good to me, and that i'll miss it when i go.

truer words there have never been.

(as a disclaimer, though: i am excited, and i am proud, and all that good stuff, too. it's why they call things like this bittersweet i reckon)


Sunday, December 11, 2011

my-mind-is-full monday (#11)


holy cannoli.
^That's what my brain feelt like circa 7am getting ready for my genetics final. So glad that's over. Now onto finishing my senior research paper, reviewing a bit for tomorrow's poli sci final, and then......


Not your average Monday.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

mambo #9

and by "mambo," i mean mindful monday. same diff.

i've taken a liking lately to posting quotes that other people took the time to think up and write down. saves a lot of time and effort (two things I'm short on these days!).

just like there's a song for every mood, lately there seems to be a sticky note for every one, too.

in light of my waning Rhodes disappointment, here's where my introspection led me on this post-Thanksgiving family:

Happy Monday! Go read a book!

chalkboard wisdom

Yes, it's 3:15am.
Yes, I still have ~20 pages to write.
Yes, I smiled when I walked into one of Stetson's old computer labs and saw this mystery quotation scribbled on the board.

Three cheers to random acts of kindness!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

a very mindful monday (#8)

My new mantra:
easier said than done...

As many of you might know, I was in Birmingham this past weekend for a chance at a Rhodes Scholarship. I failed at achieving this goal, and it was a little harder to take than I was expecting. Ultimately, I must simply look ahead to the great adventures that I know God has planned for me, but yesterday at least, it just felt better to sit down and cry, if only for a second. This Monday, I'm mindful of this experience, naturally, and how grateful I am for the sea of support that envelops me every single day. How appropriate for this holiday season!

Encouragement is what I'm most thankful for today, because it is the very thing enabling me to overcome this disappointment that I didn't anticipate feeling. Whether from my home priest (this week's sermon, so I hear, was a great one about being thankful), friends, family, professors, signs in a store, church marquis about Thanksgiving, or Mr. John Mayer himself, I've been bombarded by uplifting thoughts. Hopefully they'll sink in soon ; )  <--that's supposed to look like a winky face, but it kind of just looks like a cross-eyed smiley face, haha

This song came on when I was driving home from the airport, right when I realized I had run out of quarters and cash on the turnpike. The lyrics were spot on, more than you know. It was like John was singing directly to me (yes, we're on a first name basis); there may or may not have been tears. Ima let you guess.

When I was looking through pictures I had taken while exploring Birmingham before the interviews, I found this one. In light of the blessings I have (like having been accepted to med school), it couldn't be more perfect.
In hindsight, I really wish I had bought a few of these cute pieces!

So be encouraged this Thanksgiving season. You are loved, you are blessed, and you are a beautiful gift from God in my life. Thank you!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Waiting for Rhodes

Scratch that whole thing about sticky notes-- I'm just going to post signs. All the time. I don't think I'm even going to write anything anymore. If someone else has already said it (better than I can), why should I bother? Exactly.
Much needed encouragement as I sit in the waiting room. 4 hours till GO time!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

stickys that stuck: 1

Earlier this week, I walked into the office space of Stetson's Center for Community Engagement ("the CCE")-- a place I spend a lot of time --only to discover that someone(s) had covered the walls in sticky notes. So this post starts a series of my favorites. (Yes, I stood there and took pictures of them with my phone. Don't hate) I'm just going to post them occasionally, one at a time, whenever I so desire, so don't look for them on a certain day of the week or something. It's all up to my discretion. mmm...So much power!  Anyway, here's sticky#1
yep, that's my shadow in the background.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

lists of lists

I'm a list person. Here's a list of some I currently have going:
  • books i want to read / books i've read
  • movies i want to see / movies i've already seen
  • wines i like / wines to try (and beer i like / beer to try.  don't judge.)
  • things i've never done (look for this in a future post, based on this...)
  • places to eat in deland/gainesville/tallahassee
  • favorites: tv shows, songs, books, movies, blogs, recipes, places, quotations, bible verses, etc. (See what I just did there? I made a list within a list of lists. I think I have a problem...)
  • deland auto shops (yeah...i've had some car troubles in my time at Stetson)
  • recipes to try
  • places i want to visit
  • vocab words i want/need to learn 
  • things I want to accomplish in my "free" spring semester.
  • and of course: a to-do list. an ever-lengthening, sometimes daunting to-do list.
Interestingly, the one list I don't have going right now is a wishlist for a fast-approaching holiday season. Woops! Any recommendations for what should make it onto that list for [a recently graduated] gal?

Monday, November 14, 2011


“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”-Howard Thurman

MM #7

Seven. The holy number. The day of my birth. The day of my brothers' births. The number of Snow White's Dwarfs. (okay, that last one's not very important) So yeah, seven is a favorite number in the Harper household.
case in point...

Seven is also the number of times I've attempted this whole Mindful Monday thing. I decided to start it as a way to keep myself in check and conscious of my thoughts/actions/emotions. It's been good I reckon; maybe not as earth shattering as I was anticipating though. In any event, today is Monday. It's a good one: Beautiful weather, beautiful people, beautiful God.

On the to-do list: finish college! T-minus 35 days. Wowzer. I've been chipping away at all the things I need to get done before the ol' graduation (the figurative one that is; I won't walk until May), but mostly I've just been distracted by baking. Woops. I'll leave you with my new obsession, which was BOGO at Publix today:
mini chocolate chips!
Happy Monday, indeed.

Monday, November 07, 2011

MM #6

Well, there is certainly noise, trouble, and hard work goin on 'round these parts, so 
here's to the hope that peace joins the brigade! Cheers!

Alright, confession time-- I was gonna do a whole thing with the usual I'm-busy-but-trying-to-make-it-work spiel (which I may or may not have just spelled "schpeal"). Then I decided to go against the grain and offer some silly commentary to even sillier Cross Country photos [from my last NCAA race that took place last week]. Running pics never work for me. Or when they do, only my leg shows up in the picture. Great.  And THEN, I realized that the words "copyright protected" actually apply to me, so out the window that plan went.

So now I'm back to boring ole nothins. Today wasn't much of a Mindful Monday, anyway, since my brain was totally spent on a Genetics-test-gone-awry. Oh well. Here's a video Zack had me watch the other day. I love this guy's late night talk show interviews.

Dum Dum Girls

not entirely sure what this song means, but i love it. [i also won't vouch for the video, nor these girls' outfits...]

Challenge: Can you make a list of your top 10 favorite songs of all time? I tried once. I decided to stop when I reached 37.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

current tally of engaged friends/siblings/cousins/etc:  9.

yikes. i think double-digits will just push it over the edge. slow down, people!

: )

pumpcakes and a pacman pie!

 good thing Sabrina and I ate the pumpkin pancakes before the cookie monster did!

nothin like a little mid-morning bake sesh!
Thanks for the inspiration, Christina and Katie! Happy Thursday, y'all!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

mindful monday #5 / a week in pictures

This past week was a great one, full of great news and excitement, family, cross country, and more. It has made me incredibly thankful for everything God has blessed me with, and incredibly happy for the life I've been given.

So here's my week in pictures, minus a few, since it's technically not mindful monday anymore and I want/need to go to bed-- maybe I'll add more later this week : )

last race ever...

go Hatters! (and no, I'm not bald, it's a headband)
 (okay, so that's a way shorter compilation than I even expected, but it turns out some pics I was planning on posting haven't been uploaded yet. woops. In any case, thanks for looking.)

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I didn't get in?

Not this time, by golly!  Okay, well not specifically-- While I did have the privilege of uttering these words in HS, I decided not to go the Stanford route for med school.

Instead, I applied to the University of Miami (among other places), and you know what:
            >> I GOT IN! woo hoo!

It's all about the

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

a clean room is a happy room.

          before...                                                                               and after...                                         (and vice versa)

 When life gets busy, my room gets ridiculous.

Monday, October 24, 2011

mindful monday x4

Busy day today + my fourth-to-last early morning Cross Country practice (EVER!) in the morning = not much time devoted to this mindful monday post. Forgive me.

As graduation (and hopefully at least one more interview for post-grad) approach, "success" is something more and more often considered in this lil' head of mine. Luckily, my roommate has a quote on her wall to give me the answer every time I wake up. Talk about convenient. So here's your little dose of Ralph Waldo Emerson for the week:

"To laugh often and much; 
To win the respect of intelligent people 
     and the affection of children; 
To earn the appreciation of honest critics 
     and endure the betrayal of false friends; 
To appreciate beauty, 
To find the best in others; 
To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch,
     or a redeemed social condition; 
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived...
This is to have succeeded."

[insert inspirational picture here...]

Happy Monday, y'all.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I'm celebrating tomorrow at Hatter Harvest's monthly farmers market. 
How are you celebrating FOOD DAY?

Friday, October 21, 2011


there were so many fewer questions when stars were still just the holes to heaven.

Jack, you are always right.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

i wouldn't be a man...

this song was stuck in my head all day. every time i went to sing the chorus aloud, however, i realized i probably shouldn't. hah.

PS- is this the cheesiest video or what? but i <3 josh turner so it's okay. i forgive him.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mindful Monday, numero tre


Right now my skin hates me: I have ice burn (from icing my hip after a tough workout this morning). On top of sunburn (from sitting out in the sun for, apparently, a little too long w/out sunscreen). Ouch.

But besides that, I feel a good--albeit busy--week ahead! Today's quote from my African Proverbs calendar (and my "thought" for this Mindful Monday):
"The leader who leads by pointing the way leaves no footprints for his[/her] followers."

I like that one. I also like oatmeal. And I made a delicious batch of it today:

Doesn't it look delicious? And all gooey-on-the-inside--yet-crispy-on-top? Yes?! That's because it's baked oatmeal! (I've been drooling over this "boatmeal" idea (baked+oatmeal=boatmeal, get it?) since seeing it on CCK's site, and finally got a chance to try my own rendition)

So why spend so long on a bowl of oatmeal when I could have popped it in the microwave and been done in 30 seconds? Here's a list:
1. My roommate pawned off an extra-ripe banana on me, so I needed to use it in something.
2. I was sitting in my kitchen working on something anyway, so I figured I might as well be sitting there with the anticipation of something delicious coming out of the oven.
3. I sometimes pretend like I cook.

Here's what I did:
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • a couple dashes of salt
  • about 1/2 of a mashed, very-ripe banana
  • 4 T milk (non-dairy or reg.) or water (I used vanilla Rice Dream, since that's what I'm currently experimenting with, but you can use regular milk or water, probs) 
  • ~1 T brown sugar  (optional)
  • ~1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • a little sprinkling of chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 T peanut butter (optional)
(As you can see, there are a lot of options here. Basically, mix together a bunch of things you think sound good and BAKE!)

Preheat your oven to 380 deg. Mix together the dry ingredients, then add in the wet (I mashed the banana, milk and peanut butter together before adding. Somehow in my head that seemed easier). Pour into a small baking dish (I used my favorite little CorningWare ramekin). Cook for ~15 minutes, until firm. Finally, set your oven to “high broil” for ~3 more minutes to give it a nice crust. My advice: if you want to add choc chips or something sugary on top: don't. The broiling step will burn it to a crisp, and there's no need to ruin perfectly good chocolate. Instead, make sure they're well mixed into the concoction.

Now back to work.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mindful Monday #2

It's October! I've finally had a minute to sit down and realize it. Jeesh. Unfortunately, at least in my neck of the woods, it hasn't quite felt like Autumn yet, just...monsoon season. I fiinnnnnallllly can see blue skies after 60 HOURS OF RAIN. (if you need to revisit an earlier post to learn of my dislike of rain, have at it. I hate rainy days, much less 3 wholly rainy days in a row!) Here's my "road" yesterday, thanks to DeLand's superb drainage system...

But enough of that. It's beautiful outside and I feel a great week coming on. In hindsight, last week was good too: I had a med school interview, I submitted my application for the Rhodes Scholarship, and Zack took the LSAT and did a lil' info session at UFLaw (this is "" after all...). So onward and upward! Prayers for our progress are most welcome!

Now, on to my actual Mindful Monday thought:
Last night at Encounter, Wesley House's weekly worship service, a local pastor came and talked about the 5-loaves-2-fish story. I've heard/read this story a zillion times, but this time it was presented in a way I haven't really thought about it before: Instead of looking at it as a miraculous event, it is a lesson, one of using our gifts--no matter how insignificant we might think they are--to do great things through Christ. Prayer for the needs of others (like the hunger of the 5,000+ in the story) is important, yes, but only if it also leads to action. So go, do something good today, and know that it was accomplished through the love, strength, and amazing-ness of our Lord : )

Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

looking forward.

Back in, ohh, let's say 2004, I passed by a local church whose marquis message I keep pretty active in my repertoire of inspiration/encouragement/motivation gems. I've seen it quoted by various people (Dan Zadra, Steve Chandler, etc.), but that's not really important. (note: ignore the cheesy background pic)

Want to know another one I keep at the ready?
yes, I made this freshman year and still have it on my bulletin board. it's just that good, folks.

Everyone goes through rough patches (myself included...), but with these positive messages floating around, things always tend to turn around. Happy Thursday, y'all! (and...if you're not into greeting cards and aren't easily offended, happy thursday to YOU)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The first official Mindful Monday. Hooray!

The first time I drove the banyan-lined streets of Miami, many of these trees were strewn about after Katrina ripped through the 305. (Yep, turns out it's possible for even these giants to be strewn...)
This time, they were looking as beautiful as ever along these streets, as well as in the research quadrangle of University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine. Today I toured the UMMSM facilities in Miami, and will interview tomorrow at their Palm Beach County regional campus to be a part of their new, integrated MD/MPH dual degree. Better get my beauty sleep!


Sunday, October 02, 2011


So thanks to one of my newest and bestest buddies, I have a new addiction: perusing the wisdom of Chocolate Covered Katie at all times. It's a blog. It's a recipe-lover's heaven. It's a healthy-recipe-lover's heaven! It's a healthy dessert-recipe-lover's heaven!! I can't get enough.
"Pumpkin Bread in a Bowl," anyone? (via ChocCoveredKt)
Now go! Look at it! When I finally get around to making some of these recipes you can count on a post about it. If you gather the courage to make one yourself, be sure to leave a comment about how it turned out!

Happy October, y'all!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

would ya look at that...

Yep, failed again. OKAY, mindful mondays will happen, I promise! More than anything, I need them to happen: My Mondays seem to be just awful lately. And it's not even that I have trouble ending the weekend or anything, it's simply because my Mon's are jam-packed with things I don't. really. want. to do. period. (Granted, there are certainly things I like about my Mondays, so I hope I'm not offending anyone!) I went to bed last night in such a defeated mood, and there's just no need for that, if ya ask me!

I've been pretty occupied lately--all good things, but just a lot of them at once. Here's a brief look into my life right now, with a little bit of encouragement that keeps me going:
and the only reason there's any blank space is because i'm in a hurry to head to class, which isn't even included here! week my Monday will be occupied by an interview and a visit with a great friend, but I'll try to post anyway!

I'll end with a Coach Wooden-ism for you (okay, mostly for me):

"We must remember that we never reach a serious 
goal unless we have the intention of doing so."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

WOW. How about "negligent thursdays"?

so...It just hit me that about three weeks ago I made an announcement that I'd be posting every Monday with some wisdom-of-the-week (or reflection from the previous week, or just thoughts to help keep me on track). But even that first week was a day late, so I guess it was a bit of a long shot that I'd keep up with it I'll have to work hard at keeping it up. Call it a lesson in accountability.

So here's a SongOfTheDay, I suppose. It's a cover of "Umbrella" (a song by pop singer Rihanna), but I love it because this guy is just so pumped up for Christ. It's a goofy song, but I SO admire how enthused he is about our savior. Enjoy. (and feel free to skip to ~43 seconds in)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

you must not lose faith in humanity.
humanity is an ocean;
if a few drops of the ocean are dirty
the ocean does not become dirty.
~mahatma gandhi                              
                                                 photo by Jack Kelly

Monday, September 05, 2011

there's no party like a dis-co-par-tay!

Happy 50th, Mrs. Andrews! We sure had a blast [from the past] with you!
the AMAZING lady.

the AMAZING dance floor!

the AMAZING peeps : )

the AMAZING family. (so glad they let me tag along!)

disco tango. ohhh yeahhhh.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I've recently rediscovered my supply of Regina Spektor musica, and I think I'm likin' it. Granted, some of her songs are a little too odd for me, but her latest CD ain't. too. shabby.

I've been listening to her song "Laughing With" a bit recently (especially during this most recent personal-statement-writing-session), and it's made me realize that I really need to plug back into my faith. I wouldn't go as far to say that I lost it by any means, but I certainly have not been as in touch with God as I should (and want to) be. I welcome any and all prayers for my path to getting back into His arms : )

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

-African proverb

mindful mondays (on a thoughtful tuesday)

By now you've probably realized that this blog is a little more M than Z, but come on, who didn't expect that from the get-go? Anyway, yesterday was a little bit overwhelming for a Monday, so I have decided to embark on an endeavor to keep me focused on the important things. Obviously I didn't get to it yesterday, but from here on out I intend to write these introspective posts each Monday. Get excited, readers! (all 2.5 of you...)  I might delve into an issue I've been struggling with, or I might just mention a nice quote I've come across that encouraged, inspired, or simply entertained me (well, quotes are likely to also show up on days besides Mondays (or in this case, Tuesdays); consider yourself warned).

Only the fourth day into the semester and I've already realized that it will be a busy one. The clock is ticking on my Rhodes application deadline, which is both increasingly daunting and frustrating. I only have the personal statement left (aka the most important part...), and i pretty much need to finish it in the next day or two so I can have it proofread. Fun stuff.

To ease this pressure, I regularly remind myself of a quote I discovered on a sticker on my roommate's wall. It's by Pres. Teddy Roosevelt, and I'm pretty certain I'm even going to work it into my Rhodes essay. It is quite straightforward, but somehow seeing it with quotations around it makes it seem much more empowering. I'll leave you with it so you can go and do great things as well...

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

Simple as that folks. Happy Monday (er...Tuesday).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

first day of school!

College is a funny thing, huh? There's freedom, and fun, and intellectual stimulation...and this morning when I had my last first day of undergraduate classes, there was no one making sure I got there on time (and, of course, I almost didn't-- luckily the traffic gods were with me as I raced to class on my bicycle).

Lessons learned on this last-first:
1. Whenever you think, Ehh, I probably won't need that, grab it anyway. Trust me. This morning (at 5:45am!) I was moving pretty slow getting ready to head to practice. I remembered to grab my bicycle lights today (I have forgotten the past couple of days, which is slightly illegal and potentially dangerous), but upon arrival to my locked-up bicycle couldn't manage to locate the front light buried in my bag. As it was 5:58 and practice starts at 6, my hurried self thought, Well, I mostly just need the back light anyway. I'll be able to see the cars in front of me on the opposite side of the road...So I attached that little blinking red light and set off.
Wrong. Decision.
     About a minute into the ride, a car starts heading towards me, in reverse(!), on my side of the road! they totally didn't see me pedaling as fast as my sleepy lil body could go, so i had to hop the curb and dash out of the way. Yikes.
     THEN, once back on track, there were these two women running [toward me] in my lane (which is fine-- I always recommend running against traffic). They might not have seen me, but I wasn't worried since I could easily maneuver around them. That presumption, unfortunately, was made without considering the possibility of a giant monster of a dog running out from a house on the left to assail the runners. The barking, shrieking, and screeching brakes that ensued woke up all of Central Florida, without a doubt. Needless to say, my heart rate was sufficiently raised by the time I arrived to practice. On time.
     Use your bicycle lights, folks.

2. Auditing a class is awesome. Today during my first Immunology class, the professor took a few minutes to outline the grading policy. 2% off for every absence; a research paper and presentation worth 20% of the total grade; 6 pop quizzes based on the reading...and I don't have to worry about a single one of those. Just learning for the sake of learning. I love it.

3. Sleep is necessary. The past few nights of ~5-6hrs are starting to make their presence known. So this is a good realization, yes, but unfortunately I don't see myself really keeping to my plan of ≥7.5hrs this semester. Shucks.

4. Family is good. No explanation necessary.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

rain, rain, go away...

So I'm pretty close to certain that I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (appropriately abbreviated  SAD). Okay, not really, but this central FL rain [everyday!] is really throwing off my productivity groooove. I'm down to four applications (Duke, UVA, VCU, and Rhodes), yet I just. can't. get. them. done. I just pull up the page and draw a blank. Shucks.

In OTHER, better news, I'm all settled in! Well, mostly. None of my other roommates have moved in so our living room is still a little drab, but no matter. My room and desk areas are all home-ified, and I love it! Turns out I'm quite the bulletin board fan.
i spy a cute camper and his now-22-yr-old uncle...

more pics and scraps + my new FAVE piece for holdin all ma jewwry

hmm...maybe these walls seem blank? Naaah...I promise it at least looks a little better "in real life"
I'm not really into scrapbooking as most people think of it (with the wavy-boardered-pictures, cute stickers, and clever captions), but I always seem to cling to scraps in the real sense of the word--concert tickets, baby announcements, old pictures, etc. Anyone know of where I could buy a book/binder/whatever to organize these, without all the fancy glue and paper?

Friday, July 29, 2011

life, huh?

we're back from the trip and life continues. zack, "studying for the LSAT," and me, "packing to head back to school." (yeah, i haven't seen either of those happen yet either)

so yesterday, instead of tackling all the things on my to-do list, i created this sweet distraction from real life. maybe i should just open up a bakery...hmm...
Double Chocolate Brownies from the Big Book of Baking that my mom got me last Christmas (maybe?)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

that's all, folks.

 We're hooooooome! It was a grand adventure and we had such a great time getting to know each other and our dear old East Coast better over these past few weeks. Here is a grand summary (we were kind of bored during our very last car ride), as well as a few pics to wrap things up:

    • total miles driven: 3,393
    • # cities visited: 10
    • # fill-ups (gas): 9
    • $ spent on gas: $411.40
    • total hours en route: 47 hrs. (and that's just from city-to-city. Yuck.)
    • most states in one day: 5
    • # meals "out": 22 (including 2 Burger Kings, a Zaxbys, a McDonalds, and a Pizza Hut)
    • $ spent on food: $435.12
    • # home-cooked dinners: 7
    • # ice cream joints visited: 5 (plus we got ice cream with dessert at 2 other places...)
    • # coffee stops: 6 (3x Dunkin Donuts, 2x Starbucks, 1x McDonalds)
    • "best" restaurant, based on overall atmosphere, location, prices, selection, and flavor (drumroll please...): Southend Brewery & Smokehouse in Charleston, SC (although there are many honorable mentions, including Cru Cafe, Halo, Black Sheep, Brickwall Tavern, and more!)
  • MISC
    • # miles run: 90.5
    • # of zero-mile days: 4 (don't tell my coach...)
    • fave running destination: it's a tie! both Fairmount and Holmdel parks were great (Philly and NJ, respectively)
    • # things accidentally left behind: just 3! (pair of shorts, towel, and toothpaste; not too shabby!)
    • # pictures taken: 483
    • # mixed CDs made: 3 (a low number based on the fact that the Altima doesn't have an auxiliary input (that's "iPod-pluggy-thing" for you old folks)
    • (# of times we heard those 3 CDs: probably 7 times each)
    • highest gas price seen: $3.85/ga (lowest: $3.28)
    • least favorite road: I-64

Some pics from Charleston day 2:
some wall decor at our hostel. I felt like all 3 applied so well to our trip!

MUSC: the Medical Univ. of South Carolina. Definitely a nice campus!

mmm...trying on things that were out of my price range...couldn't resist.

umm, new Game Day outfit, anyone?

dat boy's got some loooong hairrr

there is so much to love about this picture.

"Rainbow Row"

$7.4 mill, NBD. We bought it while we were up there. Just a getaway home, ya know?

And finally, after twenty days of suitcase-livin', city-hoppin' fun, we welcomed this view:
(the top part of the sign anyway...)

Well, That's all folks!  Thanks for following along.