Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Oh, Won't You Take Me Home




Taking people home, to visit Louisiana/New Orleans, is literally one of my favorite past times. I love being able to show people where I grew up, and why I think Louisiana is one of the best places in the world. There is so much soul and culture there, it's really easy to see why I fell in love, always want to stay there, and why it's so hard for me to leave home over and over again. 

One weekend I ended up getting four days off in a row and decided instantly that I was going home. It was a spur of the moment decision, and I cannot be more grateful that I did it. I was talking to Anne about it one day at work and it dawned on me, I should make it a road trip with Anne. So we did. And boy was it quite eventful. 

We got off of work around 7pm, and were on the road by 8:30. We figured, it should only take about 10 hours to get there, it won't take that long! The catch? Anne doesn't drive, so it was me doing the entire thing by myself. Now normally I wouldn't have minded and could do it without issue, but I had worked a 10 hour shift that day, so I was exhausted. Our first adventure came in the form of a sign at a rest stop. We got out at a rest stop in Florida, and the first thing that we see is a sign that reads 'Beware of poisonous snakes.' I'M SORRY, WHAT. It was only the beginning. 

Driving for the most part was fine, until we got to Mississippi. I was so exhausted that we decided to pull over to a rest area so that I could take a quick nap. Once I napped for about 45 minutes, we decided to get back on the road. But you see, as soon as we crossed into the Louisiana border, my back passenger tire exploded. God only knows what was wrong with it, but it was gone. Luckily, not only do I have AAA, but I also have a spare tire (like a full tire) in my trunk. I couldn't exactly change the tire by myself, and I didn't want to have to wait until AAA came (because I was surprising my family), so Anne helped me out as much as she could and I practically did everything. 

It was interesting, to say the least, but we did it and we surprised my friends and family at home, AND I got to show her all around New Orleans/Baton Rouge. We spent some good quality time with my family and she got to try really authentic cajun cooking. And beignet. Oh the beignets.  We walked all over New Orleans, and drove all over Baton Rouge. I am so glad that I was able to show her all the reasons I love home, and so amazed to see her fall in love with my city too.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Hardest Goodbyes


Going into the Disney College Program, I knew I'd make some friends. I'm a generally outgoing person, and I love to be surrounded by people. It's not always easy for me to make close friends, but I knew that I would at least make some good acquaintances. Never in a million years did I expect that I would meet some of the greatest people in the world. Some of the people who would shape who I am as a person, for the better. Some people who would turn into not only my best friends, but into my family. 

About halfway through my program, I realized how hard it was going to be to say goodbye to these people. We spent almost every moment of each others lives for six months with each other. Whether we were having a good day, an awful day, or a mediocre day, we were there for each other. When the day came to say goodbye, well week actually since different people left at different times, it was the  most difficult thing I've done to date. 

We started with saying goodbye to Sonya since she had been accepted for the Disneyland College Program as well, but she was driving there. While that was very sad for everyone else, it was only a little bitter sweet for me since I knew I would be seeing her again soon. Afterward, our friends Gary & Rachel left. We only got to see them for a few hours over a dinner, and leaving them was the hardest. Gary had become my best friend at work; we loved to rap Childish Gambino songs (the edited version, of course) to each other across the platform. He was the jokester of the group, and everyone loved him. His fiance, Rachel, is just like him. She's one of the kindest people I've met to this day. 

Next, it was my turn to leave. I had to say goodbye to everyone I worked with, lived with, and became close to all at the same time. We all went to breakfast the day I was leaving, the day before everyone else was leaving. Needless to say, nobody wanted to leave that restaurant that morning. We stood outside in a huge circle not wanting to move. I started crying first, because it was me leaving first, and then everyone else was set off. We said goodbye and then my best friend Lauren & I left. 

It was then my time to say goodbye to her. It was basically us looking at each other laughing, saying 'We're not doing this. We're not saying goodbye. We're not crying.' And we didn't. We laughed and teared up a little bit. But I knew that she and I would never stop talking on a regular basis. Yes, life gets in the way sometimes, but she's still the person I go to whenever I want to talk about anything. 

Then came the hard part. My roommates. I had decided a long time ago that I wasn't saying goodbye to them. I told them that, and they all laughed at the time. But when the time came for it. Because I was leaving at such an odd time, it was impossible for me to see them. Then I was the one laughing. Because it was only right that the three of us who had become so close didn't say goodbye. And we didn't. 

The last people I said goodbye to were Thomas & Sonya. The two that had adopted me into their family during my time in Florida. I stayed with them talking and watching movies for about two hours, then decided I had to go. It was the place I was most reluctant to move away from. I gave Sonya the biggest hug in the entire world. Then it was time to say goodbye to Thomas. He's my older brother, my family. I saw him every day for six months, and we talked every day. He's the person I was closest to during this time. I gave him the biggest hug I could possibly give and we just sat there for a moment. He thought I was going to cry, and I thought he was. But we didn't. Then. I told them to go inside so they wouldn't watch me leave, but they didn't. They watched, and that broke my heart. 

I made it down the street to the McDonalds with composure, but the second that the woman at the window told me to have a safe trip home, I lost it. I pulled over to the side and bawled my eyes out. Telling Thomas & Sonya that it would be a minute until I got on the road. It took everything in me to not turn around in that instant and go back to their house. To stay in Florida. But I didn't. Because I had people waiting for me in Louisiana. Actual blood family. And god was I ready to see them. 
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Monday, March 30, 2015

How My Best Friend Got Engaged


This my friends, is the story of how my best friend got engaged. I've known my friend Lauren since we were freshmen in high school, and she's been my best friend ever since. When we started high school, we had the same religion class and so we started talking and just instantly clicked. Every teacher knew us as the troublesome duo, we completed each other and everyone could see it. She was the math/science person, and I was the creative/english/history person. 

Ever since our sophomore/junior year of college, we've joked that Lauren's going to get engaged and I'm going to be somewhere out of the state or out of the country and I'm going to get a call at midnight/1 am my time and she'll be engaged. Though we joked about it, we honestly never thought that it was going to happen. You see, as much as I love to travel, I love home 10x's more. However, whenever I got the internship in Disney World, everything started to become a little bit more real. 

Lauren and Ryan had been dating for over two years at this point, and were thinking abstractly about getting married - it wasn't a sure thing. Well, flash forward to the October. I came home to surprise my friends and family for a quick two day trip into town. I could tell that something was up with Leslie (Lauren's little sister) whenever I was home. She was being coy and acting really strange - I knew what was going to happen in the back of my mind, but didn't think that it would actually happen. 

After I left town, I got a phone call two days later at midnight. It was Lauren. Immediately I thought that something was wrong. Whenever I answered the phone her voiced cracked when she said "Hey, Ria." I lost it at that point. I knew it. She was engaged. I was standing in the living room of our apartment in Disney World and the only thing I could say was, "No. You're kidding me. You can't be serious. Oh my god. Lala." And then we both started bawling crying. I was so excited for her and so happy that it finally happened after everything she's been through/we've been through together. She is the most deserving person and the kindest person ever. She deserves all the happiness in the world, and that's exactly what Ry brings her. 

She asked me to be a bridesmaid in our freshman year of high school and we always laughed that she would get married first and I would forever be traveling the world. It's crazy to think how much we kind of predicted in the future. I'm traveling, she's getting married. I couldn't be happier for her and I seriously cannot wait to to be in her wedding and share everything with her. She's my best friend - even more, she's like family to me.
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Friday, March 27, 2015

Sit Right Here & Have Another Beer in Mexico


...or not. Actually, this post is not about drinking in the least. It's about the San Angel Inn in the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot. I went with my friend Anne (aka #twinnoventions), and to be honest I wasn't all that impressed. We had a day off so we decided to go into Epcot on our day off and have lunch, after playing in Magic Kingdom in the morning. It was a lot of fun, and totally worth it, but I'm not sure how I felt about the lunch. 

See, we went to the Mexico Pavilion and not really sure what to expect, we just went in to see if we could get reservations (we could), and so we sat down and waited for lunch. Of course there was chips and dip, like any other Mexican themed restaurant. Now, we didn't get any drinks because it was about 10:30 in the morning, and Anne isn't 21 yet. But I don't think that even drinks could help out this food that we got. 

We both ended up ordering the same thing, and we both ended up being not so impressed with it. Now it could be just the day we went on, or it could just be our tastes. But I'm glad we went and at least tried it. We can say we ate at another Disney restaurant. The one positive, and really awesome thing, that I can say about this place though is the fact that the atmosphere is so cool. 

You're basically eating inside where the attraction is going through as well - so you can see the people on the attraction as you're eating your food. It's nice and dark, regardless of the time that you go there, since it's inside. It's really great atmosphere, but honestly that's all I have to say about it. If you want to try it out, I would say do it! But if not, you can always try something else.
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

How Many is Too Many: My Disney Obsession


Have you ever seen the sparkly Minnie ears that Disney World/Disney Parks sell in their parks? Have you ever seen how much they cost? Have you ever bought a pair? Well...you see, this is my slight Disney obsession. I am absolutely obsessed with the Minnie ears. I'm not a huge fan of the Mickey ear hats, but the Minnie ears? 

A new pair comes out and I want them absolutely immediately. There are two pairs that I'm still searching for that I don't have - the Halloween ears that are black with orange spider webs all over them, and the blue sparkly ones with silver sparkly stars on them. They're both precious and I just didn't have enough time to grab them/they sold out crazy fast.  

I had been to Disney World before I started my college program, but I had always been in college and never really had the money to purchase merchandise. However, on my college program that all changed because we did receive some discounts on merchandise. The first thing that I bought with our discount was the classic black and red sparkly Minnie ears. They're classic/basic/whatever you want to call it, but basically everyone has a pair. 

Once I bought that first pair, I couldn't stop. I started to fall in love with a ton of different kinds of ears and wanted to get as many sets as I could. I bought probably about six more sets while I was there - I can't really remember and I can't check because they're home in Baton Rouge. The two pairs that I brought with me to California are the classic black and red sparkly pair, and the purple and green sparkly pair that I bought during Halloween in Disney World. 

I'm always keeping my eyes out for any other pair that are released, or one that I may not have. Some people buy clothes, or shoes, or purses with Minnie/Mickey/Disney related things on it, but personally I love the Minnie ears. They're simple enough that they add something to your outfit without actually screaming DISNEY EVERYTHING at the top of your lungs. I've only bought them from Disney World, and haven't bought any off of Etsy or Disney Stores or any other stores that sell them because I like supporting Disney through their merchandise.  
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