I Went to Rockstar Energy Drink: A Taste of Chaos Tour ?

My friend Cooper is starting working for a PR company doing music release stuff on August 1st of this year. Honestly, I don't know much about what she will be doing/who she's doing it with, but I know she's incredibly excited, which is what is the most important. She's one of my best friends, and seeing her ecstatic about something makes my heart warm. The company that she will be working for does coverage for what I would describe as a more alternative/hard core music, and a lot of it is stuff that I used to listen to. 

Her company got her tickets for the Rockstar Energy Drink: A Taste of Chaos Tour in St. Petersburg Florida because one of the bands that they do PR for was playing. She invited me to go with her, I immediately said yes but had no clue what I had gotten myself into. Cooper is obsessed with all the bands that were going to be there (Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin, The Early November). Honestly, I had only heard of Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday, but was excited to see some of the bands that Coops loves. 

Getting from Orlando to St. Petersburg takes about an hour/hour fifteen so it's not a bad drive, but today we did hit a little bit of traffic (cue Coops cursing), but it wasn't too bad. Parking was free (thank youuuu), and we picked up our tickets from Will Call and then headed into the theater. I was a little turned around at first since I had never been to the theater before, but it was really cool. It was very reminiscent of a fair ground type of venue, probably because it was on the Florida fair grounds (specifically the Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheater Florida State Fairgrounds). The set up of the amphitheater is really cool because it's got the normal amphitheater seating, an open section in the front for standing room (or in this case a mosh pit), and in the back they had open seating on a grassy knoll. It was really cool, and very different from any other venue I've been to before.

We missed the most of The Early November, but we did get to see the last song (or two, I don't actually remember). I hadn't heard about them before but Coops was stoked to hear them so she was really excited we at least got to hear a little bit. Next up was Saosin, who were pretty good. A little heavy at times for my taste but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Afterward came Dashboard & Taking Back Sunday. 

I knew a few of their older songs because that's the kind of music that I listened to in high school, and hearing them play that was really awesome. There was some newer music thrown in, which was really good as well. There was a little bit of tribute to the shootings of Orlando, which was really moving. The concert wasn't super packed, but the people who were there were extremely passionate. It was an amazing concert, but let's be honest I was just there for the time spent with Coops before she heads out to NYC. 

After we got done listening to the bands, we decided to go to a small pizza place in downtown Ybor. I had never been there before, but there was really cheap, really delicious New York style pizza, that Cooper had found on one of her previous trips there. We drove down, which took forever but was so fun because I got to see the strip that the pizza window was on. We both got 2 slices of pizza ($7.00 for 2 pieces), and then turned back around and headed back to Orlando. 

Some of the best memories that I have with friends are the smallest things, and this night was definitely one for the books. 

Image Map

Going to Grad School: Where to Apply?

A couple of weeks ago, I had mentioned that I wanted to go to graduate school. When I started doing research, I was looking for anything to help. A blog, a review, an infographic, anything. I feel like if you're not currently in school, there isn't that much information available to you. So the new series/chronicles of me attempting to apply to graduate school and see how things go. 

Today, I wanted to talk about how to decide where to apply. The biggest thing for me is that I didn't know where I wanted to apply. Sure, there are a ton of schools with great reputations that I would love to go to, but how do you find the best school for yourself? Unless you already had an idea of where you wanted to go, or if you wanted to stay with your undergraduate school it gets a little complicated. 

The first thing that you need to do is narrow down what you want to study, and what field. Personally, I'm looking into Modern European History with a focus on intellectual and cultural history. For history, it's important to find a professor who specializes in your field, otherwise how are they going to advise you? It may be different for math/science courses but I'm not sure about that because that is definitely not my strong suit. 

I decided to break it down by places that I may want to study, schools I admired, schools that I could see myself at, and schools that were such a reach but I was going to try anyways. I spread them out all over the country, particularly because my boyfriend lives in California and I was wondering if there was a school that was good out there.   

Then after I had a list of about 50 schools, yes 50, I started doing real research. I looked at what they require to apply, what professors they have, and what they specialized in. Finding a historian that studies modern European history is a little bit harder than I thought it would be. I narrowed it down to about 20 schools, and then took a break. 

The next day, I narrowed it down even further to 11 schools. Those 11 schools will be the ones that I'm applying to. I've heard that anywhere between 10-15 schools is a good number to apply to, but I only wanted to apply to schools that I really felt would be a good fit for me. 

All in all, figuring out where to apply boils down to the amount of research you want to do. Things are different for each person, but this is the process that helped me the most.
Image Map

A Day with the Tampa Bay Rays

I've been to five different stadiums now, six if you count the spring training game I went to once, and it's so crazy to me how different each stadium is from each other. For me, the craziest thing about Tropicana Field was the fact that it was indoors. Y'all I could seriously not get over the fact that it was indoors. It's so different from any other baseball stadium that I've been to before. 

The reason that I went to this game was because Cooper's team is the Giants and they were playing the Rays. Cooper loves baseball, and much like Christian if she had the ability to visit every baseball stadium, she would. So I jumped at the opportunity to see what this stadium looked like. Getting to the stadium was relatively easy, but if you're coming from the Orlando area prepare for a little bit of traffic especially as you get around the Ybor area. 

Once you get off the interstate, parking at the stadium is really easy. We parked at one of the close lots that was a literal five minute walk into the stadium. We used the app Parking Panda, which I had never used before but Cooper had. Apparently a lot of other people used it too because as I was walking around I saw a ton of people with print outs like ours. 

Once we walked into the stadium, after tailgating for a minute, we were transported into a different world. One that none of us were ready for. It was so weird walking around inside, but really nice because air conditioning. In the Florida heat, I can understand why there's indoor baseball but at the same time it's such a weird experience (have I mentioned that before haha). 

We walked around looking for the best food and drink options, after finding a full bar we picked up our drinks and looked for food. All I wanted was a hot dog, because you have to have either a hot dog or nachos at a baseball game. It's practically law (well, my law anyways). We then headed to find a store with baseball caps (47 brand specifically), per my request. I was looking for an adjustable, one size fits all, NO VELCRO hat. Unfortunately, they didn't have any. I'm not a fan of velcro, I think it's kind of tacky, and I don't like the way that the women's hat fits. I didn't find one, but later I went home and found this hat online that I'll probably buy at some point. I was sad that I didn't have a hat to take home to commemorate the game, but it's all good. 

We ended up being walked by one of the security people to the touch pool, which was closed for the hour unfortunately and we didn't really feel like waiting. There's a deck bar that is over by the center/left field and we hung out there for a while, drinking and making friends. That part of the game was so much fun. Then there was a concert, the first of a series, that the Fray was putting on. It was a good, fun concert but by that time I was ready to go home. Cooper and I split some dippin dots, a kind of tradition, and then headed home. It was STORMING on the way home, much like Florida does. 

I liked the game, but honestly in the raking system I have going on in my head, I would have to say that this is probably my least favorite stadium so far. A lot goes into it, but the fact that it was inside, the "grass" wasn't real grass, the fan's cowbells were OBNOXIOUS BEYOND BELIEF, the fact that it was insanely loud for a game that was maybe 1/3 of the way full, and so many other things just puts it at the bottom of my list. 

Updated Stadium Standings, in my opinion: 
1. PetCo Park (Padres Stadium)
2. Turner Field (Braves Stadium)
3. Angels Stadium (first time) / (second time)
4. Dodgers Stadium
5. Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays Stadium)

There's also: ESPN WWOS [Wide World of Sports] where I saw the Braves play the Tigers

Image Map

All About Aquariums: The Georgia Aquarium

When we decided that we wanted to go to Atlanta, besides going to the Braves game at Turner Field, going to the Georgia Aquarium was at the top of our list of things to do. Christian and I's first "real date" was actually to an aquarium near San Diego. I know there is a lot of controversy in going to aquariums/zoo's but I love them. I think that, for the most part, they do good things. But that's not what this post is about. It's about our love for aquariums, and always trying to go to the nearest one. I had been to the Georgia Aquarium years before, but it was Christian's first time and I could not wait to show him around. 

Being Memorial Day weekend, the lines for everything were absolutely insane. I would definitely recommend buying tickets online before going to the aquarium. We ended up buying them online for a slight discount and then going to will call to pick them up. While Cooper and I were doing this, Christian ran over to the World of Coca Cola and picked up tickets for that. The line was basically nonexistent for the World of Coke so we ended up doing that attraction first, and then headed over to the aquarium. 

It was incredibly crowded the day we went, and just getting into the aquarium took about 30-45 minutes. You stand and walk through a crowded queue line zigging in and out. They can only let in so many people every 30 minutes because of fire code, and they do their best to stick to it. The only thing I can say would be remember to put on sunscreen. I was a little grumpy at this point because I was hungry, hot, and getting sunburnt, but my saint of a boyfriend and best friend still put up with me. 

As soon as we walked into the aquarium, both Christian and Cooper looked like little kids in a candy shop. There were so many people that we kind of just had to stop and take everything in and figure out which part to go through first. All in all, I think we spent about two hours in the aquarium. There are six different areas for you to visit: Coldwater Quest, River Scout, Georgia Explorer, Tropical Diver, Ocean Voyager, and the aquarium entrance/exit area. Honestly, it was just so nice walking in there because of how cool it was. The air conditioning made us not want to leave because we knew how hot it was outside. 

Personally, I would pay the money just to go and visit the touch pool that they have. If you know me well, you know that I'm obsessed with Sting Rays. I love them, and any kind of rays to be honest. There's something about them, they're all just so happy looking all the time. 

The aquarium is HUGE, and really beautiful. If you ever are in the area, or have the chance to visit it I would definitely say it's worth the time, and the money. 

Image Map

Celebrating Christmas in July!

Christmas is possibly my favorite holiday. It goes up there with Halloween and Thanksgiving. Basically starting in September, I start getting into the holiday spirit big time. From September 1st to January 15 our apartment is a holiday explosion. Growing up, after my parents got divorced, Christmas was always the easiest holiday (because it spans over two days). Christmas Eve was spent with one parent, while Christmas day was spent with the other. 

Now, Christmas (and holidays) are a little more tricky - my brother is a chef, my little sister is in nursing school (and finishes soon!!), and I'm all over the place. I don't know about you, but flights back home for me are not cheap. I can fly into my hometowns airport for an arm and a leg, or fly into an airport a mile away for a little bit less. I like to go home as much as possible, but it's not always easy for me to take off work. Previously, when I as working for Disney it was almost impossible to take off on a holiday, and even then why would I want to when all my friends would be working anyways. 

I'm still not sure what I'm doing for Christmas this year. Last year I stayed in Orlando, and went to California in early December to have Christmas with Christian, then went home back in January to have Christmas with my family. Christmas in January was so much fun. I got to spend time with my family, between both houses, who both left the Christmas decorations up for me. I spent a lot of time hanging out on the couch, going to doctors appointments (because I didn't believe I would be in Orlando for so long), and spending time with my best friend. 

Going home and celebrating Christmas in January has some perks too. This past year, Mardi Gras fell really early (because Easter was early this year) and it was oddly warm, which mean that I not only got King Cake, but also crawfish. To say I was on happy girl would be the understatement of the year. Shipping a King Cake is incredibly expensive, so it was nice to actually buy one at a normal price. 

This year, I'm thinking we'll probably celebrate Christmas in January again and I'm hoping that I'll maybe be able to bring Christian along with me. We'll see how it goes, but I'm excited for this holiday season.
Image Map

The Last Season at Turner Field

If you missed the first part of this post/series thing, you can go back and read this post. It'll tell you exactly what we did with our 36ish hours in Atlanta. Essentially the entire reason that we headed to Atlanta for Memorial Day weekend was to see Turner Field for the first and last time. This is the last season for Turner Field, and since the Giants were in town we thought what better time to go see the field. One of my best friend's Cooper is from the Bay area originally, and grew up with the Giants as her team. She's moving out to New York the first week of August, and since the Giants were out for Memorial Day, there couldn't have been a better time to drive up to see Turner Field. 

Turner Field is absolutely stunning, and honestly I can't tell you why they're shutting it down. According to Christian, the stadium isn't that old and it's in good condition. His theory is that they're trying to bring more revenue into the city and since the Braves haven't been doing especially well lately maybe a new stadium will bring in more fans. This totally seems like a reasonable explanation to me, but of all the stadiums I had been to so far Turner Field was definitely on the top of the list. 

The first thing that you see when you are driving up to the stadium are the Olympic Rings and the HUGE Olympic Torch. Finding parking was super easy, especially since we had bought parking ahead of time (honestly, the best thing to do if you ask me). The parking people were extremely nice, especially when the barcode wasn't scanning on my phone. They let me check the Ticketmaster website and when they saw that I had purchased parking already, they let me go through. 

Just walking around before you walk into the stadium is absolutely beautiful. They have a ton of statues all around, and the HUGE sign for Turner Field is something you have to take a picture in front of (it's iconic - if you ask me). We strolled around, just trying to take everything in before we entered into the stadium. Once you walk in, there was SO much going on. It was super busy, probably because it was memorial day weekend, but they seemed to have everything under control. 

The first place that we stopped at (after taking a picture in front of the field of course) was the stadium's merchandise store. It's always a tradition for us (aka me) to buy a hat at every stadium that I go to. This is a different way of supporting the team/getting a souvenir. I figure it's something that I'll definitely wear, and it's nice to have. Christian & I are very partial to 47 brand "one size fits all" hats, and it's the only brand we'll wear. Usually only one of us will  buy the hat, but because they had a really awesome Turner Field hat, we both ended up getting one. I got the hat in red, and he got the hat in navy blue. 

After buying the hats, we walked around the stadium. We had gotten there super early just so that we could explore (one of our favorite things to do). It was cool to get to see a different vantage point of Atlanta. They had an amazing ceremony for the veterans, which made Cooper and I tear up a little bit. Then we found our seats after getting beers and pretzels. The game was INSANELY HOT. Like, I'm from the deep south in Louisiana and I even thought it was a little toasty. 

Christian ended up moving up into the shade around the fourth inning, only after hand delivering me dippin dots in a little baseball hat (queue heart eye emoji). Coops and I tried to stay it out but around the sixth inning I gave up and we moved up to the shade. I had worked on my tan enough, and even gotten a little sunburnt regardless of the THREE COATS OF SUNSCREEN that I put on. 

All in all, I would say that it was an amazing game with some great people. I'm glad that Christian has a list of stadiums to cross off, and we're slowly but surely making some progress.  

Updated Stadium Rankings, in my opinion: 
1. PetCo Park (Padres Stadium)
2. Turner Field (Braves Stadium)
3. Angels Stadium
4. Dodgers Stadium
Image Map

Christian Comes for Mardi Gras !?

Do you ever look back and think, oh my god where did the time go? Because, same. Guys we're in JULY. JULY! It's crazy to think that over half the year has gone already. Where does the time freaking go? The reason I'm saying that is because since I took some time to get my writing mojo back, I feel like there's a lot from this past year that I missed and want to write about. So this current post is about the time that Christian came to visit me back in February. It kind of only feels right because right now, he and I are sitting on the beach with my dads side of the family.

Christian & I have a ritual of sorts whenever he comes to visit me, and when I come to visit him. When he comes to Florida, we (now) always eat at Cracker Barrel and Waffle House because he loves them (breakfast food in general) and they don't have them in California. This trip back from February was where it all began. We always went to Waffle House, but this time since he had never been to Cracker Barrel we HAD to go. He loved it. So now, we always go to both places. 

Because it was Mardi Gras time back home, I had begged my mom to send a king cake for the time when Christian was here. She did, and he got to try it for the first time. We were "talking" around Mardi Gras last year but I had gotten a king cake and made gumbo for my friends in California before I had met him. So this year, we did the same thing but just the two of us. It was so good and so much fun. He loved the king cake, because who doesn't, and as always the gumbo too. 

We didn't really do tooooooo much while he was here, which is sometimes the best way. We spent a little time at Magic Kingdom, because why not. When you're in a long distance relationship, it's really hard to only get to see each other every two(ish) months, but we try and make the best of it. Sometimes we get to see each other for a week, other times it's only for a couple days. This trip was a lot of fun, and very needed; until the next time.
Image Map

What You Should Do with 36 Hours in Atlanta

the view from our hotel room was absolutely stunning...and we were able to people watch (a lot)
I'VE GOT BROADS IN ATLANTA...but not really. I did go visit Atlanta recently with Christian and our friend Cooper. It was a whirlwind trip in the sense that we were only there for about 48 hours, if that. Originally, we were planning to go up for the Atlanta Braves vs San Fransisco Giants game at Turner Field. Christian is a huge baseball fan and has this dream of visiting all of the baseball stadiums. This year is the last year for Turner Field since the Braves are getting a new stadium. 

We left for Atlanta around 3am on Sunday morning, and decided to take the road without tolls because it would be around the same time on the road. I wasn't feeling too hot that week so the thought of being on the road for too long made my head hurt. I decided that I wanted to drive because it would be the easiest thing for me, and keep me occupied. I'm not the best in the car when I'm not driving because I get too antsy after awhile. Usually about six hours is my limit for a trip without a massive break. 

We drove straight through, only stopping to go to the bathroom and get gas twice. It's a super easy drive from Orlando to Atlanta, though there isn't much to look at on the way. We decided to stay in downtown Atlanta at the Hilton off Courtland because it would be the most convenient for us. We drove to the hotel, and dropped the car off. We were only a few blocks away from Centennial Park, the Georgia Aquarium, the Children's Museum, and the World of Coca Cola. To say that there was a lot of stuff for us to walk to would be the biggest understatement. 

We went to the Georgia Aquarium, then the World of Coca Cola, and finally walked around Centennial Park before heading back to the hotel to freshen up. We decided to grab dinner at Mary Mac's, which was DELICIOUS. After dinner, we went and drove around Emory and the surrounding areas because it's one of the places that I'm looking at applying for graduate school. There will be separate posts on all these things because it would do too much of an injustice (and this post would be 12 pages long) if I included everything that I wanted to on this one post. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and promptly passed out. 

The next day we went to The Varsity for lunch, before heading to Turner Field for the Braves vs Giants game. After the game, we drove straight home only making a slight detour for Bojangles for lunch/dinner. I'm so glad that I got to spend time with Christian and Cooper doing something that they both adore so much. 
Image Map

Less Mess: Baseball Hats

Baseball caps have slowly become one of my biggest obsessions. It's one (of many) thing that I think you can never have enough of. What if a friend or family member comes to stay with you, and it's super sunny outside. They need a baseball cap. What if you're going to the beach/road tripping? You need a cap to keep the hair out your face and the sun off your face. Or maybe that's just me being super pale and having super thin hair that never really protected my scalp from the skin. Can we just take a moment and acknowledge how awful scalp burns are. 

There's something about them that I absolutely adore, and I have quickly started to collect them. I started out with just a couple, and as Christian and I go places my collection seems to grow. I'm obsessed with the '47 brand hats (the unisex ones, not the women's ones) and every time I find one that I like (especially the adjustable ones) I have to hold myself back from buying them. 

Christian has this goal of going to every baseball park, and I've decided that as a souvenir I would collect the baseball caps of every team that we saw. Because of this, my collection seemed to grow over night. What started out as just a few college football, and sorority hats seemed to expand rapidly. Now, I've got a pretty decent sized collection (I would say), and because of this, I'm running out of room/space. Some hats I kept just because of the memories and I didn't really wear anymore. 

Much like the Mickey ears that I'll be sending off with my dad, I'll be doing the same thing with the baseball caps. I have a few old ones from college, and the baseball caps from MLB teams that I'll be keeping with me in Florida, but for the most part I'll be sending the rest home. For now, I think I kept about 10 at my apartment, and the rest I'll put away for a sunny day. 

Do you have a favorite team or just a favorite baseball cap? 

Image Map

The Best Surprise Present from Greetabl

My old roommate from California is literally the sweetest person I ever met, and if you would meet her you would have to agree. Recently, when I went to get my mail I was presently surprised with a random gift in my mailbox. I was expecting some stuff from my mom, dad, and the Influenster #reverseyourroutine Tresemme box. However it was quite a surprise when I saw a tiny box in the mail too. 

Slightly confused, I took it back to my apartment and debated on opening for .5 second before I tore into it. I first looked into the box and saw it was from greetabl, a company that I had never heard of before. As I got the box out of the mailing box, I was instantly intrigued by the wrapping and how to open it. It comes with a fun patterned outside box, and on the inside the greeting is customizable. 

I almost started crying when I saw what it was and who it was from. Sonya had sent me the cutest bath bomb, and included the sweetest message on the greeting. On the inside, she also included pictures that mean the world to me: the apartment where we lived together in California, Autopia - the attraction that I worked at Disneyland, and Alice in Wonderland - one of my all time favorite movies and favorite attractions at Disneyland. 

The bath bomb that she had gotten for me was La Nuit Fizzy Bath Bomb from Greetabl. It was made from dead sea salt with a blend of amber, myrrh, vanilla, lavender, and Egyptian musk. The bath bomb is very strong, and honestly I could have used a fourth of it at a time instead of the whole thing at once. However, it was seriously one of the most relaxing baths I had taken in quite some time. 

I took some time browsing through the website and they have SO many different gift options that you could send to someone. My favorites have to either be the champagne gummy bears from Sugarfinathe cup of love tea, OR cocktail bitters. They have a diverse selection of items that you can send out, but right now I feel like they're more geared toward your girlfriends than your guy friends. If anything, you should definitely take a look because they have some really cute and unique gifts. If you're struggling to come up with a gift for someone, I would definitely suggest checking them out. 

Image Map

Latest Instagrams

© From the South. Design by Fearne.