Jun 30, 2011

What did the cat say to the TSA agent?

Let's picture this scenario...

Girl with cat walks up to TSA agent and explains that the cat has anxiety. She asks if both her and the cat can be checked through security in a seperate room or line or really anything that would help lessen the anxiety. TSA agent escorts girl to said room and both the girl and cat go through security, make it to their gate, and get on the plane. Simple. Pleasant. Easy.

Let's now picture what happened....

Girl with cat walks up to TSA agent and explains that the cat has anxiety. She asks if both her and the cat can be checked through security in a seperate room or line or really anything that would help lessen the anxiety. TSA angent looks at girl like she has 5 heads and tells her that everyone must go through regular security. Girl obliges and gets in 15 minute line. Then girl is directed to fancy new body scanner line. Once carry-on is on the belt and laptop open and shoes off....girl takes cat out of carrier and holds her. Oh you didn't realize that the carrier had to go through the scanning machine sans cat, neither did girl :/ Now girl waits third in line to go through the body scanner with cat. Man ahead has obviously not flown in the past 10 years because he has everything still on him....finally girl's turn. "Oh you have a cat" says TSA agent #2, "you cannot go through this line." Girl then waits in another line and finally walks through security with no problemos except a very angry and terrified anxiety ridden cat. Cat goes back in carry on, girl gets re dressed and they walk toward the gate. Fast Forward 5 minutes.......Girl gets worried because cat hasn't moved and hasn't made any sounds..in fact, girl thinks the cat may have had a heart attack and has to stop in the middle of the walkway to open the carrier and check for heart beat. Cat survived but will never be the same. The End.

Jun 28, 2011

Empire State of Mind

I made it!

My flight was on time, my luggage arrived, I found my apartment and went grocery shopping. I am tired and will write so much more tomorrow.

Stay tuned for the story about Gracie and security. Awesome :)

Jun 27, 2011

What do you do?

It is eerily quiet in my apartment tonight. My bags are packed, ready to go,and stuffed to exactly 49.9 lbs. I am mentally ready for this journey, I am beyond excited, and I cannot believe that the day has come. Tomorrow morning I will board a plane with a one way ticket to my new home. I hope that the memories I make in New York are as great as the ones I have had in Gainesville. I also hope that I can meet friends even half as cool.

Adios Gainesville....Hello New York!

Bucket List Week #4

Here we go....The last week of my bucket list and the finale to my time in Gainesville :( I had some awesome memories during the past month and especially this past week. Thank you to all of my friends and family :)
6/22/11 - 6/27/11

Host a Game Night/ Have a Potluck - So Much Fun! I loved having a giant group of friends to share this special week with. We made tasty food, played awesome board games, and laughed. My friend Barbara decorated her apartment with fun signs and Danielle brought her babies, who were a giant hit amongst my friends.

Visit Kanapaha Botanical Gardens - This is something that I have never done and always heard great things about. I was a little disappointed because the gardens seemed unkempt and it was very very hot. I did enjoy checking this off my checklist, but I wouldn't spend the $6.00 again.

Paint the wall one more time - This was on my list because it is one of my fondest memories from Gainesville. The wall is a giant graffiti wall locted on 34th avenue in the heart of Gainesville. It is the home to many proposals, birthday wishes, and random paintings. My great girlfriends and I painted the wall once before when we graduated and it was exciting and fun. This time we painted the wall with a farewell message:

Spend a Day with Sammy - This was the last thing on my bucket list because it was the hardest one to complete. My sister and I have a very close relationship and it difficult trying to fit in the perfect day to share our favorite things. On our day we: went to breakfast, got pedicures and manicures, went and saw the movie Bad Teacher, and then we went to dinner at a fabulous tapas restaurant. It was a great way to hangout and laugh. I am super excited for this girl to come and visit me in New York!
Pictures not from our day together, but some of our fabulous memories :)

And there you have it. 4 fabulous weeks to remember forever. I could not have asked for a better send off into the unknown. The only things I have left to do are boring and tedious and I won't bore you with the details.

Jun 24, 2011

To the girls who kept me sane...

When I move I will miss many things, places, and people. I have put many of these things into my bucket list. The one item that I couldn't put into my bucket list was to have a fab 5 night. This is because the fab 5 have already been split up and I truly miss when we all get together. The fab 5 is a small group of girls, plus me, that I met a few years ago who have changed my life. I thought that joining a teaching program would teach me how to have classroom management and administer tests, which it did, but it also allowed me to meet some girls that I love dearly. We met during our first semester and were together until graduation day.

I will remember most:

Laughing until we cried
Crying until we laughed
Sharing engagements
the icebar
football games
Haunted Hy rides and corn field mazes
Standing next to you on your wedding day
sharing many birthdays together
traveling across country..twice
inside jokes
crazy google searches
thousands of pictures
pumpkin carving
painting the wall
midnight movies
shopping and window shopping
attending conferences
visiting your parents' home
studying together
watching you sing with your band
fighting with one another
apologizing to one another
decorating our caps
dealing with loss
making fun of professors
being a ringleader
bachelorette parties
bad hair days
awesome hair days
and hair days
No Judging
endless conferences and meetings
plays at the hippodrome
dinners at the Top
my car getting towed
board games
the girl who didn't last
the loss of some pets and the beginning of others
picture shoots
graduation day..twice

Most of all..I will remember the friendship that we made.

Thank you for being there for everything over the past few years. I am counting the months until we can all reunite again :)

Jun 21, 2011

Bucket List Week #3

This update is overdue, but it comes along with three extra days and I will tell you why later. I am still loving this idea and I hope that I one day feel this nostalgic about NYC. I have 1 week ladies and gents until I fly away and join the ranks of new york city idealists.

Let's talk about last week :

6/12/11 -6/21/11

Rent a paddle boat at Lake Wauberg - UF owns this awesome lake in which students can go to for free and rent (for free..meaning $0.00 ) paddle boats, kayaks, sailboats, or just swim. As sweet as this deal is, I have never gone in my five years and I knew I would regret it if I didn't go. I grabbed a few friends (Barbara, her mom, and Jazz) and we headed to Lake Wauberg for a fun day in the sun. We rented a paddle boat, swan in the lake, and even jumped off the dock! Exciting and totally worth the no money we spent. I almost regret not taking advantage of this more while I lived in Gainesville :(

Eat in the bus at Satchels - This restaurant is super eclectic and that is why I love it! The main attraction is their pizza, but I come back for the salad! I have eaten here a handful of times over my years , but I have always sat inside the restaurant or in the back where they have concerts. I have never had the opportunity to sit in the VW bus that is positioned out front with tables inside. It is quite the experience! Every inch of space inside the bus has been signed by people who have visited and it is awesome to sit and read what people wrote. I really enjoyed sharing this evening with great friends :)

Trivia Night at Gators Dockside - Who doesn't love answering random questions? I have always wanted to go to trivia night, but never really got m act together to plan it with my friends. The bucket list has given me these powers and so a group of my friends and I went to trivia night! We bombed...like really terrible. We may not have won the bar tab, but we did laugh a lot, have fun, and find a new activity that we should have been partaking in a few years ago.

Red Mango - This tasty fro-yo treat is my fav! The yogurt isn't quite as tart as some other companies and I appreciate that! Plus I love that you can pile on as many toppings as you little heart desires and you pay by the oz. Awesome! My sister, Sarah and I had a quick, but delicious treat at Red Mango! (I just looked and they have these in new York, so I won't really miss Red Mango, but I will miss these people!)

Visit with the family - Ahhhhhh..what says relaxing like a trip home for the weekend? Wait we are having a yardsale? Your packing up your house to move? That doesn't doesn't sound very relaxing, but it was good to spend time with my family. I kinda also double dipped this weekend too because I needed to sell a lot of my stuff before I moved so I brought it all with me to my Mom's house and we sold it :) My junk....your treasure! I got to spend some time with my Mom which was great because I think she is having the hardest time with my moving away. We packed, sold stuff, ate dinner, and swam in their new pool. It was agreat way to de-stress and reorganize before my last week of tying up loose ends.

Hangout with Kaylin - In the middle of the weekend, my best friend for many years, came down to my Mom's house to say goodbye and hangout one last time. Kaylin and I have known each since way back when in Girl Scouts and we have been through almost everything together. Now that we have grown up, we are definitely different people, but that lifelong friendship thing still applies. We may not talk everyday, every week, or sometimes every month, but when we do it's like we pick up where the conversation ended. I was really glad she drove down to visit and spend some time with me, because I am not sure when we will get to hangout again.

Jun 11, 2011

Bucket List Week #2

This week has been E-M-O-T-I-O-N-A-L! School ended and I got to do some awesome activities form my bucket list. When I thought up this bucket list idea, I never knew how much some of these places and people meant to me. I have had such success finding friends to join me on my bucket list journey and I will always remember these 30 days...no doubt!

6/5/11- 6/11/11

Attend another play at The Hippodrome & Eat sushi at Dragonfly - Another double dipper, there are many from this week so prepare yourselves! The Hippodrome is a community theater that I fell in love with my first year in Gainesville. Student tickets range from $6 to $12 dollars and it is really one of my favorite ways to spend an evening with friends. That being said, I spent this last play at the Hipp with my sister. We saw the play Suds which is a 1960's based musical that deals with love and guardian angels. It was a fun summer musical and I am glad I got to see one more play before I move.

We went to dinner at another bucket list restaurant...Dragonfly Sushi Co. This restaurant holds a psecial place in my heart because it is where I had my first sushi experience. I always dreaded the idea of raw fish......and still do.....so I opt for the more american styles that have beef in them. I love the experience of sushi - the chopstix, the wontons, and the wasabi. What is a girl to do in NYC when sushi has fish in it???

The Top - If you know me at all, you should be able to answer the following question:

What is my favorite restaurant in Gainesville? If you answered The Top, then you either know me or are a good guesser. The place rocks my socks and I am truly going to miss it when I leave. I have spent evenings with girlfriends, birthday dinners, drunken french fry visits, and even my graduation dinner here. The food is off the chain and the ambiance is crazy-creepy-indie-cool. Plus, they have a photo booth! Bonus! It just so happens that I spent my last evening with my sister and my friend Jen who shares a love of the restaurant too. We stumbled into the Top on this Tuesday and I saw the sign....Taco Tuesday! I have heard of the magic of taco tuesday, but never experienced it. What are the odds that my last visit would happen to be on a Tuesday? It was meant to be!

Dinner with Danielle and her babies - Danielle and I have known each other for 5 of my 5 years in Gainesville. We met while workign in the mall together and have been friends for awhile. A few weeks ago, Danielle had twins and I have loved getting to know them and spend time with them before I leave. I can only imagine how big they will be next time I see them! I chose to spend my time with Danielle eating dinner because that is what we have always done....we figure out a meal based on what we both have in our pantries and then I cook it. Easy Peasy and a whole lot of fun!

Have crispy tots at Gator Dawgs - I ate out a lot this week..shame shame shame. Anyways, Gator Dawgs is a Gainesville staple for me and my friends. We frequented this hot dog heaven if you will before many football games. The menu is extensive and if you can think it, they will put it on a dawg. My favorite combos are the southern dawg, chili and coleslaw, and the Hawaiian dawg, pineapple, ham, and mozzarella. Plus they have crispy tater tots that will make you forget about french fries. In addition to great food, the walls are a combination of 70's movie posters and gator sports paraphernalia (classy or functional?). On this trip to gator dawgs, I brought Steven because he had never been (and he calls himself a Gainesville resident). We ate a hot dog, shared some tater tots, and I can close the book on this fine establishment.

Visit Devils Millhopper - A giant sinkhole in the middle of Gainesville! The best part is that you can walk down inside and view how the sinkhole has grown new vegetation and created waterfalls. Very picturesque and a great outdoor activity! I went with Jazz because she has never been and wanted to face the Florida heat. It was a quick but great trip to see one of Gainesville outdoor wonders.

Drink a beer at Stubbies -

Dear Future Husband, Please open a beer garden and let me try many fun new beers.
That is all.
Love, Laura

This place is awesome! Hundreds of beers on the menu and many on tap. I don't know anything about beer, but I really like to try new ones and see what I like and don't like. During this trip I tried 3 new beers and liked 2. Not bad! I don't even remember the names, but I do remember the strange fellow that helped me choose my first beer. He was an older gentleman, who was as one says, a beer aficionado. He described each beer to me, even though I never asked, and then proceeded to tell me where
and how it was made. He didn't even work there! I did enjoy the evening with my sister and Steven.

Go to the Atlantic - This was the best night ever to attend the Atlantic - 90's video dance party! I loved the music, the drinks, and the friends. The Atlantic reminds me of the benefit concert that my friends and I put on for a fundraising project in one of our classes. It is a really chill and fun place to go out in Gainesville.

Visit Museum of Natural History/Harn -Free museums are cheap, great for families, and great ways to spend a Saturday! Both of these museums are places I frequented during my years in the ville, but I still love to explore them and see what's new. I visited the Natural History museum with a few awesome teachers that I worked with. These two ladies are special because they really helped me get through my internship and became my friends along the way. I enjoyed spending time with them while also seeing awesome skeletons, butterflies, and Native Americans.

That was a whole lot of memories I just threw your way...only a few left! Stay tuned!

Jun 6, 2011

Last Day of School

As a student I looked forward to the end of the school year with such a vivid excitement about the summer. I yearned to sleep in, play outside, and read books. I remember going to the beach, spending Friday nights at the movie theater, and making great memories camping with my girl scout troop. I didn't mind it when I got a rosy red sunburn or when my freckles covered my face from cheek to cheek.

Now that I am working in a school, I realize that teachers look forward to the Summer even more than the kids. I think the countdown at my school started around day 50 and you could hear the teachers pass each other in the halls and give a friendly reminder...46 days! I joined in on the fun...I started to look forward to sleeping in and spending time at the pool. I thought about how much time I would have to complete my bucket list. I grew excited as the countdown got smaller because it meant that I would be even closer to moving and starting my dream!

As I drove away from school today, I cried. I realized that I'm leaving and that it was the last time I would see many of colleagues that I have spent the last year with. I also got teary eyed when I thought about the relationships I built with students over the past year and a half that I spent at this school. Most of the students don't know that they won't see me again, because I couldn't tell them. I feel guilty about leaving a certain few students who I really bonded with. The student who continuously tried to pull pranks on me..."I got you!" or the student who gave me a hug each and every time I saw him. These are the reasons I became a teacher. These are also the reasons that leaving was a bittersweet day.

Jun 4, 2011

Bucket List Week #1

Holy Cow! This bucket list business is awesome and tiring at the same time. Since I am still in school, trying to find the time to complete the tasks has been challenging, but I am so excited about everything! I have gotten to do some awesome things with awesome people this week.

5/29/11- 6/4/11

Go Tubing at the Springs (5/28/11) - Ok, so I cheated...I actually did this the day before I started the bucket list, but I am not sure that I will be going back, so I am going to count it! I had a great time tubing down the river with Barbara, Jeb, Sammy, and some random people I just met. Overall, we relaxed, got some sun, and relived many awesome tubing memories. I am going to miss having fun like this only 30 minutes away.

Dlites(6/1/11) - How do I explain the amazingness that is D'lites. It is soft serve, delicious icecream, that changes flavors eveyday. Did I mention is is low in calories...like really low in calories? When I say that fabulous icecream has never been so healthy, I do not lie. My favorite flavors are amaretto, carmel cashew, and vanilla with rainbow sprinkles :) I got to experience this joy for the last time with Sarah, a besty that will surely be missed, but also very close because she is moving to D.C. a few weeks after I move. No Picture :)

Go on a random road trip to Ocala for icecream (6/2/11) - This is by far the most random event on my bucket list and I love it. I once went to an away football game with Barbara and Jazz, it was cold, we decided to get icecream, we found Brusters..we fell in love. When we returned to Florida we craved this tasty treat so much that we googled where the nearest location was and found out is was about 40 minutes away. We went anyway. This icecream is amazing! The flavors are crazy and full of flavor, but this is full on fat baby. None of that healthy for you business like before. I had the dark chocolate and the carmel cashew. Tasty!

Eat a slice of spin/tom pizza at Leo’s (6/3/11) - I can;t really explain to you how much this place means to me. It was the first restaurant I ever ate at in Gainesville. I relived the memory with Steven, a friend for many years, who accompanied me 5 years ago on that first trip. The pizza was as good this week as it was then. Plus, their salad is to die for...chickpeas, carrot shavings, and alphalfa sprouts...who doesn't love that?

Watch the bats at sundown at the Bat House (6/3/11) - OK, I double dipped...two events...one day. But I missed a day or two and don't really have 30 days to complete this thing, so I am ok with it. This is actually something I have never done before and have always wanted to do. UF has two bat houses, they actually call one the bat barn, but nonetheless it is the largest sanctuary for bats in the southern United States. It is a must do for all students and most students do this during there first weeks on campus when you have nowhere else to go because no one you know has a car. You wait and wait until just the right moment and 20,000 bats fly out of their house to go feasting for the night. It is quite the experience and I am glad to have done this activity with Steven, a true UF expert and alumni.

Hopefully next week I can check off many more exciting things from my bucket list! Stay tuned!

*Photos courtesy of me :)*