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Life Lately

I graduated! We got jobs! We moved to Virginia! Somehow even closer to the beach than we already were on Cape Cod. I feel like life is moving so fast and so slow at the same time.

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Fast: (all of the above) and my brother Matt got engaged! Morgan and I love love love that Lauren will finally be our sister in law!

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Slow: there is still over a month until I begin teaching.

Even though I don’t know many people in the area yet, I know that when school starts I will be wishing for a stretch of time like this to do what I want, so I’m trying to enjoy relaxing when I usually like to be busy.

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Right now I have the time to run everyday, read, walk around and explore, organize for the school year, and spend time with Ian.

Running

I am so not used to running in the humidity like this! I’m slowly acclimating, but like I said, slowly. The first week I ran on my own before I wanted to mix it up. So I’ve been to a few running clubs so far, some quite intense and others more relaxed. I like this mix between workouts and easy runs so I’m going to try and keep going until the summer in over! Today I ran four miles up and down the walkway against the beach and I think I’m slowly getting the hang of where the best places to run are. There are usually sidewalks on long road which is perfect for me. Lately 3 to 5 miles of running has been the sweet spot for me, I’m thinking of doing a half marathon in the spring, but for now I don’t want to put training for a race on top of starting a new job.

Reading

Last week I picked up Gone Girl at the library since I loved the movie and never read the book. I read 100 pages and called it quits. Turns out that read a mystery you already know the end to isn’t very exciting. Although it is well-written and I would recommend it!

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I’m halfway through The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily which is cute and really a light read, and I’m going to start Puddin’ as soon as I publish this post! I just picked out these two randomly so I had no idea what they were about, I was completely just judging by the covers.

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Exploring

Besides reading and running, I’ve been exploring 🙂 – which is ten times more fun when I have Ian with me. But most times during the day it’s just me, so I venture out on my own. Walking down the beach is so nice especially since the sand is so soft and compact compared to Cape Cod beaches- usually I hold my shoes and walk barefoot while listening to a podcast.

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And since we’re so close to the water we can go swimming most days before eating supper 🙂

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Matt and Lauren got us gift cards to four different cafes, which has been great for trying out different places away from our house.

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This past weekend we went to see Antman and the Wasp, I loved it and I was laughing the whole time! We also went to see the Washington D.C. monuments built out of legos downtown 🙂

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So there you go! Basically this has been what life is like lately- We’re just getting used to things and the new area, I feel lucky that I have plenty of time to get ready for my first year ever of teaching! Next week I have orientation and CPR training so I’m excited to see my classroom and meet the other teachers that I’ll be working with 🙂

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A Road Trip Spring Break

Spring Break feels like ages ago now, but I still wanted to put up a post about it to look back on!

I’d say the only bad thing about the vacation was that Ian was feeling really sick the first Saturday on our way to Long Island. We ended up taking it easy that first Saturday and making the journey on Sunday when he was getting back to his normal self! Since we would be sitting around all day Ian drove me to a rail trail so I could run a little bit before! I hate being lazy until I’ve moved around a bit- afterwards I’m all about it.

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I think having that day to relax really helped him, so we got to Long Island around 1 on Sunday, ate lunch, and then drove around. There was lots of traffic because of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in town, but driving slow meant we could look around more! I’ve heard so much about Long Island because Lauren lives there too as well as a lot of my friends from Quinnipiac- it’s weird that I had never been there before last week. I thought it was so cute and there were a few coffee shops that we got to visit.

Sweetie Pies was so cute, I would go there ever day if I lived around there. We also bought two cookies to have after supper! They asked if we wanted the gluten free, vegan, or normal cookies (we opted for the glutenized 🙂 )

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We left for D.C. on Wednesday and decided on parking at a metro station and taking the train in- look how clean it is! Nobody is allowed to eat or drink while on the subway. I’m so used to the Boston subway where basically anything goes.

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The first day we did monuments, and I kept forgetting that Ian hadn’t been before! I loved walking around all day, but wind made it bitterly cold. At least it wasn’t raining. We saw all of the monuments, the Obama portraits, and the White House, and it only took us 12 miles of walking!

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For dinner we went out to tapas, I hadn’t done that in a while and it was a nice change. Brendan and I both got Alhambra beer from Granada, I couldn’t believe they had it so I had to get it!

For our second day in D.C. we planned to be at the Air and Space Museum from open until close. In the morning I had a phone interview kind of thing (it was really hard to find a quiet place, but I did!) and then we were off to Ian’s idea of heaven. I remembered the museum from 5th grade, but it was really fun this time because I had forgotten a lot of it and Ian could tell me anything I wanted to know. The best part about the whole day was seeing Ian love the museum just as much as I thought he would! I don’t think 7 hours was enough time.

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Getting back that night we were so so tired. I was happy that Thursday, Friday, and Saturday would be time to just hang out and explore Bethlehem and Allentown.

Lehigh is so pretty!

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I like going to bookshops with Ian because I can get ideas of what to check out at the library and see what’s new and popular. The one across the river in Bethlehem had a chocolate shop and cafe in the back! It looks so small from the outside but you can just keep going through rooms, I was so confused the first time there.

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Ian said he had never had truffles before?? So we made a stop 🙂

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Then on Sunday we went to Philadelphia for bike racing! I was very tired and so cold and I wondered why I was there haha. But eventually I remembered how Ian was in the cold for 4 hours during my marathon so I owed him one 😉 I also found free and hot coffee so all was well.

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***A side note about coffee: I am doing an environmental research paper for my final project and learned that a lot of coffee cultivation from South America causes deforestation of the Amazon rainforest! Buying shade-grown coffee is much better for the environment and promotes using less pesticides and causes less deforestation. I learned that Gevalia is a really good brand of coffee and is shade-grown. I only just learned this yesterday!***

 

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Ian did great! He said he wouldn’t since he hadn’t had much opportunity to train this winter, but he did so well.

I was so sad Spring Break was over because the next two weeks involved me being a total stress ball.  Teaching exams, research papers, and presentations had my heart rate way up according to my Garmin! I really needed to destress after all of that, after all I’m almost done with college.

I’ve definitely been running more as a way to destress, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s good to have an outlet. I’ve done a few track workouts and have done my longest run since the marathon (6 miles!).

20180403_073545.jpgGetting to run while the sun is coming up is sometimes the best part of the day. I love being the only one awake and done working out before 8am.

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And I got to go home for Easter! I was only there Sunday and Monday, and it felt way too short, but it was nice to see my family. I had wanted to go for a walk with my mom but I must have been really tired because I fell asleep on the couch for 3 hours instead.

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Only about 4 weeks to go until graduation, and so much to do!! Hopefully I will have time to post again soon but I truly have no idea when that might be.

Have a great weekend!!!! 🙂

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President’s Day Weekend

Today I wore a tank top and shorts on my run, and tomorrow it is supposed to be a high of 72 in Amherst! The weather has been crazy to say the least- it snowed a lot on Saturday night, and it is supposed to snow here again on Thursday. I do like the warm weather, but I can’t stop thinking about how unusual and concerning it is. I’ve just walked to the library (doesn’t this picture make it look so daunting?) and am about to focus on some things due tomorrow!

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Let’s backtrack to the start of the weekend though!

I ended up not being able to run on Friday, and the whole day was a little more eventful than we had hoped for. Morgan broke her elbow last week while Amherst was really icy, and her surgery was scheduled for Friday, so we planned the day out and left early to be prepared! On the way there we got rear ended while waiting at a stop light, it was horrible timing. She continued to the hospital with a friend that picked her up while I sorted things out with the other driver. It’s good that I was stopped far behind the car in front of me so that I didn’t hit them. I then met my sister at the surgery waiting room a little while later. She’s so positive, if I broke my elbow I would be an absolute wreck.

I spent about 3 hours in the hospital cafe doing homework after my sister went in, and we were finally able to go back to UMass at 5:30. Erik sent Morgan and I some money to get snacks since we had such a rough day, so we stopped to treat ourselves on the way home 🙂 Also, Morgan hadn’t been allowed to eat or drink anything since dinner the day before so she was starving! Since we had left at 9am it was a long, long day at the hospital- I was so happy to get home, make dinner, watch This is Us and be in my bed again. I didn’t get to run but I decided that I would get in a really good run before work on Saturday morning. I was happy that Morgan’s surgery went perfectly and that everyone in the car crash was okay.

The next day I slept in late, put on some old John Mayer songs, and ran 4 miles! Friday was such a weird day for me, but my run was like pushing a reset button, and I felt so much better afterwards.

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Then I went to The Works for more homework and a coffee. They have the best French Vanilla around!

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I was caffeinated and ready for work – and for Emily’s surprise party I had planned for that night! I was actually really excited for work at the ice cream store because they have new butterscotch brownie and red velvet oreo flavors that I wanted to try (I was right, I knew they would both be amazing). On the way home I went to pick up some balloons, streamers, and a vegan donut at Glazed as Emily’s birthday cake! We had so much fun, I think I’m getting pretty good at hosting people at our house 🙂 Emily wasn’t surprised but she said she can’t be surprised, oh well, I tried.

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I’ll spare the details of Sunday and Monday because it would be way too boring for anyone to read, or for me to write (run –> work –> homework). Lately I’ve been picking up a bunch of shifts at the dining hall at school because Ian and I are going on a mini road trip for Spring Break (New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.)! I want to have plenty of money saved for that week to use for gas and treat ourselves wherever we make a stop. I actually don’t mind because I make the pizzas at Franklin (which is kind of fun) and I get a free meal every time I work! That means I’ve had to buy less and less groceries 🙂 20180218_135303.jpg

Look how different the running path was since the picture before! By Saturday the path had finally gotten dry and safe again, had heavy snow on it all the way until Monday, and now today it is all dry again. Crazy.

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After work on Sunday I watched No Strings Attached at Julia’s house with our friends, which was super relaxing. Justin Timberlake looks so young in that movie!! I almost wish I hadn’t fallen asleep while hanging out but it was nice to take a nap. The funny thing is they made me a coffee, maybe it was decaf??

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Before I started homework and worked on Monday I went for a walk while listening to “Modern Love,” one of my favorite podcasts on Spotify! I really enjoy this podcast because famous actors read essays written by ordinary people who submit them. They are all about love, but they can be about any kind of love (love for sisters, pets, moms, work, grandfathers, friends, sports, boyfriends, anything really!) Some are heartbreaking, some are uplifting, you really never know what you’re going to get with each one. I think its actually hosted or sponsored by the New York Times.

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A Birthday Party and Pennsylvania (Twice!)

I’m so lucky because my friends threw me a surprise birthday party the first weekend back at UMass and it was so much fun! When I got back to my house at night, all my pals were already there and ready to party- The house was decorated by Emily, and Julia and Molly got me a birthday cake! We took to the bars after hanging out at home for a while 🙂

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My ladies 🙂

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And we got a snow day, so even though I had to work in the morning, I got to go on a snow run afterwards (I had the whole path to myself!) Lately I’ve only been running 3 miles a day, and that just feels like enough. I’m trying to run when I feel like it instead of forcing it, which turns out to be everyday, but only 2-3 miles, for now! It’s been fun trying to do more strength work and taking the gym classes at UMass.

Then I caught up on homework and took a 2 hour nap 🙂

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I needed to catch up because I would be spending the next two weekends in Pennsylvania! I never thought I would spend this much time there, but Ian and Kylie both chose to be there, so you can find me in Bethlehem and Philadelphia more weekends than you might think 😉

Before I left for the drive on Friday I got to the gym at 6am to run 3 miles and do some strength work so I could leave early! The best part about being up before the rest of the school is that I can shamelessly take pictures of UMass in the snow.

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I was extra excited to visit Lehigh because Ian has found a few different coffee shops that he wanted to try out together.

The first coffee shop was called “Lit,” and I got tea instead of coffee! That was different for me, but I didn’t want to be caffeinated so I could take a nap. I got ginger tea and Ian got hot chocolate (served in a flower pot), it was super hipster…

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That first weekend I was in Pennsylvania was super bowl weekend, and as I started writing this post I realized that I took NO PICTURES (oops), besides this tea I got at the quirky coffee shop. That is very unlike me, but I guess that means I was having a really good time! We went to eat at a restaurant that changes their menu for every meal. They have really fresh ingredients and made meals with what they have until they run out and get different ingredients. It was really cool, and very tasty.

I was sad that the Patriots lost (especially being around Patriots-haters), but I moved on much faster than Ian did. I only just started to enjoy watching football so I guess wasn’t super attached yet! The positive side was that Ian and all his friends made food for the game and we got to hang out in their warm house all day while it was freezing temperatures outside 🙂

This last Friday I did the same routine, getting to the gym early, and I got to Lehigh in the early afternoon 🙂 This time I was making the trip because Sunday was our 5 year anniversary!! Last year I was in Spain for it, so we were really glad to be together this year. Ian had another coffee shop to try, and this time I definitely wanted coffee, not tea. I liked Deja Brew a lot better! The coffee was amazing, our order was really cheap, and there were tons of Lehigh decorations. I want to go back!

Ian cooked on Friday night and then we went out with his friends 🙂

We had planned a hike for Saturday morning and needed to go on the early side because after the morning it was going to rain for the rest of the weekend. We hiked 3.1 miles and it was cool to see the trails that Ian likes to mountain bike on.

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After that we went to grab some coffee at The Wise Bean! I thought we would be able to sit but it was so much smaller than in the pictures, so we took our coffee to go. I love going out for coffee instead of meals because it’s a lot of fun for me and inexpensive too. Both weekends we went mostly went out for coffee and then make food at Ian’s house. Except for the tacos, details to come!

We walked around main street and went in the cutest book shop that was enormous. In addition to books they had a candy section and a bar in the back! If it was later in the afternoon maybe we would have gone 🙂

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But that wasn’t an option because the library was next on the agenda! Ian had an exam on Monday and I needed to do homework so that when I got back to school I wouldn’t be so behind. I also signed up to do some mock interviews on Monday night, so I needed to practice making a specific resume and cover letter for those.

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We did our anniversary dinner on Saturday instead of Sunday (our actual anniversary), because Ian wanted to show me the 3rd best taco spot in the country! I haven’t tasted the others, but I don’t understand how these tacos aren’t #1. The restaurant was called “Aqui Es A Taste of Mexico.” We got three different kinds (steak, chicken and pork) and I could only finish 3 and a half before I was too full. It was really fun and the people that worked there were so kind! I usually don’t order tacos when I go out for Mexican, but these were so so good.

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We spent the rest of the night watching “Snatched,” it was pretty entertaining but not our favorite, maybe I was too tired to really focus!

Sunday was really rainy too, so we went to the library after we woke up to study and do more homework. I really didn’t mind though, because the Lehigh library is absolutely beautiful! There is a stained glass ceiling, and since we got there early, Ian and I got a really good spot.

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Eventually we needed fuel though, so we left the library around 1 and I learned that Ian has perfected cooking “eggs in a nest,” that we saw on the Binging With Babish youtube channel!

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Even though it was gray all weekend, I was in really good company with Ian and his friends, and I’d have to say it was one of the best weekends yet 🙂 Tomorrow I hope to spend some time with my friends for Valentine’s Day, which is excellent motivation for finishing a research paper before that happens. And the next couple of weekends I plan on exploring Amherst more!

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Snippets from the Last College Winter Break (!!)

One of my favorite parts about being home is that when I wake up there is usually a pot of coffee ready and a free comfy chair to sit in for maybe a little too long, eventually getting out on a run, and then meeting up with Ian or friends later on! It’s my favorite routine, but unfortunately each day absolutely flew by 😦 I’m back at school and only forgot a few things (ummm- the sheets for my bed, what was I thinking??)

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I only went to the canal twice this break because it was pretty much a sheet of ice the whole time I was home. But on the random 50-degree day I really wanted to go for a walk while I had the chance!

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I also have a much harder time getting to 10,000 steps at home than I do at school. At school, I usually have hit that goal by 10am just from my run and then walking to classes. At home, my run doesn’t quite get me there – but Ian was willing to go on a few walks with me 🙂 we could walk into the marshes because the mud was frozen solid! I’ve never done that before!

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And most of break was food, food, and more food! I need to get back on track this week 🙂

The last night of break my family went to Antonio’s, which is almost 45 minutes from our house, but WELL worth the trip. My dad is obsessed with this place and lucky for us, we get to benefit from that 🙂 Portuguese food for the win!! We got way too much and had plenty of leftovers. I wish I had remembered to take a picture before digging in.

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For Christmas Ian had a gift card to Fisherman’s View! We decided to go a few days before school started which was a great way to end break. I got swordfish with mashed potatoes and it was AMAZING. Ian got fish and chips (typical). It was really fun, I had only been there once before!

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We really don’t ever say goodbye until I’ve eaten some chocolate chip pancakes 😉 The first time we left for college this is what we ate, and then we just kept doing that every time we parted. I love this tradition, and actually this is the second to last time we’ll do this after carrying it out all the way through college! Can you see how chocolate chip pancakes are a bittersweet food for me 🙂 ?

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Today my roommate and I are going to an art museum and then getting started on some of the work we’ve already been assigned, it will for sure be a good first weekend back!

 

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Feelin’ 22

Luckily there was no major blizzard on my birthday this year (although it was pretty close!!)

I was so excited for the seventh this year because as a gift for Ian and I, his mom got us tickets to the Killers concert! We’ve both listened to them since probably the seventh grade so it was pretty exciting. I started off the day with a cup of coffee before the rest of my family was awake, and then once Morgan was awake we went downtown for Marylou’s coffee and to look at the canal. It was FREEZING so we sat in the car the whole time.

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I opened presents from my mom and got ready for the day- we left for Boston around 1!

After we checked into the Boston Park Plaza, we went to the Thinking Cup for, yes, another cup of coffee. I was over-caffeinated the whole day and was pretty happy about it. An americano for me (or coffee water as Ian called it) and a French hot chocolate for Ian! He normally wouldn’t want to sit in a coffee shop for as long as we did, but since it was my birthday I got my way 🙂

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Then we went back to the hotel to catch up on the Jaguars game and get ready for dinner and the concert! I honestly can’t remember the name of the restaurant we went to, but it was a bit further from the Garden because everywhere near it had almost a 2-hour wait. Just a nice, healthy dinner for the two of us!

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I can’t even explain how awesome the concert was. The Killers are SO GOOD in person, and they played all my favorites (Mr. Brightside, Smile Like You Mean It, All These Things That I’ve Done, When You Were Young, …) and Ian knew the words to every song 🙂 I’m so glad everyone stood the whole time because it’s way more fun that way- We were there for over 3 hours but it felt like a half hour, it flew by!

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After seeing the line for the T, we opted to walk back to the hotel in the cold. I was glad we did though because we got to walk through Boston Common at midnight with nowhere we needed to be!

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Safe to say that this was one of my favorite birthdays yet, filled with all my favorite things to do, and favorite people to be with! I’m very, very lucky 🙂

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Washington D.C. and Hershey Park

I’ve left this recap waiting for way too long, but I remember everything we did so well because it was so much fun! Julia and I only had two full days to visit with Kayla, so we packed each day with stuff to do. It was great to see Kayla after leaving from Granada, we missed her so much!!

Our flight left Boston early on Saturday, so I left home extra-early, but I was excited and I knew Julia would be down to get coffee with me right when we got to the airport. The flight was so short and comfortable 🙂

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Since we arrived in D.C. so early, we pretty much had the whole day to head into D.C. and look at some of the monuments. I’ve seen the monuments before but they’re still so fun to go admire and take some pictures.

Although it was freezing we stayed outdoors for a long time! But eventually we went to another coffee shop to warm up and get a snack.

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I could have sat in there for so long, but we had plans to go to the Simthsonian. I love that most of the museums in D.C. are free to go to, it makes for a much cheaper trip!

After spending some time there, we went to see the White House, the front side! I hadn’t realized that everytime I’ve been to D.C., I was looking at the back of the White House, weird.

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Since I was with my friends from Granada, we wanted to get tapas for dinner and found a wine bar called Barcelona! It was a very pretty restaurant, and despite the cold we ended up sitting outside by the heat lamps and with the blankets the waiters brought us. We ordered a smorgasbord and four different tapas to try.

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We got back and had wine in Kayla’s hot tub- really living the dream 🙂

Sunday was all about chocolate! We went to Hershey Park, which had everything from lights to roller coasters to reindeer. If you ever go to Hershey Park, you have to get the hot chocolate because it was the best I have ever had! We asked one of the workers how they make it, and they told us it was just the mix and hot water – but it tasted SO much better than Swiss Miss.

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I actually almost went on one of these but chickened out at the last second…20171217_170345_Film2

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We didn’t need to leave until noon the next day, so we slept in and Kayla made cinnamon buns while we watched Home Alone 🙂

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The flight home was just as easy as the flight there, and pretty soon we were back to Boston!