i know this trip is true, the los angeles chronicles...

hello there everybody! another sunny day in cali has begun. my internal clock is all screwed up by all the late night (for me anyway) fun we've been having. we had another late night last night (i tumbled into bed around midnight) and we didn't even make it to karaoke-- which is probably a good thing. our day yesterday consisted mostly of eating in various places and doing a lot of walking from one place to eat to another place to eat. it was surely enjoyable. see pictures here.

we did go to the walt disney concert hall which is quickly beginning to rival the chrysler building as my favorite piece of architecture. i think the WDCH may have an unfair advantage because i could actually touch it. we also went to the arclight- next to the old cinerama dome theatre- and saw "wanted". it was...interesting. i don't know if i would suggest it to the common folk, but if you think angelina jolie is hot, that you would see her in any movie and you are able to suspend disbelief the moment the lights go down, this film is for you. it was the most clear picture quality i have ever seen in a theatre. they didn't have any caramel corn, but other than that it was a pure enjoyable experience.

we ended the day at PINK'S, and i had one of the best chili cheese dogs ever. still, nothing beats noshville's fran cheesey. i miss you music city. i'll be home soon....

today we are hanging around redlands for a fun fourth of july festivity. there will be fireworks, hot dogs, beer and cher impersonators. you know, the usual. i leave tomorrow to head back to atlanta. it's been a fun trip. i hope to be back soon. happy fourth of july everybody.


i know this trip is true, the san diego chronicles...

well, it's a little late, but it's here. the first entry for my california trip. pictures from day one are up at picasa in the california dreamin' web album. we are heading out to LA this morning, but i wanted to touch base quickly and give a couple brief highlights from the day yesterday and explain some of the photos.

i decided to chronicle the trip from the perspective of carly the crab, one of madison's squeaky toys and also a good surrogate for the american idol singer that brought me out to san diego in the first place. so you might see a picture of carly enjoying television on the plane or a burger at the field in san diego (the restaurant her namesake worked at before joining the show). just humor me, ok.

as far as highlights so far:
* putting my toes in the pacific ocean (it was just as cold as i thought it would be)
* eating at the field and enjoying (yes, enjoying) my first guinness
* walking through hillcrest, the gayborhood in san diego, and buying fun vintage t-shirts
* seeing carly smithson perform in her hometown!
* getting the most random sunburn on my chest that i have ever had
* staying awake for 22 straight hours (didn't get to bed here until 1AM local time...)

today we are doing the sightsee-y things in LA and going to the arclight to see the new angelina jolie movie. thanks for checking in. come back tomorrow. more photos. and maybe some captions to explain it all. in the meantime...

carly singing "bring me to life"


i know this trip is true...

well, here we are. the big day has arrived. when the thought of this project first crossed my mind back at the end of 2007, i put three things on my original list. go on at least one date before the end of the year (baby steps, people. baby steps.), attend the macy's thanksgiving day parade (still on the agenda...sorry mom.) and put my toes in the pacific ocean. and tomorrow, i will step off a plane in sunny san diego to do just that.

this is a big milestone for little ole me. for the girl who never left the confines of the south until she was well into her twenties. for the girl who is rapidly approaching thirty and still hasn't been further west than little rock. and for the girl who has dreams bigger than the words she knows to express them. this trip means the world to me and i am gonna love every minute of it.

and i want you to join me in loving every minute of it. so i am going to try and pseudo live blog this trip, doing nightly updates here and uploading pictures to my picasa site, which you can find at: california dreamin' web album. i can't promise coherent blogs as i will probably be penning these entries between 2AM and 5AM eastern time, but i promise to try.

well, i'm off. just another girl chasing a dream out west.

california dreamin'.

twenty-sixth new thing...

congratulations! you have made it to the halfway point in this year-long endeavor of 52 new things. thanks for hanging around. this week, as in week's passed, i actually did more than one new thing. i am choosing simply to focus on the positive and not the negative (to find out the dumb new thing that i did this week, you'll have to ask me. one thing's for sure, i don't want it in the book.) for this, the twenty-sixth new thing. this week my friend lisa and i cooked dinner using nothing but grocery-store brand ingredients.

now this isn't just any grocery store. anyone who knows me, knows my love-- nee fascination-- with all things publix. i am a loyal customer and have been my entire life. this store is in my blood (i think my mom might have worked for them back in high school). i also graduated from george w. jenkins senior high school, named after-- you guessed it-- george jenkins, the founder of publix. when i moved to nashville the first time there was not a publix in the state of tennessee yet. and i cried the first time i had to step foot into a kroger. it's just not the same. the bakery. the meat department. the friendly staff. ok, i gotta stop, i could go on forever and ever. no more propoganda, i promise.

anyway, this is one of the few grocers in the country with high quality store brand products. anything you can do- smuckers or jif or peppridge farm- my publix can do better. so when it came time to make a quicky lasagna and sauteed zuccinni for dinner, lis and i headed to the hottie publix (name courtesy of curt) and picked up all our necessary ingredients, hurrying home to cook up our scrumptious publix-brand dinner before the beginning of so you think you can dance. the show was amazing (how i heart chelsie and mark) and dinner was damn good, too.

twenty-fifth new thing...

this week actually presented itself with many, many new things, most of which i cannot or will not blog about right now as part of the 52 new things. i don't want to tempt fate, or the fates, or whomever might want to smite me in my uncharacteristic hopefulness and generally sunshiney nature. but i've said too much already. so let's move on. what i can blog about, however, is the fun time i had in nashville on friday night. for my twenty-fifth new thing, i attended my first bluegrass pickin' party.

nashville has a great community of green spaces throughout the city. seriously, they are major selling points for this athens of the south. i always loved driving about 10 minutes from downtown to radnor lake or percy warner or the trace (though that one is more than 10 minutes, but so worth the drive) and feeling like i was in the woods, a million miles away from whatever pressures you faced at the office or in a classroom earlier in the day. as a way to preserve and protect the warner parks (percy and edwin), the friends of warner park have fundraising events (as every good advancement officer knows you should...) including a summer tradition every third friday of the month starting in may and going through september, the full moon pickin' party.

how i managed to live in nashville for 6 years and never attend one of these i'll never know. for the low, low price of $20 each attendee is treated to 4 hours of amazing homegrown bluegrass music and 4 (yes, i said 4) complimentary beers in your commemorative plastic cup. and we aren't talking cheap beer here. no sir. that certainly won't do. we do it up in nash vegas. only the best...and appropriately named...beer will do. you also get that warm and fuzzy feeling (no, not from the beer) from knowing that you are helping preserve a great natural treasure. score.

we were able to procure a prime spot for our blankets and-- aside from the barefoot (though rather cute) hippie chick asking all of us to "dance" to music that only should be knee-slapped or square-danced to-- a great time was had by all. the usual suspects (me, kendra and brian) hung out with some stellar new friends (anna, evan and maya!) and some familiar faces (art and doug!) and ate true kettle corn, drank cold beer, and watched the lightning bugs while some of nashville's finest undiscovered talents played the banjo, standing bass, guitar and-- my personal favorite-- the mandolin. we ended the evening over some fresh baked apple pie (courtesy of the masked baker) and random youtube perusal. i think we all benefited from our lives being "grassed-up" that night. i know mine did.