Friday, April 24, 2015

Elvis' #1 Fun Team!: Belize City (Vacation 2015 - Part 4)

We pulled into Belize early Wednesday morning. Belize City does not have a port large enough to accommodate a cruise ship, so you have to take an additional boat (called a tender boat) from the ship to the port. It was so crazy to be switching boats in the middle of the ocean - I made sure to clutch extra tight to my things so I didn't drop them into the water! We all crammed into the tender boat (it was literally packed to the brim!) and made our way into port. My dad and I decided to entertain ourselves by sticking the GoPro out the window with the selfie stick which made a few people around us chuckle.

Pretty much as soon as we got into port we were shuffled onto our bus for our excursion. We had an awesome tour guide - Elvis - who taught us all about Belize culture and history on our hour journey into the jungle. He showed us tons of photos and even passed around a pile of Belize currency! He kept us entertained the entire way and I managed to capture some of his awesome tour-guiding in the vlog so make sure you check it out!

Our excursion in Belize was venturing into the rain forest to go zip-lining and cave tubing! I love to do adventurous outdoorsy stuff like that so needless to say, I was pumped. Before we arrived at the park, Elvis had everyone in our group come up with a call-and-return for when he needed to assemble the group (Something that instantly brought me back to my Girl Scout camp days. I guess some camp things are universal, haha!). Whenever he called "Elvis' #1 Fun Team!" (our decided group name :D) we all yelled back "Hell yeah!" because, according to him, the noisy people are always the ones that have the most fun! ;)

We arrived just in time for some lunch before taking on the zip-line. I'd only been zip-lining once before at a ski resort, but I've always wanted to do a tree-top zip-line. I was so stoked! Unfortunately there weren't a TON of lines to fly down and it was over in about 15 minutes, but it was fun none the less! I took some awesome GoPro footage as well (as you can see from it being strapped to my head in the photos below XD) which you can find in the vlog.

Up next was cave tubing in the Crystal Cave. SO. COOL. We were floating down a small river in the cave (the water was described as "shockingly refreshing" haha) for a while while our guide told us all about the different rock formations we were seeing and some of the history behind the Mayan uses of caves. We capped off the adventure with a swim in a lagoon at the end of the cave which was so awesome! I did take some footage of the cave as well, but unfortunately it was so dark in there that not too much of it came through on video, but we did get a couple cool photos and videos of us entering and exiting the cave, so at least there's that! :)

As we were getting ready to leace the park we saw a huge family of these raccoon-looking animals called Coatimundis. They were so cute, especially the little babies! Apparently, like raccoons, they're not too friendly, but it was cool to see them up close! We had such a blast on this excursion, and it's a pretty good contender for being my favorite one of the trip. I know I'll want to do more things like this on any future trips I might take! :)

The company that hosted the excursion was named Chukka, which means "play time"! :)

On our long journey back to the city, Elvis quizzed us on our new Belize knowledge and gave out souvenirs for everyone! I got a fun illustrated Belize map that I'll probably end up framing and hanging somewhere cool, like my future apartment or office. We got back to the city without much time to spare to get back to the ship, so we hopped on a tender boat and headed back.

We had a pretty relaxing evening when we got back. We all got smoothies and watched the sun set over dinner, hot-tubbed for a bit, and my parents and I checked out some of the night life on the boat which included a game show and some Latin dancing lessons! There was always so much to do on the ship and we really embraced it on this night. So much fun!

Remember to check out the vlog below. This day was so much fun and I really enjoyed reliving it through writing this post and editing this vlog! I'll definitely be back at some point next week to fill you in about our next stop - Roatan! :)

Monday, April 20, 2015


...I really wasn't kidding when I told you this end-of-year nonsense was going to be insane. It's been almost a month since I've stopped in to just give you guys an update of all that's been going on. I feel like I'm just starting to catch a little bit of a break, buuuuuut today is also the start of Springfest at BSU (though our event today was postponed due to weather) so it'll be another week of craziness on tap for me.

What have I been up to lately? More like, what haven't I been up to lately. Much like my previous life update, I'm going to try and put everything into list form to help organize my thoughts a bit.

A quick selfie before opening the doors of Spree Day!

1. Every major event ever! Last week was Spree Day at Clark and Greek Week at BSU. This week is Springfest at BSU. Next week is Impact Awards at BSU. The week after that is the Last Hurrah (yet another full day of programming) at BSU. Basically, April is the month of major events in Student Affairs land meaning long hours and late nights, but these events are awesome and are basically my favorite thing to plan and see. (I always say it's a good thing that I love what I do because I spend a LOT of time doing it!) I swear when the semester is over I'm going to have zero idea what to do with myself.

2. DROWNING IN HOMEWORK. Actually it's not all that bad, but my capstone project has been taking up the bulk of my attention as of late. For my capstone, I'm creating an online portfolio of all of my experiences over the past two years as a grad student. I need to make sure it looks supah professional, because on May 6th I will be presenting it to a committee of three faculty members and then defending it well enough so I can graduate. NO PRESSURE. So needless to say, I will be pouring over that until I officially pass it in and can't make any more edits to it on April 29th. Yikes city. Maybe when it's done I'll share it with you all! :)

3. Getting back into the swing of running. I set a goal for myself to workout at least 2-3 times a week during the months of April and May now that the weather is nicer, and so far it's going well! The sun is up earlier and stays out later which makes finding time to run SO much easier, and I'm on my way to getting back to my old running self that I left behind in the fall. I have a half marathon target for mid-June and a goal for my third marathon in early October, so hopefully that works out!

4. OBSESSING OVER TRAVELER'S NOTEBOOKS. You guys know that I'm planner obsessed. I don't know what it was, but a few weeks ago I decided I just needed to do more research on traveler's notebooks. So I watched a few set-up videos on YouTube. And then I watched some more. And then I watched a couple DIY videos. And then I thought "I could totally make one of those". And then I totally made one. I'm in love. Every time I use it it gets more and more character and I'm hooked. I'll for sure be writing a blog post and making a video walking you through my set-up when things settle down a bit (and I'll likely do a DIY video and post as well), but until then here's a picture of my notebook in all its glory!

*heart eyes Emoji*

5. Job searching on the ~daily~. It's an every day routine at this point for me. Click onto the job boards, save the descriptions I like, write up a cover letter and send it on its merry way. Then obsessively check my Gmail for any updates and get sad when business hours are over. Brittany and I have been calling the last few weeks "Rejection Season" as we've been receiving more "no"s than "yes"s at this point. Kinda scary, but part of the process. In the meantime, I was invited to come back to work with BSU's Orientation program during the end of May and through June, so at least that's something tiding me over while I continue the search! (Plus I had such a wonderful time last year that I am pretty pumped to be joining the team again this year!)

6. Cheering on runners in the Boston Marathon! Cassie and I ventured down to the starting line for the marathon today. It's not far from Dean at all and I had never been to the starting line before, and since my friend Louie was running this year I thought it would be the best year to check it out! We made a sign for Louie (which quickly got destroyed by the rain) and got a really awesome spot at the starting line, right on the barricade. Unfortunately we didn't see Louie go by (there was 7,500 runners in each wave, so no surprise there) but we had a blast cheering everyone on despite the cold, rainy weather!

The sign before the rain destroyed it.

We're in the home stretch, people. Only 2 internship days, 5 class days, 5 assignments, 21 days of the semester, and 23 total days 'til graduation! I am so close to the finish line it is unreal, and I can NOT wait until I can finally check this accomplishment off my list. Again, apologies for the lack of updates between now and graduation, but I'll do my best to keep up with everything. I still have a few vacation posts to share with you all, so stay tuned! :)

Hope you're all having a wonderful April, and I'll write very soon! <3

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jumping Overboard: Cozumel (Vacation 2015, Part 3)

We pulled into our first destination, Cozumel, bright and early Tuesday morning! All four of us were up with the sun to get a first glimpse of the port and got to see the pilot boat navigating our giant ship into port. Once our boat docked, my parents and I headed off to the fitness center for a Pilates class which was TOUGH but a great start to the day. After a good sweat we grabbed some breakfast and were ready to explore!

The port at Cozumel is extremely touristy (as most of the ports were) with dozens of vendors trying to catch your attention to buy their goods. Lindsey and I did a bit of walking around and found some cool sculptures and a couple of pelicans just chillin' by the road! We didn't do much shopping but we did dip our toes into the ocean for the first time during the trip! I was obsessed with the color of the ocean (as you'll probably see in every one of these vacation posts!).

After about an hour or so of exploring, it was time for us to go on our first excursion of the trip! We went on a catamaran cruise that took us snorkeling at a reef as well as to this really awesome beach water park that had a bunch of inflatable water toys, paddle boards, and other fun water activities. We had lunch and relaxed all day and it was so much fun! Perfect way to kick off all of our excursions for the trip. Most of this excursion is on the vlog below, so make sure to check it out!

We were actually the last excursion to return back to the ship, so as soon as we were all back on board the ship took off for our next destination. My mom and I went down to the lap pool before dinner for a swim workout (#nodaysoff) which was really tough because I am DEFINITELY not a good swimmer (I basically do enough to keep myself afloat but outside of that I'm basically just flailing around in the water, haha). We finished the evening with dinner and another show before returning to our rooms to another fun towel animal!

Remember to check out the vlog below to get the full scope of our day in Cozumel!

Previous Vacation 2015 Posts: New Orleans | At Sea

Friday, April 3, 2015

Biceps and Birthdays: At Sea (Vacation 2015, Part 2)

I could not get over the color of the ocean!

I woke up early Monday morning in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. My family was asleep so I thought I would capitalize on the opportunity for quiet and took my book up to eat some breakfast at the buffet. It was really cool to be completely surrounded by water and to enjoy my favorite meal of the day as the sun rose. Eventually my mom found me and I joined the rest of my family for breakfast.

Though it was a bit cloudy in the morning, the sun eventually burned everything away and we could really feel the temperature outside keep climbing! I took full advantage of the beautiful weather and read on a lounge chair while servers brought around drinks and fresh fruit skewers. It was exactly what I needed after killing myself to get ahead in all of my coursework!

In the pool area the cruise director staff put on a bunch of contests throughout the week. This day they had a "Miss Biceps" contest which was both hilarious and ridiculous. Check out the vlog to see what it was all about.

Later in the evening after a little bit of a pool workout with my mom, the four of us went out to dinner to celebrate my dad's birthday! We went to a Brazilian restaurant where they brought around different kinds of meats on huge skewers and you could have as much or as little as you wanted! I tend to not do well in these types of restaurants because I'm a really slow eater, and when food keeps coming I get full REALLY fast, but everything was so delicious and we all had our fill (and then some!). The meal ended with the staff bringing out a cake and singing Happy Birthday to my dad!

After our meal, we stopped by the coffee bar for a little pick me up and watched the atrium performers sing a few songs before heading to that evening's show. The show was called "Band on the Run", a variety show full of singing and dancing to 70's tunes. It was really great! We returned to our rooms afterwards and found the best surprise ever - A TOWEL ELEPHANT. *heart eyes emoji*

We were all still a bit beat from the weekend of travel so we went to bed early so we could wake up and enjoy our first destination to its fullest! But you'll have to wait 'til my next post to find out where that is... ;) Check out the vlog below to see our first full day on the ship!

Previous Vacation 2015 Posts: New Orleans