What’s been going on?

In the past few weeks, my journey as an almost 24-year-old has taken me to NYC, Hendersonville, Asheville, Atlanta,  Hiawassee, San Diego and finally back to Atlanta.

I went to NYC the weekend before Father’s Day for work and had some time to walk around the city after work. I saw some cool sites, did a little bit of shopping and came to the realization that I’m not sure that I could live in the Big Apple. I like to have my car, an affordable living space and my family close by. That’s not saying that I’ll never live there. Who knows? 🙂  On my flight back, I traded my seat with a man so that he could sit with his family, and, in turn, he gave me his business class ticket. I was treated like a queen, feed shrimp and chicken, sat in a reclined chair that massaged my back and had a great conversation with my seatmate.  I felt like a pampered brat, and I loved every second of it.  I really need to work on my Delta Medallion status so that I can fly business class for all of my trips.

Times Square in NYC

For Father’s Day, my parents spent the weekend in a condo on a beautiful golf course in Hendersonville. It was perfect because I was able to travel to one place to see my family and Robert at the same time.  We met for drinks on Friday in Hendersonville, I played golf with Robert on Saturday and we met my family for dinner and drinks on Saturday night in Asheville. It was such a nice weekend in the mountains and I hated leaving my family and Robert.

Two weekends ago, Robert invited me up to the lake that his family frequents throughout the summer, Lake Chatuge.  It’s a gorgeous lake surrounded by North Georgia/North Carolina mountains in Hiawassee, Georgia.  I took a flex day on Friday and met Robert at the lake since it was a ½ way meeting point for us both.  Robbie pulled up in his new sleek new Jeep and I immediately asked if I could have his car… then I remembered that it’s a manual. At some point, I’ll learn how to drive a stick shift and feel comfortable enough to drive it down Peachtree. 🙂

On Lake Chatuge

We went to the marina on Friday night and ate/drank at the Tiki bar (not to be confused with the Lake Keowee Tiki Hut), listened to a country music from an “up-and-coming star” and met a couple of the locals. One local brought his dog, Kona, to the bar and showed Robert and me all of the dog’s tricks.  Kona was our friend for the whole night and the rest of the weekend. I accidentally fed him a whole chicken wing when his owner wasn’t looking, but I think he was alright. Whoops.  On Saturday, we took the boat out, Robert showed me around the lake, and we lounged in the cool, mountain water under the blazing sun. We got ready and took the boat back to the Tiki for dinner where we listened to the country music star and played with Kona again.  On Sunday, Robert took me for a boat ride and then I packed up my stuff and headed back to ATL to catch a flight to San Diego.

Robert and Kona

My flight to San Diego was easy-breezy, and I arrived at my hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter around 7 p.m. PST. Since it was beautiful out, I decided to go for a run along the bay. It was one of the most peaceful, relaxing runs that I think I’ve ever experienced.  The weather was a cool 75 degrees and it didn’t take me long to get in the zone. I was in meetings all day Monday and went to dinner on Monday night with my co-workers. We grabbed sushi, and I stepped out of my box and tried a few new dishes…which I loved! I fell in love with everything about San Diego (weather, shopping, dining, people,etc.) in my short 36-hour trip.  I hope that I’ll get to visit again soon.

View from my run in San Diego

Last weekend was a total ATL weekend. A bunch of us met up at my friend Maggie’s gorgeous 14th story apartment in midtown and then headed to Ri Ra.  I’d never been to Ri Ra, and it was so much fun! On Saturday, Robert and I went to the pool with our friends Danielle and Jessica and then went on a date night in Decatur. We weren’t too thrilled with Decatur.  It’s not that it was bad, but I was comparing it to Virginia Highlands (my obsession) and it just didn’t have the same feel, the same cute shops or the same kind of hipster-esque people.  We ate at a cute, cute, cute restaurant called No. 246 and I felt as though I was Emily Schuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere (partly because I was wearing flowy maxi dress and partly because the restaurant was so quaint and simple).  We loved our waiter and went home with smiles on our faces.

For the Fourth of July holiday, we tried our best (kind of) to go to the Braves game, but it started DOWNPOURING 15 minutes into our tailgate sesh. So, instead, we skirted on back to Buckhead and ended up at Pool Hall.  Is this scenario surprising anyone? Yeah, I didn’t think so. At Pool Hall, we danced, pretended to be DJ’s and did the wobble.  On the 4th, I spent the day with Laurs, Branny and Josh. We swam all day, ate Fat Matt’s BBQ for dinner and watched the Lenox fireworks while shouting out the shapes that each explosion made: “STAR!”, “SHAMROCK!”, “SMILEYFACE!”.

Out the night before the 4th

These past few weeks have been a blur with travel and activities, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I was going to apologize for rambling on about my past few weeks in such a long blog post, but I realized… this is my platform, right?

So sorry, I’m not sorry.

The Pretty Song

When Merrick and I were little (four and six) and living in Massachusetts, my dad would lift weights in our basement after work. While he was working out, Merr and I would play and dance around the basement to any music that my dad blasted through the stereo.  We really loved one song by Phil Collins, “Everyday”, which we dubbed “The Pretty Song.”  I’m not exactly sure how many times we asked my dad to play “The Pretty Song” while he was working out, but knowing our persistent attitudes, I’m guessing it was a lot.

When I was in college, my dad called me one day on my way home from class and told me that he heard “The Pretty Song” on the radio.  He asked if I remembered the song and unfortunately, I couldn’t remember it exactly. But, when I arrived home, I immediately looked it up on iTunes and the melody and words became all too familiar again.

The song isn’t one that’s too happy, but one line in particular reminds me of my dad:

Do you ever wonder why, why I love everything about you?

I love the way that my dad gives advice. I go to my dad with major issues (or issues that seem major to me).  He’s always the first that I call about any tough decisions.  He’s the first that I call about anything relating to work, money or cars.  And he’s the first one that I want to call when I reach any big accomplishments in my life.

I love the way that my dad is involved in my life and my sister’s life. My dad was always at our soccer games silently cheering on the sidelines, and that strong, quiet encouragement has continued throughout our lives.  Whether it’s encouragement to do well in school, kick butt in sports or move to a new city, my dad’s been there along with my mom to help along the way.

I love the way that my dad treats my mom.  Because he treats my mom like a queen, my dad’s set the bar really high for any man who’s come into my sister’s life and my life.  My dad would rather spend his Monday nights watching The Bachelorette with my mom than watch ESPN. My dad would rather golf with my mom on a Saturday than play golf with men.  And my dad takes my mom’s side on everything, no matter what.

Like The Pretty Song says, I love every thing about my dad. He is the kindest, smartest, most level-headed and loving man that I’ve ever known.  A lot of people tell me that I act a lot like my dad. I take that as a compliment and feel lucky that I’ve been given 23 years with the best dad in the world.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Thank you for everything.  I love you with all my heart. 🙂

My dad and me!