Meeting Pilar.

This past weekend, Robert came into town, and we went to see an improve show at Dad’s Garage in Inman Park. Margo came along and we had a great time belly laughing at the actors and munching Mexican food afterwards. Inman Park is a really cool area with quirky residents and unique food. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the high rises and large chain restaurants of Buckhead.

Spectacular Saturday- I’m running a half marathon (along with Robert, Merr, Sam, Margo and Parks) in Myrtle Beach in a couple of weeks and have yet to do some seriously long runs. That all changed on Saturday. Robert and I ran nine miles through the busy streets of Buckhead. I was very surprised at how good I felt after the run, and I’m now positive that we’re going to kick this 13.1 miles straight in the teeth.

When we got about a half of a mile away from my apartment, we noticed an older woman (in her 80’s) walking with groceries and struggling to hold them up.  She was stopping every five steps or so. Robert and I stopped and offered to help carry her goods back to her apartment and she happily accepted.  It turns out, this woman, Pilar, is from Spain and moved to Ohio to be closer to her family.  As her family grew and moved due to new adventures in life, she ended up in Atlanta (without a car).  She explained that while her family does live close, they have their own families and priorities to take care of, so she walks to the grocery store when she needs food.  She got emotional as we rounded the corner to her house because she was so thankful that we had stopped to help. I gave her my phone number and let her know that I’d be happy to pick her up to take her to the grocery store anytime that she wanted. She even invited us to come by her house to keep her company when we’re in town.

I got emotional after we left Pilar because her mannerisms and stories reminded me a lot of my Nana. I know there was a reason that God introduced us to Pilar on Saturday after a beautiful run- it wrapped up our afternoon perfectly.

Robert and I grabbed dinner at Two Urban Licks on Saturday night to celebrate our year and a half anniversary. It was so nice sitting down and chatting about our time together and what the future may hold.

Super Bowl Sunday- On Sunday, I dragged Robert to IKEA. 🙂 He loved it! I got a few odd purchases and he pointed out items that he really liked. When we got back to my apartment, Robert- my handyman- hung my mirror (after 2.5 years of it sitting on the ground), hung up a picture and built a table that fit perfectly in the corner for all of my “getting ready” essentials (makeup, hair dryer, curlers, etc.).  I’m so lucky to have a man who’s ready to roll up his sleeves and build stuff with/for me.

We had about 10 people at our house to watch the Big Game. I made chicken wings and I guess they were a hit. I didn’t eat them. I don’t like eating meat after I’ve seen it raw and cooked it myself- weird, I know.  It was fun to host a party with friends- new and old- and form more bonded relationships over a football game that I really cared less about.

We were busy bees this weekend.  I’m usually not one to complain about being tired, but this Monday, I’ve been exhausted. I’m lucky that the Bachelor is on because it gives me an excuse to veg out and go to sleep early.

Jamming in July

It’s seems as though these posts are coming further and further apart… Here are the big events that went down in July and early August…

La Quinceanara

Robert works (and travels) with a lot of men from Mexico and has become good friends with them.  Earlier this year, he was asked to be a godfather of one of his worker’s daughter. Guess what that means? On July 7, Robert, Robert’s dad and I attended a Mexican girl’s 15-year-old birthday party, aka a Quinceanara.

It was something that I’ve never experienced before and I’m so glad that we were a part of it.  One of my favorite parts was the choreographed dance to which both the Quince, Vanessa, and her court of men danced.  Up until this song, we’d only heard upbeat, Spanish country music from the DJ in the corner.  However, once the English song started up, I knew that I recognized the tune… “Turn Around” by Bonnie Tyler. If you want to see a video of the choreographed dance (not the actual one that I witnessed), check this out.

After the dance, we saw the celebration of Vanessa, and watched the ceremony as she was changed from a little girl (wearing flats, minimal make-up and a big gown) into a young woman (she was crowned with a tiara and her flat shoes were changed to high heels).

Then, the DJ announced (in Spanish) that every man who helped contribute to the Quinceanera would be asked to dance with Vanessa and his date would dance with one of the men on her court.  We watched about 45 minutes of other men dance with Vanessa before we heard the final name called…. “JUNIOR WILSON!” (Robert’s dad is also named Robert, so he’s technically a junior.)  Robert looked at me and said “Lessgo.”  We hopped on up to the middle of the dance floor and boogied for a couple of minutes before the song ended.

We headed out after the big dance. I hope that we are invited to more Quinceanaras in the future. 🙂

Hilton Head:

For the past 17 years, my family has taken a week-long vacation in Hilton Head, SC.  Since I graduated from Clemson and started working, I hadn’t had the chance to take off a full week to join them. This year, that all changed.  I was able to spend a full week with my family in beautiful Sea Pines.  We played tennis every morning, went to the beach every day, shopped, ate at our favorite restaurants and listened to Dave Kimmerly andGregg Russell.  I love spending time with my family, and especially in HHI.  We have so many memories, and it’s a place that I can’t wait to take my family when the time comes.

Merr and Me in Hilton Head

My mom and dad in Harbor Town

Atlanta Open Tennis Finals:

On our way back from Hilton Head, we came past Atlantic Station and were reminded that the Atlanta Open was in town.  We decided to look for tickets on Sunday morning and found fairly cheap tickets for the finals! Needless to say we spent our Sunday afternoon watching tennis (mostly just AndyRoddick) and loving every minute of sitting in the blazing sun drinking cool brewskis.

Atlanta Open Tennis Finals Tickets

Right next to the finals court after Roddick won!

My Birthday!:

This year is was my Star Birthday! I turned 24 on July 24. I got the chance to celebrate with all of the people that are most important to me.  I went to dinner with my family at the beach, celebrated with Robert in Hilton Head and celebrated with my roomies at Maggiano’s on my actual birth day.  I am excited to see what 24 has in store for me. Since it’s my star birthday I have a feeling it’s going to be a big year. Bring it on.

After my birthday dinner with Roberto

Atlanta Weekend:

Lauren and Brandon had friends (Sam and Erin) from Penn State in town the weekend after my birthday. People who have visitors to their hometown should take hosting notes from Lauren.  She knows exactly how to show people around ATL. We took Sam and Erin out in Buckhead on  Friday night and Virginia Highlands on Saturday. Lauren took them to see the Atlanta touristy sites on Saturday and Sunday before they left. I love it when my roommates (and Brandon) have friends come visit because I get to meet and learn a bit more about their pasts.

The group out with Sam and Erin!

Garden City:

We took our second annual trip to Hally Ho (Margo’s beach house in Garden City) over the first weekend in August. It was a blast. Her house sleeps around 15 people and I’m pretty sure we filled up all of those sleeping spots (plus maybe more?) during our stay. The coolest part was that people from all over the southeast (Atlanta, Columbia, Spartanburg, Charleston, Hendersonville and… Hartsville) came and celebrated all weekend long.

The weekend was filled with friends, beach time, swimming, games, dancing-dancing-dancing, singing (screaming) at the top of our lungs with bands, Hot Fish clubbing, dinner on the marsh walk, a boat ride (Capt. Madison drove), seeing my friends from Clemson and meeting some of Margo’s friends from USC.

The Brampire (Branny) also bought some swim caps for us to “do the swim cap trick”. Don’t know what the swim cap trick is? Watch here. We only fit one person in the swim cap at a time, but it was way better than the people in that video. At one point, my entire body was inside the cap as Robbie carried me around the ocean.

I’m so thankful that Margo let all of us gather at her beach house. Good thing these trips are a year apart so that we always forget the actual distance (7 hours) from ATL to Garden City when Margo says it “takes about 5 hours.”   I already can’t wait until next year’s trip. 🙂

Before our marsh walk dinner

Some of the Hally Ho girls