summer

I was going to wait until the very end of summer and then write a post about what all I had done and do a wrap up basically, buuuut I’m babysitting right now and I have some spare time, so I figured I’d catch you up so far! Back in May I was the graduate assistant for the high school choir I used to be in. Every year we go on a tour and perform around the United States. This year the trip was to Chicago!

2016-05-31 05.25.04 1.jpg

I had never been before and I loved it! I got to meet up with two of my friends from school that live there, so I was glad to see them. We walked around the RiverWalk and explored downtown. Up on the 94th floor of the Hancock Tower there is an attraction called The Tilt where you are standing at a window with railings on the side and it lowers you out away from the building. It was awesome. I hate heights, but I love the adrenaline rush from being scared of them, so I thought it was fun! Throughout the trip we got to sing at some pretty amazing and beautiful places. In Nashville, Tennessee we stopped at an old traditional church that is one of my favorite places ever. I’m a complete architecture nerd and old, gothic style castles are my favorite. So, when we pulled up to this church you can imagine how excited I was. It looks like a castle!

2016-06-03 08.15.18 1.jpg

I was really concentrating on the sunset in the picture but that church is beautiful. I loved that trip and the group of people with it and I’m very grateful I was able to go help.

In June. I got my wisdom teeth out, so I didn’t do much haha. I had never seen Spongebob (my mom HATES it so i never watched it as a kid) so my friends used the opportunity of me being bedridden to make me watch some of the first season. They reference it all the time and got tired of me never understanding the jokes. However, I was high off of pain meds the whole time we were watching it and I barely remember it. Haha don’t tell them. All I remember is Sandy the squirrel being in her house and Spongebob drying out into an actual sponge…that’s all I got. I’m sure they’ll make me re-watch it at some point. My friends and I  did go down to an Alabama Symphony Orchestra performance in a park near my house. We packed sandwiches, blankets, and chairs and listened to the music. It was a nice change from the usual performance hall (which I also love).

IMG_20160611_201524

***DISCLAIMER: That is not my photo. The Alabama Symphony tweeted that photo and I saved it. I don’t want to be sued haha.

At the end of June/ beginning of July, my best friend and I drove up to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to visit my mom! My mom moved up there when I moved into college. She is getting hitched and her fiance lives up there, so we went to spend time with them. We drove from Birmingham to Chattanooga the first day and went to the Tennessee Aquarium. That place is huge and awesome. They have this freaking incredible sea turtle named Oscar. His back flipper was cut off from a boat propeller. When turtle experiences a traumatic event, it can buoyancy issues, so Oscar had to figure out a new way to swim. Now his back end floats up towards the surface and he swims harder with his front two flippers to pull himself down. What a trooper. We spent the night with a friend in Chattanooga and woke up early the next day to drive all the way to Pittsburgh! While we were up there we went on a couple tours. We did a river boat tour that takes you around the perimeter of downtown. Here’s a picture of us on the boat.

20160702_192343.jpg

We also went to a symphony performance in Pittsburgh at Hartwood Acres. The orchestra performed John Williams’ famous pieces from movies like E.T and Jurassic Park. There were a lot more people at this concert than the one in Birmingham. The music was beautiful and my favorite part was at sunset because right at the sun was going down the orchestra played the theme from E.T. and it was perfect. I couldn’t help but take pictures.

20160703_210825

20160703_210022

My mom’s fiance, Roy, likes to play tour guide, so by now, on my fourth visit to Pittsburgh, I had learned a lot about the history of it. Pittsburgh has two inclines that lead up to Mount Washington which overlooks the city.  The inclines were used to move coal up the mountain back in the day. Now, they are used as public transportation to shuffle people up and down the hill. On top of the hill there are a couple of overlooks of the city. My mom, Roy, my friend Eliza, and I had been waiting in line for about 30 minutes to get a spot in the cart to ride up. We were actually really pissed off because people cut in front of us and wouldn’t get off the cart…but that’s another story. Either way we got up to the top a good 45 minutes later than we wanted to, but it was worth it. That sunset was the most gorgeous sunset I’ve ever seen. These pictures haven’t been edited or anything. I just took them on my phone once we  got to the top.

20160702_211316.jpg

20160702_21134920160702_211502

I’m glad those people cut in front of us otherwise we would have missed this. Also, sorry for all the sunset pictures, but I really like them. The trip to Pittsburgh was really fun overall. We went to the science museum and toured Pitt (the college). We also got to sort of watch the Kenny Chesney concert in Heinz field (where the Steelers play). You can see into Heinz stadium from where my mom lives, so even though he was facing away from us, we could hear him and see the lights! It was pretty cool.

That’s about all I’ve done that is “blog worthy.” I work ALL THE TIME and then I hang out with my friends a lot haha. We usually swim or play video games depending on what kind of mood they’re in.

Thanks for reading about my life this summer so far! I’m going to the beach to close out my summer in 2 weeks so I’m excited for that. Talk to you soon 🙂

I love you all. Be adventurous. Chérir la vie.

Ellie X.

Advertisements

rainy day in april

It’s a rainy day here on campus and I should be studying for an test I have later, buuut, per the norm, I’m procrastinating. I blame the rain. I don’t know why, but I love the rain. It makes me feel very calm and it’s the perfect writing weather. Everything slows down and it gives you a chance to breathe. Which is highly needed right now. In case you have never experienced April in college, it is hell month. Professors are trying to shove every bit of last minute knowledge into your brain that they can, so they can give another exam before the final. Labs give their final projects. Class signups begin. People realize how little time they have to bring up their grades. Academic scholarships begin looming over peoples heads. It’s the most stressful month in the academic year.

I had never experienced hell month before so I over anticipated how much free time I would have. I bought tickets to concerts on the first two weekends and they’re 4 hours away, I have a sorority formal the next weekend, and then on the last weekend before exams I have Relay for Life on campus (if you don’t know what that is look it up. it’s very cool i promise). I volunteered for two chair positions on the committee and I am co-captain for a team, so they definitely keep me busy. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved every second of working for the American Cancer Society. They are wonderful people and I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. However, I’m working on stuff every single day and it’s hard to balance everything. Needless to say, when I woke up this morning and I heard the rain I was very thankful.

This past weekend was my first concert of the month and I saw Mumford & Sons in Birmingham. They were absolutely amazing and sound just as wonderful live as they do on the album.

Mumford & SonsI sat at the very top because I’m a poor college student haha. Mumford opened up with their most popular songs like “I Will Wait” and “The Cave.” After they played the more upbeat songs they went down into the audience and did an acoustic set with one microphone and sang “Awake My Soul.”

Mumford AcousticI almost cried. It was amazing. The entire arena was silent and everyone just stood mesmerized.

Here’s one last picture from the piano solo:

Mumford & Sons flashlight I think I’m slightly addicted to concerts haha. I go to the Pentatonix concert this Saturday and I’ll post the pictures from that soon. No matter how stressful hell month gets, the concerts are worth it 🙂

I hope you all are having a wonderful April! To all the college students out there, good luck.

I love you all. Be adventurous. Chérir la vie.

Ellie X.