/fallbreak

Today is the last day of my fall break. I had a week away from teaching the little ones. It was good. Didn’t complete any of the tasks I wanted to, but I relaxed, caught up on some TV shows and got a lot of rest. That’s what breaks are for, right?!

In the beginning of the week, my boyfriend and I spent some time in his hometown of Ravenswood, West Virginia. It’s a teensy little town with a population of only 4,000. We spent the days running around visiting his family and the nights drinking and hanging out with friends. We had a good time. I always love visiting West Virginia in the fall.  Most of the state is covered in trees in bright orange, greens, and reds. It made the 5 hour drive from Indiana a beautiful ride. Here’s a few photos I snapped while we were there.

 

 

made it

I made it! I’m in Memphis. The drive down wasn’t so bad. It’s a 12 hour trip and we made it in 12 hours. Which was good time considering we stopped about 6 times. I like to stop during road trips. If I see a sign that says Scenic Overlook, you better believe I’m pulling over. If I see a sign for some sort of shop or winery I’ll pull over for that too! On the way down we stopped at the New River Gorge Bridge. A huge steel arch bridge in the southern part of West Virginia. It’s the 3rd longest in the world! Every year in October the West Virginia hosts Bridge Day. 80,000+ spectators attend and BASE jumpers come from all over the world come to jump off the bridge. CRAZY!!! I would never do that, but I do want to do the Bridge Walk. A 1.5 mile walk along the catwalk (850 ft above the river) of the bridge.

New River Gorge Bridge by me

 

We also stopped at Tamarack. A huge,interestingly,shaped building in Beckley, WV that sells handmade crafts, arts, and WV wines and other cuisines. We just walked around checking out the place and picked up two bottles of West Virginia wine – dandelion and blackberry.

I wanted those Raggedy Ann/Andy dolls, but couldn’t justify it for $35 a piece!

The bf spent a couple of days here with me and then left. 😦 I miss him like crazy, but I’m settling into life back in Memphis just fine. I had my first roller derby practice with my new league on Monday. It was an intense practice! I can already tell I’m going to be a much better skater, skating with this league. In my former league, me and a few of the other girls were the longest skaters of the team. Now I’m surrounded by ladies that have been playing 4 times as long as I have. I’m excited to learn from them. I’m a part of the league, but I’m not officially a part of a team yet. They have a draft day in September. When that day comes, the three teams will bid on me and I’ll be a part of  one of the home teams… hopefully!

Classes start on Monday.  But until then I have a lot of free time. Which means lot of quality time with my Kindle! I’ve been sort of a book nerd lately. :/

roadtrip recap

Last weekend recap!

Me and the bf began our road trip last Thursday. Destination-Boston for PaxEast, with stops in Philadelphia, and New Haven, CT.

Thursday-Got off work, dropped Peanut off at the kennel, and hit the road to Philly! The drive to Philly was 6 hours, so by the time we got there it was already too late to really do anything. We checked in to our hotel, and decided to have Philly cheesesteaks at Tony Luke’s! It was recommended on some travel blogs I read and it was on Man vs Food! Last time I trust them.  The bread was SO hard and the meat was dry. Not good at all. I should’ve listened to the local who told us there were MUCH better places to have cheesesteaks. After the fail cheesesteak, we went to Eulogy, a Belgian beer bar, and had some drinks. I fell in love with this place because it reminded me of the little cafe’s I always went to in Amsterdam. The beer list was amaaaaazing and had over 400 beers. I had 2 beers, which was more than enough for me considering their 10.0 ABV. Went back to the hotel and proceeded to pass out.

Friday-Woke up really early because we wanted to see a few things around Philly before we started our next leg of the trip (Philly to Boston!). We walked along the waterfront at Penn’s Landing, and saw some cool ships including the HUGE and very old SS United States. After walking around and getting some breakfast there, we went to Philadelphia Art Museum, not to see art, but to run up the “Rocky steps”. Remember this scene from the movie Rocky? It was filmed here so…we had to!

bf at the top of the steps

my Rocky pose

After that, we hit the road to Boston. We should’ve made it there in 6 hours, BUT I saw an outlet mall and had to stop. I picked up a dress, a new top, and the bf got some shirts. Successful pit stop? yes!  We had another pitstop to make too, but it was planned. I wanted to stop by New Haven, CT to see my Great, Great, grandfather, Sengbe Pieh’s statue which stands in fron of their City Hall. My family has gone multiple times for dedications and memorials, and I’ve seen the statue in pictures, but I have never seen it in person.

We made it to Boston (finally) Friday evening and went straight to the Boston Convention Center where PaxEast was being held. Unfortunately, we were too late to see the show floor, but we did meet up with my friends from Memphis and hit up the table top gaming area! It was huge guys. Tables of Magic, Munchkin, DnD, Dominion, and a whole bunch of other table top games I’ve never heard of. The bf and I played a couple of games of Magic and hung out with my friends before heading to the hotel.

Saturday/Sunday-Woke up early and got our butts to PaxEast. You know to enjoy gaming and panels! We got there when the doors open and stayed until the doors closed. I played the new Magic game which will  be released summer 2012, 3DS (which is awwwweosme!), a whole bunch of games, went to some panels, wandered around, met some twitter friends, and just hung around at PaxEast. I didn’t want to leave on Sunday. I really had a good time just hanging  out and I can’t wait to go back next year!

Monday, MONDAY, MONDAY-Sunday night after Pax we drove straight to Boston and proceeded to pass out. On Monday we saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and hung out on the hip South Street. We had lunch at an awesome cheesesteak shop (Steaks on South! The sandwiches were so good. If you’re in Philly, go there!) and then we went to The Magic Gardens!Magic Gardens is an indoor/outdoor maze of mosaics inlaid with various pieces of poetry. After the gardens we headed back home to WV.

If you’d like to see more pics go here or here.

road trip!

I had such a good time with the bf on our little road trip. Here’s what went down:

Day 1-our town, West Virginia to Buffalo, New York
This part of the trip was only supposed to take 4 and a half hours, BUT in Pennsylvania I saw a sign pointing to the direction of Lake Eerie and lighthouses. I had never seen a lighthouse and it was still pretty early and not out of the way, so we stopped at a beach/park. We spent an hour walking around and driving. And I got to see my lighthouse! 😀

After the pitstop we drove the last hour and a half to Buffalo. We arrived and had buffalo wings for dinner. We went to the Anchor Bar which is the place they were invented. They were yummy, but I’ve had better. I got extra hot and the bf got BBQ. He’s a baby when it comes to hot stuff where as, I am an West African girl who was raised eating the spiciest foods! It was nothing for me. *brushes shoulder off*

After dinner we rested for a bit before driving 30 minutes to Niagara Falls to see the falls at night. We got there and I could barely see anything because of all the mist and hellooo it was dark. I was kind of disappointed and after walking around for 15 minutes I said “FUCK IT! Let’s go back to the car”. We were walking back when *click*, someone turned on the lights! All of a sudden the falls were lit up with green light in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. It was beautiful. I turned my grumpy frown upside down and enjoyed the lovely view!

Even though it was St. Patrick’s Day, we didn’t go out drinking. We spent the night with Jennifer, the girl we were staying with, talking and stuffing our faces with cookies. Good times.

Day 2- Niagara Falls to Toronto, Canada!

The next day we woke up and had a big breakfast with Jennifer before heading out to see Niagara Falls during the day. The plan was to see it from the American side, the Canadian side, and then on to Toronto!

The view of the falls from America’s side were kind of crappy(comparatively). There were lots of barricades because of the ice and because you’re next to the falls, the view is kind of obstructed.

the Canadian view was amazing. you could get a lot closer to the falls, so we spent quite awhile sitting there enjoying it. The sound of the water falling was so loud, but soothing. I joked to the bf that I should record it to fall asleep to. (I sometimes fall asleep to recorded nature sounds)

After the falls it was on to Toronto! Unfortunately we had a little setback at the border patrol. We were one of the lucky cars that got picked to get searched. Yay! :/ They searched the car COMPLETELY! I mean, the door panels, everywhere in the trunk, under the seats-it was very thorough! They especially got curious over the baked goods we had in our car. Jennifer gave us homemade cookies and brownies for the trip. The patrol guy actually opened and sniffed every ziplock and questioned us if the brownie marked “w” was for weed.

We assured him it was for walnuts as he sniffed it! Haha, after the search we got our stamps and continued to Toronto!

Days 3, 4, 5-Toronto, Canada!
Toronto is SUCH an artsy/hip city. Also very international and diverse. Foreign people make up 50% of the city. And you could definitely tell since there were “ethnic” neighborhoods called like Little Italy, Corso Italia, Greektown, Portugal Village, Koreatown, Little India, Little Jamaica, and my favorite Chinatown. I love shopping/eating in Chinatown’s. Up until Toronto, NYC’s chinatown was my favorite. But not anymore Toronto’s chinatown is HUGE! And spans for streets and streets and has tons of shops/bubble tea places and even malls! We spent an entire afternoon there-exploring, having lunch, and shopping.

Most of our time in Toronto was spent walking around exploring and eating yummy food! But we also did some touristy stuff. We took a walking tour and went to the CN Tower-which is a HUGE tower, the second tallest in the world actually. (It’s one of the seven modern wonders of the world, which means I got to see 2 wonders on this trip!) We took the tour, which takes you up the tower, in a glass elevator. I’m not usually afraid of heights, but I was definitely a little uneasy in this swaying, glass elevator, going 1500ft above Toronto! Once we stopped on the first level (1200ft) I was ok. The view from up there was amazing! There was also a glass floor. Yup. A glass floor 1200ft above the ground. Of course I was scared, but I walked on it and after me making fun of him for awhile, the bf did too. It was crazy looking down.

After hanging around on that floor for awhile, we took the elevator up to the highest point. Pretty cool.

The rest of the weekend was spent exploring the city and then celebrating my birthday with a cupcake, a nice dinner, and some beers! All in all a great little vacation and birthday.