Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jay Peak Excursion

Over the weekend I had the privilege of enjoying a beautiful Sunday with the St. Mike's Wilderness Program.  I took my first trip of the year with the program and hiked up the Long Trail at Jay Peak Ski Resort.  Although the weather was not perfect, we managed to stay dry and have an awesome time getting off campus and out into the great outdoors.

Jay peak is a well-known ski area in Vermont, just about an hour an a half away from St. Mike's.  Our hike was around 4 miles round trip and took us 4 hours to complete.  It was a very satisfying trip up, and it was cool to see the ski mountain from a different perspective; without snow and off skis, a rare sight for me and so many of my friends who are avid skiers.  The trail description described the last mile as a "relentless" trek to the summit, but we were all proud to say that we conquered it without too much of a struggle.

My favorite part of the trip was talking with two older women at the summit. They started around the time we did and they made it to the top just behind us. They talked to us about the climb since they had both done it so many times before, and about how much they enjoyed hiking.  They explained to us how many awesome experiences the activity has brought them. My friends and I joked that we all hoped to be doing this same hike in half the time they did when we were their age!

(Foggy) group photo at the summit with our awesome trip leaders Harper and Morgan

Our first ice sighting of the year
The trail signs looked out of place without snow

The temperature got a tad bit nippy up top... under 40 degrees! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Funday

You know those thrill-seeking people who are always doing something crazy? The ones who are always up for jumping out of their comfort zone and having the time of their life doing it? Well, I am definitely not one of those people.  But today when I embarked on an adventure with my friends we ended up at Red Rocks Park cliff jumping. Yes, you did read that right.  Cliff jumping.

Red Rocks is a beautiful park in Burlington on Lake Champlain.  There's a swimming area and beach for those who aren't interested in jumping from anything to get into the water, as well as lots of trails in the woods to walk around on a nice day.  It was a beautiful day to swim and enjoy all that Burlington has to offer.  

Even if you're not fond of heights and don't feel like jumping from the cliffs, I would definitely recommend walking around in the park and enjoying the beautiful view of Champlain and the Adirondacks that Red Rocks has to offer! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Beginnings

It's almost hard to believe, but I am currently writing this post from my brand new dorm in Alumni Hall back at St. Mike's.  I am officially back on campus for the fall semester and ready to take on my sophomore year. Classes don't start until Monday the 1st, but I am on campus early for rugby preseason. I moved in today and we start practices bright and early tomorrow morning.  I'm a mix of emotions right now between being nervous for the week three practices a day and sad to leave home, but I am mostly excited to be back! Seeing familiar faces I had missed for four months made me smile more than I thought it would.

My little space to call home
The first of many beautiful Vermont sunsets I get to watch from my window!

Thursday, August 21, 2014


When the summer nights slowly start turning colder, it's always a bittersweet realization that fall on its way. The changing of seasons, especially summer to fall, is a time of change that demands to be felt.  Whether you're starting your first year of college away from home or simply just starting another school year, a new year is a new chapter, yours for the writing.

Exactly a year ago, the drive from my hometown to move-in day at Saint Michael's led me to one of the biggest changes of my life.  As my family and I drove farther up I-89, I was driving farther into the unknown.  Through all of the excitement of move in day, there was anxiety about being away from home and everything going smoothly.  The change and adjustment from high school to college is a big one, but that's what makes it such a worth while one.  The greatest piece of advice I have for any nervous freshman is to remember that you are not in this alone because one-fourth of the school is going through this exact same change at the same time with you.  No matter what your situation, you are never alone.  There are always people who are there to support you and who understand.

A year later, I'm packing up my things for school (a little lighter load than last year, thanks to some learning from experience) and I am blown away by the changes that have happened in my life over the last year.  As an incoming freshman, I never thought I would be pursuing college athletics, let alone take up the new sport of rugby, but here I am preparing for my week-long preseason that begins next week.  Life can be scary when approaching the unknown, but without it, there would be no growth.

Best of luck to all SMC freshmen moving in next week!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring has Sprung

Today is yet another beautiful day in Vermont, and also the last Monday of a five-day week we have at SMC for the rest of the semester. It seriously feels like I just got here, but before I know it I'll be home for 3 months, finished with my first year of college. I can't even believe I just said that!

I love the winter, I really do, but I am just such a spring person.  After a long cold winter I've never been more excited to see the sun and everyone hanging out outside again enjoying the good weather. Campus has such a happy vibe in the spring and I absolutely love it!

In other news, I  had my first rugby game of our spring season (and ever) this past Saturday morning at UVM.  I can officially say I didn't die and had a blast!  I was very nervous going into it because I didn't know what to expect, but I ended up learning a lot and having so much fun.  I love my rugby family and they have made me feel so accepted and at home here at SMC.  I cannot wait for all that's in store for us for the rest of our spring season and next fall!


The newbies after our first game

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Essentials of A Staycation

Tomorrow morning I am headed back to school in Vermont after a week home in Massachusetts.  Though I have been a bit jealous (and maybe bitter) of all of beach pictures showing up on my social media news feeds this week, a relaxing week at home with my family and friends was exactly what I needed before I head back to a packed spring schedule.  Spending spring break at home doesn't sound all that glamorous, but as a freshman with a few more spring break opportunities to travel or participate in a MOVE volunteer trip, I made the most of my stay-cation and actually ended up enjoying myself (who knew!) My plans were to spend the week on the couch in front of my TV, but I quickly figured out some better things to do with myself.  There really are so many simple pleasures in being home, and here are just a few of my essentials to making a week at home, a week of fun.

1. Cat time.  Anyone with a pet at home understands how tough it is to be away from the family furry friend for a long time.  FaceTime dates with my cat were made a regular occurrence with my family, but still, I was really looking forward to seeing my cat, Ellie, when I came home.

2. Baking. Any time home would not be complete with an excess of baking.  Vacation calories don't count, right?! 
Putting some Girl Scout Thin Mints to good use in this trifle.  Recipe: http://www.ziplist.com/recipes/490897-Grasshopper_Trifle

Cake pops, courtesy of http://www.joyofbaking.com/cupcakes/CakePopsRecipe.html
3. Shopping.  Spring is on my mind, and it's perfectly okay to indulge in sundresses and shorts, even if you won't be able to wear them for a month or two. 

4. Hanging with friends.  Only a few of my friends had the same week off as I did, but the three of us that were home managed to spend lots of time driving through our hometown nostalgically.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Refreshing Weekend

I spent this weekend on a island on Lake Champlain with thirty of my new rugby teammates, and our coach, for a rugby retreat at Saint Anne's Shrine.  It was a weekend full of team bonding and uncontrollable laughter, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.  Our team is truly a family and I feel more supported and accepted than I ever have during my time at Saint Mike's after this weekend.

I spent so long trying to find my niche at this school, and I finally feel like I've found my place and my people.  And what an amazing feeling it is! It's very hard for me to pick my favorite moments from the weekend because the entire experience was just amazing.  We spent some time learning more about the game of rugby, sharing our own personal stories with our teammates, and coming together as a team.  

The beautiful sunset over Champlain our first night

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mid Semester... Break?

Spring semester is finally in full swing, and dare I say, half-way over?! I was welcoming this 3 day weekend with enthusiasm, even though I stayed on campus.  Most of my friends packed up and left early Wednesday or Thursday, but I opted for lots of sleep, relaxing, Netflix, and picture- taking around campus.  Because so many people I know either went home or had their families visiting this weekend, I found a perfect opportunity to meet new people and hang out with people I don't normally.  I expected myself to be very bored this weekend, but I actually ended up having more fun than I have in a while!  

I feel refreshed, excited, and ready to take on the rest of the semester and so, so grateful for the beautiful weather we've had this weekend. Hopefully there's more to come of the sun... I'm a big fan! 

My weeks to come are looking very busy, but very fun.  I'm looking forward to:

  • My first concert at Higher Ground, Iration, this Wednesday night
  • The Mardi Gras Parade on Church Street, this Saturday 
  • Rugby team retreat at Saint Anne's Shrine, the weekend of March 7th
  • Yellowcard coming to St. Mike's for the Spring Concert, March 13th
  • Spring Break!!! 
  • (My 19th birthday, March 10th) 

Here are some of the pictures of took of a beautiful and sunny campus this weekend, enjoy!

Looking back at campus from across Route 15
My favorite view, just across Route 15

Jean Marie Hall, as seen from Route 15

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snake Mountain Excurison

At the top of Snake Mountain, elevation 1286 ft.
Up until last weekend, and the occasional day trips I have taken to Smuggs with friends, I had seriously been lacking with the outdoor element of my Vermont college experience.  My weekends had gotten used to window shopping, coffee shop exploring, and trying out new restaurants downtown.  I was more than okay with this, because I still have yet to get over how awesome Burlington is, but there is so much more of Vermont out there for me to explore beyond the metropolitan area of Church Street. 
This past weekend, I figured a change of pace and a break for my wallet wouldn't hurt, so one of my friends and I signed up for a snow shoe trip with the Saint Michael's Wilderness Program.  The trip was my first with the Wilderness Program, because although I wanted to sign up for a hike in the fall with the program, I never got around to it.  

Early Sunday morning, my friend and I packed the giant backpacks that were rented to us by the Wilderness Program and went off to meet our trip leaders in Alliot for our first trip.  We were the only two students who signed up for the trip, so the four of us took in the Saint Michael's van shortly after 8. Our plan was to snowshoe around Abbey Pond, but the four of us decided to take on a challenge a bit closer to campus, so we decided on Snake Mountain.  
It was a beautiful day, not too warm or cool, and the sun was shining.  Something I'd missed after all the snow last week! When we got to the top, there was a huge platform overlooking the Adirondack mountains.  The view was worth the climb and something that my iPhone pictures don't even do justice.  It was one of the best Sundays I have had in a while and I can't wait for my future adventures with the Wilderness Program.  

Get out there, climb a mountain and breathe some fresh air!

Panoramic view from the top

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Adventuring in Vermont

This weekend, instead of waking up at the crack of noon on Saturday morning and rolling out of bed for a lazy Alliot brunch like usual, my alarm went off at 6:30 AM. Madness? Maybe, but I didn't even need coffee because my adrenaline kicked in.  It was adventuring day!  My friends and I had signed up for the school shuttle to Smugglers Notch and we were ready to enjoy a long, fun day on the mountain with our season passes.  It was my first time at Smuggs and I was beyond excited!!

The bus ride to the mountain was absolutely gorgeous.  We twisted and turned up and down windy back roads with amazing views.  Vermont is one awesome place to live if you ask me! We have the vibrant city of Burlington right next to us here at St. Mike's, but also the mountains at our fingertips.  There are so many places around us to explore and be outside, and I have barely even begun to experience all the opportunities awaiting me.

The weather was perfect and we had a blast.  There's just something about being on the top of a mountain that completely clears my head.  Whether it's hiking, skiing, rock climbing, going for a quick walk, or any other outdoor activity of your choice; being outside always finds a way to lift your mood.  Everything's clearer in mountain air!

Starting the day off on Morse Mountain
Selfies on the lift up to the summit of Madonna
You can't have a bad day looking at this! You just CAN'T!
Get out there and explore! Try something new, leave your comfort zone, appreciate the little things, and immerse yourself in nature and your life. It's well worth the view. 

Until my next adventure,


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Happy Place

Tonight, a stressful first week of classes and getting back into the swing of things called for a trip downtown to the local coffee shop.  I made the trek downtown on the city bus with one of my friends after dinner to get off campus and explore the beautiful city of Burlington we live in.

Church Street is always gorgeous, even in the rain/sleet/snow! 

 We brought our backpacks, filled with new textbooks and notebooks, and walked along Church Street to our destination; Muddy Waters, a cozy coffee shop tucked away on the corner of Church and Main Street.  A true hidden gem! We discovered the place a few months ago and have been totally hooked ever since.

Inside Muddy Waters

Wooden beams, walls, benches, and tables create a cozy atmosphere that fits right into Vermont, and the soothing music that plays and interesting people who frequent the shop give it it's crunchy character.  We both ordered our drinks and cookies, and then settled down to do some homework.

I got a raspberry hot chocolate and a chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven-- Mmmmm!

My favorite part of Muddy's, though? The stone wall and all the folded-up notes people have scribbled and tucked away for the people of Burlington to discover and read.  It's so cool to learn about all the people who have enjoyed the same place with their friends that I am with mine.

One of the best notes I've discovered so far

Muddy's is a place you should definitely check out if you're in the Burlington area! It's a great place to get a good cup of coffee, some baked goods, or a Muddy's Shake, and check out the city vibe. It's one of those places I can go to and everything else falls into place and perspective when I'm there.  My happy place.  I'm truly so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

The Muddy's Shake is an espresso-flavored milkshake- my favorite!
"If you are reading this then you are a dirty hippie"

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Comfort Zone

I've always been one to write New Year's Resolutions, and this year was no different.  I scribbled a list of about fifteen things I want to do differently, or habits I want to keep up with in 2014.  This year, however, my resolutions all seemed to be similar.

With my first semester of college under my belt, I feel like I've learned more during these past few months than I have in a long time.  I learned how to calculate financial ratios, how to work with a team effectively to start a business, how to write a memoir, and the basics of philosophy.  I learned to love my business major and classes at St. Mikes, how to do laundry, how to take responsibility for myself, how to look out for friends, how to manage my time, and how to live independently from my family.  

Some things came easily, and some things I'm still figuring out.  But, in what seemed like a flash, in four quick months, I was one-eighth of my way done with college.  I learned that college is too short stay in your comfort zone.  Going to class and doing homework are what college is for, and your GPA is important. However, a college education will give you more than just a degree if you let it, and the life experiences, friends, and stories you can gain from stepping out of your comfort zone are priceless.

 Netflix, spending a night in, and closing your door are all comfortable things to do.  They are easy to do, and hey, there's nothing wrong with enjoying them every once and a while! Taking care of yourself is critical, and without sleep, alone time, and managing stress, everything else becomes tainted.  But I've found that it's equally, if not more, important to make sure your life has some sense of adventure to it and to step outside of just existing.  Life is all we get, so fill it with friends, love, nature, spontaneity, laughter, curiosity, and little moments that make us truly appreciate the beauty of the world.  Stay positive, and smile. Do what you love, love what you do, and try something new.


"Life is inherently risky.  There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing." - Denis Waitley  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winter Break

As of tonight, I have been home for Winter break for exactly three weeks.  I still have a week to go before I'll be making the drive back up to St. Mike's, but so far, it's truly been a great time!

I've been indulging myself in many of the blessings of being home that I missed a lot, such as:

1. Showering barefoot
2. My mom's cooking
3. Candles and their ambiance
4. Quality family time with my parents and younger twin brothers
5. Seeing my high school friends regularly
6. Bagel World a.k.a the best bagel shop in my town and/or all of Massachusetts
7. Sleeping in my own bed
8. Baking
9. Driving my car
10. And last but not least, cuddling with my chubby cat, Ellie

But I do have to say that the fact that I'll be back in Burlington in just a week excites me A LOT!

I'm looking forward to getting back into the routine and getting back to enjoying some of the perks of college and SMC life, including:

1. Reuniting with my friends
2. Having my own living space in my dorm
3. Using my Smuggler's Notch ski pass
4. Lunch at Alliot
5. Chicken patties at the Grill
6. Starting yoga and rugby, two new things for me
7. Being surrounded with friends 24/7
8. Church Street adventures
9. Being back in the mountains, surrounded by beautiful scenery
10. Starting all new classes, with a fresh slate and motivation

Here's to a great spring semester and 2014!! I can't wait!