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!