Summer To Do List

I was thinking about how fast summer was going by a few days ago. And I had this crazy notion I wasn’t living up to my full summer potential. Like I had been sitting in my apartment listlessly watching the hours drag by…and I knew that wasn’t true. I wanted to write down some things to do before summer ended, and also highlight the things I had already done. So this is my summer done/to do list. This summer has already been spectacular and I feel incredibly blessed to be living in such a fantastic city with a great community of friends.

Summer DONE list:

  1. Hung out with out of town friends. I love having people visit me and my city.
  2. Gone to the beach. Riis beach to be exact, which leads to my next item…
  3. Fulfilled my odd and freakishly stalker-like ambition of eating at all of the Ample Hills locationsI would freely describe myself as an Ample Hills addict. Hands down my favorite ice cream in the city.
  4. Waited in line and scored awesome seats for Shakespeare in the ParkI had never done this before.
  5. Did a crazy two-nights-sleeping-on-the-streets-experience to buy cancelation line tickets to HAMILTONWas it worth it? YES. Have I been listening to the soundtrack nonstop since I was in the room where it happened? DOUBLE YES.
  6. Lounged in Governor’s Island hammock groveSeriously, what’s better than a hammock?
  7. Scored tickets to the Brooklyn Pop Up Dinner. Second year in a row attending, and I’m still just as mesmerized by the sea of white and glorious table decorations.
  8. Attended a summer outdoor wedding. (Congrats again, Erin & Jon.)
  9. Camped out in Brooklyn Bridge Park for the 4th of July fireworks. My #1 favorite park in NYC.
  10. Went to multiple summer BBQs. Prospect Park is so close, and we’re definitely taking advantage of that.
  11. Learned new things at the Secret Science Club. Like how did I not realize there were FEASTING black holes and FASTING black holes? #terrifying.
  12. Gotten crafty with my community group. I have been so blessed by Liberty Church.
  13. Painted a mural in Bay Ridge. This one happened at the very start of summer, but I’m including it because I’m all about volunteering.
  14. Rode Jane’s Carrousel. Have wanted to do this ever since I moved here and just hadn’t gotten around to doing it.
  15. Gone on a city wide scavenger hunt. Sponsored by Open House New York. We didn’t get anywhere close to the top three teams, but we had a ton of fun.

Rest of Summer to-do list

  1. Visit two new beaches. I’ve got my eyes on you, Fire Island.
  2. Go to the Museum of Ice Cream. I mean, could I really NOT go to this??
  3. Go on some actual rides at Coney Island. I hear some roller coasters calling my name.
  4. Try two new ice cream places. You may have sensed that I really like ice cream. I haven’t been to Odd Fellows or that new Magnum NYC pop-up.
  5. Find a new summer jam. I’ve been looking forward to Relient K’s new release: Air For Free, as well as NEEDTOBREATHE’s Hard Love.
  6. Attend one of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! summer concerts. Again, located in my backyard, Prospect Park.
  7. Catch one of the Broadway in Bryant Park series. Free broadway? Yes, duh.
  8. Visit the Mo Willems exhibit at the New York Historical Society. I love his picture books. And so many of them are set in the city!
  9. Visit the Cooper Hewitt and see their pixar exhibit. Haven’t been to this museum yet, and it looks amazing.

This isn’t everything, but it’s a start. What about you? What exciting things have you already done this summer? Any ice cream recommendations?

A brief update…life, the universe, and everything.

Since the last time I wrote was 6 months ago, I figured I should give you an update on my life. Who knew these past several months would be so crazy? I mean, well, I guess I should have realized this would be the case. When has life never been full of surprises?

Since November I’ve…

  • written a novel
  • graduated with a master’s degree
  • traveled to Europe
  • traveled to California
  • lost beloved family members
  • watched my sister move to Japan
  • met award-winning authors
  • been published
  • picked up a freelance gig
  • accepted a summer publishing internship
  • seen dear friends wed
  • seen dear friends graduate and move away

Really, it’s been quite a year. And of course, I have loads of pictures.

This was one of the interior courtyards of a building in Budapest. It looked perfectly ordinary from the outside, but once we went inside to visit one of the agencies we were greeted with this view. The only downside I can think is having to carry groceries up several flights of stairs. I would live here in a heartbeat.

This was one of the interior courtyards of a building in Budapest. It looked perfectly ordinary from the outside, but once we went inside to visit one of the agencies we were greeted with this view. The only downside I can think is having to carry groceries up several flights of stairs. I would live here in a heartbeat.

We walked across the famous Chain Bridge that separates the Buda side from the Pest side of Budapest. We traveled up the stairs to Buda Castle. I'm fairly certain I left part of my heart in this city.

We walked across the famous Chain Bridge that separates the Buda side from the Pest side of Budapest. We traveled up the stairs to Buda Castle. I’m fairly certain I left part of my heart in this city.

The Széchenyi Baths in Budapest. Absolutely beautiful. Open 365 days a week. I learned that some men come every day when the baths open and they sit in the water and play chess against one another for hours. You can see the smallest glimpse of those men in the bottom right hand corner of this picture.

The Széchenyi Baths in Budapest. Absolutely beautiful. Open 365 days a week. I learned that some men come every day when the baths open and they sit in the water and play chess against one another for hours. You can see the smallest glimpse of those men in the bottom right hand corner of this picture.

Amsterdam. This place had special significance because I was able to visit the Anne Frank House and it was also featured in The Fault in Our Stars (which is coming out in theaters this June). It's crazy that I visited Indianapolis AND Amsterdam within a year of reading John Green's book.

Amsterdam. This place had special significance because I was able to visit the Anne Frank House and it was also featured in The Fault in Our Stars (which is coming out in theaters this June). It’s crazy that I visited Indianapolis AND Amsterdam within a year of reading John Green’s book.

We saw Wicked in London. It was quite spectacular and I loved it.

We saw Wicked in London. It was quite spectacular and I loved it.

Overlooking London from the very top of St. Paul's Cathedral. My mother had warned me that it would be a lot of stairs...and it was A. LOT. OF. STAIRS. It was quite a work out. But the view was more than worth it. SO worth it.

Overlooking London from the very top of St. Paul’s Cathedral. My mother had warned me that it would be a lot of stairs…and it was A. LOT. OF. STAIRS. It was quite a work out. But the view was more than worth it. SO worth it.

I've been fascinated with this building ever since my first visit to London. The Gherkin (as it's fondly known) is such a glorious structure. I got to the base and toured the art installations that were placed around this area for the 2013-2014 year.

I’ve been fascinated with this building ever since my first visit to London. The Gherkin (as it’s fondly known) is such a glorious structure. I got to the base and toured the art installations that were placed around this area for the 2013-2014 year.

We took a bus ride around the city to see some of the sights. Unfortunately, I had desperately wanted to ride the London Eye, but it was closed for construction the entire time we were in London. I was still able to admire it from afar though.

We took a bus ride around the city to see some of the sights. Unfortunately, I had desperately wanted to ride the London Eye, but it was closed for construction the entire time we were in London. I was still able to admire it from afar though.

One of the best museums I've been to. Such a glorious set of buildings and gardens. Every angle was interesting and engaging. I could have spent days at the Getty Center. So. Good.

One of the best museums I’ve been to. Such a glorious set of buildings and gardens. Every angle was interesting and engaging. I could have spent days at the Getty Center. So. Good.

I loved seeing Frank Gehry's design. He's a fabulous architect and I enjoyed exploring the exterior of this building.

I loved seeing Frank Gehry’s design. He’s a fabulous architect and I enjoyed exploring the exterior of this building.

This was absolutely the BEST FRENCH TOAST I have ever had. It was some sort of egg brioche that was then covered in frosted flakes and came with a vanilla bean sauce that was heavenly. The fruit was also a fantastic touch.

This was absolutely the BEST FRENCH TOAST I have ever had. It was some sort of egg brioche that was then covered in frosted flakes and came with a vanilla bean sauce that was heavenly. The fruit was also a fantastic touch.

My friend took me to this lights exhibit outside the LACMA. It was fantastically cool and I loved it.

My friend took me to this lights exhibit outside the LACMA. It was fantastically cool and I loved it.

One of my loves: the ocean. Even though the water was a little bit chilly, I couldn't help strolling in the water.

One of my loves: the ocean. Even though the water was a little bit chilly, I couldn’t help strolling in the water.

This was on my journey up the California coast, I drove up the Pacific Coast Highway and got to this beach just in time to watch the sunset. The view was glorious.

This was on my journey up the California coast, I drove up the Pacific Coast Highway and got to this beach just in time to watch the sunset. The view was glorious.

Chinatown in San Francisco. I wandered down the streets before most places were open and it was nice to walk down the streets without very many other people. The emptiness was strangely soothing.

Chinatown in San Francisco. I wandered down the streets before most places were open and it was nice to walk down the streets without very many other people. The emptiness was strangely soothing.

Yes, I am a tourist. And it was my first time seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in person. How could I not take pictures from every angle? I also walked halfway across before getting cold and tired and heading back (I had been up since 5:15am and it was already around 3-4pm when I got to the bridge. I was ready to rest.)

Yes, I am a tourist. And it was my first time seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in person. How could I not take pictures from every angle? I also walked halfway across before getting cold and tired and heading back (I had been up since 5:15am and it was already around 3-4pm when I got to the bridge. I was ready to rest.)

Andrés Neuman was the featured guest of the 2014 Puterbaugh Festival sponsored by World Literature Today. I got the chance to photograph the events and I was also invited to the photoshoot for the magazine cover. It was so cool.

Andrés Neuman was the featured guest of the 2014 Puterbaugh Festival sponsored by World Literature Today. I got the chance to photograph the events and I was also invited to the photoshoot for the magazine cover. It was so cool.

Graduated from the University of Oklahoma with my masters in Professional Writing. Next step: NYC and getting a job in publishing.

Graduated from the University of Oklahoma with my masters in Professional Writing. Next step: NYC and getting a job in publishing.