College | Lifestyle | Travel

2016 RECAP

By on January 3, 2017

Wow, I cant believe it’s already a new year! 2016 was a big year for me. So many amazing, incredible, once in a lifetime things happened to me and I’m so blessed for it all! Let’s have a recap, shall we?

 

Things that happened in 2016:

  • Turned 20 years old
  • Met Sadie Robertson at her book signing which resulted in the funniest picture EVER
  • The Panthers made it to the Super Bowl (gotta represent the home team!)
  • Graduated with a 2 year degree (at the same time my cousin graduated with hers!)
  • Baby sister turned 16 *cries*

  • Traveled to Nashville for the first time (You can read about it here,here, and here!)
  • Got accepted into my #1 school
  • Road tripped with my mom, sister, and best friend to Atlanta to meet Kian &JC on tour
  • Got Abby hooked on Teen Wolf
  • Took my sister with myself and Abby to soundcheck at the 5SOS concert
  • Went with my family to see Lindsey Stirling perform the next day (read about both concerts here!)

  • Had all four of my wisdom teeth removed
  • Traveled to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where I check off a life bucket list item of eating at Cafe Du Monde
  • Had the annual family beach trip to Sanibel immediately after

  • FREAKED OUT over the PLL summer finale
  • Got obsessed with a handful of amazing new television shows
  • Celebrated my one year blogiversary!
  • Babysat A TON (and I wouldn’t have had it any other way, love those kiddos!)
  • Traveled back to Atlanta with my dad and sister for Dragon Con (and met some of Hollywood’s finest)

  • Started my first semester at my new school
  • Took a “Children’s Literature” course that was about comic books and superheroes and the homework was to watch the correlating superhero movies (a dream come true in the college world, at least for me)
  • Took a family weekend trip to Boone

  • Baby sister learned to drive (again *cries*)
  • Voted in my first presidential election
  • Best friend got accepted into Hogwarts (delivered by a special anonymous owl *wink wink*)
  • Had a MAGICALLY WONDERFUL time at the happiest place on earth!!! (Magic Kingdom and Epcot!)
  • Developed a new love for Star Wars
  • Started learning Italian (buongiorno!)
  • Made all A’s and B’s
  • Celebrated a wonderful and very merry Christmas at home with my favorite people in the entire world

And just like that, it’s a new year!  A whole new year full of new experiences, new people, new places, new knowledge, new accomplishments. I am QUITE excited about this new year. I feel different about it, different than I ever have. I feel like some big things are going to happen this next year. Maybe not big to other people, but big for me. And I’m ready, ready take this year on head first! Let’s do this 2017!

What is something you are looking forward to in the new year?

xoxo Ariana

P.S.

Helene in Between
This post was part of Helene’s (from heleneinbetween.com) link up party! Thank you so much for hosting this Helene!! It was my first link-up EVER so I already have a New Year’s Resolution checked off  ✔

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Lifestyle | Travel

DISNEY MOMENTS: EPCOT | 2016

By on January 1, 2017

Happy New Year everybody! I hope everyone stayed safe and enjoyed ringing in the new year with people you love! I will have a recap of 2016 up on the blog on Tuesday so look out for that! But today, I have a recap of our day at Epcot a month ago! (Read about our day at the Magic Kingdom!

I know it’s been a couple weeks since the trip but honestly. Finals happened, Christmas happened, just busy life happened. And that’s okay because I have had fun looking back on these pictures (even though it was literally a month ago) and I miss Disney even more! Let’s get on to more Disney Moments in Epcot, shall we?!

We arrived at the gates bright and early, right when they opened. Right when we walked in, Daisy had just walked up so we just took a quick picture with her! It was actually kind of chilly in the morning and I have NEVER been cold in Florida.

Immediately after this we rode Spaceship Earth (the big golf ball) because there was absolutely no wait. We basically were the only people on the ride, which was so cool. I remember riding this as a kid and not really getting it. Actually I felt quite bored. But as an adult and with my best friend, it was actually so cool! One of my favorite parts of the day!

Just like Magic Kingdom, Epcot was decked out for Christmas too. I loved the huge tree, especially the tree topper. The first ride we did was Mission Space, which was one of my favorites when I was little. It was exactly how I remembered it and so so fun. (Just an FYI, it’s not for the faint of heart so LISTEN to all the health warnings they give you at least 500 times before the actual ride.)

We rode the Finding Nemo Ride and Disney Moment: It was soooooo much fun. Both of us love Finding Nemo and genuinely had so much fun on the ride. Then walking around the aquarium, we walked up to this huge tank and couldn’t see anything. We were trying to figure out what animal was in it when a dolphin swam right past my face! I was so surprised and happy y’all. I love dolphins, they are one of my absolute faaaaaaavorite animals ever. Do you have that favorite animal that you often forget is your favorite? But then when you see it, you’re so amazed and in awe and excited that it brings tears to your eyes? No, just me?? Well that’s dolphins for me. Her name was Kyper and she was beautiful!! We also saw some turtles (Abby’s favorite) and manatees! It was so cool, we probably could have stayed in their for hours. We came to Disney and were amazed by sea animals, the irony.

Disney Moment: The Disney worker offered to take our picture and this was where I started to suspect Disney (well Epcot) must have a deal with Nikon or have something against Canon (which is what I use). He offered to take our picture but when he saw my camera he (jokingly) said, Nooo I can’t use a Canon! We were kind of confused but he laughed and said he was kidding!

I also noticed a lot of signs posted around the park for “Nikon Photo Spots”.

We traveled over to England for a bit and I got so excited! We saw this gorgeous heron which surprised a girl in the courtyard when it flew away, it was quite hilarious. We saw a sign that said Mary Poppins was going to be there in like five minutes so we stayed. She was so sweet, talked to me about the color pink (My favorite) and how it reminded her of a chalk drawing Bert did just the other day! She was the best!

By this time, we didn’t really have any fast passes to use so we were on our own time. We kept walking through the countries, just taking it all in. I loved walking around to the other countries and seeing the difference in all of them!

Abby spotted Belle down by the water in France and we literally ran to her. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite princess movie (soooo excited for the new one in March!) and meeting her was number one on our (my) list for the day!! She even said au revoir to me as we left!

Next up we hit Morocco! It was amazing with the smells, the food, the colors, the music, everything! It was really cool to walk through! We also heard this dad and his kids beating on the drums and they were so good that I didn’t even realize at first it was a track being played!

 

By this time, we were starting to get pretty hungry. If you didn’t know, Epcot has 10 (I think) different countries around the lagoon. If you don’t know, I’m obsessed with Italy. One day, I’m going to travel there. But for now, I’m just learning Italian in school and visiting via Disney World. Let me tell you. I got so giddy just walking in! I felt like I had been transported! We ate at Via Napoli. Abby got spaghetti and meatballs (a classic, can’t go wrong, was very tasty). I got the Chicken Parmesan. IT WAS THE BEST I HAD EVER TASTED. Abby ate half of it because as you can see it was huge. We also both ate some of the spaghetti. And our waitress was so nice! All of the waitstaff was from Italy and she was from this little town on the island of Sardegna. She told us about it and that not very many people have heard of it. It’s a beautiful island and I was so happy that she told us about it!

Photo of Sardegna// source

After we met Anna and Elsa in Norway, we knew that Alice was going to be in England so we headed back that way. We were a little bit early and there was a live band playing so we just sat down and listened for a little bit. The band was called British Revolution and they played quite a few good oldies, all of which I knew! They weren’t really bad either. The sun was starting to set and it was really such a Disney Moment. I sat there looking at every one all around me, dancing, having a great time, without a care in the world. Everyone there was so happy. Good vibes everywhere. There was this beautiful family near us with two little girls. The girls just danced their hearts out, their mom and dad were so happy, and it was such a Disney moment. I loved it.

Alice in Wonderland was one of my faaaaaavorite cartoons growing up. I watched it endlessly. I was really really reaaaaally excited to meet her! I was pleasantly surprised when i walked up and she talked EXACTLY like the cartoon! Her voice, how much, and how quickly she talked! It was incredible! Definitely one of my favorite moments of the day!

We had a fastpass to meet Mickey, Goofy, and Minnie which was super fun! This was when I finally figured out that Epcot really did have something against Canon because the guy who took our pictures with Mickey asked me “Are you guys pirates?” and we both looked at each other like what?! Did he actually say pirates?! So Abby said “Pirates?” and He said “Well because you guys are using a Canon” to which we rolled our eyes and laughed at.

We kinda just sat around until our fastpass for Soarin’, which was another one I had never been on before! It was SO COOL. It was full of Disney magic and also a Disney Moment in itself. It was amazing. We were getting hungry again and it had gotten a lot more crowded than it was earlier. We ended up eating cheeseburgers in America (which were delicious) and then we went to find seats for the fireworks. We were really tired and after the sun set it got cold.

(I am aware of the terrible quality of those last photos, I apologize)

The fireworks were really cool! It was so amazing to be there with Abby. I am so thankful and grateful to have been able to go on this trip with her and Heather, Jack, and Mckenzie! It was so much fun and way too short. I know I will remember it forever and we will have plenty more trips just as amazing in the future!

Also, check out my video of meeting Baymax on Instagram! The link is in the sidebar!

If you stayed this long, I congratulate you. Thank you! What is your favorite Disney park? or better yet, what is your favorite trip you have ever been on! Please let me know in the comments!

xoxo Ariana

 

 

 

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Lifestyle | Travel

DISNEY MOMENTS | 2016

By on December 12, 2016

Disney Moments. You don’t know until it happens. In a Disney Moment, you are overcome with joy. There is happiness, love, and goodness on everyone’s faces. You wish you could snapshot that instant that you realize its happening. Sometimes you catch it in a photograph but it’s never the same as in the moment, much like many other moments in life. You want to remember that exact moment, how it felt, how it looked, and even how it smelled sometimes.

I’m going to share with you many of my Disney moments from my trip to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

The place where dreams truly do come true. I could honestly go on and on and ON about my affection for Walt Disney. Maybe I’ll do a post on it sometime in the future! But I know why you’re here, you wanna see pictures!! And boy oh boy do I have pictures. We woke up at the crack of dawn to be there when the gates open! I honestly felt like I was back in my eight year old body riding the monorail for the first time. Wonder, anticipation, excitement, and pure joy in my eyes, my hands, my feet. There is nothing like it!

It took less than 10 minutes for Disney Moment number one. We walked right in, we got our Minnie ears and to our surprise, Minnie was right in front of the Christmas tree (which is the Christmas tree dreams are made of honestly)! Also, while we were in line, the trolley came by with dancers who were singing Christmas songs right in front of the train station! Everyone was so happy, it was a beautiful day, I was with my best friend celebrating her birthday and our friends Heather and Jack with their daughter McKenzie, who all had never been before. It made tears swell in my eyes because I was just so happy to be there in that moment!

Heather, who you saw in my Universal photos, has the most adorable little girl McKenzie, who ran straight into Minnie’s arms! I’m SO happy I caught this magical moment in general but also for Heather! It reminds me of the old Disney commercials that played when I was little! THIS is a Disney Moment. McKenzie will love this picture when she grows up!

These are some of my FAVORITE photos from the trip. It was amazing! One of my favorite things about Disney World is that the characters take time with each and every member of your group. Not just the kids either! Minnie danced and played with me and Abby! We were celebrating Abby’s birthday and every character made her experience special! The worker taking pictures told us to kiss Minnie on the cheek and I’m pretty sure this is mine AND Abby’s favorite picture from the whole trip!

Disney Moment: I remember while taking these pictures an overwhelming joy. I was in Disney with my BEST FRIEND for her first time! You can clearly see the happiness pouring out of this photo.

Disney Moment: Walt Disney is one of my favorite people in history (ever since I did a book report on his biography in the 4th grade)  and seeing this stature, almost made me emotional again! It’s so incredible how one man dreamed of all of this and it became so much bigger than he ever anticipated!

My mom’s favorite is Winnie the Pooh so I was happy to see Pooh and Tigger!

And of course we had to ride The Haunted Mansion! Cue the next…

Disney Moment: Immediately after The Haunted Mansion, Abby heard music and saw floats (it was kind of a blur) and Heather, Abby, and I sprinted to the street to see the parade! We instantly turned into 5 year olds, trying to find the best spot, running, laughing, waving to our favorite characters!

DOUBLE Disney Moment: All five of us rode Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, Abby and I in the front, Heather, Jack, and McKenzie in the back. The front has a switch that controls the up and down of the carpet. If you don’t know, there is a camel figure that spits out water and if you’re not careful, you could put your carpet directly in front of it! Well Abby controlled the switch and accidentally put us in front of it twice! I just remember us laughing our heads off uncontrollably because it got all over Jack and Abby! I looked down and saw the lady in the booth, who helped us to out carpet, looking up at everyone and at us with the biggest smile on her face! It was such a happy moment.

Right after that, we got in line to meet Aladdin and Jasmine. Abby had been talking about this moment all day. Aladdin is her favorite movie and this was all she wanted to do! Watching Aladdin and Jasmine interact with everyone was so cool but I was just so happy for Abby when it was her turn! Look at her cheesing! Its the cutest picture ever! (Also, Aladdin has that crooked smile down pat!)

Meeting Tiana was probably my favorite character of the day! She was so welcoming, so easy to talk to, and just so fun!

Disney World is magical. I really think it’s like a whole other world. It feels like you’ve stepped into a world where time doesn’t really exist. Everyone is so happy there. It’s the place where you can ask strangers to take your picture, no matter how strange, and it’s totally fine! It’s not weird to be a child even if you are wayyyy past that. It’s acceptable to sing loudly, to run to a parade, or cry happy tears over your favorite characters.

 

“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” -Walt Disney

 

Have you ever been to Disney? What’s your favorite Disney moment?!

 

xoxo Ariana

 

 

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Lifestyle | Travel

MOUNTAIN TRIP

By on October 29, 2016

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Every year, in October, my family, grandparents, and my mom’s brother’s family all go on a trip together to celebrate my Grandpa’s birthday. For about five years in a row, we went to Boone (which we love) and the past couple years we went to other places. This year, we all just felt Boone tuggin’ on our hearts cause we love it so and that’s where we went!

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It was peak week, which means that its peak point of the leaves changing color! And let me tell you, it was gorgeous! It was also actually cold!! It hasn’t properly turned fall yet here in NC (it’s even supposed to be 85 degrees tomorrow)

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The weekend was filled with good food, long heart to hearts with my beautiful cousin Kelsey, along with almost catching a chair on fire and laughing til we cry, tons of marshmallows, photography adventures with Grandpa, hot apple cider, and family. My happy place!

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Grandpa found this old church that had been there since 1852 and an old cemetery. The sun came out right when we got there. I just love this picture, I think it turned out so nice!

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I look forward to this weekend every year. Its a designated time to spend time together and connect as a family. It’s fun to see our family grow over the years and how we have all grown and changed. Family is everything!

What are your favorite family traditions?

xoxo Ariana

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Letting My Inner Geek Out

By on September 11, 2016

 

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Geek. A word that is commonly used as a stereotype. For example, geeks are typically deemed as super smart but no common sense or extremely nonathletic or having terrible social skills. The key word in all of this is stereotype. Everybody geeks out about something! History, books, comic books and super heroes, movies, science, musicals, heck you could even geek out about makeup if that’s something you’re really into! Literally everyone geeks out about something. Me? I geek out about quite a few things but I’m proud of it! Most everyone loves the Marvel superhero movies, or The Flash, or oh my gosh STAR WARS! You may even geek out without really realizing but that’s the beauty of it!

Disclaimer: Very excited discussion of The Flash, The 100, and other shows ahead. 

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Last weekend, I had the prime opportunity to let my inner geek out when I accompanied my sister and my dad to Dragon Con in Atlanta. My sister was given prepaid tickets for the weekend for her birthday and I found out that some of the cast from The 100 were going to be there so naturally that made me more inclined to join them! We woke up at 5:00 AM on Saturday morning and drove four hours down to Atlanta. We missed The 100 panel (but it was okay!) and got caught in downtown traffic a little bit. Even so, once we parked and got through the registration line (which was surprisingly very quick and organized!)

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The line behind us

We made our way to the Flash/Arrow panel, mainly because my sister loves Carlos Valdes (who plays Cisco Ramon on the The Flash) and I wanted to guarantee that she got to be in the same room as him! My whole family loves all the DC comic shows so we were excited too! The panel also had Violette Beane (Jessie), Teddy Sears (Jay) and Summer Glau (who played Isabel on Arrow). The panel was great, the cast were so nice and funny, and Serena loved every minute of it!

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The host of the panel said the cast was going to something called the Walk of Fame, where all the guests had booths set up and you could take pictures, get autographs (pictures and autographs typically cost something though), and have conversations with them! So once we finally figured out where it was, we found Carlos’ booth and got in line. There was an overflow line but we didn’t mind the long wait because seeing my sister so happy, bright-eyed, and excited was more than worth it! (keep in mind though we literally had not eaten since about 7:30 and it was now probably just after 2:00 so we were dragging a bit)

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Carlos Valdes!

I wish I had the moment on video. I have never seen her happier than this moment! So each guest had a person assigned to their booth to keep the lines moving and in check. They all wore light up antennas so they were easy to spot. We will call them “line movers”. We were just talking to Carlos’ line mover about how this was Serena’s birthday present. Well when we finally got to meet him, He gave her the BIGGEST bear hug, told her happy birthday, and talked to her before taking a picture with her! He was literally the NICEST guy!!

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Lindsey Morgan!

After that, we milled around the Walk of Fame, saw some of the cast from Legends of Tomorrow at their tables, and I found Lindsey Morgan’s table! She is Raven from The 100 and one of my favorites. She was super nice and beautiful as always! Her booth was next to Sachin Sahel (Jackson) and Jarod Joseph (Miller) and I witnessed a beautiful moment of Sachin asking Jarod to video catching and putting on a Captain America shield that the girl behind me in line made!

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Sachin Sahel and the Captain America Shield!

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By this time, it was getting late into the afternoon, we were starving and tired, so we just got McDonald’s and went to the hotel. We face-timed mom and then we were all so tired we were in bed and going to sleep by 9:30. Y’ALL. I’m a college student and an adult and I was in bed asleep by 10. What. Also, we only slept for about two hours before the FIRE ALARM went off and everyone evacuated. Only to find out it was a false alarm and there was no fire so yeah, that was fun.

The next morning, we woke up early-ish, went through registration again (my dad and I only got one day passes for each day). It was wayyyyyy less of a crowd than the day before by like a million. (That’s an exaggeration but it works for effect). We went to check out the vendor exhibits, which were basically three floors of people selling everything and anything to do with comics, cartoons, superheroe’s, sci-fi, fantasy, you name it and they probably had it. After shopping around, we found a Dominoes stand. You could have probably heard the angels singing. It was amazing pizza and just what we needed. We also were smart and stopped at a Walgreen’s before we got to downtown and stocked up on snacks and water!

After this, we went back to the Walk of Fame because I realllllyyy wanted to meet Bob Morley (Bellamy Blake on The 100). Be prepaerd: slight fangirling ahead. He is just basically, kinda sorta, my favorite character on the show. I got there and was like 3rd in line. I chatted with the other girls and we prepaid for some photos, but Bob took a lunch break so they said if we came back with our post-it receipt, they would let us to the front of the line. We will return to Bob shortly.

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Falk Hentschel and Casper Crump!

We took a picture with Falk Hentschel (Hawkman) and talked to him for a minute. He was so nice and just as amazing as he is on Legends of Tomorrow! When we went to take our picture, Casper Crump (Vandal Savage) came up behind us and photobombed! We also talked to Eddie McClintock and Allison Scagliotti from Warehouse 13 and they were both really nice too! Eddie was hilarious and gave us all hugs! We also managed to squeeze in line to see Caity Lotz (Sarah Lance) and she was so pretty and kind to us!

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So I went back to Bob’s table at this time and I was super nervous. My face was already flushed. I made friends again with people in line and they were all so nice! One of the girls in front of me asked him to dress as Harry Potter for a photo and later on I heard that he said that was one of his favorite moments of the weekend! He immediately ran over to the rest of the cast and “cast a spell”!

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Bob Morley!!

Once it was my turn, he asked my name and where I was from. I told him that he was my favorite and how nice it was to meet him. We chatted for a few moments and then he signed my picture, took a picture with me, and he hugged me. It was the most glorious five minutes of my life. He was honestly so so nice and genuine and I made sure to tell him thank you!

After this, we tried to hit another panel but it wrapped three times around the building so we went to a Star Trek show instead. It was fun, I had done and met everyone I wanted to and more! My family was happy, I was happy, and funny enough I actually felt like I was in a dream. None of us really wanted to check back into reality! We stopped at Chili’s on the way home and I fell asleep in the car. The next day was dad’s birthday so the whole weekend served as a double celebration of birthdays! I know in years to come, we will look back on this weekend and never stop smiling about it!

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Sunset

I had never been to any sort of convention before (of the comic book kind). I was a bit nervous of how much I would actually enjoy because I felt out of my element. But I surprised myself by warming up to everything, talking to people I didn’t even know and also people I admired, and actually had an AMAZING time. Every single guest was so kind and genuine. Everything was pretty organized. It was all about the fans and it was great. This will definitely be one for the books!

Have you ever been to a convention? What’s your favorite superhero? Or what’s your favorite show? What do YOU geek out about?   xoxo Ariana

 

 

 

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Vacay Recap: NOLA and Florida |2016

By on August 22, 2016

ROADRUNNER

As you guys know, this girl loves a road trip and loves to travel. (Maybe not so much a 12 hour drive less than a week after having wisdom teeth removed but its all good anyways). My dad had a trip to Louisiana so we piled into the car and started our vacation early. After he was done with his business trip, we took a quick overnight trip to New Orleans because why not?! It was eye-opening, fun, hot and humid, and a good little side trip!

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Of course the main thing we had to hit up was Cafe Du Monde, the most popular coffee shop in the world! It was wayyyyyy to hot and sticky to drink coffee so we all got ourselves some nice cold drinks and had yummmmmmyyy beignets!! They were honestly the best things ever. If I remember correctly, its the French way to make doughnuts. So amazing.

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The next morning we woke up and walked down to see the Mississippi River in the daylight and walk around Jackson Square. There amazing artists out, a lot of live music, you know the good ole’ jazz you come to New Orleans for. It was still really hot for it being like 9:30 in the morning but that’s water under the bridge. I would have loved to take a ferry ride but we sadly didn’t have time for one! Next time I’m there, a ferry ride is on my to-do list!

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After that, we were off the Florida and on our way to our piece of paradise, Sanibel Island! Gosh, I love that place. Every time I’m there, I literally never want to leave. I always picture what would happen if I just stayed there. But that being said, I don’t know if I have the guts to do that (yet).

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We stopped at Walmart to get food and got caught in a MASSIVE storm and raced it to the island.

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We had a very relaxing and enjoyable trip! We had ice cream by the pool, on the beach, homemade pizza (some of the best pizza EVER),found some AMAZING shells (even if we couldn’t keep them all because they were home to a couple of sea critters), got a couple books read, enjoyed some tanning and just being by the ocean. I swear, the ocean is really the best therapy, at least for me. I do my best thinking there, I feel at peace there, and that all my worries and troubles will be okay. Aside from a storm every after noon, it was a fairly sunny trip! It’s Florida, the weather changes just like that, it’s expected. However, one of these storms did make the fire alarm go off in the unit next to ours (no fire, just short circuited!). I wish I could go back but…. until next year!

 

Also, I hope every one has a great back to school week! I start this week and I’m really excited and amped for this semester! Feel free to leave a comment and tell me about your vacation this summer!

xoxo Ariana

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Kian and JC: Don’t Try This At Home Tour

By on July 27, 2016

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So my amazingly wonderful best friend, Abby, got us tickets to see two YouTubers we really like, Kian and JC as a graduation present! So earlier this month, my mom, sister, Abby, traveled to Atlanta for the show! She also snagged some meet and greet tickets so we got to meet them and get a picture! OH and get a copy of their new book, Don’t Try This At Home!  (wink wink).

It was SO hot in Atlanta, like I was melting after ten minutes of waiting outside. They even started giving out cups of water it was so hot. We only waited about an hour before they started letting people in. While we were waiting, one of the guys’ friends, Dom was playing DJ and playing a bunch of music. It was so loud and I had a headache but I was going with the flow and just trying to focus on meeting the guys! We even got a picture with Dom and he was really cool and chill. We finally got up to meet the guys and it was actually pretty nerve-wracking! Like, I got really nervous all in like five minutes. But then we met them, a guy took pictures with our phones (and took 38 burst photos on mine woah) and we talked to them for literally like a second. It was kinda rushed but also kinda expected. I looked at JC and told him to have a good rest of the day and he smiled and said “Thanks, you too” so that was a plus!

The show was great! It was so hot, we stood close to the stage so people were pushing and screaming so that was a bit annoying but again. Just tried to focus on the guys. The guys were so funny and great with the crowd, the crowd was responsive, and overall it was just a fun time! It was cool to see them in real life rather than just our laptop screens.

After the show, we went back to the hotel, ate some quick food, and then went straight to bed. It was a long, hot day! Then we traveled all the way back home the next morning, after a stop at Waffle House of course! We both read the book on the way home, which is filled with fun stories and cool pictures so you should check it out!

I’m so blessed and thankful that I got to have this opportunity and that I could experience it with my best friend! I’ll always have this great memory and now it’s documented so we can look back on it! Thank you so much Abby!

xoxo Ariana

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Travel

Nashville: Days 4 & 5

By on July 18, 2016

The last post of the Nashville trip! The next day, we actually didn’t do much. We stayed in the room for awhile, just veggin’ out, went for a swim, and then just hung out. We were so tired, we really needed that day to rest. So starting on Saturday, after dad got done with his stuff, we went to lunch at Johnny Rockets. Now I’m a fan of like old fashion diners, diner food, Cookout, etc. Which is exactly what Johnny Rockets was. I had seen in earlier in the week and was just dying to go there. I had a classic cheeseburger, with fries, and a Dr. Pepper. But you can’t eat there without a milkshake right? So I got a strawberry milkshake too (yuuuum!).

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Then we toured the Grand Ole Opry! We originally weren’t planning on it, but we thought hey, when you’re in Nashville, why not? It was actually pretty cool! I recommend it even if you don’t think you will be interested in it!

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My parents had to attend a dinner so my sister and I just hung out at the hotel, got some frozen yogurt, and took a boat ride! Since the Jungle Book was a theme, Baloo was our narrator throughout the ride, which was cool! And we also watched another fountain show. (Who would have know that water matched with lights and fun music would be so entertaining?)

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The next day, also the day we were leaving, we woke up and packed up the car. There were a few places we wanted to see before we actually left. There was a Dukes of Hazzard Museum literally one minute from our hotel that I wanted to go to with my dad. There was a time when I would watch that show all the time with my dad and I was actually obsessed with it! It was just a feel good country show and I really liked it. So we went, I got a General Lee ball cap and it was actually so fun!

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                                                                                               Dixie!!!  

I also wanted to go to the John Siegenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, which has a great view of the city skyline. I LOVED it. As a blogger/avid picture taker/person who likes Instagram, this was something I really wanted to see! Maybe no one else really got it but thankfully my family is awesome and went anyway. I must just take after my Grandpa and like to find great picture spots!

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One of these buildings has the nickname of the Batman building, can you guess which one it is?!

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I will say, parking is a little difficult (we had trouble with the meter) and maybe don’t go on the bridge in the middle of the day in June, its basically a workout in the desert plus humidity. Slightly miserable temperature wise but very nice views! I still loved it!

 

Then we got some food in our bellies and headed back home. I took this nice photo of the sunset in standstill traffic that I just LOVE! No filter, just God’s natural beauty over the mountains and a field. I absolutely love where I live!

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That wraps up the Nashville trip! I hope you enjoyed these posts! Where do you like to visit in Nashville?

xoxo Ariana

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Travel

Nashville: Day 2

By on July 11, 2016

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The next day we woke up excited and ready to explore Nashville! My sister really likes the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan, so her number one thing she wanted to do was the Parthenon in Centennial Park. So once we got rolling, we had the best day!

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The Parthenon you guys. It was HUGE. It looks so massive and out of place in the middle of the city! But it was so cool and one of the highlights of the trip. It was a beautiful day too! (though 90 degrees with a heat index of 107, meaning it felt about 20 degrees hotter than it actually was)

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We had to walk to the other side to get to the entrance and heard singing! I thought it was like a choir or something but no, it was actually a group of teenagers who had just congregated on the steps and were singing Amazing Grace and other worship songs! This made my day, it is so cool to see people praising God on such a beautiful day together! It still gives me goosebumps!

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Inside, we learned about the history of the building and a centennial fair exposition held in the park about a hundred years ago! There was also a huge art gallery downstairs with beautiful paintings.

Then. We found the main attraction, the 49 foot statue of the goddess Athena. These pictures can never do it justice, it was so huge. I felt like a tiny little ant in this room and if she came alive, she would squish me. (This room was also in the Percy Jackson movie so my sister was really excited about this part and I was too). Those doors are also massive and straight up bronze. Like legit bronze.

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We also wanted to see the nice park so we walked around for a bit. They had a beautiful flower garden (which again the pictures do not do justice!).

Now let me tell you. Remember that heat index I was talking about? Not even a joke. I was in denim overalls with a little backpack on. I thought I was just gonna melt right there. It was SO HOT. We even saw a man with a snow cone stand and tried to get one, but by the time we got there he had left (major sad faces).

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After the Parthenon, I really wanted to find the popular “I Believe In Nashville” mural to get cute pics (you know, to keep up that Insta game) and literally, it was so hard. Okay not actually, but we struggled. first I couldn’t find the actual address because the one I found on Pinterest was just a general address. And you know, not being from there, that makes it a little more difficult for us to find it. So I just put the main road in the iPhone maps and figured we would just be able to see it.  After like 10 minutes of driving, I finally had the genius idea to just Google the address (duh Ariana). So we put it in and drove clear across town for 20 minutes. Then we circled because we couldn’t find it. THEN I realized I put in like 23rd street when it was actually like 13th street, which was all the way BACK where we were before. But after that funny half hour, it was fine. We found the mural AND the cupcake ATM that I had wanted to find too!

We also ate at this place called Edley’s Bar-B-Que which wasn’t exactly what I wanted but I was dying for a drink cause it was a trillion degrees outside. I got a grilled cheese with potato salad. Now, I’m not usually a potato salad eater but it was so hot and potato salad was cold so that’s why I ordered it. I couldn’t stand the thought of anything hot. I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted it because it was THE BEST potato salad I have ever had. SO GOOD. I would 10/10 recommend this place, I loved the vibe, the people, and the food was so amazing. It felt like just a chill, country, BBQ place. Which was nice, because it felt like home too. From what I understand, there are multiple locations in Nashville but we ate at the one in 12 South, so shoutout to them!

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Bruschetta Appetizer
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Herb-Grilled Salmon with vegetables and mashed potatoes
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Mom’s Flounder with Broccoli and Rice

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It was so hot and by this time it was like 2:00, so we decided to go back to the hotel, maybe take a dip in the pool (which we did, literally) and rest awhile. We planned on one of the nights eating at this place I looked up called the Aquarium Restaurant. If you go to this place, get there EARLY. We got there around 7 and the wait was an hour and forty five minutes. Granted, there were a few conventions going on in our hotel, which shared the same general area as the mall with the restaurant, so there was probably more people than normal. We walked around the mall until it was time to go in. This place was SO cool. It was kind of expensive (the website has the menu and prices) but so worth the wait and the money. The food was AMAZING. Honestly, the best salmon I have ever had in my life. Our waitress was so cool and fun to talk to. It was just a really cool experience.

 

This was my favorite day of the whole trip. Everyone just had a really good time and it was great to hang out with my family. I’ll be back with the last part of the trip soon! Until then,

 

xoxo Ariana

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Travel

Nashville: Day 1 (Road trip & Hotel)

By on June 29, 2016

 

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As you know by my last post, I love road trips. Which also means, I just took one! My dad has business trips quite a bit and he got one to go to Nashville and asked if we wanted go! To which we said, HECK YEAH! I don’t know why I was so excited, but I actually was. I’m not a huge country music person (but I do like it/occasionally listen to it/like the history), it’s not my ideal place to travel, but I have been in such a travel-y mood here lately. I just want adventure, to see new places, and the opportunity presented itself for me to go somewhere I had never been! Of course I was going to take the chance. So over the next few posts I’m gonna share my trip! Sidenote: These photos (and maybe some videos) are taken from my DSLR camera, iPhone, and snapchat and will be mixed together. I’ll try not to overload you with too many pictures!

We started our drive at 7:30 in the morning, got a bacon egg and cheese bagel from McDonald’s (yuuuum) and headed out! The drive through Asheville and the mountains was so beautiful and amazing. We arrived at our amazing hotel the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Now I had looked it up before and knew that it was big, but you don’t realize how big until you are there. I’m telling you, it was BIG. So big, I’m gonna spend this whole post just on the hotel. Not even kidding, it was basically the Disney World of Nashville. We were completely amazed and impressed with this hotel. After we got settled in and all of our luggage into the room, we spent 3 or 4 hours just walking around and exploring (aka one of my favorite parts of staying in hotels: exploring!)

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This hotel y’all. It had three atriums, one was off the main lobby with restaurants, one was the garden observatory, and the last was the biggest. It had restaurants, a boat ride, shops, and a huge fountain that had fountain light shows every night starting at six. There was honestly so much to do, it was great! There was a pizzeria so we ate pizza and got to see one of the fountain shows.

 

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They had SummerFest going on around the hotel and it was Jungle Book themed (I’m assuming its because of the recently released movie!) so they had animal topiary’s all over the hotel and a Jungle Book themed boat ride in addition to the regular hotel ride.

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I honestly think I could have walked around and taken pictures of the hotel for a whole day at all hours! I love taking pictures.

 

That’s it for day one! I hope it wasn’t too picture heavy haha. Where would you take a road trip to?

 

xoxo Ariana

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