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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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

 

Nashville

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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Travel

Road Trips| 2016

By on June 23, 2016

ROAD TRIPS

Road trips. I believe there are “road trip people”. My dad and I are like that. We love road trips. I personally just love riding in the car. I have such great memories associated with road trips.

Everything that comes out of a road trips is new memories, new adventures, and new stories to tell. There’s something so exciting but comfortable about being on the interstate and having the freedom to go anywhere you want. And when you get tired of it, you can just go home. New places, new people, but also the comfort of your own car with your stuff.

Now I have never flown in a plane so all I know is road trips. Road trips always make me love my family more (even if we do sometimes drive each other crazy). I can depend on road trips being full of family love.

If you can’t tell, I really love road trips! In fact, I took a road trip today to Nashville!! I’m so excited because I’ve never been. It’s going to be so much fun exploring the city for the next few days. So be on the lookout for travel posts coming next week! How do you feel about road trips?

 

xoxo Ariana

 

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