World Elephant Day

August 12th was World Elephant Day, which is probably one of my favorite “random” holidays. The preservation and protection of the world’s elephants are extremely important, and it’s great that there’s a day dedicated to this area of animal welfare.

In 2017, it was a privilege and my honor to feed, bathe and (ethically) entertain the elephants provided and cared for by the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiangmai, Thailand. While traveling, it’s important to research which companies are truly sanctuaries as opposed to businesses that exploit and harm animals.

I hope to live in a world where all animals are treated with the respect and compassion they deserve ❤️

Bethany

One of my closest friends was in a horrible hit-and-run car accident this weekend. Fortunately, she and her dad are okay, but it was still traumatic and they’re extremely lucky to be alive. Bethany has been through numerous hardships over these past couple of years, and I feel deeply sad that this happened (on top of everything else). I’m grateful that she’s okay and that other things are starting to look up in her life 💛

July Gratitude

July was full of spontaneity, love and laughter. Here are some of my favorite moments from last month:

-my teammates are excited to meet me, and have been giving me pointers on where to live in the city

-good phone calls with great friends, and my favorite cousin

-going to an indoor party for the first time since February 2020

-exploring downtown Detroit; admiring the architecture and fireworks while Linley kept running into things with a big smile on his face

-hanging out on the lake with my best friend and her family (+fast boat rides!)

-overcoming family bullying and past trauma

-finally meeting my former coworkers and spending a lovely weekend with them in Asheville

-a lovely evening stroll through a local riverwalk with Juan and Linley

-my supervisors asking how the move is going and expressing their excitement to meet me in September

-spending the entire morning floating and drinking on the Huron River with one of my best friends

-long conversations with old friends

-taking Linley on spontaneous adventures

-becoming closer with coworkers

-Linley’s kiss attacks!

-laughing and catching up with my home girl Donna on a weekly basis (never a dull moment!)

-when a friend can turn a terrible day into a phenomenal one

-productive mornings

-Linley made an appearance on a company Zoom photo collage

-Linley trying to earn treats simply for being cute on a hot day (and sitting by Sommer and his treat bag on the bench!)

-spending time with the three sweetest kiddos who call me “Aunt Cate”

-Jaclyn saying “well, you’re my sister, so…” ☺️

-girls nights with a best friend in Ann Arbor (strong drinks in new places with old friends!)

-tolerating less bullshit

-a lovely day with Juan and Linley, full of walks and relaxation

-knowing that I will always overcome what’s ahead

Sunday Stroll

I’ve realized that the majority of my evenings have been consumed by river walks with Linley, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! There’s a beautiful park near our neighborhood which allows us to mix up our walking routine every now and then. How have you been changing things up throughout this year and last?

Photos taken Sunday, July 25, 2021

Tubing on the Huron River

Floating (and drinking!) on a river is a quintessential summer activity in Michigan, and was the perfect way to spend last Saturday with one of my best friends.

Donna and I usually hang out every week, and we tend to stick to the same places and pastimes: gin cocktails at a fancy bar. And although there’s nothing wrong with that, I wanted to change things up and float on the Huron River cascades. Yes, I did have a G&T in hand, but still… ☺️

Despite some difficulties with our locker, the inability to maneuver our rafts and the wipeouts that scuffed up our knees and hands, Donna and I had the best time together. We even stayed for an extra two hours than we expected; this is a definite must if you live in or visit the Ann Arbor area!

Donna is the absolute best and I’ll miss her so much when I move. Friends like her are hard to come by, and I’m grateful for her friendship and adventurous spirit ☺️

An Easy Evening Stroll

When people say “it’s the little things in life,” they aren’t wrong. A simple, easy stroll with my husband and pup was just what I needed yesterday evening. After a highly stressful day full of unexpected drama, unwinding by the river with two of my favorite fellas meant the world to me. I hope the three of us can have more spontaneous, relaxing walks together – before and after we move.

Photos taken Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Babbling Brook

I felt like F. Scott Fitzgerald this morning as I meandered along the babbling brook at the Grove Park Inn. Asheville, North Carolina is known for its breathtaking views and enchanting scenery – a wonderful place in which to be immersed in nature. Reading my book and sipping my dirty chai latte was the perfect way to start my day 🙂

The Hardest ‘Goodbye’

One of the most difficult, heartbreaking parts of moving away means saying goodbye (or ta ta for now!) to loved ones. Aniya, my Little Sister of seven years in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, is probably my hardest goodbye.

Entering BBBS, I had no idea what to expect. I knew that I would become a ‘mentor’ for a young child or teen, but didn’t know what to anticipate aside from that generality. At age 20, I was matched with the sweetest, funniest, most adventurous 10 year old I’ve ever known, and am blessed to call her my friend and sister today. I’m not going far, but it still hurts because she has truly taught me more than I could ever teach her. Aniya is my best friend, and I’m going to miss her more than any words can express ❤️

Here are some of our many cherished moments we’ve shared over the years. I’m so proud of the young woman she’s become, and am grateful that Aniya will always be in my life, as my Sister 🥲

Travel Besties

As we begin a new month, I’ve been reflecting on my best friends who love travel as much as me. Here are some photos of my favorite adventurers ☺️

Saskia

Hamburg, Germany (March 2016)

Carolyn

Chicago (Summer 2015)
Boston (February 2018)

Katy

Manhattan, NYC (Summer 2017)
Staten Island, NYC (Summer 2017)

Bethany

Blue Lagoon, Iceland (May 2018)

Aniya

Cedar Point (Fall 2017)

Juan

Mont Saint-Michel, France (Summer 2014)

Lin!

Ann Arbor (Summer 2019)
Pictured Rocks (Summer 2020)

Lake Life

There’s nothing better than a Michigan summer evening on the lake! One of my best friends, Donna, invited me out on her dad’s boat and we had the best time together. Her family has become a second family to me, and we enjoyed an evening speeding on the lake and floating with the best view of the sunset. Nothing feels better than this ☺️