Perusing the streets (and past memories) of Paris

With the COVID-19 chaos among us, all I can think of is traveling. Last Monday I was supposed to venture off to Banff National Park for some solo adventuring, yet here I am soaking up some sun on my couch…

While I may not be educating myself on wolf-dogs, tubing down mountains or glacier hiking, I am currently lost in past travels. I recently spoke with one of my best friends who I met while we studied in France, so I’ll continue my French-inspired posts for now.

One of my favorite photos from the weekend…

Carolyn and I spent one weekend in Paris during over summer abroad; for both good and bad reasons, it was a weekend we’ll never forget. I can only explain our weekend mishaps by sharing a piece of my matron of honor speech from September 2019:

“During our time in France, there was only one moment when I feared that Carolyn wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore. We were lost in Paris for a while, wandering the outskirts in the middle of the night. Let’s just say that it brought out the worst in us. Our phones weren’t working and we had no clue how or when we would find our way back.

For once, there were no stories about our significant others, no rants about Veronique and her subpar cooking, and most importantly, no laughter. Thankfully, things went back to normal once we found our hotel, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.

In fact, we’ve had a reunion every year since that summer, and in 2015 we were also lost in Chicago late at night. We laughed while we struggled to find our way back to the hotel, and it brought me back to that hectic night in Paris.”

I hope you’re all staying safe, healthy and happy with your loved ones (and favorite TV series!) ❤️

January Jazz

We’re one month into the new year and 2020 has already proven to be a roller coaster. Despite being hit with a viral infection during the holidays and the flu last weekend, January was a fantastic month overall! 
In early January, Juan was finally able to meet two of my closest friends from work, Zachary and Bethany. That might seem crazy, but I actually live two hours away from our headquarters. And THAT is the crazy part 🙂 
The four of us went to the Purple Door Tea Room in Ferndale, Michigan to celebrate Zachary’s birthday the fanciest way possible. The tea was nice and all, but we were still hungry and obviously needed to visit the Detroit Cookie Co. for the goods! 
Après cookies à la mode, we walked around the Detroit Zoo to see the infamous Zoo Lights show. It was nice because I’ve never been to this festival with Juan, and it was awesome to have such a good evening with great friends. 

Another cool thing I did in early January was visit Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern for some upbeat, eclectic jazz music. The secret is out: I LOVE JAZZ!!! Seeing two unique bands perform – who have clearly been friends since they were in diapers – was a fun, ‘dance like no one’s watching’ experience. I highly recommend this bar if you’re ever in Toronto. 

The jazz continued throughout the month as I recently bought an alto saxophone, which is an instrument I’ve wanted to play for over ten years! I’m slowly but surely getting the hang of it… 
My inspiration grew even more because Juan and I treated my parents to a birthday dinner at Cliff Bell’s, Detroit’s best jazz club (and one of my all-time favorite spots on earth!). The four of us had an unforgettable night together – we’re still talking about it as though it happened yesterday! 
Aside from all the jazz music and Detroit shenanigans, I’ve also been blessed to have quality time with some of my best friends. I was able to see two of my best friends from college, KayLee and Madison, earlier in the month as well as one of my best friends from home, Danielle. I’ve been chatting it up while indulging in all the ice cream and tea lattes a gal could wish for. 

Happy Birthday to my Favorite Cousin!

Katy, who is three years younger than me and lives miles away, has been a sister to me for a very long time.

I’m not close with a lot of my extended family members (for reasons I won’t mention here), so having a third-cousin who is more like a sibling means the world to me. Every single time we reunite, we pick up right where we left off.

Words can’t express how much I love this lady! Katy, if you’re reading this, I’m blessed to know you and call you a friend and sister. Happy birthday!

We’ve had many amazing memories over the years, and we’re guaranteed to have many more 🙂

Celebrating Carolyn

My best friend married her best friend on Saturday, September 28 in Morristown, New Jersey. This was hands-down my favorite weekend of 2019 and honestly one of the best nights of my life.

I’ve been in a couple weddings that have turned out to be disastrous. Let’s just say that I have a little PTSD when it comes to being a bridesmaid…

However, I’m blessed that she asked me/trusted me enough to be her matron of honor.

Carolyn looked beautiful as always on her big day and we all had a great time together. No drama, great music and dancing, and we even took some pictures with horses!

Stay tuned for more photos in the coming months. I cannot stress this enough: this was the best night I’ve had in a LONG time.

MontREAL Fun!

A few weeks ago, I planned the most epic bachelorette weekend ever (and when I say “epic,” I mean something along the lines of a “grandmas who like to drink a lot” kind of vibe)!

The seven of us celebrated Carolyn’s love for Ryan by… eating the classiest brunch in Old Montréal. We all ordered savory dishes, and mine consisted of salmon, cauliflower purée, cranberries and greens.

After the boozy brunch, we wandered the streets of Old Montréal; this immediately reminded Carolyn and me of our time in southern France. All of us were on the same page and ended up at a street festival with tons of food trucks, zip lines and happy people. We even rode the giant ferris wheel, which is comparable to the London Eye.

Even though our night out at the comedy club and bowling were pretty low-key for a bachelorette party, we had a riot! Prior to going out, we played some drinking games in the hotel and were able to get to know each other quite well!

The next day, we visited Ontario Street (aka: where all the hipsters live). It was a different vibe for sure, but I loved it regardless. I felt like I was in a different city or country all together. We had another wonderful brunch and spent the afternoon on a pedal bar tour.

If you haven’t been on a pedal bar tour, you need to! My brother and I did this last summer in Portland, and both times were absolutely awesome! Whether you’re with one person or several, you’re going to have a good time with the others you’re pedaling with 🙂

We had two bachelorette parties on our bike, so we all knew we were in for a fun time!

I can’t wait to see these wonderful ladies at Carolyn’s wedding this month!

Fun in Fenton

I hated Fenton in high school: there was “nothing to do,” no diversity and I couldn’t wait to get the heck out of there! With that said, however, I always enjoy my time in Fenton now.

I think this has something to do with the people. A lot of my close friends live in the area, including Donna. No matter what kind of mood I’m in or what stresses the week threw my way, I can count on her for a good time and great conversation! Plus there’s so much to do in downtown Fenton now, it’s unreal. Of course it became fun once I left…

Even my pup loves it!

In all honesty, I appreciate Fenton more than ever now. I have made amazing friendships there, and visiting always feels like home.