What a whirlwind the past month has been! Since my last update I have traveled through more states than I cared to count, made another successful trip around the sun, seen my favorite band in concert, visited a few of my closest friends, moved to a new city, and started grad school…again. So many things have happened that a large part of me dreaded writing this blog for a number of reasons, but here I am to update you on my adventures. Bear with me. This will be a long one.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that I fell in love with the pacific northwest this summer. It was absolutely beautiful in ways that truly defied description for me. The two days I spent in Portland with Cory and John were filled with great food, kind people, and the pure natural beauty of Oregon.
It was a perfectly, peaceful escape that prepared me for the next stage in my northwest adventures: Mumford and Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road Festival in Walla Walla, Washington! Nate, Julie, and I camped on a golf course for two days and an absolute blast listening to great music. I was completely unprepared for how chilly the evenings could be, but that gave me the perfect excuse to buy the blanket I’d been wanting since the last GOTR festival in St. Augustine two years prior. As I am prone to waking up rather early, I started my birthday reading outside of our tent while the rest of the camp slowly started waking up.
I ended it singing, dancing, and crying along with the crowd as we lost ourselves in the music and lyrics of Marcus, Ben, Winston, and Ted*.
There were so many other incredible bands. The Foo Fighters were hilarious. The Flaming Lips definitely put on the best show. Dawes reminded me of why I love them. Tuneyards and Blake Mills turned me into a new fan. Jenny Lewis made me a bit nostalgic. Two days of concertic bliss.
Flying home was difficult. I was a bit jet lagged, and very tired. Red eye flights aren’t fun, BUT I didn’t have time to truly recover as I needed to head out quickly. I made a quick stop by Bold Bean for a few extra bags of coffee, Becky and I packed my rental and the very next day I was in Columbus. The trip to Boston was highly therapeutic. I loved every minute I got to spend with my friends. They each reminded me in their own ways just how beautiful my time in the south has been. I’ve made so many wonderful friends and though they are all scattered around the country now our bonds remain strong. It matters. Thank you friends for opening your homes and your hearts to Carter and I as we journeyed north! I think the constant social interaction drained my sweet pup. He slept every moment he could in the car 🙂
And then Boston.
This might have been the hardest part to talk about for me. Upon arrival to Boston I was immediately disappointed. I disliked my apartment, the hour and a half commute to school, the rather sketchy walk to and from the T station. Prior to orientation, I was solidly second guessing my decision to move. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and while very little has changed for the better in regards to my apartment it is definitely growing on me. The commute isn’t horrid. It gives me time to read, and as I got better about navigating I cut the trip down to an hour instead. Slowly, but surely, New England is growing on me. School is fascinating. My teachers are incredibly knowledgable and the course work is challenging. My first proper assignment in one class took me nearly 10 hours to complete!
I’ve had a few opportunities to explore. Allison (and later Duncan!) have shown me around the heart of Boston as well as a few lovely hidden treasures like Shit-Faced Shakespeare which is every bit as magical as you imagine it would be! We explored Boston Common, the Public Gardens, the North End, and Harvard! We tried on funny hats at a wonderful vintage store, and not only did she helped me check the first coffee shop off of my list, but she also showed me two wonderful bookstores! Amanda and I found the remnants of tributes to Robin Williams–loving left on the bench he and Matt Damon shared in Good Will Hunting (a favorite of mine, and one that men love to use as a pick up line here), explored Newbury Street, and have almost made pizza, wine, and Harry Potter a constant tradition in our apartment! I found a coffee shop that is a strong contender for favorite based solely upon their signage called 1369 Coffeehouse. I traveled bits of the freedom trail with a few guys from MCSFBn and my new friend Rachel. My friend Shannon and her roommates explored the area around our school and the Boston Public Library which had a beautiful exhibit on maps that included maps of the world as well as maps of fictional worlds like Narnia, the Hundred Acre Wood, Middle Earth, Westeros, the Marauders Map of Hogwarts, and the Kingdom of Knowledge from the Phantom Tollbooth! (Just to name a few!) Last weekend I visited my dear friend Colby and his boyfriend Ian in Salem–which I believe fully exemplifies all that people find charming about New England. It was a charmingly quaint town.
So my adventures have been many and have covered the emotional spectrum for me. It’s not perfect, but I do not hate the challenge. I couldn’t be more thankful for the phone calls, texts, and letters that I’ve gotten from so many of my friends since I’ve been here. They helped me immensely through the more stressful times. Until then my current pursuits are simply to continue searching for a job–as my funds are quickly dwindling, and losing myself in mounds of schoolwork. I’m ready for autumn to shine its beautiful face on the city. Expect an overly excited update when that happens!