Wednesday, December 30, 2009

meadow lane

As a belated birthday celebration, Benjamin took me to Meadow Lane Lodge in Warm Springs, Virginia. I have no idea how he finds places like this, but he definitely has a knack for finding the most amazing places off the beaten path. We ended up getting snowed in, but it made for quite an adventure. Pictures don't do this place justice... it was gorgeous. I can't wait to go back this summer or fall. (hint, hint. Are you reading this Ben?)
Meadow Lane: Before.
Our first morning there, Glenn (the owner) sat down with us to discuss the impending snow. Since we had left Maryland, the forecast had gone from a few inches of snow, to up to 24 inches. So we headed out to the nearest Walmart (40 minutes!) to stock up on survival supplies: food, long johns, & wine.

Meadow Lane: After.
Shortly after we got back, the snow started coming down, and didn't stop for two and a half days. We had the entire property to ourselves... it was the most cozy & beautiful place to get snowed in together!
On the property, there were horses, goats, donkeys, and chickens.. a whole barn full of animals...

The Jackson River, which flows through the property...

Our snowman, Oliver.

The view from the porch.

A little too deep for angels, but an honest attempt.

Gorgeous waterfall down the road.

Not only was the property a dream, the inside of the lodge was so cozy and comfortable. Comfy couches, fireplaces in every was so welcoming!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

And the winner is........

After some great prospects, and many disappointments, Benjamin & I kept coming back to the idea of getting married in North Carolina.
It's where we spent most of our time together during the past two years.
It's where he proposed.
Eastern North Carolina is one of our favorite places.
So why not?
We quickly settled on New Bern, and we* began making calls.
(and by we, I mean Benjamin.)
There is a small historic Catholic church just a couple blocks down the street from one of the BEST restaurants we have ever been to. A restaurant that just so happens to have a big banquet room upstairs. (The Chelsea)

(New Bern, NC)

(Downtown New Bern)

(St. Paul's)

Finally, we have found a place we are both beyond excited about. Now the hard part will be waiting until the big day finally arrives.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Location, Location, Location...

Far & away, the most difficult decision Ben & I have encountered in our wedding planning has been choosing a location. One thing we knew is that we wanted someplace special. There were so many impressive options... stunning halls, mansions, golf courses, etc. But most of these places we had never visited. We don't golf (unless you count my stellar putt-putt skills), and so they had no meaning.

So the search continued.
Strong Mansion. Too big.

Seneca Lodge. Too small.

The Mansion House. Would require our guests to use Porta-Potties. Eww.

The Sigrist Farm. Almost perfect, but not quite....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I am a really bad blogger lately, but I have some excuses...
In the past couple months I have...
1.) Moved back to Maryland! I am missing North Carolina so much though.
2.) Got a job!!!!! I am a "GIS/Mapping Specialist" at URS Corp. It's an awesome job. I love what i'm doing, I really enjoy my co-workers, and i'm learning a lot.
3.) I finally got contacts! (okay, this by no means is an excuse for not blogging, but it's the most excitement I've got in my life these days...)

As far as wedding planning, I have left the work mostly up to my handy dandy wedding planner/ fiancé...
Not only is he cute, but he has probably done more of the planning than me. How lucky am I?
We've made a few wedding decisions recently, so hopefully I'll have more to write about soon!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

i'm getting married!!!!

me & this hottie are getting hitched! and i couldn't be happier!!

Monday, April 20, 2009


We get some of the best storms here in Eastern North Carolina. Here are a few pictures I snapped of a quick afternoon storm that rolled through today!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Relay For Life

On April 3rd, my GeoClub participated in the ECU Relay for Life. Our team theme was Woodstock, and our fundraiser was face painting. We raised a bunch of money and had a great time :)
survivor lap.

a sea of tie dye....

stephanie. my little hippie.

my most prized art-work of the night.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Baby B.

In early February, my friends Conor & Sayward had a beautiful baby girl, Beatrice. She came over today to hang out while we were tie-dying shirts for Relay for Life. Isn't she the sweetest little thing?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to Maryland we go....

This past weekend, Ben & I headed up to Maryland for a night (which included two trips to Chincoteague, which meant two trips to Island Creamery. Delicious). It was so nice to get away from school for a day or two... and oh! how i've missed the beach!
Our kite flying skills are unmatched. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

what's cookin, good lookin?

My roommates are in Vegas this week at the AAG conference, which has left me bored & lonely. I've had plenty of time to bake though, and I've found two winners...

1.) Oreo Cake... I made two 5" baby cakes... one with regular oreos, and one with peppermint oreos a la Trader Joes. (my favorite. ever.)
I cut this recipe in half... and made my own buttercream frosting. (I would give you the recipe, but I made it up as I went. Oops)
2.) Spring has sprung. And these cupcakes are bangin'. (I used regular buttercream)

Monday, March 23, 2009

new bern

we visited new bern, nc this weekend... walked along the water, and visited some shops. it was sunny, and cool, and just what i needed.

i've really grown to love finding these historic, waterfront southern towns. so charming and beautiful. and the spanish moss in the trees.... it puts a big smile on my face.

pink eye

this swollen, crusty eye has got me down this week. cute, right?
(and contagious! stay away!)

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I've been getting a lot of the same questions about my cruise... so I thought I would answer some of the most common, and throw in a few pictures for your viewing pleasure!

What was the best part about the cruise?
The employees were definitely a highlight. EVERYONE who worked on that boat was so warm & friendly. After the first day, the waiters and bartenders knew our names. Our housekeeper figured out our schedule, and worked around it. Everything we could possibly need was taken care of with a smile.
What was the worst part about the cruise?
You don't get much privacy. It never felt like there were 5,000 people on the boat (there were!), but you also never felt like you were alone.
What was your favorite port?
Belize. They were all great, but the private beach excursion was so beautiful and relaxing.
How was the food?
Amazing. I never had a bad meal. For breakfast, we normally ate a buffet. For lunch, we got pizza (the mushroom & goat cheese was the best pizza I've ever had), and for dinner we went to the dining room.... every night there was a new, delicious menu. We had lobster, steak, salmon.... all impeccably prepared and presented.
Can you tell you are on a boat?
I've always heard you can't, but you can. I never got sick, and quickly got used to it, but its really apparent in the shower, and in bed. The few days after we got home were rough- I always felt like I was rocking.
Would you do it again?
Sure. But I'm not in a rush. I still prefer having more time to spend exploring a place... and I like making my own schedule. But it was nice to be taken care of, and being able the mindlessly visit some cool places.
these sweet little towel animals greeted us every night.

i wanted to take this little guy home.

the beach at Costa Maya.

the lido deck- this is where most of the excitement was. but we never actually spent much time here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Let's Recap, Shall We?

I am home, safe & sound. North Carolina has been treating me to some lovely rainy and cold weather since I have been home. I am snuggled up in my bed with a hot cup of tea, watching the rain fall and going through my pictures of sunny, beautiful places. It's depressing. I should have "acidentally" missed the ship. I hear things in Mexico are great these days.

Over the next few days, I will collect my thoughts and pictures to quench your insatiable thirst for every little detail of my trip.

Here she is in all her glory.. the Carnival Valor. The boat was great, the staff was incredible and the food was scrumptious. I think those are the things most people really take away from the cruise experience.

My favorite stop was Belize, even though we didn't see much of Belize itself. This was our private little island.

And of course I had to take a picture of this shore stabilization. Maybe Belize could use my expertise after all? I might write this trip off as research.

But for tonight, I will just be longing for this... I work on my resume. I wonder if there are people who can do this for me? Perhaps I could spend a few hours telling them about how awesome I am, then voila! A completed resume ready for me in no time at all.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home. Almost.

Bon Voyage, Carnival Valor. This afternoon you will be heading out to
more lovely destinations.... And I will be driving 12 hours to
Greenville, NC.

We are on the road now, and it's bittersweet. I had a great time and
went to some great places, but 7 days on a boat is a long time. I miss
my bed, and my big shower. I am ready for the calm that comes with
having 2 roommates, not 3,400.

I'll post more pictures this week.

Friday, March 13, 2009

6 down, 1 to go!

Spent today in Grand Cayman! So
nice! We went on a snorkeling excursion... We visited a reef and a
shipwreck! I had the best time floating around & checking out the
fishies and the ocean. I could spend all day in the water. If
reincarnation exists, I hope I come back as a fish.

Tonight was formal night. And now it's off to the piano bar to sing
along with Roger.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Spent today back in Mexico... Cozumel to be exact. Unfortunately, it
was overcast and a bit rainy. So instead of spending the day at the
beach, we took a taxi downtown. So many people trying to get us buy
things.... Mostly jewelry. I never thought I would say this, but I
don't want to see jewelry for a long time after this trip. It's

To escape the rain, we got margaritas at Three Amigos. They were good
and cheap! But they forced us to take free shots of tequila and dance
on our chairs! Mexico is a strange, wonderful place.

Tomorrow we are going to snorkle some reefs and a shipwreck at Grand
Cayman. Can't wait :)

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Ok, that was cheesy. Sorry

Belize is stunning. We spent the day on a private island swimming and
enjoying the perfect weather. The water is clear and blue. The people
are friendly, and my inner coastal geomorphologist is having a field
day with the mangroves and reefs!!

I wish we had more time here so I could have seen Belize City. One of
the bad parts about cruises is you don't get to spend much time
immersed in the culture. Everything is very touristy.

I would love to come back to Belize. I wonder how to coastal GIS job
market is here?? :)