makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice

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If you’ve been reading for a while, you probably know about my 101 in 1001 list.  I started it officially on July 13, 2014 and have made some major progress since then, especially in the last 10 days.  Here is an update!

15.  Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway with Sam Utesch 

I met Sam back in early February 2013 at a conference in Atlanta.  I went to the University of Florida and he went to Appalachian State University (we were both ambassadors for our schools).  We hit it off and spent all night hanging out.  We kept in touch after, and I saw him one day when he visited Florida a couple of months later.  Since then, we have not seen each other but have kept in close contact.  Well, that very first night we met, Sam told me how much I would love Boone, NC where he lives.  A few months later, he told me about the Blue Ridge Parkway and how he would take me for a drive on it when I visited.  This month, that visit finally happened!  We packed a whole lot in between Friday morning when I flew in and Monday when I left:  we went to some of the most popular bars like Galileo’s (karaoke goodness), Klondike (literally in a trailer) and TApp Room; we ate a lot at places like Come Back Shack, Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock, Bojangles (believe it or not, my first time) and more; we went to tailgates and part of the App football game; we drank a lot of Yuengling; I got to meet tons of his friends all of whom were so friendly, warm and fun; we shopped on King Street; and last but not least, we drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway!  I’ll be honest, the view was…nonexistent.  We drove through intense fog.  But, it was the parkway nonetheless and I checked it off!  Come to think of it, the weather was pretty terrible the whole time I was in Boone…pretty foggy, misty and cool.  But I figure if I can fall in love with an area in that kind of weather, I would really love it on a nice weekend!

62. Go on a tour of a brewery &
100. Visit a zoo

Part of my job is helping coordinate a leadership development program for business and community leaders in my area. Each month, we have a different program day—social services, government, medicine, etc. This month, our program day was split between agriculture and quality of life. We started the morning at a ranch, seeing cattle, calves and horses. After that, we went to the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo for a tour. My favorite part was, of course, the monkeys! I love them. After, we went to a planetarium for a show. It was trippy but awesome—and a little too relaxing. I almost dozed off several times. We ended our day at Swamp Head (a local brewery and tasting room in Gainesville – look for their pale ale at Publix all over the state). The tour was pretty brief but interesting to learn about their brewing process and capacity. This day was absolutely great: who wouldn’t love a Tuesday getting paid to check a couple of items off the ol’ bucket list?

63. Go to a fair &
52. Treat a friend to a pedicure

I went home to Pensacola this weekend and it was fantastic! On Saturday morning, I hung out with my mom and little brother Reid.  I took my mom (who I definitely consider a friend) to get a pedicure that morning, went to a baby shower with her that afternoon and then spent the night with one of my best friends since high school, Drew.   We ate dinner, went to the beach at night and went for a long drive with the windows down and the music up; it was my kind of night. I also got a chance to celebrate Reid’s 16th birthday with him on Sunday! I can’t believe how old he is getting (or how old it means I’m getting). Before all this, though, on Friday night, I went with Reid, Maddie, Michelle and Ada to the PENSACOLA INTERSTATE FAIR! This was a huge first for me. Much like I always wanted a sock monkey for Christmas growing up but never got one (thanks Lawrence for finally fulfilling that dream back at age 17), I have always dreamt of going to a fair. The food, the rides, the games, the people…I was born ready (so I thought). What I actually found at the fair was that I loved a few rides (the super high swings, the ferris wheel, the swinging pirate ship) and that was about it. There was much people watching to be done: massive amounts of camouflage, about 90 percent of the Pensacola area middle and high school demographic, several parents with babies who should’ve been in bed hours earlier and quite a few creepy carnies. One thing I was really disappointed in was the lack of an elephant. I thought fairs had them but evidently that’s only carnivals or circuses? I didn’t know there was a difference. I also couldn’t find any signage for a pig competition (which I thought was definitely a fair thing).

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