Bridget's Blabs


I have a lot to say, but after finishing this post I realized there is nothing cohesive about it. Just random ramblings. And while I'd like to take full credit for this kind of post, lots of bloggers do it. So I'm jumping on the bandwagon or just being a copycat. Either way, here you have it, a list of completely unrelated thoughts for this week.

Lana has inspired me to replace the term "romper" for "playsuit."

I have this sudden urge to attend Fashion Night Out in NYC on September 9th. Unfortunately, cheerleading will get in the way of that. And school. Among many other things. I guess something to add to this last.

And appropriately enough, I have something to scratch off that list. My friend, Kirby, just released a Christian album on iTunes and has offered me the job (eeek!) of designing her next album's artwork. Check out her stuff here.

I've decided to buy something for my enjoyment every week. Something to look forward to. Whether it's a package of my favorite candy or a brand new cocktail dress, just something to indulge in. This week, it's this adorable black playsuit with gold button detailing. The best perks about it are it's easy to throw on and it transitions beautifully from season to season.

They're tearing down half the shopping centers in Houston. Feels all empty.

Makenna introduced me to these scrumptious snacks--Brookside Acai Berries--they're covered in dark chocolate and a total guilty pleasure sans all the guilt in say, a bag of Peanut M&Ms.

All the cheer camp t-shirts came in that I designed, and I have to admit I gave myself a little pat on the back because they came out SO adorable. [below is the back of our pocket tee]

Back in the beginning days of B.O.D, I did a post on fro-yo. After much thought, I've come to a decision that the local hot spot Voss Creamery (where you're bound to see at least three people you know) beats the self serve chains like Swirrl by a landslide.

My mom and I completely disagree with the judges' decision on this week's premiere of Project Runway. Ivy's toile pant ensemble was atrocious. The reject's dress was as T. Gunn said: "adorable", although I wil admit, the pairing with that magenta flower power purse was a hot hot mess.

I'm completely envious of Lana's Summer@Brown experience. The college lifestyle has never sounded so appealing. The countdown is down to twelve months!

I think my yearbook adviser, Ms. Hartman, stated the weather situation here in Houston perfectly when she said, "haven't you heard? they've moved Seattle to Houston." ENOUGH of the rain!

The best thing about Google Chrome: full screen browing.

Is it sad that I already have my Christmas list fully ready for release? Probably.

Okay, I think I got all my blabbing out of my system. As for the remainder of my Europe trip, check out my sister's blog for an in depth look at our getaway. I do, however, plan to upload some of my favorite photos from the trip. Ah, how I miss the pastries, ancient architecture, and especially my sister. I don't miss American food, and that's what's waiting for me right now. About to go out with my parents, brother Chris (happy 37th big brutha!) and sis-in-law Linds. Have a splendid weekend!



Foreign Affairs


You don't really realize how accustomed you've become to your lifestyle until you travel abroad. They say that if you're a southern Texas girl like me, going up north is a big wise and people's personalities too, not to mention the absence of the best word ever invented: y'all. So without stating the obvious like the language burden, currency change, and wiener schnitzel in place of queso, here is a selection of 10 notes I've taken of things that are completely foreign to me.

one) check please!
It takes the waiters an eon to give you the check. They don't like to be breathing down your throats trying to turn your table over (which is nice), but also annoying at times when all you wanna do is leave and be on your merry way.

two) $how me the money
Another dining out observation: they swipe your credit card right in front of you with these zippy little machines.

three) get a room, you bimbos (from hell.. on wheels)
If you're an advocate for Anti-PDA, don't come here. People are def more lovey dovey over here.

four) so euro chic
If I see anybody sporting a tshirt, I can pretty much guarantee they are an American tourist. I like the style here.. it's casual and relaxed yet put together all at the same time. Much more sophistacted. There's no such thing as grunge appeal over here. I dig. Makes me feel more at home than sometimes in the halls of high school.

five) they all scream for eis cream
I swear they discovered ice cream yesterday. Here it's called Eis and it's on every corner. There is a designated "Eis Carte" (menu) in almost every restaurant with all sorts of sundae concoctions. Even Eis Spaghetti & Lasagna. Snasty. [see photo at top of MB enjoying one of me and coco's favorites--eiscafé.]

six) street art
Graffiti is commonplace and it's such a shame to ruin the charm of all these beauty cities. Below is actually purposefully-placed graffiti in Graz on their little nuglet manmade beach they created on the shore of the Mur river that runs through the middle of the city.

seven) pee fee
Need to use the water closet? That'll be a euro, please.

eight) nuglet vehicles
Less Hummers, more Smart Cars.

nine) h20
No ice in my drinks and you must specifically request "leitungswasser" if you don't wan't to cough up 4 euros for still water.

ten) thin is in
People are generally thinner over here. I mean, exhibit A would be our fitness centers in the US with freaking escalators…



Embrace the Seasons


Summer is flying on by, so make sure you're getting good usage out of all the reasons to embrace the sunshine and summertime like shades, sunhats, and the sand in your shoes.

And never fear, I still plan on providing you with more detailed rundowns on my European excursions. I just seem to be too occupied playing with Cokesie and Elsie, so you'll have to be reminded that patience, my dears, is a virtue. MB is putting the bloggin' on hold while she's on holiday. But here's a snippet of what I've been up to to tide you over until the next post...



Always Thinkin' of You


As I walk the streets of Europe, I find myself stumbling upon storefronts, ice cream flavors, or just signs that remind me of my friends thousands of miles away. Just a way of showing you all that I'm thinking about you and miss you so!

For my fellow European traveler this summer, yearbook gal, and NYC roommate Dani

Lan, there's three for you.

Now this one's kind of a stretch, but it seemed fitting for Makenna seeing how Harrison used to call us "FASHION LADIES"

Not only does this have Taylor's last name-Maloney-but the place also is named after my first name. A pub called Molly Maloney, brilliant!

And Lauren! You're an ice cream flavor in Austria. This so would happen to Lauren. (It's poppy seed flavor for anybody bubbling with curiosity)



Entering Arnold's Land: Austria

My deepest apologies for my extended absence. Ever since I've been reunited with my sister Carolyn (aka Coco, Coco Chanel, Cokes, Keeks, and many others), we've just having too much fun catching up to fit in blog time. I guess we inherited this weird gene from my dad to nickname our friends and family with names that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Take my siblings for example:
Chris- StuBan
Amy- Moon
Carolyn- Loon
Jimmy- Holly Max
Erin- Spoon
Andy- Can't remember at the moment, but we'll use McConvict for the time being (he'll hate me for that)
and me… Peach
Yes, I am the only one missing the "oon" ending out of all the girlies. Guess that makes me special! I didn't mind once I found out there was a character on Mario Kart named Princess Peach :)

So for time purposes and to save you from four really long posts, I'm going to try and condense my first stay in Graz into a single post.

When we arrived in Vienna, we had the most presh little cabbie. He spoke like a hundred languages and loved my dad's jokes--pops was lovin' that up. We met up with my eldest brother Chris/StuBan (he's 20 years older than me) and his wife Lindsay who I have grown to love and become great friends with! They basically did our vaca two weeks ahead of time, which was to our advantage because they told us what to and what not to miss. We met them at a famous little chocolate shop called Demel and snacked on apple strudel (an Austrain specialty), teas, finger sandwiches, and other fine foods. I mean, what the heck, why not meet with your bro and sis-in-law in a Vienna cafe? Totes.

We departed ways so that we could finally see the author of the famed Life in Graz blog, otherwise known as my sister Carolyn (it's been 14 months since we'd seen each other! NOT okay). After a quick drive, we were finally in Austria's 2nd largest city: Graz. I finally got to see my sister's way of life through my own two eyes rather than the snippets she provides through her blog or the blurricious Skype cam. She cooked us a wondey homecooked meal (which was refreshing after many nights out on the town) while we dined and discussed. I was perked to be staying in her humble abode while the 'rents posted up at the hotel. I got to see her hubby Art and her puptin Elsie. She doesn't like her dog that much so I was glad to give LC (like Conrad…my inner teenager likes to call her that) some attention. Ha…. if you read LIG or just know Carolyn's natural tendencies toward animal lovin' you would understand that subtle sarcasm.

Carolyn gave us an evening tour of her neighborhood. It's quaint, all the apartment buildings are different colors making for a cheerful atmosphere, and all the street names might as well be named supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Sunday morning we went to church (it was in German, so the mass was hard to follow to say the least). We went to the top of the Schlossberg on an elevator inside this cave that was naturally about 40 degrees cooler than outside. We all wanted to pitch a tent and stay there overnight. The top of the Schlossberg offers many things including places to dine, commanding views, gardens, and the famous clock tower. There's a history behind it, but I don't want to bore you with all that.

We ate lunch then took the scenic walk down where Elsie had to cool herself off a bit. I wish we I could jump into fountains whenever I needed a quick refresher…

After days of go, go, go we took a rest at Coco's place. That evening was the final match of the World Cup. In Europe, the towns were buzzing with excitement. I was rooting for the Netherlands (okay, let's be honest I really didn't care but I wanted to have somewhat of a spirit for this whole thing that randomly got popular this year). We went to one of Graz's best places (as Carolyn claims), and with our experience we weren't about to argue. Elsie even came along! Europe is much more dog friendly than the States.

[And for all of you that know about LC.. her collar is working! As my dad claimed, that event is "right up there with the Declaration of Independence."]

On Monday, we went to an Austrian spa. These things need to hit up Texas. My friends and I would be all over that. Imagine a mix between the Houstonian spa and a really nice version of Schlitterbahn and there you will have Loipersforf. Carolyn and Art had already been last November, and since it looked so fun I wanted to see this place for myself. My water park experiences in America have been less than fantastic, but in Austria they do it right.

Carolyn and I--being the kiddos we are--rode on the slides. We ate dinner there then drove back into Graz hoping to get a good night's rest before we continued our tour across Europe. Salzburg was the next stop. [And just for a little sneak preview, I've been here for a few days and I love it! Lots of good reporting to come.]


C'est la vie!


I like it here. I think I could get used to this lifestyle. I love NYC and it has the same kind of vibe. Except a lot less trash, there's not an ugly road in sight (and there are quite a few of those in the Big Apple), there's less overweight people, and well, they speak French here. But other than that in both of these landmark cities, everyone's lifestyle is extremely fast paced, the streets are always crowded, when you walk outside the combined sounds of footsteps, honks, speeding Vespas overwhelm you (but in a good kind of way), the food is outstanding, and they're both capitals of fashion. What more could a young teenage blogger want in a city?

Day three began with an Internet stop. I was having serious separation anxiety from Mr. Macbook. It was time we reconnected, so my mom and I walked to the local café (AKA Starbucks) to get some wi-fi up in this place. I sat down, bought my hour of internet time, and took full advantage of it. I was like a kid high on candy racing from Facebook to gmail back to facebook to blogger to who the heck knows what else. I barely made enough time to post the previous post that I hope you all enjoyed!

So we headed back and it turned out I had to walk half the way back barefoot. Now Paris is relatively clean, but not quite clean enough to walk freaking barefoot in the dang city. So thanks a lot for you crapster Forever 21 shoes that are good for nothing. They were totally cute for like a good 11 blocks before they busted apart. But I guess it's all a part of the travelling adventures. As the French say, c'est la vie! (Such is life for the non-frenchies)

So then we dined at the little place across the street. I had what the French consider their chef salad. (For those of you that couldn't care less about every meal I consume, I apologize. The McConn family has a slight obsession with anything and everything food related).

So it was time to shift gears from the shopping, church visiting, and eating, and finally go visit one of the fine muesum Paris has to offer. We only had time for one, so we went to the Musée D'Orsay because it offers the most paintings that we'd be familiar with. Besides, that stupid girl Mona's face is only like the size of a peanut butter cap so she's a waste of my time. The museum has a wide array of paintings.. everything from Monet's Water Lillies, Degas's dancing ballerinas, and more. They offer the largest collection of impressionist painting.. and it is quite impressive. Haha…ok jokes aren't funny. I'll stop.

Then I met up with one of my gal friends, Michelle. It's just ya know, how I roll, meeting up with one of the girls at a local corner café. Okay, I wish. But really, I did get to meet up with my friend Michelle while she was in Paris. She is in the grade above me and she'll be attending UT this fall. She's renting an apartment in Paris with her mom for two weeks. Her mom is from Holland, so she's quite familiar with European territory. Michelle will be studying Communications as a jounalism major and she has extremely similar goals as me in terms of her future and career. It was really exciting to talk to someone who has a similar mindset and hopefully I'll be following in her footsteps a year from now. She also was like me in that she had absolutely no intentions of staying in state for college, but here she is now a longhorn! I hope to keep in touch with her as she experieces her first year and see how she likes it. We had a great time visiting (and chatted over drinking water and left the place with about a $13 bill, just for water people… TOTAL scam). Then she, her mom, here mom's friend and I took the metro (which is by the way pretty clean all things considered and in comparison to those NYC rat caves) to meet my mom in the left bank shopping district.

After we all visited for awhile, my mom and I went our separate ways to do some final shopping in the capital of fashion. I hadn't quite gotten my fix yet. Got a few more things to bring back with me to the states before our last night in Frenchie Land!

My mom and I decided to be adventurous and take the subway again and I totally was the one to figure it out. So HA Mrs. TxDot looks like your direction crazed genes are hereditary!

We had reservations at a restaurant called 1728 that night, and to say it was quite a treat is an understatement. The whole dining experience is quite special. First off, its set in the recovered reception rooms of the 18th century mansion where General La Fayette (c'mon my apush friends…you should know who this is!) lived. Let's just say this ain't no Houston's or Pappadeaux like a usual Houston Friday night. Heck, this ain't even no Shade or America's. So here comes the food part, just a warning for those of you who want to ignore it. [The picture is of the Lafayette Room where we ate]

My dad started off with a gazpacho with lobster (he be lovin' up his gazpacho and this did not disppoint).
Oh and we all got to start off with this trip layered shot glass of an avocado spread, pesto spread, and one other that was different but quite delish! (pictured below)
My mom started with the pattee which she be lovin'. MB not lovin' so much, but to each his own!
My dad and I both ordered the rack of lamb which was served with a wonderful orange jelly and perso sauce and beautfully presented next to a vegetable medley.
My mom had the scallops.
My dad had a porte wine with the restaurant's special cheese selection to top his meal off while my mom and I shared the Dark Chocolate Torte. The last thing I needed was ANOTHER dessert (I STILL don't understand how these Frenchies all are so ano skinny…), but when in Europe right?

It was a fun experience that will not be soon forgotten. The waiter was totes loving having a seventeen year old in there. My instincts were telling me not too many of those go in and out of 1728. It was a great way to end a wonderful stay in Paris.

I wish I could write more, but I'm wiped from a long day of Austrian site seeing. So in the words of Heidi Klum, Auf Wiedersehen for now!


Planes Then Trains


Jour deux. See, look at me! Already becoming a native. It was nice to start the day fully rested and back on track with the timing. My mom and I walked just across Friedland to a little café to pick up a quick breakfast of croissants (they put American croissants to SHAME, like Kroger PLEASE don't even make your futile attempts anymore, it's like kind of embarrassing..), fruit, and coffee. My dad was just behind us.

We took a cab over to the left bank to their shops, which were a little more in high school teenager price range compared to Pucci and Escada. The first store we stumbled upon ended up being a victory! We went into a few more and I found some good buys. In one of the stores, we even discovered a lunch spot downstairs.

In the midst of our shopping, we stumbled upon the brand new hotel and restaurant-Ralph's. Ralph as in Ralph Lauren. Most likely due to its novelty, the place was completely booked for reservations. We did get a chance, however, to take a peek at the photo shoot going on which I enjoyed seeing.

Time was running short, but we didn't quite realize how short. We had tickets for a 12:30 train to Chartres to see the cathedral there. Plus, it gave us a chance to view the French countryside and what small French towns have to offer. We were seconds away from missing the train, but we made it nonetheless. The cathedral was beautiful, just like the Notre Dame. They are currently working on a 6 year renovation. We even got the opportunity to listen in on a choir practice for a performance later that evening.

Versailles lies between Paris and Chartres, so we decided to make a little detour in our day and visit Versailles before going back to the big city. Versailles had come highly recommended by many including my sister Erin and her hubby Jason and my English teacher Dr. Williams. Unfortunately, the chateau was closed early that night for a performance but we got to see bits and pieces. Brief summary: it's really freaking big. There's no wonder why the French were rather--shall I say--pissed off at Mr. Louis. The town of Versailles itself was beautiful. Lots of little avenues with cobblestone roads, ladders leading up to windows adorned with flower boxes, sidewalk cafés with locals chatting in French, and open air markets with clothes, accessories, and the like. All very charming indeed. We decided to explore the markets and eat dinner in Versailles for a change of pace. Little did we know, we wouldn't eat dinner until about 4 hours and 3 cities later.

These crazy French people. I swear they have a time range for dinner starting at 8:30 and ending at 9:30. Come to eat any time between that and you are shunned. I say this because every restaurant we went to in Versailles--which was about 6 different ones--turned us away because they open at 7:30, were serving Thai food (hello! we're in France, nobody wants yo thai food, i got nit noi for that!), or were only serving drinks). So after what felt like a marathon of a walk, we ended up back at the train station headed for Paris.

My mom and I couldn't bear to go out to eat looking, smelling, and feeling the way we did so after a hotel stop we ended up dining at 9:30. We weren't in the mood for any place far, so we went to a place near the hotel that was…well, I think it was a former karaoke bar of some sort? All I know is that there was only one other couple in there, they didn't believe in something us Houstonians are big fans of called AIR CONDITIONING, and they gave us potato chips as our starter. Alas, we were starving and ate our food in the miserable heat.

After a long exhausting day of travels, we took a walk to see the lit up sparking Eiffel Tower. My parents went to go grab drinks at our hotel bar, but I was wiped and ended up going back to the room to do just this! Write for all of you! Sacrificing the night life in Paris for the sake of all of you my precious followers--don't you feel loved? You best. Off to Austria in the morning, better catch some shut eye (yes, I'm one day behind..I will catch up!).


Day 1: Typical Tourists


[all photos my very own]
Upon our arrival to the Charles-de-Gaulle airport I felt as though I had just ate breakfast in Houston. But here I was, in Paris, about to dine on a French style bfast in a local café.

After a long, bumpy taxi ride (which seemed just as bad as the plane ride) due to what they call "circulation", we finally arrived at our hotel. We dropped off our bags and headed to the streets where we grabbed brunch. My mom and I had salads that were simply in a clear plastic container, but proved to be much better than most salads I have served on any plate at Cafe Express or La Madeleine.

Now that our stomachs were satisfied, we headed just feet away to the Arc de Triumph (one of the monuments I listed in my pre-vaca post!). It's just as it looks in all of the photos--only better. We climbed (while huffing and puffing I might add) to the top of the arc. The view was breathtaking with an avenue in every which direction all perfectly aligned with evergreen trees and cars speeding (and nearly wrecking.. don't let these little nuglet cars fool you, they're speed demons on the road). From every angle there was a sight to see whether it be the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, or just simple jardins (gardens) atop buildings.

The Notre Dame was calling our name next. We took a cab to the left bank. This was my fist time to get a good look at the Seine River--one of the most famous riverways in the world. And there's no question as to why. It's surrounded by beautiful vintage buildings. I can imagine so many movie sites there--everything from a scene in Moulin Rouge! to just an episode of The Hills.

People were flooding in and out of the Notre Dame cathedral. This grand structure not only stands tall in the midst of all the buildings in Paris but it is also very ornate. The detail is magnificent. Inside the columns, stained glass windows, and utter enormity of the structure are enough to mesmerize anybody for a brief visit. I had to ask, "now what priest gets assigned this parish?!"

After wearing the same outfits since our departure from Houston over 24 hours from then, we were all very ready to retire our clothes. For me, it was also naptime. Not only had I just been on an overnight plane ride, but Makenna and I had stayed up all night the previous night. My exhausted body had been telling me all day it needed sleep; nevertheless, I don't regret it a bit. As long as Makenna and I have been friends, we've never pulled an all nighter. Now with that new heart of hers, we've got a night owl on our hands! Just like me!

For dinner, the consierge recommended a spot called Chez Andre located near all the haute couture shops (in other words for all you boys..the fancy shmancy stuff). It's the Paris version of America's Rodeo Drive and 5th & Park Avenue. Only maybe a little more of the schmancy. There's Dior, Louis V, Prada, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and everything in between. So if you're on the lookout for a handbag that's in the 5 grand range, I'll be sure to pick one up for you ladies.

After working up an appetite from shopping, we found Chez Andre and pulled up a seat outside of the cafe. It's practically unheard of to not have outdoor seating at the restaurants here. I ordered what in most plases would be a Caprese salad. Tomatoes dressed with an olive oil basil pesto-type dressing surrounded a center of cold buffalo mozzarella. It was the perfect refresher for a warm summer day. Both of my parents had the endive salad, both devouring it quickly. My dad and I both chose the steak with pepper sauce which was served with french fries--a popular dish in France noted as Streak Frites. My mom had a duck dish.

We were fortunate enough to be accompanied by an American family from Los Angeles. Mom, dad, three kids, and the nanny. The kids ranged in age from 5 to 10 I would guess. The family said they were renting a house in Italy, staying in Paris for awhile, and finishing in London. "Just the quinessential Euro trip for the kids," the said. Quite a trip for little youngins that probably won't remember it. They were able to give my parents many helpful hints on a future trip to Napa they might be looking into. In fact, Mr. Perry was nice enough to forward an email of all his picks of favorite restaurants, wineries, and hotels to my mom right as we were sitting at the table for dinner via blackberry. On a trip planning more trips. We just never stop!

We were running on low energy at this point, but we had enough left to complete our day of famous monument visiting. So can you guess? Our last stop? Le Tour Eiffel of course! The line was too long to take the elevator to the top (besides, my dad isn't too keen on elevators..). So instead we just capped off the night with some glace (ice cream) and sat in the nearby park watching the sun set beyond the symbol of Paris.

So, that's all folks. Day one in all its glory. Too detailed? Well, you got here so congratulations! Until tomorrow…au revoir!


MB at Sea

There's a map right in front of me. I'm struggling to read it due to the passenger in front of me who insists upon placing his hands on the back of my chair. But from what I can make of it, we're 1168 miles from our destinations: Paris, France. Right now, essentially, there is nothing that separates me from the Atlantic Ocean. Well, besides this very large aircraft, but that defeats the purpose.

I've always had a fear of the ocean. When vacations roll around, the beach never summons my name. Granted this could be a result of Galveston beach being my primary exposure to ocean water. Anyway, I don't like not knowing what's beaneath me. I don't like the vastness of it. I've often stated that in an ultimatum where I would be forced to be in a submarine in the deepest depths in the middle of an ocean or in a spaceship, I'd be NASA bound.

So as this trip begins, I hope to do a few things. I hope to cherish the time I have to think without all the stress that usually bombards me from August to May. I hope to think about all the people that are separated from me by this ocean beneath me. And think of all the reasons I love them! And couldn't bear to be gone from them any longer than these three weeks ahead of me. I tried to not get my hopes up for this trip knowing that that would ensure I would come back even more excited than I came in. But as I sit here in this teeny chair (I hate every single one of you 1st class people with your chairs pracically the size of my queen size bed at home!) I've had time to think about how wonderful it is that I get to do this. At age seventeen. So here we go! Wish me bon vacances! Missing you already! It's MB reporting to you life from the City of Lights.


Au Revoir & Accueil!


After four years of French, I will finally see with my very own eyes these iconic sites: the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, and the Louvre. I have a feeling this is going to be quite a bit better than the photographs in my textbooks, the photos on my wall and my Parisian-themed calendar.

Packing is proving to be a tad difficult considering the time I went to the lake with Sterett and Tess my sister asked me if I had a dead body stashed in my bag. Love you too, Er. Anyway, I'm trying to limit myself as much as possible in hopes that the family joke of my overpacking will fade. Makenna and the Van Liew family may not think it's possible to redeem myself after I brought a European suitcase to California for two weeks. Goodness people, you're dealing with a clothes lover here. What do you expect?

Lana! You remember Lana right? Well, we ended up crossing paths here in Houston. We made a run to Best Buy so I could purchase the 4th season of One Tree Hill (yes I've made major progress!) and will say another farewell (unfortunately) tomorrow at breakfast. She's glad to be home. I'm glad to be leaving. But it is fun that we'll get to exchange stories from our Parisian adventures. And if our emails from her time away are any indication of whether we'll keep in touch while I'm gone, I have no doubts that it'll be like we were never apart! And as for the rest of YOU.. I hope I can say the same!

I am going to try my hardest to update my blog as much as possible. I've formally invited a few more friends to view B.O.D. to keep them in the loop of my travels. Please please mes amis (pardon my french...hehe) write me! Comment on the blog and/or email me at As anxious as I am to leave this hot, humid city called Houston I want to keep in touch with all of you that I love so much! So to the oldies, thanks for all your faithful following. And to all the newbies, welcome! We're glad you're here. Haven't you always wanted to read someone else's diary? ;) --that smiley's for you, Keeks.


Package Deal: Two for One


You know I love a good bargain. This deal has nothing to do with shopping--shocking, right? Tomorrow, as you well know, is Independence Day here in the States. July 4th reminds me of sunshine-filled afternoons at Lake McQueeney when I was younger, the smell of barbecues, parades, American flags waving, and finishing the night with spectacular fireworks displays. But in high school July 4th has become more than celebrating America; it's become a celebration for a very special American citizen: Sterett Frank. Sterett will enter the land of R-rated movies and a brand new driver's license tomorrow (how thrilling it is to be seventeen...). So the day's plans are up to her and here's what we have in store.

If the weather cooperates, a little day trip down to The Woodlands is in our itinerary. Then we'll (we being Makenna, Sterett, Tess and I) grab some dinner and head to Lakeside to watch the fireworks. Then probably an old fashioned slumbie with the girls which will probably consist of way too much of two things we do best: eating and talking. Nothing fancy or outrageous because I already threw a little surprise bash for Sterett on the last day of school at a Mexican restaurant which turned out to be a total hit.

[sterett's surprise party]
Now I hate to brag about how amazing my friends are, but shucks, I'm gonna do it anyway. Everyone deserves a little birthday love, so here's a little bday girl shout out to ya, Ster...bloggin' style. Sterett is a wonderful friend, great listener, extremely honest, and quite the cross country runner. I admire her especially for that last detail for I'd rather do a lot of things before waking up at 4 (which is when I usually call it a night by the way) and running 6 or so miles. Yeah, I'll pass. So props, Ster. She has an amazing heart, is devoted to her faith, and knows how to make me laugh. Thanks for everything, Sterett! I'm looking forward to a great birthday celebration and lots of memories during our last year of high school together (FINALLY!).

So here's to you, Sterett Frank and the US. Happy Birthday.