EuroTrip 2015

The summer of 2004 was one of the best summers of my life.

I was 16 and two of the best things ever happened.  First I got to see Tim McGraw in concert for the first time.  He was and still is my all time favorite singer.  Second, I went to London, England.  Now obviously London was WAY better than Tim McGraw, but I was trying to be dramatic, thus why I mentioned it second.

It was the BEST TRIP EVER!  My mom and I went with my school and were gone for 1 week.  It was not nearly enough time to see everything. But here were some of the highlights:

-Windsor Castle and Eton
-Buckingham Palace
-Tower of London
-The Globe Theatre
-Hyde Park
-Kensington Palace (pre Princess Kate, sadly)
- The London Eye

Here are a few pictures from my trip.  Please keep in mind I'm 16 in these pictures! Yikes can't believe this was 10 years ago!!






And the most exciting of all......I SAW THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND!!  Yes, I saw her riding in her little carriage in a canary yellow suit down the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace just like you see in pictures and TV.  It was literally one of the coolest experiences ever.  Especially for someone who has been obsessed with all things British and Royal since about the 5th grade when I got to do a project on Princess Diana.

 

There she is! Along with her husband, Prince Philip. Prince Charles and Princess Anne were following them on individual horses.  Sadly no Princes William or Harry.  If I remember correctly they were at the funeral for Princess Diana's father or something like that.

I wanted to go back to England pretty much the minute we got back on the plane to fly home.  I never studied abroad or anything (which is one of my biggest regrets in life) but I always told myself I would be back one day.

So last year, my Florida roommates and I had decided to go to to England.  We also decided to visit Ireland and France as well.  We pretty much had the entire thing planned and I even posted this picture on Instagram.



But then we all decided we wanted to move home.  So we figured we should save the money we would be spending on the trip and use it for moving purposes.  Thus the trip was cancelled and we were all very sad and depressed.

Fast forward to last month, I was telling Jenny all about this pretty much all planned and she said, "Well why don't we go.  But if we're gonna do it, let's go big or go home."

SO......I am very very very very excited, no ecstatic to announce that on July 16, 2015 I will be going back to London, England!! We be gone for 16 days and in total will visit 5 countries!!! AHHHHH!!!!!

Where exactly are we going you ask?  Well let me show you!


We will be hitting up England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy!!

We settled on going with a tour group because 1. it was cheaper and included airfare and 2.  the process of planning such an in depth trip was very difficult.  I tried for a few days and just couldn't do it.  Plus we figure it will be a tads safer this way.

We'll be using Go Ahead Tours and you can find more information on their tour options at their website, goaheadtours.com.  But we did a bunch of research and they seem like the best option for us.

We will be spending about 2 days in each city and will have a ton of free time.  Which was something I was kinda worried about as I was researching.  I didn't want our whole day planned out, I wanted to be sure to find a company that helped us cover all the major highlights but left time for us to explore on our own too.

Best part is that Go Ahead Tours offers a payment plan.  So we have until May 8th to pay off the entire trip.  That helps so much because now we can budget properly over the next few months.  In fact I see many more "No-tobers" in the near future.

But AHHH!! Seriously every time I think about it I get super giddy with excitement and all these other emotions that I can't even name.  I'm also really excited to have something to look forward too, it will help the year (specifically the school year) go by even fast than it feels like it already is.

We are booking the trip tonight and putting down the down payment.  So there will be no turning back after that!  EEEKK!!!  Sorry, told you I get excited.

Obviously I will be sharing everything with y'all as we get closer and closer!  Also if you've been to any of the cities we will be visiting I would love to hear your list of must sees and places to eat and stuff.

The countdown begins....NOW!!! 275 days....(wow that sounds longer written down than it does in my head.) 

Online Dating: Episode 1

I've delved into the realm of online dating twice before.

The first time I paid for eHarmony, had a weird experience where I saw a guy I was just starting to talk to in the tunnels at work in the Magic Kingdom and totally wasn't prepared for said meeting so I panicked and cancelled my membership and got a refund.

The second time I didn't want to pay for the service so I decided to try OkCupid.  I got some completely disgusting messages (one guy told me he would pay all my bills if I let him watch me use the restroom, and I'm just not talking about going pee here people. blegh) and another said something so disgusting that I can't even re-type it because this blog is rated PG.  I did go on one date, but the guy ended up being about a foot shorter than me and wouldn't answer the waitresses question when she asked if it was going to be one check or two.  So that was the end my stint on that lovely site.


Fast forward to last month.  I told myself that once I had settled in Houston I would try my hand at online dating one more time.  Last year (and all the years) I lived in Florida were a complete bust in the romance department, and I cannot tell you how ready I am to be in a relationship.

Enter Match.com.


I wanted to try a site that I hadn't tried yet, so I signed up for a 3 month subscription.

I immediately got a few likes, winks, and even messages.  But I told myself I needed to take an active role in this (especially if I was paying for it).  So I started browsing through profiles and started messaging a few guys I thought had potential.  There was one guy who was super attractive, so I messaged him, but didn't hear anything back.

I started seriously messaging another guy, who went to Texas State as well.  We messaged for about 2 weeks and then he asked for my number so we started texting.  We then moved on to the Facebook stage and that is where things fell off.  After he looked at my Facbeook page he completely stopped communicating with me.  No clue why.  Maybe he saw something he hated or was turned off by, who knows.


So then I found this guy who I thought had major potential.  I messaged him first.  I commented on a picture he had posted of him on a mountain skiing.  It was am amazing picture.  We hit it off pretty well, he liked my profile and a few of my pictures.  We messaged back and forth for about 2 and half weeks, then we exchanged phone numbers, and finally he asked me if I wanted to meet up for drinks.

I was pretty nervous but said yes.  Drinks ended up becoming dinner and a trip to Houston's comedy club to see Damon Waynes.  I had mentioned how badly I wanted to see a show at this Improv club I kept seeing and so he got us tickets.  I was beyond excited.  I mean this was my first actual date in forever!


We went on Saturday night and met at the restaurant, because hello, I was not about to let him pick my up at home.  I wish I could say I had a picture of my outfit and hair/makeup but I was too nervous to snap any pictures.  But my roommate said I looked perfect.  So I left the house feeling pretty confident, in my appearance at least.

I got to the restaurant first, we decided on a sushi place pretty close to the club.  When I saw him I was really pleased.  He was much cuter in person than in his pictures.  Now I'm not going to go into all the little details of the date, but it was fun.  Like really fun.  I had a fantastic time.  The flow of conversation was perfect and we never had any awkward pauses.  We laughed and overall had a great time.  Even the show was great.


At the end of the evening I told him I had a fantastic time, he said he did too, and we both said we'd love to do it again sometime soon.  I drove home feeling really good and excited.

And I haven't heard from him since.


Bet you weren't expecting that.  I sure wasn't.  I thought we had had a great time.  Obviously he did not.  I went ahead and bit the bullet and texted him once, last Monday.  But I got a one sentence response and nothing after that.

Not gonna lie, it sucked.  It still sucks.  Now I know it was just one date, with one guy.  And I know we weren't going to get married and live happily ever after.  But it would have been nice to get at least an explanation as to why he didn't feel the need to text me again or why we wouldn't be going on another date.


I guess he just wasn't that into me.

So it's on to the next one.  Sadly there hasn't been a next one yet.  I kinda lost my enthusiasm for the search last week. But I'm gonna jump back into it with fresh eyes this week.  I need to keep reminding myself that I just started this journey and it's not gonna happen overnight.

 I just need to be patient.


The pictures I've got throughout the post are the ones I have posted to my profile! What do you think? 

No-tober

Hello friends!  I hope y'all all had a fantastic weekend! I had my very first date from match.com this weekend! More to come on that later in the week though.  And the rest of the weekend was spent recharging my batteries for the week to come.  It's only Monday and I'm already ready for Friday.

Now on to the goods!


This month has officially been deemed "No-tober".  What does this entail you ask?

Well exactly what it sounds like.  I am saying "No" the whole month of October.  What that means is I am not spending any extra money on anything other than the absolute necessities.

The next obvious question is what are my absolute necessities.

Here is the list:
-Rent
-Bills (electric, water, cable/internet, gas)
-Loans (student and car)
-Insurance
-basic groceries
-gas

I'm not going to divulge just how much all of this is when you add it all up.  But trust me it's a lot.  Damn you student loans!

Now for the list of "NOs":
-eating out (fast food/sit down restaurants)
-movies
-clothes
-mani/pedis
-highlights
-things for the house
-holiday decorations
-shoes
-make-up
-books
Pretty much anything that is not on the "yes" list.

I would love to tell you that is has been easy peasey and I'm not at all concerned about making it through the rest of October considering we're only 5 days in, but y'all, THIS IS FREAKING HARD!!!

The other day I was starving and wanted nothing more than to stop and get myself some of those gross little 99 cent tacos from Jack in the Box with some curly fries and a Dr. Pepper.

To be honest I  also want Chick-Fil-A, Whataburger, Taco Cabana.....even McDonalds.  I am in desperate need of highlights and a haircut.  My manicure is 3 weeks old and looks like hell, as do my toes which need a pedicure like no bodies business.  Fall is in the air and I want new boots and some new fall clothes to celebrate.  I am dying to buy more Halloween decorations for the house then what I have, including about 4 pumpkin scented candles.  I'm also needing a new book to read, so I'll be making a trip to the public library sometime in the near future.  

(Side note: After reading through all these I realize how #firstworldproblems all of these things are and that I really don't need any of them.  Like at all.  But I still want them.)

Luckily my roommate Jenny is doing No-tober along with me.  Actually it was her idea in the first place.  She found this blog, Living Well Spending Less, the author went 30 days spending zero, only the necessities.  By the end of the month, her family had saved over $1,000.  Which is exactly what Jenny and I need to do, since we're planning this epic Euro Trip (come back later this week to hear all about that!).

Thank goodness we have each other to help us through the month.  She's been strong so far and I've been the winey/complainy one.  But I'm gonna stay strong!  I'm gonna keep up with our progress on here on the blog, that way I have another way of holding myself accountable and don't cheat.

5 days down........26 days to go.  Yikes! Wish me luck!

Dear September

Once again I've been a horrendous blogger and have not posted in exactly a month.  This is especially annoying because I promised myself I was going to stay current and up to date.  And I have already failed.

But y'all, September was the most stressful month I've had in many many moons.  I honestly don't even know where to start.

So to get myself at least back in the saddle, I'm gonna do a quick run down of my month of September but writing a very special letter to the month of September.

******

Dear September,

I'm glad you're over.  You were stressful and annoying and I will not miss you.  I did have a few good moments and I'm thankful for those moments. But nonetheless I'm glad to see you go.   Here are the things that were fantastic about you and then again not so fantastic.  In no particular order:

- I've settled in quite nicely after my first full official month in Houston.  There is a ton to day in this city and it's been fun exploring.

- Unfortunately my job is another story all together.  I'm miserable at my new school.  I could ramble on and on about this but I'll be dedicating a whole post to this topic so that's all I'm gonna say about it for now.  Plus it's depressing to think about.

- I finally experienced Painting with a Twist, it was so fun!  I highly recommend it!  Especially the class my roommate Jenny, my friend Ashtyn and I did.  We sent in pictures of our beloved pets and the artist teaching the class drew out pictures onto canvas and then we painted them!  So Sadie is now forever immortalized in a painting painted by MOI!!

Here is the finished product!  Not too shabby if I do say so myself!





- I joined Match.com.  EEEKKK!!  I told myself that when I got settled in Houston I would make the plunge and go for it.  Again don't want to get into too much detail because obviously this too is whole post of its own worthy.  But I will tell you....I HAVE A DATE ON SATURDAY!!!

- I started working out last month.  And I'm not just talking about a few runs on the treadmill, I'm talking personal trainer with two friends.  Now THAT is serious business my friends.  In fact it's so serious that by the time some of you read this I will already be up and working out at 5:15 in the morning!  Yikes. Who the heck am I.



- I miss Disney.  Like a lot.  More than I thought I would.  Especially since Epcot's Food and Wine Festival aka the best time of the year is here.  So is Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  Sad face.  I miss my Disney family most of all though.

- The month of September also saw the official decision to GO TO EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yes on July 17 I will find my self starting a 16 tour of 6, count em 6 different European countries!!!  I believe that deserves a mulitide of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!! Obviously more to come on this too!

Lastly because of the this trip to Europe and in an effort to be more money conscious.  The month of October is officially dubbed as "#Notober".  What does that mean?  Basically it means that other than the essentials, IE. rent, bills, basic foods.  We are not doing anything that requires spending extra money.  This too will be documented on le blog.  So far so good.  But then it is only Oct 2.

Well there ya have it, September.  I suppose there weren't as many things wrong with as I thought when I started this letter to you.  But still, I'm glad to see you end.  Here's to hoping October is a better month.  Because I WILL be blogging from now on.  Since work blows I need something to help distract me from the fact that I hate going to work everyday (well most days anyway).

See ya next year September,
Kathleen