Cali Ticket is Booked!

Next month I will officially be in California! I bought my ticket earlier today and in a few short weeks I will finally be back in the city I was born in. I am beyond excited. Although there is a few more details to plan to get all the logistics of my travels planned out, but I’m going! 

Here’s a throw back photo from the last time I was in California on Lake Tahoe 

Lake Tahoe, California

My travels also consist of taking the train up to San Francisco, which will be the first time exploring the city. I’ve only had an aerial view from when my plane landed in the airport. Any tips on places to go or eat? 🙂 

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Austin Eats & Drinks: SoCo Cafe, Bess Bistro

As my days dwindle down, I decided to make the most of my time left in Austin and to try and do some of the ‘Austiny’ activities and eateries that Austin is known for, which I haven’t completed already. Four days left in my apartment until I’m left homeless for the rest of the summer session. I already moved out most of junk out of my apartment and only have left that I need for the week… which will hopefully (must!) fit in my car.

One stop was The South Congress Cafe. It’s a very nice, more upscale than an average cafe, with some patrons dressing up and others very casual in tshirts. Everyone was drinking on a Friday at noon, so bottoms up!

Drinks:
Voveti prosecco: italy. honeysuckle, green apple, ripe peach – $9
Scottish Jive: henrick’s gin, cointreau, fresh muddled basil, grapefuit juice, simple sytrup, a splash of lime juice – $8

Drinks at SoCo Cafe

I had the Scottish Jive. Let me tell you- I am really picky about my drinks- but this was absolutely delicious. I had to pace myself before gulping this down. You need to try this drink, I know I’m going to be ordering this again!

Appetizer:
Crab Cakes – I didn’t try these because I don’t care for seafood, but my friend said they were delicious!

Entrees:
Smoke Brisket Hash: mesquite smoked brisket, fingerling potatoes, collard greens, red peppers, jalapeño, egg- $16
South Congress Burger: served with house cut french fries – $11
white cheddar & applewood smoked bacon – add $3

Entres at SoCo Cafe

I had the burger- it was great. Fries were delicious, thin, crispy, and had a nice spice. I also had a bite of my friends brisket, which was amazing. I would recommend the Smoke Brisket Hash to anyone (which I would had gotten, if I liked eggs).

The next day I had a friend come visit from out of town. She also likes Sandra Bullock, so I took her to Bess Bistro. I’ve been there before, but it’s the perfect place to start out your night before bar hopping on 6th.

The waiter recommended a drink, I can’t recall the name and their website doesn’t have it either. It was a 1953…something? Anyways, it was basically a margarita. Delicious, but a tad overpriced at $12 ($12 topped out the specialty drink prices) Although, they were very strong, which was a nice kickoff of the evening.

Drinks at Bess Bistro

Since we originally planned on getting appetizers and drinks at a few places, we ordered lightly.

Appetizers:
Crispy artichokes: semonlina-crusted artichokes, crispy spinach, lemon whells, parmesan, garlic aioli- $12
Mac and cheese au gratin– $9

I ordered the mac and cheese, because I absolutely love macaroni and cheese and I think it’s neat that you can order fancy mac at a fancy restaurant. My friend loved their artichokes. We were both full at the end of our appetizers. She even helped me out with the mac and cheese (which is order a la carte) and we still didn’t finish it. We left stuffed and didn’t order any other food for the rest of the night.

We ate on the terrace, arriving around 8pm the sun was starting to go down, so it cooled off as the night went on. They have mister fans as well. There were only 2 other groups up there the whole time we were there. Our waiter had tables downstairs, so we were able to enjoy our time sipping our drinks without being rushed out the door and I didn’t feel bad enjoying our time because we weren’t taking up a table. Also, The waiter can’t split the check through select items, only down the middle.

Picture from their Facebook page of the terrace.

Here’s a quick pic we took before heading out for the night!

What other places should be on my Austin bucket list? Any recommendations for places to eat or places to go would be appreciated!

Summer School Update

Last Monday I turned in my midterm. Next Friday my final is due. That is how short the first summer session of classes is.

I’m taking my first ever communication class called Lying and Deception. This class would be beneficial for anyone. It’s especially interesting for me since I’m totally into Law and Order, NCIS, and all those other USA cop/detective shows. By the way, check out this gorgeous new building this class is in.

Communications Building

Belo Center for New Media, photograph taken by me

The other class I’m taking is Positive Psychology, which focus on the positive, rather than negative, aspect of psychology. Most classes in psychology concentrate on mental illness and any negative aspects that can affect your life. The methods in treatment focus on how to get you out of being depressed, etc, but not necessarily on how to be positive or happy. This is exactly what this class does. I leave this class every day with a new perspective on how to live my life better. It’s a great class for my degree and future employment, as well as my personal well being.

Overall, these classes are extremely fast pace and require lots of time and commitment, but nonetheless are some of the most enjoyable and interesting classes I’m taken at the University of Texas.

What summer classes are you taking? Do you like them?

 

8 Ways to have a Productive Summer: College Students

8 Ways to have a Productive Summer: for College Students

  1. Get an Internship or Job.

The obvious, duh. Unpaid, paid, part-time, full-time, or just full time office coffee maker- as long as you can put it on your resume, use them as a reference, or get some cash- Do it.

  1. Take a summer class.

Whether it’s online, through your local community college, or your university- all are great choices to get ahead and could save money.  Either take an elective that you’ve always wanted, a hard class that you’ll have more time to focus on, or a class that’s always full at registration are usually wide open during the summer!

  1. Work off that Freshman 15.

Let’s face it, college life is NOT good for your health. Junk food, thirsty Thursdays, finals weeks all adds up on the lbs. Make yourself a work out routine a couple days a week (even if it’s just work out videos you find off of youtube). Anything to get you off the couch and moving will help work off all those extra calories you ate trying to stay awake pulling that all nighter… And Starbucks Frappachinos are not low-cal.

  1. Clean out your closet.

You’ll be surprised at how much stuff you’ll accumulate over four years, which you’ll be reminded of every. Single. Time. You move. So summer time is the perfect to slim down your closet, go through all your purses, shoes, clothes, old textbooks and either try to sell them for cheap or donate them. Use your school’s facebook groups to try and sell these items for a few extra bucks or donate them to a local charity.

  1. Keep in touch with friends.

Reunited with old friends from high school. Keep in touch with friends that are traveling abroad. Text friends who are half way across the country. Call your grandparents. Talk to those who mean something to you. College keeps you busy and you don’t always get the time to talk to everyone you want or as much as you should. They’ll appreciate the phone call.

  1. Volunteer.

Great for the soul. Great for the resume. Great for connections. Great for meeting people. Great for playing with puppies.

  1. Update your Resume and LinkedIn

Use your college’s career center to help with ideas, examples, they probably even have a service that will help you edit and enhance your resume. The new internship/job/volunteer work needs to be added 😉 If you haven’t already, make a LinkedIn account and have a profession presence online. Clean up your facebook account- delete the solo cup pictures and the hangover statuses.

  1. Plan for your future

The scary…. Future. Ah. I know, I know. What are you going to do after you graduate? Grad school? Work full time? Travel? Figure out your game plan and how to execute it. Going to grad school- start studying for the GRE. Working full time- starting sending out your resume. Travel- starting saving your money and planning your trips.

 

Any other suggestions for what you or other college students should do to keep their summer productive?

 

Second and Last Day of Summer.

Tomorrow I start summer classes. A bittersweet beginning and ending. My last summer semester of classes. My last summer -at least free non-full time working- summer. I’ve had two full days of just spending by myself, not working, not at home spending a chaotic mess with a mix of family members, running around herding my family like cats from graduation ceremony to ceremony to activity to touristy destination.

Two full days of just pure relaxation of real summer. And today is already day 2. This morning I slept in, of course. I woke up and ran a mile. (Ran being an optimistic word… more like a slow jog with a -let me slow down, I’m checking my phone while walking and catching my breath- type of run). I am SO out of shape. I have not been regularly running or exercising in about a year. It took be 12 minutes to jog a mile, coming from the girl who played soccer all her life. I wasn’t running to get the best time, I was just running to get my butt out of bed and get some exercise, so I was just happy I made it outside and ran! Hopefully this will help be get to sleep a little bit better tonight, so I can wake up for class tomorrow.

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I need to get one of those running arm bands. Though it’s been hard to find accessories for the iPhone 5c… If anyone knows of any good ones, please let me know 🙂 Maybe one with a slot to put a key in it.

The air conditioning in my apartment isn’t exactly working at the moment and seeing as I ran at the hottest point of the day, I headed to the pool to cool off. I laid out and tanned for a bit. My barely noticeable tan is coming along nicely 😉 I have to slowly work my tan up over time, because if I lay out for too long and burn, I just peel white.

Tonight I’m going to Blues on the Green, hopefully, if I can get there early enough to find a parking spot. I’m not sure exactly all the details, as I’ve never gone before. My friend says parking is hard to get, but everywhere is Austin, parking is hard to find. We’ll see. I’ve heard of it before, but never been, so I’m excited for another Austiny thing to do. It will be a great way to wind down before the end of my summer before classes tomorrow.

Did you exercise today? Anyone else taking summer classes to accompany me in my pain this summer?

One small post, one leap toward adventure.

With most writing I ever do, I can never start. I just have to force myself to throw something on a page and eventually turn in it to something great. Me, as I feel like most people, have been wanting to start a blog/website for a while, but life got in the way. I finally had a day to myself, for once, to finally start this new experience of blogging.

With a couple summer classes short of finishing my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, I will be traveling, roaming, failing, loving, and living life to the fullest on my new adventures of a recent college graduate and I plan make the most out of them. I already walked in the university’s graduation ceremony in May, but this summer will be the last summer session of my college experience. This summer will be my last to explore and make any new friends and memories of the last of my ever so fond, college years.

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I feel like the best is yet to come after college. So far in my travel itinerary I will be traveling to California and Hawaii, after my summer courses are completed. How many places in California will I stop? Who knows? How long will I be staying in Hawaii? Maybe a couple weeks, maybe forever? 😉 Before a settling down and getting a full time job, I plan on traveling and getting some real worldly (or at least just traveling across the US) experience. I want to be able to document my travels, adventures, friendships, hardships, tips, and also read and learn from other’s travels and life experience.

Another adventure that I’ve always been wanting to do is travel/backpack through Europe. I’ve always wanted to visit Spain, go back to my roots. Although the hard part is the execution. I have several friends who also want to go, but finding the right times, funds, and destinations and all those logistics get in the way. One way or another, I will eventually make my way over to Spain and hopefully many other countries. I feel like if I had the opportunity, I would just end up traveling and exploring the world instead of actually living and staying in one place for the rest of my life.

Most of my life I spent in Texas. 1 year in California. Moved to Texas and I’ve been here ever since. I’ve lived in a suburb outside of Houston, San Antonio, and now Austin. Although, I do love Austin, I know there’s so much more of the world I can explore and I’m ready to dive in. For now, I’ll stay in Austin for a couple more months and make the best of it. There’s still so many more things this city has to offer me. I just have to get my butt of this bed and get out there.

Did/do you want to do any traveling after college or before getting a full-time job? What travel tips or experience can you share?