Friday, May 23, 2014

Summer Fun

So I was on Pinterest today, and a summer to-do list popped up on my feed. With my new job, I get July and August off, so I thought it would be fun to make a list of things that I would like to do this summer.

Now, it's not one of those "I have to do EVERYTHING or summer is RUINED" kind of lists, just some stuff that I want to try to do, and things to make the summer fun! I ended up with 25 things... mostly because that's how many lines were on my tablet.
Summer Fun List

1) Go to the beach.
At least once... probably more.
2) Go camping.
A lot. So far I'm planning on PA, VA, and NC.
3) Make my own ice cream.
I remember doing this as a kid... I wonder if Mom still has the ice cream maker?!
4) Read 10 new books.
10 is a solid number. Maybe more? We'll see!
5) Lose weight.
50 pounds would be nice. I'm aiming for 10.
6) Can/freeze something.
I'm growing tomatoes... maybe spaghetti sauce??
7) Have a fondue night.
Love fondue, and no cooking!
8) Go to a theme park.
I'm already planning on Busch Gardens. And Knoebel's. Maybe even Hershey??
9) Catch up with friends.
I have lots of friends nearby now that I've fallen out of touch with.
10) Visit a city.
Almost definitely NYC. Maybe a day in Philly, too?
11) Have a picnic by the lake.
Burgers on the grill, anyone?
12) Donate blood.
I've been lax about this lately. And I want new tattoos soon so I won't be able to.
13) Try new recipes.
Lots of them!
14) Go to a carnival/fair.
Fried oreos! Gyros! Funnel cake! This one may be at odds with #5.
15) Have an all-day movie marathon of movies I haven't seen.
I don't mean just 3 or 4 movies. I mean, like, 8am to midnight.
16) Go hiking.
This could go hand-in-hand with the camping, but it doesn't have to!
17) See a new lighthouse.
Or several.
18) Find some new waterfalls.
A day at Rickett's Glen, maybe?
19) Make fresh-squeezed lemon/lime/orangeade.
I don't know if I've ever actually made a whole pitcher of lemonade from scratch....
20) Digitalize some photos.
I've done most photos from my dad's side. I want to sit down with my maternal grandmother, a scanner, and some photo albums.
 21) Send some gifts/treats/care packages to random people.
If I see something or bake something that I think someone would like, I want to send it to them!
22) Learn something new.
I've been meaning to learn at least the basics of a new language. Or maybe a new cooking technique? Cake decorating? Hmm....
23) Watch some fireworks.
Fourth of July? Busch Gardens? I want to see some somewhere!
24) Find a new winery.
I think there are at least a couple around here I could check out.
25) Spend time with family.
I'm close to home now, and have time off. I want to see the people that I love as much as possible!

This summer has the potential to be amazing! Let's see what happens!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Whole New World

A new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us no, or where to go....

Oh, sorry. "A Whole New World" came to mind as a title for this post, and I got caught up in it. It's a whole new world becaaause I've started a whole new life since my last posting!

I've gotten a new job as the theater technician at Princeton University! While I learned a lot, and made some great friends during my time at the park, it was definitely time to move on. I've been with the University for about a month now, and so far it's fantastic! Salary, benefits, normal work hours, enjoyable work. I finally feel like I have a "grown-up" job, and that my life is starting.

I have an office, I get vacation/personal/sick days, summers off, and let's talk about the area. I'm pretty much right smack between New York City and Philadelphia; I'm about three hours from my hometown (instead of 7!), and I'm still only about 45 minutes from the beach. It's pretty much my perfect geographic location.

Along with the new job, I have a new apartment in Levittown, PA. I was looking to rent a house, but they were few and far between. I feel like this is the best bet while I get settled in the area and at Princeton, anyway. I don't have to worry about yardwork or upkeep. Plus, this complex is so much better than the one I was at in VA. I can't hear every little thing that my neighbors do and say... in fact, I haven't really heard them at all. I was leery of a first-floor apartment, but I can't hear the people moving upstairs at all... and it was SO MUCH easier to move into than a second-floor apartment!

It's a one-bedroom, but I have an extra little "den" space that I want to get a futon or pull-out sofa for, so I can use it as a guest room. The kitchen is a little small, but the bedroom and living room are huge! There are plenty of closets, and even an extra little storage space outside of the apartment assigned to me. I have a patio big enough for a little table and a couple of chairs, my own mailbox, enough yard for some potted plants and a decorative flag. It's great! And in a few years when I know the area, job demands, and my money situation better, I can look into buying a house. Until then, someone else can mow the grass!

Levittown is a pretty great area in itself. It's closer to Philly than NYC, but I wanted to live in PA. Mostly because taxes, car insurance, etc. are cheaper. Partly because I've been trying to move back to PA for years, and I finally could! Every store or restaurant you can think of is close by. There are tons of independently-owned businesses, as well as chains, so anything you could possibly need is right here.

Across the street from my apartment complex is a community park with jogging/walking/biking paths, picnic pavilions with charcoal grills, a lake that you can fish and boat on, playgrounds, a dog park, a beach volleyball court, a skate park, soccer fields.... I've pretty much fallen in love with it. This summer, I want to have a picnic in one of the pavilions so I can barbecue!

I've started jogging again, around the lake. It's easier to workout when you have a beautiful area that you want to go to, instead of staring at the wall of the gym. When it's rainy or too hot/cold, my complex has a fitness center that I can use. I haven't been there yet, but at least I have the option. I've been trying to get back into yoga, too. I will lead a healthy lifestyle if it kills me, dammit!

So, sorry this whole post was just me bragging about my life. I had to share all the awesomeness. I'm finally proud of where I am, and happier than I've been in a long time. Hopefully, I'll start this blogging thing more regularly again, but no promises!