Tag Archives: fun

P L A Y

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This weekend I bowled, climbed an alpine tower, flew in the air connected to wires and a harness, picked up trash from a local river, played kickball, shared a meal with friends, roller bladed and did homework outside. I got to play. At the end of the day, when I hopped into the shower I could see dirt running off of me, little scratches appearing on my arms and legs and splinters on my hands. I felt like I was nine again and my mom put me straight into the bath after spending an entire day outside. This weekend was perfect. The sun was shining, it was warm, all of my friends were in town, and it was just what I needed.

On Sunday evening, when my weekend began to wind down, I realized how much of a gift it is to simply play. To lay in the grass, to get too much sun on my shoulders,to fly through the air,  to scream of excitement while I tried to remember how to rollerblade, to eat tacos with friends, to slide into second base during kickball, to get my clothes muddy. What a gift, and what a gift to have friends to do all of those things with.

Weekends like that can be hard to come by at the end of the semester. The weather gets better, but the homework gets harder. As I look at both the weekly forecast and my weekly schedule, it looks as though I will be inside, appreciating April showers, and turning in assignments. I am holding on to this past weekend, cherishing those moments, and using the motivation of having more just like it to get my homework done.

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End of the Season

Well folks. The 13-14 snowboarding season has come to an end. Since December, I have spent countless hours strapped into my Burton snowboard cruising down App Ski Mountain. App Ski Mountain ended the season with their annual meltdown games and it was a blast to watch. Not that I am an incredible snowboarder or anything but this weekends closing ceremonies made me reflect not only on these past 4 months, but also but the past 3 seasons. When I first started snowboarding, my freshman year of college I was terrible, afraid of everything and my gear consisted of rentals and family hand-me-downs. I never thought it would become something I did more than a few times a season…but it did. I never thought I would ever attempt a rail or a jump…but I did. I never thought I would own my own gear…but I do. I never thought I would make so many friends out there…but I did. In the midst of frigid temperatures and unbearable downpours of snow, getting to go snowboarding kept my spirits high and gave my friends and me something to look forward to. I am thankful for every fall, every lift ride, every jump, every box hit, every ride and every morning I woke up sore. It was sentimental taking my last ride down the mountain. I took it slow and appreciated the view of the Mountains, the sunshine, the snow and the people surrounding me. Every season of life comes to a close so with that I say… bring on spring!! I’m ready for ya.

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Surviving Traveling in Groups

Most of my traveling experience has been with groups. From summer camp to mission trips and cruises, I would like to think I have some experience dealing with large amounts of people for long amounts of time. Some as large as 70 and others as small as 5 but, whether you are cruising, camping, touring or road tripping here are some of my survival tips to make the most of your trip. Also, please enjoy some very old photographs.

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Avoid cliques and engage yourself with others

No, I am not a middle school guidance counselor but, even as I have grown older and traveled in groups this has become a problem. Be friends with everybody, it is so much more rewarding that way. Rotate who you sit with on the bus, who you sit with at the table, who you go exploring with and so on. I have watched and experienced some of the closest friendships grow over the years. I am thankful for the friendships that have formed abroad and then continued when we returned home.

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Patience

This word speaks for itself. Just take a deep breath.

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Respect smaller groups

Raise your hand if you and your friends have ever taken over a mcdonalds. My hand is raised and if I had 12 more hands they would be raised too. As a larger group, it is important to make sure that smaller groups are enjoying their experience just as much as you are. Even if it is a McDonalds. This past trip to Costa Rica we went on a snorkeling excursion. It was my group of 15 and then 2 couples on their honeymoon. I felt bad for the 2 couples, I really did. They are just trying to have a romantic boat ride and they got stuck with 15 college kids. I think we made a pretty good effort to respect them. We let them eat first, get on and off the boat first and we gave them their space. In the end I think they had fun with us but, I could only have imagined the nightmare that excursion could have turned into for them.

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Share and Rotate

I have never experienced a more dramatic shower experience than I did while being a camp counselor. I think they all had themselves convinced that if they didn’t shower 1st they couldn’t shower at all for that day. OR, my personal favorite, if they offered to shower last they might slip by without having to take a shower. Even if you aren’t a group of 7th graders sharing cabin, sharing and rotating who goes first (or last) in the shower is important.

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You do you

This was something that took me a while to learn but, after a long day, it is important that you do what is best for you. Everybody has different needs and routines. If you need cut out on a round of card games a little bit early or you need to take some time alone to read your book, do it.

My youth group friends and I could stay up for hours playing card games. On our last night in Puerto Rico we stayed up almost all night playing games (young and wild and free, right??) That next morning we had to catch an early flight so I had absolutely no sleep and it turned into one miserable day. Even though it was years ago, I have vivid memories of laying on the airport floor with a fever and throwing up outside of a gas station. When I got home that night I was running a fever over 100 degrees. My Mom gave me medicine and put me to bed. Luckily, all I had to was sleep it off and I was fine. I am no doctor but, the only thing I can assume was that my body was so exhausted it just broke down on me. I would never take back any of those memories but, had I not been going home that next day, what would I have done if I was sick in Puerto Rico? It is important to pace ourselves and know our bodies so we can have a great trip, no matter how long the length.

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I hope that you have a great weekend friends! No matter if you are just heading out to dinner or snowboarding with a group, remember some of these tips for having the BEST experience!

Peace out–HayUp

Costa Rica Part Dos: Sarapiqui

Sarapiqui, Costa Rica is the location of my 2nd leg of my trip to costa rica, and probably my favorite. It was a smaller town but offered lots of fun tours and excursions along the sarapiqui river.

La Quinta, Sarapiqui Country Inn and Eco-Lodge (no, not the franchise):

La Quinta is a Country Inn and Eco-lodge that has been nationally certified by the Costa Rican Tourism Board with its Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST).  La Quinta strives to have little, to no negative impact on its immediate environment and that is evident in every aspect of their property. The local owners have spared no expense to ensure that their quaint lodge is held to the highest sustainable standards. Complete with a butterfly garden, river bank, a pond )that serves as a home to 3 caimans), 2 swimming pools, a small farm, beautiful landscapes, a delicious restaurant and housing for both families, couples and large groups, La Quinta was my favorite Eco-Lodge that I stayed at through-out my trip.

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Activities/ Excursions/ Tours:

Finca Corsicana Pineapple Farm: According to their website, they are the largest organic pineapple farm in the world. We went on a tractor ride through their 3,000 acre pineapple farm and even got the treat of seeing a baby sloth with its mother and a family of howler monkeys (we heard them long before we saw them). Every few feet our tour guide would hop off the tractor, pick a pineapple, cut the pineapple with the machete knife he kept in his pocket and then pass it around to all of us. He did this time and time again, fresh pineapple after fresh pineapple. Coming from the girl that cannot afford fresh pineapple and buys it from the can, this pineapple was incredible. At the end of our tractor ride we were greeted with fresh pina colada, a treat so delicious and fresh it can only be further described by a picture.

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White Water Rafting on the Sarapiqui River: I cannot get enough of white water rafting. This was actually my first time and I was glad that I saved my first time for Costa Rica. Before we even got in the raft we were taken to jump off this little ledge. My friends and I had so much fun doing this while the guides took our pictures. The water was refreshing, the sun was out and the rapids were just adventurous enough. Our raft guide, Carlos, really made the experience for us. He kept things fun and adventurous. He would splash us, throw us out of the boat, let us ride on the front of the raft (he called it cowboying), pointed out the wildlife and told us all about himself. Half-way through the trip we stopped for…guess what…a fruit break. Complete with watermelon and pineapple. After our pineapple farm tour the day before I stuck to watermelon.  Even though some of these pictures make it look like I am disgusted, I was actually having a great time.

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Chocolate Tour: Costa Rica is home to the Cacao Tree which produces the beans that are used to make chocolate. This tour was located in the rainforest, where we trecked across one of the longest suspension bridges in Costa Rica. Even though it was raining on this day, there was something surreal about being in the rain forest while it was raining. The cacao beans that we tasted were bitter, bitter, bitter but it was a good feeling knowing that I was eating the kind of chocolate that was actually good for you. We sat in a small gazebo where we were taken through the start to finish process of how chocolate is made. From the cocoa plant to sipping liquid chocolate we tasted every process in between. Even though I still prefer a hershey bar, I enjoyed tasting and learning about this organic chocolate. I even met a friendly couple from Belgium.

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Thanks for reading friends! Part Tres coming soon!

#spoiled

Another Christmas that my family has given me way too much. Despite the fact that there were no presents under the tree until Christmas Eve, my family took care of me and #spoiled me with so many gifts and food. 2 warm and fuzzy hats, J. Crew sunglasses, 2 necklaces, a scarf and the perfect mug for me! Oh and don’t forget about Costa Rica! I hope that your Christmas was great also! Of course Christmas isn’t about these material items, it’s about the birth of hope and of our lord and savior!

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Avoiding Winter-Break Boredom

Christmas festivities are winding down, you have finished an entire netflix series, you are out of money from shopping, you have finally caught up on your sleep, your parents have gone back to work and you are home for 2 more weeks. Oh! And my personal favorite…your parents are threatening that if you don’t get off the couch you are going to have to go through all of your old childhood things (avoid that as long as you can).  Yep! I’ve been there and so have all my friends. My friends from home and I  have gotten pretty creative over the years trying keep ourselves entertained, spend time together and get ourselves out of the house, away from the leftovers. We are here to share our wisdom with you! This is to all the college freshman out there who literally have no idea what to do for another 2 weeks and are missing their friends from school.

Try to make a little extra money because, who can’t use an extra $10? Ask your family, grandparents, aunts, uncles or neighbors if they need some extra help getting things done. Bathe dogs, walk dogs, wash some cars, babysit, do some yard work, polish your dad’s “glory days” trophy collection or just go tap dance downtown. I guess you could say i had the “privilege” of bathing  my sister’s dog and now my gas tank has a few extra gallons in it.

Get outdoors! Try doing all the things you used to love to do as a kid. Rally the gang and ride some bikes, climb a tree, jump on a trampoline, ripstik, play tennis at the park, Rollerblade and take back your neighborhood streets from the new generation of munchkins.

Get creative. I would say that this is our specialty. We have made our own music videos, destroyed the kitchen baking cakes, played board games, dedicated a whole day to crafting for our dorm rooms and even tested out at-home kid’s science experiments. Now is the chance to unleash your weirdness and creativity because once college is over you are gonna be wishing for a random Wednesday to whip out the glue guns with your best friends.

Catch a weekday matinee movie…like I said, when is the next time you are going to be free on a Wednesday  afternoon to catch a cheap movie? Not to mention there are just some great movies out right now.

Explore your town! You are a student now so you get all kinds of discounts! Hit the museums, art galleries, local parks and town landmarks. I’m guessing that your local museum has changed a few exhibits since you went on a middle school field trip there. 

Hope this helps! And if none of these things work you can try starting a blog because I love it and it keeps you busy!

How do you Avoid Winter Break Boredom?

Hosting Your Broke College Friends For A Weekend

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WHOA BABY as in… Whoa Baby finals are over and I am slowly making my way home for my Christmas break. Just days away from Christmas, New Years and then Costa Rica! I am proud to report that I got straight A’s this semester (Merry Christmas Mom and Dad) and now that finals are over I will have lots of free time to devote to blogging and being present here on the blogosphere.

I had an INCREDIBLE mountain weekend with my friends! I love Boone always, but even more when I have time to enjoy it without the stress of class. We had two big sleepovers and two days that were action packed at Appalachian Ski Mountain. Even though my friends were braced with some not-so-ideal snowboarding conditions they still learned like champions and in the words of my friend Kenzie “Shaun White ain’t got nothin on us.” Here are some of my tips on how to successfully host an awesome snowboarding weekend with your broke college friends. These might be really obvious but they are my fun little way of recapping the weekend.

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1. Check Out Group Rates

We couldn’t get a group rate at the mountain this time because there wasn’t quite enough of us but, we got one with a big group last time and we all saved about 10 or 15 dollars. It is definitely worth giving the resort a call to see if they offer group rates and if you qualify.

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2. Make your own magic

We had all just finished exams so we were all pretty exhausted and spent out on Christmas shopping. Friday night we made our own magic in my apartment. We jammed out to Justin Bieber’s Christmas album, played games in my apartment and caught up with each other. As for Saturday night…let’s just say we all headed to bed early. We are college kids…we just need to be together to have fun!

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3. Pack Your Lunch

We saved a ton of money by not buying lunch at the Ski Resort and packing our own. We made a grocery list, divided the items evenly and took a group trip to Wal-Mart…which is always an adventure. Both Saturday and Sunday we took over a little space in the ski lodge and had our own picnic, complete with Christmas cookies. We may have received some dirty looks from the employees but I am thinking they were just eyeing our goodies.

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4. Get an Early Start

Ski Resort tickets can be very expensive, especially on the weekends, so get an early start and get the most out of your day! My friends loved waking up to Christmas music, coffee, my bright and shiny face, waffles and scrambled eggs. We made it to the mountain at quite an impressive hour, beat the crowd and had a FFFFFUUULLLLLLL day seizing the slopes.

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5. Rent Local

This is something that I wish I would have known long ago. Many local ski or snowboarding shops offer rentals which can save you lots of money from renting them from the resort. I have my own gear but my friends were able to get a student discount, faster service and a weekend rental from, First Tracks, a snowboard and ski shop literally seconds from my apartment. I give myself a pat on the back because that was my suggestion.

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For all of the things I can’t describe through my typing i have put together this fun little video that captures some of the highlights from the weekend!

I am still learning how to make videos and i dont have the best software so i apologize for all the glitches

https://vimeo.com/82099767