The Flat Irons

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The Flat Irons

I'm baaaaaack! Sorry I missed so many posts the past two weeks, it's been pretty chaotic with classes starting and filling up my free time with way too much fun. So, I'm kind of not sorry. Haha, just kidding! Although now there are plenty of charades to fill you in on for the next few weeks.

Before classes started two weeks ago, a few of my friends and I went to Boulder to do some outdoor adventuring. We started at one location where Andrew, our pro-climber bud, wanted to show us some rock climbing routes. In order to get to the wall we had to cross a "rushing" river, which was enough fun in itself. Almost all of us made it across but our friend, Laura, had trouble getting her dog, Bear, to cross the river.

So...The guys (Andrew, Matt, CJ and Nick) decided to stay and rock climb while us chicks (Laura, Liz and me) took our adventure elsewhere to make sure Bear could be a part of the fun, too. I got to see where the guys were climbing before we went to another location and snapped a few photos of Andrew's very impressive climbing skills. Liz took us to one of her favorite hikes at Chautauqua Trail at some mountains called the Flat Irons. It was absolutely amazing along the way and the view at the top was beyond stunning.

{Just the drive to get to our first spot}

                        {The terrifying rushing river we had to forge. Yes, we caulked the wagon.}

{Matt belaying, CJ betraying. Nah, I just wanted to rhyme.

He was documenting -- doesn't rhyme as well.}

{Andrew being a baller at climbing}

{Some wild animal}

{Did I mention that he climbed that wall to put up rope for everyone else?

A.K.A. 

without

 any rope supporting HIM!}

{Apparently it's not a big deal so I should stop freaking out that he can do that.

Toooootally playin' it cool.}

{Where we brought Bear for the "Girls Hike"}

{Yeah, I'll say it. The guys missed out. BIG TIME.}

{Where are the cows?}

{Nice panorama of Boulder}

{If you squint really hard, you can see Denver. No, don't hurt yourself. You really can't.}

{Seeing snow when you're in 80+ degree heat is like eating an

 ice-cream cone under water or something....horrible metaphor}

{Liz and Laura's dog, Bear}

{Laura and the wild beast}

{Very impressive rock climbers....jealous yet, Andrew?}

{Pensive...and thirsty}

{Tell me that's not crazy!}

{Hooligans}

{Making our way down}

Hope you liked it! Plenty more to comeeeee!

Love, Peace and Chicken Grease,

~Kelsey

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Boulder

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Boulder

{Saw this on our drive out to Boulder. Bet you never knew people waterski here. Yeah, me either.}

Last week when my sister was visiting, I made sure to take her to Boulder, one of the most organic, healthy and just places to which I've ever been. The Pearl Street Mall, the main "strip" of shops, reeks of fair trade, nature-loving style -- I know a lot of my "hippie-esque" friends would love it. It is a great place to stroll down and have your senses get bombarded by a variety of things. It's a really great place to be and I think my favorite aspect is the Native American flavor woven throughout the area. My sister and I went on an overcast day (one of the few here), but the musicians were still out happily strumming along as people moseyed by. We took my Uncle's dog, Wallie, with us for our mini adventure and I was lucky to get a few photos before it started raining.

Because I'm starting grad school classes tomorrow, I know I won't be able to put as much time into my blog as I would like. I will, however, update it as often as I possibly can. 

For now, the M-W-F thing is on hold. Any time I update, I will be sure to share it with you on Facebook.

Wish me luck!

~Kelsey

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Labor Day in Wash Park

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Labor Day in Wash Park

This past Labor Day weekend was just way too much fun to describe. The weather was amazing, the amusement never stopped and the company was perfect. With my sister, Shannon, in town visiting, we made sure to show her what real Denver fun is like. Nick, Shannon, our awesome friends from Iowa and I spent Monday in Washington Park (nicknamed Wash Park) all day and just soaked in the rays over a few games of volleyball, kanjam and catch phrase.

As the summer wraps up and fall begins to set in, reality comes to the forefront. Grad school starts today! I'm thrilled for classes to start rolling, get to know the people in my cohort and begin the adventure that the next two years will encompass. University of Denver's campus is beautiful so I'll have to snap a few photos to share with you all soon.

                          {My [younger/taller/skinnier] sister, Shannon}

{Katie, I'm talkin' to you. Yellow head, I'm talkin' to you.}

{Hashtag Shelly. She's trending.}

{Everyone in Denver is insanely active. It's contagious

and

entertaining.}

{My Kanjam arch-enemy, Ben}

{Kanjam = a mix between frisbee + slamming your trash into a garbage can}

{A rim-rim-rim Trey}

{KT, is birthday weekend really over?}

Happy Hump Day!

~Kelsey

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Next Time, Don't Forget A Lunch

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Next Time, Don't Forget A Lunch

Last week, Nick's brother, Mike, was in town for a few days and we decided to take advantage of his outdoorsy motivation to explore. We drove to a park about an hour away and hiked for a solid five hours. Seeing as it was our first time

really

hiking in Colorado we figured that a water bottle, a pair of sneakers and a camera would be sufficient equipment for this trek. After waking up [way too early] after a night out on the town, we realized how wrong we were about ten minutes into our hike.

Mike and his friends who were professional hike preparers (really they just had common sense) had camelbaks, trail mix and sandwiches -- all of which we lacked -- but we still managed to have an amazing time regardless of our light headed, stomach rumbling trance. We just saw it as us enjoying our

post-hike burritos

more than everyone else. Honestly, no complaints here...it was a great

lesson

 way to kick off our outdoor altitude adventures.

{Oh, hey Mike}

{The Pros: Mike-Lizzy-Joe}

{Catching a breath: Joe-Nick-Ethan}

{The funnier Miano brother. Just kidding, Nick, totally kidding}

{Married couple mantle picture!?}

{This looks like it's a scene from right out of the Bible}

{Pensive: burrito or tacos?}

{Iron Man ... Lorraine should be proud}

{This guy wanted to join our party at the top}

{Next horror movie idea: The Trees Have Eyes}

{It's the

Eye of The Tiger

}

Hope you have a glorious and oxygenated Monday...

Cheers,

~Kelsey

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A Hard Day's Night

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A Hard Day's Night

Hey, Jude! Remember that I mentioned in

this

post, we got tickets to see the 1964 The Tribute Beatles Anniversary Concert at Red Rocks? Well, Nick and I convinced two of our awesome new friends, Katie (whose got a birthday today!) and Ben, to join us for the musical accolade attributed to the revolutionary English foursome. The night was crystal clear, the temperature was perfect and the atmosphere was just reeking of musical history. I honestly felt like I was back in the '60s watching the real Beatles perform. According to

this

article, The tribute band performed exactly 47 years to date from when the original musical legends took the stage for "the earliest notable rock 'n' roll performance at the venue."

Unfortunately, the tribute band didn't play a few of my favorites like

Eleanor Rigby, Blackbird, Imagine,

or

All You Need is Love

butttt we still rocked out to other amazing songs like

In My Life, From Me to You,

and

Help!

 along with the thousands of other Beatles fans around us. It was absolutely incredible hearing the music of the world renowned legends that have touched so many people's lives. That night was the

perfect

kick off for our impending Red Rocks concert experiences here in Denver. By the way, the amphitheatre is only EIGHT miles from our place. Ringo! I mean, BINGO! Hahaaa

{And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make}

{If there's anything you want

If there's anything I can do

Just call on me and send it along

With love, from me to you}

                      {Images of broken light which

                      dance before me like a million eyes

                       That call me on and on across the universe}

{You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one}

{Nothing you can know that isn't known.

Nothing you can see that isn't shown.

Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.

It's easy.}

                            {Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.

                          It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out.

                    It doesn't matter much to me.}

{All the lonely people

Where do they all come from?

All the lonely people

Where do they all belong?}

I need to laugh, and when the sun is out

I've got something I can laugh about

I feel good, in a special way

I'm in love and it's a sunny day

Goooood day sunshine!

~ Kelsey

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And an Ice Cold Coors

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And an Ice Cold Coors

What's better than an ice cold beer on a hot summer day? Three FREE cold beers at the very brewery at which they were made. Coors, Coors Light, Miller, my

favorite,

Blue Moon, and several other beers are pretty much served at every bar, pub, restaurant and stadium in town. The Colorado Rockies even play baseball in a stadium that is named after the refreshing brew. Just like

Red Rocks

, the

Golden Brewery

 is one of those places you want to take your visitors. It's also one of those places you just gravitate towards because you can sense the free ice cold beer. It's subconscious, I'm very sure.

By our third visit to the Golden Brewery, we knew our way around and darted right for the tasting room. It's all a really fascinating tour and we even picked up the fact that it's the largest single brewery facility in the world. The ingredients are imported from all over the world to ensure freshness and the brewing process is "carefully nurtured" along the way.

So, what's better than an ice cold beer on a hot summer day? An ice cold beer in your hand while you watch the Colorado Rockies play at Coors Field.  Thanks to our close proximity to all things Coors, summer in Denver, so far, has been perfectly refreshing. We're really trying to take advantage of the amazing weather but had a close call when there was a breeze and knew it was the wrath of Hurricane Irene. Mwahaha.

{I'm actually really praying everyone is okay back east}

{Rockies vs. Astros!}

Happy Monday...Cheers!

~ Kelsey

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Red Rocks and Rattlesnakes!

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Red Rocks and Rattlesnakes!

Say hello to one of the coolest features of Denver...

Red Rocks

! It's claimed to be "the only naturally-occuring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world." World renowned artists and bands have performed there since it opened in 1941. When you first pull up, the panoramic view is stop-the-car stunning. Once you use every ounce of energy you have to make it up the what seems like millions of stairs, you walk out into the open amphitheatre and just soak in the scenery. It's perfect really, you don't even have to talk to the people you're with because they, too, are dying of a lack of oxygen (apparently we still haven't acclimated and aren't in super marathon shape like everyone else here) and can just look around as you try to catch your breath.

Since living here in Denver for the past two weeks, we've already had three guests, going on number four today. It's such an incredible venue that you can't help but want to show off to people visiting. Because some pretty amazing talents have performed there, they created a great interactive museum that displays the history of Red Rocks and its awesomeness. As soon as we saw Red Rocks for the first time, we had to, of course, look up the performance schedule and immediately bought tickets for a 1964 Beatles Tribute concert. It's coming up this week and we're really looking forward to seeing the venue up and running, let alone rock out to The Beatles all night.

Oh and by the way, we almost had a little run in with death when we went hiking in the area....see below.

{There's aerobics classes and boot camps people participate in daily here, it's health-tastic}

{I can't even

imagine

what it's like during an evening concert under the stars with great music and close friends. Add it to your bucket list immediately.}

{The museum lists every show ever performed at Red Rocks in the

 museum underneath the amphitheatre}

                           {Can't wait!}

{Corny but necessary}

{This one is dedicated to Lorraine and Al}

                {If you squint really hard, you can try to see Timbuktu, I mean, the Denver skyline}

{One day when we stopped by they were setting up for

The Unity Tour featuring 311 & Sublime with Rome. Pretty cool to see.}

{And

this

 English goon is back}

{We tried to find some Dino fossils but umm...big fail}

{Just hanging out...on a rock}

{Not even posed, I just caught them like this}

{I think they thought this was a Top Model photo shoot or something}

{AND THEN WE ALMOST GOT ATTACKED BY A RATTLE SNAKE!

 Welcome to the West, Kelsey, really.}

{Just an awesome sandstone formation}

{One of our many "Hi, Mom" photo series}

{Liam had just jumped from the top of that massive rock on the left and didn't break anything.

We were so proud of him. No not really.}

{Jump! Jump! Jump!}

{View of the Rockies when you're driving up}

{And we stopped the car, cause it was that good.}

Hasta la vistaaa!

- Kelsey

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R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (part 2)

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R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (part 2)

After leaving Minnesota, Nick and I had a lot of driving ahead of us. To break up the monotony of the long road, we stopped at "perfect" road trip landmarks you'd want to see smack dab in the middle of America. I have always said I want to stop at bizarre places along the way because, well, isn't that what a road trip is all about? We somehow managed to find the "World's ONLY Corn Palace" and took a hard turn to make sure we didn't miss this once-in-a-lifetime pitstop. Yeah, it really exists.

Once we had gotten our maize fix, we pushed through to Rapid City, South Dakota to ensure we caught one of the Nation's most incredible monuments: Mount Rushmore. It just so happened to be Rally Week in Rapid City so we caught a glimpse of the lives of bikers, which actually ended up being pretty stressful. A packed car + additional blind spots + gangs of bikers constantly passing you = ANXIETY! Luckily, neither of us harmed the Harleys zooming by...the bikers survived our presence, too.

South Dakota was surprisingly beautiful and I definitely want to go back sometime in the future. Wyoming was also pretty gorgeous, but we didn't make any big stops because we were so eager to get to Denver. Fortunately, the stunning views kept us in awe as we made our way through the wide open land to our final destination. 

HILARIOUS story coming to you Wednesday about the first few hours in our apartment. You can't make up these kinda things, it's pretty jaw-dropping.

{As soon as we pulled up and I saw the notorious faces, it actually took my breath away}

{Seriously, good job Gutzon Borglum. I bet he got an "A" in art class.}

{I never imagined you could get this close}

{Which one of these things is not like the other ones}

{Brilliant!}

{Can't even tell you what state this was taken in}

{Don't be fooled, that's not the palace made of edible golden ears...}

{The

Corn Palace

walls are actually redesigned every year.

The museum inside was relatively interesting. It's been around since 1892!}

{Popcorn in the corn palace, typical}

{Irresistible, eh?}

{BAM!!}

{Looks like an old western town they show in the movies

plus the awesome convertible for good measure}

{Nick and I drove separately so I got a little bored at times and snapped some photos of the views}

{Rapid City, South Dakota}

                    {We accidentally took a wrong turn which took us along train tracks

                    through an awesome valley}

{Perfectly groomed fields somewhere along the way}

{At some points, I thought we would never get to the end of the road}

{May or may not have been a mirage}

{Nothing goes better together than good music, windows rolled down

 and a long relaxing drive -- sans 390183 bikers}

{Not the best picture but WE MADE IT TO DENVER!}

Always an adventure,

Kelsey

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R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (part 1)

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R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (part 1)

Since I have unintentionally neglected my blog this week, I think a nice full post is better for today instead of a "Five Things" Friday reflective piece. Wahoo!

Nick (my new roommate and good friend from adventures past) and I made it to Colorado in one piece! Our USA road trip was SO much fun. We were able to check out a lot of the US that we had never seen before and spaced it over a not-too-exhausting length of time. Fortunately, we had friends and family to either stay or catch up with along the way making the journey a [relatively] painless feat.

I'll give you an idea of the route we took so you can follow the photographs captured along the way. To start, I drove down from New York to Nick's house in New Jersey. We left bright and early to voyage through the

über

long state of Pennsylvania. Luckily, our first-day's adrenaline got us all the way to Chicago within the first 24 hours of traveling. 

We spent a day exploring and were surprised by how much we liked The Windy City, seeing as it was the first time being there for both of us. When we departed Chicago, we headed through Wisconsin to make it to my family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Along the way, we stopped at the Leinenkugel Brewery, the Mall of America and a few other interesting places (to come in the next post).

For now, here's the first half...Enjoy!

{Crossing over the Chicago River that flows through the city}

{I don't know why but this building really fascinated me}

{Good ol' Marilyn doin' her thang}

{Nick and I honestly had NO idea that Chicago had beaches along the Lake Michigan coast}

{So, of course, we went to investigate them}

{An interesting entrance to the Lake Shore Drive boardwalk}

{Chicago struck me as a very active, fun city - there's so much to do!}

                 {We particularly liked the boardwalk wall that the water crashed up against}

{Because it did THIS!}

{Everybody needs a little city love}

{Kinda looks like a beehive}

{Fascinating architecture, right?}

{The weather couldn't have been better for us to walk around and sightsee..tourists!}

{If you've never seen "The Bean"-- aka Cloud Gate -- get there solely to people watch.

There are some hilarious strangers out there.}

{Can't have a city without a fountain, I s'pose}

{Strolling through the Chicago Botanic Garden}

{We only roamed through a small part of the gardens

 but apparently there are 385 acres of beautiful flora smack dab in the city}

{After having seen Loyola in New Orleans and, of course, attending Loyola University Maryland, I forced Nick to swing by Loyola Chicago with me. One left to see -- Cali!}

{The view right next to the dorms. Lucky kids!}

{

Leinenkugel

 is Nick's FAVORITE beer

 so it was a treat

to be able to stop by the factory and brewery to see where it's made}

{Frame-able!}

{Tourists much?}

{My Great Aunt Mary and Uncle John's backyard in Minneapolis}

{I wouldn't mind seeing this every morning when I wake up}

{Never thought I'd see the Mall of America. Added to the bucket list and checked off!}

{A kid's dream come true...ours too}

               {OH yeah, we definitely rode this guy}

{And it was the greatest ride I may have ever been on}

{First we spotted the cheese...}

{...then the cheese heads! Bingo!}

 Part two coming next week!

Love and adventures,

Kelsey

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Girls' Adventure

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Girls' Adventure

Before I left for Denver, I had to make sure I prioritized the things I was going to do as well as the people and places I wanted to visit. One of the top ranking activities was 

Camp Harbor View's 5k Harborthon

in Boston, Massachusetts. For the past three years, my best friend, Emily (mentioned 

here

,

here

and

here

), has worked hard to make this incredible event happen.

When the "official" departure date was chosen for the Colorado excursion, I was ecstatic to learn I could finally make it to this year's Harborthon, after being unable to attend in the past. Emily's mom, Luci (Goose), our long time friend, Nicole (since 6th grade!) and I decided to make a girls' adventure out of the fundraiser and we had a pretty spectacular time supporting Emily.

Harborthon took place on Long Island in the Boston Harbor on the very island that the movie

Shutter Island

 is based on. The event included a beautiful ferry ride to the island, an all-American barbecue spread, a professionally run 5k race, unlimited Sam Adams beer, a free shirt, sponsored giveaways and best of all, a concert by an

AWESOME

80's tribute band,

Rubix Kube

We giggled our butts off, ran an

intense

race, danced the night away and it was all for a good cause! It was more fun than you might expect a fundraiser to be; it was more like a sunset barbecue party that came with a great workout. Be there next year, you won't regret it!

{We couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous day}

{Nothing but foolish memories since middle school}

{Boston has some of the greatest places to walk around, pass the time and/or people watch}

{No girls' weekend is complete until shopping becomes a factor}

{The coolest Goose in the world}

{Goose's fly new kicks}

{Pulling away from the dock and getting a more panoramic

view of Boston was a great start to the evening}

{Look familiar? If not, rent

Shutter Island

right now!}

{The view of Boston from the Island reminded me of

canoeing in Toronto Bay

}

{All of the adorable campers from Camp Harbor View greeted us

enthusiastically as we arrived at the dock. We felt like celebrities.}

{Setting up the stage before the show brought down the house}

{Took photos with Goose every chance I could get}

{Pre-race photo with the girl who made ALL of the magic happen}

{As we were finishing the race, the sun was setting behind the city across the Harbor}

{You would think it would say "Finish" at the finish line, not "Start." Ha!}

{Everyone enjoying the barbecue with the incredible atmosphere}

{Breathtaking}

{They ran like champions!}

{Courtesy of Nicole....during the race}

{SWAG -- Stuff We All Get!}

{Sweaty Betties post-race photo}

{I might have eaten four ears of corn. It was guhhhreat.}

{The phenomenal drummer of Rubix Kube}

                   {Her talent was not only in her singing but her costume changes, too}

{This band was particularly enjoyable because

everyone

knew

every

song and

loved

 them all}

{If you can rock purple pants like that, then you must be an insane performer. He was.}

{Even though this picture didn't exactly come out, there's something about it I really like}

Happy trails!

~ Kelsey

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Empire State of Mind

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Empire State of Mind

Well, here it is...the long anticipated day of departure. I'm leaving New York today and moving towards the next chapter in my life. I cannot believe it is really here. The best way to describe what I am feeling can be summed up in one word: bittersweet. I'm caught in between two worlds at the moment. Torn between the world I became unexpectedly attached to and the life I've long been planning in order to achieve my dreams. One equally as important as the other.

This past year has humbled me in so many ways and I have grown more than I ever could have imagined. I grew close(r) to so many amazing people and saying I will miss them is an understatement. My world has been forever changed by the past twelve months and I am eternally grateful to the universe for making my life play out the way it has.

To be real with you, I'm literally sobbing as I write this. Part of me wants to just say, "Forget it, I'm staying," because it hurts too much to leave everything I have known here.

But

I know that if I stayed, I would be depriving myself of so many opportunities. Change can be terrifying, but change is also a great gift. It gives you the chance to evolve into someone better, someone stronger.

The reason I started this blog was essentially to stay connected with everyone that is important to me once I leave for Colorado. Thus far, I have posted about past adventures, new adventures and I will continue to post about my upcoming explorations out west. 

One of the last excursions I took in The Big Apple was basically my right of passage into "official" New Yorkerhood. I

finally

visited the Statue of Liberty, the fine lady who represents the city of neon lights. I also fulfilled a long time dream of mine to go to The Today Show and be a "face in the crowd" as my favorite morning show anchors report the news to the rest of the world. I spent the day with my friend, Caitlin, and it could not have been more perfect.

Someone is definitely watching over me because I have an incredible life and I am so unbelievably grateful for every piece of it...

{We woke up at the crack of dawn and headed into Manhattan with the business world}

{The morning rays looked stunning against the concrete and

glass of New York's famous skyscrapers}

{Concrete jungle where dreams are made of}

{What a great way to wake up everyday with adoring fans surrounding you. They've got it made.}

{Matt, Ann, Al, Natalie and crew get to constantly meet talented actors, artists, singers,

cooks, world leaders and other people with incredible life stories. They also get to travel

ALL

over the world sharing things with America that deserve to be in the spotlight.}

{The day Caitlin and I went, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone were guests. Incredible!}

{Ann Curry on her way to learn how to create a deliciously edible spread}

{I've always been fascinated by news broadcasting and broadcast journalism making the experience all the more intriguing. Honestly, I would LOVE to have one of their jobs. They make such a huge impact on the world that it doesn't even seem like a "job" to me.}

{Ann even took the time between shots to get to know the people who have come

from all over the country and/or world to see The Today Show in action. She's amazing.}

{You can't be more genuine then that. She definitely has a heart of gold.}

{My favorite network by faaaaaar}

{Are you considered a tourist if you actually live in New York but do really touristy things there?}

{On the ferry on our way to Liberty Island}

{Welcome to the melting pot}

{Good girls gone bad, the city's filled with them}

{There's nothing you can't do, now you're in New York}

{These streets will make you feel brand new}

{Big lights will inspire you}

{Let's hear it for New York}

{...and the amazing food on Liberty Island. Haha}

If I can make it there

I'll make it anywhere

It's up to you

New York, New York

~ Frank Sinatra

Ok, here goes...no turning back now.

It's not goodbye, just see you later.

Love always,

Kelsey

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Winesday Wednesday!

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Winesday Wednesday!

I spent this past weekend at the beach in eastern Long Island, New York, with some family and friends enjoying the weather. The heat and humidity, though, were close to unbearable. To escape the sun's fury, we decided to cruise over to one of the many vineyards that make up the spectacular 

Wine Country

 on the Island and soak in the adorable air-conditioned atmosphere. My Aunt and Uncle are members of the wine club at

Sherwood Vineyards

 in the hidden gem of Jamesport. To put it simply, we had a

great

time. 

My friend Alyssa (of

Savoir-Faire Style

) and I roamed around the property and fell in love with the rustic design of each room. The barn out back was filled with antique pieces that we both agreed were to die for. Being in apartment-decorating mode, I couldn't help but let my imagination get the best of me. Some of the pieces were gorgeous; I would be in heaven if I could ever call one of them my own.

The best wine of the flight was definitely the white merlot. We learned that the wine is white because they peel the skin off the merlot grapes before continuing with the rest of the fermentation process. The afternoon brought me back to memories of the wine tasting I did in Stellenbosch, South Africa (one photo featured

here

). If you've never gone wine tasting, get on it asap!

I used to turn on 

Kathy Lee and Hoda

, on the "Today Show" while I was at work... 

they

LOVE

 their wine and they always crack me up, "Red wine is like exercise in a glass."

Kathy Lee uses

this

to carry her wine and never shows up anywhere

empty handed

. Perfect!

Happy Winesday!

Cheers,

Kelsey

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"Music is My Aeroplane"

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"Music is My Aeroplane"

"Fate – everything happens for a reason. 

And when fate happens look for the good in it as it is there."

~ Catherine Pulsifer

Do you ever have a moment so eerily coincidental you just think "the universe must have planned this somehow?" Well, I had one just this past week that was such a stroke of luck I couldn't believe it.  As I mention in

this post

, I challenged myself to try a few new things before I leave for Colorado -- one being a biplane ride at the

Old Rhinebeck Aerodome

in upstate New York. Pretty random, yet an intriguing thrill.

Here's the uncalculated fluke that fate found comedic...

Two hours after "coming down" from the incredible biplane ride, my friend Emily sent me a picture of the tattoo her younger brother, Troy (as mentioned in

this post

), got that same day. When you see 

this picture

, you'll see why the happy accident stunned me.

 Of all the days to ride a biplane...of all the days to get that tattoo.

Emily and I always say that when you have

déjà vu it means you're in the right place at the right time -- where you're meant to be. This is a fantastic form of 

déjà vu, wouldn't you say? Here are the snapshots from the great day I spent with my friend, Alyssa (of

Savoir-Faire Style

), getting the ride of a lifetime.

{There were antique cars and planes on display that have been collected over the century}

{Adorable!}

{That's our ride}

{That's ma girl}

{And that's Bill -- the brains of the operation}

{Hudson River}

{

The

OLDEST plane in America -- born in 1909. Cool fact: The wheels are actually bicycle tires.}

{Captain America's ride?}

The few hours we spent learning about planes and aeronautics bumped up "learn to fly a plane" on my bucket list. Emily and I were lucky to see where the Wright Brothers were "first in flight" in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina two summers ago as a part of

this trip

, originally planting the idea in my mind. 

One thing at a time...

Happy Monday!

~ Kelsey

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Honda Indy Toronto

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Honda Indy Toronto

On the last day I was in Canada, Liam and I decided to check out the Honda Indy of Toronto. I had always wanted to go to a NASCAR-esque event and this was the perfect opportunity. As soon as we arrived at the track, we heard cheering and the quick zoom of racing engines. We had to walk all the way around the massive track to find a viewing area that wasn't crawling with hundreds of spectators. Fortunately, we found a spot that was along a "quiet" back strip of the track that we could see the cars pretty close up as they sped by. It was another sunny, great day and perfect for this outdoor event. I'm really happy we found our way there because it was a thrilling first-time experience.

{There was a showcase of "hot" cars inside the main exhibition room}

{Free unlimited supply of Dr. Pepper -- dream come true}

{The winning car!}

{Keep dreamin'}

While we watched the race we heard there was actually a decent collision somewhere on the track. 

We weren't sure what was happening until we caught it on youtube. 

Here's footage of the crash

-- too bad we couldn't see it in person. 

(The driver was fine, don't worry!)

Happy Hump Day!

- Kelsey

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Explore. Dream. Discover.

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Explore. Dream. Discover.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.

Catch the trade winds in your sails. 

Explore. Dream. Discover.”

- Mark Twain

Two months ago, I set off on an excursion with my aforementioned best friend, Emily, through four major Canadian cities during Memorial Day weekend. We literally went just

because we could. Plus, Emily had never been to Canada before, allowing us to use that as a "valid" excuse. We spent less than 24 hours in Toronto and the weather was not particularly pleasant, leaving us with an unsatisfying judgment of the city. A few things we wanted to do just didn't seem as appealing as the sky looked like it was going to fall on us at any moment. Because of that, we skipped ahead to the rest of our itinerary.

As I mention in

this post

, we met some other international travelers along the way and managed to keep one around longer than we expected. An English fool named Liam actually agreed to spend a solid amount of time with us and didn't appear to be too scarred by the end. We all kept in touch once we parted ways, which is one of the great things about meeting people when you travel. 

Fast forward...I returned to Toronto on a long weekend excursion after hearing so many intriguing things from Liam about the city that Emily and I completely missed. Like the quote says above, I did not want to be disappointed with myself in the future for not taking advantage of an opportunity to give Toronto one more chance. So I did!

Liam showed me around the city and even took me canoeing in the Toronto Bay, where he occasionally takes canoe tours as a side job. The weather was amazing and the views were continually stunning. Seeing the city from the harbour was breathtaking, especially as planes took flight right over our heads. I'm almost positive Liam and I did not stop laughing as the weekend rolled along and the ending of it all was bittersweet. This trip was just what I needed to hold me over until the Colorado chapter begins. I owe Liam a lot for showing me such a great time -- certainly won't forget it.

{Queen's Park Legislative Building. Great lawn for a nap.}

{The name of my parents' former restaurant}

{Union Station. There's something about the flag colors and shadows that caught my eye.}

{Wouldn't want one of these guys sitting on my head}

{CN Tower}

{View from the lookout floor}

{Pirates?}

{Looking straight down through the glass floor = terrifying.}

{Sitting on the glass floor 1,122 feet high -- most unnatural feeling ever}

{Beautiful city}

{Frame in a frame}

{At night, Toronto is just as spectacular as it is during the day}

{The start of our day on the water}

{Nice place, huh?}

{Need to learn how to sail...ASAP!}

{My personal tour guide}

{Like a scene out of Mary Poppins}

{Sunglassed stud}

{Zack Morris would definitely ride in that whip}

{Liam behind the lens. Candid!}

{Absolutely corny. Love it.}

Hasta la vista,

Kelsey

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Do Not Fear Risk

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Do Not Fear Risk

Two weekends ago, several of my friends and I went on an excursion to

Atlantic City

, New Jersey (what I call America's Las Vegas of the East Coast). We had all been wanting to venture there for a while and one of our friend's birthdays was the perfect excuse. We pretended to live like high rollers for a few days and enjoyed the dazzling lifestyle of casinos and gambling.

Some of us won, some lost. Either way, we risked a little money for an entire weekend of unforgettable memories. At first, I attained some winnings, which fluctuated for most of the weekend allowing me to prolong my fun with the casino's money. I ended up breaking even, which was fine by me. It was very interesting, though, to get a sneak peek into the life of a gambler. Addictions, like gambling, can be a serious problem but we were lucky to have skimmed the surface with our minimal bets -- that were still hard to part with -- and just had some luck-of-the-draw fun.

During the day, we needed a break from the dark, neon slot machine-filled rooms and took advantage of the beautiful weather outdoors. We moseyed down to the over-crowded beach to catch some rays and recharge for another night of flashy, energetic escapades. The weekend turned out to be a perfect balance of fun, celebration and relaxation as we escaped from the familiar surroundings we have all grown so used to at "home."

{Beautiful bayside view from our hotel room at

Harrah's

}

{A little patriotism just before The 4th of July}

{Great dancing in a chic atmosphere}

                     {Pool by day, club by night}

{About half of our group. Looking like celebrities, eh?}

{Chaotic boardwalk}

{Travis and Meghan}

{Rockstar}

Gambling or not...always remember:

"Large gains require significant risks"

I'm no astrologist but if you're feeling unsure of something today...just take a risk. 

You win some, you lose some...but it's better to have tried and lost than not have tried at all.

"You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully 

when we allow the unexpected to happen."

- Paulo Coelho

Love and Luck,

Kelsey :)

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Raving About Raspberries

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Raving About Raspberries

During the summer when the weather is warmer and I have more time on my hands, I like to be a bit more creative with my drink selection. Rather than just reaching for a cold beer or soda, I have tried to embrace certain flavors and fruits that are only best during the summer months. Like

this post

 displays, it's really easy to throw a few fresh ingredients together to make for a delicious and refreshing concoction that even guys like. 

Using a recipe similar to

this one

, my cousin, Sean, and I followed the typical mojito combination but added a blast of flavor with fresh raspberries. Turned out to be a perfect compliment to the minty drink. Give it a shot, I promise you won't be disappointed...

Close your eyes, take a sip and you're basically on vacation. Happy Monday!

Love and Laughter,

Kelsey :)

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There's A Spark in You

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There's A Spark in You

The 4th of July... America's Independence Day... Widespread celebration... Commemoration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence... Our Nation's birthday... 

{I want to apologize for not preparing a post for Monday, I couldn't help but be caught up in the activities of a great three-day holiday weekend! Hope yours was just as enjoyable...}

Recently, I was able to pass by New York City's Ground Zero and observed the progress on the

Freedom Tower

, which is set to be complete by 2014. This structure will be built 1,776 feet tall making it one of the tallest structures in the world while simultaneously symbolizing the year the United States attained its freedom, 1776. Walking by Ground Zero gave me the chills; it was the first time I had gotten so close to the site of the September 11th attacks in over ten years. I am very appreciative I could see the grounds on such a beautiful day -- it was breathtaking.

During the holiday weekend, I spent a few days in Atlantic City, New Jersey (the East Coast version of Las Vegas) for a friend's birthday (photos coming soon) and the rest with friends in Northern Jersey at a family barbecue. The weather could not have been better and the company was supreme. Filled with great food, laughter and fireworks, I'm happy I was able to spend the weekend like a real American should. I even got to ride a motorcycle for the first time!

The evening of the 4th culminated, as expected, with booming, colorful fireworks illuminating the coast of New York. The view from a New Jersey beach was stunning and the shower of sparks across the horizon looked magical. I am truly pleased with how the photographs captured the sky as it lit up methodically with rockets of glitter and light. Feeling like a kid again, I sat back with my close friends on the beach watching in awe.

{My girl, Dizzy Fresh}

{They see me rollin'}

{Looking not so intimidating}

{Chest bumps. Are they universal?}

{The beginning of trouble}

{The entire line of New York's coast was sprinkled with firework shows}

{See the bridge?}

{Here goes...}

{Attempting to write "Ryan" with sparklers. Not sure why, his name is Bob.}

{Fun for all ages}

{Friends and family gathered around a fire making s'mores together. Perfect.}

{Potential firework lasso}

Without hesitation, I'm adding the

cliche complimentary song

to this post. Happy Hump Day!

Love and Fireworks,

Kelsey

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It's A Wonderful Life

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It's A Wonderful Life

“Manchester, Madrid, Los Angeles or Freetown… football’s a game people love everywhere you go…Every dressing room [is] full of players from different countries, different continents. But, even though you may not speak the same language as your teammate–and you may have been brought up in completely different backgrounds–when you’re playing football together you understand each other perfectly.” 

– David Beckham (U.K.)

Over the weekend, friends of mine from various walks of life came together to have fun and simply enjoy each other's company. The weekend had been planned for quite some time and even with a few kinks along the way, it ended up playing out just perfectly. The main event of the weekend was soccer-focused and the

CONCACAF Gold Cup

 was in the spotlight. Lucky for us, we were able to see TWO quarterfinal games in ONE day! The first game was Costa Rica vs. Honduras. The second was Mexico vs. Guatemala.

I have been extremely fortunate to have attended the FIFA World Cup in the past and these two events were easily comparable. Team spirit saturated the air, powerful enthusiasm filled our ears and vibrant fans covered every direction in which we looked. Whether or not you were from one of the countries playing, you couldn't help but be completely consumed by the contagious energy everywhere.

Being fond of American traditions, we collectively planned a tailgate party at which we ate, drank, laughed, played games and made friends prior to kick-off. The parking lot of The New Meadowlands Stadium (aka Giants Stadium) is an ideal location for tailgating, encouraging us to take full advantage of the sports-related opportunity. Of course, I snapped some shots of the event as it played out to ensure that I shared some of my favorite moments with all of you.

The games, themselves, were completely outrageous. The passion was evident in every spectator and it was nearly impossible to avoid being consumed by it. Honduras was the victor of the first game and Mexico took the win in the second match. From children to the old-timers, the spirit of the audience had no age requirement. Within the stadium, we cheered as a universal unit hoping that our designated teams would win. Some left disappointed, some left overjoyed. But in the end, we all had a "fan"tastic time together. Get it!?

{Savannah and Ozzy}

                                   {Slappey -- Step aside George Forman}

{Melissa and Sara}

                          {Ladder ball}

{Our favorite and best new teammate, Carlitos}

{Emily and Melissa -- two of my worlds colliding}

{Beth and Sav -- you picked the right chairs, girls}

{Vibrant Suzanne}

{Meghan: Cornhole Enthusiast}

{My little fashion inspiration}

{Nearby vendor snacks...delectable} 

{Cornhole aka Bean Bag Toss}

{Beautiful Savannah}

{Chelsea and Me -- Or should I say, Chels squared? Thanks, Millie}

{Beth, Me, Suzanne, Emily, Savannah}

{Our new Family}

{Country Pride}

{Me gusta Copa Oro!}

{Costa Rica v. Honduras}

{Beginning of the shoot out}

{No pressure}

{Undercover: Ozzy & Rob. Sorry, you've been exposed.}

Even if you're not a soccer fan, I highly recommend attending a game. It's a brilliant sport; there's a reason it's the most played game in the world. Countdown for the next World Cup: 1080 days.

Happy Hump Day!

Love and Laughter,

Kelsey :)

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Running Wild

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Running Wild

While I was out for a run last week, I decided to redirect my route towards the trails on which I used to train before the cross country season began. I spent countless mornings winding through the woods, fields and marshlands near my house attempting to get into better shape during the hot summer months. After getting a much needed break from running, I've recently rediscovered my love for the liberating, solitary escape as I step away from reality and into a mind-wandering freedom.

During the aforementioned run, I meandered down to the marshlands (as I have done so often before) and I suddenly wanted to smack myself in the face. Why haven't I been down here lately? Why haven't I brought my camera? Why haven't I shown this to anyone else before? All questions zooming through my mind at once. I let myself off the hook when I realized that this place has served as

my

escape,

my

personal running niche away from everyone and everything. To give these trails

major

credit, they have truly helped me regain a mental and emotional balance as I have faced my share of challenges. It seems like the right time to share this nook with all of you now.

The entrance of these marshlands is a mere half mile from my house but extend out to the Long Island Sound where several mini islands are accessible to walk and run along. As I was well into my run, I noticed the way the afternoon sun fell peacefully on the boats and glistened on the calm water. I was breath taken. I stopped suddenly and took in the entire atmosphere.

After some time passed, I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity for a little picnic on the beach. The next thing I thought to do was sprint home, grab a bottle of water, a sandwich and my camera. I did not want to miss the sunset, of course, pushing me to get back to the deserted shore as quickly as possible. I snapped some shots of the wildlife and scenery along the way. I laughed to myself as the deer were completely unaffected by this out-of-breath, sweaty girl trying to get a decent close-up shot of them.

I enjoyed a fantastic solo picnic as I stretched my muscles and watched the sun go down. There were moments that I wished I wasn't alone, but I actually grew to appreciate the time I had to reflect and breathe with just myself. If you haven't had time to spend with YOU lately, I highly recommend it. I left the marshlands feeling incredibly content. It was the perfect way to end the day.

Since it's Monday, I'd love to share a little pick-me-up song that's added a skip to my step lately.

Christina Perri sings

this terrific song

that I've been playing on repeat. She has an incredible voice and her lyric video is mesmerizing and perfectly crafted. Hope this starts your week off right :)

TTFN... Ta Ta For Now,

Kelsey

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