Golden Birthday Weekend Adventure

Golden Birthday Weekend Adventure

Last Friday was my golden birthday - that’s when you turn the age of your date of birth. So, you guessed it, I turned 27. I wrote a blog piece on how I feel about turning this age and everything leading up to it, if you want to check it out. But one thing that I have learned over the years of existence is that I am the creator of my own happiness. I had hoped for a long while that someone would throw me a surprise party, but with the fear that I’d be let down, I planned my own birthday weekend celebration. I decided that I wanted to go to Red River Gorge in Kentucky.

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Chicago’s Green River - St. Patrick’s Day

Chicago’s Green River - St. Patrick’s Day

This past weekend was one of the coldest St. Patrick’s Days that I can remember. Although, the past 4 years of celebrations were in Louisville, KY which is more warm anyhow. This year, since I’m in Illinois, I wanted to take advantage of where I live and experience what Chicago offers. Do you ever take for granted what’s easily in reach for you? Because out of all the years I’ve lived outside of Chicago (with my math, that looks to be 22...woof), I’ve never seen the Chicago river turn green for St. Patrick’s Day.

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NYC Adventure

NYC Adventure

So did y’all know that I love my brothers? Well, newsflash: they are the freaking best. And my youngest brother, Joel, is wrapping up his time at Marquette University as an athlete. He’ll be graduating this Spring with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, but he’s savoring his final year with his track and field team as a pole vaulter.

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Charlestown State Park

Charlestown State Park

Since I have moved back to Illinois, I have been DEEPLY missing what Louisville, KY offered. I miss the local food, the bourbon, the breweries, the people, the church that I call home - but I especially miss the vast amount of options for hiking and exploring. One of my go-to places that is only a 30 minute drive from downtown Louisville, is right across the river in Indiana: Charlestown State Park.

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Colorado Winter Trip!

Colorado Winter Trip!

My brother planned a short, but fun-packed winter trip up in the Rocky Mountains to Grand Lake, Colorado. Sleigh rides, frozen lakes, great family and friends, and even tubing - one of the more fun adventures I've been on in a while.

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24 hour Trip to Minneapolis, MN

24 hour Trip to Minneapolis, MN

This year marks my youngest brother’s last year in college and his last year doing track and field for Marquette University. Which means, traveling when I can to see him compete doing pole vault. This past weekend he was in Minneapolis, Minnesota and flights up there were so cheap! So off I went for a 24hr trip to Minnesota.

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2017 Chicago German Market

2017 Chicago German Market

Every year for most of my life, my family makes a trip downtown Chicago in December before Christmas to see the German Market: Christkindlmarket. It’s an annual outdoor market that’s only up right before Christmas in Chicago. It’s always festive, freezing, and magnificent, and so amazing.

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Hiking the Flat Irons - Boulder, CO

Hiking the Flat Irons - Boulder, CO

Because the last time I was in Colorado it was to capture my brother proposing to his now fiancé, I didn’t really have time to enjoy Colorado the way I wanted to: hiking those mountains. So I made another weekend trip out there to hang out with my brother, his fiancé, and my cousin. I knew I wanted to explore Boulder some more, so they suggested hiking the Flat Irons – even though none of them had.

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2017 Solar Eclipse

2017 Solar Eclipse

About a week or two after moving back to Illinois from Louisville, KY, on August 21st, 2017 one of the largest events in the US in 2017 occurred right through Illinois. The solar eclipse. Some weren’t convinced that this wasn’t a huge deal – but I have NOOOO idea how these people made those decisions.

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#SwaninLondon - Day Ten

#SwaninLondon - Day Ten

As this trip carried on, I continually felt more and more exhausted. It was probably because I’m not used to being such a tourist – moving around from place to place with a schedule. However, after my freezing cold sleep in Dumfries, Scotland, I was ready to hit another milestone in my travels.

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#SwaninLondon - Day Eight & Nine - Edinburgh

#SwaninLondon - Day Eight & Nine - Edinburgh

The depression and loneliness were still heavy on my chest as I woke up this day. I decided to try and conquer it by getting out of bed and doing something. Although Edinburgh Castle was on my list to see, my host turned me off from it. She said that it was a waste of money and definitely better looking on the outside. Plus, I was kind of tourist-ed out and tired of paying for a ticket to enjoy a place. I just wanted to enjoy Edinburgh and the culture and scenery.

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#SwaninLondon - Day Seven - Edinburgh

#SwaninLondon - Day Seven - Edinburgh

At this point in my journey, I started getting more and more tired of being a tourist without anyone to share the experiences with. I started getting extremely lonely. I think the train ride out to Edinburgh was a nice relaxing break. It was about a 5-hour train ride through the country-side of England and it was lovely.

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#SwaninLondon - Day Six

#SwaninLondon - Day Six

So after sadly missing my scheduled trip out to Stonehenge the day prior, I made certain that I woke up in time to catch my scheduled train out to Windsor. Leaving around 7am, I was able to make it to the one and only Paddington Station. I didn’t expect it to be as large as it was. It spanned about 16 stations for trains and reminded me of an airport with everyone watching the train board of arrivals and departures.

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#SwaninLondon - Day Five

#SwaninLondon - Day Five

So on this day I had planned to wake up early to catch a bus tour out to Stonehenge and watch the sunrise. It was not the typical ticket to go see Stonehenge, but an exclusive one that took you up to the stones as the sun dawned on the day. I thought this would have been the perfect opportunity to capture some amazing pictures. I’ve heard that this place gives you chills at points. 

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#SwaninLondon – Day Three

#SwaninLondon – Day Three

Now that I have gotten the important sites to view out of the way and feel like I’m a little more comfortable roaming around London, the next couple of days will definitely have a lot more photos to tell the story. I knew that I needed to capture the unique place in London in which I was staying, so on my mile walk to the tube, I snapped what I saw. Shoreditch is an area in London that life has taken over the dreary walls and warehouses. The people are versatile and young. The walls are looming with art. Street art was seen all over the place and I would say that I never saw an empty wall. It was teeming with colors and shapes all so different. Take a look below!

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