Roadtripping Day 7: On the last day of our trip, we explored San Francisco! We started of my treating ourselves to a blowout at Drybar, and then we headed down to fisherman’s pier for lunch. We took a walk through north beach and Chinatown after lunch, and ended up going shopping downtown at the end of the day. Surprisingly, after all that trail hiking over the course of the trip, navigating San Francisco proved to be a huge challenge. We had already returned our rental car, and the transit system was really complicated-and this is coming from former-New York MTA riders! There was a lot to do and see, though, so hopefully I can make a trip out there again soon!

Roadtripping Day 6: Hiking in Big Sur

If you’re someone who craves beautiful landscapes, Big Sur better be on your bucket list. I read about this rugged stretch of California shoreline as a kid, and have wanted to visit ever since. My friends were awesome and athletic enough to indulge my desire to hike in Andrew Molera state park, which is at the northern edge of the preserve area. We chose to take a very challenging trail that was 9 miles long and interspersed with challenging uphill sections that made my calves ache and my entire body want to take a serious nap. But the views from the top were truly awesome- like, seriously, stupidly beautiful. The trail even took us through a grove of redwoods- the first big trees of many I would see over the coming days.
Also, side note: As you can see from my pictures, the majority of my trip had me wearing workout clothes and running sneakers… And I am so glad I planned it out that way! I firmly believe that as a woman, you cannot feel fully relaxed when made-up and wired-in. I got to a point of giddy relaxation over the course of this trip that I am really thankful for.

Roadtripping Day 5: Monterey

My friend and I took a pause in Monterey on our way up the coast of California. I was excited to take a nice long jog along the water, and even more excited when I learned that Monterey Bay has an awesome path that runs right along the edge of the ocean. I ran just a few miles north, up through Pacific Grove and to the edge of Carmel. I spotted my first sea lions along the way!

Roadtripping Day 4: Hearst Castle and driving the California 1 through Big Sur

On day 4, Sara and I set out early from Santa Barbara to head up the coast on the famed California Highway 1.
We took a stop at Hearst Castle in San Simeon around mid-day. It was pretty foggy out on the particular day, which put a damper on touring the mountaintop mansion of Mr. William Hearst, but the architecture and art was still pretty incredible.
After getting back on the road, we crossed into the most challenging portion of driving in the whole trip, as highway 1 snakes along the edge of a cliff going through Big Sur. Sara did most of the driving, and I did most of the calming. The views were truly spectacular, though, and worth every terrifying twist and turn. We stopped to take some victory photos with our trusty rental car, which we nicknamed ‘Lil Blue.

Roadtripping Day 3: Santa Barbara

After two days in the smog of LA, Sara and I were excited to get on the road. Our first stop was Santa Barbara! Santa Barbara was a really cute city with some really beautiful scenery. Sara and I hiked up to Inspiration Point in the rugged Santa Ynez mountains just east of the city. The views at the top were amazing, and the food at the bottom wasn’t too shabby either.
We were only in Santa Barbara for a day, but it was a relaxing day for sure!

Roadtripping Day 1: Los Angeles

Hello friends!
As I might have mentioned in previous posts, I was lucky enough to travel up the coast of California over the course of the last 10 days. I took some great pictures and made tons of great memories.
My friend Sara and I flew into LAX, and promptly rented a car. Before the trip we had thought we could use LA’s public transit system to get around. This is not so. If you ever decide to visit Los Angeles, make sure you have access to a car. LA is not a walkable city.
That said, we attempted to walk it the first afternoon. We visited some boutiques along the sunset strip and caught a glimpse of the Chateau Marmont. We felt like the last humans on earth as we wandered up the empty sidewalks as cars sped past. I had a ball later on driving the loopy roads of the Hollywood hills, then starmapping the mansions of Beverly Hills. I love that kind of driving, but all the steep hills and blind curves made me wonder how anyone could even go out for a jog or to walk their pets in LA, never-mind surviving on public transit alone.
The next day, feeling disheartened by the epic and terrifying traffic my nav system kept slamming us into on the LA freeways, Sara and I made our way to Santa Monica. This was perhaps our favorite part of our LA stop. The beach at Santa Monica was clean, the boardwalk was cute, the water was warm and the sunblock was abundant. We spent the morning on the beach and the afternoon shopping and eating at the abundance of vegan/gluten free-friendly spots along the way.
Later, we attempted to find the Hollywood sign and to visit the walk of fame. After sitting in stopped traffic for over an hour, we gave up and sought out a Panera Bread in Glendale for sustenance.
Overall we had a great time in LA, but the traffic and the limitations it puts on your day was definitely a downfall for the city.

#tbt back in the day when my pointe shoes were my favorite footwear, and I got compliments on my tutus

#tbt back in the day when my pointe shoes were my favorite footwear, and I got compliments on my tutus

We have arrived!!!  (at Santa Monica Pier)

We have arrived!!! (at Santa Monica Pier)

Off to California today!!!!!

Off to California today!!!!!

If I ever do manage to figure out how to use the Netflix, the only thing I do want to see is that “Orange is the New Black.”
Mom, during mother/daughter pedicures
The True Story of a Teacher in the Summertime

I have been out of school for approximately ten days. I say approximately because I no longer keep track of what day of the week it is. I love my job, but damn, I have grown to love summer vacation.
My vacation started out pretty complicated, see.
After saying my final goodbyes to my outstanding coworkers in Harlem, I was tasked with the challenge of packing up three years worth of clutter in my Brooklyn apartment. I scheduled my move out of New York and back to Boston just 48 hours after the final bell rang at work. I have become a hyper organized person since starting teaching, but in the past I have been the total opposite. My move ended up going smoothly, but I had to do an awful lot of prep-work beforehand to make it go that way. If I had to give three tips to people preparing to move, it would be these:

1. Start early. Packing takes weeks.
2. Everything needs to be in a labelled container of some sort. No loose items, and no mystery boxes that you don’t know whats in them.
3. Get rid of as much stuff as you can. Let’s be real, you don’t need it.

With the help of my dad and two friends, I had my belongings tucked into a Uhaul within an hour. Unpacking took about two days, since I’m bunking in with Mom and Dad for the next few months and I have no need for my apartment supplies. (HI MOM/ROOMIE YAYYYY)
Then I set out full week of VACATION in the lakes region of New Hampshire.
This, my friends is where the magic happens.
The thing is, teaching is extremely stressful. I know there are other stressful jobs, more stressful jobs, even. But teaching, and particularly teaching in the inner-city, is up there on the stress-meter. I love it, it’s super rewarding and working with wonderful little weirdos is literally the best. But before last week I hadn’t gotten a full night’s sleep in months. And when I did sleep, I felt guilty for not doing more for my students. I often would wake up at 4am, just to get an extra hour of prep work in before my hour-long commute on the ever-unreliable NYC subways. This week of vacation is not only much need, but totally necessary.
I’m not going to be laying around for long, though; Next week, I head off to the west coast! I’m going to be traveling up the coast of California for a week with my friend, and then I’ll spend the remaining three weeks of July teaching art at a summer camp near San Francisco. It’s going to be a big adventure for me; I’ve never been west of the Mississippi. But I am ready for it!

So glad it’s here!

So glad it’s here!

First trip to the lake this year= it’s officially summer!!!  (at Newfound Lake)

First trip to the lake this year= it’s officially summer!!! (at Newfound Lake)

Straight to the Heart
Student: Ms. B... You're moving, right? Will you at least come and see me?
Me: I'll try! I want to come to your graduation next year especially.
Student: okay...
Co-teacher: we can FaceTime Ms.B sometimes too, honey.
Me: and you can email or write me.
Student: oh...
Me: do you want a hug?
Student: YES!

Favourite quotes per book: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Saw this movie last weekend. Cried five separate times and loved every line. More on this later.