"When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky"
-Guatama Siddharta

Over and under and up and down...sunshine and thunder...a laugh and a frown!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Austin bats


1.5 million bats reside under the S. Congress St bridge. Just around dusk they all leave to go find food...it's really impressive regardless of your feeling on bats!

Here are some videos that I shot from last night

Friday, August 19, 2011



So I ventured about an hour and a half outside of Pittsburgh today to Mill Run, PA...definitely worth the drive! Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater is a sight to be seen. The organic architecture is amazing. Breathtaking really. The home was literally built into a mountainside with a good portion of it hanging over a waterfall (much to the initial dismay of the original homeowners who had envisioned a home with a beautiful view of a waterfall). FLW's vision was very different, he wanted the home to be an entire experience of nature and that is exactly what you get when you walk through the home. There are elements of the outdoors throughout the home. It defies many of the "rules" of the architecture of it's time. I highly recommend a visit for anyone who is traveling to the area!

To get there from Pittsburgh you definitely drive through some sleepy little towns, and you almost think that it's impossible that your journey will end in an amazing piece of architecture...but it most definitely does!

I also passed some amazing little outdoor adventure places and lots of put ins for rafting and whitewater kayaking...wish I had mine with me :(

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Laura 0 McDonalds 3


It has come to my attention that perhaps I'm an overly difficult customer. And by overly difficult I mean when ordering a coffee at McDonalds I ask for Splenda and Milk (I compromise, I'll take any milk even though I'd prefer Skim) rather than cream and sugar. There are several reasons for this. Creamer is a horrid substance that just doesn't work for me, and the "sugar" that is used at McDonalds in coffee is a syrupy substance that I'm quite certain is capable of inflicting instant diabetes.

So it first became apparent that I had a problem with McDonalds and coffee when I was in Nashville with my dear friends/family Shannon and Bill. We were piled in Bills truck for a post gym breakfast (don't most people do that?!) and Bill ordered my request through the speaker. There was some slight confusion at this stage but it appeared to be worked out. Until the window. When the woman opened the window for us to pay she said, verbatim, "What exactly did you mean by milk?". The three of us (Shannon, Bill and I...because clearly Ms McD's was not on the same brainwave) looked at each other in shock, amazement, and then did everything we could not to laugh hysterically (which may or may not have happened before pulling away from the window). I will note for the purposes of my coffee research post that I received the coffee, it had been made with cream and the diabetes syrup. No milk. No splenda

Next up, fast forward a couple of weeks and a few states and I'm in St Louis. I go to one of my favorite McDonalds (the one near my house where the drive through smells like raw sewage. Yum) and order my large iced coffee with milk and Splenda. No confusion on the speaker ordering system, and no apparent confusion when I get to the window...is this possible? I get my coffee and it looks...off. I take a sip and most definitely got more than I bargained for. Not only did they put cream (no milk) but they put the syrup AND splenda in there. Hello Diabetes.

Fast forward again and I'm somewhere in the middle of nowhere driving from MO to PA (see, told you, middle of nowhere Dorothy!) I stop for a coffee, this time going inside the McDonalds and ordering in person (maybe this will fix "the issue"). I order my large coffee with milk and Splenda. Pay. No issue. Until she says "Is cream ok" to which I say "no I'd like milk please" and she doesn't miss a beat, opens the fridge and puts milk in instead of cream". So, if the system is this simple, why the issues??

Amaze-balls sunrise


In continuing my journey across the US, I was up bright and early to drive another stretch of 10 hours...normally this would suck, but I had a few friends along with me...Tina, Garmin, and a beautiful sunrise. You know, Tina Fey. I've recently discovered the beauty of audio books and have become a HUGE fan for long road trips! It's like having a friend in the car, and in this case, a really really funny one. Garmin is less friend-like and more like a really annoying, bossy, and often incorrect with directions boyfriend.

On to the reason for this post. I literally watched the sun rise, and I've never seen a sunrise quite so amazing. It was like a big red fire ball. Unfortunately my iPhone camera didn't capture the beauty effectively, but I tried!

Books Read (or listened to!)

My Horizontal Life

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer across the US


This summer has been a wild and crazy one thus far, and it's showing no signs of slowing down! I feel like my feet landed on the ground after Guam and haven't stopped running! I flew to Nashville for a long weekend and was able to spend some good quality time with my surrogate family and Bestie for her Wedding Shower...

Outside the Pancake Pantry. Sweet Potato Pancakes=YUM!
Back to MA for a few days, and an intense Whitewater Kayaking Clinic on the Deerfield River before I was on the road again. Drove from MA to Pittsburgh. Stopped there for the night, then drove from Pittsburgh to Nashville for Wedding Week (yay Shan and Willis!) The week was full of laughs, Dance Central, crazy BFF Rose adventures, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaid's luncheon, and the grand finale...the most beautiful Wedding imaginable!

Getting the Bride to Be all decked out in appropriate bachelorette attire!

The Obligatory "hat" from Dick's

Missing the Bride in this pic

She got an extra special hat :)

Flower girl and Bride to Be at the Bridesmaid Luncheon

Rehearsal Dinner at Rumours...amazing food/staff/party!

Adorable sign on the front door of Rumours!

I wish I had pictures of the wedding. I was way too busy on the dance floor to tote around my camera! Thankfully the very talented photographer captured all of the evening (in more than 3000 pictures!) 

Next adventures for the summer include heading back to Pittsburgh, then to Austin, back to Pittsburgh, then driving back to MA before leaving for my next assignment...any guesses where I'll be going?!