Holy Heck She Lives: Florida and Future Content

Personal, Travels

So I want to start by saying that it’s only been two months since I last posted which in comparison to some of my other hiatuses is not that long. However, after a spike of followers and a comment made by my Grandpa about how I should start posting again, I decided I should probably write this.

If you’re new here, welcome. please don’t leave, I promise to be better. I tell this to almost everyone in my life and it’s almost never true so do with that information what you will.

Over Easter, I took a trip to visit my grandparent’s in Florida where the weather was amazing and I didn’t have to go to work or school. Now I’m back in Montana, where I have to do all those things and it’s also snowing…in April. What the actual fuck Montana.

Here are some highlight’s from the trip:

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, I dyed my hair blonde.

Now that I’m back in Billings, it’s back to the daily grind of college which I actually haven’t attended in a few days because I feel empty and like lying in bed all day. (Wow Avery, you haven’t changed a bit.) I have decided that with the end of the school year coming up I will be posting every Monday, Friday, and Sunday and I have put it in writing here so you all can yell at me when I inevitably don’t post.

Some content I have on my to-do list includes:

  • A new coffee convo
  • College with depression
  • Books I’ve read so far this year
  • journal flip-through
  • 2nd semester poetry compilation

I love feedback so let me know what you would like to see next on the blog and also since their are so many new subscribers tell me something about yourself in the comments! Thank you for reading and I’ll see you on Monday!

Belize: bowling & beaching

Travels, Writing

These past few days were our more mellow days here in Belize. We spent most of Saturday sprawled out on the beach or participating in Zac’s new favorite activity, ocean kayaking. Around midday it got cloudy so we walked down about a block to the Jaguar bowling  alley, which is unfortunately probably the closest I will get to seeing a jaguar this trip. Belize is the kind of place, where you need about a month to see everything there is to see and unfortunately we only had a week, so no jaguars.image1 (21)

After bowling a fairly terrible game we walked down to a restaurant called Mangoes. I got some more pasta and literally THE BEST KEY LIME PIE EVER. All the food we have eaten here has been delicious and incredibly fresh.

I had some more pasta at Mango’s. Pasta in Belize is very garlicy and has fresh tomatoes and basil in it.

Today Zac’s dad went fishing, so Zac and I just hung out at The Green Parrot all day. I sat on the beach this morning and finished my book. Zac got sunburn so he stayed inside for most of the day. Everyone at The Green Parrot has been so nice and interesting. I’ve never experienced more welcoming people while on a trip.

I also posted this picture of me drinking Fanta on Instagram. They have orange, fruit punch, pineapple, and grapefruit Fanta, and I am honestly very upset by the fact that I can’t have fruit punch Fanta when I get home. It’s tastes just like cream soda except it’s red and I have been drinking it everyday.

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I feel surprisingly comfortable with my body in this picture. Something about being in a tropical place or on vacation makes me 10 times less concerned about what people think about the way I look. I follow a lot of travel accounts on Instagram and I see all of these young women who are perfectly positioned in there bikinis looking stunningly beautiful, but that’s just not what it’s about. Travel is about experience and when you are exploring a new country there is no time to be worried about how your body looks in a swimsuit.

I can’t believe that we only have one day left here in Belize. It seems like it was yesterday that we stepped off the plane into Houston. I would definitely return to Belize if I had the chance. It is such a beautiful and friendly country.

Belize: Mayan ruins and Placencia

Travels, Writing

Hello again! We are loving Belize and after yesterday we have seen and learned so much more about the country. On Thursday we woke up at 6 in the morning to go and see the Mayan ruins. Before we left we met our driver and tour guide for the day as well as the resort’s manager’s son, Ever. Ever is the coolest person ever. and also knows a shit ton about Belize. We drove three hours across the country to Xunantunich which means stone lady and is one of the biggest Mayan ruins in South America. It was 12,000 degrees, It probably wasn’t really but it felt like it was. We climbed all the ruins and it was something I thought I would never see in my life it was absolutely incredible.

We also saw this gigantic iguana. I have never seen a lizard that big in the wild and I have also never seen anyone more excited to see a reptile than Zac.

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What a guy. Zac’s caption: chub chub chunky chunk the lizard Pic cred: Zac

Cool sights in order of importance: Iguana, Avocado tree, Mayan ruins.

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Avocados

After the ruins we grabbed some lunch at Benny’s even though Zac and his dad had already tasted some termites at the ruins (fuck that shit am I right) apparently it tasted strongly of mint. We ate some food and then hopped back in the car to go to Blue Hole National Park. When Ever said we were going to a blue hole we didn’t really know what to expect but this is what we got:

In the middle of Belize there are a bunch of random fresh water caves and and there are swimming holes in the middle that are like 25 ft deep. It was the most refreshing thing I’ve ever experienced.

After the blue hole we drove home and ate dinner at the Bistro, This was the first pasta meal I had here, other than that all my meals have been tacos and quesadillas. All very delicious.

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This picture is so blurry, I was kind of drunk so sorry.

The next day we took the bus to placencia which is the nearest tourist town to our beach house. We stopped at a bunch of gift shops ate lunch and then got some ice cream at Tutti Frutti (at Ever’s reccomendation).

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Tutti Frutti

Everyone in Belize is super friendly and so far this has been such a cool experience! I hope you all enjoyed the update and the pictures.

Belize: Days 1 & 2

Travels, Writing

image1 (14)Hello from Central America! In case you didn’t know, (because apparently I forgot to tell everyone) me, my boyfriend Zac, and his dad are currently in Belize for Zac’s graduation trip. This is my first trip out of the country and so far it has been beautiful. Besides our unfortunate but necessary stay in Texas, there were not really not a lot of issues with traveling. When we finally got to the Belize airport we got into this tiny plane that flew us to a town called Palencia. The view from the plane was incredible and unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

 

Once we landed, at the smallest airport ever, we were driven to the Green Parrot beach houses which are located directly on the beach. Everyone here is super friendly, and everyone also speaks pretty good English. We got in around 1 on Tuesday and we just spent the day exploring the beach and the local area.

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The view from our beach house

 

Today we spent the whole day on the beach and found a large amount of sea creatures. We found: a crab, 2 live sand dollars, three snails, and a giant lizard. At night it gets really windy and cools off fairly quickly, so we aren’t dying of heat at night like we were in Texas. During the day the ocean is super calm and like 70 degrees at all times. I think we went swimming at around 9 this morning, and it was like a lukewarm bathtub. I have not yet gotten a sunburn and I hope to keep it that way.

Stay updated for days 3 and 4! I hope you all enjoy the pictures!

Missoula

Travels, Writing

March 19th and 20th:

About a month ago I found out that one of my all time favorite musicians, Lady Lamb was coming to play a show in Missoula.

If you don’t know anything about Montana, you should know that the only place popular artists really come to play in Montana is Missoula and occasionally Billings. Very occasionally.

I had to see her perform. I have a painting of her on my wall it would be a waste of an opportunity to not  go. I found a friend (the same friend mentioned a few blog posts ago) and we started planning a road trip.

Biggest problem: I was the only one with a licence and had never driven on a highway before. My ultimate decision was to just wing it and hope that we didn’t get in a crash.

It is truly a miracle that my car didn’t break down. I drive a 1993 Mitsubishi and I was honestly amazed that it could even go 80 mph. The only issue with the car that we really had, was not being able to go above 65 mph on an incline. After about an hour I was comfortable with driving on the highway and we were on our way.

We stopped in Columbus and Rocker for snacks and made it to Missoula in about 5 hours. Driving across Montana is just driving past a bunch of grass and trees and the occasional mountain. Things don’t get that interesting until the Butte pass. [I feel like I should insert a map here for people that don’t know Montana geography.]

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This is Montana.

When we got to Missoula I picked an exit at random and happened to end up right by our hotel. We checked into the hotel, got ready for the concert and then we went to dinner at 5 guys.

I’m a vegetarian and why doesn’t every fast food joint have a grilled cheese option!? That is absolute genius. If your vegetarianism is similar to mine than your favorite foods are bread and cheese and FAST FOOD GRILLED CHEESE IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED. Still waiting on those fast food vegan options though I guess.

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The elusive fast food grilled cheese.

After that, we headed to the venue, which was a coffee shop and once again was conveniently located right by the hotel. The coffee shop was set up with string lights and blankets and gave off a very cozy vibe. Within an hour the space had filled with around 25 people and the concert began. Lady Lamb was beautiful her voice sounded just like it does on her records which is rare these days and her music was so authentic.

Right before she played her last song she talked to the audience about what her new album “Tender Warriors Club” meant. She talked a lot about what it means to be sensitive during hard times, not only in your personal life but in the world as well. With the current political climate it is often times had to remember to care for the things you stand up for instead of just fighting for the things you’re against.

This last month has been a bumpy one for me. After being in and then back out of a psychiatric unit I am still trying to find a way for my mind to work through it. I think I will write about it at some point, but right now I don’t have the guts. Lady Lamb reminded me that that’s ok. She reminded me that it’s okay to just exist with those feelings. Be brave, be a “tender warrior” and live your life to the fullest even if there is still a bit of a monster inside of you.

I cried at the show. After it was over we went and bought some merch and met her and then we headed back to the hotel. We ate snacks all night and talked about how magnificent the show was and how we felt about our lives currently. The answer was good mostly.

The next morning we unwillingly got out of bed for the five hour drive back to billings. After a stop for breakfast at green source and another stop at a gas station we were on our way.

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Green Source Acai Bowl

The trip was one of the only ones I’ve been on by myself and I felt so good the entire time. It’s trips like these that ease my mind and the numbness I sometimes build in myself to keep me safe.

PDX part 3

Personal, Travels, Writing

9/8/2016:

Case Study Coffee:

Sticking to my plan of trying a new coffee shop everyday, I made my way to Case Study Coffee. It reminded me a lot of the coffee shop I visited in Chicago. I chose to try one of the house flavors, so I had a hazelnut latte. Overall I think the people at this coffee shop were the nicest out of all the coffee shops I’ve been to.

The Original: 

After coffee I took a walk up to the Portland State University to check out the campus. Once I hit a certain block right before the campus, it became very peaceful, and I enjoyed a nice walk through the campus. I was supposed to meet my aunt at 12:30 for lunch so I walked back towards her work and hung out in the TJ Maxx across the street until she was finished working. After that we walked down the block to The Original. Since it’s a trend now I got a grilled cheese and tomato soup. I also got a berry shake which was delicious. image4-6

West Side:

After lunch we walked around and looked at some shops that were super cute and also ridiculously expensive. There was a baby onesie that was fifty dollars. The baby would grow out of it before it ever wore it enough to be worth fifty dollars. The day I can throw fifty dollars at clothes for my baby will be the day I have reached peak success.

Tiny Ass Park:

I knew it was small but this is just ridiculously small. It is literally in the middle of the street. Come on Portland. You’re weird. we get it.image8-2

9/9/2016:

Japanese Gardens:

Today was my last full day in Portland and I feel like after seven days I know the city pretty well. We drove up to the Japanese gardens this morning to take in some last minute Oregon nature. The fish and the moss were beautiful. It is one of the most realistic Japanese gardens besides the ones found in actual Japan.

Grilled Cheese Grill:

I highly doubt that anywhere else will you be able to order a make-your-own grilled cheese sandwich and then eat it on a mural painted, refurbished, school bus. You can at the Grilled Cheese Grill and it was pretty unique. Delicious grilled cheese.

Forbidden Annex Tattoo:

I posted that something was happening on my Facebook earlier, and yes, I got another tattoo. The other day when I was out shopping I went into a store called 3 Monkeys, where I met Renee, a licensed tattoo artist. After some emailing back and forth she drew me up a design and I met her at 2:00 today to get it done. I LOVE IT. She did an incredible job. Oregon is the only state that requires you to go to school to become a tattoo artist and it shows. The studio was super clean and provided a great experience. Here it is!

I’ll see you guys Monday, where I will be writing from Montana once again. Thank for everyone who read through my Portland adventure.

-Avery

Portland Exploring

Personal, Travels, Writing

9/6/2016

Powell’s and Burnside:                                                                                                                     

On my first day in Portland by myself I started with Powell’s books. After a quick stop at Pete’s coffee, and a couple of turn arounds I made it to the biggest book store in, I assume, the U.S. (I actually have no idea if that’s a true fact, but it’s big). I honestly probably got more lost in there than I did in the whole city of Portland. When I finished at Powell’s, I still had a couple of hours left before most of the shops opened so I decided to set out to find the Burnside Skate Park. This was more of a challenge than I originally thought because as it turns out Burnside in the morning is one of the sketchier parts of the city. Once I finally made it to the Burnside Bridge, It had become evident that finding a skate park under a bridge was not only challenging to navigate but also potentially dangerous so I decided to postpone the trip…so I guess this section is actually just called Powell’s.

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In Powell’s

 

Kenny and Zuke’s Delicatessen:

After the Burnside stuff I tried to go back to the shops I saw earlier…but I couldn’t find them, so instead I just decided to get lunch. I stopped in a cute looking lunch shop, got a table for one, and got another grilled cheese. This one was on bread this time but it was still pretty delicious.

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grilled cheese and Grape Fanta

Downtown Shops:

After eating lunch I walked out and realized the shops I was looking for earlier were right down the street! I stopped at Wildfang, Animal Collective, Back Talk, and I bought a sweater at HydenYoo New York. It’s grid print, it’s super cute, and it was also 30% off. After this I tried to go into a weed dispensary, but you apparently have to be 21 so I got kicked out… I wasn’t even going to buy anything, I just wanted to go in.

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Back Talk

Salt and Straw:

This is the portion of my day where my phone dies and I sit at an ice cream shop for an hour. After waiting for twenty minutes in line I got two scoops of ice cream. one lavender honey and the other strawberry balsamic with black pepper. Then I sat on a bench for an hour eating it. truly delicious. no pictures obviously.

9/7/2016

Public Domain:

grabbed my morning cup of coffee at Public Domain this morning and sat there until around lunch time when I went to meet Laura. Some important lawyer ladies were sitting next to me and having the most passive aggressive conversation ever but other than that it was still a pretty good time.

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Public Domain Coffee

Burnside Skate Park (for real this time):

Hey I found it! with the help of my aunt and uncle. going to skate parks really makes me wish I could be a pro skateboarder, unfortunately it’s to late for me, I am doomed to photograph skate parks for all of eternity.

 

Voodoo Doughnuts:

Shittiest looking doughnut shop ever but best tasting. I don’t know if I can eat any doughnut that’s not a grape doughnut now.

Boxer Ramen and 23rd street:

I have never had ramen that wasn’t from a bag but it was good and also adorable. I bought more stationary and that took up the rest of my day today!

Next post Friday. Last Portland Post and it will be a good one.

-Avery

Gone To Oregon

Personal, Travels, Writing

I boarded my first plane alone on Saturday September 3rd and immediately had issues with the overhead bins because I couldn’t actually reach them. I remained stressed for the duration of the flight and when I landed at PDX, I just followed a lady who looked like she knew what she was doing until I ran into my aunt Laura.

I haven’t been to Portland for four years and I forgot how nice it was here. It is thankfully very cool, temperature wise which provides a nice break from the scorching heat of MONTANA (what is that even about).

Yesterday we visited Laura’s mom’s house which includes a forest covered in plant life and blackberries. I got a souvenir giant maple leaf which I am planning on pressing and taking home. I have included a picture because I know you are all massively interested in my leaf.

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The big leaf

I ate some fresh blackberries along with some fresh apples and hung out with a dog that was probably taller than me. Oregon and Montana are pretty similar as far as forests go except the trees in Oregon are huge and so are the slugs. After all this forest walking, I took a four hour nap.

Today we went off in search of vintage stores and we came across a plethora of culture and Portland coolness, but before that we stopped at the black hole they call IKEA. I’d never been to an IKEA before and it’s kind of like just walking around someone else’s giant house…except with Swedish Meatballs and a million people. After that we drove around until we ended up on division street where we stopped for some gelato to boost our energy. IKEA was seriously draining. The guy at the gelato place was actually Italian and also looked like he came out of a photo from the 1920’s.

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Pinolo Gelato

After a stop at a thrift store and an incredible craft store called collage we went to some food carts to get some food and we ended up getting WAFFLE GRILLED CHEESE. It was a food cart exclusively for waffle sandwiches and they were delicious.

Our last stop of the day was the Hawthorne district. If there was one thing I wish Billings had it was cute little boutiques and Portland has so many! I picked up some clothes and also paid a visit to the famous jackpot records.

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Jackpot Records

Portland is such a cool city and I can’t wait to explore downtown tomorrow. Stay updated for a new post on Wednesday.

-Avery

Travel Essentials

Non-fiction, Travels, Writing

1 day until Portland! I am so excited to blog about my adventures there. Until then, here are some things I never leave home without.

  1. Plastic pouches: My liquids ALWAYS spill whenever I go on a plane or in a car so I bought these cute little pouches for three bucks from Target and they are the bomb.com. If they get messy all you have to do is rinse them out with water and let them dry.

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    pouches. $3 at Target

  2. Neck Pillow: I only recently purchased a neck pillow and sleeping on the go was changed forever.

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    French Bulldog Collection neck pillow. $15 at Target

  3. Empty water bottle: Nobody wants to be thirsty in a place they’re not familiar with. Bring a waterbottle and save yourself the hassle of buying a plastic bottle.

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    Swell bottle in metallic gold. $42 bando.com

  4. Cozy sweater/flannel: doubles as a blanket. A neccesity.
  5. Portable charger: So convenient. My phone is always dying on me so having a backup battery is awesome especially if I need to stay in contact. Now if only I had a backup battery for when I forget to charge the portable battery…
  6. Tangle stress toy: Keeps me calm in stressful flight situations and is also very entertaining.
  7. Ice Breakers: Planes are gross as it is, no point in making it grosser with bad breath.

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               Portable Charger. $15 at PacSun             Tangle Stress Toy. $6 Amazon.com

  8. Backpack: backpacks fit way more stuff and are way more reliable than a purse. Bringing a backpack enables me to be hands free during my travels.

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    Kanken backpack in Ochre. $75 fjallraven.com

  9. Dry Shampoo: because who has time to shower

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    Batiste and Amika dry shampoo

  10. Makeup Samples: TSA approved and perfect if you want to bring lots of makeup but don’t want to take up a bunch of room.

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    samples from Birchbox and Sephora

  11. An Open Mind: Traveling is not the time to close yourself off. It’s for exploring new places and ideas and finding as many new things as possible.

See you on Monday where I will be blogging from Portland! 🙂

-Avery

The Tourists

Personal, Travels, Writing

Day three in Chicago started off with Starbucks because I was so tired, I could barely move.

Since we weren’t really on a time schedule we decided to go to an art store while we waited for the line at The Art Institute Of Chicago to go away. Eventually the initial rush of museum goers calmed down and we took on the feat of  seeing everything. My initial goal of getting some Ferris Bueller-esque  pictures was thwarted by the amount of people in the museum. My mom managed to snap a few pictures of me while I was looking at the art.

This museum was GIANT and I feel like we barely saw anything even though we actually saw a lot. My favorite wing was the contemporary wing because it had Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein which are my two favorite artists. In Chicago it seems like all the tourist attractions just bleed into each other. The exit from the Art Institute leads to Millennium park and that leads to Grant Park and so on and so forth.

In Millennium Park I saw Cloud Gate and did not get cancer (yet). I also forced my mom to eat a Chicago hot dog for me. She said it was good.

We walked to Grant Park and then went on the lakefront trail, which was weird because it is just straight water. There is no mountains in the middle of it or on the other side which was new. The lack of mountains caused my mom to believe that the lake really wasn’t that beautiful but I liked it. It looked like it went on forever.

image9 As far as plans for today go, our plane doesn’t leave until five so we’re just going to goof off until then. Chicago is supremely cool and I would definitely like to spend more time here in the future.

xxx