Coffee with my Professor friend

This morning, I was so sore from spin. I got a shower, got ready, and then went to go meet Dr. Pamboukian for coffee at Starbucks.

When I arrived around 8:30am, she was already there working on her tablet. I ordered my coffee and then approached her. She smiled and said, “hi.” She got up and we made our way to a table with two chairs. We chatted about literature, approaches to literature, new shows on Netflix, graduate school, RMU, and everything in between.

When I was an undergraduate, I was so intimated by her and all she knew about literature. I grew to respect her and value our friendship. She is definitely someone, who I admire. I seek her advice and feedback frequently. I asked her to attend the practice session that John and I hosted to prepare for the McDonough Leadership Conference. I co-advised 5 students to attend this conference. I wanted her opinion on their narratives.

Around 10am, she had to leave to teach class, but we promised to get together after the Christmas break.

When I left Starbucks, I went to my parents to drop off my hope chest. I asked my parents if I could store it at their house, along with my wedding dress (preserved in a box). Drew and I don’t really have the room. We are trying to clean out the furnished part of our basement, so we can make it into a room where we can entertain guests. My mom and I put my hope chest in my old bedroom, which is now a guest room.

Then my mom and I went to lunch at Hanlon’s in Crafton-Ingram shopping center. I told my mom how coffee went with Dr. Pamboukian, and how much I love hanging out with her. My mom was glad to hear it went well. We talked about thanksgiving, plans to go to the movies on Sunday, and how the semester is winding down.

After lunch, I went home to clean up the house some more and get ready for Drew to come home from work. I started working on my Diversity Initiative Proposal.

In the evening, we ordered pizza and watched Riverdale.

A Night Out

A Night Out

On my way home from Robert Morris University, I stopped at Starbucks for an iced coffee, no classic syrup, a shot of espresso with cream. I needed my espresso. When I got home I kissed my husband, got a shower, and got changed. I kissed my husband one more time, then I was out the door to go to Anthony’s.

There was so much going on in Pittsburgh; Garth Brooks concert, open carry rally, etc. I knew traffic was going to be a nightmare, but I grew up in Crafton and now how to get around traffic. I took the parkway 376 to the Greentree exit. Everyone that was in front of me seemed to be staying straight and heading towards Downtown Pittsburgh. I then took the back way to the West End, which didn’t have any traffic at all, then I hoped on 51 to Mount Washington. It was a piece of cake. I called Anthony when I was 2 mins away. He met me outside. I parked and we hugged it has been too long since we hung out just us.

When we entered his apartment, Dylan was on the couch. I said, hi to him. Then I sat at the table and did my make up while, we got caught up on the latest drama.

Once we were ready, we got in Anthony’s car and I played the usual tunes the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, etc. We parked in the parking lot next to the Shiloh Grill.  We went there together several times before I got married and moved out of Crafton. I turned Anthony onto this place. Image result for the shiloh grill

They have this item on the menu called, “The Britney Spears.” they are chicken tenders. We had to order them because we love Britney Spears and there is so much going on about her in the media right now. We just want her to know that we support her are ready for her when she is ready.
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These are the Britney Spears chicken tenders. They come with two dipping sauces. It was a cute presentation. I had to show you all. Anthony and I split the tenders.

At dinner, we talked about the latest gossip, what was going on at work, his dating life, my internship, work stuff, and what the plan was for tonight. At dinner, Dylan really didn’t say too much.

Also, at at dinner Anthony had this drink called a Happy Ending. It is a cucumber spritzer. It was good. I had a Moscow mule.

After dinner, we checked out the Night Market in Market Square. I was already getting tired. There were some cute things at the Night Market, but nothing I couldn’t live without. We walked past the PPG place on the way back to the car and there were children jumping in and out of this water fountain where the ice rink typically is in the winter time. Summer was coming!

Once we got back to Anthony’s we hung out it was still a bit too early to go out. I knew once I sat on the couch I was going to fall asleep and not want to go out. Anthony got a shower and Dylan and I watched Titanic together. We always recite the lines when we are together. Anthony makes fun of our love for Titanic. He took a snap chat video of us just sitting in the same pose watching the movie.

Around 10:30pm, Dylan left to go home. Anthony and I got in my car and we made our way to the Southside. I haven’t been out to the south side in so long. I drove down East Carson and tried to find spot to park, which is half the battle. Luckily it didn’t take me too long to find one. I parked and we got out of the car and made our way on foot to go up East Carson. All the sudden, a younger man approached Anthony and me and said, “So where are you guys going tonight?” I laughed and looked at Anthony and he laughed. We just kept on walking.  Anthony said, “that was so weird.” We walked into the bar called, “Jimmy D’s.” Anthony has never been there before. I have I won Mardi Gras Queen here back in 2010. When I told Anthony, I won Mardi Gras Queen he was like, “You won Mardi Gras Queen?” and laughed. I said, “yes, I did.” I tossed my hair off my shoulders to be sassy. We walked upstairs and there was no one on the dance floor yet. Once we  approached the bar and saw a sign that says, “Cash Only.” I said, “Oh Cash Only.” Anthony laughed. The bar tender said, “yea, but we have an ATM.” He pointed in the direction of the ATM. I looked back at the ATM and then back at the bartender and then at Anthony. I said, “No thank you.” Anthony and I walked away and down the stairs. Anthony said, “You have an ATM, so does PNC, but I don’t get there to get a drink.” I laughed.

We made our way towards Foxtail (the old Diesel) then we saw this baby in a thing that has wheels on it, and you put the baby in the middle. I don’t know the name of this thing, but lets call it a walker. The baby was cruising around on the sidewalk and almost out in the middle of the street. Anthony  grabbed my arm and started laughing. he said, “Let’s go this way.” We walked in the other direction towards 18th Street. We went to the Tiki Lounge. I asked, if there was a cover? the bouncer said, “1 dollar.” I laughed and said, “I don’t have cash.”  He said, “I am just kidding.” We showed them our IDs and walked in to the bar. The Tiki Lounge has an island theme to it and typically is packed. There were people sitting at the bar, and at tables along the side. I looked back at Anthony. He said, lets go straight back. I walked to the back, and saw only two men on the dance floor just eyeing us up. I looked back at Anthony and pointed towards the front. He laughed and said, “Yea back to the front.” We walked out of the Tiki Lounge and back up towards Nakama where we saw the baby in the stroller.

Across the street we heard some decent music at this one bar. I said, “Lets go over there.” we had to cross the street first. We crossed quickly and entered Bar Louie. This was a multi level bar. We got a drink at the first level of the bar. Then explored the different levels. We walked up the stairs and there some people dancing around the electronic jukebox on the wall. We stood by the wall and watched all the newly 21 year olds. The guys in their khaki board shorts and t-shirts. Anthony and I shared looks and laughed. Things have changed a bit since we were newly 21, or perhaps we were just getting older.

Anthony told me he said, “I saw so many guys checking you out.” I said, “really?” He said, “Yea, especially when we were downstairs.” I just don’t notice it really anymore. I have been married for 3 years.

After we finished our drink, we moved onto the next bar. We walked back across the street to Foxtail. Foxtail used to be Diesel. Diesel has so many memories for me. I blacked out there once (thank God I was safe), past moments with someone from my past, etc. I went here several times with my friends when I was 21. There was no cover. When we walked into Foxtail, the layout of Diesel was the same, but it was less millenial techno club, it was packed. There were some nights where Diesel wasn’t packed.  The neon blue lights with black decor that was once Diesel was gone. Foxtail had a wooden look to it. The DJ booth was still placed above the dance floor. Platforms for dancing and for security to peace keep still existed. I do miss the old Diesel look and the memories that it held, but nothing lasts forever.

The dark creepy hall way still existed with the bathrooms off to the left. The dance floor was packed. The music was blaring. We got a drink. I had one double titos and soda water. Anthony had the same. He bought this round. We went to the dance floor and it took a minute to get into it again and it back at it, but we were dancing and looking around. It was different. It took a minute to get assistance from the Titos to help the dancing and for it to feel normal again.

Two double vodka and sodas, and (one single shot of Titos and soda water later). We were dancing on the dance floor and having so much fun. We would move around to make sure no one creepy would try to dance with us. At one point Anthony spotted a guy with highlights. He said, “I see high lights!!” We laughed. I love going to gay bars with him, but I like dragging him to straight bars too! We have so much fun together. I really needed this time with him. I needed to cut loose and that I did. When I went to the rest room, I was swaying. I knew then I couldn’t drive, so I called my parents. 31 and I call my parents to bail me out of situations. 🙂 My mom was happy that I called and said, it’s 1:30am we will call you when we are close.

When I exited the restroom, I told Anthony and he said, “okay.” I said, “lets go dance!” We went back out to the dance floor and danced until my parents called me. At one point, my mom said,  we are here where are you?” I told Anthony my parents were here. He said, “okay lets walk to the car.” I stumbled out of Foxtail and gave Anthony the phone so he could talk to my mom. We walked to the car and parents met us there. I gave my mom my keys. Anthony called Drew, my husband and told him that my mom came to get us, and she is going to drive Danielle back to their house and drop him off at home. He was happy we were safe. Anthony said, “She needed this ya know cut loose a little.” I am sure Drew agreed, but was happy I was safe.

After my mom dropped Anthony off at home, she took me home. I walked into the door of my parents and my mom made me an egg sandwich. My dad was sitting his chair and looked at me while I ate and said, “Are we a little old to be doing this?” I sneered at him. I said, I am always the grown up and taking care of everyone. I was responsible.” He laughed a little.

After I ate my egg sandwich, my mom gave me some pjs, and a tooth brush. I brushed my teeth, changed, and went to bed. I was hoping to not have a hang over the next morning.

 

Finally Friday

This morning when we arrived in Oakland and, we stopped at Starbucks. I can’t believe I am typing this, but I am sick of Pumpkin Spice Lattes already. I tried something new. I got a venti blonde roast, with a pump of pumpkin, and shot of espresso with room for cream.  Drew’s drink was up first of course. His was simple. He just orders a red eye. Once he got his drink, I told him he didn’t have to wait for me. I kissed him goodbye and wished him a good day.

Once I got my drink, I walked to my building and called my mom and we talked for a bit, but she was walking into work. I called my dad and we talked for a little, once I got in my office, I sat down and went to work. I had a little to do today, but I was hoping for a chill start to my holiday weekend. I am so ready to just relax and do some homework. I don’t have much planned this weekend, but homework. I am ready to go home and get the weekend started.

This evening we are going to Lens Crafters to get his sunglasses, they are in and ready for pick up, and hopefully, we are ordering mine. I am getting blue light lenses, but Coach or Burberry frames is the question?

Starbucks Friday & Friday the 13th

Starbucks Friday & Friday the 13th

So today is finally Friday, but not just any Friday. It is Friday the 13th! Yesterday, I saw a black cat along our walkway, and that is not a good sign. I love the supernatural and the unexplained and scary. I am down for anything halloween and spooky, but a black cat is never a good sign, but they are so cute. Yesterday, was not a good day, which contributed to a long week. I really don’t want to relive this week. It was stressful and so trying. I am ready for a weekend.

Today, I have some requests to do and some things to follow up on, and then it is the weekend. I am ready for 4:30PM. I need a weekend. This morning, we stopped at Starbucks once we arrived into Oakland I got a Trenta iced coffee with one shot of espresso with no sweetener. a Trenta! I  didn’t even know they made a size bigger than the venti! I had to try it. So I dedicate this Friday to Starbucks and the Trenta size.
This evening, I hope we are doing anything, but hanging out. Tomorrow hopefully is another pool day. Sunday, I will at my cousins in Monroeville. I will have updates soon.

Traveling Back to the States

Traveling Back to the States

This morning we got up early, got dressed, ate our last hotel breakfast in England, then back to the room to make sure we had everything packed up. I did not want to leave at all. This was the best trip ever! We had an 8-hour flight ahead of us back to the states. Once again, another layover in Philly. I was so bummed, so was Drew.
When we arrived at the airport, we got checked in and went through security, and decided to check out the shops in the airport. I was checking out Harrod’s. They had two stores one that was just clothes, and high-end designers. The other was their name and accessories.  I forgot to go to Harrod’s when we were in London, but it was nice to go there now, even though we were at the Airport. Drew realized he forgot his Fitbit in security, he went over and gave them his information, and said they would page him if they found it.
Then we checked out Harrod’s accessories in their brand. Drew bought me a super cute tote bag. He surprises me sometimes. We got coffee from Starbucks and picked up a London mug. It was from the Starbucks anywhere collection. Then it was time to head to our gate. It was soon time to board the flight. We got on the plane, got settled in our seats. As we circled the runway, I said goodbye to England. I was so upset. I had to hold it together though.

When the plan was in the air, the flight attendants eventually came around with the beverage cart. We ordered our drinks. I had two vodka tonics, and Drew had two whiskeys over ice. Dinner was yummy, it was a roast, potatoes, and veggies. It was hard to be sad about heading home when you had such good service.
At one point, I finished the last episode of the Miniaturist that was uploaded on to the televisions. I can’t believe what happened and how the guy died, but his wife will be just fine I know it! I was hoping to catch more episodes at home, our Firestick. I also wanted to check for GoggleBox, as well. I am already missing English television.

After the miniaturist, I watched I, Tonya.  It was pretty good, better than I thought it was going to be. I was surprised. Margot Robbie did a good job. I do feel a little bad for Tonya Harding, so crazy though! I do remember that controversy and what happened to Nancy Kerrigan. I was young, but it was a big story.  After the movie, I read some more of Hemingway. I couldn’t sleep. I was running on adrenaline.

When we arrived in Philly, it was 3:00pm. We were in desperate need of a beer. We were drained from our flight. Drew said, the first bar we find. We found this one bar, (I forget the name) everything is a touch screen. We took a seat, ordered our first American beer.  I chose a Summer Shandy. We ordered some cheese fries to hold us over until we got home. The fries were so salty and the beer made me feel so bloated. Ugh, I already miss the food and the beer over in England, it had no preservatives and just made fresh and so good.

After our beer, we made our way to the gate and waited to board the flight to Pittsburgh. I couldn’t believe it we were in the states. Once we landed in Pittsburgh, my mom met us at the baggage claim area. Once I saw her I gave her the biggest hug. I did miss my mom and I know she was glad we were home safe and sound. She helped us with our luggage and my dad pulled up the curb and gave us both a hug. He loaded up his car with our luggage. They had so many questions for us about our trip and wanted to hear all about it.

When we arrived at our house, we brought our stuff into the house and then we ordered pizza. They wanted to hear all about our trip. We gave them their gifts. We bought my mom a little plate with Harry and Megan’s picture on it from the Royal Wedding. We bought my dad a shirt with Union Jack on it. He requested one. We showed them the gifts we bought for ourselves and they were so happy we had such a good time.
After the pizza arrived, we sat down and told them more about our trip, but we were ready for bed. I couldn’t wait to just lay in our bed and go to sleep.

1-Hour to Go

This morning, we arrived in Oakland and stopped at Starbucks. I got my usual, iced caramel macchiato with quad espresso. Drew got his usual, a red-eye (iced coffee with espresso). When we left Starbucks, we kissed and wished each other a good day. He is going to pick me up at 11am, then we are going to head home, grab our suitcases, load up my dad’s car, and then my dad is going to drive us to the airport. I am so excited. I took the David Lawrence bridge to my building. I called my mom and we talked, while I was on my way to my office. I told her I had a meltdown last night because I couldn’t find my black Coach sunglasses. I love those sunglasses. I bought them back in 2013 at Costco! They were probably last season, but that is okay. 🙂 Well, I found them in my book bag, just laying there. I screamed when I found them.  I was so happy! After I got off the phone with my mom, I got online and tried to pass the time. I am over it. I am ready to go! I can’t wait for Drew to pick me up so we can head to the airport.

At one point, Nancy went into the kitchen around 10:30am, to heat up her pierogi casserole, that she made for the staff picnic today. I actually forgot about it, but I have a plane to catch! I was in the kitchen chatting with her, then Drew texted me and told me that he was outside on Bouquet street. I was so excited! I hung up a little sign on my door, that said, “On vacation until June 1st, if you need to reach Dan please send him an e-mail” (Dan is the Professor, I share office space with, well the entrance into his office, is through my office.) I said, goodbye to Nancy and I was out the door. I was ready to go!

When we arrived back to our house, my dad was in the parking lot waiting for us to get home. I knew he would be early. I wondered for a minute how long he had been sitting there, waiting. We greeted him and we all went inside the house, and we packed the last minute stuff. Drew got a call from Parliament. They needed to push back our tour to a different time, due to some issue. He explained that he also booked the noon tea. He said, that they could push that back to 3:45pm if we agreed to this new time. We agreed. I knew something was off that day, but I can’t remember what. I knew that we had tickets to see something else that day, and it closed really early. I have been struggling to keep up with the itinerary for this trip, so much to back in within 8 days! I am up for the challenge.
When we got the car loaded up, we drove to the airport. My dad was so excited for us and jealous that we were going to Europe. I bet he wishes he could go. When he dropped us off at curbside, we tried checking our luggage in and they said, “Oh well since it is an international flight, you have to go inside and get your boarding passes and your passports scanned.” I said, “Okay.” We wheeled our suitcases inside and up to the American Airlines counter. We scanned our passports, got our boarding passes, and, checked in our luggage. Then we were on our way to airside. We had plans to see Dylan. He is a waiter at Penn Brewery. We were going to have lunch there before our plane takes off. They are supposed to feed us on the plane, but not sure what time, or if it will be any good.
When we arrived at Penn Brewery, I saw the back of Dylan’s head and yelled, “Dylan Murtha!” He turned around and laughed. He said, “Hey girl!” He sat us at a booth. He took our drink orders. He recommended a beer for me. I am a miller lite girl. I forget the name of the beer I had, but I had two. I couldn’t finish the second one. I asked him what I should get to eat? I gave him the options “Steak salad, or chicken sandwich.” He said, “Steak salad.” I said, “Wait is it real ranch or that nasty ranch?” He laughs because he knew exactly what I was talking about. Nothing is worse than mayo type ranch. I like real ranch, when restaurants make it themselves, or hidden valley.
After we ate Dylan took a picture of me and Drew. We goodbye to Dylan and then went to our gate where our flight was boarding. We had a flight to Philly, then an hour layover before another flight to England! The flight to Philly was short and sweet. The flight attendant made it so peaceful. When we were about to take off she said, “Sit back, close your eyes, and think of someone you love.” I did just that, I sat back and looked over at Drew and we smiled at each other. He held my hand as we went into the air. I do love him. He is the someone that I love. 🙂
When we arrived in Philly, we went to our gate first, and then to get coffee at Dunkin. Philly airport is a madhouse. People everywhere. We were also on the international side of the Airport. So many different languages and cultures. I have never been on this side of an airport before. I took a selfie, out of boredom anxiousness.

When we boarded the plane, I had to pee from all the iced coffee. After we got situated and in the air, I used the bathroom on the plane. Ugh, that is an experience all in its own. When I got back to my seat, I tried to find something to watch on the monitor in front of me.  All the guy next to me wanted to do was complain about how his leg rest won’t go back and he won’t be comfortable on the flight. I put my headphones on, and so did Drew. Drew watched  Black Panther. I struggled to find something to watch. I am so picky. I found this series called the Miniaturist.  If you are into period dramas, then you will love this show. Only three episodes were uploaded into the monitor, but I was so hooked.
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At one point dinner arrived, It was either a chicken dish or a tomato pasta with feta cheese. I picked the tomato pasta with feta cheese. I wasn’t sure about airline chicken. I did try the vegetarian thing there for a while, and I had to eat meat at Maci’s birthday party. It as either eat meat or don’t eat. The tomato pasta was so good, and they served dinner rolls, and then there was a little dessert with it. I had two vodka and tonics. They were so yummy. This is my new favorite drink.

After I finished two episodes of the miniaturist. I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t get comfy. The seats really don’t go back that far, and my neck was so stiff. I knew I wasn’t going to well rest, but the adrenaline would kick in and I would be fine.

At one point, I turned on the GPS where it shows the flight map. I watched the flight path, and it was amazing that we flew over the Atlantic. I thought about the Titanic. I thought about how scary it is to be just flying over open water, so crazy. I looked over to the left side of the plane, and you could see total darkness, but if you look at the east side of the plane, you could see the sun starting to come up, we = would be landing in England soon and it was about to be a new day.