CT/NYC Weekend

So the title is slightly misleading since I spent a grand total of four hours in NYC but I got to take advantage of some awesome stuff so I’m totally counting on it.

Without further ado…welcome to my weekend. 🙂

Once Upon a Time windows at Bloomingdales on Lex.

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Funny enough, the lady I asked to take my photo wanted to know if I had done the window. Considering I was in leggings and a not-quite-long-enough tank (aka my standard travel attire) and am certainly not known for my style, this made my giggle. 😀

Next up, a stop at Organic Avenue, a new-to-me juice bar/store that the ever-helpful Happy Cow app told me was right around the corner from the store. I promptly got some delicious goodies.

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I may have professed my love for the checkout girl when she pointed out that there were more flavors of Emmy’s than were at the register. This was after squealing with glee that they even had my most favorite macaroons EVER. I can’t get these in Baltimore and had been craving them since the DC VegFest when an imposter macaroon tried, rather unsuccessfully, to steal my loyalty.

I eventually made my way to Grand Central to catch my train to CT.  Does anyone else feel like GCT is the place where dreams begin?  Anyone?

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*Sigh* I love NYC.  I also love New England Fall foliage and the pretentiousness of NYC.  Tehehe

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Next up, dinner at Tarry Lodge, Mario Batali’s restaurant in Westport, CT. I knew I had a test ahead of me since it was the one month mark without dairy and the last time I had eaten it, I was with Bren and his family. I was determined to not give in this time an I am happy to say I didn’t! I plan on sending a special thank you to the management for their willingness to substitute other products for the dairy items that did come with my meal.

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Saturday I worked all day before the beau and I met up with his friends for a night of food and beer hopping.  After appetizers in downtown Bethel, we headed to the mall for some Cheesecake Factory deliciousness.  No seats in the bar?  No problem!  Deanna and I used this as an excuse to go shopping (or was that our evil plan all along? tehe) and I purchased these bad boys on sale at Old Navy.

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After the mall we hit up another Bethel restaurant, Rizzuto’s.  Yumminess immediately resulted.  Both Deanna and I couldn’t decide which we liked more: my Brussels Sprouts (braised with a Dijon vinaigrette) or her dessert trio which included a tiramisu, a bag of donuts with fudge and applesauce, and a cannoli/pastry tart thing.

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Sunday I had to catch a 1:18 train so we got up, ate breakfast, and had to run.  The beau waited with me at the train station and we happened to park next to the car with this license plate.  I felt it was a fitting reminder from the Universe.  <–yes I look for the lesson in everything.  Or rather, I do my best to keep myself open to receiving such lessons and messages.

 

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On the train I snacked on my FAVORITE granola ever which I’ve only ever found at Stew Leonard’s.  Where we clearly stopped after the beau picked me up on Friday. 

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Seriously, look at these stats?  And its made locally in CT. <–aka everything I ever wanted in a cereal!

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Because of the train schedule, I had about 2 hours to kill before my bus left so I decided to treat myself to another NYC solo date and hit up one of Gena’s highly recommended spots, Le Pain Quotidien.  I had never been before but knew it was Gena-approved and on my way to the bus stop so clearly it was a must.  It wasn’t the cheapest meal but hey, I was on vacation.

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I got the Berry Boost seltzer and the avocado tartine (with chickpeas, tomatoes, cukes, and a spicy tahini sauce), rice pudding, and mint tea.  The latter two they gave me to-go which was good considering I barely made bus.  I mistakenly thought I could take the subway next to the restaurant and when I couldn’t, I realized I had 15 minutes to make it from 40th and 6th all the way to 34th and 11th.  Sunday was not a warm day but I was sweating by the time I got to that damn bus…just in time to hear “last call.”  The best part?  I had a seat to myself!  😀

Just over three hours later (seriously…MegaBus rules for getting us to and from the City on time), I was back in Baltimore and on my way to Trader Joe’s to pick up the essentials.  🙂

What is your favorite city to visit?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

 

 

 

A Saturday of Food

DC VegFest was this weekend.

I happened to be visiting my friend in DC.  <–see I was totally meant to be a plant-strong foodie.

I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed.  No free parking (no cheap parking either..the $20 lot was the cheap one) like in Boston.  Fewer take-home food vendors, more restaurants (and non-profits).  Different companies, including more processed foods than ever and fewer whole foods vendors (and dessert vendors…I was definitely missing Emmy’s and Theo like WHOA).  I expected differences but to be honest I wasn’t impressed with some of the fill-ins.  Oh well.

It also didn’t help that the weather decided to be almost summer-ly and I had only brought black jeggings with me.

Oh well…at least I looked cute while having my first ever coconut experience.

I ❤ my “Ask me why I’m a vegetarian” shirt.

This was by far my favorite part of the fest.  Or maybe my 2nd…but since the triple chocolate donut I savored (and for reals…it took me an hour to eat it because I just wanted to enjoy every glorious bite) didn’t get photographed, we’ll go with the coconut.  <–plus I got to ask the girl I was buying said donut from if she would “hold my coconut.”  Tehehehe  Seriously though, you need to go get a coconut (and a machete) and try this.  The machete is so you can open it with a super-cool swish/swish!

I also got some pretty decent swag:

Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of the first 1,000 to arrive (see aforementioned note re: parking) but the bag + swag only cost $5.  <–also a tax write-off since it’s supporting a non-profit. #win  What you don’t see are the coupons…there’s a decent amount of them, including enough Earth Balance ones to replenish my stash which is expiring at the end of this month.  That totally counts as another #win.

After the Fest + some bonding time with my bestie (who I was visiting), I headed off to the happiest place on (my) earth: the Glut Food Co-op.  This place is like my heaven…its filled with just about every bulk item you can want, including liquid bulk items like tahini, tamari, and maple syrup.  The prices are ridiculously affordable…$3.52/lb for tahini, <$10/lb for raw organic nuts, etc.  And you don’t have to be a member to shop there or get the discounts.  Its owned by the people, for the people.  And it is simply amazing.

I had pictures of the liquid bulk items to insert here but I accidentally deleted them…think the giant things you usually see lemonade in…except rectangular in shape…and filled with deliciousness.  <–you get what I’m saying, right?  😉

Nom/nom/nom,

Kait xo

Oh Happy (Sun)day

I woke up in a homesick funk this Sunday. I hosted an amazing dinner party the night before but couldn’t shake feeling lonely and melancholy. It took a couple of hours to get myself up and out to go grocery shopping <–see what I mean about the melancholy? When do I NOT want to go grocery shopping?! but when I finally did, the Universe sent so many wonderful things my way.

See?

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Bright green ice cream bus.  <–bus > truck IMO

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A sale on my favorite chocolate!

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Free ice cream coupon…all because I asked why there was a bright green ice cream bus from Cali in a MD grocery store parking lot. 🙂

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Giant box of baking soda for less than $3. #win

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A big old reminder from the Universe that was waiting for me at…wait for it…a Mediterranean Festival I stumbled upon while driving to Wegmans. I wish I could have captured the smells and shared them with you. Alas, you’ll just have to take my word that it was amazing. There was even group dancing…it was perfect. 🙂

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Who can you call at 2am?

I am a huge fan of Danielle Laporte.

I lover her passion, her sauciness, and her style.  She inspires me all the time and most likely inspires some of you (if we’re facebook friends and you stop by for a little dose of love).

One of her e-mails this week had a super fun little survey in it so I decided to share here.  It was also great to think about and left me smiling at all the love I am blessed to have in my life.

: Who’s the first person you’d call if you landed the job, won the award, found out you were preggers, got the news that you qualified? MOM
: Who would you bring if you got five front row seats to see your favourite rock star? My “roomies” IN THE VILLA (you know who you are).
: Who’s your “In Case of Emergency” contact? My brother
: Who could write your obituary? Katrina
: Who knows how you take your coffee or could order for you at a restaurant? The beau
: Who’ll drive you there–and back? I’m lucky to say most of my friends…especially the beau, Katrina, & Bri.
: Who’s seen you do the Ugly Cry?  Kathleen, Katrina, Bri, the beau, my mom, and my yoga teachers (Sarah, Jen, & Joanna)
: Where can you show up without calling?  Suite 420 (Varsh, TJ, Banana, and Vrinda)

Who can you call at 2 a.m.? SO MANY PEOPLE.  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

What about you?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Weekend Fun

 

It was a pretty perfect weekend…girl talk, life chats, rooftop adventures (and subsequent bruises), sleep overs, an entire day devoted to food (planning/shopping/cooking *sigh*), and a fantastic Passion Party.

As a side note…I absolutely love having WordPress on my phone so I can tap and go.  🙂

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Getting ready aka my sexy date for the night. 😉

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Blurry ballroom dance lessons, take 1.

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Take 2…even blurrier.

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Varsha always wanted to sing on a piano…Robbie just made that dream come true.

Piano playing.

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Rooftop + Washington Monument, take 1.

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..and without the crazy iPhone flash.

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Homemade fruit-and-nut sorbet. I ❤ my unofficial roommates. 🙂

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Battle wounds.

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One of my favorite places in Bmore – the bulk food room at the Co-op. #foodie

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Farmstand in Hunt Valley – another one of my favorite secret spots. 🙂

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I ❤ winter squash…especially at $0.80/lb. <–yes a victory dance resulted.

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Baby pumpkins!

Yoga/beauty/joy,

Kait xo

2nd Week of Passion: Passion Power 2012

This was scheduled to go up yesterday but I had some tech errors. Therefore, the 2nd Week of Passion will officially continue through next Tuesday. 🙂

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Welcome to another Week of Passion here on y/b/l! This past weekend found me in Piscataway, NJ for Passion Parties’ annual summer conference and I am super excited to share my experiences with you. 🙂

Two years ago when I attended Passion Power, it was my first corporate event. It also was my first real training experience…and it kicked my biz into high gear. Followed by our annual Convention only six months later, Passion Power taught me how far I could go in this business if I wanted it badly enough, worked hard, and believe in myself.

My business and my bank account thanked me. Last year I didn’t make it and though I don’t regret my decision, I did miss the valuable training and visit experience.

This year, going just felt like the right thing to do.Despite transportation snafus, dealing with disappointment, and having my-dress-I-haven’t-fit-into-in-three-years lose its zipper, the weekend was just what I needed.

A time to bond with my Passion Sisters. A time to remember why I joined this business in the first place. A time to reconnect with my passion and remember that through this “job” I truly am changing people’s lives.

I arrived Friday evening after a rather long day of travel and checked into the suite. They had the cutest little towel art and it reminded me of going on cruises when I was younger (fun fact: I met the beau on one of these cruises!).

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It was close to 11 and I hadn’t eaten dinner so I hit up the hotel bar for some edamame, conversation, and the perfectly sweet ending to an otherwise stress-filled day.

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My roommates arrived and we stayed up far too late talking and catching up. It had been several years since I had last seen Amanda so there was a lot I catch up on!

Saturday and Sunday we spent learning from leaders in the company. My favorite session was titled, “Get Out of Your Own Way.” <;–no shock there, right? We also had sessions in selling and follow-up, a mock party presentation, an several panel Q&A sessions. I have a quotes post coming up later in the week but I want to share one with you now.

“Bless and release.”

This was a major theme for the weekend and it was a huge ‘aha’ moment for many of us. How many times do we hold on to something that is no longer serving us, in business AND in life? It’s so easy to stick with what’s comfortable (aka regret, grudges, etc) but sometimes we just need to let it go! The whole weekend was a wonderful reminder of that.

Saturday night was our mini awards night that mimics Convention’s bigger dinners. Despite my wardrobe malfunction and the fact that the hotel hadn’t prepared food for those of us who abstain from flesh and dairy, it was a wonderful evening full of Success Speeches, good conversations.

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The pasta dish the kitchen put together for those of us non-flesh eaters.

The most exciting part was that I got to walk for the first time! I was recognized for my sales achievements (>;$15000) between January and June. Corporate is so good about recognizing our achievements an it’s been a goal of mine to walk the stage for the past two years.

Yes it felt as awesome as I had imagined!

;

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Being silly after walking the stage! 🙂

Sunday afternoon was bittersweet, as the end of a good experience always is. My upline (my sponsor’s sponsor), one of my direct Passion Sisters, and I snapped some fun photos to remember the weekend’s (and our) amazing-ness. 🙂

<;3 these ladies

Check back Friday for a passionate, quote-filled post. Until then…

Yoga/beauty/passion,

Kait xo

The Perfect Sunday, Take 2

Happy Monday loves.

I can’t believe it but this is THE big week: I move to Baltimore on Friday.  My to-do list is a bit crazy right now but I had such a perfect weekend that I wanted to pop in quickly and share.

After quite an emotional couple of days, this weekend was everything I needed and more.  The Universe truly does provide everythign we  need.

I enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B School which is “online business school for women who want to make money and change the world.” <–aka me.

I watched all of the pre-enrollment vids from both a student and business perspective.  Then I took the lessons and worked them into my demo.  In fact, I reworked my demo….inserted even more me into it.   I clearly stated what I needed in a gentle+loving way.Sales and my energy soared.  I set a goal.  And I reached it.

In between being a business women extraordinaire I took the time to say goodbye.  I gained closure I didn’t even know I was looking for.  I shared my fears and opened myself up…to possibility and to their love. And though I cried, I laughed more.

Saturday night a couple of people threw me a farewell party.  I arrived high on the energy of my party and the combination of too little sleep and too much caffeine.  <–if you’re me, that’s one grande soy latte thank you much!  I drank too much, stayed up too late, partied too hard, and spent most of Sunday cuddled up next to one or more people, reminiscing about past great adventures and planning future ones.

Truth be told though, nothing really “went right” this weekend.  I left too late, I missed volunteer hours at the farm, I never made it that yoga class.  Some would qualify that as a failure.  But I never stopped smiling.

All in all, it was the perfect last weekend.  I don’t have a single picture…in fact I forgot to take any because I was so caught up in truly living + experiencing every second.   I don’t regret it…or really anything.  Instead, my heart is full of love as I replay the best moments over in my head, smiling at the memories that I will undoubtedly turn to when life throws its next direction change in my path.

To everyone who’s hosted me, made time for me, driven out of their way to see me, and otherwise opened up their soul to me during these past six weeks: thank you.  I have no clue if or when I’ll be returning to New England but my fear of being forgotten, of being lonely, of abandoning and being abandoned is gone.  You will always be in my heart and I in yours.

Here’s to loving life and my next great adventure.

Yoga/beauty/friendships,

Kait xo

 

 

Current Obsessions

Obscene Life <–beautiful people alert

This trailer.  <–Channing, marry me?

Fishs Eddy for dishware, glassware, flatware, and serverware.  <–their line, not mine

Click to buy. 😉

To fuel my Once Upon a Time obsession, even in the off-season

Miss Smart’s ridiculously witty writing + amazing recipes.  <–try not to drool when you look at her nutty butters

Chinese Botanical moisturizer from Kiss My Face.  It leaves my skin so super duper soft without feeling greasy or making me smell overpowering.

Half-moon pose.

This chocolate which you will find absolutely impossible to resist.  <–why oh why aren’t you vegan??? *le sigh*

Chocolate Covered Katie’s Cookie Dough Dip.

Our Rejuvenating Brown Sugar Scrub.

It doesn’t look like much but coconut oil + brown sugar = baby smooth, frosting-scented skin. 😉

The 9-5 Guide to Staying Active  <–and really anything Leo posts on his site

These trilogies:

A little late to the game but I finally made it. 😉

You expected this, right?

Chris Salvatore

Link is definitely NSFW

And on that note, I bid you adieu.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Updated: Apparently this blog topic was the trend of the week among healthy food bloggers.  Little did I know when I wrote this on Sunday that I’d be joining the ranks of Chelsey and Ashley by highlighting my favorite things.  Their posts had better photos…but mine has a sexy man.  Guess we’ll call it a draw!  😉

April Adventures, Weeks 1 and 2

adventurous april
You might have noticed a new addition to the sidebar.  No, not yet?  That’s ok, I can wait while you peek.
What the heck are Adventurous April pants?  Well let me tell you!  Back at the beginning of the month, the lovely Janetha challenged us to go out of our comfort zones and get Adventurous in April by trying at least one new thing every week.  I read her post after returning from Baltimore and discovered that I had already started down this path with a number of my food purchases. Like two pounds of Brussels Sprouts…

 

…and these awesome products:

 

Clockwise from top left: Trader Joe’s corn pasta, Zima Tomatoes, lots of beer samples the night before Easter, my new fave drink, and my first attempt at growing my own food.  Not pictured: Justin’s Chocolate PB and Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas <–obsessed!

In addition, after three years, I finally signed up for Zumba teacher training.  I tried new recipes, as always, and started taking probiotics.  I reunited with my long-lost love, overnight oats, which served as the perfect vehicle to spoonanother new food into my mouth:

Nutella…its been nice knowing you.  But its officially over.  No no…its not you, its me.  I swear.  😉 
I have a couple of big adventures coming up this week in honor of my birthday week.  <–yes I’m that friend of yours who spends the week celebrating.  I frigging LOVE my bday!  You’ll have to wait to hear about those, but I promise they’ll be juicy.  Tehehe
Have you had any new Adventures recently? Do you enjoy going out of your comfort zone?
Have a wonderful weekend.
Yoga/beauty/life,
Kait xo

Baltimore: The Initial Visit

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This past weekend I had the honor to attend the JHSPH Open House for admitted students. It took a full day of travel to get to Baltimore (I left my apt at 10:15 and didn’t get in until 5:00…silly MA transportation) but when I arrived the sun was shining and I had no problems basking in it while I waited for my friend to pick me up. After getting me from the gorgeous Penn Station, we headed over to Patterson Park where Allison and her housemate play kickball competitively as part of the Kickball League of Baltimore.

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After an intense game, we headed back uptown to Charles Village, one of the many neighborhoods that comprises Baltimore. Charles Village is described as liberal, quirky, and close-knit and after my visit, I can definitely agree with that assessment! It honestly reminded me of bit of Amsterdam, with the streets upon streets of thin-but-tall row houses. Obviously there were no canals or European charm or red light district but there was definitely a sense of the familiar. I love the charm and character of the older buildings, the easy accessibility to the JHMI (johns hopkins medical institute shuttle), the tree-lined streets, funky colors, and potential for some outdoor space (I had grand plans to grow tomatoes and herbs this summer…).

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After throwing together a delish stir-fry for my host and I with her on-their-way veggies (asparagus, peppers, kale, onion), some brown rice, a can of black beans, a pinch of chili powder, and lots of 21 Seasoning Salute. <;– I seriously need this in my life. I'm writing it off as a "makes life easier" expense, just like I did with the cruet! I did some PP and blog work and then read food blogs until I was too exhausted to think. All-in-all, I was a nervous wreck. Every bit of insecurity and self-doubt coursed through my system. I skipped out on a trip to a local brewpub (yes I know, crazy!) so I could review the schedule for Friday + practice my response to “so what do you do?” + get to bed early. <;–you can guess which of those two things did not happen! I got about 4 hours of fitful sleep and woke up naturally (the best way) at 6:30 a with a massive stomachache and ridiculous amounts of adrenaline + cortisol coursing through my system. I didn’t need to get up just yet so I rested quietly, repeating whatever permission statements <;–what my coach calls affirmations came to mind so that I would have the strength to get othrough the day. Before officially arising, I called momma for a dose of motherly love + inspiration + strength (xo) and spent a couple more minutes doing deep breathing + repeating my permission statements.

Little did I know, I had absolutely nothing to worry about.

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I made it down to JHU no problem, even meeting another MPH applicant en route. Within 5 minutes of the first presentation they started talking about PASSION. I almost burst into tears right then and there. I checked my phone at the end of that presentation and my bestie had filled it with just the words I needed to hear/read: I deserved this, hold my head high, I’m bad ass, change is difficult but I’m not navigating it alone, and, most importantly, she’ll be waiting for me at the end of the day to offer comfort and love in this time of transition. I felt wholly one with the Universe in way I that hadn’t in a very long time. Words cannot do justice to the beauty of those moments when I felt that I was right where I was supposed to be, having arrived at last. Suffice it to say, it was perfect.

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I enjoyed a lecture on HIV Prevention in drug-using, sex workers (Pi Bags is the result of the research). I debated food policy with fellow future classmates. We had $2 beers at the well-attended Happy Hour, sponsored by the school’s water conservation group. <;–seriously, does it get more ME than this?! I chatted with financial aid, checked out the new apt complex (not as impressive as I would have hoped), and met people who have the potential to become life long friends. Most importantly, I not once felt that I didn’t belong…that I was any less worthy than anyone around me. The fact that I was able to sentence my ego/gremlin to time out for the day showed me how far I’ve come…

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In a lot of ways, JHSPH reminded me of my alma mater. There was a close-knit feel among the current MPH students who described both faculty and their classmates as being the best of the best, but incredibly supportive. No one minced words regarding the intensity of the program but alongside that we were given practical guidance + tools for navigating the change. I could not have asked for more, except maybe better food in the cafe (seriously, no non-dairy milk?!). At the end of the day, everyone I met was mature, open, and kind. While there are still traces of fear about this next step in my life, overall I am feeling confident because I know with 100% that I am supposed to be at JHSPH, inciting huge changes in the world. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome for my trip!

So what else happened? Well plans changed, I stayed in Baltimore an extra night, I popped my Chipotle cherry (I know, I know, its egregious that it took so long!), slept in until 10, cuddled with my friend’s puppy, ended up in the wrong part of town, chatted on the steps of a middle school, visited an urban farm (!), took the wrong train (twice…once to my $ advantage and once, not so much), got off the wrong shuttle stop, ate too many skittles, had the best portobello sandwich + sauteed veggies ever, chatted with the president of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, quoted Monty Python with fellow Amtrak passengers, rocked some hip openers in the back of the train (pink fuzzy socks included), and founds some inner peace + joy + relaxation among it all.

This was one of the best trips I had in a long time. I wasn’t drained at the end of it despite learning a lot (like to book my train home from Penn Station and not BWI so that I don’t have to get to BWI only to go back through Penn! #travelfail). I gained a decent grasp of the city I’m moving to <;–if I can brag one of my favorite talents! plus a deeper understanding for the program I’ll be a part of. I left with a sense of feeling blessed knowing that I have found my place at last. Plus beau was waiting to pick me up at the New Haven train station where I got to devour some delish food from Claire’s followed by beer from the Cask Republic.

Yes, I’ll say it was a pretty perfect first visit indeed!

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo