It's finally December! I am, coffee in hand, snuggled up in my favorite blanket, munching on bowl of cereal that I'm suddenly realizing maybe wasn't the best choice because now I'm colder than I was before but hey! I'm back.
Seriously, how are you guys?
The last time I was here, I was updating you on the move. Okay, maybe that was only a month ago but so much has happened that it feels like forever! I don't even really know where to start *cue me looking through my camera roll*.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
OH! If you've been keeping up with our Instagram, you know that it snowed right after our last chat. It wasn't cold enough to stick but it was so pretty to see.
We were like kids in a candy store! All of us were glued to the windows, watching it fall, taking photos and videos.
I don't think I had ever seen so much snow falling all at once! Except when I was in New York but hey, I'm getting ahead of myself.
We could barely see twenty feet in front of us. It really felt like we should've had more snow built up than we did but I guess I should consider us lucky since we did need to run and go get groceries the next day!
Do you guys like snow? Let us know in the comments!
That's right! My big brother, Ian, turned 23 last month. Let me tell you, baking at 4,000 feet above sea level is very different than 13.
I thought it would be fun to make my brother his favorite cake. Lemon cake.
This was a total disaster!
First off, I made a huge mess in the kitchen. I got cake batter everywhere (and I mean, everywhere...), the amount of dishes to do was overflowing the sink, the list goes on!
But it's the thought that counts, right?
Well, when I told you total disaster, I wasn't kidding. My cakes not only rose but they rose above. the. pan. WHAT?
Cue panic mode! I didn't know what I did wrong. They weren't cooking evenly, they were browning weird, sometimes it was like soup in the middle while the edges were pulling away.
Thanks to Google and a little research, my mom and I found out that you need to adjust the baking powder/soda, liquid ratios, etc. So, I crumbled up the cakes once they finished and made a little lemon trifle!
It still tasted good and it made Ian happy so, that's all that matters.
We even went out for a birthday dinner! It randomly started snowing which was a great way to end the night.
Our Thanksgiving Feast
Somehow, in the midst of getting ready for my trip to New York, we managed to make and post our Thanksgiving dinner.
If you missed those recipes, you can check them out here:
- Homemade Spiced Apple Cider
- Basic Turkey Brine
- Homemade Cream of Celery Soup
- Shoepeg Corn and Green Bean Casserole
- Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Roasted Marshmallows
Yeah, so maybe we didn't have "feast" but this was plenty of food for the three of us! This year, we just made our favorites because - well, our Thanksgiving dinner was the day before. My mom and I were on our way to the airport Thanksgiving Day!
But that didn't stop us from enjoying out traditions. Every morning we always watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and, of course, The National Dog Show! This Thanksgiving was no exception.
Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions? And, if you watch the Macy's parade, what's your favorite part? I absolutely love seeing all the Broadway shows perform!
A trip of a lifetime
Packed up and ready to go, my mom drove me to Charlotte on the afternoon of Thanksgiving. We arrived just before dark and had some dinner before going back into the room. I could not sleep at all that night. I was buzzing from excitement. I've known these girls for eight years and I was finally meeting all of them!
4:30am came early. I got up, got changed, and my mom took me to the airport.
I'm not going to lie, I was really nervous. This was my first flight all by myself! I kept asking a million questions and, thankfully, everyone at the Charlotte airport was more than happy to help. I got through TSA with a breeze and was able to find my terminal. The only problem? Boarding was in about ten minutes and... you guessed it, it was a ten minute walk from where I was. Cue panic mode!
I grabbed an iced coffee and RAN.
Thankfully, I made it with five minutes to spare. *huge sigh of relief*
I was boarded and ready to go at 6:36am. We were in the air by 7:20.
Thankfully, the flight from Charlotte to Newark is only about 2 hours. I curled up in my seat and turned on Iron Man.
After about an hour and a half, we were landing. I started shaking from excitement. On the other side of that very long terminal were two out of three of my best friends.
I admit, I got a little lost but found my way. A couple of hugs and lots of tears later, we headed to our airbnb to relax before our big day of adventure.
After a few hours, we headed into New York City. This was my first time taking a train but thankfully, my friend knew where she was going.
We arrived and, after more hugs and tears, we finally had our last missing puzzle piece. Out of the station and exploring we went!
We saw Madison Square Garden, Rockefeller, Radio City, and so much more!
A couple hours of exploring later, we all decided to go to the Empire State Building. Let me tell you, that was the coolest thing I've ever done! Except having to walk through a seemingly rickety elevator. That was a nono.
But - we made it to the top and had so much fun taking pictures and appreciating the fact that we were all together. But after an hour on the top, it was dinner time.
My friend, Taleah, is vegan so we promised for the entirety of the trip to eat vegan. So, we went to a place called Beyond Sushi and had the best dinner ever.
Back to the airbnb for some much needed sleep.
We hit the ground running the next morning. We headed back into the city and bought some flowers to lay down at Strawberry Fields. It was really a great moment for all of us but - we had to get going! We walked across Central Park, stopped for some photos, saw the building from Suite Life of Zack and Cody (yes, this is very important), and made our way to Central Park's Ice Rink.
I've only been skating once before and I am no good at it. Thankfully, Taleah and my other friend Brianna took turns teaching me and Sam how to ice skate.
I can proudly say that after an hour on the ice, I can stand up by myself.
Well, it was time for lunch. We went into Brooklyn and had some okay food. We still enjoyed it but learned or lesson to order less greasy food.
Of course, you can't go to Brooklyn and not see the Brooklyn bridge.
After that, we headed to go see the Statue of Liberty and found a pop-up merry go round. Of course we went on it!
Then, back to the airbnb where we barely got any sleep. Too much excitement and probably way too much sugar. We may or may not have Uber Eated some hot chocolate to drink while we watched some our favorite movies and shows together.
The next morning, we woke up to snow. Which was amazing! But Taleah and I had to get to the Walter Kerr Theater by ourselves. AH!
We made it on our first train but we had to transfer annnnd you guessed it, we missed the train to New York. Time to Uber!
We made it to Walter Kerr 15 minutes after the show started. Thankfully, I owned the album of Hadestown and let Taleah listen to the first few songs on our way there.
The show was incredible and SO worth the wait! Even the Jonas Brothers were there so, you know the show was good. Taleah and I both made it back to the airbnb safely and called it a night.
The goodbyes started. Sam had to go back home the next morning. We walked her to the station, promised we'd all be back together again, and sent her off. Cue the tears.
But once again, Taleah and I had to navigate New Jersey Transit by ourselves. We made it to Brianna's dorm safely but... much to our surprise, we were snowed in and almost everything was shut down.
Our final day together was spent lounging around and resting. Taleah and I had an amazing dinner at a place called Bareburger.
It was the perfect ending but that next morning, we all had to say goodbye.
I would do anything to relive that trip again. It was such a huge moment for me in so many ways. My dream of going to New York came true, my dream of meeting my internet friends in person also came true, and so much more. I'm so fortunate to have been able to go.
Have you ever been to New York and/or New Jersey? If so, how was your trip? Did you get lost on transit as well?
Here we go again!
Well, after my trip to New York there was no time to rest. My mom and I did laundry, repacked, and headed to south Florida. This was only supposed to be a three day trip. My mom ordered a new car and I got to see some of my friends! But nothing ever goes to plan.
I found a few days open at a hotel at Disney World so off we went!
The day we got there, we were actually able to do Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party which is something we haven't gotten to do in a really long time! Have you ever done it?
We thoroughly enjoyed it! Between the amazing fireworks, fun parade, holiday layovers for rides we love, and lots of free cookies, there was no way to not enjoy the night!
Next day, we headed to Hollywood Studios. This was our first trip back to Disney since May so, Galaxy's Edge was now open! Of course we walked through but our stomachs started to say it's time for dinner. Off to Epcot we went!
Now, if you don't know, this time of year at Epcot is always a lot of fun because it's the Festival of the Holidays! Which means, lots of food booths from all over the world. We had some incredible food and got to see some of the coolest things.
After a few hours, it was time to head back to the hotel.
Animal Kingdom here we come! We had such a fun morning. We got to ride Expedition Everest, see so many animals on Kilimanjaro Safari's, and learn a lot through UP! A Great Bird Adventure. After lunch at Pandora, it was time to go back to Hollywood Studios. Specifically, Galaxy's Edge.
I had made a reservation at Savi's Workshop. Which is a place that collects scrap metal from around the galaxy.
Scrap metal that gets melted down becomes a lightsaber. That's right, I completed my Jedi training and built a lightsaber!
But I must admit, the lightsaber isn't my own. I built it for my brother as a Christmas present. But shhhh. He doesn't know it.
Still, the experience was amazing and was so much fun! I had a real lightsaber.
After playing with the lightsaber, we boarded the Millennium Falcon and... oof. My mom and I were both the pilots and had no clue what was going on! With no engineers, we made it out with only 22% health. Sorry Han!
After exploring the Black Spire Outpost, seeing some of the natives, and a close encounter with the first order, it was time to get some sleep.
We decided that it should be more of a relaxing day. So, we headed to Disney Springs. We shopped for a while before deciding to have lunch at Maria and Enzo's. We had never eaten there before but let me tell you, that was some of the best food I've ever had!
Sadly, I didn't take any pictures but it's the best Italian food on Disney property. I promise! We had an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert which we never do. The food was so incredible!
But all good things have to come to an end. The next morning, we headed back home.
If you'd like to see more pictures from my New York trip or our Disney adventure, head on over to Instagram and find me @cayliealyssa to see my stories archive!
It's the most wonderful time of the year
Amidst all the fun chaos, the Christmas season is here! We just finished decorating our tree and are still waiting for packages to arrive. I mean, it wouldn't be Christmas unless a few packages arrived after the big day, right?
Well, maybe that's just me. I'm always last minute Christmas shopping. It's my fatal flaw. I just can't buy presents early! I try but every year, I just want to go on and give everyone the presents the day they come in.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who suffers with this. Can you keep Christmas presents secret or are you bursting at the seams wanting to tell? Let me know!
Speaking of last minute Christmas shopping, I got a few more presents to buy. It's been nice catching up with you!