What Have I Been Up To?

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My, oh my. It has been almost two months since my last post. What in the world have I been up to? On the surface, it looks like I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing. I developed a usual routine: wakeup, run siblings to school (depending on schedule), gym, study/GRE prep, and work. Rinse. Repeat.

Before I break down what seems relatively straightforward enough already, I completely neglected to upload some pictures of my brief trip to British Columbia. I flew to Seattle where I was picked up by two good, old college friends who had been driving up all the way from California. We then spent the next few days driving around the southwest portion of BC—Vancouver, Whistler, and Victoria. We had to cut our trip short by a day and a half, so we didn’t see as much as we had planned, but it only leaves me with a desire to go back and trek through the gorgeous forrest-ed wilderness that is Canada. Instead of unnecessary prolixity, I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves, utilizing this post mostly as a photo dump.

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Squamish, BC. Mumford and Sons were here for a festive at the same time! I was SO close, yet so far.

Ever since moving up here over a year ago, I have wanted to make my way to Canada because, well, I’m much closer. BC is a 7+ hour drive however, but well worth the travel time. I just loved it.

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The BEST and tiniest little diner in Whistler.

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Brandywine Falls, Whistler, BC. The water honestly is that blue. I believe it has something to do with glaciers.

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Canadian Coffee and Mexican Coffee which are infused with Maple and Whiskey/ Tequila respectively. Yes.

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The cliché Starbucks photo. If only you knew how many times we frequented this fine establishment on this trip.

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The Victoria Harbor at night where we listened to a folk band play for hours.

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Capitol Building

Little insert here. I fell quite hard for Victoria, and, subsequently, it has been added to my list of favorite cities in this world. Its quaint charm and remaining English character makes it unique. Quite. If I could live a year in one place, Victoria would be one I would consider. Plus, there are so many delicious pubs!

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The Fairmont Empress, a beautifully elegant, old hotel. Our location for afternoon tea.

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The menu.

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Everything was good. Ev.ry.thing.

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Don’t worry, I got my hair trimmed shortly thereafter.

Another aside. If you know me at all, you’ll understand that I love anything remotely antique and reminiscent of another era of history. I’m an English major with a forever soft spot for Anne of Green Gables. So to have afternoon tea in a lovely old hotel in Canada made my life. This may seem juvenile, but this whole experience was too exciting. For me, personally, it was more than paying lots of money for tea and sandwiches: it was keeping class alive in a world that has been doing everything it can to assassinate it. It was gloriously refreshing.

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And moose.

We diligently kept our eyes peeled for a Mountie because who wouldn’t want one? But this is the closest we got to seeing one. (I think I later discovered that Mounties are mostly in a couple provinces of Canada, BC not being one of them.) Oh well. This trip, though insanely quick, was a blast, and I so appreciated seeing my wonderful friends again. When can I go back? If anyone wants to go to Quebec or Prince Edward Island, please pick me as a travel partner!

So after Canada is when the “fun” died. I signed up for the GRE, something like an SAT for grad school applications, which meant it was time for me to get serious about preparing for it. I had studied a little bit on and off, but once you actually pick a date and pay the outrageous $200 for the test, it’s time to stop fooling around because, essentially, this test has the power to ruin your life. No lie. So for weeks, my time in between the gym and work was spent with a GRE prep book studying vocabulary or hideous math concepts I couldn’t hope to remember.

I finally took the test this weekend, feeling like I needed a sedative because my heart was racing so fast. Obviously, I’m a great tester. Naturally. And after 4.5 hours of essay writing, staring at words I didn’t know existed, and guessing at math problems (because let’s be honest), I was beyond relieved to finally walk out of there. It is the worst. I won’t get my final test results for another two weeks, so here I am, spending my first day of true freedom in months, blogging about the two months I missed. I am so thankful to have that behind me and have some time to do things that I actually want to do, like read, bake, and get back to re-learning Italian.) I miss Italy.) I hope to have a baking post up within the next couple of weeks.

Ok, everyone! Thanks for bearing with me. Until next time!

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