Myrtle Beach Pt. 3 + Sugarland

Fortunately, no more scary plane crashes to report. The rest of our week at Myrtle Beach proved to be relaxing and fun!

Weather wise, we couldn’t have picked a nicer week. Not even one day of rain! The last two days were a bit windy, to the point where the sand was blowing all up in your face. On those two days we enjoyed a bit of time at the pool.

Check out this crazy perspective! Looking up from the pool deck.

Without question, one of the spots my family hits every year is Hawaiian Rumble mini golf. It’s our favorite course! Previous years have included getting caught in rainstorms, me getting escorted out by my mom (I was really young and threw a tantrum during a difficult put, give me a break), and nail biting finishes down to the last hole! This year proved no less, just fewer tantrums…by some. At the last hole my brother, Jackie, Brook, and I were all within one putt of each other. My brother won…boooo! At least we all beat Grammy. ūüôā

Mr. Bunny went a little cray the last night!

Okay, now before you go judging me, thinking I’m all weird (because I know you don’t already think that) my mom has this ceramic bunny that sat untouched in the living room for about 20 years. During their recent move, my brother aptly named him Mr. Bunny and has been moving him to various locations around the house. Mr. Bunny will randomly pop up on the couch reading my mom’s kindle, sometimes he shows up in the bathroom brushing his hair, other times he’s at the dinner table with a fork in his paw, the options are limitless. He joined us on his very first family vacation and showed us what YOLO was all about.

Now I’m sure you’re way less weirded out…I don’t care. My family rules.

As luck would have it, my good friends Marcus and Lindsey were also at the beach the same week! They were staying in a house with Marcus’ family just 15 miles away at Sunset Beach.

Sunset at Sunset Beach

They graciously invited Brook and I to visit and we had an awesome time eating Mexican food, drinking margaritas, playing cornhole, and walking the pier. Check it out, someone caught a shark!

They have the same facial expression.

Speaking of Marcus and Lindsey, remember how I failed at taking pictures the weekend of their wedding? Well, their photographer’s pictures are posted now! Check it out:

Pretty bridesmaids

Goofy groomsmen

Fave!

All pictures were taken by Essential Sunshine Photography. You can see the rest: here.

It was great to see them this past week!

So, anyway, Brook and I decided that we weren’t quite ready for our vacation to end. We had one more day to utilize before heading back to work and we were determined to make the most of it! We found out that Brook’s favorite band, Sugarland, was playing at Jiffy Lube Live on Sunday night. So we found last minute tickets and Brook made the 5 hour drive up to northern VA (and I made the less impressive 45 minute drive).

None of my concert pictures really turned out (do they ever?) but the show was awesome! Super high energy the whole time. I didn’t know too many of the words, but Brook knew them all…die-hard much? The highlight for me was when they busted out a Matt Nathanson cover! He’s one of my favorite artists and I was caught off guard. They rocked it! Jennifer Nettles has an amazing voice, and she was sporting a cute little baby bump too.

Another amazing feat? We got out of the parking lot in less than an hour! Which was great considering Brook needed to drive 5 hours home. Crazy woman. Impromptu concert, SUCCESS!

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve done lately?

PS. This post is so random. I kinda love it!

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My Travel Wish List

My family takes a vacation together every year. For as long as I can even remember we’ve spent a week (sometimes 2!) down in Myrtle Beach, SC. Even when we lived in Seattle, we would fly back just to go on our beach trip! This is one of my favorite traditions, and I hope that one day when I have a family, I can continue it. Perhaps we won’t always go to the same beach, but I like the concept of a yearly family vacation. As I gear up to head out next week, I got to thinking about the top places in the world I’d like to travel.

So here it is, my travel wish-list:

Bora Bora

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I mean, come on…need I say more? This place seriously looks unreal. After watching Couples Retreat, I vowed that I would go there (if I ever win the lottery) on my honeymoon. I’m a huge beach¬†aficionado and this looks like the ULTIMATE. Can you imagine snorkeling in that crystal blue water? Waking up to that view? Yes, please!

Italy

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Look at me. No, really, just look at me. I am Italian through and through. One day, I would love to be able to visit the place of my ancestors, see the sights, and eat some amazing Italian food. Yep, that sounds like a lot of fun to me.

Vale, Colorado

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This might seem weird after seeing Bora Bora and Italy on the list, but I’ve never been skiing before. I KNOW, RIGHT? Hold the phone. Snowboarding, yes. Skiing, no. It’s one of my goals to learn how to ski and eventually go to Colorado to take advantage of the best slopes this country has to offer. Doesn’t it look like the perfect holiday vacation? And if I fail miserably at skiing, I’ll just hang out in the lodge and drink spiked hot chocolate. Either way, I’m still winning.

Australia/New Zealand

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I lump these two together only because I would do them both in the same trip considering they are literally on the other side of the world. I’ve always wanted to explore Australia and see Sydney, especially since Finding Nemo (I’m so cool, I know). More recently, I’ve had an itching to also hit up New Zealand. Two of my good friends have recently taken trips there and said that it’s the adventure of a lifetime! Apparently, everyone is so friendly and the vibe is really laid back, which fits in perfectly with my way of life.

London

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I’ll admit, I’ve already been to London. But what you might not know is that London was absolutely my favorite city I’ve visited. It’s just so accessible; the chunnel from Paris to London was convenient, the Tube was clean and¬†efficient¬†(way more so than the Metro anyway), and the train out of Kings Cross Station was simple to figure out. Plus I got to see the famous Platform 9 3/4, Harry Potter geek much? Not only that, but there’s so much history and culture in this city. Seeing the Tower Bridge, Globe Theatre,¬†Parliament,¬†Piccadilly¬†Square, etc was super cool. I loved that I could get fish ‘n chips and a beer at any pub on any corner. I, obviously, could go on and on but I’ll refrain. I can’t wait to go back!

Now to work on that whole winning-the-lottery-so-I-can-pay-for-all-this thing!

Where in the world is Carmen Sandeigo your ideal destination?

Super Sweaty

Big news everyone! On Saturday morning I woke up at 6:06am WITHOUT an alarm…and didn’t even go back to sleep! Who says I can’t be a morning person? Oh, wait, I did. Anyway, I’m thankful that something in my body triggered me awake because I totally misset my alarm on Friday night. I was trying to wake up at 6am to knock out 12 miles before the predicted 105 degree temperatures set in. And guess what, I did.

This was quite possibly the slowest/worst run of my entire life. I had every intention of running this 12 miles for time, but right around mile 2 I realized that it was going to be a struggle for survival. The heat and humidity, even at 6am, made it hard to even breath. Around mile 4 I began to feel sharp twinges in my back and at mile 5-6, I was convinced my ankle was going to fall off. This happens on occasion and I think it’s a result of the numerous times I sprained and partially tore ligaments in my ankles when I played soccer and basketball.

I stopped back at my apartment after the 6 mile mark to regroup myself, filled up a water bottle and then continued on for the final 6 miles of torture.¬†I listened to my body cues and took it easy. My back pain disappeared and when I was stretching my ankles, I felt something pop into place so that didn’t give me any further problems. Miles 7-9 were…pleasant, if you can even believe that. I knew the final 3 would be tough because the temperatures were rising¬†RAPIDLY. And I could feel it.

EFF YOU HEAT!

Once I hit my turnaround point at mile 9, I knew I had only 2 options. Either: 1) be airlifted back to my apartment, OR 2) run back. I opted for the latter choice as I thought renting a helicopter may put a huge dent in my bank account. Maybe next time. As expected, the last 3 miles SUCKED. I walked up 2 big hills because I thought my legs would straight-up give out if I tried to run them, ouch.

Wednesday’s sweaty 8 miler was child’s play compared to Saturday’s 12 miler. I’m mildly convinced that by the end, I was running dangerously close to having 0% water left in my body. I’m typically a light/moderate sweater, so you KNOW it was a hot/rough run when I look like this at the end:

Ignore that smile on my face, I was actually anything but happy at the time (it’s all an illusion) and there literally wasn’t a dry spot on my quick-dry t-shirt. So sexy, I know. Come and get it, boys!

Anyway, 12 miles is 12 miles no matter how rough. I’m glad to have that one under my belt since (I hope) it won’t be as hot and humid on marathon day in October. Summer training is stupid.

After my 2+ hours of torture, I headed up north to visit my parents and stuff my face with ice cream and mead. Typical. We did a tour de Maryland of sorts. Our first stop was an ice creamery that my brother heard of while visiting a farmer’s market in Baltimore. It’s called South Mountain Creamery and they are the #1 stop (of 7) on the Maryland Ice Cream tour. This place was on a farm out in the middle of nowhere, but the homemade ice cream was…not to get all 90’s on you, but…DA BOMB! I had the Moo Tracks, which was a rich chocolate with peanut butter cups and real peanuts. Om nom!

Next stop was to Orchid Cellar, or more commonly known as The Place My Family Learned About MEAD! We went taste testing and learned a ton about the process of making mead. I ended up buying 2 bottles to take home with me.

Now I’m just gearing up for the week ahead. I hear that the temps are supposed to cool off into the 80’s. I can handle that! Plus, I have a ton of miles to run and lots to do before I leave for the beach next week with my family. Can’t wait!

How did you beat the heat this weekend?

A Very Merry…4th of July?

Obviously, I’m getting all of my holidays crossed. I wanted to wish everyone a “merry” 4th of July yesterday, I think I’m going to make that a thing. Regardless, happy birthday America!

Yesterday, since I had the day off from work, and they had the day off as well, I spent the day at my parent’s house. I know, I know, I spend a lot of time with my family. I started my 4th of July out right (at 7am! Ah!) with an 8-mile run around the neighborhood.

This is my first week of marathon training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I have a schedule that I’ve drawn out for myself and so far I’m sticking to it. I’ve already run 20 miles this week and let me tell you, my legs feel it! I probably should have been more consistent with my running for the past 2 months. Live and learn, right?

Anyway, after a ridiculously sweaty run, I took a breather while my dad made us pancakes for breakfast. I don’t even remember the last time I had a pancake, but they were SO good!¬†I swear every single house on the block must have been cooking bacon at 7am when I started my run because I kept getting whiffs of the delicious scent. I think I finished my run that much faster just so that I could get home and request it. Will run for bacon! <– someone put that on a t-shirt for me, please.

After breakfast, I “assisted” my dad with changing my car’s oil. By “assisting”, I obviously mean that I played on my phone and handed him tools while he did all the dirty work. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Then, my dad got dinner in the smoker! He bought a smoker last year and we’ve been using it non-stop. He does smoked chicken, salmon, ribs, etc. But my favorite is the smoked brisket which is what we had last night. He spices it up with a marinade and then lets it sit in the smoker for hours and hours until it basically falls apart. Mmmmm, so good!

Once we got dinner started, there was more work to be done. Washing the cars! Once again, I “assisted”, meaning I was in charge of the hose and spraying the cars down while my dad did the tough scrubbing work. Washing cars is my least favorite chore of all time. My life is so hard. As my dad says, “At least we have the choice whether or not to do it. But, someone needs to do the work.” (he says this all the time) Thanks America!

The heat became too much for me to handle. So then this happened for a few hours:

They joined:

For the record, yes, that is a kiddie pool that we have on our deck. It’s huge and can easily fit 3 adults…probably even 4 if we tried! I highly recommend that every adult own a kiddie pool. Best. Idea. Ever.

Once I decided that I’d had enough of the sun, I went inside for a bit of mead tasting! My family has recently become obsessed with mead, which I definitely don’t mind. It’s a sweet honey-wine with a strong alcohol content. Trust me when I say that a small glass of this stuff packs a pretty strong punch!

After some delicious mead, dinner was finally ready! Smoked brisket, onion potatoes, and CORN ON THE COB (my favorite food EVER!…for right now).

For dessert, WATERMELON!

This was the juiciest slice of watermelon I’ve ever had. My mom bought a whole melon so I think my family will be eating the leftovers for like 3 days straight. I hope they like fruit!

The only thing missing from this holiday were the fireworks. I saw a few shows going on from the highway on my drive home, but most places around the area cancelled their shows due to the insane storms we’ve been having and the excessive heat that seriously just won’t go away. Heat is such a party pooper.

Happy 4th of July! Did you get to see any fireworks?

Erin’s Baby Shower

My older sister, Erin, is pregnant with her first child and if you missed the announcement, IT’S A BOY! This weekend, my family threw a baby shower in her honor up where my grandma lives in Pennsylvania. It was absolutely wonderful to see my extended family (whom I don’t see nearly enough) and to celebrate the mama-to-be!

I overcompensated on my lack of photography last weekend and took waaay too many photos this weekend. So, here is Erin’s baby shower…in photos.

The spread

Aren’t these plates so cute?

Balloons my mom picked out

Cake!

I couldn’t resist…

Flowers! Kinda washed out the pic ūüė¶

My sister requested that everyone bring a book with a personalized message to the baby. This basket was full by the end. What a great idea!

My sister’s favorite appetizer!

I’ve heard that having a baby is similar to running a marathon, so obviously, we had to carbo-load

Opening presents

Roscioli cousins and Grammy!

Fam and Grammy Ros

Erin and her friend from middle-school, Nikki (who is also pregnant with TWINS!!). I think Nikki said it best, “We’ve been through everything else together, so why not this too?!”

Mi padre and Pop Pop to be!

Stop takin’ my picture!

Excited daddy-to-be!

Grammy Troxell and her granddaughters!

Part of the big ol’ Troxell clan

Grammy and her kids (minus Uncle Mark!)

The shirt says it all ūüôā

This little guy is so spoiled already. I can’t wait to meet him and welcome him to our family soon!

Becoming a Morning Person

I am NOT a morning person. In fact, when you take a mental image of what a morning person consists of, I am pretty much the exact opposite. I always joke that my internal alarm is set for 10am, but it’s true. When waking up, unprompted, by my own free-will, I will get up at almost exactly 10am every single time. Sometimes getting up at 7:30am for work is a serious struggle…I’m a big-time snoozer-till-8 kind of girl. I’ve been like this my whole life, and I just can’t kick the habit.

Typically, it’s not a huge problem. But lately…it has been. Why do you ask? Because of THIS:

It’s SO effing hot.

This weather has been seriously hindering my running schedule. The only time it’s even remotely bearable to step outside is at 6am, and even then it’s already 80 degrees! Personally, I think it would be unsafe and irresponsible for me to try to run after work in 97 degree heat. It’s just too hot and I’d risk exhaustion! Seriously, who decided to sign me up for a fall marathon? Why didn’t I think about the fact that I’d have to train for it in the dead heat of summer? Marine Corps Marathon, you will be the death of me!

So anyway, here’s my question to all of you morning people:

HOW do you turn yourself into a morning person?

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I get the whole go to bed early, wake up early concept. But in reality, that just doesn’t work for me. I go to bed at 9pm and STILL have trouble waking up at 8am. There was a stint in college where I actually did wake up every morning at 6am and go to the gym. I loved it, but I also hated it at the same time. When I graduated, that plan went totally out the window because I had to leave my house at 7am, which meant I had to get up at 4:45am to exercise, and that just wasn’t happening. I honestly feel like I could (and SHOULD) start getting up early now to exercise before work. But how?

Here’s exactly what happens when I try to wake up early:

  • At 10pm I set my alarm for 6am and get SUPER pumped about waking up early to run.
  • At 6am my alarm goes off and I feel groggy and far too comfortable in my bed.
  • Most of the time my stomach hurts (I’m probably just hungry) and I mentally decide that I’m just not ready to get up and move.
  • Reset my alarm for 7:30am.
  • Alarm goes off at 7:30am, but I could probably get another 30 minutes of sleep if I don’t dry my hair.
  • Decide that’s a great plan and reset my alarm for 8am.
  • Alarm goes off at 8am, snooze until 8:09. Sometimes even 8:18.
  • Reluctantly¬†get out of bed.

I just don’t understand you morning people. Teach me your ways!

Things I’m Digging: June Edition

June is almost over. Can you believe it? It’s officially summer and that makes me happy. Here are some other things that make me happy:

Weddings

How cool is that cake topper? The coolest, right? Anyway, as you know, last weekend was Marcus and Lindsey’s wedding and it was a TOTAL blast! I hope to write a full post about it soon, but I’m still trying to round up some pictures. What I will say is that weddings are awesome. It’s refreshing to see two people love each other so unconditionally and without any reservation. Plus, the open bar, abundance of food, and ridiculous amount of dancing don’t hurt either. ūüėÄ You should have seen us cutting a rug!

Disconnecting

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Sometimes it’s nice to sit back and just enjoy a moment instead of worrying about answering texts/taking a ton of pictures/missing phone calls. There’s been a few weekends recently where I’ve done exactly that. I have essentially forgotten about my cell phone and have tried to live more in the moment. As much as I love sharing my life on here via pictures, sometimes I’d rather see things through both eyes – not through one eye and a¬†lens. I hope that’s okay because I’m totally digging it! (no worries though, I will still be taking PLENTY of photos!)

Bacon-Wrapped…anything…

Let’s be real here, this probably doesn’t surprise anyone. But, I ordered the pork tenderloin this weekend at Lindsey and Marcus’ rehearsal dinner and to my surprise and DELIGHT, it was wrapped in bacon. Om nom nom! Now I have a hankering to try everything wrapped in bacon. Bacon wrapped chicken? Bacon wrapped steak? Bacon wrapped…chocolate sundae? I don’t know. Just give me more!

Water

It’s been like 80¬†bazillion¬†degrees with a 1000% humidity here in DC lately. I don’t handle heat very well, so water has been my new BFF. Drinking it, lounging in it, running through it…you name it, I love it. I’m anxious to see what the rest of the summer brings, it couldn’t possibly get any hotter!! (Famous last words?)

Salad

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I know, WTF!!! Right? I, Cait, will admit that I have been eating 3-4 salads per week and….I’ve been enjoying it. *GASP* This is a huge step, people. Huge! Also, I’m not a big fan of dressing, but I love lettuce. I know, WTF again. Everything about me is so backwards.

What are you digging about summer?

Silverdocs and Other Stuff

Happy Friday! Well, technically, it’s Thursday, but for me it feels more like Friday since I’m off tomorrow. Did this week drag on for anyone else? I swear, I thought it was Thursday on Tuesday, and yesterday I was definitely convinced it was Friday. But now that Thursday is finally here, I feel like I’m crunched for time. So much to do before the weekend!

It’s Roanoke or BUST for me this weekend. The day has finally arrived: Marcus and Lindsey’s wedding, which I’ve mentioned once or twice a billion times on here already. I’m pretty excited and I feel like this has literally been YEARS in the making. I’m going to get to see a lot of people I haven’t seen since college…and a few I thought I’d probably never see again! It’s going to be a fun reunion weekend.

In related news, I gave myself a manicure last night.

You probably can’t even tell from the picture, but those are some damn painted nails. I bought a manicure pen at CVS for $10 (what a rip off), and I’ve been wanting to try it. Of course, I messed the whole thing up the first go around. It was all going really well until I decided to paint my toenails too. As I was using cotton balls to remove the already existing nail polish, I realized that my manicure wasn’t completely dry. Cotton started sticking to every inch of my nails until it looked like I had huge cotton-swab-fingernails. Gross! So, I had to do it all over again. At least it doesn’t look like a 6 year old splattered paint all over my fingers like it usually does if I try to paint my nails. I’m proud of my work, so you should be too.

Enough nail talk. Last night I attended Silverdocs, which is a big documentary film festival put on my Discovery.

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Although I’ve worked for Discovery for a few years now, this was my first time attending Silverdocs. It was pretty cool! My co-worker, Colin, had an extra ticket so I went with him to see The House I Live In. Here’s the synopsis:

“America‚Äôs ‚Äúwar on drugs‚ÄĚ officially began 40 years ago under the leadership of then President Richard Nixon. Over the course of four decades, America‚Äôs drug problem has only become worse. What went wrong? Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki (WHY WE FIGHT) offers a sobering comprehensive view of contemporary drug culture and examines the troubling realities of a broken system whose very existence, he argues, is making the problem worse rather than better. ‚Äď AP”

If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I pretty much go into everything with an open mind. I’m not very critical of movies, music, writing, new ideas, etc. (unless it’s my own) and I think everybody deserves a fair shot. It’s easy for me to find points that I agree with and also disagree with in any argument. I’m totally NOT argumentative and outwardly opinionated (although, if I’m think I’m right about something…don’t mess!). Keeping that in mind, I thought the film took a unique approach to drug trafficking in the United States. My favorite part was seeing cops, security guards, and judges (public figures in law enforcement) truly disagreeing with the laws they are required to enforce. Fascinating and conflicting stuff that really makes you think! I thought it was a really interesting film and I enjoyed watching it. Although, I would be interested to see how someone who is more critical and politically charged would react to it.

¬†I really don’t watch enough documentaries. They’re so interesting! I’m definitely going to try to attend more at next year’s festival.

This post was all over the place. Kind of like my life. I will check in again soon with post-wedding updates!

Are you into documentaries or do you think they’re boring?

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to the man who teaches me physics lessons everyday, is always doing the work, and never takes a bad picture.

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My dad is the coolest dad there out there. There’s no question that my siblings and I take after him in some way, shape, or form. We inherited so many of his good traits, for example I got his patience; my dad is the most patient man on the planet. I swear it. My sister got his big heart and love for family. Oh, and my brother got his goofiness. Thanks, dad!

Thanks for teaching us how to be better people everyday and thanks for just being awesome, dad!

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Today we’re celebrating by doing some of his favorite things: brewing beer and eating ribs.

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Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

Lindsey’s Bachelorette Weekend

Whoa, what a weekend!! I know I’ve mentioned a few times that my good friends Marcus and Lindsey are getting married soon and that I have the honor of being a bridesmaid in their wedding. This past weekend all of the girls got together for a bachelorette weekend in Richmond. While I can’t share all the juicy details (what happens at a bachelorette party, stays at a bachelorette party), crazy times were had!

We all met up in Richmond on Friday night where our gracious host, Abby, had wine and movies waiting for us. We spent a few hours chatting before heading to bed. It was decided that we needed to rest up for the next day!

Say hello to Abby’s cute puppy: Coal!

On Saturday, we got a slow start to the day, ate breakfast, and headed to the mall to run a few wedding errands. Once we got back, we got the party started with some classy champagne.

From there it all went downhill. We went a little overboard with all the bachelorette party favors, but my two favorite, by far, were the TEAM BRIDE bands and the glow-in-the-dark…penis straws. Because no party is complete without penis straws, right? It was confirmed that this was this first ever bachelorette party that any of us had attended, so we knew we had to go all out!

The ridiculous spread.

This is why we’re friends.

After some fun at the house, we made our way downtown to Cary Street. We had dinner at Weezie’s Kitchen ¬†(not to be confused with the rapper) and then headed out for the night. This is also where I stopped taking pictures and relied solely on Abby’s camera to document the fun. However, I think some things are better left unseen. ūüėČ Especially some things involving a bride-to-be and a polar bear. Enough said!

I had a fantastic weekend with a wonderful group of girls! I’m so honored that I get to be part of all this and I can’t wait to celebrate in just 2 short weeks at the wedding!

Have you ever been a part of a bachelor/bachelorette party?

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