Top 5 Coolest Sites in the World!

I’ve been a lot of awesome places with a lot of awesome sites to see. Here is a countdown of my top 5 favorite sites in the world!

5. Brooklyn Bridge (+Grimaldi’s Pizza)

Anytime anyone asks what to do in New York City, I tell them go to the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk so you can take pictures during the sunlight and at night. By walking the bridge, you get to see the skylines of both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Though you have to share the bridge with bikers and a whole lotta tourists, the cars drive on the platform underneath. Whether you start or end in Brooklyn, it’s a must that you go to Grimaldi’s Pizza next to the bridge. The pizza is traditional New York style (which is the best kinda style, sorrrrrry, Chicago <3). There’s no alcohol served and sometimes there’s a wait, but it’s so damn worth it.

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Should I Prioritize My Love Life?

Remember that one time I said I was ready to buy a condo? That was due in part to the fact that I was done focusing on finding a husband/relationship (you know, whichever comes first). I was never giving up on finding a mate, but I was no longer going to make it my sole focus.

Earlier this week, I saw a condo in Oak Park for a second time that I’m really digging. Driving there, I started to have a mini-panic attack. What was I doing?! Was I really going to replace my desire to find a man with my desire to buy a home? Was I really ready to give up on men being my #1 priority????

Okay, so of course, men were/are not my no. 1 priority, but finding one of my soulmates was/is up there on my to-do list. I know that by buying my own place it doesn’t mean I can’t still find and/or look for a mate, but it does take my thoughts away from the husband-finding process. Which, I KNOW is a good thing, but it’s darn scary! I’ve spent so much time and energy looking for *the one* that I think I’m going through withdrawals.

So, yea, guys, I’m freaking out a little. It’s definitely first-time-home-buyer jitters. But it’s also this worry that I’m making a mistake by not prioritizing my love life.

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An Ode to Friendships

As 2017 comes to a close and I prepare for the last crappy dinner party of the year, I wanted to write a post about how thankful I am for my friendships.

There’s this saying that friendships are either for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I’m sure you can think of a friend who was only in your life long enough to teach you something or to show you the way {reason}. Maybe you have a friendship that lasted only while you were employed at the same place, attending the same school, or playing on the same sports team {season}. And many of us are lucky enough to have friendships that’ve lasted through it all and those friends that will stand by you no matter what {lifetime}.

As I was lamenting the end of a friendship while sitting on my therapist’s couch a while back, she told me, “Ashley, what if you still had all of the friends you’d ever made? How would you have time for all of them? You wouldn’t! And they wouldn’t all have time for you.” She’s right (as she typically is). Yes, it is sad when a friendship ends. Two-fold silver lining, though:

  1. Maybe you learned something from that friend {reason} or maybe he/she made your life better while you were together for that period of time {season}
  2. I remember all of the wonderful friendships I still have!

And with all of those wonderful friendships I have, we do some really wonderful things together. Here are some of my favorites:

Crappy Dinner Parties

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Animals and Adventure in Costa Rica!

My friend, Shelley, and I went on a 12-day trip around Costa Rica in September 2017. I have individual blog posts for each city we visited (see below), but wanted to share an overall blog, too, for what we did there.

San Jose

Admittedly, there isn’t much to do in the capital city. It’s the main airport of the city, though, so staying a night or two may be necessary. If we’d spent more time, I definitely would’ve done one of the free walking tours.

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Animals and Adventure in Costa Rica: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Our final city to explore in Costa Rica was Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (or as you may read for the public bus, Puerto Viejo, Limon; there are actually two Puerto Viejos in Costa Rica and you want to go to the one on the beach in the Limon province). Since we were traveling in September, we chose to go to the Caribbean side since it’s not rainy season there. We spent 2.5 days here, which was a day longer than any other city we’d visited in CR.

Sightseeing

The first thing we did in Puerto Viejo was to explore, both by foot and by bike ($5/day rental). There are a bunch of shops and stalls to peruse. And the town is right on the beach, so we spent plenty of time moseying about.

Playa Uva came highly recommended. Puerto Viejo is bordered by the Caribbean sea, so there are plenty of beaches to choose from. Because we’d met some Costa Rican friends, we hitched a ride to Punta Uva (it’s a point where you can hike around) and to Manzanilla, where its said the manzanilla plant grows (think chamomile tea).

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Convenient Dating

Mr. League and I went on a 2nd date; this date, too, was a marathoner: a whopping 7 hours long! But after two marathon dates (totaling 13 hours), Mr. League vanished. Well, he didn’t complete fade into thin air like a ghost, but he did sorta just disappear intermittently. After a week of barely any conversation, I finally asked him if he wanted to hang out again…like ever. His response:

I do have a lot cooking right now, so I’m trying to keep some balance. Let me swing back to you when I’m ready.

Right…so while you’re chopping, stirring, and cooking, I’ll just twiddle my fingers and wait patiently. I’ll be on your timetable. No problemo.

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Taking Chicago by storm…one date, one yoga class, one salsa lesson, one blog post, one trip, one drink, one meal, one new friendship at a time.