Let’s talk about politics!

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What could go wrong when talking about politics, right? We’re all adults here (I actually don’t know if you’re an adult, because internet). We can handle some friendly conversation about the future of our country!

Let me start off by saying that I was raised very, very republican. Like, held signs on street corners when I was 10 or 11 trying to get everyone in my little town to re-elect George Bush, republican. I’ve also always been very opinionated. Something that seems to get more prominent the older I get. The problem with growing up (or maybe the beauty of it) is that you just start questioning everything. You question why you believe what you believe, why others believe what they believe, why people that you’ve always looked up to believe in things that you don’t, and why you feel so differently now than you did even a year ago. It’s this weird time of deciding what you believe in apart from what everyone around you wants you to believe in. And I’ve come to the conclusion that what I believe and choose to support is just as important as what anyone else believes and supports. Just because I grew up republican doesn’t mean I have to stay republican.

One of the things I decided on recently is that I’m done voting for someone based on the party they’re associated with. To just look over the person and who they are simply because it would be a “win” for the party I identify with. Specifically in this presidential race I’ve been so disappointed in some of the people I’ve looked up to the most that have chosen to support Trump because he’s the republican candidate and we can’t let a democrat win again. People that I’ve always known as level headed, caring, smart, sweet people that are openly supporting someone that is blatantly vulgar, aggressive, uneducated and oppressive. And the reasoning behind it is always that they’re “voting for their party”. Because we can’t support abortion! And we can’t support freedom to love whoever we want! And we can’t let Hillary tax us! But what frustrates me the most about die-hard republicans is that what they’re trying to fight for is already… done. Abortion is legal and that’s not changing. Gay marriage is legal and that’s not changing. Every president raises someone’s taxes. To harp on these old issues is to take us backward and shifts the focus from the more pressing issues that aren’t done, while trying to strip Americans of basic freedoms and choices. And I have respect for republicans, I do. I get that they have this idea in their head of what the country should be like and they’re doing all that they can to get it there, just like everyone else. I just don’t agree with those ideas anymore.

Something else I’ve noticed more than ever in this election is that a lot of people (on every side) are just lazy. They believe headlines without reading stories. They look at one site instead of comparing against others. They look for articles that only say what they want it to say and disregard anything else. They just believe memes with “facts” instead of researching the facts themselves. We’ve become this society that’s quick to jump on whatever they see and support it without finding out if it’s even true. And that’s scary. And I get it – it can be really annoying trying to wade through different articles and websites trying to get to the real truth… But in my opinion it’s important. It’s important to be informed and educated, and if after you’re informed and educated you choose to have differing opinions, then by all means! I’m all about freedom. I’m a democrat. (That was a joke!)

Of course, this whole post could probably be turned around and rewritten from the viewpoint of someone that went from being a democrat to a republican. It’s all relative. All that I’m trying to get across is that regardless of what party you identify with, or even if you choose to reject the idea of parties in general, it’s so important to find what you believe and get behind it. Vote. Talk to people about what you believe and why. Educate yourself. Educate others if they’re open to it. Don’t just believe all of the negative spin without going to the source. It’s finally our turn to try our very best to shape our country into something that we can be proud of and that’s not something that any of us should take lightly.

That’s all I’m trying to say here:  Don’t let your beliefs idle. Stay informed. Figure out what you believe for yourself. Get excited about it. Stay respectful, but be passionate. And please, be on the right side of history.

Happy voting!

 

Bogotá, Colombia

And now Colombia.

I’ll try not to make this one long and rambling, but we were there for two weeks. And did so much that’s worth noting. And so much that’s not really worth noting but I’ll probably note anyway because those are the things I like the most.

This trip was a workation of sorts. I went along with a family that I babysit on the side (my side bae’s, if you will) on their trip to Bogotá, Colombia! I’ve never traveled as a nanny before and I wasn’t sure how much I would like it since I’m pretty in to personal space, but it was so much better than I ever imagined!

First of all, Colombia gets a bad rap. I can’t tell you how many people were surprised that I was going there or warned me against it… but good thing I don’t really listen, because it’s such a beautiful country! I really only saw two parts of it, but it was enough to make me fall in love. We stayed in a part of the city that is really safe and popular and I could wander around by myself. All I actually did while wandering was drink a lot of coffee (I miss you, Juan Valdez!), buy so much that I had to get another bag for the trip home, and just stare at anything and everything I could. My favorite part about Bogotá is that it’s this enormous, bustling city that’s tucked right into the side of this lush, green mountain. It’s this beautiful contrast that got me every time.

 

 

Some of my favorite memories:

My birthday: This happened to be our very first day in Bogotá. We all slept in, explored our neighborhood a bit, got some empanadas at a street vendor (my first ever empanada!), and braved our first grocery store trip with all of us. And then that night the family I was with had some of their closest family friends (who live in Bogotá) come over for dinner. They were some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met! They make you feel like part of the family from the moment you meet them. They sang to me in English and then in Spanish and we had more cake than any of us could handle. It went in the books for one of my very favorite  birthdays!

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Downtown: This day was full of museums, walking, and crazy taxi rides. One of the family friends, Jorge, took me out for the day to see some of the sites that the kids wouldn’t have been interested in. We went to the gold museum, a military museum, Simon Bolivar’s house (one of my favorites!), and my number one favorite – The fat museum! That’s not actually what it’s called (missed opportunity there), but it’s a museum filled with paintings of chubby everything. Chubby people, chubby horses, chubby guitars, chubby skeletons, chubby pencils – everything. I loved it. Felt right at home. We also walked a lot through these amazingly tiny, brick filled roads. All of which seemed to lead right up to the mountain. It was so picturesque, yet I couldn’t get a picture to fully capture it.

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Food festival: Oh my lanta, the food festival. We completely lucked out in that this festival happened to be there the two weekends we were. And literally 3 blocks from our apartment. Favor ain’t fair! We tried as much as we could – sausages, pizza, fries with shrimp, ice cream, popsicles, arepas (GLORY), and the weirdest fruit (specifically one nicknamed snot fruit… I tried so hard to like it but honestly it made me gag, much to the disappointment of our Colombian friends). What we didn’t eat, but not because it wasn’t everywhere (it was), was what we dubbed “meat on a stick”. Because it was literally… meat on a stick. Hard pass.

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Villa de Leyva: We took a couple days to head out into the country. It’s about a 2-3 hour drive from the city and not for the faint of stomach (me). We all (plus two of our friends!) piled into a van and headed for the curvy roads! Amanda and I got a tiny bit sick, but hey – two out of nine people isn’t too bad! We got to Leyva just in time to head into their town square for the kite festival. It was packed – like, really packed. And there were nuns. If you know me at all, you probably know that I have a phobia. I can’t really explain it, but it’s very real and usually not much of an issue because nuns aren’t generally just walking around – unless you go to Colombia, apparently. The first time I saw one I tripped over the brick road and stumbled to hide behind Amanda (the mom of the family I was with) while trying to pretend I wasn’t tearing up out of panic (I was, but thank God for sunglasses). After that the family were real champs and helped keep an eye out for me. We had some close calls, but I’m still here. ANYWAY. Leyva was gorgeous. The house we were at had hammocks on the porch and cows and horses roaming. And was just down the street from a Jurassic park – complete with a zipline! Amanda and I braved it, despite not understanding the instructions the first time around (but shoutout to David for coming to our rescue and coming up to translate for us!). Also, the break didn’t really work and you had to hold down with a gloved hand to stop yourself, but that doesn’t really mater because we survived. Right? We also went to an ostrich farm (we got to ride in the back of a jeep on the bumpy dirt roads – my favorite!) where we fed some ostriches out of our hands! Honestly, they were kind of freaky with their dinosaur eyes, but I came away with all my fingers. David and I are even planning on getting ourselves one and naming it Usnavy (oos-nahvy. Not to be confused with “US navy”).

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The cooking: We were lucky enough to have so many homemade Colombian meals. Some of my favorites were the breakfast soup, arepas with cheese (almost every day and still not enough), another soup that I forgot the name of (but was SO GOOD), and empanadas! The empanadas were like nothing I’ve ever had before. We were all just eating them as they were made and then waiting for more. NEVER ENOUGH.

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Monserrate: This was one of the more tourist-y things that we did, but it was one of my favorites. Monserrate is on the top of the mountain and overlooks all of Bogotá. You have to take a sky tram type thing to the top because it’s 10,341 ft above sea level. That’s like, really high. At this point the kids were getting pretty tired and had experienced a little altitude sickness, so just their dad and I went up. Once you get to the top it’s almost like it’s own little village. There’s a church, some shops (though these are kind of tucked behind the church and feel like some kind of back alley operation), and a restaurant. And the views. On one side you see nothing but city for miles and on the other all you see is mountain on mountain on mountain. It was breathtaking. Like… it literally took my breath away. I ended up getting some serious altitude sickness in the taxi on the way back to the apartment (luckily I waited until I actually got to the apartment for the real “sickness” – but barely). But after taking some oxygen drops (which confuse me… isn’t water already oxygen? Are they just… drops of concentrated water?!) I felt kind of human again and was already thinking how worth it it was. I’d get sick for you all over again, Monserrate. ❤

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The people: The family that I went with is one of the funnest families I know. They’re always doing things and going on adventures and just making the best of every moment. It was so fun to get to tag along and be part of the family for a couple weeks! I felt right at home. And the family friends that I met there! They made all the difference. They’re such genuine and sweet people. We especially spent a lot of time with David – couldn’t shake him! Ha. He was so busy with his own school and life, but spent every free minute he had hanging out with us. Even when it meant taking awkward “prom” pictures with me, translating in real time, and escorting me on a night out since I couldn’t go out alone after dark. You’re the real MVP, David!

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That was excessively long and I’m really sorry if you read it all. I tried to condense! Actually, I did condense. So I guess you’re welcome, too?

 

Anyway. You should go to Colombia. I didn’t even see one drug lord, I don’t think. BUT if you do go and you’re blonde I would highly suggest dying your hair first. Unless you want to boost your confidence with lots of semi-creepy stares and catcalls… in that case, you’re all set.

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Vancouver, BC

Okay. I’m a bit of a procrastinator. I can only really write when I’m in the perfect mood. And at a coffee shop. Both of which are happening RIGHT NOW, so lucky you! You get to read my words again!

Since my first post I’ve been pretty busy – I even left the country twice! Kind of… The first trip was Canada (a 5 hour drive), but they have different money there and weird traffic lights so I still consider it foreign. The second was as a “workation” to Colombia. 100% foreign. I can’t write about both without making you read for dayyyys, so we’ll do it one at a time. First up: Vancouver, B.C.

 

This trip was a birthday trip for me and my best friend, Lori. Our birthdays are 9 days apart and we try to take a “birthday gap” trip every year while we’re the same age. We’ve been to California a couple times, NYC, and now Canada! Although, this year we had to go before the gap because we’re getting old and have old people things like “scheduling conflicts” (am I allowed to put emojis in blogs? No? Just imagine the eye roll one, then.)

Vancouver surprised me. I wasn’t expecting it to be so pretty and have so much to do and see and eat. We stayed at a perfectly quirky little airbnb right on Main street, which had the best little coffee shops and book stores (my two #1’s).

Favorite memories:

The pole: My very first memory in Canada is having to go to the bathroom. Like… really bad. And the downfall of the super perfect quirky little airbnb right on Main street was that there was literally nowhere to park. So we’re driving around, both needing to pee, desperately looking for a place to park, when I think we found one! So I go to back into it but in my desperate and frantic state I don’t really look where I’m going and I back into a utility pole. And then when I look up there are construction workers laughing at us, so I just give up the spot out of embarrassment and find a temporary spot until I can get our airbnb host to help me park my car because I’m a DUMB AMERICAN whose bladder can’t contain the amount of coffee she drinks.

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Suspension bridge park: This was mostly on the list because Lori is scared of heights and I love freaking her out probably more than anything. I’ve leaned over cliffs, forced her onto rollercoasters, sat on the edge of bridge trestles, and even climbed onto the ledge of the Brooklyn bridge just to see how mad she’ll get (answer: REALLY mad). It’s worth it every time. The park was fun, but it was hard for it to be scary when there were hoards of tourists and personnel everywhere. I’ll get her next time!

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Main street: If there’s one thing the two of us are good at, it’s being really lazy. So imagine our excitement when we realized that basically everything we needed was literally right out the door! This street was seriously the cutest. The coffee shops (especially 49th parallel) were top notch… and that’s coming from two people who are pretty snobbish about coffee (and just snobbish in general). And the BAKERY. Don’t even get me started on the bakery. It’s called COBS bread, but if you go there beware because the people are really nice. Like, REALLY nice. We only went twice because we couldn’t make ourselves talk to them more than that. We bought books, read in coffee shops, napped a little, and just wandered up and down the street. But I will say… the things this street does not have going for it are doughnuts and pizza. Honestly, they should be ashamed of themselves for even trying.

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Firework competition: We managed to plan our trip right smack in the middle of an international firework competition. And we weren’t mad about it. We also somehow managed to accidentally be there on the night America competed, but let’s pretend we showed up to support our country! We took the train as close as we could to the beach where the competition was held, and then we walked for a couple miles because we’re too impatient to wait in line with the hundreds of others for the bus. When we got there (a couple hours early) it was already packed. The show itself was amazing. It was. But my favorite part was actually the walk back to the train. The roads were shut down and literally thousands of people were making a bee-line for the train, which meant that the streets were overflowing with people and no cars and it felt like some sort of zombie apocalypse. We turned it into this game where we passed everyone as fast as we could without running and I think we won because we only had to wait in line for the train for like 5 minutes and we were in bed by midnight. VICTORY. img_3514

There was so much more that we did and areas that we loved, but if I wrote it all down we’d all be here until after the election (speaking of – if you’re voting for Trump remember voting day is November 28!). But really my number 1 favorite part of every birthday gap trip we go on is all the uninterrupted bestfriend time we get! Long distance bestfriendship is the pits. And speaking of, she’s about to move to CALIFORNIA which is giving me a small amount of anxiety because we haven’t lived more than two hours apart since we were 5. But ANYWAY. Vancouver was beautiful and fun and so clean and I can’t wait to go back.

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So fresh and so clean, clean.

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Am I doing this right?

HI GUYS. My first ever blog post! Well, disregarding anything that might’ve been posted in my young, Good Charlotte fan-fiction loving tween years. (I can neither confirm nor deny those postings, but if they did happen I was probably REALLY GOOD AT THEM.)  Honestly, I’m still torn between “YEAH, this is a great idea!” and “ugh, I’m probably just going to embarrass myself”… but right now the “great idea” side is winning, so imma do this real quick.

I’m mostly making this blog as a way to put down all of my thoughts and experiences because I have the memory of whatever is the opposite of an elephant. So, a really bad one. Like “I literally have no idea what shirt I wore yesterday” bad… But if you need to know lyrics to almost any song I gotchu.

Some things I’ll probably write about will be travel, nannying, fashion (or lack of), opinions that have nowhere else to go, and tips on how to avoid the millions of messages from health coaches on IG. (Just kidding on that last one but if you need some help hit me up). Along with some of my favorite things that probably no one else cares about but are, like, really important to me. Like food and coffee.

If you read through all of that rambling then congratulations and just know that I’m really proud of you!

Stay tuned for some more ramblings with (hopefully) a purpose!