Monday, October 15, 2012

City.

i love you atlanta.
Everyday my hearts finds a moment where it is overwhelmed by how much I love living in Atlanta. Whether it's walking to work looking out to the foggy skyline, or driving at night when the buildings are lit up and beautiful, or feeling like Rocky as I jog pass the train tracks at a golden pink sunset, this place is really amazing. Then again, I would probably find beauty and joy anywhere I go as long as I embrace it and surround myself with people and things that fulfill me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Family.

The Nash family had our first-ever family reunion this past weekend at the beach! I have never had a real reunion on either side of my family and really didn't know what to expect. Out of the 22 people who came, I only knew about half--and there were 9 of us "kids" ages 20-27. It was really interesting putting us all in one condo and getting to know each other through sharing beds and late night games! I can't wait for the next family reunion...

Friday, August 3, 2012

20.

When did we grow up? I can hardly believe my baby brother turned 20 last weekend. Somehow that age seems eons older than I even am. No way am I one of those big kids who can drive, let alone a college girl... Oh wait! I'm graduated, living in the city by myself with a full time job, a 401k and life insurance policy. WHEN DID ALL THAT HAPPEN?? When did I grow up?

Networking.

Networking- isn't that a great work? It can just mean so many things, like a BBQ night at Sweetwater Brewery! Marketing and PR people know how to work (it). This picture is with a few of the girls I work with at the photo booth.

Break-in.

Well, the ATL definitely welcomed me to the city. A casual dinner at a restaurant .5miles from my office and 1 mile from my apartment ended with my car window being smashed in and my work bag being stollen. Contents taken: beautiful bag, 2 MacBook Pro computers (work and personal), iPod and my new notebooks full of my fry few weeks of training. Basically my life- I was devastated. What is almost a worse crime than the break-in was the hour and 46 minutes it took a police officer I show up. Normally I wouldn't complain because I'd hope they were tending to more immediate situations, but it was midnight in downtown Atlanta and I was in a parking lot by myself. I called 911 three times asking for someone to come soon due to the sketchy characters driving, parking and walking through the lot where I stood. I was mentally freaking myself out more than anything. Fortunately the cop that showed up was the nixed police officer I've met and did all he could. Nothing came of it and my bag and computers are gone for good. Welcome to Atlanta!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Moscow Mule.

The Moscow Mule is definitely my favorite specialty drink! I was introduced to this little piece of heaven by Oprah in the episode where she visited Yellowstone National Park. The traditional drink is served in a copper cup and consists of vodka, ginger beer and lime. The ginger beer is key though: a spicy version of normal ginger ale, it has a good kick! Anytime I see ginger beer on the menu, I always order a Moscow Mule. The other night at Bistro Nikko, however, was the fist copper cup I've had... kudos!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nurture.

I bought myself a housewarming present: a basil plant! I love cooking with the herb, and I felt that my big girl apartment needed a plant. I got the prettiest, healthiest one Trader Joes had to offer and found the perfect spot for it on my patio. Bad idea. Let's just say, "Out of sight, out of mind." Well, at least out of sight for me. Needless to say, it was a more than optimal location for the sun's sight. As you can imagine, after a mere two days of raging Georgia heat and lack of water, my poor basil plant was all but withered dead. Ironically, it was a mild reflection of how drained and lonely I felt after my first week in Atlanta with no furniture or roommate.

BUT! Then a miracle happened—for both my plant and myself! My mom came! It was amazing: just a few short hours after her arrival, my pathetic, withered plant was in water and reviving! On a similar not, my empty apartment was coming to life with furniture, a made bed, pictures on the wall and music playing. How do moms do that? One of life's mysteries I will never know...or complain about!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Home.

What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been! In the two weeks I’ve been back from Italy, I have spent a few days in Knoxville for Father’s Day, packed my house in Athens, moved to Atlanta and started my new job at ignition. A lot of changes, and moving is quite the process! While I successfully got all of my stuff into my new apartment, I have yet to get my furniture moved…no worries, the air mattress is only mostly uncomfortable—not completely miserably, and my piles of clothes give the room some nice d├ęcor. I never knew how nice sitting on pillows on the floor staring at a cable-less TV could be! Colleen and I love our new place, however, and in a few weeks I’ll appreciate it more than ever.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chianti.

On our second day in Florence, we hopped on a tour for an afternoon in Chianti. The stops included a couple medieval villages, including Monteriggioni, and a winery. Sant Appiano winery was centuries old, and produced Chianti Classico. We obviously has a wine tasting here, sampling two delicious Chianti Wines, a Super Tusan and a Rosato. It was Hunter's first tasting experience. Also, Mom got a small journal to start taking her own tasting notes!

Bike.

For our last day in Florence, and the Tuscany region, Hunter, Mom and I geared up for a bike tour through the hills and vineyards of the Chianti country. Before we started peddling, however, we visited the coolest castle and wine estate in the Florentine Hills. I loved the views from the tower, seeing how and where the grapes used for Italy's Vin Santo dessert wine we're dried, and learning about olive oil production. The samples we tasted we're not disappointing. The bike portion was not disappointing either. It was surreal to be cruising past the vines and flowers; so beautiful! The whole day was really perfect. Our guides were incredibly helpful, funny, nice and knowledgable. It was definitely an activity I would love to do again.

Venice.


We packed up and took the train from Florence to Venice, a quick 2 hour trip. Of course it downpoured the second we walked out to try and find the right water bus to take us to our hotel! 45 minutes later we managed to piece the broken English advice together and make it to our hotel's port. Another 20 minutes of dragging our luggage up and down the cobblestone streets and having shop owners pull up the iPhone map to point us in the right direction, we stumbled into the hotel. Venice is about the most confusing and illogical street system I've ever seen! We got lost each and every time we tried to find the hotel again. We did enjoy the lively streets, picturesque canals and yummy seafood. For as touristy as te whole city is, however, it is not visitor-friendly!

Florence.

Florence has been my favorite city to visit so far. Full of tourists, everyone is so friendly and accommodating! You can get gelato or granita (my new favorite slushie) in just about every other shop--leather goods in the alternating ones. We spent one solid day exploring and making the rounds of the must-see sites, including David in the academia, il Duomo, etc. Our Florentine guide, Bernie, grew up in the area and went to the same high school that Galileo looked through telescopes and where da Vinci painted Mona Lisa! He was a proud alum. There are so many day trips you can take from Florence, and we chose an afternoon in Chianti and a bike day through the region the next two days. For dinner, we had one fun, casual night eating outside in a lively piazza, one salami and cheese night in the hotel before Hunter and I went bar crawling, and one 5 star (by the quality, not price) meal. I will never forget our food at Acqua al 2. A five pasta sampler, amazing Greek salad and the blueberry fillet will be hard to beat anywhere!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bulldawg.

You can find a UGA Bulldawg anywhere in the world! Even in the bars of Italy. I thought the Georgia flag in the Lions Well in Cortona was strange, but it made sense enough with the study abroad program there year round. In Florence, though? Sure enough, a huge icon Uga was posted up on the wall! Obviously I had to leave my name next to it. My mom's favorite phrase, "fool's names and fool's faces can always be found in public places" briefly crossed my mind...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cook.

One of the must-dos we wanted to experience in Italy was an Italian cooking class. So, Diane Seed was our lady! Finding our way to her 5th floor apartment that overlooks the Roman Forum and monuments was an adventure in itself, but the dinner we cooked was even more fabulous--if possible. It was just the three of us and her. We cooked the food completely out of order and ate it immediately when it was hot. Starting with a delicious salmon-cream dressed pasta, we moved onto the zucchini and mint risotto. Two carb-o-licios plates I couldn't get enough of! Next was our fennel seed chicken (Hunter single-handedly ate almost the whole thing), and we finished with the fabulous anti-pasta: fried yeast balls stuffer with olives, cheese, onions, capers and goodness! The whole evening was quite an experience, and we definitely learned a few things about Italian cooking! There was even one point when I asked for more cream sauce on my pasta and Ms. Seed promptly told me no. Apparently Italian dishes should be lightly dressed, not drowned in sauce. I wasn't too happy, as it was salmon deliciousness, but had to respect her and accept it as a learning process!

Pantheon.

Yes, this is the view of the Pantheon from our hotel!! Unreal. It is the closest building next to Rome's most well preserved building. And yes, what's more than that, this picture is from the rooftop bar. Gorgeous! I don't know if I will ever again be so lucky to drink a glass of Prosecco and look down upon one of he worlds most well known monuments. Cheers!

Patches!

I left my beautiful Cortona and made my way to Rome on Sunday. I met mom and Hunter at their fabulous hotel (details to come), and was surprisingly reunited with Patches, my beloved stuffed dog who has been to 15 countries with me. Patches was obviously with me as I entered the airport in Atlanta, but I decided to leave him last minute (for his own safety) since I was traveling alone, he didn't fit in my backpack and I was going I need two hands. Mama knew best though, and it was a joyful moment when I saw him laying on my bed waiting for me!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The last supper.

Yup, I leave Cortona tomorrow! Heading to Roma, and am so excited...but still so sad. You would think I'd finish my trip at a wonderful Italian restaurant. Wrong. Lions Well got the best of me. Burger, chips, salsa and queso. So wrong. I complain about the squishy layer I've gained on my body, and would love to blame it on my daily gelato treats and the full pizzas I eat by myself, but no--it's the late night cheese dip at Lions Well pub. Go figure.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Georgia!

Can you find my name?? Can't leave Cortona without signing the UGA flag in Lions Well!

Naples.

You never know what you might stumble upon walking around the historic Naples after a delicious seafood dinner. First we came upon an old castle. Taking pictures outside, we realized people were walking in, so we followed suit. There was an opera going on. In a castle's courtyard. And we could just walk right in and enjoy it! Moving on, we came upon an indoor city of sorts and all laid down to take pictures on the intricate tiled ground. Next thing we know, Italian boys (8-year-olds, of course) are right therr with us! Later, we literally stumbled into a man offering boat rides--at 11pm at night. In a small motor boat. You're only in Italy once! We all grabbed a Peroni beer and jumped in. Our adorable driver never took a cigarette out of his mouth and didn't speak a lick of English, but he was so funny and cute! I even it a sloppy, wet kiss on the way out...could've probably done without that. A random, unplanned night I will never forget.

Capri.

A Sunday in Capri...I've died and gone to heaven! The beautiful, blue water, rocky beaches and flower-filled cliffsides will forever to be my "happy place." Next goal in life: buy one of those yachts and sail around in the sunshine whenever I want!

Run.

While I have not hit the running trails as often as I'd like, I think this is the first place where running is truly enjoyable! Wild, red poppies growing everywhere, quaint houses of stone carved into the hillsides, and the most perfect weather. I never want to leave !

Friday, May 25, 2012

Party trick.


We toured one of Cortona’s most renowned wineries on Wednesday. Everything we have been learning in lectures finally clicked when we could see the vines, trellises, fermenting barrels, aging wines, etc. In addition to the detailed tour, we, of course, sampled the wine—including the sparkling! The owner, an attractive 30-year-old Italian (Momma Mia!), taught us a very valuable wine-opening technique…with a sword! A few in our group took turns opening the bottles. Stephanie can definitely claim the most dramatic opening.

Mangiare.

When in Italy, eat! But seriously, all we do it eat. If someone were to observe our eating habits I am confident they would be disturbed by our group of eight girls! This picture shows us in action, casually sharing four pizzas...and an appetizer, and three plates of dessert cookies and chocolates. The best part is, when we aren't eating, we are talking about food—how good it was, what we will be eating next, etc. We were craving this pizza again last night, but when we got there it was closed and we decided to go for lunch today instead. This morning, my roommate literally sat up in bed and said, "I am so excited about pizza today!" Case closed.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sangria.


Yes, that is 5 bottles of red wine, a variety of fruit and a splash of orange soda in a bucket in the woods. Like I have mentioned before, here in Cortona, we take our classroom wine lessons just about anywhere! We had a fun night in the park drinking Sangria and watching the sunset. Our plastic cups, blue bucket and 2 Euro wine may not scream classy, but with a view like we’ve got, you don’t need much else…

Monday, May 21, 2012

Market.


On Saturdays, la Piazza Republica turns into a giant market, overflowing with vendors selling clothes, shoes, fresh fruits and veggies, and even meats and seafood. I felt right at home—just another Saturday at the Farmers Market! You could literally get anything you wanted and it seemed that everyone in town was there shopping around. I purchased a couple soft scarves and drooled over a pair of 150 Euro leather boots. My conscious got the best of me, and I decided to sleep on it and wait until next weekend to make the decision…so far sleep has only led to dreaming about them! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday.

There is nothing like a Sunday night beer (Italian Peroni) and a futbol game at the pub! Almost reminds me of Pauleys back in Athens...Cortona has everything I want--well, except Chick-fil-A. That will definitely be the first stop I make when I am back on US soil: a number 1 with an upgrade of large fries and a Diet Coke! For now, my Nastro Azzurro will hold me over just fine!

Precious.

Can you think of anything more precious than a little, old couple walking arm in arm through the cobblestone streets of Italy? It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of traveling—wanting to see and experience everything—that you forget to just enjoy the scenery around you, including the people. That is the great thing about studying abroad; you get to become truly immersed in the culture of the town. Cortona is a perfect place to get to know some of the locals by name. It has been so fun finding my favorite spots for coffee (Bar 500 has my Grande Skinny Cappuccino), before dinner wine (Enoteca and prosecco), running trails (that I have never actually run on yet), sandwich shops (Molesini's #6) and, of course, late night fun (cheer to The Lion's Well). We are trying a new chocolate shop tonight that I am sure will be added to the list soon...

Explore.


We spent Wednesday exploring the city of Assisi. It is a beautiful town, climbing a huge hill like a flowering vine. The winding streets (le vie) and avenues (i viali) are filled with restaurants, sweet shops, leather stores, cathedrals and way too many tourist stops. That is the one thing I really hated to see: one tourist shop after another, all the same as the last, and all the same you've seen everywhere in the world. Luckily, all I had to do was look the other direction and see the most stunning views of the rolling countryside! 


Class.


Typical classroom setting right? It is for us here in Cortona: fresh cheese, prosciutto, grilled eggplant and, of course, our delicious red wines. I can’t believe I’ve been brainwashed to think dark, stuffy classrooms are the norm for a good education! Each day we have a wine tasting where we identify characteristics of the wine and pair it with food.We’ve been learning so much about how to detect the aromas and tastes of wine. I can honestly say I love going to class! Plus, you will never find us complaining about homework—every night you can find my study-buddies and me brushing up on the previous class’s teachings. Cheers!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cortona.

Ciao! So, I've made it to Italy! A plane, two trains and a bus ride later, I found my new home away from home in Cortona. Not a shabby view, huh? Despite the fact fewer people spoke English than I expected, I managed to sign language my way through the many ticket purchases, terminals and finally up the long and VERY steep hill to the dorm. I came sweating and half limping, but arrived in one piece and still with enough energy to explore! The city is stunning. Surrounded by a stone wall, there are gorgeous 360 degree views from nearly every point. Of course, I had to get a double scoop of gelato for the walk. Besides the blueberry and chocolate gelato, I bought a bar of olive oil soap. Scrub-a-dub-dub!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Official.

Well, it's official! Someone let me wear a crooked cap in my graduation pictures! It's bad enough I am missing actual UGA convocation and I had to borrow a cap and gown for photographic reasons, but then for the cap to be crooked, too? My mom's worse nightmare has come true... In all serious, though, today was the defining moment when it felt real; I am done with college, graduating. Tomorrow I going to Atlanta to house hunt, Thursday I walk at Grady's ceremony and Friday I'm off to Italy--big girl stuff. So, obviously I had to drown this terrible thought with one more night at Bourbon Street- Athens infamous freshman bar! Let the caps be crooked and the good times roll...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cheers!

Throughout my life, my mom and I have always shared special traditions--nothing fancy, but moments that have meant the most to me. As a little girl, we would get Sonic limeades after my gymnastics practices; in middle and high school we would drink diet coke and watch Oprah after school; now that I'm 22 and graduating college, we are drinking margaritas and Dos Equis together on Cinco de Mayo! Though our drink of choice has changed over the years, and my future is full of uncertainty, I know one thing that will remain constant is our ability to enjoy simple moments and a cool drink!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Race.

One week from today I will be crossing the stage for Grady College's graduation ceremony. ONE WEEK! I love this picture of Athens' Twilight bike race last week. With the Georgia Theatre in the background, the riders are just a blur in the scenery. I have been one of those cyclers these past four years at UGA. Racing around, speeding towards the finish line. Now the end is in sight and I wish I could slam on the brakes and start over! I should have stayed a victory lap...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

PBJs.

Monday I was able to tag along with a great group of people while they served the Athens community. As part of the local nonprofit, Athens PBJs, volunteers delivered sack lunches across town as a fundraiser to feed Athens' homeless. It's been a while since I have taken a few hours out of my life to serve. Between juggling a hectic semester of classes and trying to squeeze every second of fun I can out of senior year, I "haven't had time" to put it on my checklist. The truth is, however, that my quest for rejuvenation and fulfillment in this crazy time of life is more than satisfied with few hours of giving back to a greater cause. Among the long lists of daily to-dos, my long-term priorities too easily get forgotten—suddenly the immediate action list trumps all. I think I need to re-prioritize my list of priorities...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Appropriate.

I firmly believe in seasons of life; there is a time and place for everything. For example, SweetWater beer's 420 Fest is probably not the place for 4 month old children (which I saw plenty of on Saturday,unfortunately). However, I am in a season of life where spending a day with 10,000 of my closest friends packed onto a field drinking beer is appropriate. What a unique time of life it is! Always embracing the season of life I am in will help me enjoy what's currently around me, and not leve me wishing for another time or place. As I get one day closer to graduation, I am eager to enter a new season of life and see where it takes me.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fear.

I could have also titled this post 'Graduation.' They are pretty synonymous right now. Moving away from my comfortable home and friends in Athens to start over in a job at the lowest level is terrifying. I just started this inspirational book last night and couldn't help but think chapter 3 was written for me. Look at those three quotes; are there any other seniors out there who now feel encouraged and motivated to do the seemingly impossible? I am not under qualified and I will only fail if I pass up the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone. Falling off that lowest rung should only assure you that there is a ladder in front of you to climb in the first place! An opportunity! Besides, you only graduate once.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Faith.


Sunday afternoon epitomized the point in life I am right now. A group of friends went out to some old granite rock quarries to picnic, swim and  jump from some of the high ledges into the water 40 feet below... The afternoon reminded me of how little time I have left with these amazing friends. In just a few short weeks, the ten people I was leaping through the air with will be scattered across the country in at least six different states. We are all at a time in our life where the next few years will be as unpredictable and scary as jumping off that ledge. We are all taking a leap of faith, if you will :) I am just so blessed to have amazing people jump with me!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Delivered.

This is the story of the traveling pants. In November I ordered a pair of pants from Ann Taylor to be shipped to me. Having still not received the pants in January, I contacted the store and spent over an hour on the phone. They explained that the pants went from Kansas to my apartment in Athens, GA, but the store had forgotten to add my unit number, so UPS made an executive decision to send them to a second address they had on file for me in Knoxville, TN. Next, I contacted UPS where I was told from Knoxville they were shipped back to the store—the store never received them. Where the hiccup happened was when UPS sent them to the wrong Nash home in Knoxville. The house they arrived at was being rented...so what happens next? The renters sent the pants to the Nash's new home...IN ATHENS, GA! That's right: after 5 months of traveling around the southeast, my pants were hand delivered to me by Mrs. Nash! Now let's see if they fit...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Deserving.

     With graduation exactly one month away, I was thrilled to have an opportunity to honor the women who has my fabulous mentor, advisor and friend: Dr. Betty Jones. She won faculty advisor of the year at UGA's student organization awards, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving! I can directly attribute much of the success I've had in college—and will have in my future—to her. Time and time again she has gone out of her way to make me better, both as a PR professional and as person. Her door is always open and I've spent many afternoons in her office or in her home seeking advice, celebrating success, ranting in frustration and just talking about life. I have had few people impact me the way Dr. Jones has these past years and I am beyond blessed to have her in my life. I know she will forever be a part of it.