Month: March 2016

A Taste of Paradise!

If you didn’t already see my posts on social media this week, I had an incredible week in HAWAII! Honestly, what kind of job actually pays you to spend a week in paradise? Mine does! I spent the week meeting with officers and advisors from our Delta Sigma Chapter at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, located in the heart of Honolulu. Outside of working 12+ hour days most days and having close to no down time, I was able to squeeze in lots of fun activities. The chapter was SO welcoming and I appreciate them so much for showing me around the island. I grew up going to Maui and Kauai, but I hadn’t visited Oahu before, so it was extra exciting! Here are some pictures from the week:

Yes, I was welcomed at the airport with a lei and a gift basket.. they are too much!

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I couldn’t go to Oahu without an early morning hike to Diamond Head! Diamond Head is a volcanic crater, which you can hike up the edge of and see incredible views of the island and Waikiki. Exhibit A:

On Friday, two of the members took me to the famous Lanikai beach on the east side of the island. It did not disappoint! Unfortunately, it was super windy so we left a bit early to avoid eating an excessive amount of sand :).

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After leaving the beach and grabbing lunch, we spontaneously decided to hike to a nearby waterfall, Lulumahu Falls. Let me tell you, there is NOTHING like taking a shower under a 100 ft. waterfall. #purebliss. You would never guess a random weed-covered gate and a 45 minute hike up the river would lead to this:

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Mind you, we hiked this in FLIP FLOPS. It’s never a good sign when everyone on the trail is wearing hiking boots or tennis shoes… but we made it! I am actually glad I wore sandals because I washed all the mud right off :).

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The timing of my visit was impeccable. My last full day on the island landed on the day of the chapter’s sisterhood retreat, which was at the water park!!!! Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE water parks and live for the sun and water slides. After getting kicked out of the rather lame water park in Indianapolis last summer due to a thunder storm, this was a much better alternative. My water park dreams have been fulfilled!

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It was only right that my last meal in Hawaii was local food. Kalua Pig, potato mac salad, sweet potatoes, rice and a coconut dessert:  IMG_8917

Before I left, one of the very talented members gave me an INCREDIBLE gift. I will always remember my Delta Sigma visit by this carved wooden sign she made:

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The gifts were truly never ending… I traveled with SIX boxes of Hawaiian Host chocolate covered macadamia nuts. It was truly NUTS. (I gave one to the Chapter Advisor and to the flight attendants!)

Mahalo, Delta Sigma Chapter! It’s been a blast! Would you look at that view on my way out….FullSizeRender (31)

The price I pay for paradise: a 3 hour delay at SFO (the worst airport ever), which is where I currently am. Praying my flight doesn’t get canceled!

Next stop: Las Vegas! I am so excited to visit Delta Omicron Chapter this week at UNLV! Then I will head to Phoenix for Delta Xi’s Recruitment Training School this weekend at ASU. Can’t wait :). Ta-ta for now!

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As soon as I thought my life couldn’t get any crazier, it did.

February: New Jersey (with a pit stop in NYC), Alabama, L.A., back to New Jersey, NYC, Orange County (now)

March: Hawaii, Las Vegas, Phoenix, L.A., home for Easter weekend

April: I don’t have my schedule yet, so who knows! My contract for my job is up May 1st… then the next adventure begins!

May: Austin, Hawaii (yes, again!), San Francisco, Southeast Asia.. all within two weeks!

May- ?: Southeast Asia!

I wanted to share some pictures from the last few weeks:

 NYC round 1! This was just a quick visit before our flights out of NJ. Also my first time ever in the city!

Auburn, Alabama now holds a special place in my heart. This was my second visit to Gamma Delta chapter and I had a great time getting to know the members better and exploring the area. Some of my favorite things were eating ice cream sandwiches at the famous Toomer’s Drugs, trying all of the amazing local food, and having a house of 10 Alpha Gams cook dinner for me one night. I was also on campus for campaign kick-off week, which is when the top 5 candidates for Miss Auburn share their platforms and begin campaigning. Our chapter typically has a member in the top 5 every year, and this year, they rallied around Meredith Thomley during her campaign (see purple Meredith shirts!).

Our chapter at USC recently had their spring Bid Day at a family fun center with go karts, laser tag, rock climbing, mini golf, an arcade and batting cages. I luckily was in town and got to help them welcome their newest members!

A sunrise from the runway, wrestling match at Rutgers University (that’s a first!), and some pictures around the Rutgers campus, which was founded in 1766, making it the oldest college (now university) in the country! Another fun fact: Rutgers is split into five separate campuses, which were originally separate colleges, all accessible by bus.

Here are some pictures during our recruitment process at Rutgers! We gave presentations for fraternities and sororities to promote Rutger’s newest sorority (a.k.a. Alpha Gam), met hundreds of women on campus, and hosted several events to get to know our Potential New Members. We also did a Healthy Living Campaign and collected healthy living pledges from the community throughout the week. For each pledge, we donated $1 to the local JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Chapter, which totaled $143! I unfortunately had to leave early due to my vacation already being scheduled, so I missed out on our one-on-one interviews this week and will miss Bid Day this weekend, but I know it will be great! We are all looking forward to seeing our newest chapter come together :).

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After leaving Rutgers, I spent the first few days of my vacation time in New York City and stayed with one of my good friends, Shannon, who recently moved to the city. Shout out to Shannon for being a wonderful host! On my first day in NYC and while Shannon was at work, I went to the 9/11 memorial and museum, which was an absolutely incredible experience. It was one of the best museums I have been to and I spent over 2 1/2 hours in the exhibits, listening to testimonials, watching short videos, and seeing hundreds of artifacts from 9/11. It was an experience I appreciated going through alone and after reflecting on everything I saw and heard, I have realized how moving the museum truly was. If you are ever in New York City, you cannot miss the 9/11 museum. If anyone would like to talk about their or my experience there, don’t hesitate to reach out.

One experience I wish I had more pictures of: The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon! After the 9/11 museum, I met up with my cousins, Allie and Mackenzie, and Mackenzie’s boyfriend, Nick, for lunch overlooking the city. Mackenzie, Nick and I then went to 30 Rock to see Jimmy Fallon live! Mackenzie’s friend who she used to work at The Ellen Show with now works for Jimmy Fallon and got us in as VIPs. It was the. best. thing. ever. Unfortunately, NBC was VERY strict about cell phones/photography, so I have very little photo evidence, but I assure you, we were there, and it was awesome! What a cool experience. Shout out to Mackenzie for the hook up!

If you are ever in NYC, you HAVE to go to the Top of the Rock, a.k.a. the 67th floor of 30 Rock. The timing after Jimmy Fallon was impeccable, because we went straight to the top of the same building and watched the sunset overlooking the city. This was probably one of my favorite things I’ve done in recent history- there are no words… just pictures:

 Graffiti in Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn:

Shannon and I explored Williamsburg, the High Line, and Chelsea Market. This seafood market was the COOLEST place ever! Check out the size of that huge crab! They had amazing lobster, fresh sushi everywhere and it reminded me of a New York version of Pike’s Place market in Seattle. Loved it!

It wouldn’t be a trip to New York without going to Central Park! Did you know that you can ride a horse through the park for $125? Eh, I’ll pass. Shannon, Nick (her boyfriend’s name is Nick too.. and yes I did a lot of third wheeling over the weekend) and I also went to Serendipity to get frozen hot chocolate. Apparently there is a movie called Serendipity (which I have not seen) which is pretty famous and made this place pretty famous too (which explains the hour and a half long wait). But I mean, look at that frozen hot chocolate…

Some other random pictures from NYC, including Grand Central Station, subway art, Bloody Mary’s at brunch, Dylan’s Candy Bar, and a picture from the Summer in Winter Party at Brooklyn Brewery:

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Brooklyn Bridge: another must-see!

Ah..the familiar view outside a plane window. This time, saying goodbye to New York City! Until next time!! Who knows… maybe I’ll end up moving there! (Nope, still don’t have a plan for after Southeast Asia..)

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Now, off to USC for a few days (can you say Friday brunch?!) before heading to Hawaii on Tuesday! I’m so excited to meet the officers and advisors from our Delta Sigma Chapter at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and hopefully get to Waikiki Beach! Aloooooha!