Category Archives: Things I Do

Same Same, But Different

For years Kyra and I have talked about traveling internationally together.  And as this blog has become more about our “unlisted buckets” than the actual items on our bucket list, it seems only appropriate to reflect on the fruition of our longtime plan and adventure to Thailand.

Exactly three weeks ago today, Kyra and I met up in the Dubai airport; Kyra coming from Houston, me from Johannesburg (more on that later). After another flight, we arrived in Bangkok where we stayed for three days, touring temples, buying ridiculously inexpensive clothes and jewelry, visiting Thai spas and meeting/becoming celebrities.

Having become somewhat, though never entirely, acclimated to the Thai culture, we made our way to Koh Samui to meet up with our lovely Contiki Tour group. Aside: We highly recommend Contiki if you are looking for a fun, easy way to travel and meet like-minded-20-something-year-olds from all over the world. Keep reading for more details.

With our group we then spent the next nine days “island hopping” via death wish ferry between Koh Tao, Koh Phanang and our starting place, Koh Samui.

Here are some of our highlights in no particular order:

1. Snorkeling off of Koh Tao. We spent the entire afternoon on a boat, so naturally it was a pretty good day. The excursion started and ended on fairly scary notes– i.e. the discovery of the complete lack of ambulances on Thai islands and experiencing a monsoon whilst at sea. But we quickly learned that any type of death related fear while in Thailaind can be calmed by a few Orange Breezers, marine life and the belting of Titanic/Celine’s “Near Far Wherever You Are.”

2. Touring of the Grand Palace and Temples in Bangkok. On our last full day in Bangkok we decided to take a less shopping-oriented day trip and visit the historic Buddhist temples in Bangkok. We took a canal tour through the city (another boat, we should have known it was going to be a good day) and also were driven by a very kind cabbie named Tanapon to the Grand Palace and several of the popular temples. The design and structure of these buildings was astonishingly ornate. I described it like Versailles x 10 in Asia. We couldn’t believe that the buildings were made by hand so many years ago. This was also the day that we discovered that Kyra was a celebrity in Thailand. At the temples no less that 20 people tried to take their picture with my tall, blonde and beautiful best friend.

3. Off Roading Trip in Koh Samui. On our first day with the Contiki Tour, the majority of the group went on a day trip to hold monkeys, RIDE ELEPHANTS, swim in waterfalls and see a few lookout points on the island. Pretty great day all in all, but probably our favorite part was the fact that we took off-road jeeps everywhere, driven by some crazy (and I can hostly say that they were crazy) Thai men. One had an afro bigger than mine and laughed like an evil monkey. He was so fun, though. From that first afternoon on the islands, it became clear that there were very few, if any, laws. On this day the lawlessness worked in our advantage because we were allowed to ride atop our jeeps while we traveled up and down the mountains. There was a whole lot of screaming going on, but it was a blast.

4. Farwell Paint Party. I mean who doesn’t love a good blacklight party? Be honest.

5. The Contiki Experience/ Our Sappy Story. Our trip truly would not have been the same without the people we met along the way. Our awesome Australian guide Jeenah, the crazy Irish gang, our new Scottish besties Rachel and Jenny and the 21 other international friends made the trip worthwhile.  We now feel confident in saying that we have close friends from all over the world that are willing to “share a bucket” or “ring the bell” at a moments notice. It was so great to get to learn about different cultures, people, upbringings, view points and of course, accents. By the end of the nine days we were like a family and it was hard to say goodbye!

In Thailand, vendors in the market have popularized the saying “same same, but different.” The phrase is basically used to defend knock-off or cheap brands by convincing shoppers that their products are the same as the real thing… but different. This saying is now used on all kinds of neon tank tops and t-shirts sported by island party-goers and we learned can be easily woven into conversation when on the islands.

Having had a week to reflect upon the trip, I realize that our experience in Thailand and with our Contiki  family exemplified this saying quite nicely. Each one of us was different in many ways, each bringing a different life experience to the trip. But we were also the same in the sense that we were all young adults, wanting to explore the world a little. Like I said this is sappy and I am definitely not a traveling expert, but the thing I learned most from my trips was that, yes, there are so many different types of people out there, with different lives, beliefs, passions, etc. But in the end we aren’t all that different, we are kind of the same. Most of us just want to live our lives in the fullest and happiest way we can.

This trip added to the full and happy summer that Kyra and I are leading. Thanks for reading! Check back for a post about my Africa trip and visit to the Abita Brewery next week!

Sneaux Daze

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Whenever we were considering what activities to include in our bucket list during the oppressively hot month of  August, Kyra and I had one rule.

1. It has to be something that we can/will feasibly do

Naturally, the idea of seeing snow at the ever-tropical Cabana was not something that fit into that category, nor was  it something we could control.

But as I said last week, just because something isn’t listed, doesn’t mean it’s not bucket-worthy.

While, those of you experiencing Polar Vortex Janus (Ohhh my gassssh) are likely incredulous, if not offended, by the fact that we consider this thin layer of white stuff “snow,” please remember that we feel the same way when you talk about “the heat.”

With that said, please enjoy these delightful pictures of Cabana and Iza, while we bask in the last few hours of our snow days (aka catch up on homework yolo).

**And for any former-athlete-readers, please feel free to let me know when in my life it will no longer be socially acceptable to wear my purple sweats, and how do you suggest I cope with this. Thx. **

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Thanks for the pics, Rainman

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Bucket o’ Bread

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In order to appear less like a couple, Kyra and I joined up with our five fellow senior ladies to bask in our last few days/weeks of true caloric freedom, checking off another bucket lister at The Little Village.

The main attraction: BREAD.

And MORE BREAD.

We also had some entrees in there somewhere, but as I told Kyra before heading downto(w)n, it’s hard to remember anything else on the menu because… bread.

This braided decadency of dough, topped with parmesan cheese crumbles and roasted garlic is what a carb-lover’s dreams are made of.

Seriously, Kyra dreamed about it.

Thanks to a great group of senior Tigirls for for a fun evening. I loaf you all.

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P.S. Alternative titles for this post consisted of “Bread Babes” and/or “Boobs and Bread.” Take that as you wish.

P.P.S. Everyone should google “bread puns” as soon as humanly possible. HI-larious.

P.P. S. S. Parker.

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The Unlisted Buckets

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In my short time as a bucket list expert I have noticed something:

There are multitudes of bucket-list-worthy moments in life. Many of which are not included in our list.

Bucket lists are a great way to showcase and hopefully experience all of the cool things one wants to do before __blank__ (the end of the year, the end of college, the end of your  life (eek)).  But what about those not-so-hip things that you/me/we are inevitably going to do before said __blank__–the ones that happen even if they are not bullet points on a prophetic list?  Are those not equally, if not more, important, exciting and noteworthy? And if so, is it wrong to overlook them in my blog dedicated to the pursuits of our senior year? Aren’t they worth celebrating?

Nope.

JK. These are rhetorical questions. Obvi my answer is yes; yes I do think small victories and foreseeable achievements are worth celebrating, that’s why I am writing this post.

This weekend marked the senior class’s last home meet, our senior meet. While it was  far less emotional than I expected, there was definitely a celebratory feeling that afternoon. Well…after we completed our full load of events of course.

We weren’t necessarily  celebrating any phenomenal swims that day, even though there were plenty, but the fact that we made it through all four years and are reaching the end of “the process.” In many ways it was a glorified participation award. But in a sport like swimming, especially in the college environment,  participating is a feat to be celebrated. Forging functional relationships with all the weirdos who chose to swim for LSU is something to be celebrated. Being a member of a team for fours year and working every day to improve it and yourself is definitely something to be celebrated, no matter what the end results might be.

No, attending our senior meet was not on our bucket list. Jumping off the 10 meter platform didn’t even make the cut. It was simply something we assumed we would get around to, like other students might view their last college final or last greek social function. It was not an event at the beginning of this year that we thought “oh that will be so cool, we have to do that,” but provided that we didn’t drown or give up on ourselves (another feat to be celebrated) it would happen. And I’m glad it did.

I’m proud of each and every one of us for making it to this point– for completing our senior meet, for finishing our last circuit, for graduating (!), even for not getting kicked out of the student section during football season!

There have been a lot of “lasts” this year and more to come. Our bucket list will continue to serve as a means to live our remaining time in Baton Rouge to the fullest, while remembering that without the unlisted buckets there wouldn’t have been a bucket list in the first place.

More hilarious pictures of people jumping off the platform, aqui

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A good week

T’was a good week.

Skating on the River and The House of Blues Gospel Brunch have now been checked off the bucket list with much satisfaction.

 Brunch- delish. Music- awesome.  Skating- pure adolescent fun.

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Fiyah

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Though building a fire wasn’t on our formally written bucket list, we went ahead and made the executive decision to add it to our list of to-dos.

Having lived in Cabana for nearly three years now, we formed a loving bond with our fire place. It adds a significant level of charm to the living room, and the mantle above it serves as a great holding place for some of our most prized possessions, such as our flamingo beanie babies, cutest-couple trophies, an authentic Mexican tequila vase and framed photos in which everyone is touching and/or looking frighteningly ugly.

However, in those three years we have yet to ever USE the Cabana fire place.

But last night’s freeze lit a fire under us, and we decided today was the day to get those duralogs a burnin’.

I have to say it was a pretty simple feat. Cabana still stands and no one has died from methane poisoning .  But I have to give most of the credit to Papa Brett for starting the fire, dealing with the gas, opening the chimney, giving us the wood, being a cool dad and wearing my favorite camel hair jacket of his ( on Hump Day! How appropriate).

So, yeah, basically we did nothing other than enjoy the fire with our adorable pup Iza…

Nevertheless, tonight’s inaugural fire was the perfect way to celebrate the first freeze and the mere 41 days, 1 hour and 51 minutes until Christmas.

And now introducing… my first ever GIF! Written in my first ever HTML! Woot!

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Seen and Heard at Zeeland Street Market

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Gravy.

“There hasn’t been one bite that I haven’t loved.”

“All of my favorite things are on one plate.”

” So much meat!!!”

“Wow. Just. Wow.”

“Can I have some of your butter?”

So yeah… Our Zeeland lunch was amazing.

Kyra ordered the brisket plate and I had Momma’s pot roast.

Obviously we were quite satisfied with our authentic, southern, home-cooked, DELICIOUS meals.

It was nice to change it up a little bit and eat lunch at one of our favorite breakfast stops in the best neighborhood in BR.

I can’t say which menu I prefer, lunch or breakfast.  Plus I just heard that they are introducing to-go dinners for those of us who cant get enough of the Z.

So I guess this means we’ll just have to start eating there for every meal of the every day…

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Bleeblahblah, LaMeMe ( Beausoleil and Latte e Miele) and Conserving the Gluttony

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Conservation

Yay to us for actually doing something that we said we were going to! This bucket list thing rocks!

This weekend, KSkye and I checked off not one, but TWO items on our Bucket List. Shockingly they were both food related.

The first check came from a scrumptious dinner at Beausoleil with the “in-laws,” followed by some equally scrumptious gelatto from Latte e Miele that was conveniently located right next door.

**Neither of us are food critics ( I just started eating non-white food last year) so forgive me if this and subsequent food posts aren’t the most eloquent pieces of blog-erature you have ever read. Here is goes.**

Let me start by saying that in my mind the quality of a restaurant increases exponentially if there is bread provided for the table. My opinion of the restaurant continues to increase the more times the wait staff refills our bread basket, and it will increase even more if I don’t have to ask for said basket to be refilled. And don’t you worry, I will ask.

Given this information, one can assume that I was pretty stoked when we were welcomed to Beausoleil with 2 baskets of fried pork fat ( lol conserving the gluttony).

With visions of craklins dancing through our heads, we continued our meal with an order of shrimp and grits for the table to share. For me, the consistency of grits is a hard thing to get just right, but these were spot on. Plus with the hint of chorizo and chili butter (drool) , this appetizer was tres delicious.

At this point in the meal Mr. Brian was also chowing on some insane-looking- cheese-encrusted French Onion soup that I was eyeing. I’m definitely going to have to try that next time.

Next up was the main course. For this I ordered the pan roasted chicken breast with prosciutto wrapped asparagus and a citrus beurre blanc. Who am I ? Kyra ordered the grilled pork chop with caramelized cauliflower and Creole mustard glaze. It was massive.

Both meals were quite delicious and the atmosphere in the small, bustling restaurant was enjoyable. It was great to catch up with the Jones and talk about our future (jobs), past (ancestry.com) and our present (LSU football).

Our only regret was that we went to the restaurant the night before we had our weight circuit (really difficult training) and were conscious of this while ordering. If I had left the ordering up to my taste buds alone I probably would have gotten boudin, the mac and cheese with mushroom gravy, one of their rich fish dishes, or any of the fried foods being traipsed in front of my face all evening long. I am also very interested in trying their brunch menu, specifically for their chicken and waffles.

But, sacrifices are part of the game. And now we have even more incentive to go back one day and totally glutton it up!

To compensate for our lack of total gluttony we compromised with some gelatto for dessert at Latte e Miele.

I am so happy this eatery moved “into the city” and expanded their menu. Their new space is so chic and modern you will forget you’re on the middle of Jefferson Highway. Plus their gelatto is so so delicious. It was a great way to finish up a great night… and no one threw up during circuit. Yay!

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I’m sufficiently hungry now, so that’s all I’m going to say. Thanks everyone for the support of our bucket list adventure over the past few weeks! It has been really cool to hear from y’all. If you have any comments please post below!

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Bucket List

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Hey y’all!

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t posted in a while, and I apologize for that.  I took a brief hiatus while school, swimming, and rush (gag me) got underway and now I am back with a vengeance, equipped with a new and I think rather exciting idea for the direction I want this blog go in.

If you are just joining me, so far this blog has been pretty much about random things that interest me or that I have done.

This summer, having lived in Houston for a bit and going on a few vacations, I had the luxury and time to experience lots of cool, new, and interesting things.

Now I am back to the grind in the good ole’ Baton Rouge for my senior year (WHAT?!).

Having lived in Baton Rouge my entire life I have become pretty accustomed to hearing phrases like “BR is seaux boring,” or “The only thing here is football.”

Now I’m not going to lie, I have probably said those exact words myself at one point in my life. I’m not going to pretend that Baton Rouge is anything like Chicago or Houston. But having observed my surroundings a little more closely these past few months I have realized that there are actually a lot of things to do down here in South Louisiana, a lot of Baton Rouge staples that I haven’t gotten around to seeing/eating/experiencing in my 21 years. There are also plenty of things I have done here that I would like to do again before I graduate and potentially leave Baton Rouge for a while.

So… I have decided that I am going to get up off the couch and see what’s out there.

 I created a bucket list with my BFF, roommate,  and fellow senior Kyra Jones.  We want to use this list to ensure that we get the most out of our last year in the Red Stick, to challenge us to try new things, to provide us with a small relief from our often monotonous schedules as collegiate student athletes, to make us stop eating at the same college town restaurants for every meal, stop going to the same seedy bars every single night out,  and to encourage us to truly take in the culture that BRLA and the surrounding areas are overflowing with.

The list isn’t too long. It isn’t too short. We think it is actually achievable in 8 months time.

Each time we check something off the bucket list ( and we have made some progress already) I will post about it on this here blog! If I find something else that I thought was bucket list worthy I will post it here as well.

If I start slacking, all of you 25 followers better hold me accountable!

Click the link below to read the list. We are pretty happy with it. I’ll let y’all know how it goes and if you have any suggestions, recommendations, possible amendments, or would like to join us on any of our escapades please comment below 🙂

Bucket List

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You and I, DIY: Part Dos

Today we made progress. Tedious progress, but progress none the less.
I am not the most patient individual, which apparently is necessary for projects of these sorts; but I’m dealing with it.

In 3 days time we will have a bright blue chalkboard on our wall and it will all be worth it.

More to come tomorrow.

Peace and blessings.

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