Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Step Into My Week

I officially am back. These past few months with the end of the school year, grad courses finishing up, new grad classes, visits from friends, and travel have made it so that I’ve had less time than I’d like to work on blog posts. While it is great to have stuff going on as it makes things more fun and helps time to pass, I am overly excited to attempt to get back into a routine. I’ve hated that most weeks only four posts have gone live and that I haven’t had the time to fully devote myself to Prep In Your Step. Now that I am not having to juggle teaching, grad school, and blogging I suspect that you’ll be seeing lots of exciting content around here. Plus, I even have an extra set of hands helping me out with some things over the summer. Think videos, new posts ideas, and more consistent updates throughout my social media platforms too. I’ll be sure to introduce more of her later but I am so excited to have another person to bounce ideas around with. Enough logistics thought, I have lots to share with y’all from the past week.

If you read last week’s Step Into My Week post you’re probably already aware that one of my best friends from college was in town visiting for the week. Nell arrived on Sunday and stayed with me at my apartment until I left for California early Thursday morning. I completely used this an excuse to eat my way through Greenville and she was certainly not complaining.

Monday before my grad classes for this summer session began we went to a delicious crepe place, Tandem, out by Furman. Admittedly, I hadn’t been in a while and was equally as eager as Nell. They have a great outdoor area where we enjoyed our crepes before I left for class. After class I discovered that I had quite a bit of reading to do (90 pages before the next class the following day) which gave us the perfect excuse to sit by the pool. For dinner that night we decided to walk from my apartment to a restaurant in downtown Greenville called Happy & Hale. They have really great salads and frose that we got before walking back. The night we finished watching Parent Trap (which we had started Sunday) and went to bed.


Tuesday morning, I got up to finish my reading and work on some blog emails before we went to lunch at Cantina 76. If I had to choose a favorite Mexican restaurant Cantina would definitely be it. Then it was off to another day of class before coming back to get ready to go with Sophia to a Sip & See of wedding dresses at the White Magnolia, a bridal boutique in Greenville. After that we went to Up On The Roof where we split some sort of nachos. I got my usual lettuce wraps and am already trying to figure out how soon would be too soon to go and get them again. After dinner we came back to my apartment and watched Father of the Bride. Nell had seen that the whole movie is watchable on youtube (here is the link) which was pretty impressive.

Wednesday morning, I went and got a manicure and pedicure with Sophia. I NEVER get my nails done so it was a fun treat before heading out of town for a long weekend. Nell and I met for lunch at Zoe’s before I went to class. That night I had to pack but we were sure to squeeze in a dinner at one of Greenville’s newer spots, Jianna. We had a table on their balcony that overlooks downtown. The meal was delicious and afterwards we got ice cream from Spill the Beans before walking around Fall’s Park. I packed up one we got back and prepared for a VERY early departure the next morning.

Thursday it was off to California for my brother’s law school graduation from Stanford. I hadn’t seen him since Christmas so I was excited to see him and finally meet his fiancé. Despite them dating for about a year and a half I’ve never been out to visit him at Stanford and when they have come to Fairhope I’ve been in Greenville. I had to leave my apartment around 4 in the morning to head to the airport which made for a long day especially with the time change. I arrived in California around 10 in the morning and waited for my parent’s flight to get in. We rented a car to have while we were out there and were able to get some lunch before heading to our hotel. I took a nice nap that afternoon before going to my brother’s house and getting a “grand” tour before going out to dinner as a family. That night we went to a pizza place not too far from campus.


Friday I got my first taste of Stanford’s campus after eating breakfast at the hotel and working on a paper for grad school. We picked up my brother and met his fiancé on campus before walking around. The architecture and campus felt a lot different than Furman’s especially since there are so many specific areas for graduate students. We walked through the chapel on campus where my brother will be getting married and I also got a good look at the Bell Tower. I’m certainly not an architect but I think Furman’s is prettier. We got lunch at a restaurant in downtown Los Altos before popping into a few shops there. We dropped Shannon (my brother’s fiancé) off at her house before hanging out at the hotel before heading back to her house for dinner. Her parents had invited us over for dinner that evening since the parents had never met and it was a fun evening. A number of her family members were there to celebrate their engagement and Gil’s graduation which made for a festive graduation-eve.


Saturday was the day of the Law School graduation so we went back to campus relatively early to reserve our seats. Not unsurprising to me considering Stanford students are overachievers and it makes sense that their families would be too but boy did some people get there early to snag their seats. Shannon joined us for the ceremony which lasted much longer than I would have anticipated. The student speaker from the law school did a spectacular job (it probably helped that he is also a standup comedian) and there was a reception with champagne to follow. We left pretty soon after the graduation and got a meal at a sandwich place nearby. We all went back to the hotel to hang out before going to one of Shannon and Gil’s favorite restaurants on the Palo Alto hills for an early dinner. I believe it was called Parkside Grille but it was a cute restaurant tucked behind some very large trees. I ordered some sort of Asian Flank Steak with veggies and rice and I can confidently say it was the most delicious meal on the table despite all of them being tasty. We called it a night relatively early since we had plans to head into San Francisco the next morning.

Sunday morning, we picked up Gil and Shannon, grabbed Starbucks, and left for the city. Since this was my first trip to California I was excited to have the chance to have a bit of time outside of Palo Alto to get a better feel for the area. I’m not sure San Francisco is a place I would need to go to and stay for a while to get a feel since I was able to get a good feel for it during our day trip (although I know there are lots of gems we didn’t see). We started by going to a great overlook of the Marina district after driving by Shannon’s old house in San Francisco and looking at houses in the neighboring areas. Then it was off to what I would consider the main event of the day, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. We drove across the bridge and then up a surrounding mountain/hill (not sure what locals call it) to a really great viewing spot. The weather ended up clearing off nicely after we were on our way down but we were able to get some great shots and enjoy the view even with a little bit of fog. After finding parking in the Marina District we put our name on a list at The Dorian and walked into some shops until it was time to eat. Neither Shannon nor Gil had been to The Dorian but had heard great things. The inside of the restaurant was beautiful and our meal was really good as well. After that we drove by the Pacific before seeing the Mrs. Doubtfire house and the painted ladies (naturally that was my request). We headed back towards Palo Alto to drop Gil and Shannon off before heading back to our hotel to pack up for another early flight the next morning.



While I had a great trip I am definitely glad to be back in Greenville for a bit without any big plans. Since I only have class in the afternoons this session I am looking forward to drinking coffee in pajamas while working on things in the coming weeks.


Reading: The Breakdown & Outliers
My graduate class for this summer session started on Monday and we have already finished the first of our three books for the course. I had to laugh when I looked at the syllabus because one of the books was one that I had wanted to read anyway. My friends would tell you that this isn’t the slightest bit surprising. Outliers was really interesting but is definitely one of those books that is more though provoking than entertaining.

On the flip side, I finally finished TheBreakdown. The last 100 pages were really interesting but before that the book was a bit repetitive and slow. It took me a lot longer to get through this book than most of the others in this genre but I was pleased with the outcome. I have a stack of books on my book shelf that I am eager to get going with so hopefully I’ll have more suggestions in this part of SIMW posts the remainder of the summer.

Loving: Instagram Stories
I have not stayed up to date with Instagram and Instagram stories as I’d like but recently have been loving posting to Instagram stories. I suspect that as the summer continues you will see more of me over there.

Wearing: Madewell Tote
With class starting back up and traveling to California, my Madewell Tote has been my trusty companion for just about every occasion. At one point I had both the larger and smaller size totes and really only use the larger one. If you’re looking to invest in a good, high quality leather tote Madewell is the way to go.

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