Travel, Cross Country Jumping and Amazing Friends

I have been putting this off for a while because, as usual, so much has been going on lately that I haven’t had the time or motivation to sit down and write.

The first weekend in June, Erik and I flew up to NY to visit his family. His father recently turned 70 so we organized a "family weekend" to celebrate. We all drove down to Pennsylvania and visited a bunch of places they all used to go when Erik and his brother were younger. We stopped by the Wilbur Chocolate Factory and spent a day at the Strasburg Railroad, an old steam train that runs through the Amish countryside. As a special bonus treat, one of my best friends from Philly, Alyssa, came to Strasburg to hang out! It was great getting to see her again and I even had the pleasure of meeting her amazingly wonderful new boyfriend.

Two weeks later, Erik and I drove down to Tampa to run the grip track timing equipment for a Full Auto Motorsports event at Tropicana Field which was a blast as usual.

Even though the drive is about 8 hours, we decided to continue south for an additional hour and check out the food at Munchies 420 Cafe. We got a "Fat Sandy" sandwich (a hoagie stuffed with 2 cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, onion rings, french fries and topped with mac ‘n cheese) which was *amazing* and, strangely enough, were still hungry after so we finished up with a Philly. If you’re anywhere near Sarasota, FL you should definitely check this place out!!

That brings us to June 27th which was amazing. I’ve always wanted to go cross country jumping but have never had the time, opportunity or horse to be able to make that dream a reality. My amazing trainer, Miriam Lemnouni arranged a schooling day at the Chattahoochee Hills Eventing center, an unbelievably gorgeous facility about 45 minutes away, for myself and some other ladies. I took Toby who I ride regularly at Huntcliff Equestrian Center and had the time of my life.

I’ll admit I wasn’t as brave as I had hoped I’d be but considering it was my first time and the jumps are pretty intimidating since they’re so solid, I think I did pretty well! We did Beginner Novice stuff which is 2’7" and I was really proud of how easily Toby cleared everything considering he’s just a pony. We jumped logs, ditches, coops and other big, scary, solid wooden structures. We cantered through water and across fields. We even jumped up (and DOWN!) an embankment which was absolutely amazing! We spent about 3 hours riding and I was totally pooped by the end but it was one of the most fun days I’d ever had. I can’t wait to go back again and jump bigger stuff now that I know I can trust myself and my Toby not to die!

Toby and I jumping a Beginner Novice (2’7") coop at Chattahoochee Hills in Fairburn, GA.

I posted a whole album on Facebook so if you’re interested in taking a look, go visit!

Speaking of riding, I got dinner with two lovely ladies who I used to ride with the other night and had so much fun catching up with them. I miss you Brandon and Claire!! 🙂

We had a relatively low-key 4th of July this year since we were so exhausted from having been busier than usual lately. We mostly just hung around the house relaxing and doing chores. We went to watch fireworks at the Lenox Mall since they always have a spectacular show.

July 7th was my BFF’s birthday (I love you Miss EJ!!) and we decided to spend the entire following weekend celebrating. Sarah, another one of our besties, had booked a flight to come in for the weekend and a surprise and it worked perfectly – EJ almost cried when she showed up! We went out Friday night for dinner and drinks at Grape and then went to Dad’s Garage to see the Samurai Davis Jr. & Dim Sum’s Super Mega Happy Fun Time Improv Show which was hilarious, as expected. Saturday night we got a huge group of friends together and had EJ’s official birthday celebration dinner at R. Thomas. Sunday we spent at Dan & Jill’s watching the FIFA World Cup and grilling. All in all it was a lovely weekend.

Lastly, I do have a bit of exciting news to share. I GOT MY BRACES OFF!! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, after not being able to smile for 10+ years, my teeth are finally straight and pretty and normal and I am so happy I can’t even begin to describe the feeling. YAY! 😀  <– me, not able to stop smiling!


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