I left my heart in...

Thursday, May 31

not JUST San Francisco, although I do love it. Probably the entire Bay Area. I just love it here. Everytime  I come home I am reminded of what a cool area it is and how much it has to offer. I beg, plead, implore, and command (like how I raised the stakes there?) you to TELL ME if you ever plan a trip to the Bay (California in general) because I am loaded with suggestions and other fun anecdotes.

Without further ado, a few more pictures from this week:
 San Francisco, honest. See the Golden Gate wayy out there?
 Coffee with good friends is good anywhere, better in the City.
Jacqui, you're just a doll.
My standard list of "Things To Do While I'm Home" includes Yogurtland...check. Fantastic photobomb lurking in the background. 

toddlers, tiaras, memorial day, etc.

Hello all! I am reporting to you live from San Luis Obispo, CA where I am visiting two of my favorite friends, Katie and Stephanie. More on that hopefully, soon!

The countdown 'til I return to Nashville is down to T-4ish days. I feel like I still have so much left to do in California! This week has been packed but so, so fun. The kick-off was a BUSY Memorial Day! I like to consider summer bookended by Memorial Day and Labor Day so happy summer everyone!!

My day started out with a hike at Mission Peak in Fremont. This hike is probably 4.5/5 stars for intense, but so worth it because of the spectacular view over the entire Bay.
 And I got to go with some of my favorite people! Win-win.
Next I met up with my dear friend Jacqui for a little Memorial Day BBQ, cabana club style.

You'll never guess who we met at the pool! Alana "Honey Boo-Boo Child" from Toddlers&Tiara's!
 Next we stopped by my very own Santa Clara's Central Park to see my favorite High School coaching pair (now trio) the Tompkin's. I hadn't seen Micah for over a year and it was crazy to see how grown up he has become! How adorable is he feeding the ducks his watermelon?
Great to see you guys!

I completed my day by watching The Bachelorette and eating copious amounts of patriotically sprinkled cookies. I could do an entire post about The Bachelorette, so I won't even start. Maybe when my life starts getting boring again!

Umm if Memorial Day is any indication of this summer...I'm excited. 

my first important post

Monday, May 28

Not to detract from the other ones, of course.

ATTENTION EVERYONE: My brother Sundar's friend, Chris Cooke, is staying at our house for a few days before he begins a bike trip across the country! Seriously!
   Chris, who is originally from Hampton, VA, became friends with Sundar during their freshman year at Virginia Tech. As he says (completely out of context), "I had no choice but to be his friend." Chris graduated from VT in December with a degree in Civil Engineering. He plans to start law school this fall.
   However, this summer, Chris is participating in "Journey of Hope", a bike ride across the country organized by his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, in partnership with Push America. Chris will be riding with about 30 other guys along the "North Route" through Salt Lake City, Denver, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and ending in Washington, D.C. on August 5th. 
   The purpose of the bike ride is to raise awareness for people with (primarily physical) disabilities. Along the way, Chris & friends will be stopping for cookouts, wheelchair basketball, and other special programs to connect with those that they are riding for. 
   The group takes off this Wednesday from San Francisco and will be riding an average of 70 miles a day! Chris will be sleeping on a sleeping bag and a pool floatie at night. The group's fundraising goal for the summer is $600,000, and they're not there yet! 

This all to say, YOU can get involved by making a donation, here. Additionally, keep Chris and his group in your prayers this summer! 
 Oh, Chris is also a very talented musician! We're trying to get him to play for us while he's here. Care for a listen?

I leave you with an inspiring word from Chris, “Take advantage of opportunities put in your life. I never planned to go to law school or do this bike ride, but sometimes things like this come up. There's a thousand excuses not to do it, but take a step of faith and do it!” He rocks. 

Southern summer vs. Best Coast summer

Sunday, May 27

Well I'm excited for both!

Thing's I'll miss from California:
- beach bonfire's
- beach, in general
- country concert's at Shoreline
- working at camp
- my family
- beautiful weather
- more Bike Parties
- BBQ's in our backyard
- disc-golfing with my brother
- everything crazy with my girlfriends
- watching The Bachelorette in a big group
- camping in King's Canyon

Looking forward to in Tennessee:
- drinking sweet tea
- warm summer nights (and every other part of the day!)
- laying out by the pool
- seeing fireflies
- being a working lady
- a short-distance relationship
- going to a lake
- being with those girlfriends
- celebrating the 4th 
- country concerts IN NASHVILLE

Update on "shopping my closet": this has turned into "shopping my little brother's closet" and my goodness, where did this magical t-shirt come from?! Can I keep it forever?
Did I mention I'm looking forward to having my clothes again? Suitcases stress me out. As much as I love wearing unicorn shirts. 

3 days, 3 ways

Thursday, May 24

   Well I wish this were a cute, mismatched fashion post (but as long as we’re talking fashion…I’ve been in a lot of shops lately but haven’t really been shopping. I’ve been trying to “shop my closet!” and be excited about it, like a good blogger. But it just sucks. Additionally, what does go with this title is that I’ve pretty much worn these sandals
 And this belt for the past 3 days.
So there you have my 3 days of fashion. Life is pretty exciting around here. Longest parentheses in the history of ever.) but it’s really because I’ve realized the past three days I’ve been in 3 downtowns (Emeryville, Santa Cruz, Sunnyvale) with 3 of my friends (Jenae, Jacqui, Rachel). I love the Bay Area, you can literally never run out of places to go, not to mention some of my favorite people live here :)
 Emeryville, CA
 Santa Cruz, CA
Sunnyvale, CA
     I always want my life to be like “Summertime, and the living’s easy” but sometimes it feels TOO easy, like when I can’t get out of bed at 9 a.m. Today I woke up, packed my backpack with snacks, got ready for the day, and took off on my bike. This is what I want my life to be, like a traveling minstrel! 

     Today I also got to help Rachel look for a job, she's a star, and our top choice is Pizza My Heart. 
My favorite part of Rachel's house:
My favorite part of the afternoon:
Give me those red pants J.Crew. 
And my favorite part of the farmer's market we went to this afternoon:
Someone give me some cherries for summer!

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing tomorrow. Maybe I’ll just get on my bike and go! You should too! 

lovin' it

Wednesday, May 23

     "Wherever you are, be all there." - Jim Elliot. 
     My brother, nurse extraordinare, had this quote up on his wall and it's really been in my head the past few days. True confessions: I am a busy bee. Being fully present in a situation and investing my time completely into where I am and who I'm with is something difficult for me. So far this week, I've been focusing on enjoying time spent with close friends, more family (cannot escape), and even just myself. This post has already begun much deeper than intended! And definitely different than my usual "I love everything!" tone (side note: I do love everything) but that is something that has been on my mind lately. And if I could spend everyday like I have been, I would!!

Tuesday I went to see my best friend Jenae! I had never been to Emeryville (where she lives now) but it rocks! 
 These guys asked me to take their picture...congrats guys, you even made it on my BLOG!
 I found my namesake restaurant and I wanted to try and get free food but I didn't have an i.d. 
We had Cokes in glass bottles and they were PERFECT. 
We also got to see Jenae's sister Jesse and her babe, Freddy. Jesse rocks although Freddy is less cordial to me because I think I confuse him. 
Jenae also helped me in my quest to make a fun, golf-themed birthday cake for Sundar (the golfer). I am into amateur cake-decorating (more Cake Novice than Cake Boss) 
 We surprised Sundar with the cake last night. I realize this isn't the best picture, but this is literally the back of my head the moment I jumped out and said "Surprise!" I think he liked it, he didn't finish his piece. On that note, I'm going to get some cake.

     Back with a huge piece of cake. Today is my mom's birthday! Happy Birthday Mom! I spent the day in Santa Cruz with my dear friend Jacqui, where I picked up these sunflowers from TJ's. 
In retrospect, that card/placard may be a little obnoxious and hard to read. 
What I planned to do this afternoon: go on a run, ride my bike to the park with Tuppy, sit outside.
What I am preparing to do: eat cake on the couch on watch episode 2 of The Bachelorette
Have a lovely afternoon!

pomp, circumstance, & family fun

Monday, May 21

You guys. I had alot of fun this weekend with these people. Who people? Why, these people:
Since my family is pretty big, we rarely do things as a complete group. Thus, we usually do things in "combinations", as I refer to them, or "combinations plus" when we have some other non-fam people involved. This weekend was one of our better combinations on record. Good work everyone.
It was a monumental weekend, THIS GUY (my older brother, Coren) graduated from Nursing school!
He's been working his butt off for the past two years, and we are so proud of him! So we took off to LA to show him we care.
Per usual, getting there is half the fun:
Once in LA, we went hiking at Griffith Park, as is tradition.
Being in Griffith Park only makes me want to do one thing: sing "Party In The U.S.A." Just the part that goes "look to my right and I see the Hollywood sign" because I'm just a sucker for perfect moments like that, especially in song.
We even walked right past the water tower Amir made me climb up last year!
I tried to excited spin the tale and Sundar just said "Cool story Priya." He's difficult to impress.
One of my favorite moments of the weekend was Saturday night, when we sat around watching the Lakers/Thunder game eating chicken curry. Did you SEE Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook?! What a great game.
Then Sunday was the graduation! Joined by Galina and Coren's roommate Christopher (planned an event and met Zooey. Enjoys 90's pop. You need no other facts. He rocks.) we headed to Irvine for the festivities which included a whimsical rendition of "Hero", "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", a questionably articulate valedictorian, a slideshow absent of Coren, air-horns, a concession stand (yes, please buy me nachos at my graduation) and plenty of pictures!

And of course a little Mexican graduation lunch.
We got back late last night, but luckily I've had all day to recover. Except not, especially because today THIS GUY turns...well, I don't think he wants me to say. But happy birthday Sundar!
I'm blessed to have a family that I am extremely proud of and love spending time with.