Memorial Day and Moving On

I know that I am extremely late with this post but, I had a nice Memorial Day weekend (and I hope you guys did too). Lorenzo and I packed up the car and drove about 6 ½ hours to Daytona Beach, where Lorenzo’s sister lives, to celebrate her eldest son’s high school graduation. Lorenzo and I also “celebrated” our one year wedding anniversary last Friday as well. Why the quotations? Well, because really didn’t do anything special to acknowledge the occasion. We both worked all day, (well, I worked all day, I don’t know what Lorenzo was doing) and by the time we were done, we had to pack for the trip. We went to dinner at The Palm, just to say we did something, and because we really didn’t feel like cooking. Then we got up at 3 am and were on the road by 4am.

Of all of his siblings, only two were unable to attend. On Saturday, we had a party, and I was able to chat with a few of Lorenzo’s aunts about what he was like as a child. I wanted to get some insight on what our future children’s personalities may be like. Since the graduation was Sunday night, we took Lorenzo’s aunts, mom, and sisters out to brunch about an hour away in Titusville at a place called Shiloh’s Steak House. The graduation was nice; at the beginning of the ceremony the announcer recapped all of the world events that were going on at the time from when all the graduates were born up until this year. I did a little math and realized that most of these kids were born around the time I was getting ready to graduate high school myself! Ugh… Anyway, the announcer made a statement that resonated with me, he said:

“Most people don’t live the life they want; they live the life they were given.”

I liked that statement because it rang true for a lot of people that I know. They think they have to live the life they were born into and don’t try hard enough to do anything else. The life that I was given is the entire reason I work so hard- I don’t want to relive that every day…but I digress.

In other news, I have decided that I’m going to put this blog to bed. I started this blog three years ago before I moved to Atlanta and it covers my move here, my engagement, my new home, all the places I’ve visited, my wedding and honeymoon, my job search and starting my Master’s program. This isn’t necessarily a goodbye, but more like, “see you on my next blog”. I still haven’t decided what to call it yet, but I want to have it launched by July. This one will still be about my life, but not specifically about moving to Atlanta. Maybe I’ll talk more about my marriage…maybe Lorenzo will write something from time to time…we’ll see.

I have some work to take care of for the next two weeks, so I will make sure to post information about the new blog on my next post. Until then, enjoy the summer!

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Food…Food…and Maybe More Food

Shortly after making it back to Georgia from Hawaii, Lorenzo and I returned home, waited for my brother to meet us at our place, then drove up to New Jersey to bury our grandmother. Needless to say it wasn’t the most ideal way for us to get to see our family, but it was the first time all of my siblings were together in about 2 1/2 years.

My siblings and niece, visiting our mother's grave.
My siblings and niece, visiting our mother’s grave.

Out of respect for my family, I won’t go into detail about the trip. Funerals are never fun to talk about (unless someone actually tries to jump in the casket screaming, “take me with you! it should’ve been me!!!” I’m still waiting for that to happen). I will say that my grandmother was truly loved, and I’m going to miss her terribly.

But, when we returned to Georgia (again) Lorenzo and I went right back to work. Of course we didn’t have any food in the house so we were eating take-out almost every day. On Friday night we went to a restaurant called BrickTops in Buckhead. Lorenzo had been here before but it was my first time. I was familiar with the area because there is a bridal shop that Tia and I went to last year in the same plaza. Anyway, we got all dressed up and went out to eat. I loved the ambiance of the place and I really liked our waitress, Patricia. She was so full of life and personality that she made the experience even more enjoyable. We liked her so much that we went back for brunch on Sunday at her recommendation- and they did not disappoint. If you eat pork, I would recommend the Deviled Eggs & Millionaires bacon. The bacon is candy coated and delicious…oh, and also bring a toothpick. For dinner I had Creole Shrimp and Lorenzo had the ribeye- it almost melted in my mouth.

Monday, Lorenzo found another restaurant called Scales 925 in Midtown. I was not as impressed with this place. Don’t get me wrong the place looked amazing and the food was amazing but they really have long way to go with the service. We were seated for 35 minutes before we were greeted and it was only because we stopped 3 people and a manager. Our waitress did the best she could considering, but I felt bad because no one seemed like they were properly trained. Plus, I was was with 3 people who all work or have worked in the restaurant industry so I had to hear about everything that was wrong with that place. My advice: get takeout. 🙂

That’s all for now… been trying to get myself ready for school for the past few weeks and I still have a long way to go. I’m soooo looking forward to statistics *eye roll*.

What I Love about Atlanta

My Blog is officially 2 years old!

Wow,  May of 2013 seems so long ago. When I first started this blog I only thought that I would have it for about a year before I got distracted and starting doing something else, but I’m happy that I stuck with my guns and chose to keep going with it. Just think about it, when I started this I was nervous about moving in with my fiance, Lorenzo, and now we are getting married next week! Wow.

2nd birthday

So with my blog being 2 years old that means that next month will be my 2 year anniversary of actually living in Atlanta. I still feel really “new” here because there is still so much I don’t know. For example, I’ve learned that people give directions by street names as opposed to exit numbers, like we do in Jersey. You want to go to Six Flags? Take Exit 7A off the Turnpike- that’s how we give directions. Here in Atlanta, they may tell you to the the Mableton Exit…or something to that effect. So I have to learn exit names instead of just exit numbers, and no I don’t know the name of the exit where I live.

I’ve enjoyed my time here. Even though I think Lorenzo and I would be able to make the best out of most situations, I really like living here, and here’s why:

It’s very quiet. Working in NY you always hear sirens, honking horns, bullhorns, and just the hustle and bustle of the always crowed Times Square. New Jersey was quieter than New York, but still not a huge improvement.

It’s Clean. Well, most places are. Where I live and work its very clean and well kept. Its rare to see trash on the ground or piled up on the sidewalk.

The food is amazing. While NY/NJ has an outstanding selection of dining experiences, I just think the food here tastes better. I’ve put on 20 lbs. since I’ve moved here, something I’ve never been able to do up north. I also have to take into account that I don’t walk as much as I used to because you have to drive everywhere, but that’s besides the point. I love the food.

Winter is not that bad. And Spring seems to come early. Yay. I’m definitely a summer person, so I love, love, LOVE warmer weather. I know that I teased about the whole, declaring a state of emergency over 2 inches of snow, but I see why they have to do that now. I love that it doesn’t snow that much here. Dealing with 20-something inch blizzards is a nightmare.

There’s still a lot I haven’t done yet. I know that Atlanta is not as big as New Jersey and New York, but let’s be honest, when I was living there I never really took advantage of everything they had to offer. I’d only been to Six Flags once, I’ve been to Atlantic City a few times, and I haven’t gone to see the Statue of Liberty until I was 27. Most New Yorkers have never been there, ever. I’ve done a fair share of touristy things since moving here, but I know there’s still a lot more to do.

I’m not quite done with Atlanta yet. There is still so much more to experience.

Its Been a Year

UsCan you believe it? Lorenzo and I have been engaged and living together for a year, which also means its the 1 year anniversary of my blog! This year went by so quickly that I didn’t even realize that the date had come and gone while I was away with the Army. I can say that so far, I am not regretful about the move. I’ve done some things I said I would NEVER do (live with a man whom I wasn’t already married to, took on a house wife role for a while, ate fried alligator, etc). You really should never say never. I was very skeptical about the move, not because I didn’t want to live in Georgia, but I was concerned about living with Lorenzo (its in my About Me). I’ve never officially lived with a man I wasn’t related to, so this was a first for me. I had an ex whom I’ve spent a great deal of time with, so it seemed like we lived together but we didn’t; and because he used to get on my nerves so bad I decided that if I HAD to live with a man, he would have to be my husband. The only reason Lorenzo got a pass was because he lived in a different state when we were dating (I didn’t anticipate that).

Shades

Anyway, I really enjoy it here in Atlanta. The positives are that its clean, the people are very friendly, its quiet, the houses are beautiful and affordable, and the weather is nice. The only time I really get homesick (which is something that Lorenzo worried about in the beginning) is when I have to constantly go and get gas because you literally have to drive everywhere, and there isn’t a whole lot of “touristy” things to do, which I understand. New York City has been around forever and a day so you can’t expect Atlanta, which is constantly improving, to have hundreds of sites and attractions like NYC does. But those are the times when I miss it. You can’t beat this weather tho 🙂

USMC BallLiving here with Lorenzo has been great; we were finally able to do all the things that a normal couple does: go out on “date nights”, spend Saturday’s at home doing absolutely nothing at all, cook dinner for one another, hang out with other couples, take weekend trips together, go to wedding events together, shop for furniture for our place. Normal couples do those things right? Let’s just say it sure beats having to FaceTime each other every night and spending $300-$400 on plane tickets every 6 weeks just to see each other for 3-4 days at a time. The first 2 years of our relationship was very rough. At first, I liked the idea of him living in another state because it gave us an opportunity to get to know each other without the added pressure of having a physical relationship. I got to know him, I learned about his past, what he wants for his future, his dreams, WHY he is who is he is, and vice versa. Once we fell in love it was hard to not be with him everyday. I just had to hope and pray that he was in fact all the things he said he was (and he was) 🙂

At the beachI’m pretty sure that we are still in the “honeymoon” phase of our relationship and that sooner or later we will start arguing over nonsensical things like me asking him for a sip of juice. That time hasn’t come yet so I’m just going to enjoy this lovey dovey, mushy gushy, sappy romantic ride.  I finally feel like I am no longer going through life by myself, but I have a partner now who I can go through things WITH. He treats me like an equal and holds me to high standards, and I respect him so much for that. Plus he told me he’ll still love me if I gained a bunch of weight from eating all this delicious Southern food. I need to make sure I hold him to that.

Easter

Playing Catch Up

stressfulguy

These past few weeks have been rough. The days are flying by so fast that they are merging into one another. The class I’m taking this quarter is starting to build up on me. The professor decided to not give us to much of anything at the beginning of the term and thought it was a good idea to have two papers, and a 4 hour final back to back…consecutively. I was able to finish one of them, but it was like pulling teeth. I’m hoping (more like wishing) this quarter would just end already. Even though I’m doing well in the class, and I really like my professor because she is so funny and animated, I’m really not interested in the work. Really the homework…but then again, I could say that for any of my classes.

I’ve also been going to job fairs and have been on a few interviews last week as well. One was pretty rough: I was there for 5 hours. I’ve never had an interview last that long in my life. What I’ve noticed is that with the small companies, they really want you to get to know everyone in organization to make sure that your personalities don’t clash. I am not sure if I necessarily agree with this method because, honestly, everyone is on their best behavior during an interview and its really hard to say if you like someone after only speaking with them for 5 minutes. Some of the people there thought I was OVER qualified for the position I was applying for (which is true), but its not like they had so many to choose from. And besides, their boss found me…not the other way around.

Over the weekend, we also went to a restaurant called Seasons 52 to have dinner with a former USMC friend of Lorenzo’s and his wife. Lorenzo and I had been to that restaurant previously, way back when before I moved down here, and the only thing I remember ordering was the flat bread. This time I ordered the salmon and it was delicious (click on the picture). As much as I talk about food you would think that this would have been a food blog…hmmm.

I also reached my 15 year anniversary with the Army on March 3rd. The only thing I kept thinking about was how some people my age have children that old. After high school some people had children, I joined the Army. At the time, I didn’t think I would have stayed in this long. I planned on completing my 6 years, being inactive for 2 and moving on with my life. When it was time to re-enlist the first time I went through this whole “What am I gonna do with my life?” drama, and ended up signing for another 6 years a week before the contract ended. Right now, I’m on the hook until next year…so, we’ll see what happens then. I’m sure I’m going to stay; it doesn’t make sense to leave now when I have so little time left to retire with my 20 years. I don’t have any regrets about joining, but there are a lot of things I would have done differently, like making sure I was more strategic about my career. But that is another story for another time.

I’ll try not to be a stranger. Wish me luck with this semester 🙂