My Mom's Visit

My mom came to visit for parent's weekend and it was fantastic. I've missed her so much and it was great being able to spend the weekend together. It all ended too quickly, though. We finally took the tram to Roosevelt Island.
 We saw First Aid Kit in concert. They were quite the show. Definitely not as polished as Taylor Swift, but they were great singers.
 We had our traditional Alice's Teacup date!
We saw If/Then with Idina Menzel. It was an amazing show that I could connect with so well. Idina is even greater than I could ever have expected, way better in my mind than Frozen.
We celebrated Barnard's Birthday with a GIANT cake of Barnard Hall. I'm so ridiculously proud to go to this college, which, by the way, is the the most rigorous University.
 Our amazing President DSpar led us in Happy Birthday with the new Barnard Way street sign.

A Short List of The Last Few Months

1. I attended Global Citizen with my friend Elena. So much fun!
 2. I went to Blessing of the Animals at St. John The Divine
 3.The Empire State Building was Barnard blue in honor of the quasquicentennial!
 4. I saw Jodi Picoult and got my book signed.
 5. Took a trip to the cloisters.


My Life Lately AKA Why I Love Barnard (abridged edition)

 1. Convocation: beautiful. Barnard Alumnae Anna Quindlen spoke! Plus the president of Barnard DSpar is amazing.

With Anna Quindlen

 With DSpar
 2. Sunset over the Manhattan skyline from the top of the Met. Breathtaking.

 3. People's Climate March: amazing seeing all the people out to demand Climate Justice!

4. The night after the People's Climate March I went to St. John the Divine to watch the Religions for the World summit on climate justice. Al Gore spoke along with many other amazing religious leaders. It was remarkable seeing all these different religions together in harmony.
5. Sunsets over Butler library.

7. My first article was published in the Columbia Daily Spectator last night. Read it here!

So many amazing opportunities. I made the right choice coming to New York City and Barnard. Tomorrow I go to Global Citizen!



It has been two weeks since I moved into Barnard: two weeks of craziness and not a single blog post. Move in day was bitter sweet. I am excited for my journey through college, but I am also quite saddened by how much I am leaving behind. 
The best part of NSOP (New Student Orientation Program) was meeting Lauren Graham. Every year Barnard chooses a book written by a Barnard alumnae and sends it to all the new students for free. That alumnae then comes to talk about her book and her Barnard experience. This year we got Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham. I love Gilmore Girls and Parenthood so naturally I was thrilled. Lauren Graham graduated from Barnard in 1988. I am also quoted here on the Barnard website talking about the experience.
 Columbia University welcomed all of us new students with a community night in the gym.
 Then we had a glowstick party on Low Library steps.
 The next night was the full University first year party on the USS Imperial. It was a beautiful location overlooking the city.
I'm trying to explore the city since I live here. I don't want to be one of those people who never leaves the Columbia campus. On labor day I headed over to Brooklyn.


Road Trip Day 12: DC

We arrived in D.C. today. New York is so close I can almost feel the energy. The first thing we did upon entering the city was go to the zoo. Last year when we went the panda was pregnant so we didn't get to see her. Tomorrow is the baby panda's one year birthday and we got to see both him and his mother. 

We ate dinner at Busboys and Poets again this year. It is an amazing place with fantastic veggie burgers. The name is based on Langston Hughes. So literary. So delicious. So wonderful.

 This time there was no scaffolding on the Washington monument!
Next stop: NYC


On The Road Day 11: To North Carolina

Before leaving Atlanta we stopped at the Carter Presidential Museum. This is my third presidential library. They are a fantastic way to learn history and see it in a more personal way.  It, like the others, was nicely done, but not as crowded. There were only a couple others there at the same time.
We then stopped at the Ebenezer Baptist Church where Martin Luther King preached. We also saw some of the other Martin Luther King memorial places: his birthplace, his grave sight and museum.

We then drove on through North and South Carolina. Below is a small town in South Carolina where we had frozen yogurt. We are staying in a small North Carolina town a little ways from the Virginia border. Unfortunately we are not seeing the beach, but North Carolina is cute. I've always wanted to go here since reading all those Nicholas Sparks books.
Next stop: Washington D.C.

On The Road Day 10: To Atlanta

We left Nashville bright and early. We woke up at six and then took off as quickly as possible to Birmingham. First we grabbed a coffee and a muffin at Frothy Monkey which was a hip spot with some great food. In Birmingham we met with my grandma's cousin Hallita, who is the other remaining Cuban family member. We ate lunch at her assisted living place with her and her son. I wish we could have seen more of Birmingham, but there is never enough time.
We then met with my mom's brother in Atlanta for dinner. They actually live in a suburb of Atlanta. Afterwards we went to find a hotel room and had a heck of a time. We didn't have reservations because at first we weren't sure if we would stay in Atlanta. We went to one spot and couldn't find it. So we decided to avoid any more of that by calling hotels. Our responses went as follows: no vacancy, no vacancy, no answer, no vacancy, phone disconnected, no vacancy. So we took off towards a Holiday Inn. It turned out to have no vacancy, but they directed us to a satellite one a half hour out of the city. We went there. It was not as nice, but it worked.
Next stop: Somewhere in North Carolina


On The Road Day 8 (part 2) and Day 9: Nashville

We left Arkansas and headed to Nashville on monday. I have always really wanted to go to Nashville (you know T-Swizzle fan and all...) and this cross country trip turned out to be the perfect opportunity. We met my cousin Elias in the city and then took off exploring.

Part of the trip was visiting with Wattie, one of my grandma's cousins. He is one of the last remaining of our relatives who were born in Cuba.
We went to the country music hall of fame, which I loved. I wished I could have gone when Taylor Swift had a huge exhibit there, but still there was a lot to see. I loved seeing some of her dresses and handwritten songs as well as other things from other artists.

We ate a lot of fantastic meals in Nashville, from Pancake Pantry (a place I have wanted to go for years) to a burger place to this place, Family Wash. It was Pie and Pint night at the Family Wash so we had shepherd pies. There was live music and a great atmosphere. A real winner.

Next stop: Atlanta via Birmingham