Cherry Blossoms

Remember my 101 in 1001 days list? #12 on that list was “See the cherry blossoms in bloom (d.c.)”. I finally got to do that this year. It was beautiful!

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made it

I made it! I’m in Memphis. The drive down wasn’t so bad. It’s a 12 hour trip and we made it in 12 hours. Which was good time considering we stopped about 6 times. I like to stop during road trips. If I see a sign that says Scenic Overlook, you better believe I’m pulling over. If I see a sign for some sort of shop or winery I’ll pull over for that too! On the way down we stopped at the New River Gorge Bridge. A huge steel arch bridge in the southern part of West Virginia. It’s the 3rd longest in the world! Every year in October the West Virginia hosts Bridge Day. 80,000+ spectators attend and BASE jumpers come from all over the world come to jump off the bridge. CRAZY!!! I would never do that, but I do want to do the Bridge Walk. A 1.5 mile walk along the catwalk (850 ft above the river) of the bridge.

New River Gorge Bridge by me

 

We also stopped at Tamarack. A huge,interestingly,shaped building in Beckley, WV that sells handmade crafts, arts, and WV wines and other cuisines. We just walked around checking out the place and picked up two bottles of West Virginia wine – dandelion and blackberry.

I wanted those Raggedy Ann/Andy dolls, but couldn't justify it for $35 a piece!

The bf spent a couple of days here with me and then left. :( I miss him like crazy, but I’m settling into life back in Memphis just fine. I had my first roller derby practice with my new league on Monday. It was an intense practice! I can already tell I’m going to be a much better skater, skating with this league. In my former league, me and a few of the other girls were the longest skaters of the team. Now I’m surrounded by ladies that have been playing 4 times as long as I have. I’m excited to learn from them. I’m a part of the league, but I’m not officially a part of a team yet. They have a draft day in September. When that day comes, the three teams will bid on me and I’ll be a part of  one of the home teams… hopefully!

Classes start on Monday.  But until then I have a lot of free time. Which means lot of quality time with my Kindle! I’ve been sort of a book nerd lately. :/

D.C.

D.C. Was a blast. I left WV at 6 am on Saturday morning and arrived in D.C. at 9:30 am. I may have been speeding a little bit…just a little bit. I stayed in D.C. for 3 days and did as much exploring as I could. I’ve been to D.C. a couple of times, but it was when I was much younger so I have almost no recollection of it. While I was there this time, I went to a cultural festival, took a cruise from Georgetown to Alexandria, took a stroll through the sculpture garden, hung out on the mall, went to a huge drum circle in Meridian Hill Park, shopped at the Eastern Market on Sunday,and ate a whole lot of food! I also hung out with an old friend and met some new friends. It was nice being away from here for awhile. I wish it could’ve lasted longer!

roadtrip recap

Last weekend recap!

Me and the bf began our road trip last Thursday. Destination-Boston for PaxEast, with stops in Philadelphia, and New Haven, CT.

Thursday-Got off work, dropped Peanut off at the kennel, and hit the road to Philly! The drive to Philly was 6 hours, so by the time we got there it was already too late to really do anything. We checked in to our hotel, and decided to have Philly cheesesteaks at Tony Luke’s! It was recommended on some travel blogs I read and it was on Man vs Food! Last time I trust them.  The bread was SO hard and the meat was dry. Not good at all. I should’ve listened to the local who told us there were MUCH better places to have cheesesteaks. After the fail cheesesteak, we went to Eulogy, a Belgian beer bar, and had some drinks. I fell in love with this place because it reminded me of the little cafe’s I always went to in Amsterdam. The beer list was amaaaaazing and had over 400 beers. I had 2 beers, which was more than enough for me considering their 10.0 ABV. Went back to the hotel and proceeded to pass out.

Friday-Woke up really early because we wanted to see a few things around Philly before we started our next leg of the trip (Philly to Boston!). We walked along the waterfront at Penn’s Landing, and saw some cool ships including the HUGE and very old SS United States. After walking around and getting some breakfast there, we went to Philadelphia Art Museum, not to see art, but to run up the “Rocky steps”. Remember this scene from the movie Rocky? It was filmed here so…we had to!

bf at the top of the steps

my Rocky pose

After that, we hit the road to Boston. We should’ve made it there in 6 hours, BUT I saw an outlet mall and had to stop. I picked up a dress, a new top, and the bf got some shirts. Successful pit stop? yes!  We had another pitstop to make too, but it was planned. I wanted to stop by New Haven, CT to see my Great, Great, grandfather, Sengbe Pieh’s statue which stands in fron of their City Hall. My family has gone multiple times for dedications and memorials, and I’ve seen the statue in pictures, but I have never seen it in person.

We made it to Boston (finally) Friday evening and went straight to the Boston Convention Center where PaxEast was being held. Unfortunately, we were too late to see the show floor, but we did meet up with my friends from Memphis and hit up the table top gaming area! It was huge guys. Tables of Magic, Munchkin, DnD, Dominion, and a whole bunch of other table top games I’ve never heard of. The bf and I played a couple of games of Magic and hung out with my friends before heading to the hotel.

Saturday/Sunday-Woke up early and got our butts to PaxEast. You know to enjoy gaming and panels! We got there when the doors open and stayed until the doors closed. I played the new Magic game which will  be released summer 2012, 3DS (which is awwwweosme!), a whole bunch of games, went to some panels, wandered around, met some twitter friends, and just hung around at PaxEast. I didn’t want to leave on Sunday. I really had a good time just hanging  out and I can’t wait to go back next year!

Monday, MONDAY, MONDAY-Sunday night after Pax we drove straight to Boston and proceeded to pass out. On Monday we saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and hung out on the hip South Street. We had lunch at an awesome cheesesteak shop (Steaks on South! The sandwiches were so good. If you’re in Philly, go there!) and then we went to The Magic Gardens!Magic Gardens is an indoor/outdoor maze of mosaics inlaid with various pieces of poetry. After the gardens we headed back home to WV.

If you’d like to see more pics go here or here.

NYCC and stuff

I had such a good time on my little getaway to NYC this past weekend.

My flight for New York left Pittsburgh at 6 am on Friday morning. 6 am!!! That means I had to leave my house at 4 am to get there an hour before my flight departed. No fun! I knew neither my bf or I would wake up in time, so I pulled an all nighter. I worked all day  Thursday, went to an intense derby practice that evening, and then stayed up all night before a day full of walking around NYC. Crazy!!! I don’t know what I was thinking.

I spent Friday at the Met, walked through Central Park, met up with my sister and her friends (they were in town too!), and of course went shopping.

I spent all Saturday at NYCC. Oh, man. I wish I bought a 3 day pass instead of just a one day ticket. I had so much fun! I walked around for hours and hours and still didn’t see everything. I didn’t go to any panels, just walked around, met some people, played some games, visited booths and bought stuff! I saw some really creative cosplay.

Recognize them all? ^_^

Unfortunately, I didn’t dress up. I, Sophia the princess of procrastination, didn’t finish my costume in time.  Surprise, surprise! Hopefully, it will be perfected before the next con which will be *drumroll* Pax East in Boston. Who’s coming?!

badge, me and Thor, anime floor

It was nice getting away from everything for a bit. Really relaxing. I’m already counting down the days until I can do it again! Being in a big city reminded me how much I love city life. This little town life is NOT for me. I need the diversity of people and activities.

4th

I had a lovely weekend in Columbus, Ohio. The drive was short enough that I didn’t have to make any stops and long enough that I got to clear my head and scream along to my favorite songs with the windows down, of course. I shouldn’t have worried that I wasn’t going to have a good time. I had an AMAZING time with my family. There was lots of yummy African food, family I had not seen in years, dancing, beer-just all around good times. Unfortunately, I didn’t take many pictures but I will share the few that I have.

Watching Ghana v. Uruguay on the edge of our seats/floor. This game was intense. Epic overtime. You should’ve seen the faces of my family when Ghana missed a goal or the loudness of the house when they did score. Minus my father who is actually sleeping in one of the pics. Even though you didn’t win, we are proud of you Ghana!


“little cousins who aren’t so “little” anymore”

“Dancing with the Devil”

There are a couple of different devils that we have in the Mende culture. This is a Goboi devil. I’m not sure what each devil represents, but they are spirits that dance and bring joy. Which confuses me as to why they are referred to as a devil. I enjoy and even anxiously await the devils appearance at parties now. When I was younger it was a different story. My sister and I were we were deathly afraid of them. Especially the black, Bundu devils (video below). We always knew when they were coming out on the dance floor. You can tell by the music. The normal West African music with horns would stop and very tribal music with drums at a fast pace and older women whining in Mende would replace it. As soon as we heard it, we bolted to my mom and dad to hide from the devil. We were such crybabies! Here are some videos I found of youtube of the devils dancing so you can get an idea of what they do.

The video above is of a Bundu devil! The one that frightened me as a kid. This video doesn’t do the devil justice. The devil dances wildly-shaking and jumping everywhere. This is only the beginning of the dance. I wish they filmed the whole thing.

This is a Goboi devil. Sometimes at an event two different devils come out. One for men to dance around and another for women. This, is obviously one for the men.

updating my list!

I have a couple of things to knock off of my 101 list!

I crossed off the following!
#3 take a road trip
#4 see Niagara Falls
#69 see a film in Imax (alice in wonderland)
#79-start a weekly series on my blog (music monday)

and I got to start working on crossing off a few others
I got to add a state to #1 (travel to 10 states- 2/10)
#48 is to lose 25 lbs. I’ve lost 8 so far!
#41 is to draw a heart in 50 random places-I’ve drawn 3 so far


on the side of a lighthouse on Lake Eerie


in the skypod of the CN tower, 1465ft above Toronto
(don’t worry, it was with eyeliner-not permanent!)


on top of graffiti on a wall in Toronto, Canada

I made a tumblr for my hearts. If you have one, follow it!

Heartsandhearts.tumblr.com