Sunday, October 20, 2013

Eagle Huntin' and Pumpkin Pickin'

Sorry I've been somewhat off the grid this past week...a girl's life can only be so interesting. In case you haven't read Neal Schusterman's series Unwind, I would highly recommend giving it a go, especially if you loved Divergent and/or the Hunger Games! The third book in the Unwind series came out this week, and I've spent the past few days holed up on the sofa, completely absorbed. I had read somewhere that the book had to be split into two because it was so long, and I could definitely tell. Virtually none of the conflicts were resolved, and quite honestly the ending felt more like it should be the middle of the book, which makes sense in a way.
Anyways, I finished all 400-some pages just in time for yet another football game. Because what else is there to do on a Friday night in suburban Virginia? This time though, I wasn't going to cheer on my fellow rebels. I'm enrolled in an accelerated program that isn't at my zoned high school, and all of my friends go to the school that just happens to be our biggest rival. Nevertheless, I thought I'd risk stopping by their homecoming game to do some under-cover eagle hunting ;).
I almost wore one of my Rebel shirts, but realized I'd probably get beaten up by the upperclassmen. 
The game started off with a homecoming parade. Nothing impressive, but I did get some quality catch-up time with my friends. 
I know it looks like we're in the middle of the road, but I promise you we were sitting on the median, and traffic was stopped anyways! 
Since it's an unspoken rule that you aren't supposed to play a good football team for your homecoming game, they took on a urban school from an hour away. Their fan base was very impressive:

A whole 30 people, folks. And about 20 of those are the band, who have to come for a participation grade. 
We (not exactly "we," since I'd never call myself an Eagle fan, but the side I was standing on) won 23-12, and the fact that this team managed to sneak in 12 points says a lot about the Eagle's football team. No wonder we beat them last week. Anyways, while it was nice to see my old friends again, the game itself was pretty dull, since I didn't have an attachment to either team. 

But I did take some sexy Snapchats :)
I don't know about you guys, but I completely count football games as exercise- that was exhausting! Standing for 3 and a half hours while wearing knockoff Keds turned out to be a bit more painful than I thought. You'd think I'd have learned by now. 
The next day started out with a "nutritious" breakfast at Waffle House (sidenote: they now display calorie information next to every item on the menu, and frankly I find it pretty depressing. If I'm going to Waffle House for breakfast, do you honestly think I want to know how many calories I'm eating?). I went for the usual, hashbrowns (drowned in ketchup of course) and a grilled chicken biscuit. If you ever find yourself sitting in a Waffle House, keep in mind that their biscuits are out of this world! 
Once we were back home, we had a couple hours to be productive (as productive as you can be on a Saturday morning), before pumpkin picking! 

Of course, no trip to the pumpkin patch is complete without ridiculous hats. How else are you supposed to find everyone in those endless fields? We got lots of compliments, thank you very much.
The whole group shamelessly kept their hats on the whole time, with one exception: 
But honestly, would you pass up the opportunity to dress up as two ghost riding in an apple-mobile? Me neither. 
In the fields, I came across this beauty sitting all by its lonesome, and I just had to snap a picture. 
After everyone had made their selections, we piled them into a wheelbarrow and went on our merry little way.
Ready to go!

But those poor pumpkins had no idea that they were about to be cut into ribbons.
Or rather, into jack o' lanterns! My masterpiece is the one on the right, and I'm pretty impressed with my handiwork if I do say so myself. But since it's only the middle of October, I'm 90% sure these babies aren't going to last until Halloween. Oh well, there's always next year! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What I did Instead of Homecoming

This weekend was my school's homecoming weekend. There's a parade, a football game, a dance, you name it. My school even had an entire spirit week, where each day you were told to come to school dressed for some theme completely unrelated to homecoming, but whatever. I'm always up for an excuse to look ridiculous! This is evidenced by my attempt at an being M&M for "you are what you eat" day. I didn't have a roll of white duct tape, but I just happened to have a gold one laying around. I'm so high-class. Only the really classy people use gold duct tape, right? Silver just won't do.

I also was too lazy to buy a new green shirt, so I figured I'd just tape the "M" over my Frog Day shirt from summer camp. And if that wasn't classy enough, we also took this picture in the school cafeteria, 3 feet from the bathroom. 

Anyways, I didn't really bother putting in a ton of effort to prep for homecoming, because I wasn't even going to be there. I know what you're thinking. "This is the first-ever homecoming of your high school career, how can you not be going?" Well the rest of my family was going down to Emerald Isle for the annual North Carolina Seafood Festival, and who was I to pass up an entire day dedicated to eating my favorite foods? So while everyone else was trying on dresses and posing for pictures, I was packing my bags and heading for the beach, baby! 

We arrived in Emerald Isle Friday night just in time to catch the sunset, but unfortunately I didn't manage to snap any pictures. The next morning we rolled into the cute little beach town of Morehead, North Carolina. The air was humid, the crowds were tight, and the music was loud, but luckily we were able to find refuge in the chef's tent, were we got to watch a demonstration on how to prepare my favorite food, ceviche! Since I prefer mild ceviche, I was a little disappointed with how spicy it was. But nevertheless, it was ceviche and ceviche is delicious. 

After the demonstration we ventured back out into the crowds and attempted to visit the various booths. But it was getting close to lunchtime, and a hungry Katie is definitely not a happy Katie. While the rest of us thought long and hard about which of the hundreds of delicacies before us we wanted to eat, my sister ran straight for the funnel cakes, but quickly abandoned it for the rest of us to share, while she chowed down on none other than a fried Twinkie.

Battered, deep fried, dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with chocolate syrup. Welcome to 'merica. I went for a slightly healthier crab cake sandwich, but was still feeling a little grumpy. That's when I spotted none other than my long-lost, one true love. 

All hail to fried Oreos. Once again, they were fresh from the fryer and piping hot, just the way I like 'em. After I wolfed down these bad boys, I felt much better. The crowds instantly seemed thinner, the music seemed quieter, and my headache disappeared. I don't care what they say about fried stuff- these things were a life saver!

While my sister ate her fried chicken and french fries (you'll quickly learn she absolutely does not understand the meaning of "I'm full." How she stays so thin is a mystery to us all), we continued through the fair, wandering from booth to booth. Eventually we stumbled into the oldest bookstore in the state, and I instantly fell in love (though that may just have been from the air conditioning) 
The infamous Dee Gee's bookstore; 80 years and counting. It just so happened that they carried a book I'd been looking for for ages, which wasn't available at Barnes and Noble or Amazon! I also came across a little book called "Lessons from a Turtle: the Little Book of Life." It was the cutest little book, and each page offered a little quote like this one: 

How can you not accept life lessons from a turtle? But after we had gotten our fill of books we headed over to Parson's General Store across the train tracks, where we were greeted by its absolutely wonderful shopkeepers. If you ever have a chance, I'd definitely recommend stopping by! They also had great ice cream, and of course my sister (who clearly hadn't eaten enough that day), ordered a double-scoop. Luckily she wasn't able to finish, and I got to polish off the cup for her. Who thought Cappuccino and Moose Tracks were so delicious together? 

Once none of us could handle the crowds any longer we headed home, but not before popping into a little beachside burger shack for a drink. 

Please excuse my blurry fingers, but basically we took a seat along the side of the pier, and I got to spend a half our or so sipping iced tea, watching the ocean, and not miss homecoming weekend at all. 

Seafood, fried Oreos, and the beach. I think we know who got the sweeter end of the deal here. 
Once we were back at the cottage, the rest of my afternoon was spent lounging in bed, listening to music. Do any of you notice how whenever you're at the beach, there's always that peaceful, quiet part of the day in the late afternoon? Everyone is reading, dozing, or just taking a little time to relax for a while before the evening excitement starts up again. For us, that meant heading back out to a steakhouse for dinner. It was dingy and unimpressive, but we were all so full from earlier that no one wanted more than just a bite or so. After the bacon biscuit, funnel cake, fried oreos, crab cake sandwich, and ice cream I'd eaten during the day, I decided to go a little healthy and order some grilled scallops with vegetables. Okay, so I also had a slice of Texas toast, but we won't count that. 

Tomorrow I'll go on a diet...

...just kidding.