Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Birthday Celebration

**Notice: I'm not sure why, but this never got published!!! Keep in mind this took place during November, so no I'm not seeing Catching Fire in January. I saw it opening weekend, like every other teenage girl ;)**

So this week was my 15th birthday...
I love birthdays. Seeing how many people truly care about you, seeing how many people are willing to do something nice for you, it's so incredibly heartwarming! It makes me want to do the same thing for other people, seeing them smile because of you is so great!
My birthday was during the schoolweek, so obviously I wasn't planning on doing anything fun. I mean, now that winter track has started I rarely make it home before 6:30 anyways. Nevertheless, my friends just had to take advantage of an opportunity to bake!
A brownie cake with marshmallow frosting. Um, yes. 
This is just one of the many delicacies I received that day-white chocolate chip and chocolate chip cookies, Oreo and Mexican brownies, all eaten before the day was over! 

But the end of the week, I faced a whole new celebration of calories. 
Carytown Burgers and Fries have by far the best hamburgers I've ever eaten. They're a household name in Richmond- everyone has stopped by once or twice! Carytown is the cute, vintage, hipster district of Richmond. Their businesses are small, local, and packed with personality! This restaurant is no exception. Nestled tightly between two nondescript shops, you'd walk right by it if it weren't for the bright, neon sign and ever-present line of people out the door. 
Since it was 7pm on a Saturday night, of course there was going to be a crowd, so we were fully prepared when we were warned of the 45 minute wait. We'd come all the way out here, there was no turning back! Luckily there was a large collection of coloring pages right by us, which we took full advantage of. Also, we decided to sample the various condiments sitting on our table. 
If you're not a fan of spicy foods, I would recommend staying far, far away from this one! The harmless-looking green tint is entirely too deceptive...
Aside from the condiments, the menu is an enormous list of mouthwatering combinations. My burger of choice is usually the Greek Geek- Tzatziki sauce, feta cheese, roasted red peppers and crushed garlic. But, since this was my birthday dinner, I tried to go for the wildest thing I could find. 
This folks, is the Flying Squirrel. Cheddar cheese, bacon, and peanut butter on Texas Toast. Of course I had to order it. 
I was extremely excited to taste such an unusual combination. It was delicious, but I found that the peanut butter overpowered the other flavors, and I barely tasted the cheddar. Nevertheless, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! I can't wait to come back to try their other burgers-my next choice will definitely be the "Poncho Villa." Check out their menu if you're interested! 

After we had our fill, it was time to pick up my best friend in the whole world. She'd been off at boarding school for the past few months, but was finally home for Thanksgiving break! So we stopped by her house to steal her away before returning home. 
And then, it was time for cake.
I made it clear that I didn't want a big, elaborate cake for my birthday. There were only 4 people eating it, and the leftovers would just sit on our counter and go stale. So we stopped by the grocery store and picked up this beauty-a triple-chocolate tiger cake, just big enough for 4 people to split! Needless to say, it was delicious. 
And then, because we apparently hadn't had enough fun, it was time for...
Catching Fire!
I've been a huge Hunger Games fan since the 5th grade. I'd read it months before it was "cool," so I had to wait even longer than most for the movies! With the exception of the Hunger Games, all of the other movies come out within 3 days of my birthday every year for the forseable future. We managed to snag two tickets for the 10pm showing. We were both so excited that we showed up at 9:30. Thank goodness we did, because we ended up getting amazing seats! You know the seats that are right in front of that metal bar, so you can put your feet up? Yeah, those were ours. It totally beats last year's seats, which were the very. front. row. 
Anyways, the movie finished up around 12:30, which was perfect for two girls having a sleepover! 
Thanks to everyone for making this birthday so wonderful, see you in 6 months when I get my learners! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Welcome to the Ice Age

I'm serious, I'm calling BS on global warming.

I've been spending the day catching up on all that's been happening in southern cities such as Atlanta during this freak blizzard. For those of you that don't know, there are people that have been stuck in the worst traffic jam in American history for over sixteen hours. Some people are walking 5+ miles through the snow to get home, others are spending the night on the floor of grocery stores, kids are having to spend the night on buses/at school. There's one woman who delivered a baby in the traffic for goodness sake! I can't even begin to process how completely traumatic this is for so many people. If you want more details on this as well as some pretty surreal pictures, click here to read the article I did.

View image on Twitter
One of the pictures from the Article-people sleeping on the floor of CVS!

I do have a feeling that people up north are, when you get past how dire this situation is, laughing hysterically right now. I mean this all happened because of 2 inches of snow. It's not like people are getting buried in snowdrifts. But this is the South, and we don't get snow that often. Our cities aren't equipped for weather that happens every once in a blue moon. So when it does, the results can be disastrous. 

A couple years ago a 5.9 magnitude Earthquake hit Richmond, and people lost their minds. I mean seriously, this thing made national headlines. I swear I still have PTSD from it-but in my defense I was 12 years old at my best friend's house and her parents weren't home. We panicked and ran half a mile barefoot to an apartment complex to get help. But regardless, while everyone in Richmond was screaming "The Apocalypse! It's upon us!" I'm sure everyone over on the west coast was sitting there, laughing and going "5.9? You sure it wasn't just a helicopter flying too low?"

But in all seriousness, if there's one good thing that came out of this it's that it showed the true compassion and kindness people have for each other in disasters like this. Opening up their homes and stores for people in need, driving complete strangers to safety, it warms my heart to know how much people look out for one another-and it makes me wish that we could reach out to people like this all the time.

Oh, also, there's another good thing that came out of this (for my city at least). Living in Richmond, we seemed to get the best bargain of all. If we lived any farther north, our city would be so used to winter weather that we wouldn't have been affected at all. If we lived farther south, well, you know by now what would have happened, and my school definitely doesn't seem like a fun place to spend the night. So for us, all we got is 2 weeks worth of snow days (with one day of school that hardly counted), oh and also our MIDTERMS WERE CANCELLED. What are the odds that this happens on the exact week that we were scheduled to take the hardest tests of the semester that also counted for 20% of our grade? Honestly I think it's safe to say that we're some of the luckiest people in the country right now.

This whole experience has been a bunch of mixed emotions, but I hope it teaches us to stick together even when there isn't a natural disaster. Generally be a good person all year round, and hopefully you'll be able to make a difference in people's lives.