Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MKE Night Market

Last week Wednesday Sarah and I bopped over to MKE's Night Market. NEWaukee is holding the  Night Market one Wednesday a month from July-October and last week was the first ever. I think that the market was a success. They had some pretty sweet artists from the ice-sculptor to the DJ. Seriously. That DJ was Killing. It. He blended so much old school soul music with new tracks. Bangin'. Seriously. They had hands-on activities too -- we added designs to tiles! #rawr. Perfect for kids.
There was so much cool art to look at and crafts to buy. Sarah and I roamed all of the stalls for goodies for our new apartment. We munched on THE best kettle corn. Seriously. It was SO SO delicious. It for sure made up for the beer lines being so long...really though that photo of the line above isn't even the worst it had been. NEWaukee, please get two beer carts next time?

The market was all around pretty great AND kid-friendly. Check out the dates at the NEWaukee website. If you're free, it's worth a visit! 

Do you have anything like this in your area?


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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wedding Fever

Last weekend I headed back down to Florida for my best friend's wedding!
The weekend was short, but sweet. Bethany and Michael are so so perfect for each other. This was also the first time I met Michael (last time I went was over Thanksgiving and the schedules just didn't work) (also, Happy Birthday!!) and I felt like I had known him forever.
Just seeing them together over this weekend I know that they will have a very full and blessed life together. The Lord sure knew what he was doing when he made this pairing.
Aaaannndd cried multiple times this weekend--so that's a sign! ;)

In other news: Guys, I'm going through another big move...ummm THIS will be my new view. Nbd. Any-who, I'll be pretty busy over the next few weeks. Every time I'm really busy and stressed, I find that I begin to lack inspiration in my blogging and I end up just forcin' it too much. So the blog might be a little quiet at times. Once things have calmed down and I'm feeling the blogsperation I'll be right back at it here, ya dig?

How was your weekend? Any awesome news? Tell.


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Friday, July 11, 2014

Cuba | An Explanation: Traveling from the USA

A couple of years ago before my sister first brought up the idea of going to Cuba, I was under the impression, like many people, that it was impossible for anyone from the US to travel to this forbidden, untouchable island. After signing up for the trip, SO many people asked me different questions about how we were able to travel there. How is this legal? I didn't know you could go there. Are you going through Mexico? Be careful! Are you scared... Will you meet Fidel? ...
You can in fact travel to Cuba, legally from the United States. In order to travel you must be going for educational reasons.

Needless to say, I was extremely excited when RenĂ©e brought this possibility up. (During my late high school and early college years I had been so intrigued by the revolution, the missile crisis, the embargo, and the Cuban/US relationship (or lack there of.) I even read this book from front to back. 700 pages. Of information. I. Was. Crazy.) R found some really really awesome cultural tours: one through National Geographic Expeditions and one through a professor in California geared toward photography students. Both of these tours offered up very culturally rich experiences, but we were never sure about it. And the costs were quite expensive. Friends of ours had brought up the idea of heading over through Mexico, but it was just too risky. The thought of traveling over illegally did not sit well with us. 

Finally, after years of mulling over the options, our college Spanish professor created a culture study trip through our alma mater. We knew immediately that we were going on this trip. There was no doubt in our minds and there was NO WAY we would be missing this opportunity. We were among the first to sign up for a trip that only offered 20 spots. We enrolled in the class through our college and were given all of the appropriate letters and documents from MLC in order to travel with out problems.

Those 10 days were some of the most eye opening and educational of my life. I am so so happy that I was able to take this trip to see this untouched land where time has virtually stopped.
Seriously, guys, it was pretty bangin'!

If you ever have the opportunity to travel there -- take it! Really!

This weekend I'm in FL for my best friend's wedding and it will be epic! I hope you all have a great weekend!


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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cuba via iPhone | Two

Sometimes I find it hard to put some things into words. Cuba was one of those experiences where there is so much to tell and so much I want others to understand about it. It is hard for me to describe it or find a way to give it justice. 
Yesterday, Bob Dailey, one of my travel companions, sent this reflection on his time in Cuba. 
This is perfect. Exactly what I would like to say in such beautiful words. Bob is kindly allowing me to share this with you all.

So I'm on UA 718 from Mexico City to SFO, actually returning from "Planet Cuba".  Why Planet Cuba?  Because it's like no other place on Planet Earth.  It spins in its own space, in an orbit shared by nothing else, in a locus where the sun shines continuously on continuous darkness.
   Where nothing makes sense.  Where the clocks suddenly stopped 50+ years ago.  A land of incredible agricultural richness lying fallow, rich seas unfished and rationing of all basic foodstuffs of which 70% are imported.  Of a people at once riotously exuberant and despairing of all hope for a future. People talk animatedly, smile, dance, touch, couple, laugh....and languish.  Music is heard everywhere and of every imaginable beat and background- all of it live. Scaffolded colonial buildings await renovations that never come to pass.  Aging leaders in fatigues exhort with revolutionary slogans on crude billboards, proclaiming victory over imaginary enemies.  There is adherence to a system of governance that died forever in 1990, a system consigning its people to perpetual poverty, corruption and tyranny; and that yet provides universal medical care, the same life expectancy as the USA, 99% literacy, free education, racial equality, and all basic services. 
   Nothing makes sense.  Nothing fits. Nothing functions properly. No one appears to work.  No one is paid a living wage.  2 different currencies exist side by side- one for Cubans, the other for tourists.  The dollar doesn't exist- except in mattresses.  Barter, scavenging, black markets, non-money economics, corruption, chicanery, charity from the Venezuelan government and USA relatives, and survival instinct comprise the economy.  State stores sell one style of shoe, one style of pants.  Government policy is magical.  Grand plans marshaling all citizens change overnight, leaving no traces.  Sugar cane is the king one day, truck gardens the next.  Consistency is a dirty word. 
   Myths, legends, lies, Santeria, tales, suppositions, imaginings, factoids, mysteries are woven into a crazy quilt of a reality which confounds, confuses, and conflicts with and yet confirms itself.  It is a place of madness and magic.  It eludes all logic or explanation.  You grasp it and as quickly it slips away. 
     One day, the switch will be thrown and the full force of capitalism will be felt.  It may well be gradual, or as in the case of Vietnam, come suddenly.  But Cuba will be flooded with investment and capital, the vast energy of its people will be released, and the Cuba that exists today will be no longer a separate and distinct planet, but rather will spin in the relentless gravity of capital and modernity.  Much will be gained and much lost.


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Monday, July 7, 2014

Cuba via iPhone | One

I am back from my Cuban Adventure* and I can truthfully say that it was one of the best trips I have ever been on. I learned so much, met some very interesting and life-changing people, went to many different historical sights, and acquired a better understanding of our relationship with Cuba. The people there are truly incredible with wonderful wise stories (more on this in a future post.) The group we went with was very diverse, but it worked and we all meshed and had such a fun time. 

The next few posts will be rather short of words since I am still in a flurry of travels and weddings, but hopefully hopefully next week I will be able to put up more details.


*Soon I will also post an explanation of how we were able to travel legally to Cuba.

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