Author: bnicolia

Dental Health Arlington Promotional Video

Dental Health Arlington is a nonprofit dental clinic located in Arlington, TX. My aunt Lilly, who helps run the clinic, came to me for advice on how to spread the word about the clinic to raise money for a fundraiser for nonprofits called North Texas Giving Day 2017. I suggested that we make a short video clip showing the public, board members, and sponsors what they are lacking most within the clinic. After sitting down with the members of the clinic we came to a conclusion that the main necessity was updated equipment. It’s truly amazing that hygienists, students, and doctors will donate their time to serve those who have less to better the community. To donate to the clinic please visit:


Hopetown, Abaco, Bahamas

Hopetown, Abaco, Bahamas

What a beautiful life I live. I am truly the luckiest girl in the world.

Chiang Mai, Thailand: Elephant Nature Park

Chiang Mai, Thailand: Elephant Nature Park

As I’ve said before, I am extremely fortunate to have been able to travel as much as I have for how young I am. I have had a wonderful taste of a life that I am looking forward to building for myself but in the midst of all the sight seeing and culture intake it’s important to find something you can be passionate about and try to find a way to make a difference while being in a new, beautiful place. In the past year or two, stories and truth have surfaced about the realities of Elephant entertainment. As I grew more knowledge on the subject I began to feel more passionate about this issue and I wanted to know how I could make a small difference for this cause. A few months ago my mom and some friends of ours decided to take a weekend trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand, by far my favorite part of Thailand yet. There are no beaches but lots of greenery and mountains. As most of you may know, Thailand is notorious for Elephant entertainment due to their large sum of tourists. I think most people were like me in that they are not educated on the issue. My mother planned for us to visit the Elephant Nature Park while we were in Chiang Mai. This was by far one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Each adult elephant found at this park have been rescued or bought from Elephant entertainment cooperations. It was extremely heart-warming to know that the people who work there are so passionate about the health and safety of these intuitive and sensitive animals. Our entire experience was filled with happiness, love, and life! We were able to help the workers feed the elephants fruit and veggies, learn about each elephant’s story, and bathe them in the river. I think it’s important to start educating the people around us that there are humane alternative to interact with any animal, especially the elephants! #savetheelephants

Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui, Thailand


For as long as I can remember I have wanted to go to Thailand. When you live in the States you think of Thailand and you don’t imagine any place more beautiful! When my parents decided that we would be taking a week in Koh Samui, Thailand I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to feel the sun on my skin and the beautiful clear beaches! Because flights from Hong Kong to Thailand are so cheap my dad was able to get a really good price, especially since he planned ahead (for once!) I had never heard of Koh Samui but all of our family friends were saying how beautiful it was. When we told them that we were going for 5 days they were a bit confused. I was surprised at first because how could you stay in Thailand less than 5 days?? I soon understood that because Hong Kong is surrounded by so many beautiful areas, Thailand is just a weekend trip. I was astounded but then I soon found out why….

  1. Step one, make sure to check the rainy season before you book your tickets to a tropical and exotic destination. The weather forecast the entire week was rain and thunderstorms! It turns out the the rest of Thailand is in the dry season but the only part of Thailand that has a rainy season in the month of December is the island of Koh Samui.
  2. Book a resort or house that you feel comfortable or clean in because you never know how much time you will be spending in there.We stayed at the Ozo Resort and it was very nice and open. Not only was I confined to my room because of the rain, I was paralyzed from an extreme crick in my neck from sleeping with the air conditioning too low. Which leads to…
  3. Make sure to not keep the air conditioning too cold! When mixed with the warmth of the outside air it causes your muscles to contract and get stiff and you could possibly get a crick in your neck and end up being doped up on Thai muscle relaxers and looking sideways in every photo.
  4. Don’t drink or brush your teeth with the water! Thankfully we already knew this one but there is nothing worse than being sick on your vacation but I will say, it does get quite exhausting having to always worry about whether or not the fruit was washed in clean water or if the water in the glass is from a bottle… yes, I know these are my first world problems but my brother Blake ended up getting sick and having to sit at the hotel on the one day the sun decided to come out.
  5. When the sun FINALLY decided to come out, I must say it was gorgeous. We did the Ang Thong National Marine Park which had beautiful views and scenery. Of course there was a little rain storm but it’s the tropics so it’s expected!
  6. Since there was not as much to do we certainly ate to fill our time! The food was absolutely delicious. I have always been a huge lover of Thai food but having it authentic was amazing. Some of my favorite dishes from this trip were the Pad Thai (obviously), anyone who follows my social media knows that I loved the spring rolls, and the Penang Curry… read my other two Thailand posts to find out what else I found!

Unfortunately we were not able to do as many activities as we had hoped but when the sun was out it was beautiful and I highly recommend Koh Samui when looking for a destination in Thailand!

How to: Hong Kong

How to: Hong Kong

Last April my parents made the decision to move to Hong Kong which inspired me to write my first ever blog post. One full year and two Hong Kong trips later I am officially sharing my tips on How to Hong Kong!

1. Get an Octopus card. Unlike the States, public transportation is one of the most efficient ways to get around. The Octopus card can be used for the bus system, ferry, MTR (metro, subway), and most convenient stores. How do you posses one of these cards, you ask? The most convenient way to get one would be at the Hong Kong International airport as soon as you fly in. You may be tired and overwhelmed but save yourself some trouble and stand in the line to purchase the card, you’ll save yourself an extra trip once you’re ready to go exploring and you’ll soon find out that the lines tend to move pretty fast. If you decide to not get the Octopus card at the airport it’s no big deal, just type into Maps to find the closest station and you can buy and load one up there.

2. Make sure your Octopus card is loaded. You can fill your cards at any local convenient store such as Seven Eleven or Circle K, places that would usually be gas stations. I cannot stress enough that in order to load your Octopus Card you must have a minimum of $50HKD in CASH! They will not fill your Octopus with Visa, Apple Pay, Debit, etc. it must be cash so always have an emergency $50 in your wallet just in case your total gets away from you.

3. Understand that you are now experiencing an incredible part of the world. You’ll hear Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Russian, accents such as South African, Australian, and British. Hong Kong is by far the most diverse place that I have ever traveled to. As amazing as it can be to hear all of these new and interesting ways of communicating, it can be overwhelming to try and maneuver your way around a strange new city, which is why it’s so important to have the right tools to get around stress-free! There are two apps that my family and I find very helpful and they’re called Hong Kong Taxi and Mooveit. Hong Kong Taxi is perfect for when you are taking a taxi somewhere in the city. The drivers tend to speak little to no English and so this app is perfect for communicating with your driver on where you need to go! How it works is you search your location in their database and when it shows up it automatically shows you the address and the option to view the location in Cantonese so all you have to do is show the driver your phone! It’s incredibly simple…the only catch is that you may need wifi if you don’t have an international plan but luckily for you there is wifi almost everywhere!


The Mooveit app is great for navigating how to reach a destination by taking public transportation. I know that there are a lot of apps that do this but what’s great about this app is that it can tell you all the specifics and will even notify you of a direction change when you don’t have any wifi.



Now that you know how to get around it’s time to go see all that Hong Kong has to offer!

Where to go:

Peak Tram to Victoria’s Peak

Star Ferry

Junk Boat

Victoria Harbor

Observation Ferris Wheel

Lan Kwai Fong

360 Cable Cars to The Big Buddha

High Tea at The Intercontinental

Escalators in SoHo

Nan Lian Garden

Hikes: Tiger’s Head in Discovery Bay, Mui Wo, Peng Chau, Llama Island

Wan Chai

Kennedy Town

Our Favorite Places to Eat:

Miss Ho’s -Kennedy Town

Little Bao -SoHo Central

Le Souk- SoHo Central

Din Tau Fong- Tsim Sha Tsui





Brooklyn, New York City

Brooklyn, New York City

Before, when I imagined New York City I think Manhattan; crowded and touristy but mainly overwhelming. Perhaps the reason I felt this way is because the last time I went to NYC we stayed in Manhattan and just about crammed in every little touristy thing you can do in 3 days but most importantly I was traveling with my family of 4 (including myself) which is already overwhelming as is. If Chicago taught me anything it’s that your traveling experience is completely different when you are traveling on your own. My experience in New York City was similar to my Chicago trip in the sense that everything I did was planned by me and the friends that I was meeting up there and I couldn’t have been more excited to be the one in charge of my own vacation.

My flight out of MEM left at a convenient time of 5:20am, priced accordingly, then a connecting flight in my beloved Chi Town to finally end up at LaGuardia Airport at around 11:00am. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect and my traveling experience couldn’t have gone smoother. I left LaGuardia Airport in a black shiny new Suburban all to myself, boosting my ego and feeling like a superstar I roll into Brooklyn to meet my friend Courtney. The traffic wasn’t bad since it was the late morning and my ride took about 30 min and was only about $30. Courtney is one of my good friends from University of Arkansas who is doing an internship for the whole summer in NYC (Go Court!). The place she was staying was called EHS which was like student housing and it was located in Brooklyn. I had never stayed in Brooklyn before so of course, I was expecting grungy with suspicious people surrounding me.. but in all honesty, I fell in love with Brooklyn the first night I was there. Courtney was staying in Brooklyn Heights which is near DUMBO. Our first night Courtney took me and her childhood friend Jade, who was also staying the weekend in the city to the Brooklyn Bridge. We went around sunset and the views were so beautiful… Although, I give warning that the bike riders on the bridge can be ruthless and will run you over! That evening the 3 of us went to meet up with Courtney’s friend from work, Lane, who is coincidently attending UofA next year and also met up with Court’s cousin, Abby who was taking some summer classes in Manhattan. We went out for dinner and drinks in Times Square and as hard as I tried fighting my 3:00am wake-up, I wasn’t able to last longer than 12am that night…I’ll make it next time!

Next day, Saturday, I wake up early (again) to meet up with Elizabeth aka “Liz” for a day of brunch and shopping on 5th Avenue. Elizabeth is nannying for a family up in Fire Island and she was able to come into the city for a night or 2 to see me and her high school friend, Mimi, who was sweet as could be! I met up with Liz at the place where Mimi was staying with her cousin in Manhattan in Midtown East. It was a beautiful, quaint apartment that was filled with antique french style furniture and I absolutely fell in love with the lavish life as soon as I walked into the door.

After staying in Courtney’s place which was almost like a dorm or a hostel (haha sorry Court) and then getting a small taste of the lavish lifestyle staying in Manhattan with Mimi and Elizabeth I was very grateful to have been able to get a taste of both types of living. I, by no means, had any trouble sleeping on a deflating air mattress at Courtney’s and I definitely didn’t mind showering in a fancy bathroom at Mimi’s… I think the reasoning for me not caring about where I was staying was because it didn’t matter the circumstances I was living under, what mattered to me was that I was able to share this amazing city with some of my closest friends.

When Sunday rolled around I said my goodbyes to Liz as she headed for the ferry back to Fire Island and lonely girl made her way back over the bridge to Brooklyn ;). That night Courtney, Jade, Abby, Lane, and I went to a rooftop bar called Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar in Battery Park in Manhattan. There were beautiful views of the skyline and Hudson River. I would highly reccomend this place to anyone who has a quick second to spare in NYC. They are famous for their cocktails because they put popsicles in them. I ordered a Peach Cocktail with the popsicle in them (which was of course extra, but I’m paying for the experience!) and it was absolutely fact, I wish I had one right now 😉

Monday was supposed to be my last day, my flight was scheduled to leave around 6:00pm so me, Courtney, and Jade went to take a few pictures down by a dock in Brooklyn and then go for a casual lunch before I left for the airport. I gathered up all my things and I went my separate way towards the airport. When I got to the airport I noticed that my flight had been delayed and soon after that it had been cancelled. I had absolutely no negative feelings about my flight cancellation because this meant one more night with Court and one more night in the big apple!

That night, Courtney and Abby had already planned to meet up with some friends that Abby had met a few nights back. Courtney, Abby, Jade, and I went to 213 5th Avenue Rooftop Bar which was really nice! It had a view of the Empire State building and the city skyline. At first, being so eager, the night started off a little bit slow but as the Raspberry Mojitos started rolling in and after a few glasses of Pinot Grigio, Abby’s friends from the other night showed up; a group of Australian boys who had been traveling all over the US for the summer. Obviously, I was completely taken by their accents but I soon learned that they were quite interesting to talk to and it was really cool to hear about the places they had visited and sort of hear about their experiences…once again, there really is nothing better than meeting cool people in a cool city.

My last night in New York City was definitely one to remember, and I can only thank Southwest Airlines for canceling my flight so that I could have one last memorable night in the city that never sleeps.

My perception of New York City now: Well, I don’t really have one anymore. New York consists of so much that I can’t just limit it to a couple mediocre adjectives. But I will say this, New York is undoubtedly beautiful and these past 3 days showed me just how much opportunity it really has and I look forward to the day I get to go back!

Orlando, Florida + Walt Disney World

Orlando, Florida + Walt Disney World

Six years ago I went to Walt Disney World in Orlando for the first time with my Aunt Lilly and Uncle Laurent and their combined family of 5 (Kenza, Heston, and Halley). Back then we definitely didn’t have as big of a group, but this time we added 2 toddlers, 2 new(ish) parents, and 2 grandparents. We fought, we laughed, we cried, but in the end we all had a good time together. I wanted to share with you guys our experience and the lessons that I learned while doing Disney for the first time as a single adult. Read on to hear more about our trip!

This whole idea for this trip started a few months ago back in February. Everyone on my mom’s side of the family, including ourselves, are apart of a vacation club where you earn points every year and if we stay at a resort that takes those points then it ends up saving us money in the long run…I’m sure you guys know how a vacation club works. Anyways, we stayed at the Vacation Village at Parkway in Kissimmee, FL which is just a hop over from Orlando. I had pretty high expectations of this hotel considering most places we stay using the vacation club points are pretty nice, but I must say I was a little bit disappointed. It wasn’t a grungy hotel by any means… it just didn’t have the luxury feel that we are used to seeing from Sol Melia. In the end, I just wouldn’t recommend that resort. My Aunt Lesli and her husband Gareth stayed at Wyndham Resorts in Orlando with their 2 year old son, Elijah, and my grandparents Raul and Mirthala. Their resort definitely had the luxury feel but if you had children, which most people do if you’re going to Orlando, then it was a very kid-friendly environment with multiple pools and activities always going on in the activities center. So if you were going to take a little trip down to Orlando with your kids I would definitely recommend the Wyndham over Vacation Village.

Good thing about Disney is that you are so busy at the parks all day that you aren’t even in your hotel room except for sleeping. The plan for the parks was for the big kids (Kenza 19, Blake 18, Heston 17, Halley 15, and myself 20) to have a 5 day park pass to go to the parks by ourselves so that there wasn’t a lot of stress when dealing with the younger ones. In my opinion, I think if you have older kids, like we do, then it’s best to let them roam and ride the rides they want. I do think that a 5 day pass was a little too much for me. I think I would have been happy with just a 3 day pass. Lilly and Laurent and Lesli and Gareth decided that the little ones should only do 2 days at the parks which I thought was a really smart idea. If you think about it there are 4 parks (that aren’t water parks) Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. In my opinion Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are the most kid-friendly in the sense that there is more for them to enjoy at those parks. Plus, to the parents out there, why would you want to stress for more days at the parks that aren’t really that enjoyable?

We arrived in Orlando on Friday night, Saturday was a recovery day for everyone by the pool. Sunday was the first day that the big kids went to the parks. Our first park was Hollywood Studios. I really didn’t remember much about Hollywood Studios other than that was where Tower of Terror was and 6 years ago I was too chicken to go on it and this time I was determined to ride that ride. Hollywood Studios was a perfect start to the trip because it wasn’t too high strung and there was on-again-off-again rain showers so the lines were minimal. My favorite rides from that park were obviously Rock N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Both were rides that I had never been on before and boy do those roller coasters take a life from you. Don’t get me wrong, they were insanely thrilling and fun, but I definitely didn’t feel it as much when I was a child compared to now.

The next day, Monday, we went to Magic Kingdom. This was definitely my favorite day because I knew I would finally be able to feel the magic of Disney World. hehe. We got there pretty early because this was Sophie’s (age 5)  first day at the parks so Lilly and Laurent wanted to get there right when it opened which was 9am. We parked our heinous white Lincoln minivan, which by the way we all still didn’t fit in, so one lucky kid got to sit on the floor of the vehicle and hope to God that we didn’t get into an accident. Anyways, we unloaded the cars and walked towards the little train that takes us from the parking lot to the montarail. As we are walking to the train, a Mini Mouse themed strolled and a Walmart sack full of sandwiches in hand, we experienced the true terror that is being some of the first to enter the park. All I can say is that Disney is ruthless and it makes people crazy. People were shoving and pushing each other out of the way, I could have sworn that it was the end of the world…and it was even worse when we all had to board the ferry boat to get to the entrance of the park. So all I’m saying is beware! There are some savage people out there! lol….Once we got into the park the big kids went our separate ways. Blake and Heston were being a little bit impatient so we ended up breaking away from them, they went on to do Splash Mountain and other more thrilling rides while Kenza, Halley, and I went to meet characters, ride other rides, wait for our fast passes, and just take in all that was going on in Magic Kingdom. The three of us ended up staying for the night parade and the fireworks at the end. The fireworks were definitely way better than I remember. They were playing that song about when your dreams come true and the fireworks were beginning and I was really starting to feel that magic until…the toddler standing right next to me breaks into screams of terror and latches onto my leg accidentally thinking that I was her mother…The magic wasn’t there for long but all that matters is that it was there.

Tuesday was Animal Kingdom and I must say that this park had some really beautiful architecture and walkways and the scenery definitely made it my favorite park. It was very shaded which was good because it was starting to get really hot on this day. We did the Safari ride which was kind of cool and very relaxing because you got to sit down for a good 20 min while you ride in a little jungle vehicle. That was the closest thing I’ll be getting to an African safari for now. We all started fading pretty quickly from the heat through out the day but it was no worry because there is a Starbucks in every park and there’s nothing like an Iced Vanilla Coffee to bring you back to life on a hot and busy day in Animal Kingdom!

Wednesday was Epcot, personally my least favorite park, and I was also getting pretty tired of the crowds and the heat so I wasn’t at all too enthusiastic about going to Epcot but I still managed to keep a good attitude, even though Blake did not…petty diva 😉 We did Test Track, Mission Space, and the ride that’s inside the Epcot ball…which by the way definitely needs to be updated. The ride is all about taking a trip back in time to learn about the world’s history and the most up-to-date thing was the computer being invented haha so maybe it’s time Disney did a little upgrading. After we completed the 3 fast passes Blake and I ditched to go lay by the pool the rest of the day while Kenza and Halley did a little bit more exploring of Epcot. That night we actually had dinner reservations in the park, which by the way if you want to cancel your reservation it’s $20 per person to cancel so you might want to reconsider just sucking it up and going to your reservation. Kenza, Halley, and I went to the Hibachi restaurant in the Japan section of Epcot. It was really good and it wasn’t out this world expensive either so I would definitely recommend that place for a family dinner out one night.

Thursday was a recovery day, so we all went to Lesli and Gareth’s resort to swim and lounge around which was perfect since the next day we all had to part ways to the airport to go home.

Disney was a great experience and I am definitely glad I chose to go and spend this time with my cousins before everyone starts going their separate ways. No matter how much we disagree or fight sometimes, I love them unconditionally and the memories that I have made on this trip I will cherish forever…I can’t wait until the “big kids” start having kids and Sophie and Elijah can tag along just like we did.

Snip-bit Tips:

  1. Make sure you know what kind of resort you’re staying at
  2. If you only plan on going to the parks for 2-3 days it might be worth it to stay in one of the resorts in the parks because after all the Ubers and parking passes that we paid for it just might even out.
  3. separate big kids and little kids
  4. take a day off from the parks to relax
  5. don’t forget to hydrate because a few kids took a tumble in line from dehydration!
  6. Unless you are an Uber Black member, make sure you make arrangements ahead of time for a ride from the airport because regular Uber is not allowed to pick up from airport BUT they can drop off.


Fall to Spring: Sophomore Year + iMovie

Fall to Spring: Sophomore Year + iMovie

Oh man, was this year one for the books… Sophomore year brought so many challenges and life lessons but it also brought me some of the best memories and some of the most amazing people. I put this little picture gallery together to remind myself of all the beautiful people and opportunities God has blessed me with. Throughout the year friendships were lost and relationships were broken, but when one door closes another one opens. I faced a few dark moments this past year, but being surrounded by good friends and good family; I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now, being happier than I can ever remember, focusing on things that are far more important, I am so excited to share with all of you my memories from this year. Sophomore year consisted of so much change and I couldn’t be more welcoming of it.

As a reminder, even though some people may not be in my life anymore, at one point in time these moments brought me so much happiness which is why I am choosing to share these memories. I can’t help but look back at moments I had with people who are no longer in my life and smile.

Sophomore year: friendships, roommates, apartment living, SSB, laughter, heartbreak, grief, family, love, 20, Leap Year, Fratty Shack, Sin City, ROW, Windy City, diva, happiness, joy, adventure,travel, anxiety, growth, more laughter, blog, Kevin Gates, Diplo an eager Pup, excitement, truth, clarity, and a true appreciation for the life that I live and the people who surround me.

**Disclaimer: The iMovie is pretty lengthy (14min)so don’t feel like you have to watch the whole thing but keep an eye out to see if you made it… Comment below your favorite memory from this year!

Bridge Talk.

Spring Time of Youth Festival: Kevin Gates and Diplo

Spring Time of Youth Festival: Kevin Gates and Diplo

This weekend was a good weekend up in Fayetteville because it was the Spring Time of Youth Music Festival. The university just started doing this thing last year where they use some of the money from our tuition and they put together a “free” concert for all the students. Last year they had Wiz Khalifa and this year they had Kevin Gates and Diplo so I would say they are pretty good at picking artists.

Denton, Anna’s boyfriend who is Blake’s age came up this weekend for the concert and it’s his very first concert! We were in awe…But it’s always a good time when Denton comes up because he’s just like a little brother who hangs around with us. Although, since Denton will be coming up in the fall he plans on rushing so he had a few “rushee” things to do while he was here and we got to go and meet a bunch of new people which was really fun 😉

Saturday night was the concert and we had some friends over to our apartment which is always fun but then again always a mess to clean up in the morning lol. We were all really scared that it was going to rain for the concert but the weather switched up on us and it ended up feeling perfect! The sun was out and it wasn’t too hot which is perfect because we were standing in big crowds for a long time.

So when the concert started, Kevin Gates came on and the crowd was super hype about his performance. My friends and I didn’t really think his performance was really up to par because he would literally only sing 45 seconds of his song and then the usual horn sound that can be heard in a fair amount of rap music would come on. Plus since everyone was so hype everyone was squished together and I was a little bit close for comfort with a few strangers.

When Kevin Gates ended we thought that Diplo was going to take his sweet time coming out to perform so we left the crowd to get some air and literally as soon as we got out of the crowd Diplo came on….and I must say, he permanently crystalized our minds with his music. Considering most of my current readers are self-respecting family members you probably never listen to EDM music but all I can say that it’s wild and I will definitely attach a video at the bottom so that you can see how great his performance was. It was honestly better that we were further away because we could really have fun and enjoy the concert.

Look for highlights of this night in my Sophomore Year iMovie coming very soon!

Photo/Video Credit: Anna Turner

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois


So back in December over Christmas break, Devon and I decided that we would do something spontaneous and adventurous during the second semester. Of course you and your friends always talk about how you are going to go to all these cool places and meet all these new people but it’s usually always just talk and no action.

This was definitely not the case for us.

As soon as we got back to Fayetteville we began deciding which places would be a good contender based on price, convenience, etc. After my cousin, Kenza, told me how cheap you can get a Southwest Airlines ticket there was no turning back. We found a $59 plane ticket to Chicago, IL making the round trip to be about $130. Of course we were ecstatic about the price but the fact that we were going to be able to go somewhere as awesome as Chicago, a city with an endless amount of things to do, was absolutely incredible.

We left for KC on Wednesday afternoon and our flight to the Windy City left at a very convenient time of 5:20am. In reality it actually was very convenient because it literally gave us all of Thursday to explore the city.

Of course, after Uber Driver Joyce almost killed us on the way to the hotel (she got 3 stars); when we arrived our room was not ready and there was no way of knowing what time it would be available. yay.

Exhausted… yet so excited that we are finally here we decide to not let this bump in the road of our journey get in the way of us looking fabulous in Chi Town!  We lug our packed suitcases to the Holiday Inn Express women’s restroom and continue to  transform it into our own vanity/dressing room. After contemplating outfits, redoing makeup, and after an hour of hard work our looks are finally complete. Of course, as we were finishing up, the very rude lady from the front desk asks us to “give her bathroom back”… which we thought was bold of her to say considering she is the reason we are currently homeless…

 By now, it’s 11:00am and we have been up and at it for 8 hours. In our first day we saw The Bean (typical), we ate lunch at the Field’s Museum but didn’t actually go in until Friday, and we went and had a deep dish Chicago style pizza that was to die for from Giordanos Pizzeria (not to be mistaken for Ghiradelli).

We finally get back to the Holiday Inn Express around 9:00pm and we are completely exhausted; first day was long but successful.

On Friday we woke up a little bit on the later side and we went to Field’s Museum, Observation Deck, and Shedd Aquarium, which by the way if you bring your student id you can get in for $5 instead of paying $40 for an adult ticket. We were blown away by the deal! The museums and aquarium were really cool but we were happy that we got discounts on both because we would have been a little bit disappointed if we had paid the full amount. The Observation Deck in the John Hancock Building was probably my favorite part of the day. We went up to the 94th floor around sunset and so the lighting was just beautiful reflecting off of all the buildings. We got a complete 360 degree view of the whole city and my pictures definitely don’t do the view justice….  For dinner that night we went to Eataly, a really cool place that was 2 stories. It kind of reminded me of a Central Market and a Whole Foods combined but then like 100x cooler because it had a Gelato bar and Nutella Bar for dessert but then on the second floor they had a restaurant with an open kitchen and fresh seafood displayed. Dev and I were able to sit at the bar so that we could see them cook the food which was pretty cool.

On Saturday we did a lot of shopping…4 hours actually. But we obviously had to start the day off with a nutritious breakfast so we went to a really cute brunch restaurant, and of course I can’t remember the name, but the food was so good and it was so close to our hotel we were able to walk. Of course we had to look cute and Devon insisted on wearing heels which was obviously a horrible idea…foolish girl. We definitely did not end up buying as much as we had anticipated…in fact, Devons dad shipped us 2 extra duffle bags for the additional stuff that we bought…talk about petty divas! After we went shopping we decided to head over to Wicker Park and have some delicious authentic tacos from Big Star Tacos. I really loved the Wicker Park area… it actually reminded me a lot of the midtown area in memphis except maybe Wicker Park was a little bit cleaner and had more to do. But it was definitely a hip little area with lots of diversity which is what I love. After that we had to squeeze in the Navy Pier and by this time the sun was starting to go down and the weather was turning very chilly, very fast so we did not stay very long… but it was still really cool to see. We noticed that there were a lot of boat tours which I’m sure would be really cool in the summer time so then you can see the whole city while out on Lake Michigan, which by the way looks like an ocean.

That night, our last night in Chi Town, we met up with 2 of Devons friends from high school who are living there now. Mitch, who is pursuing music and Max who is pursuing acting. Shout out to you both, it was so fun getting to meet new people in a new town which is ultimately what I love about traveling.

We had a great last night in the Windy City with friendly fun and we were definitely sad to leave. I am so incredibly thankful for a friend like Devon who shares the same kind of enthusiastic attitude about seeing the world. Sure, Chicago is still in the United States and it’s only our first trip…but you have to start somewhere. Chicago is a trip that I will never forget; it was a trip filled with endless laughter, adventure, a little bit of anxiety, and a little bit of stress; but most of all filled with excitement and appreciation for the things that are to come.

Now, here we are back in Fayetteville, AR …no longer living the lavish city lifestyle. Getting a little taste of what my life can consist of when I’m older, being able to travel so loosely, makes me a little bit more motivated in my time here in Fayetteville.

Back to being a couple of girls with champagne taste on a beer budget in North West Arkansas.