Monday, October 15, 2012

Weekend Fun!

So remember on my last post I told you guys to check back in to see what I've been up to for fun throughout travel season? Well now I will get to fill you in.

Throughout travel season there are many times when I am on the road away from home during the weekends for one reason or the other. So, when that does happen I like to try and plan something fun to do if at all possible (minus the weekends I have fairs both days). So here are a couple of places I have been so far.

On my second weekend of travel I was up in the Northern Neck. Fortunately for me my family owns a river house in the Northern Neck which proved to be very convenient this year during travel season!!! It was also early enough in the fall that it was still warm out and great weather to be by the river. That weekend my aunt and uncle were down at the river and so were their friends who also have a house there. It was so nice out the first day we were there we decided to get a bushel of crabs to work on throughout the day and take a nice sunset dinner cruise that night.

It was so relaxing and so much fun to be with family! The sunset cruise was beautiful and we had a feast out there! And then we ended the night with a Retro, Retro, Retro dance party!!! I always have the best time with my family at the river house, it is always SHORE to be a good time!!! Get it!? hahaha I'm so cheesy!

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

This was the bushel of yummy crabs!

This was our chariot for the sunset dinner cruise!

Sunset from the boat!

This is the picture after we ate dinner! We were a happy bunch!

Also, a couple weekends back I was in Durham for the weekend for a college fair so I was lucky enough to spend the weekend with my little sister in my sorority, Devon! She graduated from R-MC this past May and just started at Duke Divinity in the fall. It was the perfect time to catch up with her and get to see Duke and all her new friends. We had a wonderful time walking through the Duke gardens, walking around campus at night, eating on campus, and hanging out with her divinity friends. I got to see inside the library, the Divinity Chapel, and inside the Duke Chapel!!!

On the Sunday I was there we went to church in the morning at the Duke Chapel. It was really perfect timing because the Sunday I was there was Founders Sunday and Dr. Stanley Hauerwas preached. It was a wonderful service and the perfect way to wrap up my visit with my Littles! Thanks so much Devon for letting me visit! I had the best time and can't wait to visit again soon!

This is a picture of the chapel at night!

This is the inside of the archive room in the Library.

The Duke Chapel!

Me and my Littles after church!

Check back in later for more exciting things happening during my travels and I will give an inside look into hotel living! :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Stocking Swap!

For something fun and completely unrelated to my blog I want to share with you all something I just participated in. My very first blogger swap! Basically, you get paired up with another blogger and depending on what the swap is you get to know each other and then you swap something while also making new friends! The swap I participated in can be found over at Life with the Hawley's. We were swapping different stocking stuffer ideas! How fun, right? And perfect timing right before the holiday season to get a ton of new ideas for stockings this year.

Well I got paired up with Erin from over at Enamored and Elegant! She is so sweet and has just the cutest blog! Definitely go check out her blog, I think you will love it as much as I do!

She definitely SPOILED me with my package! :) She included some of her family traditions while also sending me a piece of Ohio. I LOVED it all!

Look at all this stuff she gave me!? 

The sweetest note, some tasty sweet treats, a portable shopping bag, jewelry, nail polish, and HOMEMADE sugar scrub!

Her note explained everything I needed to  know!

Here is a picture of the fabulous homemade vanilla mint sugar scrub. Seriously, I wish you all could smell how delicious this sugar scrub is! It has filled the whole bathroom with a yummy fragrance! I can't wait to pamper myself!

These were some of the handy things Erin included in my stocking. She explained how her family likes to include silly items which also double as very handy! I love that idea! Now I have a USB man and a tie clip!

These were those yummy treats I was talking about! In fact, as I type this I am enjoying the pretzels you see there, hehe. She also included a taste of Ohio with the Buckeyes you see in the back. I thought that was very special and creative. I can't wait to try my very first official Ohio Buckeye!

Erin also explained how her family always gives chocolate oranges! It sounds super scrumptious so I will definitely be trying that this year. You should too!

And last but not least some fun girly items! What girl doesn't love getting new bags, jewelry and polish!? It was perfect!

I'd say Erin and her family have some wonderful Christmas traditions and I love how she shared them with me! Thank you so much, Erin! I am so glad we got a chance to meet. And thank you too, Darby for holding the Stocking Swap! Definitely go check out their blogs! I am definitely full of Christmas cheer already!! 

Merry (early) Christmas, Y'all!

Oh here we go, here we go, here we go again!

Well another travel season is upon us! I honestly can't believe it's that time of year again. I feel like I was just getting off the road from last year! I am very excited about this year and the places I will be going. There are so many NEW wonderful, exciting things happening for R-MC. It makes my job a whole lot easier and makes me very excited to hit the road and share the "Buzz" about R-MC with as many people as I can!

So far this year, travel season has been going very well! I cover the Fredericksburg and Northern Neck areas of VA and I travel to North Carolina! Although my territory spans the southeast from NC down and over to TX I only travel to NC during travel season.

 I don't have any crazy stories at this point, but don't worry it's still early, haha! There is never a dull moment during travel season and I really shouldn't be surprised anymore at some of the stuff I see or that happens considering this is my third travel season. In fact, come Oct. 5 I will have officially completed my 3rd year in the admissions office at R-MC!!! What a wonderful ride it has been!

 Highlights of my trip so far...

 So far I have covered Eastern NC and parts of Western NC and the Northern Neck area of VA.

 During this travel season so far I have met some really fun people! I really enjoy doing college fairs because not only do I get the chance to meet with some perspective students I also get to meet other counselors representing other colleges. I call them my counselor friends! :) When you are standing behind a table for hours at a time you become very close to the other counselors that have tables around you. It really does help the time pass getting to know each other, joke around, and bounce different travel season stories off each other.

 I also love taking pictures everywhere I go of neat things I see, pretty schools I visit, and some things that are out of the ordinary. The following pictures are some of the schools I have visited that I just had to take pictures of because they are really cool buildings!

St. Mary's School, Raleigh, NC

Needham Broughton High School, Raleigh, NC

Cary Academy, Cary, NC

If you are asking yourself what do you actually do at a college fair? This is a picture of my table at a college fair. I stand behind this table and talk to whoever comes up to my table wanting more information about R-MC. It was a very busy fair and this was taken at the end of the program. You can see my table was looking very bare by the end of the night with minimal materials! That is a good sign! :)

Also, throughout travel I like to plan fun things to do throughout my travels to keep things interesting. Be on the look out for a new post to see what I did while I was visiting the Northern Neck!!! You won't want to miss it!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On the Road...AGAIN! (Believing in the moment of connection, one visit at a time)

Well I'm back for another travel season! I hope you all had a wonderful winter, spring, and summer! I am back for another season and so ready to rock it. I am already finishing my second week of travel! Only 6 more to go!

Last year I really did have a blast on the road because, as you read, I was able to do a lot of fun things. Although, I'll be honest by the time it came to the end I was so over it and ready to be done. Because I was so over it, it made me dread this season a little bit.

But I can happily say that so far things have been great! I will bring you up to speed with my travel this year. This year my territory changed to ALL of North Carolina and I kept Southwest VA. I am really excited to be able to keep most of the same territory because I am familiar with it this year. It already feels different this year. I feel more comfortable and confident. I have been able to learn from things last year and take that info to improve this year. It has been going pretty well so far! Dare I say I am enjoying myself!?

Well, for the first two weeks I was mainly in Eastern North Carolina. I started out with a few fairs, two of which were in Charlotte, and then I headed back up to the Raleigh/Durham/Greenville area to start private school visits. This was the new, unfamiliar territory of the trip because I only covered Western NC last year. I was really excited though to go to some new places and see some new things. Jojo, who is another counselor in our office, and who some of you may know, used to cover Eastern, NC for the longest time, so it came as quite a shock to some of the high counselors when I showed up at their schools and they were expecting Jojo and they got me. I have gotten many comments asking where he is and what he is doing, I just hope I can fill his shoes! Haha

If you can recall from last year, my first week of my first travel season was very eventful! I had some major car problems that put a kink in my travel schedule. Well good news is...I didn't have to go back to school for a new car. Bad news is....I still had car troubles!!! Fortunately, after my first week of travel I had to head back to the office on Friday to prepare for our first Open House of the fall. While I was there somebody from the school was able to take a look at it. They also had good news and bad news...Good news: they were able to fix some of the problems, bad news: they couldn't fix everything. They said I would have to be in the office for a longer amount of time to fix it but they did say it drive. I CERTAINLY HOPE SO! It is still making a rather loud and rather annoying noise but hopefully it holds out until I can get back to the office mid-October.

Aside from that, things have been pretty uneventful! :) School visits have been going very well, I haven't run out of materials...yet, and we have so many news things happening on campus that I just get so excited talking to students about it.

Some of the highlights from my trip so far:

-          I got my first towel animal!

-          I have gotten a TON of goody bags/ care packages from schools and hotels that I have filled up my entire front seat with them and the floor.

-          Best question from a student so far: "How far away is the closest Bojangles to campus?" haha His dad responded by saying, "If you could just hook up an IV to him from Bojangles he will be okay"

-          I learned that Randolph-Macon used to be called Randolph-Spankin by other schools. The counselor for Roanoke College who graduated from W&L back when it was an all male school, told me that they used to call us this because W&L used to always get "spanked" by R-MC with athletics and that it was embarrassing for them. I’ll take it!

-          This past Tuesday was pay day and I also had some extra time between my last school visit and my night college fair, so what did I do!? Headed straight for the outlets! I must have some kind of radar! That was dangerous! I was eyeing a Coach bag pretty hard core but somehow I was able to use restraint and I put the bag down and walked away...can't promise I will be able to do the same next time. I did get some really great bargains though.

-          I also had the opportunity to go antiquing for a little bit and I got some great finds! I got this painting, which has a whole story of its own. But it's for the kitchen and I can't wait to put it up!

-          Okay, here's the story about the painting. It is rather large, so much so that I can’t fit it into the trunk while my luggage is in there so it’s pretty inconvenient to have it in the back seat while I am riding around with some many materials in my car. So for me to be able to do anything I have to take the painting in and out. Well the other night I was leaving a fair and I had to load up my materials and put them back in my car. To do that I had to take the painting out and I just leaned it up against the car while I put my travel bag and things into the car. WELL, I am sure you can see where this is going (as I am typing this I am laughing at myself and how silly this is) haha Needless to say I totally forgot about the painting leaning against the car (in my defense it was really dark out and my car is dark so it blended in) and I totally drove off without another thought about the painting. haha the embarrassing part is that there were people in the parking lot who probably saw me drive away and leave it hahaha. I was about 30 min into my hour drive when I realized, holy cow, I forgot the painting! I had to drive all the way back and luckily somebody had moved it out of the parking lot and had propped it up on the curb, and it was untouched! No damage down! lol just a funny story at this point I guess. At this point though I can't wait to get that home and put it up in the kitchen so I can get it out of my car! Haha

-          I have met some really awesome people so far on this trip! I have got to meet a lot of counselors from other schools and we have a really great time at our fairs! It has been really nice to meet some new people this year that can relate to this job and can swap stories. It's really nice to get to see them at all the fairs.

Highlights of my best fair so far which was the Chapel Hill Fair:

-          There were actually people there to direct parking and tell you where you need to go.

-          There was a student who actually met me at my car to help me carry all of my materials.

-          I had a personal guide to walk me to my table.

-          There was a really delicious dinner before the fair.

-          Since it was at UNC Chapel Hill the fair was held in the Dean Dome so I got to watch the Tarheels practice while I ate my dinner with my new friends. :)

-          It was such a busy fair for us that I actually had to replenish my materials multiple times and I had a LINE at my table...for NC that is a pretty big deal seeing as how we are a small, Virginia school.
Now that's an awesome fair!

These first two weeks have gone very well and have been successful for us. I have loaded up my car twice now with materials and I can honestly say it is a good thing I will be heading back to the office tomorrow because I have almost run out of all my materials!

Today and tomorrow are my first days covering Southwest, VA and that will continue to the first part of next week, and then I will be heading down to Charlotte for the end of next week.

After this weekend I will be on the road for 3 weeks straight so I am sure I will have some good stories to report!

And remember, NOW is the Time for Randolph-Macon! :)

Here are pictures from my trip so far!

My first towel animal! It's an elephant!

Do you notice anything about this sign?
How about now!? haha I had to pull over and take a pic of it!

Look who I found...AGAIN! Tow-mater is still there
and this year he has a new duckie friend!

The Dean Dome at UNC!

I got a picture of Michael Jordan's jersey! #23!

Some of my new counselor friends! Chrystal and Jessica from Randolph and Radford!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All Roads Lead Home!

Well Travel season is officially over! After a whirlwind past 8 weeks I can't believe it is already over! It feels like just yesterday I was loading up my car for the first time with boxes and boxes of materials heading out for my first week of visits. I learned so much from these past 8 weeks but I sure am happy to be home, there's no doubt!

I honestly had no idea what to expect from my first travel season and I almost felt like it was one of those things you could never really be fully prepared for until you just go out and do it! and that was absolutely right! No matter how many people I spoke with or got advice from before I set out it could never really prepare me enough. I got a chance to meet so many fantastic students and counselors at schools from all over! It makes me really excited to get back and start working with these students throughout the year so I can help them get to that next chapter! I not only learned things about what to do for next year but I also learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of!

Although, I had a blast and learned so much during travel season nothing could compare to being home finally! I was lucky though, during my last week of travel I got a dose of home when I got to travel to Houston, TX and got to see my sister and Phil!!! When Texas was first added to my territory I was so thrilled and immediately thought about my sister! Then when I found out I was going to Houston for the whole week I couldn't have been happier. I still can't believe how blessed I am, not only was I getting sent some place different for work but I got the chance to spend the whole week with my sister! That means I was able to get to Houston twice this year! I was so thrilled that I would get to spend some quality time with her, but more than that I really just enjoyed having somebody to talk to every night and have a home cooked meal every night! That was quite a welcomed change during travel season. I don't have any pictures from my amazing trip to Houston (shocking right!?), but maybe that's because we were having so much fun just being around each other! I couldn't have asked for a better way to end travel season 2010!

For my last entry I didn't really know how I would close things up for the season so I decided to compile all the cool pictures of things I saw throughout travel season together in one blog. So here they are...I hope you like them!

This was some crazy mountain thing I saw while I was driving!

As I was driving down the road on my way to a visit I literally did a double take when I saw Mater, like Ta-mater, without the Ta!!! It was so cool in real life!

These next two pictures are for you Darby! Everywhere I went the mountains were just beautiful with the changing leaves! By the end of travel season everywhere I went looked like a postcard!

Haha! I saw this outside one of the hotels I stayed at in Blacksburg! So completely random but cool!

This was one of my towel figures in my hotel room! I thought it was really cute because I was there for business!

This is a picutre I took at the scenic views off 81!

Haha! Okay so this is a funny story! Never a dull moment during travel! This is at one of my hotels that actually ended up flooding completely! This is a picture of the water line on the SECOND floor pouring out of the window! It was crazy! Needless to say I ended up getting moved to another hotel in the area that night!

This is one of the about 10 firemen that reported to the hotel when it was flooding and the power went out!

This is a beautiful view from the parking lot at one of my school visits!
I saw so many cool things while on the road I wish I could have taken a picture of everything! Looking back at these pictures reminds me how much fun I did have during travel. I now have so many great, new ideas for next year! Although, I had a blast and learned so much nothing could be better than being home right now!

I hope you all enjoyed this season of The Buzz From the Road! Until next year!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Biltmore or is it Built More?

Okay so that was pretty cheesy but I just couldn't resist! haha

There was one main thing I really had my heart set on accomplishing during travel season and that was going to the Biltmore House in Asheville, Va! When I got assigned my territory and realized that Asheville was part of it I knew I was going to have to take a trip to the Biltmore House! I have always wanted to go see that house for as long as I could remember, and now I was finally going to be able to go!

Well I was planning on going there after my visits on this particular Fri. and I had been looking forward to it all week! Well all travel season for that matter! Then I started looking at the ticket prices and I really didn't think I could was going to be $70! I was so surprised it was so much! Plus, this was one of those trips that I decided I really didn't want to go to by myself so by the end of the week I had pretty much talked myself out of going. I was pretty bummed about it but knew if I waited until a time that somebody could join me it would be totally worth it!

Well I was at my school visits on Thurs, and at my last stop I had a fantastic visit! I was able to not only sit down with the counselor but I was able to sit down for lunch with some interested students. It really opened up the visit to more conversation and it was a little less formal so they could ask me whatever questions they may have had. As if the visit couldn't get any better when I was leaving and saying goodbye to the counselor she was asking me what I had planned to do in the area and I told her about my hopes to go to the Biltmore House, and you will never believe what happened next! She actually went inside and brought me a ticket for admission for the Biltmore House! Apparently, they always keep some on hand for special visitors to campus. Of course, I quickly changed my mind and knew I just had to go now especially since it was going to be free!

Well after I left the school visit they gave me the free ticket I called Kevin to let him know about it and...SURPRISE, SURPRISE! Kevin was actually already on is way down to Asheville to surprise me! It really made me excited that not only did I have a free ticket but I now had somebody to go with! Things were just falling into place and it really made for the best visit in Asheville ever!

That night we were able to walk around the cutest little city! Fun fact: the town of Asheville was actually originally built because they had to have houses for the people that were building the Biltmore House. So you can imagine what a cute city it was! We really enjoyed ourselves walking around town and seeing all the neat restaurants. They had music on each corner and some of the cutest little shops! We also got to tag along behind a ghost tour!!! I had always wanted to go on one of these but we didn't technically sign up or pay for this one so we only tagged along for one stop but it was still really cool! We got something to eat at this really yummy Chinese place and then walked around for a bit longer because it was such a beautiful night.

The next day after my school visits we headed to the main event! I was soooo excited! I couldn't believe I was finally going to get to see this amazing house, America's Castle as I like to call it! haha. We ended up not only getting the tour of the house, the gardens, antler village, and the winery but we also decided it would be worth our while to get the audio tour on top of that so we could get as much information about the house while we were walking around. It was so neat! Honestly, I can't describe into words how amazing this house was. The house sits on 929,000 acres if you can imagine and it has the best views I have ever seen anywhere in my life! and of course it looked amazing in the Fall with the house over looking all the mountains with the changing leaves. I think we spent a total of 3 1/2 hours inside the house alone! We really loved walking from room to room and getting to take our time and listen to the audio tour. Honestly, I was in awe! From the dining hall to the indoor heated pool and everywhere in between. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the house but I think I enjoyed that better because I got to focus on the house instead of focusing on taking pictures. My advice, if you really want to see the inside, just go see it for yourself!

After we got out of the house we got a chance to walk around the house and the gardens. We had a lot of taking our time walking around and just enjoying the beauty of the place! Remarkable trees, flowers, walkways, and waterfalls. It was so nice not to be on a schedule or have a time limit; we really could just take our time and we ended up walking around the gardens and up to the waterfall for about 5 miles there and back!

As if that wasn't enough fun we still hadn't made our way to the Antler Village! There we got to walk around and see the cute shops and dining options. We also got to see the clock tower that was used back when the house was built to keep every clock on schedule in the house. Just goes to show with the clock tower and a heated pool in the 1800's, how technologically advanced this house was!

While we were at the Antler Village we also got to take a tour of the Biltmore Winery and have a complimentary wine tasting. The winery actually used to be a dairy back when the house was first built. Along with their dairy all the Vanderbilt's produce was also grown their so it was as local as you could get! They did sell the milk from the dairy though. We got to see how it used to be a dairy and where they kept the cows and jarred the milk, and now how they have transformed it into a winery and where they now store the grapes, etc. The wine tasting was fun and they had so many to choose from! Kevin and I really enjoyed walking around the gift shop at the end with all the wines plus any kind of Biltmore souvenir you could think of and more! All in all this has been the highlight of my Fall so far and I am already planning to go back and spend one of my wedding anniversaries there one day and actually get to stay in the inn! I haven't been able to stop thinking or talking about this trip! Just ask my sister; I definitely gave them an ear full when I was visiting! Kevin and I couldn't stop discussing which rooms were our favorites and what we want to do the next time! Who am I kidding, I'm still talking about it!

These pictures don't really give it justice but here are a few I took:

The Biltmore House! You can see where they were starting to put up the Christmas tree in the middle.

Close up of the house. The sad thing was that I wasn't close at all but we still couldn't fit the whole house in the picture!

Just a glimpse of the breath taking views!

This is the side of the house where crocket would have been played.

A small part of the gardens

The clock tower down by Antler Village that controlled all the clocks in the house.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Roaming around Roanoke!

Well this week I was in and around the Roanoke area for just a couple of days because I had to get back to the office at the end of the week to prepare for the second open house of the season. I didn't really have much time there to do anything besides school visits but I knew I still wanted to get some fun things fit in while I was there.

When I was visiting a school I sat down with the school college counselor and after talking for a while she mentioned a couple of things I should really try and visit while I was in town. One of the things she mentioned to me was the Roanoke Star! I had never been there before so I figured going after my visits at sunset would be a perfect time to go!

That day after my visits I rode up to the top of the mountain to see the Roanoke Star! It was really beautiful up there! I could see the entire Roanoke valley for miles around. It was so neat to see a valley surrounded by mountains upon mountains. I have never actually seen such a distinct valley before. I went at dusk and that ended up being the perfect time to go because I could see the tail end of the sunset and the city all lit up at night. The star alone is 88 1/2 feet high and is the largest man made star in the world! It can be seen from miles around, 60 to be exact, and it is super pretty all lit up. It was neat to see the city buildings all lit up at night too. I spent a while there taking pictures; it was really remarkable!

Pictures of the valley at dusk

Overlooking the valley

Beautiful colors of the valley

A view of the city

The Roanoke Star!

Check out all the mountains in the background!

To give you some perspective about how big the star actually is!

A picture of the sunset on top of the mountain

A view of the valley at night!

All lit up!

This is a picture I took once I got down from the mountain at an intersection. This shows you how you really can see the star from miles around.

One of my friends and fellow co-workers, Katie Harding, is from Roanoke so she was so nice to send me an email before my week in Roanoke that listed some dining options I just had to try. So one of the other places I checked out while I was in the area was the famous Blue Collar Joe's! This is a donut shop that was actually featured on Food Network before and everybody I talked to while I was in town just raved about the donuts. In between my visits in Botetourt County I stopped by one morning. I got in there and it was such a cute place and smelled so sweet!! They had more donuts than I could have ever imagined and all of them with the most unique names like the Botetourt Bog and The Lunch Box Special, to name a few! I got in there thinking I would just pick one for the ride and somehow one turned into one DOZEN! Not thinking at the time that I am all alone during travel and don't have anybody to share them with, haha! Even still they were so delicious, decadent, and rich! It literally tasted like I was eating a piece of cake! It was a wonderful stop and I would highly recommend anybody visiting the Roanoke area to definitely stop by and try out some of the deliciousness!

Here is a picture of the place. They also have a drive-up window you can go to!

All different flavors! Yummy!!!