Settling in…

5 Mar

Sometimes doing the most mundane, everyday things can respark your love for your everyday life. I had been reading a book called Surprise, courtesy of Katie B, when I needed to go get my phone plan changed. For those of you who know me, I’ve been having a lack of data problem recently.  But for some reason, I couldn’t switch carriers it unless I paid extra, and the guy at T-Mobile literally gave me $11 out of his own pocket so that I could change my plan. Faith in humanity = RESTORED. It was such a nice gesture; it was something out of the ordinary even amidst the familiar. It reminded me that even at home, you can still have just as many adventures as when you’re abroad.  


Speaking of at-home adventures…I decided to pay it forward and do some Couchsurfing hosting since I had been so graciously hosted on the road. Maybe I’d even let a disheveled traveler with only one pair of pants do some laundry at my house if they needed. Turns out, the chore my visitor preferred was cooking (how’d I get so lucky?!) My Couchsurfer was from India, and he was happy to cook us some (amazing) Indian food.



Home-cooked Indian food? Yes, please!










And when he wasn’t cooking Indian food, he found and an amazing Indian restaurant and we went out for some more amazing Indian food…


Not home-cooked, but still…yes, please!


When in Rome! Or, when India comes to you!  Hanging out, the three of us, I really got to see Helens sense of humor translate across cultures.  (Another time, when we were watching the Olympics a guy from Georgia fell — “Well, he’s probably drunk”.)


Food seemed to be a reoccuring theme… For example, I celebrated Chinese New Year for the first time with a friend I knew through Ben. It was her first time celebrating her New Years in America, and she, too, was super into food (so we got along well), but she had a very…let’s say, artistic palette. She would make dumplings but add Doritos or whipped cream, she also make some cupcake dumplings.  It was a memorable Chines New Years for both of us.

But home-cooked food from abroad wasn’t the only fun thing I got to experience. I was also fortunate enough to watch Helen do standup (it was hilarious, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my best friend. I’m saying it because she paid me to. Just kidding). She’s so professional; I’m always beaming with pride while watching the show.




Wish I could capture both the joke and the audience’s laughter in a picture.



Everyone’s pretty much clapping specifically for Helen…right? Yes. Even Helen is clapping for Helen.


Besides the standup, another standout during those first few weeks back was when Andy drove in from Cleveland. Tony organized a tabletop game for me, Ben, Jodi, Julie, Andy, and we all had a blast. We also spent two nights in a row at the Banff Mountain Film Festival (so good), and ended our time with spontanious fireworks from the Pirates game, which made the whole experience feel even more magical.


With smiles like these, it must be game night.


IMG_2005 2


Flag football.  Taking a 5…or a 10…or a 60-min. break.


One crazy memorable (or not memorable) night at Cantley’s it was Andrews birthday party 🙂 I won’t go into details but it’s not because I can’t remember them.


Stalker pic of the fam from above. But really, check out that massive bag of peanuts in the top right hand corner.


My mom took me to an anti-assault rifle rally in Pittsburgh, she made signs, and we marched in solidarity with the Parkland victims.  It was really inspiring to be around so many people who felt the same way we did. She’s a great mom.


No lies here…


Alex and Emily telling them to put your $$ where your thoughts & prayers are.


Overall, it’s been amazing to be back. Other than Newt Gingrich who is the worst.  Like I said earlier, there are definitely adventures hidden all around home. It would probably be poetic to say “you just have to go look for them,” but really, you don’t always. Even at home, sometimes the adventures just come to you in the simplest of forms. I don’t think you necessarily have to find them; you just have to appreciate them. It makes me think of the quote from Seinfeld: “I’ve come to think that the non-event is the best part of life.”

Full of non-events,




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