Travel is Glamorous Only in Retrospect

Hi folks! After writing my post about journaling and looking over my entries from when I was in France, I decided to go back through some of the photos I took. Here are a few of my favorites for your viewing pleasure!

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This beaut right here is Sacre Coeur. I can’t remember if I’d gotten my breath back yet from hiking up the stairs, but it’s a good guess that I hadn’t.

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We went to the top of the tallest building in Paris, Montparnasse, and looked out over the city. In case you were ever curious, this is what Paris looks like from above.

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This was one of my favorite places we went. This is Pont du Gard, the largest tract of Roman aqueducts still standing today. That dude with the stripey pants is a nice accent to the view I think.

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This was another Roman building still hanging out in Nîmes. I actually kind of lost it in my Ancient World class last year when they started talking about the Roman structures in Nîmes and showing all the places I’d been. Freaking cool.

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I believe this one was actually taken in Spain. We went to San Sebastián for a few hours one day and boy howdy was it beautiful! Super stressful when you don’t speak Spanish or Basque and try to order pizza (a story for another day) but oh so pretty.

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We went on a quick boat trip to see the calanques while we were in Cassis. I remember there being a really cute French boy that worked on the boat, but sadly I didn’t get his picture.

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Another view from the boat trip. Scenic, right?

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This was the beach in Nice we hung around for a while. One of the girls on the trip played how close can I throw stones at Nicole without hitting her while I was in the water. She lost a couple times.

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And finally the obligatory Eiffel Tower photo. Though it may seem like I’m standing right below it, I actually took this on the bus while we were crawling through Paris traffic and fighting jet lag the first day. This was the closest I came to the Eiffel Tower because scheduling conflicts or something. Oh well.

That’s all I’ve got! Study abroad may actually be a requirement for me if I get into the program I applied for, so I could potentially be returning to France here in the next couple of years. Who knows! I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the things junior year Nicole saw and I will see you when I see you. Have a nice day!

–Nicole

Today’s title comes to you from Paul Theroux, a travel writer and novelist.

And So I Just Kept Writing To Myself.

Hey there everybody! Unfortunately, Thanksgiving break ended today and class has started up once more. Well, technically it ends tomorrow for me personally, but that’s not important considering I’m already feeling the stress. Too many video assignments due in the next two weeks, not enough days to get them done.

Anyway, I’ve been dubbed the Rory Gilmore of my friend group for various reasons, one of which is that I journal. Now I’m not nearly as detailed as Rory is, but I’ve been keeping one with some regularity since I was in sixth grade. As you can imagine, looking back through my middle school years in journal form is kind of a nightmare.

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This is the journal I’m currently on. The string keeps my secrets from falling out.

Now I’m definitely someone that has to write down what’s troubling them in order to move on and feel better. That only makes looking back on the middle school years that much better. I don’t remember being all that angsty, but I definitely funneled all the angst and insecurity I had into those pages. Needless to say, no one’s going to be looking through that little book but me.

That hormone fueled mess has leveled out some now that I’ve hit my young adult years, but I still like to write my troubles down. I finished out my first journal at the end of my junior year of high school right before my trip to France. When I started my new one, it began as a travel journal documenting all the fun places I went and things I did while abroad. The trouble once I got back was whether I wanted to keep it strictly a travel journal or throw in the rest of my usual entries in behind. Considering the limited amount of jet setting I do a year, I decided to go for the latter. Down below is an example of one of my France travel entries.

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See, I have to have that string holding it shut because I like to throw a bunch of crap in there with my thoughts. Sometimes I tape down whatever I put in, but usually I just let it be free like those train tickets in the photo above. That’s how I’ve done it since the beginning. I’m not a super nostalgic person, but I will keep all the meaningless wrist bands and stickers I get from the places I go in my journal so that old woman Nicole can look back someday and go wow, I wore that when I was young and stupid. How about that.

I don’t know, I just thought I’d share with you how and why I keep a journal. It’s a pretty good reflection of what goes on in my head, honestly. Not a whole lot of order, kind of sporadic, but I roll with it. If you actually read all the way through this, I’m impressed. Let me know if you keep a journal and how you go about it. Or don’t, that’s cool too. I’ll see you when I see you! Have a nice day today.

–Nicole

Today’s title comes from the novel Loved by Kimberly Novosel. I’ve never read the book, but it sounds like a good read based on the synopsis. Check it out here if you’re interested!

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If Cats Could Talk, They Wouldn’t

Howdy! Over Thanksgiving break, I had to leave my cat at my apartment alone. Don’t worry, she had the automatic feeder going and she’s learned how to wiggle her paw up inside it to knock out some extra morsels when she’s hungry, or bored, or feeling extra vindictive. Okay, I’m not going to pretend, my cat is a jerk.

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There she is, my lump of a feline Aly. She’s a pretty cat but good lord is she a little sass monster. A few years ago when my sister, myself, and Aly were all still living at home, there was an incident. My sister was coming downstairs to go do her daily do when Aly spotted her, booked it across the room, the proceeded to pee on my sister’s shoes. She waited until she saw my sister watching to pee on her shoes.

Now that incident may have been fueled by my sister’s cats living with us and Aly being able to smell them on her shoes, but I’m still impressed by her gutsiness. You can only imagine the longstanding feud she had going with our outside cat. Let’s just say adding the deck and screen door was not a good move for anybody.

This cat has also been known to eat a fish or two in her time. At one point her reign of terror became so bad my sister named her beta Aly Don’t Eat That. I’m guessing you can figure out why.

Though she loves to sing me the song of her people in the wee hours of the morning and has yet to relent on the whole don’t sit on the couch issue, Aly’s still my bud. Whenever I’m sitting on the floor, which is more often than you’d think, she likes to be right there with my, preferably with a paw resting somewhere on me.

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Like how stinking cute is that? We’re basically holding hands. Anyway, she’s been mega vocal since I’ve been home so it only seemed right that I dedicate a post to her. She’s an asshole, but she’s my asshole. That’s all I’ve got today so I’ll see you when I see you! Have a nice day and if you have an animal, give it a pat for me.

–Nicole

Today’s title comes from Nan Porter.

Autumn, The Year’s Last, Loveliest Smile

Hey there! I don’t have much for you today, I’m still working off of limited wifi at the moment. This one’s gonna be pictures like last time because that’s easy enough! I feel like fall is on its way out, so here are some photos I’ve taken throughout the season as a so long! It’s better than nothing, right? I’ll be back and snappy as ever in a couple of days. I’ll see you when I see you and I hope you have a good one!

–Nicole

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Today’s title comes from editor and poet William Cullen Bryant.

The Pictures Are There, and You Just Take Them

Howdy! I really wish that I was a better photographer than I actually am. I’m kinda familiar with a DSLR now after a year of required photography in my yearbook class senior year (where I produced mostly crap) and a photo unit in a class this year (also mostly crap.) But like any white girl worth her salt, I do like to break out my trusty iPhone and try to get a little artsy every now and again when I’m out and about.

Today I thought I’d just share a few of my favorites from this past year as we’re approaching the end of 2016. I can’t say they’re any good, but who cares. I like them and you’re free to look away any time you want!

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My mom and I were on a walk down the Katy Trail (look it up, it’s historic and stuff) and we found this tunnel going through a big hill. It was real impressive.

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This one just makes me happy. Instead of studying for an exam last semester, I instead asked everyone on my floor in the dorm to contribute books to this long textbook chain. It started in my room and went a good ways down the hall. We had a crowd for the knock down, it was magnificent. I didn’t do well on the exam.

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One of my classes met in a greenhouse on campus last year. This is the greenhouse. I was allergic to probably half the plants in there.

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This right here is our outdoor cat Tinkerbell. She’s very photogenic but also very feisty. My other cat Aly is exclusively indoors because she’s fat and doesn’t play well with others like Tink. She’s an asshole but I love her.

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This beaut is Jesse Hall. One of the seven things you’re supposed to do before you leave Mizzou is climb to the top of Jesse up by that spiraly thing. They’ve installed motion sensors up there now so people don’t try that so much anymore, but that’d be quite the view. Also the building isn’t tipped, I’m just bad at take a straight photo and am too lazy to fix it. Whoops.

There were more I wanted to share, but I’ll stop there. I’m at my grandparents’ house now working off a hotspot on my phone, so I probably shouldn’t waste as much time on here as I usually do. No scrolling through memes on Tumblr for me. At least, not for long. I hope you liked at least something you saw and I’ll see you when I see you! Have a nice day! Oh and enjoy your Thanksgiving festivities tomorrow if you’re in the US!

–Nicole

(If you haven’t noticed yet, all my blog titles are quotes from movies, people, whatever I find and I like. I figure I should attribute to make that a little more clear! This one comes from photojournalist Robert Capa)

 

That’s a Funny Sort of Bag

I don’t know about any of the other ladies out there, but I hate carrying a purse. I really do! If jeans designers made pockets a bit more functional and not entirely useless for women, you best believe I would use the crap out of them and ditch my purse! However, considering the amount of fake and barely useable pockets in my wardrobe, I guess I’ll have to make do.

Because it’s pretty necessary for me to carry a purse, I like to at least fill it with interesting things. Today I thought I’d show you what kind of stuff I have hanging out in my bag, a what’s in my bag post if you will.

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It’s watching the sunset in the distance.

So that’s my purse right there. As far as purses go, it’s a good one. It’s made by Augur if you can’t read the slightly blurred rectangle in the middle. My only complaint is that the leather strap part you can see right there on the left started ripping at the top because the weight of all my things became too much. Otherwise, a good bag! If you are interested in it, check it out right here.

Now for the good stuff.

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That right there is everything chilling out in my purse at the moment with the exception of my keys and wallet. Those two have been living in my backpack recently and I’d rather not advertise what they look like.

Up in the top left we’ve got the rad notebook I made some years back with its good buddy pen right beside it. Fun fact: all I have written in there is a bunch of French words I’ve defined as I’ve been reading the French version of Harry Potter.

Just over to the right of those two is my ever fashionable gift/loyalty card wallet. It’s mostly full of cards with a few cents left on them that I don’t have the energy to get rid of. Maybe someday, but not today.

Moving down, you’ve got a small tube of Lorac lip gloss and a charging brick for those times you need to do some emergency charging. I am missing the essential charging cable, but that’s future Nicole’s problem. There’s also a pair of ear plugs from when I went and saw Green Day a month ago and wanted to be able to hear in my classes the next day. I’ve also got a nice tube of Ibuprofen labeled as Advil because I am a frequent headache getter. Now that’s some good grammar right there.

The bandaid and penny are pretty self-explanatory. Now that red thing is a gris-gris bag I got on a cemetery tour in New Orleans. They’re supposed to bring good luck and protect you from evil and all that jazz. I don’t know that I believe in the powers of the free gris-gris bag, but it’s lived in my purse for three years now and I’m not about to take that sucker out. You never know, man. You never know.

Finally we come to my favorite item in of my purse, the slinky. I won this as a prize in my yearbook class senior year and like the gris-gris bag, I can’t bring myself to take it out. Boring situation? Pull out the slinky. Need an ice breaker or something to fill the awkward silence? Bust out the slinky. You become instantly more popular when you BYOS (bring your own slinky.) My purses will forever be chosen by whether I’m able to fit my slinky into them. Give it a try before you judge, it’s life changing.

And that about wraps it up. Now you know what lives in my bag most of the time. If you’ve got anything to say on the subject, I’d love to hear it down in the comments! If not, I guess I’ll be seeing you when I see you! Have a nice day, would ya?

–Nicole

Save Ferris (I mean Nicole)

I need to look like I’m busy on my computer for my friend’s photo project right now, so this post is happening. I thought that my allergies were starting to hit, but I’m starting to think now that I may be down with the sickness. Does anyone else get butterflies in their stomach when they get sick? I don’t know man, it just feels like a mini rollercoaster ride each time to I go to sit on the couch and not in a good way. That’s usually my go to sign of illness, so we’ll see if this harbinger is the real deal.

Sickness just becomes more and more inconvenient the older you get. Like back in elementary school, I got sick a lot and it was no big deal. I would be upset because I was a nerdy nerd that didn’t want to miss out, but what was I missing out on? Coloring in the worksheet about the letter E? Tragic.

Now I still get sick a lot, I’m a sickly one for sure, but I just can’t afford to miss out. The powers on high smiled down on me and took away the deadline I was supposed to have tomorrow, but otherwise I was about to be going to a bakery to film for my project come hell or high water.

It’s also so hard to stay motivated when you’re ill and still have responsibilities. Oh, I have an exam tomorrow? But I also feel like crap which should excuse me from having to study. I have issues staying motivated at the best of times, let alone when my stomach feels questionable and I just want to sleep through the rest of this week.

This turned into more of a rant about sickness than I thought it would. Thanks for reading, I hope you stay well. Take your vitamins, kids. Stay hydrated and get as much sleep as you can. I’ll see you when I see you! Have a good one.

–Nicole

A Ruffled Mind Makes a Restless Pillow

Alright let’s get real for a second. Why do some doors have the bar that would usually signify that they’re a push kind of door when they’re really a pull kind of door? Who thought that was a good idea? Oh, throw a bar on that side Jim and a handle on the other, that’ll really throw off literally everyone that knows how to work a door. Real talk.

Now let’s get deep. Do you realize how absolutely massive our oceans are? We spend an absurd amount of money exploring space. Now don’t get me wrong, I freaking love space as much as the next gal, but we have our own final frontier right here on Earth we might want to look into. It’s called the ocean. There is so much of it and we’ve explored approxiamtely a little bit of it. Read a book.

That got pretty wild so I’m going to reign it in a little bit for both of our sakes. I can get a little existential when I think about the mysteries of the ocean or the vastness of the universe for too long. Sue me. So lighter real talk: dogs are a literal gift to mankind. When I had the stomach flu and was stuck in the bathroom all day, you know who was there? My dog. That little stinker sat at the end of the hallway with the most concerned look on her doggo face. I’ve been getting allergy shots for the past two years just so I can enjoy dogs to my full potential. Well, and also so I can stop being allergic to all of nature and creation, but mostly the dog thing.

Now to get even more real, I’ve got to admit that I’m writing this at two in the morning. I can’t sleep, my brain’s doing that thing where it wants to stay up and think about my troubles while my eyes are ready to peace out for the night. Throw in a developing cough and not quite being able to find a comfortable position in bed and you get my current situation. 0/10, I would not recommend. I could really use that Spongebob brain dump scene up in here. I would be cool with only knowing fine dining and breathing right about now, but I digress.

It may seem like I’m posting fairly regularly for a gal that’s been advertising herself as unable to keep to a posting schedule, but I have a secret. I’ve everything I’ve posted so far has been written in twelve hours. Scheduling posts is a wonderful thing, folks. I need to stop typing now, this has gone on long enough already. Thank you for reading my late night thoughts and I’ll see you when I see you! Have a good one on the house.

–Nicole

 

 

Is That Classical I’m Hearing?

It’s no secret that I am honestly and truly terrible at making decisions. Want me to pick where we go out to eat? No can do, buckaroo. My brain just goes into total dump mode like that episode from Spongebob. You know the one.

It’s pretty much a blank slate.

Anyway, while I may be pretty incapable of picking favorites and making decisions most of the time,  one thing I can actually make decisions on is my favorite music. I love seeing other people’s music suggestions, so I thought I would list a few of my absolute favorites.

I have varied taste, what can I say! If you have any music suggestions, I would love to hear them! Or let me know if you’re a fan of any of these yourself. That’s all I’ve got for today so I’ll see you when I see you. Have a good one!

–Nicole

Life Moves Pretty Fast

Hey you. How’s it hanging? This isn’t the first time I’ve started a blog if we’re going to start out on an honest note. This isn’t even the first time I’ve started a blog under the name Pineapple Explosion. Seventh grade Nicole thought that Pineapple Explosion would be the coolest name for a blog possible, and now all of my social media of any kind is under the same name. I like continuity, okay? That’s the entire backstory behind the name. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on!

I’m a journalism student at the University of Missouri-Columbia (otherwise known as Mizzou) and I’m loving life right now. By loving life I mean I’m trying not to drown under all the projects I have going and decisions I’ve had to make that might actually have an impact on my life in the future, but it’s casual. I am living the dream! That’s only partially sarcastic because I really am fortunate to be getting this education and living under these circumstances. No matter how exasperated my school makes me at times, I am incredibly lucky to be here!

The whole journalism student thing is a big reason for restarting this blog. Believe it or not, I don’t feel like I have a whole lot of time to write anymore. I used to do a lot of creative writing in high school, I’ve even got a short story published in a literary magazine somewhere, but I’m only just starting to get back into it since being in college. I’ve heard multiple times in the past couple years that I’ve been here at Mizzou that a good way to practice your writing skillz is by starting a blog, so here I am going for it once again.

Maybe I’ll post once a week, maybe I’ll post once a month, who’s to say? I can promise a schedule, but I already know that the chances of me sticking to it are pretty slim. So how about this: thanks for reading what I’ve got today and I’ll see you when I see you! I hope you have a great day!

–Nicole