Southern Jaunt

Last week I spent a few days visiting a friend in her home town of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was essentially my summer vacation– I finished my internship and packed my bags for a couple of fun days down south with a fellow batesie that I hadn’t seen in over 8 months! I made a similar trek last summer but this year it was bigger and BETTER! We did the touristy thing, ate incredible food, explored the nightlife and a lot of other things! The one downside was that this year was much hotter than my last trip– being outside felt about 117 degrees! That hindered our plans a little bit. But it was still lots of fun! Here are some photos.

Schuyler and I ready for a fancy dinner with her parents at Patois— yum yum! Not to be confused with this picture from last year.

We went to the zoo! I love zoos (and aquariums, too!)

Schuyler is READY for the zoo– we even parked next to the ZOO MOBILE!

Check that bird!

Who was hotter, that black bear or me?

Ducks roamed freely– as did peacocks

I was being really silly. There are LOTS of monkeys at this zoo, however, because of the heat, they were all napping in the back of their cages. I was forced to improvise…

I thought that this picture of me and an elephant’s butt was really important.

Clearly a big fan of statues…

Schuyler was too!

And last but not least, we found a bobcat. Go bates college!!

After a long day of walking around the zoo, we stopped for lunch at an incredible restaurant called Couchon. BBQ with a hip, fresh flare. Guess what I had? ALLIGATOR. Guess what it tasted like? Chicken.

Later that night, Schuy and I sampled local cuisine. We got milkshakes…

Which was not the only milkshake I consumed — in fact, the next day we breakfast at Slim Goodies Diner  and I had a delicious vanilla milkshake too! Look how serene I am…

We tried walking the french quarter– through the market and bourbon street, etc, but it was just too hot. We attempted to cool ourselves down with cold drinks, but it wasn’t doing the trick.

It was hot hot hot, but then again what can you expect from N’awlins in August? It was a great trip — other highlights included lunch at La Petite Grocery , sampling ceviche and rubbing elbows with the elite of NOLA at Cure, and apparnetly barely escaping food poisoning at Nacho Mama’s (unfortunately, our companion Taimur was not so lucky…).

New Orleans is just such a fascinating city. There’s so much to see, so much to do, so much to eat, to drink, to learn. It’s definitely a place I would like to keep visiting; each time I go, I experience completely new things!

And it’s back to Bates on Friday!


The End of an Era

And by era, I mean… internship? A ten week internship at the Castle Group. Not that long, but looking back, it seems like a huge expanse of time. And now it’s over! Woah.

I have learned so many things in the past ten weeks; if I wrote them all out, item by item, one by one, it would be a longer document than all my status reports, all my instruction sheets to the next intern, all my email correspondence put together. There is nothing greater than experience– no better way to learn than jumping into the middle of something where you don’t know what you’re doing. And, to anyone who has read a blog of mine before, I am a nervous person and so for me to say this now, sans any fear, is incredible. Looking back on my first day (my first week, even!) when I was miserable and lonely and feeling like an idiot, I see someone with a lot of learning coming her way. And yes, at times it was really difficult and I really did feel totally useless, but now, at the end, I’m beginning to feel..well, almost like an integral part to my office machine.

I made phone calls to people who didn’t want to talk to me with less fear than I’d ever imagined I could; I sent out daily emails to my entire office with a client coverage that I put together; I wrote, edited, sent and followed up on pitches; made lists of media outlets relevant to a given release or pitch; did research on publications, awards and clients. And a lot of other things. Whew!

But another side of what I’ve learned is how to interact professionally with a group of people while still building meaningful personal relationships. Bam! I love meaningful personal relationships. I’m all about social contact and learning about the people I spend my days with is really important to me.

So here I am. The last day of waking up at 6:30 and leaving the house before 7:30. Arriving back (on foot, no less) around 6:30 pm, another day over and done with. No, I didn’t get any pay checks (and my train tickets came in just under $300) but I have certainly gained a lot, that, as cheesy as it sounds, I deem “priceless.” (Wow, i’m the star of my own mastercard commercial).

I don’t have any revolutionary final thoughts and reflections, I’m just really happy with my decision to not return to camp in favor of getting some experience in the real world. I can only imagine how scared I would be if, upon graduation, I literally had nothing on my resume that resembled office work. And, after proving to myself that I can have a good summer while not at camp (though I certainly missed it) I feel like I went cold-turkey enough to not necessarily need it next summer. Weird.

Now, time to look forward: next week I’m going to New Orleans to visit my friend Schuyler! After that I have a few short weeks and then head up to school for senior year. I’m incredibly excited to use my newly gained PR skills to pump up my job as publicity director of WRBC!