Hello from your favourite 21 year old in the States! It feels like a new freedom to be legal once again. One fun thing that I did yesterday was go to the DMV to get my Arizona ID. Yes, it may expire once my visa is up, but a few dollars to pay instead of potentially losing any form of British ID on a night out is 100% worth it. Plus, it’s the ultimate souvenir. I’ll have documentation that I was tied to American land for the rest of my life; a true treasure.
However, that hasn’t been the only fun I’ve had recently. The workload picks up a crazy amount on the run up to finals, and I’m going a bit delirious. Last night, I had 1(!!!) Smirnoff Ice and it hit me as though I’d never had alcohol before, to the delight of Olivia Burns. But, I’ve had adventures down in Phoenix and in Flagstaff that I must share with you all!
As we’re all aware, last weekend was the Easter weekend. Back home, this is celebrated with a four day weekend, time with family and gorging on chocolate. This Easter, I went to my friend Bailey’s house in Phoenix/Scottsdale and went to a water park! The weather was around 30 degrees, so going to a waterpark was the PERFECT way to cool down and go on rides. Having never been to a waterpark before, it was super cool to go on lots of different water slides. Whether it be one that had a near 90 degree drop and I got air, or helter skelter style slides that I whacked my elbow on which wasn’t funny at all, I thoroughly enjoyed myself at Wet N Wild!
We’d set off from Flagstaff, gone to the water park and THEN we went to Bailey’s house which is gorgeous. I spent a great deal of time outside with my feet in Bailey’s POOL. Such an American thing to have, and something that I used to make all my houses in Sims 2 have. Dipping my feet in the pool chilled me out and watching Olivia nearly fall in the pool was the fun and laughter I needed after a stressful time at NAU.
For the evening, we went to Federal Pizza and then headed to Churn across the street to get ice cream. As strange as it sounds, Sarah and I shared a BRUSSEL SPROUTS pizza and it was delish. I don’t know how the Americans cook brussel sprouts, but they were crunchy and make an excellent pizza topping. At Churn, I had a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of carrot cake, and I don’t think I’ve ever had such excellent ice cream in all my life. It was so smooth and full of flavour. The carrot cake scoop must have had so much carrot cake pieces in it too, I lost count!
The next morning was relaxing, in which we did an Easter egg hunt and I won $1. After this, we dyed eggs (a tradition which is major in America but not in Britain). This involves dunking eggs into food colouring/dye to stain the shell, using wax to draw on beforehand and make patterns. My eggs were not very good at all, hence the lack of photo. Yet, it’s something that I’m definitely taking home with me* to do next Easter with my sister, as it was lots of fun!
*I think I need to pay for emotional baggage on my flight home.
Once we’d dyed eggs, we all headed to Dutch Bros to get coffee, just because we could.
For dinner, we had an array of American easter foods, including a potato/cheese/sour cream/bacon combo that I must get the recipe off of from Bailey’s grandmother. The American hospitality is unlike anything that I have ever experienced, or ever will. Granted, some people in America are ignorant to any culture/diversity. Yet, I will remain touch by the kindness of people that I’ve met out here for the rest of my life.
Skip forward a few days and we’re in the middle of another week at college. It’s Wednesday and I feel DONE with classes. I tell myself that I’m going to skip them, because we’re just watching films that I can watch in my own time (which I won’t, but I like to try and tell myself things and guilt-trip myself). Emails from teachers come around and I find out that classes are cancelled! My studying week ended on Wednesday, and what a fun week I’ve had!
NAU had their Spring Concert, which welcomed WAVVES, The Naked and Famous and Blink 182 to Flagstaff, AZ. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that these aren’t the bands that I normally listen to. But, for free, what else can you do? I really enjoyed The Naked and Famous and the one song of Blink 182 that I knew. However, I have to applaud the light show. It really made the Skydome feel as though as I was in a rock concert, probably somewhere where you will never catch me.
Thursday saw me FINALLY try the Unicorn Frappuccino. It’s been hyped up as the drink that you must try in the US, Canada and Mexico. I tried it in Target on 4/20, as they’d sold out of it in all the Starbucks in Flagstaff. I’m glad I’ve tried it, and yes it was $5 but worth it to impress my Instagram feed. It definitely changed flavour as you got further down the drink, yet it was so sour that I struggled to finish it. However, I am the SLOWEST person to drink iced drinks from Starbucks/Dunkin/*insert coffee place here* so it’s no surprise the ‘mango’ syrup festered everywhere in the remnants of the cup and was the most sour drink I’ve ever had.
Friday was a bit ridiculous really. We’d found out via social media that Sir Mo Farah was training on campus! To think that a Sir was on campus using my university’s facilities was CRAZY. I then get a message before I’m heading off to yoga, saying that Mo is on the track practicing his sprint finishes. I rush off to the track like literally never before, and there I see him on the track running around. Prior to coming to NAU, I knew that Mo trained in Flagstaff, but to see him with my own eyes was crazy. Forget Super Saturday, how about Fantastic Friday?
We then proceeded to get a picture with Mo, which is potentially the best picture of my year abroad. Even if Kieran did nearly scare off Mo, it was awesome to be with sporting royalty. Watching him as well as the others he was with training in the Flagstaff #warmerweather was incredible, a memory that I’ll always want to relive. Imagine thinking that you’re heading off to yoga and then you see one of your sporting heroes?
Friday also saw Omega Phi Alpha’s formal! It was SO much fun to finally get glam once again and put on a gorgeous dress. My dress was from LipsyXMichelle Keegan as per usual (it’s my third one by her, I’m actually obsessed with how I feel in them). My big came around and gave me my birthday presents:
- Cheese Whiz, I know it sounds ridiculous but I’ve always wanted to try Cheese Whiz and it made Olivia laugh.
- A cute pair of socks with a beach scene.
- LOTS of 3 Muskeeters, my favourite American chocolate.
- A shot glass that says “I am not throwing away my shot” because we are obsessed with Hamilton.
- My In-N-Out ‘little’ top, she’s obviously got the ‘big’ one. I can’t wait for us to wear them together and be so California sorority life, that nobody can deal.
I gave Olivia an easter basket, full of sweets, Peeps, as well as avocados (of course) and floss because flossing is one of her favourite pastimes. I know that I’ve got a crazy big, but I couldn’t imagine anyone else guiding me through the sorority and helping me out so far away from home.
Here’s a few photos from Formal. Setting up Formal was super stressy, but it was worth it in the end! Everyone looked incredibly glam and lived up to the Golden Age of Omega Phi Alpha at NAU. A year ago, I’d have NEVER thought that I’d be going to a sorority formal with an American date, but hey ho, life happens and I couldn’t have imagined my year abroad going in any other direction now!
I’m having the best end to my year abroad, that it feels surreal I fly home so soon. At the time of writing this, I’ve got 2 more full weeks of my year abroad, and then Finals and then I’m down in Phoenix, spending a few hours before I head home on the 10 hour flight and land in Blighty. I’ve got more memories to make, but I’m truly cherishing the ones that I made over Easter weekend. I’m watching videos that I took of Blink 182, make sure you do the same.