Solo Adventure! Charlottesville, Virginia

Hey Y’all!

One of the great things in life is having the freedom to take yourself on personal road trips. When I moved out of my parent’s house I decided that being solo doesn’t mean jack shit in the big scheme of things and that taking personal adventure days is the absolute fucking best.

I went to Charlottesville in the beginning of September for a day. I woke up and decided it sounded like a fine idea and went with the flow and ended up having a grand time.

Charlottesville is located in around the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia and is gorgeous. Home of Thomas Jefferson and Monticello and UVA the town is flush with tons of young people, nature and history.

Which a whole lot of hooplah in reality and sounds startlingly like a tourist add. (Hit me up agencies I’m available.)

But, fundamentally Charlottesville has a cool, sorta academic vibe which I can get behind. I decided to go to the downtown area called the Mall to explore.

The Love sign is in the middle of the downtown area and is like a huge welcome to everyone who comes to visit. Families and couples were taking pictures in front of the sign so I, of course, did so too! Like why not? The Love sign is everywhere in VA and is a great tourism attraction and is a great way to unify the state.

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The Love sign is everywhere in VA.  

There recently has been a lot about Charlottesville in the news, but as I wandered into a shop, I think that the MLK quote really encompassed how the city was dealing with the protest. The protest may have been over, but I think that the town really banded together and was putting forward its best intentions for a loving, peaceful community. I was just a visitor, so I really can’t speak more than what I observed.

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Considering all that’s going on in the world, I think this quote was really appropriate.

I wish I took more pictures encompassing how lively the downtown area was, but I was too preoccupied living in the moment, and wasn’t paying too much attention to trying to take pictures. But, I of course took a few and am throwing them in for you guys. 😀

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Some of the shops had flowers and plants in the windowsill and we all know I’m a sucker for taking pictures of plants haha

Wandering up and down the Mall can take awhile and there is a ton to see. The main center is filled with tables for the nearby restaurants and the entire area is sectioned off as a pedestrian space only.

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I love giraffes! There were tons of cool pieces scattered around but this was my favorite.

Outside of the downtown area things sort of quieted down. There weren’t as many shops or people, which meant to me that there were more secluded things to find. At this point in the journey I was more into the main square and its shops and people so I just sort of wandered back to that after taking a picture of the railroad.

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This was taken a little off from the main downtown area

 

The one thing I thought was fascinating about the city was that there wasn’t a huge tourism-logo-slogan grab. Like, Richmond has the RVA logo, DC is just DC, it seems like everywhere has a, “Thing.” Charlottesville really doesn’t. I asked a lady at a shop and she said that the closest thing that Charlottesville had in terms of the whole tourism thing was a heart with, “Charlottesville” in the center. Good thing I was on the case and picked one up at the train station! Gotta keep up my souvenir addiction.

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I try to collect something from everywhere I’ve been whether that be a map, a bumper sticker, or a pin. It’s just a thing I picked up from when I was little. Thanks, mom and dad!

My dudes, I really liked visiting Charlottesville. There are apparently a ton of wineries around the area and a lot of hiking to do, so I will definitely be returning! Till next time!

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Blonde in New York : MonstaX and Kpop Concert Advice

Hello, everyone!

It’s been a super long time, but I am still alive and figuring things out. This summer has been a blur of people and personal growth (bleh) and different places. I can’t believe it’s already the end of August!

For now, though, I want to tell you all, and share the pictures from, a concert I went to in New York this past July. So Kpop has been KILLING it world wide, and I have succumbed. Shit’s good. One of my favorite groups is called MonstaX. (My personal favorite its Wonho but that’s neither here nor there.) I’ll probably write more about Kpop and my views on it from an American who has really only been on the scene for, like, a year.

So, my friend and I had this super plan all set up and ready to roll. I drove up from Richmond, we caught up in Fredericksburg, rode up to Vienna, caught a ride to the Metro, took a train to the bus station at Union Station. Caught the bus to NYC.

Preface? I’ve never been to the Big City before. I’ve been to almost all 50 states but this just wasn’t a place I ever envisioned myself visiting. I just never understood the romanticism. But, I was about to be damned if I missed this group live. So, I’ll save the NYC pictures for another separate post and keep this one to all about this concert.

Bruh.

Okay, first think I learned was that if you are thinking that these sorts of concerts are small and that nobody is really going to show up so you can show up at 5pm before a 7pm concert and it’ll be fine, you are SO wrong. My friend and I were fortunate enough to score a hotel room 5 minutes from the venue- the Playstation theatre in Times Square. (Different story, different time.) Friend and I were on a leisurely late Friday morning stroll looking for food and the Disney store when we see this line.

“That’s so peculiar,” we thought, “are they still in line for tickets?”

When we arrived the night before at like 1:30 am, we went back out into the city and were wandering around till about 3:30 am. In the course of this wandering came across a line of people outside the Playstation Theatre. Turns out these peeps were waiting in line for tickets. The theatre doesn’t even open till, like, 6 am. So, these fans are hardcore and are willing to wait for God knows how long for tickets. That is some dedication if I have ever seen any.

So, back to our Friday morning walk. We see this line. It is quickly expanding. I go up to one of the girls and ask if they are in line for tickets, and she gives me this pitiful look and is like, “….no…. we are waiting in line for the concert.” It is 1:30 pm. The concert is at 7 pm. Friend and I look at each other, book it to the hotel, change, take a 20 minute power nap (I had a cold) and went back out to wait in line. We waited in line for this stitch for 4 hours.

We made friends, though! We made friends with some of the girls in line and the five of braved the rain and stayed under an umbrella fort to wait to get in to this damn concert.

IMG_6477IMG_6478The M & M one is mine! This line lasted for blocks. But the pictures were kinda great so I feel like I can’t complain TOO much, know what I mean?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right, okay soIMG_6507IMG_6523IMG_6524IMG_6499

The advice portion:

So, if any of you guys ever want to go to a Kpop concert, I have some general advice.

  1. Know the theatre. We paid for quasi-nice tickets but couldn’t see for the life of us, and if we had nosebleeds, we would’ve saved money AND have had somewhere to sit. If it’s possible, figure out the venue.
  2. Buy your tickets ASAP. Kpop is exploding, so the sooner you pounce the faster you’ll be able to get tickets and to get the tickets you want.
  3. Get your merchandise ahead of time. This includes your lightstick. We ended up getting our sweatshirts and hats from a scalper outside the venue. (Super nice couple of guys- one had green hair but it worked.)  A lot of the stuff they have on hand are pre-order items. We weren’t able to get lightsticks at the venue, but that’s okay. When MonstaX comes back to the East Coast we can get our stuff online like the super real deal veteran fans!
  4. For the love of god, get in line early. ESPECIALLY if you have standing room tickets. Trust me. Get a good spot you’ll be able to see from.
  5. Go fucking nuts. Seriously. These guys are crazy talented, you might as well go and have the time of your life. Spend the money on merchandise, too. You aren’t gonna regret a concert shirt in 6 months.

I’ll be updating a lot more frequently now! I’ve got tons of stories and pictures.