Some of the girls and I kicked off May by heading up to Grafton Lake for a lazy Saturday afternoon in the sun...
Ohhhh yeahhhhh..... :)
In the beginning of April, Mom and I took a little trip down to New Orleans, Louisiana!
Neither of us had ever been before so we were both super excited! (Unfortunately, Dad couldn't make it because of work...)
What was the occasion? My abstract was accepted and so I was off to present my research at the ACS (American Chemical Society) National Conference!! Double super-exciting!! :)
(Side note: I'm the worst tourist ever and didn't bring a nicer camera with me.. So I spent the entire weekend taking snapshots with my phone... #thankyoudroid)
As soon as we got there? Out to lunch of course!! We went to the Oceana Grill for some yummy seafood. And alligator, too of course!! It was actually delicious - we tried it fried and cajun style. The street view from the restaurant was super cute, too. And we had beautiful weather the entire weekend!
And then we spent a little time wandering around...
And our wandering quickly bee-lined for Cafe du Monde so we could get ourselves some beignets!
It was absolutely packed but they were well worth it! Sooooo much powdered sugar...
Ok, back to walking...
LOVED this street art.... totally regret that I didn't get one...
For our first night, we had a delicious dinner out at the Palace Cafe - complete with doo-wop serenading!
Yeah... Dessert was totally worth it...
We started off the next morning with a ride on the famous Streetcars! We hopped on and went down to the Garden District, well... and then pretty much got right back on and came back... but still a fun ride!
Ahh, what an amazing line up!!! Wish the conference was just a few weeks later...
And we ended up making it back to the French Market and then finally the Cafe du Monde for our daily beignets. We found a nice bench in the sun where I could sit for a little bit and work on my presentation slides.
This was one of my favorite areas to people watch... There was just so much going on! Plus street art... have I mentioned how much I love street artists?
Jazzy wedding parade!!! SO FUN! Complete with big feather hats, and everything :)
A lot of places had gas lighting for outside by the doors - Absolutely in love with the look... (they left them running 24-7 though... not sure how I feel about that... but still cute!)
Speaking of lighting, Mom was pretty crazy about the antique chandelier stores, too. We stopped to peek in the windows every single time we walked by :)
For dinner, we went to the Court of Two Sisters - it was absolutely delicious (I have yet to eat something on this trip that I didn't like...) We sat outside on the back patio - it was beautiful with all of the lights, grape arbors and the fountain!
Strawberries foster over vanilla ice cream? YUM!
More gas lanterns on the walk home!
We're still on crunch time to finish my slides and "rehearse" my presentation... Hello late night, early morning! But it went just fine! Mom went with me and we watched the other presentations in my session - all about PPCPs in the environment!! (Oh... right... PPCP = Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products...) I was toward the end of the morning session and I ran out of time to go as in depth as I wanted but all-in-all it went great and everyone seemed pretty interested in our work!
We were basically starved after and I wanted to catch one more of the afternoon presentations so we decided to have lunch at the convention center - which was HUGE by the way! Holy Cow! Oh, and of course snap some photos :) Here's Mom by the conference poster!
And I just couldn't pass up VooDoo chips...
We also went through the Expo a little to try and pick up some swag from the visiting companies.
Let me tell you - scientists are WAYYYY more stingy than engineers! Getting swag was like pulling teeth! Plus you ended up tricked into surveys and questionares about videos and product shpeels they forced you to sit through... crazy! (Everyone knows engineers be THROWING swag at you...) :P
With the rest of the beautiful afternoon to ourselves, I was ready to rip out of my suit, throw on a summer skirt, and hit the town for a little sun. We decided to check out the riverfront (turns out there wasn't much new to see... by the time we were waiting for our fourth streetcar, we hadn't actually traveled anywhere...) and then ended up deciding on going back to the garden district to actually walk around a little more. We saw a lot of beautiful houses - we never made it far enough to see Toulane (which Dad says is where the shopping, etc. is) but it was still pretty and made for a nice walk...
Best climbing tree EVER!!
For our last night, Mom and I went out to dinner at GW Fins - ummm AMAZING. Everything we ate was absolutely delicious (although apparently I'm terrible at taking photos of food... whoops...)
And then it was time to head back to the hotel so we could pack up and fly out the next morning. :(
What a wonderful trip though!!!
March went out with some b-e-a-uuuuutiful weather... The perfect example of a sunny Spring day! And we (Ali, Trick, and JP) just couldn't pass it up!
First Trick and I stumbled across the Cohoes falls on our hunt for a yarn shop, so naturally we stopped for a quick photo...
Then we grabbed JP and headed to EMPAC hill (after a quick detour to the Cookie Factory) for some kite flying!
Trick was very focused on his flying...
JP was significantly more interested in his cookie...
Let's just say, there is NOTHING like competing at home. :) The best part this year? Cousinly support!!! Thank you a billion times to Sara, Chris, Mia, and Alex for coming out to cheer us on! (And yes, you heard me right! Us = Ali + Mom + Dad!! They were great...) :)
This year's competition was a HUGE success - even though we had two other competitions plan their's for the same date as ours - and we had a TON of fun. We actually got to spend some time with competitors from the other schools, too which was awesome! (Isn't making friends fun?)
Matt and I did Open American Smooth (Waltz/Tango/Foxtrot/Viennese Waltz) and Open American Rhythm (Cha Cha/Rumba/Swing/Bolero/Mambo).
Pictures speak louder than words, maybe? Here are some highlights from the day!
Setting up for the Waltz, our first dance of the day - Sara caught me looking over at them! :)
Then it was time for Tango. I think this is possibly our best dance of the entire day... Plus, it's my favorite... :)
And thanks to all of the wonderful people taking pictures, we have our opening from all kinds of different angles!
Like this one a lot...
Super fierce!! Check out that glare!
This one is DEFINITELY one of my favorites... AMAZING line!! (Especially impressive once you realize that I'm actually completely off the ground... super intense, too!)
Simply stunning. I can't believe Sara managed to capture this one:
And the full picture, courtesy of Katie:
Bendy dip!!! :)
Beautiful photo from Kevin of the start to our Viennese Waltz!
And here's just a few from Rhythm...
All in all? AMAZING day dancing :) We took first in Smooth and second in Rhythm!
And thank you again to those of you who let me steal these pictures from!! <3
I also managed to get some pictures of Mom and Dad! They did GREAT and managed to get a few call-backs! :)
(I'm pretty sure these are all from Rumba.)
Can't wait to have them at more competitions with me! Maybe this summer... :)
Back in March I took a semi-spontaneous trip up to Lake Placid for a few days with Brian and his family! Which is quite an adventure tale in itself... Let's just say it involved a lot of Jenga, related Jenga-block towers, a little hockey, a lot of snow, pushing a car out of that lot of snow, cozy fireplaces, good food, great people, and tons of fun! :)
And of course a trip to Lake Placid wouldn't be complete without taking a moment to appreciate the ski jumps. But this time? FINALLY went to the top of one! :) Here are some of the photos I was able to take...
Alison "Ali" Rose
Currently working on a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and all of the side projects that help get me through it!