just like Visa--I'm everywhere you want to be!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Albany 101: Lesson Four: Country Roads & Packing Up

Hello friends and readers! *waves*

It's been about a century since I've posted last, and I know that you are all chomping at the bit to know what's been going on, right? Well, we've been busy as ever in the company, which is a GREAT thing, because busy means we're in good shape, and being in good shape means I get to keep my job :)
A few weekends ago the weather started to cool off a bit in preparation for fall, and so the temperature has dropped slightly. Currently, today, at 3pm EST, the weather is 80 Degrees Farenheit, with winds at 9mph. That means it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Seriously, I would love to sit outside on a blanket and just enjoy this cooled off day--well, by cooled off, I mean, cooler than Florida, which I am sure is a sweltering temperature with high humidity. I don't miss it. I miss you all, but not the poofy hair and sweating in the car. I'd take NY hands down. At least on days like these. Maybe not in the dead of winter. Then, Florida might sound tempting, hehe.

Well, anway, since the weather's been so nice, I've taken to driving with the windows down and some soothing music on my radio (well, at least the most soothing I can find--I don't have a CD player in my truck, just a radio, so that's been interesting). I think it was two weekends ago that I was wondering, "what happens when you turn right out of our apartment complex?" because usually my GPS Wendy tells me to always take a left.

So I decided to be spontaneous and take a right. Boy was I ever glad I did that. It was GORGEOUS country roads and rolling hills. I felt so calm and relaxed and just in awe of everything. And, I'll go ahead and admit right now that this was not my best idea, but I took some pictures while I was driving. I don't recommend this at all. It's kinda dangerous. But since I was the only one on this road, I promise I drove real slow and carefully. That being said, please enjoy my art gallery of "Turning Right on New Scotland Road."

This is in front of a subdivision, so pretty.
just so you know, I wasn't going 45mph. It was more like 25-30. I was being safe :) And LOOK! A legitimate rolling hill!
The grass was SO rich and green. And the sky.....ugh so perfect.

This is a corn field! There was a huge corn farm! It was really cool!

Lots of trees give this a very "down home" feel, and the people at their houses even waved at me. I'm sure they thought I was crazy but who really cares?

Beautiful, huh? The sky was SO blue that day, and seriously, and I know this sounds lame, but I wanted to cry it was so beautiful. You just don't get scenery like that in Florida.

And since this is such a picture-filled posts, I wanted to educate you all on a little town that I frequent called Delmar. It's a tiny little town down the street from Slingerlands, and it has some restaurants, shops, and other little stores. But the best part is the antique feel this town has. It reminds me a lot of DeLand and of course I took some photos for you.

There she is, Slingerlands! Not far from Albany at all!

Ok this is really cool. This lady took a double-decker bus and turned it into a mobile cupcake store! I haven't been inside it yet, but from the looks of it, it's right up my alley!

Ah the little town of Delmar. So quaint. And on the left, I<3 NY Pizza? Yeah that place is so good. And it's true, I really do love New York Pizza.

Another look at the little town, more from the inside of my truck. It's just SO darn cute!
So, that's it for the photo updates, but I wanted to share all of the beauty with you so you can see why I don't mind it here too much :)

In other news, my time in NY is drawing to a close, and we are transitioning to a new area for work. That's right, it's time for me to fill those suitcases back up and move! Albany, you've been great, but now it's time to head to Charlotte, North Carolina! We are planning on being there in mid-September, so watch for Lessons on Charlotte 101. I'm really excited about this move--the Southern girl in me is craving more sweet tea and a potentially warmer winter. And not to mention, they have Sonny's BBQ in Charlotte *trust me, I already Googled that!*

Of course, this poses a new problem. I've already outgrown my suitcases! Having two weeks' worth of clothes was not at all what it was cracked up to be. And since we live literally 5 minutes away from the mall, AND they have a Gap (my weakness store), plus a JC Penney (my second fave) I have stocked up on the staples: jeans, tops, jacket, sweatshirt, skirts. Needless to say, I doubt I can live out of the two suitcases I previously started out with. But that should be alright--once we get to Charlotte, I am going to have a closet :) This makes me happy!

I hope to post again soon. Thanks to those of you who leave comments--I like seeing your thoughts on the postings! And to those of you who just read, thank you too! It means alot to me that you take time to check in on my life.

I'm so blessed to have you all in my life and I cannot say it enough. Thanks for the encouragements, prayers, and awesome care packages.

Care packages, I say? Why yes I did! Kendall and Hadley were so kind to send me a box filled with love! And by filled with love, I mean candy, Cheezits, Nail Polish, and some toys, like a miniature bowling set! I love you gals! Thank you!

Alright, I've rambled your ear off enough. Until we meet again!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Albany 101: Lesson three: Cliff Notes

You know what makes me feel good? Being pestered to update the blog. Yes, I am talking about you Katie and Kristina. Silly girls. Well you kept bugging and here it is!

So much has happened since the last time I updated. There are a few things I have learned that I want to share with you to help you survive if you are suddenly left in the Albany, NY area.

1. Make sure you go the speed limit. In Florida, 55 mph usually means its acceptable to go 70 mph on I-4. However, in Albany, people actually adhere to the limits. Weird. Also, when they say go 15mph on the exits, they MEAN it. Everything here is older than Florida and there are a lot more hills. So when you exit, you're usually doing some crazy wild turns. So, if you're ever in a huge truck,

2. Wave at people. They like it. I'm not saying everyone is friendlier here, but I have noticed that people are more willing to return a smile or a nod. It makes you feel happy, right? So make sure you let people know you've made eye contact!

3. Remember you are in the North. People do things different then they do in Florida. Okay that one is specifically for me but its a good one to take note of. That's the point of seeing other places right? To see how the world lives?

4. Have air conditioning. It's maybe maxed out here at 85 degrees but without air conditioning it feels unbearable. And sticky.

Overall, things are great! My hair doesn't poof (the humidity is not as bad) which automatically makes me feel more like a girl then a Chia Pet!

Im sorry this is a short post. I promise I have tons of pictures to post soon, but I just found out I have to be at a job site bright and early a la 7:45 am so I have to get some stuff done before I hit the haystacks!

I miss you all and love that I can keep in touch with you!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Albany 101: Lesson two: How (Un) Sweet It Is...

Hello friendly readers!

Today's Albany 101 brings up a subject very near and totally dear to my heart. If you know me as well as you think you do, then you know when I go out somewhere what my drink of choice is.

(the answer is sweet tea if you didnt know!)

Well, apparently, up here in New York, they "only serve unsweet tea." The first few times I ordered it and was turned down I didn't think much of it. I mean, really, not every place serves sweet tea (although they totally should). However, as the days have gone on, my heart has broken each time I hear the phrase "we only have unsweet."

New York, why are you killing me so? Put some sugar in the tea and put it in my cup! Are you still sore about the Boston Tea Party? Because that didn't even happen in New York! So where's the issue?

So today, I told myself, hey self, if you want some sweet tea you're just gonna have to get it. I took my first trip all by myself out into the New York world! I went to Wal-Mart. And yeah, Wal-Marts are kind of annoying sometimes, but the moment I stepped into this one, I swear I heard angels cry.

Exhibit A:

that is correct, friends, you are seeing this clearly. Please choose one of the following to complete this sentence. The inside of this Wal-Mart:

a) is two stories.
b) has an escalator and elevator.
c)is the coolest Wal-Mart EVER
d) all of the above.

The correct answer was d. And for those of you that were right...I'm sorry but I don't have a prize. I apologize!

So, I betcha are wondering "Hey Mel, how'd you get to Wal-Mart if you dont have a car?"

And cue Exhibit B: My sweet ride.

Such a boat but has all the leg room a long-legged girl could dream of :)

So today I had lunch at the Toll Gate Ice Cream store and restaurant. That place is pretty darn neat. It also happens to be right next door to my apartment. And uh, they make homemade ice cream. That's right--they have famous Peanut Butter and Jelly ice cream! But I was so full from the lunch *I had chicken tenders if you were interested* and I couldn't even finish them all! So hold tight for reports on the ice cream but you can bet your booty im going to have somma that! You can check out more of their flavors of ice creams and sherberts at

Now, I wonder if anyone of you are wondering what my apartment looks like on the inside? *a few posts earlier I posted a picture of the walk-up* well I thought today I'd show you some pictures. You must keep in mind that in a few days we are moving to a bigger apartment where we each have our own bedrooms, so these pictures are the "in transition" phase. Do NOT panic.

This is our swanky living room. When we're home, we totally live here. It's also our makeshift dining room right now. That little table doesn't go too far, but I usually sit on the floor *I'm a messy eater*, Miles eats on his lap, and Jordan takes the little table. It works for us. For now.

This is our kitchen/office. Today I spent the good majority of the day giving it a good scrubdown and throwing out all the expired foods I happened to stumble upon!

It sorta feels like I'm back in the college days. This is the guys' idea of dinnerware. I get it, but I also got some plastic plates and bowls at Wal-Mart today. I don't mind washing a dish or two, you know? I just can't eat on paper plates all the time--I need to feel like an adult sometimes! *mind you, not all the time, just sometimes*

This is my temporary room. Notice the suitcase in the corner? Yeah that's my closet right now. But my bed's comfy and I got a great pillow. I think that we're off to a good start here. As soon as we move into the 3bedroom apt we'll start living like real people!

This is our one bathroom. It's tiny, alright, but not too bad. Except for that toilet. Let me tell you somethin bout that toilet: it was made for a toddler. I promise you. It's so small and low to the ground I feel like I'm going to get stuck. No bueno. *thats No Good in Spanish*

This is the random wood pole that is in the middle of our kitchen/hallway to the bedrooms. You can see the boy's bedroom right there to the left. Straight into the middle is the bathroom and if you take a right at the pole you'll hit my room.

And thus concludes our tour of the apartment. And also the end of this entry. I am very tired and surely have a busy day tomorrow! So sleep tight, y'all and I miss you!

until later,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Albany 101: Lesson One: History

Hi friends, its the new New Yorker here! Just settling in to bed but wanted to stop in and share some photos with you to give you a feel of what's going on here on my end! Today was a busy day--we went on a few site visits, went to the store (because I didn't have alot of stuff that I need!) and did some more work. But in the middle of all that I got to take a few photos of the place we're living at.

Now, this place is called Toll Gate Apartments. However it's not a complex. So go ahead and get that thought out of your beautiful minds! But I will tell you some super cool history/info. Here's the lesson for today:

I don't live in Albany. Rather, I live in the town of Bethlehem (and yes it is a little town, just like the song said), which is in the city of Slingerlands, which is right outside of Albany. Ya catch my drift?

Anyway, this little Bethlehem town has a section called Toll Gates. This used to be a boomin town in the mid 1850s, when they built this plank road that connected good ol Albany to Gallupville. But because the government invested so much money in the planks, they had to recoup their losses. So...they charged a toll. (this may or may not be one of the first toll roads, I dont know). Toll Gate area gets its name because right around where I live, there used to be a Toll Gate (aka a toll plaza) where people would be charged depending on their mode of transportation. Here's a pic of the original toll gate (it was demolished in 1908):
She's a beaut, ain't she? Anyway, on with the history lesson. The original post office, called Normanskill, was built in 1852, and was run by a man named...can you guess it?

William H. Slingerland!

Well, in 1863, they built the Albany and Susquehannah Railroad through the Slingerlands, and since they gave the Railroad such a great price, they named the station after them (and in 1870 the post office took the name, too).

New Scotland Road is the main road that runs through the Slingerlands, and that is the road that I live on!

And an even more fun fact than that: the old train station office buildings? Have been converted into apartments...and guess what those are? Toll Gate Apartments...WHERE I LIVE! Isn't that cool? There are tracks behind the house and everything (sorry I don't have pictures of those to share yet)!
So today's pictures are some of the place just so you can get a feel of what life is like here!

This is the font of the Toll Gate Apartments. It's very rustic looking on the outside but don't fret, it's very modern/vintage on the inside!

Look, trees! These are in our "back yard" aka the forest.
I took a few other photos but they came out blurry. Will post more as soon as I can!
So far New York has been kind to me--except for the mild sinus irritation. We should be transitioning into our big kid apartment soon, and I can't wait!
Will keep you posted. As for now, it's off to dreamland for me! The morning comes early and we're gonna be workin' hard!
hasta la vista!