My big frolicking trip of 2012 is hours away and I could not be more excited! After work I will board a plane to Barcelona, Spain where I will meet up with my best friend Elizabeth for two full weeks of fun, adventures, and craziness! Elizabeth was my roommate throughout my semester in Tanzania nearly two years ago where we traveled around Tanzania, Zanzibar and South Africa together.
Let's just say this trip is going to epic, amazing, and unforgettable. Stay tuned for more photos and crazy stories.
Toy Soldiers, one of my favorite Philly bands, played at World Cafe Live on Saturday night and I was not only lucky enough to attend but I scored a photo pass too!
Singer-song writer Jordan Hull from Nashville started the night off with some slow folk songs, kind of resembling a young Josh Ritter. But don't let this baby-face fool you, he later breaks out the banjo and rocks out during the Toy Soldiers set.
Thom McCarthy, the definition of a nervous nelly, pleasantly surprised the crowd with his soulful yet folkish ballads despite his admitted nerves. He very well stole the show with his intriguing lyrics and passionate showmanship. Check out a quick video from Saturday night.
After two great opening acts, Toy Soldiers finally took the stage and kept the energy going throughout a nearly two hour set. Debuting a bunch of new songs off their upcoming album release, I was in heaven listening to Ron Gallo belt out some blues-rock-n-roll tunes. Numerous special guests, including my new favorite person Thom McCarthy, graced the stage with Toy Soldiers later in the set only adding to the great night of music.
I hope I can become this guy's best friend someday, he was so entertaining!
Overall it was a great show and it made me even more excited for their upcoming album, hopefully being released sometime in the fall. But fear not, I'll get to see them again (with Thom McCarthy!!) at the end of July. It's going to be a great summer of music!
Last Friday a bunch of my friends and I celebrated my best friend Tina's birthday. We all climbed aboard a party bus and headed down to AC for a night of ridiculousness and fun (as per usual). There were numerous times throughout the drive down when I thought my life might be in legitimate danger because of the bus driver's reckless driving but once we all had a few drinks in us it wasn't as noticeable, ha!
My lovafaces, Liz & Tina
Can't forget Chip!
Disguising our alcohol in various random cups
Harrah's Pool Bar
The party bus was ridiculous, as are all of my adventures with my north east friends, but it always makes for a great story! =)
Exactly one week ago I was enjoying the last day of Bonnaroo's four day music festival in Manchester, Tennessee. It was a crazy weekend full of music, fun, dancing, friends, and unforgettable memories.
Thursday Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.: A decent start to the Bonnaroo festival, though I must say they had some interesting covers including Whitney Houston's "I will always love you," HA!
Moon Taxi: Didn't know who they were prior to Bonnaroo but this Tennessee indie-rock band was pretty kick ass. They got the crowd going with a cover of Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the name of." Alabama Shakes: I have been obsessed with them for months and could not wait to see them at Roo, especially since I missed their concert in Philly. Unfortunately I was exhausted from the drive down to Tennessee earlier that day and only managed to stay awake for about half of their set, but the half I did see was great. Definitely need to see them again when they come to town.
Friday Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings: Who doesn't like to start their day with a little soul music. Sharon Jones knows how to get down and get a bunch of sweaty hippies groovin'. Two Door Cinema: I only caught a few songs but I was instantly intrigued. Definitely downloading and mix-taping their music asap! Hey Rosetta: They didn't play my favorite song, Bandages, but it was still great to finally see them live.
Ludacris: I have been dying to see Luda live since I was 12...dreams do come true my friends! The "This Tent" was packed for his set and people went crazy--I've never seen crowd surfing at a hip hop concert but it was everywhere during his set. Dawes: DAWESOME! It was great to see such a large turn out for Dawes' set, especially since it conflicted with other great acts like St. Vincent.
Foster The People: FTP have certainly grown in popularity and showmanship since I saw them in Philly last fall. They pulled out all the stops for their first appearance at Bonnaroo: white suits, crazy light shows, big blow up figure, etc. and it definitely paid off. Major Lazer: I first say Major Lazer the weekend prior at the Roots Picnic in Philly and was instantly hooked; you can't help but rage to their electronic reggae music. Though they could probably do without the hype man. The Word & Dumpstaphunk: Though two completely separate sets these two bands kind of blur into one great late-night set of none stop dancing. The late night bands are what sets Bonnaroo apart from the rest--I usually just roam from one set to next in a constant state of dancing.
Saturday Dawes: Yes, I saw Dawes twice and though their second set was more low key they ended it with a bang, playing "When my time comes" with total audience participation--you could see how happy/excited Taylor Goldsmith (lead singer) and band mates were at the sight of a crowd screaming their lyrics and rocking out. AND they did a signing after the set!!
Battles: A little experimental rock session--new music download Childish Gambino: It's a little weird to watch Donald Glover go all "gangsta" when you are used to his Troy character on Community but he put on a great show and I'm excited to see him again in Philly next weekend! The Roots: Always a good time, too bad they didn't play this. Dispatch: Ahhh Dispatch! Played everything I wanted to hear and more...euphoria
Skrillex: The loudest set I've ever seen at the Which Stage (notorious for having sound issues), I'm pretty sure Skrillex brought extra speakers for the ultimate raging experience. Electronic dance-fest, yes please!
Sunday Delta Spirit: Matt Vasquez you can start my day off any day of the week! Delta Spirit rocked my world as usual, opening the Which Stage Sunday morning with an awesome performance mainly from their new album.
Gary Clark Jr.: The reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix, enough said. The Beach Boys: I was skeptical after watching their performance at the Grammy's but it actually was much better than I expected. The Antlers: Great set, could have listened to them the rest of the afternoon.
Ben Folds Five: A little disappointing, definitely prefer Ben Folds solo. Bon Iver: Bon Iver should only play live. Forget studio albums, just record everything live without auto-tune and I will be your biggest fan ever. The Civil Wars: Possibly my favorite set of the weekend (it nearly brought me to tears). Joy Williams and John Paul White are probably the best duo of all time; their voices are magical. I've Got This Friend
The Shins: A great way to end an epic weekend of music.
Even though I had to skip some bands due to conflicts/overlapping of set times Bonnaroo was awesome and totally worth the 14 hour drive to Tennessee. It was a rude awakening going back to work on Tuesday; you quickly become accustomed to no showers, port-a-potties, lack of sleep, and a slight state of delusion all while watching your favorite, or soon to be favorite, bands rock out right in front of you. Bonnaroo itself is like a drug, an addicting drug that makes you want to come back year after year...don't mind if I do!
After work today Kevin and I will start our 14 hour trek down to Manchester, TN for a long weekend full of music, dancing, and other craziness at BONNAROO! Last year was so much fun and I can't wait for this year's adventure to begin. I know a bunch of people going this year, including my fellow master-jokester Steph, so I'm anticipating a pretty epic weekend to say the least.
A year ago today I returned from a volunteer trip to Guatemala, my final activity as a college student.
We spent 10 days in a very small community
outside of San Martin, Guatemala. They welcomed us with open arms, and
truly made us feel like part of their families.
Over the course of the next 10 days we cleaned, scrapped, and repainted the pre-school and elementary school.
We also played soccer, went on mini adventures, experienced Guatemalan culture, and fell in love with every Guatemalan child we encountered.
This is Don Chepe...
He is the leader in the community and one of the my sincere and genuine people you will ever meet. He has made the trek from Guatemala to the US 3 times in hopes of making money to give his family a better life.
On our last day in San Martin we taught the kids about washing their hands--which is apparently and issue in the town that causes a lot of diseases/infections to occur.
We wrote and acted out a funny little play about washing hands.
It was so much fun and the kids loved it!
Clean hands! =)
These cuties made the long days worth it
This is Maxima; we became inseparable throughout our time in San Martin. Though there was a definite language barrier, we got by with lots of hugs, hand motions and my impeccable spanglish.
Ten days flew by and before we knew it we had to part ways with our new friends.
I will never forget the people we met and the gratitude they showed for the simple things we were able to do throughout the week. They were so happy and thankful for all we accomplished and yet the whole group wished we could have stayed and done even more. Who knows if I'll ever make it back to San Martin, or even Guatemala for that matter, but at the very least I will always have the memories and friendships we formed with the community.
After our stay in San Martin, we went to Antigua for about a day a half for a action-packed-mini-adventure:
Pacaya Volcano, an active volcano!
Guatemala was a great trip for so many reasons and the perfect way to end my four years at La Salle.
(Oh, and here is a video one of the adult leaders put together of our trip)