First of all, I apologize for the lack of posts this week. The Wi Fi at my house suddenly decided to stop working and I still do not have it fixed. This resulted in my laptop very nearly receiving a flight out my window, multiple times. In particular, I was attempting to study for an astronomy test on Wednesday and the textbook was not making sense and the Wi Fi was not cooperating so I almost tossed both my laptop and textbook out the window! Instead, I decided that listening to astronomy themed songs like "Galaxies" by Owl City, "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse, and everything by M83 would be more productive than trying to study! I think the test went better than normal, so maybe it worked!
I also worked with my friend and fellow blogger Lauren from The Oatmeal Artist on a guest post. I love her blog and make her recipes multiple times a week. Check out the guest post and all of her recipes while you're at it!
This weekend is the Pike's Peak Writer's Conference. Last year, I learned so much about the craft of writing, pitching, and editing. It was my first time speaking to agents about my novel Violet Eyes and I vividly remember re-writing my pitch no less than twenty-one times the day I pitched! I received four requests for partial or full manuscripts, which I was happy with! It was such a great experience and gave me confidence that I belong in the world of writers! I'm a little sad that I'm not there this year, but I've had too much homework to edit my novel or produce any new manuscripts.
Though I'm not at the writer's conference, I still had an exciting Friday and Saturday competing at Fort Collins Classic. This morning, my practice ice was at a different rink than the competition. My GPS told me to turn onto a dirt county road. I thought that was a bit sketchy, but I obliged. As I approached cornfields, cow pastures, and someone's house, my GPS said, "Prepare to park your car and walk six miles to your destination." Needless to say, I was not in the right place! I put the address in my other GPS, drove six miles, crossed the interstate, and found the right location.
Before I compete, I have a set music playlist and each season I have a song that I have to listen to while tying my skates. Before my short at collegiate nationals, the last song I listened to was "Cousins" by Vampire Weekend so I listened to that the next day as well. The year before, "Houdini" by Foster the People was my skate-tying song. This weekend, I used "I Wanna Get Better" by Bleachers (which, if I have my alternative music knowledge right, is a new band headed by one of the members of Fun). I've been obsessed with this song since I first heard it, listening to it sixty-some times in the first twenty-four hours after purchasing it. I haven't been that addicted to a song since I discovered the previously mentioned "Galaxies." It's just so catchy, it's addictive! And don't hurt me for saying that I actually prefer Bleachers over Fun.
Last night, I dreamt that my freeskate music wasn't working so they played a random song during my program. It was so abysmal one of the judges demanded that I stop my program! That same judge also placed me fourth out of three skaters. Luckily, that didn't happen! I skated an almost clean program and placed second, so I was pretty happy with how it went!
Fort Collins has numerous vegetarian options, much to the excitement of myself and my roommate for the weekend (by the end she was even adopting my food photo habit!) For dinner the first night, we went to a small chain called Mad Greens. The restaurant was decorated with fun photos of trucks hauling giant cauliflowers, bell peppers, and carrots. I had the veggie hamlet Panini with hearty vegetable soup. My only complaint was that I kept getting the red pepper dipping sauce all over myself (I also managed to get peanut butter all over myself earlier in the day).
Some of the menu items were named after historical figures/characters like Annie Oakley, Leonardo de Vinci, Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, and even Don Quixote! I decided that if my writing career doesn't work out, I will put my English major to good use by opening a vegetarian restaurant with each entrée named after writers or literary characters. :)
After dinner, we had some time before practice ice so exploring Fort Collins seemed appropriate. Unfortunately, the most exciting places in the plaza were a Good Feet store and a Natural Pet Foods. We checked to see if Natural Pet Foods actually had a few pets too, but it just had pet food. I suggested
looking at the photos of pets on the pet food, but we decided that would be pathetic, even by our standards!
Tonight we went to Tasty Harmony, a completely vegetarian restaurant. It was so strange not worrying about hidden meat ingredients when ordering! After changing my mind about sixty times, I decided on the Buddha Belly salad which had marinated tofu, wonton strips, brown rice, zucchini, carrots, and lettuce. It was a great pre-competition meal. Downtown Fort Collins was so quaint and cute, despite the slightly confusing train tracks running in the middle of main street. It appeared that biking was the most common mode of transportation which sounds amazing. I drove past many gorgeous hiking trails and parks. I definitely hope to visit the city this summer!
I think that's all for now! I have lots of homework to do tomorrow. How is your weekend going? Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Mondays are typically not my favorite day, hence why I purposefully avoided scheduling Monday classes. This morning, I woke up at 5:30 AM and could not get back to sleep, then when it was finally time to leave I could not find my car keys anywhere. My landlord is visiting and suggested I check my car. I said, "No, they wouldn't be there," but checked anyway. Sure enough, they were laying on the driver's seat! That's a new one for me. Then, when I tried to buy tickets at the rink, I discovered I didn't have enough money on either card...oops. I also haven't been feeling well today...happy Monday! Luckily at least this Monday came after a great weekend!
I took the above photo on Thursday as I was walking across campus to the rec center. I'm glad I took the time to walk instead of drive because it forced me to take in the view. When I first moved to Colorado, I could not stop looking at the mountains! While I still think they are gorgeous whenever I go skiing, I'm often in such a hurry that I forget Colorado Springs has amazing mountains too.
This weekend, I went to Winter Park for the first time. I loved it! The mountain was not very crowded, especially for closing weekend. I unsuccessfully tried to do a black diamond moguls run (I don't really know how to do moguls...) at 8:30 AM, which did not go so well! After wiping out about a quarter of the way down the run, I took off my skis and hiked up! Later in the day, I tried another moguls run and this time made it to the bottom (though I did fall twice). It was a warm, gorgeous day until an hour before close when it started hailing. The lightning detectors were going off so they closed the lifts. Unfortunately, all of the layers we shed throughout the day were at the summit. We did get everything back and made it down the mountain safely. That was the first time I had ever skied in a thunderstorm! I was soaked by the time I reached the bottom and as we drove through the mountains, clouds covered the roads. Overall, it was almost an eerie drive. "Mountain Sound" by Of Monsters and Men made the perfect soundtrack!
I had a lovely Easter! I started the day by going to church with a couple friends and later had Easter lunch with my old host family. I also stopped at Mimi's Café with friends, where the waitress accidentally gave me a British ten pence coin instead of a quarter for change! I didn't mind and was rather excited about it actually. On Friday, I met with my English advisor to coordinate classes for studying abroad next year. The preparation process is lengthy, but I'm excited to have my courses figured out!
How was your Easter? Do you have any special Easter traditions?
Hi, I’m Crystal! I love to travel and am currently a graduate student in Scotland. You’ll get all the best tips and insights from my experiences as a former ice-skating coach in Iceland and former study abroad student. Of the 27 countries I have visited, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis has been the strangest land yet. Type 1 has not slowed down my travels and you'll learn how to take type 1 with you on the road! You can connect with me further on Instagram @CrystalChilcott, or send me ideas of where I should travel next via email: email@example.comHappy Travels, Crystal
What am I up to today? Check out my Instagram feed below to find out!