Friday, April 13, 2012

Whirlwind of a semester, but loving the ride!

What a whirl wind this semester has been! Time has gotten away from me and allowed my blog to lack updates and fun stories… well not any longer. Here is the longest update I will probably ever post, dating back to mid-February and catching up to the present. Here goes nothing…

Heading home for a fun filled couple of days at the end of February, I could hardly wait to pick Joni up from the Oklahoma State chapter! Joni is another first year ELC who studied at Texas Tech and was a part of the Gamma Phi chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta. The Beta Zeta girls brought Joni to half way to meet me and we were off to discover the real Oklahoma ;) We headed straight to Norman to visit 845 Chautauqua and take a tour of campus. Joni and I managed to take a great picture outside of the Theta house and even made it to Michael’s office to meet him for a bit. The best encounter of the day was going to see Becky Barker at her office. Becky was a member of the Beta Zeta chapter at Oklahoma State and went on to become an ELC. Becky’s inspiration to become an ELC was from her experience as chapter president with the then ELC, Mrs. Jameson, Joni’s mom! It is such a small world and was really nice to be able to connect Joni and Becky for a picture and short chat J I loved having Joni visit my home and meet some important people in my life, the next day she was headed back to Nashville! I'm now ready to visit Joni's home and see her family!!

The rest of my visit hope was dedicated to seeing family and friends. I enjoyed being home for the weekend, but all too quickly was back on the road. This time I was flying to North Carolina to help assist with the presentation team at North Carolina State University. I was reunited with Katie & Christa, two other ELCs. The presentation went very well and Theta was selected to colonize fall 2013!

From the presentation it was off to Ohio to visit Case Western. Case Western was a smaller university located in Cleveland, Ohio. The women took me to some fabulous places to eat and even found a local place known for their wide variety of teas! My final day on the visit the President took me to a fun place called Liquid Planet for a great sandwich and smoothie!

Directly from Case Western I took a break and headed to Tampa to visit Christa, who is based in Tampa as second year support. Christa and I had a wonderful time catching up and relaxing! Unfortunately for me the airline lost my carry on that had all of my medicine, glasses, makeup, etc. I was able to get it back a day later, but was freaking out for a while. Upon my arrival Christa and I went directly to a wonderful little Mexican restaurant called Lime. It was seriously the best Mexican food I’ve ever had! I crave it to this day haha Then in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday we went to see The Lorax! Our first full day was spent laying on the beach at Clearwater, followed by a second day of shopping and exploring Tampa! I love love loved my time in Tampa and was sad to leave early Monday morning.

From Tampa I headed to Topeka, Kansas to visit Washburn University. Upon my arrival at Washburn I was greeted with a friendly proposal… stop at Quick Trip on the way to Topeka! I was thrilled of course and happily made my way to the car. During the drive we figured out that the lovely rent house I would be staying at with a member was close to campus, clean and had cats. CATS??  If you know me you know I’m deathly allergic to cats. As soon as I got to the house the chapter member I was staying with freaked out at the mention of my allergies, knowing she had two cute kitties right in side. I remembered a conversation I had with the president a few short weeks earlier about allergies, I had told her I had none, thinking only of food or medicine. Luckily for me the door to my room was shut and we were able to take a furry comforter off and put a new one on without allowing the cats inside. The funny thing about this rent house and these cats was the inch between the floor and the door. The cats loved to try to get me (I think they knew I didn’t like them) and would run their arms under the door jam so I could see they were there and wanting to get in.  Moving on from the cat portion of this visit, I had a wonderful time with the women of Alpha Upsilon! We went to a fun Mexican restaurant and even a cute tavern like place.  On one of my last nights at Washburn Justine, a fellow ELC, flew in to Kansas City and had to drive through Topeka to make it to Kansas State University. The sweet women driving her allowed Justine to run in and give me a hug. It was such a treat to see a friendly face and have a nice big hug on the road.
From Washburn I made a return visit to the Delta Phi chapter at Clemson! It had been way too long and I was so excited to see the women and their advisors again! This time things had changed, the past president was in the final stages of planning her beautiful wedding, the new members were initiated by now and I wasn’t a member of ERB this time L
I flew into the Tulsa airport for the first time in my life and headed straight for the University of Tulsa! The Chief Administration Officer (CAO) picked me up from the airport and we headed back to the facility. The CAO is from Tulsa originally, yet somehow we got turned around and were a bit late. I thought the event was funny and nothing big, but the other officers vowed to never let her live it down haha The Tulsa facility is BEAUTIFUL! The chapter has decorated the facility so nicely inside and it truly felt like home

The women were so welcoming and knew many of my close friends and even Theta’s from OU. It was fun being able to share my pride for Oklahoma with fellow Oklahoman’s on the road. Obviously throughout my visit we made multiple quick trip runs, had a great campus tour, and watched the season finale of the Bachelor (which we were all screaming at the TV and frustrated after the conclusion).  I had so much fun with the chapter through meetings and off time! The women were absolute dolls and wonderful hostess! 

Leaving Tulsa was an interesting experience, I felt like a middle schooler again, as my mom picked me up from the facility around lunch time. My mom and I had a great lunch in Tulsa and headed back to OKC late afternoon. The following day was Whitney Ketner, now Whitney Ferguson’s, wedding! The wedding was absolutely beautiful! It was so much fun being back together will so many of my Theta sisters and celebrating a great friend!

The last day of my trip home was dedicated to celebrating St. Patrick’s day with some of my best friends! It was fun to meet Bella, Lauren's new puppy  and to spend some much needed time with the girls! It was hard to leave home but okay due to the fact that the next day I was headed to Los Angeles, California to visit the Omicron chapter at USC!
I am literally OBSESSED with the Omicron chapter! Not only did a wonderful lady, Corey Burnett (a fellow ELC), become a member here, but the women felt like long lost friends. The chapter facility is beyond gorgeous and the chapter has many fun traditions.

My favorite tradition is Monday Night Dinner (MND)! During MND fraternity men come and do deliveries, a favorite event of the chapter women. The deliveries are notes, cards, presents, flowers, or invitations. The women of Omicron made sure I had a delivery my first MND. The ladies gave me tons of USC and Theta t-shirts, sunglasses, snacks and so much more! Tess, the president, was a girl after my own heart and made sure I always had a cold diet coke to drink. Another tradition of USC that I love is “fight on”, while I felt like a tourist taking a picture raising my V for Victory, I couldn’t help but get lost in the school tradition.

The women made a point to take me to lunch at the Grove. A beautiful shopping center with places to eat, a farmers market, great shopping and of course celebrities! I was also able to see the restaurant Justine’s Dad is a co-owner of J My time with Omicron was only amplified due to my plush, huge hotel room I was able to stay in each night!  As I was leaving the night before the Hunger Games premiere, the women made sure to tell me that Cato from the movie is a fraternity man from USC. I was sad to leave the fun times in LA, but excited for what was to come.

My next stop was to Richmond, Kentucky to Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). The women of the Delta Upsilon chapter at EKU were full of energy! I arrived during the chapter’s Greek Week festivities. I was able to attend the Greek Week dance competition entitled "NOW that’s what I call Greek Week.” Each chapter was given a NOW CD to use as their theme and music for the performance. Theta got a great CD and even utilized the song “Bootylicious”. I had a lot of fun cheering on the Theta’s! We even made a dinner stop at Fazzoli’s one night, yum! EKU made sure they took me to The Hunger Game’s midnight premiere!!! It was AWESOME! The next morning I helped with their spring recruitment workshop and headed off to Louisiana J

From EKU I headed straight to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to visit LSU again!! On this visit I was reunited with Stacey! We teamed up with Jill to give a fabulously fun recruitment workshop. The women of Delta Kappa were excellent hostesses yet again, they even took the three of us to have our first crawfish experience. It was delicious yet creepy haha The next morning the president took Stacey and I to have a Louisiana specialty for breakfast…
We also managed to take a small tour of campus, do a little shopping and of course see Mike the Tiger!

The visit with Delta Kappa seemed WAY too short, but I eagerly got on the plane and headed back to Oklahoma! Once I got back to Oklahoma I headed straight home, changed clothes and headed for Norman to pick Justine up from visiting the Alpha Omicron chapter at the University of Oklahoma J Justine was able to meet some of my great friends and see where my collegiate experience took place.  Justine and I headed straight to Blackbird to have dinner and meet Michael. After a delicious dinner we made our way to the dress rehearsal of Scandals to give Justine a little take of OU Greek Life. Sadly, after our fun night we had to make our way back to OKC so Justine could catch a flight early the next morning. I still had a few days at home so making the drive to the airport didn’t seem so bad.

EARLY EARLY Sunday morning I got on a plane headed for Tuscaloosa, Alabama! I could not get over the size, tradition and excitement on The University of Alabama’s campus! You literally cannot take a picture of the Theta house without getting the football stadium in the background…

The Delta Omicron women were exceptional hosts as well. The facility had recently purchased new mattresses and a flat screen TV for every room in the facility. Needless to say, I slept like a baby and caught up on a few TV shows. Did I mention the food was AWESOME! One night the facility chef prepared steaks for everyone… YUM! The girls took me on a campus tour to see the stadium and all the beauty Alabama has to offer! I made my first purchase at the Shirt Shop, which is apparently the place to buy t-shirts and spent most of my days sitting on the sun porch having meetings J The school spirit in Tuscaloosa is unreal! Even McAllister’s has the Alabama logo on their cups haha I truly loved my time spent with Delta Omicron and look forward to seeing the majority of exec  at Grand Convention!

From Alabama I took a short travel day and made it to Tallahassee, Florida to visit Florida State University! Let me just say their campus is beautiful! The Theta house is decorated so beautifully inside as well!

The most interesting and unique item the university has to offer is the Florida State Circus!! The tents never leave and the circus performs during specific months. I was in awe of this!

The women of Beta Nu allowed me to tag a long to  watch the chapter compete in a dance competition. Theta was INCREDIBLE! My favorite part of my visit with Beta Nu happened nightly at 9 pm. Ms. Pam, the facility director, always puts Theta snacks out at 9 pm. I LOVED this! I had so much fun spending time with the women, eating snacks, going on tours and just hanging out.  Beta Nu has some incredible Theta alumnae: Mary Jane Beach our current NPC Delegate & Florence, the first ELC ever! It was fun to see where some fabulous Theta’s come from J My visit with Beta Nu came to an end way to fast, but I was able to make it home in time to celebrate Easter with my family!
This job has been the most incredible adventure of my life. I cannot believe my first year as an ELC is coming to a close. With only 4 visits left and a trip to Boston, I can see the end is near and want to enjoy the travelers life for just a bit longer J

Now boarding for Columbia, Missouri to visit the Alpha Mu chapter at the University of Missouri!

No comments:

Post a Comment