Goodbye Readak!

For those of you who do not know, I am no longer traveling on the open road for Readak. Long Island was my last assignment & I am now back in the magical city of Birmingham, AL. I am happy to be back in the South and be back in the company of my bestest buds and family. Thanks to all of you (probably just three of you) for reading my blog. It was a fun five months while it lasted. I hope to see you all soon!

Much love!


Christmas in NYC

My time here has flown by! Friday night David, Heidi & I went out to sample the local Long Island Iced Teas at an old resturant that is over 200 years old. It was fun - as we left it started snowing! It was the first snow I've seen here, like, first real snow. I bet we had several inches. It was absolutely beautiful! It was like a winter wonderland. The only thing I don't like, it's still on the ground and now frozen & still 28 degrees outside. I'm ready for it to melt off of my car. But with Janet having decorated the house, it looks like Christmas here. I love it! Sunday afternoon we went into the city for the last time. We went to see Mary Poppins (LOVED IT) then Magnolia Bakery (one last time) and then to see the big tree. It was magnificant. Words can't describe when I walked around the corner then looked up - it was beatufiul. I hope you enjoy the pictures! I return home Sunday. I start my drive on Saturday. I honestly can not wait to be home. I will be home for good as this was my last stop on the Readak Train. I hope you all had fun following my adventures on the blog. I look forward to seeing you all soon, real soon.


Almost in my mouth!!

Yay! Snow!

Heidi's perfect form aiming at David!

Sunday morning - the beautiful snow on the football field.

David & Heidi outside our beloved Magnolia Bakery on a cold, cold, COLD, windy December day.

The Great Tree @ Rockefller.

Saks & St. Patrick's Cathedral.


Jones Beach & The Hamptons

Today was an eventful day - long, too. First of all, we all got up this morning and went to church then went to eat brunch at a nice little dinner down the road. Janet then took us to Jones Beach, which is 10 minutes from their house! David, Heidi & I had a great ole time. I then ventured out on my own to make the journey towards "THE HAMPTONS!" I had to see what the fuss was about. It took FOREVER - 1.5 hours. Anyway, I made my way through Westhampton first, then South Hampton, then East Hampton. East Hampton is where all the celebs are. I made my way down main street and people watched a bit and then bought some gifts in a gift shop. East Hampton is cute, honestly, I could easily compare it to Mt Brook Village but with a Tiffany's and a few other high end shops. They had these windmills everywhere out there - gorgeous. I then drove to the farthest point on the South Shore - Mantaulk. I saw the lighthouse and then drove home. I now am preparing to COME HOME! I can't wait! I fly in Monday for a week. I can't wait to see my family and friends. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! xoxoxo!

Heidi, David & I @ Jones Beach.

Beautiful Jones Beach, Long Island, NY.

Jones Beach. Everyone keeps asking what my secret is in jumping so high. I do have a secret and I won't tell...

Westhampton. Me.

East Hampton.

Mantaulk Point, already all done up for Christmas. Oh and I could see CT from this side of the island. Pretty neat.


A cold, windy day on Long Island

I decided to venture East on Long Island today. Thinking, "hey, this is a small island, it won't take me long to get there," I was wrong. I had the best of intentions to see the North Fork (wineries, beautiful harbors) and South Fork (the famous Hamptons). I only made it to the North Fork. The area is just beautiful. It's very New England-esque. The houses remind me of New England and there are a lot of cute, quaint shops and fishing boats. I need to mention, it was windy x 10 out there today - horribly windy! All of my pictures will show it. I went to one winery that was recommended to me. It was beautiful, but unfortunately, this time of year the vines look dead because all the leaves have fallen off. I made a few friends in the Rafeal winery - they all loved trying to guess where I was from with my accent. I then headed farther East to Glenport and Orient. Glenport is a small, cute town with B&Bs everywhere and nice little docks & fishing boats. I then ventured as far off the island as possible to a town called Orient. By the time I got to Orient Harbor the winds had picked up - they were so strong that when I tried to get out of my car and open my door my door would not move. Enjoy the pictures!

Glenport, NY - whoo-wee-- hold on to that hat!

Glenport, NY. Cute little fishing town.

The beautiful Orient Harbor, NY.

Orient Harbor, NY - Long Island. Massive, crazy winds!

For Amber Monty - she loves my new "point."


Long Island & NYC

So, I woke up from the night after my birthday with only five hours of sleep and drove from DC to Long Island. I thought I left in enough time to make it there in six hours, so I stopped for lunch at Cracker Barrel. I saw the sign and instantly thought: SWEET TEA! I drank 1 pitcher all by myself, no lie. I'd been without it for nearly 4 months. After seven hours of driving (I HATE driving around Manhattan, cut my wrist, please), I made it safely to Brookville, NY. I am staying with the Hahns. Dr. Hahn is the headmaster of Long Island Lutheran & his wife is a middle school science teacher. Words can not describe how they have treated me from the second I walked in the door! They are wonderful! There are also two student teachers staying here from NE, (David & Heidi). They are so sweet & fun. The school I am teaching at used to be a mansion - no lie. This area is very affluent - mansions everywhere. NOT to name drop...(laugh) but J. Lo & Marc Anthony live up the street AND Jon Bon Jovi was here last weekend at the football game b/c his son played on the other team. I SO wish I'd been here then! The school is beautiful and the leaves are in peak season. I will get two falls! DC's fall was just ending as I left. The person who is my contact at the school went to UA (Roll Tide! - I hear it all the time now) and is super sweet. I am enjoying it here a great deal. It's a beautiful area, woodsy and quaint. Oh and did I mention Mrs. Hahn makes dinner for us each night? Yes... :) I am very blessed.

We were off for Veteran's Day yesterday, so Heidi, David & I went into the city. We took a 45 min train commute to Penn Station then walked the city for TEN HOURS. We went to Macy's (already decorated for Christmas), went to the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) - the best view of the city, hands down, St. Patrick's Cathedral, watched the Veteran's Day Parade, walked all through Central Park, had lunch @ the Boat House, took the Staton Island Ferry so we could see the Statue of Liberty, ate at Magnolia Bakery (best cupcakes EVER!), ate New York Pizza, then walked from 44th St to 84 St via 5th Ave... yes, 40 blocks. We ran into George Stephanopoulos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Stephanopoulos) while walking - I have an eagle eye for celebs, even nerdy ones. We met the Hahns, with their daughter & her boyfriend, at a bar to play trivia. We finally got home by midnight. What a tiring day - but tons of fun! The city is already spread with Christmas cheer! I love it! I will be going back soon as it's not a far commute. Enjoy the pics. Miss you all! xoxo!

Macy's... "It's starting to look a lot like Christmas!"

What's a trip to Times Square without a jumping shot?

Look how tiny Central Park looks from Top of the Rock! All of those colors are beautiful.

Heidi & I from Top of the Rock facing Empire State Bldg.

The view from Top of the Rock - overlooking Central Park.

The view as you pop out of Rockefeller Center to go towards St. Patrick's Cathedral. It was beautiful!

Central Park. Sheep's Meadow - my favorite place. Look how beautiful the trees are!

Central Park. Throwing leaves in the air.

The Statue as the sun is going down.

Staton Island Ferry with Lady Liberty behind me ... it was FREEZING!

Radio City Music Hall. Already with Christmas decor! I love it!


Birthday Celebrations & Going Away

This past weekend has been an eventful one! Saturday was my birthday & last full day in DC area. We all went out to celebrate my b'day Saturday night in Georgetown. It was also Jenn's birthday, another friend of Kelly's. We went to a great Italian place near the water (sat right by Tom Brokaw) then went out to the Guards (read: crowded, very crowded 80s/90s dance club reminiscent of a college party). It was a memorable night and the very next day I had to make my trek to New York... enjoy the last night in DC pics!

What's better than one Van Assche? TWO Van Assches! Meagan, Me, Kelly. My b'day night.

Kelly & Lindsay (with Tom Brokaw behind)

The Crew: Danny, Billy, Matt, Brian, myself, Kelly & Meagan.

This guy right here killed me! They brought their iPod in for the other party and blasted 80s songs from it. He held it up like this the entire time. I had to capture it on my camera.


Happy Halloween & Other Misc Pics

This past weekend I saw an old friend, went to a pre-Halloween Party and went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. JT, one of my oldest friends (from 3rd grade) came into town to run the Marine Corps Marathon. We got to visit with one another on Saturday - went to lunch in Alexandria and then went to a couple of museums. Congrats to JT for finishing the 26.2 miles with a broken foot! Saturday night I went with Kelly to her friend's Halloween party. I borrowed her costume from last year (flight attendant). We had a great time! Sunday I went to Annapolis, MD, with my new pal, Jack. It's a small, quaint town and home of the Naval Academy. It was right on the water and a beautiful day to be outside! So, I hope you enjoy the pictures below to document my last few days/week in the area. It's hard to believe my time is almost over here - only two more weeks! I leave on my birthday (Nov 8) for Brookville, Long Island, NY. I will be living with the headmaster & his family, along with two student teachers. It'll be nice to be in a house with a couple of people my age. It should be a great experience!

JT & I in National Mall - Capitol Buliding behind us.

Jennifer, Kelly, myself & Joe "the Plumber"

Jack & I in Annapolis, MD.

Go Navy!