The Tourist Classic....

So, we all have them. You know, that photo from your last family vacation, the one of you smiling wide while standing in front of the Grand Canyon; or that picture of you posing in front of a castle (a real castle!) from the first time you ever traveled abroad; or that one of you and your friend with that random person that you met that time you took that trip to that place that you still brag about to this day... That picture. The one that demonstrates the culmination of all of your enthusiasm and excitement captured by the camera. You know the photo: The Tourist Classic.

We all have them. And if you’re like me, you have multiple (tons) of them of you and friends standing in front of a hundred different places. These ‘tourist’ photos are infectious. They’re timeless. I've come to just embrace this artistic style of photography. This is why I was stoked when I received an email from my good friend Fritz entitled, “I thought you’d appreciate this one...” I opened the email and attached was a photo of him and his beautiful fiancé posed on the roof of some Virginian building exhibiting (you guessed it) The Tourist Classic. I do believe that he had the photo labeled as “The Tanya Classic,but let’s face it; The Tourist Classic is such a better title.

I’ve attached some Tourist Classics below.

 Feel free to share your Tourist Classic photos too.


 Happy Friday! Enjoy! Related Posts with Thumbnails


Heartbreak the Musical: Courtesy of Cyndi Thomson...

It is a wonderfully rainy day outside thanks to Tropical Depression Bonnie; perfect sheet-fort making weather. I drove home from Austin a day early to beat the rain, and now I find myself sitting in my house enjoying the thunderstorms outside my window. Driving home early ended up being a great decision. The only rain that I ran into on my drive home was in Mobile. The rest of the drive was quite nice. Almost fun, actually...  

Allow me to back up a bit and explain how a 10 ½ hour solo drive can ever be deemed “almost fun.” The night before I left, I was charging my iPod for my car ride home and decided to play a little game with my sister, Jessica. Now, what you have to understand about Jess is that she is the type of person who loves music. She has this talent for being able to hear just 3 seconds of a song, and then tell you exactly what song it is and who sings it. I find this so intriguing. That night while charging my iPod, I decided to try and stump her by playing a bunch of one hit wonders from the 90’s (thank you, Mack and Dave) to see if she could “Name that Band.” The bottom line is that she won and I failed, but more importantly, this led to us reminiscing about the music of our childhood. We discussed and listened to everything from the Black Crows to Mary Chapin Carpenter. We came across one album in particular that stuck out: Cyndi Thomson’s My World.

Now for those of you who know me well, you know that I do not listen to tons of country music. I don’t really listen to any country music for that matter. However, growing up, country music was (almost) all that was played in our house. This might account for why I have such a soft spot for Cyndi Thomson’s My World. After rediscovering the album the other night, I instantly bought it off of iTunes, and the next day Cyndi and I jammed for most of the 10 ½ hour drive home.

This album is one of my favorites partly (or mostly..) because it sounds as if some guy ripped poor Cyndi Thomson’s heart out, and she then decided to make an album commemorating that moment in time. This is why I’ve entitled this post “Heartbreak the Musical: Courtesy of Cyndi Thomson...” The thing that you have to understand about this album is that she writes these sad heartbroken songs, but somehow singing them just makes me so dang happy. (Sad songs that make you happy; now that is what I call a successful songwriter!)  Also, I want to point out that I do enjoy a nice love song (ehhh.. every now and again), but let’s face it, break-up songs are just so much more fun! And when I say break-up songs, I mean tasteful ones, unlike this (here) (Although it's kind of fun too, just unrealistic. Unless you're crazy...)  

Once you get past basic introductions (here), the album begins to tell of a love that Cyndi obviously lost. She sings of what had to have been the last straw before she finally called the whole thing off (here). Reminisces about all of the good time she and her man use to have together (a favorite of mine) (here). Sweetly tells of what she would do if he were hers (here). Jokingly says what she would change if he would just come back (here). Dreams of running into her lost love once more (here).  And then finally comes to terms that in the end sometimes all that you can do is let them go and wish them the best (here).

Kind of cheesy? Yes! Kind of awesome? Yes! I love it! This makes me smile every time :)  And for those of you who are wondering why the heck I just wrote a critique on a country album from 10 years ago... Remember, I had 10 ½ hours in a car by myself driving on the incredibly scenic (that’s sarcasm) I-10. In other words, I had nothing else to do. This was the most productive thing that I could come up with at the time.... But let’s face it, if you can’t laugh after you’ve cried, then what can you do...?

I hope you enjoy! Related Posts with Thumbnails


Student Universe...

I realize that this may be a little late in the summer, but for any of you adventurous types, I wanted to share with you a travel site that I have used time after time: . This site is designed to sell tickets specifically for student travelers. Each time that you purchase a ticket from Student Universe, you email documentation verifying that you are a student. This verification allows Student Universe to negotiate with their airline partners to give you the best prices. Student tickets are often more flexible making them cheaper to change or cancel. Anyone who is currently a full-time or part-time student or faculty member in an undergraduate or graduate program is eligible to purchase tickets from Student Universe. Student Universe also offers Youth Fares. To qualify for youth fares you do not need to be enrolled in school, you just need to be between the ages of 18-25. I have traveled both in the US and abroad several times using tickets I purchased through Student Universe and I  have never once had a problem.

Below are a few photos of some of the places that I have visited using tickets purchased through Student Universe:

Red River, New Mexico:


San Diego, California


Howth, Ireland:


Prague, Czech Republic:


London, England:

I hope that you find this helpful! I'll get to posting a thing or two about Austin soon. Enjoy! Related Posts with Thumbnails


Dinner in Seville Park...


Man, I am falling behind on my blogging... I an excuse! I drove 10 hours yesterday (all the while listening to NPR) and arrived in Austin, Texas just last night. Woohoo!! I am here for a good 9-10 days just hanging out and visiting with my sister.But this blog is not about me being in Austin (not yet)...

Ok, so I love to cook. If you have ever been on the receiving end of one of my "boxes of sunshine" then you know exactly what I am talking about. I especially love to cook for people who when you cook a meal for them they are super appreciative. It makes me smile to make someone happy. I think that I have found someone that I can cook for; My brother! I love it. We had a "hang out" night  on Thursday. I made dinner, packed it all up, and we headed down to Seville Square for Music in the Park. It was a great time!

I cooked homemade creamy cheese and broccoli soup, turkey and havarti sandwiches, homemade chocolate chip cookies, baked chips, and sweet tea. I was very excited to cook everything up, and even more excited to get to hang out with my brother.

I have posted below the recipes for the creamy cheese and broccoli soup and the chocolate chip cookies:

 Creamy Cheese and Broccoli Soup:


1/2 cup butter

1 onion, chopped

1 (16 ounce)  chopped broccoli

4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

1 (1 pound) colby or American (I used half a pound of each)

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup water


  1. In a stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion in butter until softened. Stir in broccoli, and cover with chicken broth. Simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat, and stir in cheese cubes until melted. Mix in milk and garlic powder.
  3. In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into water until dissolved. Stir into soup; cook, stirring frequently, until thick.

Chocolate Chip Cookies:  


2  cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) REAL butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Chocolate Chips


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINEflour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for5  minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

I hope that you give one or both of these a try. Enjoy!!

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A Smile...

Yesterday, I was off running errands with my mother when I suddenly got the urge to smile! For any of you from the East Hill or North Hill areas or those of you who just frequent 12th Avenue, you know exactly what I am talking about; Smiley Face cookies from J's Pastry Shop!! Below is a picture of the delicious goodies:


We were headed to Skin Beauty Boutique on Bayou Boulevard (a wonderful Beauty Boutique run by the most helpful ladies), but took a small detour to stop by J's and pick up a few Smiley Face cookies. Stopping by J's is a rare occasion. (This is completely by choice. If I stopped by on a daily or weekly basis I would be 15 pounds heavier. Their baked goods are so tempting.) However, when I do allow myself to stop in, it is always such a delightful treat! While in the bakery, I ran into a woman and her husband who share my same sentiment for the Smiley Faced cookies. She told me that they drove down from North Milton just to pick up a few. I love it! It was smiles all around by the time I walked out of the shop's door.

I'll later share my recipe for my Oregon (chocolate chip) Cookies.

But for now check out 10 Mile Stereo by Beach House. This song has been playing in my head for the last couple of days.


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