Saturday, June 16, 2012
I know that lately my posts have been few and far in between, but I have been pretty busy. As I look back now on my blog, I realized how glad I am that I recorded all of these life events. I am able to watch how things have changed over time and how I have changed as well. It has also shown me how many things I have to be thankful for. I was always taught that journaling was important and my mom bought me countless journals to encourage me to record my life, but it was not until now that I understand why. I will continue to blog, just in a new place. Now that I have joined my life to Jake's, I figured it was time to start blogging about our new life together. You can find that blog at jakeandmackenzie.blogspot.com.
Posted by Mackenzie @bellbliss.blogspot.com at 11:06 AM
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Today is my last day at Starbucks at the William T. Young Library. After 10 straight days of working, I thought that I would be thrilled to be leaving. I admit, when I got to work this morning, I found myself complaining and thinking how ready I was for my shift to be over and to be done with this place. As I sit here on my break, though, I realized just how much this place means to me and that I will be sad to leave. I never thought that a silly college job could play such a huge role in my life and be a significant chapter that is now coming to a close. As a new chapter opens in my life, I will take what I learned from the previous one and be thankful for the opportunity I was given. When I first put an apron on Labor Day 2009, I didn't know I was starting a job that had such a great impact on the community. Here at the University of Kentucky, this Starbucks plays a huge role in the lives of students and employees. I found it very interesting to see how a simple cup of coffee could turn someone’s whole day around. I never thought I would bond with the regulars like I did. They asked about my life and I would ask about theirs. This semester when I had to work nights instead of mornings, the regulars asked worriedly where I had been when I saw them. There were times when the line was out the door at 11 o'clock at night and we were short staffed and running out of everything we needed to function that I wanted to throw my apron down and say that I quit. These moments would soon evaporate when a customer sincerely thanked me for the Java Chip Frappuccino they had been craving all day or when I gave a free cookie to a customer and they face lit up like I had just given them a free car. I learned that corporations are important in our country. Starbucks may be one of the biggest corporations in the world, but somehow, customers come in day after day like it is the local coffee shop down the street. I have learned so much about myself at this job, good and bad. I learned how to be a leader and how to gain respect. I learned things that will help me in anything I do in the future. And most importantly, I met some of my best friends. If it weren't for this job, I would not have met so many people who have changed my life and shown me that true friends do exist. It probably wasn't so good for Starbuck that we all became so close because we love to goof off. I will never forget all my starbuddies and the fun times we had at work and away from work. As I enter this new and exciting chapter in my life, I hope that it can be just as good as the last. Thanks for the memories, Starbucks.
Posted by Mackenzie @bellbliss.blogspot.com at 10:28 AM
Thursday, July 14, 2011
A few weeks ago, right when I got back from Greece, my family and I spent time up at a cabin in Sunriver, Oregon. The beginning of the week was a large family reunion run by my side of the family. There were around 40 people there! Many who I hadn't seen in a long time. We played games, ate, sung songs, chatted, and hung out. Later in the week, we celebrated my Grandparents' 50th anniversary with our family. It was so great celebrating love and the example of love and happiness that they are. We also canoed, rode bikes, played tennis, and played cards. It was fun to be constantly active and doing things. I decided I really like tennis and want to continue to play for fun. We have a tennis court at the country club down the street in Charleston so my family is going to play while we are all together. I also decided I want to get a bike. I think it would be fun to ride around and to ride to class. Riding it to class may not be the best idea for me, though, considering all of the bike accidents I have witnessed on campus. Anyway, it was a fun week of family and outdoors. Sunriver is a beautiful place and made me grateful for this wonderful world that God has created.
Posted by Mackenzie @bellbliss.blogspot.com at 11:48 AM
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
My amazing trip to Greece is over and I am back in the real world. I can't believe after months of planning and anticipation, it has come and gone. But, I could not be any happier. I had the time of my life and got to see beautiful things and meet amazing people. Before the trip, I was worried because I was spending so much money. I was afraid it wouldn't meet my expectations and I would end up being disappointed. It was totally worth the money, plus some, and greatly exceeded my expectations. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I will never, ever forget it. I am so thankful that I had this great opportunity. I think traveling abroad has an effect on people one of two ways. Either people realize that they want more out of life or they realize how happy they are with their lives and become grateful for what they have. I have had the first realization in previous trips, but this trip, I realized that I could not be happier with my life. I had the opportunity to sit back and look around me and see how lucky I am to have such great friends and family. They were so supportive throughout my Greece adventure. I am so thankful for them in my life. I also realized that I have many opportunities that others don't receive. I get to travel, get an education, etc. I am now more motivated to achieve my dreams and goals. I wish my time in Greece would continue forever, but I cannot wait to see what else life has in store for me. Paros Island, you will always be in my heart.
Some of my favorite pictures from Greece
Until next time!
Posted by Mackenzie @bellbliss.blogspot.com at 9:59 PM
Friday, July 1, 2011
After an awful night's sleep on a very hard bed and in a noisy hotel, I woke up at 8 and took a shower in the gross community shower. Thankfully, they had a nice breakfast of fruit, bread, eggs, and juice provided. We packed our stuff up and then check out of the hotel. Cassandra, Sophie, Sara, and I caught a taxi and jammed all of our luggage in. The driver said it was a good thing we left when we did because all of the roads were going to be blocked in a few hours. As we drove, we got to see the magnitude of the protest. It was the day of the vote so the protests spread away from just Syntagma square to all of the city. There were police officers every where and people already clashing with them. I can't imagine what it looked like after the vote. After a long, speedy( I think he went 100 mph) ride, we got to the very busy airport. It took about 30 minutes to check in after a giant high school tour group. We then said goodbye to Sara and Sophie and then went through security. The Athens airport is really weird. Inside security, there are only gates. There aren't and shops or food. You also have to stand in a line to get into your gate. We were so confused and hungry. Thankfully, we found a little kiosk with prepackaged sandwiches, chips, and drinks. We waited at the gate for about 2 hours and then got to board our flight. We had to sit on the runway for an hour though, because it was backed up after the strike. Then, it was a long, 12 hour flight. Luckily, I got to sit next to Cassandra. We watched movies and chatted. She slept a lot but I couldn't sleep. We actually got a pretty good meal. It was chicken, mashed potatoes, veggies, salad, and a roll. Best plane food I have ever had. When we landed, it was 8:10. I realized I only had an hour to deboard, get through passport control, pick my suitcase up at baggage claim, go through customs, recheck my bag, go through security, and go 3 terminals down to my gate. Everything went smoothly and I ran frantically to my gate and got there just as they were closing the gate. I didn't get to say goodbye to Cassandra though : (. I was sweating and had to sit between two larger men. The air conditioning happened to be broken the whole flight as well. Thankfully, it was only 40 minutes to Charleston. My parents were waiting past security and I was so excited! My mom had mac and cheese waiting for me and Lexie was sooo excited to see me. Ahhh it is so good to be back in the US. Things I have been enjoying the most: a normal shower, a comfy bed, flushing toilet paper, American food, a full fridge, working internet, and normal tv. I will miss Greece and my friends a lot, though!
Posted by Mackenzie @bellbliss.blogspot.com at 10:14 AM
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Cassandra and I woke up around 8:30, packed, and dragged all of our bags down to the port. Cassandra sat with out bags while I ran to an internet cafe to check on our flight. Unfortunately, it was already delayed 2 hours. I guess that was better than being canceled though. We got on the ferry and luckily found some comfy seats. Cassandra slept while I read for 4 hours. When we got to the port, we were the first ones off the ship. We walked towards the metro station and were bombarded by taxi drivers. "Metro not open. I take you I take you." We were bummed that we couldn't take the metro(closed because of the 48 hour strike) and annoyed that the taxi drivers wouldn't leave us alone. We were informed that the taxi drivers around the port are very dishonest and try to charge tourists a ton. So we walked down the street a ways and found a taxi. A bunch of the streets by our hostel were shut down due to the protests that were going on in the square across from our hostel so the taxi driver had to drop us far away. We didn't know where it was exactly so we walked a half mile, lost, with all of our luggage, for at least half a mile. We were relieved when we finally found it. We got to our tiny little room and put our stuff down then got on our computers. We hadn't eaten all day and it was about 5:30 so we walked(away from the protests) to a little pizza place. We were so hungry we downed a cheese pizza that was actually not very good now that I think about it. We shopped a little bit and then headed back to the hostel. We hung out with some girls from our program that were staying there for a bit. They had been up to see the protests and told us we really needed to see it. We also met some photo journalists from Italy that were shooting the protests. We decided to meet up with out teachers at the protest. It was so interesting to see. Glass was broken in, there was trash and rocks every where, stuff had been set on fire, and buildings had been chipped away at. I also got to experience tear gas, not fun. It does make you cry and it makes you sneeze and your nose run. If you are in it long enough, your face turns white. Our teachers walked us to an area with restaurants that locals hang out at. It was cool. We hung out and they ordered us some Greek dishes. (Em, I tried beets and I really liked them!) It was really good food. After, we went home and got semilost. We had to walk through the protest again. Apparently, while we were at dinner, it flared up again and then calmed down again. The streets were a mess and there were police every where. They helped us find our way home. Such a long crazy day! It was so awesome to experience, but I couldn't wait to be home.
Posted by Mackenzie @bellbliss.blogspot.com at 2:53 PM
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
We woke up and were immediately informed that we had to be out by 11 am! Not fun to wake up to, considering I was dreading saying goodbye. So, I frantically showered, packed, and got everything out of my room. Cassandra, Marissa, and I took our stuff to Marissa's hotel. She is staying on Paros for an extra week so she was nice enough to let us stay in her hotel. We then met up at Dodoni with the rest of the group for brunch. I was exhausted so I feel asleep on the couch at the cafe while the others walked around. When I finally woke up, I met up with the others and we walked around then went to a cute restaurant on the beach. We just got small appetizers and then sat in chairs facing the ocean. We then went back to Jimmy's where everyones luggage was being stored. Cassandra and I said our goodbyes to everyone and then went back to Marissa's hotel. It sucked saying goodbye. We all cried and promised to see each other again soon. Cassandra and I took naps and then when Marissa got back, we went and watched the sunset and walked around. We went to our favorite cafe, Dodoni, again. We got gelato and Cassandra got a really good crepe. We walked around a little more and then went home and went to bed early.
Posted by Mackenzie @bellbliss.blogspot.com at 9:48 AM