soccer update

The news has been patiently awaited in the great state of Alabama about whether the FC Gold Pride of the Bay Area will keep me or cut me. So for all of you who have been waiting with me… du du duuun… My option is being picked up!! I am extremely excited to head back out to California. The weather is awesome, the people are great, the soccer is going to be solid, the team is fun, my friends and adopted family are special. I can’t wait. Well I have to finish school first, but I am ready to be back with my team, training, and living the life (whatever that means ;).

So my current to do list includes…
1. Pass my Master’s Comprehensive Exam

2. Graduate

3. Visit San Jose around Thanksgiving

4. Christmas at home

5. Passion Conference in the ATL early January

6. Help my parents rearrange the house

7. Christmas with friends in the Tennessee mountains or Fripp Island (I love Fripp, google it)

8. Move out of Auburn for good

9. a)Plan road trip to Cali (If you would like me to stop in your town or have suggestions for fun activities please reply in the comment box!!)

b) Road trip to Cali!!

10. I don’t have a 10th thing, but leaving the list at 9 would’ve bothered me

contractually excluded activities…

As per a previous post (https://whitgk.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/spontaneous-adventure/) I shared about my initiation into the joys of adventures, not that I was that dull before, but still I reached a whole new level. However as per the previous post many of these fun activities are prohibited. To help encourage me to put off my adventures I am making a wish list  of the fun stuff I can’t wait to do (in no particular order)… this is the best kind of wish list ever. Feel free to comment or give me better ideas 😉

*contractually excluded activities*

sky diving

hiking the grand canyon

backpack through Europe

white water raft (never been, hard to believe huh)

hike and camp in big sur

spend time in the Napa Valley Region

snowboard near Tahoe

own a vacation home (I’m torn between lake house or mountain home… votes?)

go to the world cup/olympics

visit New Zealand

visit all 50 states

Alaskan Cruise

climb Half Dome

go rock climbing

visit the Amazon

vacation in Costa Rica

have Irish coffee in Ireland

eat authentic New York pizza and the better Chicago deep dish in the same

have Turkish coffee in Turkey

I know there are more, don’t you worry I’ll update it.

Also, coming soon a list of “other life goals.”

*disclaimer*

To whom it may concern including FCGP people, other soccer people, parents, and friends who might wish to yell at me or join me, the majority of these excellently worthy activities will be pursued at times where they will not affect my soccer playing abilities (ie not during season or within the number of months that a worst-case-scenario injury would require to heal from said activity).

Note

Some of these activities are not excluded contractually,

but they are fun and therefore made it onto the super fun list.

top ten coffee shops ever – part 2

5. Boston Coffee (DeLand, FL) Boston has the best coffee ever. I have only been in the actual shop a couple times, but it is one of those hole in a wall places that has all these neat characteristics. There are fun couches in a couple smaller rooms in the back. Each table has trivia cards which are really fun to play with your friends. Again the coffee is amazing… my favorite is Irish Eyes are Dreaming. Seriously good. Problem is that I don’t really ever go to DeLand, FL.

http://www.thebostoncoffeehouse.com/

6. ChocoLaté  Coffee (Atlanta, GA) This place was very cool when I spent  summer playing in Atlanta. It had good coffee and these chocolate-coffee bean candy bars. Great comfy leather chairs. That seems to be a theme in my favorite places, gotta have me somewhere cozy. Drawbacks – I don’t live in the ATL and it is a small store.

http://www.mychocolatecoffee.com/

7. AK’s Coffee Company (Auburn, AL) Great little shop in Auburn, AL. I have only been here a few times because it isn’t near where I live. It has good coffee, but not great. It is a great place to study and has a drive through. They have great flavored coffees though, and good snacks and munchies. Again comfy chairs…

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Opelika-AL/AKs-Coffee-Co/10024076854#/pages/Opelika-AL/AKs-Coffee-Co/10024076854?v=info

8. Starbuck’s – needs no explanation. You can get whatever you want anywhere in the country.

9. Peet’s – I like Peet’s, but they usually need better chairs. Also, they have a small menu. I like that they have teas and can add a little variety to my caffeine needs.

Ok, I don’t know any other places well enough (sorry to everyone who added suggestions and comments) to have a 10th. So these are the top 9 coffee shops ever!!

Boston Coffee

Boston Coffee

top ten coffee shops ever -part 1

I love coffee. If caffeine were a substance people cared about abusing then I’d be considered an addict. I have actually gotten worse since I got rid of my coffee maker (and it has gotten more expensive dangit).

*Digression* Question: do you put the period inside the parenthesis or outside?? I keep putting it outside, but I feel like it should go inside. Any thoughts? Please comment!

I spend a lot of time in coffee shops and there are many different things that can make them spectacular. I received a few votes via twitter and text about my friends’ favorites, but here are mine.

1. Toomer’s Coffee Company (Auburn, AL) This place has everything I want in a coffee shop. I literally spend time here 3-4 days a weeks. Usually in multiple hour sessions either reading  my Bible or other books, studying for my Master’s comprehensive exam, or hanging out with friends.

They have amazing flavored drinks and lattes, perfectly brewed coffee that they roast themselves and flavor (try Southern Pecan or Snickeroo or well any of them!), amazing couches, cool art on the walls that adds to the decor with the window wall and cozy atmosphere, and great background music.

This one wins the number one spot because it is amazing and I can’t go try all of your favorites. Try not to get your undies in a wad.

http://www.toomerscoffee.com/

2. Crema Coffee Co (Near downtown San Jose, CA). Crema was an amazing place, but unfortunately I didn’t spend enough time because I discovered it much too late in my summer. They have good seating, a nice shaded outdoor area, a nice atmosphere, but most of all they had one of the best drinks ever. I can’t remember its exact name, but it was an orange mocha. It was chocolaty, orange coffee. Now thats just plain amazing. It also within walking distance of the coolest used book store I have even been in. Check it…

http://www.facebook.com/CremaCoffeeCo

3. and 4. Mission City Coffee (Santa Clara, CA) and It’s A Grind Coffee House (Milpitas, CA). Because they are so close I put them at a tie. They are so high because of what they meant to me while I was in Cali. They were my home away from home. My place to go and hang out with Jesus or read or just have some time alone reading or anything

Mission City has that warehouse atmosphere with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and concrete floors. It is located right of the campus of Santa Clara University. They have a several good drinks and excellent lunch food. As a unique twist for what I commonly see in a coffee shop especially in the south, they serve wine and beer in the evenings. I would imagine it creates a chill atmosphere to sit and be able to talk with friends unlike the bar scene.
http://www.missioncitysc.com/

It’s a Grind is small but being located just 7-8 minutes from my apartment was perfect for a quick caffeine fix or a long stint with a book or Bible. The main factor that caused me to discover this oasis was that my AC broke for several days mid summer. The frigid interior was perfect. They also have incredible leather chairs. Drinks were good but not remarkable, however the bagels were the best I’ve ever had at a coffee shop. The only drawbacks are the small sitting area (25 people max, and that might be stretching it) and the average drinks.

http://www.itsagrind.com/

Thats all for today check back later this weekend for the next best coffee shops.

500 views!!

woohooo! 500 views, you guys are awesome. Or my parents just check it 25 times a day. 😉 Anyways, not posting for really now because I need some beauty sleep.

CD of the week David Crowder Band ~ Church Music

Book of the week Francis Chan ~ Crazy Love

Another book of the week Mark Batterson ~ In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

Theme of the week ~ I need more sleep.

Tune in next time for the best 10 coffee shops EVER

spontaneous adventure

When you are a professional athlete or have collegiate eligibility (aka an eligibility child or EC for short) there are certain activities you are either strongly encouraged not to participate in or they are entirely prohibited per contract regulations. While it is not quite my middle name (Leigh for any of you that were wondering), I enjoy a good adventure. One of my favorite times in college is my initiation into spontaneous adventures.

*situation*

I had a test on Thursday morning pretty early, more classes, then practice that afternoon. A few weeks before when camping with some friends, I heard about the fire tower. Now, I am not a big fan of heights. I don’t mind climbing things and the threat of falling; I just do not enjoy being high up (this is a fear/discomfort that I am progressively improving). My friend was a little bored and was trying to find something to do. Apparently my need to study for a test was overridden for her need for fun.

*result*

We went out alone (2 girls), in the middle of the night (around 11:45), and drove into the middle of the woods (a good distance from civilization) while I had a test the next morning that I had not studied for yet.

It was awesome. Huge adrenalin rush. I would highly suggest doing exciting things. So we climbed up were a little freaked out hiking in the woods out to the tower. Getting to the top was awesome. Getting back down was terrifying (the fear of heights thing).

And that was my initiation into spontaneous adventure… go get ya some.

spider eats bird

This is not something I wrote, but it totally fascinated me. There is a link to the full article at the bottom.

THIS amazing image of a mammoth spider devouring a bird was taken in the backyard of a property near Cairns.

The image, which is being circulated via email worldwide, is real, according to wildlife experts,The Cairns Post reported.

The photo, believed to have been taken earlier this week, shows the spider clenching its legs around a lifeless bird trapped in a web at a property near Atherton, west of Cairns.

Joel Shakespeare, the head spider keeper at NSW’s Australian Reptile Park, has told ninemsn the spider was a golden orb weaver.

“Normally they prey on large insects, it’s unusual to see one eating a bird,” he said.

Mr Shakespeare said he had seen golden orb weaver spiders as big as a human hand but the northern species in tropical areas were known to grow larger.

Mr Shakespeare told ninemsn the bird, a chestnut-breasted mannikin which appears frozen in an angel-like pose in the pictures, is likely to have flown into the web and got caught.

“It wouldn’t eat the whole bird,” he said.

http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2008/10/23/11601_local-news.html

Giant spider eating a bird... that will give a few people nightmeres

Giant spider eating a bird... that will give a few people nightmares