washington, d.c. travel diary (2)

i’ve finally finished writing my d.c. travel diary! enjoy, and read part one here if you haven’t already.


« day two »

one of the only things i hate about traveling is that i never sleep well. i always wake up ridiculously early and just wait in the dark until i decide it’s late enough to start moving around (aka 5 a.m.).

my mum made us pack up all our stuff first thing in the morning. we stuffed our bags into the car and went to get breakfast in the hotel’s dining room. i ended up burning my already hurt taste buds on (very) hot chocolate.

bethany and i texted each other while we ate, which was dumb, because we were sitting across from each other. my messages were along the lines of “wish you were here! this trip would be so much more fun if you were with us!” we’re stupid, i think.

we hadn’t picked what we were going to do that day, so we decided over breakfast: the eastern market. mum drove us into the city (we only got lost a few times) and we started walking in the direction of the bazaar.

the capitol building was on our way. being the tourists that we are, we stopped to take pictures by the capitol’s statues and reflecting pool.

bethany was vlogging some of our adventure. unfortunately, the only parts she got were of me making really awful weed and homeschooler jokes. :’)

some of the trees along the sidewalk had words and doodles scratched into the bark.

is it the illuminati or bill cipher? we’ll never know.

ironically found on a trashcan.

space cadet.

no war.

bethany insisted that we pop into one of d.c.’s many starbucks. it had this lovely mural on the wall, so i’m glad we went in. bethany got some fancy cold caramel drink and she let izzy and i taste it. it was the first time i’d ever had starbucks coffee. it was kind of weird and made my throat hurt, but i guess it was alright.

i wanted to take pictures of the pigeons, but bethany was in a modeling mood.

if i had a shop, i would definitely put up lights like these.

we started daydreaming while we meandered down the streets, gazing at the colorful ivy-covered houses squished side by side. we imagined we’d live in one together, the three of us, maybe with a cute puppy. bethany would pursue a career in makeup at the mall, i would become some kind of sad freelance artist, and i guess izzy would just eat all our food. it sounds nice, you know — falling asleep to the sounds of the city beside my best friends.

pastel walls.

color block.

we made a friend. :)

this gorgeous mural is next to the eastern market. it’s odd, but i like it.

i’m convinced that my friends only keep me around to take pictures for their instagrams.

bubbles always make me think of rutvi’s about to burst poem. you should definitely read it. :)

after a lot of walking, we finally reached our destination. the market is a vibrant, buzzing mess of creativity: always something new to see, to smell, to hear. there were paintings, jewelry, honey, flowers, clothes, fruit, soap, candles, live music, etc.

i used to knot bracelets like these, they’re really fun to make.

an outdoor display. the market was so colorful.

flower shop.

i ended up buying a tapestry with a dragon yin and yang design in the center. i actually just put it up in my room today!

fairy godmother books & toys
from pandelibros.com

while we were deciding where to go next, we spotted a tiny shop called fairy godmother books & toys. it was super cramped (you could barely move without bumping into a shelf or customer) and a bit messy (lots of books were splayed out on the floor instead of stacked), but they had a great selection.

i bought the screaming staircase by jonathan stroud. it’s the first book in one of my favorite series.

by afternoon, we were really hungry, so my mum fed us chocolate from her purse while we went in search of the food trucks. i feel like most mothers carry little snacks in their bags. it kind of creeps me out, because as soon as you say that you’re hungry, all the moms around dig something out of their mary poppins purse. bonus points if someone has those weird strawberry candies.

while we were looking for somewhere to eat, we took a detour through the national gallery of art. i don’t have pictures of the actual paintings, but here’s a photo of a little café tucked between the wings.

i did a drawing based on this one. i’m working on another art post right now so i can share it with you guys.

i wish this one wasn’t so grainy. :/

there was also this insanely cool pathway between two of the galleries. the ground moved under you, and thousands of lights in the walls lit up as you passed.

isn’t this magical?

i got two souvenirs from the art museum: a color wheel pin and a map of the gallery, which i didn’t realize was in mandarin until it was too late.

once we escaped the national gallery, we bought a really chewy soft pretzel from a food truck to share while we explored the statue garden. most of the statues there are just misshapen hunks of metal that would be hard to call art. still, there were pieces like the amor statue, a creepy rabbit, and two boards painted like the sides of a house that looked complete no matter where you were standing that i enjoyed seeing.

all you need is love . . .

lunch was french fries for me and fried chicken sandwiches for izzy and bethany, which i thought looked pretty gross. idk, maybe that’s just how it is in the south.

there was a street musician playing an electric guitar. he could make his voice do some insane stuff. it was nice to listen to while we ate.

we stopped at the smithsonian museum of natural history on our way back to the parking deck that evening. i’ve been there a few times, but it still amazes me. my favorite part is easily the gem section. i didn’t get any photos of it this time, but there are display upon display of vibrant jewels. and the hope diamond is housed there, which is allegedly cursed, so that’s exciting (read about it here).

there was a tiny garden by one of the windows, mostly orchids. i got an orchid around valentine’s day, and all the blooms fell off over the weekend, so i don’t understand how theirs looked so good.

           bethany must have mentioned these doors a million times. she was really set on getting a picture in front of them, so we paused to get one once we were done with the natural history museum. i think they’re by the building where the declaration of independence is kept, but i’m not 100% sure.

we listened to twenty one pilots on the way home. the blurryface album is good road trip music.


i had an amazing time, and i’m so glad i have friends who are content to just wander around all day. izzy and bethany, thanks for the wonderful weekend. <3

have you ever been to d.c.? if so, what’s your favorite thing to do there? i like people watching and looking at art.

xo apollo

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washington, d.c. travel diary (1)

at the beginning of the month, i spent the weekend in the capitol with two of my friends, bethany and izzy. between the three of us, we took lots of pictures, and it’s taken me forever to edit them all. half of them were blurry because we were laughing too hard to keep the camera steady. (and the photos in this post especially suck because most were taken on my ipod.)

anyway, enjoy the first part of the travel diary. :)


« day one »

in the early afternoon, my mum and i met up with izzy in a lowe’s parking lot (we’re classy). while we went to pick up bethany, we talked about the office — apparently izzy’s dad is making her family watch his favorite episodes. we discussed how similar my brother is to dwight; and, yes, living with him is terrible, thanks for asking.

we picked up bethany from this random lot out in the middle of nowhere, and the banter began immediately. but it was kind of sad banter because our friend kelsie couldn’t make it, so the gang was only ¾ complete.

izzy has this compatibility quiz book that she made us do. basically, you choose between two options (such as make the bed or don’t, organize your files or give them random names, etc.), and the amount of same answers determines what kind of relationship you have. i got “peas in a pod” with both of my friends. but on one page (the infamous toilet paper debate), izzy picked the obviously wrong answer: that the loose end should be on the bottom. it would have been a deal breaker for me, but the book said we were almost soulmates, so i guess i should try to overlook this.

important question: which way do you think the toilet paper should go? if you agree with izzy, you are welcome to unfollow, because i don’t need that kind of negativity on my blog.

(i’m kidding, i love my followers.)

 things that happened on the drive:

– we saw a kid riding a razor scooter through the grass by a highway. i will never be that cool.
– google maps kept changing the course and taking us to random fast food places.
– i was listening to heathers: the musical on my ipod and bethany kept playing with the volume. she almost busted my eardrums.
– izzy started flipping her water bottle and i almost threw it out the window.
– we were in my dad’s ancient car, which has no radio, no ac, and the windows only go down halfway. i think we were all dying a little bit because it was so hot in there.
– we got lost (shocking!) and had to get directions from this guy with a beautiful, enormous beard.
– i was smelling izzy’s shirt for some reason (who knows), and i accidentally stuck my nose in her armpit. sorry, izzy! thanks for wearing deodorant that day!

we reached our hotel a little bit before dark. it was windy and cold and we had to climb three stories with all our bags to get to our room. hotels are usually exciting for no reason, so we bounced all over the place, investigating everything.

interesting hotel room finds:

– a rainbow coming through the peephole.
– a safe?? thank you, quality inn of d.c., for thinking of that but not extra washcloths.
– there was an ice bucket that we all thought was a tiny trashcan.
– free mini toiletries!! we divided our plunder and i got lotion + soap with a little star on it.

after we were settled, we drove to the mall in tysons corner. while we were walking through the parking deck, a pigeon flew at us and it kind of freaked me out, because you never know when birds will get fed up with us and become homicidal.

freaking out over a space station set because we’re children and it’s super cool.

my mum insisted that we stop by the american girl store for nostalgia’s sake.

 bethany found this baby as we were wandering around and claimed it as her own. please congratulate her on becoming a mother, we’re all so happy and excited to support her on this journey. :’)

bethany chilling with a creepy cutout.

eventually, we got hungry and went in search of food. my friends wanted to make a detour, so we visited the disney store. at that point, i was hungry enough to cook simba and eat unseasoned lion cub, but, luckily, it didn’t come to that.

whenever i’m in d.c., i eat at the exact same chinese place. i probably get exactly the same food, too: sesame chicken with lo mein noodles. but this time, it was so incredibly hot that i actually started crying while i ate it. i’m talking about big tears rolling down my cheeks as i stuffed my face with chinese.

my mouth hurt for a few days after that, but it was worth it.

izzy wanted to buy me something, so we set off for barnes & noble. the store was gigantic: two floors, a café, escalators, and an entire section dedicated to harry potter. we poked around for awhile, and i eventually decided to get the newsies soundtrack on cd and carry on by rainbow rowell. i’ve listened to newsies almost everyday since, and i finished the book, which was super, super great. thanks for spoiling me, izzy. :)

on our way back to the car, bethany convinced us to stop at a makeup store. they had this super cool policy where you were allowed to test all of their products for free. if i knew anything about makeup, it would have been a dream come true.

bethany talked one of the workers into giving her a makeover. she looked amazing. afterwards, we decided that would be the perfect job for her, since she loves talking and doing makeup.

we slipped into the lego store just before it closed. i attempted to recreate whizzer from falsettos as a minifigure. i haven’t been into the musical for very long, so i didn’t quite know what i was doing. but, all things considered, i guess he looks alright.

back in our hotel room, we ate cake (it’s the zodiac from gravity falls. thanks, mum) and watched the live-action cinderella on the tv. it was ok, but it definitely needed more singing.


so that’s how our first day in d.c. went. part two coming whenever i stop procrastinating and finish writing it.

xo apollo

8•19•17 | county fair

i was able to go to the fair with a few of my friends last saturday (k, b, and two who i’ve never talked about before: emily and adam). summer has come to a close, school started yesterday for me, and my best friends and i aren’t going to the same co-op anymore. it felt like a last hurrah. a toast to summer and all-nighters and lost loves. the happy ending to the chapter where we saw each other every friday. it was exciting and sad.

i met up with my friends in the barn with the poultry and rabbits. then we explored the art exhibit. we stood in line for about twenty minutes just to buy tickets for the rides. adam let a young woman cut in front of us because she offered him five dollars.

adam is quite weird. he kept bumping into us and trying to push us in front of oncoming golf carts. he got slapped often that night. i don’t feel bad for him.

we were going to fight each other — brawl right there in the middle of the street. i was pretty confident that i could beat him, but k and emily wouldn’t let us. they’re no fun.

fair food is greasy and too sweet and exactly the kind of thing to enjoy with friends. k and i shared a funnel cake.

zero gravity ride.

it’s not blurry, it’s aesthetic.

round and round like a horse on a carousel, we go. will i ever catch up to love? i could never tell. (carousel // melanie martinez)

the typhoon is my favorite ride at the fair. i didn’t get to go on it this time, though.

i kept trying to sneak pictures of my friends. k and adam got pretty ticked at me. :)

b had to leave before too long, which was a bit disappointing. we missed you, my dear.

the only ride we went on was the ferris wheel. we waited in line for about half an hour. it wasn’t that bad, really. we made fun of my friend’s deadbeat boyfriend who bailed on her, complained about the line a lot, etc. adam had a soda and was threatening to pour it on my head. i dared him to, because i would have been able to slap him for it without getting in trouble. but he was actually decent enough not to dump the soda on me (shocking!!).

cotton candy clouds.

the top of a ferris wheel at twilight is a sweet, romantic place, right? k was hoping to ruin someone’s date, so she started singing “i hate you, i love you, i hate that i want you” at the top of her lungs.

sitting at the top of a ferris wheel makes me feel like i am part of something bigger. lights on the ground, lights in the sky, lights in my friends’ eyes. the people buzzing about on the earth appear as we really are: tiny. there’s a breeze lifting the damp hair off my neck and i can hear music and laughter from below. this must be what it feels like to be infinite.

on a fault line, late night
underneath the stars we came alive
and singing to the sky just felt right
i won’t forget the good times

while the punks started picking fights
with the skater kids under city lights
remember how we laughed till we cried
i won’t forget the good times

i never want to leave this sunset town
but one day the time may come
and i’ll take you at your word
and carry on

i’ll hate the goodbye
but i won’t forget the good times

good times // all time low

xo apollo

swimming hole

salutations. :) my mom took den mother and me to neat swimming hole on thursday. i brought my camera, of course. here are the pictures, in a more or less random order.

there’s something sad and lovely about dying flowers.

butterfly fren. :)

there was a rope swing, and you had to climb up the face of the rocks to reach it. i was too short to grab ahold of the rope, so we had to find a stick for me to use as an arm extension. what we really needed was a tall person to use as a ladder.

my mom thinks that the rocks at the swimming hole look like animals. she found one last year that has an uncanny resemblance to a trout. b and i poked around for a bit and found this one, who is apparently a giraffe. his name is jeffrey the giraffe and he is the love of my life.

my name’s blurryface and i care what you think.

we were trying to be artsy and it totally failed. we should just stick to being losers.

skipping stones.

this is a rock and his name is gloria.

i tried to find a rock that matched her eyes.

we were having a competition to see who could make the biggest splash with a rock. i was planning on cheating and throwing her in.

she was writing a love note in the dirt. :)

the sun made tiger stripes on the rocks.

we were trying to cross one spot of the river, and we came up with some creative ways of doing it. originally, the plan was to stand on a large piece of bark and paddle/pull ourselves across with a stick. then we tried making a bridge. finally, b offered to give me a piggyback ride so i wouldn’t have to get my feet wet (yes, i’m aware that i’m a loser). it was only when we were crossing the river the second time that we realized we could both just walk across.


the sun was shining the entire drive to the swimming hole, but once we got there, a bunch of clouds popped up out of nowhere. waiting for the sun to come back out, we wandered around and photographed the wildflowers. once it had warmed up a little, we got into the swimming hole, which was absolutely f r e e z i n g. we found a couple of warm spots and huddled there until the current moved them elsewhere. we were comparing “tans” (which is in quotation marks because we are both extremely pale), and my shinguard tan is amazingly striking when underwater. my thighs are kind of tan, but everything below that is incredibly freaking white. shinguard tans are probably the worst thing about soccer. and we did this race, where instead of swimming or running, we bounced along the river on our butts.

we are not the most mature people.

i had seen pictures of the rope swing online, and that’s how i knew it was there. the swimming hole was kind of shallow that day, so jumping into it on a fraying rope tied to a dead branch was probably not the smartest thing i could have done, but i’m an idiot, so i did it anyway.

i didn’t wear a bathing suit (another brilliant idea, apollo!), so even after we had been out of the water for awhile, i was still damp and shivering. while i was looking through the pictures b took of me, i realized that a) my lips were nearly blue, and b) i look like gollum when my hair is wet.

my mom set up a picnic (because she’s a genius), and i got some very  interesting pictures of b kissing a skittles bag. i might post them some time, but she has a lot of blackmail on me, so that might not be the safest thing to do with said pictures. but i definitely won’t delete them. :)

after we ate, b gave me a piggyback ride across the river, where we tried to skip stones and complained about the lack of tall people. really, though, most of my friends are scarcely more than five feet. it would be funny if i weren’t 5’2″ myself.

i’d love to go back to the swimming hole sometime, preferably when it’s hotter, so i don’t spend the whole time freezing. i need to remember to pack a tall person next time, so they can reach the rope swing for me.


a not-very-funny joke told many times that day:

b: why is it so cold here?!

me: because of your heart.


xo apollo

i want you in the most unromantic way

(i figured out how to use the timer option on my camera, and even though it’s something small, i’m actually kind of proud of myself.)

i got to hang out with my lovely friend pup on thursday, after trying to plan something for a week. we picked her up at nine and then hung around my house, doing typical teenage girl stuff. like making sweet, sweet music with my ukulele, ocarina, and flute (it actually sounded pretty awful, but we were having fun, so whatever); emptying my wallet of money and throwing 30+ bills around my room; experimenting with milkshake recipes; testing our flexibility; updating her blog’s design, etc. (mostly) normal things.

the unicorn squad.
the unicorn squad.

ah, yes. there we are.

we decided to go to the mall, to try and find a birthday present for our friend. we stopped at a couple stores, and it was actually really fun.

at books-a-million, i found two books about pup: they were called short and loser. and i spotted a unicorn mask and kind of freaked out. i think these are the sickest things ever, so of course we tried it on. we decided that at my wedding, my love and i will wear these for the pictures. i hope whoever i marry is cool with that.

(my nickname used to be unicorn [because i had a lovely zit on my forehead one day and pup is mean], and she will not let me live it down. but that’s fair, because i call her munchkin/fun-size/other nicknames related to being short, even though she’s actually a tiny bit taller than me.)


me, holding a mug that looks like the colossal titan’s face: hey, kelsie, look at this. it’s as pretty as you are.

kelsie: *beautiful girly shriek*


we found some superman socks with little capes attached to them. my friend q had some like that, and he wore them to co-op nearly every day. i think something must have happened to them, because he hasn’t worn them for a long time. i kind of wanted to get some new ones for him.

i found some cool socks, though, which i ended up getting.

starry night.

we stopped at a kiosk that sells phone cases, and the worker pointed out one of the camo ones and told us that they were popular among the ladies. he was pretty funny and helpful, but we didn’t find anything nice. there were some yankees ones and a creepy duck.

pup said she was scared to go into hot topic. apparently she walked by it around halloween, and saw a goth kid whom she mistook as a vampire. but i finally coaxed her into going in, and she decided that it was ok once she saw all the disney and harry potter things.

while we were in there, SING by my chemical romance started playing. i flipped out and followed pup around the store, performing the whole thing for her dramatically. i hope i embarrassed her.

for every time that they want to count you out
use your voice every single time you open up your mouth
sing it for the boys
sing it for the girls
every time that you lose it sing it for the worldthen we made our way over to claire’s, because i hadn’t found a nice choker at hot topic and was hoping they would have one. i picked a very simple one, and pup and i wandered around the store, looking at the flower crowns.

when we were getting close to leaving, pup found some pretty bracelets near the register. we ended up getting six of them, and they’re tight enough to not be annoying.

we thought we were supposed to meet my mom back at books-a-million. we waited there for awhile, and jish’s family walked by (he wasn’t with them, sadly). every time i see him, i stare at him creepily and sing, “jooooosh.” i usually ask him about joward, too. because i’m evil. >:)

my mom eventually texted us to see where we were, and then we got lost in the parking lot because we couldn’t find our car. there were a couple of guys using a jackhammer on the pavement, and i don’t think they were supposed to be doing that. oh well.

when we were driving pup to her grandma’s party store, she posted a  bunch of really awful pictures she had taken of me on instagram. she’s literally the worst person in the world. but i posted that picture of her in the unicorn mask as revenge.

she’s one of the weirdest, most amazing people i have ever met. and even if she doesn’t stay in my life forever, i’m so thankful for every moment i’ve had with her.

so this was kind of a weird post, but i don’t think i’ll regret it. i want to save as many photos and stories and inside jokes and adventures as i can, because one day, the people i love might leave, and i need more than just memories of them in my head.

xo apollo

friends can break your heart, too

it has been years

so why haven’t i let go 

of the past

of you

of us

it has been years

and seeing you still hurts

why didn’t you say hello 

ever again?

why do i still have hope?

it is killing me

i want to forget

teach me how

it was so easy for you


i’ve been thinking a lot about all the people that have left. and how every single time, it has been my fault. why wasn’t i more interesting? why wasn’t i good enough? why is it so hard for me to communicate? maybe they would have stayed if i weren’t so very me. what is so wrong with me that everyone leaves?

i was awake at three a.m. with all of my thoughts, and i wrote a poem for the first person who broke my heart. her name is lauren and she was my best friend, the first friend i ever made. i have lots to say about her, but that will be saved for another post. i’ll sort through all my memories of the two of us, even though they feel like thorny vines growing over my heart, and whip up something nostalgic.

so there you have it. my first attempt at poetry in a long while (and a hint of the pain that i’ve been ignoring for years. i think it’s time for me to address it.). i’ve written a few more poems since then, and i think they’re much better than this one. but i still felt like this was important, even if it’s not very good.

xo apollo