Whew- the first two weeks of 2016 have been c-r-a-z-y, but in the best way possible. On New Years Eve my boyfriend and I made a (super) spur of the moment decision to drive across the country to see our Clemson Tigers play in the National Championship game in Arizona! After quickly finding tickets and figuring out how to get there, we packed up his car and drove to Austin, Texas to meet up with five of our best friends from college. From there, the seven of us drove the rest of the way to Arizona together.

The trip turned out to be the adventure of a lifetime. Nothing in the whole world beats being with old friends- people who truly know you, who've seen you through good and bad, who love you for you. We haven't all been in the same place at the same time since 2014, so being trapped in a car together for 14+ hours straight was basically a dream come true. We had the best time reminiscing, catching up on our new lives, laughing, talking, and just soaking up our time together.  The entire trip was one of the most ridiculous, fun, hilarious, crazy, amazing things I've ever done and I loved every second of it. A cross-country road trip with best friends is one of those *bucket list* items you always want to do, but never actually think will happen. I'm so thankful to Clemson for giving us all a reason to come together again- my heart hasn't been that full in a long time. Here's a peek at the trip-

The biggest highlight of the week was definitely visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time (the fact that I got to experience this breathtaking place with my best friends made it even sweeter). It was easily one of the (if not the) most beautiful, truly awe-inspiring places I've ever been. Nature is my happy place, so I was totally in heaven in this incredible park surrounded by the most unique landscapes I've experienced in my 23 years of life.  I can't express how deeply thankful I am to have had the privilege to visit one of the most special places in our country- such a blessing!

My people <3 

After making the journey from South Carolina to Arizona and back, I turned around two days later and ran my very first half-marathon! My girlfriend and I have been training since October, so it was crazy that the race seemed to arrive and end so quickly! It was a tough, fun, crazy experience and I still can't believe I actually did it! We were so lucky that the weather was perfect and I'm so proud to say I finished it in 2 hours and 13 minutes (2 minutes faster than my goal time)! Whoop whoop!

After such a whirlwind few weeks I feel like I'm finally settling into the new year and getting back to regular life after the holidays. Here's to getting settled, organized, and back in my routine! Cheers!

-Lanie W.

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