11 Ways You Know You're From Chandler, Arizona.

11 Ways You Know You're From Chandler, Arizona.

The suburban life isn't too shabby.

For the past ten years, I have had the pleasure to grow up in Chandler, Arizona. Although it may seem like the cliche "suburban hell" that everyone loathes, it has truly treated me well this past decade. Here are some of the most iconic places/events I've had seen or been a part of since moving to this amazing city.

1. San Tan Soccer Club

If you've never had a child that has played for this league, then you'll at least know someone who does. Growing up, it was never strange to run around town and see kids everywhere with Legacy and San Tan Soccer shirts.

2. In-N-Out on Friday nights

Avoid at all costs during the Fall on Friday nights (or any night really). After football games, the high school crowds love to all head here and enjoy a victory meal.

3. Starbucks vs. Dutch Bros

The never ending fight: whose coffee is truly better? Starbucks has been around Chandler for a while, so it is both reliable and popular. But now, Dutch Bros has entered the scene and is giving Starbucks a run for their money with their superior customer service and a different selection of coffee drinks.

4. Hamilton vs. Chandler

A rivalry that will truly never. Every year, this game is hyped up and it's honestly quite difficult to walk around town without hearing people murmur "who runs Arizona avenue" during rivalry week.

5. Road Construction

The question is, when will it end? Just as they are finishing up a project, it seems as though new begins right away. What makes it worse is that they always choose to work on streets that were perfectly fine in the first place.

6. Ostrich Festival

Everyone's favorite part of March! Every year, Tumbleweed Park hosts a festival/carnival that is fun enough for the whole family. From Ostrich burgers to funnel cake, this event will leave you in a food coma.

7. The Village

The hot spot "stay-cation" of Chandler, Arizona. If you're not in the mood to hop in a car and travel a long distance, this small get-a-way will surely suffice.

8. Paseo Vista Park

Also known as the "dump park" (because it was built on top of a landfill). This is a great place to be after a long day, enjoying the playground and some fresh air. There is also a mile long path that is perfect for running, a disc golf area, and a park to entertain the little ones with.

9. Chandler Fashion Center

As a local, we all know not to be here during the holidays (especially on Black Friday); however, sometimes it is nice to have a place to blow your paycheck with some close friends. From Macy's to Barnes N' Noble, this mall has a large variety of stores that will please the entire family. Then once you're done shopping, there is a Harkins theater right next door where you can catch the latest flick.

10. Ocotillo Friends

For those of you who aren't tech-savvy, this is an online group where people are able to sell and buy items. Along with business, it's also a page where locals talk about the city. Conversation can vary from traffic to crime, to food reviews, to where to find the latest and greatest items. This group is located on Facebook titled, "Ocotillo Friends".

11. Close-knit community

No matter how big you think Chandler is, somehow everybody knows everybody. It's great because this town is full of friendly people who are always willing to help each other out.

Cover Image Credit: Chandler, Arizona

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12 Things You Understand If You're A Disney World Fanatic

Disney fever is a real thing.

I've been lucky enough to have frequented Disney World all of my life (see my creator profile pic!) Take it from me, it really is the most magical place on Earth. Lots of changes have taken place over my 21 years of visiting, but the magic of the experience has not. I'm not saying I'm a Disney expert, but I'm also not saying that I'm not. If you've been able to experience the wonders of Disney World like I have, you can probably relate to a few of these things.

1. When people ask, "Don't you get tired of it?"

Basically, you are asking me if I get tired of absolute happiness. So to answer your question, no, no I do not get tired of going to Disney.

2. The park music.

The sounds of being home!!

3. The firework shows.

These are not your typical fireworks.

4. People calling it "Disneyland."

Land...World. It. Is. Very. Different. Honestly, Disneyland is trash compared to Disney World, sorry not sorry!!

5. Riding the Tomorrowland PeopleMover when you need to rest.

This ride does not give enough credit. Perfect place to chill out and actually super cool too.

6. Maps are for tourists.

This is my home.

7. Knowing what "Epcot" stands for.

Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. (Also, RIP Universe of Energy.)

8. "Disney is for kids!"

What's a vacation for adults? Hiking a mountain? Developing a sunburn on a beach? No, thank you. The only mountain I am going to is Mt. Everest and the only beach I need is Blizzard Beach.

9. Knowing where all the best Disney bathrooms are.

Don't settle!!

10. "It's a great big beautiful tomorrow!"

If you know, you know.

11. Waking up at 3 a.m. to do a Disney race.

Disclaimer: We were not actually ready.

12. Trying not to cry when you see the "see you real soon" sign.

I am pretty sure I legitimately sobbed every single time we left Disney World up until like 4 years ago.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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To The Family Who Stepped In When My Mother Stepped Out

Blood isn't always thicker than water, but sometimes it is. And for those times when it is, I am endlessly grateful.

It's no secret that my relationship with my parents has been rocky most of my life, especially as I entered high school and eventually started college. My parents were divorced before I could form a memory. I was always too much like both my parents for my own good. I got my dad's blonde hair, wits, and quick thinking. From my mother came my sass, sarcasm, and slightly rebellious streak. Like every tween and teen, I butted heads with my mother in high school quite frequently. Curfews, outfits, extracurriculars, the sky being blue, you name it and we fought about it at least twice. I always knew that she loved me and we butted heads because she cared. But then things changed.

Her second marriage went south and she started to care more about her social life and her soon to be ex-husband than her own child. And I saw this and I resented her for it. The door on our relationship was closing and I couldn't seem to get a good enough grip to keep it open. She took to alcohol and at 17 years old, I moved three hours away, as these were the only things we could come up with to fix the problems of our lives. Things continued to spiral out of control for the next three years.

I received my Aggie ring in the middle of April and my eyes were eternally yanked opened to everything I had been ignoring as I mourned the death of my relationship with my mother. Through it all, my father remained the perfectly strong and consistent rock. He supported me no matter how many times I forgave her and let myself get burned by her toxic flame.

My stepmom did everything she knew how to do for me despite our differences and my personal authority issues. My aunt stepped up in ways I never could've imagined she could for me. My grandparents were and still are constantly in my corner, supporting me endlessly in every chapter of my life. I have a boyfriend who goes out of his way to make every day the best he can for me. I am surrounded by people who cheer me on to no end.

I never thought that losing the person whose job it is to support me would prove how much support I truly had in my corner. And to these people, I am endlessly thankful.

Cover Image Credit: @haillllss

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