Seasonal

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I am from West Texas; we don’t have “seasons.” We have weather events and they are frequently all in the same week. People from the Northeast are constantly telling me how they love the seasons. I am calling Bullshit. 

Supposedly the fall is beautiful. The leaves change colors and the foliage is magic. Or so I hear. I was gone for two weeks back to Texas and I missed the whole thing. Now they are bracing for winter. All the trees are just ugly and sad. 

So, basically they have two weeks of nice leaves followed by 6 months of hell. Down in Texas snow still seems like some strange mystical force that typically only lasts until the sun comes out at noon. The next day it is going to be 80, so why worry? We can shut down the town and snuggle on the couch with our hot chocolate and Netflix. 

So, here’s to hoping Pennsylvania is not as dark as Massachusetts. 

You people are nuts. Texas is much more tolerable. Our weather extremes keep us on our toes. Y’all just run a real risk of losing your toes to frostbite. 

Rental Car Blues

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No, I wasn’t standing out behind your car exasperatedly hitting the trunk open button on the key fob because I was trying to steal your identical silver grey Nissan Maxima. I thought it was my rental.

No, I obviously didn’t notice the trunk pop open on the car not even 2 feet from where I was standing. I was too busy being perplexed at the unfathomable difficulty of navigating a different set of keys all the time.

Yes, I realize what a dork I look like right now. Why did you park right next to me in the hotel parking lot? It’s nearly empty. I park in this spot every time I am here. Don’t you know that? Oh, you are not here all the time. Yes, I am aware most people do not spend weeks on end in the same hotel.

No, I obviously don’t have anything better to do than stand here having an imaginary conversation with you. You didn’t even say anything to me. I was just preparing in case you did.

Yes, I am going to sheepishly climb into my rental car, look intently at my phone, and pretend I am doing very important business things. After all, I would not want anyone to notice I am frequently just one step away from being an absolute walking disaster.

By the way, does anyone want to do my laundry tonight? I hate doing laundry, but I need clean clothes before I head to Denver for my next great adventure. Anyone? No? Fine. I’ll do it myself, but I am NOT matching the socks. I will turn them right side out though. I am not a complete heathen.

Lovely Bridges

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I land in Baltimore and head to pick up my rental car. I am on a highway headed towards a huge bridge spanning an impossibly large body of water. 

I hate bridges. I probably hate bridges more than any other person on the planet. 

As I approach through the toll booth I find myself wondering if this is the only path to my destination. The concrete barriers stand still, but I am convinced they are waiting to jump out and scrape along this vehicle that doesn’t even belong to me. Why is everyone driving so fast? Why aren’t they more afraid? Those big blocks are going to get them! 

Relax. Everything is fine. Wow. This is truly beautiful. I wish I could stop and take a photo. I will never be able to explain how the blue water of the bay is shimmering below me. 

I relax the death grip I have on the steering wheel. I descend onto the next section of the bridge and feel a shocking twinge of disappointment that solid ground is barreling toward me. 

I want to ride again. 

Stranger Danger

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It’s a full flight. It’s almost always a full flight. It’s funny how desperately everyone secretly wishes no one sits next to them. 

Me? I concentrate so hard on not making eye contact so I can avoid sending inviting signals to anyone who may want to make friends. 

So, here we are strapped into a metal fuselage hurtling through the air while cortorting ourselves into miserable back abusing positions just to avoid touching or talking to a stranger. 

I am wearing my new bright red wireless headphones. Sometimes I don’t even listen to anything; I simply use them as armor so I don’t have to get to know my seat mates. I huddle as close to the window as I can get and stare longingly at the ground, wishing my feet were planted in the dirt. 

“Flight attendants, please take your jump seats.” Wait. What? What’s wrong? Oh, holy hell. We’re all going to die. I’m too young to die. I knew flying was a bad idea. Why are the rest of these fools sitting calmly and not freaking the fuck out? 

“Ladies and gentlemen, the air is just a little bumpy as we head for descent. Please make sure you are in your seat with your seatbelt securely fastened.” Oh. Okay. I’m not going to die. Phew. Survived another near death experience. I hate flying. Why is this dude next to me widening his man spread? I am already curled up as close as I can get to the window. I have not moved in almost three hours. My shoulders are killing me from hunching into my seat, all so I can not infringe on his space with my ample body mass. Ugh. I feel fat. I need to pee. Am I bothering this poor guy next to me? Well, if I am… he deserves it! Why are you trying to pretend you are seven feet tall? Your legs are not that long. Close the gap little Buddy! GRRR. 

Finally the plane seems to be making it’s way slowly to the ground. Relief washes over me because we managed to avoid the free fall I prepared for after the pilot’s first announcement. I am quite certain my panic swayed the tides of inevitability from doom. Almost there! 

Oh. Crap. I forgot. I still have another flight to catch before I am in Hartford. Hopefully the next flight will not be as crowded…


Insomnia and 24 Hour Diners

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I don’t know if you can actually call it insomnia. I went to bed too early and woke up too soon. I slept well, so I am up. Not much is open this time of morning. I had to drive 8 miles down the highway to find this little place. Actually, I Yelped. I did not drive around aimlessly, that’s not even a thing anymore. 

I have to be honest this is one of my favorite parts of traveling. I love finding these little places. Usually the food is just okay, but I generally have a great time drinking coffee and reading a book over my solitary breakfast. 

Tip: you usually can’t go wrong with an omelet. Always get a glass of water with your coffee, and hope they are willing to make you a fresh pot. 

Life is an adventure. You have to get away from the hotel from time to time. 

Leaving Sucks Sometimes

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I am so lucky to get to do what I do. I am able to support my family, I get to travel and meet new people, and I get to help people. 

Sometimes leaving is bittersweet though. My family is at home and I am off on my next grand adventure. Sometimes I wish I could pack them all up in my suitcase. 

I’m not complaining. I swear. I just wish my hugs could have lasted a few more seconds. 

I also wish the dog would have been more gracious when I woke him up to get some puppy love before I left. Apparently, Boomer Wayne is not much of a morning guy. 

Waiting

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Disney World is a lot of waiting. 

Waiting at the airport. 

Waiting on a bus. 

Waiting in line. 

Waiting in line. 

Still waiting in line. 

Waiting for those people in front of us to move! 

Waiting for our fast pass time. 

Waiting on dinner. 

Waiting in line. 

Waiting on the bus. 

Waiting on each other to finish getting ready to go in the morning. 

Waiting to put on my makeup. (Just kidding- I didn’t end up wearing any. Why did I pack it?)

Waiting for the Aleve to work. 

Waiting on the Tylenol to kick in. 

Waiting to buy souvenirs. (Don’t want to waste money buying the wrong thing.) 

Despite all the waiting… I’m having a great time! So glad I get to spend this holiday with my good friend and my son. Grateful for the life I lead. Happy Thanksgiving! 

TNT

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My 17 year old was up before 5am. 

Probably because we are headed to Disney World today! 

Ty, Trevor and I are off for our big adventure, so be prepared for vacation ruminations. 

I am stupid excited. 

It’s gonna be great. 

I am still procrastinating from packing. I hate packing. I hate it a lot. 

Niagra Falls

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Niagra Falls was just a short detour on my way to Chicago. I did what I always do. I parked and ran over to the spectacle, oohed and ahhed with everyone else, took a few selfies (for proof I am actually interesting,) and got back on the road. 

I don’t have all day to experience the wonders of the world. 

Unicorns and Banana Peels

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I was walking back to my Airbnb after a fantastic lunch when I saw a unicorn. My joy managed to take my mind off the cold rain soaking through my sweater. Obviously, I did not plan my wardrobe well.  

 
Imagine my delight when I got closer to the unicorn and realized everything is not always as it initially appears. Good lesson for a simple lunchtime stroll.  

 
Montreal is a fascinating city. I have seriously had some of the best food ever. My batteries feel completely recharged, which I suppose is the point of going away. 

The more I experience new places the more I want to see. I must admit sometimes traveling solo is a little intimidating. I think Montreal was a good first experience. They may speak mostly French but as soon as I give a sheepish blush and say something random in English they automatically switch. The accents are charming and I have developed little crushes on more than one waiter. It’s phenomenal fun.