Lovely Bridges

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. 

Lovely Bridges

Stranger Danger


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…


Stranger Danger

Insomnia and 24 Hour Diners

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. 

Insomnia and 24 Hour Diners

Leaving Sucks Sometimes

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. 

Leaving Sucks Sometimes

Waiting

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! 

Waiting

Niagra Falls

   
    
    
    
    
    
 
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. 

Niagra Falls

Unicorns and Banana Peels

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. 

Unicorns and Banana Peels

First Day Jitters

 First of all, I LOVE my apartment. It is the first floor of an old house. I am learning about steam radiators and getting used to all the cool noises old homes make in the night. Seriously, it is beyond charming. The owner was amazing. He gave me advice on local points of interest and made me feel very welcome. I could not have asked for a better reception. 
I went to bed incredibly early last night. I was exhausted from all the traveling and more than a little mind blown by all the sights. This area is beautiful! 

Getting ready for my first day of orientation. Yep, I’m nervous. What if they don’t like me? What if I’m not quite as clever as I think I am? (We all know I crack myself up on a regular basis.) Excited and nervous. I think a third cup of coffee is a good idea. 

People keep telling me they are proud of me for seeking these new adventures. I find that hilarious. I was feeling like I was behind. Somehow I should have started all this years ago. Nope. I’m right on schedule. 

Wish me luck. Cross your fingers my hair does what it is supposed to do. Let me be calm and professional. I need to keep the first day jitters down to a dull roar. Adventures are fun. It is so much more than I expected. 

First Day Jitters

Selfies are about memories

  
  
  
  

  
   
I know. It’s funny to make fun of all the silly people who take selfies all the time. I completely disagree with those folks though. There was a time I went out of my way to avoid being in pictures. I hated seeing myself. It was entirely too easy to avoid being in the photos.

This all started to change when I was taking my son to New York City. I found a walking tour with a photographer. I realized how few pictures there were of the two of us together, and I desperately wanted them. This was the beginning of my commitment to my son to give him photographic evidence of our life together. I have never heard someone lament they had too many photos of their loved ones.

 

These photos and the selfies I have been taking with my friends and family are a way to demonstrate I care enough to want a reminder of our relationship.

There are so many people from my past I can barely remember. I have almost no photos of us together (that is if I am lucky to have any at all.) I will not live life that way anymore. I understand before we had instant access to a camera and seemingly unlimited electronic storage it was more difficult. There is no excuse now.

Trust me, most of the time I think I look horrible in these pictures. I got the wrong angle, my chin is super fat, or my nose is all wrinkled up. The people who know me know what I look like. They love me no matter what face the camera managed to catch. If they don’t, I don’t give a shit anyway. I am not totally made up and looking fabulous in all of these photos. I am just my most authentic self.

When I was choosing these photos I was deliberate about choosing memories I loved and not focusing on my perception of my flaws. This is hard for a girl like me. I tend to focus on all the reasons I should not be in the pictures.

Then I get a grip. Of course I should be in the photos of my life! I should get as many photos of me with the people I love as possible. We should really stop worrying about what we think people are thinking about us, and realize most people don’t care. We are hurting ourselves and our friends and family when we refuse to take a picture with them.

  

  
  

These are just a few of my favorite memories from this year. I have been so lucky to be able to go out and meet new people. I have had so many awesome adventures. These people are so special to me and I am excited to have photos I can reminisce over. I would not trade any of these photos for one airbrushed inaccurate representation of my life.

I have no intention of stopping the selfie craze. I refuse to hide from the camera anymore. I hope more of us continue this zany trend.

Selfies are about memories