One of the reasons I love to travel…

April 17, 2009



…is that even when I’m stuck at home sick on my couch, there’s always something like this to remember. 

(And something even better to look forward to – even if I don’t know what that is yet!)


Photo: My sandy feet in Maui, just a short week ago



April 14, 2009

Well, I am back in Seattle after a fabulous little trip to Maui.  I am refreshed, tan (in a South-Side-of-Chicago-Irish-with-freckes sort of way), and…




Sigh.  It’s true.  The trip was amazing, but somewhere between surfing lessons in the rain and a 2 AM wake-up call for the Haleakala Crater Bike Ride, I picked up a fun sore throat/cough combo.  I dutifully ignored it for the rest of the trip and went on with my vacationing ways (including my 8-mile half marathon training run – smart, right?), but by the time my redeye flight touched down yesterday at 5:35 AM, I could no longer ignore this thing. 


I soldiered my way through work on Monday, but by the end of the day I was coughing up a storm and became THAT co-worker.  You know, the one to whom you want to politely suggest, “Go. Home. Already.” 


Which is why I’m here in my bed with my laptop, where I stayed all day today so I could recover.  I’m hoping to get back to some normal posting tomorrow night, but in the meantime…


A conversation from my flight home that demonstrates how I’m feeling right now:

Picture me sitting down in my exit row seat at the beginning of my redeye flight, wearing a mess of “I’m sick but have to fly on this plane”:  Cheesy Maui hooded sweatshirt that I had to buy there to have SOMETHING warm at night, jeans, stretchy LC-type headband holding back my windblown hair, ponytail, running shoes, headphones, blanket


Flight attendant:  “Okay, now you’re all aware that you’re seated in an exit row…”


                                      (Looks at me)

                                      “Honey, how old are you?”



Me:  Oh God, she thinks I’m under fifteen.  “I’m twenty-seven.”


Flight attendant:  “Wow.  You’re going to be getting that question for a long time.  Enjoy it. “


Okay, I know it’s nice to look young, but passing for fourteen is NOT my goal.  I’m sure I was slouching down like an awkward teenager, but really I was just sick. 


I guess there are worse things, right? 


Now off to take some Mucinex and head to bed!   


How many pairs of shoes constitute over-packing?

April 8, 2009

I like to think that on the spectrum of “maintenance,” I fall somewhere in between high and low. 

When needed, I can get ready and out the door relatively quickly (low), but I also love it when I have time to get ready at a leisurely pace and take a long time (high). 

However, I feel a little guilty admitting that on my current trip to Maui, I have 11 pairs of shoes with me (12 if I count the shoes I had on my feet at the airport, which I guess I must). 

The trip is 5 nights, 6 days (with a 6th night on a redeye flight). 

Here they are, all lined up while I was packing on Monday night:shoes Too much?  I think I can justify based on function (beach, running, night, dressy, casual, etc.).  It’s not like I have had many days in Seattle to wear sandals lately. 

OK, back to being on spring break now!  Here is the view I’m looking at as I type this:


My happy beach towel is laying over that chair, drying in the fresh air after a day at the beach.  Not the sunniest of days, but it’s still the beach.  Ahhhhh….

Where I want to be right now

April 3, 2009


from ugallery, via Habitually Chic yesterday…love this photo.


From sfgirlbybay yesterday

I guess I’m in a daydreamy sort of mood.  It’s rained here for about 25 days straight, or at least feels like it, so lying in a field and staring up at the sky sounds fairly fabulous. 

Also, I need a vacay.  Good thing I’m heading out of town on Tuesday – can’t WAIT – more to come!


Road Trip 2007 Flashback #2

April 1, 2009

I’m continuing a few posts about my “moving road trip” to Seattle over Labor Day Weekend 2007.  The first one is here, and as always, I’m progressing a little more slowly than I thought. 

(I had been really wanting to bookmark these pictures for myself, so I decided to do this now – right as my brother’s moving to Seattle.  He actually arrived last Thursday, so of course that’s been keeping me busy!)

Leaving South Dakota / entering Wyoming

(Where the scenery got REALLY good)

img_0388One more from Badlands National Park

img_0413Mount Rushmore looks way smaller in person…

mtrushmore_close…because most pictures you see are close up like this one.

deadwoodSDDeadwood, South Dakota (you know, like Vegas, only…a cute town in South Dakota.  This picture pretty much shows it to you.  Kevin Costner made $20 off of us, thanks to each of us losing $10 at his casino.)

WYskyWyoming.  This photo is not photoshopped….and it was taken through the WINDSHIELD! 

Impossible not to be happy driving through this scenery.  It kind of makes you want to blast music and sing…which we definitely did!

Office “Before”

April 1, 2009

Just re-posting the images I sent to Decorno of my second bedroom / office.  I want to have them posted here so they don’t get lost. 

Nothing’s changed yet (except for ideas in my head, of course). 

1) Photoshop layout I created awhile ago of the random mix of stuff in my office today.  This is to scale, so it will come in handy as I’m playing with potential new purchases, layouts, etc.  Each piece of furniture is a layer, so I can delete and move them pretty easily:


2) A few current photos of the room, “decluttered” (for me) .  Not necessarily pretty, but this is my starting place!


And, “current” isn’t really accurate anymore.  My brother will be crashing with me for awhile as he gets settled, so he’s got all of his stuff in the room.  I know, I should have started working on this BEFORE he got here.  Things never seem to work out perfectly like that, do they?  Oh well. 

But it’s OK – I’ll be photoshopping, actual-shopping, and planning for a bit, so I can post about that in the meantime. 

Definitely a lot more to come. 


(View the Decorno post and comments)

Decorno Rules.

March 29, 2009

I have to give a shoutout to Decorno – she picked me as a winner of her House Beautiful book giveaway

So not only do I get this book for free (yay)…


…but she posted the images I sent her of my office/guest room as a decorating dilemma on her blog, which has been a favorite of mine for a long time. 

I’m excited to have a bunch of fresh eyes take a look at this little room and help me out, because – let’s be honest – my own motivation and crazy schedule has not gotten me very far. 

(It just occurred to me that I can no longer be a slacker!  This is in writing!  Kind of like when I started telling people about the half marathon I’m planning to run in June.  Knowing that I told the world about this is what keeps me from bailing on a long run at mile two and going to sit by the lake with some Ce Fiore. )

Also, to anyone who has clicked over to my blog from Decorno’s post…hi!  I’d love to hear any ideas you have for me, either in the comments section of her post or in the comments here. 

I’ll warn you that I’m pretty random (as is probably obvious), but I’m glad to have you here.  🙂

Office: “And we’re off…like a herd of turtles.”

March 29, 2009

Switching gears for a second…

I haven’t posted many updates about the awesome office slash second bedroom that I want to create in my condo.  That’s because I am “off…like a herd of turtles,” in the words of Michael Scott (Season 5?  Lecture Circuit?).

However slowly, though, I am making progress.  Remember that this room used to look like this (and I was even brave enough to post this hot mess on the internet for all to see):


Now it looks more like this:


I am not saying that I like how this looks.

I repeat, I am not saying that I like how this looks.   

This room is still a combination of childhood furniture and other randomness.  I haven’t gotten to the actual painting / shopping / decorating part yet.  The only thing in this little corner that will stay is the framed painting that’s leaning on top of the cabinet (painted by my very talented sister, Meghan).  For awhile, I was chained to these cabinets and shelves because I just have too much stuff.

(Come to think of it, now that my brother has moved to Seattle, maybe he will want to take some of this random furniture off of my hands.  Hmmm….)

And in case anyone was wondering where some of this clutter has gone, I give you my bags of stuff, all lined up and ready to parade on down to Goodwill:  


(Truth be told, these bags haven’t *quite* made it to Goodwill yet.  They are now filling the trunk of my car.)

Road Trip 2007 Flashback #1

March 26, 2009

So this week I decided I was going to take the opportunity to recap some memories from my cross-country road trip to Seattle, because my brother is currently making the same trip. 

But before I even had time to do another post, I found out that he is arriving tonight!?  Apparently our approaches differ when it comes to the cross-country road trip. 

My brother and uncle seem to be taking the very male “power through it” approach – they left yesterday early afternoon and drove in shifts through the night.  I’m sure they’re also calculating their gas mileage and discussing whether they’re making good time along the way.  And eating beef jerky…or something. 

My road trip with my mom, on the other hand, included things like books on tape, “the license plate game”, leisurely dinners, and every national park and tourist attraction within even remote distance of I-90 on the way out here…and lots of Diet Coke.  (And I would have taken another week if I could have!) 

Verbatim text exchange with my mom today:
   Bob and Jack are 100 miles west of billings mt.
Me:   they have gone a long way!!!
Mom: Yes they’re serious about arriving for the beer festival 🙂

(There is a beer festival at the Seattle Center on Saturday.  I vaguely remembered hearing about it, but my brother and uncle found it on their own, and they are pumped.)

On that note – I give you the touristy kitsch of central South Dakota: 


Mitchell Corn Palace (South Dakota) – It’s more like a gymnasium covered in corn husks.  You cannot make this stuff up.


Yes, that sign says population three hundred and ninety.


A tiny roadside “strip mall”


Wall Drug.  I don’t think I can even accurately explain this place…not so much a drugstore but a cheesy, touristy empire.

After we passed through the touristy stuff, we started getting into the true west and the mountains.  I’ll post more of that pretty soon, though probably after my brother arrives….

but here’s a preview with another picture from Badlands National Park (that’s my mom in the middle):



Closed the shop, sold the house, bought a ticket to the West Coast

March 25, 2009

Per his facebook status (and a text from my mom), I now have OFFICIAL confirmation that my brother is on his way to Seattle. 

Thinking about him packing up the car and heading west has me reminiscing about my drive over Labor Day weekend 2007, when my job transferred me from Cincinnati to Seattle.  I picked up my mom in Chicago and off we went for a 6-day, 2000-ish mile road trip that stands in my mind as one of my all-time favorite experiences.

I felt so many things at the time, but especially excitement.  Moving brings so many mixed emotions – the unknown, the sadness of leaving people and familiarity behind – but also the overwhelming possibilites held by someplace new.  Because Seattle was about as far away as I could get within the US (and because I barely knew anyone there), the whole thing felt pretty significant to me – and a few days on the road was a great way to take it all in.

Sure enough, this move has already meant a lot in my life, and I’m sure I don’t even know the half of it yet…. 

(Also, I can’t remember another time in my life when I was able to spend so much time one-on-one with my mom.  With three siblings, it just doesn’t usually work that way!)

So – this week, while Jack is on his way, it only feels right to post a few flashbacks to 2007!  Let the reminiscing begin…


(Badlands National Park, South Dakota)

I’ve always loved this picture because it captures the feeling of being the only car on the open road (which was the case at certain points of the trip).  Even though it’s some random car in the picture, it actually does look like my car!