Archives for posts with tag: vacation

First of all, National Readathon Day is on Saturday!! I’m over halfway to my goal, and I would LOVE your support! Because who doesn’t love books and literacy? Please make a donation over here. I’ll love you forever.

Feller and I are on the second leg of our Portland-Seattle-Portland vacation, and so far it’s been great. We spent the past few days hanging out in Beaverton, Oregon and not doing much. We discovered a Fred Meyer down the street from our hotel, which is sort of like an even BETTER version of Target, if you can believe it. Needless to say, we engaged in some light retail therapy and grocery shopping, since our room had a teeny tiny kitchen. We also discovered the 24 hour delights of WinCo, and their crazy huge bulk section. These two stores are certainly making a good case for Oregon being a pretty decent place to live.

I also discovered that I wasn’t quite as prepared for the amount of rain we were going to be doing with as I thought as I was. I brought my umbrella from home, but then I misplaced it somewhere between home and the hotel. Turns out, I had just put it in a different bag and forgot. But not before I bought a new one! And a raincoat! (My first raincoat ever. It’s like one more step to being a Real Adult.)

Actually Important Portland Purchases: rain gear. #vacation #Portland #raining

A photo posted by @amysaysread on Jan 18, 2015 at 2:21pm PST

Turns out the raincoat came in real handy when we hiked up Multnomah Falls. It wasn’t raining most of the day, but it started to as we came back down the mountain, and it was certainly nice to have the protection when we were walking by the falls.

That was the only Big Thing we’ve done since we arrived, but I think we both needed some time to relax and recharge and recover from Life. Life’s been exhausting recently, and we were ready for a break. We have, however, reached the point where we have to start making the most of our days and Doing Things. We were gonna try to go to Ecola State Park yesterday, but after the ass kicking the Falls gave us the day before, we decided to take it easy. (Also, we got up kind of late, surprising exactly no one who knows us.) So it was to Seattle we came, and we got here just in time for me to get in a nice run in the neighborhood around our hotel.

Guess where I got to run tonight #vacation #Seattle #SpaceNeedle #running #writeandrun31

A photo posted by @amysaysread on Jan 19, 2015 at 5:42pm PST

Not a bad way to greet a new city. Also, it seems the #writeandrun31 is turning me into one of those weirdos who looks forward to working out. Except for one Fuck It Day and a few days where I was sick, I’ve been sticking with my goals, even on days when I was really not feeling it or thinking that it’d be okay if I skipped. Like today. I was not going to go for a run, but we got checked into our hotel a couple blocks from the Space Needle right before sunset, and off I went.

Anyways, we’ve got a lot of stuff we want to do and see in the next couple of days. We’re only in Seattle until sometime on the 22nd, and there’s a lot to do! I, in particular, want to see the library.

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Feller and I landed in Cozumel yesterday, after what felt like forever traveling. The afternoon was full of napping and recovering from a Flying Hangover (and a cold, on Feller’s part), but we registered for all the diving we’re going to be doing through Scuba Club Cozumel (for which we got an AMAZING deal). We think we’re going to do a little shore dive from right outside our hotel room this afternoon just to re-acclimate ourselves with diving and the gear and everything.

We’re staying in a cool room with tiled floors and matching red, orange and purple striped curtains and bedspread. The curtains give the entire room a warm, rosy glow when the sun shines through them. The resort provides all of our meals, and so far, the food has been muy delicioso. I had AMAZING enchiladas con mole con pollo upon our arrival, which I hope sets the tone for the entire trip: amazing food, amazing experiences. AND they brought us dinner when we almost slept through it! THEY BROUGHT US FOOD!!

We’ve also signed up to do a couple of non diving day excursions. Somehow, we got corralled into talking to some tour guide guy at the airport, and he talked us into signing up with him. Feller’s a bit EEEHHH about it, and told me as we were walking away that we had just gotten “salesman’ed,” which is 100% correct. But I also feel like that we’re getting a pretty good deal, and that a couple of days of not diving will be fun. One of my favorite parts of Hawaii was the rainforest tour that we took, so I am optimistic. We’ll be spending one day touring Cozumel in a car, checking out Chankanaab National Park, a tequila factory tour, and Punta Sur. On another day, we’ll take a ferry to the mainland to have breakfast at Xcaret and taking a tour of Mayan ruins at Tulum.

Our trip is jam packed full of stuff, with all the diving and other tours, but we’re both just so excited. We’re both recovering from post-Christmas colds, so hopefully, we’ll be totally healthy and ready to go for the rest of the trip. Being here, really, finally, after two years of no real breaks in day to day life, feels a little surreal right now, but oh so wonderful. I stepped outside our room last night, after everyone else in the resort seemed to be asleep, and listened to the ocean hitting the pier just a few steps from our door and marveled that THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. I don’t even have the words to tell you how happy I am to be here and how I already feel relaxed and peaceful and how, despite our full schedule, I know we’ll have plenty of downtime and feel so much better when we come back home.

GUYS GUYS GUYS. I’ve been SO BUSY, OMG. The fall semester of school just ended, THANK GOD, so I finally have the energy to come say hi. There’s been so much going on lately, you don’t even know.

So in September, I petted some llamas alpacas on National Alpaca Appreciate Day. They were very cute. I also bought some yummy yarn that I’ll some day knit into a really luxurious scarf for myself.
Feeding the Alpacas Adorable! Fuzzy! Baby Alpaca! Punk Rock Alpaca AlpacasMommy & Baby Alpaca Nomming Alpaca Spinning!

In October, Feller and I went to a pumpkin patch and did ALL THE ACTIVITIES they offered, except ride a pony because we are both over the weight limit. But we pet some chickens and a turkey and a goat and a guinea pig and a rabbit. And a duck. Who tried to bite Feller. We also rode on a hay ride and a train that was meant for little children, and we sat in a giant chair for pictures! It was very fun and helped lay the foundations for some friendshipping. Which is awesome.
Hayride! Giant Chair! Giant Chair Cuddles Haunted House Meetup Group The Pony We Didn't Ride The Turkey We Did Pet Feller Petting A Chicken Feller Petting A Goat The Duck That Tried To Bite Train Ride!

We have also had a few parties, and Feller cooked dinner for 10 people right before Thanksgiving. It was a resounding success, resulting in hangovers for everyone (I’m guessing, based on how many empties we had the next day).

I’ve started doing a buttload of volunteering to beef up my resume and gain some recent experience with people who are under 21. It’s been really fun! I’ve been doing some one on one reading tutoring with Reading Partners, homework help at the library, for which I’m now the volunteer in charge, and come January, I’ll be doing storytime at a preschool center in Oakland once a week. I’m so excited! And crazy busy! It’s been a real adjustment getting used to how many things I have going on right now, but I’m really enjoying all my extracurriculars. I’m also starting some sort of “Reading to Children” thing in San Jose. I’m not sure if they’re looking for an actual storytime like in Oakland or something a bit more casual. I guess I’ll find out at training!

This semester in school has been SO STRESSFUL. Last Spring I effed up a little, and I paid for it this semester. I was really, legitimately concerned that I wouldn’t be in school come this Spring, but THANKFULLY, everything worked out all right. I wasn’t kicked out of school, I got okay grades, and I received the kick in the rump that I need to stay on top of that stupid online discussion posts bullshit that I hate so very much. But which always screws my grade over, dammit.

Coincidentally, sort of, today is ALSO the first day of 2013. Since I was going to post this earlier (and forgot), I am hereby including my 2013 Get Shit Done’s

*One race a month. Not JUST 12 for the year, one a month. This will keep me running and on track for the THREE half marathons for which I’ve signed up.
*Finish my damn WIP’s. THIS IS THE YEAR for the Medallion Travel Bag. I got a couple other lingering WIP’s taken care of recently, and WHAT A RELIEF. Having projects on the needles for 5+ years is not only RIDICULOUS, it’s a fucking burden. That I DON’T WANT. Medallion Travel Bag, THIS IS YOUR YEAR.
*Ukulele mastery. This involves practicing more than once every two weeks. (BTW, I got a ukulele for my birthday.)
*Knit, knit, knit. Seriously, when I’m just sitting in front of the tv, I should have some knitting in my hands.
*Straight A’s in school. For reals this time, guys. This is my last year of my Master’s, and it’s time to go big or go home. No more fucking around for half the semester and then scrambling for a B. A’s all the way. Because it’s totally doable if I would just suck it up and write some dang discussion posts.

In completely different news, Feller and I (still married, still in love) are going on vacation and couldn’t be more excited. It’s HIGH TIME we had some free and easy relaxing time together. Life has been really stressful, and it shows. We’re both ready for a break.

I’m leaving for Tucson Thursday evening, and I am SO SO SO excited. It’s just me going, and the week away from Feller will be pretty terrible, but I am so looking forward to uninterrupted time to visit and reconnect with my friends.

Am I in any way prepared for this trip? NOPE. I am pondering what I will pack, which means debating HOW MUCH I’ll pack. Like, Imma be gone for a week, maybe I should check a bag? But I don’t WANNNNNNNNA check a bag! But how much makeup and shoes can you fit into your carryon? I think it’ll just take some creative finagling of the “overhead compartment bag, under the seat bag and purse” rule. But, SERIOUSLY? You gonna make all your shit fit into what the flight attendants will allow you to carry onto the plane? Like, REALLY?

And that’s where I start downsizing the amount of makeup and shoes I would normally pack for a week long trip that involves going to church on Sunday, an occasion for which I like to dress up. I think Imma leave my heels at home this time. I will take two pairs of jeans, because, really? I’ll be gone a week; I need to at least PRETEND to wear more than one pair of pants ever. (Feller was SHOCKED and SCANDALIZED that I would pack three pairs of jeans for our six week trip to Cape Town and the UK. “But … you can just WASH them!”)

I might need to pack before I pack just to make sure I can actually fit everything I want into my various bags. Also, I should determine whether I can carry more stuff easily in my GIANT laptop traveling bag or if I should borrow Feller’s backpack. And what purse do I want to bring? The heavy one that holds a lot of stuff? Or the one that doesn’t weigh five pounds when empty?

And HOW THE HECK am I getting to the airport? My flight leaves at 4 pm, so Feller can’t take me because his job is PRETTY STRICT about 9-5, and fuck if I’m paying for my car to sit five minutes from our house for a week. I’m thinking bus, but again, HOW MUCH SHIT AM I TAKING?! Because lugging all that on public transit doesn’t sound fun to me. But I might be too cheap to take a cab. DILEMMAS.

Oh, and is my present for BFF’s baby shower ready? NOPE. I mean, I guess I have until Sunday afternoon, but let’s not wait until the LAST POSSIBLE second, shall we?

There’s just so much to do in the next few days, and I’d like to hit the gym before I go, hopefully for my 3 times a week goal, but that depends on when the TV delivery guys get here, I think. Sometime between 1-6. Wonderful. And guess who’s been fighting a cold the past three days and, thus, utterly useless for anything that isn’t NAPPING? ME. That would be me. Doesn’t my immune system know that I have BETTER things to do?

I guess now, while waiting for the TV, would be a good time to be productive.

After our Cape Town adventures, Feller and I headed off to London for about two weeks for some business related stuff. Not MY business, obviously, since I was still an unrepentant bum at this point and happy to just enjoy London with no agenda or any real plan. Which was great, but also meant that I didn’t DO very much. There were quite a few days of snoozing and drinking and not doing much else, which was okay! But sometimes I do feel like I should have more to show for this portion of the trip, like there should been Stuff! To Do! Everyday! But you know what?! I had a great time and did most of what I wanted to do, though I would have liked to make it to the Victoria & Albert Museum. They have two exhibits that I wish I could have seen, but OH WELL.

I spent an afternoon wandering down Oxford ST and Regent ST, stopping in Hamleys (I only visited one of it’s SIX FLOORS; that was a time suck I did NOT need) and my first REAL LIFE Lush. This same afternoon I spent an ungodly amount of time wandering around Forbidden Planet, this monstrously large comic book and sci-fi/fantasy store and HOLY GOD, IT WAS DELICIOUS. I was really glad I didn’t have any extra money because I could have spent IT ALL in that store. There was cool comic book memorabilia and Dr Who stuff and Star Wars stuff and an entire floor of BOOKS. Signed books, new books, comic books, Dr Who and Torchwood spin off books. It was amazing. AMAZING.

One day, Feller came with me to climb the St. Paul’s Cathedral dome. We wandered around the crypt and saw various famous British people’s tombs and sarcophagi, like Admiral Nelson and … someone else … Wellington, maybe? Some of the plaques were really beautiful and there was a lot of history down there, but the main attraction for me was the dome.

St. Paul’s has three levels to which one can climb: the Whispering Gallery, the Stone Gallery and the Golden Gallery at the very top. We decided to go all the way, which involved climbing up a total of 528 steps (and then climbing back DOWN those 528 steps).

London Skyline

The view was GLORIOUS. It was one of the few overcast days in London while we were there, but you can see so much from the Stone and especially the Golden Gallery that it didn’t matter. (The view from the Whispering Gallery is the INSIDE of the dome and allows one to see the amazing artwork up close, but they didn’t allow any pictures, so we only briefly paused there to make sure we only needed to climb an additional 271 steps to the very top rather than 376 to the Stone Gallery and 528 MORE to the Golden Gallery.)

St. Paul's Cathedral - Stone Gallery

The Golden Gallery viewing platform was TEENY TINY, and I have a touch of the Afraid of Heights, which made climbing the second half of holey metal steps interesting, so there was a lot of cringing behind my hands and making Feller take pictures because I couldn’t bear to hold my camera out over the ledge in order to get the shot I wanted. I can always just imagine fumbling my precious electronics and helplessly watching them plummet 528 steps down to the ground, so I can’t actually stand the thought of sticking my hand over the abyss. But he got some great pictures.

View from the Golden Gallery

After that bit of fun was over, my legs were jelly. I was standing waiting while Feller used the toilet, and I kind of thought I was going to collapse. Apparently my legs aren’t so into the idea of climbing 528 up and then back down. WHO KNEW.

And, OH GOD, THE WALKING. SO MUCH WALKING. AND STANDING. AND BEING ON MY FEET. My poor little feets were just NOT prepared. It had been a VERY LONG TIME since I’d spent more than an hour or two on my feet, and HOLY COW. OUCHIES. I felt like a jackass complaining about my feet so much, but they HURT, and I couldn’t help myself. I’ll suffer through all kinds of pain, but you better believe Imma bitch about it. But I figure all that walking balanced out all that drinking and all that eating that we did.