Category Archives: Travel

Life Update

Lots has happened since I last blogged! First of all, I went temporarily insane and signed up for a CrossFit competition. It’s scaled for newbies, but still. I am going to be working out in front of people. For a score. Luckily, I’ve been training hard and am super confident!

Hahahahaha! Just kidding. I mean yes, I’ve been training hard, but this is waaaay outside my comfort zone and every time I think about the competition I do this:

Dee Reynolds

We just got back from a week in Hawaii where I spent most of my time hunkered down in front of a mai tai instead of working out, so that probably won’t help my performance at the competition. Unless there is a “drinking mai tais for time” event, in which case everybody else can step aside because I WILL WIN THAT COMPETITION SO HARD.

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(The fact that it’s 60 degrees in my house as I post these is especially gutting.)

My parents moved to Hawaii in March, so they had the skinny on all the awesome foods we needed to try. This included malasadas (fried dough balls stuffed with flavored custard) as well as Spam pizza. Then when we got home we went to a birthday party for Dave’s dad, where I was suckered into trying deep fried Doritos pockets stuffed with jalapeno cheese. Does it GET more American than deep-fried-cheese-stuffed Doritos? I was waiting for a bald eagle to swoop in and claw it out of my hands while I was eating it. Anyway, after all that all I want to eat right now is chicken breast and broccoli. So much broccoli. How a vegetable that smells like farts marinated in Satan’s tears while it’s cooking can taste so good is one of life’s greatest mysteries.

broccoli

What else … I’ve got my Halloween costume under control several days before Halloween, which is a huge accomplishment for me. I found this cute tutorial for a DIY strawberry costume and had to make it. My white puff paint “seeds” look a little like bird shit, but in my defense I was making them while watching Hocus Pocus and I DARE you to not be distracted while watching this cinematic masterpiece.

Ice gif

Next year, I’m dressing up as Ice.

We also managed to squeeze in a visit to the pumpkin patch on Sunday, which I was excited about. It doesn’t feel like fall until I’ve ruined a cute outfit by traipsing through a field and carrying a filthy pumpkin to the car.

Carrying cute babies is way more fun than carrying dirty gourds.

Carrying cute babies is way more fun than carrying dirty gourds.

So that’s about it … if anybody has tips for dealing with crippling self doubt when it comes to fitness competitions, I’d love to hear them.

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Trip Pics and the Worst Text Ever

I got back last night from Sacramento, and the conference turned out to be really fun. It helped that it was held in the downtown/Old Sacramento area, within easy walking distance of a ton of fun restaurants, shopping, parks, etc. Normally we wind up in a Radisson across from a business park where the main attractions are Panda Express and Office Depot. Lunch the first day was on our own, and since I didn’t really know anybody I wound up eating by myself at a cafe on the river. The view wasn’t too terrible:

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Neither was the food:

IMG_5114I was in town attending a health/wellness conference, so I went with the somewhat healthy-ish option of a smoked salmon BLT on wheat bread. I’m sure the thick cut bacon, basil aioli, and crispy sweet potato fries outweighed any health benefits the salmon offered, but whatever. It was good.

I was about halfway through my meal when I noticed this little hipster dude staring at me over his Moscow mule. One minute I was looking down at my phone, and then when I looked up he was squatting awkwardly next to my chair.

Him: “I’m so sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if I could get your autograph?”

Me: “Huh?” (FULL DISCLOSURE: Some bacon sprayed across the table when I said this.)

Him: “Aren’t you the girl from Interstellar?”

Me: “Yes, it’s me, Jessica Chastain. I could be relaxing on my yacht in Italy, but instead I’m here in Old Sacramento inhaling a plate of bacon and fries while wearing a $15 dress from Old Navy.”

For the record, I think I look nothing like Jessica (aside from the hair), but it was a nice change from Wynonna Judd and Fergie (the royal Fergie, not the peed-herself-on-stage Fergie).

The next day I received this text from Dave, which makes me feel simultaneously relieved and horrified:

IMG_5120TWELVE BLACK WIDOWS. The worst part was that he said the majority of them were living on the outside of the bedroom wall that our headboard is on. I WAS SLEEPING WITH TWELVE BLACK WIDOWS NEXT TO MY HEAD. I mean, they were separated by a layer of drywall and some siding, but still. Home Defense is supposed to work for 12 months, but I’m trying to convince Dave he should spray every month just to be safe. That’s not crazy, right?

Back in the swing of things

Thanks to a work training and a quick trip to visit my family, I’ve spent one night in my own bed in the past week. This morning it felt SO GOOD to wake up and get back to my normal routine. (Coffee. Blogs. Work. Exercise. Sleep. Repeat.) My training was held at a casino in Reno, so basically my nights from Tuesday-Friday looked like this: tumblr_lzpm6hmfkx1rpq0uwo1_500_zps8ebddcf2 Just kidding! I was in bed by 9 every night and the only thing I was grinding on was the world’s biggest piece of New York style cheesecake, which I discovered at one of the casino’s coffee shops:

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That big boy lasted through three nights of Forensic Files marathoning. MUCH WILD. VERY PARTY.

We had a lot of downtime in the evenings, and one night I decided to go swimsuit shopping at a nearby mall. NOTE TO SELF: scrutinizing your thighs under fluorescent lighting after eating 5,000 calories worth of cheesecake is not a good idea. And speaking of scrutinizing thighs, I watched my brother compete in his first fitness competition on Saturday night:

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Apparently that’s what 4% bodyfat looks like. I’m depressed, pass the cheesecake.

He competed in the physique division, and I’m not totally sure what that means aside from the fact that he got to wear board shorts. This was great news, since I can’t imagine anything more uncomfortable than sitting next to my parents and grandma while watching my little brother flex his muscles in a bedazzled scrote tote. I spent most of the bodybuilding portion worrying that somebody was either going to poop their pants and/or have an aneurysm from the sheer force of their flexing, and the highlight of the bikini competition was my grandma shouting, “How does she even stand up?” when a contestant with particularly large implants took the stage. my-reaction-when-I-get-into-an-argument-with-women-homer-simpson-hide-in-bush-disappears Anyway, I’m pretty much in awe of his dedication – he worked out six days a week and basically ate chicken, egg whites and vegetables for the last five months in order to look like that. I was starting to question whether we’re actually related, but when we met up after the show he said that all he wanted to do was drink a beer and eat a really big burger. We may have also driven to two grocery stores at midnight to find some ice cream. That sounds about right. The rest of the weekend was spent visiting with my parents, whom I haven’t seen since they moved to Hawaii back in March. It was awesome to spend some time with my mom on Mother’s Day, even though she’s a jerk and texts me pictures like this all the time while I’m at work: 11182185_10206379527706077_9014370125745713902_n Rude, right? It’s a good thing I love her, or I’d be irritated 🙂 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM!

Back From The Beach

Reading

After doing pretty much nothing but this for three days straight, it kind of sucks to come home to temperatures over 100 degrees and the realization that I gave up any hope of being rich enough to own beachfront property back when I decided to major in journalism. Note to any journalism/English/communications students who may be reading this: RUN, DON’T WALK TO THE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND CHANGE MAJORS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

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Anyway, here are a few more pics from the beach:

07.15.14 Rocks

Whale watching. Everybody saw them but us. Standard.

Me and Dave

After he shaved 10 years off my life by showing me his “American Ninja Warrior” skills, AKA leaping from rock to rock right next to the edge of the roaring ocean.

Bridge

I love fog. Why do I not live here.

I’m off work until Thursday, so the last few days have consisted of Netflix, pajamas, and processed foods. I did manage to get to the gym yesterday, but I forgot that hot weather aggravates my heart condition, and after about 30 minutes into this elliptical workout I felt like I was going to die. I think until the weather cools off I’m going to keep my cardio a bit lighter.

Homer treadmill

Source   This looks about right.

And since I’m almost Netflixed out and boycotting the gym, I’m thisclose to buying a plastic kiddie pool and spending the rest of my vacation sitting in a foot of water in the back yard. If you know me in real life, feel free to come over and join me. Bring RazberRitas.

Weekend Trip Photos

My brain is still trying to figure out where the weekend went, so instead of trying to write something that doesn’t suck, I’m just going to show you pictures from our weekend in Southern Oregon.

Statue

Of course I’m going to lead with a picture in which we’re acting like total dumbasses.

This majestic statue graces the entrance to the Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, and obviously we had to re-enact it for a picture. I’d like to be able to blame this idea on booze, but the unfortunate truth is that we are just as goobery sober as we are when we’re drinking.

The casino has a pretty nice hotel attached to it, which of course was booked solid the night we were there. In fact, the only hotel with vacancies was the “Leisure Inn,” which was … exactly what you’d expect for $59.95/night. They did have some pretty fancy monogrammed towels, though:

03.17.14 Towel

I can’t BELIEVE I wasted money at Pottery Barn when a Sharpie clearly looks just as good.

There were cool leopard print chairs in the lobby though, which you can sort of see through the window in this shot of me waiting for the free shuttle to the casino:

03.17.14 Bench

Obviously this was taken pre-gambling, on account of I’m still smiling and you can’t smell the cigarette smoke on my clothes through your computer screen. When it comes to gambling I don’t like anything that requires actual skill, so I pretty much just sit at the slots and try not to spill my drink. I was doing pretty well on the Willy Wonka machine — at one point I got a bonus spin for a chance to win $5,000, which was cool, but I didn’t win it, which was not cool.

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The snozberries taste like cigarette smoke and tears!

I blew through my self-imposed $30 limit in about 15 minutes and spent the rest of the afternoon drinking in the bar with Dave while waiting for our comedy show to start. We thought up some really good ideas, including the “Catsino,” a cat-friendly casino for old people. If this seems like a dumb idea to you, go drink three beers and then think about it again.

We had a lot of fun, only now my brain feels like mush. For example: St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite days ever, and I actually forgot about it until I saw the green Google logo this morning.

Unfortunately, the thought of drinking and/or doing anything other than lying on the couch sounds pretty unappetizing. I think this year we’re going to have to settle for “The Boondock Saints” and frozen shepherd’s pie.

What are your St. Patrick’s Day plans?

Twenty Thirteen

I’ll be honest: 2013 ended way better than it started for me.

I began the year living alone in a little apartment, having just gone through a sort-of breakup with Dave. I spent most evenings in January drinking red wine and channeling Bridget Jones.

(Long story short: We got back together in February).

Since I had some free time and an abundance of nervous energy on my hands early in the year, I started running for the first time in my life. I realized that I kind of liked it, so I slowly built up my mileage and started training for a half marathon.

Post-10 miles

Icing my knees after my first 10-mile run.

In February, I took a little mini-vacation and flew out to Colorado for some quality time with my nephew (and my sister and brother-in-law).

zooA couple months later in May, I took an awesome trip to Chicago. It was technically a work trip, but I had a few days free to hang out and explore the city. I love Chicago so much, and can’t wait to go back.

ChicagoShortly after I returned from Chicago, Dave and I said goodbye to our discretionary income and started house hunting.

Despite the slow torture that is house hunting, the month of June was awesome – I ran my first half marathon, and Dave and I took a trip to the San Diego Zoo, where I became obsessed with red pandas.

red-pandaRight before we left on our trip we made an offer on a house, and right when we got back the bank discovered that some dude stole my social security number in 2007 and used it to lease an apartment in Minnesota. Because of course he did.

We finally worked everything out with the bank, and got the keys to our first home at the end of July.

08-01-13-keyAt first we were all, “woo we’re homeowners” and then we found mold under the kitchen floor and the toilet overflowed every time it flushed and the wiring was all messed up in the kitchen and we were like, “OH MY GOD WE ARE IDIOTS.”

08-05-13-outside-2The house needed a lot of cosmetic work, and we’ve spent the last four months turning it into a place that we love.

In October I traveled to Phoenix (again, for work), where I spent almost as much time lounging poolside as I did working. In my defense, would you be able to work with this right outside your room?

20131021-143439November and December were kind of a blur, and I can’t believe that a new year begins tomorrow. I’m looking forward to completing a lot of house projects in 2014 (installing a kitchen backsplash, building a bar into our dining room alcove, landscaping the front and back yards, hopefully painting the exterior, I am getting hives as I type this list) as well as some possible international travel for work. Oh, and I’ll also continue to blog here. WordPress just informed me that in 2013 I wrote 220 posts, uploaded 848 photos, and that my visitors for the year would fill 7 sold-out performances at the Sydney Opera House. Which is weird, because I totally woke up this morning wondering how many performances it would take to host all my readers at the Sydney Opera House. (No I didn’t.)

ANYWAY, thanks for enduring all my posts about cheese and beer and shirtless Chris Hemsworth this year, and I hope you have a fabulous 2014.

Best Of: Skymall

On my way to Phoenix last week I got the idea to blog about the dumbest items I found in SkyMall, and first of all YOU’RE WELCOME for narrowing this list down to a few items because I could devote an entire blog to the dumb stuff in that magazine.

First on the list is the SkyRest Travel Pillow, a wedge-shaped inflatable cushion designed to make the guy in front of you contemplate jumping out the emergency exit because you’re basically going to be spooning the back of his seat for the duration of the flight. Also worth noting: Unless you have the lung capacity of Michael Phelps you may have trouble inflating the 17-inch behemoth without an air pump, but you will no doubt be inflating the egos of all the other passengers on board who realize, “I may have issues, but at least I didn’t spend $29.95 to look like a tool in public.”

Travel Pillow

Exhausted after a solid 90 minutes of blowing up his sleeping podium, Gary passed out for several seconds before having to raise his seatback table for landing.

Keeping with the “creates more problems than it solves” theme, AquaBells Travel Weights are just what they sound like — plastic weights that you fill up with water from the sink in your hotel room (funnel included).

Travel Weights

Chad didn’t know what was more embarrassing: Telling the front desk staff that his hand weights flooded the room, or realizing that it’s 2013 and even Best Westerns have a free fitness center these days.

In “I cannot believe I am actually typing these words” news, we have the Designer Catbox Enclosure. Because the thing holding me back from putting my cat’s current litterbox in the living room is its lack of wainscoting, not the fact that cat turds are last on the list of fragrances I want my house guests to experience.

Designer Litter Box

“Dude, did the cat just poop in your end table?”

Speaking of felines, check out the Thundershirt for Cats:

Thundershirt for CatsAccording to SkyMall, “Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a profound calming effect for most pets when anxious, fearful, or over-excited.” Maybe it works, but I have suspicions that stuffing a terrified cat into a sweater vest will result in bloodshed. It’s probably wise to wear a pair of Isotoner Therapeutic Gloves for this task.

I’ll wrap this up with just one more. SkyMall has an alarming number of magic wand-related products, but I think the worst is this Magic Wand Remote Control:

Magic Wand Remote Control

30% effective at changing channels. 100% effective at preventing owner from getting laid.

I was laughing until I read that the owner has to custom-program it by making a unique gesture with the wand and pushing the button on the actual remote at the same time and then memorize all the commands, and it made me really sad to picture somebody actually devoting time to that task.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen in SkyMall? And better yet, have you ever ordered anything from the magazine? (Don’t be ashamed. I really want these.)