Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ciao Amiga: Things I learned

 While I am still putting a dent in my photo editing from both of my amazing trips, here's a quick list of random as all get out traveling tips that resonated with me/I learned the last month:
Mexico  on Left, Italy on Right.
  • Fill your shoes in your suitcase with delicate items to save space/ensure safety- I put each piece of my jewelry into individual bags and tucked them inside my sneakers. They were safe from harm and it utilized extra space.
  • Always carry a pen. Mostly for the abundance of forms that will be placed in front of you but also because you're likely without cell service and will need to be able to physically write your number down on that hot foreign man's arm.
  • Don't be friendly at the European train stations. When my Brother told me this, the polite smiler in me scoffed. But once we got there and the wolves ascended with offers of helping me move my bag, or giving me directions, etc.... I was happy to have my Brother next to me telling them to **** off. They're not nice gentlemen (a rare breed as is), they're working you for money. Be confident and own your space. #LikeABoss
  • Bring an empty duffel bag to take back as carry-on if you plan on shopping and to displace the weight in your checked bag. I have never successfully followed this rule ahead of time... but in my next life, I will.
  • Google travel Blogs before you pack with tips about packing for your final destination! Even if the information is old, it will still serve as a reminder of what you really need and what you can leave behind. As my packing could be documented in an episode of 'Hoarders', I appreciate the pressure of someone else telling me what not to do. And it's kind of nice to have it come in the form of a friendly blog, rather than a judgmental older sister (Hi Jocie!, love you!).
  • Bring tall socks for the plane. I can't stress how much I love pulling those bad boys out and trying to seal up to sleep. Cozy!
  • Ensure that you have some non-electronic entertainment- airports nickel and dimeing' with their Wi-Fi charges and ensuring that there's not enough electrical outlets to accommodate more than 3 people means that you are often off the grid. Grab a book and enjoy its steadfast loyalty to you during your travels.
  • Be beyond comfortable saying "No, gracias" constantly in Mexico. Even to little children. Unfortunately, after a few brews, my love of children got the best of me when I was down there. If anyone wants to buy 20 crappy trinkets... please inquire within. Or some Chiclet.
  • Relax in a way you don't at home and without an ounce of shame: order a drink or two on the flight, read a tabloid mag, play a dumb computer game, watch 4 movies in a row... it's so rare that we are forced to relax in such a way without responsible temptation all around us- I say you take advantage of it.
Any random tip that helps get you from Point A to Point B sanely?

Monday, July 1, 2013

A weekend of Orange Skirts, Orange Blankets & Orange Haired Celebs

Have you seen 'This is 40'? I recently watched it on my flight and couldn't stop laughing through most of it. I mean... it's just so on-point in its presentation of a long-term couple. One of my most favorite scenes in the film was when they were talking and laughing about how they would kill each other if they could and the way in which they would do it. Pretty funny stuff because it all seems to ring so true at times.
^This is 29/28: Twin Outfits
Sometimes the two of us really get just.so.tired of each other.  We obviously enjoy one another's company about 95% of the time, but there's a solid 5% where either of us would just assume jump off the balcony in an effort to get some space

And this last weekend, I've discovered another fun little side-effect about spending so much time together: we start to dress like twins. I didn't even notice this until his Stepbrother pointed it out on Saturday (while laughing at us). Oy. There's few things that either of us aspire to do less than dressing like twins...
^Orange bottoms, Teal tops
^Strolling around the North American Organic Brew Fest
However, I wasn't about to take off that orange skirt for no mans. Because I just think it's so, so pretty. In fact, when it was time to begin the evening festivities, I hatched an outfit plan that allowed me to take it out on the town with me.

^Meeting Pete of "Pete & Pete"!
Of course Sunday was not fancy and the orange skirt was replaced with Nike workout pants (which I consider proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy)- I toyed around at the Park like a hippie and took care of my grocery shopping for the week, per the usual Sunday depression:
^Hard to explain my love for picnic blankets. What a blissful way to relax.

^This is incredibly hard! How people do this without help is beyond me. And yes, in Portland it is common to just go to a park and have people tie-up tightropes where they can. We are an odd group.
^LEFT: I took a pic to capture my grocery shopping like a true urbanite- backpack full of of produce, flowers popping out and 2 handfuls of bags to carry 12 blocks- but hey, I didn't have to spend money on gas! ^RIGHT: Sunday night meal prep- my lunch for this week: Spinach & Arugula salad with salmon, beets, pistachios and artichoke. Yum!
Now back to work for a short couple days, I think I can make it!