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Last Day

Today is my last day as a 29 year old. Yes, that’s right, my birthday is April 1st and no its not a joke. This is the point where people ask or state rather, that I must be good at April Fool’s Day Jokes. Nope not really. I can’t even say that I’ve really tried. I don’t want to pull a prank unless it’s going to be really really good! Maybe next year.

I guess I should be reflective now. I’ve had a great year with a lot of unexpected surprises. Wonderful surprises I might add. As I momentarily reflect, I’m also reminded that I’m moving forward. It could be the boxes sitting in my room half packed and the continual debate about what I can truly bare to part ways with. There is nothing like moving across the country and knowing that the only things you’re taking with you are the things that will fit in your tiny car.
This is one chapter that I’m glad to be putting to bed, not because it was a terrible year, but because I’m excited and ready to start this new adventure. My newest adventure will start next week, after I bid adieu to friends and meet the parents. For some meeting the parents will invoke a knee jerk reaction of fight or flight, I actually like meeting parents. Parents love me! This time however, I am nervous maybe it has something to do with the seriousness of this relationship. I know Ace is nervous and not looking forward to meeting my parents. It’s a non-negotiable that he meet my parents before I move across the country with someone that they’ve never met. He could care less if I met his and would probably prefer that I didn’t. Family is important to me and so he’s willing to introduce me to his family as well as meet mine.
And speaking of family, my friend FINALLY had her baby! YAY! Weighing in at 7.3lbs and gorgeous. I’m glad that I’ll get to “meet” her, but also sad that I’m leaving and will miss so much of her life.

I won’t give the clichéd statement of “If you would have told me this a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed it.” I probably say “nah” while smiling and thinking to myself it’s quite possible. After all anything is possible, well almost anything.

P.S. I’ll report back on how meeting the parents went, from both sides.

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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Adventure

 

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More on the Open Road…

My road trip across America has just been extended to 2 weeks. The orginal plan was just a fairly straightforward trip across the Southwest, but now Ace is throwing States such as Colorado into the hat for conversation.

I for one just want to make sure that I get in my fill of kitsch on this trip. I would love to stop at the dinosaurs that appeared in Pew Wee Herman’s Big Adventure. FYI: They are located in Cabazon, CA. And anything that claims to be the “World’s Largest ________.” I found a book ages ago that detailed the best roadside attractions from Coast to Coast. I wish I would have bought it!

I also like the idea of getting in some outdoor adventure time as well. I would love to be able to take Ace kayaking along the Buffalo or Quchita rivers in Arkansas. (I am orginally from this state.) I know that everyone likes to poke fun at people that are from Arkansas, but I promise that we aren’t all barefoot, missing our teeth, or talk like hillbillies. Its a nature lovers dream.

I would love to know where you’ve great roadside attractions stretching from North Florida to San Francisco. Ready, Set, Go! And thanks for playing!

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Adventure

 

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The Adventure of Moving

Let the adventure begin!

Year 29 has been a crazy whirlwind of travel, life adventures, and to end this year I will be trading the Sunshine State for the Golden State. What better time to move than at the culmination of my 20’s and the celebration of the next great chapter?

Using Google and Road Trip USA.com, I’ve been researching possible road trip routes to my new home for slightly over a month now. There are a couple of viable options in my mind. Side note: I also realized that it will be slightly after I turn 30, but this will fulfill one of my Top 30 adventures, The Great American Road Trip.

The first leg of my trip will be to visit my parents in Arkansas; this will also be the first time that Ace will get to meet my parents. Not an opportunity that he’s exactly thrilled about, because my family is important to me (as is he) he’s willing to play along.

After leaving my parents, it’s off to Te-has (Texas) where, I want to visit the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. I recently read that they have the largest display of tulips this side of Holland and with tulips being my favorite flower I simply HAVE to stop. I wonder if I can find some little wooden shoes?

Dallas could be the only stop in Texas because there doesn’t seem to be much after that until New Mexico. My great-grandmother lived in Cave City, AR and when we would visit her we would take a trip to the cave there. I always loved it and when I found out about the Carlsbad Caverns, I knew I had to go. From there Roswell could be the next mini-stop just a couple of pictures with signs and then we’d be off to finish crossing New Mexico, perhaps stopping in Albuquerque to visit family.

Ace requested a stop at the Grand Canyon. If we time it just right, I’m hoping that we can witness sunrise over the canyon. I think he’s mentioned that he wants to hike down to the bottom. I’m not sure how long that takes, but it seems like that could several hours. The going down part not so bad, it’d be the going up part that I’m not so sure about. Although, I know that it would be an amazing opportunity. I can’t even begin to imagine looking up from the floor of the G.C.

Bryce Canyon is another possible stop. However, in mind I feel like its out of the way and there isn’t a good way to make it over to California from there. If I weren’t driving my car, I would want to drive through America’s loneliest highway in Nevada, but I’m not so sure that my little car can make that trip.
There is still plenty of time to decide logistics and plan stops along the way. I know I’m missing out on some of the finer points of traveling across the Southwest, so if you’ve got ideas or suggestions let me know!

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Adventure

 

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The Big Easy Adventure

An intern in my office is headed to Nola, one of my favorite cities for spring break and I’ve agreed to come up with a list of places and things to do that she should at least attempt.

I’ve been several times and I’ve only done the Bourbon Street crawl once. It was a very memorable night, Halloween 2009, which coincided with Voodoo Fest. If you’ve never been to VF, I highly recommend it. Its 3 days of incredible music, in an amazing city and the weather is finally tolerable. We were a group of 5 women and had all decided to dress as sailor girls on Halloween night and enjoy the festivities on Bourbon.

We had agreed to meet in the French Quarter and once all 5 of us were assembled it became our first experience with “paparazzi.” It was dizzying at first. I don’t think that we moved for 20 minutes because of all the pictures that were being taken, which was unfair, we needed our “Big Ass Beers” or a Hurricane or some variety of a tasty adult beverage. After we had drinks firmly in hand, the paparazzi effect became easy to deal with. The street was jovial, everyone was there to have a great time and no one was flashing out of season (at least from what I remember.)

As the intern is going there next week she will get to experience Fat Tuesday. I’m kind of jealous, but I think that I will take my Voodoo Experience and call it a day. From the war stories of friends, it seems as though Halloween on Bourbon is Mardi Gras minus all the puking frat boys. Not to say there aren’t some aspects of Mardi Gras that I would love to experience such as the costume balls, parades as rider, and other festivities that Old Orleans society participates in. That would be how I want to experience it from the front of a grand home in the Garden District. But alas I’ll dream and make a list for the intern.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Adventure

 

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Free Oranges

As I was walking to my car last Friday, I encountered two almost unsavory men on bicycles. I’ve had two bicycles stolen and I’m always on the lookout for them, as I passed them I studied the frames and looked for my “You are beautiful” sticker. As I’m passing the second man I see him mouth words at me so I remove my earphones and he repeats himself. “Have a beautiful weekend.” The simple gesture of good tidings made me smile and remember how far I’d come since my prized bicycle was stolen.

Where I am this year vs. last year is astounding. This time last year, my apartment had flooded, I was unemployed, completely broke (I was over drafting at a terrifying pace), I totaled my car, and my bicycle was stolen (again). Needless to say, I didn’t have very good expectations for the year 2010. I was optimistic that things would turn around, but I wasn’t expecting all that happened.

Who knew that the year that started in utter misery would turn out to be one of the best? I’ve done a lot of traveling, accomplished a few of adventures, and found love when I wasn’t looking. All in all not too shabby.

I was reminded of the “Beautiful Weekend” man later as I was leaving the grocery store. I don’t even know why, but suddenly his words were echoing in my head and my ridiculous smile and reemerged. Those words again brought me happiness and made me determined to have a beautiful weekend.

Of course, the next day I had all but forgotten those words. I awoke late, spent way too much time at the coffee shop, and made plans to meet up with friends. It struck me though as I was nosing about a new home décor store and stumbled across “free oranges,” which of course made me smile, which brought back to mind the earlier event, which made me realize that I was having a an absolutely beautiful weekend. The challenge now is to have a beautiful Monday.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Adventure

 

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Going the Distance…

Today’s entry really isn’t about any adventure. Its about my need to clear to my head and own my feelings.

I’ve had two rules which I’ve lived by when it comes to relationships. 1. No Long Distance, I need hugs way too much for that nonsense. 2. Never move for anyone other than yourself, what movie have you ever seen where that works? I broke the first one in June and I’m about to break the second one. 

I’m separated from Ace by almost 3,000 miles and a 3 hour time difference, meaning that when I’m getting up in the morning he’s still asleep. When I’m getting off work, he still has 3 hours to go. When I’m typically ready to go to bed, he’s eating dinner. See the problem here? Coordinating schedules to find a few moments of conversation is hard, it takes effort, and it’s not convenient. I know, I know, I know. These things are hard for any relationship regardless of geographic location.

My frustration begins here though, last night. Ace has been working longer hours this week and traveling, which means that we fit our conversations in where we can and that often means very short exchanges that have more to do with his work than anything else.  Last night, I’m at dinner celebrating our friends’ birthday when I receive a message from him asking what I’m up to and a subsequent one that states he is grouchy. Grouchy=no fun and more often than not I’m able to talk him a feet back from that ledge. 

After the dinner party, I tried to call him. Voicemail. I left a message, let time go by, and later sent a message inquiring if he was still grouchy. Yes. I respect people when they say they are grouchy and not in the mood to talk, I get it. I do the exact same thing. So now you’re wondering, so what’s the problem?  Well, I wasn’t so upset until today when it hit me in the face like a cream pie. I had been looking forward to talking to him all day. I was excited, I wanted to share my day with him, I wanted to ask ridiculous questions. It also didn’t help matters that I was unable to fall sleep until 5:30 a.m. and the one person that I had been wanting to talk since midnight (9pm his time) had made himself unavailable.

Light bulb moment: I found the gesture selfish.  We are talking of living together and when you live with someone it’s not as easy as not answering the phone, locking the door, or pulling the sheets over your head. When you have a bad day you don’t get to ignore the other person. That’s what the other person is there for to help you find balance.  To help you get over your mad spot or give you someone else to think about at the very least. Diversion. It works at least for a little while, right?

And now I feel selfish for being upset. I sometimes don’t want to talk either and won’t answer my phone as well. If I get into a serious funk I need time to just be. I understand this need! SO WHY, AM I FRUSTRATED?!  Perhaps it’s a combination of things: the distance, lack of quality conversation, and the feeling that whatever was on my mind wasn’t important.  I don’t know.

At the same time, I don’t feel selfish. I feel justified. I still love Ace, no matter that sometimes he drives me crazy.
*While writing this I received a message from Ace stating that he was being selfish.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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I will fall…

I added another adventure to my list a while back, to see real snow. Sure I’ve seen snow before, but its always been laden with ice and extremely wet. Right after I added this adventure to my list, my boyfriend who lives 2,664 miles away called me up and asked me if I would like to spend New Years in Tahoe.

It was kismet!   I also decided that this would be a great time to try my hand or my feet rather at snowboarding. I mean, why not, right?

Tahoe was breathtaking!  I was greeted with snow and rain, but luckily the rain fizzled into to snow flurries. After settling into the cabin, we went for a walk to explore and so that I could get my first taste of snow. It was wonderful!  The first night by the gas fireplace  with a glass of wine was perfect and I couldn’t have hoped for anything better.

The next day I awoke to additional 2 feet of gorgeous powder which had transformed the once visible road into an ice slide.  We struck out to the resort around 8 am in hopes that we would arrive in plenty of time for me to get my rental board, boots and get signed in for my lesson at 10 am, but the ice slide of a road had other ideas. After much debating, chaining of tires and couple of turn-arounds we arrived at the resort shortly before 11.

I had already missed my lesson so I would have to wait until the afternoon lesson at 1pm, which was ok by me. I sent Ace to the mountain of powder and became a snow widow. Finally, my time came. Nervous but optimistic, I listened to the instructor and tried to replicate his movements.  I felt clumsy, but so far I was managing. Then came the next test, step onto a conveyor belt and let it drag you to the top of a very tiny hill. I “skated” onto the belt and then I tried to move my other foot onto the board and promptly fell.  One thing I had to quickly give up was my pride.

The next two hours, I spent falling.  Just the act of moving into a standing position on a snowboard is a challenge!  A couple of times I was able to successfully make it the bottom of the hill without falling; Although, I had no idea how I had done it and completely unable to replicate the movements again. After each fall I became more determined that I would learn how to do this and I celebrated every small victory. A couple of times, a small girl had the misfortune of getting in front of me on my way down and without the ability to turn I was forced to crash into the snow behind her sending a spray of powder into her back . At least I was successful in scaring the bejeezus out of her!

The next day Ace decided that he would help me learn.  So with him by my side, I set out to conquer this bunny hill! He was more patient than I had thought that he would be. I had expected him to be frustrated because I wasn’t learning the techniques. I expected to be frustrated because he was frustrated.  But after each fall, he had a well thought out critique and a suggestion on how I could improve. I listened to his critiques and advice and I really tried to implement what he was teaching. I still fell time after time, but I could tell that I was learning and improving ever so slightly. I even managed a couple of times to make a successful turn and stop! When that happened I stood for a moment with jaw dropped open thinking that this had to be a mistake and surely I was actually lying on the snow.

In the midst of me falling down again and again into the powder, I also realized that I had fallen for him.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2011 in Adventure