Archive | June, 2010

My friend Desiree came in to town from Florida a few weeks ago, and among the many activities we packed into the few short days she was here, we planned a trip to the Seattle Space Needle. Our friend Jamie was also with us, and since she has an annual pass to the Space Needle, she was able to get us reduced tickets (and you know whether it’s the amount of fat in milk or ticket prices, I love things that are reduced). When she purchased her annual pass, she was also told that one of the perks of being a pass-holder is that you get 25% off at the Space Needle gift store. Again, discounts = awesome.

We had a lovely time at the top of the Space Needle with Desiree. If you’re visiting Seattle, I strongly suggest you go …

I am starting to perfect the one-handed self-portrait.

I am starting to perfect the one-handed self-portrait.

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My brother just joined Twitter. This is somewhat amusing to me, because he’s still in the “What the heck is the purpose of this?” phase (note: that doesn’t stop his Twitter feed from being raunchily hilarious). I’ve been using Twitter for a few years (though the account I use now was created more recently than my older, personal account) and as I focus more on travel and travel blogging, its purpose has become apparent.

Being active on Twitter is a must for any travel blogger. Not only does it give you a great network with which to connect to other travel bloggers and promote your own articles and links, but it actually makes your travels better, too. Check out my reasons for how Twitter can help you in all your travels … (more…)

This week’s post is courtesy of my brilliant friend Laura, who I’ve known the 10th grade. I could go on and on about Laura’s awesomeness, but this story illustrates it perfectly:

Laura and I were in a terrible statistics class our senior year of high school. It was a requirement for the IB program, and I think it’s safe to say that both of us hated the class. One day the teacher, Mr. Jacobson (who had just become a father) asked our table a question.

Laura, who was generally rather quite in class, mumbled something.

“What was that?” Mr Jacobson asked.

And so Laura repeated what she said, this time louder, and with an Australian accent.

“THE DINGO ATE YOUR BABY.”

Mr. Jacobson stared blankly at her for a few minutes.

Finally he replied, “No it didn’t.”

He then went back to teaching class, and gave up on engaging us in conversation. It was awesome.

Just like Laura.

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I assure you, dear readers of Everywhereist, that I thought long and hard about what I should write for what I hope is only the first of at least several guest blog posts that you will bookmark in your web browser of choice and cherish forever. (Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?) My topic for today is how to avoid common pitfalls when traveling to an athletic event in which you are competing. I tried to re-word that to make it sound more exciting (or at least shorter), but all other descriptions were too vague for my attorney brain to handle.

Several years ago my husband and I began competing in races. I’m not sure what you think of when you hear the word “races”, I guess you might think of Nascar or the Kentucky Derby. I’m mainly talking about triathlons, but we also swim and run without the biking part. One time we biked without the swim and run part, but it is something of which we do not speak because it resulted in a very silent car ride home.

At any rate, much to my husband’s chagrin, some of our races have taken us out of town. I have now been banned from scheduling any races more than half an hour away from our house without prior approval. Luckily for you, my husband was slow to catch on and I picked up on a few things that could make your life easier if you are planning any destination races. (more…)

Summer has taken her sweet time to arrive in my fair city, and all of use here in Seattle have been anxiously waiting her arrival. She’s like the popular girl who RSVP’d “yes” to your party. You doubt she’ll show up at all. And if she does? It will only be for a few minutes, max. But still, you hope you’ll see her.

For those of you who’ve forgotten what sunsets look like in our fair city, here you go.  I promise we’ll get another one. Really.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at the week that was …

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If you’ve been paying attention, Italy got knocked out of the World Cup. I’m not going to lie: I haven’t been (last week was a fluke). And apparently the U.S. is still in the running. So … that’s weird.

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Ladies, lock up your mothers – My brother is now on Twitter.

And speaking of Twitter, this week I hit 1,000 followers. But I didn’t hit them hard. (Ha ha ha ha ha – see what I did there?) Why is this significant? My goal, when I started this whole crazy travel project, was to have 500 followers.

My new goal? Win a staring contest against a Muppet.

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A few months back, my car was threatening to be difficult. It hadn’t really acted up, but the “check engine” light kept going off, and it struck me that I wish everything in life were kind enough to inform you of its impending break down.

In a panic, I brought my car into a repair shop. I have no idea what they did, or what was wrong with my vehicle in the first place. They ended up charging me $300, and I am okay with that being the price of my ignorance. It also required me to get home from Fremont without a car. Since I figured I’d be doing a lot of walking and taking multiple buses (some of which had me sitting next to nose-picking guy – we’ll later explore why this always happens) I decided to take my point-and-click with me.

Now, I rarely have my point-and-click on me. I generally travel with my huge Canon EOS, which I barely know how to use (also, for the record, I don’t know what EOS stands for. Please don’t tell me. I like mystery). Its size often causes me to leave it at home (make up your own joke). This time, though, I thought ahead, had my tiny camera on hand, and took photos of my walk through Fremont …

Mustachioed mural

What's interesting isn't so much the mural itself, but that it's painted on the side of my friend's store, and I've never noticed it before.

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Many, many years ago, when my brother first went to college, he made some friends via the internet. At the time, it was a foreign and strange place, full of child molesters and murderers and little else (now, I am pleased to say that while a criminal element still exists online, it is mostly populated by geeks and nerds and everyone else on the planet). My brother was in California at the time, and we were still living in Florida. My brother had casually mentioned to my mom that he’d been meeting some friends for dinner – and they happened to be people who he had originally met online.

My mother, true to her specific brand of crazy, freaked out. She went apeshit. And, long story short, the evening ended with my brother meeting some lovely friends for dinner, and then returning home to find several messages on his phone from the LAPD, who believed him to be dead or missing.

Sigh.

My brother turned out to be fine. My mother continues to be paranoid.

At the time, though, I think her crazy made a little more sense. It was 1994: the internet was new and scary. Now, meeting people from the online realm doesn’t seem to hold the same dangers it did (or at least, the dangers my mother thought it did). Recently, I hung out with Mike Perron of PerronBrothers.com. I am pleased to say that he was not at all creepy, and that no parties involved were skinned and turned into dresses, despite repeated jokes of that nature.

Also, its weird that Mikes cousin and I are wearing the same outfit.

Also, it's weird that Mike's cousin and I are wearing the same outfit.

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I’ve noted before on the blog how strange my upbringing in Florida strikes me sometimes. Compared to Seattle, it is a radically different place: flatter, more conservative, and somehow weirder.

I remember being devastated when we moved away in the middle of my freshman year of high school (this will remain a sore spot in family history for decades, but that’s another story). And while I wish that certain things had played out differently (because walking into a cafeteria as a freshman in the middle of the school year and knowing no one is absolutely terrifying) I am very, very happy that I no longer live in Florida. Not because I don’t love it or the people, but because so much of the stuff I see when I travel down there is so ridiculously jacked up, that I have to take photos.

And that’s just time consuming.

Behold some of the crazier sh*t the hubby and I saw on our last trip.

1. Tea baggers, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.

Real-life teabaggers! I wish we had photo-bombed them with a sign that says, "Honk if you're scared of black people."

I wish we had photo-bombed them with a sign that says, "Honk if you're scared of black people."

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It is my utmost pleasure to welcome back the brilliant librarian/historian/bookworm/femme fatale Mindy for our second installment of “Mondays with Mindy“. I’m incredibly lucky she agreed to write another guest post for the blog, because I don’t know anyone else with her name, and frankly, “Mondays with Mindy … with Geraldine!” sounds like an identity crisis.

All of the content to follow is Mindy’s, all typos and formatting errors are mine.

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Dear Everywhereist Reader(s),

It’s my lucky day! Geraldine asked me back to talk about books again. But this time, we’ll gear the discussion toward the frequent flyer. You’re lucky, too! Nancy Pearl, the rock star of the library world, has already detailed her ideas of what makes for a great “carry-on book.” (Shut up. Do you have an action figure in your likeness? I didn’t think so.)

To sum: a good plane trip book has to be deep enough to draw you in and distract you for a good, long while. But it can’t be so freaking complex that you can’t set it down to let your neighbor use the loo. And it has to be compelling enough to hold you rapt, in the unlikely event you’re being harassed by fellow passengers and airline employees for your crazy leftist politics.  (Good job on the Swedish thriller, Geraldine. That’s the perfect airplane pick: plot-heavy, fascinating characters, crisp, clear prose.)

Sometimes I think there is nothing better than a good Law and Order marathon, I am still willing to admit that there is a time and a place for great works of literature (G.W.O.L.). The airplane, my friends, is not that time. Heading to Dublin? Struggle through Joyce in the privacy of your own home. Try Benjamin Black or Tana French for that atmospheric Irish in-flight entertainment instead. (more…)