Archive | May, 2013

It’s supposedly going to be sunny this weekend in Seattle (I am cautiously optimistic). I might need to take my French books outside to study. Because next week? We’re leaving for Paris.

Or maybe I’ll just prepare for that trip by preemptively eating croissants. You enjoy these links.

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David Sedaris, on the joys of having a guest bedroom and the problems that arise when your visitors know too much.

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In case you need a bit of perspective, “Here is today” gives a great visual of how the last 24 hours fit into the history of the time.

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Some days we pushed ourselves.

We’d kayak in the morning, and snorkel in the afternoon. We’d hike to the edges of the island, as far as we could safely go, and sometimes even a little farther than that.

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A Bush-stone curlew, pretending that it’s invisible.

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Nature, I think, has a plan for all of us. The nice part about being humans with free will is that we can either choose to go along with what nature dictates, or fight against it every step of the way.

For example, given my wide hips and my terrible sense of direction, it’s clear that nature never intended for to wear skinny jeans or to travel, and yet I keep doing both. Granted, I have middling degrees of success with each of these endeavors (and often my attempts leave me in a tearful puddle, cramming cookies into my mouth at breakneck speed) but the point is that I tried. I deviated from what nature had planned for me.

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I am pleased to say there was one thing on Hayman Island that was affordable (well, relatively, anyway).

Rather shockingly, it was the snorkeling.

Food was heart-stoppingly expensive, and our room was pricey, but the actual cost of a snorkeling trip? Downright reasonable. For $40 each, we’d get a round trip boat ride to a nearby island, and rental of a mask, dry suit, flippers, and a few beach chairs and parasols.

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We’re home for the weekend. We’ll be here for one and half full weeks, which feels downright calming. No need to dig through a suitcase, frantically searching for clean underwear (instead, I’ll frantically search in a drawer, like a civilized person). No leaving a tip each morning for housekeeping (instead, I’ll just live in the filth that I worked so hard to create).

There’s been a whole lot of crazy going on this week. It’s nice to be home.

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A bridge in Skagit Valley (a few hours north of Seattle) collapsed yesterday. Apparently quite a few of the bridges in my state are in equally bad condition. The upside? Though three cars plummeted into the river, but not a single person died. #happyending

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The news coming out of Oklahoma wasn’t nearly as good. Tornadoes tore through the town of Moore on Monday, killing 24 people, including 7 children. I know that news is absolutely unbearable, so if you don’t wish to read that story, consider browsing this photo gallery of survivors being reunited with their pets after the tornado.

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Today’s post is the exciting conclusion of our snorkeling adventures on the Outer Reef. Don’t forget to read Part 1.

I should have warned you there’d be photos of us in bathing suits, huh?

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Our seaplane had just landed in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. Remembering how often lofty expectations led to disappointment, I did my best to calm my brain, which was racing with thoughts of everything we were going to see.

“THERE WILL THOUSANDS OF FISH,” it screamed. “AND SEA TURTLES! AND ALSO KITTENS.”

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I know, I know. You guys were probably expecting the exciting conclusion of yesterday’s post, in which I tell you all about snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, and also whether or not there were kittens. Unfortunately, I realized that all those photos are still on Rand’s laptop, and I’m currently overcome with a strong case of jet lag and laziness, so instead, I’m going to talk about how crazy expensive food on Hayman Island was.

You can have lunch, but you’re going to have to sell your plasma to afford it.

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My family has instilled in me a great number of strange habits and beliefs; among them is the notion that food shouldn’t cost much money. As is their wont, my family has taken this belief to the extreme. Most flat-out refuse to ever go to restaurants (their logic: “You just pay more for stuff that you can get at home!”), and many of their groceries are purchased on clearance, from those weird discount bins at the end of aisles (you know – the ones filled with seasonal cake decorations and dented canned goods).

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The view from our seaplane as we flew over the Great Barrier Reef.

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The other day, I botched a batch of homemade cookies that I had been making for get-together with friends (or maybe my intent was just to sit in front of the TV and eat all of them by myself. Whatever.)

This shook me to my core. A large portion of my life is devoted to the creation and consumption of baked goods. It is, as a friend of mine noted, “one of my core competencies.”

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