Trail of Crumbs

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Rand and I got home last night. Since we landed, I’ve been waging a losing battle against jet-lag. It is 9:15 am, and I really want to go to sleep, which, even if you take into account ALL of the time zones I’ve visited in the last few weeks, makes zero sense (depending on which location my body got stuck in, it is either 12:15pm or 5:15pm, neither of which are appropriate times for curling up and going to sleep). As best as I can figure out, I’m on Papua New Guinea time.

I have never been to Papua New Guinea, but it is presently 2:15 am Thursday there. Which feels about right.

As soon as we left Italy, Rand and I started to have a little bit of perspective on it. On our way home, we spent one more night in Germany, and two in Boston (I guess that counts as taking the scenic route), and when people asked how the Amalfi coast was, we both answered to effect of this:

It was beautiful. And stressful as hell.

Taking a photo in my grandparent’s village, presumably of a house I wanted to buy.

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That, in brief, is southern Italy. It is lovely and infuriating. Something will inevitably happen that will cause me to think, “I’m never coming back here,” and then, in nearly the same breath, I’ll be planning our next trip to Naples and trying to convince my husband that we need to buy a summer home in my family’s village, which is hilarious for lots of reasons, not the least of which is this: we don’t even own a regular home, and I want to buy a summer one.

The entire country makes me absolutely lose my mind. I detest it. I can’t wait to go back. (more…)

Helloooo from … the east coast of the United States? Yeah, that sounds about right. It’s presently 6:40 am in Boston, is where I woke up this morning. Which means it’s afternoon in the country that we just left yesterday, and it’s not quite 4am at home. A brief equation:

[3:40 am - (5 hours of sleep) / (I really need a cookie) ] + (where did I put my clean underwear?) = I DON’T KNOW WHERE I LIVE ANYMORE.

I really shouldn’t be on the internet right now because I’m way, waaay too zonked, but I’ve gotten a few emails from people asking when I was going to post again, and I’m feeling massively guilty about that (you can take the girl out of Catholicism but you can’t take Catholicism out of the girl, you know?)

Am I rambling? I probably am. Dear god, I need a cookie. But before I do that (SEE HOW I SUFFER?) here is a preview of the Germany portion of our trip. 10 photos, courtesy of my husband’s cell phone (which means that there are actually pictures of me amongst them, in a slightly more awake state than I am now. Which, to be fair, isn’t hard to do).

I was going to make it 12 photos of Bavaria but you guys, MY COOKIE LEVEL IS TOO LOW.

I’ll be back on Wednesday with some proper posts. In the meantime, here’s a little sneak peak at what we got up to.

 

  1. PRETZELS!

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  2. Hanging out at Neuschwanstein Castle (which is the model for Cinderella’s castle at Disney).

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Rand and I have been on the road for a little while, so blog content has been a little thin lately (sorry about that). I’ll be back next week with some brand new posts, but in the meantime, I’ve been perusing my Flickr stream for any photos or stories that I haven’t yet shared with you.

That’s when I found the following set of photos, that Rand took in Vancouver and Bowen Island last August. As we were walking around, he kept noticing some wonderful signs outside of shops. Some were clever, some were strange, some were utterly confusing.

I find them all delightful – not just in and of themselves, but also because they give a little insight into Rand’s psyche. How he’s so hell-bent on enjoying life, that he can find amusement and wonder in just about anything.

I hope you like them, too.

  1. Wait, when did we open this shop again?

    I like it, because it works for virtually any establishment (you just need to change your definition of recently).

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  2. Hey, at least they’re direct:

    After we saw this, we kept walking everywhere, and then calling one another a “chump.”

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I got an email the other day from someone who was about to have brain surgery. This, in and of itself, isn’t anything new – since writing about my own surgery, I get a couple of emails a week from people who are in similar (or, as is often the case, far scarier) situations. But this last email I received was a little different – the author asked me just one simple question.

Did I have any practical advice for things she should do before her surgery?

I realized that while I had written rather extensively about the emotions that surround brain surgery, and I’d discussed a few of the things I learned from it, I hadn’t really discussed what I did beforehand to prepare for the experience.

And so, since I haven’t been traveling all that much of late, and there is little to report on that front, I thought I’d dedicate a blog post to her question. I want to make it clear – this is just stuff that I felt the need to do. When I’m stressed, when I feel like my life is a little out of control, I get very organized.

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My trip to Palm Springs was nearly two months ago, but our travel schedule has been off to slow start in 2014 (or, rather, mine has), and there hasn’t been much else to blog about. So I figured I’d squeeze one last post from our trip, and it happens to be one of great significance.

These are some photos that I took in Palm Springs, and each one is critically important. This is the stuff that the world needs to see.

Probably.

Like this street sign, for instance. I’m sure you’ll agree that we’re all better off knowing that there exists a street with this name. I hope that in the future, political candidates don’t just talk about Wall Street and Main Street. I hope they also mention Kickapoo Trail, and if they don’t, you better believe that I’ll be one of those people who stands up in those Town-Hall-type-meetings and points that out.

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… Aaaand I’m back.

Ideally, I’d return from my nearly month-long hiatus with something incredible to share with you – some fantastic travel stories, or a first draft of something exciting, or a preview of some amazing project that is about to launch.

But I got nothing. Sorry about that. Instead, I’ve spent the last few weeks dithering away my time doing a whole lot of nothing. I baked some cookies. I wrapped some presents. I spent some time with people I love. That’s what December is for: whiling away the last few short days of the year with friends and family and stuffing your face with as many baked goods as possible (because come January 1st, we all start anew, and the post-Christmas consumption of an entire pan of cookie bars was shameful, sure, but it happened last year).

And now, good heavens, it’s 2014. Which just sounds absolutely bonkers.

We’ve been down in Palm Springs for the past few days, and it was here, in a spacious and structurally unsound rental house (as best as we call tell, the sewer system is connected to the central air) that we rang in the New Year. I hovered around the television screen with our friends Sarah and Eric, and yelled at Rand to hurry up (every year, he picks the worse time to pee – when there are roughly 58 seconds left until midnight). He bounded out of the bathroom with a few seconds to spare, and we watched the ball drop in Times Square, ignoring as best we could the fact that it was a three-hour old recording, playing again for the convenience of us West Coasters.

Confetti rained down over the New York crowds and we kissed, and there was nothing particularly significant or special about it except for this: it has happened so, so many times before. Which is kind of remarkable, in and of itself – that I have spent 13 New Year’s Eves with my beloved.

And it is from that kiss, and of all the ones that preceded it, that I take inspiration for this post (and after a month of not posting, inspiration was needed). I suppose I could have recapped the year that was with stats and figures, miles flown and cities visited. Instead, I’ve decided to look back on 2013 by sharing a few photos of Rand and I, doing what we do best together.

If you find a series of photos of the two of us sucking face to be offensive or boring or completely not worth looking at, then odds are you aren’t going to like this blog at all in 2014. Because while I have some wonderful and exciting plans for this year, I will, in some respects, be sticking to my old habits.

May they forever die hard.

  1. Bushman’s Kloof, South Africa. January.-
  2. Hayman Island, Australia. March. (more…)

We had a rental car in Philadelphia, but still I walked. I walked through downtown, down to the Italian market and back up again. When I got tired, I took the subway or hopped on a bus. But mostly, I saw the city on foot.

I walked in muggy heat and pouring rain, both of which were in the forecast that week in early October. By the end of it, I was exhausted, but I felt like I’d seen Philadelphia, really seen it, while getting lost down its winding streets.

Oh, and I had my camera with me, too. Here are ten photos from my meanderings.

  1. No Trespassing sign, South Street.

  2. Tidy row of buildings, Juniper Street.

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This is my thousandth post.

My thousandth.

I can’t really get my head around that number. There are few things, short of bodily functions and actions taken to sustain my existence, that I have done a thousand times.

Oh, and I’ve apparently taken 34,000 photos, too.

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I mean, doing a thousand of anything is a lot. I’ve struggled over writing a thousand words, before. Ask me to do a thousand sit-ups and will laugh, heartily, for so long that it will grow really, really awkward. So you can imagine that a thousand posts (from someone who can’t spend five minutes on the internet without wandering off to Zappos to look at shoes, or checking Facebook to see which of my friends have dressed up their pets in hats) is kind of a miracle.

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