Trail of Crumbs

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In transit.

I’m sitting here in a chilly, air-conditioned San Diego hotel room, thinking about home. I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to get back there. In two days, I’m supposed to fly to Seattle out of Los Angeles. I have made exactly zero plans to get to Los Angeles in order to catch said flight. Changing my ticket to depart out of San Diego is, for the time being, prohibitively expensive.

Consequently, home feels very far away. And it will just have to remain so, I guess.

In the meantime, I find my thoughts wandering back to Asia. During that trip, home didn’t simply feel distant – it felt like another planet. Like no amount of flying would get me there. There were days when this bothered me, and days when I didn’t mind so much.

One hazy day, towards the end of our time in Cambodia, we visited a floating village. We passed by schools and stores, and yes, homes, bobbing up and down on the water. At that moment, more than any other, I missed Rand.

I wanted to dive into the water, and pull myself out on my doorstep. (more…)

I may have given you the impression that the only thing to see in Ravello is the Villa Rufolo. And that’s not entirely right. Sure, the Villa is the full-sized Reese’s peanut butter cup in your Halloween bag: hands down the best thing in there. But if you look around a little, you’ll find a couple of Kit-Kats, and maybe a mini Twix (also, as this metaphor illustrates, I have a hankering for some candy. I blame Rand, who brought me a “fun-size” Almond Joy this afternoon, which I consumed in nearly one bite. I now have the overwhelming desire to eat several dozen more).

My point is (rummages through purse, finds an almost-full box of Tic Tacs. Proceeds to pour them straight into her mouth) the entire little village is lovely. Here are a few more scenes from the afternoon we spent there.

 

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On our last morning in Germany, we went to Seeshaupt.

I was absolutely not drunk, but some of my photos seem to suggest otherwise. I can only assume that wandering around a picturesque lake on a quiet morning has an intoxicating effect on me, and that I shouldn’t drive after visiting one.

I also shouldn’t drive because I will spend far too much time searching for something called a chococult. Though to be fair, that’s true when Rand’s behind the wheel, too. (But more on that in a moment.)

Seeshaupt is rather lovely, and is located on the Starnberger See (which, despite the homophonic tendencies, is not actually a sea but a lake). If you go early on a Sunday morning in the springtime, you’ll find that the air still carries a chilly edge to it, and the water is remarkably still and clear. The only sounds are the calls of a few birds, the constant hum of buzzing insects, and the occasional chime of a church bell.

If you have the misfortune of being there when I am around, that soundtrack will also be punctuated with me making lots of terrible jokes. My apologies. (In my defense, I was provoked.)

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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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