Friday Free-For-All – 06/23/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

I’m off to San Francisco! I’m taking a half day from work today and flying out this afternoon. I probably won’t be posting much here, but you can follow my adventures on Instagram. I’ll be back home some time on Tuesday night.

I’m a packing ninja. I bought United “basic economy” tickets, which means I don’t get a free carry on bag for my flights. Because buying last-minute tickets was already so expensive, I didn’t want to pay the extra $25 per flight for a bag. This means that I packed everything I need for a 3 day, 4 night trip to San Francisco in a backpack. Are you impressed? Cause I know I am!

Today is Ben’s first day of summer vacation. And he’s such a good husband, he got up early to drop me off at work so I wouldn’t have to pay for airport parking. While I’m madly jealous of his summer, I know he worked is ass off this school year, and deserves the break. Now, someone remind me of that later this summer while he’s gallivanting around Prague and I’m stuck here…

If you’re interested in a sneak peek at Dogfight the Musical you’re in luck! Stowe Theater Guild’s promotion team is killing it this year, and they made a great little video, which you can view by clicking right here. It’s our first time running through Act 1 with the accompanist so it’s a little rough, but many of you have asked for more video of me in action, so here you go!

Do you tend to overpack for trips? I usually do, but this time around I had to FORCE myself to pack light.

Friday Free-For-All – 06/09/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

San Francisco is a go!  I managed to get the time off from both work and rehearsal, and find flights that weren’t totally unreasonable. I’m flying United basic economy, which means I don’t even get a free carry-on bag, but I’m pretty confident that I can pack everything I need for three days in a “personal item” sized backpack. Hooray for spontaneity and adventure!

I’ve rediscovered my love for my Hydro Flask water bottle. For months, it had been sitting unused in a drawer, and for whatever reason, I busted it out recently to bring to a rehearsal. It pretty much hasn’t left my side since. It keeps my water SO COLD and the straw top makes it easy peasy to just grab a quick sip and get on with my life. I feel like I’ve been drinking a ton more water lately, and want to just buy another one of these and recycle every single other water bottle I have.

Event planning is the WORST. Honestly. Half the reason we didn’t do a big traditional wedding is because neither Ben nor I wanted to deal with all of the associated bullshit. Coordinating vendors. Pricing venues. Budgeting. Insurance. Blah blah blah. I’m on the planning committee for my company’s annual United Way campaign, and have been four years running. I know it’s ultimately all for a good cause, but I just don’t have a head for this stuff. This year I’ve taken on a lot more responsibility that I have in the past and I do NOT like it. I’m currently in charge of an event that should have been fairly simple, but due to serious communication problems, it has turned into something of a nightmare right at the last minute and I’m ready to jump off a cliff. Thankfully, the event in question is this Sunday, and once it’s done, I can relax a bit. Until I have to start corralling vendors for the NEXT event that I’m responsible for. Ugh! I’m planning to try to excuse myself from the committee next year, but I’m not sure whether or not that will fly with my bosses 😦

I’ve been reading and following a lot of “frugal living,” “simple living,” and “minimalist” blogs lately. I’m DEFINITELY not ready to chuck it all and have bare walls and a 30 piece wardrobe and live like a monk, that’s so not me. HOWEVER, I am trying to a) get a grip on my finances (I spend too much on unnecessary crap), b) get rid of the clutter that we’ve accumulated over the last 8 years of living together before we move into a house, and c) slowly get myself off the wheel of consumerism that causes me to spend so much money and have so much clutter in the first place. Changing is HARD, but I’m committed to getting my sh*t together a bit more before buying a house and hopefully bringing a kid into the mix. If we want to live off a single income, I can’t keep spending the way I have been.

What’s your favorite water bottle? Have you ever read up on minimalism?

 

Friday Free-For-All 06/02/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

I scheduled two very adult-y things this week. One, I scheduled my annual physical. Two, I FINALLY scheduled a consult for wisdom teeth extraction that I originally got a referral for OVER A YEAR AGO. I’m trying to get all this icky surgery/blood work etc out of the way before we start trying to get pregnant, and this week helped me move toward accomplishing that. Unfortunately, the wisdom teeth consult isn’t even until July, which means actual extraction won’t be until August at the earliest, but whatever, I’m making moves!

I’ve got another busy weekend on tap. Tomorrow I have not one, not two, but THREE events to attend: a housewarming party, a birthday party, and a going away party. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE seeing my friends and doing fun things, but I only have so much bandwidth. I really need some quiet down time! Hopefully I can just chill out tomorrow morning to brace myself for the onslaught of socialization.

I received the audition materials for my Fun Home audition. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t freaked out a bit. God bless them for providing us with the scene and song cut, because I haven’t had to pick and prepare my own audition pieces in a looooong time. It’s still scary because I’ve been spoiled rotten by my local community theatre group that very kindly and patiently teaches the songs to everyone workshop style before the auditions. I’m pretty much on my own for this. I have the soundtrack and I know the plot of the show, but AAAAAHHHHHHHH. I’m trying to remain calm and just DO THE WORK. I have another whole week to really dive into the audition pieces and try to put together some semblance of a decent audition.

I may be taking a super quick, last-minute trip to San Francisco. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while may remember that back in 2014, I took a quick trip to SF over 4th of July weekend. My friend Krissy’s 30th birthday is June 25, and she had been talking about a big birthday shindig, but due to the insane nature of her work she wasn’t able to plan anything formal, and I thought the trip wasn’t happening. But we talked this week, and she told me how much it would mean to her for me to come. I’m cleared to take the time off work and rehearsal, I’m just waiting to hear back from Krissy if the flights I found will work with her schedule, and then I’ll be booking. Aaaah! It’s a bit expensive to book a flight three weeks out, but I figure you can’t put a price on friendship and adventure.

What’s the most adult-y thing you’ve done lately?

 

Eleuthera Vacation in (Mostly) Pictures

This recap is going to be pretty loosey-goosey. The days sort of ran together as they tend to do on vacation, so rather than trying to construct a narrative of the week, I’ll just share some of my favorite pictures, facts, and memories.

Fact: In the Bahamas, open containers are totally legal, even in a motor vehicle. After arriving at North Eleuthera airport on Monday, we got beers at the bar across the road from the airport, and drank them in the back of the truck on our way back to Amy and Harry’s house.

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Amy and Harry live on the very northern edge of the island, with a small beach literally in their backyard, and the “big beach” a whopping five minute walk away.

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Big beach

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Little beach (and Ben)

 There’s LOTS of wildlife on the island, including but not limited to, birds, snakes, scorpions, and all kinds of lizards. I can’t lie, I became somewhat obsessed with lizard-spotting, and I would say a good 25% of my photos from this trip are of lizards.

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This little lizard lives behind a painting in the kitchen and comes out at night to say hi

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Giant hermit crab

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Stripey lizard

Photo Mar 03, 12 20 50 PM

Blue-tailed lizard

We spent a lot of time outdoors, walking, snorkeling, and helping Harry with yard work.

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We had a dinner party, and visited Preacher’s Cave and Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve.

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And we took the mini ferry across to Harbor Island for lunch at a beach bar.

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We also drank a LOT of Kalik (delicious Bahamian beer) and rum punch. We cooked most of our meals at home. I read 7 books. I didn’t get a sunburn. We went out to a real Bahamian bar and met a lot of locals. Oh, and the no-see-ums were OUT OF CONTROL and I got so many bugbites I look like I have Chicken Pox. But other than that, it was a perfect vacation.

What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?

Friday Free-For-All – 07/08/16

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Another travel weekend ahead! This weekend I’ll be at my family reunion in Rhode Island. My Uncle Shaun and Aunt Linda are hosting, and I’ve never been to their place since they moved… five years ago? Six? It should be lots of fun visiting with my family and having shenanigans.

I’m praying for a break in the humidity. My normal 4 mile run this morning felt extra hard, and I couldn’t figure out why until I checked the weather. At 5:30 am, the humidity was 80%. 80. Freaking. Percent. Ugh. It was a slog, but I got it done. I’m hoping that next week is a little better, because this week has just been so gross.

My new current musical obsession is 9 to 5 the Musical. Yep, there’s a musical based on the movie. It’s cheesy and awesome. Lyric Theatre Company will be putting on 9 to 5 in the spring, so I’m already preparing for auditions. I have a nice, 4-5 hour car ride this evening to do some vocal warm ups and run through the songs 🙂

Are you traveling this weekend? Where are you off to?

 

Observations on Air Travel

I spent a LOT of time in airports and on airplanes this past week. No matter how prepared you think you are, and no matter how many experiences you have had, there are always things that surprise you. And of course, there are always constants as well. Here are a few of my observations on air travel.

Crying babies on airplanes are literally the worst.

I know that in most cases, it’s not the baby’s fault, and it’s not the parents’ fault. Babies cry. I get it. But on our flight from Reykjavic to Copenhagen, there was a toddler seated right behind us who pitched a fit nearly the entire flight. It was one of those obvious “I’m not getting my way so I’m just gonna fake cry and scream” kind of things, and the parents didn’t do ANYTHING about it. They pretty much just let him have a hissy fit, and I wanted to murder them all.

Scoring extra leg room with the seats by the emergency exit is totally worth the responsibility of getting the doors open should the worst happen.

Ben and I are usually pretty cool under pressure, so I think that if the plane went down, we’d be able to get the door open and usher our fellow passengers to safety. Especially because our legs would be nice and limber from all that extra stretching space.

Other countries have much more civilized security procedures. 

You are not required to have a full-body x-ray or pat-down, and you don’t have to take off your shoes; just walk through a metal detector. However, if you set off the metal detector, you are 100% subject to a pat-down. I learned this the hard way when I forgot to take off my road ID 😦

Seatmates usually suck.

They snore. They invade your personal space. They smell. They want to chat when you just want to read or sleep. But sometimes, you get seated next to a 50-something Danish Dead Head on his way to San Francisco for the last ever Dead concert, and that’s pretty cool.

Airport food is expensive and crappy.

Seriously, a tiny tray of sushi in the Reykjavic airport was the equivalent of $22 USD. A smoothie was $7. Crazypants. Pack snacks and bring a water bottle to save yourself the money and disappointment.

Scoring a full length bench to sleep on is like winning the lottery.

I don’t know what it is about airports, but most of the seats have arms, which makes it impossible to stretch out for a nap between flights. But in Copenhagen, there were a multitude of benches, and we were able to get a nice 5 hour nap before exploring the city. It was excellent.

What’s your favorite part about flying? Least favorite part?

Prague In Pictures

Since the trip was so long, and we did so much, I don’t feel like I can take the time to write out a full description of what we did every day. Prague is full of many beautiful sights, historic landmarks, and awesome brews and bars. We had very full days there, and rather than boring you with a play-by-play, I’m just going to play “one sentence per picture” with some of my favorite shots from the trip.

WOW Air Plane

The plane is happy to see us!

Prague View from Petrin

We’ve been in the country for an hour and we’re already drinking beer.

Foosball

Lots of bars in Prague have foosball tables.

Beautiful Latte

Every latte I ordered in Prague was beautiful.

Cocici Kavarna

We went to a cat cafe! Kitties everywhere!

View from Prague castle

Got my fingers in the picture. Whoops!

Charles Bridge, Prague

The historic Charles Bridge

Barcode babies

Ben contemplates creepy baby statues with barcodes for faces.

Prague Beer Museum

A flight of 10 delicious Czech beer samples. It may look like they’re not full, but in Europe, beers come with a huge head of foam; these have just settled.

Petrin

Ben and Emily wandering Petrin.

View from Metronome

There is no shortage of beautiful views in this hilly city.

Day Drinking

In Europe, public drinking is 100% legal, and 100% fun!

Ben and Beer

My dashing husband. No, all those beers aren’t his.

Peacock

Peacocks wandering a public park.

Climbing

Ben likes to climb things.

Stained Glass

Gorgeous stained glass windows in the church near Prague Castle

View from the Top of Petrin

Still more beautiful views in Petrin Park

Cafe Pavlac

Stealth photo while we wait for Cafe Pavlac to open

Church

Ben and Emily are skeptical of my photography skills

Dirty Copenhagen

We had a 13 hour layover in Copenhagen. At 5:30 am, people are stumbling home drunk from the clubs and the streets are filthy.

Bikes

Copenhagen is a bike city, and most buildings have these charming courtyards.

Latte and Pastry

After wandering for hours, we finally found an open bakery.

Clean Copenhagen

Copenhagen at 8 am. The drunks are gone and city workers have cleaned up. Same statue, no garbage.

So there you have it, a small slice of our awesome trip. We got home at midnight Sunday and I was at work at 8am on Monday, after an epic 36 hours on the road. I still haven’t unpacked and I’m still exhausted, but it was 100% worth it. I HIGHLY recommend Prague if you’re looking for a European adventure. The city is safe and clean, public transit is affordable and reliable, and it’s cheap as all get-out. The exchange rate is incredibly favorable; you can get a .5L beer in a grocery store for the equivalent of $0.50!

Have you ever been to Prague? What about Copenhagen?

Post-Prague Check-In

Hi friends! Long time no see! Ben and I are back from Prague, jet-lagged, dehydrated, and exhausted. I’m back at work today, which is a bummer, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

I’m WAY behind on reading and commenting, and this week at work is a) a short week and b) a super busy week, so it may take me a while to get caught up. I can’t wait to see what you’ve all been up to!

Posting this week is going to be off my normal schedule, because I didn’t do any running or workouts while we were away (GASP!), although we did do lots of walking. Stay tuned for a Prague recap, some comical observations on air travel, and a post about running in Vermont.

I’ll be away this weekend, visiting friends in Massachusetts for July 4 festivities, and then hopefully things will get back to normal around here next week.

How do you recover from jet lag?

Peace Out-I’m Off to Prague!

Holy crap. It’s almost time. AAAAAAHHH! This is the first full week I’ve taken off work since I got hired in February 2014. This is the first time Ben and I have traveled out of the country together in 5 years, and the first time we’ve flown together in 3 years. I’m seriously so excited I’m having trouble focusing on anything that’s not trip related. We’re driving down to Boston tonight to stay with friends, and then we fly out of Logan tomorrow night.

I’ve been making packing and to-do lists for WEEKS, and as of this morning, I’m fully packed and ready to go. We’ve got so many little layovers that we decided it wasn’t worth the risk of potentially losing checked luggage, so we’re only taking carry-on. The airline we’re using for the first leg of our trip has VERY strict weight restrictions for carry-on bags, but we paid a bit extra to get some more wiggle room, so we should be OK. I splurged big time and treated myself to my dream bag, the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30. I’ve been lusting after this bag ever since I saw this post on Pinterest that featured it for packing for a one month trip to Europe.

Not that you probably care, but here’s what I packed:

Tom Bihn 3-1-1 TSA Compliant Toiletry Bag

  • Deodorant
  • Face Wash
  • Face Lotion
  • Comb
  • Mascara
  • Chap Stick
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Sun block

Small Packing Cube

  • 12 pairs underwear (Yes, TWELVE. It’s underwear, it’s not like I would wear the same pair twice)
  • 4 pairs socks
  • Sports bra x 2
  • Bikini

Medium Packing Cube

  • 4 tanks
  • 3 t-shirts
  • One dress
  • One pair shorts
  • PJ shorts and tee
  • Rain jacket

Wear on Plane

  • Jeans
  • Sneakers
  • Long Sleeve Cardigan
  • T-shirt

Miscellaneous

  • Chargers (phone, Kindle, etc)
  • Passport
  • Purse
  • Wallet/cash/cards
  • Hair elastics
  • Headband
  • Bobby Pins
  • Pepto Bismol tablets
  • Ibuprofen
  • Allergy meds
  • Ear buds
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses
  • Journal and pen
  • Kindle
  • Phone

I most likely won’t be publishing any blog posts while I’m away, but I’ll hopefully have some wi-fi in the evenings, so keep an eye out on Twitter and Instagram if you’re interested in following our adventures. I’ll be back on June 29!

Friday Free-For-All – 06/12/15

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It’s the first meeting of my running club tomorrow! To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I’m also a little bit nervous, because I’m kind of shy, but I’m gonna do it regardless. I need some extra motivation right now, and I think this running club could be the thing to push me.

We leave for Prague one week from today!  Aaaaaah! I am getting SO EXCITED. I’ve got my packing list pretty much ready to go, and I’m going to do a test pack this weekend to make sure everything fits in my carry-on and that I can stay within the weight limits. We’re changing planes so many times I don’t want to risk checking a bag and having my stuff get lost, but our airline has really strict weight limits, so I need to get creative.

I’m wearing a white t-shirt today. I’m taking bets on how long it will take to spill something on myself. This is literally my only white shirt, and I only bought it because it was $3.88 at Walmart. That way, if I ruin it, it’s not breaking the bank. I’m kind of a slob…

Caramel Vanilla Cream is the best GMCR coffee flavor. It’s delicious and doesn’t taste all fake and weird. I’ll probably have about three cups of it today, cause I’m wiped.

This will be the first weekend both Ben and I are staying at the new apartment. I know, I know, we moved in on the first(ish), but last weekend Ben was house-sitting for his parents, and I stayed at the new place with Creemee. I’m excited for us to spend some time together at the new place putting the finishing touches on cleaning, unpacking, and decorating. We’ve still got a fair amount of stuff to do. Number one on my list is blackout curtains for the bedroom. We have three huge east-facing windows in our bedroom, which means its full-on daylight in there by 4:45 am 😐 Hence me being wiped.

Are you worried about spills/stains when you wear light colors?

What are your weekend plans?