Vacation Time!

August 10, 2017 at 1:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

August has been a long month. Wait, we’re only ten days in? Okay so July was a long month and August already feels super long so it’s a good thing Scott and I booked an impromptu trip out west!

fievel-goes-west-smiling-face

Paige and Scott Go West!

I’ve been working a lot lately (on good things, just things that are very time-consuming) and Scott busted his butt taking summer classes so we feel like we deserve a bit of a break. We’re flying into Denver (TONIGHT!) and spending a few nights downtown before renting a car and driving Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ve got a little cabin with a grill and private hot tub out back so if I can’t do tons of hiking on my still-healing ankles then I can relax, read and unwind. We’re both ready to unplug and neither of us have ever spent any time in the Rockies so we’re pretty jazzed. I’ve been a city girl for quite a while but the country likes to come out to play every now and then!

 

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Honeymoon = Booked!

August 30, 2016 at 1:27 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Forget this wedding planning stuff. Scott and I are going to Thailand!

Though technically we are getting married first.

We had hemmed and hawed over booking a honeymoon since we’re not going right after our wedding anyway. The wedding is at the beginning of November but since Scott will still be in school, we decided to wait until January to get the heck outta dodge. This way he’ll be on winter break and I’ll have new vacation time, plus we’ll have something to look forward to through the holidays. Also – leaving Chicago in January to go someplace warm just sounds like a really good idea.

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Krabi, take me away!

We had originally wanted to go to Australia because I’m crazy and think money grows on trees. Once reality set it, we started looking a little closer to home. We actually even decided to wait until after the wedding was over to book so we could be responsible and know what our finances looked like but then we decided that irresponsibility was the way to go. Well, sort of. Anyplace we go (that’s warm) in January is going to be popular and the longer we wait the more expensive things will likely be, so when I found a good deal on a trip to Thailand, we decided to jump on it. And I’m so glad we did!

We’ll be spending 3 nights in Bangkok before flying to the small southern coastal town of Krabi for 3 more nights. Then we’ll have one more evening in Bangkok before heading home. We’ll be touring the city and also doing an island hopping excursion while in Krabi, so we’ve got a good mix of adventure and relaxation which is what we both were hoping for. Now we just have to get through the wedding and we’ll be all set!

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Checked Out

August 2, 2016 at 1:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I start vacation tomorrow!

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And I’m jazzed!

Scott and I are flying to Louisiana to see my southern fried family and we couldn’t be more ready. He’s been busting his butt in summer classes for the last eight weeks and I’ve been busting my own butt at work and wedding planning and in life in general so we could use a bit of a break. We’re going to spend some quality time with my grandparents, dad and some cousins and help to celebrate my dad’s birthday later this week. Then we’re going to New Orleans ourselves for a couple of nights because we haven’t had a trip just the two of us in forever and damnit, we deserve it! We’re going to take trolleys, visit museums, eat beignets and let the good times roll!

Even if it is 117 degrees.

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Days Off?

March 31, 2016 at 2:11 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Sometimes I feel like I screw myself over when I take a couple of days off because I come back to work and have SO MUCH to do! I suppose that’s the price I pay for some rest and relaxation. I went down to Indiana over the weekend and while I didn’t exactly spend much time relaxing or resting but I did get to see lots of wonderful people and that’s what matters the most. I came back to Chicago Monday night and took off Tuesday as well so I could have a day to do ACTUAL resting and so I thought I had my life all planned out.

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Truth.

HA! Until I had to schedule that damned crown for my tooth! Which meant I was in the dentist’s office at 8am on my lovely day off and then got to spend two hours having a back molar drilled on by Satan and her apprentice. They gave me an extra strong ibuprofen and a VICODIN, not to mention three shots of Novocaine and I was still miserable. I even had on noise cancelling headphones tuned to my favorite podcast but that didn’t really help. I had to stop them a couple of times to avoid crying but in the end we got through it – until I go back in a couple of weeks to get the actual stupid crown put on instead of this replacement. So then I went home and slept for like four hours – not a super fun day off. But at least the hardest part is over! Until I get the bill, that is.

I think I need a vacation from my vacation.

One other thought – now that I have a crown, can I be considered a queen? You bet your ass I can.

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California Dreams

February 25, 2015 at 9:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Did anyone else ever watch that show? Because that’s exactly what my recent vacation to  Long Beach, California was like.

Except not really. There were no angsty teenagers and certainly no band but my mom, aunt, cousin and I managed to have fun anyways. What did we do with our five days in the sun? Well, we enjoyed that sunshine to begin with! The weather was perfectly lovely the whole time I was away and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get some enjoyment from checking Chicago’s temps while I was wandering around in sunglasses and flip flops. Of course, that warmth now seems like a distant memory but I have pictures to prove it did actually exist.

Sorry for the blurry photo but I was in a car. In California.

Sorry for the blurry photo but I was in a car. In California.

We took one day and drove south to Temecula, which is an old wine country that we absolutely took advantage of. We toured a few different places and did tastings at each one, while I wore a tiara made of wine corks that my aunt found at our first stop. Because you know, engagement. The wine was a little too good and luckily my mom fixed me some frozen pizza when we got back to my cousin’s place or I might not have been so chipper the next day!

We spent a lot of time walking through various beach towns and my mom and aunt accidentally wandered onto a CSI set and were reprimanded for playing with the props. To be fair, it did look like real fruit. We did some shopping, ate at some great spots, got our nails done and basically had a wonderfully relaxing time. I even got over my aversion to Bloody Mary’s and enjoyed two back to back while at brunch! Luckily I know a girl here in Chicago who knows a thing or two about that tomato based adult beverage so hopefully she can introduce me to some gems here in the Midwest.

It was a perfectly relaxing trip to take in the middle of February and I did NOT want to come back. But real life always awaits, right? And unfortunately sometimes real life includes real temperatures in the teens and tears that freeze to your face. At least there’s wine and vodka here in Chicago too!

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Have Suitcase, Will Travel

February 12, 2015 at 8:54 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Tomorrow, I’m taking the bus down to my mom’s for the weekend and will spend time with my lovely family and friends for a few days. Then on Monday, my mom and aunt are flying to California to stay with my cousin in Long Beach for the week! It was a bit more of a last-minute trip than what I normally plan but everything worked out in such a way that I couldn’t not go, so tickets are booked and my bags are packed. Of course, it’s kind of difficult to pack for 20 degree weather for the weekend and then 70 degree weather during the week, but I think I managed. I am an expert traveler, or so I like to think.

Soon to be me, in girl form.

It’s kind of funny that I went 30 years without ever going to California and this is now my second visit in four months. We don’t have a ton planned yet but I know we’ll be hitting some wineries and obviously that’s all that really matters. I think we’ll go to Malibu and maybe San Diego as well but really, I’m just going along for the ride. I’ve been wanting to take a trip with my momma for a while now and my aunt and cousin are always a blast so I know we’ll have a good time. We’re all definitely ready for a girl’s week out! The only downside to everything is that my sister is unable to come with us but life can’t always be perfect, can it? I do get to see her this weekend and I think we’re going someplace where I can try on wedding dresses (whoa that’s weird to type) so at least we can visit a bit!

All in all, an exciting week coming up! Now if I could just bottle up some of that sunshine and warmer weather for my return to Chicago, I’d be all set.

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Back and Better Than Ever!

October 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

The beach by my hostel. Its name? Sunset Beach.

The beach by my hostel. Its name? Sunset Beach.

Well, my vacation was fantastic.  Another amazing adventure for the books!

If I were to go into each and every reason this was an awesome trip, you’d be here reading all night.  Instead, I’ll shove all the highlights of the things I did into a couple of lists and leave them for your perusal!

Vancouver, B.C. (four nights, five days)

  • Spent lots of time walking along the English Bay, as there was a nice little beach about 3 minutes from my hostel.
  • Hiked around a lake in Stanley Park and tried to hike more but accidentally exhausted myself instead.
  • Took the ferry to shop on Granville Island and ate delicious olives, cheese and cannoli at the Granville Public Market.
  • Braved the one rainy day I encountered by taking a bus to the University of British Columbia Campus, where I pretended I was a student for a bit and then poked around the Museum of Anthropology for three hours.
  • Stood in awe in the Vancouver Public Library, which was seven stories tall and full of some of my favorite things.  Books.  Duh.
  • Went to the top of the Vancouver Tower, which is a lookout sort of like the Sears Tower (only way smaller.  Sorry, Vancouver).  Still had a great view and took of pictures.
  • Bared my tourist status by going to Canada Place and taking lots of photos there too.  It was sort of like Navy Pier and also smaller, however not as annoyingly full of children and overpriced beer.  Point = Vancouver.
  • Wandered through Gastown and saw the famous Gastown Steam Clock, which was unsurprisingly unexciting.  Also wandered through Yorktown, Chinatown (the oldest in North America!) and the gay district, where I happened to be staying.
  • Somehow stumbled through what is probably the worst section of Vancouver, as evidenced by the needle depots on the sides of buildings and the people living on the sidewalks.  Didn’t get mugged!
  • Found a guy who hemmed my jeans for $10 while I waited in the changing room – took less than 5 minutes!
  • Talked to a couple who met 52 years ago from the day I met them, and they were on a six-week road trip through Canada and the United States.  They were seeing more of North America than I ever have and I found them inspirational.  I may or may not have taken their picture.
  • Indulged in WAY too much delicious food, including but not limited to a couple of chocolate éclairs nearly the size of Subway sandwiches.  These came from a Transylvanian Bakery that was dangerously close to my hostel.  I may or may not have stopped by there multiple nights.
  • Got fantastic sleep, which was surprising considering I was on the top bunk in a four person room of a hostel.
Told you.

Told you.

San Diego, CA (three nights, two days):

  • Caught up with an old friend of mine, who was kind enough to let me crash at her place and play tour guide while driving my ass around.
  • Saw seals at La Jolla Beach and climbed through a cave on the beach.

    I see a seal!

    I see a seal!

  • Ordered a Manhattan at this dive type whiskey bar that had over 200 bottles of whiskey.  Just whiskey.  And my drink was delicious.
  • Toured the Gaslamp Quarter, which was cool but didn’t have the unexciting clock like Gastown in Vancouver.
  • Crossed the Coronado Bridge and sampled a flight from the Coronado Brewery.
  • Walked through Balboa Park where we went to a couple of museums, a botanical garden and generally saw pretty things.
  • Tried to get into the San Diego Zoo but my friend’s pass was expired (we technically knew this but tried anyway).  Wound up getting photos of the San Diego Zoo sign instead.
  • Spent one late night watching Frozen, which I’d been wanting to watch for a while.  Was not disappointed.
  • Again ate WAY too much food, including an obscene amount of avocado.  Just obscene.  No regrets.
  • Went to Old Town, which was described to me as a kind of Mexican Disneyland.  This was fairly accurate and the tacos were delicious.
Pretty church in Balboa Park

Pretty church in Balboa Park

  • Absorbed as much sunshine and heat as I could, since it was 95 when I left CA and snowing at that time in Chicago.  Yuck.  YUCK I say!
  • Got minimal sleep, which was unsurprising given all of the catching up we did and the fact that my friend didn’t have AC (see above).

The Pros:  Seeing my old friend was fantastic but ultimately (and of course this has nothing to do with her) I think I enjoyed my time in Vancouver more.  Maybe it was because I actually walked around it more thoroughly (i.e. 6-10 miles every day), maybe because it was so freaking gorgeous or maybe it was the pure freedom of not having any place specific to go or thing to do, but I fell in love with that city.  So much so that I kind of felt like I was cheating on Chicago.  Whatever, the affair was worth it and I plan on going back!

The Cons:  My flight home was delayed and I spent almost two hours sitting on the runway in Denver, CO.  Not ideal.  But if that’s the worst thing that happened to me on my trip, I’ll consider myself a damn lucky girl indeed!

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Vacation Here I Come!

September 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

This time on Saturday I will be wandering around the streets of Vancouver, immersing myself in anything and everything the city has to offer.  And I cannot wait!  I’ve got my currency, passport and a bag packed and I’ve also come up with a few things to keep myself occupied.  The Museum of Anthropology is at the top of the list, as is the Granville Public Market and Stanley Park.  There are a few other things that look really interesting and the hostel I’m staying at offers some guided tours as well, so I may just take them up on that.  There are some funky restaurants and shops I want to investigate and I’ve been told that Vancouver’s Chinatown is simply the best.  I almost feel like I should’ve booked a longer stay but then I wouldn’t have had time for the second stop on my itinerary, sunny San Diego!

Bring It, World

I’m staying with a friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in years and we’re both super excited to hang out and catch up.  We’re going to check out the historic downtown Gaslamp District, La Jolla cove (which has lots of seals!), some delicious restaurants and a bar that’s kind of like a speakeasy, the Coronado Bridge and Island and various other things.  At least, we’ll try to do all of this.  I’m really only there for two full days so we’ll try to pack as much action into that time as humanely possible!

My last vacation was over a year ago when Scott and I went to Costa Rica and while that was beautiful and relaxing, I’m ready to get out and do some actual city exploration.  It should be an easy trip compared to many of my others, especially since English is the primary language everywhere I’m going.  I’m shoving all of my stuff into a backpack and I have a tendency to over pack so we’ll see how heavy that thing winds up being.  I don’t really need too much, but the weather in Vancouver is going to be chilly and rainy whereas San Diego will be warm and sunny, so I’ll be packing for both climates.  But having lived in the Midwest all of my life, I’m prepared for some erratic weather!

Scott and I are volunteering at an annual fundraiser for the food pantry I work with Friday night, which I kinda wish I had thought about when I booked my plane ticket.  We’ve been helping with this big event every year it’s been going on and it’s a whole lot of fun – we basically give out name tags while listening to live music and enjoying free food and drinks.  There’s a huge silent auction during the party and it’s in a really cool architectural space BUT my flight leaves at 8am Saturday morning (and since it’s technically international my butt will be there extra early) so I’m sure I’ll be dragging when I get on the plane.  Still – this is all extremely fun stuff and I’m not complaining so I’m sure with a coffee (or three) I’ll be bouncing up and down and enjoying myself no matter what!  How could I not?

Until we meet again!

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Another Trip Booked!

July 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I am in dire need of a vacation!  It’s been exactly a year since Scott and I went to Costa Rica and I’ve been itching to get out of the country once again.  After I hit my goal of going to every continent (minus Antarctica) before the age of 30, I made a new mission to continue my streak and go abroad once a year for 10 years straight.  In order to do that I needed to renew my passport and I just got my new one back a few weeks ago so it was time to book a trip!

Sidenote: my new passport is all stiff and full of USA propaganda and completely empty.  It makes me sad.

Here I come!

But!  I’ll start filling it soon because I just booked myself a trip to Vancouver, Canada at the end of September!  This year has been a difficult one when it came to saving cash for a vacation but I managed to do it nonetheless.  I toyed with trips to many different places but in the end, it was cheaper and easier to go just go to Canada for a few days.  I’ll be flying to Vancouver for four nights and then going down to San Diego, CA to stay with an old friend for an additional three.  Seeing as how I’ve never been to Canada or California, I’m pretty jazzed!

I’d be more jazzed if Scott was coming with me but he’ll be busy with school so this is to be another solo trip (at least the Canada part, since I’ll be with my friend in CA).  That’s okay though because there seems to be plenty there to keep me busy!  I’ve already booked my hostel and have found an awesome anthropology museum and a pretty cool library I will definitely be checking out.  There are lots of markets to peruse and the nature around looks beautiful so I’m sure I’ll be doing as much as I can while I’m there.  The area I’m staying in seems pretty walkable and it should be a nice time of the year to go.  Not going to lie – I’m pretty excited!  And I’ve got plenty of time to plan some stuff out, though I’m sure the trip will be here before I know it.  At least, I hope so!

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We Made It!

July 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I haven’t had time to download any of my pictures or really even think about writing a wrap-up blog post on our recent trip, but I’ll get there.  Sometime.  I promise.  In the meantime, I can give you these breakdowns:

  • 2 countries visited: Costa Rica and Nicaragua
  • 1 bed and breakfast that housed us for all 7 nights
  • 3 bottles of sunscreen used
  • 1 bathing suit broken
  • 2 types of monkeys I saw: Howler and Spider
  • 3 hours spent attempting to learn to surf
  • 4 bottles of rum I brought back (don’t judge me, they were cheap!)
  • 2 humpback whales I saw and captured on video
  • 1 octopus I held
  • 5 other couples/people we met from the Chicago area
  • 13 bug bites on my legs
  • 2 pair of sunglasses that Scott lost/broke
  • 5 hour flight each way
  • 0 movies or TV shows shown while on the flights
  • 0 snacks served while on flight (thanks for nothing, United)
  • 2 horrible dreams I had about work while I was away
  • 1 volcano I got to peer into the bottom of
  • 100 virgins who were once sacrificed into said volcano
  • 0 virgins on our trip
  • 300 photos taken overall
  • 1978490732509843 wonderful memories and experiences that I had over the course of 1 week

More updates to follow as soon as I can!

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