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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

come visit!

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Did you hear that my town is the best small town in America, according to CNN Money, for the FOURTH year in a row?

I’m sure you did.

I mean, why wouldn’t you all regularly read CNN for news of the place that I live?

Anyway, here at home it feels like both a victory and sort of a joke. It was fantastic the first year, cool the second, awesome the third, and now sort of feels like it’s rigged. We are a good town, but better than every other place? Really?

Last night some of Crockett’s old friends came up to hang out, and we went to down to Main Street.

We were greeted by name in both restaurants we visited, despite having been MIA for nearly six weeks. One of the owners at our second stop called me out for not ordering my favorite dish (calamari salad for the win). The drink special was a cocktail named after the mayor’s wife. There were folks sitting on the street sipping local beers. There was a line of families and couples standing outside the ice cream shop.

I grew up in Boulder County. You know those things you say all the time to people who have never heard you say them before? The things that your friends and lovers get tired of and roll their eyes at? One of my things is ‘I’ve never lived more than 20 miles from where I live now’. (I think Crockett wants to mime gagging himself with a spoon when he hears me say it, and we’ve only been together two and a half years. I take pride in being a local, y’all.) So yeah, I grew up here. I love it here, but I don’t have a lot of experience with other places.

Maybe this is the best place in America. I can’t say for sure.

I can say it’s a pretty good place.

That’s probably all I can ask for.

welcome to the beach

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

I’m not really a ‘water person’.

I mean, it’s pretty and all. Especially when it’s way over there. Where it can’t touch me.

I just don’t like to be wet.

You get kind of sticky. Your hair gets messy. You have to keep your clothes somewhere else so they stay dry, so you can put them back on. You have to deal with your swimsuit.

If you’re at a beach, it’s all of the above plus sand (and/or dirt) sticking to your wet self and water animals. Fishes. Leeches. Sharks. Monsters. Little crabs that bite your toes.

But a beach vacation is not, it turns out, about the water. It’s about the sand and the beer and the games and the kids chasing each other with sticks. It’s about endless cups of coffee and only getting a cell phone signal in one 10 square foot area (and a shoddy signal at that). It’s about a hotel room that was decorated so long ago that the decor has come into vogue again. (Think orange shag and avocado green accessories.) Shorts and tank tops and buffet spaghetti dinners?

The beach vacation, I can get into.

As long as no one makes me get into the water.

P.S. Crockett wanted me to remind anyone that is considering breaking into our house of two things. First, we have a housesitter. Second, you don’t know our address. Foiled again.


summer camp

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Ahh, the joys of summer.

When I was in middle school, my friend Lacey and I were listening to the radio this one time. (We listened to the radio more than one time, but you know what I mean. Right? One specific time we were listening to the radio and that’s when this story happened. Yeah.)

On the radio, that one time, there was an ad for Trojan condoms, followed immediately by an ad that started out with some dude saying ‘ahhh, the sounds of summer’. His ‘ahhh’ was…. well, let’s just say it – orgasmic.

We, being like 14, thought that was the funniest thing we’d ever heard.

AHAHAHAHAH, we thought. Did the people who scheduled ads not have any idea how full of hilarity that was?

Now, of course, there are entire Tumblrs devoted to things like unfortunately adjacent billboards*.

Anyway – I was at summer camp in western New York last week. Adult summer camp. (Really Crockett and I were just visiting his family and friends, but there was a definite summer camp air to the whole thing.)

  • Social hour – did you know bars around Buffalo stay open until 4? 4 am? AM AS IN IN-THE-MORNING? (Interestingly, the trade off here seems to be that you can drink later but your beer choices are limited to Labatt and your wine choices are limited to things that come in single serving screw top bottles.)
  • Sightseeing – I’ve decided the Great Lakes are some kind of gigantic practical joke. After seeing Erie (from the road), Superior (from a plane), and Ontario (from shore and from a catamaran), I now believe that ‘great’ was someone being funny. Like calling Iceland … well, Iceland. Someone thought to themselves, “what should we call these motherfucking enormous mini-oceans? How about the North American Freshwater Seas? Nah… let’s just call ‘em ‘great’. That’ll be hilarious. Silly girls from Colorado will stare like open-mouth yokels when they see how big these things are.”
  • Arts and crafts – I made a purse with Crockett’s mom.
  • Games – Crockett’s childhood friends kicked my ass at Foosball. And Cornhole. Oh, and Flip Cup. And life, basically. I blame it on the humidity. And the beer.
  • Food – 17 barbecues. A cupcake competition (which I didn’t enter, due to …. lameness on my part, I suppose.)

Ice cream cones the size of my head.

Now I’m back home, and I’m distinctly lacking in scheduled fun. I do have a lot of laundry to do. And a lot of work to do.

Is ‘adult-summer-camp counselor’ a job?

No, really.

* I could have sworn this was true, but now I can’t find a single one. The one I’m thinking of has someone doing yoga next to something that looks like a fart. I know, sounds hilarious. I bet you’re really sad I can’t find it. Also, who knew you could see a fart?

limbo bimbo

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Yesterday I went to a mandatory school orientation. It was two hours long, and contain such gems as ‘the best way to meet a goal is to clearly define it and then work towards it’.

As Star pointed out, they were talking to a room full of people who applied to and were accepted to graduate school. Perhaps meeting goals is something we’ve previously encountered.

It’s such a thin line between helpful and condescending, isn’t it? I guess that if I already know what you’re telling me, I’m going to find it condescending, no matter what your intentions.

Perhaps that’s an Emma thing.

My friend Chewbacca spent half of last year reminding me every day to make a list of things that I wanted to do before I turned 30. I didn’t listen to him, because in general I find that stuff entertaining about 1 day out of every 5, and somehow that day was never a day that he reminded me that I also had time to make said list.

Of course, now I have four days  left as a 29 year old.

Is there something that, on Monday, I’m going to regret not doing?

I don’t think so.

See, graduate student department?

I’m doing just fine. Goals set and met – that’s me. Goal girl.

As far as nicknames go, though, let’s not have that catch on.

Also? We just got back from Santa Fe and while I was there I memorized the route to Trader Joe’s and I thought of yet another mostly useless super power – always being able to locate the nearest TJ’s.  (Please note that I said mostly useless. If there were a Trader Joe’s in this state I would already know where it was, and I would be there all the time. However, if there were three or four and I was a bike messenger and also addicted to chocolate covered almonds, it would be helpful to know where the nearest one was. Very specific – hence, mostly useless.)

my mountains are burning

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I grew up in the mountains west of Boulder. As far as I can tell, my old neighborhood may actually have been evacuated (although trying to find things like that out when I’m safe and sound in Louisville is more complicated that you might expect – informing me isn’t exactly high priority for rescue crews.)

I am not much of a mountain sports girl. I don’t ski or snowboard, I don’t really hike. I only go rock climbing when all of the organization is done by someone else and there are promises of delicious beer at the end of the day.

I love the mountains, though. They’re part of who I grew up to be. People who grew up by the ocean are fond of talking about it’s presence, have you noticed that? They’ll say they ‘miss the ocean’ they way you’d miss your grandma. I feel the same way about my Boulder mountains. Not all mountains, mind you. Most mountains can fend for themselves.

But these are mine. I played in them, I lived in them, I got sticky from sap and yellow from pollen. I lost (and found) my dogs in them. I woke up to a bull in the backyard in them. I took the schoolbus through those mountain roads, I kissed boys under those mountain trees.

Even though I haven’t visited them that much lately, I always know they’re there.

And now they’re on fire. People are losing their homes. My heart goes out to them.

There’s not a lot that we can do, right now. If you’re interested in helping, here’s a list of how you can.

I’m going to get back to coughing and sending my mountains and their residents good thoughts.