Monday, August 30, 2010

A Holiday on a Holiday

If you have been following the blog lately, you have traveled with me on some lovely work-induced travels with some fun destinations. I have a few exciting trips for some conferences coming up to places people have actually heard of - Houston, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. But you know I love to travel for fun even more, so we worked this weekend on some details of our Thanksgiving trip to Lanai, HI.

I had a chat with some co-workers this past week and we talked about how for the price, you could go to lots of places instead of Hawaii that many Americans may not be adventurous enough for. I am always on a quest to gather as many countries as possible but Brian and I decided that some true R&R was in order for this trip in particular. Also, after our last big trip - to Argentina - BSB was requesting an English-speaking vacation as well.

So, we decided on Hawaii. Since we were going to be spending both holidays this year in Kansas City, we figured we could miss one and head off to a tropical paradise and be back in plenty of time for the Christmas festivities. This weekend we secured a Jeep for a day trip exploring the island, booked a ferry to Maui for a day and decided on snorkeling and a sunset cruise. We're going to leave the rest of the six days open for sleeping in, eating great food and lounging by the pool. Now all I have to do is wait three months, which I am not very good at. At least I can drool over some photos from the Four Seasons website...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Surfs Up and a PSA

The rest of the weekend in Southern California flew by! Saturday I spent most of the day with Kim, my other best friend from high school. We went to Santa Monica, ate a delicious heirloom potato, caramelized onion and truffle oil pizza and caught up on life. 
I thought they had sold off the Ferris wheel here but was glad to see it stands.
We watched the surfers take on some pretty rad waves.
Kimberly and me!
Afterward, I drove to Pasadena to see my aunt and uncle. We ate an amazing meal outdoors at a place called Roy's, hiked a mountain on Sunday morning and I had brunch with another friend from high school. The rest of the time we visited and relaxed. It was a productive work/mini-vaca trip.

Read on for a Public Service Announcement about preferred airport etiquette:

I am not sure what about the airport makes me want to find a soapbox and preach but it happens all the time. Today I had a few things I wanted to share with people but I will share them here instead.

1. After passing through the metal detector and grabbing your stuff off the belt, please proceed to a chair, bench, wall, etc. to put on your shoes. People behind you don't like being smooshed by the people behind them while you put on your shoes, repack your bag and take a rest.

2. If you haven't groomed for a while, please consider the restroom to cut your fingernails in. Dropping clippings on the carpet for the cleaning crew is gross and that noise is yucky too.

3. Finally, if you must sit close to others in the little waiting chairs facing other people and take a phone call, consider that you now have an unwilling audience. I would rather not hear you make a deal, fight with your spouse or know the details of your medical problems - all things I have heard today.

PEACE!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Adventures in Jeggings

So work my is done for the week in California and it was off to friend reunion number one. Kelly and I met in 6th grade and were best friends all through high school and college. We hadn't seen each other for five years and had a lot to catch up on. We met up at the Cheesecake Factory and walked the mall. Brought back lots of memories and we got to catch up on current life events. It's good to be with a friend who you can pick up with where you left off.
We got carded for drinks, so we're looking good after all these years I guess!
As we sat and talked after dinner we were surrounded by this train going around us in a small circle. We thought about riding it and getting our picture taken but the mall started closing and we missed our chance.
No trip to the mall with Kelly would be complete without some sort of outrageous try-on. So we went for the latest craze of jeggings. We surmised that we were probably a bit too old for the fad but they were comfy. Kelly had tried some on earlier so no pictures of her. We promised to stay in touch and I am sure there are more adventures to come. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Doubles

As I procrastinate packing another suitcase for another work trip I was wondering if I could get away with coming home from a trip, doing laundry and repacking the same clothes in the suitcase for next time. I have already created a perfect double set of toiletries down to an identical set of tweezers and tiny perfume in my favorite scent. When it comes to making things easier - for travel or life - it seems it would just be easier for there to be doubles of everything.

Haven't we all lamented that a double of ourselves would make for a lighter work load, less stress or more homemade meals? I was just telling my mom I could use two more of me at work and she said that the world had enough with just one of me. Which I think she meant in a good way. I guess we can't do that easily anyways so we might as well get used to being as efficient as possible with yourself.

Back to the suitcase, I am glad I have more than one umbrella, chargers and other things that I can just leave in the suitcase for the next time. Heading off to southern California tomorrow. Hopefully exciting adventures on the blog to come. And I have a new camera, so no more cell phone pictures!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Favorite

Ooo, one of my favorite things in general is to shop local. I love it at home and I love it away from home even more. I am not sure why this topic hasn't come up before in my travel blogging but I am excited that I thought of it today. I was having lunch in Durham, N.C. at the Blue Corn Cafe (delicious eggplant and spinach quesadillas and fresh squeezed lemonade) and thought I would take a walk afterward, after being in class all day. So, I checked out 9th Street which I had heard about from some local people.

I found a couple of really cool places (pictures below) and was thinking these places are so great but who reading this will actually go to them and maybe they're not even interesting to anyone but me. But then I thought, oh wait, I could just talk shopping local in general. So there it is, my tiny plug to anyone reading to think about patronizing some small, local, funky gem in your 'hood sometime soon because you are bound to find some pretty great stuff.
This place was super tiny and super packed with everything from shoes to toys to jewelry to cocktail supplies. There was something for everyone - I found gifts for three people I wasn't even shopping for. I would tell you what I found but that would spoil the surprise.
This place was super minimal (lots of letterpress prints on cardboard and five of each item) and a little creepy (books on death, skulls, etc). The best part is that in addition to great merchandise they also made old fashioned sodas and had a long counter to sit at. Super fun!