Tag Archives: experiences

Travel daydreaming

I grew up always wanting to travel, yet we never quite had much opportunity to do so, because, well, single parent home, three kids, mom back to school when we were in high school, and clearly there was never quite ‘extra’ funds to go on trips. However, I vividly recall the two trips we did take growing up: Disney when we were 6 (where I proceeded to throw up the entire trip, sad 6-year-old face!) and Niagra Falls with my grandparents when we were uh, maybe 12 or 13? I can’t remember exactly how old we were, but I do vividly recall from that trip, driving in a minivan to Niagra and getting carsick (sensing a theme here? LOL).

So, with that preamble, travel is something I have always wanted to do more of, and now that I can feasibly afford to travel a bit here and there, and take advantage of seeing new places just by nature of work travel, I thought I’d share a few of the spots I hope to hit this year (or in the next few!). With some budgeting and lots of planning ahead, I am excited at the prospect of some fun trips this year (and feel quite blessed and fortunate to be able to do so!).

Here are a few of my picks as I gaze out the window, with some light snow on the ground…travel daydreaming…

Playa del Carmen!! (for this girl’s wedding in October!!! I am thisclose to being able to book this trip and couldn’t be more excited to see Shannon get married. After meeting at Bloggers in Sin City in 2010, and becoming fast friends, I am thrilled to be able to see her, and hopefully some other bloggy besties too!!)

Chicago!

To cheer on my sister and a few other fabulous running bloggy besties as they run the Chicago Marathon! I have never been to Chicago for pleasure, only for work (and those trips have only bee 24 hours or so, not enough time to see a lick of the city!)

I have always wanted to see this!

 Maine!

This is a given, obviously, and I guess it doesn’t truly count as travel, since it’s only 1.5 hours or so away. My plan is to go to Maine on every possible weekend I can this summer, take a week off and unplug for a week, and hopefully meet up with these two lovebirds!

Bliss. I ❤ the lake!

Tampa!

To visit one of my closest (yet farthest away!) friends, Amy and her husband Eric (who I am convinced shares a very similar brain to M, and I know they’d be fast friends!) and new son B. I haven’t visited since April 2010 and I reallyreallyreallyreally hope to spend a weekend there this spring.

Our yumtastic homemade sangria from that trip, two years ago.

 Wild card: Vegas!

My sister Jess and BIL are possibly going in April…and if M’s thesis is done on April 14 as he is slated to be done by, this is a possibility. I think the four of us would have an epic time and so I am marking this as a wild card mini-trip, if it happens 😉

Wild card: WINE COUNTRY quad-peat (that’s not even a word, whatever!)!

This is a huge wild card. I would love to go again, for the fourth year in a row (yea, that sounds excessive to some, perhaps, but every time I have gone, I have fallen in love with it all over again, and last year was so wonderful, to finally share it with M…the only thing missing was my sis Jess and BIL (sensing a theme here?!). I’ll file this under ‘never say never’

*love* this picture...

Now that I sit here looking at the places I hope to go this year…I really hope we can make all of these happen. Like I said, with some planning and budgeting ahead, I think it’s all achievable, it’s just a matter of timing. If it’s meant to be, it will be. And I feel so fortunate to be able to possibly hit up even one of these destinations this year.

I love to travel (even if my work trips are tiresome, it’s still an opportunity to see a new place and experience new foods, towns, and sights!)…what about you? Where are your spots you’d like to hit this year? Any of these?? 🙂

In one week.

In one week, I will be in my ‘mecca,’ the ‘land of the grapes,’ my most favorite place to visit.

Wine Country!

Healdsburg and Sonoma area primarily where we’ll be headed (with a dash of Napa thrown in for good measure, though I find Napa far more snobbish and full of corporate wineries vs. smaller, family-owned gems). And when I say ‘we,’ I mean, two of my good friends who came last year (this will be wine country three-peat for me!) and M. For the first time. I couldn’t be more excited about that, since last year, we were just starting to date and he was off to Aruba for a solo vacation the day I returned from my trip. I remember calling him a few nights during the trip and telling him all about what we’d seen and drank and was really wishing he was there with us. And this year, he will be. And I know he will fall in love with it (I hope!) just as much as I have the last few years.

The one huge empty hole though? My sister Jess and my brother in law Scott are now not able to go. Sad face. We knew it might be a possibility but I don’t think any of us truly thought it would turn out that way. So this trip will have a little bit of bittersweetness to it, as it has been our annual trip together and let’s face it, we do so much together, it feels weird *not* to have them come along.

This year also feels different because M will be with me. The last two years I obviously went alone and had an absolutely amazing time. The first year we went was in October 2009, and we left on the day I sold my house. It was so freeing to sign that paperwork and then jet off to wine country! And last year (October 2010)? That was probably the best vacation I’ve ever had. 10 days. San Francisco for a few with one of my friends (who is coming this year and came the previous year too! our ‘thing’ I guess, huh?) and then another week in Healdsburg and Sonoma. We visited more than 20 wineries, had an absolutely gorgeous house we rented in the heart of downtown Healdsburg. On our 31st birthday, we took a hot air balloon ride over Napa as the sun rose.  That experience was one I will remember for a lifetime.

But this year? We’re coming full circle, in a way. We’re back to a smaller group (sans sis and bro in law…sniff), we’re keeping it simple. We have some tastings and events planned, but we aren’t going too crazy with the planning this year. We have a gorgeous house that definitely even tops last year. Opens out onto a vineyard and has a jacuzzi. The works. And there is so much room given we have less people than we planned for (who wants to come! I’m kinda serious!). It’s going to be the break we all need, and a chance to introduce M to all of the places we’ve shared wine from and just enjoy 6 days of bliss.

I’m finally feeling excited about the trip…it sort of flew up on me fast, given the move and summer craziness etc. I say ‘finally’ since, like I said, I will miss having my sis and Scott there, but I plan to shower them with plenty of wine and goodies so they hopefully feel as though they’ll still get a small piece of our ‘mecca’ when we return. As for workouts and such? Yea, I am planning to run a few times. I mean, gorgeous scenery can’t be beat, that will be my motivation. I am a teensy bit worried about keeping my eats in check, but I think at this point, I’ve pretty much got it down…choosing healthy options while still enjoying myself (just not going hog wild!).

Wow, this turned into a rambly post 😉 Bottom line? WINE COUNTRY IN ONE WEEK! Bring. It.

Imitating snotty wine sniffers 😉 We'll be doing much of this again this year. Hehe. This has to be one of my most fave pics from last year!

Sometimes, I feel like a hypocrite.

I wrote about feeling blocked last week, and while I still feel like I am flailing at focus in my posts and in my blog (period), I think I am realizing why I feel so blocked.

Because, sometimes, I feel like a hypocrite.

I continue to read through some of my go-to bloggy reads (consisting of a potpourri of singles, post-divorced, those struggling with weight or self esteem issues etc) and try and offer my perspective on some of their struggles they’ve written about. Not meeting the right one, struggling with go-nowhere dates, wanting love, hating their bodies, struggling with diets, or workouts, or health issues.

And as I write, I feel like a hypocrite. Because even though I’ve been there, in many of these situations, to some capacity, right now, I am absolutely happy. I feel like I am in one of the best places of my life right now. Love. Work. Life. Fitness. Motivation. Healthy Eating.

And when I write these comments which I try to approach as heartfelt as I can without sounding preachy or commiserating to the point of it being over the top, I feel like what I am saying still isn’t helpful. It might feel like a slap in the face (exactly what I DON’T want), or a sting of ‘I want that now too’ because I DO have it. I absolutely do. All the struggles I have gone through seem a distant memory as I march towards the three-year mark since my divorce began. And almost a year since I’ve been able to happily step OUT of the dating game.  Sure, my body image struggles are still there, but with the barre n9ne challenge, running, and food log, I am conquering it.

So where does that leave me and all that I try to put into this blog and my posts sharing my perspective on post-divorce life? I feel so been-there-done-that in some aspects and I can only write so many happiness posts without also coming across as preachy, *too* puppies and rainbows (even for me!) or just plain boring.

This is my struggle. This is why I am blocked. This is why I feel like I need to re-evaluate the focus of my blog and figure out where I want to take it, if I want to take it anywhere.

Sometimes, I feel like a hypocrite, when that is the last thing I ever want to possibly do.

“Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.”

I’ve been in a funk on and off this week and partially because I have an abbreviated weekend as I fly back out to California on Sunday.

Why, you ask, instead of Monday, like usual, you ask? (okay, so you didn’t ask…)

I am flying out a day early for some prep meetings on Monday with the CEO for some meetings we’re doing with media in San Francisco on Tuesday. And guess who’s flying up to San Francisco and accompanying said CEO to the meetings and an investor event?

Me.

Eep.

All by myself. With the CEO. All day.

Pressure, much?!

Um, yeah. I guess this has been weighing on me of late and I am also glad it’s almost here so I can get it over with! I know it won’t be as stressful (I hope) or as nerve-wracking (I can keep telling myself that) as I keep thinking, but I know it will be one of my biggest challenges so far. And to be honest, I am intimidated, I am a little scared, but I know that at the end of it, I will likely learn something new about myself.

And sometimes those challenges are the ones that stick with you, that shed a lot of light on what you’re capable of and you realize you got this.

Right?

(Right?? Please tell me I’m right and help psyche me up!)

On that note, I hope to enjoy my abbreviated weekend for all that it’ll have – girls night, time with M, and a mani with my mom and one of my sisters. Can’t really complain about all that goodness for the weekend ahead, can I?

“Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.”