When the universe teaches you something…

Happy Monday folks!

It was an interesting weekend, to be sure.  It was one of those weekends where life threw me some interesting experiences, the good and the not-so-good, and ultimately, all of them were needed.  I came home late Saturday night with a realization that I didn’t even know I needed to have.  It was the realization that I am worthy.  That regardless of any of the potential baggage that I may carry (my weight, health conditions etc.), that I deserve to be treated with respect.  That if I go out with someone, that they should ultimately have the desire to be there with ME and not necessarily be hungrily scanning the room for a female more worthy.  That I’m awesome and cool and fun and bring a lot to the table.  I didn’t know I needed to learn this lesson.  But there it was – staring me in the face.

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And rather than do what I would normally do, ignore it, or look away from it, I handled it.  I spoke up about what I deserve, and wouldn’t take anything less.  It hurt.  Worse than I would have guessed, but I’m extremely proud of myself.  In my past, I allowed people to treat me as less than the best by not setting expectations and just taking it if/when I was feeling less than respected.  It makes me as guilty as the person who was treating me so poorly.  I’m confident in my abilities to speak up now.  It shows me just how much growth I’ve made over the last few years.

I won’t lie tho, the weekend through me for a bit of a loop.  It was one of those strange kinds of things – where on one hand, you have a blast, truly one of the best kinds of experiences… and then immediately follow it with something that hurts and makes you question the path you’re on.  Where I’ve landed tho… after doing a work out today and now, writing in here.  I’m good.  Actually, I’m better than good.  I’m damn excellent.

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I went and looked at houses.  Newer ones this time, and found that I was disappointed by them all.  Newer cookie cutter homes with little yards, certainly no where for my greenhouse.  Tiny garages.  And if you lean out your window – you could probably touch your neighbor’s house.  The homes themselves were beautiful… but I just don’t think they are the style for me.  So I got home and immediately started searching older homes.  I have 2-3 weeks to find a house and put an offer on it, if I want to hit the timing that I have all planned out.  It’s tight.  It has me a bit nervous… but it’s also incredibly exciting.

Well folks – it’s time to pack up and head home for the day.  I may write a bit more later tonight after date night with my son.  Much love to you all.  Goodnight Neverland.

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Distracted

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Good morning Neverland.

I’m distracted.  I should be focused on working… as there is lots going on at work these days.  But what am I doing?  I’m sitting at my desk thinking about my vacation instead.  In just 2 short weeks, I’ll be boarding a plane and heading to a tropical beach.  It just can’t come soon enough.  I know the next 2 weeks will fly by and it will be here before I know it, heck, knowing me, it will be here and I’ll scramble to get everything packed and handled right before I go.  I’ve not been this distracted before a trip before.  Not sure why this one is so different, but it is.  I can’t seem to keep my head in the game at work.  Perhaps that also can be chalked up to the layoffs we’ve gone through recently.  Everything at work has been stressful and full of change and ambiguity.  I’d rather spend the day in bed.

There is so much I’m looking forward to.  I’m looking forward to the disconnect.  That’s the joy of traveling somewhere… wi-fi and technology can be easily rendered useless depending on where you go.  And that’s what I sought when I planned out this trip months ago.

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No hotel chains for me.  I’ve rented a small cabin.  With a kitchen and a BBQ so that I can go and pick out some fresh seafood and fruits and veggies and cook.  No little ones to answer to or wake me up too early.  No roommates.  No exes.  No work.

The ex is furious that I’m going on this trip.  And part of me can understand and part of me says F that!  Screw you! 🙂

He’s upset because we never traveled.  We couldn’t afford it.  For 3/4 of our marriage, we were pretty poor.  We didn’t have a honeymoon.  We didn’t take vacations.  I think the most time we ever spent “away from it all” would be a long weekend at a local spot.  And that was ok.  Since ending our marriage, I’ve taken quite a few trips.  6 to be exact, in varying lengths and distances from home.  I love to travel.  I get it from my grandparents.  They took me to England when I was 10 for a LONG trip.  They traveled once, sometimes twice a year.  They’d do cruises and different trips.  Australia, Japan, Europe… They’d come home and show me pictures and tell me stories of the things they experienced and the people they’d met.  I knew when I was young, that I would embrace travel.  I just never had the funds to do it.

He’s also upset because the week I’m gone, the responsibility of our children falls on him.  Last year, when I went to Hawaii, I had to pay him to watch our kids.  I knew it was ridiculous, that by all rights, I shouldn’t have to pay the children’s father to watch them… but I wanted to go, and that was my only option at the time, so I bit the bullet and forked over the cash.  I refused to do that this time, and I think he’s a little upset.  Oh well man!  Suck it up!  🙂

Travelling has opened my eyes.  I’ve seen and done a few things that I never thought I’d get to do.  I’ve met people who will always have a place in my heart, because of what they’ve shared with me.  And although I’m not necessarily a fan of sitting for long hours on a plane… I can’t wait to do it again soon, because it means I’ll have a new slough of experiences and people to add to the memory banks.

Hope you all are having a great week.

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The people you meet and the things you see when you travel

So most of you know, I did a ton of travel last year.  Such amazing experiences.  I haven’t really documented much of it.  So I thought I’d share some of my experiences here.

Melbourne Australia

Melbourne was … amazing.  Never have I found a city that reminded me so much of Seattle.  The people were truly genuine.  So welcoming.  The amount of random conversations I got into with random Aussies about all manner of things.  Culture, the world, religion, life, food, love.

Something I enjoy doing when I travel is getting up early, hunting down a good cup of coffee and then finding a spot to sit and people watch.  You can learn so much about a place when you watch the way their locals wake up.  One morning, as I was fighting jet lag, I watched two vans pull up outside the hotel.  It was dark.  They were pulling trailers behind them.

  ImageThe trailers were hot air balloon baskets.  I watched as they passed out coffee to the sleepy tourists, making jokes and spreading their jovial moods around.  Wandered a bit more around the city.  Then came back to my room.  I opened the curtains, and look what I saw…

ImageThere floating above the waking city, with the sun coming up were those hot air balloons.  So beautiful. So calm and peaceful.  What a breathtaking way to wake up.

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The architecture in Melbourne was just amazing to me.  An odd mix of modern meets vintage.  And street art everywhere.  The creativity of some of the artists was astounding.  I couldn’t get enough pictures, I couldn’t seem to capture enough of it.  I wanted to somehow package it all up in my mind and heart and bring elements home with me.

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And the farmer’s market… OMG.  I think I could have spent DAYS and DAYS there exploring and tasting and talking to people.  Why do we as an American culture not establish and encourage more of this type of thing is beyond me.  Look at the Hawker cultures in asia.  Some of the best food you can eat in Asia is going to come from hawker stands right off the street.

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Hawaii, USA

Can I just say that going through some of my pictures from Hawaii this morning, I’d like nothing more than to blink my eyes and magically appear back on the islands.  I don’t always like hot and humid weather, but for this place, I didn’t mind.  It was just so beautiful.  The fresh fruit, the sea breeze, the salt and sand.  Everyone is more laid back on the islands.  If they feel like closing up shop to go surfing, they do it.  How businesses make consistent money is beyond me, but I can certainly get behind the Work to Live mentality rather than the Live to Work one that we seem to embrace here on the mainland.

Here’s a few of my favorites.  We did a little island hopping.  So you’ll see lush greenery with waterfalls, along with the barren volcano and more. 🙂 Enjoy!

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This year, I hope to do more travel.  I want to see Asia.  I want to see Fiji.  I want to see Mexico, as I haven’t been.

I want to see the world.  See Scotland and Ireland and have a Guinness in a pub.  Watch the sands blow over the pyramids in Egypt and smell the spices that linger in the air in Morocco.  I suppose you could say that I’ve caught the bug.  I think I caught it as a child, when my grandparents took me to spend a month in England visiting family.  I knew then that I wanted to see the world.  That although I love Seattle, and get recharged from being home, that I would never be content to just stay in my own little world and culture and not experience more.  If you could go anywhere this year…where would you go?