Category Archives: Travel
In case you haven’t been able to tell, I’m all about meeting people from the internet. Naturally, I would be the one to organize an event based off of the very idea. I am just glad that Jen agreed to be the backbone of my crazy idea. Even through all of the planning, it never really hit me that it was actually going to happen until I filled up my tank, stocked up on smokes, and hopped on I-10 heading West. A direction I have never driven before. I even made a Vine on the road.
I arrived in Austin, TX alone after a long, but enjoyable 6 hour drive. I love to drive. It’s relaxing to me as long as I don’t get lost. I take one wrong exit and you would swear I just launched myself into outer space without an oxygen tank. I don’t think the La Quinta Inn was ready for me. As I stepped out of my SUV and started to unload my stuff onto a luggage cart, shoes, lanyards, and toiletries were falling everywhere. It was like my luggage sprung a leak.
“Well, I’m here.” I thought.
I didn’t waste much time doodling in the hotel room, as I was ready to meet up with Jen so we could slap each other in the face as a reality check ritual. Little did I know, she had already explored Austin, met up with one of our speakers, Julian Gallo, and played with some bats. Cool. I’m late!
This would be a recurring theme. For some reason I felt totally under prepared the entire weekend.
Walking down Congress, I was looking around waiting for Jen to pop out of the woodwork, or one of the many hipster shops rather. Soon, I came to the restaurant we were to meet. I was right across the street from it. And there they were. Jen and Julian, and in deep conversation too by the looks of it. I thought about jay running directly to them, but I figured it might be best for me to refrain from breaking laws before meeting the rest of the attendees. A few times I actually waved thinking I had made eye contact, only to embarrass myself when I realized I hadn’t.
Too be honest, I was a little more nervous about walking down the wrong street and getting lost, than meeting everyone in person. I’m awkward as fuck on the phone, sure. I don’t enjoy giving speeches, no. But I don’t get nervous to meet people one on one. I’m totally cool and put together. Unless they are nervous. Then it’s like catching poison ivy when you haven’t been outside yet. Confusing.
Regardless of nerves, when I saw the set up that 508 Tequila Bar created for us, I got a huge surge of proud feelings. I knew we had done it right. It only got better after that first night. I don’t think we could have planned this thing better, and I think everyone there meshed in an amazing way. Friendships blasted into hyper mode. It went a step beyond networking. I think they call it bonding.
Jen’s composure and eyebrows wowed me. It was mesmerizing to listen to Jullian talk about pretty much anything. I enjoyed giggling in the bathroom with Michelle as she nonchalantly wiped the counters after washing her hands. Chiara and I snuggled in our La Quinta bed after the speaker session, entertaining ourselves with nothing but some 711 candy and lottery scratchers. I fell in love with John and his wife Lisa who have to be the cutest couple in the history of the internet. So many moments go through my head when I think of the weekend.
Unfortunately, I did have one hang up about the event… me.
I recognized the fact that I had lost touch with much of the blogging community well before BI but way too late for my liking. When I was buzzing around during BI, I felt a bit intimidated. I hadn’t read anyone in so long. Since the beginning of the year when we started planning BI13, I have been so caught up in… well… planning. Blogger Interactive, Kickstarter projects, moving and moving some more, Bachelorette parties, Bloggers for Movember, and a million other things seemed to keep me from participating in the one thing that started it all. Blogging.
When I asked Lauren and Michael of Key + Arrow who they were, I felt like an idiot. Their blog was right there on our Facebook page. Dur. Yet, my mind felt blank. I didn’t get to have the depth of conversations I wanted to, because I wasn’t leading conversation like my normal self. I felt scattered. I felt intimidated. What?!
Luckily for me Vyvy of Vyvacious reminded me of something. Vyvy expressed the same concern to me over Brussels sprouts and calamari before the event even began, yet there at the Hangar Lounge on the second night she was sitting on Red’s wife’s lap, taking pictures, dancing, and chatting up a storm. She reminded me that having everyone memorized wasn’t what mattered. What mattered is that we were all there. We were there for each other. We were there to continue to get to know each other and learn from each other. And most of all, I think we all gained a new excitement and buzz for blogging, writing, and our virtual community while we were there. And I am more than okay with that.
Thank you Jen for ALL of your amazing hard work on this with me. Thank you Julian and Chiara for sharing your sexy brains with us. And finally, thank all of you who came out despite the distance, schedules and nerves. I love you all.
Look out for the official post event write-up on the BI page along with a slideshow of photos that have yet to be shared!
- Why You Should Attend Blogger Interactive 2014 (sipsofjenandtonic.com)
- Say Anything – Blogger Interactive 2013 (rich-full-life.com)
It kind of felt like learning to walk again when I left. I felt exhilarated by my new-found separation from such a shaping relationship and simultaneously a little lost. The good kind of lost. The kind of lost that makes you feel like you are teaching yourself something new. Sure, I had pangs of homesickness, because he was what I considered home for as long as I could remember. But missing familiarity eventually turned into embracing change.
I met new people. I dabbled in new relationships. At first, it felt right. Like making an A on a test makes you feel right. Which felt good. New relationships were accomplishments in moving on, but not much more than that. After all, GPAs don’t matter much in the scheme of life. Nonetheless, the new relationships were fun and easy. I could feign attachment without skipping a beat of my own agenda. I almost fooled myself into thinking I was anything but detached. I liked it that way.
I strategically and forcefully changed all of my radio stations; a subconscious attempt at moving on. It was working splendidly until DJ Heavy Metal decided to throw in a little Tim McGraw for shits and giggles. My new guy quickly reached out at the exact moment as me… only he was reaching out to turn the station, and I was reaching out to turn up the volume. “I never liked country,” he said.
As I looked around, it was as if everything suspended for a brief moment, and in that moment, nothing looked right. Something shattered in me, and I immediately thought of him.
After that, I began to shell up even more. I would steam up the bathroom to mimic the humidity we used to bask in. I would pour a little too much on the rocks. I started cooking those savory meals again, and found myself seeking solace in my headphones, blasting nothing but country. I tried to transfer all of the things I loved about him, into my new relationships.
I’ll never forget the moment we reunited. The radio must have been on our side, because the perfect songs trickled in as we sat on the tailgate together in the damp air. I didn’t say anything, I just breathed him in. I never believed in the saying, “you never know what you have until its gone,” just as I never liked Country. But sometimes you just have to admit you were wrong. And that’s why I went back.
I missed you, Louisiana.
This two part post was inspired by A New Orleans Love Story by Joey Albanese about New Orleans.
The one that got away. Do we all experience it? That one ex that you didn’t know completed you until you left?
The longest relationship I have ever had took years to build and only two to demolish. All of the memories, the places, and the laughs. Our relationship was fickle and tumultuous, but extremely passionate. We would bitch endlessly over the thermostat one minute and then bask in the balmy humidity the next. We loved to savor our food together and never shamed each other for drinking a little too much. Occasionally, I would grow tired of lazy ways and become jealous of friends that were driven away, but then the radio would come on. Everything was butter. I never liked Country. The songs never sounded good with anyone else.
You see he wasn’t like anyone. He was one of a kind. And not in the cliché kind of way that people might describe a cheap pendant on QVC. He owned the phrase one of a kind, and he knew it despite the fact that I sometimes didn’t.
He loved the water, and even looked great covered in moss. When I was in his presence I felt I belonged to something special. We were our own little secret club. It’s weird though, because we never really had a honeymoon phase. As long as I could remember we had always just been together. There was no one before him.
Regardless, I knew ultimately something would happen to our smooth cruising. We eventually began to take each other for granted. This would be the beginning of the end. The more possessive and predictable he became, the more indifferent and unimpressed I was. I convinced myself that his simple ways were holding me back.
Eventually, I started refusing to go out on the water. The special meals we cooked tasted bland, as if my taste buds had become tired of the repetition. We didn’t drink together anymore, but I drank alone. I had built up so much resentment, though he really hadn’t done anything wrong. Then my eyes began to wander. I would leave town for weeks and see other people. I didn’t even try to hide it. Funny thing is, he must have known but didn’t seem to care. Maybe he secretly knew I was too far gone. He was intuitive like that. And one day, sure enough, I was gone. For good.
Blogger Interactive is next weekend! I can’t wait to meet everyone who is coming. You can keep up with all the festivities by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram (@bloggerinteractive)! Be sure to use the hashtag #BI2013 for posting!
There is something I have to accept about my current self. It is something that, surprisingly, I don’t know if I enjoy or hate. Or hate that I enjoy. Or even enjoy hating. I am a modern nomad.
For the past five months I have had no real home. Not physically anyway. At first, the rush of stripping off lease shackles and wiping my name off of the grid gave me a high. I felt like I had beat some sort of system. The one that says you have to follow a certain progression. The house you grew up in – college dorm – apartment with one too many room mates- apartment with no room mates – rent house – mortgage – death.
I wrote about how fantastic it felt to let go of old crap, the cleansing of de-cluttering, and the excitement of the unknown. I have traveled to so many new places. I lived in a new place. I stayed in so many Holiday Inn Expresses that I am now opening a shop on Ebay selling tiny lotion bottles that are easily mistaken for conditioner.
It’s true. All of that it is exciting. But exciting doesn’t always necessarily associate with words like fun, easy, or stress free. In fact, it has been written that acute stress is what actually brings about excitement. It isn’t always clear, open roads with your favorite song on the radio, and a large Icee in the cup holder. Sometimes, it is bumper to bumper traffic, nothing but radio interference, and a watered down Sprite when you asked for a Coke.
It turns out that being or feeling stuck and confined is often equally as terrifying as being locked out or feeling afloat. I’ve been a creature of habit. I’ve been a hermit, and now I have been a nomad. I have no idea what I will try out next, but I will be something. Sometimes I just don’t know what I want, and I’ve accepted that that probably means I will continue to change forever. And you know what? I am inexplicable okay with that. Actually, I love that about me.
In honor of my nomadic life, check out my second installment of hotel room ramblings: Hotel Room Perks
Winners of my contest for Blogger Interactive will be e-mailed this month, hang tight! I haven’t forgotten!
D as in Detroit of course.
I could write a long post detailing every little thing I did while in the Detroit area. I could brag about my sweet Red Wings shirt Adam got me hooked up with, or cringe at all of the cereal Adam eats, but you would probably only get half way through reading before your Monday distracted you. So, instead I am going to give you an action packed and easy reading list of all the enchanted and bewildering things I experienced on my trip. You know, the highlights.
I also developed a game for you AND included ANOTHER video. Hold on to your desk. Here we go!
1. I sat by a gentleman named Dallas on my flight to Dallas. Coincidence? I think not.
2. “Helen” cut me off after my third Jack Daniel’s on my second flight. Apparently I was “done.”
3. Adam told me I smelled like a hobo when I got off of the plane, but then I used my hair to mesmerize him. Funny how hobo changes very quickly into fairy princess with one good hair flip.
4. I learned, reluctantly, that turning left on red is a apparently a thing in Michigan. Supposedly. Maybe.
5. It’s a lot easier to take pictures of people sleeping on planes than one would think:
6. Planes can do the Harlem Shake too when given the right amount of youarenevergettinghome style weather.
7. Michigan Toys R Us’s are sexist.
8. Drinking at high altitudes is good for the creative brain. This is how I came up with a little game. It is the opposite of laying on the grass and making pictures of the clouds. It is sitting in a plane and making pictures of the ground.
Here is one for you to try!
9. I had to spend a night in Dallas on the way back from my trip as you know. During that night, some shit went down.
- Two women who looked to be members of some bizarre cleaning lady gang tried to swipe my iphone right out of my hands. All I wanted was a light. Sheesh.
- I would have spent the night in a hotel located conveniently in between two strip clubs and over thirty minutes from the airport had it not been for a savior in a Holiday Inn Express uniform who picked me up at just the right time.
- The video you are about to watch happened.
Disclaimer: this video contains a person in the state of extreme delirium.
10. I learned a lot more about the handsome Adam. I even chose to look past his sick cereal addiction. We all have our vices. Thank you Adam for being a lovely host, an excellent Clue player, and for showing me the best parts of the D.
D As in Detroit.
See Adam’s take on me and the D here.
Because that’s who I feel like right now. Tired and ragged, as I sit in terminal B after a long night of unlucky and then seriously lucky events, I could easily make my own version of The Terminal mashed with a little slice of Castaway (by the looks of my hair and the fact that I have taken up friendship with the only item of real value that I have in my carry on – my blow dryer).
Being that I was stranded in Dallas, TX last night, I didn’t want to take any chances of missing my flight this morning. So, naturally I stayed up until almost three AM, made weird videos of myself, and ate a questionable vending machine dinner that I washed down with room temperature beer to ensure that I would look and feel ravishing this morning. I also wanted to make it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Which I did. And am now regretting in between consciousness. I’ll get back to you on the feeling ravishing part.
Here is the thing. I have to come clean. I didn’t write a post while I was cruising the clouds like Mario on some secret level, so I am making up for it now. Don’t fret though Flysters, I have about twenty posts worth of pictures, videos, and stories for you if you give me some time to recoup from my worst flight scenario ever. Plus, considering that I highly underestimated my Jack Daniels to plane-laziness ratio… it is for the best that no post was brewed.
In the meantime, I have two things for you to check out.
1. Stop by Brother Jon’s blog today. He has rallied some outstanding bloggers to send out some sweet messages to his brother and friends. Why is this important? Seek and you shall find. (Also, he extended such a generous helping hand to me late last night when I was in a panic at the airport that he deserves a huge nod of appreciation. Man, y’all are seriously good people).
2. Speaking of Mario, check out my intense reunion with him at Adam’s apartment in Detroit. More to come on part two of our IRL saga. Hold on to your butts!
- Tom Hanks Hoards Typewriters, and Other News (theparisreview.org)
- Tom Hanks took steroids to cure cold (contactmusic.com)
How many rips of duct tape does it take Becca to start breaking shit? Not many. Two to be exact. I am finally back in action (or getting there) after my unenthused absence from all things virtual (okay, maybe not Twitter) which was forced by the joys of moving. But, be assured that I was thinking of my followers the whole time. See proof below.
Ten Important Things I Learned Other Than How NOT to Rip Duct Tape: Read the rest of this entry