A pretty amazing thing about Ireland is how close everything is to everything else. In the amount of time it takes me to get to my Mom’s house in the suburbs, our group traversed into the countryside oasis of Glendalough in County Wicklow. Having spent most of my time in Dublin, I giggled a little when our tour guide told us to bring water, snacks, and appropriate hiking gear. So of course I completely ignored her and wore jeans, running shoes, and brought an umbrella (because, you know, Ireland). Continue reading A stroll through County Wicklow
Ok, it seems pretty simple. If you watch less TV, you will get more shit done.
The problem is, two weeks into my winter break I was still working my way through Season 2 of American Horror Story on Hulu.
I. Couldn’t. Stop.
Then the Roku remote stopped responding and I just sort of left it that way, because, I had big plans for this break, plans that took a back seat to Hulu, like they do.
When I could no longer flip through literally years of during-semester television backlog, something amazing happened… I started reading. and writing. and getting shit done.
That’s not to say I was perfect and am going into the first day of the new semester totally confident – that’s not possible. But what I CAN say is that a resolution-less start to my year has included daily writing, ample time at the gym, and no dishes in the sink. Plus, I’ve got a hot second today to write a silly little blog post (SLBP)… and while I love dishing about phenomenology, SLBPs are my favorite.
Maybe you ought to try it. Just rip those batteries out, hide them somewhere, and see how much your life changes. I’m not swearing off TV – not by a long shot – but I AM suggesting that tele-temperance did me a whole lot of good. That, and, after a day or two I didn’t miss it and realized how silly the whole thing is anyway.
p.s. I found a quick hack on how to get the remote working again; I just waited until my semester break was over to actually do it. So there’s no need to worry about spoiling The Biggest Loser on Facebook…
p.p.s This particular SLBP is my 200th post on One Crafty Lady! That’s pretty neat.
Merry Christmas from Cave City, KY!
Christmas has brought us joy and cheer, beautiful scenery, and now free wifi and a non-smoking room before the final leg of the late 2013 great Florida adventure. Aside from the disappointment of landing in a dry county on Christmas night, the Best Western in Cave City is surprisingly choice when compared to the layover lodgings on the way down. I warned you there was a story about the Ramada in Nashville… here are the cliff notes, based on the qualities I look for in a one-night hotel stay:
BW – Yes.
Ramada – Yes.
Clean linens and no visible sign of bed bugs:
BW – Yes.
Ramada – Yes.
BW – No.
Ramada – One treadmill and one recumbent bike count as a fitness center, right?
A clean bathtub:
BW – Yes.
Ramada – We were booked in the only handicapable room despite having a reservation, so no soak in the tub for me.
BW – In front of the room; included.
Ramada – Parking lot in front of the hotel; the staff attempted to charge us $40 for overnight parking due to a football game across the street at the stadium at 3pm. Check out was at 11am. After copious threatening tweets we arose in the morning and asked to speak with the manager. Parking was ultimately $10 + a headache.
Presence of a famous indoor guitar-shaped swimming pool:
BW – No.
Ramada – Yes. But there’s no water in it and it smells like feet.
BW – $65 + tax.
Ramada – $89 + tax + the $40 parking debacle.
Ok, so it might be slightly unfair to compare price between Cave City and Nashville, but Hotwire called this a downtown hotel, which was neither accurate nor fair.
Lessoned learned are the following:
1) Don’t book hotels on Hotwire.
2) I should lower my expectations of Ramada.
3) Guitar-shaped pools are overrated.
The most important thing to note about this Starbucks, in my opinion, is the fact that it’s DECEMBER. Gainsville has weather akin to my beloved Bay Area, but sunnier and more humid. It surprised me a little to see alligators on the Florida theme mugs, but then, should I really be surprised by that while visiting the Gator Nation? I’m really into the Misto these days, and this one did not disappoint. Neither did reading outside for an hour the day before Christmas…
Well, since the Mayan Apocalypse didn’t actually happen, I spent a lovely afternoon on the 21st of December browsing the Rodeo Dr. of Sarasota: St. Armand’s Circle.
Exhausted by dodging rich ladies doing their Christmas shopping (apparently many people waiting to lay down cash for Christmas anticipating the end of the world), Starbucks was an imperative stop.
It was a misto. It was really busy and took awhile to get my coffee, but then I remembered what it was like to work at my store on Michigan Avenue. I sympathize with every customer I ever had on a Friday during shopping season, and thank you for your patience.
I would also like to point out to my friends and family in the Midwest, that while you are digging out from a foot of snow I’m posing besides palm trees. Ah, to be a Floridian for a week…
Assuming that the Mayans were right…. or rather, assuming that some interpretations of the end of the Mayan calendar were right…
This is it.
My last day on earth, and certainly my last post on One Crafty Lady.
Taking that into consideration, my day today in Sarasota, FL was probably a pretty good way to ring in the end of human civilization:
After spending the morning at Lido Beach, the three muskateers (that’s me, the gf, and her mom) had lunch at the delightfully tacky Daiquiri Deck in Siesta Village. Tacky in a good way… Sports on TV, good service, a table above the street, and country music in the background. I had a nice chicken fajita wrap and key lime pie. I mean, you can’t come to Florida and not eat key lie pie, right?
Anyway, after lunch we headed to the acclaimed Siesta Beach. I’ve been on plenty of beaches, but “they” say this one is #1 in the US. I can’t confirm or deny this, but I will say that Siesta Beach is big, uncrowded (at least today it was), and full of soft white sand like I’ve never seen*.
And as I type, I’m enjoying a nice salad, glass of wine, good company, streaming wifi, and freshly washed hair. A nice way to spend the end of the world.
So. Meet me next week at Starbucks??
I learned a lot about people on my trip to Sturgis. Traveling with a big group can present its challenges, but it can also make for a safe and enriching experience that you wouldn’t have otherwise had. Though not typically one for etiquette guides, these are the lessons I’ve picked up during my years of travel.
Disclaimer: Sturgis was a lovely trip. Big thank you’s go out to the fearless leaders who organized the trip, the gracious followers, and a big cheers that we all have come out of it with friendships in tact.
Lauren’s guide to safe and happy travels in groups:
DO pick your battles. Traveling in large groups is a lesson in diplomacy. DON’T be that one chick who argues about everything. But, this is your vacation too. So if you’re not happy with a group decision to the point that it affects your good times, speak up. Otherwise, learn to let it go.
DO pick a leader, and
DON’T be a jerk if the leader is you. Check with the group and, if it comes down to it, take a vote, draw straws, play rock-paper-scissors. Again, group travel is a lesson in diplomacy. And democracy. Just because you’re the leader doesn’t mean that it’s your job to make all the decisions.
DO have an itinerary, and
DO share it with the ENTIRE group, but
DO let people stray from it. We’re all adults here. Establish meeting places and times, put them on printed out itineraries, and then divide and conquer. A group can get real hostile real fast if you spend too much time together, and many friendships have been broken up over a vacation. That’s lame.
DON’T forget to pitch in. Even if you’re not a leader or a naturally assertive person, don’t be afraid to put your hand in and help. Vacation is work, especially in a big group, and no one appreciates you coasting while we’re busy taking out the trash and washing dishes. If you can’t get anywhere verbally (e.g. “Can I help? Anything I can do?” doesn’t always get a task assigned to you… the leader will say, “No I got it”) just dive in and do something.
DO embrace the group experience. Be a joiner and recognize that your great lodging and awesome excursions might not have been possible without the support (financial, that is) of the group. It’s also way safer, especially when you’re traveling in places that are out of cell phone range.
That said, DON’T forget to create your own experience. This is your vacation too. If there’s something you want to see or do, do it.