Sunday, October 05, 2014

I'm baaaaaaaack

Well, technically I've been back for awhile now. So much has happened. SO MUCH.

1) England and Wales - Blondie and I flew to Europe in August for 8 days of touring, relaxing, and seeing our bar friends get married again. We landed in London on a Saturday and stayed through Tuesday. On Tuesday, we took a train to a little village about 30 mins outside of Bath to stay with friends. On Wednesday, we went to Wales. On Thursday, we saw Stonehenge and then Bath, and on Friday we took a train to Oxford and stayed there through Sunday when we caught our flight back to NYC.

The trip was amazing. We did all the standard touristy stuff in London - Big Ben, Parliament, Tower Bridge, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park, St James Park, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Jack the Ripper walking tour of the east end of London. My favorite things were the Jack the Ripper tour and the London Eye. The only things we didn't get to do that we really wanted to were to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace (they changed on Tues but we already had our tickets to go to our friends house at that point) and the jewels at the Tower Bridge ($30 to get in - couldn't make ourselves pay that kind of money to see jewels).

My thoughts on London are it combined what I hated most about SF (the weather) with what I hate most about NYC (the traffic) into a city where everything then shuts down at 11 pm.

We stayed in our friend's village then from Tues through Fri - we took the train up which was really nice and then we spent Tues afternoon just talking and chilling in their house. We went to a tiny town for dinner that night (Bradford-on-Avon; looked like it had been built in the 1800's and nothing had changed) and just had a relaxing day.

On Wednesday our friends drove us to Cardiff, Wales (they were going out further in Wales but dropped us off there). We took a train from Wales to Caerphilly to tour a castle there - that was one of my favorite things from the whole trip. It took us several hours to walk through it all, but it was a really great experience. After the castle, we ate lunch at a pub on the patio overlooking the castle before catching the train back to Cardiff. We met back up with our friends there and walked around Cardiff for awhile, and then back to their house for the night.

On Thurs, we started with a trip to Stonehenge before heading to Bath to spend the day. We did the circus in Bath, the crescent drive in Bath, and toured the actual Roman baths themselves. Afterwards, we hit up Marks&Spencer and drank some wine on a patio before heading back to our friends house.

And Friday, a train to Oxford where we met up with one of our bar friends to start a weekend of debauchery. Way too much drinking our way through Oxford on Friday night, combined with a 2 am McDonald's run (shame), led to a Saturday of feeling like crap. But the wedding was beautiful, the food was amazing, and we danced our asses off at the reception.

Sunday we caught a bus back to Heathrow, hung out in Virgin Atlantic's lounge (yay for being platinum on Delta - free access to the club), and then finally got a very long flight home. Where the lady in the row 1 up and across from me had her giant turd of a baby (this kid was out of control) puke all over her 2 hours before we landed. And the smell... just lingered... for 2 fucking hours.

2) Astoria, OR - Landed on Sunday night from London, and turned around on Monday morning and caught a flight to Portland, OR. Drove 2 hours out to Astoria and spent the week there with coworkers prepping for training a new group of users on our product. The area was beautiful but I was suffering tremendous jet lag all week. We worked through until Thursday, when training ended, and then I drove back to Portland to spend the night.

3) Alaska - On Friday, I caught my flight to Alaska!!!! OMG. Alaska was FUCKING AMAZING and if I didn't suffer from SAD as well as a hatred of all things cold, I would 100% want to live there. I met my cray cray uncle and aunt at the airport and off we went. We drove around on Friday, looking for moose, and just going up and down the water there. On Saturday, we drove to Talkeetna (the town that has a cat for a mayor) and hung out there before taking a charter flight over Mt Denali - the weather was so clear that day that we had amazing views, something that hardly ever happens. And on Sunday, we drove to Seeward and took a charter boat through the fjords for a day of glacier viewing and wildlife watching (Orcas, gray whales, sea lions, seals, all kinds of birds, etc). Sunday night we saw a moose with horns (!!!!!) and then on Monday, I boarded a flight back down to mainland US.

4) Northern CA - On Monday, I caught a flight to Seattle and then to San Francisco. I met a coworker there and we drove up through the redwoods to get to our site for launch week. The week was a very stressful one - for a lot of reasons. I was missing NYC, my cat, and Blondie like crazy. And I had reached a point with work where I knew I needed to not travel for a bit. So that Friday, after a long week of dealing with issues onsite, I called my boss and gave my notice.

5) Back to NYC finally - When I gave my notice, I told my boss I didn't want to travel anymore for work in the last 2 weeks. So it was back to NYC for me. I spent the week doing handoff on the remaining projects I had, and making sure everything I had been working on was up to date, and then that was it. I had given a 2 weeks notice, but they said I didn't have to come back for the 2nd week which was really nice of them. It's so weird not having a job, and I'm now actively looking again. I just didn't want to be fat and miserable at my job, and then turn 40 on top of it. I could handle 2 of the 3 but not all 3. It's a mid-life crisis I guess. Since I've quit my job, I've felt pretty good. I've been hitting up the gym like crazy again, cleaning our apartment, taking care of the cat, doing grocery shopping, cut off about 25 feet of hair, just getting my shit in order. It's been cathartic. And I'm grateful that Blondie gave me the go ahead to take some time and just get my head in a good spot again.

6) Miscellaneous - I've been catching up with friends again which has been nice. Not only my bar friends, but I've been able to meet up several times with friends from 2 jobs ago, as well as still seeing friends from this job I just left.

Blondie and I saw "This Is Our Youth" on Broadway for our 11 year anniversary a couple of weeks ago - it's an amazing play, and Kiernan Culkin blew me out of the water. If you live in or plan to be in NYC, I'd 100% recommend it. After the play, we did a dinner at a cajun place in our hood, and were joined by a bar friend for awhile which was nice.

I met up with my girlfriends this past week for a wine night in our hood - I hadn't seen my one friend since England (she just flew back a week ago), and the other friend has been busy cleaning up stuff at her job (she gave notice also and is going to join me on the "what are we doing with our lives" train I'm riding right now). So a good wine night with friends was exactly what was needed.

Blondie and I went to see a friend from 2 jobs ago do a burlesque show this weekend also! I had a blast, Blondie not so much. The actually had a dancer who could make her pasties go in opposite directions - I cheered that girl on like crazy. Blondie preferred the ones who were a little more refined (think dressed like a flapper, a classier strip tease type thing) but I liked the ones that were obviously having fun.

And we're off to Land of Horses, Bourbon and Tobacco next week to see my family again. The horse races are going on so we'll be doing that, as well as just catching up with people, doing a cookout, and I'm sure, playing some cards.

7) Tigga - Tigga now weighs 10.1 lbs!!!! This is HUGE progress from where he was a year ago, and our vet feels like we've turned a major corner and that he is 100% beating the cancer!!! GOOOOO TIGGA!

Recaps are now back. Sorry it took so long to get this post done. I just felt like I needed some time away from my life for awhile.


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