Saturday, May 30, 2015

Fabulous Mediocrity

My husband Jon was once in a conversation with a close friend who was struggling with the disappointment of how his life wasn't turning out the way he'd expect, specifically in regard to purpose and fulfillment. Jon's response was brilliant: he said, yes, it is hard to come to that late 20s/early 30s realization that we hadn't achieved more by now -and it's fine to allow yourself to grieve that loss for a bit- but that actually the only thing wrong was our unrealistic expectations in the first place.
But don't dwell on it for too long at the risk of just becoming a cranky douche. Instead, learn to embrace a life of "fabulous mediocrity." (Jon's exact words) Do the work you need to do to survive with a decent attitude and the rest of the time do your best to tap into whatever makes you happy.

I'll add this point: damned if our well-meaning parents aren't somewhat to blame because of their ultimately deceitful "encouragement" telling us "you can be anything you want." Which is why I tell Coen to go ahead and dream big, but don't get too caught up on the end results. Enjoy the ride!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Urban Hike

Jon wasn't feeling well on Sunday so I took Coen on an all-day field trip in our little city. First we walked to the Irish pub at the one end of the retail district, The Marlay, where we had brunch. Then, after make a brief stop at the Cook's Warehouse for espresso machine cleaner and a tiny cheese grater we were previously unaware we absolutely needed, we made our way up the hill to the main Square.

We knew it was time for a sweet treat so, after much discussion regarding whether to go to our local frozen yogurt place (The Yogurt Tap) or to one of the two ice cream shops, we settled on checking out the flavors at each place to help us decide.

However, the excitement and temptation at the first place overrode our previous logic and we ordered a sundae with one scoop of The Milkiest Milk Chocolate and a scoop of the Ndali Estate Vanilla topped with fresh whipped cream, sprinkles, an equally fancy cherry and served with some Salty Caramel sauce on the side. (I'd like to add that all of this sustainably sourced, natural, small batch awesomeness was only $6.00!)

Afterwards we had to make the obligatory stop at the bandstand gazebo which Coen loves to run around and was happily accompanied by a fellow circle-running and loud-screaming aficionado, a 3 year old named Aubrey.

Once he was worn out I took him to a little boutique and bribed him to be patient using my phone while I browsed. I picked up a pair of jeans and a pair of earrings that are little quotation marks and therefore perfect for me.

We rounded off the day by spending some time at the playground near our house.  All in all our urban hike took about 5 hours and covered maybe 2.5 miles :) And of course we made sure to keep everyone safe the whole time from any bad guys by using Power Ranger karate moves. Both of us.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Here's a sampling of the trips I've had in the our pop-up camper!

We've been to Indian Springs State Park, Georgia Veterans Park in Cordele (where we celebrated my 2nd birthday on the S.A.M. train between Cordele and Plains) and Hard Labor Creek State Park. I'm a happy camper!
The photos here are from Hard Labor as well as a hike along the waterfalls at Cloudland Canyon. I'll have to add other photos as I can get access to them!

Here's a sampling of the trips I've had in the meantime...Random excursions near home

Here are photos from Spring 2011 at a local art show called Artlantis where I enjoyed an orange creamsicle King of Pops popsicle, petted rabbits at Yellow River Game Ranch, a trip to Atlanta's children's museum, "Imaginarium" where I loved the grocery delivery truck, and chowed down on Googie burger fries and milkshake afterward.

And don't forget the manatee painting we bought!

Here's a sampling of the trips I've had in the meantime...May 2011 to Orlando

We went to Sea World, Disneyworld's Magic Kingdom and a dinner show called "Arabian Nights," which featured horse stunts and fun music I danced to with sweet abandon, as seen in the photos below. Other photos are of me and dad in the hotel pool, at Disney watching the Electric Parade, on a carousel, racing on the "Speedway," laughing at the giant Mr. Potato Head at the Toy Story ride, and, finally, totally wiped out in Dad's car.

It has been a while, but I would like to think I've returned to you, my freends, for good.

My personal assistant has been, shall we say, otherwise indisposed for the past, well, way too long. But now that we all officially live in the future, she's able to convey my travel adventures to you via this Blogger app.
Let's get started.
We are on our way home from a Father's Day (weekend) trip to Rolling Waves Cottages in Longboat Key, FL. It was quite relaxing and enjoyable. The weather was perfect and we spent each morning and afternoon at the beach, interrupted only by my midday repose, which was equally enjoyed by my (apparently very sleepy) travel companions. The beach was heavenly; a nearly empty stretch of soft white sand with warm low rolling waves at our feet. The temperature was quite hot but the honored Dad of the Day saved said day with the amazing screened-in tent contraption that he bought. We all easily fit into it with lounge chairs and it made the sand and breeze at least 10 degrees cooler, which made the beach wonderfully do-able for the tan-challenged Mom.

We had breakfast at Dolphin Cafe, Cafe St. Armand & Minnie's Cafe each morning, respectively. The staff at Dolphin were rude but the food was good, the staff at St. Armand were sweet but the food was sad, especially when being choked down on a great terrace in perfect weather on Lido Key. Minnie's in Holmes Beach was darling and easygoing with food that wasn't trying to be anything but yummy.

Our lunches were made at the cottage (hot dogs & BLTs) except for today when I was introduced to the ritual of going to Gennie & Jane E's at the old IGA on Anna Maria Island for lunch on our way out of town. Mom always gets a tuna salad sandwich and a fun little tchotchke, which today was two lawn ornaments made of old plates and saucers to look like flowers.

Dinner the first night was a bit awkward because it was a bit more fancy than we had expected or dressed for. Plus, I was in a slightly "melted" mood after having been in the sun all day and a less-than-stellar nap which really added to our popularity at the restaurant. No matter though because our server was rather enthusiastic about describing each item on the menu with great detail, down to where the orange garnish on Mom's Cosmopolitan came from and that it would be "the sweetest" one she's ever had (Mom reports that while it was very sweet, not THE sweetest. Touché).

Dinner on the second night was neat because the restaurant, MarVista, was right by a dock and we had the luck of seeing a few dolphins playing and jumping in the water! And they were delicious! (I'm chuckling now because you fell for that. Am I too cruel? Please forgive my dark humor!)  While my travel companions unceremoniously slurped their Piña Coladas, I delicately sipped my frozen Mango drink, which was "virgin" because I am a purist and see no need to contaminate my brilliant mind with silly-making spirits. We filled our bellies with fresh fish, oysters, crab legs and mussels and it was so good.

As you've probably gathered, we didn't do much other than play on the beach and eat, which made this Father's Day trip, quite simply, perfect.  Happy Father's Day!

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's been too long mey frieeeeends!

I am so very sorry for being away for so long. I could go on and on about all the reasons why, but let's just say there were new teeth, colds, a birthday and a very unproductive typist involved! But, as so much time has passed and there have a been a few travels since my Mexican adventure, I will try to summarize them into one post.

First, we joined Grandma M, Auntie Mimi and cousins Jon and Sammi for a week in Bonita Beach, FL for Christmas As this was my first Christmas celebration, I was unaware that it is somewhat unusual to spend this holiday at the beach with warm-ish weather. I do not understand this however because we had a lot of fun partaking in what I assume are typical Christmas activities like a mini-golf tournament, evening walks at sunset and going to the pool. Call me crazy, but I really think that all of these would have been much less exciting with cold snow blasting in your face in sub-zero temperatures.

1. Mini-golf is such a snooze.

2. Sammi and her new friend, Brooke, heart the pool.

3. The sand was kind of freaking me out.

4. The sand was still freaking me out.

And then, to top it all off, Santa himself came by our condo asking if we had seen his reindeer! I really wanted him to stay so I could play with his boots (those buckles are so big and shiny!) but i was a good samaritan and pointed him in the right direction.

I saw them very clearly going off that way!

But on to our next Hurrah - which will actually be a schmorgas of my trip to Germany last May ('09) and then my German girlfriend's visit this March ('10). I must start by telling you that the trip Germany, when I was only a mere 4 months old, was not a holiday in the usual sense. We were there to scatter my Guapa Holger's (Grandpa) ashes in a ceremony for his family in Northern Germany. It was a somber time but certainly not without some good days spent with family and friends. We were in Hamburg (Altona), Lübeck (Stockelsdorf) and Schwerin (a former Eastern German city and prior to that, a Royal seat of the region).

The first days were spent with Iso, Achim and my German girlfriend, Helen, who is one month younger than I and about as darling as a girl can be. We liked being driven around the city in our Kinderwagons and hanging out at their flat.

1. Helen is a bit camera shy, so I'm showing her how to ham it up for the photo.

2. Daddies and their wheels!

3. Happy new Mommies

Then we were off to Lübeck to be with my and Holger's family. We spent one day walking around Holger's hometown, Lübeck, and then a day in Schwerin, where gorgeous gardens with many different kinds of flowers and special artist's installations frame the beautiful castle. We were there with Uncle Klaus, Aunt Beate and Uncle Johannes as well as Grandma M, Auntie Mimi and cousin Jon. There was this wonderful thing called a Hüpfkissen (a hopping pillow) that we all jumped on. Well, I wasn't jumping because it was time for my afternoon nap and you know what a stickler I am for keeping my schedule or else I have a big fit and then no one is happy.

1. Don't they look like gingerbread houses? Lübeck from a church tower.

2. Uncles Johannes and Klaus hüpfing it up!

3. Family and flowers make me happy.

4. The Schwerin castle

5. Not only were there amazing flowers, but there was also a tribute to Salzkartoffeln (boiled salt potatoes) that featured the herbs that are typically cooked with the taters.

The next day was one of mixed emotions. We began the morning at Oma Lore and Opa Hans' house with my Dedication ceremony that was performed by long-time family friends and pastors, Mary and Alfred. My travel companions, Mommy and Daddy, made a promise before our family and God to raise me in the Christian church and hopefully lead me to choose to be baptized when I am able to make that decision for myself. The ceremony was done in English by Mary and in German by Alfred, and I was so pleased to share this moment with my German family, so that's pretty special!

1. Pastor Mary & Alfred gave a very nice ceremony.

2. Sharing a moment with Oma HanneLore and Pastor Alfred.

3. It's not a dress, it's a traditional Christening gown and I think I looked rather dapper.

Later we all drove to a small harbor village, Niendorf, on the Baltic and boarded a boat from which we released "Guapa" Holger's ashes in a urn adorned with flowers into the sea. Even though I never had the chance to meet him, I know there will always be a place in my heart that loves and misses him.

((more to come))