Crazy Things Have Been Happening!

Its been a while since my last post…..Life turned crazy! A good brutal crazy!

Crazy Event #1: I decided to start looking for a different job…. So I have been working with kids for

In Front of Mooseheart

In Front of Mooseheart

about 4 years now, through the Peace Corps and through my employment at Mooseheart Child City and School. Now I will admit that I loved both of those jobs. Kids fill your life with the unexpected every day, and I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t admit that I had grown attached to the kids I worked with. There were even times while talking with family about my work that I referred to them at ‘my kids.’  So as I mentioned in previous posts I am seeing a wonderfully brutal man. (I might have to think of a new nickname for him…he might have took offense to the previous one…hahaha) Anyhow my job caused major restrictions on having a personal life. I am 31 years old, never married, and I have no  kids….. yeah a personal life seems like a good thing to have. So my job at Moosheart required to me live where I worked. I worked basically 24 hours a day for 5 days a week. Now I was allowed to sleep, but you are on-call while you sleep. My days off during the week were generally 2 consecutive days and they were generally on Thursday and Friday. Now that doesn’t seem too bad. Being off on Thursdays allowed me to go line-dancing with the girls, and I got to see the boyfriend on Friday, but with having to be back to work early Saturday morning lat

e nights out were not an option which limited us basically to staying in and watching TV… Though we are quite enjoying watching Game of Thrones and Modern Family together! 🙂 After a lot of thought and struggling over what was the right thing to do…. because I was basically going to leave kids after having built a relationship with them, and that is hard on the kids as well… In the end I decided that if I were going to give my boyfriend a

nd my relationship a fair chance, and if I were going to get back into the workforce at normal office hours so I can have a stable routine, Now, at 31 years old, was the time to do it. So I went for it and started the job hunt. I blasted my resume out on Monster and Careerbuilder, but all of the jobs I saw on there were generic and most of them didn’t tell too much about the company. Though I wanted to get back to having normal office hours, I still wanted to work for a company that was helping people in some way, shape, or form. Then my friend told me about idealist.org. I had never heard of it before, but it basically is a site that lists jobs, internships, and volunteer positions available with non-profit organization and the like. Their mission statement says: “Idealist is all about connecting idealists – people who want to do good – with opportunities for action and collaboration.”  I read that and was like, “How freaking cool is that! A job board right up my alley.”

The Subaru is All packed!

The Subaru is All packed!

So I started to look and the postings were amazing. So much going on in the world and opportunities to get your foot in them. I applied for jobs in the Chicago area for jobs as an Administrative Assistant. About a week after applying I started getting calls for phone interviews! I didn’t expect everything to go so quickly. I had an awesome phone interview where they asked me to come in for an in person interview the next week. That interview went so amazingly well! I left there saying, “I crushed it!” The of course gave me the whole, “We will finish interviewing this week and inform the applicant we choose by the end of next week.” So I waited in anticipation to hear that I got the job that I desperately wanted!!! While I was having breakfast on the next Wednesday (5 days after my interview) I got an email with a job offer contract in it! I was so excited. Of course I accepted it! Then the hard part came…. telling my boss and the kids that I was putting in my notice. The kids were really upset and my boss was completely confused. I felt really bad.  Then the next hardest thing was packing up all of my crap and moving in with friends. I hate packing and moving! And I had over 2 years of stuff that I had accumulated while working at Mooseheart that I need to go through and purge. That sucked! I threw away a lot of stuff and donated even more. Finally I packed up my little Subaru Impreza to the max and got friends to help me get everything out. I will admit that I cried as I drove off campus.

Crazy Event # 2I go on a road trip to Colorado…. The boyfriend has been entertaining that idea of taking a job transfer to Colorado. Neither one of us had ever been to Colorado, so we decided that we should take a trip out there to see what it was like. And neither one of us ever does anything the easy way, so we decided that it would be a GREAT! idea to drive! all 16 hours. I love trips! I get so excited that I have a hard time sleeping the night before. Steven (the boyfriend) didn’t know that about me…though I did warn him that I would probably wake up early. I was up at 4:00am and gently started to nudge him…. he opened an eye and mumbled something about me needing to go back to sleep… at which point I started jumping on the bed and shaking him… I became an annoying 5 year old! I even ran and turned on the light…. He might have definitely yelled at me at the point… I laughed and turned the light back off, but the damage had already been done!!!! He was awake! (I won). So we got dressed, packed the car, made sure that Slayer (the cat) had plenty of food and water, and we were on our way! 16 Hours! That includes us stopping for gas and food, but still. That is a long time to be driving in a car… In hindsight it might have been better to break the trip into 2 days, but we didn’t really have the time for that because I was started my new job on the 1st of June and it was the 27th when we left for Colorado. The first night in Denver we just ate and went to bed. I was passed out drooling before Steven even finished saying good night. The next day we decided to explore downtown Denver. We had so much fun. I had done a little of my Type Awesome researching, and found a few things I wanted to get pictures of and places I definitely wanted to go. So there is a huge blue bear peaking into the Convention Center Windows. Totally cool! I also wanted to picture in front on Union Station just because it was a ‘touristy’ thing to do! 🙂 I also found a place called Voodoo Doughnut that I really wanted to go to because their Doughnuts looked amazing, and they had a captain crunch one that I HAD TO TRY!!!! There was also a Brewing Company that I found called TRVE that I wanted to go to because I love craft beer and Steven loves Heavy Metal…. so a heavy metal brewing company sounded awesome! We decided to try a local diner for breakfast, I believe it was named ‘Doug’s’. It was amazing! I had a breakfast bowl full of potatoes, eggs, veggies, gravy, and other sauces I don’t even know what

Breakfast at Doug's

Breakfast at Doug’s

they were… but all together is was like heaven in a bowl! It was a great way to start our Colorado adventure. So we got to downtown Denver…..after I got us a bit lost, and we started walking around. It was awesome. They even had a free bus that took you up and down the main street mall. We saw a lot of things and I was not disappointed seeing the big blue bear and Union Station. I love doing touristy things. We didn’t make it to Voodoo Doughnut the first day but we were able to get to it on the way out of town (More on that later in this section). In the evening, before meeting an old coworker of Steven’s, we went to Trve Brewing Company, and it was better than anything I had imagined. Steven loved it too! The atmosphere was completely relaxed, dark, and you felt right at home. They had a HUGE long table to sit at, and the bartenders were awesome. Steven and I both tried one of their in house craft beers called Whiskey Funeral.  From the moment they Bartender put the bottle in front of me I was in

Hanging out at Trve

Hanging out at Trve

love. Then I tried it, and OMG! It was so smooth! Now I love a whiskey/bourbon barrel beer….this blew anything I have ever tried out of the water. It was 11.4% and went down like water. By the end of one bottle my nose and lips had started to go numb (of course I am a light weight and I hadn’t eaten anything). It was a good night! Buzzed off of one beer…..I am a cheap date.  The next day Steven and I decided to drive an hour and a half to go to Colorado Springs. We heard there were good trails and hiking, so we just wanted to see the area… and Steven wouldn’t be Steven if he didn’t have a plan for running. So of course we went to a park to run. When we got there we started to doing a few sprints to warm up and then we took off on our run….. I died. Breathing was so difficult, those ‘hills’ were murderous, and I blew out my knee going downhill.  The only satisfaction I got from that run was seeing that Steven wasn’t exactly happy with how his run went either. 🙂 (Misery might love a little company.) We tried to go to a couple of other parks like 7 Falls, but they were closed and not due to open until the next week.  That was a bummer. We ended up going to another area to do a scenic railway tour but we missed the damn train and it was the last train of the day. That sucked. So we explored to cute little town that was at the base of that mountain, had lunch, and then headed back to Denver. It was not the most successful of trips, but we had a good time together. We had planned on leaving Colorado on

Swimming in Style

Swimming in Style

Sunday morning, but the more we talked and thought about everything, with my job starting on Monday morning we figured it would be better to head back on Saturday….. well Steven decided that. imageWe started to morning getting our exercise… Steven went for a run and I went swimming. Then we checked out and started back.  We stopped downtown on the way out so I could FINALLY go to Voodoo Doughnut. The line was out the door, but I was content to wait! I got 4 doughnuts, a Captain my Captain (Captain Crunch), Dirt (cookies & Cream), Memphis Madness (Peanut butter & chocolate on a banana fritter), and a Diablo (chocolate cake doughnut with chocolate frosting and a pentagram design) for my brutally metal boyfriend. 4 doughnuts came to a little under $10… That Memphis madness fritter broke the bank at almost $5. Then we started our drive home. What a CRAPPY DRIVE! I got pulled over in Nebraska for speeding. I was going 86 in a 75 zone.  That cost me $123, and I was as sweet as can be. So after I cried and got pissed off that I had gotten a speeding ticket Steven took over driving cause of course I was then going under the speed limit, and he looked like someone was torturing him as he kept leaning over to glance at the speedometer. So Steven took over and then he got pulled over in Iowa for going 80 in a 70 zone…. He came back with a freaking WARNING! I was so pissed. He laughed and I didn’t talk to him for an hour. Our terrible drive home finally ended at 4:15am. We ate a little snack and then passed out.

Crazy Event # 3: I started my new job…. So I got an email a few days before I started my new job, from my new boss. He informed me that they were moving offices, so that I would not be reporting to the building I had interviewed in…… Great. Now I had no idea where the hell I was heading. I

Bathroom Selfie in my New Outfit

Bathroom Selfie in my New Outfit

immediately started to have an anxiety attack because I don’t know downtown Chicago, the loop, or any of that nonsense. I was imagining myself getting lost and being late my first day on the job. Not to mention that parking in the city is stupid expensive and I hate driving in traffic… so driving to work was not going to happen. So I frantically started looking up how to take the metra train in to Union Station and how to walk from there to the new address. Steven assured me that I would be fine and even took me shopping

Relaxing after work

Relaxing after work

for a new outfit for work to help calm my soul (retail therapy is amazing!). They first day of work was awesome. I like the new office space… it very open and bright. I have an amazing view from my desk. We are on the 21st floor. So COOL! The people I work with are laid back and fun. Everyone is helpful. I feel like I have made the right decision and choosing this place to work. Thus far I am very happy.  Another great thing about changing jobs is that at the end of the day I got HOME. I do not think about work. I am done until 8:30am the next morning. I go home and I get to have a glass of wine (there was absolutely no alcohol allowed on campus at Mooseheart), and sit in the hot tub or watch TV. Just being able to unwind from the day and start fresh in the morning is an amazing thing!

 

View from my desk

View from my desk

Crazy Things I want to Get Started:

I am the type of person who is never content to sit idle. I always want to be trying new things, and now that we are halfway through 2015 (how crazy is that!?!?), and my life is going I. A. Ew and exciting direction – I want to start adding different elements into my routines.

1. YouTube Channel…. Want to talk about all of the things that make up my brutally blissful life…. Kind of an echo to this blog.

2. Add more elements to this blog…. Product reviews, planning craziness (I love planners), book reviews, etc. Maybe even cooking adventures.

3. Starting an Erin Condren Life Planner….. I have been coveting the life planner for about a year. I think I am ready to take the plunge and get one. I also want to try my hand at creating stickers, dashboards, and accessories for it. I LOVE being crafty. I would of course put tutorials and views on my YouTube channel.

4. More outdoor adventures. Now that it’s summer it’s time to get out and see things and take lots and lots of pictures…. Maybe even start a brutal bliss Instagram account!

So those are just a few ideas. If any of you have suggestions please feel free to share the with me.  I also want to revamp the layout of the blog and make it more personalized. So I will be figuring that out shortly.

I will keep everyone posted on how these things are coming along.

More Pictures from Colorado:

Bear Outside the Convention Center

Bear Outside the Convention Center

Union Station

Union Station

Whiskey Funeral Bottle

Whiskey Funeral Bottle

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Holy Crap! Where does time go!

SO I swear it doesn’t feel like its been that long since I have posted, but apparently my last post was before I started this amazing job! How can that be.

Life is pretty good for me.  I am loving my job. My kids (the boys I am taking care of) stress me out and give me a hard time, but Its worth every second. I mean just today, It took me over an hour to get them to complete their chores correctly! And I even heard myself saying things like, “Just do it and get it over with,” or if you don’t get it done before you leave this morning you will be in trouble when you get home!”  Oh isn’t motherhood grand! And I didn’t even need to have my own kids to experience this joy!

We have had some good times. I have done a lot of cooking and baking for them, and they love it. We all took a trip to Wisconsin Dells, and not too long ago we took a 12 day trip to Pennsylvania to visit Moose Lodges and show our appreciation to them for their continued support. That was a long drive, and long trip, but a wonderful time (even though my kids insist that I went crazy and was mean).

The campus I live on is absolutely beautiful, and every day it worth going out to take a walk… well today its raining, so that isn’t going to happen. 🙂  here are so pictures of the time I have had thus far.

With one of my kids, Akim

With one of my kids, Akim

@ Wisconsin Dells

@ Wisconsin Dells

Out and about in PA

Out and about in PA

Detour!

Detour!

Photo Bombed!

Photo Bombed!

Gone Caving

Gone Caving

I have had a great time thus far, and have had some not good great times, but those are few and far between. If the weather clears up soon I will take pictures of this beautiful campus and the church with its breath taking windows.

I am back in the swing of blogging again. I have started a raw food diet that has me blogging here. I am Trying to lose some of this weight I have packed on since returning back to the States. Hopefully it goes well.

So again, I am sorry for my disappearance, and hopefully you will see much more of me here.

 

 

 

 

 

Next Stop…. Boston

The beginning of December was pretty awesome! I got the opportunity to accompany my grandfather to Boston. He had a conference to go to, and I was going to play the tourist. 🙂 I had never been to Boston before and was totally excited to go. I called Andy and made plans for him to arrive shortly after I did so we could spend time together. It was the first time I was able to see him since I left Indonesia, and I deeply missed my traveling buddy…even if one of our last trips together had me hiking up a mountain because Andy refused to pay the driver the extra money he was trying to get from us…. But I have promised to let that whole incident go…. but if you want to know more about it read the post, “And Your Point Was?” here.

Anyhow a flight at the butt crack of dawn got my grandfather and I into Boston by 2:30pm. Andy arrived at 3:30pm leaving him and I most of the day to catch up and do what we do best…. EAT! Our first stop was to the grocery store to get snack for the hotel room, and then we ventured out for dinner. We ended up on the T-Train and went in to ChinaTown to a dumpling house. The restaurant was pretty small and jammed packed with people… Andy and I had to wait for 20 minutes in between tables with people eating because there was no waiting area. We finally got to sit and eat and ordered a table full of food! Our dinner consisted of Udon Soup with chicken dumplings, pan friend noodles with vegetables, Pork Dumplings, and amazingly HUGE chicken wings (that tasted like duck for some reason). Everything was amazing! We had dishes stacked on top of each other because there was not enough room for all of the food we ordered and our bill was less than $40 for 4 plates of food and hot tea. Sweet! We ended the night by watching “A Christmas Story.”

Andy and Me About to get on the T

Andy and Me About to get on the T

Dinner in ChinaTown

Dinner in ChinaTown

The next day Andy and I made out to the Sam Adams Brewery for a late morning Tour… which apparently ended with a beer tasting. So at 11:30am after learning about how they make beer, Andy and I had started consuming. It was pretty awesome.

Beer Tasting

Beer Tasting

We left the brewery with a light buzz to go have lunch with a friend of mine from college, Matt Sanders. Matt and I have been friends since our Freshman year in college when we lived on the same floor. We had lunch at a Kabob place that also pretty amazing. After lunch and a stroll down memory lane with Matt, Andy and I left to take a walk to Boston Common. The weather was FREEZING but it was still gorgeous out. The buildings were breath-taking, the fountains were beautiful, and our walk was relaxing. There was an iceskating rink at Frog Pond, and the swan boats were closed due to the cold weather, but the bridge was still beautiful. There were huge geese in the water, and one of them decided to follow Andy and I over the bridge.  Later that night we went to Quincy Market to meet up with friends of Andy for dinner. Quincy Market was all light up with Christmas lights, and every half-hour the lights would blink in time with the Christmas music that was playing. Andy and I sat outside in the cold watching the lights for a little bit. After our fingers grew numb we went into some of the shops where Andy and I found the most awesome thing ever…. Dinosaur Knee High Socks! We both agreed that I needed them!  For dinner we went into The North End (Little Italy) for pizza and then finished our meal at Mike’s Pastries with some freakin’ awesome Cannoli pastries. I had an Amaretto Cannoli and it blew my socks off!

Pretty Scene

Pretty Scene

Bridge in the Gardens

Bridge in the Gardens

Quincy Market

Quincy Market

The next day Andy had to head back home since he had to work the following day. Before he left we made it out to Cambridge to check out the Harvard campus. It was a pretty campus, and the red brick buildings reminded me a lot of where I went to college. We made into COOP to buy souvenirs… I got an awesome pair of sweatpants and a key Chain.

Fun at Harvard

Fun at Harvard

Afterwards I said my goodbyes to Andy and then headed to meet Matt for dinner. We also ended up meeting up with another friend from college who also lived on the same floor as us Freshman year, Sarah Quinn and her new husband.  We had a great time and it was wonderful to catch up with them after not having seen them since we graduated.

Sarah, Matt, and Me

Sarah, Matt, and Me

My last day in Boston was reserved for quality time with my grandfather. He took me out walking and showed me all of the sites that I had missed. It decided to rain the whole day, but we didn’t let that stop us. He took me see the site of the Boston Massacre, we walked the Freedom Trail, I saw the house in which he used to live, and walked up Beacon Hill. We went back to Boston Common and walked over to the Bull and Finch Pub where the TV show Cheers was filmed. That was pretty awesome since I used to watch that show with my mother when I was younger.

Me and My Grandfather

Me and My Grandfather

Freedom Trail

Freedom Trail

Site of the Boston Massacre

Site of the Boston Massacre

I was only in Boston for 4 days, but they were definitely 4 fully packed days. I had a blast and I have to say that Boston is definitely a place I would love to visit again. Maybe in the Spring or Summer where I will be able to see and do more. Boston is a Gorgeous City that should be on everyone’s list of places to travel at least once.

Make Way for Ducklings

Make Way for Ducklings

Cityscape

Cityscape

Trip To Savannah, Georgia

Being better again has many perks. I am up and walking, I could burn my wheelchair and cane if I wanted to!, I can stand long enough now to cook again, and I can sit long enough now to travel.

As some of you may already know, I love to travel. I love to see places that I never have been. They could be amazingly awesome places or just humble towns. It doesn’t really matter to me because every trip is a learning experience and another place you can say “Oh! I have been there!”

The first trip after my surgery was to Savannah, Georgia. Tybee Island to be exact. I have been wanted to go to Savannah for YEARS…. actually it was ever since I saw the movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” (Yes, I let movies influence my life that much… You are looking at a woman who picked her college after watching “Remember the Titans.” My family still makes fun of me for it.) Anyhow, my wonderful Uncle and Aunt presented the opportunity for me to see Savannah and Tybee Island when they came up with the genius idea to have Thanksgiving there this year. The idea was to have a relaxed, low key, holiday to regroup and enjoy each others company. And it proved to be just the ticket! We were in a cozy cottage and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to relax and get my head together after all that had happened over the past year.

Cottage

Cottage

Though before we departed for Savannah I decided to put together a goodie basket for my hosts to say thank you for inviting me on a much needed vacation. I ended up making homemade apple butter, pink popcorn, peanut butter fudge, chocolate caramel sauce, orange honey butter, garlic herb butter, and apple cheddar biscuits. The kitchen was a mess by the time I finished, but all of the food was a great hit, especially the fudge. I will be blogging the recipes on my craft blog here. (If you look and they are not there…. have some patience with me. They are coming soon! I promise.)

Pink Popccorn

Pink Popccorn

Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge

My first long car ride after my surgery went pretty well. I wore that horrid back brace contraption thing I was supposed to wear, and made the trip in relatively good shape. Tybee Island was GORGEOUS and quiet. I got to see all of my cousins and my Aunt and Uncle which made me the happiest I had been in a very long time. My cousins are all super active and we had a great time freezing and playing soccer on the beach (I didn’t play too much since my mobility was still a bit limited), going on a nature hike, and going into downtown Savannah to the River Front to shop and have lunch.

My Cousins and Me

My Cousins and Me

Downtown Savannah was beautiful! It was so nice to see all of the gorgeous statues and gardens. The riverfront was also nice. It was full of shops and restaurants. I discovered a store called The Savannah Bee Company! OMG. That is really all I can say about it. There are tons of different types of honey to try, lotions, lip balm, soap, candles, and much more made from Bees wax. I got some amazing hand lotion and lip balm that I now cannot live without! If you haven’t tried the Savannah Bee Company’s products, you should see if you can find it somewhere! The water was gorgeous and there were amazing ships out on the water.

Ship

Ship

Statue

Statue

The nature hike was also amazing. I love seeing animals be it at the zoo or what have you. I always want to take pictures and get as close as possible to them. We were able to see wolves, bald eagles, bobcats, a baby raccoon that was taunting the bobcats on the other side of the fence, lots of sheep and other farm animals, cranes, etc. It was a wonderful 2 mile hike and I had a really good time.

Baby Raccoon

Baby Raccoon

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

All in all, Savannah and Tybee Island was an amazing getaway and I would definitely visit again. If you have never had a change to visit and you are looking for a relaxing time away from the troubles of life.. I highly recommend it. 🙂

Sunset

Savannah Sunset

The God Seuss

So a few things have happened since my last post….  The first being that I have finally be approved the appropriate number of times by the Department of Labor to have my surgery (Don’t ask me what number approval we are one now). YAY! So that is scheduled for October 22nd. In the mean time I have to be sure to get all of my pre-operative testing done, like blood work, Chest X-Rays, and EKG. FUN! And…. the rumor is that I will need to sit through a session and class with the anesthesiologist…. What I will learn I am not quite sure.. I have the basics down… don’t  eat after midnight the night before your surgery because you will barf, they re gonna stick a needle in my arm and I will proceed to fall asleep in mid sentence and then wake up drooling on myself after my surgery is over. What else do I need to know!? I guess I will find out.

I also have started a new blog. This one is for my crafting endeavors. Lets hope that I do enough crafts to post about. I have a knitting post up now and a product review.  You can view the blog here. Also please feel free to follow it and tell EVERYONE you know.. That’s right, I am not above shameful self promotion.

Speaking of promotion! I decided to buy my brother-in-law a birch box. If you don’t know what this is, it is a box of product samples. Higher end samples. (I will do a review on mine when /if it ever gets here.) They have made one for Men too! So I told him that he had a do a review on what he got. The box had to of been filled with the most inappropriate items for a sister-in-law to get.  You can read this hilarious post entitled “Best Underwear EVA” here. (No joke, I almost peed myself).

Moving on… I have been a bit stressed out lately. Just a lot of going stir crazy and not really knowing where life is gonna lead me after this surgery happens. I can try to reapply to Peace Corps. There is no guarantee that I would be allowed to go back in, but there is a part of me that feels like my traveling days aren’t over yet. My best friend also threw out the option of having some place to stay in Chicago if I wanted to start over and look for a job up there. That is a very good option too, and one I would be forever grateful for. So this is where I am at! Where do I go? What is the better option? Is it time to stop traveling and finally set down roots here in the States? Get a “real person” job and maybe find someone who wants to put up with my emotional butt on a permanent basis? Or should I try again to see parts of the world I thought never to go to? AAAAAHHHHH!

SO the stress! My Goodness the stress. My brain just goes in a circle and its a bit overwhelming.  Then I learned something. DR. Seuss helps stress! No joke. So I was just on the verge of pulling out all of my nappy head snarls when my mother suggested we watch the LORAX. I have been wanting to watch it for a long time, and hadn’t gotten the chance while I was in Indonesia…. (imagine that). It was like I was a little kid again transported into a magical land. The colors in the moving were AMAZING and I was instantly drawn in. I laughed AND I cried. It was soooo GOOD.  A few days later I was walking through the store and I saw Dr. Seuss pajama pants! ON SALE! Well how could I not get them with all of their magical healing qualities that I knew they possessed. So I bought them, went home, put them on, and….. thats right, I watched the Lorax again. And it was sooo much better as I wore my new Yertle the Turtle pajama pants!  I started to feel myself unwind and laugh. Dr. Seuss is some form of Emotional Goodness God!

I still have a huge decision to make, and a lot of emotional wanderings to sift though, but I am feeling so much better and calmer thanks to Dr. Seuss and The Lorax.   If you have not seen this movie (Whether you have children or not) I will definitely say go out and get it or rent it from iTunes or the Google Play store. It is worth your time.

Back in America

So the past few weeks have been one unexpected thing after another… and the icing on the cake was me being medically evacuated because the injury to my back took a turn for the worst and my ability to walk was becoming more and more impaired. I apparently have two herniated discs that are severely pressing on the never in my spinal column… which is affecting the use of my whole left side. So after 36 hours of traveling and layovers I am now back in Florida with my family.  The goal is to have surgery, physical therapy, and return to full recovery in 3-6 months. Then I will return to Indonesia to complete my service.  I am currently waiting to hear back from the surgeon about an appointment to go over my MRIs and get a game plan going.

Being home is completely strange. I am loving seeing my family, but I am completely out of touch with everything. Its funny how amazing things seem to me right now…. The most was the Krups coffee maker that is in the kitchen. Does it get any better than that?  I am still dealing with not knowing which side of the road I am supposed to be on (its a good thing no one will let me drive), and major jet lag, but I think I will get the hang of everything in time.

I forgot how much I missed toaster ovens, microwaves, pantries of ready to eat food, and hot showers! I feel like I am on vacation at a 5 star resort!

So I will keep everyone posted on the progress to all of this and will start photo journaling my recovery…. (maybe.. if i don’t look too terrible after my surgery).

Last Outing

At the moment I am listening to my ‘Best of the 80‘s’ playlist… Should I be ashamed that I am rocking out to ‘Footloose’? Definitely. But I am gonna own it and admit that after that I am totally going to sing ‘Keep Me Hanging On’ while dancing around my room. You know you want to join in.  (Oh incidentally, they are remaking the movie ‘Footloose’ and morbid curiosity is going to make me watch it! If anyone wants to admit to seeing it, please tell me how wonderfully terrible it is. I can only hope that Kevin Bacon is somewhere in that movie!)

So on to the good stuff….Vacation… I love vacation! This vacation was particularly special. I went to Yogyakarta and didn’t do anything. It was an amazing experience. I slept, ate, walked a bit, slept, and ate some more. There was no rush to get anywhere. It was absolutely wonderful. But besides being able to bask in my laziness, it was also special because it was the last time that Andy and I would be able to have one of our infamous outings. Andy and I decided to take the train to Yogyakarta because it takes about half of the than the bus and is a lot more comfortable. We met at the station at 8:30 for our 9:30 train. We sat, talked, and watched the trains come in and out. We tried to listen to the announcements on the loudspeaker but listening to announcements that sounds like a drive thru intercom system (only in Indonesian) made it impossible to really know what was going on. A train came in at about 9:00 and we looked at it, looked at our watches, and continued talking. Then our train came in and we got on it. As we boarded and made our way to our seats we noticed a couple in our seats. Upon talking to the porter and couple we found out that the train we watched pull in and leave at 9:00 was the one we were supposed to be on. YAY!

Me: Why is it always something when we travel together!?

Andy: At least we can’t say traveling together is dull.

So we missed our train and needed to find a new way to get where we were going. Andy is very charming and was able to get us on a train 2 hours later, but we would have to sit in the workers section. We took it and then wasted two hours having lunch. Our ride in the workers section was hot as can me. We were dripping in sweat by the time we got to our destination. But we got there… which was the important thing.

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. We walked through markets and ate street food. On one of our afternoon walks Andy stopped short:

Andy: There is a Rasta shop!

Me: Where?

Andy: Over there! We are so going in!

Me: We are?

With that Andy led the way in. We were greeted by a Indonesian with dreadlocks (that was the first for me).  A plethora of hemp shoes, pot leaf stickers, and Bob Marly T-shirts and CDs greeted us when we walked in. Andy saw these huge hats and convinced me that I needed one

Andy: You need a hat! Its big enough to fit your fro in!

So we tried on hats and finally picked one and proceeded to walk around Indonesia in a heavy knitted hat. Brilliant.

We also got real coffee and donuts, found a place to get pasta and ice cream, sat in our room and looked out the window, and listened to terrible songs that made us laugh: “I’m sexy and I know it” and “Peacock”while we played cards and backgammon. I mopped up the floor with Andy in one game of Backgammon and then I lost every game after that.

And I proceeded to sing “I’m sexy and I know it” every day while taking a shower.

Andy: You are ridiculous Angela!

Me: Don’t playa hate!

Andy: I think that was the most ghetto you have ever been…

Me: Yeah, it didn’t feel right at all! I kinda feel dirty now.

It was a wonderfully low key vacation, and I am very sad that it is over. Andy goes back to the States in 3 and 1/2 weeks and I am going to miss him dearly. Who else am I going to have disastrous travel experiences or eating adventures with?