nicaragua

Nicaragua is more beautiful than I imagined.
Even standing at the mouth of a volcano.

The juxtaposition between the dark lava rock and bright colors of healthy vegetation and bright blue skies makes for breathtaking views.
And some pretty decent photos too.

Speaking of photos, YBW was getting his photog on like crazy!

In addition to spending time at (the very active) Masaya volcano, we also spent time at the Masaya artisan market.

A place where native artisans sell their wares. I mean, sure there was a great deal of touristy junk, but some of the handmade items were not only gorgeous, but nicely priced too.
There is a huge stage and open area for folkloric shows, and local entertainment.

It was lovely.

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los cabos

Cabo San Lucas.
You hear that name and think Spring Break, right?
And at the cruise port, there is every evidence of a party town. Including a big ass Senor Frog’s.
However, if you go just a few miles away to San Jose del Cabo you’ll be treated to the most precious town square, arts district, mission-turned-church, and a glass factory using only recycled glass.


San Jose missionary church faces the precious Plaza Mijares in the heart of the historic and arts district.

We happened to be in Mexico on November 20th this is Revolution Day.

Children were out of school, and there was a huge parade in this little town. In addition to the kids the fire and police departments were lined up as well as people in authentic time period dress on horseback.
You know, as soon as the kids saw us with our cameras, they were shouting and hamming it up for us to take their photos. So many duck faces and peace signs. Doesn’t matter where you are on the planet, put a bunch of kids in front of a camera, they’re going to show out. Those kids brought me joy.

They only use recycled glass at The Glass Factory.

There is a courtyard chock full of every color glass you can imagine. Apparently, the glass factory waited nearly two years to have enough glass to begin their work.
I’ve been to many a glass blowing shop, and the way they work at The Glass Factory was no different. It was however, more beautiful than many I’ve seen.

We didn’t party in Cabo.
We experienced a beautiful arts district, learned a bit of Mexican history, marveled at blown glass, and stood on the cliffs over looking the sea.
It was a truly lovely day.

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in the city by the bay

YBW and I spent a few days in San Francisco before we set sail for the Panama Canal.

I loved going to Alcatraz (or Azkaban) more than anything else.

We spent six hours on, and covered every inch of the island before cold rain sent us back to the ferry.
I was awestruck by the delicate balance of gorgeous abandoned decay, and living history.
I would go back in a heartbeat, and know without doubt, I’d discover more beauty or learn something new.

Drove across and sailed under this beauty.

We went across the bridge and through the precious city of Sausalito on the way to and from Sonoma and wineries in the surrounding valley.
The ship sailed under at sunset the night we left the city. It was cold and windy af, but absolutely beautiful.

Dragon’s Gate at the southern entrance to Chinatown.

This is looking out toward Bush Street from Grant Avenue, sort of looking out of Chinatown.
We enjoyed beautiful sunshine and warm (upper 50s – low 60s) weather as we spent our Saturday morning in Chinatown. I love wandering though the Chinatown of different cities, even though they’re all very similar, each one has something unique to offer.
YBW found a little hole in the wall for us to have lunch.

I don’t much like Asian food, but I gotta tell you, that was the best damn fried rice I’ve ever eaten.

We left Chinatown (freaking up hill, just like everyplace in San Francisco) headed for Coit Tower.

YBW’s parents honeymooned in San Francisco, and his mom used to tell the story about how she and his dad were ‘kissing in Coit Tower’ and people were commenting on how ‘in love’ they were. (I’m over here like, if folks were talking about it, y’all were straight up making out.) It’s one of my favorite stories, and YBW and I were determined to go to Coit Tower (and kiss) so we could feel connected with his parents.
We were gifted the warmest and sunniest day with which to take in the 360° views of San Francisco.
Something occurred to me as we sat at the base of the tower. (Y’all know I wear the wedding ring my mother wore while she was pregnant with me, and the wedding rings of YBW’s mom from the incident in which the diamond was lost in a soda cooler.) The thought I had was that this may be the first time these rings were in this place since YBW’s parents made out there on their honeymoon over fifty years ago. How precious is that!?!

We stayed at the edge of Washington Square Park in the North Beach area of the city. Out our window was the absolutely gorgeous Saints Peter and Paul Church.

My favorite part of staying near this church was watching parents walk their kids to school each morning.
Another wonderful thing about where we were in North Beach is that it’s also the ‘Little Italy’ part of the city. Y’all! We ate damn yummy pizza, drank gallons of red wine, some seriously perfect gelato, and I had the most stupid-delicious cacio e pepe at Barbara Pinseria and Cocktail Bar.

We walked up Lombard Street. (every single bad word I know, and some I invented on the spot, but you know, in my head because I was too out of breath to speak them)
We grazed our way through the Ferry Building.
City Lights Bookstore was everything I’d hoped for and more.

San Francisco is a strange city.
It rubbed me the wrong way, but I found it interesting, and rather beautiful.
I loved the architecture. And the plant life.
And I enjoyed experiencing it with my beloved.

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a surprising lack of expectations

Is it natural to take stock when one year ends and another begins?
Perhaps.
Is it simply a social construct?
Probably.

Regardless, in addition to bearing witness to others, I find myself considering events and conducting examinations of self as I move into the first few days of the new year.

When considering 2019, here’s what stands out for me:
Baby K
finishing my degree
my September ‘epiphany’
three weeks away with YBW

As I shift my focus to what’s ahead in 2020, I’m excited to see what the year brings. Interestingly enough, I find myself open to whatever comes with a surprising lack of expectations. (That’s today, be sure to check back to see how that changes.)
To be perfectly honest, I find it absolutely freeing!
No real expectations. What might that look like?
I’ll teach.
I’ll read.
I’ll write.
I’ll be creative in other ways.

Of course, I’m waiting to hear if I’ve been accepted into the graduate program.
Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K are planning a move to Virginia.
YBW and I intend to purchase a new home in the later part of the coming year.
Anniversaries of birth for people I love.
Shoot days.
Theater tickets.
Dinners with friends.
Uneventful days, and days chock so full it’s nearly too much.
Adventures great and small.

I’m smart enough to know better than to ask 2020 to ‘bring it!”.
But feel completely comfortable saying, “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”
Because I have hope.
Because I am of open of mind and heart.
And let’s be real, that’s the best way to walk into anything.

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so I did a thing

So I did a thing…

This is my grad school application.

I feel excited, panicky, and a little bit barfy.
I’ve been so sure of my choice, but the moment I paid the fee and clicked submit I had a little questionable moment.

I’m almost positive I’m ready…but just in case the current anxiety is real, I secretly told myself I don’t have to start the program just because I was accepted.

I don’t really need the out, but it eased me enough to move on to getting after the next thing.

I am excited! I’m also nervous about such a big and serious undertaking.
My suspicion is that it’s normal to feel all the feels.

Stay tuned, y’all.

Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

joy and gratitude

I know this time of year is tricky.
For some it’s a straight up ‘hard no’.
For others, it’s emotionally painful.
Yet, there are some folks for which this truly is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
I am one of those folks.
I love Christmastime with a fiery vengeance!
Even the moments when I was in full on panic mode when we first got home from our trip, I still loved the holidays. I mean, I freaked out and declared I wasn’t going to decorate this year, but that was travel (and laundry) fatigue talking.
I was out the very next day, saw a bright red Jeep with a tree tied to the top and I was instantly in full on Christmastime mode!

As I consider my holiday joy, I find a great deal of gratitude.
Please indulge me as I share my gratitude and joy with you.

bucket list trip checked
three glorious weeks away with my husband
gorgeous weather in Costa Rica

outstanding customer service
not living in Panama City
strong black coffee
first hand knowledge of how lock systems work before entering the Panama Canal
cocktails
an absolutely delightful lounge act (And he played our song!)
my precious husband drinking wine on the balcony all Thanksgiving day
City Lights Bookstore

YBW’s sense of humor
reading books
having my pillow on vacay
meeting new people
finding the most perfect hand carved nativity in Cartagena
stunning sunsets

photo cred: YBW

my laundry machines
sleeping in my own bed
coca cola
YBW’s patience
talking on the phone with Baby K
extremely detailed sub plans
with YBW on a blanket on the floor by the Christmas tree and fireplace
decorating
shopping
wrapping
trees on cars
hugging Holly
movies with YBW (Knives Out)
a play and dinner with Mike and Josie
being with Thing 2 Friday
being with Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K Sunday
holiday music
two of my three alternative healthcare providers
monogrammed rain boots
heated steering wheel

I feel absolutely merry and bright!

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welcome home

It’s been a month and two days since I boarded a plane to California.
I missed y’all!

Here’s what I haven’t done since returning home thirteen days ago.
Write.
Read any of your blog posts.
Organize and/or edit my photos from the trip.
(All in good time, my little pretties, all in good time.)

Here’s what I have done since returning home thirteen days ago.
Laundry. So. Much. Laundry.
Miscellaneous unpacking.
Put away laundry.
Decorate for the holidays. (We’re low-key Christmasy this year, just enough to feel festive. Not typical balls to the wall Christmasy, mostly because I won’t be here for Christmas this year and YBW isn’t quite as big a freak as I am when it comes to the holidays.)
Shop. For groceries. For gifts.
Wrap gifts.

Cook. (all the things)
Teach.
Address Christmas cards.
One amazing social outing with friends to a show and dinner.

I was feeling terribly overwhelmed, but once I was able to get Christmasy I began to settle down.
I was in a strange place in which on thing must finish before the next thing can start. Normally, I can multitask like a boss. I think it was that feeling of being behind the eight ball, coming home it’s already December, I’ll be gone the week of actual Christmas, that kind of thing.
Traveling is exhausting!
Not the actual trip portion (that was truly magnificent…stay tuned), but the coming home. The day we traveled home nearly did me in. Good Lord, I was so happy to sleep in my own bed!

But now, the stockings are hung, the tree trimmed, and a handful of baby Jesuses around the house.
I’m ready for Christmas.

I leave Friday for Thing 2, we’ll spend a couple of Christmasy days together, brunch and girlie hotel weekend style, before I continue on to Thing 1’s on Sunday. It’s the first night of Hanukkah, Baby K’s first! I’ll be there before sundown, I have to be, I have the menorah candles!

I’m overjoyed to be with my girls at Christmastime! And even though she doesn’t really get it, I’m thrilled to be with Baby K for her first holiday season!
After starting at a new company in September, and being away for three weeks in November, YBW has no available leave. Though he’s disappointed to miss Baby K’s first Christmas, he knows we have many more to come. I’m sad to be away from him at Christmas, but we’ve got a plan to celebrate when I come home.
Even making our annual pilgrimage to the Cathedral for the creche exhibit. And our hearts are content.

In the meantime, here’s what I have to do before Friday.
Laundry.
Pack. (say it ain’t so)
Teach.
Fuel my car.

May your days be merry and bright, because mine sure are!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 52

I’ve written before how much I adore Brendan Benson’s music.
Here’s a Raconteurs song I especially love.
Check out Steady As She Goes.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 51

Each time I hear this song, I love it just a little bit more.
Check out Peach Fuzz by Caamp.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

bon voyage

YBW and I are at the airport waiting for our flight.

Can you guess which coffee is which?
I’ll give you a hint…I don’t take cream.

We just arrive at the gate.
I’m going to journal for a hot second then crack open the first book. He’s going for a walk.

I’m going to miss all y’all! Plesse try not to do anything terribly interesting while I’m gone!
See you in three weeks! ❤

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