Last week I had the special chance to attend the D23 Expo in Anaheim California. This is a biannual event that showcases all things Disney. You can see all the … Continue reading Disneyland Rachel-Style
For many years my Dad has loved going down to Central Utah to ride his dirt bike motorcycles and ATVs with his friends over the rough terrain. Last year he bought a property for camping and such that he deemed as ‘Adventure Acres’. He loves going down there and getting away from the stresses of life which I can certainly appreciate.
That said, it’s never had much appeal to me because there is no lake, beach or river to swim in and I’m not interested in motorcycles or ATVs at all. I also don’t like to camp if it can be helped and red rock scenery is pretty but not my favorite.
Nevertheless, almost my entire family including all 5 of my nieces were going down to Adventure Acres for the 4th weekend so I decided to finally check it out. It’s still not my cup of tea but I had a good time spending time with my family.
The only frustrating part of the weekend for me was dealing with the slow internet connection at the hotel because my friend Jonathan and I recorded our podcast on the Doctor Who finale and it took 2 days to upload! You certainly do become grateful for high speed internet when you are away from it. That’s for sure!
Capitol Reef is not as splashy as Grand Canyon or Bryce with it all feeling like a small town but it still is beautiful and a lot of fun to visit especially if you are in to hiking and motorcycle dirt biking. I just enjoyed hanging out with my nieces and spending as much time with them as possible since they live in Portland, Oregon and the DC area and I don’t get to see them very much.
Anyway, we ended up having a good time together and I particularly loved spending time with my nieces. Here are some photos of the trip with commentary:
Hello from Virginia! It is Easter Sunday and I have just finished my 3rd day of this visit. The main goal of this trip is to spend time with my nieces and it has been a success in that regard! We have had a ton of fun and I’ve got some nice rest and relaxation along the way.
It started on Friday where I was able to use mileage points to fly first class to DC. This is much better for me as the seats are bigger and it has more room. It is also pretty fun way to fly!
Then on Saturday it became movie night. Megan and my nieces went to see Your Name, which is an anime I love. I was nervous it might be a little complex for them but they all loved it! Here is my review of Your Name.
Later in the evening the oldest and I went to see the Power Rangers movie which she loved so much. Here is my review of Power Rangers.
Today was Easter Sunday so Madeline and I went to church where they had a lovely program with music from a special traveling choir. Then we dyed and hunted eggs
It’s funny because I could feel the humidity quite strongly and it was only around 74 degrees. It’s amazing what a difference it makes. Tomorrow we are going to see some of the monuments and then Tuesday I will visit my old stomping grounds in Middletown. And then before you know it will be time to leave on Wednesday. It always goes so fast.
Anyway it’s been a great couple of days spending time with family and relaxing.
Today I had a lot of fun on my first day of traveling here in Atlanta. I went on a food tour called Peachtree Food Tours. It was something new and different and a very pleasant way to get to see Atlanta and eat some very yummy food!
The tour is led by John Hannula and he lives on Peachstreet in Midtown and is very well versed in the neighborhood, history, architecture and everything else. We ended up going to 6 different spots and one bonus and while it was a little more walking than I had at first thought I had a very good time.
It started at the Varsity Diner a massive local hot spot where we tried some orange shake and peach pies.
I was with 2 other patrons and the tour guide Daschelle and Doug and our tour guide. They were all very friendly and I enjoyed spending the afternoon with them. There were some beautiful buildings on our way to the various stops including a couple lovely churches and the Margaret Mitchell house.
Then we went to Cyprus Street Pint and Pub for a wild hamburger tasting with a burger with a donut for a roll. That was pretty nuts to have a donut on a burger but it did add a layer of flavor that was pretty delicious.
Next up was a little bit healthy at a place called the Hi-Five we had a kale salad. This wasn’t my favorite item or stop. It didn’t feel Atlanta enough and since I am so in love with the kale and quinoa salad in Utah I didn’t think this was as good. They had alcohol at most of the stops but I of course did not partake of that portion of the tour.
Next stop was Max’s Wine Bar where we had the best bite of the meal this amazing fried chicken. It was so crispy and there was a chipotle honey that was delicious. Mashed potatoes were creamy and the greens weren’t too bitter. Very good and the kind of place I would never have gone on my own being it is called Max’s Wine Bar
Final stop was Cafe Intermezzo which was an Italian coffee and dessert type restaurant with a dramatic pastry case and like 82 different types of coffee/tea. I had a drink called Island punch that was a mixture of different juices with club soda and a red velvet cake with whipped cream which is perfect for a Southern day.
Like I said it was a little bit more walking than I thought it would be but that was good to work off some of that food! Overall it was a great way to spend an afternoon in Atlanta. I got yummy food, visited with some nice people and learned a little bit about a new city. It makes me want to look up food tours at other cities I go to and have a similar experience.
To learn more about the food tour go to http://peachtreefoodtours.com/
Quicker than it probably should have the final day of my trip came on Saturday and while I was sad to see it all come to an end I had the beginnings of a wicked virus, my feet hurt and I was tired. Ready to come home you might say.
But fortunately we still had Saturday to enjoy and it ended up being a rainy day in the city. We decided to do a bus tour because we figured that would be better than walking in the rain and I wanted to see the 9/11 memorial before I left.
The bus was fun but I wish it had been more of a tour. There really wasn’t much of one so it was kind of like a wet taxi ride and then to my great annoyance they dropped us off like 8 blocks from the 9/11 Memorial. It was the 9/11 stop and we had to walk forever and again nowhere in NYC has benches to rest. There is also construction at the site and it is very confusing where to enter and go but eventually we found it and I was able to stop for a moment and pay tribute to those who lost their lives on that horrible day.
We didn’t have time to go to the museum but at least we were ale to see the Memorial and then we made it back to the bus and finished the tour. After a quick lunch my shuttle picked me up and it was bye bye New York!
I was exhausted and have been sick all week but it was worth it. It was a great experience to take a risk, do something different and unexpected, a little bit unplanned which is hard for me. Everyone at the RHAP Survivor event couldn’t have been nicer and I’m so grateful to all of them.
I am also grateful to my sister for coming up and spending the time with me at my pace. It is rare I have anyone who is fine walking with me and waiting with me and occasionally listening to me moan and groan over my feet. She was there just to spend time with me and that was really touching. I’m someone who isn’t often doted upon and it meant a lot to me that she did that.
Overall it was a great trip. Highlights were the RHAP event, my trip to Soho Birchbox and video, American in Paris and the yummy food. Thanks New York! Hope I see you again soon!
Day 3 of my New York trip was pretty simple. I had a rough time getting to sleep the night before because my cold was coming on strong and I normally have a hard time sleeping. Well, I slept in ridiculously late which Megan was kind enough to let me do.
Then we enjoyed a leisurely walk down the Manhattan streets. It wasn’t too cold during our trip but it could be quite windy which made it feel colder. Given the winter they’ve had we certainly brought some good luck with us because at least it wasn’t snowy and freezing. My favorite thing in New York is all the flower stores. They are so beautiful and I love how they have different than just the ordinary boring flowers I can get in the suburbs and at low cost.
We then had delicious New York bagels! Nothing quite like them and we talked about books and movies and had a lovely time.
Megan had an appointment with her editor that afternoon and I rested at the hotel. My only regret on the hotel is that it didn’t have a hottub or pool. That would have been very nice especially on my poor feet which got the beginnings of an ingrown toenail I had to work on. Ouch!
It’s probably the most dance heavy Broadway show I’ve ever seen. Just like in the old Gene Kelly/Leslie Caron movie there are long stretches without any dialogue and just dance. I don’t pretend to be an expert on dance but I really enjoyed watching it. To me it seemed exceptional with choreography that really popped.
The sets were minimal but effective and the costuming was simple but it all worked. There is also a very small cast with only 6 leads and a few ensemble performers but it had a big feel. I think the music is so grand that it can hardly help but feel big.
At first I was worried because our balcony seats were so steep looking onto the stage below but it actually worked out great and we could see everything just fine.
Hello from Florida! (Almost said Aloha but wrong beach!).
I don’t have long to write this morning but I just wanted to say hello and let you know I am having a great time in good old Florida. Getting here took me 2 days and was miserable but it was all worth it for the beautiful beaches! The sand is white, the water is turquoise and warm as bathtub water. The company has been great and I’ve just had a blast!
I will include more details in my next post but this should give you some flavor. Hope you all have a Happy Memorial Day weekend. 🙂
Wednesday this week I am going on vacation!!!! Like a real vacation.
I am not exaggerating when I say I haven’t been on a real vacation since Japan in 2005.
I realize I’ve been a lot of places during those years including Hawaii three times but each time I was working at least at a minimum level.
Anytime I see my folks I end up working because my Dad is my boss. I’ve usually brought some checks with me, written wires, checked emails the whole nine yards.
My problem is letting things go that only I can do. I never have had a sub or back up so if it needed to be done I had to do it. That is hard to let go. One time my boss told me ‘get off the phone and enjoy Hawaii!’.
It’s a problem many Americans are having. See article
But not this time! My work responsibilities for Poler are minimal and can be done by other people while I’m gone. My roommate is kind enough to get the mail and make deposits. My supervisor and Dad are taking over wires and checks so that’s taken care of. And as far as my new job goes it hasn’t started yet so no worries on that front!
2 of my Hawaii trips I was actually working and going to school so that was interesting. My first trip I tried to get people to fill in for me but it was a disaster and I had to do an entire team project in 3 days or fail the class (sigh…).
Last year I got pretty close to real vacation in the trip to Disneyland but I still did some work and I will probably still check my email on this trip out of habit more than anything else (plus it goes to my phone so kind of hard to not check it)
Anyway, I’m very excited to be taking a true vacation and to a place I know very little about. I never thought about going to Tampa or traveling to Florida but my high school friend Kim was kind enough to invite me and probably to her surprise I accepted.
She’s taking time off from her job and has purchased tickets to baseball games and other activities. Thursday we are going to Harry Potter World in Orlando!
Mostly I am greatly looking forward to the ocean. I love the ocean. The first time I went to Hawaii was one of the toughest times of my life. I was so unhappy and I went to the North Shore and called my Dad the day I was to leave and cried my eyes out.
It had been so beautiful and going back to the cubicle dungeon of my life seemed to much. I can’t even tell you how many times I have been sad and thought of my beloved North Shore and felt happy again (I even have it featured in artwork above my bed and in my office).
I love the sound of the beach. I love swimming in the beach. I love reading and then swimming and then reading. I love wearing floppy hats and big sunglasses soaking up the sun and hearing the wish-wash of the tide. It is heaven. Last year I got to spend one day in Seal Beach, CA and realized that was the truly happiest place on earth not Disneyland!
I also hope to just relax, maybe go to a movie or two, watch the Survivor finale, go to good restaurants and have a great trip!
How fortunate I am to be in this position to take a trip. I am so grateful for my friend for having me and to have the resources to travel. I am also grateful that I planned the trip, accepted the invite and am making the effort to go. It was such perfect planning right before starting my new job. I could never have known it would work out that way but it worked out great!
I’m so excited to have a non-working vacation and hopefully I come back to you more tan than burned and full of great stories of my trip. I will update the blog while I’m away but there will be a gap in videos.
If any of you have been to Tampa and have some suggestions let me know.
Tonight I am exhausted but wanted to give you an update on my last weekend.
It all started on Friday with my most recent 8 at 8 singles activity. I was expecting around 15 people and to my shock 56 people came. I felt kind of bad that I wasn’t more organized but luckily everyone was easy going and the restaurant was very good to us (especially because I had been confused over the reservation). I am also very grateful to a girl in the group named Carly who took a leadership role on the activity and saved the day. I still can’t believe that so many people came! Who knew speed dating would get such a crowd?
Saturday and Sunday I spent with my sisters Megan and Anna. Meg was in town for the weekend on a special discounted airfare from a an airline called allegiant airlines. I think her ticket was around $100. Just as a point of contrast my last ticket to California was nearly $400, so its a tremendous bargain.
Sometimes I think the small breather of a trips are the best and most refreshing. Doesn’t give you enough time to be sick of each other and you don’t have to do as much bending to change work, school and other schedules around to accommodate visitors. We kept it pretty simple but went to my favorite bakery Bake 360, watched Best in Show and then Sunday took a walk on Draper trail, taking a photo by the dinosaur a resident has in their backyard (random I know).
One last update, I have been having success in my work and in preparing for Slam the Dam. I feel confident in both. Just today my boss said I was a ‘lifesaver’. It meant a lot to me especially given I was gone for so long. The other great thing was that I truly took a vacation and hardly worked at all for the 10 days I was gone. I haven’t done that in nearly all my adult work-life. I’m not exaggerating with that statement. When I worked for JWA I worked so much my boss had to tell me to get off the computer and enjoy Hawaii. The same when I was doing the rentals full time and definitely true when I worked for Grabber.
I’m not trying to sound ungrateful for my past work experiences. Far from it. I’m just grateful to Poler for allowing me to take a real break from work. It may also be that I am learning to let go and relax a little more but I doubt it? Either way, I’m grateful for my job.
So we had a successful day in Disneyland. I was amazed at how much we go through in 1 day. I honestly did almost every ride I wanted aside from the one’s that were closed (thunder mountain railroad and haunted mansion are closed 😦 ). Its hard for me to stand and walk for hours. I was hoping as I got in better shape that would improve but it really hasn’t. In fact, if anything its gotten worse as my pain sensitivity and fibro has increased.
Tomorrow I plan on taking things more slowly with breaks. I also bought shoes today that should help. I just wish my feet and back weren’t so sensitive. It would make things like this a lot more fun.
It was also super hot today. 99 degrees with high humidity. Made the whole day challenging for me; nevertheless, it is the happiest place on earth and my first vacation in 3 years. Still had a great time and am very blessed. The prices also seemed more reasonable than I remembered them. I don’t know if that is because everything else has gotten more expensive or prices at Disney have gone down. Either way it wasn’t too bad.
Here are some photos of the trip so far.