Adventure & Travel

Denver, Colorado – September 2015

September 24, 2015

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ComingHome

What we really needed was to get away – the three of us. We needed long carb-loaded breakfasts and half a dozen donuts. We needed to walk in the park and to make friends with bees. We needed sweaty three hour naps with nowhere else to be. Most of all, we needed each other.

New Orleans

May 7, 2015

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After spending a decade in New York City, honing his craft as a sideshow performer, my brother decided to take his act to New Orleans. He moved south in January but spent a couple months performing at the Fringe Festival in Adelaide, Australia. When he returned home in March we used some extra mileage points to pay him and his girlfriend Frankie a visit.

I didn’t have high expectations for New Orleans. I suppose my impressions of the place were limited to the boozy and dramatic season of MTV’s Real World: New Orleans (probably the last season of the show I watched before moving out of my parents house to go to college). So imagine my surprise to discover and explore a city vibrant with colorful homes, good food, and good people.

We hadn’t flown with Fox since he was still nursing himself to sleep on flights – but he traveled like a champ. I introduced him to pay phones (he was obsessed) and we treated ourselves to free crackers and cheese in the United Club lounge. He managed to get in a good nap on our flights and when he wasn’t awake he was busy flirting with fellow passengers.

Once we got to New Orleans we met up with my brother and his girlfriend Frankie at their apartment – the very same apartment where the “Stella!” balcony scene happens in A Streetcar Named Desire. Together we ate our weight in biscuits and beignets, explored art and architecture in the French Quarter, and spent all our money on psychics in Jackson Square. We ate donuts on magazine street and climbed very old oak trees in City Park. We chased Fox in a park to the sound of musician playing a fiddle. A man may have been overdosing on a bench nearby.

I fell in love a little harder on this trip – with my family, my baby, and the adventure that always awaits us.

P.S. You can hear more about my trip to New Orleans in the a secret episode of Being Boss called Cultivating Confidence – available only at beingboss.club 

P.P.S. I’ve decided to take Being Boss to New Orleans (want to go on vacation with me?) – learn more here.

The Effort

February 26, 2015

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About four weeks ago, and a year into being a new mom, my baby still wasn’t sleeping more than 2 hours at a time. I was feeling both sad and sleep-deprived, so I made an escape plan to meet up with some girlfriends just three hours south in Dallas, Texas over the weekend.

By the time the trip rolled around I had caught up on sleep and no longer wanted to run away from my family. I almost thought about canceling last minute so I could keep my typical and easy weekend. The effort of breaking my routine for a quick road trip made me feel a little anxious. You see, I’m tethered by a short rope to my little family – the very thing that makes me want to stay is the very reason why I need to go. To be the kind of mom, boss, and person I want to be I need to be able to let go – even for just one night.

The drive alone was pretty amazing. Just me in my MINI – alone – it gave me some time to examine my thoughts. I listened to some podcasts and began to generate new ideas. And it goes without saying that hanging out with my creative pack – Chelsea, Becky, and Jane – was totally worth the short drive down I-35. I don’t take it for granted how lucky I am to have them in my tribe.

So the big takeaway of my weekend is that doing fun stuff – the stuff that builds relationships and strengthens bonds, the stuff memories are made of – it takes effort.

P.S. Jane has chickens in her backyard. It’s been a long fantasy of mine but now I feel inspired to actually make it happen.

What I Want

November 11, 2014

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I’ve always been good at wanting things.

• Talent • Beauty • Recognition • Fortune • Tradition • Ritual • Muscle • Flexibility • Adventure • Travel • Leisure • Tight Jeans • Boyfriend Jeans • A new car • New teeth • A baby • Some sleep • Dark chocolate • Red wine • The ocean • The mountains • Hot sun • Cool air • Pink skies • A cozy bed • Wicker furniture • Gold jewelry • Platinum hair • Red lips • Vintage rugs • Oversized sweaters • A good show to watch • A good book to read •

The list could go on. But at the end of the day what I really crave is experience – to live the kind of life that makes for good stories – the little details and the magical memories.

And sometimes that story simply boils down to some good food, good conversation, and big love.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Images by Choate House for Vidya Seasonal Kitchen | Fall – check out more images and the video + Fall recipe here. Claire is really great at making good food and good conversation, and she’s taught me so much about Ayurvedic nutrition and self-care, yogic philosophy, and seasonal alignment. Claire is currently available for one-on-one coaching if you’re interested in learning more about those things too – learn more at Vidya Cleanse.

Disney World

October 30, 2014

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Fox and I, just the two of us, were on a bus going from The Port Orleans French Quarter Disney Resort to Epcot, where we would meet up with Jeremy and my 10 year old nephew Charlie who had just spent 45 minutes in line at The Seven Dwarves Mine Train in Magical Kingdom while I was back at the hotel napping with Fox after a full day at Animal Kingdom. (If that sounds like a lot to pack into one sentence it is… and only a glimpse of how much action we were packing into our week at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.) Fox was strapped to me in his Ergo carrier and we were sitting next to a little boy with red hair and a freckled face named Kyle (his Scottish accent made it sound more like “Kah-ell”) – I learned he was eight years old and that this was his 4th time to visit Disney World. I had actually seen Kyle out by the pool earlier that day – dancing with much enthusiasm and without any self-consciousness to The Macarena, The YMCA, and a few other great classics that come with coordinated dance moves. I thought “I need to be more like that kid.” Kyle was sweet – Fox would grab his hand and chew on his fingers – and he let him. Apparently Kyle has a one year old nephew and is used to it. I also learned that Kyle rode the Tower of Terror when he was four years old but just really started riding roller coasters this year.

This freckled little redhead from the other side of the pond had been to Disney World four times in just eight short years. With that, I started counting my own Disney trips:

Summer 1989 – My first time to Walt Disney World. My family made the 20+ hour pilgrimage in our family station wagon without air conditioning. I had just turned seven years old, I wore my hair in an un-ironic side pony, and pretty much cried the whole time because I was hot, tired, and my little flamingo legs just couldn’t seem keep up.

Summer 1991 – My second time to road trip to Disney World with my family. I think most of my formative Disney memories come from this trip. I remember being obsessed with the lizards hanging outside of Thunder Mountain (real! wild! lizards! just out in the open!), riding Space Mountain and becoming hooked on roller coasters, and decompressing in the Carousel of Progress – still very much a favorite. I remember drifting off in my moms arms in the air conditioned Tiki Room while boring-ass animatronic birds serenaded me to slumber. I ate my weight in Churros and rocked a sailor cap with my name embroidered next to Mickey mouse on it.

Summer 2002 – I actually forgot about this Disney trip until writing this. When I was around 20 years old my ex-husband and I drove out to San Diego – he promised it was the coolest place in the world – and LA. All I remember about this trip was getting a burrito at a taco stand, spending hours in a huge record store, and visiting Disneyland. While at Disneyland I was embarrassed because my husband kept cussing around small children and going out of his way to find a designated smoking area every thirty minutes. While I’m sure we had a good time, the rest is pretty much blocked from my memory.

Fall 2008 – I was now divorced from my ex-husband who liked to smoke and cuss around small children in the happiest place on Earth and had been seeing Jeremy for right at a year. We went to Disneyworld with my whole family – including my brother who flew down from NYC with his first burlesque-dancing girlfriend who introduced me to things like raw food, fixed gear bicycles, and the power of Arnica for soothing bruises and sore muscles. We shared a room with them and I remember she lined the air conditioner with no less than 100 bottles of vitamins. We made fun of the dorky couples wearing bride and groom mouse ears and pretended like we were in an almost famous band when the ride operators would ask us who we were. Barack Obama won the election on this trip (we had sent in absentee ballots) and just a couple days later, after asking permission of my parents and them warning him that I was a handful, Jeremy proposed to me under the fireworks at the Magical Kingdom castle. I said yes. My brother and his girlfriend bought us bride and groom mouse ears that we wound up wearing the rest of the trip.

On this trip I reminisced over the lizards outside Thunder Mountain. I saw Mickey and his friends. I enjoyed the irony in the Carousel of Progress now that we had surpassed the “future” of interactive kitchens and virtual reality. But I also saw the crowds. Fighting families and crying children. The endless sea of strollers left me questioning why anyone would bring a child who couldn’t even walk, let alone create concrete memories, to Disney World. I could see the bolts holding the rides together. In some ways it felt as if the magic had turned into a machine.

Fall 2014 – Just six years later we’re back at Disney World with my whole family and this time with my nine month old baby. I explain to my friends who think I’m going to Disney World for Fox’s sake that he’s just along for the ride – and that really, most rides he’ll be hanging out with my 68 year old dad under a shady tree near the gift shop. But I was surprised at how many rides Fox could go on – and over the course of the week I realized how many memories, even if it’s on a cellular level, Fox was making.

THE HIGHLIGHTS:
• My dad wears coveralls, which are trendy amongst old men who like to fish in East Texas, but leave him feeling like an outcast at places like Disney World. So I convinced my whole family to surprise my dad by wearing red coveralls (I’ll post this photo to my Instagram just as soon as I find my phone – which I’m always misplacing).
• It turns out the singing birds in the Tiki Room aren’t actually that boring. Holding my sleepy baby in The Tiki Room was one of my favorite moments.
• Riding Expedition Everest five times in a row with Jeremy
• The very best moment happened as we were leaving Animal Kingdom and we spotted Thumper and his lady friend doing a meet and greet. There was no line and it was clear they were wrapping up – we almost didn’t stop but decided Fox might like it. Well, it turned into a bit of a bunny, bunny, Fox three-way and probably the best moment of Fox’s life so far.
• Watching a mini-film about Walt Disney with my dad and Fox. As a creative entrepreneur it inspired me to create something that will evolve and grow even after I’m gone.

So there were crowds and seas of strollers, yes. And it was hot. And we pretty much lived on jalapeno cheese pretzels – which in theory sounds awesome but in practicality left me feeling more and more sluggish by the day. I could see fighting families and lethargic “cast members” as Disney likes to call its staff. I could see the machine but more than ever I could see the magic.

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