Friday, January 23, 2009

Just a Brief Post from the Left Coast

Greetings from sunny San Diego! So what if I moved here for the fictional character of Ron Burgandy.. of course I didn't. It was actually all for Brick. Anyway, almost one week ago, I left everything I knew for sun, warmth and the security of no job. Pretty much all three of these factors have remained constant for the past 6 days.

Had I planned and prepared, I would have driven cross country and had plenty of adventurous photos to share with you all. Unfortunately, planning isn't really my thing. Things either happen on a whim or just sort of fall into my lap.. I shouldn't jinx myself. I ended up flying. On a half empty JetBlue flight. I had an entire row to myself. We didn't have to wait at all for the plane to taxi. Smooth sailing.. fast forward 20 minutes into the flight. Enter Pilot.

"Hi Folks, Thank you for joining JetBlue on today's cross-country flight from Boston's Logan International Airport to San Diego's Charles Lindbergh Field. One of the sensors in the cabin is flashing signifying that one of our doors hasn't been securely fastened. I assure you this is an anomaly, but to be safe, we'll be returning to Logan".

I knew the other perks of the flight were too good to be true. We remained grounded at the gate, on the plane, for 1.5 hours only for the engineers to determine there was some ice on the sensor. All's well that ends well, I suppose. I'd ride JetBlue any day, so long as I knew I'd have an entire row to myself. Keep up the good work, JB!

In any case, for those of you semi-familiar with San Diego, I'm living in Pacific Beach by Mission Bay Park. It truly is amazing.. expensive, but amazing. Once I purchase a working camera, I'll be happy to upload photos of paradise. But for now, I'll leave you to dream as I jaunt off to meet some strangers (soon enough, they'll be friends) for a vast amount of adult beverages.

Happy Friday wherever you are!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Friggin' Freezing in Inishmore

Ahhhh! I've finally made it out of my New Years haze. What can I say. I'm older now, and my body is way less resilient - a five day ski weekend means two weeks of recovery. It definitely makes me yearn for the good ole very first New Years abroad was spent in the glorious land of my relatives: Ireland. My friend Meriel and I had finagled an invitation to our friend Barry's parents' house in Galway. His family was extremely gracious and welcomed us with open arms - they had a gorgeous New Years Eve dinner in our honor, and then sent us on our way to enjoy the parties in downtown Galway. 

The start to a wondrous week, right? Uh, just one problem - us lasses were a mere 20 years old at the time, and had little knowledge of something called "restraint" when it came to the consumption of alcohol. You can fill in the blanks, but after 2 days, our hostess (Barry's mom) made the polite suggestion that an overnight visit to Inishmore (one of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland) might be a good idea.

Now, dear reader, I'm not sure if you've been to Ireland in January, but it is what I would define as cold. Now drop cold ten degrees, add a persistent sea breeze, and rain into the mix, and you've got a general weather report for the Aran Islands. Bottom line: it is only a winter tourist destination for people who are literally forced to go there.

We crossed Galway Bay in the dark, so I'm not sure what the view was like - I do remember feeling like we were getting tossed around in a dingy, and Barry vomiting in a barrel due to seasickness. However, I will say that once we landed we were able to find warm and cheap accommodations at the youth hostel a short walk from the pier. Hanging out at the adjoining pub for hours of drinking, conversation, and "Who Wants to be a British Millionaire" actually ended up being one of the most memorable nights of the trip. The isolation (with the exception of the few other buildings in town) was an amazing feeling.
The following day we were lucky enough, with a slight break in the weather, to rent bikes and cycle to Dun Aonghasa - ruins of a fortress dating back over 2,000 years. Not to mention an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean. 
(Barry and I at Dun Aonghasa - Meriel WIMPED OUT!)

We survived the boat ride back that evening, and were rewarded with another couple days of pubs & pints.
Yes, I may moan about the weather, but all in all the Aran Islands are totally worth a visit!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year!

This past week, I had the pleasure of spending New Year's with 16 of my very good friends on Long Lake in Bridgton, Maine. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this small lakes region town and for those of you that are fans of the infamous Stephen King, Bridgton is the scene of his horror novella, The Mist. Very briefly, "The Mist" tells the story of how the small town of Bridgton becomes enveloped by an unnatural mist that releases strange creatures which attack the human population.

As luck would have it, there was a light snow storm, but a thick fog hiding the lake on New Year's Eve Day. Fortunately, the house has huge windows which helped to makes these natural elements even more real. And even more fortunately, I was left alone in the house for about an hour after we had watched a couple of scary movies, while several of my friends went to go New Year's Eve shopping. And perhaps even most freaky, there was a strange man working on the hot water pump on the outside of the house. Needless to say, all of these elements combined inevitably led to twisted & gruesome thoughts in my head. I'm ok though - don't you worry.

Anyway, hope y'all had a Happy New Year!