Category Archives: Travel

white trucks, cleaning out closets, and consequences to everything

White pick-up trucks have a visceral affect on me.

White, Ford Ranger, pick-up trucks, specifically.

Previously, the affect was joy-filling excitement.

Currently, the affect is gut-wrenching painful.

The white truck knocks that box of sorrow off the shelf I so neatly tucked away a few weeks ago and throws its wide open, spilling it’s contents everywhere.

I stand there looking at the contents of the box, saying, “You again? Really!?”

But that’s the way it goes I guess. That’s the thing about things. Sometimes when you think you’re over something, (or maybe desperately trying to be over it) certain triggers pull you right back and make you dealwithitnow.

Consequently, this is what I will do.

______

This past weekend, Tahn and I traveled home to the Bay Area to see Buddy and my newest love, Lily (my brand new niece. And no, Lily’s not her real name).

On this trip home, I decided to clean out the closet of the my previous bedroom at my Dad’s house. The closet that hadn’t been touched close to the 10 years since I lived there.

Hello dust.

Hello old memories.

Hello junk.

Hello whydidIeverkeepthis?

It was overall good, cathartic and slightly odd. I threw away/gave away/ recycled most of everything save a few boxes of photos and cards from my grandma. And of course, a Justin Timberlake doll.

Old habits.

______

During our stay home, Tahn happily found herself at her grandpa’s. Like old times, he had her water bowl and bed out for her to feel right at home.

Over the weekend, my dad would occasionally leave Tahn alone.

Yesterday, after I returned home, my dad called to tell me a story.

My dad is in the process of putting new doors on his kitchen cabinets. Therefor, his cabinets and all such contents are exposed and open.

On Tuesday, he found a Brillo pad (which is usually kept under the kitchen sink) in the cabinet under the stove.

When he told me this story, he indicated this was a sign of protest by Tahn; she did not appreciate being left alone.

My response?

There are always consequences for your behavior.

😉

______

What are your current triggers? (Positive or Negative)

Do you have any plans for Spring Cleaning?

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Filed under Blogging, Crazy Dog Lady, Life, Stories, Tahnee, Travel, Vacation

Learning to Find Time

Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been losing my time. My self.

At the start of my First Summer in San Diego, I had two goals:

1. Have fun.

2. Make money.

And I did. Lots. Of both. I took a second job at my beloved Bar Method Studio, and jumped from weekend to weekend – working, entertaining (beloved) visitors,

attending very wonderful friends’ weddings,

attending AWESOME sporting events,

and meeting real life race horses up close and personal.

My summer? It was fantastic. My only regret? Not learning to surf.

But here’s the thing: from working two jobs, never having a day off, and continuous fun, I somehow lost a sense of me. I lost the time I used to spent doing things I liked – things I needed – to be a happy person.

I stopped writing. And blogging.

I got involved in a messy, toxic relationship – one I’m still dealing with the residual pain and nonsense.

I stopped walking Tahn. This summer? From my busy lifestyle, and my very physical full-time job, and the Bar Method, I got in the best shape of my life. My dog? Gained weight. Gained 12 pounds.

I lost time for myself.

It wasn’t until the excitement of the Summer passed, and leaving my second job did I realize how unhappy I was.

It wasn’t until I took my days off – to cook, to clean, to read, to walk Tahn, to sleep, did I realize how unbalanced my life had become.

It wasn’t until recently – almost 3 months after the CrazyFunSummer did I have the urge to write – to blog.

I’ve been reading a few books – books on how to simplify your life, your thoughts, your self. Recently, I read this from one of my absolute favs, Anne Lamott.

I hope you click over and read the fantastic article. But, if not, here is a quote, summing up what I’ve been working towards/thinking about/ attempting lately:

“I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day”. – Anne Lamott in Sunset Magazine

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Filed under Blogging, Exercise, Friends, Fun Things, Life, Living Simply, Money, Tahnee, Travel, Vacation

Onward to San Diego

Well, I did it guys.

I packed up all of my stuff and moved to San Diego.

This is the first time I saw a San Diego sign on the 5. (You can see the Budget truck my dad is driving in front of me). (Yes, I was using my cell phone and driving. Please don't tell Oprah. I'm ashamed).

Before I left for San Diego, I had a very special Farewell dinner with my good friend from high school and her family.

They had a "Farewell" for me specially put on the menu. It was really wonderful.

I spent Saturday night in San Francisco for a wedding.

I LOVE San Francisco.

And had a great last dinner with my mom, her boyfriend, my brother, S2 and Buddy. It was HARD leaving them. It was even harder going back to my dad’s house without Tahn.

You read that right – I left Tahn in the Bay Area. I am in San Diego sans Tahn. Without my sweet little girl. Why? Why would I do something so crazy? Because she really, really does poorly with transitions and I wanted to make this move as smooth as possible for her. So, she will be living with my dad (her grandpa) until I find a permanent place.

The toothpicks that Tahn destroyed recently at my dad's house. She's having difficulty adjusting.

I stayed at my dad’s from Thursday night until Monday morning, (or as my dad said, I was ‘living with him for the weekend’ :)) and on Monday, October 3 we hit the road super early to drive to San Diego. (Family friends of mine were taking care of Tahn from Sunday night until Tuesday so my dad could come with me on the trip).

A picture of me and my dad stopped at our favorite gas station - Love Gas Station ❤

We had a fantastic drive and arrived in San Diego in about 9 hours (that included 3 bathroom breaks and one half-hour lunch).

My dad had to leave on Tuesday, and that was the hardest goodbye of all. My dad bent over backwards (as he always does for his kids) to help me pack up my stuff in Sacramento, drive it to San Diego, and unload it in the storage unit. It was madness. I couldn’t have done it without him.

I’m living temporarily with my sister’s friends – and they have been awesome – as I’ve transitioned to San Diego.

After a beach day with my sister yesterday, and a fun day of watching football (I’m actually learning the rules!) I’m ready to start my new job tomorrow… 🙂 Wish me luck!

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Filed under Blogging, Crazy Dog Lady, Family, Fun Things, Travel

The San Diego Power Outage

(image source)

As you may know, I was just in San Diego again for a job interview. (And YAY! I got the job!!!)

I was so excited to go down to San Diego for my interview. Not only do I love San Diego, but also I really loved the job and company for which I was applying. Plus, my sister lives in San Diego – which makes it all so much more amazing.

So I flew into San Diego Thursday evening, arriving just before 5pm. We were told shortly after we landed that the airport was out of power and there would be a slight delay. I thought it was odd that the airport would be out of power – it was sunny and warm outside – not stormy in any way. But, I figured that something was wrong with the airport and the power would be up in no time.

Nope. I was wrong.

I turned on my phone to text my good friend who I was meeting for dinner to tell her about my delay. When I turned on my phone, I got a text from my friend telling me that yes, there was a power outage. In the entire San Diego county. And Orange County. And Arizona.

Oh, no.

Well, let’s just say that I did not meet up with my friend for dinner. I barely found anything to eat after leaving the airport. As oppose to tell you the rest of the story in paragraphs, I’m going to give you a play-by-play. Enjoy.

4:55pm – Landed safely in the San Diego Airport.

5:00pm – Informed of the power outage.

5:05pm – Told we were going to deplane using the “air stairs” and we were behind two planes, but it should be no longer then 10 minutes.

5:20pm – Made a friend who learned about my job interview and was wishing me good luck.

5:25pm – Wondered when I would eat again and kicked myself for not eating in the airport before my flight. New friend gave me a bag of pretzels. LOVED new friend.

5:26pm – Wondered where I could buy water. Kicking myself for sleeping through the beverage service and declining a beverage when I did wake up.

5:45pm – Deplaned using the “air stairs”.

5:55pm – Walked into a pitch-black airport.

5:58pm – Walked to the pitch-black baggage claim and found multiple areas sectioned off with luggage and signs with the flight numbers.

6:02pm – After not being able to find my bag (or my flight), asked kind airport employee to help me find my bag.

6:05pm – Kind airport employee found my bag (and verified it matched with my luggage claim tag).

6:10pm – Stand at the rental car shuttle area.

6:16pm – Received a text from my brother, “GOOD LUCK TOMORROW! YOU WILL DO GREAT. WHO NEEDS ELECTRICITY??” Well. I did. For hot water and such.

6:21pm – Thankful it’s still light outside and not raining.

6:30pm – Picked up by the rental car shuttle.

6:31pm – Thankful for air conditioning. Wondered how much longer I would be in an air conditioned area.

6:40pm: Arrived at rental car lot.

6:42pm: Got in the very long line almost out to the door.

6:43pm: Wishing I was still in the air conditioned shuttle.

6:44pm: Thankful I was not elderly (like a couple near me) and thankful I was not traveling with small children. (Like another couple near me).

7:00pm: Wondering if I really can find any food or water for sale.

7:00:30pm: Kicking myself for only having $2 in cash and wondering if I can find food or water for sale at a place that excepts plastic payment.

7:40pm: Signed my rental car agreement and walked to find my car. In the near – dark.

8:10pm: Arrived at my hotel.

8:15pm: Begged hotel staff for food or water.

8:16pm: Raided the candy/snack/ice cream stand.

8:17pm: Ensured the staff that whatever I got they could charge me for – I WOULD PAY DOUBLE.

8:18pm: Ensured that it would all be free – no worries.

8:18:30pm: Took two more bottles of water (I was super thirsty. Don’t judge. I totally would have paid $10 for each).

8:20pm: With armfuls of Luna bars and bags of ChexMix, I was escorted to my room by the staff.

8:25pm: Left in my pitch black room with no flash light or candle.

8:26pm: Opened my computer for light.

8:27pm: Devoured 2 bags of ChexMix and two 32-oz bottles of water.

9:00pm: Since I didn’t have light to read or a lot of battery left on my computer, hit the sack.

__

5:36am: Woke up with a hunger rumble in my stomach. Rolled over to look at my cell phone to see the time. SAW THE BEDSIDE CLOCK ON.

5:36:30am: JUMPED out of bed and tested the lights. POWER!

5:37am: Joyfully went back to sleep.

Although I arrived to a power outage, waited for a long time, and did not have any food or water I cannot complain about my experience. I was not stuck in a flood. Nothing of mine was damaged. I had no tragedy. And, as mentioned previously I was not traveling with children or elderly people. It was more of a big inconvenience.

However, I did learn a few lessons from the power outage:

1)    When traveling, always carry cash. You’ll never know when you’ll need it. (READ: buying food and water).

2)    Always take the peanuts and pretzels on the plane. And, your free beverage.

3)    EAT before going on the plane. Even if you’re nervous about your job interview tomorrow and don’t really have an appetite.

4)    At home, have a freaking emergency kit. Water, canned food, candles, flashlights, the works. I always thought it was pretty dramatic when people talked about them, but I cannot tell you how much I would have appreciated one if I had one.

5)    Carry snacks with you when traveling. (Yes, I was really hungry. Clearly).

6)    Keep your luggage tags! You’ll never know when you have to show them.

And, some Honorable Mentions:

1)    Southwest staff: they worked hard to help us in any way they could. They created a path from the plane to the airport with a bunch of staff guiding the way. They worked effortlessly to get everyone their bag as quickly as possible.

2)    San Diego Airport staff: they were calm, informed, and gave clear directions. Their work was critical in keeping the thousands of people calm.

3)    Alamo Car Rental Staff: Using the headlights of rental cars to light their office when the sunset was one of the many resources they thought of to keep everything going. They worked as quickly as they could and did not leave until everyone got a car.

4)    Hilton Garden Inn Staff in Del Mar: they kindly gave me lots of FREE snacks and were adamant about my physical safety my comfort in the dark. (Plus they really are the best hotel staff in San Diego).

5)    SDG&E: for working throughout the night and getting our power back on. I was so grateful to have hot water in the morning to take a shower before my interview.

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Filed under Things I've learned, Travel

Los Angeles, baby

(image source)

This past week, I traveled again for work. If you follow me on twitter, you may have gotten really sick of really enjoyed all of my updates on my travels from Sunday on.  I flew into LAX on Sunday afternoon and rented a car and drove to my hotel.

Do you like how casual I was about that? You know, me renting a car and driving in LA?

Even though I have been legally allowed to rent a car in California for almost 2 years, I never have. Until Sunday. I reserved a mid-sized car that was advertised as a Corolla or Civic. Well, they did not have a Corolla or Civic for me. They had a Ford Focus. I was very disappointed. However, by the end of my 4-day excursion I kinda liked my Ford Focus. I actually named her.

(I totally forgot to take a picture of her, so I guess this will do.)

Say hello to Cherry Bullet

(image source)

Anyways, I got Cherry Bullet and um… Drove in Los Angeles. I’ve driven through LA many, many times but I have never drove a car in and around downtown LA. It was challenging. Let’s just say that after I located my hotel, it took me 20 minutes to figure out how to pull into the hotel parking. Don’t judge.

Quick back-story: both of my parents grew up, met, married and started our family in Southern California. They spent many years of their lives in and around Los Angeles. Very soon after I was born, they moved out of LA and we never moved back. My parents hate Los Angeles. They hate it. My entire life I have always heard how awful LA is; the smog, the people, the congestion, the traffic…. So, not surprisingly, I hated it too. When traveling outside of California, I would get very insulted if people thought I lived in LA. “No” I would correct them. “I live in Northern California.

Needless to say, I was not looking forward to being in LA for work. After arriving at the hotel on Sunday, I decided to have dinner. Whenever I’ve traveled for work in the past, I’ve always had a co-worker with me to share a meal with. This time, I was traveling alone. I was staying in the super-duper fancy Westin Bonaventure (which, when my parents learned what hotel I was staying in, they both exclaimed, “That’s a really nice hotel!“) I was in one of the towers, on the 22 floor, over looking downtown. It was awesome. I chose one of the many restaurants in the hotel and had dinner by myself.

Like how casual I was about that? I had dinner by myself. I’ve been to many “fast food” or “order at the counter” restaurants by myself. I usually order my food and then leave. In college, I would usually eat at the restaurant, but usually it was on campus, in between classes so I would study while I ate.

In my adult life, I have never gone into a “sit down” restaurant by myself and ordered dinner. Breaking out of my comfort zone, I decided against sitting at the bar and instead sat at a table by myself. Of course, I came prepared and had a book to read; but I have to admit, it was hard to sit there alone. I felt like everyone was looking at me, and judging me. But, within 20 minutes I felt fine.

I’m so grown up. Rented a car. Drove in LA. Ate at a restaurant by myself.

I had a great day at work on Monday, then had dinner with my pseudo step sister* and her fantastic roommate. They met me downtown and we went to a very chic LA restaurant. We had so much fun.

We enjoyed a nice glass of wine.

By the time I left Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon, Cherry Bullet and I mastered driving in LA; and I had a really good time. I have to admit I kinda liked LA. Well, at least I can say I don’t hate it.

*Our parents aren’t married, but have been together for years. We just say we’re step siblings. It’s easier. 🙂

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Filed under Family, Tahnee, Travel

Letters from Tahn, part IV

I was out of town for work for three days and two nights, and my dear friend Summer took care of my sweet Tahn. Of course, while I was away, Tahn wrote me letters. Enjoy.

____

Dear Mum, today was super fun! I played in mud puddles, beat Aunt Copper’s dog in tug-o-war (finally!) and now I’m watching The Fantastic Mr. Fox. I miss you, but I’m having the best time. Oh, I really like Aunt Copper’s daughter, Honey (Mum, she is a CAT and lives in the house!). I kinda want to eat her, but that would upset Aunt Copper, so I just play with her instead. Can we get one?

Love, Tahn

____

Dear Mum,

Aunt Copper’s friend Chris came over last night.  I was SO excited to see him because he really likes to play fetch and always fills up the big pink tub for me to splash around in.  Since he got there so late he said I would have to wait until today.  He woke up a couple of times and looked a little freaked out to see my dark eyes staring back at him from the edge of the bed.  He even asked Aunt Copper if I needed to go to the bathroom, but she told him I was just too excited to sleep or wanted up on the bed.  Sure enough when he FINALLY woke up today he threw the ball around for me and I got to splash in the cool water.  He mentioned something about dognapping me?

Anyway, now I’m sleepy, which brings me to my next tale.  Today at lunch Aunt Copper came home.  She may have been a little surprised to find me asleep in the dog house, but it was so cozy I couldn’t help myself.  Aunt Copper’s  dog was sleeping under the hammock, which she says is her new favorite spot.  We’re having a lazy day, Mum.  Aunt Copper’s dog and I were so happy to see Aunt Copper and I told her so, but I was a good girl and sat politely while she ate her lunch.

Love,

Tahn xoxo

____

Dear Mum,

Aunt Copper says to tell you that I am being the BEST girl and she promises that her friend Chris was only joking about dognapping me.  I still don’t know what this dognapping is all about, but I think it must mean that he likes me?  Time for another nap; I have to rest up for another round of tug-o-war later.  Copper’s dog wants a rematch.  I can’t wait to see you tomorrow, Mum!!

Love,

Tahn xoxo

____

Dear Tahn,

I am so happy for you! It sounds like you are having a wonderful time. I’m glad Aunt Copper is taking care of you so well. But, tell her friend Chris that you are mine – but he can play with you anytime. Tahn, be a good girl and do not disturb anyone when they sleep tonight, okay? I’ll be home tomorrow night. I can’t wait to see you.

Love you lots,

Mum xxxxoooo

____

Dear Mum,
Aunt Copper took this photo of me early this morning.  She says I have the most beautiful dark eyes.  I know you said I’m not supposed to stare at people while they sleep, but I just can’t help it.  Please don’t be cross with me.  Aren’t I cute?!

I can’t wait to see you tonight!!  Drive safe.

Love,
Tahn  xoxo

____

(And one more…)

Hey MUM!

G-pa doesn’t know it but I’m using his Google Voice account! I’m having fun at Copper’s house.  I love her dog!!  I wish she had a name though…

Love,

Tahn

Thank you to Summer for taking such great care of Tahnee. Tahn was so happy when I picked her up (and dropped her off) and it took away all the sadness I feel when I usually leave her. I can’t be more grateful.

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Filed under Friends, Tahnee, Travel

Sarah and Brittany’s Week of Fun!

I’m super-crazy-busy on vacation this week, so I’ve had no time to blog and I barely have enough time to blog right now. I’m so super-de-duper-busy that I don’t even have time to call back the guy who is trying to date me (and that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…)

Anyways, my sister Sarah came home this past weekend to celebrate her birthday, S2’s completion of her oral exam, my dad’s retirement and his birthday. After our celebration, Sarah and I went back to San Diego for a few days (not a week, fine…) of fun.

Before we went to San Diego, Sarah stayed at my dad’s house and I stayed at my mom’s (there aren’t enough beds at either house for us both to stay together – unless I wanted to share a “double bed” sized air mattress with my sister and Tahn, whom both are guilty of totally hogging the bed and I wake up barely on the mattress). Sarah was missing her beloved dog Sami, so I let Tahn stay with her at my dad’s.

This picture was texted to me on Saturday morning.

Tahn LOVES snuggling with her Aunt Sarah

I call Tahn my ‘shadow’ not only because she’s black, but also because she follows me everywhereIgo, all the time.  My dad refuses to let her follow him around the house, so she was giddy to have my sister (a.k.a. another version of me) to follow.

I tried to get a picture of Tahn and Sarah… and it wasn’t very successful.

Annnnnd finally:

Aunt Sarah and Tahn.

After our photo shoot, we caught a flight back to San Diego.

Well, not until we visited the wine bar at Oakland Airport:

On the Fourth of July, we went to Palm Springs and hung out by the pool:

We out with Sarah’s friends:

Back in San Diego, we caught Sarah’s dog Sami, eating Sarah’s birthday cake:

Yep. That's cake on Sami's ear.

We also got to meet up with some of my good friends for dinner. It was so much fun!

I flew back Wednesday night and spent the day yesterday with Buddy.

So far, a great vacation!

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Filed under Family, Fun Things, Travel, Vacation

Kinetic Grand Championship – Part One

This past weekend, I participated in the Kinetic Grand Championship – a 42 mile, 3 day race over land, sand, mud and water across Humboldt County. The people who participate in this race only use man-powered machines, “sculptures”, usually propelled by bicycles somehow built into the sculpture. It’s a pretty difficult race to explain. I really had no concept of what it was before I participated in it these past few days, but I will do my best to explain.

It all started on Thursday with Tahn going to visit her Grandpa.

Tahn all packed and ready to go.

I hated leaving her, but I decided it was too difficult to bring her along. I was going to be on the go the entire weekend, I didn’t want to create extra stress for her or me.

Thursday night was hard without Tahn.

Tahn's bed without Tahn. It sucked.

Early Friday Morning, my friends Jessica, Izzy, and their sweet little girl and I set off to Humboldt County – not a short drive to say the least.

We arrived at the warehouse where the “sculpture” we were going to help race was being stored. Friends of ours had spent nearly every weekend in the past four months working hard on the sculpture.

Our sculpture, the “Corpi Cruiser” was built of 90% recycled materials. (It’s very living simply of them, isn’t it?) The Corpi Cruiser was a “salmon” (I believe…) with 7 seats – 6 seats were propelling the sculpture forward. The 7th seat was the “barnacle seat,” and we got extra points for having it.

This is the front of the Sculpture - not a great picture, but hopefully you get the idea. The "scales" of the fish are recycled CDs and DVDs.

This is the back of the Sculpture, before it was completly assembled.

Some of the seats inside the Sculpture.

Inside the Sculpture, looking out the front.

Oh, about the points. This race is not a typical race. Although we were technically racing, many, many other factors were important to help win the race. I won’t go into them here, but the rules are quite silly and very ridiculous. Let’s just say that some very creative people run the race, so any creativeness and bribery went a long way.

Here are my two favorite rules:

#1 RULE
It is mandatory that all Sculpture Pilots, Pit Crew, Officials, Spectators, Law Enforcers, Communicators, Volunteers, Merchants, and even innocent bystanders put great effort into having great fun for it is such Craziness as this that keeps us all Sane! If you insist on being a grumpy racer and not having fun, you may declare “diplomatic immunity” (since you are surely from another planet) and not be cited by overly excited officials for that infraction, but we reserve the right to adjudicate any such declaration.

The sole purpose of this race is to have fun. So, many of the rules revolve around having fun.

9.00
In case of sunshine, the race shall be run anyway.

Since the race is run in Humboldt County, it rains most of the time, so most of the time; this race is run in the rain.

A few other details about the Kinetic Grand Championship:

-“A Pilot” is what the racers are referred to. If you chose, you can to rotate pilots.

-“Pit Crew” is the support people who help the vehicle as needed. And, trust me, the vehicle needs a lot of help.

-“Peons” is another group of support people but technically they cannot help with the sculpture.

I was originally signed up as a member of the “Pit Crew” – but I was allowed to ride the sculpture a few times.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first day:

After seeing the Corpi Cruiser, Jessica, Izzy, their little girl and I went to dinner, then went to our beautiful campsite to set up camp.

(Quick side note: I hate camping. I hate it. HATE it. And, I am sorry to say, but, this camping experience did not change my mind on it. Most of the time I was cold or wet, or cold and wet – it rained and I just didn’t enjoy it. But, it was a beautiful campsite and if I had an RV to sleep in I would have been a much happier camper…)

That first night it rained – and was very cold. Unfortunately, my “summer” sleeping bag was not sufficient for the freezing cold night. So, I spent most of my night waking up because I was cold. It was not good. Thankfully, one of my friends gave me a great sleeping bag so the rest of the weekend I was very warm.

And, also, my camera got some sap on it so as of the first morning and my camera did not work. I am waiting on pictures from Jessica to continue my story of the Kinetic Grand Championship.

But, until then, here is the Kinetic Grand Championship, by the numbers:

32 – the number of feet the Corpi Cruiser

3 – the number of nights I slept outside/ in a truck

4 – the number of nights I was suppose to sleep outside/ in a truck

7 – the number of seats on the Corpi Cruiser

6 – the number of seats on the Corpi Cruiser at the end of the race

1 – the number of shoes I wrecked

5 – the number of nights I was away from Tahn

Countless – the number of people who experienced hypothermia (including myself)

21 – the number of months of age Jessica and Izzy’s little girl is (and who is unbelievably good)

To be continued….

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Filed under Tahnee, Travel, Vacation