Trip Reflections

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Percy Priest Lake, Nashville (well technically this photo is Antioch)

See what I did there with the photo and title?   Fun fact: There is only ONE natural lake in all of Tennessee and all the rest, including this one,  are man-made! And either Mom or Chris told me that some of them were towns they just flooded over. So… like… are there houses down under the water?  That’s hella creepy.  Another fun fact: because I am me, thinking about houses under the water immediately led to thinking about mermaids and possible mermaid towns in the lakes of Tennessee.

Recon

This trip, like all of our trips, was part of our quest for future places to live when Sean graduates in 2020. This trip gave Nashville a very strong lead. We got to experience the “icky parts” of Nashville life, like heat/humidity and having your life revolve around traffic patterns and both felt that the benefits of having THINGS TO DO and PLACES TO EAT appear to outweigh the drawbacks. The cost-of-living seems about the same, possibly even a little less than here. It’s also nice to consider moving somewhere you already know people!

Confessions

  • I will probably get into country music if I move to Nashville. Dancing and singing and listening to music downtown was so fun that I forgot to hate country music for a few hours.
  • I think I want to become a Zumba or Dance Fitness instructor but struggle with that whole, “Girrrrrl…. you fat. How you gonna show me how to exercise?” thing. (I know that seems random, but I was thinking about it a lot in Nashville because there are no many more opportunities to do stuff down there, and also because there is SO MUCH MORE good food to eat and try that exercise will be even more important than ever…lol!)
  • 20170922_180232Piper (my 1yo german shepherd) is the devil. We knew she was naughty untrained, but I think we were in ‘bad pet owner denial,’ until our friends dog-sat her for us and she was a holy terror. She is a high-energy, uncoordinated, moose-in-a-china-shop of a dog and even before our trip, we’ve had some hard discussions as a family about possibly finding her a more appropriate home. After the trip, we had to face the truth about our little angel giant monster. BUT, we are not giving up on her. We are buckling down and making a commitment to improving her behavior by improving OUR behavior! WE CAN DO THIS! (I hope).

That’s about all I’ve got for today. I think I want to be a better blogger and blog shorter and more often. I think. Maybe.

 

 

 

Vegas Baby!

Lonnie and I are in the midst of a weird trip.  I have to be in Dallas from August 18 thru 22nd to attend 4 day residency for school, so OF COURSE we decided to make a vacation out of it!

Plan A: fly in to Dallas on the 13th and rent a car to drive down to Austin for a few days, then drive back to Dallas for my residency.  This plan was vacation/recon for our move in a few years; to see if Austin was a place we might like to live.
This plan kind of got scrapped when Jessi moved to Richmond because now we want to stay on the east coast  (well…. We did at the time.  More on that later).

When we decided we didn’t need to check out Austin for recon, we began researching other options and learned that Vegas and New Orleans would be cheaper to fly to add stay at than even just the car rental to Austin!  After  couple weeks of weighing the options  we booked Vegas.
It’s August and Dry heat>wet heat (also we figured, correctly, Vegas would be more of an indoor air conditioned trip)
We have plenty of other trips that can involve New Orleans, NOT in August!  We plan to go on a cruise within a couple years and can sail from there.  We also would like to go down for Mardi Gras sometime.
We thought food costs would be lower in Vegas, and due to recent massive car repair bills, we had to keep this trip on a budget!

So we flew to Dallas,  spent one night at the cheapo airport quality inn, and instead of renting  car, hopped the shuttle back to the airport and hopped a quick flight to Vegas!

Gonna give Vegas it’s own post!

Happy New Year!

When I wasn’t working and doing fun stuff, I spent a good part of 2015 going back and forth about grad school.  I even applied to a couple.  But ultimately decided that I just don’t feel right adding to my already enormously high student loan mountain of debt.  …that is already growing since I am helping Jessi pay for college…. and interest of course.  I would love to get my Master’s.  I LOVE school and I would also love to be more marketable once we starting planning our move from Maine, and I have the time for it with the job I have now.  So if I could just win the lottery……    I have few regrets in life as everything I have lived through has made me the bucket of awesomesauce that I am today,  but I definitely regret spending all that money and time going to Husson University to get my teaching credentials.  I could have my graduate degree, and instead I have nothing since I didn’t finish the program by doing student teaching.  (THAT I do not regret, as I now know that teaching is NOT my calling!)

I have also spent a good part of the year eliminating things, and people, from my life–and my Facebook that cause me drama and discord.  I am instituting Flylady’s general philosophy of ‘If you look at it and it doesn’t make you smile, you don’t need it in your life.’  Perhaps in 2016 I can institute the actual housecleaning part of the Flyolady philosophy  LOL…. WHO ARE WE KIDDING!!??

So now…. I present to you (and future me)…..

My favorite moments in 2015!!!
BTW- You KNOW you are living your best life when you give up on narrowing down the moments to one per month!  🙂

February- We built an awesome new kitchen isalnd!
March- family trip to Mexico!
Lonnie gets some new wheels!  The first vehicle he has ever owned that he doesn’t have to worry, “Will I make it there?”

We got a pasta maker for Christmas and made a LOT of ramen in 2015.  YUMMMMMM
Ed Sheeran concert… that we enjoyed for FREE on a hill outside the venue!

A very chilly Train concert

LOTS of summer swimming

The Popham Beach camping trip that turned into a Portland, Maine hotel weekend 😉

I Kayaked for the first time!!  AND LOVED IT!  I also crocheted for the first time… that did not go quite as well 😉
LOTS OF ROAD TRIPS!!!  Aquaboggin…. Bar Harbor…. Boston…. Portland….

Jessi got her license AND bought herself a car!!

We never give up trying to get fit!  We also never really suceed… but we keep on trying!

Lonnie became a PAELLA MASTER!!

Mom came up and rented a cottage on the coast

ONE DIRECTION!!!!!

Family trip to Beantown

SPORTS!!  Hockey and football games…. LOVE LOVE LOVE

NEW KITTEN!!  Gandolf aka Will Feral

Food and Spirits festival
Turkey Day!! …followed by the BEST BLACK FRIDAY EVER!!

A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS SEASON (And no, most of those projects never happened lol)


Looking forward to LOTS MORE ADVENTURES in 2016!!

Move Musings AKA– Where should we live!?

Big trips and little trips always get me all in a dither about our several-years-from-now move. Yesterday Lonnie and I took a day trip down to Portland to see ‘Jurassic World’ at the IMAX and do some grocery shopping at Trader Joes.  All day long there were many mentions of someday actually living in a city with both of those right nearby!

We want to live in a city where people are physically active and there is lots to do nearby.  A giant plus that I have noted, is that no matter where we go, finding a job should not be an issue for me. There is no shortage of people requiring mental health services in this country!!  
We keep going back to focusing on cities on the Gulf coast because I think we feel like it will be like living on vacation.  So that is where I started my googling adventure on this rainy morning.
Florida

We think about Florida a lot.  Over the winter, I worked with a personal trainer who had just moved up here from there and he often talked about how much more active people are and how much more there is to do,  He also claims that after about 2 years, you get used to the heat (he is from Massachusetts originally).  Also I like the idea of living somewhere that people will want to come visit us and use us to save on hotel costs 😉
However….
I have been to Tampa and Orlando. While I can see myself enjoying life there, I’m not sure I can resign myself to never having my hair look good again.  Florida=frizz.  Also…. I’m not sure I believe my trainer about the heat thing.  The closest to summer we have been there is May, and “hot” is an understatement, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like in August.  How active outdoors can you really be in the summertime when just walking from your house to your car is atrociously heat-oppressive??
Texas 

I have focused on Austin in the past, but I think I am over that.  Today I researched Houston and Galveston and was ALL ABOUT IT for about an hour.  Great economy, near the ocean, lots of gorgeous/cheap apartments.
However….
Looking on message boards  there are an overwhelming amount of comments from people like this…
Do yourself a favor while you’re ahead. Don’t move to Houston.


It’s a hell hole.”


Lots of comments about how the only thing to do is go out to dinner. That the heat is so oppressive that in the summer all you can do is stay indoors.  That it’s Jesusland.  Traffic. Rednecks. High crime.
Oregon

I am pretty excited about Portland, Oregon!  If I can get past the rain issue, it sounds like EXACTLY where I want to live!
However…
Not sure I can get past the rain issue.  As we all know, I am a little prone to the Winter Blues.  I’m not sure if that’s the 567 feet of snow and snot-freezing temperatures keeping me indoors that causes it, or the actual lack of sunshine.  If it’s the former, then we should be fine!   
I have no idea where we will end up…. or maybe we will take some time in each one!  But I have plenty of time, and I am having a lot of fun figuring it out!!!