Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm Kind Of Big On Lists

It hasn't even been 24 hours yet since being back in the good ol' U-S-of-A, but my mind is already turning for all of the things I want/need to do now that we're back and have access to so many things I've been missing.

I don't think it's quite hit me yet that we're back for good. Though, I haven't really given myself a chance to just sit down and soak it in for fear of having an emotional breakdown. {Not really, but sort of..}

So instead, I shall write down my list of to-do's for the day!
And since I've been up since the butt crack of dawn (thank you jet lag), I've already gotten one done!

1. Take a shower and scrub the filth off you from your long travel day because you were far too lazy last night to do it and instead fell asleep, as stinky as can be, all before 10pm. CHECK!

2. Go for a 2 mile run to jump start your "I've just gorged on everything and anything for the last few months and now I need to lose some el-bees" exercise plan.

3. Go to Costco and try to persuade them to replace your broken Canon since you know they're oh-so-good at returns. And if that doesn't work, then get on the phone and call the Costco customer service line and raise hell!!! {Okay, not really, but maybe just a little hell...}

4. Go to Target and buy deodorant so you can stop smelling like a man from using The Dizzle's Old Spice for the last week.

5. Do NOT go crazy and buy the whole Target store. Remember, you do not have a job yet, Michelle.

6. Speaking of jobs...maybe it's a good day to start applying for them?

7. Do not look at pictures of your travels for at least one more day so as not to spiral into a deep, dark depression.

8. Eat the following food items that you've missed oh-so-dearly:

    - Panera (am I the only one who's obsessed with this place?)
    - The Dizzle's homemade chili, complete with sour cream, avocado, and cheese
    - A giant burrito, preferably from Rubios because I've had a weird craving for it that's lasted basically the entire 6 months I've been away
    - Jamba Juice smoothie

....and of course, all in moderation. See #2. You're on a diet now, remember??

9. Try to email back all of your wonderful blog friends that have left comments over the weeks because you've been a major slacker in not getting back to them, so now they probably think you're that blogger who thinks they're too good to take the time to respond back to someone's well thought out comment!

10. Possibly consider getting a trim because your split ends are looking pretty atrocious and I'm pretty sure that deep conditioner you used this morning won't magically cure them.


Well alright then! Time to get going!
And yes, this is a pretty hefty list I've got going on here, I realize.
So it's a good thing I've already jumped the gun and got to crossing things off!
{And you know how good it feels to cross something off your list...even if it's just a shower.}

Wish me luck and have yourself a glorious Tuesday, ya hear?


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Monday, April 29, 2013

Out With A Bang

Well Ladies and Gents, this is it. My last blog post abroad....for now.
I have to keep saying things like that out loud: "This is just for the moment that we're going back home. It doesn't have to be permanent. Just another chapter in our book. We shall travel again!"
It helps with the creeping depression that happens every time I think about boarding that plane tomorrow for America.

With that said, aside from my camera still being dead to me, we had a great last Saturday here in London.

The Dizzle and I went and saw Wicked. Third time for me, first time for him. Such a great performance, as always. We had really great seats too {as we should for $193 big ones!}.

After the show, we were off to go meet my wonderful blog friend, Nicola, for the very. first. time.
I guess you kids these days are calling it "Blates"? I don't know, I can't keep up with the blog lingo.
However, I will say that the first thing I did when I saw this tall drink of water was pinch her booty. Because we're cool like that. At least I was hoping we'd be cool like that. Alas, we were.

After a few seconds of her being shocked by a random butt grab and then registering who I actually was, we embraced like long-lost childhood friends!
And even though I could only understand about every third word she was saying (these slow and dumb American ears of mine had a hard time registering her think Londonian accent), we still had a blast and proceeded to take many photos like the one below.

Nicola, thank you for inviting us for a fun night out. It was a blast and your friends are great. And even though you told us to get on the bus that took us an hour out of the way from our hotel, we still had such a great night and hope you and Ben can come out to San Francisco for a visit soon!! :)

In fact, it was such a fun night, that we spent the entire day Sunday, which was also our very last day abroad, in bed with Pizza Hut delivery. #successisay

I'm going to end this post now because I don't want to get all sappy on you. I'm sure those posts will come later this week while I'm crying myself to sleep in my bed at my Mom's house in Georgia.
But I will say this: Dear friends, I cherish you greatly and I'm so happy so many of you thought my little life was interesting enough to follow along on this journey and keep me company with all of your great emails and comments. We have seen so many great places these last 6 months because of your great recommendations. I sure hope my life will remain interesting enough so you don't all ditch me now that I'm back to being a boring ol' American. ;)

Hope you have a great Monday and I'll see you on the flip side!

Peace out, London!


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Friday, April 26, 2013

My Depressing Friday Facts

Fact #1 - Instead of going on The London Eye today, I got suckered into buying tickets to "The London Dungeon". I thought this said "dungeon" would be more of a historical tour on all the gory details of famous figures in London's past like Jack The Ripper and Sweeney Todd (I'm oddly into things like that, have I mentioned?).
Instead, we were thrown in with a ginormous group of hormones-raging-loud-and-rambunctious 14 year olds. This "dungeon" also included a 60 second boat ride to which we got drenched from the waist down, including my Canon Rebel T2i.

Now said camera will not turn on because it was equally soaked, without warning.

I'm bummed.

Cross your fingers the camera lives on!

{Also, does a camera work the same as a cell phone where you're supposed to put it in a bag of rice to dry it out? Does that rice trick even work? Anyone? Bueller?}

Fact #2 - I wish we, as women, got our periods once every three months instead of every one. I feel like I talk about my PMS-ing way too often on this blog. But I can't help it! By the time I go through all of the hormone-induced feelings, it's just a few short weeks before I've managed to level out, lose those extra chocolate-induced "el-bees", and then it starts all over again!
With that said: Fact #1 created a much bigger reaction from me than what I'm sure a normal person would have done.

Fact #3 - Leave it to me to pick the worst hotel to stay in for our last, go out with a bang stay on our travels. We're basically staying in a hostel. Which, no offense to hostels, those are fine and dandy I'm sure, but not when I didn't pay for a hostel environment.
In case you'd like to hear my complaints, let me indulge you:

-There are random people loitering around the lobby and front doorsteps all. day. long, chain smoking and stinking up the whole place.
-Our bathroom sink was broken and clogged from day one.
-Our toilet seat was, and still is, broken. Every time I sit down, I have to hold on for dear life so I don't slip and fall off the toilet from the wobbly seat.
-They claim to have WiFi, but alas, they do not. At all.
-We have zero sunlight in our room because our window looks out underneath the building into a dirt pile. Did you hear that? Our view is a pile of dirt.
-Every morning at 7am, we are woken up by some sort of scraping or construction going on directly outside of our window.
-This hotel offered free breakfast, which sounded like a great perk. Would you like to know what that breakfast consists of? Bread, butter, and Special K cereal.  Oh, and the coffee machine is broken, so we have to stir up the instant packets. I mean, I'm not trying to be picky here. But, come on. Insta-Coffee?

Have I complained enough about this place yet? I think so. Moving on.

Fact #4 - I have yet to upload any pictures from London onto my computer and now that my camera has possibly gone to camera heaven forever, I only have my Instagram pictures to share. So for those of you that already follow me on there, prepare yourself to see all of the same crap quality photos in an equally crappy Photoshop job because I'm currently sitting in another cafe and I'm lazy.

Fact #5 - Due to Fact #3, it's pretty easy to get bored in the "hotel" room with zero internet to entertain us. SO, in the spirit of making San Francisco our new home soon, this morning I created this picture to be my desktop. And let's just say this is one of the rarities that's making me smile on this gloomy, PMS-infused day of mine. This and, of course, the real version of the man below.

Good lord, I just re-read everything I typed and am I depressing or what??
Please don't let my rants and raves bring down your Friday!
Sometimes a girl's just got to complain. Publicly. For a handful of strangers to read.

Alright friends, it's time for me to say my goodbyes.
I DO hope your day is going amazing and I hope you have a splendid weekend.
I'm going to attempt to revive my camera by putting a blow dryer to it.


P.S. Have you entered yet?

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Things I've Missed Dearly

I know I've said this a million times, but I just can't stress enough how mixed my emotions have been lately. Some days, the thought of going back home and leaving this life of travel really saddens me. Especially lately, knowing that we have less than a week before landing on American soil again.
But then other days, I find myself so exhausted of moving from one place to another, always on the go, walking miles and miles a day and I get extremely excited about going home.

Yesterday was one of my "I don't want to go home" phases. So a trick I've learned to turn my frown upside down is to think of all the things I've been missing.

For example:

1. The Internet: Living abroad, moving from hotel to hotel, you really don't know what your internet situation is going to be like. Like now, for example, we are sitting in a little London cafe using their free WiFi because our hotel sucks balls and even though they advertised "Free Wifi," according to them, they have a fully booked hotel and therefore, the WiFi is shot. <---uhh...okay?
I am very much looking foreword to being back in America with the interwebs available at the touch of a finger! {Though I will say that living sans internet for the last 5 months has pushed us to use our brains instead when trying to figure out our location and where to find something.}

2. Food: I can't tell you how many accumulative hours The Dizzle and I have talked listing all of the different foods we've been missing. I mean, don't get me wrong, we've had some amazing foods while traveling, particularly in Italy, but there's just something about those good ol' fashioned American meals that get me salivating and longing for home.

Including, but not limited to:

In N Out...

A good, decent, large, crisp, scrumptious, chicken cobb salad. 
I've come to find that these are just very hard to come by...

A good ol' California burrito. I'm talking, it's 2am, you have many drinks in you from your night out at the bar, and the only thing that can satisfy that drunk hunger is a giant burrito from that really good hole in the wall Mexican place. You feelin' me?

God, it's no wonder Americans are known for being fatties.
But hey, at least I threw a salad in there?

3. Girlfriends: Bless his wonderful heart for being able to handle me 24/7 these last 5 1/2 months, but I can't tell you how many times V Dizzle has told me that I need my girlfriends around.

In fact, it's usually after any and all of these topics have been brought up by me:

     -The latest celebrity gossip
     -The "ohmygod look what she's wearing" statement
     -The 58 times I said I needed a mani/pedi
     -How bloated I feel commentary
     -A new Grey's Anatomy episode is online!!!!!
     -Another person got {engaged, knocked up, married} on Facebook
Oh my darling Boo, thank you for putting up with me and my girly antics. Just a few more weeks and I'll be able to unload all of that girl-overload talk on some females. ;)

4. Having a closet with options: I've said before just how sick I am of my clothes, so why not say it again! I am sooooo sick of my clothes.
My little suitcase full of clothes: Good riddance to you!
I'm hoping Target, Forever 21, and H&M will have some good selections for me when I get home, seeing as I'm on the "I've just traveled for 6 months and have no job" budget.

5. Our very own bed:  We have been in a total of 25 different beds since leaving America last November. So you better believe how excited I am for when we get to purchase our very own bed for keeps!

6. Home cooked meals: We have had a few kitchens along the way where we've been able to cook the basics, usually eggs for breakfast, but what we've really been missing is having access to a kitchen to cook some good ol' homemade meals! Oh man, you really start to miss that. I'm getting really sick of restaurant meals, delivery, fast food, etc. And this should mean something coming from me! Miss: I Can Barely Cook A Dang Thing.

7. Driving: I'm having a hard time remembering what side of the road Americans drive on or what side of the car the steering wheel is {seriously}, so know that I won't be getting behind the wheel anytime soon. However, I really do miss having a car and knowing where I'm going and being able to drive there any time I want. I definitely took that for granted back home.

8. Paychecks: I've mentioned before that we've been able to earn some money along the way. But trust me, it hasn't been much. We started this journey with $26,000 in the bank. And at this point in time, we have about $7,000 left. So yeah. It's been quite the pricey journey. I don't regret a thing about it and would do it all over again a thousand times, but I will say I do miss those regular paychecks. Going back home means I get to work again. Where? Who knows. But I'm sure I'll find something??
And better believe when that first paycheck hits my bank account I'll be doing the Carlton dance.

America, we'll see you soon.
But for now, there's more of London to explore!

As the Londoners say: Cheers!


P.S. I sure hope you've entered this Ginormous Giveaway I've got going on!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Operation Amsterdam. Hear Me Out.

I've fallen in love with this city in just 7 short days.
And even though we're off to London today (hooray), I still can't help but be a little bit sad to leave this beautiful city.
The food, oh the food! I can guarantee you that I've probably gained a solid five this past week.
French fries with mayonnaise and Dutch cheese on the daily will do that to ya, I suppose.

There probably wasn't an hour that went by where I didn't tell someone, anyone who would listen really, that I could live here.

So here's the thing. I've devised a plan!

You see, V Dizzle's mama is Dutch. As in, born in Amsterdam, still has her Dutch passport, Dutch!
Which means, that The Dizzle can get DUAL citizenship, right?
So if he could just get on the ball with his Dutch citizenship,
then all he'd have to do is simply MARRY me, and I get to stay here too!
I mean, how easy is that?!
It's brilliant, really, and I'm shocked he hasn't thought of this plan by now.
In fact, when I told him my grand idea, he just stared at me silently, because I think he was just so blown away by my talented mind.
It sure is a good thing he has me and my great wits to get us through some tough situations.

Plus, I look darn good in those Dutch wooden shoes that it'd be a crying shame if we didn't spend more time here at some point in our lives, don't you think?

All in favor, say aye!




Well, okay, I guess that's my cue to exit...

But wait! Before you go, can I please introduce you to Nadine? She has written up such a great little post for you guys and I really love it. Especially now that we'll be moving home in just a few short weeks, these tips are great for me so as not to spiral into a deep, dark depression.
I encourage you to read it, soak it in, and live by it!
I also encourage you to say hi and show her some blog love! ;)


Hey, I'm Nadine and I blog over at Back East Blonde

I think it’s safe to say that many of us read Mish Lovin Life (and Filling in the Dots) from our desks at work. Her blog is definitely my everyday attempt to live vicariously through two people who are far more adventurous than I am. And yet, I'm rarely bored with my life. 

Here are a few ideas about how to make day to day life a little more adventurous:

1. Figure out what adventure means to YOU. Adventure doesn't have to mean travel. It could mean that you try something new every day. It could mean that every weekend you spend more time outside or take up a new hobby. You can live a life of adventure without leaving your state or even your city! Figure out what you want to add to your life and consider that your adventure.

2. Find a job you care about. Yes, I sit at a desk most days for about 7 hours. Sometimes sitting at a desk sucks. But, what if you were sitting at your desk doing something you loved

I work for a non-profit that fights childhood cancer. We provide financial assistance to families and fund pediatric cancer research. I cannot stress to you how much happier my life became when I got a job I loved. As someone said at some point, "if you have a job you love, you'll never work a day in your life". Okay that might not have been exactly it, but the point was made. You aren't stuck.

3. Learn something new. I recently finished a photography class at my local community college. I promise, somewhere near where you live, someone is teaching a class on something that you want to learn. Give it a shot.

4. Take a cue from your elders. Want to know how to live it up? Ask someone who's already done it! Here's a quote from my 90 year old grandmother ordering at a restaurant, "....oh no honey, I don't drink alcohol. Just bring me a glass of wine." Well played Grammy, well played. See how much we can learn from others?

The other blonde over at Back East Blonde. 
5. If all that fails, get a dog. I'm serious. Want your life to be turned upside down? Try letting a whimpering fluff ball out every 3 hours all night for a month or two. The sleep deprivation induced hallucinations are bound to make things more interesting. And when that phase is over, you'll have a creature who literally worships you and forces you to get off your tush and get a little exercise. Win!
I’d love if you came to visit me, though I never post any pictures of monkeys (and definitely none of tigers) so I might be a huge disappointment on that front. 

In case you weren't convinced by that very convincing statement, here are 10 People Who Are Cooler Than Me. I've even decided who would play me in a movie, and chatted about all the stuff that's only cool in the blog world. When my quest to live an adventurous life has failed me, I've fallen flat on my face, got bangs on a whim, and of course, started a blog.

Thanks for having me, Michelle! And thanks for bringing us all along for your adventure!



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Monday, April 22, 2013

Our First Day Apart.

Today marks our 156th day of travel together.
And in those 156 days, we have only had ONE day apart.
Just. One.
And that day happened to be this past Saturday.
I went to Bruges, Belgium with my mom, aunt, and uncle and V Dizz spent the day here in Amsterdam with his mama.
And let me tell you something.

It was weird. Very weird.

I didn't realize just how odd it'd feel until we were a few hours into the trip.
I kept wanting to look over to him and tell him something or point out something new to him.
Here I've spent almost 6 months with this person, day in and day out,
and just a few hours apart, I'm missing him!
You'd think it would be a welcome separation after so much time with someone.
But I'm going to go ahead and say it, gag if you'd like to, but I would rather of had him there.
I tried to stay quiet about it because I didn't want to be that girl that was attached at the hip to her man.
But, I tell ya. It was definitely a very different experience than what I was used to.

For example.

When The Dizz and I are looking for something to eat, we spout out a few suggestions and quickly agree on a place.
Easy, quick, and satisfying.
But when you're somewhere new and you have 4 people in the group?
Oh lord help me if we can find a place to eat under 20 minutes.
Here we are in Bruges, trying to decide which restaurant to go to and I'm sure if you saw my face at this moment in time, you'd know just how impatient and irritated I was feeling.
Me + Hunger = Extreme Impatience.

There was literally a restaurant right behind us throughout this entire debacle that I was more than happy to eat at, but nooooo, it had to be from the "recommended" guide book, to which we then had to find on the GPS and hand map beforehand.


I've heard from so many people how fortunate we are that we've found a good travel buddy in each other. We've been told horror stories about traveling with friends and how quickly they got irritated with each other. And after just one day in Bruges with my family, I began to understand just a bit on what they were talking about.
Now, now, fam, if you're reading this, know that I had a splendid time with you and I love you all so very much. But goodness gracious, when you have that many different personalities and opinions in one tight circle trying to decide on something, well, maybe it's just me, but I don't think I could do that for 6 months. Ya feelin' me?

Point is: I'm thankful that The Dizzle and I were able to embark on this journey together. It has definitely made us stronger and I think we've learned a lot about each other and have learned how to work with one another instead of against one another.

Anyway, it's safe to say, I was just about speed walking back to the car to go home that day.
And when I finally saw The Dizzle that night, we hopped in bed and shared our stories with each other.
It was exciting, actually, to hear new things and share new things.
We haven't been able to do that so much in these last 6 months because we've done every single thing together, so it was a neat change.
Then, of course, he said he missed me too and I didn't feel like such a weenie anymore. ;)


P.S. April's Group Giveaway is going on and there's some wonderful prizes for you to win! 
Check it out here!

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

April Group Giveaway!

It's that time of the month again!
The time of month that I have gathered a bunch of lovely lady bloggers to come together and spread their wings of generosity!

And now YOU have the chance to win a buttload of goodies.

You also have the chance to meet some wonderful new bloggers!
It's basically a win/win all around, yes?

So let us go forth and prosper.
Have fun, don't worry, and be happy.
Badda bing. Badda boom.

The show must go on.

Okay, I'll shut up now...

Prizes up for grabs:
-9 different blogs will advertise YOUR site/business for a month (or more)!
-$55 worth of giftcards/cash!
-eBook copy of Blog, Inc!
-Adobe Creative Suite Software!
-Cocktail Ring!

Enter below!

{If you'd like to participate for May's Group Giveaway: check out the options here!}


Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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