y’all. all I ever ever wanted to be growing up was an archaeologist. or paleontologist. or anthropologist. or a combination of those three. I didn’t, because… reasons… some having to do with a super conservative upbringing where women have a specific role and it doesn’t involve digging in the Valley of the Kings. and also an enormous lack of self confidence. and a general fear of getting the thing that I want. and my college counselor telling me she would’t write me a recommendation to the schools with the good archaeology departments.
“why would you want to do all of that work, when you’ll know all the answers when you get to heaven anyways?” (not a quote from my guidance counselor, just a thing I was told growing up.) but what the actual fork?!
the point – I’ve stopped listening to MSNBC in the car, and while I miss Nicole Wallace and the righteous rage of Steve Schmidt I don’t miss the anxiety or Joe Scarborough’s pompous snark. So what have I been listening to instead? Glad you asked. I’ve been listening to National Geographic’s: The Great Courses. Specifically Archaeology: An Introduction to the World’s Greatest Sites. Which, I did NOT pay 234.95 for, I used a single Audible credit. (14.95) And while I feel a little jealous when he is obviously showing images to the camera I also feel like I can put the $220.00 that I saved towards my Nile River Cruise in 2022.
it is a FANTASTIC listen, and one I highly recommend. Chapter 10 is “How do you excavate at a site?” and he goes into specific things like tools (Marshalltown Trowels, everyone should bring their own) to pick axes. (provided at the site). at one point he says something about how his dig volunteers are mostly students but they’re not all students. sometimes they’re retired doctors or people who want to check ‘archaeological dig’ off of their bucket list. at which point, 5 minutes from the office, at 7:30 in the morning, I’m crying in my car.
I can do that! I’m 42 and the fact that I’m not an archaeologist is 100% on me now and next year we will have 2 kids in college so volunteering on a dig sounds about my speed.
my dad loves convenience stores, his dad did too. They’re open on holidays, some are open 24 hours, they all have news papers and Life Savers and their milk and bread are usually delivered more frequently than they are to the grocery store. Our milk ALWAYS came from the convenience store. I also love them, because I love fountain soda – and other than McDonalds, 7-11 usually has the BEST fountain soda. also I love snacks.
when I was a kid he’d tell me I could have candy if I could decide *right now* so sometimes I didn’t get candy because I’M THE WORST AT DECISIONS. Also, I love him, but patience isn’t a thing he’s known for. I get that from him too. I go from zero to WHAT THE FORK?!!! in 6 seconds or less. My lack of decisiveness isn’t Chidi level bad but I’m constantly second guessing myself. Anyways. I want an Away Suitcase (I love shit that gets hyped on instagram, and so far have not been led astray) Annnnnyways (again) They have these collaborations that sell out SO FAST and I want one of those but the next day they’re gone. So I have to decide that I 245 dollars love something split second and that is hard for me. I don’t think I 245 dollars love anything at first sight. But their genius marketing requires that kind of decision making which works in direct opposition to my anxiety.
I have spent HOURS researching what people say about them, does the Bigger Carry-on fit in a JetBlue overhead bin? (seems to) Does the battery actually charge 5x? (seems to) Do they actually fit all that much? (seem to) Am I going to be one of those people dragging a suitcase with a broken wheel? (seems not)
and during that time collaborations have come and gone. The one I’m saddest about I didn’t even KNOW about before it had already sold out. Endor (the green one) was MADE FOR ME. #returnofthejedi4lyfe
they have nine solid every day colors, but… eh? They did a collaboration with Dwayne Wade that included a WINE SUITCASE. Do I need that? no, I wouldn’t have bought it, but I DID like the Bigger Carryon in two tones of blue with a cool liner.
they even did a Minions collaboration! Would I have bought a 245 dollar thing to troll my children with? Probably not. But maybe… but probably not.
Rashida Jones did a collaboration. Her colors were good. That one happened before I realized that I wanted one…
Which leads me to Violet. Violet released yesterday and is still available today! So now, like a jackass, I’m going to “zen of shopping” it and say… if it’s still available tomorrow I’ll get it. Which I probably won’t, because 245 seems like A LOT to spend…
My super talented and creative friend Laura Fisk of Fisk & Fern is THIS MINUTE creating a Breakfast Taco tea towel for you to add to your extensive tea towel collection. (I KNOW I’m not the only one with an extensive tea towel collection… right?) Anyways. When she releases it I’mma put it up here. So watch this space. And in the meantime here’s Queso and Margaritas. Which are the perfect bookends for tacos.
I love Austin, Texas. I belong there. Even through hundred degree summers I forking THRIVED in Austin. We are flying down tonight and I’m READY.
There are so many things that could be #3 on this Austincentric Favorites list. Obviously my friends. (but I count them in as just being Austin.) Pluckers, Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Deep Eddy Vodka… but this week it’s the reason why we are going to Austin.
Austin City Limits. Three days, drinking wine out of sports bottles in a field. Where my friends are. And also all this music, and usually sunshine, and beer, and the most ridiculous food. Right now it is looking like it could be overcast and rainy so I’mma need someone to get Dick Cheney to turn on his weather machine and fix that shirt.
I shipped a box down to my Disney hotel on Tuesday so that we can restock our Owner’s Locker with shampoo, conditioner, my new favorite beach waves hair cream, a box of glow bracelets… I should have take a photo of the contents but until 15 seconds ago I didn’t know what my favorites were going to be this week.
We are leaving Friday for the long weekend. Our youngest is turning 18 on Saturday and we cashed in all of our JetBlue frequent flier miles and Disney Rewards Visa points to bring her and 2 of her friends to stay at Bay Lake Tower. We are going to the Halloween Party, it is the first weekend of the Food & Wine Festival and Tiffany is going to be singing for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, I can’t wait.
I think half of the battle for regular Disney visitors are finding:
the perfect park bag.
the perfect park shoes.
the perfect comfort/convenience items.
So here we go:
My perfect park bag is the Kavu rope sling bag. I’ve been using the same one for the last several years and it still looks BRAND NEW. Which is awesome, but also- c’mon! I want a new one. (Specifically the space pops one– how great is that?!) There are a ton of pockets- the front one fits my iphone 7+ perfectly, and that’s a monster so I can’t imagine a phone that wouldn’t fit there to be easily accessible. It is comfortable to wear, I don’t find myself getting all sweaty under it. It fits EVERYTHING. I generally start the day with a couple of bottles of water, a cooling towel, charging cords, a sunscreen, a single neatly folded poncho, my phone, and a small wallet with ID/Annual Pass/Gift Card/Disney Visa Card. I generally end the day without the water bottles but WITH a cake pop or school bread or carrot cake cookie, a set of ears, various souvenirs, three damp ponchos, and still room for more.
I love this bag.
I go back and forth on the perfect park shoes. For a year or two they were Sketchers lace up sneakers with memory foam cooling insoles… and then my feet decided that being confined like that would RUIN EVERYONE’S DAY. So I’m all set with that for now.
I have had much luck with Sanuk Yoga Mat Slings – they have fabric that hugs your foot while still giving them lots of room to breathe – which keeps them from getting cranky – which keeps ME from getting cranky. (never wear these to the beach, you will never get the sand out of the sling bit)
BUT THEN I bought a pair of these Fit Flop Uberknit flip flops. I committed the first Disney mortal sin of wearing brand new shoes, straight out of the box, for a full day at Disneyland and they were so comfortable I broke the second Disney mortal sin of wearing the same shoes two days in a row. No regrets. I bought a second color and these two pairs might be the only shoes I bring for the weekend.
And for #3 I’m essentially asking Genie for a million wishes because I can’t pick a third and instead I’m listing some of my favorite convenience items.
The Disney Park Poncho – the original and the best – I decided one year that I was going to buy those disposable little ponchos and it ripped while I was putting it on mid-rainstorm. So.
I mentioned I have an Owner’s Locker the locker is packed with ponchos, ears, full sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner, any meds we might need, bandaids, sunscreen, bug spray, aloe, etc. So now I store our ponchos in the Locker, but before that I’d just bring them back and forth each in their own quart sized ziplock bag.
Cooling towels. I’m a better person when I have one wrapped around my neck. These are NOT in our locker, because they’d be all mildewy so I bring them home to wash between visits. At quick service counters you can ask for free glasses of ice water. I ask for 2, and one of them is just to submerge my cooling towel in. Game changer.
and finally – power. I have a few different kinds of portable power sources for our phones but the Fuel Rods available on property hold more than a full charge and are replaceable on site – so you don’t have to go back to your room to recharge. Your first fuel rod also comes with a little cord and a few different phone adaptors. It is expensive at $30 but I feel as if we have recouped the spend multiple times over so far.
So that’s what I’ve got. And other than the poncho and the Owners Locker these would work for a day at any amusement park or field trip or hike.
Y’all. on the 9th I had to have a tooth extracted and then this weekend I cracked a tooth on the OTHER side of my mouth – on an egg salad sandwich. So it was the tooth’s time to go I guess. So, I’m still not really eating anything delicious. But! Today someone brought a bag of fun sized candy bars to the office and there are Three Musketeers bars- which are definitely my speed right now.
So I ordered three boxes of chocolates from See’s. And technically I bought extra to share but I might keep all three for myself because the world is shitty right now and I’m a sucker for a berry creme chocolate. And chocolate in general. And pretty much anything I can eat without worrying that I’m going to stab myself in the gums or break another tooth. (my teeth aren’t all this fragile, just those two.)
I have no regrets, #becausechocolate
I got an email today with this dress in it. I’m not buying it because like I said – dental work – and also I’m currently pretending that I’m going to Egypt for 17 days in January/February. THOUGH. if I were going to Egypt this dress seems like it could be amazing with a giant hat to wear onboard the Sonesta Star Goddess as we travel up the Nile. Oh… I’m definitely putting together a fake packing list Pinterest board for my fake adventure through Egypt. hang on…
Anyways, like I said- I’m going on actual vacation on Saturday. I’m going to Disneyland! Don’t roll your eyes at me, I know I was in Disney World last month but this is different. I’ve never been to Disneyland! And everyone is going – Dave, the girls, my sister and her husband and my nephew, and the girls are each bringing a friend… it is a Disney field trip of the highest order. AND. we are doing a VIP tour because it stresses me out to be responsible for other people’s vacations – so to make sure we cover everything… getting a plaid. Wicked excited.
I’ve been making the same list over and over this week – tweaking it a little each time. But yesterday morning it occurred to me that I’m bringing a big-ass-suitcase because I’m NOT stressing out about fitting my outfits and shoes into a little suitcase to prove that I can. That’s not fun at all.
How do I pack for Disneyland? Is it weird that I’m looking at strangers’ Instas to see what people are wearing in their photos?
news breaks that Justice Kennedy is retiring and there goes all of my travel excitement and actual anxiety hits and none of this fun silly stuff matters.
I picked the wrong administration to start a blog about shopping.
I have been in Disney World- Traveling My Feelings with a large side of Eating My Feelings- and celebrating my birthday. When things at work get crazy, or when I’m sad, or I’m happy enough to be experiencing a break in the clouds of depression that makes me want to DO ANYTHING… I plan Disney weekends. It gets me out of my head, it gives me something to focus on and to get ready for. Making dining reservations and fastpass+ ride plans is a concrete step forward while giving me something bigger to look forward to. Plus it is really fricking fun.
And there’s packing. I start packing in my head and on paper weeks before I go. I have an entire Disney wardrobe- clothing I would never wear during my day to day in Massachusetts where I have always worn black, even in summertime. (I’m working on that right now but that’ll be another blog post for another day.) The quest for the perfect park shoe is never ending- if you have a suggestion I’m open to hearing it! I’ve found that my old school Fit Flops work the best. Skechers GoWalk sneakers with the yoga mat soles are also awesome, but the INSTANT my feet get sweaty it is all over for me, so I can’t wear things that require socks. Your mileage may vary on that.
In the photo at the top of this I’m wearing a LulaRoe Carly dress, I think it is a size Small, which cracks me up every time- I wear Small and Medium in that style interchangeably and find them to be some of the best park dresses I’ve got. My shoulders are protected from the sunburn I would otherwise get and it is a swing style, giving me lots of room for Mickey Waffles and Dole Whips. I’m also crazy about the bag I’m wearing – it is a Kavu sling bag that I got from Amazon and I will never go back to another style bag for the parks. The Kavu fits 3-4 of the thicker Disney ponchos, a bottle of water, phone, a cord and a fuel rod. Plus the other little necessities of the day- sunglasses, cool towel, advil, sunscreen… they’re also cute and easy for security to look through as I enter the park. So. A Kavu Bag. The way to go for sure. I have the Black Topo style but see Space Pop in my future! (the link to Amazon is an affiliate link- if you buy it- and you should!- I’ll make a tiny bit which I’ll put towards my next one.)
Disney trip planning gives me an excuse to do all of the things I love all at once – shopping, list-making, thinking about food… and the payoff is a trip to a place I love with people I love.