Sunday, January 29, 2012

Travel Guidebook Happiness

Lately, I feel like things have been so all over the place that I simply haven't had time to do some of the things that typically keep me sane (reading, exercising, BLOGGING, lounging at cozy coffee shops... I could go on and on, really).

It certainly doesn't help that lately, I've had this incessant feeling that something is going to go terribly wrong in the very near future. My stomach is constantly in knots (I swear, I'm about to develop an ulcer) and that "feeling" literally just will NOT go away.

God. Talk about the OPPOSITE of happiness and sunshine, right? Sigh. I swear, this post isn't an ENTIRE buzzkill (please do keep reading!).

Anyway, after yet another work week (sigh, corporate America), all I wanted to do was come home and...

Well, to be honest, just curl up in a ball and go to sleep for a very long time. (Let's just say, after last Saturday's 18 hours of sleep, I couldn't help but hope for a similar weekend this weekend.) Seriously, my entire bus ride home, I was contemplating different ways to turn down the birthday party I'd promised to go to on Friday night so that I could honestly just go to sleep at like 8 PM.

It's amazing what a looming vacation can do for a girl's mentality. All I've done for my March trip to Australia thus far is book my flights... and that's because I HAD to... who knew how much higher ticket prices were going to get?! Additionally, last weekend, I finally buckled down and secured my purchase for the Lonely Planet Australia guide on Amazon. I'd actually completely forgotten about that purchase until I arrived home on Friday night, to the brilliant surprise that I had a package! (Because I travel during the weeks, I typically catch up on all my mail and stuff at the end of the work week.)

Happiness. Pure happiness. That is the only way to put it. I couldn't believe how much my mood changed simply by riffling through the first few pages of the guidebook. I could literally FEEL the relaxation of the Australian lifestyle emanating through those pages. Not to mention the EXCITEMENT!!! Have I shared how I'm so excited for this trip? Have I? So excited I can hardly STAND IT?!!

And seriously, with the rate things have been going lately, don't put it past me to just park it in Australia for the rest of my days...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Get Ready, Australia! Here I COME!!!

And who said New Year's Resolutions aren't legit? Guess who gets to cross #1 off her New Year's Resolution list already?!

That's right! I finally bit it and booked my flight to Sydney, Australia!!!

I was wondering if this was actually going to happen. Don't get me wrong- I've been wanting to visit that side of the world for QUITE some time now... ever since one of my best friends, Kathy, moved to New Zealand a year after college. However, while the prospect was always there, nothing ever panned out... all four-ish years she was down there. Lame-o (on my part), I know. What can I say? When it came to lavish vacations vs. paying off my student loans, the frugal, practical side of me clearly won out.

When Kathy and her husband, Liam, decided to move to Sydney, Australia last year, I knew that I simply HAD to get down to that side of the world, before they ended up moving back to the United States (lkfjdsalkfj! Which, can I say, I couldn't be more ecstatic about?!). And, GOD! Sydney, Australia. Doesn't it just scream all things utopian sunshiney happiness?

Now that I think about it, I sure hope I decide to come back. Huh. Anyway!

For me, sure, the location can totally make or break a vacation. But for this trip in particular, I can safely say it's the people that are going to make it for me. Not only is this trip designed to be one giant hugfest of a reunion with Kathy, BUT I also get to reunite with Hazel... another favorite person (ever, in life) of mine who was a fellow coworker of mine in San Francisco (and who currently lives out in Sydney as well... I know, what are the odds?).

You would think that would be enough, right? Nope. Because I've also planned my time in Sydney to coincide with the time one of my college best friends (who is currently living in South Korea) will be in Sydney as WELL!!!

REUNION CENTRALKljdskfjasldkfjlkdsajflkdsjL!!!!!

Sigh. Isn't life just grand? ISN'T IT? High school best friend, college best friend AND a San Francisco favorite all convening on the other side of the world??!! What ARE the odds?! And icing on the cake?! That's right... I'm going in March, which is only... the grandest season of allllll, Falllllll over on that side of the world!!! (You better believe that was always in the back of my mind as I was planning timing for this vacation!)

Huh. I guess I should actually start planning some of the logistics behind my trip... quite frankly, I just kind of booked my flight on a whim about a week ago (throwing caution to the wind and all that) without really thinking about what I'm going to be DOING for those two weeks straight. Sure, Sydney's the priority, but I want to hit up Melbourne, the Great Barrier Reef and... well, that's about all I've got for right now. Clearly, a trip to Amazon for an Australia guidebook is in my near future...

Okay, so this post wasn't solely devoted to bragging rights about this trip. (Only partially... haha.) If you have suggestions of places I should visit while I'm in the land down under, definitely comment on this post or email/text/call/Facebook/Tweet/Google+ me... well, you get the idea.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cosby Show Therapy

Well, if my first week of 2012 is a reflection of the rest of the year, all I have to say is... bring back 2011. Immediately.

Let's just say this first week was much more chaotic than one should ever expect for a first week back from a nice, long holiday vacation. Do you ever have one of those weeks where you feel like your days are flying by but the week seems neverending? That was my life last week. So, needless to say, the weekend couldn't come fast enough.

Sadly, I think my poor eating and sleeping habits from the week were quickly catching up to me. I was pretty much useless this weekend... all I wanted to do was catch up on sleep. And just lounge on my cozy couch.

Which is where I discovered the therapy to end all therapies. Enter: The Cosby Show.

Sigh, the '80s. The peak of the television era, if you ask me. Twenty years later, The Cosby Show still remains one of my favorite shows of all time. My loyalty runs so deep, in fact, that you better believe I still DVR any and all episodes that come on any random ol' channel. And sure, while I typically watch each DVR'ed episode and then delete it, there is one episode that I simply can't bring myself to delete.

Do you remember this episode?!?!? Where Denise and Theo are in a car accident with Stevie Wonder? You know, it's funny... over the years, I had always pinpointed my one or two favorite Cosby Show episodes but this one never actually made my list. THAT is quickly changing, because, literally, I could watch this episode over... and over... and over again.

Which is exactly what has been happening over the past few weeks (starting with when I first started DVR'ing it). Sure, originally, I was just watching it for the sheer entertainment value (I literally laugh aloud everytime I watch the below-posted scene). But I flipped over to it this weekend as I was trying to mentally recuperate from the week and I must say, it really did wonders in cheering me up and distracting me enough to forget about the woes of the week for just a fleeting period of time, at least. Literally laugh out loud comedy... every. single. time.

I guess I could have posted the entire episode here, but quite frankly, all you really need to watch is minute 6:30ish of the above clip in order to get the full gist of how/why this episode never fails to crack me UP each and every single time... Denise's reaction was literally how I felt when I met Will Smith... in case you can't tell by my starstruck eyes and mile to mile wide smile...

Any excuse to bring that picture back into play, really...

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Half-Hearted 2012 Goals

Happy 2012, everyone!

I normally love New Year's. I mean, I love the opportunity to celebrate just about anything and this holiday is seemingly all about new beginnings, fresh starts, etc. So, imagine my surprise when I awoke on 1/1/2012 with sub-par excitement levels regarding the new year laying ahead of me. Sure, part of it had to do with the slight headache with which I awoke thanks to the previous evening's festivities, but I honestly couldn't pinpoint the exact reason why I wasn't all too excited about the prospects to be offered in 2012.

It was only after some serious contemplation about my New Year's goals that it dawned on me. I simply couldn't get too excited about 2012 because, well... 2011 was just so darn amazing. (<-- And that blog post only included the top five reasons why 2011 was so darn good to me.)

I know, I know. Woe is me- I just had one of the greatest years of my life. But let's face it. I hate change. I especially hate change when I have something so wonderful to which it could be compared (i.e. 2011, in its entirety). But whatever. Tradition's tradition, and all that. What would a new year BE without some new year's goals, right? Right. Halfhearted though the list may be, I've at least really utilized my organizational skills to break it into appropriate categories, for your reading ease- you're welcome in advance. So, without further ado, I present to you...

My Half-Hearted 2012 Goals*


1. Australia - this is #1 on my priority list. It will happen. A bonus goal? To fly there for free... just you wait and see...

Since I'm pretty sure that Australia is going to wipe a fair amount of my bank account (not to mention my vacation days), I've forced my remaining travel goals to be domestic...

2. Vermont - Not only do I just want to go hang out at a ski lodge and sip cozy hot chocolate all the livelong day (haha- screw that whole skiing thing!), but I specifically want to go visit the ski resort/lodge that the VonTrapp family (you know... from the Sound of Music?) owns. I mean, I already did the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, Austria... this is only the next logical step in my quest to... well, fully and completely stalk the VonTrapp family, I guess.

3. New England in the Fall - this has been a recurring dream over the past few years... I mean, have you heard ANYthing but amazing things about those New England states amidst all that Fall foliage? That's what I thought. (And yes, I know I'm kind of cheating since 2 and 3 can be combined here, but oh well.)

4. New York and San Francisco - these aren't really too exciting of goals since I already know I'll be going to each of these cities (at least) once this upcoming year. But hey, whatever I've gotta do to be able to cross things off my list and all that.


1. To become STRONG - you know how most people's New Year's resolutions involve losing weight in some way, shape or form? Not me. Sure, this may come about given my actual goal, but my primary focus is to become STRONG. I recently started going to hot yoga (which, trust me, is not at ALL like my godawful Bikram yoga experience) and am honestly amazed with how you literally are simply using your BODY (rather than, say, dumbbells, resistance bands, etc.) to develop your strength. (Thanks, Alma and Emily, for actively advertising this enough for me to be motivated enough to try it.)

2. To attend the 2012 Healthy Living Summit (HLS) - I attended my very first HLS in 2011 and LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT IT! Great panels, great friends, great bloggers, great food, great CITY... so excited to see what location they pick this year!! (My hopes? Vermont or Utah... random, I know.)

3. To seriously work on my knee - ever since my snow day experience last February (any opportunity to bring up my national TV debut, really!), my knee really has never gotten back to 100%. After seeing a some sports therapist at my first 5K, I realized that if I really do want to take running more seriously (read: without pain and injury), I need to strengthen my knees. Thankfully, I have my physical therapy exercises ready and waiting- it's more just me being motivated to actually DO them on a regular basis. (Yes, I know. This goal is super random.)


1. To develop a work/life balance - I feel like it's getting to the point where I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that this is simply going to be a constant battle for me. I have finally come to terms with the fact that I may have some workaholic tendencies, but I'm really, REALLY trying to counter that by simply being aware of how potentially unhealthy it can be and forcing myself to focus on other things I love as well (i.e. blogging, becoming the next Oprah... well, you get the idea).

Of course, this list isn't fully comprehensive. I mean, I could stick in how I hope to keep in better touch with people, learn to cook, drink more water, etc. but those recurring goals just have NOT worked out so well for me in the past. And quite frankly, I want my New Year's goals to set me up for success, if you will :) So biased, that I am.

*Haha. Just rereading that title... talk about a BUZZ-KILL. Sorry! Happy, happy New Year, to one and all!