I’m going to China!

I have big news – I’M GOING TO CHINA!china-attraction-map

I’ve been dating for a number of years now, and met a wonderful man, “E”, about a year ago. We were both on dating sites, but different ones so we never would have met that way. However, our paths crossed here in Columbus. He moved to Columbus from out of state about a month before I did. We were friends, and it slowly evolved. We’ve been dating since January, and he mentioned non-nonchalantly about going to Hong Kong. I responded that I’d always wanted to see China.

Well, last month, he said “let’s do it”. Which is crazy talk.

C’mon, it’s really crazy talk. I mean, there are logistical constraints. We’d need a visa to go to China. To get a Chinese visitor’s visa, you need to send your plane ticket and hotel confirmations with the exact dates. That means we need to buy tickets — non-refundable tickets. And book all our hotels. If you know me, it takes me forever to book a hotel. I need to read all the reviews, plus we need to make sure it’s in the right location with an English-speaking concierge.

But we did it. Well, mostly. I just got my visa returned to me today, and E’s visa will come back (hopefully) in time for our departure.

We will be going to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong; for 10 days. I can’t wait!

Viva la Mexico

I’ve not been on a real vacation in a long, long time. And I’ve never been to a tropical place before. So, my dear, beautiful, caring cousin chose to have a destination wedding. In Cancún. At a luxury resort.

oh. my. god.

I came back last Tuesday. And I want to go back. I want to spend many days of my life in that type of place. It was lovely.

I mean, it was more than just hanging out. We saw history. We saw the Mayan Ruins. But gosh. It was so lovely on the last day, when I had nothing to do but sit poolside, drinking tropical bevvies.

cancun pool

Here is the pyramid at Chichén Itzá, so you can see that I did embrace the cultural side of the journey as well. It was super cool. Well, super hot because Mexico in late June. But très chic.

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sickness & airline travel

Ok, so I’ve been sick. Like really, really sick.

I’ve been so excited this past month. Randomly, one night about a month ago, I found a place. An awesome place. The top half of a house across from the lake. Half a front porch, other half is a sunroom. Working fireplace. Real wood everywhere (that hasn’t been painted over a million times). Beveled glass. Built-in sideboard & shelving, framing a sitting area in the dining room w/ windows. Just gorgeous. Plus, room in the basement for a treadmill.

The day we moved, on Sat, I started coughing. Well, on Sunday, the coughing became non-stop. & painful. Oh so painful.

It got to be way too much on Monday, & I went to see a doctor. They tested me for the regular flu & did a chest x-ray cause they thought I had pneumonia. I waited 5 days for the results; turned out to be bronchitis. Oh, it was so horrible though.

I was barely semi-covered, when I had to travel the next week.

The doc gave me meds, cough syrup w/ codeine & a z-pack (antibiotics), that he said should have me better in 5 days. Well, that Monday coming up, I was supposed to speak to dozens of ppl in Boston, & on Tuesday, to hundreds in NYC.

I knew I was still too sick to actually do this trip, so I tried calling the airline. I told them how sick I’d been & that the doc thought I might have the flu &/or pneumonia (we hadn’t gotten the results back yet then). I just wanted to change the name on the ticket I paid $360 dollars for to that of my co-worker. They wouldn’t have it. They offered me a voucher for travel in the coming year. I checked prices, & it woulda cost over $700 if we re-booked new tix for the same flights in her name. So, that was no consolation.

I told the airlines that Barack would def NOT approve of their basically telling a very sick person that they would have to be in a contained space w/ hundreds of other Americans.

They didn’t seem worried about it.

They could hear me wheezing & coughing. I spoke w/ about 4 or 5 different ppl in their customer service. Customer Service. HA!

Well, I ended up going. I downed tea like a champ the whole time. It was the only thing keeping me from coughing. In NYC, the guy at the corner pizza place looked at me weird when I asked for some hot water in a to-go cup. I told him to just charge me for tea or coffee, & he seemed to have such a prob comprehending that I just wanted to use my own decaf green tea instead of their stuff. I balanced 3 to-go cups of tea on the subway, w/ my work bag & my purse. Got shot dirty looks from others on the train everytime I coughed. Like I was some deviant.

Ugh. I can’t believe how difficult ppl make it to be sick. It’s not like anyone wants to be sick. & EVERYONE’s been sick. So, shouldn’t they empathize & maybe cut others some slack?!?

Really, US Airways? You couldn’t just change the name on the ticket so I didn’t have to go through all that?

Photo Friday: dusk

Taken on a mountaintop overlooking Phoenix, Sept. 2006:

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You know you wanna see everyone’s else’s Dusk pics, so check out Photo Friday’s Link Viewer.

Cherry Capital Airport

Have I ever told you guys about Traverse City, MI? It’s the Cherry Capital of the World.*

They have the best cherries up there; & they have farms where you can pick your own of course. Every year, I get 1 (one) jar of cherry preserves from this place called Cooper Farm up there. It has 3 ingredients: Cherries, sugar, & some pectin (to make it all jelly-like). I then proceed to ration out the cherry jam in my PB & J sammiches so that it lasts as long as possible. This stuff is prob the greatest jam EV-ER.

Back to the airport though. The whole town is cute, just adorable. But the airport is really something else.

I’m sitting in the airport right now, & a flight just boarded for Chicago. There is one passenger missing. I know this b/c the gal that checks the boarding passes locked the door, found the one patrol officer, & told him. They both then split up & walked around the airport to try to find her. She even announced the gal’s name on the speaker, asking her to come to gate 1.

Oh, there’s only 6 gates. That’s 6 gates, 1 terminal.

I can walk into the airport, go through security, & go clear to the other side of the airport to the furthest gate in just 2 mins. Remember, this is WITH going through security. That also means that the ppl who live here don’t just drop off their loved ones at the airport. They actually come in, go through security, & kiss them good-bye at the gate. Then look out the window & wave to the plane as it’s leaving. Do you remember that? Or, was that just something my family did before all this hub-ba-loo?

That’s how cute & small this airport is. I love coming here! That’s all I’ve got, just wanted to share.

Oh, & didja check out their address? It’s in that lil picture.

*self-proclaimed

autobots are special needs devices

I’m preparing for my flight to Chicago tomorrow morn.  I figured I’d check the TSA guidelines so that my precious (expensive) toiletries don’t get poached from me.

So, I go to the TSA regulations site.  It’s really cute, it’s called “TSA:  What to Know Before You Go”.  See?  Cute!  It rhymes.

This is when I discovered that my 4 oz “travel-sized” hair gel is not allowed, the container must be 3 oz or less. Criggity.

Then I just scroll down to see what other useful info they have. And I see the heading:

Makeup, Medication, Personal Items & Special Needs Devices

And listed under that is your usual (in alpha order):

  • Aerosol spray bottles and cans
  • All creams and lotions
  • Bug and mosquito sprays and repellents
  • Deodorants
  • Eyelash Curlers
  • Hair styling gels and spray
  • Liquid foundations
  • Liquid mascara
  • Shampoos and conditioners
  • Toothpaste

….. and then I see this, just under toothpaste….

  • Toy Transformer Robots

um…. what? I know that toy Transformer robots aren’t makeup or medication. So they must qualify as a special needs device? They’re above tweezers & walking canes. Seriously, you can click on that link above to go to the TSA regulations website & see it for yourself if you don’t believe me.  I’ll even put up a screenshot in case they change it:

PhotoFriday: Self-Portrait

A friend of mine & I were IM-ing last Friday, & she mentioned that maybe I should get stilts.

And Friday’s Photo Friday challenge was Self-Portrait. That made me think of my visit to the Getty a couple years back, where I took this pic:

Funny lookin, no?

For more funny-lookin (& normal-lookin) PhotoFriday Self-Portrait submissions, go here & click on the names in the left margin.