Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


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That Time I Sent a Fax & Other Adventures

Boston Terrier, In Blankets

The boston terrier in his natural habitat.

I hesitate to call anything a series because it’s such a big commitment, but yes, periodically, I will be rounding up all the little everyday adventures in my everyday life.

What lucky duck won my blog giveaway?

First of all, I’d like to announce the winner of my first giveaway. Congrats Caitlin of Caitlinstern writes. She writes about writing, shares a lot of great short stories and journals her thoughts about writing. She’s also one of my first commenters from way back when this blog started.

She will be getting a copy of I Thought We Agreed To Pee In The Ocean by Alena Dillon. Even though you didn’t win, pick up a copy of the book, it’s a fun read.

Here is my three-part everyday adventure round up:

I. 

I sent a fax.

I know what you’re thinking: why, the f*ck would anybody send a fax? To weed out most of America certain types, a prospective employer asked applicants to fax, mail, or drop-off applications.

“This position requires some travel. Like back to 1993.”

Not knowing anyone with a fax, I went to our local mailing center. Mailing center dude hovered over the machine as it jerked the pages through then spit out a confirmation letter typed in a font I am sure no longer exists:

Your fax didn’t make it. We cannot tell you why. Please shove all 12 pages back into the machine. And make yourself comfortable. You’ll be here for awhile.

Mailing center dude threw up his hands in frustration as I scrolled through in-real-time status updates on my new iPhone. After three attempts, four apologies to him, and $5, I ended up mailing the darn thing.

That’s right. I used a second antiquated technology because the first didn’t work. Continue reading

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Could Skijoring be the Next Olympic Sport?

quebec-sport-winter-carnival-olympics

Who invented this sport? Had to have been a drunk college kid. Copyright: HalmCreative2014

Big news: skijoring, my favorite sport-that’s-not-a-sport is campaigning to make a comeback as a demonstration sport for the next Winter Olympics.

In 2011, I came across skijoring at Quebec’s Winter Carnival. I watched transfixed as crazy Canadians skied over slopes from the back of galloping horses, again and again.

Skijoring can be found where winter really sucks: Canada, Russia, Norway, Montana. It’s been around for awhile (before 1928), but I have a feeling it’s the next hip sport, here to replace interpretive broom dancing, naked bike riding, and bike polo or whatever else we’ve got going on.

There aren’t many official rules. Hitch your cross country skis to something and go.

The unofficial skijoring list: 

  • a pack of giant schnauzers,
  • a pick-up truck,
  • a snowmobile,
  • a well-trained Yeti,
  • a comet (also known as spacejoring),
  • one-thousand running lemmings (turns quickly into cliff diving),
  • a Yak (that’s real),
  • a trolly (SanFranjoring)
  • a swordfish
  • a pair of eager-to-please llamas
  • Poseidon, the God of the Sea (Seajoring)
Skijoring. The next big thing in Olympic Sports.

Joring in style. Copyright: HalmCreative2014

What’s your favorite winter-sport-that’s-not-a sport? Comment below!

Ps. I extended the giveaway! You can still comment on this post for a chance to win Alena Dillon’s very fun book I Thought We Agreed To Pee In The Ocean. Will be announcing/contacting the winner on Tuesday.


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Before You Share, Beware: 5 Ways to Spot a Hoax

A Hoax is a Hoax is a Hoax

If you haven’t been acquainted with this travel-related internet hoax that fooled the Guardian and Huffington Post, perhaps now is the time. Long story short, Elan Gale, the producer of the Bachelor tricked thousands into believing there was an exceptionally rude passenger on his flight and that he started sending her kind-of funny, kind-of mean-spirited notes. It’s a whole narrative that unfolds on Twitter.

The hoax was uncovered when a person came out and claimed that “Diane,” the passenger Elan harassed had late-stage lung cancer. He had to come out (+90,000 Twitter followers) and admit Diane never existed or he would have ended up on the list of 2013’s worst people. Continue reading


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Going to Paris? Four Things to Know

River Seine, Paris Travel Guide

“So… tell me all about France. I want a list of things you liked and what you didn’t.”

My sister’s boyfriend asked this as we sat around the table sharing a plate of sweet potato fries post trip. I was in a jet-lagged stupor. I didn’t sleep on the plane. I didn’t sleep in Paris. I took a plane at 4:00 pm in England and landed at 4:00 pm in Seattle. Time travel is exhausting.

When he asked me about the trip I growled, “Well, a guy whipped a beer can at me in Grenoble.”

I don’t know why I went right to the negative thing, the what-I-thought-was-funny thing. Yes, this actually happened. The Husband and I were trying to find our hotel room in Grenoble, a city in the French Alps and heard drunken ramblings from across the street.

Then a beer can collided with my leg. I yelled WHAT THE F*CK? in my big Chicago mean voice. I contemplated throwing it back, but I’m a lefty and not a very good pitcher and I didn’t really feel like being the subject of a brutal attack.

He lumbered back into whatever dive he came from. I have to mention him. Because the beer thrower (I call him Lance) is possibly the only real “rude” person we met traveling through France. And we met a lot of people.

Ok, I am 90% sure a group of girls were talking smack about me on the train, but it’s not like I was about to ask them to confirm.

Excusie-moi are you talking about moi? 

I can, however, confirm this:

1. French people are not rude!

French people are not rude!

Eiffel Tower, Paris Travel Tips

I have to say this twice because even my most worldly friends warned me that I would be hissed at for daring to bother them with French where I didn’t perfectly hit the accents. I do speak French, almost fluently, but I am pretty sure I sound like a choking goose. Most people were super patient and hospitable.

I wouldn’t call them small-town smiley, but they are not rude.

Let’s move on to Paris hotels.

2. Paris hotels are small 

Design Sorbonne

Cutest place ever

Yep, expect a very small room for a very big price. But you knew that.

We stayed at the Design Sorbonne, a little hotel in the 6th arondissment that looks like bien sur something right out of Amelie.

It was difficult to find, like everything in Paris. We got off the metro, and went on a thirty-minute hunt for this tiny hotel, me in a fraying t-shirt, baggy jeans, plane breath and all, piloting my suitcase around piles of dog stuff and hordes of impeccably dressed students on bicycles.

When we finally found the hotel (not its fault), it proved to be a welcome respite, a cozy hideaway where I could conceal my unsophisticated self until the bags under my eyes subsided.

If it’s your first time in Paris, do not stay near the airport the entire trip and try to train in, thinking you’ll save a few euros. Stay near what you want to see, my universal travel rule. And look into renting an apartment if you really want to save.  Continue reading


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Halloween Travel: Braving the Paris Catacombs

Halloween Travel in Paris

Notice the mad organizational skills. If wonder if I could get a catacombs grave maven to organize my closet.

The scariest part of the Paris Catacombs around Halloween is the warning before you even get to the ticket booth. “Not for people with heart conditions or who have nervous dispositions.”

What do they consider a nervous disposition? I scan the sign but there’s no indication. And heart condition? A few weeks ago, after inhaling a pile of tacos, I felt like a giant was using my heart as his personal stress ball. Thump, thump, the-ump.

How embarrassing would it be if I had grabber (heart attack) in the tunnel and tried to tell one of the guides. “Je suis malade! Mon coeur, mon coeur!” (Or is it ma coeur?)…

Madam. Did you not read the signs?

These chicly dressed guides I envision laugh at my pronunciation and shovel my corpse on top of a bone wall as a warning for thoughtless tourists and travellers who dare go into the catacombs with occasional bouts of heartburn.

“Do you think you could handle this?” The Husband points to the sign making my already-nervous disposition grow ever more … nervous.

“Shoot, I don’t know. Once, I cried at a haunted house, until the clown took off his mask to show me he was a normal guy. Only he had no teeth. I started screaming and we had to be escorted out.”

“But that was when you were a kid.”
“That was two years ago.”

I mentally list all the Totally BadAss Things I survived, excluding haunted houses. Trapeze. Cliff diving. White water rafting. A high school that could have been the setting for Dangerous Minds: metal detectors, roaches, knife-wielding teenagers and all. Like I said, Total BadAss.

A badass who just happens to have a nervous disposition. Continue reading


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Visiting a Vineyard & Drinking it all in

First of all, this is my 100th travel blog post. Thanks everyone for likes, comments, support. This is part two of Driving through the Storm.

My fascination with vineyards

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Ever since Sideways and “Brothers & Sisters,” I have been dreaming about running to the hills and operating a vineyard. I would give my wine a humorous name, like Miller White or Peanut Grigio. Or a pretty French name: papillon nuit, which translates to night butterfly, or as we like to call it: moth  

I traveled to the Yakima region to find out what running a vineyard in Washington would be like.

Turns out, vineyard is just a fancy word for farm. And farm is just a fancy word for a whole lot o’ work.

If she could speak, my oxygen-deprived, on-her-last-stems, comatose houseplant Gertrude would tell you I am not a plant person. I can’t keep her alive, there’s no way I could handle a vineyard or an orchard or even a single row of tomato plants.

And one slight frost could take out a whole crop.

Luckily, I learned the upcoming year for Washington wines is going to be bright. Summer weather conditions were ideal for grapes, so that means more local wine for us. Continue reading


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7 Travel Accessories You Can Find at the World’s Best Dollar Store

Seattle-travel-Daiso-Japanese-dollar-store

Look – you can almost see Daiso from my apartment!

Oh the dollar store. As a kid, I would walk to the one on the corner to get all my Christmas gifts: creepy porcelain cats, a woven basket with a hole in the bottom, a pencil case.

I thought my dollar days were over until my sister made me go to Daiso, a Japanese-franchised dollar store in the “ID” (Psst, International District) here in Seattle. It’s other places too, so if you see one stop in and take a look around.

First off – there’s the whole look and feel. It’s bright. Everything is arranged nicely – no plastic bins filled with broken pencils and opened packages of expired crackers. It doesn’t even smell like a dollar store, meaning it doesn’t smell like someone peed in the corner and then misted the air with bad cologne.

Not only is everything gloriously cheap, oh-so-cheap, it’s useful. There are cool cooking items, including a green onion knife that cuts green onions into ribbons. Cherry blossom stickers.  Beauty masks. Sure, the instructions and ingredients are in Japanese, but that makes it only more fun. Continue reading