Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


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Sometimes You Just Need the Desert

Last month, I went to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. It was a surrealist dreamscape with furry trees that twist into whatever shape their little tree hearts desire.

You have to admire anything that survives in the desert.

I hiked to 49 Palms, a three-mile trail to a lush green oasis amid beige and burnt-orange rock, sage and brush.

I had never seen a real oasis. 

The trees clustered like a family; the way they were looking at us reminded me of meer cats. It’s magical, because even though you expect to see them (it is called 49 Palms Hike after all), you feel like it’s never going to happen.

You walk and walk and just when your walk turns into an exasperated trudge, just when you never expect to see green again, the trees appear.

I know there’s a lot of metaphors in there about stressful situations, about finding peace in troubled time, about relief and journeys.

But it’s currently 1:03 am and I am tired.  So I am saying it in photos:

 

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5 States Get New Slogans

I have driven across the country three times and been to 35 out of the 50 states. Some states are clearly superior to others. I’ll get to the signs you’re living in an inferior state later. Most of these are just jokes, I have fondness for all the states I visited.

With the exception of New Hampshire’s whose tagline is “Live Free or Die,” the rest of the states should revisit their slogans as they elect new governors. Most of these state slogans are either ripe with hyperbole, totally unfitting, or just dumb.

State Slogan Suggestions:

washington travel, seattle travel blogger

Can’t believe I live here.

Washington’s (where I currently live) state slogan is Say WA.

Say Wa! is how an uncool white guy answers the phone in an early 90′s sitcom. It captures zero of the beauty or coolness or …anything of Washington state. This is the land of Kurt Cobain and and jumping salmon and hundreds of islands blanketed with evergreens. And we get SAY WA?

Suggestions: WA you lookin’ at? Simply beautiful. Bet your state doesn’t have an archipelago.

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Spread Love, It’s the Brooklyn Way

travel blog, lovelyblogaward

Fact: my name means lovable

Quebec travel blog, Seattle travel, travel blogs,

Merci beaucoup, Drinking Tips for Teens

I received the Lovely Blog Award from Ashes to Ashes so long ago she probably doesn’t even remember the day she brightened my world with her comment. And I was just nominated for a Reader’s Appreciation Award from the blogger at Drinking Tips for Teens, who is a fellow transplant to Quebec (i.e. another insane person). If I was more talented in the design department, I’d give Ashes to Ashes the “Simply Beautiful Writing Badge,” and Drinking Tips for Teens the So Funny-I-Almost-Spit-Coffee-All-Over-My-Computer award.

One day, I hope to get better at making badges and invent a shell-less pistachio.

Until then, I will regale you with random facts and nominate other bloggers for these. Them’s the badge rules.

Random Facts

travel blogs, writing blogs, boston travel tips

That scarf has giraffes on it. It’s my third or fourth favorite thing in the world. PS. This is not Brooklyn. PPS. I hate having my photo taken.

1. I owe $11 to the Seattle public library.  I tried to check the books out, knowing I had a fine. “Can I still check these out?” I whispered. I expected a siren to go off and the librarian to cuff me to the desk. Nope. You can continue to read, even when you owe them money. Ahhh. Libraries.  Continue reading


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Landmarks: Not Just for Tourists

seattle travel blog, expat blog, expat advice

Part of me will always belong to my first love — Chicago. It’s why I am a Bears, Bulls, and White Sox fan, why I say things like gym shoes, bed clothes, and food shopping. It’s why I feel most comfortable in big, metropolitan areas, why I go crazy on St. Patrick’s Day, why I never order hot dogs with ketchup, why I hate soccer.

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So You Want to be a Writer?

When it is truly time

and if you have been chosen it will do it by

itself and keep doing it

until you die or it dies in you

there is no other way

and there never was ~Bukowski

 (Read the rest of it here).

So you want to be a writer. Allow me to snicker for a second. Not at you. At what you think of writing and the grimy REALITY of writing professionally, commercially or even creatively.

Many people want to be writers because of that glorious moment when they’ll trumpet to their parents, their friends or to whomever:

“I am a writer.”

You’ll be awash in admiration. You get to be the person behind the table at a book signing, the center of attention surrounded by a crowd  wearing skinny ties and vanity glasses and people who sip glasses of red wine,  lamenting on the latest best seller.

That moment is rare. And I will probably never experience it.

But I don’t write for that moment.

I write for the moment in the middle of the night, when something in me stirs – an idea. When it feels as if the brain is plugged directly into my imagination and I get the experience down beautifully. When I am not thinking, when I am half-lucid and my fingers are flying.

I can sit there for hours this way.

But Writers Never Feel Like Writers

You picture the writing life as something like this. A fancy literary event with cocktails. But most of the time I work alone in sweats.

Even writers with a capital W probably don’t feel like they can call themselves writers. I say probably because I am a writer with a lowercase “W”.

I have had one poem published in a chapbook (and subsequentally, a community newspaper) and a whole lotta paragraphs published in a travel guide, and a bunch of other blogs, newspaper articles, etc. I even won an award for an article I wrote on bees of all things.

I still hesitate when that damn What Do You Do? question comes up. I decided I am going to start calling myself a carpenter. It’s artistic, Jesus did it, and women carpenters are pretty rare. And that’s cool.

Even with a six-year writing career and minor accomplishments, I still feel like a fraud. Like I can’t possibly belong to the same art form as Bishop and Vonnegut and Dave Eggers. I don’t want people to assume that by calling myself a writer I think am at that level. Continue reading