Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


Stupid Little Things I Miss & Do Not Miss

Elwood is rocking the quarantine

By the way, I started a Medium account because that’s the future, isn’t it? If you want to read my writing, read it here.

I miss

  • My job
  • Zillowing houses to pass the time while eating a desk lunch
  • Conversations with Lyft drivers
  • The possibility of a vacation
  • The possibility of a babysitter
  • Leisurely picking out tomatoes, maskless
  • Certain times/precendented times
  • Overhearing hot gossip at a restaurant and making “did you hear that eyes” to the person across from me
  • Movie theater popcorn
  • Movie theater air conditioning
  • When an elevator button was unlikely to kill you
  • When hugs were a thing
  • Unfogged glasses
  • When I didn’t have to visualize 6ft apart by imagining someone 6ft tall lying down between me and a stranger
  • An empty sink
  • Makeup
  • The super positive lady at the grocery store and her compliments
  • When I didn’t have witch hair
  • The aquarium
  • Watching my daughter take the big slide
  • Friends
  • Sleep
  • Sports as a distraction

I do not miss

  • My job
  • Desk lunch
  • Influencers
  • Meeting chitchat
  • Yelling over loud music at a bar
  • Being in the vicinity of young people who make me feel old
  • Running late and then turning the corner into a traffic snarl
  • Trying to pick the right outfit for an occasion and then figure out how to wear it in the rain
  • Preparing an interesting response to the “How was your weekend?” question on the way to work
  • Mom guilt for daring to balance a career and childrearing
  • Calories from eating while socializing
  • My incurable FOMO
  • Vacation selfies
  • Awkwardly moving in for a hug when the person goes for a handshake
  • Horrendous workouts meant to “get my pre-baby body back”
  • TGIFridays
  • JCPenney’s (sorry mom!)
  • Uncomfortable dress shoes
  • Overhearing bad phone calls while in my office



Japan in Season

I went to Japan last December. It was the perfect month to visit and my favorite time of year. In late December, you feel fall slowly fading, the leaves almost all gone, but a few strays that cling to the trees, the exact way my toddler clings to my legs when she gets shy.

I love the rush of cold air, the constant threat of first snowfall, the lights, the people in the city rushing around with bags of gifts for loved ones. It’s what I look forward to most during the heat of summer, the same way I look forward to the beach in the gray and rain of winter.  

Fushimi Inari Shrine

In Tokyo, most of the buildings are in muted beige and gray, the color comes in Shinto shrines with red-orange doors, splashes of neon signs, gardens tucked away with fiery fall colors and spotted koi.

It was a strange choice for a pre-Christmas vacation, but they do celebrate Christmas in Japan. They have Christmas cakes, an all-white whipped cake with strawberries on it and according to my sister who was living there at the time—strawberries in Japan taste better than the ones here.

Better strawberries. Can you even imagine?

And there were elaborate light shows, “illuminations” and lit trees all around the city.

You can’t see your way out of Tokyo, it feels infinite. It’s big and pulsing and electric, but at the same time, quiet. There are tucked-away gardens, shrines, and temples everywhere.

I took public transportation in Seattle daily for seven years and because of that, I appreciate Japan’s unspoken rules–drinking on trains, talking above a whisper, talking on your phone— all considered rude, punishable by glare.

Vegetables are in.

Things that have happened on the Seattle bus:

  • A rotisserie chicken rolling around and getting grease everywhere
  • A person so out-of-his-mind, when his friend punched him hard in the face, he didn’t even realize it. One of the saddest things I’ve ever witnessed.
  • A woman who (while I was pregnant) asked me about hepatitis vaccines, then coughed right in my face.

It’s tempting to compare where you live to where you travel. To see how safe Tokyo feels, how meticulous and efficient and magical it all seems. The genius of hot coffee from a vending machine and the comfort of train station ramen.

Home is easy to take for granted.

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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:



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


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