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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Hoofin’ It: Teenage Walks to Remember

Walking, Birds Flying
Walking: my version of flying. 

Before Wild and the blogger who walks the coast of Wales with a donkey, there was pre-teen and teenage me, who walked all over Chicago’s far South Side.

That’s right. I was way into extreme walking before it was cool.* Because I didn’t have a car until I was 19.

Walking is essential to my well-being. I’m not much of a hiker; I’m a city walker, a promenader and pontificator. Seattle is one of the best walking cities; there’s water everywhere, our gentle weather rarely interferes with a good stroll, and it’s only the most beautiful place on the planet.

But Chicago is where I learned to walk. First to our coffee table, then to the end of the driveway, then to my little brick school, and then to everywhere.

Ode to Travel on Foot

Greenlake-walking-Seattle
What’cha doin’ sittin’?

Sometimes, I didn’t walk, I ran down city streets, avoiding garbage cans, almost crashing into pedestrians. I ran so fast I thought my lungs would burst. I wish someone would have warned me that running would never feel That Good again. Sure, a run feels good and necessary, but it not like a teenage anything-can-happen run, a run where you’re laughing so hard tears stream down your face, a run where your only goal is to topple into your best friend or escape some kind of trouble.

I walked with friends, a big group of them. I walked to their houses miles away, in the next neighborhood. I walked in red Chuck Tailors or heavy black boots. Sometimes we’d meet at halfway points, usually a cemetery or a fast-food restaurant or a pizza place. We didn’t have enough money to do anything but walk. It led to the greatest teenage adventures. Screw the boring old scheduled parental drop-offs at the mall, we were wild and free. We strutted under star-sprinkled skies like we owned the world. We walked to train stations that would whisk us into downtown, where we’d walk some more.

I walked to Chicago’s South Side Irish parade, not the one where they dye the river green, the one where they start drinking at noon. It was one of those must-not-miss events where every.single.person you knew would be there and they would all be wearing Notre Dame sweatshirts, green wigs, and shamrock stickers. (Side note: this parade was cancelled because it got too rowdy.)

I walked before iPods, no Walkman, just me and a cracked sidewalk, sprinklers, sometimes yells from passing cars. I walked through my own perpetual inner dialogue, through corridors in my mind. I walked until I came to conclusions, epiphanies, inventions. All forgotten when I returned. (I wonder if Einstein was a walker?)

Chicago Travel Morton Arboretum
If you don’t notice this stuff, you’re doing it wrong.

I walked into characters; an old woman who fed about fifty cats in her yard everyday. Once she put down the food, they would come from all angles, mewing and rubbing against each other. Then there was the complete stranger who leaned over a fence and asked me if I wanted a job taking care of his bed-ridden wife. (I declined). Continue reading


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Seattle’s First Secret Supper, All the Juicy Details

Secret Supper Bloom Restaurant

“You’re invited…to Seattle’s First Secret Supper”

Moi? Invited? To an exclusive event? I felt like the time this mean girl Lauren invited me to her 10th birthday party as a joke. It’s ok, she peaked in coolness at age 10 so I am pretty sure she went downhill and is now living in a cave or something.

The invite came from Dishcrawl, a social networking organization for food lovers with chapters all over the country. No joke, I was going to my first Secret Supper and had no idea what to expect.

Dishcrawl Seattle organizes (get this) dish battles, a Secret Supper Club, and cocktail wars, where participants sip cocktails from renowned mixologists and then vote on their favorite concoctions and who they think is hottest bartender.

It is the best way to get awkward Seattelites to sit down and socialize. During the Supper Club, you eat with strangers united for a love of food. And the chef comes out between each course to tell you his-her inspiration.

Hold up! What is a Secret Supper?

Bloom Restaurant Secret Supper

Real salmon. None of that weak farm-raised stuff.

In general, secret supper clubs and underground restaurants have been “a thing” since the 40s. Wikipedia defines it as an eating establishment run out of someone’s home to avoid zoning and health-code violations. Like a really good dinner party.

I should mention that the Dishcrawl Secret Supper takes place in a real restaurant and I am pretty certain no health codes were violated.

How can I get into such an exclusive event?

I like food, so I signed up for Dishcrawl’s email subscriber list. Julia Simpson, Dishcrawl’s Community Manager says that’s the best way to find out about Secret Supper. She also relayed that this was the first of many and they’d have about one a month. It’s not heavily advertised though and tickets are limited.

Also, words of warning: picky eaters need not apply. This is adventure dining with a special menu created for the event.

How adventurous are we talking?

The mystery locale, underground restaurant

Can’t believe this is my life.

You will likely eat something you’ve never had before. For me, it was persimmon ice cream. For others, it could be boiled crickets or monkey brains or a sheep’s head.

Ok, I don’t think they go to those extremes, but you don’t get to view the menu ahead of time. It’s all kept a great big mystery, but you are able to send in your dietary restrictions. Might be a good time to mention your “allergy” to baby animal brains.

 The secret location is unveiled a day or so before and you don’t get a peek at the menu until that night. They also let you know the style of food you’ll be eating. Continue reading


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Paris Travel Photo Essay, Film Noir Edition

Paris is pretty.

Sure, it smells of urine in some spots and there are piles of dog merde everywhere, but I barely even noticed because there is so much pretty to take in. It is so gorgeous, I broke my rule about living through the lens and filled up my camera’s CF card the third day in.

This is the first of my Paris photo essays, the Film Noir edition, otherwise known as the day I tried to be artsy by snapping photos of statues and strangers in monochrome.

Paris travel photos


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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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Travel Pictures: Put a Bird on It

You know what turns a boring, mediocre travel photo into something beautiful? A bird. It doesn’t even have to be a rare bird, a scrappy seagull or downtrodden pigeon can make your travel pictures stunning.

Below is a travel photo narrative of bird photo bombs.

Travel photography tips

My number one travel photography tip: the best photographs happen by mistake.

I learned this while walking through London in shoes that pinched my feet. The clouds parted and a rainbow arched over the city. Freakin’ magical. I turned all the way around on a crowded street, snapped off a few pictures of the rainbow.

The he man behind me asks, “Blimey, don’t they have rainbows where you’re from?” his lips curled in an I-Hate-Tourists sneer. He looked so mad, I feared he would reach out and smash my camera. I felt like the biggest rube. There I was in my holy jeans and stupid shoes with a giant camera strapped to my neck getting called out by a real Londoner.

But it was worth it because I got a bunch of really great photos of a rainbow over London, including the one above with the bird flying across the square. My point is this: take a lot of photos. Don’t live through the lens, be in the present moment, but be ready to snap away the moment a great scene reveals itself.


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Love Maps: 9 best places to visit in Seattle

I love maps. Maps are visual poetry, bringing together all the wonderful names of places: Genoa. Uganda. San Francisco. The smooth blue sea and the wrinkled topography for mountains. Maps stir the imagination. Maps tell you where the rivers are.

I love maps so much I made you a map of of my hang-out spots in Seattle.

The reviews are an attempt at humor, so you might like to read them even if you never plan to visit this fair city. I sincerely hope you do though!

Seattle travel tips

Best Restaurants and Attractions in Seattle