Thursday, September 13, 2012


As you know, it was my goal to travel abroad before the age of 30 and in March of this year, Chlo and I made that happen by booking our upcoming trip to London this fall.

We've been busy planning (you should see this Google Doc....) with plans to do the London Eye, catch a play in the West End, tour Stonehenge and even catch a Denver bend across the pond with tickets to see the Lumineers.

It's going to be an amazing first trip and I'm excited to say that it'll be the first of two as Chloe and I recently booked a trip to Iceland for March 2013.

If you're like my parents, boss or maybe even anyone else that knows me - you just went, "Say WHAT?"

Iceland has become all the rage here in Denver since the launch of Icelandair here last Spring. My friends Bill and Cam went in May and after seeing their pictures and hearing about their travels, I went "That's ICELAND?!" And just like that - I was intrigued.

So when a(nother) TravelZoo deal came through my inbox, and one that had one of my 100 built in to it, I forwarded it to Chloe and within 48 hours - we had our second trip booked. Read the below and tell me that you would have turned it down:
Day 3:  Morning on your own.  11:30am departure on from Reykjavik on tour.  Head through the scenic south coast of Iceland, dotted with farmlands, waterfalls and mountains. There will be a stop for lunch (not included)  The goal is a glacier.  Strap on crampons and take an ice pick for a guided walk on a glacier.   A safe and easy walk takes you through a wonderland of ice sculptures, ridges and deep crevasses.   Afterwards, as night falls, head for the charming Country Hotel Anna for a delicious traditional Icelandic dinner made with local ingredients.   Located on the site of a traditional Icelandic farm, Country Hotel Anna is named after the woman who grew up here:  Anna Jonsdottir.  She became a world traveler and adventurer in the early 20th century, writing popular books for Icelanders about her experiences.  An exhibit at the hotel commemorates her travels.

Afterwards, head out in the tour vehicle searching for glimpses of the elusive, beautiful Northern Lights.  The route changes based on best conditions for sightings.  Note-  Northern lights are a natural phenomenon and weather dependent. (Best weather conditions are cold, clear nights)  Northern Lights sightings are not guaranteed. 
Glacier hike? Northern Lights? The Blue Lagoon? Guess who's excited!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Praying Nightmare

So last night, I'm in my apartment. I've got the door to my patio open because it was a cool 70 degrees out and I didn't want to turn the air on. All of a sudden, I start to hear a familiar noise that I usually hear out in the wilderness (or at least on a patio) and then I realize that that sound is coming from INSIDE my apartment.

First call to Pep, approximately 8:45 p.m.: "Do you have any suggestions for getting a grasshopper out of my apartment? He's attached himself upside down to the blinds."

"Upside down? Are you sure he's not a praying mantis?"

"Oh. Maybe."

"Oh, I love those!"

Yea, me, too - in like pictures, in magazines. Not hanging out in my apartment making his little clickity click sound all over the place.

Pep ensures me that they're gentle, they're not going to hurt anybody so I decide to just let him hang out - I leave the door open, hoping he finds his own way to escape. I grab a large cup and a magazine in case he lands anywhere that I could "assist" him on getting OUT.

I take a seat on my couch and just relax. Except, I can't relax because every few minutes, he's leaving one spot for another and, of course, they're all on the ceiling or other places that I can't reach him.

I proceed to shut the door to my bedroom because at least I can keep him contained in a place where a door is OPEN for him to ESCAPE. Gordon is so lazy that he won't get off the bed so I proceed to lock him in the room. So now, it's just me, Sienna and our new green friend in the living room.

It was after he'd been hanging out on the ceiling for 20 minutes that I call Pep again.

"I'm really not doing so well over here."

She cracks up.

"No, seriously, I don't know what to do. I know they're good luck so I can't kill him but I don't know how to get him out of here. He's already flown directly at my head once."

She, of course, reasonably so, tells me that she doesn't know what to tell me. Other than the fact that maybe this is why I need a man around.

"Do you have a broom?"

"Yes. Well, a Swifer. And a dust mop."

She laughs. We hang up.

I get out the dust mop but it's real floppy, you know? So I go to try and "guide him out". After three swipes, I finally get him and he flies this time directly at my FACE, looking straight at me the entire time. This causes me to let out a scream and drop to the floor as I huddle myself into a little protective ball.

Since I covered my head, I did not see where he landed next. I take a slow seat on the very corner of my cow chair and wait for him to click so I can locate him again. I'm so stressed out that the only thing that can help at this point is a Jell-O dirt cup.

Lauren calls. "What are you doing +more?"

"Stress eating."

She asks me what's up and I tell her the above. She asks me if I have a mosquito net. "Nope. Fresh out." We laugh. I explain to her that I'm waiting for him to make his clickity noise and she says, "Oh you mean when he rubs his hands together while he thinks about flying at your face?"


We're dying. Chat for awhile longer, she wishes me luck and since it's been an hour since I last heard from our little green friend, I decide it's safe to go to bed. Well SILLY ME because after about ten minutes of lying in bed, I hear the clickity. You've got to be kidding me. I was up at 5 a.m. this morning and I'm so. tired. But I get up to find Sienna staring at the ceiling at what I am now referring to as the praying nightmare. I open the door again. And I find myself sitting there, talking to the little guy, "Bud. I don't know what to tell you. You got yourself in this situation. I have the door open again. Just go outside and you'll be free."

Then I realize I'm talking to a bug and am allowing this little creature to run my life so I take back the control, close the door and crawl in to bed.

I don't hear him throughout the night but that probably had something to do with the dosage of Benadryl I took before bed. But when I get up in the morning, I don't hear him either so I'm thinking he either 1. Died in the corner behind the couch (the last place I saw him fly) 2. Has adopted us as his new family. I get to work and I'm telling Sean the story and he tells me that praying mantises can't fly.

"Was he like a stick or like a rectangle?" Mmm. More rectangle like. "Sounds like a grasshopper." So wait, you're telling me that he wasn't even good luck? You're kidding me.

I didn't have the chance to finish this post yesterday, which is good because I actually have an ending to the story now.

I had just gotten back from Cheesman with Gordon yesterday around 7, where I had just shared the above story with Suzy and I walk in to see this.

Well, look who it is.

I could not, could not, go through another night with our little (not so little) green friend. At this point, he'd been in my apartment for like 22 hours which is 22 hours too long. So after I snapped this picture, I slowly rolled up the blinds, grabbed my cup and a dust pan (I knew that thing would come in handy one of these days!) and took my life back. Once he was in the cup, I calmly (not at all) walked out on to the patio and released him back in to the wild.

Where he belongs.