Travaasa 2.0, or: How we learned that chickens can fly.

14 Aug

travaasamainWell hello, dear readers! It’s been a while since Zack and I took the time to update you on our lives — I like to think this is because we’ve been out there living them, enjoying the summer sun, swimming and playing cards* and drinking rum drinks to our heart’s content. It’s probably also in small part due to laziness**, but let’s not dwell on all of that. We’re here today to talk about our return to Travaasa, our favorite hill country resort & spa. Zack treated me to a trip there last year for our 5 year meeting anniversary, and we completely fell in love with the gorgeous scenery and mellow vibes. So, when Zack spotted a coupon for 50% off our stay with vouchers towards meals and spa included, we jumped at the chance to return to our staycation oasis.

*Our friends Lisa and Eric got us into Monopoly Deal and we’re addicted. We’ve loved playing while having a rum drink and listening to African Jazz or while watching the Olympics and American Ninja Warrior.

**I’ve been lazier. Caitlin got super into boxing this summer while I got into poker and less triathlon training in the 100 degree heat. It’s been a relaxing summer, but an enjoyable one.

In order to use our discounted stay, we had to book a night at Travaasa during the week. I took the opportunity to take Friday off of work, and so Thursday evening Zack and I trekked to Whole Foods to gather a smorgasbord of cheeses, breads*, sparkling red wine** and fruit that we munched on throughout the evening in bed while watching the Olympics. It was paradise, heaven, nirvana – perfection. We had ambitions to go swimming on that first night***, but once I had half a bottle of wine in me, I was glued to the comfy bed and drifted to sleep quickly.

*Caitlin picked out this melt-in-your-mouth brioche that was so tasty it didn’t even need cheese.

**We’re forever chasing the sparkling red wine we had in Venice and we were pretty close on this one.

***We’d also hoped to catch a glimpse of the meteor shower, but even out of downtown, we couldn’t see much and were content from our picnic and bed and a night full of watching U.S.A. take gold after gold in swimming and gymnastics.

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The Teibloom’s One Year Anniversary

30 May

clockIt’s kind of unbelievable to me that one year has already passed since Zack and I got married. As I was ruminating on this fact while plotting out what to get for my husband, I was filled with warm, gentle loving feelings* towards my partner. Zack and I went through a lot in our first five years together — we lost our jobs, we had some really difficult arguments, we had to find the best way to communicate and respect one another’s boundaries. We’ve still got some big life stuff we’ll need to work through — saving for a house is next on our list — but I feel so confident after this first year of marriage that we are going to work through anything that comes our way, because we have already overcome a lot**. I feel so much love and support from Zack as he cheers me on when I try out boxing, or as I have ANOTHER quarter-mid-existential-life-crisis about my career. I am so happy to have found this wonderful man out there in the world, and it was such a happy occasion*** to celebrate together.

*I was locked into the traditional paper and clocks idea, but getting to go through wedding pictures for my gift gave me warm loving feelings as well.

**They say the first year is the hardest and there have been difficult times, but it’s also been full of joy and love. I spent a big chunk of our first year of marriage recovering from a broken foot and we got stronger as a couple. As Caitlin said, everything we went through together just made me more confident that we will work together forever.

***May 23rd is an extra special day for us because we get to celebrate both our wedding and engagement and both are worth re-living as often as possible.

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Coachella 2016: The Final Chapter

12 May

tentI’m excited to talk about day three of Coachella, because it demonstrates how you learn from your horrible, horrible mistakes and make much better decisions later in life because of them. The first time we went to Coachella, we did not pay attention to certain details. We simply bought our car parking pass, bought our plane tickets for an early morning Monday departure from LAX, and drove with the (freezing) wind at our backs to the desert. To our great frustration and exhaustion, we only realized when it was too late that the camp grounds shut down on Sunday so that they don’t let anyone in or out until 2AM Monday. We had an almost 3 hour drive ahead of us. We did not sleep. Our flight was at like 7 a.m. so we barely even had time for breakfast before our flight.

Flash forward to take two this year. Zack and I lazily slept in, had breakfast bars and played Uno, then took a delicious hot tent nap* before changing into day 3 clothes and packing up our campsite. We then moved our car to day parking (with a bike-police assist*, thanks guys!) which was totally free, and then sauntered into the festival, assured that we could leave at any time we wanted to. FOR. THE. WIN. Y’all. This was a life-changing move. While I will grant you that we didn’t stay for the entire wind-down of the festival (we left at 10:35PM, after Miike Snow), we encountered almost zero traffic and were on our way to a hotel (thanks, Cousin Jon**!!) for a more elevated final night of sleep in California.

*I did get a funny back of the leg sunburn from napping half in the shade.

**My cousin runs a hotel in downtown San Diego and it was amazing to have a bed and shower waiting for us after the fest.

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“Popstar” Sneak Preview with Lonely Island Q&A

30 Apr

pop-star-movie-poster“Popstar” was the movie I was most looking forward to this summer after seeing the redband trailer and hearing Samberg and Pete Holmes describe the movie on “You Made it Weird.” So when the Alamo Drafthouse e-mailed their Victory members about a screening with the Lonely Island guys there in person for a Q&A, I was on the page within a minute refreshing and refreshing until I could snag a couple tickets for me and Caitlin*. I’ve loved the guys since their first digital shorts and Caitlin’s been into them for even longer**. I was just hoping the movie would live up to the hype I’d built up for it and that I could think of something interesting to ask in the Q&A.

*He is a nice husband. **I’ve been following this trio since they were posting up self-made videos on their website, and completely fell in love. Here is my favorite Lonely Island video of all time.
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Coachella 2016: The day of 22,000 steps

29 Apr

IMG_1511I set a personal record with 22,145 steps, or 9.61 miles walked on Saturday*. I got 5,000 in before we even fell asleep. LCD played until 1 a.m. and we more floated than walked back to our campsite. We put our tent up in the dark with help from our trusty new lanterns**, wrapped ourselves up in our sleeping bags and blankets and fell asleep around 2:30 a.m. It wasn’t the best night sleep***, but we stayed warm enough in the middle of the night and woke to a toasty tent. We were able air the tent out, play some Uno and take a nap before heading in. The Goddess salad and a whole lot more music was waiting for us.

*I don’t count my steps, but I DID double my “Move” goal on my Apple Watch for the first time ever.

**Zack really loves these lanterns, which I find adorable. I can’t really blame him, they were life savers out there.

***I had to pee. In a Port-O-Potty. In the dark. #pray4me #lanternlifesavers
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Coachella 2016: Day 1 in the Desert

24 Apr

desertkidsI was in a mood as Zack and I drove through the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm. Leading up to our trip out to the California desert, I was in high spirits — blinded by a particularly strong musical lineup (Miike Snow! Christine & the Queens! M83! Run the Jewels! LCD SOUNDSYSTEM!!), all I could think about was experiencing live music performed by my favorites, dancing and singing with Zack. But as our rental car’s odometer ticked up mile after mile from San Diego to Indio, the reality of a California camping festival starting to play mind games with me. Would it be freezing at night again, making us incapable of falling asleep? Would the festival be filled with skinny, tan fashionistas who would make fun of me like so many mean girls at so many cafeteria tables? Would we even be able to ENJOY the music we’d traveled so far to experience, with scenesters filling up the fields? WOULD I HAVE TO POOP IN A PORT-O-POTTY?!?!? 

I didn’t have nearly this many questions. I was more focused on: “We’re still going the correct way to Indio, right?” I knew Caitlin would have and was having those concerns, but I was hopeful we’d keep her warm and happy in the moment. Except for the port-o-potty moments. Those are more or less inevitable.

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Tom Hanks Project – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Review

3 Apr

exloudThis is a perfect 9/11 movie anchored by the best child actor we’ve ever seen. That’s lie #1. And lie #2*. The story is fine and has its high points, but the kid was anywhere from just OK to awful depending on if you’re asking me or Caitlin**. The movie is an adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2005 novel about a boy with Aspergers struggling to make sense of life after his father (Hanks) died on 9/11 in the twin towers. I’d read the novel and remembered the child’s precociousness feeling more believable and less … obnoxious than in the movie. I barely remembered the movie and knew our enjoyment would rest on if we liked the kid or not. I thought he was fine and Caitlin openly detested him, so we were out on a lot of the big emotional moments that probably would have worked if we liked him. I still found the movie to be fine, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s not even much of a showcase for our guy Tom, though he gets a few good scenes and leaves some devastating voicemails. Still, we were so out on the kid not even Hanks dying on 9/11 could squeeze any tears out of us***.

*This is one of the little tropes of the movie — for the kid’s thoughts to narrate and for him to tell us what number lie he’s on as he goes on his mission. It’s also one of the best leads we’ve ever had on the blog. Nice work, Z.

**SERIOUSLY. Like, I really, really wanted to care about this movie. The story itself was clearly well-crafted and moving, and I could see that the bones of it were good. Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer’s other novel-turned-movie, is one of my favorite movie adaptations of all time. The kid KILLS IT for me.

***And I do want to take a moment to point out here, I don’t mean that I didn’t like the character of the boy. I think that’s what hurt me even more — a child afraid to even go on the swings because he fears for his safety? A boy struggling with anxiety, and that in turn making it harder for him to interact with those around him? Be still my heart! The actor, Thomas Horn, is a TERRIBLE actor. I feel like he was chosen only because he has some super-blue eyes which are somehow supposed to blind us to all of his over-acting. His only other IMDB credits are winning Kid’s Jeopardy and a movie called Space Warriors, so draw your own conclusions. Continue reading

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