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Celebrating 30 at Disney World

6 Mar

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When I’d made up my mind that I wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday at the Happiest Place on Earth, I was so relieved that Zack was on board. It’s an expensive way to turn the proverbial calendar to a new decade, but Zack respected that this was my wish* — and in the end, I think he had as much of a blast** as I did. We camped out at Coronado Springs from Monday to Saturday, giving us four full days to explore the parks. We did one park per day, and ended up with amazing memories and a solid ranking of our favorite rides and parks.

*Caitlin had been talking about a Disney World trip for years and after we went to Disney Land last year it only fueled the fire more. I had to help make her birthday wish come true.

**I really loved it too. I hadn’t been since I was 16 either so I loved going back and riding some old favorites with Caitlin and making new favorites together.

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Rock Love New York City

14 Nov

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Back on October 5, Zack and I took a trip to my favorite city to see my favorite band perform* in a world-class venue. This was about as far as our planning took us — we had a couple more activities on our must-do list, but this was probably the least-planned trip we’d ever taken**. From my perspective, this was by design. I wanted us to be able to wander new corners of NYC I’d never seen before. I’d come up with this plan to have us spend a day closing our eyes and selecting random stops on the subway map so we could really get a sense of the giant, bustling city that never sleeps. This ended up being a better plan in theory than in practice, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the beginning.

*I should explain that we were here to settle our LCD Soundsystem bet. Since LCD played a show less than five years after “retiring,” she had to pay for a concert of my choosing. When Sigur Ros announced their tour and had no Texas dates, I suggested the idea to Caitlin. She happily bought our tickets and I cashed in free miles and we were headed back to NY.

**It’s true. Typically we over-plan our trips and try to pack in three days worth of activities per day. We had nothing more than the concerts, a late night comedy show at the Cellar and an afternoon matinee of “Oh Hello” planned.

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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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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 – “Toy Story 3” Review

23 Feb

Toy-Story-3-Poster2Movie sequels are so often misses*. It feels like common knowledge now that franchised movies are usually just money-making machines for their parent companies, created to cash in on familiar characters and some nostalgia. When Toy Story 3 originally came out, I went in skeptically. I hadn’t enjoyed the new character of Jessie (or, looking back at my recent review, Toy Story 2 in general all that much), and it just seemed like a tired, play-out Homeward Bound** situation that I was kinda bored of. However — and I’m about to lay a fact on y’all right here — Toy Story 3 is the best picture in the trilogy. The. Best. Don’t get me wrong, it wouldn’t work without the original, and honestly I’d say it even benefitted from some additional bonding time in number 2***. But Toy Story 3 grows up with all of us who were children when the original came out. It deals with heavy topics, like mortality and relationships and self-worth, and it even allows its human characters some real, true-blue emotion. It’s absolutely amazing, so let’s get into the plot so y’all can run off and see this thing stat.

*We gave Toy Story 2 a 5.25/10 ranking.

**You know they made a Homeward Bound 2? Should we watch that? They called it “Lost in San Francisco” – essentially the same format as Home Alone 2. Still… could be good? OK, you’re right to be bored of them.

***Maybe the only good part about TS2.

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