#manateeze and #keybreak in #swamplandiaz

One of my goals this year was to visit a state I hadn’t been to before, and having a friend move clear across the country made that a very easy goal to accomplish. I bought my flights before she’d even left, knowing I’d want to see both her and the sun before too long.

Sunrise over Mt. Rainier on the way to Tampa, Florida

Sunrise over Mt. Rainier on the way to Tampa, Florida

One of the only requests I had was to see a manatee while I was there, so we bought Groupons for a tour in Crystal River and drove up there on Friday. Apparently a lot of the manatees swam out of the area with the tide earlier that day, so we didn’t see too many. However, we were able to find one to swim with, and I touched it with one little finger. (It felt like sandpaper.) Mission accomplished!

Underwater selfie while looking for manateeze

Underwater selfie while looking for manateeze

Hello, Mr. Manatee!

Hello, Mr. Manatee!

We only had one day between our trips to Crystal River and Key West to spend closer to where Mariana lives, and it resulted in a lot of day-drinking in pretty Clearwater (as well as one of the weirdest-looking sunburns I’ve ever had). Dolphins sighted: zero. Vanilla Ices: one

Sunset in Clearwater

Sunset in Clearwater

Key West was nothing if not memorable, and I hadn’t laughed that much in so long. There were spring breakers everywhere, and because our trip also overlapped with St. Patrick’s Day, it was even crazier. We saw body shots, a completely passed out/possibly drugged girl, cover band trolls (groupies), old people grinding, and more. Much more. I didn’t get a key lime pie (I was never hungry whenever we walked by a place selling it) and I didn’t see any six-toed cats, but it was a great side trip with lots of dancing and booze. And if you’re ever considering taking a ferry down to Key West, think twice. I think Mariana’s Instagram caption put it best: sunset with a side of barf bags.

Southernmost Point

Southernmost Point

Foot selfie, the first time these toes have touched the Atlantic Ocean

Foot selfie, the first time these toes have touched the Atlantic Ocean

Sometimes statues take good selfies

Sometimes statues take good selfies

Pelicans are weird

Pelicans are weird

The boat of sick, sick nightmares

The boat of sick, sick nightmares

Then it was time to head back to Seattle… It was a wonderful week—and a much-needed break—and I was sad to see it end. But with as much PTO as I have, and now that Alaska is going to start flying to Tampa directly, I’m sure I’ll be back. There was so much that we didn’t get to do, that I’ll have to!

Bye bye, Florida…

Bye bye, Florida…

Mariana—Thanks for being such a fantastic hostess and for taking me to such fun, beautiful places! It was definitely a memorable trip, and it was great to spend so much time together again, bap! xoxoxo

A How-To on Procrastination

There was literally one thing I needed to do this weekend: get my condo clean for my sister, who is dog-sitting for me for a week. The following is what I actually did this weekend…

  1. Looked at my condo and thought about where I should start cleaning first.
  2. Watched a zillion hours of YouTube videos, mostly by Grace Helbig (itsgrace/dailygrace), Hannah Hart (myharto), and Mamrie Hart (mametown).
  3. Got to level 328 on Candy Crush.
  4. Thought about how much cleaning I had to do.
  5. Put on really, really red lip stain.
  6. Combed my dog’s hair.
  7. Watched How I Met Your Mother episodes for literally the twentieth time (at least).
  8. Stood at my sink and just looked at the mess for a while.
  9. Tried a different kind of really, really red lip stain. (Verdict: not quite as red or stainy.)
  10. Tried on old clothes to see if I should keep or donate.
  11. Drank a vodka cranberry with a little too much vodka.
  12. Looked at the clock and realized how little time I have to get shit done.
  13. Watched another “few” YouTube videos until my laptop died.
  14. Plugged laptop in and wrote this blog post.

This is hard, guys. In my defense, I did do some dishes, went through mail, threw away crap, and did some spot-cleaning of the carpet. Still on the to-do list:

  • Finish washing the dishes in/surrounding the sink!
  • Vacuum evvvvvvverywhere!
  • Clean the bathroom!
  • Put Christmas stuff in storage! (It’s already in boxes, don’t worry. I just haven’t done that extra step of putting the boxes where they belong by March.)
  • Do laundry!
  • Throw out all the boxes/shopping bags that have accumulated in a certain amount of time that I’d rather not admit!
  • Do something with all of the clothes that don’t have hangers and are just sitting in piles!
  • Pack! (Which includes making sure I have stuff to wear…)

And now I have a sore throat, so I better not be getting sick AGAIN.

Alcohol + Socializing + The Common Cold = A Worse Cold

Last week was a strangely packed week, and I may have drank alcohol five out of seven days. Sorry, liver. In my defense, I didn’t drink enough for a hangover on any of those occasions, so I’m calling that a small win. However, I told myself I wouldn’t drink beer specifically until my trip to Florida, and I did. Twice. (Or three times, if you count ginger beer?) I started feeling like I was getting a cold on Tuesday, and that was definitely true by the following day. But I had things to do and people to see, and no cough was going to stop me! It wasn’t even that I felt that sick, I just sounded like it. So, I went along with my plans and made a few others, and now I’m in bed with a sinus headache and a trashcan full of Kleenex. Oops!

Sunday:

I wasn’t sick this day, but I’m including it, since it was part of the week o’ drinking. I forewent wine with dinner, but then had two glasses with my sister: first at Hot Cakes (where we got molten chocolate desserts) and then at Bastille. Serious wine for serious talks.

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Monday:

As mentioned in my last post, I went to a meetup of the book club I joined last summer after work on this day. I was the only loser not drinking beer, and had just one glass of wine, despite the 5 for $10 Sessions special. Luckily, that wine was enough to get me to loosen up with these people I’d only met once or twice (or never, for a few).

Tuesday:

Since I felt like I was getting sick, I went straight to bed after work and finished House of Cards on my iPad. No alcohol that day, and lights out before 8:30pm. (P.S. House of Cards is worth a shot, if you are looking for something to watch.)

Wednesday:

Again, as I mentioned before, I decided to bring it back the monthly ladies-only happy hour after work. I think 12 people made it, including myself, and it was good to socialize in a different setting. And that time I wasn’t weird for only drinking wine! I had two glasses, but could barely talk by the time I got home because my throat hurt so much. Apparently wine doesn’t have the same soothing effect as whiskey.

Thursday:

I was supposed to go on a date, but I canceled to try to get well… I was pretty disappointed about that, and need to get it rescheduled.

Friday:

At this point, I really thought I was getting better. I still had a cough, but by the end of the day, it didn’t really seem that bad! I had a beer at lunch (due to peer pressure), and then I made plans to meet my friend John after work. We talked a lot about our jobs over Guinness (him) and a Moscow mule (me). We were going to meet up with some other people afterwards, but ended up going somewhere in Ballard for karaoke instead. I knew I couldn’t sing because of my voice, but I’m always up for watching people butcher random Disney songs. (Why do people always sing Disney?) I had one Rainier there and, again, at the end of the night, my throat was toast. But at least it was the weekend!

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Saturday:

I stayed in bed until the last possible second. I had until 6pm to pick up my race packet/sweatshirt for the 5k I signed up for, and I got there at 5:52pm. Since I was already out and about, I decided to get a hot toddy nearby, to see if that would help my throat. It may have done the trick, because it has felt pretty good since then! However…

Sunday:

…while my throat/cough were a ton better, my sinuses were screaming. Aside from getting a coffee at Starbucks, I didn’t leave the house all day. I played Candy Crush, watched old episodes of How I Met Your Mother, had a phone date with Mariana, and tried not to suffocate. I can’t believe I entertained the idea of doing the 5k that day, and I’m so glad I didn’t. If I was already worse, I can’t imagine how I’d have felt after running for the first time in months in 30-something degree weather!

I supposed I need a moral to this story, and sadly it might be that drinking when sick, even if you feel mostly okay, is a bad idea. Still, I’m glad I was able to have conversations with people, and it probably saved me from a few mopey evenings at home. I might not actually retain this lesson, but maybe someone else will learn from my bad example.