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The Mountains

Here’s [what in my head is the long-awaited] part two post on our Seattle trip…

We had amazing weather for the entire time we were in Seattle. Every local person we talked to commented on how clear and warm it was. It was enough to make you doubt the rain-all-the-time stereotype!

Anyway, we spent a couple of days at a family member’s cabin on Mt. Rainier. Everything was beautiful… and disconnected. It was kind of nice to be away from TV, internet and cell service for a bit and actually unplug (as opposed to saying you’re going to unplug but then not really doing it).

On our first full day in the mountains, we headed up to Crystal Mountain ski resort. Even though the temps were in the 60s and 70s during the day, the ski resort was buzzing with spring skiers. Not being a skier myself, it was interesting to watch. There were people skiing and snowboard in shorts. It was also interesting to be standing on natural snow and be able to wear short sleeves.

At Summit House

We rode the new gondola up to Summit House to have a delicious lunch and possibly the most amazing view. Pictures honestly can’t capture what it was like up there, but we tried! Standing at the highest point at Crystal Mountain, we could clearly see Mt. Rainier. The clear views aren’t that common so we really had a treat. Even though I’m calling it a mountain, it’s important to remember that it’s really a volcano… as is Mt. Saint Helen, which we could also see. We had a nice view of the Olympic Mountains and could see Mt. Hood (part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc in Oregon) in the distance. It’s nice to have seasoned tour guides who can point those things out, otherwise we wouldn’t have known how much awesome stuff was in front of us. Read the rest of this entry

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The City

Because I’m physically back from vacation, but mentally still there… Welcome to my trip recap mini-series.

We got killer airfare to fly out west to Seattle and the trip had two pretty different parts. The city and the mountains. (Airport and diabetes-related topics aside)

We went out to Seattle two years ago and were actually out there over my 22nd birthday so I ended up with a 27-hour celebration accounting for the time zones. But I digress, I mention our previous trip because we’d already done the “Seattle” stuff. We rode the monorail, visited the Space Needle, checked out Pike Place Market (and watched the fish throwing), wandered downtown and of course visited the first Starbucks. We also snow shoed on Mt. Rainier. So this trip we wanted to do new stuff.

Museum of Flight

Brad started looking into activities for our time in Seattle (he could moonlight as a budget-savvy travel planner!).  The Museum of Flight was on our radar so Brad started researching it. He was comparing admission prices ($18) for adults and the options of City Pass, when he discovered that on the first Thursday of every month, Wells Fargo sponsors free admission to the museum from 5-9pm. The first Thursday of May happened to be the day after our arrival. Score!

Don’t get me wrong, the museum would totally be worth $18 a person but the savings were amazing. We got there are the start and worked our way through the museum, and it was Space Day so there were some extra features. Read the rest of this entry

Prepare for a Trip

I got back from Seattle a few days ago and am still kind of digging out. The time zone adjustment seemed like it’s be easy the first day back, but we were just exhausted from the trip home. It was a bit rougher this morning… I will share about my trip soon, but for now some tips for preparing for going away in case you need them.

How to prepare for a trip K-couple style:

  1. Make plans in advance to have your pets cared for. (a big, huge thanks to our friends who are fed, watered, scooped and pet for us).
  2. Make plans for the house. Our friends are also taking care of bringing in the mail for us.. otherwise there isn’t much that needs done.

    Basket for mail + Thank you note

  3. Clean the house. I know that some people don’t get why it matters to clean the house before you go away, but a clean house makes returning from vacation a bit more pleasant. No dirty dishes, no overflowing hampers, swept floors… it’s nice.
  4. Pack. Our bags flew for free (whoo hoo!) so packing was not a stress. We’ve gone on week-long cruises sharing one roller bag before so having our own suitcases was a treat! Even though we each had a bag, we split up our clothing so some of Brad’s was in my bag and some of mine was in his, so that if one bag gets lost in transit we at least had a change of clothes. (Packing is easier if you make a list too.)
  5. Eat all of the food in the fridge. The last thing you want to do when you return home from a trip is have expired food sitting around. We plan out meals to use anything that will be bad by the time we get back. Before our trip out o Seattle, I accidentally bought milk that we didn’t need so I gave the new half-gallon to our kitty caretakers.

When I started writing this list, I thought it would be longer… but honestly the hardest part of preparing for a trip is figuring out where you’re going, how you’re getting there and wrapping things up at work before vacation (that proved to require more effort than I originally thought it would).

How do you prepare for a trip?

Related Posts:

Leavin’ on a Jetplane

Weepy

Down the drain

 

Leavin’ On a Jetplane

Security

I know that yesterday I was nervous about security with my insulin pump. Of course when we arrived at the airport, they were sending everyone through the body scanners, so I politely requested the pat down from the TSA agent. She made three attempts to convince me to go through, “it’s radio waves. No more than using a cell phone or microwave,” she told me.

I explained that since it’s my health, I would like to be on the safe side and be patted down. After two refusals, she walked me over for a pat down. Overall it went very smoothly. She was fairly pleasant. I was offered a private screening and she explained to me everything she was about to do. Was is comfortable? No. Was it the worst thing ever? No.

While I was being close and personal with the TSA, she chatted with me about the weather and insulin pump. A family member of hers has had “childhood” diabetes for 33 years and uses “the newest insulin pump.” She totally understood the tubeless OmniPod and asked if I wore any other devices, so I showed her the Dexcom on my arm. She glanced at it and moved on.

So the verdict is that I survived. I basically got felt up and had someone’s hands in my pants (waistband). It’s over and I don’t have to go through it again for a week!

The Rules Read the rest of this entry

Pre-Flight System Check

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on an airplane. The last time was our honeymoon in June of 2011. That means… I have never flown since being diagnosed with diabetes… and I’ve never flown with a medical device.

I’m flying across the country tomorrow. Of course I got my ticket early enough to build up a massive case of nerves.

I’m excited to go back here.

The first thing I did though was email Lisa, who uses the same d-gear I do and has flown out of Cleveland before. Lisa was incredibly reassuring and answered my questions the best that she could and I felt better for awhile.

I stopped feeling better when Brad and I were planning out when we’d be going to the airport… then I started looking things up about policies for insulin pumps/CGMs when it comes to TSA. Long story short, there really aren’t any and it just becomes to luck of the draw for which agents I encounter. Beyond that research and reading travel recommendations (nothing that my doctor didn’t mention when we talked) I did probably the worst thing I could have done… I started reading flight stories. The stories that go online are usually the horror stories. Read the rest of this entry

What a Weekend!

I’m not usually one for making a blog all about my weekend… but there’s sooooo much to write about that I’ll hit the highlights now and tell the stories later.

Saturday

Brad and I grabbed a tasty breakfast on Saturday morning before hitting the road and heading south for a friend’s wedding “back home.” Not only did we have the opportunity to witness two friends vow to love, honor and cherish each other, we got to briefly catch up with a couple of people that we haven’t seen for awhile.

After the wedding, we made a brief stop at the K-fam homestead, then hit the road back to Cleveland to get the keys to our house. We closed on a beautiful house a month ago and we finally have keys and a plan for making it our home. More on the story later…

We reluctantly left our house and went back to our apartment, where we ironed, packed and doubled checked bags for my husband’s trip out west.

Sunday Read the rest of this entry

Small World Syndrome

Once upon a time, my father did a lot of traveling. I remember him commenting that when you travel within your own state, people will ask where you’re from then ask if you know someone from the same city/region as you. When you travel within the US people will ask  if you know someone that lives in the same state as you. When he was in Europe, he was by chance on a train with a British passenger, who upon finding out my father was American, asked if he knew an acquaintance of theirs who was also an American.

Our world is vast, yet it is small. When meeting new people in college, we found out where the person went to high school and it usually brought you to say, “I know someone who went to your school, do you know [insert name here]?”

I was at a Cleveland PRSA event and happened to be sitting with a nice girl who moved to Cleveland from Chicago. She moved for love, and explained that her fiance was from Canton. “Where in Canton?” I asked. I then found out that her fiance and my husband grew up in the same town. But like us, they say Canton because not very many people know where the town is.

We dined with other Ohioans here!

The farther from home you go, the small the world seems. Read the rest of this entry

Cruises and a PR perspective

Awhile before the Costa Concordia accident/incident occurred, I had commented to my in-laws that I would turn down a job offer to work for Carnival Cruise Line’s PR department. They’re a cruise family (as are we) and we’ve at various points in time talked about the “what ifs” of one of the family working for a cruise line.

Sunset over the Atlantic

One thing that’s important to me as a public relations professional is that the clients I work with make plans, conduct training and generally take action to avoid problems, instead of crossing their fingers and hoping that some PR pros and customer service staff will clean up their messes. In my opinion, as a consumer, PR girl and cruiser, there is something wrong with Carnival Cruise lines. Read the rest of this entry

Our attachment to places

Continuing my unintentional, yet enjoyable, series of “things we love” I’ve noticed that many people have a favorite place and they tend to gravitate towards it whenever they can.

The rest of this post will sound like I’m talking about vacation spots, but it applies to other places.

 

I went for the first time at age 18

Because most in my generation went to Disney World and/or grew up watching Disney classics, there’s an overwhelming number of millennials who are attached to “the happiest place on earth.” And why not? It’s a cool, but expensive, place to go. It’s also tiring at times because you want to see/do everything that you can in one day and in most cases, there are a bunch of children enjoying or not enjoying their time in the Magic Kingdom, which greatly impacts my levels of enjoyment.

 

 

 

 

But then there are the places that are just plain beautiful, relaxing, enjoyable whatever you want to say, that you can’t wait to visit because you can just enjoy them without running around or being subjected to a whole bunch of crazy. Read the rest of this entry

Airport security, US customs and general travel thoughts

My new husband and I had some travel adventures with our honeymoon. We were on planes, in taxis, on a Jamaican shuttle, in a Mexican rental car, boats and of course my least favorite escalators! Travel overall excites me, but sometimes there are hassles on top of general weirdness.

The Airports

We left out of good old CAK, the small airport close to home where security takes about 5 minutes to get through. When I walked barefoot in simple shorts and a t-shirt through the metal detector, it beeped and the TSA agent pulled me aside. Did I really set this off? I thought, then this conversation occurred: Read the rest of this entry