Flashback Friday-Nostalgia and Longing

Ya’ll, I wish, from the very depths of my soul, that I could be a travel blogger. Why hasn’t someone super rich and stupid with their money hired me to travel and write up hilarious travel snafus? Why?

Not only do I long to travel more, I wish to go back to where I left my bleeding heart-London Town.

I went on my last, serious trip seven years ago. Seven.years.ago. 

This is unacceptable. 

Seven years ago was the last time I was in England, and a little bit of my soul dies every day more. My ultimate fear in this life is never getting a chance to get back there again. 

As I type (tap on my asshole phone that still thinks, after all this time, that I mean “duck”), my heart is literally aching and my stomach is in knots. 

It feels like homesickness. 

I miss where my heart belongs. 

Ya know?

#fbf to when I was living it up in London (This is also a flashback to when I thought I was fat-I wish I could be that fat again). 

I had some super sweet photography skills seven years ago. I’m glad I was able to travel all the way to England to capture this dude’s chops so well. 

#awkwardtouristphoto

Those T-Rex arms, though.

Fucking Nandos. Dammit, I miss you.

I had just eaten a hot crossed bun. Baked goods create a certain glow about me.

Impossibly quaint.


I can still feel that cool, curry-scented breeze (it was a nice change of scent from the hotel room’s eau de funk). 
Le sigh 

History and Gold Mining Towns and Ghosts, Oh My!

We all know that I was my usual fatty over the week-long break I had recently. What ya’ll maybe don’t realize is that I don’t just eat all of the time (although, I do get my eat on a lot). I love to explore, travel, and experience. Without venturing too far from home, one can discover hidden gems, history, and fun times. 

I have lived in Nevada my whole life, and not once had I ever been to Genoa. Even crazier, for this history lover (lover, not buff–I’m terrible at history), I didn’t know that it was the first settlement in Nevada. It was established in 1851, and it houses the oldest saloon in Nevada. This was not surprising, as Nevadans have always loved their booze.

Since discovering Genoa, I’ve been twice. It’s a super cute place, dripping in history, and it’s only about an hour from Reno. The Pink House is a must do. The pulled pork sandwich, s’mores skillet and apple and pear crisp from my Food Baby Part 2 post came from The Pink House. 








Scurry!

A fun, little path to an antique shop

Another place I went to over break is Virginia City. I’ve been to VC approximately a billion times. It can be very touristy, but if you’re in the know, you can find some amazing things to do that doesn’t involve buying overpriced junky knickknacks. Some of these include The Steampunk Ball; World Championship Outhouse Races; saloon crawls; ghost tours and investigations; and the Camel Races. 

There’s just something about Virginia City. Maybe it’s the spirits, always on the prowl, the fact that I’ve always enjoyed my time there, or that the history is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Either way, if you’re ever in the Reno-Tahoe-Carson area, VC is a must. 

I’m hoping to join a ghost investigation soon. Be on the lookout for a post about Fatty Cake scaring the literal crap out of herself…#pooppants #boopoo

This is where I hope to do a ghost investigation! Stay tuned!



I loved this adorable, little zombie!



The Fourth Ward School

The windows made me do a double check!


From the old school, looking east, you can see for miles…



The haunted Gold Hill Hotel!



Reno Town


Because I mentioned the Steampunk Ball, I thought I’d share some of my different looks I’ve had for the event over the years.



Guilty of the Duck Lip!


The view from Cafe Del Rio. One of my favorite seats in the world.

Porta-Poop Revisited

This past weekend, a good friend and I went to the Genoa Candy Dance. I had assumed that people would be dancing and throwing candy around. I mean, isn’t that what it sounds like it would be?? To my dismay, the Candy Dance was just a bunch of over-priced vendors and food trucks (apparently there is a dinner and dance event in the evening). The food truck part was, however, much appreciated. What I did really like about this event was that it was held in Nevada’s oldest town/settlement. For a history lover, it is a real damn shame that I had never been to Genoa before. I fully plan on visiting again sans tons of people pushing to get to a stall selling crocheted rabbits.

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My London

I have been reading so many travel blogs lately. I am such as masochist, because doing so only makes me long, deep inside, to be traveling. Since my last big trip was the one I took to the U.K. and Ireland, now five years ago, it is what I obsessively refer to when I talk about my “travels”. The only thing I really want in this life is to experience new places, people, culture, and rich experiences. Since my bank account prohibits any such fanciful dreams, I can only live vicariously through my own memories.

I am re-blogging a post I did years ago on my old site. It is about why I loved London so much. Enjoy!

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U.K. or (Literally) Bust

Loch Ness

Friends, I hardly ever ask for help. OK, that is a boldfaced lie. I ask for it all the time in the form of comments over at Shopper Lottie. However, this is different. For some time (like, 10 years), I have wanted to move abroad (get in line, sister). I have always had a crazy love affair with the U.K. and since visiting way back in 2010, I have never been able to forget about my one, true love.

For those who don’t know, I am at teacher in the U.S. I teach 3rd grade. I would love to be able to do something similar somewhere, anywhere in the U.K. I have friends in Scotland, so that would probably be preferable. I have heard that the education system is really very different when comparing England with Scotland, so one may be possible and the other out of my reach. I really don’t know.

I have contacted a couple of agencies, but the wait to hear a response is making me certifiably insane. I am not even sure they are legit or the correct way to go about this. HELP.

Long story short, can someone familiar with these parts give me any information they have that could help me in my endeavor? Even better, does anyone have connections that would better enable me to have even the slightest chance to attempt to live one of my dreams?

My loving thanks in advance.

Quit Judging Me, Fitbit

Damn, Fitbit. Why you gotta play me like that? Between Friday and Saturday, I logged 33,806 steps, walked 14.91 miles, was active for 258 minutes, and I have a blister on my toe in the shape of Owen Wilson’s nose, yet my Fitbit is still harping on me today to get my steps in? What’s that you say? You mean, I have to move everyday? I should log 10,000 steps everyday? You mean…I’m not done?

*blank stare*

So, in order to do this thing called, “fitness”, and to be successful at said fitness, I have to do it everyday?

Never mind. I’ll just be returning this here Fitbit, if you don’t mind.

*Rustles in cabinet looking for Crack Cup*

Only half kidding. In all seriousness guys, 10,000 steps a day for someone whose favorite pastime is savoring rainbow sprinkles with a dollop of Cool Whip while watching past episodes of Biggest Loser on Hulu is asking a lot.

My grand weekend of getting in some killer steps was thanks to a quick trip over the hill to San Francisco. Not like, a marathon or anything (obviously, that was your first guess). 

If you have ever been to San Francisco, you know transportation in the city is either: a horror-themed roller coaster-like driving experience, with hobos popping out when you least expect it and you’re honked at for not mowing down pedestrians or it’s a serious walking nightmare experience. I chose walking, and damn those bunions hurt (just kidding, I don’t have bunions. I don’t even know what they are, but I bet they’d be hurting if I had them).

So, I guess my grand walking adventure in San Francisco where my thighs almost ignited due to rubbage did not, in fact, make me instantly fit and svelte. 

Oh, the pain and suffering! 

 

One of my favorite cities, the City by the Bay.


 

How you doin?

 

Getting my steps in by crossing The Golden Gate Bridge.


 

Garlic with pasta from The Stinking Rose. Amazing.

 
  

A view of the city from Alcatraz.


 

So.much.rain.

 
 

Clam chowder in a bread bowl from Boudin’s.

 

Pure effing Heaven. Funfetti. Cake batter. Rainbow sprinkles.

 

 

Walking up Lombard Street almost did me in. I had to stop every other house to catch my breath. Seriously.

  

My how-come-I’m-not-skinny-yet-face.

 
My rant about my demanding, asshole Fitbit turned into some pictures from the trip. You’re welcome. 

  

This Is Elko 

I just got home from visiting Elko after nearly five years since I fled. I left Elko after a very nasty, unexpected, but much-needed breakup.  It had taken the almost four years that I lived there to grow to love the place. For the first few months I lived in Elko, I ate my sadness through the entire McDonald’s menu (because that’s all I found acceptable to eat). Every moment my brain was free to recall that I was permanently situated in a tiny cow town in Nevada, I was depressed. I devised every possible flight plan to get myself out of my living hell while I double fisted Oreos and everything ever made by the Keebler Elves. It took months for me to finally accept that if I wanted to see a movie, I would have to sit on a rickety, bodily fluid-soaked chair in their ancient theater. Whenever I got the opportunity to make it back home, I spent long hours wandering the posh isles of Target, lamenting how Elko was too ass backward to ever understand how beautiful a Target would be up on the hill instead of the nasty Kmart. What I didn’t realize until I looked up, out of my KFC Bucket of Shame, was that Elko was more than a Target. More than a comfortable movie seat. More than what you see at first glance. Before I knew it, I had established a very comfortable, happy life in Elko, enjoying the beauty that can be found when you open your heart and clear your mind of any preconceived notions. 

I was going to list the things that I love about Elko, but instead, I will just leave you with the following pictures. A few of you asked, about my previous post, “What is Elko?” Well, this is Elko. 

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  


 
 
 
 
 
 
A lot the first pics are actually of Lamoille and Lamoille Canyon, but those places still mean Elko to me.   

Dingle Town

Lately, I have really been feeling the wanderlust. I am a travel blogger, by heart, who does not have the means to travel near as much as is requisite to be an actual travel blogger. Adulting and all that crap… So, when I prefer to be strolling the cobblestoned streets of Edinburgh instead of participating in the usual grind, I take a mental vacation back to the best vacation I have ever taken. Back in 2010, I got to spend three glorious weeks in the U.K. and Ireland (the parts not belonging to the U.K., hence why I said ‘Ireland’ separately-just thought I needed to clarify that). There are days I can still smell the curry take-aways in London, feel the salty Dublin air on my skin, and see the smiling faces of my friends in Edinburgh. In honor of my intense longing to be anywhere but here, I am posting from my first blog, BigCityBetty, a post I made about Dingle, Ireland. I will be writing up a long-awaited review of the hostel we stayed at there, The Rainbow Hostel, because this funky place popped our hostel cherry, and what better way to do that than with stray, mangy cats, nude men, and pooping Frenchmen. Without further ado, my Dingleberry post:

On the way to Dingle. C

On the way to Dingle.

Dingle Town. Gaelic is taught at school as a means to preserve the dying language.

Dingle Town. Gaelic is taught at school as a means to preserve the dying language.

I mean, it is almost too beautiful.

I mean, it is almost too beautiful.

While planning our week in Ireland, my travel friends came upon a most amusing name for a town. This town? Dingle. Yes, Dingle. First thing my boyfriend says? “We HAVE to go to Dingle, so we can pick some berries!” I rolled my eyes and told him there was no way we were going to go clear across the whole of Ireland just because the name loosely referred to a poop crusted piece of toilet paper hanging from butt hairs. Did he think that was a silly reason to go somewhere? Heck no. So, obviously, from the get-go, I was not too keen on the idea of Dingle. Not only did I think of stinky butt crack adornments every time it was mentioned, it was incredibly far from anywhere else we were planning on visiting. Regardless, I had two whiny men simply begging to put Dingle on our itinerary. Just to silence the “picking berries in Dingle” and “shall we make a dingleberry pie” jokes, I caved and Dingle was to be a future destination. The jokes, however, did not stop. Men.

After some research on Dingle, it didn’t really sound all that bad. In fact, Rick Steves, himself, calls it, “The epitome of Ireland”. I decided if Rick Steves liked it, I would too.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, we almost died on the road to Dingle. Several times. Well, maybe that is an exaggeration, but the entire time spent white-knuckling it to Dingle, I was growling that it better damn well be worth it. As we passed green, luscious, rolling hill after green, luscious, rolling hill to the far western coast of Ireland, I began to see why Dingle was the epitome of Ireland, and we hadn’t even gotten there yet. By far and wide, the area in the 100 mile radius of Dingle was the most green and gorgeous of all we had seen. It was almost too much. As we drove slowly into the town of Dingle, we saw row upon row of quaint shops and pubs, all squeaky clean and perfect. The town was nestled in the same green, rolling hills we had oohed and aahed over for hours. Dotting the hills were cream and yellow colored homes that looked straight out of a storybook; the entire town looked like one I had seen in one of my childhood fairytale stories. It was dusk and getting dark as deep, gray, foreboding rain clouds kissed the hills. As I exited the car, I could taste the sea and feel the wetness of rain yet to come on my face. We decided exploration of this incredible town was in order. Everything was in Gaelic; people walking past spoke the strange, beautiful tongue. This place was amazing. This place was Ireland. This place was worth it.

Our time spent in Dingle was too short and the hostel we stayed at was, well, let’s save that one for a later blog post…Despite our strange lodgings and the terrifying drive in, Dingle was one of the most beautiful and untainted places I have ever been. If I ever make it back to Ireland, Dingle will be my first stop.

Oh, and yes, there were berries to be picked, but they never ended up in a pie.

Air Travel is Fun

Here I sit, at the Philadelphia airport, not a fucking happy camper. I would like someone to explain to me why the trip home is always so fucking merry…

*I’m warning any virgin ears now, I’ll probably be using ‘fuck’ a lot in this post. 

My trip over was seamless, a breeze. There was barely any turbulence, I didn’t have to sit next to a smelly man with long fingernails, and it was just easy. Get on, get off, get on, get off-all on time. 

I’m hoping my complaining now will create a situation whereby I was just overreacting and it actually won’t be as bad as I’m making it out to be in my head *knocks on cheap vinyl, sticky with soda and greasy fingertips, because there’s no wood in an airport*

It’s just that, I know how traveling by air usually goes. We all do. Unless you have been living off the grid, in a mole hill, you know. 

Right now, my flight is delayed by an hour and 10 minutes. I have already been here for 2 hours and 15 minutes, because the drive into Philly is always full of standstill traffic. You never know if the drive will take an hour or 3, so best to be anal-retentive-early. So, here I sit.

Since I’ve already hit up the last-minute-oops-I-forgot-you-souvenir-shops. Since I’ve already had an overpriced lunch. Since I’ve already had a coffee, and a beer, and made 3 trips to the bathroom, I have time to recall and share my trip back from London. 

It was every traveler’s worst nightmare with a why-do-I-even-travel-cherry on top. 

The flights over to London, on my first-ever international flight went extremely well. It was full of excitement, anticipation, and wonder. The plane had screens in the back of every seat with music, movies, and a map showing our plane’s location. I took a picture of whatever was below us about halfway to London, and I got a picture of Greenland. It was cool as shit. We arrived at Heathrow stinky and tired, but elated to be starting our adventure. 

The flight home? A whole different animal. 

It started out fine. We breezed through check-in and security at Heathrow and boarded our plane on time. I was seated next to a nice, older English couple. My friend? The friend who had an entire row to himself until the last second, yet was an ass and wouldn’t let me sit next to him, got to sit next to a child who puked the whole way to Toronto. I still laugh at that quick, and concise delivery of karma. 

When we got to Toronto, I had to poop so bad. I decided I’d just come right out and be crass and say it. I figured our layover of an hour would be enough to use the restroom, but instead we almost didn’t make our flight because customs was a fucking nightmare. I was uttering horrible things under my breath. I wanted to scream the mean things, but asshole friend suggested that I shouldn’t threaten death upon custom agents. 

When we finally got on our plane, after last call, I got sandwiched between a man who smelled of feet and another man who had long, yellow fingernails, who hummed the.whole.fucking.plane.ride. I’m surprised I didn’t need my barf bag. It was horrible. 

About 30 minutes outside of Denver, we were told there was a massive thunderstorm over Denver, so we were being rerouted to a landing strip in BFE Colorado. It was literally just a landing strip, seriously in need of weeding. The entire 2 hours we sat there, I went from fearing I would have to poo in an airplane with no AC and worrying we were going to miss our connecting flight from Denver. It was an OCD sufferer’s nightmare.

Finally, we got to take off. When we landed in Denver, we found out we didn’t miss our flight, as all flights were pushed back. It was a freaking miracle. I found the nearest bathroom and thought another miracle would happen. Nope. 

I spent the entire last flight miserable. 

We finally arrived home at 2 AM. All I wanted was my bag and sleep, but, of course, my bag didn’t arrive with our plane. Of-fucking-course. 

I was still 4 hours from my home, so I got to wear my mom’s granny panties, until I got my bag back, and I didn’t even care. 

That was the worst travel experience up to this point. 

I’m currently sitting in the plane from my last connection in Chicago. We’ve been flying for maybe 15 minutes. I’m still sweating, breathing hard, coughing, and my nose is running down my greasy face. Why, you ask? My flight was boarding while I was still on the first plane. I ran, a la Home Alone from Gate 19 to Gate 5. I am sure I was a sight, in my gut flapping-asthmatic-face-wheezing glory. When I got to the gate, the door was closed and everyone was already boarded. I have never been late like that in my life. But I fucking made it. Hooray.

I have one more stop, but I don’t have to get off the plane. I can finally relax and order 8 alcoholic beverages. 

Its events like these that make me wonder why I even try to travel by air. I guess it’s because you can’t just get in the car and drive to Europe, or take 3 weeks off so you can drive cross-country. 

Le sigh.