Travel!

Aug. 19th, 2010 04:23 pm
In case you've wondered where I've been the last few weeks (or even if you haven't!), we just got back from a trip to Chile and Argentina. If you're interested, I kept a detailed account of the trip (with lots of photos) on Carter's blog here.
We're in New York this weekend, and having a lot of fun. It's our first time coming here since Carter was born, though we made it easy on ourselves by bringing Michelle (Carter's nanny) along. She's taken him for walks while we go to see a few Broadway shows, and so we've had a little more grown-up time than we would have otherwise!

I'll post more about our trip later, but for now, check out this article on Playbill.com. The Doug and Jenn mentioned in the beginning of the article? Is us. :-D
We took an HD camera with us on our trip to Botswana last year, which meant we got great video that was nearly impossible to share. Doug recently found some software to convert HD format to something we could upload to YouTube, and he's started a YT channel for those videos at AfricanVideo07. He's got 50 videos up now and probably 50 more to go.

Here's an example of the kind of footage we shot. You can hear me narrating, heh.



And this is probably the most dramatic so far: lions killing a buffalo.



Enjoy!

Home again

Nov. 28th, 2007 07:53 am
jenn_unplugged: (Resistance is futile)
We got back from London on Monday night. It was a fun trip, though punctuated by me being sick one way or the other for the last ten days. I had a sinus headache for the three days before we left, and since I can only take Tylenol, I pretty much had to wait for it to go away on its own. It finally broke on the plane to London Tuesday night, which was an incredible relief.

We arrived in London on Wednesday morning and started our theatre binge weekend. We had tickets to see 8 West End shows in four days, so we had quite a busy schedule. (I'll make another post about what we saw.) We had just a couple of hours between shows on Wednesday, and we picked a little Italian restaurant next to the second theatre for a quick dinner. I ordered spaghetti with meat sauce, and didn't think anything of it -- until about 2:00 am when I was completely miserable. I threw up a couple of times that night and spent Thanksgiving morning huddled in bed until noon. Poisoned by meat sauce -- who would've guessed?

And that pretty much affected the rest of the week. My digestive system was screwed up and I had sharp cramps in my stomach every time I ate, which made eating very un-fun. I tried to focus on keeping hydrated, but even that is hard when everything makes your stomach cramp. We basically spent every morning at the hotel until around noon until my digestive system calmed down enough that I felt confident enough to go out. It didn't stop us from going to the theatre or having fun in the evenings, but we basically did nothing else the entire trip. :-P

I had the last of my stomach cramps Tuesday morning on my way to work, happily, and I think my body is finally getting back to normal. But that afternoon I realized I had picked up a cold as well. Last night I had a fever and was achy and shivering and generally miserable. Doug had to leave immediately Tuesday morning for California, so it was just me and two very clingy cats. I don't seem to have a fever this morning, but my throat is sore and I'm coughing up all sorts of fun stuff. :-P

I'm hardly ever sick, so I guess I'm not used to being out of commission for so long. Of course, now I can't help but wonder how I will manage when Boo is born and Doug is gone if I'm sick. For now, Boo has been helpfully kicking my noisy intestines. I'm sure he's sick of all the rumbling going on in there. Last night I fell asleep on the couch and woke up with my stomach growling, which set off a round of kicking. At least I know he's doing fine through all of this.
We spent last weekend in Seattle, which was really fun. The weather there was gorgeous, cool (for us, anyway) and pleasant. We stayed at the Westin downtown, which is just a short walk from the waterfront and the park where the Space Needle is. Our main reason for going was that Mel Brooks's new Broadway musical Young Frankenstein (yes, based on the movie) was finishing up its pre-Broadway run in Seattle that weekend. We figured it would be fun to see it before it hit Broadway, so we decided to take our annual Labor Day mini-vacation there.

The weekend, thoughts about the musical )
We had a great weekend at home together, the first weekend we've spent together at home in a long time. It might even have been late March or early April since we had a weekend just to hang out at home and do nothing all day.

Of course, the weekend before that was amazing -- we went to New York to go on a theatre binge and to go to the Tonys! We had a great time and saw Curtains (which our old friend John Bolton was in, and starred David Hyde Pierce), Company (for the third time, as it's Doug's favorite), and the night after the Tonys we saw Spring Awakening for the second time. Seeing a show the night after it won eight Tonys (including Best Musical) was incredible fun. The cast was so excited and the crowd cheered in stretches of three minutes throughout the show, effectively stopping it. It was amazing!

Monday afternoon I finally recorded my session with Seth Rudetsky of the Broadway's Best channel on Sirius, which was a lot of fun! (That was my birthday present from Doug last year -- I talked about it down at the bottom of this post.) We were told that it would air on Wednesday afternoon and we were ready to record it, but it didn't air that day. We think it may have actually aired on Tuesday, when we were flying. :-( We'll see if we can get them to re-air it. If not, I have the raw audio that I can post, which is also kind of fun.

It was a great weekend, and the last traveling I'll be doing for at least a month, depending on how the IVF goes. IVF update here. )
I lost another 1.5 pounds last week, bringing me to 5.5 pounds total. :-D

I slacked off on the exercising last week, so I really need to pick back up with that. I used to be a morning exercise person, and these days I seem to be a midday exercise person. For some reason, it's really hard to motivate myself to go for a walk or drive to the gym first thing in the morning. I'd rather drink some coffee and get to work. But around lunchtime, I'm more mentally ready to exercise, and I don't have to talk myself into it. It's just weird because all through college when I was running, I would get up first thing in the morning and go, because if I didn't do it then, I wouldn't do it later in the day.

Of course, in the summer in Arizona that was a necessity -- it was too hot by 8:00 am to exercise outside. Which is true here as well, though it's more the humidity that gets me than the heat, and that's present even at 7:00 am. So who knows, maybe this is a seasonal thing. It's also dark at 7:00 right now. Somehow it's easier to convince myself to go exercise when the sun is higher in the sky.

Doug is in Shanghai right now, which is interesting because he was in Beijing just a couple of weeks ago. And I've been meaning to post these pictures he took of the Great Wall. )

I don't think he gets to see anything quite so cool this trip, but he's gone a long time and will be in a lot of places: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Sydney, Singapore (again), and then back home. He flew out through London (yes, the wrong way) because it was cheaper and he'll be flying back through Australia again, so he's taking a big tour -- four continents within two weeks!
I'm behind here, but last weekend I tagged along with Doug on a business trip to San Francisco. It was great fun except that I had a sinus headache all weekend. It was fairly impervious to these new OTC drugs with their greatly reduced amounts of decongestant, and even double doses didn't keep me from crashing in the midst of the fun on both Saturday and Sunday nights. :-P

We arrived late Friday afternoon and had dinner at La Folie, a fantastic French restaurant. On Saturday Doug had some meetings to attend, so I met up with some friends for lunch and general hanging out for much of the day. That night we had dinner with some French colleagues of Doug's at the North Beach restaurant, one of the first restaurants we ever ate at in San Francisco. My headache knocked me out about halfway through, which meant I didn't really get to enjoy dinner, alas.

The next day we did something I've always wanted to do -- go to Napa Valley in a limo! Pictures here )

I'll post tomorrow about what we're up to this weekend. ;-)
Last weekend was the start of five consecutive weekends of traveling for me. :-P

This weekend, we went to Phoenix to go to a retirement party for a lawyer Doug has worked with. I haven't been to Phoenix in nearly two years, and it's such a lovely place in February: 70 degrees, clear blue skies... The party was in a fantastic little bistro that's attached to one of the best wine stores in Phoenix, a place we used to go to a lot when we lived in Arizona. I mean seriously, we used to drive 100 miles up from Tucson to shop there! Surprisingly, there aren't any wine shops in Austin that come close to the ones in Phoenix. :-(

Being back in Phoenix was interesting, because I forget how different Arizona is from other places. For example, the average age in Phoenix is a lot higher than it is in Austin. Senior citizens are everywhere you look in Phoenix, and it's interesting that I didn't notice that when I lived there. People are very casual too. I was overdressed for that dinner -- and if you know me, you know what a funny statement that is. Austin is casual too, but more stylish, somehow.

It was fun though, and several of the people there reminded us that we'd been thinking of turning our annual wine party into a charity event. We'd been thinking of it because it felt so decadent to serve all of this wonderful and really expensive wine to people, but also because (quite frankly) the people who come could afford it. I mean, people fly in from New York and California (and France, once) to attend, so it's not a stretch. I need to get to work on that, actually. I need to decide on a charity and contact them, get the ball rolling.

In IVF news, I started on the pill on Friday, and Doug and I started taking our antibiotics. In a few short weeks, I'll be giving myself injections again! I'm oddly excited about it, heh. I read a book about IVF on the plane this weekend, and it was interesting. I didn't learn anything new (our clinic's orientation meeting was very comprehensive), but it was valuable to read about other people's experiences. It struck me while reading that I am in a really good mental place right now. I mean, I knew that, but reading about the emotional rollercoaster people face when approaching IVF was stark in that I don't feel that stressed about it. Six months ago, I absolutely would have. Interesting. :-)
jenn_unplugged: (Resistance is futile)
I'm currently in Irvine, CA at the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators conference. My talk was this morning first thing, so I have the rest of the time here to go to talks and meet people and stuff.

It's funny that I can be weirdly anti-social sometimes, though. I just came out of the plenary talk and was in this huge swarm of people who were heading to the room where dinner was, and all I could think about was how much I wanted to just go to my room and be alone. Surf the internet, watch TV in my pajamas, order room service -- it sounded like the ideal evening all of a sudden. This despite the fact that there are old friends here and people I only see at conferences like this, people I need to catch up with and talk to.

So I came up to my room to give myself a short break, and I'm about to go back down. I'm not a shy person, and I can even be pretty extroverted at times. But I can also be pretty introverted, and I can't ever predict when one or the other will happen. The thought of heading back down to a roomful of 500 people and finding a place to sit and talking to strangers (with whom I have a lot in common and who will most likely turn out to be very interesting) makes me feel a little panicky. But the funny thing is, once I get down there, I will be happy and engaged in conversation and everything will be cool. I just have to get my ass down there.

Isn't that weird?

Oh, and my period is starting, which means it's time for the IVF cycle! I'm excited. :-)

Hoo boy.

Dec. 21st, 2006 04:12 pm
We're flying to Denver tomorrow afternoon. Supposedly. :-P
Whee! Another year of first class upgrades, all mine! )

Wow, it's sleeting here. It was 80 degrees yesterday...
I'm getting close to the end of my stay in Portland, and it's been a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to seeing Doug on Thursday, though. He's stopping off here on his way to India. We both leave Saturday morning, heading different directions. I'm finally going home, and I'm basically glad. It's been a really interesting experience to travel so much this summer. I think I have a better understanding of what Doug's life is like now.

Living out my urban fantasy... )

And I had a birthday! )

So that is a really amazing gift, and I'm still stunned. I'm thinking 35 is getting off to a great start. :-)
I meant to post about this earlier, but this week has gotten away from me.  So I'm in Portland for the next two weeks, teaching a two-week math course for teachers in the Masters' program at Portland State University.  It's a variation of a course I teach at UT every spring, called "An Advanced Perspective on School Algebra".

Anyway, I showed up Monday morning to find that I have four students in my class.  Four.  Wow.  Well, they pay me the same if it's four or twenty-four, and this way the grading sure is easy.  It's more like a little seminar or study group than a class.  The students are amazing, though, and were completely willing to jump in and work hard and talk about mathematical ideas.  Either that, or the size of the class means no one can hide or zone out.  Either way, it makes for a great experience for all of us, I think.

I'm living in a little one-bedroom apartment in downtown Portland, about a half a mile from the university.  The ground floor of the building has a Starbucks and a bakery and a convenience store and a couple of restaurants, so everything I need is just outside.  I live over a Starbucks!!!  Hee.  

Lack of AC, emergency doctor visits, and a wine bar )
First, something funny:

Yet more proof of global warming )

I'm at the OC Airport, about to head back to Texas for a few days. This has been a really great week, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to come and help teach this workshop. It was an amazing amount of fun, much more than I was expecting it to be. The participants were mostly all young professors who were truly interested in improving their teaching, and they worked hard all week. We had a lot of fun along the way, of course, and I'm really looking forward to seeing some of them again. :-)

More about the week and LA in general )
A week ago today, I woke up in Rome and flew to London. Two days ago, I woke up in Austin and flew to North Carolina. This morning, I woke up in Mount Airy, NC and I'm now in Los Angeles. I can't believe I was at my cousin's wedding last night on the east coast and now I'm on the west coast! Of course, Doug is on his way to Israel at the moment, so that's even weirder.

I talked to him a couple of hours ago, and he confirmed that the security for El-Al (the Israeli national airline) is truly insane.  He was required to check in three hours early for his flight from JFK to Tel Aviv, and in addition to the normal screening procedures, he had to go through two lengthy interviews and they took his carry-on bags for TWO HOURS to check through them.  He was left with only his wallet, passport, and boarding pass.  And before he got on the plane, he was wanded completely and his wallet was gone through, and THEN he was randomly selected for additional screening!  They certainly don't take any chances.

I'm still a little freaked about about his going to Israel, but there's nothing to be done about it.  He dropped me off at the airport in Greensboro this morning (he was flying out of Raleigh) and I actually clung to him and cried for a few minutes.  I could never be a military wife.  I have no idea how you watch your partner go off to a war zone with the very real possibility that they won't come back.

And wow, back in California!  I drove past two Del Tacos and an In-N-Out Burger on the way to the hotel!!!  Is it weird that one of the things I miss about living in the west is the fast food?  :-P  The workshop starts bright and early tomorrow morning, and I'm not quite ready for it -- so I'll be doing some serious work on that tonight.  But for now, I'm off to the welcome reception.  :-) 
Wow, the week is really flying by! Days are starting to bleed together a bit, and I'm going to be sad to see it end. Partly because we're having such a great time, but also because it's the beginning of about a month of us not seeing much of each other.

Monday through Wednesday )
We've been here for a week, and we're really feeling settled in. We leave a week from today, sadly, though we have a quick overnight in London to ease the trip home.

More pictures here )
Today (Thursday) is a national holiday and lots of stuff is closed. So we decided to sleep in and take it easy. But yesterday was pretty exciting.

We saw the Pope! )

For reference, here are two posts about Rome I made when we were here two years ago. I wonder if I'll wind up taking the same pictures all over again? [ one | two ]

One of these days I'll make a travel icon too...
It is HOT here! I love this city, but OMG so hot!

Yes, I know -- I live in Texas, and before that I lived in Arizona, so I should be used to heat, right? Well, I'm used to living in hot places that have air conditioning. In general, Italy is not one of them. Ah, but when in Rome, as they say...

sweat like the Romans do... )

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