Today is brought to you by this angry blowfish. I made the most of my weekend, with a snorkel trip and a zipline excursion, including a leap of faith off a waterfall. Amazing. Now back to my daily schedule of Spanish instruction and rigorous yoga. It’s been an incredible week one, and even though my friends are leaving, I’m looking forward to having a little bit slower week two. Salud!
Category Archives: Travel
this is where cashews come from? A cashew is the only fruit with the seed outside the fruit, and each fruit just has the one. Now you know.
While you read this I am likely either snorkeling or recovering from the raging sunburn I will have undoubtedly gotten. I haven’t gotten burned yet (it’s noon Friday as I write this) but am pretty clear there’s no way to avoid it with a full day in the sun. In Spanish, “I have a sunburn” is “Tengo una quemadura del sol”. I’m ready.
I haven’t taken a significant trip without Ellison since we’ve been together, and haven’t really ever traveled alone. But now I’m having a solo adventure at Spanish school in Costa Rica. After nearly a day and a half of travel I’m safely ensconced in my hotel and have explored the little tourist town I’m living in for the next two weeks. I’ve made a friend who will be here for the first week. And I’ve found, and gotten the nod from, the local lesbianas.
Hoping my roommate, who hasn’t arrived yet, is awesome, or at least quiet.
You can keep track of my travel photos at Flickr, I’ll be uploading more often than blogging. Wish me luck!
It’s March, and after a non-winter it’s snowy/slushy. Ellison and I made a commitment to try one new thing each month, but way exceeded our goal for February. We went snow tubing, explored an illuminated night garden, and went to a couple of new restaurants. But my favorite adventure was a day trip to Provincetown over the weekend.
Ellison and I have a daily gratitude tradition that’s been coming up a lot lately. And since my home page has a tip on “How to Flex your Happiness Muscles”, now seems like a great time to write about our “Happies”. Every night before bed, we take a few moments to reflect on the things that made us happy during the day, and we end the day telling each other about our happies. We’ve both noticed not only that we end the day feeling more positively, but also that we notice more in the moment. That is, rather than just see a beautiful butterfly or shaft of sunlight break through the clouds, then disappear, we will take a moment to be consciously appreciative and to file it away for our happies that night. If we aren’t together, we do our happies over the phone or, as a last resort, with an email or a text message.
I’m going to Costa Rica for two weeks in the spring, and the schedule challenge of doing our happies is my biggest concern. We’ve agreed that we’ll do them via email, which seems a bit less connected, but also will provide a written record of our happies. I’m all for trying something new….but also look forward to climbing into bed with my sweetness and doing our happies together when I get back.
Spent the weekend celebrating Ellison’s many accomplishments in Pittsburgh, where I discovered Turkish eggplants. I’ve never seen these orange beauties before but I’m smitten. This one was a lovely companion at a dinner party. She always looks good and never monopolizes conversation. And when I’m done with her I’m going to open her up and save her seeds to plant next year. I wonder if I can try the same thing with Ellison whose body is prematurely failing.
Last weekend Ellison and I were off together with our chosen family for a fantastic Queer Weekend. I love being surrounded by love and mutual support, and having a place to revel in all facets of myself, with a ton of delicious food and phenomenal company.
This weekend we’re off on separate adventures, home just long enough to empty our suitcases, wash and repack our clothes, and keep our cats and plants alive. (I got the toothpaste. Ha!) Ellison will be presenting on chosen family at a conference like a responsible adult, while I’m frolicking on the beach and having my every need catered to like a giant infant. I can’t wait. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it lately but I LOVE THE BEACH.
Then, I’m home for the whole summer. My yard renovation project has been on hold for a couple of weeks, but I’m really hoping to have it be suitable for a 4th of July cookout. I’m borrowing extra boys next weekend to put a major dent in the patio building process. I’ve still got stone walls to finish, perennial beds to plant, and yard to level and reseed or….something. But when it’s done I’ll have more enjoyable space and less poorly maintained grass. I can’t wait for that, either. It’s been a long time since I had a yard I really want to be in, and Ellison has barely sat outside since quitting smoking 2+ years ago. I’m hoping this yard makeover changes the environment enough that we can both enjoy the small outdoors together.
I love the Ocean State. Yesterday I took a lovely stroll along Easton’s Beach in Newport, and dipped my feet in the water. It was much warmer than I expected.
I have a chosen family and a family of origin which are both based in the same city, where I don’t live. I love my family of origin, but I feel like an alien when I spend time with them, and therefore choose to limit how often I do so. On the other hand, I love to spend time with my chosen family, where I feel like I’m home. So visits are always a complicated juggling act, trying to get enough time with everyone, manage everyone’s needs and expectations, and weather my own complicated feelings at returning to a place where I have a lot of bad memories. Since I really hate to let anyone down or hurt anyone’s feelings, I feel like I always fall short on meeting my own needs. I always get home full of love, but emotionally exhausted.
Until this weekend, I’d not really talked with my parents about chosen family, and about who these people are. I still haven’t really dug into it, and am finding it hard to explain what exactly we are to one another. But I had an opportunity to crack the door in explaining to them who was at the wedding – families of origin, current and previous chosen family groups, and individuals who make up the chosen families of each spouse. My dad asked me if the spouses’ families of origin knew that they were “part of an alternative lifestyle”… I wish now that I’d probed a little more into what he meant by that, but I was tired and not sure what road we would be heading down. I can’t really take advantage of the teachable moments to make my own parents more savvy about the world I occupy, and I opt out because otherwise we wind up in a fight.
I’ll be back to visit four times this year, and in only one of those trips is my family of origin the priority. Maybe one of these trips, I’ll find a way to explain to my parents why I make chosen family a priority, and how they help the place I’m from really feel like home.
Because I’m not sure which of these photos is more awesome but I’m lucky to have them both. The first is Ellison in snorkel gear, the second is Phone Man with his new amorous alpaca