Category Archives: travel

North Carolina

I am in North Carolina for Thanksgiving with Kris!

So far it is dark and the grocery store is disappointingly lacking in food I can eat. But I have higher expectations for the state to impress me tomorrow.


Day 2

Made it to Virginia!

Dead tired. Discovered I apparently now get car sick. But here!

Tomorrow I get to see my apartment. And Monday I start work!


Day 1

Day 1 of driving complete! The movers came this morning, proved unexpectedly awesome, and off I went. Made it mostly through Indiana today. (Which still has fall!)

Tired but glad to be on my way.


Don’t Be Stupid

I spent the last week helping lead a team of 60ish teenagers in a get-out-the-vote effort. The teenagers were amazing: polite, respectful, motivated. They made over 120,000 voter contacts in 4 days. But at the end of the day, they were still teenagers.

Which is why I got to have this conversation:

Me: “So, you were throwing rocks at alligators? GUYS, WHAT IS THE NUMER 1 RULE? It is don’t be stupid.”

Teenage Boy 1: “Oh no, Amy, we weren’t being stupid. We didn’t throw the rocks at the alligator. We only threw them near the alligator.”

Teenage Boy 2: “And even though there was a rope swing right over the alligator and we really wanted to, we didn’t swing over it! We just shouted and tried to get it to move. You should have seen the dead fish around it!”

It really is amazing anyone makes it to adulthood.


Unexpected People & Places

People/places I did not expect to meet or visit in 2020 that I visited this past week with Grandpa:

  • A tombstone seller
  • A numismatist (coin dealer)
  • The John Deere Global Headquarters (didn’t get to go inside 😦 )
  • Red Lobster (yummm)
  • My Grandpa’s brother-in-law’s daughter’s boyfriend’s son’s baseball game

I had a lovely visit ❤ It was very hard to leave!


A Leisurely Drive

I drove down to Iowa yesterday and it took far longer than it should have—which led me to discover after I arrived that I’d accidentally had my GPS set to “avoid highways.”

But I enjoyed the cornfields, wildflowers, and small towns that I passed so much that I decided to do the same thing while going back today. I capped it off by visiting every yard sale that caught my fancy.

No funny stories emerged from my rambling drive home (though I did visit an estate sale that had a carpeted kitchen.) But it was quite delightful to explore for the sake of exploring. And also I forgot how much I missed rummages.


The Churches in my Inbox

If COVID-19 isolation has made anything abundantly clear, it is that quite a few churches have my e-mail address. And they are not always good at identifying themselves. 

Today I got an e-mail from “Lizzie” about a “Friday Evening Chat” via Zoom for the women’s group. Surprised, because I do not belong to a women’s group at the moment, I click on it. The e-mail came from “churchbuilder”…which is, in fact, not a church but a software for churches to e-mail groups of people. 

Baffled, I run through all the usual suspects. One of the megachurches I visited in Colorado, perhaps? Ah, but they e-mail me quite regularly and usually list the church’s name in the subject line. My home church? No, to my knowledge no one goes by “Lizzie” on the staff. (And anyway, the e-mail would come from my Mom and she never would go by that particular nickname.) My church in Thailand? No, they usually send announcements via Facebook. A church here in Madison? Possible, but puzzling because again, they usually identify themselves via their e-mail address. 

And I know, because I have gotten literally hundreds of e-mails from churches since the COVID-19 thing hit. Which I appreciate. It shows that no matter how isolating social distancing might feel, the church has not also gone into isolation. 

But as a perennial mover, I have given quite a few churches my e-mail over the years and they all apparently decided this was a good time to engage with their e-mail lists. 

Which brings me back to this mystery e-mail. A Tennessee church? I haven’t heard from any of them in a long time. And then I look more closely at the e-mail address: “churchbuilder.org.uk.”

Ah! It is from my church in England. 


A Short Walk

It is about time for my annual jog. I can feel it in my bones, a restless need to move that is more psychological than physical. I respond to it by running really hard for a short time and then the feeling goes away. I am free to be my own lethargic self for another year. 

Except unfortunately I do not have time right now to go for a run. By the time my daily activities end, it is dark. And I do not run in the dark. So the feeling continues. 

Tonight, when I realized I missed my bus and the next one was still 25 minutes out, I turned to my law school friend who was also waiting for the bus and lives nearish me and asked if he wanted to walk to the next bus stop. I figured it was a win-win. I’d get my exercise and not freeze my butt off standing in one spot and since I was walking with someone, and a guy at that, I could worry less about getting mugged. 

Except, maybe you’ve noticed this, I can be kind of intense? So once we hit the next stop and the bus was still 20 minutes out, I suggested we kept walking…

Then the bus passed us before we made it to the next stop. 

Being the reasonable person I am, I suggested we walk the rest of the way back. What I did not realize? The walk back is over an hour. We’d have saved so much time if we just waited for the next bus. 

But I guess I got my exercise in. 


I’ll Appreciate It When I’m Older…

On Sunday my friends and I toured the U.S.S. Wisconsin, an Iowa class battleship. As we stood in line to buy a ticket, an employee walked up to us to ask what tickets we needed. And she specifically asked me:

“Two adult tickets and…are you under 13?” 

Me: “No.”

(I won’t lie, I thought about just saying yes but then I figured I might have to back up my claim and that’d be embarrassing. At least, almost as embarrassing as being asked if I’m half my age.) 

We then go to buy the tickets. The lady behind the desk quotes a number. My friend looks confused and points out that he is paying for all three of us. She nods. We get the receipt. 

I got the kid’s ticket. (For 12 and under.)

My friends teased me about it until it dawned on them that at 26 and 32 they were taken for my parents. Then it was hilarious.


A Lovely Weekend

He knew. She knew. I knew. He knew I knew. She knew that I knew that she knew. But I did not know if he knew that I knew that she knew that I knew that she knew.  

It was great. 

I didn’t blog about it earlier but my college roommate’s boyfriend proposed to her this weekend and as part of the surprise (or non-surprise, if you can decipher my ramble above) he flew me out to Norfolk, Virginia. I didn’t blog about it beforehand because I wasn’t sure if she read my blog. (Hello? Rina?) 

It was a truly delightful visit. They were the ones getting engaged but somehow I feel like I was the one thoroughly spoiled. We visited Fort Monroe and the USS Wisconsin. We played at the beach and chatted about little nothings. And we ate tons of great seafood! 

I was supposed to fly back Saturday but they actually payed for my flight so I could stay till Sunday! 

It is hard to get back into the swing of life after that weekend. Pics to come if they ever upload any. And if they don’t? Well, take my word for it. It was delightful.