In 21 days…

I’ll be in Portland! I found out I was going to have a few days off the week before Gareth gets into town. Which was kind of the worst timing ever and felt a little like the universe was mocking me. He’s always worked when I’ve been in London, but he has much more sociable hours (if I’m also not working–if we were both working with his crazy schedule, we would literally never see each other). But he’s come to the states three times, once in May of 2015 after my job had ended, once to LA before I found a new job (during the dark months of unemployment), and once over Christmas (which I guess was still during the dark months, but I could pretend it was just the holidays). Never when I’ve been working. And I work like 12 hour days, which is going to feel like pure hell when I know he’s just down the street and I’m sitting in my office, trying not to feel like I’m wasting his whole trip working.

BUT! The extra days off. Before he was set to come. Well, he changed his plane ticket–only by a day, because all the flights were booked before then–but then we suddenly had a long weekend together. So we did the only rational thing–immediately booked tickets to go on what is shockingly our first proper trip away.

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We’ve spent time in Cornwall with G’s family, gone to a few Crossfit events, had the best new years ever on a secret island with all our friends, hung out on Martha’s Vineyard with my mom, spent a weekend in Boston, and NH, and a night in Santa Barbara–but none of those places felt like getaways really. They were either spent with family or places one of us had already been. There was no mutual discovery or exploring together. We never had that feeling that it was the two of us out in the middle of the world, far away from “real life.” (That’s a lie, I’ve felt that in his mom’s house and in my parents’ houses, but it’s still different.)

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We had to take a boat to get there!

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And it was crazy beautiful

So we’re doing a jam packed long weekend in both Portland and Seattle. We’re going to fly to Portland at 6:00 am on Friday, getting in around half 8 in the morning. We’ll spend all of Friday and Friday night in Portland, before eventually taking the train to Seattle, where we’ll spend Saturday night. We don’t fly out until Sunday at around 8 pm, so we’ll have a little more than a day in each city. Definitely a quick stop in each place, but we are happy to just stroll along the waterfront, have some delicious donuts, take a photo booth picture at the Ace, maybe go to the space needle, and definitely check out Powell’s Bookstore (but not spend the whole day there!). Also find as many happy hours as we can, obviously.

I’m SO excited. That we get to go somewhere neither of us has been. That I get him a day earlier and a day longer. That this four month (minus my last minute whirlwind bday trip) separation is finally over. We’ve done four months once before and it was horrible and I insisted we’d never do it again, but here we are. Thank god, almost on the other side of another one. But I mean it for real this time. Never again. It’s just too long.

26th Birthday and a last minute trip to London

On February 1st, two important things happened. I turned 26 and I made a crazy, impromptu weekend trip to London. It was also the year anniversary of the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, but who’s counting?

I found out a few weeks before that the weekend of my birthday, which was on a Monday, was a long one. We had Friday and Monday off. I joked to G a few times that I should fly to London, but it was always a joke. That’s 24 hours of flying for one weekend. That’s crazy.

Flash to Thursday morning. I woke up from a really vivid dream that I was in London with my girlfriends, getting ready to go out. Nothing special happened, it just felt SO real. And I woke up devastated it wasn’t. Heartbroken I wasn’t about to meet all my friends at the pub, that Gareth was actually half a world away, already midway through his Thursday.

So. I decided to be crazy. I booked the tickets. (Which I was able to do last minute because of the thousands of airline miles I obsessively collect.)

Also I was late for work, because I needed to make the decision, call the airline, and pack in the time it usually takes for me to just roll out of bed and get in my car (my morning routine, ladies and gentlemen). I spent the whole day buzzing with excitement. We had a birthday party at work for me and the other assistant who stole my birthday minus a year. Then I got a bunch of alerts that the plane was delayed by hours. I tweeted AA and they responded that they needed to find a whole new plane. Then I read this article and figured out why. That could have been me! That was the plane I was meant to take on its way back to the UK.

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It was mostly fine, I hung out in the admirals club and drank free wine. We boarded five and a half hours late, something I normally wouldn’t care about but that was a decent percentage of my total time in London! The flight was empty. Probably everyone else got on an earlier flight or decided to go home and sleep in their beds instead of wait at the airport until 1am. But not I! And I was rewarded with an empty row and basically a flight attendant all to myself.

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I landed in London and it was SO good to be back. It felt so surreal. 24 hours before I had no idea I’d be in London the next day. Seeing Gareth had been months away and actually being in London even longer. And suddenly, there I was! Fighting to get my oyster card working and sitting on the tube. It was a really special moment that reminded me not to take anything for granted, that the world is so much smaller than you think. And that Gareth really isn’t as far away as he sometimes feels. I took a picture to capture it. To me it’s a picture of the endless possibilities and the strange turns life takes. To everyone else it probably just looks like a train.

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Then I was home and everything was amazing. My keys still worked (obviously), the drawer of clothes G convinced me to leave were still there, ready to be worn (though I did raid it on my way back, shhh), and Gareth had flowers, dinner, chocolate, red wine, Prosecco, and a toothbrush ready and waiting for me (read: he is perfect). And all my friends dropped everything and met me at the pub that night. It was amazing. I made my literal dream come true!

The weekend was a lovely mix of seeing friends and getting some great one on one time with G. Both nights all my friends came over, and during the days Gareth and I would stroll around London, eat delicious food, and play our favorite card game. It was really perfect. It was just a glowy haze of fun and feeling so full and happy.

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The next morning the three people I hadn’t been able to see yet came over for breakfast (G makes the best breakfast sandwiches in probably the entire world), and then we went on another walk and then for my birthday dinner. Which was amazing. We keep trying to go to this Italian place by the train station, and it keeps being closed on the only night we can go. But instead we went to Olivelli on Lordship Lane, and it was perfect. The food was delicious and we had the most comically grumpy waiter. Also they had this dessert that was the best thing I’ve ever had. It wasn’t even chocolate, and it is RARE I enjoy a chocolate-free dessert. I don’t remember what it was called but the waiter said it was very traditional Sicilian. It looked like cottage cheese. And I want it 100 more times in my life.

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My last morning we had breakfast and watched bad TV, which was what we did most mornings this summer. Then he took me to the airport and even though it was sad, because it always is, this time it felt different. This time I knew that he really was just a plane ride away. That we could plan to see each other in May but we could change our minds and be with each other 24 hours later.

It was the perfect weekend. It didn’t feel too rushed, it didn’t feel like a clock was ticking down. It felt stolen, or like the most perfect birthday gift. I’m so incredibly happy I had a vivid dream and a crazy, impulsive reaction to it. I hope I have them more often.

30 Before 30 – Be in a happy and healthy relationship for a year

So I’m a little late blogging about this one, but I can officially check it off. On December 18th, I picked Gareth up at Logan Airport, and we spent the night celebrating our year anniversary. It was so incredibly special to get to spend that day with him, especially because there are so many other important dates we miss.

For our anniversary, we went to Maggiano’s, one of my favorite restaurants in Boston, and spent the night in the Omni Parker House, where JFK is said to have proposed to Jackie. I don’t know if I’ve made this clear yet, but I love JFK!

At the Omni Parker House

At the Omni Parker House

JFK and Jackie

Jack and Jackie

Speaking of guys I love, let’s talk about my boyfriend. I hate being mushy, but this post seems to call for it, so excuse me this one time. When things started with him, they should have felt terrifying and complicated and impossible. He lived on the other side of the world. There was an 8 hour time difference between us. We had also been friends for quite a while and that’s something you have to decide is worth risking. And yet with him, it felt so easy. So simple. I didn’t stress out or overanalyze or see all the reasons it couldn’t work. I never doubted how he felt or that we would work well together, even considering the insane distance between us. It sounds crazy, but it felt like it would have been so much harder for it to not have happened. I’ve never felt so on the same page with someone, never not had someone care more or less than I did. I’ve never been with someone where it felt impossible to not say “I love you” way too soon. And I never felt so incredibly comfortable around someone before.

I feel part of a team and so lucky to have found him. But not just because of how he makes me feel, but because of who he is. He’s accomplished so much in his professional life, I’m overwhelmingly proud of the business and community he has created. He’s the first to help anyone who needs it, and really believes that you’re supposed to leave the world better off than you found it. He is so moral, so caring, and also just really fun to be around. He’s my favorite person to hang out with, and pretty much I can’t wait to celebrate a million more anniversaries with him.

On the ferry from MV

On the ferry from MV

Christmas!

Christmas!

Beating him at darts, FINALLY.

Beating him at darts, FINALLY.

Christmas

Christmas

Me, Gareth, and Jenny

Me, Gareth, and Jenny

Okay, I’m done being mushy, but I’m very glad I can give #19 a big check mark, and I’m so lucky to be able to have done it with him.

Hello, 2016!

I can’t believe 2015 is over. Done. Gone forever. It was a big year for me, quite a bit happened, some other stuff failed to happen, but looking back I wouldn’t change a single second. It was the first full year I spent spent with my boyfriend (with as in with, not physically together–though I can’t wait for the December 31st I get to say that!). We spoke every day in 2015, there wasn’t a thing that happened, big or small, that he wasn’t by my metaphorical side through. We also got to experience living together, building a home (or at least bedroom) together, and the joys of an Ikea trip as a couple.

I traveled more than I did the year before, which I always want to be able to say. I went to Idylwild, London, Cornwall, Turkey, Iceland, Morocco, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Boston, and New Hampshire. I took 21 flights, went to three new countries and three new states. I showed my boyfriend around Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara for the first time–his first (and second!) trip to the states. I checked seven things off my 30 Before 30 list, and am well on the way to finishing a few more.

I spent the holidays in Boston/New Hampshire/Martha’s Vineyard with my family and Gareth. It was so nice having everyone together–and I FINALLY got to end my constant losing streak when playing games against Gareth. I beat him in Golf, Phase 10, and TWICE in a row at darts. It was a beautiful trip that was a long time coming.

I also struggled with finding employment and the stress inherent in that. I have an update which I’ll talk about in a different post, but I can FINALLY say I’m on the other side of it, and the relief and happiness is indescribable. 2016, I am so ready for you!

Updates!

Hey blog/blog readers (aka, Mom)!

I’ve decided to make some changes. I realize by updating only when I’ve crossed something off my list, I’m forced to wait ages between posts, and we’re missing loads of little but important things in between! It’s like when you see an old friend and they ask what you’ve been up to–because they don’t know any of the day to day stuff, the new recipe you found or the great book you’ve just read don’t matter, only the big life events. I want this blog to be like a day to day friend. So while I will continue making the big, milestone posts, I want to do smaller ones too.

For example, my amazing, wonderful, fill-in-your-complimentary-descriptor here, boyfriend just came to visit me! His first time in Los Angeles! We did really great things like see Florence and the Machine from VIP seats at the Hollywood Bowl, and road bikes from Venice to Santa Monica, and hiked the Hollywood sign, and took a quick trip to Santa Barbara, and watched A LOT of Parks & Rec. Confession: we may have spent our night in SB just hanging in our airBnB, drinking wine, eating chocolate and chips, and watching Netflix. And it may have been THE BEST.

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I included this one just to embarrass him. He was voted "best body" in high school, which is incredibly amusing and a tiny bit annoying.

This one is just to embarrass him. He was voted “best body” in high school, which is incredibly amusing and only a tiny bit obnoxious.

I saw two of my best friends/old roommates from Boston in September. Jussie lives in Australia with her boyfriend, and Emily moved to Idaho to work at a school for kids with behavioral issues in Montana. I haven’t seen them since (surprising them at) their going away party two years ago. Jussie had to come back to the states for a wedding, and then planned to go to Emily and fly out of LA after staying with me. However, I have nothing but free time and loads of airline miles, so I flew to Emily too, and had one of the best experiences ever. I’d never been to the midwest, but WOW is it gorgeous. I tried to be selective, but WAY too many pictures below. It was like living in a painting.

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Also we added an accent wall, and I think it has made our apartment SO much nicer. It’s just so homey and comfortable. And orange is my favorite color.

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Lastly, I’m unemployed, and that is kind of the worst. I knew it would be tough getting back and finding a job, but I didn’t know it would be THIS tough. I didn’t want to talk about this cause it stressed me out so much, but it’s also a pretty big thing going on in my world right now. I would never change anything, because living with my boyfriend and seeing more of the world meant so much to me, but I am really, really excited for when I can once more join the work force and feel a little less adrift.

And that’s it for now! Mostly because I am starving and am going to go home to make an incredibly cheap, very healthy meal that maybe I’ll blog about tomorrow!

xo