Friday Five

It’s been a while since I’ve posted — other than my excruciatingly detailed Day in the Life post — so I thought I’d do a little catching up with a few brief updates. But first! Here’s a gratuitous photo of my dog:

Soaking up the Sun

Good old Mr. Eegs. All righty then, five things:

1. Physical Therapy. I’m back in it. My old hip flexor injury started flaring up again in January, and dialing back my running mileage/intensity and adding in more PT exercises didn’t really help. The pain got bad enough one day that I had to cut a run short and walk home. It wasn’t pretty. So I’m back in the comfortingly capable hands of PT Guru Steve, who is busily tormenting me twice a week in the interest of getting me back to a good running and strength routine. There’s a lot of standing on one foot: balancing on one foot on a squishy pad while playing catch, single-leg squats, balancing on an upside-down bosu ball, et cetera. Apparently this time I don’t have as much weakness in the joint as I did when I came to see him last time, so my strength program has been helping — we just need to fine-tune it. I’m bummed to have to go back, but pleased that I’m starting out from a better place than before.

2. Travel Tips? CW and I want to take a trip abroad this summer (a belated honeymoon sort of thing), and we’re not 100% set on a destination, but Italy and/or Greece are at the top of our list. The problem is, well, that shit’s expensive! Looking at flights alone was pretty sobering. Seventeen hundred dollars per ticket at the lowest available price. Yikes! Does anyone have any tips for traveling to Europe more cheaply? Not necessarily, like, youth-hostel levels of cheapness (we’re technically too old for that anyway), but, more on the level of… grown-ups who are not entirely made of money but who still like nice things? Or do we just have to get over it and spend the money?

City View

Bavik Wittekerke

Browsing. I feel like I stepped back in time to rendez-vous with past me.

[40/365] Breakfast at the bakery.

3. Atlanta. We recently spent the weekend in Atlanta hanging out with my brother-in-law. He was up there for a work training weekend that happened to coincide with his 40th birthday, so CW and I made the quick drive to the city to help him celebrate. It was a really fun trip and made me wish we took the time to get out of town more often. We went out for burgers and beers and did some shopping and generally just enjoyed ourselves. Brunch the next morning and then back home. Easy, quick, and a much-needed breath of fresh air.

4. Valentine’s Day. I am a fan of Valentine’s Day when in a relationship, although I hated it when I was single. Or, perhaps more accurately, I used my “hate” of it as an excuse to wear black, drink heavily, and attend anti-Valentine’s-Day parties — which, when you think about it, is just an alternative way of celebrating the day. At any rate, CW tends to dislike it — you know, the usual “it’s a fake, overly commercialized holiday,” “we can express our love any day of the year” kind of argument. However, he can be convinced to celebrate Valentine’s Day if it means a great meal, a bottle of wine, and no gift pressure. So we spent the evening cooking together (a huge and amazing lasagna) and drinking red wine and then watched a movie. It was a pretty great evening. Other than time spent together, my favorite aspect of Valentine’s Day is the exchange of cards — and one great benefit of marrying a writer is that you get really good messages in your holiday cards.

5. Jo Nesbø. Last year I read Nesbø’s The Snowman based on the recommendation of a friend — and then I found out it was one of a series of detective novels featuring the unfortunately named, to Anglophone readers, Detective Harry Hole. (The name of course doesn’t have the same connotation in Norwegian, but dang. Hard to think about it without laughing.) This year I’ve gone back and found more of the Harry Hole novels and, based on what’s on sale for Kindle, am reading more. Earlier this week I finished The Readbreast and am currently enjoying Nemesis. Quite excited to have found another series of Scandinavian crime novels I really enjoy.


  1. BF and I did Ireland/France a few summers ago and didn’t break the bank. Plane tix were about $1200 I believe. We stayed in B&Bs that averaged 110-140 euro per night. Most included breakfast, which took care of a meal. Rented a car for a few days in Ireland, took one tour group in Ireland (to Northern Ireland), hoofed it around Paris & took the metro, did Air BnB in Montmartre, B&B in Tours for a friend’s wedding. I think once you swallow that initial air ticket price you will find affordable ways to plan the rest of the trip. Our apartment in Paris had laundry and a small kitchen, so we were able to wash clothes at the halfway point of our trip and have a few groceries for breakfast and snack. Our meals were never very fancy, but the food was delicious regardless.


  2. (Okay. That wasn’t a very helpful suggestion, given that the flight will cost you more and you probably would actually rather go to Europe. Practical suggestions include: (a) somehow contrive to attend an academic conference somewhere Europy and apply for funding from your employer, (b) do not try to eat in England, if you wish to return home with money in your bank accounts, (c) otoh, delicious food in Italy is cheap as chips (but better than chips). The Amalfi coast is appallingly gorgeous.)


  3. In addition to Mein Herr die Baron’s excellent suggestimification of wombats, might I add: und also fruit bats, numbats, and cricket bats. You should totally come to Australia, ja ja, es ist gut!


  4. Though the Baron ists the advantages of Europe well (food and all that), I should also add, to the eternal credit of my country, we have food also. I’m pretty sure. I’ll just ask the Prime Minister to search around in his cabinet and see if he can rustle something up.


  5. You have time to try to accumulate some credit card miles. There are a zillion blogs about this but my friend’s is called All The Right Points.


    1. I also wanted to just throw it out there that for less than economy tickets to Rome, you could fly first class to Costa Rica.


  6. I have no recs for getting there, but I will second 1) what someone mentioned about just swallowing that cost & then budgeting the rest of the trip (given time we’ve both spent in Europe, sometimes together! I have faith you can do that!) 2) Alexis’s (a) above is GENIUS and 3) food & wine can be dirt cheap in Italy and it’s beautiful, obviously, etc. I can’t wait to hear what you figure out because S & I have started the “let’s go to Europe one day on a budget” conversation ourselves. We’re going to start saving!


  7. I have no good travel advice — I, like you, look at flights and just think OOF. And then I think of all the fun creature comforts I could spend that money on that is NOT a flight. Which I hate doing. The flying. Not the spending money on things. YEESH. (It’s early for me. I’m not communicating well…MOAR COFFEE!) But I just could not resist popping in to make a comment about what a cutie Egon is. I love dog pics (DUH) and I just think Eegs is such a special little guy and that pic is adorable. Ok, carry on. I’m now stalking the comments for cheap travel advice. Happy Monday! 🙂


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