About Me

I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

Follow Me!

 

Sponsors

Entries in Travel (22)

Sunday
Jan272013

Chinese Doctors, Tub Drains and Yard Treasures

So it’s a Friday afternoon here in gloomy North Carolina. My VP came around and sent us all home at 3:15 pm because it’s icy and rainy here and the world shuts down in The South when the weather turns even the slightest bit nasty. Awesome. I was planning on leaving early anyway, now I had an official dismissal.

I had plans to actually exercise, but with the roads filled with batshit crazy Southerners who have zero ability to drive in inclement weather, The Candyman demanded I come home. So now,I sit at home with wine in hand, writing a blog post because I actually have time.

Go figure.

Let’s catch up, OK? It’s been a while.

So I was sick over our entire Christmas vacation. Awesome.

I left for China on January 4th feeling slightly better having taken a Z-pack and sucked down  tons of codeine-laced cough syrup. I felt OK for about 2 days after I arrived, but had a serious relapse. In China.

Again, awesome.

After I ran out of cough syrup and nearly coughed a chunk of my lung onto a table in the middle of a meeting, I bit the bullet and did the unthinkable.

I went to a Chinese doctor.

*EEEEK!!!*

I’ll admit now, my fear was unfounded. The doctor was more thorough than I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. The appointment, a ‘nasal cleanse’ (don’t ask), direction on what to eat/drink for the next few days AND a slew of drugs? All that cost less than US $100.

Our health care system is fucked.

-------

I still Pin stuff that is wedding related. I still like looking at the pretty. I just don’t want to write about it anymore. Is that really bad? Probably so, considering this is still supposed to be a ‘wedding blog.’ I consider moving it over to something else, but I still get a shit-ton of hits every day because people reference old crap on this blog all the damn time. People love these posts:

This one. Every time they rerun Say Yes to the Dress people flock here. I still get misty just thinking about Erin.

DIY Sweater Love

If you want some help with Shepherd’s Hooks.

DIY Cake in a Jar Favors – always popular.

And thanks to Austin Wedding Blog, I get all kinds of Paper Feather Tutorial love.

------

And then there’s the house. Holy crapballs, the house. The projects are ENDLESS. Something we’ve learned? We have to be VERRRRRRRRRRRRRRY careful about the projects we start. What you THINK will be a piece of cake? Oh no, my friends. Not with an almost-50 year old house. You uncover one thing, you find 100 things UNDER that one thing.

For instance, I wanted a new tub drain. My tub had the old kind of drain that looked like this:

FH02FEB_BATHDR_01

The drain just had a cover because the part that actually plugs the drain is inside the pipe, kind of where that spring thingy is in the pictures above.  When I would take  a bath (which is totally my thing), the water in the horizontal pipe would actually float back up into the tub. Who wants pipe backwash in their tub?

Dude, not me. I mean, look at how disgusting this was once we took the drain cover and overflow plate off. 

IMG_1290 IMG_1297

Now, it didn’t look THAT bad with the covers on and such, but still. Gross me out, to the max.

So I set out to remove and install a new one. I read many an on-line tutorial. I called My Dad, the handyman supreme. I consulted. I made numerous drain-planning trips to Lowe’s. I had this one in the bag.

Oh, so wrong. And damn The Candyman for being right. He knew it wouldn’t be as easy as I thought. He knew he’d be the one to fix what I jacked up. Fucking hate when he’s THAT RIGHT.

But really, it’s not my fault. There is NO WAY I could have known the the standard size of pipe drains in the 1960’s was 1/4” SHORTER than the standard size now. In fact, they are now 1/4” bigger around now too. That was my first problem. When I solved that one (again, after multiple trips to Lowe’s, a privately owned specialty hardware store AND a direct-to-plumbers only supply store) I had to solve the length problem. Whilst trying to solve the drain size issues, we encountered another. The overflow plate. I went to take it off and couldn’t. Why? Because the goddamn screws were actually rusted into the frame of the tub (see above). It’s actually an iron tub from days of yore.

Apparently, there’s a thing called a screw extraction kit. And now we own one. Yeah. So, that took a while to figure out with several trips to Lowe’s. And we still hadn’t figured out the drain thing.

A co-worker who used to work at Lowe’s in the hardware area told me of a specialty vintage plumbing supply shop. So we went. It took us forever to find the place. And it was scary.  There was a sign on the door that said, “BRING THE PART, NOT A PICTURE. NO EXCEPTIONS.” Good thing we had our part. There was a sign inside the store/killing room that said, '”IF YOU DON’T THINK I’M RIGHT, WHY DID YOU ASK?” The lady who worked there was surly and a little filthy. She had the kind of dirty hands/fingernails that you know are just NEVER clean. There are few people who frighten me – she did.

BUT, she was nice and she was smart and she found us our part. We had to special order the damn thing. So my little project that should have taken about 2 hours and $20? Yeah, like 5 weeks and $80. But now I don’t have nasty pipe-water bath backwash and that is nice. I also own a screw extraction kit. 

So take that project and multiply it by 800 billion and that’s how we live right now. I spend most on-line time looking at mirrors (can’t seem to find the right one for the Master Bath). I still can’t find the right size bathroom rug. We need a new washer and dryer. And vacuum. And I want to replace the windows.

It never ends.

-----

And I have found the weirdest things in our yard. Now that it’s winter and the backyard jungle is less Amazonian, I’ve been able to get in to clear out debris, limb up bushes and try to make things a little more landscaped. I found a hanging lantern in a tree. I found an iron tricycle pot holder in some bushes. I found a lovely glass mosaic candle holder buried under pine straw. I found a wire hanging plant holder in another tree. I’ve found 4 paver stones under more pine straw. Just the other day, when I retrieved the hanging plant holder, I walked back into an area I’d never even walked into before. I turned around and noticed something odd. The giant wild jasmine bush that I thought was a bush that I have probably walked past hundreds of times now? It’s not. It’s actually a wrought iron chair that is COVERED by this wild jasmine. A FUCKING CHAIR.

-----

A quick bathroom update. It’s coming along, but still not done. Check out the present day before and after. Still need something for the floor and the window. Trying to figure out what to do with the old, built-in ceramic toothbrush and soap holders. Need new towels. But it’s SO much better than what it was. Check it:

IMG_0642

Before

bathroom

Not quite an After…

I’ve got some little mercury glass candleholders for the toothbrush/soap holder thingies that I might make crazy with some moss. Or air plants. Baby steps.

-----

So there you go. Pile on top of all this house crap my TruLu Couture and work and damn, there’s no time to do anything else. Like blog.

Know that  I miss my blog peeps something awful.

Monday
Oct292012

107 CARATS

Let’s catch up, OK?

I’m back from China.

And I even have a teeny bit of wedding stuff. Check it…

I went out to dinner one night in Hong Kong and I walked through the wedding district and found a gown that only the very cruelest of brides would make their ladies wear. But then again, everything is fair game in The Orient.


Sequined patchwork chiffon anyone?

Stone encrusted…something. Not even sure what to call this except “wrong.”


Bowtiful Bridal Barbie

Later that night we visited OZONE, the highest bar in the world. It’s located on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong. Talk about fancy-pants. Holy-mother-effing rich bitches, people! My miniscule champagne cocktail cost HK$298, the equivalent of about US$42. It’s all about the views, apparently.

OH! And right outside the Most Elitist Bar on Earth? The Most Giantist Diamond on Earth. Check THIS out:

The_Thirty-Something_Bride_YellowDiamond

That’s right. You are reading that correctly. Pick your jaws up off your keyboards.

So, before I left to go overseas for two weeks, I thought I’d FINALLY get one of those expensive shellac style manicures to last me the duration. Be warned ladies, they don’t always “take.” Mine lasted less than 24 hours.

I’m still contemplating going back to the shithole that performed this monstrosity and demanding my money back. Doubtful it will do any good, even with pictures as proof, but whatever.

So when I got to Hong Kong, I was a hot mess - physically. I had God-awful cramps, my lower back was thrashed from the 28 hours it took me to get there. I also had a wicked pinched nerve starting from my lower right shoulder, traveling up under my right ear. I was considering a massage, but my boss said, “No! Let’s go get fire cupped!”

Not familiar with fire cupping? Here’s a great description of the process. Basically, it’s a Chinese homeopathic treatment, similar in style to acupuncture. I’d always wanted to try it, so figured, “Why the hell not!” I could barely walk to the place, I was in such pain. I laid down on the table and some little Chinese lady started working my back like nobody’s business. She massaged my aching muscles with her teeny tiny little fingers, and I swear she she could pin-point each little aching nerve. After about 25 minutes, I heard another lady come in with a bucket full of glass. I knew it was The Cupping Lady. I could hear her lighting the alcohol soaked cotton and the “whoosh” of the ignition into the glass cup. She started with just one, creating a suction on my back and running it along my shoulders, and down the sides of my spine. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. It hurt, but felt incredibly good at the same time. A painful release, perhaps? My boss had just finished up her treatment and walked in to see how I was doing. She snapped a few photos for me.

The_Thirty-Somethinf_Bride_FireCupping

IMG_1230

Yes, that’s my skin bubbled up in there. The heat in the cups sucks the the skin and blood up into the cups. The suction is insane. I could seriously feel some sort of pull all the way inside my chest. It was amazeballs. And a little scary.

After about 15 or 20 minutes, they come and slide a finger around the edge of each cup and magically, it just pops off! Cray-zee. Much like a long-ass-deep-tissue massage, I was totally woozy afterwards. They gave us hot water to drink and told us to drink lots of water that night. I ambled back to the hotel, somewhat disoriented in my new-found physical bliss. I felt amazing. The pinch in my shoulder? Gone. Cramps? What cramps? My lower back was a non-issue. The aftermath was a little gruesome though.

Bruises. Big, nasty, deep bruises. The cupping lady indicated to me that the worse the bruise, the more “toxins” in that area. Note that GIANT bruise on my right shoulder where I had my pinched nerve. Makes sense, right? Even if it was all bullshit, I wasn’t in any pain and that was fine by me.

I celebrated soon after with one of my favorite Chinese dishes, Chairman Mao’s Pork. Super yum and of course, totally low-cal! Smile

The_Thirty-Something_Bride_ChairmanMaoPork

Other than those mini-outings, I had very little time for shenanigans. The new company I work for has shorter trips, but no days off while I’m there. Yes, a bit of a bummer, but I get home quicker and after being home (and by “home” I mean “unemployed”) with The Candyman for such a long stretch? Oh, I missed him horribly on this trip!

So there’s a quick update for you. The house is still work in progress. There is one box left to be unpacked and it’s in the studio, which is a disaster area. It’s the project for next weekend, for sure. I did buy some super-cute beaded collars from a fabric shop in mainland China. I’ll write about those when I can uncover them from the pile o’ lace that is my studio.

Have you missed me? Even a little bit?

Just lie and tell me you did.

Thursday
May192011

“Our Nation’s Capital”

Back in the early days of us, The Candyman worked for a not-for-profit group (now debunked due to lack of funding) called The Justice Project. It fought to abolish the death penalty in the state of Tennessee. The job took him to DC on several different occasions. His first trip away from me was hard. We had just started dating and I didn’t want him to leave. Me? I left him constantly, hopping all over the damn world all the damn time, but it all felt different when he left. He called me every night he was gone (all two of them) and would tell me, in his best Forrest Gump voice, “I wish you were here with me in our nation’s capital.” I’ll admit, it made me swoon.

So when we went to DC together for Marie’s wedding (which, by the way will be an Unfake Wedding as soon as she gets her pictures!), it felt much like we were fulfilling a must-do in our relationship. Since Marie was married on a Friday, The Candyman and I took a bus, then the Metro to the heart of DC and spent the day walking on The Mall and checking out all the monuments and memorials. It was a stunning day and as we walked together, holding hands, taking pictures and eating giant, soft pretzels we kept saying, in our best Forrest Gump voices, “ I am glad we are here together in our nation’s capital.”

Since I lived outside the DC area all throughout high school, this trip back to The Mall was a little reminiscent of Fourth of July fire works, photography class field trips and early adolescent excursions into places unknown. A lot has changed since then so just like The Candyman, I was seeing lots of things for the first time.

DC28

The Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

The Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

DC29

Someone made a modern art sculpture of us! They got it right, even down to my chest size!

The Candyman contemplating art.

DC4

Straight up the Washington Monument.

DC5

This was my first time to the World War II Memorial and boy howdy, was it amazing. So incredibly moving.

One happy Veteran!

DC7

The Candyman, so proud of his home state!

DC27

All the men in green are World War II Veterans. World War II ended in 1945. That was 66 year ago! Most of these old dudes were well into their 80’s! It chokes me up to think of all that these men did for our freedom, and all they have been through. It was an honor to be there with them.

DC11

The Candyman reads Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.

DC12

Where MLK delivered his famous speech. Keep the dream alive!

DC14

Copying names from the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

DC15

Memories of lost soldiers at The Wall.

These next few pictures were taken in front of the National Archives building. All of this was new to me and so, so super cool!

Big, crazy metal tree.

DC21

Sculpture.

It was just a beautiful, modern art sculpture garden. So cool.

Sculpture. Chairs?

DC25

Blocks.

I think we walked about 5 miles that day and didn’t even go into one museum. We saw so much stuff. Have you been to our nation’s capital? If not, it’s a must see. Our entire day cost us about $25 including the transportation to and from The Mall and snacks. Museums are free. Memorials are free. Monuments are free. People watching is free. Learning and experiencing a good chunk of nation’s history is free. I left DC and this experience elated, but also with a bit of a heavy heart, particularly after wandering amongst all the WWII Veterans. It seems so sad and frustrating that all the good that this country has fought for and stood tall for appears to be crumbling under the weight of our own politics. There is a Congress filled  skanky, nasty politicians and a national debt incurred not by The People, but Corporations run by greedy fucking asshats who consider themselves irreplaceable. The sad fact is that the entire senior executive team at many corporations could be replaced tomorrow without a blip in the company's long-term growth rate or share price.1

*stepping off soapbox*

Ahem. My point? If you want to experience and appreciate all that is America, check out our capital. Be inspired. 

Monday
May092011

On Second Cousins, Twice Removed.

A few weeks ago I took a weekend trip to Charleston, South Carolina. The Candyman’s aunt put together a “Cousin’s Retreat” for the Ladies Only. It had been a loooong time since I’d shared a bathroom with that many females….

It was a wonderful experience getting to know these women from two generations, most of whom I’d never met before, who I was now (if not remotely) related to. How strange is that? A single ceremony suddenly creates this whole new family that never existed before, the dynamics of which a new bride (or groom, for that matter) must navigate, and sometimes blindly. I had lots of reservations heading into the weekend. Would my potty mouth get the best of me in front of a slew of born and bred Southern Ladies? Would I be required to sit on a porch and drink Mint Julep’s? Not that I’d mind sitting and sipping, but you know, I wanted to be prepared. Were my Low Country adventures that same as theirs? Do we shuck oysters the same? Are boiled peanuts considered gauche by Charlestonians standards? Would I show my ass to these nice people who welcomed me into their lives and homes?

I hoped not.

I learned a lot about my husband’s family: they shared childhood photos and stories a-plenty. When The Candyman and I first started dating, I was a bit shocked at how well he dealt with me and my general surliness. I am still shocked by this. He told me then that he had “lots of strong women” in his family. Boy howdy, he wasn’t kidding! His aunts and gaggle of female cousins all fit into this “Strong Women” mold. I honestly can’t remember a time where I have sat around with such a variety of women, backgrounds and experiences and had such great conversations. Oh wait, yes I can. It was That Really Cool Thing.  My bad. But seriously, it was so cool. The political representations were clearly divided in both young and old, yet our end goals and objectives always led us back to the same place. Is that a female thing? All the women there were highly educated and it made for thoughtful conversation. Me likey.

Our activities ranged from sitting around the breakfast table in our jammies sipping coffee and gabbing (until well into the morning) to watching the Citadel Knobs become fully recognized cadets. It was a mixed bag of activities, but they all seemed to end with several empty bottles of wine and slow, easy feeling of contentment. One of The Candyman’s first cousins lives locally and opened her lovely home to the festivities. And when I say “lovely home” I mean, a “holy shit” kind of house. I have fantasized about this house. I didn’t know the house actually belonged to anyone except to the house-I-want-to-live-in fantasy movie that plays in my head sometimes. (I know you have them too, don’t deny it.) I’ve dreamed of big, ol’ trees, dripping with Spanish moss (check), a long dock that leads out to a marshy inlet (check), a screened in porch (check), rocking chairs (check), a garden (check) and all the niceties one might want for a home (check, check, check).

Garden&Gun

Only in the South, I swear. The Garden & Gun Club, downtown Charleston.

A very rigid cadet, about to scream his brains out to a legion of “Knobs.”

A church in downtown Charleston.

Citadel1

Citadel Alum

A very cool chair I found for sale. It was only like, $800. Pa-lease! This is a DIY chair made in HEAVEN!

The following pictures tell the story of the outside of my fantasy house.

As House19

As House5

Mossy goodness.

As House4

Marshy goodness.

We spent a sunset here with a nice bottle/s of wine.

Because who couldn’t use a fountain?

As House2

Saltwater pool = cool.

It’s like an invitation home.

Lisa

One of The Candyman’s aunts.

As House6

AH-mazing, right? Check out some shots from the inside (below). We had brunch there our first morning and I took some shots of our incredible table setting, the yummy cheese grits (with LUMPS of gouda cheese…) and everything in between! A word of warning: the homeowners are hunters. The “game” room is literally, just that – their hunted game. The family realizes that hunting is not for everyone and warned us of the room from the start (which I thought was very nice). So if you’re an animal activist, pleas skip the remaining pictures. I felt they made interesting photography subjects myself.

As House11

In the billiards room.

Casserole

Super yum.

As House15

How Southern does it get? A little North vs. South chess set!

Yes, please.

Library Potty

I really thought the wall paper was kick-ass.

As House14

OhmygodItotallyfantastizeaboutthis. It’s the “second kitchen.”Yes, that’s right. Industrial sized everything, for your serious parties. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to steal the 8-eye gas range. Any ideas?

DisneyMovie

This reminds me of a Disney movie for some reason.

Pretty pretty tablescape!

As House18

What the fuck is this?

The bathroom off the work-out room. Please note the massage table in the mirror reflection. Nice…

Private whirlpool-style tub with a lovely, private view.

TableSetting2

More tablescape.

I have no idea what this thing is either.

A random hallway.

The piano.

Incredible, right?

So this post brings to mind two questions. I’m assimilating to a new family albeit very slowly. Much thought wasn’t put into this when we got engaged. I mean, we talked about our family differences, but not how to become part of them. I definitely think there are some families that need to  discuss how to manage certain members before the knot is tied. What kinds of talks are you having? Are these tough talks or easy ones? Is there a sense of trial by fire (how we did it) or is there a plan of action? Do tell.

The second question is this: Are these pictures too obnoxiously big? I like to keep the same width for consistency’s sake, but is it a pain in the ass to scroll down a ton? Myself? I prefer large pictures on a blog. I want clarity and details. but sometimes scrolling annoys me.

Weigh in on either or both questions, will ya?

Tuesday
Oct262010

A Backward Glance

The wind has been howling here in Middle Tennessee. We had big giant thunder-boomy storms night before last. It's dark and scary-looking outside. When it gets this way, generally me and The Candyman snuggle together and in unison say, "Thuuuuuuuuuunder Stoooooorms" because, well, that's just what we do. Actually, the back story is that it's one of things we both listed as "sexy" on our Match.com profiles. So when it's thundering and stormy outside, it's sexy inside. *wink wink nudge nudge*

So when I get woken up by wind and rain and all that and I cannot get back to sleep I'm certainly not thinking sexy thoughts, I'm thinking about these and how many I will need in order to get all my crap from here to Charlotte on Saturday. SATURDAY!!! I'm leaving Nashville on Saturday! So weird.

I completely underestimated the amount of crap in my office that is indeed mine to take along with me. Personal files and folders and such. My space heater. Multiple cans of spray paint used in my home decor "oh my God, the photography sample from China is the wrong color and photography starts TODAY!" emergencies. I keep copies of the trade magazines that my product was published in. Last month I got a cover shot. I mean, I certainly don't want to throw that away now, do I? I don't. I really don't.

My car is going to be jam packed with sewing gear, clothes, and The Kitty.Sigh. That damn cat is going to howl all the freakin' way there, I'm sure. I can't kitty-tranq her because she's pretty old and the vet is worried it might have some adverse affects. Adverse affects? What if her constant crying over the course of seven hours leads me to toss her out the window on I-26? Isn't THAT an adverse affect?

I've got trailer delivery set up, but I'm worried about where they will be able to park it since the other tenants of the house will be moving out. I've got movers planned, but I mistakenly set the time up an hour earlier than I should have. Waiting for them to call me back to confirm the revised time. I've got all the utilities taken care of, but I feel like I'm missing something and just I don't know what it is. I hate that.

So when the thunder storms and wind wake me up these days, I lie in bed thinking how I will pack my car. Where will our sofa go in the new house? Which room should be the sewing room and which should be The Candyman's office? Can we afford a fire pit for the back yard? We have to buy a new bed. When will I do that? Will the money be an issue? Where am I going to go work out? Will I meet new people? Will I find interesting and fun friends? Will our neighbors be cool? Will we want to buy this house? Do we want to have a baby? Will I have to find a new "normal" job or can I be an entrepreneur? Where can I find a cheap dress form? Is it possible for me to reupholster my own couch? What should I get The Candyman for Christmas? 

I tried watching a little TV. You'd be surprised at what is NOT on at 2:15am. Then I tried reading. I started to drift off, so turned out the light and again, laid there wondering about packing and unpacking the house and if my broken paw is going give me a nervous break down in all this. No bueno. 

And then I started thinking about my job. Sigh. The job. Six years. SIX YEARS! I've been doing this job for SIX YEARS! It's the longest I've held any position. It's the job I've loved to hate an hated to love. I've worked countless hours above and beyond a 40 hour work week. I've cried. I've laughed. I puked my brains out on an eight hour flight from New Delhi to Frankfurt. I've eaten beef tendon soup and fried chicken knuckles. I've met some incredible people and done some incredible things.  I've been able to visit:

  • The Great Wall of China (twice, Beijing, China)
  • Tianeman's Square (Beijing, China)
  • The Forbidden City (Beijing, China)
  • The Terra Cotta Soldiers (Xian, China)
  • The Lama Temple (Built during the Qing dynasty, the Lama Temple is the most important Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Beijing, China)
  • Huaqing Hot Springs Palace (Xian, China, famed for both its natural hot springs and the love story of Emperor Xuanzong (685-762) and his concubine Yang Guifei in the Tang Dynasty (618-907))
  • The Taj Mahal (Agra, India)
  • The Agra Red Fort (Agra, India)
  • The Jaipur Palace (Jaipur, India)
  • Wong Tai Sin Temple (Hong Kong)

And seriously, countless other places that I happily have photo-logged over the course of time. I am so lucky. Most people only dream of visiting these places and I got to do it all on someone else's dime (for the most part).

But it's still sad to think about how much work I've put into this job and this company. Those of us who has been "asked" to leave are feeling a little out of sorts. I've been here for six years (SIX!), another for eight and another for ten. How do you walk away from that without having some sort of feelings about it. You can't. You shouldn't be expected to. My office is looking quite barren and a little forlorn. The samples have been rerouted up north. My shelves have been cleared out of my hoarders collection of catalogs, fabric samples, quote sheets, you name it. It feels a little pathetic.

But in cleaning out everything, I came across some memories that I thought I might share - paying homage to the good times this job has afforded me. So before I look forward to to my new home, new experiences and new life, I need to take a quick look back at the good times.

 

Your friendly neighborhood butcher. Dongguan, China 2008.

Right before the start of the Chinese New Year fireworks show over Victoria Bay, Hong Kong 2007. What a show!!! You know the Chinese invented fireworks, right?

Me with my old boss at a glass factory in Shenyang, China 2005. Scary looking, right?

Freezing my ass off outside the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, France 2007.

Kick-ass mummification at The Louvre, Paris, France 2007.

The Hooka Pipe, New Delhi, India 2006. Apple herb, folks. Smoking apple herb.

Strange and wonderful fruits, Saigon, Vietnam 2008.

Look ma! No hands! Street kids earning some extra dough by playing with deadly snakes. On the road to Agra, India, 2007.

Wong Tai Sin Taoist Temple, Hong Kong, 2005.

Perched on the black onyx throne at the Agra Red Fort. See the Taj Mahal in the background? Agra, India 2007.

Sunset somewhere in northern China. I seriously have no idea where I was. 2006

My fave travel pic of all time. The Taj Mahal, Agra, India, 2007.

Mmmm. Goose parts for lunch. ALL the parts. ChangAn, China, 2005.

Additionally, all this travel made me a bazillionaire in terms of frequent flier miles. I took me and The Candyman to Hawaii, first class for FREE. Our honeymoon trip to Mexico was FREE. I've brought friends and family to see me, for FREE. I won't complain about that at all. However, I will miss it. :) I'll miss a lot of things about this job. What I won't miss? The stress, Louts Notes, my Dell Latitude X300 laptop circa 2004, conference calls, staff meetings or Title 20. So there.

Oh, and before I forget, the winner of the sign contest from last week is Ashely, from Our Rookie Year.