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Lately I have been asked a few times if I had my Christmas Cheer yet. While I think that is an odd question, I decided over the weekend that I had better get some. My first week back in Indiana was pretty cold and rainy and did not really elicit much of a Christmasy feeling.

By Saturday evening it started to set in that Christmas really was right around the corner. I could see brightly lit Christmas trees shining through most houses’ windows as I drove through town and nearly every mailbox was adorned with a red bow of some kind. I began to feel like my house was the lone Scrooge house on the block. Bah-humbug!

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Finally, with Chris’ blessing to engage in solo tree trimming, I summoned the energy to put my Christmas tree up. Ok, not exactly true, there was no energy summoning. Before I got started I thought putting up the Christmas tree would be no big deal. After all, we only have four small boxes of Christmas decorations, how complicated could it be?

A few minutes later I found myself in our garage pulling out cars, moving bicycles, and taking the ladder down off of the wall. Even with the ladder, it was a stretch for me to reach some of the items that were on the top shelf in our garage stashed deep in the corner.

Finally, with all of the boxes down, I was exhausted and ready to throw in the towel ready to get started!

Following proper Christmas tree trimming protocol, I began stringing up lights. Luckily, they were not tangled because Chris insisted on buying a spool to wind them onto. Just one problem, they were wound onto the spool backwards. Note to self: Wind lights from bottom to top when putting them back onto the spool this time. No big deal.

With the lights on the tree, I gleefully plugged them in to see a brightly lit tree a partially lit tree. Everyone knows that you should test the lights before putting them onto the tree. Duh. After checking nearly every bulb on the tree, I found the missing bulb and began dumping boxes of Christmas “stuff” out all over the floor in search of the spare bulbs. Fortunately we had saved them. Unfortunately, they were at the very bottom of the last box that I emptied into the floor.

With the floor covered in ornaments, beads, ribbons, garland, bows, and who knows what else, I began to get overwhelmed. What had I gotten myself into? Ugh.

Who needs all these adornments on their tree anyway? Bah humbug!

After pressing the missing bulb into my chain of lights and seeing the whole tree light up, I began selectively packing up tree trimmings.

Four different kinds of beads? Meh.

Bows? No go.

Mantle decorations? Eh.

Finally, I settled on some ornaments and a spool of ribbon and began systematically hanging ornaments onto the tree dividing them by shape, color, and texture to ensure random looking coverage. My gosh there were a lot of ornaments!

As an aside, this is probably über tacky, but I was really loving our plastic Christmas ornaments as several of them slipped to the floor without breaking. With two dogs prancing around the Christmas tree, I can’t imagine using “real” ornaments.

By the time I put the ribbon on the tree I wasn’t exactly feeling my Christmas Cheer anymore. I knew that I still needed to return the boxes of Christmas “stuff” to their homes on the top shelf of the garage, move bikes, cars, and rehang the ladder on the wall and just the thought of doing all of those things made me feel drained. The ribbon could use some work, it looks like a five-year old put it on the tree, but I am pretty over it at this point. Maybe Chris will fix it for me when he gets home.

Next year this will definitely be a group activity!

For the past few mornings I have found myself waking the sleeping dogs.

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I am convinced that I have the only dog in the world who needs a wake-up call to go outside in the morning. He is basically a teenager.

“Hey Duke, time to get up.”
Go get on coat.
“Duke, let’s go potty!”
Tacia prancing about excitedly in the background.
“Duke! Let’s go!”
Finally lifts head. : : Um, seriously, I’m sleeping here. Do you know that it is 6 AM? : :

Weird.

A few days ago Duke got a new bed, which Tacia Immediately commandeered, so, in an effort to give him a reasonable place to sleep he also got a new carpet. Pretty lucky guy that nearly half of our bedroom is dedicated to his sleeping quarters.

I’m getting pretty excited for Chris to get home and take over some of dog duty. It isn’t so bad in the middle of the day, but it is starting to get pretty frosty in the mornings here. This morning I went outside to see a frozen pond and a temperature of 23 degrees. Brrr. It seems to warm up a decent amount during the day, I haven’t checked the temperature, but the pond melts each day and refreezes each night, so I would say that we are probably hovering around freezing +/- 10 degrees, a huge difference from South India temperatures.

I arrived home to new neighbors to our east who have a pretty clear view of my dog walking venue. In addition to being surprised by the size of their furry new neighbor, I bet they are amazed by the number of layers that I don to walk him. I’m pretty sure that I have been wearing warm enough clothing to endure several hours at below zero temperatures when I go outside for just a few minutes. It just feels so cold! I am beginning to understand those crazy people from Florida who run in long pants at 50 degrees.

Hurry home Chris!

 

Since arriving back in the US, one of my top agenda items has been to buy a new car. Well, not a real new car, I have never had one of those, but a new to me car. I don’t think that I talked about it on here, but I wrecked my car just before we left for India. There was a deer and a telephone pole involved, both survived, the car did not.

In theory it should be fun to buy a car. The one being replaced was ten years old and had enough miles on it to have driven around the Earth more than half a dozen times. In addition to it’s age and mileage it was beginning to acquire many problems, large and small, which we had trouble justifying fixing properly due to it’s age.

A new(er) car is like a fresh start. No problems. Easy peasy. Right?

Yeah, I’m not sure either. I hope that’s the case, but with my ever present skepticism and a stereotypical sentiment about used car salesmen, or anyone purveying previously owned rolling stock, really, I am naturally convinced that any new(er) car that I choose will only be marginally more reliable than the last years of the relic that it is replacing. If the last owner doesn’t want it, why should I? Gosh I hate buying cars.

Last time around, nearly 6.5 years ago, I avoided the process for a year longer than I probably should have. In the end it wasn’t so bad. I didn’t get ripped off, scammed, or taken advantage of in any way. I ended up with a new(er) car that was a delight to own until, at what in my mind was a reasonable age, it’s age began to show.

Sounds perfect, right? So what’s the problem? I have no idea, but in spite of my last positive experience with used car buying, it positively strikes fear in me. I wonder if buying actual new cars would feel any easier? Doubtful. There is still the fear of overpaying, buyers remorse, and the possibility of being financially constrained into not picking your dream car.

Ok, I’m sure that last part only applies to me. I’m kidding, kind of, I don’t really know what my dream car is anyway. I guess the hope is that I emerge from this process with a car that is, at minimum, worth what I paid for it, that it lasts long enough for me to avoid this process for at least another 6.5 years, and that I end up with something that has enough cargo capacity to haul Duke, Tacia, a baby, and all related gear. Considering that last criteria, I suppose I have to call it a win if I do not end up with one of those minivans that everyone claims will suit my needs perfectly.

Compounding my car buying fear is the fact that, for the first time, I am spending joint money on it. Last time around I only had the possibility of letting myself down. This time I have to hope that Chris, the ultimate skeptic, ends up feeling positive about this experience as well.

Wish me luck! Last night I set the ball in motion to buy what I hope is a perfect new(er) ride. I hope Chris likes it as much as I think I will.

Note: I’m totally not up at 4 losing sleep over this. It must still be my jet lag.

There were a few comments left in response to my Bye Bye Chennai post that I wrote on my way home to the US that I want to follow-up about.

In response to Jena at Life is Beachy Keen:

Yes, it can be a big problem to fly in Asia while pregnant. The restrictions vary by airline and by country, but some are as strict as requiring a doctor’s note, written no more than three days in advance of your flight, anytime after the 28th week of pregnancy. Getting a doctor’s note before heading out on a trip is not a huge problem, but producing a recent doctor’s note for the return flight can be somewhat problematic unless you happen to visit a doctor during your trip.

Back in October when we visited Oman, I had a few nervous moments at the Muscat airport when I answered them honestly about what week of pregnancy I was in and how old my doctor’s note was. Needless to say, I got on my airplane, but I was a bit freaked out about flying on that airline again and extra conscious about my outfit choices for future flights. We decided at that point that I should wear Chris’ hooded sweatshirt through all airports from then on just in case.

Several of you empathized about my frustration with getting charged an outrageous extra bag fee:

Try as I might, I was not able to recover my entire $208 baggage fee. After talking to both Lufthansa customer service and Continental customer service on the day of my flight, I felt fairly confident that it would be refunded in full. Unfortunately, I was only able to get half of my money back. Better than nothing.

In retrospect, it might be worth the $108 that I will not get back to have the bag here in the US. Chris has been having a difficult time getting the return shipment for our household goods scheduled and with him returning to the US in about one week, I do not feel exceedingly confident that they will be shipped before he leaves Chennai. So far the plan is for him to take lots of pictures of our stuff before he leaves it and for him to pack as much as he can in his bags as well. It is just a little bit scary to think that he might leave India before our stuff does. As much as I have had a love/hate relationship with my bike and bike trainer over the past few months, I sincerely hope to see them again soon!

Flying in the front of the plane:

Chris wanted me to point out that, unfortunately, we are not ballers and we have never purchased business class tickets for ourselves, this was part of a corporate relocation package and as far as I know, the last time I will ever fly in the front of the plane. Other than the outrageous baggage fee, it was a pretty sweet experience and especially wonderful since I feel like I’m as big as a house right now. For the record, Continental has the best business class of all of those that I got to experience during our stint in India (the others were Emirates, Lufthansa, and Malaysia) because the seats lay completely flat and horizontal.

Me being MIA:

Ok, nobody asked where I have been, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

Since arriving in Newark last Wednesday, I have been pretty busy. Ok, not really, but it feels that way. I spent Thursday and Friday visiting with my family, which was really awesome. I’m lucky that my family is fun and that they want to hang out with me.

Saturday I had a baby shower, which was pretty exciting. Of course it was fun to get some gifts for the baby, but more importantly, I had a really good time seeing some of my mom’s friends, especially ladies who I have known for all or most of my life. It was cool to hear baby advice and stories from them and I really enjoyed hearing about how their daughters and sons, many of whom grew up with me and my brothers, were doing.

Finally, on Sunday, it was time for me to head back to Indiana. My dad and I left his house by 4 AM to drive back here with the dogs. We made good time, not quite record time, but certainly a record with dogs who need to get out and walk now and then. He thinks for sure that it was because we packed a cooler and avoided stopping for food. I think it is because of his 33 gallon gas tank. Regardless, we made it back to Indiana by 4:30 PM. Not bad.

Since then, I have been getting back into my groove with working from work as opposed to working from home. It isn’t so bad in the morning as my jet lag has me awake by 4:30 AM or 5:00 AM each day, but being coherent until 5:00 PM and beyond (in one case until 10:00 PM) for meetings each day has proved to be difficult. I’ll get there.

Lastly, I have devoted a huge amount of time to getting my internet working again. After dedicating approximately 8 hours to that activity between buying and returning modems, troubleshooting on the phone, and waiting for a repair guy, I am finally up and running again! I feel much more motivated to write blog posts now that I can do it on my computer rather than on my cell phone. Something about cell phone blogging is not quite as fun to me.

Oh, one more (un)important thing. I had my first super awesome haircut/highlight in about 7 years while I was in NJ. I can’t explain what exactly is different about it, but even strangers have been commenting on my hair. Those of you who know me in person know that I am not one of those “awesome hair” people, so this is pretty cool. I may have to revert to my old favorite NJ hair salon for all future cutting/coloring needs. I should take a picture to include with this post, but my eye liner is all smeared, it looks like I have two black eyes, and washing it off sounds like an insurmountable task right now. Just trust me, my hair looks 1000x better than my eye makeup.

As excited as I was to watch my two favorite teams play football last night, sleep won. I stayed up crazy late on Friday night, I think it may have been past 10 pm [I’m pretty sure that my sleep patterns mimic my grandmother’s], then got up super early on Saturday so that I could call home before it was too late [on US Friday night]. Anyway, I was full of pizza and zonked out before the Purdue game even started and had no hope of seeing Penn State play. Chris was an early bird this morning and got to watch some of USC [his favorite team other than the Boilers] vs. Oregon before going for a surf [or trying to anyway, he drove an hour there to find out that it was blown out]. I remember him waking me up and telling me that it was on, but I rolled over and went back to sleep. In retrospect, I wish I had gotten up. Oh well. We were able to catch the tail end of the game to see an SC win!

As bummed as I was that I missed the two big games that I wanted to see, I was stoked to see that Penn State beat the Buckeyes! We are!

Ok, enough about football.

This afternoon we engaged in our weekly meat eating ritual, this time at Spice Market, an all you can eat, carnivore’s dream. Maybe carnivore’s dream is an exaggeration, but you can eat as much grilled chicken and tenderloin [and grilled squash too!] as you want. A real treat in a land where our grocery store does not even sell meat. Even more exciting than the chicken though is the gelato in no less than ten flavors and with unlimited toppings! I’m usually solidly against eating at buffets, but this is one that I can get onboard with.

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Tonight I hope to start packing my two giant suitcases for my trip home. Most of my clothes are either work clothes that I don’t wear since I work from home, India inappropriate dresses, and now too short t-shirts, so I can pretty easily pack up 90% of my wardrobe and not miss it. My mom warned me that my t-shirts would get too short, but I denied it away until a few weeks ago. Many of them are starting to look like too small shirts on fat men, you know, when their stomach starts to peak out of the bottom. Yeah, not my best look. I have had to retire most of those to protect my delicate ego. 😉

I have no idea what I am going to wear to work when I get home, should be interesting. I may have to stretch the boundaries of appropriate work attire and wear jeans once a week. So far I have managed to only acquire three maternity clothing items, black dress pants, a black dress skirt, and a pair of jeans. Did I ever mention that Chris was super awesome and researched top rated maternity jeans then surprised me with a pair of Mama J’s? Two thumbs up for Chris!* By the time I get home I should only have six weeks to go, so I can’t really justify spending money on more clothes by then.

*For the pregnant to be, I totally recommend, even if you buy nothing else, splurging on one pair of awesome jeans. They are the single clothing item that makes me feel like a normal human being on days that I feel particularly whale-like.

Only three more days before we escape to Bali! [Not that I am counting down or anything.]

Chris has always accused me of overconsumption of things like dishes and clothing. He will readily offer accounts of me managing to use all 47 of our spoons and of me dirtying all of the “good bowls” in a 24 hour period. [We should have 48 spoons, but there was a spoon casualty. Derek, if you read this, I’m looking at you. Haha.]

Good bowls are a hot commodity in our house, so I can totally understand his exasperation when they are all dirty in the sink or dishwasher. He’s probably dead on with my bowl usage, but I’m pretty sure that I the spoon thing is an exaggeration.

Chris, on the other hand, prefers to prepare and eat many of his meals while leaning over the sink as to eliminate the need for plates altogether. When there is no way to avoid using a dish, he will almost always “save it for later” on the countertop next to the sink in case he wants to eat off of it again later that day. I’m of the mindset that you can’t “use up” dishes because they’re reusable, but he prefers to conserve them anyway. To each his own, right?

So what is the point of all this babble? I have run into a problem with my bike shorts.

No segue needed, right?

Ok, fine. In the past few weeks it has become increasingly uncomfortable to ride my bike. I’m not sure if it is a weird pregnancy symptom or just a symptom of me having an extra ~15 pounds sitting on my bike saddle, but it has become really unpleasant lately, almost like my first few painful weeks of bike riding. Anyway, in an effort to continue riding, I have begun doubling up on bike shorts. I have been using one pair that looks kind of like black adult diapers under a traditional pair of bike shorts, the cumulative effect of which is a sight to behold. If you think that wearing one pair of bike shorts makes your rear end look puffy, just try wearing two pairs at once. Looks notwithstanding, it seems to do the trick.

Great, problem solved! Right?

Not exactly. You see, my arsenal of bike shorts has dwindled from five pairs that fit to just three leaving me with a one day supply using the dual-short method. Initially I hoped that I could rewear the outer pair once stretching my supply to two days, but no dice. It turns out that I am a swamp monster on the bike and can sweat through two pairs of shorts. Gross.

I am totally empathizing with Chris on the used up “good bowls” now as I race to get my bike shorts washed and air dried in time for tomorrow’s workout. More importantly, my countdown to Indiana has taken on even more intensity as I look forward to some non-bike cardio! I wonder if I can still run? I haven’t tried it in a month or so. I’m leaning towards yes, depending on how you define the term “run”. [In this context run = slow shuffle wearing super dorky running gear to alert bystanders that it is in fact a run, not some kind of injured limp down the bike path.]

Oh, hi. Remember me? I used to write blog posts fairly regularly.

Chris and I spent last week in the Maldives with a group of great friends and minimal internet connectivity. I’ll post more about that later after I get a chance to edit my Chris’ pictures. In the meantime let’s talk about what I have been up to since we got back on Sunday night.

Naturally, I have been buried in work. If my work laptop was not quite so heavy, I think I would actually prefer to bring it on vacation so that I could spend an hour or so each day answering the truly important emails. It would give me peace of mind and dramatically reduce my post-vacation stress upon my return. Pretty sad, huh? Something about going on vacation usually leaves me feeling like I need another vacation.

Lucky for me, my next trip is on the horizon. Almost immediately upon our return, we firmed up plans to go to Bali for Thanksgiving. Chris has been dreaming of going, probably since he read his first surf magazine, but I’ll admit that it was not really on my radar until much more recently. In fact, even when we found out that we would be somewhat local to Bali while living in India, I had still somewhat discounted the idea of going. Nevertheless, I’m pretty excited about it, especially since Chris’ friend brought one of Chris’ boogie boards to the Maldives for him.

No, don’t worry, I’m not planning on catching any waves in Bali; I can’t actually lay on the boogie board at this point anyway. I’m just excited about it because it gives me something to cling to so I can sit behind the lineup and socialize with Chris between sets. Although I felt a bit like a little kid hanging onto a kickboard at my first swimming lesson, this ended up being one of my favorite activities in the Maldives as I am not really the type to lay on the beach or by the pool. More on that in a Maldives recap post.

In other big news, I bought my plane ticket home last night. At this point, it is kind of bittersweet. I have never been away from the US for this long, nearly five months, so I am extremely excited about experiencing all things familiar. On the other hand, I don’t know if or when I will have the chance to come back to India or have such easy access to travel all over South Asia.

On the whole, I would say that my excitement over being home trumps the disappointment of leaving India. There’s no place like home, right? In addition to being excited about seeing my family and friends, I am excited to see these guys.

Back to the US in 15 days! Not that I’m counting or anything…

Yesterday marked the beginning of Diwali, the festival of lights!

It is one of the most important Hindu festivals and reminds me of Christmas in many ways. One of the original Diwali traditions was to light many tiny oil lamps, which is where the word Diwali comes from. Today, we can certainly see many oil lamps, but, more frequently, we have been seeing many strands of tiny lights, which I would tend to refer to as Christmas lights.

The light display that I am standing by below happens to be oil lamps, but I think that you can still imagine how they would conjure images of Christmas for me. In addition to displays like this one, there are lights strung all over many homes, buildings, streets, and almost anywhere one can imagine.

This light phenomenon extends to fireworks as well, which are certainly not in short supply. As early as Tuesday night, Diwali celebrations were well underway and it was almost impossible for me to conduct phone calls from my apartment because of the volume and frequency of the explosions.

When Chris arrived home, late Tuesday night, I should not have been surprised that he was armed with fireworks of his own. I think he had  pretty good time buying them because in addition to being  significantly less expensive than at home, the selection was far superior. India seems to be a big proponent of Darwinism. Fireworks are no exception to that policy.

I didn’t get to see Chris’ pyrotechnic display, he set them off with Sentil, our driver, but his recap of the event made it sound quite spectacular. Something to the effect of “Brit, you know when you go to a fireworks show? Like big fireworks? Yeah, that’s what I bought.”

Fortunately, Sentil is always looking out for Chris and, other than a minor burn, Chris returned unharmed.

Another parallel that my mind draws between Christmas and Diwali is that it seems to be a big shopping season. All of the stores have Diwali sales and specials and, right in line with Christmas, there is a tradition of exchanging sweets and gifts for Diwali. Chris brought me a box of sweets, but I didn’t end up eating any. We both agreed that I would be happier to share them with our driver and the building security guard.

My other Diwali gift was a beautiful sari. You can see it folded up in its box in the lower left corner of the picture above. It is two toned, so from one angle you see the color shown and from the other angle it is a light green. Pretty cool stuff. I haven’t had a chance to try it on, or, let’s be realistic, figure out how to put it on, but I will be sure to post some pictures when I do. I will need to get the shirt that goes underneath it tailored first, which may or may not be possible given that I am pregnant right now.

I didn’t go shopping for Diwali, as I did not realize that we were celebrating, so Chris took the liberty to select his own Diwali gift, a traditional Indian mens’s outfit consisting of a dhoti and a Mandarin collared shirt. It makes perfect sense that Chris would like a dhoti, because it has a very similar wrap around style to his ie lavalavas. I will also be sure to post pictures of Chris in his new clothes when he gets around to trying them on.

I am so thankful that we have had the chance to witness so many Hindu holidays because while I can draw some parallels between Diwali and Christmas, many of the traditions are so far different from anything I have ever experienced, like Ganesh Chaturthi for example, that there is no way that I could ever understand without actually seeing them.

Heidi from run.around.aroo. must have sensed that I was traveling this weekend and am hopefully far away from the Internet for two days. She was kind enough to tag me with not one, but two blog awards! I’m so delighted that someone is actually reading my blog and likes it! For the sake of my ego, I try to remember that I am blogging because I like to do it, but let’s be honest, it is way more fun when there are readers involved. 🙂

With these two awards I have been tasked with coming up with ten interesting facts about me. I’m not all that interesting, so this may prove to be a challenging activity, but I’ll give it a shot.

  1. I am left-handed, except for scissors and knives. I couldn’t use scissors or knives left-handed to save my life. Scary, huh? Watch out for the lefty with the knife in her right hand. I seem to be right-footed, well, with snowboarding and waterskiing anyway.
  2. In theory, I like the beach. In practice, the thought of sand touching my feet makes my skin crawl in the same way that nails on a chalkboard does. I sometimes wonder if Chris would have married me if I had admitted that to him beforehand. He is such a beach guy. All I can think about is how I can get a piggyback to the edge of the water!
  3. At one point I was a reasonably good dancer, think ballet, jazz, tap kind of dancing. Today, I am probably the most awkward ‘social’ dancer that you have ever encountered. What gives? I seem to need choreography.
  4. I think that I am pretty well-rounded in terms of my quantitative and verbal abilities. I’ll let you surmise how strong my math abilities are. I will point out that I survived enough math classes to obtain an engineering degree. All indications point to mediocre all around.
  5. I often consider how much it would affect my career if I took a year off of work to sail around the world. I’m thinking it wouldn’t be ideal for my career progression, then again, never having the chance to sail around the world wouldn’t be ideal for my life.
  6. I spent the majority of my life being super afraid of dogs, especially big ones. Five years ago I would have wanted nothing to do with a giant beast like Duke. Today, I can’t imagine not having him. Good thing Tacia was so friendly when I met her! I thought she really liked me, but after watching how she operates for a few years, I have concluded that she is that friendly to anyone willing to pet her.
  7. I thought Chris was a weirdo when he insisted that we needed a mixer with a dough hook. Obviously my opinion on that has changed over the last few years. How do people survive without one? In fact, it was due to Chris’ influence that we got most of our ‘fancy’ kitchen gadgets. I wonder if it was all a ploy to get me to cook for him? Hmmm. He certainly doesn’t use them.
  8. If I had to pick just five foods to eat for the rest of my life, they would be spinach, blue cheese, balsamic vinegar, doughy bread, and oatmeal.
  9. After my first fall in a place without seasons, I can honestly say that I prefer to have them. Yes, even winter. It would be such a drag not to have the excitement of even just a few snowfalls and fall just isn’t the same without changing leaves and crisp, cool air.
  10. I got a new Trek Lexa road bike back in June and although Garmin says that I have pedaled 1632 miles since then, it has never seen a road. I got the bike when I was still fully in the morning sickness stage of pregnancy and I did not really feel up to testing it out outside. By the time I felt good enough to actually go for a ride outdoors, I decided that it was against better judgement to do so, just in case of falls. Maybe someday I’ll actually ride it on a road!

Four years ago today, Chris and I were in Italy taking care of come important business. Exciting stuff, huh?

This year we did not manage to stay in the same city on the big day as I am in Chennai and Chris is in Japan somewhere. Chris, where exactly are you anyway? I feel like that is something I should have asked. Sorry.

No big deal though. As I have mentioned a few times, Chris and I got married twice, so we have two options for anniversary celebrations and, with all of the flowers and sweets he brought home last week, we can count that as a celebration for now.

It is important to be flexible sometimes. 🙂

Tomorrow night we will each take a red-eye flight to Singapore for the weekend, so I think we will count a trip to Singapore as our birthday and anniversary gifts.

Did I mention that Chris’ birthday was yesterday? Happy birthday Chris! Poor Chris spent his entire birthday on an airplane, I don’t envy that at all.

I’m pretty excited to visit Singapore. I’ve never been there before, but I am imagining it as an amazingly pristine city-state where I can brush my teeth with the water and eat food from any street stall I want without worry.

I better research some of those ideas before I follow through with them.

Has anyone visited Singapore? What should we do there?

I have a travel guide book, but I haven’t read much of it yet, I better get on that. I saw that there was a ‘Little India’ and a ‘Chinatown’, but I don’t feel all that compelled to visit those neighborhoods at this point. I’m sure we’ll find something else cool to do!