Get away


As I type this I am currently sitting (ALONE) on a balcony, with no tiny people yelling or clawing at my feet, with the above view.

But this ends today.  We head back home as soon as they drag us, kicking and screaming, from our hotel room.

The past week and a half have been some of the greatest weeks ever.  We had a little reunion with family, attended a extra glorious wedding, and actually escaped for two days BY OURSELVES to this beautiful sanctuary where we were able to get some solid uninterrupted reading, non-alcohol induced sleep, exercise, and general R&R.

So needed.  Feeling rejuvenated and ready for the final 10 months of residency.



December was a rough month.  Paul worked nights and HH started sleep walking.  Easy E decided around 2am every morning that he liked sleeping in our bed more than his own.  It was a really fun time for everyone.

Christmas day, his night float rotation finally complete, Paul started 2 weeks of vacation.  YES.   That night two zombies left their reports with some very generous in-laws and boarded a red-eye flight to Managua to attend the wedding of a dear old friend on the 27th.  We couldn’t WAIT to get on the plane to sleep.  It was going to be great.


We were in the very last row.  I was in the middle.  Neither of us slept.

It had been nearly 10 years since I had last been to Nicaragua, when I spent four months living in Managua. We arrived even more zonked out than when we’d boarded the plane.  I couldn’t think of anything except passing out on the three hour drive to our final destination, San Juan del Sur.

But as soon as we got off the plane, it hit me.  The smell.  Pretty sure it’s burning trash mixed with diesel, but to me it smells…exciting.  Like old memories.  Managua.  And I felt a little tingle.  Something in the back of my foggy, sleep-deprived mind started to wake up.

The groom had organized our ride from the airport.  As soon as we got out of customs, we found a driver holding a sign with our name on it.  His name was Delvis.  Like Elvis with a D.

As we drove from the airport, past the families of 4 riding one bike down the busy highway, the emaciated feral dogs that somehow don’t get run over, the pulperias, the back neighborhoods down crooked streets with the pink and yellow and orange houses, identical to the one where I stayed so many years ago, I suddenly, inexplicably, felt…stimulated.  Alive.  If still not completely awake.

309893_10150438243095709_1812576062_nnicaragua, 2006

We spent the whole ride to San Juan catching up with the bride and groom and, upon arriving, immediately hopped on a catamaran with the wedding party.  Which included a Nicaraguan pop star.   Suddenly there was rum to drink and potential celebrities to befriend.  Sleep became secondary.

We took the boat along the coast to a secluded beach with no road access and beautiful white sands.  While drifting on my back in the turquoise water I saw a woman who worked on the boat swimming some sort of container up onto the beach.

“First aid kit?”
“No, cooler.  I don’t even think we have a First Aid kit on board.  Maybe some band-aids?”

Nicaragua.  I love you.

The rest of the weekend continued in the same vein.

20151227_113732 (1)

We stayed in ridiculous homes overlooking the ocean, partied with some of our best friends, relived memories, and had a wonderful, memorable, sleepless, extravagant, glorious time.  And when we boarded the flight home 2 days later, I looked at my phone:

6 pictures.

Because our visit was so short, I had kind of intentionally put my phone away.  I felt too tired to try to deal with trying to capture every moment, I just wanted to enjoy. But really, 6?  And three of them are of Paul cleaning a pool.  None with the bride and groom.  None with our friends that now live in Costa Rica.  None of the ceremony or the blinking, gaudy, quintessentially nica nativity scene with a REAL WATERFALL that graced the alter.  None of Paul and I together wearing fancy clothes (which hasn’t happened in at least a year).  None of the city.  None of the beach.

But I did capture this blurry gem.

20151227_172834 (1)

So, there’s that.  Hopefully we’ll be back for more soon.

Another kind of two


On Monday we flew up to Oregon and made the drive from Portland to Bend.  And on Friday, after two days in the hospital, we left with this guy.


Due to some scheduling snafus, we spent a few days hanging out in Bend before the birth.


It could have been worse.  Bend is full of trails and microbreweries.  When things got particularly stressful, I walked out our front door and went for a run…


…then drank a beer.  Like I said, could have been worse.

Now we are hanging out in Oregon, waiting for all the paperwork to be processed so we can cross state lines and bring our newest edition home to meet our oldest addition.


I am really looking forward to it.  Like, seriously.

The adoption was a journey, and we are very excited to get home.  More on that later. But in the meantime, we’re going to go for walks, enjoy some brews, and spend some QT together before we become a chaotic clan of four.


…I mean five.  Depending on how you count.


Solar Biking


This week two different companies introduced two different uses of solar power on bike paths in the Netherlands: one for harvesting energy, one using tiny, twinkling, solar-powered stones to light up the path at night (inspired by Starry Night, as the bike path runs through the city where Van Gogh used to live).  As somebody who used to bike out to the bars on a bike path with NO LIGHTS at all, I can’t even tell you how many wrecks this would have prevented.

Get on it, USA.




When I was 23 I moved to the Czech Republic to teach English.  It was one of the more impulsive decisions I ever made, but also one of the better ones, if only for these text message I found written in an old journal while I was digging through the garage looking for a book today:

From a student (no romance here at all, just wanted to hang out again):
Hi Meagan, today I am going to Alps for four days.  I would like to see you again after coming back.  If you will agree.  Your presence is charming. 

From another student, regarding a billiard hockey team called Dragons Brno, of which he was a member (I still haven’t figured out exactly what billiard hockey is):
Dragons Brno has  9 wins 1 deal  0 lost. Is it great season?  YES,IT IS GREAT ,deffinitly.
WE are on the first place.We are the champions for year.

From the lifeguard at the pool, who scouted me to swim for a local Czech team, in response to a text I sent him letting him know I was on my way to a meet in Vienna:
Good luck my little white delfin!

And, a personal favorite, from another friend, heading to a party at my apartment:
I am coming, can you describe to me where is your castle?

DSC01565An ad for a tanning salon called Solarium Oranjito.  No translation needed.



Welcome back!  I’ve returned from the black hole that was at trip to Iowa (first time in Iowa!  What’s up corn and big skies?)…


…for a family wedding…



…followed by a getaway to vegas for some relaxation…

IMG_20141005_073011this book, btw, not the best light-hearted vacation reading

…and hiking….

IMG_20141005_073105red rock from the car window

…and Vegas stuff (though when we got there we immediately lost $30 at the slot machines, and that was pretty much the end of that.)


Vegas is such a weird place, I never know whether to feel excited or disgusted or totally impressed at what that city is. We stayed at the Palms, mostly because I was like EFF YEAH THE REAL WORLD LAS VEGAS BRING IT!  (And I heard that Pauly D DJs there).  But, in a surprising turn, our 3 days there was nothing like Trishelle’s experience back in 2002.

We did, however, befriend this guy in the elevator on the way back down to our room the last night there.  So solid quasi-celebrity sighting.

It’s been fun, great to see family, and nice to relax, but it’s good to be home.


Trans Tahoe


6 swimmers.  one boat.  11 miles across lake tahoe.

i love this event so much.


even the ride in is beautiful (ignoring the 3 hours of traffic you inevitably hit in sactown when you leave SF at 3:30 on a friday).

This swim is a little bit different than running relays I’ve done in the past in that each leg swims for a set amount of time (in this case, 30 minutes) as opposed to a distance.  And you continue to rotate until you hit the finish line.  Simple, and kind of beautiful in the fact that nobody can really tell how fast you’re going (unless you really gain or lose ground to another nearby boat, though the lake is to big and people get pretty spread out that it’s not usually like a neck-in-neck race until the end.)

proper nutrition. key for peak performance. oh 21st amendment, how i missed you.


6am boat pickup



early ride to the starting line


the starting line, sand harbor state park


waiting for our first swimmer


go time.


one of the many exchanges


we finished in 4 hours 10 minutes(ish).  then we got to hang out in this for a while.


seriously.  the water was just incredible.

it’s good to be back.



Made it


Despite how it may seem based on the radio silence the past 2 weeks, we survived the trip to CA.  And are now living 4 generations under one roof.

IMG_20140414_125722breakfast with dd

As you might imagine, the last 2 weeks have been a little transitional.  But things are starting to settle down.  The fact that it’s been mid-70s and sunny every day since we got here hasn’t hurt.  We’ve also gotten to spend time at the beach.  I’m really pushing HH to get out there and meet some men.


In the meantime, the job/home search continues.  Regular posts to resume shortly.  I hope.