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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

An Accidental Love September 16, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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After we left the Cliffs of Moher, we headed to Galway. A little detour into background (if I had a way to make a chime sound for a flash back, I would).

The husband and I spent three summers in Alaska. Alaska reinforced our love for three things: climbing mountains, good beer, and live music. Galway had the beer and the music, so we were super excited to get there.

So we left the Cliffs of Moher and headed north. Usually, I’m really good at road trips, but for some reason, I really needed to get out of the car and walk on the way. We looked in the guidebook and found a really cool-looking place. Couldn’t find the place, gave up, and pulled over at a park instead.

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A Problematic Pie December 17, 2016

Sometimes the biggest deal can happen over the smallest thing… like pie.

One of my summers in beautiful Alaska, our food situation got strange. There were issues with different companies, such as who owned what building, but the end of the mess found us all eating family dinner at the theatre every night. It was awesome! The chef for the theatre made us a special meal, and we didn’t even have to go anywhere for it!

A bit into the summer, the chef decided to give us a treat and ordered us some pies. And the pies became a bi-weeklyish tradition. They came in a variety pack. I don’t remember all the kinds, but I know that the one we liked best was the cookies and crème pie. We would save that one for last or use it for someone’s birthday. It was great, a super awesome treat we all looked forward to. Until the sad day the cookies and crème pie was missing. (more…)

 

Missing the Mountains April 30, 2016

It’s that time of year again. The seasonal workers are heading back up north to Alaska. But this time I’m not going with them. With two important weddings to attend on the east coast, going back to the land of the Midnight Sun just wasn’t a possibility.

My first summer in Denali, people talked about how the mountains got into your blood. How the fresh air is addictive and everything else feels suffocating. I didn’t really believe them. I missed getting to go to the mall when I needed new boots and running to Walmart when I ran out of snacks. You can’t do that in Denali. The nearest city is about three hours IF you don’t hit the roadwork that seems to never end. I wanted to go to the new movies and go to a real grocery store.

But the next summer I knew what was coming. I knew better how to hike in the mountains with the braided rivers as my landmarks. I had learned to love weekly poker at a local establishment as a time to check in with friends. And the Midnight Sun wasn’t a nuisance that kept me awake all night; it was a time to savor midnight hikes while awaiting the northern lights. I had learned the wonders of Amazon free super saver shipping. I knew what to buy on my few trips to the city.

Last year, I was brave enough to hike further off the beaten path with a topographical map and compass. We found brilliant hikes and even a way to have fresh organic produce delivered to us. We went to Seward and saw whales and camped by the bay. And it was brilliant.

Now my friends are posting pictures of the mountains, and it hurts my heart. It hurts that I’m not in the fresh, clean air worrying about if the rain or snow will get me. It hurts that I’m not making a list of hikes I want to do this season, knowing that it would take a miracle for time and weather to permit them all.

I love my job. I love my friends. I love my Disney annual pass.

But seeing the smiling faces surrounded by snowy peaks, I feel the pull of the mountains. It’s in my blood.

 

Love and Adventure February 16, 2016

Happy late Valentine’s Day! I know, I know. The time for lovers has passed, and the time for discount chocolate is upon us. I love cheap chocolate. I really do. But I had an amazing Valentine’s Day.

The husband took me to Disney, ‘cause season passes are the best, and it was crowded as all get out. But I got to see the new baby gorilla, a bunch of really cool Star Wars things, including my favorite Star Wars character, BB-8.

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And we ran around like little kids before having dinner at Belle’s castle.

But the best part was when, while trying to pass the wait times, we decided to try and figure out what the best adventure we had ever had was.

I had a hard time choosing. I’m split between watching the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia, Maine, the hammock in Thailand, a night in Venice, fjords in Alaska, and of course the fountain show in Versailles. (more…)

 

Dumpster Diving in Alaska October 5, 2015

Hi. Chris here again. Megan wanted me to talk to you all today about the up and coming sport of dumpster diving. Now, I know that dumpster diving isn’t exactly new, but it’s coming back into fashion.

I say this because while we were working in Alaska this summer, one of my friends, slightly foolishly, tossed a bag into the trash that had been left on the table by a customer. The bag did only appear to have rocks in it (there was an assay station on our property where kids and kids-at-heart could “mine” for minerals from a purchased bag of dirt for only $4.99). Well, the mother of the child who left behind the bag of rocks came back to the restaurant in a panic because her daughter had left a bag that had gold earrings in it.

My friend looked a little taken aback. He told the lady that he had searched the bag and only found rocks, so he tossed it. She swore that the earrings were in there. The problem was, the trash had already been taken to the dumpster. She didn’t care. She was going to brave the dumpster and rescue her daughter’s earrings.

I had to explain to her that, no. She could not be allowed to go into the dumpster because if something were to happen to her, she wouldn’t be covered by any kind of insurance. I then explained to her that I would be covered, so I would go into the dumpster for her. And I did. (more…)

 

What Would You Trade? (Rated PG13) September 8, 2015

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 11:48 am
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Okay y’all, this is going to be a PG 13 post, and it’s not my fault. Never, in all my many eons of living in cast housing, have I heard anything this sad that made me question the status of humanity in such a large way.

I was sitting on my bed in my room submitting to a never-ending stream of agents who will in turn send me a non-specific rejection letter — not that I feel bitter or down trodden — and a girl started talking on the other side of the paper-thin wall.

“Can you give me a ride? I left my water bottle on the truck of dude’s car, and it flew out into traffic, and I have to go back for it,” the girl says. Not a huge request. Just a ride to grab something off the road.

They talk a little, and then the girl decides to trade sex for a ride to get her water bottle. Sex to get back a water bottle. SEX for a freaking water bottle!

What followed were six-and-a-half minutes of the worst sex I have ever had the misfortune of hearing. (more…)

 

No Selfie Sticks Allowed September 5, 2015

This summer, I’ve been privileged enough to live and work right outside of Denali National Park. It’s beautiful and amazing, and because of the company I work for, I get six free bus rides into the park.  So at least every other week, I ride the bus into the park with the tourists to see the animals and hopefully catch a glimpse of the mountain. I usually jump off and backcountry hike with my husband, but we’re always on the bus for the rules section.

A lot of the rules make sense, such as be quiet at wildlife sightings. And don’t eat at the rest stops. I mean, people still don’t follow the rules, but it’s easy to see where they come from. But this year there’s been a new rule. Don’t shove your selfie stick out the window at wildlife sightings.

What?

I mean, I get the rule. But did someone really shove a selfie stick out the window at a wild animal? Did the animal bite the selfie stick? I need to know what happened! And I can’t find a damn person who knows the origin of the rule!

And it’s not just Denali that’s killing the selfie stick. Disney has recently banned selfie sticks due to safety concerns in the park. Did someone try to selfie on Splash Mountain? Did some idiot almost become the thousandth ghost at the Haunted Mansion?

I need to know the reason for the rule! It’s driving me crazy!