lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

A Maize April 13, 2018

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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Once upon a time, the husband and I decided to go to a corn maze between performances on a two-show day. This was before we lived on a tour bus, so we had our own car and the maze was less than fifteen minutes from the theatre.

It was a beautiful fall day, and the farm hosting the maze was great. There was apple cider and apple cider donuts. We blithefully headed into the corn maze, ready to spend a fun twenty minutes winding our way through the corn.

About forty minutes later, we realized the maze was bigger than we had imagined.

Fifteen minutes after that, we realized we hadn’t seen anyone in a long time and didn’t really know which way the front of the maze was supposed to be.

We had to be at the theatre for the evening performance in a half hour. Subtract about fifteen minutes for getting from the maze to the parking lot and driving from the farm to theatre and…we were potentially very screwed.

We considered squeezing between the corn stalks to try and find our way out but, not knowing what direction we wanted to go, trail blazing could have landed us on the far side of the farm with no better clue which way our car was (the husband and I were late to the iPhone party, so no compass to be had).

When we had ten minutes left to find the car if we were going to make it to the theatre on time, we finally had to call the stage manager. (more…)

 

Hear Me Roar! January 30, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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Once upon a time, I had the best day ever in Dublin.

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First of all, Dublin is great. There’s a big garden, tons of history, museums, great theatre. And Viking tours.

The husband and I were walking through Dublin when suddenly we heard these people roar. I squeaked and searched for the source of the sound. It was a duck boat filled with people in Viking helmets. I knew at that moment I needed to be on a Viking boat. I needed to roar on the streets of Dublin.

But the duck boat of Vikings drove away, and I didn’t know where they’d gone.

I resolved to continue with my Viking-less life, but my husband found wifi and Googled the starting location of the tour. I basically ran there, ready to give the man however many euros he wanted to let me on the boat.

The duck boat was actually from WWII. Like, Rosie the Riveter made the boat, which starts the whole thing off on a super awesome note. (more…)

 

Decorated Detroit December 4, 2017

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 1:30 pm
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In traveling for the Wizard of Oz tour, we get to go to some really great places and some places that…aren’t on the radar for must-visit destinations.

Recently, we visited Detroit. The only things I knew about Detroit were that cars got made there and that the economic slumps hit it very hard. While both those things are true, nobody ever mentioned how awesome Detroit is!

The husband and I wandered out of our hotel, just looking to stretch our legs, and we found a huge amount of outdoor art that led us to a Christmas wonderland!

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They had blow-up igloos with table tennis and hot chocolate, a tent decked out to be a ski lodge, and an ice skating under a giant Christmas tree!

So what did these wise actors do on their precious day off? We went ice skating! (more…)

 

The Case of the Missing Innkeeper November 22, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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Once upon a time in Northern Ireland, my husband and I had a very long day.

We took a wonderful drive around the horn.

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Got trapped on a “two-lane” road that wasn’t large enough for a single car.

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And finally made it to our Bed and Breakfast in Derry.

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We found a parking space, walked right up to the door to ring the bell…and nothing. So we knocked. Nothing.

We asked around on the street to see if the neighbors knew when the innkeeper would be back. Nothing. It was one of the two moments on the trip when I really wished my cell phone worked.

With no pay phones in sight, we headed into town.

We had decided to visit Derry because it’s actually an intact, walled city.

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What we hadn’t realized is that “The Troubles” are still very fresh in Derry. It’s not that we ever felt unsafe or anything like that. But there are freshly painted murals of children hiding from violence. Signs begging for people to be let out of prison. The violent part of The Troubles might be behind them, but the actuality of peace and agreement within government are still fresh.

The husband and I wandered around a bit, looking at the history, really needing a bathroom. Until finally we did the best thing two actors in a foreign country can do: we walked into the theatre and asked for help. (more…)

 

The Raven August 2, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 6:32 pm
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So I had a deep and meaningful experience with a yogurt-eating raven.

thumbnail_IMG_1006When Chris and I were in Ireland, we spent an amazing day in Killarney National Park. Toward the end of the day, the husband left me in this tiny brick courtyard for a few minutes. It was really quite lovely. I had a nice bench in the shade to sit on. Ivy climbed the sides of brick walls. Other than a smattering of tourist trash, the scene was idyllic.

A then this raven swooped down and landed on a bench about five feet from mine where someone had left their yogurt trash. It was one of the kinds where there’s like a pocket of fruit and then a pocket of yogurt. Whoever had left it had shoved their spoon and napkin inside before half-heartedly flipping the foil top back over. (Take a moment, digest that people are so awful as to leave that sitting out, and we’ll move on with my awesome story.)

The raven hopped toward the yogurt container and pulled back the thin foil lid. The foil flipped back on the raven’s head. The raven moved it again. It flipped back. Finally, he got the lid pulled back enough it would stay open. Then he picked up the spoon, tossed it on the ground. Picked up the napkin, tossed it on the ground. He leaned down to eat the yogurt remains, and his creepy raven senses told him I was staring. He looked up at me, then twisted the yogurt cup so he could eat with his butt toward me.

I watched the raven’s butt for a bit until he was done with the yogurt. He hopped down from the bench onto the bricked ground and looked at me all smug… with white yogurt covering his beak. (more…)

 

The Ferns of Blarney July 13, 2017

Most of you have probably heard of the Blarney Stone. If you haven’t, here’s the short of it. There’s a stone in Blarney Castle, and if you kiss it, which is way harder than it sounds, btw, you’ll be blessed with the gift of eloquence.

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Naturally, when planning our Ireland expedition, we decided we had to swing by Blarney Castle. Yes, I have heard all the awful stories of locals doing terrible things to the stone at night. But if I’m going to start the zombie apocalypse, I’d just assume get the monster germs that end the world doing something memorable.

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We had planned to be at Blarney Castle for like an hour. Get in, kiss the stone, and leave. Honestly when we saw the price of admission to the castle grounds I rolled my eyes a bit. It was quite a bit of money to kiss a stone. But then they gave us a map of the Blarney Castle Grounds, and it all made sense. (more…)

 

The Travelers in the Tower July 3, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 8:00 pm
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I grew up in Upstate New York in a two hundred-year-old house. I’m pretty used to old buildings… by American standards. But you go over to Ireland, and there’s just a four hundred-year-old church chilling out on a street corner like it’s nothing. Or stone walls that are a few hundred years old separating farms.

The level of casual history is just crazy!

We found (in our handy, dandy guide book) a church in Cork that was crazy old, still in operation, and next to a butter museum. And the biggest draw: you get to ring the church bells!

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I got to live my Quasimodo dreams minus the hunch back and crushed feet! (more…)