lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Bad Beer June 11, 2019

Have you ever wondered if you really suck at something, but everyone around you is just too nice to tell you?

The husband and I recently went to a brewery we had never visited before. Visiting local breweries is something we like to do when we travel. You get to taste new beers, support the local economy, and you don’t have to pack anything in your suitcase when you move on. It’s great.

So, we go to this brewery that had decent ratings online and each order a flight of beer.

It was, without a doubt, the worst craft brew I have ever had in my life. The husband and I were playing backgammon while we drank our nasty beer, and when I suggested another round, he nigh on shouted “No!” I had to explain I meant the game, not the beer.

Here’s the thing. It was a nice-looking tasting room. With fancy seating and purse hooks under the bar. Someone had clearly put a ton of money into the place. Which means they think they’re making good beer.

It was not good beer! (more…)

 

A Moment of Joy November 2, 2018

The world can be a scary place. These days it’s feeling even scarier. But as the wise Dumbledore said, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Those moments can seem hard to find. Running around for work, keeping up that side hustle that pays the bills work doesn’t cover, trying to be a decent friend and informed citizen. There is a constant barrage of pressure to be a hundred things that no one person can fit into their daily schedule.

So when life hands you a moment of joy amidst the chaos, you have to grab onto it with both hands.

My husband found one of the moments of joy…at a Hanson concert. (more…)

 

A Touch of Panic September 14, 2018

I spent October of last year through April of this year living on a tour bus. My whole life revolved around when I was supposed to get on the bus to drive to the next city, venue, or airport. And I made it. Every time.

I went straight from traveling with tour to adventuring in Europe. First week of international travel went totally well, and then it was time for Crete.

A tiny backstory: When I had planned the trip, I wanted to spend two days on Crete to give the husband and myself maximum possibility of fair weather to hike the Samaria Gorge. About a month before we flew to Greece, I got an email saying our flight from Crete to Venice had been canceled. What they really meant was there would be no more flights out of Crete to anywhere ever again. I don’t know if the airport was being condemned or there was a strike planned, but we had to fly out a day early on the last flight that would be leaving the island.

Back to how on time and responsible the husband and I are.

We managed to hike the Samaria Gorge and have a wonderful dinner and then went to sleep. The husband (I swear, I really do love him) set the alarm for like 4:45 in the morning.

We went to bed and woke up at 5:05. (more…)

 

The Super Human Liver September 11, 2018

Have you ever met someone and thought, You are a caricature of a human?

I met one such gentleman in Chania, Crete.

He was a restaurant owner with homemade Raki. And his homemade Raki was better than the store made kind. His version of the traditional liquor didn’t have the terrible burn of the types the husband and I had sampled before.

The restaurant owner was about in his fifties, the cheerful silver fox type, and liked to lure people into his restaurant by offering them free shots of his Raki. It worked. Between the yummy Raki and beautiful live music, the husband and I were hooked.

The thing is, he’d do a shot with you. And with the next people who came into the restaurant. And with the people who agreed to get up and dance. And with the couple who ordered dessert.

We tried to count, and he took like fourteen shots while we were eating dinner. And the man was still standing! I don’t even know how that’s possible!

There was another English-speaking couple sitting behind us, and they finally asked how many shots he usually took in a night.

His response: “It depends.” (more…)

 

The Meteora March July 17, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I love climbing things. There’s something about using your own two legs to hike up something that makes you feel accomplished and insubstantial all at the same time.

When we were in Greece not so very long ago, we decided to visit the beautiful monasteries of Meteora—

IMG_0962

—positioned on spires of stone. Monks moved up onto the rocks for seclusion. Some even going so far as to build themselves homes in the sides of rocks.

Of course the world being what it is, seclusion has been replaced by tourism, but the monasteries are amazing and well worth the visit.

The trick is you have to climb to most of them. And not like a flight or two of stairs. Like a lot, a LOT, of stairs.

Theoretically, you’re supposed to be able to hike between all of the monasteries and visit them in one day…we didn’t do that. (more…)

 

The Knees VS The Heart March 6, 2018

It’s official. I’m old.

Not that old, but too old to do things like this:

IMG_4059

Recently, touring with The Wizard of Oz delivered the husband and me to Saint Louis, and, of course, we had to take a trip to the City Museum.

IMG_4045

The place is amazing. It’s like an adult got day drunk, stumbled by a kids’ park, and was like, “Damn. Kids have all the fun. I’m going to build something better where adults can climb stuff. And there’s going to be a bar inside the jungle gyms. No! Multiple bars. Yeah.” (more…)

 

Wanderlust: Booking Edition February 20, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hi, my name is Megan, and I have wanderlust.

I’m living on a tour bus right now, I’m in a hotel every night, this is going to be my life until May…and I’m planning a trip for my two weeks off.

Yep. Not staying at home refusing to leave my house or put on pants for two weeks. I’m planning an overseas adventure. Part of me really wanted to go back to Ireland, but we’re going to Greece and (back to) Italy instead.

I had this grand plan where I was going to book like one hotel room a week. Space everything out so as not to get stressed. But booking travel is like an addiction for me. Sure, I just booked a hotel in Athens…but I could look at Delphi.

Yeah, I should be a responsible author, but what’s the best way to get from Santorini to Crete (it’s a ferry, in case you were wondering.)

What was meant to take more than a month to do took me all of six days. And not because I wanted to get it over with, or because it was cheaper. I couldn’t stop looking at Booking.com. I scoured like some people swipe through tinder. (more…)