lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

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…)

 

Raki for My Friends August 10, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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There are times in life when you have to push through in order to find something amazing.

The husband and I had a push through moment the night after our amazing hike of the Samaria Gorge.

We were hot. We were tired. We were in pain. We were dirty as hell. And we were hungry.

We got back to Chania, the nice little city where we were staying about an hour from the gorge.

It was like nine at night by then. As we limped our way back toward the hotel, we searched for food. Some restaurants were too nice for us to go in as filthy as we were. Some didn’t have any food allergy-ridden me could actually eat. The grocery store had no pre-made food to be found. It was rough.

I wanted to go to the old town, but it was a long walk away and we were so dirty.

We finally found a mom and pop place that didn’t have any food left, but they had some advice: just head toward old town and you’ll find something to eat.

It was one of those moments in travel when you have to choose between a Cliff Bar and Sleep or good food and fatigue.

We headed toward old town. That part of Chania is surrounded by an old stone wall, so we had to cut back to go over to loop down. It was a whole thing. We made it to old town, and the first thing we saw was a restaurant in the middle of the street.

Restaurant in Old Town

The owner came up to us with a menu (completely ignoring the massive amount of trail dust we were covered in). He told us there would be live music and that we should have some of his homemade raki.

—If you’ve never had raki, it’s like a less burning version of vodka—

We said we loved raki, so we’d have a look around and come back.

He blinked at us like we were crazy and said, “You like raki? Two shots of raki for my friends!” (more…)

 

Post Bus Life June 26, 2018

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I’ve been off the road and back from my adventure for almost three weeks.

That’s a really long time to be sleeping in the same bed, which is a really weird thing to say. I’m getting back into the swing of life with Oz 5000 open and life moving forward on the literary front. But I have noticed a few things that are super weird since getting off the bus.

Food. Fridges are a miraculous thing! You can put so much food in them, and when you come back the next day, you still have food! It’s amazing.

Also fantastic: having a washer and dryer in your house. I can have clean underwear whenever I want! What a thrill! (more…)

 

Back to Life June 15, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I’m home!

After nearly eight months on tour and two weeks in Europe, I’m home.

Jumped right back into rehearsal, sleeping in my own bed, and it’s like I never left at all.

Isn’t that the weirdest damn thing? I lived in a tin can with thirty people for most of a year, flew to the other side of the ocean, and it’s just like… nope, you left the house for a few hours. Nothing more than that.

If it weren’t for the fact that my car needs to be checked out and the mint plant (I’ll have to tell you about the mint) is taking over the entire city, I might believe that I’d really only gone on the world’s longest trip to the grocery store.

But it happened. (more…)

 

The Crete Blockade May 1, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I present you all with a mystery.

The husband and I are currently putting the finishing touches on our trip to Greece and Italy. Because that’s what you do as soon as you finish living on a bus for seven months: you go travel more.

Things were going really well as far as trip planning, but then we got an email cancelling our flight from Crete to Venice. Which is weird. I mean, I’ve had flights changed, or been merged onto a later flight. But they just canceled. Sent an email saying, “Oops, you’re on your own to get off of Crete.” (more…)

 

The Terrifying Trailer April 17, 2018

Filed under: Myths and Legends — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I learned a thing about myself the other day.

I’m afraid of truck trailers.

I discovered this while backstage at a show. We were in a tiny venue where the semis the set travels on were pulled up to one of the quick change stations. There wasn’t a door between us and the trucks. The trailer doors were wide open and pointed right at us as we changed.

These gaping metal voids made the hairs on the back of my neck prickle, and at first I thought maybe it was just because there were shadows in the trailers that looked a little spooky. And then I realized modern media has taught me to be terrified of empty semis!

There are really only three purposes to semis:

1) You’re an evil dude ferrying illegal immigrants across the border. You’re inevitably going to leave the poor immigrants locked in the back too long, and the police are going to arrive just in time to save the smallest child while the other sixty people you have trapped like caged chickens die. (more…)

 

Wanderlust: Booking Edition February 20, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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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…)