Posts Tagged work

Not as fun as penguins

Posted on August 13, 2012 by 3 Comments

One of the big things on my list of things to do while back in the U.S. is… work. While I was at it, I figured, I had an opportunity to show Bode that his old man’s not (just) a travel bum.

Every once in a while we wonder how our current lifestyle will affect him later on in life. There are lot’s of things to consider. We generally see everything as positive. Still, his impression of his parents has to be a bit different than other kids. When most of us grew up, our dad’s left for the office every morning – a pretty normal routine. Well, I don’t get up and head to the office every day. Instead, I say things like “Get in the bus! We’re going to find penguins!” That’s been our normal for the past several years.

So, now I’m going into an office and he wants to know what it’s all about. Mostly, he wanted to look though a microscope. Mission accomplished… but not as fun as penguins.

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Filed Under: California

It’s just a step to the left…

Posted on January 23, 2012 by 2 Comments

It was a quick and exhausting week. I was called back into the old lab for a proverbial ‘laying on of hands’ – I’m sort of known for it. Start with something that doesn’t quite work right and then make it sing. This might shed some light on the vintage VW thing.

But, my big travel week back to the U.S. started with a fizzle. My flight from Puerto Montt was delayed, which resulted in missing my connection and being stranded in Santiago for 24 hours. I even had to get my exit papers nullified (NULO!) and try again the next day. Once I entered the U.S., my flight to SFO was canceled, I was re-routed through Chicago, only to have that change. Fifty hours after leaving, I finally made it to San Francisco via JFK.

Even though I was in a bit of a daze, my first thoughts on coming back to the Bay Area after 2.5 years were that nothing had changed. Things looked about the same. When I walked into my old office building, it was pretty much as it was when I left. When I went to lunch at the bagel place down the street, the same people worked there and they even remembered my order. I met some friends for dinner and everyone seemed about the same. I may have discovered some sort of time warp.

Still, everything was very different from what I now call home. My morning sunrise over the lake and volcano was replaced with a view of a Honda dealership. A leisurely walk to dinner down the shore was replaced with piss-stained sidewalks and vagrants. One thing that continuously stood out was just how convenient life is in the U.S. – my nearest intersection had at least four fast food restaurants and two gas stations. I suppose convenience is often better than inconvenience.

Overall, it was a good trip. I had success at the office and, of course, I also managed to squeeze in some time to see some friends.

Still, nowadays, the best part of any solo trip is the end: coming back home.

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Filed Under: Chile

In Limbo

Posted on January 16, 2009 by No Comments

Of course, the trip is still in the maybe stage now, but it is becoming more and more a possibility. The idea has been scaled back to Mexico, potentially further south.  Jason’s plan is much more extensive than mine.

But I know that Jason has always wanted to spend more time with Bode, and soon he’ll be in school. He wants some time off, and supposing I could get a job in this economy (I’m in marketing, a field most likely to be cut during tough times), I don’t think I could support the family in California. We discussed our other options, move back to Texas near our families, both of us getting a job here in Cali, etc etc. But it kept coming back to doing something we both love, travel and adventure. Why not take advantage of the time we have before Bode is in school, wait for the job market to open more possibilities for both of us….and get the fuck out of here for a while?

So after all my initial hesitation, I am starting to come around to this idea. Jason, on the other hand is having second thoughts. He’s worried about all the things I worried about at the beginning; our retirement, our savings, being homeless and jobless upon our return, health care and getting the van running.

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Filed Under: California

Road Trip?

Posted on January 15, 2009 by 4 Comments

I first suspected my husband of having a midlife crises last summer. I remember catching up with my girlfriends during a girls’ weekend in Napa, and mentioning this. They laughed it off, remembering Jason from our twenties as one of the most laid back guys they knew. He’s still laid back, but I knew he was itching for adventure and wanting to spend more time with me and our son.

My friends and I returned to our house in Alameda on a Sunday before they all flew home. There, I find that he has taken our son Bode to Santa Cruz, and purchased a ’71 Volkswagen camper van.

I can’t say I was totally surprised, and frankly, I was a little relieved. He could have bought an expensive sports car or taken a mistress. Jason has always been a Volkswagen guy, and has always wanted a van. His dad had one when he was a kid (and still had it when we began dating).  Phew, I thought this was the end of it, a little project for him will cheer him up.

A little about the van. He got it for a steal, but I soon found out why. He bought it from two women who had lived in it with their dogs, yes dogs. They’d upgraded to a bigger van, and needed the cash. The van didn’t run, and was towed to our house that week. To say this van was a horrific mess is an understatement. Jason pulled everything out, including the tie-dye curtains and gave the entire inside a power wash. Clumps of dog hair streamed out and flowed down our street.

For a couple months, Jason worked on the van while Bode played in the pop up tent. A little electrical work here, reupholstering some seats there. Bode and I did puzzles on the table inside the van.

But, the restoration wasn’t enough. The van was just the beginning, just a taste of the possibilities. Soon he was talking about traveling around the world. Yes, of course I thought he was crazy at first. But, the more he talked, the more we came up with reasons why now might be the time.

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Filed Under: California