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I’m Too Sexy for my Hep Shots

Since Erin is busy gettin’ busy with her hubs who made it home yesterday, I thought it might be helpful to address some of the questions I’ve been getting about my level of preparedness for this upcoming trip.

Do you remember how my prep work for our trip to Hawaii entailed attempting to get bikini-ready by faking a tan and trying to work out?

Well, my preparations for our (much longer) trip to Costa Rica are panning out a bit differently.

The truth of the matter is, in my attempts to resurrect my feelings of carefree youth by quitting my job, booking a ticket to a foreign country, increasing my alcohol tolerance level – the works – I’ve started to realize that in light of this upcoming experience, I’m going to be regressing a hell of a lot further back than I ever wanted to go.

You see, I’m not just reverting – I really am a baby.

I’ll explain:


The most glaringly obvious sign of my unpreparedness is the fact that I don’t speak a lick of Spanish.  Okay, fine.  I learned the words “platos” and “cerveza” from some of the guys I worked with at a restaurant, but that’s really about it.

Enter Rosetta Stone.  I’ve been working my way haphazardly through the lessons over the past couple of weeks, but I’m going to have to pick up the pace if I want to do anything more than tell people, “The cat is black.”  El gato es negro.  And there’s a good possibility I screwed that up.

Let’s face it – it’s unfair of me to expect people to speak my language while I’m living in their country.  But with my computer’s microphone not cooperating, the best I can expect in the end is to sound like a 2-year-old.  But I can deal with that.  Oh, and I’ll need to be spoken to the same way.  “No, Katie – caliente!”


Once I (finally) graduated college and joined the real world (I may have had a couple of missteps along the way), I thought I was free of the back-of-the-mind burden that comes with living paycheck to paycheck.

Well, it turns out that the idea of living with no paycheck at all is a bit more daunting.

Of course, I would not have quit my job if it would’ve meant losing the house or becoming delinquent on my student loan payments – I’m not an idiot.  But still, it was kind of nice having my “cushion” of pay every couple weeks.  It was nice to be able to spring for the fancy $10 bottle of wine, ya know?

But you know what?  A little bit of life experience holds more value to me right now than a new car or hardwood floors.  Besides, my ’99 Chevy Tracker only has 140,000 miles – she’s still got a lot of life in her.


Do you remember the plethora of immunizations/vaccinations you needed to get when you were little?

They usually came in the form of a shot administered to your arm, thigh, or my personal favorite, your butt.  Well up until a couple weeks ago, I didn’t really remember these shots.  I’m not really a queasy person when it comes to needles or blood, but let’s just say that a Typhoid vaccination injection is not one of the key ingredients to a kick-ass party.  The shot for Hepatitis A and B wasn’t too bad, except for the looming thought that I need to have it repeated two more times.

By the way, here’s a text excerpt from several hours after I got my immunizations, one in each arm.  (For some reason the nurse wouldn’t honor my butt request):

Me: I am now immunized against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhoid.  My arms hurt.  They hurt so good.  :)

Erin: Lucky!  I want MY arm to hurt!  (Haha, and why not Hep C?  Guess they knew they’d be wasting their time.  Slut.)  ;)

Ahh, I love traveling with loving, trusted friends.


So I just want to clear a little something up from this post, in which Erin described some of the lovely ailments her doctor told her to look forward to experiencing during a trip to Costa Rica.  Anything we might acquire while there would likely be due to us being travelers (aka. babies) in a foreign country.

See, our bodies are used to little buggies in the water here, but American little buggies are different from the little buggies in the Costa Rican water, which can lead to something known as travelers’ diarrhea.  It’s not because their water is unsafe – unless we decide to drink directly out of a river, which wouldn’t be smart no matter where we are in the world.

We’re lucky enough to be staying with a really great family (more on that later), and we anticipate many, many good times to be had in the sweltering jungle heat between bouts of the craps.  Which, it turns out, can be caused by more than just exposing our unacclimated bodies to the elements.  According to our host:

“LMFAO, you will most likely not get the craps unless you drink a lot of Guaro, the Tico moonshine, the water is good to drink right out of the tap in the whole country.  It is no hotter than Frederick Maryland in the summer, or NC.  There is a possibility of being wet during this time of the year and you could be very wet, like Seattle wet, with the small difference that there are dirt roads everywhere and you will most likely be wet and muddy.  But it’s nothing that an icy cold cerveza can’t take care of.

Just wanted to clarify that your doctor’s are quacks and if I am wrong I will buy you both a beer!

Adios from the malaria filled, steamy, sweaty, hot world of Guanacaste Costa Rica!


Okay, so maybe we won’t be adhered to the toilet with explosive diarrhea (darn).   Maybe we won’t be able to fry eggs on our foreheads.  Maybe our bodies won’t be so bloated and water-logged that friends will send us boxes of gas-X and ShamWows.  There is just the slightest, teensy-weensy-tiniest chance that we were exaggerating our hardships just a bit.  But hey, we’re writers – that’s what we do.

Contemplating Waves

A jet plane and a big idea
I jump over the sea
What ifs hot on my trail
But that can’t catch me, no…

-Avett Brothers  

Don’t worry kids, even with all of this Costa Rica talk, I’ll still continue to post about some of our house projects and my attempts to cook.  It seems like so long ago that I showed you our crime-scene guest bathroom, and I haven’t forgotten that I still need to show you how it turned out.  

In case you forgot, the last time I showed it, it looked like this:  

Kate's Guest Bathroom Crime Scene


But since this Costa Rica thing is currently still so fresh – so mind-numbingly, eye-openly, heart-palpitatingly new and exciting, I can’t help but talk about it a little more.  

First, let me just say that the hardest thing about going to work when you know you want to quit, is going to work when you already have quit.  The gray cubicle walls seem a little… grayer… and the harsh neon lighting seems a little… neonier.  It’s like the last couple weeks of a prison sentence.  Except with coffee breaks and I don’t have to worry about my co-workers shanking me on my way to the bathroom.  Usually.  

The interesting thing about going back to work after making such an announcement are the slew of questions that follow.  And the questions with their associated reactions to my answers are different depending on who’s asking:  

  • So you’re leaving here to go work on a farm?  For free?!
  • What does your husband think?
  • Why??
  • Can I come with you?
  • A farm?  Working for free?  REALLY??!
  • What will you do when you get back?
  • So like… aren’t you afraid you’re going to get raped?
  • Isn’t it going to be hot there?

And my personal favorite…  

  • What are you trying to accomplish by doing this?

And my answers are:  

  • Yes
  • Why do you care?  (He’s supportive, by the way.)
  • The heart wants what it wants.
  • Do you want to work on a farm?  No?  Then no.
  • Yes.  Yes.  Yes.
  • I have no clue.
  • Always.
  • I ain’t afraid of a little sweat.
  • I realize an existential heightening of awareness and enlightened state of mind along with the final, clear realization of what I’m supposed to be doing with my life might be a bit too much to ask out of this trip.  So let’s just say I want to do something fun.  I want to meet new and interesting people.  I want to experience life for a moment unchained by the conventional constraints that have me constantly worrying about the future.  I want to see the sights today. Smell the smells today. Taste the tastes, hear the music, and walk the trails that don’t have to take me anywhere other than where they actually go.

Seriously, guys.  I know to 70% of you this sounds irrational.  And the other 30% tell me they want to do this as well, but it’s not the right time, those loans still need to be paid, they need me right now at work, and on and on and on.  

And on.  

So if you still think we’re crazy or need a better explanation for why we’re doing what we’re doing, please read this.  It should make it a bit more clear.  

And remember that I defied death to take this:  


And Erin and I have both done this:  

Skydive Hawaii


Oh, and Erin has a BIG tattoo:  


So maybe we are a little crazy.  But only a little.  

And I will tell you this – it’s never a good time to quit work.  It’s never a good time to be selfish.  It will always conflict with somebody’s schedule, somebody’s budget, somebody’s feelings.  

A very good friend of mine, Christy Lowery, wrote this:  

“Closing ear to the voices that call,
Would be as seeds of adventure unsown.
Heed not the doubts, feed not the fears
For they will surely blind your path.
Spirit yearning for freedom is your driver now.
Let it take you where it may.

So take all of your questions and turn them back on yourself.  There is a consequence to every decision we make.  If you’re happy with your life, if you are content with your job, then there is no question for you.  But if you long to do something else, then what’s stopping you?  It’s only fear.  But as wise old Amazon book reviewer once told me, “Fearlessness is only attained on the moving side of action.”  

You could stand around and contemplate the waves…  

Heather Brown Print
(Click photo for link to artist's website)


Or you could just jump on in.  

I’m tired of contemplating waves.  

Photo by: Leah B Photography (click photo for link)


In the end, we all have to make our own choices and take our own risks.  

Find the quotes, song lyrics, or other inspirations that work for you.  Of all the ones I posted here, this one was the table-turner for me:  

“It is never too early to start beefing up your obituary.”  – Dos Equis commercial.  

‘Nuff said.

This Blog Is About To Get Even Better. If That’s Possible.

I know, I can’t believe it either.

But as riveting as posts about pet dust bunnies and senseless wine glass violence are, we’re kicking it up a notch, folks.


See how I did that?  That easy.

As Katie revealed earlier, very soon here we’re about to get even less domestic than we were to begin with.  Normally, I’d say the only way that’d be possible is if we moved to rural Arkansas and spent our days on a rickety porch in bare feet and rolled-up overalls blowing mountain songs on whiskey jugs.

But, in this instance, it means we’re blowing off our household duties (ha!  like we did them to begin with) and hitting the road for two whole months.

And this ain’t your grandma’s annual road trip to the Atlantic City slots, either.

All right, we’ve toyed with your emotions enough.

We’ve explained, for the most part, about why and for how long, but it’s finally time to tell you where we’re going–

–And to do so, we’ve arranged a month-long series of events featuring increasingly elaborate tasks our readers must accomplish prior to the “GRAND FINALE REVEAL!” on August 30th at the Molson Amphitheater in Ontario, Canada.  Tickets are on sale now!

–Or I can just tell you that we’re going to Costa Rica.  Hah, how I slay myself!

But, in all seriousness, Costa Rica is, in fact, where we’re going.

And while we’re there from mid-August to mid-October, we’ll be doing some volunteer work for a chili pepper farm, taking a metric ton of photos, sampling fascinating cuisine (for a related topic, see list item #1 below), venturing out on exciting weekend excursions, and generally trying not to contract malaria.

Ok, I’ll admit that was kind of a weak reveal after weeks and weeks of buildup but, in all fairness, we kind of trapped ourselves in a situation where anything short of hearing that we’re launching into outer space was going to be a disappointment to some reader out there.

Plus, it’s not like we’re getting paid to do this blog.  So walk it off.

Besides, going to Costa Rica isn’t even the most exciting news.

In fact, Katie already mentioned the best part in her last post, but you were probably too busy staring at her boobs.  But that’s ok.  I know it’s hard to resist their sweet siren song.

So are you ready to hear the good news (again)?

Cause here it comes…

You’re coming to Costa Rica with us!

 And here’s a little taste of what you’ll be experiencing…

Miravalles Volcano in Guanacaste

Llanos de Cortez, outside Bagaces

Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja

Now, before you arm-sweep everything off your desk into your trashcan and start flipping off coworkers while lugging a briefcase full of smuggled office supplies to your car, I feel I should add a caveat here.

We can’t literally take you with us since you probably have families who’d get all weird and start putting up “Missing” posters with your face on them all over town.

Besides, with six hours of direct, unadulterated exposure to Katie, me, and our incessant, senseless chatter on the flight to Costa Rica, the odds are extremely high that you’d be clawing at that emergency door handle somewhere shortly after takeoff, ready for sweet, silent oblivion.

But we can still take you with us in a less “suicide-y” way.  And we intend to — by continuing this here blog from Costa Rica, so that the tales of our shenanigans might be a shining beacon of light in your otherwise crap life.

Or, you know, just a way for you to burn a quick five minutes each day.

Anyhoo, now that the secret’s out, let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?

Based on my research of the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica in which we’ll be visiting and the opinions of a doctor (or I assume he is… whatever, he wears a lab coat) — as well as the unsolicited advice of a large number of nosy strangers — apparently, Katie and I can look forward to the following:

1.  At least one or more vengeful bouts of “travelers’ diarrhea” that will literally make us wish we’d never been born, let alone left the States.  My doctor gave me the sunny prognosis that there’s about an 85% likelihood that several days of the trip will be spent in agonizing torment in the seventh circle of hell (otherwise known as “the crapper”).  Awesome.  I’m debating whether or not I will subject you guys to this apparently inevitable little incident.  It will largely depend on how bitter and hate-filled I’m feeling after all’s said and done.

2.  Extremely hot, humid conditions.  It will be muggy and steamy and damp.  Also, it will be oppressive and suffocating and moist.  Basically, it will be like living inside someone’s mouth for two months.

3.  Being wet every moment of every day until our skin has absorbed so much water that we look like bloated, Jabba-the-Hut versions of our former selves.  Our little excursion directly coincides with the rainy season, which means fewer tourists (good, cause I hate those people) but also lots of, well,  rain.  Who knew?  So much rain, in fact, that mud becomes a big problem and many roads are impassable during this season.

So that’s the short list of what to expect, for starters.  Rest assured, there will be plenty more related posts to follow as we gain a better understanding of what exactly we’ve gotten ourselves into…

But you know what?

I’m still insanely, unbelievably, losing-my-mind excited about this trip!

Because, after years of living comfortable, unassuming ordinary lives, we’re embarking on a journey that will be equal parts frustrating, enlightening, scary, freeing, challenging, beautiful, lonely, interesting, and different.

And, well, ain’t that what life’s about?

Don’t Let ‘Em Drag You Down

“Stay safe, keep faith, and don’t let ’em drag you down.”

That’s what the gate guard said to me when I was headed back to the installation from my lunch break a few weeks ago.  Okay, so he says that to everyone.  Every car – always, “Stay safe, keep faith, and don’t let ’em drag you down.”  It’s his mantra – that thing he repeats over and over again just to get himself – and others – through the day.

But that day, for some reason, it meant so much more.

Those of you who’ve been keeping up with us have seen that Erin has had a busy couple of weeks – getting hired, getting fired (err… quitting), and cultivating an overall level of squirreliness that’s borderline-scary.

Even for her.

But I’m about to explain this, since it’s finally come to the point where I actually can.

See, I gave notice at my place of employment last week as well.  And while it didn’t involve high-heel shootouts or greased piglets, it did involve a certain amount of uncertainty.  After nearly 2 1/2 years at the place, it’s the longest I’ve consistently worked anywhere.


In fact, one year I had to file taxes for 7 jobs in 3 different states.  So this?  This was a feat.

What’s crazy is that it was a good job.  A very good job.  Oh, and that whole deal about getting a paycheck was pretty great too.  But somewhere along the ride, it went from newness and excitement to this and this.  And while most people would still be grateful to even have a job, what I’m looking for is something else.  Experience.  Stimulation.  Life.

How’s that for introspective?

I know I have a passion for something, but it definitely isn’t this:

(I stole Erin’s picture because the sad reality is that mine looks pretty much the same.  But cheaper.)

And I’m pretty sure it’s not government work.  So after 27+ years on this earth, I still can’t tell you what my passion is.  But after 12 years of thorough research, I can definitely tell you what it isn’t:

  • Washing dishes
  • Selling jewelry
  • Waiting tables
  • Wearing suits
  • Fixing watches
  • Giving tours
  • Hanging clothes
  • Making spreadsheets
  • Kissing asses
  • Watching children
  • Flipping burgers
  • Sorting CD’s

In fact, the only commonality I actually liked with each of these jobs was the people.  Be it the people I worked with or the people I helped, I always enjoyed them.

So after much thought and consideration about what I actually wanted to do, I eventually approached my equally professionally-dissatisfied friend with a proposition:

How about we take this blog on the road?

All it took was a weekend trip to Frederick, sushi bribes, lots of alcohol, and a quote from Thoreau (“How vain it is to sit down to write when you haven’t stood up to live.”) to convince her we both needed this adventure.  And I might have let her see my boobs.


Actually all it took was a quick Skype session with her husband, and we were ready to roll.  The rest was just for fun.

So that’s what we’re doing.  Actually, we’re not driving.  We’re flying.  Then busing.  Then walking.  Then riding.  But we’ll get there, and there we will stay for 61 days.

Where?  Well it’s taking a bit of planning (not exactly my forte), and all will be revealed very shortly.

In the meantime… Stay safe, keep faith, and don’t let ’em drag you down.