• Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    2016 in review

    I had some big goals for 2016. Most of the goals were reasonable, but still some entirely unreasonable ones snuck in. These were the goals I wasn’t going to hold myself to because I had no control over other people’s actions, but I couldn’t help but keep these outlandish expectations as a yardstick. Maybe I watched too much Parks & Rec because I made a binder for my Writing Year, made quarterly goals, and decorated it with stickers. Some of my goals I now see as unrealistic (like blog 4 times a week. Who has time for that?), and some of them I forgot to write down, because I didn’t…

  • Three Sisters hiking loop
    Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    3 Sisters: Day One

    Hey, let’s go for a hike. We’re a hiking sort, me and Andy. Every year we try to spend at least a week in some mountains, walking around. That’s what they call it in other languages: walking. It takes some of the magic out of it, I think. Hiking is more than walking–it implies at least a small amount of challenge, an ample dose of isolation, and a great deal of scenery. We picked The Three Sisters Wilderness area in central Oregon, west of Bend. The highlight of the area, you may have guessed, are three volcanoes called The Three Sisters. Nicknamed Faith, Charity, and Hope, these three volcanoes have been recently…

  • Happy Hour,  Lifestyle,  Writing

    Happy Hour Explorers: The 5 Spot

    Happy Hour in Savannah isn’t found solely in downtown. To get away from the crowds and the tourists and still have a decent and affordable afternoon is totally doable. Enter Habersham Village and The 5 Spot. This is another offering from the Gaslight Group, which also owns B. Matthews, Blowin’ Smoke, and Abe’s on Lincoln.       But the purpose of this restaurant seems to be the neighborhood watering hole. The happy hour deals are great: Monday through Friday, 3-6 pm. They offer $3 domestic bottles, $1 off draft beer, $4 glasses of wine, $4 wells. In addition, each day of the week offers a special, like Martini Mondays where…

  • Lifestyle,  Writing

    Brain Input

    There are so many methods to entertain ourselves these days, so much so that I wonder how over-stimulated I actually am. When I begin a new story that I am unsure of how it will unfold, I try to surround myself with topics that relate to the experience I’m trying to portray, or the questions I am hoping to ask. But with so much media, it isn’t just books that I use as brain input. One of the ways I have taken to expanding my world is listening to podcasts. Since I’ve been home long enough to restart my long walks, I’ve been catching up on my extensive list. Perhaps…

  • Books,  Inspiration,  Lifestyle,  Writing

    Preparation

    To make ready beforehand. Preparation. The word has a Latin etymology, and of course, an Old French ending. Perhaps the origin of a word doesn’t matter much, but we take in words with so much invisible baggage we aren’t aware of how we judge our hodge-podge language. Judging only by the word’s origin, we attribute the sound of it to be more florid, fancy, a bit more high-falutin’. But “preparation” isn’t a fancy thing, quite the opposite. Preparation is working in the dirt, long, late hours, years of toil. So perhaps we should shorten preparation to “prep work,” as this has Dutch and German origins, and sounds more populist because of it.…

  • Happy Hour,  Lifestyle,  Writing

    Happy Hour Explorers: 9 Drayton

    Nestled in downtown Savannah on Drayton, almost to Bay Street, is 9 Drayton. In the place that I will forever think of as Zunzi’s 2, is a new, upscale restaurant. The menu looks pretty fancy,and when in a fancy bar, I order a fancy thing. The Happy Hour at 9 Drayton is Tuesday through Sunday, 4-6 pm. Their website claims they have “fabulous drink specials,” but from our exploration, we found that the Happy Hour deal was only $2 off drinks. This means that while the beer is affordable, specialty cocktails are still going to run about $10. I chose the Little Hummingbird, which is a champagne cocktail, because it was a…

  • Adventure,  Inspiration,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Big Five Dive Eve

    Just a few more hours until we head up to Lake Superior for our first dive for Big Five Dive! The Stuff The vans are packed to the gills with dive gear and photography gear (separate, of course, not everything is rated for 100 meters underwater). Steve Plowman of Plowman’s Collision has lent us the vans, and we intend to return them in just as good of a shape as when he sent us off with them. We bought six tarps to make sure.     We’ll be snacking on all of those glorious chips from Bettermade. I. Can’t. Wait.   Jessica is making homemade peanut butter oatmeal energy snacks.…

  • Inspiration,  Lifestyle,  politics,  Travel,  Writing

    Plastics

    One more day until the Big Five Dive! 5 Great Lakes, 24 hours. Part of this is for PADI Women’s Dive Day, part to raise awareness for the ecological impact on the lakes, and part because this is an amazing mission. Yesterday we talked PADI Women’s Dive Day, so now let’s talk about the Great Lakes, ’cause they don’t call ’em great for nothing. The Great Lakes have over 20% of the world’s freshwater. I have to tell you, after my other diving experiences, diving here seems like a weird kind of miracle to not be spitting out salt when I surface. But like all good things, a person has to…

  • Inspiration,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Women’s Dive Day

    Part of the impetus of Big 5 Dive was participating in PADI Women’s Dive Day, which is July 16th. Originally cooked up by three of the fourteen participating divers, Stephanie Gandulla, a maritime archaeologist, Jacque Edwards, a graphic designer, and Meaghan Gass, a Great Lakes Educator, the three dive buddies thought “BigFiveDive would be the perfect feat to attempt,” according to Stephanie. So who is PADI and why do we care what she thinks of anything? PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors, and certifies divers around the world from the basic Open Water class to Diver Propulsion Vehicle Diver. So you know, all levels. 2015 was the first…

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