The best laid plans of mice and men go aft astray ...

I'm sure you've all been there. At the beginning, it seems easy. You're in that morning coffee-high phase where everything is possible. You can get a workout in before work every day, keep up around the house, take on extra freelance work, and travel 90 percent of your summer weekends, all while documenting each adventure on the ol' blog. Well, the run before work was never a part of my game plan and I tried to scale back on the freelance work. But the last one I was really envisioning as a fun summer project where I'd fill ya in on all sorts of travel adventures with witty writing, travel tips and of course some awesome photos.

Since it's Evan's first week back at school as Mr. P-who-teaches-chemis-try, I thought it only fitting that he give me a grade on my attempt: C-

Yup, I only managed to post a handful of times and have way more photos and stories waiting in the wing than I do on the page ... err screen. But maybe that's a good thing? It means I'll have material to fill the space in the coming months and instead of quickly posting about the "whats" of our trip, I can take my time reflecting and weaving together some of my favorite stories: when we happened upon rats in the Mediterranean, (almost) bonded with an Italian girl on the train who knew "cups," experienced a little Italian heat for not finishing our meal, got caught in a (terrifying!) storm while biking (alone!) in Tuscany, walked through olive groves by moonlight, and found an oasis atop the busy streets of Rome.

But for now, I am letting those thoughts and stories germinate while I enjoy a new destination this weekend: home. Yes, it is quite exotic and a place I haven't been in a while. I looked back through my calendar the other day and realized that this will be my third weekend at home since Memorial Day where we don't have company or some other major social event - and those other two days were way back in June. So as you can imagine, I'm spending the weekend getting the house back in shape*, going on a run, and maybe, if I get to it, sorting through some travel photos.

It's interesting how a bit of travel really changes your perspective on things. Yes, flying can be glamorous but most often it is not. Besides the fact that tickets cost a fortune, the act of traveling via airplane is pretty much the same as traveling by an other means: it's just transportation. Point A to point B. Whether you're in a car, plane, bus or train, luggage needs to be loaded, you have to wait to board, sometimes the air doesn't work, you get hungry, have to wait to use the bathroom, and there are inevitable delays.

When you fly standby you are privy to a peak behind the scenes that unmask the illusion of luxury; traveling is just a numbers game. Pilots traveling as passengers hop into jump seats so that you can get on the plane (like when your friend in college rides on the floor so you can all make it to Mall of America in the same car). You follow the stats online religiously for weeks prior to departure, tracking as the open seats fluctuate. And sometimes, when those numbers don't work quite in your favor, you get left behind.

If this guy hadn't come running to the gate I would've made it on!

Of course this doesn't mean we don't appreciate this lovely little travel situation we find ourselves in these days. It's just fun, especially for someone who already ponders things while flying, to have new thoughts to think on.

And now, I'm off to unwind the way most normal people do - with a movie and a fried egg. What? You don't eat fried eggs every night? It's kind of my MVP of night-time snacks.

* In typical E+C fashion, "getting the house back in shape" involves a little more than laundry and groceries (although those are begging for attention too!). 
Here is what the office looks like right now:

And the walls of our upstairs:

Oh, house projects, how I've missed thee. It sure feels good to be grounded for a bit!

Wondering how we're flying standby this summer? Read about Evan's job at the airport here.

Summer 2013 Destinations:
Fairbanks, Alaska (I have more to say about this amazing trip!)
New Jersey (and some NYC)
St. Louis
TO COME: New Jersey, Part 2; North Carolina; Colorado

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