Photo Journal | San Francisco, CA.

We didn't ride the cable cars.

Which isn't to say that we were boycotting the cable cars, or that there was something wrong with the cable cars. We just didn't know how to get on them.

No, really. In the movies, you see people just hop on them while they're still moving. Nobody ever buys a ticket, or pays for anything - instead you just see some guy in a leather jacket jumping on board with a churro and dragging some girl along behind him. 

So that was Kyle's plan, minus the churro. But me - the little rule follower "what-if-we-get-caught-and-they-arrest-us" goody-goody wasn't on board for that. Literally. "Uh... don't we have to buy a ticket?" I asked. "Are there tickets? Surely you have to pay, right?"

Google probably would have known the answer to that. Or Siri. I'm sure it wouldn't have been that hard to figure out, had we actually tried. But instead we were like, "Well... I don't see a place to buy tickets." (While standing in the middle of the street. Not-that-near the cable cars.) "Oh well! Let's go do something else."

The truth is, I was more interested in finding The Full House house and Kyle was more interested in finding food. So we agreed to "come back to the cable cars", eventually, at some point, "before we leave". 

How to Reduce the Stress of Traveling.

Overheard at the terminal bar last week in the Kansas City airport-- guy asks the bartender if he can have a "mock tail" (similar to a cocktail, but with less alcohol - and by "less", I mean zero). The bartender says, "Sure. What would you like?" 

The guy doesn't know. He just stands there for a minute, like he's never been asked that question before. Finally he says, "Like, a wine?" 

First of all - the fact that he just called it "a wine" made my entire day. 

Now the bartender looks confused. I don't blame him. "Wine?" He asks. "So... juice." 

The guy shrugs. "Well, I don't know how you do it." 

I should also point out that this guy is well into his twenties - more likely early thirties. He is old enough to know what "a wine" is.  

My flight was boarding shortly after, so I don't know what happened next. I'm assuming he got his juice, asked the bartender to pour it into a wine glass, and then sent a Snapchat to all of his friends with the caption "Thirsty Thursday". 

A Simple Style | Shopping For Home Decor.

I dragged Kyle into the bookstore the other day to "get books for our bookshelf". 

We have a bookshelf in our living room that I've recently gained the opportunity to re-decorate. And when I say "recently gained the opportunity", I mean "one of my plants died and it's thrown the entire shelf out of whack and now I have all of this space to fill where my dead plant used to be." 

I guess if you gain nothing else from this post - there's a lesson in what happens when you don't water your plants. 

24 Hours in Phoenix, AZ.

We made a pit-stop in Phoenix last year on our way from The Grand Canyon to San Francisco (which is not at all between "The Grand Canyon and San Francisco", for those of you familiar with geography, but it was one of the places that had an airport relatively nearby - and also because, during the planning process, I said, "Ooh! We should go to Phoenix! It's so cool! I was there a few years ago with some friends, we loved it.")

We LOVED IT. In hindsight, I'm trying to remember why we loved it - maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was -2 degrees back home and in Phoenix we got to wear bikinis and drink margaritas all day. That might have had something to do with it.  

But I managed to forget about all of that when I said "We should to go to Phoenix!", "It's going to be so fun!", "They have cactuses there!".... so we went to Phoenix. They have cactuses there. 

How to Shop Your Own Closet.

I was inspired to write this post because I *didn't* buy a jacket. 

Back story - I have fifteen thousand jackets at home. Probably. I haven't counted, but I know that when I open up our "coat closet" (also doubles as our laundry/shoe/vacuum/Swiffer closet) most of the coats that I see in there are mine. Maybe three of them are Kyle's. And one of those I bought for him. 

This post could have just as easily been titled "Confessions of a Shopaholic" or "How to be a Crazy Coat Lady" - but honestly, that's a little embarrassing and - based solely on my experience today - I am clearly turning a corner outside of my consumerism mindset. 

Exhibit A: I did not buy a jacket. I *almost* did. But then, I didn't! Yay! (Isn't this a great story so far?) 

Study Abroad Series | 3 Days in Paris.

There are plenty of great reasons to spend a semester abroad: to study the culture, to further your education, to meet new people and try new things and heck, who knows, maybe you'll even learn another language. Wouldn't that be neat?

That's why I was "supposed" to be going. All of those reasons. Specifically the language one, since I minored in Spanish.

But also, I reaaaaally wanted to go to Paris. I didn't know what I wanted to do there exactly, other than "see the Eiffel Tower", "wear a beret" and "eat a pastry" - but I had always wanted to go. It was a bucket list thing. All of my childhood tv-obsessions went to Paris at some point: Mary Kate and Ashley, the Rugrats, Rachel from Friends -- well, technically she turned down Paris to stay with Ross, but still. She made it seem like it was a pretty big deal! 

I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower. In person. I'd had a poster of it up on the wall of my college dorm room for two years, right next to Audrey Hepburn. It was a cliche - the equivalent of walking into a frat boy's dorm room and seeing a poster of Pamela Anderson (is she still "the hot girl" on posters? I don't even know). It was something I occasionally daydreamed about: walking down a Parisian sidewalk, wearing a polka-dot dress, sitting in a French cafe, eating a scone while reading a book and listening to everyone around me talking about art and culture and fancy-French-stuff (in my wild daydreams, I can speak fluent French, apparently). 

So when the opportunity presented itself - to hit up Paris for a weekend while studying abroad in Madrid - I was like, "YEP! Let's GO!" ... because how often does the "opportunity present itself" to go to Paris? 

Focus on the good.

My flight home from Minneapolis was delayed on Thursday. Actually, my flight home from Minneapolis was delayed three times on Thursday. 7 o'clock, 8 o'clock, "hopefully we'll be out of here by 9," they said, "as long as the weather clears up".

It's always promising when the flight crew uses words like "hopefully" and "as long as".

I texted Kyle. "Looks like we're delayed again." Since he was supposed to be picking me up from the airport that night. "At this rate I won't get home until after midnight." And we both still had to get up and go to work the next morning.

Apparently there were storms in Chicago. At least that's that they kept telling us. I didn't see any of the little-rain-cloud-icons on my Apple Weather App (because as soon as they made this announcement - I whipped out my phone to double-check, like an asshole) - but otherwise, I had no reason not to believe them.

Why would they make that up? It's "raining" in Chicago - aka, the pilot is missing, or the engine fell out, or one of the wings snapped off on our last flight and we've got to duct tape it back together.... but... those things sound scary and hard to explain, so... "There are 'storms' in Chicago." (I don't really know how it all works, but I'm 99.9% certain this is not how it works.)

I tried to imagine a scenario where I walked up to the counter, pulled out my iPhone and said: "Um... excuse me? Hi. Yes." *shoves iPhone in their face* "According to my weather app here, it looks like there aren't actually any storms in Chicago. See? If there were, you would see little-rain-cloud-icons, but there aren't any. So..." *Points to phone, as if talking to my grandma* "Look - you can even scroll out to see the future forecast - this one can predict until 5AM tomorrow. And look! No rain! See?" 

I'm sure that would go over well. They would probably say, "You're right! Thanks for bringing that totally-accurate-weather-app to our attention! Our high-tech-weather-checker-thing must be broken. Alright, ya'll - hop on board!"

And then we would all die because the plane tried to land during a storm in Chicago. And the CEO of the airline would go on the news and say, "Yea, look, some girl told us it would be okay? She said this app on her phone was TOTALLY trustworthy. She looks at it every day to decide what she's going to wear! You know, like jeans, or a sweater- And it's only been wrong, like, ten percent of the time. We thought those were good odds!"