Hello friendos and fellow Swifties!
It sure seems like a lot has happened in the past 90 days. I guess that’s adult life. I’ve had some incredible concert experiences, fun and relaxing trips and career wins to go with some mostly personal dramas, so without further ado, it’s time for this edition of Reflections from the Road to SPEAK NOW.
Not sure there will ever be a better concert than Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. Rae and I got tickets for Night 2 in Tampa and it was flawless. FLAWLESS. TS is a lyrical genius and as a writer myself, I just sit in awe that I get to live in the same time period. (I’m ready for Tay and Lin-Manuel to collab on something and make my head fully explode.) I literally have to stop myself from turning this entire post into a love letter to TS.
After seeing her live, I went from casual Swiftie to pro. No other artist can do what she does. I have listened to nothing else since April, reliving the best moments from the show and sure, dancing around when I’m by myself. (Which has not been often enough if I’m honest.)
I’ll be fighting for 2024 tickets next week in Stockholm, Edinburgh, and wherever else I registered. (I did all I could – doesn’t really matter where we go as long as we get tickets!)
We were invited to an incredible #AllTheDisneyThrills media trip a few weeks back and I’m still wrapping my head around 4 parks in 4 days, a Cirque du Soleil show, nighttime event at Typhoon Lagoon, Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular… I’m wiped out just reliving it now! I don’t know how in the world we used to go from morning to night at the parks when we were kids, but I’m grateful we had the Animal Kingdom Lodge to nap in during the hottest part of the days. (And then wake up to giraffes and zebras right outside!)
For the first time, I got to ride:
- Tron – so fast & fun!
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway – cute!
- Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run – fun but won’t do again due ot motion sickness (I can’t do screens!)
- Guardians of the Galaxy* – possibly my favorite ride in Orlando – *3rd time on this one. Loved it even more.
We met some awesome fellow creators (TwinSauce, Sharpe Family Singers, Listen2Lena, The Traveling Child and too many more to list) and relived many childhood memories in the process. Peep some of our best videos from the experience below!
Videos from Disney
THE STORY OF US
Rick and I stole away to Costa Rica for a road trip to Arenal Volcano with our pals at Vamos Rent-a-Car .We had so much fun, I almost forgot I was mega sick most of the time and ended up getting bitten by a bullet ant, the most painful inspect bite in the world. Cool, cool, cool.
Other than that, we had a ball. We splurged on a gorgeous hotel, rappelled down some enormous waterfalls and met some very cute wildlife. (Not the bullet ant. To heck with that guy.)
About three days before the WITS conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I did what I do best: booked a last-minute plane ticket! Sipping piña coladas, doing beachside yoga and dancing in the street with Alex, Jess and Katie was just the escape I needed. The hardest part about my best pals being scattered all over the world is that I don’t see them enough. But man, is it precious time when we are together.
I landed an awesome new gig that I can’t talk about just yet but within a week or two I’ll share on social media. Hope you like the sound of my voice 👀
She blew it! My vein, that is. I had an endoscopy a couple weeks ago (stress ain’t the vibe, y’all), and the nurse didn’t listen when I told her something was wrong. I’ve had the nastiest black and purple arm ever since. Fortunately it looks worse than it feels. But still! It doesn’t help with my discomfort around needles.
In other health news from the past 90 days, I lost a toenail, was stung in the face by bees multiple times on multiple days, had a gastric attack that nearly put me in the hospital and was bitten by a bullet ant in Costa Rica. And don’t get me started on Rick, who somehow ends up with stitches every 60 days or so.
Rick and I just worked with Three Oaks Law, an all-woman firm here in Jacksonville, to create our estate plan, living will and power of attorney documents. It needed to be done eventually I guess, but we were motivated by what happened to our friend’s parents last year. We’d never want our loved ones to have to go through probate and the ugliness of the court system to divvy up our crap. And the sad truth is that we have individuals in our life who think they might inherit our stuff if we were to meet an untimely demise. If that sounds cryptic and dark, well, it’s so much worse than what I can hint at here. Never thought “disinheriting” would be something I’d have to think about, but here we are. I’ll share more about the process soon.
There’s no appropriate way to share some of the situations I’m walking through that have been really stressful and impossible and damaging. As much career awesomeness as I’ve achieved in the last two years, foster care / adoption and elder care, I guess you could call it, has just about done me in. I have barely been at my house for several months as a result. I think we’re on the other side … but I’ve said that before and then all hell breaks loose for however long. Pray with me that the worst is behind us and that we’re entering a season of joy and peace and calm.
In the midst of a lot of tough stuff, we had one of the worst Airbnb guests we’ve ever had. This “influencer” is definitely going to get the special Angie Away TikTok treatment so I won’t share all the details just yet. But suffice it to say, I hope no one ever confuses what I do for a living (creating helpful content to promote destinations) with what she does (threatening lawsuits, extortion and bad reviews if she doesn’t get to stay for free).
I hope that there aren’t so many more evil freeloaders like her than there are hard-working pros like me. But I’ve been around long enough to know that’s probably a pipe dream.
I typed and erased this section 10 times already because there’s so much I want to say, but because I want to honor my relationships, I won’t. I’ll say this: I have learned, yet again, that my intuition is never wrong. For many years I gaslighted myself into thinking I was just an anxious worrier and that I needed to relax. Would that I could!
As an HSP, I have a deep, natural understanding of people and their intentions – often before they even know what they’re up to. It’s a gift, and one I didn’t realize was a gift until pretty recently. But in the future, here’s the lesson: if the vibes are off, then that’s what we’re going with. No more willy-nilly, wishy-washy, let’s-see-how-it-plays out nonsense.
I could not be more ambivalent about Zuckerberg’s new app, Threads. Sure I joined – it’s basically a requirement to be everywhere in my line of work – but I’m not as excited about it as everyone else seems to be. Maybe I’m jaded but it feels like deja vu. We all get excited to connect and share good stuff and then come the bots and the politics and the algorithms and the ads. I don’t have it in me to invest too much time on another network that’ll flame out eventually. That said, you can follow me here 😉
The book publishing process is all new to me, of course, and I must tell you that I am haunted by the copyediting process. I learned one set of writing rules in primary school. Then in journalism school it was all about AP Style. (Like, you fail if you get ONE THING wrong in an article. I was one of the few who ever got an A, so yeah, I like those rules.)
Imagine my discomfort when I got my copy edits back and we’re using a whole different style guide. I mean, it’s not the end of the world. But spelling out times and ages makes my skin crawl more than it should.
We can make our plans but God determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9
NEVER GROW UP
My toxic trait is that I am virtually incapable of booking a trip more than a few weeks in advance. See: Costa Rica and Puerto Rico in the past 90 days. A lot of this has to do with the fact that I just don’t know what fresh obstacles I’m going to be facing with parenthood and foster care and whatnot, so I have a hard time committing to anything too far in advance.
On that note, we just decided that we’re going to visit Yellowstone next month. Yes, in peak season. Nope, nothing is booked yet. So this should be a hilarious misadventure, like always, with the added risk of bears. Wish us luck!
BETTER THAN REVENGE
By the next edition of Reflections, I should be close to announcing the title, cover and release date for my book! So that’s just something I never imagined being able to say and it feels so good. I’ll be sharing all of that in the newsletter FIRST, so if you haven’t signed up, now’s a great time to do it.
See you back here Oct. 1 for Vol. 56 of Reflections from the Road. In the meantime, I’m off to fight dragons and people who throw rocks at things that shine 😉
Question of the Quarter: Money is no object. Where. are you going?
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