Life updates + other chaos and confusion
Life updates + other chaos and confusion
Hello darling readers! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?? I’d love to have some grand excuse for why I haven’t published a blog post in so long, but I simply don’t have one that would be exciting. Would you even care if I did?
Summer has been an intense mixture of watching and experiencing the effects of global warming, witnessing an actual war happening from afar, trying to disassociate and enjoy the nice days of this wonderful season while we can still afford it – all while watching TikToks in between and feeling our brains slowly turn to mush.
I celebrated a birthday with my Hamburg besties
In June, I celebrated my *gasp* 30th birthday. I decided to have a big group dinner with lots of wine so that I could thoroughly feel my new age the next morning. We celebrated here and had such a lovely view of the water and sunset. Definitely a place I would recommend visiting in the summer.
We ate tapas, we drank wine, and we laughed about getting older. 30 felt a bit daunting to me, but I kept reminding myself that ageing is a privilege. Not everyone gets the privilege to age and see the world, and for that, I’m grateful.
A vacation fit for a queen
My partner and I had decided last year that we would embark on an extended vacation in summer 2022. We decided to do a road trip of sorts across the USA so that we could also visit some family members.
Since the panini, we realized that you can’t really do anything spontaneously anymore. Anything spontaneous is going to cost an arm and a leg – and that is if you can find something because people are simply booking stuff out in advance to ensure their own holidays. We booked some things far in advance, as we had decided the route we would take, but we procrastinated a lot of it too. Therefore, the last 6 weeks or so before heading West were extremely stressful. I’m hoping to never do something like this again. (I will.)
Over four weeks, here are the stops we made for the most part: Boston – New York City – Pensacola – New Orleans – Las Vegas – Portland – San Francisco (and some places in between those last two).
Skip to the next headline if you’re not all that interested in the trip. 😉
Our first stop was Boston, where we visited some of my partner’s family. Any time I can spend time with my three nieces is such a joy to me. I’m an only child, so I’m very grateful that I can fulfil my desire to be an aunt through my partner!
Aside from some family time, we had a very unique experience. My ‘brother in law’ asked us the day we arrived if we wanted to see an MLB game. He said it was going to be the Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees, which apparently is a huge game because they are rivals. My partner was a bit apprehensive of dropping so much money on a baseball game because he doesn’t think it’s the most exciting sport (fair assessment, tbh) but we went for it and we were so happy we did! It was one of the most action-packed baseball games I’d ever seen and it was such an electric atmosphere to experience in person.
We took one day to explore Boston a little bit, despite me not feeling so well (yes, this is foreshadowing). A duck boat tour was on the list, which was really cool because it was a guided bus tour through historic parts of the city and then turned into a boat that could enter the water!
Our next destination was New York City. I’m not going to share all the gritty details, but just know I unfortunately got ‘the big C’ and was feeling pretty cruddy the day before going to NYC and the subsequent few days. That meant that unfortunately, I spent a couple of days cooped up in the hotel. 🙁 Adding to that the fact that a couple of my besties met up with us in NYC because we had planned it like that far in advance. They were joking that “Chelsea invited us to meet her all the way in New York and then doesn’t even hang out with us!” What else could I do?? I felt like a bucket of crud and I didn’t want to get them sick either.
Not all hope was lost. I was able to get out a few evenings and then finally enjoy a very touristy day toward the end of our stay. One night, we saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway and it was amaaazing! 10/10 would recommend. We went to the Brooklyn Bridge, Museum of Modern Art, and Top of the Rock. Oh and I tried to eat as many bagels and slices of pizza as humanly possible to enjoy it to the fullest. But it’s safe to say I will be returning because I missed out on quite a bit!
After some sick days in the Big Apple, we flew down to Florida to spend some time with my family. We were staying with them, so it was a nice time to take a break from spending so much money as well. They have a big, screened-in outdoor pool, so it was nice to have the opportunity to chill for a few days and take things slow. We grilled, gossiped, drank, swam and had a merry time.
My parents met us in Florida (they live in Iowa) so that we could have a little family reunion of sorts. My partner and I, along with my parents, had decided we wanted to visit New Orleans for a couple days because it was just a 3-hour drive from where we were in the Florida panhandle. Off we drove to the The Big Easy and let me tell you – New Orleans in July is BRUTAL. You may think I’m exaggerating, but I truly believe that humidity was created on the Gulf Coast. Every time we stepped outside, within 30 seconds we had a film of sweat and humidity on our skin. But you just have to roll with it because resistance is futile. Luckily air conditioning is set to sub-zero temperatures in every indoor space, which helps you dry off the current layer of sweat and grime.
Enough about weather conditions. New Orleans was such a unique place and a city unlike any other I had visited in the US. We were only there for 2 days, so we only saw the super touristy parts, but we also had some really great food while we were there. I can only imagine what the vibe is during Mardi Gras. (Note: Here is where I started to have some foot pain. More to come on that in the next section about the universe humbling me.)
After our short stay in New Orleans, my partner and I said goodbye to my parents and flew to Las Vegas for another short stay. This was the only point that we had a bit of trouble with traveling. There was no direct flight to Las Vegas from New Orleans, so we had a connection in Texas. Well, our first flight kept getting delayed and delayed, so our second flight kept getting rebooked and rebooked. All in all, we still ended up arriving in Vegas that evening, but our luggage did not make it with us. Luckily, it arrived at the hotel about 24 hours later and we had a few essentials in our carry-ons to hold us over.
I don’t want to mention too much about Las Vegas because it’s such a crazy experience. It’s somehow exactly how it’s portrayed in the media, but also not. I kept describing it as ‘Chuck E Cheese for adults’ because of the flashing lights and games. But also – there were so many children! I was a bit shocked at the amount of families with young children with them. I think of Vegas as an adult playground (get your head out of the gutter), so that really surprised me to learn that it can be a family-friendly getaway.
After 2 days in Vegas (it truly is enough to do it in 2 days or you may get addicted to gambling), we headed off to Portland. There, we stayed with a family member for a couple days and then picked up our campervan to start off our weeklong camping tour! Side note: We saw the film Nope while in Portland and it was such a nice experience.
For one week, we took a campervan from Portland to San Francisco, making a new stop almost each day. We did a bit of hiking, but mostly just sightseeing and taking in the stunning views. I could write a whole separate blog post about this wonderful week, but here it would take up too much space. Anyone who knows me, knows that camping is certainly not my forte – I love living in the city and enjoying modern pleasures like indoor plumbing. However, this week we spent in the campervan was simply amazing. And I liked that it was just a week. 😀
The trip ended in San Francisco. There we gave back the campervan and spent 2 days in the City of Fog before heading back home to Hamburg. By this time, it was the very beginning of August. One evening, we decided to more or less bar-hop, but then we ended up staying at this one bar because it was so lovely. We met a few locals there and started to chit-chat, where we were also told that we were visiting San Fran during ‘Fogaust’ (combining fog and August). We also had a last hurrah with some really great Mexican food. I really, really liked the vibe of the city and if I ever had to move back to the US and could choose where to live, San Francisco would probably be in my top 5.
The universe decided to humble me a little, I guess
Maybe the universe thought I was getting a little too happy and confident, so it decided to knock me down a couple of times over the last couple of months.
A few days after arriving in the US for my vacation of a lifetime, I got hit with the rona, the vid, the big C. It was in fact my second time fighting this beast, and it was rough. It had me down for the count for a few days, putting a pause on my highly anticipated time exploring the streets of New York City, However, I pushed through and was able to have at least one fun day in the concrete jungle. I had to pack in quite a few touristy checkpoints on that one day, but that just means that I’ll have to go back again and continue my Liz Lemon fantasy in the future.
Snafu #2 also happened on vacation. I started to get some intense foot pain in the middle of my trip. I adjusted some plans a little, but not really. I still went camping and hiking with this pain (oops) and decided I would deal with the consequences once I got back to Hamburg and would have access to my sweet, sweet health insurance and most importantly, I would have time to rest at home. I went to the orthopedist as soon as possible, and after a few weeks of waiting and having an MRI, it was confirmed that I was suffering from a stress fracture in a metatarsal (foot bone). This whole experience has been painful, yes, but more just annoying than anything else. Apparently this is the type of injury that takes a vey long time to heal. You’re not given a cast or anything because it’s not a classic break, so you just have to take it easy for a long time and let your body repair itself. I’m usually quite the patient person, but this is (still) driving me nuts!
Moving forward in 2022 – some things that are currently keeping me sane
I’m not super into podcasts, but there are a few that are long-time favorites, as well as a few more recent discoveries that are keeping me entertained when I don’t want to deal with silence (pretty much 24/7).
Race Chaser with Alaska & Willam – RuPaul’s Drag Race superstars and fan favorites Alaska (All Stars S2 Winner, S5 Top 3) and Willam (S4 standout and Emmy Nominated actor) bring you an insider’s look at the worldwide phenomenon that is Drag Race by discussing and dissecting every episode ever.
Violating Community Guidelines with Brittany Broski and Sarah Schauer – From firearm sales on Facebook Marketplace to AI Influencers on Instagram to deep fakes on Tiktok and Twitter, this podcast will have you asking “is this allowed?” but more importantly, “is this legal?”
Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend – Over the years and despite thousands of interviews, Conan has never made a real and lasting friendship with any of his celebrity guests. So, he started a podcast to do just that.
Las Culturistas with Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang – (This is my all-time favorite, btw.) Join your culture consultants, Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, on an unforgettable journey into the beating heart of CULTURE. Alongside sizzling special guests, they GET INTO the hottest pop-culture moments of the day and the formative cultural experiences that turned them into Culturistas.
This nostalgic playlist.
This song that is making the rounds on TikTok.
TV (not going to link these, you’ll just have to Google lol)
House of the Dragon
The Office (Yeah, I know, eye-roll. It’s a comfort show, ok???)