As you can see, Affichomanie received an overhaul. I’m sure more changes are to come, possibly even a platform change, but this blog has felt stagnant and unappealing to me for a while. I needed some change in order to encourage myself to continue writing.
Since you last heard from me, I’ve been to other side of the planet and back. Then the other side of the country and back. And there’s been a whole lot of happenings in the middle.
In February, Bryce and I celebrated our 9th Valentine’s Day together with a low-key day full of homemade food. It was the perfect quiet kind of weekend to have before heading to the Philippines just a few days later.
My boss (and friend!), Rebecca, and I jetted off from Milwaukee the following Saturday morning and arrived in Manila about 24 hours later. I don’t think I’ll ever complain about a “long” flight again after spending 18 hours in the air.
Thankfully, my company requires that we fly business class on that long of a trip. We were served huge meals, given unlimited access to movies, and had a decently comfortable chair/bed set up. As we boarded, the pilot even offered for us to come see the cabin while flight attendants walked around serving trays full of champagne, beer, and orange juice. Are you kidding me?! Living the high life.
I enjoyed the flights…to a point. I didn’t sleep very well on our way out, but I learned that turbulence over the ocean makes for an excellent action movie watching experience. Jurassic World with turbulence is a blast.
I got a bit upset toward the end of my long flight. I was over-tired and I missed Bryce & Bea. I didn’t want to be across the world from them.
I was so exhausted by the time we got on our final flight from Tokyo to Manila that I could barely keep my eyes open as they served what felt like the 50th meal I’d eaten in a day. Being that I’m a vegetarian, I’d requested special meals which were pretty decent…until they came back with a vengeance 24 hours later.
Yes, I got food poisoning in other country. SEVERE food poisoning. Miss the first night of work-style food poisoning. Simultaneous toilet and garbage can-style food poisoning. Near black out on the hotel floor-style food poisoning. Skype with the husband so he can watch whether or not I need medical intervention-style food poisoning.
It was horrific.
But I got 15,000 frequent flyer miles from Delta for it so *shrug*.
Once I’d recovered, the trip was pretty great. It was incredible to meet our team in Manila and we were able to accomplish so much. Our team works at night to accommodate US hours so time became irrelevant. We slept when we were tired, ate when we were hungry, and hung by the pool when we needed sunshine.
The last couple days of our trip were a total time flip. We left Manila and headed to Batangas on the southern side of the country for a weekend of team building and celebration on the beach. Hanging out with my new filipino friends was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. I gorged myself on lumpia and locally grown fruit. I also found bugs in my hairbrush and was in desperate need of a hot shower…eh, it was worth it.
I felt oddly relaxed and comfortable in the Philippines. Normally, I’m an anxious over-thinker. I think I felt so chill because I had no control over anything–I just couldn’t worry. For example, the traffic there, oh my gosh. There are no road rules. None. You just swerve and speed and fit your car wherever you can fit it!
I was thrilled to return home to my guy & pup. Jet lag is REAL, but soon enough, I was back in the swing of things with work & Noir. Colette has been the BPE (best partner ever) and really holds down the fort (with style) while I’m away. She’s my lifesaver and number 1 homegirl.
In March, Beatrix had her 2nd birthday. We spoiled her rotten with cupcakes and toys, obviously. Then Bryce and I took a nice staycation–we mostly slept and ate food. It was glorious. We hosted a little Easter brunch for my family at the beginning of the week and, at the end, my mom and I drove down to Illinois for Kyley’s bridal shower! It was a fun weekend with my second family.
In April, Rebecca and I became travel buddies again when we headed to Las Vegas for a fantastic conference. I feel so lucky that she finds me worthy of carting all over the planet. The work & life experience have been invaluable.
Once the conference began to wind down, our husbands joined us for a vacation! My parents watched Beatrix back home while we enjoyed a little pool time (I got a sunburn for the first time in YEARS) and ate incredible food at several restaurants–the best being B+B Ristorante. I also drank too much and gambled so…typical Vegas.
Until next time, friends!