8.24.2015

Oh hey.

I actually wasn't kidnapped returning from Nicaragua 6 months ago (side note: was that really only six months?!)

I just... you know.... got busy with life, stumbled upon a semi-decent dude, took a few trips with him... haven't found out he's married or has kids yet, so I'm content with letting him stick around.

Went on one hell of a trip to Ireland with a couple of my closest girlfriends. (Getting home really was the equivalent of hell.)

All in all, not much else is new. Done a few minor projects on the ol casa. Celebrated the 7th year anniversary of working at the house of booze. Still continue to keep the mutt alive, despite killing every house plant I've adopted in the same time frame.

Liv's scans continue to come back clear. I don't know what sort of timeline cancer has where it just decides to give up and stop trying to come back, but I'm definitely ready for that.

It's weird to think I used to write here daily. That I had friends come stay with me that I met through here, that I have a best friend who I started talking to thanks to blogging. I kind of miss it, I won't lie. Maybe I'll start popping in telling a story here and there a little more often.

I know you're all dying to know what exactly I've been up to. Snapchat is such a cliffhanger.

Blogging's making a comeback, you know? Facebook said so.

2.13.2015

#NextWeekNicaragua



Nicaragua fell into my lap.

I caught wind of great airfare, convinced a buddy of mine to join, threw our airfare onto my credit card, got my PTO approved, and went about my Friday at the office.

Over the weekend I decided on a few cities to visit, and the following Thursday morning we were wheels up to Managua.

Instances like this remind me how INSANELY lucky I am to live this life, and be able to up and leave the way that I did. I remember being in Belize and talking to a handful of backpackers who had been making their way up the coast, and every one of them raved about Nica. I couldn't wait to go find out for myself...




1.02.2015

01.02

You know what's fun... waking up New Year's Day with the flu.

And no, I don't mean the whiskey flu. I wish it would have been that. I would have felt a hell of a lot better today, then. Instead I'm still battling a 99somethin fever, a headache best equatable to an over-inflated balloon pending pop'age, and a quarantine sign on my office at work!


At least it waited to strike until after all the NYE festivities. I can't be TOO disappointed, I did have a blast ringing in 2015 with some of my most favorite people!

video

To continue on my quest of never having to step foot in a bar on New Year's Eve, we hit up a friends house (apartment?) party, decked to the 9s in our sparkles and smiles.  It's hard to be too bummer about being sick when I've only got a few more hours in the office before the weekend hits!

I hope this year brings everyone the happiest of happy days, 365 of them!


11.01.2014

San Pedro: The #OMGBelize Adventures


I'll let you in on a little secret. Occasionally, blog posts need to percolate on a blogger's mind for a month or two (or more) before they actually get written. You just can't rush these things...

In all actuality, I have a really hard time talking about Belize. Thankfully, I think the grin and the twinkle in my eye that appears at the first sound of the country speaks for itself. Something about it just spoke to me. That country was my jam, my love language.

Here at the tail end of another Indiana winter, writing about warm, sunny, happy Central America sounds like the perfect plan for my day though.

San Pedro actually consisted of WAY more than just jumping into the ocean to kick it with an abundance sharks and rays and turtles. For instance, I met a soul mate.

Granted, while I appreciate his proper use of "you're"... the fact that he took the time to put ALL of this into my phone as we sat around the hostel pool one night was a bit aggressive. The fact he was barely 22 was also a bit much for me. Sorry for never calling, Buzz. Sorry for avoiding eye contact that night at the chicken drop, too.


Ha. Chicken drop. The highlight of every Thursday in San Pedro is cheering for a chicken to take a poop. I'm confident atleast 80% of the inhabitants on the island were huddled around that stretch of beach that night.

What is it, you ask? You purchase numbers and hope like hell that piece of poultry takes a dookie on your number. You win a pretty decent chunk of change if that happens. Of course you also have to clean up the mess, first. Sadly (thankfully?) none of us ever got that opportunity.

Naturally, right in the middle of the festivities, the power on the entire island goes out.

That's not an exaggeration. The. Entire. Island. Apparently the blackout stretched up into Mexico too.

So hey... foreign country, no cell service, no power anywhere... we do what any sane person would do, blind-eyed our way to the town square to get street meat. Thank the heavens for whoever invented food carts and generators!

Jenn had headed back to the states the day after our Shark Ray Alley experience, so us three musketeers had upgraded out of hostel life for the first time since stepping foot in Belize, and shelled over the cash for a hotel on the beach. Conch Shell Inn. She was a hot pink beaut, and when we blindly stumbled back to her that night in the dark we found the fellas at the dive shop on the dock having a hell of a good time, so we graced them with our presence for a while. Somewhere between the chicken drop and 9am the next morning the power had returned, and we were able to bask in air-conditioned bliss for the first time in a while.



It's weird being somewhere so laid back. I am not lying when I tell you there isn't much to do. But there isn't much to do in the BEST way possible. You can leisurely walk down the beach to grab coffee, and sit there chatting for hours. Or belly up to your favorite bar to drink Lighthouse and play Three's all night, every night. Of course, when you do that, you become the bartenders best friend. And if you're real lucky, you may even learn your bartender stars in a local island soap opera, and then you REALLY get to give him a hard time! (Be careful though, as we came to find out sometimes other patrons get so annoyed by you hogging the bartender's attention that they write about you in their TripAdvisor reviews)


The entire San Pedro adventure really hit it's pinnacle the morning we rented a golf cart. Being our last full day on the island, we realized we had yet to go to the much talked about Palapa Bar. Since it's on the northside of the island you have a few options - a long ass bike ride, or a shorter long-ass golf cart ride.


We took the cart around the island for a little exploring before venturing out to Palapa. I'll never complain about the potholes on Indiana roads after navigating those dirt paths. The bar was a blast, drinks were delicious, we made friends with some other patrons and wasted away our afternoon soaking up an equal mixture of rum and sunshine.



The problem came when we realized the day had faded into night and we had good 30 min drive ahead of us with no streets lights (hell there weren't even streets). We gracefully exited the bar where I turn the key and quickly learn our golf cart had no functioning headlights. Whit swooped in and saved the day as she grabbed our iPhones and flipped the flashlights on, proudly holding them out over the windshield. Linds is on the back is yelling at us to go faster as she's getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, we're all bouncing around because the "road" isn't really true to it's name, and I'm just trying to figure out which of the double palm trees I'm seeing is the actual one, and which is the tree that vodka invented.

We made it out alive, barely (Linds lost a shoe), and happened upon someone from the golf cart rental who had heard (damn gossipy island folks) about three girls running rampant sans headlights, so they promptly traded us for a new golf cart, and we made our way a few blocks further for heaps of chicken wings and very large glasses of water.

As we returned our 6 hour golf cart rental that we kept for an additional 18 hours I realized this is another one of those times you just thank God you are on the most laid back island ever, and they really didn't even seem to mind. Slurping up one last iced coffee and heading to the tiny airstrip I was the saddest little puppy. I was far from ready for our time in the BZE Islands to come to an end.

10.21.2014

Shark Ray Alley: The #OMGBelize Adventures

It's all fun and games until a local on a nearby boat throws a ton of chum right next to you and you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a legit sharknado.

Technically I think it'd be a cyclone, aren't those the ones IN the water? A sharkclone. Or a jackclone really, since it was 50% jacks, in addition to the sharks, plus a few sting rays.  A rayjacksharkclone. And that's my final answer.

(In retrospect, looking at that sharks eyes makes me second guess everything they said about this being totally safe)

Rewind. Way back when we first booked our flights, Whit started a Pinterest board for all of us to throw trip ideas into. That's when I stumbled upon Shark Ray Alley and it immediately became a MUST on my list.

Chelsea's MUST list: 
Swim with sharks. 
The end.

I don't believe in bucket lists, but if I did that would have been on it. None of the other girls were quite as keen on the idea of willing hopping into the open ocean with Jaws, but my power of persuasion is truly immeasurable.

Not long after leaving Caye Caulker, our water taxi docked on Ambergris and we made our way to our hostel. I brought up swimming with sting rays approximately 32 times during the trek, and swimming with sharks approximately 45. Give or take a few.

There's actually a very high chance everyone else just agreed in sheer hope of shutting me up.


Either way, on a sunny Tuesday morning the four of us set out on a boat to become live bait. Whit was the complete opposite of excited. Meanwhile, I rivaled a kid headed to Disneyland.

It was a pretty short ride out to the reef, and the water was so clear you knew EXACTLY what you were about to get into!


Throwing on our flippers and masks, it didn't take long before all 4 of us were overboard. We saw countless rays, jacks, sharks, clown fish, parrot fish, red fish, blue fish, one fish, two fish. Oh and an eel. Who wasn't too enthusiastic about seeing us, and made that very clear (chalk that up as another near death experience)


I befriended this dude, who let me swim next to him for quite a while. I was sure we would end up in Sydney, but it was actually only about 20 feet from where I found him and then he got tired of our Asian peace signs and paparazzi ways.



It was so wild being in the middle of the open ocean swimming amongst these beauts. Call me crazy, but they are just so graceful gliding through the water. Although I'm a little nervous that next time I'm in the water and spot a fin sticking out I may be a little TOO eager to approach the fella.

The morning flew by, and the camera roll filled up. As we headed back to shore, I think we were all in agreement that it was definitely worth every penny we spent!

Belize is home to the second largest reef in the world... I wont lie, it's kind of fantastic having the bragging rights that I've snorkeled the two biggest reefs on the planet!



Things to note:
-All underwater photos were taken with my good ol iPhone 5s, in a LifeProof case. Expensive, but worth every penny.

-We went with Greg from Ecologic Divers, and I cannot speak highly enough of them! They were amazing, and definitely went above and beyond.

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