Maybe I will get to sharing the photos from that time (which was followed by a terrible bout of Montezuma’s revenge — what a crisis), but tonight I was just feeling reflective after a day of packing for 2015 Cross-Planet Move: Storage, Part A.
In order to move some clutter out of my house, I’ve decided just to call movers over tomorrow and take away as much nonsense as possible so the house can be shown for potential renters. We spent the day packing up mementos, books and a lot of things that were frankly already mostly packed from the last move and left untouched for the last three years.
Among the items, I found the “yearbook” my South Carolina TV news colleagues signed for me when I moved away in 2006. It’s filled with hilarious memories, some of which I’d forgotten. JL‘s was probably my favorite, and amazingly, all true:
Moving always makes me feel a little wistful. This is my seventh move since graduating from college, not counting this summer, when I helped move all my childhood things from a childhood home, and I seem to have more crap with each move. I love it when old mementos (like above) pop up but it all reminds me of something Chuck Klosterman wrote in Killing Yourself to Live:
“When you start thinking about what your life was like 10 years ago — and not in general terms, but in highly specific detail — it’s disturbing to realize how certain elements of your being are completely dead. They die long before you do. It’s astonishing to consider all the things from your past that used to happen all the time but (a) never happen anymore and (b) never even cross your mind.”
So it’s onward, with the 2015 version of me. I’m definitely less reckless than I used to be (but not so conscientious that I don’t get my purse stolen from my unlocked car as we saw two weeks ago).
Blogger and actress Elizabeth Banks just did a fun post looking back on her birthdays in years past. She encouraged her readers to do the same. It’s perfect timing for me to participate, as the second anniversary of my 29th birthday is in a couple weeks.
My Best Birthday Ever was only a year ago…
It involved being in Costa Rica, with 11 amazing people, sharing two idyllic vacation villas, grilling our own food, making fresh guac and eating under the stars, being newly knocked up with the-fetus-that-would-become-Eva, and getting surprised on the actual birth day when the pals all showed up wearing bastardized Costa Rican flag t-shirts with my face on them. (The shirt did lead to a minor snafu at the airport with Costa Rican officials, but we all eventually made it home.)
My Worst Birthday Ever was in sixth grade, when I turned 12.
It started out awesome, with my dad surprising me in the morning with a “dirt cake.” He dumped ice cream into a flower pot and topped it with a layer of oreo cookie crumbles and gummy worms. But that night, when I hosted a little scavenger hunt at the mall, my friends Samantha and Kelly decided to shoplift some rings from JC Penney and got detained by mall security, then slipped out of the questioning room when no one was watching and disappeared. This led to a few frantic hours in which two 6th graders were missing in suburban St. Louis. Birthday FAIL.
My Most Absurd Birthday Ever was when I turned 21.
It involved going to a Ja Rule concert in the basketball stadium at Mizzou. Enough said.
After 2010’s raucous four-day party in Amsterdam with 30 of our favorite people, I asked nagged some of the attendees to write up what they remembered the most so that we could save them for posterity, since booze and time tend to erase some of the best moments from our memories. I love reading over that post every once in awhile, so I rounded up some Costa Rica 2012 memories, below. (Y’all know I’m a hopeless nostalgic, so my poor friends end up subjected to this activity more than most.)
TERP: Oh gee, how bout being TERRIFIED OUT OF MY MIND when you and Matty gave me my assault wake-up call. Or when I nearly went to the Sandanista GITMO because I was wearing a flag defaced with “that Chinese girl.”* [Terp pauses. Then…] I’ll never forget swinging from treetop to treetop with my newfound friends. We climbed questionable ladder-stairs to the canopy of Costa Rica where goofball Sandanistas flung us down ziplines while flirting with Mon-Pon and calling me FLACO! (skinny.) Then at the end I paid them far less than we owed since I was convinced they were ripping us off… even though they weren’t.
ERICA: I think one of my favorite memories from our week in Costa Rica was the lunch we had at Eat @ Joe’s. We grabbed lunch at this beach-side restaurant whose claim to fame was their “Nachos as Big as Your Ass.” Unfortunately, the nachos were the best thing Eat @ Joe’s had going for it. After we polished off the nacho appetizer and were still waiting for the rest of our order and chalking up the delay to “Tico Time,” one of the wait staff came up to us and apologized for the food taking so long. “I don’t know what happened to your server. I don’t know if he died, or what.” Best. Excuse. Ever. A little while later, our food was delivered; well, kinda. Terp and I had each ordered grilled Mahi that arrived as grilled chicken, and Justin’s food didn’t show up at all (that didn’t keep them from charging us for his absent meal later, though!). The stinky cherry on top of it all, though, was that while we were eating our tardy meal, sewage started spilling toward us from the bathroom right next to our table. Nothing reminds you that you’re in a foreign country like late table service, incorrect or completely forgotten meal orders and a sewage spill seeping toward your table. Pura Vida, for sure.
TAMARINDO — Why is this trip over so quickly? What?!
I turned 30 at 9:01am CST, but instead of my expected difficulties with this milestone, I felt awesome, cause there is so much love in this house. We’re also surrounded by warmth, sun and gorgeousness so there’s nothing to get upset about.
Tonight, a few of us hiked up the steep hill on which these vacation villas sit to watch the sun disappear into the ocean. Note: It was windy.
TAMARINDO — Instead of trying to ford the estuaries this morning, we hung out by the pool at the second vacation villa, Casa Leo Loco. This vid involves people jumping off the second floor balcony into the water and trying to surf in a pool.
TAMARINDO — You are missing out on the evening shenanigans cause the cameras are not great in low light, some of the shenanigans should be censored and well, life passes you by if you’re too busy documenting everything.
So we do have a rather tame daytime boat crossing to throw in.
TAMARINDO, COSTA RICA — I should have done this yesterday but didn’t have the half hour to sit down and get the video organized. So here’s a quick intro to the awesomest pals around, who can be rallied to go to Costa Rica with a simple email solicitation.
LIBERIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT — The new airport facility was just completed about two weeks ago, we are told. It’s real shiny in there, and to maintain that gleam, a woman haphazardly sweeps nonstop for what could be all day. We were at the airport for more than an hour awaiting the arrival of a Dallas flight that carried friends Chris, Melissa, Brett and Monica. Enter this first clip we shot:
TAMARINDO, COSTA RICA — Hello from paradise. After a travel day involving unattended bags, long waits, angry car renters and a sweaty but amiable cab driver, 10 of my favorite people and I are all together in this tiny surfing town to chillax. (And also, so I won’t be alone for my 30th birthday. Talk about awesome friends, right?)
We’re staying at a gorgeous home atop a bluff, complete with an infinity pool and gorgeous views of the mountain and beach vistas. My blood pressure has lowered considerably since arriving. And because our group happens to include a little HD video camera, a photographer, five reporters, a blog platform creator and an internet connection, HeyElise will be hosting our vacation vlogposts all week. WOOT!