Monday, January 24, 2011

Target Fairies

We've all had those days when every little thing goes wrong. Even the simplest of tasks is complicated. Today was one of those days for me.

My current lifeline to Alaska, my computer, started severely acting up on me. As a writer, saying I highly rely on technology is an understatement. As a writer relocating to Alaska, the hours spent on my computer have drastically increased. The fact that I'm able to post this may be misleading; I am not currently writing it on my computer (which is apparently taking it's version of a sick day to the limit). My computers "illness" prohibited me from both my research and my writing.

Even while doing the dishes I encountered an unexpected negative twist in my day. Our pots have recently slimmed in numbers due to increased use by others than myself. I discovered yet another scorched pot while unloading the dishwasher today. Frustrations mounted. I'll save the other house-related misadventures for another time. Let's just say my dryer and I are at odds.

I met my lovely friend at Target to escape from the malfunctions in my home. She has a darling almost-two year old who has recently decided she wants to touch everything. Her little girl is the sweetest of children, but no child is immune from the desire to discover their world. It's always wonderful to see them, and just wandering around chatting improved my day. It's amazing how just seeing a good friend can completely change your mood.

I'm now somewhat convinced Target has little fairies that sense what you need, put it on sale, and then give you coupons. My poor old purse has been fraying for months and has entirely lost its original shape so now it resembles a fraying black blob of goo. I'm very picky not only about what bag I put my essentials in, but how much I'm willing to pay for it as well. I tend to be rather rough on my handbags, and so they must be quite durable while still be stylish and not super expensive to replace (these standards are why I've been carrying around a fraying blob for too long). In any case, I found a lovely ivory bag with just the right number of compartments, and to top it all off, it was on sale for $12. My day was brightened a little more.

The checkout lines went mad just as I got in line with my clearance dream bag and hot dog buns (I know this is a tangent, but why must hot dog bun companies and hot dog companies work against us so there are never equal numbers in their packages? It can be quite frustrating!). Thankfully the Express lane actually only had people with fewer than 10 items, and so it didn't take very long at all. I was attempting to struggle into my coat quickly so I wouldn't be in the way of the person after me, enter my debit PIN and take the receipts and bags from the cashier when he said, "Oh, wait".

I knew this could easily make my day worse (my bag wasn't really on sale: worse) or better (we want you to have it for free! :better), when I had the opportunity to gather my things and fix my coat without bothering anyone. Then he handed me a coupon. And as I accepted it, he again said, "Oh, wait", and another coupon popped out. Just in case Target hadn't been kind enough with the sale bag and the quick line, I got coupons to boot. I love this place.

I thought it couldn't get better (which is much better than thinking it couldn't get worse and having paint or something equally stain-worthy spilled all over your nicest outfit...though who really wears their nicest outfit on their worst day anyway?) when I was stopped by another Target employee. I was all ready to show my receipt (I was right next to the door, why else would they be stopping me?) when I realized she held a tray with a single little cup on top, with a bit of whipped cream and caramel drizzled across it.
"Would you like to sample a salted caramel hot chocolate?"
Who would say No to that? Of course, I simply accepted, thanked her and wished her a great night. Because my horrible day was totally turned around by Target.
Had I been in a book or movie, I would have promptly accidentally spilled this drink all over myself and my new perfect bag. But I'm not a fictional heroine, and I got to enjoy my drink. However, always take note of the "salted" aspect of the title....I'm not certain I only enjoyed it because everything else had altered my day for the better.

So next time you have a rough day... take a Target trip. Who knows, maybe my fairy idea isn't so far off.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Adventure is out there!

Today my title is a quote from the Disney/Pixar film "Up". Young Ellie says this to her future husband, Carl, when they're children. Their dream is to find adventure in Paradise Falls. As their lives progress, they must use their Paradise Falls savings for emergency expenses. My husband and I have not only found our Paradise Falls, we've decided to move there.

Our Paradise Falls is the great state of Alaska. We've dreamed of going there for some time, and now we've decided to move there. We may not always have this opportunity, and so we are chasing our dream while we can. It may be permanent, it may not. We don't know what Alaska has in store for us, but we're certainly excited to find out.

Our journey should begin in just a few short weeks. We'll most likely be road-tripping up through the U.S. and Canada. Our three lovable dogs will certainly add another element of adventure to our trip. The first time Layla and Nala see snow will definitely warrant a post. Charlie has seen snow, but we're excited for him to be reacquainted with it. We're looking forward to seeing not only a good portion of the U.S., but certain people as well. As we're going from Florida to Alaska, we plan on making 2 to 3 major stops along the way. We're looking at a 7 to 10 day trip. First we'll be stopping in Oklahoma to visit my family (and Taco Bueno, for those of you familiar with my childhood favorite eatery). From there, we'll either go to the Grand Canyon and/or Yellowstone National Park.

Although we will be spending a lot of time on the road, I fully plan on documenting our entire trip. Thankfully technology allows me to continually update you, as I do have a laptop. This will allow me to daily reflect on our journey, and upload these lovely tidbits for your reading pleasure every time we have wi-fi access. Seeing as how every McDonald's and Starbucks now has free wi-fi, these shouldn't be too far apart.

I hope you all will follow our journey and keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Our Alaska Adventure will probably dominate the blog topics for a bit. While moving to Alaska is a great adventure, living there is an even greater one. With locations like the Denali National Park, expect frequent articles on the beauty and majesty of the state...and the insane activities my husband is already talking me into (white water rafting, anyone?!).

I promise to also take loads of photos and regularly upload them here as well as on Facebook.

I'll keep you updated. And remember... Adventure is out there!