Thursday, January 24, 2013

I was Patted Down by the TSA*

I went to Costa Rica two summers ago. And I went to Puerto Rico this last July. It was my first time flying somewhere after Costa Rica. I have to admit, getting in line for security-with my backpack so stuffed full and strapped so tightly as to make small enough to be a carry on-I was shaking in my boots. Well, tennis shoes actually. Why? Well when I got in line for security to go to Costa Rica-my first international flight ever- things didn't go as planned. Not one bit. Here's how it went getting on the plane to go to Costa Rica.

We got to the airport at the buttcrack of dawn (literally). And we waited a smidge because the ticket counter wasn't open and for some reason, we hadn't been able to print my ticket from home the night before. We figured my grandma's internet was just fussy. Looking back on it, we should have been way more suspicious. So we got our tickets at the counter, checked our bags and headed to security.

And then they scanned us. And looked at our tickets. And let us proceed to our gate.


We sat at the gate for a good 45 minutes before boarding began. But it's better to be early than late, especially in an airport amirite? And I do love people watching in the airport so even though it was early, I didn't mind too much. Of course, we were in the last group to board. I let Mom and Gramma go ahead of me and sleepily shuffled forward with the line. Gramma's ticket was scanned and she went on down the umbilical. Mom's ticket got scanned, and off she went too. My ticket got scanned and-"Oh. Ma'am I'm going to have to ask you to step to the side."



But I did as he asked. My mom noticed I wasn't behind her and headed back up to see what the problem was. Finally the ticket guy turned to me and said, "You've been selected for additional screening. You actually shouldn't have made it here at all. They should have stopped you in security, so I'm going to have to call two agents up here." Well that's comforting. I had made it all the way to the very last terminal on our concourse (literally the last one) with no problem and plenty of spare time. And now I was being told, I never should have gotten through security without additional screening. Great. So the Gateman called the agents. And we waited. And waited some more. And then we waited a little longer. I was delaying the plane.

Finally two agents came up and asked if I wanted to be taken all the way back to security to a private room for a screening. I said no, I had nothing to hide and it'd just waste more time walking there and back. I was already cranky from the lack of sleep. And so I stood in the terminal, feet shoulder width apart, arms out to the side, only in my tanktop-I'd had to remove my sweatshirt- in front of all the other travelers that happened to be in nearby terminals or passing through, letting a woman with blue gloves pat me down. The other woman took my bag and took out everything. And opened every pocket. And every flap of everything inside my bag. Tampons, my tablet, fruity gum, magazines, and all got removed from my bag and set down on those stiff, awkward terminal seats. It was awesome. Not.

In the mean time, my Gramma had realized that neither my mom nor I had boarded the plane. She had convinced the stewardess to let her off to see what the problem was and came flying up the ramp looking for us. The look on her face when she saw me standing there, being patted down by one agent and my bag disassembled by the other, was pretty priceless.

Finally, they apologized for the hassle and thanked me for being a good sport (though most of the terminal was giving me shifty side long glances now) and let me board. I had delayed the plane for quite a bit, though saved a few stragglers running late from missing it entirely.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is how I was patted down by the TSA. After I had made it to my gate. Ah, airport security.

*This post was originally posted on my old blog Rated T for True Life but, as I felt it was a good story, it has been slightly modified and reposted here.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Spring Will Come Again

I'm petsitting for my parents this weekend. It's -4 Degrees Fahrenheit outside right now. With the windchill? It's -15. Thanks Wisconsin. I totally wanted to freeze the blood in my veins every time I have to run outside to rescue my mom's little shih tzu Tiki from wherever she's decided to get too cold to come back in. But you know what? It's all gonna be alright. Spring is on it's way. Eventually. Hopefully. If you're feeling the winter blues, maybe some bright summer photos would help you. Try the ones I took last August.

 I always used to play with these little caterpillars and name them when I was little. It was bittersweet when they got chubby and then turned into a butterfly.

 The robins last spring nested particularly low in our apple tree out back. This left them vulnerable to the cat and abandoned the nest as soon as possible

As you can probably imagine, immediately after this picture was taken, I created a lovely wreath from these clover and spent the better part of an hour chasing Rosie around and trying to make her pose in it. It did not go well.

 Of course no summer photo collection would be complete without some sort of cheery flower.

And I couldn't forget my darling Rosie pug. She loves walking right through the middle of the plants and wiggling through my mother's garden whenever it's in bloom. She's like a plant ninja.

Well hopefully those have lifted your mood somewhat. Just remember. Even if it is now... -19 with the windchill, it's gonna get warmer. Just hunker down with some hot chocolate and a good book and before you know it, you'll be wearing shorts instead of three layers of pants, six shirts, and too many socks to count. Mmm... shorts.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stills from Winter Break

Sooo... I have this delusion. I like to think that I take really awesome photos and that someday someone may actually see them and want to pay me hundreds of thousands of dollars for them. I'll just file that next to my delusion of being the next globally renowned super chef. Hm. I'm gonna need a bigger file cabinet.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Travel Bucket List

Of course, I'd like to leave footprints on every inch of the globe. But I'm only one person, and I have very small feet. So I have to prioritize how I'm going to go about seeing everything and experiencing it all. That leads me to my top 5 picks, my travel bucket list of countries.

5. Iceland

 Admittedly, Iceland had never crossed my mind until my mom and brother insisted I look into it for a possible summer destination. And, well don't tell them but... they were right. (Seriously. Don't tell my brother. I'll never here the end of it.) The blue lagoon (pictured above) and hundreds of other hot springs. After Costa Rica, I'm a sucker for hot springs. In the winter there's special trips and hotels that specialize in the Aurora Borealis viewings. This is definitely on my list for a late summer or fall escape.

4. Maldives

The Maldives. As a student, a little out of my price range currently but for my honeymoon or even the wedding itself? Beeeautiful! That perfect azul water... Just dangling your toes off the dock and watching the fish... I could seriously go right now. Anyone wanna get married? I need a vacation.

3. Italy

 Italy. It's on everyone's to-visit list. And while the cities are beautiful and unique, it's the countryside I really want to see. The villas and rolling hills; the vineyards and valleys. Being a self-proclaimed foodie, this would be heaven! How can you not love a place that loves its food!? I love everything about classic Italian cooking. A food-based tour of Italy? That's food-coma heaven to me.

2. Australia

Alright. I'll admit it.When I was little (7 to 12ish) I had a huge, massive, ginormous crush on Steve Irwin. I watched his show on Animal Planet religiously. Wrestling crocodiles, dancing with poison snakes, saving wallabies... and that accent! If- no, when-I go to Australia, his zoo is number one on my things-I-absolutely-have-to-do list. Of course there's Ayer's Rock. The Great Barrier Reef. But how can you pass up a chance to see the place your childhood hero worked so hard in and loved so deeply?

1. New Zealand

Yes, New Zealand is my number one, have to go or I'll die of depression and longing, bucket list choice. Amazing snowboarding, a countryside so beautiful you literally cannot breathe, and from what I hear, the people are delightful and welcoming. Let's not forget of course that The Lord of the Rings and now The Hobbit were filmed there. J.R.R. Tolkien is my favorite author and how could I ever pass up a chance to visit and have a drink at the Green Dragon? Or see for myself how a Hobbit hole is not a dirty wet hole but warm and comfortable, just like the books and movies depict. Though I have yet to go, I think if I were to go ex-pat and live out of the US, I think I could do it in New Zealand. I'll just have to take a few trips there to make sure. ;)

That's my Top 5 Bucket List Destinations. What are yours? Can you even narrow it down to 5?


Monday, January 14, 2013

"It's a Dangerous Business...

...Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien)


I'm Spencer.

I want to see the world. I want to see everything. I want to meet the people, learn their stories, watch how they live. I want to flirt with the culture and take the food out back and show it what love really is.

And Wanderlust is where I'll tell you all about it. My travels. My plans. My dream. My adventures. My goals. And also show you a ridiculous amount of adorable photos of Rosie, my pug.

Welcome to Wanderlust. Stay a while. Share your stories. And never be afraid to go somewhere or try something new.