Travel Planning: New York City at Thanksgiving (Part 1)

I’m back from New York! If you haven’t had a chance, check out my pre-travel blog post detailing what I (foolishly) hoped to accomplish. This trip was truly a classic example of hard work and detailed planning paying off. Although there were a few stumbles along the way, for the most part the trip went smoothly and I couldn’t be happier with my first trip to New York. PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES This trip was full of travel firsts: my first time using points to book my airfare, my first time using my two free United Club passes, and my first time trying to use my Priority Pass Select lounge access. Two out of three of these things went off without a hitch. I had no issue checking my free bag and accessing boarding group two, and the United Club at LAX was quite nice. However… I sorely underestimated […] Read More

Halloween Planning: My 2018 Costume – Little Dead Riding Hood

It’s that time of year! If you live in Southern California like me, it’s still eighty-five degrees, the trees are still green, and very few houses are decorated. California doesn’t really do seasons as much as “moments,” so it’s hard to embrace a fall-specific holiday like Halloween. Thanksgiving is a bit easier weather-wise, but that one gets lost in the mix with Christmas steam-rolling everybody, so I’m not sure if that one counts. FITTING IN When I started working for my current company June 2015, it was made clear to me that Halloween is a BIG DEAL. Everyone goes all out, we do a costume contest, and kids get to come in and trick-or-treat. Anyone wearing everyday work clothes gets serious side-eye, and the bigger, the better. The result? My piddling costume efforts of the previous years went by the wayside. I didn’t want to be the odd kid out, so […] Read More

Why I (Sort of) Quit Facebook – And How I Did It

This past year, I’ve been trying to take steps to improve my mental and physical well-being. Although I’m not doing so great with the physical, I’ve definitely taken steps toward the mental. How? I’ve (mostly) stopped looking at Facebook. SO HERE’S THE STORY It’s hard to believe, but I’ve had a Facebook account since 2005. It began when I was preparing for college and received a flyer from my university suggesting that I sign up for this future behemoth. I’m channeling Iliza Shlesinger here, but back in my day, Facebook was so much simpler. You had your page, your high school and new college friends had their pages, you posted random funny shit, and you poked each other for attention. There was no newsfeed, you couldn’t really share external content, and – gasp! – you could only add 60 photos to a photo album. I think Facebook really changed […] Read More

Travel Planning: New York City at Thanksgiving

2018 has been quite the travel year for me! Normally, Mr. P² and I do maybe one long-distance trip and one road trip per year. Between our trip to Paris last December (yes I’m including that in this roundup), a last-minute trip back east, our road trip to San Diego Comic-Con and an upcoming overnight to Lake Arrowhead, I’m all over the place! However, the biggest trip this year as far as I’m concerned is my very first trip to… New York City! DEVILS IN THE DETAILS People who know me are always shocked when I tell them I’ve never been to New York. It seems like one of those places that most casual US-based travelers have checked off their list pretty early on – like Hollywood, Vegas or Cabo (haven’t been there either). For some reason, New York has never seemed like a priority and always plays second fiddle […] Read More

Planning for Your First San Diego Comic-Con: A How-To Guide (Part 4)

REALITY: CHECK After a series of initial successes between being prepared (Part 1), getting a great hotel and parking spot (Part 2) and surviving our first day (Part 3), we knew something had to give, and the universe kindly delivered. Friday morning in one of the smaller ballrooms, there was to be a panel for an animated series that Mr. P² and I both enjoy, Young Justice. The series was cancelled abruptly several years ago despite rave reviews, and will be making a comeback on the new DC Universe streaming service some time next year. The panel included voice and creative talent, and we figured they would be showing new footage, so we were anxious to get inside and grab seats. Remember the “C” doors we got stuck at the first day? We were stupid enough to try getting in the same doors on Friday, and not only were they not […] Read More

Planning for Your First San Diego Comic-Con: A How-To Guide (Part 3)

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER After all the research (Part 1), and all the travel decisions (Part 2), it’s finally time to head down to San Diego Comic-Con! In order to beat LA traffic and avoid paying for an additional night at the hotel, we were on the road by 4:45 AM on Thursday. Let me tell you, I am NOT a morning person, but the prospect of a fun road trip (and Starbucks) always gets me out of bed. If you are driving and don’t mind an absurdly long day, I’d highly recommend leaving early – we hit zero traffic, and pulled into the hotel parking lot at 6:55 AM. Luckily, we were not the only bleary-eyed Con goers in the lobby, and the hotel kindly allowed us to store our luggage and perishables in their air-conditioned storage. Since we decided to bring food with us that needed to […] Read More

Planning for Your First San Diego Comic-Con: A How-To Guide (Part 2)

Hotel, Parking & Passes, oh my! Finally, Part 2! It’s been a busy couple of months for me, and my planning sensibilities have been on overload. However, I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging, so for your reading pleasure, here’s Part 2 of How To Survive San Diego Comic-Con (with your sanity intact). Here’s Part 1 for reference 🙂 In conjunction with my initial research and provision preparations, I tackled what could have been the most costly part of the trip – our accommodations. As a newbie travel hacker, I have been steadily accruing Hilton Honors points for some time through a credit card signup bonus and everyday spending, and although I had earmarked the points for a different trip, I knew the only way we’d be able to swing this trip was by using all available resources. Thankfully, I found a Hilton Garden Inn not too far from […] Read More

Planning for Your First San Diego Comic-Con: A How-To Guide (Part 1)

We survived our first Comic Con! Mr. P² and I were down in San Diego this past weekend from Thursday to Sunday for one purpose – to experience Comic-Con for the first time. Since this was our first San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC), Google and social media became my best friends in trying to research how to successfully experience the ultimate gathering of the fandoms. It’s like the Lord of the Rings if the organizers are Elrond, the exhibitors are the Fellowship and they’re all trying to get the One Ring to Mount Doom – aka the fans. And honestly, at times the crowds felt volcanic in their temperature, temperament and lava-like flow. While this is by no means a complete or thorough how-to guide for surviving SDCC with your sanity completely in tact, hopefully this helps someone like me who isn’t looking to see every major panel or go […] Read More

Financial Planning: Why Everyone Should Think About the Long-Term Now

The last ten days have been very difficult for our family. A cousin with whom I was very close passed away suddenly within 48 hours. I was fortunate to be able to fly back east for the funeral and say my goodbyes in person. While it’s never fun or easy to reconnect with family because of a funeral, it was nice to see so many of my aunts and cousins make the trip and share our memories of my cousin. There were a lot of questions about her estate and how much planning she had done since she was only 47 when she passed. Let’s face it, when you’re perfectly healthy and in the prime of your life, you don’t think about things like life insurance or beneficiaries – I know I hadn’t. It was quite eye-opening to realize how important these things are, and how much a sudden […] Read More

I’m Having Directional Issues

Oh my dear old go-to app. We’ve been together a long time, ever since that trip to Austin for a bachelorette party in 2013. We’ve traveled together, protected each other, and discovered new places together. But we’ve reached that point in our relationship the wires are crossed, and we’ve lost the signal that made our relationship special. In this particular instance, I’m fairly certain it’s you – not me. You don’t understand my needs, and you’re constantly second-guessing me. On more than one occasion you’ve almost put my life in danger, which I don’t think is really acceptable. We argue constantly, and you always think you’re right – even when you’re dead wrong. I simply don’t see how our relationship can continue down this road when U-turns keep happening. Faith and trust are paramount in a relationship, and lately I feel like my faith and trust in you is […] Read More