Tag Archives: vacation

Ecuador Pure Life: Part One

16th November 2015

After eight days away and two spent sleeping to recover, P and I are home from Ecuador. We’re rested, thankful and still quite mesmerized by a remarkable week spent in South America.

FullSizeRender 16When we began planning this trip four months or so ago, I had two wishes: get out of my comfort zone and get outside.


When we stumbled upon a trip to Ecuador on the Clymb over the summer and the itinerary and price fit the bill, we booked it on a whim. It wasn’t until the night before heading out that I frantically looked up weather patterns in the cities we would be visiting, so to say we were going into this one blind was an understatement.

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While our packing may have been slightly sub-par (when the packing list calls for rain pants, pack rain pants), the trip in its entirety blew our expectations away at every turn.

We booked the trip with Ecuador Pure Life, which meant they took care of all of our reservations, activities and transportation. Phew. We traveled with a driver and tour guide for the entire trip, making our language barrier much more manageable (thank goodness for snippets from college rushing back), and I couldn’t have hand picked a better group of fifteen strangers as companions.


I’ll save all of our adventures for a few posts to come (seriously there were SO many activities), because, by far, the best part of the entire trip was the people. The people we traveled with. The people we met. The people who guided us.


Of all of the places I’ve been in the world (which is not an exhaustive list), the Ecuadorians are the most welcoming, humble and positive group of people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.


Ecuador Pure Life works to carefully select local guides, restaurants and partners across the country, leaving us with a balance of sketchy activities (like P’s bridge jump), to authentic Andean and Amazon home stays and to no shortage of gas station ice cream runs.

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While we’re happy to be home (and so are our animals), eight days away to a place unknown with people who became family was just the retreat we needed. Friday night, as we sat in the airport and watched the news from Paris unfold, we were comforted in knowing that while there are bad people in this world, they are far outnumbered by the good.


Thank you Ecuador for welcoming us to into your homes, for inspiring us to have deeper conversations with people unknown, for challenging us to be more curious (but maybe not so curious to eat live grubs) and for encouraging us to embrace every adventure that life throws our way, together. For the best eight days we can remember, thank you.


South America, we’ll be back, maybe not for the grubs, but as for the rest, count us in.

I’m Back!

19th August 2013

It’s been a busy few weeks around here. If you happened to notice, changing servers late last week meant this site was down for a few days. If you didn’t, that’s OK too, I’ll take it you were doing more fun things than hanging out here. After a few tech support phone calls, file transfers and pleas for assistance from the developers who sit beside me, and I’m back up and running. Success. I even learned a little something along the way. Score one for pretending to know anything learning quite a bit about web dev.

So, it has been a busy few weeks, and there is more to come, which means there will be plenty to post about. In the meantime, I’m just plain excited that this thing is back in cyberspace, instead of feeling like this:

I’ll leave you with a few little things to be excited about in the upcoming weeks…

1. The agency I work for was acquired (we were in the New York Times, you guys). There were cheers, congratulations and questions about whether or not the infamous company cruise would be reinstated (sadly, it is not), but best of all, it means a lot of exciting things for someone in my position.

2. I turned 25 and celebrated with plenty of wine. Who knew North Georgia was home to quite a few wineries?

3. In a little more than a week (nine days to be exact) I’ll have some extra exciting news to share that includes lots of painting and DIY projects in my future.

4. P and I are venturing to Charleston for the first time, which means I’m scheming ways to convince that kid to go on a ghost tour, naturally.

5. My baby sister goes to college. I’m not sure how that happened.

6. I’ll celebrate three years at Engauge and I’m not even remotely tired of it yet. Which is good, because in agency dog years, I figure I’ve been here around 21 years by this point.

7. College football season is a mere 12 days away and I can already hear the “Glory Glory” cheers coming from Sanford Stadium.

Stay tuned. I promise I’ll be back with more than Zoolander GIFs really soon.

Summer Bucket List

5th June 2013

I’m not quite sure what it is, but even post-college, summer still seems to have a sweet aura about it where you can dig up a little extra time in the days and make the most of a great adventure or two.

Peachtree Road Farmers MarketWhile we are already a week or so in to my favorite season of the year, I’ve finally compiled my summer bucket list, one which I hope will evolve and result in supporting blog posts to document the tales.

  • Hike to the cliffs and jump. If you’ve gone tubing down the Chattahoochee before, you’ve seen the jumping cliffs. Fun fact: you can hike there too. Weeknight hikes are quickly becoming my favorite way to cap of a weekday and while hiking scaling the side of a cliff isn’t on my list of favorite things to do, I do seem to get less fearful each time. Plus it’s hot and jumping into the water while we leave our shoes on the cliff just sounds plain fun
  • Learn attempt to learn calligraphy. This one is slightly lofty, but it’s been on my list for quite some time, so what better summer project. I’ve been eying this program, but if anyone knows of a local in-person course, I’d happily take recommendations
  • Sharpen my media skills. This one is work driven, but I am no pro when it comes to media buying, vendors, etc. As my role requires me to have a fairly in-depth knowledge across channels, this is a good continuation
  • Buy vegetables from the farmer’s market. I finally made it to the weekly Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market last week and it was lovely. However, picking out greens seemed too overwhelming, I’ll get over this
  • Take a trip to the mountains complete with fresh fruit: blueberries, cherries and peaches … oh my. Maybe I can even cheat and get cherries in Michigan during our annual trip in August, I always seem to just miss peak season
  • Watch more than one sunset from PDK. Another favorite hidden Atlanta gem
  • Run once a week without a watch to keep pace. This is a big one, the watch is addicting and distracting. I need to spend some time falling back in love with the pavement (or trails)
  • (On the opposite effect) Run a sub-50 10K. With my recent knee issues, that don’t seem to be letting up, I’m not certain this is realistic, but you better believe I’ll try my darnedest on the Fourth of July
  • Kayak the Hooch. We can add tubing here, that’s bound to happen at least a few times
  • Make King of Pops a staple (as if it wasn’t already)
  • Celebrate turning 25 without fear of entering my “mid-twenties”