Peak Experiences: Santa Isabel and Los Nevados

It started to snow during the first kilometer, which is not what you’d expect, hiking in Colombia.  It wasn’t a soft, New Hampshire, get-out-the-cross-country-skis snow, but a Rhode Island coastal snow, halfway between snow and sleet, that uniquely snot-like texture that sticks to and soaks through everything.  Which is unfortunate since we were wearing 90%…

The Long Goodbye

I like to think of myself as this flexible, go-with-the-flow kind of gal.  You know, who rolls with the punches and takes things in stride and all those other vaguely sports-oriented metaphors.  It turns out, however, based on a forty-odd year track record of actual evidence, that I’m not.  Which is one of the suck-y…

The Unicorn of Shoes

Packing for a six-month trip is a challenging task, doubly so when you are a person who hates to schlep stuff.  Like, hates it.  I have this vivid memory of trying to navigate from the Gare de Lyon to the Gare de Something Else in Paris after a cross-country, cross-Atlantic red-eye with all my gear…

In which I change my mind

Last night, at 3:30am, I woke up with my first full-blown panic about our plan.  Of course it won’t work.  We will be miserable and lonely. None of us will speak Spanish well enough to make friends.  We will be stuck with the weirdo ex-pats that washed ashore in Central America. Retta will turn 12…

The Prelude

Anyone who has been in long-term relationship knows the trigger phrases.  They are the words that, when they come out of your partner’s mouth, the world freezes.  All senses go on high alert.  “This is it,” you think.  “Here it comes.” In my marriage, the trigger phrase is, “Hey, so I had this kind of…