You Only Live Once, This Is How I'm Doing It!

Tag: Australia

Hair Saga: chapter one

Or, The Great Heat Wave of 2009

Oh my hair, my hair. My hair and I have been through many adventures together. My hair has a mind of it’s own, for real. My hair basically does what it pleases whether it makes sense or not. How many people do you know who have had both naturally straight and naturally curly hair at different points in their life? Without a perm? Well you now know at least one. *points to self* There have been many, many hair debacles over the years. I will ease you in with the most recent one.

If you haven’t checked out the post from when I went to Australia you definitely should. It was an amazing adventure and very nearly a perfect trip. I didn’t mention the one imperfection in that post because it wasn’t really the point. However if you know me really well you might have been able to guess. Here, I’ll give you a hint:

This is Joel and I walking the red carpet into the opera house. Amazing moment. Ignore the large man in the background. Notice something different about my hair?

If you said half of it is pulled back then ding ding you guessed correctly. While this is a perfectly fine hairstyle it’s not one I would normally wear. It’s also not how I planned to wear my hair that evening.

I’m a little bit, um, clueless when it comes to hair. I basically have two hairstyles: up and down. For work I’ll throw in a bun every now and then, ya know, if I’m feeling crazy. Other than that I have zero ability to do any fancy up-dos or anything. Since it was a big fancy occasion and a pony tail was out I decided to straighten my hair and wear it down. I know, incredibly posh. My hair generally looks pretty good down and let’s be honest, most of the paparazzi wasn’t there to take pictures of me (shocker I know). I consider myself a fairly seasoned world traveler so, even though I had a straightener from the States, I had my fancy outlet adapter so thought I was set. Plus, Plus, I had been straightening my hair with that exact straightener all the other days I was there. I had no reason to think anything would be different that evening.

You can probably guess where this is going. As I was straightening my hair I noticed what I thought was the effect of not quite drying my hair all the way. You know how when your hair is damp it steams a little when you apply a heating element? That’s what I thought was happening. I also thought it was a little strange because I didn’t think my hair was still wet but in my excitement for the event I didn’t stop to analyze things. At almost the end of the process I realized I smelled something funny. At the same moment I watched in horror as the bits of my hair that just had the straightener on them fell on the bathroom counter. O.M.G. I frantically ran my fingers through my hair and more bits fell.

And then I died.

Ok, I didn’t actually die but I really thought I was going to. I was on my way to walk the red carpet of a major motion picture world premiere. There were going to be movie stars and models there. People were going to want to take my picture (What?! A girl can dream, can’t she?) and I had just fried my hair! There was no time to for any real help. I had a mini meltdown and resigned myself to doing what I could with what I had. The half up-do was the result. Like I said, I’m pretty clueless.

When I came home and assessed the damage it was pretty bad. I had seriously fried my hair basically from root to tip. Some parts were worse than others. The underside of my hair was the least damaged while the top layer of hair and bits by my face were by far the worst. Just my luck of course since that’s the part that shows the most. I went to get it cut and there wasn’t much they could do other than shave it all off and that was not something I was willing to do. They cut as much off as I would let them and from there it’s just been a waiting game. I always thought my hair grew relatively fast but since this whole fiasco I’ve changed my mind. My hair is the slowest growing thing in the world.

Today I went to the Aveda Institute to get my hair cut today. Side not: I love that place. They give great hair cuts, use high quality natural products and they’re super inexpensive. Also, I’ve not been paid to say that. Anyway, since I’m getting to the end of the severe damage (thank goodness!), my student’s instructor suggested some sort of botanical deep conditioning treatment. It involved me sitting under the dryer with a super sexy towel thing on my head for 15 minutes.

Sorry boys, I’m taken.

In the end it made my hair much softer and actually seemed to repair some of the damage. I wish I had a before picture but I don’t so you’re just going to have to take my word for it with the after picture.

I’m not sure how well you can tell because it’s kind of small but I can see that the ends are damaged a little still. The rest of my hair looks super shiny and awesome though so I’m happy. I hope the treatment lasts until I can get back in for another trim.

I only have a couple inches to go before I’m back to having healthy hair. Of course I fully expect my dear hair to pull a fast one on me and add another chapter to my saga before too long. In the mean time though try to learn from my mistake. Do not use your own heating devices in a foreign country. If you have something fancy to go to buy one there or, better yet, have a professional do the job. I still have about three inches worth of reasons why it’s totally worth every penny.

Happy Birthday, Joel!


Dear Joel,

This last year was a good one. We’ve grown so much together and I have fallen more in love with you than ever. We had many adventures including a last minute weekend trip to The Netherlands. It was the first time we’d been there together in almost four years. It was so fun revisiting the country with you and watching my Dutch family love you just as much as ever. I love how spontaneous we are together.

Speaking of spontaneous, our biggest adventure by far was our trip down to Australia to see the premiere of Star Trek. That was one of the best trips of my life, I’m so glad we took it together. Thank you for being such a big nerd that you traveled to the opposite side of the world just to see a movie.

We tried going to Africa together but couldn’t get the funds. Don’t worry, it will all come together when it’s time. In a way, I’m kind of glad it didn’t work out since we¬† have decided to try to go to India next year instead. This has been my dream since I was young and there is no one I’d rather go with.

Our newest adventure has been our puppy dog. I love watching you love on her and play with her. I know it’s been a challenge and she’s tried both of our patience but she’s turning into a wonderful dog. Thank you for sticking it out with me and not selling her on ebay.

You are my very best friend and I love you so much. I even looked forward to standing outside on a freezing cold November night waiting for the midnight release of the Star Trek movie on Blu-ray. See, I love you enough that I’m turning into a nerd with you and I even like it. How appropriate it is that Star Trek is released on your birthday. I’m pretty sure Star Trek doesn’t have a bigger fan.

I wish you the happiest of birthdays. I look forward to celebrating many, many more with you.

Live long and prosper my love.


An adventure down under

I was sitting in my hotel room on a layover in Pittsburgh and received a phone call from Joel-

“The Star Trek movie is premiering in Sydney on the 7th. Tickets go on sale in an hour. Can I try and get some?”


“Um, sure…? If you get tickets we’ll go.”

Honestly, I didn’t really think he’d get them. However, about an hour later I got another phone call. He’d gotten the tickets. Out of only approximately three hundred tickets on sale he somehow got two. All I can say is, he’s amazing. So began our whirlwind of preparations so we could leave for Australia in less than a week.

It wasn’t easy, but after several unsuccessful tries and almost twenty hours on two different planes we finally made it to Sydney. We left Friday afternoon and because of the time change we arrived Sunday morning. The premiere wasn’t until Tuesday night so we had a couple days to explore the city. Sydney is amazing. It is one of the most diverse, interesting, beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. I literally took over seven hundred pictures and I won’t bore you (although I have toyed with the idea of doing a sort of daily photo blog from my trip). Here are some highlights from our trip.


This was the view from our hotel room. That’s the Sydney Harbor Bridge.


The beautiful Sydney Opera House. This is where the Star Trek movie premiered.


We really were there!


Nothing makes me happy quite like cotton candy or, as they call it over there “fairy floss”, especially at a carnival in Sydney.


Beautiful view of the Harbor Bridge and Opera House from across the harbor at the carnival we visited.


Oh my gosh! I found Nemo!


We are so in love, can you tell?


Joel being his typical silly self.


Yummy fish and chips. Joel insisted we get some and I’m glad we did, it was delicious.


Gorgeous Sydney from the bridge at night.

Of course the real reason we went wasn’t to sight see, it was to see a movie. Just saying that makes me shake my head smiling. Only we would travel to the complete opposite side of the earth for a movie.

Anyway, Tuesday morning we were up bright and early to pick up our tickets and collectible posters.


Nerd alert!

Then it was time for the big night at the Opera House. It was the perfect evening. We got dressed up and walked the red carpet which was a dream come true for me.


I was born for this. J.J., call me!


Speaking of J.J. Abrams, here’s the man himself. No, I didn’t use the zoom for this picture, I was really this close to him.

The movie was surprisingly good. I’ve never been a Star Trek fan, I’ve only ever seen a handful of episodes. This movie was not your normal Star Trek. J.J. Abrams is brilliant and the movie was nonstop action. It kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I actually really enjoyed it. Just don’t start calling me a Trekkie… yet.

Make sure to check out Joel’s blog for more Star Trek details and his perspective of the trip.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén