My shoes died on me in NYC…

Before I get into this glorious story I’d like to mention I’m working on a Costa Rica page for my blog with some useful resources/information and I’ll be posting more content related to that trip so I can link it on that page. Sorry, I know you’re probably sick of it by now: “We get it, you went to Costa Rica!” Ahhhh. 

A picture of some random NYC buildings. 

Anyway, I went to New York City for my friend’s birthday weekend (shoutout to her lovely mother for taking me along). Not everything went according to plan. The hotel we were supposed to stay at didn’t have our reservation, so we had to carry our stuff with us the rest of the day. Also, we had to get ready to see a Broadway show in the lobby bathroom – which was two stalls and a small mirror. I had chosen a cute velvet a-line dress, stockings, my favorite necklace, a black cropped denim jacket, and these amazing (or so I thought) studded wedges. 

Black velvet dress, black necklace, black tights. I have no outfit photos of me wearing these shoes.

I had picked up these “bad boys” at a thrift shop a few years prior, but I had never worn them. That’s right, I never wore these. Not once. As you can tell from the title, that wouldn’t make much of a difference. Immediately after we exited the lobby I started hearing “click, flap, click, flap” when I walked. I looked down and noticed the sole of the shoe was coming apart! But I was able to tuck it underneath the heel protector, and I figured I could manage the rest of the night. I was wrong. 

Accessible caption: My studded wedges. They had circular, triangle, and pyramid shaped studs on eight different straps. These straps were coming undone. 

We took an Uber to the broadway show and as soon as we exited the car I felt this strange sensation. Apparently, the straps were glued underneath the sole, and when the sole starting coming off, the toe straps came undone. I couldn’t walk in them, they were *LITERALLY* falling apart on my feet, but I had no time to slow down because we were late for the show. 

At this point I was pissed that these shoes fell apart on me. When intermission came into the garbage they went! These shoes erected extremely petty hatred that filled every fiber of my being. Hence the following photo. 

Accessible caption: My friend’s mother holding up the shoes while I hold up a middle finger to them. How dare you fall apart on me, ungrateful foot-holders! 

Now, remember how we had to carry around our stuff? THANK GOD. I was able to change into a pair of boots I had brought. I guess the moral of the story is that if your hotel doesn’t have your reservation, it’s fine because your shoes are about to fall apart. And that concludes today’s installment of life lessons with Knurly.

See you soon,

Knurly 

Travel Diaries | Costa Rica: Encounters of the awkward kind

This storytime is accompanied by a drinking game: take a shot every time I said awkward. Disclaimer: don’t do that. Unless you want to…at your own risk. 

Every traveler knows that hostels are a great place to meet other people. Even if you’re a nervous a-social being hiding away in a private room (like myself), you can’t escape the social nature of the hostel. However, what happens when you combine two socially inept introverts (cough…like myself and my boyfriend) with a couple of clearly social stoners? A really awkward story, that’s what.

All it needs is a couple hammocks…

My boyfriend had cooked us dinner (thanks babe) and I was cleaning up the shared kitchen. Out of nowhere, this young lady asks me “did you cook in here?” – or something of the sort. That’s not important. I tell her yes, my boyfriend made us dinner…blah blah blah, not important. We’re just going to call her…Jane. Jane is from the states, like I am, so naturally we start talking. I tell her we were in Monteverde, and as it turns out, that’s where her and her boyfriend are heading to next. She wants recommendations on cheap things to do. Turns out our private rooms were right next to each other. I went into my room to get my Monteverde map.

We’re sitting on the bench in front of her room and her boyfriend comes out. We’re going to call him…Nolan. Still no problem, super nice seeming people, very chill, kind of stoners, but to each their own. Anyway, Jane says shes gotta go take a shower and returns to her room My boyfriend and I decide to sit outside on our bench. About fifteen to thirty minutes later, Nolan comes outside the room and sees us sitting on our bench. He says “Oh…You guys totally heard us didn’t you?” Hahaha. We said no, and to be honest, we didn’t hear them having sex. But it was still awkward.

He asks if we’d be up to go out to eat. My boyfriend, being the great conversationalist that he is says something like: “We already ate, but we’re totally up to watch you eat.” Eep. Awkward. 

GREAT choice of words, babe. What he MEANT to say was “we’re down for anything.” Needless to say, thing’s did progress very well afterwards. We continue to sit on our bench until the two came out, showered and changed, and made a b-line past us towards the courtyard exist…and didn’t say annnyyythhhinnggg to us.

Ouch, owwie. Awkward. To make things even worse, they kept coming and going in and out of the courtyard, which, mind you, is fairly small (I think they were trying to acquire weed from someone outside). It was weird, because there was no communication from them if they wanted to hang out, or not. I don’t exactly know when they left, because my boyfriend and I were so tired we passed out around 8-9. Anyway, the next day at breakfast we completely avoided them but they also avoided us. It was awkward. There were some…glances. My boyfriend and I decided to get out of there and when we came back later, they had left. Phewww.

The moral of the story is I’m 21 and still socially inept. But that’s ok, because the internet has taught me to post these stories online.

What the most awkward encounter you’ve had while traveling? I’m positive this is not the most awkward thing that will happen to me.

-Knurly 

Travel Diary | I went to La Fortuna waterfall and all I got was this postcard…

Hello wonderful readers! Yes, it may be at least three weeks since I returned from my trip to Costa Rica…but forgive my absence, and I’ll spare you the excuses. It’s time for one of many travel diaries and Costa-Rica related content. 

If you are not aware, La Fortuna waterfall is a popular tourist attraction where visitors can visit the incredible 75 foot cataract and swim in its chilly river. We (myself, and my boyfriend) had not planned on visiting the waterfall, but we had a free day and our shuttle pass (more on that in a later post) would provide us with transportation to the site. There was only one tiny detail that we were unsure about; we had no idea whether or not our belonging would be safe while we swam. As a result, we made the bone-headed decision to not bring our cellphones, cameras, or our wallets. Instead, we brought our pre-installed cameras (or…eyes…whatever the kids are calling them) and enough cash to enter the park.

Before you stop reading – are you still reading? Good. I took the opportunity to disconnect myself from my phone. While traveling, I find it incredibly easy to constantly be holding my phone or camera in front of my face. However, it is better to try and live in the experience rather than record the experience. I thought I’d be doing myself a favor. I was completely wrong.

Wikipedia

I don’t think when people suggest forgoing photos and “living in the moment” they think about how the human mind works. Frankly, it’s easier for me to remember an experience when I’m looking at photos of said experience, rather than trying to pull the thoughts out of my brain. When I’m ninety, am I going to remember the waterfall more or less than everything else that I experienced? Probably not. What I will do is sit around in my levitating wheelchair and reflect on photos of my youth. All I’m going to remember about that damn waterfall is that I didn’t take any photos!

What can be done about the ever-existing struggle between taking photos/videos, and living in the moment? It’s not impossible to find a balance. I’d say the best advice I could give you is to live through an experience first, and then take photos when you’re done.  How many times have you been with a group of people and the second something  occurs, everyone whips out their phone? Maybe take some time to see with your eyes, and then pull the camera. If you’re in a certain location, maybe set aside a specific amount of time to take photos. But don’t forget to take photos! Especially photos of you in the location. I can google La Fortuna Waterfall and see what the cataract looks like, but I can’t go back and take photos of myself there. I have many regrets.

So in short, I went to La Fortuna Waterfall and all I got was this postcard…

-Knurly 

Travel Diary | London: Not a Love Story

In the spirit of my upcoming travels, I decided to reflect upon some past experiences I’ve had abroad. The first thing that came to mind was the one day I spent in London. I’m not going to lie, it was probably my least favorite day in England.

First of all, my uncle had come down with a migraine the day before. Therefore, my aunt stayed with him the next day. Ok, no big deal, except I had to go into London with my uncle’s friend’s family, who I didn’t know well (They’re great people, by the way). I only had met one of them previous to the trip. To make things a little more awkward, I planned to visit the National Art Gallery. Try going to an art museum with people who aren’t as into art. It’s not exactly fun. For the record, the National Art Gallery is amazing! It’s admission free (well, if you’re British) but I didn’t pay any admission, just a donation (and there was nobody to collect said donation either.)

Enjoy this Renoir

Second, and most prominently, London is a cluster-fuck of people. I’ve been to Los Angeles, New York, Montreal, Philadelphia, etc, etc, but London is another beast all together. According to Google, more people live in New York, but for some reason, London was absolutely overwhelming. There was too much for me to look at! If you get overwhelmed easily, absolutely do not go to Camden Town. And don’t even think about getting on the London Eye. I wasn’t planning on it, but looking at the line made my head hurt!

Now I know tourist areas are crowded, but everything was crowded. Especially the tube.

Thirdly, if traveling to England during the summer, it’s important to note that London is much warmer than other areas. I swear, it was four degrees warmer in London than it was in the countryside where I was staying. What really killed me was not the heat, because relative to where I live it was much cooler. No, it was an awkward temperature in which I kept taking off my jacket and putting it back on. I would overheat with it on, but feel chilly with it off. The last thing I want to do in a foreign country is constantly fuss with my outfit.

This post is not designed to deter anyone from visiting London – nor it is designed to simply whine and complain. Oh poor me, slightly uncomfortable while getting to travel. It’s just that I didn’t fall in love with the city the way I had expected. When I would hear “London” I had notions about what it would be like to visit. This trip shifted those expectations, which is common in the world of travel. Experiences are designed to teach.

Knurly


P.S. I’ll be writing a more positive post talking about what I did in London in the near future.

P.P.S. If I don’t respond to your comment, I may not be in the country. Adios!