Thursday, August 25, 2016

This is painful for me to write. I went to Maine for my cousin’s wedding. I took my daughter and my friend and we spent a week in Maine. First Acadia National Park & the cute town of Bar Harbor. Then two nights in foodie heaven in Portland. And finally, to the beach, Wells/Kennebunkport. I have no photos to share! I am pretty terrible at this travel blogging thing. We actually did lots of things that were blog worthy and worth capturing. We drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain and took in the breathtaking views of Frenchman Bay. We ate fried doughnuts at Duckfat. I ate goat cheese Chambord ice cream in Kennebunkport. Ok so I could go on but the whole trip revolved around food with the exception of the wedding in Wells, which was also beautiful.

So after being gone a week, as soon as I got home and put my daughter to bed, I rushed downstairs to see my cats. Now, my husband hates my cats. He did feed them while I was gone but by no means did he cuddle them or hang out with them. So imagine my horror when I pet my cat and she feels a little scabby. And then later on I saw a black bug but then it was gone. And then I saw another. And then I’m freaking out because my poor cats are suffering a flea infestation that I just spread around our house. The only thing worse I can imagine is bed bugs. I can’t even begin to tell you how stressful the last week has been but I think the fleas are finally under control and I can try to start putting the house back together. But suffice it to say, I am itchy, ALL THE TIME ITCHY. My cats were indoor only for 8 years and I never treated them for fleas, honestly never knew I had to. And when we moved to this house, cat #3 took to darting outside whenever he could. So I won’t make that mistake again. Frontline for all 3 of them now.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Dollhouse

Back before my daughter was even conceived, we put an offer on a house. It was the cutest little house, no lie it was a dollhouse. It was a short sale and unoccupied. I used to visit it and sit in the backyard and dream of the renovations I would do. The patio we would install and the vegetables we would plant. I’d draw floor plans and try to figure out how to arrange my furniture in the tiny rooms. I even took my parents there to see it. I dragged another friend there with promises that we would stop for ice cream on the way back.
A photo posted by Julie Sal (@saltyjules) on

The realtor told me it could take a while. 3 months even. Months passed and I became pregnant with my daughter. I imagined walking her around the neighborhood in the stroller and to the grocery store or down by the river. I saw her older, riding her bike to the neighborhood pool or to the library. I would say after 6 months of waiting, I started getting a little antsy. We were keeping an eye out and looking at other properties but none that we liked as much as this one.

We were living in a small one bedroom efficiency that I loved too but we were ready to move. Besides just wanting more space, we really wanted to be able to grill outside. We spent every weekend that summer at parks grilling and fishing and lazing around, reading books in the hamaca.

We were under contract on this house for 10 months when I threw in the towel. I desperately wanted to move before the baby was born. My pregnancy nesting instinct was in overdrive and I was practically hyperventilating that we hadn’t moved yet. I started looking at houses at the top of our budget and dragged my husband to see this perfectly boring, ranch house in your typical suburban neighborhood where all the houses are one of three similar styles. It was outdated, original 1960s kitchen and baths, but move in ready—everything worked and it was clean. “Let’s just get it,” I said.  It was in a nice neighborhood, with a great elementary school, walkable to absolutely nothing. My husband was not convinced. “There’s no place to put my lancha,” he said. You do realize, I told him, we don’t own a boat. And when we get your lancha we can figure out where to put it then. Besides we did have a canoe that was hanging out at some random person’s house that we never used cause it was not readily accessible.

I am fairly sure that he reluctantly agreed to moving to this house but for the first couple of months he did complain a ton. In any event, we moved just weeks before our baby was born and the only room that we managed to renovate was the nursery.

The whole point of this story was, buying this house made me feel like my dreams of being a traveler and travel blogger were pretty much dead. Eight months later, it seems ridiculous now because there is nothing holding me back from writing and owning a home does not mean you cannot travel. We closed on this house on a Friday and promptly began moving our things over. Monday morning I got an email from our realtor that the bank had approved our offer on the dollhouse. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Access Denied

“Every great trip should begin with a series of minor catastrophes.”
            --Christine Gilbert,

Well if that ain’t the truth. Last night my baby projectile vomited all over me, not once but twice.  This morning I was making breakfast, put my bagel in the toaster and ran to the living room for something and came back and heard water boiling. Did I hit the switch on the kettle? No, that’s the sound of my bagel in flames. On a whim I decided that I must take a trip abroad before baby #2 is born. I have a streak of leaving the country at least once every year since 2002 and I didn’t want to break it. That’s a completely logical reason for taking a 10 month old to Italy when you’re 7 months pregnant. I saw a sale fare to Milan back in May and impulse purchased a trip to Italy.

Tickets booked, I dragged my husband down to the post office the following Saturday morning to apply for my daughter’s passport. Waited 4 hours but finally we submitted her application, showed our IDs, and paid the fees. I listed our expected date of travel as August because we are traveling to Maine this month and if I had her passport then perhaps we could swing into Canada? Who knows. But clearly that is not happening as I received a letter back from the State Department, not quite denying her passport but close.

Her father is not a US citizen and basically his ID was not sufficient to apply for a passport. So now they want 5 forms of ID from this list they sent us. I sent in 5 things and hopefully they are sufficient. In the meantime, I am applying for other passports for her but imagine if we didn’t have that option? Without a passport you are essentially on house arrest in your own country. And if you’re wondering what ID we used that wasn’t sufficient, we both showed our driver’s licenses. 


Write, Travel, Relax, Laugh
1.    Pay off student loan
2.    Save money
3.    Finish house projects
4.    Get fired spectacularly
5.    Live abroad
a.   Study languages
b.   Take pictures
c.    Build a house
For years now, I have been telling my friends that I want to build myself a tiny house. I have a shed in the backyard of my house that has electricity and I wanted to renovate it into a tiny house I could live in and rent out the main house. My friends thought I was nuts and then, tiny houses became a thing.
For me it was always about security, that I would always have someplace to go, someplace to land. That I could go off and travel and if I ran out of money then I could always come back to my tiny house. Even better, would be if I could have one tiny house in Mexico and one in Spain. And Maybe another in Canada. Dreams.