Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Three Years

Today is our three year anniversary!
(Also, Sarah's birthday - happy birthday Dr. Schaef!)

Us, back in the day
According to several internet sources, the traditional third wedding anniversary gift is leather, but we don't plan on cashing in until we hit Argentina.  Dave will be buying me a new bag(s) and shoes in Buenos Aires.  I will be buying Dave a steak, which is a leather byproduct.

Who knows where we'll be celebrating number 4?!  What's your best guess?
(If you choose "other," tell us in the comments!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

No Old Baggage on this GT

In case you were not lucky enough to visit our apartment while it was doubling as a luggage warehouse, I've listed a few key statistics that should help you get a sense of what an easy, hassle-free process it was for us to pick out our luggage for the GT.
  • Number of recon visits to Paragon: 2
  • Number of bags ordered from eBags (round one): 12 (cost- $2,605)
  • Number of humongous boxes in which the bags were shipped: 10
  • Number of freakouts that Jesse's home was being overrun by the bag army: 2 (okay, 3)
  • Number of hours spent debating the merits of wheeled vs backpack, carry-on vs checked: felt like an eternity
  • Number of fruitless hours spent by Dave on the phone with eBags customer service, attempting to extend return period: 1
  • Number of bags returned to eBags: 12 (refund- $2,605)
  • Number of bags re-purchased from eBags for further consideration (rounds two & three): 8 (cost - $1,865)
  • Number of minutes it took Jesse to choose her bag, following receipt of round two: 10
  • Number of days it took Dave to choose his bag, following receipt of round three: 20
  • Number of (round two & three) bags returned to eBags: 6 (refund - $1,345)
  • Number of times Dave referred to his decision between a 25" bag and a 28" bag as a "Sophie's Choice": hundreds, maybe thousands
    • (Number of times Dave has seen the movie Sophie's Choice: 0)
  • Number of times Jesse has secretly worried how she will manage to fit all the shoes she needs but still have space to buy things: ongoing
  • Irony that the bag ultimately chosen was the first bag we liked at Paragon months earlier: high.  
  • Surprise that this was the case: low.
The Bag Army Conquers the Couch

So, after all of the internet shopping, review reading, test packing, mind changing, box shipping and soul searching of the last few months, we are excited to present to you:

We chose these handsome yet rugged 25" Osprey Sojourns for a number of reasons.   They're sturdy and well-made.  They're bigger than a carry on, but still a manageable size.  You can strap stuff to the outside.  Most importantly, however, they have both wheels and backpack straps, which means that Dave can sherpa my luggage and his own luggage at the same time!*

*This is very important because I intend to milk the broken wrist for all it's worth.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

One Shoe to Rule Them All

When you only get one pair of shoes for a year, you have to choose wisely.  That's why I bought my shoes on the internet, without trying them on....

This is the first post detailing the gear we will be taking on the Grand Tour (the "GT").  Starting at the bottom, physically, here I discuss the all-important shoe selection (or as Jesse calls them, Shoe-balls*).  As is my custom I ordered and had delivered a half a dozen pairs of shoes for a deliberate and extensive, indoor, try-on session.

The contenders for best non-sandal shoe were:

Not a Winner

Not a Winner


Not a Winner

Always guess "C," right?

Anyway, I have always been a great fan of Merrell brand footwear.  Sturdy, great soles, wide toe-box for my fat toe-balls and always rugged looking, you could regularly find me wearing my "hiking shoes" in somewhat inappropriate places: the gym, kickball games, fancy restaurant, even rehearsal dinners (Sorry Nair!).

So it is with great apprehension that I have chosen to go with the Vasque Juxt | 7004s.  But since I can only have one pair of shoes I've (read Jesse) has decided these (somewhat) decent looking shoes will compliment all of the leg-wear I plan to bring on this trip - regular shorts, work-out shorts, jeans, and convertible pants (more on each of these items to come) better than the chunky leatherish Merrells.  Plus those clever Vasque marketers really hit all my buttons with their advertising copy.
Understated style [me], excellent durability [me] and solid support for enlightened souls [me, maybe] who appreciate functional utility [wow, I am really close on this one].  Being comfortable enough to live in every day, this shoe's secure lacing and tenacious sticky rubber sole inspires plans into the unknown [sounds a lot like the GT!].
Plus, the Juxts have the "Arc Tempo, which creates an athletic fit that promotes quickness and agility over technical ground."  I am happy to engage any technology that promotes quickness and agility.   Apparently it does this by "plac[ing my] foot in a more powerful position during toe off [and provides an] aggressive toe spring [that] facilitates rapid obstacle clearance."  With my new-found quickness and agility, I will most certainly need rapid obstacle clearance.

So, me and the Juxts for one year.  Lets hope it works out.  But, I have been wearing them while drafting this post and am somewhat troubled because the entire time I have been aware of the outside of the toe-box rubbing up on my sensitive, yet manly-looking, pinky toeball.  Stay tuned to see if the Juxts make it out of South America, or if they make it out of New York at all...


* This terminology arose after a cleaning woman broke a light in our house and left us a note, writing with "I so sorry, I break lightball."  Now any item can be appended with "ball" and it is instantly fun and cute - to us at least.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rent Our Apartment


Spacious, light-filled one bedroom, one-bathroom apartment on gorgeous tree-lined block in prime Greenwich Village location. The apartment is approximately 800 square feet and features a newly gut-renovated pass-through kitchen with granite countertops, glass tiled backsplash, slate floors and stainless steel appliances. Updated windowed bathroom, 5 spacious closets and hardwood parquet floors throughout. Breathtaking southern and eastern exposures fill this home with dazzling light. This full-service doorman building (with live-in super) is pet-friendly and features a brand-new laundry room and spectacular planted roofdeck with 360 degree views. Just steps from Washington Square and Union Square, this home is close to all major subway lines (ACE, BDFV, 456 and 123 trains) and the best restaurants and shopping in all of Manhattan. Offered fully furnished for a one-year rental with queen-sized bed, sectional couch (w/sofa bed), large expandable dining table, 50” and 32” HDTVs and more.  List price: $3,800/month.

Please contact us at for more information.

Living Room
Dining Area



Roof Garden


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We Be Rolling

Its time. 
As many of you may know, we have decided to take a year to travel the world and do some volunteering abroad!  We are very excited about out trip and we welcome any and all suggestions, recommendations, and introductions to locals in the places we'll be visiting.  We hope you will follow along at

The broad plan, as it stands now, is:
  • Sept 30th: leave JFK with a one way ticket to Santiago!  Wake up on our RTW trip.
  • Oct-Dec: South America (Chile/Easter Island; Argentina)
  • Dec-Jan: Africa (South Africa; middle of Africa?; Egypt; Jordan)
  • Jan-Feb: India (chana masala!)
  • Feb-Aug: South East Asia (volunteering)
  • Aug-Sept: Trans-Siberian railroad (via Mongolia); Russia; Eastern Europe                                                               
Rent Our Apartment!
We also hope that you'll help us rent out our apartment for the year!  We would really appreciate it if you could forward this information along, post it to your company's or school's bulletin board or newsletter, and just generally keep us in mind if you hear of anyone who's looking.  A post with all the information can be found at: