Stylish Blogger

Me?  Stylish?  I seriously just laughed out loud at the thought.   It appears that Caronlyn at Vegan Monster thinks so.  As does GI Jane at A Mile in My Boots.  And last, but certainly not least, my running buddy and fellow iPhone blogger extraordinaire, Jena at Life is Beachy Keen, thinks I’m pretty stylish too.  I am writing my acceptance speech and going shopping with my personal stylist for my gown for the awards show this afternoon. 

No really, let’s get real.  Y’all must have just gotten wind that I bought a new bike.  It is stylish.  It will make me stylish. When I broke the news to Dave his response was, “What?  A new bike?  You have three in the garage already.” 

My saddle and handlebar tape will be white and my wheels red. 
Oh how stylish!

Behold the new man in my life… an Italian Stallion – a Carrera Cortina.  I bought the frame and components separately.  Let’s me honest.  I don’t know one wheel or gear component from another, so I brought my Tri Coach, Scot,  and his wife, Barbara (Team Embrace the Suck’s cyclist) along with me when I got fitted.  They insured I did not get ripped off.  In fact, I got the deal of the century.  I got an aluminum-carbon combination frame in which I will grow into over the next few years.  I can simply keep the frame and slowly upgrade components. 

Here are the specs from Carrera:

We use an aluminum-carbon combination to provide a successful compromise between stiffness, lightweight and comfort. The special aluminum 7005 T6, triple butted, tig welded oversize tubes combined with a rear carbon wishbone to provide the structure of a frame with characteristics that are of superior level. The carbon rear cage dampens road vibrations giving excellent riding comfort and manageability.

Technical characteristics:

  • different triple thickness special tubes carried out on carrera-podium r&d
  • design integrated headset
  • hand finished and painted
  • 1370 grams
  • full carbon speedcarbon fork

Bryan, formally of Bike Works in Brandon, closed down shop a few months ago and has tons of bikes, frames, parts, etc. at his house.  He is going to reopen his shop in a new location next month, but for now I think he is happy to practically give his bikes away.  Okay, not really.  This purchase wiped out my “I’ve been selling my sole on eBay since last summer to buy a bike that fits me” stash. 

Ah, sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do…. to remain stylish on the road.  My sister would be proud. 

Okay, back to the Stylish Blogger Awards….  Thank you Caronlyn, GI Jane, and Jena for the award!  This makes me feel like the stinky gym clothes – albeit semi-stylish – that I wear all day long are much appreciated.

There are some strings attached to this award though.  This is how the game works:

1.  Thank and link back to the one(s) who award you this awesome award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award on to some awesome bloggers.
4. Contact the bloggers to let them know they are awesome and just won the award. 

Seven Things About Me

1.  Once in 1990, my dad took me out of school on a Friday morning and told me we were going to Hawaii for the weekend.  We ate M&Ms for breakfast and were volcano chasers.  I was even back in class on Monday morning.  Don’t be jealous of my tie-died “Island Girl” shirt.   imageimageimage

My dad added that cute thought bubble.  FYI

2. I studied abroad at University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.  It was an adventurous 6 months away from UT-Austin.  I managed to break my foot jumping a fence to into a sold-out All Blacks rugby game; developed a love for Women’s literature (Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is my favorite book); traveled and hiked all around New Zealand’s North and South Island; and visited Australia, Fiji, and Tonga.  Not to mention I picked up a new best friend along the way – Vermonter turned Kiwi and soon to be Aussie PhDer – Lorelei.

View from our flat in DunedinCityView2
Abel Tasman Sea
Abel Tasman Sea2 
Nugget PointNugget Point Rainbow3
Me and Wanaka

3.  After college I packed up my car, grabbed my life’s savings, and went on a road trip.  I hit up some music festivals (SCI Horning’s Hideout in Orgeon and Adirondack Music Festival and Gathering of the Vibes in upstate New York) and played groupie to a folk-jamband – Assembly of Dust).  When reality set in and I was sick of sleeping in a tent and/or on friends’ couches, I got a job at Nature’s Classroom on Lake George in upstate NY.  I took kids on hikes, and let them realize nature was cool. 

Silver Bay, NY
Field Group at Sunrise.jpg
Upper Hunington Gorge, VT Girls at Upper Hunington Gorge   Hornings Hideout, ORSCI Hornings Hideout Stage

4. Meanwhile, during my summer of love (not really), I applied for the Peace Corps (something I realized I wanted to do while reading a self-help type book my Sophomore year of college).  In November 2004, I got my assignment for Thailand starting in January 2005.  I quit my job at Nature’s Classroom, headed for one last adventure on this side of the world in Costa Rica and then spent two of the best years of my life in a small village in the North East of Thailand.  I got a new family and made some amazing friends. 

Turtle Island, Costa Rica

turtle island palm trees Me. Brooke, and Lindsey in Krabi, ThailandDSCN0279

Christmas Celebration at my houseDSCN1877 “Tambun” to the Temple
Julia and Amanda's visit Ocotber 2006 (50)

5.  I met my husband – who also was in the Peace Corps but a few years before me in Honduras, when I moved to Florida after two years abroad.  The Peace Corps always recommends you find a “returned Peace Corps volunteer” group when you return.  I was still trying to ride my bike everywhere, hand wash my clothes, and cook on a wok. Good thing Dave understood what I was going through and helped intervene.  The deal was pretty much sealed when he went to a vegan restaurant and got me key lime pie, took me on a kayak trip, and even made the dolphins jump when we were picnicking.   

dave and i cake cutting Thanksgiving Beach 3DSCN3207 DSCN3065

6.  My family is pretty cool.  My parents made their way via New Jersey to a suburb of Dallas-Ft. Worth where my sister and I were raised.  Being that all our family was up North, we surrounded ourselves with a big group of friends.  I had a pretty sweet upbringing – carefree, full of love, and lots of fun. 

DSCI0062 DSCI0012

7.  I have traveled a lot.  Between my mom working for Delta and my Dad traveling for business, we had airfare, hotels and car rentals covered.  Family vacations were taken to the next level – sea planes to to the island of Bimini; Monaco and the French Rivera over 4th of July;  a summer in Spain to study Spanish… among many other incredible places.  During and after college, I took advantage of my free flight benefits and did the European backpack thing and a month long winter vacation in Ireland, Spain, and Amsterdam.  I’d like to take this time to thank my parents for the many work hours logged and nights spent away to gain these travel perks.  Those adventures really shaped who I am today. 

Parque de Maria Luisa, Spain
I’m the freakishly tall one in the blue tank and denim shorts middle row, far left. Parque de Maria Luisa

Now that I’ve combined 63 facts into 7, I’ll pass on the award.

SkinnyRunner – I just started following this blog, like yesterday, but this girl is so ridiculously funny (and actually stylish) that she deserves this award. 


Fat and the Furious – Because even a dude can have style when training for an IronMan.

Now, can you help me name my new Italian Stallion? 

Be well,



Filed under Travel

10 responses to “Stylish Blogger

  1. Haha. Your blog is stylish silly!

  2. oh my gosh! what a life you have lived!! you’ve been to so many places and experienced so many different cultures! that is awesome!

  3. SkinnyRunner

    thanks for the award! and thinking that im funny. now if only my family thought that…

  4. I’m jealous of all your travels! What great experiences you have had in life!

    • Girl, but you are living the life now. I love your NYC adventures. One thing I realized while be-boping around the world is that there are lots of cool adventures to be had right here in the good ole US of A. PS – I love reading your blog. I check it daily!

      • Thanks! 🙂

        NYC has been awesome, but I really haven’t done much international travel. I’ve spent some time in the Caribbean, but I only went to Europe for the first time in 2009, and never studying abroad is one of my biggest regrets. I have TONS of places where I want to go – I just have to get to it!

  5. Kathleen

    You ARE stylish…on and off the bike trails. 🙂

  6. Ed

    Interesting life you have led thus far CH! I am jealous….

  7. Nice wheels! Congrats. ‘Daisy’ and ‘Lucille’ send their best regards.

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