OMG I need sandals. NOW or I will die. But they have to:
1. Be completely black so I can forget how NY streets are filled with piss and dust.
2. They need to have a back strap. I don't want to be flopping around the city like some wild lady.
3. I recently got a pedometer app on my phone. Over the last 7 days I've walked close to 150 miles. I need shoes that will support me and will take me up to 200 miles. 300 even.
4. They need to be flat. See above.
5. They can't cost $400 even if they are perfect.

Here's my top 9 semi-affordable shoes shown in beautiful HD 3D imax technicolor.

#9 is for all you BFGs out there. 

1. $125 // Hunter makes waterproof sandals. News to me. Tempting. Worried about the comfort though. I have hunter rain boots. They are the worst. 
2. $160 // These Camper sandals have a slight heal (boo), but I think they would still be comfortable and last. Concerned I would look too granny. I think I would need pink hair and tattoos to balance these shoes out. My look is a little too conservative housewife for these. 
3. $100 // Basic and comfortable and cool I guess. 
4. $100 // See #3 (aka too lazy to think of something)
5. $150 // See #4
6. $130 // See #4 
7. $90 // Very tempted by these Birkenstocks. Like the thinner straps. The tan footbed grosses me out, but I don't think any of the shoes I found will be as comfortable. Good price tag. 
8. $188 // Love these Frye sandals. I know they would last a million years. Steep Price tag. 
9. $198 // Cole Haan is a trusted brand in my house. I find good sales here. Plus they are always comfortable and durable. Love the back zipper. But the precious ankle straps scare me slightly.  

This post was certainly worth staying up to 1am to finish. It got to the point that I couldn't sleep knowing I was withholding this very important information. It's been haunting me for weeks. I feel much better now.  

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Writer's Retreat/My Weekend Alone

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Windsor VT to have weekend alone at the Snapdragon Inn. I've done these types of escapes every year since the twins were born. This time, I brought 3 notebooks and told everyone I was going on a writer's retreat. I did write a little. I filled about 15 pages in one notebook. But mostly I watched every episode of Between Two Ferns on my phone, walked in the woods until I was scared of bears, and bought a few postcards from an antique store downtown. I didn't want to leave. It was the perfect mix of work and play.

I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a break from the city. The train ride was 6 hrs long and the Inn was walking distance from the station. For me, 6 hrs in a car is torture, but in a train it's great. I wrote a short fiction piece about train travel where the characters don't find train travel so delightful. But before that, some pictures of Snapdragon Inn and Vermont. Go!
For breakfast, I ate anything that had the word Vermont on it. Yogurt, bread, maple syrup, and peanut butter.
The Snapdragon Inn in winter.
They put me in Room 9. I had the bed all to myself! 
Bonus feature: heated floors in my bathroom. An unexpected luxury I could get very used to.

Took this picture before I was attacked by lions, tigers, and bears.
The fiction story inspired from my writer's retreat below. Thanks for hosting me Snapdragon Inn.

The Train

Sarah’s been sitting behind a man with a chronic cough ever since the train left Penn station. He wasn’t showing signs of sickness at first, but when he fell asleep, he began hacking unconsciously. Not even covering his mouth. The chair in front of him is absorbing every known germ.

Sarah presses the button on her armrest to lean back as far away from him as possible. It doesn’t budge. She braces the armrest, digs her feet into the floor and presses her back into her chair hoping to unjam it. Nothing. Defeated, she goes to plug in her laptop and notices the outlet is missing. She looks under her seat and the armrest. Nothing. She’ll have to use the 10% battery she has left very wisely over her 6-hour train ride to her dying grandma’s house. Unless she moves.

During a lull in his coughing episodes, she peers over the man’s chair to see if he’s still there. He is. She notices he has extra legroom. The free Wi-Fi sticker is missing from the window giving him an unobstructed view of Hudson Valley. There’s an outlet. She sits back down and looks at her seat in disgust. The train starts to slow.

With a red face and 10 coughs into a tissue, the man stands up to stretch. She wants to move to his chair for the legroom. The views. The outlet. But all those germs. Is he leaving? He gathers his pillow and bag as a mom and child enter the train. The man offers his infested seat to the mother and boy. Sarah holds her breath as he sits next to her. The corner of his pillow is touching her neck.

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