Hello…and Goodbye

Carolyn came back from Nigeria!! Unfortunately, she left for El Salvador at 5 a.m. this morning, so we had limited time together. We made it work — we just talked extra fast to get in as many important conversations as possible.

I like to live vicariously through Carolyn’s travels. If I hear someone talking about Nigeria, I get super excited. I start talking about Nigeria as if I’ve traveled there. It’s probably a conversation deflater when I eventually have to admit I’ve never been to Africa.

Thanks to Carolyn, I’m now the proud owner of two suits handmade by a Nigerian tailor. I’ll probably never meet him, but I’d like to pat that tailor on the back. He’s never seen me, yet he’s made two jackets that fit perfectly! J. Crew can’t even do that (and J. probably makes a little more than the Nigerian tailor). I especially like the fact that the jackets kind of have shoulder pads. Some might balk at this 80’s throwback design. I like it. I think it makes me look a little more intimidating. Nothing says “roar!” quite like a Nigerian jacket with shoulder pads.

Carolyn and I love a good field trip, so we went to the Devonian Fossil Gorge near Iowa City. It was about 250 degrees outside. Fortunately, we’re both ferociously cold-blooded. Otherwise, we might have become Devonian fossils.

The hot weather was actually enjoyable. We entertained ourselves by observing growing sweat marks on our shirts.

The highlight of the fossil gorge — chert nodules. Why? Because it’s so darn fun to say, that’s why.

Here I am with a nodule of chert:

I think I closed my eyes from the sheer excitement.

Here are other super cool fossils:

We spent a long while attempting to locate trilobites. We were unsuccessful. I thought I found one, but then it moved. Fossils don’t usually do that.

I think I may have found a live trilobite. I’ll contact National Geographic first thing Monday morning.

Carolyn and I dined at The Red Avocado. It was fabulous. Any menu that includes zucchini fritters, fresh beets, and green onion polenta has my heart. Unfortunately, the menu did not include any avocados. Carolyn was mildly disappointed, but her black beans and squash cheered her up.

After dinner, we purchased ant traps. You can’t be too careful. I don’t want Carolyn to get attacked by El Salvadorian ants. The claims on the box of ant traps seemed promising.

Carolyn is now in El Salvador. According to her recent Facebook status, her new people greeted her with warm chocolate chip cookies. Warm chocolate chip cookies are definitely one of Carolyn’s most favorite things. It’d be like greeting me with warm brussels sprouts. Or an entire watermelon.

The warm cookies seem like an excellent sign of all the wonderful adventures she’ll experience in the next two years.

In the meantime, I’ll try to convince people that I’ve traveled to El Salvador.

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4 Responses to Hello…and Goodbye

  1. Meredith says:

    You probably need to hear one or two El Salvadorian stories and an El Salvadorian Facebook friend before you can start claiming the stamp on your hypothetical passport.

  2. Angie says:

    Laura with a nodule of chert is priceless!

  3. Carolyn says:

    I assuaged my desire for avocado by making fish tacos tonight! 🙂 I’m working on coming up with some Salvadoran stories and friends for you to support the hypothetical stamp!

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