Tag Archives: comfort zone

Tarantulas feel like puppies: I face my spider fear at the Woodland Park Zoo

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Puppies!! (cue the “awww….”) Aren’t you glad I chose these puppies instead of a picture of a tarantula?

We’re standing in the “Authorized Personnel Only” room in Bug World at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, surrounded by hundreds of bugs in containers big and small, waiting to see if I’ll freak out.

I’m a little afraid of spiders. Not to the point where I’m terrified to be in the same room as them (I used to be!), but I definitely get nervous when there’s one close by. I think about how creepy they feel, and how gross it is to walk into a web, and that escalates to being sure that I’ll get bitten.

It’s irrational. But that’s what fear does. It takes the smallest possibility of reality and turns it into a horrible scene from a bad sci-fi or fantasy monster movie, where the spiders are three times bigger than a car and attack people as food.

So, because of this media-induced fear, during the 31 Days of Everyday Adventure challenge, when it comes time to do the activity that says, “Make plans to do the thing you’re afraid of,” I think of spiders.

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“Fries, eh?” – Trying poutine (Canadian fries)

Poutine, photo credit Guilhem Vellut via Flickr, used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 Attribution license

Photo credit: Guilhem Vellut via Flickr, used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

I love French fries, so I’m pretty excited about trying poutine, which people tell me is fries with gravy and cheese. Sort of like the concept of nachos, but with fries, and from Canada. That’s what I hear anyway.

We’re at a bar at a ski resort in Idaho (but not to ski, story for another time). The Winter Olympics (hosted in Canada) are playing on the TV, and we sit with it in view. The server comes by and tells us they’re having some specials in honor of the Olympics, and hands us a piece of paper with several items, including poutine.

Okay, the description doesn’t sound that great (because I prefer ketchup or Ranch on my fries, not gravy and cheese), but it’s unique and something that I haven’t tried yet. So… one order of poutine for the table, please!

When it arrives, I pull out one of the fries hanging over the edge, and it comes out with a bit of gravy and some melted cheese. That looks promising, I think, because it reminds me of other melty-cheese foods I like.

But, when I taste it, I’m not sure if I like it.

I’m not sure why it’s weirding me out so much. Mashed potatoes have gravy, and baked potatoes have cheese. I love both. But this is different somehow. Maybe the fried taste with the gravy?

The second fry has more gravy and I like it much less. This poutine adventure isn’t as great as I’d thought it would be. That’s sort of disappointing.

But with the three of us, we eat most of them, until the rest are a soggy mess at the bottom, wallowing in the gravy (actually, those aren’t that bad, they’re more like mashed potatoes, but by now I’m pretty full, and this is a very salty food).

Still, the most memorable thing about poutine is yet to come:

When we get the bill, the poutine is listed as, “Fries, eh?” 

Makes me smile every time I think of it! 🙂

So, while I’m grateful for the opportunity to try a new (to me) food, it’s probably the top way to ruin good French fries. But maybe it’s because I didn’t eat them in Canada. Either way, I’d be open to trying again, at least once. At least the receipt made it worth this first experience!

Have you eaten poutine? Do you like it? 

Final Week of the 31 Days of Everyday Adventure challenge

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The challenge is now on-demand: 31 Days of Everyday Adventure email challenge.

Last week we finished our Everyday Adventure challenge!

I’ve really enjoyed these last few days of the challenge. As I write this post, I feel so grateful that people were excited about participating and following along. It’s been an amazing experience for me to create (and do) something that helps us appreciate life more. I’ve grown as a person, taken steps to leave my comfort zone, and was constantly reminded to enjoy the small things instead of rushing to the next big thing.

A very special shout out and thank you to my blogging partners on this challenge: Suz from McVagabonds, Lara Krupicka, and Randi from Life’s Simple Adventures. Their bios are on the challenge page, but you should check out their blogs as well. They’re all doing amazing things and are wonderful people to know! It’s been amazing to go through this challenge with them.

Read about the final week