8 Things NOT to Do in the AZ Summer

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The Arizona summer is no joke. I can't stress enough how hot it gets here and how dangerous the heat is. Most people talk about freezing to death, but you hardly hear about heat exhaustion. And how many times can I write heat on 2 lines? (see answer above).

You should not:

Hike - Every year, since I've lived here, we see on the news that people have died while hiking. Just to put it into perspective, in the past 4 days, 3 people have died by doing just that. I was asking Paul today... Why? Why do people wake up in the boiling hot "dry" weather and decide: "wow, it's lovely outside, I think I will go for a hike!" I mean... COME ON!!!! It's 115F out there! Or 104F, or 111F or if you're lucky, 95F. Are these temperatures to be not only walking, but actually getting your body temperature up? Seriously, don't do it!

Touch metals - It burns! Your car will burn you, the door handle will burn you, the gate will burn you, your bike will burn you.

Lay out in the sun - When I lived in England, I loved watching everyone flood the parks when the slightest rays of sunshine appeared in the sky. Everyone lays like a lizard in the sun, and it's perfect, getting those vitamin Ds in. Now... in AZ, your body will not be happy with you. You might turn into a shrimp, or worse, you might get a heat related illness.

Leave your child unattended - Year after year as the summer approaches, we start seeing in the news that babies or toddlers have drawn in pools around the valley. It's sad, but true. Most homes have pools, there are a lot of pool parties this time of the yr and parents get distracted. It's so quick, when you look, the child is gone. Please keep an eye on the little ones, they have no clue.

Leave electronics in the car - If you're going to get out of the car, even if it's covered, don't leave any electronics or cds in the car. They can melt or malfunction, not fun.

Do something else after going grocery shopping - Make the grocery store the last stop before heading home. Milk, meat can spoil in the heat and you don't even realize it.

Leave crayons in the car - They melt and make a mess. I know because Victoria has left a few on the back seat of my old car, and they turned into a lovely mix of goo in the shades of reds,blues and greens...

Be careful out there in the AZ summer!

The 101 Guide to an International Concert

guide to concerts Ever since we moved back to the US, our lives have been the opposite of our lives in London. Instead of the fast paced, always doing something life, now it's a slow motion, take it easy, hibernate from the heat kind of life.

I've been to concerts in 3 different continents and the set up is pretty much the same everywhere, seats, bleachers, general admission (floor), although, in the US there are so many little rules for everything that it can take the fun out of it, seriously.

Last week was a little out of the ordinary, I went to the Bryan Adams concert, on Tuesday, then Fri and Sat to U2. I cannot explain how much I've missed going to live concerts because I didn't even know myself, I missed it so much.

US Ariways Center

I LOVE IT!

For someone who's been going to concerts since about 10-12 yrs old, I know a thing or two about how to handle it. Now I am the kind of person who will stand on the floor, for me this is what a live concert is all about and that thing of seating down, maybe clapping once or twice is not for me. I'd rather stay home and not go at all. I like the crowd, I like the feelings you get, I love to watch the artist perform to the best of their abilities, right there in front of me.

What to Wear/Bring

  • Jeans
  • T-shirt- I was never one to buy concert gear, actually this U2 concert was the first time I ever got something, just as a momentum for my daughter's 1st concert. But if you have the band's gear, why not?
  • Comfortable trainers/tennis shoes
  • If you are a girl, red lipstick, mascara and eye liner. No need for anything else, after all, you will be dancing like crazy and... let's say... getting a bit stick by the end of it.
  • Tickets!
  • ID

What Not to Wear/Bring

  • Necklaces - they hurt and bother when you're jumping up/down
  • Pretty little dresses
  • Sandals, any open toe shoes, flats, high heels - you'd be amazed by the amount of people who do that, then complain they're getting stepped on, or that their feet are wet from all the beer spilled
  • Bags - jeans have pockets, use them - just don't put your driver's license in the same back pocket as your phone so you don't lose it, talking for experience here.
  • Guns, knives
  • Any food or drink as it will be confiscated

What to Do

  • Eat before you get to the venue
  • Make sure you're safe, especially at the end
  • On that note, watch those around you, make friends (if you're alone, or just hang out with your friends)
  • Set up a meeting point, like me and my husband, we like to enjoy concerts our own ways, so we just do our thing and meet up afterwards
  • Go to the bathroom before you enter the floor area, once you're on your spot, if you leave, you lose it
  • Check out where the emergency exits are and if anything weird happens, make your way as fast as you can
  • Stay away from drunks
  • Stay hydrated - I drink loads of water before and after, but not during it, but that's my way of doing it.
  • Bring your camera/phone - usually they'll not let you with a flash camera, as it bothers the artists
  • If you're up for it, head to the front and make your way as close to the stage as you can
  • If not, stay further back, you will enjoy it just as much, and probably not be bashed about
  • Get there about 2-3hrs before the doors are about to open. When I was younger, I used to get there up to 4hrs in advance and wait in line. It's fun and you get in the mood.
  • Be pleasant to those around you and expect the same courtesy
  • Take it all in, enjoy the moment, dance, scream, be a child again. Believe me, is watching...

What Not do Do

  • Camp outside the arena for 2-3 days... I've never done, it, I have no interest in doing it and refuse to do it.
  • If you do camp outside 2-3 days in advance, it's totally your prerogative, don't feel entitled to the show and think you deserve more than anyone else around you. You don't! You want to get to the rails, and camp outside day in and day out, fine, but don't ruin my night because you're hungry, dirty, and tired. I will be right behind you during the show, clean, happy, rested and with a full belly, so get over it.
  • Keep your driver's license on the same pocket as your  phone... please see items above.
  • Get drunk
  • Bring guns,knives, start fights
  • Don't complain about being pushed around, you're on the floor, in a concert, if that bothers you, pay for a seat

So, we watched U2 for 2 nights in a row, the first night we got seats because we brought our daughter, the next night we had floor tickets. I have to say, we watched 2 completely different shows.

The Edge

It's hard to explain the thrill of standing in a concert. Especially watching a band like U2, they're amazing. I've been a huge fan since I first heard of them many moons ago. If you watch Bono's face, he gets high on having 15000-30000 people singing his song in unison, I mean, come on, who wouldn't? It must be one of the best feelings in the world!

My husband and I were still on a high today, just talking about it. Simply amazing.

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Oh, and as a joke, I made a little infographic about camping or not camping before a concert. Then you can make up your own mind if you'd be up for it or not.

Concert-Infographic

Have fun!

What No one Tells You About Your Favorite Toiletries When Moving

Favorite Toiletries We all have our favorite shampoo, toothpaste, conditioner and so on. When we move abroad, we tend to make sure we have enough of it for the duration of our stay overseas. I know, I've done that. Now I don't anymore, and let me tell you why...

... are you ready for this? Believe it or not, every country sells shampoo, conditioners and face creams. Ok, ok, it might not be the same brand, but guess what? You might get something very, very similar to what you're used to.

Think about it,

when you bring 2, 3 bottles of shampoo, then another 2 bottles of conditioner, and an extra box of soap, just in case... you are increasing the weight in your suitcase. Your suitcase is premium space, think about an apartment in London, Tokyo  or New York, you do the best you can  with the minimal space you have. The same goes for suitcases, if airlines had their way, they'd bane suitcase carrying once and for all.

When you move abroad, airlines don't care that you're going for 1 or 2 yrs, they will charge you for extra kg/lbs. Pack smart and don't waste your space with heavy things that you know you can buy abroad, such as toiletries. the same goes for that prom dress, believe me, I did that when I went to Morgantown, I brought a prom dress... ok, let's stop right there...

If you do need to bring that special cream, made of the finest urine of that random animal in the Amazon, ok, bring that, but be ruthless with everything else.

How to Make the Best of Your Area Orientation Tour?

homesSometimes you will move and that's it, you've never been to the place before, you don't get a chance to and it's all a big surprise. On the other hand sometimes your company (or your new company) will give you a weekend/week/day for an area orientation tour. When I worked in Real Estate I did a lot of relocation tours. I loved it. I did national and international tours. On that note, here are a few things to make it work for you.

  • Try to get your company to at least give you a full day. I've seen people with half day house tours. It's hard.

 

  • Be open-minded when you visit somewhere new. I've heard someone say that after spending 1 weekend in a certain foreign country, they rejected the company's offer to move. I understand that it can be overwhelming, but visiting a place with jet lag, tired, sometimes is not ideal, so keep an open mind and don't focus on the negatives.

 

  • If the company hires a real estate agent, make sure that you give him/her as much info as you can, they will be working to help you, but they can't do it properly if you don't offer candid feedback on what you need/want.

 

  • If you are scheduled for a day, let's say, a Friday with a professional, book your return flight for Sunday evening. Try to spend the weekend not sightseeing, but going to a local event instead, with locals.

 

  • Bring your spouse, if you can, or have them on Skype/hangouts. It will save you time when making decisions after.

 

  • If they can't come for any reason, video places or inside homes, it will help your spouse feel as part of the decision.

 

  • In Arizona, for example, realtors are forbidden by law to tell you what area you should live based or racial background or schools. They can give you the information to research and investigate, but they can't say: "I think you'd love this area, loads of people from Sweden like you live here!" or "This is a great area, loads of good schools and no robbery". I love that law, I think it makes perfect sense, but people don't get it. It is hard for realtors to explain this law. But think about it, a good area for me, might not be all good for me, and I might not want to live next to the biggest Swedish community in the USA :-)

 

  • If you have kids, arrange to visit schools. If a realtor or a relocation company calls them in advance, they can arrange a visit.

 

  • If you are looking to be near lakes in Arizona, take a deep breath and again, be open-minded... there aren't many around here. Even if they show in a map, it doesn't mean they aren't dried up. Again, be open-minded.

 

  • Did I say, be open-minded?

 

  • Have fun!

What to Do with your Child in the Airport

Run! Yeap, I'm dead serious. Victoria's come down a bit now, but I still let her run around the place. My opinion is, I'd rather her going crazy at the airport than in the airplane. And I run with her, we race, I chase her, we watch airplanes, I don't really care what we do, as long as she is wasting all of her energy. 02.28LondonTrip9

When I get to an airport, I like to check-in and go through security straight away, get it out of the way, then hang out where the gates are. Usually if the flight is international and direct, you have lots of shops and restaurants and depending on the airport, you have lots more options.

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Once we are through, we usually have a look around the shops, we eat some food, and hang out.

Frankfurt

In Turkey

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Remember, it's a trip, let them explore the airport, walk, run, play. They are already excited for the trip, so let them do what they want (yes, of course, with limits). It will pay off in the airplane :-)