Eating My Way Through the Mountains

By July 30, 2014 Nom Noms, Travels
The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Do you know who hikes all day, every day for 9 straight days and gains weight? A glutton. Otherwise known as Tanya.

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Caught in a literal food coma – check out that bloated belly

Typically when we travel to a new place, I see it as a challenge to find the absolute best places to eat. No calorie wasted. No silly vegan diet. Every meal gets way too much research poured into it.

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Camp food meal planning at its finest

This time, I left the meal planning to the hubs. Not an easy task for a Type A person like myself. And boy did he knock it out of the park.

So sit down, undo the top button of your pants, and get ready for a mountain gastro-adventure:

The Road

While driving, we allowed ourselves one (or sometimes two if we were feeling fancy) meals out. The rest of the day was spent gnawing on jerky, chips, fruit, cereal, etc. So when we stopped, we made sure it was worthy of being our only real meal of the day.

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous,  Dornan's Chuckwagon,

First stop – The Big Orange in Little Rock. Curry falafel burger with pickled veggies.

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous,  Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Fun fact – if you want to win my heart, give me a rice krispie treat

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Oklahoma City knows how to do thin crust pizza

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous,  Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Our one meal on Day 2 of travel was a winner – El Pinto in Albuquerque. Bryan Cranston’s fav restaurant. Be jealous.

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous,  Dornan's Chuckwagon,

My Twitter buddy Logan was tasked with finding a delicious Salt Lake joint for us to gorge ourselves at. And it was fan-fucking-tastic, buddy!

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

My Twitter/running/blogging friend Courtney recommended Cherry Cricket in Denver for burgers. Oh. Em. Gee.

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Desperate times called for desperate measures in Kansas

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

I played all-out carnivore and tore into these ribs from Rendezvous in Memphis

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

And ate the best pork sandwich ever out of my lap because I’m classy like that

The Mountains

 

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

The hubs and I found a (new to us) pizza place in Jackson

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

That had hands-down the best NY pizza we’ve ever had. Including in NYC.

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Breakfast burritos can be loved on all day long

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Despite all of my mouth-watering photos, most of our meals looked like this

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Or, more accurately, MREs at midnight

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Starbucks Via instant coffee – the worst thing you will ever put in your mouth

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

High calorie, small food shoved into a bear canister for our backpacking excursion

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Water stop

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Gansta lunch break

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Back in the valley, we tore into our favorite chuckwagon place

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Where the food is magical and smoky and the best thing you’ll eat

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

I literally said that I would eat their mashed potatoes until I threw up

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Anniversary moose wings

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

Organic huckleberry crepes

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

And last but not least, huckleberry ice cream was consumed at least one a day

The Big Orange, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Sauced on Paseo, Mangy Moose, road trip food, Teton Village, Rendezvous, Dornan's Chuckwagon,

By this boy

Hungry yet?

#Sylvanroadtrip Part 2 – The Mountains

By July 29, 2014 Travels
Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

I think I’m getting the “Worst Blogger of the Month” award—I just couldn’t get my act together to get all these (already written!) posts out. But onward and upward, right? So as promised, here’s the second half of our trip:

Grand Teton National Park

I love it here. We’ve spent so many weeks in this park over the past few years that it feels like a second home. It’s small enough to not be overwhelming, but large enough to have something new to explore every time we return. Plus, the views! And bison! And moose! And chuck wagon food!  I swear I could live in a tent here forever. Preferably with a warm shower and bathroom nearby, but I can make do without.

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Wouldn’t you want to sit here forever too?

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Lots of peaceful mid-hike downtime on lakes

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Mormon Row never disappoints with stunning views before sunset

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

I mean…

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Easily the highlight of the trip – finding a fox kit (!!!) outside our campsite

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Stuffed elk selfie!

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Jenny Lake

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Kayak cheesin’

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Every night we chased magnificent sunsets

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

This over watching TV any day

Backpacking in the Tetons

The hubs and I have wanted to hike the Teton Crest Trail for years now, and we always get sidelined with too much snow on the mountain passes. This time, we decided on a whim to hike as far as we could get in North Fork and South Fork Cascade and backpack there for a few days. And it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. We were surrounded by mountains, wildflowers, and rivers, and each step was more breathtaking than the last.

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

All smiles at mile 1 of 30(ish)

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Not so much after a quick 1,000+ feet of vertical climb with heavy packs in 90-degree heat

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

What you see when you escape the crowds

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Things you don’t necessarily want to see – bull moose too close for comfort

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Dangling

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

New life

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Happy hiker

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Christmas in July!

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

So I may have fallen through the snow into a river for a moment…learned my lesson real quick – stay far away from the edge

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Total mindfuck – 90+ degrees and blazing hot on mountains of snow

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Don’t let the cute face fool you – these guys are mischievous thieves who tried to steal our pot and clothes, and climb into our tent

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Plopped down here for the night

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

When the sun went down, it got a bit frigid

Yellowstone National Park

I don’t know why Yellowstone is always the forgotten-about stepchild to our trips to Wyoming, but it is. We always head there as an afterthought, reluctantly looking at the map and deciding where we want to hike and camp. Don’t get me wrong—it’s beautiful there. You really feel like you’ve stepped back in time in places (minus the crowds). It’s much grander and wilder than Teton NP, but it doesn’t feel as home-y. So we played around with the thermal features, drove through Hayden Valley, and promptly got stuck on the highway for an extra eight hours when an accident shut down the only way to leave the park. Womp.

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Why I love Yellowstone – you share the road with baby bison!

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Old-school tour bus

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Paid a visit to Grand Prismatic

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

The Earth amazes me

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Hayden Valley

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Being trapped in the park was very Walking Dead-esque for a bit

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

But we were treated to yet another stunning sunset

The Road Home

Leaving the mountains is always tough. You know you’re about to be pulled from your cozy tent and lack of Internet access and responsibilities and thrown back into the fast-paced, technology-driven, real world. Bleh. So we handle it like one rips off a band-aid—get it over with quickly. We left Jackson on Friday afternoon and were in the ‘Ham by Saturday night. No fun photo stops or videos or even sleeping save for food in Denver and Memphis and a catnap outside Salina, Kansas.

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Goodbye, big sky and snow fences

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Cloud porn

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Some of the worst storms I’ve ever driven through – we later found out the system had tornadoes, killed a hiker in Rocky Mountain NP, and wreaked havoc on Hardrock 100

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Ole!

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Walking in Memphis

Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, backpacking, camping, Teton Crest Trail, Cascade Canyon, road trip

Best ribs ever

So that’s the trip in a small but picturesque nutshell. Hope you enjoyed the ride!

#Sylvanroadtrip Part 1 – The Road

By July 18, 2014 Travels
road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

This summer, traveling is for serious. I whined about it the other day, but it’s all been (and will continue to be) a blast. I had just gotten back from a business trip to Minneapolis when a millisecond later we turned around and headed west for this year’s summer adventure. 10 days, 14 states, and 4,850 miles later, I have a tent-load of photos to share.

I have so many wonderful memories and stories to tell, but when I sat down to write it all out, I felt like my words weren’t doing the trip justice. So I’ll let the pictures do the talking for me. To save you from pages that won’t load and endless scrolling, I’ll break the trip up into a few posts—the road, the trails, and the food.

Without further ado, here’s a glimpse of road tripping, Sylvan-style:

Day 1—BHM>OK

Full of excitement and caffeine, the hubs and I took a million and one photos and videos of the Arkansas and Oklahoma countryside. Plain, but pretty. We stopped for food in Little Rock and Oklahoma City and realized something—they were just like Birmingham. Empty. As in, where are all the people and should we get off the streets too? After being so familiar with NYC all my life, it perplexes me when a major city isn’t hustling and bustling.

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Peace out, Bham!

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Ever wonder what the highways of Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, or Arkansas look like? A lot of this.

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

The hubs lost all selfie-shaming privileges when he took this shot

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Totally stealing this medicine bottle vase idea

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Gas station cows

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Stumbled upon the arts district in Oklahoma City

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Oklahoma City bombing memorial

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Many OKC Marathon runners leave their bibs on the memorial wall

Day 2—Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah

The entire purpose for going a roundabout way to Wyoming was to cross some new states off our list (9 states to go!). Having never been to New Mexico or Utah, I was excited to see nothingness and red rocks and an alien and Walter White. Which we did. Except for the alien. Albuquerque seemed like a fun city, and Monument Valley in Utah was simply amazing. I must have sounded like a broken record— “how did that happen? This is incredible!”

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo, TX

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Things you can’t see from the window of a plane

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Route 66 in New Mexico

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Stopped to watch a storm form over some New Mexico mountains

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Seen outside Albuquerque. I shit you not. Hey, Walter!

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Monument Valley, UT

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

In his element

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

The Mitten

Day 3—UT>WY

Ah, the home stretch. We woke up in Moab amidst the coolest rock formations I had ever seen, and played around in Arches National Park for the morning. Again, how?! How does a rock turn into a gigantic arch? I actually think my exact, sleep-deprived words were “EARTH IS COOL!” We made a pitstop in Salt Lake for lunch with Twitter friend Logan (Have you noticed a trend? All my friends are from Twitter?), then high-tailed it into Grand Teton National Park just in time for sunset.

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Cairns make me happy

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Delicate Arch

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Epic scenery selfie

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

I got my runs in whenever I could

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Because how could you not want to run here all day long?

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Double Arch – HOW?!

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Wasatch foothills in Utah

xroad trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

“Sorry Logan I have to hang up. There are WINDMILLS on the mountains!”

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Literally chasing the sunset at 9:45 pm in Wyoming

road trip, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Prius, summer travel,

Home at last

If I haven’t bored you yet, stay tuned for mountain photos!

Post-Travel Laziness and Randomness

By July 16, 2014 Ramblings, Travels
Tired

Man, does anyone else struggle after coming back from a lot of traveling? I spent a week in Minneapolis, turned right around and had a 10-day mountain vacation, and I am worn the fuck out! I don’t know if I should blame the time change, altitude change, flea infestation we came home to, or sheer exhaustion, but this week I’ve been coming home from work and just want to sit and stare at a wall. Which doesn’t work so well when you have mountains of camping gear and laundry to put away and miles to log.

I also have a gazillion blog posts I need to post. Literally. A gazillion. They’re written, just not typed and smothered in photos yet. And they taunt me. So I’m going to use this post as a little jump start on regular life again. A kick in the ass, if you will. If I can get one post out, it’ll break my lazy spell and make everything seem manageable and easy, right? Right.

So many blog posts, so little motivation

So many blog posts, so little motivation

Here are a bunch of random things I’m loving at the moment:

See Jane Write Bloganista Mini-ConThis weekend I’m going to be a panelist at the Bloganista Mini-Con, a one-day conference for fashion, fitness, and lifestyle bloggers organized by one of my very favorites, Javacia. There are only four tickets left, so if you’re a blogger in the ‘Ham and don’t have Saturday plans yet, join us! 

See Jane Write, Birmingham bloggers

So excited!

“Weird Al” Yankoic’s Word CrimesHave you seen this yet?! This is my JAM! “Weird Al” wrote a song just for grammar nerds like my dad and me, and we have been geeking out about it ever since.

Weird Al Yankovic, Word Crimes

My dad and I are the same person

Pokey the PriusSo in the midst of all the craziness, my Roller Skate (Rav4) found a loving new home and Pokey the Prius joined the Sylvan fam. Laugh all you want, but having a hybrid is the greatest thing ever! She may be slow to accelerate (hence her name) and needed some coaxing up huge mountain passes, but getting 55+ mpg is wonderful when you travel across the country.

Toyota Prius, hybrid car

Pokey is a mountain-lover and tree-hugger

BUTS in the newsI love how big BUTS has grown over the past year. A few weeks ago, Birmingham Magazine reached out to us for a short article and photo shoot, and turned it into a huge spread in their July issue. Watch out ultra world—BUTS is taking over!

Birmingham Ultra Trail Society, BUTS, ultra running, trail running Alabama

Photo by Mary Lou Davis

My body in this photo—It’s summer, the time when most women hate their bodies. But not me. Has there ever been a photo that illustrated “thunder thighs” more accurately? I think not. I mean, do you feel the ground shaking? My legs are 50% muscle, 50% fat, 100% pure awesome.

Boom.

Boom.

Say My Name, Say My Name (Correctly)

By June 19, 2014 Ramblings
Tanya

This summer will be eight years since I first arrived in the Deep South, and since I’m all about ranting this week, I think it’s about time I made something clear.

My name is Tanya. Pronounced Taahn-ya. Not Tan-ya. Not Tone-ya. Not Ta…um… Tanya.

Tanya, foreign name, Tanya Sylvan

A queen that lives in a forest? Sounds right.

My parents wanted me to excel at reading, writing, and spelling, so my real name is actually Tatiana Laryssa Twerdowsky. Yes. When I first explain to people that my real name is Tatiana, I always get the same response. “Oh, that’s so pretty! Why don’t you go by that instead?” Listen, I tried that once. Recently. It now makes me cringe when I hear my name around town.

 Tanya, foreign name, Tanya Sylvan

This.

But sure, you can call me Tatiana if Tanya is too confusing for you. As long as we get a few things straight. Yes, that’s my real name. No, my parents have never used it. Yes, it’s Russian/Ukrainian. No, I will not tell you if I am a dancer, gymnast, or figure skater. And no, I will most certainly not tell you if I am flexible. In fact, I may go all Tanya Harding on you just for asking.

But for argument’s sake, let’s just focus on Tanya. I know I live in a geographical area where saying Tan-ya is the norm and double names are a dime a dozen, so I allow people some leeway. Three strikes, to be exact. I meet you, tell you my name, correct your pronunciation. We meet again, you get it wrong, NBD. But if our paths cross one more time and you’re still butchering it, you’re on my shit list.

Tanya, foreign name, Tanya Sylvan

Facebook ads, you know me so well

I get that I don’t have the easiest name in the world. Hell, look at how bad I am with names and faces—I have no room to speak. But I thought I’d go ahead anyway and put this out there. And if you’ve known me for a while and are still saying it wrong (you know who you are), for shame.

Think I’m just a tad bit sensitive? “Is it her time of the month?” you’re wondering in your head. No! This is a real thing! I came across this Buzzfeed article the other day that perfectly nailed what foreign name-life is like. And the author’s name? Tanya. Boom.

Tanya, foreign name, Tanya Sylvan

Duck face and wagging finger – this girl is for realz

Do you have an unusual name? Do people butcher it? Do you correct people, let it go, or stare daggers at them until they get it right?

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