All posts filed under “travel

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Weekend : Awesome

I had a really great weekend.

It was fun, but it was also meaningful. Friday on Twitter there was an ongoing discussion about weddings [imagine that], and loving or not loving one’s wedding, including whether it felt huge or not.

While I haven’t talked about it much yet, I can decidedly say my wedding did not feel huge. And oddly enough, for better or worse, this weekend felt more quietly huge than the wedding certainly did.

So I’m probably going to talk about it a lot. But not right now. Because I don’t feel like talking about much of anything. Which I will also talk about later.

I’ll leave you here with that photo that pretty much sums up what I’ve yet to talk about.

Sorry for the mystery…

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Weekend : Road Trip

In the spirit of Wednesday, and the major FAIL that was to be last week’s working weekend (and I don’t mean wedding work, I mean 3 different real work jobs), I thought I’d post about how I did not work—on work or wedding—in July.

Funtime weekend #1:
One of Scott’s old bands had a reunion show that we drove up to CT for. It’s been a couple of years since I last slept in a car for a band, and I’ve never slept in a car with a member of the band. But I’m getting ahead of the story (which—like that day—is pretty monotonous).

We aimed to pick up our rental car and hit the road around 9am. The state of the rental car office should’ve been my first clue that it was going to be the loooooongest day ever.

When we finally got up to the counter, we were so lucky as to be standing next to the Most. Amazing. Transaction. Ever. Starring people who didn’t understand the stupid rules of rental cars. No, you cannot add a 2nd driver who doesn’t have a major credit card. No, you cannot pay as the 1st driver with a major credit card that is declined(!) and say you’re “just going to pay in cash when you return it.” No, at this point, complaining that you’re getting a Navigator and not a Tahoe is not a good idea. Let’s just said that if the Enterprise employees could pee in these customer’s soup (car seat?), they would’ve done it.

Alas, we never heard how it all ended up because our car was ready. Our first car. Whose front seat did not adjust forward from “gangsta recline.” Luckily we were able to switch the one next to it, which did just fine to CT and back. And while I’m bitching, let me just say something about Connecticut drivers. Wow. Unless there was some kind of “don’t speed today” memo that we missed, they give Florida snowbirds a run for their money. 55 and not a mile over. Plus as much rubber-necking as inhumanly possible for the slightest roadside excitement.

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Somewhere around 2:30, we got to the venue, where I discovered that waiting for a band to go on when you’re with the band might be even less interesting than waiting for a band to go on when you are (or are with) the lunatic that sits outside the door hoping to get a glimpse of them.

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But the pluses included getting to sit (on a chair!) inside the venue’s outdoor patio area blogging while the band rehearsed, and being looked after by a total doll of a venue owner who kept asking if I needed anything.

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And then we went to dinner at what was quite possibly the worst “restaurant” (snack bar in a bar?) that I have ever been to. The whole day was like National Lampoon’s 90’s Band Reunion, but this was really the worst. Honestly, it was so shockingly unbelievable that I couldn’t even get upset about it. They were out of everything and everything they weren’t out of, the cook—on his first and last day—had trouble making. Like had trouble making grilled cheeses and Caesar salad. I was treated to the saddest, barely toasted, BLT ever.

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And then we waited. And attempted not to drink too much since we were driving home that night. And waited some more. And mingled awkwardly with people Scott hasn’t seen in fifteen years and may or may not have hooked up with. And didn’t drink some more. One vodka soda and part of a beer and I was sober and bored out of my skull for about 4 solid hours of waiting, as a reunion of people we didn’t know and their toddlers swirled around us.

Did I mention by this point, my well-used phone which had already been charged once, had died?

So I played Angry Birds on Scott’s phone. And waited. And we manned the merch. And waited. And Scott drew things. And we waited.

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And then they played. And it was just like the rehearsal but with more people. Include a Russell-Brand-alike who was their biggest fan.

And after the set a kid (he was probably my age), came up to Scott and told him they played the first show he ever went to and he loved them. And it was adorable and kind of sad all at once.

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And then we waited.

For the last band who were the guys that invited them to play at this reunion of people who used to play in bands and now had a lot of toddlers running around wearing those punk rock baby earmuffs.

And then perk #2, when the last band played, I got to sit off on the side of the stage behind a speaker and hope no one noticed while I full on slept with music raging around me.

And then at 2am, we left.

12 hours after we had arrived.

17 hours after we left home.

On 5 hours of sleep (my bad), a protein shake, 2 eggs, and the worst BLT of my life, we hit the road back home.

And then an hour and a half into the drive, 1 awful McDonald’s coffee, and the world’s most expensive large fries later, we gave up. And slept in a parking lot. Of a different McDonald’s.

And woke up 3 hours later to dawn at a Connecticut McDonald’s and finished the drive home.

I didn’t get to stop at Stew Leonard’s, but I did get to see Scott play in a band.

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Honeymoon Diaries : Novice Wife

I am very excited today for our second-ever Honeymoon Dairy by Novice Wife partly because she and her husband visited Tulum, Mexico (which is the very same part of the world Scott and I got engaged in), and partly because it is a very funny account of how the little snafus make the best memories.

So go read Novice Wife, talking beach bungalows, life without electricity, bribery, margaritas, and human sacrifice…

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Wedding : The Where, Part 1

This was a tough one for us. As I touched on over at my first post on mine and my friend Aimee’s new blog about honeymoons, I have always wanted an intimate destination wedding. Just me, Scott, and maybe a dozen friends at a fabulous villa somewhere exotic.  (Most fabulous villas can be rented for a week at $10k or less, so I figured why spend it all on one day?)

Only in retrospect am I able to see clearly why this was such a strong desire of mine:
Long Island, where I grew up and we live now, is a veritable stronghold of the WIC. Here we have been raised in a land of catering halls, and are bred since early childhood, through years of bar/bat mitzvahs, sweet sixteens and proms, that one day our wedding will take place in such an establishment.

And so naturally, I truly thought the only way I could escape the grasps of the LI WIC and its message of back-breaking conformity was to get the hell out of Dodge.

A love of travel and a want for something small, unusual, and nontraditional seemed to effortlessly equal “destination wedding”. Over the years I have also taught Scott to like to travel, and as he wished for any kind of wedding planning that didn’t involve me doing (and thus crying) much, he was on board with “anything that would make me happy.”

And out of this our dreams of a Costa Rican wedding were born.

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Our Villa Buena Onda sneak peek last May

I came across THE venue in a Gmail header ad, of all ungodly places. Despite the URL reading the very cheesy “www.mycostaricavilla.com,” I clicked. I looked at the prices, then the photos (oh, the photos!), and finally took a deep breath and headed over to Trip Advisor, where a 100% perfect rating caused me to squee and bounce up and down in my chair.

An intensive email dialogue with Joan at Costa Rican Vacations ensued, and within a month we’d booked ourselves a visit to the Villa.

It was a clever excuse for a vacation, which you can read more about here and here.

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Scott looking spoiled and guily, signature drink in hand, as he checks out this view…

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The Villa was our last stop on the trip, and we were totally worn out and exhausted, but oh my god, was it the cure for all that. We were given a tour followed by lots of wedding brainstorming with Dayana the concierge, who was so adorable I wanted to take her home in my pocket, and so clearly on top of her game I wanted to hire her on as my own personal assistant. I definitely could’ve trusted my wedding to that woman.

Then we were given lunch (and ice cream!), and even had time for a dip in the pool. It may have been several of the nicest hours I have ever spent anywhere. Seriously five star treatment. So five star I was almost uncomfortable, and wondered if I could handle a whole week of this…

Gah, writing this actually makes my stomach churn, I still wish we were getting married there! (And here! Two weddings!)

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Even this collage could not convince our friends to come to CR…

But two does not make a wedding, only an elopement, and many variables (that I will discuss in Part 2) caused us to go down a very different path.

So instead, here’s to a Villa Buena Onda vacation in 2012!

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The Mom Mystique

 

Mom3-1 Waikiki Beach looking towards Diamond Head, Oahu HI

July 1967

 

Lately I’ve been reminded of how there are things we don’t ask our parents about.

 

Either because it just never occurs to us, or because we’re not sure if we want to know the answers.

 

In my case, there were many things.

 

Now that it’s too late, I sometimes wonder if I would want to have the chance to ask those questions, or if I’m actually better satisfied with the mystique my mom so successfully created around her life pre-me.

 

Mom1

Puerto Rico

July 1966

 

Having me at 39 in the 80’s, she painted a vague picture of a fulfilling life—of the 60’s and the 70’s, the NYC-slumming student nurse days dealing with lunatics at Bellevue, dancing at Studio 54, and traveling with her best friends.

 

Mom2-1

Puerto Rico

July 1966

In these days of My Parents Were Awesome, and Dads Were the Original Hipster-chic, my mom clearly holds her own, and a part of me dearly wishes to know the NSFW stories that I’m guessing exist

 

[Her affair with my dad, and my scandalous birth—39 year old woman having babies out of wedlock was no where near as badass in the eighties as it is now—is a whole other minefield.]

 

But on the other hand, I’m guessing the glamour was slightly embellished. (I’ve got to get my penchant for exaggeration from somewhere.)

 

And I think I might just prefer it that way.

  Mom4-1

Molokai, HI

July 1967