It never fails...
Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously
**EDITED TO ADD: IMPORTANT INFORMATION AT THE END OF THE POST**
Oh. My. GOD. How awesome are those? The "free toy inside!" is that little pig you see in front of the box. And on top, the package proclaims that these are "accoutrements for first aid."
I laughed, I clapped my hands with glee, I snorted... and immediately felt worlds better.
As I told her, I kinda want to give myself a paper cut, just so I can use one.
You can have your own bacon strips!
- I've been home for a week and a half now, and I still haven't unpacked everything. I have some gifts that are still sitting in my luggage, along with assorted items of my own that I haven't needed yet. Gee, why is my apartment so messy??
The view from the deck at the Marriott whateveritslongname is. Where we saw a woman who's legendary in Hawaiian musical circles: Aunty Genoa Keawe* (also where I had the mai tai in the pineapple). She's nearing 90, and still performs every week in Waikiki.
Let's see... should I unpack and clean house, or go back to bed? Hmmm....
*if you click on the "discography" link on that site, you can hear the song we've just learned in hula. and when i requested it at her show, they asked me to dance it. i declined. i didn't know it well enough to dance, solo, in front of strangers IN hawaii...! yeeek.
I can feel it in the air, even.
I had a lovely little routine going on my trip. I'd get up and go for a walk and sweat like never before. Then, I'd stop in at Starbucks to get a frosty beverage, which I'd take to a bench across the street where I could enjoy the scenery.
One day, we rented a car to drive to the town of Kailua, on the other side of the island. Much more authentic Hawaii than Waikiki, to be sure. These pics don't really do it justice. The beach in Kailua is gorgeous.
And one evening, I accepted a hula sister's challenge to attempt to dance on the beach. One of the songs we've learned is about Mamala Bay, the body of water off Waikiki, and she's challenged all of us who visit Oahu to do the dance along the shore there. When the song kept coming up on my iPod on my morning walks, I figured it was a sign. Now, this is one of our more difficult dances anyway, and trying to do it in the sand (after a few cocktails, natch) was impossible. And pathetic. I gave up about halfway through.
All in all, a fabulously relaxing trip. And now I'm trying to figure out how I can become independently wealthy, so that I can live there. And also in New York. Any ideas??
No, that's not a Hawaiian word, but it should be. Translated, it would mean "I'm not ready to go back to reality."
You might call that the theme of my little jaunt to New York in June. There were lots of biggests, smallests, worsts.... which seems entirely appropriate for that city.
Very comfortable, yes. Also, pretty ugly. I wanted something cuter. Then I realized: hey, stupid, you're in a shopping mecca, surrounded by a million shoe stores in Soho alone! GO SHOPPING FOR SOME SHOES!! What a brilliant idea, I thought. I ended up with these:
Cuter, no? A little less dorky anyway. And I chose to wear them out of the store, even though it was so hot that my feet were swelling and these were a little more snug than my uglier shoes.
And that decision produced the largest heel blister that I have ever had in my life. It was massive. I even took pictures, but they didn't turn out well so you're spared that delightful sight.
In my cute(r) new shoes, I then headed off to the Village, my fave part of town, had lunch, shopped at the flea market, and people-watched. Loved every moment of it (except for the blister part).
That night, I saw the New York City Ballet, something I've wanted to do since I was a teenager, and I was not disappointed. Just walking into the theatre choked me up, because I attach way too much significance to silly moments like this. The theatre was gorgeous, the dancing was spectacular, and I was thrilled. (And now I'm on their mailing list, and just got the sales pitch for their winter program... which makes me want to plan another trip now....)
Sunday, John and I saw The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which was fabulous, and then had dinner at this marvelous Chilean place on Restaurant Row -- a place my friend Cindy found on our trip to the big city a few years back. It's a hidden gem; the food is wonderful, the atmosphere is lovely, and they make the best mojitos I've ever had. So of course, I had to have a couple on this visit. I then had this brilliant idea that we should go find the Russian Vodka Room, since it was in the area. How can a place with a name like that NOT be fun?
It was. It really was. I started with a pomegranate martini, and then, because they have all these Russian vodkas (duh) on the menu, we started ordering some of those. Straight. In small glasses, yes (some people were drinking it out of carafes), but still. Straight. I thought I was being smart, pacing myself, sipping slowly, and drinking loads of water between vodkas - I think I had two vodkas. But after the martini and the mojitos AND the straight vodka, I was hammered.
Then, some other patrons who'd been sitting nearby started chatting with us and insisted we try some of the RVR's infused vodkas. Awesome! I wish I could tell you how many of those I had, but I don't remember. There was no pacing, either. Those just went down the hatch. Yummy.
We left after that, and walked out into a rainstorm the likes of which I haven't seen in years. The remnants of a tropical storm were passing through New York, and it was coming down in sheets (Central Park got almost 4 inches of rain that night). Umbrellas were pointless, so at one point, I put mine away, stood there in the pouring rain and laughed my ass off. And got soaked through to the skin.
Luckily, my hotel was nearby... and the laughing didn't last long. Because shortly after returning, my body punished me for what I'd just done by purging the contents of my stomach. Repeatedly. After a few rounds of this fun (and after John was nice enough to run to the Duane Reade across the street to buy me some water before - understandably - fleeing the scene), I fell asleep (or passed out, whatevs!) in my wet clothes.
When I awoke the next morning, I knew I needed to start rehydrating. But I was having a hard time sucking down the water like I usually do... because guess what? My body wasn't done punishing me.
I have never been this sick, ever, where the barfing continues into the following day. Repeatedly, even though there wasn't anything left in my system. And I suppose it's a good thing it was still pouring outside, because it made it a little less painful to lose most of a day of my vacation in a city I love because I'd had too much to drink. That SUCKED. I was finally able to get up and out of the hotel around 4 or 5 p.m., when John met me for dinner and we took a walk over to Bryant Park, where I promptly tripped and fell on some steps, because I was still woozy and weak. As we walked around to the front of the library there, thinking it would be fun to go in, we came across some red carpet action - some fashion awards show was taking place at the library. I love that you just never know what you might trip over in NYC.
The next day, feeling much more normal, I was off to Chinatown to stock up on cheap knockoff purses and pashminas, and finally got to Risotteria, home of the amazing gluten-free breadsticks, pizza, and everything else you might want. It's so wonderful to have so many things to choose from on a menu, without needing to think twice about whether it will make you ill.
Then it was off to Central Park, to wander and enjoy. I know this fountain has a name, but I don't know what it is. It's pretty.
Another random reservoir shot (I posted others in June). We'd hoped to walk around the whole thing, or at least a good portion of it, but some of the path was closed off for some reason I can't remember now.
(Oh, and because of the heel blister, I worse some cheap sandals on this day that aren't really designed for that much walking - especially not in hot, humid weather - and ended up with a massive blister on the ball of the same foot. Grrreeeeat.) It was a lovely day, and perfect for hanging out in such a beautiful place. That night, I dragged John to another eatery (in Gramercy/Murray Hill) that has a gluten-free menu -- a BBQ place, no less -- where we ended up chatting with a guy who lives in the Bay Area, but spends a week every month in New York on business. Now, that sounds like the best of both worlds to me. If I could find a way to live in both cities, I would LOVE that.
The next day was my last, so I didn't have time for much more than running up to the Upper East Side to gawk at the buildings and have breakfast at, yes, another place with a GF menu, and then wander in the park a little more before I had to run to the airport.
On the plane, as I stared out the window watching the city getting smaller and smaller, I found myself feeling really sad...and not because of the blisters, bruises, and self-poisoning. I don't think I can articulate all the reasons I love being in New York City, and why the notion of living there is so enticing, despite the high cost of living (although SF is close behind on that list). And yes, I realize that vacationing someplace is very different from living there.
But how do you think I fell in love with San Francisco way back when? It's food for thought.
See you when I get back from Hawaii. Aloooooha!
*have you seen "the devil wears prada?" you know that scene in the opening sequence when anne hathaway's character stops into a bakery for a bagel before her first trip to the magazine? that was filmed there.