Friday for Thought: World Tourism Day!

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(Found this gem of an image on tipsoftravelling.com, I need a giant poster in my office, no?)

Happy it’s Friday. I am counting down the days until my next adventure (the French Alps!!). Did I tell you it’s Boyfriend’s first trip abroad? Passports, Brie and romance – oh my!

We are going to have an amazing time “shredding the gnar” in Chamonix, eating our way through Paris and capping our trip off with 48-hours in Iceland. Obvi I will give you deets, pictures and my “Top Things I Ate” list when we get back, but until then, you shall listen to my incessant babble about HOW EXCITED I AM! and HOW IT WILL BE THE BEST TRIP EVER!@$#! (Until the next one…)

Currently, my places to go in 2014 looks something like this:

1. Kauai: no explanation needed. ever.

2. Chile: happy 30th birthday to Boyfriend! more international skiing!

3. The Philippines: this one is ever so slightly out of my comfort zone, but it made the list.

Where are you going in 2014? Wishing YOU a happy World Tourism Day! Au revoir! 

 

The Mormon State

You guys, listen.

First off, I have to tell you that First Class Bloody Marys are amazing.

Secondly, I have to tell you about my trip to Salt Lake City….SLC!

I had a mere 24-hours in the Mormon State (yes, that is the official slogan). A quick trip to evaluate some stuff for work. This meant I planned on spending my Friday evening alone and shopping.

You might be thinking, did you go see the Temple?? No, I didn’t. I went to T.J. Maxx because you never know what you will find there. Sure enough I found Hudson Collin Skinnies in the wash I have been lusting over AND IN MY SIZE. That almost NEVER happens.

I guess Utes have bad jean-taste because I snatched those right up.

ANYWAYS. This particular T.J.’s just happened to be connected to a Homegoods (same parent company) and since I had never been to a Homegoods, I was all “Cool, I’ll check it out.” with the expectation that “duh, you can’t buy lamps because you have to fly home.” I had mentally prepped myself to be all, “that’s cute, but I can live without it.” because how good could Homegoods really be?

OMG. IT’S SO GOOD. After laying claim to these amazing jeans (#amazeballs, trademark pending) I mozied on over to check out housewares, since the Homegoods was literally connected. Seriously you guy, I just about lost my shit. Ok, yes, I was a little hungry. But it was as if I had found my motherland. Rugs, and lamps, and not one but SEVERAL aisles dedicated to throw pillows.

If given the option, I would have cancelled my reservation at the Sheraton and just stayed there.

I was in the middle of a personal debate about red or blue Le Creuset casserole dishes when my boyfriend called and said, “maybe you should eat…and not spend all of our money…..” (I think he said YOUR money, but I am going to pretend he said our.) My brain was so excited about all of the houseware shit I could buy at such amazing prices I had to force myself to leave.

Luckily, SLC is home to the delicious Ekamai Thai so I was motivated to leave.

I picked up my dinner and headed for the Sheraton, not without getting lost between 2-5 times on my way. Y’know, a typical solo-trip for me. I checked into the Sheraton looking like a bag lady (backpack, overnight bag, T.J. Maxx bag, thai food, San Pelligrino in-hand) and requested a non-first floor room. Because honestly, do you really want to be on the first floor? No one does. Make the whole thing a freakin’ bar. It would probably be more profitable.

I am not sure if it was a combination of my shopping-euphoria, excitement to eat and/or shower or just general Friday-exhaustion, but for some reason I thought I was room 321 not 324. When the elevator stopped, I was that person that said, “oh! Is this me??” after about 3 seconds of no one moving.

THAT PERSON.

I trudged down the hall to 321, excited that I made it to my room before 9pm which meant I could shower AND watch Say Yes to the Dress. Winning!

Key card in, green light, door click open. BAM! Temporary home, I am here!

I opened the door, and it was less BAM! Temporary home and more “why are there shoes on the floor and..”

OHMYGOD NAKED MAN.

For the record, it wasn’t like he was standing there in all of his glory. It was entirely NOT like that. That would have probably been less awkward. Instead, he was laying on his side with his butt toward the door. Fruit basket? Not quite, but almost.

Since I am 98% my mother, I squeaked “oh my goodness” and immediately cursed the front desk for playing such a malicious joke. As the door was closing, I heard a woman laugh.

HOW IS THIS FUNNY TO ANYONE?!

Listen, I barely like to look at my own thighs, specifically from that angle. So, there literally NO REASON anyone should be subjected to excessively pale and hairy thigh-backs with YKNOW.

Ohmygodalloveragain.

I checked my true room numbered, scuffle across the all AS FAST AS POSSIBLE and locked myself in.

With the deadbolt.

Then I rolled the office chair in front of the door, just in case.

Went to Vegas: Lived to Tell You

Hi friends. As usual my motivation to write has ebbed and flowed with my work + personal schedule. I am of the age that my Facebook newsfeed reads more “look how cute my baby is” and “omg, we’re engaged!” and less “has anyone seen my ID?”

Anyways, I have spent my day thus far eating Brie + crackers and my weeks leading up to this cheese binge considering all the topics I could write about but not actually doing so. I have also been spending more time tweeting bitchy, complainy things like “why is the Comcast down?” and “give me my money back, Travelocity!” The power of social media with regards to customer service is truly mind boggling, especially when limited to 140 characters. Read my tweets here for a snippet of entertainment and a giggle (you’re welcome.)

So, let me catch you up on a few things I swore I would blog up about but ultimately didn’t because of my laundry-list of excuses.

Las Vegas: I went and survived, and didn’t ruin a pedicure.

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That in and of itself is amazing. The four of us ladies stayed at the Bellagio, where they charge $9 for a poolside 16oz Bud Light Lime ($10 with tip). Though pricey, I will admit the pool guys are very helpful when you are looking for a pool chair, and even more so when you slip ’em a Lincoln (ball-er).

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We hit up an ice bar the first night, before going to see Tony & Tina’s Wedding at Bally’s. The ice bar, Minus 5, is at the Monte Carlo, and was a balmy 23 degrees and fun! It was a cool experience to sip (chug) a cocktail from a glass made of ice and watch a drunkard take a shot of…something…from an ice luge in the shape of a woman’s upper half. I could tell you, or you could use your imagine as to where the liquor comes out. Hint: two people can take a shot at once. Anywho, our late-20 selfs  came, saw and left. We headed out to the show where we did more of the same: came, saw, left.

We spent a far amount of time bar-hopping: Monte Carlo > Bally’s > Cosmopolitan > Bellagio, picking up a drink or two at each stop along the way. It was after midnight, a time I hadn’t seen in months, and we were en route back to our room. My feet were screaming, “move your ass” and my eyes were drooping. Then we got stopped by a club promoter who offered us a cut-the-line offer only losers in Vegas would refuse. Free champagne? WHAT?! In.

Sadly, I think we got to the party a little too late and it was as if time was stopped in our circle of lifelessness. The four of us stood in the only space we could find, unable to talk because of the house music or sit because Las Vegas isn’t big on the chairs unless you pay for them, and so we stood.

The next day was dedicated to more pool time. It was raining in Seattle and nothing was going to stop us from enjoying the 90 degree weather outside. We walked the strip a bit, and had a happy hour sushi feast at RA (go there, it’s goooood) then picked up some vodka at Walgreens to get SERIOUS.

If my feet didn’t hurt already, they hurt more when I woke up. There was more dancing and eating at 3am. I woke up in the bed next to my own with the hanging taste of root beer and vanilla in my dry mouth. (PS vanilla vodka + diet a&w is amazing). We went to my favorite brunch spot, Mon Ami Gabi, at the Paris and had bloody mary bar. YUM-MY. Go there, drink this:

ImageImageI think I’m terribly funny, see?

I had been gung-ho on playing roulette after winning $70 a few weeks prior when I was at Foxwoods in CT. Instead, I didn’t gamble at all and got the most solid base tan ever. By the end of it, as usual, I was ready to come home, sleep in my own bed and be lights out by 10:30. But as always, Las Vegas won. It always does.

That time I got lost: Toronto

I was lucky enough to get to go to Toronto this past weekend for work. There was a big event and it was the first my company participated in in Canada, so off I went.

Knowing my propensity to get lost, I opted to take a 6am flight out in order to get in earlier. I had never been to Toronto (woohoo, new city!) and even though 6am flights are my arch nemesis I sucked it up.

Did I get lost? Boy, did I ever.

I was in charge of bringing all of the sample product to the event, and I didn’t trust a 20-something even team to rent a van on my liability-watch, so I rented a full-size SUV. Now, I haven’t driven an SUV since the death of my dear friend Barney, a 1991 Ford Explorer, let alone a full-size SUV ever.

I ended up with a fully loaded Dodge Durango with less than 7k miles. I am so baller.

Rango was parked next to a pillar, naturally, and thanks to the side sensors (what rental cars HAVE THOSE?!?!!@#$) I navigated my way out of the parking garage.

Then I got lost 8 times. Even with a navigation system and a google maps print out, I somehow ended in a clover-like pattern first going north then west back south and then north again only to realize I needed to go west.

This went on for about 2 hours.

It’s important that you know there are signs that say “Toronto” and I chose not to follow them and instead listen to my nav system. It’s also important I tell you that I input the wrong address into the nav so it kept taking me OUT of the city rather than in.

My natural sense of direction took me to a Target, so I took a break from being lost to do some perusing. Targets are new to Canada, and this one happened to be quite deserted. (Note: Walmarts are also fairly new, but when I stopped of at Walmart it was like half the city was there. I couldn’t get out fast enough.)

I asked my checker at Target, “how do I get downtown?” and he said – get this – “hmm, I don’t know” and had to ask someone else who also didn’t know and so SHE had to ask SOMEONE else who didn’t know. This left my completely baffled as I was right off the freeway and, don’t these people LIVE HERE?!

It also made me feel slightly better about myself. And my directional abilities.

I gave the GPS one more try and ended up at my hotel almost THREE HOURS after picking up my car. Google maps told me it should only take 20 minutes.

So, that was pathetic.

I had some work to finish up and was so completely exhausted from waking up at 3am (again, 6am flights suck) that I couldn’t pull it together to go get food. To make matter worse, I was starving and having trouble making decisions.

I landed on ordering Thai food from this little spot on the next block that said they would deliver. I also looked like I hadn’t showered in 24-hours because I hadn’t, and if you know me you know that’s gross. My food (FRIED spring rolls, pad see ewe and coconut sticky rice – because my order needed to total $25 and also, yummy!) showed up around 930pm EST and by then I was completely ravenous.

I settled in to watch a marathon of Randy to the Rescue and I Found the Gown on TLC and realized that they DIDN’T GIVE ME SILVERWARE. No chop sticks. No fork. Nothing.

And even though the front desk SAID they would send up a fork they didn’t, so I still went ahead and ate my whole dinner, all three ‘courses’, with my fingers.