Friday for Thought: World Tourism Day!


(Found this gem of an image on, 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.


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..”


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.

Rewind & Replay: Las Vegas

A few years ago, I jetsetted off to Las Vegas with a group of my bestest friends ever (you know who you are, right?) It was equally fun as it was extremely emotionally traumatic. My manfriend refuses to return (once was enough for him) so three of my girlfriends and me have planned a 3-day-vacay to Sin City for sun, booze, etc. Below is a post I wrote in March of 2010. Curious to see how much changes after three years…read up and compare against what I write next week. 😉

A Q&A sesh with Las Vegas and myself.

How low can you go?
Turns out, quite low. I apparently have the ability – even after a vodka/Redbull or two – to stabilize myself, heels and all, and still drop it like it’s hot. Important note for you rookies: always wear boyshorts. No one wants to see your Britney on the dance floor, except the creepy European guy that’s been following you around for the past 20 minutes while you dance with every other person to avoid his inevitable attempt to grab your ass.

Can I teach you how to snap two nudey cards together?
If you’re a guy, of the straight nature, I think that you should be issued a complimentary baseball card holder once landing in Vegas. No, wait. Even if you are a girl you should be given this free gift with airline ticket purchase, because regardless of what kind of situation (hehe…ye) you have going on down there in Mexico, it doesn’t matter. You will be non-verbally handed hooker trading cards everywhere you go. It’s kind of like when you were seven and your parents took you to Disneyland and gave you one of those autograph books. The purpose there was to get as many signatures as possible. I am going to go out on a limb and say if the same goal were true here, there would be free clinics on every other street corner. Legally these baseball card pimps can’t talk to you, or so I am told, hence the snapping. However, the hungover girls walking-three-wide to keep each other vertical are going to pass on the girl-on-girl action. Thanks anyways.

Is the phrase ‘What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas’ true to your experience?
Maybe it was in 1998 when you, sweet LV, felt the need to try and stimulate your economy by convincing unsuspecting travelers that you are a vortex of secrecy where they could fulfill any possible fantasy without their wife/hubs/coworkers/kids from knowing what kind of perverse things could come of them. Then, in an interesting turn of events, Facebook happened. Unfortunately, for these fratboy-wannabes-gone-wild, Facebook opened the front door to Vegas. No, actually, Facebook straight up bulldozed through it. And now there are tagged photos, quotes that have no meaning other than to the person saying it (HAHAHAHHAHAHA “CEASAR! WE’RE BACK!” – See? No idea.) and a plethora of wall posts that may or may not be about you. Wait…someone else made the same bad decision I made? No, no, no it must have been that other girl that I ran into..Also, I love signing into my account and getting a notification that says “Blank has tagged you in a photo.” Crap! Rack-brain. Thinkthinkthink. When was this photo taken? What was I doing? Did I have boyshorts on at the time?

Would you like an late check out?
No, I would not. I want you to get me to the airport as quickly as possible. The sooner I forget I was in the at-will Bermuda triangle of vacations and get back to reality, the better. Except, right now I can barely move and either I find $8 for a Gatorade or I might die a slow and painful death in this extremely comfortable bed/bathtub/hallway/doorjam. Lucky for you, I opted to bring my extra dignity with me, so you keep whatever I left by accident.

Do you have your exit buddy?
I do now. Did I this weekend? Debatable.

Would you do it again?
Wait which part? The coming to Vegas part or the…I’m sorry repeat the question please.


This past weekend Manfriend (sometimes Boyfriend, depending on his attitude) and I jet-setted down to San Francisco for a fun weekend. After the Chicago debacle (see previous post), Alaska Airlines gave me a $100 credit so we felt the immediate need to put it to good use. No sense in letting that bad boy hang around for too long.

We got a screaming deal on flights ($166 RT after the credit, say whaaaat) and applied some additional credits toward a hotel (motel, holiday inn) and sha-bam! we were aweekending.

In three words? San Francisco rocks. If it were a mathmatical equation it would be:

Seattle + 4(public transportation) + 2(walkability) + cable cars + extra transients

That’s right, SF’s homeless population is mass-ive, but I guess if I were going to be homeless I would probably pick somewhere in CA. (San Diego, duh.)

We skipped out on work early on Friday (half-day Friday!) and were in SF by 4pm. The BART, which is a big reason I think their pubtrans is AWESOME, took us RIGHT from the airport to like three blocks from our hotel. And since we have legs, we totally walked there! Bitchin’.

It was naturally time for happy hour, and I needed a drink BIG TIME, so we set off on a never-ending adventure to find discounted food + drinks. This proved to be much more challenging that any person would every expect since

  1. I have an iPhone
  2. It has several food-related apps on it – including but not limited to Yelp, Urbanspoon, FourSquare and Happy Hours.

After making Manfriend walk around for almost 45 minutes looking for the “cool, hip San Francisco bar of my dreams” we settled on Morton’s. They have good eats but no drinks specials which…no. It doesn’t do anything friendly to the bill, let me tell you. To avoid another wandering adventure for dinner, I spent the majority of the time sipping my bubbles (weee!) and searching on several of the aforementioned apps for the “cool, hip San Francisco restaurant of my dreams.”

AND I FOUND IT. Hops & Hominy. If you are in SF right now, just stop what you are doing and RUN There. Unless it’s a Friday night, then first make a reservation because this place was hoppin’ (no pun intended).

Their featured drink was a bacon Manhattan which I definitely would have guzzled if I drank Manhattans. Their menu is simple and focused on Southern comfort food (I had shrimp & grits, he had fried chicken). We also got the sauteed spinach which was WAY overpriced (anything over $3 falls into this category for me) but I really could have made a meal out of it. ::drool::

We then retired to our hotel because it was 9:30 and, dammit, we were tired.

Saturday walked toward the water, got completed engrossed in the market and enjoyed the sun. We shared a hot dog AND a burger – then sat down to listen to these buskin’ fools:

ImageMad Noise. Their drummer is entertaining to watch & the guy rocking the guitar has an amazing voice. Listen to them now. Image

ImageWe walked back to the hotel to change and I stumbled upon this creme brulee cart:

ImageAnd since they weren’t around on Sundays I HAD to get one. I’d do it all over again. And thank GAWD Seattle does not have one of these. I would be there and would never lose weight ever. Om nom nom. #burntsugaryesplz

Then we hit up a Giant’s game (balls cold) where this adorable old couple gave us their tickets because it was (balls) cold and the Giant’s won in a 10th walkoff homerun. For the second night in a row. Plus, look at that view!


Sunday was dedicated to Cable Car-ing to Alcatraz from our hotel. Acting as supreme tourist nerds, both Man and myself were VERY excited about this. (Tickets booked here.) We even did the audio tour, which I would strongly recommend because it paints a real picture of what life was like on the Island PLUS it tells you where to go. So, if you aren’t an idiot, it makes the tour easy and interesting. (I just pushed my glasses up my nose, nerd alert).

ImageWe took the 1pm boat and spent about an hour and a half on the island. Plenty of time.

We managed to get in one more high-priced, tourist-trapped happy hour on Fisherman’s Wharf at Lou’s before heading back to the airport. Lou’s features live music upstairs, and we could hear it loud and clear on the patio. Happy hour here is dedicated solely to drinks (opposite of Morton’s) so we had full-price-food. FPF is the WORST but I will say, it was tasty. Since it was Cinco de Mayo, we got a bucket of Corona’s and called it a weekend.



For the first thirteen years of my life I spent every summer at my family’s wheat farm in Montana. Before you even think it, no we did not have cows/horses/pigs. My parents only did spring wheat, as it meant my dad could commute between Seattle and Montana. When I say “commute” I mean it in the sense that he would shuttle back and forth 2-3 times between April and September, depending on me, my schedule and my mom’s pleas for him to come back (it’s tough being away, yknow?).

Anyways, small towns are the exact opposite of the city. People wave when they drive last you, often with the simplicity of two fingers raised from the wheel. It’s not as official as Southern hospitality, but it’s something that is lost in the city. Maybe it’s because there are more people per square mile, or maybe it’s because they are just that much more self centered. Either way, I like to think I got my manner from the country and my driving skills from the city (speed up or move!).

After driving from Green Bay, WI to Chicago in attempt to catch my flight home the past February, I endured a massive snowstorm. A storm my mother would have surely abandoned her car in the middle of and my boyfriend begged me not to drive through. After days of being away from home, I promised to be safe and pressed on with my front wheel drive Ford Focus (hatchback, see photo). Not to plug Ford or anything, but that thing can definitely hold its own. And even though I made it to Chicago with hours to spare, my flight was cancelled.


So, there I am stuck in a city I’ve never explored though I have flown into it more times than I can count in the last two years. Rather than saying, ‘screw it! Let’s go exploring!’ I said, ‘mmmm shower, Ben and Jerry’s, hours of Big Bang theory.’ Maybe it’s my age, late 20’s are sooooo brutal (read: sarcasm) or my relationship status (though not Facebook official, it’s been two+ years) but there was nothing about this night that motivated me to trek into the wild Chicago airport suburbs.


I was smart enough to bail on my flight before it was cancelled, effectively avoiding the scramble and panic of securing a seat on the next available flight out. I managed to get a seat with no problem by calling Alaska, although it did mean I missed my exit thus lengthening my commute to the airport by almost an hour. Ironically I had no issues driving in the snow covered freeway however later while looking for my hotel, following my phone map and shoving Jelly Bellys in my face I did encounter some issues. Kind of sad, no? I easily picked ice cream + jelly beans over wine.

I had an enjoyable, slow day before my 3pm flight out. Getting stuck was more of a blessing than a curse. The Chicago airport is big and bustley but it’s also home to the BEST AIRPORT FOOD EVER: the Frontera Grill. Thank you, Rick Bayless. Anything you get there is good, but the guacamole is the best. Put it in your face and thank me later.

When it was close to my flights boarding time I leisurely walked over to my gate. I usually stand amongst the MVPs and MVP Golds to ensure early boarding. People that say, “I don’t understand why everyone is so anxious to sit down” (usually with a scoff) are commoners with no boarding status. I’m anxious because sitting > standing, putting my bag up top > being forced to check it and getting stuck behind a row of people that only once a century < than not.

Though my low-level status doesn’t allow me to board until the first class, Golds, armed forces members (thanks for your service, btw), anyone with something resembling a child or limp – I SOMEHOW manage to survive.

While waiting somewhat patiently to board, I noticed a woman moving glances between the gate and her ticket. She approached a nicely dress first class or Gold member and politely said, “Excuse me? Is this flight going to Seattle?”

Though a simple, “yes” probably would have sufficed, THIS guy decided that, “I don’t work here.” was a more appropriate response. Who says that??

Dude, I get it. Chicago was a total asshole to me, too. However, I’m not an asshole in return to everyone I meet. So, in the event that you are ever approached by someone with this same question, I have compiled a list of appropriate responses to get you by:

1. “Yes.”
2. “Yes, it is.”
3. “I sure hope so, ’cause that’s where I’m going!” (this should be said with a genuine, non-creeper smile.
4. “Yes, ma’am.”
5. “No.” (only if that’s really the answer.)

While it took me almost a full 15-seconds to come up with those extensive, deep and heroic responses I assure you that they will make someone’s day a little better.

PS: the aforementioned woman had an accent and this is exactly why non-Americans say things like “Americans are rude assholes.”

Lesson: don’t be a rude asshole, no matter where you are.