Archive | Travel RSS feed for this section

SS moves in….

30 Aug

… for a couple days.

For the past two years, SS has been planning a major renovation to his apt. This project was in the works long before we met, and has him very excited.

The past six months have been interspersed with architect meetings, permit applications, visits to kitchen showrooms, samples from Home Depot and god knows what other legal dealings he had to take care of to get his dream abode on the runway. Oh, and for the past few months he’s been living in a place full of holes that the contractor requested he create so he could figure out if the architect’s plans were feasible. (You should have seen me bounce out of the bed when I was there alone and heard a scamper in the wall. Ooooooh boy!)

So after years of anticipation, today’s the day! SS left his apt his morning never to see it the same again!

We got up early to finish the last of the emptying — moving the mattress out back and the rest of his belongings into my car — and as he got ready for work, three “gorillas” showed up armed to demolish the place. (Apparently they were the voiceovers for the “Snatch” cast.)

As luck would have it, he’s got a few weeks of travel planned so finding a place to stay isn’t necessary, except for the next couple nights. And I’m the lucky one! (No, I’m not being sarcastic!)

I am also the unlucky one. His trips and my cross-country road trip overlap so I won’t be seeing my SS for a good three and half weeks or so. I think subconsciously it’s taken a toll on me.

Travel, no matter how well planned, always comes with a small black hole: There is always the potential for an unknown outcome. It’s this unknown possibility that triggers my desire to visit somewhere new. But it also instills fear. A good kind of fear. The kind that leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat wide-eyed craving more.

I guess from that perspective, it’s not completely abnormal to feel a sense of stress about watching the one you love fly off one way, while you drive the other.

I am going to miss him. But at the same time I couldn’t be more excited for his vacation. Having lived abroad, I understand the “travel-bug” and what it can do to a person when left unfulfilled. It’s not pretty! It’s the reason that I’ll be singing in the car with my little brother somewhere amid the rocky peaks of the West when SS’s plane touches back down in NY. We may be off on different journeys for the next month, but his sense of adventure is one of the things that draws me to him.

It’s a trip he’s be anticipating for a long time. Just like the renovation, it was part of him before we met!

And just like his brand-new shiny apartment, I’ll awaiting his return.


A bird came and brought you; I’m so glad I got you, honey…

21 May

SS booked us a holiday for Memorial Day weekend (that’s the random bank holiday you Brits have coming up, in case you were wondering why you had a day off to get pissed). I had no part in the planning: He asked me to take off a day of work, and wanted my passport number — which I obviously gave him, but not without a “I hope he isn’t secretly crazy and steals my identity and I end up on CNN” thought. (I’m a journo; I’m trained to be precautious.)

The following night, during our fancy dinner date — which was AMAZING, but will have to be covered later — he informed me that I should bring bathing suits and books.

My exact thoughts following that statement were: “O.M.G., three days on a beach? How did he know that I was craving beach time with him? Did he read my mind? ‘Hello, SS, are you in here?’ [mental spastic giddy jumping around].

Bathing suit? Ahhh, maybe I should rethink the 7-course dinner we just ordered. Ooo, maybe it’s somewhere that allows topless sunbathing!”

What came out of my mouth was more along the lines of: “Ahhhh, hehehehehehehe.” (Jump around in seat!) “Ahhhhh.” (Giggle, giggle.) I know, I know people; I’m very verbally expressive.

While he wasn’t going to tell me where we were going — which I was fine with because I love surprises — he let slip that it was somewhere a friend of his recently visited. At those words, the negotiator side of my personality rallied all my neurons and sent them scouting for this tidbit of information that I instantly knew was hiding somewhere. (I have an odd way of remembering things: Everything I hear or see fits into my already existing web of memories, so if someone mentions something specific, it triggers all the thoughts in the circle surrounding it. In this case, I remembered his friend mentioning a location —> I had been there —> SS had commented on the passport stamp, etc, etc.)

Oh, I totally know where it is!

Next Saturday my beautiful, lovely, generous SS and I will be leaving on a jet plane to spend three days lounging on a beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic — and I can not bloody wait. For those of you who know me, you know I’m not normally a beach person, but between the busyness of work and, well, basically just life in general, there is nowhere I’d rather unwind with my Someone Special then on the sand, under the sun, with drink in hand.

Acknowledging that I’ve found someone I love, who spoils me so, makes my eyes leak for joy. In the words of Gloria Gaynor, I must be the luckiest girl in the world!

Until then, I will be eating lettuce only and exercising an hour a day to attempt to reverse the aftermath of all the yummy food that’s been recently jumping down my throat; and trying to decide which books I don’t mind leaving behind so I’ll have more room to hide rum in my suitcase on the return flight.

Oh and Dad, expect another anonymous envelope in the mail!

Leaving on a Jet Plane…

23 Apr

In an approximately 5 hours I am boarding a plane. For those of you who know me, or have followed me long enough to catch on, I HATE FLYING. I am a lot better about it… and by better I mean I have learned which drugs work best for which flight durations. (i.e. We have three different flights with no more than a 2-hour maximum flight time preventing me from OD’ing on PM pills, my preferred travel companion!)


No seriously…

I am a much better flyer than I was during my transatlantic commuting days. I even flew all the way to Vegas and back recently with no sleep- or anxiety-aid—and I didn’t go into a panic. GO ME!

I discovered the best thing for me is to NOT sit next to the window and engross myself in book or computer activity. That way I almost forget I’m on a plane.

This time is different though. I am flying with SS. While my past relationships required a lot of flying, I very rarely flew with my significant other. Actually, I have rarely flown with anyone—not to mention a significant other. (Maybe this contributes to my I’m-afraid-we’re-going-crash-and-I-will-be-aware-of-it-but-unable-to-do-anything-about-it anxiety…)

SS’s presence is very calming. Even when he’s internally keyed up, he provides me with a feeling of peace… as if nothing could go wrong.

Therefore, I’m feeling pretty good about this flight… and if I’m wrong, I have sleeping pills, anti-anxiety pills, two books, a movie, numerous photo projects to work on and I’m running on 4 hours of sleep.

I need a housekeeper

11 Mar

This is going to be a every short entry, as I am writing mobiley on the phone. Why don’t I just continue when I get home you ask?

Because I have to clean my room!

I hate cleaning more than anything, more than everything — well, not more than packing. It’s another one of those mundane necessary household-type of activities that us Pisces find belittling to our existence on this planet.

Sound arrogant?

Sure is.

So, tonight MJay is coming over and I am going to offer her moral support while she fills out an assortment of applications and then I am going to throw a hissy fit about having to clean my room. (But don’t tell her because then she won’t come over…)

My room looks like a tornado swept through which I blame entirely on Virgin America. If they didn’t charge for checked baggage I wouldn’t have had such a rough time picking out my outfits for Vegas and my entire closet wouldn’t have ended up on my floor. Annnnd if they had offered an earlier flight home I would have had time to unpack upon arrival. So, naturally it is their fault. (You like that, eh?)

Anyways, SS will be visiting my humble home this weekend and I’d really like him to NOT think I’m a disaster at maintaining my material life… at least not yet. (It’s called organized chaos, people, organized chaos.)

Culinary Vegas

10 Mar

I have spent the last 72 hours in Las Vegas; I guess it warrants an entry. And I suspect that between catching up on work, being overtired and having date night, I will not get around to typing tomorrow, and so far I’ve been doing pretty well with the daily postings.

So yeah, LV. What was the most note-worthy aspect of the trip??

The Food!

As preempted in a previous entry, our first stop after landing was In-and-Out Burger. We literally went through the drive-thru in the taxi on our way to the strip. We learned during our last visit that this is  pretty common request, and we became friends with the driver and he tried to take a photo of us there.

Then, before even checking in, we plopped ourselves down on in front of Caesar’s Palace, our suitcases in tow, and chowed out on the messy juicy saucy fresh burgers. (My second ‘fall-in-love’ occurrence of the day.)

Then, for dinner one night we went to the Wynn Hotel buffet, which I was informed has been ranked in the top 15 (I think) places to eat on some show (I think) in the country (I think). I would definitely validate this statement. Even if the food was crap — which it was the opposite — where can you fill your plate with sushi, BBQ Hen, Mesquite Ribs, Grilled Salmon, a variety of cheeses, some kinda of tomato-y Risotto and an assortment of shot-glass desserts and ice cream. And that’s just what I ate! The boys devoured half an ocean’s worth of King Crab legs and Lobster, and, as always, my colleague dove into the soup selection.

Now, for someone who gets anxiety when having to make a menu decision, you’d expect that I would find buffets overwhelming and stress-inducing. The thing is, the only decision you have to make is ‘to eat or not to eat,’ and well, frankly, that’s a no-brainer. As I was explaining to SS, there is no need for any sort of decisions to be made, you can eat EVERYTHING! And what better way to taste-test new foods?

The next night, upon my request, we ventured over to the Bellagio to check it out. With such impressive waterworks, I was intrigued to see the inside. It was beautiful, although the eclectic, almost retro, elegance of the Wynn appeased my design tastes more. We were huuungry (surprised?). The restaurants with the lakefront view were hosting a 45-minute wait so we went to Fix. Excellent choice! I was really more into the drinks than the food, but was exceptionally impressed with both. The “New” Cosmo — not to be confused with the “Old” Cosmo — was yummy, as were the 4 or 5 screwdrivers I followed it up with. To avoid food coma we only ordered a couple appetizers — Kobe beef sliders and some fancy-styled crab cakes. They were all DEEEEEELISH!!! Oh boy, I was in food and drink heaven!

That night didn’t end there either. We hopped back over to Caesar’s — you know, to make getting home after more alcohol easier — and hit up Mesa Grill for the most yummy strawberry-flavored cocktail thingy I ever tasted. (I really need to start writing down what I’m drinking.) Yummm… Needless to say the next morning was a bit fuzzy — and I’m slighty nervous to check my CC statement — but it was well worth the indulgence. I mean, really, what food isn’t worth the indulgence? (And if you have an actual answer to that… get off my blog now!)

All in all, eating was highlight of the social part of the trip. So, on that note, I’m over and out…

… and kinda hungry!!

What are your favorite places to eat in Vegas?

Michael Buble?

9 Mar

What I love most about meeting new people is being introduced to new interests. Take a moment and take inventory of all the music, TV, authors, thoughts, inspiration, ideas and experience you gained from you friends—those that are in your life and those that have since left. For me, some of my favorite things, and the most influential lessons, came from people who before a couple years ago, were not in my life. I think back to what my life would be like without those influences and I am abundantly grateful for meeting the people I have.

With that said, I bring up SS. Before our first date, I made a [SMS] comment that reminded him of the lyrics from a Michael Buble song. I know this because he replied, “Isn’t that a Michael Buble song?” To which I have no recollection of what my reply was but I do recall thinking, “Who the hell is Michael Buble?”

Part way through the date, I saw that Michael Buble was in his iPhone (Is that weird? Or is iPhone/iPod music analysis normal for a first date now!), and after putting the singer’s name in the Google Box, I read the lyrics he was indeed referring to.

And then I never really gave much more thought to Michael Buble.

Until… until I was a guest on American’s Best Airline, to which the award goes to… Virgin America!* I was scrolling through the “jazz/blues” genre—not something I usually ever listen to—and low and behold, whose name popped up? Michael Buble. (And you thought after the opening paragraph, this was going to get all deep and meaningful…) I hit play and have been listening to it ever since.

My thoughts…

1. I like it.

2. It’s providing some insight into SS’s music preferences—which I’m learning range across many genres, with a focus on the UK Top 40… [siiiigh and smile]

3. MB sings one of my favorite songs from my, like, 2nd favorite movie, “The Wedding Date.” The song is “Save the Last Dance for Me,” from the scene when Debra Messing and her hot escort join the pre-wedding dance lesson mid-argument only for her to discover he rocks the dance floor and they dance out their anger and end the scene laughing and in love. (One of my favorite chick-flicks EVER; if you haven’t seen it or don’t appreciate its cliché but oh-so-clever relationship quotes, you MUST GO WATCH IT ON REPEAT UNTIL YOU DO!)

I don’t know how long my affair with Michael Buble will last, but I’m enjoying the genre and have caught myself more than once dancing in my cozy, clean-smelling Virgin America* seat.

Maybe someone will dance with me to him sometime…. 🙂

*This week’s entries are turning into a bloody sales pitch for the company; I want royalties!)

Viva Las Vegas (what does that mean, exactly?)

8 Mar

Every year the company I work for puts on a conference/trade show, and it’s this weekend, in the city of sin. I went last year and it was thrilling because it was 1) the first time I attended the conference, and 2) it was my first time in LV. We worked a lot leaving little time for play but we had fun. We ate, drank a bit and snuck out for a Cirque show the last night. As I don’t gamble—I have never and don’t ever want to start—LV was never at the top of my list of desired play spots, but cool-themed architecture is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY so I spent a lot of time mesmerized by the hotels. And this year we are staying, and hosting, at Caesar’s Palace so even better. (Last year we were at the Rio!)

All in all, last year’s event went well so this year I am returning with an increased sense of confidence and ambition to nail this sucker and bring home as much as I can professionally—and personally, as we should always be working on improving our personal “self,” right boys and girls?

It also occurred that I am entering this situation a whole lot emotionally lighter.

Last year I was dating someone during this time. You wouldn’t think this would be a problem, but this particular someone had had their own experiences at a ‘work event’ in LV. And apparently because his experience included a drug-induced boss who sent a prostitute to his room in the middle of the night, this obviously meant I was going to be blowing coke with strippers and sleeping my way up and down the strip. Naturally…

(Ironically, the closest I got to a male’s body that trip has been documented in the photo of me thrown up against the wall in the Rio that was covered in images of the Chippendale guys… check FB for evidence.)

It was a conversation topic on numerous occasions before I left, which usually caused an argument: He needed to talk about it and express his feelings and hear me listen, and I, well, thought it was absolutely ridiculous to even entertain such a conversation and therefore attempted to quickly reassure him I would try to keep the strippers’ ‘members’ away from me, and end the talk. Yeah, you see where this is going. In retrospect it is clear this was a major red flag to our relationship failure!)

And although he was open, understanding and patient for the duration of the trip, there was still an underlying stressor camping out in my subconscious.

This year, as I packed—and threw a temper-tantrum over being forced to take part in the time-using, mundane, decision-requiring activity—I realized I was really looking forward to the trip. I was looking forward to it in the way you should look forward to your first trip to LV—something that I should never have let anyone take away from me.

I am going with a renewed sense of wonder and open mind for all the sights of LV. Which is a good mindset since I am also going to see Zumanity—the “child-unfriendly” Cirque de Soleil show—with my colleague and her hubby-to-be. (Yeah, I’m totally third-wheeling to a sex-oriented acrobatic show in LV; I know, I’m horrible, but I really wanted to see it [said with a whine!])

And after I reveled in not having to pack an emotional, temperous travel bomb, I wondered what SS thought. It hadn’t occurred to me to even question how SS feels about this—I have no idea what kind of time-limit, or closeness, is required before any potential concerns become valid, or are allowed to be disclosed (ahhh, the mysteries of dating!)—but that fact that it didn’t enter my mind reassures me that the situation does not come with a massive red flag accessory, waving above my head in a position to be ignored. (Picture my Wii character, who has a huge cheesy ‘she-could-be-trippin-out’ smile on her face, with the SIMS “active” green diamond symbol over their head, but replace that with a red flag. You know, basically, something so obvious to all around but oblivious to the person wearing it!)

Anyways… while you won’t be reading this till I am mid-trip, I am writing this on the plane. We got two hours till landing.

First stop? In-and-Out Burger!
(I think those are priorities would make SS proud!)