Stay Out of the Water, Folks…

As if we needed ONE MORE reason to stay out of the beautiful waters of the Gulf Coast, here’s another lurking issue to lure you into nightmares. (See what I did there?)

jelliesBoys and girls, that’s what you call a Portuguese man o’ war.  They found one on the beach on the Jersey Shore today among a whole host of other things, I’m sure. (I’m lookin’ at you, Snookie.) Apparently these guys are SUPER poisonous and CAN be fatal to humans. I’m especially freaked out by these things because I had a run-in several years ago with a microscopic jellyfish in Cancun that easily ranks in the top 5 worst situations I’ve ever been in.  And there are MANY a blind date in that all-inclusive category, y’all.

Affectionately called a “sea flea” (or pulgas marinas), said jellyfish felt like a piece of seaweed scratched me on the back and kind of stung like a cut.  Until my entire body felt like it I had been overtaken by voodoo magic and someone was using a pin on a doll somewhere all over me.  And then it got worse.

But to really add insult to injury in this situation, my entire family (we were on a family trip) thought I was expressing a flair for the dramatics (unheard of) and crying for no reason about a “sunburn.” (Also never happens.) They pointed and laughed and documented the moment with pictures. Which was so sweet of them and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy looking back on that moment in the FAMILY VACATION ALBUM.

But it did get worse. By dinner that night (luckily our last) my entire body was on fire and everyone was chalking it up to a classic case of sun poisoning. Because what the?

By the time we got back to the room and everyone got in bed, something really strange had started to happen. My legs started twitching. Involuntarily. A lot.

So running down the hallway to my mommy and daddy’s room is exactly that the heck I did. Only to sit in the room wide awake with them all night while by entire body engaged in muscle spasms that my dad likened to “your whole body having the hiccups” (humor) and my mom frantically calling every doctor friend we knew in the States to find out why her daughter’s nervous system had been hacked.

After an entire sleepless night, no answer from many baffled doctors, and several hundred calorie burning twitches we loaded up in the taxi to get to the airport. Which is where I met my hero, and possibly the smartest man in Mexico.

Laughing, my dad told the taxi driver about our interesting night and he, without hesitation, diagnosed me on the spot. “It’s pulgas marinas!” Awesome…Mexican sea fleas.

“And you’re lucky you didn’t swallow one in the water.  Otherwise you’d be throwing up and convulsing for an entire week! This will wear off in 24 hours or so.”

And that is how I came to love the knowledge of locals. And hate jellyfish.

On another note, everyone is gearing up for Shark Week 2015! You can find all of the pertinent info here along with some videos that will hopefully not lead you to a premature sporting of a pair of Depends.  Yet another, larger reason to stay out of the water.  The number of attacks so far this summer have led me to believe that sharks are really angry at us.  I’m not sure if there’s some issue that the government didn’t get around to solving for them or something, but y’all they’re mad. And your appendages are at risk.

So everyone do the smart thing at the coast this summer. Only get into the water far enough to potty, and find yourself a nice pool to dip into.  The only thing you have to worry about there is urine and chlorine!  And I’ll take those odds.

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#TBT and The Fall.

So…here’s my attempt at a redo for this post. After being about 2/3 finished, I was an idiot and hit the back button on my browser. And there went my entire post. Since then, I’ve had a Diet Cherry Coke and have decided to try again. Here goes nothing. And pictures.

Sitting on the couch last night aching from a tremendous workout that morning I remembered that I had never actually blogged about our mini-moon we took to West Texas right after the wedding.  I believe I was thinking about this because typing seemed to be the only movement that didn’t hurt.

Since we got married March 14th, which was the middle of Spring Break for us Texans and the rest of the world, Husband and I decided not to head out on a big honeymoon right away so as to avoid outrageous prices and people. Not that we don’t both enjoy some amazing people watching, but we just weren’t really into an MTV sponsored honeymoon.

Side note: who else misses MTV Spring Break?? The. Best. Trash. I remember LOVING when that would be the only thing on their channel for about 3 weeks straight. Or was it a month?  Or does anyone on that channel really even work ever? (I would have made an incredible VJ.)

Anyway, throwing out all advice from our friends and family who had already walked down the aisle and said we’d be exhausted, we decided that a 5 hour drive the morning after the wedding would be a piece of cake. Turns out everyone is actually right!  But despite feet that burned like I was walking on coals, knots in my hair, and a bread crumb trail of bobby pins falling from my head, we got on the road.  On the wings of adrenaline and Whataburger taquitos we made it safely to Marfa, Texas. Seriously, one of the coolest places on earth.

Something you should know about small towns: they’re closed Monday–Wednesday for the most part. I don’t know if everyone is sleeping, cropping, or tending to the cattle but I believe that their little city councils get together and decide “Hey Tom, you’re going to be our Monday breakfast restaurant, Jill, you’re on for Tuesday, and Bobby, you get Wednesdays.” And literally decide that for every meal. Probably so that you can visit with everyone over coffee, diet coke, tea, or whiskey for each meal without having to try to hard. Because also, cell phones don’t work. It’s sort of genius, actually. It’s like a cattle drive for people and socializing. And local business profit margins.  Until Thursday when everything opens like a festival and everyone’s happy and singing Coca Cola commercials in the streets! And then Sunday evening everything shuts down and we begin again.

That being said, it was a wonderful challenge as an event planner to plan our Sunday–Tuesday trip around these hours.  We made it and we ate and found drinks, don’t worry.  However, since so many things were not open we were forced to find some adventures of our own.  Which tallied us up to about 10 hours of driving in the beautiful West Texas countryside over the course of the next few days. We saw almost every town in West Texas and had lots of conversation and laughs along the way leading us to believe that marriage isn’t so hard, y’all!  😉  Unless your iPhone maps stops working. Then things could get dicey.

Here are a few of the gems we found on our day trips:pradaNope, not a real store but a very cool art installation stocked with merchandise from the designer line. Prada Marfa is definitely something to drive out and see and you can read more intelligent things about it here.  And while we were there, this happened:

initialsIt didn’t really. We found it. And yep, those are my new initials (sort of). But I didn’t do this because I’d never.  Ironically, we did find that Husband had been doing some of his own tagging.  We’re all over Marfa, baby.

sterling initialsOne of my most favorite bar/restaurants in the town is called Planet Marfa. It’s run by some folks from our hometown, oddly enough, and is truly a sight to be seen. Great people, great drinks and food, and great people watching including artists, hipsters, posers, and cowboys coming off the ranch. And yes, that’s a teepee with a fire pit inside.  You should see the actual school bus on the other side of the joint, coincidentally with a working (and loud) horn.

teepeeAfter we wrapped up in Marfa, we drove about an hour to stay in Marathon, home of the Gage Hotel and the nearest point of civilization to Big Bend National Park. For those of you wondering, Big Bend is beautiful, very big, and very bend-y. And I may or may not have slept through about 2 hours of the drive across it because sunshine, plus Jerry Jeff Walker on repeat, plus winding roads equals snooze.  Also, JJW has been banned in our household for probably the next year because of the lack of CD options (who has these anymore?) and the lack of satellite radio connectivity for said drive through the park.  You really can only hear “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother” so many times before it starts to do something to a person.

Because we’re cool, and made friends in high places at dinner, and I was on sabbatical still, we decided to extend our stay in Marathon another night. We just hadn’t hit all of the open spots yet, y’all, and I was real curious as to what happens on Wednesdays in Marathon.  Like, were people going to start cranking up? Do the blinds go up on all the stores and birds chirp louder? Are there really multiple lunch options? Burning questions.

I gotta tell ya, it’s a good thing we did stay. Because Monday night was the night of The Fall. And I’m not sure we could have hopped back in the car together so quickly afterwards.

Have you seen that commercial that I suddenly can’t remember what for, where the husband and wife hear the Dirty Dancing song and joke about her running to him for the lift? And then she does and he’s not expecting it? And they Chris Farley the table? And she explains that she came in too hot?

That was ripped off from us on our mini-moon.

I kid you not, having many a cocktail at the White Buffalo Bar, enduring the monsoon going on outside and contemplating the quickest and driest way to get back to our room, the following took place.

Husband and I start running down the sidewalk (me in new, precious, light-colored Tory Burch wedges and white jeans–I’m painting a picture for the ladies) we get to the gravel/dirt road that is puddled with mud.  My new husband, trying to be the chivalrous man that he really actually is (no lie), says to me “hop on my back, I don’t want you to RUIN YOUR SHOES.” Which is enough to make any woman swoon because shoes are our love language. (And jewelry, and perfume, and handbags–if anyone important is reading.)

I’d like to preface this with, this is something he has done for me before. It’s not a heavy thing, it’s not a he’s not strong enough thing, it was sheer stupids with too many martinis in them.

So he says to hop on his back and without counting (my mistake) I did. And we went down like Clark Griswold on a ladder, folks. Backwards. On top of me, directly on my bracing wrist. In my white jeans and cute wedges. In the pouring rain and dirty mud. That looked like poop on my pants the next day. (Praise God for Oxyclean.)

Well let’s just say that a lot of sobbing ensued. I thought I had broken my wrist, and there was a stomping of sorts about 6 feet in front of him all the way back to the room as he tried desperately not to laugh as hard as he wanted to and some drunken attitude coming from me. (My family will read this as “TONS OF ATTITUDE AND LOOK OUT”, which is a fair assumption.)

The next day I woke up with a purple hand, Husband wanting to take me to the ER, and realistically only a really bad case of severely bruised ego.  My hand ended up fine and we have a great story from the mini-moon for the future kids. The next day when tempers had cooled, of course. ‘Cause it wasn’t funny in the moment. To me.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this event for you as that clearly might have led to divorce at the time of the incident.  However, here are a few other fun collages of places we went and landscapes we saw. If you ever have a chance to head out west, do it.  You won’t regret it. Unless of course, you come in too hot.

Marfa 2  Marfa1

Also…I’d like to go on record saying that the second post was WAY better than the first.  #winning

Snap Back to Reality!

Hey guys!  Husband and I just got back from our honeymoon in The Dominican Republic! Some pics and stories to follow so stay tuned. Now back to mounds of laundry…

Is This Real Life?

 

So.  I’d love to tell you what happened this weekend, but I can’t.  One because it was Poops bachelorette party and you leave it in the vault.  Two, because I’m pretty sure no one remembers.

I can tell you that Port Aransas will never be the same.  I can also tell you that Reba McIntire would be offended by the version of “Fancy” that was “performed” at the karaoke bar Friday night.  And I can also also tell you that I’m fairly certain I’m dying a little inside.

I think the baby says enough for all of us only we never found the formula.  Just the bloody mary mix.

Can’t stop won’t stop, yo.

That’s what the kids say now. I think.

Isaac.

Image  So nice to meet you.  And so happy you’ll be vacationing in Florida right before we are!  Please do us all a favor and leave the beach alone.  This is a much needed, much deserved vacay and we’d all just love it if it didn’t include watching static tv stations and playing hours of “Scene It: Friends Version” inside on the DVD player.  (Mostly because I’d dominate and instantly be thrown out of the game.)

On another note.  Poops won a “spa day” for 10 friends and it took place on Saturday.  This was a working vacation, if you know what I mean.  I will not reveal the names of the semi-innocent because that’s just not right, but let me tell you, it’s the last time any of us will be entering a contest at the nail salon. The products were alright if you consider “relaxing” to be scrubbing your own hands and giving yourself a foot massage with assorted lotions. If that’s your thing, you would have loved this. When I relax, I don’t enjoy scrubbing my own feet or having lotions applied to only one side of my face.  To each their own.

So I mentioned that I’m a homeowner now–big things have been happening while I haven’t been posting–and it’s a lot of work! Unfortunately for you guys, my posts will now probably include very “Old School”-like sprinklings of “I scrubbed my bathroom floor free of glue this weekend” or “I listened to Spotify and watered my new grass for an hour and a half on Sunday” and “I got dressed up to go to Home Depot/Lowes”…because I did and you DO see a lot of people there.  It’s better for you to anticipate comments like this and actually be surprised with exciting stories…kind of like dreading going to a party and then you end up having the time of your life.

So there’s your weekend recap–exciting, I warned you.  Everyone have a great Monday and hope that Florida is still intact next week–for my sake and of course, those who live there!

Just So You Know…

…I finally unpacked from our beach trip. That we took a week ago. It’s taken that long for me to get tired of walking over my my own filth and searching through bags for things like my glasses. Or night cream. #disgusting

Sooooo…

…no excuses.

But I’m back now!! And here are a few noteworthy items:

1)  I accidentally bought a camera on eBay this week.  I’m very serious when I say “accidentally.” I did not mean to purchase this item…that day.  Luckily it’s something I’ve wanted forever.  And now it’s an early Christmas gift. To myself.  How precious.

2)  I recently went on the most FABULOUS vacation ever.  I can’t say much more, but it was revitalizing, amazing, I saw famous people, penguins fornicating (disturbing), and heard the song “Like a G6” more time that anyone ever should.

3)  Kate “Almond Joy” and I are still planning our podcast.  We swear.  We’ve also had a blast generating more topics than we’ll ever cover…which means you’ll most likely get one REALLY long podcast that touches on everything under the sun.  And why Gweneth Paltrow needs to make us all feel bad about ourselves by becoming a country singer.  Do you not have enough if your life already, Gwen?  Is this your stab at Madge?  We’ll discuss.

4)  During my work and pleasure travels I’ve been witness to many human oddities.  Like this:

book butt

Really, sir?  Is there NOWHERE else to store this?  I’m sure Frank Waters really appreciates having to park it on the top end of your crack until we all sit down on the plane.

And then there’s this:

woman sleeping

“Just 5 more minutes, boss.”  I’d like to say she was driving cross-country to find her long-lost love, child, pet (insert your own sympathy here) but this was in California.  You’re either just starting or just ending that trip. Is the nap THAT necessary?

That’s all for today. But the holidays are right around the corner, I’ll have a new camera (still a little sick about that one) and there will be stories aplenty.  STAY TUNED!

It Takes a Village…

That’s right, readers…it’s MOVING DAY!! Well, part 2, anyway. I think I have enough stuff to fill up that house, however I’m trying not to take it all with me.

I have a love/hate relationship with moving:  I hate doing it and usually love the outcome. 

The good news is that I have almost as much help as this guy did.  The bad news is I’ll probably end up on radio silence for most of the week.  Alas, I do have a job outside of this blog (which pays a little better) and I’m headed to NYC for an overnight trip.  That on top of the move…I’m just sayin’ it might be a few days until you hear back from me.

And hopefully I’ll have some great pics from NYC. And by great pics, I mean no snow and beautiful weather.

Over and out!

It’s Wrong on so Many Levels (Pun Intended)

No need to adjust your monitor, you’re seeing this correctly.
Think Lollipop Guild goes global.  This is a “park” in China where little people actually live, as well as perform day after day their version of “Swan Lake” and other “slapstick plays.”
Did you know “Swan Lake” was slapstick? Did I miss something?  Admittedly, I have never seen it and I know all of nothing about it, but I’m purrr-eee-tty sure that it’s not a comedy.
As you can imagine, there is plenty of controversy surrounding the “park” but it’s owner and employees hold firm that they are employing people and the park provides a residence for them, as well.  Plus, it’s China. They come up with acid-trip-type-ideas on a regular basis. When will we stop being shocked?
So everyone’s happy. Ish.
You know what makes me happy?  Vino.
I had a lot last night with my girls.  The amount that induces a craving for a greasy cheeseburger. All. Day. Long.
I suffered through it, though, so don’t worry.  My coffee and oatmeal bar this morning really hit the spot did the trick served as breakfast.
Anywho, tomorrow is FRIDAY!! TGI-FREAKIN-F!!
I have an offsite team-building event all afternoon for work at a BBQ place and then a Brewery.  Not too shabby.
It’s going to be a busy weekend with lots of celebrating so get ready!! 
And cross your fingers that I don’t fall.  Or embarrass myself.  Or lose my phone/purse/wallet/debit card.
Not that any of the above items have happened to me during a fun-filled weekend.
A few times.

Where Everybody Knows Your Name…

…except for the two of us. Poops and I went to Boston, as you know, about two weeks ago.

I’m a loser for not posting about it sooner, but hey, I’m cool with that if you are.

I was there for a conference on Social Media, which was really fun, and Poops came along to discover Boston and be my tour guide. Not really, but she ended up being a GREAT one. (Poops, if the teacher thing doesn’t work out…I’m just sayin’.)

Anyway, we saw TONS of great stuff and really felt like we got to pretty much all areas of town. You could say that we maximized our time in Beantown. Actually, you would say that because we absolutely did.

You should have seen Poops’ feet after a rainy day walk around Newbury Street. I’m here to tell you that she looked like she had walked on coals for a few days. A story for another time.

I wanted to share a few of the hundred pictures we ended up with. Instead of becoming a full-time photographer, I found that editing the photos after the fact was pretty much the most addicting thing ever. (If you don’t like them, please keep that to yourself. Did you think this site was a democracy? N.O.)

So here they are, with a few comments…enjoy!

We don’t see these colors in South Texas. We have bright green and brown.

Poops and I on our own walking tour…

I’m pretty sure we have one of these at home…but this one is WAY cooler

Cheers-ing at Cheers

I may use this as a postcard…for all of that written correspondence I’m up to these days

Awesome dinner on our first night at Lucca in the North End

We had some amazing direction from our friends (you know who you are!) and really got to see some awesome sites in Boston and eat at some wonderful restaurants.

I also told Poops on the subway that this was where all of my peeps were hiding!! My dark haired, fair skinned-peeps…I have FOUND YOU!! I felt so at home amongst them…it must be how Poops feels in Southern California.

And I’ll note, to be timely with my news, that neither one of us got drunk and fell into the train tracks. Did you guys see that?? Crazy lucky that girl is…

On another side note, here is Harvard. Where no one was fooled into thinking that we were students.

In true parent fashion, my dad told us that neither one of us had applied. Alli noted to me that really that meant neither one of us had applied ourselves. Thanks for trying, dad.