5.26.2010

A Cause for Celebration!

You! Go get the party hats!      

I got the blowy-things!

We are gonna have a party!

Will someone for the love of god please bring me chocolate?!?!

Why are we celebrating you ask?

THE QUEEN HAS ARRIVED (and no I'm not talking about my hubby's mother in law)!

The Queen of Broken Hearts has arrived with no help....no plane or train or automobile...no clomid and no ovidril!  She came on her own free will...that's cause for a celebration!!!!

So what does this mean you ask?

We are ready to move into the next phase....the injections (key creepy and scary music ...dun dun DUN!)

Here's the thing...I don't like needles and needles don't like me.  But I do like babies so I will have to suck it up...throw my nightly hissy fit/sobbing ritual and pray it works after the first month.  I mean this IS the cycle month I am turning 30...I WILL have to blow out candles and make a wish.  We DID wish on the amber wishing stone in St. Thomas.  I mean seriously....besides giving me a genie...how many wishes does a girl have to make?? 

Currently waiting to hear back from Nurse Christmas so we can discuss the plan (doesn't everyone love a good plan!)

So eat a cupcake!  Have a glass of wine! Buy you  me something nice!  Celebrate with me today my friend (I won't be happy if this happens next month!)

5.18.2010

Antigua, Bermuda, New York, Oh My!






Quick recap....Puerto Rico is Spanish for holy hell it's hot and humid and St Thomas is the land of sunburn and overpriced jewelry
Caught up?  Good ..Moving on!

On Tuesday, we pulled up to Antigua.  From reading message boards, I wasn't expecting much from this island.  Many people had said that this was their least favorite island.  However, it was our favorite!


Pulling up to Antigua

We were orginally supposed to do a pirate boat adventure but I was WAY to burned to go into the water for 4 hours!  So we changed to the Land Rover Off Roading.  WHAT A PERFECT WAY to see Antigua!  We saw:

Rainforest
Mountains

Beautiful beaches
Antigua has 365 beaches!

We stopped at the beach for about an hour to go swimming.  It was just enough time to be in the sun...HEAVILY sprayed of course.  I found it VERY hard to stand in the water in Antigua.  The water was rough and the sand was very uneven....actaully there was a huge sand shelf when you first got in!  You had to see me try to get out.  I had to climb out on my knees....quite comical...but very beautiful.


After we finished the tour, we headed into the port town because I WAS ON A MISSION to find ALOE!  Can I just tell you how much I LOVED shopping around the port area of Antigua?!?!  It was a perfect day!

Back to the ship




We came back to this:

Along with a note saying that the Captain would like to celebrate my graduation in the main dining room!!!!  How cool is that?!?!? 

We got ready for dinner and sat on our balcony to watch the ship leave Antigua. 


Look at how beautiful I am.. that water is~!!!
Antigua!















                                                                                              Sailing away.....perfection!


Now it was time to celebrate!



The next few days were at sea while we were on our way to Bermuda.  We spent A LOT of time on our balcony! 

We saw a lot of this:


And I did a lot of this:



On Friday we pulled up to Bermuda....We booked a glass bottom boat tour with beach time.  I have always heard of the pink sand beaches...I wanted to see one!  We started with the glass boat tour.




Ok lets discuss those pretty houses we see in the distance....that is the BERMUDA GHETTO.  Yes you read that right.  Gettin all tough ass in the ghetto in your pink house...that costs just under $500,000!!!!

Next we saw a ship wreck of the ship the Vixen


We had to listen to the lecture of how important their coral reef is and how taking anything from the reef is a HUGE fine...

We also got lectured about the jellyfish and sharks in their waters.....

The top left of the picture are JELLYFISH! 

The lady sitting in front of us shared her story of being stung by 15 jellyfish at the same time.  She scared the CRAP out of me!  I was unsure about getting in the water....I just wanted the pink sand!

Glass bottom boat time


The "world renowned" Coral Reef!


Now it was time for the beach and I couldn't have been more excited to see that pink sand.....only I didn't see pink sand...I saw this:


um...EW!  That's pretty much what our beach looked like in Tahiti!  This sealed the deal..I was NOT getting in that water.  YUCK! 

By the way...the SAME lady that was lecturing us on how wonderful and special their coral reef is was flicking her ASHES from her cigarette into the water....I'm sure that does wonders for them....and also for the SNORKELERS in the water!  GROSS!

So we took pictures instead:


The next day was a sea day again...more of this:


Let me just tell you how rough the waters were coming into NY!  The ship was making all sorts of crazy noises which freaked me out...because I saw Titanic...Those noises didn't end well for them!  There were a few times during the night when I swear I almost got catapulted out of bed.  Seatbelts in bed any one?!!? 

Regretfully Sunday morning we pulled into the New York Harbor.  We went UNDER the Verrazano!!  So cool!

Notice how the water no longer is pretty and blue...but instead resembles a garbage bag being opened. 

Home Sweet Home!

5.17.2010

St. Thomas....The Land of the Sunburn and Overpriced Jewerly!

sorry this took so long!  have a lot going on!

Ok so I last left you off at the sailaway party!  We didn't stay too long.  We had a early port call in St. Thomas. 

Let me start by telling you all the wonderful things I have heard about St. Thomas:  so beautiful and FABULOUS shopping.  That was news to my ears.  I LOVE to shop and look at beautiful things!  I was sooo excited.  I even made my poor husband sit through a shopping on St. Thomas lecture because I wanted to make sure I WENT EVERYWHERE.  All I kept hearing were "great deals...great deals...great deals".


St. Thomas

So Monday morning we (Me and my Visa ...oh and my husband) disembarked on the beautiful island of St. Thomas

We were all set for the fabulous tour we set up.  It was a day full of sightseeing, the beach and of course shopping.  We were all loaded into an open air bus.  Hubby and I were pretty much first in line so we got an AWESOME seat.  We started to sightsee. We got a point where the driver told us to get out of the bus and take pictures.  We had ten minutes. 


Really Beautiful

We were done admiring the gorgeous view and we went back to the bus.  I got very confused because someone was in MY BEAUTIFUL seat.  I said to my hubby "is this our bus?"  Almost everyone else was on the bus.  I know this might not be a big deal to some but I have something called Bus Etiquette.  Just like in school when you went on a field trip...you always took the same seat you started the trip in. It helps the drivers account for the amount of people and everything.  I was just plain confused and AM NOT A PUSHOVER so I said "Excuse me..you are in our seats."  I believe at first we were ignored.  So I got louder "If you want to take my seats you are going to have to tell me where YOU were sitting so that I know where to go because I WON'T take anyone else's seat".  At which point Romeo states "I didn't know there were assigned seats".  OMG YOU PRICK.  Now my husband is mad and pretty much MAKES them move!  They (Romeo and Juliet) started cursing us in  another language I am sure but screw that...You were late to the bus ..you get the shitty seats.  After we were seated, we received a "Good for you" from other passengers (who were furthered freaked out to ever get off the bus for pictures because of that seat stealing  thief Romeo!). 

Anyway....moving on.....so we went to Magen's (pronounced Megan's) Bay.  I have heard wonderful things about this place...but seriously OMG!  I can easily see why this is one of the top ten beaches in the world.  The sand was beautiful....the water PERFECT.  So we sprayed on our sport waterproof sunscreen and headed into the water.  It was amazing.  I wanted to stay there forever...until the crab came.  People all around us kept complaining about something snipping at their feet.  I freaked out and ran to get my water shoes.  I have been snipped by a crab before on the bottom of my foot...it does not feel nice...especially in SALT WATER.  so back to the water I went.  After awhile I decided that I wanted to lay out.  What does the crab do....follow me to land....so now I am freaking out watching the damn thing....he would hide in a pocket of sand and snip the people as they go by!  I was done with the beach at that point! 

Anyway back to sightseeing....we went to Blackbeard's Castle

Here is good old Blackbeard      He reminds me a lot of my dad...if he was a pirate. 

Blackbeard's castle was the last stop on the sightseeing tour.  From the castle we were to walk down a SHITLOAD of stairs to the shopping!  As long as it took me to post those pictures is as long as we stayed in the castle.  I was too excited for the shopping....

It was hot.  My shoulders starting bothering me.  They were insanely red.  My beach bag was digging in on it....so I made my hubby carry it for a bit and I took it back (this will be important later). 

The thing about these steps you have to climb down is that they bring you through a few stores.  We went in through the Amber museum...where they had an amber waterfall and the amber wishstone....


I'm sure you can guess what we wished for.......

Finally we were at the shopping.  Ok so here is the thing about St. Thomas's shopping.  IT IS ALL OVER PRICED.  The prices we were getting for the pieces we were looking at were the same you would get in any jewerly store in any mall in America.  It was overpriced jewerly store after overpriced jewerly store.   I was not happy!  I do love my jewerly....but I am NOT spending 2500 dollars on white gold pink sapphire earrings!  NO THANK YOU!

Not even to mention...the people were just plain rude. They stood outside each store trying to get you to go in.  One man said to me "Necessito dinero" to which I responded "I need money too!"  Another chick said " You and your visa card come in here."  Ugh ...it was disgusting.  I had enough.  We stopped and picked up a few small souvenirs...including a HALF a coffee cup that says "St. Thomas was so expensive ...I could only afford half of the mug".  SO TRUE! 

Back to the boat we go! 

We made reservations for the steakhouse on the boat that night to celebrate my graduation. 


Ok lets talk sunburn. I BURNED....BAD!  Not just bad....but insanely UNEVEN.  I had the marks from my halter tankini top around my neck...and the straps from the tank top I wore over it on my shoulders...plus on ONE of my shoulders...I had the marks from the beach bag I was carrying.  If you looked at my back...it was awful!  Burned in some sections...NOT TANNED AT ALL in others.  I seriously look like I had that Michael Jackson skin disease!  I would like to tell you that it's gotten better since...but it hasn't ....Thankfully my tan is sort of fading now.....Thank god it hasn't been too hot here! 

Dinner was awesome that night!  We LOVED the steakhouse!  There are two restaurants on the boat that you have to pay for.  The steakhouse is one and this italian place called Sabatini's is the other.  You pay a low flat rate (like $25) per person and you get EVERYTHING you want...soup to nuts.  We loved the idea so we decided to go make a reservation at Sabatini's.  What a mistake.  Sa-blah-tini's I should say.  Monday (the night we went to the steakhouse) was the boats Formal night.  There was to be another one on Friday (to my understanding).  We decided against the formal nights because we only had ONE suitcase each and it would have been too much to pack fancy dresses and suits and stuff!  We both dressed up nicely for the steakhouse...as we would anytime we went to a fancy restaurant here at home.  There were people in the steakhouse in jeans that night.  I thought we looked great

So we get to Sa-Blah-tini's and wait for the guy to come help us.  He gets to us and looks us both UP AND DOWN and says "what can I do for you?"  I stated that we would like to make a reservation for Friday.  He says "Friday is a formal night...as is tonight...Did you just come from dinner?"  I say "Yes" and he says " We have a dress code in here that night.  Jackets and ties".  I was FLOORED.  I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman where the snobby Rodeo Drive lady says "We have nothing for you in here".  My husband got pissed and stormed away and I followed.  That interaction bothered me the rest of the night.  We weren't dressed like paupers so I don't appreciate being treated like one!  I complained....and I complained good...ESPECIALLY when I found out the formal night was THURSDAY instead of Friday!!!  There WAS NO DRESS CODE on Friday!  Ugh come to think of it....I don't think I complained enough....I'm writing a letter! 

I'm gonna stop here for now. It's kind of long!  Ill pick up tomorrow with Antigua and Bermuda! 

5.11.2010

Puerto Rico is Spanish for Holy Hell It's Hot and Humid!

We had such a fabulous time...I have so much to share!  I apologize in advance for multiple posts on our trip but I want to make sure I fill you guys in on everything!

So it's no surprise that I HATE flying....H-A-T-E!  I thought long and hard about what to have for dinner the night before we left...I didn't want anything to make my already queasy stomach worse.  I had about three stuffed shells.  I felt sick all night, writing it off to nerves, and just before our cab got here Friday morning..I got sick....yep it was the stuffed shells...I felt instantly better! Next time I'll just try bread =)

We flew JetBlue to Orlando and then Orlando to San Juan, Puerto Rico.  When booking my flights, I booked one of us in the window seat and one in the aisle hoping that if the flight wasn't full the middle would be empty.  We had no such luck.  An older lady was sitting in the middle seat when we boarded the plane.  I offered her the window and that I would take the middle to sit next to my husband.  SHE DIDN'T WANT TO!  I was baffled by this....Everyone knows that the middle is the most uncomfortable seat and I OFFERED to take it!  After a brief discussion, in which she tried to BARGAIN for the aisle (um lady...you are bringing a middle seat to the deal ...not gold!)...she finally gave in and moved over the the window of course under the pretenses that we would LET her use the bathroom whenever she wanted (I went more than her!).  

Speaking of which...I don't know what it is but I always have to pee A LOT on an airplane...even if I drink nothing! 

So on the next flight we had someone in the middle again....I barely offered him the window and he was already in the window seat and buckled in!  Flight was totally uneventful until I noticed my darling neighbor trying to TEXT while we were in the air!  I'm sorry but I think they tell you to keep your phones off FOR A REASON!  I was prepared to choke him if we hit turbulance....which we didn't ...lucky guy!

We stayed at the Intercontinental in San Juan!  We got to the hotel and were offered a free upgrade to a suite!  YIPPEEE!  I swear it's because they knew I am fancy and high maintenance!  Not too bad for a Priceline room huh? 

A View from our balcony in San Juan!

We decided to stay in the hotel for dinner and I FINALLY tried Ruth's Chris Steakhouse!!  OMG HEAVEN!  The best part was the bread pudding for dessert!  If we weren't in such a nice place, I would have licked the plate....I really would have! 

The next day we got up and decided to spend the day in Old San Juan!  There is some fabulous shopping there!  My favorite store was this:

If you ever need white clothes...they sell them here =)

We walked around and sweated our asses off (apparently Puerto Rico is spanish for HOLY HELL it's Hot and Humid!) and did some shopping.  We decided to stop for lunch.  We randomly chose a restaurant. 

There's my adorable hubby in front of the restaurant.

My picky eater self wasn't too impressed with the menu.  Everything had something I didn't like in it...so I settled on what happened to be a giant chicken finger with rice.  Not too good!  My husband on the other hand was in heaven.  This however is the place where I started my great love affair of pina coladas and the mosquitos started their love affair of me!  Remember when I told you how much I LOVE mosquitos during my honeymoon post?!?  And how I brought many bottle of sunscreen with bug spray in them?!?!?  Well I didn't bring it here and BOY I will never make that mistake again.  During lunch as I ate my giant chicken finger...the mosquitos ate my legs.  I had 16 (yes 16!) MOSQUITO bites on my left calf and ankle alone. 

Apparantly La Mallorquina means mosquitos in spanish!


A picture of me in Old San Juan!

We went back to the hotel and relaxed before trying an Italian restaurant called Alfredo's in the hotel for dinner.  Out of all the italian food I have ever had...this was the WORST!  I know I know...trying to eat italian in puerto rico?!?!  Sounds crazy...but it was there and we were tired.  We both decided it is best that we don't try Italian food away from home!  Its hard to eat someone's shit sauce when you make an awesome one yourself! 



My hubby and I taking a walk by the beach after dinner!

We then went to the bar where I had a few more pina coladas!  Sleeping that night was easy ...even though I woke up and realized I had a dream about Justin Beiber (not one of THOSE dreams...get your minds out of the gutter people...he's a little kid!).  It was very strange that he was just in my dream....My goddaughter (who is 13!) loved him and he was hanging out with her at our house I think....

Anyway....Pina colada is spanish for weird Justin Beiber dreams! 

The morning we were to leave for the cruise it was raining...then it stopped....you can imagine the humidity!  We got the cruise ship early .....waited in line for a little bit and then we were on....ready to go!  SO EXCITED!  Our room was awesome!  We had an amazing balcony (which I'll show you pics of later). 

We relaxed for the day...until our mustard drill.  Yes I now know its called a MUSTER drill....but honestly EVERY time someone said it ..I heard mustard....so from now on I will call it a mustard drill...where they prepare you in case your ship goes all Titanic! 

After that we headed to dinner...had a fabulous dinner and got ready for the ships sailaway party..aka the kickoff of them trying to push booze on you....of course we obliged.  Here is hubby and I at the bar the night of the sailaway party:



Next post...I'll talk about the islands we visited...our experience on the ship and my weird sunburn (of yes...I burned again...but this is unlike any burn I have ever had before...and NO ..I will not show you pictures!)

Adios mi amigos!

5.10.2010

I'm Back!

Hey everyone!  We are home from the most amazing trip ever!  I'll be working on some posts with pictures to share with you guys over the next few days! 

Puerto Rico-BEAUTIFUL! 

The Caribbean (St. Thomas, Antigua and Bermuda)- BEAUTIFUL! 

I want to thank all my guest bloggers who did an awesome job of keeping you guys entertained while I was being treated like the Princess I am on my namesake cruise line =)

As promised...I picked up a special surprise for one of my lucky guest bloggers!  Read their posts and vote for your favorite most embarrasing story!  The poll is up on the sidebar of my blog and will remain there for a whole week! 

Let the voting begin!

5.09.2010

Vacation Tale #9- Mom Spells Wow Upside Down

I'd first like to start by saying Happy Mother's day to all the moms out there and a VERY Happy Un-Mother's Day to me (that very was sarcastic.  I do not handle this holiday well).  We will be getting home from our trip today so I am hoping that will take some of the distraction away of this holiday that loves to make a mockery out of me!    Last year we spent the day shopping..while my husband tried to keep my mind of everything.  I still woke up crying and had my moments during the day!  If you ask me this was a perfect time to get out of town for a week....I won't have to see I Love Mom stuff EVERYWHERE!

But anyway......

Today's blogger is ME! SURPRISE!  I thought in honor of Mother's Day (the mother's day that honors my mom...not the one that reminds me I'm not one) I would tell my vacation story that has to do with my mom saving my life!  Here goes.....

When I was sixteen, admist a very bad breakup with my first love, I decided to go spend a few weeks with my cousin in North Carolina. At the end of the vacation,  my cousin decided to take me to Myrtle Beach for a few days and I would fly home from there.  All I wanted to do was TAN!  All I remember is laying on the beach, by the pool, and tanning....using oil instead of sunscreen (this was WAY before I knew anything about what skin cancer was or that it would soon affect someone I love dearly in my family).  So I tanned, and tanned, and tanned....

Every smart girl knows you need a base tan prior to becoming a tanning fiend like I was! I did not have one...You can see where this is going.....I BURNED....BAD!!

So I got home from the airport and I was starving.  My skin was killing me...I felt so hot.  My mom had ordered Chinese food that night and saved me my favorite...wonton soup!!  She went into the bathroom to find the aloe vera and came out saying something funny, just as I was eating a wonton.  The wonton (the FULL wonton) got lodged in my throat!  I COULD NOT BREATHE.  My mom started to PANIC with a capital P.  Instead of doing the heimlich, she freaked out and repeatedly kept slapping me in the back...ON MY SUNBURN. 

Just as my life flashed before my eyes and I thought how my obituary would read Death by a Wonton, each slap on the back brought an excruitating amount of pain, which forced the wonton to fly across the room so I could SCREAM out in pain.  I started to sob ...not because I almost just died...but because my back felt like someone had a hot iron on it! 

My sweet mom felt AWFUL afterwards....she hadn't registered that she was slapping my sunburn!  Trust me..I am glad she did! 

See why Mom spells Wow upside down!  Not only did she give birth to me...she refused to let me die from Chinese Food!  My mom is the best!

P.S.  I hope you all have enjoyed reading these guest posts as much as I have. Starting tomorrow, I will run a contest of your favorite guest blogger vacation story.  Details to come tomorrow.  Winner will win a VERY cool souvenir from my trip!  xoxoxoxo 

5.08.2010

Vacation Tale #8- It's All in the Family!

Today's guest blogger is Carrie (@Caretta74)!  Enjoy!

Family Reunion Weekend Get-A-Way


Let me start off by giving you some background information…my husband’s family is nuts. How is that for background info?! LOL No seriously, they are all from the mountains in Virginia and are the quintessential rednecks. Not that being from the mountains is bad, have you, but you know all of the “You might be a redneck” jokes, well they were written for my husband’s family. Seriously!

So a few years ago the redneck family decided to have a family reunion. Now I am not sure what your definition of a family reunion is, but mine goes something like this. Everyone in the family gathers together, bbqs, enjoys catching up with everyone, there are various activities going on, people can come and go as desired, and most of all everyone really enjoys spending time together. So when I agreed to go to said reunion with my husband, I had no idea what was in store for us.

We get to my husband’s Aunt’s house, who is hosting the first night of festivities. People are rolling in right and left and I am quickly realizing that there is no way we are all going to fit in this very small house. The house is probably 1200 square feet, including a huge garage and basement (which can’t be used) and there are more antiques in this house than on HGTV! So then I realize that even though it is July and hotter than Hades outside, chairs have been set up on the deck for people to sit outside as well. So we get a drink and head to the deck. As we are sitting there, and swatting the biting flies and gnats, I see a covered truck pulling up the road. I am not sure how to adequately describe this truck but I am going to try. It is an old truck (circa 1985) with a camper shell on the back that sits about two feet higher than the cab of the front of the truck. The whole thing is rocking and rolling and looks like the shocks must have worn out, oh about 1990. So we are sitting there watching this vehicle come up the drive way and it proceeds to pull out of the driveway right into the yard. As it does, the back end is so wobbly it really looks like it is going to tip over. Once it comes to a stop, out pops the driver. Now back the redneck description. Imagine a 30-something year old guy, which reddish blonde FEATHERED hair, cut off jean shorts, white tube socks, and tennis shoes. The best part was his shirt though. He was wearing a bright kelly green Rolling Rock Beer shirt. But the look wasn’t complete without noticing what was in his hand, a big ole’ glass bottle of Rolling Rock beer. He stumbles out of the driver’s seat, just as the back end of the truck opens up. Out comes about 12 people! It looks like a clown car with people pouring out. We sat and watched this happen with our mouths hanging open in disbelief! The driver then explains that he had driven all of the way from PA to VA drinking his Rolling Rock because “By God” he gets thirsty! WHAT? Uhm okay. Not sure what is worse, him drinking and driving for 6 hours or all of the people in the back of the truck trusting him with their lives! Thank goodness they all arrived safely!!!

So after the first night of fun, we all gathered at my in-laws for the second days of festivities. Or should I call them events….or perhaps I should call it nothing but boredom! There weren’t any activities planned. We were all supposed to sit around outside in the heat and “visit”. By this point I have realized that I really am in hell and vow to my dear husband that I will never ever ever never come to another family reunion with him as long as we both shall live. Just kidding. Maybe.

We survived the day of chatting and sweating and dinner time was approaching. Well my mother-in-law in all of her wisdom had decided that since she was in charge of making the meal that night, she was going to work ahead and be prepared. So about two weeks before the reunion she had prepared giant platters of baked spaghetti and had frozen them, so all of the work would be done ahead of time. This made perfect sense and everyone thought it was a grand idea until she realized she hadn’t really taken into account the time for them to thaw!! So her master plan was deeply flawed! Someone had the brilliant idea to set the trays of spaghetti in the sun to help them defrost so this is what we did! My in-laws have a very long black top driveway….can you see where this is going?? Yep, they decided to set the trays out in the sun on the black top driveway! How is that for a redneck way to defrost spaghetti?! You can picture a long black-top driveway with six huge trays of aluminum foil covered spaghetti sitting on the ground! LOL After about two hours the spaghetti still wasn’t thawed and we all had filled up on salad and bread! By the time it was not frozen anymore and warmed through no one even wanted to eat it because we were all full on sides! What a mess it was!

After the weekend of fun family reunion events, we decided that we had both had enough “family” time and it would be a very long time before we attended another reunion! Not to mention even my in-laws who hosted the reunion weekend decided they too had had enough and wouldn’t be having another reunion anytime soon!

5.07.2010

Vacation Tale #7- I got lost in Thailand and all I got was this lousy Tuk Tuk

Today's Guest Blogger is Naomi (@infertilenaomi) from 999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility

I got lost in Thailand and all I got was this lousy Tuk Tuk

In a time before infertility treatments ruled my life and I didn't know what a transvaginal wand appointment was, I took a trip to Thailand.

At the time, life was easy and good as I had yet to start my infertility journey and thought we would start trying following this exploration trip. It was just hubby and me exploring Thailand and enjoying a well-needed vacation. The plan was to spend two glorious weeks in Thailand and he would go to Hong Kong for business while I would take off to Australia to visit a friend. We spent our two weeks together exploring the culture of Thailand from eating loads of delicious Pad Thai to taking scary rides aboard the Bangkok mode of transportation, a Tuk Tuk. The Tuk Tuk would have been a relaxing way to travel if not for the increased speed of the non-English speaking driver ignoring our screams to "slow down or we're going to die!"

We finished our trip together and my husband dropped me at the airport as he was leaving for Hong Kong the following day. I was excited to embark on my next flight to down under, Australia. It was exciting for me to be travelling alone but I was a little nervous considering that I typically get lost in my own city. "Where is my street again? Oh, yes, I should make a left here." I got to the ticket counter and proudly gave her my ticket and passport. "Can I see your visa?" The ticket lady asked. I stopped. Visa? You need a visa to get to Australia? When researching my trip, my husband and I had both inquired about whether I needed a visa for Australia and we had been told no. As it turned out, it had been a new initiative and just my luck, I would definitely need one. I spent the next hour running back and forward from ticket counter to Internet trying to get my online visa. It was minus 30 minutes to flight time and I had a online visa in hand. The ticket lady explained that my online visa was not yet validated and would be within 24 hours.

Defeated and tired, the logical thing would have been to call up my husband who was still in Thailand and he would rescue me from the airport. But the logical thing didn't happen because (a) he did not have a phone and (b) I did not have the address or phone number of the apartment we were staying at. Based on my bad directions, I was thinking of hoping into a cab and telling the Thai driver to drop me off at the apartment next to the restaurant with the blue sign that sold noodles. With no way to get ahold of my husband, I started to panic and began thinking that I might have to live at the airport for the rest of my life or fly home instead of going on my trip. So I did what any logical Internet savvy girl who is lost at the airport would do, I emailed my husband repeatedly begging him to send me the apartment address. For the next three hours, I checked my email from the airport Internet cafe every 20 minutes. The girl behind the desk knew me by name. At hour three, a sweet response came into my inbox. "You needed a visa to get to Australia? Who knew!" Relief flooded over me. My husband would save me from living in the airport and I quickly headed over back to our Thailand apartment.

The lesson learned while traveling is to always double check if a country requires a visa, keep the address of your hotel handy and make sure to bring a lot of food with you in case you do need to live in the airport for the rest of your life.

Next time, I think I'll bring a knowledgeable travel companion with me instead.

5.06.2010

Vacation Tale #6- It's the Little Things in Life!

Today's guest blogger is my dear friend Beth!  Enjoy!


Last summer I traveled to Japan to meet up with my husband. He is in the military and was already there for a 6 month deployment. The whole trip was an adventure.
I missed my flight from Tokyo to Hiroshima because they had to examine each and every one of us for swine flu as we landed. Nothing says “Welcome to Japan” like having a giant Q-tip shoved up your nose! So after a bus ride, a 1000 meter dash through a Tokyo airport and a quick flight to Hiroshima I made it.
When we got to the “hotel” on base we found out that our room was actually a barracks room (basically, a crappy dorm room). After 22 hours of traveling I was not having this. I instantly began to cry because I didn’t fly all the way around the world to sleep in separate beds. Next thing I knew my wonderful husband had taken the mattresses off the beds and put them together on the floor we could sleep next to each other. Crisis averted. Thank god we were only paying $15 a night for the room!


The funniest part of trip came toward the end of our trip. I can’t remember what city we were in, I just know that we had been walking around all day and I was hot and tired and I had to pee REALLY bad!

We raced down the stairs of the train station because we only had a few minutes until we had to leave and I was not getting on that train until I had used a bathroom! I ran inside and there was a line for the one Western toilet.


What they consider a toilet in Japan is much different than what we in the western world consider a toilet. Their toilets are simply porcelain lined holes in the ground that you have to squat over.

Being in a rush to catch our train, I did what any (desperate) girl would do…I walked in a stall with the hole in the floor. I laughed as I quickly striped my pants off. Now keep in mind that summer in Japan is much like summer on the East Coast…hot, humid, and really sticky, so everything was sticking to me.


I threw my pants over the door so they weren’t sitting on the floor. After I got redressed and walked out of the stall there was a woman standing there smiling at me…she gave me a thumbs up and said something in a language (maybe French or Italian) that I don’t speak. I like to pretend she said “way to go” but I actually have no clue what she said. The smiling was encouraging. :)

Of all the crazy and amazing things we did on that trip the thing I was most proud of is that I figured out how to pee in a hole without peeing on myself! It's the little things in life!

5.05.2010

Vacation Tale #5- The Panty Parade

My guest blogger today is my sister Melissa.  Whenever I think of funny vacation stories...this one makes me laugh!  Enjoy!

My uncle was getting married in Utah and my son was asked to be the ring bearer in the wedding.  The plan was my sister was going to fly from San Diego to Arizona and my son and I would meet her at the airport and we could all fly together to Utah. 

Upon landing in Utah, we went to retrieve our luggage.  My sister's bag came out no problem.  I waited and waited for my bag.  As the bags were coming out, I noticed a red bra on the carousel and then a pair of black thongs.  I leaned over to my sister and said "How embarrasing is that for someone?"  The next thing I saw was a pair of little boys Spiderman underwear.  I turned to my sister in horror-"That's my bra and panties!"

When my sister realized they were mine, she did what any big sister would do, laugh at me!  I ran around the carousel, weaving in between people trying to grab my red bra from going for a ride.  My bag came out-of course open.  I couldn't do anything but cry.  I tried yelling at the guy at the counter but he didn't care. 

Moral of the story, always pack nice and clean underwear!  You never know where they are going to end up!

5.04.2010

Vacation Tale #4- That's Amore!

Today's Guest Blogger is Nicole (@nicoleella10)!  Her trip to Italy!  Enjoy!

We rushed to board our train, fearing we would be late. We needed to eat lunch before we left on the four hour trip and we were finally able to find the pizza place the guide book highly recommended. It was more than worth it. The best part of my Naples, Italy experience. The place was well hidden and almost made us miss the train. I still talk about this pizza and how no other pizza has ever been as good.


We needed to make sure we got on the train to Bari. I had to get out of Naples. I hated it there. This apparently is one reaction some people have. After reading many travel websites, it seems people either really love it or really hate it.

We board the train with just a few minutes to spare and wait for it to pull out of the station. This train, instead of having cars that were open and had rows of two seats on either side, had compartments with benches. These compartments sat about six people. We chose an empty compartment and were soon joined by an Italian couple. And we waited and waited. The train was not leaving on time. This wasn’t so shocking. We had been taking the trains in Italy for almost a week – we knew that they weren’t the best in on-time performance. As we waited, I noticed a large group of guys, teenagers, were rushing to board the train. I also noticed that the people who worked on the train seemed to be getting nervous as they were checking tickets and allowing this group to board. They were checking their tickets multiple times and seemed very reluctant to let them on board. I didn’t think too much about what was going on. After they had boarded, they started causing some trouble in other parts of the train. The men who worked on the train were running up and down the cars yelling at them. Since we were all in individual compartments, I couldn’t really tell what was going on.

The next thing I see shocked and worried me. We were travelling through Europe a month after 9/11. We decided to keep our plans to travel as my boyfriend had the time off and I was starting grad school in a couple of months and wouldn’t be able to travel much for a couple of years. I was a little nervous about travelling and being away from home right after this happened, but for the most part I was able to tell myself it would be OK. However, seeing police in full riot gear surround the train made me really freak out. I told Mark (my boyfriend at the time, now my husband) that I wanted to get off the train. Something was not right. I was even willing to stay in Naples longer. Police in full riot gear with large guns were right outside our train. I did not think this would end well. He was a little worried, but assured me it would be ok and that we had a ferry to catch so we needed to be on this train.

The train finally started to pull out of the station. The police were still there, but at least we were moving and nothing had happened. All of a sudden there was a series of loud bangs. Immediately, I jump out of my seat and get on the floor trying to pull Mark down there with me. I was certain there was a showdown between the police and that gang of guys and that those were gun shots. Mark and the two other Italians in the train compartment with us were laughing at me. Needless to say, it wasn’t gun shots, it was firecrackers. That group of guys proceeded to set off firecrackers on the train for the remaining time they were travelling on it. I was not amused. They also continued to cause a lot more trouble. They were harassing two American girls who were travelling on the train. Apparently, the harassment was so bad that the girls were escorted into the first class section of the train and had a train staff member sit with them for the remainder of the journey. The guys decided to come into our compartment as well. The Italian couple got off the train a few stops into the trip so it was just us in the compartment. The guys kept coming in and smoking in our compartment. I couldn’t figure out why Mark was letting them do whatever they wanted. It was driving me crazy. I can’t stand breathing in smoke and kept trying to let them know they were not welcome. I found out later that Mark was concerned because there were so many of them and that if one got mad at us, they could call their friends to harass us as well. They eventually got off the train after two hours and the rest of our trip was uneventful. The Italians in our compartment told us that they were going to a soccer match. I misunderstood and thought that they were a soccer team. I couldn’t figure out why they would be smoking (cigarettes and pot) and drinking so much before they had to play. I then realized that they weren’t a team, they were just going to watch a game between Naples and other city. I was really happy that we wouldn’t be on the train back to Naples later that day.

Even though this happened many years ago now, this still sticks out as a kind of funny and embarrassing travel story for me. Mark still brings up the fact that I hit the deck over firecrackers.

5.03.2010

Vacation Tale #3- the one. the only. flying tampon!

Today's guest blogger is Daneen (@pcoschick) from His and Her Infertility

The lovely Jenn asked me if I would do a guest post while she is off enjoying the warmth of the Caribbean. When she asked that it be a funny story, I knew exactly what I would write about. After all my travels & every country that I have been to, I still have one story that always sticks out!
I was 16 & ever so coooooool :) (please note the sarcasm) Vacation with your family when you are 16 is already boring & embarrassing enough. You are at that stage where you think you are old enough to do things on your own, everyone in your family annoys you & you would rather die than be seen with them!

Well this was me, the 16 year old who wanted to go home & be with her boyfriend; the girl that HATED that my family had drug me on this 14 day Caribbean cruise, I mean really, how dare they subject me to such torture?!
As always on our yearly vacations, I was MADE to go on tours with my family. This year particular vacation was not as bad due to the fact that I actually had 2 friends come on this cruise with me, so it made it a tad more tolerable. This one day we all decide our tour was just going to be a relaxed day at the beach with tubing, snorkeling & relaxation.
I do not remember the exact port we were in, but we had to tender in to the island. As I am sure some of you know, when you are 16 & dealing with your monthly cycle & have screwed up inners you always come prepared. Every purse, bag, whatever, has some sort of feminine product. Everything from super tampons to pads; you just never know when you will need it!
The bag I had on this particular day had my towel, sun block & of course tampons galore! As we were on the tender over to the island, I proceed to reach down in my bag for something (sadly, I don't remember what) & as I pulled it out a tampon stuck to it, as I whipped it out, the tampon went flying across the tender & landed in a hot guys lap. Of course it would be a hot guy, why wouldn't it be?! Remember this is a small tender full or people from our ship! This is when I want to jump overboard & just swim back to the ship, never coming out of my cabin for the rest of the cruise. But wait..it gets better! Instead of being discreet & nice about it & just handing it back or even ignoring it, this guy decides to embarrass me more! He picks up the tampon, looks at it, laughs & yells "gee, I think you lost something, you really shouldn't be throwing these things around!" Yep, I died right there.
Now looking back on it, it could have been worse-it really wasn't that bad. But when you are 16, I thought my life was ending. I still remember that day & seeing that tampon flying in slow motion...me wanting to try to reach out & grab it. I can only imagine how red I was too!
Ok, so really..looking back on it now, it was pretty funny & I can chuckle about it now. I do know if something like this happened now, I would have some clever come backs! All the tampons, infertility, etc does that to you :)

5.02.2010

Vacation Tale #2- The Jackass's Donkey

The guest blogger today is Danielle (@butifulmess) from Life Induces Thoughts, Mostly Random. 


When Dirty was in the Navy, I went to visit him one weekend. Being from a very small town, going to Catholic school, and being sheltered by my parents for years, going to California by myself was a shock in of itself. I was freshly graduated from high school and this was my first time going out of state without my parents. I was so excited to "finally" get away and go see my boyfriend out of state (!) on an airplane. It was all very exciting and new for me. Thankfully Dirty knew how naive I was and knew to keep an eye on me without my dad having to call him.

When I landed, we took a cab to his house and then hit the town, the town being San Diego. We had lunch and I got to ride The Trolley! I was so wide eyed and young. I'm pretty sure I embarrassed him a few times by pointing out certain things that he had become accustomed too, like the bums taking change out of the Trolley ticket machine when people weren't looking and the kids my age walking around with crazy hair and funky clothes. I was so out of my element and I was loving every minute of it.

I wanted to go to Tijuana, but he said he'd only take me if we went during the day, not at night. He was very adamant about going during the day because, apparently, things get a little crazy when the sun goes down over there. I had no idea, being that the only time I had ever been out of the country was when we went to Canada to see Niagara Falls. I went along with the plan because, well I really didn't have a choice, but whatever I was going to Mexico!

We crossed the border without any kind of fanfare, it was really not what I had expected. We just walked through some gates while a Mexican man just nodded at us, no checking our ID, asking our names, NOTHING. Once we crossed the border we were bombarded by little kids trying to sell us Chickletes. I went to go buy a pack, but Dirty stopped me. He said "if you buy one pack those kids will follow us around, trying to get you to buy more". I felt so bad for those kids, they looked so sad, in the end I was able to buy a pack before we left.

After walking a bit, we stopped at some "outlet" shops, but Dirty wouldn't let me buy anything. I was all excited because there was a Benetton (remember that store and their adorable ads?) store and I would get clothes for over half retail! But no, he wouldn't let me buy anything because they're all fake. "WHAT?! how can it be fake, the sign says Benetton?" Told ya I was from a small town, I had never heard of knock offs before, didn't even know someone could do THAT. I only bought the real stuff, so I just assumed it was real, but nope...WRONG..oh so wrong.

We continued walking and suddenly Dirty stopped. I looked around totally confused wondering what the hell was going on when he turned to me and told me to button up my skirt. I was wearing a long skirt that buttoned all the way down and had them undone up to my thigh. I did as he told me to do then asked why, he said "most of the guys here, especially the ones on the street selling things from their carts, will think you're trying to sell yourself if you have too much skin exposed. Or they'll just take what they want." I was thinking "Well shit, what have I gotten myself into?!" I trusted Dirty to keep me safe and we continued on to the Hard Rock Cafe. We didn't eat anything there, "not safe" I was told but we could have a drink. OOOHHH a drink! Yes I can drink LEGALLY in Mexico...wooohooo! But I couldn't eat the ice. Geeze so many rules here in good old TJ! It didn't matter though because I was STILL in Mexico and having fun with my man ;o)

As we were getting ready to walk back to the border, we decided to go by the vendors and see what they had, if anything, for me to buy to document my trip to Mexico for the first time. We stopped at a few carts, but didn't find anything. Some guy walked up to us from behind his cart and asked me "you wanna take a picture with my donkey?" I was all "OMG yes! I would LOVE to take a picture with your sweet donkey!" Dirty looks at me in a panic and whispers to me "you do NOT want to take a picture with his donkey!" " Uhh yeah I do, come on, he's just trying to make some money, give the guy a break. Plus how cool would it be to show everyone a picture of me with a donkey! That's hilarious because I've never even touched one before." He leans over to the guy and tells him to EFF off or something to that effect. I was SO upset UNTIL....Dirty tells me exactly what this guy wants me to do with his donkey. Ummm I'll tell you he might have wanted a picture but it wasn't the type of picture I had in mind. He wanted me to have sex with his donkey! A donkey show...OMG I was so shocked and appalled! I tell the guy he's a disgusting man and stomped off in a huff, totally offended. Dirty was TOTALLY cracking up, I was PISSED! Now it's one of my favorite stories to tell because of how naive I was and how appalled I was at that guy. Ahhhh how cute I once was...

Sadly that is the best vacation story I have. I have never been to Tijuana since and I don't plan on ever going. I'm not as young, but I'm still pretty naive and I could totally see myself getting into some sort of trouble.

5.01.2010

Vacation Tale #1- An Explosive Train Ride!

Today's guest blogger is Natalie (@karmapearl) from Hope Springs Eternal!  Enjoy (and don't eat while reading this...you might gag or choke on your food from laughing so hard)!


When I was around 11 or 12 years old, I had the worst vacation experience of my life. Lost luggage? Sunburn? Broken down on the side of the road? Hell no. My vacation experience is one that makes the unfortunate series of events that afflicts The Griswolds seem like a luxury vacation. For approximately 12 hours, Satan himself took up residence inside my bowels and unleashed his fiery, hateful fury on my intestines.
This is the story of the time I got food poisoning.
On a train.
We were vacationing in Canada, and traveling from one province to another. I no longer remember where we were going, but it was on an overnight train ride. My mother and father (who had not yet divorced) got a room to themselves and my brother and I got a bunk bed that was kind of in the middle of a hallway. I got the lower bunk, and I remember that I had a window looking outside and a curtain for privacy. I thought it was the COOLEST THING EVER because it was like a little cubby hole, just for me. I can remember kicking back and listening to the Beatles (yes, I listened to the Beatles when I was 12 because I'm fairly certain I was actually born in the 60s) and reading a magazine, gazing out the window at the world passing by before all holy hell broke loose in my bowels.
As I settled into my cozy little bunk for the night listening to Abbey Road, I felt a little bit of discomfort in my stomach. Nothing huge or alarming; just a little uncomfortable. I got out of bed and headed for the communal bathroom down the hallway. If you've ever walked on a train, you know that there's a lot of stumbling involved. I bounced my way to the potty and went in. After sitting for a few moments with no action, I decided to give up and call it a night. I returned to my pillow-filled sanctuary of comfort and settled in to go to sleep. I turned off the light and I remember very distinctly the stomach cramps started soon thereafter. Let me tell you what. I have had menstrual cramps so bad that I threw up. I have impaled my cheek ON A TREE BRANCH (yep, I'm hardcore). I HAVE GIVEN BIRTH TO A HUMAN BEING, and these stomach cramps were the worst pain I've ever felt in my entire life. It was as if someone had gotten a hold of my intestines, had lit them on fire, filled them with ANGRY BEES for good measure and as the icing on the cake, was twisting them into various shapes like you would a balloon animal. I lay there feeling the cramps come in waves when finally I couldn't take it anymore. I shuffle/stumble/bounced my way down the hall to the room where my parents were. I knocked on the door and whined in typical kid fashion, "Mooooom. I don't feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel good."

The door opened and my dad looked at me sleepily. I gave him my best "I'msickpleaseletmecomein" face and my mom instructed him to go sleep in my bed while I came in there with her. Dad, in a half-asleep stupor, made his way pinballing back down the corridor while I snuggled into the lower bunk of my parents' train room.
Now if you've never been in a room on a train, it's approximately the size of a large walk-in closet. It has its' own bathroom, which is about the size of a SMALL closet. Thank GOD for that little private bathroom is all I have to say because about an hour of moaning, groaning and feeling sorry for myself I had to use that bathroom.

A lot. For about 12 hours straight. And it's a damn good thing that we had the privacy, because if I'd had to use that bathroom in the hallway that I'd visited previously, it would have been uncomfortable AND embarrassing.
Folks, this is about to get gross so hang onto your effing hat.
It started with uncontrollable, explosive diarrhea. It was like water - stinky, brown, disgusting water - was coming out of my rear end. If you've ever experienced diarrhea like this, you'll know how terrible and uncomfortable it was. One would think that with the amount of crap (literally) was coming out of me, those stomach cramps would have subsided. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. They got WORSE. I sat for minute after minute on the toilet, crapping my brains out and thinking it could not possibly be any worse than this.

Oh, how wrong I was because that's EXACTLY what happened. IT. GOT. WORSE.
Without warning, I began to vomit.
Remember when I said that the train bathroom was about the size of a small closet? This means the opposite wall was approximately 3 feet in front of my face so when I unexpectedly threw up, it hit the wall directly in front of me. I probably started to cry at this point, and my mom (bless her heart) started freaking out. I also started freaking out, and I did what any logical person would do. To ensure I didn't cover the wall in vomit again, I stood up, turned around and bent over to throw up in the toilet.

The force of my upchucking caused another episode of uncontrollable diarrhea. Instead of my mouth facing the opposite wall, it was my rear. I'll spare you the gory details of THAT episode, but I'm sure you can figure out what the result was.
This continued for - and I am not joking - at least eight hours straight. Pooping, puking. Pooping, puking. And all the while those terrible, gut-wrenching stomach cramps had me in their clutches. I honestly and truly thought that I was dying, and anyone who has experienced food poisoning can attest to the feeling. At one point my mom finally acquired a trash can that I could throw up into and called the train staff for help. When my mom opened the door, a nice woman asked if she could help us. She must have caught a whiff of the atrocity that was my waste-covered self and bathroom because her eyes got wide and she said, "Oh, dear God." and slammed the door. A few moments later she came back with a stack of towels and a can of Lysol

HOW VERY HELPFUL, THANK YOU.


Once morning came and the vomiting finally subsided, I was feeling very weak. My dad came strolling merrily down the hall, feeling refreshed and rested. My mother opened the door, shoved my stinking self into his arms, and told him to take me to the showers. NOW. With a look of surprise on his face, she shut the door in his face.

I wouldn't wish food poisoning on my worst enemy. And I certainly would not wish having food poisoning IN A TINY, MOVING CLOSET on them. My experience makes for funny storytelling now, but it used to devastate and humilate me when my mother would regail people with my Bathroom Adventure.
So the next time you lose your luggage, get a terrible sunburn or manage to lose every single one of your credit cards on vacation, count your blessings that you are not cooped up in a small mobile CHAMBER OF DEATH puking and crapping your guts out for 9 hours while racing down the Canadian countryside. Because trust me, you don't want any of that business.
Natalie @ Hope Springs Eternal

~*~ Natalie ~*~


My Blog: http://hope-springs-eternal.com

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