Archive | March, 2010

Okay, New Orleans. You win.

I just might love you.

So much, in fact, that the hubby and I comforted ourselves when something was closed or we didn’t have time to see it, by saying, “Don’t worry. It’s not like we won’t be back.”

We used Rand’s business trip to San Diego as a jumping off point for the NOLA wedding we were heading to (as did, coincidentally, the Gastrognome. The world is a small place). We arrived late in the evening, and booked it off our American Airlines flight, as the gentleman sitting across from us (who proceeded to down 4 Bud Lights each during the flight) were giving me the look  of death. As in, they were trying to pick a fight with one or both of us. It was weird and scary, and I’ve never left a plane faster in my life.

Our cab driver from the airport to the hotel was an interesting little fellow. Speaking with a thick-accent of undetermined origin (it was not anything regional, I’m sure) he noted points-of-interest, the plastic beads hanging from his rear-view mirror swinging as he drove. As we crossed over a causeway, he explained that it was one of the highest roads in the city, and news footage had been shown of people swimming to it for safety.

Holy crap.


I am not what you would call “strong-stomached”. Years ago, when I was a college intern at a local news station, one of the reporters called me “the runt” of the intern litter, and explained that had I lived a 100 years ago, I’d have promptly died of some contagious disease. I have been known to get nauseated on playground swings. I still have flashbacks to the one time I went on a spinning carnival ride know as “The Gravitron” in seventh grade. And last year, my doctor diagnosed me with B.P.P.V. – Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (which is a fancy way of saying that my ear canals are wonky, and often make me dizzy).

Bottom line? I don’t do well on planes, trains, or automobiles. Ditto for cars, boats, and aforementioned playground swings. So I know a thing or two about keeping my lunch down when I’m traveling. Here are my top ten tips to those of you who, like me, don’t do so well when things start to move (and, from what I hear, they’re applicable to any type of nausea from motion sickness to too-much-to-drink-sickness to morning sickness). (more…)


And if this is your first time realizing that I’m bleeding-heart commie liberal, well … then the obvious tends to elude you, and I’m not exactly sure how to help.

In other news that makes me smile …

Here’s a video of Bill Murray bartending at SXSW. He pours everyone tequila, regardless of their order (endure the hippie kid recounting the story until you see Bill). Mother pus-bucket, I love that man.

What’s that you say? You want ANOTHER awesome video to watch while you pretend to be working? Check out the video of this young lady, balancing books on her head while solving a Rubix cube and reciting pi to the 100th decimal, and pray she doesn’t apply for the job you currently aren’t doing.

And while I’ve seen London, I can’t say the same for Paris (nor for the Queen in her underpants). Thankfully, this video provides a beautiful panorama (of Paris. Not the queen).


I realize that this is the second post in a week documenting family strife, but I feel it tackles a universal issue that must be addressed. Mainly, what is it about visiting family that can drive an otherwise reasonably sane person absolutely batty?

I have no problem with being insulted. But I caution those who do it, because I don’t really suspect they know what they’re in for. Because years of being taunted and teased by family members has resulted in a sharp tongue and no hesitation in using it. I’m unexpectedly, and often undeservedly, mean to people.

It’s actually something I’m proud of.

But something, something about visiting family renders all of my powers useless. They are, without hyperbole, the antidote to any quips I might come up with, the kryptonite to any clever retort I may have.


  1. Oriental Brewery (OB) beer, consumed in O.B. (Ocean Beach). The name becomes far more funny after several bottles.

    OB Beer.

    OB Beer.


  2. Peyton Manning on a cereal box.

    You dont take a single photo of us and our hosts in Scotland, but you take one of Peyton Manning on a cereal box? Thats just great.

    Rand: "You don't take a single photo of us and our hosts in Scotland, but you take one of Peyton Manning on a cereal box? That's just great."

    - (more…)

Sometimes things don’t always go as smoothly as I would like in my family. Things become exponentially more complicated by the fact that I’m so close with my cousins that it’s like I have scores of older brothers. And while that can occasionally be fun, it also has its downside: that there are that many more people to fight with, viciously and angrily. The way that only siblings can.

This isn’t really a post about that. It’s more a post about swallowing your pride, accepting that things change, and realizing that while it may suck a little, sometimes a great breakfast is all it takes to fix things.

That, and some kissing seals.

We used San Diego as a jumping-off point for a trip to New Orleans for Rachel and Chris’ wedding. On Saturday morning, before we were scheduled to leave for Louisiana (a trip which was an adventure unto itself), my cousin and his fiancee invited us out to La Jolla for breakfast.

Mending fences and all that jazz.

La Jolla has a sort of opulence I’m not really used to. We have a bit of that in Seattle, but we don’t have streets and streets full of untouchable homes built into cliffsides above a beaches. Houses that rarely go on sale, and if they do, it’s handled by Sotheby’s. In a way, such decadent surroundings make Brockton Villa Restaurant even more refreshing.

It’s the sort of place that couldn’t be built today – the building has been around for over 100 years, so it’s protected by the city from new construction and development, and it’s grandfathered in, making it exempt from a lot of zoning rules and regulations. I’m fairly sure that now you couldn’t have a restaurant on that spot, but the Brockton Villa has been there forever.

Behind and all around are ridiculously expensive homes, condos, and hotels.

Behind and all around are ridiculously expensive homes, condos, and hotels.


This travel item isn’t even that superfluous. Actually, I think it’s a bit of a necessity. So I strongly suggest you hop into your car, head to the local Target or Wal-Mart or Costco or whatever, and pick up at least one, or possibly two, food bloggers. They will prove indispensable on your next trip. Just be sure to get the awesome, willing-to-eat-almost-anything variety, and not the stuck-up, won’t-touch-it-if-it-isn’t-certified-organic kind.

What’s that you say? Your local mega-mart doesn’t carry food bloggers in stock? That is indeed a tragedy. I suggest you get online and try to find one that way. And no, you can’t have mine. But I don’t blame you for trying. Because holy crap, is she awesome.

I met the effervescent Gastrognome on New Year’s Eve, at my friend (and fellow blogger) Rachel‘s house. When I found out she would be in San Diego for the same conference that Rand was attending, which was en route to Rachel’s wedding in New Orleans, which we were all attending, I was thrilled. We were going to be more than internet friends! Hooray! (more…)

It’s another sunny day here in Seattle, and tomorrow we’re leaving for a trip to New York, and on to Miami after that. I’ve got loads of posts to get up, some relevant, some sentimental, and nearly all of them including the phrase “crazy f*ckers.” I suppose I should clean up my language, but … eh.

This week’s The Week In Travel brings unprovoked occupation of countries with which we have peaceful relations, dangerous footwear and more.

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