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Get Away, Get Up, and Get Away

5 Nov

J & I have been on a lot of great vacations – just the two of us eating and drinking on the beach, a family trip to Vegas, trips with friends, etc.  But last week, we somehow combined a lot of awesome stuff into one trip, and had one of the best vacations we’ve ever been on.

My best friend’s older brother planned a wedding in Marco Island, FL, and we were invited.  We planned on going from Saturday to Wednesday, along with my two best friends and other family members.  Then we thought – why go back to work for two days?  Let’s go to Orlando!  We’ve been dying to go to Harry Potter at Universal Islands of Adventure, so we planned on making the 3-1/2 hour drive to Orlando on Wednesday.  Then we discovered that plane tickets were only $29 – even better!  And then, in a lovely twist of fate, I learned that OAR was playing in Fort Lauderdale on the day we arrived, and thought – Road Trip!  And so we had planned the perfect vacation.

Here’s how it all shook out:

Friday night/Saturday morning – J went to a concert in Boston with his sister and didn’t get home until 2:30 (making him awake for 24 hours).  I also didn’t sleep much, and we had to be up at 3:30 for the flight.  J loves to sleep on planes.  He looks forward to it.  He only moved twice – to switch seats on our layover, and to eat some cookies (actually, I’m not sure he was awake at that point, but he ate the cookies and woke up again briefly when I tried to take them from him).  The stewardess even asked if he was still alive!

Saturday – checked into condo on Marco Island, food shopped, etc.  We met the wedding crew for a quick happy hour drink, and then set off for the 2 hour ride to Pompano Beach.  It was the longest, most boring ride ever – nothing to look at, flat, straight, boring road.  No alligators, despite the name Alligator Alley.  And I had to drive because the car reservation was in my name (the guy at Dollar put the fear of God into me about anyone else driving, I was convinced we’d end up on Cops if J even drove around the corner).

We checked into our gross hotel, and had a quick dinner at a beer pub (Brother Tuckers – biggest quesadilla ever).   Then we headed off to the concert.  It was at the Pompano Beach Ampitheater, which was a great venue.  It was General Admission, we got a great seat, the beers were cheap.  OAR rocked, as always.  I was especially happy that they played “Irish Rose” as an encore.  Check it out if you can, it’s a beautiful song.  (I took some videos, but you can hear me singing in all of them, so I’ll spare you that torture).

Sunday – drove back to Marco after breakfast, hung at pool, got ready for the wedding, which was beautiful.  My best friend wasn’t able to make the trip to Florida, because she’s busy keeping a couple of babies where they belong for the next few months.  She wrote a speech that she asked me to give at the wedding, which I was happy to do.  She’s a great speech writer, there were lots of tears, and the bride & groom loved it.  There was lots of drinking of dancing (not sure why the bartender thought she should make the drinks bigger as the night went on?).  I got sick at night, with my tee-shirt on inside out & backwards.  J made a sandwich & took a picture of me.  What a good husband.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – eat, beach, eat, pool, happy hour, dinner out.  J got all you can eat ribs one night, not his finest moment.  Went to Naples for a nicer dinner Tuesday.  Beautiful weather, rough water, a little windy.  Still, what’s not to like about eating & drinking on the beach and by the pool?

Wednesday afternoon – flew to Orlando.  Cool dinner at a tapas place (Cafe Tu Tu Tango), where we waited a while to order so they gave us a free glass of sangria (to go with the bottle we already ordered!)  And, cheesecake on a stick!

Thursday – We were at Universal Islands of Adventure at 9:30am.  I practically ran to Harry Potter.  It was just so cool – Hogsmeade was beautiful, the butterbeer was delicious, Moaning Myrtle even wailed at you in the loo (that’s British for bathroom!)  The Forbidden Journey ride was the coolest ride I’ve ever been on (we went twice!)  We had lunch at the Three Broomsticks (Pasties!) and then we did the rest of the park.  We went on pretty much every ride, including all the water rides, so we were like drowned rats.  We had nachos & margaritas for dinner, and passed out at the hotel before heading to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights (sucked, way too crowded with drunk teenagers.  1.5 hour wait for haunted houses).

Friday – Universal Studios all day.  All the rides, roller coasters twice (I’m not a total baby!)  I had to have one more butterbeer, so we went back to Islands of Adventure to see the Harry Potter part all lit up.


Saturday – home to an October Nor’Easter.  Yay?

Overall, it was an awesome trip.  J & I needed a vacation together, and this was the perfect way to get in some quality time.  I missed my best friend a lot, but was glad I got to share Marco Island with J, and hope that soon we’ll be there with her family.  Of course, now that we’re back to the grind, it feels like we never went away, but it was well worth it!

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Sunny Days…I Swear There Must be Sunny Days Up Ahead…

29 Aug

I’ve been neglecting the blog for various reasons, but since we’re in the middle of a tropical storm and I have no power, but a fully charged MacBook, its become my number one priority for the day (to be posted when the Interwebs are available again, which best be before the Jersey Shore/VMA combo night I’ve been looking forward to for weeks).

I started my new job two weeks ago.  So far, so good.  I love love love the commute.  Thirty minutes from my driveway to my cube (and the longest part is from my car in the garage to my cube).  The people are very nice, and I’m learning my way around.  I don’t have any friends yet, but I keep busy by IM’ing Joe and it’s almost like I’m still in Boston, until I have to go to the caf alone and start talking to myself.  It’s amazing that I haven’t made friends, huh?

On the plus side, I have been getting up and joining my buddy Tony Horton for a little P90X each morning.  In the past two weeks, I’ve worked out for 12 days, and gained 2 pounds.  Go me.  I’ve also been sound asleep by 10pm most nights.  J is up later than I am, which almost never happens.

Last week was one of those weeks where everything went wrong.  Nothing major, just stuff, and stuff I don’t want to blog about.  How’s that for vague?  It’s all fixable, and partially inspired the blog title (which is, of course, a song by OAR called “Over and Over”).

The week did end with a happy note.  My best friend in the world got married Friday night, to a guy who is super sweet (despite the fact he’s from Smithfield), loves her very much, and has passed the test with her crazy family and friends, so he’s a keeper.  It was a beautiful, simple wedding, and we had a great time being a part of growing their favorite tree.

Yesterday we had a lovely day eating munchkins and watching Man v. Food, then hanging on the beach until we got kicked off.  Next, we waited two hours for a table at a restaurant on the water while drinking $2 ‘Gansetts.  Thankfully, our food came before the surf kicked up and we were kicked out.  This little piggy would have lost it if she had not gotten her burrito.  It was the first time I’ve been to this place, and I’m hoping it doesn’t get washed away so I can go again.  That was a good burrito.

That brings us to today, and Hurricane Tropical Storm Irene.  Here’s a little tip: if you ever want to know when a bad storm is coming, just call me and ask for J’s schedule, because he’ll be at work during every storm we have.  Luckily, he went in for 7 this morning and missed the worst of it on his ride in, and I’m hoping he won’t leave until the worst is over.

I, on the other hand, am home alone with no power, waiting for a tree to come down on my house, and bored out of my mind.  I got up at 6 and brought the plants in during a downpour, so now I have a table full of wet, dead, plants.  We lost power around 9:30, so I folded laundry, changed the sheets and unpacked from our night away.  I’m trying not to go in the fridge to conserve the food, and I didn’t work out this morning to conserve electricity.  (I’m a do gooder like that).  I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do next, but I believe it will involve wine of some sort.  I wish I could sleep until it was over, but that’s doubtful.  Did I mention that I had to shut all the windows because the rain kept coming in, and it will soon be 88 degrees in here?  My biggest fear is that my iPhone will die, but plan B is to sit in the car in the driveway charging it with the AC on.  Someone come look for me soon, okay?

Update: going on five hours without power, but J brought home some AA batteries that fit in my iPod dock, so I can listen to music all day and charge my iPhone as needed.  I’m on OAR song 28 of 90.  I may have heard “That was a Crazy Game of Poker” 5 times already.  I’m on my 3rd glass of wine and my second meal of lukewarm dip & chips/crackers.

Update #2: I’m posting this on Monday night, from my brother’s apartment, waiting to eat my first hot meal since yesterday morning.  Obviously, we still don’t have power, and I’m not happy.  I drank a lot of wine and ate a lot of crap yesterday, so much so that my body was begging for a vegetable.  We came here to shower, do laundry & eat.  We might not have power for a week, and I’m not pleased about the four bags of food we had to throw away.  Note to self: next time, actually prepare for the storm like “they” tell you to.

NKOTBSBNBN

14 Jun

I may have mentioned this previously, but, as a painfully awkward teenager, I was the world’s biggest New Kids on the Block fan.  For real.  I had all the standard tee shirts, painters caps, special editions of Tiger Beat, and pins, along with some snazzy homemade pillows (thanks, Mom!), and a giant poster of Joey McIntyre above my bed.  (He may have been my un-official first kiss).  At one point, I told my dad that the New Kids would be bigger than the Beatles.  I don’t think he’s stopped laughing about that one, and it was a good twelve years ago.

I don’t remember if the New Kids faded out or I lost interest in them first, but either way, I refined my taste in music.  I had a brief affair with NSync and OTown, went to college and listed to Dave Matthews Band like everyone else, and had a bad boy phase with Eminem.  But my love for the New Kids (now adults like me, and known as NKOTB) never really ended, it just took a back seat to other obsessions (currently, O.A.R.)  Come on, who doesn’t love when “Hangin’ Tough” comes on the iPod?  And you know you get choked up during “Please Don’t Go Girl,” you just won’t admit it.  I even met Danny Wood (admittedly my least favorite New Kid, but still a New Kid!) at the Komen Race for the Cure a couple of years ago, and may have swooned.

Okay, I definitely swooned.  And, as an aside, Danny is a pretty big Komen supporter, as he lost his mom to breast cancer.  A New Kid and a good guy, what more could you want?

So, when my college roommate told me she had an extra ticket to NKOTBSB (that’s New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, together, for those who live under a rock) at Fenway, I jumped at the chance.  The last time I saw the New Kids in concert I was 12, and with my mom and brother (who will lie and say he didn’t love it, but he did).  NKOTB + alcohol + Fenway = perfect, right?

The concert was pretty great.  Uber cheesy, but what else would you expect?  I was obviously there mostly for NKOTB (not that I don’t love me a little BSB too, I’m an equal opportunity boy band lover – see OTown comment above), but I caught a ride from the party I was at during the day with some younger girls who were there for BSB, so there was a good mix of people, 99% female, in the crowd.  (And yes, I drank at a party all afternoon before the concert.  I’m pretty hardcore, if hardcore means 5 beers over 5 hours).

Both groups started the show together, and I don’t know what the “mash-up” (I learned that term on Glee.  Maybe I should do more adult things) was, but it involved Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and I didn’t like it.  I love Coldplay, and it just felt wrong.  It got better from there, as both groups took turns on stage, going through all the classics.  They also pulled out all the classic moves: pulling girls up on stage and handing them roses while they sang and the girls swooned, lots of shirt ripping and ab flexing, and a slightly overdramatic “Please Don’t Go Girl” by the ever-hot Joey Mac.

Then the rain came, and it came hard.  I looked like a drowned rat within minutes, and was not really drunk enough to enjoy it.  But the show went on, and the boys (men?) took advantage of the rain by stripping more, and using the stage as a slip and slide.  I wish I had more pictures, but I was afraid of drowning my camera or iPhone.  It was seriously that wet.

Oh, the NBN in the title?  Naughty by Nature was there, and sang “Hip Hop Hooray” while wearing Naughty Kid on the Block tee shirts.  I’m not 100% clear on why they were there, but they were awesome.

The final song of the night, performed in Bruins jerseys, was the NKOTBSB single, “Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” which I didn’t think I knew, yet seemed to know all the words to.  Weird.  After chanting “NKOTBSB” for a few minutes (did I mention I turned into a screeching teenager sometime after the first song?), BSB sang “Everybody” and NKOTBSB sang “Hangin’ Tough” on the Green Monster, then they mashed it up (thanks again, Mr. Shue from Glee, for that helpful new term!)

Despite the rain, and lack of cabs, and running to catch the last train home, it was an awesome night.  “They” say a picture says a thousand words, and I’d say this one pretty much sums it up:

For those of you not lucky enough to be there, here’s a clip of “Hangin’ Tough” from bostonherald.com.  Come on, tell me that doesn’t make you want to wave your arms from side to side?  (Baby put your hands up)

(Oh, and I heart Joey Mac.  For Evah).

Is this thing on?

17 Apr

I know, I write this same type of post often enough.  I get lazy, and blogging is the first thing to go.  What can I say?  After weeks of not blogging, I’m watching Julie & Julia and feel the need to blog.  I suddenly have so much to say!  Where to begin?

I just got home from a fabulous trip to Vegas.  I hope to give you a lovely blog with photos on it this week.  Someone remind me to do that.  The highlights included: running a half marathon in a canyon (which was actually more like a mountain), losing some money, drinking too much, sleeping not enough, and learning the dangers of Carnival Court first hand.

Speaking of running, I did not wear my Vibrams for the half marathon, and had to wear my old, holy sneakers that gave me a giant blister.  I wore sexy band aids with my flip flops in Vegas.  But today, I ran outside in the VFFs and was happy again.  I’m thinking about doing another half soon, to make up for my miserable time in Vegas.

I read Food Rules by Michael Pollan.  It was awesome.  Read it.  Do better at following it than I do.

I’m trying to eat more organic, locally grown items.  I close my eyes when I look at the price tags.  I even went to the farm stand today.  They had no veggies, so I had to go to Stop & Shop, where I wanted to cry because the tomatoes I needed for my bruschetta looked so sad.  We joined a farm share that starts in June, so I’m hoping that will re-inspire my faith in veggies.

Spring is here!  I think.  I have tulips, but its going to snow tonight.  I am only dealing with the rain because I have shiny new rain boots.  They smell like plastic and the fumes may kill me in my sleep, but they’re pink!  And, I don’t care what temperature it is in the house, I am not turning on the heat in April.

I spent Good Friday making egg biscuits, ricotta and rice pies with my BFF and her family.  50 eggs were massacred in this process, along with multiple bottles of wine.  That’s how baby Jesus would have spent his Good Friday, if he wasn’t otherwise occupied.

I’ll end here, with the promise that I’ll be back.  No, really, I will be.

Breaking Entertainment News!

15 Aug

(Well, its breaking to me, and what’s the point of having a blog if you can’t bore your readers with inane posts?)

John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston broke up!  I’m so happy, its like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders!  I think its a combination of my serious girl crush on Jen and and my serious hatred of John Mayer.  Now, lets just get her back together with Brad Pitt and I’ll be one hapy kid.

Entertainment Updates

13 May

The New Kids new song hit the radio last week.  I think its kind of “eh.”  I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it sounds a bit too nineties, yet not the good kind of nineties.  Its also creepy to hear 35 year old men crooning about picking chicks up at the beach.  It was cute when you were 20, Jon, not so much now with the hair plugs.  The song, is, however, catchy, and I caught myself singing it when I was cleaning the other day.  I have a bad feeling I’ll end up buying it.  I already changed my ring tone to “Step by Step,” so why not?

Tori Spelling may be in talks to appear in the 90210 spin off (or at least People is pretending she is).  Unless they all come back, its not worth it.  Do you hear me, Luke Perry?!?!

On another note, I know I shouldn’t care, but why on Earth is Jennifer Anniston dating John Mayer?  I can’t stand him.  Sure, his voice is nice, but his lyrics are awful.  “Your body is a wonderland”?  Come on now.  Get some real lyrics, like “Please don’t go girl.”  He’s creepy, and she can do so much better.  Jen, if you’re reading, go back to Vince! 

Lastly, Lost is fabulous and all, but I need it to end soon because I can’t stand not knowing whats going to happen.  It drives me crazy and keeps me up at night.  And the 10 pm time slot has got to go now.   Even Matthew Fox half naked can’t keep my eyes open until 11.