April 19, 2020

Things not to do on your next vacation to Iceland.

  1. Travel alone right after a break up.
  2.  Rent the smallest, cheapest car.
  3. Go during the winter.
  4. Think that you can drive in the snow in your tiny car.

So first thing I did after breaking up with my boyfriend of 6 years was book a flight to Iceland. In November. Solo. 

Why Iceland? Because I want to see the Northern Lights. Why November? Because flights were cheap. Why solo? Because I just had a rough breakup and thought I needed some alone time. 

Day 1. 

Arrive in Iceland at 4am. Get rental car at 5am. I know that it snows in Iceland and can have a rough terrain. However, that didn’t stop me from renting the smallest car available in order to save money. Also, it was a stick shift. Did you know stick shifts are cheaper to rent? Worth it. So I took off in the VW UP and drove four hours in the dark with sleet poring down on the winding roads.

I was barely able to stay awake so I pulled over and took a quick nap. An hour later I woke up freezing. I then turned on the car and went back to sleep for another hour. It was 10am and I was behind schedule. I only had the car for 1 day and I needed to make the most of it. I was determined to see everything along the Golden Circle. 

1st stop. It was a crater formed from a volcano. Blah Blah. You don’t care. Top 10 places to go in Iceland: You can read that on any other blog about Iceland. I know what you want. Adventure! Adversity! Drama! OK, you queens. Here you go. 

I had one last stop on the golden circle. By now it was 4pm and getting dark. I didn’t realize how short the days would be, but I’m determined to see everything regardless. Some refer to it is as stubbornness, or stupidity. Semantics. So I park in an abandoned parking lot. All the other tourists had already left months ago. So I start this hike to a waterfall- path unknown. Luckily, some other unfortunate souls were on the trail to guide me. It is dusk and the waterfall is still a 35 min walk away. I heard Iceland is really safe so I wasn’t worried about kidnappers on this trail waiting around in the rain, at night, to take me away. Oh yeah, it was raining. Some of you are thinking, “I’d never travel with this girl. This sounds miserable.” At least that’s what my family tells me – all the time. 

I finally make it to the falls. It’s just, meh. Probably looks better in daylight. The opposite of me at a bar.

But I conquered the golden circle so I’m stoked. Now for the way back. It is completely dark. The moon is out, but covered by rain clouds. I can still see some of the main path with my phone flashlight, but not the connecting ones to get me to the car. I see a lone figure coming towards me. I tell myself, “Iceland is safe. Iceland is safe. How close will I let him get till I should run? But my camera is so heavy. I can’t leave it behind! It was so expensive.” The figure turns into a man that gives zero shits about me and keeps walking in the dark. I’m not sure if I’ve passed the path I need to take. Worry sets in.

That was the first time I thought, “I’m going to die here and nobody will find my body until the Spring. Iceland is not safe.”

“Oh there’s the path!”

I quickly realize that I need 5 minutes every time I make it back to the car to defrost my hands and face before I can drive. After singing Olaf’s “In Summer” song I drive to my hostel.

My hostel is warm, central, and had a bar. Heaven. I’m sure you’ve already heard from all your friends that it is expensive in Iceland. My hostel burger and beer was $30. Tomorrow’s grocery list: meat, cheese, and crackers er’day. We be on a budget.

Day 2

Walked around Reykjavik. You can do this is about 2 hours. It’s the size of San Francisco Union Square. My favorite place was the Penis Museum.

Penis Tie: Made by a jealous girlfriend

Now I had 4 hours before I had to return the rental. I had heard about this sweet hike to a hot springs creek. It will take 1 hour to get there and 2 hours to hike and 1 hour to get back. That is if I don’t even get in the hot springs. Hmmmm. I bet I can hike it in a shorter time.

As I’m running on this hike peeling off my layers mid run I think to myself, “I should have brought better shoes.” Yes. That was the only thought. Not, geez Amy chill out. Why do you have to do everything? Can’t you relax?”

Pshhh. Nope. I wish I bought better hiking boots instead of the waterproof boots that I bought on my last rainy trip for $15. I could feel every rock as I ran up the mountain. My lungs were on fire by the time I got to the top in- 30 mins! Now to strip down to my bathing suit and jump in the “warm” spring.

Yes, “hot” spring was an exaggeration. So I sit there shivering trying to convince myself that this was worth it. If I could get a sweet selfie then it would be worth it. Isn’t that the whole reason we travel? Cool backdrops.

Can you see my goosebumps?

100 pictures later. I’m toweling off as fast as I can using the 6×6 inch shamwow I bought. I strip off my soaked suit and booked it back down to the car, which I have to be to at in 35 min. You know I made it. Back to the hostel with 15 minutes to spare. They do pick up and drop off so I’m golden, right? That is when I read the instructions of the car rental. Oh wait, I have to bring the car to them and then they drop me off! Noooooo! I get to the rental place with no minutes to spare and an ulcer. 

Day 3

7am wake up to get on the tour bus. I’m stoked to not be driving for the next 2 days and have everything planned for me. I’ll just sit in the car and relax. Well due to the whole island storm we are holed up at our hotel. It is just me and a Chinese couple who don’t speak. Not that they don’t know english they just don’t speak to anyone, but each other. Luckily, the tour guide was a social, Spanish flirt. The flirt part wasn’t too lucky. (We did keep in touch and met up in SF a year later. Still a flirt. Still no chance.)

We eventually brave the storm and hit the sites. Name one thing that is better seen in the rain than in the sun? I agree. Nothing. Iceland, why do people like you? You’ve been a total dick the whole time I’m here. 

I don’t know how girls get such cute pictures while traveling. I’m doing my best to not look like a drowned rat.

Day 4

Holy shit, it’s sunny. I had to lay all my clothes on the heater the previous night and luckily they were dry. Our first stop was to the “glacier park”: that is my name for it because you can’t even try to pronounce it.

The storm had knocked off bits of glacier and it was floating in the ocean. Perk #1 of the storm. Perk #2 never came. I didn’t want to leave you in suspense.

Did you know that glacier ice is very expensive and sense it is so dense an ice cube size piece will stay cold for 4 hours. Some bars use them in their cocktails. I could never afford to go to a bar that uses Icelandic glacier ice-cubes, but the thought of some rich person doing it reminds me of the Hunger Games. Not jealous. 

Have you ever thought it would be cool to hike Everest? I have. Not anymore. We hiked up a glacier to go to an ice cave. Sounds great, huh? An ice cave! Glacier hiking! However, the wind was so strong that we all had to hold onto a rope and each others hands so we didn’t slide down. We lost some good tourists out there. Unfortunately, not the ones I came with. 

Ice cave was alright. I’m kidding, it was amazing! 

After we got back from the tour I went on a food hunt at 9pm. I couldn’t let a Saturday night go to waste no matter how tired and beat up I felt. I got the world’s most expensive lobster soup. Then as I was heading back to my hostel I heard American music… I get home at 4:30am.

Day 5

Oh were you planning on me going over my night out? All I did was hang out with a bachelor party then dance with the Norwegian Soccer Team. Typical going out itinerary.

Back to day 5. Rent VW Up again. You think I learned from the first time to rent something a lil brawnier? Nope.

Next was a self-guided tour through the Western Fjords. Nothing like driving alone for 6 hours a day, without any radio stations, right after a break up. There was never any crying, talking to myself, praying, or thoughts of driving off the cliff. The cliff diving was only because I thought the wind would push the car over. I even saw a waterfall moving upwards due to the wind.

This country is insane. The sites were beautiful when you had finally had enough balance to look over the edge of your impending doom. 

Also, you would think that major sites would have paved roads? Nope. I almost got my Up stuck on some bumpy secluded dirt road. That day I rededicated my life to Jesus. For Iceland, being an atheist country the only radio station that would occasionally grace my stereo was gospel with a sprinkle of the most depressing songs I’ve never heard before. 

I can’t tell you how glad I was that I decided to take this trip, solo, after a breakup, in the winter. It made me so much stronger. I got to take as many stops as I want to take pictures and…

…enjoy nature or whatever.

I made it to the old converted convent where I was staying. I had dried shark for dinner, which tasted like it sounds. Awful. I missed my cracker, meat, and cheese that night. And the Icelandic yogurt, which is the best, affordable food in that country.

I was so relieved to be done with driving that day. Never in a vacation had I started to long for home. Not home necessarily, but longed to not worrying about dying in this frozen waste land. I tried to dream that night of the soccer team I met the previous evening.

Day 6

Same as Day 5. Freezing my butt off trying to look at sites.

So after I almost got the car stuck on another dirt road I prayed that I would do anything if God helped me survive. So now I’m a nun. Also, I promised myself that if I tried another dirt road I would have to shave my head… again.

So to avoid being a shaved head nun I stuck to paved roads. “Shaved Head Nuns” is the name of my rock band.

I found a natural geyser to fill up my water and met a buddy.

Best part of the day was the sleep pod that I stayed in. It had a jacuzzi!! The only problem was that is was 24 degrees out so you had to run to it and then run back to your private shack. Best sleep ever. 

Day 7

I wake up sick. I’m starting to get a cold. Oh and it snowed overnight. Also, I forgot to mention that I’ve been setting an alarm at 2am every evening with the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights. Still haven’t seen any. Ok so now I have to get to my next stop while the roads were covered in snow and it is still snowing and it is dark. Most of the time I don’t know if I’m in the correct lane or going the right way. More prayers, crying, talking to myself. Writing my will on my phone. Audio writing. You should never text and drive. Do I seem like a moron?

I find it! The volcano! Hardest part about taking pictures is that I would have to take off my gloves to adjust the camera. My gloves kept trying to run away from me faster than my growing hate for snow. It only takes 3 minutes without gloves before I can’t feel my fingers. Luckily, the tour was inside a cave. It was only me and another unfriendly couple. By the time the tour was over, I saw sunlight!

After the tour I headed back to Reykjavik. I dropped off the car and kissed it goodbye. She had been so good to me. I was so glad to be off the roads and never driving here again!!

I spend the rest of my evening eating hot food by a fire and buying souvenirs. I worked so hard. This wasn’t a vacation, but a hazing ritual from the Amazonians.

When I got back to the hostel all I wanted was sleep. What I had was a bunch of drunk Europeans as roommates. I quickly found out that most people aren’t renting cars, but staying in the capital and partying. Most couldn’t believe I was going out into the snow on my own. I played it cool, “pshh, it’s sooo fun. You should all do it. Do you believe in a higher power?”

Day 8

I wake up on my last day, officially sick. Luckily, today I get to relax because I survived. I would just go to the Blue lagoon and chill, then jet off to the airport. 

I wish I could end every vacation at a spa. What a way to end my trip, I thought. I was even starting to feel healthy again.

I get to the airport and find out my flight was canceled.

We were put up in a hotel near the airport. Now I’m really sick… and tired of this awful country. People with layovers on the flight found out I had spent 7 days here asked if I would give them advice on what to do and if I’d rent a car with them…

Day 9

Flight isn’t until 4:15pm. By 8am we are driving in a blizzard…. again. I should have just stayed in the hotel.

Now I’ve done this before. No prob, cause I’m an expert in stunt driving. But the driver is not. I realize that this is how I die. Some fuck nut tourist who hasn’t gone through the harsh hazing like I did. Why didn’t I offer to drive? Oh because I hate this country and want to go home. As we are driving away from where we stopped to take pictures I realized that I dropped my go-pro somewhere, anywhere. We head back to this desolate spot where I look in the world of snow while cursing Iceland. I found my go-pro laying on top of 4 feet of snow where it had fallen out when I went trudging through the snow when my gloves flew away while taking pictures- again. Once back in the car I was completely covered in snow and soaking wet. Fuck this country. 

We make a stop in the capital and I run up to the Cathedral. I’m pretty much done seeing everything, but I need a break from the arguing couple I’m with. I wish I had just gone to a bar.

Next I go to a bar and wait for the couple to be ready to go. Not just any bar, but a Big Lebowski themed bar. As we drive back to the airport I’m starting to freakout because it is only 2 hours until our flight and we haven’t even returned the rental car. Luckily, I convince the couple to drop some of us off first to let the airline know that the rest of the group might be running late. I refuse to be stuck here another day. 

On the plane I had no voice left. However, that didn’t stop the Indian man next to me from asking me if he can read my palms because he was learning a new profession. I drink hot water the whole flight not because I’m sick, but because that is the only thing they will give you for free and I’m not giving Iceland 1 more cent.

As I get closer to home, I think about the crazy adventure I’ve had.” I’ve done things I never expected:

  1. Didn’t die
  2. Drove in the snow
  3. Saw glaciers floating in the ocean
  4. Ran up a mountain
  5. Ate shark
  6. Went into a volcano
  7. Hiked up a glacier
  8. Explored an ice cave
  9. Saw terrain that looked like another planet
  10. Chilled in the Blue Lagoon

This trip made me feel more powerful, weak, independent, and alone in ways that I hope to never have to feel again.

But yeah, you should still go. It’s great.

Thirsty-Third Bday

September 12, 2018

Since I was 11 and till I’m 55 I’ll never be a double odd number again. I’ll always be doubly odd, but that can’t be measured in numbers. 

As you might already know, I love themes. I love dressing up. As my grandma would always say, “Variety is the spice of life.” She was a housewife in the 1950s that made the same meal every time I came to visit. Same church for 30 years. Same husband for 60 years. I don’t know what spice she was talking about. Secret lovers? Rest in peace, you foxy lady. 

When I was brainstorming with my gentlemen for a theme he said mentioned my favorite song: Caribbean Queen! Fun fact: When I mentioned this to my dad he told me that Caribbean Queen was playing of the radio on the drive home from the hospital after I was born. My dad then offered to make me a Caribbean playlist for my party. He didn’t want to send it to me too early in case I tried to edit his song choice. He knows me so well. There’s one song that he threw in that is a inside joke. Explaining the joke would take too long, but if you get to a song that doesn’t sound quite Caribbean know that we are laughing. At you. 


 The inside joke. Get it? Didn’t think so. 

Next was to create the menu. I have a tendency to make everything hard work. If you have an easy task I’ll add 5 more things onto it. You want an easy hike? How bout a 6 hour climb. Want a relaxing vacation? Let’s get scuba certified first and take 4am flights to jam pack our days. You can rest when you’re dead! As for my themed dinner parties I would prep too many dishes and they all would be something I’ve never made with 20 ingredients each dish. 

So this theme would relaxing… and spicy.  Oh you didn’t know that some places in the Caribbean had spicy food? Me either. First thing on the menu was Jamaican Jerk Chicken. I don’t work a lot with jalapeños, but I realized you should never scrape out the seeds with your fingernails. It was quite a painful learning experience. Fuck the spices of life. Next on the menu was Pernil. It is a Puerto Rican pork recipe a tennis client sent me. No spice. This was so easy to make and everyone’s favorite dish. 

The easiest version:

Mash garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil. Cut back fat. Stab meat. Insert paste into wounds. Finish with a rubdown. Who doesn’t love a good meat rubdown. I also enjoyed the stabbing. Haters beware. Refrigerate overnight. Throw in crockpot for 8 hours. 

Almost everything else was just as simple. 

Hot and Fruity Caribbean Coleslaw

Continue Reading…

Burning Woman

November 8, 2017

Burning Man Day 1… well Night 1

After 12 hours in the car we finally made it. Well, we made it to a long line in the desert. In front of us was an RV that would get out of the car and drink their beers for 4 minutes before hopping back in the RV to move 30 feet. Drinking and driving is legal here. Paradise. 

We arrive at the gate at 12am. We hand them our golden tickets. They have greeters that are all stoked to introduce us to BM (Burning Man for you virgins). If you’re a BM virgin they have a hazing ritual. First you get on the ground and make a dust angel. Then you hit a gong and yell, “I’m no longer a virgin anymore.” Well since I was in sweats sans underwear cause on the way there I had multiple “Shining” moments…

I forgo the first ritual. I wasn’t about to start my trip with a sandy vagina. I figured I’ll be one later on in the trip. So I just dust rubbed all over Damon and called it good. I did hit the gong. And yelled. I don’t know why public displays of solidarity are such a turn off. I wouldn’t cut it in a sorority. Go figure.

Once we found our camp we went to meet the camp, “Platybus and the Band.” I could write a whole blog on one character in the camp. His name was Toad*. That was his playa name (real and playa names have been changed to protect the innocent… or not so innocent). Playa is the center of Burning Man where they put all the art and shit. I know. It’s a lot to take in. Honestly, I don’t know Toad’s real name, but I didn’t care to. My first encounter went something like this.

Drew : Hey guys this is Toad.

Toad: (speaks slowly and slurred) eerrrr who is that? Oh heeeyyyy maaaaan. So good to see you. I just took some K and I’m super fucked up.

Drew: This is Damon and Amy.

Toad: Oh hey (Gives wobbly super long hug)

Does everyone remember in Family Feud the big X that went across the screen when people gave a wrong answer? Well that big X went right over Toad’s face in my mind within the first 30 seconds (10 seconds) of meeting him. Now imagine the sound it makes.

Have you seen Water World? A steam punk post-apocalyptic world? I think this guy hoped that Burning Man was the real world and he was Kevin Kostner.

Image result for waterworld mariner

Every person after that was somewhat similar.

Camp Member: Hi I’m [insert stupid Playa name: Ghost walker, Desert Flower, Tiger Lilly (oops that was her real name)]. 


Camp Member: Hi


Camp Member:… (Just looks my way)


I should be less judgmental. Nah. 

We then set up our tent. Yes, at midnight. We had a 80x60inch air mattress that we calculated would just barely fit in our 84x84inch tent. We didn’t think about putting a square in a pyramid in our calculations. So we had to put the air mattress in before we inflated it and by the time we finished it looked like our tent had a muffin top. But anything is better than being on the ground.

There was a free yurt that some “twins”, not sure if they were actually twins or they just called them that, had paid $3,000 for someone to come early and set up. It looked like the inside of the Olsen twins dorm room. Maybe it was for the Olsen twins. Throw pillows and dreamcatchers. It was like a Pinterest Burning Man Board threw up in it. Well this free Yurt was already claimed by some other members of our camp, who literally threw up in it later that night. Now it’s a real dorm room.

It was then 1am. What better time to ride around the Playa. So we hopped on our bikes and road around in the desert. I felt like I was in a Goonies burner remake. We were off to find treasure. The treasure was artwork, crazy lights, and music.


We finally got to sleep by 2am. Sleep was quickly ruined by the blinding hot sun. Waking up sweating is not how I like start the day. Or end the day. Anytime in-between I’ll sweat like a pig in a slaughter-house and not complain. That last statement was quickly put to the test when we all started to build yurts. Now I can handle working in the heat building someone else’s shade structure with minimal… occasional complaining. But… you knew there was a but in there. Have you seen the movie “Holes?”

Image result

If not, you should. It’s about a rehab for bad kids and all they have them do is dig holes all day. I started to think this was some kind of demented hazing. Why does no one know how to put these together? It was like putting together a puzzle, but there are 3 other puzzle’s pieces mixed in and 3 different ideas on how to put it together. 

  1. Move all pieces over here
  2. Move all pieces back over there
  3. Take tape off all pieces
  4. Tape all pieces back together
  5. Recruit others to help
  6. Lose those helping during recruiting process
  7. Find lost helpers
  8. Sit in sun and hate burning self

Here’s the one we made for the flee circus. It’s called a Hexayurt. Not because of the hexagon shape, but because you feel like someone put a hex on you while you put it together. 

The worst part was seeing other people put together their Yurt together in 1 hour while it took us 5 hours cause our crew wanted to make 3 yurts into one big Yurt. No the worst part was going back into my hot tent while everyone’s yurt had air-conditioning. 

I know it sounds like I’m just a big whiner. Maybe you’re so much more well-adjusted to suffering than I am. Doubt it. I work with 5 year olds every Saturday and Sunday morning at 9am. I’m a glutton for punishment. Also, I love criticism. I don’t trust people who are always optimistic or people who like everything. Whining is one of the perks of being human. Well I guess dogs whine too. See it’s not just this bitch. You don’t have to tell me how lucky I should feel to be at Burning Man and not working at some shitty job or starving in Africa. Blah Blah Blah. How can you be so ungrateful? Easy. I think that being miserable makes the good moments better. I want to get that nice loathing low to make the high even better. Like when it’s 115 degrees outside during the summer and you roll up all the windows on the way to the lake to make the first plunge even better. Or starving yourself all day cause you know you’re going to your favorite pizza place for dinner. Or working out super hard because you scheduled a massage the next day and you really want to earn it. No? Then you’re just as soft as I thought. After I helped build a yurt I made sure never to hang around camp during setup times again. We then took off on our bikes until dinner. No I didn’t help make dinner. The camp fees included dinner and not my help. The dinners were usually pretty good. Luckily, millennials are so picky about their food. 

We spent the rest of night losing our fellow camp mates and riding around checking out art. Since we were there early we got to see a bunch of pieces being constructed. Also, you get this thick book of events going on during the week.

So I circled all the ones I wanted to go to. However, you’ll quickly discover that most things you want to check out so does everyone else. Now having ice cream in the dessert seems like a real treat, but waiting for an hour in the sun isn’t. You do start to appreciate a lot of the basic necessities. Just on the first day I was craving a shower. I couldn’t imagine going another 8 days without one. Before bed we would mist ourselves and wipe off with wet wipes. I don’t know how everyone is able to keep such a good mood. Oh yeah. Drugs. Now where is my best friend, Toad?

Found it. I mean him. See you guys on Day 2. 

*Toad is actually really nice. I have no beef with him. I did find out that he is an accountant and I’d do drugs too if that were true. I’m kidding. I have no idea what he does. He probably works with blind kids. Who am I to drug. I mean judge.

Get Burnt

October 11, 2017

What could I say about Burning Man that hasn’t already been said? Well I guess it depends on what you’ve already heard about it. If you’re anything like my parents then you’ve probably only heard one side. If your thoughts on burning man are like…. “Isn’t that place just about drugs and orgies?” then I’m so glad I get to share with you what it’s really all about. I mean, it is about drugs and orgies, but what isn’t? I kid. Not about the orgies. I definitely passed by that tent multiple times without an inkling of curiosity. That’s not true. I was curious about how bad it smelled, how often they changed the sheets, is it air-conditioned, what happens if they run out of condoms, what time does it open, is there a back door so none of my friends see me walk in, is it just the same old men that walk around naked or are their any cute ones? Why is it only old men that you see naked at nude beaches? One of the first thing my dad asked me when I got back from Burning Man was, “Did you see any Shirt Cockers?” (men who wear shirts and no pants. Also known as Donald Ducking) 

I don’t know why the didn’t call it Whinny the Poohing…One can only guess.


Or my favorite Porky the Pigging.


Well back to my dad’s weird question. The answer is “Duck No.” 

Anywho. Burning Man is about so much more. I promise. Mom, I promise. I’m going for the art… and stuff. Let me start with my previous thoughts on Burning Man. It is a huge festival. It is expensive and you have to know someone cool to get in. I’ve wanted to go for years. People I’ve met that have gone always talk about how amazing it is. They also say you have to join a camp. HAVE TO!! Like don’t even bother if you’re not in a camp. Then when I ask if I can just join their camp they say something like, “Oh everyone’s been there forever and we don’t let new people in. Sorry.” Or “Our camp is kinda exclusive. You have to be a member of our Satanic cult first.” So really what I heard was, “Omg it’s the best party ever, but it’s really too bad you’re not invited. I wish I could invite you, but you know it’s not at my house and the host only wants his super cool friends there. Maybe you could find another party. Like a smaller one for like people more like you. And you could work your way up. Good luck. I hope to see you there.” 

So what I decided to do was date some “cool” guy. What makes a guy cool? What makes anyone cool? He was in a band. That’ll do. He got invited to go… by his bandmate. Soooo cool. Also, they were going to be apart of a band camp. Wait, that doesn’t sound cool at all. A musical camp. Nope. Oh well. A camp full of musicians. Soooo cool. Only problem. I wasn’t invited. Luckily, this cool guy I was kicking it with said he wouldn’t go without me. I know, right?! Cool and sweet. Well don’t wet yourselves yet, ladies. I said, “Will you not go without me?”.. and he said…. “uuuuuuugghhhhh, fine.” Totally not cool, but being cool is so overrated. That’s what I’ve heard. In my own head. Everyday. 

Luckily, his bandmate wanted him to go enough that I got an afterthought invite. And I was definitely not too cool to turn it down. However, I did find my own ticket! I know what you’re thinking, “if you could easily find your own ticket then why the big fuss?” Well I HAD to be in a camp. Aren’t you paying attention?

So I’d got the golden ticket and I’m in a camp. I was stoked! Well that’s when everyone starts telling you all the shit you have to buy and everything you can’t do. Wait?! What?! There’s rules? I thought rules weren’t allowed. Like Neverland minus the pirates trying to kill you.

The Rules:
  • Don’t wear a tank top two days in a row.
  • You can only wear your hair in a ponytail once a week.
  • On Wednesdays we wear pink.
  • You can only wear jeans or track pants on Friday.
  • Be effortlessly plastic.

Oops sorry. Wrong cool club.

Burning Man Style Guide:

  • No Sequins
  • No labels
  • Where a Tutu on Tuesday
  • Where White on Wednesday

I always thought the outfits I saw at Burning Man were amazing. And I love costumes. I coach kids and I have a lot of costumes from weekly theme days at summer camp. Yes, I came up with theme days. Yes, I always dress up. I was planning on being a different Disney character every day. However, I was told going as Disney characters isn’t apart of the Burner ethos, “Well Amy, there isn’t supposed to be any commercialism.”

What?! Luckily, my mom is a fashion guru and master thrift store huntress that provided me with some amazing outfits. 

Me: “Mom don’t you think this is a little revealing? Half my butt is out.”  

Mom: “No. Good thing you’ve been working out.”

Me: “Thanks?” (sets down bar of chocolate)

Also, my sister is a makeup artist and sent me some awesome hair dye and bright makeup glitter. “Oh sorry Amy, glitter isn’t allowed. It ruins the dust.” So many rules. I then recruited my fellow burner virgin to dye my hair using plastic bags on his hands as I then rubbed in the dye. So after I got the outfits down it was off to the real semi-important things… like food, water and whatever. 

Here’s the Burning Man Guide. A long list of to-dos and not-to-dos. 

Here are my favorite:

  1. DECOMMODIFICATION ” In order to preserve the spirit of giving, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
  2. RADICAL SELF-RELIANCE” Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise, and rely on his or her inner resources.
  3. COMMUNAL EFFORT”! Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote, and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.
  4. RADICAL INCLUSION “! Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
  5. GIFTING “Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift-giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

Here is my interpretation.

Everyone is included in Burning Man, but you should know someone to be in a camp and have enough money for the $500 ticket and able to take a week off of work. It’s all about community. However, you should be fully self-reliant so don’t come asking for help. Also, don’t bring trash, but try to give everyone a dumb useless gift. Also, you can’t sell or buy anything, but we can and it’s coffee and ice. How can anyone enjoy community and art without coffee and having to drink warm beer? We aren’t savages. 

I know you’re wondering why anyone would want to go to this thing? Sounds like a big hassle. Well it is. But so is any vacation. Even though this doesn’t sound like your usual Hawaiian beach resort getaway… Oh damn that sounds nice. I should have done that. Burning Man is so foreign and unknown. You do all this research to prepare, but you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. That is what makes it so exciting. 

The week before we left we were getting all our equipment ready. 


  • Your ticket or your photo ID (I’ve heard of people driving 12 hours and forgetting their ticket. Bummer)
  • 1.5 gallons of water per person per day 
  • A reusable water bottle 
  • Food & beverages: Our Costco list: trail mix, protein food bars (Quest Bars are my fave), Canned chicken, jerky, apples, almond butter, crackers, prunes (don’t wanna get plugged up out in the desert), chai tea, Aussie bites (my mom made them!), lots of warm beer. 
  • An extensive first-aid kit
  • Sunscreen/sunblock & sunglasses
  • Warm clothing
  • Particle/dust mask 
  • Goggles to protect eyes during dust storms
  • Rope or tie-down straps
  • Emergency toilet: bring a 5 gallon utility bucket with lid and garbage bag liners
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Garbage and recycling bags, and tools to clean up your camp 
  • Duct tape—you’ll find a need for it, guaranteed (We didn’t)
  • Flashlights and spare batteries (headlamps are useful) 
  • Lights for your bike and your person for safe nighttime travel 
  • A good camp tent or other shelter and warm sleeping bags and bedding (Our tent barely fit our air mattress)
  • Common sense, an open mind, a sense of humor and a positive attitude (Never had one.) 


  • Shade structures, umbrellas, parasols, sheets; something to break the midday sun (Luckily our camp provided shade)
  • A wide brim hat (a chinstrap is useful in the wind) 
  • A cooking stove if you expect to heat food or liquid (our camp provided meals)
  • A bicycle (mountain bikes or cruisers with balloon tires are best) 
  • A bike lock (tag your bike with name, playa address, email and/ or phone information) 
  • Bicycle tire repair kit, pump, spare parts and extra tubes 
  • Portable shower with a drain system to collect and manage greywater (I wish I had this!)
  • Lotion, lip balm and earplugs (not everyone will want to sleep when you do!) 
  • Watertight protective bags (e.g., heavy zip-type) for cameras or electronic gear 
  • Costumes, musical instruments, props, decorations, and anything that might make the experience more fun for you and your playa neighbors 
  • A battery powered AM/ FM radio (Our camp ALWAYS played music. Super loud. At all times.)
  • Camp marker
  • 12” tent stakes (rebar is cheap and effective in high wind) 
  • Plastic bottles or tennis balls to top and protect dangerous rebar stakes (We are tennis pros and didn’t bring any used balls. We saw brand new cans opened for this use. What a waste.)
  • Extra set of car keys (keys are easily lost and there is no locksmith in BRC!) 
  • A reusable travel coffee mug
  • A five gallon bucket (I have no idea why this is listed. Didn’t get one or wish I had one)

And you thought the ticket was expensive? Still worth it? We’ll see. 

So $1000 later I’m ready for Burning Man! You don’t even need to read about how my experience was. These before and after pictures explains it all.

Besides, you’ve already heard all about it before. Drugs and orgies. 


But if you really wanna know I’ll fill you in. Coming soon to a blog near you. 

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

October 5, 2017

I just got back from Los Angeles where I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood. Now I’m not a crazed Potter Head. I mean I’ve read all the books and watched all the movies, but who hasn’t? Did I cry when the series ended? What do you Expecto Patronum? I’m not a heartless Dementor. Have I ever dressed up as a Harry Potter character? Only twice.



Do I argue with the kids that I coach about how they don’t give Ginny Weasley enough credit for being a strong, independent woman who didn’t rely on Harry to lead the way? I mean I don’t know what garbage they are learning at school and I’m only trying to educate them. My alarm is the Hedwig’s Theme song, my coffee mug has a transforming Marauder’s Map, and I might have a HP coloring book. Therefore, I’m just your typical, completely normal Harry Potter lover. So when I found out the Hogwarts was coming to California I was slightly intrigued.  

Now I don’t live in Los Angeles, but my sister does and my mom wanted us all to go to the Azusa Street Revival. The event just happened to occur 2 days after Hogwarts opened. I told my mom I would go under one condition… Wax Museum!! Kidding. Order HP shirt. Check. 

Temporary Tattoos. Check.

Ok ok. So the opening day was April 7th and our fateful day was Monday April 11. I made it perfectly clear to my family that I wanted to be at the park 15 minutes before it opened at 9am. Mainly cause last time we did a theme park adventure it started off with a meltdown cause we were 2 hours late. Since we bought season passes we got to go into the park an hour before everyone else. At 8:30am I was starting to stress a little while we waited in line at Starbucks, which granted was only 5 minutes away from the park. In order to calm my nerves my bro-in-law went with me to wait in line at the entrance. We then found out that the park had opened up even earlier for us, 8:36 to be exact. We then waited “patiently” (I had a timer set for 5 minutes) for the rest of the crew to show up with Starbucks (They made it in the last 5 seconds). 


I did a little research about the best route through the park. This has nothing to do with being a Potter Head, but with efficiency. First off, at the entrance you can grab a picture at the 9 3/4 platform.

But a picture on the platform with the luggage is $15. None of us were onboard due to the price. 

I read that you should go to Ollivander’s wand shop first. However, there was already a 35 min wait and they weren’t open early for our special passes. The outrage! Some house elf working the park told us to go to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey before the line got long. I thanked him with a sock. I brought loads to free all the park slaves, after I enjoy the park and all their free labor, of course. Now before you get on the Forbidden Journey ride there is free lockers up to 3 hours to store all your stuff. I could have gone home right then and known that magic exists. Paying for lockers is “Stupefy!” 

Walking through the line for the Forbidden Journey is an adventure in itself. The detail and creativity make it all that much more magical of an experience. The scream of a mature Mandrake when it is unearthed will kill any person who hears it. I was lucky enough to survive. 

I got off the ride with a major squeal of love and excitement. There is one part with spiders that I could have done without, but that’s just a personal preference. The ride ends in a gift shop, as always. Pins are the one touristy souvenir I’ve collected over the years. They are small and not too expensive and nerdy AF. It was Prefect. I mean perfect. 

Next up was the Flight of the Hippogriff. It’s a small roller coaster that was a good warm up for some of us who aren’t found of being Wingardium Leviosa aka acrophobes. The best part of the ride was when I got a secret password from one of the Hogmeade locals (park employees). My sister desperately wanted to know what is was, but keeping it from her was more fun that actually knowing it myself. Since I wasn’t told what to do with the secret I asked another elf. I found out that you get to cut the line at the Forbidden Journey ride. Wanna know? Too bad sis. Find your own. Geez. Don’t freak out. It was “Fox Glove”, but I’m sure they change them so don’t get your hopes up. But if you’re nice to a Hogsmeade local they might share it with you. 

We then tried Butterbeer. It tastes like cream soda on steroids. Delish. Just a heads up, it’s non-alcoholic and crazy sweet. I’d share it with someone unless you have a major sweet tooth or really want diabetes. 

In some of the shops they have some original props from the movie. For example, Cho’s dress that she wore during the Tri-Wizard Tournament is on display near the Owl Post.

Next up, Honeydukes. I got a Chocolate Frog and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans.  

Salazar Slytherin lookin sharp. Everyone got really upset when I started to talk to Salazar. I figured they’re just jealousssssss cause they don’t understand Parseltongue. 

I asked the attendant if I could just get the nasty flavored Jelly Beans. I wanted them for the kids I coach. Instead of doing burpees for misbehaving I’d just give them a vomit jelly bean. They didn’t have that option. I just hate leaving things to chance.   

We then watched the Triwizard Spirt Rally. It was actually well done and not cheesy like you expect from a theme park show. I mean it was still cheesy, we are at Universal Studios Harry Potter Wizarding World. If you don’t like cheesy you should never go. 

I got in line for a picture with the Beauxbatons and Durmstrangs students. The rest of the family walked away pretending they didn’t care, but once I was at the front of the line they came out from under their Invisibility Cloak. They must think they are too cool pure bloods. What a bunch of Hyppogriths.

Since the 3 Broomsticks and Ollivander’s had a wait time of 90 minutes we decided to explore the rest of the park and come back later. 

The Simpsons, Mummy, Jurassic Park, and Transformer’s are the best rides in the park.

I’ve always been intrigued with Ancient Egypt. It might have to be due to my love of Indiana Jones and The Mummy movies. So when my mom saw a Mummy characters walking around the park she grabbed me so I could get a picture with them. I walked over to the woman and my mom yelled, “Not the women. Get one with the guy!” Mom always knows best.

Since I was 3 years old when Beetlejuice came out my affinity for the movie and striped outfits started at a young age. This is me at 6 yo.

Then at 30.

30! I know right. You thought I looked acted so much younger. My secret? Unicorns Blood. Worth it. I’m more of a do-it-yourselfer, but you can also find it Diagon’s back Ally or your local Sephora, but it’ll cost you a house elf. 

As you can see between the two pictures all the innocence has been lost. Beetlejuice asked if I wanted to makeout. Even though I do like the just escaped from Azkaban look I told him, “Beetlejuice, just cause I’m a Death Eater doesn’t mean I mingle with the dead.” Get a life.  

Around 3pm we were back in Hogmeade and used our secret password for another Forbidden Journey ride. By then there wasn’t a line at the 3 Broomsticks so we grabbed a Guinness Stew and Toffee Sticky Bread. The rest of the family had eaten earlier and I think they regretted it. While I haven’t eaten at every place in the park I’m pretty confident that this restaurant will give you the best bang for your Galleons. 

Our last stop was Ollivander’s. Wait time: 15 minutes. One lucky person gets selected to have a wand fitted for them. I could have Avada Kedavra the lucky Horcux that got selected. I think being meek will help your chances of getting picked. They have a script they want to stick to and don’t want an outgoing showboat that causes them to improvize. So get to the front, but keep your thoughts to yourself, Hermoine.

Once in the wand shop you can pick wands based on characters, wand materials, Phoenix tail, ect. (of course I have no idea what else “ect.” could be). There are interactive wands that you wave at certain locations around the park to “cast spells”. They are $50 and not as fancy as I wanted them to be. They even have a logo stamped on the side of them. Even wizards import from China. The coolest looking ones were Dumbledore’s wand and my fave, Voldemort. Since it was the end of the day and everyone was ready to go it wasn’t worth going into my Gringotts savings to buy a wand that I didn’t have time to use. Filthy Mudbloods, always ruining all the fun. If you insist on buying a wand then definitely go there first so you have time to use it. I’m almost glad I waited cause I think the power of the Elder wand would have gone to my head. 

What did I tell you? Totally normal HP lover. Now if you don’t love HP then which one of us is really Ridikkulus! 

What is the nerdiest thing you love?


September 27, 2017

I love this holiday. I guess it’s not technically a holiday, but it should be. I didn’t celebrate it much as a kid. My mom made awesome costumes when I was little, but growing up being homeschooled out in the sticks made it impossible to trick or treat. I chose to home-school so don’t think we are the “live on the farm shelter my children” type. I’m more like the awkward 9 year old that told my parents that school was a waste of time and they begrudgingly said they would try to home school me. Back to Halloween, when I was about 12 years old a couple of my friends (yes home schoolers have friends) decided to dress up as Barbie’s. Then one friend changed her mind and wanted to by a gypsy. Four Barbie’s and a Gypsy. Great band name, right? Disregard that when she showed up we realized she meant Egyptian. Anywho. We left too late and all the candy was gone. Damn gypsy, I mean Egyptian. We got a couple of people that said we were too old to trick or treat. So witches do exist. Ok all that to say that I don’t know why I love Halloween.

I have a Halloween checklist I like to go through every year.
1. Being Scared: First up was to watch the 3rd season of American Horror Story. I’m a little behind, but my spirit can only take one season a year. Also, Scream Queens is a fun horror show. I love being started and I will jump if you tap me on the shoulder. I don’t know if this is why I like horror or a result of watching too much of it. This year I went to Frightfest with my boyfriend’s mom. She was the only person I knew that was willing to go on roller coaster and haunted houses. Double the screams. It was awesome. They have zombies that walk around the park at night and try to scare you. I don’t know why people don’t love this.
2. Pumpkins: Next on the Halloween list was carving pumpkins. Side note: the bay area does not have any pumpkin patches. Charging $20 for a pumpkin sitting on a hay bale in a parking lot is heresy. Burn them at the stake! We ended up getting our pumpkins at Trader Joe’s, but they were a little small. Do you recognize them? Gabe’s was Gears of War, which is a video game. 
Mine is… well. Maybe this next pic will help. I added some more characters to the scene.

Maybe not though. Cruella De’Vil. I was a little disappointed about my carving this year so naturally I did another one.

It was a good thing to cause our other pumpkins got smashed the night before Halloween by some crazy guy. Neighbors said the cops were called. I wish I could crush is candy skull.

3. Costumes: This has a blog post all on its own. I always have more costumes than places to go. I really should work on this whole making friends thing, but who needs friends when I had so much fun making these mini rice crispy pumpkins on my Friday night before Halloween. It was for the kids I coach. I promise. It’s hard to find costumes that you can coach and play tennis in. 

But not hard enough. After work my mom came into town and we went shopping. Yep in my costume. Luckily, by 3pm there were other Halloween fanatics that came out of hiding. We got back to my apartment just in time to catch the end of trick or treaters. Really just treaters. Kids just don’t have to work for anything anymore. Now this was my first time having trick or treaters so I’m not exactly an expert, but since when is it acceptable for parents to bring their own bag to get filled with candy? Twelve was too old when I went, but 43 is ok? Really? Can’t you just buy your own bag of candy? Anyone else have this happen? Bunch of basic witches. 
My sister and I.
Next year I’m gonna have my Rufferee trained to growl when I parent wants candy. Oh you want some candy old lady? Well come get it out of my dogs mouth. After the kiddies left I transitioned to my evening costume. No it wasn’t promiscuous. I just knew kids wouldn’t get it and I long to be understood by children. 
 4. Party: Batman and I (Harley Quinn) then headed to a party. I do have some friends. Now this was my kinda party. Pumpkin bourbon punch with dry ice fog coming out of it, bobbing for apples and alcohol bottles, themed playlist, spooky decor, bloody cake with a knife sticking out of it. It was a Pinterest Halloween dream. My friends also had awesome costumes. It so much better to be creative than just buy something at Spirit City, even if you’re going as the year’s most popular character. By the way,I didn’t see any other Harley Quinn’s, but did see a lot of Oakland’s politically correct social activist vegan scenesters… If you don’t believe in the overly commercialized tradition with its sexist costumes and promoting child obesity then stay inside and watch a documentary about making culture appropriate dream catchers out of your armpit hair. I kid. I agree that those things are all unfortunate, but it’s not Halloween’s fault or Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Besides San Francisco has become pretty tame over the years. I think they lowered their freak flag to half mast. Well I’ll raise it a little for one night.


January 18, 2016

Does anyone else hate even years? I love those odd numbers years, but the good times are over and here comes miss easily divisible by 2, 4, and 8 year. What a slut year. It may have to do with being able to get front seat dibs on odd days while on even days my sis got the front seat. Stupid back seat even days. Anywho. 

The new year is here and I don’t know how to make it any different from last year. I have the same things on my resolutions list for the past 4 years. I figured this year I won’t make a list. Or copy and paste 2012’s list again. I’m going to pick one thing to do and go for it. Ever since I quit playing tennis competitively I’ve bounced around on what to do with my life. I’ve always had ideas on what to do, but never jumped in. I kinda dabbled in a lot of things: DJ, catering, photography, film, and then there’s always coaching tennis, which is what I do now. As much as I enjoy my job it is time for a change. 

But how do I prevent writing this same blog 365 days from now? What makes this year any different? I still don’t know. Even if I set little daily goals what is to keep me accountable? I’m usually fairly internally motivated, but that is only when the path is clear. If you do this and that then here is the outcome. What if I don’t know what steps to take? What if there is no path to follow? What if creating my own path isn’t a quality I posses? What if I’ve always followed the path others told me to go on? Even if it was for my own goals, I still had coaches, teachers, bosses telling me what needs to be done to get that win, grade, raise. Now I have an open field. No steps have corrupted it. The possibilities are endless. Yet I’m still looking for a path. Steps where others have gone. Any trace of a clue where to go. But there are no steps except the my own. I’m just standing. Making my feet sink deeper and deeper into a hole because I have refused to make my own way. Every year as the hole gets bigger it will be harder to step or soon climb out. If I wait too long I won’t see the field at all, but a dark hole of indecision and fear. Of life not lived.

How do you take that first step? 


November 1, 2015
This year I had my Halloween costume planned months in advance. During pirate day at summer camp a friend told me what I should be for Halloween. Let me quickly clarify. I coach tennis. I’m not a 30-year-old going to summer camp. Not that I wouldn’t. Hanging out all summer with your friends and no work sounds awesome. Unless it was band or science camp. I’m thinking more like Wet Hot American Summer kinda camp. So the Halloween costume suggestion was made mainly based on my tights. 

Oops wrong one. That was super hero day. These tights. 

Any guesses? Harley Quinn. The psychiatrist that fell in love with the Joker while she was treating him at Arkham. 

She was first featured in a Batman comic in 1992 and then got her own in 1993. If I got this wrong please correct me. I didn’t nerd out too long on my research.

As time went on her costume got more and more revealing… naturally. I blame global warming.

As Halloween approached I quickly realized that I had picked this year’s most popular women’s costume. The popularity is due to a new movie called the “Suicide Squad” featuring Quinn, Joker, and other fellow Gotham villains. Here’s the trailer.

Your generic Halloween store version

Doesn’t that look awesome! However, I didn’t want to be Harley Quinn twinning with all the other basic witches out there so I decided I should pick something else. 

I put on every costume I had for some inspiration. You never know what costumes can transition into other costumes. Strawberry shortcake turned into Red Riding Hood and Peter Pan into Tinkerbell.  

My sister saw my efforts on Snapchat and came up with an idea. 

I dressed up a few years ago as Miley Cyrus and my guy, as Robin Thick from the VMAs.

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! 

It was a young love. 

My sis sent me a makeup inspiration to encourage me.

My sister is a professional makeup artist. You can check her out here. And so is the girl in this picture. I, however, am lucky to put on eye liner without crying. To make it easier for me my sis even made a video tutorial to help me out. She’s spooky good. 

Now I can make a video on how to hit a serve, but when you get on the court you might not be able smash 100 mph aces in 5 minutes. Well… here’s a tutorial I made with a friend. Let me knew how it goes.

My costume was almost set when a girl attending the same party posted a pic of Beetlejuice as her costume. I know! What are the chances? First Quinn and now Mr. BJ! This blows. I guess I just have a feel for fashion trends. Halloween fashion trends. It’s a rare gift. My options now were to dress up as the most popular costume or the same as a girl at a party. Life’s struggles.

All Hallows’ Eve and I was still not sure what I was gonna be. Now Gabe, on the other hand, didn’t even have one costume to choose from. Typical. So he went to Spirits, a Halloween chain, to buy a superman shirt. Lame right? So frustrating. He is a boyfrienimy. That is when I came up with the idea that he should be Batman, well at least dress up as him. Then we would be in the same comic series. Back to Quinn. Yes, my sister was pissed. 


Did you know that early morning commuters do not dress up for Halloween? When I got on the tennis court I realized that kids don’t dress up early either. Or at least not to tennis practice at 9am. Shocking.

I know what you’re thinking. Wait Minnie Mouse? I didn’t mean to throw you off. I work with kids on Saturday morning so this is my “kid friendly” costume. Why didn’t I just wear Minnie Mouse all Halloween? Geez. It’s like you don’t know me at all. I love dressing up. By the way, this whole outfit cost .69 cents. The only thing I bought was the gloves at a thrift store. That also means that I already owned Minnie Mouse ears and a red and white polka dot shirt. Like I said, fashion gifted.

My evening costume was also cost-effective. I only paid for the hair chalk, $1. I did a combo of the movie and comic book. I said I liked to dress up, not pay a lot for it. 

When we showed up at the party guess who we saw? Well not Beetlejuice! Oh well. I’m glad Harley Quinned it. 

Batman/Quinn Forbidden Love

Maybe I’ll do Beetlejuice next year. However, I’m starting to worry that there isn’t enough Halloweens in my life for all the costumes I want to wear. Maybe I’ll join the Cosplay community. That way I can spend even more time, energy, and money on a costume I’ll only wear once. Or I could just become a real super villain… I mean a hero. 

Is there a costume that you always wanted to wear or a favorite Halloween tradition? 

Canada/Slovakian/Italian Wedding Aye?

October 28, 2015


After our trip to New York City we caught our flight to Buffalo for my best friend’s wedding. After one of the other bridesmaid’s picked us up we stocked up on alcohol at the duty-free before crossing the border. I guess drunkenness is a luxury in Canada. After having to wait an additional 6 weeks for Gabe’s passport I was hoping his first border crossing would have been a little more dramatic. We made it through the border check without a fuss and on to Niagara Falls. Luckily, our view was on the Canadian side cause I don’t know what the American side was looking at. It’s hard to see the falls when they are right underneath you. Stupid Americans. The nice thing about the Falls is that they are free. I love free sites. I haven’t seen many famous landmarks so I’m not sure if this is the norm. Can you see the Grand Canyon for free? Free or not the Falls were amazing. However, the city of Niagara Falls reminds me of Reno, Nevada, but more kid friendly. Like a permanent carnival town. Would I fly from California just to see the Falls? Nope, but I’m glad I had an excuse to be there because it is really quite a site.




 After wandering around Carnieville, Hana, the bride to be, picked us up. We then all headed to Dean’s (the groom) parents’ house where we would be crashing. From then on we got put to work on wedding prep. Well I did, Gabe hung back and took a nap. I quickly realized that mother-of-the-groom was the star of the show since Hana already had the Slovakian wedding the month before. Now I’ve never seen so many candles and artificial flowers outside of Michael’s and I hope to never again. I mean it was all very beautiful and traditional. When I’m at a wedding I pick out what I like and didn’t like to store in my non-eloping file. Everyone does this right? I’m assuming I’m like everyone else or that everyone is like me. Cause BAE. Duh. 


After we 1980s the shit out of the venue I got to chill by the pool with Gabe. Chill and open up a bunch of glow sticks for the kids. Way more up my ally.


Afterwards we headed back to the venue for the rehearsal. I haven’t always believed rehearsing is necessary until I went to a wedding that decided not to do it. Seeing a bride cry before the wedding should only be seen on reality tv. Luckily, this rehearsal went smoothly and quickly. There’s always that moment of truth where you find out where you are in the line-up. Closest to the bride is the best. Second to last. Shit. I mean it’s cool. I’m sure there’s a good reason. Biggest to smallest boobs. No I’d want those tig’ ol’ bitties far from me if I was the bride. Anywho. I love Hana’s new in-laws. There are such a big boisterous family. The rehearsal dinner was a huge bbq in the backyard. In a way I wish I had a huge family, but then when I thought of hosting a wedding with 200 people I changed my mind. Also, big families makes it hard to leave your hometown. 

On to the big day. Some day someone will have to tell me why it takes girls so long to get ready. “Ok guys we need to get up at 7:30am to get ready for pictures at 3pm.” Said no groom ever. First off, unless I’m going to a red carpet event I’m not paying anyone to do my makeup or hair. This is not because I’m good at it or because my sis is a makeup artist. Actually, if I was going be on the red carpet my sis would do my makeup and I still wouldn’t pay for it. Honestly, I don’t care enough to spend money on something I’ve been doing since I was… well 20 years old. I’m a late bloomer. Bottom line. I’m frugal. So as usual I’m ready in 30 minutes so I get assigned to steaming the dresses. I need a plot to take longer getting ready. I’ve seen girls straighten their hair only to curl it. I could contour. Whatever that is, but it sounds complicated, unnecessary, and time-consuming. After steaming all the dresses I then did some yoga and even had time to paint my nails. Then I took a nap. Next wedding they should have a masseuse. I’d pay for that. 

Now we were running late.  Best part of taking pictures before the wedding is that you don’t have to take them after. Taking pictures is great. Being in pictures is horrible.


After surviving smiling on command for an hour we went to the venue. There isn’t anything special or sweet to say about the ceremony. They were technically already married. It was still beautiful and I was happy for them. Blah, blah, blah. Let’s party. 

Wait. Before we could properly start the reception we had to do a wedding line or whatever it is called. All 20 of us in the wedding party stood in a long line and shook every guest’s hand. Now since it was an Italian wedding that was a hard hand shaking job. By the time I sat down at the bridal table I was ready for this purple cocktail that was everyone was drinking. We also did some Slovakian vodka shots to start off the toasts. There’s my Hana. Now Hana’s sister next to me had got a little head start so even her Slovak was starting to slur. Her English was no longer comprehensible. The last thing I understood her saying was how sad she was knowing her sister will never live in Slovakia again. My sister is a 6 hour drive away and I think that is too far. She wants to move to the East Coast, which would be terrible, let alone another country. I’m sad Hana won’t be living in California again, which is where we met in college. Ontario might as well be Slovakia. So bottoms up.


We all had fun eating, drinking, dancing, drinking. It was the perfect kinda party that a wedding should be. Open bar. It isn’t anything like my wedding will be… well except for the open bar. It’s the least you can do for traveling guests and if you want them to dance. My wedding will be a fraction of the people and definitely the price. 


The next day we all got up late and went wine tasting. Even though we live close to Napa we are not wine connoisseurs by any means. I couldn’t even name 3 types of wine. Red, white, bubbly? So while everyone was stocking up on fancy wine to take home Gabe and I enjoyed the Ice Wine. It’s sweet like syrup and probably an insult to wine snobs throughout North America.

 After the fourth vineyard we grabbed some picnic supplies and headed to Niagara on the Lake. That’s really what they call it. I’m glad that I got to hang out with Hana for another day. It’s hard to go to a wedding and never get to spend any time with the friend you’re there to see.


 We finished off the last night with another big family meal. It was such a great adventure. First NYC then my best friend’s wedding.

[slideshow_deploy id=’3473′]


Couldn’t ask for a better vacation. I hope every wedding I have to attend is near somewhere I want to travel. Next wedding I’m in better be in Hawaii. Anyone know how to find cheap flights to Hawaii? 

New York (Cont.)

October 20, 2015

Day 3

My sis and her husband made early breakfast reservations at a cafe near Central Park. So early that everyone wanted to go back to sleep afterwards. Well not everyone. Naturally, Gabe and I stayed and explored the park. Well most of it. We (I) definitely underestimated it’s size. Gabe didn’t do any premeditated estimating. I  would recommend renting a bike, otherwise, it is a very long confusing walk. Like a maze with multiple exits. So not like a maze at all. Now if you rent a bike you can make it a shorter, yet still confusing bike ride. What can I say about the park that a hundred movies haven’t shown you. It’s big, gorgeous, and a horrible place to play hide and seek. Unless you never want to be found. At night it is completely dark* (See yesterday’s post).


After 5 hours of walking around with aim in mind, but not in footsteps, we headed back to Harlem and checked out Harlem week. It is a celebration of culture and the uniqueness of Harlem through music and art. We then all gathered back together for dinner at a restaurant that my mom enjoyed due to it’s charm, service, but mostly walking distance from our room. Of course, I don’t remember the name because it wasn’t on my itinerary. 

Day 4

We started off the day… earlyish. We left around 9am only to stop for breakfast for over an hour. What is the point of staying in an Air BnB and buying groceries if I’m the only one eating before we head out? I don’t understand how buying a bagel for $4.50 is better than the bag of bagels in the apartment we bought for .50 cents each. Why?! After we satisfied the irrational food mongers we continued our site seeing. We started at the 9/11 Memorial, Ground Zero. It was more moving than we had expected. There is a gaping hole in the city which really helps capture the loss and tragedy. All the victim’s names are carved into the sides and behind it is the new World Trade Center. My mom cried, which then made me almost cry. Her crying is infectious like a yawn, which supposedly in related to empathy. Here is a journal article on Yawning if you don’t believe me. Amy’s always right.


Afterwards, we headed to Wall Street to take the Bull by the horns. By then my mom was exhausted and headed back to the room. Gabe and I continued our adventure through Chelsea and discovered an amazing market. Foodie’s paradise. We then met up with everyone on the High Line. It is a converted railroad line that the city turned into an awesome linear park. New York is so cool. They really think of such creative things. SF better step up it’s game. We could definitely use a better public transportation system in the Bay. I guess it could be worse. Ahem. Los Angeles. 


Day 5

The U.S. Open. This might have been one of my favorite days. I grew up playing tennis and wanted to become a Tennis Pro. Gabe and I met on the tennis court. Currently, I’m a tennis coach. Soooo…. Tennis!!! We didn’t get to see any main draw matches, but the qualifying rounds were still really fun to watch. Being from Redding I’m used to the heat, but damn, it is hot in the Bronx. Some day I’m going to see every Grand Slam tournament: Wimbledon, Australian, French, U.S. Too bad I still have all 4 to go. After getting our tennis fill and sweating our own balls off we headed back to Brooklyn for dinner.


Gabe and I are pizza connoisseurs and we were told to try Grimaldis. There was a long line and they won’t seat you unless your whole party is present. So of course, the other half of our party was late and we got yelled at for not knowing this stupid rule. Thanks late party people. Now the pizza was good, but not worth the hype. Best pizza for the hype is Tony’s in San Francisco. Outside of Italy this is the best pizza I’ve ever had. It’s worth the 2 hour wait the first 2-3 times. After we gorged ourselves on pizza we decided to continue the theme of gluttony. Serendipity’s Frozen hot chocolate is a New York must. New York hot spots while routinely overpriced have taken pride in rude customer service and dumb rules. For example, at this place you can not take anything to go and each person must pay at least $10. They don’t want you splitting that ginormous dessert. Ridiculous.

Day 6

By now we are all extremely exhausted. Gabe had mentioned the day before that he didn’t realize how fit he needed to be in order to travel with me. He was doing his best to keep up, but finally admitted he was drained. So we decided this was gonna be a “chill” day. Well my sort of chill, which wouldn’t fall under the chill category for most people. To start the day off we went to the “Top of the Rock” on Rockefeller.


When I say “we” I don’t always mean everyone. Occasionally my mom will join us till she is tired, which is around 1pm each day. Today was no different. After visiting Rockefeller, Gabe and I weren’t sure what to do next. We thought of going into another museum, but were too tired and limited on time. Gabe then had a “brilliant” idea to score another Frozen Hot Chocolate. I had to wait outside so I wouldn’t have to pay $10 and he had to sit down and drink a couple sips before being able to take it togo. Worst part of touristy shit is that sometimes it is worth it.

We then hurried back to Harlem for dinner and a special treat my mom planned. Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater. This venue has born greatness like Ella Fitzgerald, Luis Armstrong, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and so many more talented performers. During Amateur Night people perform and the crowd votes for their favorite. Now I love cheering, but booing someone off stage isn’t my idea of fun. I would never discourage someone who is putting themselves out on stage in order to follow their dreams. Unless their dreams are horrible nightmares for the rest of humanity. However, most of the crowd disagreed with my philosophy or they thought they were doing humanity a favor. The host of the show was probably the most entertaining part. He was hilarious and worked the crowd extremely well. It was a great way to end our time in New York.


Too much surprise we had survived a family vacation. Sorta. We all kinda split up most of the time, but maybe that is how we survived. However, next trip my dad has to join or at least have my mom bring a friend that enjoys nap time. 

[slideshow_deploy id=’3416′]

When Gabe and I got back to the room we had to pack up our bags for our next part of our trip. Gabe’s first time out of the country. Bust out the passports. Off to Canada. 

Here is the list I had for our itinerary. We obviously didn’t make it to all of them. Next time. If you have any recommendations to add please comment. Next questions is how horrible is it during the Christmas season? Worth it or too crazy?

Ground Zero 
Wall Street
Circle Line
Delancy Street
Times Square
Brooklyn Bridge
Bryant Park
Peter Luger’s steakhouse (Brooklyn)
West village stroll
Grimaldi’s pizzaria (Brooklyn)
Franny’s (Brooklyn)
Di farra (Brooklyn)
Movie in the park
Junior’s Famous Cheesecake
Serendipity 3 Frozen Hot chocolate
Brooklyn Coney Island
Central Park
Fashion Ave
Sex n City tour
Vincent Mott Street
Delancy street for shopping
Empire State Building
Gramercy Park
Top of the Rock (Rockafeller)
U.S. Open
Apollo Theater
F.A.O. Scharz
Magnolia Bakery – Original
NYC botanical gardens (Free Wednesday)
Guggenheim (Free Saturdays 5:45-7:45)
Chrysler Building
The Frick
Union Square Cafe
Public Theater Greenwich
Carnegie Deli
Cathedral of St John
Frying Pan (bar in an old boat)
Murry’s bagels
Governors island (go early)
Caracas food Brooklyn

New York

October 19, 2015

My best friend was getting married near Niagara Falls in August and I was a bridesmaid. With the “Bachelorette party” under my belt I was getting ready for another.

Boston is the only city I’ve been to on the East coast and since I was gonna make the trip across the U.S. I figured I’d make the most of it. This of course means… New York!!! First off, Gabe would accompany me as my date for the wedding. This would be his second flight ever. Now my mom and sis had never been to New York either so when I told them I was going, naturally they invited themselves. Now there was 5. My sister’s husband would also be joining us, but my dad wanted to stay home. He hates flying and big cities and everything touristy. We all decided a week in New York would be all we could get away with. Then afterwards, Gabe and I would fly over to Buffalo for the wedding. Now 3 months before our trip I started making an itinerary. I couldn’t believe we were finally going to New York and I wanted to make sure to do as much as possible. If you’ve read my last post you know how I like to travel. If you don’t pack running shoes when you travel then you shouldn’t travel with me.

While planning the trip I would ask for recommendations from anyone I met that said they were from New York. When people overlapped recommendations I would star it in my itinerary. I’m not joking about that. I’ll post it at the end. Now there was a bit of a debacle about 2 months before our trip. Exactly one day after Gabe and I bought our tickets my sis decided that her and her husband weren’t going. My mom had a meltdown about it, but I assured her that there was no way my sister would miss a trip to New York. I think she just likes to stress out my mom or maybe it’s a tactic to get my mom to pay for shit. Drama, drama, drama. A week later we are back on track and yes my mom paid for it.

By the time we were ready to pack our bags the itinerary was set. We flew in the Thursday evening at 10pm and struggled our way through the New York metro. Which is much more elaborate, convenient, and cheaper than San Francisco’s system. By the time we got to our Air B&B in Harlem it was 1:30am and the rest of the family was resting from their first day in the city. Somehow they got earlier tickets arriving and later tickets leaving. Not jealous.


Day 1

Since we all would be a little jet lagged we decided not to rush the first morning. Well they decided. We had booked a river cruise at 11am so we couldn’t linger too long. On our way to the cruise we walked through Times Square. It’s just like you see in the movies. We were such a giddy, starstruck bunch, like all the other tourists crowding the street. We all know what song was on repeat in our heads…. “Move Bitch Get Out The Way”… only kidding… kinda. 


Now I recommend doing tours on the first day of a trip in order to get the feel of a new city. While on our cruise, we got a relaxing tour of the city, our guide was such a doofas. Major doofas and I don’t use that word lightly. His historical facts weren’t funny or interesting, “Over here is where someone not very famous or important lives. And over here is where I eat lunch by myself. If you haven’t noticed New York is quite a big city where anyone can feel small and unimportant. At nighttime they turn the lights on.” Now this would be considered clever based on what he said, but he was so bland that my mind can’t even remember or formulate something so generic. He complained about a bad review he got on yelp to everyone. It was so awkward. I thought he might tell us why his wife left him, as if we didn’t already have a clue. Now if you are going to do the Circle Line Cruise go ahead and check the Yelp reviews to make sure that you don’t get the guide everyone is complaining about. Best part of the cruise was passing by the Statue of Liberty. It’s so iconic and not as tall as I thought. We could see the line of tourists from our boat, which is why spending a whole day to go to the top wasn’t a part of the itinerary. “I can see it from here.” as my mom would say. 


After the cruise we grabbed some ginormous pastrami sandwiches from, Carnegie’s, a famous sandwich shop that was recommended. My sis and her husband, Bobby, went elsewhere because we quickly became aware that the East Coast isn’t as dietary restriction friendly as us California folks. A couple of waiters thought that if something was whole wheat is was gluten-free. Amateurs. 

After lunch, Gabe and I, went to the MOMA. It was free after 7pm on this particular Friday night and this was obviously no secret. When we got inside we had to fight our way to Van Gough’s, “Starry Night”. Why is it that most famous artworks are smaller than you think they are? As if it is grandiose because it is grand or huge. Nope. Yet I do appreciate seeing a favorite piece and having it be grand. For example, Gustav Klimt “The Kiss” is both grandiose and grand. I believe it is 6 feet tall. Which is probably my favorite artwork I’ve ever seen in person. Not just because of its size, but size does matter.


On the way back to our room that night we passed by the Empire State building. We noticed there wasn’t a line so we figured it might be a good time to go up. Since we weren’t going by the itinerary I called to see if anyone else wanted to join us. Nope. We got up to the top in 20 minutes. There are things in nature that create a feeling of awe: waterfalls, sunsets, puppies. Then there are things created by humans that give you the same feeling of wonder. This was not one of them. I’m kidding. It was so awful… in the original definition of the word. I don’t like to define romance by typical terms, but call me cliché this was romantic.


As we were making our loop around the top, Gabe pointed out a black hole in the city, “Why is it so dark right there?”. I took one glorious self-righteous pause before responding, “You mean Central Park?” I love how intellectual Gabe is, but when he asks a silly question I am much more delighted and entertained than I probably should be. Now I tend to have the opposite effect. I get the surprised look from saying something intelligent. Time is the 4th dimension. Boom. Lights out. Day 1 was over.

Day 2

After being well rested we headed off to Brooklyn “early” in the morning. 10am. I don’t know what so great about the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s so old and wooden. Wait is that why?


Well we walked across it like everyone else. After eating breakfast in Brooklyn Heights we all parted ways once again. Gabe and I went off to explore Williamsburg. As we were walking we noticed that we were getting lots of stares and everyone was dressed very modestly. Some people even crossed over to the other side of the street to avoid us. As if Cali swag was contagious. Pshhh you wish. Yep we were in Bushwick, but we didn’t know it. After walking around for 40 minutes I decided to ask a couple at the gas station which way we needed to go. We were way off. They were nice enough to offer a ride since they were heading that same way. Luckily, we took them up on it cause it took 20 minutes driving to get there. I don’t even know how we got that far off track. Well uhem Gabe was giving the directions. Williamsburg reminded me a lot of Oakland and Berkeley. It has a very young, hipster vibe boarding on obnoxious, but still really cool. There was an awesome food truck event called Smorgusburg. Pork belly tacos are amazing in case you get the chance.


We then headed back to the room to get ready to see a Broadway show. Aladdin. Now I love everything Disney. All my ringtones are Disney. I have at least 3 Disney shirts. Don’t worry they are all off the shoulder faded hipster looking so it’s less dorky, except maybe the Hukana Matata one. But who cares. No worries right? For the rest of my days? Oh you know you finished the rest of that chorus. Anywho. The non-Disney lovers (soulless demons) in the group loved it. Maybe there is hope for them. The Genie was the best part of the play, even though he sang too much. Go see it if you can.


Afterwards we grabbed Junior’s cheesecake. It was on the itinerary. Worth it. Don’t go for anything crazy. Regular and triple berries. Thank goodness we walked everywhere. Day 2 complete. 

NYC Continued… 

 [slideshow_deploy id=’3404′]

Sidecar Search

October 18, 2015

So I might be slightly arachnophobic, but I don’t like to be controlled by fear so I pretend it’s manageable.  This is my worst nightmare.

So I’m using Rosetta Stone to learn Italian. The only problem is that there isn’t anything to force me to do it. Internal-motivation? Who has time for that. I also like Duolingo. It’s a free app to learn on the go, but I feel a little silly repeating the phrase “il ragazzo è un bambino”, which translates “the boy is a baby”. Don’t know how that is a practical phrase in any language, but “eh vabbè” (oh well).

I didn’t realize how expensive motorcycles with a side car are. This would be the perfect one. Ural-Patrol-T-Sidecar-Motorcycle 

But this is what I can currently afford. 

If you have a sidecar that you are trying to get rid of let me know. 

Here is my Youtube video channel. All the videos will be here… never. 

Dog Friendly Mill Valley

October 18, 2015
 Day 6

Got to go on my first traveling adventure. We didn’t travel too far, just over to the North Bay. We ended up exploring Mill Valley for the day. We stopped at this awesome Indian Burrito joint where we enjoyed Punjabi Burrito. Their lassi is also very good.

Viva also enjoyed the outside seating where she could give me sad eyes while I ate. 

No sad eyes here.

We got a great dog hiking vest that Viva semi-hates at Mt. Tam Dog Co. The staff was super nice and helpful. 


Pizza Snob

October 18, 2015


Tony’s Pizza is still amazing, but go during the week. The Cal Italia is my favorite. What’s your favorite pizza place in the Bay? 



August 2, 2015
I know it’s not much,
At least for now,
But understand that,
I’m about to make you proud 😉
But I refuse to tell you,
What you’ll receive,
The most important thing
Is it will fill you with glee.
It’s been a few months,
Of living in the bay,
But I need you to think back, 
To a specific love day.
Besides our love,
And all the fun,
There was a foreshadowing,
Of something now to be done.
And so I ask,
“Where is your shirt?”
I’m hoping that,
It’s not in the dirt.
Because that gift,
Is now your key,
To today’s gift, you may now
I’ve given in,
My resistance is done,
And for now,
I’ll say that you’ve won.
I hope by now,
You know what it is,
And all that’s left is to say
“When, When, When?!” 

My boyfriend wrote that poem as a birthday clue. By the last limerick I was jumping up and down cause I had figured out that we were going to Disneyland. Gabe, my boyfriend, had given me a shirt for Valentine’s Day that read, “I want the D” in the Disney lettering. So cute and very classy. That was the clue that gave it away. Gabe knows how much I love Disneyland and I hadn’t been in over 5 years and Gabe had never gone. I mean what kinda parents never take their kids to Disneyland? Especially when you live in California. Once I shared my excitement with my family that we were headed to Disneyland they wanted to come along. My mom and sister are also Disney fanatics. So my mom drove to San Francisco to pick us up and then we drove to Anaheim. My sister lives in Los Angeles and she was going to meet up with us on the second day.


6 hour drive to LA

We got a hotel near the park the night before and had plans to go early in the morning. My family doesn’t do early so I had a mini meltdown because they were wasting my day away. I do not travel like my family. I like to get an early start. I don’t like to stop for 3 big time-consuming meals a day. I also don’t need to do any shopping. Lastly, I might speed walk or run to each destination. So I guess most people don’t travel like me, but I think my way is the best… just like everyone else. Once inside we got Gabe a button that said, “1st Visit”, my mom’s said, “Graduate”, and mine read, “It’s My Birthday”. I then ran over to where I spotted Mini Mouse. Of course, we needed a picture with her. Gabe’s first character pic. Then we were off. Pluto!!! Another picture. Ok now we are off. Cinderella!!! Just kidding. I never see her. Antisocial bitch. Since Gabe has a fear of roller coasters we had to start off slow and work our way up to faster rides. This is what happens when you don’t take your kids to theme parks when they are young. When I took him to 6 Flags the year before he went pale on the swing ride. Yep. The one for kids. He refused to go on any more rides after that. Luckily, Disneyland doesn’t have any super fast rides and you can’t see how high up you are in the ride.

We started off in Tomorrow Land where we saw a 3-D space movie starring Michael Jackson that must have been made in the 80s. I can’t believe they hadn’t updated it since then. Maybe it’s just iconic now. It was still entertaining minus the cheesy special effects. Next was Star Tour, which is just a simulator ride.


I know what you’re thinking. “What about Space Mountain?” Gabe wasn’t ready. We passed on the fastest roller coaster ride in the park and headed to Buzz Lightyear’s Lazor Ride. This might have been Gabe’s favorite cause he easily got the most points. Damn, I hate losing. I wanted to put him on Space Mountain after all his gloating just to see him suffer. Recently, I kid in my tennis camp said I was petty. Would that have been considered petty? Anywho. Moving onto the Jungle Tour. I said we were starting off slow. If you are with me and my mom there is no such thing as a “kid’s” ride. We love them all and have a great time no matter how slow, lame, silly it may seem.


From there we went to my favorite ride based off my favorite movie. “I hate snakes”. I always try to get in the driver seat on the ride so I can act out the role. My sister also does a great job. You know the part when you pass the hall with all the blow darts. Whoever is driving always pretend to get hit and falls forward and then the other takes over the wheel. Right now I bet you are wishing you could go with us. I love that ride. I think we even jumped the line and went a second or third time. We then made it over to no not Splash Mountain. Quit trying to guess. We have Gabe with us. Taking it slow. Pay attention please. 

Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh,
Tubby, little cubby all stuffed with fluff.
He’s Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh,
Willy, nilly, silly old bear.

If you haven’t been on this ride you are missing out. It is all in black light. It is a major trip. I don’t know if it would be enhanced if you were on acid or if it would fry your brain. I will never experience it, but if you are the type of person who goes to Disneyland on drugs please let me know how it is and when you’re going again so I can notify the authorities.  

Winnie The Pooh

Winnie The Pooh


I think the psychedelic Pooh ride motivated Gabe to try Splash Mountain. It was that or the Tea Cups and I think he was tired of being surrounded by screaming children instead of screaming adults. Besides, who doesn’t love that drop in your gut at Splash Mountain. I was hoping Gabe was no exception. I kept looking at him for confirmation that he was enjoying himself. Then as we rounded the corner for the drop I thought, he’s on his own now. Here we go!!! Scream!!!! When the mist lifted. I could see we had converted him.

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain

I only had to wait for him to admit it. He had been infected with our childish silliness. It’s very contagious and no one is immune. We then went on the Matador, which is my least favorite ride cause it’s so jarring. I feel like I need to get adjusted afterwards.


Next was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is my mom’s all time favorite. Then Gabe said he was ready for Space Mountain. A roller coaster in the dark when you are afraid of rides might be the toughest challenge. I could only enjoy the ride at 90 percent because I was worried about him. Yet he survived and he only blacked out once. I kid. He loved it just like I thought/hoped he would. Once that was out-of-the-way I was confident we wouldn’t hit anything that he couldn’t handle. Well in Disneyland at least. We continued around the park hopping on all the rides we love and  only stopping for a traditional churro here and there.When we realized we needed something more substantial than fried cinnamon bread we walked over to the California Hotel in California Adventure park. I don’t remember exactly what I ate, but everything was delicious. Since it was my birthday they came out singing and carrying a big lava cake and ice cream. At some point you probably wondered, “How old is this chick? 12?” First off it’s rude to ask a girl’s age, but since you asked nicely I’ll let you know. I’m far from 12 and too close to 30. 

After dinner it was time for the light show outside the California Adventures pier. I have never seen a pyrotechnics show quite so amazing. I honestly feel 12 when I watch it. Gabe kept saying, “Wow, oh my god. This is amazing. Look Amy. Wow. Whoa. Did you see that?” Gabe was hooked. He just stared at the magical pyrotechnics before him and there was no going back. Best part of going to Disneyland is converting a newbie who thought they were too old or cool for the Happiest Place on Earth. Those fools. Get over yourself. No one is too cool for Disney. NO ONE!!! 

The next day started with the same drama. I know I made it perfectly clear that I wanted to go earlier than yesterday. Yet at 10am I was still waiting for everyone to get ready to go and for my sister to show up. Another freak out ensues. Hey I’m not overreacting… ok maybe a little. My freak out is still being referred to any time Gabe thinks I’m being irrational. It wasn’t that epic. No one cried. Ok I cried. You just don’t realize how much I wait for everyone all the time. Traveling with people with a totally different style and tempo than your own is very frustrating. It’s not like, ok Amy we will do it your way this time. It’s more like, your outnumbered so we are doing it our way… every time. Yet we all made into the park. Deep breaths. I’m fine. Seriously. No really. Quit asking I’m fine. I just need a little space. Actually everyone has been a lot more understanding about our different traveling styles since then. So maybe my freak out was necessary if you really think about it. Otherwise, I might have continued resenting them for the rest of my life or started to avoid family trips. You’re welcome everyone. Anywho. 

Since my sis was with us we were 25% crazier, goofier, and more obnoxious. We were both wearing our, “Want the D” shirt. I had gotten her one for Christmas. Yep twisted sisters. After trying on a bunch of costumes and taking pix my sis and I had to have these adorable Minnie Mouse hair clips. Well we didn’t have to, but my mom insisted. I promise. I’m not 12. We then started off our day at California Adventure. First up, Soarin over California. This ride makes me want to learn to hang glide. We also went to one of the exhibits where we met a robot. It could walk on its own and took commands. I kept waiting for its eyes to turn red and cut off all the power and tell us it’s going to protect us by never letting us leave. Some day I’m going to have a Robot and I’ll name it Reboot and it’ll be so confused. Mwuhahaha. Stupid Robots. 



By the second day we were done taking it slow. The kiddy ride day was over. Next up, Tower of Terror. This one was going to push Gabe a little. He wasn’t sure he was going to be able to go. Luckily, all the 6 year olds going guilted him into it. I’m kidding. Gabe doesn’t feel guilt or peer pressure. He went on his own accord and it became his favorite ride as well. The red flag had come down. I could now marry this guy. We went on that ride at least 3 or 4 times. That drop feeling never gets old. After that we headed to California Screamin. Then Gabe’s red flag shot right back up, “Whoa. I’m not going on that!”. Damn. We were so close to a happily ever after. I being the understanding girlfriend said it was fine after only 5 minutes of prodding. Well I’m not going to give up on my happiness without a fight. There is still 6 Flags we have to work up to and I’m no quitter! One of these day he will ride Medusa and like it. Or else. Back to being an understanding, supportive girlfriend. We rode the ride without him and had a great time. 

My mom and sis wanted to stop for lunch at a nice sit down place. Gabe and I didn’t have time for that so we parted ways. They went to eat and we had plans to meet up back at Disneyland. There was one new ride that I’ve never been on and I can’t waste time eating when there are rides to be rode. That’s why I bring trail mix and fruit. So we were off to Cars’ land. We quickly realized that we weren’t the only ones who wanted to try something new. The whole time we were in the parks we didn’t have more than a 20 minute wait for a line and this one was over an hour. There was a single rider line that was much faster, but then we wouldn’t get to ride together. We decided to we’d go solo so we at least we could experience the ride once. Then Fate intervened and we ended up in the same car anyways. Dreams do come true. The “Cars” ride was super fun. It’s set up like a race and you go against another car of people next to you. You pass through different scenes in the movie and at the end you see who wins the race. It was super amazing and it was worth starving for. I know I shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition, but it’s so hard not to. 


We made our way back to Disneyland to catch some of the classics again. Indiana Jones. Splash. Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones. Indie! Indie! After I rescued my crew for the fifth time I was famished. Being a hero is exhausting. My mom wanted to go to the Blue Bayou, which is a restaurant on the backside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Unfortunately, the ride was down, but it didn’t hinder the food at all. I love this place. It’s super dark and mysterious. I take all my dates here. Just kidding Gabe. Only 2 out of 3 boyfriends, but you’re still number one. After dinner we lingered by the castle taking pictures. If only there was a way I would never have to leave. 

I don’t think our trip could have gone any better. Well expect we could have gotten there earlier, but who’s counting the hours we have to enjoy the Happiest Place on EARTH!!! Not me.  The real goal was reached. Gabe loved it and is even ready to go again for Halloween or Christmas. My Prince Charming had come.