Monday, July 30

Dating Tips. What not to do in LA

You chose to go out in hollywood, and now you must pay the price.  Figuratively and literally.  Channeling my inner blonde LA bitch, this is the best advice I can come up with.


Lessons learned from a night (or 40) in Hollywood:

1. Don't explain what you do for work unless you're so filthy rich that you have to elaborate on doing nothing but making money exponentially from deals already made.

2. I don't care who you know unless perhaps it's George Clooney or Heidi Klum.  Name dropping is horrific and i am assuming you're fabricating stories anyways, so just stop.

3.  Please only squirt once with your cologne.  Please?

4. Stealing a girls phone.. putting in your number.. then pressing "call" isn't cute or clever.  And now I want to waste the money to change my number.

5. Don't call my friends stuck up, or bitchy, or rude, or slutty, or anything else derogatory.  I know they're whorish wenches, but only I can say that.. not you.

6. Helicopters are impressive.  No copter? (loser) fine. but don't pawn us off into a 6 person limo squished with 24 people and act like you're doing us a favor.  You're the lucky one.. we graced you with our presence.

7. Please don't touch my lower back.   Or my hair.  Or my face, hand, tits, feet, love handles, nothing. Touch the bill when you're ready to pay, and that's it.  If i want physicality, I'll do the touching.

8.  Oh you're an actor? yawn.  you're poor.

9.  Thanks for the $12 vodka soda, but you didn't just buy a blow job.  You bought a girl in LA a drink, all that gets you is 1-2 mins of banter.

10. Hold my camera when I want to take pictures with my friends and I might thank you.  Take my camera, turn it to your face and take the most obnoxious and hideous picture of your gangly snaggle tooth grin and I'll immediately write you off as a d-bag.

11.  Cool fedora.  Ohh wait, fedoras were out of style for guys about the same time as Ed Hardy graphic tees.   Let it go.

12. No really, if you're holding on to anything Ed Hardy.. really let it go.

13. Naming off the top 6 bachelors in this seasons bachelorette doesn't make you instantly attractive ...it makes me question your sexuality.



Really though, LA is tough.  Just be yourself and show your personality and you will literally stick out as an anomaly.  If you can make me giggle or engage me in thought provoking banter then I will gladly let down my front and have the night of my life.   Yes, you can be anyone you want in LA and reinvent yourself... but you'll be transparent.  Channel what makes you unique.. what you are truly passionate about.. and wear it proudly on your shoulder and I promise you'll be irresistible. 

Wednesday, July 25

The Yacht Week Greece - Lessons Learned


Yacht Week Lessons Learned:
  1. Call your banks ahead of time and let them know you’ll be traveling abroad and not to deactivate your CCs
  2. Have an email chain prior to the trip to discuss initial shopping trip, sharing of clothes and other communal items like toothpaste, etc.
  3. Have a theme outfit – something silly and fun – and wait until the dinner at the long table (night three) with everyone to show up fashionably late.
  4. Plan on living like heathens.  Yes, it is a luxury yacht trip - but it feels much more like camping in the woods.  No AC, no adequate showers, no Greek hunks fanning you while feeding you grapes.
  5. You’ll be seeing the same hundred or so people every single night for 7 nights in a row.  Keep this in mind when you feel like slapping …or smooching.. someone.
  6. Bring a back up camera battery
  7. A waterproof camera is a necessity.
  8. Embrace a week without your cell phone – don’t waste a single moment hunting down wifi.
  9. Keep lip gloss applied at all times – the official yacht week cameraman has no mercy.
  10. Stay up until sunrise.




And lastly, unglue the camera from your eye and take a mental snapshot.  You are so lucky to be on this adventure of a lifetime in the most gorgeous waters on earth surrounded by likeminded adventurers – savor every single moment. 

The Yacht Week Greece - Day One: What to buy in Lavrio!


When you get to Lavrio you’ll be directed towards the supermarket.  Don’t GO CRAZY here, but do buy all of your essentials and then some – I suggest sitting down with everyone and making a list of what to get.  If someone wants something outside of the list they can purchase it on their own.  Keep in mind that your oven may not work without shore power.

We royally screwed up shopping.  If I were to go again, this is what I would personally buy -
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Plastic cups
  • Dish soap
  • Ice
  • 2 bottles of ouzo
  • box of wine
  • 60 beers
  • 3-4 bottles of vodka and/or rum
  • Mixers: soda and juice
  • Watermelon, apples, bananas, peaches
  • Mixed nuts and trail mix
  • Chips and crackers
  • Hummus and cheese dips
  • Olives
  • Stuff for Pasta salad
  • Olive oil
  • Stuff for Greek salad (cucumbers, feta, onion, peppers)
  • Croissants
  • Stuffed grape leaves



You will get a chance to go to smaller stores on the next island but they won’t have nearly as much or as good of prices. 

The Yacht Week Greece - What to REALLY pack


Yikes.  This is a tough one. Opt for a foldable duffel bag

Lets start with what NOT to pack


  1. No straightners, blow dryers or curlers.  I know, WHAT?  But you will only have shore power the first night then not again until the last, so there is no way to plug anything into outlets
  2. No jeans, long pants, cover-ups, blazers, or blankets.  It is HOT hot hot.. even at night.
  3. Running sneakers/work out clothes. Lets get real.


What to definitely bring:
  • Soap/shampoo/conditioner/face wash/razor – but keep in mind you might be bathing in the Mediterranean instead of in a shower, as the bathrooms on board get very filthy very quickly
  • Sunblock.  A lot of it.
  • Body lotion
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail polish
  • Sunglasses
  • Toothbrush, floss, paste
  • Make up bag with waterproof mascara, bronzer, blush
  • At least 5 “going out” outfits.  These can be flowy dresses or tight skirts with bandeaus, but the clubs are fancy and you will want to get dressed up. I suggest collaborating with the girls you’re going with ahead of time and make a share all rule. 
  • Bathing suits – bring enough options, you’ll be living out of them
  • One pair of platform heels for the clubs – go with platforms, it’s incredibly difficult to hop from boat to boat in heels.
  • Two-three light weight cover ups
  • Clutch for night time
  • Clean pillow case
  • Extra towel
  • Contact case, extra contacts, solution
  • Meds: Dramamine, prescriptions, aspirin, tums, first aid kit, 5 hour energy 
  • At least 500 euros and a debit card, 800 euros for fellas

The Yacht Week Greece - Getting There


Over a week later and I can’t even type this without cringing and cursing myself. I missed my flight to Athens from LA.  Went out partying the night before to a new club and just didn’t wake up for my 7:45 AM flight.  Still wasted, I assumed I would be put on the next available flight, but unfortunately..that isn’t quite the way the baklava crumbles on trips to Greece. 

After hours of panicky wails and whining, Matt booked me a completely new flight (screw Air Canada by the way) to London.  A hop over the pond and I bought the next affordable flight to Athens for 200 pounds. 

Easy enough right?   Well no, of course not.  I had to be in Lavrio by 5pm so our yacht could take off.  My flight didn’t even leave London until Midnight and there was a bloody time difference. Long story short I end up walking on deck at 4:45am 1500 dollars poorer.

For anyone else getting there, the trip is quite easy.  There are a number of ways to reach the Lavrio port – 
1. arrange an airport transfer through Yacht Week (14 euro)
2. taking a cab (45 euro during the day, 68 at night)
3. Take an intrazone bus (5 euro)- These buses only run from 530AM until 11:30PM

  The ride will take you approx 45 minutes by car or transfer and probably closer to two by the bus (tickets can be purchased right outdoors baggage claim to the right). 

LESSONS LEARNED:

Imagine I missed this?! 
Only one this time: Don't go out to some silly club the night before, blackout so badly that you sleep through the blaring alarm for three hours, miss your flight and have to buy an entire new one for more than your round trip ticket ...only to get stuck in London for nine hours in the rain during a transgender pride parade and show up at your yacht 10 hours after the departure time.  Not the best way to make buds with your yachtmates, your wallet, or your feelings of self worth. 

Sunday, July 22

Weekend in South Lake Tahoe!


Well first, don’t go to lake Tahoe if you plan on doing water activities --- the lakes always a comfy temperature of freezing.

Really, the water is unbearably cold, the boat rentals are excruciatingly over priced and when we called to rent ATVs they were rented out for the next month.

That being said, if you are traveling to South Lake Tahoe for the romantic sunsets, amazing dining options, and lively casinos then continue on!

EATING:
If I only have one reader worthy review, it is this one.   I left my heart at Café Fiore.  Truthfully the most romantic restaurant I have ever visited.  It is a small (miniscule even) restaurant with only 7 tables nestled into the base of a mountain. Strewn white Christmas light illuminate the impressive selections of fine wines.  This is the place of proposals (Matt missed the memo), celebratory news and anniversaries.  I’m a sucker for atmosphere, so I would have already rated Café Fiore highly just on my initial gush over the quaint romance oozing from the walls – but the food is equally spectacular.  Lamb chops soaked in butter, garlic and thyme and swordfish smothered in marinara and veggies escalated this restaurant to the top of my list before we even dived into the dessert.

We also stopped at Beacon bar and grille for the famed Rum Runners and some ahi tuna and short rib tacos.  The food was delicious, the outdoor patio fabulously fun and the food on par.

ACTIVITIES:
1.Casinos - Visit Harrahs and Harveys, but spend your time at MontBleu.  A clean, airy casino with a lovely selection of restaurants and an indulgent spa.   The other casinos are obviously fun (I mean really, gambling is fun anywhere) but if you are an atmosphere gambler, MontBleu is your best bet (heh heh pun alert!).

2. Boat Rentals – Every place will rape you on rates, no matter how honed in your swindling skills may be.  The water is much more like ocean boating with the choppy waters and cool wind.  Plus the water is unbearably cold.  If your heart is set on boating then I’d suggest renting some fishing poles and hitting some of the gorgeous inlets and coves to cast off.  There is a fish worth 1 million dollars swimming around in the dark deep waters, so keep your eyes peeled for any unusual taggings. As for the astronomical prices - some hotels will offer you a discount code, so don’t forget to ask at the front desk.  

3. More affordable are the paddleboard, paddleboat, kayak and jetski rentals but still bare in mind that the water will be too freezing to swim in. (Yes, even in August!)

4.Hiking.  While I didn’t get a chance to hike because my boyfriend can be quite the lazy slug after a night of pouring money into slot machines and blackjack (ok, ok I didn’t want to get out of bed either).. there are some amazing trails for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding and atvs.


Summer in South Tahoe is over priced and chilly – but I have an inkling that the mountainside town comes alive for winter activities.  Perhaps my review in December will have a different tune.


Greetings from Bend, Oregon



So you’ve decided to visit Bend, Oregon! If you like outdoor activities, granola, and beer then you have a fabulous vacation ahead of you!


WHERE TO LODGE:
Lodging options is rather limited. We stayed at the Shilo Inn and Suites, and while they are rather outdated (and the ceiling mirrors were a little odd), the hotel is comfortable and the rooms are spacious.  Opt for a room with a river view, and buy bread to feed your duckies!  With some sweet talking (my boyfriend shamelessly flirting with the reception desk girls while I played angry birds in the car), we ended up with a rate of $100 and change for a Jacuzzi suite.

WHAT TO DO:
  1. Hiking! Tumalo Falls is gorgeous but there's plenty of great spots
  2. Rent mountain bikes and head to Smiths
  3. Ski/Snowboard
  4. Drive to Billy Chanook and rent a powerboat and tube from the gas station on the way.  You won't find a better boat rental rate anywhere.
  5. Drive to the top of the Pilot Butte lookout 
  6. Downtown Bend Farmers Market. Don’t get the jerky, taste like feet.  Do get the homemade gelato, taste like heaven.
  7. Breweries. Deshutes is a must, but there are plenty to chose from
  8. Shopping in Old Mill & Downtown.  Downtown has the cool boutiques while Old Mill is home to the typical chain stores.  However, Old Mill should still be on your radar of places to visit for historical reasons.
  9. Snap some photos of the obnoxious amount of roataries.. each with their own trademark abstract art.  I still don’t get it.
  10. Cyclebar! Really google it, TOO cool.  It’s a bar, that you bring your own booze to, and cycle through the streets on.  Genius.
  11. Paddleboard rentals/Kayak Rentals/Canoe rentals – All very reasonably priced and super fun on a nice day

EATING:
  1. McKay Cottage.  Lovely restaurant with  a homey atmosphere that is sure to relax even the most amped extreme mountain biker. Se them it is your first visit and they will give you a free bag of homemade granola – And it is blueberry-honey-pumpkin seed deeelicious.  Get their homemade seasonal scone heated
  1. Pine Tavern.  For tourist stops, this historic Bend landmark is a must.  Plus they serve up homemade scones with maple butter the second you sit down. If you can, sit outside overlooking the river, it is so peaceful. The menu changes seasonally so be sure to ask the waiter what he recommends.
  2. Bar in fancy hotel.  Small plates and modern LA vibe make this place fun for a local to get away, but not so much for tourists trying to embrace Bend’s unique personality.
  3. 900 Wall.  Not incredibly impressed with the food, but I will commend them on their discounted happy hour menu.  Save your $17 on the wine flights though – they’re not even local wines! Lame.
  4. Zydeco.  Great atmosphere and fabulous wine selection.  Not impressed with their steamed artichoke, but my salad was good for the price and the staff is amazing.
  5. Jackson’s Hole.  This café is a true hidden gem.  You have to try their homemade sambucca (?).  It’s some silly green tea soda that is so refreshing and light.  If a place can be “chic and barn”, then Jackson nailed it.  Welcoming décor, great food, strong coffee and reasonable prices make this a must.
  6. Mother’s Juice. A juice bar that serves mimosas?  I’m in.  But really this place is adorable and offers much more than pureed carrots and beets.
  7. Tea place.  Be prepared to be overwhelmed with the pages upon pages of tea varieties.  You can’t go wrong with a green tea infused with mango and strawberry, but what the heck! It’s vacation, get crazy!

LESSONS LEARNED & TIPS:
  1. Open up your suitcase and take out your shorts, sandals and tank tops.  Replace these items with wool jackets and sweatpants.  You think I’m exaggerating?  We went to Bend in the end of June and the temperature dropped to 40 at night. 40 degrees. No layering of cute breezy tank tops will help you then, believe me.
  1. Bring your dog! Bend is the most dog friendly place I’ve ever visited.
  1. Excuse me, you’re not a dog person?  Well my first reaction is that you’re a heartless, cruel and selfish monster.  However, because I am tolerant of diverse opinions, I will allow you to carry on reading my blog without belittling you.
  1. Bends is absurdly welcoming.  Don’t be surprised if after a day you’re petting strangers pooches, complimenting dreadlocks, and high fiving

  1. Drive! The scenery is breathtaking!  We drove from LA to Sacramento on the way up, grazing through fruit stands and vineyards along the way.  The way home, I pushed for Reno, where I poured all my money (not much) into a slot machine called Kitty Glitter, before we headed for Virginia City.  Virginia City is TOO cool – it really is an unchanged Western town ..but filled with tattoo donning bikers drinking PBRs and playing blackjack. Then we cruised into Lake Tahoe before heading for Mammoth then home.  You will not regret driving, I promise.
  1. If you go to Reno, don’t let the Kitty Glitter slot machine trick you.  Under that fluffy cuteness hides a sneaky sneaky money grubbing little devil. 
  1. Speaking of Kitty Glitter.. at Peppermill casino you will find a pleasant old woman clinking pennies into KG.  Don’t be fooled by her innocent looking smile.  She is camping out at our money making machine!  Yeah yeah I know I said don’t waste your time at Kitty Glitter, but obviously that was a ploy in case that squatting hag stumbles across my blog.  

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