Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Beach walks and found art – part 1.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

I love me my daily walks. Every day I make it a point to get out and about and explore this town and really open my eyes to the world around me.  I look for beauty in things I pass, and I especially appreciate graffiti and art in unexpected places. I also really dig that on my daily walks (generally on the beach) I am usually joined by beach dog or 2. Canine company is nice. Every day I seem find something new and unexpected.

Beach dog and a heart in the rocks.

Truth.

A rainy day in paradise.

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Sayulita, Mexico is a quiet little fishing village/surf town on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It’s about a 40 minute drive north of the touristy hubbub of Puerto Vallarta, and seemingly a perfect place to start our first attempt at living a more expat kinda lifestyle. Devon and I arrived here 5 days ago, and so far its been everything that I’ve hoped for. It’s off season here, so maybe only a third of the local businesses are open, but I am truly a happy chica with at least 3 fish taco stands to choose from for dining options. That was one of the major things I was looking forward to out of this adventure. Fish tacos, surfing on the regular, bangin’ margaritas, writing more, swimming as much as humanly possible, improving my Español, earning some more freckles on my pasty white skin (cuz you know mamacita is physically incapable of taking a tan).

So, I’ve been doing pretty well with my goals. With the exception of yesterday. I kinda earned myself a bit of heatstroke/exhaustion yesterday with an overzealous hike on the beach in the 90 degree sun with no water. Also, heat exhaustion = not fun = totally terrifying! Hydration is key, yo. So after spending most of the afternoon in bed with lots of ice water and Mexican real life crime documentaries on the tele, I woke up this morning raring to go. And then the sky opened up and it has been a torrential downpour ever since.  Of course. But really, sitting on an open air covered patio, with temperature in the high 70s, watching and listening to the rain, hearing los gallos down the block, and smelling the sweet ocean air, life doesn’t suck.

The past few months have been kinda crazy; stressful and emotionally difficult for me, and it’s nice to be able to hit reset and start recharging in such a peaceful, quiet place.

New Adventures: 13 of 30 – Shoot arrows at random shit.

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Time is ticking by. I’m behind on documenting my 30 by 30, and I’m falling behind on actually doing 30 by 30. To make excuses, I’ve been traveling alot. Like I haven’t slept in my own bed at least 58 days out of the first 5 months of this year. That just ain’t right. So I’m in Amsterdam, trying to figure out how I’ll be able to complete the goal that I’ve set for myself. I’m walking through a carnival set up in Dam Square, which was right next to my hotel. There are a bunch of food vendors selling any type of meat on a stick that your heart could desire, as well as sweet fluffy confections, and sugary, chocolatey waffles that you wish that your parents would have made you growing up and hadn’t cared about early onsets of childhood diabetes. There are also a bunch of rides that look about as shady as the carnies running them, as well as some games of chance that looked kinda weak-sauce. And then I came across the Bow & Arrow Game.

Yes. I havent touched a bow or arrow, probably since I was a summer camp counselor, 12 years ago? And I didn’t shoot arrows as much as try to prevent my campers from shooting other campers in the face during their archery class. I didn’t learn much, so much as act like a bouncer for a group of 7 year olds, who made sure that noone ended up with an arrow through the face for 40 minutes twice a week. Before that my only experience with bows an arrows was when I was 7 or so, and a camper at a sports focused summer camp. During which I dont remember shooting tagets with arrows, but rather how I narrowly avoided shooting my archery instructor as well as my fellow campers. So yeah. I don’t really know what the hell to do when I pick up a bow and arrow, i mostly just know what not to do.

So, I walk past this carnival booth, where you get 6 arrows (probably dull and totally not straight) to try to break 4 balloons at a target 20 or 30 feet away. This sounded slightly dangerous, the regulations seemed really loose, and the girl working the booth seemed totally bored and uninterested in policing us goofing around, so Bam! a 30 by 30 adventure just popped into my life. Devon and I slap some euros down & I go first……
1st shooting attempt

I have no clue what I’m doing…. I was aiming in the right direction at least….. But I think I originally(before this first picture was taken) had the bow turned around or something…It was a shit show. After some helpful pointers from Devon as well as the booth girl, I was good to go!

Elbow up looks way better…. And Honestly for it being a rigged carnival game, and the first time that I’ve actually shot a bow & arrow since I was 7, I think I did pretty well, and shot 1 out of the 4 balloons on the target. And no innocent bystanders, which I consider to be my greatest achievement…. :) And I got a stuffed tiger!!!!

Poor Devon, the boy from Vermont (who basically spent his entire youth filled with target practices of all types and styles) popped 3 out of 4 balloons, but didn’t do well enough to get his own stuffed animal… Bummer. Must be hard to deal with having such a talented wife who excels at everything and always wins the awesome prizes at carnival games.  ;) (Thanks babe!)

Alrighty, 13 of 30 Completed!!!!

 

New Adventures: 10 of 30 – Visit a new continent.

Monday, December 5th, 2011

I’m part homebody, part nomad. I get itchy, twitchy and bitchy and yearn to travel if I’m home for longer than 2 months. (And then I’m generally ready to be back home after 2 to 3 weeks.) A decent portion of my friends are pretty vocal about their hatred of modern air travel and they generally try to avoid it whenever possible, but honestly if I could get somewhere interesting by flying cargo with donkeys and chickens or whatever with 30 layovers, I’d totally do it, no ifs, ands or buts. Sometimes airplanes suck, but the amazing experiences that they make possible have always made up for a few hours of discomfort.

This year my parents totally spoiled us & decided to take us to South Africa for our family vacation as our Birthday and Christmas presents for the next 127 years.. . I guess the nomadic thing kinda runs in the family. My parents visited the country last year, had a totally amazing time and thought that we would love it as well. Luckily I’m related to these awesome generous people so I was in for the trip of a lifetime!

So in September (I know I’m WAY behind in updating this blog) after about 36 hours of air travel, layovers in multiple countries, and car travel, we ended up in a swanky guest house in Marloth Park on the Southern edge of Kruger National Park, and Northeast-ish region of the country.We stayed in an awesome house/lodge? called Kahya Umdami that was owned by some super friendly people from Cape Town. There was a ton of wildlife that roamed the area & could come around looking for handouts. Guinea fowl (who looked like they would make delicious hot wings!), kudu (only try to feed the young ones, fyi) ,warthogs (omg, so cute!!!), giraffes, bushbabies (the itty-bitty tweaked-out speed freaks of the animal kingdom), hoards of banded mongeese, and tons of crazy looking colorful birds were just some of our regular visitors.

Luckily we had brought a huge crate of fresh papaya or papaw, so the critters loved us, and we got to hand feed a ton of warthogs and kudu. I actually ended up with the nickname Angelina Jolie for threatening to smuggle/adopt half of the visiting warthogs.

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New Adventures: 8 of 30 – Take part in a beach bonfire.

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

This adventure is what happened immediately following adventure #7. Basically Juice & I had been surfing on the Cape, it had gotten dark, we went on basically a fruitless (ha!) search for local organic food, and then hung out on the beach near a place that played the worst reggae music ever while we pondered our next steps. I wanted a bonfire, and we needed to figure out where we were going to camp for the night. We could camp on an ocean beach, but we’d probably be woken up super early by tons of people & the sun rising directly into our faces. Or we could find a beach on a pond that Juice had a vague recollection of… Somewhere off the beaten path, not on maps, super small, pretty secluded where the trees would surround us and let us sleep in past 5am. He called it the “secret spot”. Immediately, that piqued my interest, and we head in that direction. Keep in mind that its about 1am, totally dark. I’m sleep deprived. Juice doesn’t remember exactly where we’re going or how to get there, and the roads are all screwed up and covered with debris after a storm that had passed through recently.  Luckily, we needed some firewood, so as we drove through these dark unlit side roads, we were able to stop & scavenge enough firewood to make a good size (and free!) bonfire.

We keep turning onto smaller and smaller roads. And then we get to what seems like a dead end, but it’s not, it just turns into an unmarked & unpaved road. Driving down a super narrow dirt road through the woods in the middle of the night sounds kinda scary, but oh ! it gets even better. We then come to fallen trees in the road?/path that we had to get out of the car to move….in the dark…… And a few terrifyingly steep and washed out embankments that I had to drive down, with faith that Juice knew where we were going & hoped that I had cell phone service in case I needed to call AAA to tow us out if I got stuck. But damn, you gotta love Audi’s and their all-wheel drive! Eventually Juice said that we were there & we unloaded the wood & some blankets. And alcohol. Because I certainly needed it after that terrifying drive of doom, and also, you can’t have an authentic beach bonfire without open containers of alcohol.

It was a new moon, so there was nothing lighting our way other than thousands of stars, and a tiny flashlight on my key ring.  The beach was only about 20×20 feet, and there was a still silence. We were the only signs of any light or noise, so it felt like we needed to respect that serenity, talking in whispers & shutting off the car’s lights. Juice built an awesome bonfire (with my super helpful and totally appreciated guidance of course!) and we set up our respective blankets on both sides of the fire. That way, we both got a front row seat & we could also poke at the fire & bask in its warmth.

We stayed up for a few hours, talking, listening, feeding the fire. Talking about all of those wonderfully random things that only start to come up in conversation when its super late, you’re half asleep and in a chilled and relaxed state. And then the birds started getting noisy, and the sky started turning that light grey/purpleish color that it turns, right before the sun rises. That was our cue for bedtime. Right before I feel asleep, Juice said something like “Just wait till you wake up; the beauty of this place will blow you mind.”

And the next morning I awoke to this serene setting.

We spent the morning swimming in the lake and catching frogs.

And then we packed up our gear & then headed out to try for another surf session. Trying to leave the “secret spot” as pristine as we had found it.

For a bonfire experience, I had expected something much closer to a beach bonfire scene from a 60′s beach party/surfplotation movie like Gidget or Beach Party. But this was really awesome in a relaxing and chilled out sort of way. I got to experience the bonfire & appreciate the setting (even if I couldn’t really see it until the next morning), instead of having to concentrate on navigating social scenes. Good times, good times. I can’t wait to do it again.

New Adventures: 4 of 30 – NASCAR!!!

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Every month, my family tries to get together for a family dinner or activity. I’m not exactly sure how we all agreed to it, but the Turnbaugh’s activity for the month of July was going to a NASCAR race!! Now, I’m not particularly into car racing, however I am into activities where I can veer full throttle into white trash territory, so as soon as we bought our tickets and  before you could say “redneck”, I had started planning my outfit for the day.

Since NASCAR is about as quintessentially American as it gets, I decided to go the high class route with a stars and stripes themed ensemble. I found a delightful belly shirt crop-top with a distressed American flag print, that was accented with some rhinestones (hand stitched, I’m sure) that highlighted the stars, and showed off just enough of my gut midriff to be striking but not entirely trashy. I then paired the shirt with some jean ghetto-booty-hot-pants  cut-off shorts with peek-a-boo linear patterned front pockets and a star pattern on my ass the rear. Topped off with a hunter’s camo print ball-cap accented with American flags, I was ready to roll. Behold, the classiest family portrait ever.
IMG_1197So some things that I learned…..

IMG_1200NASCAR is big…. Like really big. Bigger than Jesus, or the Beatles for that matter. The race, Lenox Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event, took place at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which is largest venue for any type of sport in the whole general area…. Which is kinda insane to think about. Over 100,000 people jam packed into a huge outdoor grandstand. It’s in the boonies of NH Loudon, NH, so there’s no public transit of any sort and everyone has to drive there & park, which leads to kinda a logistical driving and parking nightmare. There are seas of car and RV parking lots. The picture on the left is a pic that I took of maybe a tenth of all of the RVs that had camped out there for the weekend, and that’s not even including cars/SUVs/trucks etc…  And there’s only 1 major road in and out of there… So after the race ends plan on some post-game tailgating, for a while, cuz it’s going to be at least 2-3 hours before you can even get your car out of the parking lot (on top of the 45 minutes that it will take you to walk back to your car)…. Unless you’re awesome like us and drive through some bushes and find a semi-illegal unpaved back road out.

Things to bring, because there won’t be any, or it will run out fast: Toilet paper, Water (crucial on a 95 degree day), Food (the food stands and vendors seriously ran out of food & water halfway through the race!?!?!?!), sunscreen, ear protection.

IMG_1207NASCAR is white trash. Like, really, for-serious white trash. Not like this is ground breaking news or anything, but going to see the race in person just reminded me of what I already knew. Half of the dudes there were shirtless. Now don’t get me wrong. I love me some sexy shirtless man action. However the guys here were bearing their man-boobies regardless of if anyone would even want to see that horror show. And of the men that were wearing shirts, most were wearing shirts with the sleeves ripped off. (Along a similar vein, when did tramp stamps of Disney characters on DUDES become socially acceptable?!?) As seen on the right, the lemur decided to get in on the NASCAR fashion & root for his favorite race car driver.

The women weren’t any better. I had been a bit nervous that my outfit would stand out for being too over the top and/or trashy. Luckily I fit right in with the chicks walking around in bras, pregnant women smoking (I shit you not.) and ladies (and I use that term very loosely) with race car number arm sleeve tattoos. Yeah. It was a scene. A scene that I just don’t really get… But hey, if you’re into that, you go on with your bad self. Fashion is one thing, but manners and friendliness are another. And boy, were those fans friendly. The row behind us shared a ton of their spilled beer with us….. and their cigarette ash. That was pretty cool. In fact all the chain smokers in our section made sure that I got my daily dosage of second hand smoke, so that was incredibly helpful.  Other than that, people were generally pretty happy and friendly, and I got a couple salutes, hand shakes and toasts in honor of my outfit by some fellow fans of America.

IMG_1204All in all, it was quite impressive. The cars are sooo loud and beefy sounding that even a non-gear head like myself found it to be a thing of beauty. The cars go sooo fast. It’s hard to really get how fast they’re going if you just watch it on TV. I’ve always been like “Oh, yup. Moving cars…. That turn left……. For hours… And this is fascinating why ?”. But those little buggers fly & it’s pretty jaw dropping.

Even in the oppressive heat of mid-day July the fans really got into it, and stayed into it for the entire whole 4 hours. And it’s really hard to not get into the spirit of the moment when you’re surrounded by super enthusiastic fans who are cheering & standing up to wave every time their favorite driver goes by or passes someone or takes the lead, or if another car crashes, spins out or catches on fire. Cool stuff.  Not sure if I’d want to go to another NASCAR event, but it was definitely unlike anything that I’ve ever experienced before and I’m glad to have had the opportunity.

 

What’s Dank or Not in Las Vegas, 2009.

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

So, in September, my mom took my aunt and I on a exciting “Girl’s Gone Wild” weekend in Las Vegas.  We packed a whole hell of alot into 2 and a half days, and I wanted to share what I thought was dank.

Our Hotel: Planet Hollywood. Dank, but crowded.

It was in the middle of the strip. Great if you’re into hoards of annoying/drunk uber-tourists, but not so awesome if you’re into a little more of a chill scene. We had a nice room on a high floor with a great view of the strip and a super gigantic bathroom, which was great since we had 3 ladies getting ready at the same time. The room’s decor was nice & modern with some vintage movie props. There is a gigantic mall built around the hotel which had some super amazing shopping and there were about 20 dining options to choose from. I think that if we had been bigger into the club scene & staying up late thing, we would have enjoyed it more, but in all honesty, I never got used to the swarms of people.

Activity: Stripper 101. Dank pole skills.

Every wondered how the girls on “Rock of Love” work the pole as well as they do? Take this class and have new appreciation for their skills. Learn the how-to’s of giving a sexy lapdance. Then learn the basics of working the pole. A week and a half later and I still have the bruises on my legs to prove how much of an earnest learner I was. :) Add in a free photo of you working the pole, and an alcoholic drink to get your inhibitions lowered…. How can you afford to NOT take this class? :) Although, It was awesome to have some bonding time with my mom and aunt, I would probably recommend others to not do  the same as I did. It’s kinda awkward to be straddling a chair while learning how to “get paid” next to your blood relatives. :)

Show: The Thunder From Down Under. Dinki-di Dank!

Hot guys with buff bods and Australian accents, who do choreographed dance routines with fireman themes? Please, and thank you! Maybe not the most polished dancing from males on the strip, but it was obviously clear from their moves that most of the guys were into chicks. Also, 3 jello shots for $5 was a saweet drink special. I enjoyed watching the show. I was really glad that I wasn’t at the table that one dancer climbed and then poured a drink all over himself (ala Flashdance), but it was totally awesome/hilarious to watch.  Also, it was totally worth the $20 to get my picture taken on a couch with 6 of the dancers. (who were all very friendly and chatty & totally dug my hair, bracelet and shoes…….. wait a sec… I may have to rethink my previous stance on how straight the majority of them were….) All in all, though, I totally dug the show, and would probably go again if I got the chance.

Show: Jubilee! 9 out of 10 show choir members would vote it Dank.

Picture this. Naked high school show choir on crack. That’s Jubilee!  Amazing outfits with tons of feathers and sequins. Gigantic 2 story props with smoke and fire, and they move! And nudity! What’s not to love (if you’re an ex-show choir member)? Book the show in advance to make sure that you get seats close to the stage, like we did, and you’ll be so close that you can read the names of the dancers off the bottoms of their shoes. Shout out to Colette! Nice moves :)

Restaurant: Koi - Dank Japanese food

Beautiful venue, beautifully presented food. The vibe was very hip and modern. I ordered the Seaweed Medley, which was amazing. I’m a big fan of seaweed salads, and this one went above and beyond. They usually contain one type of seaweed, and this one had 3 or 4, most of which I’d never tried. It was delicious, perfectly seasoned, and was artistically presented. I also had the yellow tail and scallion roll, which was also delicious and the fish tasted very fresh. I’m a huge fan of sushi, and this place did not disappoint.

Restaurant: MIX at Mandalay Bay - Dank food and view

This restaurant is located on top of THEhotel and has one of best views in the city, IMO. The food is pricey, but super fancy and well-thought-out.  I ordered a veggie terrine, which name alone, doesn’t really sound great, but in actuality was totally fan-f*cking-tastic! The crab salad was also delish. For dessert we split the MIX candy bar. OMG. It’s the candy bar of your wild-ist dreams.

In general, we had an amazing trip! Girl’s gone wild, whoo-hoo!

Alighting for a bit.

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Holy crap, it’s October already. The air is crisp, the leaves are changing color and grocery stores are selling pumpkins already. And here I am, still hopeful that I’ll get 1 harvest-able zuchinni from my garden before frost sets in. :) I think I’m boned.

September was totally insane, but probably obvious, since I barely posted last month. I visited Puerto Rico, Las Vegas and NYC, while also taking care of Mistress of Honor duties in my best friend’s wedding. Not to mention having house guests and doing somewhat less glamorous activities. :) I think I’ll be writting up and posting some reviews of places I went/saw/conquered, because I’ve been having a really great time trying some new things. So keep your eyes peeled for that.

Also, now that the surf shops are all closing up and I wont be able to rent gear, I need to find some sort of physical activity that I enjoy, won’t easily bore me and that I can do during the dead of winter. Any suggestions?

Puerto Rico!

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

D & I went to Puerto Rico for our 4th anniversary & had a really relaxing & fantastic time.

We layed on the beach a TON. We also checked out El Murro in old San Juan, hiked through El Yunque to swim in La Mina waterfall, and I took a surf lesson in water warm enough so I didn’t have to wear a full wetsuit. :)

Click on the pic to check out the entire photo gallery.

Lots of various pictures from May and June 2009

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

So I just emptied out the old pictures in my camera, and BOY! Do I have a bunch of various photos in there.  We built our master bedroom closet, I looked GOOD, I investigated wild orchids in MA, we went to Brian & Jen’s wedding in New Orleans, I turned 27, I gardened, my iguana looked super cute, and I explored Russell’s Mill Pond and the Chelmsford town forest on my bike…

Pouty face!
Apparently MA has about 10 or so wild varieties of orchids.
Devon very happy to have a plateful of beignets.
My Mardi Gras mask.
Russell's mill pond.

Check out all the pictures here.