Girls Trip 2016

Hello, world!

It’s been awhile.  I’ve been absent from my blog for almost two months now, in part because life is so busy and requires my complete and total attention, and also because for a while there I just didn’t have anything interesting to share with you.

However, I’ve recently returned from my annual high school girls trip and that is definitely worth sharing! Every year in the spring I go on a girls only trip with three of my great friends from high school.  Last year we went to Charleston, SC.   This year, my girls came here to Los Angeles.

LA is a big city, and for most of the vacay we wanted the feel of paradise.  Originally, we had planned to go to Catalina Island, but El Nino is an asshole and we couldn’t predict whether or not the weather would hold up for us.    So we opted to stay at a resort in Palos Verdes called Terranea.  It’s one of the most beautiful properties I’ve ever seen, and spending four days there was absolute heaven.  We hiked the trails around the cliffs of the resort, took a whale watching tour out on the ocean, laid by the pool and drank fun cocktails in the sun overlooking the Pacific.  We laughed, cackled at each other, talked and caught up on everything that’s happened over the past year.  Yeah, we know how to girls trip!

 

The view from our room!

The view from our room!

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From the pool, looking out over the Pacific ocean.

From the pool, looking out over the Pacific ocean.

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A Sea Cave!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hiking trails

Whale watching!

Whale watching!

 

Sea Lions!

Sea Lions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There were, shall we say, moments that weren’t so perfect.  But my annual girls trip wouldn’t be what it is without some mayhem and madness along the way.  As usual, each of my friends has elected to use the name of their alter ego to protect their privacy and what’s left of their reputations.  We come from a small town, so….you know.

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The first night at the resort was the most intense.  And by intense I mean absolutely, fucking, bat-shit crazy.  Belinda lives a very responsible life of dedication to her family and her community.  So during girls trip she likes to let go.  With us, it’s a safe zone.  Jasmine is slightly more tame than Belinda, but only just.  Piper is  far more restrained and likes to relax and rest during girls trip.  I’m somewhere in the middle.  I enjoy going out and having fun but I don’t want to feel like death for three days, so I try to balance my alcohol intake and late nights in a way that allows me to enjoy the entire weekend.

10346188_10204729490055839_5592960337039461547_n[1]After an afternoon of drinking by the pool, and then drinking at dinner, Piper went to bed to read her book while Belinda, Jasmine and I went down to the lobby bar for some live music and more drinks.  I was tired, so I knew I wouldn’t stay out long but wanted to experience the hotel and I love live music.  After one drink in the lobby I went back up to the room, leaving Jasmine and Belinda behind to no doubt wreak havoc on the other guests and each other.  (I later heard some stories about a male, Armenian ballet dancer???)

An hour and a half later, the girls staggered into the room.  I have no idea what Jasmine promised Belinda to get her to go upstairs, but  I have no doubt bribery was involved.  When intoxicated, it takes an act of God to get Belinda to leave a party.  Regardless, they had the brilliant idea to turn our spa-style bathtub into a “hot tub.”  Piper was sound asleep.  I wasn’t.  I laid there listening to them filling the tub with scalding hot water, sloshing water all over our luxury hotel bathroom.  The conversation was as you’d expect.  Drunk, nonsensical hilarity.  They didn’t have a candle for the ambience so they put Vick’s Vapor Rub in the “hot tub” water to make it smell like a spa.  And do you know what happens when you’re drunk and you get into really hot water, which then thins your blood even more?  That’s right, it heightens the sensation of being drunk, makes you dizzy and disoriented.  And do you know what happens when you’re drunk and become disoriented?

11889619_872407892795412_4534014423081678605_n[1]I heard Belinda say, “I’m not feeling so well.”  Annnnnd, here it comes.  I was actually glad she got sick.  That way she could expel all the alcohol from her stomach and she could just pass out and sleep it off.  A little while later she stumbled to the bed and fell asleep next to me.  I got up to use the restroom and spent the next twenty minutes cleaning up the bathroom.  Water and vomit.  Good times.

I tried to go to sleep.  It wasn’t happening.  I was so tired and I had Puky-McPukerson on one side of me and Snory-McSnorerson on the other side of the room.  Jasmine was sick with a chest cold, wasted and passed out, snoring like a damn freight train.  Somehow Piper slept through the cluster-fuck.  I laid there, forever, pissed off and contemplating the purpose of this nightmare.  Why was I awake and unable to fall asleep while everyone else caused havoc and then slept peacefully, unaware of how much I was hating the whole world in that moment?

Then it happened.

10570476_10152232302186751_7149028096365490249_n[1]I heard Belinda making a weird noise next to me and realized she had begun to get sick in her sleep.  I jumped up, rolled her over and ran to the bathroom to get a towel.  At one point Piper woke up, saw me standing there with a towel in one hand and a pillow covered in puke in the other.  Our eyes met and she registered what was happening.  She smiled a smile that said, “better you than me,” and she rolled over and went back to sleep.   Bitches.

I cleaned her up, made sure she was turned on her side, and tried to go to sleep.  I’d like to think I was awake all night because I was meant to save Belinda from an ugly, Jimi Hendrix style death.  But there was nothing I could do to stop Jasmine from snoring all night.  So I laid there in my expensive, fancy hotel room.  Hating the world.

I think I finally fell asleep sometime after 4am.  The last time I looked at the clock it was 3:45am.  Then at 6am, Jasmine gets out of bed and starts moving around the room.  She slams the bathroom door, twice.  She opens the heavy draped curtains and let’s a flood of light into the dark room that blinds me, even with my eyes closed.  She staggers to the phone next to me and starts randomly punching numbers in the dark, trying to call for room service.  Then she stage whispers as loud as she can, “I’m so sorry.  Did I wake you up?  I’m still drunk and I feel like shit.”  Then she says to the person on the phone, “I need a spoon!  Can you bring me a spoon?  I need a spoon for my yogurt.  Does this room have coffee in it?”

Are you kidding me?!  Awake….at 6am….for a spoon.

5430_1117012754976571_6374602042068399513_n[1]Much later in the day I was able to laugh about it.  After I had taken an afternoon nap and stopped hating everyone.  Belinda felt really bad.  She thanked me for taking care of her.  That’s what friends are for.  You should never worry about drowning in sick while in the company of life long friends.  And I know that if I was at my worst they would take care of me.  Probably.  If they weren’t all passed out drunk.  Except they wouldn’t write about it and tell my sad tale for the whole world to read, which actually makes them better friends than me.

Sorry, not sorry.   😉

A Conversation with my Vivofit.

I’m forty-five minutes into an hour workout with my trainer, Carrie.

I’m dripping in sweat and about to go into another super-set of exercises.  I casually glance down at my Vivofit.  It’s the fitness band I wear that tracks my activity levels.  If there’s an extended red line across the top of the display screen then that indicates you’ve been inactive for to long and need to step it up.  As I look at the band, the red line is blazing across the display because it doesn’t count anything but a full stride of movement, walking or running.

So I say, “Look at this Carrie!  The red line is mocking me!  It says, move your ass fat girl, you’ve been stationary too long!”

Carrie is quietly laughing at my outrage.

So I look at the Vivofit on my wrist and say, “Fuck you Vivofit!  You don’t count the 100+ lunges I’ve done today, or the eighty squats I did with weights!  You don’t count the rowing machine, or the fact that I bench pressed 45 fucking pounds!  Screw you and your red line of ridicule and judgment!”

Carrie is still laughing.  And then she says, “That could make a good blog post.”

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You’re number one, Vivofit!

Wanda Says…Silliness, Shenanigans, and Good Friends.

This past weekend one of my lifelong friends and her daughter, who was celebrating her 21st birthday, came to visit me here in California.

After three days of preparing my house for the festivities and four days of entertaining, along with pee-your-pants hilarity, I am exhausted.

1338993291108_8649686[1]My friend T (names will be shortened to the first initial of first names) and her daughter K are very special to me.  T is one of those friends that it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since we last talked or saw each other.  Every conversation or visit takes place like its been mere moments since the last.  When I’m with her I feel nineteen again.  And sadly, we often act like we’re teenagers when life allows us to have these brief but special visits.

T lives in my home state of Michigan so we only get to see each other once a year, if we’re lucky.  We met when I was fifteen and she was eighteen.  I knew the very first time I met her that we would be friends forever.  We’ve been partners in crime for 25 years, and every time we’re together we seem to have these unforgettable moments that take my breath away.  Like, literally, I’m laughing so hard I can’t breath.  And there are tears running down my face.  And I may or may not pee my pants.  That may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re laughing that hard so often, it begins to hurt.  Joy can be extremely painful.  And embarrassing.

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I love you, T!

 

This past weekend was filled with laughter, silliness and varied shenanigans.  Here are my top five favorite moments from the weekend…

1.  In our attempt to find one drink K would like on her 21st birthday, T and I got shit-faced while drinking all her cocktail rejects. We ordered her ten different drinks trying to find one she liked.  We failed.  K remained sober while T and I partied like it was 1999.

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2.  T smuggled a Moscow Mule out of the bar in her purse.  Her excuse?  “That drink cost $12 and I wasn’t about to leave it behind.”  She pulled it out of her purse when we got home and gave it to my babysitter, who apparently loves Moscow Mules along with delivery bar service. (Yes, my babysitter is over 21 and is a part-time bar tender.)

3. On one of our cab rides, our cab driver ran every stop sign and attempted to channel his inner Mario Andretti with us in the car.  I think he was showing off for K, who is an extremely gorgeous young woman.  While we were clutching the arm rests and hanging on for dear life, my phone rings and it’s the dispatcher telling us that the cab we ordered has arrived at my house.  I tell the dispatcher that we are in the cab, but obviously this isn’t the cab that was supposed to pick us up.  Who is this cab driver?  Holy shit, are we being kidnapped?  I attempted to communicate my distress over the cabbie’s driving skills over the phone, but the dispatcher seemed to feel it was just a mix-up.  I wanted to use a safe word so the dispatcher would know we might be in trouble, but telling the dispatcher our cabbie was fucking crazy seemed like a bad idea since I didn’t know if he was a kidnapper or not.  The dispatcher then told me to have a good night and disconnected the call.  Thankfully, the cabbie dropped us at our destination before we all died in a fiery crash, or we ended up at the bottom of a well with cabbie man using our skin as a cape.  I’m only listing this as a top five moment because now that it’s over, and I’m not dead, kidnapped or skinned alive, I can laugh about it.

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4.  My birthday gift to K was tickets to the Comedy & Magic Club to see Jay Leno.  It was a blast and Jay was awesome!  We had good seats, great drinks, and it was an awesome night.

5.  We treated ourselves to massages at the spa, and it was one of my favorite activities of the whole weekend.  Since I started working out with my trainer three weeks ago, my body has been in a continuous state of soreness and pain.  Everything hurts, but in a good way.  I can feel myself getting stronger.  But I have knots in my muscles everywhere and no amount of stretching can work them all out.  So I paid to have a massage therapist, aka torture artist,  work them out for me, and while it was 60% pain versus 40% relaxation and pleasure, I needed it desperately.

Overall the weekend was amazing.  We laughed, we danced, we had girl talk and reminisced about days past and our epically bad behavior.  We laughed hard, played at the beach, ate amazing food at amazing LA restaurants and giggled as K stalked and fan-girled over the LA Clippers basketball players working out at the gym.

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I’ve missed these girls, and I cried when they left.  They don’t make women in California like they do in the Midwest.  We are a breed unto ourselves and having them here made everything more beautiful and more fun.  🙂

 

 

Wanda Says…On my daughter’s opinion of chest hair.

I took the kids to their swim lesson this afternoon, and on the way there I explained to them that they have a new swim instructor.  The conversation went like this:

Bryn:  Who’s the new teacher?

Me:  His name is Stephen.

Bryn:  A boy?!  Will he be wearing a shirt in the pool?

Me:  I don’t know.  Why do you ask?

Bryn: Ugh, Mom!  (eye roll)  Chest hair!  Blech!!!!!!!!!!

Me:  (laughing my ass off)

Bryn:  I don’t want to touch his chest hair!  That is so gross!

Me:  (still laughing)  🙂