I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up

 

corebloggers

corebloggers

GONE BEACHING…

 If anyone is looking for me, this is where I will be all week.

Don’t I look relaxed?

If I am able to open my eyes, I will visit your awesome blogs and comment.  If I don’t, it means I was not able to drag my beautifully tanned and incredibly hot body (see above) away from the sun and sand. 

 HASTA LUEGO!

 XOXO

 

 

 

 

 

Big Sur, Gourmet Fluff, Broken Toes, Quacking &Squeezed Nipples

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Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Salmon

(Final post of three of my California trip. See post #1 here and #2 here)

When my mother and her husband go out to eat, which is often, they like to dine at the finest restaurants.  And why not?  They worked hard all their lives and are now enjoying their mid 70’s.  This trip, was no exception.  They set out to treat us to the best restaurants in Monterey and Carmel.

No, Friendly’s & Applebees are not on their list!  Needless to say,  I have gained another 15 pounds making a total of 25 pounds since I turned 50!  Or so my clothes say…

Going Gluten-Free went right down the drain and into the Pacific Ocean.

From Caviar

Ok, so it wasn't very filling, but beautiful.

Ok, so it wasn’t very filling, but beautiful.

To Killer Oysters20131018_135933_resized

To Warm Chocolate Cake with Pumpkin Ice Cream & Gourmet Fluff20131018_145809_resized

Ahhh…heavenly!

To top it all, they never allow us to pay.  One day my husband had to sneak away from the table and secretly pay the bill. SCORE!

Let’s talk El Sur Grande, shall we? You hear magnificent things about Big Sur, but seeing it first hand is surreal.  90 miles of coastline and breathtaking views.  It looks fake after a while and you cannot believe it is that picturesque.photo-592 photo-5851294300_10201069239188055_1342308749_o

Another day, my husband, older brother and I decided to drive (2 hours from Monterey) to San Francisco for the day.  We left early in the morning so we could see as much as we could before dark.

We were deterred by a little incident.

After coming out of the shower and going to my room, I walked straight into a leg of a chair.  Just like that.  We are talking, major STUB.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, Rheumatoid Arthritis has had it in for my feet from day one.  I have had several surgeries to correct the deformities and a couple of other broken toes.  Meaning, I am not a foot model.

After some choice words, I had to take the freshly broken little toe and bend it back to its original place.  Jesus. Mary & Joseph…it hurt!

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Well, you can’t expect every picture to be breathtaking!

Being the stubborn brickhouse that I am, I ignored the black & blue rapidly forming on my foot and got ready for San Francisco. The pain was so excruciating that my toe actually felt numb.

I have my broken toe to thank for our next adventure.  I have difficulty walking distances when I don’t have any broken toes, never mind touring Fisherman’s Wharf by foot with my little very broken piggy toe, thus:

QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!

You got it!  I forced my husband and brother to board a Duck Boat with me to tour from land as well as from the  water.  What a perfect way to see the city.

The free duck whistles they gave us were not enough to placate my husband and brother with Captain Crunch (as he identified himself) behind the wheel.  20131020_112814I on the other hand, joined my fellow tourists in the quacking action, ensuring that tourists walking the streets would look our way and basically laugh in our faces.20131020_114920As if that was not bad enough, when Captain Crunch asked for volunteers to drive the boat on the water, guess who raised her hand?

Sporting my mom's duck yellow jacket - how appropie

Sporting my mom’s duck yellow jacket – how fitting

I worked up quite the appetite from all that quacking so we decided to visit the Little Italy section of San Francisco for some good pizza.  Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, it was!  And it lived up to its reputation with its many choices of crusts and toppings.20131020_150333

But the reviews did not warn us about...Nipple Squeezing that apparently goes on at Tony’s.

Thankfully or regretfully (I cannot decide which one), it was not my nipples that got squeezed.  They were the nipples belonging to my older brother-that got the action.

It turns out that the couple sitting at the bar while my brother was ordering drinks was mighty friendly.  The 30-something locals who had been married for ten years, stroke up a conversation with my brother right away.

After much chit-chat,  the woman reached out and squeezed my brother’s nipples.  She claimed that they were simply too irresistible (who does that?).  After feeling violated (for a second), my brother decided to take revenge and squeeze her nipples.  At which point her husband laughed.

Being faced with the decision to return to our table and continue to dine with us or stay around to see what ensued next at the bar, he chose to “swing” his way back to us and tell us of this blatant attack.

My husband got very quiet…perhaps coming down with a bad case of envy that it had not been him at the bar.  But most likely, he was quiet because he was thinking of how beautiful his own wife is and how lucky he is to have me her?

We ended our visit to San Francisco viewing The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and having a night-cap at a bar by the water.

I did manage to escape from Alcatraz

I did manage to escape from Alcatraz

The flight back home was much shorter than the way there since we only had two connections instead of 20.  Once again, we got to sit right behind first class where only a short curtain with a gap in the middle separated us.

Our view of first class

Our view of First Class

The First Class menu we did not partake in

The First Class menu we did not partake in

*A big shout out to Bitter Ben

http://bensbitterblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/if-you-missed-bitterness-this-week-your-aim-was-a-little-off/

 who bitterly helped this Twitter Virgin with her new Twitter account and is my first (and only) twitter follower!  Please join Bitter Ben and follow me

and make sure to also follow him 

so he doesn’t get bitter with me!

Military Bases, Sea Lions, Pebble Beach, Orgasmic Sunsets, Pink Striped Undies and Dirty Old Men

(Second of three posts of my California Trip. To see first post click here.)

Once we arrived in Monterey after traveling for what felt like 127 hours, all was calm.  We had never seen my mother and her husband’s home in Monterey since they wed three years ago.  They spend half of the year in Puerto Rico and the other half in Monterey.

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The next morning we wasted no time getting out to tour the area.  My mother’s husband was a wonderful tour guide.  He is a retired air force and army engineer who went on two tours to Vietnam. He took us around to Fort Ord, a Us Army post where he was stationed during his youth.  

He also took us to the site of the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey which used to be one of the finest luxury hotels in California.  The grounds and buildings of this old Hotel Del Monte , whose guests including Theodore Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway, are gorgeous

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We then headed to Monterey Bay to gawk at the lovable and noisy sea lions.

"What are you looking at?"

“What are you looking at?”

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The tour continued through Pebble Beach‘s 17 Mile Drive.  We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful week weather-wise.

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Our hungry bellies led us straight to Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant in Pebble Beach.

20131016_135917_resizedNeed I say more?

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A delicious Bento Box arrangement!

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Need I say more about Roy’s?

We ended this marvelous day at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands to watch the most orgasmic sun set ever, while sipping on wine and eating olives (and then smoking a cigarette – just kidding.)

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My husband who is a biologist, avid birder and  Environmental Planner, tends to look at life through… magnifying lenses.

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These are no beer goggles…

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Pelicans

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He had to look down to see this tarantula

He had to look down to see this creature

In addition to Condors as well as other Western Birds,  he was hoping to spot a Mountain Lion.  He headed out early one morning on a solo trip to see what he could find.

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As he hiked through farm land, this sign above made him cautiously excited that he may indeed encounter a Mountain Lion but he was beginning to regret exploring on his own.

Feeling the heat of the late morning, he began to shed his layers of clothing as he hiked along.  He took off a second layer and suddenly saw a very bright pink object (sorry, no picture) which had clung to his shirt, fall on the ground.  

O.M.G.  It was one of our daughter’s pink stiped undies!  Fresh out of the dryer prior to leaving for our trip.  He immediately put it in his pant pocket, looked around to make sure nobody was looking and felt relieved to find himself,  all alone.

It was finally time to go on a search of my own to find, Clint!  We headed to one of the most popular piano bars at the Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant  (bought by Clint Eastwood when he learned it would be developed) for after dinner drinks.

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I walked in the door and looked straight at the piano to see if Clint happened to be playing but…(although probably the same age as Clint,) THIS was NO Clint:

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We stayed for a couple of hours and were treated to the talented fingers of Russian pianist, Gennady Loktionov who was the special music arranger for Clint’s movie, Million Dollar Baby.

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Here he is playing his magic…but where’s Clint?

This place is crazy! A sort of meat market if you will,  for 60+ locals who like to go on Thursday nights. Anybody who wants can go up and sing along with Gennady – and that they did!

Sitting in the back, I could not see the bar action very well so I decided to sit up at the bar where there was only one seat open at the time.  My husband and parents stayed behind at our table.

As I sang along to Piano Man, I noticed Gennady ogling over my way as he played along.  My mom then came up to the bar to alert me of this which she could see from the table in the back.  I smiled and kept singing along.

Now, my husband is used to seeing turkey vultures while out on his adventures but these 60+ human male vultures, immediately came in for the kill!  I was surrounded by a couple of them circling above me who assumed I was alone.

Then came Gus.  Poor Gus.  He had definitely been there all night (according to other women who warned me that he was out for the hunt) and his 70-year-old body was not cooperating.  He swooped right in, put his hand on my back and asked me if I had been there all night.  I smiled once again and said, “Yes, and so has my husband over there.”

At this point my husband came to my rescue and we watched Gus and the others make their rounds looking for fresh meat.

I reminded my husband that had that been Clint, I would have allowed him to touch my back and do whatever he wanted to do to me.

Although, have you people seen Scott Eastwood?  

courtesy of Getty images

courtesy of Getty images

He resembles his father and is rumored to play Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie.

I might have to choose Scott over Clint.

*Stay tuned for post #3 where I tell you about road runners, squeezed nipples and broken toes.*

But hey…at least our tickets were free

google.com

google.com

After 50 years of flying, we finally managed to accumulate enough miles to fly for free.  My husband and I decided on California since my mother recently moved there with her husband.  We even had left-over miles to cover our car rental minus ($60)we were short.

How cool is that?  Pretty cool except that free tickets often mean flying all over the country before reaching your destination.  Our itinerary was to fly from Boston to Miami (really?) to LAX to Monterey.  But hey…at least our tickets were free.

We got up at 3:45 that morning, drove 1.5 hours east to the bus terminal ($44 round trip bus fare & $60 weekly parking fee) and rode the bus for 45 minutes to the airport.  But hey…at least our tickets were free.

The airline we were flying is not one of the ones that lets you check in the first bag for free. Nope. ($50 for two bags).

While planning our trip, since –But hey…at least our tickets were free, I decided to splurge a bit and get a one day pass to all the Admiral Clubs ($99) at the 200 airports we would be stopping at.  After all, what would we do during all those lay over hours?

Let me tell you, I am never waiting at a regular gate again!  They had huge comfy chairs, complimentary drinks of the alcohol variety, immaculate bathrooms with FREE feminine products and mouthwash. Hello?  Except that the food was not free and we had a ($40) lunch.  But hey…at least our tickets were free.

When I travel, I always ask for wheelchair services (it‘s one of the  perks of having RA) because it is exhausting to walk through airports.  They wheel me to ticket counters, Admiral Clubs, gates and I get to board first.  My hubby is always right there carrying all the heavy carry-ons…wishing he could sit on my lap.  This time due to the many connections, he dished out about ($25) in tips to all my friendly wheelchair pushers.  But hey…at least our tickets were free.

Our seats were the first ones behind first class.  Lot’s of leg room to stretch my joints but within viewing, hearing and smelling distance to the royal treatment of the one percent in this country, chewing their filet mignons and sipping their champagne.  Never mind that I was freezing but no blankets were available to us commoners.  But hey…at least our tickets were free.

After landing at our final destination at 1:00 am our time, we picked up our rental car but not before dishing out an additional ($70) in special insurance which covers the cost of loss revenue to the rental company in the event that we crash the car and they can’t rent it while being repaired. Really?

In conclusion, we hadn’t even arrived at my mom’s house and we had already spent ($400).

But hey…at least our tickets were free.

Stay tuned for more adventures including me getting “picked up” while at The Mission Ranch.

Go Ahead Clint, Make My Day

fineartamerica.com

fineartamerica.com

I am headed your way, Dirty Harry.

What are my chances of seeing you?

I know you are 83 years young and still quite the Stud.  I just turned 50 and although I have celebrated ’till the cows came home and back and then home again,  the celebration continues.

This time my husband and I are celebrating both our 50ths (his was last year) and are taking a trip out your way! We leave tomorrow for the week.

I have been in your neck of the woods before, back in 1985. I ate at your old place, Hog’s Breath in Carmel when you were Mayor– but did not bump into you.

It is now 2013 and your life is somewhat of a mess.  I know Dina didn’t behave very well and that reality show was too much for you, but now you are dating the wife of the man Dina is dating?  What’s up with that?

Even though you endorsed Romney for President – I forgave you and still want to see you.  I actually have a couple of favors to ask of you.

Do you think you could show up at the place you own,  Mission Ranch in Carmel this coming Thursday?  A little birdie (my mom) told me that you frequent the Ranch and have been known to play the piano for the crowd.  She has enjoyed hearing you play.  Can you re-arrange your schedule? Yes?  Great, see you there!

The other favor is, could you contact your buddies in Congress and encourage them to re-open the government (maybe you could use the chair trick again?)  We really want to visit a few National Parks while in Monterey and well, our timing stinks.  You surely must have some pull.

poynter.org

poynter.org

I know you are busy with your new love interest and new project directing your version of Jersey Boys in LA, but you need a break.  You need to hang out back up North where I will be.

I am staying with my mom and her wonderful husband right in Monterey and dining and hiking (my husband will do the hiking and me the dining) the Big Sur and in San Francisco.

You being there would just simply, Make My Day.

Why you should NEVER vacation with my husband

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The information below has not been altered or recreated and is in fact representative of real life situations experienced by my husband, while vacationing:

We are sorry, this historical monument is CLOSED during renovations.  

Due to a Hurricane 10 years ago, the Rain Forest is  CLOSED.

This natural popular attraction consisting of 220 rare limestone underground caves carved out hundreds of years ago by Taino Indians, which takes 2 hours of curvy roads to get to, is CLOSED for no apparent reason – even though our sign says that we are open 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm.

Due to the high rate of crime, you cannot walk around, explore, rent a car or visit any sites around this beautiful vacation destination.

This pristine and natural undeveloped beach is temporarily CLOSED while being torn apart by bulldozers and excavators hired by Hyatt.

Our breathtaking and naturally preserved open space is not open to the public because a huge mall is being built on the premises.

Due to the monsoon predicted on this Mexican Island – that  you are visiting for the first time – we advise that you not rent a mo-ped or…drink the water.

We regret to inform you that our famous coral reefs will not be visible to our tourists because of the ocean pollution consisting of oil slicks, pesticides, garbage, sewage and soil that has settled in the reefs and blocked the sunlight, not only making it impossible to see, but actually killing the corals.  Had you visited this natural wonder earlier in your life, you may have been able to enjoy it.

 And his luck continues:

Even though you have been waiting for 50 years to visit our beautiful State and attractions( California), and are finally getting time off from your very busy work schedule with your sexy recently turned 50-year old wife to visit us, and not to mention the fact that you love historic attractions and earth’s natural wonders AND will be here in a few weeks…

We definitely regret to inform you that due to the inadequacies and idiosyncrasies of our government and the fact that it will most likely NOT be resolved by the time you arrive,

ALL NATIONAL PARKS that you have been chomping at the bits to visit, WILL BE CLOSED. 

Fiesta/Siesta – Do Not Molesta (Disturb)

Fiesta Time

I was completely oblivious to the rumpus going on around me last week while on vacation with my husband’s family. We were staying at my amazing brother-in-law’s (and his awesome husband) beautiful house at the Cape.  We had just spent the day at the beach, it was close to dinner time and I could not be dragged away from the challenging cupcake jigsaw puzzle in the other room.

Everyone else (there were 16 of us) was running around the house doing their thing as I sat hunched over, trying to identify the tiny pieces in front of me. Someone once described getting a piece of a puzzle done, being equivalent to a mini orgasm…this cupcake puzzle had a 1000 pieces (just saying).

ebay.com

ebay.com

One of my sister in-laws had delivered a glass of the peach Sangria she had made (YUM) to me at the puzzle room – so all was good with the world.  I had offered to help in the kitchen but was secretly hoping that I wasn’t needed and they in fact (thankfully) encouraged me to stay put.

Still completely clueless, I got up when I was summoned to the dining room for dinner.  When I arrived at the dining room…SURPRISE!!!!!!!

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It was like being back in the motherland!  We are talking a  Puerto Rican flag hanging on the window, balloons, salsa music playing in the background, more Sangria, rice with pigeon peas (trust me, they are yummy), my fave plantain dish, chimichurri sauce and more!!!

There were old pictures of me displayed on the buffet table as well as photo albums from the ‘ol days.

I had developed quite the buzz by then so I was completely overwhelmed with emotion and feeling the love.

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Shhhh. This is really me, but don’t tell anyone. 🙂 Here I am with not one, not two but three bday cakes. The middle one being gluten-free – I tried them all.

Needless to say, the meal was delicious. My Gringa family had gone all out cooking dishes they had never cooked before, buying $8 flags at flea markets, driving two towns over looking for gluten-free cakes, slaving over chimichurri sauce and not only enduring but also dancing to the salsa music with me!  Ok, the men wouldn’t dance with me, not even my son or nephew…but us gals were really getting down and shaking our hips which most definitely, did not lie!!!

In fact, our hips were being brutally honest with us and wondering who we thought we were. I was giving hip shaking lessons to my other sister-in-law and teaching her how to pretend that her shorts were a long flowy flamenco skirt she could flap with her hands.

There was more Sangria served, wine bottles opened, muscles pulled, necks realigned, joints damaged, bodies showered in sweat, music played, grinding, laughing and collapsing – to be had.

****[Side note –  BREAKING NEWS:  I wore my new skirted bathing suit to the beach that day and lived to tell about it, people!!!]

Turning 50 is not so bad after all!!  Still 8 days to go and already the fiestas have begun!

I am scheduled to go on a two night stay with my sister and my hilarious two cousins for a girl’s getaway to celebrate more of this 50 thing, the second week in September.  There should be plenty of laughter (and peeing in our pants) at that one!

With all these fiestas, ill be stumbling to my 50’s rather than swimming.

Well, I better [Big Yawn] go take another siesta so I can rest before the next fiesta.

PLEASE, DO NOT MOLESTA.

leafandbeanstrip.com

leafandbeanstrip.com