Tag Archives: travel

Saving the world one worm at a time.

I finally unpacked my suitcase from the Hawaii trip. It’s been sitting in my living room since I walked through the door August 6. Contrary to popular opinion, I DO have a good explanation.

THIS.

THIS is what we found one morning in Hawaii, curled up dead (THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU) on the dining room tile. I did not perform my bloggerly duty very well, however, failing to get an actual photo, but I Googled the muther, and this farked-up prehistoric-looking creature IS IT. According to the almighty Internet, some of these things are highly poisonous, even deadly.

Excellent.

So, although I washed everything in my suitcase just BEFORE coming home, I haven’t been able to to unpack. I can’t shake the fear that some deadly rain forest centipede stowed away in my luggage and burrowed into the lining of my sweatpants. Or shorts. Or PJs.

To compound the situation, a few days after coming home, I found a weird black and white striped worm on the couch. My first instinct was to scoop it up in a tissue, open the door and throw it outside. And then it dawned on me that I’d never seen anything like it. It looked like something that belonged in a warmer climate.

A STOWAWAY.

And THEN I imagined throwing it in the garden, inadvertently introducing a rogue species into the region, resulting in me being solely responsible for totally farking up the ecosystem. So I flushed it down the toilet and patted myself on the back for singlehandedly saving the future of mankind. [Thank yew, thankyewverymuch.]

Two days later, I found another. Worm spawn. More than likely hatched from eggs laid in my suitcase. Or the lining of my sweats.

THIS is why I haven’t unpacked until now. THIS is my good explanation. I thought maybe without food, whatever was hatching in my clothes would starve to death. Which, although completely sound logic in my opinion, doesn’t really matter because in the end I wound up washing everything again anyway.

And hanging it on my “clothes line” outside.

Where some native insect undoubtedly burrowed into my pockets and laid eggs.

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Proof positive that an old dog CAN learn new tricks.

Last night I looked at the video footage from Hawaii for the first time and I just about peed my pants.

This was our last night at the house. Three had already flown home, which left Cannonball, Hamster and me. And a pool. And a video camera. Oh yeah. And ALCOHOL.

And this is how Cannonball got her name.

Honestly, I cannot BELIEVE I’m actually showing you this. Fair warning: it was a late night, and I look like a like a pile of hot cross dog crap. Helluuu no makeup. And it’s probably only funny to a few people, i.e., the three in the video. Those weird voices and lip movements? Yeah, we were on some Japanese movie trip. Just ignore it — we’re 11. Needless to say, as you’ll probably figure out, there were quite a few margaritas involved.

AND, most importantly, don’t watch it more than once (like you would anyway), or you’ll want to punch me in the face for the constant LAUGHING.

It’s safe to say I’ve never been called a mean drunk.

HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE VIDEO — IT’LL BE BACK UP SOON!

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Don’t have a cow, Baby.

Our second full day in Hawaii and we hit the road, driving to the opposite end of the island. To see my very first volcano. I have to confess, this was the thing I was most excited to do.

Six women in a car + juvenille tendencies = BALL TALK.

Somehow we started talking about Rocky Mountain Oysters. Which, for those of you unfamiliar with Western Cuisine, are not really oysters. They’re bull balls. In this corner of the U.S. we even have a little annual something called the Testicle Festival.

So not kidding.

Cannonball spent summers working on her family ranch. And castrating cattle. Which is how I think the whole conversation started.

“So are all the sperm actually IN the balls when they’re cooked?”

“I guess. I don’t know.”

“So you’re eating fried sperm.”

“Uhh … maybe?”

“Gross.”

“Gag.”

“Have you ever tried them?”

“Yeah. They were … meaty.”

“Meaty?”

“Dude.”

“Meh.”

“Have YOU ever eaten them?”

“No way. I don’t want to get pregnant.”

“Yeah, what if you COULD get pregnant by eating balls?”

“Wait. You can’t?”

“That would suck.”

“BALLS.”

*BAHAHAHAHA*

“You’d have a cow-baby.”

“Inter-specie-al cow-baby.”

And then Cher came on the radio and started singing Half Breed.

Okay, not really, but that would’ve been AWESOME.

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40 is the new 30, Baby.

As my flight neared touchdown, my initial reaction was nothing short of WTF? The view was less than stunning. To say the least. The elderly gentleman sitting beside me must have read my mind. Or my face. He offered reassurance that the acres of black rock were, in fact, lava flows, and that they did NOT cover the entire region.

He was right. The Big Island, with its rugged diversity of terrain, was nothing short of spectacular. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

All six of us arrived between 4 and 8 p.m., and after looong flights, our first night in Kona was spent relaxing and catching up at a local eatery. Most notable event of the evening — a MONGOOSE scurrying beneath tables on the patio while customers ate. I didn’t know it was a mongoose at the time. I would’ve put money on squirrel/rat cross breed.

Our rental house? BEAUTIFUL. HUGE. Three bedrooms, three baths, gorgeous furnishings, pool, you name it.

Oh yeah, and and THIS.

Second time in a month! What are the odds? Never mind that I totally clogged it with overzealous usage, you KNOW I was a happy girl.

The next day was spent at the beach — I made a solemn vow to not publish swimsuit photos, but I CAN show you this.

As we ventured into the ocean for the first time, this awesome sea turtle bumped into Finn’s leg, prompting her to yell, “That CREATURE just touched me” and beat a hasty retreat back to the shore. She and OnStar weren’t as into the whole water thing as the rest of us.

Landlubbers.

Surprisingly enough, I could’ve stayed in the water all day, every day. And I didn’t worry about sharks or stingrays OR jellyfish. I didn’t worry about anything. I DID wish MP was there to see the turtle though.

Later that night we did the full-on tourist thing and attended a luau. My only gauge being The Brady Bunch Goes to Hawaii episodes, I fully expected to be sitting around a blazing fire, eating poi and getting up only to dance with natives. Turns out reality isn’t quite so romantic. Reality looks more like a Bingo Parlor. Only outside.

It was AWESOME.

After paying our $70, we were HEAVILY encouraged to go to the bar. Um, okay.

Two drinks at a time. Two FREE drinks at a time. No limit.

Um, okay.

We’re moms. We’re good at following directions.

The drinks from the punch bowl were actually pretty weak. The bartender was more than happy to top our drinks off with an extra shot.

BTW, “Chile’s” former blog name was “Tea.” Remember, she got engaged a few weeks back? “Chile” just suits her personality better, especially now that she’s living there. Mkay, just wanted to clear that up.

The luau itself lasted two or three hours. We ate. We drank. We listened to music.

We drank.

We tried swinging some Poi Balls.

Stop it.

I’ll try [most] anything once.

That’s hot.

As the night wore on, there was a moment we all looked at each other and had the same thought.

“Do you have a buzz?”

“No. Do you?”

“Not at ALL. Do you?”

“Um, nooo.”

“How many have you had?”

“Six. You?”

“Five.”

Apparently, THAT’s how they can afford to offer open bar. And that shot of rum? Probably not much more than colored water. I still can’t believe I didn’t notice. I worked my way through college as a BARTENDER, for cripe’s sake. Shameful.

The performers have GOT think tourists are complete tools.

Yeah, they’d be right. Helluuu Poi Balls.

The dancers were fantastic, though, and all in all, totally worth the money.

The night was still fairly young when the luau came to a close, and being almost completely sober, AND IN HAWAII, we decided to find a bar. We found a place called Huggos, camped out outside at a table overlooking the sea, listened to some live music and made up for lost time.

I love that in the 25+ years we’ve known each other, we get together and we’re all so clearly the same people. With the same group dynamic. It’s like no time has passed.

And at one point, while everyone danced, I did this.

And 10 seconds later, I did this. Shot a really, really, REALLY poor quality camera phone video of Chile and Cannonball gettin’ down. Which should wrap this post up. At least you’ll get the feel of the place.

Tomorrow, I tackle the volcano.

WAIT! I HAVE been to a luau before! HOW could I forget THIS?!?

Seriously.

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Just a few of the reasons I belong in Hawaii.

The Hawaii recap is definitely going to have to be broken into a few posts. There are so many beautiful sights to share, and to muddy them with sweaty luau dancers, volcano-fart humor and all-around drunken stupidity would be incongruous, to say the least.

I’ll save the stories for tomorrow. And the next day. And by the end of the week, you’ll be so sick of Hawaii, Hawaii, Hawaii, you’ll be sorry you asked. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite shots.

I’m missing it already.

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She got Island Feva.

I’m not TOTALLY delusional. I knew it had to happen eventually. I’ve been forced to come back to reality and rejoin the land of responsible, working parentals.

*sigh*

I’ve been advised my post-vacation depression upon leaving Hawaii is common. There’s even a name for the condition — Island Fever (IF). NOT this kind. And not to be confused with Jungle Fever (JF), which, after some thought, is not all that different. IF just involves a rock in the middle of the ocean, and not an actual person (JF).

I’m not a big joiner, so getting back into the groove has been a S-L-O-W process. Case in point — this morning, my time has been spent Googling job opportunities in Hawaii instead of attacking the 243 emails waiting in my inbox. SO not kidding.

And speaking of checking things off my Ketchup List, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a HYUGE THANK YOU to the awesome, awesome Laurie at Foolery and Deb at San Diego Momma for their hilarious guest posts. And to all the Doogs — between the blog and Twitter, you kept me fully entertained. One of you even said I looked like Katherine Heigl. (Your check is in the mail.) Are you KIDDING ME?!? Who needs a man when I have you guys to make me feel like a million? (Oh, and the swimsuit anxiety, BTW? Totally didn’t give a flabby crap once I got on the beach.)

With that, I better get back to work. I’ll start compiling pics and stories this weekend, before they leave my porous little mai-tai soaked brain. And I’m thinkin’ of something for Doogs Weekend tomorrow …

Happy Friday!

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Did I mention Delta sucks?

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For those about to rock.

Oh hai. I’m sitting at LAX after the second leg of my trip home was CANCELLED. Which means I will be visiting FIVE, count ’em, FIVE airports within 24 hours. Kona, LAX, Oakland, SLC and finally home. Not exactly what I had in mind today, but at least I have my laptop and ma Doogs to keep me entertained.

It’s going to take me a few days to organize my thoughts, not to mention the gazillion photos from everyone, so in the interim, I leave you with this. A video that shows exactly how old we are (that’s me in the front passenger seat). Just a word of warning, the sound is terrible, so turn it down.

We will rock you. Or something like that.

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I’d like to say I got one of the CHEAP seats, but …

Noon, California time and I’m sitting at LAX, recovering from two flights and gearing up for the biggie, over the ocean, in just about an hour. I stayed up ALL night with the hope that I’d pass out on the flights. No luck so far, but my fingers are crossed.

Actually, I haven’t been able to fall asleep for a reason.

Remember last weekend when I asked what YOUR pet peeves were? I now have a new one of my own.

People who go to the bathroom on planes. Are we FIVE, people? Can you not wait an hour and a half to pee?

I’ve been seated DIRECTLY ADJACENT to the john on BOTH FLIGHTS, squished into the very last seat in the rear. And puns aside, the stench has been UNREAL. I paid $1,300 to hang out in a Porta Potty? And all I get is a crappy bag of peanuts? (Again, excuse the pun.) I could have done that at the county fair. And what’s with the smell? Don’t they just open a chute in the bottom of the plane and let it fly? Or have I been worried about getting hit with flying poo my whole life for no reason?

The steady stream of pee-ers was killin’ me. (Again with the puns.)

Cross your fingers I’m in the FRONT of the plane on this last leg. And that I don’t have to use my flotation device. They’re calling my number …

P.S. Make sure to check back — some of my favorite bloggers will be guest posting while I’m gone!

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Pass the tranquilizer gun. Mama’s getting on a plane.

Just a few more days and I’ll be soaking up the rays in Hawaii with my five oldest BFFs. The MILFs Gone Wild ’08 Tour.

Whatever. Humor me.

No husbands, no significant others, no children. I should be psyched. I should be dreaming of surf and sand and drinks adorned with pink umbrellas I’ll collect to bring home to MP. I should be counting the minutes because I can’t wait.

Not because I’m FREAKING OUT.

I am, by nature, a worrier. I’ve purposefully pushed the trip from my mind because I knew as my departure drew near, I would start the nauseating downward spiral toward mild panic. The longest I’ve been apart from MP is three nights and that was hard enough. This is a little longer.

I know by the time I finally GET to the island I’ll be okay. And the first few days will be full. But I also know by the third day I’m going to be missing four-year-old declarations of “heavy poops that stretch out the poop hole.” And subsequent four-year-old concerns that if she takes a drink of water it will go right through.

That I’m not a good flyer only makes it worse. Metal detectors are not my friend. When I travel, I wear a hefty silver cross around my neck. And a smaller cross choker. And cross earrings. Back when my job required a fair amount of travel and time spent at airports, co-workers would be all, “Hey, wait for Mommypie. She’s the one carrying the enormous wooden CRUCIFIX on her back. That thing gonna fit on the plane?”

I worry more than anything something will happen to me and I’ll leave MP an orphan. I worry that maybe I’m being selfish and needlessly putting myself at risk by flying over the ocean. I worry something will happen to MP and I’ll be thousands of miles away.

Exhale. Aaannnd breathe.

MP worries that pirates will get me.

Argh. At least we got THAT straightened out.

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