From Boulangeries to Bean Burritos…and the Flight in Between

The time has come to end another trip.  They say that all good things must come to an end.  The only reason I am taking this so well is because I already have my next trip booked, and its only ten weeks away.  So I think I’ll live.  Normally I wouldn’t have much to tell you about the flight home.  But normally I don’t fly the bastard airline that is “Air Canada Rouge”.   Sounds like a flying strip club, I know, but sadly it is not.  At least if there were strippers I would have had some entertainment…and could have gotten rid of my last few euros.   Let’s start at the beginning….

Flight #1 was a little 8 hour jaunt from Nice to Montreal.  We figured 8 hours, that’s 3-4 movies, we’ll be there before we know it.  Ummm, think again.  NO TELEVISIONS.  On an international, transatlantic flight. should have to disclose that you are buying the Amelia Earhart entertainment fare before you purchase, because that is some bullshit.   It concerns me when my shitty Mazda has more upgrades than my airplane.  But wait, good news, there is an Air Canada app for in-flight entertainment that they just mentioned once we reached cruising altitude.  You just have to download it on your tablet. Great! I’ll just jump on the wifi and download that….oh wait, apparently they didn’t think that through.  So basically, the only way you can watch movies is if you know to pre-download the app.  The only way you would know that is if you have flown this airline before.  The only way you would ever fly this airline a second time is with a gun to your head.  So who the fuck is using this app?  Ass holes.

Luckily I have a book and the last few episodes of Parenthood to get through.  And here comes beverage service, so I’ll have a few glasses of wine and the world will be looking mighty fine from 35,000 feet once again.  FALSE.  No free booze!!!!!!!  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  True, I haven’t always utilized free plane booze in the most mature manner.  But it is my god given right to get drunk while flying internationally.  Everyone knows that.  So Steph throws in the towel and orders a diet coke.  The Rouge flight attendant pours her a cup.  Steph asks to keep the can.  She is denied.  Literally, denied a half a can of soda.  I’m afforded more luxuries in a fucking uber than I am on this plane.   There was, however, one advantage to flying an airline who doesn’t have their shit together – their website isn’t sophisticated enough to charge you for the seats with extra legroom.  Take that, Rouge!

Flight #2 was six hours from Montreal to LAX.  This one actually wasn’t so bad – because we did not have a “Rouge” plane.  And I had an exit row seat.  But if it’s not one thing, it’s another.  The group of people on this flight was quite possibly the most useless and pathetic group of humans ever assembled in the history of aviation.  If boarding a plane was a sport, this group would have been in the Special Olympics.  At one point I considered whether I was actually in slow motion and everyone else was moving at a normal pace.  Then I remembered I didn’t get free booze on the last flight, so that couldn’t be it.  When given the choice between which gate attendant to scan their boarding pass, it was like deer in headlights.  This ain’t Sophie’s choice people, just pick a fucking line and keep it moving.  I know you guys are Canadian and give zero fucks, but some of us have two weeks of fall season premieres on their DVR’s to get home to.  Olivia Pope would have handled this shit.

So that’s it.  The fat lady has not sung, but she did have taco bell for breakfast Sunday morning.  Don’t judge me.  You know it sounds awesome.  Next up on the blog is Thailand in December – you are not gonna want to miss that one.  And I might even spend an hour or two googling how to upload gopro videos for your entertainment this holiday season.

Breakfast of jet-lagged champions
Breakfast of jet-lagged champions

I’ll leave you all with a little test to see if you’ve been paying attention.  Match the drink to the mean girl.  It should be easy – one is sweet, one is fancy, and one comes on a little too strong.

Match the drink to the girl
Match the drink to the girl


The Art of the Travel Tan

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Do you guys want to know my favorite part about traveling? I mean, I have lots of favorite parts. Discovering new places, experiencing new cultures and different foods, putting myself in various forms of danger. Blah, blah, blah. But what I really, really like is that look of jealousy in people’s eyes when you come home and are so incredibly fucking tan they wonder how you took on a different ethnicity while you were away. The fact that being tan makes you look skinnier doesn’t hurt either. So today and tomorrow I’m getting my tan game together hard. The plan is to lay in the sun, drink wine, and enjoy my last few days in France.

We have a leisurely morning. Steph morphs into an old French woman and wakes up early, goes to the market and gets some fresh veggies, fruit, bread and eggs for breakfast. The only thing better than fresh eggs for breakfast – fresh eggs with truffle cheese on them. The last of the famous truffle cheese that launched a thousand calories – to my thighs. And just like that, Thursday is off to a great start. Feeling rather classy after our lovely afternoon at Nikki Beach rubbing elbows with fancy people the other day, we head down to the famous Cannes Croisette and settled in to some overpriced lounge chairs at one of the beach clubs. After a few hours in the sun, we had an overpriced lunch with some overpriced Rose. Normally I hate expensive shit, but something about spending money in France just makes you feel like you fit in. Yup, sitting in a Target bathing suit cover-up while eating a $30 salad just makes you feel better about yourself. One thing that was worth the price – the view – of the waiters. Granted, the adorable French waiters wanted nothing to do with three sun-beaten and road-weary mean girls from America. But you can’t blame an old gal for admiring the help.

After an incredible lazy, expensive and fabulous day we headed back to the apartment for happy hour. During happy hour we got ready for dinner. Ever the proponent of efficiency I drank my wine in the shower. Now, don’t go reading the twelve steps to me just yet. It’s perfectly normal to have a glass of wine in the shower. And take a picture of it, like I did for you below. It’s actually quite enjoyable. What else do you think the French had in mind when they put that seat in the shower? Because from the smell of things on the train yesterday it sure as hell isn’t to hold soap. I’ll have you know that I drank in the shower on Friday too. Champagne. I quite literally, had a champagne shower. If booze in the shower isn’t a commitment to vacation, I don’t know what is. I thought about adding it to my routine once I return home – but I usually shower in the mornings. And that would obviously be crossing the line. It’s all about boundaries, people.

Steph found a cool wine bar with tapas on tripadvisor, so we headed down for a drink and and some food. It was empty, but we were greeted warmly by a boisterous British woman so we felt right at home. We had a fabulous bottle of red and some small plates. Our general plan for the night was to enjoy a light dinner (very unlike us) and then hit up the classy hotel bars trolling for rich men. Or just men. Or people in general, actually. What can I say, I wanted to take this tan out on the town! First stop – the Majestic. Totally dead. Second stop – the Intercontinental. Not dead – but judging by the Rick Steves tour group that rolled up as we entered, it was about as close to dead as you can get.

On our way to the next hotel, the Martinez, we saw two skanky looking French women. They looked like skanks with a plan. A plan that probably involved a “sail of shame” home from a mega yacht tomorrow morning. So we followed them. Well, I followed them, and dragged the girls with me for a few blocks. But they walked really fast in their stilletos. And I have a sprained toe. Oh, did I forget to mention that I sprained my toe trying to take a piss in the dark last night? Must be that early onset osteoperosis. So we just gave up and got gelato. In our defense, if you are going to give up on a night out to eat gelato, this was the gelato you want to do it with. And there is milk in gelato – that’s good for my old bones.

Some “Headshots du Jour” for your viewing pleasure:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Today was pretty much a mirror image of yesterday. Same breakfast, same beach club, same beach chairs, same lunch…we even went back to the same wine bar. The crowd at the beach club was a bit more varied today. Apparently Friday is “take your trophy girlfriend out to lunch on the beach day”. I’ve never seen so much arm candy in once place. I think it must be a rule that if you have a rich boyfriend you can only eat half your lunch. There was some serious “Girl #1” action going on at that beach. I’m talking dressed to nines, a full face of makeup, and perfectly quaffed hair. The only thing these girls were missing was a personality. But they aren’t there to talk. And then there was us…the banana boat trio. With sand up the ass.

After my shower happy hour and a return visit to the wine bar we headed out in search of dinner. We had officially given up on nightlife in Cannes in September, so we at least wanted one last gluttonous French meal before leaving. We came across BOBO’s restaurant. It was packed, the name is awesome, so we got ourselves a table in between some nice French lesbians and some Russian mean girls. There are only two words you need to know about my meal: Truffle Gnocchi. The most heavenly plate of food I have ever eaten.  Or at least top 2.  The other contender being a truffle gnocchi that I had in Slovenia a few years ago.  That is high prize considering the amount of food I have consumed in my lifetime.  But seriously – nothing beats truffle gnocchi. Needless today I went to bed happy.

Truffle Gnocchi
Truffle Gnocchi

Tomorrow we fly home….tune in for my next rant about the atrocities commited by Air Canada.

Menage-a-Table for Three

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

This morning we had to bid adieu to our fabulous villa.  But we did get a peak inside the garage – and villa man is putting down some serious automotive game.  Villa man is looking better and better every day.  Please start peer pressuring  Jorgie to call him.  She has his cell.  On our way out of town we stopped for our “Headshots du Jour”:

Today we were headed to our next stop: Cannes in the French Riviera.  Along the way we stopped in Aix en Provence to have a look around.  Aix reminds me of a mini Paris.  We strolled through the streets and found some fun markets and did a little shopping.  And then we decided to do the most Parisian thing we could think of – have Indian food for lunch.  There is only so much baguette a gal can take.

After a few hours in Aix we made our way to Cannes, dropped off the rental car from hell, and checked into our air bnb.  This is my first time using air bnb, and it kind of rocks.  We have a super cute two bedroom, two bathroom apartment just steps from the Rue d’Antibes in Cannes.  I won’t talk money, cuz I’m a lady, but it was a good deal.   France hotels don’t really cater to our “three’s company” vibe.  They are not down with  three in a room.  Which is odd, considering these hedonists invented the phrase “menage a trois”.  And no Brett, I have not decided to take your advice and throw in the towel and bat for the butch team.  I’m simply making a point.  But alas, this country is built for couples – not a trio of friendmooners.  I think its discrimination.  Perhaps I shall start a campaign to champion the rights of the “single lady”.  I could be the Bruce Jenner of super cool unmarried chicks with awesome friends.  And my cause already has a theme song, courtesy of Beyonce.  One that I know the choreography to, courtesy of every wedding that has happened in the past five years (and Allie McDonald’s killer dance moves).  My greatest fear is not having to travel solo, it’s having to pay the dreaded single supplement.  That must be something people in relationships who are secretly miserable came up with to punish us single people.  Not to worry through, because I live in LA.  I could probably through a rock and hit an awesome single girl with a disposal income to travel with me.

So we took a load off in our fabulous apartment fit for three and popped a bottle of champs.  My friend Suzanne was here on her honeymoon a few weeks ago (no single supplement required) and recommended a bar for drinks, so we downed our bubbles, put on our Tuesday night best, and headed out.  Turns out “end of season” in the French Rivieria translation into “drinking alone”.   We were the only people in the bar.  So we had a drink and headed out in search of greener pastures.  We had a mediocre dinner and called it a night, determined to try again another evening.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Game plan for today: The hilltop village of Eze and Monaco!  We headed to McDonalds for breakfast in true tourist fashion.  We have been trying to find a McDonalds for about a week, once the baked goods started getting a bit old.  Yes, I want your pity because I’ve been forced to eat chocolate croissants for breakfast everyday for a week and the routine is just too much to bear.  We bought a day pass on the train and headed up to Eze, where we then waited for to catch the bus up to the town.  After standing around with some other tourists for 20 minutes, someone came out and told us the bus is not running today.  When we inquired as to why that is, we were told “it is not a good day for the bus”.  Whatever the hell that means.  The unwaivering French commitment to respecting other people’s time, at work once again.  So we scrapped the Eze plan and jumped back on the train to Monaco.

Once we hopped off the train in Monaco we got a little lost.  Only I could get lost in a city smaller than Hermosa Beach.  A hot guy stopped to helped us and we creepily followed him into town.  Jorgie quickly spotted the wedding ring though – she’s got eyes like a hawk when it comes to gold bands.  We checked out the Casino, which was a bit underwhelming and doesn’t open till 2pm.  I guess because only poor tourists are awake before 2pm and they don’t want us riff raff in their casino anway.  So we decided to grab some lunch to kill a few hours until it opened.  We stumbled upon the Fairmont, which has a Nikki Beach on the roof.  And you all know that there are few things in life Rory loves more than a pretentious pool party on a roof.  So it was the obvious choice for lunch.  A nice, abeit overconfident, man in a great suit asked to join us at our table until his dad arrived to meet him, and we were pretty thrilled.  It’s not every day we get hit on by a rich guy.  In fact, it’s not any day that happens.  Ever.  He had some great lines like “you guys are accountants? wow, I must be going to the wrong accountant”.  Smooth.  He also did a bit of name dropping….like when we told him we were staying in an air bnb and he said the creator of air bnb was a friend of his and stayed at his house in St. Martin.  I know it all sounds corny and a little sleezy.  And it was.  But we ate it up.    When his dad showed up with what I can only assume was step mommy #5, he was gone.  Probably off to their mega yacht.  And all the flirting in the world couldn’t get us onto a mega yacht in Monaco.   But let the record show we gave it a shot.

Nikki Beach was a little dead, mainly because the boat show was in town.  I did bust out my selfie stick at one point, because what the hell.  After lunch we walked over to the marina and saw a giant balloon that said “Mega Yacht Owner VIP Party”.   I can’t think of any sentence in life that makes me more aware of my complete and utter medicority.   I probably couldn’t even get into the “Random WordPress blog owner VIP party”.  I’m trying to think of something I wouldn’t have done to get into that party.  Nothing comes to mind at the moment.  Not one thing.

After a quick trip to the only Starbucks we have been able to find (yes, Drew, I got you a mug), we headed back to Cannes.  We hopped off the train on the way home for a little stroll in Villafranche sur Mer and our “Headshots du Jour”.  I must say, I’m pretty impressed with our commitment to the headshots.  We’ll be’s spotlight profiles of the week in no time.  Although the losers on those websites probably don’t even own a car, much less a mega-yacht.


Tonight I had big plans.  Plans to do something that I only ever do when I’m on vacation, because if you can’t do it on vacation, when can you?  That’s right, it’s Carbonara pasta night!  We found an awesome little Italian place on tripadvisor and headed over to get our gluttony on.  Once we arrived the cute little Italian waiter told us that they were full with reservations for the night.  Refusing to take no for an answer, Steph continued to stand in the doorway staring at the people eating their giant bowls of pasta with pleading eyes.  It worked.  We were in.  Well, we were actually out – they sat us outside since that was the only table open.  But we’ll take it! A pizza, three bowls of pasta and two bottle of wine later we were all tucked away in bed by 10pm – a glaring reminder of just one of the many reasons why we were not at the mega yacht VIP party.  A glaring reminder that we are, without a doubt, girl #2.



The Truth about Men and Truffles

Sunday, September 20, 2015

It’s market day!  Up bright and early for the market in L’isle sur la Sorgue.  No, I still don’t even know how to say the name of that town.  But it’s the biggest market in the Luberon Valley, so obviously it’s the place to be.  Nothing in France happens before 10am, so I guess our 8am leave time was a bit aggressive.  But I am my mother’s daughter and so I had to be there early to get a good parking spot beat the crowds.

I hate to shop.  But I love markets.  Why?  Because I love to bargain.  There is nothing better than the feeling of superiority when you bargain down an honest guy just trying to make a buck to save yourself a few.  So you can imagine my dismay when I came to realize that French people don’t bargain!  They literally just don’t do it.  I tried.  Nothing.  And this brings me to my first of today’s lessons: French people suck at business.   Don’t get me wrong, they excel at life.  But they fucking suck at business.  Could they open before 10am and not close for two or three hours in the middle of the damn day and make a hell of a lot more money?  Of course.  But they don’t want to.  Because sitting around having a cappuccino with their buddy Pierre is more important to them.  As a money driven capitalist, this drives me insane.  But as a lazy piece of shit who loves nothing more than to watch an entire season of Parenthood while drinking wine in my villa, I can respect it.  So we paid full price for shit.  We are 30 year old success women with disposable incomes.  I suppose we can just grin and bear it.  But if I’m being honest, I would rather they just raised the prices and bargained with me a little.

We bought a lot of shit.  It wasn’t quite on par with the shopping frenzy in the souk in Marrakech, but it was close.  Our laundry list: Soap, cheese board, baskets, jewlery, scarves, dishtowels (obviously Jorgie).  And then on to the food.  Steph bought some nougat then immediately dropped it on the floor.  Five second rule.  We got some baguette, paid a visit to the salami man, a roast chicken.  And then, the holy grail of the market – THE CHEESE MAN.  So much cheese, so little time.  After sampling until we got dirty looks we settled on some truffle cheese (because, duh!) and a salty one that I don’t know the name of and don’t really care because it’s fucking delicious.

After the market we went back to the villa and basically spent the day laying around the pool imagining what life would be like if this was all ours.  Well, if this was all Jorgie’s, should we succeed in marrying her off to the villa owner.  Mr & Mrs. Tits came down to lay by the pool for a bit.  I’ll give you one guess why we call them that.  Gotta love France.  We had a little happy hour in the pool house consisting of our purchases from the market and, of course, some Rose.  And I died and went to truffle cheese heaven.  I was so enraptured by this cheese I actually wrote the cheese a poem.  I call it “Ode de Truffle Cheese”, and it goes a little somethin’ like this:

Roses are red, violets are blue

Oh my dear truffle cheese, I must eat all of you

Truffle Cheese!
Truffle Cheese!

My ways with the written word never fail to shock and awe, eh?  After our little amuse bouche we headed to a fancy dinner where they let dogs in the restaurant.  Dogs are pretty much allowed everywhere.  So France is up another point in my book.

Monday, September 21, 2015

This morning we woke up and headed into town for our Headshots du Jour, followed by a trip out to the village of Roussillon for a little walk around and a photo op.   Nothing to noteable here.  Just some photographic evidence:

That afternoon I opted to be lazy and lay by the pool at the villa while the gals went into town for some lunch and (say it with me people) Rose. We had to rest up for our big evening.  Truffle hunt day has arrived!!  We drove about an hour south to the truffle farm which was the site of our hunt.  Our host, Johann, is the grandson of the property owners.  He married an American girl and lived in Chicago for a while, working in finance.  Then decided he’d had enough of the rat race so they moved to his grandparent’s farm in Provence at which point they discovered they had truffles.  And truffles in France are very serious business, so they do their best to keep their truffle business a secret from the other locals and cater primarily to tourists.  I’m still not sure how I managed to find this truffle farm from Hermosa Beach, yet they think homeboy Pierre down the road doesn’t know about it.  But I wasn’t gonna break it to him that the cat is probably out of the truffle basket.

Now, Johann is the business end of things, but the truffle farming and hunting is run by Jean Marc.  Johann told us that the ladies think he looks like Bradley Cooper.  So we are pretty excited to meet this man of truffle mystery.  Jean Marc comes to meet the group, with the two hunting dogs in tow.  If he is Bradley Cooper, then I’m Jessica Alba in this make believe world.  He was more of a Roger Federer with a chocolate croissant problem.  But let’s be honest, he hunts truffles and plays with cute dogs for a living, so we could all do a lot worse.   So off we went with the adorable dogs to hunt some truffles.  Much truffle knowledge was shared with us.  And this brings me to my second lesson of today’s blog: the similarities between men and truffles.  I’ll list these for you since they are numerous:

1.  You have to search and dig long and hard for them.  And after all that work, half the time they are rotten;

2.  They lose their aroma (read: appeal) after about a weak and get old;

3. They must be guarded, as the good ones are hard to find and prone to theft;

4.  It takes years of practice and much patience to learn to successfully hunt them.  And even then, a cute dog helps.

5.  Seasonality is key: They are more plentiful and easy to find in the summer, and MUCH more expensive around the Holidays.

6.  While they come in all shapes and sizes, there is one irrefutable truth: the bigger, the better.

One thing truffles and men do NOT have in common is that the ladies and I were actually able to find some truffles on this trip.

After the truffle hunt, we went for a tour of the rest of the farm.  Not only do they have tuffles here, but they also grow grapes and olives.  Remember, Johann is a finance guy.  He doesn’t fuck around when it comes to diversification.  Johann had a competition between the groups of people for who could identify some various herbs by smell.  We obviously kicked everyone’s ass.  Then we headed back to the house for TRUFFLE FEST 2015.  Seriously, so much fresh black summer truffle.  Truffle on bread, on cheese, truffle ice cream, truffle oil, truffle salt.  And just when you think it can’t get better – champagne.  I debated naming this blog “Champagne Showers and Truffle Dreams”.  It’s just too easy sometimes.

That night we all went to bed feeling a little sick, but very happy.  Now if only I could find a man hunt that ended with such satisfaction…

Our Provencial Knight in Shining Range Rover

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Today we were up bright and early for our 8am flight to Marseille. After an hour delay we arrived in mainland France around 10:30am and picked up our rental car. Our fucking rental car. God I hate that thing. It’s some sort of hybrid car, but it seems more like a spaceship to me. Someone will have to explain to me how the engine turning off and then back on again every time I come to complete stop is better for the environment. Because it is definitely not better for my patience. Oh, and it rolls backwards down hills until it musters up enough of that “green energy” to propel you forward. I haven’t rolled down hills this much since I was 15 years old in my Honda learning how to drive a stick. Although one thing that is growing on me here – roundabouts. Hated them at first. But once you drive an entire day and only see a handful of stoplights you kind of start to appreciate them.

Our first stop was the village of Le Baux de Provence. Before heading up to the village we stopped at the Carriers de Lumieres, which is a former stone quarry that has been transformed into multimedia art shows that project images of famous paintings onto the stone, all set to music. We all know I’m not exactly a cultured art aficionado. After all, my version of the Sistine Chapel is the old mural at The Poop Deck. But this was actually really awesome. The gopro wasn’t a fan of the darkness, but I managed to get a few pics.

After that we headed up to the village and had lunch and a walk around. The views from the village are pretty cool. They reminded Jorgie of that scene in Pride and Prejudice when Keira Knightley is standing on the cliffs pensively. Since Jorgie’s dream is essentially to time travel back a few hundred years and actually be Jane Austen, we knew we had the perfect location for our “Headshot du Jour”.  For your viewing pleasure:

The village has a fortified castle at the top that they have basically turned into a renaissance fair. When we arrived they were in the middle of a catapult demonstration, so we decided to have a watch. All I have to say is wow. Wow, catapults are fucking slow. That’s a lot of work to slingshot a fucking rock in the air. I’ve watched paint try faster – I think paint inhalation has probably killed more people than the catapult too. If that fort held back in the day, it’s probably because the enemy was too lazy to climb up the hill, because I don’t think those weapons would do it.

We decided to call it a day and check in to our villa in the Luberon valley. However, fate had other plans. Plans to get us really really lost. We made it to Gordes, but our shitty car navigation had no clue where our villa was. Nor did we. So I drove around in circles for about an hour. In the town, out of the town, up the hill, down the hill. Finally we just stopped at a wine shop where a nice man let us borrow his phone to call the villa and the owner came and got us in his Range Rover.   Mental notes were made to return to said wine shop and buy some wine.  Now – lets talk about our savior in the Range Rover.  Okay, so he isn’t a looker.  But he owns a beautiful Villa in Provence and has at least half a mil of cars in the garage.  Needless to say we are trying to sell Jorige on a “Beauty and the Beast” love story and pawn her off on this guy so that we have the villa at our disposal.  She thinks she can get him on a diet at workout regime and turn him into Mr. Darcy.  The villa is basically the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. It’s like heaven. And now there is no doubt in mind. I must be rich. Like, really rich. Scrooge McDuck pool of money rich.  I better get on these Headshots du Jour, doubletime.  I’m having doubts that this amazing blog will bankroll my dreams of grandeur.


Making Moves Across the Med

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Today we had a few options: take a drive along the coast and visit some beaches and the lively Porto Cervo. Or be lazy and lay by the pool all day. We chose the latter. So we took up some pool chairs next to the old couple with leather skin, hoping their tenacity would rub off on us, and we spent the next 8 hours by the pool. I finished my book, so thats something. Fuck Face from our boat adventures continues to stalk us. He’s like that evil monkey in family guy. He just shows up around every turn. Steph thinks that the little Italian Boat Bitch made him pay double for his boat “damage” since we didn’t pay anything and he’s trying to work up the nerve to tell us we owe him money. I tried to mentally dare him to. Because how much fun would that be? The Emphysema twins next door were at it again. All day.

We returned our car. Getting gas was a little tricky, as the credit card machine apparently takes a siesta mid day and you can’t use your card until 3pm. Labor laws must be great in Italy if even the machines get a break. Then the rental car agency was also on a break. So after three trips, we finally go the car gassed and returned. Italian efficiency at its finest. We drank a few bottles of wine and went to the Copacabana for our usual dinner. It’s adios Sardinia tomorrow. I literally didn’t even take one picture today. That’s how lazy we were.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Today we are making moves! To another country. Up early for our 8am transfer to the ferry port of Santa Teresa di Gallura. We had our last meal at the Copacabana. Yesterday at breakfast I took the pepper grinder from the waiter’s station and kept it on my table throughout the meal. A bit taboo, but whatever. I carry little pepper packets in my purse at home. This bitch needs her pepper. So today at breakfast they brought the pepper grinder directly to my table the second I sat down. Apparently my rude American ways left an impression. Steph and Jorgie think all the waiters at the Copacabana hate us. Which surprised me, because I thought they found us entertaining. Whoops.

While boarding our ferry, the first drawback to using rolling suitcases instead of backpacks ensued: getting them up the tiny stairs of the ferry. It was like “Weekend at Bernie’s” on a submarine. We looked like fools. An nice Italian man took pity on us an helped. I’m slightly nostalgic for my backpack. After a quick 45 minute ferry, we were in Bonifacio, Corsica. Bonifacio looks like Dubrovnik and Hvar (Croatia) had a baby. In France. On and island. It’s a walled perched high on cliffs with a cute little port below it. We dropped our bags off at the hotel and headed up to old town, where we wandered the streets looking for – you guessed it – wine and food. We found a wine shop and stopped for a bottle of Rose. Then we went to lunch, where we had another bottle of Rose. And you all know what comes after two bottles of Rose in the early afternoon – a late afternoon nap. Well, the girls took a nap. I put a nice dent in Season 5 of Parenthood. For anyone that watches the show – Joel is such an ass hole!

Before dinner we had our first inaugural “headshot du jour”. I instituted a rule where every day we have to each take a cute headshot pic that we can use for our online dating profiles. My brother said that all my current pictures suck, so hopefully after a few weeks I’ll have one or two that will make the cut. Although out of the last ten years of pictures I have about four that are decent, so lets not hold our breath. And yes, I’m essentially blaming my single status on my selfie inventory. Humor me. But let the record show we are trying. So far we each have three pictures of the wind blowing our hair in our face. Off to a great start.  Just in case you thought I was joking:

Tonight I had big plans to actually go out! Like, after dinner. To a bar. While it’s dark outside. And possibly make out with a French guy. Because, why not? I had heard that Bonifacio gets pretty lively at night. I heard wrong. We had dinner in a little restaurant on the water when the waiters tested my patience, per usual. Cigarette smoke for days, as is the norm here. The combination of all the second hand smoke inhalation and sleeping in air conditioning has resulted in a nasty little cold. When I blew my nose at dinner all the other patrons turned at looked me in disgust. Apparently blowing your smoke in someone’s face throughout a meal is fine, but they draw the line at sick people. It’s all about boundaries. I’m sure you’re thinking, Rory, it is kind of gross to blow your nose at the table. But if I went to the bathroom every time time I had a snot situation, I might as well eat my dinner on the toilet. I had heard of a really cool bar that was actually an old converted chapel, so after dinner we found it and had a drink. It was basically us and the bartender’s 19 year old male friends in skinny jeans dancing to pop music. Nearing midnight, we realized our night out was not gonna happen. So we headed to bed.

Tomorrow we fly to mainland France and head to Provence. When we asked the hotel manager to order us a taxi for our 8am flight and she looked at me like I was absolutely nuts. Because who on earth would book at 8am flight?! Well we got places to be lady! Not everyone has time to spend a third of their life on a cigarette break. A wine & croissant break, maybe.

Our Almost Run-in with the Sardinian Police

Let’s all remember who you are reading about here. We are three accountants who live in beach houses. So this is about has bad ass as it’s gonna get. Did we get arrested? Of course not. Did we actually even have the police called on us? Well, no. But we almost did. Typically the most exciting part of my week is a new on-demand movie. So just humor me and my story of how Steph, Katie and I almost became Sardinian outlaws. Let’s start at the beginning…

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When I last blogged, it was the night before and we had been told there was no room on the boat tour. But I’m nothing if not stubborn. So the plan for today was to head out and see if we can’t get ourselves on a boat. Any boat. Well, any boat with less than 20 people. That’s my max…and I think even that is generous. First thing is first, we need beach towels. Reception sent us down to the pool to get towels from the lifeguard. Who was nowhere to be found. After a 20 minute wait for the lifeguard to show up (can you see me cringing here? Nothing I hate more than a needless wait), Steph yelled at the receptionist who then just gave us the towels that she had at her disposal the entire time. Because that makes sense. We drove down to the port and Steph and I went around to a few booths to ask about boat tours. We got the news we were expecting – only boat tours available have 70 people on them. I would end up tying myself to the anchor and jumping by the end of the day, so that wasn’t an option.

Then we came across the “Rent your own boat” stand. That is where we realized, we don’t need a tour. Or a driver. Because we have Jorgie. And Jorgie could drive a lawn mower to the moon. She would actually probably try if it would shut me up. Hallelujah, we are saved! One boat for the three ladies from ‘Merica please! Now I know what you are thinking – that renting your own boat without a skipper is a bit much. But we are talking more like a dinghy here. A small boat with inflatable sides. I have no idea what the correct nautical term is so just look at the damn pictures. After a 60 second tutorial from a sleezy Italian guy, we were off to the Maddalena Archipelago for the day. No other passengers or grown-ups to hold us down. Our crew consisted of just Captain Jorgie, First Mate Steph, and Gilligan (me). We blasted the Jammy Pack and attempted to follow the shitty map given to us to the “beaches” along the first island. The reason I use quotes there is because what they call a beach is actually a “cove”. With a little sand. But perhaps the word “cove” doesn’t translate into Italian. We were also told to go to one “beach” called “Little Tahiti”. It was little, but Tahiiti it was not. We actually drove right passed it while searching for it. I’ve never been to Tahiti either, but I can run a google search and tell you that one of these things is not like the other. I guess it’s like “the most beautiful beaches in all of Sardinia” that we went to the other day – everything is a superlative here.

We stopped for lunch in the town of La Maddalena on the main island, where we ate pizza and balked at how the Italian tourists can eat, drink, talk and smoke a pack of cigarettes literally all at the same time. It was like the Olympics of multi tasking, except instead of a medal they’ll just get lung cancer or heart disease. But thanks for playing! Then we were off to some of the other islands for the afternoon. We finally found some little beaches that actually deserved the name, and some of the crystal blue water we had been searching for. I even took a few videos on my go pro. Which I can’t upload to this blog because I’m too cheap to pay for “premium” wordpress just to keep you ass holes entertained.

We made our way back to our little port, filling up our gas tank before turning the boat in, as instructed. And here is where the drama begins. Sleezy Italian man came out on this little paddle boat to get us, and another guy that had brought his boat back, and take us all to shore. He picked up the other guy first – we will call the other tourist “Fuck Face” for reasons soon to be explained. When they got over to our boat, Sleezy Italian jumped out and checked everything. He then checked the propeller and said “looks good”, at which point Fuck Face said “oh no, wait a minute, look over there!” and decided to point out damage to the propeller. Damage that was already there, obviously. Captain Jorgie is very risk adverse and we never even came close to hitting anything. And so now we have a fight on our hands. Luckily, Steph and I have been to a few yacht weeks and are very skilled in the art of going fucking ape shit on people who think that we are meek women who can be taken advantage of. We’ve gotten out of paying for more boat damage than Captain Jack Sparrow. You almost have to feel bad for these people – they just have no idea who they are fucking with. Don’t forget, we are sand-in-ass girls. You don’t fuck with a chick who has sand in her ass. You fuck with the ones who have pretty hair.

What ensued was quite the scene. Basically, Steph and I unleashed all American hell on these people. Then Fuck Face steps in and asks if he can just get his deposit back first and they can deal with us later. Please keep in mind, this was all Fuck Face’s fault in the first place. But god forbid he should be inconvenienced. So you’ll understand why I was immensely pleased when they told him that his boat had the same damage! Now it’s extremely obvious that this is the game they run on tourists. We just needed to recover our EUR 100 deposit and get Steph’s passport back. Sleezy Italian man got scurred and ran off back into the water, leaving his bitchy little accomplice to do all the fighting for him. Great. One down. I was doing some mental calculations to determine if I could bitch slap this chick, grab the passport, and run to the car before being caught. But a foot race is not where I excel, so best to stick with what I’m good at and fight the good fight. Meanwhile Steph was thinking of ways to drown Fuck Face. The Italian Bitch and three American girls were at a standstill. So she told us she would have to call the cops. We told her please do…we would love to report this little scam. We’ll wait as long as it takes. She didn’t call the Police, she called her boss. Bluff called. She folded. So Italian Bitch wrote down Steph’s name and passport number and said that she would be getting a letter from the beach hut’s attorneys. Ooooooooh, shaking in my boots. Gonna be kind of hard to mail that letter without her address though honey. Just saying. With the passport and deposit returned to us, we walked off victorious. But not without verbally slandering the beach hut to any tourist that would listen on the way out.

We stopped at the market on our way home for some wine – I think we can all agree that the Mean Girls earned a drink today. I was feeling oddly stress free – nothing relaxes you like bitching someone out. We went back to our hotel to lay by the pool for the last few hours of sunlight. If there is one thing out hotel Patrons have going for them, it’s that they respect the towel on the pool chair. You would be shocked how many people don’t. And do you really want to live in a world where you can’t reserve a good spot by the pool with a towel 10 hours in advance? I sure don’t.

We went back to the Copacabana for dinner to our usual table. And guess who is sitting at the table right next to us? That’s right, Fuck Face, in the flesh. We didn’t see him last night because he made his girlfriend go to dinner alone. He also left her at the hotel all day while he went out in a boat. Are you starting to see the picture I’m painting here? Fuck Face really is an international douche lord of the lowest order. We have some other fun couples staying at our hotel. There are the Emphazema Twins, who spend their mornings smoking on their patio (directly next to ours), their afternoons smoking outside the hotel, and their evenings smoking god knows where. We have estimated that they spend at least a third of their entire lives on a cigarette break. Who the fuck has time for that?! Then there is the old couple, who’s skin looks like leather and is at the pool from 8am to 6pm every day. All day. Obviously they are awesome. The rest are your typical Italians who spend three hours at lunch talking. And by talking I mean screaming so loud you sit there waiting for someone to throw a punch until they all start laughing.

Okay, so this probably wan’t as exciting as you were expecting. But it’s the closest I’ve come to getting arrested since the “Fake I.D. and Public Intoxication” incident of 2005. Oh wait…no. That’s not true. I’m forgetting about the “Homeland Security Breach of 2008”. Ok, so I get in trouble more that I thought. Have your fake lawyer send me a letter.

Beaches, Beer, and the Neverending Quest for a Boat

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Today we are leaving Cala Gonone. So naturally, we wake up to news from our Hotel Manager that the sea is finally ok for sailing. Go fuck youself. Ok, I didn’t actually say that out loud, but I’m sure I said it all over my face. We were heading north today to our next destination, Baia Sardinia. On our way, we figured we would visit what our hotel owner called “the most beautiful beaches in all of Sardinia”. High praise, right? So off we went to find Oasi di Bidderosa. Bidderosa is actually some kind of nature reserve with 5 beaches along the coast.  They’ve come up with a fool proof naming convention for their beaches.  The first one is called “beach #1”, followed by “beach #2”, and I think you get the gist.  I read something online that said you could rent quad bikes and go from beach to beach, but couldn’t find any solid info or details online to substantiate that. So we show up at the ticket booth and ask the surly attendant if there are quad bikes to rent. The woman looks at us like we are out of our minds. First time the internet has ever been wrong. Ok, my mistake, off to the beaches we go. We decide to start at beach #5 and work our way back, as we assume everyone else will do the opposite. What do we see when we show up to beach #5? You guessed it, a row of quad bikes. Apparently there is a quad bike tour, but the woman who works here EVERY FUCKING DAY can’t be bothered to know about it. Odd, to say the least. I’m gonna go ahead and assume she’s the same person that named the beaches.  It’s almost as bad as the chick in New Zealand who didn’t know the name of the street she fucking worked on. Disappointed by the human race, once again.

The beaches were okay. Not really sure what the big fucking deal was, honestly. Calling them “the most beautiful beaches in all of Sardinia” seem like a pretty gross misrepresentation, bordering on negligence. But whatever, we just drink Rose and sleep while at the beach anyway. Nothing too notable happened. They had a “restaurant and bar” at one of the beaches, which was actually a shitty food truck with a refrigeration system. Same same but different. The guy laughed when we asked for five beers. Not sure what was so funny….

We got to our hotel around 6pm and checked in. Upon check in we inquired about a boat tour tomorrow and told the receptionist to sign us up. I’m finally gonna get on a boat! The hotel is pretty nice. It’s right on the water, with a lovely view of the coast and the Maddalena archipelago. There lots of little pools everywhere. Seriously – like 5 pools, but not one fucking hot tub? The rest of the world needs to get on the hot tub train. I think your hotel should actually be demoted a star if you don’t have one. Our room is extremely small and decorated in what they call the “Classic Sardinian” style. Apparently the direct translation of “classic sardinian” is “Designed by Lucille Ball”.   But we aren’t exactly the hippest ladies around, so glass houses…We are staying half board, meaning we get breakfast and dinner. So we showered and headed to the dining room. Each room has their own assigned table, and from the looks of where we were sat, you would think we were the help. I seriously contemplated making it an issue, but the fact that my ensemble was not up to dress code (no flip flops or tank tops allowed) put me at a fairly significant disadvantage. Arguing that you are deserving of classy treatment when you looked like you just came from the beach is an uphill battle that I just wasn’t willing to fight. Dinner was fun, mainly just because you get to order three courses and the waiters were all dressed up in blue jackets (very cruise ship-esque according to Steph). Rory loves a three course meal. And being served, in general. Mental note for tomorrow: dress like the first class passengers.

After dinner we went to the receptionist to give her the deposit for the boat tour. Remember how excited I am about finally getting on a boat? I should have known better. Boat tour for tomorrow is apparently all full. No room for the three ladies from steerage. Mother fucker. Now, I know what you are all thinking – Rory, if you are so good at logistics, why wouldn’t you reserve a spot on the boat before you got there? Well no shit sherlock. Don’t forget who you are dealing with here. I tried. I emailed our original hotel three times. Then when they didn’t respond, I got pissed and decided that hotel was too expensive to not get a fucking response via email. So I switched hotels. And emailed them twice. Again, no response. Frankly, I’m a little disappointed you have such little faith in me to even ask such a question – you all should know better. The truth is, the tourism industry in Sardinia is just not sophisticated enough to handle things like “emails from guests” or “reservations”. Anyway, no boat tour – the only other option? The dreaded 70 person boat. Unless this is your first blog, you should know by now that I fucking hate most humans. Maybe hate isn’t the right word. Despise? Loathe? Fear? Take your pick. Because they are annoying. And rude. And have a SERIOUS lack of respect for personal space. Remember how the beach goers from hell pushed in line to get on the ferry a few posts back? Well the 70 person boat tour would be that times a million. All day long. I would rather swim in a bathtub all day.

Obviously, I came pretty damn close to losing my shit on the receptionist. When things don’t go my way, I become a petulant child. Except instead of giving me candy, you have to give me Xanax to calm me down. So we told her to get us on the Thursday boat – she said she would try. We don’t really believe her. But for now, prescription meds and a night of sleep will have to suffice. Tune in for tomorrow when we refuse to except defeat on the nautical front…

Another near-death travel experience with Rory!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sardinia probably doesn’t strike you as a dangerous place. But today I almost killed the mean girls for what I think is the 20th time. These bitches must have more than nine lives. But let’s start at the beginning….

It all started at breakfast. After having to go to beaches by car yesterday like the lay folk, I was determined to get my ass to the beaches down the coast that are only accessible by boat. That is the entire reason I came to Cala Gonone. Let’s be honest, the town itself is a poor man’s Cinque Terre. There is one reason to come here, the hidden beaches along the coastline that are only accessible via water…or if you are a mountain man with a passion for hiking in 90 degree heat. So when our hotel manager told me again this morning that no boats were going out today due to rough water, I knew there was only one thing to do – find a way. And find a way I did. Rule #1 – never tell Rory she can’t do something that is in her excel spreadsheet. She will not take no for an answer. She is a persistent little travel bitch. So we got ready for the beach and headed down to the harbor. My plan? To find someone with balls big enough to take a boat out today. Find him and make him my boat bitch. Or just beg and plead. Turns out, we didn’t have to look far. Not sure what travel tips homegirl at the hotel was getting, but there was a ferry taking people out today. They were only going to one beach – Cala Luna. One is better than none, so three tickets please.

Terrified but smiling

So we boarded the little ferry, and thats when things got hairy.  Think “The Perfect Storm” minus Clooney, plus a bunch of blissfully ignorant Italian people.  Not sure what boat ride they were on, because by looking at their faces it seemed like they were gliding down the track on “its a small world”.  Meanwhile Steph was green and trying not to blow chunks because I told her if she did I would capture it on the go pro and preserve it for posterity.  Jorgie looked like she was making a mental list of why she was too young to die.  Either that or she was asking herself why she keeps coming on these trips that put her life at risk.  You know me, I thought it was kinda fun.  Ok, so it’s not quite as bad as I made it out to be.  We survived, as we always do.  And it’s not really a trip with me until we have a few close calls.

I had planned to get my Sardinian sand for my collection from this beach, but the sand is a bit too coarse for my tastes, so I’ll hold out for something better.  The views, however, were amazing.  Very lunar….we were on Cala Luna…see what I did there?  Nevermind.  Once the sun came out it was spectacular….ly hot.  So fucking hot.  We had our usual lunch spread and bottle of Rose.  We are nothing if not predictable.  Had some fun swims in the water where I continue to take horrible close ups of my confused face by accident with my go pro.  I will not share them with you.  Ok, I probably will eventually.

We planned to take the 3:30 ferry home, as did the rest of the people on the beach.  Once we saw a line forming we packed up our shit and got in it.  Now here is where I don’t understand why people think Americans are so obnoxious.  At least we know what a fucking line is.  These ass holes just push past you and squeeze themselves up to the front.  Are you Beyonce?  Is there a private ferry waiting for you up there? Because other than that, I can think of no other reason than to cut me in line.  But two can play at this game.  When in Italy, do as the pushy Italians do and push them right back.  Needless to say we got spots on the ferry.

The ferry ride back was much calmer. Not quite smooth, but no one was fearing for their lives. Steph still almost blew chunks, but thats a pretty normal occurrence. One interesting thing to note from the boat ride was the bougie ass chick sitting across from us. (Yes, I am about to go off on a tangent here, I can feel it coming). I spent the entire boat ride asking Jorgie if she really came from the beach we were at, because she did not have grain of sand on her, hair was perfectly pulled back, and – get this – FULL face of makeup. I just sweated my entire outer layer of skin off back at that beach. You would have thought I was a damn reptile shedding my skin. How on earth did you manage to maintain a full face of makeup in that same heat? And the bigger question, why would you want to? She basically looked like snow white with a super bitchy resting face. And don’t even get me started on the outfit. It was one of those flowing beach dresses that you can’t actually ever wear on the beach because its made of that material that makes you smell when you sweat. You all know what I’m talking about. Polyester? Nylon? Fuck I don’t know, I’m an accountant not a seamstress. But it had long sleeves and a slit up to her hip. This leads me to my next life lesson for you all:

There are two kinds of women in this world: (1) The women that come back from a day at the beach with not a strand of hair out of place or a grain of sand in sight, looking like they spent the day laying on a cloud instead of the actual sand; and (2) The women that come back from a day at the beach with sand up their ass crack. Don’t act like you don’t fall into category #2. Because if you get any enjoyment from this blog whatsoever, odds are you are a sand in the ass girl. Take solace in the fact that while you might have sand up your ass after a beach day, those other girls will have a stick up their ass their entire lives.

After leaving the ferry we stopped and watched this bitch model strut down the street while her boyfriend literally RAN to get the car for her. Oh how I wanted to go Tyra Banks on her ass and tell her she was cut. But I had more pressing issues – sand up my ass to be exact. So back to the hotel for a dip in the pool and a few more hours of sun before dinner.

Dinner was fairly uneventful, but as this is our last night, I wanted proof for my statement that every restaurnt is named “Ristorante Pizzaria”.  See pic below.

The many Ristorante Pizzerias

Toes in the Water, Ass in the Sardinian Sand

Sunday, September 13, 2015

When I left you yesterday we had some mean looking clouds threatening to ruin our day. While they did thwart our boat plans due to rough seas, we ended up having a fabulous day at a few of the beaches nearby. Hoping clear skies would allow us to head south on the boat tomorrow, we headed north to do some beach hopping. But not before proper provisioning. Would we survive a day on the beach without Rose and a nice sandwich spread? Of course. But why on earth would you want to? You all I know I’m a stickler for good logistics, and provisioning is just the next step on the ladder. So off we wen’t to the market where we stocked up on the essentials: meat, cheese, veggies, baguette, vino, wine opener, and some utensils. Think Yacht Week lunch on dry land (for those of you few souls who have been lucky enough to experience the glory that is the Yacht Week). We had a close call when the baker informed us that the baguette we picked out was stuffed with potatoes. I have no desire to eat bread stuffed with potatoes, but I’m just thrilled to be in a country where something like carbs stuffed with carbs is celebrated. Oh happy holiday. This would have been all for naught if Steph hadn’t taken one for the team and dove in front of some boys for the last bottle of mustard. Her apprenticeship has obviously paid off.

The road to the beaches was rather treacherous. Apparently you can’t get anywhere around here without going up a very steep mountain and then straight down it. On roads wide enough for precisely one Fiat. And little did we know, everyone here is fucking James Bond, speeding through switchbacks. They even create their own parking spaces. Directly behind your actual parking space. Blocking you in. Now I’m no urban planner, but if you are going to go to the trouble of paving a road, why not add a few feet on either side so two cars can actually fit down your two-way street at the same time? Can we really blame everything on hindsight here people? Methinks not.

Beach #1, while pretty, was somewhat unimpressive to these spoiled little Californians. But it improved greatly after a bottle of Rose. We drank our wine, blasted music from our jammy pack and ate our awesome lunch spread with much delight while the other tourists looked on with jealousy in their hearts. Who doesn’t love being on the receiving end of jealousy? Don’t even lie, you know you like it. If wanting total strangers to acknowledge the fact that you are better at life than them is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Not only did I have my GoPro, complete with selfie stick and floaty pole, but I also had my iphone and my jammy pack. I’ve got more electronics on this beach than a damn radio shack in Miami. But as I said before, preparation is key my friends. Before I end lunch, shout out to A-nette Hodge for the gloriousness that are her spicy pretzels. I have actually become so spoiled over the the years that I can’t travel without them. They pair shockingly well with a nice crisp Rose. But I’m sure A-nette already knew that.

It was then on to Beach #2. Cala Cortoe, which was heads and shoulders above the last beach. See pics above and below. We played with my new gopro (best purchase ever? It’s definitely in the running). I finally finished the most painful book I’ve ever read in my life. Glad that is over. The girls slept on the beach and everyone woke up a little more tan and happy. We headed back to the hotel and lay by the pool until the sunlight dwindled. Then we headed back to the room to pop a bottle of sparkling and get ready for dinner. Champs makes everything better…even a shower and a change of clothes. We headed into town for dinner around 8:30pm. Starving, but trying to adapt to the European way of life. Turns out, every restaurant in town is called “Ristorante Pizzeria”. Literally, every single one. Just in case you were confused as to the specialty in town. Oddly enough, we didn’t even get pizza. But a carafe of wine for the price of a nice bottle of water, we did get. The restaurant we wanted to eat at was busy, so they gave us some free prosecco while we waited. In true impatient American fashion, we drank our free booze and then went to a different restaurant. Ain’t nobody got time to wait an hour when every restaurant on the street has the same name and menu. At dinner we threw around ideas for how to find boyfriends when we get home. It’s a common conversation that always comes up when we get drunk. And typically ends with us proclaiming that we would rather be single than date the scraps that are left. Personally, I’m waiting on the first round of divorces to come through. That way they are already half way trained and slightly jaded. I’m gonna be looking pretty good by that time.

Cala Cortoe
Cala Cortoe

I’m pretty sure I woke up with the beginnings of an ear infection. What the hell else is new? I could get an ear infection from a long shower. One of my many chronic ailments in my old age. But I guess I should just be glad I still have my bone density at this point.

I have to end this blog now. Not just because we are heading out for the day, but also because my fingers are covered in Nutella, making typing a rather difficult and messy situation.

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