Un diario de vacaciones: Part 2

Not having had too much experience with international travel outside of bi-monthly weekends in London six years ago, I forgot all about the time it takes to get through passport control and then customs.  In the 90 minutes after landing in Buenos Aires, I, in my own mind, had recreated a new system that bypassed the dual check points, creating efficiency where there was none, and cutting down on time,effort, and payroll, before I remembered I was supposed to be on vacation.

Finally through the duplicitous checkpoints, I was met at the gate by my great friend from NYC, Rachel, and her adorable almost 3-year old twins, Max and Emma.  Max and Emma were insistent upon me coming home with them, and I let them think the whole thing was their idea, naturally. “You comin,’ Mommy’s friend? You comin’?”


Forty-five minutes later, I arrived at Rancho Pampa, Rachel and Martin’s horse farm and training facility that I’ve only ever seen on Facebook. I was accosted immediately by five dogs, two of them the cutest and most precocious puppies.  With the neighing of horses in greeting, needless to say I was in heaven. They probably were just hoping I had snacks, but I like to think they were saying: “Buenos dias, new friend! My ears need a good scratching, if you feel so inclined!”





One of the most detestable jobs at the barn is of course my favorite – feeding the horses at night for their last feeding. Granted, I would hate to do this every night at 9pm, but it brought me back to my 13 year old days when I was responsible for the gastro-intestinal tracts of over 60 horses.  Although, I don’t miss the hay getting stuck in my bra. You feel it for days.


And now I write with a cat next to me – the only cat I’ve ever met who loves belly rubs.  This place is an animal anomaly of peace and calm.


Scratch that – Max and Emma decided to wake me up daily by jumping on my head.  Probably the most trusted alarm clock I’ve ever had, I’m obviously going to have to hire some three year-olds when I get back to San Francisco to do just that. It must include riding my spine like a bucking bronco for the full effect.


My week stay in Buenos Aires was the perfect combination of city life (I did the tourist city bus thing) and farm life.  I rode a horse named Picaro, and was thrilled, despite knowing that my thighs would be screaming at me the following few days. We had a nice 30 minutes workout – he in much better shape than me.  As I was walking him out and watching the local gaucho wrangle his stallion a few feet from me (who needs cable?), I was suddenly feeling myself being lowered.  Yes, my numbnut horse decided it was time to lie down.  While I was on him.  And then roll on his side with me underneath him.  I’m on a horse for the first time in a few years, and I killed him.



Almost.  I rolled off, got my leg secure from under his body, and after a few failed attempts, I got him to his feet, where he looked dazed and as shocked as I was. Nice work, Picaro.  Scarred for life, big guy.

My favorite gent was Broadway – he had incredible personality and would get  vocal when I paid attention to his neighbors, and not him.  He stamped and nickered for me to come back and would slant his neck while I scratched his ears and try to catch my t-shirt in between his lips.  He thought this hilarious.


One of the greatest gifts on this trip was meeting the people in Rachel and Martin’s  lives: Martin’s mom in her gorgeous apartment, with her painting hanging and surrounded by this view:

…a boat trip on Martin’s dad’s boat, to see another area of Argentina named Tigre…

a night out with the infamous Philippe….

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…a night in for dinner right in the barn with Martin’s students and friends. I’ve never had wine while inside a barn before, surrounded by horses and dogs and friends.


Outside of that, the only person I really ‘spoke’ to was Lynn, a middle-aged woman I battle on Words with Friends.  You’re going down, Lynn. All the way from South America. I detest your constant play of “Xi.”

Too many great memories to mention, and everyday to begin again when I was awoken with a knee to the ear drum by Max. “You sleepin, Eiween?”

No.  No I am not.

Next stop, Nicaragua!





Un diario de vacaciones: Part 1

San Francisco International Airport is desolate at 7am. I never thought I’d say this, considering the traffic, security lines, and fellow travel companions I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing every Monday for the last 16 months while flying to Los Angeles from SFO. But…on a random Tuesday, in United domestic, even though I’m flying internationally…it’s me alone at the security line.

An hour later, I’m sitting in business class because I’m the first on line for an upgrade. I’ve never been upgraded before.  I was nothing short of beside myself.  What a perfect way to start vacation!  And flying to Cancun on miles accumulated on my weekly trips to Disney Interactive for work.  “Yes, I WILL take another sparkling wine.”


Arriving at my hotel in Play del Carmen, Mexico, one I had booked with my eyes closed 36 hours prior – well, that was the beginning of the adventure.  I’m embarrassed to say how long it took for me to turn on the lights, and I had to return to the front desk and mime my idiocy.  (Put your key card into the light switch – as if that was obvious, duh, you stupid gringa). Then, a rough 15 minutes on the phone with Verizon to receive international data so that I could tell my ‘rents (who were stubbornly not really interested in speaking to me for choosing Central and South America for a solo vacation) that I had indeed landed, albeit in American Horror Story: Hotel Play del Carmen .

After I accepted that I would be murdered in my hotel room at some point in the evening, I went out on the town, got fabulously lost for 30 minutes, and found my desired location was 2 blocks from my starting point.  I toured the main drag, a crazy touristy avenue complete with your usual flashing lights and flashy people – and had some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever had.  The service was impeccable, and the kindness of the locals amazing when they knew I was on my own and had just arrived. Men are very forward but in a hilarious way:

“Would you like information on the…”

“No, gracias.”

‘Can I have information on you..?”

With the next day full of thunderstorms, I had no idea what to plan.  I didn’t sleep a wink that night.  I’m a nutty sleeper – hard for me to sleep anywhere but my own bed, drenched in lavender spray. So needless to say Murder Hotel was not conducive to shut-eye. I thought all night, and decided to not spend another two nights there. But I have to say, the entire chiroporactic practice would go out of business with only the introduction of cheap Mexican mattresses. Vertebrae I didn’t know I had cracked and sighed as I stretched all night. My back never felt better.

But – I wanted relaxation, sleep, my book, and a beach – so I made a move. Last minute to the Westin Cancun, and within 40 minutes, I was in the lap of luxury.  Got there, laid down in their signature “heavenly bed” and slept for 4 hours. I decide to forgo the mayan ruins, and instead, upon waking,  took a tour of the grounds and saw this:


I googled the Mayans, read about their history and impactand totally appreciate them. I also appreciated the frozen mango margarita I had in my right hand while I read.

With only 48 hours at this beautiful resort, I luxuriated in being horizontal.


Reading a great book, enjoying the incredible staff and their kindness, being invited to dinner when about to eat by myself – Jose, Javier, and Daniel wouldn’t hear of it.  Treated like royalty, I found a solo vacation very much inhabited by new friends.

That night, warmed from the sun and my heavenly bed, I slept 12 hours that night – and put my feet into the Caribbean for the first time the next day:

On my final day, flying out to Argentina in the evening on a red-eye, I laid by the water after a nice chat with a couple form Morristown, NJ.  (You can take the girl out of NY…) – and was treated to my first and only shot of tequila, a must if you go to Mexico.  It would’ve been like going to Ireland and not having a Guinness.

Two full days horizontally under the shade of three palm trees, and I was back on a plane, headed to Mexico City for a layover.  I’ve never seen so much Disney paraphernalia upon my arrival.  Everyone was drenched in Minnie ears, Frozen backpacks, and Cars t-shirts, on the way back from family trips to Walt Disney World.  Just give me a paper cut and pour lemon juice on it, while you’re at it.

But I bucked up, and looked at a 6 year old wearing a Frozen t-shirt.  “Elsa or Anna?” I asked.  “Elsa! Elsa!” Disney – the universal language.

Next stop, Buenos Aires!





Bring it, boys.









I gave my new, untouched Match profile to a good friend who has had nothing short of AMAZING success from her own Match experience. She is so well-versed in this, another friend of ours put this successful lass in charge of her own profile, and I have since attended her wedding to her Match. Amazing. So what do I have to lose? You’re hired. Because God knows I don’t have the wherewithal.

Not really thinking it through, or buzzed from an adequate amount of pinot, I gave my username and password away. I woke up to said awesome lady’s note:

She:“Ok, so I winked at like 7 guys …”
She: “If any of these guys I winked at reach out to you – you MUST respond. Deal?”
Me: [Christ on a cracker…]

It’s only been 24 hours of relinquishing control, something I’m supremely uncomfortable with. Like…sweaty, pulsating, throbbing eyeball uncomfortable.

But if anything, it’s a huge much-needed ego boost. For the last several days, I’ve been feeling as though I live at 3421 Rejection Street, Apt #1. Domino’s delivers here.

I loved getting an email from my new Match General Manager with a “DAMN GIRL! Have you seen your inbox?” followed by a scale of 1-10 on my new potential beaus. Today is a good day.

I’ve Never Read A Maya Angelou Book….BUT

….I’ve had a quote of hers, handwritten in my twenty year-old script, framed in my apartment on a scrap of torn memo paper when I first heard it and it resonated. Two quotes of hers in fact.  The other quote is next to my bed; we’ll get to that. The first:


We make a lot of excuses for people.  But they show you who they truly are when you JUST LISTEN.  They can try to talk around it, attempt the smoke and mirrors.  But all you have to do is be quiet and listen.  Not to words, necessarily, but to their every innate method of movement. They are giving you every opportunity to run in the other direction. They want to wave a white flag on your behalf, giving you any out they could possibly invent.  I’ve been, oh how should I put it, incredibly fucking stupid for not listening to this advice.  The individual in your life who you’re making excuses for is holding a billboard that says, “I AM NOT THE PERSON YOU THINK I AM.”


Their actions, or lack of actions, show you every day.  Loud and clear.  Megaphone-howling, pyramid-climbing, polyester-wearing, screaming at the top of their cheerleader lungs, “BELIEVE ME.”  Sometimes with a marching band with streaming flags and teenage acrobats, but that’s usually for bowl games.  Sometimes with a silent glance, but one that, with a recipient’s clear, dare I say, sober, head, it is as loud as the bagpiper at Spanish Bay.  And we all love that guy.  But, yeah, he’s loud.

We’ve all come across a lot of liars.  Often we’ve been that liar.  From a little white, whispery one that slithers from lips without a second thought to the creation of another persona of a human being that isn’t truly us.  We’re all liars.  Go ahead, say you’re not.  LIAR.

It’s a quote that gets me through tough times.  Because it reminds me that we’re all just human beings.  We make mistakes.  More often we tell the truth.  Yes, I just called everyone liars three sentences ago; stay with me.  I believe that people tell the truth; and then they alleviate a potentially high-risk situation by pretending it was just something said in passing. But, it is we on the receiving end of a truth we don’t like who choose to define it a different way. A way that fits us, a way we can analyze into a completely different box, and cram it into that (GET IN THERE), box that we’ve chosen to, (HOLD ON!), make it fit.  (LOOK AT THAT, I KNEW IT!)   And we make them out the hurtful truth-tellers to be bad people.  They’re not.  They’re bad truth-tellers.  Because they don’t stick to it.

There are some that tell the truth and their truth is amazing.  It fits your truth, and wow you’re on the same page, with the same timing, and, are those butterflies?  This is a rarity.  So, you know what, a-holes?  I mean, ahem.  You know what, lovely people in the world reading this?  When you find it, open your eyes.  There’s not something better coming along.  If you’ve found someone you connect with, who makes you laugh til your sides hurt, who challenges the very core of your being, who wants you to find work you love, who wants you to travel, see the world, so you can tell your kids about it….you know what?  I’m sure the next gal at happy hour will do just that. Dime a fuckin’ dozen, we are.

God knows my friends have been put through the ringer, both male and female (if you’d like a list of these people who have caused said ringers, I have it both chronologically and alphabetically, so please be specific. WARNING: I bear no responsibility for you being on this list).

But I think we hear what we want to hear, what fits our ‘schedule.’  When we DO hear their truth, we move some words around, add some inflection, analyze it until it has too much meaning, and then come up with a whole newly defined strategy with zero basis in its origin. And this is why I now choose to go underground and live with mole people in the NYC subway.

I kid.  Unless, well, give me a week, I may sell all my shite on Craigslist and my sassy new chevron living room rug to Goodwill. [Friends, take note: I will need someone (I’m looking at you, Kelly) to remove my boxed wine from the fridge, someone (oh sister,Therese) to delete my Netflix Watch List because no one needs to see how often I watch Masterpiece Theatre and Battlestar Galactica, and only Alex is allowed to go through every piece of paper and discern who can read it. Please, no excitement, there’s nothing in the nightstands, I’m way too straight-laced  – although suggestions can be sent via email or in the comments below].

Anyway, back to the point.  When people show you who they are, don’t make excuses for them.  Believe them.  They’re telling you their truth.


The second quote that is in my apartment:


Oh.  OHHHHH.  This is a doozy.  I need a moment.



Ok, I’m back. I’m going to make t-shirts with this sentence on it.  I’m going to be THAT girl wearing THAT T-shirt: new goal announced. Yeah, June 2014! $12.99, get ’em here!

Seriously, though…I put people before me.  Actually, let me rephrase that.  I put the wrong people before me.  I’ve had many well-meaning people (“You’re fantastic…you’re sensational…you’re one of a kind, BUT…”), and I have put more sensitivity and thought into what they want to eat for dinner than a cumulative thought as to what charities I’m donating to this year.

And now I want to take a butter knife and pull a Van Gogh.  But at least, I’m being honest.  I dare you to find someone more so.

I feel my online dating friends, the less successful ones than those that have met their literal match on Match, can understand this the most.  And I am most guilty of this.  We spend so much time thinking about the wrong people, mainly because we think they’re the right people, and shocker, they don’t deserve the amount of time and energy we’re spending on them.  Truthfully, if I spent the same amount of time following my dream of being a writer, or putting my mind to curing homelessness in San Francisco, or creating a new cable company so that Comcast can go to cable hell….as I spend on thinking about guys who don’t deserve it….well, Bay Area, you’d all be getting HBO for free.

There are so many good people in the world.  People who will and DO love us unconditionally, think we’re sexy, fantastic, awesome, witty, hilarious…the list goes on an on.  And there’s no “BUT” following any of those statements.  “But” negates everything said before that.

You just are sexy, fantastic, awesome, witty, hilarious.

What should follow is: “And I’m lucky to know you, and can’t wait to spend more time with you.” Find that person.  The rest, we’re spending too much time on.  Good….night.


{Gratitude} Lately – May 29, 2014


Lately, I’m grateful for failing at #selfies because I’m getting licked in the face relentlessly.


For remembering what joy drawing brings me.


For Netflix for providing genius.


For the best distraction from my never-ending inbox.

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For people who get it.


For taking a risk and having it look awesome!

2013, at a glance. To more Michael Fassbender!


  • Instagrams taken: 156
  • Approximate hours spent on facebook – 3, 40…2
  • Full days spent watching Will and Grace marathons– 4
  • Dogs I fell in love with – 18
  • Boys I crushed on – 6…7..no, 6
  • Pounds of parmesan eaten – 6.  Coincidence?
  • Wineries visited – 12
  • Cumulative hours spent thinking about Michael Fassbender – 14. 
  • Favorite place visited – Austin, TX
  • Best meal – 4 courses at McCrady’s in Charleston
  • Books read – 36
  • States visited – 18
  • Miles run – I’m too embarrassed to say.  Ugh.  Bring it on, ING NYC 2014!
  • Times I had to resole my cowboy boots – 2
  • Thing I consumed most – red wine
  • Times I screamed while watching The Walking Dead – 64
  • Times I yelled at Scandal because of the ridiculous plotlines – 65
  • Passport stamps – 0 (sadness)
  • Best day – August 12
  • Number of skinny jeans purchased – 5
  • Fires in fireplace – 35
  • Days I laughed out loud at least once – 365

Napa Solo

What better way to start a day than with a cup of Blue Bottle, a beautiful Audi with a purring engine, and visiting a dear friend’s new baby.  What a little cutie.  I think she liked me. I mean, I was there for an hour, and she pooped twice, I see this as a good sign.


Then, I got on the road to Napa.  I’m not a car person; I don’t really know the logistics, or why people go nuts over a turbo boost engine. Possibly, because I’ve never owned a car, living in NYC for as long as I have.  When I zipcar, I get a VW Gulf or a Mini Cooper, $10 an hour, easy to park, boom.  Of course, my favorite to-die-for car is a black BMW 328i.  BMW does an incredible black and a horrible red.  So I guess when it comes to cars, I pick up on looks.

Getting behind the wheel of this car today, I’m embarrassed to say it took a full six minutes to figure out how to start it.  I wish I was kidding.  I was beginning to think it was the parking brake that was an issue, but there was no parking brake to be seen.  Where is the big stick that’s supposed to be in the middle that releases all motion of this $%^# car!  After another sweaty, swearing 5 minutes, relented and pulled out the manual. To turn on the car.  Oh, it’s the electromechanical parking brake, of course! Twenty minutes after arriving to the car, I hadn’t even pulled out yet.

I consider myself a smart person.  I did well in school, got a 3.9 in my MBA program, and can carry a political conversation with the best of them.  Opening the sunroof?  Obviously, that’s Mensa territory.  When I stopped and got gas, you would have thought I was trying to fill up the Starship Enterprise.


But once I got rolling, I literally was laughing out loud at the 0-60mph in 6 seconds on Rte 29.  What an amazing feeling.  I now understand why people stare at engines. Purrrrrrr….I’m sold.


The next opportunity you get: go to Napa by yourself. You get all the $20 tastings for free, you get invited to a Stag’s Leap’s sommelier’s home for dinner, and get adopted by families along the way. Plus, winery dogs.  If I am every reincarnated, I want to come back as a winery dog.


Otis was my main man…


Then, stop and get In-N-Out.  Animal-style.  I don’t know what it means, but it will be served at my wedding.


….A day to remember.  And I’m not sure I can go back to a Volkswagen after this.