blogging

photo dump: world photography day

Your eyes are not deceiving you, I’m actually posting on a Saturday! It’s a special Saturday because it’s also World Photography Day. Being that I am a true professional*, I would love to share some of my favorites to the masses**

*totally not a professional

**all 5 of you

I’ve posted most (all, probably) of these in previous posts but let me have this.

Obviously, some are more edited than others, some are straighter than others, some are overall better than others, but they all make me feel good. I could tell you a story about each one. I have, if you look hard enough, but I’m not going to do that right now. I haven’t been out with my camera probably since I was in California and I miss it. I have to get back on the horse and as soon as I do, I’ll be sure to inundate these pages with photo dumps. lucky ducks.

 

fangirl, full force

if you’ve been here for a while, you know that i have a problem with my inner fangirl. she’s fierce and strong-willed. she’s the elizabeth warren of fangirls. she’s also kind of annoying and obsessive. i love the bitch, but sometimes i don’t like her. anyway, she was out in FULL FORCE last week (8 days, but who’s counting?) because something happened that i still can’t believe happened.

NO, THIS IS NOT ABOUT HARRY STYLES.

so, i’ve mentioned before that i thoroughly enjoy the show impractical jokers. i also thoroughly enjoy sal for said show. sal also does stand up comedy and i got it in my head that there would be nothing better than to go to one of his shows. it’s hard to pin him down because he’s on tour with the other guys and he doesn’t always announce where he’s doing a show. long story short, lisa found out that he was going to be a judge at a roast.

there’s a weekly roastmasters show held at the stand comedy club in NYC. it’s where new/newish comics battle each other. then the judges who are more well known give a critique or have a comment or whatever. google it.

i rounded up the troops and made plans to get something to eat at the place, since it’s also a restaurant. not that i ate much because i was so nervous i literally had to remember to breathe.

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it wound up that lisa had to work that night so jessica and i went for dinner and nicole met us for the show. i sat where i could see the door and don’t ask me why because it made for very distracted conversation. all of a sudden, i look over and sal is outside.

WELL.

that was the end of me. i must have went sheet white and i turned to jessica with widened eyes and said “he’s here.” at that exact moment, i started to shake like a leaf.

LIKE A LEAF.

i’m going to be real for a hot second here. i have no idea why my body betrayed me like this. i was nauseous, i could almost not breathe and when i put my hand out in front of me, it was not still. IT WASN’T EVEN HARRY STYLES. i feel ridiculous even admitting this so keep your judgments to yourself.

he finally came into the restaurant/bar area and passed our table. i tried so hard to keep up the conversation i was having with jessica to seem as normal as possible. he went to the bar and was talking to someone over in that area. so now jess and i started to make a gameplan. “you’re going to have to say something to him, mar.” jess told me, matter of factly. “i can’t, jess! i’m shaking. this is no joke!” i frantically whispered. “well, then i don’t know how you’re going to do this.” jessica said in her best teacher voice. none of this was helped by lisa’s texts wanting updates.

he finally ended his convo at the bar and turned towards the door. he stopped to look at his phone at a counter directly behind our table.

“get up and go over to him NOW. RIGHT NOW” jessica demanded in an even better teacher voice.

“umm, uhh, ahhh.. i need to put my flash on. give me a second. jesus christ. ahhh. oh god.” i said as i got up and sat down twice. like a dog trying to find a comfy spot.

by now, he had walked away and my breathing got shallow again.  i was starting to freak that i had come so close and i missed my shot. as luck would have it, he needed another drink. he came back in and on his way out, i shot jess a WHAT DO I DO NOW? I NEED AN ADULT look and then i hear:

excuse me? sal?

yes?

hi, my friend martina is a fan and i was wondering if you would take a picture with her?

yea, sure.

sidenote: i had a whole conversation planned in my head if i ever met him where i was funny and adorable. where we would hit it off and i’d be moving to staten island to raise our kids and clean his underwear. maybe this is where my nerves are coming from? just a hunch.

me: yea, big fan.

like slingblade and rainman had a baby.

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i got up and almost tripped all over myself, posed with him and jessica took the picture. i have to note, for posterity’s sake and for the sake of the impractical jokers fans who may have stumbled over here, he smelled really good. not strong like cologne, as i expected, but clean like soap and fabric softener. he was also very soft, which kind of sounds weird, but that was my first thought “he smells good and he’s… soft.” I TOLD YOU TO LEAVE THE JUDGMENT TO YOURSELF. so basically, even i don’t know if i meant soft in body or clothing, it doesn’t really matter. i’ll stop now. please God, don’t let him read this.

we thank him and he walks away. (“see you downstairs!” i call after him because i can’t just let things go, he gave me a slightly puzzled look but whatever, i’ll take it.) jessica takes a look at her handy work and starts hysterical laughing. “you’re gonna kill me” she chokes out. “why? did you delete it? did it not take?” my blood pressure rising. she couldn’t even get the words out. she turned my phone towards me and i saw this:

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at least HE looks good.

i was in shock. i didn’t know what to do. thankfully, my nerves had calmed down considerably but not enough.

“jesus jess, what am i going to do? i can’t ask him for another picture. i don’t want to be one of ‘those fans’.”

again, we brainstormed how to do this. we decided that since nicole wasn’t there yet and we thought he was outside, i would go out to meet nicole and have nicole ask for a picture.

i wasn’t thrilled by this because he had already seen me and spoke to jess. where is nicole coming from, you know?

to make another long story short, nicole got there and we waited to be let downstairs. sal was in and out of the bar area, as were the other comedians/judges. before we went down, the hostess must have noticed my issue and she told us to ask to be seated near the judges. unfortunately, that area was taken, but we were seated right across the stage from them. it worked because 1) sal was next to the stage and 2) the stage was maybe 4 feet across. the show started and we were all having a good time. the comedians roasting each other weren’t great, honestly. the judges, however, were on point. other than sal, there was big jay oakerson (hysterical), rich vos (v. funny), some other guy who one the roast once (sorry), and, eventually, michael che from SNL (late).

fast foward to the end of the show. the whole room got up and made a move for the door. i got frantic again and jess noticed so she said “don’t worry, he’s right there taking pictures” OK great, so there are other rabid fans down here. we walked over and waited for him to finish/my turn. the girl before me, i feel like i should mention, was a little… forward. she wanted him to dance for her on snapchat (like he does on IJ) and take selfies. enough.

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he seemed to refuse. after snapchat sally moved along, it was my turn and again, i wanted to be witty and personable and what came out was

“hi, um, my eyes were closed for the last one. do you mind?  *hand gesturing me and him taking another picture”

“no, sure” *puts arm out to pose again* me: still smells good, still soft*swoon*

both jessica and nicole on cue lift their cameras and start shooting.

and just like that our save the dates were done.

still trying out the no capitals thing. still unsure about it.

 

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commemorating thirty

how does someone who was pretty much mentally ready to turn 30, but still feels not adult enough to be 30, celebrate the event?

with a photo shoot, duh.

as we all know, a little less than a month ago, i turned 30. i pretty much had gotten over the whole “wahhh i’m not married, i don’t have kids, i’m single as a dollar bill, i hate my job(s), I’M NOT READY FOR THIS nonsense a while ago. However, i felt like I needed to do something frivolous and fun for myself to officially leave my twenties behind.

i searched all over the internet for a photographer who does session photography that wouldn’t cost me my first born. who knew that would be such a debacle? i must have looked at 100 photographer’s websites, facebook pages, and instagrams and the bottom line was unless you were getting married, newly engaged or becoming a parent, it was going to be very hard to find someone without emailing for pricing. i’m not against shooting off a quick email, i just didn’t want to waste anyone’s time.

just when I was about to give up, i  was talking to my cousin’s wife and she was telling me that she has a friend that does all of their family photo shoots. i asked if she thought her friend would be interested in doing something like this and made sure i wouldn’t look like a creep if i sent her a facebook message. once she assured me that i wouldn’t look like a creep (which was my bigger concern over if she would be willing to even do this.), off to facebook i went.

i had a definite vision for this shoot because my mind is a pinterest board. i knew i wanted to incorporate balloons, glitter, confetti, and the brooklyn promenade. i wanted it to be fun and flirty. actually, what i told stephanie was i wanted it to be very sex and the city minus carrie because, quite frankly, she was annoying and i am not a fan. thankfully, stephanie was totally on board.

i wanted to have fun props to work with because i think they make these things fun. i found big, chunky glitter and a confetti popper at target. my inner martha stewart came out and i put together a “thirty for beginners” book. well, book cover.

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i went to target and found the binder, which was the perfect shade of pink. i headed over to the craft section and found the letters and hoped that they would fit. they did, thank martha.

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i met stephanie on the promenade and we immediately got started. she brought some great props as well so i was even more excited. i warned her that i suffer from resting bitch face and my nose gets a little hook-like and my feet stick out so just warn me and ill fix myself. i love being in front of the camera as much as i love being behind it, but this was totally out of my comfort zone. i had no idea what to do with my arms, how to smile, or more importantly, how to smeyes. i feel like i fell into the groove pretty quickly. once i got my face down pat, and the balloons started to cooperate, i started to worry less and less what i looked like and more about having fun.

after a few shots, we decided to incorporate the balloons so that we didn’t have to worry about the wind. admittedly, they were a pain in the neck but, to me, so worth it. i love balloons, especially in photo shoots. they’re fun and add an element of whimsy.

i thought i’d use my blue light blocking glasses to make myself more studious because i need to know all i can about being in my thirties. it’s a whole new decade! even though that’s an empty binder and i don’t really wear glasses. it’s all about the aesthetic.

next we tried with the glitter. i have always wanted to do a glitter photo shoot. throwing it, blowing it, whatever. the first few attempts were ok, but stay tuned for some really good glitter action.

we moved off the promenade to the surrounding brownstones. the brownstones were what i truly loved about going to school in that area. they are beautiful in every season, they have charm and tons of history. then there’s me loitering, blowing glitter all over them. #norespect.

we happened to spot a taxi cab waiting for a pick up a little ways down the block. i loooove taxis so when stephanie asked if i wanted to use it, i was so game. the driver was so nice and let us take a few shots near and in the car. the cab was from new jersey and i told him i need to stay on this side of the state line.

we found another stoop to sprinkle a little 30 dust on. i don’t think you’re ready for this magic.

we took a few more shots, including using the confetti popper and then called it a day.

if we could do this every week, i would. i had so much fun and i LOVED the outcome.

I’M READY FOR YOU, THIRTY. (even though, i’ve been thirty for almost a month already.)

*if you live in Brooklyn, or close enough, and need a photographer, go to stephanie’s instagram and send her a message!

**i’m trying out the whole not worrying about capitalizing thing. i’m not sure how i feel about it yet. my grammarly sure hates it though.

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currently…

Well, at least I’m consistent at being inconsistent. I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I’ve gotten back from San Francisco. I have yet to write the overview I wanted to write and time is just flying, as time does – especially in the summer.

Since I’ve gone MIA for about three weeks, I’ll ease back into it with a good old Currently post. Everyone likes those still, right?

Reading: blogs. Since California, I’ve been so backed up on blog reading and commenting; it’s embarrassing. As far as books, I’m officially (after about a month) am giving up on A Dangerous Age by Kelly Kiloreen Bensimon (yes, the real housewife. or the fake one, whatever. she was on TV for something.). I thought it was going to be one of those perfect summer reads, but it’s just… not. I did, however, read and absolutely LOVED We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. HYSTERICAL. BUY IT NOW.

Watching: right this second, Impractical Jokers (i’m writing this on Thursday night, what else would I be watching?) In general, I have a few episodes of Younger saved on my DVR. I love me some Nico Manganiello. Otherwise, I’m just waiting for the Fall TV season to start.

Listening to: I’ve been really loving the new James Arthur song, Can I be Him. He’s a romantic, that James. *swoon*

Working on: so, since the time of the disposable camera, I have had my photos developed (printed, for you youngins). I then label the back and tuck them away in photo albums. Very economical and space saving, I know. Anyway, I just got an order of pictures in so I’ve been working my way through that. I also have 2 blog posts in my head that I just have to type out sometime in this century.

(over)Thinking about: too much. those two aforementioned blog posts, other topics to write about, how fast this summer is going and although some cool/fun things have happened/ will happen, I feel like I haven’t done anything; I’m not ready for it to end, I need a tan, cream contour – can i make it work? changing my writing style here to be a little more informal and not capitalizing what should be capitalized. my god, this is lame. THINGS. I’VE GOT THINGS ON MY MIND. No worries, they’ll make it to the blog eventually.

So, that’s where I am. Hopefully, I can get my stuff together tomorrow and schedule some posts. I’m not making any promises, but that sounds good, no?

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thirty.

I’ve officially been on this earth for 3 decades.

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It’s just crazy to me because, in my mind, I’m still this kid.

Or this one

Most especially this little weirdo

Man, that was quick.

In some ways, I still am that kid. I’m not here today to get all intro/retrospective about turning 30. I’ve learned things. I’ve had good and bad times. That’s what your 20s are for. There are two things short conversations I’ve had recently that I wanted to include in my birthday post because I feel like they sum up what I’m feeling perfectly.

The first one was with an Uber driver. Somehow my birthday came up and he asked me how old I was going to be (I didn’t even care. I guess I’m not a lady.) I told him thirty and he said “Ahh, thirty. It’s like entering a whole new world. You care less about certain things and life begins to fall into place in other ways. It’s a good age.” I smiled to myself and said, “You know, that’s exactly how it feels. It feels like I’m entering a different world.”

It’s true. I feel like I’m opening a door of new possibilities, attitudes, and experiences. I know they won’t happen or come overnight. I’m sure I didn’t wake up this morning a changed woman, but I feel like this is the beginning of something different.

On the other hand, let’s revisit this at 32 and see how I feel.

The other conversation happened about a week later and it was with my aunt’s best friend. They have known each other since college. They’ve been through almost every phase of life together. They have many lifetimes of friendship between them. Anyway, we were talking and again, somehow, my birthday came up. I told her about the Uber driver and the whole new world carpet ride I went on and I said, “I’m a little nervous because it was beginning to feel like I would never not be in my 20s.” She laughed a little bit and turned to my aunt and said: “Yea, we all felt like we would never not be in our 20s.” Then they started talking about how long they had each been married (48 & 50 years!) and just how fast (yet unbelievably slow) life moves.

Remember in elementary school you had journals? The teacher would put a prompt on the board and you would have to write or draw (or both) a response to that prompt. In first grade, we had journals and one of the prompts was “Where will you be when you’re 30?” Maybe it was my teacher’s birthday and she needed a laugh only the innocence of a child could give. Maybe it had to do with what we were learning. Whatever.

My answer to “Where will you be when you’re 30?” was… and you’ll just have to believe me because try as I might I cannot find this journal for the life of me. If I do, you know I will post it immediately.

When I’m 30, I’ll be in my limo in my wheelchair with my husband.

(or maybe I said with my other friends. I’m old now, my memory is escaping me.)

I thought thirty meant #nursinghomestatus. Turning thirty was unfathomable to six year old me. PEOPLE LIVE THAT LONG? THEY MUST BE ANCIENT. No matter that my parents were both 42 at the time. I also thought thirty meant rich. Or maybe that having a husband meant having money. I’m starting to think that I thought that I would be six forever and having a husband just meant living with an adult who isn’t related to me. i sense a theme here. 

Well, here I am. thirty years old- no husband, no limo, and (thankfully) no wheelchair.

Here’s to thirty and the decade that comes with it. May it be filled with laughter, love, good health, and to never stop being a Native American cheerleader.

san fran…ciscooooo [photo dump days three & four]

Welcome back for days 3 & 4 of Martina’s San Franciscan adventure. I’ve decided to lump Saturday and Sunday together because although we did things, I feel like I didn’t take enough pictures for two separate blog posts.

Anyway…

Saturday was a rough day for me. Being in the cold, wet air the night before and not feeling well to begin with was not ideal. Add on to that having to search for a backpack to replace mine that broke, I was not a happy camper. Our hotel was on the borderline of the Tenderloin neighborhood and Nob Hill. The Tenderloin is known for their homeless population. According to what we heard, it’s gotten better, but still not the nicest of areas. Nob Hill, on the other hand, is home to shopping. High end, luxury, I don’t even think we have one of those stores in New York shopping. We passed Yves Saint Laurent, a Tesla dealership, and Burberry on our way to the first H&M.  They, of course, had no backpacks but told us to try the one in the mall. I wasn’t thrilled to be spending my precious tourist time in a mall, but necessity calls. We walked over to the mall and saw that they also had a Kate Spade, so things were brightening up. We found H&M and walked in, confident that I would find a simple backpack. Wasting no time, I strode up to the salesgirl and asked: “Do you have any backpacks?” To which I was greeted with a blank stare. “Ok, maybe ‘backpack’ is a regional word, like sneakers vs. tennis shoes. Let’s try again.” “you know”, I continued, “a bookbag?” *hand motions of God knows what, putting books in a bag, maybe?* “Oh, no, we don’t. Try the other store across the street.

Defeated, we walked out, trying to plan our next move. Again, I was done and ready for a nap. I cope well in all situations, obvs. Totes grounded and not at all dramatic. We walked around the mall for a bit and found a Kate Spade store. She had tons of cute things but nothing that I wanted needed to bring home. Finally, we ended up in Nordstrom Rack, where thankfully, I found something that would work and my mood brightened a bit.

Our plan for the day was taking a tour in an authentic VW bus. I was stoked (oh, look at me using the California lingo!). I felt very much like a hippie in my gauzy shirt with the little tassels on the sleeves. I bought a flower crown at Claire’s, I was ready to go. Except that a gauzy shirt paired with denim shorts is not the outfit you wear in 59 degree weather. So, again, I’m underdressed. And before anyone wonders why I didn’t just shut up and buy a sweatshirt – I totally misjudged on shopping. There were places I thought I would have time to get back to, even if I went by myself, but I didn’t. Bitching and moaning got me through, always does.

Back to the tour

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looks like a hot summer day. nope. 

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The buses were painted with famous San Francisco landmarks or people who lived there, like Robin Williams, Maya Angelou (who used to be a trolley driver! at 13!), Jimi Hendrix, to name a few. They also had shag carpeting and a manual transmission. It was so cool. They played 60’s music the whole ride and the tour guide was really knowledgeable about each neighborhood we drove through. My only complaint was that our tour left late (bus issues, no biggie) and because of that we didn’t/weren’t able to get out and take pictures or see things up close. When I booked the tour, I was under the impression that we were going to stop at to see the Golden Gate Bridge (the fog wasn’t so bad that day) and in the Haight-Ashbury, but we didn’t and I was a little bummed. I already wrote a review on TripAdvisor, as the tour guide asked, so don’t think I’m using my blog to bash them. The tour was excellent otherwise.

My favorite area was probably the Haight. That’s where the Summer of Love originated. It’s the 50th anniversary of that summer and I wish I was there now to see it being celebrated. I never thought of myself as a hippie or like I would have fit in better in the 60’s, but man, the Haight made me want to braid my hair, throw on some beads and bell bottoms, hop in a DeLorean and see what it was all about.

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Jimi Hendrix lived on top of what eventually became a smoke shop

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Janis Joplin used to live here. Not the best neighbor, apparently.

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The Greatful Dead’s former living space.

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The Hell’s Angels used to reside in this house.

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The biggest PRIDE flag in the country, some say the world.

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The Castro is filled with murals. There were alleyways filled with them. Again, we weren’t able to get out and I missed a lot of good ones, but I tried.

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Living in San Francisco proper is extremely expensive. I don’t even mean $10 for two 20oz bottles of Diet Coke. I mean over $3,000 a month rent in some places for a one bedroom studio. A ONE BEDROOM STUDIO! One bedroom and no walls. At least in New York, $3,000 would get you a two bedroom in a building with an elevator. Maybe. In the suburbs, it’s a mortgage payment on a pretty big house (I think. I still live with my roommates parents.)

The tour was supposed to take us down Lombard Street, which is the curviest street in America. California. The world. It’s really curvy and well known. Unfortunately, when we got there, it was closed off to vehicle traffic, which happens often. The residents want to close it off to any and all kinds of traffic eventually, which is problematic because how would they be able to access their homes? and two, who would enforce it? I can see their point though and if asked, I’d probably sign the petition.

Since we weren’t able to drive down the block, and that was the main reason I wanted to go on this tour, I made it my mission to get back. When the tour ended, it left us right next to the trolley turnaround. We hopped on the back of the line since one of the trolley’s stops was Lombard Street. About an hour later, we got on the trolley and started up the hill.

When the trolleys get to the turnaround, they stop on this jumbo sized lazy Susan and the workers manually spin it. Here’s a video.

Lombard Street was about five blocks up so we weren’t on the trolley for long. It was cold and windy so no one really minded. We got off when they announced the stop only to find out that the street was now open to vehicular traffic. I swear I almost called the tour company to come and pick us up. Since the street was open with cars on it, we walked on what would be the sidewalk but was really a shallow, long set of stairs. We got to the bottom and, of course, I was trying to channel Ansel Adams and get the perfect shot, but after about 10, I had to just give up.

We walked from the base of Lombard Street to Fisherman’s Wharf. If the streets were flat, it wouldn’t be bad, but the walk was about 6 long, steep blocks of hill. It was kind of scary because after a while my legs were like Jello. It felt like they were ready to give out at any minute. But was it worth it? TOTALLY. So authentic.

We went to the Wharf because we wanted to have a nice, seafood dinner that night and we needed to pick a place. We decided on Alioto’s, a place that’s been there forever and had white tablecloths. #fancy. We quickly Uber-ed back to the hotel to freshen up but Saturday was the coldest day and I felt like absolute crap so I didn’t do much with myself. Needless to say, no pictures were taken.

Sunday

Sunday we didn’t have much planned except for brunch, the PRIDE parade, Ghiradelli Square and a ghost tour at night. Ok, maybe that’s alot. We had brunch at Sweet Maple. I’m dreaming of my french toast. I rarely eat sweet things like pancakes or french toast for breakfast but I could eat this one at least 2 times a week.

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cornflake encrusted french toast.. come to mama

After brunch, we made our way over to see the parade. It was a few blocks from our hotel and where we were watching, it wasn’t too crowded. When I got home, my father told me he heard that the San Francisco parade had over a million people in attendance but the NYC one had about 500,000. I was surprised because, in New York, a million people feels like two million. It definitely didn’t feel like a million people in San Francisco. take note, NYC.

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CELEBRITY SIGHTING: Andrea Navedo from Orange is the New Black (and Jane the Virgin) on the Netflix float!

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CELEBRITY SIGHTING: Dascha Polanco and Samira Wiley on the back of the Netflix float!

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kind of in love with this picture. is it too late to spam it to every instagram in san francisco, hoping someone will repost it?

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his sign said “my safeword is impeach”

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After the parade, we went over to Ghiradelli Square because I was dying for a hot fudge sundae. I never got one, but I enjoyed looking around at all of the cute shops in the square. It also reminded me of many of my childhood vacations. Quaint. Chocolatey.

We kind of floated through until it was time to decide on dinner. Nicole was given a recommendation for a restaurant in Chinatown. House of Nanking is famous for their sesame chicken, so of course, I ordered noodles. Nicole got the chicken and both were delish.

 

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chinatown building, across from the house of nanking

 

When we were finished with dinner, we had time to kill so we walked to Union Square to meet up with our tour guide for the haunted tour. This tour and Saturday’s VW bus tour were the two I was most looking forward to. We met our guide, Momo, and immediately I wanted to take him home with me. His voice was so soothing, he was funny and also, in his spare time, a drag queen. He didn’t come dressed but I did notice lots of random glitter.

Momo took us to some notoriously haunted or really creepy places in the Union Square area. Since San Francisco is a relatively young city, it’s history wasn’t so much of a stretch. The only picture I took was of the lobby of the Westin Hotel, where Fatty Arbuckle may or may not have tried to molest a woman (definitely did) and ended up killing (smothering) her accidentally.

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Nicole was a little wary of this tour so imagine mine and Jessica’s delight when Momo led us right into our hotel. It turns out that in that very spot, a very entrepreneurial (is that a word?) woman opened up a brothel. Our hotel was also right across the street from the spot where the Zodiac Killer picked up his last victim before he disappeared (Momo’s storytelling and dramatics scared the stuffing out of me with this one.) We were a few blocks away from where Jim Jones thought up and recruited people for Jonestown. And my personal favorite, the Pinecrest Diner murder.

When Momo was done giving us the chills we went back to the hotel, where I packed and finished my noodles in bed.

Sorry this is so long, my friends! Stay tuned for just a quick (maybe) recap of what I wish I got to do/see, what I recommend, etc.

Catch up on day one and day two!

See you soon!

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my heart in [san francisco photo dump day 2]

Day 2 and we’re on a roll. For the record, my ears had pretty much fixed themselves after a good night’s sleep. thank heaven for little miracles. 

Our second day was chock full of tourist things. I love being a tourist and really taking in my surroundings. So this was the day I was most excited for. So excited, in fact, I was thisclose to buying a fanny pack. A neon, see through fanny pack. living my best life.

We started the day early with a $13 egg mcmuffin and coffee that is still making hair grow on my back from the market in the hotel. It was a blessing and a curse that little store. After breakfast, we all Uber-ed to the pier so that Jess and I could hop on the ferry to Alcatraz.

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Nicole doesn’t do boats so instead, she went to the Walt Disney Family Museum, which she loved. It was mostly how Disney started, where Walt got funding, etc.

Alcatraz was interesting. We decided to walk all the way up to the top of “The Rock” and get the headphones for the guided tour. I usually hate those tours, but this one was well done and nothing was really marked so it was nice to know what I was looking at.

i didn’t edit all of the pictures from Alcatraz but I wanted to share them so here’s a quick collage.

The last photo of the collage is Al Capone’s cell. Slightly underwhelming, frankly. His cell at Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania is all decorated as he had it when he was a resident there. Oh well. I love hearing stories of the Mob and old school gangsters and I thought that Alcatraz would be full of them, but not so much. Still a must see location. Go early though, it gets crowded.

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After Alcatraz, we met back up with Nicole and made our way over to meet our next tour, which was of the Muir Woods. Getting there meant we had to ride over the Golden Gate Bridge and let me tell you, I was like a kid in a candy store. Karl, the fog, had been hiding the bridge since we had gotten there. Apparently, though, the bridge is more visible from the other side. So when it’s foggy, you have to cross it to see it. The driver gave us 10 minutes to explore and then we were on our way. I took advantage of those 10 minutes and pushed my way to a good vantage point, found someone who spoke English, and had them take our picture. LIKE A GOOD TOURIST.

I was obsessed with finding the bridge because #iconic, but also because I feel like coming from a city with a few famous bridges, it would be a disservice if I missed out on seeing/visiting another famous bridge. Kind of like a diplomatic mission.

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I was so excited to finally see the giant redwoods. Are they really that big? Um. yes, probably bigger. They are gorgeous and I could have stayed there all day. It smelled like a zoo, minus the animals. Very woodsy (duh.)

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this was soo illegal. well, against park rules. we hopped the fence to get a picture but there’s a reason why the fences are there. apparently, the roots are very shallow and if they’re stepped on and damaged, the tree could die. also, i assume they don’t want people falling over the roots. we decided to be badasses and then we were able to high-tail it out of there before the park ranger showed up. i feel bad because i don’t want anything to happen to 8,000 year old trees because I needed a photo, but #photoopps. 

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After dodging the park ranger (see caption a few photos up), we started to head back to the bus. The tour was making a quick stop in Sausalito, which I have no pictures of. It is a very quaint town on the water. It reminded of almost every place I used to vacation in when I was younger. It was beachy, without the beach. Think pastel colored collared shirts and khaki/tan shorts, maybe a visor, Sperrys. Very money – not in a Guy Fieri way.

We had little time after we got back to the hotel to get ready and summon yet another Uber to take us to the Mets vs. Giants game. Jess is a huge Mets fan so she begged and we agreed to go. The fact that there were cookie ice cream sandwiches at the ballpark really sweetened the deal (pun kind of intended). Being real team players and supportive friends, Nicole and I surprised Jessica by buying and wearing San Francisco Giants shirts. Hey, we’ll go, but we aren’t going to go quietly.

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Remember how I said I wasn’t feeling well? Yea, that was still a thing and my throat was killing me by this point. The ballpark is right on the water and the nighttime fog was rolling in, bringing with it spritzes of rain. I was grossly underdressed (which I will talk about it a later post), so after the game, I was ready to hit the sack.

Day Three coming soon!

Experience day one here!

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i left [san francisco photo dump day one]

You know what they say about good things, right? They come to those who wait. To reward you for your extreme patience I am coming to you today with the first part of my San Francisco photo dumps!

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So, I’ve decided to organize it by what we did/saw each day. That way 1) it’s not 56938 pictures all at once and 2) so it’s easier for me to give my opinions and tell anecdotes. fun.

Going to California was a big deal for me. This trip was to celebrate my, Jessica’s and Nicole’s 30th birthday, and our 25 years of friendship. It was also my first cross country flight and the first vacation that I took without my parents which may be kind of weird, given my age, but I was never one to want to sleep out and, frankly, I like having my vacations paid for by someone other than myself. Bottom line is that this trip was a long time coming and I was jazzed.

As I mentioned in my last post, I wasn’t feeling well when we left. I do NOT recommend going on vacation if you’re not feeling well. (duh.) We’ll come back to that though. The flight was thankfully uneventful. About 5 hours, one Anna Kendrick movie (Table 19 – definitely recommend), and a generous handful of Jersey Shore episodes later, WE ARRIVED.

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This is over Colorado. I’ll give you 3 guesses as to what those white-capped turbulence makers in the middle of the photo are. If you guessed the Rockies, you’d be correct. If you guessed the Grand Canyon, you’d be Jessica. *sideeye emoji* For reference, they didn’t make a ton of turbulence, but from what I hear, they always make turbulence. Something about how the wind blows.

We landed at 3pm New York time. My ears were slightly clogged when we left, by now they were totally clogged. We made it to the hotel, waited in a forever line, only to be told they could only find my room reservation. And before you even ask, YES. I NEED MY OWN ROOM. Feeling myself unraveling quickly, I let Jessica take over. It was that or I would probably still be crying, draped dramatically over the front desk, like the Disney Princess that I am.

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This was after they asked Jess to scoot over a few steps so that they can help the next person, to which she replied “Is this hotel fully booked? [Yes] Well, then I’m not moving.” Thank God for big suitcases.

Forty minutes later, we were on our way to our rooms. I was still fading fast. My ears were so clogged, I was tired from just the go, go, go of travel, drained from the stress of my friends not having a room, my carry on’s zipper had broken on the plane, and I was starving. All I wanted to do was collapse into bed and take a nap. Alas, there were things to do and places to see so I dropped off my bags, gathered myself and went back downstairs to find food. We were given the name of a cafe right across the street from the hotel so we decided before the hanger (hungry anger) overtook us all, off we went. I had a turkey club with avocado, which unfortunately would be the first and last time I had avocado in California. The fries were also delish.

We decided to do some of the smaller sights that night. First up was the house from Full House. There’s actually two. The one where they filmed the outside shots and the row of houses from the credits. Naturally, we did both.

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We decided to walk to the next point of interest, which was the Mrs. Doubtfire house. I was super excited about this one because I loooove this movie. A little tip about San Francisco – almost everything is an 11-20 minute walk according to Google. Everything is also up or down steep hills. That being said, by the time we got to 2640 Steiner Street, I was ready to lie down. Maybe to die, maybe for a nap, I wasn’t too sure.

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fans left messages to Robin Williams on the bricks and sidewalks. Most were taken down/painted over, but these were still here.

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I had heard that the house was different in person than in the movie. It definitely was. First of all, in the movie, there was that nosey neighbor who called Miranda to rat Daniel out about the birthday party. IRL, that neighbor’s house isn’t even there. Second, in the movie, the front steps seem much higher. Like when Daniel is saying goodbye to the kids and his mother in law is watching from the top of the steps. She seemed further away from their conversation. Also, WHERE ARE MIRANDA’S BEGONIAS? Mrs. Doubtfire caught on fire while making dinner so she ordered food on the sneak. I could have sworn the delivery guy pulled into or in front of a driveway. I didn’t see one. Knowing myself though, the house is on the corner and I didn’t go around to the other side. Who knows what was over there.

After we were done with Mrs. D, we decided to Uber over to Alamo Square. The Uber took us almost on the exact same route we just walked which was fine by me because we didn’t have to do that death march again (San Francisco, I love you dearly, but those hills though, giiirl.)

Alamo Square is home to the houses in the opening credits of Full House. Also known as The Painted Ladies. Except the true definition of a Painted Lady is a Victorian style house painted with 3 or more colors. See also, a house Martina would like to own/live in.

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whatever happened to predictability…

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Our night plans were a little up in the air. By this time it was about 9pm in New York and we had been going all day. My ears were still an issue and I was just a little bit cranky. But I wasn’t going to let myself ruin this trip. No matter if I had to pull a Van Gogh and cut off my ear(s).

We must have had some dinner, although don’t ask me what or where. Then we decided to go to Twin Peaks. When we got back, Lisa asked me what the best part if the trip was and although I truly couldn’t choose just one thing, Twin Peaks was high on the list.

We summoned an Uber because it was wayyy too far from the hotel to walk, (we were realizing that Uber was going to be very useful for this vacation) and off we went. Abraham, our driver, was a gem. He took us up the winding roads that usually started or ended on a hill. GOD BLESS.

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We got up there and he let us get out and spend however long we wanted up there. It was freezing so we took a few pictures and hopped back in the car. But man, what a view. The fog was a killer. The natives have named the fog Karl (supposedly) and boy, is he a pain.

After Twin Peaks, Abraham asked if we wanted to take a ride to Treasure Island. “Well, I didn’t expect to be on the news this early in the trip, but might as well get it over with.” I thought. Treasure Island is, from what I could tell, a military base and maybe a park that has views of San Francisco from behind.

 

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#views

After Treasure Island, we had Abraham drop us back at our hotel. We had a long, busy day the next day and we were exhausted. Or, I was, at least. I stopped at the little (yea, right. They had hot food, alcohol, and various snacks) market that was in the hotel lobby and bought two 20oz bottles of soda for my room and almost passed out when the lady told me “That will be $9.45” Oh, California.

Day Two is coming soon! Stay tuned.

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honey, i’m home!

Guess who’s back, back again, Teenie’s back, tell a friend.

ugh. teenie isn’t even my nickname, never really has been either. the things i do for this blog.

Anyway….

I’M HOME!

San Francisco was amazing. I already want to go back. who’s coming with me?

Check back for pictures and recommendations. Just give me a few days because 1) I have to do some editing #fortheblog and 2) I’m convinced I have a touch of tonsillitis, but that’s a story for another time.

Also, if anyone has any tricks on how to unclog their ears after a plane ride, SEND THEM MY WAY. I’m strugglin’ here.

See you in a few!

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california dreamin’

I have to be up in about 5 hours but I’m not tired, so here I am. By the time you’re reading this I will be about an hour into a cross-country flight to San Francisco!

Guys, I’ve waited what feels like most of my (almost) 30 years to go to California. So, of course, my throat and sinuses decide NOW IS THE TIME to revolt and do things that they don’t usually do. Like, hurt and tickle for the past 10 days or so. The up-side is, I now have a sexy voice to use on all of the Californian boys (except it will probably be like that episode of SATC where Miranda meets up with her friend who moved from NY to LA and now instead of the anxious neurotic he used to be, he’s now laid back and chill. I can’t deal with that. I need someone fueled on coffee and sarcasm, not fresh air and avocados.).

We have some fun stuff planned and quite frankly, I can’t wait to sit and tell you all about it. My camera is all charged and it almost feels like it’s ready to do some work. These photo dumps are going to be large, my friends. GET READY.

I’ll be home in 4 days, so I’ll probably see you here in about 6 months.

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