Sunday, December 10, 2017

PULL THE PLUG!

I know, I know, it's been a while.
Are you fed up w/politics? Like so fed up you can't see straight?!
Yeah, Me too!

Well...if you are a young voter, or a female voter, or a minority voter, I'm begging you..."Please don't suffer in silence! Speak up WITH YOUR VOTE!"

Now...I know it doesn't seem like it's worth your time. Like ONE vote...YOUR vote...isn't worth as much as another person's vote. I mean how can YOUR voice be of less value simply because of your voting location?! Just know that one of the two political parties will never be able to win with the popular vote because they are not the majority. They no longer speak FOR the majority.

So...
*If you have never been told to "keep quiet", because if you make waves it will only hurt YOU...
I AM NOT TALKING TO YOU.

*If you have never filed a harassment complaint with the dean of the department and been told..."You know, not all classes are offered every semester. It would be a shame if your graduation had to be delayed because the class you need is always full"...
I AM NOT TALKING TO YOU.

*If you have never asked a prof for extra instruction so you could pass a class, and received a slip of paper with directions to his house...
I AM NOT TALKING TO YOU.

*If you have never had a family member OWNED by another person...regardless of how long ago it may have been...
I AM NOT TALKING TO YOU.

*If you haven't been told WHO you can love, or that your love isn't as good as someone else's love...
I AM NOT TALKING TO YOU.

*If you haven't been told "We prefer to do business with the man of the house"...
I AM NOT TALKING TO YOU.

*If you haven't been told that your clothes, or makeup, or drinking suggests that it's OK to be raped/assaulted...
I AM NOT TALKING TO YOU.

****************************
If you think it's time for a change, I AM talking to you!

*If you don't think YOUR taxpayer money should be used to pay off sexual harassment claims against politicians...

*If you don't think pedophilia is EVER OK...even if it's happening in the church, or with elected officials...

*If you think your medical decisions should be made by two people, and those two people are YOU AND YOUR DOCTOR...

*If you think religion is fine...as long as it's kept in churches, and your own home, and you don't think the bible should be used to influence ANY lawmaking...

*If you don't think law enforcement deserves carte blanche...

*If you VALUE public land, and you don't think polluting it or exploiting it is acceptable...

*If you don't think corporations should have more value than individuals...

THEN YES! I AM TALKING TO YOU!
******************************

It's time to take a stand!
It's time to make your voice heard!

Washington DC needs to look different. It needs to represent THE PEOPLE. This country is full of women, minorities, and young people.
Laws are being made by a minority. They think it's ok because history has said it's OK to place a higher value on white, a higher value on male, a higher value on rich.
The past doesn't need to BE the future. Send the message that YOU want to be represented! That YOU want to be included in building a successful future...for YOU and ALL Americans...not just a select minority.
DON'T let 'em grab YOU by the pussy!

I've said it many times...
If you're an old white guy, you've had your chance. We've gotten to this point on YOUR watch. I may not be good at math, but I can identify a common denominator...

**The Gospel According To Susan.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Slingin' Hash!

 
The time is quickly approaching. I've never looked so forward to cooking in all my forty-*cough* years! Countless hours were spent trying to explain my vision to men who are paid to NOT have a vision, but are paid to build yours. The food made during the inaugural "burner lighting" should be worthy of this beautiful beast of a stove(which currently has no name, and it should. I'm having a difficult time deciding on one).
Theme party?
"Potluck"-type Buffet?
Ethnic?
"Holiday"?
Seafood?
Low Country Boil?
Brunch?
What to do? What to do?
 
It got me to thinking. Favorites. Favorite meal? Favorite restaurant? Favorite recipe? Hmmm...Favorite recipe?!
So here is my question to you. "What IS your favorite?"
*When your mom asked what you wanted for your birthday meal? What did you choose?

*When you went out to celebrate a special occasion(ie:Graduation)...Where did you go?
*When YOU want to make something special for someBODY special...What is your favorite recipe?
*Hypothetical(of course) "Death Row Meal"?
 
So...I'm asking y'all for input. Help me break in my kitchen with style! 
Please message me/or feel free to post your "Favorites".
Thanks in advance!
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Gospel According To...Susan

(And why not? It IS my blog after all.)

It's been a while since I've had the time to sit down and WRITE what I'm thinking. It's been much easier to run my mouth instead. So in the middle of this "Snowmageddon", "Snowpocalypse", "Coastal Icegasm '14", whichever term you prefer, I find myself with a moment of free time...and a few things on my mind.

Things I Know:
*I can't see a damn thing. Every light in this house is about as bright as a flashlight with 2 minutes of battery life left. I'm having a light bulb moment, and not the "idea kind". My living room is currently a cross between an old time brothel(thanks to plenty of rust, red, or otherwise darker lampshades), and a movie theatre during the previews. Just enough light to fit my diet coke into the drink holder hole, but not quite enough light to figure out which end of the Whoppers box to open...

*Searching for skincare products when you live on Ivory soap  and witch hazel is exhausting business. So many products. So much money. So many conflicting reviews. So little patience...

*Because I don't have enough on my plate. "But...you're not done w/your other obligations". Yeah, if I wait for that. Like I'll EVER be done! The Road To "Calypso"...



*Hobby Lobby. Does anybody really care if they close? Michael's doesn't have these issues. Maybe if HL said they wouldn't cover Viagra for unmarried men in that whole "birth control" discussion they'd have some credibility. They didn't, so they don't. Hell, I haven't shopped there in years because I find their views offensive. Then again, I vote with my wallet. I always have.

*This is the first time since I lived in GA(not quite 15 yrs) that I got a flu shot. I wasn't going to get one, but my *new* girlfriend ended up in the hospital in an induced coma because of this nasty flu beast. Totally caught me off guard. I had seen her less than a week prior. She's doing much better, thankfully. I haven't made many new friends since the last move, and it's not exactly easy for me to make "girl" friends. The few I DO have, I keep close. Like I said...it's not easy. The large majority of my friends are guys and I'm good with that. The less drama, the better.

*"Everybody should be able to own as many guns as they want". "Quit taking Social Security out of my pay. I can better manage my finances than the government/politicians can". "Don't tell ME which kind of health care I need, or even if I NEED any at all. I'll make those decisions for myself. The government/politicians don't know ANYthing about my needs, or those of my family." "Quit raising my taxes. The government/politicians are a wasteful, paid off, bunch of morons. Anytime the government/politicians try to run a program it ends up a giant goatfuck". 

Having said ALL those things, this same group says THIS nonsense:
"The Absolute Definition of Stupidity"
Apparently, an intelligent/educated woman with an advanced directive(who by the way, worked in the medical field) doesn't have the right to have her wishes honored. At least not according to the state of Texas. There is a group of people who think the government...YES! You heard it right...the GOVERNMENT(who according to THEM doesn't have a brain cell to SHARE) has a right to invalidate a legal document, simply because they want to. If you vote for ANYbody who thinks this practice is acceptable, you are not "part" of the problem...you ARE the problem.

Oh yeah, and then there's this:
 --New York Times:
“It was unclear on Sunday who would end up paying the hospital bill. Hospital officials had said previously that they were focused on caring for Ms. Muñoz, and that it was inappropriate for them to comment on or estimate the cost of a patient’s care. “At the appropriate time, the finance department will pursue the customary avenues to identify payers and reimbursement,” Ms. Labbe said."
Who do you think they will send that bill to?

*
Let's talk about the top shelves at the grocery store(or any store for that matter). I think they should have step stools like they do at the library. I have a better chance of having a jar fall on my head while trying to get on my tippiest tiptoes to get it off the shelf than I do of falling off the stool. Just a thought. I had to use a spatula to shimmy forward a jar of olives that I could SEE, but couldn't touch. Not a soul in sight. Enter...the step stool...


I'm ready for a road trip. Is it beach weather yet? I think I need a tan. It's good for what ails ya!
And Third Coast-ers...y'all be careful out there!!!
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Not All Who Wander Are Lost...


I’m lucky. There…I said it, and I know it. This is why…
Daddy traveled a lot, so as a kid I spent a lot of time in airports. All those people going to, and coming from…somewhere. They all had stories to tell, and I wanted to hear every one of them! I’m a gypsy. Always have been(some *things* you simply cannot change), and I always will be(some *things* simply should not change). As a kid, I read a LOT of books. I poured over every issue of National Geographic magazine that showed up in our mailbox. It was like the Christmas issue of the Sears Catalog, except I wasn’t making a list of the toys I wanted, but rather the places I wanted to visit. I remember(and am frequently reminded of) the time Daddy asked…”What do you want to be when you grow up?”, and I answered…”An archaeologist.”.  “No you don’t. They live in a dusty tent in the middle of the desert, and they make very little money.”. “OK. I want to drive an 18 wheeler.”. “Oh, shit!” I think my folks knew at an early age I wasn’t your typical girl…

I had to wait 12 years for my first airplane ride, but that’s all it took. The door to the world had just swung WIDE OPEN! I constantly wanted to be on the move. When I went to TECH I was skiing in NM, regularly in CO, hell, I would pretty much go anywhere with anyone every chance I got. Ma said I had “happy feet”, Daddy said I was a “wandering spirit”, Grandma said I had a “gypsy soul”. They were all right.
I spend more time on the road than I do at “home”. This is one of the things that make me lucky. I have seen things I never thought I would have the opportunity to see, and I have learned things that make me a better person(especially on the inside). I treat people better because I know there are all kinds of people in all kinds of circumstances at any time. I know this because I have SEEN them…hell, I have MET them! I take a *big* trip once a year to somewhere I have never been. The past 3 yrs have been amazing. In 2010 I was in Prague, 2011 I was in Krakow & Paris(Ma’s side of the family is Czech & Polish), and in 2012 I was in Budapest(Daddy’s side) tracing my Gypsy heritage. I spent those three years trying to explain why I am who I am. It worked. When I stepped foot in Hungary I knew…a whole country of *me*.
This year’s trip was the mother of all awesomeness. I got my first tan line of the summer season walking along the beach in Fiji. The ultimate goal was to get my internal clock set before I set out for New Zealand, and Australia. I have been waiting for this trip for 3 decades, and I have been crazy giddy for the past year. So far, my Fiji trip was amazing. The food, the people, hell I drank my beer while lying on the beaches of a South Pacific island. It’s like I was on the pages of a National Geographic magazine! Next stop…New Zealand. I knew this was going to be big. It has everything I love. Beaches, mountains(and skiing), culture, fabulously nice people, and OK…I’m going to admit, they love their sports as much as I do. Call me crazy! I’m great with that…because the Kiwi’s are damn sports crazy, too! I found myself at the pubs…rugby on every screen…totally involved, engrossed, and excited, surrounded by rabid fans. How great is THAT? Like Jimmy Buffett says…”I have found me a home”. It not only met…but FAR EXCEEDED every expectation I had. Believe me when I say I didn’t think that was possible.  When I travel, I always check out the local real estate. I’m curious like that. NZ is the first time I did not looked at real estate brochures, but rather chatted up some locals. “What exactly does it take to live here?” They were more than happy to fill me in. The truth, I’m interested. Very, in fact. I could see myself…very happy…down here. So the information gathering begins. With any luck(have I mentioned I think I’m very lucky?)I have some kind of future with these crazy/beautiful/wonderful people. Just typing that puts a smile on my face. I think this will require a few more “hunting” trips to this amazing country, but I’m willing to suck that up. Thank you QUANTAS for the brand new HNO-AKL! A million THANK YOU’S!

I do this when I travel, so here goes:
“What I learned”:
** Internet is a HOT commodity. You don’t get free WIFI. You even have to pay to use most of the hotel business centers! Hell, even when you pay there is no guarantee it will work. Many times it just cuts in and out! Your best bet? Hit a coffee bar, or ice cream shop. The cafe owners know you are desperate, so many of the joints put a WIFI password on the bottom of your receipt, so you can sit there sipping and checking email all afternoon if you choose.
** There is no better place for coffee than the good old US of A. It’s expensive here, and they do not understand the “bottomless cup”. I like good, filtered coffee. I do not need some fancy cup of coffee, the size of a fucking thimble that has grounds in it! While in NZ I noticed they sure do love their instant coffee in both the hotel room and at the hotel breakfast. I am personally not a fan, but when I need it, I will damn near just chew up those granules…no water…or cup…needed :P . The thing I LOVE? They put *quick heat* hot pots in all the rooms. You can(if needed)make that cup of instant coffee in 30 seconds! A friendly word of warning: It will be hot…molten lava hot!
** Airport security is a breeze! US TSA folks could learn a few things about respect, and courtesy. When you stop acting like you are some sort of all powerful authority(when in actuality you are just an insecure person with little *man’s* syndrome so you think acting like an ass makes you cool), and just do your job(and don’t just stand around yelling about your job)it makes life SO much easier, not to mention quicker. They don’t have security folks sticking their hands down your pants, up your skirt, or givin’ ya a reach around. They send you through a detector, scan your bag, and send you on your way with a “Have a safe flight!”.  Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well…it is!
** The good people of NZ are hopelessly stuck in the 80’s. Clothing, music, you name it. Believe me, I’m not complaining. I happen to love the 80’s.

** They have lots of fast food/takeaways, and there is more Indian, Thai, and Chinese food than I’ve ever seen before!
Ok…The world according to Susan…Or: “A few things/places in New Zealand I have seen/know”:

*AUCKLAND:
Auckland from Mt Eden


Thank you Ace car rental for the friendly reminder!!!
CITY OAKS HOTEL: This place is great. It’s a block walk to Queen St, and a few blocks walk to the Harbor. I got a short stay apartment. It had a kitchenette as well as a washer-dryer(all in one) unit. It was also a short(but hilly) walk to the airport bus stop. OH! WIFI is included!!
VALENTINO'S: Mascarpone and fig. BEST.GELATO.EVER.
FR TED'S PUB: Smaller, but there is outside seating(which I love). The food looked(and smelled) great. Again, I did not eat(well, I consider my beer food) but the onion rings looked VERY tempting Live music is a bonus!
ALBION HOTEL/BAR: Again, I can’t speak about the chow, but the beer was cold, local, and fairly inexpensive. Bartenders were quick, so you don’t have to wait around for a refill!
AUCKLAND MUSEUM: I admit it…I think if you are visiting, you should know who is there, WHY they are there, what is there, and how it got there. The AM has a fabulous exhibit on the Maori, as well as New Zealand’s military history/contributions. It is a donation system. They suggest $10/each. It’s well worth it.

*ROTORUA:
**This town is rich in Maori history. It is extremely interesting, and I read as much as I possibly could. This is a tourist town, it’s as simple as that. I’m not sure how they do it, but even with all the visitors it somehow manages to keep a small town vibe. Ignore the “tourist trap” warnings, there are plenty of very cool things to see and do!
ROTOVEGAS: There are plenty of places to choose from. Tons in fact. I chose the Roto-Vegas because it’s a little retro 60’s place, and I love retro hotels. I got a room with a small kitchenette. It was a little tight, but since it had everything I needed(plus a little), the tight space really wasn’t an issue at all.
 
The front desk staff is not just great, they are amazing. They give you all the super secrets of the city as well as discount passes/coupons. They know exactly where everything is, and are more than willing to help you find what you’re looking for. I cannot say enough good things about them. Their customer service is second to NONE! I could say this a million times and it would still warrant repeating! They bend over backwards to serve you. It’s just a 5 minute walk to trendy Tutanekai St. They have a street fair on Friday nights with plenty of local foods, music, and crafts. I cannot recommend the “Vegas” enough. If you find yourself headed to Rotorua, book it!
Check out:

HENNESSY'S IRISH PUB: They have a great menu, but the beer isn’t cheap. They have plenty of outside seating so you can people watch!
BREW: Rotorua’s only craft beer brew pub. They proudly serve(and rightfully so because it is excellent!) Croucher beer. I was sold after the first pint! Cozy inside, lots of outside seating. Be warned…the nights I was there,  the inside filled up fast.
PICNIC: They serve breakfast and lunch. I had a veggie omelet. It was good. The eggs benedict(w/the salmon) was “amazing”.
OPPIES: Came highly recommended both from Frommer’s, AND the Vegas front desk staff. “You must get the fish & chips. They’re the best ever!” OK. I admit it was good, but I’ve had better. I had the dinner and the 2 fish, and load of fries could have easily fed two. Takeaway only.
WAI-O-TOMO: Glowworm Caves. I loved it! Great guide! She kept everybody's interest...even the kids. That's a good thing. No photos are allowed inside cave. Here's a little secret...the gift shop has surprisingly reasonable prices.
Exiting cave via boat
 WAIOTAPU: The science geek that lives inside me absolutely LOVED this stop. History, Geology, and a spiritual feeling I can't really describe. It's a self guided walking tour. You can take the short one, or do all 3. Do all 3, you won't be disappointed. It's so cool...a little stinky, but totally cool!!!
 
 





WHAKAREWAREWA FOREST: Hiking and running on beautiful paths that wind through huge California Redwoods. There are hikes anywhere from 30 minutes, to 8 hours. This is a DO NOT MISS kind of place. If religion gave me this kind of spiritual experience, I’d probably still be going to church. It does not come even close. You leave the forest feeling blessed by Mother Nature, and it feels great! Oh…It’s free!
 
 

NOVOTEL LAKESIDE:  On the lake, right in the middle of it all. Pay internet in the room. There is a 20 minute limit on the two public computers located in the lobby. They have big screens, but I have to tell you, I don’t need the people behind me reading my email. There ARE people behind you, too. They wait…in a line…with no idea what “personal space” means. This is the worst part of the hotel. There is a guest laundry($4/load). I will say this…The breakfast is great. There is a HUGE variety to choose from, as well as made to order eggs. My favorite? They have bee hives on the roof and serve their local honey at every breakfast(complete with the comb displayed). I became a big fan of pancakes with honey. I rarely even EAT pancakes, but I was hooked!
Amazing double rainbow over Lake Wakatiu

FERGBURGER: What can I say about this place?! It was highly rated on Trip Advisor, and in Frommer’s. The mass of humanity jammed in here waiting for their burger was proof enough of the quality. It’s packed with both young and old. Hell, who doesn’t love a great burger?? They make their own buns at the Ferg Bakery next door. I’m not a big bread person and even I loved these. Beautifully light sourdough. Yum! It’s pretty much just an “order at the counter then take it somewhere else to eat”. There are a few tables but they’re always filled with people waiting for their number to be called. There are plenty of parks, as well as the waterfront to sit and enjoy your truly monster size burger. It doesn’t matter when you come, be prepared to wait. It’s plenty worth it, though!

Hey Lady...share your Fergburger with us???
JOE'S GARAGE: Raves on Trip Advisor sent me here. “Don’t miss”, “Fantastic breakfast”, “Worth the wait”(it’s a fairly tiny joint). I ordered lunch since it was noon and one breakfast a day is enough for me. I got a chicken sandwich. It was good. It didn’t come with fries or anything on the side. I will say this…my chicken was absolutely perfectly cooked. It had some marinated/grilled onions and rocket. They were a little light(3 small leaves *light*) on the rocket. Nothing over the top great. I should have gotten the Special…a “pick 3” Big Toasty with fries. Service is good, and the staff is very friendly.
FAT BADGER PIZZA: This is not your “Domino’s” pizza. It is really, really, REALLY good pizza. The “specialties” are numerous. I had about 4 that I didn’t want to decide between. I ended up with the Scratching Badger. It was great! It was great the next day for breakfast, too. If you’re still skeptical, check out the crowds eating in. That’s not even considering the takeaways. If you are in Queenstown and want casual…this is your place!!! No worries if you do not want pizza, they have other choices. The calzones looked beautiful!
PIG & WHISTLE PUB: I absolutely love this place. It was full of fun people laughing, and drinking. The beer is cold, and it isn’t as expensive as it COULD be. They had sports on the screen, and people were having a great time. It was nice to be in the middle of that as the pubs in Rotorua were a little on the quieter side, and I am not the overly quiet type.
THUNDER JET: Queenstown is called "The Adventure Capital of the World". It lives up! You can do damn near anything that provides an adrenaline rush, and I love that! There are many companies that will provide the jet boating experience. Thunder Jet happens to be the one I chose. They give you a one river, or two river option. Go with the 2. This is a fun way to quickly cover some ground, as well as get a little history lesson, too. The tours are offered many times a day so you can easily fit it in. Don't worry if there's a little rain, you'll be getting wet anyway.
QUEENSTOWN RAFTING: DO THIS!  Even if you've never rafted before, I highly recommend fitting this in! They have a few options for many levels of experience. Truth is, the bus ride from town to the river is almost as exciting as the rafting itself. There are times when the bus hangs over the side of the mountain. The view down is frighteningly spectacular. They provide you with all the gear you need, and Michele, Tom, & Heath made it extremely fun! Again...DO THIS!
AIR MILFORD: There are a few ways to get out to Milford Sound. I chose a Air Milford charter flight. This is the shortest, and by far the best way to see this beautiful landscape. It’s pricey. They make your reservation(but don’t actually charge you until you get on), then you have to call that morning to see if the weather supports the flight out. If not, they will try to reschedule the next day. Make sure you have a back up day for this. Believe me, you do not want to miss it! Air Milford is a first class operation. Hank runs the place, and you actually get to talk with him when you’re there. You have quite a few choices air travel-wise. I highly recommend these guys. First class all the way.

Our small, but fun group!

Entrance to Milford Sound

What you WON'T see if you drive...Mountain top lake w/waterfall! Stunning!
Ummm...Not sure if you see that... ;)
MILFORD SOUND/JUCY CRUIZE: They take you out on one side of the sound, turn around at the mouth of the Tasman Sea, then bring you back in on the other side of the sound. They have free hot coffee, tea, and cocoa as well as a few pay snacks. The day I went, the weather was stunningly beautiful. Not a cloud in the sky. It takes some effort to get to Milford Sound, but it’s worth it.

 
NEXT STOP...AUSTRALIA!
 
 

Monday, April 8, 2013

"I'm Off To See The Wizard!


...The Wonderful Wizard Of OZ!!!"
I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a very long time. I love new things, and I love new people even more. I can’t wait to see what, and who pops into my life in the next 28 days. Look out good people of Fiji, NZ, and AU…I’m on my way!!!
Day 1: (Don’t worry. I’m not writing every day, but you have to start the trip off right)

DFW-LAX(overnight in LA.). This is the last Space A flt of the trip until the last return leg from LAX-DFW. Slept like a rock thanks to the HILTON AIRPORT LAX. Had a perfect view of the runway, and was serenaded by jet noise through the night. I am not being sarcastic. It’s the truth. Clock radios come w/babbling brook white noise. I need “in the pattern”, or “next to the airport” white noise. 
Room w/a view!
The flt to Nadi  didn’t leave until 2330 so there was an entire day to kill.  I’m a huge Diners Drive Ins and Dives fan, so I always check the website for places to eat when I’m on the road. Today’s “gift” was the NORTH END CAFFE on the north end of MANHATTAN BEACH. 
Manhattan Beach, LA
  I’m going to be honest(why change now?). I’m not a fan of Los Angeles. I much prefer my “LA” to be the the Panhandle of FL(“Lower Alabama”),or New Orleans, “LA”. Having said that, I love the beach. ..Most every beach. ..Pretty much any beach. So, since LA is coastal, it can’t be ALL bad, right? Well, as long as you stay where you can get sand in your flip flops it’s OK. The North End Caffe was a treat. I’m in luck!! The guy who owns the joint happened to be working. He was posting the evening specials on a chalk board, and I wouldn’t have passed on any of them! As usual we went “halves”. Two burgers. One Fuego, and one Donahue. They couldn’t have been more different. Both came w/fries. Both were excellent! Fortunately the Hilton gym was stocked, and it was a 3 mile walk(round trip) from the bus stop, because neither was good FOR you. There was more cheese on the Donahue than they have in the whole state of WI.

Donahue(LT), Fuego(RT)
LAX-Nadi: I know it won’t seem like a big thing to most people This plane is old school! Working ash trays. And four engines. Last time I was on a plane w/four engines I was sitting on a cargo net seat(that is not a complaint in any way. Just a fact). Thank you AIR PACIFIC for an on time departure,  a great flt, and an early arrival. A little turbulence over…well, I’m not sure where exactly(since unlike AA, they don’t have that map w/the  “You are Here” plane w/ground speed, altitude, and airspeed up on the TV. I love the current temp line), but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have mattered. I figure it would have gone something like…”You’re over a LOT of water, in the middle of the night. ICOE…you are SO SCREWED!”…
Air Pacific(old school). Coming Soon:FIJI AIR!
The cab ride from Nadi’s airport wasn’t bad at all. After the most frightening cab/van ride in Jamaica, nothing comes close to worrying me, anymore. First thing I did was to reach for my seatbelt…which was attached…with a KNOT. Yes, the seat belt was tied…once…to the buckle. I wore it anyway. I don’t know why…
So…if you ever find yourself in Fiji, do yourself a favor and stay at the FIJI RESORT & SPA. The staff is about as friendly as you can get. Fillipe is a charmer, w/a great sense of humor. When he says “Miz Suzan”, it makes me smile. My room is fabulous. It’s more a suite, than a room. There’s a grill on the balcony. I’m livin’ the high life!!!


SUNRISE!!!

AND...3 DAYS IN FIJI COMES TO A CLOSE. THIS IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE BEST "BEAT JET LAG" IDEA...EVER!

Friday, March 1, 2013

"I Got a Little Wild Streak in my Heart. I Got a Little Threadbare Gypsy Soul...

...I like to hear the highway sounds. And I don’t think that I’ll ever settle down"... Thank you Pat Green.
I've been hanging around Paradise since the sale of my house. I've done some last minute cleaning, but my house is empty so I'm currently living in a hotel.
Before...

After...
 FWIW, since I live here I haven't stayed in any local hotels. I have to mention the Hampton Inn and Suites JSC. Just fabulous! Here's where it gets bothersome. I spend a lot of time on the road. If I'm going to be somewhere for more than a few days, I get a room with a kitchenette. Even on the road I cook my own meals. I don't like eating out every day. Honestly, I hate it. I'm on day 5 of this current hotel stay, and can I say..."I'm over it!" I want...no, NEED...to cook a damn meal!! Paradise(and the surrounding area) has some great places to eat. I'm grateful because I'm not a fast food kind of girl. So far this week I've enjoyed Skipper's, Bombay Tadka, Outrigger's, Jason's, Genghis, Abe's, Fudd's, just to name a few. I'm done! Stick a fork in me! I want my stove, pans, fridge! I want lasagna...the way I make it, not the way Villa Capri makes it. I want chicken shit casserole, pierogi, Cincinnati style chili!
I don't know how people do it. Eating out every day is so damn expensive! That money would be so easy to save with just the smallest amount of effort(and a crockopt w/a timer).
Hopefully the house selling HOA issue currently on my plate resolves for the noon closing. Either way, I will be spending the night at The Tremont, and eating/drinking at some of my very favorite places( Star Drug, Brews Bros). I love The Strand! I am also counting the hours...until I can cook a meal...in my fully stocked kitchen...very, very, soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Paradise, Lost And Found. Paradise, Take A Look Around...


There's a little bit of fruitcake left in every one of us"... Thank You Jimmy Buffett.
View from the Hula Deck-Outrigger's
I live on the "good" side of Houston(at least until 01 MAR when G & H will sign on the dotted line). Seabrook to be exact. I started calling it Paradise the minute I moved in. The tiny town has found a place in my heart. It's eclectic. It's bohemian. It's busy. IT'S ME!!

My favorite summer hangout!
Neptune's (http://www.neptunesubs.com/ )

Summer traffic going south on 146/Bayport just before the Kemah Bridge
The Turtle Club ( http://lancesturtleclub.net/ )

I admit to not wanting to make the last move. I had found a home, and friends, in my longtime squadron. It wasn't easy to leave. Believe me...I fussed.  The first house I found in Paradise was great. My real estate agent was a flaming bitch, not to mention a lying cheat. I dumped her. She's lucky I didn't bring charges...because I could have. The second house I fell for went under contract 15 minutes before I called to put in my offer. THAT turned into a "drinking night". I was beginning to think it wasn't meant to be. Then Ed called. "There's a house w/the same floor plan as the last one, on the street behind it. Want to look?" Uhhh...HELL YES! Now, I didn't want "that" house, but I needed resale. "That" house would give me the best chance(turns out I was right). Thanks to no recent hurricane activity(I bought right after Ike), my house was under contract in 5 days. I'm not bragging, but I think I have a gift for this. 


In that nearly 4 yrs, Paradise has grown on me far more than I had thought it could. It has it all...the Waterfront, with great bars like Outrigger's, and fresh off the boat Gulf seafood. The Kemah Boardwalk is blocks from my house, and Bente's turned my "resale potential" into a house filled with fabulous "repurposed goods".  I biked and ran on Todville Rd, past beautiful beach houses and giant palms. A 15 minute drive and I was rollerblading on Seawall.

On an afternoon run


Coastal showers!(Todville Rd from 2nd)
Lower Todville Rd
I grew up in Houston, and Galveston was the best way to spend the weekend. Back then 8 Mile Rd was the end of the earth. Not today. It's grown some kind of crazy! You canNOT beat an afternoon on Seawall. You just can't!

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=12671287


Seawall...the arch is where The Balinese Room (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balinese_Room) was...pre Ike.
 
So...the long and the short of it is...My little part of the Texas Gulf Coast is "home". I don't use the word "home" often. I have my reasons. This is one time I will though, because it's the truth. I'm sad to leave Paradise. I truly love it here. But...I have adventures to embark upon, coastline to conquer, and a little dream to make a reality, so it's OK. I can pop in when I'm back visiting family. Thankfully Scholes is only a quick 1.4 in Rae! YAY! "$200 burgers" at The Spot, or grab a milkshake at Star, or a different "Island" feel at Yaga's ... or do a little Smokey and the Bandit...seafood style...from Katie's!!!
 
If you have the occasion to be looking for houses in H-town...Come to the GOOD side! Do it up right and head for the coast. Check out Paradise. You'll be glad you did!