The Mexico Diaries: Part 5

DAY 9

Walk down the Malecón to do breakfast at Langostino’s – the restaurant where I met the Canadian boys the other day. While I’m eating, Doug and Luis walk by and ask if they can join me. Of course! There’s always room for two more with my party of one – especially since I’m posted up at a four-top. We chat and sip coffee for nearly an hour and become FB friends before heading off. I find out they’re 55 and 60 and one of the most fun couples I’ve met. God bless Canada.

Swing back to my hotel and contemplate doing the pool for a bit but decide I should pack the majority of my stuff first. May as well get ahead of the game since I leave for the airport in T-minus 26 hours. How depressing. Ugh. I don’t want to leave tomorrow. Continue reading

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The Mexico Diaries: Part 1

A few months back, my boss says to me: “So you have a bunch of vacation days to burn through before blackout kicks in for the holiday. Figure out when you want to take some PTO and let me know.” Since I’m not one to sit around and do nothing (sorry to any of you who live for a good staycation) I immediately started looking for flights to somewhere warm. As much as I love Chicago, I need the beach – a real beach on an ocean, not a lake – in my life.

So remember that time I went to Mexico for a week with seven of my friends and wound up losing my wallet in the first 48 hours? Well…when you have ten days to burn and find a round-trip flight for under $300 and a hotel for $31/night that’s two blocks from the beach, you book it and cross your fingers since you’re flying solo this time around.

With the exchange rate making a Corona about $1.20 at the time, I decided I should probably keep notes to document my trip since it would probably wind up being a blur. Behold. Continue reading

Dear Jewel…

My dearest Jewel-Osco,

Why must you insist on us having such a love-hate relationship?

Providing only four employees – one for each of two lanes, a bagger, and a supervisor for four self-checkouts – on a busy Friday night when all of Boystown and Wrigleyville needs to stock up on their weekend refreshments, is probably not the smartest staffing decision. Especially the weekend that Chicago’s plastic bag ban takes effect.

And especially if a decrepit 93-year-old Mr. Miyagi lookalike is your bag boy?

By All Means...

While I love you and your broad selection of delicious food, your checkout lines on a Friday night are the reason I keep Treasure Island around as my mistress…

You see, it’s like this… Continue reading

The Adventures of MDR

If you follow me on Twitter (which if you don’t, then you totally should be), you’d have already guessed from the title of this post that it’s about the charming young man I like to refer to as MDR, also known as “My Delightful Roommate” (or another “D” word if you prefer). If not, this should explain it and get you up to speed.

As you might have guessed from my tweets and a previous blog post, my roommate is pretty much awesome and has phenomenal taste in the men that he brings home from the bar. Especially on random Tuesday nights. He’s probably the best roommate I’ve ever had.

Oh who am I kidding? Other than my Roomdog, I tend to have a great track record with choosing only the cream of the crap to live with. Crap. I meant crop. Same thing. Don’t get me wrong…I love the kid to death, but living with him is a real treat. Where do I even begin? Continue reading

Tipsy Tuesday Strikes Again

 

Forget everything you ever knew about TGIF – and no, I’m not talking about TGIF as in TGIFridays (although I do love great all-day-everyday drink specials and delicious artery-clogging appetizers. No. It’s all about TGIT these days. If you missed the memo (as I apparently did), Tuesday is the new Friday – or else at least at my apartment it is…

l_5117e830-bd06-11e1-a066-531485100006I never really understood mid-week drinking. Well, outside of happy hour, networking events, wine nights, and….well….okay, fine. I get it. Sometimes you need to just let loose.  Tuesday is apparently the new “it” night to do such.

For example… Continue reading

Epic GrindrFails: Vol. 3

In case you’ve been living under a rock and missed it, the ladies of Second City have released yet another “Ladies Looking” video.

Because of this event worthy of having its own government-recognized holiday (complete with mandatory bank, post office, courthouse, and school closures), I felt it was an appropriate time to release another round of the ridiculous messages I’ve received on the same ridiculous apps. Continue reading

Management 101: How to Effectively Run a Business

I’m sure you’ve probably read Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. While I agree that there are some great lessons to be learned from this, I don’t quite agree that it’s all you need to know. Anyone who can say that has obviously never worked in a restaurant because that’s really where you learn everything. From how to tip to how not to treat people in the service industry, and from how to clean up after yourself to how to effectively run a business. You’d think some things would be common sense, but apparently not. Tipping and cleaning up after yourself aside (we’ll save those for another day), we’re going to focus on the most important thing: how to effectively run a business.

I was going to let this post slide under the radar, but after learning recently that I’m apparently banned from one of the restaurants I worked at over the summer for “blasting” them on social media after I left, I felt it was an appropriate time to look at my time there in a positive light and share with you what I was able to learn from the experience. Continue reading

Home Is Where You Make It And Not Just Where The Heart Is

No Place Like HomeGrowing up, I was taught that “home is where the heart is” – compliments of some hand-stitched needlepoint that my mom or grandma had done at some point and hung on the wall.  There’s the part in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy clicks her ruby red heels together and chants ‘There’s no place like home’ three times then magically reappears there. Sometimes it’d be nice to be able to do this. Trust me – there have been times that I’ve wished I could click my glittery size 12 pumps (just kidding, those days are over) together and end up in my mom’s house with a home-cooked meal in the land of a lack of reliable cell phone service where the closest guy on Grindr is 4 miles away. Continue reading

Adventures in Road Tripping Part 4: All Good Things Must Come to an End…or a Temporary Pause

As we rolled into San Diego on a sunny Sunday afternoon, depression started to set in. In less than 24 hours I was supposed to be boarding my flight back to Chicago and trading 80-degree temps for 50’s and rain. Determined not to let the inevitable (me leaving) get us down, we headed for Balboa Park to stretch our legs and let Baker make some friends at the dog park before checking into our amazing last-minute AirBNB booking at the Granada House (make sure to check out their blog too!!) in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. As our stomachs began to growl (yes, gays really do eat sometimes), we set off for the beach to grab dinner and catch the end of the sunset.

SD Sunset 1

I mean seriously…how can you not fall in love with this view?

And just like that, my love affair with San Diego began. Continue reading

Adventures in Road Tripping Part 3: California Dreaming

In case you’ve somehow missed the first half of my road trip of a lifetime, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2. If you’re caught up, behold….the light at the end of the tunnel!

Setting the cruise control for 85, we took off from Portland and set our GPS for the city of cable cars, hills, sourdough bread, and the Golden Gate Bridge…but more importantly: Full House and one of my all-time favorite movies…Mrs. Doubtfire.

Helloooooo, San Francisco!

Bonus points if you read that in the Mrs. Doubtfire voice where Robin Williams is spontaneously painted for filth (as drag queens say) in birthday cake realness.

Leave it to us to get distracted though and turn what could have been a quick 10-hour drive (or 8 hours with us at the helm) into a full two days of driving thanks to a state-line sunset and a trip through the Redwood Forest.

As we closed in on the Oregon/California state line, it was nearing time for sunset and what better way to welcome us to California than my first official California sunset?

Crescent City SunsetWe pulled off in a town called Crescent City and found a harbor where we could watch the sunset. Let’s just say that after seeing a California set I was officially sold. Nothing I’ve seen before compares.

Figuring it’d be fun to camp again, we called to reserve a campsite in the Redwood National Forest. Wrong.

“Sorry the campsites in the park are first-come first-serve. You need to book your campsite at least 48 hours in advance, and we don’t know which campsites have availability or not.” Continue reading