Tag Archives: vacation

Snakes on a Plane!

True story.

Well I was hoping to get in a full-on, meaty blog post before we left for Florida tomorrow, but work and sleep deprivation and all those things in the “real world” have kept me from doing so.

In any case, the next time I post here will be from sunny Florida, at some point during the week!

You know, when I’m not being distracted by sun bathing on a boat, or sipping on a fruity cocktail, or enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal provided by Joe’s mother (we’re visiting his parents), or rollerblading like a bad ass (yup).

Happy Monday, everyone.


Just for the record…I hope there’s no snakes on our plane.


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Pickin’ in the Poconos

I thought cows were black and white? Hmm...

Ah, vacation. The weather was beautiful (on the cold side), and I learned to ignore my sniffles and coughs until the end of the trip. Now it’s back to reality (ugh) but thankfully back to keeping up with my blog. I was getting a little WordPress homesick!

On one of those beautiful days we decided to take a ride down the wavy mountain roads (much to my stomach’s chagrin), and climbed a rather steep hill to the strange, the odd, the very random 84 Country Store. Upon reaching the top of the hill, we were immediately greeted by this:

Hey...I know him!!!

I had no idea Shrek hung out in the Poconos! I’m sure there’s plenty of good eats out there, though. I was very impressed by his size, and the likeness is impeccable! And one of our friends caught view of him before we were even up the hill…

Behind Shrek we found even more handmade items, such as a giant pig whose back opens up for barbecuing, a bull (who was extremely lifelike right down to his…ahem… ) that doubled as the same, and the purple cow’s matching calf.

The cowboy equipped with his gun was one of my favorites; and the praying mantises were a reminder that I should edit that damn short story.

Shoot 'em up!

As we moved inside the store I was overwhelmed by all the scents that met me at the door. Apparently candle-making is very popular in the Poconos (as we learned in a candle store later in the week; literally wall to wall scents), and they had all the smells of Summer, Fall and Winter mingling in one room.

Among the candles were all the usual

These people really like to bedazzle their cows.

wooden signs adorned with “Live, Laugh, Love” and roosters and hens, painted in golds and reds and tans and ready to be hung in someone’s kitchen or bathroom. Then there were more cows, some Halloween decorations, and a nifty bracelet made out of can tabs that I just couldn’t resist. (The owner told me a woman makes them locally.)

Are they trying to tell me something?

The woman running the store had a thick New York accent and was sipping on a vintage bottle of ginger-ale as we walked in; she was also very warm, very friendly. Her father rocked on the rocking chair by the front door, cane in hand, and her daughter shyly followed us around as we explored some more.

I think I was more thrilled to find something that hugs my infant wrists.

Before taking off (we had lunch meat and beer to buy!) we checked out the Pepto-Bismol-pink shack that sat on one side of the hill.

Jackpot. This is where Mike and Frank would have a field day. Don’t let the dust hit you in the face on the way in: old (empty) bottles of Gin. A black-and-white portrait of a family no one knows. A rusty Schwinn. A dirty baby doll. The history

A bit too rusty to ride.

overwhelmed me. It was also a strange feeling to go from the bright pink exterior to the chilly, dark, damp interior. (But I would pick the inside of that building versus its ugly outer paint job any day.)

I also had the pleasure of running my fingers over this little baby:

My next tattoo?

Very cool, amIright?

We ran around in the tee-pee outside, and said our farewells to the homemade hot sauce and bars of oatmeal soap. If you ever find yourself in the Poconos, visit the 84 Country Store. Friendly staff and plenty of decorations for any Americana-style living room.

Nothin' but blue skies.

So now it’s back to writing, back to finishing this prompt for an October 20th deadline, back to figuring out what Joe and I want to be for Halloween. Oh, and deciding what samples to bring to the Push to Publish conference on Saturday!




And in other news: today is day one of my attempt at The Master Cleanse. Bring on the cayenne pepper and maple syrup…and lots of willpower (and lack of taste buds).


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A Little Hello From the Mountaintop

Not our exact view, but the internet on my phone decided to opt out of this trip.

I may not be able to breathe through my nose, but I’ll forgive the weather’s temperature and continue to enjoy myself. While a friend, her (almost) 2-year-old and I lounge inside trying to adjust the old-school antenna to catch a solid signal on a re-run of Judge Judy, Joe and another friend of ours are having boy time out back, complete with beer and a bow and arrow (not such a great combination…).

The Renaissance Faire was a rousing success, even with the $30 I spent on my German-style boot filled with their Oktoberfest beer. (Pictures to come in a later post, since the internet on my phone has not worked since we arrived here.) We caught a human chess match, a live jousting hosted by the Queen herself, and scarfed down bratwurst-and-kraut sandwiches.

Today began with a chilly nature hike, some cold medicine, and a pumpkin spice bagel smothered in pumpkin butter (truly amazing). I am enjoying the beginnings of October with a stuffy nose – but that’s alright.

More to come after vacation!

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Roughin’ it with a six-pack and good company

OK, so maybe it was more than a six-pack (much more). Either way, I enjoyed a relaxing Labor Day weekend in the mountains with the boyfriend and some good friends. I firmly believe that everyone should have off on Labor Day, but I can’t say I’d be disappointed if Starbucks or Wawa was open.

We saw plenty of deer, a turkey here or there…and oh yeah,  A HUGE BLACK BEAR! He could have eaten my face. Definitely. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to snap a picture (even after running after him in an attempt – not the smartest idea I’ve ever had). BUT, I am glad he didn’t decide to join us at the picnic table for burgers and beers.

We finished out the weekend with a fair by daylight, and by moonlight, two guitars paired with plenty of bad singing on my part.

Black & white just makes it that much more epic.

And while it rained right up until our departure on Wednesday morning, it was still a great time. But I must admit; while I enjoy the mountain air and the feeling of seclusion, I was excited to get back to digital cable and re-runs of Say Yes To The Dress.  (I’m sure Joe was excited, too.)

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Thank you, alma mater, for the BA….oh, and the TICKET.


Thanks for not giving me the speeding ticket. Thanks for not issuing those other 8 tickets you were apparently going to give me. (At least you didn’t force me to ride my bike home, after you spotted it in the back seat.) But I’m sorry my front license plate got ripped off in a car wash and had to be temporarily stuffed between my dashboard and windshield. And I’m glad the frame celebrating me as an “alumni” of my university on the back license plate is illegal. It’s Tuesday and this week already blows.

My phone has been blowing up daily with emails from banks suggesting I would make a great financial adviser based off my resume that shows no previous experience in the profession, and shady-sounding companies asking me to “work from home” and deliver packages that are guaranteed to be “drug and weapon free”. Right. I shouldn’t be handling the finances of others with five bucks in my wallet,and shipping what is probably someone’s stolen kidneys to another country isn’t where I saw myself in ten years. Back to the drawing board, and much more suffering to be done over my attempt at writing this book.

In other news:

This deer ALMOST ate out of my hand. Not that I’m sure I really wanted him to. But it would have been pretty awesome. (Check the sports bra and running shoes, post bike ride to feed the gnarly-looking kitties on Peace Pipe Way. I am the official cat lady of the Poconos.)

He was a big fatty. Saved none for the rest of them.

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Ready for another round of beer and grease.

A charred weiner...delicious.

A few weeks ago Joe and I spent 3 days in the Poconos, swatting bugs and breathing in the mountain air – all while flipping through the five television stations available and crushing beer can after beer can. Breakfast was sticky buns and dinner was burgers and smores.

Ellen Degeneres once spoke words of wisdom regarding how easy it is for us to stuff our faces in the darkness of a movie theater, completely guilt-free:

“We stock up on popcorn and candy like we’re crossing the Sierras, don’t we? “I’ll have a couple of soft pretzels, a hot dog, Milk Duds, Snocaps. Is that the largest popcorn you’ve got there, that bucket? You don’t have a barrel or anything like that? Do you have a donkey or a pack mule or anything? – Oh, and a Diet Coke.”

Well, being on a mountaintop somehow puts a cap on that part of my brain that feels any guilt about eating 3 sticky buns and washing them down with a Blue Moon and pizza bites. But…this time I think I’ll bring my bike.

I’m not exactly the outdoorsy type – my idea of “relaxing” doesn’t involve mosquitoes and spiders. But I do enjoy a nice open fire and the smell it leaves in my hair and on my clothes.

Five essentials I bring into the wilderness (or…a large mobile home tucked between some trees):

1) Sunblock (how do you think I stay this pale?)

2) Journal (for those moments of inspiration that arise from being surrounded by bodies of water and wild animals)

3) Alcohol (duh)

4) Laptop (not for internet, but for taking advantage of quiet time to work on my book-in-progress)

5) Underwear.

I dream of walking the streets of Venice with nothing but a backpack and a comfortable pair of sneakers on my feet, but until then, being nestled in a little corner of nature with the man I love is good enough for me. Even if I have to bathe myself in bug spray.

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