Temecula

28 12 2011

“Temecula is a place where natural beauty, historic traditions, and modern conveniences combine to offer entertainment for people of all ages.”

More importantly known for being wine country featuring parks, mountains, valleys, and golf courses. There’s actually a pretty neat video detailing such on their City of Temecula homepage.

Most importantly, it is home to our only Hobby Lobby.

This past weekend I drove up to Temecula for the first time. It’s a pretty decent set-up out there. And it was Xmas eve so not too much traffic. It’s about an hour NE of where I am. It’s an easy drive though, all highways.

I rediscovered some old cds I had in my trapper-keeper style cd case. Seriously it holds over 400 cds. What an invention. You know, albums like All Saints, Tech Nine, Limp Bizkit, some old Tim McGraw, Eve, Missy Elliot, Fergie (thank God she went single there for a while-great stuff), etc.

Oh I was jammin. You forget about all those oldies sometimes. I also discovered on my way that ol Highway 15 is having a bit of an identity crisis. It was labeled something something someone memorial highway. Also labeled “Avocado Highway”, which is awesome. But which is it?? I think we should pay homage to California’s favorite fruit. (I just googled it, it’s a fruit apparently..) But I know the state would probably disagree from changing “Highway 15” to “Avocado Highway”, so I guess those other posted names are merely suggestions?

Ok, so I made the trek to go to the Hobby Lobby. It’s those little things from home you miss. I’m still waiting on Taco John’s to set up shop out here. But we have Jamba Juice, Chipotle, Sonic, and HobLob, so I’m not complaining.

When I arrived, I learned that the Lobby just set up shop this past Halloween. So it’s a very new store. There seemed to be a decent amount of patrons, considering it was the Eve. Probably because that store is amazing. If you are a woman and you craft, decorate, scrapbook, draw, paint, arrange flowers, or do anything woman like or crafty, this is the place to be. And they always have amazing sales. If you haven’t been there, just imagine a Michaels but like ten steps up with newer things that will fit your exact taste.

SO, I had some Birthday spending to do, so I set out on an adventure. I found some frames that were half off, and I do have a wall that I needed something for, so it was the perfect excuse to buy some more stuff. And I got a rub-on wall thing that says “Live every minute with love in your heart grace in your step and gratitude in your soul.” Super cute. It has some feathers that stick up there with it. I’ll try to get a picture when it’s done. These rub-on wall things are the new thing I guess. They’re pretty easy, you just put them up to the wall, rub them on with a hotel-key card thing and they stick, voila! There’s tons of sayings and quotes or designs you can get. Pretty neat. I probably wandered up and down ever aisle for about two hours and decided that was all I needed. The vision of my jam-packed spare bedroom is still haunting me.

So, the project this week is getting the frames up! Hopefully I don’t fall…

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Tanger Outlet = Black Hole of Goodness

22 07 2011

This past weekend me and my friend Gypsy went to the Tanger Outlets in Foley, Alabama.

About an hour and a half west of here. Honestly I thought it was closer, but it ended up being a fast trip nonetheless. We had some time to catch up and listen to some new tunes. Plus it was a gorgeous day despite Mother Nature’s “wet sunshine”. Also, we learned there is a Lambert’s Cafe in Foley. “Home of the throwed rolls.” Turns out the place originated in Missouri, my motherland. Who knew. We didn’t end up eating there this time because there were at least 50 patrons in front of us and we didn’t want to wait for three hours. So, we made the executive decision to eat something at the mall. Interestingly enough, for such an overwhelmingly large mall, there were only three food places. Pizza. Chinese. Sammies. That is all.

Tanger Outlets is not a place for the occasional shopper. It is a place you go as an experienced shopper. Get in, get some business done, and get out. You will lose your mind without a plan of attack.

I have no idea how many stores are there, but if I had to guess I would say at least 100. And thankfully we weren’t interested in over half of them, such as the knife store, the jewelry stores, the tool man-shop, the higher-end stores etc. Makes sense, they have to pepper in some shops geared towards the poor poor husbands.

So, we hit up quite a few outlets. Eddie Bauer, Nike, North Face, Jockey, Coach, etc. BUT, during our walkabout, two new stores were introduced into my life.

1. Soma

2. White House Black Market

Amazing little shops. Well, not little since they are chains and all over the world but you get the drift. Soma is a woman-stores. Undies, sleepwear, etc. Kind of like Jockey, but they have really good quality intimates. soma.com if you wanna check it out. But as I was wandering around the store, I found some undies that have a silicone lining on the cheek part. So they stay in place, ie: no wedgies, like EVER. I found this pretty ballsy  that they would claim this. I have never owned anything that didn’t at some point during the day ride up and become uncomfortable. So, the silicone isn’t like butt padding, it’s just a very thin little strip, so as to act like double-sided tape (you can kind of see it in the pic). These panties also offered the “vanishing edge” feature. I scooped some up to try them out and rushed to the counter before I could gather any other items I didn’t need.

As I approached the counter the lady was helping someone else, so I patiently waited near the lotions, the optimum marketing placement that gets me every time whether it’s lotion, purfume, lip gloss, nick nacks….Me and Gypsy tried every lotion up there and decided we liked the majority of them, and didn’t like one of them and made some ick-faces as we smelled them some more….and then it was time to check out.

This particular saleslady seemed overly excited about undies…. As she scanned my picks, I did my usual “Do you have a military discount” routine and forked over the plastic. This is the moment where said lady decided to practice a little afternoon overshare. She went into the “these undies are so great!” sales routine and went on and on about how the vanishing edge is great and the silicone sides guarantee no more wedgies (but her boyfriend was reportedly disappointed about this feature) and how they are top sellers, and after wearing them once I’ll be hooked forever. Mmmhmm? (insert polite nod and awkward save me glance at Gypsy). Then, the lady proceeds to pull up her dress and show me exactly what she was talking about with the vanishing edge/silicone business. She lifts up her dress, and btw, we are still standing in the middle of the store at the register as various customers meander in and out. She pulls the back of the undies out and shows us the silicone and snaps them back into place and exclaims her love of these things. Then she put her dress back down, handed me a receipt and then it was Gypsy’s turn to take a stab at check-out-counter roulette. As you probably have guessed, I headed for the door and waited for her in another location. Awkward.

BUT, as it turns out, these undies are AMAZING. Like, amazing. Time for my own overshare. (guys, skip this paragraph) I got five pairs, they have them in every kind, bikini, high-rise, boy shorts, etc so you can mix-n-match, and all sorts of patterns. I wore them for the first time on Sunday and it feels like you are wearing nothing, as in absolutely nothing underneath. AND for the first time in twenty-six years I went an entire 18 hours without a wedgie, or even a slight panty adjustment. It was the strangest thing. Going from my staple Victoria’s Secret staple panties to this new, unfamiliar land with pure bliss where you put on your undies and forget about them. Amazing. I will never buy anything else. Crazy peep show saleslady was onto something…

Now, as for the other store. White House Black Market. This place was somewhat similar to NY & Co., but a tad more swanky. They sell business-y type clothes that you can also dress down if wanted. Supercute coats and pants/jeans. I ended up finding a greenish-military colored jacket that is perfectly fitted, and some jeans that look great. I will def be visiting that joint again.

All-in-all we had a nice little day trip. Good thing, cause I was house-bound most of Sunday due to rain, rain, and more liquid sunshine (according to the saleswoman at the North Face Outlet).

Now, what’s the plan for this weekend? Loving being back in the U.S. and catching up with old friends!

Hope everyone had an equally enjoyable weekend. I’m trying to send some of this rain up to the midwest!





Dreamscape

2 07 2011

I had THE strangest dreams last night.

Several people I know were there….and people I don’t necessarily know on a close encounter kind of basis.

The only thing I did outside of my normal bedtime routine was get Arby’s. Curly fries and a roast beef sammy. Medium. Somewhere in between getting my foodstuffs, driving home, watching “Fringe”, and turning in for the night, someone might have slipped me a roofie. I have never had this amount of dreams and slept so poorly in my life.

Firstly, I could not even get to sleep. I laid for an hour and a half wide awake. Then, once I did get to sleep I would wake up every two hours. Not because of a a startling sound, or because I had to use the ladies rm, I just woke up out of nowhere.

My first dream was of my family. My Mom was out on vacation, so me and the sister Roch were watching the kids while they were out of town. The Mums was on vacation with a boyfriend (despite her real life husband of 16 yrs…??–but single in the dream) and we were babysitting the little brothers and sisters that were in the dream. The house was a MESS. A mess, so we were dutifully cleaning. The strange part was that there were pool floatie noodles everywhere. In ever room disbursed out in a mess. So, Mom and her bf come home from vacay with three kids in tow, and a moving truck. She had decided it would be best for them to move in with us. A man she had MET a short week ago, and some kids we had never met. Three kids to be exact. You can imagine my surprise.

Flash to dream II. In this dream I was snorkeling. But it was really deep in the water, and it was freshwater. Yeah, not the ocean, though ocean life was present, but a lake-like thing that was very clear to see through. My company was a girl I met in Pensacola seven years ago, and also who I was stationed with on the USS Essex with two years after that. We were snorkeling and all of a sudden my entire left leg was in the mouth of a crab. This must of been one giant crab, because my legs are neither short nor frail. So I turn around and this crab has got me nearly swallowed. And, as in any dream, things are not the norm…I can actually see from the inside of the crab as my leg is being eaten and digested.

I am woken up for a bathroom break. Thank God, I need that leg.

Dream III, I am shopping at a mall with my three friends that are coming to visit me in Florida this summer. Jewleggi, Penny, and Shmarshmandra. We are in this mall, and I spy from across the hall that they have a Coach store. Naturally, I gotta go check it out. As I get closer, the end of the mall opens up and there is one side of it that is lined in shelves. These shelves are FULL of designer handbags that are on serious discount. This is my kind of dream shopping mall. So, I start checkin them out, trying them on, seeing if they feel just right. Most of them were outdated/old styles, but I have an eye for these things, as does every woman in the market for a purse. And I see a couple peeps from High School go sauntering by. People that were a couple grades below me. I was rather surprised to see them in the exact mall that I was shopping in. And in Florida no less. How random. So I shout to them, as they had already walked by when I realized who they were, “Hey, I remember you from High School” -insert ‘you know me’ face- and they just stared at me. No words. And turned around and kept walking. Well that was rude. I look pretty much like I did nearly ten years ago. So, I continued on with my shopping, which leads me into my next dream… (I guess when dreams get boring, your mind moves on?)

Dream IV: This time I was at a dealership somewhere in FL checking out some cars. The dealer rolls up in a caddy that looks 1/3 jeep, 1/3 nice car, and 1/3 hearse. The hearse/jeep part being located at the very end of the car, with an open top…. I just stood there. He pops out, looking all excited. There was a couple test driving it and he had been in the back seat. They seemed very interested and ready to buy. He shows me the car and gives me a little story about it and how he searched high and low to find just the thing I was looking for. (I have a thing for manuals, and this one was the only one they had on the lot). He had to specially hunt this thing down because they don’t really sell them much anymore these days. I explain that it is hideous looking and I hate it. To which he looks at me disgustedly and tells me he has had his eye on this one because he knew I would like it. I tell him I don’t even want to test drive it because it is huge, and I hate it. Meanwhile I am still sitting in a friend of mine’s car, not even getting out to give it the eyeball. I was at this dealership with a guy from class -we were there in his new jeep-, my friend Jewleggi again, and a distant cousin of mine, to which I have not even seen in person in at least 7 yrs. We used to party back in college, but I haven’t been home much since the Navy happened. Anywho, so me and her sit in the car and jeep-class guy, we’ll call him Miker gets out to scope this thing out. He gets in the car and proceeds to test drive it. Anything to make the dealer happy, we need him on our side if I ever hope to get a new car. No idea where my actual car was in this dream… I own a decently new car. So Miker and the dealer get back from the test drive, and this guy is still angry with me. He makes me and my cousin-girl wash all of their cars in the warehouse. Like, soap, hose, and sponge style. And apparently this man not only owns a dealership, he also owns a golf course, which had to be in the same area because above us in the warehouse were hundreds of golf shoes. Like when you see shoes hung on a power line, but these were literally hanging at different levels above our heads. Flash forward to several hours later, Jewlegs had to leave us since she had somewhere to be before 6pm. There was now a party going on in the warehouse. Though the dealer-man was ignoring me, he was kind enough to let me have some of his liquor. So we drank, and a friend from Hawaii shows up, who is apparently buddy-buddy with this dealer. And they hit if off like two peas in a pod, and I am left wandering the warehouse staring up at the shoes and wondering what exactly this guy was up to with all these shoes.

Then, I wake up. Well, let me rephrase that. I was RUDELY awaken by the houskeeping. Four very abrupt knocks. As if there were a 600 pound gorilla outside my room, seriously. I hear you lady, no need for the early-morning rapping. It was 8am. Now, these ladies don’t come by until at least early afternoon on the weekdays. What makes weekends so special that you must come at 8am. Who on earth is awake at this hour?!

I think watching this “Fringe” show is really messing with me.

Sister, don’t you have a dream book? What is wrong with me?!





More Awlins

27 06 2011

During our short time in New Orleans, we got to explore the French Quarter and saw many a sight. Although it was very warm….we made do. NOLA is definitely a place you’d have to set aside a good 4-5 days to truly appreciate and soak in all the history and sights. There were a few tours I’d love to go on when I eventually relocate there early next year. Such as the walking Ghost Tour through the old French Quarter, the pub crawl down Bourbon street (although my liver would say otherwise), the Plantation Tour, and I would love to just take public transportation around and enjoy the city on the cheap for a whole day.

The day we pulled into town we had to go to the VPC to pick up my car, which took all of 20 mins. In and out. Wham bam thank ya ma’am. It’s a lot faster when you are picking up, vice dropping off. Inspeeeections, paaaaperwork. All that mumbo jumbo this is your car, we are responsible for minor damages..etc. Anyway, so with the ‘Ru-ster in tow, we headed downtown to find our hotel. Which…is an entirely other story dealing with the check-in of two guests, one room, one bed, and only one spot in the parking lot … which..was rather confusing, because we parked my friend’s car in the parking lot labeled for our hotel, and checked in like it was a normal, usual thing. And they were appalled, like visibly offended that we parked our own car. That we had the balls to just drive up in their lot and park of our own free will. And when we explained that it is labeled as designated parking (no mention of valet only) for our hotel, and the gate was open with no one around, they just stared at us. As if we had made it up. It turned into about a 7 minute conversation..which went nowhere and I was as confused as when we started. So, the parking for this particular hotel offers valet parking. No, they don’t offer valet parking, valet parking is mandatory. And so is the fee that comes with it. Wow, how special. So anyway, we handed over my friend’s keys and went to park my car on the road somewhere, since the meters didn’t charge overnight.

After that hooplah was settled, we ventured down to the Quarter to find a restaurant that a friend suggested. We found it and we chowed down. We were starving by this point since it was about 645pm and we had had light lunches. I got steak fajitas, and my friend, we’ll call her Miz T, got a burrito. Both were deeelicious. Our tummies were stuffed. Thanks to the tableside guacamole. No, we didn’t completely finish it, but we definitely tried our very best to scarf it all down.

Then, it was off to see the local shops and pick up some souvies. There were the assorted Mardi Gras items, painted masks, beads, shot glasses, anything a tourest would ever desire. We saw some interesting cooking aprons, and lots and lots of New Orleans Tshirts. I had my eye out for some cute postcards, and maybe a tshirt. This was one of the nicknacks we sighted:

 Pretty creative actually. I had to sneak a pic, because not a lot of the shops allowed photography.

For our second day, we decided to find Bourbon Street, surprisingly not the most popular of places mid-day. It was a bit off the beaten path, Decatur street-by the ocean seemed to be more populated and busy. We walked down B-Street and there were a couple shops open, but mostly barkeeps were washing off the nasty from the night before off of their sidewalks, and people were checking out of various hotels.

Lunch @ the Hard Rock. A big ol burger and fries. That’s how we do it in Amurica.

Then, it was time for the main event. The Grey Line Swamp/Bayou tour. We boarded our bus, and sat back for a 45 min drive to the outskirts of the city. During the trip, our driver filled us plum full of NOLA knowledge and useless facts. Which are, btw, the best kind of facts.

Arrive: Swamp.

We boarded the air boat along with 20 other touristas and began our venture down the bayou. It was a little warm, but there was a tiny breeze that kept us on this side of Hell. Our tour guide was quite personable, I get the feeling he’d probably been doing these tours for 10-15 yrs, but not in the worn-down drawl of his speech, but in his knowledge base, and wealth of knowledge. He did the funniest thing when we were looking for the alligators. He would speak into the microphone like he was calling a dog. The whole “whistle whistle Here boy! Here boy!” routine. Yeah, crazy stuff.

But, what do you know, some little creatures started swimming towards us:

And then they got closer:

Alli

We probably saw about 10 alligators in total, and one of them was 9ft long and 300lbs! He was traveling with his honeywife, just floatin along calm as day. We even got to hold a baby alligator that the guide had brought with! I thought he was gonna feel all slimey and smell bad and be wet…but he was dry..and felt like a snake and he was quite calm. I was scared shitless to hold him, but when would I ever have another opportunity?? Um, never, so I sucked it up and held the little guy. I even squeezed out a smile for the pic.

After our tour it was time to kick rocks, and we headed back to Pensacola, a 3.5 hr drive. Yes, I managed to get caught up at some outlet stores near Gulfport, MS. Damn you fair prices and welcoming sales associates. What’s another purse on the pile, anyway. I mean, you should really have one in every color, right?





Tks

6 06 2011

I should be icing my shoulder right now. Or 3x by now. But I am unmotivated and lazy. And, I don’t have ice.

Instead I am shopping for strollers on Toys-R-Us.com. I don’t need a stroller. And I don’t need a baby, nor do I have look-alike midgets running around. But I was thinking, wouldn’t a stroller be totally convenient when you are shopping at the mall and you have to carry all those bags? It’s so much more fashionable than a gray cart from Wal-Mart…that would just be tacky.

The Sista Roch is going to Las Vegas with her ladies here pretty soon. This kid is jealous. Jeallouuuus. You hear me? I expect a full report of crazy events, lots of money won, and albums of photos. Next year, I will be there for the cruise. Cross my heart. Unless the Navy decides to send me to another school…which is definitely a possibility..

School is getting better. We are reaching the end of Volume 1 and I’m picking the material up a little better. Our instructors are still rude and unhelpful but, I guess when all else fails, teach yourself and use what you do have.

A little inspirational lift for your day from my desk cal:

“There are two words that, when spoken, have the most unfathomable power to completely change your life. Two words that, when they pass your lips, will be the cause of bringing absolute joy and happiness to you. Two words that will create miracles in your life, wipe out negativity, and bring you abundance in all things. Two words that, when uttered and sincerely felt, will summon all the forces in the Universe to move all things for you.

There are just two words standing between you, happiness, and the life of your dreams…

THANK YOU.”

 





Just the ticket!

8 04 2011

Alright, I have a problem.

I have a major major problem.

So today I got out of work and had to swing by the post office to send a couple of things off, and since the NEX was en route, sure I stopped in. They have new bags out, naturally. I pass through the upstairs part of the NEX rather infrequently due to my problem and my lack of self-control.

So, there are new Coaches, new Marc Jacobs, new Dooneys, etc etc. They are just so perfectly lined up and presented that you can hardly help but stop and stare. Maybe pick up your favorites, those ones that particularly catch your eye, give you that little beat beaty beat in your chest, and try them on for size. Do they compliment you? Will they match your outfits, is it comfortable? Can you fit all your sit in it? I stand by the fact that when you know, you know. Kind of like how they talk about that “love at first sight” thing, when you see that perfect satchel, pick it up, try it on, walk around for a bit and bond with it, it’s surely the one, and you must have it.

Today I happened to try a few on, probably about five. You see, I’ve been keeping my eye out for just the right purse to match my brown shoes and some of my tan/brownish clothes. The blue purse that I did have was stained when we were on our travels. Some kind of grease mark the size of a quarter on the side of my purse. And, folks, THAT is why we don’t put our purses on the floor. So boyfriends, shut your lips! It goes on the car seat, or on the extra seat at the restaurant, or my lap. The end.

So I find just the one, it’s gold with gold hardware and detailing in lighter gold. It looks kind of silvery down below, but it’s gold, trust me. So I get to the check-out and she scans the little price ticket, and it scanned in @ $198.00 less than the written price on the purse. I was like…”ummm is the tag not scanning right”?? So she walked around to the Customer Service desk and went and asked about four of the other workers, and apparently it was marked wrong, but since it rung up at the price it did, I got it for the lower price!! Hot doggie, what a deal! A steal of a deal, really! Now I just need a matching wallet…

Here she is. ❤





See yah ‘Ru

6 04 2011

Another check in the box.

Today I sent my little vehicular off to the “farm”.

Well, not the farm because I will see her very shortly in Florida. So in this case, the farm is a good thing. I brought my Subaru to the Vehicle Processing Center here in the Kingdom to get my inspection and front the export paperwork and such. You have to get your car cleaned inside and out prior to shipping, including the engine and underbelly. So we got that done at the mall the night prior. Weird I know, that’s what they do here. When you go to the mall and pull into the parking garage, there are little car washing men there waiting for you. They wear those vests that parents have when they do “road crossing” patrol near elementary schools. And they wave you over and try to sway you into a car wash. Usually my car is offensively filthy when I’m pulling into the joint, and that night was no exception. Those poor guys. $5 BD and an hour later I had a clean car, in and out. It’s a really good marketing idea for those guys if you think about it. You usually leave your car to sit for at least an hour while you’re at the mall for shopping, eating, a movie or what have you, why not come out of the deal with a clean car. Yes please.

Good news is that they shipped the subwoofer with the car this time. Last time they would not allow me to ship it with the car. So wtf, my shit was in storage, and I received my car at the other end with no woofer. Dumb. So thankfully they worked with me this time. We boxed her up and left her in the trunk.

Love my Subaru! See you in Florida.

I had a pretty productive day yesterday. Shipped the car, dropped off some mattings to get framed for a couple of guys leaving here, went to the ol saloon (so the locals say….but salon for the more traditional people), and went to eat with Mista B.

I got my hair permanently straightened, which took SIX FUCKING hours. Good lord. No joke, went in at one, came out at seven. B was such a good sport, he met me there after he was done at work. This hair straightening process is no joke. The process is simple really, but it’s just the time that it involves. This is what they did:

Wash

Blowdry

Apply straightening chemicals, which smelled so bad so so so bad, like fumes really

Sit for 45 mins with the stink on my head

Wash

Blowdry

Straightening (which took THREE hours in itself). She had to flat iron my hair so that it was paper-thin. Usually straightening takes about 45 mins to an hour to do myself. This time she wasn’t fuckin around and it had to be flat flat flat FLAT.

Application of more chemicals to keep the straightening serum locked in my hair

Sit for 15

Wash

Blowdry/Straighten

Seven hours and I was done. Thankfully the lady was quite the conversationalist and this shit’s supposed to last 6 months. So it’s very very worth it. So now I have to with 48 hrs to wash my hair…..which is great because I hate showering. Then I can wash it. I’m anxious to get this mane washed and dried and see if it actually stays straight. We will see!