It’s A . . .

When I got pregnant with my first child, the hubs and I were convinced it was a girl.  We had a perfect girl name all picked out . . . until the sonogram.  Then we struggled and fought for 5 months to come up with a boy name we could both agree on.

The second pregnancy was pretty much the same . . . both thinking it was probably a girl, and struggling to come up with a name we agreed on for our second son.

As I previously stated, we never thought we’d have to go through all that again, but now that I’m pregnant, I’ll admit it . . . I really really really want this one to be a girl!  Despite the odds not being in my favor (75% chance of having a boy after having 2 prior), I would not be swayed from my fervent hope of a baby girl.

When we first informed our kids that I was pregnant, it was unanimous.  The boys were hoping for a baby brother.  They were adamant that it was a boy, and even my hubs joined in by saying, “well, I make boys.”  I told him to quit jinxing my uterus.

Soon after, he left for a business trip to Brazil for a week, and when he returned, he brought back a few very Brazilian presents.  One such present was this:

Baby shoes

I teased him that if he made boys, these might not be our baby’s color.  Either that, or he bought the wrong size for me.  But, it warmed my heart that he seemed to want a girl as well.  At least for that brief moment when he was buying the shoes.

Immediately after we broke the big news of my pregnancy to everyone, I had a scheduled sonogram and blood testing for all types of issues.  Since I’m “high risk” or “advanced maternal age” (i.e. old as fuck), I got the full screening to see if anything might be wrong with the baby genetically.  What I didn’t realize at the time, as they never mentioned it, is that they could tell the sex of the baby once they received the results, which would be in about 2 weeks.  I found out that little detail about a week later, when I spoke to the lab tech who called with the preliminary results, and she told me that she would call back with the final results later that week.  Oh, and also, that she could tell me the sex of the baby at that point if I wanted.  Um, yes.  I wanted.  And then I waited.

When she called back and told me the news, I was at work.  I immediately texted my hubs to let him know:

Me:  Well, you were right.
Hubs:  The Havaianas were right?
Me:  Nope, you make boys.
Hubs:  I’m sorry, sweetie.  I really wanted you to have your girl.  Are you ok?
Me:  Yeah, I’m fine.  But damn you and your sperm!

And I really was fine.  It’s not like it wasn’t expected.  When she said “boy” it sounded completely right.  I’m a little disappointed, I’ll admit it.  But I will love this boy, just as I love the hell out of my other two.

So then, it was time to tell my kids that they had gotten their wish.  I wanted to do something fun and creative that they would remember, since I figured they’d be pretty excited about the whole thing.  So, I had an idea, and I ran with it.  First, I decorated a big box:

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Then, I filled it with supplies I had grabbed on the way home, covered it with a blanket, and took the boys outside to reveal the big news.  I had them pull the blanket off on the count of three, and reveal the answer to the box’s question.  To say they were excited is putting it mildly.  My oldest ran around the yard pumping his fist and screaming, “yes!” for five minutes.  It was adorable.  I can only imagine the reaction if it had been a girl!

Boy balloons

So, now we will have to go through the fun of trying to name this one as well.  Based on the hubs and my history with attempting to name boys, maybe we’ll just wait until he comes out and let him name himself.  Might be quicker than waiting for his parents to come to an agreement on boy names.  (In case you were wondering, yes, I did already have a girl name totally picked out).

Also, I guess it’s time for a new baby picture as well.  Can’t have my little man wearing women’s shoes!  Might give him a complex right from the womb.

sono12wkshoes-boy

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Just Another Day in Paradise

So, as you can see, I’ve returned from my trip to paradise, aka Key West.  While the Northeast was getting hit by another winter weather event, do you know what we were being hit with in Key West?  Gentle sea breezes blowing in off of the water, as we sat on our veranda, drinking tropical beverages and warming ourselves in the 79* heat, under a brilliantly sunny blue sky.

It was torture.

Snow?  What's that?

Snow? What’s that?

But I missed home.  I mean really, who needs to wake up at 9:00 am and take your key lime colored coffee mug out to your hotel room’s balcony and watch the ships as they sail by, and the busy goings on down on the street below?  Not me, that’s for sure.  I’d much prefer bitter cold temps with wind chills below zero and lots of snow to shovel.  Good exercise is what that is.  None of this lazy, lounging around for me any more!

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And spa treatments?  Pfft, what am I, a Real Housewife?  You mean lounge around all day getting a massage and facial while drinking the most delicious (and why didn’t I think of that) strawberry infused water, while being completely pampered and spoiled by the spa staff?  No thank you, I’d prefer to just go to work and get yelled at all day.  Much more rewarding.

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And speaking of drinking, I definitely don’t miss the Key Lime Pie Martini, served to me as we dined on a private island just off of Key West, while experiencing one of the most delicious meals I have ever tasted, sitting al fresco and gazing at the gently lapping waters on the beach just beyond the restaurant’s patio.  Nope, that’s crazy talk.  Who would miss that?  Back to just plain old water and sensible meals now that I’m home.  That’s so much better.

Key west martini

And whimsy?  Who needs whimsy?  Key West was lousy with it, I tell you.  From glowing menus, to flashing mugs filled with daiquiris, to viewing a sunset on an island where wild deer roam the beach.  It’s all just a bunch of poppycock!  Good riddance, I say.

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Not to mention all of the celebration!  A person could get a swelled head with all that attention.  Apparently, the hubs called ahead to the island, because it seemed as if everywhere we went, someone was wishing me a Happy Birthday and bringing me treats.  Sparkling Key Lime pie, mid-afternoon room service of champagne and strawberries, mid-afternoon room service of margaritas, with chips & salsa, Happy Birthday spelled out on a dessert, a special birthday menu delivered to me rolled up like a scroll . . . all way over the top and way too much celebratory nonsense for this unassuming, level-headed girl.  I mean really, it wasn’t even my birthday anymore!  For shame, Key West.  For shame.

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Oh, and don’t get me started on the gorgeous sunsets and outdoor scenery.  It’s enough to make you sick!  Much better to be surrounded by the brown and white that is presently plaguing us at home.  That way, we get to be the ones to shine in our brightly colored snowpants and fuzzy hats!  Who would even notice us in our shorts and sandals, surrounded by all that beauty in Key West?  Nobody.  Nobody would ever see us.  Or find us . . . hmmmm.

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So, like I said, it is really great to be home.  In fact, we returned just in time to experience a fresh coating of snow, and it looks like despite a brief respite that is reminiscent of the Key West weather, we will soon return to those winter-like weather conditions.  Who needs Key West?  Not this girl.  Nope.  I’m definitely not dreaming of the day when I can finally retire from my hateful job and move to a bungalow on the island, while the hubs goes out fishing every day and I lay in the sun, relaxing and writing, resting up for my job as a bartender at night in one of the “locals” bars.  Yeah, that’s absolutely ridiculous, and I’m frankly offended that you would even suggest it.  I mean, who am I . . . Hemingway?  Sheesh!

What a Big Pickle You Have

The day after all of this happened, I got to meet up with yet another of my bestest bloggy buddies, Jules.  The last time we saw each other was on a hot and sunny day in New York City for BlogHer about a year and a half ago.  The weather was a bit chillier this time, and the location wasn’t quite as urban, but I wouldn’t have missed the chance to see her again, especially since I was on her home turf!

We planned to meet at a very famous deli, conveniently located right next to my hotel, called Harold’s.

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Now, you might be wondering what is so darn impressive about Harold’s that would cause Jules to suggest this as our lunch spot, except for the convenient location, of course.  Well, Harold’s is famous for 2 things . . . the enormous size of its portions and the World’s Biggest Pickle Bar.

What big cakes you have there.

What big cakes you have there.

This was my first visit to the establishment, so I was a rookie to all things Harold’s.  Val had provided a few tips about the place, having visited a few times prior, and Jules had not been there since her teenaged years, so we settled in and looked over the expansive menu.  It was impressive.  And expensive.  A sandwich would run you about $20.  Some of the menu items were upwards of $50.  It was pretty crazy.  But like I said, the portions were enormous and every order came with unlimited visits to that pickle bar I mentioned earlier.

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Once we placed our order for a very traditional deli sandwich, corned beef, of course, we had time to peruse the inside of the napkin provided.  It was very educational:

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Yiddish 101

As we were waiting for our meal, the people at the table next to us were served their lunch.  The one item was so impressive, I had to ask if I could take a picture of it.  They very graciously allowed it.

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World’s Largest Blueberry Pancake

When our meal arrived, we finally understood why it was a $20 sandwich.  Big enough to share, we had only ordered the one sandwich, and were not disappointed with the amount of food provided.

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That sucker was big enough for each of us to have a half of the sandwich there, then take home the remaining meat to make more sandwiches later in the week.  I don’t know about Jules, but I got three more sandwiches out of it!  Now that’s a value.  Of course, it was lean and tender and delicious.  And the pickles that accompanied it were also fabulous.

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Jules in action, picking her pickles.

But!  Not only did we have a delicious lunch, yummy pickles and fabulous conversation, but Jules even provided dessert!

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Best. Cookies. EVER.

Yes, that is indeed 2 whole bags of triple chocolate chip cookies, lovingly homemade by Jules and given to yours truly.  Diet?  What diet?  They were probably the best cookies I’ve ever tasted in my life.  No hyperbole.  For real.

Sadly, Jules and I had to say adieu, when she dropped me at the train station to catch my train home.  I held out on eating any of the cookies (I was stuffed full of meat and pickles, so it wasn’t too hard), until after I passed Philly.  Sort of a “I made it through the danger zone” celebratory treat, if you will.  We’re not even gonna talk about the fact that I misread the departure time on my ticket, thus almost missing my train home.  Nope.  Let’s just focus on the cookies.  Delicious, delicious cookies.  Mmmmmm.

Thus ends the tales from my visit to the great state of Jersey.  Good friends, yummy treats and gay bars.  What more could a girl ask for?

Shenanigans with Val: A Fist Pumping Time on the Jersey Shore

Despite Philly’s best efforts to keep me away, I did finally make it up to Jersey to see Val.  As I mentioned in the previous post, my train arrived an hour later than expected, so it gave Val plenty of time to make a stop at the liquor store and pick up some “welcome to Jersey” beer.  When I arrived, I was greeted not only by Val’s beautiful and smiling face, but this gorgeous creature as well:

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That’s right . . . that says Chocolate Peanut Butter beer.  Sounds revolting, right?  It was either going to be completely disgusting, or unbelievably amazing.  But with a name like Sweet Baby Jesus, how could Val resist buying it?  So, we tried it.  And it was . . . thick and dark and pretty revolting.  But, not being punk bitches, we split it and each finished our half.  It sort of grew on you after a bit, and really, even bad beer is still beer.  But, I wouldn’t exactly recommend it, in case you were wondering.

After the beer was opened, Val gave me my Xmas present that she had been holding until we saw each other.  It was a myriad of radness all in one sparkly snowman bag:

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So. Much. Goodness.

But, what isn’t pictured is the best part of the entire gift!  Unfortunately, it was in one of those impenetrable plastic wrapped cases that I couldn’t break into.  Fortunately, Val came prepared and had no problem ripping right into that sucker.

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Plastic containers are no match for brass knuckles with a handy dandy hidden switch blade attachment!  And what was this wondrous item that Val was so helpfully and skillfully sawing open?  Well, just the most perfect and awesome thing ever!

Fuzzy Flask!!

Fuzzy Flask!!

Once I was properly presented and unpacked, I got ready to leave the room for the rest of the night.  However, since we didn’t expect to return to the room until our festivities were over at the end of the evening, I had to get dressed and ready to be out for the night. This meant clothing and make-up that I would not usually wear at 3:00 in the afternoon.  But then again, I was in Jersey.  So really, it was de rigueur, so I got ready for the night.  Once I was properly shellacked, we were off to our destination . . . Asbury Park.

Our plan was to meet one of Val’s friends, Stephanie, to get mani/pedis before we grabbed some food and then later went to a club.  But, we arrived early, and once we circled around the very trendy and popular downtown area in our attempt to find someplace to park, we finally lucked out and got a spot on a side street, and when we realized that we would have to wait for Stephanie for a bit (and that we both really had to pee), we decided to stop into the bar that we just happened to park right in front of.  We still have no idea what the name of the bar was, only seeing a symbol of an eye everywhere we looked, but there were so many beards and knit caps, that it was probably called something like The Hipster’s Den or We Liked It First, or something.  But still, we both had a beer, some pork fries (yum!), and Val got herself a new Mason jar glass.  So, it was all good.

Once we received word that Stephanie had arrived at the nail salon which was just around the corner, we finished our beer and fries and headed on over.  We all lined up in our chairs to get our toes done, and when I looked down, I realized they had some sort of fancy light system going on that changed the color of the lights every few seconds.  It was pretty cool.

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Once our toes were properly painted and beautified, we moved on to our next destination.  A bar called Johnny Mack’s.

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This particular bar, Val and Steph’s favorite, was distinctive because you got free pizza when you bought beer, plus there were mannequins and free candy!  Sounds good.

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What was also interesting was the décor.  There was writing all over the walls, and even on lamps and trashcans (mostly song lyrics on those) and on the tables and chairs.  In fact, at one point, I looked up and saw this really funky lamp over top of me and decided to take a picture.  To which Val had to add her own special brand of accompaniment, of course.

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The only bad thing about the joint was that when I went to the extremely dark bathroom, I took off my mustache mood ring to wash my hands (it’s cheap and turns when it gets wet), and left it on the shelf below the soap dispenser.  It was so dark in there you could not even see yourself in the mirror.  So, I missed it sitting there, completely forgot about it, and didn’t remember it existed until I went to wash my hands at our next destination and it wasn’t there.  And when I called, only about an hour later, they were just too damn busy for anyone to venture to the bathroom to check.  As you might imagine, nobody turned it in.  Much sadness ensued.

But, let us not dwell on unfortunate incidents, and instead move along to our next destination . . . a gay bar in a hotel near the Jersey shore.  The hotel itself is actually a gay destination (so says Wikipedia) called The Empress.  I am unaware of the actual name of the bar (seems to be a theme for the night), but was greeted by this upon our entrance, so it was sure to be a good time:

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We arrived early enough to experience the famous country line dancing that occurred before 10:00 at night, where they set up actual fences around the dance floor.  Apparently, these dancers are serious about their line dancing, so much so that the security personnel feel the need to frantically warn you off of venturing within the corral as you stand and watch, imagining the carnage which would for sure ensue for the uninitiated.

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While we awaited the end of the spectacle, we got a few beverages and perused some lovely and readily available reading material scattered around the club.

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We eventually meandered over into a side room with a bar, a dance floor and some sofas, along with 80’s dance videos playing, which was practically empty.  We settled in, watched some videos, and were there to watch some of the characters who eventually joined us over in this sad little side room.  Val met this lovely older queen, and they hit it off famously!

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There were also a few lovely ladies who graced us with some dance moves out on the floor and were just the cutest things:

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In case you are wondering, Val is the only one in those above pictures with original girl body parts.  But, they were rocking their dresses, let me tell you.

Once the night moved into the wee hours (and I started falling asleep, despite the loud, bass thumping music), the real entertainment arrived.

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Much to the enjoyment of the regular clientele, I assure you.  We were told by what I can only assume was the only straight man there (the security guy), that the place didn’t really get jumping until after 12:30, but by that time, we were all pretty exhausted and ready to head out.  So, while I don’t think I experienced the club at its prime, I was assured that if I returned in the summer, when they opened up the pool deck and things really heat up, that I would get to really see it at its best and have a grand time.  So, I guess I’ll need to make a trip back to Jersey in the summer months then.

The next day I returned home to the safety of Maryland, but not before having lunch with my bloggy friend Jules at the infamous Harold’s deli.  But that’s an entirely separate and wonderful story that I will report on in a future post.  There was just too much good stuff in Jersey for merely 2 posts.  Stay tuned . . . again.

The Perils of Travel

This past weekend, I took a trip up to New Jersey to see my good bloggy friends Val, and then Jules.  Opting not to drive, I booked a ticket on Amtrak, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with traffic and could just sit back, read a book, and arrive in about two and a half hours.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezey!

Yeah, or so I thought.  See, here’s the thing about me . . . I am a disaster when it comes to traveling by myself.  Traveling with my hubs and kids?  Cake.  Me on my own . . . tragic.  Lest you think I’m being melodramatic, let’s review . . .

Trip to Ocean City, MD, last year to meet my hubs and kids, who were already down there:

I left work a bit early to try to miss some traffic.  However, it is raining and a Friday evening . . . so, before I go 2 miles, I hit a ton of traffic.  Uh oh.  Then, once I start to move a bit, and obviously get overconfident that I might make up a bit of time . . . dead stopped cars.  I discover that there is a huge accident on the upcoming bridge, halting all movement for about 15 miles.  15 miles!  Of completely stopped traffic, just sitting in the rain.  So, yeah . . .all by myself, sitting in the car, inching along little by little, for hours.  Not a great trip. It took me almost 5 hours to make a 2 and a half hour trip.

Trip to NYC for Blogger, summer of 2012:

Flight to NYC, due to arrive at around 10:00 pm, stopover in Philly.  I blogged about this here, but short story is that there was a massive storm, halting all flights out of Philly, so I was stranded there for hours, until I wrangled my way onto a flight at around midnight.  Then, when I finally arrived in NYC around 1:30 in the morning, I find that the room I had booked many months ago, and confirmed the week prior, was not available.  And on the return trip . . . the flight out of NYC was delayed, causing me to miss my flight out of (you guessed it) Philly, and have an extra hour and a half to wait for the next available flight.

Which brings us to this past weekend . . . and a train ride:

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Here it comes . . .

I made sure I was plenty early for my 10:47 am train.  In fact, I arrived so early, I sat in my car for 20 minutes before I ventured down to the tracks.  As I stood on the platform, waiting for the train that was due to arrive in about 5 minutes, an announcement informed me that the train was running about 10 minutes late.  It was cold and windy on that platform.  But I stood there.  And waited.

The train finally arrived, and I moved to get on.  As the door opened, I realized that there was quite a gap between the platform and the train, probably a good foot and a half, and I was mentally trying to figure out how my rolling bag would make it over such a gap.  Then, I stepped onto the train, and my foot hit wet metal and started sliding.  You know how they say your life is supposed to flash before your eyes when something happens?  Well, what was flashing in front of my eyes was the huge crevice below me as my ass started falling towards the tracks.  I will attest to that whole slow motion thing, though.  As I reached out to attempt to grab onto something, anything, to stop my rapid decent, I found that there was nothing in arms reach to gain purchase upon, and I continued falling down, down, down.  Somehow, I landed in such a way that most of me stayed on the train landing.  When my fall finally came to a stop, I was lucky to only be looking down at the tracks, and not broken and bent, down below the train, as I had feared and imagined while falling.  But, I was fine.  A bit bruised from crashing to the metal landing, and having my shin hit the edge of the train, apparently, but fine.  Although, my heart was beating a bit more rapidly than a few minutes prior, that’s for sure.

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Sweet bruise.

As the journey began, I settled into my seat and tried to forget about the near death experience I had just encountered.  Everything was going smoothly . . . until we arrived in Philly.  As passengers got onto the train, a lady sat across the aisle from me and began unwrapping the most fragrant and delicious smelling cheese steak I’d ever encountered.  Having yet to eat that day, it was intoxicating.  Then, just as a little bit of drool started pooling atop the book I was reading . . . it all went dark.  Total power failure and we were underneath large concrete overpasses, so it was very dark.  So, we sat there.  In the dark.  With no idea what was happening.

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This is when the zombies would attack . . .

It was the longest time until I finally figured out what was happening.  Luckily, cheese steak lady was an Amtrak employee, so a guy came onto the train and started chatting with her about what was going on.  Otherwise, I would have been cluelessly left sitting in the dark.  Apparently, they had to change engines.  Oh that.  Sure, of course.  Uh huh.  Wait . . . what???  Yes, they were changing the engine.  I guess it was lucky that our engine died while we were stopped at a station, at least.  Crazy.  Oh, did I mention this was in my old friend, Philly?  Yeah, I’ve never actually been to Philly, but strangely, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in transportation stops in that place.  That’s how Philly and I roll.

So, eventually they got the new engine and the lights and power were once again functioning.  And we were off . . . merely an hour late.

Let there be light!

Let there be light!

Eventually, I made it to my destination.  And was met with Val and beer!  You know, because she knows me.  She was my chauffeur for the day, so she drove us to the hotel I was staying in that evening.  When I arrived, everything in the lobby was roped off with yellow tape and there were signs asking us to “Excuse our dust” as they were renovating.  Ok, no problem.  I wasn’t planning to camp out in the lobby anyway.  After I was given my room key, we went over to the elevators and were greeting by a gaping maw, all covered up with cardboard and hanging movers’ rugs.  Hmmm, that’s strange.

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Then, we arrive at my room.  And just before I open the door, I hear this very loud humming sound.  Once I opened the door, I was greeted by one of those huge rug drying machines on full blast, sitting in the middle of the floor, along with the window AC blasting air on high.  Nope, no thank you.  New room, please.  So, we trudge all the way back downstairs, assuming that the elevator and room were both part of some murder spree and clean up effort that recently occurred. The front desk guy tried to cover up by saying it was a “broken pipe on the 5th floor,” but Val and I knew better.  The next room was right across the hall, and while there was no blood stains or drying machine, it did have a funky smell.  Then, as we were in there a few minutes, we started to hear these banging sounds that sounded like they were coming from the bathroom.  There was nobody in the bathroom, so we figured that it was probably ghosts.  Upon further inspection, though, I did find this in the bathroom on the soap ledge in the shower:

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Such a classy joint.  Luckily, we had beer and a fun night out planned to distract us from the murder/pube hotel.  Which I will tell you all about in an upcoming post.  So, stay tuned for tales of the Jersey shenanigans that ensued later that day.  Cheers!

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Shenanigans with Val: Top Hats, Ghost Stories and Bertha’s Mussels (Part 2)

And here we continue our tale of Val‘s visit to my fair city and the fun times that were had . . . . . . (if you missed Part 1, go back and start there).

When we left our heroines, they were heading off to a haunted pub crawl, planned by tour guide extraordinaire, Misty Laws (moi), who just so happens to have the sexiest sandaled feet in town.  (But enough about my brilliance and beauty.  No really, stop . . . you’re embarrassing me!).

We arrived at our destination, the sidewalk in front of a bar in the area, that interestingly enough, was not actually on the tour.  But, it’s a very well-known bar in the city, so it makes sense that it would be a good place to congregate for those about to depart for the tour.  Once we checked in and received our ghost stickers (to indicate that we were on the tour), we hung out for a few minutes with some others, waiting for it to start.  As we were waiting, we noticed an interesting gentleman.  He had a top hat, a long black coat, a long braided ponytail, a cane and some sort of golden binocular spectacle things perched atop his head.  As you can see, Val was a bit unsure about this character at first . . .

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But he turned out to be our tour guide!  So, we started to warm up to him.  Especially since, upon arrival at our first destination, he relayed to us the story of how on a previous tour, one of the patrons screamed out “BITCHES!!” in answer to one of his questions.  Ok, he’ll do.

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Did I mention it was pretty damn cold that night?  Yeah, so after a brief introduction, we moved into our first stop, Eat Bertha’s Mussels.  We all grabbed a beverage, a hot buttered rum for myself, and settled into the warmth of the bar to listen to some ghost stories.  Something about a light going on in the bathroom mysteriously, blah, blah, blah.  We might not have been paying that much attention.  Mainly, Val and I got silly and took pictures.

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Majestic braided ponytail beneath festive twinkle lights.

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Val & Bertha.

Once we finished our beverages, and after some socializing with our fellow ghost tour patrons, we moved out of the warmth of Bertha’s (spoiler alert, we’ll be back), and back out into the street to hear more tales of spooks and ghouls.

Our next stop was The Horse You Came In On Saloon, a very historic and famous destination pub in the area.  Val showed the appropriate level of respect and awe at this fact . . .

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Totally impressed.

And then shit got real when our tour guide extraordinaire pulled out a device that was supposed to track spirits and supernatural presence and passed it around for us to find anything interesting out on the street.  So, of course, we all started using it on each other.  I’m sure that none of you will be surprised that Val made the thing beep and blink like crazy.  Yeah.

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Val’s sexy leg and leather skirt. Mrow!!

Once we entered the bar, and naturally procured another beverage, I realized that we were in the presence of a celebrity.  That’s right, one of our fellow tour guid-ees was a famous comedian from the well-loved 90s sketch comedy show, The State.  None other than Joe Lo Truglio!!  (Hey, famous people like ghost stories, too!!).  At first approach, Joe wouldn’t fess up that it was actually him, unbelievably claiming that he had never heard of The State!  But, when I produced photographic evidence of his identity, he could hardly deny it!

You tell me.

You tell me.

And then Val licked him . . . just to be sure.

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Once Val was finished molesting our new friend Joe, sadly, it was time to move along from The Horse, on to our next destination . . . of which I have forgotten the name.  Let’s be honest, things were starting to get a little fuzzy at this point.  But what I do know is this . . . standing outside of this next bar, listening to tales of ghosts and spirits . . . it began to snow!  It was magical.

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Once we warmed ourselves inside this next bar, drinks firmly in hand, we started to get cozier with some of the other patrons . . . and the tour guide.  Despite Val’s initial trepidations as to the acceptability of our guide, she had become enamored with him throughout the tour, and he seemed quite taken with her as well.

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But, Val being Val, she was not content to just cuddle with her newfound friend.  Oh no, she had to take it to the next level.  She needed to . . . bite his beard.

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Not sure our finely attired friend was quite ready for Val’s level of insanity awesomeness at this point.  But he was a good sport and went with it.  Sometimes, that’s really all you can do when Val wants to lick/bite/fondle you in some way.  Just go with it . . . shhhhhhh.

Besides, once we left the establishment and moved on to our next location, it was evident that Mr. Bitten Beard could handle himself . . .

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It’s practically like they were soul mates. 

Once we arrived at our final pub destination, and once again got some beverages to warm our insides, we bought a drink for our new friend to thank him for a job well done and an entertaining evening.  He graciously accepted and we socialized with him, along with some other new-found friends, for a bit before he had to be off.  But not before this happened:

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Told you they were soulmates.  True love, right there.

Oh, and as for those new-found friends?  Yeah, they were incredibly rad.  A married couple that were out for a fun night, and were not afraid to have a good time and participate in some shenanigans with Val and me.  Need proof?  Here:

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Anyone who will allow me to photograph them flashing with ghost stickers on their nimples is ok in my book. 

So, even though the official tour was over, nobody was ready to be done with the night.  There was much fun still to be had!  So, we asked the bartender where a good place around there to get grub was (thinking we should probably get some food in us at this point), and headed on down the street to another pub/restaurant type place called Koopers.  (Yep, remembered the name of that one, somehow).

Once the food was ordered, and another round of drinks naturally, we started to get to know each other better through inappropriate hand gestures and interpretive dance atop of the tables.

No, not really, but it’s a testament to Val and my tales of craziness that you believed me there for a minute.  We just chatted about our families and asshole exes, etc.  Oh, and then this happened . . .

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Val’s cleavage . . . you’re welcome!

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She likes to bite things almost as much as she likes to lick them. Almost!

I would show you pics of our companions being silly (the ghost stickers ended up on the hubby’s nimples at one point, and there was also much breast grabbing and showing), but I’m trying to be respectful of our new friends’ anonymity, since they do not know about our blogs and hence had no idea that they might be the subject of public ridicule/infamy.  But I’ll just say, that they were wild, wacky and fun.  It was a perfect pairing.

Once we realized how late it was getting (for them), and that we were going to have to bid our new friends adieu so they could drive home to DC and be all responsible adults and such, we had to find our way back to the original meeting point, so that they could then find their car.  Being somewhat familiar with the general vicinity, and after walking the wrong way for a bit, I eventually led us back to where we began.  But not before discovering a dark alleyway that, of course, had to be investigated:

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Hey, it’s midnight in the city . . . let’s see what’s down this narrow, unlit passageway!!

And then we found a ship . . . in someone’s backyard:

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Which, obviously, was there for the sole purpose of climbing upon and documenting more shenanigans.  Of course.

So, now is the time when Val and I come to a crossroads.  Having said goodbye to the somewhat responsible adults of our foursome, and having a young night stretched out in front of us, we decided to grab another drink in one of the myriad bars surrounding us.  But first . . . being girls who had consumed quite the impressive amount of beverages thus far, it would only stand to reason that the time was upon us to do what only comes naturally . . .  we had to pee.  So, we entered the bar in front of which we initially began our journey, and stood in the very long queue for the bathroom, which we discovered was so massively long because only one working toilet was inside (of 3 available).  People are nasty.

While waiting, some toddler chica decided that we would be the appropriate people to line jump in front of.  Um, excuse me?  “Oh, this is my friend.  She was holding my space.  But you can go into this stall if you want.”  Oh, you mean the disgusting one that is overflowing with nastiness?  Gee, what a lovely offer.  How about we just beat your ass for you instead?  No?  Would you prefer to get in the back of the line then?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Barely avoiding yet another opportunity to harm someone who was desperately asking for it that night, once our bladders were empty, we decided to leave the overly crowded and mostly college aged bar to head to someplace a bit more our speed.  And this is where we come full circle and walk across the street to our first stop . . . Bertha’s.  The place was practically empty, so we slid right on up to the bar and perched ourselves there for the remainder of the evening.  No hipster bullshit college place, this was a real bar.   So, we chatted up the bartender, who was a real man and gave us shots without all the bottle flipping attempts at impressiveness, thus impressing us all the more.  Until he started pouring the whiskey.  Oh god, not the whiskey.  But, being the classy fucking ladies that we are, we did our damn shots of whiskey, then requested the next offered shot not be quite so . . . whiskey-y.  And thus, a beautiful friendship was formed.

The night got a little fuzzy, but apparently, at some point I posed for a portrait?

We closed that joint down after many, many, many more drinks.  Basically, by the end of the night, we were no longer patrons, but employees, and we sat there chatting with both bartenders as they did their final cleanup, and the bouncer, who had the most delightful hair (apparently after a certain amount of shots, I forget I own a camera, because there are no pictures taken after the boat.  I know, I’m ashamed of me as well!), a blue dyed checkerboard pattern shaved into each side of his head and a floppy mohawk happening in the middle.  They were rad dudes.  Eventually, 2 of the 3 went home, but we stayed for a much longer time, exchanging life wisdom with our new favorite bartender (of whiskey shot fame).

Eventually, we realized that the sun was probably about to come up, so I dragged Val’s drunk ass into a cab and we headed back to our hotel room.  I had a baby shower to go to the next day, and if I didn’t love her so much (Hi, Thoughtsy!!), I probably would have bailed, because me and 3 hours sleep (that bitch!)  have never and will never get along very well.  But, the bitch and I were forced to endure each other’s presence on that fateful Sunday morning.  Oy.  Although luckily, neither Val nor I were hungover the next day, and nobody puked!  That is such a huge win, based on the sheer volume of alcohol that we ingested over the course of that Saturday into Sunday morning.

And thus ends another tale of the adventures of Val and Misty.  Somehow, nobody got arrested or killed . . . again!  So, obviously, we are doing something right.  Huzzah!

Shenanigans with Val: Elf, Old Lady Beatdowns & Hipster Bars (Part 1)

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Here it is.  The moment you all have been waiting for . . . the recap of Val‘s most recent visit.  Well, at least the first half of it.  It was, as always, the most epic of days, which means we packed a ton of epicness into a small amount of hours.  So, I’m gonna have to split this thing up so as to do the entire story justice.

We begin our story with both of us arriving in Baltimore, where we would spend the next 24 hours, traveling in and around the city.  Somehow, she beat me there, even with her mandatory stop at Waffle House, and the fact that I only live a little less than an hour away.  Normally, I’m waiting for her ass, so this was different.  However, I found her comfortably ensconced in a nice lounge chair in the lobby, and didn’t make her wait too long.  Once we checked into our room and changed into our good, theater-going clothes, we set off to our first planned destination . . . Elf: the Musical.

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When Val and I first decided that this would be the day she would once again grace my fair state with her awesomeness, as always, I did my due diligence to see what was going on.  When I found out that Elf would be in Baltimore that weekend, it was decided.  I asked Val how she felt about it, she responded “smiling is my favorite,” and we were off!

When we arrived at the theater, we obtained some beverages, lest we get parched during the long performance, and then found our seats.  They were excellent seats, about 12 rows back and right in the middle.  Perfect view.  When the show started, we were so excited.  The first thing we saw was Santa, and we were like two little girls on Christmas morning again.  “It’s Santa!  I know him.”  We were giddy with excitement.  When Buddy came out, who looked like a six foot tall Martin Short but sounded exactly like Kenneth from 30 Rock, we were already completely enchanted and in love with the show.  It was like the movie, but just different enough to make it fun.  And musical, of course.

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Being super excited and stoked to be there, and loving everything about the show, we occasionally made a comment to each other about some of the funny or interesting parts of the show.  But quiet-like, because we have class, dammit.  And we were laughing at all the funny parts, of which there were many.  Well, apparently, our joviality and friendship highly offended the woman to my left, because about 40 minutes into the show, I suddenly found myself face to very ugly mug with the meanest and nastiest person ever.  She thrust her puss right into my personal space and proclaimed:  “If you two don’t cut it out, I’m going to call the manager and report you!”  Commence my shocked look towards Val to see if this was for real happening.  “I’m getting really sick of your shit!”  Holy crap, I think that really DID just happen.  What the hell do we do now?

Yeah.  We were actually and totally struck speechless.  Us.  That NEVER happens!  We just could not even believe that someone would actually be offended that we were enjoying ourselves and laughing at a musical comedy, and would so nastily and rudely tell us to stop having fun.  We weren’t bothering her in any way, but apparently she was a very angry elf.

After we recovered from our initial shock (and wondered to each other if we were allowed to laugh any more), we were pissed.  At intermission, Val was pretty much set on beating her ass at the end of the show.  However, that mean old Grinch was just lucky that she was as fast as she was mean, because she raced away from those seats the second the show was over, and Val was unable to catch her.  Probably best, or we would have spent the rest of the day at the police station.

Once we escaped (barely) having not murdered anyone, we took a quick trip back to the hotel room to change into a bit less fancy duds.  It would be the last we would see of our lovely hotel room for the next 12 hours or so.  However, we were unaware of that at the time, so we did not dally.  We turned right around to head out to dinner.  We had made plans to meet another blogger, who lives locally, for drinks and some food before we went off to our next destination.  (Yes, we were very busy girls that day).

When I set up our meeting place with Bluz, he checked out the locale online and immediately balked at the idea of going to a “hipster bar,” averring that he was decidedly “unhip.”  Reassuring him that I had no idea of the restaurant’s hipster status when I chose it, but that I only chose it because I had reviewed the menu and was intrigued by the offerings, and also that it was within walking distance of our hotel, I convinced him that his non-skinny jeans wearing ass would be just fine.  Plus, I had Val.  He would have met us in Satan’s bathroom if that’s where we were headed.

And actually, he almost got his wish for a different joint, since we arrived there before him and were gonna text him to meet us across the street at a beer garden that looked rad, but that was right before the bartender got his hooks into us and realized we were easy.  No, not like that!  We’re ladies, yo.  But he offered us a free shot, so we had no choice but to stay.  Free booze?  Um, yes please.  I mean, obviously.  We have class.

Oh, and did I mention that we spent most of the time making fun of him?  The bartender, that is, not Bluz.  I mean, what else could we do when he tried to get all fancy by flipping bottles, and then ended up dropping one.  And then there was the attempted selfie (he was supposed to be taking a pic of us), where he just looks like he’s eating his thumb.

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Plus, he patently refused to light our shots on fire!  What kind of crappy bartender was he, anyway?  Damn.  I mean, it didn’t stop me from pimping out my good friend Val to him, so that he may actually own her now and have her living in a pit in his basement.  As long as she just keeps putting on the lotion, she should be fine.  Besides, I’m not worried about her.  She’s a tough bitch.  She’ll be wearing his skin by the end of the week.

Once we finished our food and drinks and lovely conversation, we had to say adieu to our friend Bluz, so that we could head on over to our next destination . . . a haunted pub crawl in a historic seaside area known for its lively nightlife.  Oh yeah, it was on.

Alas, my dear readers, this is where I must leave off on this marvelous tale.  I will continue with the second half, and thrilling conclusion, later this week.  And just to give you a taste, there will be . . . beard biting, top hats and canes, and much late night (early morning) drunken shenanigans.  Pretty sure you are not surprised by that last part.  Until then . . . . .

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