Pepe Le Pew Is My Spirit Animal

As far as vacations go, this last one was full of heat, humidity, a dash of crankiness, a little drunkeness with a side of wayward walking AKA falling on my ass.  Again.

Although in saying that, I truly wasn’t drunk when I fell.  Honestly,  I wasn’t.  It probably would have been better had I been as drunk as a skunk.  (By the by, WHO THE HELL THOUGHT UP THAT PHRASE?  How can a skunk be drunk?  I swear that’s how Pepe Le Pew was created.  Some guys were sitting around trying to get a good idea for a new cartoon character and some drunk French Canadian guy was there and they all went  “HEY! WHAT KID WOULDN’T LIKE A HORNY DRUNK FRENCH SKUNK?! LET’S DO THAT!”  And THAT kids, is how all great cartoon characters are created.  The. End. )     At least I would have had a good reason for falling down in the first place instead of the usual I’m-a-klutz-and-have-a-hard-time-balancing-on-actual-feet kinda person.  Ugh.

Vacations around these parts, or SLS, the ‘Hood, ma peeps that live near me…you get the drift, as vacations go we tend to party together, so if one fam decides to vacay it’s inevitable that more will join in.  That was the case this time as well.  One made plans, then another joined in and then it was Bestie’s birthday and how could we not go for that and then another joined in…so really, it was a ‘hood gathering in a hot tropical environment.  Plus alcohol.  Of course, it’s our ‘hood we’re talking about so OF COURSE THERE’S ALCOHOL.   Oh, yeah and the kids were there too.  Hey kids!  Nothing to see here, go back to watching Pepe Le Pew…

After a lovely dinner and A LITTLE WINE, CALM DOWN we went to Bree’s abode for cake…and MAYBE a little more wine.  As we were walking out onto her expansive, yet viewless patio (unless you count the roof top of another building a view, then yes, it had a view.  The LEAST they could have done would to have thrown some nice plants out there,  maybe strung some lights…a few decorative chairs.  COME ON PEOPLE, GIVE BREE SOMETHING TO SEE!)

Anywho, unbeknownst to me the patio was two tiered.  The second level had the smallest of edges but I somehow managed to find it and my wedged sandled foot rolled over it like a car tire over a drunk skunk.  Yes, it was slow and painful.   It was like I was watching a movie in slo-mo only I was the actual person doing the falling.  Twit.   I could feel myself starting to descend, but could do nothing to stop it and hey, did I really want to?  At some point I had the presence of mind to ever-so-gently place my precious iphone on the barren side table just sitting so quaintly to my left…as I was ever-so-slowly  falling on my ass.  When I finally landed, thumping squarely on my bum, I just sat there for a second to digest what just went down.  Me.  I went down.  Bestie turned and yelled if I was hurt, her daughter were desperately trying not to laugh and I was still incredulous that I had done it once again.  I’VE FALLEN AND I CAN’T GET UP.  SHIT.

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As I stupidly sat there on the cement patio contemplating the statistics of me falling at every vacation in the history of ever,  I took in my surroundings.  And waited for the bleeding and pounding headache to start, because let’s face it, that’s usually what happens.   When none of that happened and Bestie was trying to help me up and her daughters were trying desperately to get out of my way frightened I may end up taking them down with me again, I was able to fully assess my injuries.  Or astonishing lack thereof.

I scraped my knee, my elbow and hurt my dwindling pride.  My foot seemed okay at the time and I jumped up to save what shred of dignity I had left, which wasn’t much.

I later limped to my room across the hall.  And awoke to a swollen foot, pain and the inability to walk more than a few feet without sitting down.

Excellent vacation!

It was all a little much.

A week later, my foot has almost healed completely.  The doctor said there is nothing broken, (besides my fragile ego) and I will live to fall another day.

There’s a story from my childhood that, once while we were at the cottage one summer day, I was heard outside calling “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.”  When everyone came out to investigate and see the cat I was calling, I was rushed inside and the door was soundly shut.

Apparently, I was calling a pretty little skunk over to play with me.

Wonder if any of his relatives are still staggering around looking for a drinking buddy.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty….

Pepe Le Pew

 

Conquering Fear

As most of you are aware, my plight into the dark abyss of fear is not foreign to me. Unfortunately, it’s been like a weight on my back for several years, shortly following the demon ride of all time, Soarin’. Disney has a foul sense of humour. They installed a ride intended for families and small children to enjoy epic vistas, a flying naturalistic view of land and water…and golf.
At the same time, they subjected the masses to ‘hang gliding’. WHAT?! This ride, apparently, is to “Experience the Golden State like never before while “hang-gliding” over landscapes as varied as they are beautiful. Feel like you’re flying—and even smell what you’re seeing as you skim rolling waves, powdery ski slopes, majestic redwood forests, fragrant orange groves and familiar landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge.” Ahh, it sounds so innocent and lovely. THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?! I don’t remember FLYING OVER THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE! AHHH. I probably had my eyes shut in a frightened panic thinking I would surely crash into one of the steel components. Because, when you’re me, that isn’t a movie in front of me…it’s fucking real. As for the orange groves, they spray orangey stuff at you intending for you to ‘have the full experience’ when really all it did to me, was make me sneeze and jolt me almost to my death. From 6 feet in the air. What? It could happen…Could have hurt my ankle or bruised my ego or something….
Really, it simply subjected me to a dangling terror-filled journey into scenic vistas of golf courses and orange groves at perceived heights of 30,000 feet, whilst suspending me randomly in mid-air with a wanton frail looking belt and my own warped sense of minimal security. *sigh* DAMN YOU DISNEY. I think I cried through the entire thing. It was at that moment, I realized I was having a major panic attack ON A KIDDIE DISNEY RIDE. So, simply put…I decided riding on anything that left my feet dangling in mid-air with no security belts, major shoulder straps or helmets made of steel, was beyond my realm of possible feats. The end.
Until, Epic Ladies’ Trip 2012 and Jamaica ski lift ride from the other side of hell….the Jamaican jungle. I can still hear one of the ride operators in an attempt to fill the ladies with epic joy while we were dangling haphazardly several hundred feet above any kind of terra firma, yelling “HEY LADIES! HOW’S THE RIDE?!” All the while, me swearing profusely under my breath and sobbing in quiet hysterics with white knuckles gripping the steel bar fearing my ultimate descent into the jungle with nothing to soften my landing but the large fern leaves of all those very tall trees…ugh. In defense of the ladies and the tour operators, I did not even THINK to research the ride to Magic Mountain to see HOW THE HELL WE WERE SUPPOSED TO GET UP A MOUNTAIN. DUH…IT’S A MOUNTAIN. So, totally my fault and I managed to live through the ride up…tear stained and partially broken, but alive…and the ride down. Pretty much the same thing, only we were headed downwards, so logically, we were falling anyways. That’s how my brain works, people.
It was this latest vacation with Hubby that I decided enough was enough. Two trips with panic attacks were two trips too many. I needed to conquer this fear of flight. At least, attempt to conquer it. So when the opportunity arose to book a trip on the Oasis of the Seas, we took it. And when Hubby declared he was going to ride the zip line on the boat… I volunteered to take pictures. That was going to be it. Then he suggested I try it. I laughed at him and MAY have said something like “you are fucking crazy. HELLO. SOARIN’. DANGLING IN MID AIR” Then I thought about it. I looked at videos. LITTLE KIDS WERE GOING ON THE ZIPLINE. Surely, parents weren’t subjecting their children to death defying antics like a Zipline without precautions? Right? RIGHT?! AND, they were wearing helmets, and most importantly SAFETY BELTS! Hmmm…
After a bit of soul searching and arguing, mostly with myself, I convinced the weak and terribly frightened Kayjai that conquering a fear born from an innocent Disney ride, surely cannot be that bad. AND, If I happened to plummet to my death, what better way to go than in the Caribbean on a huge cruise ship above a burger shop that sold burgers and deadly milkshakes? Really, I would probably die more from the milkshake, than from the zip line…maybe.
We both stood in line and I managed to cross the zipline in epic Kayjai fashion. No, I won’t show you the video, because, well, my reaction at the end of the ride was…special. The smile was plastered to my face, I was stunned into silence and I was wearing a helmet…it wasn’t a fashion forward moment. I’ll let you imagine it…
Here’s the shot before I got to the top.

See how excited I am?

See how excited I am?

The greatest trepidation I felt, was putting my feet at stage 3 on the steel bar with the operator telling me repeatedly to ‘let go.’ I’m sure he was about to pull me from the whole thing when I did just that. I let go. I let go, forced my eyes to stay open and slid down the ride. I didn’t fall. I didn’t panic. I let go. The fear was replaced with joy. I extended my legs laughed at myself and made it to the other side with a huge relief and accomplishment. And possible whiplash at missing the landing mat and hitting the spring…it wasn’t pretty, but it was done.
No tears were shed in the making of this moment. Well, maybe a few at the sheer joy of accomplishment.
Fear is a powerful emotion and if you let it, it can take over. Don’t let it. Conquer your fear and see how strong you really are.
I dare you….let go.

What I Did For My Summer Vacation and Pictures To Prove It

I always find traveling stressful, but my levels of anxiety hit the proverbial roof when D1 decided to join Hubby and son and I on the New York leg of our vacation.  Originally, we were headed to the Canada Games to watch D2 and her rowing teams in Sherbrooke, Quebec, then going on from there to the Big Apple, sans the daughters, for some big city adventure.  D2 was heading back home after her Games competition with her team and D1 was staying put.  (We, Hubby and I, had advised D1 that if she wished to accompany us on any of our travels, we expected her to contribute, ie. pay her flights.  She said ‘no way’ we said, ‘ok’.  The night before we leave, she cries, laments then finally plops down and arranges her flights to and from New York.)  The worry ensues after Canada Games as she was only going to New York with us and she was left to manage Toronto Airport independently. Her connecting flight to La Guardia was three hours after landing in T.O. but she had to make it through customs, retrieve her bag and put it back in the correct baggage conveyor, then get to her gate…We had separate flights from Montreal straight to La Guardia.  Texting packages are a MUST HAVE.  She did fine…after only one mental breakdown and some ‘interesting’ texts….

THAT is what mothers are for.  We get the breakdowns, the laments, the cries of ” I DON’T KNOW WHERE I AM AND NOBODY WILL HELP ME!  WHAT DO I DO? WHY ARE YOU NOT ANSWERING ME??!!”  I calmly explained it was because, I WAS ON A FUCKING PLANE and therefore, was unable to answer your BATSHIT-LIKE CRAZY TEXTS. OR, “I’m so sorry you are having a bad experience.  Find a nice person to ask and bug them until they give you an answer you understand”.  Yeah.  I’m nice sometimes…

Just to let you all know, Sherbrooke was wonderful and very hospitable.  Despite my lack of Francais, I managed with a bi-lingual son (who incessantly reminded me that my annunciation of any and all French words was atrocious and should not be heard anywhere on the planet.  Nice. )  and some very interesting hand gestures.  There were some young people who were unable to speak ANY English and quickly found someone who understood my dying need for a tea (for Hubby) and a coffee at Tim’s.  I have some pics of Lake Magog where D2 had her rowing competitions.  It was all very exciting and she coxed the women’s 8 and the mens’ 8 to the finals, coming in 6th overall on both counts.  A lot of fun and she was very happy with her teams performances, considering the other provinces had athletes on their way to national teams and were given more access to expert training experiences.  Some even training in Florida during the winter months.  I think all things considered, Team NL had a good showing.

D2 and her men's team

D2 and her men’s team

New York city was a whole other animal.  We flew into La Guardia and expected a hopping bustling metropolis airport, but instead found a small easy-to-follow-that-even-I-couldn’t-get-lost-in building that sent me into drivels of excitement and awe.  THANK God, D1 had only to walk down a flight of stairs to meet us where we waited for three hours after our flight landed and heard great questions from the Airport folk, like “You are all from Newfoundland? Wow, it must take you guys like an hour to get to Greenland!  You must go there A LOT”  Ummmm….Who the fuck goes to Greenland on purpose??!!

Yeah, he looked so disappointed at our answers of “No, we don’t go to Greenland, like EVER.”  Sorry, dude.

I would so like to go into a minute-by-minute play-by-play of how our escapade into the City that Never Sleeps went, but I wouldn’t want to bore you all into a City That Always Sleeps, so here are some tips and highlights that we found useful while visiting the home of El Gupowitz. Whom I didn’t see. Unfortunately.

1. Take every possible bus tour available.  It helped us get a ‘lay of the land’ so to speak and SOME of the tour guide peeps were awesome…some were inaudible and seemed rather bored with us.  I got a lot from the guy who knew every possible detail about the architecture of every possible building in New York and Brooklyn.  I found him interesting…Hubby found him annoying.  Whatevs…,.

She obviously found the bus ride as enthralling as Hubby...you two should have sat together...

She obviously found the bus ride as enthralling as Hubby…you two should have sat together…

2.   We stayed right smack dab in the middle of Times Square.  The hotel was quiet since we were facing towards the river…kinda.  It was there somewhere behind the apartment buildings, I’m sure it was.  Either way, we were able to walk out of the hotel and be right in the middle of stuff that no one in a lifetime should witness. EVER. 

Times Square

Times Square

3. A map is my bestest friend.  New York is on a grid so the streets were easy to get lost on, I mean, reassess my original position and get to the destination without too much ‘recalculating’ going on.  The only real time I got confused is coming back from Central Park, we were walking, Hubby and son left daughter and I in Century 21 (mistake 1) and ASSUMED I could find Broadway.( mistake 2)  Oh, I found Broadway, until Columbus reared its head and I crossed three streets unnecessarily to find myself back on Broadway.  It was all confusing…and raining…and we were tired.  What?  We made it back to the hotel before Hubby and son…cause they stopped at McDonald’s (eww) for shakes.  Ugh…a big city and they go to McDonald’s….apparently, American McDonald’s make milkshakes better/different than the Canadian McDonald’s…apparently.  I have no scientific proof of this.  Only son’s word. Which is about as scientific as it gets, around here.  

D1 in Central Park..."Ummm...weren't we supposed to go that way?" Ugh.

D1 in Central Park…”Ummm…weren’t we supposed to go that way?” Ugh.

4. Asking for a ‘pop’ will get you a weird look.  We had lunch at a diner in Times Square and I made the mistake of asking for a pop…soda in the USA.  My bad.  I didn’t think it was that much of a difference, but I was wrong.  She gave me the ‘what the hell are you talking about?’ look, to which I quickly realized my mistake.  After that, it was back to asking for a Diet Coke.

The guys in the kitchen at Lombardi's Pizza.  They made our pizza and gave me wine....I like those guys.

The guys in the kitchen at Lombardi’s Pizza. They made our pizza and gave me wine….I like those guys.

5.  How do you pay for the Subway?  The tokens look exactly like our loonies and it was downright confusing for us to differentiate between the two.  We finally figured out the subway machine and once we pissed off the subway token-lady with all of our questions and had a hell of a time manoeuvring the turnstile so we could all get through without broken pelvic bones, we were on our way.  It cut down our travel time in huge amounts.

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6. It’s not the New Yorkers who are rude, it’s the other tourists.  Yes, we were pushed aside, snubbed, and cut in front of, not by the locals but by other tourist-peeps.  Take it easy, will ‘ya?  Geesh.  We found the local New York crowd pleasant, happy to help and downright congenial.  Thanks, eh.

7. There’s lots of walking so wear comfortable shoes.  Hubby was disappointed that I wasn’t wearing heels the whole time…huh?  Walk in those puppies, will ‘ya?!  I wore my unfashionable Skechers most of the time and my feet were thankful.  We walked EVERYWHERE.  Much better way to see the city…and great exercise. 

8. We saw a celebrity and didn’t know who she was.  Oops…Lady GaGa was premiering her new music video unbeknownst to us regular Un-GaGa-like fans.  Did you know that much to a Canadian’s delight, there are TWO Tim Horton’s in Times Square??!!  SQUEEEEE!  Son and I were on our way to one of these little Canadian Havens, when lo and behold a big black car makes its way down Times Square and loads of peeps were milling around and son and I were like “WTF?” (only I said that, son just nodded in agreement) and then we were like “Who Dat?” and then I snapped this:

GaGa in a car with some scary dudes.  I know.  I can feel your excitement.  Calm the fuck down.  Geesh.

GaGa in a car with some scary dudes. I know. I can feel your excitement. Calm the fuck down. Geesh.

AND THEN, somebody said “Lady GaGa” and we were like “Ohhhhh…k” . 

THE END

9. Always have Advil, bandaids and extra umbrellas on hand when it decides to rain, or D1 decides a random brain tumor has returned and she needs to take an Advil or 5 and then it rains and we need chocolate from the M&M store to make us feel better and of course the Ferris wheel at Toys R Us because we are “still kids you know” and need to have fun.  Yeah.

The Ferris wheel at Toys R Us...awww....

The Ferris wheel at Toys R Us…awww….

So, I wish I could come up with one more point, but I fear this is way too long already and I’ve noticed that Hubby has poured himself a glass of wine without me, so lest I be left out completely, I should saunter over to the comfy couch and get some wine before he drinks it all. 

Thanks for reading and for all your good behaviour, I give you the naked cowboy.  Only he wasn’t really naked like the pink lady, he had on underwear…she was just wearing body paint.  Totally normal for Times Square I hear. 

The Nekked Cowboy serenading, the...police?  hahaha

The Nekked Cowboy serenading, the…police? hahaha

The Pink Lady...yeah.

The Pink Lady…yeah.

A view from Top of the Rock

A view from Top of the Rock

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