Grown Up?

August 16th, 2006

Yesterday my friend Chad saw me wearing my Crocs, and he said, “Garden shoes! You’re such a grown-up. You probably have wheeled luggage, too.”


So I was wondering, what do YOU think is the sure, visible sign of a “grown-up?” Thoughts?

Kauai Travel Guide

August 13th, 2006

Some reflections to help you, friends, should you ever plan a trip to the Garden Isle.

1. Consider that such a trip involves a LOT of travel. It’s just something to be aware of. We spent almost two entire days on planes and in airports, and we live on the West coast—from the East coast, it’d be even more.

2. On the plus side, Kauai is fun to explore, and it’s an explorable size; there are some exotic things to see, too, like lush, jungly cliffs and super-high waterfalls. The sea-water is warm and clear, and there are many beaches to choose from, from surfer-perfect to family-perfect to deserted-primitive.

3. On the down-side (for us, anyway), this island is a bit more rural than we expected. While it’s got a few small towns, and Lihue is a decent-sized town, most of the island is either uninhabited or farmed. Restaurant options mostly include bar-and-grille fare (Stevel wants me to mention two things here … one, that he is very tired of eating Terriyaki Grilled Chicken sandwiches, and two, that there is no escaping TS Restaurants). There doesn’t seem to be any night-life, really, if that’s what you’re after (we weren’t, but it’s something I noted). We weren’t there to hike, but if hiking is your thing, this might be the perfect destination for you, since you can hike into a lot of the uninhabited stuff.

4. If you go, do get a rental car, and do upgrade it to a Jeep; some of the best stuff to see (and, in my opinion, the nicest beach—Polihale—which is remote and gorgeous) require you to drive over rutted, dirt roads or even very shallow streams.

5. Some stuff we were either glad we packed, were glad we could get at the one K-Mart on the island, or were sorry we didn’t bring: Beach towels, multiple swimsuits, something to float on in the water, heavy-duty sunscreen (equator … heard of it?), beach bags, binoculars, camera, zip-up sweatshirts for the mornings, rain/sun umbrellas, books, games. Things you won’t need: Dressy outfit, extra clothes (mostly we wore our swimsuits and re-wore outfits in the evenings), lots of shoes, travel guide (tons of free publications await you).

6. We stayed here, and it was lovely … a nice-sized, quiet, relaxing resort with lots of pools and ocean views and a restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner. Another hotel we visited that is quite different is this one, which is much larger and a lot more full of activity—several restaurants, shopping plazas, and a beach you can swim in (our resort’s beach was for strolling and viewing only—too dangerous for swimming). Not as serene as the hotel we stayed in, though—pros and cons. Both are in or near Lihue, the town that has the airport. We agreed that if we ever came back to Kauai, we might want to stay in Po’ipu, a town about 30 minutes’ drive from the airport.

That said (and to come full-circle), I don’t think we’ll go back. It was nice, we enjoyed it, but it was so much travel to get to a place that has a beach (which we have at home) and nice weather (also have that at home), so we might try to find something closer. What can I say? When you live in Paradise already, your standards are high for vacation destinations. :)

Sole Mates

August 13th, 2006

We have returned from Hawaii, where we had a lovely time playing in the warm Pacific and exploring Kauai and generally lazing around. We ate some pineapple but did not wear leis. Not everyone who goes to Hawaii wears leis. We did, however, wear some Crocs. In fact, it is a triumph that I got Stevel to wear shoes that do not involve socks, because he has sort of an aversion (I once bought him some flip-flops, but he just couldn’t do it … perhaps it is because of his tender feet). In the end, his aversion to being all sandy and soggy and shoed-socked proved to be stronger. I had purchased a pair of Crocs myself early on in the trip, as I knew they would be the perfect beach shoe. The next day we returned to the shoe store known as “Sole Mates,” where I got to announce to the saleslady in explanation of our second appearance in two days, “We need more Crocs.” Then commenced the teasing, since not only are we a couple wearing the same [trendy] shoes, but so many others are also wearing these shoes. Thus, I feel it my duty to point out to Stevel when we pass by others who also qualify as our “sole mates.” Amazingly, this behavior has not deterred my anti-trend husband from continuing to sport his Crocs now that we are back in Santa Monica. I think soon he will have to admit that, in hot weather, shoes without socks are more comfortable.

Dear Jerky People Who Reply to my Posts on Craigslist and then Stand Me Up,

August 3rd, 2006

I’m offering you a free mattress. FREE! And I WANT to give you this. Nothing would make me happier. That’s love, people.

But this is a one-sided love. Why do you want to make me stay home to meet you, on five different occasions, for several-hour windows, just to blow me off? Does it make you feel like a big-man, George? Irena, do you brag to your friends that I’m “under your thumb?” You don’t even call to cancel. I don’t think you care about me at all. I don’t think you care about the free mattress I want to give you.

I’ve given you five chances—five times I’ve posted my “Free Mattress” ad. This is it. Today. I have to draw the line somewhere. I’m staying here all day with my free mattress, and all of you who replied this time (except Judy, that cow, she’s not going to hear from ME again) know about it. If one of you wants to show up and accept my mattress, you will have me at “hello.”

Otherwise, I’m calling the City first-thing tomorrow and PAYING to have it picked up. I know I can always count on the City to want my mattress, but nothing’s free with the City. I learned that in therapy.

So what’s it gonna be, Craigslist People? You have a chance to show me you care AND to take home a VERY FREE mattress. I wait with baited breath …


UPDATE! The mattress is finally gone, and we can all move on with our lives.

When Left to My Own Devices

August 2nd, 2006

So I get back from Mexico, and what does Stevel do? He flies to Boston. This is the first time I’ve stayed here by myself, and I dig that, because I can make a huge mess and alphabetize the CDs and spend 12 hours cleaning and reorganizing the kitchen cabinets and sleep all afternoon to get over my sinus cold, but the timing is so bad. I haven’t seen him for four weeks, and then I get one day! Why can’t he go to Boston one of the times I’m sick of him or something?

When I used to stay alone at my parents’ house, I would get paranoia about one of the men from FBI’s Most Wanted breaking in, or of alien abduction, which was actually a realistic fear, because there is a field precisely the size of a space-ship landing circle in my parents’ backyard. But here I don’t worry at all, because in the Villa Monica are several elderly women who have the police on their speed-dials and are suspicious of everyone, even the UPS man, and who are nosy and look in our windows a lot. It’s like having a yard full of guard dogs who smoke Virginia Slims and wear pastel-colored polyester pants.

Somehow the cats missed the memo that I’m here alone, because do you think they keep me company all day? No. Linus is working four-hour shifts sleeping on first one half-unpacked suitcase-from-Mexico and then another, while Mia spends her time destroying things on whatever floor I am not currently occupying. For example, yesterday, she batted several bottles of perscription meds into the dishwater, dampening several hundred dollars worth of drugs I require in order to be patient with such antics. Luckily, they dried out enough for me to carefully pluck each one off the single ball they had formed by sticking one to the other. Even more luckily, Mia did not find her way up to the drying area and feast herself into an overdose.