One Awkward Mini-Moon

Guten tag, amigos! Summer is over and it's suddenly 9,000 degrees. Perfect time to reminisce about our lil mini-moon.What is a mini-moon, you ask? Well it is when you take a short trip after your wedding (hence "mini") and then take a long trip later and call the second one your honeymoon so you can justify taking multiple weeks off work and also extending the length of time you can drag attention outta your newlywed situation. No shame in this game.

 

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Look at us mini-mooning. We are so white. My sister commented that all I need is a big floppy hat and I'm basically starring in a Nancy Meyers movie. Later that night I wore white on white. I am taking to this waspy Liz Scott life REAL quick.

Anyway! In March over Brian's school spring break and my personal spring break that I'm taking even though I have a major book coming out 2 days later (whoops?) (but it's ok b/c it's our HONEYMOOOON!), we're going to do a big adventcha all around Southeast Asia: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam. I mean, we haven't planned one second of it but in our imaginations it is quite the wild and perfect trip.

Any tips?

We knew we wouldn't have the time or energy right after the wedding for our dream vacation, but did want to get away so we planned a little mid-week getaway the week after the wedding to our favorite local beach Fire Island which is the best place on earth because you don't need a car to get there or to get around there. Everyone walks around pulling wagons or riding bikes, everything is casual and relaxed and low key. Fun Fact: Tina Fey has a vacation home in one of the towns there. We have yet to hang out but it should be any day now.

At any rate, Fire Island kind of has two parts - one which is more family oriented, where we've vacationed before with friends - and one that is known as more of a gay party scene. You may have seen this part portrayed in the opening minutes of that HBO movie The Normal Heart and it is AMAZING. Lots of beautiful, oiled up gay men men drinking and cavorting around the seaside. I stopped watching after 20 minutes because I heard it gets sad and (spoiler alert!) Tim Riggins gets AIDS and dies and I just don't see myself coming back from that sort of trauma.

We found a cute little guest house to rent for a few days that had a private deck, a kitchenette and was just a block back from the beach that happened to be on the gay party side in the town of Cherry Grove. A few weeks before the 'moon, we had drinks with a colleague of Brian's, who frequents this side of the island and participates in the festivities and were telling him all about the cute place we rented - close to the beach, the general store and this beautiful wooded forest area.

"Oh yeah. You mean the meat rack!" he replied.

"The what now?!!!?"

Turns out, the "beautiful wooded forest" area just steps from our newlywed cottage connects Cherry Grove with The Pines, the other hot gay party spot and is known as quite the locale for revelers to go get some strange.

It is at this moment I was almost saddened by how open minded Brian and I are. What a dream comedy film this would be. A sheltered young couple goes off on a romantic honeymoon only to find themselves in the midst of a wild gay party week! She accidentally does ecstasy. He ends up covered in body glitter. Shenanigans ensue and they leave the trip a better, happier couple than arrived.

Instead it was just us, two jaded New Yorkers who thought they'd seen it all.

Bring on the Meat Rack!!!

I'll go right ahead and ruin the anticipation by revealing that we did not see anyone getting bajiggity in the forest. We DID however, see about 800 dongs, 900 butts, 50,000 ladybushes and more boobies than a 12-year-old virgin could ever fathom seeing in his whole life. Turns out, Cherry Grove is a nude beach!

And by nude, oh we mean NUDE. There's another nude spot on the other end of the island where we'd vacationed with friends in the past which is frankly, a little underwhelming. Nude bathers have these funny shield things, almost like a tent with no top (even their tents are topless, ho ho!) which still provides privacy despite their lack of apparel. We imagined we'd encounter the same sort of situation but oh no, friends, this was a whole new ball game. And by "ball," I do mean of the male anatomy sort, of which we saw so many, they haunt our dreams.

Bathers in Cherry Grove don't bother with modesty shades. They walk their dogs, stroll the coastline, swim, eat sandwiches, do pushups, hunt for sea shells, anything you might do on a regular beach vacation but naked as the day they were born.

It was...definitely something.

I don't mean to be unkind, I'm sure these were all lovely people but, as with most situations where nudity is approved, none of the participants were people I'd actually want to see nude. NOW, I think all bodies are beautiful and everyone is special but we did not take the subway to the train to the other train to the ferry allll the way out to this sexy gay party island to see a bunch of normal people walking around in the buff. Enough with these reggos - where were all the toned, oiled up young men and porn star lesbians?!

I will ruin any other anticipation by revealing that we did not sunbathe starkers. We briefly considered it but chickened out. I did go topless, how Euro, for about 12 spicy minutes but just couldn't get into the full monty.

Can ladies go full monty or is that just a man thing?

I don't know, guys. I just don't see the appeal of having a bronzed mons pubis, you know? Not to mention all that sand all up in everywhere. I hate to be so American about it but perhaps some parts should just stay covered.

As for the Meat Rack, we didn't even end up entering. And by entering I mean like...walking into the woods, not anything dirty, pervs.

We actually confused the Meat Rack with another wooded plot of land, The Sunken Forest, which is nearly a mile walk from the heart of town, and even further from The Pines. As we trekked through sandy, mosquito filled dunes and wild sea brush in hopes of spotting the infamous Meat Rack I couldn't hep thinking it just seemed like an awful lot of effort to go to for an anonymous BJ.

But, then again, I'm a straight prude who's seen enough Lifetime movies to know you should never go into the forest with a stranger, no matter what fun activities he's promising, so I might not be the Meat Rack's target audience.

It turns out the Meat Rack and the Sunken Forest were entirely unrelated - the Sunken Forest is part of the National Parks service and is very well maintained and family friendly and you can learn about birds and foliage and stuff so that was slightly more my speed.

Here is us in the Sunken Forest...we're so waspy we wear collared shirts even when hiking through national parks/possible illicit wooded sex dens.

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Basically the Meat Rack had the opposite effect on us that it had on the imaginary Midwestern couple of my comedy film dreams. Instead of opening our minds (and legs!) we just kind of got bored with public nudity and went for a nature hike.

SEXYYY.

Andddd that was our mini moon! It actually was super fun. We just laid around and read and ate junk food and drank bloody marys and I got legit tan and I cried on the ferry home because I didn't want it to end and also I am a drama queen. As for the freakydeaky stuff, there's always next time! I've heard that Thailand has lots of ladyboys and sex tourism so maybe we can re-try the racy lifestyle on that visit. I mean, we'll probably just end up like, touring a historical museum or something but you never know! Anything could happen.

How do you say Meat Rack in Thai?!

Off to Google Translate I go! While I am gone, here are some (clothed!) photos from our lil trip if you should so care to see...and why wouldn't you? It is a proven fact that everyone adores looking at photos of someone else's romantic getaway.

 

 

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xoxoxoxoxo Mz Hott

Another Awkward Week [8.16.13]

Good morning, buttercups! How's everyone doing on this fine Friday? I am gr8. I just need to power through a few quick hours at la oficina and then I'm on vacation for a full week! It is going to be glorious. Brian & I are headed down to PA for some time with my family and then taking a quick jaunt down to Virginia to hike in the Shenandoah National Forest. Oh and camp, too. In a tent. Something I haven't done since my girl scout days.

Brian & I knew our plan was some mountain hiking time and looked into staying in a few different lodges but decided to keep it thriftay and tent up in a campground. It's only three nights, how hard can it be? I just literally like three days ago realized that this could go horribly awry. It never occurred to me that it might like...rain. Every time I've pictured it in my head it is just sunny and beautiful and then just chilly enough at night to throw on a flannel for a campsite chic look butttt it may very well storm and drench all of our things and I don't know how far the bathroom is from our campsite and I'm fine with peeing outdoors but y'all know (farrrrr too well) how my stomach can sometimes rebel and I don't think I can do that outside.

So yeah, trip could be fantastic OR an epic, soggy, outdoor pooping disaster. Wish us luck!

Now without further ado, why don't we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week:

This Devastating Mess:

sad soda

I managed to check off a number of my August Bucket List items in the past week, booyah! One such item was a long ass bike ride throughout NYC. For a few weeks in August, there is a program called Summer Streets, where what is essentially 4th Avenue in Manhattan is blocked off to car traffic from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way up to 72nd Street on the East Side. There are various vendors lining the sides plus lots of fun outdoorsy adventure opportunities - giant climbing wall in Soho, boot camp classes in Astor Place. It gets a little crowded but is a cool way to see the city via bike or foot. I think tomorrow is the last day so if you're in the NYC and looking for some fun, don't miss this!

We rode our bikes from our place, across the Manhattan Bridge (there was one moment ascending the bridge when I was certain that I was d-e-a-d donefor but I made it!), up the blocked off Summer Streets, across 72nd to the West Side Highway bike paths, down town, across the Brooklyn Bridge (do not attempt this, it is a death trap of human bodies) and back for a total journey of 21 miles. Pretty proud of myself if I can just quickly toot my own horn.

We stopped for a picnic lunch in Central Park in the middle of our journey and ALL I wanted, all I had been fantasizing about during all of this epic physical activity was a big ass Diet Coke. Preferably from a fountain. When I spotted a Subway Sandwich Emporium it was like the gates of heaven had been opened before me. I filled my cup to the brim with ice cubes and delicious, fizzy, soul nourishing DC, took one sip, walked out the door and dropped my soda on the ground.

Whomp WHOMP.

I know they say it's no use crying over spilled milk but spilled Diet Coke? Totally acceptable.

These Sunglasses:

sunnies

 Also on the summer list: a visit to the beach. Sunday was the most gorgeous day, so Brian & I made the trip out to The Rockaways for a little surf, sun and sand. And seaweed. It's a great beach, free, with fantastic boardwalk dining options and easily accessible, clean public restrooms and they're doing a ton to restore post Sandy damage so I don't want to give them a bad rap but on this particular Sunday afternoon the sea was so weedy the ocean was probably more greenery than water. It was gross. It was like swimming through a bowl of miso soup. Minus the tofu. Gross.

But still: Great beach, accessible via public transit so highly recommended to all my NYC peeps. I'm a regular NYC tour guide this week!

Anyway, I'd somehow managed to lose my sunglasses sometime the previous week so in a pinch ran to the dollar store on my street for a cheap, quick fit. All sunglasses look ridiculous on me because I have a toddler sized head, so I figured I'd just embrace it and go full absurd with the cheesiest sunnies they had for sale.

And there they are. Looking pretttttty fly, if I do say so myself.

This Sunburn:

wrist

And, as always, nailed it in the sunscreen department.

This Scene:

shakespeare

Another summer/life bucket list item crossed off: Shakespeare in the Park. People line up for hours every summer to get free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park but I was able to get in easy peasy thanks to my company. We were one of the sponsors of the program and were also testing out a cute new book mobile to sell books prior to the show. I volunteered as a bookseller and snagged a ticket to the show after. Sah-weet.

I obviously had to instagram the occasion for posterity, in this "pics or it didn't happen" world of ours, but was swiftly scolded by an usher the second I took out my phone: "No photos allowed!"

I tried to be rebellious and snap a shot when she had a her back turned but chickened out and did it all too fast and viola: here's my photographic evidence. I'd say this one is a framer.

And finally:

This Foot:

sleeping foot

It's mine. Shoes by target, nail polish Sally Hansen, skin & bones: God and/or science.

This is not a summer bucket list item, instead a recurring problemo. I always sit really pretzelly at my desk with one of my feet up under me or crossed over the other or in some other weird position which causes one of my feet to fall asleep and then when I stand up, I can't walk for several minutes. I'll get up and have to limp to the printer or hop on one foot to get my snack or sometimes just stand up and fall right over in front of my desk or the very worst: make it a few steps out of my office before stumbling in the hall, where everyone can see.

It is REALLY embarrassing and happens probably 3 x a week. I understand this might be a problem (I've obviously searched WebMD rigorously for "frequent foot sleeping + cancer = death?") but I can not seem to sit like a normal person.

Does this happen to anyone else?

Annnnd that's the week, kids. Short & simple. I'm now desperately craving fountain Diet Coke and it's 8:15 in the AM. Too soon?

Have a fantastic weekend and pray for sunshine over Virginia next week!

xo,

Liz Ho

One Awkward Vacation

Hay hay hay. Just as I was getting so uppity about my post-reunion popularity, I disappear again. I wish I could say I’ve been up to something truly exciting or glamorous but alas, I’ve been dull. Working too much and struggling to pay my bills and otherwise being a boring adult. So uncool. I have this co-worker who is dating this guy, a real life Christian Grey this one, who every weekend sends his private car to bring her to his private plane to fly her to his house on Nantucket. Isn’t that bonkers? That has nothing to do with my life or this blog in any way, I just needed to share it. Bonkers!

I’m also going to the beach this weekend, to Fire Island, but my private jet is in the repair shop, so we’re taking the Long Island Rail Road which is possibly even fancier. Have any of you been to Fire Island? It is divine. It is teeny tiny, barely a half mile wide with water on either side (ok, yes, I realize that is the definition of island, shut up) and there are no cars allowed on the island so everyone bikes and pulls little wagons and sips cocktails on their decks and no one bothers getting dressed up nice and I just love it. I love it! Also allegedly Tina Fey has a vacation home there so I’ll likely devote a solid chunk of this weekend stalking her out. Look out Tiiiinaaaaaaa, I’m coming for you!

I am so weird.

Anyway, so we’ve been planning this vacation for months – we went last year for a few amazing long weekends – and I’ve been looking forward to it like a lonely former sorority girl looks forward to a new season of The Bachelorette – this is my vacation! My getaway! My time in the sun! I have spent the last few weeks dreaming of four long days, beginning Thursday and ending on Sunday, with my toes in the sand, beer in my hand, etcetera and so forth, but an unexpected tragedy has struck and now the weekend doesn’t begin until Friday! I am devastated! Who is to blame for this change in plans? Sources seem to point to me, since all documents discussing this weekend clearly stated that Friday was the official start date for the rental house and everyone else knew about this except for me, but I refuse to take the fall for this. I’m looking for someone else to pin this on. I think I’ll blame Chick-Fil-A. They’re on my ick list anyway and as Fire Island is a popular haven for the gayz, I can only imagine they disapprove of our vacation and through some kind of evangelical voodoo prayer power turned my brain to mush and disabled me from comprehending the dates on the calendar. That’s the only possible explanation!

Insane, maaaybe, but just go with me here. I’m mildly embarrassed & distressed by my changed vacation plans and need a scapegoat!

Adding to my pre-vacation distress, for the last few months I’ve been “planning” (aka sporadically writing lists in a tiny spiral notebook) for a gigantic, amazing day of activities, Olympic themed, complete with team shirts and medals and a drinking game I made up called Carrying the Torch and it was going to be so awesome, everyone was already like, London who? Fire Island 2012! But this week when I finally tried to get everything organized, 65% of my fellow weekenders didn’t even respond (rude! You know who you are!) and the rest were nearly unanimously not into participating because they don’t like “committing to structured activities.” Yes, I know you are reading this, and I don’t take it back: y’all are lame! What do you think this is some kind of relaxing vacation or something? NOT on my watch! We’re going to have an Olympics and we’re going to have some GODDAMN FUN!!

It is beginning to occur to me that I might be a bit of a control freak. I really don’t like doing anything unless we’re doing it my way. It’s also beginning to occur to me that I am definitely going to be that mom – you know her, the one who is always making her kids do organized activities, usually with some sort of educational value, all while wearing matching t-shirts with clever pun based slogans and puns. Future Children - I hope you’re good at 3 legged races and making sand sculptures of famous historical landmarks. Dibs on the Sphinx!

My poor babies are so doomed.

I’ve decided I’m still taking a vacation day tomorrow. Brian also took the day off because he too thought vacation started on Thursday. Apparently someone, not naming any names, but I heard it was his moron girlfriend, told him the wrong dates. What a dumb-dumb! So he & I are going to have a romantic staycation day. I don’t know what we’ll get up to – we might explore a neighborhood we’ve never visited or go to Coney Island or just ride the subway around and hop off in each borough and make out and then hop back on (haha gross! But maybe!). I do know the day will involve Bloody Marys, and many of them.

 

So that’s where I’ll be for the next few. Hopefully I win a Gold medal in my solo Olympics! I promise more stories upon my return – I know you’ve missed me terribly!

Xx Liz