Don and I discovered The Maxwell Mansion, in beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin two years ago. Before our annual trip to the mid-west to see my family, we decided we’d like to spend a few nights up in Lake Geneva, for some well deserved “alone time.” A little research on the internet, and we decided between one of two beautiful places in Lake Geneva. It would either be The Baker House, or it’s sister property, The Maxwell Mansion. A few phone calls were made and we found out that there was literally “no room at the inn” for The Baker House, so we made reservations at Maxwell Mansion.
The bar at The Baker House is really fun!
The Maxwell Mansion is right up my alley! Built in 1856 as the summer home for a prominent Chicago surgeon, it was the first mansion built in Lake Geneva- long before the enormous lake front mansions you see there today. The property is two blocks from the water, but at that time, he owned the property all the way down to the beach! Now a small boutique hotel, it is made up of three buildings, the original mansion, the stables and the carriage house. Being the “lover of all things old” there was no question in my mind that we would stay in the main house.
Next to the “Stable rooms” at The Maxwell Mansion
The rooms inside the main house are more “period” style, while the stable rooms are a bit more modern and elegant. All the rooms I have seen are nicely done and very well appointed!
Ulysses Grant Slept Here….
For our stay we booked The General Grant Suite, and were happy we did! The suite is named after Ulysses Grant, who was said to have visited there in the 1800’s. The suite is generously large, with both north and south facing windows overlooking the beautiful gardens, a lovely sitting area in front of the fireplace and a HUGE bathroom with a period claw-foot tub. I couldn’t have been happier with the hotel or the room!
This was our bathroom at The Maxwell Mansion. I couldn’t wait to get in this tub! It was so beautiful!
The property is made up of many pretty areas: gardens, fountains, verandas, a pool and a Bocce’ ball court. Inside has a lot of little treasures too: a small “media room” with a cozy red velvet booth that can sit about 6-8 to watch a movie, their Apothecary Bar (which was named to honor Dr. Maxwell’s profession), their beautiful “ballroom,” perfect for a small wedding or intimate party, a living room, and other lovely public areas.
Drinks at The Apothecary Bar two years ago when we stayed at The Maxwell Mansion
What we didn’t know when we decided to stay at Maxwell Mansion is that some say it is haunted. (Not that that would have changed my decision to stay. I’m always open to meeting new friends!) The first afternoon, after going out on one of the lake boat tours, and a lovely lunch, Don and I decided to take a little nap. We laid down, and dozed off. A short time later I kept hearing someone walking around upstairs. I was really frustrated, because it was so loud that I couldn’t sleep! Later on, when Don woke up I complained to him how loud the footsteps were. He hadn’t heard them, because he sleeps like a log. When we left later to go to dinner I looked back at the windows of our suite and realized that there are no floors above our room! Back to the hotel I asked the desk clerk if there was an attic, and if so would someone have been up there working that day. She assured me that there was no attic above our room…….
The next day, my niece Kelly was going to bring my daughter Alyse, who had just gotten in from San Diego up to Lake Geneva. My niece and I have a long standing tradition that every time I’m in town (and the weather allows) we go up to Lake Geneva and hike part of the perimeter of the lake. The mansions surrounding the lake are unbelievably beautiful, as is the view of the lake, and we never tire of it. The girls showed up for our walk and the first thing my daughter said is “Mom, did you know this hotel is supposed to be haunted? I read all about it!” I can’t say for certain if it was the ghost I was hearing walking around the day before, but it seems like perhaps it was!
This week, on our annual mid-west trip, and decided to take our usual trek up to Lake Geneva. One of the reasons is that we are looking to put on a special party in the future, and have talked about doing it up at The Maxwell Mansion. (Ah………. the mysteries surrounding the mansion just seem to build!) We decided to stop in and look at the hotel with the party in mind. It proved to be just as beautiful as I remembered it!
On our walk this year. This mansion is one of the classic mansions I’ve admired since I was a child. Rumor has it that it is now broken into condos, which still would be pretty nice! There is a pool on the roof!
This Diamond Is Not Too Rough!
The four of us took our walk, then decided we wanted to get a little something to eat and drink. We visited a newer local restaurant, called Flatiron Tap and sat outside. We have found in the past, as with many “tourist areas” some of the restaurants leave a bit to be desired. Flatiron didn’t disappoint! The food was great, the service pleasant, and they didn’t seem to mind us taking up real estate for an extended period of time! We were lucky enough to have one of those perfect summer days! We were enjoying the afternoon, visiting, eating and playing cards when a local couple sat down next to us. We began to banter back and forth, and they suggested we go with them later to The Maxwell Mansion to see a mystic named Joe Diamond. I was surprised to find out that the mansion also had a Speakeasy, and it would be open that evening!
Kelly and John during one of the card tricks Joe Diamond did with us.
I totally suffer from FOMO-(Fear of Missing Out), so I was thrilled with the idea! At the appointed hour, armed with the password of the day for the Speakeasy, thanks to our friends, we went up to the mansion! WHAT FUN! We went in to the Apothecary Bar, got some of their fabulous drinks, whipped up by their mixologist, and we were settled just in time for Joe Diamond, to come up to the table we were sharing with our new friends, Melanie and Chris.
Melanie, Patti & Kelly
We were absolutely blown away by Joe’s talent! He regaled us with card tricks for a few minutes, then blew us away by doing a bit of mind-reading! I still can’t figure out how in the world he came up with the name of a friend I had in mind for one of his tricks! It was CRAZY! Joe entertained us for well over half an hour, then we went on down to the Speakeasy. What fun, having to come up with the password to be allowed in, then entering the secret little bar! There was a pretty good crowd in the bar, but we found a few empty couches in the back and made ourselves at home. In the center of that room is a pole that obviously is structural to the building. I’m not even going to mention the pole dance that one of the males in our group put on for us with that pole. It just might embarrass John to be pointed out in such a manner! (I should make him pay some blackmail money to keep me from publishing them!)
Melanie, Patti and Kelly wearing the crazy hats available in The Maxwell Mansion
The evening ended with all of us going out back to the lovely veranda, enjoying the fireplace and conversation with some new friends. Part of our group had a rousing late night game of Bocce’ Ball, which I was told they won.
When we made our first visit to The Maxwell Mansion we weren’t disappointed. Our visit this time around didn’t disappoint either! I think next year we will have to try another few days there, or at The Baker House!
Wednesday evening we went to the opening night performance of Matilda at the Vista Moonlight Amphitheater. We have been season ticket-holders for about 3 years now, and before that I attended a good number of plays there over the years. If you aren’t aware of this theater, you are missing out on a true GEM in the North County area. (I’m constantly amazed at how many of my friends have never heard of this theater. Where have you been, people?) Every play that we have seen here has been superb. The last play, The Producers had people who had been involved in the BROADWAY production of the play. It doesn’t get any better than this folks!
One thing I love about The Moonlight is that it is an outdoor theater. There aren’t too many of them around the San Diego area. You have a choice of 3 types of seats- regular theater seating (chairs), general lawn, which is at the top of the hill and first-come type of seating on the grass, or the reserved lawn tiers, which are between the theater seating rows. I LOVE the reserved lawn tier seats! It is fake turf, so no grass or dirt stains….. but you get an area about 6 ft deep and as wide as a “seat” so that you can picnic at your place before the play! They give you low folding chairs to sit on, so you can enjoy your picnic and the performance, without blocking the regular theater seats behind you. We purchase 4 seats each season, so that at each play we can bring another couple that we’d like to get to know a little better and enjoy a picnic dinner before the play. The tickets at Moonlight are some of the least expensive play tickets you will find in San Diego county, so even purchasing 4 tickets per play is STILL a raving deal! Their highest priced tickets are under $60.00,the reserved lawn tiers under $30.00 each, and the general lawn tickets come in under $20.00. I think when you buy season tickets it comes to less than that price! Where in San Diego can you purchase play tickets for that price? Again, if you haven’t been to The Moonlight, check it out. There are still 2 plays this season!
Now, on to Matilda. I’m going to admit, I knew NOTHING about the play, and wondered if this was just going to be a play for children. NOT AT ALL! The minute the first actors come on the stage you are enthralled! It takes place in England, so everyone in the cast has an English accent. The talented Vanessa Dinning was the dialect coach, and as always she did a fabulous job working with the cast that is made up predominantly of children. (Vanessa happens to be a family friend, but she does the dialect coaching for most San Diego area plays when there is an English accent involved, and does a superb job of it!)
More about the cast later, but it’s the STORY LINE of Matilda that I SO SO SO love! The character of Matilda comes from an abusive household, with parents who have not a bit of kindness or love toward her. There is also a tyrannical headmistress who is awful to Matilda. But this story shows that no matter what your circumstances are, you can succeed. Matilda is a brilliant little girl, with some special powers, and books are her refuge. Matilda sings a songs that says “Nobody but me is gonna change my story, so sometimes you’ve got to be a little bit naughty.” This is the childhood version of “Living a Royal Life” that I talk about all the time. In SPITE of terrible circumstances, Matilda has the courage to do what is right, and makes the best, for herself, and those around her. She refuses to be a victim. She stands up for herself- in spite of what the outcome may be. She realizes that no one is going to do it for her, she has to make the best of her life. I wish that more of our society would do this for themselves! (I get REALLY tired of the victim mentality lately……….. )
I loved every minute of this play. The darling young actress who plays Matilda (Charity Rose @CharityRose) does a brilliant job in the role! She couldn’t be better! The whole cast, singing, dancing and performing the whole she-bang with English accents are beyond compare. One of my favorite area actors, Randall Hickman, plays Miss Trunchbull. He has made a name for himself playing the evil female parts in a few plays locally, including Ursulla in Moonlight’s “The Little Mermaid” a few years ago. I LOVE his acting!
The director is Jamie Tocellini and everything I’ve seen him involved with has been amazing!
Everything You Need to Know About The Moonlight…
The play would be great for kids (probably about 8 and up) who you would like to introduce to live theater, but don’t feel that you need any children with you to fit in and enjoy this play. The large majority of the audience was adults when we were there, and everyone around was exclaiming how fabulous they thought it was.
Matilda is running through August 3rd. Do yourself a favor and get some tickets to go see it. https://www.moonlightstage.com/ You will be glad you did!
Then, check out tickets for the other two plays this season, West Side Story August 14-31 and Victor Victoria September 11-28.
I am SO excited about next year’s season, which is going to have 5 different performances, and includes An American In Paris, Something Rotten, Cinderella, Ragtime and Kinky Boots! 4 of the 5 plays are totally new to me, so I am thrilled for the 2020 season!
I didn’t even know it was possible. Until last night. I didn’t know that after you die you can have your ashes made into FIREWORKS! Seriously! You can’t make this stuff up! (Well, you COULD make it up, actually I guess, but I’m NOT making it up!) Where did I find out this profound and amazing way to get rid of yourself after you’ve gotten rid of yourself? The movie POM. That’s where! More about that in a minute, because actually, going to the movie is what this article is about. But I digress, once again, to becoming a firework. Since it IS a real thing, I’m just laying it out there for everyone who is left behind after I’m gone. If they don’t take my whole body for science, and there is anything left behind, please make me into a firework. Or two. Pink would be my preference, unless they can do one that explodes into a crown shape. Then I’d prefer to be a crown shape. Maybe gold. Or a pink one and a gold crown. Whatever you can do to make the biggest possible SPLASH as I am remembered for the last time on earth. I want to go out with a BANG!
OK, now that THAT is settled……… on to what the article is REALLY about.
POM Movie Madness!
Girls night out a few nights ago was to see the new Diane Keaton movie POM. This is a movie about a bunch of women in a retirement community who decide to form a cheerleading group. We had a group of 12 women, ranging from 50’s to the just-past-mid 80’s. And, you know me. We can’t just go to a movie, walk in and sit down. Heck no! We needed to add a little SPICE to the event…….. so about half of us went dressed as……. what else? CHEERLEADERS!
You may think that would be the silliest or stupidest thing in the world. Go right ahead and think that. I know better. Maybe YOU wouldn’t do it, but that’s probably because you aren’t nearly as much fun as I am. And my friend Stella is. And some of my other friends are!
Gerri, Patti, Stella as a blonde!) and Barbara enjoying Happy Hour! BTW- This is Gerri’s actual cheerleading outfit from high school. And it fits her perfectly! I can still fit into my things from high school too. I fit into my earrings. That’s what I fit into. It just isn’t right when people do this to you!
Here is the thing folks. I’m WAY past the stage where I worry about what people think of me. No matter WHO you are, there are gonna be haters out there. Even if I was the most perfect, smartest, most together person in the world (I’m none of those things and never going to be…. but IF, it’s an IF I put out there) there would still be haters with something negative to say. So, I don’t worry, I don’t care. I just go ahead and be outrageously FUN, and enjoy every darned minute that I can in life. After all, like I often say- YOU DON’T KNOW WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO CALL IN YOUR CHIP! It could be tomorrow. Or next week. Or when you are sleeping tonight. (That’s a kind of creepy thought, huh?)
“We are all so worried about what everyone else is thinking, but of course, the only thing that really matters is what we think of ourselves.” Diane Keaton in POMS
So, instead of worrying about other people’s impression of me, I just constantly think of something new, something fun, something entertaining that I can partake in, and invite those around me to join in. Sometimes it’s a bit much for others’ taste, and they don’t come along for the ride. Sometimes they come along for the ride, but they aren’t sitting in the front of the roller-coaster (that seat is reserved for Stella and me anyway!) They may take a seat further back, where they can be a part of the fun, but not quite so far “out there.” That’s all fine and good too!
Stella and Patti. We both have no problem dressing up in any costume, any time, for any event! Any excuse for a costume is fine with us!
Years ago I volunteered for hospice. I sat next to the bed of a number of people as they took their last breaths. Never once did I hear a person say, “Gee, I wish I didn’t dress in that silly costume that time” or “Gee, I wish I hadn’t had as much fun in life as I did.” NOPE. The regrets that I heard about in life were that they had worked too hard, or worried to much about unnecessary things, or they hadn’t taken time to be with their friends or family enough, perhaps they wish they had traveled more. My only regret will be – no matter HOW old I am when I die, is that I didn’t have more time. I will know though, that I spent my last years having as much fun as I possibly could, and that I filled every moment I could doing things I love.
One of our late arrivals, Bella was pretty impressive with the splits! I never could do them, and no chance at all now!
That’s what I am referring to when I talk about Living a Royal Life. Many call it Living Your Best Life.
Living a Royal Life
There are so many quotes that I love about what others think of you, but this is one of my favorites:
“At 20 we worry about what others think of us. At 40 we don’t care what they think of us. At 60 we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.” Ann Landers.
STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK OF YOU! It doesn’t matter and THEY don’t matter. Be outrageous. Be silly. Look like a nut! It’s worth it, believe me!
Are you MAKING memories in your day to day life? Are you experiencing fun times, and enjoying adventures, big and small in your life?
If you aren’t- what will it take to make your life a life you love?
Maybe you need a “cheerleader” in your life, to help you be on the winning team! There are a bunch of great cheerleaders in this group- give one of us a call and we’ll be over, Pom-poms in hand to help you to Live a Royal Life!
This was most of the “whole crew” from last night! Just ready to walk over to the movie! Our ages ranged from 58-86! Now THAT is a bunch of winning cheerleaders!
BTW- The POM movie is great. Get out and see it while it is in theaters if you can! (Check out POMS trailer here!) We all enjoyed it and the sweet life lessons that were taught in it! (Not to mention finding out you can be made into a firework after you die!) We also had a great time at Happy Hour at 333 Pacific in Oceanside, (Their happy hour includes $8.00 vodka specials, and the BEST brussel sprouts and calamari! YUM!) Then we walked the few blocks over to the Regal Theater. I’m sure there are people who are still wondering WHAT the heck they were seeing as we paraded by with our pom-poms! We had a few other patrons ask to take our picture and the manager of the theater asked if they could put us on the Regal website……….
So there you go. Silly fun, yes! A fabulous memory of time with the girls too! It’s what Living a Royal Life is all about!
We went on a Silversea Silver Cloud cruise up the coast of West Africa recently. We went to 6 countries to be exact. There are basically 3 questions people ask you when they hear you have been to “Africa.” Question # 1- Did you go on a Safari (or did you see any “big game” animals- as both are basically asking the same thing.) Question #2- Why in the world did you choose to go there, of all places. Question # 3-Were you worried about Pirates.
No, we weren’t on a safari, nor did we see any big game animals. That takes place more in central or east Africa. What we saw most of were goats, pigs, chickens and cats, because all of those animals roamed freely- and abundantly – through every village and city we were in. We did see some good sized monkeys swinging through some trees one of the days while we were riding in the bus.
In Morocco we saw some camels at a Bedouin camp, and also just roaming around in the middle of the desert. In Marrakesh we saw few snakes, which were being “charmed” for the sake of tourist. The snake charmers were scarier than the snakes. You’ve got to watch out for those guys- they don’t want to let you go without getting the big bucks out of you!
This picture of animals in a Senegal Village shows about the biggest “game” that we saw on this trip. Camels, goats, cats, sheep, a few pigs and a boar were about the extent of our animal viewing!
Other than that little menagerie, no “big game” stuff. No lions, or tigers, elephants or giraffes. Wrong neighborhood for them.
Why we chose to go to West Africa is another story. My man had broken his foot last fall, right after we moved into our new house. (Great timing on his part, I have to say- thank you very much!) He was bored to death, and started looking into places he’d never traveled, and trips that would get him closer to his goal of 100 countries. A “luxury cruise” up the west coast of Africa came up in his search, and next thing I knew, we were going to West Africa. So, question number is now answered.
This Senegal Village was fairly typical of many of the villages. You’ll see a goat in the background. This village was one of the few that had any sort of “toilet” facilities. This outhouse had buckets in it to go on. Quite sophisticated compared to many!
Was West Africa on the top of my bucket list of travel? Heaven’s no! However, if you know me, you also know I’m always up for any adventure, and always up to try the unusual. So- when Don asked if I’d go on the trip, I gave a resounding yes…….
Captain Phillips, Here we Come!
As soon as we mentioned a boat, and Africa the question of safety and pirates came up constantly. After all, who hadn’t seen Captain Phillips, right? So, of course, we asked our cruise line, Silverseas, if pirates were a possibility or concern. The question was poo-pooed- and we were told that pirate activity is on the east side of Africa and we had nothing to worry about. WHEW!
Silly Americans! We don’t even know where the pirates hang out in Africa. Tsk, tsk, tsk…….
So, onward and upward we went with our plans for our trip. We decided to tack on a trip to Amsterdam to see the tulips on our way to Akkra, Ghana. Thank God, because if we hadn’t I wouldn’t have found that great shop with the fantastic 1940’s style dance dresses…….. (Good thing I brought that extra duffel, because it was filled up on day 3 of the 23 day trip!)
This is one of the 40’s style dresses I got in Amsterdam! What a find THAT store was! (And BTW- this is my granddaughter Nell at her graduation from grade school a few weeks ago!)
My prior cruising experience has been on the uber-large cruise ships. Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland, Costa- and yes, I’ll even admit to Carnival- back in the day! Don has only done small “expedition” type of ships. This cruise, on the Silversea Silver Cloud was to have approximately 200 passengers.
The “luxury cruise” part of the trip had me from Hello. Unfortunately, the “luxury” provided didn’t add up to the cost of the cruise in ever-so-many ways………..
But I digress…….
This poster was on the wall going into the Ghana Port. You would not have BELIEVED the one asking them not to poop in the port! That one was really graphic- but unfortunately we weren’t able to pop a photo fast enough! Things run a little differently in Africa than some of us are used to!
As we pulled up to the port (after a rocky start and less than impressive trip to the ship), Don noticed that the back of the ship had large bars added across the back deck where the enormous water cannons were. Water cannons? Why would the ship need water cannons? We thought that perhaps the ship goes to other areas where pirates might be a concern……..
So, blithely we boarded the ship.
And, as with all cruises, muster is the first order of business on all ships. A lovely letter awaited us when we entered our suite, telling us when muster was to take place, and how focused Silversea was on making our voyage special, personalized, pampering, blah, blah, blah….
Our welcome letter upon arrival on the Silver Cloud
Off to muster we went. Then the ship left dock. After familiarizing ourselves with the ship, we went back to our suite, to find another letter………… informing us that we were in a “high risk area for piracy
If you are of my age group, you will remember Saturday Night Live, and church lady from years ago. Can’t you just hear Dana Carvey saying “How conveeeeenient!” ( Not to mention the following line- “Who made you do it, was it the Devil?”)
How conveeeeenient that the second letter was given to us JUST AFTER we left port! And worse- it stated that the “enhanced measures” were in effect from April 8-14. THREE DAYS BEFORE WE BOARDED THE SHIP!
These assholes knew for 3 days before we got on that Captain Kidd, Blackbeard and Henry Morgan were in the ‘hood, and didn’t bother to tell us? Holy shit. Are you kidding me?
Then the letter went on in explicit detail telling us how to handle the possible boarding and takeover by pirates. My favorite line was, “in the rare event that pirates succeed to board the vessel, do not panic, and do as they say.”
Roger that. I am going to stay as friggin’ as calm as a clam. Yessiree! Ahoy there mateys- nothing to worry about. I’ve seen Captain Phillips. These are reasonable people……….
Silversea- what in the name of all that is normal is wrong with you people?
Where is Johnny Depp When You Need Him?
The pirate with a parrot on the seashore
Not only are we dealing with totally unreasonable people with pirates in the African waters, none of them remotely begin to look like Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. There is just no upside to these pirates at all. Just sayin’.
For the next 4 evenings we were told we had to keep our curtains to our decks drawn and not to open the sliding doors. This was mighty convenient, as the AC was also not working on the ship, and we were in near 100 degree heat………..
If THIS doesn’t all spell out “luxury cruise”- I don’t know what does!
In the public areas of the ship, every curtain was buttoned up as tightly as a nun’s va-j-j. Where there weren’t draperies, the windows were covered with paper and duct tape. And the decks and outdoor restaurant were closed down. No “romantic strolls” around the deck were taking place here folks! I felt like I was in London during the second world war blitz attacks.
Again, I know I am repeating myself here, but if THIS doesn’t all spell out “luxury cruise”- I don’t know what does!
Another great tip pointed out in the letter was that if the pirates were to approach the ship, and/or board, we were to go to the common areas of the ship and get down with our hands over our heads. Fuck that shit- I’m hiding under my damned bed and hope they don’t check there for me. I figure that these pirates probably aren’t into doing a lot of work, or they’d have more upstanding jobs. Maybe they aren’t going to look under all 100+ beds, right? But go hide out in the open- with my hands over my head? Are you kidding me? I’m going to come out and line up for the machine gun rally? Come on, I’m smarter than I look! (I’d have to be, or they wouldn’t let me out alone….. But again, I digress.)
(Our Silversea “Pirate Warning Letter”- delivered immediately after the ship left port. At this point it was bit too far for a swim back to shore, I’m afraid!)
Every Day is an Adventure!
Now I realize that earlier I stated I am usually up for any adventure. I’ve jumped out of planes. I’ve zip-lined. I’ve snorkeled and dived. I’ve bungee jumped. I’ve married a variety of men. I’ve had children….. the list of adventures goes on and on.
However, in all those cases, these were experiences that I had preplanned for. The adrenaline spike is because of the thrill of a “controlled” thrill. One that most people live through. One that has safety parameters built into it.
Not friggin’ PIRATES! I never signed up for PIRATES!
So, for the first 4 evenings of our “luxury cruise”, while sweating like I was in an Indian Sweat lodge, with my drapes and balcony window buttoned up tightly, I wondered if I would live to see the good ol’ US of A!
There ain’t NOTHIN’ that spells luxury like that folks!
Captain Boczek’s last lines of his letter left me feeling calm, “special and highly personalized” (refer back to letter #1)… “Your safety is of paramount importance for us at Silversea…..”
Really? Really? My safety is of such utmost importance to Silversea that they didn’t tell me about my tryout for a role in Pirates of the Caribbean before the ship set sail? THAT’S how paramount my safety was to Silversea!
That all being said, I guess we can add a few jackasses to the list of animals previously noted. But they were all on board our ship, wearing nautical costumes!
As you can probably decipher from this post, we did make it out of Africa alive. No pirate boarding or takeovers.
The last tour day we had lunch at a hotel which was once a palace. This little room looked like where you’d go to smoke your hookah!
You might have also figured out that I am not going to be the head cheerleader for Silversea! Oh hell no! I wish the pirate fiasco and the lack of AC was our only issues on this “luxury liner”, but no…… those were just the tip of the larger-than-hit-the-Titanic iceberg. I’m not even going to mention the numerous small items, like Don finding a shard of glass in his lunch one day. We’ll overlook those “little annoyances.”
Silversea asked for feedback on the cruise, which I provided. Over 6 weeks ago. Then followed up 2 weeks later- to make sure they had received it. Then again 2 weeks ago again. No response in any way. Not even a form “we received your letter and someone will get back to you” canned response! The last time around we even spoke to Ricardo who booked our cruise, made him aware of our letters, and resent the correspondence to him directly. He promised he would “pass it on to his supervisors.” That was 2 weeks ago, with no follow up from anyone.
I’m sure I’m not being ignored. I think I’ve figured out the problem. PIRATES! The pirates probably boarded a Silversea ship which had a company meeting going on with all of the customer service personnel, the head honchos and the marketing people, and they are being held hostage RIGHT NOW!
Someone contact the authorities, and send out a search and rescue team!
Meanwhile, I’ll stick to my “non luxury” cruise lines, and I can get 12 -15 cruises for the money one Silversea cruise cost! (Not to mention, I’ll have AC in my cabin!)
_______________________________________________I had to add on a little “follow up” addendum to this story. While writing it, I sent a second email to our Silversea representative, Ricardo, telling him how disgusted I was with their company’s total lack of customer service. I will admit, this particular email was not full of unicorns, flowers and glitter. No, I wasn’t really my most nice on this round. I did mention in it that I now submitted a review on my experience to cruise critic and that I was now in the process of writing an article for my lifestyle blog regarding Silversea and their Silver Cloud ship.
Miracles DO happen folks! Yessiree! Amazingly enough within a few days I actually received communication from Silversea’s Guest Relations department. They apologized for the lack of response, stating that my original emails were “caught in their spam system.” OK, hold on here Frank…….. may I call you Frank, Mr. Sansone? You are going to tell me that Silversea- a large corporation, has a customer service email system, which you ask passengers to send their feedback to (firstname.lastname@example.org) and when they do, it goes into your spam folder? Now THAT is a clever way to set things up! Very helpful to all involved……. Of course there was no explanation as to why my letter to Ricardo hadn’t been responded to for over 2 weeks at this point either…….. hmmmmmmm. Maybe their employees letters ALSO go to spam. Again, a clever and efficient way to run things.
So, that all being said, with his effusive apologies- well, kinda- sorta’- this following line of the letter threw me off a bit- “We appreciate your candor in evaluating your experience aboard Silver Cloud which we anticipate will stand out in a positive way in terms of service and product.” Perhaps something was lost in the translation of my letters when Frank read them, because I would think it apparent to all involved that Silversea, indeed did NOT stand out in a positive way in terms of service and product….. Oh my. Consistant. At least they are consistent…..
So, in the end, what Frank offered us was some credit on a future cruise, an amount which is basically equivalent to an upgrade from one class of cabin to the next level. SERIOUSLY Frank? Oh, and the other detail is that we must use that oh-so-generous credit for travel within the next two years. I’m pretty certain that we will be getting our calendars right out and check which of the Silversea cruises are going to fit in our travel schedule. Or………..maybe not.
And last, but certainly not least- the following video has nothing to do with the idiots at Silversea, or even me- but after my rant I thought you deserved a bit of fun- so watch this great video of a young man who has been to every country in the world (how does he do that at this young age?). He shares some cute little ditty about every one of the countries he’s been to- because…….. as I always say- Every Day is an Adventure!
Stella, Susan DeVincent – KYXY Morning “DJ”, and Patti. I think this woman is too pretty to be a radio DJ- people need to see her!
Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun!
If you know me, you know I’m all about incorporating ANY and ALL possible fun into your life. Being open to the spontaneous, the unusual, the silly.
Last night we did something fun, and a bit different. One of the local radio stations has put on a women’s “slumber party” for a few years running. I’ve wanted to go in the past, but the only way to get tickets is to “call in and win”, and I seldom have much time for that type of contest, and when I did try, I didn’t win……. (poor, poor little me!)
Lucky for me, last Wednesday I attended a networking meeting, that I LITERALLY just decided to attend about 1 hour before it’s start time. (Then almost didn’t make it, because I went TOTALLY to the wrong place, wrong town…… blonde moment, another story for another day…..) But I digress……
Leona with my slumber buddy!
The Ticket to the Fun…
So, I went to the networking meeting, and a woman there asked if anyone would like tickets to the KYXY Slumber party. YES, YES, YES! I’m always up for fun. She gave me some tickets, and I was thrilled for the opportunity!
My first order of things to do was to ask my “bestie” Stella if she wanted to go. We then also asked our friend Leona, and plans were made.
What Do You Wear to a Public “Slumber Party?”
Yesterday afternoon Stella said she wasn’t sure what to wear. I had the same quandry….. Since around my house we sleep nakey, I didn’t think my sleeping attire would be appropriate for the KYXY event………
Stella and I are SO much alike in that we love to do any “theme” up to the max, and we don’t care WHAT anyone thinks……. So Stella came up with the idea of going in frumpy robes, curlers, etc……
I jumped at it.
Don was going out the door for something, so I asked if he could stop at Rite-Aid and pick up the craziest slippers they had. He came home with pink kitty “beanie baby” slippers. OK- they were a child’s size, as that’s all they had, but I squeezed into them. (They “made” the outfit. Always accessorize properly ladies- it’s one of the rules of dressing like a diva…..)
Leona wasn’t up for making a complete ass of herself in public, but she said she didn’t mind going with us that way.
We’re Bringing “Sexy” Back….Or Not!
So, we were off and running with the idea. Stella came up with some ridiculous hair rollers. I had some curly roller thingys I had bought a few months ago that didn’t work at all. I was going to do a video of me trying to use them, but of course THAT never happened. So, I incorporated those into my beautiful “do.” They worked perfectly for that!
Frumpy robes, face mask, rollers, slippers, and then, of COURSE some accessories- coffee cups and a teddy bear, and we were off!
Our arrival at Harrah’s Casino. If this look doesn’t attract some stares, nothing will! Get a load of our attractive footwear!
Let me tell you…….. it take a lot of nerve to walk through a casino on a Saturday night looking like we did! ESPECIALLY for two gals who don’t go out of the house without our makeup done, and a “real” outfit on- accessories to match.
But- there we went. If you could only see the looks we got as we marched through that casino. People were trying to figure out WTF they were seeing! Stella and I were definitely “bringing sexy back”……. in a WHOLE new way!
I have to say though- we were a HIT! Other women put on jammies. Some cute. A few silly. One or two a bit glamorous. But NO ONE went the frump route, with curlers and masks……. we were having our photos taken like we were Beyonce and Megan Trainor, or I-don’t-know-who! If we had charged for photos with us, we would have probably made more than most of the vendors there!
Stella, Susan DeVincent – KYXY Morning “DJ”, and Patti. She was so sweet, and has such GREAT hair!
We were hardly through the door when Susan DeVincent and the gals from KYXY stopped us for our photo, and we were up on the Instagram screen all evening, about every 60 seconds!
We wee up on the “big screen” about every 60 seconds or so- front and center in our ridiculous-ness! Dorothy from KYXY on the left, Susan DeVincent to my right. I apologize that I don’t know the names of the other KYXY ladies!
Sweating Like a Hooker in Church
The event was great fun. There were vendors, a bit of food, drinks and fun to keep us entertained all evening. One of my favorite things was the zumba dancing. Let me tell you though, doing Zumba in a big-ass frumpy terry cloth robe had me sweating like a hooker in church! Not an easy feat! I think I may have come up with a new workout medium! This is like a combination of hot-yoga and Zumba combined! I may need to copyright this!
Hard to make out, but here we are doing “Zumba”- sweating it out! Me in the front left of group, Leona directly behind me, Stella in the middle of the group. On the big-screen the whole evening!
The “Queens” of KYXY
Susan DeVincent, Dorothy and all of the young gals that worked for the station were darling! So friendly and fun! Anytime you asked them anything, they were nice and accommodating. They all looked fabulous in their cute little “jammy” ensembles!
Love this saying from one of the vendors at the event! Isn’t this what I’m always telling you ladies?
There were a lot of fabulous vendors- selling bling, nail accessories, clothing, CHOCOLATE, cake pops, t-shirts, jewelry and more. What woman doesn’t have fun looking at all the stuff we already have too much of?
Loved this picture in front of one of the vendors- Chic Treasure. After all- Chic DOES happen! Stella and I proved that one!
My only complaint was with the food. They had chips and guac, pizza and cookies. I don’t know when in my life I have had worse pizza. Even the pizza at Chucky Cheese back-in-the-day when the kids were small was 100% better than this stuff! Harrahs’ – you’ve gotta’ do better than this. The cookies were just about as bad. KYXY- get some food vendors to come in and feed these women! I know there would be a lot of businesses that would LOVE the exposure! Give them free booth space and have them feed the women free. A win-win for us all!
This was a t-shirt one of the vendors was selling. #ChicTreasure. If it was a different color, I would have bought it in a heartbeat! REALLY- can you think of anything more perfect for “The Queen?”
One of the escape rooms had a booth, and on our way out the door we solved their puzzle. It took us some help from the guy running the booth to help us solve it, but we had a great time getting me unlocked from handcuffs before the clock ran out!
Patti at the “Puzzlalarium” booth. I’m holding the giant “diamond” which was in the secret box we uncovered!
Ladies, this is great proof of the one rule of life that I SO believe in. Don’t worry so much about what everyone thinks! Don’t be embarrassed about being YOU! Go out there and live your BEST life, your authentic life, your fun life- and people will respond in a positive way to you! If you have confidence – you can pull ANY damned thing off! We had much more fun in our weird, attention catching get ups than we would have had if we “blended in!” Every time I caught a view of myself, I couldn’t believe I looked that ugly- but it was worth every “ugly” minute!
Worshiping “The Queen”
Us with the young guy who came up and started “worshiping” me! Turns out, his momma’s name is Stella!
There were even a few men attending the event, and one came up to me and got down on his knees worshiping me! There you go- they know the Queen of Damn Near Everything when they see her even if she is hidden behind a face mask and frump!
We thought this mother and daughter wearing matching jammies was so cute!
I’ve got next year’s outfits all figured out already- now I just need to figure out how to get an invite again!
Stella and Patti with a “birthday girl”- and she had a light-up Harrahs tiara!
One of the thousands of Rosebuds at the San Jose Rose Garden.
Don and I just had a quick little get away to the San Jose area. (If you are anywhere near my age, the song, “Do you know the way to San Jose” popped in your head the minute you read where we had been, didn’t it? Come on, admit it!) Typically, when I am up in that area, I’m a San Francisco girl. I can’t ever get enough of that city! But this trip, we didn’t even venture into the city. We stayed right around the San Jose area.
We had a fun and relaxing time, and got in a lot of sightseeing. The first evening in town, we had dinner at a fabulous restaurant in Palo Alto called St. Michael’s Alley. If you are in that area and have a chance, I’d highly recommend it! We were at a private dinner function in a back dining room, with limited menu choices. I got a scallop dish that was out of this world, and Don had lamb. Let me tell you, I’d go back for either one of those dishes! My seared sea scallops were served on a slice of Yukon potatoes, with a bit of bacon on top and an herb butter sauce. I’m not too proud to admit, it was all I could do not to pick up the plate and lick it! Don of then started his meal with a delicious Lobster bisque and I had a wonderful salad of a variety of tomatoes with burrata. Yummm! We even went all out and ordered dessert. The service was impeccable, the company was delightful and the setting was lovely. Try it out if you get to Palo Alto, or frankly, anywhere in the nearby area! It would be worth going a bit out of your way for.
Kind of A Dummy!
(I thought my new crush was kind of cute, but it turned out, he was kind of a “dummy” and not much of a conversationalist either!)
The next day, after a relaxing breakfast and a read of the paper, Don wanted to go to the Computer History Museum, in Mountain View. Now mind you, a girl who really isn’t all that techy wouldn’t put this “tourist attraction” at the top of her list, but since he accommodates my every whim, how could I possibly say no? This museum gives you info on “computers” all the way back to the abacus! I will admit, it was more interesting than I expected it to be!
Sitting by my new crush!
My favorite part of the museum was the crash test dummy. I just had to have my picture done with him! Turn out, he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, as they say! Not much of a conversationalist either!
Don enjoyed himself, and that’s what matters most!
Don was checking out his photos after “geeking out!”
Then we were off to a delicious lunch. Don’t you just love how, nowadays, you just ask for the top restaurants near you, and WHAM- you can find a delicious place to eat, without taking much of a risk of getting a bad meal! Thanks to “Siri” and her help, we found The Voya Restaurant, in Mountain View. The restaurant was an unexpected delight! We had a charming server, and we went with his suggestion of a house specialty pork dish, Cochinita Pibil which we shared. It proved to be as delicious as he promised, and more than enough to fill us up! Once again, I’d suggest stopping by if you are in the area. It’s well worth the trip!
Enjoying a fabulous “get away” lunch at the Voya Restaurant, Mountain View, CA
The Winchester Mystery House
The back garden of the Winchester Mystery House
Then, on we went to a tourist attraction I’ve wanted to see for over 30 years- The Winchester Mystery House. We were there for HOURS, and even then, the tours we took only covered less than 100 of the 160 rooms in the house! This woman didn’t know the meaning of “enough is enough!” I won’t cover this attraction in too much detail, because I plan another blog about it soon. My suggestion is that when you go- wear comfortable shoes! Just on the main tour alone, you cover more than 1 mile, and I can’t even begin to imagine how many steps, up and down, down and up!
Our evening ended up with seeing the movie Dunkirk and my dinner was a HUGE ice cream cone at the theater. I guess I subscribe to the saying “Life is short, eat dessert first!” I figured I could use the “I’m on vacation” excuse for this one!
San Jose Rose Garden is a spectacular treat for the senses! Not to mention, it’s FREE!
He Never Promised Me a Rose Garden…….
Hundreds and hundreds of rose bushes make up this spectacular, world famous rose garden! The perimeter of the garden has beautiful, stately Redwood trees. What a beautiful combination!
Our last day, we went to see the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, which has been voted “the world’s best rose garden.” It is truly a beautiful sight to see, with literally hundreds of rose varieties, and they are surrounded by beautiful redwoods. Dead center in the middle of the roses is a beautiful fountain. At first glance, the fountain almost looks like it is made of crystal or clear glass. The whole park is a delight to see.
When you first see the fountain, it appears to be made of glass or crystal!
We were told by a volunteer who was cutting back some of the roses that just before Mother’s Day is the most spectacular time to see the roses here. We plan to return, Don with camera and tripod in hand to capture the beautiful sight!
Beautiful roses, every size, every color, and all with different scents!
No matter where we travel, we always seem to have a great adventure, and it’s always fun to share it with my friends!
My theory is that money spent on travel is the best money you will ever spend! DON’T WAIT until you have money and time to take the biggest trip possible! Fit in those little 2 or day adventures into your life! They are well worth it, and can be done on a budget, if that is what you need to do!
Really Wayne? Is this the best you’ve got for those people who have been your fans for years? Where is the funny guy, the friendly guy, the personable guy we all think of when we see Wayne Brady? I just have to ask!
Last weekend, my daughter Alyse, her friend Liza and myself took the hike up to LA to be on Let’s Make a Deal.
Now, if you know me, I’m ALL about putting together costumes! I have, literally, dozens and dozens of costumes in totes in the top of my closet. If you can think it up, I probably have a costume for it.
Your’s truly, my daughter Alyse, and her friend Liza. We are pretty damned glamorous, you have to admit! 🙂
We decided to go as the Three Blind Mice. When I do a costume, I do it up to the last detail. We had mouse tummies, mouse ears, mouse bow-ties, mouse tails, mouse “canes”, sunglasses. Sayings printed on the back of our costumes, and great 2 sided signs, with oh-so-clever sayings…….. If that doesn’t get you chosen for Let’s Make a Deal, what would, right?
The Wait Begins………
So, if you’ve never been to one of the TV game shows, let me tell you, this is a LONG and drawn out affair! It starts with the reservation to go up there, then when you get there, you stand in line to prove you are supposed to be in the audience. You have to show your reservation and your ID. Then you go through a security check and metal detector…….. after that the wait starts.
Waiting in the line that seemed to take forever. But we kept the “perfect contestant” smiles plastered on our little mouse faces!
You are handed a clipboard, with about 8 pages of small print. You fill that in and wait. And wait. And wait. There are various people you connect with to get your ID scanned, paperwork checked out, nametags, numbers, blah, blah, blah…….
We were aware that they are checking you out the whole time to see if you are “fun material” for TV, so we kept the fun-a-coming….. the happy attitudes in check and the cuteness factor just oozing from our bodies for every damned minute…… hour (and seemingly day and week).
The thing that amazed me was the amount of people who come into this process WITH NO COSTUME! Yep! You can rent them there. Now, silly me….. the way I would do this thing would be to look at who really made an effort at a costume, made it fun, made it creative — and they would be at the top of the “people to choose” list. Evidently, not so, as you will soon see!
Don’t get too excited about this picture. This is just a “fakey” they do in front of a blue screen! Your phone is confiscated AGES before you get to the studio. We were actually sitting behind where my left ear was when we were in the audience.
At the end of the long and tedious line, you are pulled off into a little section at the end of the room with about 20 people, where one of the producers goes around, asks your name, what you do, etc…….. then into the holding tank you go, with all of those who are going to be on the show that day.
You’d think they might give you a clue, such as, “The bus to the studio will be boarding approximately “blah-blah” time, or “15 minutes after the last contestants get through their interview” or “when hell freezes over” or “when you die of old age” or “once Bettie White is no longer the most popular female in the US.” Uh, no. No hint. You are a bit scared to go off to the potty, because it’s out the door, down and around the building, and up on a trailer full of porta’ potties. (Seriously? They can’t even give you a REAL bathroom here at the Let’s Make a Deal holding pen? Let me tell you, on a day that hovered in the 80’s with more damn humidity than is legal in Cali’- this was not a pleasant experience.) So, you don’t know if they might call everyone while you are porta’ pottying it, and you might miss the whole damn show! And, when you are one of the 3 Blind Mice, you miss it, and the rest of the gang is also kinda’ shit outta’ luck for their costume ensemble…..
A little information for the masses would be nice you execs in charge of Let’s Make a Deal. Just sayin!
Me and Liza. (BTW- might know that out of hundreds of people, I’d get assigned contestant number 69! Just sayin’!)
So, it’s once you are put into the “holding pen” that those who need to can rent a costume. These aren’t great costumes. Not by any stretch. A lot of “Hawaiian Shirt and plastic lei” type of stuff. Santa and Santa’s helper. With “Santa” consisting of the Santa top & hat, no beard, no Santa pants or boots…… Very basic, not-a-real-costume type of costume…
And the wait goes on…..and on….. and on……
We kept up our happy-as-fuck little effervescent attitudes, however, because we KNEW we were being judged each and every moment. Once 3 separate people gave us our marching orders (all 3 speeches were basically the same, BTW!) We were told that, indeed, we were being watched moment by moment, both now and throughout the show, until the very last moment, and we needed to keep our enthusiasm til the end, act excited if we won a prize, even if we hated it more than our mother-in-law, don’t touch Wayne Brady in any way, unless he gave explicit consent, and don’t chew gum…… we finally were herded into buses to go to the studio.
Upon getting to the studio, we were then herded into a sort of hallway to sit until further notice. Again, a bit of information would be nice. Information such as how long we might be there, if/when and where we could go to the bathroom, etc. Of course, the moment my daughter wandered off to the bathroom they started us moving inside, giving the other 2 members of the “blind mice” ensemble a moment of panic.
It might be nice before they DO herd you into the studio to tell you you WON’T be able to get a drink of water, or go to the bathroom for the next 2 hours or more……… HOLY GOD, is that too much to ask? Heads up here people, do what you have to do, and you have this much time to do it in……… NOPE!
Then the fun, and the disappointment begins.
Once they seat us in the studio, there is yet another speech (#4 for those of you who have stopped counting). This speech reiterates the same content which was gone over repeatedly before boarding the bus. I DO fully understand, that some of the people in said audience are not rocket scientist….. but SERIOUSLY? This isn’t LIVE TV, and if someone really F’s up, they CAN edit it out……
“His Royal Highness” Arrives!
Then “his highness” arrives on the set. We are all prepared for the moment. When Wayne Brady enters, the first person he calls up is a gal who isn’t even IN a costume. SERIOUSLY? WTF? She was cute, and did win a motorcycle, so we were all pleased for her. When it’s time for a commercial break, Wayne strolls out, no interaction in ANY WAY with the audience. Not a wave, not a smile, not a joke, nothing! We, however, stand up and, as Liza put it, “dance like monkeys” the whole commercial break, because that’s how they told us they choose people for the segments. It was like rinse, and repeat for the rest of the taping of the show. Almost everyone chosen for the show was- are you ready?…… wearing one of the IDIOTIC RENTAL COSTUMES!
Closeup of Alyse and Liza. Once you are on the show, your contestant number comes off.
There was one costume that was UBER popular in the audience. This was a hat type device which looked like a milk carton, and your face became the face on the milk carton. There were at least 7 people in the audience with that clever $5.00 costume. There were 3 “rainbow unicorns.” 90% of the costumes were easy-peasy purchased costumes We had the only hand held signs in the whole audience. No notice of that! We had accessories! We had cuteness! We had creativity! All that, on top of our sparkling personalities the whole frickin’ day! And none of us were called!
There was one gal in our “group” who did get called up front. We were so happy for her! She was a kind of Sandra Bullock look-alike, and very friendly. Her costume was a slot machine, and she had personalized it with Wayne Brady phrases on it. Alyse called it early on that she would get chosen, and we were excited to see her do well.
Wayne Brady……. Not So Much……
But the worst part of the experience? Wayne Brady. Wayne Brady and his lack of interaction with anyone in the audience. He didn’t actually even ACKNOWLEDGE us in any way shape or form! Other than 2 funny bits he did while the camera was rolling with guys on stage and in the audience, none of us existed. We were simple “props”, and not worthwhile human beings.
Like mother, like daughter. Even as blind mice we look similar! Turns out, Wayne Brady is kind of a dirty rat. At least, not a very friendly one, as it turns out!
Wayne, Wayne, Wayne……. I’ve loved you since I saw the first Who’s Line is it Anyway…. but I’ll never feel the same about you. Bummer! I don’t think a bit of kindness to the people in the audience would have been too much to ask from you. Wayne actually came right in front of us in the audience, to get to the woman they were choosing for “the big deal”. No eye contact, not a hello, not a hi five…… in fact, I don’t think he knew we were humans he raced in front of.
Wayne, you pompous little ass! You hadn’t been standing in line all day. You hadn’t been in the holding pen for hours. I’m pretty damned sure YOU hadn’t missed lunch. You weren’t dying of thirst and needing a bathroom. Would a little hand wave, a few hugs, maybe a little joke or two have killed you? What’s the deal, Wayne? Did you forget the people who put in in front making the big bucks? Our relationship is officially over now you chump! I’m embarrassed for you and your lack of simple kindness and compassion to the people who came to see you. Nice suit, by the way.
I don’t care what kind of sweat be a drippin’ down your boobs. No one needs to look like this!
So here I am, just strolling through Facebook. The first “down time” I’ve had in almost 2 weeks, and I thought I’d check out what is going on in the world of my Facebook friends, when suddenly I come across this ad for the Ta Ta Towel. I had to stop, take a gander, then look into this further.
Uh, no. Not for me. So sorry!
If you aren’t yet familiar with the Ta Ta Towel, it is basically a hammock, made out of a towel to hang your titties in. In other words, an “Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.” (That’s what I would have called this invention, if, indeed, I had invented it….. which I didn’t, because I didn’t know there was even a need for it.) Evidently, a number of big breasted women seem to sweat under their boobs while getting themselves ready to go out into the world for the day. Hence, the “Ta Ta Towel” was invented. It is described on their sites as “The perfect accessory to any set of boobs.” I prefer a diamond necklace as my boobs perfect little accessory. Call me a snob.
No one should be going out in public like this. Sorry! If you wonder why you can’t get a date, maybe it’s because you are out in clothing that just wouldn’t flatter ANYONE! Not to mention, those titties are gonna go a floppin’ out, you can just about count on that!
Solutions for Sweaty Boobs
Perhaps I’m a skeptic, and perhaps it’s because my rather ample boobs don’t seem to have this weeping sweatage problem…….. but did anyone ever think of a simple little robe? I have a cute little leopard number, which is nice and cool in our oh-so-hot summer weather, and I throw that on when I’m getting ready for the day. (Unless the weather is cool, then I throw on a warmer robe. But in either case, I don’t need a special over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.) My simple little robe seems to do the trick for me.
I did a little further research on the Ta Ta, and found they have a facebook page, a number of “reviews” on the item, and, evidently, some different colors and patterns that the Ta Ta might be ordered in.
I’m a Sucker, I’ll Admit It!
I’ll admit, I’m usually a sucker for everything that comes my way, and promises to solve a problem. I’ve tried the “Skinny Coffee.” About $30.00 later, and a few weeks of coffee that had some suspect white specs in it later…… not an ounce was lost. I also fell prey to the curlers that promised to give me ringlet type of curls fast and easy……. wait for the video on this one folks. You’ll be glad you did. (As soon as I figure out how the hell to make said video). The black mud looking mask……… don’t ask.
This time, however, I did not fall prey to ordering the Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder. Why you may ask? When even the model looks frumpy and dumpy in it, I know that no one in my house, including me, needs to see this shit. In addition, they retail for $45.00! Are they kidding me? Come on. REALLY Ta Ta? Had this thing been $10.00, maybe even $15.00, I would have been tempted to buy one, just for shits and giggles, and to share with the likes of you who read this blog. But seriously? $45.00? Holy crap! I am in itinerant “second hand” shopper. My nicest dresses and evening gowns don’t even cost me $45.00! Am I going to buy a boob sweat sopper and spend that much? Not on your life Sam! No way! I could buy at least 4 or 5 new dresses for that amount of money, and they are going to be one HELL of a lot more fun and flattering than this gizmo!
I suppose I could do a “Go Fund Me” page, so that people could contribute to me purchasing the Ta Ta, but I’m saving that route for something really big and important, like a face lift or tummy tuck sometime down the line. You’ve got to plan these things out to get the most “bang for your buck” you know!
I have to say, the Ta Ta Towel just doesn’t speak to me! Just give me a little “seasonal” robe! Cozy in the winter, cool in the summer! Is it too much work to try to look a bit reasonable, even at home?
Meanwhile, I’ll just use one of my cute little robes to hold the boulders while I’m getting ready for the day. And thank my lucky little stars that my boobs don’t sweat. Life is good here at the Queen’s castle!
If you think that you just can’t live without a Ta Ta Towel, here is a bit more information on this nifty invention!
This martini is even too big for me! On Fremont Street- Old Las Vegas
You know the old saying, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”? In some cases, that may be a good thing! If you’ve been in Vegas more than an hour, and haven’t seen something, you must not have left your hotel room!
I thought I’d take a few minutes and just post some of the crazy and silly things we saw on our little 3 day Vegas getaway………
Park on Fremont
While on Fremont Street we came across a crazy little restaurant for lunch. Park on Fremont, at 506 Fremont. It looked like it was right out of a Tim Burton film. I absolutely loved the wacky decor! The courtyard in the back was as cute as could be, but too damned hot to sit out there while we were there. We were just about the only people in the place, and the food and service were both rather enjoyable. We were happy to find it. I’d suggest you go if you are in the area!
The interior of this place is funky, weird and fabulous! Behind the bar a fireplace surround is used for the beer taps. Everywhere you look, there are things that are, well……. unexpected, in the decor. I loved all of the strange quirks!
One of the strange pictures in the place. Sad thing is, I think I may have once dated this guy!
Even the hallway at Park at Fremont has an interesting vibe! The wallpaper is a bit creepy, look closely at the girl repeated throughout. There are different chandeliers staggered all the way down the hall. I fell in love with the colorful one shown in the front! Don’t be surprised if you come to my house someday and see an assortment of different chandeliers staggered down my hallway!
Another strange picture. The girls dress is made of meat and sausages…… The bodice is a muscle…
This picture was out in the couryard. It’s one of those things you may not pick up on at first, but when you do……….
The courtyard was really charming and eclectic. I’d love to go back when the weather permits.
Heart Attack Grill. Does America REALLY need this?
The Heart Attack Grill. OK, not my cup of tea, but there is a HUGE scale outside, and if you weigh over 350 pounds you eat free here……. Go figure!
If you stand on this huge scale and weigh over 350 pounds, I guess bells and whistles go off and you get to eat free. Now THERE is an honor I hope to never have bestowed on me!
The door at the Heart Attack Grill. Only in Las Vegas! This place is crazy! Not my style, but pretty damn funny!
At the heart attack grill, hospital gowns are considered “mandatory clothing.” After you enter, they take you through an area to “suit you up.” Not my style, not enough bling for me! But then, I’m the woman who refused to wear a hospital gown to give birth to my daughter. I had to get special permission from the head of the hospital to bring my own “cute” gown. After all, there are pictures of such events!
Fun on Fremont Street!
I ziplined over Fremont Street. That’s why I couldn’t eat at the Heart Attack Grill. I may not have made the weight limit for the ride!
Don and I came across this funny guy on Fremont street. What a kick he was!
This is the other side of this guys sign. He was a pretty entertaining and nice man!
Don was put under arrest on the strip! My man is the biggest “boy scout” in the world, but I think he might have gone into a life of crime if these two were going to dole out the punishment!
I’m not certain what he did to be put under arrest, but he didn’t seem to mind! I didn’t even know they made butts like that! Holy Cow!
So, Don gets arrested by the best butts in town and I get this naked guy! What is wrong with this picture? The Bodies Exhibit at Ballys was pretty interesting! Hey, do you like my blingy handbag? If so, check out my shopping page and you can have one yourself!
Only in Las Vegas would you see a booth selling “Big Balls.” I have to confess, I really wanted the large disco ball……Is it just me, or does this kiosk look like it belongs in New Orleans? Check out the zipliners up above!
What Happens to Old Strippers? Ask Don!
Did you ever wonder what happened to old strippers? Well, I guess the mystery is solved! Don went from beautiful cops, to dilapitated stripper! You really CAN’T make this shit up!
We went to see the show, “The Mentalist”. What a fabulous show! He knew things about Don & I that no one should know! Go see this show if you are in Vegas! It was fabulous!
After such a difficult few days, what could I do but relax at the Spa? This is the Himalayan Salt cave, experienced after our couples’ massage!
The play has been extended by a week! You can see here how authentic the 2 performers look as the Delany Sisters, in Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years! Don’t miss it! Get there by June 18th!
“Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years”
I had the pleasure of seeing “Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years”, at the New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad just a few days ago. It is toward the end of the run, but you still have time to get there and see it. Luckily, they just extended the close by a week, and it is now playing through June 18th. I encourage you to RUN…don’t walk to get yourself to this inspiring production. You will be happy that you did!
You may remember when the Delany Sisters’ book came out a number a years ago. Their book came out in 1993,(although, if you had asked me, I would have guessed it being published about 5 years ago. THAT is how out of touch I am with the passage of time!) It told about their life as daughters of a former slave, and the changes they had seen throughout their 100 years. When the book came out it was on the best seller’s list for over 100 weeks, and was quite a sensation. It’s no wonder that it was, if the play is any indication of what made the book so interesting and well received. That book has had over 93 editions of it published, since it first came out.
New Village Arts Theater
If you have not had the pleasure of attending a performance at this charming, small, local theater, this is your opportunity. The venue is small enough (under 250 seats) that there literally is not a bad seat in the house. With only 6 rows, and as wide as the stage, you feel a part of each production there.
For “The Delany Sisters'” the set is perfect and well thought out. You feel as though you have entered Sadie and Bessie’s home, and are sitting down “for a visit.” Every detail of the set is done to perfection, right down to the floor, which appears to be hardwood, but on closer inspection looks like it was handpainted, line by line, right down to the knots in the wood, by a talented set artist.
The whole play is done in the same set, by only 2 actresses, Silvia M’Lafi Thompson, playing “Bessie” Delany, and Milena (Sellers) Phillips, playing “Sadie” Delany. Although they have donned gray wigs, and clothing appropriate for ladies of a VERY mature age, they didn’t go with lines and makeup to pull off the part. Instead, the two use the skill of moving their bodies, and facial expressions in a way that portrays the 2 older ladies, and they do it to perfection!
Listening to a conversation between 2 people on stage for over 2 hours could be monotonus and might be likely to put you to sleep, but not when the discussion is a lesson steeped in our country’s history, and executed by such skilled performers. There is just enough humor and spicy conversation added in to keep you alert and waiting for the next story to develop.
Both sisters definitely have different personalities, which are obvious from the start. As Bessie, herself puts it so aptly, “Sadie is sugar and I’m the spice.”
In one of the scenes, the two women are carrying on their discussion while preparing their deceased father’s favorite meal, in honor of his birthday. They are cooking up macaroni and cheese and ambrosia, all of which looked so delicious we had to go out after the play and grab a bite to eat! The set kitchen reminded me ever so much of my own grandmother’s kitchen that I had a pang, remembering wistfully the times back in Illinois when, as a child, I would watch her cook, as she told me stories about her own life.
The front of the program from Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters First 100 Years. Lucky for YOU, the run has been extended!
Reliving History, Spicy Stories and All!
One of the more interesting – and spicy stories, was that their grandmother and grandfather were never able to marry, due to the fact that their grandmother was 1/4 black, and their grandfather was white. Because of her having a bit of black blood, they were unable to marry, so their grandfather built a home right next to his, with a path they could go back and forth on to be together. The church wanted to kick their grandmother out, but the pastor stuck up for her saying that in her heart they were a committed couple, it was only the law that prohibited them from marriage.
Jim Crow laws, prejudice, strength, humor and courage are all portrayed in this story of two women, both over 100 years old, who had lived together their whole lives. When discussing the fact that neither had ever married, they chuckle that this is possibly the reason for their longevity! They stated that they never married, so they never had husbands to worry them to death!
After seeing this intriguing play, I am inspired to get the book and read each and every detail of the stories shared. I’m sure there is a depth to the history and stories which is skimmed over in the play.
Again, I encourage you to Run… don’t Walk, and get yourself to this provocative production, while there is still time. While you are there, you may want to purchase season tickets, because I have found the quality of plays at this theater are always top notch. You will want to come back, and soon!