7 January 2009
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Is it already seven days in? Well, I’ve had quite a two-week stretch! From moving out of the house to Christmas to flying overseas to New Year’s madness, it’s all a blur! I’ll do my best, however, to recount the highlights for your reading pleasure. And that’s all it will be today, I’m afraid. Those of you who are imagination challenged (i.e. you need books with pictures in them in order to truly enjoy yourselves), you’re S.O.L.—we don’t have a card reader on the camera right now. So, you’ll have to wait until we move to Paris.
Moving, Holidays, and Other Things That Require Heavy Drinking
Get me a Jack and Ginger, stat!!!! The move went surprisingly well, aside from my craziness including crying at a moment’s notice and/or randomly throwing things at any moving target (thank God my dear doggies had already been sent to their vacation homes). Our house is now empty (*sniff, sniff*) and the contents therein lie buried within huge wooden crates somewhere inside a warehouse on Phillips Avenue. Somehow Jon and I managed to cram our clothing and personal items into six suitcases (four large, two small) and got ourselves to the Houstons for Christmas Eve. That’s when all of the work was done- literally at like 5 pm which is unfortunate because I needed a drink at like midnight, three days earlier. But, the celebrations with both the Houstons and the Donovans were lovely- a well-needed respite from the insanity that had become my life.
What Do You Mean I Have To Pay Extra For Heavy Bags?
Thank God I didn’t have to ask that question! Jon and I were the James Bond of packers and managed to get my HUGE “dead body” duffel bag under 50 pounds. In fact, we kept all of our checked baggage under the required limit. So, aside from almost dying (twice) on the Turnpike and almost coming to fisticuffs with a member of a heavily decorated Latino man in a Cutlass whom Jon cut off at the airport (the guy literally stopped in speeding traffic and waited for us to merge next to him- terrifying), we got to our gate rather easily. That being said, I must say that scenes of any number of the Lampoon’s Vacation movies kept flashing before my eyes during this entire leg of the adventure: “Look kids, Big Ben. Parliament,” sounded as we drove round and round the Miami Airport trying to figure out where to turn in the rental car, and of course that scene in Christmas Vacation where Clark plays chicken with the rednecks and Ellen just shakes her head and scoots down in the seat to hide was called to mind as Jon engaged Tony Montana, jr. on the roadway. You see, I like to find humor in everything, even near death experiences.
“I Was Overserved Last Night.”
Arrival in London. Cold. Jon and I collected Jamie and Steve and away we all went to Paris for the New Year. Thanks to Jamie’s exceptional train ticket purchasing skills, we were able to travel Leisure Class on the Eurostar which meant we got to sit in a fancy coach, have unlimited champagne and wine, and eat a three-course meal all for less money than riding with the other plebeians in steerage. Thus the party began then and there, and it continued as soon as we arrived in Paris. After throwing our bags down at the hotel, we somehow managed to stumble upon a street in the Latin Quarter that was teeming with bars and clubs, including one where we were seated down three flights of stairs in a basement full of squirming and drunk teenagers. Jon did not like that one, but they did play Britney Spear’s “Womanizer,” Jamie’s current dance obsession. Another bar, and my personal favorite, was called The Latin Corner, a self-labeled “crazy bar for sexy night.” This highly upstanding establishment was a dark den of hedonism, complete with attractive waiters walking around in their skivvies offering to give shots to ladies while gyrating and rubbing up against them. One had to pay 20 Euro for that privilege, so we just watched. The rest of the night is a bit of a haze, but it did end with Jon walking half-dressed through our hotel and Steve passing out until noon. To this egregious waste of valuable site-seeing time, he had only one comment, “I was overserved last night.” Well said, my friend. Well said.
The rest of the trip progressed pretty much in similar fashion- fun and foggy. Certain events stand out from the fog, however. Standing under the Eiffel Tower as the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve, meeting up with Mandy and Jeremy in Amsterdam, hanging out with Leah and Tim at Leah’s favorite canal bar, and the COLD, cold, cold air in Holland are amongst them. I’d like to forget the stomach virus Jamie and I came down with, resulting in one lost day of the trip for each of us. I could also do without that visit to the Casa Rossa (NEVER go there). All in all, however, it was a great trip spent with our great friends who continue to shine in my eyes as my ass is currently parked on their couch where it will remain until we move to Paris in two weeks. Now, I have to go- my liver’s hurting just thinking about this stuff. Ouch!
In Other News... I finally have the website Phil and Pia got us for Christmas up and running. It's bare-bones right now, but my plan is to link these two pages together so that everyone can keep up with all our goings-on. The website will have pictures of our trips, a calendar of who's coming when, updates on Jon's progress in school, etc. Please check it out: www.houstonsinparis.com