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Archive for the tag “vacations”

Destination Wedding Guest, This Really Ain’t Your Vacation

I recently went to an amazing destination wedding in Mexico. I was amped.

I felt like it was going to be a 2-for-1, where I’d get to see a beautiful couple I’d been rooting for a long time get hitched, and 2. I’d get a much-needed break from my hustle.

I was bummed from being on academic suspension, I had a huge project at work with looming deadlines, and my lengthy commute was starting to wear on me.

I welcomed four days of fun in the sun with open arms and a lot of relief. Per my usual vacations, I was expecting time to reflect, relax and unwind. I wanted to come back refreshed and inspired and with some kind of grand revelation that pushes me forward, as my trips tend to do.

Well, as a first-time attendee to a destination wedding, while there were moments to do your own thing, I realized trips that have schedules of any kind, may not contribute to the usual relaxation and pace of my other vacations.

Therefore, that probably contributed to me not having my usual moment of enlightenment, or feeling completely recharged. It also didn’t help that I was tending to some serious sunburn for the duration of the trip and well after.

As for the schedule, there was the bachelorette party, the rehearsal dinner, and of course, the wedding itself. I enjoyed every moment and appreciated the great lengths the bride and groom went through to plan such fun events. I really enjoyed myself, which was what was supposed to happen.But, I needed to put my expectation of complete vacation zen to the side, to be a present and active participant in the festivities.

While there was a good amount of time to lounge on the beach, enjoy the great food and book a spa treatment or two, I always felt like in the back of my head I had to be back to my room to have enough time to do something with my hair (Natural girl problems, but I think I did an awesome job for every occasion after being on the beach!), shower and get dressed to get to a designated spot at a designated time.

A group of folks from the wedding party were going on an all day excursion, and I passed to just relax on the beach and get in some spa time. I knew I’d be exhausted. And the start time for the trip was somewhere around 6 a.m. after hanging out into the wee hours the previous night. NOPE.

So, I say all of that to say this: if you’re going on a trip for a destination wedding, it isn’t safe to assume you’d get the amount of rest you’d normally get during a vacation you’ve planned for yourself, because of having to stick to a schedule someone else lovingly set. We tend to try to kill two birds with one stone (not just with destination weddings and vacations), but the real mission of the trip is to celebrate and shower love upon the couple who just happened to tie the knot in a beautiful locale.

If you keep these things in mind, you won’t find yourself wondering how you still wound up so tired upon your return. So my lesson was, don’t try to turn the destination wedding into your personal vacation and expect the same results. Be present for the happy couple and focus your energy on that.  Just book another trip! It’s a great excuse to just GO, again!!

 

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Whoo I’m Back and Random California Flashbacks

I’m back from vacation from sunny California!

I had a ball folks. It was great. It was more than I had even expected and I got to relax.

So much went down this past week, that I’m going to try to keep this simple.

Where do I even begin?

First of all, I got a date tonight. I’m even wearing cute heels to work in anticipation of it. He’s nice. He’s charming. Good looking, well-traveled, employed, but he’s a good 15 years older than me.

Oh. Boy.

All of this is a big deal, well because I don’t know when was the last time I was actually excited about going on a date.

You all recall the last time I had to cancel a date, because the man wanted to take me to 50-cent wing night.

But I’ll talk more about this new guy after tonight’s date. Let’s get back to California.

Well, first off Catalina is beautiful and other worldly. I had a blast and am insanely happy for my cousin, who in turn seems to be jumping out of his skin in love with his beautiful bride (there is an actual video of him doing a happy dance), who also seems to adore him.

They rented a gorg beach house where most of us tended to gather and hang out over the course of the week. It was relaxing and basically in the heart of the town so we could see everything. We rode electric bikes and had great food (there’s no fast food anywhere on the island).

Everyone drove golf carts in this town (gas was like $4.75 a gallon) and it was the most adorable thing ever. We rented two carts and drove all around the island, the twisting, winding roads through and up the mountains. Everything also shuts down by 9 p.m. save for three bars. You could see dolphins and even buffalo. If you were a nature freak, it’s a great place to explore the land and sea.

I managed to also get a great massage. I was determined to do that, if nothing else.

Now for the party. It was great. Great food, interesting people, including a certain international musician/actor (who is a perennial favorite on Saturday Night Live) and his beautiful actress girlfriend. He wasn’t down for taking photos, which I can understand, but I couldn’t help but be a little excited being next to him doing the electric slide on a large balcony, facing the ocean. It was also loads of fun teaching the actress how to cupid shuffle and giving her a high five of approval once she got it. Both were very low-key, and honestly I wouldn’t have noticed them walking down the street. I’m the worst at celebrity spotting.

I was glad to spend time with my older and younger cousins, who have grown up to be wonderful young men. It was just a lot of fun.

Thanks to another cousin who lives in LA that I met only a few years ago at a reunion, she gave me my quick L.A. tour. Yes, your girl was in Beverly Hills and managed to make it to the world-famous Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, and yes, it is worth all of the hype. Really yummy.

The only downside was the patron at our table before us, broke soul food etiquette and didn’t screw the top back onto the hot sauce. I went to shake it up, as you are supposed to and blam, hot sauce volcano. I was wearing white, and by some miracle, didn’t get any on my blouse. Amazing!

I mean who does that?

I thought Beverly Hills was ok, but it was hard to get excited about it because all of the stores there are in NYC and also in the DC area in Chevy Chase. But it was still cool nonetheless. The one thing in Bev Hills that did excite me was seeing the TMZ tour bus, because I always said, if I ever get to L.A., I’m all about taking the TMZ tour. And as they advertise in the commercial, they were indeed in “fancy schmancy Beverly Hills.” I friggin love that show. I was too slow in getting my camera out to take a photo of it. Darn.

My cousin who is fabulous in her own right, insisted on treating me to a lip gloss from  Chanel.  I mean, who turns down Chanel? I thought that was nice of her.

So there are a few things besides the hot sauce incident that got me a little riled or taught me a lesson.

One. Excessive drinking on a ferry in choppy waters… not so good.

Two. Black people do get sunburn! I got sunburn for the first time ever and I’m shocked about it and was in denial until the peeling occurred (especially on my forehead). The black Californians saw it coming, and they were like, no, really, you are burning. Someone get her some sunscreen! Aloe vera!

Three. Please white man in the aisle seat don’t assume the black guy next to me in the middle seat on the plane is my man. We didn’t even get to the seat at the same time or talk to each other. He is a total stranger that I’ve never seen in my life. He’s black too and I DON’T KNOW HIM! Shocker.

Four. Middle school students are annoying. They are the worst when hopped up on Starbucks and joining you on your red-eye flight. I had not one, but two middle school trips. The second group wasn’t as bad, in fact they were tired. I saw them just get off of another plane.

Five. Starbucks, you shouldn’t be allowed to serve minors coffee products after 8 p.m. in an airport. Period.

Six. I never made it in the water or on the beach. Catalina was too damn cold. There were only four solid hours of warm weather, but apparently hot enough to scorch my lovely skin and give this black girl her first bout with sunburn.

Seven. The time zone, 3-hour thing is real. I was exhausted by 10 p.m. and wide awake at 5 a.m. Like just looking up at the ceiling, saying, “Seriously? Seriously?”

Eight. At this one Mexican restaurant, I had the best damn refried beans ever, and I feel like that’s an accomplishment. Not everyone can get those right.

Nine. At the same restaurant, I also managed to get a bowl of liquor. Yes, a bowl.

Ten. I didn’t knowingly meet any gang bangers. I did want to try an In and Out Burger. Next time.

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