Archive for the ‘Play’ Category

Itinerary

July 5, 2019

I got on it today!

I mean.

I really did a lot of travel prep for my upcoming trip to Havana, Cuba.

I got my passport out.

I slowly, painstakingly, double, triple, quadruple checked how to fill out my Visa, then I filled it our correctly.

I got traveler’s health insurance.

You have to have proof of insurance for entry into Cuba, and though I am fairly certain my health insurance was ok, I didn’t want to risk being turned away for not having the proper insurance or paperwork.  So.  I just used the health insurance that Cuba Travel Services, who I used to procure my Visa, recommended

Frankly, $55 was worth not having to worry about anything.

Then.

I started booking things through Air BnB.

The Visa I am traveling under is in the category of “Support of Cuban People” which is not a traditional tourist Visa, nor was it one of the two categories the current administration squashed.

“People to People” got pulled and so did the Visa that folks use if they’re on a cruise ship.

But.

In “Support of Cuban People” is still legitimate.

Plus I did my research and what I found was that Visa’s granted before the current restrictions were put in place will be honored.

I got my Visa in the mail the day before the sanctions came down.

I am so grateful that I listened to the little voice inside which told me to take care of my Visa before I traveled.

So, so, so glad.

I will have some restrictions on what I can and can’t do with this Visa, and frankly, I’m not bothered by them at all.

I can’t shop at military run or government supported stores or businesses.

Or stay in hotels operated by the government.

No big deal.

I am staying at a private residence that is called a “casa particular” which is pretty much a family owned bed and breakfast.

I had looked up some on Air BnB, but found nothing that was quite the right fit, then I googled for places and stumbled upon a Forbes article that called the place I’m staying one of the best secrets in Old Havana and I checked it out and made a request.

And.

Yes!

They have a room for me.

For 40 Cuban Peso a night including a full breakfast.

I’m pretty sure I posted up about the place before, but I really excited that I landed in such a sweet spot.

Plus, it’s in Old Havana, which is pretty much where I want to spend most of my time anyway.

I’ll be staying in one of the Art Deco rooms in Hostal Chez Nous next to La Habana Vieja, the old square.

I will pay when I arrive.

They don’t accept American credit cards for reservations.  I literally printed off the confirmation e-mail and I present that and the money in Cuban peso for my 8 night stay.

320 Cuban Peso.

For 8 nights including a full Cuban breakfast.

Seriously good deal.

And since I will have to bring plenty of cash, first converting to Euro because the exchange rate is better for Euro than the American dollar, I decided I would preemptively book some activities.

I had never really delved into the Air BnB activities before, really only just used it to book rooms for myself when I have traveled.

New York.

D.C.

New Orleans.

Paris.

I tend to do pretty well finding what I want to see and do without having to deal with a tour guide or the like.

But a friend of mine had gone Havana within this last year and sent me a private message about places to go and things to do that he highly recommended and two of them were Air BnB experiences.

So.

I checked it out and I was pleasantly surprised.

One.

As I can pre-pay for them and thus not have to carry as much cash on my person.

And two, that all the activities I booked fall under my Visa category, “Support of Cuban People” which made me very happy.

Most of the sites I researched suggested that it would be very unlikely that I would be asked for an itinerary, but just in case, I can show one in which every day I am doing something to support the Cuban people.

My first day in I didn’t book anything.

I was going to, but I figured I’ll be jet lagged and tired and may just want to check into the casa and chill out.

Maybe wander around a little bit and take myself out to dinner in the neighborhood, but nothing serious.

The second day I am going to go to La Marca  Havana’s only legal tattoo shop, also it’s first tattoo shop.  It is also an art gallery and what appears to be a pretty hipster little scene.  I tried to book online with them but it bounced back.  So I’m just going to show up and ask for a walk in appointment.

It’s in Old Havana and maybe a ten minute walk from where I’m staying.

I also plan on going shopping at Clandestina, Havana’s first independent clothing company that happens to be run completely by women.

I’m so in.

Next, yes, yes, I did.

I booked a classic car ride to tour the seawall and cruise along the Malecon.

Ironically, I’ll need to take a taxi to get there, but I couldn’t help but want to do at least one cruise around Havana in a classic car, I mean, really, I had to.

Wednesday I left pretty open.

I figure museums and cafes and I booked a couple of hours with an art student from the university to take me on a photo tour.

This I’m looking forward to, I love street art, and off the beaten track and that’s what this seems to be.  This was also the activity my friend raved about, so two hours in the afternoon wandering around taking pictures with a local student.

Totally down.

Thursday I picked a big adventure, basically committed myself to twelve hours of tour.

I booked a historical tour to the Vinales Valley, tobacco farms, coffee farms, a tour through some of the famous caves and horseback riding in and out of the valley.

What really nailed it for me was that they host come and pick you up where you are staying and drop you back off.

There’s no Uber there.

No Lyft.

I don’t speak Spanish.

Not much really, a few tiny phrases, and something about haggling with a taxi cab driver or getting lost really doesn’t sound like fun for me, so having the pressure taken off by getting picked up and dropped back off really sold me.

Plus.

Ahem.

The ride there and back is in a classic 50s convertible.

Um.

Hehe.

Yes please.

Friday I’ll be doing a ferry trip over the bay to a little known spot in Havana called Regla.  There was something about the trip that appealed.  I don’t know the neighborhood, but I like that it’s a tour guided by a women who is an art history graduate who lives with her grandmother and shows off the markets in the neighborhood.

Plus.

Ferry boat ride.

I’m a sucker for a ferry boat.

Then Friday night I am going clubbing.

But not by myself.

I’m a pretty self-assured woman, but I didn’t want to hit the clubs solo, but there was one place I really wanted to go, FAC The Cuban Art Factory, a gallery space with art and music and djs and it looks like the place to go.

I connected with a couple of women on Air BnB who I will meet up at a cafe and head over to the club and hang out with and get the lowdown and have a safety net.  Really quite pleased with this.

Saturday I’m doing a farm to table lunch with a local chef and then.

And then.

And then.

Holy shit.

It happened.

I was able to book a night with the Buena Vista Social Club!

I am over the fucking moon.

The experience was sold out the last time I looked and it appears that more shows go added.

Basically this lovely older woman books a dinner table for you at the club, you meet her, she’s bought your ticket, you hang out with her and two or three other folks, eat dinner at the club and get to see the floor show and hear the band play.

Never in a million years did I imagine when I bought that compact disc so many moons ago in Madison that I would actually be going to Havana and getting to see a performance of the Buena Vista Social Club.

Fuck.

I feel so grateful.

Sunday morning I’m doing a cultural market and food tour with a lunch to follow with a lovely women who after I booked asked if I wanted to be included in a trip to the beach, Santa Maria beach.

Why yes.

Yes.

Yes I do.

So after the market and lunch I will go with her in a, yes, heh, classic convertible to the beach for a few hours of swimming and laying in the oh so white sand.

Pinch me.

Seriously.

Who’s life is this?

My last day in Havana I want to relax and chill out so I sent a query off to the Manzana Hotel to book a spa pass for their rooftop pool and spa facilities.

60 Cuban peso is not the cheapest, but the pool is so pretty.

I figure book a massage, lay out by the pool and just relax before I head back to the foggy fog.

I am so pleased.

And very excited.

So excited.

It feels really good to have this planned out.

And really.

I don’t think I could have done anything much better with my fourth of July holiday than work on the details for this trip.

Seriously.

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What to Do?

June 29, 2019

What to do?

I have some free time.

The family I nanny for is on summer vacation and this week was my first of six, SIX, weeks of not having to nanny.

Sure.

I still have clients, but only four days of the week.

I have commitments too, so this week I have been city bound.

But.

I am itching for a little adventure.

A road trip.

Not a big one, just where ever  I can get to in three to four hours.

I just figure a drive up or down the coast.

Or.

I may take this Sunday and drive one direction and next Sunday drive the other way.

I was thinking of doing Point Reyes Lighthouse, only to discover that the lighthouse is under repair.

I still think Point Reyes Station is not a bad idea for a Sunday drive.

Oysters.

Hog Island, Point Reyes, Tomales Bay.

Oysters.

I could just do a little drive to a couple of oyster joints.

I just want to drive along the ocean for a while and make a nice memory, feel the sun on my face, stop at a beach along the way.

I could go to Stinson Beach or Muir Beach, I could follow the coastal highway without thought to where it goes.

Drive and stop when I want to.

Grab an iced coffee somewhere or stop at a road side farmers market and get cherries, oh stone fruit season how I love thee.

Pull over and contemplate the ocean.

It’s good for contemplation.

Sometimes I can get stuck though trying to figure out what is the best way to spend my down time and I’d rather not do that.

I have slept in some this week.

Not every day, I’ve gotten up early for group supervision and for my own therapy.

But.

I did sleep in a little bit.

I have gotten to get out to do the deal every day and go places I don’t normally go, hear things I don’t always get to hear read and see folks that I haven’t seen in a while.

I tried to go to a matinee of The Last Black Man in San Francisco, but it was sold out.

I still think a matinee should figure into my down time at some point.

I also think that there’s room for some self care, a massage for sure.

I also did get acupuncture done this week.

The school I go to is affiliated with the ACTM Chinese medicine and acupuncture school, so I was able to get a session for $20!

I am using it to address stress, eczema and my reflux.

I booked another session for next week, shit $20 is less than I pay for my co-pay to see my regular doctor and I got so much information and help in the two hour session I had that it was unbelievably worth it.

The next session won’t be two hours, they do a tremendous back ground and assessment, but really, I have never had a doctor take so much time to find out about me and my needs and my ailments.

It was super refreshing and I felt so taken care of.

I was told that it would take a few sessions but that the eczema should clear up in six to eight weeks, which is fabulous since all the crap I have otherwise tried over the last three years hasn’t worked.

I was also told that they, the intern and her supervisor who saw me, it’s a teaching school, suspect that it’s my diet.

So they made a few suggestions and I will be taking one or two things off my plate for a little while to see if it is indeed diet.

Interestingly enough they think it’s the chicken in my diet!

I roast a chicken just about every week and eat roast chicken with brown rice and a vegetable as my dinner most nights.

I follow a food plan for abstinence and it’s super easy and tasty and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to cook and I’ve been doing it for about three years or so.

Three years.

Right about the same time I notice the eczema on my face.

According to Chinese medicine, chicken can be drying and it’s showing up on my skin as dry red patches on my cheeks!

I mean.

Ok.

I have never heard that before, but tell you what, I’m willing to cut out roast chicken if it will give me back my skin.

Besides.

It’s been three years of roast chicken, time to switch it up for a little while.

And also, finish the roast chicken I have in the house.

I mean.

I’m not going completely cold turkey, er, chicken.

I was raised in the Midwest by a mom who’s parents went through the Depression and WWII.

I know you clean your plate.

You don’t argue about finishing food.

You are grateful for what you get.

You sit at the table until it’s gone, even if it’s cold squash.

Fuck, cold squash is nasty.

Or.

Liver and onions

Ugh.

Hot is bad enough, cold, barf.

You also don’t waste food.

I paid for a nice organic chicken and I took time to cook it and I’m going to finish it off.

My skin can handle a few more days of chicken.

Then.

When it’s gone I don’t intend to buy any for a month and a half and see what happens to my face.

I do believe that it will clear up, whether it’s dietary change or the needles, something about it feels like it’s working.

So yeah.

Self-care is high on my list of things to do.

I may not know exactly what I will be doing with my time–museums, cafes, pleasure reading (I bought a book that wasn’t for school!), lunch with friends, coffee dates, hiking around my house–the sunset last night was spectacular!

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Whatever comes up.

I want to be game for it.

I know only too well how quick the time will go.

I want to make sure I savor every last bit of it.

Especially if it includes oysters!

The Light

July 21, 2018

Today was magic.

The light all day long.

Extraordinaire.

I was blown away by all the different kinds of it.

The light on the Seine.

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And in the sky above the Eiffel Tower as I crossed Pont Alma, a “pont” is a bridge, on my way to the American Church to see some friends this evening.

The light was also amazing coming through the church windows, but well, I don’t take pictures in churches, at least not most of the time.

I was happy to traipse through the light tonight after leaving the church to head to the Metro to go to the 11th Arrondisment to, yes, another place filled with light.

L’Atelier des Lumieres.

Oh my God.

It was extraordinary.

I mean.

I cannot quite put words to it, but there were often tears on my face as I sat in the dark listening to the beautiful music they scored the works of Klimt to as the light and color and shapes melted and merged and coalesced into all these beautiful paintings that I am so very, very fond of.

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Klimt is one of my favorite artists.

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So when I stumbled upon this show a few weeks back I made a mental note to myself that I would go.

And I went.

And I went after a fairly packed day of stuff previous to it, but it was perfect to go, it was actually a nice thing to do after my full day, as I sat still for close to an hour watching the show.

Previous to the show I had been at the aforementioned church way across town.

Before that a visit to Marche aux Enfant Rouge for a roasted chicken, cherries, apricots and a beautiful nectarine.

Before that shopping in the Marais.

I scored a dress!

I can’t believe I scored a dress in Paris.

It’s not always the easiest place for me to shop.

I was very, very, very happy to get the dress.

Before the shopping?

Art.

Lots and lots and lots of art.

I went to the Musee Pompidou.

They had a great exhibition from the 1930s on architecture and furniture and then I gamboled through the permanent galleries and stumbled quiet without knowing it, unto the most beautiful art film I think I may have ever seen.

It was called “The Silence of Ani,” by Francis Alys.

It was stunning and I can’t even do it justice, but it was like watching a poem unwind.

Here’s a Vimeo of it, it’s about thirteen minutes long and well worth it.

Imagine seeing it in the middle of Paris, in the afternoon with no one else in the theater with you.

Superb does not do it justice.

And before the museum?

Yes I did.

I got a tattoo.

heh.

At Abraxas, where I have gotten all my Paris tattoos, on Rue St. Merrie in the Marais.

Speaking of all the light, here’s a shot of the tattoo after my long day of running around the city, just as the sun was setting in the kitchen window of the fifth floor walk up.

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And though there are probably a lot more things I can say about today.

I am also light-headed with the tiredness.

I think I will call it a night and let myself rest for a while and nibble on some of those delicious cherries I got from the market today.

Bisous!

 

Belle Femme!

July 20, 2018

I ignored the yell.

I got a few of them.

I really don’t mind being called a beautiful woman, but I wasn’t comfortable in the area of Paris that I was in and did not turn to look.

I am, however, comfortable being here.

I’ve been here since Monday, and yes, I know, it’s Friday, but I have been staying with friends and decided to do something different than usual.

I haven’t blogged, but rather, gone out with my best friend, walked everywhere, oh my God have I walked, played with her beautiful twin babies, hung out and drank coffee, been leisurely and warm, it’s been hot in Paris, eaten steak very rare, went to museums, and sometimes just rested on the couch in the fifth floor walk up where I am staying with my best friend in the Marais on Rue de Temple.

Yes.

You read that correctly.

Fifth floor walk up.

You know that app on your phone that tells you how much you’ve walked and how many flights of stairs you’ve done?

A LOT.

Let’s just say I have walked and climbed a lot.

Jesus.

Today it says I walked 6.4 miles and climbed 12 floors of stairs.

It lies.

I did more than that, I just didn’t carry my phone the whole time.

I probably did 18 or 20 flights of stairs.

Yesterday I walked even more than that, 23,188 steps, 10.6 miles, 14 floors (but more likely 24).

Plus.

Heh.

I’m staying in the loft of the walk up.

The flat is at the very top of the house, and when you go in through the door there is another flight of stairs and then I have to climb one more flight to get to the loft I’m sleeping in.

Now I know how my friend keeps her marvelous figure.

Fuck.

Imagine doing all that climbing with twins?!

She also taught me today to not wear face makeup, “you don’t need it.”

And.

To part my hair differently, “much sexier.”

And.

To wear matte lipstick, “gloss makes you look, well, you know.”

I do.

Slightly trashy.

So.

For the first time in I don’t know how long I wore no coverup or powder, I just did a little eyebrow makeup, mascara, and a matte lip.

She also said I should not wear any lipstick in the daytime, because you want to “pop” at night and how do you pop if you are already wearing lipstick?

I was going to go out tonight and eat in the neighborhood, I still could if I wanted to, it’s only 9:34 p.m. on a Friday night, everywhere is serving dinner, but I’m a bit tuckered out from my walking and stair climbing and I’m not sure I have it in me to do those five floors up and down again.

So yeah, I just did my sexy hair and matte lip to go to the Franprix and buy milk and fruit and sparkling water.

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But you know.

I felt sexy as fuck.

It’s fun to feel sexy just going to the market.

I did other things today, too, ate a big fat steak, very rare, at Comptoir de l’Arc, a resto near the Arc de Triomphe that is just off the tourist path and very much a neighborhood haunt.

It was full of true Parisians and it felt fun to be there.

I had gotten the tip-off to the restaurant from a friend when I lived in Paris 2012/2013.

It was specifically designed for the locals and unlike the majority of restaurants in the neighborhood which have jacked up their prices, it is really affordable and very good.

I was happy to be back.

And it was nice to hop out of the sudden rain that sprang up.

Not that I minded the rain all that much, not when it’s warm.

Paris in the summer and a light rain?

Lovely.

I’m on my own for the next few days as my friends are off to a wedding over the weekend, so I’m fairly sure I’ll be keeping you updated at least through the weekend.

But come Monday I’ll probably go radio silent again.

I’ll be heading out-of-town for a few days.

Originally it was to Ile de Re, an island off the West Coast of France, but the house became unavailable.

Next time.

Instead!

I’ll be going with my best friend to Gard de Nord on Monday morning and grabbing a TGV high-speed train to Marseilles!

Yes.

I am going to the South of France.

I am over the moon.

We booked a hotel for two nights and my friend is going to rent a car too.

We are going to stay the nights in Marseilles, but one of the days we are going to drive to Aix-en-Provence, where she used to live, and go see the markets and drive around and be hot.

It’s going to be very hot in the South of France.

But.

We will also be going swimming in the ocean, so you know, I’m ok with that.

Have I said luckiest girl in the world yet?

Yeah.

Like that.

Not Excited Yet

July 13, 2018

But I’m hopeful I will get there.

I realized tonight when I wrapped up with my last client that I only have one client left to see before I go to Paris.

Paris seems far away and a touch surreal at the moment.

I have been so busy walking through this housing situation that I have spent little to no time thinking about Paris.

Cue standing in the dental aisle at Walgreens this afternoon when I went in to fill a prescription.

Why am I standing in front of the toothpaste?

I have toothpaste at home.

I don’t need toothpaste.

But I kept coming back.

Until I remembered.

Oh snap!

I need travel size toothpaste!

I’m traveling soon.

I leave in three days!

It just has not really landed at all.

I am, of course, very much looking forward to seeing my dear friend.

I miss her so much and it was hard to finish my last semester of school without her.

Friends are so damn important.

It will be good to reconnect, to have lots of time with her, and of course, to have the best and most brilliant of insider guides to the city that I love only second to San Francisco.

I am always so happy that I get to live here.

Yesterday I went and visited a friend who used to live in the city but has done what so many of my friends have done, moved out of the city across the Bay.

She lives high up in the Berkeley Hills and it was a beautiful home and a lovely, stunning really, view of the city, the bay, the fog pushing over Twin Peaks, but I could not imagine living there.

I love San Francisco.

Sure.

It’s changed, but everything changes.

And it’s still, to me, one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially to live.

I also ran an errand and took back a bicycle rack that a friend had loaned me last year for Burning Man.

That took me to Alameda.

Where I did see a few cute houses, but it felt so suburban and removed and I also could not see myself there.

Or in Oakland.

Or in Berkeley.

I see myself in San Francisco.

My focus on finding a place is focused on the city proper.

And let me tell you.

I have been looking.

I have seen a few things, but not much.

I have responded to a few things, but gotten no response.

I do feel like when the dust is settled here and all the paperwork signed and taken care of that I will be throwing all my might behind finding a new place.

I will also officially throw it up on social media and I’m quite hopeful that I will find a good place.

I have been quietly telling a few friends and starting to put the word out.

The fact is though, at this point, it’s so close to me leaving for Paris that I really should skip even looking, I don’t know that I could do anything or get anything together before I leave.

I think it’s time I get excited!

I think it’s time to contemplate what I am going to be doing, walking around in the best city to walk, seeing art, street art and art, art.

Getting to spend time shopping in the Marais at all the little paper shops for notebooks to smuggle home with me.

Gah.

I bought a book today to read on the plane and I couldn’t help myself, I bought a new notebook too.

It was too cool to pass up and I knew I must have it.

There was a little voice in my head saying don’t accrue any more stuff!  I need to get ready to move and the less to pack, the better.

But.

Well.

I couldn’t help it, I bought the notebook.

And I did some writing siting in a cafe waiting for my friend and her new baby to come and join me.

I don’t often sit in cafes in San Francisco and write anymore.

I do the majority of my writing here where I am sitting right now, at a tiny table in my tiny kitchen, heaped high with notebooks and folders and books.

God.

I love paper.

I love writing.

I wrote a love letter in the new notebook.

I think that’s why I decided I had to buy it.

It is perfect for writing love letters.

And it was.

After my friend left I had some down time to sit for a while before I headed into my internship.

To sit outside, in the warm late afternoon sun, with a bottle of sparkling water, at a park in the Mission on Valencia Street that I used to bring former charges too and write a love letter while looking up at the bright blue sky, well, it was something else.

So no regrets about buying the notebook.

It will be used.

I will also buy more when I am in Paris.

Along with my standard pair of earrings, lipstick/lip gloss or eyeshadow, postcards, museum magnets and whatever else small momento I feel I should need.

I am so looking forward to seeing Paris through my friends eyes that I will have to buy something outside of my normal repertoire of souvenirs.

I thought about perhaps buying a market basket, I do love how they look.

And.

Yes.

I have contemplated a new tattoo.

I have one in mind, I will see if it stands the test of time when I arrive.

There’s a shop in the Marais that I get my work done at and I’ll see if they have an opening when my friend is off to a wedding out-of-town one of the weekends I am there, get myself a souvenir that I can wear always.

I like that quite a bit.

Of course.

I will take lots and lots and lots of photos too.

I promise.

Psst.

Here are a few from my recent trip to New York.

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Back yard patio at a lovely little restaurant in Williamsburg, The Rabbit Hole, where I had the most amazing soup and salad–broccoli cheese consume and the salad was like a deconstructed BLT with avocado and fried leeks.

So good.

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Bunny rabbit lamps!

From Le Grand Strip, on Grand Ave in Williamsburg.

I swear to God I almost bought them, but not knowing where I am going to live stopped me.  Once I’m settled I may actually buy them, the owner said she could ship them for me.

Bunny lamps!

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A triptych of feminist Latina women at the Brooklyn Museum.

Why, yes.

That is me in the middle.

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Mural in Fort Greene Brooklyn.

More to come.

Paris soon.

T-minus three days and counting.

But who’s counting?

 

20,650 Steps

June 27, 2018

That’s how much I walked today.

I wasn’t even sure I was going to write this blog.

I just got out of a bath at the Air BnB I’m staying at in Brooklyn and I laid down on the bed and closed my eyes and I could have stayed there all night.

I mean.

I think I was lying there for at least five minutes, maybe more.

I got up though to put on lotion.

My skin has been changing a little, getting a little dryer as I get older and I don’t like how it feels, so I got up, slathered on some lotion and figured I would at least make an attempt at writing something.

I really did walk that many steps.

I actually walked more than that, I didn’t carry my phone with me all day, so there were a couple of flights of steps not counted and some pattering around the house exploring, but mainly, I was on the move today.

From flying out last night to landing here this early afternoon to strolling all over Brooklyn, I had quite a day.

I am pretty damn beat.

I got about three hours of sleep on the plane.

Not my best showing.

But I am sure I will catch up on that tonight.

And since I’m not on a schedule I can sleep as long as I like.

I have two plans for tomorrow.

The first is the Brooklyn Museum to see the David Bowie Exhibition and the Judy Chicago show.

The second is to see an old friend from SF who moved here years ago and go do the deal tomorrow night at 7:30p.m.

He and his girlfriend started something up a little while back that apparently is like what recovery is in San Francisco.

I had to laugh, since I’m a regular attendee at a spot that models itself after recovery in New York.

It’s always better where you got the message first.

So I will get a little piece of San Francisco tomorrow night, which is sweet.

It’s nice to still be connected to friends 13 years later.

I don’t foresee as much walking tomorrow as I did today.

The walking was actually not really planned.

I decided to walk around the neighborhood a little after I had gotten settled in and had taken a nice shower to wash off the airplane travel.

One block lead to another and another and another.

I like the neighborhood.

Very residential, lots of row houses.

God, I love the brown stones in Brooklyn.

And I love the culture of sitting on the stoop or in the front part of the brownstone, what would be a yard, but is just a square of cement patio.

I loved seeing so many people sitting out on the stoops and watching the neighborhood go by.

I felt like I fit in.

I could see living in Brooklyn, this part of Brooklyn anyway, I’m not quite as much of a fan of Williamsburg, which is quaint, but doesn’t have the row house appeal of this part of Brooklyn.

Bed-Stuy, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill.

Gorgeous houses.

They get fancier and fancier the closer to the water you get.

By the time I had walked to the Brooklyn Heights promenade I was pretty in awe of the houses.

So pretty.

Of course, I’ve only been here when it’s warm, I don’t know that I could deal with the winters, I know they are vicious.

I had enough winters being in Wisconsin as long as I was.

It’s warm, the day was warm, not too hot, it will get warmer as I stay.

Today was about 80 degrees, by Saturday it’s supposed to be low 90s.

It’s going to be hot, hot, hot.

But I will enjoy that too, when the sun goes down and I’m still outside walking around in a light weight dress.

I wore my bibs out today and got lots of compliments on them.

I also got lots of compliments on my tattoos.

I was actually surprised to not see more folks with tattoos, could just be the part of the city I’m in, who knows.

I had a conversation outside a coffee shop on Lafayette Avenue with a youngish girl who wanted to pick my brain as she was planning her first tattoo.

We had quite the conversation.

I like that I can just fall into talking with people, it feels nice.

I did have a moment of feeling a tiny bit lonely tonight when I was back at the Air BnB having procured food from the Whole Foods three miles away.

That was the last stop on my walk, and I have to say, I was a bit out of it by that point.

But.

I did manage to wrangle up breakfast food, coffee, snacks, cold brewed coffee, bottled water, and fruit for the rest of the week.

I plan on eating breakfast at the house and then other meals out.

Although I only ate one meal out today, and it wasn’t with much fan fare, though I have to say, it was nice to eat it outside on the patio at the joint I went to in Fort Greene.

Dinner I didn’t have it in me to plan, cook, or go out for, I was too tired after getting back from the grocery store.

I made oatmeal and a hard-boiled egg.

I’m sure I will eat out plenty the rest of the week.

Anyway.

I’m happy to be here and excited for sleep and to see what the rest of the week shall bring.

Here.

Let me at least leave you with a few photos:

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And now.

Now.

It is time for the rest.

Seriously.

 

And I’m Packed!

June 25, 2018

Just like that.

I have a few more things to toss in my suitcase, but I am 85% of the way there and that feels lovely.

I was just going to leave it for tomorrow, but when I pulled out my suitcase from the closet I just naturally threw some things in and the next thing you know I’m just about done.

I have more outfits than I probably need, but I figure I may want to have day outfits and night outfits.

I also figured out what shoes to wear with my little black dress, which frankly was a relief as I actually did go shoe shopping today and found nothing.

Note to self.

I don’t ever need to go to Stonestown Mall again.

I don’t often frequent malls and there is a good reason why.

I actually bought nothing there and I was pretty damn proud of myself that I got out unscathed.

I met with my person tonight and told him how my brain wants me to ruin my whole trip because I can’t find the proper shoes for this one dress.

We both laughed uproariously.

I was serious and not all at the same time.

And then when I got home tonight from doing the deal I just pulled the dress, put it on and tried on all the shoes.

And I found the ones that worked

I also threw in an extra pair of shoes and an extra dress just for fun in case I decide to go with something else.

But really.

I am totally covered.

One little black dress, two black sundresses, one that is flowy and delicate and could easily translate into an evening dress.

One pair of vintage bib overalls because I fancy them and they’ll be fun to wear when I’m tooling around the museums.

One boho flowy off the shoulder navy blue/indigo dress with purple flowers.

Perfect for brunch at Balthazar.

The new red dress I picked up at Anthropologie which could be both day or night.

I mean.

I have more than enough clothes.

Plus I have my travel outfit picked out and ready for putting on tomorrow.

Something that will be comfortable to travel in and chic enough to land in New York city and blend right on in to the masses.

I feel really happy and quite astounded that the day is finally coming that I get to go on this trip that I have had planned since March.

Tomorrow will end up being a touch busier than I was originally going to be, but only because I agreed to be of service and drive my person around town after I get back from my car maintenance service in Berkeley.

I figure it will be nice to help him run some errands in my car and we’ll have a nice lunch together before I head out.

I won’t really meet up with him next week as I’ll be getting in Sunday from my trip at the time we normally meet.

It will be fun to just hang out with him.

He sees me so well and I am happy to get to spend time with him.

I have a package to drop off and a letter to mail, rent to pay for July, since I will be getting back on July 1st I just figure I will pay my rent before I go, like I usually do, a week in advance.

That way I won’t be tempted to overspend on the trip.

I have enough money for my travels and what I want to do, but I’d rather have the rent paid before I go then wait until afterward.

Yup.

I’m ready.

Just a little laundry in the wash now and I’ll put clean sheets on my bed in the morning.

It’s lovely to travel and I have such a good time doing it.

But it’s also, always, really nice to come home.

And nothing is better than coming home to a clean house and a fresh made bed.

I feel pretty squared away on everything that needs to be done and just ready to hop on that plane and fly out.

Super grateful for this time and that I get to go.

I love traveling.

This will be my third time to New York.

I realized today too, that every time I have gone I have stayed at an Air BnB in Brooklyn.

One on Myrtle Ave in Bushwick.

One on Dekalb Ave in Clinton Hill.

And this one I’ll be staying at is on Lafayette Avenue in Bed-Stuy.

It appears that I like Brooklyn.

Or that I like that it’s cheaper to stay there then in the city proper.

I do think there will be a time when I stay in Manhattan itself.

For now though, I am truly happy I get to go and I have a great place to stay and so many awesome things that are planned to do, I’m over the moon.

In fact!

There will even be a full moon when I am there.

The strawberry moon.

How freaking sweet is that?

Warm night walks through New York under a full moon.

I am so very down with that.

Yes I am.

Over the moon seems just about right.

Girl Date

June 24, 2018

With me, myself, and I.

Soon to be followed by girlfriend dates with a number of ladies who have reached out to me over the last few weeks and some ladies I have reached out to.

I have lots of friends, aquaintances really.

But no good close girlfriends that live in San Francisco anymore.

I have realized that I need to cultivate some new friendships and I have been talking to some ladies and exchanging phone numbers and getting re-connected with old friends that I haven’t much seen in the last three years what with grad school and all.

I started today by getting my hair cut by my super fabulous friend who has a salon in the Flood Building downtown.

It’s her own salon.

She has one chair.

And a huge space and it was super cool and she’s also an MFT who’s close to finishing up all her hours and she has an office space at the Flood Building for her therapy practice as well.

I got to see both spaces and I was super happy to re-connect with her, get caught up, compare all things CIIS, we both went through the same program, talk about how hard it is to get hours while working full-time, which is what both of us do, me as a nanny her as a hairdresser, and that we love what we are doing.

I not only got a fabulous sexy adult hair cut.

I got plans for coffee dates when I get back from New York.

It was a marvelous way to start the day and I followed it up with a splurge of shopping at Anthropologie.

I do not often go there, it feels a bit outside of my price range for what I want to spend on clothing, but I had a desire to pick up a couple of dresses for New York and I scored.

I got a pretty simple but sexy little black dress for an evening excursion out in the city.

Of course.

Having gotten it home and tried it on with every pair of shoes I have I realized I will need better shoes to go with the dress.

Sigh.

And I got a super cute day dress in bright deep red that looked really pretty against my skin.

Sometimes red looks weird on me.

Sometimes amazing.

This red really worked and I could see myself sauntering through Brooklyn in it.

I also picked up an amazingly cute skirt and a white sleeveless blouse.

Perfect attire for walks through the museums.

And all the clothes will work well with my therapy clients.

Well.

Maybe not the little black dress.

I don’t want to be the sexy therapist.

I suspect I push it anyway with my tattoos and such, no need to push the envelope further.

But the other clothes will transition nicely.

I was about to consider going back downtown tomorrow when I realized, um, no, it’s the Pride parade, downtown will be a crazy mess.

I mean.

I may have screwed the pooch on getting the dress, but I see what I can find and I’ll pack it anyway, I might run across something in New York.

After the clothes shopping I headed over to the Mission and did my group supervision.

It was good to check in, it was good to connect and I also was able to really feel it sink in that I will be leaving out-of-town for a week, no clients at all next week, no supervision.

I actually felt like I was about to go on holiday when I left the supervision group.

I went and got more of my girl day on by going to the nail salon and getting my eyebrows waxed and a mani/pedi.

I’m ready for the travel!

Then some doing the deal and here I am back home.

A nice bite to eat, some laundry working in the dryer, and I’m happy to be home and feel really mellow and laid back.

I’ll be meeting a couple of ladies tomorrow as well as my person up in the Castro.

Note to self, leave early, the Castro will still probably be overrun with folks.

I’ll probably do yoga in the morning too, just thought of that, time to sign up for a class.

Monday will come and I will take care of my car and maybe I’ll do a fly by a shoe store or two, aside from the car service which will only take a half hour, I don’t have any Monday plans except the flight, which being a red-eye does give me some time to tool around.

I think it’s finally landed.

The realization that I am off for the next five weeks (excepting two weeks of clients), that I am actually about to go on vacation.

What a lovely feeling.

Truly grateful.

And.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Life is beautiful.

Like my new hair cut!

heh.

The Best Thing

June 22, 2018

About writing progress notes this week has been this: “therapist out of office next week, rescheduled with client for…”

Therapist is out of office next week!

I’ve one more day of work and one last client to see tomorrow before I get to go to New York.

I’m so excited.

Although it does seem a touch surreal that I will have five weeks off of work, I am ready for it.

I was told recently that my type A ass might have a hard time settling down to relax so to be careful that I don’t over book myself during my time off.

Yeah.

Sure.

Bwaahahaaha.

I’ll take it easy.

I perhaps won’t take it as easy as the average slothful bear, but I will take it a little easy.

I’m so ready for a little vacation time.

I really am.

Ready for all the fun too of getting prepped to go.

Even though the sandals I ordered online came and they don’t fit well, I still have many cute outfits and shoes to wear.

And I have the weekend as well to shop.

I probably will get at least a dress or two and if I run across some cute sandals, well, yeah, I will.

I will be downtown on Saturday getting a hair cut.

I haven’t gotten a hair cut in ten, eleven months.

I am due.

My hairstylist, who I have known for years, but never actually gotten a cut from, has her salon in the Flood Building, so I’ll be downtown on a Saturday and I figure I can do a little shopping for myself and my trip.

I don’t need to, there’s nothing super pressing that I must get, but it will be nice to peak around at things.

I always like having another dress in the closet.

And part of the money I have set aside for travel is always earmarked towards outfits for said travel.

I’ve been saving for a while and I have a nice chunk I can afford to bring with me to New York as well as what I have saved for Paris.

Enough so that I can eat nice food, drink a plethora of iced beverages, mainly iced coffees as I walk the streets of New York, get myself notebooks, one of my favorite souvenirs to bring back from any trip, a few pairs of earrings, a mandatory souvenir as well.  I love having little things like that I can wear or write in that remind me of the trip.

I love my DC notebook.

I love my Paris notebooks.

I have had a New York notebook from my last trip that I got at The Strand bookstore that I filled up with stickers and museum ticket stubs.

I can literally compare notes to my last trip.

I feel that this one will be better.

I know it will be better.

I also have done some of the other little prep type things that one needs to do when traveling.

I put a travel alert on my debit card so when I use it in New York my bank won’t freak out and turn it off.

I made an appointment for a service for my car, the guy in the shop said it would take less than a half hour, I’ll be bringing her over to Berkeley for that on Monday.

I have all my toiletries bought and set aside.

And I reached out to the Air BnB host who said I would be able to check in early.

I will either get to do the full check in right when I get there or depending on whether or not the cleaners are still there, I will at least get to drop my bags.

Which is really all I want to do.

Just not have to drag my luggage all over Brooklyn until 5p.m.

I figure whatever happens I will make a foray out into Brooklyn right away.

I’m thinking of lunch on Dekalb Avenue at one of the restaurants I went to when I was there the last time, then a trip over to the Brooklyn Museum to see the David Bowie Exhibition.

Then a trip to Whole Foods on Lafayette Avenue and back to my Air BnB with food for the next days breakfast.

That’s a loose plan.

I may also meet up with a friend for coffee and doing the deal, depending on schedules and if we can connect.

Either way.

I am super happy I get to have the early access to the Air BnB and I’m hella happy that I only have one more day to go before I can begin the fun of getting my travel on.

The weekend will be full, but not too full.

I will have to do group supervision on Saturday, with my fabulous new haircut, and I’m hoping to get in a mani/pedi and some eyebrow waxing.

Although I might skip that and do the Korean day spa on Geary–Imperial Day Spa–and get myself some sauna time.

I have enough time on Monday after the car to do a mani/pedi if I want to.

I have the whole day off.

I don’t fly out until 11:55 p.m. Monday night.

The only thing I have scheduled for Monday is the service maintenance on my car.

I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday.

I am so ready for my New York adventure.

So, so, so ready!

One Week From Today

June 19, 2018

I fly to New York on a redeye.

I am so very ready.

I was writing about that this morning, how ready I am for some vacation time, a break from clients, a get out of dodge, celebrate my Master’s degree, be away from the landlady scene and situation and just have some fucking fun.

I am very, very, very excited.

I just have four more days of work and one more day of supervision before the fun begins.

Work was pretty mellow and I had a late start, which was nice.

So, yes, I did sleep in.

However, today was it for sleeping in.

The rest of the week I’ll be up early doing therapy tomorrow before work.

An early music class for the baby on Wednesday and who knows what Thursday and Friday look like but I’ve already gotten the heads up that my help will be appreciated.

There’s a lot to do for a family of five traveling to Europe for five weeks.

So I’ll probably go in early on Thursday and Friday.

But really.

I am just fine with it.

It’s the final push before the down time starts for me.

I have a fairly light schedule this week too with clients, so it’s not too bad, going in early a few days, not bad at all.

Considering, as well, that I’m paid for the full five weeks that they are gone I have no qualms with the extra helping.

Besides, it will make the week go by faster.

I figure I will also sneak in a little extra doing the deal, tomorrow I have a client cancellation so I’ll hit something up at 8 o’clock near my hood.

It’s always a good thing for me to do, get in a little more recovery before I travel and also when I am busy, keeps me in balance.

Plus.

I will be getting some personal things together, planning my outfits for the trip and my accessories and toiletries, et al.

I almost bought a new suitcase last weekend but did not as they didn’t quite have what I wanted at Nordstrom Rack.

I don’t really, really, really need a new suitcase, but I’m a touch concerned, and have been for the last two trips, that one of the wheels on the suitcase will soon be meeting its end.

It might be a good idea to look into it.

I’ll be downtown on Saturday getting a hair cut, so maybe I’ll poke around.

I’ve got my shoes, dresses and accessories pretty much sussed out in my brain.

I’ve been watching the weather and it look like low to mid 80s.

Which is perfect for me.

Warm.

But not too warm.

Just about perfect.

I’m envisioning lots of walking around in sandals and sundresses.

Not something I would have done here today, super foggy this morning and cold and windy now.

Hello summer in San Francisco.

The warmer weather is definitely a draw for New York.

And the art, and the fine company I will have, and the culture, friends, recovery, warm air at night.

Heh.

And the big ass bathtub at the Air BnB.

I am taking myself some bubble baths, let me tell you.

Depending on when I check in I figure I will be making a trip to Whole Foods, stocking up the place and then going out and exploring a little, maybe do the deal if I can connect with a friend of mine early enough.

I need to hear back from the Air BnB host as to when I can get in.

The check in on the site is listed at 5p.m.

I get into JFK at 10:30 a.m.

I reached out and asked and the host had said it was not a problem to do an earlier check in and we’d connect closer to the date.

I figure I’ll reach out in the next few days and see what the deal is.

If I can’t get in as early as I would like, which is basically when I get there, I figure I’ll be there by noon at the latest, I want to be able to at least drop my luggage off.

I think the late check in has to do with making sure the unit is cleaned for the next guests, my suitcase should not get in the way of the place getting cleaned if that’s what needs to happen.

Anyway.

I am quite sure I will be fine whatever happens.

I feel really quite happy, I have to say.

Good dreams last night.

Feeling settled about what next actions I have to take regarding my living situation.

Four days away from a five-week vacation from work.

And though I will have clients during that five weeks, only for the two weeks in between New York and Paris.

The down time will also be good for me getting prepared for the private practice internship.

I have my next meeting with my new supervisor July 11th.

Very exciting.

Life is exciting.

Wonderful things feel like they are happening and I am no longer in dread about going on vacation knowing what I know from all the foot work I got to do regarding my living situation.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Four days from my real summer vacation.

The count down has begun!


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