All posts filed under: Adventures Abroad

El Salvador Sunday 628

Press Trip Lesson #3: El Tiempo

There is something wrong. I know we were supposed to be at the patio for breakfast by 7:00am, and I know I’m at the right patio because there is a woman in a long ruffled skirt setting up eight coffee mugs and napkins on a bright blue table. True, I am 12 minutes late because I decided to put on a bit of proper makeup and take a shower (neither of which I was planning to do when I set my alarm) but the bus wouldn’t, you know, leave without me, would it? I tell myself that abandoning a member of the press in Suchitoto would reflect pretty negatively on the El Salvador tourism board, and seeing as the entire point of flying us all down here was to cultivate good press, they wouldn’t leave without doing a headcount. Plus, I’m learning that when you put a bunch of journalists together, it’s basically the same thing as putting a bunch of dancers together. Or homeschoolers. “7:00am at the patio” means “7:15 or even 7:30” and …

El Salvador Sunday 529

Press Trip Lesson #2: El Bano…

It’s our first day out of San Salvador and between the drive down to the coast, the boat ride through the mangrove forest and the fresh coconut water served in an actual coconut with an actual straw, I’m feel rather high on life. There’s only one problem. I availed myself of not one but two tropical juices at the hotel’s continental breakfast (research, right?), plus the coconut water, plus an entire liter of regular water to ward off the inevitable jetlag. (It’s only two hours but I am prone to narcoleptic-like behavior on a good day so I’m not taking my chances.) And now I’m in a little tiny boat, somewhere between the Pacific Ocean, the Lepa river, the floating Hooters restaurant in the middle of the estuary (I’m not kidding), and the dock. And my bladder is threatening to explode. I don’t want to say anything. I don’t want my colleagues to think I’m some sort of press trip amateur, even though I am, so I cross my legs and force myself to think …

El Salvador Monday 015

Press Trip Lesson #1: El Equipaje

As soon as I get to Houston I start scanning the departure gate for people who look like press. Being that this is my first press trip, I don’t necessary know what “press people” look like, but I figure the blonde guy with the backpack and funky looking sneakers is not one of them. At least if he is, I’ve definitely over packed. In my defense, I packed about two hours before my flight. Ordinarily, I never do this, but there was so much to take care of before I left Philadelphia that I just tossed everything I could possibly need into my second-to-largest suitcase. I ended up with five pairs of shoes and two bathing suits but nary a raincoat. I also brought my three-way electrical outlet adapter because it was faster to pack it than to look up whether or not El Salvador has the same type of outlets as we have in the US. (I’ve since learned that they do.) By the time we reach El Salvador, there are about a dozen …

Rugby

How To Date A British Guy: The Rules

As demonstrated by my rather deplorable track record during my time in the UK, I don’t know the first thing about dating British men.  I tried– Lord knows I tried— but I always failed pretty miserably.  Fortunately I’ve got TWD and Downton Abbey to keep me occupied these days but for the rest of you, I’m thrilled to offer the following guest post written by a genuine British man (i.e. someone who actually knows what he’s talking about). Jamie from HaveYourPick (who typically helps men become more successful with women through an understanding of the latest psychology) has written 5 great tips to help you bag yourself a Brit for 2013, and provides fresh insight into the typical British male! 1. The Danger of Saying “Soccer” to a British Guy First things first we have to clear up one issue that continues to bug me and every other British guy out there. We love you American girls we really do, but you have to understand that one of your most iconic sports has got it …

Royal Caribbean food

Technically, We “Went” to the Gym

For our cruise to Bermuda, I packed six pairs of shoes, five bathing suits, four dresses, three hats, two gowns, and an entire week’s worth of workout wear. Why? Well, Royal Caribbean cruises tend to bring out the worst in me.  By which I mean if I have the option to eat breakfast three different times on the same day, I’m going to take advantage of it.  And if the waiter tells me to go ahead and order as many appetizers, as many entrees and as many desserts as I like, I’m going to take him up on the offer. Most people don’t know this about Royal Caribbean—you really can order every item on the menu if you like—and The Wedding Date didn’t believe me but by the final night of our vacation, he’d taken this to heart. “Three desserts?” I asked in disbelief as he rattled off his selection to our head waiter.  “Really?  Three?” “Not three,” he corrected.  “Two and a half.  Three would be a bit much, don’t you think?” “Oh, of …

teenagers on cruise

Anthropology on Deck 10

I am officially old.  I know this because on Day #1 of our cruise to Bermuda, The Wedding Date and I plunked ourselves down on a pair of deck chairs and spent the entire morning observing the behavior of a group of teenagers to our left. And I was appalled. In the center was a scantily clad brunette of about sixteen.  She was wearing a bright orange bikini from Victoria’s Secret and had acquired an entourage of six male suitors. At first I was impressed—we’d only been on the ship for a matter of hours!—but as I watched the boys fawning all over her, I realized they were all a bunch of idiots.  I mean, let’s do the math: 6 guys + 1 girl = at least 5 rather disappointed suitors. Under the guise of reading our library books, TWD and I spent nearly three hours watching the situation develop.  And thanks to my obnoxiously wide-brimmed hat (not to mentioned TWD’s skill at gossiping in Spanish), they had no idea we were talking about them. …

Bermuda Beach

That Damn Bermuda Triangle

Well folks, it’s over.  No more strolling down the beach hand in hand.  No more champagne.  No more salsa.  No more waltzing-even-though-nobody-else-is-waltzing.  No more falling asleep next to The Wedding Date or waking up beside him, cursing his alarm and his addiction to the “snooze” button.  No more rum, no more rum cakes, and no more mornings spent drinking coffee in the hot tub watching the sun rise. Because it’s over. No more. Done. By which I mean the cruise of course, not me and The Wedding Date :) We survived.  In fact, for the past week we were inseparable.  No arguments, no disputes, no “My God, can’t you leave me alone for just ONE HOUR???”  I still can’t quite believe it—after everything that’s gone on between us this summer, I was convinced we’d break up somewhere around Day #3 and spend the rest of our vacation trying to avoid one another (which would have been rather difficult given our little matchbox of a room…)—but we made it.  And not only that but I’m convinced …

A Scandal at Sea

Sunday marked a year since I met The Wedding Date.  Today marks a month until we set sail on our first cruise as a couple.  To say I’m excited is an understatement—I’m ecstatic, so ecstatic in fact that I’ve already begun trying on all of my formal wear and managed to get myself stuck inside the pink halter I bought at Jomar—but I’m also nervous. We’ve never been on vacation together before, unless you count Boston back in January and that was only one night.  Our cruise is six nights.  Six nights is a long time when you still haven’t mastered the art of actually sleeping next to your significant other. I’m also one of those people who likes her space and even though Royal Caribbean’s Vision Class cruise ships hold several thousand passengers, our room doesn’t.  We’re staying in an “interior stateroom” which is cruise-talk for Small-windowless-cell-because-you-can’t-afford-anything-else. Our agent didn’t call it that, of course; she called it “the most economic option” but now she’s teasing me that she booked us the “boiler room …