Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chocolate starfish, and the hot dog flavored water

My name is Cass and I haven't had a hot dog in at least 18 years. No, not a vegetarian, I'm just one of those people where if I eat something and get sick from it - that food is off the possible eating list for the rest of my life. But because I love my boyfriend and hot dogs always smell so damn good I decide to agree when he suggested them for dinner. I mean, for all I know it could have been the potato salad at the BBQ that made me sick (and probably was).

So the boyfriend plans to head to the grocery store for the hot dogs and I tell him that if I'm eating one of these things I'm gonna do it right. Ketchup, mustard, relish, sauerkraut, you name it. As usual, you can see everything going on in his head on his face. This girl is CRA-AAZY! Why? Because he will only put ketchup on his hot dog. But we compromise, no sauerkraut and I'll use the relish the next time we have hamburgers.

Once he gets home I ask him how long it takes to cook them since it's been forever since I remember eating one. He tells me 10 mins and I think nothing of it...at first. When I start asking him all about getting the coals ready for the BBQ he gives me the CRA-AAZY! look again. Apparently I AM the crazy person because I assumed we would be BBQing our hot dogs! Oh no, instead we're boiling them.

I posed this question to the people following me on Twitter and I guess this is a fairly common way to cook them. Where have I been? I know sometimes my family will put them on broil in the oven if it's too cold to BBQ and I've heard of microwaving if you're lazy but never this boiling thing.

So tell me people, how do YOU cook your hot dogs?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It only took about a month

Hey all! I bet you forget I even went to Mexico last month because I never did the post complete with photos. Oh no, I'm finally doing it and it's gonna be fun. So hold on to the person next to you, I hope it's not a bumpy ride!

When we first arrived in Puerto Vallarta it was right after the immediate threat of the swine flu. You know, it was all over the news, none of us knew what it was about and the media did it's job of scaring us senseless. But the wedding was still on and the 8 of us were determined to go. Thankfully enough PV wasn't really hit by this swine flu nonsense, but that didn't stop the security areas from asking all kinds of questions and special temperature sensitive cameras to check and make sure we didn't have a fever. But despite all this, we made it to our destination...Villa Suzannah. This photo? This is the view from the pool area. We were overlooking the Mismaloya beach area.

When we first arrived our hostess (ie: the bride to be) made sure that there was all kinds of treats waiting for us. Chips & fresh made salsa and guacamole, a stocked fridge full of beer and all kinds of tequila and mixed drinks at our disposal. We found out that one of the couples coming (from CA) had some sort of passport issue and would be there at the earliest of the next day so our job was to chill out and have all kinds of fun.

And fun...we definitely had.

Faces blurred/smudged to protect the not so innocent.

The next morning we decided to trek down to the beach below and see if it was as fun as it looked like. We were staying in this beautiful place but it was towards the top of a very steep hill and it wasn't until a few days later we realized we could walk down it just fine (but not up). So a taxi was taken and we decided to spend a good portion of the day down below.

This was a perfect day. I spent my time lounging in a chair, drinking strawberry daiquiris and wading in the water. Well, that and fending off all the peop
le trying to sell me jewelry, blankets, dresses and every other thing you could think of every five seconds.

My view on the beach and my current desktop wallpaper.

Later on the missing couple showed up just in time and we had dinner at the villa. Seriously, the chef at this place is beyond AMAZING, everything he made I wanted to gobble up ten fold. That night we had crazy dance party at the villa (aka round 2) with the new couple.

The next day was all about the soon to be happy couple. They had to head to the courthouse to do the "official ceremony" before the pretty one. You know, the one with witnesses and signing documents (*cough* remember that stuff Heidi & Spencer?) and the bride's parents came into town. M and I headed to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch (and to buy a PV bear for his mom) and we experienced our first water taxi ride.
Little ol' me

Friday was all about the fishing expedition, one of the few activities we booked before arriving in PV. We were on the most beautiful boat and we out all day long but didn't catch a single fish! On top of that this was also the day that I got seriously sunburned. I forgot to put sunscreen on my face AND accidentally fell asleep outside for an hour so my poor face was fried. It felt like I was attacked by the botox shot in my forehead. The good news though was we saw dolphins!

Can I take them home with me?

Now on Saturday...this was the big day. It was time to prep for the wedding with mani/pedi's overlooking the view, a little beach time and of course the wedding!

The ceremony (love the bouquet!)

The toast!

Afterwards there was of course the reception. Check out what the restaurant did for us! They brought the dining experience outdoors by the pool.

We were going to have a 7 course tasting menu. Sounds good in theory, right? Sure it is, if all the portions are small. But we started with a shot glass full of something and each course afterwards was a little bit bigger. By 5 and 6 we were dying, a full fish meal followed by filet mignon? Normally sign me up but my stomach didn't know what to make of it. We didn't even eat the wedding cake until 2 days later.

So once recooperated from the festivities on Sunday we went to the flea market...along with Monday. I could spend all kinds of time in those, I'm apparently a master barterer. I got deals that the rest of the group had their jaws dropping from, I don't know what it is. Later on we stopped in a restaurant for a "cocoloco". Basically it has all kinds of random alcohols in it, but the best part is it's in a real coconut!

But also on Monday we went to Tony's, this restaurant that unless you know about it you'll never find. It was actually close to the villa but an employee at this big chain hotel down the way told us about it. Apparently there was some big travel agent retreat going on in their restaurant for the night so they were closed. But we made the trek to this place.

Think of walking through this run down area, turning the corner and assuming you'll see it but all you see is this super run down house. You get anxious because if you ate there it would obviously kill you. But then you realize...you're not there yet and arrive at this cozy 3 story house with sand covering the floor. They bring out the menu, this big platter of steaks and seafood and you want absolutely everything. The food here was so good we ate there the final two nights of our trip. Even better, we met Tony!

Say hi to Tony! And my horrible sunburned face.

On the final day we basically just chilled waiting for everyone's plane's to take off. For some reason each of us had a completely different time to depart so until it was time we hung around the pool, read a little and prepared for the trip home.

Hanging out on our balcony.

I hope you made it through all this in one piece. If you ever get the chance to visit Puerto Vallarta I have to recommend you take it. For my first time in Mexico it definitely makes me want to go back.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I found an apartment!

Somewhere in the back of my mind I figured that if I posted about the trials and tribulations of finding an apartment I must have known that's all it took. Or I'm just lucky, who knows.

And yet, I think I'm excited. Obviously I haven't been the biggest fan of this particuluar change, but I think I'm getting there. There's plenty of features in this new place that are making me happy.

First off - there is approx. 250 sq ft MORE than my last place. On top of that, it's approx. $300 less per month. The beauty of moving 5-10 mins away I guess.
Check out this floor plan! If you look closely you'll see that there are TWO closets in the bedroom, one of which is big enough for you to walk into. There is a washer & dryer, oodles of storage, and an area for barstools at the kitchen. Somehow I managed to score a top floor corner unit as well and it's about 5 minutes away from my work.
Now I have to figure out the logistics of it all. I get the place on July 24th, one day after my birthday. So the weekend instead of festivities will probably be all about moving but there's enough time to pack & clean up the old place before my lease expires (end of July).
I just need to stay positive. This is a great change, but it's definitely going to take some time to get used to it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My pets are dust bunnies, so what?

I'm thinking more and more that my Mexico post isn't going to happen. Or at the very least it'll be a little bit because between work & home there hasn't been enough time to do so and where there HAS been I haven't had my photos with me.
What's been on my mind instead? Apartment hunting. This is both the best and worst thing in the world to do, but I'm definitely leaning towards the worst. It certainly let's my OCD freak flag fly but at the same time I'm one big ball of stress.

My lease expires at the end of July and because of this I start early. My rent thankfully isn't going up, but I've been paying far too much for my little sanctuary, not even 600 sq. ft. With the economy the way it is I'd like to have a little bit of green still in my pocket, you know...to pay bills (or wine as the case may be). But I've realized that not only are there oodles of apartments in my area, a large handful of the ones in the city I'd like (Kirkland) are a pretty penny. I have succumb to looking at surrounding areas and brought out the big guns...the only thing that can make me feel even remotely in control of this whole situation.



Spreadsheets. Yes, you read that right - I'm using Excel to figure out my apartment hunting nightmare. There are columns and columns of data ranging from name/address to sq. ft/ monthly rent to parking/pros/cons and little notes about each place. So far I've seen approx. 7 places and I want to stab myself in the eye with a fork.

Lots of specials, woohoo! But then there's all the questions -
  • When are you moving? Wait, not the beginning of July?
  • Why are you moving? Because I like my money. And not smelling my neighbors BBQ smoke in my living room.
  • Is it just you? Oh, just you...sad.
  • Do you have any pets? No, I can't keep a plant alive, having a cat would scare me.
  • What amenities are you looking for? Washer & dryer with storage, a walk-in closet and ceiling fans are a bonus. I know I have a lot of stuff, shut up about the amount of couches.
  • Do you work close by? Yes, I know it's a wonderful reverse commute. Shut up about it.
  • Isn't this unit amaaaazing? Sure I guess, but it's on the ground floor and I'm a single woman who is not super trained in self-defense. Got something higher up?
  • Look at our awesome fitness center. No thanks, I've had one for 3 years and set foot in it once.
Do you see the dilemma here? Having these questions thrown at you all the time will make your head spin. I just need to make a decision already. I have two more places I think I need to see and then there's the next step - deposits and packing.

Oh god, the packing. Who's up to help? I supply wine & beer. :-)
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