I Ate New York

A few weekends ago I went to New York City. Ostensibly, to visit my friend Jane for her birthday…in reality, to eat as much delicious food as humanly possible.

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Our weekend of gluttony began on Friday night with not one but TWO (count ‘em) dinners – the first at a Japanese restaurant in the East Village called Taishu-Izakaya Kenka.

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Since the look of the menu nearly gave me an aneurysm:

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I left Jane in charge of ordering. She summoned up a delectable feast for us including deep-fried calamari, delicious noodles, and of course, Japanese beer.

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Dessert was do-it-yourself cotton candy from their COTTON CANDY MACHINE.

I love New York.

Although I was already pleasantly full, Jane insisted we check out a hot dog place down the street called Crif Dogs. I’ll admit I was slightly confused as to why we NEEDED gourmet hot dogs after ingesting a full delicious meal, but of course, I wasn’t about to say no (we are talking about food here, people). 

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We walked into a bustling underground hot dog diner filled with hipsters drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon around tables made from upturned arcade games, and I was convinced I was having a true New York experience. 

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Just as I began studying the menu and deciding what hot dog would be getting in mah belly, Jane beckoned my friend Alex and I into to an old timey phone booth at the side of the restaurant.

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Confused, we followed her inside, where she picked up the receiver and dialed “1”.  After a couple of seconds, a trap door on the other side of the phone booth swung open to reveal a  SECRET SPEAKEASY! . 

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I’ll admit I was pretty excited, but also kind of bummed because, well  I kinda wanted a hot dog.  “Don’t worry,” said Jane. “They serve hot dogs in here too”. A private speakeasy that served HOT DOGS? I must have died and gone to heaven. 

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I ordered a specialty Kimchi dog:

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And we shared an order of the world’s most delicious tater tots..which I totally hogged.

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(Don’t worry, I saved some for later.)

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We also sipped on just a few cocktails named after old-timey men involving different varietals of bourbon. 

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When the taxidermied bear on the wall started talking to me, I knew it was time to go; so we stumbled into a cab and went home to crash.

The next morning, we awoke with one thing on our minds: more food. (I told you guys I was on a mission).

Knowing another full day of eating was in store for us, we tried to minimize our caloric impact with a run across the Brooklyn Bridge……which, let’s be honest, mostly involved posing for instagram-worthy photo ops:

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Then, we headed to Smorgasburg, an open air food festival in Williamsburg.

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You guys, I thought places like this only existed in my dreams. Each tent was filled with a delectable culinary masterpiece: malt ball milkshakes; gourmet mac and cheese;

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truffle fries;

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DONUTS

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I didn’t take many pictures because, well my hands were kind of full stuffing my face incessantly… but I think this gif pretty much sums up the whole experience: 

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The big draw of the day was the Ramen Burger, a gourmet burger with buns made out of ramen noodles. The line was over two hours long!!

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I was feeling pretty seedy after already ingesting a year’s worth of cheese, so we decided to pass on that one. (I’m sure it will become popular in Toronto in like, 2016 anyway.)

Pre-food coma

Pre-food coma

From there we rolled back over the bridge to Manhattan where we did some lazy shopping before heading to our next feast at Fatty Crab in the West Village.

Behold: The Big-Ass Bowl Of Crab:

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Unpictured: The most heavenly pork buns that I made QUICK work of.

I wish I could say it ended there, but there was also a bit of this:

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A little of this:

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And a lot of this:

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I can no longer fit into any of my clothes, but you know what?

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Question of the Day: What’s The Most Delicious Thing You Ate Lately?

5 Tips For Surviving A Summer Music Festival

It’s been about a month since you last heard from me, and in that time a lot has happened. Mostly sitting on my ass watching TV (damn you Big Brother and City Girl Diaries!); but shockingly, also a few things that involved leaving my apartment.

Like attending Lollapalooza – the annual three-day music festival in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

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As a 27-year-old music festival virgin, I will admit that I didn’t really know what to expect. Would I have fun? Was I too old for all of this? What if I fell for the Jimmy Kimmel trap and became a viral sensation? 

Luckily, I ended up having the time of my life. However, there are a few things I wish I had known before boarding that flight filled with excited 21-year-olds debating the merits of the male tank top. And to spare you all the same fate, I’ve decided to share them with you today.

1. But What Will I Wear!

I’ll just go ahead and save you the trouble of Googling “festival chic” and trolling Urban Outfitters for hours on end, because this, apparently, is the only thing you’re allowed to wear to a music festival:

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If you’re a girl that is. If you’re a guy, it’s something a little more like this:

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Dont say I didn’t warn you.

2. When Nature Calls…

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately, unless you a) bring a catheter or b) are a freak of nature with super-human bladder control, you’re gonna find yourself up close and personal with these bad boys.

lolla8That’s right. The dreaded port-a-potty. If you’re a guy, you’ve got it easy. Just plug your nose and try your best to aim in the general direction. If you’re a girl -God help you.

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But never fear! It IS possible crawl through the river of shit and come out (relatively) clean on the other side. Here is how you do it:

  • Front-load your bathroom trips early on in the day (these puppies grow exponentially grosser with each passing hour)
  • Choose a line with mostly guys in it (women move at a glacial pace)
  • Once inside, grip the door handle and hold on for dear life (try not to think millions of germs)
  • Squat
  • Pee
  • Try not to get it on your own shorts  (easier said than done.. this is a serious leg workout, ladies)
  • Finish your business
  • Immediately head to the nearest hand sanitizing station (You should probably cover your entire forearms, just to be safe.)
  • Repress
  • Repeat

3. Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

Pace yourselves, kids, because it’s going to be a long weekend. You don’t want to be the FunDrunkFriend passing out at 4:00pm.. or worse, throwing up in the corner while the evening headliner croons on.

Keep it sensible. Alternate every Bud Light Lime-Rita:

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With a box of water.

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Yes, apparently this is a thing.

Don’t forget to eat.

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Deep dish pizza if you’re in Chicago, obvi.

… and whatever you do, remember that wine in a sports bottle is a sneaky bitch:

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seemed like such a good idea at the time…

4. Personal Space? Who Needs It!

If you dislike crowds, noise, and drunk people all up in your grill, then you miiiight want to hang out near the back and watch the shows projected from the jumbotron.

That being said- to the victor come the good seats. Here’s what you do:

1. Make yourself as big as possible. I’m talking starfish, people.

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Clearing space for Kendrick Lamar.. it’s a jungle out there folks.

2. Try your best to ignore the verbal abuse being hurled at you from concertgoers in every direction.

3. Find your happy place

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(this may or may not involve a sports bottle filled with wine).

Enjoy!

5. Don’t Hate, Appreciate 

I get it. Its hot. Its crowded. You kinda want to kill that dude with the 100 foot pole coming out of his backpack. But remember, you’re the one who paid $300 for these tickets. You bought all those t-shirts at the merch stand. So let’s try to be cool, ok?

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One way to prevent yourself from getting too burned out is to spend some time away from the festival grounds. Because I am a (relatively) old lady, I chose to be selective with my concert schedule and spend the first half of each day exploring the beautiful city of Chicago.

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I even managed to get in a bit of instagramming  exercise.

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… And if all else fails, you can always take the edge off with a friendly push-up competition

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Yes, these are my grown-up friends.

………And don’t forget to pose for copious amounts of photos and convince your friends at home what a great time you’re having!! 389

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Remember kids- if you didn’t Instagram it, it didn’t happen!

Question of the Day: Have you ever been to a music festival? Any interest?

Unleashing The Ugly Cry

As a general rule, I try not to cry in public all that often.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve shed a few crocodile tears in my day to get what I want (what self-respecting girl hasn’t?), but I try not to make this a regular thing. Not only does it lose its effect with frequent use, I’m also just a really, really ugly crier.

Seriously. You know those girls you see crying on TV, looking all cute and heartbreaking?

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Yeah, I’m nothing like that.

I’m more of the full on, can’t breathe, running snot variety.

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I also cry so rarely that when it does happen, it’s like the Hoover Dam of emotion bursting within me, releasing a whole year’s worth of pent-up frustration and anxiety.

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All this is to say that when I have an emotional breakdown, I prefer to do it in the comfort of my own home, in my oldest sweatpants, with a full container of Haagen Dazs.

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Unfortunately, however, you can’t always choose where you’re going to unleash the Ugly Cry – something I learned last week when I found myself openly sobbing into the arms of a middle-aged flight attendant in an airport bathroom.

How did I end up in such a predicament you might ask? Well, let’s start from the beginning.

Last weekend, my mom flew in from Nova Scotia to visit me. (And boy, were her arms were tired!) It was her first time visiting me in Toronto so I was really excited for her to clean my apartment see where I live and show her around the city.

We had a great few days flaneuring around and pretending we were fancier than we were:

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But all good things must come to an end, and soon it came time for us to say goodbye- something I’ve never been very good at. As a form of coping, I typically spend the last day of any trip either picking fights or acting like a complete asshole in an effort to push everyone away and make things easier when I leave. (I know. It’s really mature)

Anyway, I could feel myself starting to get agitated a few hours before she was scheduled to depart. I said approximately 5 words to her the entire ferry ride to the Toronto Island airport, spending our last minutes together instagramming pictures of the city skyline.

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I continued this immature little performance until we parted at the security gate. I tried not to make eye contact as I hugged her goodbye, but I saw the tears welling up in her eyes. Well, guys, that was all it took. I felt a lump the size of a baseball form in my throat, and hot tears burned the backs of my eyes.

I managed to wait until she was out of sight before bursting into uncontrollable sobs right there at the gate. Through clouded vision, I somehow found my way to the bathroom, where I locked myself in a stall and tried to regain my composure. “Think happy thoughts” I told myself. “Froyo. MAC Makeup. Pinot Grigio. Your PVR”. Eventually I calmed down enough to leave the stall, but then broke down a second time when I caught sight of myself in the bathroom mirror. Red blotches covered my face and spread down my neck like ivy, and on the front of my shirt were two, distinct wet patches that suggested I had recently been lactating. The liquid eyeliner and mascara I had meticulously applied earlier that day now formed two, thick black rings around my eyes, making me resemble a very sad, overgrown raccoon.

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I was blowing my nose loudly when I heard a voice ask, “are you ok?” I turned to see a middle aged Porter flight attendant with a look of concern on her face.

“Ye-aaaah” I said, waveringly. “I’m ok”

“Did you just say goodbye to someone?” she asked, sympathetically.

“Yeah,” I sniffed, “Mmmmmm-y mom”

“Aw,” she said, “Where was she off to?”

“Halifax,” I said

“That’s far away,” she said

“I know,” I sobbed.

“Do you want a hug?” she asked.

I nodded slowly, and moved towards her waiting arms. I didn’t even care how many people were around, all I knew was that I was jonesing for a hug, and this b*tch was holding.

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“Aww it’s ok,” she said, as she gently patted me on the back. “You guys can talk on the phone?”

“But ittttsss not the sameeee” I stuttered

“What about skype?” she said “There’s always skype!”

“She’s not technologically inclined!!” I wailed.

“Well, it’ll still be ok” she repeated, clearly running out of things to say at this point.

Realizing I was probably overstaying my hug welcome, I straightened out my shirt and reluctantly pulled myself away. “Well I should go now,” I said, “Thanks”.

“No problem” she said, as I made my way towards the door, “Stay strong!”

I put my oversize sunglasses on and boarded the ferry, where I continued to bawl pretty much the entire time. At first I was embarrassed to be seen in public this way, but then I thought of what a great Craigslist Missed Connection it would be if some hot guy happened to see me.

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You: Crying on the ferry alone.

Me: Wishing I could make you smile.

Anyway, this didn’t result in a missed connection (I checked), so instead, I’ve chosen to make this post my own missed connection of sorts. I never caught the name of the flight attendant who so benevolently offered up her words (and arms) of encouragement to me that day, but to her, I’d like to say thank you. Thank you for being awesome, and for restoring my faith in humanity. And if any of you should ever find yourselves at the mercy of the ugly cry in a public bathroom, I pray it is into the arms of such a kindly stranger.

QOTD: When was the last time you cried?

6 Things Everyone Should Know About Las Vegas

So good news everybody: I survived my whirlwind long weekend in Las Vegas!

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The bad news? I am once again freezing my tuckus off in a subarctic Canadian climate. Also, the Easter bunny seems to have forgotten about me completely. I wonder if this has anything to do with the epic diss I gave him in my last post?

*Not me

I still blame him for being so creepy.

So I must admit, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Vegas at first. As my friend Jane so eloquently put it, “I didn’t think Vegas was leftist enough for you“.

I take her point,

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But I still really enjoyed it. As Steve Wynn, owner of half the Las Vegas strip (and that creepy voice inside all the cabs) once famously said:  “Las Vegas is sort of like how God would do it if he had money.”

I have a feeling God might have made a few changes- but if his son`s tweets are any indication, a Las Vegas run by the holy family would still be a pretty fun place to be:

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Since I promised my fellow bachelorette-goers I wouldn’t get into too much of the nitty-gritty of our trip, I’m tailoring my Vegas recap to a few things I learned about the city in general. So here goes:

6 Things Everyone Should Know About Las Vegas

1. There’s Something For Everyone 

Based on my limited knowledge of Vegas, I expected the crowd to be mainly party-goers, eloping couples and Kim Kardashian.

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Au contraire bonjour! Apparently everyone goes to Vegas! Families, couples, grandparents, these guys:

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Is that a flamingo on your shirt? Or are you just happy to see me?

At first I was confused by all the little kids running around,

………..And then I saw this roller coaster:

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It’s also way less glamorous than I expected. I thought people would be dressed to the nines everywhere I went- but let’s just say….. they weren’t. (Hey, I’m practicing cutting people some slack here!)

2. You Can Literally Do Whatever You Want. Except Bring Gum Inside Wet Republic.

My first thought about Las Vegas was that there were no rules whatsoever. Everywhere I looked people were walking around with alcoholic drinks, wearing bikinis, smoking INSIDE.

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I even saw one guy drinking his walktail (<– see what I did there) out of a full-sized plastic guitar. It was awesome.

Like this guy, but not this guy.

My perception shifted, however, after my first visit  to MGM’s famously raucous party pool Wet Republic.

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With security so thick it rivaled Bieber’s entourage, guards double-checked your ID and vigorously inspected the contents of your purse at the entrance- removing any prohibited or nefarious looking items. Advil? No bueno. Bottled water? Fuhhhgettabout it.  I even had my pack of Dentyne Ice confiscated. I still don’t know why. Maybe they thought I was some sort of gum weilding assassin?? Or maybe they just didn’t want me to get it stuck in my own hair. That makes sense.

3. It’s In The Desert, Yo!!

I know what you`re thinking, and yes, I have seen a map before. But it was in that movie National Treasure and I couldn’t make it out very well.

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Anyway, I kinda had an inkling that Vegas was in the middle of the desert, but I guess I didn’t fully appreciate this until my skin started shrivelling up like a California Raisin.

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My hair quickly followed suit, leaving me resembling one of those sad “before” girls from hair commercials.

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Ladies: 3 words: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
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4. If You Move There, You Will Gain 300lbs.

Ummm.. HOLY PORTION SIZES BATMAN. The American “bigger is better” philosophy was really drilled home to me during my several trips to McDonalds and In-and-Out Burger. Did you know a standard McNugget meal in the U.S.is 10 McNuggets, while in Canada, it`s only 6??

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And as if that weren’t enough, my hotel also had the world-famous Jean Phillippe Bakery right downstairs. Nutella brioche??almond croissants? CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN? Heart… Beating… Faster.

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You guys, it was a bad scene for BreezyK. Think Homer Simpson in the land of chocolate,

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But worse. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

5. There is always a “List”-  And you need to be on it.

For girls, this basically means just leaving your hotel room. For guys, it means putting on your best Burberry knockoff and spending hours in line haggling with some glorified bouncer to let you and your buddies spend a grand  on a bottle of Grey Goose. Which you will then ultimately give to a group of cute 20-somethings, who will drink every last drop before running off to find the next table of suckers. The b*tches probably won’t even say goodbye.

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And they say life isn’t fair  ;)

6. There`s a Good Chance It Was All Just A Mirage

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I mean, it was in the middle of the desert. And the whole thing did sort of feel like a dream. The only evidence I have of even being there are a few instagram pics and a quick-fading tan. But that doesn’t prove anything. I could have just been abducted by aliens with a penchant for vitamin D and social media.

………If I ever made any sense, I have clearly ceased to do so.

Lets get to the winner of my East-Vegas giveaway! Congratulations (drumroll pleaaaaase):

Whinybaby! 

E-mail me at thecamellife@gmail.com with your address!

Question of the Day: Have you Ever been to Vegas?

Viva Las Vegas (Giveaway!!)

In true lapsed Catholic fashion, this year I’ve decided to spend Easter weekend in the un-holiest place on earth: Vegas Baby!!

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That’s right folks- by the time you read this, I will be on my way to Sin City with 17 other bad b*tches to celebrate the bachelorette parties of two of our closest friends. Yep- a DOUBLE bachelorette. God help our livers us all.

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I was initially worried that my very devout mother would be horrified at the idea of my spending Good Friday popping bottles with Diddy at Wet Republic,

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But apparently she’s way too busy worrying about Pope Francis to even notice. (“I mean, I know he preaches the simple life and all.. but if he doesn’t start using more security soon he’s not gonna be preaching anything at all” )

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So I think I’m all set! I’ve got my flip flops, sunglasses, magazines, a crap- ton of candy, and this divine piece of literature for the plane:

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The lady at Chapters assured me that it was “amazing” and “a total page turner”, but with lines like “the next time I drive a Ferrari, I’ll be sure to wear a longer skirt” – I have my doubts.

Anyway, I’ve never been to Vegas, but if it’s anything like I’ve seen in the movies, then I expect to do at least one, if not more of the following things while I’m there:

1. Play a specialized role in an organized casino heist with a motley crew of 11 12 13 sidekicks

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2. Lose one of the bachelorettes, kidnap Mike Tyson’s tiger and pull my own tooth out

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3. Develop an elaborate card counting scheme under the direction of my mentor, Nicholas Cage

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4. Marry Ashton Kutcher and split a $3 million jackpot

What Happens in Vegas movie image Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher

5. Launder millions of superdollars in a counterfeit scam involving the Triads

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6. Thwart Project Vulcan after nearly being assisinated by FemmeBots

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7. Form an unlikely relationship with a hardened prostitute and suddenly develop a new lease on life

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8. Lose all of my money gambling and have to share a $1.49 buffet with my cousin Eddie

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9. Enter a beauty pageant in order to save the original Captain Kirk

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10. Get hopped up on acid and drive around in an old Eldorado

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Yes my friends, in Vegas, anything is possible!!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and that the Easter bunny finds you. (For your sake, I hope it’s not the same one whose lap I sat on in grade 1.)

*Not me

*Not me

And if you want to make your Easter REALLY special, you can enter my Festive East-Vegas Giveaway! Just match each of the Vegas activities listed above with the correct movie below, and you could win a free CAMEL LIFE TSHIRT!!

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Unfortunately, it’s a ladies size small, so if it doesn’t fit then I guess you’ll just have to frame it and hang it on your wall along with the rest of your BreezyK memorabilia. The winner will also receive a personalized Easter card from me and a Las Vegas themed trinket for your garbage home!

If more than one person guesses the order correctly, I will take bribes draw names.

Here is the list of movies to be matched with the correct # above. Good luck!

A. National Lampoon’s Vegas vacation

B. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

C. Rush Hour 2

D. What Happens in Vegas

E. The Hangover

F. Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

G. 21

H. Oceans 11/12/13

I. Leaving Las Vegas

J. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Contest closes on Sunday, March 31 at high noon!

Question of the Day: What are your plans for Easter weekend?

I [Heart] NY

I just got back from 5 glorious days in New York City and I am smitten. Man, do I love that city.

I don’t have a lot to say right now because I am still sort of reeling from it all.. especially my traumatizing visit to the American Girl store, meeting Jesse Tyler Ferguson from Modern Family (sort of), and having my personal space repeatedly invaded by every character from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

More to come on all of these points.

For now, here’s a few snaps from my trip which should help ease the withdrawal symptoms you’ve been experiencing in my absence.

 

 

 

Question of the Day: Been to NYC? Do you love it?

P.S. if you also love my mad clicking a button Photog skills, holla at me on Instagram- breezyk1

 

Thanks’gettin the Hell Outta Here

Season’s Eatings, friends! I am currently blogging to you live from the wonderful piece of Canadian majesty that is the Toronto Pearson International Airport, on my way home to Nova Scotia to spend Thanksgiving with my family.

I know, all of you Americans out there are probably like “say whaaaat Breezy, Isn’t Thanksgiving in November?” But no! Not up here in the Great White North it isn’t! Here we celebrate Thanksgiving in October… I can’t really tell you why, but it’s probably because we read that dang calendar thing wrong again and got confused.

Speaking of confused, before we go any further, I should probably warn you that I am currently battling cold and flu like symptoms, and am writing this post on about 4 hours of sleep and under the heavy influence of Dayquil, ColdFX and a Starbucks Grande Americano. I’ve also eaten like, two entire packages of Halls already today…. and its only 7:30am. The combined effect of all of this is sort of making me feel like I’m on speed. I also can’t feel my right leg.

…..Here’s hoping they let me on the plane!

Anyway, I haven’t been home in a while and i’m really looking forward to it. I hear they installed a new sidewalk on our street.(!!!!) So stay tuned over the next few days for more enthralling posts about me fighting with my brothers and sisters and not moving off the couch except to get another glass of pepsi… Or when my mother guilts me into exercising with her. God damn that woman and her boundless energy!

And for those of you heading home to your respective families this weekend like i am – drink wine have fun and be safe! Ive already put in a good word with Saint Christopher, the Patron Saint of travel for you guys. Can’t help you on the 5-10 lbs you’re going to gain between now and January, though. That’s all on you and your deep, deep love affair with pumpkin pie.

Ok I’m going to stop talking now and instead give you all a little Friday ditty to help get the weekend going. Warning: it has nothing to do with thanksgiving.. Or cold Fx. But it’s catchy as a mofo, so enjoy!

Question of the day: what are you doing for thanksgiving? (or, to my non-Canadian friends, any fun weekend plans?)

Pre-Travel Anxiety: It’s a real thing, I swear!

In the coming week, both Canada and the United States will celebrate their respective birthdays. And you know what that means. FIREWORKS!!!! (And that I’m 5 years old, apparently). It also means that Canadians and Americans alike will be hitting the highways and airways en masse, eager to get the eff outta dodge and enjoy a nice long weekend, anywhere but here.

They might even watch this movie. (Although I wouldn’t)

In a few short hours, I will be joining the mass exodus, headed for the beautiful province of Nova Scotia to spend 12 glorious days with my family and friends. You’d think I’d be excited about this- given how annoyingly incredibly homesick I’ve been lately. And I am. It’s just that I’ve also spent the past few days feeling a little… well, anxious.

I can’t really explain it, but whenever I am preparing to travel anywhere, I spend the days leading up to my departure in a state of mild, generalized anxiety. I’m emotional. I’m high strung. I stress about everything- no matter how small.

First, there’s the thought of leaving work for a week. Tying up all sorts of loose ends; satisfying myself that the machine will continue to run in my absence, despite my essential cogging role. Packing is a headache in and of itself. Paring down the number of impractical dresses and shoes I bring. Worrying about my toiletries exploding all over the place, or that some rogue, could-be-construed-as-a-weapon item has made its way into my carry-on.

Exhibit A: Not my suitcase

But beyond this, I have this habit of adding to my own stress by creating arbitrary to-do lists of all the items I simply must complete before leaving, that really I don’t need to do at all.

Like, obviously I had to clean my entire apartment from top to bottom and organize my closet before I left. And I just I NEEDED to pick up Bumble and Bumble Beach Waves spray, get my nails done, and buy presents for everyone whose birthdays I missed in the past 6 months or all hell would break loose. For the past few days, I have found myself either frantically running around completing these highly important tasks, or sitting at my desk freaking out about when I was going to find the time to do it all.

When I realized I had worked myself up into a state of borderline hysteria, I tried to pinpoint the root of my anxiety.  I’m not jetting off to a foreign or unfamiliar destination. I don’t need a tetanus shot. I don’t have to calculate currency conversions at the speed of light, or  struggle to understand a foreign language. In fact, I’m going to the most familiar place I know- a place where I’ve spent the majority of my life and all of my family lives. My mom is even picking me from the god damn airport. So what gives?

Curious to see if others might share my pain, I took to google and discovered that apparently what I’m feeling is called “Pre-Travel Anxiety”. How original.  Turns out lots of people deal with it. (Well, ok.. mostly animals. But sometimes people too).

I even read one article where a woman nearly had a nervous breakdown trying to return vitamins she bought online prior to a 5-week Greek vacation.

What’s wrong with us all??

I think it all boils down to the fact that we humans are creatures of habit, and thrive off routine. Any type of change, or any time we are out of our comfort zone has the potential to cause anxiety and throw us into a tailspin- regardless of if the change is positive.

So how do we deal with it? Well, the websites I read recommended everything from packing ahead and having a travel “game plan”, to doing yoga and avoiding stimulants. Yeah, I think I’ll just help myself to a nice individual serving of boxed wine on the plane and call it a day.

They say this kind of thing only gets worse with age. Which means that inevitably, my future children are going to hate me.  More than they already will for being a super-competitive stage mom and enrolling them in the Abby Lee Miller Dance Company. Hey.. mommy needs a little spotlight, too.

Question of the Day: Do you have Pre-Travel Anxiety?

La Belle Province

Here’s the thing about roadtrips: they can be a great, inexpensive, and fun way to travel.

……..except when you take them in the middle of a SNOWSTORM:

Yeeeeah. So driving from Toronto to Montreal in the middle of what newscasters were dubbing “Snowmaggedon 2012” in hindsight may not have been the best idea. The drive (which ordinarily takes about 5 hours) ended up taking my friend Lia and I well over 8, and involved several near-death encounters. Luckily, thanks to a giant bag of pretzel M&Ms, a sweet 80′s playlist, and more than a few prayers to Saint Christopher- I live to blog another day.

Dear Chris: please let us get to Montreal alive. And while you're at it, please let this rest stop have clean washrooms.

We spent our first night in Montreal at Lia’s Aunt and Uncle’s place. Obviously, copious amounts of wine were necessary to repress the memories of imminent peril- and we ended up having a late night of drinking, eating, and taking shelter from the storm.

I awoke the next morning with a vague recollection of drunkenly promising Lia’s Auntie Claude I’d attend her Spin class with her at 10 a.m…..  a decision I immediately regretted once armed with sober second thoughts. Being yelled at in french to pedal faster + a low-grade hangover do not make for an appetizing combo, lemme tell ya.  Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, and Lia and I agreed to simply run on the treadmill instead. 

We had free passes to the gym, which was good considering it usually costs eleventy thousand dollars and your first-born child just to get in there.  That plus the fact that it was called “Le Sporting Club Sanctuaire”, told me this gym was going to be ritzy. The best way I could describe it is: how the other half lives. The parking garage was filled with Porsches and Lexi (is that the plural of lexus?) and all of the women looked like they had just emerged from their daily dip in the eternal fountain of youth. (side note: did you know that Louis Vuitton made gym bags? I do now). Inside there were squash courts, an indoor pool, a state of the art pilates studio, and a cardio room that would make Bob Harper cry. They even gave out $20 bills to wipe away your sweat with! (Just kidding.. you got complimentary towels, which smelled like freshly baked cookies…I’m not sure how this works as an incentive, but I went with it).

I found this pic of the lobby online. I didn't take any pictures inside myself, only cause I'm not extremely creepy.

I did experience one slight hurdle when I realized the treadmill pre-sets were in Km/hour instead of my standard miles. I spent several awkward minutes slow-motion/stumble jogging and attracting quizzical glances from several other fellow gym-goers before eventually figuring that sh*t out. Treadmill fail.

After learning that I’m a Luddite working on our fitness, we made our way to Old Montreal. First stop, brunch at Olive et Gourmando.

If wanting to swim in a pool filled with brioche and almond croissants is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right

j

... Because the greatest, love of all is happening to me.......

Truffle mac & cheese should be illegal. Either that, or being morbidly obese should be socially acceptable.

2459090909 calories (and one pointless workout) later, we stumbled out of the restaurant ready to explore Old Montreal.

I recognize this looks like I cropped myself into this pic, but I swear to God I was actually there.

Yeah. That happened.

I decided during our stroll that Montreal has a charm and sophistication that no other Canadian city can match. The culture, the buildings, the cobblestone streets…. plus, saying anything in French just makes it seem infinitely cooler and more sophisticated.  I’ll admit I got sort of caught up in it all, and felt like I was becoming more sophisticated myself through cultural osmosis. I felt a smug satisfaction every time I ordered a Cafe au Lait instead of a coffee, or gave a cab driver directions in [extremely broken] french… I even found myself in an art gallery at one point, contemplating purchasing one of the prints on display. Guess I must have temporarily forgotten that I HAVE NO MONEY.

Anyway, the rest of our trip was delightful, and filled with more cheese, wine, Montreal bagels, and thankfully, a relatively uneventful drive home.

  

Except for stopping to buy these sweet shades at a gas station... (I lost on my roll up the rim to win though. It all evens out).

I recognize this post was pretty low in poutine, shopping, and sexy French-Canadian men like I promised…. buuuut it was pretty high in both quality photos and literary content, so you can’t really complain.

Just for good measure though (and because one faithful reader in particular I know will appreciate it) here’s a pic of the one and only Georges St. Pierre.

GSP says: Je plains le fou who doesn't read The Camel Life!

Question of the Day: Have you taken any trips recently?