London Diary: Day One (#130)

T-12 hours: I check the forecast for London:LondonForecast

So much for, “Oh, to be in England now that April’s there…” But as the Vacation Rain Goddess, I am unsurprised.

[22 hours later]

Our 777 approaches Heathrow. Then passes Heathrow, circling London and heading back east to the runway. It’s sweet that the pilots like to give incoming tourists a view…of the RAIN CLOUDS. Almost like they’re saying, “Here’s a preview! Next time, when you think British vacation, think British Virgin Islands, you bloody fool.” Continue reading London Diary: Day One (#130)

16 Things Americans Oughta Know Before Landing in London (#129)

When Andy and I went to London earlier this month, I thought I was prepared.

Turns out, Dr. Who, Top Gear, Graham Norton, Inspector Lewis, and Downton Abbey may leave gaping holes in your education that authors P.D. James, Helen Simonson, and Elizabeth George cannot quite fill.

The internet doesn’t exactly do London justice, either. But for those of you who are either looking to laugh at the clueless Americans or hoping to visit London and NOT look like clueless Americans, I’ve made this handy list: Continue reading 16 Things Americans Oughta Know Before Landing in London (#129)

London Calling (#128)

IMG_6884Those readers who follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram know that Andy and I recently took a trip to Great Britain.

Those readers who don’t follow me on social media, well, you should. I have live action videos on everything from the Whitehall Horse Guards to Andy’s ongoing battle with the neighborhood squirrels.

Andy and I haven’t had a real vacation since our honeymoon. That was years ago. No, I’m not telling you how many, but remember, this is a memoir blog. It could be 3 years ago, it could be fifty! (It’s not fifty.) Continue reading London Calling (#128)

Son-in-Law vs. Daughter-in-Law (#110)

IMG_5730When I butted heads with my in-laws, I had a secret weapon. Well, more like a secret label, really. I was able to avoid taking their criticism personally by calling it “a cultural difference.”

Doubling the number of bridesmaids to 8 due to Chinese superstitions about the Voldemort of numbers? It’s a pain in the ass, but fine, I’ll respect your superstition.

Ignoring the fact that I hate seafood and making sure every dish at the Chinese Wedding Banquet was marine? Well, each dish had some cultural significance and my in-laws paid for it. I fed my portions to my new husband and said nothing. Continue reading Son-in-Law vs. Daughter-in-Law (#110)

The Mystery of the Fire (#107)

Think this little fireplace looks cheerful and benevolent? THINK AGAIN...
Think this little fireplace looks cheerful and benevolent? THINK AGAIN…

I’m still on ski vacation, while Andy drove back LA. He’s enjoying some “alone time,” and promised to take down the Christmas tree and decorations before I get home. I’m having a girl’s week with my friend M. She has a timeshare, and we’re using her points for a place up at Cedar Breaks Lodge. (Don’t ask me how timeshares and points work. All I know is that I owe her dinners, lift tickets, massages, and probably my firstborn. ) Continue reading The Mystery of the Fire (#107)

Best Little Ski Spot (#106)

IMG_5329
View of Cedar City from the southwest.

Our favorite ski town in the southwest is Cedar City.

IMG_5273
On your way from Mesquite to Cedar City, you will pass through the Virgin Gorge. Squint, and you will see insane persons free climbing.

Sort of. You can’t actually ski within the city limits of this small city in southern Utah. But Cedar City is a convenient (Andy says “cheap!”) place to stay if you want to get your alpine on up at Brian Head, which is about 45 minutes away. (35 minutes if Andy is driving.)

Cedar City is less than 3 hours from Las Vegas and well under 7 from Los Angeles (again, with the caveat that a maniacal male is driving an overpowered car and using Google Maps with Waze). Continue reading Best Little Ski Spot (#106)

Thanksgiving with Jay (#97)

IMG_4989 2

The Treaty of the Religious Wedding Ceremony ended our War Over the Wedding Location with Andy’s parents. One of the conditions was that we would spend the Thanksgiving after our wedding with Jay and Sunny. During the week we were there, they would host a Chinese-style wedding banquet, mainly for Jay’s family members.

Andy’s parents called once before we left to get our flight information. Sunny asked Andy if there was anything we wanted to eat. He told her no, anything was fine. Which it was – FOR HIM. Andy can – and will – eat anything from animal brains (inaccurately, but oh-so innocently labeled “sweetbreads”) to Rocky Mountain Oysters (bulls’ balls). Continue reading Thanksgiving with Jay (#97)

Turkey Chase (#94)

The Bethesda Turkeys warm up.
The Bethesda Turkeys warm up.

My siblings and I once celebrated Thanksgiving in the traditional fashion. We met at my Ex-Stepfather’s house in the DC suburbs and pigged out. Family members brought appetizers and wine. (A LOT of wine.) Drinking, eating, and cards started around noon. Football games played on the living room TV. The turkey was usually served by 4 PM. Dishes were finished around 7. Our exercise consisted of a slow walk around the neighborhood about 7:30.

Big Brother’s Wife wrecked our tradition of sloth and gluttony. Continue reading Turkey Chase (#94)

Turkey Running (#92)

The turkey always wins.
The turkey always runs.  Turkey Chase

Running is a big deal these days. There’s running gear, running clubs, and races for every holiday. Everyone I know seems to be doing a marathon.

When I was a kid, I only ran when Big Brother chased me. I’m pretty sure that’s the only time he ran, either. Continue reading Turkey Running (#92)

Flipping Crazy (#84)

IMG_4599

No, despite the title, this not a post about my in-laws. It’s a cautionary tale about what not to do at high speeds while you are in a car. (I bet half of you suddenly thought of something nasty. Admit it.) Because I want any readers visiting from Big Asian Package’s blog to finish the story, I’m not going to tell you if you thought right. Not just yet. Continue reading Flipping Crazy (#84)