Oh the Places You’ve Been

ohtheplacesframed_shadow

courtesy Oh, The Places YOu’ll Go by Dr Suess

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing

When my dear darling husband, The Original Obnoxious One, suggested we travel to Japan, I agreed  with one caveat – we had to spend several days afterwards at a totally chill beach resort. And since we were already halfway around the world in Asia, the place I chose was this:

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We had stayed at a Six Senses Resort a couple years before in Vietnam and it was magical. What’s not to love – architecture in harmony with natural surroundings, private villas complete with private plunge pools and butlers, incredible fresh local food, sustainable water and waste practices, and prices not as steep as you’d think, especially in the off-season.  The Six Senses Samui in Thailand did not dosappoint not one little bit, not when the main pool looked like this:

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And the view from our bed looked like thisDSCN0860

Even though the weather was hot and it was humid, which we usually find unbearable, somehow, we managed to survive. We had lattes in the morning  – not Green Eggs and Ham – and Sex on the Beach – the drink – in the afternoon.We dined on the hill, DSCN0925

we dined on the rocks,DSCN0872

we dined wherever and whenever we could.

And it was heavenly.

We wandered along the resort’s private beach,
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we swam and we kayaked in the clear turquoise waters,DSCN0863

and we talked to the wonderful locals who worked there – our butler, our servers, our housekeepers. Those hardworking folk were always smiling and happy and laughed at my hubby’s silly jokes and catered to our every whim as we started the long and challenging process of unwinding. My iPhone even died so our daughter couldn’t reach us to complain and shriek about the cold weather or her lack of friends at school or her courses or any other earth-shattering issues.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air. 

But it wasn’t all fun and games you know.

Nope, not for us.

I put The Original Obnoxious One to work and enrolled him in a Thai cooking class at the resort. All that chopping, all that tasting, all that sauteing – quite a demanding proposition, especially combined with the gorgeous outdoor setting.DSCN0885

Surprisingly enough he got more right than wrong, so the slave-driving chef gave her love, thumbs-up, grudging acknowledgement.DSCN0883

In the end The Original Obnoxious One somehow created such amazing culinary delights and was so proud of himself  that he became almost insufferable, and rather…obnoxious! DSCN0887

To this day I have not heard the end of what a great “cooker” he is.

Next I decided The Original Obnoxious One required a serious tune-up, an arduous physical transformation, so I forced my reluctant hubby to undergo the dreaded Thai Signature Treatment, which just happened to be for two people. At the place of our doom

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courtesy Six Senses Samui

we were presented with white cotton pajama-like tops and bottoms for our own protection. No oils. No aromatherapy. Just damn hard work.  For an entire hour each of us submitted to the battle-hardened warriors who thrashed and pummeled us. Those tough veterans poked our muscles, stretched our limbs and contorted our bodies into poses never seen or even imagined before . And yes, it was extremely scary – at least for The Original Obnoxious One who moaned and whimpered and screamed yelled screeched over the course of the daunting procedure. When the horror ended my hubby thanked the sweet little Thai ladies professional masseuses and proclaimed the treatment the best massage of his life.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Now it was time for him to torture me – a happy marriage is all about equal pain and suffering compromise after all. So he dragged me on several treks around the island, along unfortunate garbage-strewn beaches (yes, really)DSCN0895

roads choked with mopeds and trucks and fascinating colourful temples.

And after those terrifying forced marches we enjoyed our home away from home that much more – well at least my dear darling husband certainly did.10580943_10152713416644400_2647866384709508617_o

And sure enough,  The Original Obnoxious One finally found his long-lost mojo .DSCN0890

Until the next time we return. We met some Brits who spend a couple months suffering at this same spot year after year. Ahh…to be so lucky! In the meantime we’re planning a trip to Portugal in the fall, and I’ve found the perfect Six Senses there. Really!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.

 

 

 

 

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It’s Tough Being Beautiful…

especially if you’re my daughter, the Weird One.532988_10151643727150290_918872487_nLet me give you a recent example.

Just before dropping my daughter off at university in the UK, we spent a few nights in a tiny room at a chic boutique hotel, located in the exclusive Mayfair area of London. 554806_241007492704389_352912053_nOn our last morning, she woke up rather early – at 4:30 am –  but was kind enough to wait until 7 am to wake me, although 8 am would have been kinder! She was eager to get under way, but this Terrible Awful Mother was lethargic and exhausted. You see, the night before (and the night before, etc.), I’d had to resort to reading in the bathroom, because the bedside light was too bright for the Weird One. As was the reading light on the side of my bed. As was the penlight I brought with me. So, it was either the bathroom or the hall, and the hall was a rather dark and scary place for this Terrible Awful Mother to be sitting on the floor and reading in the middle of the night. But, as lovely as the bathroom was, it was a wee bit cold and cramped  –  for some reason, the toilet is just not a comfortable perch for late night reading.

Anyway, by 7 am the Weird One was in desperate need of croissant and tea, so she ventured off all by herself, for the very first time. When she returned, roughly thirty minutes later, she marched into the room, slammed the door and announced in an extremely grumpy tone of voice,

“Mom, the worst thing just happened to me and I’m so disgusted!”

“What, darling ???!”

“Mom, some old guy just asked me if I was single? I didn’t think Britain was full of weird old men!”

Senior3

courtesy iclipart.com

 

“Oh, really?” what to say?!

“Yes! First of all, it’s way too early in the morning for a stranger to talk to me on the street.”

“Well dear, he was probably just on his way to work.”

“Then Mom, it was so creepy ’cause he was so old – he must’ve been at least 30!”

At least 30 – trying very hard not to laugh, and to actually take her seriously, I asked the Weird One what he said, exactly.

“Well, he told me I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and then he asked me if I was single.”  And yes folks, she was mad. Livid, in fact! “But Mom, it was early in the morning, and I had no make-up on and he was really, really old!!!”

“I see. You know, most girls (like me) would take that as a complement.”

“Oh, gross, Mom!  It was way too early in the morning and 30 is just way too old for me!”

On the bright side, I guess I don’t have to worry about her having daddy issues or bringing home older men. For now, anyway.

Really!

I’d NEVER say I told you so, would I…really?

A few weeks ago my 16 year old daughter, the Demon Child came home and announced she wanted to get her belly button pierced. Since  I am a boring old mother,  I was less than thrilled with the idea.

“Mom, EVERYBODY has  their belly buttons pierced except for me. I just wanted to wait until I had a flat stomach.” She has lost some weight in the last couple of months by healthy eating and exercising – but still, yuck! The only body piercings I like are those in the ears, and only one in each ear at that.

“What about T__ and A__ and D__? Do they?” I couldn’t believe the conservative parents of some of her good friends would go for this. 

Sigh. Glare. Sigh.

“No, they don’t because blah, blah, blah…Besides, I’m just letting you know. You can’t stop me ’cause legally I only have to be 15 – I checked.”

“Well, I’m not paying for it!” No way.

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

That was the end of that …for a while. I really hoped this idea would fade away like others in the past.

Last week, however, when driving her to school in the morning, the Demon Child announced, “Mom, today’s the day. My friends and I are going downtown after school to get our bellies pierced.”

Since I figured there were no arguments I could make at this time that would sway her, I decided to try different tack. “Well darling, there’s going to be tons of blood. And it will hurt – a lot!”

“Gee thanks mom. You’re SO nice.” 

“Yep, you know. I hope it REALLY hurts and I hope it bleeds everywhere!”

“You’re SUCH a terrible mother!” But she was laughing as she hurried through the school doors late as usual.

So by now you’ve probably condemned me as an awful mother and burned me at the proverbial stake. But hey, I use any means I can to get the Demon Child to think through her actions. And, I figure a pierced belly button is better than:

  1. a pierced eyebrow – those things give me the heebie jeebies –scientifically speaking that is 
  2. a pierced tongue – my son, the Obnoxious One insists there’s only one reason to get that done. Enough said.
  3.  the dreaded tattoo – see Tattoo Schmattoo

That evening a very grumpy Demon Child came home. Apparently the piercing itself didn’t hurt very much, but afterwards, it was …well…painful?! And it was painful the next day and the next. At least there was no blood – apparently the girls went to a very experienced professional. Thank goodness for small miracles!

I managed to keep my mouth shut that night, but inside I was screaming, “I told you so!”  I do have to admit though, it doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would. In fact, it’s almost cute. Almost.

By the way, her brother, the Obnoxious One does NOT approve. It will be very interesting to see what happens when he gets home for Christmas.

Really.

Get me some boots made for walking!

Attention fashion buyers, fashion designers and fashion lovers everywhere. Even though I’m middle aged, I’m not dead. I love fashion as much as the next chick/gal/babe, and I DO love boots. Really!

However I also like to walk…not stumble, not fall and certainly not break my foot or ankle or leg!

You may have heard that here in Vancouver we have little things called mountains; they make walking any significant distances (i.e. more than 2 steps) challenging enough. With these booties I’d feel as if I was walking a tightrope 24/7. No thanks!

Also, our winters tend to be rather wet, since Vancouver is smack dab in the middle of a temperate rainforest. So, starting any time this month, the heavens will open up …and not close again until February or March. (although in 2011, nobody read the memo so the rains didn’t stop until August)

Perhaps I should try this boot to the left – it ‘s clearly quite lovely for clomping through the puddles in the parking lot at the mall. Plus, I wouldn’t have to worry about those pesky hot flashes – my feet would have their own built in air conditioning.

You know, I’d just like some nice boots that I can wear with my boot cut jeans – the mature woman’s answer to all evils. So, I do need a bit of a heel, so my jeans don’t wander around too far behind me when I walk in the door of Winners or Lululemon or London Drugs.

I have heard that animal prints are very “in” this year, so surely this pair would  be terrific for driving my SUV to Safeway to pick up that extra litre of milk for my morning latte. Wonder if the stiletto would get stuck in the car floorboards?


Call me crazy, but I want a heel that is medium in height, medium in width, has a closed toe and is water resistant.  Are these my only choices???

Blundstone

LLBean duckie

Maybe I need a shopping road trip and some good old fashioned retail therapy….Really!

How Lululemon will save the world from global financial meltdown!?

It has taken me a week to respond to a terrible article originally posted on MSN Travel’s online site because I’ve been SO traumatized. The woefully ignorant reporter labelled Vancouver as the third worst-dressed city in the world ; this ridiculous story was picked up by numerous Canadian news sites and gained a ton of publicity along the way.

According to MSN Travel,  the  10 worst-dressed cities in the world are

  1. Orlando
  2. Maui
  3. Vancouver 
  4. Harajuku, Japan
  5. Boston
  6. Seattle
  7. San Francisco and Silicon Valley
  8. Ottawa
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. Jersey Shore

The reason for this travesty? – Lululemon yoga pants. Okay, so in the MSN article itself, the author coyly refused to name Lululemon, but it was quite obvious what she was referring to!

Heads should roll – really!

So many of us West Van moms would just not know how to dress if we didn’t have Lululemon . What would we wear in the morning to drive our kids to school? What would we wear to yoga and pilates and spin classes? What would we wear while driving our SUV’s to Starbucks to buy that low-fat soy latte? And don’t even get me started on what to wear to walk the dog!?

Lululemon has already infiltrated the top ranks of Hollywood’s elite…

Reese, Nicole and Sandra

Clearly the only viable solution is for Lululemon to open at least a gazillion stores worldwide and convert the so-called sexy cities of the world like Paris, Barcelona, and Venice. Consider the benefit of all that lovely consumer spending on the economies of France, Spain and Italy – Vancouver’s Lululemon really could save the world from global financial meltdown.

Really! You heard it here first. 😉