Thursday, August 7, 2014

San Francisco, They'll Be No Pictures Of The Golden Gate Bridge Here!

What I learned in San Francisco:

1. I will never live in San Francisco, what was I thinking?
2. I need more weekends with amazing girls like my Yo.
3. Good food is everything.
4. Tarrot card readings are a complete joke.  Direct quote "seriously, that's it"
5. I am not a singer, despite my undying need to sing karoke!

We stayed at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins for two nights, home of the famous Top Of The Mark.  What an amazing hotel!  The staff was great (even at midnight when we were on a mad hunt for carbs after what I'm sure was one too many cocktails #noshame).  Upgrading to club level was so worth it, snacks, breakfast, cocktails before dinner, yes please.  We felt safe which after walking through the Tenderloin (read the crime section) on accident was everything.  Thank you Mark Hopkins for being such a great home coming.

The view from our 16th floor room.

I had a bit of a trek from the Powell street Bart station.  Taxi service was a joke for a city as large as San Francisco is, but I finally made my way up California St. to the hotel where a bottle of wine was waiting.  More drinks in the club and then dinner at Farallon.

Oysters, one of my all time favorites.  These were so fresh.  
I love dinning with people who aren't afraid to try new things.  Yoli's octopus which was delicious.
Summer bean salad
My lemonfish which I'm pretty sure I could eat day after day.  Sooo good.

My only real request this trip was that we find a karaoke bar.  I haven't sang karaoke in years and I was dying to step back in time for a song.  Nothings changed, I still can't sing, but I'm sure glad I did it!

Remember me mentioning two girls looking for carbs at midnight?  Well we ended up at Lori's Diner for malts, fried food and salad!!!!  What is it about a night of drinking and walking the streets that makes me want chicken fingers and fries?

I was totally impressed with our ability to be up and out of the room the next day after not getting to bed until after 1AM #rally!

We had a bit of a scare on our way to the SOMA food truck park.  Think used needles on the sidewalk from the previous nights escapades.  We never made it to the food trucks but rather spent the afternoon in the first safe neighborhood we found.  God bless you Mission District.

Post-breakfast and pre-lunch empanadas

In our efforts to avoid the "hood" we took the bus back from Mission to 5th street and then walked up to Chinatown

More eating, more drinking and then dinner at Michael Mina.

Abalone for the first time ever, so good.
My perfectly cooked lamb

Saturday was an early night and then more exploring or rather me on a quest to find Longchamp :)

Success, and what I'm sure will be the first of many of these little babies.
I had the best time and am so looking forward to girls weekend 2015 in Portland. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

This Makes That All Worth It.

Flying to San Francisco tomorrow and my assistant getting me an A boarding pass.

A great Thai lunch and discovering Thai tea.

Riding bikes yesterday #sofreeing.

Being married to a man I can pluck my chin hair in front of.

My favorite month of the year starts TOMORROW! Hello birthday month. This is the month I get things turned around and back on course.

Passing my driving test yesterday. Yeah biatches.

A long weekend.

A mani/pedi tonight.

Striping down to my undies and jumping into the pool out of the blue last night.

Waking up today and feeling like everything was going to be ok for the first time in a week, maybe longer.

Meeting Mariah in person next Friday!

This makes all of that worth it. What keeps you going? 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Finally Hitting Bottom

Our den has never looked so beautiful to me.
It's actually a relief because there's nowhere to go but up from here.  Besides, it's not like I haven't been here before.  I manage to meander my way down this round about twice a year. 
For some reason this time around I didn't see it coming.  The descent down wasn't as rapid and dramatic as it normally is.  That's a good thing, I'm learning!  Maybe it's because I'm handling stress better?  Or maybe I'm better able to self regulate?  I don't know, what I do know though is that I still don't know how to take care of myself well enough to prevent this from happening in the first place.  The crash landing is getting less turbulent, but it's still a crash landing.   

I guess I should back up and explain what hitting bottom means for me.  It means that I've managed to get myself to the point where I have a hard time functioning in my day to day.  I still do it, I just have a hard time, a really hard time.  It means that I'm over thinking everything, which means that I have an exhausted and overworked mind.  It means there's lots of self doubt and feelings of inadequacy.  It means withdrawing.  It means drinking too much.  Worst of all it means being way too hard on myself.  I start to think "what's wrong with you, why can't you handle this". 

These are the things I know prompt the downward spiral:  

1.  Taking on too much professionally.  "Yes, I can do that".  "Okay, I'll come in on Saturday." etc. etc. etc.  I've mentioned before that my work ethic largely defines me.  Work is important, it's how I pay my bills and it's what's going to allow me to retire at 50.  I don't need to be an "exceptional" employee to do those things though.  I can be an "exceeds expectations" or god forbid even a "meets expectations" employee at this point.  I've climbed the latter.  In my head I'm okay with where I am professionally but something always keeps me going.  Habit maybe? 

To stop the madness I took Thursday and Friday off.  I wish I could say I wasn't online (but I was) and that I didn't think about work (but I did).  At least I was home though right?  That's a start.   

2.  Over extending in my social life.  This space has opened me up and made me so much more aware of myself.  I know for a fact that my social life is thriving because of that.  I can't explain it exactly but over the course of the last 4 months I've met and connected with so many new people (irl) because of my blogging.  There have been trips to the gym, happy hours, parties, weddings, weekend visits etc.  I don't think I've had any downtime since before the 4th of July.  That's fantastic, but there's got to be balance.

As much as I hated to do it, I had to cancel my plans for this weekend in pursuit of some "stay at home and do nothing time" (see the photo above).  I've been listening to Pandora, trying like hell to avoid tv and social media, cooking (3 days in a row bitches) and sleeping a ton.  I don't feel completely rested, but I'm getting there.     

3.  Being too wrapped up in my iphone, ipad, tv etc.  I mean think about it, when you're perusing the internet for hours on end your brain is hopping from one thing to the next in a matter of minutes.  Shopping online, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, constant movement, constant stimulation.  When you start taking your phone to the bathroom with you so that you can browse IG, you've got issues.

On Friday and again today I will not touch my phone or the ipad.  I don't want to be connected to anything but me.  And no more taking my phone to the bathroom #ridiculous.

4.  Looking back.  There are times I think I'm petty for not putting aside my feelings and pursuing relationships I use to value.  It gets to the point where I'm about to reach out and then something happens and I'm reminded of why I stay away.  The thing is there's always going to be "something", some kind of drama and for someone who takes things in as much as I do, it's too much to deal with.  I don't stay away because I don't love these people.  I stay away because I love myself more.  Even cracking the door to the possibility of a relationship leaves me reeling. 

The thing is, life is a never ending cycle of ups and downs.  There's nothing to say that you won't relearn the same lessons over and over again.  What's important is that you try your darnedest to improve these areas of your life and that you take the steps you can to make the landing a little smoother each time around.

That's it for today.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hertz Don't It

I wish like hell I had had the foresight to take more pictures.  You know, pictures of the people laying on the ground with their luggage because they had been waiting for a car for over 2.5 hours.  Or a picture of the 20 people sitting around outside waiting for their names to be called so that they could finally hit the road to wherever it was they were going.  

Some video of the people on their phones explaining to their families or friends that they were going to miss the fireworks (on the 4th of July), or the wedding rehearsal they were in town for. 

I did however manage to snap a picture of our ridiculously large car rental bill.

See the $600 line item for "Additional Products"?  We'll that's what it took to get the hell out the door.

I seriously feel like we were duped.  I mean, what's the point in making a reservation if you're not going to have a car for me when I arrive.  And not just me, like 20 other people too, maybe more.  It was evident from the moment the Hertz shuttle pulled into the lot to drop us off that there was a shortage of cars.  

After an hour and a half in line D finally made it up to an agent who was kind enough to offer him a "Dream Car".  

Bare in mind, I've been outside feverishly looking for someone smoking (I never found anyone) and calling every car service/rental company within a 30 mile radius for the last hour.  No cars available anywhere!  I'm hangry, the Hertz is starting to look like they're gonna need FEMA to come in and it's almost dark.  

I text D letting him know that he better not come out without a car, so he does, with the only class of car they have.   

Now seriously, I don't know about you, but if this is my business, I'm going to admit I oversold and then I'm going to do whatever I can to make it right.  I'm going to give you whatever car I do have no matter what the difference in cost is because I f*cked up.  If I have nothing to give you, I'm going to find you another car with another agency.  If that doesn't pan out, I'm going to pay for your cab ride to wherever it is you're meant to be going.  Hertz did none of that.  Instead they thought it wise to up-sell us by $600 for a less than 48 hour rental.  

At this point you're probably wondering when the life lessons are going to come in.  Well here they are.  

1. Despite Hertz overselling, driving an hour and a half in the dark to a location we had never been to, completely missing 4th of July fireworks and not arriving at our hotel until 11PM, we had an amazing trip.  Don't let one setback screw up an entire getaway.  

It's safe to say our first 5 hours in Colorado were a bit rough but I'm happy to report that we turned things around after arriving at our hotel.  Dar's jaw was killing him (stress) and my stomach was eating itself so the first order of business was food/booze.  Thanks to the valet guys at our hotel we found the coolest little underground restaurant/bar which happened to be open late and serving dinner until midnight! 

We stayed in a great hotel with lots of history.  I've never stayed at a Wyndham property previously, but I'll absolutely consider them going forward.  The Mining Exchange was right up there with the Wynn Las Vegas and any Four Seasons in the service department.  Like in, I know I just valeted my car 5 minutes ago, but I left a bag in the back seat and now I need you to run however many blocks away my car is at 11:00PM on the forth of July to get it for me.  Which was done with a smile and was no problem at all.  Additionally, ya'll know I love me some good room service, my bedside breakfast did not disappoint. 

We had a blast on Saturday exploring the Broadmoor.  My god, what a beautiful property.  

I'd fly all the way back to Colorado just for the snacks and amazing cocktail I had at the bar!  Whiskey, lime and mint.  YUM, I mean how have I never had this drink before?

After gorging and relaxing for a few hours, we headed back to our hotel for the main event, the wedding.  We had the best time, met some amazing new friends, wished the bride and groom well, danced like we were 19 again, got silly drunk and laughed like crazy.

Lesson 2, Go hard and don't give up.  Even after you've hit a few road blocks.

I left any feelings of ill will towards Hertz in the gutter until we returned home.  Then it was GO time.  I spent Monday trying to dispute the "Additional Purchase" charges with Hertz billing.  The agent I was speaking with had no interest (or maybe it was no power) in helping me so she passed me off to the Hertz location we had a reservation with.  

I immediately asked for a manager and was given nothing but tude right out of the gate.  He said and I quote "well you took the car didn't you". Why yes sir, I did take the car.  I'm mean I'm sorry but I wasn't about to spend the night in a Hertz waiting for YOU to make things right.  Fifteen minutes later he offers me a $100 credit towards my next rental with Hertz.  At this rate there will not be a next time.  I graciously decline, hang up the phone and start screaming F*CK YOU internally.  

I take the next day to regroup and then I call Hertz' corporate office on Wednesday (thank you GOOGLE, no more of this 1-800 bull for me).  After explaining the issue and requesting a refund for the "Additional Purchase" charges to the 3rd person, I finally achieve some success.  While they won't refund me the full amount, they've credited me back 50% of the total charges.

Do not give up my friends.  I know dealing with sh*t that is not your fault sucks, but preserver,  I feel like I'm owed pain and suffering for having to waste my time calling around to make someone do the right thing.  I mean geez.  Is Customer Service dead?  I know it's not, but god, Hertz you need to go back to the drawing board.
The School of Life