No, this post isn’t necessarily about fall, although the last day of my trip occurred in September. But we’re flashbacking today, so it’s all good. Anywho, this past Labor Day weekend, I left on a jet plane to visit a good friend of mine who lives in Orange County, CA. Despite the fact that it was a short trip/brief vacation, it was also the respite I needed and thoroughly welcomed. We haven’t had an in depth discussion of my enduring love of California, have we? Well, if I had all the dollar dollar bills in the world, your Square Peg would hightail it to San Diego faster than you could say high cost of living. (Which is why I chose Texas instead of my beloved blue sky San Diego.) See below for a slide show of my fun trip.
I’ll link to #1-9 needful things at the end of this post because it’s been a while since this feature and I miss those halcyon days.
Anywho, shall we get to it?
I need to feel this way right now. Just pure insouciance. I tend to be tightly wound, remember? Sometimes I feel anxiety wrapping itself around my bones, as tight as the torture devices I hurled away from my life nine years ago. Le sigh. We must effect change, somehow. Which leads me to…
…any island. I’ll take any island. I need an island. I want to stroll inside warm waters and gaze down and see my toes waving back at me. Which won’t even weird me out because I’ve been relaxed beyond reason. I just need to find a place and breathe. My last real vacation was in 2016 when I went to Paris (all of which was documented here for your fine eyes; search Paris in the taggy section to you right), and it’s now 2018 and I can taste a getaway on my tongue. This must happen soon. I certainly don’t want you to read about anxiety-ridden Square Pegs having nervous breakdowns in the frozen food aisle of your local grocer, which, strangely, I can see happening. Why frozen foods? I feel like I could be coaxed into calming down with a carton of cookies ‘n cream ice cream.
I’m going to need the above three to kindly leave my wallet alone. But not really. When Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty makeup line launched in the fall of 2017, I initially didn’t pay attention. I was largely a MAC disciple, having found the latter to provide well for my makeup needs. And then I walked into a Sephora store and curiously asked for the ladies there to do a color match for the Fenty Beauty foundation…and then I discovered the
wonder of makeup thatactually matched my skin tone. Honestly, most of us with melanin make do when it comes to makeup. We mix colors, we try not to look gray or 143 shades lighter–anything to creatively find shades that best match our skin tone and/or won’t render us into performers at your local Kabuki theater production. When I saw my face and couldn’t tell the difference between my own skin and the foundation…when I saw the smoothness and the coverage…RiRi owns me, Sephora owns me, and that entire makeup line owns me.
That’s it for now. I do need actual things, like to decorate my apartment (apartment video tour coming soon y’all), to find a cute cross-body handbag, to go shopping for new earrings (these hoops have been worn so much I thin they’re shrinking), etc. More will come later. Happy Friyay, bon weekend, onwards and upwards, and see the links below for your reading pleasure.
[Things I currently need 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.]
What are you needing these days? Share in the comments? Please and thanks?
Typically, when vacations end and I’m on a plane about to head back home, I nurse that melancholy, vacay-is-over-back-to-work-help-me feeling. Reason #1,097,012 why I need to quit my job, gain some kind of independent wealth, and just travel the world and write. Anyway, I’ve decided, as I wait for liftoff, to focus on the positives of this grand trip.
1. I went to a place I’ve never been before. This Square Peg loves that. There’s nothing like a travel adventure in a brand new place.
2. I was with friends that are more like family. No further explanation necessary, other than saying that these people are infinitely loved.
3. Bucket lists. I can cross the following off, which were high on the list: seeing the majesty of the Grand Canyon, taking in the endless lights on the Vegas strip, and watching the waters of the Bellagio fountains shoot up into the sky. The Hoover Dam wasn’t on the list, but certainly gets an honorable mention.
4. The airport. Have I expressed how fascinating airport terminals are to me? So shiny and filled with places that will marvelously ruin diets. The terminal is everything.
There’s a lot more to appreciate about this awesome trip, but I’ll leave you with those. Thanks for following me along as I spent a few autumn days in this desert town.
On this, our final full day in Las Vegas, we visited the home of my bestie’s niece and enjoyed a hearty dinner with her family. I am full, content, and slightly melancholy at my vacation ending tomorrow. But the end of a vacation means another should come soon, right? Plus, I made a new friend.
Meet Nino. Lover of soft hugs and food that happens to falls onto the ground. Perhaps I’ll miss him most of all.
We saw the amazing lights and the enormous hotels bearing the names of Trump and Caesar.
We saw all kinds of sights, saw all kinds of interesting people, and tried very hard to avoid the Chewbacca impersonator who was slinking his way toward us.
What clinched this experience, however, was strolling through the beautiful Bellagio hotel and standing before its indescribable fountains. As classical music punctured the dramatic ascension of the waters into the evening sky, I held my breath and may have promised myself that I would fall in love someday at that very spot. (I may have also thought of Brad Pitt standing before those fountains during the finale of Ocean’s Eleven.) It really was everything.
I’ve been longing to see it since I can remember, since I knew it existed.
Today, I gazed at its colorful caves, its seemingly endless, sprawling length, the winding Colorado River at its bottom, its majestic hills, its jutting crags, at the horizon peaking above it. Pictures don’t do it justice, no, but they speak so many volumes.
I’m in the city for a much-needed week’s vacation with friends and I’m really enjoying it so far. No, there is no crisp autumn air to be found, but there are amazing mountains and sights, the Flamingo on the the Vegas strip, and so much more. Here are a few photos. More to come!
So, yours truly is a travel bug. I love everything about traveling, from airport eating (i.e., all diets are quickly hurled to the ground and abandoned once your feet touch the terminal floor), to the tons of people-watching I participate in, both at the terminal and wherever I travel. Having just returned from a relaxing trip to visit my cuzzo and her hubby in Puerto Rico (I’m actually sitting here at JFK airport, waiting to board the plane back home), I thought I’d delight you with This Square Peg’s personal do’s and don’ts for traveling. (I remain a square peg even while traveling, in case you were wondering.)
This Square Peg’s Travel Do’s
1. Do find a Cinnabon at the terminal. Just do it.
2. Do pay attention to your surroundings. Not merely to ensure that you’re not in the vicinity of possible weirdos, but because people-watching grows exponentially at the airport and on the plane. As a writer, I can’t emphasize the creative boon that comes from all these walks of life converging in this one place.
3. Do bring your patience. I just saw a pigeon walking around the terminal. Screaming babies, people randomly staring at you, flight delays–bring your patience and hold on to it for dear life.
4. Do abandon your high-brow reading choices and take advantage of the glossy, fluffy magazines around you. Come on, do it. Replace the New Yorker with Us Weekly. At least for now.
5. Do expect to pay $1,000 for bottled water and snacks/food. Your budget is out the window, friend.
6. Do remember that you’re traveling! It’s fun, even if a TSA agent pulls you aside to do a random security check on your palms, ostensibly to double-check that you haven’t been handling incendiary devices. True story. See #3.
This Square Peg’s Travel Don’ts
1. Don’t walk on the moving terminal thing. Oh. Just me? Cool. I don’t walk on the moving terminal thing. I just mastered escalators. I’ll walk to my gate, thank you very much. And I find that I’m moving at the same pace as the elitists on the moving thing who cast uppity looks in my I’d-rather-walk direction.
2. Don’t use your headphones in the terminal. I mean, unless you’re blasting Streisand on a low volume (impossible, if you ask me), you need to listen out for gate changes, flight delays, opportunities to upgrade to first class. And you want first class. You do.
3. Don’t forget to marvel at these airport employees. They answer the same question 100 times in a row. Some are crabby, yes, but most seem calm and collected in dealing with all these people.
4. Don’t forget your phone charger!
5. Don’t diss long layovers. In fact, seek them out. I’d rather wait two hours for a connecting flight than nearly fall to my death running on that slippery terminal ground to get to my flight in minutes before it leaves. (True story. Sigh. See #3 in the Do’s.)
6. Don’t forget to travel as much as you can, as much as you can afford, as much, as much, as much.