Phoenix is nice, especially at night. The moon over mountains, the cacti and bright pops of pink and yellow flowers. Little bunnies running over grass. It feels simultaneouly lush and desert.
Cacti as tall as the mountains! Well, taller than the roof of building at least.
Our hotel is an extended-stay one, so it has a adorable little kitchen, sitting room and bedroom. I felt like we were newlyweds moving into our tiny first apartment:
We bought a few groceries, and let me tell you it is so nice to be able to turn on the tv at night (national spelling bee!) and grab a beer from the fridge instead of having to go to the hotel bar (which doesn't actually exist here) or having to call room service (which may not actually exist here either). And it's lovely to make a full pot of coffee instead of those little one-cup deals in leaky paper cups. It really is the difference between feeling like you are at home and feeling like you are at a cheap hotel. I could live here.
The grocery shopping also meant that I could have my normal yogurt and fruit and stuff for breakfast, instead of a honey-bun off the buffet. And for the first time ever in my entire life, I planned to exercise. On vacation. I packed my shoes and sports bra and dvd:
But for some stupid reason the laptop won't play a dvd without some stupid plug-in purchases or whatever and so, I have excused myself from exercise. I'm going to have to figure out how to put the dvd on my ipod, if that's even possible, and then there will be no more excuses. (I know, I could go to the fitness center, but I still am not ready to exercise around or in front of other people. It just seems like a private thing for me, maybe because I am so clumsy?)
All that stuff about the dry heat that you can't really feel is not true - it's hot! I spent a few lovely hours yesterday by the pool (with lots of sunscreen), and had to dip in every 20 minutes of so to keep from boiling. I was almost completely dry - hair included - 5 minutes later, I could feel the water evaporating from my skin.
I picked a perfect summer read from the airport, I Love You, Beth Cooper, which is (so far) funny, charming, and witty. Perfect for the pool.
Last night we went out for dinner and I wore my chic-magnet sundress. This dress is funny in that every time I wear it, everywhere I go, random women will come up to me and say how much they like it.
Since last night was only the second time I wore the dress, it was still a theory. Four women did it. One said, I saw your dress from across the room and had to come and tell you that I like it. It is the only thing that I wear that makes this happen, so it really stands out.
Look at the drink we had with dinner - Bubbles & Berries:
It had dry ice in it and just kept smoking and bubbling away. It was so neat, and so good. I love froufy drinks when they are not just really froufy, but also really tasty. (I also love happy hour, which we accidentally made it to.) Here's what was in Bubbles & Berries, along with the dry ice: Belvedere Cytrus Vodka, Creme de Cassis, marinated blackberries, Housemade Sour, Domaine Chandon Brut.
It reminded me of the Wanton Abandon cocktail from Amsterdam, which was picked soley by name, but turned out to be so good. I wish I could remember how they made that.
We almost live in Mexico. 100 Calorie Sponch, anyone?
What does SPONCH stand for?
Sulfur, Phosphorus, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon, Hydrogen (key elements that compose living things)
I thought that was funny (although, it would be nice if the world were made up of pink marshmellow cookies).
At the grocery checkout counter I bent down to get my tp off the bottom shelf of the shopping cart, and when I stood up I hit my face into the buggy handle so hard I saw black for a second or two. Seriously, it knocked off my glasses and made a cut across my nose. And no one even noticed, at least they pretended not to.
I made a spinach, strawberry, avocado, gorgonzola and walnut salad tonight for dinner last night. It was so good.
This salad dressing is the best ever:
Next week we will be in Phoenix for a couple of days, and I have absolutely nothing planned except sleeping, taking long baths (seemed yucky to me too, until I started living in an apartment with just a shower. Now, I take them whenever I can), and lounging by the pool with a magazine and book. This will be the start of the summer for me.
On that note, I went bathing suit shopping yesterday. This is the first time I can remember that I didn't get depressed in the dressing room. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and more accepting of my body or maybe it's because of my iPhone Diet and Richard Simmons.
I wound up with these two bikinis, but in black:
I picked out the one on the left, it has a kind of 1950s glamour. My husband picked the one on the right. After we got home, he mentions, I swear, I didn't pick that bathing suit because Megan Fox wore it on the cover of GQ. First of all, wow, that he remembered what someone was wearing on a magazine in October of last year...
and secondly, that is the mental image I'm going to be compared to whenever we go swimming? Not fair! A mini-iPhone photo shoot ensued, so he could prove to me how much we look alike.
I thought he was messing with me, until I realized that he's probably only taking one (two) thing(s) into account...
I absolutely adore this John Clark print, I bought a while back from etsy. It reminds me of falling in love, of catching your breath when he looks at you and not being able to think of anything else, of this song.
Here's another recent purchase - a black and white photograph by Elle Moss. It's exactly the type of haunting, grainy, beautifully mysterious self-portrait I wish I could take. All of her self-portraits are incredible.
the city that never sleeps
And lastly, a few years ago I asked my sister to give me art for christmas. She bought this photo from etsy, then collaged the glass to add these words: it's your life. have fun. relax. experience the unfamiliar, unexpected. redefine your comfort zone. Love it.
The title of this post is actually what my husband wanted me to call this blog. He gets the credit for Diary of a Deviant Housewife too.
Check out the shiny awesomeness of my patent leather cowboy boots:
I don't wear them very often, but just felt like it today. Perfect for our long weekend drive. I had my photographer (husband) snap a full length view, so I could see if my outfit looked too stupid, since we have a shortage of mirrors here (only the mirrored kitchen backsplash and the bathroom medicine cabinet).
Verdict: pretty stupid. But then I remembered a quote I found this during this morning's blog-reading (via):
Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.
So, I'm wearing it.
I was looking for a photograph from a street vendor as a souvenir from Amsterdam, but settled on this colorful watercolor instead. Here it is waiting for a frame:
And here's its creator at his post; It was so hard to choose:
I also couldn't resist this Glamour Netherlands, with one of my favorite actresses, Audrey Tautou, on the cover. Too bad its in Dutch so I can't read it.
It's about her new movie, Coco Avant Chanel, which I can't wait to see. It looks incredible from the trailer (even though I couldn't understand it either).
Incidentally, I came across the new Chanel No. 5 video today when I was catching up on my blog-reading. I might just love anything she stars in... (via Vain and Vapid, love that blog, by the way).
And for a last souvenir, this wooden Heinekin clog that I actually bought from ebay and not the Netherlands. I didn't decide I wanted one until we got home. I'm planning to plant a cacti in it, a la our Amsterdam hotel on Mexican night.
I think I am finally almost recovered from being up for 24 hours twice in one week.
Amsterdam was so much fun... not only would I go back, I would gladly live there. The city is so lively and so vibrant. You can walk from one extreme side to the other in maybe an hour, but it stretched to full day because we stopped at every visitor attraction and a couple of pubs along the way. Seriously, we used the Frommer's Amsterdam guide book's The Best of Amsterdam in Three Days itinerary and it was great... some of the sights were a little lame (Waterlooplein, I was very disappointed in you!), but we got to really experience all parts of the city that way.
People look cool in Amsterdam. Everyone looks sort of individual, compared to Texas where everyone dresses pretty much the same. At bars, cafes, etc., we also noticed that people sit next to each other and look out, rather than across from each other looking in. Everyone spoke English, and it was even printed on most of the menus and stuff, so language barrier was not an issue at all.
Bikes are everywhere. Everywhere. I've never seen so many in my life. The ring, ring letting you know you were about to be run down was continual. The streets were also way different. I definitely wouldn't want to rent a bike there, because I couldn't even tell the car lanes, from the sidewalks, from the bike lanes. It seemed like they were all bike lanes! There were also many bikes carrying children (one on the front, one on the back), and carrying dogs in baskets, and even a few dogs running on a leash beside the bike. The cutest were the dogs riding under people's feet on scooters.
Cafes (and "coffee shops," for that matter) were ten to a block... but almost nothing "to go." The restaurant service was super slow, which is kind of nice because it forces you to take your time. You had to go to the waiter and ask for it when you wanted your bill, you had to go and ask if you wanted a refill, or anything else. So different than here where your drink is refilled when it's still three quarters full. Definitely no pressure there to hurry-up and go. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that tipping isn't generally prevalent there?
Speaking of, prostitution and a little bit of weed are legal. So, the smoking places are called coffee shops, as opposed to an actual coffee shop which is called a cafe. The difference is clear from the signs boasting weed leaves, but other than that the coffee shop atmosphere was just like an actual coffee shop, minus the laptops. (As a matter of fact, I didn't notice one person the whole time talking anywhere talking on a cell phone, or working on a laptop, or texting either, which is unimaginable here.) From what I could see the red light district was basically a bunch of adult video stores, sex toy shops and a few random women in underwear in windows doing things like plucking their eyebrows or reading a magazine. (It was 2 pm on a Sunday...) We toured the Sex Museum (which was really small, tacky but funny) and the Hemp Museum (which was also small, but also a little educational?).
We visited the Van Gogh Museum, which I thought was really great. I love that he decided to be an artist at 26; he wasn't afraid to declare himself something and pursue it. He also wasn't obsessed with being "original", as soon as he saw something he liked he tried to imitate it. It was really neat to see the progression of his art and the obvious infleuence after meeting different artists like Monet or Seurat. The best example there was the side-by-side of Millet's painting of the sheep shearers (left) compared to Van Gogh's copy (right). I guess he took it all in and eventually his own original style came to him.
For restaurants, we pretty much followed Frommer's, with a few additional pubs in between and a lot of hotel lobby bar. The Indonesian sampler at Kantjil & De Tijger was super tasty, De Prins bar was pretty crappy for service and selection, but more than made up for it in people watching, and In De Waag had a great atmosphere. The hotel lobby bar at Movenpick Hotel was great, although the first night we were there was Mexican Night, which was not what I expected to find in Amsterdam coming from south Texas. Good margaritas though.
We didn't have time to visit the tulip fields, which were in bloom but we did go through the Bloenmarkt - a giant flea market for flowers! There were so many bulbs and plants and flowers, along with wooden clogs and carved tulips. If I lived there, I'd be all about this place.