Guess Who's Back-Back Again-Laundry's Back-Tell A Friend
Monday, May 23, 2011

Hey! I'm back. Now come on, line up for your hugs. Oh, how I've missed you, Internet. 

I finally finished my revisions. My baby is now in the hands of my fabulous critique partner, A.B. Keuser. She has been instrumental in helping me shape my novel and my hugs and kisses and love go out to her for being that kind of partner. 

I would also like to thank out loud my unofficial critique partner, a writer whose words always take my breath away. Ashlei of Shades of Blue and Green so generously took the time to read and critique my work and give me valuable input.  

These two talented ladies pretty much gave me carbon copy advice and so I reshaped things a bit and hopefully unless I get a hearty thumbs down, (no pressure, Amy), I'll be off and running here very soon. 

Now, that's enough about my novel, today. Let's talk about other things. Mainly spreading the love through blog world. I feel like I have not spread the love as I should. I've been more of a taker than a giver. And I've fallen down in reciprocating the love that is so generously sent my way. 

So I've decided to change all that. 

With every post, I will be pointing you in the direction of one of my favorite blogs. Some old loves. Some new loves. Just great blogs that I know you'll enjoy as much as I do. It's about spreading the love all the way around. Because isn't life better when we share the love? 

I know Arnold thinks so. 

We're going to call it Fresh Laundry. My college girl came up with the title and I think it's perfect.  

I was also wondering if you could help me out with a family dilemma because it's always nice to neglect your friends for weeks on end and then ask a favor of them as soon as you see them again.

I am trying to plan our summer vacation and I need your help. We're very limited in the dates we can take because Olivia wants to be included, so I'm going to make this work around her schedule. Because now that there are only two chicks left under our roof, I revel in the precious moments when we are once again, a family of five.

We can't decide where we should go and I thought you might be able to give me your valuable input.

Here are our options, in no certain preferential order. 

Option Number One: New York City. Here's the thing, I love New York. I know, right? Brilliance out of my mouth, once again. Anyway, the thing about New York in the summer is the sidewalks are a bit roomier. The natives all flee the heat for the Hamptons. And I love that because crowds unnerve me. And that, of course, is why you'll find me at Disney World all the freakin' time. And since we are hardy Florida folk, a wussy northeastern heat wave feels quite balmy to us. If it dips below 85 degrees, we call that sweater weather. And forget it if it gets as frigid as 75, we're bundled up in our parkas. So heat, schmeet is what I say. 

My family loves NY, especially my girls. It has everything they require in a vacation. Fabulous food, great sights, the subway, taxis, (my girls are highly entertained by transportation), Broadway shows, the best weirdos walking the streets, street vendors with cheap junk my girls love even if it turns their necks green after 20 minutes and Chinatown with its exciting back rooms full of fake purses. And in case any of you are the Feds, I did NOT say that last part. My hands must have had a spasm or something. 

Now the thing is, we've done New York many times over. And we may or may not have a LOT of purses. Which leads up to:

Option Number Two: Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. 

This one really appeals to me because I've never been to Seattle and I hear it's extraordinary. 

But and this is a big Kim Kardashian kind of but,

I'm afraid of Seattle. 

I think they're going to be mean to me there. 

Just like in Oregon.

And no offense to those of you who live in Oregon. If you're reading this and you live there, then there's a slight chance you like me, you really like me. I know A.B. Keuser kind of thinks I'm cool and she's from Oregon, so I'm not including you nice Oregonians in this rant. I'm talking about all the other people of your land. Not you.

And yes, I know so many of you love Oregon.

But I'm sure that's because you've never been called derisive names and been treated with utter scorn while there.

See, Oregon is the Jill Zarin of the United States. Oregon likes to act like they've got this super cool vibe going on, but deep down, if you're not like the rest of the grunge folk there, they'll sink their mean girl fangs right into your tender skin.

I've got no problem with the grungy, natural thing Oregon's got going on. So, here's a thought, Oregon: Since I embrace your people, why not accept those who are different from you?

And different I am.

I knew this on my first morning in Oregon when we came down for breakfast at our lovely B&B.

It was the first time I was called Barbie. With a sneer. It wouldn't be the last Barbie flung at me while in Mean Oregon.

I was ready for my day. Makeup and hair done, wearing my heels and an awesome sweater with a fur collar.

And yes, it was faux fur because I would never wear real fur.

I am against animal cruelty, unless it's gator because gators are meaner than the entire population of Oregon and Jill Zarin put together. They deserve to be shoes and purses. Also, goats are pretty much assholes, so I don't care if the world is cruel to goats. Sorry, goat huggers.

Anyway, as I strode into the breakfast area in my heels, the contempt in the room was palpable.

And when I went up to get my coffee, an unfortunately dressed chick bumped into ME. Not me bumping into her, mind you. She practically ran me over, probably couldn't see beyond her heaping plate of cheese danishes. Her, "Oh, excuse me Barbie" was dripping with mockery.

And this woman, like most of the women I encountered in Oregon, totally was feeling the "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman" thing.

Her hair was wet. Dripping wet.

In my world, a blow dryer is as essential as properly fitting undergarments. You just don't present yourself to the world without hair in place and panty lines nonexistent.

She had on cranberry lycra pants that were too tight and too short WITH panty lines. And she had an overabundance of herself stuffed into those cranberry pants. A faded striped shirt and tennis shoes capped off her ensemble. She embodied natural.

My idea of natural is only one coat of mascara and some casual wedges instead of stilettos. I will freely admit I am not a sensible shoe kind of girl.

My lack of sensible shoes has been a constant source of frustration for my Hubs. Like the time he had to wrap my blistered feet in moleskin after conquering the hills of San Francisco all day. He was foolish enough to say, "I don't understand why you won't wear tennis shoes."

Really? And my answer to that was, "I don't understand why you won't wear skinny jeans paired with a vibrant scarf."

Or the time he kept badgering me to wear tennis shoes when we were hiking in the Lake Tahoe hills. And I was like, "No. I'm wearing my Cole Haan wedges. They're perfect for hiking. They have Nike bottoms."
And he was all, "You're going to be soooorrrryyyy."

And as I fumbled and fell off my wedges all the way up the mountain, I kept insisting, "I don't understand why this is happening. They have Nike bottoms AND they're one of Oprah's favorite things!" After my shoe broke from my 400th tumble and my hubs had to give me a piggyback ride down the mountain, I think he might have been the one who was soooorrrrryyyy.

Hey, he dated me for five years. Five years before he put a ring on it. He knew what sort of high maintenance he was going to be spending the rest of his life with.

So anyway, Oregon doesn't like me for these sort of girly girl reasons and I just feel like Seattle's got the same sort of vibe going on. I'm afraid they just might be as mean as their sister state.

And this time, instead of flinging contempt at just lil ole' me, I'd be bringing a whole family of Barbies. If it were Oregon, they'd be pelting us with Birkenstocks until we fled to a more manicured state, so I'm worried we're too much girl for Seattle.

Although . . .

Here's a very good reason to brave my fear and take my Nike bottom wedges and lip gloss and head to Seattle.

Eddie Vedder lives there. I would brave all the wet haired, bad fashioned, sneering grunge chicks of the world, if it meant I could give Eddie Vedder just one, a-little-too-long-and-too-tight-for-his-comfort, hug.

And the other plus of that trip is, Canada. I do so love Canada and their people because they are super nice up there. Even if they did give us Alanis Morissette, who seems to really not care about getting dolled up or you know, brushing her hair, they're still nice to the girly girls. They also have beaver tails and poutine and English high tea.

I like that in a country.

Our other option is, (Dear God is it too late to be raptured), a cruise.

If you didn't catch my subtle hint there, I really am not a cruise girl. Just like I'm not a camping girl or a tennis shoe wearing girl or a grunge girl or a wet haired, panty lines girl.

My family on the other hand is dying to go on a cruise.

Unfortunately, we live right around the corner from a popular cruise port and we have a veritable wealth of cruise lines right at our fingertips.

And here's why I think cruises are akin to the third circle of hell: You are trapped. On a boat. With people. Lots and lots of people. Loud people. Cruise people. People who enjoy bingo and belly flop and hairy chest contests. People who love magicians and passenger talent shows. People who will hang around the ship in their bathing suits for a week straight. And being exposed to that, mister, would be like the ninth circle of hell or the Kill Me Now circle of hell.

And then there is the dining with the theme song of "Buffets, exciting and new, Come stuff your face, Norovirus is waiting for you."

And should we even mention the close quarters of the cabins? When I say I don't like crowds, that includes my family and the mess that becomes them.

And please don't think I'm trying to discourage you from any of the options. Don't pick the cruise. 

So if you could help me out, I'd be much obliged. We've been going round and round on this and I'm starting to feel as sea sick as I would on a big cruise ship because I'm very sensitive to motion sickness. Don't pick the cruise.

And just one more thing: It's so good to be back. XXXOOO

My very first ever FRESH LAUNDRY is: Erin of Tesori Trovati Treasures Found.

Erin is a jewelry designer who creates beautiful works of art out of beads and gems. Every time I'm at Erin's place, I feel like I'm opening up a pirate's treasure chest overflowing with glittering gorgeous decadence. Not only is Erin an accomplished jewelry designer, she's a stellar photographer whose pictures are as incredible as her jewelry pieces. And Erin lives to inspire, her words are chock full of things like DREAM and DO IT and YOU CAN.

During my revisions, it's safe to say I got distracted a lot. I mean, Web MD is just a click away. But one of my happiest distractions was perusing Erin's jewelry, all the gorgeous sparkle.

I have given Erin's pieces as gifts, but I'm finally getting one for myself. Erin has started a line called Simple Truths. She creates these beautiful, rustic pendants and charms with a custom made positive message engrained on each of them. I haven't quite decided what I want mine to read, but I'll show it you as soon as I get it. I'm positive it will be extraordinary.

And guess what else? I'm giving one of you a Simple Truth pendant and necklace, too! I mean, you've been waiting for me for far too long while I wrote a little and checked my symptoms far too much on Web MD. Did you know that all symptoms will eventually lead to Ebola? It's true.

So as a thank you for sticking around while I waited for my eyeballs to start hemorrhaging, I'm giving one lucky reader their own Simple Truth.

All you have to do is leave me a comment, hopefully a comment that can advise me how to meet Bono and then go check out Erin's blog and give her some love. I will randomly pick someone, let's say, on May 30th, that's one week from now.

And just so you know, Erin was fortunate enough to have a buyer scoop up a huge part of her Simple Truth inventory this weekend, so she's a little depleted at the moment, but trust me, it won't take too long for Erin to churn out more beautiful pieces.

Now Shoo, go take a look at Erin's blog of uplifting spirit and go check out her beautiful jewelry, right here. Once you meet Erin, you'll be thanking me forever.

Today's Definite Download: And here's another little gift from me to you for having been gone for far too long. 

"Without Me"—Eminem at his absolute best, when he was wicked and angry and funny and smart. It's an awesome song, an awesome video. But be warned, if you're easily offended, it is Eminem we're talking about here.

And it's such a disaster, such a catastrophe
For you to see so damn much of my ass
You asked for me? Well, I'm back
Fix your bent antennae, tune it in and then I'm gonna 
Enter in, endin' up under your skin like a splinter


Amanda said...

I'm so excited that you are back!

I wrote this before I read your fabulous post, so I will go back and do that now. I just got excited!

The Zadge said...

Uh, did you want me to read the second half of your post? Cuz I'm still stuck on that first photo of Eddie. Sigh.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

So glad to see you (arms opened wide) we have missed you and your Barbieness. Only you could wear wedges to hike a mountain and live to tell about it.

Eddie look pretty wonderful in his natural state. Oregon can't be all that bad.

Unknown said...

I am so happy you are back!! Your post made me laugh more than usual because the Hubs and I were thinking of takinga cruise next year and are back and forth on the whole thing. I think your post may have swayed us a little more in the "nope" direction.

If I had a vote I would say Vancouver. I have no basis for this vote as I have never been, but it looks amazing there.

Or you could go to West Virginia and see if they are more welcoming than the people of Oregon. I'm sure there are a plethera of people overstuffing their Lycra there.
(Make sure you go in September for the Roadkill Cook-off. I promise you I'm not even making that up.)

Brittany {Mommy Words} said...

So happy you are back. I was feeling a little lost in the world of long posters. But here, I'm with cannot put that hot pic in the middle of the post...

Except you put that gorgeous jewelry right after! Stunning really.

I can't believe someone called you Barbie. Ew and hello - who taught them manners? Still, I vote Seattle and gorgeous Canada. It is so pretty there. Maybe just wear an Eddie Vedder t-shirt so they know you seriously LOVE Seattle.

Heather said...

Pick the cruise!! I have never been on one, but I am going this summer and that way we will be twin like. (And you thought it was all about you.)
Second if you go against my advice and pick Washington let me know. My bestie lives in Oregon and yet she still manages to put on fake eyelashes everyday and have her nails done every week. She is like their own Barbie. (She lived in Texas for a decade and we corrupted her.)
And finally..I would love me some treasure. PIck me.
(I am headed to check her out now!)

The Sisters' Hood said...

and the Prodigal child returns, and posted today so that we knew for sure she was not the only one 'taken' ;)
SO, let's see ...
Unless its state of the art, top of the range, yadayada ... cruises are for girls weekends only - nuff said! (but do check out Moorings)
Seattle - seafood, cooler temps and the best salmon evah!
and more people need to realise that lycra is a privilege and not a right.
Thats all for now, but LOVELY to have you 'home' xxx

Sara said...

As a long time reader, never commenter, I have to put my two cents in about Seattle. It is the most beautiful city! There are so many weirdos you will never be noticed! Go see the Pacific Northwest, you will not be sorry.

A. B. Keuser said...

Fabulous to have you back in the blog-o-sphere! And I'm digging into the novel with my sleeves pulled up (and the new tattoo wrapped and protected!)

Ash said...

Don't hate me - go for the cruise, but insist on luxury line like Cunard. Maybe to Bermuda? Waaaay less "masses." I know, I talk big but like to keep it real with Disney folks too.

Like how I'm spending your money?

Ryan Reynolds is from Canada too. Just saying.

Missed you, but so over the moon proud of you!! I keep picking up crap after crap fiction in hopes of filling my Joann hole, but nothing works. Get that beauty to an agent, now. The world needs good fiction! It's your civic duty.

Off to check out Erin.


twelvedaysold said...

Ah yes, the Oregon hipsters. You're mostly talking about Portland (which is where I live). There are so many great things about this city, except for the effing hipsters. BUY PANTS THAT FIT AND TAKE A SHOWER, CREEPS.

Anyway, I still say the Pacific Northwest. Go team!

Ash said...

P.S. Why not Dallas? Fantastic shopping, fantastic food, me. Though, sadly, I'm thinking the chicks here might call you a "hippie."

Come here. We're your people!

Connie said...

I'm going to vote for Seattle. With a band of should be fine!

Beangirl said...

Sorry... was there a post in there...? I don't believe I have ever really looked at Eddie Vedder clearly. Possibly because I tend to be a Chris Cornell kinda girl. I'm going to have to rethink this...


what are we talking about?

Ignore the Hipsters and go for the West Coast. It's so pretty. Also, y'know, the Vedder thing.

I sort of got stuck before I read about the jewelry completely, so if you're signing people up, don't put my name in. They're lovely, I just don't wear pendants.

TesoriTrovati said...

You really are a delight Miss Joann! Thank you so much for the shout out and I am delighted to make you your own special 'simple truths'... I wonder what it will say? And to treat a guest of yours will be an extra delight!

I have to say that I have been to Seattle and it was lovely. And if you like walking up hills in stilettos you will find no finer place to do it. There are a LOT of hills in Seattle! But the weather when I was there in June was amazing, not one raindrop. And don't forget to spend time at Pike's Place Fish Market for some awesome photo op fun. Vancouver sounds nice too. But I have longed to go back to NYC since I was 19 and there with pneumonia. At least I think I was there...

Enjoy the day!
You are most definitely my 'something good' today! ;-)

Liz said...

I'm so happy for you that your revisions are done! I bet you let out a big ol' Hallelujah with that. I have never been to the Pacific NW, so that would be my vote. Maybe there are a lot of McDreamys and McSteamys in Seattle?

Sober Julie said...

Welcome back and you're lucky you posted a nice long juicy post Barbie or I'd be ticked.
You know I have to vote for Canada...what kind of Canuk would I be if I didn't?
Check out Vancouver....amazing and welcomes both Barbies and hippy chicks.
Oh and I'm a converted wedgie heel girl, check out my Birks in my first ever VLog ;)

Cap'n Salty said...

My dos centavos goes to Seattle. You've done NY and since your whole Barbie dreamhouse will be with you, may as well go someplace new. While I like the idea of a cruise, I agree with the comment above, that's more of a girls' weekend thing or a couples thing, although I understand some cruise lines have awesome spas you could escape to.

Anyhoodle, Seattle is a vibrant and colorful place and since it's a touristy place, you're less likely to be pelted with nasties unless you go someplace unsavory.

Unknown said...

I think you should consider Maine! It's beautiful here in the summer!

and welcome back, by the way!

LisaPie said...

I am never the person to ask when there is a choice, because I tend to buy that shoe in all 3 colors. Unless there is a new restaurant or a new Broadway show you are dying to see, I would scratch NYC off the list.

Pros of Seattle/Vancouver:
1. Tulips
2. Canada
3. Pacific seafood

Pros of a cruise:
1. Spa open all day, every day.
2. Duty free
3. Awesome ports of call
4. Great dining rooms (no need to ever brave the buffet lines)
5. Age-appropriate entertainment for each of the girls.
6. The Spa is open ALL DAY, EVERY DAY.

p.s. I have missed you! So glad to see your pink page again.
p.p.s. Thanks for the EV photos!

everydaymomma said...

Seattle is no where near as annoying and offensive as oregon...just saying the hipsters in Seattle are much different than the ones in Portland most of the ones there are pretending...well they are:)I have never been to NY so i feel like i cannot be a good judge of character,however cruises suck so bad i hated every second the people on them were so freaking rude.The only part of the cruises i enjoyed were the getting on and off in Miami,i love me some florida.Welcome back!

Julie said...

I was about to say for SURE don't take the cruise...

...but then I realized my cruise sucked because of my sister (i love her but she is the type who must plan every thirty seconds of time and instead of being relaxed we were stressed. for eight. straight.days).

So a cruise is okay as long as you don't go with my sister Nancy.


Eddie Veder? Yum.

And congrats on your revisions.

And HOORAY you're back.

And also sometimes I leave my hair wet but panty lines?


Did I say welcome back yet?


Cheeseboy said...

I am thrilled you are back. I mean, "thrilled" in the most manly of ways.

You do realize that I will be seeing Bono TOMORROW, right?! TOMORROW! (It might rain.)

I have been to both Seattle and NYC, and I'll take NYC hands down, every damn time! Seattle is okay, but they are kinda all high and mighty. The Space Needle is overrated but the Rock and Roll museum they have is pretty cool.

I never once saw Vedder in Seattle, BTW.

But NYC is on a whole other level.

BTW, my family and I are going to Philadelphia in 3 weeks. We so excited.


Anonymous said...

San Diego is my vote. The weather is always nice. There's a lot to do. People are NICE. Palm trees. Did I mention the weather is always nice?

I've never commented here before, but I find your blog very entertaining. I'm glad to hear that you've finished your book, can't wait to read it!

Jennifer Vanderbeek said...

Wohoo! JoAnn is back :) (coincidentally, I have to do laundry tonight, too... hmmm, coincidence or not?)

Okay, first off, I adore cruises and hope that there are plenty in my future. I stick to the formal dining room and avoid much of the poolside shenanigans, take lots of naps and hang out on the balcony if I want some fresh air.

But since this is your vacation and not mine...

Go someplace new, have a new adventure, and don't let those hipsterer-than-thou Oregonians scare you off from what would be a fabulous adventure, I'm sure!

Noelle said...

I wouldn't go for the cruise. But that's just because I'm not sure that vertigo and sea sickness would go well together.

I like to pretend that Brooklyn is my home town so I'm always a fan of NYC.

But in this case I would say do the Seattle,Canada trip. I think it would be beautiful!!! Plus, it's a trip I've always wanted to make and I could live vicariously through you.

Did I mention how happy I am you're back?

Cecelia Winesap said...

I am TOTALLY with you on the Oregon thing! The people I have encountered are so beyond fake, it's disgusting. They asked me questions about myself, with no care in the world for my answer. They basically just wanted to hear themselves ask me a question so it appeared they cared. It hurt. :)

Shell said...

I'm go glad that you are back!

I'm thinking Seattle.

Even though I do actually like cruises. Don't hate me. But, really- it's b/c once you are on the ship, you don't have to do any other planning. I love that.

Lisa said...

You're back!! Hooray!!

1. Go to Seattle. Seriously. Seattle is awesome. Parts of it are crunchy granola, but the rest of it is very cosmopolitan - Nordstrom's started there. 'Nuff said. Pike Place is so much fun, and definitely take the high speed ferry over to Victoria. Truly - Seattle is wonderful. We used to live outside Tacoma in a little town called Gig Harbor - so let me know if you want more input!

2. No cruise. Period.

3. I love NY. But in the summer? Yeah, go to Seattle. Please.

SO happy you're back!!

Cari said...

Glad you're back! NO CRUISE, you can cruise when you're 80! I have been to Seattle and they are nice peeps, plus, it is absolutely breath taking. But on the other hand, NYC does appreciate a good shoe. I'm on the fence. But yeah, no cruise.

The Furry Godmother said...

*shudder* Cruises creep me out. All that humanity cammed in a dingy.

Seattle's pretty. And nicer than Oregon. (Sorry, twelve, but they were some of the most unpleasant people I've ever encountered. It's not just you, Joann. But don't fear the Seatllites. Give them a chance to dismiss you on their own. But you WILL FREEZE to death. Bring lots of sweaters. And raingear.

Welcome back, Mr. Kotter.

Try Vancouver. Never been, but from what I've seen and heard and read, it's stunning.

twelvedaysold said...

I posted my comment too early. I also meant to say that it is great to have you back in the blogworld, and also, congrats on that revision of your book! Sometimes when I'm talking to Amy about her changing parts of her stories my brain starts hurting thinking about doing that type of thing. You writers are a rare, wonderful breed!

Hulk (It won't be crowded...) said...

I thought you were coming to Hulkapalooza...

Anonymous said...

I'm being forced to take a family cruise with my in-laws. I dare you to top that circle of Hell.

PS Congrats on finishing the revisions. Glad you're back.

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

Woot! Welcome back girlfiend! You have so much good stuff going on today - Eddie Vedder, jewelry, shoes - I can't stand it!

We have done the Seattle/Vancouver combo vacation. Advantages: both fabulous foodie cities with great shopping; nature activities are accessible should you want to park yourself on a glacier for a day or see an orca.

NYC - It has everything. Love it.

Judie said...

Well, I sort of figured that the prospect of the rapture would bring you back to all of us who adore you so much! It worked!! I am personally glad that we are all still here, because we are having way too much fun to leave.

Welcome back!


Cheryl said...

Yay! You're back! You've been missed. For reals.

I've met Eddie Vedder. He's hot. But short.

Also, The OC is lovely! Beaches, boobs, fabulous shopping - you can't go wrong!


Lisa & Charlie said...

Glad you are back, I look forward to your posts! My vote is Seattle, never been but would love too!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back. I've missed you. Long time reader/lurker.

I love NYC but Seattle/Vancouver are fun too. You have to go to Victoria. But lots of hills in Seattle.

I wonder what the folks in Oregon said about me, I will wear flats for hiking but ALWAYS have my make up and hair brushed.

Barb from Milwaukee said...

I am glad you are back, especially since Oprah will be gone...we have had a void since you left us!
I think you should give Seattle a chance and take the hydroplane ride over to Victoria. I have friends there that I visit and no none has ever been mean to me.
My birthday is May 3oth and last year I flew out there for my 50th birthday with a broken ankle..that's how much I love Seattle.

Barb from Milwaukee said...

That would be no one.

Livin' In Duckville said...

Mwah, mwah, mwah!!! (((Hug))), (((Hug))), (((Hug)))!!! Ohhhh, soooo good to have you back!! You have been missed!!! Welcome back!

Unfortunately, I am one of those Birk/Sneaker gals who loves to go camping... in the woods... NOT at the Howard Johnson's. The only places I can suggest (other than campgrounds) are Bar Harbor, Maine & Provincetown, Mass. They're both funky & artistic and beautiful.

Out of your choices I'd pick Canada. Love our neighbors to the North too! And I give a big VETO for the cruise - don't get me started on that can of worms.

So glad you're back!

Dazee Dreamer said...

Go to Seattle. They're not mean like Oregon. I've been to both places, and I liked them both, but then, I was in business meetings all day.

Or the cruise. My husband doesn't like people either, but he loved the cruise. We didn't do any of the entertainment, well one night, but mostly it was just holding hands and sitting on the chairs on the deck while the big dinner hour was going on. aaahhhh, memories.

Rainyday said...

Come to Canada. We're nice here. Even though I'm all the way over on the other coast. I spent a year in Victoria and loved it. Always wanted to go to Seattle, too...
And yay - welcome back. Yes, you've been missed.

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

Hi. Empress sent me to you. So you can thank her for me bugging you now.

Go to NYC. I went to Oregon a few years ago. It was pretty, yes, but, like you, I need to look cute and I realized that if I went back to Oregon, I'd always have frizzy hair and would have to wear ugly shoes because of the rain. I'm sorry they were mean to you. I think I looked pretty grungy b/c of the whole frizzy Diana Ross hair going on.

No to the cruise too, for the reasons you mentioned. Hubby won't do one either b/c he doesn't want to make small talk with people at our assigned dining table.

And Bono? He's my boyfriend. Even my husband says so. :)

CBJohnson said...

I vote cruise! you can GAMBLE! :)
P.s. Love the jewelry!

JoAnna said...

I hear New England is FABULOUS in the summer. Like northeast of New York.... Like 5 hours from new York. I'm just saying.

Wow, you hit my anti cruise nail right on the head. You could not PAY me to go on a cruise. I try explain this to k-ster regularly and he doesn't get it. NE.VER.

W.C.Camp said...

Well it sounded like you already met somebody 'Bono-headed' in Oregon. Anyway welcome back and I like going anywhere NEW on vacation. New York is dandy but you done it! Seattle is close and interesting but how about ALASKA - my favorite state. You can fish, cruise, rent float planes, go dog sledding, hunting, hiking nd meet moose at private bed n' breakfast spots in beautiful scenery! W.C.C.

Stephanie said...

Welcome back!! And all the best on your novel.

I totally vote for Canada because, well, we are awesome up here. But I have a suggestion. Why go to Vancouver when you could come to Winnipeg. There are all sorts of fun things here.

Like Portage and Main. Who wouldn't love to stand at the windiest corner in Canada where not a tree can be found. Come on I know that you can't wait to do that ;)

Or you could catch the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Oh wait they are done for the season. Let me think. I am sure there is something else.


You know, I will have to get back to you on this :)

Bossy Betty said...

Yeah!!! Welcome back! We have missed you!

Alexandra said...

Oh you are back is the understatement of the year.

I love Erin.

And I love you.

Barbie and all.

Tracie Nall said...

I am SO glad that you are back!

Cruises scare me. People are always "disappearing" off of them.

Just say no to the cruise!

Erin's jewelry is super cute! I think I'm in jewelry love.

Deidra said...

Dang, you sure like manly men. I mean, I've always liked slightly effeminate men in a look-but-don't-touch kind of way, which means I immediately notice the huge difference between my tastes and yours every time you post a man picture! Although, I have to admit...those abs are quite nice. ;)

And I followed the link to her site. I particularly like the pendant that says "be open". Those are words that I happen to live by, and seeing as I'm one of the only open-minded people in this conservative state, it means a lot to me. It's quite lovely!

Tinalicious said...

I lived in the Pacific NW for many years, and even though I moved away in 1987 it's still the only place I have ever considered "home." It is BEAUTIFUL there, as is British Columbia. I would give anything for a vacation there (can I hide in a very large suitcase and join you if you go?). I really don't think you'd be disappointed in any way if you went there.

France Rants said...

Well, I was gonna leave you a comment even before the mentioned the giveaway, because I have been waiting for you to post a new post ever since I read your last post about your daughter working at the mall (remember how I kinda stalked you?)

So here's my advice:

Cruise - No. Why? One word: The Poseidon Adventure. Sorry that's actually 3 words, but it says it all.

NY - No. You've been there and done that. Do something different.

Seattle - Yes. Don't let some grungy freaks deter you from shopping at the original Nordstrom's. Every woman should go there once. Plus the very best dirty martini I have ever had the pleasure to drink in my life was in Seattle. Too bad I can't remember where, otherwise I would tell you.

France Rants said...

What? Did my comment get eaten by your blog? Dang it!

Just A Normal Mom said...

Okay, well Miss Cranberry lycra pants clearly needs some manners.

I'm a Seattle girl. I actually work in West Seattle. Where Eddie lives. I'd like to say I bump into him all the time, but unfortunately, I only seem to bump into people who SAY they bump into him. Hmph. I've never bumped into Dave Matthews either, and he lives here, too. Hell, it'd make my day to bump into either one of them, married with kids be damned. It's only bumping, right?!

Do Seattle/Vancouver - but not until late, late July or August. We're not responsible for the weather any other time of year. Actually I claim no responsibility any time of year here.

Meh - cruises. They leave out of Seattle all summer long - I've got no desire.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back! So I'm not (definitely not) a girly girl, and quite frankly I have no idea what grundge girl means (but I'm thinking earthy?), but just wanted to say that Oregon chick had some nerve calling anyone Barbie. That, I recognize for sure, and it's not a nice thing to spew on someone. Let me know where she is and I'll kick her ass. I'm not grundgy girl, and not earthy girl....just a bit of a badass grandma who collects handbags. That's fashionable, right?

Unknown said...

I missssssssssssssssssssed you!

What's wrong with vacationing in CA again? Just say'n

Amethyst Anne said...

I'm Canadian so I may be biased of course, but I vote for Vancouver. Tons of fabulous shopping, ocean, orcas and oh yeah did I mention that U2 is touring up here this summer, so this could be the best of both worlds.
Glad your back!

duffylou said...

Late to the party, but still jazzed that you're back! So awesome that Amy has your book. And a big thank you for leading me to her.

I vote for Seattle. My suggestion is to stay in a fancy hotel where your stylish self can be fully appreciated.

Wherever you choose, I'm sure you will have loads of fun.

Nancy C said...

Hee! I love you.

My brother lives in Seattle. And they are pretentious as all get out there.

Sorry. It's true. But it's breathtaking. Canada is amazing. The salmon will make you weep with culinary joy. It's cooler there.

So, haters gonna hate. Go to Seattle.

Dawn in DC said...

Welcome baaaaaack! with the high squeeky voice that girls get when they haven't seen each other in a long time. And a big hug, too!

My suggestion for your vacation? Anything except New York. This is not because I personally do not like New York (no offense to the New Yorkers in the crowd). Like you said, you're been there many times. Time for something exciting and new (omg, I totally did not mean to make that sound like the cruise, but it did, didn't it?).

Anyway, something different and fabulous for the family of five. Yay!

Nicki said...

Welcome back!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could tell ya where to go for a trip but I am sooo not the worldly type! I live in NY state and I will be taking the family to NYC this summer but my kids have never been and I LOVE NY! How about Hershey Park? glad you are back and I can't wait to read your novel!!!!!!!!!!!

Sandra said...

So glad you're finally back, but so glad you committed to the book ('cause then maybe I'll meet you at a book tour, yes?)
As for holiday locations, you could meet up with me at Wisconsin Dells, and we could lay around the pool drinking while my husband entertains the progeny. As for Vancouver, yes, Canadians are friendly, unfortunately, Vancourites aren't. I can say that, I grew up there, and well, although I AM friendly, I can vouch for the fact that all that hemp smoking makes them unattentive and boring. Come to Winnipeg! We have great beaches!

Deborah said...

New York New York New York



Unknown said...


I was so surprised to see your comment (and I'm just now winding my way through my netvibes account in order, methodically, blog by blog). :-)

Anyway, I'm sorry but I don't have anything to offer you after NY. It's simply the best.

But I would very much like to win a pretty pendant. Look at those cool necklaces!

Grace said...

Hey, doll, I'm so glad you're back!

Two things: love the Fresh Laundry theme. It's terrific. And go to New York. Remember the song "Everybody's Talkin'" and the line "goin' where the weather suites my clothes"? You need to go somewhere that suits your shoes.

Unknown said...

I'm so excited that I have your answer! I am actually doing this in 3 weeks! What about a cruise hat leaves from New York or Seattle? Mine is leaving from New York - we'll hit Nova Scotia, Maine, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. We'll stay 2 extra days in Manhattan at the end to watch some shows (I get discount tickets since I'm a member of the Playbill Club). We have a balcony, so when we have to escape from the 'cruisers' (yes, we have equal disgust for them) we can still enjoy the view and read a book. However, I have higher hopes for this cruise because of the destinations. Not your normal cruisey places, so hopefully we'll get a better and more sophisticated crowd. Also - a great booking site is - we got an EXCELLENT deal on our cruise!

(no - I was not paid to endorse any of these, I just love talking about travel!)

Rainyday said...

Had to come back over and drool on Eddie a bit more. Thanks for the eye candy!!

Rebecca Grace said...

I'm so glad you're back! I've missed you! I have a friend who lives in Oregon. She is an amazingly talented writer, and she is very nice to Barbies like us even though, from your snot-bubble-inducingly-hilarious description of Oregon, I'm not surprised that she loves it there...

I love that not only do you insist on wearing your Cole Haan wedges hiking, but you're also able to poke fun at yourself about it so we can all enjoy a giggle at your expense.

So, I've been debating similar family vacation options myself for the summer. There were several days last week when I was convinced that I should fly to ORLANDO and do a combination Disney Cruise & theme park vacation. We've never been on a cruise, my husband was vehemently opposed to the idea, and now you've totally scared me out of cruising. The New York thing sounds fun, but I've got 7 and 10-year-old boys to entertain. Can't go to any good Broadway shows with elementary school kids, and shopping together in NYC would be a hell on Earth for them AND for me.

Your family should go someplace you've never been before. Since you need someplace cooler than Florida, with good shopping, close to Canada, but Barbie-friendly, I suggest Minneapolis. They have a lot of blondes there, and many of them are even natural! You can shop at the Mall of the Americas, then go downtown and fling your hat in the air like you're Mary Tyler Moore and you're going to make it after all, and there are over 30,000 lakes in Minnesota for your husband to hike around while you and your girls sun yourselves on the beach. :-)

Mom vs. the boys said...

yay! welcome back!
hmm.. quite the travel dilemma. I say try somewhere new. Since I am Canadian I should probably steer you this way, but if you've already been to BC, maybe somewhere new like Alberta or the East Coast, we are friendly coast to coast! lol the cruise sounds interesting actually. I can just imagine the blog posts coming from that trip! love it!

Kimberly said...

Welcome back gorgeous!
How I've missed thee.
Oh and Eddie...swearing Eddie nom nom nom

Erin said...

Hey, Barbie - missed you! Worried you ran off with your corvette and dream house, never to be heard from.

I'm such a NYer still. All those places suck compared to NYC:)

Baby Sister said...

Yay you're back!! I would pick the cruise cause I want to go on a cruise...BUT since you don't want to go on a cruise, I would pick the Seattle/Oregon/Canada trip. That would be beautiful and totally awesome!!

Yuliya said...

I am just a little late to the party but welcome back!!! I am super bummed to hear about this Oregon thing...I'm planning on visiting there this summer. I still vote for Seattle/Canada, get out do something different!

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