It’s been 3 glorious months since I gave my address the ole heave ho, and In honor of my big anniversary, and the fact that I somehow neglected to blog about most of it, I’d like to summarize my who, what, when, and whereabouts.
And write The Longest Blog Post Ever. Holy crap.
But first, some critical tips on being a member of the NPA:
• Only buy one-way tickets. Even when I’m fully planning on returning somewhere, something more fun/lucrative/sexy/important presents itself and I’m always grateful I didn’t buy round-trip.
• Seize all opportunities to do your laundry.
• Don’t buy it unless you really need/love it and it folds up really small.
April 21st – 29th: Rome & all over Tuscany, Italy with Mom, brother Steve, sister-in-law Jenny
This entire leg of my trip was pretty much pantwettingly hilarious because I was born into a family that snootily considers itself The Funniest Family In The World, much to the horror of the Italian population, and all populations we come into contact with, actually.
We did the usual Italy stuff – ate like pigs, visited countless villages made of stone, climbed up towers, arrived in each new town during siesta when nothing was open, drank too much, etc.
We said our good-byes in Orvieta – they headed to the airport to fly back to New York and I headed to the Roman railway system during Easter mayhem to get lost for 6 frikken hours, missing train after train, and barely making my flight to Spain.
IMPORTANT TRAVELING IN A LONG DRESS IN UNDERWEAR THAT DOESN’T FIT YOU NOTE: If you are wearing a long dress and are also wearing underwear that is one size too big that you bought anyway because you thought it was super sexy and you are spending the majority of your day running after trains that you are missing, you will suddenly be horrified to realize that your underwear is around your knees and you have no way of pulling it up because you are in a long dress in a crowded Italian train station and your only choices are either pulling your dress up over your head or going through a grueling series of grips and hoists through your dress that is neither terribly subtle nor effective. So…when traveling in a long dress, always err on the small side when it comes to what’s underneath it.
April 29th – May 10th: Bascara, Spain with Jason & Serge
This is one of the few parts of my journey that I actually did blog about so I’m not going to bother to here except to say that Jason is an old college pal of mine who I hadn’t seen in over 15 years and who, I’m thrilled to report, is still one of the most delightful creatures this side of Colorado College.
He told me that while he was waiting for me at the airport he was watching people get off the plane, wondering if he’d recognize me after all this time, when a gigantically tall African American woman walked off and he thought, it’s Jen, anything is possible.
To Jason Flinn, nothing is out of the question.
Spain was also the beginning of my Global Office Series:
May 10th – May 21st: Bristol, England with Katharine
I also managed to blog about my stay with the staggeringly staggering Katharine Dever, but left out some key points of my visit:
We got tons of work done because we’re both coaches and we’re both bossy. I spoke at a retreat she was coincidentally hosting while I was there and constantly cracked my head on the doorways in her old English farm house built by midgets many centuries ago. We watched “9-5″. We fell deeper in love with Dolly Parton and entrepreneurship.
May 21st – 22nd: London England with Andriana
Andriana is a seasoned world-traveler who showed me more of London in one day and one night than most people see in their entire lives.
We ate bangers and mash at some pub that Madonna is rumored to frequent where the ceilings were also perilously midget-sized, drank wine on a roof with hipsters, went to a museum, looked at cool fountains,
ate at some shmancy, artsy restaurant where the toilets are encased in sci-fi white egg-shaped cones, went to Picadilly Square, shopped, ate more, got lost, ran around in cabs, subways and flip-flopped feet, hauled my suitcase up and down 10 flights of stairs…
May 21st – May 30th: Malibu, California with Gina and Glenn
Lovingly known as The Vortex by its inhabitants who struggle to find reasons good enough to ever leave, I found myself in a similar stupor once I arrived. The place is staggeringly beautiful, peaceful and comfy – I couldn’t get up off the lawn furniture long enough to take a decent picture.
Gina and Glenn generously housed my car whilst I flitted around the world and give me my own wing to stay in whenever I stop by, which is extremely dangerous because I now have the capacity to never leave and there is nothing like your own wing in The Vortex to make you do just that.
Even so, I decided it was time to see my family…
May 31st – June 17th: Westchester, New York with The Family
But I was so excited to luxuriate in hanging out with my family and my 8 million friends back east instead of frantically trying to cram them all in in a weeks time as I had for the past 20 years.
I arrived on a Sunday when my brother informed me that Dad was having a big family get together. I got the brilliant idea to surprise him because NOBODY TOLD ME THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER SURPRISE AN OLD PERSON.
I walked into the yard and Dad froze. For a really. Long. Time. My brother, who was standing next to me, accused me of killing him. Then Dad burst into tears and spent the rest of the day looking at me and shaking his head.
I saw the usual cast of nieces and nephews and friends and was cruelly ripped away from shuffling from family barbecue to family barbecue when it occurred to me that I should go to LA to shoot a video for my upcoming writing retreat that I needed to promote.
I didn’t want to leave. At all.
I wanted to stay with my mommy.
And because of this I almost broke my strict rule of no round trip tickets but luckily refrained….
June 17th – June 18th: Manhattan Beach, California with Tory and Jacob
I’m not big on returning to LA now that I’ve cut the cord because when I’m done, I am done, but I know so many great people there. And my car’s there. And I can switch out the clothes in my suitcase for the clothes in my trunk. So there’s that.
There’s also the impossibly sweet Tory and Jacob and their 47 dogs who I stayed with my first night in town. Tory is the kind of person who would let the whole wide world live with her if she could. She has a heart the size of Texas. If you have a huge house, give it to her. She’ll make great use of it.
June 18th- 20th: Venice Beach, California
I rented a house in Venice Beach, my old hood, for 2 days to do my video shoot. I hired a professional crew, gathered my adorable clients to do testimonials for me and unloaded a bunch of clothes from the trunk of my car on everyone who showed up in order to lighten my load even more. Overall, it was a totally successful day. Here’s the video.
I decided that instead of returning to my old bedroom in New York, I should drive to New Mexico and take pictures and videos of Santa Fe to further promote my retreats.
Tania is obsessed with getting a puppy but the timing has yet to be right. So instead, she pours over the websites of local pet stores to see who they’ve got in their cages (who knew?) and if they have any puppies that look like little pigs, she shows up and asks if she can, like, um, touch them.
I stayed in Albuquerque and drove up to Santa Fe for my photo fest because that’s where I used to live and that’s where some of the sweetest people on this here earth live.
I spent the first few nights with Tami and Katie and we attempted to go see some fireworks for the 4th of July, left a little on the late side, couldn’t figure out where to go, and ended up watching the tail end of them from a Target Parking lot on the side of the freeway in a gravel pit. Woo. Hoo.
I spent the rest of my stay with my dear pals Peter and Elaine who I take annual sojourns through the wilds of the Utah canyonlands with. You can read about them/watch them critique some rocks I gathered HERE.
I forgot how flippin hot it gets in Albuquerque in the summer time – as my great grandmother used to say, it was hotter’na half fucked fox in a forest fire! AND the entire state was being consumed by several completely out of control forest fires which made it seem that much hotter. And smokier. So I had to get the hell out of there.
July 5th – July 8th: Silverton, Colorado with Michael Flowers
I scooped up my brilliant friend Flowers and we headed for Colorado, having no idea where to go, and magically stumbled across the perfect little mountain town of Silverton, Colorado.
Silverton has one paved road running through the middle of it, no stop lights and some of the best views I’ve ever seen.
We spent quite a lot of time at the library because it was the only place with really strong wifi and I had a crapload of work to do.
And for some stupid reason I didn’t get any video or pictures of the librarian who was one of the most chipper, enthusiastic and loud people I’ve ever met. She would holler a huge welcome to everyone who came in (99% of whom she knew), discuss the upcoming hot dog roast and crack jokes, all at top volume. She even encouraged one woman who wanted to step outside to make a phone call to not be silly, sit right here in my chair and put your feet up for heaven’s sake!
She broke every librarian rule in the book. Even flirted her little 75 year old buns off with the guy who stopped by to deliver the mail. I loved her.
July 8th – July 9th: Albuquerque, New Mexico with Tami and Katie
I stopped back in for one night to drop Flowers off, get some sleep and eat a burger made by Tami on her fancy new grill.
I had no idea where I was headed next, but a HUGE part of this journey of mine is to never worry about it. To keep moving forward, stay present, have faith, and the perfect situation will present itself.
It is such a brilliant lesson on how to live life in general, and when I really do it, the results are staggering.
I decided to drive north again to cooler climates and hang out with some dear college pals in Denver while I figured it out, when all of a sudden a call came in with an invitation from yet another dear college pal who has a place in Maine.
AND my friend in Denver told me weeks ago that if I ever needed to I could leave my car at her place. It was a little ridiculous. And then there was the rainbow I saw on I25 North to Colorado:
July 9th – July 11th: Denver, Colorado with Hilary and John
I arrived in Denver, exhausted and fully sweaty from my 8 hour drive the day before and my 8 hour drive that day, to a fairly raging dinner party at my pal Hillary’s house.
And a plate-full of awesome food.
And a shower. And a cozy bed.
I slept like I’d been clubbed.
Here is a picture of their not-so-raging dry toast breakfast the next morning:
July 11th – July 15th: Westchester, New York with The Family
I flew back to The Danger Zone because my friend with the place in Maine was driving up from New Jersey and my mom’s place was right along the way.
While I was there, there was a little Italian street fair in the town my older brother lives in (on the left) that my younger brother’s (on the right) band was playing at:
July 15th – July 25th: Hancock Point, Maine with Shannon and Rob
In my long list of places I’d really rather not leave, Hancock Point, Maine is right up there. It met all my requirements: Dear friends,
dear friends with boats,
Again, I pretty much had an entire section of the house to myself, but just as I was about to get my mail forwarded, LA once again reared it’s head and informed me I must return for a meeting and to give a talk.
July 25 – July 26 Venice Beach, California with Justin and Todd
I spent my first night at Chez Justin and Todd in Venice, giving them 24 hours notice, barely enough time to make me a cocktail…
…before heading off to my luxury suite at The Georgian Hotel to get ready for a meeting with one of my high end coaching clients.