Archive | January, 2013

January 27, 2013

27 Jan

My first time ever in Miami was quite the experience.  I was there for A’s bachelorette party over MLK weekend, and it was quite the eventful weekend I must say.

We arrived on Sat morning after a 6am flight to a rainy and gloomy Miami… but fortunately the weekend quickly transformed from balls to amazeballs.

We started with lunch at 5 Napkin Grill, followed by mojito push pops at Hyde:

5 Napkin

5 Napkin

Mojito push pops

Mojito push pops

Dinner that night was at The Dutch, where there was apparently some Miami Heat event going on, which got me super excited that I might actually get to meet Dwyane Wade in person to tell him his name has been spelled wrong his entire life.  Every tall black person who walked by the front of the restaurant, I literally jumped up and pretended to go to the bathroom to be able to walk by them and take a closer look.  Unfortunately my racism prevented me from actually identifying any Heat, but I do know for certain that I didn’t see Dwyane or Lebron or Bosh. 😦

Never mind those ath-o-leets… the food here deserves more attention as it was one of the most incredible meals I’ve ever had: oyster slider for appetizer; skirt steak with kimchi fried rice and duck egg for entree; watermelon crush for drink; and rum donuts for dessert.

Oyster slider

Oyster slider

Skirt steak with kimchi fried rice and duck egg

Skirt steak with kimchi fried rice and duck egg

Watermelon crush

Watermelon crush

Rum donuts

Rum donuts

After dinner though was when the real adventure began.

The plan for Sat night was to hit up LIV, “Miami’s hottest club” that was also located right in the Fontainebleau where we were staying.  The maid of honor (MOH) A had already made a table reservation, so we figured it would be easy enough to get in.

When we got back from dinner, the hotel lobby was seriously Shahs of Sunset meets Real Sluts of Miami.  I don’t think I’ve ever been in a bar or club in NYC where someone was wearing a skimpier outfit than I was.  Miami took skank to a whole new level.

Seven well-dressed, classy girls from Manhattan walk up to the front of the line, and six of us get in with only some minor pushing and shoving… when M announces that she doesn’t have her ID.  Luckily the bouncer and hostess were incredibly nice, letting M know to run upstairs to the room to grab her ID and they would let her right back in.  None of us were worried about her, and so the rest of us went ahead to our table area to start drinking the multiple bottles of champagne and Grey Goose that MOH A had generously purchased for us.

Twenty minutes later, when M still hadn’t joined us.  Bride-to-be A and I got concerned, and we went back upstairs to check out what the delay was.  I started texting M, who texted back that she had been waiting in line and they were making her pay a cover charge, which was completely ridiculous considering we had purchased a $3,000 table (yes — a $3,000 table).  When M refused to pay the cover, they apparently kicked her out.  M even went and found the nice hostess from before, and she completely pretended not to recognize her and kicked her out back over the rope.  M then went and found the nice bouncer from before, and he completely pretended not to recognize her and kicked her out back over the rope.  By this point M had already been kicked out of the club three times.  I mean, seriously…

Having heard about this ridiculousness, bride-to-be A decided to take charge and ran out to try talking to another bouncer, which turned into violent fighting within minutes.  My blood was boiling at this point, given my inherent hatred for cops, security guards, bouncers, authority figures and ethnic people, and K literally had to hold me back to prevent me from going after those assholes.  Before I even had the chance though, bride-to-be A, who is the most docile and non-confrontational person out of the group after M, hit the bouncer, flicked him off, screamed at him to go FUCK himself, and then ran off in some unknown direction.  M immediately ran after her, and the rest of us were mortified… except for me, who felt like a proud mama.  I had finally converted one of my friends into a delinquent.

Anyway, I started texting MOH A telling her to come upstairs immediately to help us diplomatically resolve this mess.  By the time MOH A had come back upstairs, we had luckily found bride-to-be A, who was still furious at the bouncer and continued yelling obscenities at him.  I was creeping in the corner observing this drama from afar, when I see bride-to-be A yet again flailing off in an unknown direction with M chasing after her.  MOH A then storms back into the club and tells me that bride-to-be A got our entire group kicked out of LIV.

Yikes.  I couldn’t even believe this.  It was bride-to-be A’s bachelorette party, MOH A had just bought a $3,000 table, and we had gotten kicked out of the club within the first 15 minutes of getting there.  We were all freaking out at this point, but fortunately MOH A used her diplomatic skills to go talk some sense into the manager, who–after 20 minutes of us explaining the situation to him–profusely apologized, let all the girls back in, and bought us a round of “I’m sorry I have such incompetent staff” tequila shots.

After a rough beginning, the night actually turned out to be insanely fun.  The music at the club was amazing; we essentially had our own “stage” to dance on; our table was next to a bachelor party of guys from NYC; and some scandalous stuff went down like girl-on-girl action and half our party getting heavily hit on by married men.  We ended up staying at LIV until 5am, which was the latest I had ever seen bride-to-be A out — proud mama again.

LIV

LIV

Given I wanted to die the next morning, I’m not sure how I actually physically made it out to the pool three hours later at 8am.  But my will to tan is a strong one.  After an entire day of passing out in the sun, we had a slightly calmer Sunday night, starting with an unbelievable dinner at Khong River.

Noodle wraps

Noodle wraps

Fried rice

Fried rice

Chicken curry

Chicken curry

Duck

Duck

Pork leg

Pork leg

Steamed buns

Steamed buns

Some delicious dessert

Some delicious dessert

After dinner we attempted to go to a hookah bar nearby, but after requesting a different table, we were kicked out of the bar for being “difficult customers.”  I’m not sure how this keeps happening to a group of nice girls, and the more shocking part is that I really had nothing to do with any of the kick-outs that happened over the weekend.  I had finally successfully taught my friends to do that job for me.  Proud!

After that incident, half our group peaced out and went to bed by midnight.  MOH A and I stayed out and forced bride-to-be A to stay out with us, and we met up with M2, one of the few guys I know in Miami and who I was trying to juice that night.  After hitting up a few more bars and putting every kind of liquor into my body, I successfully juiced M2 and put that into my body and then proceeded to puke up everything I had drunk the next morning.

It was a totally expected way to end a great weekend.  We thought we had encountered enough unexpected drama throughout the weekend, but it didn’t end with leaving the Fontainebleau.

Bride-to-be A, M and I were on the same flight back from MIA to LGA, and we were peacefully minding our own business at our gate when we see this super creepy guy wearing an orange kerchief over his face like a freaky mask I had never seen before in my life.  At first we thought he was a war veteran who had a disfigured face.  But when I got closer to him (I was just a few people behind him in the boarding line), I saw that he had disgustingly orange, matted hair, heavy eyeliner, his skin was an abnormal color, and the rest of his attire was just plain WEIRD.  He literally looked like a Michael Jackson reincarnate freak who was about to cause the next Columbine.  I’m pretty sure he was a cult leader.

What was even more terrifying was that his boarding pass didn’t go through, and then a bunch of TSA agents came to our gate to question him.  They asked him why he was wearing that fucking weird ass mask, and when he answered “for religious purposes,” bride-to-be A literally started having a panic attack.  She was hyperventilating, burst into tears, and an oxygen tank had to be brought out to her since she couldn’t breathe.  She had to be escorted off the plane and was asked to take a later flight.

Meanwhile, M and I were also freaking out and desperately wanted to follow bride-to-be A off the plane.  We would never forgive ourselves if he ended up bombing the plane and we hadn’t followed A off the flight.  Even though I was on zero sleep and all I wanted to do was pass out on the plane, I kept my eyes wide open and nervously watched that freak the entire time to make sure he wasn’t going to do anything suspicious, like go to the bathroom.

After two hours of hell, we finally landed safely in ATL where our layover was, followed by an uneventful flight back to LGA sans freaky cult leader.

Despite some drama and near-death experiences, it was one of the most fun weekends I’d had in a while, summarized by bride-to-be A as follows:

Thank you girls so much for the most fun weekend with all the ingredients of a very successful Bachelorette party:
Amazing hotel… check
Spa pampering… check
Amazing restaurants (305 and 212 ;P)… check
Poolside tanning… check
Temps in high 70’s… check
Beach… check
No penis straws (not MY thing, but I do look fwd to these at yours)… check
Cluuuubbin’… check
Kicked out of the club… check
… multiple people multiple times… check
Master persuasion to the point the club mgr apologizes, escorts delinquents back in, and sends shots… check
Bottles and model… check
Girl-on-girl make-out… allegedly
Kicked out of a hookah bar… check
Bar make-outs… check
After party juice… check
Drag queen… check
Shopping… check
No drama (except on return flight :-0)… check
Scandalous photos… check
… & as a result fb pic post removal/edit requests… check
xoxoxoxo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Completely nailed it.

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January 13, 2013

14 Jan

They say you never forget your first love—mine was Mexico City at age 14.  Mexico was where I first learned to love other than myself.  Mexico was where I first cried real tears that actually meant something vs. crying over getting second place at a piano competition.  Mexico was where I first understood what it truly meant to be part of a family.

That first trip to Mexico City, I became best friends with my host sister A.  One of my favorite things in life is finding out how much you have in common with a childhood friend.  All too often childhood friends end up growing apart… you don’t have that much in common anymore other than the fact you were best friends when you were still wearing training bras.  A and I somehow over the years ended up becoming the same person, even though we live in different countries and I hadn’t seen her in 6 years.  We both have the exact same job; we both hate doing stuff during the day and are resentful toward people who actually make us do stuff during the day; we both hate marriage; we both despise kids; we love to judge people; and the list goes on and on.

When I told my friends where I was going for Christmas/New Year’s this year, every one of them called me crazy, citing the fact that Mexico City was the “new Colombia.”  But I couldn’t have been more excited.  It had been 6 years since I had been back to Mexico City, after having gone every year consecutively for 10 straight years.

My Christmas/New Year’s in Mexico was one of the best trips I’ve taken in a really long time.  Here’s a high-level overview of my trip:

  • I arrived to Mexico City with a physical list of a dozen items that I had been missing terribly and had been having dreams about for the past 6 years—and successfully got to every single one of those items in 11 days
  • I ate so much all week that I was literally excreting 1/10 of my body weight
  • I learned that in Mexico, Jesus’s birthday is a holiday that you spend partying with your family until 4am
  • I spent the second weekend there wearing the same clothes for three straight days (scroll down below for details)

Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

DAY 1 (12/21):

Arrived, had a dinner with A’s friends from college; discovered a delightful new gem since the last time I had been to Mexico: cans of beer with clamato and lime, which became my new favorite drink.

DAY 2 (12/22):

Had an amazing reunion brunch buffet with A’s dad and sister, whom I love.  I had remembered this restaurant from the last time I had been here—A’s dad had taken me here years ago when I was super hungover, had thrown up on the street before getting to the restaurant, and couldn’t stomach any of the all-you-can-eat.  It was severely disappointing and embarrassing.  But luckily I made up for it this time around:

Sopes and quesadillas

Sopes and quesadillas

Mexican Buffet

Mexican Buffet

After this buffet, we were obviously still hungry for more, so we had tacos for dinner—my favorites, tacos de pastor and bistec con aguacate:

Tacos de pastor y bistec con aguacate

Tacos de pastor y bistec con aguacate

DAY 3 (12/23):

One of the best things about Mexico is they start out their days with the heaviest breakfasts.  I love it.  Fuck milk and cereal.  I had enfrijoladas for breakfast, homemade by A’s boyfriend’s mom, then went to Coyoacan for my favorite tostadas de jaiba, tinga and salpicon for lunch in the market.

Enfrijoladas

Enfrijoladas

Tostadas de Coyoacan

Tostadas de Coyoacan

DAY 4 (12/24):

Had enchiladas de mole for breakfast before heading out to A’s aunt’s house for Christmas Eve dinner.

Enchiladas de mole

Enchiladas de mole

Christmas Eve dinner was out of control.  I ate twice as much as I usually eat over Thanksgiving.  In an attempt to contribute something to this incredible meal, I tried to make some mulled wine as my “gringo” contribution since apparently no one there had ever heard of “hot wine.”  However, my concoction apparently failed since no one took more than two sips and politely refused a second glass.  It really validated my complete lack of skills in the kitchen.

Onion soup

Onion soup

Green pepper soup

Green pepper soup

Chicharron con salsa verde

Chicharron con salsa verde

Turkey

Turkey

Truffle cheesecake from my fav bakery Garabatos

Truffle cheesecake from my fav bakery Garabatos

After stuffing my face, I learned that in Mexico, the birth of Jesus Cristo is time for real celebration, and by that they mean literally everyone stays out drinking and partying with their family until dawn.  American Christmas Eve = eating a nice dinner with the fam, then going to bed at 10pm so that you can get up at 6am to open presents.  Mexican Christmas Eve = eating a nice dinner with the fam, then dancing and drinking until 4am when all aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents and cousins are wasted off their asses.  It’s amazing, and so much fun.  It was the best Christmas I had had in a very long time.

DAY 5 (12/25):

Mexican tradition for Christmas Day is to go back to the Christmas Eve host’s house to eat leftovers.  It was essentially a repeat of Christmas Eve—stuffing our faces, then drinking, dancing and playing games until well past normal bedtime.

Christmas leftovers

Christmas leftovers

DAY 6 (12/26):

By post-Christmas, my body had been processing so much food on a daily basis that I couldn’t even believe myself.  The amount of food I was ingesting every day was out of control—and I swear on the other end they were weighing in at 14 courics a day.

Before day 6, I had literally experienced zero issues.  My stomach was seriously made of steel—that is, until we went to La Casa de las Enchiladas, where I had the most amazing enchiladas: one of chicken with salsa verde, one of beef with mole, and one of pork with peanut sauce.  They were amazing until 30 minutes later, I honestly thought I was going to have a Maya Rudolph moment from Bridesmaids.

La Casa de las Enchiladas

La Casa de las Enchiladas

Luckily my stomach bounced right back into shape the next day.

DAY 7 (12/27):

Had breakfast with A and her dad at one of my fav restaurants, El Charco de las Ranas, where I had tacos and pozole for breakfast:

Pozole

Pozole

Grabbed a crepa de cajeta for a mid-afternoon snack, and I was already well into crossing off more than half the items on my “Mexico must-eat” list.

Crepa de cajeta

Crepa de cajeta

For dinner we went to our other friends A+R’s taqueria called Bigos, where they have the best tacos al pastor in the city:

Tacos al pastor

Tacos al pastor

Cebollitas

Cebollitas

Alambre

Alambre

After dinner, we went out in Polanco to a bar called La Chilanguita that was playing some of the best Mexican hits from the 1990s.  We drank micheladas and cubanas until the wee hours, and I tried my first perla negra, or the Mexican version of jager bombs—instead of Red Bull, they use another blue energy drink that’s 10 times tastier than Red Bull.

DAY 8 (12/28):

Friday was pretty tame compared to the rest of my weekend to follow—started off with lunch at a Oaxacan restaurant, then went to our other friend AP’s place for a dinner party.

Comida oaxaquena

Comida oaxaquena

Crickets

Crickets

I was actually staying with AP for the rest of my trip, since A and her boyfriend M were going to Denver (but I only ended up staying with AP for one night, for reasons explained below).  Having had to say goodbye to my best friend A, while everyone else was still enjoying the dinner party, I locked myself in AP’s room sobbing hysterically, which is very uncharacteristic of me and only happens on very rare occasions… like when M/L moved out of our apartment, and every time I leave Mexico City.

DAY 9 (12/29):

Saturday was the beginning of my shitshow weekend, after starting it out with a very tame lunch of tacos and huarache with AP, puffy eyes and all.

Tacos

Tacos

Huarache

Huarache

Saturday was an exciting night for me since I was going to meet up with my guy friends whom I hadn’t seen in 6 years—including C, who was my first real fling from when I was 14.  I wasn’t banging anyone at that age (shocking), so all C and I had ever done in our youthful past was innocently go to second base.  15 years later I was obviously incredibly curious as to what I had been missing.  I had known C for 15 years… but did I really know him?  It was time for me to get a proper introduction.

I met my guy friends at Sud 777, and they all looked exactly the same from when I had last seen them, which was really comforting and brought back all the good memories from way back when.  After catching up for hours over two bottles of whiskey, we headed out to a club at 4am, drank some more whiskey and some perla negra shots, and before we knew it, it was 7am and we were getting kicked out of the club.  Somehow naturally—it wasn’t even a question—I headed back to C’s place where we finally quenched our thirst.

DAY 10 (12/30):

The next morning, I woke up and discovered the oddest bruise/bite mark on my arm.  I hate when that happens… I need to stop blacking out.  Obviously I immediately thought it was C, but his mouth didn’t match the bite mark; curiously, however, it did perfectly match mine…

Sex bruise

Sex bruise

Neither of us were really sure what had happened the night before, but we knew we needed some food, so we headed out to grab some birria with P and J.

Birria

Birria

Assuming we were just grabbing breakfast and then I would head back to AP’s place, I hadn’t showered that morning and just went out with the boys in my walk of shame outfit.

I was wrong.  We ended up spending literally the entire day at the birrias place, eating and day drinking and singing along to a mariachi band while watching some football.  While not showering for a day doesn’t seem to phase some people, it started to gross me out, so after the birrias place, we quickly went back to C’s place to shower, then went straight to another bar afterwards.  I was of course still wearing my same clothes from 30 hours ago, but I had thrown out my thong after the shower and was going commando.  There are some cleanliness boundaries I don’t cross.

We ended up staying at Niza pretty late, and by the end of the night, C was completely wasted and out of nowhere threw his drink in J’s face.  That was our cue to go, so I went back with C to his place where I tried to calm him down.

DAY 11 (12/31):

Woke up next to C and immediately hurled bile a few times in his bathroom, which was the first time I had done that in someone else’s bathroom in a really long time.  Luckily I’m a very elegant puker in that I never make a splash and it’s always pure liquid.

After wanting to die, the next thought that ran through my head was: this will now be the third day in a row that I have to put on this same fucking outfit.  I needed to get back to AP’s place to be able to wear something other than these stupid leggings, but of course I went to breakfast with C instead—and ended up wearing that same outfit until dinner time.

I finally left C with the thought I might not see him again for years… and quickly changed gears to get ready for New Year’s Eve with AP’s family.  NYE, I found, is quite the family holiday in Mexico.  Basically everyone has dinner and hangs out with their family until 3am, and then they meet up with their friends to go out.  Intense.

It unfortunately didn’t matter for me since I had a 6am flight back to NYC, which meant I had to be at the airport by around 3am.  I had an incredible NYE dinner with AP’s family, ate 12 grapes as is tradition—one for each month of the new year—and then very sadly headed to the airport with an amazing 11 days behind me.

12 grapes

12 grapes

Beef wellington

Beef wellington

NYE dinner

NYE dinner

Two miserable, hungover plane rides on New Year’s Day, and I was back home in NYC.  I spent the next week depressed about no longer being in Mexico, and my body wasn’t very happy about it either.  In the 1.5 weeks that I had been in Mexico City, my stomach had never felt better (with the exception of the enchiladas incident)—and yet the minute I came back to NYC and ordered my usual Chinese food, I swear my ass was on fire for like days straight.  In the 1.5 weeks that I was hanging out with A and living under her roof, I never got sick even though she had a really bad cold the entire time I was staying with her—and then of course the minute I come back to NYC, I become deathly ill two days later and have to take my first sick day from work in years.

It was as if my body was punishing me for leaving Mexico.  Nothing could go wrong with my body while I was in Mexico—I was seriously invincible.  I don’t normally believe in fate, but I think my immune/GI systems were telling me Mexico City and I were destined to be together.

I never forgot my first love.