Sunshine Celebrating

I spent the weekend in California, soaking up the sun and the company of old friends. There’s nothing like spending time with people who have known you for years, who you fall easily into conversation with as if no time has passed, who you can fight and make up with like siblings, who you can be completely yourself around. What better way to kick off my birthday week celebration than that?

It was great to see RaeRae and RunRun who graciously hosted me in their lovely Oakland apartment, to finally get to dine at my friend’s very popular and deliciously successful restaurant, State Bird Provisions, to meet up with Supple in Napa, and to enjoy a sunny brunch with James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Bird.

I could have tacked on a bunch of meet ups with other friends but I made the hard choice to keep this trip simple instead of shoving people into slots of time, running from cafe to bar to restaurant in an attempt to make everyone feel included. I always end up exhausted and I hate rushed visits with people I care about. I will be back in August for a family wedding and reunion so hopefully I can fit in get togethers with folks I didn’t get to see this time around.

Two days until I turn 40. . . I think I’m feeling okay about it.



Remember that one time Mr. Darcy and I went on a honeymoon to Puerta Vallarta? No? Probably because I never told you about it. I figure now is as good a time as any since my tan is pretty much faded and it’s dark, cold, and rainy here in Seattle.

Originally we dreamed of going to Paris for our honeymoon. That is, before we started actually planning our wedding and realized how much it was going to cost us. Luckily I found a Bloomspot travel deal for an all-inclusive resort in Puerta Vallarta that not only looked luxurious and relaxing but also, and most importantly, was affordable. Neither of us had ever stayed at an all-inclusive resort so we weren’t sure how it would play out but it turned out to be ideal- except for the fact that they kept closing out our tab throughout the day in an effort to get more tips. And, oops, we thought we were tipping in U.S. dollars but when we went to check out, seems it was in pesos. Sorry for seeming cheap, waitstaff! But we are definitely converts to the all inclusive gig.

Getting to the resort had its hurdles. For one thing, when you get off the plane and have ordered a car to take you to your hotel, they first run all the visitors through this “visitor center” which should probably be called “scam central” because that’s what it is. They offer you “Mexican Water” aka tequila and then start in on their pitch. They are basically trying to sell you on tourism stuff like zip lining and boat tours and such but they sell it to you hard and are masters at keeping you there even though all you want to do after traveling for 13 hours is get to your hotel and sleep. We caved and bought these two tickets for this thing called “Rhythms of the Night” where you get on a boat and are taken to an island that has no electricity so it’s lit by torches and they feed you dinner and drinks while you watch a show about Mayan and Aztec cultures. We didn’t really care about going to this but we wanted to get the hell out of there. Turns out to get the deal you have to have a credit card which we did not bring with us (only a bank debit/credit) AND you have to go visit another resort for a tour and  a “free” breakfast. When we tried to back out of it, they pushed harder and we finally just agreed so we could leave already. It’s pretty sketchy when the guy says he’ll meet us outside the resort gates on the appointed day and he’ll hop in our cab. Oh and also, we’re not supposed to tell our hotel that we hooked up a deal with another resort. Um, ok? I’m a terrible liar so this should work out splendidly.

After a 40 minute cab ride through the crazy streets of PV and down a two lane road that was under construction, we finally arrived at paradise. This was our view from the lobby at La Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa:

Oh yeah. This will do just fine.

Once we got settled into our room, we managed to change clothes and drag ourselves to dinner and then promptly fell asleep for 12 hours. I never sleep that much! But the bed was insanely comfortable despite the constant construction noise from the two lane road outside. And then began our five days of blissful napping, lounging, reading, swimming, sunning, eating, and drinking. I read three books. I turned on my phone maybe twice. I drank a lot of margaritas. I swam in the amazing pools:

We tried going into the ocean but within in one minute of being in, a huge wave swept over me, tearing my beloved sunglasses off my head and I went under. It was a little scary because I couldn’t find my footing. Sand got in every single nook of my body. That was it for me and the ocean. I was forced to buy another pair of shades from the expensive shop at the resort. They have studs on the side. Let’s not talk about them. At least I had my big hat to hide under.

The food was good though it tried to be fancy when all I really wanted was a burrito and some guacamole. Turns out the best food was at the poolside bar. Trust me when I tell you that once I discovered their steak burrito, I ate it repeatedly. I have no shame. One night we made a reservation at the fancy steak house located across the road and up the mountain. They have to take you up there on a golf cart, seriously. The views were spectacular and I had a drink called The Hersey’s Kiss which was full of liquor but tasted just like the candy. Dangerous.

We started to long for some English so we turned on the television one night to discover they had one English channel and it played old reruns of Friends (out of sequence) and shows we don’t like- Two and a Half Men (the Ashton ones) and Big Bang Theory and Two Broke Girls (good lord that show is absolute shit). But we watched them and many inside jokes came from those viewings.

We did have that “appointment” with the scam artist visitor center representative but here’s how it went down: We didn’t want to go and didn’t care about the money lost on the Rhythms of the Night tickets but we decided to go along with it anyhow. When we went to get a cab the concierge intercepted us and asked us about the voucher we had gotten at the airport. We played dumb as instructed. She said that a man was outside the gates waiting for us. We were caught! We told her we were just going into town. She pressed further and we caved. She said that she was trying to protect us since many visitors get roped into these resort visits and come back complaining that they were gone for FIVE hours instead of the 90 minutes they claim it will take. She’s very good because somehow she got us to go to their tour/pitch at the resort we were staying at! They were building these luxury condos up on the mountain and wanted to show us. Next thing you know we’ve spent 2.5 hours eating breakfast with this saleslady (she was very nice but it was kind of awkward), taking a tour of the facility, and being shown countless binders of options for this buy in deal.

It was terrible. We kept telling them we had no money or interest in signing up for an on-going program like that. By the end they sent in the gringo to hard sell us and we still were like “dude! we have no money! we’re not even lying!” When we finally got back to our room, we quickly put on our suits and swam and drank the rest of the day away to make up for the misery of the morning. I’m pretty sure we got drunk that day. Oh and, we skipped Rhythms of the Night. Bye bye $40!

By the end of the trip we were tanned (after Mr. Darcy burned and peeled- so sexy!), relaxed, and missing home. The flight back was looooong and customs at LAX is a cluster of fuck. We both got sick to our stomachs from the food we shoved down on the last leg of the flight but at least we were finally back with the cats in our bed. It’s been an adjustment- the time change, the weather being so dreary, and no one is bringing me a margarita at my desk (What gives with that?!). But the trip was just what we wanted it to be- a sunny, relaxing getaway. Mexico is beautiful and I hope we can return again to a different part of the country.

East Coast Celebration

We flew back to New Jersey for the weekend. Yes, you read that correctly. We flew out Friday and returned Sunday. I wouldn’t normally recommend this time frame for an East Coast trip but since the future in-laws were throwing us a wedding shower, purchasing our plane tickets plus one for my Mom, and putting us up, how could we say no?

After a 3.5 hour flight delay, we boarded a janky US Airways plane and suffered through a 5 hour flight where in two new mothers talked excessively loudly for three hours of it about their birthing experiences while their children were perfect peaches, barely making a peep. And no, these women had never met before this flight.

It’s been hard for me to be around pregnant women or babies. Kind of makes my heart ache more.

We got in so late we had to get a hotel room for the night but since we hadn’t had any dinner and it was 9pm to us since our bodies were on West Coast time, we took my mom to the hotel bar and got her tipsy while snacking on a bar mix of nuts and puffy rice. Within 5 minutes the bartender said “wudder” instead of “water” (cute) and talked to us about the Kardashians. Oh, New Jersey!

Saturday was the wedding shower brunch party so we spent the day at my future sister-in-law’s house (it was HER birthday that day but she threw us a party) hanging out with friends and family, laughing and catching up. It was great to meet so many of Mr. Darcy’s people, many of whom I’d heard countless stories about. My mom had a blast swapping stories with Mr. Darcy’s parents and their friends. The food was delicious (future brother-in-law is an excellent cook), the party decor matched our wedding colors to the letter (I thank future niece-in-law for that since she is a stickler for such things and she loves organizing things and is a voracious reader so basically she’s a smaller version of me), and everyone enjoyed this delicious and adorable cake:

They used the front of our wedding invitations for the cake design. How cool is that? Mr. Darcy and I got to cut the cake and feed each other (nicely) AND eat each other’s faces. How often do you get to say you ate your fiance’s face? (His face was delicious by the way.) We aren’t having cake at our wedding so it was fun to play along with the cake feeding ritual at the shower.

Before we knew it, it was Sunday and we had to head back home to Seattle. Despite being our shortest visit on record and feeling utterly exhausted upon touchdown, we all had a fantastic time. I’m so very grateful to be marrying into a fantastic family  of generous, loving, and kind people.

Our wedding invitations were a collaboration between Mr. Darcy and myself. He did most of the work, obviously. My role was mostly as the nag. They turned out spectacular if we do say so ourselves.

Yeah, yeah, yeah our real names.

Please, no wedding crashers. 🙂


Home Again

Despite the wretchedness that is traveling across country, our trip to New Jersey was well worth it. We spent a couple days in Philadelphia, sightseeing and hanging out with old friends of Mr. Darcy’s. He showed me around the historic sights like the Liberty Bell (I felt very liberated) and Betsy Ross’s house which was conveniently located near a Starbucks. Side note: I rarely go out for coffee (a tea drinker in a coffee town, for shame!) but when I travel I MUST go to Starbucks. I think it helps me feel connected to my adopted hometown.

City Hall, Phladelphia style

On our way to . . . uh, Ben Franklin's house? (clearly I don't have the memory for historic facts like Mr. Darcy)

His parents took us to the Jersey Shore where their family spends a couple weeks every summer. But not his dad who is not a fan of the beach (sacrilege!). His mom brought baggies so I could fill them with NJ sand and seashells to take home (which are now displayed in our WA home).  While we were there, we saw a rainbow.

Ship Bottom, New Jersey after a storm

I tried on Mr. Darcy’s grandmothers engagement ring while we were there. It fit my finger which, if memory serves, his mom proclaimed “was a sign!”. I like it for its simplicity but more for the sentimental value attached. Mr. Darcy was incredibly close to his grandfather. His grandpa loved his wife very, very much even though to most people she was a hard pill to swallow. He loved her so much that after she passed, he didn’t wait long to join her. They say he died of a broken heart. But Mr. Darcy likes some of the other rings we’ve looked at better. I believe his words were “they have more sparkle”. So, we’ll see. He’s getting a lot of flack for taking so long to pop the question. From his family and yes, from me. When we checked into our hotel the desk clerk referred to him as my husband to which I flashed my left hand and said “Husband? I don’t see a ring.” He likes to retell this story to anyone who listen as a way to razz me back.

Thanksgiving with the Darcy’s means I get my butt kicked in Parcheesi by a Darcy clan member. Usually it’s his 10 year old niece but this time Darcy beat us both (twice!). His niece and I are a lot alike- enjoying crafting and Just Dance 2 and the movie “The Princess Bride”. We bonded over our mutual love of organization stores like Storables and of office supplies. She is asking for pens and socks for Christmas. His nephew who is 12 and very energetic adores his uncle and they talk nerd endlessly. It’s pretty cute to see. I let him beat me at Just Dance 3 to his choice of song- a Daft Punk song that had us dancing very robotically. The Thanksgiving meal is always delicious and there was practically a dessert per person which sent most of us over the edge.

An attempt to snap a family portrait. This seems about accurate.

The trip home is always brutal. We are tired from sleeping in foreign beds and weary of people and each other. I am usually desperate for vegetables and my work out routine. Our flight home left Philly around 2, went to Dallas, TX where we had less than an hour to grab food and find our gate and discovered that we were no sitting together. I was stuck in the bulkhead between two men. The man on my left was very lanky and insisted on taking off his shoes for the flight. His feet stank. The man on the right of me ordered five adult beverages during the duration of the 4 hour flight, prompting the flight attendant to inquire if he had someone picking him up when we landed. I endured my second viewing of the wanna-be “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” movie “Monte Carlo” because I was trapped on an airplane, exhausted and not really into my book. Seattle had never looked so good with its cold rainy gray. Finally home, the cats greeted us with cat barf on our bed. I think that means they missed us but are covering their sadness with pukey rage.

It’s good to be home.

Photo Recap of a Beach Vacation

I’m back from vacation. And well, I’m taking another week off from work to recover from my vacation. That should tell you something, right? I, sadly, did not return rested or relaxed. But! Here are some highlights from the week away in photo form:

Our original impetus for traveling to California was to attend our family reunion. It was great seeing my extended family. I got choked up a few times-it'd just been too long since I'd seen them. This cake was made my talented cousins depicting our family tree. It was awesome!

After spending a couple days in the bay area, my family high-tailed it to Santa Cruz for 5 days at a beach house and some time at the ocean and Boardwalk. This was Mr. Darcy’s first visit to my old home town so I got to show him some of my old haunts like my thinking tree:

This was where I spent many an hour contemplating life while I resided in Santa Cruz. Everything falls into place when staring at the vastness of the ocean.

We spent time at the ocean with Finn whose enthusiasm for being in the waves was infectious. Even Mr. Darcy and I got in and got soaked. Spending time with him there was definitely a highlight.

Finn LOVED being in the water. The next day he spent it soaked and clinging to his Mom while screaming "THIS IS AWESOME!".

We visited the Boardwalk which was Finn’s first time riding rides. He was ecstatic. He even let me go on a kiddie roller coaster with him. He is fearless. Mr. Darcy is not a fan of roller coasters but let me drag him on the Giant Dipper because it’s the most awesomest ride EVER. He enjoyed the Log Ride though we were soaked and subsequently freezing for the rest of the night. And of course we had to get an obligatory chocolate dipped cone.

Mr. Darcy had to buy a sweatshirt at the Boardwalk because we were soaking wet. Santa Cruz REPRESENT!

I saw a few friends during the family trip.

I happily got to see my old book club friends for dinner. It'd been years since I'd seen them all and it was so good to catch up.

And James Dean and Natalie Wood joined us for some family time. Finn had quite a crush on Natalie. He has excellent taste.

If it were not for Rae Rae we wouldn't have had rides to and from the airport in her bitchin' Chevy rental car (her car got stolen and was found burned!). Besides, spending time with her just does my soul good.

(Not pictured: Bird who met us for dinner at my favorite restaurant.)

We got a lot of sun.

I got sunburned right along my bra line and on my right side butt. Very unfortunate places to get burned, let me tell you! (There are no photos of this. You are welcome.)

The house we rented had an amazing English garden. It also had the most uncomfortable, squeaky, rickety old double (!) bed that Mr. Darcy and I suffered in- meaning, we didn’t have a decent night’s sleep the entire time we were there. That sucked. But the rest of the house was really nice.

And this isn't the entire yard! Magnificent.

The trip was maybe a few days too long. At least, that’s what my back keeps telling me. I’ve never been so excited to sleep in my queen-sized bed. Mr. Darcy and I were happy to return home to the cats and our Seattle life. This place really is home now. But I will probably always miss this view:

And the sound of the waves crashing and the sea lions barking.

The Flip Side

The bulk mailing assembly nightmare is complete. If you were wondering how long it takes 10-14 people to assemble a 3 piece mailing including labeling and sorting by zip code, it takes 3 work days. And yes, it sucks. But if you have good company you can persevere. Also, swearing helps. Now I just have to drop all 3,887 letters to the bulk mail office which is always a treat (sarcasm).

Today is my last day of work for over a week. At first I was going to take Friday to Friday off but after the past 4 days? I am going to ask for more time. I need it to get my head on straight. I figure 3 extra days ought to do it. (Ha!) I just feel. . . complain-y and short-fused and wallowing in the dark side and I do not like it one bit. I am hoping some time off, some travel, some family time, some sunshine and a walk down memory lane will assist me in clearing away the negativity. Besides, I will be by the ocean for six days and if anything can set me straight and give me perspective, it’s the sea.

I might feel tempted to post while we are gone but I’m hoping to take a tech break- blogging, Twitter and Facebook. I feel overloaded by it all and think that stepping away for a week will give me some clarity and help me listen to my own voice. I’ve been struggling to hear myself over the chatter. It’s time for a reconnection to self.

I’ll return in a week or so, hopefully restored and full of stories.


Home Away From Home

After five days off, it’s hard to face returning to work today. Plus, it’s going to be 80 degrees in Seattle. YOU HEARD ME. Instead of sitting in a cubicle, I should be near a lake or pool, reading a book and eating watermelon. Sigh.

I took a quick jaunt to one of my favorite towns this past weekend for a solo getaway. Portland is an awesome town. Every time I visit I daydream of living there. Such cute houses! Awesome neighborhoods! Cool vibe! Friends!

Had a lovely breakfast with the lovely Kerri catching up and swapping tales at Gravy.

Met up with the beautiful Long Story Longer for mani/pedis and an afternoon of chatting. I have the best time just lounging and talking to her.

And of course, a visit to PDX is not a visit without time with my BFF Jenny Two TImes.

That last photo was snapped in a backyard where we were hanging with her girlfriend, drinking wine. Let me come clean: WE DRANK 3.5 BOTTLES OF WINE. Just me and Jen. The two of us. How did that “happen”?! And yes, we took a taxi home. And yes, I had a hangover from hell. I woke up with a start in an unfamiliar bed and a sore knee thinking WTF happened?! Then I looked to my right, saw Jenny fast asleep next to me and started to piece together how it all went downhill. Oof! Needless to say, I will be avoiding wine for a while. I drove back to Seattle in silence. The entire 3 hour drive- no music, just the windows down, and me and my lingering hang over.

But man, I love me some Portland. That is a wicked cool city.

On the Vessel*

Mr. Darcy and I had a lovely jaunt to Friday Harbor. We set out early with a bagel for him and an egg sandwich for me and two very large iced teas. The road was free & clear because we were driving away from all the action in town (Rock ‘n Roll Marathon and Gay Pride). We made it to the ferry in plenty of time though met a crushing blow when the toll booth operator said, “That will be $65.35, please.”


Yep, that’s what it costs to take one vehicle (driver included ) and one passenger on the ferry boat. We kind of looked at each other wide-eyed and were like, “well, we’re here and it’s vacation (of sorts).” SHRUG. GULP. We eventually loaded onto the ferry and made our way to the upper deck to the gally (is that what that area is called?) to buy a snack. TIP: Bring your own snacks because FACT: the food on the ferry is not good. Dried out pretzel anyone? By all means if you’re in the market for some stale m & m’s stop on in!

We stepped out to the deck and a gust of wind lifted the skirt of my dress and I subsequently gave anyone and everyone who might be looking a free show. Nice argyle patterned panties, Sizz. I took it in stride, tucked my skirt between my thighs and snapped a few photos. Because I’m a trooper like that.

Here's us out on the ferry deck. Not pictured: my argyle underwear. (You're welcome.)

There were wild children everywhere. It was a bit overwhelming but not as annoying as the family seated behind us having really inane conversations that I wished I could stop eavesdropping on. Mr. Darcy swears he heard the older lady say, “Oh didn’t I tell you that story? How one year we found a can of cranberries in our pantry and then after that, every year, we have cranberries with Thanksgiving dinner?” His response: “THAT IS NOT A STORY, LADY! Everyone has cranberries with Thanksgiving dinner! YOU ARE BORING.” You see why we are together. TIP: Please try having interesting conversations that we can overhear.

Well hello, Friday Habor's harbor.

We arrived at Friday Harbor in plenty of time to find some food and wander around. The weather was magnificent sunny and breezy- and the view could not be beat. There isn’t much going on in the town itself- a lot of little shops and restaurants and places to sign up for a whale watching, kayaking or boat tour. We had mediocre burgers and forgetful servers at the Blue Water Bar & Grill (take a pass on that one). We drove up to our motel and it was just a few blocks from the harbor. TIP: You don’t need a car in Friday Harbor. FACT: It will save you at least $50 if you walk onto the ferry.

The motel was nice and offered us an alternative mode of transportation. I insisted that we wear helmets because I am a killjoy like that. I’m rather fond of my brains and Mr.Darcy’s. Besides, he hadn’t ridden a bike in about 15+ years!

FACT: Beach Cruisers are hard to ride uphill.

I am used to a ten speed bike. These bikes, while rating very high in the retro cool factor, were excruciatingly uncomfortable on our, uh, parts. Something about the tilt of the seats make it painful to sit on them despite trying to adjust them. We manned up with our manly helmets on and took the streets. TIP: Beach cruisers are more fun to ride if you are A) in great shape and B) on flat land. FACT: Friday Harbor is basically one big hill. We rode a bit and found a lovely bench to kill time on so that we could fool the front desk people at the motel into thinking we actually rode the entire time we were gone. (We did not. Shhh!) This was our view:

Not a bad place to kill some time, am I right?

Here’s a little sexy for you:

FACT: Bike helmets are not sexy. But sexier than brains on the pavement.

(Mr. Darcy refuses to allow me to post a photo of him in a bike helmet. He says it makes his melon head look even bigger.)

We decided dinner was in order and after some Yelp research decided to eat at the Backdoor Kitchen. They were rated 4.5 stars and while the price seemed steep we figured we might as well just go for it. Everything is more expensive on the island since it has to be shipped in. (Or at least that’s the lie they are telling all the tourists.) (Kidding, that’s really a fact.) We walked to the restaurant only to discover that the same rowdy group of people that were disturbing the peace at the motel were there taking over half the patio dining area. Great! We found the service friendly but sporadic. The children of the rowdy group were running amok and unattended. One girl practically fell out of the bushes by our table. Yes, I am being one of those childless, judgy people but listen, you know I love kids, I just don’t approve of kids running around screaming with no adult supervision (they were busy drinking) at a 4.5 star, $$$ restaurant. The food was sadly mediocre and rather flavorless. Mr. Darcy’s cream sauce was bland. My lamb, while cooked well, wasn’t very seasoned and the sides were just so-so. We made the best of it but definitely didn’t feel the price of the bill was in line with the quality of the food.

(Here is where I discover that the second half of my post didn’t save when I originally wrote it and I check the clock realizing I don’t have time to rewrite it. DAMN IT!)

Here’s some other shots that capture the trip:

I'm on a boat! (self-portrait, of course)

Mr. Darcy's first ferry ride.

Robes were really big in the '80's.

Side note: The hotel came with robes. Mr. Darcy put one on saying, “Robes were really big in the ’80’s. My whole family used to wear them.” I inquired if he wore pjs with the robe and he responded indignantly, “OF COURSE I WORE PAJAMAS!” as if I had accused his family of being a pack of nudists.

Besides wearing robes, Mr. Darcy is great at napping. Here he is napping in style on the ferry ride home:

Hobo nap!

And of course, it’s not fun in the sun or a vacation until you have enjoyed an ice cream cone.

Best "meal" I had on the island. It was peanut butter with chocolate swirl- reminded me of my childhood.

And there you have it!

*I kept referring to the ferry as a vessel because Mr. Darcy was making fun of how I pronounce ferry. Yes, there will be a video post about this soon.

Crossing the Water

Mr. Darcy is going to take his first ferry ride tomorrow when we embark on our trip to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. (Remind me to tell you the story of when I first said the word “ferry” to Mr. Darcy and the conversation that followed it. In fact, he and I should just do a vlog and share it with you first-hand.)

We decided last year, in the middle of the night after being woken up by the sounds of drunk revelers from Gay Pride and the endless throbbing techno versions of songs from the likes of Madonna, Cher and Xtina, that there was no way we would stick around for that torture again. We live in the heart of the “gay neighborhood” and on a day-to-day basis I enjoy it but the weekend Pride hits it’s too loud, too crowded, too TOO. And so I will celebrate Pride from across the waters at a quiet little hotel in a big bed with no cats to bother me (bonus!).

I’m excited to stay at the Earthbox Motel and take them up on the use of free beach cruisers. Mr. Darcy has agreed to ride bikes with me! Maybe we’ll pedal out to a winery for a little tasting or just coast along checking out the town and the water. It’s a change of scenery either way and I am desperate for it. I’m sure to return with tales of our travels and photos to make you jealous.

I Got Yelled At In South Philly

Misteak. Get it?

While Mr. Darcy and I were visiting East, his family insisted on taking me for my first Philly Cheesesteak experience. Now it needs to be stated that Mr. Darcy’s family is from South Jersey. His sister’s family is about a 15 minute drive over a bridge to South Philly. And they take their cheesesteaks very seriously.

On the car ride over I was given the history of the battle between Geno’s and Pat’s- two establishments that serve cheesesteaks and are directly across the street from one another. Pat’s is more understated while Geno’s is a neon monstrosity. Like a girl wearing way too much make up and sausage-casing tight close, Gino’s definitely looks like it’s trying too hard to be noticed. I suppose the Darcy family’s opinions have been ingrained in me as they are tried and true Pat’s fans. I’m pretty sure Mr. Darcy’s dad would  promptly remove me from the genealogy tree if I were to venture over to Geno’s.

Side Note: The Food Network awarded Pat’s Best Cheesesteak over Geno’s.

There is a particular way to order at Pat’s and if you mess it up, they can and will send you to the back of the line. Mind you, this line is often wrapped around the block and then some. I started to panic. I freak out in line at Starbucks about ordering in a timely and correct fashion and I go there enough that I get ample practice and yet I STILL INTERNALLY WIG OUT.  I hate holding up a line or inconveniencing people. And here I am venturing into South Philly with very strict instructions on how to order a cheesesteak.

Hold me.

Pat’s has a sign that informs you how to order:

Don't Fuck This Up

So we pile out of the car and make our way to the line. I’m trying to decide between cheese whiz and American. I’m considering mushrooms. I’m asking Mr. Darcy and his sister where I say “mushrooms” because the instructions don’t tell you. OHGODIAMGOINGTOMESSUP! His sister does the ordering for most of the family and then turns to me.

I say, “I’ll have a mushroom cheesesteak wit. . . “

The counter guy interrupts, “LADY!” and gives me quite a look of disdain.

Apparently you never utter the word “cheesesteak” while ordering. Well fuck me for trying to be clear. His sister takes over ordering for me saying to the guy, “She’s not from here.” I sheepishly stepped out of line.

Later, after we ordered fries and drinks, I was looking for ketchup and as I stood by the condiment table the same guy from behind the counter called out to me, “LADY!” then shoved a small plastic cup out the window towards me while rolling his eyes. I was so flustered I squirted mustard in the cup and walked away. I didn’t even really want mustard.

Eating a sandwich shouldn’t be so stressful.

His family proceeded to rib me for my flummoxed order. I finally let out, “I CHOKED, OK!? The pressure got to me!”

The Verdict? It was a good sandwich but I should have got the whiz with no mushrooms.

Next time I’ll order like this: “Wit. Whiz.”