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Back to my roots

First and foremost Happy Father’s Day to my fabulous father and all others out there! Secondly, considering my blog is named in honor of my love and life passion of hotels and I can’t think of anything to whine about for once I figured it might be time to actually talk about travel. The first lesson I bestow upon you is the concept of bleisure travel. It’s a silly name but a great concept of adding some leisure time to your business trip. Side note I love the term bleisure. For me 2 days is perfect to take in enough of a city to then determine if I should return. It’s also the exact amount of time I can be alone before I go insane. Since I’ve now done this precisely 3 times (bleisure trips not gone insane) I’ve got some fantastic tips on making the most of your time. This particular list is for international travel.

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  1. Make sure that you stay up through your entire overnight flight. It is imperative to take advantage of all the free house red wine and as many newly released movies as possible and will ensure you arrive unrested and pleasant at your destination.
  2. Ensure you arrive to your hotel prior to any reasonably early check- in time and doubly ensure your room will not be ready by omitting your arrival time on all correspondence with your hotel prior to arrival.
  3. Serious tip- this actually works well to ensure you stay awake and do something in your new destination since you can’t take a nap…
  4. Drink at least 4 beers on no sleep to ensure that you absolutely fall asleep in public… Perhaps at a restaurant… Perhaps into your goulash
  5. As soon as you can check in to your hotel take a long enough nap to guarantee your first night of sleep is ruined along with your chances of quickly acclimating your body to its new time zone. 3-4 hours should do the trick.
  6. $50 is absolutely a reasonable price to pay for a club sandwich if someone delivers it to your bed
  7. Speaking of room service: currywurst and a minibar Berliner 100% counts as experiencing the local nightlife
  8. Try not learning any of the local language as a cute game. Even if you type up some key phrases such as “where is the nearest bar?” And ” can I please pay with a credit card for this 5 euro novelty mug?” Disregard this list and just obnoxiously assume everyone speaks English. All locals love this and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in local culture!!!

    I’m clearly being sarcastic and I think that’s enough of that for now, but be a pal and take your vacation time and share your travels on social media!

    Love and safe travels-
    Hotelie Blogger

 

The next chapter

This is a post I’ve been writing for months. My comeback post. I’ve tried writing it as a metaphor, as a poem, in a way that is much more eloquent than the reality. I was lost, comatose, blind and now I am found, awake, and with sight. It was arduous, cliché, and self-indulgent. This is too; so don’t get too smug or relieved. So although delayed, today is the perfect day. And in the end it doesn’t matter the way I tell it.

About 10 years ago I wrote a book. It was inspired by my year in Florida Post College, although in no way reflective of my actual time there. I was motivated and inspired to complete about ¾ of the project. After that I was fairly complacent to pretend like it never happened, but it was always on my mind, harping me to close that chapter so to speak. Although I was also comfortable ignoring this sentiment, my mother was also present to remind me of my desire to publish this book with clippings of articles on publishing, the names of self publishers scribbled on scraps of paper, and reminders during our daily phone chats. We had even begun brainstorming a second novel that we would co-author once this one was finished.

After she passed away, I though this is surely the chance I have to finish this novel, to use writing as a cathartic process, and begin to heal. But I did not do this. I avoiding writing like I avoided most things that I knew were healthy coping mechanisms one might potentially say. But one day, several years later, an amazing thing happened and suddenly I realized my hardships as my strength and that it wasn’t too late to shift gears. So shift I did and I’ve finally been able to finish the book* I began several years ago. It’s not perfect (sorry everyone who already purchased it😉 )but it’s my story and I laughed when I wrote it and I cried too. And I did both when I read it each time. And I feel ready for the next one.

With that, I honestly can’t believe how many wonderful people I’ve accrued through my life who have stood by me for all of my highs and lows. I am a better friend because of you. I am so grateful that I have such a loving family and support system that has only continue to strengthen despite our losses. And I am grateful to have my mom still such a big part in my life through her memory and the values imparted upon me. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have been given and that life has patiently been waiting for my return. Thank you for waiting. Thank you for believing in me. So on this day, which I can hardly believe is the fourth anniversary of her passing I am happy to say that’s one down, several more to go. I toast you every day, but especially today. I miss you and love you and thank you for everything including the publisher recommendation.🙂

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*Although this post is slightly more serious in tone, this book is not. It’s a lot of fun if you would like to check it out! A Girl, A Dream, and SPF 50.

the time i missed my connection…

i imagine these two are busy at work finding my future hub.

I imagine these two are busy at work finding my future hub.

I was recently given the gift of abundant free time and beyond getting the opportunity to spend as much of it as possible at my favorite place in Manhattan, the community pool, I have been focused 100% on self reflection and improvement. As such, I have taken a break from the world of online dating so that I can work on being a person that I would actually consider dating. I am only 2 weeks into this apparent 7 week process, however love can’t be stopped so I was fortunate to meet my soul mate on a Brooklyn bound 4 train this past Saturday.

Meet might be a slight overstatement. It was hard to fully assess our companionship due to the fact I was entrenched in a novel and listening to my self improvement summer mix and he was devoted to his Michael Jackson travel tunes, however he had a positive energy, glasses, and no wedding ring so I am fairly certain this was true love. I wasn’t sure if I should say anything considering I am not totally self evolved as of yet, but I did remove one of my ear buds to invite any sweet nothings he wished to whisper in my available ear.

Unfortunately, the universe must have gotten its wires crossed and the sweet nothings were only the latter. I am persistent so I put forth a final hail mary and scoped out Craigslist Missed Connections, as I was confident Future Mr. B was likely there searching for yours truly. It was here I had my second surprise of the weekend. I have never really perused this website before, however I had a very romantic vision of the site filled with hopeless romantics chasing after love at first sight that just so happened to pass them by. The two people that happened to be reading the same tattered novel, swept away in a crowd of rambunctious teenagers, a meaningful glance that should have been more, the picnickers that got separated in a tizzy of Summer Stage attendees. I am here to tell you it is not this.

Missed Connections did NOT house the romantic message I was certain would be awaiting me, however if someone regretfully missed out on a threesome with a married couple at Niagra in the East Village, lost their “sweet” harness at Eagle Bar, or you are in search of the name of the charming gentleman that felt you up in meatpacking you should probably check out Craigslist because your connections await you. I, on the other hand, will be continuing my practice of avoiding Internet dating until I am fully prepared for true love and my eyes have healed from the assault that was Missed Connections. There were photos. Photos that I can never unsee… And if you happen to be that tall bespectacled gentleman from the 4 train… well then this worked out nicely. Until next time!

adventures in office gossip

Like most people, my workday is often very busy with distracting things such as conference calls, spreadsheets, and meetings, leaving very little time for life’s most important topics. I am often forced to learn every detail of my colleague’s dating lives in minimal time. As such, it’s important to strategize. Here are my tips on maximizing gossip sessions.

Get to the point. When recapping a date, nobody needs to know how the food was prepared. It only matters whether or not he picked a decent, convenient spot, and how smoothly the check was handled. Just kidding I need every detail of what you ordered, ate, how you ate it, how it tasted, whether or not you met the chef, what exactly you each said, the tone with which it was said, and whether or not the night ended in a kiss. But be concise. Just don’t spare any single detail.

Recap emails can be helpful. Details are hard, but necessary for the joy of your enraptured audience, so be thorough. All feelings and any important dialogue should be noted to expedite group analysis. Always take particular note as to how the date ended. Did he set a time to meet again? Did he say I will talk to you tomorrow or I will talk with soon? Note body language and facial expressions. Photos would help….

Text updates are key. Bathroom breaks are perfect for live date updates, which allow your dateless friends to feel included and for you to feel important. It’s nice for everyone. This also is a nice timeline to follow when putting together your date recap e-mail.

Explore all channels when rehashing dating challenges with friends at work or anytime. Having a hard time determining if that hottie on the ferry is single? Hit the app store. Between tinder, OKC, match, bumble, coffee meets bagel, howaboutwe, and plenty of fish (is this still a thing? that can be discussed as well) you will find out swiftly. Mid day catch-ups are perfect for best practice sharing with single coworkers on emerging platforms outside of the boardroom. Within moments it’s possible to find nearly any single male in the tri-state area with current technology so make sure you stay connected.

Make an agenda. During gossip sessions you want to make sure everyone gets to share and give input to make sure all can weigh in and take part in the fun. An agenda is a good way to make sure you stay on schedule and cover all updates evenly.

Most of all don’t get discouraged. This amount of emotional energy may be exhausting and cause you to wonder if it is worth it, but there is nothing better than sharing with girlfriends, helping each other primp before an exciting first date, slightly obsessing, and immediately banding together to plot impending doom on anyone that falls short of our fairly low expectations. It may seem tough at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! As long as I am married in CT by next June with a pony, a shared yard with my bestie, and a minivan. Just kidding. I’m not kidding. I mean whatever happens!😉 Happy trails to all my single ladies! Read more

this is a tribute.

In anniversary of her passing I have been reflecting on how much my mom loved life. Her true love of life surrounded the human variety and bringing babies into the world in the way of a labor and delivery nurse. The sparkle in her eye over the topic of babies was never fading and she always had a bag packed with the tools needed in the event she had to deliver for a pregnant teacher years later in life when she was no longer working in a hospital but rather an elementary school. I am sure she would have been elated for the chance to use it.

I wish I could carry on this legacy and that I had the stomach to do so, but unfortunately I don’t have the Brady altruistic career path gene. I also don’t do so well with such a large volume of body fluids and screaming. When fluffy, my male hamster, suddenly gave birth to a litter of baby hamsters while I was home with a stomach virus at age 8, Mom leveraged the opportunity to use t it as a teaching moment. I learned more than one lesson that day. First I learned to always question living gifts from my aunt. Second I learned to get separate cages for my two hamsters. And third I learned hamsters eat their live offspring regardless of whether or not you are home with the flu or not. It was a big day. I am getting off track. She was such a vibrant presence in my life, it is impossible for me to conceptualize that it has been 3 years without her. As she made sure to tell me nobody said life is fair. So a toast!
I hope your days are filled with the crispest champagne, the butteriest foie gras, the prime spot at the beach for sunset, the best patterned socks for monkey making, the comfiest first class seats for flying, the spiciest chili peppers, plentiful clams during eternal low tide, the most elegant yet unbreakable glasses for painting, the bluest hydrangeas that manage to survive more than a season, the best tag ,estate or yard sales and all around best bargains to be found, and most of all YMCA always queued up on the play list. Thinking of you keeps my heart whole. I know you are making heaven laugh every day. Lucky heaven! Je t’aime

I miss this!

I miss this!

i’m back.

Yesterday was the first day it felt like spring and thus the appropriate time to wear a dress with bare legs. It also was the day for me to spill coffee on myself on my way to work, arrive at said workplace 30 minutes late due to train malfunctions, and miss the bus. You know the day. The crowning pre- 10 am moment was a run-in with one of the original rejecters of yours truly in the past year. He was one of the many (okay few) great first dates that were followed with enthusiastic plans to extend the fun with an immediate second only to never hear from this person ever again.

Picture it. Tinder. May 2014. A quiet architect with a fairly prominent lisp treats a newly employed gal to a delightful evening of flirtatious banter and libation. After said evening, our bashful gentleman follows up with an overly sentimental text indicating the evening as one of great joy. One that was so engaging and compelling he would have loved to continue to talk with this woman all night long. A little dramatic and cheesy? Absolutely! Appreciated? Totally! After a little light Internet stalking and wedding planning, it is official; the Future Mr. B has been selected.

Obviously I never heard from this person again, which I assumed was due to his relocation to the extremely remote island where all of my other abandoned dates reside. They typically don’t resurface on the cross-town bus so you can imagine my surprise when I saw him this AM. What is shocking to me is that this scenario has unfolded for nearly every woman I know. Meet a guy, have a sparkling evening; both parties mutually agree with enthusiasm the night was wonderful in every way. And then nothing. It seems this type of behavior is universal, however my sample happens to exclusively consist of gorgeous, smart, interesting women, which is even more baffling to me. I am no dummy, I understand the idea of being polite, but if a date wasn’t actually the best of your life or if you don’t actually want to talk all night, why don’t we just skip the dramatic overtures and all agree to keep it civil. Agreed?

P.S. We are just going to pretend like I wasn’t on a 20-year blogging hiatus.

This sad dumpster pillow cat has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

This sad dumpster pillow cat has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

Talking to strangers

I’ll be the first to admit I have a Hallmark Movie problem. I can’t help it. I don’t like surprises and they have perfected a Marissa approved movie format that I just can’t get enough of. I love the clichés. I love that romance is always the answer and most of all I love that there will be a happy ending. Recently, as I embarked on my third consecutive film, I was chuckling to myself at an overtly cheesy scene where a complete stranger spews incessant unsolicited inspirational anecdotes on the main character, which then propels her along the remaining plotline of the movie. I laughed at the idea that such a peripheral character would approach another and impact that person so profoundly. Or at least as profoundly as Hallmark can accommodate.

That’s when I was struck by the memory of a woman I met when I was traveling this past spring. I was in a very bad place in life. In technical terms I was “completely freaking out”. It was ‘crying on the subway on the regular’ bad and I knew I needed to take action. After I hung up from a call with my dad, during which he alluded to the fact that I should avoid sharp objects, I took up conversation with a woman to my right at the bar. She too was at a crossroads, haven taken a new job and was uncertain about the risks. We only spoke briefly, but both shared our fears and it felt surprisingly natural. Despite the fact that I credit this mostly to the desperation we both felt, I remember feeling a little bit better after our chat.

meadows make me pensive.

meadows make me pensive.

I boarded my flight home and fortunately everything all worked out. I made some changes and was able to shift gears in a way that has allowed me the ability to survive a subway ride without tears. That moment in the airport wasn’t the most pivotal by any means. There were many more compelling conversations, but I do think it was an important one. Misery loves company I suppose, but more than that it was comforting to feel a little more connected to a seemingly random universe. It was nice to be reassured by someone who wasn’t actually obligated to support me. Not that I don’t love that reassurance as well, I will take as much support as the world is willing to lend my way. Anyway, the point is that is why I will continue to interrupt and annoy perfectly innocent strangers in airports. Fin.

As I recently watched my social media feed fill with the coming of the super moon I became reflective on the mysterious cyclical nature of life. You know the cycle to which I am referring. That predictable pattern of crime TV binges curtailed by abridged relationships that end on or around the time one accuses the unsuspecting gentleman of being a serial killer which launches back into a marathon of Swamp Murders. Oh wait… is this story exclusive to me?

Regardless of whether or not my suspicious/paranoid nature is to blame for my failed attempts at romance (I’m nearly positive that’s my only flaw), it has been determined that it probably doesn’t help. So I am getting serious about finding the future Mr. B and per the advice of a highly accredited tarot card reader (thanks Blake!) I have formed the below list of qualities I seek in a companion that I will now put into the web-based universe. So here it is. Do you know this person? He should know that I make a mean dip.

1. The most important thing is that he is nice person. I am talking salt of the earth. Oddly harder to find than one would think.
2. Somebody that loves family.
3. Funny. Someone who makes me laugh. We laugh together.
4. Someone to be nice to my cat. He doesn’t have to like cats; he just has to like my cat.
5. Someone that’s driven and wants to do well career-wise. This isn’t all about the Benjamin’s – it’s about fulfillment.
6. Must have friends. I get weirded out if someone doesn’t have friends. I don’t just want to hang out with that person all the time.
7. I definitely need to date a drinker. There could be an exception, but I have tried and I doubt it.
8. Physically I am drawn to a little chubby and a lot taller. I don’t mind fuzziness.
9. Must be a meat-eater. I don’t trust a vegetarian.
10. Confidence is key. 

thought provoking right?

thought provoking right?

Universe meet list. List meet universe.😉

This is 30

This week a friend asked if this is how I pictured my life at 30 and my immediate answer was “HELL NO”. I then proceeded to escort myself on a self-guided journey into a pity party for one. After I moped around for a while, referencing a few indications of my perceived lack of success, I snapped out of that thought process real fast. Of course this isn’t where I pictured myself at 30 because I painted it when I was about 6 and I l was never very good at art. Or sports… I digress.

So this is 30 and to be perfectly honest I am quite happy to leave my 20s behind. The older I get, the more legitimate it is for me to leave places before 10:00 PM. It is one step closer to getting to wear muumuus without judgement. And discuss casseroles and crock-pots for longer periods of time. So there’s that.

I took risks in my twenties that helped me figure out what makes me happy and what makes me sad. I have trimmed and tailored and cut out the fat. I learned that while Edward 40 hands is a good idea when you are 24, Hendricks Martinis with your best friends are better. And even best when you do both with your aforementioned friends. I feel like the past year has led me to a calmer state of Marissa. And I can stand for a little calm.

So it was a happy birthday for me and a happy birthday for BJ. He’s 6, which is 40 in cat years. I wonder how he’s feeling.

Bitch didn't even get me a present.

Bitch didn’t even get me a present.

 

 

How to live life better.

I have been anxious about what to share in this long anticipated return post, as my life is overridden with fascinating news and anecdotes. However I couldn’t really land a theme so instead I shall share some generic wisdom I have gathered over my years. There are little things I do to try and deflect from the squalor in which I reside. * These little tricks have gotten me through some tough pest ridden times. Hopefully they’ll help you. In this first issue, I’ll cover 3 categories Rodents, Insects, and Snakes.
Rodents
A mouse in the house? First try picturing him wearing a top hat or comedically eating an oversized triangle of cheese. Not working? Purchase a gigantic orange tabby cat and commence life’s enjoyment.

 

Keeping it gangsta

Keeping it gangsta

Insects
Cockroaches it you squeamish? I’ve tried using my ninja-like skills to sneak up and slyly stomp them, but it’s hard to be ninja-like while openly weeping in galoshes. The best strategy here is to gently place cat near infected area and commence prayer.
Snakes
Garden snake? Or new best friend? You decide, but I say befriend the enemy! They smell fear. Also name him Snakey- it’s emasculating**.
Soooo, that is basically what I’ve got for now. Likely a midlife crisis to follow in the next week or so, stay tuned.

*Note I live adorably.

**My actual tactic for each category is to first call my dad in hysterics followed up with an immediate panic-stricken call to my super.