How many kids with ADD does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
We got new bikes!
This is Husband’s handsome new ride. It’s an olive green Biria re-make of a classic European city bike. That market bag on the back was my present to him for our 4th year wedding anniversary.
And this is my little beaut. It’s name is Linus for obvious reasons and the design is based on French city bikes of the 1950’s. Which is where, if this was a time machine bike, I would immediately set my time dial to. Meet me there?
And because it is just mean to leave Walter home on these gorgeous last days of summer, we equipped Cyrus’ bike with means of pup transportation. We opted for the one with a roll cage for safety reasons and the basket one for Toto-from-Kansas reasons. Walter gets a lot of action cruising around in there. These dudes be breakin’ hearts!
Walter’s favorite ride is up the West Side Highway to Harlem, turn around, stop at the cafe by the Hudson and get a table closest to the water, bark at pigeons, snack on jessica’s fallen french fries and then it’s back to the West Vil he goes.
This past weekend, The Coulters and The Sorrells attended Sleep No More, which I will refrain from going into too much detail about because all 3 to 4 of you who are reading this should go. Go, I say!
We started the night with an earlybird 5pm dinner of Spanish tapas and sangria at El Quijote. Now there is a restaurant that is really doin’ it. And has been for yeeeeeears. Spanish snacks done perfectly.
Then we had a 7pm start time at Sleep No More. To keep it vague, it’s basically a four-story, 1920’s hotel theme’d haunted house but instead of ghosts that jump out and scare you, they have thespians that jump out and scare you. BOO! ACTING!
Can I have my letterman jacket drama-face-patch now? Thanks. Also, there is no talking and you have to wear a mask like in Eyes Wide Shut.
The story is based loosely (like, sleeve of a wizard loosely) on Macbeth. But apart from the dancing and the impressive makeout-fighting, the highlight is by far the 100+ rooms of intricate set design. Drawers that open filled with thousands of typed sheets of paper and swatches of real human hair, a candy store where eating from the jars is encouraged (a fact I wish I had known prior) and a forest, graveyard and abandoned hotel restaurant that all felt real down to the temperatures and smells of each room.
Here is a great slideshow with audio accompanyment describing a few of the rooms.
Wandering around the warehouse in silence for three hours felt a little like you’re in a movie, especially being a voyeur during dramatic scenes that seemed to manifest out of fog-machine-air. But you’re also made to feel like a ghost, with the actors having private moments inches from your face, yet don’t seem to see you.
And that is still just a vague description. It’s truly something worth seeing first hand. At the very least, I dare you to go and not have the words “only in new york” escape your lips. I dare.
ANSWER: Riding Waverunners around the island of Manhattan.
Isn’t that weird? Seems like it should be illegal. Which means eventually it probably will be, so now’s your time, adventure clubbin’ ladies and gents.
Husband and I seized the legal moment a couple of weekends ago with A. Coll and her boyfriend we lovingly refer to as Manmeat. It was a private 3 hour tour (I know) with a guide ran by Blue Streak Water Sports. We started at a marina near Coney Island, we rode down along the Brooklyn shore and then we were presented with this lady. Isn’t she lovely?
We went under all the bridges, rode alongside the Staten Island Ferry, dodged fancy sailboats, yachts and garbage barges alike and went all the way up the East River at sometimes 70 miles an hour. It was a combo party that was a little part survival (WHITE KNUCKLE’D!) and a lot part fun. Which, when mixed with the possibility of getting a little East River in your mouth and dying of dysentery a la Oregon Trail, makes for one serious adventure.
At one point, Amy and Manmeat were scooting along leisurely, looking at one of the bridges and actually fell into the East river. HA! Chris even lost his sunglasses. I hope that a fish puts them on and then finds the fish who is probably looking very hip in the Ray Bans I dropped in there earlier this summer and that they become hipster fish friends and move to the banks of Williamsburg.
The entire experience was just another example of my determination to not just live in New York City, but open every door, peek under all the rugs, pull up NYC’s cushions to see what I can find and admire it from every single angle. And this was one of the most magnificent angles yet.
'Tis the sign of a damn good birthday when a large majority of the photos are too hot for the Net. I did manage to scrounge up some photos that are booze-abuse, creamcheese-abuse and nipple free.
Frankly, it’s a miracle.
Where were we? Ah, yes. So, when we weren’t riding horses or trying to ride princess popcorn (shown out to water pasture, ignoring us below), or being outlaws, we laid by, around or in the pool and worked on our tans and champagne tolerance. Clad in cowboy hats and unicorn earrings, of course.
Oh, and swimcaps!
For breakfast we enjoyed some fresh fruit and also some of the kind of fruit that comes in .99 crack pies.
Hostess did the catering, of course.
When a civilized hour came to pass (which was earlier and earlier each day), we sipped Mermaid Margs.
There was an abundance of gossip magazines, often two copies of each for simultaneous reading and trash-talking purposes. Gossip Girl, Mindy!
Evieeeeeeeeee! In a rare photo wearing her bikini top!
And, there goes the tops again.
The first night we were all together, we exchanged cowgirl tokens of friend appreciation. By the end, we had at least 10 matching items to adorn with. Cowgirl hats, magic wands, cups with our names on them, neon twisty straws, mermaid drink decorations, unicorn earrings, bolo ties, dreamcatchers, sheriff badges, cowgirl shirts, outlaw scarves, turquoise earrings, unicorn figurines and more!
Our gift exchange felt like the weirdest, coolest Christmas morning at night time and after we had a good old fashioned cackle-off. (We were all winners.)
Woah, this moment is some deep shit.
One night, the gals took me for a birthday dinner at the Rustler’s Rooste, a western-theme’d family restaurant complete with a real live Bull, a slide, a country cover band and a gift shop with scorpions frozen in time.
The food, which I think was referred to multiple times as grub, was family style: meat, corn on the cob, taters, more meat, beans, cornbread, green beans and then more meat.
Our waiter brought me cotton candy in a tin with a candle in it and they all sang Happy Birthday. 30 is super sweeeeeeet and delightfully blurry!
Wagon wheel posse.
Carnies….which reminds me how for the duration of the trip every time we saw a cornfield, everyone in the car would yell CARN!!!!!!
One night we played the claaaaaaaaassic party game Truth or Dare. Most of those truths and dares are meant to live on only in our memories and not on the internet because we’re classy broads. But, a few of them are so rated G-ish cute and worth mentioning.
Like when Evie had to write and choreograph a cheer and perform it for all of us. She went inside for about five minutes and came out with the catchiest cheer in all of cheerkind. And she performed it HARD. It was the best. Here are the lyrics. High School cheer squads, feel free to use this material.
We’re! The Llamas!
We’re cuter than your mamas!
They’re fucked up! They’re nasty,
Just look at their asses!
And their BOOBS - they dangle,
We will beat you!
Evie later went on to do Amy’s makeup really pretty like as a dare. This is the least horrifying of the photos. (You’re welcome, A. Coll)
I’d like to extend a sparkly, unicorn-horn-sized thank you to my Mom and Dad for very generously letting us take over their vacation home in Arizona. It definitely wouldn’t have been as cozy, as fun or as practically free if we had been anywhere else. THANK YOU.
And so here ends the story of my 30th birthday. But it is just the beginning of a yearly tradition that us cowgirls have enacted. Each year is going to have a subtly different theme, but all the antics will stay just about the same for years and years to come and we’re all more than okay with that.
The only problem……..is it next year yet? I’m ready again.
In an attempt to finally wrap up the story that was my Magical Cowgirl Purty Thirty Party with my portland girls in Arizona, here are some pictures of purty girls on horses!
We took an early morning day trip to the desert where we rode horses, explored a ghost town and ate at a saloon. As it should be.
Here is me and my horse for the day, Love. Which is apropos because I simply looooove LOVE! She was a good girl and I wanted to take her home to Manhattan with me. Alas, my West Vil apartment is too small.
Without argument, Kimberly had the raddest horse. His name was Caesar and he is a perfect specimen. And considering the fact Kim herself is a bit of a spectacular human specimen, they were in perfect unison.
We all had on matching things. Matching cowgirl hats, white scarves, bolo ties made for us by Mindy’s grandpa, cowgirl shirts, boots, tiny silver sheriff pins, turquoise earrings and dreamcatchers. The ranchers and tour guides had a hard time trying to hold back the laughter which only egged us on more.
The ride was three hours long up through the canyons and desert. Our guide, Hank, learned us good about all the different species of cacti and desert wildlife, constantly quizzing us along the way. We saw a deer, lizards, quail and a HUGE jackrabbit.
Hey, it’s Sheriff Bubbles, regulatin’ on the trail.
I have a feeling that when we all arrived at the ranch, the staff was a little nervous about letting us loose in the desert on horses. But after an hour, our guide was complimenting us on our horsemanship skills and letting us trot and gallop up hills. He said we were as good a group he’s ever had and that he would be honored to have us back. Hank can pretty much count on it. We’re thinking that next year we might do an overnight horse ride. Camping, it’s intense!
Riding into my 30’s in mixed denim.
Tough City Slickers and Hank.
After our ride, Hank suggested we head to the local saloon and wrastle up some burgers and beers for lunch. Oh, and fried cheese curds! El yummers.
Hank showed up for lunch minutes after we walked in and ended up eating at our table. Well played, Hank. He ate his burger in almost silence and eavesdropped on cowgirl talk. He spoke up only to tell us that we should come outside after we’re done eating to meet his dog and see his motorcycle and take some pictures. Then this happened.
Yes, his dingo dog actually rides on the back of his bike. He did about five circles to demonstrate, instructed us to take photos because we’re going to want them (he was right) and then sped off into the desert dust. It was a like a live YouTube video and it was incredible.
We went on to walk around the ghost town and pose for ghost-towny photos.
Spotted, Bootie The Kid!
I’d like to throw out a big, canyon-sized thank you to my best friends for slidin’ on their more-fashion-than-function boots, slappin’ on some red lipstick and mounting horses in celebration of my 30th. I can’t wait until we’re desert-bound again.
In mid June, my husband’s sweet grandpa Ace passed away. It wasn’t a complete out-of-the-blue surprise, but nothing is more out-of-the-blue than when someone is there and then they are not. And grandpas. They’re special and this one was no exception. Close friends and family know that Cyrus and I have always said that when we have kids and should one of those kids be a boy, that boy will probably be named Ace. And maybe even if we have a girl kind. And despite the fact that it is only the greatest name ever created, it also stands for all the qualities that Ace possessed. Because of distance and the fact I met Ace later in his life, these qualities have been described and colored-in for me through stories that Cyrus and his parents have told me.
And a few days later, going with a tradition that Cyrus and I started when my Grandpa Black passed away, we made Ace’s favorite meal and retold some of these stories.
Ace loved to eat and had an especially powerful sweet tooth the years that I knew him. He also loved salmon. I believe that on a recent trip home, Ace told Cyrus’ brother, Jesse, that he had dreamt about salmon all night. So Jesse went out and got him a huge salmon. I think that’s so thoughtful. So, we made salmon, mashed potatoes and baby artichokes, all things that he loved. For dessert, I made a homemade apple pie and served it a la mode which is a la required with a sweet tooth like Ace’s.
We ate the delicious meal and Cyrus told me more about the summers he spent in Texas with his grandparents. How they would spoil him. In the mornings, his grandma would present him with every sugary cereal in existence and then cook him whatever his tiny heart desired at night. He would spend hours in front of the TV in the back room. A TV! With cable! You know the feeling! His grandpa would take him golfing and to the amusement park. Ace would go on all the roller coasters with Cyrus, even the scary ones. I guess when you were a pilot in WW2, there’s really no such thing as a scary roller coaster, right?
Ace as a word means several things. “Ace in the hole” is a hole in one golf shot, which Ace loved to golf. It’s also a word for “a military pilot who has destroyed five or more enemy warcraft” and Ace himself was a pilot. And you can also use “Ace” when describing something as Grade A or #1. And Cyrus has always described Ace as the #1 upstanding American citizen. Now that’s a solid legacy to leave behind. He will be very missed.
Ok, everyone go call (or, even better, hug) your grandpa today.