The latest issue of Broughton Quarterly is out and ready for you to enjoy. Please take a look here.
This spring issue features an interview with Donald Trump (where we get him to come out of his shell a little), wild mushroom hunting in NorCal, a beautiful map of Solvang by Lisa Mertins, and of course, style suggestions from yours truly.
We also like to bring you the latest news about Broughton Hotels and the always interesting letter from Larry--almost too much Broughton to bear.
If you would like BQ (that's what we call it around here--BQ) to be sent to your home, please click here and fill out the form--that's it!
While on the cruise, I was in one of those tincy, weency ship bathrooms with Ben..ummm...for a long time. If you have kids you know, you spend an enormous amount of time in the WC, especially during dinner or right when you have a full basket at Target... Sadly, it's no different on a ship. So, there I was staring at the blue and white tile with little Mickey heads and a woman came in, sat down and dialed. She then proceeded to chatter aimlessly with the equally chatty chatterer on the other end.
I have a few questions for that woman: At what level of friendship and intimacy do you have to be with someone to chat with them, well, there? Why would you think any one of us, innocent bathroom goers, would want to hear, in detail, every last thing you have eaten since the ship sailed?
I could see if you had a bathroom emergency at exactly the same time you had a phone emergency--the two emergencies calling for the separate elements to be coupled together, briefly, then never letting them meet again. But this was no urgent call for the Southern Belle, just a little respite time to "catch up."
I thought surely she would hang up before the flush, but no, it was, "Oh Jules, hold on..." Whoooshhhhh "Blah...no shrimp...blah...butter in their scrambled eggs..blah." It became clear she does this all the time.
I said to myself "This is perposterious!" (Which I say to myself a lot and I always agree with myself that it is.) Well, then I just couldn't help myself (having full agreement), I just started flushing and flushing and flushing. Ben, still perched, said, "Mom, why you do that?" Because mommy likes the idea of vigilante etiquette justice.
Bummer, I wasn't able to post a single thing during our family's vacation on the Disney Cruise in the Caribbean. So now I have WAY too much to tell you. I will spare you and sum it all up like this: I would highly recommend you take your family someday.
It was everything you would expect from Disney--well organized, jammed-packed with activities for kids and adults alike, clean and safe, and had a few surprises tucked away here and there. Like this on deck pirate party which turned these mild-mannered Orange County housewives into swaggering, plundering scalawags-except for me. I didn't get the memo on dressing like a pirate. I was more J.Crew than D. Jones. Arr!
Here are the final numbers for our vacation: 6 pounds gained (First thing in the morning, not a stitch on--the only sensible way to weigh yourself.)
16 number of times my kids stepped on my toes
3 times I was kissed by Minnie Mouse
0 minutes I spent reading the book I brought
4 number of times I cried out of pure joy watching my kids have fun
11 inches that my husband's feet stuck out of the incy wincy bed in our cabin
7 number of times I took a picture and thought "That is totally going to be our Christmas card picture."
$49 price of a Castaway Cay (Disney's private island) sweatshirt I said I would wear when I workout or just kicking around the house
0 realistic guess of number of times I will probably ever wear it again
2 minutes before boarding the bus to the ship that Ben fell, hit his head on a cement fountain and got a bump on his forehead the size of a large goose egg
4,325 loads of dirty laundry I have to do now (DISCLAIMER: This might be a slight exaggeration fueled by my hatred of doing laundry)
I promise I will now stop talking about the cruise--not another word about it.
We had so much fun on the Disney Cruise! Okay, seriously, that's it.
See ya real soon!
Here are the final numbers for our vacation:
6 pounds gained (First thing in the morning, not a stitch on--the only sensible way to weigh yourself.)
I am home. We had a blast. Too tired to tell you more now. I just posted (below) things I wrote during the trip. Pure torture not having access to wireless 24/7. I am hopeless.
I am sitting in the Disney Wonder's adult lounge "The Cove" writing this to you. It is freezing, but I refuse to give up hope of seeing the sun I saw on the cruise's marketing DVD. So, instead of breaking down and shelling out $50 for a cheesy, yet cozy, Disney sweatshirt, I walked around all day in my "Caribbean wear," which is my swimsuit, cover-up and flip-flops--it's 61 degrees outside right now.
We were unable to land at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island, today due to inclement weather. We will go tomorrow instead. The word from a chatty employee who was "guarding" the Captain Jack Sparrow line--which is a thankless job--is that usually we would normally just skip the island altogether and just have another day at sea, but Roy Disney, Jr. is on board. According to chatty line guarder, they have only come back to the island one time--ever. I suppose BEING a Disney has its perks.
So, thanks Roy, Jr. Skipping the island would have been a heartless move--though, I am sure, clearly detailed in my five-page Disney contract.
Dear my blog,
I miss you so much! I haven't been able to write on you for so long--three whole days! I know, I desperately miss you too. I can see by the stats meter that hardly anyone is coming to visit you while I have been away. Don't get discouraged. They do love you, they just need something fresh to look at...you know we blog readers...new content hounds and all...
I am having a great time. It has been colder than expected, but it still is beautiful in the Caribbean and all the activities have kept us busy. I have eaten a mountain of food already, which makes me less than eager to put on my bathing suit every day. The kids are deliriously happy and having the time of their lives. Each night they are falling asleep in an instant and snore a happy tune.
Internet access has been difficult to come by, I am a little disappointed in Disney for that--for heaven's sake, they are Disney. Disney! So, I can't tell you exactly when I when I will be able to write again--or if I will be able to. The Pirate Party scheduled for tonight is said to be brutal.
Love you ALWAYS,
P.S. Can't send pictures due to previously mentioned internet snafu.
I just wrote something on The Mom Blog at ocregister.com. It will post on Saturday at 7:30 am: OC Moms getting their just rewards in Florida.
There we are, Jana, Jill and I lounging at the "beach" at the not-at-all-tacky Dolphin
Hotel Resort. (Note slight sarcasm in tone...will explain...later.) As you can see, I have ditched the purse. I heard your shrieks of horror and have replaced it with a backpack (and NO I will not post a picture).
We are off to the Disney Cruise tomorrow. We go to The Disney World Resort first for two days and then board the Disney Wonder on Easter Sunday.
I am hoping to be able to post a least one picture a day.
I don't like to fly, so my stomach is already in knots thinking about the five hour flight to Florida. I try my very best not show my kids I 'm scared, but I am certain it's on my face. Hiding my feelings isn't one of my talents (I know you are shocked by this news).
Larry always talks me through it. "That's the doors closing," he calmly assures me, "That's just turbulence."
I bought this purse for our Caribbean cruise and I can't decide whether I love it or hate it. My fear is it's a bit too 80's.
Well? Surf and sand or Duran Duran?
Eric and Annie gave Larry and I a CD of Band Of Horses when we were in San Francisco and I have been listening to them almost exclusively this last week.
I like this song the best, "No one's gonna love you (more than I do)." There wasn't a video for the song on Youtube, but the big boxer staring at us is just as good.
It was bothering me who Band Of Horses reminded me of and then it came to me--Big Star. I love Big Star, so I spastically downloaded them today and made a playlist, mixing the two bands.
Then I found this nice little number from Metrolyrics.com. This widget scrolls lyrics to a song. "The Ballad of el goodo" is a beautifully written song by Big Star. So, this is what you do: play the YouTube below and scroll the words here.
Ahh, wasn't that outstanding? This is the kind of thing that makes me thoroughly and disproportionately happy.
On "Mommy's Mind Is Not A Toy" today, Whining: A Young Child's Only Weapon.
"Alive in Wonderland" is going to debut on ocregister.com's Morning Read Page next Thursday, not this Thursday, the following Thursday. I will post all the info here. I want you to read that too.
Take a look at this slide show from Vogue by Annie Leibovitz: Alice In Wonderland. I love it.
I can't stop taking on writing adventures. Poor "accomplished" Suzanne Broughton doesn't stand a chance any longer. I can just see her resisting the urge to google herself, finally giving in, and cursing the day I ever decided to start blogging. I suppose there is the possiblity she just doesn't care to be the most famous out of the two of us...doubtful, but possible. (Current status: I dominate the first 6 positions on a "Suzanne Broughton" search.) Read about self-imposed, petty, google-war here.
What was I talking about? Yes...I have been working on getting the travel blog for Larry's company, Broughton Hospitality, up and running. It is now open to the public, and ready to "dazzle" you.
Visit here: Checking in with Broughton Hospitality.
Now, can't help then to link to this song by Morrissey: The more you ignore me, the closer I get. You're wasting your time. I have this as a ringtone on my iPhone. I like to choose ringtones that sound like my phone is talking to me.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day. I feel like telling a little Irish story--my very own Irish story.
When I was nineteen I went to Germany to visit my brother and, for reasons that are too complicated to explain now, I ended up traveling alone to Ireland.
Armed with a Youth Hostel pass, an enormous backpack and limited common sense, I hitchhiked my way through most of the country. I spent about a week and a half there and I'm happy to report, they were some of the best days of my life.
When it was time to leave, I boarded the ferry that would take me back to the train, that would take me back to Heidelberg. This song, Troy, by Sinead O Connor, was playing in my ears as Ireland disappeared between the two grays of the sea and the sky.
So what if I cried? I cried my eyes out, okay. I never wanted to leave.
Sometime I have to tell you the story of the filthy-mouthed truck driver, Pat, who drove me from Dublin to Galway...where I was stung by a bee while eating a Nutella sandwich...which was almost all I ate while there...oh,oh..and about how I stood for hours in the rain, just outside Dublin, waiting for a ride to take me to Belfast. Then, finally, a nice couple stopped, leaned out their window and said no one would take a single American girl to Belfast--too dangerous. Apparently, they could tell I was American by my shoes, which I took as a compliment, but realized later it probably wasn't. They drove me back into Dublin and treated me to tea. (Well, that's really the whole story about them.) Oh, and the mime! William Kennedy, the Irish mime. Don't let me forget to tell you about him. I spent DAYS with him...
Well, we arrived in Florida yesterday for our Disney vacation. Yes, we made it!
I've decided to do something I will instantly regret as soon as post this; I'm going to title each post for the next month with either the name of a song or lyrics. Well, maybe not exactly the name, but some variation.
There is absolutely no point in doing this, just thought I would make things interesting. Morrissey alone can probably supply an entire year's worth.
You can guess who they belong to (Keli, this one is all yours!) or you can make better suggestions. For instance this one could have also been called, "Mystery Achievement."
Reluctantly, I went to my very first Mighty Ducks hockey game a couple of weeks ago. More specifically, it was my first hockey game ever. Our friends, Tim and Cathy, are season ticket holders and kindly invited Larry, my husband, and me.
Oh my! The pushing and shoving, the unsportsmanlike behavior, the spite exhibited to one Paul Kariya, the loud music, the teetering, future lawsuit-producing blimp from “Togo's”...all of it has bewitched me, body and soul. (Surely the first ever reference in a hockey story. Click here to fully appreciate irony.
My penchant for man-food, tolerance for stadium rock and love of organized chaos came together at The Honda Center that Friday night when the Might Ducks played the Saint Louis Whoevers.
I was instantly smitten with the game and equally enamored with the fans.
Poor, patient Tim had the misfortune of sitting next to me as I badgered him with question after question: "Where is the goalie?"
"Can they touch the ball with their hands?"
"What color are our guy's outfit?"
"Are they allowed to be so mean?"
"Is there really a Ruby's here?"
"Don't they shake hands with the losers at the end of the game?" To which the answer was, "only in the playoffs." Awesome!
In a world where political correctness has a free pass into our daily lives, it was refreshing to be where the woman sitting behind me with her kids could scream "rip his face off!" throughout the entire game, without the looming threat of someone calling CPS on her. I also loved that every time the Ducks scored, they would shine a spotlight on the disgraced goalie, deepening his shame. And score they did, five times. Which Tim told me on the way to the car was a lot for hockey--we were lucky. He then apologized there wasn't more fighting--you can't have everything, I suppose. Better luck next time.
Sometimes, living here, things seem so polished, perfect and pristine--like Trumanville. Hockey feels like the antithesis of refined--it felt primal. The Mighty Ducks: keepin' it real in Orange County. That should be their slogan.
I've also hounded Larry nonstop to get us season tickets. I am pretty sure that's why he didn't take any of my calls today.
My change of heart toward hockey reminds me of when in a movie a character says something like, "There is absolutely no way I am going to France," and then they cut to him sitting in a cafe, wearing a beret, drinking a cappuccino, violin playing in the background, talking to Gérard Depardieu (link name to http://ensnaring.com/gerarddepardieu/. )That's me, first it was "Hockey? Really?" then cut to me at my next hockey game, waving a big foam finger, eating a piece of First Class Pizza and screaming, "Rip his face off!"
My family and I are setting sail on The Disney Cruise this Thursday. The cruise is a gift for my fortieth birthday ...so mature of me, I know. I am an unabashed Disney freak (See Proof Here) and my husband and three other families have indulged me. Our kids are beside themselves with anticipation, "How many days now, Mom?" They can't wait to jump into that Mickey-shaped pool (shhh, me either.) Going on this cruise has pressed me (and my three girlfriends) into the most unnatural and humbling thing imaginable--shopping for a swimsuit in March. I won't give you the gory details, just the winning suit. This one from Athleta. They are so sweet to us moms there at Athleta. They offer the much-loved and appreciated "tankini" with almost every suit and the beloved swim skirt, too. Their suits cover all the (um) essentials and don't require the usual tugging and adjusting you get from your standard J.Crew get-up. Plus, ordering a bathing suit from the internet allows you to try it on at home, in non-brutal lighting, as God intended. I'll admit, I have been agonizing just a little about how I will look in the aforementioned suit, but dieting just before a cruise is kind of like cleaning your house right before you have your entire family--kids, dogs and all--over for Christmas. It's totally futile. All your efforts will be totally blown in the first ten minutes. Why bother, really? Besides, I'm there to have fun, not to seduce Goofy. But, I will admit I do really want to get a picture of Mickey and me, just as the sun is setting into the sea. (I told you...FREAK!) Don’t fret, I will be able to post to The Mom Blog from the ship. Be prepared for a boatload (sorry had to do it) of pictures of me and my maties (ouch, that's the last one) on The Disney Wonder. My, I did ramble today. Too much Diet Coke does that to me.
**Note about me**I don't post pictures of my kids on the internet, but you can take my word for it, they are adorable. My husband and I made this rule when I first started blogging and I think it is a prudent one, given all the despicable creeps in the world. Oh, but they are so cute...
My family and I are setting sail on The Disney Cruise this Thursday. The cruise is a gift for my fortieth birthday ...so mature of me, I know. I am an unabashed Disney freak (See Proof Here) and my husband and three other families have indulged me.
Our kids are beside themselves with anticipation, "How many days now, Mom?" They can't wait to jump into that Mickey-shaped pool (shhh, me either.)
Going on this cruise has pressed me (and my three girlfriends) into the most unnatural and humbling thing imaginable--shopping for a swimsuit in March. I won't give you the gory details, just the winning suit. This one from Athleta.
They are so sweet to us moms there at Athleta. They offer the much-loved and appreciated "tankini" with almost every suit and the beloved swim skirt, too. Their suits cover all the (um) essentials and don't require the usual tugging and adjusting you get from your standard J.Crew get-up. Plus, ordering a bathing suit from the internet allows you to try it on at home, in non-brutal lighting, as God intended.
I'll admit, I have been agonizing just a little about how I will look in the aforementioned suit, but dieting just before a cruise is kind of like cleaning your house right before you have your entire family--kids, dogs and all--over for Christmas. It's totally futile. All your efforts will be totally blown in the first ten minutes. Why bother, really? Besides, I'm there to have fun, not to seduce Goofy.
But, I will admit I do really want to get a picture of Mickey and me, just as the sun is setting into the sea. (I told you...FREAK!)
Don’t fret, I will be able to post to The Mom Blog from the ship. Be prepared for a boatload (sorry had to do it) of pictures of me and my maties (ouch, that's the last one) on The Disney Wonder.
My, I did ramble today. Too much Diet Coke does that to me.
I am playing catch-up in my posting...The Mom Blog, the up and coming "Alive in Wonderland" column and starting a new travel blog "Checking in" has put me behind--one week behind to be exact.
Snapped these pictures at the Car Show in Huntington Beach last Saturday. Whenever I am downtown it makes me a little nostalgic for the old Huntington Beach, my old HB. I miss the charm and HATE the pink stucco. But, underneath the chain restaurants and teal-trimmed buildings, I can still hear the heartbeat of my hometown...boom boom...boom boom...boom boom
Notice the license plate..."Wzatree"
It's nice to know the "Locals Only" attitude is still alive and well...boom boom...boom boom...
(Side note, this picture was taken at Wahoo's downtown and when I asked the guy if I could take a picture of his shirt, he said, "Sure, dude." I haven't ever been called a dude before, that's new.)