Sunday, July 31, 2011

Express Jeans for Fall

This post brought to you by Express. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've hit that point of SERIOUSLY needing new jeans again, guys. I appreciate that the whole "even a belt won't keep the old ones up on my hips" point falls right when all of the new fall clothes are coming out, so at least I have a lot to choose from! Advertisement

I've been doing some jean shopping online to get ideas, including checking out the women's jeans from Express. (Like how I clarified that, as if I'd be looking at the men's? Yeeah.) The Express jeans come in 7 different cuts, ranging in skinnyness from Jeggings (AHH, NO!) to flare.


I like some flare in my jeans to balance out my hips, so I think my favorites are the boot cut & barely boot, but I also kind of dig the straight and skyscraper cuts. Skyscraper is almost like a skinny jean with training wheels- just that little bit of flare at the ankles. What kind do you go for? I kind of need some skinnier jeans for tucking in boots in the fall/winter, but I just can't get over my aversion to them! Do you rock skinny jeans, or even (gasp) jean leggings?

If you're in need of new jeans, too, there is an Express giveaway on Facebook for 50 pairs of jeans! Score!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Montreal Part 2

Oh hi! Welcome back! It's been a while! I like that thing you're doing with your hair now!

Sorry for the long break between posts about my epic vacation of epicness, some mutant strain of Allergies of Doom have knocked me on my ass all week! I'm still not 100%, but I think I've finally worked out the right coffee/chocolate/Nyquil/allergy meds/rum ratio to at least keep me on my feet! (I even missed Target Tuesday this week, because I was passed out on the couch all day from allergy medicine! FAIL!)

Anyway! When I left off in part 3 of my epic U2 Tour (or UTour, as I'm now calling it. U2our? U2r?) Canada trip, I was finally inside the most ginormous stadium ever, smooshed up with 80,000 of my dearest friends.

Interpol was the opening band, which I wasn't especially excited about. I only knew one of their songs (which really is enough, because all of their songs sound the same!), and I was a little meh about seeing a band I'm not crazy about three times in the same week. They were about 45 minutes late going on, which we later learned was because one of their crew broke one of the guitarist's guitars, and they literally had to send someone out to a local music shop to replace it. Oops! At least their set killed some time- even a band you don't like much is better than just standing there for hour upon hour! When they finished, I tweeted something along the lines of "Well, they weren't THAT bad, but do I really have to hear that two more times?" Other cities got opening acts like Muse, Lenny Kravitz, Florence & the Machine and Arcade Fire. We got Interpol. Three times. Just sayin'.

I can't explain what it's like to actually see your favorite band take the stage for the first time, especially when you've been counting down to the show for an entire year. Bowie's Space Oddity ("Ground Control to Major Tom....") has played over the PA before every show on the 360 tour, which is perfect since the claw kind of looks like a big spaceship. As soon as the first few notes of Bowie hit the air, those in the crowd that knew what was up lost it. About halfway through the song, the giant video screen on the Claw jumps to life with cameras on the band as they enter the stadium. If you haven't already lost it at this point, you are now a giant, quivering puddle of goo.

(Not my video, and not the best sound, but so perfect for capturing the atmosphere! And this is the exact show we're talking about, so points for accuracy!)

That moment when the music shifts and it's just Larry on stage with the drums is pretty freaking awesome, but I was just STARING at the left side of the stage waiting, and then I was shrieking at Amy and Kristin "THAT IS THE FUCKING EDGE!!!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!"

In other words, I was totally relaxed and chill.

Except not.

(I have to admit I got a little misty-eyed just watching that. The very last show of the tour was last night, and it is so weird to think that the 360 tour is now OVER. Goodbye claw, you were loved!)

Amusing fact: I am such an Edge girl that we were literally 3 songs into the show before I actually looked over and noticed Bono. I was like "O hai, Bono is here, too! Did you guys know that?" Sorry, Bono. I'll pay attention to you in Toronto, I promise. (Ooh, ahh, more foreshadowing!)

The highlight of the show for me was during Until the End of the World, which is tied with Where the Streets Have No Name for my favorite live song. Edge always goes out on one of the bridges to play most of the song, and the bridge's position that night lined up perfectly with that gap in the crowd in front of me, so it felt like he was playing it straight at me. Um, AWESOME.

Even though we were closer to the stage than like 75,000 of the people there, we were still way farther back than I'm used to being, since I'm used to seeing local bands and being right up in front of the stage. I had to keep telling myself "Dude, that's actually U2!" because my brain just couldn't grasp that idea, it was more like watching a movie.

The boys always go backstage just before the encore, and they usually change clothes. (Well, Bono has to change into the snazzy light/laser jacket!) There's a hilarious moment on the In-Ear Mic bootleg of the Rose Bowl show where Edge is so caught up in everything that's going on that a few seconds before they are supposed to be back on stage, you hear him suddenly say "SHIT! I forgot to change my shirt!!" and then there's a rustle of clothes. Cracks me up every time! Since it was so hot, Edge traded in his leather shirt for a t-shirt tonight, which made me super happy because a) I hate that freaking leather shirt he's been wearing the last several months of the tour and b) t-shirt means I can see his arms. He has good arms. It was a lighter colored shirt, so I turned to my friends and commented "Edge is in a t-shirt! It SO needs to start pouring rain now!"

I am so sorry.

If you remember waaaay back, when we were in line for the show and dying from heat, I also commented that it should rain really hard for like 5 minutes during Moment of Surrender, the last song.

Guess what happened?

About halfway through Moment of Surrender, the raindrops started. Thirty seconds later, it was a downpour. By the end of the song, people were gathering two of every animal and looking for ark supplies, because that rain was freaking biblical.

Unlike other bands that are total whimps, U2 could care less if it rains, the show goes on. (Look up any YouTube from the show in Minneapolis last week, there was some EPIC rain, and Bono's just dripping wet the whole time.) So before we all started the soggy exodus from the Hippodrome, Bono threw in a little bonus rain song at the end of Moment of Surrender.

So that leaves us with all of these people:

...trying to leave the stadium all at once in the POURING EPIC RAIN. I have no idea how those people got out of the stands, because by the time we made it to the back of the field, my makeup had melted into my eyeballs, and I couldn't see. The water was already an inch or so deep across the field, and I was wearing flip-flops, fighting to keep them on my feet. It was raining way too hard to even see where we were, we just followed the crush of people the half mile or so out to the main highway. It. Was. Insane.

I found this great video on YouTube, which oddly looks a lot dryer than it was:

Once the stampeding wet crowd hit the area where the line had been all morning, many started grabbing at the abandoned chairs, tents, ANYTHING to use as a shield from the rain, which was kind of funny.

We were lucky that our hotel was just a mile walk from the stadium. (LONGEST. MILE. EVER.) Most of the crowd ended up waiting for like an hour in the rain for the subway, which must have SUUUUCKED. Even though walking in the cold wind and rain (it even HAILED at one point) sucked, at least we were getting somewhere, ya know? I'll never forget the warm, welcoming green glow of the Quality Hotel sign when we finally spotted it from a few blocks away.

Amy, Kristin and I ran up to their room to take this *lovely* photo of how pretty we were. (Compare to this one, which we called the "before".)

(You know that if I ever become famous, THIS is the photo the trashy gossip magazines will dig up and put on the cover!)

After the photos, I went back up to my own room to trade concert stories with my roommates, since we'd all watched the show from different places. (Well, after we all changed into dry clothes, obviously. Our room smelled like wet dog for DAYS.) We all curled up in our beds and showed each other photos, trading stories of favorite concert moments. And then we slept, slept, slept since none of us were planning to do the line the next day!

No concert photos from me for this post, since even with my telephoto adapter, they didn't turn out that great. There's a whole album of them on my personal Facebook if you're curious, though! Pics from Toronto turned out MUCH better, so there will be some in that post!

Still to come we have the 2nd Montreal show, the Party Train, wandering around Toronto, the Toronto show and my side trip to Niagara Falls!

Sunglass Warehouse Winner!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week- I've been sick and dying and half zombie! I'm working on the next installment of the Montreal posts, which should be up tonight or tomorrow! But I did want to update with the winner of my sunglasses giveaway! The winner is...

#7- Sharon!

Huge thanks to Affordable Style for sponsoring the giveaway, I hope to work with them again soon!

Friday, July 29, 2011

More New Arrivals!

You guys, there is SO MUCH new stuff at EdenFantasys! So far I've ordered the leopard chemise from my last post (AMAZING), the new satin bustier (was too big) and the ribboned thigh highs I blogged about (haven't gotten around to trying them on yet!). This pair of Striped Fishnet Thigh Highs is totally going in my next order! I'm going to have to start wearing skirts more often just so I have an excuse to wear all of these!

There are also several new corsets and bustiers, which makes me super happy because I kind of collect them. I'm trying to pick out which one to order first, and am leaning towards this Floral Bustier by Coquette:

I almost always love Coquette's stuff, and I don't think I have anything purple so this will be a fun addition to my closet! I do have the weird body type where my boobs fit one area of the size chart and everything else fits a totally different size, so bustier shopping can be kind of tricky. Thankfully EdenFantasys lets you return things if they don't fit, either for exchange or refund!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Target Tuesday #16

Oh crap, it's Tuesday? How did that happen? I'm still on Canadian time.

I'm still in post-trip funk mode, so all I really want to do in life is a) sleep and b) lounge around in a bikini doing nothing. As a result, here's what I want from Target this week:

Product Image gilligan by Gilligan & O'Malley® Womens Lace Chemise - Black

Product Image Gilligan & O'Malley® Women's Sleep Cami - Black

Product Image Lifewater - Strawberry Kiwi Bliss - 20 fl. oz.
I am currently OBSESSED with Lifewater. Strawberry Kiwi is in my top 3, along with Fuji Apple Pear and... I can't even pick a 3rd, I'm in love with so many.

Product Image Intex Easy Set Pool (15' X 42")
My $5 dollar store kiddie pool finally died, so this one is looking pretty snazzy about now.

Don't miss my giveaway for sunglasses in the previous post!

Monday, July 18, 2011


This is part 3 of my crazy trip series, scroll down for parts 1 & 2!

My original plan for both Montreal U2 shows was to line up early and all day. The whole "the line started the day before I was in the right country" thing sort of threw a wrench into those plans! By the actual day of the show, a lot of my friends were so frustrated with how the lines had ended up that they had decided to just skip the line-up and show up a few hours before the show, hoping for the best.

Since it was my FIRST show, though, I wanted to at least try the line, because I really wanted to get in the inner circle on Edge's side. I'm probably going to need a visual aid here!

This is your basic U2 stadium setup (I stole this from the net, no idea which location this actually is!) General Admission is everything down on the field, inculding the 2,000 or so people that can fit in that little circle around the stage (known as the "inner circle" or just "the pit".) The ring around the stage is a catwalk, where the band (especially Bono) likes to parade around from time to time. Prime real estate (location, location, location!) is either the front rail right up against the stage, the back rail inside the circle, or outside the circle along the catwalk. These are the cool kid lunch tables, to put it in high school speak.

The problem with Montreal is that there was no stadium there, the U2 crew took over the no longer in use Hippodrome de Montreal racetrack and spent $3 Million building a temporary stadium. This stadium was, in scientific terms, fucking ginormous, with an expected 40,000 people in General Admission (GA).

So around 8am, I drug myself out of bed and wandered the mile from our hotel down to the stadium. My group of friends was already pretty divided- there were the people who had been in line since yesterday, most of which having camped out over night. Then there was the group that was planning to show up around 3 and just watch the show from the soundboard. I was the only "in between" person.

I stole this pic from my friend Jem to give you a visual of the line area!

I'd been in town such a short time I hadn't really had time to go buy a chair or shade or anything, so I just found my place in line and plopped down. They normally number people as you get in line, so that if you have to leave for food or something, you can reclaim your place, but since this line was SO CRAZY, they had stopped numbering at #400. By my best guess, I was probably somewhere around #500. At 8am. For the 9pm show. Yikes.

So I sat there on the dusty gravel for a few minutes, thinking about the 13 hours until the show, about the already icky heat, about the fact that I wouldn't see my friends or any of the city all day. After about five minutes, I came to the conclusion that this dusty little spot in line was NOT where I wanted to spend my day, so I grabbed my stuff and walked back to the hotel. WAY better idea!! (And the beginning of a trend!)

I'd planned to spend the morning/afternoon seeing a bit of Montreal, but in reality I spent all day hanging out at the hotel with the rest of the not in line group, soaking up the air conditioning and free internet. It's kind of a shame that I missed out on doing any sightseeing, but the day I had instead was so nice and relaxed, I have no regrets!

I got ready around 2pm, and joined up with friends around 3pm to walk over. We stopped at Tim Hortons right by the stadium for last minute food/coffee/bathroom breaks and then walked over to join the line. I can't even estimate how many people were in front of us in line, since we couldn't SEE the front of the line. Here's what I do know!

*It was hot. Did you know Canada can get really hot?
*They were making people throw away their water, and then selling water for $5/bottle.
*After the metal line barriers ran out, they had used yellow police caution tape as barriers. REALLY BAD IDEA.
*People were already passing out from the heat.

The poor Hippodrome event crew was so not prepared for this. When it was finally time to let people in, it was totally insane. Everyone was crushed together (my group all grabbed on to each other to try to stay together), drowning in a sea of sweaty humanity as we were crushed towards the general direction of the field. All of the people who had been in line all morning had no choice but to leave behind their tents, chairs, umbrellas, coolers and water bottles, which left the thousands of us behind them in line no choice but to precariously step over those things as the herd shoved forwards. (I lost a shoe at one point but managed to get it before being trampled!)

The one good thing security DID do was break up the crowd going in. They would let in around 100 people, and once those people got past say, the bag check, they would let the next group in. I was especially thankful for that because the one thing I can't do is run, and the several thousand people behind me probably would have trampled me as I fast walked in!

I have only the briefest memories of the crazy dash into the stadium, but I do remember pretty much wanting to DIE once we found our spot. The heat, the crowd, the rush, the pushing, the everything was way too much, I didn't stop shaking for about half an hour once we found our place. Eventually, though, I started feeling better and it all became worth it.

Where did we end up? Behold this lovely shot of the stadium taken by one of the news helicoptors that was flying over:

The crazies thing about this photo is that you can't even see the entire crowd.

We got a spot on the rail near the Edge side claw leg. Way farther away than I'd hoped, but better than I expected given that we didn't get in line till after 3. The cool thing about that location is that there was an empty space filled with equipment between us and the catwalk, so my view was pretty good!

I took this pic during soundcheck where you can sort of see the gap between us and the catwalk.

Crowd shot looking behind me! This is looking towards the side of the stadium, not towards the back.

Lets call this the "before" photo of Kristin, Amy and me. You'll see why later.

THIS guy needs to be called out. He kept pushing up against Kristin's back, whacking into her, and generally being an ass for the 3 hours between when we got into the stadium and when the opening act started. Now in a crowd this huge, of course you're going to accidentally bump into people from time to time. It happens, you generally say sorry or throw out a general "Sorry I've been all up on you so much!" now and then. U2 crowds in general tend to be super nice (I have amusing stories from Toronto coming up!) and if for instance you feel like you need to sit down for a few minutes, they'll move over a bit so you can plop your butt on the floor for a while. This guy, however, fails at life. After the elevnty billionth time he smashed Kristin up against the rail, Amy finally said something along the lines of "Could you please stop pushing my friend, you're hurting her back." I don't think the guy spoke English (we were in Quebec), but the woman with him went off about how if Kristin's back hurt, she shouldn't be up front, she should go stand somewhere else. This was NOT an acceptable reply, and I seriously thought we might have to call security for a while. Instead, I snapped the annoying ass's picture with plans to put it all over the Internet in hopes that if you ever see this douche while walking the streets of Montreal, you will punch him in the face or kick him squarely in the balls.

In the next post, we'll actually get to the first show! With any luck, I'll fit both Montreal shows in one post, as well as the tale of the Epic Rain of Summer 2011!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New lingerie hits EdenFantasys!

I was SO excited when I recently found all of the awesome new lingerie that is going up for sale at EdenFantasys! A few things have already shown up, including some cute new bra and panty sets, garter belts, and several designs of thigh-highs! I can't wait to get these:

I love patterned stockings paired with just the right outfit for going out! I really like the ribbons on these, too. Anything but boring!

Although it isn't actually for sale yet, it also looks like this AMAZING leopard print chemise will be available soon!

Chemise leopard - Chemise

This sucker is going in my cart the second it is available! It looks like there is a lot of other sexy lingerie coming up, including some new corsets and bustiers! It's like Christmas for me!!

They have also changed the "free gift with any order" program up a little bit- instead of just having one free gift, there are now five to pick from! I'm sure the number of gifts and what's actually available will change from time to time, but I love getting to choose! All you have to do is click the "Free Gift" banner at the top of the home page, click the gift you want and click "add to cart". Love it!

Disclosure: I will be compensated for this post with a gift card.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Getting There Part 2!

When we left off yesterday, I was in Chicago for the night on my way to Montreal!

My first flight was at 8:30 am, so I got to the airport around 7. (OUCH)

My early morning flight woes were totally canceled out by breakfast on the plane. I'm sad that Porter doesn't really do flights in the US, because you guys, breakfast: they're doin' it right!

Mini blueberry muffin loaf & peach yogurt. SO FREAKING GOOD. And free!

When you ask for coffee on an American airline, you get a styrofoam cup of crap. I got an actual MUG of Starbucks coffee with REAL sugar and dairy creamer! Freakin' heaven.

My first layover was in Toronto, which was kind of cool since I knew I'd be returning to Toronto in about 4 days for the show there! Our hotel is right next to the CN tower, so it was cool to be able to see it from the airport!! (I flew into the smaller Toronto airport, Billy Budd, which is on the Toronto Islands. If you get the chance, GO THERE!)

Ohai, Toronto! BRB!

I had 3 hours to kill in the Toronto airport. At first I was like "WTF am I going to do for that long?" because it is a VERY small airport- no shops or restaurants or anything. But then I found heaven. In the small waiting area, there is a little cafe with an espresso machine that makes coffee, espresso, cappuccinos, etc, a fridge full of soda, water and juice, and tons of shortbread cookies and biscotti. And it is all FREE FREE FREE. To a coffee addict, this is as good as it gets.

Canada welcomes me with espresso and cookies. I'll be moving here now, thanks! (Yes, I put cream in my espresso, bite me.)

I sat at a little table sipping my coffee and wondering how many free refreshments I could suck down while I was there (answer: 3 packages of cookies, 2 espressos, a few sips of icky cappuccino, part of a bottle of water and some apple juice) before I went to check out the "business center" which turned out to be a room with about 30 computers with FREE INTERNETS. If I hadn't been on my way to see U2, I may have just lived in this airport FOR-EVER.

In the words of Darren Criss, "Apple juice, man. Fucking delicious."

Outside of the cafe, the waiting area was divided into little pods with walls between them, instead of the long stretches of open seating I'm used to in airports. It was nice to have that little sense of privacy while I stretched out with my juice and book!

I was almost sad to leave, but "and then I lived in the Toronto airport happily ever after!" doesn't make for a very good blog post. Plus, while I was online I learned that the line for the first Montreal show had ALREADY STARTED and was up to almost 150. WTF? I totally get lining up early for shows. (General Admission at U2 is, as the name implies, first come first serve, so ending up right in front of the stage or way at the back of the field comes down to when you show up.) I'd been planning to go get in line somewhere between 4 and 6 AM (yes, for the 9 PM show), but here it was noon on the day BEFORE the show, and the line had already been going for quite a while. It sounded like total crazyness. (This is that stuff your English teacher called foreshadowing, kids!)

My next flight took me to Mont Tremblant. I was really hesitant to book this one, because who has ever actually heard of Mont Tremblant?? And there was only about half an hour between my arriving there and my departing flight, so I was terrified I would be forever trapped in a tiny Quebec ski resort where nobody speaks English. Once my plans were sealed, though, I kind of got into it, because when else am I ever going to go there?

This is apparently what Mont Tremblant (French for "Trembling Mountain") looks like in the winter. Skiing: They're into it!

I'm a little sad I didn't get to see the actual town/ski resort, because it is reportedly sort of Disneyesque in its perfection and cuteness. Here's what I did see:

This is the Mont Tremblant airport. All of it. I hopped off the plane, went through that door on the right, went through "security" (they made me throw away my apple juice & water from Toronto- boooo!), waited in a sitting room behind that door on the left for about 10 minutes, and then hopped back on the same plane. Shortest visit to MT ever?

After the one last flight, I finally made it to Montreal! I got a bus/metro pass ($8 CAD) and as soon as I sat down on the bus, a man with a Dublin accent next to me looked at me and asked, "You here for U2?" I had found my people.

Montreal is kind of huge, but pretty easy to navigate with public transport. A taxi from the airport to my hotel would have been around $30, but instead I took the bus from the airport to Station Lionel Groulx, and the metro from there to the station about half a mile from my hotel. I'd written out directions from the metro to the hotel, but they now made NO SENSE, so I turned the half mile walk into about 1.5 miles (in the heat, dragging luggage.) By the time I actually made it to the hotel, I was DEAD. I stopped by a desk and asked the women sitting there where I could get water. I was NOT expecting one of them to jump up and yell "ARE YOU CRYSTAL?" and grab me in a big bear hug. HI, AMY!! Turns out the desk was the hotel's business center, and Amy & Laura were there soaking up the free internet. After some hugs and a "I love you and am so happy to see you, but I seriously need water or I am going to die", I met up with the rest of our group, found my room, dropped off my stuff and got changed for our 7pm meetup at a downtown Montreal Irish pub. (I got to the hotel at 6, and was WAY too tired to go out, but I can't say no to that kind of thing!!)

After a couple of hours of drinks, conversations and flirting with a hot bartender (who we convinced to put U2 on as background music) several of us decided to go see the U2 3D movie which was playing at the Science Center. We had to split between 2 cabs, and the driver of ours didn't know where he was going, so I actually got to say "Follow that car!" while pointing at the other taxi. WIN!

If I owned a giant TV with 3D technology, I'd probably watch U2 3D every night, because Vertigo Tour Edge is super hot. Amy and I were so giggly at the beginning that some random rude Montreal dude told us to shut up. The movie hadn't even STARTED yet, it was the opening credits, and dude, it is a CONCERT FILM, you are going to be able to hear. FOAD, Montreal dude! Still, the movie was awesome, and we were all dancing in our seats. PERFECT way to start the trip! It was like a warm-up concert before the real thing!

(You will just have to kind of pretend you're seeing this in 3D. It was pretty kickass, felt like being on the stage!)

Up next: We hit the first Montreal show with 80,000 of our dearest friends!

Begin at the Beginning

I've been home for two days now, and I still kind of look like I've just returned from war. There's a giant pile of laundry in my living room, a big pile of all the other stuff that was in my suitcase in my bedroom and an array of glasses and bottles scattered across my desk from my continued attempt to rehydrate and come back to life. "Come back to life" probably really is the perfect phrase there, too, since part of me is still back with the music and the crowds and my friends and the constant go-go-go, and I'm having the hardest time readjusting.

It will probably take me a few posts to cover my whole trip, but there are stories to tell, and I want to be able to look back on them years down the road when all the memories start to blend together.

My trip has been an entire year in the making. I stumbled across some U2 message boards last Spring when I was searching for the heart suitcase icon from the Elevation tour, because I want it tattooed on my ankle. I found that, but also found the most amazing group of people in the process. Quite a few of them were planning to do the Montreal shows, and I decided that sounded way more fun (read: less hot and humid) than Miami or St Louis, so I decided screw it, I'll do Canada, too! And we've been counting down ever since.

I pretty much gave up on being able to go for most of this year, since my health issues make my income really, really limited. How am I going to afford airfare to Canada when I can't even buy gas? I pretty much came to terms with not being able to go, until exactly one month before the shows when I woke up from a dream about the trip and decided fuck it, I'm finding a way to get there if it kills me. That led to about 2 weeks worth of "work 20 hours straight, sleep 3, repeat for many, many days in a row." I came close to losing my grip on sanity a few times over those weeks, but I'd think of various lyrics ("We're gonna make it all the way to the light") and stick it out. And I made it.

A big part of what made it possible was some serious travel-ninjaing, as I like to call it. I found a 30% off sale on Porter airlines, and after some major poking around ended up booking one of the weirdest flight plans ever. I flew from here to Chicago on Air Tran on the 6th, spent the night there, then flew from Chicago to Toronto, Toronto to a tiny ski resort called Mont Tremblant and then from there on to Montreal all on the 7th. Why the weirdness? If I flew directly from Chicago to Montreal, it would have been like $600-$800. However, I found the flight from Mont Tremblant to Montreal for literally $70, and the one from Toronto to Mont Tremblant for about $160. One little stop to save about $400? HELLZ YEAH!

Just getting to my local airport on the 6th was craaaazy. As I've mentioned in the past, I have anxiety and panic attacks that choose the WEIRDEST times to pop up, as this trip is a perfect example of. I had mostly planned to just live with it, since I didn't have $ for a doctor visit or pills, but the day before my trip I kinda freaked out, and ended up pawning some things to get $50 for the doctor visit. The doctor was kind of an ass, and went on about how he doesn't prescribe anti-anxiety meds and I was lucky to be getting 4 pills from him. I find that kind of attitude SO frustrating. You wouldn't tell a diabetic "Oh, if you just have a positive attitude, you can eat chocolate cake all day!", but there still seem to be people who believe that about mental things like anxiety and depression. BLARGH. Anyway, to make it even better, when I got to the pharmacy, it turned out he had written something down wrong and I ended up having to wait around for over an hour while the pharmacy contacted his office to straighten it out. All of this when my flight was less than 2 hours away! (I did the crazy cat lady thing and coped by going into the pet store to check out the kittens up for adoption! SO CUTE!)

I FINALLY got my (four) pills and drove back to the airport! The Branson airport cracks me up- it is SO in the middle of nowhere. I snapped a pic on the drive there, but my cell phone is now SO VERY out of money for sending texts, so I stole this one from the Internets instead:

You have to drive 6 miles up that little road at the bottom left, and it takes FOR-EVA! I was so thankful that I made it with plenty of time!

One amusing thing happened on the flight to Chicago. Each seat on Air Tran has XM Radio built in, and you just plug in your own headphones. There are all kinds of different stations to pick from. At one point, I glanced down and saw this:

Out of all of the bazillions of songs that could be playing when I glanced down, it's U2! It happened again later when it was almost time to land- I glanced down and "Mysterious Ways" was on. "She moves in mysterious ways" became a sort of theme for the trip, because things fell together in ways that I never could have expected or imagined, it was totally crazy!

Once in Chicago, I bypassed the long lines of people waiting to pay $30 for a shuttle or taxi to their hotel and hopped on a city bus. (Note to anyone traveling to Midway Airport- you have to take a train to get to the buses! I had to ask like 3 people how to get there!) $2.25 and a few stops later, the bus dropped me off about 4/10 mile from my hotel. SCORE. (I knew I'd be doing a LOT of walking on this trip, and am also too cheap to pay for checked baggage, so all I brought with me was my backpack and a 15lb small rolling suitcase.) It was a super easy walk to the hotel, other than waiting like 50 years to cross one street!

After a lot of searching online, I'd settled on the Extended Stay America near the airport, and I can give it a thumbs-up if you need a hotel recommendation in the area. If you sign up for their e-mail newsletter on their site, you get a code for $10 off your reservation, so that was pretty awesome. My rate was around $100 before the discount, which is WAY cheaper than all of the other hotels right by the airport, which were almost all $170-$200+. For under a hundred bucks, I was still less than 3 miles from the airport, AND my room had a kitchen. It isn't the greatest hotel in the history of time or anything, and in terms of value the room would probably be more fairly priced at around $70, but compared to everything else in the area, it was a good deal.

It was clean and comfy, and after the crazy weeks leading up to the trip, I was EXCITED to have a place to just stretch out and relax for the night with NOTHING to do!

(None of the hotels or other companies in my report are paying me for reviewing them, by the way. I wish they were!)

I needed food like crazy and knew from a bunch of Google Maps action that there was a big mall about half a mile away, so I walked over. I passed a Subway right by my hotel on the way, but that didn't sound very appetizing, especially with a whole food court to choose from just a little further along. Turns out I should have just skipped the walk because Subway is where I ended up getting food after about 2 miles of walking around the mall and only finding a few icky-sounding food court options!

I took my sandwich back up to my room and ate while watching a marathon of Top Model. Epic relaxation! Being me, I decided to make a pot of coffee, but I missed the ever important step of putting the little lid back on the pot part of the coffeemaker, which resulted in coffee flooding the kitchen. Coffee fail!

And then I slept. Except not really, because although I went to bed at midnight, I woke up at 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30 and 4 before finally getting up at 5:30 so I could catch a cab to the airport at 6. (I'd done that the night before, too. I was NOT a well-rested girl!)

I'm going to break this off here because it is already super long and not all that interesting yet! But I promise all the good stuff is coming soon!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Epic Photoshopping

Oh hello there! I'm not here right now. I'm in Canada, but you knew that. But I didn't want to leave you all high and dry while I was gone, so I wrote this lovely post while eating cupcakes and drinking vodka the day before I left. Don't you feel special?

Anyway, it all started when I was trying to find a swimsuit bottom for my trip. I bought a new top back in like January, since all of my old suits are literally from the year 2000. However, I never got around to buying the bottom half, so I found myself a couple of days before my trip with a mismatched suit. Being totally broke, I tried searching for one that was like $5 (no luck). But I did find this:


Wait.... WHAT? I know that clothing companies often digitally alter photos when they sell the same item in lots of colors to avoid having to photograph the model in every one, but this is the worst photoshopping EVER!! It looks like they just drew it on in pink highlighter!! I especially enjoy the spot on the right where her hair appears to be UNDER the bikini.

There's also this variety on the site:

It's admittedly a LITTLE better than the pink but still... Is Wal-Mart paying a 10 year old to do their photo editing?? And what did they DO to her left boob? You can see where they tried to smooth something out, but whoa, that's AWFUL. I also enjoy the ample use of the soften brush on her abs.

Wouldn't it have been easier to just photograph the bikini top on a mannequin? Or just post a picture of the top itself?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

A Guest Post by Katie

Hey, Blog people! I am in Canada! So I made Katie do a guest blog! Here is what she had to say:

As we all know, Miss Crystal has been working her increasingly smaller a$$ off to make possible her great Canadian Adventure. Having spent all week joking with her about the possibility she’ll wake up in a bathtub of ice and discover her kidneys are missing, I’ve decided that it is in everyone’s best interest that I put together a plan that I’ll call, “The Hetero-Lifemate Emergency Retrieval Pack.” This includes:

1. A photo of Crystal now, and a mock-up of what she will look like in a week.
2. A photo of The Edge, because obviously that’s who she’ll be with if she goes missing.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got. A side note to anyone planning on stealing any of her vital organs while she camps out in Canada – please don’t. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Target Tuesday #15

So, um, you guys? I leave for Canada TOMORROW.

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately, I've literally been working 20 hours a day and sleeping 3 hours for the past TWO WEEKS in an attempt to make money for my trip, and I still can't really afford to eat while I'm there, but who needs food when there's rock n' roll? (Bonus- I found a $10 Dunkin Donuts gift card I won a while back but haven't used because I live in the middle of nowhere), so that totally takes care of dinner the night I'm stuck in Chicago!)

ANYWAY. Tomorrow! Plane! Canada! U2! Awesome things! HUZZAH!

But that's tomorrow! Today is...

I don't like this dress on this particular model, but I think I'd like it on me. It looks like one of those you could just throw on on a hot summer day when you simply do not have the patience for clothes.

Merona Women's 2-Piece Tankini Swimsuit with Sequins
I love that this is simple without being boring! Plus it calls attention to the boobage, which is never bad. Side note- I am totally going to Canada with non-matching swimsuit pieces. I bought a super cute tankini top around the beginning of this year, but never got around to buying a bottom to match. Given that I'm broke, I just have to take an old one, so I'll be wearing a brown & teal top with a dark blue bottom. Please do the same so we can just say it is a trend?

Playhut Fashion Boutique
Forget a tent for camping out in line for the concert, I want one of THESE!

Ok, so I already own this, but you see that giant claw-spaceship-stage thingey? I will be underneath that on FRIDAY!