Friday, September 30, 2011

Les Chats: A Guide

I am a crazy cat lady, but at least I'm a young, hot one. (For now.)

Cats flock to me, it's like they know. I'll never forget the morning last August when I opened the back door to let Jasper in from playing oustide, and a little stripey-spotted kitten ran in and went straight for the food dish, deciding instantly that he lived here now. (That would be BonoCat.)

I figured that since the cat population around here is pretty hard to keep up with for the casual reader, I'd put together a Guide to the Cats of Casa Crystal, to make it easier to know wtf I'm talking about when I mention Lu or Toes or BC! (You know those historical novels where there's a big family tree at the beginning of the book, and it's all "The Duke of Tintagel was married to Igraine." That's what this is! But with cats, so it's obviously better.)

Tallulah Jane


Lula has to come first, since she is "The One Kitten to Rule Them All."

Nicknames: Lu, Lula, Loobylu, One Kitten to Rule Them All, Moo Moo, Mu Gu Gai Pan, Hoozamoozu, Lula Janey, about a billion others.

Back in 2002, my middle sister's cat had kittens. I went over to see them and instantly fell in love with a little black and white ball of fur. I had to wait till she was ready to leave mom, but she's been my true love ever since. Lula was supposed to go to Florida with me, arriving a week after I moved so I'd have time to settle in, but a big ice storm in the midwest delayed my mom's plans to bring her out, and long story short, mom never got around to visiting me in FL, let alone bringing my kitty. While we were apart, Lu apparently ate ALL THE FREAKING TIME, because when I came back, she weighed 27 lbs. The cable guy took pics of her with his phone to show his friends. Thankfully, she's now down to about 23, but still a really fat cat!

Lu is pure love. When she goes to the vet's office, she purrs the whole time, thrilled at all the attention. When the vet goes to listen to her heart, she licks his hand. That's just who she is.

Lula got pregnant when she was around 8 months old, and to ensure she made her mom (me) super proud, she got pregnant by TWO males at once. (Cats can totally do that, did you know?) The whole time she was pregnant, I kept telling her she could only have 3 babies, because we couldn't keep more than that. Then one day she was laying on my bed and I was rubbing her belly, and I asked "Lula Janey, when you gonna have those babies?" She went into labor then. She had three babies. On my bed.

That's just who she is.


Tiger Lily:



Lily as an itty bitty.

Nicknames: Lily, Tiger, Lily ol' Lou, Tiger Who Is Also a Lily, Willy ol' Billy, Lilylu, Ms Billy

Lily was the first of those babies to be born. She looked like a little black tiger the second she was born, thus I called her Tiger. When I found out she was a girl, and a REALLY girly girl at that, she became Tiger Lily, and it's one of the most appropriate names ever, because she's a girly girl who won't take your shit. She's fierce and cuddly. She's a fluffy battle kitten.


Freddy Jasper Jacob Dante Alberto Bandito VonMonkeypants


Nicknames: Jasper Jacobean, Jacob Bean, Bean, Bean Boy, Jas, Jazz, Jazzy, Jazzy guy, Jazz Man, Big Guy, Jazzy Jeff, Buddy Guy, Mommy's Special Snowflake, Hands (short for "handsome")

After living all alone in Florida for almost a year, I decided that I needed something else alive in the house, so I set off to the pet store to buy a fish. However, two of the cutest kittens ever were there to be adopted. I didn't buy a fish, and I didn't adopt the kittens. I went home and spent all of Thanksgiving weekend telling my friends they needed to talk me out of adopting kittens.

On Monday, I went back to the pet store and got them. They were about 2 months old, and Cricket was sick with a cold, which meant I had to feed her via eye dropper because she wouldn't eat. Her brother, who the shelter called "Freddy", but who was SO not a Freddy, was the biggest fraidy-cat ever, and spent most of our first few days together hiding from me.

I tried out a lot of names for "Freddy" to see which would stick. Jasper seemed to fit, and he seemed to like it, but I wasn't sure. Then I went to see Twilight (I know, shut up.) and realized that the vampire Jasper looked exactly like my cat.
Is it just me, or does Jasper look like Jasper??
Jasper it was! But I kept accidentally calling him Jacob. Katie, who likes dictator-type names suggested I call him Dante. With the way he snuck around the apartment like a little cat burglar, I started calling him Bandito. Long story short, he ended up as Freddy Jasper Jacob Dante Alberto Bandito Von Monkeypants. (Since he and Cricket are adopted, we don't have the same last name. Cricket's favorite toy as a baby was a giant stuffed hippo named Mr Monkeypants.)

Jas has always had major anxiety issues. My friend Ashlee lived next door for about 4 months before he allowed her to pet him. I often came home from work to find him hiding in the kitchen cabinets (unless his sister had locked him in my bedroom again, or, as happened at least 3 times, was sitting atop a fabric grocery bag she had him trapped in.) When my apartment was broken into, I think Jas was even more traumatized than I was.

A couple of months after we moved to Missouri, BonoCat became part of Jas's family (see below) and even though BC was just a kitten, he somehow taught Jasper how to be a cat. While Jasper was afraid of sunshine and rainbows and butterflies, this tiny kitten half his size was out trying to take over the world. Jasper started following BC around with admiration, dying to be his friend. Eventually, something rubbed off, and Jas is much more like a normal cat now. He still runs to hide if someone new shows up, but he also goes outside all by himself and is pretty convinced he's King of the Back Yard.

This is what happens when you hide the treats on the book shelf.

Jas's sister, Cricket, got hit by a car earlier this year, and he was pretty depressed for a while. When I adopted them, it was pretty obvious that Cricket really wanted a human, but Jasper really just wanted to be around Cricket. I was worried how he would handle having to face the world without his partner in crime, but he ended up coping by becoming a HUGE momma's boy. He sleeps in my bed with me, lays in my lap if I watch TV, and generally always wants me around. I'm still not allowed to pick him up ("No hugs mommy, no hugs not EVER!") but he seems to think I'm pretty dark OK overall.



BonoCat of O'Connell Street Mewson



BonoCat as a baby

More recent pic of BonoCat, when he was super sick and sad about not being able to go out and meet ladies.

Nicknames: BC, Bon, BonnerConner, Conner, BCBG, Big Cat Big Guy, Mr Man, BonBon

As I mentioned above, I opened the door one August morning last year to let Jasper in, and this tiny little wild man covered in stripes and spots came running into the house. I'm obviously a U2 nerd, and his small sized combined with his really loud meowing about seemingly nothing and the fact that he looked at the computer speakers like he was hearing the best thing EVER when Veritgo came on all resulted in him being named after Bono. Bono's original name was Bono Vox of O'Connell Street, after a store on O'Connell Street called Bono Vox. Yeah, I know. Bono's real last name is Hewson, so BonoCat's is, obviously, Mewson.

BonoCat likes to talk. He wants you to know that he FEELS ways about stuff. He'll walk up to you and just start meowing super loudly, probably about famine in Africa or something. He often will not. shut. up. He is also known for really, REALLY liking boobs. If you're a chick and you hold him, his head will go straight into your cleavage. Just yesterday he was napping on my stomach, super cute, and in his sleep reached out to put a paw on my boob. He is all about the ladies. Because I am a terrible person and didn't get him neutered quick enough (he's just over a year old, I fail.) he knocked up one of the local stray kitties, and now he's a dad.

Ally:

Ally was originally known as Teen Mom Kitty, because she can't have been more than 6 months old when she got pregnant. She must have been born in the wild, because she was terrified of us, and it took ages for her to let us pet her. Even now she has panic attacks if we keep her inside more than about 10 minutes, she's really only comfortable if we leave the back door open so she can run out of something scares her.

She got the name Ally because a) I was watching Ally McBeal on Netflix at the time, and they're both freakishly tiny, and b) she's BonoCat's girlfrield, and human Bono's wife's name is Ali.

Something must have attacked her when she was a baby, because she has one crooked ear, and one of her eyes can't close. She's finally starting to really trust us, and I realized a couple of weeks ago when we were playing toy mice in the kitchen that it was probably the first time she had ever really played with toys. She's also an awesome mom.

Sir Logan Bigfoot Yeti Toes, aka Toes.


Nicknames: Toeface, Toey

This guy must have been first in line when they were handing out toes, because he has plenty, and they're GIANT. BonoCat had really big feet when he was a baby, too, but Toes one-ups him by having 6 toes on each front foot. Watching him wash his face is like watching a human try to wash their face while wearing those giant foam fingers. It's freaking ADORABLE. I am obsessed with his toes.

Even though we only ever really call him Toes, I felt like he needed a more normal name, so his "official" name is Logan, after Wolverine's real name, since he's a mutant with awesome fingers. He's currently almost 3 months old.


Blurry cameraphone pic, but you can kinda see the extra toe.

Toes had a sister, Lucy (aka Sandwich), but she disappeared a couple of weeks ago, and despite searching like crazy, we never found her. She went missing in the middle of the day, so we can't figure out what could have happened to her!

Ally kept her babies hidden until they were over a month old, so Toes has only been hanging out with us for a few weeks. We've been bringing him in to eat and play several times a day, and he's starting to feel comfortable with people and being inside. He LOVE toys, and today when I turned my back on him for a few minutes, I came back to find him curled up asleep on the couch. He's painfully cute.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dry Shampoo- Have You Tried It?

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

You know how your bed just doesn't seem appealing at night, but when it's time to get up in the morning, there's no place else you'd rather be?  It's silly, but I'm totally like that with washing my hair, too.  It sounds like SO much effort at the time, but of course once I'm in the shower you can't get me out!

Sometimes you really don't have much time, though, which is why I've been wanting to try a dry shampoo.  When I have my hair extensions in, washing and drying my hair takes SO much time, so being able to just use a dry shampoo on the roots and go sounds really appealing!

One YouTube beauty guru I've followed for years, Elle (AllThatGlitters21) recently did a video as part of her back to school series about Top Hair Products for School that included TRESemm√© Fresh Start Dry Shampoo.  She makes it look really easy!

According to TRESemme, all you have to do is shake the bottle, lift up sections of dry hair and spray it in short bursts at the roots, holding it around 8-12 inches from your head.  (You don't want to spray it all over like you would hair spray.)  You leave it on to dry for a couple of minutes, and then comb it through with your fingers or a brush so it can soak up anyoil or odor.  If the nozzle gets clogged up, you can pop it off and run it under warm water until it clears.

I have to admit, I'm curious to try it out!  They have several different formulas, like strenghtening, volumizing and smoothing, as well as a moisturizing foam shampoo.  

Have you guys tried any dry shampoos yet?  Did they work?  This sounds way better than my current "wear a hat" routine!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Five Finger Tees

Thanks to my new love for True Blood, I decided a couple of weeks ago that I totally needed a Fangtasia shirt, and a quick Google search brought up this one from Five Finger Tees:

Fangtasia

I *almost* went for a Merlotte's shirt over Fangtasia, but Katie told me she has the white one, and people already can't tell us apart.

Merlotte's SignMerlottes Bar & Grill


Maybe I'll get one eventually, and we can be Merlotte's waitresses for Halloween?

Anyway, I e-mailed the fine folks at Five Finger Tees and they sent me the Fangtasia shirt to review! I'm kind of in love with it.


Pardon the tree that is attacking me.

The size chart on the site was down at the time, so I guessed at a women's large, and it worked quite well! You can pretty much just order your regular t-shirt size and be ok. The shirt I got was made from fairly thick t-shirt material, great for fall when you want to be a little warmer!

Being me, I had to alter it a little bit, so here's the shirt after I took it in a bit on the sides and changed the neckline.


(What's up with the weird smile? Self-timers are hard.)

A vampire bar shirt just felt like it should have a rougher, more exposed neck line, ya know?

In addition to their website, you can also find Five Finger Tees on Facebook. It looks like almost all of their shirts are $9.99, except the blank tees which are $4.99. Totally in my budget!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Milan Fashion Week

So, do you think Target will be carrying this Missoni dress?

Missoni Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

I wish I had more t say about Milan Fashion Week, but to be honest it bored the crap out of me. Lame. C'mon, Paris!

Loving This Right Now

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stuff I Totally Need Saturday: Boots!

I came across an ad for Dillards boots yesterday morning, and was all "Huh, those are kinda cute!" so I went to check out the site, since I haven't been to a Dillards in fo-eva. Here's what I'm drooling over! (As much as I'd love some free boots or some free money, this isn't a sponsored post, just my general salivating over footwear.)

I wish I could show this larger, since the awesomeness is in the details, but the Dillards site is kinda a bitch when it comes to copying images. Still, these are pretty awesome. And sadly, pretty $400. Boo-urns.


Frye boots are obviously a classic, but these Miranda booties feel kind of fresh and antique at the same time. Did that even make sense? I'm on cold medicine and little sleep. Whatever, it made sense to me.


I would wear these Vincent Camuto boots with everything. If I could afford them.


They aren't my beloved Ann Demeulemeester triple-lace boots, but these Steve Madden ones might be the closest I can get.

Apparently I really like Steve Madden today. These are awesome.

Who wants to buy me new fall boots? My old favorite pair is literally falling apart, which makes me sad. I miss Florida, where I can wear flip-flops all year long! Not fashionable, but comfy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

When eels attack, rockstars protesting protests and zombie-unicorns, oh my.

Every time that I start thinking my life is a little bizarre, I come across one news story or another that reminds me that the world is a very strange place full of weird stories and characters. One of my favorite sources for unusual news is SexIs Magazine, the online magazine run by EdenFantasys that covers topics ranging from health issues to humor to green living.

Some amusing recent stories include "Foo Fighters Punk the Westboro Baptist Crazies" about the band basically protesting their show's protesters, and "Getting an Eel Up Your Penis is Even Less Fun Than You'd Think" about a spa treatment in China gone horribly, horribly wrong, resulting in surgery. Pop culture junkies can tune in for Aubrey Sitterson's columns about the fascinating happenings on Jersey Shore each week and a series examining how stereotypes are portrayed on True Blood. Fans of The Bloggess's blog will also get a kick out of her regular column at SexIs, which includes hilarious lists of the weirdest things people have e-mailed her lately. Last month she interviewed a nature expert she met on a cruise (in the absurd way that only she can manage), with questions that somehow turned to antichrist sharks and the ever-important zombies vs unicorns question.

Have you guys read any bizarre news stories lately? And really, who WOULD win in a zombies vs. unicorns battle?

Disclaimer: I will be provided with a gift card in exchange for this post.

London Fashion Week

Okay, so it is Friday morning and thanks to the cats waking me up at 4am, I am finally curled up in my comfy chair (with Jasper sleeping next to me) ready to tackle London fashion week. It's SO hard for me to look at London when Milan is already happening, but I'm weird about doing things in order.

London Fashion Week is a lot smaller than most of its counterparts, so catching up went pretty quickly. There were a lot of dresses inspired by menswear, some splashes of bold color, plenty of weird cut-out shapes, a few really interesting shows and a lot of forgettable ones.

Burberry Prorsum Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Okay, y'all, I actually liked the Burberry show, but this skirt? It looks almost exactly like the ones cast members at Disney's Wilderness Lodge have to wear. I'd show you a pic from the painful week I spent deployed there, but I haven't had $ to renew my Flickr Pro accout, so I can't get to it right now. But fo' real, in terms of shape, length and almost color, this is kind of terrifyingly similar.

Burberry Prorsum Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
This sweater was my favorite thing from the collection, which focused on "things that take time", like braiding, beading and crocheting. I like the mix of textures, something we haven't seen a zillion times before. Good color combo, too.

Burberry Prorsum Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

I liked the belts, but I was a little annoyed by them, too. At first I thought "Uh-oh, that model's belt is off center!" But then they all were. I want to fiixxxxxx it!

Jezebel did a much more amusing slideshow about this show than I can manage at 5am.


Christopher Kane Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Please don't let these shoes from the Christopher Kane show be a thing next Spring? They look like Crocs, and I'm fairly sure there is Velcro involved. Please, please no. (Must have been a nice break from blisters for the models, though.)


Clements Ribeiro Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

If the Clements Ribeiro collection was inspired by the designers' house, I want to go there. I love the print on this fabric! Not so much the dress itself, but mmm, the print.

Clements Ribeiro Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Also digging this sweater. But this is London Fashion Week, so maybe I should call it a jumper.

Clements Ribeiro Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

My beloved print reappears in even cuter form. Score!

Clements Ribeiro Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Very yes.

David Koma Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
This David Koma dress reminds me way too much of the red Versace dress that January Jones (I had to Google her name, but I totally remembered it was Versace.) wore to the Golden Globes. Still, it's cute and I like the hair, which is something I don't often say about a runway show.

David Koma Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
On the other hand, I loved this dress from the same show. It's a very classic shape, but without that "I've seen this a thousand times" feeling.


Emilio de la Morena Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

I know I whine about weird cut-outs in dresses being so popular, but I have to high-five Emilio de la Morena for applying this in a smart way. That area just below the bust is typically one of the most slender areas of a woman's body, but designers rarely seem to cash in on that. If the typical woman is going to feel comfortable showing skin, that's probably the area she'd go for. Thus, I like this.

Fashion East Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Dear Fashion East, WTF??? were you?? thinking?????

Fashion Fringe Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
London Fashion Week is trying to kill me. This look is by Fashion Fringe. WHAT HAS GONE WRONG HERE? Don't make your models Swiffer the runway with their feet, you guys!

Fashion Fringe Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

NOTHING ABOUT THIS IS OKAY, FASHION FRINGE!

Holly Fulton Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Despite Holly Fulton's claim that "Stupendous bad taste, it totally inspires me.", her collection was a freakin' breath of fresh air after those last two. Also, I seem to be obsessed with blue & orange right now.


Okay, whew. I've officially smooshed all of my favorites/least favs from the London shows into one post. Not bad for one morning, and oddly satisfying.

(All images via style.com)

Oops, I missed one!

I'm getting ready to tackle London fashion week, and then Milan. So many shows! But I just found this little piece of a post in my drafts folder- looks like I started another NYFW post and then lost it! So here's the last bit of fashion on US soil before I go abroad!

Cynthia Rowley Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I'm a little surprised how much I liked Cynthia Rowley's runway show, I'm usually not a big fan. This dress isn't one I'd actually wear (it really wouldn't work with my body type, which is about 80% boobs) but it's kind of perfect from a design perspective. The fabric is amazeballs- I can't tell if those are dragons on the skirt or just swirly designs, but I love it. There are a lot of really well-done dresses in the collection, and the range of prints with little architectural line touches here and there just made me happy.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bow Tie FTW!

I am so excited to have Darren Criss's triangular eyebrows back on my TV on a weekly basis.

That is all.

Vacation Stories Continued- Party Train & Toronto

(This is a continuation of my tales of my summer spent stalking U2 around Canada! See the archives for our shenanigans in Montreal!)

You may think a 6 hour train ride through middle-of-nowhere Canada doesn't exactly sound like a laugh a minute kind of trip. You'd be wrong.

The morning after the epic 2nd show in Montreal, we all drug ourselves out of bed painfully early to make the train to Toronto. We were all basically in Zombie mode at the point, totally hungover from rocking out with 80,000 other people the night before, and the night before that. All I wanted in the whole world was coffee, but all I had time to do was throw on clothes, stuff the last of my belongings into my bulging suitcase and stumble down to the lobby to meet our taxis.

I can't even remember how many of us had planned to leave for the train station together, but I think it was 7? We had called for 2 taxis, since even a van couldn't fit all of us PLUS our luggage. When we got downstairs they were there, but as four of us were loading our bags into the first van, the other driver said "I don't have enough room" and drove off. We all stood there kind of staring at each other in "WTF?" mode. Our driver said that if the other one didn't have room, he'd be glad to put some of our friends' bags in our van, but the guy was already gone. Our friends ran back into the hotel to call ANOTHER taxi, now more than a little worried about making it to the train station on time!

With another van on the way, our half of the group set off for the train station somewhere in downtown Montreal. After around ten or fifteen minutes, our driver stopped in front of... the bus station. We had to tell him that nooo, we needed the *train*. Our transportation situation was not going well so far today!

Eventually, we *ALL* made it to the train station, and the second I had checked my suitcase I set off for Tim Horton's with Jem, who being British was ready to kill if she didn't get a cup of tea, stat. Caffeine addicts unite!

On a semi-tangent, one thing I miss about Montreal is that any time you go into a business (say, stepping up to order your coffee at Timmy's) they greet you with "Bonjour, hello" or the reverse, "Hello, bonjour." Then you just pick which language to speak. It's kind of fun.

We all huddled up for a group pic before getting in line for the train:

(Why do I appear to weigh like 200 lbs in this pic? Also note Jem and I clutching our beverages of choice as if we will die without them.)

After a super long line (which was ok, we're pretty used to waiting in line by now!) we got to the train, where one of the train people (What is the train equivalent of a flight attendant?) said we could have our own car since there were a bunch of us. Sadly, some normal people made the unwise choice to join us in there. They're probably still in therapy. Sorry, normal people.

This is a slightly edited pic of our train trip. Someone decide to edit in a few friends that weren't there. Note that The Edge is pretty much in my lap, and Bono really IS in Val's lap:


We flew through the first couple of hours sharing stories from the 2 shows in Montreal, since we'd all been pretty spread out from each other. The absolute funniest moment of the trip came when I said something about Edge playing Vertigo, and RIGHT after I said "Vertigo", a random woman at the back of the car loudly answered her cell phone with "Hello? Hello?" We all laughed so hard we cried at the perfect timing.

If you have no idea why this is funny, listen to the first minute or so of Vertigo:



At some point one of the train people came through with a cart of snacks. It made me feel very Harry Potter, even though he had no chocolate frogs. Someone in our group finally decided to get a Kit-Kat, which made like three other people decide that sounded good, too. The Kit-Kats were selling like hotcakes!

When the poor train guy passed back by, someone else decided *they* wanted a Kit-Kat. Long story short, we soon had him trained to offer Kit-Kats every time he passed. And then he had none left and we were sad.

Most of us napped at some point, Ingrid asked if we were there yet every few minutes, and at some point we saw some Great Lake or another. (Ontario, probably? Who knows. There was water.)

Thankfully I was traveling with a hilarious bunch of perverts, so the trip went by way faster than you would expect 6 hours to go.

Jem was the first to be brave enough to use the restroom on the train, and came back to report about the hilarious step-by-step hand washing sign. Our favorite step was "friction".


We finally made it to Toronto, arriving at Union Station, which excited me because they used it as the film location for several scenes in Wonderfalls. (Best short-lived series ever!)

One member of our group, Drea, lives just outside of Toronto, so she became our tour guide. The train station was a short distance from our hotel, so we just set out on foot. However, a short walk under normal circumstances becomes REALLY LONG when you're all already exhausted from the previous week AND carrying lots and lots of pounds of luggage. Most of us nearly died on the way, and once we finally reached the hotel, we collapsed in a big heap of people and luggage in the lobby. Until someone told us you could see The Claw through the bar windows, which was enough to get us up and running to the bar! (Our hotel was actually PART OF Rogers Centre, where the show was, so the windows looked out onto the stadium!)


I wish I had words for my reaction when I saw the Claw through that window. I almost fell over laughing- it looked SO TINY! I knew that Toronto was going to be a MUCH smaller show than Montreal (12,000 people in the GA section instead of 40,000+) but actually seeing it almost knocked me over. This was gonna be AWESOME. (Click Here for a reminder of what the field in Montreal looked like!!)

Oh! I forgot to mention the moment of PANIC that happened on the train! As we were choo-chooing along, someone in the group got a text that the people Amy & I were supposed to share a hotel room with had car trouble and probably weren't going to make it. Suddenly, a few hours outside of Toronto, we had no roommates. And given that the hotel had jacked up the prices quite a bit for the concert (and isn't exactly cheap to begin with!) there was NO FREAKING WAY we could afford to split a room between just the two of us. Luckily there were two sets of people in our group that only each had 3 people in their rooms, so each set adopted one of us. WHEW, not homeless!

Ingrid came back from checking us in to report that we weren't by our friends as we had requested, but we did get a room upgrade! Score!


Compared to the tiny room we'd spent the last several nights in (the past 2 with it smelling strongly like wet dog) this felt like a palace!

The hotel had a super-weird layout, since it was built around the stadium. The hallways on our floor were CRAZY! Here's a little peek:



The first thing everyone did (before checking in) was go get a number for tomorrow's line. I was #128 (I think?) but I was still pretty uncertain about if I'd even get up for the line. Seeing the teeny tiny stadium had been pretty reassuring.

Kristin had arrived before everyone else since she decided to fly, so she had already scouted out the area and reported back that there was a 24 hr grocery store a couple of blocks away. After
our time in Montreal where you had to walk a mile to get food or supplies, a nearby grocery store was HEAVEN! (I seriously felt like we were the Beverly Hillbillies arriving in the big city, all of the comforts seemed unfathomable!) We hit up the grocery store for supplies, and were totally overwhelmed. You guys, this was the BEST. GROCERY STORE. EVER. They had *everything* from amazing fresh cut fruit to like 20 different kinds of hummus to the biggest jar of Nutella I've ever seen in my life:

Those are regular sized Nutellas above and the AMAZING jar below!

There was a super cute moment where Ingrid and Anji (from Netherlands and UK respectively) freaked out over the size of the 2-liter sodas. Then Ingrid got incredibly excited over Jell-o, which apparently only comes in lime back home. I was on a super limited budget, so I had to pass the ginormous Nutella (one day I will buy you!) and just pick up some necessary rehydration supplies (ie snazzy juice!). I don't think I've mentioned it, but attempting to stay hydrated was a big challenge on this trip, so I was almost always carrying around some form of beverage!

After settling in, everyone else went off to have dinner, but I was pretty broke by this point so I had one of the granola bars I'd brought, watched Family Guy to chill out, and then decided to go out and explore the city a bit.

I'd actually intended to make all of the train trip/Toronto one post, but this is already quite long, so I'll save my Toronto explorations for next time!