Cheeky Tiki Time!

September 7, 2014

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Here it is I couldn’t get the photo to upload on the last post. Cheeky Tiki!

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February 20, 2014

Sheesh Peewee,

I sat down to write this post with a great idea.  Then I completely forgot it.  It must of died of loneliness.

Lis

Gender Confusion

August 24, 2012

A night on the town with new our tranny girlfriends.

You look like I need a drink, Buddy!

Dinner at Louie’s Backyard – hey Louie, how about some drinks here!

Martinis are like breasts – two isn’t enough, but three is too many…

Great food, great ambiance, but the facilities left something to be desired!

Dinner at El Meson de Pepe – That hit the spot!

On the Road to Betty Ford…

August 22, 2012

The ubiquitous Tiki Bar #4…

Cheeca Chiki Tiki dinner…

The Sunset Grille at Knight’s Key. Wha’s Tiffany looking for in her purse? Fresh underwear?

Tiff outside the “No Name Pub”

Hanging up the dollars in the bar at the No Name Pub. Note the color choices of Tiffany’s dollar and the guy besides her. He’s a retired school principal. New cannabis farmer in Big Pine Key!

Dinner at LaTeDa – salad anyone? All male/tranny burlesque show next. Stay tuned!

Photos from the Road

August 21, 2012

Click on a picture to see it full size…

Living it up at the Cheeca Lodge – now THAT’s service!

Service with a smile at the Fontainebleu!

Dinner at the Islamorada Fish Company

Miami Beach is fine, but there’s no place like home.

Mosquitos were thirsty too – that’s a bite, not a nipple on the right!

Lis N Tif’s Spa and Tiki express starts now!

August 16, 2012

Day 1: Off I go! Tiff is on the plane to Miami where we hook up at the Fontainbleau Hotel and Spa! First item on the agenda: Dinner on South Beach. Haven’t seen Tiffany in 5 years. That west coast gal is hard to catch up with. So Here we go! stay tuned!
Lis

Lissa sent me this from her phone – it has begun! – Peewee

The Avon 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk

March 14, 2010

Peewee, Lissa's friend, and Lissa, after three days of walking.

The weather was supposed to be just right for the Avon 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk from Baltimore, Maryland to Washington, D.C. that first weekend in May. Not too hot, not too cold, and no rain in sight. I know because I watched the Weather Channel religiously for weeks before; checking for cells, fronts, weather patterns. It should have been perfect.

Or so they said. Unfortunately, of the two things purported to be certain in life, weather is not one.

Now, I’m not whining. That was rule number one, two and three given to us during the pre-event safety briefing: “No whining.” (And, they reported, recent medical research suggests that whining leads to blisters.) I had no real reason to whine; the weather was only bad during the hours of darkness – hours during which my sister Lissa, her friend and I were safely ensconced in a hotel.

We hadn’t planned it that way. We had actually intended to do the camping thing – get the complete experience, and all that. Lissa and her friend brought air mattresses for our two tents, not realizing that what they had – “Aerobeds” – required electricity for inflation, thus rendering them utterly useless. I brought a sleeping bag and an extra blanket. Lissa simply had a blanket. Needless to say, we were ill prepared for the camping experience.

We saw Lissa’s friend during the opening ceremonies Friday morning, and lost her soon after the start of the walk. I was under the impression that she had just finished chemotherapy and would be walking slowly, but as it turned out she was six months out of chemo and had been training religiously. Nothing held her back; she left us in her dust and arrived at camp with just 29 others ahead of her – out of 4,558 participants! I was floored.

Lissa had done one of these walks before and was somewhat more laid back about the whole thing, and I wanted to take my time so that I wouldn’t get the tendonitis which had plagued me during training, so we ended up trudging along together that first day.

We stopped briefly at the lunch stop to peruse the offerings – balogna sandwhiches, basically, and decided we had earned something better, so we walked on until we found a Chinese restaurant along the route. It was such a relief to escape the blazing sunshine, biting winds and noisy crowds, and cool the old tootsies in that semi-dark, air conditioned haven, while feasting on our favorite Chinese cuisine, and a couple of beers.

The first day’s walk turned out to be not 20 but 22.6 miles, and believe me, I felt every centimeter of that extra 2.6 miles. I admit to whining. I guess that’s why I got blisters on the second day.

With two or three miles to go, (and having been lied to repeatedly by the volunteers that we had “less than a mile to go”), Lissa abruptly left the path. She had spotted a Sheraton hotel, right there, big as life.

“Yes!” she shrieked. There IS a God! I can’t believe they put the campground right next to a SHERATON!” Experiencing a second or maybe third wind, she sprinted up the hill and dashed into the lobby, while I hobbled along behind her. She whipped out her credit card and joyfully booked us a room, after which we rejoined the walk to the campground.

This was the longest part of the whole three days. The path seemed to go on forever, weaving and turning, zigging and zagging and even looping back on itself. Of any time during the weekend, my humor was at its lowest. My feet were burning. I was cranky. We had walked more than 20 miles and there was no end in sight. It was getting to be quite annoying, as the path snaked back and forth through a park so finally in frustration we took a short-cut straight across a field and rejoined the route further up.

Finally we reached the camp, checked in, and found Lissa’s friend huddling in a tent that was threatening to take flight, as the wind howled outside. The tents were little two-man one-piece affairs, and someone had lost all the stakes; attach a string and you have a nice kite on a windy day. We were instructed to weigh them down with baggage. It wasn’t working, and it only took a little coaxing to entice Lissa’s friend to join us at the hotel.

With our sore feet and stiff muscles, walking back to the hotel was out of the question, so we each packed ourselves an overnight bag and used Lissa’s cell phone to call a cab.

What a great decision! We had a fabulous dinner in the hotel restaurant, where we were able to watch the remaining walkers stream past the wall-to-wall glass windows in the last hours, before the volunteers “swept the course.” We toasted them and saluted their fortitude, not realizing the further ordeal they were about to endure.

The temperature that night dropped to somewhere around freezing, and when Lissa’s friend and I arrived back at the camp for breakfast, we saw campers huddling around mugs of hot coffee and cocoa, wrapped in blankets and shivering miserably. We thought of our soothing tubsoaks and comfortable beds, and nodded sympathetically as we listened to their tales of woe.

Lissa had lost two toenails the previous day and slept in at the hotel, promising to catch up to us later that day.

Expecting yet another agonizingly long trek, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the mileage for the second day was only 15.6 miles – a piece of cake, comparatively! Or at least I thought so until I got started and realized that the extra mileage of the first day had taken its toll. My feet were swollen, and I was forced to loosen my laces and change out my socks for thinner ones. Blisters developed in the strangest of places (like between my toes).

Lissa’s friend decided that she would rather hang back and dine at a nice restaurant with us than keep up a blistering pace alone to the camp, so she slowed down and walked with me, and after some phone coordination, we met up with Lissa at an Olive Garden restaurant. We nearly choked on our pasta when Lissa commented that her butt was sore from riding in the taxi.

The pit stop volunteers provided comic relief along with beverages and snacks along the way. Each stop had a theme, complete with costumes, decorations, and funny poems posted on the inside doors of the toilets. “Margaritaville” featured pit crews in sombreros, plastic leis, and grass skirts, with a modified version of the Jimmy Buffet song. Another theme was the “Just-Wrong Wedding,” where the bride was a man and the groom a woman (last names Just, and Wrong), with a huge papier-mache wedding cake, and a flower girl – in drag.

Volunteers, supporters and family members appeared along the route in costumes. A man dressed as a cow kept telling us we were “udderly terrific,” and a fellow wearing a huge George Washington head showed up at various places holding different signs. As we left Columbia he held a two-sided sign that read “Goodbye Columbia” on one side and “Next Stop Washington” on the other. Still another fellow showered the walkers with huge soap bubbles, and in every town that we transited the residents came out in droves to cheer us on, some in their bathrobes holding mugs of coffee.

Taped to nearly every post and pole along the route were hand-lettered signs encouraging friends and relatives; some humorous, some touching. I lost count of the many signs cheering on Barbara Jo Kirshbaum, who was walking all 13 walks in 13 cities, for a total of 780 miles.

The walkers themselves were no less decorative. Many had their shirts signed by friends who had donated to the cause, and still others had names of those in whose honor they walked, some survivors, some not so lucky.

We bought Lissa’s friend a pink Avon 3-Day ball cap, designating her as a survivor. All along the route, others approached her, strangers sharing experiences, ups and downs, miseries and victories. Crowds along the way cheered extra hard, seeing that pink hat. It was an extraordinarily heartwarming experience.

Though the walk was shorter, we were quite fatigued by the end of the second day, and now the question was not whether to stay in a hotel, but could we find one with a hot tub?

We lucked out and found a Best Western that featured the requisite hot tub, and once again we had a sumptious supper. After such a long walk, everything tastes better, especially while sitting down, inside, with one’s feet up on a chair. My feet were so stiff by this time that had I remained at the camp, I’m sure I would have skipped dinner rather than endure the torture of standing in line.

As we were soaking in the hot tub before dinner, we hear the first rumblings of thunder. Sure enough, later that night a thunderstorm dumped torrents of rain on the camp, flooding the lower area – where our tents would have been had we stayed. Nearly half the campers had to be evacuated to pass the rest of the night in buses. Once again, we said a little prayer of thanks for having the good sense to come indoors. Leave the camping to the youngsters – with age comes wisdom! “We came to walk, not to suffer!” became our motto.

Day three was even shorter – just 11 miles to the “Holding Area.” The organizers were panicking over the pace of the walkers, begging us to slow down and warning us that we would not be allowed to continue past a certain point if we got there too early, so we took a nice long lunch break at a hotel restaurant in D.C. just short of the holding area.

We still arrived in the first third of the walkers, and got to watch and cheer for the rest of the crowd as they streamed in, (and straggled in, there at the end, some stepping wearily off of buses, some on crutches, some in wheelchairs). One man stood patiently for hours holding a sign asking “Where is Mary Ellen?”

We each received a new, long-sleeved tee shirt to wear for the final leg of the walk; dark blue for most, bright pink for the breast cancer survivors. We refilled our water bottles, and Lissa got her nail-less toes attended to at the aid station.

The crowd continued to grow as the walkers arrived in groups large and small, and periodic cheers erupted as the wounded limped in, supported by friends and family and determined to finish. I overheard someone comment that it looked like a war zone, with all of the bandages, and crutches and wheelchairs and even stretchers. Ambulances occasionally carted away the odd unfortunate soul who had succumbed to heat and dehydration. (Even the closing ceremonies were interrupted when someone fainted on the stage and had to be carried off on a stretcher.)

Finally Mary Ellen arrived, and the crowd cheered wildly, as the sign-holder jumped for joy and hugged her enthusiastically. This seemed to signal the end of the walk. Mary Ellen, bless he heart, must have been dead last.

After several false starts and a lot of standing around in the hot sun, we finally embarked on the “victory walk.” First the main group of walkers, wearing our dark blue shirts paraded triumphantly down the avenue, to the roar of thousands of enthustiastic supporters lining the road, waving banners and homemade signs, balloons and streamers. Approaching the stage, we filled up both sides of the street, separated by a fenced off area in the center. Into this center area came the volunteers in white tee shirts, some wearing crazy hats, wings, plastic leis, etc. There were medics in pink scrubs, chanting their all-important slogan: “Drink, pee, no IV!”, food service personnel in chef’s hats, and pit crews carrying signs designating the number and/or theme of their assigned stops. Now some four thousand-plus grateful participants joined in the applause and I soon begin to regret not bringing earplugs.

Lastly, came the survivors. A sea of pink swarmed up the very center of the crowd, to the deafening roar of ten thousand voices. Emotions were high. Tears were flowing. Hankies were passed. This was what it was all about. These brave women had not only survived breast cancer, but also came out to make this journey, to show the world that breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence. These were our heroes.

As we stood together in the hot sun, thirsty, out of water, tears streaming down sunburned faces onto chapped lips, I reflected on the camaraderie that suffused the event. Fresh from the inspirational video played during the safety brief at registration, participants had generously passed around excess donations so that those who were short of the minimum $1900 could still participate in the walk. That spirit never let up. All along the way I saw strangers helping strangers, egging each other on, smiling, singing, cheering and laughing. I thought about the 244 lives that we had been told would be lost to breast cancer while we walked, and the lives that might be saved by the $6.75 million we had collectively raised. I thought of the thousands who had walked, or volunteered, and the countless tens, even hundreds of thousands who had generously given of their hard-earned wages. With so much evil in the world, it’s such a joy to witness so much generosity and caring.

Blame it on the weather

March 7, 2010

It was a scandalously beautiful fall weekend, and a drunk front was stalled over the West Coast of Florida.

The storm began to brew when my sister Lissa drove up from Key West with her friend, I’ll just call her Vicki, who was visiting from California, for some Halloween hi-jinks here in Tampa. I knew I was in for a crazy weekend when Vicki stumbled through the door, dazed and harried from an afternoon of Lissa’s driving, and asked for a drink.

“Well, I have some vodka,” I said.

“That’ll be fine.”

“Do you want anything in it?”

“Maybe a little bit of ice…”

My husband raised his eyebrows as he saw me filling a giant martini glass with vodka, but said nothing.

Lissa poured herself a large glass of red wine and headed for the shower. I continued to don my witch costume, struggling with a set of not-very-sticky false eyelashes. I found the process extremely frustrating. How on earth does Liza Minnelli manage this every day? “Do we have any superglue?” I asked my husband.

“What! You’re drinking vodka and you want to put superglue on your eyes?!”

“I’m not drinking vodka; that was for them. I haven’t even finished one glass of wine (I kept pouring myself a glass and then misplacing it somewhere in the house), and I just want a tiny drop on each lid….”

And that was the end of that idea. Oh well. Then Vicki managed to shatter her still-full martini glass in the bathroom sink, so I poured her another one, this time plastic. You only get one shot at the good stuff in my house.

Lissa and vicki were all excited about going to Sanibel Island, a small chunk of mangroves and sand off the coast of Fort Meyers. They had stopped there on the way up from the Keys, and Lissa had been thrilled with the shell collecting possibilities. “We’re going back there tomorrow” she announced, “and you’re going with us. Sunday you can drive home and we can head back to Key West.” When Lissa gets an idea in her head, just point your skis down hill, cover your head and hope it doesn’t hurt too bad at the end of the ride.

Vicki looked fabulous in her mermaid costume, all in blue. Lissa was a very sexy (and diminutive) Carmen Miranda, with a white skirt, white top and the requisite fruit bowl headdress. Me, I had a saucy black dress that laced up the front, black fishnet stockings, ankle boots, and a jaunty wide-brimmed witch’s hat. We were stunning. Well, they were stunning. I’m not sure whether I was stunning or just shocking.

I had already purchased tickets for the Vampyre’s Ball. A very posh party at the Event Pavilion, it was a benefit for the Old Tampa Theatre. Everything was wonderful; the decorations, the lavish spread, the open bar, the band. Well worth the money – they even had makeup artists to touch up our costume faces. I promptly got my eyelashes re-glued. We had only one problem: There was nobody there. Due to poor advertising, I was told, the attendance was very low. We ate, we drank, we danced, we drank, I went in the bathroom and puked, we drank. Actually, I didn’t eat, which is probably why I puked. That witch’s costume was rather snug.

Lissa grew bored, and demanded to know where the action was. I told her Ybor City was the party town. So we called a cab and off we went, to the other side of the tracks.

At the party, everyone had been in costume. In Ybor, however, we sort of stood out, but in a good way, I guess. Lissa and Vicki are gluttons for attention, and certainly didn’t mind the occasional ogling eyeball. The rest of the night gets kind of hazy. I remember deciding to get a tattoo – my first and only. Okay, well that might have been Lissa’s idea, come to think of it.

I picked out a pretty dragonfly design, and Lissa got a palm tree tattooed on the ball of her right foot, which turned out to be a bad place for a tattoo. Not only did it slough off after a few months, but it never showed up terribly clearly through all the dirt, and generally just looked as though she had stepped in something. Something nasty. Vicki weenied out at the last minute and skipped the tattoo altogether.

The drunk front was in full force when we finally stumbled out of the cab and back into the house at some witching hour of the morning. Lissa insisted on going out onto my patio to smoke one of her cigars. She fell asleep in mid-sentence, sitting in a chair with a glass of wine in one hand and a cigar in the other. We took her picture, then put her to bed.

The next morning I discovered that all my cash was gone. Lissa, however, had a big bag of cigars, and poor Vicki had a miserable hangover. Just so long as we all had something to show for the evening!

We had hoped to make it to Sanibel early enough for some beach time, but after a very late start and some car trouble along the way, we were lucky just to make it in time to enjoy the glorious sunset.

After freshening up in our room at a very posh resort, we sauntered out to the pool bar to enjoy the requisite sunset margarita. After a hair of the Chihuahua, Vicki was starting to feel a little better. I kept looking around at the beautiful white sandy beach, decadent poolside Tiki bar, frosty drinks and spectacular sunset, and marveling at how life could change so drastically from one day to the next. Then I started scratching. Uh oh, no-see-ums. The dreaded picnic spoilers of Florida.

So it was back to the room to get dressed up for a night on the town. Lissa and Vicki in little slinky dresses to show off their little slinky bodies. Lissa always wears long dresses because she doesn’t like her legs. Me, I go for the mini skirt. My legs are my best feature. Might as well show off whatever God gave you and camouflage the rest.

Vicki volunteered to be the designated driver for the evening’s shenanigans. She was still a little queasy from the last couple of days and wanted to take it easy. Poor thing, she hadn’t caught on; with Lissa there IS no taking it easy.

We started out at a quaint little restaurant where we fortified ourselves with a nice dinner and a few drinks (water for the driver). We asked the waitress where all the action was. Seems there was a big Halloween party going on at the Jacaranda – band, dancing, the whole shebang. Lissa’s ears perked right up. She’s a dancing fiend when she gets going. So, off we went into the wild Boo yonder.

At the Jacaranda there were actually folks in costume, a day after Halloween, go figure. Oh well, better late than never. We, however, were done with the costumes – at least the fantasy surreal ones… (A costume is a matter of perspective, really.) We danced, and danced, drank, and danced some more. Except Vicki, she was still in recovery, and refrained, at least from the imbibing part of the evening. Until the very end, that is, when she finally felt well enough to have another cocktail.

We had to drag Lissa off the dance floor as the restaurant folks were trying to close the place up. Well, I can’t remember honestly if it was drag or carry. I seem to remember carrying her in my arms like a baby out to the car. Whether it was because she couldn’t walk or just refused to leave remains to be decided. Yes, I’m a big brutish strong girl, able to pick up her tiny frame and carry it, even in my high heels. I’m a throwback to my Dutch immigrant Kansas farm-girl heritage. Lissa takes after our delicate, British-Irish-Bohemian paternal grandmother’s side of the family.

Somehow we managed to make it back to the resort without serious incident. Along the way we encountered a police road-block, and terrified that we would be busted for our conspicuous consumption of alcohol, I hastily dumped my drink out the window. Lissa, however, stashed hers in the console. Never let her be accused of wasting a precious commodity. The representative of the “proper authorities” shined his flashlight into the driver’s side of the vehicle, illuminating Vicki’s frightened face, and asked her: “Have you been drinking Miss?”

We were certain she was done for — and us along with her. But the deceptively sweet girl, summoning up some tremendous bravado from down deep in her svelte, slender body, protested in an imperious, indignant voice, to our great and delighted surprise:

“Of course not, Officer. I’m the designated driver!” The cop seemed slightly taken aback, confused; he waivered for a second, then replied, “Okay, have a good evening.”

Back at the resort, we crashed, and slept the sleep of the dead — Lissa especially. We took some video of her snoring to beat the band; drooling like a hungry Doberman. It was pretty funny; at least it registered that way to our inebriated, easily amused alcohol-pickled grey matter.

Notice Lissa's lips are stained Pinot Noir purple...

The next day we crawled out of our beds around nine a.m., packed up our stuff and crammed the bags into the cars. I followed Lissa and Vicki to a restaurant, where we had our usual hangover breakfast: Pancakes, French toast, hash browns, bacon, lots of coffee. We re-lived the events of the weekend; laughed, accused, denied, laughed some more. Those two had about a six-hour drive back to the Keys. I only had a little over two hours of driving ahead of me. They were really hurting; I wondered how they would manage.

Finally, we paid the bill, dragged ourselves out of the quaint little café, and reluctantly parted ways. As I watched them drive south, and then pulled out onto the highway heading north, I gave a little mental prayer that they would make it back safely. But then, I knew Lissa always landed on her feet. She’s fairly bullet-proof. Me, I didn’t feel too bad, and my drive was relatively short. The sun was shining; the sky was a brilliant azure blue. It was another gorgeous Florida afternoon. The drunk front had finally moved on.

New Year’s Eve in Sydney

February 26, 2010

I went to visit my sister Lissa in Australia for a couple of weeks over the New Year’s holiday. She and her husband were about a year into a three-year tour there, stationed in Canberra. It hadn’t turned out to be quite what Lissa expected, and she was just itching to do the wild sister’s New Year’s thing that we sometimes do together, because we’re both married to recalcitrant, stick-in-the-mud homebodies. I was flying into Sydney, so she decided to meet me there and spend the holiday in a real party town, before heading back to stodgy old Canberra.

I arrived in Sydney late morning on New Year’s Eve and after phoning Lissa’s husband, found out that she would be delayed getting to the airport to pick me up, so I settled down at a little airport lounge with a paperback and a glass of Chardonnay.

I was just starting in on my second glass when Lissa arrived, racing across the terminal like a greyhound on amphetamines. After a quick hug, she panted, “C’mon, we’ve gotta, go, I have a taxi waiting.”

She grabbed one of my bags and took off the way she had come. I downed my Chardonnay, grabbed the other bag and lit out after her.

After a mad dash across the terminal, through the doors and out into the parking lot, we thrust the bags at the waiting taxi driver and plopped into the back seat, where Lissa proceeded to outline her plan for our New Year’s holiday. I knew this was going to be one wild ride.

At the Darling Harbour Crowne Plaza, where Lissa had reserved a room for a couple of days, the plan was to take a nice nap to help fight off the jet lag, but instead we mostly spent the time catching up.

When evening rolled around, just a few short hours later, we dressed up in long gowns and high heels, and primped and primed ourselves to the nines. New Year’s Eve in Sydney; it doesn’t get much fancier than that! Or so we thought.

The first sign of trouble was when the driver of the cab Lissa had reserved called up to the room to let us know that the streets were blocked off going to the pier. Lissa asked if there was another way to get there. He recommended the metro.

We took off our shoes and hiked to the metro station, just a few blocks away. To our dismay, we found that the metro stop at the pier was also closed. The next stop wasn’t much closer than where we already were, so there was no point in purchasing a ticket.

It was only maybe a mile to the pier, so we decided to hoof it. The night was young, and we had tough feet from a lifetime of going barefoot; the sidewalks were immaculate and we were hungry, so off we went.

Lissa had pre-paid for a dinner and champagne package at a posh restaurant, having seen the deal advertised on the internet. We walked briskly, and even jogged a little, so as not to miss our reservation.

As we neared the pier, we were dumbstruck by the sheer numbers of people descending upon the place, eager to see the upcoming fireworks. We had to fight our way through the throngs, and frequently got separated. The further we proceeded, the tighter they were packed; old and young, mothers with babies in strollers, grandmothers and grandchildren, young tattooed people drinking beer and pondering each other’s piercings. On several occasions we had to hike up our skirts to hurdle over barriers, prams and bodies of people picnicking on the ground, oblivious to the burgeoning crowd around them. As the hour grew later, we became more aggressive, pushing and shoving to work our way through. In desperation, Lissa shouted out “I think I’m going to be sick!” and the crowd parted in front of her, like the Red Sea before Moses’ staff.

I have never felt so claustrophobic in my life, and I am not one that is prone to that particular affliction. To be surrounded by so many sweaty bodies and unable to move is a feeling I don’t care to replicate anytime soon. I found it incomprehensible that so many parents would subject their small children to being trampled by such a horrific crowd.

Finally, after what seemed like hours of struggling through a sea of human flesh with our skirts hiked up and our shoes in hand, we neared our objective, only to be stopped dead by a security barrier. Lissa tried her best to sweet-talk the security guard into letting us through, but he was either gay or extremely dedicated, because he wasn’t having any of it. What could we do?

All of this time I kept asking myself, “what kind of restaurant advertises this special New Year’s Eve dinner package, and doesn’t provide some sort of access for the patrons to get there?”

Another security guard came over, a woman this time. Lissa explained to her that we had reservations at the restaurant just on the other side of the security barrier, and that we were already late. Somehow she talked this security guard into using her cell phone to call the restaurant. Lissa told the maitre d’ that we were just right outside the restaurant, but that the security police wouldn’t let us in.

How confused that fellow must have been, but nonetheless he confirmed for the security guard that yes, we did have reservations, and to please let us through the security barrier.

Finally! We got through the security barrier, away from the sweaty throng, to a quiet lobby of a rather exclusive apartment building. Now to find the restaurant…

We looked everywhere, but there was no restaurant. Finally, a couple of passing residents asked us what we were looking for. Lissa gave them the name of the restaurant, and they looked perplexed. “Aw no,” said one fellow. “That’s over on the other side of the Quay.”

It took a moment to register. We stood in stunned silence. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh hysterically or to throttle Lissa.

We described for the gentlemen the ordeal we had been through in order to make it to that location, and they graciously showed us a way to get out to the street without having to fight our way back through the unruly throng. We thanked them, and resolutely set out once again to find the restaurant, still barefoot, our feet becoming increasingly sore and tired.

There were no cabs available – none could get through to where we were, so we hoofed it another mile or two (more like two) around to the other side of the bay, and finally located the restaurant. Upon seeing it, Lissa remembered that she had had lunch there just a few weeks prior, when our father was visiting!

Our reservation was for 8:00, and we came limping up to the front door, disheveled and somewhat sweaty, sometime after 10:00 p.m. We explained to the maitre d’ what had happened, and he took pity on us, not only honoring our reservation and dinner package, but sending over an extra bottle of champagne. We must have looked like we needed it.

After all that, we had a very pleasant dinner, sipped champagne, and even danced a little on the back patio. At midnight the restaurant emptied as all the patrons gathered in the street to watch the fireworks being deployed from the Sidney Harbour Bridge.

Despite the ardours of what we later referred to as the “Sidney 10K Barefoot Dash and Hurdle Event,” Lissa was not ready to call it a night, and as we slowly made our way back in the direction of our hotel, we sampled various nightclubs until we found one to our liking, and danced until the wee hours of the morning. After all, this is a woman who once shouted: “This is VEGAS, and we’re NOT going back to the room before the SUN COMES UP!” But that’s another story.

I don’t think we wore our shoes at all that night. We never did find a cab, and we limped up the street through the dawn’s early light, picking our way through broken beer bottles and puddles of vomit. The streets and sidewalks were not so pristine as they had been on our earlier trip.

Lissa and I have had some memorable adventures, on New Year’s and other holidays, and certainly some, if not most, were more fun, really, but I have to say this one was the most memorable, and will remain indelibly etched in my memory in intimate detail, until I am too old and feeble to remember anything at all.

 

Lissa and Peewee’s Misadventures

February 26, 2010

My Sister Lissa and I have had some really fun vacations together, but something always seems to go awry. Then again, maybe that’s why they’re so much fun.

Anyhow, I have decided to write them down, to share them, in the hopes of bringing a smile to the weary traveler who has had enough misadventures of his or her own. You are not alone.