I guess summer is when I start to move around a lot because in the last month I have been in soooo many different cities including my usuals:

Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Flagstaff/Sedona

And then back over to the East Coast… New York, New Jersey… Missed Redbank this year, though.

I do like to get back east at least once during the summer. That’s where I grew up and I have fond memories of my favorite beach and the best beach in the WORLD… The Beaches along the Jersey Shore!

I spent a couple of days down there while I was back. I also found a great article about the shore and here it is:

The Best Beach in Jersey? Shore Is.

And while this article is mostly about Ocean City, I prefer the Jersey Beaches further north.

Seaside Heights for a Boardwalk that doesn’t quit. If you have small children, Point Pleasant is better in terms of rides and atmosphere.

Ortley Beach has a sandbar that makes the waves break early so that you can ride them for a long time when it’s low tide. At least that’s how it was a few years ago… we were there at high tide this year.

Spring Lake is more low key… and easier to find parking. Also a shorter drive from North Jersey, which is usually where I am coming from.

And no question that the Jersey beaches are infinitely better than anything you will find on the West Coast. For example, the Santa Monica Pier is a fraction of the size of all the boardwalks you will find in Jersey. Venice, CA doesn’t even have a boardwalk, though they call it a boardwalk. It’s concrete… not boards. And it’s pot shops… not carnival games. And Venice is kind of sketchy to walk at night while the Jersey Boardwalks become alive at night. Everyone comes out because it’s too hot to walk the Boards during the day. Besides, most people are on the beach during the day.

I mean, I like LA over Jersey for everything else. But for the beaches, Jersey is best.

Unfortunately, because it gets gets cold in Jersey, we only get 3-4 months of beach weather, but it’s definitely worth the trip back to have a few beach days.

L

By the way, if there is a West Coast beach that you think is great, please leave a message and let me know. My favorite beach so far is Seal Beach because the layout and shops and the atmosphere is more low key and have normal people living there (as opposed to the hoopla of Venice where I can’t go into the water because someone might steal my towel or the chichi of Laguna where I feel out of place because I’m the only one on the beach who doesn’t have plastic boobies). Your advice on good beaches… I’m begging you! :-)

Posted by: Ramblin Gal | May 18, 2009

Not writing much…

Haven’t written much here because I’m not traveling much. :-(

This weekend Shawn visited and we did some stuff around Vegas… Day trips like Zion and Death Valley… But life hasn’t really been orienting me toward much traveling lately.

I guess I’m becoming an expert on the Vegas/L.A. commute. I know where the cheap gas is (it ain’t Barstow, by the way… It’s the ARCO that is just AFTER Barstow if you are coming from L.A.)

Will keep you posted on my travels. But don’t expect to hear from me to much here right now… I’ve got other stuff going on.

Happy travels!

Ramblin Gal

Posted by: Ramblin Gal | April 4, 2009

Las Vegas: the most saintly city in the world!

I think that when people live in an environment that is extreme in any fashion, it polarizes the people to live in one extreme or the other.

Or at least it forces them to consider the extreme and make a decision about whether to live in accordance to said extreme.

Sometimes the extreme is so repugnant that the people make efforts to live in quite an opposite fashion.

I’ll admit that my time at Hunter College surprisingly left me with much more conservative views than when I first started at that school. Perhaps it was the fact that I was not able to attend some club meetings because the signs were in Chinese or because the Nation of Islam always directed scathing insults to the white kids as they walked by. Or that I was forced to take a Black History in America class but that there was no requirement to take a class about the history of my own heritage. I know more about Malcolm X than do about Queen Isabella.

(I swear there is a point to this digression.)

So when I entered Hunter, for example, I believed in Reparations for slavery (a proposal by some in the United States that some type of compensation should be provided to the descendants of enslaved people) would heal the wounds of the past and make up for the damage that was done.

Leaving Hunter, however, I realized that it wouldn’t really solve anything. No anger would be healed. People would still be pissed… Except now they would just get money for being pissed. (And on an energetic level might even grow the pissyness by virtue of giving attention to it.)

(Ok, maybe I have digressed a bit far. Pretty random blog post, huh?)

Anyway, one would think that the residents of Las Vegas would be wild and crazy people that live debaucherous lives and spend all of their money and free time on the strip.

One would think that they are of low moral character and devoid of any spirituality.

I HAVE FOUND THAT THIS IS QUITE THE OPPOSITE HERE IN VEGAS.

Yes, people in Vegas, to my experience, do know how to party, but all of the lifestyle indulgences people associate with Las Vegas are not typical in the day to day life of a Las Vegan (I think Las Vegas people should be called Vegans… just to confuse Las Vegas residents with the crunchy people that don’t eat meat).

So Vegans don’t judge. That’s the coolest thing I have found around this city so far.

You want to drink everyday? OK.
You strip for a living? How’s that going for you?
You pick up hookers on a regular basis? I recommend you use protection.

But there are very few people beating the bible and saying such-and-such activity is wrong. Some might say that a behavior is impractical, such as the John getting a disease because he didn’t use protection… that would be impractical to his lifestyle… but not morally wrong.

Coming from Los Angeles, where wearing the wrong color shoes with an outfit could grounds to be outcast from the tribe, the (Las) Vegan mentality is very, very refreshing.

I have met more virgins here than anywhere. People saving themselves for love or marriage.

I have met more church-goers than in any other city I have ever lived in. And I’m talking about the REAL church-goers… the ones that enjoy it and really want to be there… not because they think it saves their soul or because they feel guilty if they don’t go, but because it feels good to them.

About half of my friend here don’t drink. In most other cities I have lived in about 1% of my friends didn’t drink.

So my point is, in the midst of the phrase “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” there are the residents that STAY IN VEGAS and partake in none of the tourist activities.

I think also that being able to do ANYTHING ones hedonistic heart desires makes it less of a draw.

Before I lived here, I never agreed with the argument that people want what they can’t have and that the repressing ones urges lead to stronger and more f-ed up urges.

But I see the truth in that statement now that I’ve been in this town a while.

My friends and I can do anything… ANYTHING… in this town. Yet we chose to play flag football and check out swap meets and go to SkyMania.

0178_cs_header

SKYMANIA!

SKYMANIA!

Good, clean, wholesome fun..

In the City of Sin. ;-)

Pretty Ironic, Huh?

Posted by: Ramblin Gal | April 1, 2009

You ain’t nothing but a hound dog…

Is befriending my first Elvis impersonator the official initiation rite into living in Las Vegas?

Posted by: Ramblin Gal | February 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Explained

My friend Millie, who is also a blogger, mentioned a tradition with a number of bloggers to only post picture(s) on Wednesdays, therefore known as “Wordless Wednesdays”.

I will adopt that tradition into my blogging… which explains last week’s picture.

I’m not sure how consistent I will be with it, but sometimes I feel a picture would tell a much greater story than my words could express.

And Wednesday will be my opportunity to tell my wordless story. ;-)

Posted by: Ramblin Gal | February 25, 2009

2090213venicela-03

Posted by: Ramblin Gal | February 24, 2009

Ya ever notice…

Ya ever notice that when you’re far away from your home town and you run into someone from your hometown you’re always like, “Hey! I’m from there too!” and it feels so good and happy and there might even be a pang of longing for that hometown even though in reality you may despise your home town?

And you may know and not like the person that you ran into who is from your home town, but when you’re a million miles away, you forget that you don’t like them and you’re even buddy-buddy with them?

And then when you go back to your hometown and you run into that person, you remember that you don’t like them. Or your hometown.

Well, being in Vegas sometimes is interesting because here I am in Starbucks and I’m watching two screenwriters work on a script, which in L.A. is such a normal occurrence that it’s impossible to walk two feet without bumping into a screenwriter working on a screenplay.

So it’s no big deal. Didn’t dislike it, but didn’t draw my attention.

But here in Vegas, watching these screenwriters, I feel a fondness for them. A familiarity with them. Yes, I’m in film, too, and I have that common bond with you… In a city with an economy that is based in tourism (entertainment… but tourism entertainment as opposed to film entertainment).

I think that’s why New York doesn’t have as much back-biting as L.A.

When you meet a fellow artist in a city like Chicago or New York, it’s a special occasion.

When you meet a fellow artist in L.A., it’s competition.

Which is probably why it never felt good to make stuff there. Because there were always people waiting in the wings to shoot you down because you might just get the attention that they want.

Making art, film, theater, etc is much more collaborative, supportive and trust-based in all the other cities (all cities other than L.A.) I have visited.

Hmmmm…

Interesting revelation for me.

(PS: I have to credit Kristin with the beginning of this “ya ever notice” message… She’s the one that first noted how oddly excited she got when she was in Atlanta and met someone from Jersey. Excellent observation!) :-)

Posted by: Ramblin Gal | February 23, 2009

Appreciation #6

I’m just appreciating the ride… :-)

Posted by: Ramblin Gal | February 19, 2009

Whaaaah! I’m not a travel blog?

LOCATION: Las Vegas, NV

I’m not considered a travelblog by the editor of travelblogs.com.

I wrote to the site, which promotes travel blogs, asking to be included on their site. This is the response I got back.


Thanks for your email! I checked out your blog. It seems a little more like a personal blog than a travel blog per sé though, so I’m afraid it doesn’t really seem to fit for TravelBlogs.

Cheers,
Eric

I’m bummed because I most certainly consider myself still traveling.

Sure, I’ve been in Vegas for a month, but I reviewed my last few posts and noticed that one was about Australia’s Greatest Job in the World (about tourism), one was about Southern California and free stuff to do on your birthday (that’s traveling AND I was in L.A. when I wrote it), one is about cool deals on airfare to England (travel/tourism again), and one is about the comparison of temperatures between Calgary Canada and Las Vegas, Nevada (I’m still Ramlin… SEE!)

I do have some personal-blog-type-things up here, and I know that one about the Ann Taylor sale was completely off topic, but I’m still not sure where I’ll be in a month and so, in my book, that’s traveling.

What am I missing? A trip to a museum?

Or in Las Vegas’ case, a bunch of typical shots of the hotel and casinos on the strip?

I’m trying to capture the “off the beaten path” story of all the locations I visit. Everyone goes to The Strip and a million people have probably blogged about it!

And, quite frankly, this city is built on tourism. There are a million and one stories about the activities on the strip. Are there any stories about a pick-up touch football game that anyone can join in on? Even tourists? YES. There’s ONE… and it’s MY STORY. Right here. On this blog.

(Listen to me… I’m all fired up!) ;-)

Well, travelblogs.com, here is your bunch of almighty gratuitous (and outrageously boring given that I’m in the most touristy city in the world) travel pics.

Blue Man Group at the Venetian - Las Vegas

Blue Man Group at the Venetian - Las Vegas


Audience gathers for free show at Venetian - Las Vegas

Audience gathers for free show at Venetian - Las Vegas


Free show at Venetian - Las Vegas

Free show at Venetian - Las Vegas


Actors in Free show at Venetian - Las Vegas

Actors in Free show at Venetian - Las Vegas


Gondola Ride on Grand Canal in Venetian - Las Vegas

Gondola Ride on Grand Canal in Venetian - Las Vegas

And feel free to renominate me by writing to TravelBlogs.com by clicking here and requesting that I be included on their site and that I am, in fact, a travelblog. At least for now. If I settle, then I will let them know. But for now… I’m still Ramblin’!

(BTW, The Venetian is one of my favorite casinos (Bellagio is the other) here in Las Vegas and the show was actually quite fun and interesting. Well worth checking out! I think they perform every hour in the afternoons.)

(PPS: For all you tourists that want to join in the Sunday Flag Football Game… We start at 10am and play until about 1pm. Location: Desert Breeze Park, S Durango Dr & Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV‎)

Posted by: Ramblin Gal | February 18, 2009

Pigskins to Stilletos: Flag Football Week Three

I have no pictures from last Sunday because I was actually playing instead of walking off a pulled quad muscle.

Again, I had a great time and I can feel my confidence increasing. I actually caught a couple and had a few running plays. (Woohoo, I sound so tough to myself. If I were myself I’d be swooning at myself!!! WAIT?! hahaha…)

So here’s some observations from this week.

I am now getting a better idea of what I need to do on the field, and how I can help the most. I know what my strengths are and how to leverage them. What I’m finding myself bumping up against now is my physical fitness level.

I’ve gone through phases of very strong physical fitness, and this is not one of them. I am proud to say that I’ve dropped a lot of weight recently, but I can see that my strength and cardiovascular stamina has gone down.

Luckily, I know that I rebound well. It doesn’t take much for me to regain the strength that I had, and that is comforting. I let my body recover one day and. I’m going to be more diligent about regular exercise, even though, technically, I’m still “Ramblin” and that makes it somewhat difficult to keep a regular exercise schedule (but, oh, how I miss my bike which is up in Calgary right now with my boyfriend… and he’s not riding it either b/c too much snow!) :-(

I do love the team aspect of the game. I find it cool that the QB makes an effort to get me the ball. The ironic thing is that it’s the pleasure of being included in the game, but not necessarily being involved in a bunch of plays, that really makes it fun for me.

As a side note:
In order to balance my masculine jock side that I’m swooning over (hahaha) I went out and wore high heels and a skirt. Could playing in a more aggressive game actually be balancing me to play “harder” in a traditionally masculine way, and then play “harder” (or, I guess you could say “softer”) in a more feminine way? And why do I see the aggressive side of me as masculine and the feminine side of me wearing shoes that are impossible to run in?

Hmmmmm….. I guess I will be exploring these questions soon with more Sunday football.

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