20 July 2009

time for a little shopping, and dining.

I am absolutely using this space to make myself feel like I have my dream job from time to time. That dream job, friends, is a travel writer. It involves no children, no text books, no lesson plans, no early wake-ups (except for flights and excursions) and plenty of time on the beach and at the dinner table. Nevermind, the shopping! If only such a position as traveling critic/mystery shopper existed.....ah...sweet fantasy world. So, without further explanation...a couple shopping recommendations and a restaurant to be avoided at all costs if you happen to be down the cape anytime soon.

Chatham, MA- Girls, if you happen to need a cute dress (or a classy dress, or a unique dress, or a killer-"get the hell away from my boyfriend"-dress) for a wedding, shower or other event, I highly recommend "Violets". Its right on the main street where all the shopping is, in the center of town, sort of across the street from The Squire. The dresses are actually very reasonably priced for the selection and the variety. Shopping there consists of looking through rainbowed racks of dresses organized by color. They also have an amazing choice of costume jewelery to compliment their dresses or any pre-existing assemble you have to fancy up. The baubles are not nearly as affordable if bought in quantity (a necklace and pair of earrings cost me $70. A lot, I think, for costume jewelery.), but still ridiculously adorable and unique. I think that's the highlight of the offerings here...you are not going to be wearing something that anyone else is sporting to the same event. For example, my new earrings, which feature two thin, yet big dangly ovals, with tiny pinkish violet swarvoski crystals and a teeny little golden bird floating from the post. Not tacky...whimisical. A little bird! I loved them instantly. Whoever does the buying for this store clearly enjoys their role and has a lot of fun filling the small space with gorgeous items.

Harwichport, MA - On the same note of absolutely fall-in-love-with-everything-on-the-rack selection, with a more casual weekend feel, try shopping at "Isabel". On Route 28, across from The Mason Jar, this store took over for a consignment store a couple years back and has held on for the past few summers with adorable clothes. The feel is a funkier J.Crew, or a prepped out Anthropology, maybe. There are sundresses, shorts, jeans, t's, sweaters... if I had a black Amex card I could easily fill a closet here. The prices, for the most part, reflect the store's vacationy location. You pay a premium for shopping within walking distance to the beaches in town. For my Central Mass friends: if you are a Natick Collection shopper, the tags here will be par for the course. If you are a Greendale Mall shopper, you may be in for some sticker shock. That said, I have Natick Collection tastes with a Greendale Mall budget, and this store is great source of inspiration for adding to my season's wardrobe updates.

East Harwich, MA- For the love of god, do not confuse "The Upper Crust" pizzeria, located on rt.39 in the 400 plaza here with "The Upper Crust" located in Brookline and Boston. Do not order pizza from this place. The undercooked nastiness that we paid over $30 for this weekend shamed me as an Italian, and as the daughter of a family who owned a pizzeria. It shamed me as someone who eats pizza. Hell, it shamed me as someone who eats at all.

13 July 2009

when did you grow up?

It was a couple weeks ago that I was flipping through a copy of "Real Simple" magazine and saw an essay contest asking would be authors to write about the moment they realized they were really, true, honest-to-god adults. Since that moment, the thought has popped into my head several times, interrupting my best efforts to remain forever trapped in college mode.

And my efforts to not grow up have been pretty impressive.
I am one of the last of my friends to hold on to non-motherhood. Not because I don't adore babies, but because I also adore laziness and sleeping in, and beach trips and unplanned runs to the store, and freedom to do what I want, pretty much when I want. The puppy can go in a crate (but rarely does when I am not working!) but a baby can not.

I watch E!, I read Twilight and buy US Weekly if anything about the movies are on the cover, I waste money on iTunes and more money on Coach bags. I still punch new holes in my ears and plan on tattoos in what my husband considers my midlife crisis (giving me a lifespan of 62. thanks, Babe.) Credit cards are still used, and 401K's...who really needs them. Especially when 11% goes to the pension plan anyhow, thanks Mass teacher retirement fund.

BUT...despite this...I did discover this month that I am, in fact, a true grown-up.

Several occasions illustrated this to me in glaringly obvious and painful ways. Let's look at last week-

Monday - Try to plan camping trip with girlfriends. Two of us must "check with husbands" first. (Reminds me of being a child, checking with Mom) Three of us must schedule around parental doctor appointments. (When you hit the "real grown-up stage", you take your parents to the doctor and help them fill out forms, give medical histories, and calm them down.)
Go to dermatologist - instead of being inundated with sun safety and acne info, shown botox info. Awesome. Told that "freckle" on face is "age spot". Revolt with third piercing in each ear. Now I look 15 again. Except the little sign indicates that I need a parent to sign if born after 1990. I was in high school in 1990, wasn't I?

Tuesday - Bring mom to doctor. Try to help her with "these ABC's that you're so good at"...by that, she means the medical terms and abbreviations. I am not good at them because I have a master's degree in reading, I am good at them because I have a list of them on my own medical history: GAD, SAD, IBS, GERD. Have anxiety induced stomachache waiting for mom's appointment, which the nurse asks me to accompany her in for. "My mom needs me too, she is forgetful". Um...shit...when did my youthful mom get old enough to need me to help her? when did I get old enough to be helpful?

Wednesday - Funeral. For the day old daughter of friends. When you see the child of someone your own age pass away, you know that you are the older generation. When you see any child pass away, you wonder how it could happen. I believe that we needed more angels and she was too perfect for this imperfect world, and so was called to be an angel. I imagine my 'other mom', my nonna, and my mother in law, in heaven, cooing over her and taking care of her now. I pray that her family finds strength and comfort, but can not imagine how.

Thursday - still sullen from yesterday, I head to the dentist. They show me the clipping of my wedding announcement from three years ago. Three YEARS ago?! While my mouth is otherwise busy being scraped and polished, I think back those three years. Then, I think back the 7 years before that. Then, I realize that my husband and I have been together for TEN years. Then, it hits me that he has been out of college for ten years and had I not taken that year off, I too would have been out for ten years. Next, I recognize the fact that we have been out of high school for 14 years. Good god. Grown-up. The hygenist and I talk about our parents' health. Grown-up.

Friday- I go to the beach with three friends. I am the oldest. By five years, at least. On the ride home, someone asks about a guy from my husband's home town. "He's old." He's five years older than us. Yeah, he IS old. He is probably not Grown-up. He is looking for legal representation. Knowing what I do of that family and town, he's probably functioning on an 18 year old maturity level.

I AM grown-up. I worry about my parents' health. I worry about a mortgage. I plan to have children, eventually, and realize I need to be less selfish to do so. I have seen loss, and fear it, but know it is unavoidable. I lose words, and have to stop and think to recall ideas that used to just pour out. My age has a three in the tens place. I am seriously considering entering an essay contest. You can win money...for more coach bags. :-)

08 July 2009

Once upon a time...

there lived a tired teacher in a little, tiny town that she thought was too far away from anything really worth seeing. Like a mall with more than 10 stores. Or the beach. So on her first summer of not doing anything, she started talking to her dog. Talking to her dog too much for her own peace of mind. Hence, i diari della principessa.
At least now I can honestly say "I am not wasting time on facebook."

The beach comment above is not quite fair, as I do spend my weekends at the Cape. But its fair enough since the weekdays in summer are spent wishing my husband would make the career move into education and we could spend all week on the beach. He'd be a lot happier if I wasn't at home when he was at work.

Oh, the Cape. I just returned from a week at the Cape. I have a 15 month old Puggle, who is like my child. She loves the beach as much as I do (that is, she loves the warm sand and sun and wants nothing to do with the 57 degree water). And, the Cape welcomes her. Our usual beach, Nauset in Orleans allows her to bask in the sun as she deserves if she comes in on the O.R.V. road. And my father in law, he enjoys taking the truck out there too. As do many of my friends who purchased pretty expensive vehicles for the sole purpose of taking them on the beach. So we all rush to purchase $180 beach stickers. (well, not me. I drive a pretty badass corolla, but no one's beliving that thing can offroad in sand)
So, besides New England making some sort of cosmic mistake and believing that it was part of the Pacific Northwest for the past 4 weeks working against our beach plans, further insidiousness interupted the Puggle's plan for beach dominance last week.

The Piping Plover.

"tastes like chicken" "oh, cute" "our new babies" "little f*$#ers"
Go to any beach mid to lower cape right now, and you will hear these comments. I promise you.

No offroading at Nauset until August. No offroading at Race Point until god knows when. Half of Marconi is closed (2 were born). I can't remember which beach, but one beach closed entirely on the 4th of July (also the first sunny day in weeks) because 1 bird hatched. Or so a really drunk partygoer told me that night.

Nature is great. It does suck that we ruined their habitat, but there is a point where we seem to be overprotecting them. If we didn't exist, would they receive the protection they get now?

Eh, I am just bitter because everyone around me is cranky about this.

Personally, I have reason to be happy. We got a National Seashore pass and I get to spend the summer at beaches with bathrooms (!!!) No peeing in sand or running into 55 degree water for me this year. Daily drives up to my favorite towns on the Cape: Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, P-Town. Being able to just leave my beach crap in my car since its my car with the sticker on it. Being on my own schedule.

I will happily take it. I think I am going to go join some sort of group to protect those plovers. They did me a real solid this time around.

mini etsy