Category Archives: girls night

Reboot 2017

If you didn’t see it on my FB page, here is my husband’s explanation for my lack of blog last Monday:

Jolie is off grid. She and K took the pickup and camper Friday morning and went berry picking at Tangle lakes between Glennallen and Fairbanks. No mobile signal. They took 4 boxes of wine and assorted bottles of spirits. Wonder if they will come back with berries?

Anyway #alaskagirlskickass

For the record: We did get berries. GALLONS of berries.

What it means to be rich
This is wealth.
Fat Heaven
Fat Heaven
Berry Blood
The blood of our enemies…or berries.

We even found mushrooms.

"baby" King Bolete. They get MUCH bigger.
“baby” King Bolete. They get BIGGER. O.O

And the only booze we used up completely was the beer. (So there Mowgli.)

Yes. #alaskagirlskickass

For those wondering, beautiful Tangle lakes is 269.6 miles from my front door. It takes about five and a half hours to drive there (in summer) if you do it in one shot which, of course, requires:

A super-efficient car with a massive fuel tank (F350 carrying 4000lbs of camper? Yeah, no.)

AND

A berry picking partner happy with 5.5 hours in a car (mine was not. In fact she made it clear that if I don’t promise to stop A LOT MORE next trip, there won’t be one.)

One of the rare occasions the travel natzi (me) allowed us to stop.
Sheep Mountain. One of the rare occasions the travel Nazi (aka me) permitted stopping.
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Chugach Mountains (home)

Anyway, we made it in about six hours (can you guess who was pleased with that and who was not?)

6 hours.

270 miles.

Divided thusly:

90 miles of: hairpin turns, steep drop offs, impressive grades and stunning scenery you’re too scared to take your eyes off the road to enjoy.

90 miles of: reasonable roads that, from your perspective, are nectar of the gods and mind-blowing landscape you can appreciate without penalty of death.

90 miles of: a white-knuckle frost heaved roller coaster carved through more countryside that’s probably amazing but you are, again, too focused on not crashing to really take in.

I know. You have just now decided you are NEVER visiting Tangle lakes EVER.

But wait… it’s totally worth it. Just look:

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20170903_114340
It was still summer at my house. We literally drove into a change of season.
Woke up to a little termination dust Sunday
Woke up to a little termination dust (aka snow) Sunday. Far left mountain top.

What’s more, it’s fun.

No kids, no husbands (we love you family! But…) all the berries you could want (we wanted GALLONS evidently), hiking trails forever, fire, wine, stars (Aurora one night) and (because we are complete princesses) a generator, heater, TV and Mama Mia DVD.

This is the Alaskan equivalent of a spa weekend.

(For the record: Actual spa weekends are a thing here as well)

And to top it all off, NOT ONE BEAR. Which is weird because they aren’t called “Ber-ries“ for nothing.

It goes to show you that in Alaska, if you’re willing to work for it, there is plenty for everyone. No need to get in each other’s way.

(Yes Mr. Bear, you who trampled and robbed my raspberries last week, I’m talking to YOU. Lazy thief…)

And to my berry partner – please, please, please take me here again! I promise to drive slow, stop, smell roses…

 

Life, the later years

stock-footage-flashing-police-lights

People don’t change, nouns do. 

Friday night got a little out of control. But who hasn’t been there, right?

I started the evening ready for a wild night of fun (aka staying up past 11:00 eating chocolate and watching Iron Man). Sadly none of my roommates (aka husband and sons) was in the mood to join me. So, alone but undeterred, I put on my party clothes (aka pajamas and bunny slippers) and set out for the most popular club in town (aka my living room).

The bartender (aka me) could tell I was ready to get rowdy so he (aka I) directed me to the best seat in the house (aka the couch). Before I could tell him (aka me) not to, he (aka me) cracked open a bottle of the clubs finest liquor (aka Merlot in a box) and poured me a glass.

The entertainment that night was awesome. The band (aka Netflix) played an endless eclectic stream of my favorite hits. No matter what I was in the mood for the singer (aka my instant queue) was more than willing to accommodate.

A couple of hours later the night started to really buzz. My dear old friends (aka Overstock, Amazon, and Nordstrom.com) dropped by! The four of us don’t get to spend much time together these days and I was ready to make up for lost time. What a blast!

Unfortunately, the evening after that is kind of blurry. I forgot how much my old buddies and I (aka just me) like to cut loose.

Things went downhill fast and at 1:00 am the fun came to a screeching halt. Someone had called the police (aka my internet data cap). Everyone ran but it was too late. The cops had back up. In no time at all a state trooper (aka my credit card spending limit) had me face down on the floor. While he reviewed my Miranda rights (aka over charge fee schedule) I lay with my cheek in the dirt wondering what had gone wrong.

When I looked up there were my “friends” giving me a round of sympathetic looks.

“Well,” they said shaking their heads, “that escalated quickly.”

Jerks.    

Don’t worry though, I’ve learned my lesson.

Next weekend, I’m staying in.   

 

 

The one where I became bilingual

 

Dear Mother Nature,

Hello! How are you? We’re great. Thanks to you Alaska is having a wonderful winter. So lovely mild. Last Friday was particularly brilliant. Warm spring rain in March? What a treat!

Your timing was perfect too. Friday night was girl’s night, you see, and an absence of freezing temperatures and snow really opens up a gals wardrobe options. (3 inch heels, short sleeved blouse and a completely impractical leather jacket. I looked great. Thanks for asking.)

As you can imagine, the 5 inches of snow you dumped on the city while we were in the concert hall was quite a surprise. Ha ha you sure got us!

20140314_215109

They're super cute shoes. Trust me.
They’re super cute shoes. Trust me.

 

And, you’re right, we should have known better.

 

 

 

 

I hope you get a good chuckle thinking about us, long time Alaskan women, getting caught in a freak storm dressed like outsiders, rubbing our glove-less hands together, packing snow into our shoes as we trudged through drift after drift. It’s funny!

Almost as hilarious as those same women finding themselves on an exit ramp they didn’t mean to take but, because they couldn’t see anything past the hood of the car, did anyway! What fun.

But seriously, we do want to thank you for managing to trick so many others into being out that night. Because of you there was a stream of tail lights to follow home.

What a sight the lot of us were, driving single file down a four lane highway at 30 miles an hour hoping, praying (occasionally sobbing) that by some miracle the guy in front knew where the hell he was.

20140314_221540
Smiles everyone!

 

A party if I’ve ever seen one.

Look, my girlfriend’s daughter even took a picture…

 

 

 

Oh you didn’t know we had a minor in the back seat? Well don’t worry she was fine. At least I think she was fine, she was terribly quiet.

Now that I think about it I bet that was because of the language barrier. See, when faced with certain death I have a tendency resort back to my native tongue and I don’t think my young friend is fluent in F-bomb-ese.

Anyway, I’ll just say thanks again and let you get back to work. I hear you and El Nino are super busy planning some crazy fun for us this summer!

Can’t wait!

Sincerely,

Jolie

  

 

 

  

Girls gone wild, Alaska style.

No scandalous photos and no gutter talk this week. Mowgli can’t stand it anymore. I pushed him to the edge and suffered his wrath.

He sent me to camp.

Girl camp. No men. Just a one room cabin, some wine and a handful of stunning and brilliant ladies getting back to nature.

(Stop that. I know what you’re thinking and I told you no gutter talk.)

Following is a photo journal of what happens when extreme weather and one woman’s childish behavior results in her husband kicking her out into the wild for a weekend to find herself.

 The Gear:

 

 

Cross country skis, snow shoes, enough warm clothing to qualify one as a life sized advertisement for REI, and one pink flask.

DO NOT forget the flask.

 

The Location:

 

 

The View:

 

A good place to focus if you don’t want to fall down…

 

 

 

…or in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, with friends like this it doesn’t matter where you’re focused. Nice rabbit ears.

 

 

 

And then, beauty

 

 

 

 

 

 

and more beauty and…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow snail races? How does this even happen? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, back to the cabin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset, Northern lights, food, wine, and great conversation.

Until it’s later and there’s more wine, brighter Northern lights and even better conversation…

Which practically screams for more wine…

maybe some chocolate…

probably some singing…

definitely some more wine….

Some days, winter’s not all that bad.

(P.S. Mowgli feels better too.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girls night, peanut butter, and oil

Last Friday, after almost two months of thwarted attempts, neighbor T and I finally executed operation “save my sanity”.

AKA: Girls night.

No easy endeavor. Remember my birthday? Yeah.

 

Leaving the kids in Mowgli’s care (be afraid, be very afraid, just not right now because we have to go enjoy ourselves) T and I stepped out for…

What I told my kids:

Dinner, conversation and maybe a drink.

How that translates:

Rich haute cuisine, some very serious bitching, and cocktail after cocktail after cocktail…

Guys, it’s time for a reality check. Bitching is not an unfortunate side effect of girls with booze. It is a sacred rite of womanhood. It is crucial to our survival. It’s cathartic, rejuvenating. Our attachment to it runs so deep that if a woman finds herself at a bitch session short on material she is very likely to make something up.

What’s that you say? Sounds like a silly waste of time? Fruitless distraction? Just a way for us to avoid you?

I have two words for you gentlemen: Preseason football.

 

Friday we were in sore need of a night out. Too much drama paired with too little sleep (and, for my part, the fact that Mowgli had shot down every one of my blog ideas, leaving me scrambling) had us in a ripe mood.

The restaurant (the most expensive one we could find because spending wads of cash increases the therapeutic effect of a bitch session) was packed. Incredibly a large table was cleared for us straight away. Pleased, T and I placed our purses on empty chairs while near by a family of five stuff into a booth.

Maybe our cosmic bitch was leaking and they wanted to give it room. I’m good with that.

Our bitch session, broken down:

Stage one: FML

“Everything sucks.”

“All of it.”

“Kids are hopeless.”

“A mess.”

“At least the waiter is cute. Maybe he’ll flirt with us.”

“He’s gay.”

etc. You get the idea.

 

I ordered a drink called ‘The Prickly Pear’. I don’t usually do fruity drinks but the name reminded me of Baloo the bear and simpler, happier times… T ordered a pink martini.

 

Stage two: one upping that culminates in peak bitch.

“The toilet broke when the kids flushed a teddy bear.”

“Mine flushed the cat.”

“I hate my job.”

“I wish I had a job to hate.”

“My youngest has a potty mouth.”

“My youngest has Tourette’s.”

“Lucky bastard.”

“Where the hell is the calamari?”

“Screw it. You should try the Pear.”

 

She does. We decide it is the superior drink.

 

Stage three: Alcohol induced silver lining.

“The thing about husbands is they’re men.”

“Yep, they can’t help themselves.”

“School started again.”

“Thank God.”

“This salad is heavenly.”

“Low-cal?”

“Surely.”

“Busboy, on your six!”

“He’s yummy.”

“Yeah. Probably gay as well but I bet he’s smart enough to know his tip is tied to our good time.”

Then we spend a moment or two trying not to look like dirty old ladies. At least, that’s what I was doing. T has a lot more class.

 

Stage four: Riding the wave

“This is, hands down, the best girl’s night ever.”

“Yep.”

“Wouldn’t change a thing.”

“Nope.”

“Dessert?”

“Maybe another Pear?”

 

Three hours, and one Pear short of “tiny bubbles”, later the restaurant closed. We left, not quite ready to call it a night, but revitalized enough to face the chaos that surely awaited us at home.

Miraculously, our houses were still standing. Not only that, the kids were fed, pajamed and tucked in!

OMG. It was the mommy version of a kitchen pass!

“Glass of wine?”

“Your bottle or mine?”

A short while later our night crossed over from tension reliever to the kind of fun that ensures a very unpleasant next morning.

But we didn’t care.

By then, our husbands were superheroes! Our children gifted! We were beautiful and charming and our lives so enviable EVERYONE wanted to be us. In fact everything that came out of our mouths that night was of such brilliance I was certain I had a years worth of genius blog fodder.

Somewhere between the Malbec and falling asleep in my cloths, I even took notes.

 

Yes, I woke to a hangover but it wasn’t anything my post bitch euphoria couldn’t handle. I floated around all morning on billowing clouds of ‘good time had by all’. Ahhh.

Plus I totally knew what my blog was going to be about. Snap!

Then I found my notes.

Mowgli's idea of funny

Crap.

Instead of pages of witty banter I’d written only two words:

Peanut butter and oil

??

Well, at least the Pears were good.

 

 

 

PS. Thanks to T’s clarity Friday, I now know that “Peanut butter and oil’ referred to the time we met a guy in Russia who worked for an oil company and had a pallet full of peanut butter in his apartment. If that sounds like an amusing tale AT ALL, please let me know.

 

PPS, to save the innocent (and our marriages) the details of the bitch session are entirely fictional. No actual cats were flushed.