Tag Archives: travel


I’ve never been seasick or carsick. Never in my whole life. Not a once.

Impressive, ain’t it? It’s probably my favorite thing about myself. That and my four intact wisdom teeth. And how small my feet are in proportion to my height. Oh, I also like my feet’s high arches. And that they’re orange—that’s cool, too. Damn, I guess I like my feet pretty good.


I even like them in Tevas

Other than my mouth full of wisdom teeth and my small, orange feet, my ability to not get motion sick is my favorite thing about myself. I can read in cars as they speed along winding roads and I can happily fall asleep on a cruise ship as it rocks back and forth.

So, earlier this month when Alastair and I crossed the Cook Strait by ferry—from the South Island of New Zealand to the North Island—and our departure got delayed due to rough seas, I was excited. I’ve heard lots of horror stories about vomiting ferry passengers, and I wanted my own. I wanted to test my stomach’s limits.

And it was the perfect storm for testing my stomach’s limits. Not only would I be crossing tumultuous waters on a ferry, but I’d also eaten a lot of food that day. (We’d stayed at a bed and breakfast the night before, and they fed us like queens and kings. If you ever go to a place called Kaikoura, I highly recommend the Nikau Lodge.)

Below is a list of the things I ate. I remember it perfectly because all I think about, ever, is food. (Food and also my feet. Did I mention I can pick things up with my toes? I just finished petting a cat with them, actually. Holy moly they some good ass feet.)

I encourage just skimming this list, as it’s long and boring and basically a grocery list for a family of four.

  • Banana
  • Peach
  • Fresh plum
  • Stewed plum
  • Yogurt
  • Granola
  • Tea
  • Orange juice
  • Toast with scrambled eggs
  • Potato hash thing
  • Bacon
  • Half a tomato fried in butter
  • Mushrooms fried in butter
  • Large chicken sandwich with miscellaneous vegetables
  • Candy
  • Macaroon
  • ¼ bag of chili sauce flavored chips
  • Half a PB&J sammy
  • Large hunk of cheddar cheese that had not been refrigerated for a while

Sounds grotesque, listed out like that. I should consider eating less.

NEVERDALESS, when we boarded the ferry, I knew it would be the true test of my gut’s durability. During the three hour journey, I kept a log of my nausea. Here ‘tis.

9:01 p.m.
Finally on the ferry. I ain’t worried bout nothin.

Nausea scale: 1 out of 10, only because I ate old cheese.

9:17 p.m.
A gross man just chose the couch next to me, took his shoes off, and kicked up his sour-cream-and-onion flavored feet directly next to my head. A minute after that, I heard the thud of a baby’s head as she fell on the ground. Had to get up and go to the bathroom, just so I wouldn’t hear her wails, and everything I touched there was wet.

I could very well throw up tonight.

4 out of 10, eff.

9:20 p.m.
Had to get up again and find the deck for some fresh air. Saw someone eating a corndog.

5 out of 10.

9:25 p.m.
On the deck. There are smokers out here and, uh, the seas is churning.

5 out of 10.

9:40 p.m.
Back at the couch and my head hurts. Both Alastair and Mr. Stanky Feet are asleep. Finna lie down despite the one million stains on this couch.

5.5 out of 10.

9:56 p.m.
Put my headphones in and chose Trey Songz’s “Gotta Make It.” I can’t stop thinking about the eggs I had for breakfast, in a bad way. All right, truly going to try to sleep.

6 out of 10.

10:02 p.m.
I’m making myself sick with this log, thinking too much about smells and noises. Motion of the ocean is actually fly, I feel like I’m skiing! Stomach hurts though.

5 out of 10

10:11 p.m.
Had to turn up my music. Far too much coughing around these parts.

5 out of 10.

11:19 p.m.
I slept! But woke up to a chorus of babies coughing and confident men laughing. Terrible alarm clock, but otherwise I feel fine.

4 out of 10.

11:23 p.m.
This coughing baby sounds like it’s going to throw up.

5 out of 10.

11:24 p.m.
Aw, remember that time Coogan threw up in the car because he ate too many blueberries? You weren’t there but he told you about it several times. Vomiting babies aren’t so bad.

4 out of 10.

11:39 p.m.
Back to the bathroom. Smells like Fritos and bunny pee, which is redundant because they have the exact same odor.

5 out of 10.

11:44 p.m.
We’re almost to Wellington and the seas have calmed down. I miss the rough seas, they were more fun. The worst part of this whole trip has been my inability to put my hands down the front of my pants (for sleeping comfort).

3 out of 10.

11:53 p.m.
I’m gonna put my hands down my pants. I’ll keep them up high, but I’ll never see these people again anyway and plus where else does one keep her hands when recumbent?!?

1 out of 10.

12:14 p.m.
Back in the car, on dry land. I’m snacking on sour worms and savory crackers and my gut is strong as ever.

0 out of 10, hell yee-haw.




Travel highlights

I traveled to New Zealand this week. Here are seven highlights from my journey:


On my flight from Boston to San Francisco, I sat between two white businessmen. One of them read the same pharmaceutical magazine for the duration of our nearly seven-hour flight. He also invited me to hop in his rental car and go on a run to the bank in downtown SF during my layover. After light consideration, I declined.

The second white man had an aisle seat and got to put his bags in the overhead cabin. I had a middle seat and did not get to use the overhead cabin (‘twas full), and the homie wouldn’t let me store my second bag under his seat. FOR REAL YOU NEED THAT EXTRA 12 INCHES OF FOOT SPACE? I wanted to shout that at him, but I dint.

Also, I sneezed and neither of them blessed me. Them and they hating asses SMH.


In San Francisco, I lost the ticket for my flight from there to Auckland. I had to leave the security area to talk to the people at the ticket booth, but the ticket booth was closed and the self-checkout kiosk was unhelpful. I then looked more carefully in my bag and found my original ticket. That was good news.


I almost bought a $7 candy bar. I didn’t know the price until they scanned it, and when that woman ever told me $7 dollars I shouted IS YOU SHIZZING ME (but with less anger). I did not buy the candy bar. I bought a Twix somewhere else for like a buck fifty.


I filled up a water bladder with water but couldn’t get the water to come out the nip (nipple), for it didn’t have a nip slit. A Japanese chef at a Japanese restaurant watched me gnawing on it in futility and offered a toothpick (for poking purposes) but I turned him down. We had communication barriers and plus I didn’t think a toothpick was really up for the job. Still it was a generous offer and I respected him for it.


I chatted with a New Zealand lady while waiting to board the flight to Auckland. She had the neatest voice, you should have heard her! Google “new zealand accent” if you’re curious. That’s all it was.

(It’s the vowels that are the best, I think. Sounds like every vowel is pronounced like an “I.” Bif kissirole. That was one of the dinner options on the flight. I opted for the chickin with limin pippir sauce instead. I didn’t taste no limin pepper though.)


Pooped four times on the second plane.


When I landed in New Zealand, I threw away a napkin in an airport trashcan. The trashcan had a sign that said “NO SPITTING, USE TOILETS.” That’s a stern yet helpful sign. I liked that.

I’m here now, and it’s very nice. Here’s a picture!


Airplane Tweeting

I went to Florida last week.** On the flight home, I ordered a $7 plane drank to help me fall asleep. It did help me fall asleep (#respect), but not before getting me a little lightheaded and then inspiring me to write down the tweets I would have tweeted had I had netwerk connectivity.

I’m going to share them here. I would share them on Twitter, but there is nothing worse than when someone you follow clogs up your timeline. I used Photoshop to make them look like real tweets to keep it more fun.

Disclaimer: I feel very fortunate that my plane did not have netwerk connectivity.


**My trip to Florida was fly. My cool ass cousins and I went to the beach, went to the pool, went to the movies, saw friends, RODE ON BOATS, ate pizza/steak/shrimps/fresh fruits/other good things, drank drinks, learned the lyrics to Disney songs, and practiced rapping. (Side note: I think I could be a rapper.)



Sunscreen in the eyez/saltwater surprize

Why you shouldn’t let me watch your cats/your home/anything you care about

My aunt Patsy, who lives in Florida, visited my family in RI a month or two ago. She spent most of her two days with us drinking wine, talking freaky about Tiki Barber and Spongebob, and hinting she’d like me to babysit her cats when she and my uncle Bob traveled to Ireland in November.

Patsy: Oh it’d be great if you’d babysit the kids when we go to Ireland. I’m so worried about my cat children. Niece of mine, I sure would appreciate it, niece.

Me: Aw heeeeeell nah. NEVA DAT!

Actually, I didn’t said, “NEVA DAT,” but I sure was thinking it. Nothing sounded less fun than going to Florida for more than a week, by myself, to scoop kitty litter and serve gelatinous, fishy stanking food to a couple of cats I’d never met. Still, I didn’t want to be a biz to Patsy, so I just didn’t respond whenever she brought the subject up. She’d ask if I’d watch her cats, I’d distract her with a picture of Tiki. She never got an answer out of me.

I later learned that Patsy named her black cat "Tiki." They have a special relationship.

About a month after Patsy visited, she e-mailed my mom to ask, again, if I’d watch her cats when she and her husband went to Ireland. This time, I gave it a little more thought. While the weather at home was getting shizzy, Florida would still be warm. I’d be kinda close to Miami, maybe I’d run into Rick Ross and he’d explain how to correctly use the phrase “NEVA DAT.” Plus, Patsy spelled my name “Ally” in the e-mail to my mom; she might not know me, but I was going to make damn sure her “kids” did. I accepted.

I got to her house in Fort Lauderdale last Monday. I was greeted with pee on the bed, two litter boxes filled to the brim with cat business, and random nuggets of throw up and poop around the house. After nearly 12 hours of traveling, I spent the next 60 minutes cleaning up cat nasties.

And I’ve since spent the past week cleaning up cat nasties. As I mentioned in my last post, Patsy’s cats, Tiki and Eli, are disgusting assholes. They’re mean, they’re poopy, and they’re demanding. They’re like dumb babies, except evil and barely cute. And they made me miss the birth of a real baby — a smart and nice and super adorable one — my nephew Tyson.

Can't wait to meet this little dude

And Patsy’s not even paying me well for my cat services! Besides the flight, she left me $80 for food/gas for nine days — about $8/day, an opened bag of Whoppers and Milk Duds, and two gifts she described as “crap I’ll throw away if you don’t take 🙂 — keep if you want!”

For a love of America and patriotism

I can tell she put a lot of thought into this gift

One good thing about my trip is my aunt and uncle don’t live together during the week. Patsy lives in Fort Lauderdale, while my uncle has a condo in the Keys. He left me directions and a set of keys to his place, and I decided to go there last Friday. I packed up an overnight bag, left the bastards some extra cat food, grabbed a fluffy white towel out of Patsy’s secret stash (she left out two threadbare ones fa me), and went down to the Keys.

My mood improved as soon as I got there. My uncle’s place was bright and clean and had a bombass ocean view. The beach was a five minute walk away, the pool was right across the parking lot, and there was even a bike I could use! I was deliriously happy.

No, furreal, I was delirious with happiness. At least that’s how I justify the dumbassness of what I did next.

When I walked into the kitchen, I noticed a handwritten note on the counter. On it, there were detailed instructions on how to water the plants. The two big potted plants got 2/3 a large container of water, the small one got 1/2 a large container, and the fern in the sink got a “good soaking” from the faucet. At the bottom of the note, it said “Plants watered Nov. 3 – Bill.”

I assumed that meant my uncle Bill wanted the plants watered on November 3rd. So, when I looked at my watch and saw it was already November 4th, I got to watering right away. As I filled up container after container of water, I thought about the note a little bit more. Bill didn’t even know for sure that I was going to come here — what if I never did, and his plants died of lack of water? Would that be my fault? He’d never mentioned it! Imagine if I’d accidentally killed them!

I didn’t give it any more thought; at least, not until I finished watering, walked to the bathroom to change, and stepped into a huge puddle. When I looked for the source of the water, I saw it was running out from the edge of one of the big potted plants. It was overflowing out the butt.

In fact, it turns out every plant I watered was overflowing out the butt. Water was all over the counter, all over the floor, all over everything. Somehow, the overflowing water from the fern plant even clogged the sink. Within ten minutes of being at my uncle Bill’s, every surface of his perfect little condo was underwater.

Starting with the counter, I grabbed paper towels to soak up what I could. At the same time, I picked up my uncle’s note to re-read the instructions — had I given them too much water? I hadn’t, I’d done all the right amounts… but a day before, so had Bill. If you remember from earlier, my uncle’s name is actually Bob. I realized “Bill” wasn’t my uncle, but someone my uncle Bob had asked to come over to water his plants; the “Hi Bill” at the top confirmed it. So, not only had I dumped a shizload of water all over my uncle’s condo, but I’d overwatered and probably murdered all of his plants, too.

Knowing I’d effed up pretty seriously, I wanted to fix it as quick as I could. I started looking in the closets for something to sop up the water on the floor with — dish towels, regular towels, whatever — but I couldn’t find anything. Other than a few hotel-style-folded, fancy towels in the bathroom, there was nothing. I grabbed the white towel I’d brought from my aunt’s and threw it down to soak up the floor water. Then, I got to ladling the water out of the clogged sink and into one of Bob’s frozen beer mugs. When I was done with that, I grabbed the soaking towel and draped it over the porch railing to dry.

Apparently, the air in the Keys is made out of pure dirt. When I took Patsy’s towel off the railing, it was filthy, and not from the floor. I meant to take a picture of it before I washed it, but I forgot. It’s okay though, cause this is what it came out of the washer looking like:

A little dirty

A lot dirty. I ain't care -- you can tell by my cute face

Now I need some advice — throw the towel away or try to explain?

Also, pee in the kitty litter box before I leave so my aunt has to clean it out, or not?



Montse, the woman I thought would kill me

I studied abroad in Spain two years ago, and it was an incredible, amazing, life-changing, super amazing, eye-opening experience. I learned things about myself I never knew before. For instance, I now know that I rock sag pants well and extra body meat poorly. I also learned what genuine hatred and fear feels like, and its name is Montse.

Saggy and meaty and fearful

Montse was my señora, or home stay mother (from now on I’ll only call her Lady, she don’t even deserve a name. Plus, hers is dumb and I bet you’re already sick of reading “Montse”).

I first met Lady at the hotel where my study abroad program had its orientation. When I walked down to the lobby I saw three ladies  — 1) a program coordinator named Ana, 2) a squat smiley lady, and 3) a greasy blonde headed lady with bad roots, a shrunken apple face, demon eyes, yellow fang fingernails, and robot legs. Ana introduced me to my to-be home stay mother: lady number 3, the demon.

I was already disappointed I didn’t get the smiley squat one, but I figured mine couldn’t be as bitchtastic as she looked. I went to shake her hand and when I did, she grabbed my hand, violently pulled me towards her, slammed her bony face into each of my cheeks, and screamed “DOS VECES” in my ear (“TWO TIMES”). Turns out she was, indeed, a mega trick.

Yet as with everyone I dislike, I still wanted her to like me. On the cab ride from the hotel to her apartment, I tried hard to chat her up. I told her how snowy Maine was, and how excited I was to be in Spain, and how nervous I was that I wouldn’t stay regular. Lady only ever responded with dirty looks, grunts, or silence. She yelled at me once, too. (I accidentally said her son was 17 instead of 7… like I was tryna mack him or some shiiat).

When we got to her house things got even worse. Her apartment stank like cigarettes. Her bastard son mocked my accent. She fed me soggy chicken tenders, chicken broth, and stale bread. When I lay in my bed, my head and feet both touched the walls. I used a sweatshirt for a pillow.

The next few days confirmed what I’d already feared was true. Lady ripped butts inside. Lady’s son was a d-bag. Lady cooked craptastic food.

I noticed something else, too. Lady brought men — young men, crippled men, all types o’ men — to the apartment and made me kiss their cheeks while they made out with mine.

It soon became clear. Trick was turning tricks, for real. She was a certified ho. I could’ve dealt with that. When I realized she was trying to murder me, though, I no longer could.

In her apartment, I kind of had my own hallway — there was really no reason anyone should pass my door unless they were going out. So, when I heard someone walking by my room around 3:00 one morning, and I called out “Hola?” to no response, I figured someone was plotting murder.

I’d already requested a new home stay mother — having said I couldn’t deal with tha shmoke — and I was sure Lady was right pissed she was going to lose my room and board. When I consulted my ma, she reassured me by saying, “Yeah you probably right. I bet one of those gentleman callers will do it. They got nothing to lose.”

Now convinced I was going to die, I did my best to take precautions. My bedroom door didn’t have a lock, so I wrapped the long strap of a purse around the doorknob and tied it to a hook on the wall. I put the electric heater in front of the door, so I’d hear it crash when someone came in. I strategically placed bottles of perfume and uncapped pens around my tiny room so, when one of Lady’s boos dragged me out for butchering, weapons would be in reach.

I did that for a couple nights and then moved out to the squat smiley lady’s apartment. No one ever tried to attack me.

Cool story, huh? I’ll tell you again later!


Pitbull says he’s too Latin for hip hop and too hip hop for Latins, and I feel dat. I’m too Maine for RI and too RI for Maine.

THAT'S WHY I GOT HIS NAMESAKE TATTOOED ON MAH BOOB (please excuse the dumb face and semi-see-through sweater)

I’ve lived in Rhode Island for the past four years and I still feel like some trick ass tourist. I’ve been trying to change that; I’ve been trying to become part of the community. And, thanks to red light chitterchat, I’m doing a damn fine jarb.

Whenever I’m driving on a two-lane road (or is it a four-lane road if there are two lanes on either side?), and I’m stopped at a red light, and my window is down and so is the driver’s next to me, I try to make conversation.

My first attempt was with a USPS mail lady about a week ago. I’d found a set of official looking keys earlier in the day, and I wanted to ask if they were hers. I didn’t pick them up or anything, but I figured my description — “silver and very fancy” — would be all she needed.

Sadly, I never got to tell her. We had two red lights together, and she never even looked my way.

The next day I was driving home from work at 9:00 p.m. or so. There weren’t many people on the road, so when I saw a sweet old school buggy, I sped up right next to it to get the conversation started. Since the steering wheel was on the weirdo side (the right) I planned out something real clever to say to the driver. Like, “Hey! Your steering wheel’s effed up, buddy,” or whateva.

Again, my chat attempt failed; green lights all the way home.

Then, last Sunday, it finally happened. A driver man chatted with me on the road! Actually, he kind of sassed me on the road, BUT STILL!

When I pulled out of the grocery store parking lot on Sunday afternoon (after buying a 24-inch sub for $7.99 — did you know that existed?), a flashing cop car ripped by me right away. Behind him were a couple of motorcyclists. At first I thought “Whoa doggy! Them fools should back up off that cop.” Then I saw about a million motorcycles behind the first few, realized it was a convoy, and thought “Whoa doggy! I do not know what to do.”

I had already pulled into the breakdown lane for the cop, but once he passed I didn’t know if I could go back into the right lane. The convoy was totally in the left lane, and it wasn’t like they was in a rush or nothing. Still, I decided to stay in the breakdown lane and continue moseying along.

I drove for five minutes before the car behind me took a turn down another road. I kept on driving and the motorcycles kept on coming. I felt very unsure of what I was doing, but I had my window down and Pitbull pumping so I was doing alright. Then a man on a motorcycle yelled at me through the window and I no longer felt so alright.


Me: Whaddat?

Man: Stop your vehicle! YOU MUST STOP!

Me: Yes, of course, of course! By the way, how are you? What’s this convoy for? Do you like motorcycles? What make is that? Harley, is it? Cool. I call it “H-Dizzle.” Nice helmet, does it hurt to wear? Do you have a strong core? Do you have a strong heart? Do you like roast beef sandwiches? I got a couple of feet of sub I could share with you!

I don’t think he heard my questions, cause he kept on driving and all, but I still felt real good about having engaged in red light chat. So good that it almost overshadowed how bad I felt about being an idiot driver! So good that, after the convoy had passed, I tried to talk to the car that pulled up beside me at the next red light.

Didn’t work.

I like poop stories. If you don’t, maybe don’t read this

Whenever I travel outside of New England, my body forgets how to poop. It sucks, of course, but it wouldn’t suck nearly as much if — when I finally do remember  — my body didn’t then forget to do this other thing, too. This way more important other thing.

Two summers ago my cousin Petey and I visited our friend Will and his family at their condo in a resort in Puerto Rico. There are a few things you should know.

1. I’d never met Will’s parents before.

2. Will’s parents were adults.

3. I’d only met Will’s girlfriend once.

4. Will’s girlfriend was a real hip art student.

5. Other than meeting strangers, the things that make me most nervous/weird/mute are adults and hip art students and my obvious inferiority t0 them.

The resort this group of superior humans and I stayed at was redinky donky. It had the amenities you’d expect, like beaches and restaurants and pools, and the amenities you might not expect, like a casino and a golf course and a water park. The only thing missing was a pooping conducive crapper.

Actually, dat ain’t true. The condo had three perfectly functioning toilets; one for Will’s parents, one for Will and Petey, and one for Will’s boo and me. I, on the other hand, didn’t even have one perfectly functioning shiz system. In fact, my shiz system wouldn’t function at all.

That charming belly is 50% chub and 50% constipation (that's me in the gray wife beater sitting on the left, by the way)

I went three days with no number twos. On the fourth day, I knew I had to take action. Although I’d never really had issues with pooping before, I was familiar with the latest crap-coaxing technologies. I needed to drink water, eat fruits and vegetables, exercise, and stay away from binding foods like cheese. I got to it (secretly — I didn’t want all those cool strangers to know I had a backed-up booty).

After five days of babying my bowels, I finally managed a turd or two. I don’t know if I got distracted by my success or I was too physically exhausted to be bothered or I was subconsciously showing off. I just know I forgot to flush.

My turd or two sat in that toilet for a couple of hours.

Now, I already mentioned that Will’s lady and I shared our own bathroom. What I didn’t mention, though, was that ours was the only one that wasn’t totally private; it was connected to the rest of the house, too. I like to believe no one else saw it — mostly because when I went back later for a run-of-the-mill pee, it was still bobbing around like dook do. I also like to believe no one smelled it, but since the bathroom was right next to the kitchen, someone probably did.

At least they didn’t think I had a backed-up booty.