August 23, 2011

Travel Tips for the Discerning Couple

Sam and I had a really amazing vacation. We got along really well, we did a lot of fun activities, we ate a lot of cheese and chocolate pastries, and Sam is now blond due to all the time we spent on the beach. However, on our last morning in our apartment in Barcelona, we began to recap our impressions of the trip. Sam said that we were "traveling as a couple" experts and should probably write a guide book. I snorted and rolled my eyes. And then IT began. We alternated giving our own versions of travel advice, moving farther and farther from any hope of civility. Our travel companion Gibbons was pretty convinced we were about to break up, while we laughed hysterically with each retort.

1. Remember, this trip won't be about what you want to do, it will be about what your boyfriend wants to do. Prepare to give up all your hopes and dreams.

2. Realize that it's okay to go to bed angry.

3. Rest assured, anything you didn't plan will be a total shitshow. Remind yourself to take it in stride.

4. Remember to bring extra warm clothing, because let's be honest, your girlfriend won't.

5. Be prepared to live on baguette and coffee. You won't be able to eat at the places you want to eat because your boyfriend won't have any money. Convince yourself that budget meals are part of the travel experience. 

6. Remember, as the male and natural caregiver, you won't have any money because you will pay for everything.

7. Maintain a straight face while telling your boyfriend that he looks great in his new spanish suspenders.

8. Be prepared to experience the full effect of your girlfriend's bowel movements.

9. Resign yourself to spending a large amount of your trip being lost, as your boyfriend won't be able to read a map. Try not to question his manhood.

9. Prior to your trip, spend some extra time at the gym. This trip is not about seeing the sights, it's about being your girlfriend's bellboy.

10. Perfect the "block and sweep" to ward off unwanted advances . . . from your boyfriend.

11. Accept that it's your fault when your girlfriend drops a pocketful of belongings, including a pocketknife you bought in France, onto a group of tourists in the street six stories below.

12. When you go surfing in southern France, try to come to terms with the fact that your boyfriend will have no idea you were caught in a rip for 20 minutes and almost drowned because he will be too busy surfing. When he asks if you saw him catch that awesome wave, resist the urge to punch him.

13. Realize that the knife debacle was not an isolated incident. Don't let your girlfriend hold your camera while standing on a raised walkway at the dinosaur exhibit.

14. When you feel like talking, your boyfriend will want to sleep. When you are tired and want to sit in silence, your boyfriend will want to talk.

15. Sometimes it's best to end long vacations with separate flights.

August 1, 2011


I'll be gone for awhile. Work has been a total slog the last couple weeks because I have been throwing all my energy into preparation for tomorrow. Departure to Europe! We're renting a camper van for a portion, surfing, staying in a surf camp trailer park, wandering, eating cheap, visiting friends, and (from what the reviews say) staying at the worst hotel in Paris. I will not be using the internets while I'm gone, but I should have some good stories when I get back. Also, I will probably make Sam stand in front of funny things so you will have to look at some vacation photos too.

We'll see how it goes. I'm often late for things. Sam is often late for things. Last time I went to Europe I had to sprint to every flight, train, and subway I was meant to catch. We may be a tragicomedy force to be reckoned with.