PSAs

I’ve Been Published in German! That is so KNALLHART.

Rachels-Table-pepper-queen
Rachel is smokin’ hot.

When my saucy friend and spicy pepper queen, Rachel of Rachel’s Table, contacted me to write an article about running for Gore apparel’s blog, published in both English and German, my first thought was,

“I can’t! I’m a fraud! Wait, you work for Gore apparel now? Green, size medium large, please.”

I hadn’t run in almost a year, thanks to injury and pancakes. But I did have a story about running to tell. I hope you’ll check it out, if only to see how space-agey energy gels translates to German.

Running Isn’t Everything, But I Owe Everything to Running (English site)

Running Isn’t Everything, But I Owe Everything to Running (German site…come on, you know you want to)

Happy New Year, Chipmunks! 2016’s gonna be a knockout year; I can feel it in my tail.

This is me. Running away from 2015. And 2014. And 2013, come to think of it.
This is me. Running away from 2015. And 2014. And 2013, come to think of it.

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Blogging, dumb blonde, Food, PSAs

Maine: Best Worst Trip Ever

Last week, Rachel’s Table and I headed north to Freeport, Maine to visit Darla from She’s A Maineiac. I guess we were kind of excited.

Maine-Trip-Jan2014-yay

We were originally going to go Friday-Sunday, but decided to leave on Thursday afternoon so we’d have a full day with Darla while her two adorable kiddos were in school.

Without traffic, it’s a 6 hour drive from New Jersey.

We took Rachel’s car, agreeing to split the driving time. Did I mention her car is new? And if there’s a pothole, I’ll hit it?

Somewhere between New York and Connecticut, we (and by we I mean me) hit 37 potholes. And I’m not talking little divots in the pavement.

crater
Good job on 15 North, guys. Really. It’s impressive.

On Rachel’s high-tech dashboard, we watched the air pressure in the driver’s side tire plummet.

Rache-tire-pressure-dashboard-Maine

By the time we reached Boxborough, Massachusetts, we had a flat. Rachel pulled over while I surreptitiously checked her fuel tank. Plenty to keep the car running and heated for at least an hour or two. Whew.

“I don’t know how to change a tire. Do you?” she asked with a laugh.

“I’m from New Jersey. I don’t even know how to pump my own gas,” I replied. “But I just renewed my AAA membership!”

Maine-trip-AAA

In under 30 minutes, a tow truck arrived. The driver got the spare out of the trunk and started rooting around while Rachel and I bounced up and down trying to keep warm.

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Rache “spares” a smile for this photo. *groan*

“I can’t find the key,” he announced.

It took us much longer than it should have to understand that tires have unique “keys” to unscrew the lug nuts so no one steals them. The spare in your car is supposed to come equipped with its matching key.

the_more_you_know2

We tore apart the car, but alas, no key. Thanks, Toyota.

Eventually, he said our only option was to go to the nearby dealership and have them change the tire – when they opened. In the morning.

Oh, did I mention Rache had 20-inch fancy rims?

This detail becomes important later.
This detail becomes important later.

“I’m so sorry I broke your car!” I wailed for the first of many times.

After the tow truck driver unloaded the car at the dealership, he said he could drive us to the nearest hotel. Nevermind that we had two non-refundable rooms waiting for us a mere two hours away in Maine.

“Do you have anywhere for us to put our luggage?” we asked.

“Just your laps.”

Our essentials were scattered between six bags, not including my swinging 1970s, fully-loaded cooler, which took up half the back seat. I grabbed my laptop and two bottles of champagne. “Screw it,” I said to Rachel. “This is all I need.”

When we arrived at the hotel, Rachel explained our predicament to the front desk. The man at the counter replied deliberately, “You have a coupon, riiight?” He nodded slowly.

“Um…yeeees,” Rachel said, catching on.

When we saw the receipt: 50% off! What’s more, our room overlooked a funky indoor pool, white lights and palm trees (you go on with your bad self, Holiday Inn), so we opened the balcony sliders, and more importantly, the champagne, and toasted to the kindness of strangers.

Holiday-inn-balcony-view-Maine

Maine-champagne-Jan-2014

Rachel called the dealership at 8am the next morning, and they finally got back to us with the verdict two hours later.

“It’s not just a flat. Your rim is damaged beyond repair.”

“Of course it is,” Rachel replied.

“And since you have 20-inch ones, we’d have to custom order a replacement. It wouldn’t be here until Monday.”

“So…my only options are to wait until Monday…or get 4 new 18-inch rims and tires?”

“Correct. And it’d probably cost the same either way.”

She covered the mouthpiece. “I knew. I knew when we got that car with those friggin’ rims…” She spoke into the receiver, “I guess I’ll have to get four new tires and rims, then. How long will that take? …Okay.”

“I’m so sorry!” I cried.

“Jules, it’s not your fault. I hit them, too,” Rachel reassured me, gracious as ever. (It was totally my fault.)

Turns out they had to order the ‘regular’ rims from a nearby dealer and couldn’t start work until 1pm.

They gave us a complimentary rental car, and we killed time at a local diner.

“There’s no lobster on this f&*&#% menu.”
"I haven't showered in 24 hours!"
“I’ve been in these clothes for 27 hours!”

At 3pm, they gave us the good news: “Almost done.”

At 4pm: “We just realized we have to put all of the tire censors back on. It’s going to be another hour.”

5pm: “Okay, just finishing the paperwork.”

5:02pm: “Our computers just froze.”

5:30pm: “Let me give you the damaged tire and rim. Oh, wait, it’s filthy, we need a bag. Hang on.”

5:35pm: “We can’t find any more bags.”

5:45pm: Finally, FINALLY on our way. “Good thing we left Thursday night.”

7:00pm: Reach Maine.

7:30pm: Darla texted. “I can’t get out of my driveway. It’s a sheet of ice.”

That’s right. At last we were in Maine, 24 hours behind schedule, and NO DARLA.

But there was lobster. Lots and lots of lobster.

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These were called “Lobsicles.” Heh.

Saturday morning, another text from Darla: “I still can’t get out!!”

So Rachel and I shuffled around the icy streets of Freeport alone, waiting for the temperature to climb above freezing.

At one point, it was so slippery, a gift shop owner reached out a hand while holding the door, towing us inside. Later, when we peered longingly into Freeport Chowder House, the man inside waved us in.

“Are you open?” we asked.

“Not for two hours, but I never turn down customers,” he replied. “I don’t have the fryer going yet, but what do you want? Lobster roll?”

Rachel and I looked at each other. “YES.”

Breakfast of champions bloggers.
Breakfast of champions bloggers.

It was noon on Saturday before we saw Darla, but she was worth the wait.

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The sun even came out…just in time for us to drive home.
Bartending for Rache and Darla from my favorite possession: My parents' 1970s cooler. Dude. It keeps ice frozen for THREE days. IN THE SUMMER.
The (in)famous swinging 1970s cooler, a.k.a. my favorite possession. It keeps ice frozen for THREE days. IN THE SUMMER.

Despite the many snafus, this li’l trip north had so many heart-warming moments, I wouldn’t trade it for anything would totally trade it for another 10am lobster roll.

IMG_5537 - Version 2
And they say chivalry is dead.

P.S. – I even learned how to pump my own gas!

Jules-pumps-gas-Maine-Jan2014

Since the word count on this post is already as atrocious as the potholes on Route 15, I hope you’ll head over to Rachel’s Table and She’s A Maineiac to read more about our adventures!

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Have you ever had any vacations that didn’t go, ah, according to plan?

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Blogging

Have Pie, Will Travel

This afternoon, Rachel’s Table and I are on our way up [from Delaware and New Jersey, respectively] to…

Maine-Trip-2014-Rachel-Jules

To see this gal!

Maine-Trip-Darla-gravatar
Darla, from ShesOneOfMyFavoritePeople.com, I mean, ShesAMaineiac.com.

The three of us had been daydreaming about a Maine get-together for ages. One December morning, I blurted, “Why wait? I’m not working [since my “separation” with Big Pharma], and Darla doesn’t have to go back to [Medical Assistant] school until late January! When will that ever happen again?”

Maine? In January? You’re probably thinking.

My mom's cousin's backyard right now. Little Deer Isle, Maine.
My cousin’s backyard right now. Little Deer Isle, Maine.

Sure, they’re having the harshest winter Darla’s ever seen, but I think I’ll be spending less time outdoors and more time doing this:

Maine-Trip-Jules- lobster

Besides, while most people fantasize about palm trees and white sand, I lust after evergreens, crisp air, mountains, and of course, an ocean view at every turn. I’ve been in love with Maine since my first visit [to Freeport, Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park] 16 years ago. It calls to me. It’s like my Paris.

View from Darla's backyard.
Basically, I want to live in an LL Bean catalog. View from Darla’s backyard.

I also realized I had a golden opportunity to woo several people at once with my homemade Tollhouse pie.

Get ready, Maineiacs.
Get ready, Maineiacs.

Because that’s how I roll.

The Accidental Stepmom (a.k.a. JM Randolph), who I just had the pleasure of seeing again on Monday, approves.

I hope to return next week with some wacky and wonderful tales. In the meantime, stay warm – and don’t have too much fun without me!

Jules-Hersheys-Kiss-Hat-28Sep13
I really should have gotten that hat.

Where’s your “Paris”? What part of the world calls to you?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Blogging, Food

Do You Know What Today Is?

It’s Rachel’s Table‘s birthday!

Rachel is a fellow blogger I’m lucky enough to call a real-life friend, though we met through the magical blogosphere.

First meeting.
First meeting.
Second meeting.
Second meeting.
Third meeting. Toldja.
Third meeting. What can I say? She makes me feel all warm and Instagram-y inside.

Back in April, when I celebrated my 31st 21st birthday, Rachel gathered a bunch of bloggy friends to write haikus for me.

Dear Rachey-Poo Head,

That was the Best. Present. Ever.

Chocolate bacon.

I’m sorry. I don’t know where the “chocolate bacon” came from.

Yes I do. And I know where it's going.
Yes I do. And I know where it’s going.

I think about Rachel all the time.

I thought of Rachel when I texted my hub, Peppermeister, about Monday night’s dinner:

Rachels-Table-text

I thought of Rachel when I made last night’s dinner, and Peppermeister left me a bowl of his mysterious homegrown peppers. Surely I couldn’t put any in the bacon turkey meatloaf without trying them first?

Rache-bday-pepper-pain

Speaking of.

I’m not sure your present has arrived, Rache, so spoiler alert: It’s to recognize your Peppermeister Roulette (hot pepper tasting) victory against the man himself:

I might be sleeping on the couch tonight. Care to join me, Rachey-Poo?
I might be sleeping on the couch tonight. Care to join me, Rachey-Poo?

In all seriousness, Rachel is one of those undeniably special people who is not only talented, beautiful and clever, but always knows just what to say to let you know she’s there for you, and she gets it she’ll totally hook you up with the Amish bacon. I hope you’ll join me in wishing her a VERY happy birthday!

If you had to wear someone’s face on your chest, whose would it be (besides Rachel’s) and why? (Bet you didn’t think you’d be answering that question today.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Blogging

Peppermeister Roulette is LIVE! Who Won?

Get ready, Chipmunks.

The epic battle is ON.

Peppermeister-Roulette-2013

Earlier this month, Rachel’s Table and my First Husband, Peppermeister, went head to head to see who could handle his hottest homegrown peppers.

Peppermeister-roulette-picking-peppers-2
All business as they pick their poison.

Click here to see bloggers in pain the battle and help decide who won!

P.S. – If picking a winner’s too tough, feel free to compliment my multi-camera editing skillz instead.

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Booze, Just For Fun, Marriage

It Wouldn’t Be A Proper Vacation Without…

What day is it again? Where am I? Who are you? (Just kidding – I’ll never let go, Chipmunks.)

I’ve been living it up vacation style, and just wanted to pop in to let you know that both my liver and I are still alive and kicking.

How do I know I’m doin’ this time off thing right?

For starters, leisurely breakfasts have consisted of no fewer than 3 of the following: Croissants, coffee, champagne, cheese, fresh fruit, and/or BACON.

breakfast

Breakfast-2

I’ve stopped to smell the roses (or whatever the hell these are) on my morning walks.

early-morning-walk-flowers-2013 early-am-walk-shadow-2013There’s been double rainbow ogling.

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Stops at the bank when I’ve run out of singles for the strip club.

Jules-single-dollars

Or, you know, the local farm stand.

Jules-farm-stand-2013

I’ve loaded up on all the fresh seafood I can get my claws on.

whole-lobstah-2013 lobstah-salad-2013I’ve done my new Fitbit (pedometer) proud and hit the trails with Uncle Jesse. (Note: Your own vacation success should not ride on this particular activity.)

highlands-hike-sweaty-2013 UncleJesse-highlands-hike-2013

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen, making things like homemade mid-east feasts.

homemade-mideast-feast-2013
I can still taste the garlic.

And of course, there’s been booze. Lots and lots of booze.

beer-2013

But the real reason I know I’m on vacation? I’ve only turned on my computer once.

The very best part? It’s not over yet! Today First Hub, Peppermeister, and I celebrate our 5th anniversary, and have another week of this to look forward to:

Long-Island-sunset-2012

Ed-Jules-Long-Island-smooch-2012

But just so ya know, it’s not all smooches and sunsets. We like to exchange meaningful gifts, too.

A wolf t-shirt to go with his BB guns.
A cutting-edge wolf t-shirt to go with his BB guns. You’re welcome, Peppermeister.
And his gift to me: Clever methods for stashing booze.
And his gift to me: Clever methods for stashing booze.

Stay tuned next week for the much-anticipated Peppermeister Roulette, where Rachel’s Table and Peppermeister go head to head to see who can handle his hottest homegrown peppers.

Peppermeister-Roulette-2013

What does vacation success look like to you? It wouldn’t be a vacation without _____?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Blogging, Booze

Gone Drinkin’ (Again)

Drinking-Champagne

It’s that time of year again, Snookums.

When I can’t come up with a damn thing to write about.

Time for a very short blogging hiatus. Now, now. Dry your wee little chipmunk tears. I’ll be back next week!

My money's on Rache.
My money’s on Rache.

Psst: This Friday at the Go Jules Go compound, it’s Peppermeister (Hub #1) vs. Rachel’s Table. That’s right. Those two are finally going head to head in a Spicy Pepper-Off to see who can handle the hottest homegrowns! I’ll have plenty to report next week.

If you want a delicious sampling of what’s in store, check out Rache’s fantastic “Peppermeister Roulette” videos (video one and video two)!

Don’t have too much fun without me. I love you.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~