The Set Up

The Snow’s a commin! The Snow’s a commin ! But what does that mean? Knocking on wood and all that, I am blessed that I don’t live in an area where snow storms can shut the city down for a week. Yet time and time again if the weather man (who I am convinced has a side deal with the grocery stores) says snow is a commin we jet to Safeway like it’s the zombie apocalypse. Lines zig-zag through the store like they are giving away something free. Why do we give in? Why do I think I must prepare for battle when a few flurries are threatened? So it was a nightmare last night at the grocery store. While standing in line I began to wonder why we always flock to the store when a winter storm is a commin. I mean do we think we are going to be stranded in the house and can’t get out to get food for days? Did we not have enough food before we went to the store to keep us for a day or two because that’s usually how long we are going to be stuck inside (not mentioning that we can always order because somehow Pizza hut can always deliver along with that good guy mailman/woman). I saw people buying food like they were going to be stuck inside for at least a week or more. So now you are inside with a bunch of food the day before Valentine’s day (or as we singles call it – Friday) so you’ll want to go out and buy more crap (either at happy hour or a restaurant). Thus wasting all that money you spent stockpiling for the revolution. *Scratches my head* I don’t get it. Yet, I’m still nervous about the idea of not going to the store when snow is threatened. Also side note: Why must people make sure they get bread, milk, and toilet paper when snow is a commin? Are they going to eat more cereal or bake more during the storm? They going to eat more sandwiches? And are people expecting to take more dumps when they are snowed in? I get it if you have kids, especially small ones, because they can be eating and pooping machines (cute ones nonetheless) but for the rest of us? As my dad put it, the new staples should be croissants (or cinnamon rolls), chocolates and wine… That’s the kind of luxury eating/drinking you want to do when you get a snow day on a work day! So in my mind liquor stores should be getting more business when the snow is a commin. I’m just saying…

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It’s coming along

2

Finally have a set book description. Edited and peer/family reviewed, I think this sets up what The Mission (my first romantic/comedy/chick lit fiction book) is all about! Look for it as an ebook (with limited print release for now) on March 21, 2014.

The Mission

Rule #6: Be mysterious, but always approachable…keep him wanting more!
Rule #11: Always remember, no sex in the beginning. Make him wait!
Rule #19: You’ve got to give a little to get a little. Be giving of yourself, and it will make a lasting impression to keep your Mr. Right.

Sheila and Denise are successful, funny and attractive, but very single women. Not that being single is horrible; but when Denise is hassled to have a date to an old friend’s wedding-of-the-century, and Shelia needs an escort to an industry banquet where everyone who’s anyone will be in attendance, being single loses its perks. To add to the dilemma, Sheila tells a little white lie to her workplace nemesis about dating a successful music producer, which explodes into a career-threatening rumor. Under extreme pressure from family, friends and coworkers, they resort to making a pact. Their Mission: Get A Man in Three Months. They will use “proven” rules to finding their Mr. Rights. Rules that worked for a friend of a friend …how hard could it be?

Join them in their hilarious, and sometimes heartbreaking adventures as chapter by chapter they follow a new rule, and delve into the treacherous world of Washington, D.C. dating. The gal pals suffer through speed dating (Sam Needs-a-Bath). They allow themselves to be set up on blind dates (Bitter Crying Kevin). They try a dating service (Apron-Strings Adrian). They try the bar scene (Smoky the Bear who smokes more than cigars). They even meet men in the beauty salon (Javier Not Quite Straight). And there’s more, much more. Surrounded by family drama, workplace stressors and their own hang-ups about love, will the rules actually help them find their Mr. Rights in time for their events?

 

Yeamon

5

Just got back from an awesome trip to Negril, Jamaica and want to live there now LOL. Here’s my quick recap, hope it helps if you ever want to check out that beautiful place.

When I usually give trip recaps I break it down by day but to be honest when you go to Negril you don’t go to do a whole bunch of activities. You go to relax and that is exactly what I did. But there are some places and tips I thought would be good to share.

Arrival

We arrived in Montego Bay airport and had a car service take us the 75-90 minute drive to Negril. I say 75-90 minutes because it all depends on how fast the driver drives. It took us 90 minutes to get to Negril but about 75 minutes to get back. We used https://montegobayairporttonegril.com/ and they were fabulous. Had a sign waiting for us at the airport and had cold drinks for us to sip during the drive (I chose Red Stripe- when in Rome…). We got round trip service and it was about $130 total for the round trip which my sis and I split. We tipped about 20%.

One thing to note about tipping, in most places there is a regular tax and then a service charge. The service charge (10%) isn’t necessarily a tip for the waitress but for the staff (like maintenance and cleaners) so we tipped above it.

Negril is a lovely town but its not as developed. If you are looking for sidewalks and real shopping then Montego Bay is your better bet. But I loved the quaintness of Negril and the people were very friendly despite the lack of luxury (which you can get if you go on a resort) and hey, you are on a beach with warm weather- that’s luxury in itself.

Lodging

We choose to stay in a hotel instead of an all inclusive resort. I preferred to mix and mingle with people who aren’t just tourist (or couples) and not be stuck with the food and drink that a resort offers. We stayed at Sandy Haven Boutique Hotel which I loved. There weren’t any kids and it was a good mix of couples and singles. It was updated, the staff was friendly and helpful, they offered a free continental breakfast, there was a pool (which we didn’t use) and spa services, a restaurant, bar/grill, the beach part didn’t allow vendors on the property so they couldn’t hassle you. There was free wifi, cable, A/C and ipod plug in to jam to some music as you get ready for the night. There was also a gym.They were strict about who could be on the property and knew faces which helps with safety concerns. 

A note on safety: there are volunteers who survey the beach and call in police if things are looking suspect. They wear uniforms and I appreciated their presence. Jamaica is big on tourism for their economy and preventing crime is a big concern for them. They warned my sister often not to walk the beach at night.

Nightlife/Travel

The location of our hotel was great so we walked for the most part to wherever we went (on the street with no sidewalks so walk in the direction that the cars head towards you so you can see what’s going on). The cab drivers are hustlers and will stop and wait for you even if you don’t ask them to, just shake your head and they get it and go on. Most travel along the beach shouldn’t cost you more than $5 (they do accept US dollars). Come with exact change because sometimes vendors or drivers don’t have any change (or so they say) so if all you have is a twenty and the ride was $5 well you just gave him a nice tip!

As to nightlife, it’s a beach town so to me the best time is chilling on the spots on the beach. We arrived on a Wednesday and it was pretty quiet. Things didn’t liven up until Thursday (we went to the Jungle on a Thursday for ladies night which was “eh” but it seemed busier on a Saturday) but the best nights are Friday and Saturday.  On Friday the popular options are Margaritaville or Alfreds. We choose Alfreds and had an awesome time. Saturday is supposed to be good for The Jungle or Bamboo, we didn’t do either and just were low key at the beach bars.


Food

I’m sure I didn’t go everywhere I could have gone to eat and wish I paid more attention to planning out food options. I loved the food at a local spot called Janette’s Delish Delights (best pina colada EVER). Margaritaville food was eh. Had breakfast at Alfreds- good. Had some jerk

chicken at a place that I saw a lot of locals and tourist at across the street from my hotel. Pretty good. Also had jerk at a spot (literally) in front of the Jungle recommended by a local, even better. Make friends with some locals to get the real deal on where to eat. I stayed on the beach to eat but I’m sure there were many great places to eat especially in the town area and near Rick’s Café on the West End.

Sights

Our hotel was good about giving us options of things to do. Water activities are of course the biggest options but I’ve done a lot of those types of things so we were looking for something different. We choose to go horseback riding. We went to a ranch and did a two mile trek to a beach where we went into the water with the horses. What an awesome experience. I felt like a cowboy!

Also check out Ricks Café to watch the sunset (amazing) or cliff dive (if you dare, I didn’t) or eat/drink and listen to the live band. We went on a Friday around 5pm which was a great time to go and mix and mingle. My sister and I must have been looking fierce because when we walked past two local girls one whispered “we got competition” and they left.  Maybe they were prostitutes… DID THEY THINK WE WERE PROSTITUES! Anyway, fun time.

The ride to Ricks cost us $10 round trip. Don’t pay more. You might get offers to take a boat there which could be fun, the best deal we were offered was for $20.

I didn’t get to do anything else but check out the Falls or do a day trip to Montego bay or Appleton Rum tour. I plan to next time.

Outside of that, the beach was the sight for me. Amazing water that I want to paint to really capture, neat beach, warm people and fun little jewelry and services etc. to buy (remember to barter but don’t be stingy).

All in all, a great time, I want to go back!