Travel

Mount Rainier/Cedar Creek Treehouse

So this weekend Chris and I drove down to Mount Rainier National Park and stayed at the Cedar Creek Treehouse, a tree house that’s 50 feet up in a tree.  It was awesome!  The tree house itself is three levels.  There’s a sitting/patio area that has a hammock and is open for the most part.   The next level is the main living area that had a little table and chairs, a sink with a gas stove and a sun room and a bathroom of sorts.   The top level is the sleeping loft and it featured sky lights that let you star gaze as much as you want.    And yes, the trunk of the tree is the center feature of all the rooms!

We stopped at Crystal Mountain and rode the gondola on the wait to the tree house.

Riding the gondola up to the top of the mountain.

Riding the gondola up to the top of the mountain.

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier

Chris trying to fall off a cliff.

Chris trying to fall off a cliff.

When I told the owner of the local coffee shop that I go to where we were heading she asked me to take the cow from her lobby and get some photos.   Well, here we all are, stuck in traffic.  They are repaving the mountain road and it was one lane in many places.

Ms. Cow going walkabout.

Ms. Cow going walkabout.

On the road.

On the road.

Our little bat visitor.  He left the next morning.

Our little bat visitor. He left the next morning.

The underside of the Rainbow Bridge.

The underside of the Rainbow Bridge.

The actual tree house that we stayed in.

The actual tree house that we stayed in.

In the observatory with the tree house in the background.

In the observatory with the tree house in the background.

Chris and I on the Rainbow Bridge.

Chris and I on the Rainbow Bridge.

On Saturday we took a little hike to Bench Lake.  There was lots of alpine meadows and cool looking trees along the way.

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My froggy friend that I found.

My froggy friend that I found.

Even though it’s 85 degrees, you’ll sometimes find big piles of snow!

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Narada Falls

Narada Falls

Cow and flashlight keeping an eye on the camp fire building.

Cow and flashlight keeping an eye on the camp fire building.

I thought this one looked like a phoenix.

I thought this one looked like a phoenix.

Toasting marshmallows.

Toasting marshmallows.

Scary face in the fire!

Scary face in the fire!

If you are at all interested in checking out Cedar Creek Treehouse here is their site:

http://www.cedarcreektreehouse.com/

Friday the 13th In Austin (& day 77!)

Austin has been great so far.   Last night the Mr. and I went out to a Brazilian steak house and had a great dinner.  I treated myself to two martinis (which were delicious!) and boy did I feel it the next day!   The restaurant was called Fogo de Chao and it’s an interesting way to experience meat, lemme tell ya.  They have good looking boy walking around with skewers of meat and you just take what you want.   They had everything from bacon wrapped chick breast to pork loin to lamb chops.   We ate.  A lot.   Which leads into my FOTD post….

My face us puffy from all the salt and meat!   Puffy and swollen I tell you!  Anyhoo, I soldiered on and have some pics for you.  They’re not the prettiest but well here they are.

Face:  Holika Holika BB Cream in Baby Bloom, Tick: Tock Face Time powder.

Cheeks:  Meow Ginger Torch

Lips:  Venomous gloss in Hypnotize

Eyes: MAC pain in Untitled, then Tick: Tock tester primer.   Tick: Tock pigment in Salvador Dali in crease and Venomous Pegasus on lid and up to brow.  Meow Sexpot just under brow.   One coat of black mascara.

Some delicious smelling flowers outside the hotel.

Today we went and had lunch and drinks.   We had fried pickles and blood may’s at Jackelope then went and did some shopping and checked out the museum of the weird.   In the back they have a side show performer and a cool little room with horror movie stuff in it.  There was the Mummy, Wolfman and Kind Kong!

I got some photos during and after the performance.  It was kinda cool because we were the only ones in the audience.

After that I needed another bloody mary so we stopped at Casino El Camino and had verde chilli cheese fries.

I got salad with my bloody mary!

Tonight is more food and another burlesque show….whoo-hooo!

Haute Under The Collar at Vampire’s Masquerade Ball PDX & 90 Days Of Beauty Challenge!

Today kicks off my 90 days of beauty challenge that I’m going to try to finish.  Although not makeup related I thought this post was filled with beauty none the less!

Emily and I were very excited to head down to Portland for the Vampire’s Masquerade Ball to vend for Haute Under The Collar.  It was the tenth anniversary of the event so it was expected to be bigger and better than ever and we’re always down for a road trip.    The place was packed by 9:30!  There were some amazing costumes and tried to get photos of our client in our ties.

Emily all set up and ready to go!

Here I am, ready to sell some sparklies!

A fellow vendor and happy customer!

We had a lot of time to sit around and take pics of ourselves while we were waiting for the bar to open and for them to let everyone in!

Emily got TONS of compliments on her lashes. I think her lashes were the most popular of the night!

A happy customer couple with the devil photo bombing in the background.

Another happy customer and stunning couple.

Mad Marquee came down to visit us and keep us company for a while. Oh and he bought us drinks!

Another client and amazing looking couple!

And we found Iva's long lost brother.

Dear Continental Airlines

Dear Continental Airlines,

First off let me say that I really don’t normally get upset about travel SNAFU’s.   There are so many minute details that all have to come together to make for flawless travel that it’s pretty rare when it happens.    Not to mention having to remove shoes and jackets, and still requiring the extra Hottie hair pat down after the cosmic ray scanner.   When I was little, traveling was fun and kind of glamorous, now it’s all about getting from point A to point B with as little hassle as possible.   So I try really hard to be patient and just go with the flow.

On my recent trip to New Orleans with Iva Handfull we traveled via Continental Airlines to the New Orleans Burlesque Festival. With the exception of the hour long baggage drop at SeaTac the trip down was a breeze with no delays and our luggage made it no problems.    The trip back proved a little more problematic.   It started out innocently enough and we got to the bag drop, all checked in online.  The line wasn’t too bad and we get to the counter and our luggage is whisked away.  It wasn’t until we were heading to security that we realize the lady didn’t ask for our ID.  I’m pretty sure I have ID checked whenever I check luggage, and Iva agreed as well.   We breeze through security(with the exception of the enhanced Hottie hair pat down and subsequent cosmic rays) and wait to board.

We were about forty minutes late taking off from NOLA which then caused us to miss our connecting flight in Houston.    After much running around from Terminal C to B, back to C and then landing at Terminal E (and a VERY nice Alaska Airlines agent-wish we’d flown Alaska!) I was informed by a surly Continental/United gate agent that I had to check in with Continental/United customer service.  We head to customer service and the agent tells us that there is room on the next flight out at 9:05pm and we’re all booked.  Yay!   We ask about our luggage and were informed that it would go out on the next flight as well.  Double yay!  We board the plane and land in Seattle on time.

We head to the baggage claim and wait.   And wait.   And wait.   No luggage so we head to the Delayed Baggage Information agent desk which is through the hobbit door and takes you into the Land Of Lost Luggage.    Without saying hi or can I help you? the customer service agent holds out her hand and says, “baggage ticket”.  Oh, that’s how you want to play, huh?   I whipped out and slapped down my baggage ticket and she informs me that our luggage should be landing in Houston shortly.  Huh?   I thought it was already in Houston?   She told me it hadn’t even left NOLA on the correct flight in the first place.   Three huge suitcases containing our burlesque costumes and the entire inventory of ties that we took to vend at NOBF.   We are issued a Delayed Baggage Information file reference number and told that it our bags should land in Seattle in the AM and they would be couriered out to us.

The next day, I call the Continental Airlines Baggage Resolution Center (aka The Land Of Lost Luggage) and am informed that my bag will be landing in Seattle at 1pm and will go out on the 3pm truck for delivery.  I confirm my address and am told it will be delivered between 3pm and 9pm.    10pm rolls around and nothing to I once again call the Resolution Center.   The agent that time acted shocked that I didn’t have it because according to the courier company it was delivered.   Uh no, it hasn’t been.   She contacts the courier company and they tell her it’s on the truck for delivery.   I ask about compensation and the agent said I could get some ‘vouchers’.  I tell her that I just want my $35 fee back that I paid for the bag and she tells me that’s not possible.   Midnight rolls around and I finally just call the courier company directly and the lady that answered tells me the  drivers said they couldn’t deliver it that night because they all had to be back by 2:30am to pick up bags at hotels.   What the what?   I have no clue what she was talking about but she promises my bag will be delivered between 9-11am the next morning.   Because it’s now a work day for me, I tell them they need to change the delivery address to my place of work since that’s where I’ll be during the ‘guaranteed delivery’ window.

I get to work and the hours roll by.   At 10:30 I call the courier service again and am told that the lady last night gave me the wrong window, it’s supposed to be 9am to 1pm.   I inform her that my place of business closes from 1-2 for lunch so the driver would have to make sure it was before 1:00.   I ask the agent to let the driver know that we were closed at that time and she assured me she would.    12:50 rolls around and no suitcase.  This time, just for shits and giggles I call the Airlines Baggage Resolution Center again and thankfully the agent I got this time was the only person during the whole FUBAR situation that seemed to know what she was doing.  I don’t know her last name, but her first name was Donna and she was an angel. I’d like to take a moment to thank Donna and Continental/United should thank her as well because she single handedly kept me as a customer.  She was appalled that I didn’t have my bag, immediately contacted the driver of the courier company who assured her he’d have it to me by 1pm.   Donna told me to call her after I got my bag back and she’d make sure my compensation was significantly higher than my $35 bag fee.

1:05 rolls around and I clock out and we lock up for lunch.    At 1:35 my cell phone rings and it’s the delivery driver with my bag.  He tells me that he was never informed that we closed at 1pm for lunch and agrees to wait until we’re back in the office at 2pm.   At 2:20 he shows up and I’ve got my bag back.   I call Donna and she issues me a generous travel voucher good for a year on Continental/United Airlines.

Congratulations Continental for the single worst luggage experience I’ve ever had.     It’s actually quite impressive that although my luggage was never technically ‘lost’ there didn’t seem to be a single person that could deliver one suitcase 45 minutes north of Seattle in less than two days.    Bravo.

New Orleans 2010!

Just got back from New Orleans where we went for the New Orleans Burlesque Festival.  I love that city so much.  The food was divine, the liquor flowed freely and the entertainment was fabulous!   Wed spent our days between Harrah’s and the Hilton.  Both were nice but I preferred Harrah’s.   Their bathrooms were pretty epic and the hotel itself was beautiful.

Thursday night was the VIP pre party.   Matt and I went and met quite a few fun people.

Lula Houp-Garou, Lady Jack, Vicky Sin and Hottie Mcnaughty

Matt and Spooky Lestrange

Later that night Matt and I hit one of the bars at Harrah’s.   I thought the bartender had the hots for me because he kept giving me free drinks all night but then I found out it was ladies night.  Haha!   The actual bar was made out of ice, nice for keeping your drinks frosty cold.

Matt getting his drink on at Masquerade in Harrah's

Not one of my finest moments.  Heh.

Hottie completely sauced at Masquerade in Harrah's

That pretty much summed up my night.     I went back to the hotel  and Matt and Chris went out and foraged the wilds of the French Quarter for food.  They ended up at Yo Mamma’s for burgers.    At this point Matt was what will always be called “Double Rainbow” drunk.    He was quite content with life.

The next day we headed back down to the French Quarter for lunch.  We ended up at Stanley’s which was awesome!  I had an eggs benedict poor boy.  Yum, yum, yum.

Matt and the Mr. in the French Quarter

Random apartment building in the French Quarter

For some reason Matt and I were highly amused by the packaging on the popsicles.

I have no idea why, but we some some of the coolest vintage bicycles in New Orleans.   Here are just two:

Beautiful blue and green bike

I would so ride this bike. It's so "Hottie"!

Look at the seat and fender! How groovy is that?

Friday night we went out to dinner with Bob and Shanna who were nice enough to hook us up with a hotel room for our entire stay!   We ate at Besh in Harrah’s and the martini’s were flowing!

Bob, Shanna and Matt at Besh in Harrah's

Late Friday night was the Risque Soiree at the House Of Blues.  What a fun night!   The show ran really well and I got to see a ton of new performers.

Lydia DeCarllo and Hottie McNaughty at House Of Blues

Matt and Hottie at House Of Blues

The legendary Satan's Angel. She's done so many fabulous things I can't begin to tell you.

Saturday morning brought beignets and coffee from Cafe Du Monde:

Heaven in a bag.

Would you like some beignet with your powdered sugar?

Saturday night brought Ready, Set Strip! at The Parrish in the House Of Blues.   It was a fabulous show and we got a chance to get some snap shots back stage.

Lula Houp-Garou, Hottie McNaughty and Lady Ginger backstage at House Of Blues.

Hottie McNaughty and Tomahawk Tassels. This was our second festival together!

Lady Jack and Hottie McNaughty backstage at House Of Blues

After the show on Saturday we went and walked down Bourbon Street.   The only way I could think to describe it was a line from one of my favorite movies, “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.  We must be cautions.”   And to make things even more fun I was still dressed as Hottie.

Sunday the Mr. and I got out and did some touristy stuff.   First we went to the Aquarium  of the Americas.  It was actually a lot of fun! And air conditioned!   Then we got to ride down the Mississippi on a riverboat.  It was pretty cool and we got to see some things you only get to see from the water.

A friendly albino Oscar.

Some flashy orange fish.

Turtle

Yes, I climbed into the aneome.

Albino alligator at the aquarium

A pretty skate or ray of some kind.

And the random raptor at the aquarium....a Barred Owl. He slept the whole time we were there.

Sea turtle.....she was a big one!

I'm pretty proud of my jellyfish photo.

Later that day we rode a riverboat up and down the Mississippi River!  It was actually really cool and I’m super glad we did it.  It was an authentic  steamboat with the huge paddle and everything.    The paddle was easily 25 feet in diameter.   The whistle was super cool and they even had a lady playing a calliope!

I loved watching the barges get pushed around.

Ah.....the mighty Mississippi.

That's a big wheel!

It churned up a lot of water.

Later that night we went catting around.   We ended up at the Carousel Bar where we had the worst waiter in the history of drink serving.   Next was Daisy Duke’s where we had crawdads, fried green tomatoes, jalapeno poppers and gumbo.  Dang that was the perfect finish to a booze filled night.   I love New Orleans….strolling around the French Quarter with a frosty cold hurricane in my hand and my honey by my side.

Sorry little guys. From what I hear you were delicious.

What's that....an adult super store?!?

I have no recollection of these events.

The next day the Mr. and I walked around the French Quarter some more, ate more delicious food and sweat.  A lot.  It was 90 degrees every day and killer  humidity.     Monday night we went on our Haunted History tour.  It was so much fun!   I admit that I’d already had a margarita and a hurricane so I don’t remember the names of all the places that we visited.

The first was a house where a mistress had died of exposure on the roof.   Supposedly on very cold stormy nights you can see her naked form, exposed by the chimney.

The chimney in the middle is where she is often seen on cold, stormy nights. This is our tour guide, Raven.

The Andrew Jackson Hotel was our next stop.  There was a family tragedy there and the building was turned into a boys school.  All kinds of mischievous things happen there like people’s cameras taking pics from the ceiling while they are sleeping at night.

Andrew Jackson Hotel, haunted by the spirits of little boys.

The next stop on the tour was Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar.   Jean Lafitte was  a pretty successful pirate who helped Andrew Jackson defeat the English army at the Battle Of New Orleans.   Being a pirate, he had all the ammo and brought together people of all cultures to defeat the British.    No one really knows for sure if this was his house, but it has been a bar or tavern for quite a while so many nefarious things have happened there.

Lafitte Blacksmith Bar in black and white.....because that's *spooky*! Actually it's because it was starting to get dark.

Me taking a picture of Matt taking a picture of me. Notice the door behind Matt, that is important later.

This is the same area that Matt was shooting, towards the men's room.

Something happened right as I was taking this photo.  I’m going to preface this with   Very clearly to my right I heard a woman ask me to open the door.   There was a woman that was also taking the tour standing to my right so I asked her to repeat what she’d said and she looked at me completely blank and stated she hadn’t said anything.  I whipped around to Matt who was on my left told him what I’d heard.  He said he didn’t hear anything and that the other lady definitely hadn’t said anything.   I have no idea what it was but I definitely heard a ladies voice clearly asking me to open the door.  No clue but it was a new experience for me.

Things sort of when down hill from here!

We next went to an old house known as the LaLaurie House.   The rich woman was suspected of torturing her slaves in unspeakable ways.  The rich lady had an odd habit of leaving during the middle of her parties and she would always return wearing a new dress.  A slave jumped to her death during a party and they found a torture chamber hidden in the house.   She changed her dress because she would go torture slaves in the middle of her own party and would have stained her dress with blood and gore.

The LaLaurie House which has remained mostly vacant for the past 100 years or so.

Tour's over. Where the hell are we?

While you guys are figuring out where we are, I'm going to take an artsy farty pic of your shoes.

We grabbed something to eat and then ended up back at Lafittes for (more) hurricane’s.  I didn’t hear any more whispering but by this time a lot people were there and the game had started.

One more round!

Mr. McNaughty hasn't been drunk in 15 years so Matt and I got hom *trashed* on hurricane's. How fun!

It's a bromance!

Our last night in NOLA led us to Saint Louis Cathedral at the end of the evening.

I love this pic of Matt in the darkened foreground with the lit cathedral in the back.

We had lunch at Cafe Adelaide before we left on Tuesday.   We all wore orange and I have no idea why.

The orange shirt society.

Came home to a great little tidbit about the show and Hottie was mentioned…..go Seattle burlesque!

http://www.offbeat.com/2010/09/20/a-new-queen-of-burlesque/

Truffle Luffle Ding Dong

Truffles was adopted!   Yay!   Truffles came to DRAW as a stray who had wandered into one of our volunteers yards.  She’s quite possibly the sweetest dog ever.  She attended the Westwood Village Street Fair and charmed everyone she met….canines, adults and of course all the children.    Her new parents are pilots and Truffles loves to go fly with them.

Truffles and mom:

I like to fly!

Things I Love Right Now

As we head into the warmer weather and my lilacs start to die I seem to crave yummy smelling things.  Here are some of the things that I’m really into right now.

‘Meh’ perfume oil by Blooddrop Perfmes.  This was a Scent Addict exclusive for Valentines Day and is from the Conversation Hearts collection.  If you like pineapple you should buy this before it disappears!

http://www.scentaddict.com/catalog.php?category=145

Scent Addict Exclusive!
It’s just not very exciting. No spark, no real zing, bland like over-cooked peas.
Virgin coconut cream, pineapple, lemon cake, pink pepper, cardamom, cinnamon leaf and white amber. Available only at Scent Addict/Magical Omaha.

Also exclusive to Scent Addict two scent by Villainess that I really like right now, Black Out (described as smelling like evil Dr. Pepper) and Pink Plague, sweet smelling enough to give you a cavity!  Both are available as a scrub, lotion or perfume oil and available for a limited time.

http://www.scentaddict.com/catalog.php?category=104

I also recently discovered House Of Gloi on etsy.   OMG, I fell in love with Moon Dog.  Also a limited edition (darn!) it’s described as ‘Solar storms erupt: pure cracked coconut, dry sandalwood heated with Indonesian nutmeg and a Singapore clove.’

http://www.etsy.com/listing/47702891/moon-dog-perfume-oil-5ml

I look forward to trying their other products!

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