Tag Archives: Melanie Wassman

Like sands through the hourglass… so are the days of our lives.

28 Jan

No – I’m not a Days of Our Lives fan.¬† ūüôā Sadly I have no time for soap operas in my schedule unless you count Game of Thrones and Once Upon A Time (these are my guilty pleasures and I love them).. ??¬† The days have been slipping by – I swear I don’t know where the heck they go and we have been very silent on the blog front. Sorry about that. It’s not due to a¬†lack of desire to post- that’s for sure…so much has transpired. I personally have had some major family stuff to deal with. Normally I would not address that in a blog but it’s pretty serious.¬† In a 45 day window my brother Doug¬†and my grandfather Gene¬†both died.¬† 45 days apart in fact. Wasn’t prepared for either one. Needless to say it’s been difficult .



I’ve hesitated and struggled with whether or not to write about any of this… But this is real life, horrible tragic things¬†do happen sometimes¬†and I have never felt more strongly about encouraging every person who will give me the time of day to follow their heart and dreams. Girls Gone Global is that for me. After coming to terms with the losses to the best¬†of my ability¬†( I mean can you ever really come to terms?)¬†¬†so much has changed perception wise for me.¬† Now- having a very personal connection to all of the clich√© sentiments I never took very seriously such as ¬†“Everyday is a gift”, “You never know which day may be your last so live¬†each one to the fullest”¬†…you know those¬†ones – I really understand the messages conveyed. Now¬†let’s be realistic…if I was living each¬†day like it was my last¬†you would likely find me on a nude beach¬†located somewhere in the Seychelles drinking a cocktail with an umbrella in it eating an entire loaf of bread full of gluten. So the statement still has parameters to really¬†be applicable in day-to-day life –¬†but here is my very expanded¬†interpretation of it from all angles bullet pointed out for you!

  • ¬†If you’re gonna do something – really do it.¬† Dive in…and I do not believe in regret. If that head first dive didn’t or doesn’t¬†work out for you, learn from it and make a different choice next time. For those of you who don’t know my background is in therapy and I worked as a very successful therapist for quite some time years ago – One of the most prolific things I learned was that guilt is an entirely useless emotion and serves no purpose other than to make you feel like crap. Let go of the guilt people. Learn, make different choices¬†and move on.

  • ¬†If you have unsettled emotional business with a loved one or friend…work it out. It’s not worth hanging on to – TRUST ME ON THIS ONE. Fortunately I had the privilege¬†of ¬†holding my grandfathers hand when he passed away and had told him¬†just ¬†that day how much I loved him and what he meant to me. I also was fortunate enough to of talked to and seen my brother¬†shortly before his death.¬†We had just had a giant heart to heart about life¬†and¬† – yes you guessed it I told him how much I loved him. Phew- THANK GOD! Rest assured – All the people in my life that I love have now sincerely been told 1897 times over the last two months.

  • Getting back on track to living life to the fullest and my interpretation – If you don’t like your life – make steps to change it..even baby steps are great steps. When we are little we don’t just stand up and run. We start with one little teeny tiny step at a time and we fall an awful lot. All those little steps add up and before you know it you are taking great big strides! Daydreaming, imagining and fantasizing all count as baby steps too! Believe in yourself and be kind to yourself. You ¬†have the choice of either being your biggest supporter or your own worst enemy. While on the topic of enemies..If you have anyone in your¬†life you have assigned that astute title to¬†– I suggest you eliminate the word from your vocabulary except in the context I just used it ¬†in and make up or forgive those people and move on.¬† Life is to short to hold a grudge..it’s all about the love friends.

  • Live your life for you…not your parents, your children or your partner. I’m not saying that your children or partner should not be a factor when making ‘some’ decisions…but you have to follow your heart and your dreams and your inspiration. Work with your partner towards a career change if you hate your job. Take time for yourself. Instead of spending all your moolah on trinkets and crud for the kids..set some of that dough¬†aside just for you. I do not care if your parents told you that you had to be a lawyer and in order to make them happy you went to law school and now you’re a fancy pants lawyer and now you fuc*ing hate it. It’s never to late.

  • ¬†I am officially giving you permission to do what makes you happy. Personally, professionally, socially – you get it. And I don’t want to hear any ‘buts’. There are no ‘buts’ about it. You could die tomorrow.

Now for me… the things that makes me happy¬†are travel, my family, spending time with my girlfriends, making out, telling the people I love how much¬†I love them,¬†listening to ¬†really loud music while driving in my car, singing along to that really loud music, pursuing my dreams, making tv and movies, writing, encouraging people to follow their inspiration –¬†heart and dreams, reminding people that they are ‘worth it!’ and inspiring them to believe in themselves,¬†sweet little babies when they are not crying, you get the idea and that’s just¬† naming a few.¬†Do you have a happy list? How many of those things are you doing or¬†have done recently? Lets make a game plan. How about you make that list and agree to do at least three things on it over the next week.¬† You must put at least 10 things on the list. They can be small things or huge things. Whatever you are comfortable with. Just¬†make the list, choose your three and do them. Oh gosh. How did¬†I forget – my cat Princess Diana – she makes me really really happy.

We have lots of good stuff coming up over the next month too! Every friday in March¬†I will post a new blog.¬†I’ve asked each one of the girls to write a blog about why they love to travel, why it’s important to them, what’s their favorite part of a trip¬†and why do they think you should be traveling too.¬† My secret mission is to inspire you to go somewhere. You’ll have to let me know if it works. ¬†ūüėČ Speaking of going somewhere…there has been a¬† fair share of traveling happening for me and the ladies over the last two months as well.¬† Melanie was in Hawaii twice and is headed to Florida and¬†¬†Grand Turk¬†next week.¬† Just yesterday she finalized plans for a trip to Costa Rica this April.¬† Her husbands ( Kaleo¬†Wassman¬†) band¬†Pepper is currently on tour and were going to head out and meet up with them tomorrow. Yay-¬†always a good time with Kaleo¬†and Melanie! Angie spent a glorious 10 days in Anguilla and St. Barth over Christmas and then flew to LA to spend New Years with me. She dragged me to Hugh¬†Hefner’s¬† New Years party at the Playboy mansion. I wasn’t kicking and screaming but I definitely utilized the fake it til’ you make it attitude that night.

I spent a week in Seattle during January and then took another short road¬†trip up the coast with my hubby. We took the 101 North and kicked things off¬† house hunting in Montecito (planning on moving by August)¬†then headed to Solvang,¬† Pismo Beach, Avila Beach and San Luis Obispo.¬† It was a great little mini trip that was incredibly inexpensive. Gotta love those. We paid $68 per night¬†for a suite with an ocean view in San Luis Bay…deal of the century!


We also spent a¬†long weekend in Palm Springs with friends. We rented an absolutely stunning house that I was able to negotiate a last-minute rate on…never hurts to ask¬†– sometimes you get a YES! ¬†Weather was 75- sunny and the pool was outstanding. Check it out here… http://www.vrbo.com/70857¬†.

So it’s safe to say we’ve been logging the miles. Angie promised to write a post about St. Barth and Anguilla so that should be coming soon-¬†the pictures I’ve seen¬†are outstanding! ¬†I’ve also got an extensive travel itinerary over the next 6 months… Seattle, Canada, France, Amsterdam, Belgium,¬†Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and maybe a Mediterranean cruise with Mom (I’m taking my own advice and doing what makes me happy while living my life to the fullest!). ¬†So I promise..we have lots of good¬†blogging on its way!¬†¬†¬†On that note I leave you with¬†Angie and I counting down the New Year straight from the playboy mansion itself.

This blogs for you Dougie and Grandpa…so much love and missing you both every single day,



‚ÄúOnly when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.‚ÄĚ ~Cree Indian Proverb

22 Apr

Melanie wrote this beautiful post for her personal blog in honor of Earth Day today and I was so touched and inspired by it I asked her if I could re-post it here. Being the wonderful, loving, giving, kind spirit that she is – Melanie quickly replied “yes of course!” So enjoy, feel free to share it yourselves and spread the Earth Day ¬†LOVE! ¬†

{ Happy Earth Day! }

Greeting Earthlings! I hope you are all out achieving acts of kindness towards Mother Earth or at least hugging a tree. I am not kidding one bit. I know it’s a silly name for hippies, but  HAVE you ever really hugged a tree?!? It’s amazeballs, as Perez would say. I recommend each and every one of you find a tree, wrap your arms around it and come back and just try to tell me that you felt nothing. Side effect are sure to include, but are not limited to, the following: Incredible ancient energy, negative ions, love for nature, a peaceful feeling… Guaranteed you and your new friend will have had a moment.

{Try it, it’s fun!}

The theme for this year’s Earth Day is  A Billion Acts of Green. Click on the photo below to check out their website and  get some ideas on how to be of service (Seva). Of course, I believe that EVERY day is Earth Day, but if it takes setting aside one day a year for people to pay attention, get excited, and educate themselves on how they can make lifestyle changes and intelligent choices that will reduce the harm that we inflict daily to the Earth…? Then sign me up, I’m all for it.

{ Click Me! }

In honor of today, I put together a few ideas on how we all can make simple, yet effective choices to do our part:

  • Stop using harmful and extremely toxic chemicals, in your daily life. This includes bath and body products, home cleaning products, air fresheners, etc. There is a natural choice for everything you use, and these days they are really good! We are all so used to using the name brands we see on TV, but they are poisoning our environment and ourselves. Your liver works hard not only to filter out toxins that you ingest with food and drink, but also has to work even harder to filter toxins ingested through your skin. And yes, that includes air-fresheners, cleaning products, pesticides from non-organic foods, etc. Give your liver a well-deserved break.
    { A great natural company }
  • Change all your lightbulbs to eco-friendly CFL‚Äôs or LED‚Äôs. Not only are they energy-saving, but they will save you money in the long-term.
  • Turn off water when brushing teeth, washing dishes, anytime when you do not actively need the water on.
  • Grow your own food, or shop farmer‚Äôs markets to buy fresh, organic, local fruits, veggies, even eggs from happy chickens. If there isn‚Äôt a farmer‚Äôs market near you, then try as much as possible to buy from local, sustainable, and organic farmers. All it takes is a little research. Keep the local little guys in business! If you have any questions on this topic, feel free to ask me. I‚Äôd love to help. Not only is it green, but you are supporting your town by buying locally, and by going organic? You are supporting your own health and longevity. Kaleo and I are unwavering on this topic. We buy ONLY organic, as local as possible. And I mean everything, even down to the peppercorns in our pepper grinder.
  • Contact your local City offices and see if there are any events that you can volunteer for, such as tree planting and beach clean up. Better yet, organize your own! If you live in a city or in the mountains, you can still host a trash clean up day. Local businesses will want to get involved and provide refreshments or supplies, and the media would love to report about good things happening right under their noses.
  • Check out a movement by a dear friend of ours: FIRN (Fight Ignorance Represent Nature) is a lifestyle collective dedicated to promoting awareness and taking action. They are on the verge of a huge evolution of inspiration and change, so get acquainted and intimate with Firn now, so you too can be a part of the movement! Click the logo below to learn more‚Ķ
    {Click Me!}
  • Eliminate the use of plastics! We don‚Äôt even buy ziplock bags. If we come across one somehow, we will use and re-use it as long as possible. We only buy glass mason jars and glass containers for our food, juice, etc. We both use a great water bottle by Klean Kanteen, that goes everywhere with us. Once you get used to using your bottle you will never want to be without it. Drinking water from a plastic bottle will feel so weird, trust me. By eliminating plastics, you will do your part to slow the contribution of plastic to the disgusting¬†Pacific Gyre. You will also reduce the amount of BPE‚Äôs that you ingest by eating or drinking out of plastic containers.
{ The bottle that we never leave home without }

There are so many ways that you can help not only yourself, but your community, and our Mother Earth as well. What are some ways that you are committing to today to do your part? I would love for everyone to share their ideas! Have a beautiful day, and send some love to your Mother.


“Take the First Step in Faith”

1 Apr

There is a saying by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”. This sums up my entire travel philosophy. Some people are planners, down to each and every detail. This does have a certain value. However, to me, the excitement in travel is the unknown, and the freedom to change plans on a whim.

My very first trip to Europe alone was planned this way:                                                                                                                                                          1. Purchase roundtrip open-ended ticket to Paris and Euro Rail pass
2. Buy a map of Europe and keep in mind some countries/towns/landmarks I want to visit
3. Go! And figure it out along the way…

And while life has brought me to the place where I no longer have to stay in hostels and fit my worldly belongings into a backpack for three months, I still enjoy the nomadic freedom of travel in much the same way as I did in my early 20’s. Only in nicer hotels. And with more luggage. And shoes. ūüôā

If taking a vacation or even a quick getaway seems like a huge deal, there’s so much to plan, it has to be perfect, and so on…¬†Let those feelings go. Planning a trip can be as simple¬†as:¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1. Decide on a destination and buy ticket.
2. Make a reservation at a hotel for one night with the option of extending. This way you have a place to check into and get some rest. If you love it, stay. Or, check out the other options and decide from there.
3. Get out and explore! Meet some locals and ask questions. Where do they like to eat? Are there farmer’s markets? What is the location known for?

Have fun with it and don’t feel like you have to do what everybody else does. In Florence Italy and don’t care to see the David? Don’t! (Although it is beautiful…) Customize your trip so that you enjoy it to the fullest, not like it was planned out by a tourism agency. The best times for me, are the ones that are spontaneous and exciting. Even though I buy a travel book for each place I go to, it’s mostly so I will have something to read on the plane and to put on my bookshelf as a nice memory when I get home. Once I am at my destination, it’s time to immerse myself into the culture and create my own adventure.

Another way to make planning a trip easier is to ignore the idea that a trip isn’t worth it if it’s shorter than a week, or two weeks. Who made up that rule anyway?? I once flew to Stockholm for the weekend. No rules, no pressure, not even time to get jet-lagged! I just found a really cheap ticket (it was Sweden in November) and decided to check it out.

As your trip is coming to an end and you are getting ready to head home, wouldn’t it be more fun to look back on all the amazing experiences you had instead of feeling regret that you only checked off certain things that were on your ‘list’, or wishing you had more free time?

Once you let go of the pressure of having everything planned out, and making sure you stick to that perfect plan, you will be able to enjoy a sense of freedom… Just take that first step.



Melanie‚Äôs at “OM” in Oceanside‚Ķ

5 Nov

Being from Hawaii, if I could choose a bumper sticker that summed up life there, it would be “Live Aloha”. Now that I live in Oceanside, the bumper sticker that comes to mind is “COEXIST”. ¬†Before I moved here, I had heard about the beach culture and the military influence from Camp Pendleton just North, but I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered so much more. Oceanside has the diversity of a big city with the proud community and charm of a small town. On any given day you will see a soccer mom in her X5, a tattooed guy walking his pit bull, a gorgeous pro snowboarder girl at the local health food store, and a local band posting gig flyers. Pair that with the Marines who serve our country and the organic, eco-conscious movement and you have a beautiful little town called Oceanside. I think what I love most about living here is how this community thrives on its differences and finds respect for one another. Oh… and then there’s the promiscuous eating that I have become accustomed to this past year. Being a foodie, let me tell you: it. is. delicious.

Let’s start with my fave, Hill Street Cafe. This charming little yellow Victorian house was built in¬†1888 and is a California historical structure. The menu is huuuge and a bit overwhelming, but let me tell you, it’s ALL good. It has a delicious coffee bar, daily happy hour specials (with organic wine and honey mead!), and is certified as a green, organic restaurant. In fact the owner, Dan, brings in much of the produce from his own farm. If the vast menu wasn’t enough, you can also order from the hip sushi bar next door, The Fish Joint. Arguably the best fish in town, featuring local artists on the walls, and a soundtrack of anything from the Clash to Bob Marley. Did I mention the two restaurants share a beautiful courtyard with an art studio, koi pond, and a Thursday night open-mike?? Even if I didn’t live literally one block away, I would still be here everyday. Om-nom-nom…

¬† Hill Street Cafe and another gorgeous Oceanside¬†¬†sunset…

Next stop is a charming little health food store called Cream of the Crop. For over 20 years this family owned store has been taking care of the Oside community with a deli, juice and smoothie bar, and the best organic produce department in the North County. When my husband and I are home, we frequent the Crop for their banana-date smoothie with the monster addition ( bee pollen, vita-boost and other powdered yum-yums). The locals love this place and it is totally the norm to run into the likes of pro surfers, snowboarders, rock stars, and actresses. Wild.

Cream of the Crop

Thursday mornings brings us to the local farmer’s market where you can find vendors selling homemade essential oils, beautiful fresh flowers, and delicious locally grown organic fruits and veggies. Occasionally there is a Dutch woman selling freshly baked bread and even a little old bee-keeper! His honey is to die for, and the flavors range from Hawaiian Christmas Berry infused honey to my new favorite, Grapefruit Honey. Another highlight is the man with the happy chickens. He sells a dozen eggs for $3.00, re-uses your egg cartons, and tells stories about how happy his chickens are. They all have cute names,¬† are free range, and oh so loved by this charming man and his wife. And if, like me, a once a week trip to the farmer’s market isn’t enough, Carlsbad has one on Saturday and Wednesday afternoons just a couple of miles down the road. With markets like these and the Cream of the Crop, it’s so easy and fun to eat local and organic while staying on a budget.

Farmers Market Goodies!!!

If you’re looking for a sunset dinner with a gorgeous view of the harbor and the ocean, our next stop is the Lighthouse Oyster Bar. Located right at the Oceanside Harbor, this cute little rooftop restaurant has one of the best views in town. Their extensive wine list has a favorite of my husband and mine, the Vinho Verde from Portugal. It’s light and refreshing with a low alcohol content, perfect to pair with the fresh fish tacos (only $2 during happy hour!), steamed clams, and locally grown organic mixed salad. The menu is so reasonably priced and delicious that we have spent many sunsets working our way through each and every appetizer offered. This too, is a family owned establishment, with the owner making his rounds greeting the guests, and his talented father as the head chef.

Kaleo, his afro and I  (gotta love the Hipstamatic!)

Lighthouse Oyster Bar Sunset…

After eating so much delicious food, my guess is that you want to get some exercise, right? Well, one of our favorite things to do is walk the beautiful beaches. It literally goes on for miles! Since we live 4 blocks from the train station, it’s fun to hop the Coaster down to Carlsbad (about 4 minutes by train, and $5 fare), grab a light lunch and maybe catch a Euro league soccer match on tv, then walk the beach back to our house. The walk is about 5 miles and it is lovely. Of course if you’re looking for yoga I know the best little yoga studio in town. Ok, I’m biased because I own it, but it really is special. Yoga Oceanside is open 7 days a week with daily classes and monthly special events like workshops, concerts, Internationally recognized speakers, and a Yoga Teacher Training school. Our teachers are talented, welcoming, beautiful yogis who teach from their own practice. Try all of the classes and teachers with the new student special of 2 weeks unlimited yoga for $25.

Waiting for the train…

Kaleo taking a leisurely beach stroll…

Oceanside has gone through many phases and reputations over the years, but is now growing into her own little identity. One that is an eclectic mix of beach culture, a fun local music scene, health conscious yogis and world-class athletes, bohemian vintage clothing and antique stores, military families, and seasonal residents from all over the world. When I am not traveling, I really enjoy exploring Oceanside and discovering all she has to offer. See you on the beach!



Waterfall showers, sexy face and Melanie sandwiched in between New Yorks finest!

11 Oct

DO YOU WANT TO SEE ONE OF YOUR OWN STORIES POSTED HERE ON THE GIRLS GONE GLOBAL BLOG??¬†We want to read em’ and post em’! Scroll down for details on what we are looking for!

The Girls Gone Global Blog has so many good things coming your way this month.¬† We are so excited to share! Awesome Autumn is upon us – did that sound¬†really cheesy? Fabulous Fall – is that better? Oh whatever!!¬†You all know I am a little cheesy and I am A – OK with it… and I am in one of those moods.. be prepared for more cheesy-ness below. Consider that your warning. ūüôā¬†¬†Call it what you will-¬†Summer is over. ūüė¶ ¬†But have no fear – the good times will still roll over here! Starting this week-¬†every Friday I am posting a new blog from each¬†one of the girls and in addition I’ll pop in from time to time with little updates, stories and photos. The girls are each writing about what life is like in the city they live in.¬† Angela is sharing a picture perfect Portland day and Melanie is bringing up the rear with sunny San Diego. So¬†stop by the blog often and take a look at all the new content coming your way! Also we are going to post a sneak peak of the show soon and you will only find it here!

If you live somewhere fantastic and you want to share a great afternoon, day or week in your home town – write about it, attach pics¬†and¬†send an email to edenmariejames@me.com.¬† We will be¬†in touch and then…WE WILL POST IT HERE FOR ALL¬†THE¬†WORLD TO SEE!!¬†¬†We love our readers and know that you too have great stories, pics and recommendations to share.

Alrighty¬†then-¬†So we are all home and settled¬†after our last big summer hoorah. No wait that’s a lie. I’m not settled and I hate that summer¬†is over.¬†I think I have a serious case of¬† ‘home from vacation depression” and my body is also¬† experiencing weather shock. A hot and sunny 85′¬†in Kauai, then 114′ heat wave in LA and then freezing cold and rainy in Seattle and then rainy again in LA. All within a week.¬†¬†And today it’s 80’ again. What is going on with the weather?


Pure gorgeous Kauai!         Waterfall showers at Secrets!


Hanalei Sunset                   Kauai Lovebirds!            Hideaways РPrinceville


Look at those giant waves and that  girl sitting on the grass! LOL

We got home from Kauai on Tuesday and then headed to Seattle on¬†Friday – flew back to LA the following Tuesday and then Melanie headed to NYC ¬†to visit¬†¬†Kaleo¬†on tour. ¬†I wanted to go sort of – I also wanted to sleep in my own bed for more than 3 nights. We have all been traveling basically non-stop since July.. so a little break was in order- little did I know the home from vacation depression was coming…and Melanie keeps texting me pictures from all my favorite places in¬†NYC – you¬†little brat you! ¬†ūüôā


Sexy face lady and me at our favorite speakeasy in Seattle: Bathtub Gin & Co.


Mel with the NYC Police Band, in Times Square & then at Kashkaval with Remy(her brother), his love Whitney & Mr. Kaleo Wassman below!

So needless to say – we have been and still are busy little bees. The travel calendar is starting to fill up for the next few months as well. In closing….don’t think I forgot about posting The 3am Undercover Sting Operation. FINALLY!!! It has been written and is finished!! I had originally included it at the end of this blog but it was way way¬†way to long. So I am going to post it Tuesday Oct. 12…well technically it will be Wednesday Oct. 13th (my lucky number y’all) at 12:00 amPST¬†-midnight!!! So come on back now ya’ hear!! I think you’re gonna¬†like it!! Shooooot – I know your going to like it – It’s a very good story.. ūüôā



Still Trippin’ Day 3 – Unity Tour is calling!

22 Jul

Alright. Day 3. First we must apologize for the delay. The intention is for these to be written the ‘day after’ therefore this blog should of been written the morning of Day 4..but after the late night of Day 3…all we did yesterday was attempt to recover and drive as much as possible so that we could get to Vegas and finally stop driving for a few days. Recovery attempts were futile.. even a steam in North America’s only natural vapor caves and a dip in some amazing mineral hot springs..did not help. Details of those two super cool side stops¬†will be included in Day 4’s blog.¬† Also I will attempt to keep this blog short and sweet..in hindsight day 2 was so¬†long!!!

So we woke up..had breakfast in the cute little dining room off the office of America’s Best Value Inn and then headed straight for Vail. It was only a 35 minute drive from where we were so we arrived there in no time. After three times around the loopty¬†loo circle thing that takes you¬† into Vail..we just had to get a picture of the sign for you and it took 3 attempts.. ūüôā we drove into the village and found a place to park. Most of Vail -or¬†at least the heart of it and the village-¬†are pedestrian only zones. Quick walk from parking to the closest Starbucks for iced tea and wifi¬†signal. Right outside of there…in front of the little stream…that I talked about in the opening of the Day 2 post is where we blogged from. Oh and we ate some of Holly’s famous gluten free chocolate chips cookies that she made us before we left that have now become some sort of God-send on this road trip. Gluten free is not easy to come by out here in the great wide open.

Took a stroll through the village. Vail is beautiful. It reminded us both of a little ski village in Germany. People were friendly and there were lots and lots of doggies. Did  a little souvenir shopping, waded in some streams/fountains and just basically relaxed and enjoyed the beauty.




Then we got a text from Melanie saying “Where are you at? Radio station – quick Pepper interview and acoustic set and then Red Rocks..hurry up!” Oh snap dragon. We’d gotten carried up in the ‘doing nothing’ and lagged. Now we had to rush. Dang it. We headed straight for car..after a potty detour..no time to stop while driving from this point out..we were on a mission to get to the radio station STAT.

We made it. Barely.

Pepper rocked the radio station..this is normal ūüôā and then we were off to Red Rocks Amphitheater. Now I have to say..there has been a lot of build up around seeing this show at Red Rocks…everyone we talk to says it is an absolutely amazing venue. The amphitheater is built into natural red rocks, is unlike any place in the world¬†and the sound is superior. If your interested in learning more about the history….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Rocks_Amphitheatre¬†. Oh I should probably mention.. besides that gluten free¬†cookie and a string cheese from the cooler..we had forgotten to eat. Not a smart choice when ‘party like a rockstar’ literally is on your agenda.

Melanie and Kaleo pre show.

Green Room

Up to the green room to wait¬†and start getting juiced up.¬†That is slang for¬†-drink¬†cocktails.¬† Another thing worth¬† mentioning… Angela and¬†I are not big drinkers. In fact were probably the cheapest dates you will find…so when you factor in that whole ‘we forgot to eat’ issue and¬†low alcohol tolerance.. you have¬†a lethal combination. LOL . Pepper got suited up – literally – in red swim trunks and zinc on their noses -this tours theme – is ‘Lifeguards’ They are saving lives every night…

Kaleo checking his ear piece.

They took the stage at 7 to a packed crowd in pouring down rain. Show was sold out and oversold i¬†think..numbers in the stands were around 10,000. That is a lot of screaming fans. People were going off. Pepper is infamous for being high energy and getting the entire crowd moving..and they did not disappoint. So proud of you boys! Oh how did I forget.. Kaleo¬†– guitar player and lead vocalist..is married to Melanie..one of our ‘global girls’ on the show. I’ve known Melanie for nearly 20 years and her and Kaleo have been married for 9 – I think? So hence the connection to Pepper for us and our backstage access to all their shows.

Offspring played second and 311 closed things out. We watched some of it from the sound booth-¬†best spot in the venue for¬†amazing sound and some of it on the side of the stage. Then the real fun began – AFTER PARTY on da’ tour bus. Now unfortunately¬†there is a strict – No Photo’s on the bus policy in constant enforcement by Pepper’s tour manager -Coach… Coach regularly¬†enjoys scolding me and ‘coaching me’ or should¬†I say – I’m almost always getting ‘coached’ by the coach. Personal note to you Coach.. I know deep down inside you are nice – I experienced you being friendly one time-¬†in Aspen – a year and¬† half ago when you were very intoxicated and one time at Melanie’s birthday party! And you always shake it when da’ bus turns into Dance Party USA.. in fact you asked for Dance Party¬†Wednesday¬†night¬†cuz you know I bring it!!! ¬†I know the whole ‘meanie’ thing is just an act. ¬†Moving on – I wonder why they have that no photo rule? HAHAHAHHA . I did make a movie of Pepper’s infamous Intern busting out the moves – super late night as we were shutting down the bus. Enjoy.

Super proud of Angie – she was nodding off and yawning by¬†10 and she stuck it out all night long. You little trooper-¬†I knew you had it in you. So when we got to the bus we were greeted by an enormous plate¬†of all organic homemade nachos – covered in giant chunks of avocado – made with love by Kaleo. They may of been¬†the best nachos ever and he must of been¬†psychic. All we talked about the entire way back to the bus was how starving we were. We engulfed the best nachos ever and spilled on my white pants doing so. Didn’t even care.¬†We had made a quick stop by catering underground at red rocks right after Pepper played… but there really wasn’t any time to eat. Angie did manage to swallow a yogurt while Kaleo¬†attempted to get me to shot-gun beers. THANK SWEET BABY JESUS I am allergic to beer (gluten). I was already quite liquored up from my one cocktail. Not kidding.

Catering – Notice red rock wall!

Alrighty..I’ve got to wrap it up..check out time was an hour and a half ago and I’m feeling like any minute now someone is going to barge down the door and kick us out.

To temporarily wrap up the tour thing.. im inserting a clip from 311’s drum solo that I shot from on stage and later I’ll come back and stick some more great pics in.

Lastly we retreated back to our Monte Carlo suite at Hotel Monaco in downtown Denver after a teary goodbye to Kaleo, Dub and Intern- AKA Monkey! Thanks for hooking us up with the suite Mr. and Mrs. Kaleo Wassman and Pepper hotel bookers! Much obliged! And BTW.. we are heading into Vegas and not sure what the wifi situation is going to be?????

Still recovering,

Eden and Angela

Temos saudades Portugal!

16 Jun

We are back! Portugal has got to be one of the most beautiful, friendly, relaxing, and fun places we have seen so far. I guess it also has to do with how you ‚Äėdo‚Äô your vacation, what type of trip you want to have, and how much you want to fit into the time available. Well, this trip was done just right.

Kaleo on the deserted beach in front of our condo getting ready to surf an empty wave 
Deserted beach in front of our condo getting ready to surf an empty wave


We have some incredible friends that live in Portugal named Alexa and Hugo who offered their gorgeous two bedroom beach house to us for our entire trip! The place was in one of the best areas to surf in Portugal, near Peniche, Foz, and Baleal. It’s about an hour north of Lisbon so we rented a car to get there since the rail system hasn’t yet reached all of that region. Well, the car that they gave us was simply awesome. It was a Citroen C1. C1!! Even Alexa didn’t know they made them that small! It was like a Smart Car with four doors. Seriously. We named him…. Pepe the Mule.  



More Pepe the Mule 
 Pepe the Mule


We were staying at the Praia del Rei resort area which is close to Caldas da Rainhas (bath of the Queen) and Òbidos. Òbidos (pronouced oh-be-doosh) is a little city within castle walls that was a gift from the poet King Dinis to his wife, Isabella of Aragon. They saw it in passing once and she likened it to a jewel-studded crown so he gave it to her as a wedding gift. It is a medieval town that is set in the middle of a valley of vineyards. Just stunning.

we are walking on the castle wall walkway around the city of Obidos
We are walking on the castle wall walkway around the town of Òbidos

 aleo walking up the stone stairs to the castle wall walkway that surrounds the town of Òbidos

 Walking up the stone stairs to the castle wall walkway that surrounds the town

We had absolutely no agenda on this trip. Such a great feeling when you are on vacation. Of course there were things that we wanted to do such as eat the local food, taste the regional wines, surf the world famous surf spots, hang out with our friends, hear some Fado music, see Òbidos, go out in Lisbon, etc. But we weren’t necessarily attached to the outcome of whether we checked any of it off our list or not. Well, except for the surfing. It’s not a surf trip with no surf, right? Of course, since I don’t surf I got to relax and explore a little more than the guys did, but believe me, they were not complaining. They got some great surf, most of it with little or no people out besides themselves. So not really caring what we did each day that we were there gave us such a sense of freedom. We got SO much done and still had much more time to just relax and do nothing than we have had in a really long time.

The empty break in our front yard
 The empty break in our front yard

Porto Batel on our first day

Porto Batel on our first day


If you could design a dish that’s perfect for me..it would be found in Portugal. Oh my gosh‚Ķ Especially at our favorite place called Rio Corti√ßo¬†which was hidden deep within the woodsy, beachy¬†area that we were staying. Through the trees and down a white sand road into a clearing is the cutest little restaurant on the beach. You just park on the sand in a make shift lot, and walk to the restaurant that has only outdoor tables. It‚Äôs set up on a deck a couple of feet up off the sand and has hanging rice paper lanterns and a bamboo shade ‚Äúceiling‚ÄĚ. The fish that was caught that day is grilled right outside on an old school homemade grill so you can see what looks good as you walk up. The fish is prepared just grilled, some as is, others halved and grilled in two with only sea salt as a seasoning. When you order a fish it is served with a side of boiled potatoes, steamed vegetables, and a salade¬†mixta, or lettuce, tomato and onion salad with a tiny bit of olive oil, vinegar and sea salt for flavor. Oh wow. I was in heaven‚Ķ Pair it with a glass of the house wine which is the Vinho¬†Verde (like a very light, dry white wine with the slightest bit of sparkle to it) or a Super Bock (national beer of Portugal) and some mel√°o¬†(a huge slice of melon that is kind of a¬†cross between a honeydew and a cantaloupe. Honey-loupe? or Canta-dew?) for dessert. We must have frequented this place about 5-6 times while we were there. The owner, Susana was trying to get Kaleo¬†and Remy to play a Sabotage show there‚Ķ ¬†Which is a funny story because our waiter was this cool Brazilian guy named Luciano, who looked like Seu¬†George, one of our favorite Brazilian musicians. He barely spoke English and my Portuguese at that time consisted of ordering food, so using a lot of hand motions, we figured out that he liked the same music as us. The guys gave him a Sabo¬†CD, which was the only CD we had in Pepe. The ext time we came back for dinner they decided to put the CD on for the restaurant. If you‚Äôve heard the CD, you know that it may or may not be for all ears during dinner, depending on how open your mind is. And Susana and Luciano most likely didn‚Äôt understand anything the songs were saying because of their limited English. Cool beans, right? Well the clientele¬†at this restaurant is basically British and Irish tourists. Who understand English. I know! I‚Äôm laughing too! So I was having a blast watching Kaleo and Remy squirm a bit at first as we looked around the restaurant. What did we see? Everyone was grooving! Even this man who was in his 60‚Ä≤s wearing a lemon yellow sweater vest and white yacht pants was literally dancing in his seat. A mother was bouncing her kid to the beat, another woman was tapping her feet and people all around were just loving it. It was a cool scene.

on the road that goes to our beach house in Praia del Rei
On the road that goes to our beach house in Praia del Rei


Every morning at the casa we would wake up at about 8,  do some yoga and stretches and check the surf while I made breakfast. By then the clouds would burn off and we would head out to the beach. Hugo tried to surf with us everyday, work permitting, and as the locals say, he is like the unofficial mayor of this region. At least in the beach areas. He knows everyone! Perfect way to be introduced to a local break, just paddle out with Hugo Amado. The Portuguese are so kind and welcoming, it felt a little like being back home in Hawaii. 

Kaleo, Hugo and Remy
Kaleo, Hugo and Remy
Entering Ferrel Fest
Entering Ferrel Fest


¬†Alexa and Hugo told us about this festival in the town of Ferrel called, well, Ferrel Festival. It lasts for an entire week and they practically shut everything down to move in an huuuge¬†stage, lots of gypsy vendors, caipirinha¬†and Super Bock stands, bumper cars, some octopus-like ride that made me feel woozy looking at it, churro¬†and fartudo¬†stands and most importantly‚Ķ donkey races! Oh yeah. I wanted to race a doney¬†SO bad! Hugo and Alexa said that anyone could enter, so I was going to find a donkey and race it. Of course since I grew up riding and showing horses, I thought it would be a piece of cake, no problemo! We had to pass through the town of Ferrel to get to the beaches everyday and I secretly would bring an extra bag stashed in the very back of Pepe that held my jeans and boots JUST IN CASE that day would be the day that I got to race my donkey. The festival had been going on for three days and we still hadn‚Äôt stopped once! We were waiting for Saturday when Hugo and Alexa could come with us sans the kiddos. Saturday came and we were invited to Hugo‚Äôs friends birthday party and then we were to hit the Ferrel! I got dressed for the party in a cute black, short, frock (I just said frock. who am I? I think I‚Äôll leave it) with my slippers. Dressy casual for a¬†Portuguese¬†party that I had no idea what to expect. But how could I ride a donkey in this?? So I re-packed my donkey-racing-clothes bag. Busted. Remy walks by my room and says, ‚ÄúSister, what are you doing, bringing like 3 more changes of clothes for the night? Just wear what you have on.‚ÄĚ ¬†I told them that I really DID want to race a donkey (I think they thought I was kidding), and they laughed¬†hysterically¬†at me! Whatever, I‚Äôm bringing it. After the party we went to the Ferrel. It was so packed we could barely get through the crowd. We saw some of Hugo and Alexa‚Äôs friends and danced a bit to the crazy¬†Brazilian¬†pop stars on the massive stage, got a caipirinha, browsed the gypsy wares, and ate a fartudo. Now, I‚Äôm sure most of you know what a churro¬†is. It‚Äôs basically dough squuezed¬†into hot oil and fried then¬†rolled¬†in sugar and¬†cinnamon. It‚Äôs about an inch thick and maybe 8 inches long. A FARTUDO¬†is the same process, but it is about 4 inches thick and over a foot long! Cra-zaaazy. Now nicknamed the burro churro. Figure it out. So it was all fun and games, but no donkeys were seen! I was bummed, but I figured we still had a few more days to find the mystical donkey races. On the way home, I asked if the donkey racers were just locals who were drunk enough to want to ride a donkey, because I figured that I would be stone cold sober and bringing my A-game and would take this thing. Well it turns out that the adorable little old Portuguese men that I kept seeing on the side of the road in their cool hats were my competition. And they practice all year long for these things. Whoa‚Ķ Ok so reality is hitting me a little bit and suddenly I am a little intimidated! But I still persisted on riding a damn donkey. The next day we were at our local little restaurant and Remy saw a poster for the Ferrel. Turns out, the donkey races had happened on Saturday, but it was early on in the day‚Ķ Alas, I rode no donkeys on this trip. I guess I saved face though, because I probably would have been last and made an Ass out of myself and my donkey. Pun very intended.¬†

Temos saudades Portugal!