Hey, Gwen Stefani turned 40 back in October, and we were too busy to wish her a 40 whatever birthday, so here it is now:
We love Gwen because:
Mwah! Here's a big, red lipstick Happy Birthday kiss, Gwen. You make 40 look fantastic!
No, it's not a Bentley, it's the 2010 Taurus SHO. It's goes fast and kicks ass!
It was only Day 4 of the Ford-y Whatever/BlogHer 10 day roadtrip, and Stefania and I had already been called names and terrified by religious dolls. It felt like we'd used up all of the tricks in our bag, and we feared the next six days would be dull in comparison. Then we kidnapped Fake Scott Monty* from the real Scott Monty's office at Ford, and things picked up again.
Fake Scott Monty* -- remember, looks can be deceiving.
But I should tell the story in chronological order.
Pretty flowers greeted us in our rooms First Lady Suites
Stefania wrote a lovely post about our visit to Mackinac Island, where we stayed at the beautiful Grand Hotel. She's right that our mere words and photos can't do it justice, and you really must visit yourself to experience the magic.
Early morning on Mackinac Island, Michigan
Thank you, Stefania, for leaving the stories about our Somewhere In Time shenanigans to me.
Leave Your Mustang on the Mainland, There's No Drunk Driving on Mackinac
It was so hard to leave our Mustang in the parking lot!
In the last Ford-y Whatever post, we had just gravel sprayed out of Danielle Wiley's driveway, and were driving up to the top of the peninsula, to get the ferry to Mackinac Island. Four hours and a few ballsy red Ford Mustang V8 powered slow-driver-passings later, we were on the boat, sipping adult lemonade beverages (thank you Meijer & Skyy Vodka!) We arrived too late for the fancy dinner at Grand Hotel, so we had a tasty meal at a restaurant by the dock, and then caught a "taxi" to the hotel.
Since Mackinac is a car free island, that means that everything is done by horse-drawn carriage, including taxis. Also you smell horse shit everywhere.
On our slow, fragrant, horse-drawn carriage ride to the hotel, we met Transient Waiter Dude, who works on Mackinac Island six months out of the year, and then goes to somewhere warm like Florida to work the other six months. He shared this nugget of wisdom with us:
"Yeah, it's a party town. Thirteen bars and no cars!"
I been repeating that like Rainman for the past week. Sorry if you're infected now, too!
We Had No Idea Someone Made an Iconic, Late 70s, Time Travel, Romance Film Here
Self-portrait by Miss Jane Seymour, hanging outside the Somewhere in Time Suite
So you know what's even better than getting an email that says "Your Mustang will be waiting for you at the Ritz"?
Actually handing over the valet ticket (after raiding the very nice Ritz-Carlton Dearborn hospitality suite for the 4th time in less than 12 hours) and being handed the keys to a candy apple red 2010 Ford Mustang. With bigass Pirelli tires, black leather seats and a banging stereo system. Plus a place to charge up my iPhone.
It's even more fun to drive than you're imagining right now.
When you rev the V8 and hear that growling /purring monster under the hood, you know this baby can go fast. Some people might even have been tempted to peel out of the Ritz parking lot.
Speaking of classy, I have to show you the back seat of the Mustang, where we kept one of our giant BlogHer suitcases. Note the tape. Good looking and practical! It turned out that we could fit that suitcase in the trunk, the luggage helping guy at the hotel was just being conservative.
Even though we had those giant suitcases filled with cute shoes and stylish clothes, we still succumbed almost immediately to the siren song of Meijer. It's big box store that's apparently open 24 hours, is staffed by women who look like Donatella Versace/Janice the Muppet/Tori Spelling and has awesome accessories like the yellow circles bag that I made Stefania buy. Also, the one we stopped at is right next to a White Castle.
My first White Castle burger definitely lived up to the hype, and they also make a delicious unsweetened iced tea. Who knew?
The Meijer was on the way to Fennville, where we had a delicious lunch with the delightful Danielle Wiley and her wonderful family at their summer cottage. After lunch Danielle and her two kids took us to the beach, where we saw Lake Michigan for the first time.
As a native East Coaster, who now lives on the West Coast, I didn't know what to expect when we got to the "Third Coast." Even with all of the advance warning, it was still surprising to see this ocean in the middle of the country. It was a little bit windy and wild and gorgeous!
We could have stayed at the beach all day, taking pictures and watching waves, but the lure of getting our sweet ride back on the open road was strong. Plus we had a ferry to catch! So around 3pm, Stefania and I hopped in the car and zoomed off to Mackinac Island.
Possibly we sprayed a bit of gravel as we pulled out of the driveway. Because we could.
to be continued...
Hey, so you know how Stefania and I leave on Friday for our big Ford-y Whatever roadtrip through the mid-west? Funny or Die just posted this movie trailer about it, starring Alicia Silverstone (me) and Alanis Morrisette (Stefania).
I always suspected that our lives are ripe for an IFC feature length film, and now I have confirmation. But just for the record, our real soundtrack has a lot more rap, the kind with with very explicit lyrics. No Diggity, No Doubt!
P.S. to Scott Monty, Ford Social Media Czar: even though I'm devastated and heart-broken that we can't have a Shelby, thanks for giving us the Taurus SHO to drive to Chicago. I hear it's badass, and probably less likely to get the attention of speed trap monitoring state troopers. Speaking of, if we get any tickets while driving the non-Shelby Mustang, can we expense those back to Ford?
P.S.2 Don't worry, both our moms are alive, kicking and far too well-dressed to ever wear a red beret. But they do plenty of other crazy shit (Love you, Mom & Tata!) so the movie will still be an Emotional Laugh Riot.
So ... remember a few months ago, when Stefania and I started this site? And we said we wanted to take kooky trips and have adventures and generally spend the whole year celebrating?
(Please see: "The Not Bucket List" to your right.)
Well, wishing made things so, and we're taking a pre-BlogHer road trip, up through Michigan and then across the state to Chicago for the conference at the end of July.
Actually, it wasn't wishing so much as finding some visionaries at the Ford Motor Company, who agreed that our "Ford Fan Pilgrimage from the Past to the Future" idea was as awesome (or perhaps funny) as we did.
What's a "Ford Fan Pilgrimage from the Past to the Future"? Glad you asked! It involves:
After all of that amazing fun, we get to go to BlogHer!
Of course we're going to blog, tweet, Facebook and (gulp) YouTube every step of the way, so you won't miss a moment! Stay tuned for all of the exciting, over-sharing details.
And hey, if you have suggestions for places to see on the way, please, please PLEASE leave 'em in the comments!
WOOT! ROAD TRIP!
Chief, my (very proud) husband really enjoyed my Forever 21 leopougar birthday dress. You could say my chest area got a lot of attention the other night. There are a lot of too many pictures, and Chief has some big plans* for his Facebook page. This is just a "taste."
(Oh Christ, it "tastes" like Jameson's doesn't it?)
(*He can plan all he wants, I still control the photos in this house.)
- Cat/Bad Kitty
One of my most fun writing gigs is for UpTake, the travel site that searches over 5,000 other sites, making it one-stop-easy to plan a vacation. With a couple of clicks you can search through restaurants, hotels, attractions, and even full vacation packages, anywhere in the U.S.
In addition to my dazzling and occasionally over-sharing contributions (hey, that maid didn't see anything!) to the UpTake Hotels blog, you will find many familiar and well-loved bloggers there, like lovely Gudrun Enger at the UpTake Attractions Blog, and the urbane Sharon Castellanos at the UpTake Restaurants blog. Of course, if you're visiting UpTake, you'll want to stop by the UpTake Vacations blog, helmed by the dangerously funny (don't read and drink unless you like to snarf) Whit Honea.
Right now the UpTake Lodging blog is running an amazing giveaway with the Silverado Resort in Napa Valley, CA: a "Spa Girl Getaway" for four lucky ladies who get to hang out by the pool at the swank resort, drink wine, and have a spa treatment.
I have decided to win this contest.