I can’t believe Labor Day is here, which officially signifies the end of the summer season in the US! June, July and August have literally been a whirlwind of globetrotting moments, reconnecting with friends and family, and resettling into my favorite city on the planet! Between Dubai, Switzerland, Spain, Los Angeles, and NYC there is MUCH to tell!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here’s a quick recap of some of the adventures I’ve taken over the last two months!
The Emirates: I’m fortunate enough to have gotten to see all seven of the Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah! A day before my flight to Europe, I spent a few hours hitting up the last of the seven I had yet to see: Fujairah! From my understanding, it is the only one of the seven Emirates to border the Gulf of Oman. (A few weeks before, a couple of friends and I took a day trip and flew to Oman!) So, in essence, when I drove to the shore and got out to prance around in the water, I fulfilled my goal of getting into the Persian Gulf and also the Gulf of Oman! A day or so before, friends and I rented a yacht and took a sunset cruise in the Persian Gulf in Dubai aka the Arabian Sea. Around 8:30pm, I stripped down to my bathing suit and dove into the pitch black waters!!! I hear it’s more than twenty feet deep where we were, but…. I just had to jump in! Total adventure-crave!
Zurich: BEAUTIFUL architecture! During my long layover to Spain, I decided to leave the airport and really give myself a walking tour of the city centre! Well, as much as I could see in a few hours. I actually took TONS of photos of the buildings, the river, my tasty breakfast including Swiss hot chocolate… but unfortunately, the phone that I snapped most of the photos with was stolen in Spain!! More about that later! ….Back to that breakfast, though. It didn’t really seem like it was going to be all that special, but between these yummy Swiss oats in the oatmeal, and the hot chocolate (yes, I actually did consider ordering Swiss Miss, but refrained!!), it was the most delightful breakfast I’d had in a long time!!!
Valencia: It was a really wonderful experience visiting Spain because I got to not only spend time there, but managed to celebrate my dear friend, Rogiers’ graduation from Berklee Valencia School of Music! An incredible professional entertainer for the past ten years, Ro decided to complete his Masters in International Music Business! So visiting Valencia was a double treat because he showed me around the second home he’s come to love over the course of the year! I had about a week of walking around, eating great food, sunbathing on the Mediterranean and spending time with some of my favorite folks on the planet! The Agua de Valencia at Maria de la O changed my life! Incredibly tasty! And regarding my phone getting swiped! So, the night of graduation, a group of Ro’s friends from the program headed to the beach for a midnight beach party on the water! It was a magical moments of singing and dancing and dipping into the sea late into the early morning! What we didn’t realize, though, was that someone infiltrated the group, the midnight marauders I called them, and grabbed people’s cash, phones and other valuables while purses and bags laid on the sand! (Cosby Show reference alert: It felt very “Going to down to Baltimore to be with the Wretched and have BIGGGGG FUNNNN!!!!” but got ganked instead!) It was pretty audacious of whoever came in and got the goods, but at least they left our actual purses and keys….. But I totally lost one (of my two) phones with the most pictures! Thank God my other phone was at the hotel! Valencia has really been a life changing experience for Ro, and I’m so thankful I got to be a part of that moment with him!
Los Angeles: From Valencia I hopped back on a plane, had a four hour layover in Zurich again, and then landed in NYC for 12 hours (where I caught up with a couple of friends) before heading to my hometown, The City of Angels! A day or so after arriving, my folks hosted a Welcome Home party where friends and family gathered to show me all kinds of love! It was great to be on home turf, and regroup in a major way! I got to lay out on my folk’s backyard patio and read, went downtown to party a couple of times, celebrated the upcoming birth of my friends Spencer and Kimmie’s little Sophie, and, most importantly, spend quality time with my mom and dad! I really missed them while I was abroad!! But the trip was cut short and a week later, I was on another plane back to NYC!
Since arriving in New York City, I’ve been surrounded by my second family, my family of friends and loved ones on the East Coast! To my amazement, many of my closest friends are expecting or have recently become new mothers and fathers! So I feel like it’s a great time to be here to actually witness a new generation of loved ones emerging! It feels, literally, like Spring with these births and all! So far, I’ve met three new little ones and expect to meet three or four more before the year is out! (In my Rosalind Russell Auntie Mame voice) Auntie Mai is in the BUILDING, dahhhlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But of course, I’ve also fallen back into my fast paced lifestyle with block parties and concerts and Broadway shows and cookouts galore! I went down to the “urea” to check out my big Bro and cousin in Maryland, who I haven’t seen in a year, and caught up with good friends down that way! It feels soooo good to be home, but REST is on the agenda now that Labor Day is here! The most exciting thing coming up is the debut of my House Hunters International episode tomorrow night! I really cannot wait to see how the whole thing unfolds! I’m a bit nervous, honestly, but, HEY! THIS is is my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!