Tipping is (not) Customary

Good morning Lovers.  I am once again distracted from work by my need to fulfill my soul and get the thoughts out of my head and into your gorgeous minds.  I will go ahead and warn you, this is much less of an update on the adventure than past posts.  I won’t be delving into the details of the brutal cold I’ve been battling, the tragic loss of one of my fellow Hartthrobs, or my relief at not needing to drop $2k on a flight for my own almost family emergency.  But I won’t apologize for this – I never promised you anything but Randomness, and by clicking the link to get here, you’ve agreed to the binding contract of indulging my need to share the beautiful mess that is my inner workings.

I had a very interesting conversation last night with the Dutch Lover (DL) about a gesture that I made – one that I saw as gratitude and generosity, and he saw as foolish wastefulness.  One of my favorite parts of this trip is that besides the 12 (and counting) cultures that I get to immerse myself in, I have access to 47 unique opinions on our everyday lives.

For those who don’t know, I put myself through school by waiting tables and bartending (and some healthy student debt, but that’s another conversation). Tipping was how I made my living, and I was fortunate to have a core group of fantastic regulars at every spot I slung drinks that supported a decent lifestyle.  That said, tipping is a way of life for me – it’s how I show my appreciation for the hard work of those who bring me the whiskey that fuels my laughter filled life.  Upon arriving in Split, we were given a brief city orientation where we were told that tipping was not customary in Croatia, yet despite this information, my guilt ate at me when I just paid the number on the bill.  We stayed rather late at Plan B last night, wrapped up in wine, whiskey and good conversation.  The lights were up, the music was off, and we were not leaving anytime soon.  Wanting just one more round, I shimmied up to the bar and bought a round for the table as well as a round for the staff – a classy move, one I’ve pulled a thousand times at home.  Or was it?  Turns out my signature move struck a chord with DL (a Holland native), and a healthy debate ensued.  I’m always open to another point of view – in fact, I just finished a conversation with Kiwi about how I wish I could crawl into each one of my Hartthrobs’ heads and see what makes them tick – so I rather enjoyed the conversation we had.  His heated view was that I was just throwing my money away, and certainly not gaining the favor I was hoping to curry with the staff that waits on us quite regularly.   As I think about it this morning, he made an excellent point.  I have been tipping staff left and right since we got here in an effort to be appreciative and get better service (Lovers, service here is T E R R I B L E), and not only do the wait staff not seem grateful, I’m still getting the same shitty service as before.  I fully trusted his guidance on Belgian beers and I’m entrusting my tour of Amsterdam to him, so why wouldn’t I at least consider his view here, especially given the evidence to support his rather adamant claim.

We are not in Kansas anymore Toto – we’re not even in our own country.  Culture and customs need to amended along the way without compromising my core values – one of which is respect.  I have immense respect for DL for being brutally honest with me (even if it was the Chimay talking) and sharing his view on my actions.  We have 11 days left here in Split, and I will spend 1 of them in Dubrovnik (GOT!!!), 2 in Montenegro and 4 in Belgrade, but I can tell you this – in the 4 days I have left here, I’ll leave behind my American arrogance and respect the local custom of paying the bill as it stands and letting the staff take care of their own libations.

Forever yours,

SR

Check out London’s blog post here for the ugly reality of being miles away: Life is Prickly and Hurts Sometimes

Need a more lighthearted take?  Starbuck Lighting has you covered here: Time Alchemy

More visual?  Check out K-Dog’s YouTube channel here: Puppies and Cliff Jumping

Choose the Positive

Hello my Lovelies.  Im coming to you this morning from a ferry – not a sailboat – in the middle of the Adriatic Sea.  I’m on my way back to Split a few days early from Yacht Week after losing the battle with the wicked cold that has chosen to inhabit my body after our freezing cold Plitvice scooter adventure.  Always considerate of others, I abandoned my mates before infecting them all, caught a taxi from Milna to Hvar and hopped the ferry back to Split.

 

I have just been informed by the captain that one of the engines on the ferry has gone out, adding an extra hour to our ride.  Because I did not anticipate this particular adventure, I am woefully unprepared to endure this extra hour cooped up in a ferry cabin with no moving air, three crying babies, no music, no internet and one little girl with no chill and parents who could care less about the comfort of their fellow passengers.

I read a quote the other day from Bruce Lee – the basic gist was there are two ways to look at every situation, so if you have to choose, why not take the positive one?  I’m choosing you as my silver lining Lovers, and taking this opportunity to share the Random.

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There’s not much to report since I last updated you less than 24 hours ago.  The Boatharts got together last evening for a family style surf and turf that was on point with the rest of the food I have written about. I have to give a special shout out to our Skippers for all of the amazing recommendations they’ve provided. 

It was lights out for me as soon as my head hit the pillow, and I slept hard until a coughing fit forced me out on the terrace where I got to watch a lightning storm in one direction and the sunrise in another.  After having the pleasure of watching London get her birthday present from the Hartthrobs – a video compilation of well wishes from the crew and her family – I cabbed it to the other side of the island and purchased my ticket for the Judita back to Split.  Its a dreary, rainy day here on the islands, the first one I’ve seen since being here, so I posted up at a cafe under an awning and wait to board.  The boardwalk on Hvar provides some fantastic people watching, including a boat hand that walks back and forth whistling.  I can’t help but smile at him, and at the fact that just a little over a year ago, whistlers annoyed the ever living shit out of me, but all I can think is this guy loves life so much he can’t help but make music at work in the rain on a disgusting day.  He’s choosing the positive.

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Even before the ferry debacle, I was already missing my boat family.  They’ve all been reaching out individually to send me get well wishes, bluetooth hugs (our new version of long distance) and let me know they’re sad I couldn’t finish the journey with them.  At the end of my last post, I told you emotions had caused some rifts, but just like any family, we pull together instead of breaking apart, and my heart is as full as my sinuses with all the love that is being sent my way.  Its only a few days, but I can’t wait until they get back and I can hug their necks again.  As long as I’m better.  Of all the things I do want to be, patient zero is not one of them.

Split is (finally) coming into view, so I’ll be signing off and catching an Uber back to the massive orange couch in my Split home. I hear new seasons of Orange is the New Black and American Crime are out, and I fully intend to be judged by Netflix over the next 72 hours (YES, I’m still watching) after brewing up some honey-lemon-cinnamon-ginger tea.

Approach every situation is two ways, and I hope you find the way to choose the positives and Love this Random world of ours.

Specifically yours,

SR

Life on Uranos

Welcome back my Lovers of Random.  I won’t apologize for the successive posts because I know you’re all dying to hear how Yacht Week is going.  You’re salivating, anxious, hanging on every word I type just waiting for my depiction of the debauchery.   Fret no more, the wait is over.  Here it is:  Yacht Week Part 1.

No proper week long party on a boat would be complete if it didn’t begin with a sick pre-party.  One of the RY crew was departing, so all of the Hartthrobs roll to Sanctuary (BULLEIT RYE FTW) for some farewell cocktails.  ET brought in his crew in from Nashvegas for Yacht Week, so the Southerners rolled out to Antique before reupping with the others to hit Club Central where my brother from another Southern mother had hooked us up with VIP.  If you don’t know what kind of party starts with a massive bottle of Grey Goose lit up with sparklers, just stop reading now.  The DJ was on point, there were aerial dancers, and at one point, all the lights went out and the club spotlighted a guy who just absolutely killed it on an electric guitar. We rolled out around 4, my girl London hooked me up with a slice of pizza, and we crashed out.  Side note, I woke up fully clothed and next to my shoe.  3 hours later.

After rolling for some brunch at Fanat – they technically stopped serving at 10, but I southern charmed our way into some bacon and eggs – Kiwi and I headed out to stock the boats.  It doesn’t get much more real than feeding (and boozing) 20 people on two boats for 4 days.  After brimming four carts with everything we could think of, we commandeered a check-out lane for a good 15 minutes.  $8k Kuna later and we are good to go.

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Duffs arranged transport, so we loaded the goods, loaded ourselves and headed to the docks.  After loading the boat – aptly named Uranos – we decided to sail off to Brac to anchor off for the night.  None of us can pronounce his name, so we’ve dubbed our skipper H, HH (his initials), Happy Hour and of course, Skip.  He recommends Ranjak Konoba up on the island for dinner, and it takes a minute to get all 20 of us up there, but once we do, there are no regrets.  We sit down in the middle of a grove of olive trees, carafes of red and white wine show up (and up and up and up), followed by course after course of delicious local cuisine.  I tried everything, and the only thing that wasn’t fantastic was the anchovies.  Half the table is singing 90s pop songs at the top of our lungs, a few get scolded for jumping on the trampoline (apparently its for the kids), and its nearly 3am by the time we get back to our boats.  I’ve been feeling a little under the weather since the Plitvice trip, so I sneak into my cabin for some FT with the PIC before getting some shut eye.

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Splitting the bill is real guys.

I’m now convinced that every day should start with a quick dip in the Adriatic, so we take a swim before sailing off to explore.  We dock in Vis and go off in search of some scooters to explore the island.  While Kiwi and the Dutch Lover (Lovers, he’s the Ladies. Man. of the crew) are negotiating the adventure, I execute a daring rescue for the lone football that was thrown into the water by Rems, the one of us who can’t swim.  *I guess you could say I baywatched it’s ass.* . The scooters were the best idea ever.  We circled the island atop the winding, curving roads and got views of Komiza and Vis from atop the mountains, rode through olive tree groves and lavender fields and got back just in time for dinner.

Duffs hasn’t stopped talking about the Peka at Konoba Magic since we booked the boats, and I can’t blame her.  You call in advance for reservations because at this tiny little village house of a restaurant situated in a vineyard they cook the meat for HOURS in coals.  We show up and so does the wine, followed by smoked tuna, anchovies (much better than the night before) and sardines before the main dishes of lamb and octopus show up.  I’m not even going to try to describe it to you.  There. Are. No. Words.  I keep thinking that it doesn’t get any better and so far I don’t hate that it does.

Its the first official night of Yacht Week, and the party is at Fort George.  Never to one to turn down a dance party, I load up with my Boatharts and ride in an old army Jeep up to the top of the cliff.  My already clumsy and now wine tipsy self comes in like a bull in a china shop, tears up the floor, tears up VIP and I tear up my knees after eating it on the stairs.  Duffs grabs ice from another one of ET’s VIP setups to clean the blood off my legs and we keep going.  There’s an enjoyable stroll down the dock, and upon arriving at our boat, I see Duffs asleep on the deck, which means my cabin is empty. #win.

Despite seeing the sun come up, I’m up an at em early – well, I use at ’em VERY loosely.  We’re cruising around to spots I’s already seen, so I chill on the deck and bake out my hangover.  After docking in Komiza, we find an empty bay and I post up on a rock to continue my recovery.  My voice is starting to go, so I take it easy at a marina cafe, eat dinner on the boat, do some work and settle in for a solid night of sleep.

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A healthy 8 hours does my body good, but not my voice.  Kiwi ducks into the marina and gets supplies to make me tea with honey and lemon, but its all downhill.  At the time of typing, I can barely speak at all.  And my laugh frequency is completely gone.  So incredibly sad that I’m not filling the air with my infectious giggles, but no worries Lovers, I’ll be back. We sail off to another bay for the morning, then off to St. Klement for some lunch at Toto where I’m trying to answer client emails on the worst Wifi ever while eating the most delicious monkfish ever.

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IMG_1456That night, a few of the crew from Split comes to join us in Hvar  and we do some Yacht Week party hopping from Hula Hula to Kiva to Seven.  We snuck into someone’s front yard, I blew out a flip flop (and fixed it bc I got it like that), had some late night pizza and headed back to the boat.  There are a million stars in the sky and I can’t stop thinking about what a fun night it was.

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Sadly not all of us had as great a time as I did.  Take 18 people in tight quarters, add alcohol and subtract sleep and tensions can start to run high.  We sort it out pretty quickly (mostly after sobering up), but even so, a few of us have grabbed rooms in Milna, where we are currently docked.  I think we will be pleasantly surprised at what some hot showers, good sleep and a little space will do for us. Not all fun and games Lovers, but the tramily will sort it all out.

I’m off to grab a much needed nap before meeting the Boatharts for dinner, so here I leave you.  For now.  Yacht Week part two comes next week.  Stay tuned

Forever yours,

SR

Level 3

Good morning Lovers.  I’m coming to you from the middle of the Adriatic Sea for this post, but don’t get ahead of yourselves, this is not a post about Yacht Week.  Stay tuned for that update.  Before we launch into being free on the sea, I must tell you about the Level 3 fun that was our trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park.

At our orientation, we were told about the three levels of fun.  Level 1 – this is the fun you expect to have. Fun that’s a given, no doubts that good times will be had.

Level 2 – this is the fun that is unexpected.  It’s Random (like me).

Level 3 – this is when everything goes to shit.  Call it Murphy’s Law fun, when everything that can go wrong does go wrong.  This is where the stories are born.  The stories you will tell of the rest of your life.  Plitvice was all three levels.

I was sitting at WIP busting out some client work when I get a text from ET and Rems.  Load up, pack light, we’re riding up to Plitvice on scooters.  Its a 3-3.5 hour ride, and we are rolling out at 3:00. I hustle through the rest of what I have to get done and throw some stuff in a bag. Level 2 meets Level 1.

As we’re about to hit the road, our city team leader strolls by and asks what we’re up to.  I admit, we’re not utilizing our city team nearly enough, but organized chaos is my game, and I believe everything is an adventure…. He looks rather surprised when we lay out the plan, but gives us a mountain route and tells us to take long sleeves.  Off we go.

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The ride is amazingly beautiful.  Twisting mountain roads through breathtaking landscapes, Random cows on the side of the road… we even found a sheep farm and Rems tried to chase one down for the Insta. #doitforthegram.

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Google Maps is guiding us on our route, and we take a couple detours, but it seems like we are always 2 hours away.  It starts to get dark.  And it gets cold.  I grabbed the long sleeves Mate suggested, but I’m still on my quest to live in Lululemon shorts this whole trip, so my legs are pretty much numb.  At this point I’m thinking that all the Auburn football games I froze my ass off at have prepared me for this ride.  Rems leans back and says “At least its not raining”.  Cue Level 3.

It is dark.  It is cold.  And now its raining.  We are on scooters on mountain roads getting passed by semis.  And somehow we are still 2 hours away.  About 8 hours in and 20 miles from our destination, we hit a small town and decide to throw in the towel.  There’s a 24 hour truck stop diner where we stop, eat some hot food, defrost with some Jager shots, and hire the waitress’s husband to drive us the rest of the way. Level 3.

Tired AF, we roll up to the “5 Star room” that ET has booked us and it is one room in some lady’s house with two single beds and a double.  Duffs and I grab the double, and its not long after the four of us get settled we’re scolded by the innkeeper for laughing too loudly about our adventure and accommodations. Level 3.

 

Plitvice is well worth all we went through to get to it.  Waterfall after waterfall, each more breathtaking than the last, and the clearest blue/green water I’ve ever seen in my life.  ET and I explore a cave and I effectively face my fear of small, dark, enclosed spaces – thankfully, no bats.  The four of us hike up to a point with a sign that I can only imagine says “Don’t climb out here”, so we climb out and get the pics that will make the ‘Gram. Level 1.  And some Level 2 as well.

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We made a group decision that there was no topping the scooter ride up, so ET arranges transport for us and our scooters back to Split.  When the VAN rolls up, its back to Level 3 as we remove the second and third row seating, get the scooters shoved in, squeeze one bench in and strap the other to the roof. Quick ‘Gram vid and we are Split bound.

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On the ride back, we bond over upbringing and overcoming.  It still takes me to another place thinking of how we all came from different places and ended up here, together.  Everyone that heard I was going on this trip said that I would make relationships that would last a lifetime, and I had no doubts about that, but being in the moments when they are being forged is truly something else.

When we get back to Split, its Level 3 again as we unload and attempt to put this guys van back together.  RY12 comes to the rescue, and Rems and I head back to our spot, killing the rest of the vodka on the way while reeling in the sick adventure that we can now add to our stories (personal and Insta).

I know you’re anxiously awaiting Yacht Week posts, but just hang in there a just little bit longer my Lovers.  Boat adventures are plentiful, and headed your way soon.

Forever yours,

SR

Just Another Split Day in Croatia

Good morning Lovers.  I should absolutely be doing something that is producing income, but my passion for writing far exceeds my passion for taxes, so I’m taking a moment to fulfill my soul before being a responsible human being (one goal for the year: combine those two things).  The bonus for all of you Lovers of Random is you get a new post and an update on the adventure.

We’ve dubbed a little saying here – “Just another shit day in Croatia”.  Even sitting in the workspace today, I get to stare out at the beach.  So far, there really hasn’t been any cause for a bad day in this place.  Even the Dalmatian lifestyle is laid back and super easy.  I know this is the first stop and there is a long way to go, but Lovers, I could get used to this.

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Over the past few days the Hartthrobs have been getting oriented.  With the program, with Split, and with each other.  Its an amazing phenomenon to watch the bonds that we are building.  From physical to emotional ailments, we are already coming together to get each other through.  Nicknames seems to be the name of the game, which I love – The Brit is now Coco (or Starbucks Lightning if you nasty), Brazil is Grizzly, and one of our hosts has been dubbed Tomato.  I’ve even got a couple new ones myself – Noir and Peens (cause Duffs can’t be bothered with the vowel at the end of Pino).

On Friday we all got up and presented ourselves PechaKucha style and then wandered Old Town looking for a spot to accommodate the masses. Rolling 30 deep ain’t always easy.  After the WORST pasta I’ve ever had in my life, we settled into Sanctuary, the local craft cocktail spot and the proud owners of my Bulliet rye.  Not feeling it, Kiwi and I load up the scooter to head home.  As we’re rounding the harbor, I see lights – colorful, flashy lights – and I make my flatmate stop… just for one.  This open air dance club is empty except for Kiwi, me, a guy dancing with a balloon and some other random patrons not worth mentioning.  Not to be upstaged by Balloon guy, I get out on the mostly empty dance floor and satiate my need to move my hips.  Unbeknownst to me, Kiwi takes a video and posts it to the group.  Don’t blink Lovers, because the next thing you know, Hartthrobs have Taken. Over.  Impromptu dance party, Hartthrobs style.  I need a new word for fun because it doesn’t even come close to describing this evening.  I get home just in time for some FT with the #PIC after his race and gain a little respect with his moto crew by rallying and breaking out the Jameo to have a shot with them.  Can’t wait to meet these folks.

Saturday was orientation, and we bond over our mutual hangovers.  After having some knowledge dropped on us and taking some epic group pics, we head to the beach on the first cloudy day that we’ve seen, but that just means we get to have a dance party in the rain.  Me and the boys push the scooter to the limit with four riders on our way to get fresh for the evening.  A few of us are not feeling the after party, so after some wandering around Old Town, we grab a bite at Bokeria and Uber home (no detours this time).

It is SUNDAY FUNDAY and we’ve done it right and gotten a couple of boats to bop around a few of the THOUSANDS of islands around here.  We visit private beaches, show off our diving skills, swim in caves and make “I’ll Baywatch your ass” a thing.  We stop at one island to have lunch, and there is a floating slide out in the bay.  Skeen and I are game to hit it, and K-Dog is going to catch it on the drone (video incoming, hold for that).  My first time down, the slide catches one of the ties on my bikini and that’s it for my bottoms #level2.5fun.  Swimming to the shore is an adventure of it’s own, and I’m very grateful for my Lulu shorts.  We shoot over to an island that is majorly owned by one family (for over 400 years now) before riding over to Hvar to wrap up the tour.  We hit a beach bar that I can only describe as Fratastic, drink frozen concoctions and I teach the boys how to stripper squat before heading back to Split.  Oh, and I found a guy in a Baywatch shirt. How fitting…. (see what I did there?)

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Today’s productivity has been ravaged by technology fails: Uber went down, so Skeen and I had to improvise a workout, my love/hate with Intuit today has been strong on the hate side (seriously, how many software updates do I need?), but I worked off the stress with a swim in the sea and it would appear I am now up and running.  As I settle in with my paprika chips, it’s time for me to sign off my Lovers.  Productive Peens needs to generate some income to fund this fabulous adventure.  Until next time….

Randomly yours,

Noir

 Need more pics in your life?  Check out the Random Remote album

She’s so Sp_LIT

Hello Lovers of Random.  I know you have been anxiously awaiting my post about my arrival in beautiful Split, Croatia.  My deepest apologies for making you wait, it was not my intention to keep you hanging, but despite that stunning lack of rye (or any good whiskey for that matter) in this town, I have kept quite busy in my first 5 days.  But no worries my faithful, I have settled into Cukarin, one of the 30 beach bars a block from my home, fresh pressed juice in hand, and I’m ready to catch you all up.  After I decide between pancakes with mascarpone and coffee syrup or waffles with mascarpone and honey.

Day one was arrival day.  My flight from London to Split was E A R L Y, and after a long day of travel and adventures in London, I had fallen asleep with my phone in my hand, mid alarm setting.  Needless to say, when I jolted awake it was in sheer panic.  I’m beginning to believe the the travel gods are hiding in the necklace that the #PIC and my Hippie Lover gave me because thankfully it was only 1:45, but going back to sleep after that adrenaline rush was an impossibility, so I got up, got showered, got packed and got to the airport.  I found a Lebanese cafe and got some breakfast – harissa bloody mary included.  It may be 4:30am where I am, but my system thinks it’s 10:30pm, so who am I to deny?  A quick FaceTime (FT) with the Goddess and I’m off to my EasyJet for my flight to my new life.

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The flight itself wasn’t bad, so I’m honestly not sure why EasyJet gets such a bad name.  I may come to learn this later in my travels, but for now, they’re ok in my book. 2.5 hours and I’m landing in Split, regretting not getting a window seat.  I breeze through customs as easily as a bachelorette party into a Nashvegas bar, collect my bags and proceed to meet my hostesses, Gorka and Viks.  Guys, they had a sign.  A big one.  And I completely missed it.  But I wore my signature BHM hat, so they corralled my overtired, over-traveled self and officially reeled me into the RY fam.  There’s some get to know you chat while we wait for the PR Queen to land, and then we are put in a car and sent to our new abodes.IMG_0489

The drive is breathtaking, and the PR Queen and I are all noses on glass the whole way.  First stop is her place, which has a challenging lock but an amazing view.  Next up is my spot, a swanky apartment with a spa and a pool (don’t get excited, turns out we’re not allowed to use either).  At this point I’m glad I didn’t laugh, even in my head, at the PR Queen’s door struggle, because mine is the same.  I mean, just look at those keys!  As I write this on day 6, I still haven’t mastered the locks.  I’m averaging 2 minutes to get into this place.  Im sure I’ll figure it out soon. Just in time for Budapest.

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After some delirious unpacking, we head down to the beach for a beer and some grub. Did I mention we live on the beach? It’s not long before others trickle in, and we’ve got a group of about 8 going strong.  My actual roommate doesn’t get here until Tuesday, but my neighbors Kiwi and Uncle Remy join in, the International PIC isn’t far behind.  My Festival Partner and the IT Guy round us out nicely.  There’s an actual scheduled meet and greet that evening, so we all head back to our respective (and equally hard to enter) apartments to freshen up a bit, then it’s off to Plan B for the for realzy get together.

I honestly do not know whose idea it was to schedule a meet and greet when we were all delirious from travel, but I will tell you it made for one hell of a good time.  I already felt like I had met most of these people, and already felt like I was in love with some (looking at you Mermaid), but it was fun to see who matched up to your expectation and who just blew you away in reality.  Since we started early, we left early.  And by left, I meant Kiwi, me, and Uncle Remy all piled up on a scooter and headed up.  Halfway up, I realized I had forgotten the sunglasses the the #PIC gave me, so I made them turn around.  We pull up, I jump off, grab the precious cargo, hop back on and we scoot off.  Funny story, London and another remote were just talking about how they thought I was going to be among the fun ones when I rolled up and pulled that signature move.  Way to make a first impression.

Day 2 was orientation, where our collective nickname of Amelians fell flat, but Gorka redeemed the leaders and dubbed us the Hartthrobs.  After orientation, there’s some unpacking, grocery shopping, some more settling, then we hit the beach.  Lovers, I am not an ocean girl.  There are things in there that crawl and creep and pinch and I can’t see them to avoid them.  Plus, I hear the water is cold AF.  But then the Crossfit Partner calls me a loser, so now I gotta go.  And as you can tell from the pic below, it. was. cold. AF.  But now I can say I’ve been in the Adriatic Sea.

After my shock to the system, there was some beach conversations – we covered everything from inequality in the workplace to side trips to sex.  Its all productive – I mean, if I’m going to be a good wingman, I need to know types and turnoffs.  We collectively agree it is way past time to sample the local fare, so a trip into Old Town is planned to hit Bokeria, a local foodie hot spot.  By the time everything is all said and done, we take over the entire upstairs with over 30 Hartthrobs.  Kiwi takes care of the wine, and we order family style for the table.  Smoked swordfish, local seabass, this place is the real deal.  I’m not quick enough to the punch on the credit card points game (ET-1, Pino- 0), so I pull out my calculator to figure everyone’s share, and the meal, wine and drinks included, is only $60 (am I back at HBG?) – I can get down with that ANY day.

Some remotes head off in the direction of a pub crawl, but I can see where that evening it going, so Kiwi and I opt out and head outta Old Town.  This place is the most beautiful maze I’ve ever seen, and I’m putting full faith in my flat mate that he’s going to find the edge and get us home.  Not only does he deliver me safely to the Promenade where I got to FT with the #PIC while he took a conference call, he give me an epic pic when I ask him to strike a pose.

Day 3 starts with yoga (led by The Remote Yogi , give her a follow for a fresh perspective on the adventures), then a 2 mile walk to the Green Market.  This place is like Pepper Place on S T E R O I D S and it happens Erry. Day.  I’m in basic market bitch heaven, snagging fresh lavender, cherries, veggies, herbs, some VERY expensive cheese (try before you buy, but also ask the price), fresh bread… you name it, they got it.  Even butcher shops!  I’m disappointed that the fish market is separate (a fact we learn later after giving up trying to find it), but I suppose I can’t do it all in one day.  Back to WIP (our coworking space) to bang out some work before the Roomie arrives.  Added bonus, my Princess arrives and I get to FINALLY hug her neck!

Once the Roomie get settled, we head into town for a tattoo consult.  Yes, my Lovers, I’m getting inked in each country.  Stay tuned for the pics.  After Duffs and I set our appointments, The Brit, the Roomie, Brazil and I set off on foot to check out a local gym. A more than significant Apple maps fail puts us is the completely wrong spot, but I don’t believe in lost, just new adventures.  Eventually we find Quattro, and it is not up to my snob gym standards, but The Brit and Brazil are happy, so they stay to sweat while the Roomie and I grab a bite before walking back to the apartment with a quick detour to the grocery store.  Shopping here is an epic adventure all by itself, and we spend a disgusting amount of time on the seasoning aisle looking for poultry seasoning so I can roast a chicken for dinner.  Of course my phone has no service, so google can’t help me now… thank goodness for pictures or that would have been one boring roast chicken.  Home cooked dinner with my market haul and then we hit the beach bars so the Roomie can talk to someone other than me. I call it an early night so I can FT the ‘Rents (bonus, got to see my nephew!) and a late night FT with the #PIC.  The seven hour time difference hurts, but completely worth it to chat with the loved ones.  Fun fact about day 3, I walked over 10 miles!!

Oh my, what day is it?  Day 4.  Day 4 starts with a trip to the local Crossfit box so I can get my barbell fix.  The Crossfit Partner and I survive, despite neither of us doing a workout like that in longer than I would like to admit.  Home cooked breakfast and a few hours of work before I’m distracted by ET and Uncle Remy having more fun on the beach.  I’ve been productive, so I allow myself a Pina Colada (or three) while getting to know Ms. Rock Climber and Marky Mark a little better.  London joins, Duffs shows, Kiwi crashes and somehow shots show up.  Something about a large group of loud American always prompts the Croatians to bring a round of shots on the house.  A quick cheeseburger on the beach and I’m in for a planned siesta before hoping to get more work done. The crew is going salsa dancing, but my foot is punishing me for yesterday’s assault, so I opt out.  That quick siesta?  Yeah, I woke up 13 hours later.  Guess powering through wasn’t the best strategy.

I’m well rested for Day 5 and take Duff’s advice to work at my apartment instead of the coworking space.  I now have a new goal to become at least half as productive at WIP as I am from my bed.  In between client bids and meeting setups, I’m planning our Dubrovnik/Montenegro side trip at the end of the month.  Kiwi has friends in high places, so we scoot into town to meet with a friend of his who used to live in Montenegro for the inside scoop.  Pro tips is the only way to go.  After that, we hit a beach bar and strategize our Sunday boat trip around the islands as well as kick around a few ideas about how to use this amazing network we have at our disposal.  If this experience has taught me anything so far, it is that I need to Think. Bigger.  Sushi in Old Town for dinner and once again, a round of American shots on the house.  This time, we also get dessert.  And I get the points (take that ET – not really – he’s racking up his points at kite surfing lessons in Hvar).  As we wind through Old Town after dinner, we hear live music – Cyndi Lauper, to be exact – so we duck into an open air restaurant for some singing and dancing before moving onto the next spot. I’m in heaven, because I have finally found the only bar in this city that serves RYE!!!  And its BULLIET!!  I order a double as the bar closes down, savor the sweet nectar and we catch an Uber home, but not before grabbing a slice of pizza.

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Ok Lovers, you are all caught up on the glorious adventure.  Thanks for hanging in there on the super long post.  The adventure is just beginning to be sure to stay tuned.  And in case you were wondering, I went with the waffles.