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.
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.
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.
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.
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.