Pretty comes with a price tag

Let’s face it, beauty is a multi-BILLION dollar industry.

People make their ENTIRE CAREER out of creating beauty.

And though I believe that our views of beauty need to be broadened, I can’t help but also feel thankful that there are people who focus on making others feel good and look good.

We’ve established that I’m the quintessential consumer.

I impulse buy.

Shopping for me is entertainment.

The one thing I haven’t mentioned on my blog yet is the steps I go through to get ready for a trip, particularly one which involves the company of a handsome (and perhaps Swedish) man.

So, Florida.

I’m getting five beauty services to prepare for my trip.

First, I’m getting a Korean scrub and massage at the Korean spa.

If you haven’t read “Wet vinyl beds and belly fat” then you need to.

It tells you all about my experience at the Korean spa, which I equate to heaven.

Imagine getting noodles of dead skin off your body via the most exquisite raw silk full-body scrub.

Second.

I’m getting my hair colored.

I mean, is there anything more of a pick me up than a fresh head of hair color?

Third, and this one is KEY, I’m getting a SPRAY TAN.

Because let’s face it, if I can’t tone it then I might as well tan it, am I right?

Finally, I’ve got to get my mani/pedi freshened up.

Because nothing is worse than chipped nail polish while on vacation.

Okay, there are worse things, but not in the limited realm of beauty treatments.

So there you have it, my five beauty treatments I’m CRAMMING into two days to get myself ready for Florida.

Man, I hope he notices. . .

Fort Myers

So now that I’ve got the clothing situation under control for my trip to Fort Myers, I’m starting to get curious about what there is to do there besides watch exhibition girl’s hockey.

Personally, I’m intrigued by a few things – tours of the Everglades, Cajun food restaurants, distilleries/breweries and Manatee Park.

I’ve never seen a manatee in real life.

It’s not like there’s a place in the Bay Area you can go to watch those gentle giants frolic in the water eating their veggies.

It would be SUPER COOL to actually get to see some manatees.

Now, a tour of the Everglades, that’s just a MUST SEE.

Crocodiles and alligators, oh my!

I mean, I’ve seen Claude, the albino alligator at the San Francisco Academy of Arts and Sciences, but that’s about it.

Mind you, I want to be in a REALLY BIG BOAT while scoping out alligators and crocodiles.

I’ve seen ‘Anaconda’ and know what happens when you underestimate the capabilities of wildlife.

Now a Cajun food restaurant is a MUST because I’ve always dreamed of eating a pile of seafood just heaped on the table with potatoes and ears of corn.

Yummy with a spoon delicious, is what I’d call it.

Also, The Swede really LOVES hot and spicy food so I’m sure I could get him to enjoy a Cajun restaurant or two.

I just have to figure out where the best one is.

No biggie.

I’m not sure The Swede and I can tour a distillery with his daughter in tow, so this might not happen but there LITERALLY IS A FORT MYERS BREWERY that we could visit.

So much to do, so little time, especially when you factor in all the time we’re going to spend on the beach.

Although, given that they are more melanin-challenged than I am it’s likely that we will need to get out of the sun for at least a little while during the day.

Since I’m poaching on The Swede’s vacation, I’m going to leave the details up to him, but should I be asked what I’d like to do, I’ve got some answers sure to entertain.

Happy yellow

Trying to recover from my disastrous online sundress shopping experience, I finally gave up and did a mega search for yellow sundresses.

Why?

Because once upon a time I imagined I’d be going to Florida with a yellow dress and I bought a matching flower crown to go with it:

Then the dress fell through.

Oh, what’s a girl to do but SHOP SOME MORE?!

I found a dress to go with my flower crown:

And I got earrings, shoes, and a clutch to match:

You’ve got to picture a mega top knot bun surrounded by my little yellow flower crown, similar to this one with big blue flowers:

Definitely worthy of a nice night out with The Swede and his daughter.

I’m so excited!

And the dress fits, what’s more.

So you might as well go ahead and color me happy.

I just love my sunny, happy, yellow dress!

Drat!

So my dresses finally arrived in the mail.

The first one was a yellow wrap around midi dress that was so lovely:

I put it on only to discover that it didn’t WRAP AROUND MY BODY.

There was this HUGE GAP where cleavage coverage should be.

I was literally falling out of the dress.

So it’s a no-go for Florida.

Then I tried on the other dress:

Sadly it too did not fit so well across my bust either.

These 38Gs are really causing problems!

So I’m back to square one.

I literally have NO DRESSES to wear to Florida and I’m panicking.

I need to go through my wardrobe and see what works.

Of course, all my summer dresses are buried behind all the winter dresses.

So it’s going to take effort and some maneuvering to check out what’s in my closet.

Tejas suggested that I wear this fishnet dress with my bathing suit:

But somehow, no matter how beach-appropriate it is, I just can’t see myself wearing it anywhere but the playa in Black Rock City.

Since I don’t have time to order online, wait for delivery and hope the dress fits, it looks like I’m going to have to shop the hard way. . .

. . . off the rack in a store.

Sigh.

We know how much I HATE that.

Maybe I can get Barbara to advise me where to go and what to try on.

She’s always fashionable and is good at shopping.

She’s the polar opposite of me.

I don’t want to set foot in a store and she can’t buy anything without touching it first.

Just what I need right now!

It’s Official!

Well, it’s official!

I fly into Florida on April 21st and I return to the Bay Area on the 28th.

In that week, I’ll get to hang out with The Swede and his goalie daughter.

As I’ve been perusing my closet, I’ve come across things I’m NOT going to wear in Florida.

A bikini, of any kind.

Not even high-waisted.

If MY kids roll their eyes when I’m wearing one, I should spare The Swede’s daughter the awkwardness.

A harness.

Ok, this is odd, but I did come across a harness I wore under a bathing suit to give it that dominatrix feel.

Not gonna need that in Florida.

Also?

The tan lines!

Another thing I’m not bringing with me?

Any kind of muumuu.

But I do have a rainbow colored kaftan which I love so I MIGHT have to break this rule.

But only because this is a special kaftan and it makes me happy to wear it.

Also, it takes up almost no space in my luggage.

And space is a consideration.

What I am going to bring?

Sunblock.

And lots of it.

I’m going to BATHE in it three times a day.

This hat

I bought a hat worthy of a diva to shade me from the sun.

And finally, one thing I will be bringing on my trip to Florida. . .

. . .

Damn near the most perfect wedge sandal I’ve laid eyes on.

Perfect with every dress I bring.

Sunny in Florida

Now that I’m going to Florida to see The Swede and his daughter, I’ve been thinking about the next most important thing.

What to wear.

Granted, I have a ton of sundresses in my closet, but I can’t help myself.

I’m scoping out new sundresses online:

This happens to be one of my favorites.

It comes in all sorts of colors and is, for all intents and purposes, backless.

Very sexy!

Then there’s this dress:

OMG!

I get giddy just looking at it!

Comfort and style.

Perfect for throwing over a bathing suit and heading to a restaurant.

And then, I found THIS dress:

A little more formal.

Great for an evening out or just puttering around the house, looking beautiful.

Something I am great at.

[Cough]

I also happen to really like this dress

Even though I’m not sure it comes in my size, I’m totally in love with it.

The off the shoulder look.

The floral print.

Just beautiful.

I want The Swede to see me at my best, in dresses that make me feel beautiful and sexy.

But seeing as how his daughter will be playing in hockey tournaments, I will also need something warmish to wear in the arena.

Like a long sleeve sundress:

Oh, the WARDROBE I’d build if I had the income.

Florida, here I come

I haven’t been speaking about The Swede much because there hasn’t been much to say.

He’s still in Sweden.

I’m still 5,384 miles away in California.

Sadly, he did not make it out to the bay area for Christmas break.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t get to see him.

He’s heading to Florida for a youth hockey tournament with his daughter, the goalie.

And he’s invited me to join him.

Woot!  Woot!

Yes indeed, it looks like I’ll be packing my bags and visiting him in Florida.

Doesn’t that just sound AMAZING?

I’ve never been to Florida, so this will be my first time.

Am I excited?

You bet!

The Goalie will be celebrating her birthday in Florida and I’m invited to join in the festivities.

Florida AND a birthday?!

How much fun is that going to be?

I literally can’t wait for April to roll around.

First, I visit my sister in Reno for a spa weekend.

Then I jet off to Florida to see my Swede.

April is going to be a banner month for me.

Happy dance!

American girlfriend

Okay, I’m just gonna come out and say it.

I miss Sweden.

The candies.

The chocolate.

The shopping.

The company.

It’s been almost a month since I got back and I’m thinking a summer trip to Sweden may be in store for me.

I’d love to see Sweden in the summer when it’s warm and green.

And when the sun stays out longer than 5 hours a day.

There’s much I didn’t see or do in Sweden.

Check out the ABBA Museum.

Take a boat ride on the Stockholm archipelago.

Go on a road trip up the coast.

See The Swede again.

Especially see The Swede again.

It looks like he will be taking a trip to the East Coast in April and I’m supposed to join him there to check out hockey teams and colleges for his daughter.

Big, impressive colleges!

And then there is some sort of hockey tournament in Florida.

I’ve never been to Florida.

It could be a lot of fun to join them on their voyages.

The other day I joked that The Swede was spending so much time in America he was going to become an American.

He replied with a happy GIF.

Which makes me think, perhaps The Swede wouldn’t mind starting off with an American girlfriend.

You never know. . .