Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bloggers’ Brunch on the Odyssey Cruse!

A few beautiful Sundays ago, I was very fortunate to be invited (and able to snag a last minute ticket) to a Bloggers’ Brunch on the Odyssey Cruise hosted by @blogandtweetbos. The day could not have been any more spectacular for a cruise, and being I've never been on the Odyssey before, made the day even better.

VIP on the Odyssey! 
We began boarding around noon time where we walked right over to our own ‘bloggers’ section. There I started chatting with Joselin Mane, the face of Boston Tweet Up, (someone who I've been following on Twitter for quite some time but never actually met in person), it was a bona fide Twitter Celeb sighting. I was also able to catch up with Jil from Big City, LittleKitchen, whom I've met before at the Studio Empower blog event, (I really need to put blogs and faces together, I’m always forgetting who’s who!).    I also was able to “officially” meet Erica of Boston Rookie, another blogger I've been following on Twitter but had yet to actually meet in person. That’s what I really enjoy about these events, meeting different bloggers you follow on Twitter and learn more about them.

The food was absolutely amazing; of course I can only speak for all the breakfast food I ate, but everything from the smoked salmon to the carving station to even the dessert section and the magnificent CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN looked and tasted delicious.

Yes, I ate more than the picture above...
...I just took the picture half way through!
Chocolate Fountain + Selection of Food = AMAZING!!
After eating (and drinking a few of the complimentary champagnes), I ventured upstairs to the newly removed 3rd floor deck. Although I've been on a few other Boston cruises before, and have seen the Boston Harbor views, for some reason, the views looked different being on such a beautiful cruise. The deck had plenty of large, comfortable chairs to relax on grab some sun and have a glass of red wine.
My pictures don't due justice of how amazing the day was
and how beautiful the views were!
Unfortunately, all good things need to come to an end… and so did our cruise. I had an amazing time overall, delicious food, relaxing atmosphere, but most of all; I enjoyed meeting all the different bloggers that day. All the bloggers I have met are all incredibly nice and open whenever I ask them how they got their blogs stared and any advice they may have for a ‘newbie blogger’ like me. It’s great to be part of a community like this, and I always look forwarded to the next event and meeting other great people.

In case you’re wondering: Odyssey Cruise does a weekend brunch cruise, ‘Skyline’ Lunch Cruise and themed dinner cruises- ‘Twilight’ & ‘Starlight’ Dinner Cruises. So if you’re looking for a perfect place for date night (*ahem*, I hope the BF is reading this!), then try an Odyssey Cruise for a night (or day) you won’t soon forget!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

If he has to ask you what 'a Yuppie is', He’s too Young for you Sis!

Ah, the 1990’s- my own personal belief is that the 90’s were indeed the best decade since the Renaissance. ..or somewhere close to that. The crazy style, the awesome music, the great vibe, that decade of the 90’s. My friends and I love to reminisce about the 90’s and the great music; so when I saw an event for a 90’s Boat Cruise hosted by Social Boston Sports- we were on it quicker than Cher could say “As-If”.  

Although the “90’s look” is coming back into style, or at least the Hipster version of the 90’s style, it was very tough to find something to wear that I would wear back in the 90’s. I didn’t have time to raid back at my mum’s house to find pictures of me in that decade and exactly I wore- I do remember bell bottom’s or flare pants came into style, Ying-Yangs were awesome and putting more butterfly clips in your hair than you head could hold was the absolute fashionista trend, (or at least it was for me).  I decided to make a trip The Garment District to see if I could find something to my best memory of how I looked or wanted to look during the 90’s era. After some thorough digging, I was able to find a cute Bebe dress in silver in a square cut that looked like it would fit me perfectly- of course I didn’t actually try on the dress, I simply purchased it for $8 and went on my merry way.

Friday was the day of the cruise and after working all day, I was ready for a night out with the girls. After work, I tried on my dress for the first time to see how amazing it would look. As soon as I put it on and look in the mirror, my mouth dropped… the dress did “fit”, it covered all the essential parts, but left nothing else to the imagination. It was so short and tight, one wrong move and I was exposing everyone. There was no way I could wear this dress in public and not get either solicited or arrested for prostitution. By this time, I had less than an hour to decide what to do: go home and grab jeans, run to Macy’s and purchase something, or just go in my worn out work clothes. I decided to run to Macy’s as quickly as possible and attempt an outfit swap. To my surprise, I did find an entire section of t-shirts with ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, ‘Rugrats’ & ‘Coca-Cola’ on them…sure Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would work just fine… and so would these cheap looking straight leg stretch jeans.

 Well, $40 (so much for my $8 bargain), and a change of clothes later, I was set to run down to the boat to meet my friends. Only problem, I spent so much time looking for an outfit, I had only 5 minutes to spare to get to the boat, and I had to bring all my work clothes & bags with me. My friends all end up wearing jeans and t-shirts as well, so at least we were all able to fit in…although a few people had a tough time deciding if they were on an 80’s or 90’s cruise. Once we hopped on, I was able to find a secure hiding spot for all my stuff and we were able to grab a few drinks and relax.
Me and the Girls!!
Photo by Caitlin Lally

The cruise itself was good although not really what we were expecting. There were many people who were born in the 90’s and less people who actually lived in the 90’s. The music that was played was more of a mix between 90’s and early 2000’s, (yes, there is a difference and more than enough great music from the 90’s to play for a 3 hour cruise). Although not overly crowded, the 5 of us were able to find some space for a little dancing and a little socializing. I did run into a familiar face, The SoCo guy, aka Chuck, who I met at SkeeBall events, was on the boat with us giving out free swag and specialty drinks.
Me, SoCo Guy & SoCo Girl
Photo by Caitlin Lally
After a couple of those specialty SoCo drinks, my friend and I were feeling more relaxed and were having a fun time reminiscing and dancing  to our ‘90’s music soundtrack to our lives’, when we were reminded of how  old we actually were. As we went outside to grab some air, we started up a conversation with another group of people, a mix of guys and gals; some dressed up some not too much. One of the guys was wearing a suit and he mentioned he had just come out of work before the cruise. I laughed and told him he could tell people he was dressed as a ‘yuppie’, and he would be all set. The young gentleman looked at me with quite a confused face and asked; “What’s a ‘yuppie’? I was born in 1991 so I’m only 22 years old”. At that moment, I simply looked at him, told him he just put me in my older age bracket and that was the end of the conversation…and the end of the night for all us ‘almost 30 year olds’.

When the boat docked back at Rowes Wharf, we decided it would be best to skip the after party and head on back home. Although, we’re not ‘old and out of the game’, it’s really hard finding fun events to go to where young, little 21 year olds are not taking over. Although, it probably takes some searching and some asking around, I defiantly will do some research next time and make up for our next girls night… in the meantime, if you happen to know of any great events, could you let me know…

…that would be great...cause I need a little help!  :-) 

Friday, September 6, 2013

SkeeBall Season 6: Where Champions are Made!

February 2002- New England Patriots win First Super Bowl
October 2004- Boston Red Sox win first World Series in 86 years
June 2008- Boston Celtics win first Championship in 22 years
June 2011- Boston Bruins win First Stanley Cup Championship in 39 years
Thursday, August 8th, 2013- Janelle scores a 300…the first time since ever …

…and then a few more people were named Champions on Super SkeeBall Saturday…but the one above is more epic!!

Rewind to Week 1
Best Team! The QuinChelSkees!
A few weeks back, I had posted about SkeeBoston, how I had found out about there actually being a SkeeBall League in Boston, met amazing people throughout the skeesons, and my 3 goals I wanted to accomplish in skeeson 6. Well, I’m happy to blog about this: I achieved 2 of those goals, including the one I didn’t think was possible this time around.

Cut back to a few weeks ago when skeeson 6 began, new skeeson, clean slate. This year, I
was ready to make this season great- with Zach rolling his scores of high 200-300’s in his very awkward stance, (yes, it’s weird- all 3 lanes to need to steer clear of his elongated stance and extended arm to roll), and Heather with her amazing consitancy with each roll…minus the shoes, we were on our way to really being one of the top teams this skeeson…that is, until week 3 rolled around.

Notorious Week 3 
Ah, yes, the now notorious week 3. During the skeeson, after league play for the night, or just on random nights in general, there is ‘free skee’ time, when you can practice your roll until your arm falls off. That’s what I and my teammates usually did, practice our roll, try out a new stance and work on getting a 40 Streak or all hundos. We did this several times throughout the skeesons for added practice and it did make a change in how we rolled. This season and on this particular week 3, (cue the violins), my car got stolen that very same week, which not only had me carless for the summer (and when you don’t live with or near other skeemates or live close enough to the T stops), it’s difficult to get from home to work to SkeeBall and back to home again. So without that added practice from staying later, the added stress from dealing with any and every company that involved my car, my roll this season faded into probably the shittiest season on my 6 skeeson record. (That’s my excuse for the skeeson and I’m sticking to it)!

Back to the Story
Cut to the remaining weeks of the skeeson. My team The QuinChelSkees remained in the top 16 through the whole season- which was mainly in part to Zach & Heather; there were quite a few rooskees this time around that came in with their game faces on from the start, (and when they scored better than me, that just made the frustration even greater…which somehow when that happened, the ball always landed in the 10 slot for me). There was also what appeared to be from the start of the skeeson,-  a shakeup of teams that were no longer, The Boston Skee Party had all split into different teams, a few recognizable faces were not there (Derek Morgan?), and what seemed like from the beginning of Week 1 to Week 8, people were making a lot of “1sts”- 40 Streaks’s & 50 Streaks’s (where you get all nine balls in either 40 or 50), Combos, (get all 9 balls in both the 40 & 50 slots) and people averaging 400, (well past the 300) in a night’s game! All this happening on the nights I was scoring my lowest scores of my SkeeBall career. Towards the end of week 8, our last week in regular play, I already had the mind set of “there’s always next skeeson”, and that I can attempt my 300 average in a night in skeeson 7…but like any feel good Disney-esque Sports movie…the underdog makes a comeback.

The Comeback Kid
When the time came for the playoffs to begin, I decided to go in with the attitude of ‘playing it cool’; I was more excited that TheQuinChelSkees made it to the playoffs for the second time.  I also decided, being the last night of the skeeson that I would change up my roll and try to ‘bank’ the shots. From the very beginning, I was always an “up the middle” roller;  I used to be a pitcher in softball, so I assumed that I could just naturally roll the ball like in softball and it would easily go where I wanted it to go…not always the case. Like I had mentioned before, everyone has their odd stances and roll techniques- I would need to have my right foot directly behind my right foot and roll up the middle, but it was only a 50/50 shot of getting the ball right up the middle. To be honest, I used to think people who ‘banked’ their shots would take the easy way out, like bumper bowling, you’re almost guaranteed to hit a 40 or 50 shot. Not always the case as I found out when I started my new ‘bank roll’, although my first scores were in the 30’s, it was a little more difficult than I thought on where to actually hit the sides to get in the 40/50 slots.

As my team kept playing strong, the other team was playing stronger and we started losing the race of higher scores, but for some reason, my scores kept getting better and better- 30’s and added hundos were going my way…all I could think to myself was, this was no way going to happen…not tonight during the playoffs!!
Well, my blog friends, it did happen.

After checking and double checking my score to see what my average was for the night, I was officially at a 27, and it was my hundos round. I just needed to score a 30 or more and I would have my own impossible, possible. I was nervous as anything inside, but on the outside, I looked cool as a cucumber, so I went for my hundos shots. The first 2 got in the 100 slot no problem. Then I hit the 50 slot.  Then a 10 & 10. Then another 100. Two more 10’s and the last ball of the night floated out of my hand and sunk quietly into that hundo. My score was a 450. I had done it…. made my goal of getting a 300+ average in 1 night.
My reaction was one that of a kid seeing Santa on Christmas. I stared hysterically jumping up and down screaming “I did it! I finally did it!” Yes, I do admit, there were some tears of joy streaming down my face… so maybe I was a little overly excited, but at that moment, I really didn’t care. I actually made my goal and I was damn proud of it.
I did it! Made 300!

The QuinChelSkees ended up losing by less than 100 points, another reason to celebrate. Sure we lost, but to lose to one of the best teams and best individual players on the league by less than 100 points, as the hip phrase goes, “we’ll take it”!

Super SkeeBall Saturday
Again, I’m going to be very honest with my blog readers…I don’t remember everything that happened at Super SkeeBall Saturday. I remember I had a great time...I remember there was a LOT of alcohol flowing…and I was told I had a great time… catch my drift…
The Best of the Best Rollers

Any-hoo, here’s a recap of Super SkeeBall Saturday- Skeeson 6*:
*this portion is a modified version of Duke’s recap

This was one of the best playoffs and Super Saturdays that can be remembered and there have had some great matches over the last 6 seasons.  
  • The underdog from Wednesday night, Smells Like Skee Spirit, had the entire bar behind them going into the finals. Led by Jenn “The Shed” Foxon’s 425, Smells Like Skee Spirit saved their best game of the season for the finals.
  • Going into the last frame Smells Like Skee Spirit actually held a 3 point lead. With one roller left, it was a 4 point game in favor of Skeepleus.
  • Jen “The Shed” Foxon dropped a 58 and put her team up by 54 with only Scottie “Too Hottie” standing between them and the biggest upset in skeeBOSTON history. Smells Like Skee Spirit up by 54 and Scott hasn’t rolled hundo all match. It’s over.
  • Scottie needed to hit 5 to force overtime. On the 8th ball, he hit his 5th hundo, took a step back and realized all he needed was a 20 to win, stepped back up and drilled a 40 for the win. UNBELIEVABLE. A 57 for the win! It was epic.
  • Season 6 High Roller Tournament Champion! Scottie “Too Hottie” capped off one heck of a day by taking home the High Roller Tournament (HRT) Championship trophy. If Scott’s nickname wasn’t already Scotty too Hottie, he would have earned it last weekend.
  • He knocked off defending champ “Pinball” Steve, took down two time champion Everett “The Baker”, then out lasted his own teammate Chuck “Schmoopy Pants” for the win.
  • There were a bunch of upsets throughout the day, but none bigger than Christina “Coozie” taking out the #1 seed Joe “insert nickname here” Stromer in the second round.

If haven’t said it enough, I’ll say it again- reading that little blurb in the Boston Metro about a SkeeBall League was probably one of the smartest things I’ve done.
 I’ve met so many great people thought the skeesons, had a few Super SkeeBall Saturdays I really can’t remember, but more importantly, this league makes me feel great, like I actually belong to a special place in Boston (without being a total Boston Wannabe) where everyone knows my name an enjoys the company. I can’t wait til Skeeson 7!! 

But until there, here are few new goals I have set up for then:
  • I want to get either a “40 Streak”, “50 Streak” or “Combo” pin… whether I actually earn or steal or buy it off someone is all up to how I roll!
  •  In ode to the 90’s, it’s Girl Power Time! I think this is the Skeeson, we’re going to see a female win the High Roller Tournament (HRT) or become Team Champs
  • Seriously… Scottie “Too Hottie”, Jen “The Shed”, Christina “Coozie” only to name a few… can I get some sort of cool nickname?!

Until next Skeeson…which is only a few weeks away, keep on rolling strong!

…and come join us for Skeeson 7!