Saturday, May 31, 2008


The last few days, I've taken to calling myself a nomad, since I now live in my car and am in the process of driving across the country. (Never mind the fact that a real nomad probably wouldn't have a GPS, leather seats, iPod hookup, and a constant stream of Starbuck's iced coffee flowing through her veins.) I'll be pit-stopping in Chicago for two weeks or so to train for my job, and even once I reach California I'll be crashing with people for two months or so. This is truly a transitional time in my life, and I plan on taking advantage of every road-journey moment possible.

This morning
, about an hour outside of New York City, and on my way to Cleveland, Ohio, where I had decided I would stop for the night, I called my brother, and told him of my new persona.

"So I thought about taking up chewing tobacco, but realized that that is fucking disgusting, so I bought a pack of cigarettes instead."

"Are you actually going to smoke them?"

"Um... maybe one or two. But they're really just there to make me feel bad-ass. Oh y
eah, I also bought a bandana and tied it around my head! How's that for road-worthy?!"

"Ha! That's awesome!"

"I know. I mean, there's a lot you can use a bandana for!"

"Yeah, like toilet paper."

"Seriously! And maybe I'll find a stick, tie it around the end and use it as a little pack!"

"You should!"

"And, I can tie it around my face and hold up a bank!"

"Um, then you'd be Outlaw Erin."

"Hmmm... yeah. And if I'm going to be an outlaw, I'm want to be Bonnie-ish, not Wild, Wild, West. And I don't really have time to stop somewhere and buy a beret and violin case. So I guess robbing a bank is out."

"Yeah. You don't have that kind of time."

"Totally. Ok, keep brainstorming about things that Nomad Erin would do, and call me if you think of anything else cool. Meanwhile, I'm going to download some Willie Nelson."

"Don't forget Johnny Cash. Talk to you later."


A few ho
urs later I stopped for a Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee (my first, which, incidentally, sucked) and snapped this self-portrait:

I like to think I'm looking a bit mysterious. You know, cause nothing says "bad-ass" like a pink bandana and Ray-Bans.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Things I love about New York, cont.

- The Strand

- The fact that there are more adults than kids on the swings in Central Park

- Constantly having to be careful that a big gust doesn't come out of nowhere and blow your skirt up

Things I love about New York

The first stop on my cross-country venture has been New York City. I've been here for two days now, and it's been fantastic. Here are some of the things about this city that give me a little heart flutter...

- Central Park on 75 degree days

- Tiny, chic women who carry huge purses

- Wi-fi everywhere

- Late night Pakistani delis with awesome chicken and rice

- Having ridiculously personal discussions in cabs and not giving a shit that the driver is there

- Cussing a lot

- Being whistled at on the street

- Diners

- Subways

- No one thinking you're rude for listening to your iPod

- The people

Thursday, May 29, 2008

In my car

Today, I left Richmond. I packed up my car with two months worth of... stuff, that I deemed necessary for two months as a nomad. At some point, I realized that looking at what all was in there was a kinda cool glimpse into who I am. So, here are a few highlights.

- A houseplant (one that has sentimental value. I figured that I'd give it a shot at making it cross-country.)

- Really fragile wine glasses that I didn't want to risk with the movers

- A yoga mat. You know, in case I want to do Pilates at some point.

- A pack of cigarettes (I don't really smoke)

- Two big suitcases

- A pillow and two towels

- A car emergency kit - jumper cables, flares, plastic gloves, etc.

- Peanut butter filled pretzel bites for snacking

- Clothes hangers

- A laundry basket

- Several pairs of shoes

- Half a dozen bottles of wine

I'm looking forward to living out of my car for a few weeks. Maybe when this is all done, I'll decide to be free of all material things.

Ok, maybe not.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

But the procrastination is going FABULOUSLY...

So what if my dad comes on Monday to help me move my entire apartment into storage? So what if I load up my car and set off on the cross-country drive on Wednesday? Who's got time to pack when there are -

- pictures to upload to MySpace and Facebook, complete with albums and comments?

- Pilates classes to go to?

- friends to grab one last coffee with?

- a new GPS system to learn how to use?

- a 3,000 mile drive to map out?

- hair to highlight?

- thank you emails to write?

I can always pack boxes tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sweaty trains and jaw dropping views

The pace of our trip was frantic. We did not spend two nights in the same place, and some days we traveled for hours to get to a place and stay for only about twelve hours. We were both troupers, and didn't allow ourselves to be tired, or complain at all.

But Saturday was hard. We woke up in our hotel in Venice, and caught a water taxi to the train station. We rode on a train for about 5 hours - including
a transfer in Milan - to Torino, where we took a jerky, long bus ride to the airport. We then picked up our rental car, and navigated the two hour drive to Barbaresco.

ss to say, we were exhausted. But when we arrived at Ca' du Rabaja, on the tip-top of a hill overlooking one of the most beautiful landscapes I'd ever seen on both sides, it was immediately worth every second of the trying journey.

Enjoy the pics...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dinner in Venice

Our time in Venice was whirlwind - we had a mere 17 hours to experience the city before rushing off to our next wine destination. After wandering around the Piazza San Marco, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the waterfilled streets, and sighing with contentment watching the gondolas float by, we took someone's recommendation and settled in at the Taverna la Fenice for dinner.

We were completely stuffed from having been wined and dined for three days straight, so all we wanted to do was share a leisurely bottle of wine and a pasta dish. A bottle of the Ornella Molon 2007 Sauvignon provided us with exactly the fruit and minerality that we were looking for to sip, enjoy, and jump-start our appetites. After nibbling on vegetable crudites and sipping our wine for a while, we settled on sharing a risotto. Rich and creamy, with lots of homemade sausage dotted throughout, the risotto was spooned onto our plates from a hollowed out bread bowl. The unique presentation wowed us, and we were enchanted by the w
hole place and experience. Despite our protests about dessert (we were hoping to grab some gelato on the walk back to the hotel), one of our waiters loaded us up with a plate full of unique petit fours - mini canollis, chocolate covered candided orange peel, and crumbly buttery cookies.

The dinner was simple and perfect. Needless to say, we will carry with us fond memories of our wine meal in the most romantic city in the world.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friendly Venetians

Yesterday afternoon, my mother and I took a water taxi from the Venezia San Lucia train station to our charming little hotel, which is just off of the Grand Canal. Though we have tried not to have to bother with it, we have amassed a small wine collection along our way the last few days. Right now we have pared down our carryings to one small box with two bottles.

After settling into the hotel, I immediately brought my computer down to the lobby where the precious Wi-Fi is free. After a few minutes -

"Excusi, Senorina. I have a taxi driver on the phone. Did you leave two bottles of wine in his boat?"

So surprised, I did nothing but blink in confusion for about two seconds, before jumping up.

"Si!" I exclaimed. "Oh no!"

"Not to worry. I will see if he can bring back."

He ducked back in a few moments later.

"Eh... he is not close by anymore... Let me make a suggestion. You need another taxi tomorrow?"


"Ok. We will ask him to come back with your wine and take you to train station."

"Perfeto! Gratzie!"

I settled back onto my couch, shocked that the taxi driver went through the trouble. Sure, he gets a guaranteed fare out of the deal, but he could easily have just drank the wine himself. For me this is a great example of friendly and accommadating I have found the Italians to be so far.

Definitely my kind of people.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Italy: Part 2

Somehow my lucky ass is leaving today for Italy - again. My new job is sending me there to meet several of the wineries that we represent, because the theory is that you can't sell the products until you have stayed in the castles. I couldn't agree more.

To make the whole situation even better, my mother is coming with me! I am so excited that we will get this time together. She has never been to Italy, and I have never been to 90% of the places that we are going, so needless to say we are both beside ourselves. I'll have my laptop with me this time, so hopefully I'll be able to shoot off quick blog posts and upload pictures.

Ciao for now!

Sunday, May 04, 2008


My boss: Oh, by the way, I was wrong. You actually only get $170 from the Southern Starz incentive money contest, not $250.

Me: What?! That's crap!

My boss: Sorry, chica.

Me: Humph. Well, I'll just have to figure out some way to embezzle $80 from the company before next Friday. (My last day.)

My boss: Isn't that what your huge sample request yesterday was about?

At this point all I could do was give a shit-eating grin. Because, let's face it - I'm not showing wines this week. All of that B.R. Cohn, Langmeil, and A.R. Lenoble Champagne is totally to keep me company on my drive across the country.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Somehow I found a way to waste even MORE time on MySpace

As the resident member of the Millennial Generation, the task of making my new company, Grail Wine Selections, appeal to the younger crowd falls to me. Which I love, because Lord knows I can pontificate about the internet, blogging, and why we all have such short attention spans all day long. So my newest project has been getting us a presence on MySpace and Facebook.

Last night I created our profile - It's still a work in progress, but please pop over and add us as a friend! Facebook coming soon...