Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

Posts Tagged ‘Baxters’

The Meaning of Life

Posted by AllieB on July 30, 2013

Where do I even begin?? I think I will start with Africa, yes? Yes.

In summary: Africa is my new favorite continent. I have a greater urge to return there than any other place I’ve visited, which is saying a lot because I’ve got a pretty persistent case of wanderlust. I would really like to go back and do the wine country in South Africa and check out Cape Town – I do love vino and Cape Town is supposed to be incredible. I’ll tell you – it’s the people who make it so wonderful. It’s definitely not the food and lack of standardized infrastructure that’s luring me back. In Malawi, where we spent 5 days, it is understood that the more white starches on your plate, the better the meal – a standard lunch/dinner was heaping piles each of white rice, potatoes, noodles, and nsima, which is basically very finely ground grits. I ate a lot of peanut butter. This is a hazard of travel, I suppose – in Thailand they kept trying to get me to eat bugs. Bugs are gross!!

Having an hour of electricity and usually just 15 minutes of freezing cold running water each day wasn’t my favorite thing, either, but that’s what headlamps and Neutrogena wipes are for. Every night I woke up tangled in my mosquito net – this was no way to live. It’s one thing to adjust for five days, but living every day in that manner is obviously very difficult to imagine. The latter part of the trip, 3 days in Johannesburg and outlying areas, was very luxe in contrast, and the safari was SO fun – I knew it would be cool, but I didn’t know it would be so fun. Riding around in an open Land Cruiser with our driver Godfrey, spotting animals and enjoying South African beers is, for the record, one of the most enjoyable ways you could possibly spend an afternoon. My only regret is that we did not see a lion kill, which is a bummer, but there’s always next time…

This will surprise no one, but the flight-related aspects of this trip did not go smoothly. Truly, I implore you: should you find yourself planning travel with me you’d be well-advised to just meet at our destination. Do not board an airplane if I am your fellow passenger – proven side effects of my companionship include: death, lost luggage, broken bones, interminable delays, leaking lavatories, etc…go on without me – save yourselves!

So, as I’d said, I flew NYC – ATL – Johannesburg – Lilongwe (Malawi). On the very first leg of the trip, from NYC to ATL, I was delayed three hours. Things were off to a great start! The flight from ATL – Johannesburg was leaving at 7:10, and we touched down at 7:05…assuming I wouldn’t make it, my mom and sister figured out that I could fly out the next morning to Dubai. Honestly, I was excited at the prospect of spending a night in ATL and I don’t mind (and might even prefer) traveling solo, so I had accepted my almost-certain fate. I was still going to move quickly towards Gate F14 from B6 but at this point I figured there was really nothing I could do.

As I made my way up the aisle, a man spoke over the plane’s loudspeaker: “Alexandra Baxter, are you still on the plane?” I raised my hand – that is my name, I am Alexandra. The gentleman beckoned me to the front and people began to move aside to let me through – clearly I was someone important; the most important people always sit in row 26, seat C. I imagine this was akin to the parting of the Red Sea. The Delta guy was waiting for me right outside the plane door and ushered me over to the exit that leads to stairs directly down to the tarmac, saying, “hurry follow me! We got you a ride!” At first I hesitated because surely civilians aren’t allowed on the tarmac at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (and I am a staunch follower of rules), but he was insistent, plus he had a Delta name tag and seemed legit, so I made haste down the stairs….down the stairs and into the Porsche SUV waiting for me on the runway.

porsche and allie

the anti-van. I definitely would have missed my flight if Delta had dispatched a Toyota Sienna

My photo shop skills have improved significantly. In case you’ve never read BBT before – rude – this is the original…

And it gets better. Much like James Bond in Casino Royale, we sped from Terminal B to Terminal F, racing 747’s and dodging gasoline trucks, screeching to a halt at the plane in under a minute, it felt like. The pretty, surprisingly aggressive woman driving me was yelling, “GO! GO!” and I sprinted up the stairs and onto the plane – I’d made it!!! There was hugging and stuff, possibly some tears, but then it got a little anti-climactic because I had to deplane and go get a seat assignment, and I saw like 25 people still waiting in line to check in and board…so I not only made my flight, I made it with like an hour to spare, but it was still cool. Newsflash: taking a private Porsche between terminals is infinitely better than stupid underground mass-transit trains.

So, here’s the secret to a VIP escort: my sister had the genius idea to tweet @DeltaAssist and ask them to help me get to my gate. Both she and my mom had begged the flight attendant/pilot to please promise to not leave me, but they weren’t that concerned, so Char reached out to the internet. And good thing, because this dude in Air Traffic Control didn’t give a hoot if “the girl” made it or not.

I think it's pretty obvious that by 'sorry' he meant 'not sorry'

I think it’s pretty obvious that by ‘sorry’ he meant ‘not sorry’

My luggage, meanwhile, did not make the close connection, and it wound up taking the international equivalent of a short bus to Malawi; it finally arrived on Tuesday evening. I had left the Wednesday previous. My roommate, Mom, was a real sport about sharing everything, including underpants, and it’s not like I was in Malawi to wow them with my wardrobe…

Oh, and my flight from ATL – NYC on the return was delayed 3 hours because one of the bathrooms was leaking all over the floor of the plane. Sick. I thought about switching flights, but then what about my luggage…? It was cool, I went to Chick-fil-A.

So, the trip was awesome. I think the easiest way to do this will be to just share with you my Picasa album, which is in chronological order and has captions, and you can just have at it. These were all taken with my iPhone, so National Geographic it is not. For those who are too lazy, I attached some highlights below…but you should probably just click through – it’s Tuesday, it’s not like you have anything else going on. Plus, there are pictures of Hilary which are actually pictures of pigs and other unattractive livestock, and a lot of other cool stuff. Africa is an aesthetically pleasing place; there are many lovely vistas.

little baby girl

little baby girl

sunset

sunset

 

Hawks jerseys size XXL for XS people

Hawks jerseys size XXL for XS people

errands on a Wednesday morning

errands on a Wednesday morning

this death-trap rounded out the trifecta of plane-related adventures. 3 of the worst hours of my life

this death-trap rounded out the trifecta of plane-related adventures. 3 of the worst hours of my life

safari!

we are going on a safari..!

so.many.ELEPHANTS

so.many.ELEPHANTS

 

rhinos from afar. this is when a decent camera would've been nice

rhinos at their local watering hole. this is when a decent camera would’ve been nice

giraffe: 1, dumbass tourists: 0

giraffe: 1, dumbass tourists: 0

BBT HIGHLY recommends Africa for your next international adventure.

My plan is to write again this week to talk about everything else that has happened in the last month…ie, the Royal Babe, my A-list celeb sightings, summer reading, the best mascara ever, and other highly relevant things.

Know that I’ve missed you all tremendously.

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30 for 30

Posted by AllieB on June 20, 2013

Today was one of those days where I woke up before my alarm went off, hummed as I put on make-up, and sorta skipped to the subway – it’s perfect weather (you know how deeply affected I am by climate), it’s THURSDAY, and so many visitors are coming up this weekend!! I think that even if a homeless person spit on me I would say, “awesome!” and just keep skipping.

My birthday happened, and it was great. I’ll quit talking about it because that’s all I’ve been talking about, and I think we’re all ready for me to get back to Kate Middleton and Jessica Simpson (HOW MANY DOES SHE HAVE IN THERE?!) and pretty much anything else at all, so long as it’s not my birthday. I did have an awesome day and felt very special, what with the Facebook and Instagram activity posted on my behalf, plus the Haagen Das ice cream cake I had at work , and the beautimous flowers waiting for me when I got home (see bottom of post). To top it off, some of my most very favorite people are en route to NYC for the weekend…! cc: Buff, JohnnyT, Gulia, ESchenk, Undercover Turkey Lover, the entire Baxter Fam…

whelmed

Sister loves me all of the time

As you know, the rooftop idea wasn’t panning out so well, so I’m having the Most Anticipated Event of the Year my bday fiesta at B Bar. I like B Bar. And tonight Laureo, Sissy, and I are dining at Tartine. Tomorrow I’m going to have my parents over for happy hour and will serve charcuterie and the bottle of 2002 Dom Perignon that my co-worker gave me, and then a group is dining at The Dutch. I’m trying to make things easier for creepy internet stalkers.

In addition to moi, here is a list of things that turn 30 this year. I, for some reason, am not on the list, but there are some other noteworthy things with which we’re all familiar/fond of.  (credit:  Sista Lynn)

1. The Minivan. Well isn’t that just perfect.

Allie_Minivan

2. J. Crew. 30 years of classic preppiness – J.Crew and I are both known for being classically preppy.

3. Sweet Valley High. Have you read my version of Sweet Valley High?? It’s good. I grew up reading these behind my mother’s back – in hindsight, I get why she didn’t approve…but maybe we should pick our battles #portentofwhatwastocome

4. Hooters. Ha. Hahahaha.

And 26 other things (the internet, AOL, the Moonwalk…), all of which are making me feel like a real spring chicken :|

Despite the all-consuming task of birthday brattiness, I have been able to fit in some traveling. We all went to LA for Char’s graduation from UCLA’s business school, and we had a really good trip! I don’t think I complained about the active activities once – I even did some running on my own time. This is unprecedented vacation behavior on my part, but I think it made the trip much more pleasant for everyone…I’ll try to remember that moving forward. Unlike my other visits to LA, this was the first where it didn’t feel like a different planet – I could even imagine living out there…?

cali

Santa Monica as seen from The Fairmont; hiking in Topanga Canyon; Manhattan Beach #somanyfilters

 And now…..for the news:

I found this article about how to give a toast interesting – would have been nice to have before any number of the epic bombs I’ve delivered in recent years.

I need this travel accessory on the immediate. Not only would it prevent the head-bob, but it would partially shield my face (my eyes, mainly) from view…and it’s much more subtle than a paper bag, which is my other option for sleeping in public.

hoodie neck pillow

-This blog: Sport Balls Replaced with Cats. Yes? No? I am laughing; I hate cats – DUNK IT. I’m excited to watch Game 7 tonight of the NBA Finals. I am confused as to how the winter sport of basketball is still going on, but you’d have to be dead to not be interested in watching this one…I hope it’s not a huge blowout, I hate it when things that are amped up to be awesome let you down…don’t let me down, LeBron. (BBT recommends: one of my favorite columnists projects the champion – it’ll be the Spurs or Heat in seven.)

cat dunk

Regarding future BBT posts…I think I want to try something different, something I wouldn’t normally do, and then write about it. Like The Diary of a Juice Cleanse, or The Day I Walked Around with My Skirt Tucked in my Underwear. Maybe neither of those things, but something of that ilk…I need some direction.

Cher: I have direction…

Josh: Yeah, to the mall!

Enjoy your weekends – I know I will – and, instead of saying no, try saying yes. It’s the SUMMER OF YES!

And a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one my oldest, favoritest friends: K!!!! I hate we’re not celebrating together, but we’ll make up for it soon…x’s and o’s to infinity. I’m going to try and one-up the most beautiful arrangement of flowers I’ve ever received…allow me to reiterate the word “try.”

flowers from K

Thank you, K!!

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Seattle: The Sunshine State

Posted by AllieB on July 30, 2012

Should you find yourself planning a trip with me that includes flying on an airplane, do yourself a favor and don’t. Or at least book a different flight; it’s become glaringly obvious that I am the proverbial black cat of air travel. Exhibit A: the woman who died on my plane to my France. That sucked. I know it was way worse for her, obviously, and her loved ones, but it was no picnic for yours truly, either. Exhibit B: my flight to Seattle last week. I was in an exit row, enjoying the leg room and another chilling Lisa Gardner mystery, when I heard a loud thud. I didn’t even look up – I already knew I wanted nothing to do with what was happening. Sure enough, a woman had passed out standing up and fell down, breaking her pelvis in the process. Having no medical background, I didn’t feel the need to join the crowd gathering around her, and I figured someone had to man the exit row anyway…I’m not totally useless in emergency situations, but I’ve learned that sometimes it’s best to just stay clear of the fracas. I guess Exhibit B isn’t so bad, and had I been sitting elsewhere on the plane I probably wouldn’t have even known about the incident, but that’s kind of my point – I always seem to be in close proximity to ground zero of the trauma.

Anyway – Seattle! Great city. We even had awesome weather, which is kind of unheard of given there is some sort of precipitation 220 days out of the year. Bleak. Here are some pics. Neat.

Vistas! Elliot Bay; Space Needle at night; Mt. Ranier

if you don’t love sea otters, you are probably dead inside

I tried on Avatar shoes at an Avatar exhibit – they fit perfectly :|

The end. It was great having all six of us together, and I even got to see NANDI – good times, y’all, good times…

Now I have to move out of my apartment, and I have no idea where to start. Moving is the worst. Does anyone want to buy a couch/table/bed/dresser/another table/rug/rug again/arm chair? A, the tv’s got your name on it…let me know.

Oh. I was WILDLY incorrect re: my crush on Ryan Lochte. Retract!!! In spite of winning first place on Saturday, he is nevertheless a complete and total LOSER. I think it surprises no one that he lives in…wait for it…Gainesville, Florida. He would. And it gets worse! I just goog’ed Ryan Lochte grill and it turns out he has several and has been wearing them at medal ceremonies for years – it seems that custom-made bedazzled grills are his “thing”…I just threw up a little.

“Yes, I am wearing one in London, and I wear them because they are different and fun. That’s my personality,” Ryan told USA Today.

And on that note, I bid you farewell. Take solace in the fact that, no matter how mis your Monday is, at least you’re cooler than this guy. You might not be in as good shape as he is and you probably have fewer Olympic medals, but you’re definitely cooler.

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Taking one for the team

Posted by AllieB on May 8, 2012

HELLO!! Let’s jump right in.

Although posing for wedding pics can be a real pain, the end result is always fun to browse – the actual event was months ago and things have started to get blurry, then all of a sudden you have 1,772 pictures to relive the entire day…for better or for worse. What this most recent set of images from the Baxter-Maines nuptials has learned me is that I ought to avoid the camera unless I am intentionally posing. Now, I’m not totally vain and I realize that these weddings photos aren’t about me, and it doesn’t really matter what I look like – it’s not my day – but it’s become too glaring of an issue to ignore. Plus, this blog is about what I want it to be about, and today is about me teaching you what not to do when taking pictures:

1. Show any sort of raw emotion.

Char seeing my dad for the first time. Seriously, BBT, get it together. Lucy looks on serenely; I could very possibly be on the verge of collapse.

2. Do the running man on the dancefloor:

Mom looks cute and breezy. I look like a hoss.

3. Sport any kind of hair-do that showcases abnormally large ears (I GREW INTO THEM) or bedeck oneself in a drab, ill-fitting, button-down mock turtlenecks. WTF is that.

Allie & Otis Nixon, 1993..? I think it was ’93. It was post-over the wall catch, pre-departure from the Braves. Whatevs – we were instant kindreds.

But, seriously – don’t do the running man on the dance floor, and keep the singing along to a minimum. I decided to leave out the pics of my Steven Tyler impression – it was simply too cruel to share…for the sake of both my peepers and yours. Note to Char/Mom: be kind when assembling the wedding album.

I think I want to start writing freelance..like for local publications. Specifically: restaurant reviews. Specifically: restaurant reviews where the publisher foots the bill and I am treated like Julia Roberts in My Best Friends Wedding. Should someone have an in on that, holla. And I’m kidding about the diva part, as the photos above so clearly demonstrate: BBT is no diva.

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I’m just a girl, standing in front of a turkey, asking it to be delicious

Posted by AllieB on November 24, 2011

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

My initial plan was to do a sort of live-blogging situation of the Baxter Family Turkey Day – frequent updates with pics, shenanigans, what have you. I then realized that I do not know how to do that, so I’ll just do the one post. Currently, I am making whiskey sours and heating the Parmesan Pups (glorified pigs in blanket from Trader Joe’s), and I have on my fringe boots that are a treat for both the eyes AND the ears.

Today I am especially thankful for these things:

– Missy and my mom and dad and sisters and Stanton and my friends, new and old

– Baxter Bark Twice

– whiskey sours

– Holeman & Finch

– my new luggage by DvF – now I just need someplace to take it

– Revenge; not the practice, the TV show on ABC. Emily Thorn 4 eva

– Florence + the Machine

still thankful for The Devil Wears Prada – I now own the DVD, but I still rent it from Comcast every month. Which is really dumb.

– Georgia football…most of the time, anyway

Missy took this one of us – she’s surprisingly dexterous.

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