Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Airport Etiquette: Metal Detector

How careful are you when you're getting dressed to go to the airport (as a traveler, not as a chauffeur)?
Airport Etiquette: Metal Detectors

Honestly, setting off the metal detector is not just about holding up the line for others. You're delaying yourself and potentially putting yourself in a touchy-feel-y situation that wouldn't have been necessary if you'd just paid a bit more attention in the first place.

Not all metal will set off the metal detector but it's better to be safe than sorry so:
  1. Do not wear clothing that's studded or has a bunch of zippers or any type of similar metal embellishment. Make sure your undergarments are also un-embellished. Some people are less demure than others, but I know I'd be pretty embarrassed to have to admit, "I think it's my underwear that's setting off the beeping."
  2. Wear something that doesn't require a belt. Or, leave the belt off until you've made it through security. Many belt buckles will set off the alarm, and even if it doesn't, most TSA agents will remind you before you step through the metal detector and ask you to take it off anyway.
  3. Even if you are crazy in love with jewelry, pack it up in a case and put it all on after you've been through security. If setting off the metal detector isn't enough of a case, let me scare you by reminding you that it could fall out of the little tray while it's traveling along the conveyor belt and you may lose your precious jewelry.
So that's it; just three simple rules to follow to keeping everyone a little happier while going through security at the airport.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Airport Etiquette: Shoes

As I was re-reading this post for grammar errors and such, I realized that some people could end up offended because of my own personal hatred of certain shoes and because I stereotype/generalize a bit. However, in the end, this is my blog where I feel I am allowed to express my own opinions and I'm not condemning anyone to hell by any means so here I go!

Minding your manners is so important and I thought I'd start doing some posts on minding your manners whilst traveling. Today, I'm sharing the importance of choosing the right shoe.
Airport Etiquette: shoes

I've been in and out of airports all year, and as a seasoned traveler who has suffered through the TSA's "take off your shoes" rule countless times, I must say that I get so annoyed at the dozens of female travelers who either offend me with their hideous footwear and/or hold up the line with their ridiculous shoes. I pinpoint the females because the guys usually wear normal man shoes, e.g. sneakers/kicks or loafers, that are low-maintenance. I don't want to be too harsh or be offensive, but, every time I fly, I always encounter at least one of these three women:
  • There's the "I LOVE UGGS and/or CROCS" girl who (usually) is also wearing some sort of coral or royal purple or cerulean velour tracksuit from Juicy Couture circa 2001 (J.Lo's video for the remix of 'I'm Real' with Ja Rule ignited this trend and it has yet to die amongst dumb tweens and "I think I'm hip" moms). This chick's holding up the line, not because of her footwear, but because she's not paying attention and forgets to take her laptop out of its case or argues with the TSA agent because she doesn't know the 3-1-1 rule and packed her expensive Dior lotion, which comes in a 6 oz. container. YOU SUCK.
  • Then there's the girl wearing glittery 4" stilettos... to the airport. This lady starts being a nuisance by setting off the metal detector. Then, she takes forever to take off all of her jewelry (earrings, bangles, toe ring), walks through the metal detector, and sets it off again because she forgot her anklet. And all the while, she whines about having to take off her shoes because they make her too short and on top of that, she has to walk barefoot on the dirty floor. I DO NOT LIKE YOU.
  • And lastly, there's the girl who wears shoes that take a solid 5 minutes to remove and often times, she needs help from another person. Then, once she's through the metal detector/ body scanner, she gets her shoes from the tray on the other side and instead of grabbing all of her stuff and moving to one of the benches to get her stuff together, she stands at the conveyor belt and tries to put on her shoes and holds up the line. YOU ARE THE WORST.
And so, fellow female travelers, I urge you to avoid being these annoying queue delayers and wear sensible shoes that are also fashionable and be mindful of the other dozens of people who are waiting in line behind you.

A few other tips:
  • If I am going from cold weather to warm weather (like back in January when I was traveling from NYC to Hawaii), I like to wear the same type of shoe I might wear when the weather is transitioning form summer to fall: like those fox slippers or the brown loafers pictured above.
  • If I am going from warm weather to cold weather (like back in January when I was traveling from Hawaii back to NYC), I like to wear sandals through security and then I'll switch my shoes while I'm waiting for my flight.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Beach Bag

my beach bag

I thought it might be somewhat helpful to show what I like to bring to the beach with me. Most of this stuff is packable in my carry on, which is awesome, so it's relevant to tropical holiday-faraway trips. But, it also applies to day trips to any nearby shore.
  1. I like to use this collapsible shopper tote from Forever21 because it packs easily into my suitcase, it's cheap yet durable, and I don't mind if I get sand in it.
  2. SPF! Please, please, please, protect yourself when you go into the sun. I really like buying products meant for babies because there are (usually) fewer chemicals that will hurt your skin so I usually get a baby sunscreen for my face, then a high SPF spray sunscreen for my body, and of course, some SPF chapstick for my lips.
  3. Evian mist isn't just great for hydrating your face during a dry plane ride. It's multi-functional! Who knew? (SARCASM). Cool yourself off and hydrate your skin after being in the sun.
  4. Baby powder is great if you've driven yourself to the beach because when you're ready to leave and you have sand stuck to your feet, just poof on some powder. The baby powder will absorb any moisture that's making the sand stick to you and you'll be able to brush it off really quickly and easily.
  5. After sun lotion and/or aloe are also great to bring along with you. Slather yourself after sunning to cool down your skin and replenish some moisture.
  6. Always bring a pareo or a cover-up dress in case you have to venture off the beach to get food or to use if it starts to get a bit cooler or windy. And of course, waterproof, comfy flip-flops are the best beach shoe, at least for me.
  7. Pack a sun hat and sunglasses to protect the top of your head and eyes because it's pretty difficult to sunscreen your scalp and eyeballs.
  8. If you're staying at a resort, don't forget to grab a towel from the towel cabana. I usually grab 2 - one for spreading on my beach chair or on the sand and a second to use to dry off after I've taken a swim.
  9. Trashy magazines are a MUST for me on the beach. I love to lounge around and indulge in vapid articles about the best hairstyles for Black Friday shopping and which celebrity is boinking their assistant.
  10. WATER! This is not something you pack in your carry on, obviously. But when you are headed to the beach, pack some water. It's really important to stay hydrated so that you don't end up suffering heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
I am getting quite excited for Puerto Rico, Part 2! I'm flying out on Thursday morning and I am so ready to get some sun. Apparently, the tan I can achieve by spending a week in Provo AND 3 months in Florida will fade rather quickly so I feel quite pale and sad.

Monday, November 05, 2012

My Electricity is Back!

Yesterday morning, I made myself some buttermilk pancakes and sausage and heard a beeping outside. And hooray, it was a JCP&L truck! They worked on the lines near my house for half an hour and then drove off. Disappointingly, the power wasn't restored, but about an hour later, I heard this "droooooooom" sound in my house and realized it was our refrigerators (we have two) humming rather loudly. I checked the lights in my room by flicking the switch on and off a few times and realized that yes, the power was restored to our street.

So thank you, JCP&L electricians who are working overtime around the clock to restore power to New Jersey. Living an entire week without power wasn't as terrible as I imagined it to be; after all, I survived. I attribute most of that to the fact that I was able to charge my iPhone and iPad at work so that I wasn't completely bored at home. I read a bunch of books on iBooks and did some outfit planning for Puerto Rico. It was definitely cold at night but I just layered on some fleece sweatpants over my yoga pants and wore a long-sleeve t-shirt under a sherpa-lined sweatshirt, doubled up on blankets, and cuddled with my dog, George Michael, and made it through each night.

Unfortunately, there are still plenty of people without power and many people whose homes were destroyed. Here are some links to donation sites:
Donate Blood - NJ and NY

Also, in the wake of all of this hullabaloo, tomorrow is election day. Celebrate democracy (or the polluted version that's been shaped in the past few decades by pushy politics) and patriotism and vote, if you are old enough. Tomorrow is my second election ever, where I am eligible to vote, and my first election where I'm not voting through an absentee ballot. I'm pretty pumped because I think voting is so meaningful and I really dislike when people say, "your vote doesn't really count, electoral college, blahblahblah." The fact that I am allowed to vote is great, in and of itself.
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