Me and Paula D

I am back from my trip to Savannah and Charleston and I am tired. Seriously, I don't know what's wrong with me: I am just KNOCKED. OUT. See how I put the periods between the words "knocked" and "out" like that? That is to show I mean business! That is to show you how serious I am about being tired! I am exhausted, that's what, and if I never see another airport again in my life, it will be too soon, except that is a stupid thing to say because I am seeing one next week and also another one the week after that, so you know what, forget it, that was a sweeping generalisation and one I cannot stick to. Also I am, at this very moment, deep in the heart of planning a two-week trip for September which will involve one part India and one part The Beach (which beach? Who cares!), so basically what I am doing is trying to solve my travel exhaustion by PLANNING MORE TRAVEL, and that is kind of counterintuitive, and also maybe indicative of some sort of sickness. Except not really, because everyone knows Work Travel is not at all the same thing as Fun Travel, the main difference between them being that the ratio of Pina Coladas to Lack of Pina Coladas is way higher during the latter.

(Planning a trip to India! And also somewhere else! How exciting is that? I am not the kind of girl who is all AHHHH SALE ON COACH HANDBAGS or whatever, but planning a trip to India [And Somewhere Else] is kind of my sale on Coach handbags. Which is to say, I am getting very into it. There is nothing---nothing!---I love more than reading hotel reviews. Seriously, if I filled out a profile for a dating site, I would list it as a hobby. I cannot get enough of that stuff. Sometimes I will spend hours finding the cheapest flight between Point A and Point B just because. FOR SPORT.)

There is very little narrative to this post, mainly because I am feeling rather mentally depleted right now, and am able to focus properly on nothing more than the exact rainy season in several different portions of Southeast Asia, but I wanted to tell you about a kind of hilarious thing that happened to me on my trip to Savannah, and that is that I had my picture taken with Paula Deen.

If you don't know Paula Deen, she is a cook who features heavily on the Food Network and she is famous for using a lot of butter in her recipes. In person, she was very nice and very tiny and very tan----check it out, I am all Jergens Natural Glow-ed out in preparation for my trip to the South and she still makes me look like Casper---and also very patient with people like me who visited her for ten minutes on set as part of a work thing and then asked to take a picture for posterity. Can you imagine being famous and having to take pictures with random people all the time? I would be really, really bad at that. Good thing I am really good at eating things that are made with a lot of butter. I told her that while we were standing awkwardly together, having our picture taken. I'm sure she hadn't heard it six zillion times before.

1
Alli
May 26, 2011

I love those first two paragraphs. That is EXACTLY how I feel right now: "...so basically what I am doing is trying to solve my travel exhaustion by PLANNING MORE TRAVEL, and that is kind of counterintuitive, and also maybe indicative of some sort of sickness. Except not really, because everyone knows Work Travel is not at all the same thing as Fun Travel..."

Yes I never want to go to another airport again. But also, let's go somewhere!

2
em
May 26, 2011

The boyf spends a LOT of time 'working' in India these days. His last trip saw him take a 4 day trip to Kerela (And he says he is working) but if you want a beach holiday it looks amazing there - and his internal Indian flight from Mumbai was about £40.
He is off to Goa this weekend for a jolly. Think his flight was about £20 one way, Mumbia - Goa. Its a bit more touristy there though.
I love planning trips. The one i have in the pipeline right now is Mammoth for a week, Vegas for a few days, LA or San Fran for a few days. Although this is easier to plan as we've done it before.....

3
Lindsey
May 26, 2011

Wow! She is so... smooth!

4
A'Dell
May 26, 2011

Her overly tanned face on her magazine always scares me at the grocery store checkout. (Plus, they retouching her too much and her face is creepily smooth.)

That butter comment is celebrity payback for every gnome joke you've been subjected too and had to politely laugh. You're even with the universe now.

5
Deidre
May 26, 2011

Oooh! India. You must go to the Taj Mahal - I insist. It was my favourite part of my trip to India.

I'm semi planning a trip (as in, I know I'm going, I just have no idea what or how or specifically where) to Vanuatu based solely on pictures from your honeymoon!

6
Leanne
May 26, 2011

I am the opposite-- I hate, hate, hate planning for travel but love doing it! If you have the urge to analyze B&B reviews, will you do so in the name of mercy and plan our belated honeymoon to Scotland, please??

I also got my photo taken with Paula Deen, but that's really a generous way of saying my friend accosted her and preserved it for posterity. I didn't even think to tell her I love butter, so good on you.

7
Kristen
May 26, 2011

I sometimes think I love planning a trip just as much as taking it. My husband and I were talking to friends -- unbelievably laid back friends -- who travel a lot and were trying to get us to do a trip in the fall with them. We decided we'd be great travel companions based on two things -- we all like to eat and drink our way through things, and I would get to do ALL THE PLANNING and they would just get to show up. It's almost too good to be true!

8
Jan Ross
May 26, 2011

Oh, I'm a big planner. Planning the trip is almost as great as the trip itself; seriously, they are very.close. See? I did the period thing too.

9
Lara
May 26, 2011

Oooh India. I'm such a lurker, but I keep hoping you'll go to India because I (selfishly) want to hear what you think. I went a few years ago - we did a week in Mumbai, a night in Delhi, a couple of weeks in Rajastan (Pushkar, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur), Agra and then flew from Varanasi to Bangkok, so we could head to The Beach to recover. Traveling in India is fantastic, but exhausting. I highly recommend The Beach to recuperate.

We were supposed to carry on to Calcutta after Varanasi but (long story short) we left from Varanasi - at the time there were Monday flights from Varanasi to Bangkok for cheap, cheap (a lot of flights from that neck of the woods want you to head back to Delhi first, which is silly). I think it may have even been Bangkok Air or Thai Airways.

I know India is a massive country, but if you are going to be in the same neck of the woods I was, my travel tidbits are: go to the Taj Mahal, but spend as little time in Agra as possible. Go to Ranakpur if you can (the Jain temple there will make you weep, it's so beautiful). Varanasi is a must see. It's...mind blowing. Oh yes and DO NOT DRIVE over there. DO NOT.

I know you've done a lot of traveling and I'd been to S.E. Asia (Thailand, Cambodia) several times before I went to India but I was still amazed at how OVERWHELMING it is. It's loud, it's colourful and a lot of places smell to high heaven. But it's an amazing, amazing place.

Oh I'm jealous. Have fun and I eagerly await your report back :)

10
Amy
May 26, 2011

LOVE me some Paula Deen. Did she smell like sugar, butter and bacon? Or like lemon verbena? In my imagination it's a toss-up.

11
Kate
May 26, 2011

Your EXTREME EXHAUSTION made me think you might be pregnant! Until you mentioned taking a trip to India in September.

12
jes
May 26, 2011

Two things:

1. I met Paula Deen at BlogHer '09, when I was massively pregnant and hiding out in the BlogHer office. Paula came in, with a platter of her Gooey Butter Cake bars. I ate one. (Okay, fine. Maybe I ate three.) They were sinfully delicious. She asked me what I thought, and the first thing that popped into my brain? "I think they're going straight to my thighs!" WHY? Why did I say that? Why was THAT the first (only?) thing out of my mouth? Paula's response: "Honey, just let the baby catch them!" The woman is so gracious. I was mortified at myself, and she was just laughing. Well, maybe just laughing on the outside. Anyway.

2. INDIA! I have been on a Bollywood kick lately, and now I want to visit India more than ever. Can you tuck me into your suitcase? Also, please live out my fantasies (I'm planning it for our 10-year anniversary, which is still 3 years away) and visit the Maldives. You can't really get more beachier than that, and if you're going to be going to India anyway, you might as well. :)

13
Moose
May 26, 2011

I love that you met Paula Deen. I bet you were charming and graceful about it too. I would have gasped and hopped awkwardly asked her to sign my stick of butter. The stick of butter I carry around in my purse for JUST SUCH AN OCCASION.

14
NothingButBonfires
May 26, 2011

No, my extreme exhaustion is due to extreme travel: New York, London, Paris, Dallas, Savannah, and Charleston in the last four weeks. Nothing else.

15
Savvy in San Francisco
May 26, 2011

I had the same thought as Kate, that maybe you were pregnant! So exciting to be planning such a great trip! I especially love the beach idea! Are you looking into Seychelles?

16
ScottsdaleGirl
May 26, 2011

I was waiting for you to say "AHAHA Kidding! This is a cardboard cut out of Paula Deen!"...because ....LOOK AT HER!

17
Emily
May 26, 2011

HA HA HA I was just about to warn you that if you post about babies and exhaustion in ANY FORM within SIX YEARS of each other, that people will be ACCUSING YOU OF BEING PREGNANT.

Just FYI.

I didn't think you'd be the type to go to India with a bun in the oven though. BUT MAYBE YOU ARE.

18
Jennifer
May 26, 2011

1. Love that you met Paula
2. I think that travel induces thoughts of more travel no matter what or no matter how tired you are. Literally, every time I go anywhere, literally while on the plane back home I am flipping through the in-flight magazine picking another place on their map to go to next.
3. I spent 2 weeks in India in November/December this past year. If you want any advice please let me know. We spent our first week in the "golden triangle" which is Delhi, Agra (for just the day) and Jaipur. As well as a teeny tiny fortified city called Samode where we attended the most amazing wedding. In a castle. And there were elephants of course. It was quite amazing. Our second week was spent in the state of Kerala – in the cities of Cochin and Kumarakom – which were both fantastic. If you want more details, please shoot me an email. Have fun planning!!!

19
Jennifer
May 26, 2011

1. Love that you met Paula
2. I think that travel induces thoughts of more travel no matter what or no matter how tired you are. Literally, every time I go anywhere, literally while on the plane back home I am flipping through the in-flight magazine picking another place on their map to go to next.
3. I spent 2 weeks in India in November/December this past year. If you want any advice please let me know. We spent our first week in the "golden triangle" which is Delhi, Agra (for just the day) and Jaipur. As well as a teeny tiny fortified city called Samode where we attended the most amazing wedding. In a castle. And there were elephants of course. It was quite amazing. Our second week was spent in the state of Kerala – in the cities of Cochin and Kumarakom – which were both fantastic. If you want more details, please shoot me an email. Have fun planning!!!

20
jes
May 26, 2011

Wait, why wouldn't someone travel to India while pregnant?

Also: Hooollllyyyyyyy. Your site flagged my last comment as spam. I'm trying to decide whether to laugh or cry.

21
Heather
May 26, 2011

Maybe you should go to Goa. I hear Goa has some of the best beaches in the world!

22
Jen
May 26, 2011

I am reading this on my laptop from a diner in EWR, on my way home from several days in NYC for work, and just nodding my head about Work Travel being so very different than Fun Travel. Sure, it was New York, and there were fantastic meals that can be expensed, but oh, how I wish someone would please hurry up and invent teleportation so that I didn't have to endure the going-home part, which this time around includes a layover and then a puddle-jumper flight before my head will hit the pillow tonight (or wait, will it be tomorrow when I get home? GAH). (Who was the idiot who booked this flight? Oh right, ME.)

My husband, who doesn't ever travel for work, acts a little jealous about it all, as if there is anything glamorous about schlepping an overstuffed backpack and carry-on through the streets of Manhattan in search of a cab during rush hour. At this moment, I would gladly trade the duty of caring for our 2-year-old son on my own for five days.

Also, I saw the pic of you and PD on Flickr, and from the thumbnail, I was sure you were at another wax museum.

23
mary
May 26, 2011

Please help me plan my trip to India. I'm better at eliminating the places I don't want to tour than making arrangements for the spots I want to explore.

24
NodToStyle
May 26, 2011

i am so excited about your trip to India! my boyfriend and i are tentatively planning a december trip for a rickshaw race and i'd love any tips i could get...

25
Locusts and Wild Honey
May 26, 2011

I would just like to publicly vouch for you about the looking for the cheapest flight for sport comment.

While, yes, this post ALSO includes a picture of you with Paula! Deen! for some reason it is the shopping for the cheapest flight for sport thing that feels pressing to elaborate on.

If there were a game show called FIND THE CHEAPEST FLIGHT, you would be the all-knowing whiz kid who won 12 weeks in a row and for whom they had to invent a new rule limiting the number of appearances of. You amaze and astound.

26
Reading (and chickens)
May 27, 2011

This is neither here nor there, but a reader request: I can't be the only one who wants to see more of your clothes, because holy cow, lady, you're way more fashionable than me (not that that's difficult--but STILL). I was like, Paula Deen, yeah, but what about your fabulous DRESS? I know this isn't a style blog, but...uh, maybe just one post? Like girls gone child did?

(Oh, and I'm not exactly the Indian touristy type, but my favorite place ever in India were the caves of Bhubaneswar.)

27
Thespian Libby
May 27, 2011

I cannot believe Paula Deen has wilted, droopy flowers on her counter. For shame, Paula....for shame....

28
jasmine
May 27, 2011

wow! I'm so jealous! i've been wanting to go to India, like forever. I wish I have your job!

29
Starla
May 28, 2011

There are amazing beaches in India, you don't need to go elsewhere! It would be doing India a massive injustice, to try and see the parts you want, in a week! Impossible surely?!

But I can't wait to read about your plans and see where you go and what you do!

Am planning a 6 month South America trip presently, and I am OVERWHELMED with the research. Too. Much. Information. out there.

30
Marcheline
May 29, 2011

I used to love Paula Deen until I realized she reminds me of this obnoxious aunt of mine from below the Mason Dixon line. Once I made that connection in my mind, I just couldn't take her any more. I am now a diehard fan of Anthony Bourdain, and I'm not looking back.

31
Sensibly Sassy
Jun 03, 2011

...but does she have wooden spoons in her kitchen?

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