Monday, February 28, 2011

July 2010 Monthly Update

July 2010

Finally a vacation in which I will NOT be working! I am headed to the French Polynesian islands for ten days where I will check off two items from my “30 Before 30 List” which include traveling to a place I’ve always dreamed, Bora Bora, and conquering a fear, swimming with sharks.

I flew to Tahiti and stayed overnight. The next morning I flew to Moorea. Complete paradise! I stayed in an overwater bungalow with a glass rectangle cut out in the floor so as to see the underwater fish. Each of the three days I spent in Moorea my routine consisted of ordering chocolate croissants and a yogurt where I ate in a lounge chair on the deck of the overwater bungalow while looking out at the ocean. Next, I read a book while laying on the deck soaking up the suns rays and occasionally took a dip into the ocean and watched the colorful fish (I know I stopped tanning in booths but I hadn’t given up laying under the sun). I ordered a small lunch and enjoyed it on the sun deck and then continued lying out while enjoy the stunning atmosphere. Before the sun set, I went for a jog around the hotel property and then prepared for a lovely dinner with feet in the sand facing the lagoon before I fell asleep by 11pm. It was a relaxing three days in Moorea!

The next island was the very private and isolated Ta’haa. I flew into a nearby airport from Moorea and then took a ferry to the private island in the middle of nowhere. This time I stayed in a beach bungalow that practically had its own beachfront since it was the last bungalow on the end of the island. I also stayed in Ta’haa three days and continued my same routine. Instead of lying out on the sun deck, I sunbathed in a lounge chair near the ocean and swam in the warm, clear water. When it got too hot, I kicked back in the hammock and fell asleep. Instead of jogging around the island, Ta’haa had a beautiful, well-equipped gym that I worked out in. Before leaving the stunning island, I was presented with a black pearl, a precise jewel to the French Polynesian islands.

Finally, three days in Bora Bora, a place I dreamed of going! It was very windy and more touristy than Moorea and Ta’haa but still paradise! I didn’t relax as much in Bora Bora compared to the other islands; instead I went into town to watch a cultural performance of locals singing and dancing, I canoed in the rough waters around my hotel, and on the third day I faced my fear of swimming with sharks! Before the sharks, I fed sea turtles and my new favorite animal second to hippos, the string ray. The String Rays were so smooth and soft to touch, overly friendly when it came to food and an all around cool creature of water! The String Rays kept me company as I cautiously made my way into shark-infested water. From dry land, I slowly crept into the sea as I felt each inch of my body submerge into shark territory. Other people in my group had already made it into the water and swam happily in the water, but all I wanted to do was get the #@*^ out of the water! Granted these were lemonhead sharks and blue sharks but as I saw their fins swimming around me catching fish, I froze with trepidation. Somehow I managed to doggie paddle my way to the other end of the fenced in shark pen. Sure I swam with sharks, but I still live in fear of them; I never want to do that again! I do, however, want to go shark cage diving; I think that would be a major adrenaline rush…maybe I’ll add that to my “40 Before 40 List” …LOL

After returning from my much-deserved vacation, it was time to get back to work and so I flew to Vegas to perform in FANTASY at the Luxor for a week. Upon my return to L.A., I picked up some shifts at my usual Hollywood nightclub hotspots, PLAYHOUSE and VOYEUR, and managed to start go-go dancing at a new rock bar on Hollywood called LOADED. This spot was super fun and the patrons are all awesome!

I booked an OLD NAVY commercial and shot an episode of the TV show UNDERCOVERS! I also started back at my weekly scene study class as well as took some dance classes. What a memorable month!


Amber Strauser

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