Tucked away in the hills of West Virginia, we found New Vrindaban — a spiritual site for the Hare Krishna community. Nearly reaching Willy-Wonkian proportions, the grounds included a man-made body of water, gargantuan statues, an award-winning rose garden and a golden palace that would make even Kanye West blush. It was stunning (and honestly unexpected for something neighboring a town called Moundsville).
Perhaps the most surprising discovery we found at New Vrindaban came at Prasadam, or the lunch-time food offering. We shared picnic tables with guests and New Vrindaban residents alike and, over a free, vegetarian meal, heard something we truly hadn't expected: gossip.
As three recipients of an all-girls education, we know gossip when we hear it. And the women we shared the picnic table with, who all lived and worked on the New Vrindaban grounds, were most definitely gossiping. They gabbed over sweet potatoes (maybe?) and pea shoots (honestly, the vegetables were mushed to oblivion, but still delicious) about the who's who of New Vrindaban.
We felt restored and in the know. But, much like mushed vegetables, we felt immediately hungry again — hungry for more gossip. Here's what we came up with — our Burn Book (Hare Krishna Edition).
Rumor has it that the blonde streak in Rachel's hair isn't natural. *Cough Cough* Dye Job *Cough Cough.*
Cool floral crown, Swan. Let me guess — you got the inspiration at Coachella while taking pictures of yourself? Do you even listen to Edward Sharpe — like really listen, I mean? I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and show some real creativity. Why not turn the tables and wear a dress shaped like Bjork? Do something original!
These two claim to be a dynamic duo, but look at the way they're competing for attention —waving their hands in the air like it's the early 90's. BFFL doesn't stand for Bathing in your Friend's Fucking Limelight. Okay, ladies?
Actually, these girls were pretty legit.
Sure, Amish country was beautiful and we had every intention to stop. But before we could get out of the car, Maggie’s phone went belly-up and died like a little bitch. This led to a lot of shouting, plenty of bargaining with God (Amish or not) and a lot of desperate, desperate Google searches.
When this Google search didn’t yield anything, we had to get creative.
Well, shit, this one didn’t yield anything either. You might be surprised to hear this but there are no Apple Genius Bars to be found in Amish Country. And, once Maggie realized this, she was depressed to find out there were no real bars either. Just how was she supposed to deal with her iPhone malfunction depression? By screaming something along the lines of “GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE AND TO THE CLOSEST APPLE STORE, DAMMIT.” That's how.
And that was that. We decided we’d just have to come back to Amish Country in a couple of days once Maggie’s phone was fixed. What’s the point of being in Amish Country if you can’t Instagram it, right? (HATE THIS JOKE, MAKE SOMETHING BETTER CEIL)So we drove an additional four hours to the world-famous New Haven, Connecticut Apple Store. While we waited for those dumbasses from Yale to finish their appointments, we visited the Pez Museum in nearby Orange, Connecticut.
Here are some of the colors we found at this candy-colored oasis inside a bleak Connecticut office park.
ALSO DID YOU KNOW THAT THEY MAKE CHERRY COLA FLAVOR PEZ? ALSO ALSO, DID YOU KNOW THAT IF YOU EAT ABOUT 20 OF THEM OFF THE FLOOR WHERE SOME KID SPILLED THEM IT DOESN’T DULL YOUR DEPRESSION AT ALL?
Our gracious host / Maggie's godmother / Queen of the Desert Patti Rollins begged us (BEGGED US!) not to visit the Salton Sea. Actually, in her words, she said "let's talk about how you're not really going to the Salton Sea." When we insisted on going, she then asked us not to smell bad upon our return. That's how intense this place is.
The Salton Sea was a failed resort area in the Californian desert. For a whole slew of reasons, the fish in the sea GOT DEAD and now the beaches are mostly crushed fish bones.
For real. See that glorious beach pictured above? See that exotic white sand? That's not white sand. That's pulverized fish carcasses. That's literally dead bodies. And it comes with the smell to boot.
In case you stepped into this beautiful bright banana cabana and forgot that you were not on the Riviera, there is a gently used pair of underwear lying on the floor next to you. That's the Salton Sea style.