Thursday, October 6, 2011

This Kid . . .


I think I took more pictures of Owen on our trip to Barcelona than I did of the city.  I can't help it, look at this guy!  Who wouldn't want to try to capture as many of his facial expressions as you could?  He was such a good kid while we there and we had a ton of fun.  I wish I got to spend more time with him, but eventually I will.  We won't be over here in Germany forever but I hope that we'll be close enough to see him more than I do now. 

This kid freakin' cracks me up!! He acts just enough like his mom to remind me of when we were kids.  

Just wait until he gets to spend a weekend at his Aunt Gitchie's house (Aunt Gitchie is me, btw) . . . oh man is it gonna be fun.  And probably messy. But that's ok because it will be totally worth it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

With My Bestie!

My best friend Beth is over here visiting and we're having a wonderful time!! I've taken her to see a castle (which she says was better than the ones in Japan) and we went on a culinary/red wine walk and also to Cologne which is one of the most amazing German cities.  And now, we're in Paris.  We'll be here until Sunday and I'm so excited to be able to show her all these things!

Today we're getting kind of a late start but we've both been pretty tired and on the move this whole week so we're going to kind of chill and take our time.  I know it must seem I only blog whenever we go to Paris and I'm trying to change that :) Hopefully I'll have some other new stuff up soon. I've got lots of pictures and things I want to put up from Barcelona as well and I never did post anything about Rome.  I should just create a second travel blog and then have my own personal stuff....hmmm.

Anyway, for whoever is reading this I hope you enjoy your day!! Talk to you soon. 


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Things On My Mind

I'm sitting here at almost 2 am wondering if I'll be able to turn my brain off and go to sleep.  I should have stuck with my original plan to buy a bottle of wine, have a few glasses and pass out because I know that would help.  As it turns out, I started doing some web searching and now I've got too many things running around my head. 

One of the things I am soooo excited about is my impending 2 week sabbatical vacation from work.  I get to spend a week with my parents in Barcelona and then a week with my wife (best friend Beth) after that.  It's going to be a whirlwind time that will take another 2 weeks to recover from but I am so looking forward to this!  David and I aren't going to be able to make it back to the States until next so I can't wait to see Mom and Dad and my wife. To top things off I'm such a planner that I'm thinking of all the stuff I *have* to get set up for both vacations. I especially am stoked to plan the time I have with my wife.  Paris is an absolute must on the list and I have quite a few other options for her time here as well.  I'd love to monopolize all her time and it will be hard to share her with people but I'm afraid I must, even if for a little bit. :)

I realize this is quite the jumble, and possible isn't very coherent, but I just needed to get some stuff out of my head.  It's been a while since I blogged anyway and I apologize for being so lax about the whole thing.  Anyway, here's hoping to a few hours of blissful, dreamless sleep.


Monday, April 11, 2011

I Love This Man

I love my husband.  I really do.

I actually really like this picture.  He's kinda cute.


 He is a wonderful husband.  He made sure my birthday was as special as it could be, which, given the fact we were in Paris wasn't bad in and of itself.

I'm not quite sure what this look means.  Possible ambivalance?

Not a very exciting post but it's true.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Smart Car Full of Baguettes

Paris is such a wonderful city.  You get to see so many amazing things and people that you hardly know where to look.  In the subways, you keep your eyes down and averted from most people because you never know who the crazy ones are.  When you're out on the streets your eyes are all over the place looking at the quintessential Parisian architechture and imagining women in huge bustle skirts swishing by in grand carraiges or carrying perfect little parasols.

A lovely cup of cappucino

I wish I knew more of the smaller less touristy areas of Paris in order to really soak it up without all the hype. But the funny thing about Paris is that even if you're in the midst of a high traffic area the city kind of manages to make you feel apart of itself and not just a visitor. At every cafe you're met with a smile and a "Bonjour" and it just makes you feel welcome.  At least that's the impression I got on both of my visits. 

All in all it's a must see city if you ever get the chance, there's absolutely nothing like it.  Being stationed over here in Germany has afforded me some absolutely wonderful opportunities for travel that I am so thankful for.  Being able to say I spent my 30th birthday in Paris is simply amazing to me.

I hope to post more about my travels and our future trips more as the summer goes on.  We've already got a trip planned for Rome and one for Barcelona that I am very much looking forward to.  Since I've already made one post about Paris, I won't go on and on about it in this blog, but I will post more soon!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hello Everyone!

It's been a while since I posted on here so I thought I'd write a quick little something before I get in the shower and head to work.  I just did a 1 mile workout and I'm a little sweaty and puff breathed but it's good for me. I got some Walk at Home workout tapes by Leslie Sansone so that I could try and get my endurance up for our trips this year.  We're going to Paris in a few weeks, Rome in June and then Barcelona in September so I want to make sure I'm not dragging anyone done.  I kind of felt good to get up and move this morning instead of just sitting and being a lump.  Who knew? LOL Anyway I'm wanting this to be the start of something good.  There are too many things going on in my head now that I want to clear up so maybe this whole exercise thing will help clear it up.

Other than that, same old same old.  I have pictures and comments from our trip to Berlin that I'll post soon. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So My Birthday's Coming Up . . .

And I'm gonna escape to Paris. 

That's right, I'm going to run away and go spend my birthday weekend in Paris.  We were only there for 2 days with my parents when they came out last year and this time we'll be there for 4 days.  I told the husband that I kind of wanted him to plan some stuff so I think he's working on it. He suggested going to catch a show at the Moulin Rouge. At first I was kind of iffy about it but the more I think about it the more fun it sounds.

There are still tons of things we didn't get to do the last time we were there.  I want to spend more time in the Louvre and see the Reaissance section.  Seeing the Eiffel Tower all lit up and night would be really awesome too.  This website has a bunch of ideas and you can book tickets online so I've been browsing there fairly often just to get some more ideas. 

Of course we're also going to go to the Hard Rock Cafe since we didn't make it there last time.  When we were in London we signed up for their "All Access" pass that gets us discounts and puts us at the head of lines when there's a lot of people waiting to get in and in looking at the spot in Paris that will come in very handy.  Other than that I'm not quite sure what all is planned.  DisneyLand Paris had been thrown out there as an idea. We can take a train from Paris all the way to the front gates (basically) of the park. It's about an hour train ride so not too horrible.  I personally think it would be kind of fun.  Although I would really like to go to Versaille, too.  Choices, choices. 

I still can't believe how lucky I am that I can just decide to up and go to Paris to celebrate my 30th Birthday. Since I have no friends or family in the area I can't think of a better way to ring in a new decade in my life. Although, I'd give up this trip in a heartbeat if I could spend the weekend with my 2 best friends, my sisters and my mom.  C'est la vie.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas Abroad

Merry Christmas Everyone!  Don't know how many people that read this, but to those of you that do, I wish you a very Happy Holiday and safe New Year. 

This is my second Christmas in Germany and I've been reflecting on the differences and similarities between this year and last.  So here are a few things I have come up with.

Similarities:  Just me and David at home; way too quiet; good food (added one new recipe that I found around Thanksgiving); talked to the family on Skype to see how they liked their presents and tell them how much I liked mine; missed being at home like crazy; kept wondering what the family was doing right then; made orange rolls for breakfast (it's tradition).

Differences: I was too lazy to put up my Christmas tree this year; we had a very white Christmas; David and I opened all our presents early so I felt kind of cheated on Christmas morning.

Christmas is my favorite holiday and I know that if I would get into the spirit a bit more it would help me get through the holiday less depressed.  But then, when I start to think about getting into the spirit I remember that my family is back home and I am going to be here for yet another quiet and mundane day. David tries really hard to make it awesome for me, and does a really good job, but it's just not the same.  Because my mom spoiled us as kids I'm used to HUUUUUUGE piles of presents to open then a marathon shower and a session of trying on all our new clothes to see what we would wear to Granny's that day. Then of course going to Granny's and being eveloped by our loud, crazy wonderful family.  When you're used to the decibels of noise on Christmas that I am, having a quiet lazy day just seems wrong. 

Anyway, I hope next year I'll be a little more Ho-Ho-Hoey because we'll only have one more Christmas left over here.   You think my parents would want to fly out here for the holidays next year? ;)

Romeo, Romeo, Wherefor art thou Romeo?

I've been on a pretty decent reading kick recently and my latest victim (so to speak) was Juliet by Anne Fortier.  It's set in modern day with Julie Jacobs discovering after her great aunt's death that she's a decendant of the Juliet on which Shakespeare based his infamous play.  Now, if you're like me, you're kind of thinking, "Ok, it's going to be some sappy love story about how she learns about the 'real' Romeo and Juliet in Italy and then meets her own Romeo." And to an extent, you are correct.  After her aunt's death Julie learns her name is really Giulietta Tolomei, the same as her ancestor credited in being the famous Juliet, and she travels to Siena, Italy to search for treasure and discover her past.

Upon arrival in Siena Julie learns that instead of searching for a family heirloom or treasure that she's picking up where her mother left off in trying to break the curse that was beset on the families of the lovers.  Not surprising, all the families involved in the original story are still around and, while they aren't outright killing each other like their predecessors, there is still traditional and long standing hostility.  The interesting thing is that in the "original" story portrayed in Fortier's rendition  there were three families involved, not just two.  Giulietta was a member of the Tolomei family sent to live with her uncle in Siena after her family was murdered at their estate while she was at a local church for confession.  The Salimbeni family is the other great family in Siena at the time and the head of its household is credited with the murder of Giulietta's family, although he is never formally accused or tried because he has the whole town under his thumb.  Salimbeni decides that he's had enough of his current wife and needs something younger and with more spirit; what better choice than the daughter of the man he just had murdered? But of course, Romeo has already been on the scene and fallen in love with Juliet and they've been married in secret.  Now here's where the third family crops up.  Romeo is neither a Salimbeni nor a Tolomei, he's a Marescotti; a well respected family in Siena for their generosity and peacefulness.  They do not engage in the debauchery and low ball tactics on which the other two families seem to thrive.

As tangled and complicated as most Italian tragedies (and family trees) tend to be, the way Fortier portrayed the original story was quite captivating.  It's like a series I read based on the King Arthur legend written by Jack White that basically stripped away all the mysticism and hype and boiled it down to a historical possibility.  Fortier did the same thing with Romeo and Juliet.  She placed the story in a realistic context that both made sense and kept it's romanticism intact.  It was still as tragic as the story we're all familiar with if not more so because of the inherently dangerous nature of the time period.  It was kind of like the feeling I got when I watched "Titanic" back in high school; you know how the story ends but you still can't help but be pulled in by the story anyway.

It's a fun, engaging read that's not too heavy handed or mind bending. At times Fortier can get too verbose and overly effusive with her writing but given the subject matter I kind of think it was almost requisite.  Since I'm not a Shakespeare purist I was able to look at this somewhat objectively, I believe, and see it for the fun and modern twist on the story it was meant to be.  Besides, since Shakespeare really wasn't the first to write about a doomed love affair, why not give the real victims their time in the lime light?