Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Photos - Austria

a snowball I made on the roof outside my hotel window - my first one in all of 2007 view from the car driving to Salzburg from Munich the Hotel we stayed at in the middle of nowhere Salzberg a true Winter Wonderland It was like living in a snow globe
Salzburg, Austria December 12-14 2007

A Little Bit of Good News

Patrick is frantically running errands today as he did yesterday and I'm sure will continue to do all week in preparation of his new job. At one point today, he walked into my office and said I got rid of that thing in the basement. That thing in the basement is best described as an entertainment center on steroids. A friend was getting rid of it and Patrick's sister had just moved into a new apartment so, being the caring brother he "claimed" it for her. His friend threw out all of the other stuff from his apartment and then Patrick went over to breakdown and load up this monster (against my better judgement) they quickly learned it was too big for either car (a mini van and a station wagon) so Patrick set off to rent a trailer to move it. 3 gas stations later, he finaly found a trailer to rent and then realized he did not have a trailer hook on his car. They decided the best wat to transport this was using a moving bucket on wheels and wheeling each of the 6 pieces the 3 blocks from his friends apartment to ours. They did this and then put all of the pieces in our basement (luckily our apartment comes witha basement) until Patrick could figure hout how to move the thing to his sitster's apartment 3 hours away. Hence why it is still in our basement. Well our neighbor had stored something in our basement section before we put a lock on the door so Patrick lent him the key to get his stuff out, upon collecting the key this morning said neighbor asked if he could have the giant piece of furniture. So it officially took care of itself and I guess Patrick gets points for keeping this monstrosity out of a landfill. Most importantly it will not be moving to our new apartment and that is what makes me so happy! Small victories :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Brussels, Belgium

Here are some photos from my trip to Brusels December 6: The propeller on the smallest plane I've ever been in, you enter from the rear and I was in "business class", it was smaller than a bus and flew me from Germany to Brussels.

The view from my hotel in Brussels. A shop that sold Christmas cookie molds and maybe even the cookies, how do they stay in business?

Brussels old building Christmas tree in the center of the old part of town.

Spotted in the Rome Airport...

S and B escaping from reality, right I'm not Gossip Girl, but in my reality there was a man in tucked in UGGS. I immediately thought of the 3 M's Mitzi for mentioning the man she saw in a NYC bar with his pants tucked into his UGGS, Margo for wanting to meet said man and fall in love and Melissa for bringing me into it all. Well either the NYC man is on the move or this really is a fashion thing, Italy and NYC are typicaly trend setters, although this trend is good for no one. Men should not wear UGGs. Unfortunately I was unable to get a shot of his head as I snapped this deicretely as my work contact walked up to the airport snack bar to get us some wine.
Also spotted in Rome at the Cavaliri Hilton, Shirley MacLaine eating dinner. There is no photo as that would have been rude but she was sitting in the restaurant where our BOD dinner was held so it was inevitable to walk by her table on the way to ours. I linked you to her website in case you want to try and determine why she was in Rome.

Who Needs an Apartment, I'm Moving to Lufthansa

I am currently on a plane. That’s nothing out of the ordinary for me and the fact that it is a Lufthansa plane has almost become expected at this point. I realize that I’ve flown exclusively on Lufthansa in the past few months (excluding that one AirCanada incident we will no longer speak of). I can determine my seat by the ticket most times. I know where the tissues are in the bathroom and I even know that all Lufthansa planes are named for cities in Germany. There is one named Braunschweig and I happened to be on it on my way home from Paris last summer, I haven’t seen it since. I no longer listen to the safety announcements and I don’t fear for my safety. In fact when I fly on other airlines I now recognize that they sometimes use different planes. For the most part, Lufthansa flies Airbus but they also have these crazy propeller planes that involve boarding from the rear and are made by another company I’ve never heard of. I know Lufthansa’s policy for flight crew and pilots. They must fly in their uniform and if they wish to fly in anything other than economy them must buy their own tickets, at a discounted rate of course. Lufthansa is the German National carrier and most Germans see it as a high quality airline in which they take a great deal of proud. I now see why. Maybe the Canadians should take heed. All Lufthansa needs is internet so I could post this blog from the air. Currently I’m flying to Rome, Italy. I love flying anywhere in Italy or Switzerland as you fly over the alps. If you ever do this during daylight hours, be sure to request a window seat as the view is unbelievable. Today it is dark but I was able to get a perk of the snow on the peaks. We are currently flying over Milan and experiencing a bit of turbulence (I know this from the pilot). For such a major city, it’s pretty dark. In comparison to most American cities, European cities use less electricity. This is visible from the air where you realize not all roads are lit at night. You can also see the difference in structure in that US cities touch each other (at least they do on the east coast). For the most part, European cities are separated from each other by farm land. From the sky these distances look short but on the ground there is probably about 30 minutes at least between cities and it is necessary to use the highway to get from place to place. The network of back roads that one finds in RI just does not exist. This is particularly frustrating when there is traffic on the highway. This reflection is making me realize that I spend too much time in the air. On a completely different, and land based, note, we gave notice today that we are moving in 3 months. Patrick is deciding between two job offers as you read this and soon I’ll know if we are moving to Cologne or Heidelberg. I’m kind of pulling for the latter as it is closer to Frankfurt airport and I hear it is a very pretty city. I’ve never been to either but look forward to looking at potential apartments. Patrick picked the Braunschweig apartment on his own and while I like it I am still excited to have a say this time around. I’m looking forward to a balcony and a dedicated office for me. Now that we will both have jobs, there will also be a dishwasher (a true necessity) and hopefully a new couch. I think we will finally give in to owning that TV Patrick is storing in his parents’ basement and adding a DVD player to go with said comfy couch. I just hope we can find a cute, cheap little apartment. Keep your fingers crossed for the apartment of our dreams. J

Monday, January 21, 2008


As you can see, i've changed the layout and added a photo. I'm looking for a new look for 2008 and not sure if this is the best one. Feedback? Is the photo too much? Thanks!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Going Foward

There are certain things everyone always lusts after. To be smarter, thinner, richer, happier, to work less and travel more. These are things we will always wish for and mostly never be satisfied with. I've decided I need some realiztic goals for 2008. Maybe it's a bit late to be calling them News Year's Resolutions but more of a reflection on the things I want to achieve in the short term. so here goes, in no particular order, my aspirations for 2008...
  • grow out my hair
  • join a team and attend all functions (I went to my first Softball practice last week but this impending move is going to make me quit so I need to find a new team)
  • do things that make me happy
  • indulge in a frappachino from time to time
  • delete McDonald's from all meal options
  • eat more vegetables
  • stop losing things
  • organize my closte and keep it that way
  • paint more
  • spend more time outdoors in parks and less lusting for the ocean
  • take a relazing vacation with Patrick
  • visit Denmark
  • see the Alps
  • take my job one day at a time
  • attend more weddings
  • wear dresses more often
  • grow my nails, pain them often
  • smile always
  • be true to myself always

That seems like a good start, I'll have to look back in a few months and see how I'm doing. Here's to hoping...Happy 2008! I think it's going to be a good year, my second and last full year in Germany for awhile, if all goes according to the plan. I am looking foward to having a home and job in the US in 2009 and hopefully getting closer to the ocean and sunshine. For now, I'm enjoying Europe and seeing sunshine on my travels. I fly to Rome on Tuesday, and hope there's some sun in store.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Welcome 2008

I resolve to write in my blog again...hopefully I can get back to at least once a week. So a lot has happened since I let the cat out of the bag on here and ruined my suprise homecoming. Although, it would have been ruined anyway since Air Canada is incompetent and my flight never made it out of Toronto. For those of you haven't heard it htis is a good tory so here's the short version. My 4:00pm flight was canceled and I was rebooked onto a 7pm flight. In the mean time, Patrick's flight landed in Boston sometime around 5:30 (I was origionaly scheduled to get in at 6:00). So mom, dad and Patrick waited in Boston while I waited for news in Toronto where my cell didn't work and I had to Skype w/o an external mic, luckily I had my iPod earbuds, and borrow phones from strangers to keep updating them since everything was changeing. First we were delayed to 8:00 then 9:00 than 9:30 than 9:45 (there was another flight to Boston set to go out at 9:45) and then we finally baorded the plane some time around 10pm. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as the 12, 2, and 4 flights were all cancelled so everyone was waiting for Boston. Around 10:30 a flight attendant took the mic and told us the flight was cancelled and we would be given a numbr to call to rebook and a number to call to get a discounted hotel room. The cancellation was due to weather conditions so we were on our own. People who flew AirCanada frequently (it's the only way into Canada direct aparently) were not suprised. Around midnight I was finally settled in my hotel room which was Econo Lodge standards and still cost $80 US. I had not eaten anything aside from a bag of Smartfood and a diet coke all day since the magazine shop was the only place I could use my Visa in the Toronto Airport and I thought I would make it to Boston where I could surely get a good dinner. Needless to say I was hungry and when I saw a flyer for a pizza place that delivers I immediately ordered a seriously overpriced ($12 US for a small pepperroni and a can of DC) pizza that I later learned would take 50 minutes. They accepted my Visa and I waited...I ate the pizza and went to bed happily booked on a 8:55 flight to Providence the next day. The woman told me I got the last seat into Providence and would need to pick up a paper ticket. Just when I thought things were getting better , they got worse. I woke up around 2:30 with a serious stomach ach, unquestionably from too much pizza and too little time for digestion before bed. I managed to get back to sleep for about an hour before jumping in the shower and catching the 6:30 airport shuttle. I gave myself plenty of time to pick up said paper ticket, check in and go through customs again. I must have been quite a sight at 6:30am in a black cocktail dress, black tights and red shoes. Of course I wore a hoodie and my jacket so I would not freeze but these were the only clothes I packed (as a NYE outfit back up) and I had been traveling in my velour track suit for way too long to put it on after my morning shower. I walked up to the ticket counter after tring self check in and getting an error to learn that I didn't need a ticket. I proceeded to the check in counter to find out that I was not booked onto the Providence flight but ultimately it didn't matter as that one had already been cancelled due to weather. I am told there was no snow in Providence on December 21 but that is beside the point. So I was no back to Boston and my ride was set to pick me up from Providence. Good thing I had a 24 hour internet subscription, I Skyped my mom and Patrick at my Cousin's house to let them know the new situation. Dad (my ride home) had already gone to work and since the 8:00am flight was delayed to 8:15 by the time I made it through customs I didn't want to make him sit at the airport and wait for me so I got bis instructions. We boarded and got off somewhere around 8:30, not bad at all. I was just happy to be on my way to my family and friends and the USA (and glad my return flight was on Lufthansa). Arriving in Boston, I saw why the runway was an issue. I beelined off that plane for the luggage and found the bus stop I needed to get to after I had my luggage. It's a good thing I packed light on the way home becasue I was still wearing those red heels (which I love but are not conducive for carrying things or running to a bus). Just when you think nothing else could possibly go wrong the luggage door was not opening...then it opened and then it shut again. We got to the luggage section around 10:00am, my bus was at 10:30 and at 10:27 I was still waiting for my luggage and the door was once again not opening. I think my luggage appeared at 10:29 but lucky for me the bus was a few minutes late and I got on. Okay so I guess this was the long version of the story but if it didn't happen to me, I don't think I would ever believe that many things could go wrong. It could have been worse, one girl lost her luggage before even leaving Toronto.