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Hello bloggy woggy, sorry I’ve neglected you.

Can you believe the holiday season is practically upon us?  I don’t know about you, but it drives me insane when I see Christmas decorations out before Halloween.  The retail industry has taken some of the magic out of the holiday by making it all about gift buying.  Before you know it, Christmas trees will start popping up in July.  Anyways…

Here are some random thoughts and ramblings.

Halloween has come and gone.  JD and I threw another successful Spooktacular.  I can’t believe this was our fourth one!  T and I went with a 20s theme for our costumes and dressed as a flapper and a gangster.  I’m not going to lie, but I thought we looked really cute!

My 28th birthday is on Monday, and I will officially be in the back end of my late 20s.  It’s crazy to think about.  I was flipping through a photo album last night and stumbled across some old photos of Little S and me, and we were so young.  Then I found ones of T and me, and we were such babies.  It’s funny to see how much or little you’ve changed over the years.

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In honor of my birthday, T and I are making a weekend trip to Asheville.  I am really excited.  We will see leaves, stay in a cute B&B, go out to a nice dinner, and just have an all around amazing time.  I. Can’t. Wait.

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Since I will be out of town on my actual birthday, I’m getting together with some family and friends on Friday night for a birthday dinner.  We are going to Abattoir, and I can’t wait to check out the menu.  I’ve heard a lot of really great things about the restaurant, and T and I have been meaning to go for quite some time now.  I’m glad we’ll finally get to experience it with friends and family.

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I swear I’m not a total birthday whore, but we are also going to see Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo next Tuesday.  Every review I’ve read about it says that the show is amazing.  I love that Cirque always happens to make a stop in Atlanta right around my birthday.  It’s so convenient.

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After three years of growing out my hair, I finally decided to cut it shorter again.  I like the convenience of having long hair and being able to pull it up easily, but I like the way short, layered hair looks on me.  My hair is just too fine and thin for it to look stunning long.

2-year anniversary dinner - hair at its longest

New shorter hair

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And finally…you all know how much I like to cook.  Well, the other night I was chopping up some parsley for the spaghetti we were making and thinking to myself, I have pretty awesome knife skills, when the worst possible thing happened.  I sliced into my finger, pretty badly.  I cut into the side of my finger, then sliced through the nail.  Yeah, I know.  It was not pretty.  My poor left hand and arm keeps bearing the brunt of my knife-related injuries.  The worst part of it all, I had just honed the blade, so it was extra sharp.  My poor little finger.  So much for getting a birthday manicure this weekend…

I almost cut half of the nail right off =(

Can you believe that summer is officially over?  I don’t know about the rest of you, but this summer was hot, hot, hot.  In August and September alone, Atlanta reached 90+ degrees for 38 out of  59 days. That is just ridiculous.  I don’t even know what the numbers in June and July was.   Don’t get me wrong, I love hot summers, but I am really digging this crisp fall weather that has arrived apparently out of nowhere.  Cool mornings turn into warm afternoons and chilly evenings.  We can sleep with the windows open and turn off the AC.  It’s awesome!

As I say goodbye to summer until 2011, I’ve begun reflecting on some of the cool things I’ve done this summer that I’ve never tried before.

Flying High

The first really cool thing I did was participate in an aerial silks class.  If you’re not sure what that is, it’s basically the cool acrobatic stuff you see in Cirque du Soleil where the girls are wrapped in bright-colored silks and flip and twirl through the air.

CGN, JD and I all signed up for this really cool introductory class in Atlanta at Sky Gym. The class was small and we broke into three teams of three or four, and we all learned the basic moves that eventually are woven into the advanced tricks and routines.  Watching the instructor made everything look so simple and elegant, when in reality it took some serious core and upper body strength to master the moves.  CGN was the best out of the three of us.  Apparently JD and I need to work on our core strength just a little.  If you do pilates or yoga and have ever done dance, you will love it.  Even if you haven’t, like me, it was still a lot of fun!

Dirt in the Skirt

Growing up, we always played softball.  I only played one year on an organized team, but constantly played with the neighborhood kids or Little S.  This summer, we joined a co-ed adult rec league, and I had so much fun!

I played second base (which scared me at first) and could actually still hit – during one game I actually got 4 RBIs, making me the MVP of the game! 🙂 It’s fun to run around at night playing a game from your childhood with friends, followed by drinks with friends.  We weren’t the best, but we enjoyed it so much that we are playing again in the fall.  Tonight is our third game, and hopefully we will win!

The best part about playing is coming up with a team name.  Ours is pretty ridiculous – Avoid the Clap – which comes from a quote from one of Little S’s and my favorite movies.  Do you know what it is?

Floating On

Late in the summer, a group of us decided to rent some floats and spend the afternoon floating down Atlanta’s Chattahoochee River.   It’s really chill and so much fun, even though the water is freezing.  It’s probably only in the low 60s, even in the summer.

Everyone rents some floats for themselves and their coolers, you string yourself up, and hit the water for a few hours.  The first time we went, there were only 6 of us, so we floated in a flower-like formation with our cooler being the center.  We drank beers and cider,  snacked on chips and grapes, and had an amazing afternoon floating for two hours.

Since it was so much fun the first time around, we decided to go again on Labor Day.  That time we had 18 people and probably about 22 floats (including the ones for the coolers), and we opted for the four-hour trip.  Since we had so many people, we were able to get a shuttle to take us to and from Little S’s place, so no one had to worry about driving, which was a really good thing because we were all a little tipsy from drinking in the sun all afternoon.  I wish we could have taken a picture of our giant formation because I’m sure it was pretty impressive!

Rough Rafting

Sticking to my theme of new water adventures, a group of us went whitewater rafting in early September. Thanks to Groupon (I love that site) we were able to get a really sweet deal on rafting tickets, so a bunch of us decided to buy them.  Since the rafting place was in Tennessee, we opted to make a weekend out of it and rent a cabin.  We ended up finding the most amazing cabin in Blue Ridge, GA, about an hour from the rafting spot, and 10 of us headed north for the weekend.  It was a random amalgamation of kids (we’re in our 20s and early 30s) and grown ups (the 45+ crowd), but we had a great time.

Our cabin had an amazing view of the mountains, numerous patios (and we all know how much I LOVE patios),  and a hot tub.  What more could you want?

The morning of the trip, I was pretty nervous.  I was convinced that I would fly out of the raft and be washed down the river in the class three and four rapids never to be seen again.   Luckily, I stayed in the boat, and I managed to have a ton of fun.  It was a little scary because we started and dove right into class four rapids, but after getting rid of the initial nerves and fear, it was such a blast.  If you’ve never been before, I totally recommend it.  And, the water was a lot warmer than the Hooch!

Smiling while the rapids aren’t too rough

It got a little crazier

The view from our awesome cabin

So, did you go out there and try anything new this summer?  Are you planning on getting into something cool in the fall?

My next adventure…belly dancing lessons!

Well, I can’t believe how quickly the summer has flown by.  It feels like just yesterday we were in the throes of winter, wishing for warmer days.  Now we’ve had weeks of 90+ temperatures and the end of summer is creeping around the corner.  The older I get, the quicker time seems to fly by.

I know I’ve been a little MIA this summer, but sometimes it’s hard to focus on writing when I’d rather be outside soaking up the sun!  You know how it is…

Speaking of soaking up the sun, T and I just returned from a week at the beach with his family.  We were in Hilton Head, and had an amazing time.  Unfortunately the vacation wasn’t as relaxing as I wanted it to be due to Murphy and his stupid laws throwing some major kinks into the trip.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon, and spent that day lounging around our private pool, having cocktails with the family.  Since it was already a bit late in the day, we opted to wait until the next day to hit the beach.

Our pool – my jellyfish free happy place

Sunday morning we were greeted by rain showers, which pushed our beach time into the early afternoon since no one wanted to sit in the sand in a torrential downpour.  Once the sun broke through the clouds, we hauled ourselves to the beach and into the water.  I was happy as a clam, until about 1.5 minutes in the sea when I was viciously attacked by a jellyfish.  I shit you not when I say attacked.  It wasn’t just a mere sting, it was a full on assault.  My poor leg welted up instantly and was shaking so badly from the pain.  I had to limp out of the water.

Once I dragged myself onto the shore, we all assessed the damage.  My leg was a hot mess.  I had tentacle marks up and down my right leg and they were so red, and stung like someone had lit my leg on fire.  Poor T ran up to the house to get a bottle of vinegar to use to neutralize the poison.  While I waited patiently for his return, his dad was helping me rub sand all over my leg to remove any of the tentacles that were still attached to my leg.

When T finally returned, we doused my leg in vinegar, but unfortunately it really didn’t do much.  His brother had done some research and found out that putting a baking soda paste on the stings would help, so we headed to the store to buy some.  While we were there, people kept telling me it was the worst sting they had ever seen (wonderful!).  I also picked up a bottle of jellyfish sting neutralizer, just in case.

After about two hours of serious pain, the swelling went down and things started to subside.  A few Bacardi and Diet Cokes with T’s mom helped me forget about the pain and enabled me to enjoy the rest of my night.

My leg after the first round of stings

The first stings a few days later

For the next few days, I was pretty leery to get back into the water.  I hovered on the shoreline like a wounded puppy and never went higher than knee-deep water.  T told me I was being ridiculous, and that there was no way in hell that I’d get stung again.  Eventually, I let my guard down a bit because I knew he was right.

That Wednesday, T’s mom and I bought some inner tubes so we could spend the day floating in the ocean.  I figured this would be a safe and viable option for me because most of my body would be out of the water, and away from the evil jellyfish.  I floated around most of the afternoon, without constantly staring in the water, searching for jelly globs.

At one point I drifted downstream from everyone else, and tried to paddle my way back.  With the pull of the current, it was taking way more effort than necessary to get back over to them, so I decided I’d hop off the float and just walk over.  As soon as my legs hit the water, I felt another God-awful stinging sensation in both of my legs.  Yup, I’d gotten jellyfished a second time.

By this point, I was over it.  No one else was getting attacked, why only me?  I stormed out of the water, cussing like a sailor (sorry families with small children) and sprayed myself with the jellyfish sting spray (glad I picked that up) .  I decided that was going to be the end to my beach day, so I went back to the house.

Luckily, the second round of stings wasn’t as bad is the first.  That time it felt more like razor burn, and it didn’t swell up.  For the next few days I had some additional faint red lines to match my very red welts.  Then I woke up on Friday morning…

Both of my legs were super red, welty, and itched like hell.  All my faint lines had swollen up and would not stop itching.  I decided that it was time to go see a doctor since the majority of my legs were covered in stings.  T and I spent our last full day of vacation hunting down a doctor’s office (luckily it was an overcast day).  I ended up getting some kind of steroid shot for the itching and swelling, as well as a tetanus shot.  The doctor also gave me oral steroids to help with the healing process (which make me eat like a heifer).  It’s been three days since I was at the doctor, and I still itch like crazy, but I think they are getting better – slowly but surely.

This is what my newer stings looked like today – they are much redder in real life

To top off the “whatever can go wrong will go wrong vacation,” my car ended up dying on Friday.  T and I found this out as we tried to take my car to the doctor’s office.  We thought it was a dead battery since I hadn’t driven it all week, but unfortunately that was not the case.  The fuel pump had to be replaced, which meant we had to have my car towed to a shop so we could leave for home the next day.  The damn thing cost a small fortune, but my car was fixed and we made it home safe and sound.

And since we haven’t spent enough money on random catastrophe’s on this trip, T ended up knocking my month-old cell phone off the counter onto the tile floor, resulting in a shattered screen.  😦 Luckily I have insurance, so I was able to get it replaced (but I still had to pay $130 for a new one…damn deductible).

My poor broken phone

Even though a million and one things went wrong during out trip, we still had an amazing time.  We stayed in the cutest house, complete with a screened-in pool.  We cooked delicious food, and spent a majority of the time sipping cocktails, gorging on yummy food, and floating in the pool and ocean.  It was so much fun to have a whole week off of work to relax and hang with T’s family because they are a cool bunch of people.

Sorry for the marathon post!  Hope you’ve all had an amazing summer so far!

So, have you ever had vacation filled with disasters?

Our little five-day trip to New York was a blast.  We managed to do some fun things with both family and friends and got to see everyone we wanted to at least a couple of times.  I always like going up when it’s not Christmas because everyone is so busy doing the family thing that it’s hard to spend time with all of our friends.  Plus the weather is so much nicer in May, especially this year.

We got to T’s parents’ house right at midnight on Wednesday/Thursday, which wasn’t too bad.  Of course right when we walked through the door, we were greeted with an array of wine, which we sat up drinking with the family until 4 a.m.  It was fun to chat up with his parents and little brothers and catch up.

Thursday morning we woke up and decided to go eat lunch at the Culinary Institute of America, which has such a beautiful campus.  If only I’d known how much I’d love cooking when I had lived up there, maybe I would have considered attending school there.  We went to Al Forno, the casual Italian restaurant for pizza.  Since there was an open kitchen, we could watch the chef preparing our gourmet pies.  I opted for the Parma-Tomato, Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Arugula pizza, and it was delicious!  The crust was so light and airy and the toppings offered the perfect combination of savory and spicy.

After lunch, we decided to hit up the Walkway over the Hudson, which T’s dad has been trying to get us on since it opened.  We really didn’t want to go when we up there in the winter because we figured it would be cold and miserable.  It was a niceish day when we went, but of course when we were halfway across, a storm started blowing in so it got really dark and windy.  Since the weather was looking kind of sketchy, we decided to only go halfway across.  It was really cool to be up there and be able to see for miles in both directions.  I’d definitely go there to walk if I lived up there – the breeze is refreshing and the view is amazing.

Notice my hair from the wind?

On Friday, we went to the Yankees game.  We rented a van and gathered 13 of our friends and family and piled in for the two-hour trek to the city.  When we first got on the road, the van started sputtering and bucking, then the check engine light came on.  Everyone was worried we wouldn’t make it down to the city, so we ended up having to switch out the van.  An hour after our planned departure time, we were on the road.  Unfortunately, the AC didn’t really work too well, so we had to make the whole trip with the windows down.  Luckily we had some drinkies to make the ride a little smoother.

We tailgated for a little while before heading into the game.  Since there were so many of us, we’d gotten seats in the bleacher section.  We were all laughing and having a good time when one of T’s bros stepped on a ketchup packet and it sprayed about 30 people (one ketchup package did quite some damage).  People were pissed, there was almost a brawl, and the whole section was chanting “throw out the asshole.”  Yeah, it was awesome – of course I missed all of the drama because I was in the bathroom and only returned to see the aftermath.  Since people were pissy, and we weren’t 100% invested in the game, I took Ketchup Bro to the car where we had a couple of beers and bonded while we waited for everyone to get out of the game.

Happy at the game before the ketchup explosion

Saturday was T’s dad’s birthday, so we hung out on the patio with some cocktails.  At one point T’s dad brought out his guitar and played for a while.  This inspired T to bust out his old sax and try to play a little too.  Unfortunately neither one of us really remembered how to read music, so he wasn’t too successful, but we had a great time.

Later that night we tried a new place for dinner – Stephano’s Ristorante.  It was this teeny, tiny little restaurant and it was pretty crammed with people.  The food was good, but the portions were gigantic.  I almost had a heart attack when they brought out my single serving of zuppa de pesce that looked like it could feed a family of four!  They had to box my leftovers in a catering foil pan, that’s how much was left!

My leftovers seriously weighed like 10 pounds

Sunday was pretty chill.  We went to brunch at this place we’d never been to – Shadows on the Hudson – for T’s uncle’s birthday.  We sat on the patio and had a nice view of the Hudson while we stuffed our faces.  Then we spent the afternoon visiting with his mom’s parents and brother and sister.  Later that night, we had our friends over for a goodbye barbecue, where T and I prepared the food.  Not to toot my own horn, but people were raving about our food.

Sadly on Monday we had to fly back to head back to work.  We had a late afternoon flight, so we were hoping that we’d be able to get back to Atlanta at a decent time and hang out with friends.  That was wishful thinking…apparently there were crazy thunderstorms all up and down the east coast, so we were severely delayed.  We sat on the plane for about 2 hours before we were able to take off.  It was a really annoying way to end an otherwise amazing trip.

And in honor of such a New Yorkie post, I wanted to share a picture that I took this weekend during a party that JD hosted – I’m totally channeling my inner guidette!

Check out our big hair, fake nails, and smoky eyes!

Hello lovelies!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  Mine were both fun, and I really enjoyed my 11 days of not working – I am seriously not looking forward to having to go back to work tomorrow.

Christmas in New York was nice, but cold.  Sadly there was no real snow.  I did get to experience some ice rain/sleet/snow on Christmas night, which I enjoyed.  There was enough for me to make a snowball and throw it at T!  The day we left NY, it was 6 degrees outside and super windy.  It was nice to arrive in Atlanta to 40-degree temperatures.

This New Year’s, we went to my family’s crazy party.  As always, it was a lot of fun and everyone was tipsy and had a good time.

2010 so far, has been a couch potato fest.  We slept until 2 p.m. on New Year’s Day, then lounged on my parents’ couch until about 10:30 p.m.  We headed back to Atlanta at that point, and T and I resumed our positions on the couch.  Yesterday was pretty much the same way.  It was hella cold out yesterday, so there was no point in venturing outside.  Today though, we will leave the couches and house to get some things accomplished before we go back to work tomorrow.

And since I’ve been a blogging slacker for the last chunk of December, I thought I’d post this meme that I found on S’s blog.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Traveled around Germany without my parents.  Normally it’s a whole family trip.  This time it was a kids’ adventure.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No, I seriously suck at life.  Last year, I wanted to work out more, be healthier and stop smoking….and I didn’t accomplish any of that.  This year, I will work harder to be healthier – no ifs, ands or buts.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my friend’s mom passed away December 14th.

5. What countries did you visit?
One, Germany.  Next year I hope to get a few more under my belt.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

A fitter physique.  It’s time to tone up and not be so flabby.  I’d also like for us to sell our condo and buy a bigger house and eventually get a dog!

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Inauguration Day, May 5th -the dates of my parents’ 3oth wedding anniversary

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I don’t think there was anything super spectacular that happened – we finally fixed up the guest bathroom

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not sticking to a workout routine

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Thankfully, I wasn’t very sick this year and didn’t sprain any ankles!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
New laptops and printer, LCD TV for the bedroom, and the kegerator – it will be delivered soon!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I can’t think of anyone

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

People who are just negative and hateful for no reason.  If you can’t say something nice, don’t saying anything at all.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Plane tickets to NY and Germany, eating out at nice restaurants, new laptops, house repairs, going out, shopping

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Our trip to Germany.  Starting to look for a new house.  Kegerator.  My new laptop.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Snake Farm by Ray Wylie Hubbard.  It’s not from 2009, but it became the theme song from T’s birthday camping trip.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?

I think I’m neither happier nor sadder, I’m the same size, and I think we may be better off money wise.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I’d done more things around Atlanta, like gone to festivals, plays, art exhibits, new restaurants, etc.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Party like a rock star

20. How did you spend Christmas?

On Christmas Day I was in NY with T and his family.  We unwrapped presents, ate goose and homemade sauerbraten, then went to T’s aunt’s annual Christmas shin-dig.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
No, I was already in love.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Oh, this is so hard, but I guess I’ll list my new favorites.  True Blood, The Jersey Shore, Top Chef, Intervention, The Vampire Diaries

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No.

24. What was the best book you read?
I read a lot of books this year, but I’m drawing a blank on the best.  I liked them all, but I wouldn’t say any were the best I’ve ever read.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
T’s obsession with trip-hop has spread to me.  Thanks hun!

26. What did you want and get?
New TV, laptop, printer, kegerator, cast iron dutch oven,

27. What did you want and not get?
A raise, more vacation time, winning the lottery.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I watched a lot of movies and at the moment, I’m drawing a blank – here are some of the ones I really liked – Slumdog Millionaire, The Uninvited, New Moon, Into the Wild, Factory Girl

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

This year I turned 27.  T and I went out to dinner Thursday night, then we partied with all of our friends Friday night, Saturday/Sunday my best friend ASP got married, and on Sunday we did dinner with my family.  It was a birthday weekend extravaganza.  We also went to Cavalia a couple weeks later as well!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Getting a raise.  I have been at the same salary since December 2006…sadness.  😦

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

This was the year of dresses.  I stocked up on super cute sun dresses this spring and summer.  I rocked the fall and winter dresses with cute tights and boots.  Other than that, I was pretty much a jeans girl.

32. What kept you sane?
Family, friends, booze,

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

There was no one that I was particularly obsessed with

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The health care debate.  The gay marriage debate.

35. Who did you miss?
My friends that live in NY that I rarely see.  My family in New Hampshire and Germany.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

ASP’s co-worker JN.  We hung out a lot in November due to bachelorette parties and the wedding.  She was my jumping for joy at the wedding buddy.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Be thankful for what you have.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Yeah, yeah, yeah…party in the USA.  Gotta love Miley.  Every time JD and I are in the car, this song plays at least once.  On our road trip to Knoxville we heard the song at least 6 times…I’m not even lying.  (Honestly this song doesn’t sum up my year, but it’s all that came to mind at the moment).

Hope 2010 is amazing!

I decided to participate in this month’s blog swap.  My partner and I were a little slow, so we are posting today instead of on Monday.  What?  It’s better to be late than never.  🙂

My swap partner is Olivia from Powered By Tofu.  She has traveled the world and seen some very cool things – including some very strange toilets.  In honor of my post about German toilets a few weeks ago, she has decided to share some of her potty humor with you!  Without further ado, here’s Olivia!

You’ll always remember your first squat toilet.

During my year of traveling around the world, I’ve seen my fair share of toilets. My first non-Western toilet experience was in Panama. The country had a mix of regular toilets, squatters, holes in the ground, outhouses, and fields… well, the field part was only because I didn’t want to use the filthiest bathroom I had ever seen (this was pre-China). My apologies to the farmers who may or may not have seen me peeing in their field (I still have no idea where they came from).

Next stop, China — home of the squat toilet, if you’re lucky. Seeing Chinese girls come teetering out of the toilets in 5 inch heels, I was completely baffled as to how they balanced on those “starting blocks”. Apparently they have the same confusion as to why we would sit on a filthy toilet, as evident of the signage in the [rare] Western toilet stalls.

In contrast, Japan is home of the futuristic toilet. Think heated (yes, I said heated) seats and more buttons than you know what to do with. They even have a musical “toilet flushing sound” button, because they’re that proper. 😉

Finally, there was SE Asia. Toilets in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia are about the same standards as China… bring your own tissues and make it quick! Most hotels have Western-style toilets, but be prepared for pretty much anything when you’re out for the day.

What’s your most memorable travel toilet experience?

toilet-japan

A hi-tech Japanese toilet

toilet-sign-cambodia

A toilet sign in Cambodia

“This post is a part of 20SB’s Blog Swap, and has been graciously sponsored by Bouncer, the latest in cellular and Internet-based privacy services.

You can read my post about the 10 things that make me happy about Germany at Olivia’s blog!

So, I know it’s been a minute since I got back from my German adventure, but I wanted to share some of the pictures we took with you.  Since my computer at home isn’t in tip top shape, I wanted to wait until I got my external hard drive back from my parents (they were going to work on assembling our wedding album – yes, we’ve been married more than a year and still haven’t made our photo album) before loading the images up.

We are also going out of town this weekend on a work retreat to the mountains, so I want to be able to take cute pictures.  So I brought the camera to work to upload the pictures here as well for back up – you can never be too safe.  Since it’s Friday, I uploaded my pictures to my blog.

Now for your viewing pleasure, Deutschland Adventure – 2009, part 1

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Having dinner with the family at the pizza place (Opa, T, Me, Oma, JT, Little S, Finni)

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Gearing up for the real Oktoberfest by practicing at the Mini-Oktoberfest.  Prost!

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Berlin skyline at night

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About to start the walking tour of Berlin – Brandenburg Gate

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The Holocaust Memorial

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Bebel Platz where the book burnings occurred.  Translation:  This is foreshadowing. Where one burns books one will also burn men.

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Berlin’s Museum Island.  The Gates of Babylon are here.

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Night out on the town for JT’s birthday!

Happy weekend! 🙂

Our weekend trip to Tennessee was fun, except for the fact that the Dawgs  got stomped.  We are doing awful this year!

The cute “red” dress I ordered to wear to the game ended up being more orangey than red, so that meant I couldn’t wear it on Saturday since UT’s color is orange.  Oh well, I wore it Sunday and it was still cute!

~

This weekend we are going on a work retreat to our mountain client.  It’s going to be a lot of fun, but it is going to be freezing up there.  The highs are in the upper 40’s and the lows in the 30’s…brrr.  Hello fall!

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I went to Old Navy after work the other day and stocked up on the cutest fall sweaters and dresses.  I spent a lot more money than I intended.  Check out the dresses!

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I also bought these really cute textured tights, but they snagged up after wearing them once.  I’m going to have to return them because it’s not cool that $10 tights unravel after the first wear.

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JD and I are hosting our annual Spooktacular Halloween party on Halloween this year.  I can’t wait!

T and I are going to be Bill and Sookie from True Blood.  I am making my costume, I hope it turns out cute! Do you have your Halloween costume picked out?

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Next week, Little S and I are starting Women’s Health’s Belly Off Club workout.  I have been a lazy slob this year, and I really need to lose some weight.  I know this is going to be good for me but I’m sure it’s going to kick my butt.  Especially rule #5 – No Alcohol for a month!  Eek!

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People around me have been sick for weeks.  I have managed to avoid getting anything for a while, except now I think I may be coming down with a cold.  I’m coughing like crazy (which at first I thought was due to inhaling couscous last night, but I don’t think that’s the case) and my head hurts.  FML

So, what’s been making you smile or frown lately?

I was reading Adriana’s blog earlier today and she posted about a Scarf Swap that Kate over at Simply Said by Simply Me is organizing.  I thought it would be fun to participate because, honestly who doesn’t love a cute new scarf?

So if you want to join in, head to Kate’s page and post a comment with your e-mail address.  She’ll send you a form to fill out, and you’ll be ready to go!  You have until October 21st to sign up!

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This weekend I’m off to Knoxville, TN to watch my beloved Dawgs battle the TN Vols.  I hope the game is good.  We’ll have a kick-ass tailgate complete with awesomely delicious chicken drumsticks (T and I are the master drumstick grillers), chorizo sausage, homemade baked goods, Bloody Marys and of course beer pong.

I have a cute new outfit to wear – A red dress, black leggings, and cute new black riding boots.  In the South jeans and sweats don’t cut it for football games (don’t ask me why, cause I really don’t know).  It’s supposed to be rainy, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will hold off for the game.  At least we have a canopy to tailgate under!

My new outfit:

07708696_665Cute new dress

312aonspCaL._AA260_My cute new boots

Happy weekend lovelies! 🙂

It’s that time again, where you share a little bit too much about yourself with thousands of strangers.  To read about everyone else’s horror stories, go to LiLu’s TMI Thursday page:)

Since I have just returned from a trip to Germany (I can’t believe I’ve been back a week already) I thought I would share a very funny and random TMIT with all of you lovelies.

I don’t know how many of you have been to Germany, but if you have, one of the first things you notice when you use a toilet in a house or hotel (most public toilets are the same) is that they are different from American toilets.  I know you are probably wondering how a toilet can really be that different, but it Germany it can.

Take a look at example A.  It is a toilet that you see in America, no matter where you go.  There is a deep bowl, filled with water.

American Toilet Example A – American Toilet

Now, take a look at Example B.  It’s a German toilet.  Instead of being greeted by a big bowl of water, you are met with a small puddle of water that rests on a shelf.  Down a steep slope from the shelf is the hole, where the rest of the water resides.

German toiletExample B – German toilet

I will give you a few moments to ponder over this oddity….You ready?

Now, I grew up in Germany.  But I always forget about the Poop Shelf (our wonderful nickname for it) until I visit and experience it for the first time.  It is seriously makes for one of the nastiest bathroom experiences ever.  For girls, going pee isn’t bad; it’s practically the same.  For guys, I’m sure there is a degree of splash back due to the shelf.  Going number 2 is a whole different story.

Imagine if you will, that you are on a vacation in Germany.  You have been drinking beer religiously because in most places it’s cheaper than soda or water.  You are eating a diet full of meat (deli, cooked, sausage – you name it, you’re eating it), carbs and probably not as many veggies as you should be having.  All of this heavy eating and drinking takes a toll on your digestive track, so you have to make frequent trips to the bathroom.

You saunter into the bathroom, cop a squat, and do your business, only to be met by the most foul odor you can imagine.  Because when you poop in Germany, Mr. Hanky does not submerge into a pool of water, which helps dissipate the stench.  Instead, he lands in a tiny amount of water on the Poop Shelf, wafting his stankiness up and out of the toilet.  It is awful!

In this instance, you try to be polite and courtesy flush.  But if you are not physically prepared to assume a skiers crouch, your tush will get splashed by the violent rush of water that is necessary to propel Mr. Hanky to his final destination in a sewage treatment plant.

I’m sure you are wondering what the Poop Shelf is for.  Well, I will tell you.  It’s for making the collection of stool samples so much easier.  Instead of trying to unload in a tiny cup, you can just do it on the shelf and scoop it out.  How ingenious!  – I could not imagine having to scoop poop out of the toilet in a cup, shudder.

For those of you really interested in the Poop Shelf, check out this hilarious article I found comparing German and American toilets.

So, have any of you had any strange toilet experiences in your travels overseas? 🙂



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