Month: November 2014

Thanksgiving in the Dark

Thursday afternoon, the power went out and the water in the house shut off. In order to still some kind of thanksgiving dinner, my dad took charge and showed his inner MacGyver.

All dinner was warmed and finished on either the charcoal barbecue, the propane camping barbecue, or the turkey fryer, (we fried some of the already baked turkey too- best idea ever.) A flood light was plugged into a generator outside and placed in the kitchen, pointing toward the table. A few dozen candles were spread out along the two folding tables, as well as the dining room table my mom inherited from her grandmother. 25 people gathered in the dark kitchen of a cabin in the Catskills to give thanks for family, friends, love, and life.

I’m thankful for so many things in my life, my family, my boyfriend, my friends, my work, but above all, I’m so thankful the lights went out on Thanksgiving. It was a fantastic way to truly made us thankful. It really made us work together on a day we would have otherwise spent watching TV and waiting for my mom and aunts to finish cooking.

While we were EXTREMELY grateful when the electricity came back on at about 9pm, I will always remember the silliest thanksgiving ever.

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Bring on the turkey

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Right now I’m sitting on the 2:30pm ferry next to a girl with iced coffee and I’m really sad I don’t have my own. My plan was to get one but if I had stuck to the plan, I wouldn’t have made the 2:30 ferry. I guess sometimes you have to give up the good stuff for some better stuff.

As I type, the Samuel I. Newhouse is bumping across the bay, completely unaware that today is the biggest travel day of the year… but that’s probably because its a boat.

Tonight, my family and I will be making the 3 hour trek up to the Catskills to enjoy a little nature with our turkey. But, in order to navigate until then, I think I’m going to need some coffee.

Yes, I really did buy myself a pen in the shape of a baguette

I might have lost weight with all of the walking we did in Europe if we didn’t eat 3 dinners a night while there.

While the food in Paris wasn’t my favorite, the Roman food was killer. But besides food, here is what my European adventure consisted of…

We flew into Charles de Gaulle airport at 8am Wednesday morning and scoured the airport for a info booth. We bought the museum pass and train tickets and took the B train into Cité Universitaire. We came out of the metro and I started to get nervous because I had no idea where I was. Thankfully, I found a little bit of wifi and mapped out our way to the hotel. The entire 15 minute walk I stayed nervous because, at that point, God only knew if we were going the right way.

Finally, we found the hotel, only to be told we couldn’t check in yet. Luckily, Nick and I were both in comfortable enough shoes to start our adventure immediately.

First stop, the Eiffel Tower… Obviously.

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Next stop, the aquarium… Accidentally.

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After walking randomly, finding bad food and walking around aimlessly again, we finally made our way back to the hotel (after I got us lost a lot and had to give up the map)

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We passed out at 6pm that night.

The next morning we started museuming in Paris with the Louvre.

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That night, we got to see the Tour Eiffel sparkle and had the best dinner in France.

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Our last day in France was spent in Versailles and D’Orsay. I injured myself in Versailles (I’m still limping, kinda.)

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And then we went to Rome! As sketchy as Rome is (we ended up at the wrong hotel accidentally) it was great. Our first day began at the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain (which is under construction – total bullshit,) the Pantheon, and ended at Piazza Navona, where we had gelato, risotto, espresso, and hung out.

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Our second day, we went to the Colosseum and the forum and then got stuck in the pouring rain and wanted to cry. Our site seeing for day 2 was cut short when we had to walk a few miles to find our bus while it poured continuously.

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The rain was miserable but we made up for it the third day with a tour of the Vatican.

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Here I am all squinty eyed. Obvs awesome.

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That night we had 3 dinners and a lot of tiramisus and it was all delicious.

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Tuesday morning we woke up and finally came home. Our first flight was from Rome to Paris, which landed way after our second flight was done boarding. All I wanted to do was shop in the airport in Paris and I couldn’t even do that. I was not happy. After 8 and a half hours we landed in New Jersey. Customs was a little annoying, our bags were spot checked, I hugged my dad, he got us coffee and we froze our asses off trying to find his truck. Finally, we drove home.

20141123-220341.jpgI feel like I used the word “finally” a lot as I discussed the last leg of our trip. That’s because I missed my family and my routine and not having to wake up at 7am and walk around for 12 hours.

As much as I love to travel and see new things and experience different cultures, cuisines and people, I missed being home. I missed people speaking English and not getting dirty looks on the Metro. I missed my bed.

 

I loved my trip but thank God I’m home.

*After Thought:
My boyfriend managed to eat 4 onion soups during the 3 days we spent in France. I just wanted to add that in. I found it funny. Maybe that’s why the French dislike Americans.

Espresso withdrawals

Welcome Home!

I’m finally back in the states, back at my desk, and back to my routine.

I won’t lie, coming to work was not on my list of favorite things to do today but I feel a lot better now that I’m here. It’s not like I wouldn’t rather be sitting at home in my pj’s eating pop tarts and watching Gilmore Girls but I needed to get back into real life and be a contributing member of society… kinda.

My maple syrup tea and I are sittin’ and chillin’ listening to the “Endless River: This is Pink Floyd” playlist on Spotify while pretending to catch up. My general blogging plan is to outline each day of my trip in detail and picture this weekend. Hopefully all goes well and IC&GW gets a rundown of my European adventure. Until then, here’s a picture of one of the many tiramisus we ate while in Rome.

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Arrivederci amici!

Buongiorno principessa!

It’s 6:30am and I’m sitting in the airport in Paris with a bum ankle dreaming of bacon and a bed.
It doesn’t even have to be my bed. I’m just so tired and want to pass out in a pile of pillows. I was nervous about the ride from the hotel to the airport this morning that begins the second leg of our groupon trip so I went to sleep after 11pm and woke up at 2:30am. I couldn’t sleep for the next hour so I just stared at the wall. At 3:30 I got up and got ready. I just walked around the room a bit until it was 4, then woke nick up. At 4:20ish the taxi guy got there and that’s how I’m here. I don’t know how I hurt my ankle but I looked like an idiot limping around Versailles yesterday. I thought I could sleep it off but that didn’t work. I have no idea what I should do about it but I’m definitely not a fan. Walking around Rome is going to be a giant pain if I can’t fix my ankle a bit.