Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Because I haven't been on enough airplanes lately...

I'll soon be getting on another one to go to one of my favorite cities ever.

I will eat lots of delicious foods. Emphasis on lots.
I will work off that food by doing copious amounts of walking.
I will see many tall buildings.
I will frolic in a giant park that may or may not be covered in snow.
I will attempt to spot hip celebs hiding behind sunglasses [primary focus will be on finding Tina Fey].
I, in turn, will attempt to be hip.
I will wander through museums.
I will see live entertainment.
I will be moved by a beautiful memorial


New York, I've missed you so.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

If you like miniatures, you will like this post.

An artist in London has been installing miniature gardens in potholes around the city.

How cute and creative are they??

See more HERE.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Run! There's a zombie behind you!

I applaud anyone who can run long distances.

And by long distances, I mean anything further than a mile.

But I REALLY applaud people who run marathons.

People like two of my BFFs, Courtney and Amy.

They trained four months for the Houston Marathon that was held a couple weekends ago, and did great.

It was so much fun going out to cheer them on and see them succeed at something they worked so hard for!

You must admit we had some pretty awesome signs.

My favorite?

"Do you need to poop yet?"

Made by yours truly.

Friday, January 20, 2012

You may say it's too late to talk about Christmas, but I say nay

It might almost be February, but that will not stop me from talking about Christmas!

Since I wasn't able to share before going to Europe, I figured now is as good a time as any!

The first of several random kitchen utensils I acquired. Thanks to my mom, I'm on my way to having a very well-stocked kitchen!

Mom has secretly been wanting Uggs to keep her feetsies warm. They'll serve her well when she house sits for my uncle in NYC next month.

And dad had NO idea he was getting an iPad.

They're cuties.

My favorite gift! I'm so domestic.

And the traditional bow on Bogey's head picture.

There you go, a little Christmas cheer in January!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Glimpses of what I shoved into my mouth while I was traipsing around Europe

Oh dear, that title sounds a bit off color.

But I'm leaving it.

Keep in mind, this is only a FRACTION of what I ate.

Most of the time it was too cumbersome to pull out my camera while eating a baguette sandwich [or my 500th crepe/pastry] on the street.

Or sometimes I was just too hungry and impatient to take the time to photograph my meal.

Irish breakfast

Steak and Guinness stew. No words.

THE BEST HOT CHOCOLATE EVER from Butler's Chocolates

Chicken and mushroom pie. Not pictured, a hot chocolate. Let it be known, I sampled hot chocolate[s] in every city I visited.


Breakfast of yogurt and muesli and nutella on toast. Oh and some really delicious juice from Sainsbury.
Fish and chips copiously doused with malt vinegar. Not pictured: my beloved HP sauce.

French food in London...fish parmentier. I want to eat this every single day.

Creme de caramel. OH MY GOD.

The starter to our Indian food. Chicken Tikka Masala was consumed to quickly to take a picture of it.

Banana and nutella crepes. Duh. This was the first of many.

For my birthday! I ate those suckers so fast. I bought pistachio, coffee, sea salt and caramel, and lemon.

Birthday dinner starter: Potatoes COVERED IN CHEESE. What more can you ask for?

Birthday dinner meals. Mine was duck confit, Aaron had a steak thing, and Ryan had a mystery meal that was one of the best things I've ever tried.

Birthday dessert: chocolate mousse. THE BEST MY MOUTH HAS EVER MET.

Baguette sandwich of salami, edam, and rocket. For dessert ,a chocolate and nut covered waffle.

Frites with mayo. Yes, please. I love mayo to begin with, but they take mayo to a whole other level in Europe.

 A few notes:

1. We actually tried ordering an escargot appetizer on my birthday, but the restaurant was OUT OF SNAILS!!! What kind of French restaurant runs out of snails? I was placated as soon as the magical cheese potatoes arrived though. If you find yourself in Paris, do yourself a favor and visit Chez Gladine. They barely speak English and the menu is completely in French, but it will be one of the best meals of your life!

2. Because it was honestly the best thing I've ever eaten, I did not get a picture of the world's best falafel. It came from Chez Hanna in Paris. If I were a rich person with nothing better to do with my money, I'd fly to Paris for dinner just to eat it. IT WAS THAT GOOD.

3. I did indeed drink hot chocolate in every city. It was pure bliss.

4. Cheese is better in Europe. It is a fact.

5. Baguettes are better in Europe. Another fact.

6. My legs look great after this trip because of the miles and miles we walked. My stomach, on the other hand, reflects all the goodness that I put into it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Where they eat fries with mayo

I had no idea what to expect from Amsterdam as far as the people and culture went.

All I really had to associate it with were
1. Legal marijuana
and 2. Legal prostitution/Red Light District

Oh, and tulips.

The architecture and canals were quite charming, and the cheese was outstanding. The tulips certainly did not disappoint.

Our last day was spent with zero plans or intentions of things to see, so we simply wandered. This turned out to be one of my favorite days of the trip. 

We happened upon a farmers market, a GIANT flower market, and a Christmas market. I also found a cheese shop where I purchased authentic Gouda and sampled about 5 million different types of cheeses. Heaven.

When hunger struck, we picked out random cafes that seemed cute and were always happy with our meals.

But still.

I just couldn't get past the "pot culture" and the things I saw in the Red Light District. I'm an incredibly open minded person, but this was just beyond what I've ever seen. I know these two things do not embody the whole spirit of the city, but it seemed to be around every corner.

Should I return to The Netherlands one day, I'd be most interested in seeing other cities like Rotterdam and The Hague.

And most importantly....WINDMILLS!

Ok, sorry for the diatribe. Here are some pictures.

Not pictured: The Anne Frank house. It was a moving experience and something I'm really glad we were able to see.

So, winter Eurotrip was quite a success.

I must say, I'll be ready for another one soon :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The city where I turned a quarter of a century old

One very nice train ride later [don't know how this happened, but maybe it explains why our tickets cost more than I thought they would], we arrived in Paris

AKA the city where I'd turn my scariest age to date.

I was ready.

Aaron had never been to Paris before, so I was eager to show him why I love it so much.

One of my first orders of business was to to purchase a white chocolate Kinder Bueno bar from a snack machine in the Metro. 

Mission complete!!

On my birthday, we did several touristy things to get the boys acquainted with the city.

My only requests?

That we eat crepes and go to Laduree. Obviously.

The Paris premier of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was being set up for that evening!! I almost hyperventilated with excitement upon seeing this.

View of the city from Tour Montparnasse.

Per the recommendation of a friend who used to live in Paris, we had my birthday dinner at Chez Gladine, a traditional Basque restaurant.


Pictures of our OUTSTANDING food to come in a later post.

Just let your imaginations run wild for now.

I should also point out that they made a mean pitcher of sangria. Potent sangria. But on a 25th birthday, potent drinks are necessary.

Our remaining days were spent exploring more of the city, visiting Versailles on the coldest, rainiest, windiest day ever, and having the best falafel of my life. But more on that later.

Napoleon's tomb. Tiny man, giant tomb. Thus embodying "Napoleonic Complex."

The Thinker. Let's not talk about how I can't use my camera very well [i.e. why this picture is so dark]. 

Aaron and I are not really into super mushy PDA, but we had to get a typical kissy kissy picture in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Let me just tell you that trying to take said picture while German tourists mill about and a tour bus is parked right in front of you is embarrassing. 

We had to do about 30 takes because both of us kept laughing so hard.

These are the only two [plus a silly one that needed to be thrown in] that were acceptable for your eyes.

After successfully turning a year older and seeing the sites of Paris, it was time to catch an early train to my final destination of the trip...



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