Thursday, May 26, 2011

The best invention

Right before we shipped out, I was wandering around Bed, Bath and Beyond and found this little humidifier. After picking my jaw up from the ground when finding out the price ($50!), I debated and made the splurge. But let me tell you, this little humidifier is my essential travel companion. As you know, you walk into a hotel room and the first thing that hits you is the dryness of the room. My skin starts to itch and I feel the need to run and grab my chapstick. This humidifier is super powerful and runs off a bottle of water. It makes hotel sleeping actually bearable. And if you're sick and totally stuffed up like I am right now, it puts your cold back in its place. I feel so much better after rigging this up last night.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Village Street Fair

We headed down to the Village today to eat at one of our favorite restaurant, Risotteria. After a fabulous lunch, we stumbled upon a little street fair. The first booth we saw had these amazing collages. We were so taken with them, that we had to buy one. Let's just call it a belated wedding present.
This is not the one we bought, but definitely a cool one. Ours is of the Chrysler building (my favorite).
The artist, Nina Boesch, is a graphic designer by day and collage artist at night. Check out her stuff HERE.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Final Europe Post

After a relaxing evening in Paris last night, we headed to the Eurostar station to catch the train to London. We were attempting to get to Heathrow early because the British Airways customer service rep said we'd have no problem flying stand by on an earlier flight. After we broke Parisian law at least twice, due to the fact that I didn't think we needed our metro passes anymore and threw them away at the train station. When indeed we did need them 2 more times for transfer we were unaware of. It was a little tricky because there were no tickets booths and we didn't have anymore euros so we were forced to slide through an oversized door at one gate and tag along behind another person at another. I didn't feel too bad considering I did pay for the silly trip, I just didn't have my ticket with me. I did think that all the guards were watching me from that point and was glad that we hopped on an early train to London.
When we arrived in London, we had a smooth transition to the airport. After exchanging $20 USD for a mere 9 British pounds to get us our Tube tickets. Once at the British Airways counter we were met with stares when we explained that the customer service rep said we could go stand by on another flight. They told us it was $500 per ticket plus fare change to go on another flight. After some coaxing and letting them know that maybe they need to retrain their customer service reps, a manager got us on a 4 pm flight back to NYC.
Now we're happily wasting some time in the lounge where I had the most amazing chili and curry chicken.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Paris, day 1 and part of 2

We took the Eurostar from London to Paris. It was a short 2.5 hour ride and definitely worth it.
1. We ran straight away to the Louvre. It wasn't that busy since it was already afternoon and all the tourist like to get things done in the morning. Note to self, visit tourist attractions after lunch. We noticed this all over Rome too, things really slow down in the afternoon.
2. After visit the Mona Lisa and Napoleon's apartment we headed down the Seine to Notre Dame.
3. Then we did a little shopping and croissant eating before heading to the best steak house in Paris. Read about it HERE.
4. Then it was off for a moonlit stroll to the Eifel Tower. This was quite the experience. Anyone who knows me, knows I have an insane fear of heights. Somehow I let Steven talk me into doing the Eifel Tower again. (I'm still traumatized from the time in 2001 when my sister, Ruth, Kim, and I made the trek up the stairs to the first level) This time around things were much different (well not my fears). They only have elevators now and the floors are no longer the metal grates they used to be. I felt a little safer once we reached the first level, but refused to go any farther. I sat quietly on a bench inside by the gift shop while Steven went to the top. While sitting there I heard a bunch of people yelling and clapping outside. I slowly ventured out and saw that the tower was having a little light show. Super cool and another improvement.
Once we were safely on the ground, we headed back to the hotel.
5. We had a little trouble getting going on day 2 as we have had many early mornings and travel days. But once we were going and had some fantastic coffee and croissants, we made our way to Roland Garros. It was the first day of the French Open qualifiers. This was super cool and we got to walk around to all the courts and watch whatever matches we wanted.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


We just had 2 short days here in London, but we managed to cram a billion things in.
1. We arrived on Saturday to the hotel around 4 pm and hit the rode. We had a nice dinner and then saw The Lion King. It was a really fun show and so weird to be on the other side.
2. After the show we walked through Trafalger Square and Piccadilly Circus.
3. Sunday morning we desperately wanted to get to a service at Westminster Abbey. We set our alarm early (it was an 8 am service!) and after a series of unfortunate events ending with me pleading with the guard to let us in, we did not get to a service. We did a quick tour of the Parliament and headed off to the changing of the guard. Then we shamelessly spent the rest of the day at Harrods. You know me, I can walk down every aisle at the drugstore so this was heaven. I didn't even manage to get around even 2 of their floors. We even had our lunch there at a little diner.
4. Our last event of the day was seeing Mahler 8 played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall.
Now, on to Paris!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rome, part 3

Phew, my posts returned. Thank you blogger.
1. We got to do the traditional honeymoon thing and sleep in a little bit Friday. It was fantastic. Plus, people in Rome do not wake up early. The normal time for shops to open is 10:30.
2. We visited the same cafe for breakfast and finally had their coffee. What a dream. America, what are you thinking? Starbucks, really?
3. We headed out in the blazing sun to the Colosseum. This was probably one of the most amazing sites I've seen. You could really feel the energy that this stadium holds.
4. We headed over to Palatine Hill and the Forum. Although I was completely confused (there's been some major construction to the entrances since my 2008 edition of Rick Steves (hence the reason he updates each year and damn my frugalness for buying a used guidebook), I couldn't really get into the self guided tour. However this was something not to be missed).
5. After a lengthy nap, the norm in Rome, we dined al fresco (as we did for all our meals) in Piazza Navona. Steven informed me that this was in the movie Angels and Demons. One, of course, that I've never seen. It was a beautiful night and the piazza is closed from cars so very peaceful.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rome, part 2

1. My favorite part of updating my blog is that my dashboard comes up in Italian. It's true, we're here!
2. The place of the day was the Vatican. We had a 2 hour guided tour of the gardens this morning and a 3 hour tour of the Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica this afternoon. It was a very historical day and if I'm able to remember half of what my pictures are, I'll be happy.
3. We walked on floors that were 2000 years old, saw the residence of the Pope prior to 1747, walked on the current Pope's helipad, stood next to St. Peter's tomb, and were up close and personal with most of Michelangleo's works. All in all, a pretty unbelievable day.
4. I had the best croissant, gnocchi, and gelato today.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rome, part 1

I know what you're all thinking, why is she blogging on her honeymoon. Trust me, we are in marital bliss right now but I don't want to forget this trip so I'm going to try and write some stuff down each night.
1. We flew business class from JFK to Heathrow. That was an amazing experience. It started off at the British Airways lounge where we had a drink and got 15 min chair massages. Then we were off to slumber land on the flight in our fully recline-able chairs. The food was great and I discovered a new love for the British Airways pretzel roll.
2. As we were coming off the flight, we realized Yoko Ono was on our flight. Star struck, of course.
3. The flight to Italy was the most beautiful one I've ever taken. We flew right over the English Channel and then hit the Swiss Alps.
4. Rome has been a dream. We got a great room at the Grand Hotel de la Minerve and the staff brought us chocolates and champagne. I'm enjoying a glass as we speak. We were able to tour the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps today. We both managed to find a perfect pair of Italian leather gloves at Sermoneta. After 2 glorious meals of pizza, pasta, and soups we're both ready for bed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Final Countdown

The guests are arriving. The toddler and baby are in rare form entertaining anyone in sight. 
Here's Martin and Pa at Mom's program. Martin was REALLY into the band.

Here's my Mom directing the 5th and 6th grade band.

Matthew loved it too. He was boogieing to the music. (I just looked up how to add -ing to boogie and no joke, that's how it's spelled)

The next day a pirate showed up at our house.

Traditional dinner at Andy's.

And the other side of the table.

Monday, May 2, 2011

More Omaha adventures

We stopped into an antique shop between shows on Saturday and found this china set. We both fell in love with it so we bought it! It's Noritake and dates before WWII. It's almost complete too. Complete enough for us.

Needless to say, we've deleted the china we registered for.

Matthew Barry Kaden is quite the mover and shaker now.

And his new friend is the cat.

However, the cat does not like Matthew. This doesn't deter him from his conquest.

Before the evening show on Sunday, the cast threw us a little pre-wedding celebration.

Here they are singing "Going to the Chapel"

It was super sweet. We'll see you all in 3 weeks!

belated Omaha posts

We just finished a fantastic week in Omaha playing at the Orpheum. We had so many people come to the show this week: Mom, Dad, Tana, Matt, Lindy, Bryant, Ruth, Kim, Kylie, Molly, Amanda, Heather, Donna, Mike, Amy, Penny, Allen, Hayley, Joel, Paul, Liz, random band directions, some random people from my undergrad, and the lady from the plane. It's pretty great to play in your hometown!
In old news, this was from our last stop in Cleveland before we left. The Great Lakes Brewing Co. A delicious treat before the flight to Milwaukee.

Now to jump ahead several weeks. This is Steven in our brand new storage unit. Welcome 10 x 15.

Our chauffeur for the week.

Steven's first time at the Orpheum!