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Thursday, 30 July 2015

All Roads Lead to Rome... Kind of

Good morning! We are in Rome! It was a bit of an adventure to finally get here but yes, we made it! In a little while we will be heading for breakfast and then at 8:30 we have a private tour of the Colosseum (I just spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to spell that). I told the Husband last night at dinner that it was a "fancy" tour just for us and that it was a little expensive to which he said "Like, 50 euros?" and now I know I can never tell him how much I really am paying.

So anyway, as I wrote yesterday, we definitely have our quirks when we travel and no matter how much we do to avoid conflict (the reason we booked the airport pick up in Rome among other things) we will still snap at each other.

Yesterday we got to the airport in record time and with 2 hours to spare I felt calm and collected. We went to drop off our luggage and realized we were too too early. So we decided to stop for lunch and a beer and just enjoy the hustle of an international airport. Airports are the ultimate in people watching. My favourite game? Guessing people's nationalities. So much fun! Yeah, I might need a better hobby.

We decided to finally drop off our suitcase (under 23 kg, thank you very much. And when I saw it weighed 14.4 kg, I was like, woot woot shopping!) and then went through security and then lo and behold; Victoria's Secret! Hello! It has been years since I have been to one of these and I was pretty excited to check out the one and only VS in Austria. There was a great sale and I bumped into an old colleague and the Husband just about lost his mind at all the stuff. I'm never bringing him back in there. Kid in a candy store.

I bought a couple of things (or else I would have had a 38 year old pouting toddler on my hands) and we went to our gate. And then we saw that the flight was going to be delayed 30 minutes. I was annoyed but I shrugged and said "meh, let's have a beer" and we had a small one and talked and waited. And then, we looked at the screen and the flight was going to be an hour and 15 minutes late and I got a little twitchy. We sat at the gate and I noticed that we were travelling with a group of Italian teenage girls. Wow. They wear short shorts. And one girl was wearing a bright pink mini dress under a denim vest and all that I could see were the letters "CK" and "ME" and I wanted to pass her a pashmina and go "Oh honey no!" but then I saw it read "ROCK ME" but still. Close call.

We finally boarded the plane close to 2 hours later and I was not that relaxed anymore, especially when the captain told us we would be waiting for another 30 minutes to which I responded with "ROCK ME!" heh. We finally took off and can I just add in here that flying with  EasyJet, while affordable and basic, is like travelling with the boy in Jurassic Park. Non-stop announcements. My God.

We finally landed and when we disembarked, CHAOS. There had been a problem at the airport in Rome and there were tons and tons of people. We waited a ridiculously long time for our luggage and then we headed into arrivals. And there was a guy, holding a tablet, with my name on it. The snob in me LOVED THIS! Our lovely driver took our suitcase and we asked him what the problem had been at the airport.

"Eh. There was fire yesterday. This morning a piece-a luggage alone. And in the afternoon, a blackout. Oh and there has been an accident on the highway so I take-a you a different route. Okaay?"

To which we responded with "Okaaay." The drive took close to 50 minutes and we kept taking detours and I whispered to the Husband "All roads lead to Rome! Hahahaha" I'm witty. We finally pulled up to our gorgeous monastery turned hotel just after 6 and went to reception. The guy at the desk was like:
"You come much later than expected!"
"Yes! There was a problem at the airport!"
"Our airport?" he asked as he typed in our passport information.
"Yes. A black out, a fire and an emergency evacuation."
"Oh. Normale." he said and passed us back our passports.
"Si. It's Fiumcino airport. Normale."

We went to our room, checked out all of the Italian channels and then decided to hit the area of Trastevere. One hour later  (40 minutes longer than it should take) we finally hit it and I was homicidal. The Husband has temporarily lost Map Master status. Gah! I was hangry. We stopped at the first restaurant we could find and somebody up there must have felt pity because a bottle of the house wine was 8 euros. I tried zucchini flowers for the first time (total bucket list) and then had a margherita pizza. It was so hot out and I dreaded the walk back. It was already 11 by the time we got back and we decided to stop for a glass of wine in the hotel gardens. It was a good end to a pretty stressful day.

And now it is time for us to grab some breakfast and then book a cab and head to the Colloseum. I am ridiculously excited to see Rome proper for the first time! Let's go!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Off to Rome!!!

YAAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!! We are going to Rome! The Kid has not had a freak out in about 36 hours. It seems he is doing just fine so we are going on our trip and I am so happy, I could cry. We will be gone for 3 nights unless I am arrested for trying to meet an Italian fashion designer. I cannot believe that today is the day! Our flight is at 2. Our taxi comes at 11:30 and yes I am aware that this is unnecessarily early but if I am not standing in front of the gate, at least an hour before boarding, I will actually die. Kersplat, dead. After close to 14 years together, the Husband and I have figured each other out when it comes to travelling. Here are our "quirks" which is French for "obnoxious habits".

I have to be at the airport super early lest I miss the plane and then I will die, actually die.

When the plane lands, I better have my carry on in my hands and I am getting into the aisle as soon as the no seatbelt sign is off. I will glare at all of you standing while the plane is still moving.

I like to stand at the "mouth" of the luggage carousel so we don't waste time for the suitcase to make the rounds. The Husband has no problem waiting and when he finally hoists it from the conveyor belt he always takes out a bystander's knees.

He will pack a terrible assortment of clothes. Yes, I did remove your highlighter stained shirt. I hate it with the passion of a thousand suns.

I will exit an airport at the speed of light, practically hitchhiking to get to our location as fast as possible. DON'T WANT TO MISS ONE DAMN MINUTE OF OUR TRIP!

He will make a cheesy joke at check in. I will roll my eyes and sigh. This has sometimes gotten us an upgrade. Ricky and Lucy, everybody!

We will both refuse help with our luggage to our room. If we have no control over the luggage, we will spend the elevator ride hissing at each other about a tip.

The TV gets turned on the minute we walk into the room. Followed by channel surfing and exclamations about which channels there are. Vegas was probably the best place. They had ALL THE CHANNELS!

The Husband will grab every brochure at the concierge. Maps are his crack.

We will literally walk non-stop with short stops at cafes at 2 hour intervals. Wine and/or beer will be consumed.

At least twice I will have a pizza margherita. There is a Big Mac index commonly used in economics. Well, I have the margherita index.

I will wake up every morning at the crack of dawn and will stare at the Husband in bed until he realizes he is being watched. This will lead to "Dear, just go to breakfast already. I'll go later." which will lead to me whining "I can't do a buffet by myself! I just can't!" (Eating alone at a restaurant alone? No problem! Buffets? Kill me now).

I will jump up and down and clap my hands when I see something beautiful. This happens at least half a dozen times in a day.

We will be at the airport way too early on the way home.

So those are our "quirks". I have actually taken some steps to avoid some of the issues that we usually have with each other when we travel. I have booked a taxi to pick us up to go to the airport (while I was writing this post, I looked outside and saw a taxi transport cab and for a minute I thought I had typed in the wrong time and I almost hyperventilated. I checked the e-mail. We are all good.) I have also booked a car to pick us up in Rome and bring us to the hotel to avoid the HOURS it takes the Husband to find out which bus to take into the city. And I am bringing my laptop this time so that in the mornings, I can let him sleep while I read all about the fake baby bump conspiracy theory regarding Kim Kardashian.

Since this is a dream trip, we are being quite decadent. We booked a nice hotel with a pool (this is what the Husband wanted. He has gills) and we have decided to be a little fancy. As a surprise, I am booking a private tour of the Colliseum and Palatine that guarantees skipping the lines. It is pricey but it will fulfill a couple of basic life pleasures: archaeology and being a VIP. The Husband doesn't know yet so I talked to a friend about it to convince myself it was a good idea.

Me: So, like I booked this super expensive tour. It is pretty pricey. It costs (too ashamed to post it here)
Her: How long does it take?
Me: Three hours. Oh wait! A THREE HOUR TOUR!! (starts humming theme song from Gilligan's Island)
Her: What are you singing?
Me: Gilligan's Island! How do you not know that?!?!
Her: Meh. Never watched it.
Her: Is it any good?
Me: No.

I will have to hide the money in an envelope when I give it to the guide because I think the Husband will not be pleased. But hey, when in Rome!

I better get ready soon. I have to shower and put on self tanner and finish packing. I usually pack a few days before a trip but since we weren't sure if we were really going to go on account of the Kid, I held back. So now I am running around like a mad woman yelling "Where is my teal, faux silk three quarter length shirt?!?" or "Where is my Greek inspired gold plated necklace?!" I have to be specific because I own a lot of stuff. I'm not proud.

I wish you all a great day! I will definitely try and do updates about the trip in the mornings! Bella Italia, I'm COMING!!!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

I'm a Super Model.. oh ha ha ha

Alright! Happy Wednesday! I am a little manic this morning. The Husband and I are wondering if we should cancel our trip to Rome. And I pray that we won't because we really really need this trip. The Kid, as I mentioned yesterday, has had some mega freak outs the last couple of days. I am not sure if it is digestion related or something bigger. All day yesterday he was an angel and I thought maybe we were in the clear but again last night around 10:30, he had another one. Not as severe but still not fun. If we can get through today without one, we will go, otherwise, byeee dream trip. The only consolation if we do go is that the Kid's grandmother is wonderful with him so that puts me at ease. Please keep your fingers crossed that he feels better and that I don't feel like jumping off a bridge due to guilt and indecision.

So, that's the news from the home front. Now onto fun! (Please Kid, feel better, Mommy really needs this long weekend). So, yesterday was the big photo shoot! For weeks I have planned to drop weight so that I would feel confident but life and pizza got in the way so that didn't happen. Womp womp. As I mentioned a bazillion times, a friend signed me up for a photo shoot without my knowledge. I remember being out for dinner with friends when I got the PM and I was all like "Say what?!?" and then I drank some more wine because it seemed like a good way to process the information.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend met with the photographer, a Ms. Dina Lee. She explained that she is working on a series of photographs of women in Vienna and she asked us to bring 3-4 outfits for the photo shoot. A make up artist would be there and the shoot would last most of the afternoon. Monday night I threw some outfits in a bag because I am well prepared and a professional model. Cough. Cough. I left work at 1 and jumped into a taxi. Office Twin inferred that I was a capitalist pig dog for not taking public and my answer to him is, suck it. The minute I had settled into my seat, the song "Isn't she lovely." came on and I snorted. Then the driver switched over to German rap and I was done. Dina's studio is located on Burggasse near Lugner City. I arrived just in time and met my friend  at the front door. We were both a little freaked out (I felt like hyperventilating) and we made our way in. Dina met us at the door and she is stunning and when I met her I kept it classy by declaring "I shall be your GREATEST CHALLENGE!"

Friend (Kat) took out the booze (smart Kat, smart) and we were ushered into the studio; a bright room with intimidating equipment. Dina asked us to take out our outfits and it felt a little like show and tell from back in the day "My top is coral. I love my top. My top makes me happy on dark days. My top is from H&M because my mommy says that until I take care of my clothes, I have to shop discount." (And I am not dissing H&M because I adore that place). I also brought a stack of jewelry because like a sportscar to a man with low self esteem, bling bling to me. The make up artist showed up and I think I yelled something like "I hope there is spray paint in there!" Kat was the first victim and I acted like a proud stage mom, taking pictures, signing her childhood away, being a cougar. Within 45 minutes, Kat was ready to be shot.. by a camera. She looked incredible! When it was my turn to get my make up done, I said "Make me look like her".

While I got my make up done "Slap it on!! Don't be shy!", Kat became Linda Evangelista. She looked spectacular and Dina Lee was great in explaining what she wanted in terms of poses. The make up artist was great too and she kept complimenting my eyes which was nice of her. I have two different coloured eyes and I am a little self conscious about them. Every time people notice and say something like "I love your eyes!" I have to destroy the compliment with "Which one?" (Sidenote: I am terrible at receiving compliments. And this is something I have to work on.) After an hour, I was done and Kat was getting to the end of her session. Dina asked us to pose together and at one point we were holding hands and looking very chummy and I declared "This shall be our wedding invite!"

Then Kat was released and it was time to get my Zoolander on. Yeah, about that. I am stiff. I am not good in front of the camera. I am literally a deer in the headlights and yet Dina did a fantastic job making sure I was comfortable and patiently gave instructions. She has the patience of a saint. This is why I could never be a photographer. "What the hell!?! Left hand on the hip! LEFT! For God's sake did you not learn which is left in school?! Point your chin! Do you even speak English?! Dammit what is wrong with you, you vapid moron?!" Cough. No, Dina has the gift of making you feel like you like you are worthy of being photographed and that is a gift. Especially with someone like me, grunting every time I had to stand up saying "Sorry, Trex arms." or "Don't look at my HIDEOUS feet!!"  We wrapped up around 5 and I had to run and meet a friend for dinner for a restaurant I had to review. I thanked Dina for her time and her professionalism and I said "We need to stay in touch! Especially now that you've seen my crotch!" Dammit, Tova. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!?

The experience was definitely interesting and was so beyond my comfort zone. I am happy that I did it and I cannot wait to see the end results in a couple of weeks when the pictures come out. Dina is great and I have to say a big thank you to Kat! The other awesome part was that I got to go to dinner looking like a Kardashian. The not so awesome part is looking like a Kardashian when trying out a pub. Stay tuned for a Vienna Würstelstand review about beer places in Vienna. It was a great meal and the place is just around the corner and I am glad my friend could make it. When I got home, I looked in the mirror and laughed and then I took a selfie because I thought I looked "to' up, from the flo' up" and I decided to post it on Facebook and you all have lost your damn minds. You love it! So I will post the re-touched Kat did last night becaue I have to say, that with the special effects, I kind of love this picture. I am totally framing this and autographing it and giving it out to friends for Christmas. Stay classy, Tova.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Dis and Dat and Facing a Fear

Holy crap, you guys! Over 90,000 views on this blog! Incredible and thank you for your readership! It means EVERYTHING! I am absolutely exhausted this morning. The Kid woke us up at 3:45 and had a major freak out. He has had them since Sunday and they are freaking me out because they remind me of his horrible fits from a couple of years ago. The only thing I can think of is that he is having digestion issues and he cannot tell us he is in pain. It's scary to watch and I really hope that the laxative we gave him will sort him out in the short term. And I hope this is temporary because his freak outs are absolutely heart wrenching. When your kid is in pain, you are in pain. True story. Somebody hold me.

The good news is that the Husband is off this week and the Nanny is coming in the afternoons and she is amazing with him... the Kid... and maybe the Husband, too. I just pray this passes because I don't think my heart can take much more. But I will move on now because running away from my feelings is textbook me... or I end up in a pile of mush like I did yesterday afternoon after I read my dad's retirement letter. It is hard to believe that he is leaving the foreign service. My life was constantly changing; countries, friends, schools, but the one constant was the ability to say "Don't you know who my father is?!?!" Ah! Diplobrats. I am proud of my father for his tireless effort and of my mother as well. She was a trailing spouse which is actually harder, in my opinion. She found work at every posting and helped ensure we could wear Lacoste and Petit Bateau. No, seriously, I was given an amazing childhood in terms of experiences and it has formed me into the woman I am today; somewhat neurotic, flighty and a snob. Heh. But to be honest, thank you, parental units!

Last night was a fun night. I headed home after work, got changed and then the Husband and I headed out. We walked to Barnabitengasse and stopped at Konoba Feral which is a cute little Croatian restaurant. We sat on the terrace and I ordered the Feral spritzer which is a game changer. Croatian lemonade and wine? Game on! It felt like we were on holiday and then the skies opened up and we ran inside. I think we have truly fallen in love with this place. Nets on the walls and miniature boats and cheese from the island of Pag. Yup, we will be back. Then we headed over to Frascati to meet some friends for a birthday dinner. It was a great time and let me just say that the pizzas there are GINORMOUS and awesome. And the place is actually run by Italians. There is something comforting about a place that has an older man sitting at the cash, drinking wine, asking the waitress if he is looking "chic" that evening. I want to call him Uncle Vinny. I really do. After a riotous dinner, the Husband and I walked home and it was just so pleasant out. It has been a very long time since we went out with other couples and I realized how much I had missed that. Putting that on the list.

In other news, David Pershall (the opera singer I mention all.the.time) just got a reader submission on the awesome website BARIHUNKS. This is a site that highlights the hottest baritones from around the world and yes, this is apparently a thing. Here is the link and please don't kill me, David, I got permission from your wife. And then there is me (see how I brought that back to me? It's a gift.) and the photo shoot today. I AM FREAKING OUT, MAN! And the ironic thing is that I just recently talked a friend off a ledge a month ago because she had to do a photo shoot. I was all like "It will be so much fun! You are going to loooove every minute of it! Just relax!" and now that I have one coming up, I am hyperventilating and freaking out. I have only had one real photo shoot as an adult and Hef said I was awesome.. heh... total joke. No, we had a family shoot with friend and talented photographer Claire Morgan and I was able to hide behind my adorable baby throughout. This, this is COMPLETELY different! So I need to be talked off a ledge, you guys. Of course, regardless of what happens, it will make for an awesome blog post. Catch you on the flipside!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Heat Broke

Oh thank the heavens! The heat has broken. I was getting stabby in the 38 degree weather. Look, I like warm weather, but when it is 32 degrees at 10 in the evening, I am going to get a little Kanye in LAX.

It is Sunday afternoon and we are watching Formula 1. I just got back from a walk with the Kid. We walked to Stumpergasse to take a look at a friend's husband's new barber shop. It looks amazing from the outside. If you are looking for old school male hair care, this place is perfect!!! Check out the site here:
I don't know what is happening here but it is amazing.

This has been a busy social weekend. So let's start with Friday afternoon. I ran home and washed my face and put on my spackle because I had to record a video of myself for something I am applying for. More details on that once I hear more. I did the video in one take because I hate over analyzing myself... and I am quite happy going through life not seeing pictures or videos of myself because I can convince myself I look like Sofia Vergara.

I then washed off all the spackle and then put on lighter make up and got changed and then headed to a friend's place. She lives in the neighbourhood and we had a drink and melted in the heat. I had decided last minute to join her at a Quebecois meet and greet for a quick drink. Do I speak French? Non. I can understand most of it... badly. We headed to Naschmarkt and I ordered a mojito and I was that asshole who crashed a Francophone get together. I realized that I was slowing down the conversation with my incessant "Scusi?" or should have I been saying "Pardon?" Ugh. I am a jerk. So I said adieu and ran off to my next meet up.

I showed up at Flatschers and looked for my friends. I said to the waiter that there was a reservation under a certain name and he was like "No. Don't think there is." and I had a mini panic that I had ended up at the wrong place. But he kindly checked the computer and said that I was in the wrong Flatschers and had to head 50 meters down the street to the Flatschers Bistro. It is awesome, by the way!!!! Inside is lovely and they have a lovely courtyard in the back. I ordered a cheeseburger with frites and a Lillet spritzer and it was great to hang out with my friends, enjoying a fine meal. (Quick sidenote: one friend, when I mentioned something in my life was like "Don't tell me! I haven't read your latest post yet! " And I suddenly realized: I'm a spoiler. AMAZING!) (Another sidenote: this was a good bye to a friend dinner and that was sad and she totally needs to stay in Vienna.) We decided to share a dessert platter which was in retrospect a dumbass idea because we were already so so full. The desserts were incredible, however. I will be back and next time I will wear my stretchier pants. After dinner we decided to walk off all the food and ended up stopping at der Fuchs und die Trauben for a nightcap. And yes, I have a problem. I am addicted to this place.

I decided to walk home and dream a dream of getting the thing I am applying to and also to finally hearing back from a literary agent. I have sent off 6 applications and just the other day I received the "So, ya, we are going to pass." which, while I understand is completely normal, it still hurts. I am handling it well besides keeping the e-mail and making sure I write them later when I become a famous writer. Call it the J.K. Rowling move. Why yes! I am petty! I made it home and peeled off my clothes and crawled into bed with cheeseburgers and apple tarts doing kickboxing in my stomach. Saturday morning was cloudy and muggy and I spent an hour obsessively checking different weather forecasts for when the storm was expected to hit, while saying "Yo, yo, yo, where my storm at?!" I got dressed and headed to Mariahilferstrasse because I had finally decided buy myself a new camera. I walked into Saturn and headed to the camera section, called a guy over and said "I'll take that one." I had done no research but it looked cute, it was within my budget and they had it in pink. I am also a little obsessed with it. It has all these funky functions that I have been playing with so get ready for a lot of crappy pictures of buildings and stuff. I made this yesterday. I am very proud. It is amazing, right!?!

In the evening I headed out again because my oldest and one of my dearest friends was in town and her sister just had a baby and new babies are so EXCITING! We met at, you guessed it, der Fuchs und die Trauben (I really really need an adult) and we had a couple of hours to chat and catch up. I hope to head to Barcelona in August for a weekend to see her so that we can catch up some more. After filling up with gyoza (and I accidentally wrote: feeling up... which would have worked to because I have a problem), I had to run and meet a couple of friends for a nightcap. The plans changed last minute and I ended up meeting them at Cafe Engländer which was a pleasant surprise. I LOVE THIS PLACE! It is an institution in Vienna and there are definitely some eccentrics and I am going to go ahead and put myself in that box. We gabbed, I ordered some Sacher Torte and we drank Sauvignon Blanc and it was a great end to the evening. Also, the storm arrived and the temperature dropped and I felt reborn. For real. I walked home in the rain, grateful for my friends and my life and everything. Maybe that was the wine talking.

It has been a crazy few weeks of evenings out. I will be slowing down a little in August. If I go out more than once a week (which has been the case recently), I make sure that I come home first at least one of those times and help the Kid get ready for bed before heading out. Quality time with the Kid trumps quantity and I am definitely more fun in shorter spurts. Heh. This week the Kid is off. There is a rule at public kindergartens that kids have to have at least 4 weeks off during the year. When I was told this I was like "What does he need a break from? Kindergarten isn't a job. He's not an accountant!" Also, with daycares being petri dishes of biohazards, he has easily already been off 4 weeks already but apparently that doesn't count. The Husband is taking the week off and the Nanny will come in the afternoons. Tomorrow evening we are meeting friends for a bday celebration at Frascati's. And then Tuesday I have the photoshoot and I am totally freaking out about that. And then on Thursday, we are off to Rome. OMG!

I wish you all an awesome rest of the Sunday. I will be going to water my friend's plants soon and to do unspeakable things to her apartment. Pictures might happen. Might not. Happy Sunday!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Getting Ready For Rome

In one week, I am heading to Rome. This has been one of my dreams for years and I cannot believe it is actually happening. We will be there for 3 nights and I know it is not nearly enough time to take in all the awesomeness that is the capital. Wait, Rome is the capital, right? I don't know enough about Rome and I plan to spend the next week reading as much as I can about the city. So how does one prepare for a mini-trip of a lifetime? The same way I prepare for any trip... Walk with me.

Google stuff: I am Internet queen. I can find anything and almost anyone. Nobody is safe from my mad Google skills. Now, I might be sounding a little full of myself but trust me on this. This is one of my mad mad skills. Friends take full advantage of my searching power and give me a name and a city and I will have found your middle school boyfriend in a few clicks. It's scary, I know. I kind of approach learning about a city in the same way. I will find your deep and dark secrets, Rome. And by this I mean "Top Ten Places to Eat Pasta".

Read all the books and watch all the films: I love to read and I love to watch the movies. When I am going on a trip, I like to find books and films that take place in the city/country I am visiting. I actually also do the same for seasons. Halloween time: scary books. Christmas: Christmas stories and films. Summer: Southern-based books. When I went to France a few years ago, I made sure to watch French Kiss and Le Divorce. When I went to London; Sliding Doors and Bridget Jones. Now that we are going to Rome... what to watch? What to watch? Well, I watched When in Rome and as much as I adore Kristen Bell... I wanted to stab myself in the spleen. Terrible film...terrible film. The other night, the Husband and I watched Under the Tuscan Sun and even though I have watched it a bazillion times, it never gets old. So now I have to see what other films I can watch that will get me in da mood. I think Roman Holiday might be the answer.

Buy clothes and stuff: Last Friday was a free day from work so I decided to do some shopping for the trip. On holidays I dress pretty casually but I also try and dress locally so that I won't get pickpocketed and stuff. Since I am going to Italy, the birthplace of shoes, I decided I had to get an alternative to flip flops. I found some super cute flat sandals in black with gold snake-like decorations that say "Hi, I'm a native Roman. Check out my cute shoes. Please don't steal my purse" I also bought a cute flower printed fedora because it be hot and sunny in Italy. And of course a couple of dresses that say "Hi, I'm a chubby and squat Sofia Loren. Bring me your house wine." I am currently setting out outfits for our trip and because we are taking Easy Jet, we are only bringing one suitcase which is stressing me out. How on Earth will I be able to pack for 3 nights which requires at least 9 outfits plus accessories?!?! And yes, I am very aware how obnoxious I sound... but this is important!!

And while there are so many things to see and do in Rome, I think we will be taking it easy. We booked a hotel with a pool so that we can cool down in the afternoons. I know this won't be my only time in Rome so I don't feel the need to DO ALL THE THINGS. But, knowing me, I WILL EAT ALL THE FOOD! We are sans Kid this trip and I will miss him terribly. Rome, see you soon!

But, in other news, today is a sad day. It is the one year anniversary of the passing of my dear friend Debra's husband. I cannot believe a year has passed and I cannot believe how Debra has dealt with the loss with such grace and strength. She is one of the most beautiful people I know and I am honored to be her friend. I love you, Debra and am currently missing you while you visit the Motherland. I have some champagne in the fridge for your return in a month. And you better be bringing me St. Hubert sauce and a Coffee Crisp or I will cut you. Hugs and I miss you!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Heat Wave and Plans for This Week

Holy crap. It is hawt. So hawt. We are in the middle of another heat wave. When did I move to Florida? It is 37 Celsius out and everybody is melting. Now, Austrians aren't big fans of the air conditioning. It is getting better but still... it is rare to stumble across air conditioning and when you do, you hold on to that and never let it go. There is a real belief that drafts cause illness here. And air conditioning is considered the debil by many many people. The older ubahns are not air conditioned and the ride home from work turns into a sauna but with clothing and yet, the same amount of uncomfortable eye contact. I also spend the majority of my ubahn rides, hoping that I am not leaving a wet patch of sweat on my seat. Charming.

Now, I once read that crime soars during a heat wave so watch out Vienna, someone might take a Krone Zeitung from the wimpy plastic bag without dropping in their money. I love living in a city where safety is pretty much guaranteed. I really and truly do. Because it is hot and yuck, this morning, in a moment of madness, I decided to take a Bikram class. It has been close to 6 months since my last class and I was missing it... because memories are stupid. I showed up at 6:40, ready to get my Bikram on and a part of me was nervous and I think another part of me was drunk on fame (ref: Being mentioned in the New York Post. Sidenote: And why yes, I will be mentioning this a lot, why do you ask?). I stood in the parking lot, waiting for the door to open. I noted that I was the only one waiting and I internally I started to panic: "Oh God. I can't be the only one today. Oh God! No! That would be the WORST! I can't even touch my toes and 90 minutes of just me? I would make the instructor weep...maybe if I just back away slooow.. Oh look, someone else! Hi!" and we stood in that awkward silence as strangers often do and I was relieved that it would not be a private class in Hell. The door opened and we made our way inside. I set up my mat and waited and then more and more people started to show up and I was like "Aww, crap! Too many people. This is the worst. I am now going to embarrass myself in.front.of.everybody and nobody better put their mat too close to mine or I am going to lose it." yeah, I know. I am hard to love.

But the 90 minutes were great. I realized that I truly do love the 90 minutes of absolutely no: Internet, someone talking to me, me talking to someone.. just complete autonomy in a class full of hard bodies and great attention to detail regarding bikini lines. I actually even wore short shorts today which is a big change from my usual Bikram Amish look. After class, I ran home and showered and then got dressed for work. And then I worked and now I am home. Thrilling.

The rest of the week is going to be pretty social! Tomorrow night I am heading to der Fuchs und die Trauben to meet a new friend. We met at the not my class reunion last month and we decided to meet up which should be fun! And on Friday I am going out with some friends because one friend is acting all crazy and moving back to Australia but I know that she will miss me just too damn much and will have to move back here. I have that draw. On Saturday I am meeting up with my oldest and one of my dearest friends. I was supposed to see her in February but we were in the hospital with Kid so I couldn't meet up with her. We are meeting at... oh, you guessed it... der Fuchs and die Trauben and her sister who just had the most adorable little baby will be there. I can't wait!!! And Ken, you better have a lot gyoza ready for me because they are everything.

So that's the plan for the rest of the week. In about 15 minutes I will be frog marching the Kid to bed and then the Husband and I are going to watch Under the Tuscan Sun because we are heading to Rome next Thursday and I am about to lose my ever loving mind in excitement. And so I wish you all a wonderful evening. I also just wanted to report that since the New York Post article came out yesterday, this blog has received over 1,000 views and that is pretty spectacular! Don't worry... I won't change. I'll always be humble and modest and WHERE'S MY DAMN LATTE?! Cough.