Friday, December 30, 2011

Paris is love…or so they say

What girl doesn’t want to go to Paris? Especially on New Years?! Because I’m a girl, because it was New Years and because its Paris, I convinced G-man to stay a total of 4 days The 2nd longest stay of our 4 stops.


This would prove to be a horrible decision.

The moment I sat on the plane in Italy, I began to sneeze. and sneeze. and sneeze. Within minutes, my sinuses were so clogged I couldn’t breathe through my nose. My head began to pound and I felt terrible.

It helped {heavy sarcasm} that the plane had no running water in the lavatory…or no sink for that matter. So there was no way I could wash my hands before or after using the {what they thought was probably clean enough} lavatory.

It was a middle eastern plane… ‘nuff said.

I’m probably going to get ostracized for saying I didn’t like Paris. But I just can’t lie. I didn’t like it but a tiiiiiiiiiny bit.

It didn’t help that I was really sick the whole time. And I’m sure it didn’t help that it was frickin’ freezing either. And I’m sure it didn’t help the fact that our maid…our maid was the rudest person I’d ever come across ever, treating us like scum. Or that it was so cold, my camera battery died on the first day there and I didn’t have a charger or replacement. Or the fact that all the food was horrible. {there were a lot of factors..}
me at breakfast…after a horrible “American” breakfast

But, we saw the sights. Though not a lot. I slept… a lot. Like, a lot! One day, I fell asleep at 2pm, G-man woke me up at 8 to give me food, then I slept again until morning. It was bad.


We took all the stairs to the rooftop where it was bitterly freezing and me sick without my hat…

Midway point on the Eiffel Tower. It was so cold on the top they issued a frost bite warning and closed it off.

By the last full day, we were seriously debating eating the hotel bill and leaving a day early to spend New Years Eve in London. I was pushing hard for this. Eating all my words for having us stay in Paris so long, but G-man did his research and said Paris was supposed to have one of the best New Years fireworks in the world. So we stayed…
…and this is all we got.

It sparkled at 12am. …just like it did at 11pm. ..just like it did at 10pm… just like it did every hour on the hour leading up to the New Year and all the days after New Year.

There were no fireworks. There was no countdown. There was no announcement. It sparkled and then it stopped.

worst. new years. ever.

At that point, we looked at each other and laughed. It solidified our entire Paris trip, ending in the biggest let down possible. When we found out London had some of the best fireworks that night, we could only laugh more.

I’m not sure we’ll ever see Paris again.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful and SAFE New Years. Let’s all make it home safely if you’re going out.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Roma Roma Roma

I have to admit, I’ve been enjoying this little trip down memory lane. Going through pictures of what I was doing this time exactly a year ago, its fun. Its weird thinking I was there.

I find I catch myself saying (to myself) that I don’t really travel or get out much. And then I quickly remember this trip and all the trips to HI and though it sounds conceited, I don’t mean it that way. Its just easy to forget all the places I’ve seen and dwell on the ‘never leave the house’ days, sometimes.

We went to view the Sistine Chapel..and did you know you can’t take pictures inside? Nor can you speak. They’re very hush hush in there. I’m not quite sure why, but they constantly ‘shush’ you and yell out no pictures. So everyone walks around whispering to each other and when the whispering gets louder and everyone starts talking to be heard over the whispering, they shush us all again.

Another thing everyone was doing was take pictures. Did you know you can take just as good a picture from your waist as you would from your face?

How can I be in the Sistine Chapel and not take pictures?! I’m sorry Rome, this is just one rule I can’t abide by.


We loved it there. Absolutely loved it.

On our very last day there, I was able to persuade the owner of our hotel to watch our bags as we jetted out to see the last of the city, before our driver arrived.

In a flurry we walked through the Bocca Della Verita, where Audrey Hepburn went for ‘Roman Holiday.’ Can you tell, I love that movie? …and where we were yelled at {in Italian} by the person in charge of the church for being in an “off limits” area {that we weren’t aware of.}

We took a quick trip to the top of a museum to see all of Rome. It was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous view.


Finally resting back in front of the Coliseum before heading back to our hotel where the owner was none to pleased with us for being gone so long.

Within minutes of us returning, the crazy Italian driver arrived, packed our bags in the back and whisked us to the airport bound for Paris.

What I didn’t know the moment I stepped onto the plane was it was going to be the worst leg of our trip…

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When in Rome

It goes without saying that you always get the best weather on the last day of your trip. And that’s what happened when we were in Rome. We were prepared for cold, but going when Europe had the worst winter they’d seen in over 100 years, might not have been the best choice.

But the last day was ‘warm’ and it was beautiful.

Our goal while there was to be gone from the hotel as long as humanly possible. We succeeded. Out by 8:30-9am and wouldn’t return until 9pm that night, every day. We were exhausted, but were loving every single minute of being out and about Rome.

We set out for Vatican City our first day, spending hours walking around St. Peter’s Basilica.



Moving onto the Spanish Steps where Audrey Hepburn got a gelato in one of my favorite movies, ‘Roman Holiday’ and finished our hours of walking at the Trevi Fountain.


We stayed in a little tiny hotel that was one block from The Coliseum and the next day it was on our to do list. That day made it the coldest day in Rome while there, and we were outside the entire time. To say we both were freezing is an understatement.



It was an amazing site to see. I’m dying to go during the Spring so I can actually walk below, through all the tunnels. Its closed off during the Winter due to all the moisture. I was so disappointed when I found this out, as it was one of the main things I wanted to do.

Has anyone had the chance to walk below through the tunnels?

Can we acknowledge the fact that the very very top of the Coliseum is where all the women had to sit? Talk about the true meaning of nose bleed seats.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

I’m thankful for 45

Oh my goodness, its over!! But why?! Don’t you hate that it lasts just the one day? I know there’s a lot of people who are relieved its over. All the stress of planning, cooking, wrapping, decorating. I’m sure many are saying good riddance, but I love it all.

Even though I stressed a bit over the gifts, I still loved every minute of this Christmas season. L-O-V-E-D

So this day after Christmas, I’m thankful for:
- G-man arriving safely into San Francisco and me not having to pick him up when he landed. I’m sorry, he arrived very early. It would have been painful.
- the hotel shuttle getting him at the ungodly hour. {I was awake, for the record}
- a more than fantastic time with G-man in San Francisco. It was truly beautiful weather. Warm even. …to a point.

- all the wonderful Christmas cards and love from friends, family and blog family. You all are the best.
- a wonderful weekend with my family.
- spending Christmas with my parents. I love them dearly. So so dearly.
- getting the honor of photographing my sister’s family. Can’t wait to show you those when things are all said and done.
- God. God, God, God. He has blessed me more than I deserve. I whine and stress and He delivers. I give him 2 options and He leads me toward 1. He is my Savior and He will never leave me.
- God giving me G-man. I’m so in love with this man its ridiculous.

Let me ask you. How long do you keep your decorations up? I’m in love with mine and hate the idea of taking it all down and having everything look blank once its all put away. I’ve been known to keep it up till mid January.

So, when do you take yours down? How was your Christmas, too!?

I’ll be a little absent around blog world since I’m still with the fam, so you’ll have to tell me how it went.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Tree for me

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!! Yes, I just went there.

I’m far and away in San Francisco hanging out with my love and couldn’t be happier right now. He got in bright and early this morning, so I’m happily enjoying his company. I know I said last week he was coming in Thursday but clearly I was wrong.

It happens about once a month.

Since I adore Christmas trees, I thought I’d show all the ones I’ve gotten to be around with my travels this season.

Honolulu, HI

G-man’s Christmas tree that I surprised him with last year. Completely out of the normal, where Christmas trees are concerned, yet to me, it seemed to fit perfectly out on his lanai.
The Hilton’s lobby in Kona, HI.. I don’t quite know why it wasn’t lit.
The sports lounge at the Hilton.
The lobby in G-man’s building
And my humble tree…
sorry for the recycled picture…I couldn’t find the individual ones.

I wish you a wonderful wonderful Christmas weekend. I hope you get to start new traditions or continue the ones you’ve had set for years, this season.

If you can, watch this video. One thing I love about G-man is his soft side. He’ll find videos or stories that he knows I’ll enjoy and he sent this to me last night.

I cried it was so beautiful.

Merry Christmas everyone. From this humble girl over here on…

I wish you nothing but the warmest of weekends.
xoxo Pin It Now!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jumping back in time

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I was doing this time last year {maybe because I’m working on a photo album} and though we hadn’t left yet, G-man and I went to Europe to celebrate Christmas and New Years.

My first trip out of the country. {I don’t count Mexico..} My first stamps in my passport. I was beyond thrilled.

We left Christmas Eve and arrived in London Christmas day. We treated ourselves a bit on the flight and flew Virgin Atlantic in their Premium Economy seats. The ‘just below first class’ section. It was wonderful.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget having to go the bathroom to the point of the wiggle dance, before taking off and literally the moment we took off, the ‘fasten seatbelt’ light turned off, the flight attendant assured me I could go and I almost tumbled down the back of the isle because we were still climbing so steeply.

Or the time we switched seats with a more than accommodating passenger and G-man telling the attendant that he’ll buy any drink the guy wanted…and not knowing that all drinks were free.

We had a tremendous laugh over that.

awesome iPod photos for your viewing pleasure…IMG_0004

Once arriving in London, we needed to connect to our official stop…Rome. So we rode the airport train to our terminal. We were really excited!
(my first picture in London!)

Being Christmas, the people at the airport were more than eccentric. That would be an older man..with a blonde pigtailed wig…and a candy striped scarf.
Once boarded, I watched the sunset as screaming Italian families were crowded all around us. Once they handed out very very questionable (to us) sandwiches, we passed out. Mouth wide open, drool filled passed out. I’m sure everyone around us were saying ‘typical Americans’ but we didn’t care. We were so exhausted from a full days travel all we wanted was sleep.

As we descend to land, we prepare ourselves but nothing could have prepared us for the landing. Never in my life before or after, have I ever felt the plane go sideways upon touching the tarmac. Both G-man (the pilot who’s landed on aircraft carriers) and my eyes were wide open in shock and were thanking God that we made it safely.

It was a whirlwind start to our trip.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Girls gone wild

In my little town, we have the one road that’s deemed “downtown”. It consists of trees lit on each side, all year round. Music playing from speakers attached to the buildings and far too many bakeries all striving to draw you to them rather than the others.

During Christmas time, they place this beautifully massive tree directly in the middle of the road. Once I saw that, I knew I had to go late at night to capture the pretty twinkle lights. I encouraged my friend to come along. 1. because it would be a lot of fun and 2. because she had a tripod.

– I kid. But she really did have a tripod…and it definitely came in handy, not gonna lie.

Its nice being able to stand in the middle of the road and know that its highly unlikely a car will come around because its after 10. Oh, the treat of living in a small town.

We started out slow and mild; being responsible mature adults taking pictures of a pretty quaint town, moving aside when the random car drove by. But in no time flat, we became like teenagers running around the street, laughing, jumping and taking pictures atop a metal horse.

We thought it would be fun to get the long shot of us jumping... can’t say that it worked…

…then of us running…

…and I can’t quite explain why I felt I needed to act like I was riding a bull. but I did.



Beyond not being able to feel our fingers, we had the best time running around town, garnishing the random stares from the few passersby. I’m so glad we were able to have a night out on the town. It might not be how some girls go wild but its how this one does.


Merry Christmas!!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Learning is like wine

Some people like it and some people don’t.

I realize there will be a lot of people who will read this and yawn thinking this is old news. But in my defense, I learned these on my own and figured someone could benefit from my sleuth-ee ways.

The iPhone. Most have one, but most don’t know the little things that make having it that much better. (this is all for the latest version) For instance:

- When your screen is locked, and you hit the home button twice, the camera and your ipod will come up allowing you to go to either without entering your phone.
- To take a screen shot all you have to do is press the power button at the top and the home button at the same time and ‘click’ it’ll take a picture of whatever is on your screen.
- While in your phone or app, hit the home button twice and the quick menu will come up on the bottom allowing you to go back and forth from apps.
- When your phone is locked and you see a text, tweet, call or app sitting their, slide the app (as apposed to the ‘slide to unlock’ feature and it will open directly to that app.IMG_0923
- After typing and you see you misspelled a word that’s toward the top, touch the screen near the misspelled word and the magnifier will appear and while still holding down, move your finger to the exact spot you want to fix.
- Your location may be showing for each and every picture you take when posting to FB, twitter or email…and anyone can search you and find where you are by clicking the picture. Be sure its off by going into Settings> Location Services> Camera and it’ll show whether its on or off.

The majority of us bloggers have it and many aren’t too keen on the new layout they have, but did you know you can virtually make it identical to the old version? G-man has gmail and was pretty upset about the new version, declaring he would find a new email provider because he hated it so much. But! Emily to the rescue and I talked him down from the ledge by showing him how to make it just like normal.

- After switching to the new version, each email in the inbox will be HUGE and far apart, but if you go into your settings, that little bolt looking thing directly above your email on the right; it’ll give you the option to have your display density be:
Make it compact and it’ll look like it used to.

Now have you ever deleted an email within a long line of emails you had with someone? Or saved 1 email out of the entire conversation only to delete all the rest?

This was G-man’s biggest gripe with gmail. He hated when he’d save 1 email, delete all the others within the conversation, clear out the trash bin and find the email he saved was permanently deleted along with the rest. Its because it was still ‘attached’ to the ‘conversation’ as gmail puts it.

Once again, Emily to the rescue and I showed him all you have to do is:
- go into the settings> (The very top bolt looking thing) Mail Settings> General and turn ‘conversation view’ to off.

He was eternally grateful at that point as I successfully talked him down from jumping ship to another email account.

OK! and finally this one you may just not know as its an insiders tip.

Did you know you can update your DVR or box software? Did you know it needed updating?
If you see its getting a little slow, it might need an update.

- Hit the red button on your DVR to reset your DVR
- When the screen says, “Hello, Your DIRECTV receiver is starting up’, press 0-2-4-6-8 (no dashes, just the numbers)
{it must be done in that screen}
From that moment, it won’t look like anything happened but eventually it will say its updating the software. Go do the dishes or a load of laundry at that point since it will take 25+ minutes. So make sure it won’t interfere with your tv time when you do this.

em234{mine clearly needed an update}

Whew, I know that was a lot but maybe someone can find the tips helpful. It’s a season of giving after all…

I know there are far more tips out there that I don’t know about and I would love to hear them. What great tips have you learned?? Share share share with the class!! Pin It Now!

Monday, December 19, 2011

I’m thankful for 44

Holy moly! One week left!

Though I didn’t have any parties to attend, I managed to party like a rock star any way.

That’s not true. I slept in on Saturday, edited pictures, worked on a photo album that has been the bane of my existence, made puppy chow and took pictures for Rick Alonzo’s Ministry.

I think this week will be both crazy and calm for me. Where I have a ridiculous amount of things to do but I could easily do them all in a day if I get myself to do it…which I probably will draw it all out nice and painfully slow, if I know me well enough.

This past week I’m thankful for:
- seeing and hanging out with a friend 4 times in 5 days. That’s practically unheard of when that dear friend is a mother of 4!
- attending a nice brunch put on by our Women’s Ministry within my church. Can’t beat great food and beautiful singing. {yes, I know it was over a week ago, for all you locals.}
- a late night photo session of our little downtown area in 34 degree weather. There’s nothing like living in a small town where after 10pm, seeing 15 cars drive by in 1 1/2 hours is considered a lot.

- a beautiful camera strap made lovingly (it was made lovingly, right?) by my sweet friend, LeAnna. I’m in love with it.
- G-man playing the word “love” in our game of Words With Friends and saying he did it to make me smile. {it’s the little things for me}
- the ant man coming and killin’ all those little buggers. He was all excited when he found where they were coming from.
- cheese. Yes, cheese. Its simple goodness has kept me fed literally every single day. I don’t think since I’ve been back, 2 weeks now, I’ve gone one day without cheese.
- being given the chance to witness Rick Alonzo in action of sharing the gospel through martial arts and painting and have the honor of documenting it through pictures.
It was nothing short of amazing. A sneak peak

How’d your weekend fair?

Oh, I almost forgot. I got my goodies from Sephora and this is what I got:
Stilla eye shadow pallet, Buxom mascara (never used it but it has great reviews) and Too Faced eyelid primer for those darn oily lids, in ‘candlelight’. I haven’t used them yet since I had my lady humps removed but I hope to this week.IMG_0916

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