Monday, July 29, 2013

Euro Trip Part 4: (Finally!) The Finale

Summer is over and I'm just now getting around to the final installment of our Euro Trip. Goodness!

Remember back to my last post, we spent Thursday evening in Florence.  We went to an awesome outdoor market the next morning (where I scored a GORGEOUS cobalt leather across-the-body bag) before departing.  Luckily Pisa was on the way to the Cinque Terre!

Just beyond those walls you can see the leaning tower and the Duomo Pisa.

Beautiful buildings in Pisa

Magnificent architecture and decor inside the Duomo

The famous leaning tower.  Everywhere you go, people were doing the "leaning pose." (See girl in our background.)

Jodie at the tower.  It almost appears fake.

After an afternoon in Pisa (and a coffee/cannoli stop) we continued on to the Cinque Terre.  Here's a picture from our hotel balcony.

We stayed in Porto Venere.  Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!

My cell phone pictures just cannot do this justice.

Taking a boat ride to the different towns of the Cinque Terre.  Holy sunburn, Batman!

Exploring the different towns

Delicious Caprice salad at dinner

Mmm pizza

On Sunday we made the trek back to Milan to try a departing flight home.  Unfortunately (or maybe not) the flight was full and we couldn't get on.  So the only logical thing to do was take a train to Zurich, Switzerland!

In the Milan train station.  Magnificent building, but somewhat sketchy. (Side note, doesn't my boyfriend cute in his uniform?!  Also, there are McDonald's everywhere.)

We were able to board our train later in the afternoon.  To say that it was hot would be the understatement of the year.  The air on that train was so thick that you could cut it with a knife!  It's truly a miracle that I didn't lose my lunch.  About an hour after the train got going it seemed to cool down a tad, which allowed us to enjoy the awesome scenery as we rode through the Alps.

Our arrival to Zurich was a bit late in the day, so we didn't have much time to do any site-seeing.  This picture was taken at about 9 pm in the "Old Towne" part of Zurich.  Ironically, we ended up eating at an Italian restaurant for dinner. Ha!

Before we left Switzerland, we had to visit a chocolate shop to bring home lots of Toblerone.

On the way through the airport, one of the security people started talking to me and addressed me as "Frau Meyer" (woah!)  I of course had to tell him that I was of Swiss decent.  He liked me that much more after that.

Overall, the trip was so much better and so much more than we thought it could be.  We definitely got the "sampler platter" of Italy, which is a great jumping off point to see what we enjoyed and would want to do again.  I give this trip two thumbs up!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Man Cave Tweaking

I have progress to show you.

Have we finished painting any of the window trim? Nope.  

But hey, at least I've finally gotten around to getting some drapes on our dang windows!  I had a coupon from West Elm and there was a sale. Cha-ching! 

Aren't these little striped pillows cute? I found these on clearance because the store said they were "patriotic themed."  That's not exactly how I would describe them, but I'll go with that for 50% off!

And because my previous desk chair was falling apart (literally, the wood was splitting on one edge) I also got this chair on clearance from World Market because it was labeled as outdoor furniture.  Woo hoo!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New Hair

Ta da! I have bangs!

That is all for now.

Indoor fleurs

**This is a break from your regularly scheduled Italy posts.** 

I've got so many pretty flowers in the house that are making me happy right now that I had to share!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Euro Trip Part 3: Bologna, Ferrari, & Florence Oh My!

Prepare yourself to witness (in pictures, that is) the most delicious meal we ate on the trip. 

It was that good.  

That's what she said, ha.

Anyways, we hit the road from Venice with the intent to stop in the Bologna area for lunch en route to Florence.  There's all kinds of good stuff going on in the vicinity of Bologna.  Bolognese sauce originated in Bologna, Parma (aka home of parmesan cheese) is near, and Modena which is famous for balsamic vinegar is also close.  Cured meats like prosciutto and salami are a big part of their local food industry.  

We drove up to this place toward the end of lunch time and it was totally empty.  As we wondered if this would be a good (i.e. edible, safe, etc.) place to eat, a guy appeared shirtless from a top floor window and waved us in.  Oh boy, what were we getting ourselves into?!?

A mighty good meal, that's what!  

Our hosts did not speak English, but it still worked out just fine.  They were kind enough to prepare us a sampler of homemade pastas and customize several things on their menu for us.  

But first, the bread.  Mmmmmmmm the bread!

The meats, nom nom nom.

And finally the pasta!  Everything was just delicious!

They loved Eric because he finished everything on his plate and then some.  This action merited a good old fashioned back slap and man hug from our waiter.

Our next stop on the way to Florence was the Ferrari Museum.  Not my favorite, but it was still interesting nonetheless.  Eric loved it.

I can just imagine him thinking "ooh they're all so pretty!"

Interestingly enough, you could pay to test drive Ferrari's around town for varying amounts of time or around a race track for an exorbitant amount of money.  Eric saw the prices and was like "no thank you very much."

We arrived in Florence after some mountainous and crazy city driving.  Our hotel had a great view of the Duomo.

We walked around until it got dark.  The Duomo was gorgeous!