Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Travel paraphenalia....my "shoe" addiction

This weekend Cindy's husband made a comment about her purse collection which made me think about how other women tend to enjoy and stock up on shoes and purses and I....do not. Part of the reason is because it is really hard to find cute shoes in Bozo size 11 and as I am super hard on my leather goods I tend to buy expensive products that last me years. And years. I buy a purse maybe every 2 or so years. But they aren't cheap. Which is not to say that I don't have my buying addictions. Pioneer Woman has posted about a favorite shop of hers called Francesca's. Sunday I needed to take my oldest to buy more jeans and I wandered into the Francesca's nearby and found TRAVEL GOODS.

THIS IS WHAT CALLS ME. I enter a shop and somehow I inevitably end up perusing the travel stuff from contact cases (ingenious!) to travel diaries to travel games. Me wanteth them all!



When Craig and I went to Rome we wasted some time on the plane asking each other questions in books called Do You Know Your Husband (Wife)? These were actually pretty fun and we learned a bit abut each other even after (then) fifteen years of marriage.

So these travel cards will be a fun way to waste time with eldest on the plane and trains and buses we have to take and be able to get to know each other better as well.

The Journal looking thing has a note pad and heavy cardboard compartments to store tickets etc. When eldest saw it he informed me he wanted a journal of sorts to keep on the trip. An exchange student at his HS has one and he thought it was a great idea. i'm so glad I don't have to force him to do this. I enjoy going back through my scrap books to read over the things I wrote while on my trips.

Especially write down funny quotes. I'll never forget (but am still glad I wrote it down) Carrie leaving the restroom in our Paris hotel saying "I don't know what that was, but it wasn't a toilet."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bring me two Pina Coladas.....one for each hand

Berlin apparently now has it all. This summer they are bringing in a BEACH. To Berlin. In 2010 Berlin is the host city off the International Sand Sculpture festivaland it will still be there the week we travel there. So I totally plan to shove off my shoes and run my toes thru the sand of Berlin.

I received an email from the hotel where we are staying Grand Hotel Esplanade in Berlin. Be sure to get on the email lists of the hotels you travel to so they can keep you updated to events that will happen during your stay. The hotel in Prague has yet to send me an email and because of this while I understand it's all marketing stuff I enjoy being in the know and it definitely makes me more interested to visit this hotel.

Plus it looks gorgeous and we have a River View room...less than 90 days until this trip! EEK.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Next time.... please bring clothes

Overall, I'm GREAT at figuring out how to get 40 pounds of stuff in to 20 pounds of space. I can cram stuff into minute places and when it comes to packing a trunk Craig simply leaves the stuff at the edge of the car and lets me do my magic. It's my thing.

Figuring out WHAT to pack and HOW MUCH...not so much. I did learn after my ill fated lost luggage fiasco in Rome to divide the clothes and not have a Craig bag and an Andrea bag. (Hello people yes I am wearing the same thing AGAIN. And Yes the Deoderant was packed in the lost luggage hence why we smell like Roman citizen sans deoderant that actually covers body odor... see also: reason italians stink)

Then was the fun trip to the Bahamas with Craig this year where I ended up wearing a bathing suit because I ran out of underwear and then ended up wearing sleep clothes home because I ran out of day clothes too. It was pretty bad. Craig wore the outfit home that we he arrived in. Not happily mind you. Who knew you needed so many freaking clothes when you aren't actually LEAVING A BOAT. I mean COME ON PEOPLE. It was 3 days! I packed less on a three week trip thru Europe.

I was thrilled therefore when my friend Cindy sent me the link to One Bag (tagline: And remember that there are two kinds of luggage: carry-on and lost(aka “mishandled”).)

I will disagree however with one point. I love Jeans. I love that you can wear them 3 days in a row and they still look spiffy when travelling. I love that you don't stand out like a tourist in them and I love that they aren't terribly cold in the winter or hot in the summer. So while One Bag says avoid Jeans, frankly that is all I would take. Trousers = Ironing and umm...yeah not happening.

Side story about ironing: once I tried to ask a hotel clerk for an Iron in Italy (Venice) and he kept giving me these long detailed answers. I finally realized he was telling me how to get to Ferro Via (the train station) because I didn't know the word for Iron and kept using the Latin term Ferro (Iron) because I am at heart a geek.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On location: Prague

Thinking about the Bourne movies, I realized that there is no better way to get a feel for a future location and put you in the mood for travel than movies set in the city you are visiting. I already knew this in the back of my head because the night before my first trip to Europe as an adult Carrie and I stayed up all night watching movies set in London and Paris so that we would fall asleep on the plane. It worked for me. Her not so much. Of course I was still sleep deprived and punchy when we fist arrived and she still teases me today about how I found EVERYTHING hilarious. Accents! Haha! Buses! Haha! Almost getting run over because we kept looking the WRONG WAY when we crossed the street Haha!

You can type in a location on IMDB and get a list of movies filmed there. IMDB lists 1169 movies set in Prague. I think I will tweak that down a bit.

So sixteen movies:
From Hell (Johnny Depp and Heather Graham)
Affair of the Necklace (Hillary Swank)
A Knights Tale (Czech countryside actually... Heath Ledger)
XXX (Vin Diesel)
Timeline (which is actually a Crichton book I've been wanting to read)
G.I. Joe Rise of the Cobra (which I've seen and didn't realize was partially set in Prague!)
Casino Royale (is on my Tivo list right now Serendipity!)
Bourne Identity

Jumper (also seen! LOVE that movie for locations!)
Euro Trip
Spy Game
Chasing Liberty
Running Scared
League of Extraordinary Gentleman
AVP (who would have guessed this one??)
Mission Impossible

Today I clean my house (FUN!) and then have dinner and a movie with my oldest and will pick up 5 movies to watch tomorrow in a Prague marathon.

Movies from the list I've never seen and would be interested in:
From Hell
Running Scared

Maybe another weekend I'll work to complete this list. I don't usually rewatch movies but am willing to see a couple of these again for the location alone. Of course I have to create a Berlin list too (of which there are 3902 movies!!!)

Some of these movies cover both Berlin and Prague (like Spy Game) so those will be a must watch as well. Off to clean...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Denver 16th street

How shocked I was to fall in love with Denver.


Our hotel was ok but it was walking distance from the Convention Center and the 16th Street Mall. This place is beautiful, the weather was comfortable and the people are gracious. The street is shut down for about 1 mile and a half and the north end is just a hop skip and jump away from the state Capitol which in itself is extraordinarily beautiful. We walked to it one nigth and only were able to press our noses against the huge glass doors (it was dark with limited lighting so no pictures came out from my phone).

You can see the Capitol in the distance in this picture:

While most of the stores and restaurants are chains few have made it to Texas so I enjoyed trying all the new places! There is also a tram that travels up and down the Mall that is free and you can hop on and off most of the day to get to each shop.


I have decided I want to have a girls' weekend there next year. Brown's hotel has a spa and hosts a women's package I think we would really enjoy!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Man on the Move---following Jason Bourne's tracks

My mother's day gift was the Bourne Supremacy. While watching it I foudn this really neat extra called On the Move with Jason Bourne. Apparently this is on the Ultimatum DVD as well. Much of Supremacy is filmed in Berlin and it was sooo fantastic watching this knowing I will be in Berlin in three short months.

Jason Bourne's Itinerary in the Bourne Supremacy
Berlin coming soon!
Moscow I'm debating this.
Goa India I'm thinking this is not so interesting to me right now.

Jason Bourne's Itinerary in the Bourne Ultimatum

Berlin coming soon!
Paris Check
London Check
New York Check
Madrid most likely 2011
Tangiers most likely 2011 (definitely Morocco but not totally sure where!)

I am so looking forward to this. I just hope we spend a tad less time in train stations than Bourne.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shoes of the Clueless

How do you know someone has never flown in the last decade? They wear shoes like this to the airport:


seriously who dresses for flight and thinks "buckles! That's what I need to look stylish while balancing on one foot holding up a line of people trying to get thru security."

I think that if you wear buckles to an airport you might as well wear a big hat that screams out "I'm a dumb ass avoid me at all costs as well."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dodging a Bullet- Airplane style

I love my cell phone. Craig would disagree because I NEVER answer it and rarely seem to actually have it near me but I do love it. I love the convenience and I love that I can keep him updated when I'm travelling so he knows EXACTLY when to pick me up (those stupid online travel updates aren't always correct)

While I love cell phones sometimes I really wish no one else had them. I totally get that the premise that "the plane will fall from the sky if someone has their cell phone on when the doors are shut and the plane is pulling out" is in fact bogus, I just think it is common decency to TURN THE FUCKER OFF while you are trapped inside a tin can with other passengers who REALLY don't want to hear you fight with your boyfriend as we are about to take off.

Flight out of Denver to Memphis (home of the uber-redneck apparently)
Cast: Yours truly, Beefy tattooed university professor (so wouldn't have called that one), Nerdy university professor, white trash ho.
Setting: Seats 16 A and B and Seat 17 A and B.

Beefy is already seated in 17B. Ho walks down the aisle in front of Yours Truly and sits next to Beefy. She is talking on the phone. Loudly.

I shove my carry on in the bin above 16B and take my seat. Nerdy walks down the aisle and looks at his ticket and says quietly. "My seat is 17 but I guess I can just take 16A" So I get up to allow Nerdy to sit next to me. He weighs about 75 pounds and I'll all about not being shoved against total strangers so I was cool. The plane is filling up and the flight attendant is reminding everyone to shut off their phones. Ho is still on the phone. Her conversation is something like this:

"I love you.....I love you....I said I love you...Is that all you are going to say? I said I love you and that is what you say?....That is hateful...why are you sending me these hateful texts?.....I'm about to fly in the air and could die in minutes and you can't say you love me?....Well then go fuck yourself you miserable bastard.....I love you....I love you..."

At which points I am praying like this: "Dear Jesus, my kids love me. Please don't kill me because I have a ho sitting behind me and she wants to teach her miserable whatever a lesson...Amen"

Cell phone clicked shut. Sob. Sob. Sob. Ho calls her daughter(?) to tell her to go get the car from the parking lot and not to let miserable whatever anywhere near the car. Please note that at this point the plane is taxiing to the runway. She is still on her phone. I am praying like this:

"Dear Jesus, thank you for having the ho sit next to Beefy and not me. Amen."

Sob. Sob. Sob.

So I'm trying to read my book (shocker i know) and hear Ho proceed to tell Beefy her life story. And about how nice it is to be married for over 21 years. I am not kidding. And that there is a comfort in knowing someone is there for you. I am not kidding. But it isn't that great because she has had a boyfriend for like 3 years now, but she just broke up with him just then because of the hateful emails he was sending (which she proceeds to read to the whole plane because her voice FREAKING CARRIES). I am not kidding. I wish I were.

So I lean over to Nerdy and quietly say; "Thank you so much for sitting here"

At which he says, "Yeah, you really dodged a bullet there."

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