Monthly Archive: September 2015

I would like a 30 hour day, please and thank you

I’ve been on a major self-improvement kick lately. I’ve started taking French classes, implemented a daily exercise regimen, started meal planning, tried to embody the principles of UFYH, and redone my budget to better reflect my priorities. I’ve started blogging, knitted up a storm, shopped to dress like a grown up, researched my family history, set a daily reading goal, and began toying around with Getting Things Done. These changes have had some serious benefits to my overall well-being. My French is improving, I’ve lost ten pounds, Steph’s twins are going to have the coolest and most original blankets ever,…
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European Road Trip…Part 4

Venice, Italy

To catch up check out Part 1, Part2, & Part 3 Our lengthy delay in Genoa meant our arrival in Venice was much later than anticipated. We’d hoped to scope out a decent place to stay, but arriving in the dark makes that harder. After the four-hour drive we were pretty spent from the driving and the robust singing. We decided to just camp out in the car, but not without first setting off several traffic violation lights, and driving through some abandoned train shipping yards. We’re subtle. The next day we drove closer to downtown Venice, and were lucky…
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What does a Time Warp feel like? – September 2015

Hello there! This month has been a total blur. Grace is currently in Ocean City, MD co-running a pottery booth at a craft show, and Laine’s been running ragged between birthdays, weddings, and starting French classes. We’re pretty sure it isn’t even the end of September at all, because it makes more sense that we’ve fallen into a time warp. In October, Grace is heading off to South America for the first time, and Laine has more wedding fun and a trip to Morgantown, WV for the WVU homecoming game/ med school tail gate. Laine: Honestly, this month felt so short….
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Travel Plans that have fallen through

Grace recently wrote about changing travel plans at the last-minute when her time in Spain was less than perfect due to the weather. Her experience got me thinking about all the times my travel plans have changed (whether last-minute or with more notice) for better and worse. Never going to Mont St. Michel Mont St. Michel is THE thing everyone raves about doing in Normandy. I planned to go on a day field trip to the abbey with my University. However, the sign up list for the field trip was full by the time I got to the office to register…
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European Road Trip…Part 3

Genoa, Italy

To catch up check out Part 1, & Part 2 Spending a Day in Genoa, Italy: A beautiful place to walk a 40 minute drive. At this point we’d been on the road quite a few days and really wishing we had music on this journey. Unfortunately the Piccanto wasn’t equipped with an auxiliary port, and without international data we had no means of playing tunes. We soon resorted to singing loudly in the car. It was mediocre entertainment. Every so often an English song would be discernible on the scratchy radio. Every single time it was Lady Gaga’s ‘born this way’.  I…
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Why a $100 budget at TGI Fridays is too much

We were recently gifted a $100 dinner for organizing a hot dog eating competition at work. The only answer to gluttony is of course, more gluttony. Deciding where to dine was tricky, and ultimately instead of going to a nice restaurant where we would be able to eat like normal people, we opted to go to a mediocre restaurant and live like kings. We enter TGI Fridays with excitement knowing that their world is at our fingertips. We sit at a table in the bar area and are promptly (that’s new) greeted by our server. Before we are completely seated,…
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Normandy and the D-Day Beaches

When I decided to study abroad in Normandy, my first thought was naturally of World War II and the D-Day landings. Most American students are taught about Omaha Beach, the turning point of the war, and the expert command of General Eisenhower from their earliest history classes. The place that defined the war for many and the memorial that now stands there represent an incredible moment in history, and a reminder of how lucky and grateful we are to be here. I made two trips to the American memorial while living in France. First, as part of a larger day…
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European Road Trip…Part 2

nice, france

To catch up check out Part 1  The police distress signal & dying birds. As we arrived at our stop in Nice, France we decided to track down a hostel for the night. We’d hopefully only be sleeping in the car when we weren’t close enough to hostels, or if they didn’t have availability. Luckily, we were able to find a decent hostel in downtown Nice. Showers were a big deal already. Unlike Barcelona, we didn’t really have any specific landmark to check off, but rather thought it would be a pretty town to stop in for a bit. We walked…
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My First Trip Abroad – The Bahamas

I didn’t do any traveling abroad until after I started college. Family vacations were made up of a (nearly annual) week at the beach with my extended family, two trips to Disney, one weekend skiing in Virginia, and occasional weekends in hotels thanks to my sister’s gymnastics competitions. At 15 I hadn’t been very many places, so you can imagine my shock when my best friend called to ask if I wanted to join her and her mother for a few days at the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas for her birthday. I think I shrieked in a way that…
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European Road Trip… Part 1


Teaching English in Madrid isn’t great money. Really, it’s barely enough to be a person who eats and lives somewhere. But there are advantages, namely easy access to the rest of Europe. My friend and I went on some weekend trips to Paris and Morocco, but towards the end of my time in Spain we decided to cap things off with a road trip. Road tripping to other countries isn’t something that really happens in the US unless you live in the North and want to go to Canada. Even then it’s So. Damn. Far. The Goal: Drive around and…
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