Sunday, December 13, 2009
Prepared for the day in our Bavarian working class threads and our first litres of beer. Das Leben ist schön!
There are probably only about 3 or 4 people in this tent without litres! Somewhere down there smack in the middle is a 18/19 year old German guy wearing a University of Florida hat! I said "Go Gators" to him and he looked at me like I had a second head! Maybe "Go Gators" means something different in German?!?
It was next to impossible to get out entire group into one photo, especially post second round! It looks like about 18 in this picture so we are only missing about 5... not to shabby!
From Hippodrom to Armbrustschützen-Tent (aka Paulaner). We were unsure if we would be able to get 20+ people into another tent but Tommy and I sweet talked the group into the Paulaner tent. Tommy did most of the talking, seeing as how he speaks German, and I smiled and looked innocent. As it turns out, there was no need to sweet talk because they had just opened the doors for free seats. It took a while to find a bench for the lot of us and along the way Chris and I made friends with some very drunk Germans. These guys were so excited to meet Americans and wanted us to take pictures with them. For every picture they would yell "Usain Bolt" and assume the pose. Most of this pictures were blurring because I was laughing hysterically and couldn't hold the camera still! But the picture of Chris above tells the story well enough!
This is the end of the pictures but not of the adventure. It was around this time I decided to put the camera away to prevent it from being broken, lost or stolen. Shortly after the camera was tucked away, Chris made his way back to the hotel. He hadn't bought in to my plan; a litre of beer, a litre of water, a litre of beer, a litre of water... you get the picture. In the end, a good time was had by all and everyone made it to their respective homes safe and sound. The plan worked brilliantly and I was sans hangover on Monday morning!!! Come back soon for Gnew Gnoah Gnomes adventures in Deutschland!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Which brings the total number of umbrellas claimed by the city since our arrival to 6. Chris left one at Bodeans on our 4th day in London, then two were sacrificed to the Tri-fecta Gods on the same day in November 2008, Chris lost another (on a tube, in a pub, on a bus... no one really knows for sure) and we managed to leave the massive Atlanta EY "borrowed" umbrella in the back of a taxi the day we moved into our first flat. The saddest part of the last one is that we never even got to use it! We carried it around the city several times but never actually opened it on this side of the pond!
6 umbrellas in 13 months. Not bad at all.
On a side note: Can I add an umbrella with lo-jack to my Christmas list???
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Since we are heading home for the holidays this year Chris tried to convince me that we should skip the tree. Ha! Like he ever had a chance of winning that argument! I have been daydreaming about all my ornaments and fun holiday stuff since the 1st note of crappy Christmas music hit my ears! I almost refused to go on our weekend get-away to Isle of Wight because I wanted to get the tree on Friday. So today after work I got the bus to the Flower Station and picked out a tree London style. Basically that means that I picked a tree that I never saw unwrapped because when I asked the guy to unwrap a few he laughed! It was a rather grumpy laugh so I decided not to push my luck, paid for the tree and hailed a black cab! Yes, I brought my tree home in a black cab!!! I must say it was a bit easier than carrying it the 6 blocks home like we did last Christmas.
Luckily, when I got the tree home and opened it I was pleasantly surprised to find a decent tree. All that is left is to toss the lights and decorations on it and wait for the presents to show up!!!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Check!As soon as we got checked in and dropped our bags in the room we were off to check out the area. Here is Chris admiring our future summer home. And yes, this modern monstrosity sticks out like a sore thumb... I preferred the more traditional English cottages.
Now this is the kind of place where I could cuddle up in front of the fire with a good book, a glass of wine and a fat cat at my feet... when will Chris be making partner???
The end of November is the off season for the Isle of Wight. And for good reason... it was freezing! I asked Chris if he wanted to pack his hat, gloves, scarf, etc and he said no. I tossed his hat in my bag"just in case" and by day 2 he was wearing my scarf! Next time I just pack for him ;-)
As we tucked in for the night (after hour long bathes each,) the rain started to fall and lulled us off to sleep. Needless to say, we both slept like babies and woke up to sunshine!!!!
And a few clouds... but look at those blue skies in between the clouds!
So I realize that it looks overcast in the picture but when it is November in England beggars can't be choosers! We take any hint of sunshine and blue sky that we can get! Here is our hotel, the Seaview Inn... doesn't look like the sort of place that would have TVs in the bathtubs!
Eventually, the beach became impossible to walk on so we headed inland along a muddy path. We were flanked by green fields and woods. The air was crisp and my wellies kept my feet bone dry! I had a ball splashing through the puddles and trying not to avoid the mud!
I can definitely understand why Londoners have country or coast homes. It was so peaceful and relaxing to be out walking without doubledecker buses brushing past at 60 mph or having to dodge tourists. One thing is for certain, if we ever lived in a place like this we would have to get a doggy! We must have seen about 20 Border Collies in our 2 days and they were all having the time of their lives running, barking, and herding any and everything in sight!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
We ended our time in Budapest at Keleti Station. Nothing makes me feel further from the US than a European train station. Though most are damp, dusty and covered with centuries of grime, it is impossible to not see what they must have been like in the hay day of train travel. They were built with attention to detail and make most modern day airports look like bus shelters! Too bad for us, our night train to Prague would quickly erase the romantic feelings of nostalgia for a bygone era and if the train ride itself didn't do the trick, the communist era train station on the other end would get the job done!
Next stop... Praha!
Until then, XOXO
Sunday, October 18, 2009
We have officially moved! Woo Hoo!! The new place has been a voyage of discovery with new things going wrong everyday. We are living without a sofa or dining room table but we do have satellite TV including ESPN America so Chris is happy ;-) Yesterday we went furniture shopping and got a sofa and table and have our fingers crossed that they will be delivered before or during the Kipphuts' visit... if not, please accept this as a formal apology for having to sit on the floor.
About 2 weeks before the move, we went to Munchen with 25 of our not so closest friends (truth be told I don't think I actually knew 25 people until the trip!) to celebrate Oktoberfest. Chris and I had been planning this trip since first visiting Germany a few years ago. Oktoberfest in Munchen is like Mecca for beer lovers... and as you all must surely realize by now, we are beer lovers! Take a moment now to imagine what the weekend was like... just think litres of beer, pretzels the size of my head, lederhosen, dirndls and of course Gnew Gnoah Gnome!!! Combine all of these things with a tent full of about 5000 litre drinking Germans! Good times!!!
And about 2 weeks prior to Munchen we spent a week in Budapest and Prague, as you may have guessed from the homeless disco tech post. I have a ton of pictures that capture the fun of eating pork knuckle, soaking in thermal baths, and enjoying the last days of Eastern European summer... Now if we could only get Internet access in our new place to upload pics!!!
Thanks for your patience!!!
Until next time,
Friday, October 9, 2009
I remember thinking that night that it may never get any better than so many of those small but amazing moments. And then the next 5 years happened! Now as I walk past the Italian Fountains in Kensington Gardens or ride the bus past Buckingham Palace or spend the day planning our next adventure, I find myself thinking the same thing again... it might never get any better than this!! Or maybe, if the coming years follow the last five it will only get better.
Happy Anniversary Florida Boy!
PS: My wedding picture discs have been packed and this picture is the only one I have on the computer... I will post later with one of me and the hubby!!!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Chris just got word today that he is being promoted to Senior Manager in October! There was some nervousness about the outcome of this years promotion since Uncle Ernie London only had a few months to see what Uncle Ernie Southeast Area and I have come to expect... udder perfection. (Laurie, that was for you ;-)
Chris thinks this post is a little too much but... when it comes to my amazing husband, nothing could ever be enough!!!
To celebrate we are enjoying a few pints of Guinness...
On a side note, Happy Anniversary to Guinness! Today they are celebrating the 250 year anniversary of signing the lease on the St Jame's Gate Brewery in Dublin... not to be too picky but the celebration is about 2 months early! Guess we will just have to toast with more Guinness in 2 months time!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
23rd August 2009 Day One
Not as early a start as we are used to... we slept til 4:45 am! Ha! Should be in Hungary in about 3 hours. I read the guide book over 3 weeks ago and remember only minor details... for instance, a Hungarian invented the Rubik Cube. Should be a fun trip, full of surprises!!!
24th August 2009 Day Two
We found a Belgian Pub in Budapest. Go figure.
Budapest is a city on the cusp of of dilapidation... it must have been brilliant before wars tore it apart and Communism left it in disrepair. Grand buildings with boarded up windows are the norm but occasionally you see one of these giants in the throws of renovation. Kind of makes you wonder...
The "underground" is laughable when compared to London. Barely below the road... walk down less than 20 steps and you are at the tracks! Funny little musical tunes play to signify a stop or when the doors are closing!
26th August 2009 Day Four
On the night train to Prague... It is an adventure that we will look back on with find memories (Note: Maybe in 20 years!!!)
Learning about Hungary's experience during WWII and then under USSR occupation has been interesting. I have not made my mind up on how to feel. Hungary allied with Germany during WW2 in a effort to regain land last following WWI... All in all, Hungary suffered worse with Communism that with the Nazis! Walking around the city, I can not imagine what it must have been like during those years...
Notes about the Night Train
No dining car.... seriously?!? Can buy small items from guy in our car but we spent all out money at the station!
No A/C! It is hot but with the window down it is loud. Note to self: Should have brought ear plugs!
Window open = Stinky farm smells every 10 to 15 minutes!
Sleeper car does not mean that you will actually sleep!
Why does the train keep stopping?
Who's idea was this stupid night train thing??? Why did I agree to this???
Note from Florida Boy
I think the best part of any trip is the moment you realize it is over... when you have a chance to first remember. I really enjoyed this one. This is what we moved to London to do. And I am happy!
Culturally, not as different as I expected, though knowing the people there experienced a very different past. amazing how quickly a country can move forward. Though my favorite part was that thermal baths, probably the oldest part of the city, they just seemed like such a natural part of the city.
I will never forget the night train to Prague. What seemed like an uneventful trip turned in to much more: After the 4th stop in about 2 hours, I realized our plans of sleeping and saving money on hotels were out the open train window!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I guess there is a first time for everything...
Florida Girl presents
Notice that we aren't the only ones snapping pics as the show gets under way.