Archive | July 2011

So, where was I?

Soooo, I think I’m on Day 2 of our European Vacation, right?? First day, not so good to put it mildly. Don’t worry, I’m not planning on giving you the daily grind on this stuff but…

So, I packed our bags on Weds. July 13th. Said good bye to them in DC at 1pm. Expected to embrace them with joy on Thursday morning when we arrived in Rome. Guess when I next saw them? MONDAY, July 18th at 6pm in Sorrento. MONDAY!! FOUR (expletives deleted) days.  It has to be a record, right?

Each day, we would get back to the hotel for siesta (God, what an amazing concept! Viva Italia!) and ask the front desk people “Have our bags arrived?” and have them look at us with pity and shake their heads. It was funny for the first day or 2 but by day 4 I was seriously ready to cry.

Honestly, who goes to Italy TWICE and has their baggage lost TWICE? That’s right. The Frug and I went to Italy in 1998 and they lost our bags then too. I think we got them on our 2nd day there…spent a lovely day at the mall in Verona (yes, home of Romeo and Juliet) shopping for clothing. And I was 6 months pregnant.  (what kind of idiot flies internationally while pregant??) Maternity clothing wasn’t not readily available back then…and kids clothing was difficult to come by this go ’round. Poor 9 spend 3 days in the same shorts b/c  we couldn’t find shorts in his size!!

As for me?? I had to go find a BRA in a foreign county…and…a BATHING SUIT!!! Horrors!!! It’s hard enough to find those things at home, kwim?  AND Delta’s lost baggage policy is that they “may” reimburse us for “up to 50%“… 50%!!!!! MFWTF? Back in ’98, we had $150ish per day to play with… I don’t know how this is all going to play out. The Frug is mentally drafting some sternly worded letters 😉

So, since we didn’t know how much we could conceivably spend, we went to a SUPERMARKET that sold clothing too. Yes, I bought a bra in a food store. And guess what? It’s pretty awesome! Plain white with convertible straps! Win! I couldn’t find shorts to save my life so I ended up with a charcoal gray pencilish skirt and 2 white tops (one loose tank and one short sleeve tee). Blah boring. And the bathing suit? It cost about 6 euros and is a skimpy black triangle number *blushes*…I figured I could adjust the triangles with the ties, right?  I have to admit, it looked pretty good 😉

I just HATED that I had planned on these fab outfits – cruising around Capri wearing X!  Touring Positano wearing Y! – and ended up in my supermercado duds or in my washed-out-in-sink airplane clothes. *sighs*  You cannot put a price tag on that kind of shame. lol

To Be Continued…

This entry was posted on July 29, 2011, in Uncategorized. Leave a comment

I Came, I Saw, I Ate

My latest diet (success!) has been well-documented here…no sugar, no white flour…but, was I really going to follow that in Italy?  Hell no. I didn’t want to go hog wild though…as we all know, weight comes on quickly and, if it ever comes OFF, it comes off ssllllooooowwwwllllly.  Anyway, without even trying, I did a diet experiment…started off sort of sticking to my plan but adding pizza dough 😉 and then on our next leg, hard core carbs and sugar, and well, in Rome? Anything I wanted.  So, here’s what I ate and how I felt…

Sorrento

Breakfast

Cappuccino, “skim” milk, and 2″dietor” fake sugar packets (not really sure what kind it was)

Eggs, Bacon

Lunch

Coke Light

Prosecco (just one, it’s vacation, right?)

Margarita Pizza (a whole one, just for me! The size of a large dinner plate)

Dinner

Red Wine

1 Coke Light

Grilled Fish (Hope, you may be interested to note that I enjoy getting the entire fish, head and all! lol)

just a little olive oil, salt, lemon.

a few stolen bites of 9’s spaghetti w/olive oil

Dessert

“shared” gelato with the Frug. *scoffs* Shared my ass! He would wolf most of it down and I was lucky to get a few spoons!

How did I feel? Terrific! Stomach flat, lovely poop 😉 , all good.

Porto Cesareo (we ate out for all meals b/c the kitchen was semi-ancient and even lighting a burner was a dangerous production!)

Breakfast (at the beach – Belvedere Lido – check it out!)

Cappuccino, didn’t even try for skim milk due to lack of English 😉

warm croissant filled with Nutella *drools*

Lunch

white wine (no Coke Light! *cries*)

margarita pizza (again, a whole one!)

Happy Hour at home

rosato wine (not my delicious white zin but close enough!)

Coke Light

nuts

little crunchy salty crackery things

Dinner

grilled fish

some bites of 9’s pasta and fries 😉

Dessert

“shared” gelato with the Frug. See above note >;-(

How did I feel? Hmm, just okay…starting to get a little bloated and the start of the dreaded “Carb Face”…

Rome

Breakfast

cappuccino

eggs

toast with butter

mini donuts with sugar 😉

Lunch

1 Coke Light

1 prosecco

margarita pizza

Dinner

spaghetti w/garlic and olive oil and sometimes some fish

some bites of 9’s pasta and fries

some bread *drools* dipped in spicy olive oil (had red pepper flakes in it. YUM!

Dessert

“shared” gelato with the Frug. See above note >;-(

How did I feel? Bloated and yucky. All backed up (sorry for the TMI lmao)…blech. Face resembling Alec Baldwin or William Shatner.

Got home and did the weigh in the next day. Frankly terrified. Good news was only 2.5 lbs. up and as of this morning it’s gone.

What I’ve realized though is that I feel much better sans the sugar and flour. (btw, the “dough” on a REAL pizza is so minimal it’s barely there at all)…and, I am wondering if I’m actually lactose intolerant after all. I ate cheese daily AND had milk too and had ZERO GI upset. Thinking maybe it’s the preservatives in our food??  I think I also felt better because I wasn’t eating pounds of sugar-free candy.

Did you notice the lack of snacking??? I never saw anyone walking around eating or drinking. I love the Italian way of eating…you sit down and have a meal…you don’t stuff your face while driving, kwim??

Why can’t we do that???

Thoughts??

This entry was posted on July 28, 2011, in Uncategorized. 2 Comments

Quick Rants

1) Why did no one warn us that Italy is pretty much a cash-only society??  It seemed that very very few places took credit cards. We knew that AmEx wasn’t readily accepted so we did “leave home without it” lol…but even MasterCard was difficult to use. I didn’t expect street vendors to take a credit card but even the entrance fees for Pompeii and other sites were cash-only. The poor Frug had to get like 300 euros a day. And btw, the dollar is NOT doing well…it was $.66 to each 1 euro.  It felt like “real” money versus pesos which feel like Monopoly money to me! ( I can see the Frug shaking his head in disgust when he reads that! lol)

2) *waves to Coke executives* There is a SEROUS shortage of Diet Coke aka Coke Light in Italy. Serious. In Sorrento, I was able to get it but in Porto Cesareo, I had to go to a supermercado to buy liter bottles of it (and pay cash, of course) to hoard at our place!  Restaurants did NOT have it.  9 refused to give up. He asked for it everywhere we went…tenacious beast.  I found myself having cappuccino in the morning. ME!  And forget skim milk…they gave me a quizzical look when I ordered my cappuccino with skim milk. One waiter explained that they have 50% skim but not skim. Ooookkkkaaay. When in Rome, kwim?  (12 kept asking “WHY DO YOU KEEP SAYING “WHEN IN ROME“????! WE ARE NOT IN ROME YET” lmao)

3) *frantically flailing* AND, each can of Coke Light was at LEAST 5 euros. FIVE!  Sometimes more!  So, about $8 per can?!?!?!  The Frug was not pleased. A large carafe of lovely house red was about 4 euros…sooooo, that’s what I drank! Me!  Red wine!  So much better than here at home. Less “tannin” or whatever the stuff is that dries the bejesus out of my tongue. Wished 12 was older so we could make him have wine instead of soda or water 😉

To Be Continued…forever it seems…lmao

This entry was posted on July 28, 2011, in Uncategorized. Leave a comment

From Heathrow to Naples to Hell

I’ll try to speed it up now…

So, when we last saw our harried travelers, they were on a craptastic plane to London. Where Robert Pattinson is from, btw. *pauses to purr*

At around the 4 hour mark, I noticed that 9’s tray table wouldn’t lock. In fact, the little hook thingy was gone. Hmm, what to do? I called the flight attendant, Helga (named for her stern demeanor and nordic iciness), to tell her about it. She said “Well, you can’t sit there. The tray table must be able to lock in order to land. In fact, this whole row will need to move…to 1st Class”  *squeals*   “The row” was just the kids and me. The Frug was in another row as always *growls*…so, the three of us went to the front of the plane and settled into those bed/seat combos, with our first class blankets, our red KLM pouch of travel accessories, etc. *purrs*

Only 5 minutes into my slice of heaven, the Guilt set in. The Frug. *sighs* He was sound asleep, legs all twisted up, when I went to get him and sneak him into our 1st class row! *pats self on back for being a non-selfish-Good-Wife*  It was only about an hour of 1st Class but I shan’t forget it!

Heathrow? Meh. Why did I expect it to be anything other than a regular airport? And no Rob in sight!! Had a mediocre breakfast “Worst pancakes EVER” declared 9 and then off to Rome on Alitalia. The Frug had the Alitalia person check into our bag situation. Not good. She said that they had no record of them *cue ominous music* She put some sort of “tracking beacon” on them and sent us on our way…I sensed her pity though. Sort of like “you poor bastards will nevah see those bags again” but said in lovely Italian.

Uneventful flight, TFG.

Arrive Rome. No baggage so no need for Customs check!  Small joy. The Baggage Claim people gave us each a small gray box of “supplies”….more on those later.

Take Da Vinci Express train (40 minutes) to Rome Termini to get on the high speed train to Naples. Rome Termini is one the of the 7 levels of Hell, btw. Sea of humanity. Ugh. One hour in the First Class car. Woman with cart offering free drinks (Prosecco for me, baby!) and snacks! More joy! AND, we had no bags to drag around (this is me, looking on the Bright Side)

Arrive Naples. Now, I researched how to get to Sorrento from Naples. All guide books said to take the Circumvesuviana b/c it’s the quickest way…auto traffic in Naples is apparently hellacious.

Sooooo, we take it. Guess how many stops between Naples and Sorrento??

30.

30 stops on a regional train. No A/C.  No bathroom. The Frug was deadly quiet.

Yes, it's really this beautiful at night, even after traveling

Arrive Sorrento, no bags to drag to taxi…5 minutes in a cab to our hotel. Cost approximately 10 euros. First of many cab rip offs. *sighs*  Here’s the Grand Hotel De La Ville in Sorrento. Really quite lovely and the staff is very kind.

Our room is small but perfect…quick dinner at a quaint “classic Italian” restaurant that we walked to (and on the way we saw a bloodied victim of a scooter crash — crazy drivers everywhere!)…then back to the hotel for bed…

Here’s the view we will see in the morning…yes, it’s just that beautiful…the “mountain” in the background in Mt. Vesuvius.

Roof Top Bar with POOL is always a Win

It’s almost midnight on Thursday, July 14th. We left our house at 1pm on Wednesday. *melodramatic sigh*  Our little traveler packs each had an XL white tee shirt – jammies! – and toothbrushes and toothpaste…so, we all curled into our beds and slept in a row, dormitory style, in our matching white tees.

Adorable.

Commando. Which makes 9 a giggling and inappropriate mad man. *shakes head*

Had to wash our undies out and hand them to dry outside. Dirty undies are Not Cool.  Am I right, or am I right?!

To Be Continued…there will be some Happy Times, I swear!

This entry was posted on July 27, 2011, in Uncategorized. 4 Comments

Ciao a Tutti!

So, hey! It’s ME! Back from Bella Italia!!!!!  It was the Frug’s (age deleted) birthday and we did a 2 week journey to Italy!  Sorrento!!! Porto Cesareo! Rome!!  Wine! Food!  Romance! (scratch that — chillens came with us…4 people in a hotel room is not a sexay time)

Planes! Trains! Automobiles! Boats! Trams!

All went smoothly, sheer perfection. Nothing to tell. *snorts*

Traveling sucks. The being there is amazing. The getting there? Well, there’s really no two ways about it. It’s tiring. It’s uncomfortable. It’s downright scary for some of us 😉

Ready for the saga of our first day? Just the first day, mind you.  (and, btw, this trip is going to br broken up into about eleven-teen posts…consider yourselves warned!)

The plan was for DC-Boston, Boston-Rome.  2 take-offs/landings for me to pray the rosary and drink mini-bottles of wine for.  The DC flight scheduled for 3pm. (had had a niggling thought about July and afternoon thunderstorms but dismissed it)  On plane, ready to go….*crack* Thunder! FML and EFF the flight…we sit on the plane for 2.5 hours “waiting it out” …then the pilot comes on and informs us that, due to federal regulations, we can only sit on the tarmac for 3 hrs so that’s it…this flight is ovah! Our flight to Rome left Boston on time (communicating with my SIL who was on the 1pm Boston flight aka pre-thunderstorms — she and BIL made their 5:45pm Boston-Rome connection without issue) *sighs* 9 was openly sobbing. 12 was smacking the seatback in front of him (his default emotion is ANGRY)…the Frug was in full-on crisis mode, bless him. We deplaned into a scene from 1970s Beirut…total Goat Rodeo. Thousands of people who needed to rebook flights. Hell.

Long story long, we ended up in Boston, albeit 5 hours later…and it was a hellacious, turbulent flight, btw. The crazy-yet-wonderful flight attendant was laughing and joking about the “roller coaster ride”…thankfully, I was 3 wines and a Xanax in at that point 😉 Oh, and btw, the Alitalia flight to Rome is once a day (the hell?) and we were NOT spending the night in an airport, kwim? Got rebooked on a KLM flight to London (home of the delicious Robert Pattinson)…

Arrived in Boston at around 9pm to the sound of *crickets* The place was basically CLOSED. Hello? International airport with flights all day/night??? We were starving and the only places open were Dunkin Donuts (huh?) and Phillips Seafood…fried-food-a-palooza…and Master 9 barely eats chicken, let alone *shudders* fish. Whatever, ate the fried mess, washed down with yet another wine,  and was done with it…*stomach roils*

Oh, and we  already knew our bags were f*cked. Something about them being “checked thru” to Rome via Alitalia…they were put into some sort of holding area for Alitalia (for the flight leaving the NEXT DAY at 5:45pm) and locked up for the night. “No, there’s no way to change that“…”It’s locked up, Sir“…The Frug was Quiet Rage.

He made us sit there, at the gate, not boarding, while the gate attendants pretended to call and make inquiries about our bags. Clock ticking. Children upset. Me still in shock about turbulent previous flight and digesting awful food.

Boarded the plane to find a regular old jet, 3×3 seats, zero leg room. I was like “where are those cool bed thingys that I see on TV?”  No sleep. *sighs*  The Frug and the chillens slept whilst I worried and obsessively checked the flight status screens, pretty much flying the plane along with the pilots, as I always do.

To Be Continued…

This entry was posted on July 27, 2011, in Uncategorized. Leave a comment

Musings on Common Decency, Intimacy, Love and Sh*t

So, today’s post is an attempt to ferret out what is the Right Time in a relationship to be exposed to the dirty side of one’s partner. Was speaking to a “friend” who is in a newish relationship (more than 1 month in but less than 6)…her man has apparently unilaterally decided that’s it’s okay to fart in front of her. She has, naturally, protested that it is Not Okay.

Is it “okay?? He said he thought she wanted them to be more “open” with each other. She probably meant EMOTIONALLY (dumbass men!) and he took that as “Hey, it’s time to open up my anus!”

And, there’s more…*cue ominous and smelly music*

This guy, who I am pretty sure she really likes, left a POOP in the toilet – UNFLUSHED and she found it!!  *horror film music shrieking in the background*  That is something you just can’t “un-see”, kwim??

Sooo, what do we think???  Was it too soon for all of this exposure to his feces and odors?? Or is this a “sign” that he loves her and wants her to know all of him???

Personally, I think NEVER is a good time to have to see your man’s shit in the toilet. Seriously. Again, it can’t be un-seen. *shudders*  The farting?  Sadly, men seem to revel in their farts and want to share them with the world. *sighs*  Really no escaping them.  Farts in bed and “dutch ovens” are a Hard Limit though — no one should ever have to deal with that.

This entry was posted on July 11, 2011, in Uncategorized. 1 Comment