Friday, December 28, 2007

Best of 2007

THE BEST OF 2007:
Best Event: Becoming an Attorney!
Best Movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoneix
Best Over-Played Song: Bubbly

Best Books: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Best New-ity of 07: Pregnancy

Most Shocking News of 07: Becky was headed to Kuwait!

MW's Word of the Year: W00T!
Jo's Word of the Year: Babies!

Events of 2007:
1. We went to Roma!
2. Carrie and Jason got married!!
3. Disneyland trips!!!!
4. Ganger Reunion!
5. PL 5 year Reunion
6. We bought a house!
7. Trivia Nights
8. Mark and Shelia got married!
9. Stars Hallow Book Club got started
10. Quitting BLG

Bring it on 2008, I can't wait to meet my child!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I Quit...

I always wonder what people stand for in life. Do my principals truly seem egregious and offensive to others? Or do they merely cause them strife because they recognize flaws in their own. I am the last (or I try) to be arrogant in thinking that my way is the only way. I fully understand that all individuals will make up their own minds in life and do what they believe to be best (right or wrong) and that is what I recently did. I quit my job.

Many people are aware of what my work situation has been over this last year. A great place to learn and grow as a paralegal and attorney, a place I could find comfort with coworkers and a place I developed some true friendships. More often than not a great place to work and sometimes even, call home. I spent many hours work related and social with all of my coworkers, and I appreciated them all until a fateful series of events occurred that caused me to lose trust and respect for a few select parties. One particular individual lost my respect, trust, and ability to be socially civil to her due to her horrific attempts to tear apart a family, just for the hell of it. I'm not sure how I truly got in the middle of that… but I was… perhaps by what was going on in front of my face daily or perhaps because I so truly wanted to believe in the other parties and help them move past it all… I don't know either way I was involved.
I put up with a lot over these last eight months. I have been verbally assaulted, professionally plotted against, and told to be a team player through it all – and for whatever those choices were: good or bad, I played. Last week however was my attempt to play by their rules. This particular woman quit herself, mostly for show and disruption, maybe she truly meant it… but the proverbial straw that broke MY back was when she was begged to come back. This woman has lied (admittedly for sport in the office) she has attempted to break up a marriage, she has talked down to everyone in the office at how she is superior to them… the list and abhorrent behavior could go on… but I digress, because what good does it do? None. And so, I quit.

Yes, I was emotional, but I could no longer deal with the "turning of the cheek" concept anymore. I took a stand, (I've been told I issued an ultimatum) and informed the partners that if she came back that I would quit… and well, I've quit so you can only imagine what occurred. The only regret I have is that I've left the others behind, the others that have to continue to work in this bent environment. Where deceit is rewarded and the almighty dollar is more important than family and honesty. For me it's not. I love the work, I love (most) of the people, and I loved my job… but with that woman there it was nothing like working side by side the devil all day long. And when the light at the end of the tunnel (her quitting) turned out to be the damn train coming to full speed ahead to crush me, I jumped off the tracks.

I wish this firm the best, I hope that they see what she truly is, and I do hope it's before she does something damaging for them. I didn't quit this job so that they could see that I'm worth keeping more than her. I didn't do this out of spite, I did this for me because it no longer felt like a good thing going to work. It hadn't for a long time… but I wanted to be there for others.
So to those others… I wish you all the best, try to stay strong. Do your jobs to the best of your ability and know that I am just a phone call away… because now I can be a lady who lunches!

Homeowners!

On a much happier note!! We are all moved into our house! We have been busy busy busy these past few weeks, we closed on November 28th and have been doing all sorts of fun since then. We've been painting, picking out carpet and appliances and this weekend we moved into our humble abode! Yep that's right! We're homeowners now. It's a 3bedroom, 1.75 bathroom, 1 office (aka 4th bedroom without a closet) has a living room and a media room and space for a third bathroom downstairs.

We're getting carpet tomorrow and then I can start working on downstairs! J Although since we're getting carpet tomorrow… I need to go finish painting!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Vacations!

The last few weeks have been intense, but in a fun way. Three weeks ago Becky was in town, we had a great time just hanging out and relaxing – it was nice to spend a few days alone with her before she headed off on her adventure to Kuwait. We went to the Space Needle and enjoyed watching movies and SATC. It was perfect.

I then worked for four more days and then I headed to California to begin the week adventure with Carrie! It was great, she had a wonderful bachelorette party in Newport Beach and we enjoyed an excellent Sex and the City themed event with that.

Then on Monday morning my mom came and picked me up and I enjoyed two days at home spending time with mom and grandma. Stopped and saw mom and dad Fruchey and then on Wednesday I headed to Disneyland with Shelley! MUCH FUN all around.

Thursday it was back to wedding central and spending my time with Carrie driving all over Los Angeles County preparing for her big day. Friday, Carrie treated all the bridesmaids to pedicures and lunch and then we all enjoyed a lovely rehearsal, followed by an even lovelier dinner. Yum! Carrie and I packed her up, updated myspace and headed over to Michelle and Edwards to sleep.


Saturday we awoke and headed over to Helen's to begin the getting ready process, it took all morning to get us all dolled up, but the time flew by…. We arrived at the destination and continued taking many photos and ultimately I filled my 4gig card up with pictures from the event. Carrie and Jason had a beautiful wedding and everything went perfectly. They had a wonderful reception and headed off without a hitch to their honeymoon…



I got to spend a little time with Loving Husband and the next day we met up with Troy and Jackie at Downtown Disney for some social time – it was excellent… then I hopped on a plane and headed back to the NW…. It was a great week and soooo didn't want to go back to work.

It's fall around here now though and the seasonal changes makes holidays seem that much closer… the weather is cool and crisp, but very sunny this weekend – it was a perfect fall day. Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving and the much anticipated time of year Christmas!!! All right around the corner.

Loving Husband and I are looking for a house and are hoping to get into one by the end of November. We shall see! Keep us in your prayers that we'll find the right thing for us! With as little hassle and hiccups as possible! That's all for now.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Work...

Ever wish you could leave for lunch and never return?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Here's to a new year looking up...

This entry starts out kinda bleak, but I promise it does get better.




I've kept "Here's to a new year looking up!" as my profile quote for over 7 months now. Prior to that in 2006 it was dedicate for the whole year to one quote in memory of my father. I kept this quote up for the last seven months convinced that if I didn't I would be faced with another period in my life of strife and loss. 2006 I was met with the grieving of my grandfather (who, although died in November 05 was very much a part of the grieving processes in 06) and the sudden and painful loss of my dad abruptly. In less than 6 months, by late February I had lost my grandfather, my dad, and my cousin just a few years older than I. It didn't appear as if the loss would end. The grieving process was long, deep and difficult and truly all done with Loving Husband already moved to the NW, I was alone in So Cal. Now of course I was not by any means truly alone, I had great friends and more family just a car ride away… but I went home to an empty house to grieve – and although in some sense that was a blessing it was also a curse. Mid-2006 I uprooted by entire life to relocate to the NW, and although this move was something I did want… it meant entirely uprooting everything about me: family, friends, home, job, my life. The first few months was struggle. And as time went on I found a great job, great friends, and made the NW, my home. Like with anything it just takes time. Christmas came and my family came to stay – it was a wonderful time of year, and good way to end 2006 after such a rocky start. However, it didn't end on an entirely high note. My cousin, Babi killed herself two days before the new year. Her Christmas card still sitting on the table talking about her happy holiday and her early January travels to Tennessee that she was excited to go on. What was wrong with this world? And so I again pushed forward and as 2006 wound to a close – on myspace I wrote "Here's to a new year looking up"


Now this year has been filled with drama, from a tumultuous relations at work to the break down of extended families, not my own. But I truly must yield to the quote that this year has been looking up. I studied and took the bar again, and I passed, I became an attorney! I've been able to visit with my best friend, Becky twice with a third visit nearing the horizon next month. My other dear and best friend, Carrie is getting married this year! I joined a wonderful group through our church and have met some great people. I got to see my mom and Dawn and my very nice swearing in ceremony. I got to see my dear friend Mark gets married! I've reconnected with a great friend, Dave! I went to Rome!! I got a raise! I celebrated three wonderful years with Loving Husband. We have plans at Christmas to hopefully have the whole family down in our hometown, including Derek and Jen!! This has been a wonderful year so far… and so I must yield and not fear that by some crazy voodoo removing the quote is going to hinder that. Death and sadness occurs without notice, but it does it in spite of quotations or silly superstitions. And thus far although to some, what might seem like a ridiculous exercise is more "myspace excessivism and over emphasism" I feel that I can change my quote and not feel that my world will topple down on me. Because heck, even if the rest of 2007 is the worst I've ever experienced… it still will result in the fact that for over seven months this year was better than last – and thus the year looked up!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Weekend Whirlwinds

Clearly this weekend is the weekend for updating my blog, but the last few weeks have been anything but calm.
Ocean Shores:
The weekend after we got back from Rome we merely unloaded one suitcase into another and headed with friends to Ocean Shores. Loving Husband, Danielle, and I headed out after work to join the others at a lovely Aloha location with decorations that are beyond words. It was a great tiem for everyone to just hang out and relaxing, walk on the beach and to read some good ol' Harry Potter.
Sunday we all enjoyed ourselves by renting bikes/carts and tooling around on the beach, chasing each other and playing our version of capture the flag. Very fun.

Tuesday Night:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was to be released! We all gathered in excitement and some mild fright (and the level of excitement some chose to enjoy thru costumes) and we enjoyed the movie on the IMAX screen at the Pacific Science Center. Muy execellent. Not so muy excellent that work still started at the same hour it normally did, regardless of the fact I didn't get home until after 3am. Oye.

Ganger Reunion:
Wednesday came and went as did most of Thursday, and Brenda and Mung arrived on Thursday evening…. The first of the family I got to see as it was the Ganger Family Reunion up here in Tenino. We enjoyed dinner together and then Becky's flight came in around 11:30pm. Brenda and I went to pick them up and it was another looong night because of course we chatted for a while before I headed to bed. I went into work at 9, Loving Husband took them off to breakfast and then I drove to Tenino to meet up with them all later that evening. It was so great to spend time with all the family, laugh with them and enjoy all of their company. I love and miss them all so much. I left late on Sunday night and headed back home… another late night.

Harry Potter:
This past week was much more anticipation mounting as it was nearing the seventh and final Harry Potter book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I won't say anything as I know many are still reading it or too busy planning weddings to get to it… but it is amazing and a very good closure to the story. Friday night Brianne and I met up and stood in line for an extremely long time with some quite interesting folks. We got the books and headed home to read them. I still had part of HP6 to read and so I read the remaining 50 pages of HP6 and then barely made it to page 23 around 3:30am before crashing into sleep on the futon. I woke up around 8am read about 100 pages and then went back to sleep until almost 10. I ultimately finished the book at 3am today.

Today I spent cleaning the house. It had not been vacuumed since before Rome… partially due to the busyness of our lives, but more so because Loving Husband believed the vacuum to be broken. I fixed it and all was well. I cleaned up my closet that I haven't seen in MONTHS and have been enjoying blogging for the rest of my afternoon. Loving Husband went hiking this weekend, a fun activity but not terribly restful, I am patiently waiting for him to finish HP7 which is he reading now, we'll take a short break here in a moment and head to church and then he will finish reading (he says he's not sleeping until he's done) we'll see. He's only on 140.

That's me! I'm alive, but if I haven't called you – it is not because I am ignoring you… it's because my life is so planned and scheduled right now there is not time for anything else. Much love!

Travel home from Roma

A bit delayed in the posting, but life's been busy!! However, I feel that we should preserve the final moments of our trip because it was an excellent trip.

Final Day:
We enjoyed the pool and reading and just resting. For dinner we headed out to enjoy our last Italian meal at a local place around the corner from the hotel… another bit of walk and we were joined by a few fellow conference people, but all on the company dime! SWEET. We enjoyed between the 5 of us I believe about 3 bottles of wine, mmm and then myself and Jane (a fellow Company-Wife) walked back to the hotel, leaving the boys to justify the Company-charge and allow them to talk shop. I went back and continued to read a bit of Harry Potter book 4. I was hell bent on finishing it so that I could pack it and just read HP5 on the plane… that didn't end up happening… I drifted off to sleep and we awoke painfully early.

Travel Day:
Italy:I wasn't in great shape the next morning, something from the eatery we had enjoyed the night prior was not agreeing with me (and no it wasn't the wine) I was not feeling well and sparing the details was visiting the bathroom about every 3-5 minutes… that's AWESOME for a) cab rides b) waiting in line and c) plane rides! Oye! We arrive at the airport and finally track down where the heck we are suppose to check in – we went to the "wrong" terminal at first because well that's what our itinerary said… and although it was "correct" ALL Aitalia check in through Terminal A…. we were in C. Then we arrive at C and there are 100+ lines for Aitalia, well which freakin one are we supposed to get in… after establishing that yes it's that really freaking long one – we settle in and I find the path to start wearing down a path for me to go back and forth to the bathroom…mind you I have eaten nothing and drinking anything seems to be a grave dangerous task to entertain. We get checked in our bag barely weigh in under weight, but they're check through to home. We find our plane and have about 30 minutes to wait before boarding. My body decides to calm down and by the time I get on the plane I've managed to consume part of a muffin and the bathroom trips have subsided. Thank GOD! We get on the plane… and we sit. ::Announcement:: "We will be delayed by 20 minutes due to some headwinds but we should arrive in Amsterdam just 18 minutes off tracking." Well, shit.

Amsterdam:
What's the big deal? It's not that big of a delay, right? Wrong. We had ONE HOUR to connect to our direct 10 hour flight straight back to home. A flight, a glorious flight, that would have had us touching down on U.S. soil at 2:00pm PST. We now had 40 minutes. We get off the plane and we SPRINT… ::add in derby type music:: I don't run, I'm not a runner, never truly was, and after knee surgeries never care to let alone hold an ability to be a runner and after spending a week eating pasta and wine and then a full morning spent in a bathroom I was in zero shape to run and I do mean RUN through an airport. We ran and then we waited tapping our feet in line to get through Amsterdam customs, stamp in the passport later we pick back up full speed – this airport, though all connected so no trams to connect to is flipping HUGE…. We continue to run. We arrive at the gate 15 minutes to spare. We are told by the KLM attendant they will not put us on this plane that they have "rebooked our flight, and if we would please go to the transfer counter, they will be happy to help" … 35 minutes more standing in line (and nearing lunch time) we are told by the KLM lady that since Aitalia screwed up that we will have to have THEM rebook our flight… and that in order for THAT to occur we have to exit the terminal and go outside. W.T.F. So back into another line to get another stamp in the passport. SUPER. We then go down to the Aitalia ticket counter and the woman looks at us as if we are mad and simply says "Why didn't they just call me while you were at the KLM counter?" EXCELLENT QUESTION! She takes time to locate our luggage to get it retagged – whew it was located. She then gives us a sad sight of a "ticket" and tells us to go stand in the KLM ticketing line to get our boarding passes. Another 30 minutes later we get to the counter and we get boarding passes. We then go back through customs and get ONE MORE effing stamp in our passports. There is no time to grab food because now we'll be late for THIS flight if we do. We then get on the plane. To Canada. Vancouver to be specific. It's a 10.5 hour flight. With a 2 hour layover connecting via Air Canada to home after that. And all I can think is that the direct flight to home was only 10 hours and if we had made it we would have already been flying for 2.5 hours and have been given SOMETHING to eat. We board. ::Announcement:: "There is going to be a 30 minute delay we are missing 15 tons of fuel. Likely a clerical error we just have to fill out some paperwork." I don't panic that is still 90 minutes to get onto a plane to the U.S. no biggie. Twenty minutes later ::Announcement:: "Dutch…dutch…problema …dutch" then the translation "It seems that it is not merely a simple clerical error and that we are in fact missing 15 tons of fuel, that's not the problem – we can fly without that… but we have to do a stick test to establish the level of fuel on the plane… that will take 90 minutes." … … …

In flight:
Our flight back is not nearly as nice. We have the common tv suspended from above the aisles, so I don't get to choose my programming, the food is far from comparable to that on the first long flight over, and we didn't get nearly as many snacks… because at THIS point I have had NOTHING… we finally get dinner: pasta and a wolf it down. The rest of the flight is uneventful. We made some time up in the air (quite a bit actually, about an hour) Towards the end the flight attendants came around to round up the "NW fliers" There was a half dozen of us and we had to catch that flight. It was that flight at 6pm PST or 11:00pm. I was getting on that freakin plane!

Canada:
The doors open and we are the first ones out. We hop on a KLM cart (at least in Canada the KLM people are helpful!) and we clear Canadian customs without issue – really without even getting off the cart. We then have to pick up our bags. Seriously?! We wait… we wait… 10 minutes later which seems like an eternity when you have less than an hour. We then go out into the airport and check in with Air Canada. We get new tags for our bags which we are now carting around personally… and we run through US Customs… no line there (weird) we then throw our luggage onto the conveyer belt WAAY past security and everything (weird again) and then SPRINT AGAIN! I am tired of running through countries. We again are running for what seems like an inexplicable length to get to our gate… but we get there and they let us on!!! We even delayed and waited for people's bags.

United States:
We're home!!! We didn't have to deal with customs in the US because we had already done that – all we had to do was grab our luggage and grab a taxi home… It's about 730pm by now. We have not eaten but that one subpar "meal" on the plane and to us it's 4am. We wait for the luggage…. Nothing. Loving Husband goes to get in line and I wait for the other Air Canada flight to land 30 minutes after us that MAYBE they got put on that one. Nothing. We waited in a line that was forever long to declare our luggage missing – we left the airport around 10:30pm.
Home:
We were so happy to be home. Our kitties missed us. It was excellent to sleep in our bed. And on Sunday, my bag arrived. Loving Husband's showed up on Monday night in the middle of the night… we don't understand how they were separated. We were just glad that in the end it all made it home.
The trip was wonderful and the only thing I would have changed was the trip home!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Roma Parte Due

DAY FOUR:
As I said at the end of my last blog Loving Husband was out working, so I decided to get myself out and about to do some Italian shopping! I hopped in a cab, since most of our other traveling had been done on the weekend I wasn't prepared for the MASSIVE traffic that Tuesday would throw at me (as Monday is often a lighter travel day even still since everything is closed most often) the cab ride took twice as long as the previous time we had gone to the Piazza di Spanga and of course twice as expensive, but I arrived and was not stolen by any gypsies, whew!

Piazza di Spanga:

I walked around looking at the steps and the shops. The shops there are quite small or they are built UP, some of them it is hard to imagine how they would be able to manage to make rent every month, but then you walk into them and see that there is nothing below 100 euro and then you understand. I didn't buy too much at any of those stores. What I really wanted to find was a bookstore. I walked a few blocks up and over and then I headed up a street toward Piazza del Popolo.

Piazza del Popolo:
Up at the end of the street there was an amazing courtyard area with a fountain and twin churches that looked interesting so I headed toward them. The area was called Piazza del Popolo which is a vast cobbled oval standing at the apex of the triangle of rads known as the Trident. There are twin churches Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto which were built15th century one of the churches is actually narrower than the other because of the area they were both build on and so the one on the right actually has an circular dome the other one has an oval one and thus the size of the supporting drums that face the piazza are identical. NEATO! The obelisk in the center is over 3000 years old and was brought to Rome by Augustus to adorn the Circus Maximus after the conquest of Egypt.

After I finished at that area I headed down another street back toward the Spanish Steps. I found a side street with a little cafe. They spoke no English there, so I decided to sit down and enjoy a few hours of vino, lunch and reading. It was really nice. I read some Harry Potter ;-) and then I headed back toward the heart of the Spanish Steps area. I headed back to the hotel so that Loving Husband wouldn't worry and so that I could end up with some room service. Loving Husband had to go to out for work, so I ordered the in-room entertainment and watched a couple of movies and ordered a burger and fries (they got the fries right.... burger... not so much).

DAY FIVE:
An excellent day! I did NOTHING. Yup that's right never even left the hotel. I woke up at the same time I had been, enjoyed breakfast with Loving Husband (not the greatest in this hotel, but ah well it's FREE!) and then I came back to the hotel, I enjoyed reading and doing some myspacing, gmail, reading the news. I then went down to meet Loving Husband for lunch! More free food! Excellente! After that I scheduled myself a massage and read for a while. I ordered a bottle of red wine and enjoyed some before my massage. I went down and had an hour massage at the spa here and then from there went over to the pool to lay out and read some Harry Potter. I did that for a couple of hours and then came back, drank some more vino, watched another movie... and then I fell asleep at 8:00pm... I woke up when Loving Husband got home at 11:15pm, I hadn't eaten dinner ordered Lasagna via room service and then went back to sleep.



DAY SIX:

Woke up again around 7 and grabbed breakfast again and came back and got ready for the day. Loving Husband had a short day for working on Thursday, so I bided my time for him to finish, showered got ready to go out. We decided to start at the Monumento a Garibaldi, so we hopped in a cab after we ate lunch for FREE again! I love Company-paid for food. :-)

Monumento a Garibaldi:
This monument is in an area called the Janiculum which has an amazing view over the city. This park area has a lighthouse which was built in 1911 (which we only took pictures of from afar there was a hill I didn't want to deal with) and the statutes of Garibaldi which was our point of the destination. Apparently every day at noon a cannon is fired which we missed since we arrived around 1. Ah well. The monument of Garibaldi has an inscription on the base of it that says "Rome or Death" and was quite pretty. The monument stands for the heroic events witnessed on the Janiculum when the French army attacked the city in 1949, Garibaldi's Republicans fended off the French for weeks. The monument was erected in 1895, the small sculptures around the base are battle scenes from that time. We next headed to Fontana dell' Acqua Paola.

Fontana dell' Acqua Paola:
The walk from the monument was very pretty, it was through a park area, where they have a row of busts outlining the park. Dating back into the 1800s. We arrived at the fountain which was very pretty and in a very nice overlook of the city as well. The fountain was placed there to commemorate the reopening in 1612 of an aqueduct originally built by Emporor Trajan in 109 AD. We sat around there for a while and then headed out to see another fountain. Which was far less impressive and actually not fully functional... but we crossed the river and headed into more of the city from there. We continued walking north toward the PIazza Navona, which was very pretty. We passed the Pantheon again and then we attempted to head toward the Trevi Fountain, but ended back up at the Spanish Steps. We stopped there and ate some gellato and enjoyed that area again, picked up a few things we had seen before there and then we headed back out.

Fountana di Trevi:
We finally arrived at the Trevi fountain, where a vendor handed me a rose... Loving Husband of course had to pay him to get him to leave... but it didn't cost us much. ;-) The Trevi fountain was amazing. The fountain was completed in 1762. The central figures are Neptune, flanked by two Tritons. These two symbolize the two contrasting moods of the sea. It was very pretty. Loving Husband and I took so pictures around there and tossed some coins into the fountain. Legend is if you throw coins in the fountain, you'll come back to Rome. So we did, we like it here. ;-) From there we walked down toward the Forum.

Trajan's Market:
We sat at a recommended restaurant to enjoy some dinner, vino and dessert. We sat there for nearly three hours and watched the sun set over the view we had which was Trajan's Market. We saw a bride and groom getting pictures taken from up in the ruins from where we sat... and Loving Husband called me the Cat Whisperer because there we kitties down in the ruins that were looking up at me meowing... but not at anyone else (made me miss my kitties!) It was a beautiful view.

Night Time:
After dessert we headed out to walk around the area and take some pictures at night! It was gorgeous. We then headed back to our hotel, uploaded some pictures and then went to sleep.

DAY SEVEN:

Today, I have awoken after sleeping in, drafted this blog and Loving Husband and I located some food and the head to the pool to relax, after Loving Husband frying we headed back for some reading and relaxing. .

We'll go out again this evening and have some dinner with some Company folks. Loving Husband's done working, so much of what remains is packing and hiding our goods so we don't have to pay taxes on any of them! ;-) It has been an amazing trip, and I"m off to enjoy the remaining day of it! Ciao!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Roma Parte Uno

DAY ONE:
Our first day awake in Roma, and thus the count of our trip really begins. After sleeping like the dead on what had to be the hardest mattress I have ever slept on (or attempted to sleep on) we woke around 6am, maybe due to a little jet lag, but I felt rested enough and so we showered and got ready to begin our day. We had breakfast at the hotel (same place we had eaten dinner the night before) It was very nice and relaxing eating out on the patio. We then gathered our things and set out walking. Our goal was simply to find a taxi stop that was described to us as "down two blocks and take a left one block" ... Well that didn't happen. We walked ALL over the city, saw a bit of everything, but our first real sighting of anything spectacular was the Temple of the Forum Boarium, the Santa Maria Church and the Fontana dei Tritoni... all very nice! We continued our walk, we walked for about 90 minutes throughout the city and finally we arrived upon the Vatican.

The Vatican:
We arrived and shortly got in line to get into the Vatican, when we did we got in another line to go to the top of the Cupola. For 7 euros we could use a lift and skip over 200 stairs, but for 4 euros (each of course) we could just walk up all 510+ stairs... so for whatever reason... we went cheap! The first 250 stairs were managable, and that led us to a walkway around the dome so that we could see the ceiling up close as well as the floor of St. Peter's very nicely. (See pictures in the pics section)... We then continued up MORE stairs that just when I thought the space couldn't get smaller... oooh man they did - I had a mild panic attack because of the small space... which considering the size of space we were in and my claustrophobia, I thought that was pretty good. We reached the top and I managed to get some excellent photos of Roma! Very pretty all over. We headed down from the dome and stopped at the half way point at the gift shop, where we sent postcards from the Vatican post office (they have their own mail system) to our parents... and then into St. Peter's where the art work is just breath taking, the pictures just don't do the details justice. We saw the famous sculpture Pieta which was finished in 1499 by Michelangelo (he was only 25 when he did it!) Loving Husband stole some holy water in a little container he purchased in the gift shop... and then were were off to a resturant for lunch. While walking around the wall of the Vatican there were many vendors selling knock off goods... we read that it is a $10,000 euro fine to PURCHASE such goods, so the cost of selling them... can't be good... there were about 10 vendors lined up with sunglasses, handbags, etc... and the Policia drove down the street and literally they all grabbed their stuff and did a Vendor Dash into the side streets... quite amusing. After that we headed back into the Vatican to go into the Grottos and saw where all the popes are buried. Interesting history for sure.







Castel Sant' Angelo:
We headed over to the Castle after we finished up at the Vatican and walked around there for an hour or two. It was very nice, more amazing art work and an interesting history. It came into existance in 139AD and has been used for many things since including the residence for the pope during political unrest and a prison (interesting combo!)

After we finished at the Castle around 6:30, we went back to the hotel and took a nap until about 9pm, since it was Saturday the resturant at our hotel was closed, so we walked a few blocks into more city life and had some dinner a small place. Loving Husband had the best soup he's ever had (I didn't taste any of it) and I had some tastey pasta and Vino! Always room for Vino! We finished off the evening watching Law and Order: SVU in Italian. And went into another deep sleep!


DAY TWO:
Our second day we woke around 7am and packed all our things, enjoyed another tasty breakfast at the hotel and then checked out. We hopped in a cab and headed across town to the Crown Plaza where we would remain for the remainder of the trip. We got all checked in and then hopped in another taxi to the Vatican Museums. We stood in line for an hour and forty-five minutes. The line literally wrapped 1/3rd around the country... It's funnier when you put it that way. Since it was the last Sunday of the month it was FREE!! to get in. Yay! Excellent timing for this trip, I'd say.

Vatican Museums:
We went in and went straight into the courtyard holding the Cortile della Pigna which is a huge bronze pine cone which is a part of an ancient Roman founntain, which used to be in the old square of St. Peter's. We then continued into the Room of Busts, which is a very loooong room, filled with, well... busts!

We enjoyed some Egyptian art that was extremely OLD, it was so amazing at how well it had all be preserved. There was a floor mosaic we walked over from the Baths of Otricoli in Umbria that was sooo amazing in the Chiaramonti Museum which date from the 3rd Century AD. The Sistine Chapel was breath-taking... as was the walk to it... every ceiling on the way in was covered in an amazing mural. There are sculputures everywhere in this museum, even down by the bathrooms, which I did find amusing... enjoyed some pizza in the cafeteria and continued to look at the beautiful art work, and finished out the museum of course by the Spiral Ramp which was designed by Giueppe Momo in 1932... yah sadly I didn't know who that was either. We then hopped in a taxi (paid 2 euro to make a U-Turn, hehe) and headed back to the hotel, because my knee was starting to kill me... hard to walk even a little bit. So we put some ice on it for an hour or two, Loving Husband got to get on the internet and do some work stuff... and then we headed back out.


Spanish Steps:
We took another taxi (yes, we've taken them everywhere!) especially since my knee was at this point falling apart, to the Spanish Steps... GORGEOUS! Loving Husband went all the way to the top and took some pictures for me, and we wandered around the streets there for a while. My knee couldn't take much more so we ended up cutting that portion of the trip short and headed back to the hotel. We met up with some Company people and had dinner and then came back and I crashed!

DAY THREE:
We awoke after sleeping on a very comfy bed and got ourselves ready to go, but my knee was still really bothering me and we were going to the Colusseum and the Forum, it wasn't looking good for walking around... we headed to the front desk to ask about a pharmacia! They said one was just a 5 minute walk from the hotel, so we took a jaunt down the road... found a knee brace and some bandaids for my toes and then headed back - stopped in and bought a pair of italian sandles and headed back to the hotel.

The Forum:
We arrived at the forum and just took it all it - it is so vast and amazing at what they did soooo many years ago. The awe of it was detracted mildly by the two workers weed-wacking around the ancient ruins, but I guess it has to be done, eh?

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:
We then continued to walk to see this big white building that can been seen just about anywher in Roma... but we didn't have a clue what it was! It is for The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier... let's just say THIS out does the U.S. tenfold. Wow.... it's beyond vast. More stairs later we were up... I took a seat, Loving Husband took some more stairs and got more pictures of the area around it. It was just amazing.

The Colosseum:
We walked down the road from the Forum and went to the Colosseum. The Colosseum is looking pretty good, considering it opened in 80 AD and suffered an earthquake in 1400s (leaving it in the state that it resides in now with the section missing). It has 80 arched entrances and could seat 55,000 people back in the day. We signed up for a tour and learned all sorts of neat stuff. Including (as my picture states) the reason there are all the holes all over the place... which is because people pilfered the iron out of the stone to trade it in for cash. Very interesting history and AGAIN amazing at how detailed everything is, the guide said there were over 100 elevators from the two level underground area to the stage floor. After our tour ended we headed to lunch with a view of the Colosseum, lovely!


Palentine Hill:
We went to Palentine after lunch for the second portion of our tour where we were told the legend of Romulus and Remus, dating from the 9th Century BC and how that is where they were found on Palentine Hill. Back in the day it was apparently the Beverly Hills of real estate. We walked all around the area and it was gorgeous... and then Loving Husband sat me down (knee still in pain) and he wandered around looking at the underground stuff as well as some of the more far reaching things. The most interesting thing I found was the Christian church build above the ruins... that had the door which at one time was ground level VERY high up off the ground now that everything has been excavated.

Pantheon:
Our final stop for the day was the Pantheon, which in the middle ages was the Roman temple of "all the gods" became a church in 609. The hole in the center of the church provides the only light into the building. This building has been around since 125AD. The walls of this building are 19ft THICK! The doors are massive as well. It was awesome - we grabbed some gilato and McDonald's french fries (had to say I had some in Italia! Not as good btw) and just looked around the area for an hour.

We then headed back to the hotel to put a close on the third day of touring Roma! We rested up and took showers... after yesterday I was extremly sunburned, my knee is still bugging me - but I'm in Roma! I'll survive. We ordered room service around 10pm and then I read some and fell asleep!

DAY FOUR:
Loving Husband has to work today, in fact he's downstairs right now shmoozing away... I am getting ready to catch a taxi and head to the Spanish Steps for some shopping and vino! (It's only 10:30, so maybe some cappuccino first) More to come!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Travel to Roma

Rome is lovely! We flew all day and arrived in Rome around 12pm, Roma time. We took a long nap and then got up and ate a tastey 4 course meal over 3 hour time span... then we walked around our hotel for a bit and then came back to check in with everyone via the www to let everyone know that we're not dead! It being late and us being exhuasted we decided that it would be an excellent way to relax in our hotel room.

Travel:
The flights were actually extremely managable. I only got claustrophobic once because I used the "small" bathroom - otherwise I used the "larger" one and I was fine. We were served meals in backwards order (or so it seemed) dinner, lunch and then breakfast. It never got dark outside because we were flying into Friday all the way there... that was kind of weird. I watched two movies of my choice (I love tvs in the back of the seat in front of you!) and I read some excellent Harry Potter. Went through customs and security AGAIN in Amsterdam which was silly, but we had plenty of time... and then I zonked out once we were seated on that plane. Woke up as we were landing... when we landed we walked out onto the tarmac and immediately hopped onto a bus... european style... barely room for myself let alone the bag I was carrying (more claustrophobia)... I sat down while Loving Husband waited for our luggage (see pictures) Yay it all arrived! We then walked outside caught a cab and headed into Roma.

The Drive:
Our first experience riding around the city was very similar to as everyone expected, terrifying and crazy. The roads are very small as are the cars... but they put 4 across a two lane road and more than happily will run over people on Vespas... No one died and there were no crashes so we just enjoyed the scenary as we drove.

The Ride:
The ride was very nice - a lot of graffiti, almost Berdo-ish in parts... we drove past St. Pauls church on the way in and look forward to walking around that more later on our trip... we saw some lovely architecture throughout the area... and then we went down streets that in the states aren't large enough to constitute an alley.

The Hotel:
The hotel is very nice... our room is small, but not tiny enough to prevent me from breathing... and we have french doors that open up to a really nice patio outside with a nice set of table and chairs. They speak english here, which is nice - and so far (I know we've only been here 12 hours) we've had no language issues. We're at this hotel: Hotel Villa San Pio until Sunday and then we'll be moving into the Company paid for one (not sure which one that is, but Loving Husband does - so not my problem!)

Italian Food:
Loving Husband and I ate at the resturant down here at the hotel, we had appetizers, a first course (of angel hair pasta and basil tomato sauce), second course was a filet with herb potatoes (the best I probably ever have had!), and tastey dessert... it was delicious... and of course VINO!

Tomorrow:
We're off to the Vatican! I'm sure that will take all day... I'll try to post a few more pictures and blogs along the way!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Home!

This past weekend I was able to go home for the first time in a year. And it was just what I needed. Although I love my Northwest life, there is still something about surrounding yourself with people that have known you your life... and that is just what home is. Now my home town is nothing to get excited about or even somewhere to visit, but nonetheless it's home.

I KNEW I was home when my mom and I were almost to our house, and off in the distance there was a helicopter with it's high beam chasing a vehicle/person down the road. Laughable... but truly part of home. Yes, of COURSE I grew up in the ghetto.

I got to see family and friends and see one of my closest friends married off to the love of his life on Saturday. It was a beautiful wedding! (Pictures posted) It was a wonderful time to spend with people I haven't seen in a long time.

It was a great weekend... and in less than 48 hours I am headed to Rome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Special Days

What makes a day special? The date, the memory attached to the date? And when one of the parties that shared that special day is gone... what does the date mean then? Is there a point in life that you should move past that date? Just things that I was thinking about when my calendar reminder popped up to remind me of my Grandma & Grandpa's and my Mom & Dad's anniversaries on April 16th. When do you stop say "it would have been their 31st, 58th anniversary"? When do you stop counting, do you? Do you move past that date? The last two months when the 7th rolled around was the first two months since my dad's death that I didn't count the months since he was gone… it was just another day. Does that mean I'm at this point where I'm "moving on"? How do you move on from your father? Some might say that I am merely moving on from his death and in part that's true, but why in moving on from his death does that mean I also think of him less? I was thinking about him a lot last night in the solitude of my home… thinking that it was the time of night that we would chat about our days. I would have told him about the silly movie I had just gone and seen, and how he would have loved it. I guess I had that conversation anyway… but it's just not the same. I am getting over the shock of his death, but certainly still not over the fact of it.

So, I don't know when the appropriate time to move on from dates and special occasions when all parties aren't there to celebrate and still make it what it is… but on Monday, April 16th it would have been my parents 31st wedding anniversary and it would have been my grandparents 58th wedding anniversary – and they've been gone for the last two of those anniversaries, but only physically. Happy Anniversary, everyone.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Friends & Communication

Friends & Communication
Current mood: cranky


I am lucky to say that in my 26 years of life I have maintained many friends from my early years of life. I doubt that many people can say that they have friends that they've known since they were 4... or a best friend who has held that role for 15 years... at the age of 26. But I am lucky. So sometimes I wonder, do I put too much pressure on my friends? I don't think I do - I mean I am capable of keeping in touch so why shouldn't they be held to that same standard I hold to myself?

Since moving to the NW I find a truth (or at very least a pattern) unfolding as to whom my true friends are. I'm sure a large part of all of this is a part of growing up, edging closer to 30 every day, far beyond the teens, party- 20s (ha!) and finally into the official-no-question "Adult World"... but why is it that people that I talked to daily, seem perfectly accepting of a monthly myspace comment or a spammed text message on holidays as effective communication with a friend? It frustrates me. Maybe that does make me too demanding... but I guess I don't care. What I care about are people that I hold dear, that I want to hear about their lives from them. I'm not looking for daily chatter, I understand that is reserved for a limited number of folks... but why not an email once in a while, a phone call on occasion? We're all busy, we're all working full time, we're all doing something in our day to day... but why can I find time and they can't?

I am truly lucky to have all the friends I do, and I value the friendships that I have... I just hate to lose them over a lack of communication due to distance... in this age of technology, that excuse is laughable. I don't want friends that I used to talk to daily to turn into "Christmas Card" friends. I want communication! Email, text messages, phone calls, instant messages, cards, letters, or flowers (ok maybe not...) but seriously... meaningful life updates by ANY of those forms of communication even once a month has to be better than some of what I've not been getting lately. I don't write this to bitch, be angry or to guilt anyone in particular... just expressing my sadness over what I don't see as being a chore or difficult... but maybe that's just it, I'm difficult to please. But that's why you all love me right?

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Moved!

That's right - we have moved into our new place!
Still need to clean the other place and get the last bits of stuff - but for the most part we have everything over here and slowly making it's way into its proper place. Yay!
Loving Husband's off to San Francisco for a week! I've got to get back to studying!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Snowing, Moving, & Studying....

Yay weather! This last week has been very pretty with all this snow, but very frustrating to drive around in - solid ice slabs we once called roads are what we have to drive on... Loving Husband last night was out in our drive way chipping the ice off our driveway so that we could park the car in the garage... today it finally warmed up to high 30s so some of the ice melted away and driving around was much easier, and with the sun out it's really pretty!


On another note... we are moving! Yep that's right we're headed further into the city and into a smaller place. This place was nice, but always temporary... so we're still renters, but paying less and have less space. We are signing the lease tonight and will be out of this place by the end of next month - so before the bar exam we'll be in our new place for sure.


That's all for now ... pictures of snow and our new place will follow soon, but I must go listen to a Sale's lecture right now! Yay bar studying!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

One Year

It's been one year.

Does this mean I should feel better or be at a different place than I was one year ago?
I just feel numb… I'm not sure how I should feel or if I should be resolved that this is how life is now and will forever be… but I'm not there regardless. The pain has gotten better over the year, it's true… but today I could tell you were I was during every minute of the day last year. I can tell you that around 1pm The Net was on and that we were telling my dad that Sandra Bullock was on tv.. and it was only a few minutes ago that my dad's heart rate and blood pressure were slowing… and by 7pm I was crying on Becky's shoulder because my dad was gone from this world. I still remember hugging him and telling him I loved him and thanking the nurses for being so kind and understanding. It was by far the hardest day of my life.

And today… it's like I'm reliving it all over again.
The song that is stuck in my mind is written below, 2006 was one of the most emotionally devastating years I've ever experienced and today I feel like that raw emotion is very present, but overall life is still very positive. So, I'm going to go relax and be quiet and be thankful for the time that I did have with my daddy.


Life Ain't Always Beautiful
By: Gary Allan

Life ain't always beautiful
Sometimes it's just plain hard
Life can knock you down, it can break your heart
Life ain't always beautiful
You think you're on your way
And it's just a dead end road at the end of the day
But the struggle makes you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has it's own way of takin' it sweet time
[chorus]
No,life aint always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life aint always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride
Life aint always beautiful
Some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin' all these lonely miles
And I wish for just one minute
I could see your pretty face
Guess I can dream, but life dont work that way
But the struggles makes me stronger
And the changes make me wise
And happiness has it's own way of takin' its sweet time
No, life aint always beautiful
But I know I'll be fine
Hey, life aint always beautiful
But its a beautiful ride
What a beautiful ride

Monday, January 1, 2007

Books read in 2006

kept track of the books that I read in 2006... and I ended up reading (for fun) 24 books in the year!

Everyone Worth Knowing . Long Road Turning .Thr3e .The Broker .The Ersatz Elevator-Book 6 .Motherless Brooklyn .Best Friends .The Circle Trilogy .The Little Lady Agency .The Da Vinci Code .PS, I Love You .Love, Rosie (aka Rosie Dunne) .HOUSE .The Geographer's Library .The Vile Village-Book 7 . The Hostile Hospital-Book 8 .Forbid Them Not .Something Borrowed .Something Blue .Perfect Match .The Book of Fate .For One More Day .The Memory Keepers Daughter