Monday, August 30, 2010

Italy Day 1 - Rome!

Thanks to the invention of Facebook (shout out to Zuckerburg) not all of the photos included in these recaps will be mine. But, my friends are gracious in their loaning so that I might tell a story.

We landed in Rome at 8:30 am Rome time after a 9 hour flight across the Atlantic, complete with freezing temperatures, crying babies, plenty of Unisom to go around and airplane food. Needless to say after a combined 8 hours of sleep between the six of us, we were raring to go!

In reality, we were all pretty hyped at the point of landing. The exhaustion would set in later.

Based on some research that I had done previous to our trip, we decided we would take the Leonardo Expressway from the airport to Rome's central train station and then hop on the Metro to our hotel. It would be cheap and easy to navigate, plus a taxi for a 45 minute ride from the airport? for 6 people and luggage? Who would want to do that? Oy. Oh, how little we knew.

Yay for Haley and her bendy tripod.

Rome! So excited!

Truth be told, the Leonardo Express was actually a great ride. We got comfy seats and got to see a lot of the 'suburbs' of Rome. Nothing better to welcome you to a new country than Saturday morning rituals of underwear clad men on their balconies. 

All the trouble started when we got to the Metro. It was easy enough to figure out where we should be going, get our tickets and head to the platform. But then we continued heading, and continued, and continued. We felt like we were journeying to the center of the earth. Up some stairs, down some stairs, rinse, repeat. You get the idea. Needless to say that with luggage in tow, we were very ready to be at our hotel by the time we finally got to the train.

We navigated the rest of the way and arrived at the beautiful Hotel Giulio Cesare. After a quick freshening up and meeting with the rest of our group, hey Jess and Adam! We hit the streets.

First order on the agenda was food. We were all starving and delirious, so we let the Herndon's lead the way, since they had beaten us there by a day and had a solid 8 hours of sleep. each.

Hey look! Vespas! Ciao.

We found a place that none of us remember the name of, but it was close to the Vatican, had menus in English, and said "pizzeria" out front. Done and done.

We had delicious pizza, that would become known as "cracker pizza" for the rest of the trip, a couple of cappuccinos, and we were raring to go hit the sites.

Yum, yum, double yum.

We jumped on the metro again, a much more enjoyable experience without the luggage, and headed to the Coliseum. 

When you come out of the metro station, up the escalators even, this is immediately what you see:

Seriously Rome? You are officially bringin' it.

And, the rest of our day in Rome was "ruin"ed. Ha. Get it? Haha. We said that all day. Clearly, we were still delirious. We allowed ourselves to get talked into joining a tour group to skip the lines and see the inside of the Coliseum, along with some other beautiful sites.

Austin was super pumped about this photo

This is part of the old palace grounds. Like Caesar's Palace. 
No, not that one. The actual Caesar's palace.

Austin really wanted to be a Roman soldier all day

On to the Pantheon

Rome is dirty. Just kidding, we love you Rome! 
But, we also loved our hand sanitizer.

Obligatory party shot inside the Pantheon... When in Rome...

After the pantheon, we decided it was time for dinner. No one has pictures of it to my knowledge because we all scarfed down dinner so fast the cameras didn't stand a chance. It wasn't one of our most memorable meals, but I had ravioli in butter and sage sauce. Butter y'all. Paula Deen would have been so proud.

After dinner we headed to the Trevi Fountain. Behold:

We were hot and tired and really wanted to jump inside the fountain.

As the sun began to set, we knew there was just one more thing we wanted to see in Rome - the Spanish Steps. So, we set out and found them.

The boys ran to the top, and we chilled for a bit before being lured to the top by promises of gelato. Then we straggled back to the hotel for showers and sweet, sweet sleep.

On to Florence!

Friday, August 27, 2010

About those recaps... all are clearly used to my blog slacking excuses by now. Haha. ha? anyone?

But in light of the fact that Austin and I have been recovering from a serious knock you down flu/cold whatever this week (we think we caught it on the plane...and we suspect the extra pungent flyer sitting directly behind Austin) I haven't had the strength or general wherewithal to pull out my camera cord and actually upload our photos. But I will, I promise.

In the mean time, I have an update for all of my fellow allthingswedding lovers out there. My friend Shelby is getting married and is blogging about it! Yay!

She is "taking the plunge" here.

Also, the lack of actual wedding recaps on my own wedding blog - after a year, I know, I know, I suck at life - were the topic of a conversation in Italy this week. And due to what may be a small amount of interest, I am challenging myself to actually recap our wedding!

We had tons of friends who couldn't be in attendance because of our last minute date change, and apparently some of them do still want to hear the stories. Plus, I would like to jot them down before I forget all the special moments myself. So, go check Shelby out and stick around here and on our wedding blog for all the recap glory.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


We have returned from an exhilarating week long vacation in Italy with some of our very best friends. You will be getting the full photo and ridiculous exploits recaps soon, but until then here are some highlights:

  • Haley and Justin got engaged! Which was awesome, of course, but even more awesome because now I have locked in a Gage-in-law ally fo' life
  • We ate more caprese, pasta and pizza then I ever thought possible
  • Rode planes, trains, automobiles and a few boats
  • Cappuccino. Enough said
  • Bought jewelery, leather goods, paintings and pottery...and a few bottles of wine - you know, for the memories
  • Had an all around amazing time and yet are glad to be back in the land of deodorant
I promise a come back to regularly scheduled blogging once my body gets back on US time!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What's in your purse?

So, this post idea has been bouncing around the blogosphere (see here, here and here) for a while now...and I may have been bored taking lunch at work.

The idea is you unload your purse, take a photo and throw it up on your blog with a list of the contents.

Baring your soul, as it were.

  • Checkbook that has seen better days.
  • Coach wristlet, so much more convenient than a wallet when I am running out to get something
  • Pocket sized Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States (yes, I am that Patriotic...why are you laughing? OK, not really. This was a gift at Austin's promotion ceremony that he promptly handed to me to hold on to)
  • Flash drive
  • My Palm Pre
  • Notebook with my ever running to-do list
  • An insane amount of pens, including one I think I stole from a dentist's office and a ZTA one I have had since I was a consultant
  • Two cards that I need to mail
  • C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint in Viole
  • Sephora Maniac long wearing lipstick in no. 14 - Berry Mauve Shimmer
  • Mints from Pier 1
  • Contact case, with old contacts in it. Don't ask me why
  • My much adored Ray-Bans - our love cannot be understood by mere mortals
  • a gift card for Barnes & Noble
  • I may or may not have also had a ridiculous amount of bobby pins and hair ties floating around in the bottom of my purse that I did not dig out
  • Said hair accessories may or may not have enough hair in them to genetically implicate me in any crime scene I may randomly find myself in
  • I did not include my keys in this post since they are never actually in my purse and I have wasted a good portion of my life hunting them down
  • I may also keep all of my outdated and messy receipts contained in that wristlet and stuck in the pages of that notebook, so it only looks like I have a clean purse
What's in your wallet?

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Commissary

One of the best parts, for me, of being a military dependent is getting to shop at the commissary.

One of the worst parts of being a military dependent is getting to shop at the commissary.

The balance that you really need to be prepared for is all about the timing. The issue? Everyone who can use the commissary gets paid on the same day. Every two weeks, the 1st and the 15th. Like clockwork.

I had this facebook status up the other day

"Mentally preparing to go grocery shopping at the commissary after work. I am hoping we hit the balance between pay days where there won't be too many people, but it's not like shopping in Soviet Russia either..."

and for the uninitiated, let me explain it.

If you find yourself in need of groceries on the 1st or the 15th, it may be worth it to haul the family to Wendy's for a night and give yourself a buffer. Because let me tell you, if you head to the commissary on the 1st or 15th, you will think the end of the world is coming and nobody told you. Bumper to bumper shopping carts, screaming kids, I am not even sure you can imagine it if you haven't experienced it first hand. 

It gets so bad that there used to be arrows at the top of each aisle showing which way traffic went. And let me tell you, even if you didn't need one aisle, but needed the next one, you were going down that unnecessary aisle. The looks you received when going against the posted direction of traffic still give me chills. They have since taken the arrows away and it is pandemonium in there sometimes. I almost wish they would bring them back. Almost.

On the other hand if you wait until smack dab in between paydays, it is like shopping after the apocalypse. 

Actual commissary photo from here

Empty shelves, the worst in the selection of produce, you might as well just not even go. So, you hope for the best and tentatively shoot for the middle. 

Oh, and did I mention it closes at 7? So those 'after work' trips need to be planned to military precision, friends.

Please don't get me wrong. I love being able to shop at the commissary. The prices are right, which is a huge blessing, the food is typically great quality, and it is one of the only places you are pretty much guaranteed to run into someone you know. 

But, if you're gonna go - you had better have a battle plan.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Grammar of Glamor

 As I wrote and published my post yesterday, I hesitated about publishing the word 'glamor'.

You see, I looked it up to be sure. Glamor is appropriate. It's just that most people are used to seeing it spelled 'glamour'.

The Mighty Red Pen did a great post about it here, for all the grammar nerds out there.

Here is the deal, I am used to seeing it spelled this way too...

Thanks Nicole, btw - you are fabulous.

But, I have this slight neurosis to deal with when writing this blog that comes in the form of those dreaded red squiggles. You know, the spelling ones.

See here:

 according to Microsoft
according to Google

Intriguing isn't it? Gah, what is a girl supposed to do?

I'll tell you what this girl does. This girl goes with less red squiggles.

Because that is glamorous. or glamourous. or whatever.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hanging on the Barge

Remember how Austin takes me to all the nicest places?

Well, with the Burke going into the yards all of the people have been moved to a cozy little barge to live on until the ship is returned to the the sea. They haven't hooked up any TVs or anything so when Austin had duty on Sunday, he was bored. Besides standing watch there was little for him to do.

So, I rescued him with Uno.

Saturday will probably look strangely similar to this.

The glamor of life at sea.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ensign no more

On Friday July 30th we were lucky enough to attend the promotion ceremony of one Ensign Lieutenant (junior grade) Gage.

This is Austin passing the honor of being the "Bull" Ensign onto our friend Cameron

Wait - this comes with a pay raise?

 This is Austin's outgoing boss, who has taught him so much! 
We will miss you Suppo!

Even though Austin claims you only have to show up and not steal anything for two years to get this promotion, we are still proud of him. Love you babe.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Celebrating Birthdays at Work...

are made ten thousand times better by cupcake deliveries from best friends like one Corey R. Callahan.

How cute are they?

Being the southern gal that I am, please note I went right for the Red Velvet.


Thanks Cur. CDC for life.

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