Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

John and I would just like to take a minute and say Merry Christmas to everyone back in the States. We hope you all take a minute or two or three this holiday season to realized how very blessed you are, how great God is, and what a miracle His Son is for each of us.
To me, Christmas is a time to celebrate the gift Christ's birth and to celebrate the life that I have because of that gift. Christmas is a time of traditions, of love, of showing those around you how much you love them. Many people today say that Christmas is too commercial- and in some ways it is. But to me, Christmas is when I give back. It is a time when I can, if you will, pay forward the blessing that Christ gave me with his birth by loving those around me and loving those that come into my path. So, the aspects of Christmas that can be called commercial- gift buying, the baking, the decorating- are all the ways that I show I care.
So, this Christmas, if you feel like everything is commercial and unfeeling or that everyone has forgotten the true meaning of Christmas, remember that God gave us the gift of His Son not so that we can hold onto it for dear life- but so we can share the gift with everyone.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I need to go shopping

I currently have one Christmas present. One. This is possibly be the worst that I have ever done with my shopping. I usually love to buy gifts. The fun of finding the perfect present.. wrapping it up.. and seeing their face light up as they open it. This year, though, is an exception. John is going to be doing well to have 2 gifts under our baby tree from me.
Any one have ideas for motivation? Or ideas for a gift? Maybe I will just wrap up some stinky cheese. He would like that. :-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I know that Europe is famous for it's markets but for some reason I always believed that it was just vegetable markets. I was so wrong.
Today, I went to a Market in Antibes. (This is one of my favorite towns in France. Love it.) And let me tell you, there are no veggies for sale here. Everything but. I could have bought cashmere sweaters, pots and pans, quilts, bras, leather vests, makeup, radios, watches... you name it, those people were selling it. Amazing. And all CHEAP. Not just everything-else-is-so-expensive-this-looks-cheap kind of cheap. We are talking about dirt cheap. So much fun. I love a good bargain.
The best part of the market was not only seeing what they sold- but watching the vendors interact. One booth had sweaters- kind of cute ones- for 5 euro. That is almost unheard of in France. Needless to say, women were going crazy- grabbing, pushing, ripping open bags- crazy. All of a sudden, the vendor begins to yell, "MADAMES,MADAMES!! Oo la la!! S'il vous plait!!" So funny. And it did him absolutely no good. Two minutes later, on the other side of the market, I could here him yelling the exact same thing.
Ah well. While I didn't buy a 5 euro sweater, I did buy a cute one for 10!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh the joy of finding new friends....

Since moving here, John and I haven't exactly expanded our social circle and I still really don't have a lot to do during the day while he is at work. Because of this I decided last week to take decisive action. I posted a thread on an English forum here France asking for things to do during the day, explaining that I was an expat wife that couldn't work. And, just a couple of days later, I received a few messages from other girlfriends/wives in the area that also have nothing to do. Exciting! or so I thought...
My first meeting went well... rather horribly. Did you ever meet someone that was your complete opposite? Well, I have. Made for an interesting hour... Anything that she said, I thought the complete opposite. Anything I said, she, ah, adamantly disagreed. For example.. I said that Nice was the largest city I would ever want to live in, she said that Nice drove her crazy because it was so small. Later on, I said that we lived on the outside of Nice because it was better for John's commute. She responded that she didn't care how far her boyfriend had to drive to work, she had to live in the center of town. And on and on it went..
Don't worry there is a better ending to this story. On Friday I met with another girl who moved here from north England and is married. And, we actually got along. :-) hurray! I will keep you posted on any other developments.

Oh, I also got an offer to work on a boat and go scuba diving afterwards. Pretty sure I won't be taking him up on that one!! Yikes.

Getting in the Spirit!

What a great weekend! John and I have been bums for the past few weekends and it was driving me crazy. So, this weekend we stayed quite busy. First off, John got a hair cut. He really needed it- looked like he had a small animal growing on his head. (He looks like my hubby again now..) After his haircut, we headed into Nice for the Christmas market. It reminded me of all the craft fairs in the states around the holidays- only this one sold hot wine, beer, and lots of cheese. Oh the hot wine- so very tasty. I know, you are probably thinking that sounds disgusting, but don't knock it til you try it. John was also very impressed with the Christmas beer, which is saying a lot since most beer in France he, ah, hasn't thought very much of at all. After we wandered around the market, bought some Christmas ornaments and sausage, we headed out to buy our Christmas tree.

Honestly, we don't have room for a Christmas tree in our tiny apartment, but since we didn't have a tree last year in the states I had to have something Christmas-y in the apartment this year. At the garden center we just kept looking for the perfect tree and finally found him. "Nick" (after Saint Nick) the Christmas tree is about one foot tall, complete with tiny decorations including a homemade star and wine glass identifiers- perfect size for our tree. Now it feels like Christmas!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving.. almost

I love Thanksgiving. I love to cook for it.. and I love the food that is involved. Sweet potatoes, turkey, green beans,macaroni and cheese, Grandma's homemade rolls, pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll. Yum. There is just something about taking the time to prepare this meal for the people you love- I have inherited it. My mom is a big time believer in taking the time to cook, help, make for those she loves. She has definitely rubbed off on me in this area. I love to see someone's face light up or hear a "yum" when I make their favorite pie, cake, cookie, meal. (John gets lots of special treats due to this. ha!)
For Thanksgiving next week, John and I are going to work at having a traditional dinner. I even have pumpkin for pumpkin pie- for 4.25euro a can. Yes, that is a normal sized can of Libby's pumpkin. We have learned that sometimes it is worth it to splurge for those little bits of "home".
I am also going to make a pie for John to take to work. We will see what the French think of a good ol American pumpkin pie. They will probably all be surprised that it doesn't have a pound of sugar in it. (The French think we are all fatties who eat sugar nonstop. Ah well, some of us do I guess.)

Hope you all have a blessed week before Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh the joy of modern convenience!

France is not really all that hip when it comes to the latest electronic conveniences. Well, maybe they have them, but they are about 2 times the price of what we would pay in the US. For example, microwaves in the U.S. are cheap. Really cheap. I think John and I paid about 40-50 dollars for the one that we had in Lexington. Here, the most basic, cheap-o, turn the dial to get the timer going microwave is at least 60euros. Because of this ridiculous expense, John and I have not had a microwave for the past 6 months. You would be amazed at how easy it is to live without one if you have to. Lucky for us, I found a used one in an online classified ad. Hurray! Back to the land of the living!

Snow in them there Hills

I know all of my readers in Tennessee will really enjoy that title. And, it is actually very fitting. We already have snow in the mountains behind Nice. I am a big fan of snowcream, snowmen, sledding, pretty much all things having to do with white fluffy stuff so living within 45 minutes of snow covered mountains is fantastic. Whenever we want to play- we can just drive into the mountains, play for a while, and then drive back down to our sunny palm trees. Not bad, not bad!
We are planning on taking a trip up there in the next few weeks, I will try to get some pictures up of Sadie playing- I am pretty sure she loves snow more than John and I put together.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Holidays!

The French love their holidays... vacation days.... memorial days.. Any reason they have to not go into work- it is a winner! I know that Americans think the same way about their days off, it's just that the French have so many more than we do.

They have their regular vacation days- 5 weeks. Then they have their "RTT" days- around 18 days. Plus all national holidays, and since this is a loosely catholic country, these days include Easter, assumption, ascension,Christmas of course, and All-saints Day if it falls during the week. All total they have 11 national holidays. So, if you add all of that up, John has 64 days of vacation. Oh, I almost forgot, if one of the holidays falls on a Thursday or Tuesday- they just add on a Monday or a Friday.

The American in me is very torn. On the one hand, I love that John has all of this time off for traveling and just general downtime. On the other, how on EARTH can these people be productive if they are never at work? Ah well, who am I to argue with so many years of tradition- just enjoy it while we have it. But returning to 2 weeks of vacation for the year will certainly be tough!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Last Day in Dublin!

I feel like I have been talking about Dublin for weeks. I guess I have been, but it is so worth it.

Our best day in Dublin was the last and I have to admit, it was all John's idea. We knew we wanted to get outside of Dublin and see the Irish country side but we weren't sure how. One day in Nice we met some people from Ireland and they had told us to take a bus tour. Let me just say, I was not at all excited about this. Bus tours, to me, are what my grandparents did for their vacations- not what mid-20's couples did on vacation. Well, turns out, it was great. Not expensive at all, we didn't have to look at a map, didn't get lost, John didn't have to drive on the wrong side of the road, and the majority of the bus population was under the age of 30. (Other than the inconsiderate Frenchman who decided he needed to recline his seat onto my knees. Argh.)

The first stop on the tour was in Glendalough, which was my favorite part of the day and probably John's too. We wandered around a 6th century monastery established by Saint Kevin and had a short hike around the lake just behind it. There was a heavy fog on the mountains that just added to the atmosphere of the area- so dreamlike and green.

Then we went on to a couple other tourist stops and ended the day in Kilkenny. Kilkenny is one of the larger cities in Ireland and the former capital, but it felt so quaint. The main street was decorated with antique-looking light-posts complete with HUGE hanging baskets of flowers. We ate lunch here at a fantastic coffee house that was crowded with young, loud, irish teenagers eating lunch. If you ignored them, it was a GREAT place. Fantastic soups and sandwiches complete with a wonderful Chai tea. (Oh specialty coffee.. how I miss thee.) After lunch, we spent the afternoon rushing around trying to find all of the landmarks in Kilkenny. We did pretty well- 3 churches, 1 irish brewery, and 1 castle. Not to shabby.

By the time we left Kilkenny, I was dead on my feet and ready for a nap. Alas- the Irish country side is just too fantastic and I couldn't keep my eyes off of it. Fields of green farmland and sheep for miles and miles. I could have stayed for at least a week. When we finally made it back to Dublin, John and I headed back to the Guesthouse to get some rest. The 6:20am departure time for our flight was coming up really fast. Now, we just wait for our next trip to the Emerald Isle. Who wants to come with?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Next Stop- Guinness Factory

One of the best things that John and I did to insure that we saw everything that we wanted to see while in Dublin was the hop-on, hop-off bus tour. It takes you all over central Dublin and out to the tourist sites on the edge of town. We got to see a lot of things that we wouldn't have been able to find on our own.

The Guinness Factory was one such stop. While I can't say that it was my favorite stop while in Dublin, it's just one of those things you have to do while you are there. It is almost a national landmark in Ireland and the Guinness family really have done amazing work in the city by restoring parks, opening them for public use (this was in the 1800s), and their employees are incredibly well cared for. While the tour does not go through the actual facilities, it will give you a look into the process of making Guinness. It also gives a lot of historical information as to how Guinness began and how they grew into such a major company.

A major highlight of the tour is the "Gravity Bar". On the roof of the tour building, about 8 stories in the air, they have built a glass bar with 360 degree views of the city around you. If you would like, you can have a free pint of Guinness and if you aren't a drinker or just don't care for Guinness, a free soft drink. Cheers!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Botanical Gardens

This week I am going to continue with our highlights of Dublin. I really don't think I realized how much we did in just 2 and half days! John and I began our first full day in Dublin with the botanical gardens. We heard that it was worthwhile, saw a sign for it on our way into town, and headed in that direction.

The gardens were one of our favorite stops while we were in town. They far exceeded our expectations. The dahlia garden was my favorite spot- as you can tell if you have seen our photo albums from the trip. I think John's favorite spot would have to be the "forest" area. Not just because it had large, beautiful trees but because it also had squirrels.

For those of you who do not know, my husband loves squirrels. They may well be one of is all time favorite animals. So, the story I am about to tell you will probably go down in history as one of John's Favorite Moments. We were walking through this heavily wooded area of the gardens and noticed a squirrel. We stop and look at it for a second- and the squirrel takes off. Not in the opposite direction or up a tree, but right towards us. Beeline- right for my feet. It stopped about 4 inches from my left toe. All we could do was stare. Since we didn't fork out any food, the little guy scampered off after a second or two. John and I were continuing our walk when we spotted another squirrel. What does this little guy do- he takes off for us too! He stopped 6 inches from John's big toe. No food- so the little bushy tailed fellow starts to leave. Well, since my husband just lloooovveesss squirrels, he doesn't want to just let the little guy go. John begins to click at him thinking that this would keep his attention. It worked. The squirrel turned around, and faster than I could catch my breath, climbed John's leg. In less than 2 second the squirrel is up to John's hip. With a deft swivel of the hips- the squirrel is thrown off and with a flying leap heads for the nearest tree. All in all, giving us a really good laugh and a really good story for our Anniversary. Too bad I didn't get a picture of it!

Moral of the story- Go to the gardens and make sure you take a snack for the squirrels. (even though you probably shouldn't)

(If you look realllly close at the picture,left, you can see the squirrel)

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Churches

Something that John and I really enjoy doing when we travel is visiting the local cathedrals. Lucky for us, Dublin has a couple, Christ Church Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral. The two were built close to the same time and in very similar styles. High vaulted ceilings, small alcoves off to the sides of the main hall, and rock walls all make for beautiful houses of worship. Also, both churches have amazing acoustics and are the home to fantastic choral groups. While we toured the inside of St. Patrick's we were lucky enough to hear one of the choirs practicing. I must say, they weren't too shabby. When you visit on your own, I would say that Christ Church is a must. The grounds are great, the inside spectacular, and the crypt tour is also fantastic. If you only have time for one- go to it. But, if you have time for both and love to look at old churches- do both. Besides, if you are lucky like John, you might be caught by two little Irish boys who want to play in the garden outside.

Photo on the left- St. Patrick's
Photo on the Right- Christ Church

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

St. Stephen's Green

One of my favorite stops while we were in Dublin was without a doubt St. Stephen's Green. The huge, old trees to picnic under paired with the duck pond and formal gardens are so relaxing. It is a great refuge from the bustle of the city around you and while walking around you can honestly forget that you are in one of the busiest areas of Dublin. My favorite part to be sure were the fall leaves. Since we are mostly surrounded by palm trees in Nice, it was so so nice just to see the yellows and oranges of fall.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Two in One Day AKA Trinity College

I had no idea that I had not made a single post in the month of October. Due to this horrible lack of effort on my part- today will be called "two for the price of one" day. In the course of one visit to the blog- you get not just one, but two tidbits of writing from me.

The first stop that John and I made after checking into our B&B was Trinity College. (Ok, second stop if you count lunch at Burger King.) The campus is incredibly old, very historical, and covered in young Irish college students. Founded in the 14th century on the grounds of an abandoned monastery, Trinity is considered the oldest college in Ireland. This ancient school is also the home to some really really ancient books, which is the real reason to visit. For a fee, you can see the Book of Kells, Book of Howth, and maybe a few others. Some of you may be wondering why would you want to see these books and you may even be thinking that since you have never heard of them they must not be all that important. Ah, but they are!

The Book of Kells is a 9th century copy of the gospels, written in Latin, made by celtic monks in Ireland. It is elaborate, beautifully illustrated, and falling apart all at the same time. John is really interested in church history, so this was just fantastic for him. But, it was equally great for me, too. There is something breathtaking about the care that was taken to write the scriptures down- when most people didn't have a single page of the Bible, much less the 4 or 5 Bibles we all seem to have laying around now. The work that was placed in each page, the reverence, diligence and dedication that they had to have. Amazing.

Needless to say, Trinity college and the Book of Kells would be a highly recommended attraction! It has the "Halliburton Stamp of Approval".

The Emerald Isle

Well, I haven't blogged in quite some time. Honestly, until last week there hasn't been a lot going on. But, I have decided that over the next few days I will be giving you some details from our trip to Ireland- places we visited, what we loved, what our favorite parts were, and what we would highly recommend you to do if you decide to visit. Our anniversary celebration was absolutely fantastic and I can honestly say-stuffy nose and all- we loved every minute. Two years of marriage definitely has gone by fast- but it has been an amazing. Wouldn't know what to do without that hubby of mine!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cats have 9 lives right?

Have you ever had one of those weekends where you just wanted to sit around, drink coffee, and be lazy with the one you love? John and I had high hopes for that this weekend. Unfortunately, it didn't quite turn out that way.
The little kitten in the blog before this has become a regular visitor around our house. I am pretty sure that if possible, he would live with us permanently. Sadie loves him, and they have a ton of fun playing until he has to be sent outside due to the sniffing, sneezing, watery eyes, and welps that I develop during his visits.

This past Sunday little Knievel, as we now call him, came over for his 50th visit of the day. ( I told you, they are frequent.) After a while, I put him back over on his own balcony.. and watched from inside our apartment as he tried to come back over for the 51st visit. Key word in that sentence: tried. Instead of making it onto our balcony, Knievel the cat fell. 3 stories.

After a moment of shock, John and I raced outside to see what we were sure would be a kitty splatter on the pavement below. Thankfully, he wasn't there. Thus beginning our not so lazy, very exciting Sunday afternoon. We raced around the apartment putting on shoes and grabbing keys, then raced out of the apartment to alert his owner, and attempt to find Knievel. His owner was not at home. (Which brings up a whole other question of why on earth didn't she lock him up. But I digress.)

John and I find the poor cat in the hallway of our building, apparently pitched out by whomever found him. ( I am not impressed with whomever this was.) With agonizing breathing, pain in his eyes, and lack of movement, I was convinced the poor little kitty was done for. Amazingly enough, he pulled through. After an hour of sitting in the hallway and a trip to the vet, Knievel the Kitty had only a minor hemorrhage near his lungs and a few roughed up toenails. As the vet said- he is a lucky cat.

The rest of the "lazy" Sunday was spent trying to unwind from the stress of the afternoon. Both of our nerves were completely shot- but at least that little rat of a cat is ok and hopefully he won't feel the need to have another flying lesson.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's raining, It's pouring...

Growing up living in Tennessee and then moving to Kentucky, I have always been relatively used to rain on a regular basis. Especially the occasional thunderstorm thrown in as a wonderful, noisy bonus right as you are falling asleep. There is nothing more relaxing. Except for maybe a spa treatment.....
The south of France in a whole other story. This summer, we have gone without rain for about 3 months. Really. The weather has been beautiful- sunny, cloudless days, always nice and warm. But every once in a while, you need a break from the sun. You need a day that is perfect for curling up with a blanket and a good book, and drinking a cup of coffee. Or, just a day when you have to say, "Well, I can't do anything today because of the rain." Lazy days are wonderful, but I HATE the thought of wasting time when I could be doing something more "productive".
Today, my lazy, coffee drinking day has arrived. For the first time in months, we have had a steady rain all day! I don't think I have ever appreciated rain more- the smell in the air, the cool breeze, the sound of tires on a wet road, and the green green leaves turned to soak up the rain.
Thank you Lord for this beautiful rain!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A day in... A visitor!

There is a lot of excitement around the apartment this morning! I was checking my email and Sadie starting barking at the door going onto the balcony. At first, I just told her to hush. Then I saw the reason for her barking- a kitten was on our 5th floor balcony. yikes! I know cats are quick and nimble- but I think that is just testing the limits. Despite my intense allergy to cats of all kinds, shapes, and sizes- I couldn't resist this kitten. Neither could Sadie for that matter. Although I have no idea who he actually belongs to- he made himself at home in our apartment for a while! He first perched on my back because Sadie was making quite a pest of herself. Later, he relaxed and wandered around- always with a wary eye on the ol' hound. When my sneezing became to much- back to the balcony he went!

A day in...a Package!

I improvised a little to make John a birthday sign.. he seemed to like it though..

I have always enjoyed getting mail. Luckily, I have a very thoughtful Momma who loves to send me things. All through college I would get cards, notes, and gifts from Mom. Now that I am married, John gets to benefit too!
Since moving to France, mom has sent us a few boxes of fun stuff. It is always nice to have those little touches of "home" that you just can't find anywhere here! For his birthday, Mom sent us a package- FULL of fun stuff for John... and for me too! Although, I must say that it absolutely drove me crazy waiting for John to get home to open the box! Hurray for Mom! It just made our day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A day in.... A birthday!

Once again, I am going to cheat. Today is my wonderful hubby's birthday. Tomorrow, I will have pictures of the "birthday celebration". But, today is all about the preparation! Hope you have a wonderful day Hubby! Love you very much!
Picture is "borrowed" from here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A day in.... Well.. that was interesting.

I am cheating today.I don't have a picture for you..and I am not feeling so great. So, today you get a funny story.
Since we don't have a clothes dryer, (and most people in France do not) I have to hang the clothes up outside on a rack and wait for them to dry. Well, this means that what used to be laundry day has become laundry 2 or 3 days. So, this morning I finished washing the dishes, put a load of clothes in the washer, and started it up. Forgot one simple little thing- hanging the drain hose over into the sink. (Oh, this is also pretty common. Not fun, but common.) Time lapse- around 35 minutes- water is everywhere. Literally, my entire kitchen, small as it may be, has about a half inch of standing water. It is running under the cabinets and into the living room. ARGH! With the help of 3 beach towels, 3 regular bathroom towels, and about 30 minutes with a hairdryer stuck at the base of the cabinets to blow the water out... it is finally dry.
Bet I don't forget to put the hose in the sink again.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A day in...... The Weekend

One of our favorite pastimes for the weekends, if we don't have anything else planned, is to get outside of Nice and explore. There are many, many villages around Nice, and there are always interesting things to see.
This Sunday, we decided to visit the village of St. Jeannet. This quaint little town is nestled at the bottom of a cliff that can be seen for MILES. We had always talked about going and since we didn't have anything better to do, John and I packed up Sadie and some water and took off for the hills.
After a lovely lunch (Well, John's was lovely, I forgot how much I loath ginger on anything.eck )and a little exploring around the town, we found the beginning of the trail that led to the top of the cliff. The trail was pretty steep and I am pretty sure Sadie thought we were trying to kill her. But, after a few rest breaks for the pup, we reached the top. The view was breath-taking. You could see from Villefranche sur Mer... all the way past Antibes and onto other towns that I don't even know the names of. This may not mean a lot to everyone, but it is a realllllly long way. Amazing!
Oh, and if you would like to see other pictures, you can go here later in the week. Sorry, not enough time to get them all done today!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Next Week!

Good Morning All!! Next week I am going to start a "series" of photos on the blog. Since the purpose of this blog is to let everyone know how we are doing and what is going on in our lives, I thought it might be neat to have a "Week in the life of John and Stacey (and Sadie)". This will include things like what we do on a daily basis, where we go, what we see. This way, you have a visual of things that we talk about or write about from now on! And, since next week is my wonderful hubby's birthday- there will be lots going on!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Day of Volunteering!

Hurray! I have found something to do! Finally! Yesterday was my first day "working" at the English- American library here in Nice. Lovely place, although any place that has walls of books is great in my book. I think it is going to be a great experience and might even help me decide a future career! Plus, I get to learn all kinds of new things about Nice! And new people!
If anyone would like to see it.. click here!
Also, saw a really interesting site this morning.. This guy is an absolutely amazing artist. You won't believe how life-like he makes chalk art.
Wish you all a wonderful week!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Next Trip!

I have finally- after about a week of agonizing over when to go.. where to stay.. oh the cost- finalized our 2nd Anniversary trip! We are going to Dublin, Ireland for 4 days. Hurray!
And, very fittingly as TN is our "homeland", we are staying at the Elvis Presley B&B. Call it.. a little home away from home. Wonder if the owner wears blue suede shoes?
If anyone has any travel tips or places we should see- comment or email- let us know!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Celebrity in the Family

For those of you who didn't know, there is a celebrity in my family. But not exactly your normal, run of the mill celebrity- although she can be a bit of a diva. It's Sadie, our lovable pooch.
Since we are new to France, and as of yet don't have anyone to watch her- Sadie has gone on every trip with us. She has seen the Pont du Gard, Nimes Coliseum, Pont du Avignon, Portofino, the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre, and Venice. This is more "world traveling" than most humans do in a lifetime. She has no idea how good her life is......
The funniest part of taking her with us is the fact that she is her own little tourist attraction. No matter where we go, there are dozens of people- French, Italian, Dutch, Australian, Swiss, American- that come up to us and want to pet her.. or ask what kind of dog she is.. or say that she is the most beautiful dog they have ever seen.. or.. my personal favorite- "Can I take a picture with your dog?" Oh, and let's not forget the lady who gave Sadie her ice cream cone. (Relax- There was no ice cream was left in it.) Pretty soon, Sadie is going to be signing autographed photos of herself. And, of course, being the people-lover that she is, Sadie just soaks it up.
It is hilarious and in many ways Sadie has made traveling even more fun. (In other ways.. it will be nice to leave her in Nice.)

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Since John and I have a "limited" amount of time and vacation while we are here, we have made a list of everywhere we want to go. (I used the term "limited" very loosely as John has 5 weeks vacation, 18 overtime days, plus national holidays.) The list is quite lengthy.... and I really hope we get do it all. When else could we have this kind of opportunity?
Last week John and I went on our 3rd trip of the year. (Amazing- I have never been on so many vacations all at once in my life.) My "big brother", Marty, was coming to Venice for a cruise and since Venice is a place I have wanted to visit all my life, it didn't take a lot of convincing for us to decide to meet up with him. John took a couple of those vacation days.. and off we went. (Sadie, our little travel dog, came along, too of course.)

Being as how I have always wanted to go to Venice, I was a little worried that it couldn't live up to our expectations- but it more than did. It is beautiful, quaint, and has a small village feel- but is def. not a village. (Around 60,000 people live on the islands.) One of the reasons I think it feels like a small town is because Italians are very friendly, and will talk to you even if they don't speak English- and you don't speak Italian. It tends to make for some interesting conversations. Also, the buildings and homes were built in the 1600-1700s- and their owners aren't allowed to alter them, which just aids in the quaintness.
The highlight of the trip was..I must say.. Saint Mark's Basilica. While the rest of the city is incredible, with amazing architecture, fantastic food, and singing gondoliers who entertain as you sight-see - Saint Mark's will take your breath away. I have never seen anything like it. The inside (as big as a football field) is all mosaic and where it is not telling a story, it is covered in tiny gold tiles. So it gleems, it glistens, sparkles... Like stepping into a corner of heaven.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What's in a name..

When trying to decide what to call my blog.. I really wanted to be "clever". My wonderful husband will be the first to tell you, I am quite a goofball and while I think my jokes are funny.. not everyone else does. So, I thought about something rather generic, but who wants to read a generic blog?
The name I finally ended up with comes from a phrase that I ALWAYS say whenever we see something... uh.. interesting while out and about in France- "Oh My Word". And, since a blog is all about words- taaadaaa! We have our name!
I will leave you today with an "Oh My Word" moment. Our second weekend in Nice, the Hubs and I headed downtown where there is a really fun market right along the coast. After finishing up at the market, we decided to walk around corner and see the port. As we are gazing out at the beautiful sailboats, yachts, and watching a spear-fisher head out to catch a fish- I look to my left. There, to my utter shock, in the middle of March, is a 55 year old topless sunbather. Welcome to the south of France!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

First Post

So, I am a blogger! I have been thinking about this for a while- everyone we talk to in the states wants to know the "funny stories", interesting people, events that we go to, and details of our trips. Inevitably, We always forget something.
This way, everyone gets the details they want to hear about the traveling, and a few extra details about our daily lives.
Also, I plan posting some of the travel sites that I use when planning our trips, and any helpful hints that we pick up along the way.