Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An open letter

Dear Everyone I Love,

I know I haven't been around much lately. And it's not because you smell (you do.)

It's just, it's football season, and if you didn't learn last year, that means I sort of drop of the face of the planet until February.

I know some of you are bristling. I don't call you enough. I ignore your attempts for contact. When you speak to me, I stare right through your face like I am listening, but I am most definitely not. And that's just my husband.

My hands are permanently attached to my keyboard and my computer has grafted itself to my lap. Even when I'm not working I find hard to get up from this machine. I try to catch up on my google reader, which calls to me with its numbers, guilting me for ignoring it, a failure of consequence. I die a little every time I "mark all as read."

I got out to NYC a few weeks ago, which you read about below. That was nice. I'm not sure I've seen the sun since, and considering this vampire stuff is hot right now, it probably just appears that I'm going for the trendy pasty white look.

I'm not unhappy. Quite the opposite. I love a challenge.

But I've failed you all. I think about you every day, about how I should call you, but I don't want to bore you with my one-note life. Please don't take it personally.

I miss you. And I'll see you on February 8th.

Love, Emily

Friday, November 13, 2009

If I can make it there, I'll make it...

I'm a week late in blogging, per usual, but I did have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to NYC last week.

We got to the city (we drove in) around 11:30 in relative ease, and our parking garage was reasonably priced (for NYC) and we headed over to drop off our bags at our hotel and explore the city!

First of all, I'm not sure how people survived before smart phones because my iPhone was so helpful in helping us small town folk manuever the city. Urban Spoon led us to an adorable little well priced restaurant which of course I can't remember the name of. Jeff had some mini sliders and I had a brie and apple sangwich which was yummy. Our plan was then to walk to Central Park, but my head strong husband insisted that he was going the right way until we found ourselves on 25th street, most definitely heading in the wrong direction. So, of course, I was miserable, itchy leg had started, and we were facing a roughly 40 block walk to Central Park.

In an attempt to salvage the afternoon, Jeff suggested we take a bus, which was fine, and we wandered around Central Park, a place I'd never been despite numerous trips to the city. We attempted to find the "Imagine" circle, but had no luck. Finally, we decided to cab it back to the hotel and get ready for our big night out!

Our hotel, ACE on Broadway was a rec from my blogging buddy Jessica, who's friend Sean worked there and hooked us up with a deal. Well, I should say, I thought it was a deal from the get-go but when we got there, were told we were upgraded and actually saw our room we were BLOWN AWAY. Ch-check it out.

These pictures don't really accurately show how HUGE our room was as it had a separate bed/sitting/dining area and was probably close to 400 sq. feet. Everything was brand new and hipster and we felt a little bit swankier just by being there.

We didn't have a lot of time to drool over the room as we were meeting Jessica and her husband Jesse, as well as Zach of groomsman fame, over at Otto on 5th Ave. We decided to walk down there, which was fun, and when we got there the JMJs were already there. We said our hellos and my name is-es, and Zach arrived shortly later. Dinner was OK, but the wine came in a big glass and the conversation was great and I left the restaurant thinking, "Boy, I sure am in a good mood." You know what I mean?

Zach kindly drove us to Carnegie Hall where we saw.... Ricky Gervais!!! The dude who opened up for him was actually really funny, and Ricky's schtick was hilarious as usual. He closed the performance by singing "New York, New York" with... Elmo. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!! But that was not all...

Zach then picked us UP from Carnegie Hall, after Jeff and I got a quick dessert, to drive us to meet his lady friend Meg and his cousin and his wife (I should say while we were crossing the street to meet Zach we saw Dr. Drew. I always think a trip to NYC is never complete without seeing a minor celebrity). We then headed down to a bar on 4th street, where his cousin kindly bought us drinks and we had great convo and laughed ALOT, the hallmark to any memorable night.

Miraculously, I didn't get sick despite the copious amounts of rum and coke, so all and all -- it was one of the best nights I've had since we got married. Reminds me how much I love hanging out with my husband (we don't share any days off during football season), how much I love city life, how much I love hanging out with friends, how much I love food, drinking and laughing and how I deserve to treat myself once in a while.

I hope to do it again. Real soon, real soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Time capsule: Travel

Sometime in May 2005, I sat hunched over a small garbage bin in the sports department of the Boston Globe. I was dry heaving, gagging. The next day I was getting on a flight to California. I was so insanely nervous about the flight that I was making myself sick.

Taking it back a few weeks, I learned that I'd been accepted into a short conference in California run by the Los Angeles Times, in honor of Jim Murray, where about 25 college students across the country would gather to talk about sports journalism. Acceptance meant everything fully paid except the flight. It was an amazing opportunity I would have been insane to turn down.

But the flight. I hadn't flown since 2000, a band trip to Florida. I don't remember being nervous about that flight -- at least not in the same way I was nervous about this one. I'm not sure what changed in those five years, I'm sure September 11 had something to do with it, but it would be a cop-out to blame it all on that.

I couldn't sleep the night before the 6 a.m. flight, which I was thankfully taking with my best friend Katie. And of course, I made it there fine. I even flew back home solo, and a little kid fell asleep on my arm.

When I was in L.A. I met a girl who would later be a coworker, I was insulted by T.J. Simers, I toured Venice Beach and Hollywood and I learned that dropping Murray's name in conversation would be wildly valuable in future employment situations.

A month after I got back from LA, I flew to the Florida Keys with two of my girlfriends to visit our friend Florida. We had a great time. I saw Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Key Largo and Key West. While I was in Florida I realized that Jeff guy I had been on and off with was better suited to be on, and from the moment he picked me up from the airport we were never apart again.

In March 2006, Jeff and I flew to San Diego to decide if we wanted to live there. He held my hand on the flight and I told him I loved him for the first time. It was a great trip. We went to Sea World, to Mission Beach and we were in the audience for Jimmy Kimmel Live. It was our first vacation together and at the end of it, we had already found an apartment in San Diego.

In December 2007, Jeff and I flew down to South Carolina to see my mom's newly built house and be with family for Christmas. I don't think I've mentioned it here, but my mother has an amazing house she built with my aunt. It's her dream home, and mine too. It was the first Christmas Jeff and I spent together, and we had lots of family members there. We took a carriage ride of Charleston, made mudslides and enjoyed my aunt and mom's amazing cooking.

I took a break from flying for a while before our honeymoon in July. The anxiety came back, which didn't help compounded with the stress of a wedding. I went to the doctor and they prescribed me Lorazapem. That, the excitement of the trip and the pure happiness I felt got me through the flights. I don't need to recap what happened on my honeymoon in London and Scotland, I've written about it before, but it was probably eight of the greatest days of my life.

The nut graph here, which I've buried, is that some of the best moments of my life were on the other end of a flight. I'm sad to think that it ever held me back from doing something amazing, and I don't want it ever to again.

This is my first time capsule. I'm 26 and pushing through the temptation of a quarter life crisis. It's the first point in my life where I've had to push through and say, "OK, what do I want?" It's so easy to get in a rut, wake up in 30 years and think "What have I done?" It's a cliche fear. But I'm full of cliches.

So as I look forward into my life, I want my writing to hold me accountable. I have lots of goals. Writing is one of them. There are more that I'll put here and maybe look back in pride or shame someday. The first is travel.

Jeff and I are eying a trip to Italy sometime in 2011. It's our No. 1 travel goal. I want to make this happen. I will make it happen. I'm too young to let things get in the way already.

In the next 10 years I have Italy in mind, then Spain, France, Germany, Greece... Jeff wants to go to Ireland. I'll want to go back to London and Scotland again. We can't do it all in 10 years. We don't have to. But I'll have to get started. I don't want anything to hold me back.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just because

I have a blog in mind for later, I swear, but for now I just need to have this on my blog.

Two weeks ago, Mad Men was craaaazy good. Best episode yet. Last night? Eh. I know it's setting up next week's finale, but I was bored. Betty has absolutely no chemistry with that old dude, Duck just makes me want to yack. I liked the JFK subplot, but I hated the romantic storylines. Also, as we can see from the above picture, there HAS to be more Joan. She needs to be back at Sterling-Cooper PLEASE.

Still: Best show on TV.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blogging my birthday

Not too much to report around these parts...

... except that I've turned 26 today! This is the first birthday I cringed at a little. 26? 25 sounds so much younger doesn't?

Of course I'm not old, but I'm married now which as someone pointed out on Facebook is like being in my 30s anyway ;)

I keep thinking of this lyric, "You're scared and you're thinking that maybe we ain't that young anymore/Show a little faith there's magic in the night/You ain't a beauty but hey you're alright/That's alright with me."

Just the fact that I'm quoting Bruce Sprinsteen makes me a middle aged man, doesn't it?

Emily's rules to a good birthday

1. There are seven specific people I expect a phone call from on my birthday (not including Jeff): My mom, my dad, my brother, Katie, Meg, Justin and Andrew. 2:41 p.m. and we're batting .000. (Although Katie did hit me up on gchat.)

2. A good meal. Jeff is taking me to the Capital Grille. Need I say more? I looooove it there.

3. A nice card from the husband. Don't cards that start, "Happy Birthday to my wife" just feel so much better? Swoon.

4. A day off. Done.

5. Everything I want and no one gets to argue: Pending.

6. A really fabulous present! I already got a new jacket from my mom when she came to visit last week. I really love it and feel fab in it. Also...


She's so beautiful. We haven't named her yet, but I didn't know true love until I pulled her out of Jeff's back pocket. I've wanted an iPhone since they came into existence, but we had to wait out our Verizon contract and now I have her! She's purple and pink, she's a 3G S, even though I told Jeff he didn't have to get the S.

Seriously, all my old phones pale in comparison. I'm not a materialistic person. I own very few things of real value. So this was very exciting for me!!

Here's our first iPhone pic. I think I've mastered this already!

What's the one thing YOU want for your next birthday?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Turn and face the change

People ask me all the time, "How is married life?"

It's pretty annoying actually. But that's probably because I hate small talk.

Married life is fine. It's great. It's lovely. It's pretty much exactly the same.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy calling Jeff my husband. That's a perk. I tried it out for a few months, though, before I actually did get married, to random people I'd never see again, or people over the phone. I used it for the first time in England when Jeff put the parking break on while we were driving. "Miss," I said to a woman standing outside her cul de sac home. "My husband is a moron, can you help us?"

My husband is not a moron, for the record. But things haven't changed that much. Oh, I've put on 10 of the 20 pounds I lost. Jeff and I have made up for months of dieting with a few months of gorging. It's hard to lose weight without a big to-do like a wedding to get your butt in gear. I'm currently accepting applications for motivating events.

I love seeing Jeff with his wedding ring on. When he has it on. He likes to play with it, move it around in his hands, drop it on the floor. Drives me nuts. I say, "You can't lose it if you don't take it off." I suspect we'll learn that lesson the hard way some day.

I suppose the argument for not living with each other before you get married is just for this reason. That nothing changes. Of course, I would never go back and time and take away all Jeff and I experienced in our three years of living together. We've learned a lot about each other.

For instance, Jeff learned that I don't like to clean. I learned that Jeff doesn't like to clean. We learned that our house would probably never ever be clean, unless motivated by someone coming over, or a stench in the kitchen sink.

We learned that it was impossible to share one blanket. His body temperature is much higher than mine, plus I steal the blanket. That's why we have two. Just normal married life.

Perhaps a smooth transition was best. Neither of us like change all that much.

Getting married was just the first step for our many goals. Get married. Get a house. Find jobs we love (I have, he hasn't). See Italy. See Hawaii. See France, Spain, Germany. Maybe along the way have a ... no, mom, not yet.

So nothing's changed. Except that my life has started. Except that I'm officially an adult now. Except that the man I love more than anything agreed to stay with me forever.

Other than that, status quo.

How have the last three months of your life been?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

At the Movies with Emily and Jeff: The Invention of Lying

I love pretty much everything Ricky Gervais does. I pretty much kiss the ground he walks on. Extras, the Office, the podcasts he does -- brilliant. These few hours of TV/radio are probably 50% of the hardest laughs I've ever had in my life. We're also going to see his standup in November at the NYC comedy festival.

So when his first ever movie was coming out -- yeah, I was going to be going to see that opening night. (Thanks Jackie and Andrew for joining us!)

Now, I wasn't that psyched on the trailer. In fact, I thought the trailer looked downright disappointing. But I know that Ricky doesn't always love to go all out on comedy, he can get serious and messagey in his delivery (see: Extras and Office finale) which can be great. So I was kind of hoping that was the deal here.

(Here's where we pick up spoilers, so don't read on if you don't want to know main plot points. There's really no twists in this movie, so you're probably OK.)

Though the trailers cleverly disguised it, this was a movie about atheism. Ricky Gervais is an outspoken atheist, obviously it's an area where we differ. As the man who figures out how to lie, he tells his mother on her deathbed that there's no reason to be afraid to die, because there's a big man in the sky, and all your loved ones, and you live in a mansion and you're happy forever. After he says this, word spreads about "new information about what happens after you die" and he becomes famous.

It's not subtle, what he does here. And that's fine. It's fair. I think he presents it honestly: religion and God (not mutually exclusive), whether you believe in It or not, is something that can give many people great comfort in times of sadness. It can also cause people to do things or act a certain way based only on what they believe might happen after they die. Is that right? Of course it all depends on what they're doing. In this movie, for example, Ricky's two friends are alcoholics and loners, who don't care about improving their current lot in life because they're just waiting for their mansion in the sky.

I'm not going to get into the religious implications, because it just comes down to a difference of opinion. He's definitely being "blasphemous" and he toes the line of being disrespectful for disrespectufulness sake, but since I knew the subject matter going in, I wasn't wildly offended. I've always taken my faith as something I chose, I believe in, that gives ME comfort, and will agree to disagree with everyone who feels differently.

OK -- moving on. Is the movie good? Yes, it's good. It's not great. I think movies are destined to fall short when they hang on such an absolute -- a word where no one lies. But, really, it's not just a world where no one lies -- it's a world where everyone tells you the honest truth and has no filter. And that's for comic effect, but sometimes it is just too much. A lot of the same jokes and lines are used over and over, and I think it could have used a slight rewrite to smooth the bumps in the writing. The acting is good, the cameos by some great actors is fantastic (including one you'll never expect!). The storyline between Ricky and Jennifer Garner's character is a bit strange, it doesn't quite work given that Garner's character seems to have a one track mind. She's almost like a robot.

There's one scene in the movie that makes it worth it. Ricky's reading his version of the 10 commandments (off pizza boxes no less) and I laughed so hard at a few of the moments I almost cried. I wish there had been more of that.

Overall, it's a little too soapboxy, not quite funny enough to make up for it, and falls short of it's HUGE objective... it feels a little false. Ironically.

Final ranking: Two and a half Werschaibles.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Off my shoulders

Well I'm no SJP or Charlize Theron, natch. But here's what I came up with...

Apologize for the terrrrible pics. The Werschaible camera is crap and I've never mastered the art of the self-portrait.

Obvs, not that short. My hairdresser recommended against it. I believe she used the word, "poodle." I don't even own a hairdryer so this was probably the way to go. Lo-maintenence. Curl tastic. Jeff friendly?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New wave

Ever since I got married, I've sort of been dying to cut my hair. It's not uncommon, they have a phrase for it, the "post-wedding chop." Most women grow their hair out for their weddings, and thus have no reason to keep it so long after the wedding is over.

I've been wearing my hair long for years now. The shortest it's been was last September, when I got it cut to this length:

And now, almost a year later, with almost no length cut off... probably close to 6-8 inches longer.

So I'm sick of this hair. I'm sick of my whole look, if I'm being honest. I can't wait to buy a new pair of glasses, but that's a whole 'nother story (Can I pull off this thick frame madness? I think it looks cool on everyone else. On me I'm afraid it will look wonky. Stay tuned).

I want to cut it all off. Shorter than I've had it in years, probably dating back to sixth grade, when I got a perm ;) We don't need a perm, my hair is curly enough as it is and THICK, so who knows what will happen in I cut it. Will it curl better? Be bouncy and cute? Or will it frizz out or lay flat against my head?

One thing's for sure: Jeff's dead-set against it. He does not want me to cut my hair at all! Poor guy, I'm disappointing him already.

My thought was maybe to donate my hair to Locks of Love, but I'm not sure I have the 10 inches they require. They also say the hair can't have been highlighted, and mine has. I might send it to them anyway, as it says on their site that they can sell the hair they don't use to offset the cost of the wigs. We'll see.

I've been perusing the internets for a few days to find some cute, shortish haircuts for wavy hair, and I'm afraid I'm not having much luck. Unfortunately, most of what comes up is from celebrities, and their hair looks great because they spend time blow drying and styling, etc. I haven't blown-out my hair myself in more than two years. I don't really feel like starting.

Here's what I've found that I don't HATE.

As always, this is the time for honesty. And if you know any good sites for hairstyles, let me know. What I've found so far for examples is pretty dismal.

Friday, September 11, 2009

When your heart was an open book

Lest you think I've been sitting on my butt since the honeymoon, staring out the window, longing to wear the white dress once again... I haven't. But I have.

Quick recap of what's gone down since the honeymoon. Then we get back to the irregular regular schedule of my thoughts.

  • Pats training camp: Went the day after we got back. Met up with AFCE blogger Tim for a chat.
  • Concerts: First, Paul McCartney concert at Fenway: Awesome Awesome. He played for over two hours. He still has it.
Had this exchange though, with an elderly gentleman who sat next to me. (This was while Jeff went to go get me some water.)

Him (with no sarcasm, or condescentment ? in his voice): "You know, Paul McCartney used to be in a band."

Me (in disbelief): "Yeah, I know. I just got back from Liverpool." (Holds up my Liverpool sweatshirt).

Him (again, no sarcasm): "Liverpool!? That's where the Beatles are from!"

We continue this exchange of him throwing B-level Beatles trivia at me while I answer him right back. Yeah sir, Pete Best, Stuart Sutcliffe, Wings, Linda McCartney -- I KNOW!


Him: "Wait a second..... Do you go to Berkley? I'm not talking the Beatles with a music major am I?!"

Me: blank stare.


The Killers: Went last Friday, a wedding present from our friend Mike. I am such a fangirl for them. Definitely my favorite band... ever?
  • Movies movies movies. One line reviews.
Away We Go: Saw this before the wedding and absolutely LOVED it. Three-and-a-half Werschaibles.

District 9: Best movie of the year. Four Werschaibles.

Inglorious Basterds: Might be my second favorite movie of the year. Four Werschaibles.

Julie and Julia: Oops, sorry Jeff. Two Werschaibles (On a side note, I did start reading the chick's old blog and the movie does it no justice. Her blog is genuinely entertaining!)

500 Days of Summer: Jeff and I both were disappointed. Two and a half Werschaibles.

Did I miss any babe?
  • TV: We are now all caught up on How I Met Your Mother (hooked) and we also breezed right through the first two seasons of True Blood (I have a weakness for non-Twilight related vampire schtick.) Working our way through the third season of Dexter.
Now I'm in the midst of name changing baloney, writing thank you cards (a lot harder than I thought), choosing wedding photos, trying to get the house together and trying even less hard to get back to the gym.

More on my life upcoming. Working from the present, not the past...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wedding Highlight video!

Untitled from Emily Schaible on Vimeo.

A few disclaimers...

1. No, I did not ask him to put that sesame street clip in (I've piqued your interest now) Yes, I think it's silly.
2. Jeff lost his voice so his voice is not normally so high. Yes, we both cringe when we hear our vows :)
3. I asked him to include a lot of the toasts because they were my favorite part!

4. No, there were no fireworks.


Friday, September 4, 2009

And now it's time to say goodbye

And here we are. Day 8, the last day of our honeymoon. The last of a... 14 part? wedding series. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I haven't.


This was perhaps one of our most jam-packed days. We started off, at 10 a.m., after breakfast... well I guess I have to back up to that. Because -- can you believe it -- my husband was coerced into trying HAGGIS! I think I've mentioned here before about how picky Jeff is, and I don't think I need to get into what exactly haggis is, but even I didn't want to try it. The lady at the B&B insisted that if you come to Scotland you might as well try it, and he even gave it 3 or 4 bites! I wouldn't say he liked it, but I'm proud he gave it a shot.

Anyways, first stop on our last day was Mary King's Close. You may, or may not know, that Edinburgh was sort of built from the bottom up, leaving a whole system of underground "closes" that supposedly were for lower-class people and got really grimey, especially around the plague. MKC is supposedly the best one to tour and we did, complete with an appropriately dressed Scottish tour guide who bordered on unintelligible, but in a camp, fun way. I wasn't thrilled about going, as these Close's have all sorts of haunted connotations, and are dimly lit, which is hard to navigate for someone like me, who's eyes don't function. But Jeff insisted, and I agreed, as long as we could go during the day.

The tour was fun, no pictures I'm afraid, they weren't allowed, and we unearthed to head over to Edinburgh Castle.
Jeff bought a tour book and was my tour guide for the day :)

And honorary Scotsman.

And King Schaibleous the Rambunctious.

And just... be careful ok?
After we left the castle we headed out to the street and over to the Camera Obscura, which is basically a museum of illusions, which was fun and a good way to kill time. At this point, I needed some rest so we headed off the Royal Mile to go relax in the B&B for a while before our last dinner.

We headed over to a place called "The Basement" and ordered two steak and ale pies, two hard ciders (then two more, then one more ;) and then a sticky toffee pudding. It was another great night, and a good sendoff to the honeymoon.

A subtext of our honeymoon was me stopping at internet cafes twice a day to check to see if we'd gotten any wedding teasers. On our very last chance of the honeymoon, we stopped at a cafe... and they were up!!! (Here's a link to the teasers and wedding slideshow if you want.) What a great capper for the night to be able to swoon over the pics.

We got up early the next morning and got the airport no problem. We had an 11-hour travel day, which was exhausting, but we arrived in Boston in the early evening where my earth angel Meg picked us up and drove us home.

Our land in Boston smooch. Greasy, tired and happy.

And back to real life.

Thanks for reading ya'll. Here's some links back to my entire wedding series should you decide at some point you have no life.

Part I -- The Rehearsal Dinner.

OK, I didn't even realize there were that many posts....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's real love, It's reeeaaaaallll...


We said goodbye to the Cotswolds and made our way to Beatle-town on day 6 of the honeymoon. We got there by mid-day and headed over the "Beatles Experience" -- a museum dedicated to the Fab 4. I gotta say, I was disappointed. It was entirely an audio tour -- which I hate because it makes you rely on a tape, and you can't really talk to the one you're with. I felt like I was being shuffled through, and I didn't see much I didn't see/know before. It was cool to "be" there, where it all began, but replicas just don't do much for me. Of course, Jeff and I had fun anyway.

Here we are on "Albert Dock." It was windy. That night we went out to dinner at an "American" restaurant where I decided, against all common sense, to get a quesadilla. Yuck.

Jeff wanted to buy some Liverpool F.C. regalia and we kept seeing people with bags from the official store but couldn't find it. Finally, I stopped a police officer and said, "Can you tell me where the Liverpool soccer store is?"

Hey-o, could I have been any more American? We found it anyway and Jeff got a jersey-shirt and I got a sweatshirt so now we're proper football fans who never watch proper football.

In retrospect, I regret a bit that we decided to stay in Liverpool for a day and didn't drive straight to Scotland. Because let me tell you. Scotland was amazing. But we're not there yet.

The drive from Liverpool to Scotland on Day 7 was 4 1/2 hours. And it was A-Mazing. I've said it to everyone who I've talked to since the honeymoon, you have to go see Scotland sometime in your life. I almost felt bad for Jeff being the driver because the view was so amazing.

We stopped along the way at a rest stop. We got Burger King. Jeff enjoyed it.

We drove the car to Edinburgh airport, took a bus and then a cab to our B&B. It was almost too easy! As we drove into Edinburgh on the bus, it was a beautiful day, and the closer you get to the center of town, the older the buildings get, and then you turn the corner and BAM! there's a castle in the middle of the city. I'm sure you can imagine how amazing that would be to see?

We got to our B&B, checked in, and immediately went out to explore. What a cool city, with a mix of modern and ancient. The "Royal Mile" in the middle of the city runs from the Palace (where the Queen stays when she's in Edinburgh) to Edinburgh Castle and is filled with shops, restaurants, tours and ... street performers.

This dude swallowed a sword. Can't say I've seen that in person before.

The Royal Mile.

We decided to walk towards the Palace side and when we got to the bottom, we came upon the "Crags," which as you can see was sort of a giant hill. At the top, the highest point, is called 'Sir Arthur's Seat" and is supposed to be an incredible view of the city.

My feet were aching once again by this point so I refused to even attempt to climb this. But you know how persistent my husband is, so I said, "OK, we'll go halfway."

It was a steep incline.
But when we got up there, it was totally worth it.

Another amazing aspect of Edinburgh is it's city on one side, mountains on another and sea on the third. Isn't that the best kind of city? We spent sundown just enjoying the view, it was so peaceful. For dinner, I had another steak and ale pie and for dessert we had sticky toffee pudding and some hard cider which is, oh, so, good.

It was the absolute perfect day. My favorite day of the honeymoon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What does this do?

OK this is getting embarrassing. Let's just finish this thing (or get close) already.

Day 4 of the honeymoon we packed up our London hotel room and headed to Heathrow so we could pick up our car and drive two hours to the Cotswolds, aka England countryside.

We got to the car rental place and waited forever in line only for the people at the desk to tell us they didn't have what we reserved, which was an automatic car with a GPS.

Say what?

Good news, they said. We have a manual with a built-in GPS. Not good news, we said, neither of us can drive a manual. OK, they said, we have an automatic and I can give you directions, I know how to get to the Cotswolds...

Cue pained faces.

So the dude went in the back and I mentally pictured the scene from Seinfeld where Jerry's at the car rental place and the lady goes in the back to "talk with the manager."

You know how to take the reservation, but you don't know how to HOLD the reservation. Anyone can take them!

When he came back, to our short-lived delight, we saw he had the keys to a Mercedes. Jeff and I had a mental conversation ala How I Met Your Mother that went something like.

Me: You see that, those are keys to a Mercedes.
Jeff: Yeah, I see them, we're getting a Mercedes?
In unison: Sweet!

But no, the dude told us, yes, we can give you this totally sweet Mercedes with a built-in GPS, but yes, we still have to charge you more. Almost $200 more. WTF.

Anyways, we were ready to just get out of there already. We went out to the parking lot, and after two trips back in and out to figure how to find/operate the damn thing, we were off. In a brand-new Mercedes no less. It had nine miles on it. It had all the bells and whistles. But we were still pissed off about the $$ on our carefully budgeted honeymoon... more on that later.

So we channeled all the calm we had stored up and Jeff safely navigated us to the Cotswolds, despite a brief emergency when he somehow put on the parking brake while we were on the highway ;)

Since the Cotswolds in the countryside, the roads are particularly narrow, which you can imagine makes the driving experience harrowing, so we were so relieved when we got to our LOVELY B&B and found "town" to be in walking distance.

But first, some tea.

OK, it was coffee. But it was still good.

And how LOVELY was our B&B? Well, take a look.

View from our window.

Our room.

Our two days in the Cotswolds (Chipping Campden to be specific) were supposed to be our "relaxing" days. I think this street sign pretty much tells you all you need to know about the area.

We had a nice, relaxing dinner that night and woke up refreshed in the morning.

We had a lovely (I know, I'm overusing, but that's the best word to describe it!) breakfast made by our host before we headed out for the day. Remember when I said this was supposed to be the relaxing leg? Do you think Jeff would really let me relax?

I have to tell you though, this morning brought the worst experience of the honeymoon. We decided to stop in town at a genuine silversmith. We walked around the workshop and it was truly incredible. If I had had an unlimited souvenir budget, I would have definitely bought a little silver spoon or cup or something. But alas. Anyways, while we were there I had to go to the bathroom. I bought a bottle of water from so I could use the bathroom there and as I was... um... finishing up, I happened to glance up at the ceiling.

It was COVERED in HUGE spiders. At least 20 of them. Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod!!! I hustled out there something fierce. I ran out (literally) into the courtyard, threw off my jacket and screamed at Jeff to check me. Then I started to cry. It was awful. I hate spiders.

Anyways, we decided to head off to Broadway Tower, which which wasn't that fascinating. It was actually built in an era where Towers were no longer being used.

From the bottom.
From the top.

After that we headed to another relaxing lunch before going to Sudley Castle. Sudley Castle was home of Henry the VIII (see, him again) and his last wife, Catherine. Of all the Castles/Towers we saw, this was definitely my favorite. It was on a huge estate, and it was impeccably maintained.

These last two pictures were taken inside the chapel on the Estate and the last pic is actually the burial place of Queen Catherine. Cool and creepy huh?

Dinner that night was back in town and was our introduction to perhaps the culinary creation most suited for my husband: Steak and ale pie. Oh my, so delish. I got a burger (WHY???) that was absolute CRAP and I spent the end of my meal scraping whatever I could out of my husband's dish. It's like a pot roast, but with a thick ale sauce and a pastry crust. How can you go wrong? Soooo good.

OK, if you've made it this far, I'm happy to say I only have our day in Liverpool and two days in Edinburgh left to cover. I promise to end this in the next two days. But if you read this far, let me wrap up the car $$ situation.

At the encouragement of everyone we told the story to, Jeff demanded the extra money back from the car rental place via e-mail. He forwarded the email to me which absolutely CRACKED me up, since my husband is not really a shake my hand in your face sort of guy. He's more of a brooding, complain under my breath guy. Here's a snippet of the e-mail.

Be it known, I will never rent from [car rental place] again.

I’d like to thank you for throwing a wrench in our carefully planned honeymoon budget. Thanks to your customer service we had to scrap our plans to see a show while in London.

Congratulations on squeezing a few extra dollars out of us. It will be the last time.

For my own gratification (I’m sure), I am including our original reservation and a copy of my bank statement.

Thanks for nothing.


Two weeks after the honeymoon, we got our money back.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

One day more

Day three of the honeymoon was our last day in London and again, Jeff wanted to make the most of it. He was adamant about going down to Abbey Road, even though I wasn't crazy about it. It wasn't that I didn't want to go, it just seemed like it would be out of the way, and on top of that, Jeff didn't seem entirely sure where we were going. My feet, at this point, had about a 40 minute life span, seriously, I felt like I was walking on glass, so I didn't want to spend the whole morning walking around.

But I digress. After all, it was Jeff's honeymoon too. As it turns out, it wasn't hard to find at all. Right off the Tube, about a half a mile down the road. We knew we were there because there was a young Spanish couple and an older American man there with cameras. We had to wait our turn and unfortunately, the results weren't that great. Observe.

This second one was taken on our behalf by the young Spanish man. I should have known not to trust him since he had a Yankees shirt on! Oh well, we were there. I swear those two blurry figures are us.

From there we headed down to Buckingham Palace where we realized the changing of the guard would happen soon, so we decided to stick around. It is, apparently, a popular thing to witness.
But I gotta say, not that interesting. They basically have a live band, and I'm sure there's a lot more pageantry that we couldn't see because we were in a bad spot. But the palace itself was awesome.
As you can see, the weather continued to hold out for us! I love this picture of Jeff. From there we walked down the road to Westminster Abbey/Parliament/Big Ben.

These were all definitely must-sees. The architecture is amazing. We had a lot of fun admiring them and taking pictures.

Isn't Parliament amazing? You have to see this before you die. Despite my aching dogs, I took quite a few minutes to admire it, trying to keep the image in my head.

After lunch, Jeff and I were torn on what to do to finish out the day. I mean, we had seen all those huge landmarks before 1 p.m. and we were going that night to see Les Mis. There weren't any more must-sees on our list. But on our way to lunch we passed something called the London Movieum and figured, what the heck? We can kill some time here.

The place was basically set pieces and replicas and costumes from all sorts of movies. We had some fun with pictures.

We went back to the hotel after this to relax for a while. We ordered room service pizza (YUCK YUCK YUCK) for dinner. Don't get pizza in England. It's not a good idea. Then it was off to Les Mis!

I saw the show when I was younger, maybe 12? I remember BAWLING at the end, after we left the building and as we walked back to the car. My mother and I used to go to all the big musicals at PPAC and this one was definitely my favorite. The show originated in London and is the only place that still shows it.

When I first pitched the idea to Jeff, he was less than thrilled. I tried to get him to listen to the music before we left, and he was having none of it.

We got to the Queen's Theater a little before show time and settled into some very good seats for the musical.

What can I say? It was great. I loved it. At intermission, Jeff told me how impressed he was at the production saying, "This is better than when my high school put on 'The Music Man.'" I guess I should have cut him some slack on not being that excited because he had never seen a real professional production of a musical.

I managed to keep back my tears this time and I was surprised how much Jeff enjoyed it.

He still calls it the highlight of the trip. A few days after we got home he IMed me this:

Jeff: im not gonna lie to you... i AM listening to the les miserables soundtrack and i DID want to invade my neighbor's cubicle when One Day More came on
Love it. :)