Friday, May 30, 2008

Victory is Ours!

prague at night1

After subsiding the first half of our trip on bread, cheese and water (seriously), we decided to blow some of our surplus korunas("crowns") on a nice dinner. We found a nice recommendation on a "foodie" blog, and headed out just as the sun was heading down. The walk over Charles Bridge was beautiful, there were musicians out, people laughing, people making out. We found our gem of a restaurant tucked back off town square. We strolled the back streets discussing ordering a nice dish, something with fish or seafood at least. We arrived to find........they were closed. Why you ask? We're not sure. They're hours and website, as well as the blog's info all say they should have been open. We're giving them the benefit of the doubt, assuming family death or something equally important.

Anyhow, after serious deflation from our excitement, we re-group, find an Internet cafe nearby and pick out another locale that promises great local fare. We stroll down the street to their location and guess what? Yep, they're closed. Not just closed, but we're pretty sure no longer exist. So at this point we're quite flustered, someone says something about God may be trying to tell us something, somebody else doesn't think that's really funny, and we head off to re-group once again.

Now I'm not sure how the process of deciding where to eat works for others, but for us it goes something like this: We either have a place picked out based on a recommendation, and we execute said place, or we try to be adventurous and just wander aimlessly looking at all the options we pass, never really deciding because we always are holding out for something better around the corner (this finally ends when we are so hungry we both break down).

Anyway, on this occasion we decided it best to head back and get another recommendation we had left in our hotel room. On the way we passed a place that we both said "Hey that looks pretty good"......Done! Hands down, it was the best meal we've had on the trip, it even topped the meal Alex and Sabine made us in Vienna. It was an interesting place, a fusion of French and Asian cuisine. We started with spring rolls, which I love, but don't find very often.


Tiff had a grilled salmon dish and I had a pan fried rice and chicken/shrimp dish.

tiff's meal

Both were excellent, and surprisingly a lot more food than they appear in the pictures. Those little piles spread out to be more than you would think. Afterward, we walked in the cool night air and basked in the glory of our victory.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Favorite Things - Week 3


Joshua-Being completely humbled by the generosity of a 74 year old man.

Tiffany-Sound of Music Tour. I'm not sure if it was the actual information about the movie or just being ferried around that I enjoyed most.



JOSHUA-The texture of this sculpture at Dachau is really haunting to me.


TIFFANY-We had so much fun trying to make these pictures. You can hardly see Josh because he's wearing black.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tastes Like Chicken

Okay so I'm thinking that Prague is the least European of the cities we have visited so far. Feels kind of like America...and I'm not sure why because everything is still written in a foreign language and the roads are still cobblestone. Maybe it is because this place is crawling with American college students and so the city is starting to adjust to their presence? I don't know, it is hard to explain. All I know is I did not expect that at all.

The second most surprising thing is how close everything is. We literally didn't step foot on public transportation and had to slow ourselves down so we wouldn't see everything on our list for the whole city in one day. It was nice to be moving totally on foot again because it is such a different kind of sightseeing rather than popping out of the ground at different parts of the city. Josh and I both agree if we can walk a city we will like it better.

Tonight was one of the only events we had planned for the trip. We had tickets to go see the opera Carmen. We decided that the opera was something we wanted to experience in Europe and I know the music of Carmen from my marching band days so it was a perfect match. We had a great time, but left our camera at home (a silly decision) so no pictures of us in our ratty backpacking clothes sitting in a box at the beautiful state opera house. Also, sadly, no picture of the couple in the box across from us making out the whole show-sorry about that.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Josh's Mystery Building Game - Round 4

Here's an easy one, should be pretty obvious:

Guessing Game

Get Thrown off a European Train-Czech

I'm sorry about that title. It is so cheesy, but I just had to do it. It wasn't humanly possible to call it anything else after that popped in my head. Also, a note of warning-this is a long one.

So we started the day at Dachau Concentration Camp for a serious stop on our sightseeing tour. It was a great memorial and the audioguide combined with the knowledge from the last 2 trips to the Holocaust Museum in DC we got a pretty thorough look at the atrocity of Hitler. We walked around and just couldn't imagine coming there if you were German or a prisoner and had lived through the experience


We had already bought our tickets to Prague at the beginning of our trip so we weren't worried about rushing to the station so we just took our time, grabbed some dinner and then headed to our train. The German leg of our trip was crazy. The train was packed with soccer fans heading to a Eurocup game so it was standing room only on the train (luckily we were early and got a seat). Once they all got off, we were told to switch cars because the one we were on wasn't going all the way to Prague. So we made our switch and thanked God for sitting us next to a kind man who translated the message for us since it was only given in German. One bullet dodged!

So we were happily sitting on what we believed was the last train to Prague with what we thought was a ticket and couldn't wait to arrive. The ticket lady came through asking for tickets and so we happily handed over ours. She stamped it and was about to leave when I asked her a question about whether it was a round trip ticket because we were a little concerned because it was in German and we didn't fully understand the ticket. Stupid me, I should have just let her walk out. When she took a second look at the ticket she realized that it wasn't a ticket to Prague. We had been given an incorrect ticket so we didn't in fact have a ticket for this train. She told us to exit at the next station but kindly she didn't fine us.

This is the point where we realize Josh and I would not make a good Amazing Race team. He is apparently not good at split second decisions-NOT AT ALL!

Here's the situation as we know it: It is 9:30 PM. This is the last train to Prague and we are about to be dumped at what is probably a tiny Czech town with NO idea how to speak the language and NO idea where we are. My brain is just spinning trying to come up with the best plan but Josh doesn't want to discuss it, he says stay on the train until they fine us and throw us off. I want you to know, I really tried to get on board with this plan but the longer we sat there I just couldn't see that working for us. I think it will be better to pick the stop where we are kicked off because maybe we could pick one with running water that way :).

As my brain is flying I realize that we have stopped for a few minutes at every station since we have crossed the Czech border so that is the solution. Send one of us off the train-running to an ATM and the ticket counter and buy the correct tickets and make it back on the train. Josh is still holding firm to the "stay on this train until they physically kick us off" plan.

When the next stop is a place with a tall office building, I convince him to try my plan because even if we are stuck, this is a town that will have a place for us to sleep at least. However, the time it took to convince him at the station cut our time from 8 to 5 minutes to get back on the train.

pit stop to prague

Josh says we are going together so we BOLT for the train station. Because this is "my plan" I have to do the talking.

Window 1: Can't help you have to go to the international window. Get there: She isn't at the window. She comes and I ask her for a ticket to Prague just barely holding back tears because I know we've already been off the train for 3 minutes. She understands English (praise God) and she starts on the tickets when Josh jumps in to ask if that is the last train, she looks away to check and says "no."

Relief...can you feel it? We are paying for our ticket when we hear the whistle blow for our train but we don't even worry about getting back to it because we are so relieved to have another option.

I really can't tell you how happy we were to be getting on another train that night. When we boarded our second train an hour later we sat next to a kind man who knew very little English but really wanted to try to communicate with us. He helped us locate our hotel on our map and then you know what he did next. He tried to quote John 3:16 to us but he got stuck in the middle and couldn't remember the rest of it in English. He knew very little English but he was trying to witness to us. When I finished it for him he just threw his hands up and said "You believers? Praise God!" He told us it was so rare to find believers in Czech Republic so he couldn't believe he sat next to some on the train.

He sang us hymns in Czech and asked us to sing some in English to him. It was a great time for the hour and a half to Prague. I wish we could have communicated better because he wanted to talk to us so badly and I wanted to hear what I was sure were amazing stories of how the Czech Republic had changed in his 74 years. When we arrived in Prague he was supposed to continue on but he said it was late and he wanted to help us find our hotel.

The man got off the train at midnight with us and helped us find our hotel. He didn't just point, he got on the tram with us, he asked in Czech to passerbys for directions and walked us to the door of our hotel.

Talk about a blessing. A night that could have gone down in our books as the worst night of our trip was redeemed and we fully believe we were meant to be kicked off our train so we could meet Miroslav Venc.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Coolest Subways

Okay so Munich wins whatever award they give out for having the coolest subways. If I was naming them I'd call them "Subbys." The whole subway line is one long car with the accordion things connecting the different cars like in the mega buses. The effect is weird because subconsciously you know that subway cars are individual so you think it is a mirror trick at first making it appear to connect all the way. In practical use, it keeps them from over crowding because the flow is easy from one to the other. Sorry I didn't think to get a picture of it.

What I did think to get a picture of:


Can you see that? It is blue sky which means the sun came out. After a week of no returned, and we couldn't be happier. To celebrate we laid in a park-yes still in our fleeces, but there was sun on our faces so that is all that counts.

We also wanted to give you just a sense of our couchhost flat where we stayed. They are subletting from the doctor whom they've never seen in the 6 months they have stayed there. All of the rooms were pink and there was all kinds of animal print everywhere. They were joking that she must like Vegas and when they opened the bathroom door, we knew they weren't kidding.

bath @ beatrice & carlo's place

This picture doesn't quite do it justice, but can you imagine waking up to this bathroom. Who needs coffee when you have this visual jolt every morning?

Sunday, May 25, 2008


We had a slight crisis of couchsurfing at the beginning of our trip (we weren't able to make contact with them for a couple of hours) but everything went smoothly after that. We went to the Deutches Musuem where they had an almost DisneyWorld esque coal mining display that was very interesting. We were also sick of the museums making us check our small backpacks so we decided if they want our bags, we'll give them our bags-the big packs. Turns out they will hold them for cheaper than the train station. So...we paid 2 Euros to hold our huge packs instead of the 5 Euros the train station wanted.

Beatrice and Carlo (our hosts) were great company and they took us to an incredible Bavarian meal in an incredibly German place. It was like everything you think of when you think of Germany-beer being sloshed from liter mugs, dark wood and meat...lots of meat! But probably the highlight of that day was the movie we watched that night. They rented an American movie and we watched it in English. It wasn't a great movie, but did I mention it was in English.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Somewhere in my youth, or childhood...

Josh woke up this morning feeling a little better which was good because we had reservations on the Sound of Music tour so we were going sickness or not. It was really nice to be driven around and have information fed to us after 2 weeks of finding everything ourselves and trying to translate a foreign language to know what we were looking at. Also, now we are anxious to get home and watch the movie again. I didn't know that so much of the movie was really filmed in Austria.

One silly thing is we forgot our camera on the trip so sorry no pictures-which is bad for you. It ended up being nice for us because we weren't worried about capturing everything, and we got to just enjoy the scenery.

The rest of the still cloudy and really cold day was spent walking around Salzburg. We went to Mozart's residence and Mirabella Gardens and then went back to the pension early because we were so cold.

salzburg in the background

We are going to have to come back to Salzburg again because this little stop didn't do it justice. Also, there are some beautiful lakes around the area so next time we'll get a car and explore with our camera. I mean, how often can you drink the water in lakes?

Interesting bit of information: The president/creator of Red Bull is the richest man in Austria and the headquarters are on a lake just outside Salzburg. The building is surronded by water-breathtaking-I don't really see how anyone gets any work done there. This is the picture we are going to steal link to since we don't have our own.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Josh's Mystery Building Game - Round 3

can you guess it1

Favorite Things Week 2


Joshua-Getting the antibiotics for cheap...and without the trouble

Tiffany-The view for our picnic at Portschach


prison art

JOSHUA-I was just impressed by the quality of art done by prisoners. I'm sure they weren't handing out state of the art tools and yet they were able to etch into the stone of their cells.

glass sculpture1

TIFFANY-This is a glass sculpture in Morano just outside of Venice. It will become one of a triptych somewhere in our house-probably bedroom.

Notice how both of our pictures are from Venice-that is because the dreary weather hurts the dynamic pictures, or maybe just our attitude toward picture taking.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It Happened!

Yep it was freezing and rainy and Josh got full on sick. We lost a full day in Salzburg to the weather and illness, but honestly I'm glad they happened at the same time. So...our first day was spent in the Pensione with no internet and only German TV so while Josh slept I watched "Spin City" in German which is actually called "Chaos City."

We did have fun the next day so look for that later.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Is it yellow?

Presently I am typing with a semi sick Joshua leaning up against me so I apologize for typos. Yesterday he began to feel ill (see how I use my British English) and after a couple glasses of "Airborne" we were hoping it was kicked. He did wake up with the signs of a sinus infection this morning which always turns really bad fast for him and here is where our amazing couchhosts again work magic. Alex was able to convince a pharmacist to give him some antibiotics without a prescription. He had to go to 2 pharmacies but he made it work and Josh hugged him when he got the medicine. We were not looking forward to figuring out how to get a doctor that our insurance would cover, etc.


Quick social medicine side note: This antibiotic cost 14 Euros...that's it.

We took it easy today but we did go out to the Schonbrunn Palace and walked in the amazing gardens even though the weather was cold and a bit dreary. It was well worth the risk of rain and we desperately wish the sun had been out so we could have gotten some good pictures.

schonbrunn palace2

We also enjoyed a museum of music (Haus der Musik) and really enjoyed sitting and listening to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. That made us want to go to the symphony and it also made me miss music a lot. I wish there was a group I could join to play the piano, or percussion, or something because I miss being a part of a larger group for making music. Didn't quite make me wish for teaching piano again, but playing music again would be nice.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

If couchhosting was a super power these people would be invincible

Our couch hosts in Austria are AMAZING! We are Alex and Sabine's first guests and I hope more than anything that they are enjoying us as much as we are enjoying being here. The first night we arrived they grilled out (great Austrian meat) and served this amazing butter garlic spread for bread and potatoes and then there were two types of salads. It is by far the best meal we have had on our trip.

We are staying in their upstairs which means we have our own bathroom, bedroom and a whole room to dry our clothes which we got to wash ... in a washing machine.

our room

They also went out with us the first morning on a city tour and we all visited the Treasury of the Hofburg Palace since they had never been (I feel a little bad about that since they each paid the 10 Euro entrance even though it really wasn't worth it). We had a schnitzel lunch and then parted ways as we toured the rest of the Palace and were meant to go to a movie.

josh, alex, sabine, tiff

We ended up spending hours in the palace so we missed our movie. In the end it was fine because here is the point of our trip where our weather luck runs out. We got soaked on the walk home and it really would have been bad if we hadn't started when we did. Josh said the walk reminded him of Haiti. I thought it was fun and so we just laughed and tried to stay under our poncho as much as possible.

Before the rain walk we did hit a grocery were we bought what we hoped where the ingredients for noodle casserole. We got everything but one right and even with the mistake the dinner was great and we got to introduce them to cheddar cheese which they said Austrians would never eat because it is too orange-they think it looks fake.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Day at Rest

We aren't quite managing the 1 to 6 ratio God intended, but we did take one day of rest in Portschach, Austria at Lake Worthersee. It was quite a relief after leaving the hustle and bustle of Venice.

View Larger Map

It was the first time we needed our long sleeves so we weren't able to swim but we did just sit and not really do much which was the plan anyway.

First trick: Getting off the train at the right stop. All of our other destinations had been large cities where the train stayed for a minute or so at the station (sometimes 10) but that was not the case here. We were literally the only people to get off and I knew if we weren't stepping off the train as soon as it stopped they would fire it back up and we'd be where ever the next stop took us.

We were poised and waiting and made it off the train and luckily found the information place in town because the station was so small there was only 1 person working there and they were at lunch when we arrived. Also, this is the first place where we were totally lost with language. German is not like English or Spanish so we had nothing to lean on but our quick wit and it doesn't seem they understand American sarcasm either.

We did find a grocery where we bought a ready made sandwich and had a picnic at the lake where the ducks kept trying to eat our food. I felt bad because Josh hit one in the head with our water bottle but after that the duck did understand to stay away.

lake worthersee

Our gastehaus was brand new I think because there was nothing on the walls and they kept asking us to make sure we were okay, like every 15 minutes. All they knew was "good?" but we muddled by communicating with the woman. The breakfast they served was a spread and they had enough stuff out that we made sandwiches to pack and called it lunch for the train.

So after our evening of picture editing, taking a complete shot in the dark at the German menu for dinner and a good nights sleep we are on to our next place.

Josh's Mystery Building Game - Round 2

can you guess it

The Border

Josh and I got on our train to go from Venice to Portschach and were thinking I wonder if we'll know we've crossed into Austria. I wish I had pictures but let me tell you there is no doubt. It is crazy that so close are two vastly different cultures who talk different and build their buildings different and even have different fixtures in the bathroom.

Growing up in the USA we just don't get that. Even when there was Mexico so close it just doesn't seem the same as this because it isn't on all sides.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Vegas of Medieval Time

We were glad to get to Venice but also about as glad to leave. People think that just because you are on an island they can charge you whatever they want...and apparently they are right. Actually, we saw first hand why everything costs so much. In a city where a speed boat is the biggest thing that can get around lots of things have to be brought in on a handcart and there are no ramps, just stairs. It is crazy how the locals have adapted to these things and I know that if it was America the ADA would just come in and start over with that city.

Venice Canal

It was beautiful and intriguing with the roads that lead no where and the "streets" that are sometimes no bigger than shoulder width. Once you are away from the canal the only thing that makes it feel different than any other Italian city was the fact that there were no scooters (or cars for that matter) vying for the streets.

Joshua did manage to find us the only cheap hostel in the city which was a church turned hostel. The first night was uneventful (if you call us roaming the streets lost, uneventful-but that is what Venice is for really) but the second day we met 2 "Ticos" who we spent the afternoon and evening with. They were quite entertaining and we now have a place to spend 2 weeks in Costa Rica (one with Jose and another with Ricardo). We can't wait!


Friday, May 16, 2008

Favorite Things- Week 1


Joshua-Ferrero Rocher Gelato

Tiffany-Sitting on the Steps of the Duomo eating tomatoes and buffala mozzarella


St. Peters15

JOSHUA-This photo captures pretty well the feeling of the light in St. Peter's

duomo dome3

TIFFANY-This picture took effort and control and Josh asking some man to stop leaning on the rail we were using (and an awesome REI tripod). I'm just proud of the effort and patience it took for us to get it. Plus, there's a painted man with his leg over the balcony which I think is funny.

Bologna-the city, not the meat

Florence is so far my favorite Italian city so I was afraid to leave it. We headed to Bologna and it was different but not at all a disappointment. It was a quiet, untouristy spot where we couchsurfed with a very friendly student, Lucia.

our couchhosts in bologna

This is her and her boyfriend (Andre-we think) with me on our quick tour around town before we headed to her home. Behind us you'll see an unfinished church. Apparently, after St. Peter's Cathedral every town thought they should have a glorious church, however, not all could afford it and so there are unfinished churches all around Italy. Its like one failed capital campaign after another in that country.

After our quick tour they took us back to Lucia's where she made us a traditional Bolognaian dinner. It was somewhat like a quesadilla but so much better. It was flat bread, mozarella, zuchinni, eggplant and fresh tomatoes. I was shocked how much I liked it and look forward to trying to make it on my own (i'll just have to find mozzarella buffala).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Josh's Mystery Building Game - Round 1

We've had quite a few major buildings we visit under renovation/restoration, a good bit covered with scaffolding. So we offer a game for anyone up to the challenge. I'll offer up buildings we come across obscured as they are, and see if you can figure out what they are.

Mystery building number 1:

can you guess it2

The dream

So sitting on the steps in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa I came up with my idea that will support my desire to travel and make money. I don't want the world to know quite yet but I'll need a website and investors if anyone is interested.

If it was a movie the pitch would be "Amazing Race meets Price Is Right but it is all online." It's gonna be fun!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thank you for Canceling

So we thought we had a couchsurfer lined up for the evening but at the last minute he had to cancel. Josh and I had a quick role reversal where I was fine and he flipped out about where we were going to stay. We bought some time at the internet cafe in Florence and found the cheapest hotel we could find on eurocheapo. It ended up being the editor's pick that was way discounted and a stones throw from the train station so we booked it and went to throw down our packs.

Hands down, this is going to be the best hotel we stay in and it only cost us $70 (not Euros, dollars) which is unbelieveably cheap. It has breakfast and wireless internet included. Also, they ran out of the rooms with a shared bath so they gave us a private bath with a hairdryer. It has been 7 days since I have blown hot air in my hair, can you hear the excitement in my typing?

hotel in florence We totally give it 2 thumbs up and if you find yourself in Florence stop in and stay. Great location Hotel Azzi

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thanks Matt!

Dinner with Matt in Rome2This is Matt our couch host in Rome. He was kind when we had to come in at 3:30 in the morning and then made us a customary Italian dinner the next night that we ate at the customary time-10PM. He only had one room so we were all on mattresses on the floor, but we slept great and I hope we didn't interrupt his studying too much.

The only downside to the whole experience was the fact that I had the 2 coldest showers in the history of my life the world. You know the fountains around Rome with the water you can drink and how its always so surprising how cold it is-yeah that is what we had to shower in (not literally a fountain on the street but the same water). Let me just say, much more pleasant as a drink on a hot day than a shower.

Buongiorno, parla inglese?

The only Italian words I know to date, but man have I used them quite a bit. Once I got used to opening my mouth and asking for help, Verona was lovely. Verona is beautiful, but an easy city to navigate it is not. Medieval city planning just pales in comparison to the good 'ole gridiron plan of New York City. It does allow for a great experience and nice view corridors though. Needless to say we took a few wrong turns.."Via de What?" We did learn, and by "we" I mean "me", that asking strangers for help can lead to new discoveries, such as this view.

Verona from church

We also found Giardino Giusti, it was beautiful. We then grabbed a nice pizza(FYI - pepperoni is a pepper, Salami is what we think of as pepperoni, in case you're ordering a pizza in Italy) and some even nicer gelato. We then grabbed the night train to Rome, first experience in a couchette.

Giardino Giusti11

New Element

Hey Guys! You might have noticed we added something new to our page. We've linked to our flickr page so you guys can see more than just our blog chosen photos. Just click on it and you'll be able to see all the pictures that made the cut.

Don't worry I've gone through and sorted all the 6 different views of the same building Josh took-only I will have to sit through those.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

When in Rome...Eat like a Roman College Student

They are going to know the cheapest place to eat...right.

Our couchsurfing host, Matt, turned us on to a little place in north Rome called Momart (on XXI Aprile- yeah they name roads dates) that had a happy hour buffet. All you have to do is buy a drink for 8 euros and then you get all you can eat pizza, pasta, etc. You couldn't get a sandwich for 8 euros at night. The one trick he didn't tell us was that you have to fight for the food. Just imagine 50 college students trying to get at the same one pizza they put out every few minutes. Once I taught Josh the art of using his height to reach over people we were good to go and had 3 full plates. I think the score of the restuarant was the caprese (I don't think there is any better mozzeralla in the world) so once they put out a new platter of that stuff I filled a whole plate and I'd say I got my 8 euros right there.


We spent the rest of the night walking around looking at floodlit sites, met some Norwegians and need to email them this picture we took, and then again screwed up the transportation back to the couchsurfers and didn't make it home until 3:30. That is AM folks.

Also earlier today we went to the community rose garden of Rome-bet you won't find that in any guide books but it was a great Italian place to be. Josh took the opportunity to practice sketching while we were there so we could sit in the shade which I enjoyed.


They actually have the World Rose Competition about to start next week so Josh and I took it upon ourselves to judge. We deem Dormani the winner (created in France in 2003) but there was a close second that we didn't get the name of but it had multiple buds within the same flower which was cool.

Anyway-have a great day! Ciao!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Rome-Strike 1

Josh will blog later with more details on yesterday but today kicked our butts and you are lucky to get anything out of us. Rome is not our friend as of today, we're going to give tomorrow another chance.

We hit a transportation hiccup today. We were minding our own business taking the bus to tell the Pope Carl says "hi" and the driver just stops and says get off. That's it no explanation (lets be honest we couldn't have understood his Italian anyway-but still). So then we are standing around going, "What do we do?"

We finally make it back to the train station on our much tired feet expecting to take the Metro to see some things and that is closed too. People just standing around at the closed gate. We have no way of asking people what is going on and even less ability to understand their answer so we are just clueless and tired. We decide to just head to our campground and that is where we are right now. We later find out they went on strike from 8:30 to 2. I don't really understand the point of a mini strike but apparently it is common and it was just enough time to basically ruin our day. On the upside we did stumble onto a movie set in a market so I got to see what my job looks like in Italian.

We are going to rest and try again tomorrow with the whole Rome thing. Josh didn't sleep much on the overnight train last night and the 2 nights before that I got a combined 4 hours so a rest sounds great.

Interesting Fact: The keyboard is a Roma keyboard so yes I have to retype every apostrophe because à is where ' should be but you guys don't have £ § ç ò and I do

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mind the Gap

That is what the tube tells you as you step off in London. I mean really, the English could make anything sound fancy. My goal on return to America is to use words like “delicate and rather” much more often.

park in london

Today was exhausting with the highlight being sitting in a park looking at our map. We actually spent the whole day trying to track down reservations for our Italy trip and if you ever try to do something like this, let me save you the trouble. You can’t! You can’t book an overnight reservation for an Italian train in London so save your time and legs and go see the Tate Modern. We would have loved that advise because we literally were sent all over London by people who told us, “oh yeah, these people can do that for you.”


So anyway, the day was just getting mother’s day postcards in the Royal Mail and staying awake while taking in a bit of London. We already ran into ATM problems so not making it to the Tate Modern was probably good because it gave us the chance to call our bank from London.

Honestly we weren’t planning on seeing anything today anyway so the day was great and we are looking forward to heading to Italy. Well, more than that we are looking forward to bed but don’t tell anyone.

London Baby!

So yesterday was the beginning and when we were sitting waiting for our plane in Nashville, we began to get a little scared. It is kind of like this thing that has been built up in your head to be something fabulous and there is just no way the experience can live up to expectation. That was right until Ben Folds came and sat down right in front of us … like so close I could have touched him and I really had to refrain Josh from actually doing it.

If you guys know me, you know I know very few musicians and I care for even less, but this is the one guy who I would pay good money to see. And, I got to smile and make pleasantries for absolutely free. Once Mr. Folds sat down and Josh shhhhed me from singing “Zach and Sarah” (even though it refused to leave my head for the rest of the flight)-Josh and I looked at each other and said this is so going to be awesome.

We made it to NY where we transferred to JFK and caught a shower (best decision of the day-well, right after not reaching out and touching Ben) and then jumped on our plane for London. This is the leg where the business class ticket really paid off. Do you know they serve you a 5 course meal on china, with real silverware? After dinner we tried to get to sleep and I’m sorry to say Josh was the only one who succeeded. So we landed in London at 6:55am and I had no sleep and a long day ahead. Oh well, because we’re in “London, Baby!”

fresh off plane with no sleep

Monday, May 5, 2008

Moving from One "E" to Another

Yesterday afternoon we finished Express and these are some of the pieces we had displayed.

DSC_0135DSC_0134 DSC_0124 It was a much harder weekend than we expected. We hung everything on Thursday then were back to man our "booth" (which was really just 4 tiers of windows) on Friday night. Saturday morning we were going to spend the beginning of the day working on Europe plans but we got a call that said one of our window tiers had fallen. Yes folks, that means our stained glass pieces fell to the ground-glass met concrete. Our largest piece (the blue one) broke in MANY places and a smaller piece shattered so we had to go up to the church and pick up the pieces-literally. It is the left tier that fell.

It felt like a small funeral and we just didn't have the heart to throw out the larger piece so it is hidden in a closet until we can deal with it. We spent the rest of Saturday repairing the piece that wasn't hurt badly and then rehanging that window, then we were at the booth for the evening. Sunday was a full day at the booth. We sold very little, but that wasn't why were doing it anyway so that was fine with us (although after the pieces broke we were hoping to recover their cost-oh well).

DSC_0119 DSC_0139

Now we move into the last minute frenzy of travel plans. We are 24 hours from departure so we are working our brain overtime making sure we have everything, plus we are trying to get on London time. We are really to a point that we just want to go so I can stop worrying with details.

So, if you want to find us on skype we are josh-n-tiff otherwise we are here for the duration. Leave us a comment every once in a while to give us a little interaction from home. Happy Reading of the Adventure.

Friday, May 2, 2008


So in planning this journey understanding the Eurail system has been the hardest. What is covered? What isn't? Where do you buy what?

I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert now (although I think once we are back I will be), but here is what I have learned so far

1. is not an exhaustive list of trains this is a much better place to find everything (or you can go to each countries official site)

2. These people are experts and they will answer questions over the phone. I'm really sad I found them 4 days before we leave instead of months ago

3. If you are going to take a night train try to make it after 7pm because you will only use one travel day on your pass instead of 2

4. Czech Republic is NOT covered on the global pass-discovered that this morning so we'll have to buy a supplement for that leg-darn! If you need to go to Slovenia, no problem but I guess the Czech Republic just doesn't play well with others.

I still have lots of questions but I am going to just wait until we get there and ask a travel agent. That's what they do on Amazing Race and it seems to works out for them. Yes, I use reality television as the educational tool it was meant to be.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Austin's Foster Family

While we are out of the country, Austin is going to stay with the Smiths.  They agreed to keep her a few months ago as a trial for getting their own dog.  Sounds pretty smart!  I think most of us would be better off if we took baby steps before we jumped off the deep end.  We got a dog before we had kids (not pregnant-for the record), we kept my mom's dog for a while before we got our own, and we dated for 6 years before we got married (that's a little extreme I know).

Anyway, that was the plan.  However, they figured out the kind of dog they wanted, a Vizsla (pronounced VEE-SHLA) and they are rare and hard to find and sure enough last month a breeder just outside Nashville had a litter and they just couldn't resist.  They brought home there new dog on Saturday and their "trial" dog will still be coming to live with them on Tuesday.

 I thought it would be best if we tested out the dog compatibility before we left the country because I didn't want to deal with the fact that Austin had eaten their new puppy while we were in Rome. I took Austin over yesterday and things went as good as expected. Austin growled and Scout tried to play with her and Austin growled and Scout tried to play and Austin get the picture. There was one moment when Austin decided she wanted to play but she growls when she plays so Scout still felt like she was being mean to him.

I'm hoping Austin warms up to Scout and will play well with others while we are away.  Memry is hoping that Austin will teach Scout that his crate is not of the devil so he will stop screaming like he is demon possessed while he is in there.

I wanted a picture of both of them, but Austin would have nothing to do with it. So...let me introduce Scout!