Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why Hello!

I can't even believe how little I've been blogging lately. I usually don't go on this long of a break unless I'm on vacation, but for some reason I just haven't felt like blogging. So I haven't.

To be fair, I've also been super busy with going to Germany with Sean for his doctor's appointment and getting ready for my family to come visit. They arrived yesterday and tomorrow we start the first of many adventures while they are here.

While I'm gone I've got six awesome guest bloggers lined up for your enjoyment, so please show them some love and leave them comments on the blogs they've written. I know you're going to enjoy what they have to say!

When I get back I'll try to do some catch-up on our recent trip to Germany/Luxembourg/Belgium and of course all the places I went with my family.

See you soon!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Travel Plans

Because this is what I assume is going to be our last year in Italy, I've been trying to plan trips to places that I HAVE to see before we PCS.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was planning on seeing Salzburg, Neuschwanstein Castle and Dachau with my family. Although I've already been to Austria and Germany, I have yet to go to these places so I'm super excited. I'm possibly the most excited about going on the Sound of Music Tour. I'm a nerd,  I know.

We're also going to Tuscany and London while my family is here. I've been to Tuscany and London once before, but I'm seeing slightly different places in Tuscany and I could go to London a million times and never get bored with it. It's probably my favorite city in Europe that I've seen so far.

Next week Sean and I are going to Germany to talk to his surgeon about what can be done about these ridiculous back problems he's had for the past few years and we're taking the opportunity to go see Luxembourg, specifically the American cemetery where General George Patton is buried and then going on on to Bastogne, Belgium (Battle of the Bulge) and if you've seen Band of Brothers you're probably more familiar with it. I'm giddy with excitement about it. I'm a huge fan of WWII history and to actually see these places is amazing to me. We're also tossing around the idea of going to Trier too.

I'm also planning a trip to the Berner Oberland region of Switzerland in July, around the Murren area,sort of a late birthday trip for me (Sean isn't going) and I'm looking forward to exploring this beautiful region and playing Heidi for a few days.

Last, but not least I've planned a solo trip to Paris in August, when Sean will be gone training. It's going to be a semi-long trip as there is a LOT I want to see in Paris and I also want to spend a day at Disneyland Paris while there, as I'm a huge Disney fan.

Now this is where you guys come in. If you have been to Paris/Bastogne/Trier/Switzerland and you have any tips, suggestions on places to stay (I'm a budget girl, so the cheaper the better, yet not a total dump) attractions that I can't miss out on, the best views or someplace that I have to eat. Please tell me. Suggestions and tips from people who have actually been there, make trips so much better.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fashion Finds

Since I have a sweet husband who told me I could take a little of our tax return and use it for some new summer clothes, I took him up on it and spent this weekend online shopping.

I trolled my usual websites Old Navy, Forever 21, Target, Ebay and even JcPenney and found some awesome deals.

Here are a few of the many items I picked up.

I love the Beatles and I plan on wearing this on my next trip to London. Maybe even to cross Abbey Road You know, just to be one of those people.

I thought this shirt was too cute and I love how she's wearing it with jean shorts. Both this shirt and the Beatles shirt are from Forever 21.

I saw these shoes and immediately added them to my must buy list. These are one of three pairs of shoes I bought at Target. Seriously...check out the shoes at Target. So cute!

This shirt is from Old Navy and was the perfect color and had such cute details that I couldn't pass it up. I think it's look perfect with jeans or a skirt.

Another Forever 21 find. I hope it looks as cute in person as it does on the website.

One of two dresses I got from JcPenney. I loved the color and the ruffles at the top. The perfect summer dress!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Help Wanted

Because my family is coming to visit later this month, I'm in need of guest bloggers for a two week period of time.

I'd like to have around seven guest bloggers, but if more are interested, then that's fine too. If you've guest blogged for me before, and are interested, you can again, but I will give priority to those that never have.

Just send me an email (click on the contact tab above for my email addy) and I'll give you the details.

Also...if you've been to Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, Dachau or Neuschwanstein Castle and have any advice lay it on me. I will say that I am planning on doing the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, but if you have other suggestions let me know.

Additionally, if you've traveled in Poland (specifcially Krakow or Warsaw) Prague, the Ukraine or Budapest and Eastern Europe in general, I'd love to hear your thoughts, tips and suggestions. Feel free to comment or email if you prefer.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Parma and Prosciutto

I've been a bit spotty lately with my blog posting, but honestly when I don't have anything to say I'd rather just not post instead of forcing myself to write something. So if anyone was wondering that's why I haven't been posting as much.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of going on one of our Outdoor Rec trips to Parma for a parmesan and prosciutto tasting. I love trips and I love Italian food, so I thought this would be the perfect trip for me.

I was not disappointed!

To start the day we went to the factory where they processed the prosciutto. We were shown the various stages that the prosciutto had to go through before it was sold to the public. The factory that went to was one of the smaller prosciutto factories, but you'd never known it from all the legs of ham. I've never seen so many in my life.

Our tour guide explaining how the stick (made from the legbone of a horse) is entered into various points of the prosciutto to test that it is good.

Afterwards we were treated to a delicious spread of various kinds of meats, cheese and wine. I do love Italian tastings!

Next we were off to Parma for a little bit of free time for lunch and a quick tour of the city. I had some tortelli with fresh herbs for lunch (no pictures, but they were quite tasty) and the tour of Parma, although short was interesting.

Our last stop was the factory that made Parmesan. Unfortunately they only make the cheese very early in the morning, so we didn't get to see that, but we did get to see one worker turning the wheels of cheese and changing the cheesecloth.

These are the cheese wheels taking a bath in salt water to release the fat from the cheese.

Have you ever seen so much cheese in your life?

The finished product with the authentic stamp letting you know it was made in the region.

I ended the day with two packages of salami and a wedge of 24 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, all for 15 euro. I'd say it was another successful day in Italy.