Everything Happens For A Reason

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I always say this.

 Today, I was supposed to fly to Houston, Texas to spend the night. When I got to the airport, I found out that the aircraft was downgraded from a 90 seat passenger jet to a 50 seater. This meant that I was going to sit in the back while the junior flight attendant worked on that flight. In the m iddle of eating my salad waiting for the flight, I was paged to say that I was now needed to go to Miami, Florida. Fine. Different city, same thing.

When we got to Miami, the first officer handed me a piece of paper with a name on it. Just airline stuff with notes but who’s name could it be. Out of all of the people in the whole world, it was my Twitter friend and co-blogger, Julie. I felt like I had a celebrity on my flight!

So nice to have you on board so that you could see what I do for a paycheck aside from my hobby as a health and travel blogger.


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Will The Pool Cure A Headache?

In Ft Lauderdale for the whole day with a 6 year old that wants nothing more than to go to the pool. It’s a beautiful pool. The perfect temperature, gorgeous shape with two step in shallow ends, areas covered with palm trees  so that it’s not too hot.

Why do I want nothing more than to lay in my bed in the air-conditioning and send my husband with the boy. It’s so cute to see a child having that much fun with no cost involved.

I do remember sitting outside at my Mom’s house in the sun with a coke when I had a headache years ago. Is there something with the caffeine that can help a headache? I never have liked coca cola so I can only think it’s the caffeine. I think that I’ll make a cup of coffee and go to the pool.

Goodwill Finds 9/8/2008

I love Goodwill, especially on a Saturday when things are 50% off. coffee cupsToday, I found some small coffee cups that are perfect. A little larger than an espresso cup (since my machine is not working) but smaller than a full size coffee cup. I had found 8 of them in light blue when I found a creamer cup in a pumpkin color. Then, I found two slightly larger pumpkin colored cups that are the same material, weight and inside color that matched the creamer cup. Yippy! I purchased four of the blue ones, the two orange ones and the creamer cup for the bargain price of $2.50!

I also found a perfect modern brushed stainless lamp for my room that has a dimmer built right in the on/off knob also for the bargain price of $2.50. Gotta love the half off days.

Oh yeah, and the brand new looking pair of uniform school shorts for my son for .99! These run around $10 at the “regular” store. All for a couple of months of wear. That’s a savings of $9 on something that won’t even fit next year.

Lamborghini Bribes the Local Police

Ha! I am just kidding. No, really!

P7162292When my husband and I recently went to Italy, we had the pleasure to visit the Lamborghini factory and museum. Actually, I only went into the museum. There was no need to spend the money on a tour of how they make them for someone who cares more about how they look than what’s inside. Of course, the husband had a job offer when he came out.

Oh yeah, it was pretty cool. Personally, I think that one of the models looked like an old Pinto. Whatever. I found one or two that even I could handle. What we were told is that there is not an actual test track there in Sant’Agata Bolognese (Italy) so they gave the police one of there own. Where this place is located they may scare a corn field or something but there’s not exactly a lot of traffic. I was hard pressed to even see any animals. Dogs galore in the bigger cities but I’m sure it’s OK around these parts. I am sure that the test drivers are professionals anyway.

One of the great things about these cars is that for the exhorbatant cost, you can get the paint and the leather to match anything you want. You want a periwinkle sports car? No problem, Lamborghini will get that made up right away. Perhaps not anytime soon but the quality will be unsurpassed. No camera’s were allowed in the factory for obvious reasons but I  was told that the workers were not in a big hurry. This could be only when the tours are coming through or it could be the Italian way of life. You won’t even find much going on between say 1pm and 4pm so don’t expect too much then. Some jobs are left to women, which has nothing to do with equality. It has to do with the smaller feminine touches that only a woman could bring to the table. I have to wonder though, what if the woman has really big hands or a man is more feminine with smaller hands? What then? I couldn’t tell you because I didn’t take that tour and I didn’t think to ask. I just think it’s pretty cool that they would care enough about the product to think or something like this.

P7162318 P7162284 P7162280 P7162290 P7162311

Not Your Ordinary Gas Stop

Along the autostrada in Italy there is not really a need to worry about gas station 7-15-2009 6-49-01 PM 3072x2304running out of fuel or chances to eat. In just 360.3 KM (223.88 miles),Rome to Bologna, there are 15 rest areas that run every 30-50k. They all have fuel but the amenities vary. Some have truck stops with showers, some camping and some motels. The available food is anywhere from just a bar (which over there means cafe) to a full self serve gourmet dining! I seem to remember someone recently saying that she was told …”no one cooks gourmet at home”. The Italians even have it at their rest stops!

The one that I liked the best is called Chef Express. When you first walked in, it opens up to a very large and open space with just about anything you could possibly need. Yes, the picture above is correct. You could buy the meats and cheeses, breads, wine and chocolate that you need. For those that come hungry take your pick. Most stations offer a bar, where you can order coffee and a pastry or sandwich and some fruit. Or, walk over to the restaurant. At the chef express there were foods that we may consider gourmet but I found out is simply normal there. A capresse salad, fruit and cheese plates, meat plates, pasta dishes, grilled dishes and amazing deserts. I was only disappointed that there was not a gelateria in there too. When I asked for gelato, I was directed to a freezer case with ice cream bars in it.baby station

One thing that I was even more interested in was the baby corner. All Mom’s listen up. There are a variety of FREE baby foods along with a microwave and bottle warmer. When is the last time you saw anything like this when you went to the gas station?Add in all of the stuff that a tourist could want to take home and voila ci si va! There you go.

pizza and fries

Yes, you can find a McDonald’s (if you look really hard) however, where else can you get a pizza and fries!? This is an actual picture that I took in case someone didn’t believe me. And, there are grilled veggies on it. I think that this one was at an AutoGrill cafe. Very nice choice and everything you need there as well.

Most places have private internet that you can purchase for an hour or more to use your own computer as well as an internet point where you can check out the area. Just remember when you are in the area that you need to  purchase you food  and internet at the cashier before you can get it. I of course stood in line for a few minutes only to find out that I need to go pay for it first. Luckily, the gentleman was really nice and had already started grilling my sandwich before I came back. This is the sentiment that I experienced everywhere I was in Italy. I have to wonder if I just got lucky?

Is It Tomato or Tomata

As my adventures in Italy did not go the gluten free way that I had italian pizza 7-13-2009 1-20-20 AM 3072x2304planned, I dove in to a fantastic pizza sitting in the outdoor patio of a alley restaurant. I love the fact that even the alleys make for great used space and not just urinals. What was also pretty neat is that more than one of the places that we dined had dedicated pages (not a page) for different pizzas. Fried calamari and anchovies anyone?

I stuck with something pretty safe. Procuitto e funghi (mushrooms). The excitement of my first pizza in Italy was almost more than I could take but with one bite I was convinced that it was worth it. Delicate thin crisp crust, fresh mozzarella, bold tomato. Definitely full of flavor without any one taste overpowering the other.  The only thing I had to do was not gorge myself so I asked for a box to take away the slices I couldn’t (shoudn’t) finish in one sitting. After all, one must leave room for gelato.

I showed the picture to my uncle who thought it looked terrible. Come on, it’s not Papa Johns! I suppose since it wasn’t perfectly round and cooked by electric then some people would not understand. He just needs a taste.

Driving Italian Style

I thought that driving on the highways in Italy was like taking life in your own hands until we finally got to Rome. I had been to Rome before and already knewno parking problem that most of us around here couldn’t survive however, I had never been in our own vehicle there. Our compact car, a Lancia(pronounced Lahn ch e ah), was perfect in the city if not a little under-powered on the highway. Small is good. Compact, good. If you look at the picture on the right, you will notice that these little cars will park anywhere that they can find a space. And why not, right? Can you imagine if someone did that in Cincinnati? I can see the tow truck coming now! We saw scooters and motorcycles everywhere also. Why not when the streets are so narrow and parking is so difficult. On one of my walks, I even saw a quad! Are you kidding me? I guess that if you can ride it, it’s legal. One of the vehicles that I saw around Italy was a three wheel truck. Yes, I said truck.

The size of the vehicles is not the only issue. While my husband was concentrating on driving (luckily he is an amazing driver both of vehicles and motorcross bikes), I was trying to read a map and navigate. Ok, note to all: objects on the map of Rome are not as far apart as they appear! By the time that I found one thing on the map, looked down and then back up, we were already way past where we were going. It doesn’t help when your step daughter tells you the wrong side of the river but that’s what taxi’s are for. ( I love you dear) We finally just parked the car and hailed a tassi. I was told by more than one person that actually live there that they do not drive in Rome! The metro system, taxi’s, buses and more make it much easier so learn from our mistake. Please.

even a quad wins Notice scooter, quad, motorcycle      not going the wrong way This IS a two way street                                                                                                                          P7142210 These Smart Cars are perfect!





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