Friday, February 29, 2008

Obsessed with LOST

I haven't been a regular viewer of any TV shows since Friends and Sienfeld. I guess I never can plan my evenings to TV (and I don't have TIVO), plus Id rather NOT be addicted.....I hate if my night includes nothing but sitting on the couch watching TV. Once in a while is ok, but not every night. Well, we started watching LOST almost 2 weeks ago, and now WE CAN'T STOP! I did the same thing with Sex in the City. We are totally addicted. It is such a great show, surprises and excitement on every episode. We even watched the season ONE finale this morning instead of the gym. Now that is obsessed, right? It was almost 6am and I hear Ernesto playing it in the bedroom, so of course I had to go in and sit down. I got ready for work in 15 minutes. (my hair was wet when I got to work) I know what we will be doing this weekend.

Here are my 3 favorite characters:Sawyer, Jack and Lock...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Vail Colorado

Why the hell did I wait so long to go skiing again? It makes me feel old to say this, but I had not been skiing for 10 years. It was at Zermot in Switzerland when Brrrian and I went on our backpacking trip through Europe. It has not really been a top trip on my list, so I am happy that Ernestos Friend Jason organized this trip to Vail. I have been to Colorado a couple times before. My brother Tim used to live there, and we even went skied Breckenridge together....but I guess I just forgot how absolutely beautiful it is in the mountains. Ernesto and I flew into Denver Thursday night and then drove the 2 hours (in the snow) to the house we all rented in Vail. It had enough beds for all 10 of us, and even had a Jacuzzi outside. Not until the morning were we really able to see all the snow covering the house. It was so beautiful. I always say that I hate the cold and snow...but it just isnt so. I think I love a "winter wonderland" ....just not living in it for 4 months straight.We were feeling fresh and excited to get started the next morning even though we didnt get much sleep. All of us were at the ski rental place by 830am. It really wasnt a bad deal...all our equiptment for 2 days was only $50.....too bad the lift tickets were not as good of a deal. $92 a day....OUCH! This is not a cheap hobby, thats for sure. It was so worth it though....Here is Ricardo, Ernesto, Alvaro, Me and Jason before heading up the slopes for the first time. Once at the top it was was 13,ooo feet high. It took a while to get down the mountain....for me anyway. Ernesto would stop and wait for me.....a couple of times he couldn't make it down to the bathroom quick enough. Look at this view! This is one of my fav pics.Once you are almost down you get a great view of the center of Vail. There are all sorts of shops and restaurants where everyone is in their snow gear hanging out. I rented skiis and Ernesto was on a snowboard. I must say that I was very impressed with his skills, he was so good. He used to go quite a bit when he lived in San Diego, but this was our first trip together.Even though I hadn't gone in a long time, I didn't feel scared, I think it was kind of like riding a bike... you never forget. In past times that I skied, I would get a lot better by the end of the day, and then not go again for a few years. This time I vow to keep it going.Look at that form...yeah right!! Alvaro was giving me some tips, he is damn good...I need to practice keeping my upper body facing foward and just turning from the waist down. Luckily there are no pics of my wipe-outs....I did had a few good ones. On the last run of the first day, I fell and banged my knee. We went home, hopped in the jacuzzi for a couple hours and I never felt a thing.....until the morning. I actually thought I wasn't going to be able to ski. I was going to take Jorges laptop and sit at the Starbucks all day. Still a fun day for a Blogg-ass like myself.....but then i thought....HELLS NO!! I cant do that! I am in Vail, just suck it up! So I bought a knee brace, and had a blast. (even though I wasn't as daring as the first day...I was so scared I was going to fall on my knee the wrong way and BREAK IT!)
That day the weather was so much colder. It was snowing hard....pretty? yes.....Great powdery snow for skiing? YES......Comfortable? NO
I was only wearing big sunglasses, which for the first day was was sunny and not snowing. But the next day when it was snowing, we went down one time and we had to go into a ski shop and buy face masks. The snow felt like needles on your face. I had to buy goggles too, the sunglasses were totally fogged up and wet, I couldn't see shit! $120 later....we were ready!!At the end of the day my legs were like Jello. I love that though, what a great workout!
We sat outside and had coffee afterwards, and Smita called me to say she just went to our place to feed Rare. She missed me and wanted to cuddle.

Flights were ok on the way home, even though we had to split up. I went on the 1pm got home and went to Blockbuster... Neto landed 2 hours later and we relaxed in bed the rest of the night watching 4 episodes of LOST....we are so addicted now.

PS. The Denver airport is cool as hell!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dresden, Germany

After a smooth trip in business class on Delta to Munich and a short flight on Lufthansa to Dresden .....I am finally reuniting with my friend Chris. It has been almost one year since I saw him and his wife Katrin. Chris has lived in Germany now for 7 years and I have known him for 17!! That is crazy, I dont even feel old enough to have had a friend for 17 years. This will be the 4th time I have visited him. In September they had Little Lloyd and I had to come see him. Look how cute he is, posing for the camera! He has Chris' blue eyes......and everything else is Katrin...thank God he didn't get his dads filanges! (you know I love you Chris, but those thumbs have been driving me crazy for long time) Look at those cheeks!!
Yesterday, after I arrived we went walking for a while with the stroller, (this is their street) we brought some düner kabobs back to their place, which by the way is the coolest building. It has my favorite colors and crazy pipes all down the front. The first balcony on the right is off Chris' balcony. We all relaxed and Katrin made a delicious dinner. After Lloyd went to bed we drank a couple bottles of wine, tested by the host....
We stayed up till about 1am just catching up, laughing about the past present and future....finally in person! It was great! 2 dreamers and 2 bottles of wine?? We can talk for hours-no problem.....

Today at 10am, we met Chris and Katrins friends for brunch at Perro Borracho (drunk dog in Spanish?) It is right downstairs from their place.. Stephan and Suzie also just had a baby, little Mila.....and I must say these cute, well behaved babies did make me think....hmmmm?
Should we?
I have been hearing about Katrin's uncle's vineyard for years. Werner and his wife Erika have a vineyard in Miessen (about 40 minutes west of Dresden) and Chris and Katrin always help them harvest the grapes in the fall. I was so happy when they said we were driving there for the day. Although I can't understand German, Erica, Vanna and Manfred (Werner's brother) made me feel so welcome....We drank a glass of wine, a white called Traminer. I think to warm us up before going outside. It was literally freezing today, but we headed out to the vineyard, climbed to an overlook where we sat at a picnic table drinking more wine and and more wine.
Even in the dead of winter, the view was stunning over the grapevines and the Elba River. I can only imagine what it looks like in the summer, they made me promise to come back know I will.
The more wine I had, the better I understood German. After a while I was really "communicating" with my new friends. There are so many words that I already knew.

We walked over to another lookout point for a spectacular view of Meissen and Dresden in the distance.
I have always loved the orange tile roof tops here. the houses are gorgeous too. Like this one:
I had to ask Katrin to stop so I could get a good picture of it. I love all the colors.
Today we got a late start, but really I love mornings like that. We relaxed with music playing, I did some blogging , we drank a lot of coffee, Chris made us apple pancakes. Around lunch time we packed up little Lloyd in the stroller and went walking. I love walking cities! We walked to Chris' office that he rents with 3 other guys. They are all freelancers and have really created a cool space. I would love to have a set up like that. It was there that I cheated on my "no sweets" run. damn gummi bears. ok, while I'm confessing, I might as well tell you that yesterday at the vineyard I ate cookies with chocolate on them with my coffee. I didn't want to offend them!!! You know how Germans can be......... I am back on the wagon though, and I may extend into March to make up for it.
Here they stand in front of the train station. The train stations in Europe are always so cool.
Dresden is such an interesting city. Chris is actually thinking about getting licensed to be a tour guide here, and it really would be a perfect job for him. Each time I have been here he has given me a great tour. Today we walked around the Altstadt or "old town"
Here he is standing in front of the Hofkirche, a baroque Catholic church which was built by August the Strong, ruler of Protestant Saxony, as part of his bid to become king of Poland. (Please pay attention. You will be tested on this information later.)
In 1945, much of Dresden was destroyed during World War II. It had no strategic significance, but it was considered to be the most beautiful city in Europe, so to destroy it was to destroy Germany. From this time until the wall fell in 1989 this church below, Frauenkirche, ("church of our lady") was a pile of ruble.
And the last time I visited a few years it was just being restored. It took along to collect the funding....If you can see the darker stones in the picture, those are actually original. This is Residenzschloß or residential castle where the rulers of Saxony lived.
Below is the Fürstenzug an illustration of all of Saxony's former rulers made of Meissen porcelain. (very expensive shit)

We ended the tour with cafes at Campino, stopped for cheese,veges, and chocolate (not for me)
and went back to their house. Even though I have only been here 3 days, we were able to catch up-it never takes us long. They are flying to the US in March and staying for a couple months, so we don't have to wait long to meet again. woo-hoo! Tomorrow, I must be at the airport at 8am, so I will shut up now. TTFN

Thursday, February 14, 2008

That's Amore......

My valentines day started out with a bang!! I got to work and saw that someone had bought my camera on ebay when I only listed it the night before. woo-hoo! That was great timing because I already ordered a new camera and planned on doing an even exchange. This worked out perfectly, I actually sold my camera for the same price I paid for it one year ago, and bought my new camera at the same price. Yes, Ernesto got a camera for xmas, but that one is tiny and kept it my purse at all times for blogging snaps. This NEW camera pictured here, a Panasonic DMC-TZ3 is comparable to the Kodak V610 I bought last year but the pictures come out so much better. My friend Mendy has it and all her pictures come out perfect, professional even. So I copied off her and now this is the camera I will use for trips and Jewelry shots for my website.

While on ebay I "ran into" this ring.....the auction was ending in 30 minutes and I just fell in love with it. I called Ernesto and asked if wanted to buy it for me for v-day. He said NO, he likes surprises better... so I justified buying it for myself, with the help of my co-worker. We did just get a bonus check (free $$$) from Delta celebrating that we made money for the first time since emerging from it was dubbed my "profit sharing ring"
It is 18k gold with a 7 karat blue topaz, one of my favorite stones.
I love big cocktail rings!

Last Friday I read my Daily Candy an email publication that I get every day. It is wonderful! You sign up and they send you daily candies, if you will, telling you all about great stores, restaurants, designers in your city. (I would love to get Pluma in there) This is where I read about the opening of a new restaurant called Amore. The review was great and the name so appropriate for a Valentines Dinner, wouldn't you say? I booked it for 7p, a little early for us, but was all they had avail. The inside was beautifully decorated with Roman columns and moorish archways...perfect lighting and music too. (these 2 things can make or brake a place) They had a set 4 course dinner for V-day, which I didn't know until the waiter handed us the menu. I was so happy with the 3 entree choices (I hate big menus anyway...I can sometimes be a bit indecisive-shocker!? Duck, Steak or Fish. The apps came out as a trio platter of shrimp, scallops and lamb, each with its own flavor. We tried both salad choices one arugula (my favorite lettuce) and the other spinach. Ernesto chose the Rib eye, which was HUGE and I enjoyed the Halibut. Desert did not suck either! Chocolate mousse over a fruit compote with a glass of champagne.
Now you may be wondering how I could eat that when I gave up sweets for the Month of February. Well, just to let you know, I did NOT fail! It was written in the rules before we started that Valentines day would be the one day exception. ok- a 24 hour exception....from 1pm on v-day to 1pm on the 15th. Melanie, our co-worker's baby shower is today and there is going to be cake etc. ITS STILL LEGAL...its one day! So this is me at 101p taking my first bite of a big-ass oatmeal cookie after 2 weeks . ...funny enough, it wasn't as satisfying as I thought it was going to be. I guess the only thing I'm really craving is my black licorice.....and that night after dinner, I got what I some other things!
Ernesto had a orange bag for me with the Hermes perfume I have been asking for since my birthday. He actually bought me some Hermes perfume, but it was the wrong one. Then when we went to exchange it at Macys found out they only carry this Poivre Salamanca at the exclusive Hermes store. Of course when I called to find out if they had it I found out this perfume is double what the other costs. It is the best perfume though...very exotic, and I'm worth every penny!!
That night over dinner Ernesto and I read the lists we had written for each other... "10 things I love about you" it was really sweet. (and funny) Hopeless romantics we are.
Next week we will write the 10 things we don't like:) Do you think Ernesto will be able to come up with 10 things??

Monday, February 11, 2008

Good Times with Family!

Although it was not enough time, we had a lot of fun when Brrrian and Schhhirner come to visit over the weekend. I think it will become a regular thing that we take our visitors on a walk to Virginia Highlands. It is just a beautiful neighborhood! It was such awesome weather too.We ate lunch and had a few drinks at Neighbors......Jen& Brrrian are two peas in a pod.....cigar games..look! no hands! Saturday night Jen and I wanted to work on Jewelry. That was actually the reason Jen was coming-Brian was supposed to go camping, but at the last minute decided he can't miss out on the chance to see his sisI was so excited to get started after my shopping spree in Tucson and Jen already had a couple ideas in the works. The guys went to the farmers market than made us a delicious of Ernesto's specialties...Seafood Stew. That is a squid Neto has there. He also used octopus, shrimp & calamari
Oh yes, and fish too.
Nester tempted Rare with the fish head.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Tucson Bead and Gem Show

I was debating whether to journey out to Tucson for their annual bead and gem show. It is the biggest show in the world! I can't believe I haven't been out there before. #1 Tucson is BEAUTIFUL. The mountains are visible from everywhere in the city. Here is a pic I took from the plane 5 minutes before landing.
....and #2 it is the biggest show in the world! Its not just one show in a convention center. It is about 5 million shows in different buildings with a shuttle running between them. I almost didn't go because my itinerary really sounded crazy (even for me). I flew into Tuscon Friday and arrived at 1pm. I took a taxi and was shopping by 2pm. Problem was that the show I went to at Manning House closed at 6pm. So I would only have 4 hours of shopping at the biggest show in the world? I spent 5 hours in a small before. But, I knew that Greg and Cynthia from Green Girl Studios were there selling and also my friend Arif, from Only Beads who sells all the beautiful gems that I lust after. I met him at the Intergem show a year ago in Columbus Oh, and we really hit it off (plus I spent a bunch of $$ with him:) Last year he was in Atlanta for a show and I was out of town that weekend (hard to believe, right?) anyhoo, he came to my house that Monday night with all his gems! Now that is service!! Arif gave me the best news when I was shopping at his booth yesterday.....he is moving to Atlanta from NY and opening a store! OMG!! That is so great! I could really be in trouble now...its going to be way to easy to spend money on gems now!
Boy did I do some POWER SHOPPING in those 4 hours! Arif took me to one other show that was open till 8pm. After that, I hopped on a shuttle from Tucson to Pheonix airport for the red eye flight at 12:45am and arrived Atlanta this morning at 6am. I slept from 7 to 10am and then broke out all my loot. It was soo exciting to go through it all, there were even a few things I forgot that I bought. This is all the damage I could do! .

Its scary to think what I could buy if I was there several days. Im feeling very inspired to get started with some new designs I have had in my head for weeks. Brrrian and Jen are driving here to visit from Asheville right now. It will be a great weekend of creativity!!

Friday, February 01, 2008


Today, Feb 4th, marks the fourth day of my sacrifice! Me, along with 3 other co-workers, are giving up sweets for the whole month. This is purely for the self-discipline aspect, which I really lack in the candy eating area. I have black licorice at my desk AT ALL TIMES. Its my favorite candy. I am know at work for eating all day. A friend of mine inspired me when she said every January for a number of years, she gives up sweets just to start the year fresh. (there is that theory again) Not that giving up sweets isn't challenge enough, I also decided to give up shopping at TjMaxx and Marshalls to really test myself. I would like to renig that one, because I keep thinking about these leather sandals I saw there on "the last day" but didn't buy.
THANK GOD IT IS A SHORT MONTH!!! I will survive!
Last Wednesday night, my friend Joanne called me and asked if I was going to be in town this weekend. She and her husband Rick wanted to take a little road trip to warmer weather and visit MEEEEEEEEE!! I love it when people come to visit. I want my siblings to notice (not Brrrian and not Tim either...I guess that leaves Jenny and Bill) that it is easy to drive to Atlanta from Ohio for a long weekend. Just cuz you hit traffic one time 6 years ago is not an excuse to never come visit your sister.
Anyhoo, we wanted to take them somewhere unique and delish to eat. Can you say Taqueria Del Sol? We had margaritas and beers and tacos, they really loved it!! (as did we)

We were planning to go to "Martini's and Imax" afterwards at the Fernbank Museum, but we didnt want to rush while eating. About 4 months ago we discovered this place called Chocolate Bar in Decatur. Does a chocolate Martini count as a sweet? I didn't think so either. (Actually we discussed at work that liquid sweets dont count....really candy is my downfall anyway) They did order a couple decadent desserts that I did have to resist.


The next day we wanted to be outside since it was going to get up to 60 degrees. So, after I made Joanne and Rick my new favorite breakfast, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and capers-recipe compliments of our Italian Landlord GianCarlo) we headed to Stone Mountain Park.

The Memorial Carving shows three Confederate heroes of the Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. In the 7 years that we have lived here, this was only the 3rd time I had been there. I made a note to come again soon, and bring my bike. We got a great workout climbing up!Midway up there was a poll covered in chewing gum...picture worthy I thought. Once on the top of the mountain (45 minutes, but we weren't pushing it) you had a great view.
We had to go home and shower after SM. We got a little gamy after the climb. We were hungry and wanted to head back outside. We strolled over to Belly in Virginia Highlands for gormet sandwiches. It's about a 1.5-2 mile walk so on the way we stopped for a tea to take with us.

I told my friends that they MUST have Paulo's is TO DIE FOR.....and also forbidden for me right now, but I was thinking of my friends and didn't want to deprive them. As you can see from Paulo's van here, this is serious business with serious advertising (if not a bit goofy). During the winter he is only open Fri-Sun, and there is always a line. My favorite? Pistachio!

Joanne and Rick got a couple mini-cones so they could try different flavors. I cried on the bench outside and tried not to look at them while they ate the cones.

We went in and out of all of the shops and made it back home by 6p. They took off shortly after...decided to get a few hours of driving in that night and continue home the next morning. Thanks for coming, it was so nice seeing you and getting to know Rick better-you guys are great together! Can you please tell my brother and sister that the drive is not that bad??

Yesterday was a great day too. Ernesto had a lighting job (same as day before) so I sat on my bed all day and made 3 necklaces. It was perfect, no pressure for a house project, or cleaning. My girlfriend Livini came over and worked on some of her jewelry and we walked to the grocery store for salsa stuff and plantains. Later superbowl party, where I actually watched the last quarter, it was pretty exciting. Super even!


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