Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Merry Christmas from my grandparents

We all know how I feel about Germany. My mom found this in a random box from my grandparents' basement, that was intended to be given away. This is going on one of my shelves in my little apartment, where I can sit and reminisce about beers of HofbrÀuhaus past and daydream of the many more to come.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Cookie Fail

My mother decided she wanted to make Christmas cookies, like the Italian ones my grandmother used to bake.  In the recipe box, we found three different versions each with a slight variation.  3/4 cup sugar... 1/2 cup sugar... 4 cups flour... maybe 4 1/2... 1 teaspoon anise, or perhaps 2.  Whatever it was that came out of the oven was beyond fail.  Not sweet, couldn't even find a hint of anise flavoring, and very dry.  So sad.  And instead of maybe we can try again next weekend, my mother said, "Better luck next year."

Wah wah.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lots O

I saw the most amazing thing driving on my way to work: a garbage truck with a Lots O bear on the front!!! It brought such joy to my heart, I can't even tell you.

But in the words of Mr. Feeney, if you don't have pictures you got nothing.

Via iPhone

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Amy Webb on

Gotta love Ted.
The other thing that works, aside from online dating, is just being out living life... Like Belgium beer bars, language school, or sitting next to a stranger on an airplane.

Check out this amazing TED Talk:
Amy Webb: How I hacked online dating

Sent from TED app for iOS

Via iPad

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

War Vets Make Me Emote

I'm standing in Dulles airport, in baggage claim, emoting. There is a parade of war vets who just arrived from Montana (there's a big flag), and are being greeted by applause, a 5 piece band playing patriotic tunes, and the thanks and praise these wonderful men deserve.

Thank God there are tissues in my purse.

Come to find out, they are on their way to the WWII monument during the government shut down.  More about their story here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things...

What did you do after work today?

Oh that's cool.

I went to Brussels. In first class.

K is working the trip :)

Via iPhone

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Things Alyssa Should Not Say

Boss Man: "don't you guys remember the crank you had to turn and carbon copies?"

Me: "no, we were all born in the eighties."

Boss Man: silence.

And ignored. Probably for a week.


Via iPhone

Friday, September 27, 2013

Holly's House

My grandmother needed a gate and here's another one of my father's creations.  She was just tickled to have her son build her something she's needed for so long.  I enjoyed watching my non-engineer uncle be in awe of Daddy's mad skillz, and see him "boss" around his little brother to get the job done.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blockbuster Video

I saw one. Apparently, it still exists!

I'm up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with my father and uncles visiting my grandmother. And I guess when you're "off the grid" (as it feels to my east coast ass) you have access to amazing, circa-1998 services. Like Blockbuster.

Via iPhone

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

S F Ooooooooo!

In-N-Out Burger win.  Daddy got a chocolate shake and guess who had a sip?  Or three...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Washington Monument from DuPont

Under construction, at the moment.  I tried to snap a picture of the Jefferson monument on the metro back to DCA, but I can never remember which side of the train to sit on.

And yes, I went to DC for lunch.  ;)

Where Reagan got shot!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

MUC comes to me!

Where I'm Not Going This Week:

Hong Kong:

Thanks Usagi, for your "severe threat" to HKG.

Stay tuned for where I do end up.  Strong contenders:  DCA, FCO, MUC (now I'm really dreaming), and of course PHL.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

One Pot Rule

Cooking for one is hard, and the only thing that makes it easier is the one pot rule. Whether its my crock pot, or my latest skillet sensation, I firmly believe that's why the people at the BK lounge don't know me by name. So here it is, Fiesta Gluten Free Rice and Beans:

Ingredients: 1 cup uncooked Minute brown rice, Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning (I'm sure a few sprinkles of taco seasoning would work, or if you're a real cook then I have no doubt you can figure it out), 10 oz can Rotel original tomatoes, 15 oz black beans drained and rinsed, 8 oz can corn rinsed and drained, 1/2 to 3/4 cup of either water or whatever stock on hand, 1 small onion chopped, 1 large (or two medium) zucchini quartered.

In a skillet, sweat the onion. Once it's translucent, add the zucchini and a dash of salt; cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the Rotel (undrained), the stock (or water), and beans. Bring to a boil and then add the rice. Lower the heat, sprinkle Mrs. Dash to taste, stir. Remove from heat after a few minutes and add the corn, stir. Let sit until all the liquid is absorbed.

Serve with Mexican or taco blend cheese.

Single lady kitchen win.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's official.

It's official, I'm an adult. I gave up a trip to Munich to go to work instead. As much as it breaks my "Belle" heart, I know that in the career picture, it'll pay off. Project Manager said I have potential; I'm thinking I might be getting groomed for something bigger. I know that when I signed up for this job, it was to pour coke and go places. While I usually sit at a desk these days, I still go places. It's just that sometimes I have to choose and this time, I picked Hong Kong.

Besides, Germany's not going anywhere.

Via iPhone

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Funny Things My Mom Says...

"If you go (to Hong Kong Disney), I want a picture with all of you wearing ears."

More to come on the details ;)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


To all my Jersey fans, make sure you head to the polls today and vote in the state's Senate primary.

RIP Frank, thank you for all your many years of service not only to our country, but to the people of New Jersey.

Via iPhone

Friday, July 26, 2013

4th of July

Found this from Thug Kitchen, and loved it:

Sunday, June 30, 2013


I have been anti-GPS since it's invention.  I was raised on a monstrously large Rand McNally, and my father always expected me to look up directions and map out our route prior to departure.  I have a hard time listening to directions from some little machine; maybe it's just my parents' unit that's outdated?  I just don't believe you.

When Stacy and I were driving three countries in three days, I must admit I was quite thankful to have Jane, our British GPS lady, who navigated us through the most scenic drive of my life and got us to all of our destinations safely.  Including Lake Geneva (even thought that was a bit touch and go towards the end).

Last week, a bunch of instructors were getting together to celebrate birthdays on the Upper East Side.  Driving in Manhattan is not my favorite thing to do;  the City was there before cars, unlike Chicago or LA which are car friendly.  I was told to download this app called Wazes, and that it would get me to 1st and 83rd as fast as can be.  Wazes is the social media app for driving, so the more people who use it, the more accurate the time to destination, accident info, speed trap warnings, etc, will be.  I changed the settings so I could have the directions dictated to me over my car's blue tooth and I'm hoping to figure out how to use voice commands to get the stupid thing to turn off.  I know which exit to take off the turnpike.  I'm impressed with Wazes because it got me home from the city 15 minutes faster than anyone else, and had I listened and not taken the turnpike home to my parents' house Friday, I would have gotten home a 1/2 hour faster.  Waze does know better; I'm just still having a difficult time listening to a machine.  Oh the "wayz" of the future are upon us...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

3 Days, 3 Countries

Here's the story of how our adventure came to be.

Stacy and I were supposed to go to Munich in May, and that trip fell through between the various scheduling conflicts with work and birthdays and Mother's Day. Rescheduled for a seemingly random weekend in June.

Initially, the loads to Munich looked good. And of course I was all about it; there's so much more to explore in Bavaria. Wisely, we opted to wait to list standby and book hotels until we saw just how open the flights were (gotta be able to get there AND back). Weather was awful in EWR and Munich was looking less and less like an option. But the loads to Geneva were just fine.

We listed about two hours prior to departure, hung up our work skirts at my little cubicle, ran to the terminal and went to Switzerland.

Sitting next to each other on the way over, we decided to take the train to Lyon, France. It's about an hour and a half, two hours away, French, and sounds like a good idea when the country that you're landing in is quite expensive. We barely slept on the flight over, and headed straight to the train station and to wait about twenty minutes in line only to be reminded that there's a strike in France; perhaps there's a bus? The ticket lady was very nice. I didn't realize that the blast on our company intranet about aforementioned strike was applicable. Our jaws dropped, we went to the lady's room to regroup and over cappuccino and croissant, we made decisions. Yes, let's to to Lyon. How? Rent a car? Okay. But if we're paying for a car, where else are we going? Torino? Yes. Scoped out various hotels, and we were off within an hour.

The rental car lady was highly amused with our hilariously sleep deprived selves; so much so that she gave us GPS for 1/2 the price. And without GPS Jane, I'm not so sure we could have done it. Black Ford Max, manual transmission, with these fancy sliding doors that when opened, the entire car was open; like there was no door jam between the front and rear. Sweet ride for a weekend jaunt traipsing around the Alps.

Get in the car, drive to Lyon. We had a car. In a city. (You have a baby. In a bar.) Stacy successfully parallel parked and with an hour on the meter, we ran to Starbucks to siphon free wifi to book one of the most amazing hotels I've stayed at, that offers parking. Got the car, checked into our amazing hotel room, and wondered around the city.

It was incredible.

Crêpes and coffee. Churches. A turn of the century cable car to the basilica at the top of the hill, next to the mini Eiffel Tower. A glass of rosé. Dinner at a casual, local French place. We ordered two salads: one with artichoke hearts and green beans, the other with a poached egg, freshly made croutons, and bacon crumbles, but real bacon. We split a steak with morel mushroom sauce. And an apple tart. Absolutely to die for. Walked around a bit, people watching the locals enjoying their Friday night.

Woke up the next morning, packed up, went out to breakfast where I fell in love with a lemon tart; it was just meant to be. And then we started making moves through the French country side to Italy.

The drive was awe-inspiring. Small villages, cows everywhere, snow capped mountains, para gliders, and miles of 40€ tunnels. I now have a new appreciation and understanding of driving and buying gas in the Europe.

Rolled up into the backside of Torino and began to question this decision. It was a bit intense getting into town; and I guess that was part of the issue. Torino is Italy's fourth largest city and is far from a quaint town. Once we found a hotel we researched the night before, sat in the lobby with a glass of wine and booked a room there, the attitude and mood began to shift. And skyrocketed once we went out to dinner.

Italy is always worth it. Red wine, pasta, gelato. I can't even begin to describe the flavors of everything I experienced. We had Piedmontese ravioli - one dish was stuffed with meat and the other was red sauce with eggplant and cheese. At midnight, the town was still hopping so we went for a walk. Italy is always worth it.

The next morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed early to make it to the free hotel breakfast, and I'm glad we did. It was about 90 degrees out; we started walking around. We kept hydrated and in awe of the architecture and simple beauty and joy of it all. Eventually we found a pizza place and it was as if my whole life, I had been waiting to eat this pizza. Literally, with tears of joy, did we eat and enjoy. It wasn't just the food, but the food in Italy. The job, our lifestyle, and the awareness that we get to live. And that was before we saw the shroud.

As we were making our way back to the car to leave, Stacy said she wanted to go into an Italian church. We passed a few, but walked into the one across from the hotel. We lit a candle in the back right side and walked up towards the alter. I sat before the crucifix for a minute before I turned around and realized I had my back to the Shroud of Turin. Bazinga. Of all the churches in the town, we happened to wonder into the one that houses the shroud. What.

The ridiculousness was only exacerbated by the drive back to Geneva through the alps, and through, literally, Mont Blanc. We saw glaciers, and ski towns and alpine streams and rivers and waterfalls. It was everything I'd always known it would be, but better. There, and in the moment, and to have felt so fulfilled... I don't know what else I can tell you besides you should go and see it all and do it all for yourself.

Rolled into Geneva later than originally anticipated at 8:30. I ate fondue for the first time! Stacy loved it; she loves cheese. We got to see the lake; we were on the other side from the crew hotel. Before we knew it, it was 10:30, and we still had to return the car. After all that nonsense, getting showered and cleaned up to sit on the plane for 9 hours, we may have crawled into bed at 12:45. 6 am wake up call and then back home.

It was one of those adventures that I will hold in my heart for all time. Like going to Germany by myself (all three times), learning to surf in Hawaii, or skiing Altair on a layover. Oktoberfest. Driving in Athens. The sound of settling into blissful contentment.

Via iPhone

Geography 101

This is an alpine glacier.

What geologic phenomenon did you see today?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hot Child in the City... Of Torino, that is...

It's so hot here, I ran into H&M and bought a dress! Pictures and details to come :)

Via iPhone

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013


MUC... Nope, GVA

So my flight attendant friend Stacy and I planned a weekend getaway. We picked Munich, Germany because thats my favorite, the food's delicious, there's beer, and at the time, the loads looked good. We chose not to book hotel until the morning of in case anything came up.

Which of course it did.

Luckily, we were at work together and finally listed for the Geneva flight at 3:30, for a 5:50 departure. No hotel booked. We quickly looked up trains to Lyon, ran over to the terminal, and after Stacy's five minutes in first class, settled into 25 A&B together.

Went to purchase aforementioned train tickets upon our arrival and was reminded/informed of the strike by French, I'm guessing transportation?, workers.


We regrouped and over coffee and croissant, ran through our various options, and decided to rent a car.

To drive to France.

I'm sitting at a Starbucks, refusing to order, while we siphon free wifi for Stacy to book a sweet ass hotel in the middle of it all.

My heart is so filled with gratitude, and the level of adventure has shot me so far out of my comfort zone, I can't even deal. My career is amazing and worth it because I went to work (which was a stressful week to say the least), had dinner at 35,000 feet, landed in Switzerland, and am now sitting in Lyon, France. I'm one lucky, blessed, happy, joyful girl.

Via iPhone

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Undisciplined Adventure...

Kristy and I leave for Stuttgart in two hours. I was supposed to work from home today, another perk of the other new job, and am currently experiencing an epic fail. My computer wouldn't allow me to remote into my desktop, meaning I couldn't access any of the documents I needed. So I decided to pack it up and go to the airport early to get as much finished and take it with me to do on the plane. Which would have been great, had I not forgotten my passport when I was standing in line for employee security. Sigh. I turned around, went back home, collected everything else I forgot (iPhone charger, ear buds, Chapstick), and am currently on the employee bus back to the terminal. Instead of two undisturbed hours of work, I'll have about twenty minutes to fire off an email and collect documents for my jump drive. Le sigh again.

At least tomorrow morning I'll wake up in Germany.

Via iPhone

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Real Friends

This past year, two old friends have had to email me in absence of Facebook. Kind of awesome. It's enjoyable to be told what's going on in your life without stalking, and respond to someone who actually cares. Take that social media!

Via iPad

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Birthday!!!

Yesterday was my special day and I got lots of presents!!! As pictured, a new silver ring and the airplane charm for my bracelet :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May I?

March is officially long past, and the sigh of relief was resounding; I'm finally beginning to feel better.  April flew by faster than I thought, and as a reward, my friend and I planned a Munich trip.

As you all know, Munich is by far my favorite.  There's just something magical about Bavaria, the beer, the pretzels, the everything.  We were supposed to leave tonight, but my friend is quite ill.  And for the first time in a while, I'm more upset that she's sick than not being able to go.  The thought of going alone crossed my mind once, but I've done that twice now and I'm ready for a partner in crime to traipse around the world with.

So I'm going to Bermuda instead.  We leave Sunday.  It'll be nice to get away for a few days, and enjoy pink beaches and turquoise waters.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Church Elsewhere

A few weeks back, I was in Denver hanging out with my cousin & company, and like a good girl, I went to church Sunday morning.  We're sitting in the pew, and I look up to see a senior flight attendant who I know I've flown with before.  Really?  It was just like the time I was in Edinburg at St. Andrew's, around the corner from Whistle Binkies, thinking to myself... wow, that really looks like Gwen, who's a domestic flight attendant.  When I got back to the crew hotel, low and behold, there was Gwen with her arms wrapped around Rich, the concierge.  Latest word around campus is they live in the metro DC area and are betrothed.  It's amazing to me how I see more people I know in church across the country and globe than I do in my own (or parents') neighborhood.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Gluten Free!

I was quite ill for much of March, which is why I was so desperate for the month to end. I had a spot of shingles that I didn't realize was there (or blatantly denied) til a cold sore popped up. Followed by a killer cold, and cold sore number 2. At least with the cold sore, I was on the same medication used to treat shingles; then the medicine jacked with my digestion to the extreme. I was so sick with all sorts of ailments that I knew I had to take control over my health and well being. So I came off coffee and went gluten free.

Coming off coffee was hard for like, two days. I did it when I was working in San Fran: switched to tea and let myself has as many caffeine filled diet cokes as I wanted. It helped to go home with it out of my routine. Cutting out gluten has been a challenge because I've never been on a real diet before. Since college, I've tried to make a mental acknowledgement that diet is whatever I eat all the time; it's my life and my everyday. Changing to gluten free has meant more meal planning and clean eating, which is expense and can be time consuming. I'm trying to focus on all the things I can eat. The thought of breakfast makes me the most sad because I love bacon and egg on a bagel, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, French toast. I'm choosing to ignore the fact Italian food exists in the world; we all know how I feel about pasta.

In the big picture, I feel better during the day, I'm more alert. I sleep better. I'm waiting for the pounds to come off, but I might have to add exercise for that to happen...

Via iPad

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

RIP Toms

This is a snap shot of my toms, rest in peace. They served me well; I waited patiently all winter to wear them again. And of course, I got caught in a big spring thunderstorm, that tasted like a summer promise. Sigh. At least my sister now knows what to get me for my birthday...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Time seems to elude me more often than not. I gave myself the normal get ready time, but I failed to realize my flight was departing from the other end of the airport. Security was awful, I didn't have time to stop and get food let alone breathe. So now I'm squished in the middle seat, with no coffee, no bagel and schmear, not even a naked juice, with no movies on my iPad and five hours back to EWR. I am sad.

Part of me wants nothing more than to crawl in a hole and not come out again til April.

The other part of me is yelling "first world problems are a bitch! Man up and stop throwing yourself a lame ass pity party!"


Via iPhone

Friday, March 15, 2013

I came. I ate. I conquered.

clam chowder bread bowl in SFO

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snowed In Activities :)

Updated manual and lesson plans for work, watching Nashville, Scandal, and Downton Abby, made barley and mushroom soup, and attempts to clean the apartment.  So exciting to have two snow days :)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Limousines - Internet Killed The Video Star (Official Music Video)

Not sure if I'm crazy about the video, but definitely loving the jam :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013