Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Friday

I'm grinning like a fool while I watch this...over and over. SO EXCITED. Maybe I'll get myself all gussied up like one of these chicks...then again maybe not. That's our only plan for the weekend.

Next weekend we will have, drum roll please....our first guest! Suuuuper excited to share this place with a friend from back home! I'm going to have another "travel alert" coming up soon, this time to suggest what might be necessary to pack for your stay at (teeny tiny) Casa Maloney. 

For now though, check it out:




1. An animated gift guide for her. (via A Cup of Jo)

2. Chris would love if I had this protective case for running and more, I'll need an iPhone first...wink, nudge.

3. Turn your iPhone photos into some easy money.

4. It would be fantastic to run around in one of these light suits at night!

5. Kindhearted window washers in Tennessee.

6. Stuck in the what-do-we-watch game at night? Maybe try these options!

7. Insightful and a good read on how not to screw it up.

8. These map portraits are so creative and beautiful. One of those ideas I wish I had myself.

9. A couple's original way to remember their vows and keep them close daily.

10. I miss chai almost as much as any other food from back home, maybe I'll make this recipe here.

Hope you've all had a good week! I'll be back after we recover from SHM on Saturday...

See you Monday!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Reverse of Travel Alerts


A little while back, Chris and I sat down and made a list of the places we definitely want to hit while living in the general vicinity of them, here in Europe. The list is long. It keeps growing. The thing is, I'm really only adding to it by the pictures I see on pinterest and not from any real notion of what these (most likely extremely photoshopped) visions of places I see on the internet actually have to offer.



We haven't actually been to some of the ones that are crossed out yet but we have solid plans; trains, planes and accommodations booked, so they're definitely happening.

So, travel friends. Or friends of travel friends. Do you have any suggestions? Are we way off-base on any of these? Are we missing something spectacular? Have you been there, what would you do (or not do) in these places again? You can email or facebook them to me if this whole commenting-on-the-blog bit has you baffled or you want to send a lengthy list with tons of tips. That would be most appreciated, actually. Always looking for some good reading material here.

Another thing, if you have advice about anything travel related at all, please feel free to give it! I can't promise to follow all of it but as a newbie semi-world traveler, I will accept all tips. One of my favorite pieces came from an unexpected source, a friend of my cousin (HI DAWN), and it included two sets of advice. One for London and one for Paris. We followed a lot of her London tips and they were great! She even included some "don'ts" which were equally as helpful. I'm SO excited to follow her "Top Ten" list for Paris. Under "Do Not" her response was "There isn't anything that comes to mind." The city sounds more appealing every time we hear about it. In fact it's getting to the point where I'm nervous about it not living up to expectations.

Don't hold back. And hurry! Well, you don't actually have to hurry, we're already booked through January with trips but hey, I'm anxiously awaiting all correspondence, travel related or otherwise.

Sorry to be so wordy. I guess that's what being the only one up at 4am can do to a person.

Link post tomorrow, folks.

venicevienna / athens / paris / barcelona / florence /

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Train station limbo









First it was 5
then 10
then 20
55 minutes late
then we made a split second decision and boarded a train that was actually physically in the station and was heading to our home. It was a good decision, we made it back a few hours later than we thought. I didn't mind passing the time in this place.

See you tomorrow

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Walk in Aachen


Found another trail, it's heading to your fingertips and eyes in just a moment. I apologize for the imminent lack of enthusiasm in this post. With a constant lack of sunlight, it can be hard to see beauty in the great outdoors and everything in it, for me at least. I'm trying to convince myself that gray and pewter are my new favorite colors. I'll keep you posted on whether that mantra makes a dent in my attitude (the prognosis is bleak, much like the sky in these photos).


This is one of the gates left up and undamaged to the city of Aachen. It was nice, again, to find a spot somewhere just outside of the city to take a break from shopping and gain a new perspective. Literally, we climbed a small hill and there found a new perspective of the city. Take a gander:





At the top we found a dial pointing us back to Brussels and thereby, Leuven; [new] home. Another find was a small church or abbey, not sure which, halfway up the trails. What a beautiful location to contemplate and what a great entry for the season and always.



This one's for the Moms (M & H) back home. We still look the same, but here's proof in case you were wondering.






Um...were those holes created from some type of destructive battle? Can some history buff please straighten me out. I know Charlemagne lived and died in Aachen but these can't possibly date back to then...right? Is this from one of the World Wars? Hmmm. Moving on with no segue to this guy because old cars are great:


and so are dripping red berries

and facades that match their surrounding foliage.


That's enough of Aachen. 


See you tomorrow, got something semi-futuristic cooking for you.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Aachen Christmas Market


We made our list. We're checking it twice. More than half of the list was checked off for good thanks to Saturday's trip to Aachen, Germany.


I'm going to let you just soak up the Christmas goodness for a minute before any narrative comes your way.





Enough for the moment, onto lunch. Very important to fuel while shopping. Unfortunately I filled up on what can quite possibly be summed up as the worst meal ever for your health. It was delicious.




Can you see the dipping applesauce peeking around the corner of those? Healthy. On to other (and less fattening) Christmastime festivities. Even the lampposts got in the spirit for opening day!








Chesnuts roasting!



The sun began to set as we started the walk back to the train station. What a pretty decorated street!

For a first Christmas market experience I'd say it was a positive one! This is the closest one in Germany to the UK and Belgium and it only took us two trains with a total of a two hour trip to get there. It's a lot to handle when you go on opening day to a very accessible and well known market, but other than one minor human traffic-jam, I think we got the most and the best out of it. My only regret is not staying until it was actually dark out, just to be there with only twinkle lights as a guide. My favorite time of day in the winter is when the whole world is doused in blue, somewhere along the lines of cobalt, but not yet navy. Do you know what I mean? Something like this:

left found here, via here & right found here, via here.

Next time. Or, better yet, maybe right here in Leuven this coming weekend! And I really can't regret something that I put aside in favor of heading home to warmth and a place to sit down. My boots weren't really made for (long bouts of) walking, apparently.

There was more to do in Aachen than just shop for gifts and drink hot cocoa, but more on that later this week. Til tomorrow!

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