Sunday, April 20, 2014

prince charming

Now that he's become a bit of a fixture in my life, I thought it was time to show you Dr. Robert... didn't want you thinking he was some sort of stodgy old professor ;-)

It's amazing what you can find on the internet!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

...and i said yes!

The Magical Mystery Tour ended in Bellagio, Italy, at a hotel overlooking Lake Como, with the snow covered Alps in the background :)

But the icing on the cake was when Robert got down on one knee against that beautiful backdrop and asked me in his sexy English accent if I'd be his wife!

 What an amazing view... talk about an insurance policy ;-) How could I say, "no?"

He chose a vintage 1940's platinum, diamond, and deep-violet hexagonal-cut sapphire ring, I call her "Jackie Kennedy."

I'd seen Jackie before in London, in the shop window next to Little Edie.  She's the yin to Little Edie's yang and it pained me to leave her behind. but my pockets are only so deep ;-)

Little did I know that Robert would arrange for me to have her on my finger six weeks later!

It's as if these two pieces were meant for me because they so clearly represent the two sides of my personality. I'm both Little Edie and Jackie ;-)

And he's both my Prince Charming and my James Bond.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

magical mystery tour...

I always spend my birthday outside of Denmark.  Last year, I spent my birthday in Paris, the year before, I went to Venice.

Since meeting Robert, my life has become a whirlwind in so many ways.  Right now, I'm mostly consumed with the task of selling my apartment, so birthday plans had taken a backseat... until this morning!

According to Robert, tomorrow, I'm not going to work!  Instead, we're going to the airport, and to someplace much warmer than here :)

I have no clue where we're heading, and he says I've never been there before... any ideas?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

thrifted work bag

Don't let Little Edie fool you, I haven't abandoned my thrifty ways.  It's actually my thrifty ways that have brought me to the point where it's possible for me to see, fall in love with, and buy something like Little Edie without a second thought.

Depending on the situation, Robert and I say, "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves" or "save the pennies and spend the pounds." In either variety, it sums up our approach to finances quite well.

I'd been wanting to replace the tired 8 year old pink backpack I was using to carry my laptop, etc. to and from the office, but I wasn't finding anything that seemed worth its price.  I don't place a high priority on work bags, but I was really getting tired of that backpack! 

Then one day, I walked downtown during lunch, nipped into a secondhand shop, and found exactly what I needed!

It's the perfect size to hold my laptop, umbrella, sunglasses, lunch, and wallet.  And it only cost 30kr! (about $5.50)

It doesn't look as if it's even been used.  I saw these bags all over Thailand and I suspect that someone brought it back from holiday, then decided it was too exotic for domestic use.

Fortunately, I have no qualms about carrying a bag with gold elephants on it everyday, even in subdued Scandinavia :)

What thrifted treasures have you found lately?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

little edie

Isn't she spectacular???  She's a vintage 1960's spray ring... 2.5 carats of sapphires and 1.25 carats of diamonds!

She called to me from the shop window, "take me home or regret it forever."

I tried to walk away, but before we got to the end of the block, Robert the Enabler had deduced that she was me "as a ring."  And so we turned right back around, and asked how quickly she could be resized.  We had lunch at a little luncheonette, and an hour later she had taken up residence on my right hand... where she belongs ;-)

I took her home and named her "Little Edie." Little Edie because just like daughter Edith Beale from Grey Gardens, she's both eccentric and glamorous.

I like to imagine Little Edie back in the Swinging Sixties on the finger of a glamorous woman who wore mini skirts, big sunglasses, and cat's eye eyliner.  She threw fabulous cocktail parties in her mod decorated London townhouse, and Little Edie saw it all!

I just love imagining Little Edie's past life...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

shopping in rome

When in Rome (or anywhere outside of Denmark), shopping is high on our list of priorities, so we headed to Via Cola di Rienzo, which is where the locals shop.  There were some recognizable chains, but mostly small shops selling Italian-styled clothes.  So many pretty things I would've liked to have bought, but all were incompatible with the dreadful Scandinavian climate!

We browsed the length of Via Cola di Rienzo to Piazza del Popolo, then nipped down Via del Corso, which is one of the main tourist shopping streets.  There were far too many familiar shops and far too many people in this street, so we turned off into the oddly enough, less crowded tourist track which took us through Piazza Navona.
Piazza Navona was one of my favorite sights last time I was in Rome and I was looking forward to sharing it with Robert, but unfortunately, there was a Christmas Market still going on, so it was very crowded, and difficult to appreciate, but I think its fountains and sculptures are the most beautiful in Rome.  If I'm ever filthy rich, an apartment overlooking this Piazza is high on my wish list ;-)

From there, we just wandered the back streets of Rome, hitting the Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain, until Robert, the caffeine junkie, needed a fix, and we started looking for a café.  One of the more annoying aspects of traveling with me is that I hate being ripped off even more than the average person.  I'd rather collapse from hunger or thirst than be swindled in a tourist trap! So it took us awhile to find a café I approved of.

By happy accident, we found a lovely and tiny café on Via dell'Orso, which had coffee and table service for the unheard of price of 1.50!  It had three outdoor tables, owners who didn't speak English, and a local clientele... perfect!  One coffee turned into two, which turned into a light meal, all for around just €13!  We've marked it on our map, and we will be back :)

Heading back to the hotel, we passed a shop on Via Arenula that had my name written all over the display window.  I came out with a dress and two coats, which had also been discounted 30%... all in all, a great shopping day!

Longtime readers of my blog might remember me having to pay 285 zloty for a RyanAir boarding pass in Krakow.  I found myself in a similar predicament in Rome.  Robert had watched me put the boarding passes into my handbag, but I somehow managed to lose them between checking out at the hotel reception and checking in at the airport.   In my defense, we had a 7 am flight, and as Robert has pointed out, Louis (Vuitton) was probably none too chuffed at having to fly RyanAir ;-)

After waiting in line to get the naughty slip that needed to be brought to another desk where we'd be fleeced for reprints of our boarding passes, I got the bright idea that perhaps someone at one of the currency exchange desks might be willing to help us out for a few Euros.  I shared my devious idea with Robert, who used his sexy British charm to close the deal.  Luckily, the Krakow incident taught me to always keep PDFs of my boarding passes on my phone, and I was able to email the files to our good samaritan who not only printed them out, but who wouldn't accept anything in return.  I know karma will repay her :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

a stroll in rome

If any city is built for strolling hand in hand with the one you love the most, it's Rome!  Rome has a vibe all its own... it's ancient, historically fascinating, overflowing with art, bathed in amazing colors, full of delicious food and wine, and ridiculously stylish!

We started one morning past the back of the Colosseum, to Palatine Hill, then onto the monstrosity they call, Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, or mockingly, "The Wedding Cake." 

The Palatine Arch

From there, we strolled toward the Vatican and St. Peter's Basillica.  Along the way, I found a delightful little boutique, staffed by two sweet ladies who could tell my size on sight!  It was late in the season, so things were pretty picked over, but I managed to score a dress and a skirt at 30% off :)

St. Peter's Basillica

Walking through the Vatican soon becomes tiring because of the aggressive gauntlet of people trying to sell "jump the line" tours, cheap scarves, and other touristy crap.  At first, we'd politely say "no, thank you," but it was obvious they weren't listening, so Robert decided to have some fun, and all of a sudden, "no, thank you" became "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall..."  

What???  From then on, we responded to all inquiries with either a line from a nursery rhyme, or with some other random statement, like, "oh, I don't smoke" or "I'd rather boil my head, thank you."  Not a single one of the hawkers even blinked, and we had a lot of good laughs ;-)

We'd considered going to the Vatican Museums, but the line was 2 km long, and we weren't sure they'd let me in due to the length of my skirt, so we decided not to risk offending God with the sight of my knees in black tights. 
We did however run into a priest on our way out of the Vatican who seemed to appreciate my fashion sense.  I hope he went to confession ;-)

We crossed back over the Tiber via Ponte St. Angelo, a pedestrian bridge from 134 AD that's lined with ten angel statues.  The statues are beautiful, and a bit haunting against the stormy sky.  

 Ponte St. Angelo

Bonus Trivia:  I was photographing one of these statues when Robert took the photo of me that's become my new blog header... lucky shot!

 The Wedding Cake, on the return

More to come on shopping, getting lost, and sticking it to RyanAir...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

hotel san anselmo, rome

Robert and I started the new year with a short holiday in the Eternal City!

We stayed at Hotel San Anselmo, which Trip Advisor ranks as the 3rd most romantic hotel in Rome.
It was a far cry from my last visit when I stayed in a hellhole near Termini Station, which is an area you pass through, not a place you want to stay!  In my defense, I stayed there on a recommendation of a fellow expat, but have since learned to do my own research ;-)

Hotel San Anselmo is a converted villa, high atop the Aventine Hill in a quiet neighborhood well removed from the tourist traffic, but still just a short walk from Circus Maximus and the Colosseum.

We were welcomed to afternoon tea, then shown to our room, which overlooked a mandarin tree, and had an L-shaped bath big enough for two!

Each evening, we walked hand in hand along the hyacinthe scented streets to a delicatessen at the bottom of the Hill where we bought bread, pesto, olives, cheese, and wine for our nightly picnics.  So much more romantic than going to a restaurant!

Our trip could not have been more perfect!  If you're looking for a romantic hotel in Rome, I can confidently point you in the direction of Hotel San Anselmo for its location, romantic setting, and attentiveness of the service.

This was Robert's first time in Rome, so I made sure to show him the touristy stuff like the Colosseum, Palatine, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, St. Peter's Basilica, etc.  But we also spent a fair amount of time shopping and getting lost.  More on that in my next post :)
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