these posts about our trip?

totally not going to be in order.

we flew into rome on saturday evening around 5 pm. we settled in to the room we'd booked through airbnb (more on that later) and walked out to a nearby restaurant that was recommended to us - osteria dei pontifici.

ummmmmmmmmmmmm, it was delicious.

PLUS, the giant difference in the price of food was like the perfect cooling salve to our wounded wallet souls. we ordered with a bit of abandon (OMNOMNOM - squash flowers!) and drank a liter of red wine. hello, tipsy on italy!

we went to bed, happy and sated.

we awoke on sunday and walked out to the bus stop. umm... bus? hello? *birds chirping*

i deciphered the taped sign and realized that the bus wasn't running that day - but why? we soon found out.

it was the day of the roman marathon!

fuck. us.

i mean, partly it was exciting. we're here for the roman marathon!! look at them runners go! look at random people cheering them on!

but then also, if our experience and this website is to be believed:
On March 20 2011, when the last version of Rome Marathon – or to be exact, Maratona di Roma – took place, a record number of 12,596 runners finished the race...

According to tradition, 15 minutes after the bold marathoners are sent on their way, 85,000 children, adults and seniors head out for the non-competitive Stracittadina Fun Run.
...the crushing crowds were kind of like our personal hell. not just a record number of runners, but you know, also their families and friends were in town.

the picture of the trevi fountain (top) was taken without any people in the image (cops patrol the area with shrill whistles for those who climb on the rocks or in the fountain), however, i have NEVER seen so many people at the trevi - it was extremely crushing and not at all romantic.

i think the fact that i took this video with the 8mm app detracts from the crushing number of people there... because they're just a loud blurry mob. but take it from one who's been to rome approximately 5+ times in her life - it was shockingly and distressingly crowded.

photo 1.JPG

some parts of the race weren't quite as congested, which was good. usually the race area was roped off with caution tape and the aisles where you were supposed to walk were just a slow-moving clog of humans - and of course, the run covered all the big tourist spots.

i'm assuming the sponges were for the runners. i know i can't run for 5 minutes without needing a shower and a 3 hr break.

the good is that we got to see a LOT of the city on foot - we must have walked 5 miles, minimum. this is a lot of miles for people who only walk from their cars to their homes. it was advantageous that we had walking in paris to "toughen us up". (god, we're such wimps.)

definitely still enjoyed seeing the sights (and i always appreciate being in italy), but thank goodness for quality cheap wine and good coffee - it may have been what got us through the day.

we hightailed it out of rome and headed for orvieto the next day to neutralize the buildup of tourist in our systems.

to be continued...


storms of early summer

they're definitely back here in florida and kind of lovely; lots of incredible lingering lightning in the grey skies as i drove from work the other day.

thankfully, anthony kindly moved my seedlings out of the hail that also came down - seedlings, saved!

(also, this has been irritating me, but i can't make up my mind on the whole "one space/two space" thing after a period. it's been utterly ingrained in my physical memory ever since i learned how to type in high school [on a computer, not a typewriter]. i could care less, but 1) extra spaces affect twitter counts and if i try to relearn "one space", it drives me crazy to have some sentences with one space and some sentences with two spaces.)

(/end pathetic non sequitur tangent)


macaroons! (or, alternatively, macarons, for the persnickety ones)

and naturally, we went to ladurée.

amazingly enough, i didn't take many big picture photographs. surprise. i'm always fascinated by details and always miss The Big Picture. it's my MO. so please expect lots of photos of the insides of places and very few of their storefronts entire.

relevant side note - ever hear of paris syndrome? fascinating! i'd never heard of it until a few days ago, after we'd gotten back from our trip. while i didn't suffer from such physical symptoms, i will admit that the honeymoon paris of my mind didn't jive fully with the honeymoon paris in real life.

1) paris is hella expensive. it was definitely a little intimidating. the one place i really wanted to go to for duck confit required reservations, so we thought we'd pop in for lunch. pop in to a little unassuming place for a holyjesusthisisgoingtobeanexpensivemealbutwhatthehelllet'sdoit andohmaneveryoneissonicelydressed-shouldihavethisbackpackon kind of lunch. of course, we were refused. not in any mean way, just in a wedon'thaveanytablesyouneedareservation kind of way. even though i could see empty tables. alas. also, we're cheap, so overall we just aren't that good about splurging.

2) paris was kind of cold! i knew this going in and thankfully had pretty warm clothes, but most of the flowering trees weren't quite there yet. i imagine it would be far more beautiful in the spring (though hell on allergies). april in paris - now i know why.

the macaroons, however, were amazing.

so here are some outside close-up shots of ladurée. can you feel the strange pastel old woman feel of the place?

scent of lavendar?

i wanted to go in and see cats and feathers and smell old mothy lavendar candies. for the best, that's not what we got. ... my mouth wets itself extensively to just look at these pics.

old woman-y?

i want to lick the displays.


we did not get any of these. ^

there's a separate, slightly crushing, cordoned-off spot for people who are just purchasing a quick bite, though their seating area looked absolutely adorable - very high tea. planning on savoring them later, we grabbed 4 of the biggie macaroons (because we're american and because sometimes when someone asks me something in public i mentally freak out and say the first response that comes to mind without thinking).


here's the raspberry.


and here's the coffee.

for the record, i love meringue. so a light cookie made with meringue?! BEST COOKIE EVAR. it was light and crisp and melty in the mouth. and the raspberry jam! delicious.

i'm intrigued to try my hand at making them - maybe later in the year. too much on my plate as it is. though not too much to not squeeze in macaroons to EAT. i'm down with the eating.

oh god, i'm so hungry right now.

in any case, when we got back, we had brunch at datz and grabbed a few macaroons from their bakery (although i really don't know if they bake them themselves... something to ask next time). and no pictures!!! nothing to visually compare. i suck. your loss. moving on.

i believe we got raspberry, chocolate, basil and caramel. very good, but not as good as ladurée. but also, 8 hours closer to our house. it wasn't as ... light and flaky, and the raspberry jam was definitely not as good. that parisian jam was so pure and unadulterated. i'm sad we never bought some to bring back with us.

"next time".


all things quack

when anthony and i took our little spur of the moment vacation day, we headed out to st pete for some sun and food. we stopped at wildwood bbq for lunch and enjoyed the gorgeous florida weather with our feet in the water. days like that make florida sublime - a hot sun with a cool breeze.

later we went to mazzaro's.

mazzaro's. my new hero.

we got fresh gnocchi and ravioli and........... check it!

we actually didn't splurge this time, however, should i wish to make my OWN duck fat fries, now i know where to come.

truth be told, i'm hesitant to try duck hot dogs. not sure why. maybe it was the $9 price tag. which, split up between multiple dogs really isn't so bad.

we also got some sfogliatelle, cheese and chocolate. that place rocks our socks.


always past my bedtime

a while ago, i mentioned that i had some goals:

1) business taxes
2) finishing up wedding photos for a client
3) buying a new camera
4) finding creative sparks

the good news is that 1-3? completed.

currently feeling blah and low, but that's all attributed to going to bed at midnight last night. what was i thinking?!

ah yes, i remember. i'm trying to relax more by not setting an alarm on the weekends. result? i sleep in between 10 and 11 am, and then i stay up late getting random things done, causing me to sleep in later on sundays (*ahem*), which just totally effs up my schedule on mondays. it's a vicious cycle. i'll probably need to start setting my weekend alarm for 9 again. hm.

more current goals:

1) finish wedding photos for another client
2) get organized, because clutter is killing me
3) chop off the mullet (haircut scheduled tuesday!)
4) make more time for creativity
5) order business cards
6) rework portfolio website

oh yes, and

7) keep plants alive

upcoming blog topics: the trip! a comparison of french "macarons" and ones from datz deli! random mutterings! more taste, less filling!

p.s. tea really sucks once it's gone cold. coffee? with cream and sugar? now i can sip that all day long. maybe some of you find that gross. if so, please feel free to send me your coffee, right now, because this cold ass double bergamot is just sitting here, staining my mug.