Friendships, Uncategorized

New Years Eve

This evening we met Stephanie, Mike, and their two kids Stephen and Emma for dinner in Chippewa at this Mexican restaurant called El Paso. I was so excited to see them. It has been so long since we hung out. I want to say since March, when it was Mike’s birthday!
El Paso was good, but I think Plaza Azteca is better. I had the fajita burrito. I could only eat half. I was so full.

After dinner, we stopped back at our house, got changed and into some comfy clothes. I put on some glitter sweats and top with a sweater. It was mild outside. When we arrived at Mike and Stephanie’s I put my Truly Rose Seltzer water. I also brought a bottle of champagne.

We watched a New Year’s countdown for the kids. They are like 5 mins long and they each end with the countdown.  It was cute. They went to sleep and the adults partied. We found a stream of the New Years special with Ryan Seacrest.  We played crabs adjust humidity a card game like cards against humanity but worse!

Once the ball dropped, 4 of us drank 3 bottles of champagne. Drew was the designated drive. We toasted to 2019 with some awesome friends and great pictures.

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London and Paris with Love 2018, Westminster

Au Revoir Paris, Hello Again England

This morning, when we woke up I was somber. It was time to leave Paris. I hope we will be back. I was quiet and sad this morning. We got showered, got dressed and then went back to Tea Follies for breakfast for the final time.
When we arrived to the restaurant, the waiter recognized us and smiled. He looked me and the eyes and he said, “Bonjour.” I smiled and said, “Bonjour.” We took a seat at the same table, as yesterday. It was a bit chilly to start this morning, but it was going to warm up to be another hot one in Paris.
When the waiter came to our table, we both ordered the double espresso again and the same food from yesterday. He smiled. He went back to make the espresso. We made eye contact a few times, when he was behind the counter. I wasn’t flirting. Okay maybe a little. I tried to be discreet.  I love Drew, but Paris has a hold on me. I blame Paris.
When he brought our espresso, he brought us croissants. I sipped my espresso and nibbled my croissants. They will never be the same to me again. It was so quick, when our breakfast arrived. The waiter brought us our breakfast and gave me a quick smile and rolled his eyes. He knew it was too fast and we weren’t even done with our croissants yet. I smiled.
Throughout breakfast, the waiter and I made eye contact a few times and I smiled. When it was time to cash out, he was getting super busy, but still making eye contact with me here and there. We paid our bill, and he asked us how long we are going to be in Paris for? I said, “we leave today. I don’t want to go home.” He looked at me and smiled. I hesitated saying we were going to England, because there is a riff there with the French and English still, and it has been so many years since Winston Churchill blew up their ships.
Eventually we stood up, at this point the waiter was serving a table behind us. He was behind me when I stood up. I had my back to Drew. The waiter was facing me. We shared a moment. He looked in my eyes and said, “bonne journee.” I smiled and said, “Merci beau coup.” I took a breath and said, “Au revoir.” He smiled and said, “Au revoir.” I turned to walk away. We walked towards the Stress Relief Cafe, to go back to our Airbnb. I don’t know what came over me, but I blame it on Paris. I take a deep breath and look back. I don’t know why I looked back. Paris, it was Paris. There was the waiter. He made eye contact with me. I can still see his face in my head. I smiled and then slowly turned my head. I don’t know if he continued to watch me walk away, or if he just went back inside. I will never know. I don’t even know his name, but we connected. I know I am married. I would never hurt Drew, but part of me kind of wonders, if Drew knew I was having a moment, and it was Paris, and I would probably never see that guy again. No, that is not like Drew. I think Drew didn’t know, and didn’t realize…
When we got back to the Airbnb, we packed our things and I hung out in the living room and watched TV. We had a little time to kill before we left for the train station. I turned on the television and my limited French was a success. I found Versailles Season 3, but it was in French. How sweet, how authentic! I was in love.
While we were watching television, one of Eric’s friends came into clean up. We thought it was Eric. He told us his name (I forget now.). He said, “Eric is in the states for the summer.” I said, “oh okay.” We were on edge wondering if he would ever stop in, or not. The friend of Eric’s ran the dishwasher, and his English was okay, but not that great. He asked Drew to slow down, when he spoke. I did most of the talking, and tried my best to communicate with him in French and in English. He only stayed for a little, and then left. He was going to come back, when we were gone. I guess someone else was coming to stay the night and be in Paris. I am jealous of them and I don’t even know them.
When it came to leave, I opened the terrace doors one more time to say goodbye to Paris and take in the air and the sounds.

 
One thing about me that is a blessing and curse, is that I am very sentimental and full of emotion and feeling. I feel things differently then others, and I really try to savor everything and all the moments in life. I really try to squeeze as much nectar as I can. Paris, you will be so missed. This was so magical. I have no words.
Once on the Eurostar back to England, Drew snapped a picture of me looking less than thrilled. 
They served us cold quiche on the Eurostar for lunch. Ugh,this was not France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before we left for Europe, I bought a book at Barnes and Noble, Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. This is a memoir about Hemingway’s time in Paris. I cracked open the book on the Eurostar and began to read. I really haven’t had a chance to read it. I turned the page and it was the second paragraph on page 18, “I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought you belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil” (Hemingway 18).  I instantly thought of the waiter. Like Hemingway, who belongs to his pencil and pen. I belong to this marriage and to Drew, but we will always have Paris…
Once we made it to St. Pancras, we got a taxi and he drove us to our hotel in West Minister. It was so hot outside in England. On the cab ride, I took some pictures of Trafalgar square. The cab driver told us some things about the area and about this statue in particular, he asked, “Do you see the guy on the horse?” We both said, “Yea.” He said, “Well if you look really closely, you see the tail right?” We both said, “Yes.” He said, well right above his tail, you can see his the horse’s ass.” We all started laughing. I was waiting for something so profound. We were not in Paris anymore.

Our hotel is the Park Plaza, Westminster:

Oh, and they had our room ready for us, when we checked in. It was a gorgeous suite. Andrew immediately laid on the bed and it was so firm. We are going to sleep so good tonight.

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This is the inside, once you take the elevator up:
What a view! Once, we got inside our room, we changed and got ready to go explore Westminster. We had a reservation for the London Eye at 7:00pm, so we didn’t want to be too long exploring. We wanted to get showered and cleaned up before the London Eye.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After we did some picture taking, we went back to the hotel got showered, and got ready to go to the London Eye. We ate dinner at the bar of the hotel.  Before we left for the London Eye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the bubble chandelier of the Champagne Lounge.

 I found a good window with some good natural light to get a couple selfies. I had a little photo session.   

When it was time to get on the London Eye, Samantha our tour guide called us to line up and she was going to walk us passed the general admission line, and then we would get into a pod, on the London Eye. We would all be in the same pod, and we will have another glass of champagne, once we are up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we arrived onto the platform, the wheel just keeps moving, there is no stopping it, so you can get on, you almost have to jump to hop on. Once you are inside the pod, it is shaped kind of like a pill. Our tour guide set up the champagne and once you are so many feet in the air, she starts to pour the champagne and hand it out. It started to rain outside, while we in the pod, the view of the sky was so beautiful, even though it was dark and cloudy. Seeing the rain, hit the pod was like seeing hail it the pod. The rain drops were so huge.

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Thankfully, the rain held off for a few minutes, for us to make it off the pod in time, we were half way to our hotel, and it started to rain again. We both didn’t have umbrella.
Also, one more thing to note about our London Eye experience is that, we were in pod number 4. This was the same pod, that the Queen was in, when she visited the London Eye, shortly after it was built in the year 2000 to honor the Millennium. pod 4.jpg

 

 

 

London and Paris with Love 2018

Eiffel Tower and More

This morning, we woke up got showered, and got ready to go explore Paris. We needed espresso, as well. When we stepped outside, we looked around and saw some cafes. Our Airbnb was on Rue Clazel street. If you walk up the street some, you will see some cafes all in a row. One of them was the Stress Relief Cafe. A man was outside spraying off the sidewalk, and the property. When we crossed the street, Drew walked right where we was cleaning off the street. I tried to step around it. I looked at him and did say, “excuse me and sorry.” It still didn’t matter he gave us an evil look and shook his head. It didn’t seem to matter to him. They are big on the little things like that over there. It really wouldn’t have mattered in the U.S. They know it’s a public area and people are bound to walk there eventually. The plan was to go to that Stress Relief Cafe, but apparently we caused some stress for one of the workers, and I didn’t want anything to happen to our food, the place two doors from the Stress Relief Cafe is this little place called, “Tea Follies.”

Tea FolliesWhen we approached Tea Follies, they had the menu up outside. While we looking at the menu, the host/owner said, “Bonjour.” I looked up, smiled, and said, “Bonjour.” He motioned for us to come and said, they were open. We took a seat at the table by the entrance of the restaurant.  He brought us two menus. I smiled and looked up at the water and said, “deux double espressos sil vous plait.” He smiled and went into the restaurant. He had to know I was trying my best. I think he respected it. While he was getting our espressos, we looked at the menu. Drew and I both settled on the l’Anglaise which means in French, that is cooked in the English manner.  The l’Anglaise came with an omelette, fresh greens with a vinaigrette dressing, croissants, freshly squeezed orange juice.

The croissants were amazing, so big, so fluffy, crisp, and buttery. I confessed to the waiter at one point that we were American, and that it was my dream to come to Paris. He said, welcome to Paris in French. I smiled and so did he. Once we were finished, we cashed out and said, “Merci, au revoir. he said, “Au revoir.” We walked in the direction of the metro station and I asked the woman at the information counter, in French if she spoke English? She said, “Yes.” I smiled and I always feel so silly, when they say yes. Then Drew took over and he told her where we were going and she printed us a ticket. It was good for the entire day.
After we got off the metro,  we walked what seemed like forever until we finally saw it in the distance. There she was, this was my first picture of the Eiffel Tower.

As soon as I saw it, I grabbed Drew’s arm. He knew how long I have been waiting for this moment. I was instantly starstruck. I wanted to fall to my knees. I could feel them buckling underneath me. I have been obsessed with France ever since I started learning the French language. Everything, almost everything in my house is the Eiffel Tower. It is a serious obsession for me. I couldn’t believe it and there she was. I took a deep breath and we kept walking.  We had to go to the History Group Center in order to check in for our tour.

As soon as we walked in, the receptionist behind the desk said, “Salut.” I said, “Salut, ca’va?” She said, “Bien, et toi?” I nodded and smiled, “bien, merci.” Then I confessed. I am American and she laughed. We told her we were there for the Eiffel Tower tour. She gave us our tickets and said, to come back in 15 mins, or we can wait in the lobby. I said, “We will be back in 15 mins.” We went together to see the Eiffel Tower. It was so magical.

 
I couldn’t believe we were finally there. After we took some pictures, we went back to the History Group, we met with our tour guide, Igor. He took us all to the Eiffel Tower, and then we skipped the line, and went through secuOnce through security, we entered the plaza part of the tower. This picture was taken underneath the Eiffel Tower:
 Once through security, we entered the plaza part of the tower. Once we entered into the Eiffel Tower, we had to go ups some stairs to an elevator.  At the elevator, Igor was telling us some primary information about the tower. I couldn’t help it. I took a selfie of me touching one of the beams of the Eiffel Tower.  I was so in love and so in the moment. Below is the view from the top of the second tier of the Eiffel Tower tower.

Igor,  tour guide pointed out that everything in Paris runs on a line and is all connected. The giant sky scrappers in a cluster are called the “financial district.” We would call it downtown Pittsburgh, or corporate. Igor pointed out the area of  Montmaire. This is where the Sacred heart is, and where the events of the movie “Midnight in Paris” took place. Montmaire is where all the writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald got into some drunken trouble. I would love to have seen that town, but we don’t have time and I heard it is not that safe, which is unfortunate. He also pointed out the Concorde, where Marie Antoinette was executed. I had to stop myself from getting so excited. Unfortunately, there is no plaque dedicated to her, or to mark her execution site, which is sad. She didn’t do great things for France, but still.

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This is the military training location. Napoleon built it to train the French military. Drew wanted to go there after. I was excited to see the view of the tower from that area.
After we finished at the second tier, we took a selfie with Igor, our tour guide:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we made our way to the Summit. An elevator took us to the top of the tower. The view from the Summit was so breath taking. We had champagne at the top of the Eiffel tower.

On our way down, we found a macaroon stand, so of course we had to have macaroons, while being in the Eiffel Tower!

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We also stopped at a souvenir store and I got Angie an Eiffel Tower key chain, Drew got a bottle of XO; the bottle is in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. I also picked up a miniature Eiffel Tower in the french flag colors for my desk at work, Lord knows I have so much Eiffel Tower stuff at the house already. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our way down from the tower, we took the stairs down one of the legs of the tower. It was so cool! I was walking down the stairs of the Eiffel Tower.  Look at at sun! I like to think. It was my Grandma shining down us. My Grandma wanted to take me to Europe when I turned 14, but her knees were not in good shape. It would be too much walking for her. I understood, but there she was that sun, shining down on me, making sure we had a warm and beautiful day for this memory to occur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next stop was Napolean’s military training center, but the view of the Eiffel Tower from there is amazing!

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When Germany took over France in WWII. This where Hitler stood to admire the Eiffel tower and his victory over France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next stop on the list was the Arc De Triomphe:
The Arc was built to honor the members of the French military. In order to get over to the Arc and see it you have to cross this busy intersection. In order to cross, you have to run. As soon as we found a break in the traffic, we ran so fast to the other side where the Arc is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So worth it! I was a sweaty mess in this picture. There I am directly under the Arc, so cool!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next stop was the Louvre. When you think of the Louvre, you think of the pyramid structure and you think that is all it is, right? Maybe it was just me, but I was confused. How is this the Louvre? and where is the pyramid structure thing? I asked a random person if they spoke English, in french? and she said, “Yes.” hehe another. I asked what this place was. She said, why it is the Louvre! I said, “Oh okay. I didn’t know this all was the Louvre. I thought the Louvre was just the glass pyramid structure.” She said, “No, this is all the Louvre. It is the biggest museum in France. This is also where all the Kings of France lived, except for Louie the 14th. He built…” I cut her off and said, “Versailles.” I smiled, and wanted to give off the impression like yea, I know lady. I said, “Thank you.” We walked away and just were in awe of the structure. I learned something.

Oh, there is the glass pyramid structure. *palm to forehead*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Louvre, the last stop on the agenda for the day was to see Notre Dame. We walked 18 mins from the Louvre to reach Notre Dame for quick picture, then it was back to the Airbnb!
 

Once we got back to the Airbnb, we showered and got ready to go to dinner in Pigalle. It was a metro ride away from our Airbnb. We ate at a mistro outside of the Moulin Rouge. This area of Paris was kind of trashy. There were so many sex shops and weird people in the streets. I wasn’t all that comfortable, but this was Drew’s idea.   Rouge Bis

I didn’t want to leave Paris. I wanted to stay. I dreaded the thought of going back to England. I knew we would have a good time, but Paris has been my dream for so long, now just leave me here.
Our waiter at this place was so cool. I tried out my French and he was appreciative, but we communicated better in English. I was in the mood for a burger and fries, so that is what I had. I also had two vodka and tonics, then it was time to go back to our Airbnb for our last night in Paris.

Marriage, Uncategorized

New Years Eve

This afternoon I did some cooking, and cleaning. We got the house ready for Anthony and Dylan to come over. At about 6:30pm, I got a text that said we are on our way over. Dylan last told me 7:30pm. Okay, no problem, right? I instantly felt so rushed. Thankfully I had the kielbasa and sauerkraut in the crockpot already, along with the pork tenderloins and the sauerkraut. I put out the snacks. Drew helped the entire time, which I was glad about.
Once they arrived, they brought more snacks, and games. They decorated the snack table. The dinner table was already set. I brought out my wedding china. I was excited to be able to use it again. When dinner was ready, we sat down at the table, and said a prayer. Then we ate. Everything turned out amazing. I was so proud of us. Drew and I make quite a team.

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After dinner, I cleaned up, and then we went into the living room to drink some wine and play games. We watched Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve. We patiently waited for Britney Spears to perform. Her last performance in Vegas was taking place tonight. They were going to broadcast live from Planet Hollywood. She was going to perform Toxic and Work Bitch.
When Britney came on, she first performed Work Bitch. She has aged a bit, but she still has it. I love her. Anthony, Dylan, and I were screaming. Anthony snap chatted. Then Mariah Carey performed. She redeemed herself last year. Except she complained about not being able to have hot tea, so she was going to do the best she could without it. Anthony and I cracked up laughing. She is always complaining.
After the ball dropped, Andrew and I kissed and opened champagne. Anthony set off this giant confetti tube. He always knows how to get in the spirit. It was fun. I am so glad we got to ring in the New Year with them.

Family, Heinz Chapel, In-Laws, Job Experiences', Job Journey, Job Lessons, LGBTQIA, University of Pittsburgh

Saturday: 2 Weddings, 1 Rehearsal & Dinner with the In-Laws

This morning, I had to be at the chapel at 9:30am. Drew was up on the computer, trying to fix a work issue. I had some coffee, and then when I said goodbye to him. I got emotional. I miss our weekends together. I miss him.

When I arrived to Oakland, I stopped at Starbucks got a coffee and some blueberry oatmeal to hold me over. When I arrived to the chapel, Frank was already there and Sharon had just arrived, as I was walking in. We talked about her spin class as I ate my Oatmeal. I figured she was the spin class type.

After I finished my oatmeal, we got set up for the 10am rehearsal, it was a Chinese family. They knew a little bit about Western tradition, so it was nothing new to them, but they were not all that affectionate and their best man was late, so I stepped in and played best man. It also helped me learn more about the primary coordinating duties. When the Best man showed up, I let him take his place up in the Chancel.

When the wedding rehearsal was over, we got set up for the wedding. This wedding was different, because there was so many groomsmen, and were not escorting the women, so I had to keep the door open a little bit, so I could time it just right, in order to send the groom, the best man, and the priest out at the right time.

When that wedding was over with, we had another wedding to get ready for and this was the one where the couple was so entitled. They were Greek Orthodox. Their ceremony was pretty elaborate with crowns, fire, and blessings. When I was in the back of the ambulatory with the groom, the priest, and the groom’s dad, who was the best man, as well. They kept asking me when it was time to go out? I said, “When the processional music plays.” They said, “oh okay, well there is music playing now.” I smiled a fake smile, and said that is “seating music, we need to wait for the processional music.” What a smart ass. What a clown.

When their ceremony was underway, Sharon and I went downstairs to the bridal room, and there was a bag and a bottle of champagne. We took the bottle of champagne and the bag and put it on the table. I swept up the room, and then we went up back upstairs. Sharon said, I knew there was going to be shit in this room. They act so entitled, and as if the rules don’t apply to them.” I agreed with her, but just didn’t say anything.

When we went up back upstairs, we watched their ceremony, and then when it was over, Frank and I opened the doors, and then I went back to the ambulatory to clean up, and put things away.

Meanwhile, the priest was outside taking pictures with the party, and the only thing left was for him to get his stuff off the credence table, so I could put the table back. I was so ready to leave. When everything was put away, Sharon and I were able to leave. I made my way to the bus stop.

While I was waiting for the bus, I kept refreshing the PAT Tracker, and I didn’t see any buses approaching, I was pissed. I called Drew, and he said that he didn’t see any either, and said he was going to check the schedule and call me back. He texted me and said, one was going to be there in 10 mins. Sure enough one showed up, and I hoped on. We were going to meet his parents for dinner, and I was going to feel so rushed.

As soon as I got home, we kissed and then I went up to shower, and get ready. I just put some mousse through my hair, and we were out the door. When we got to the cafe, his parents were already there. His mom was like, “Did you shower?” I said, “Yes, I did it helps me relax.” She gave me a hug. We had a good dinner. I had a burger and fries, with root beer. Drew had a burger, and banana pepper bites. He was feeling a bit better.
When we left the cafe, we went home and watched television until we went to bed. I was so sleepy, and I had to go to the chapel again tomorrow.

Marriage, Uncategorized

New Years Eve

When we woke up, we went to the gym, and got a little work out in, then I came home, and did some more laundry. We made a nice dinner, and had a few drank together. We had a great New Year’s Eve, but I was so hormonal.

On top of the fact, that New Year’s Eve, makes me uneasy already. It always has. In the blink of the moment, 2016 will be over, and it will be on to another year, whether we are ready for it or not. I hate not knowing what is around the corner, but I was ready for 2017..sort of?

Marriage

My 29th Birthday and Our One-Year Anniversary

Today, I had a nail appointment and I didn’t have to work today, either. Drew went to the gym, while I was getting my nails done, and then he was going to go grocery shopping. While, he was out I beat him back home after my nails, and I put on some Halloween music, and started to scrape out the Pumpkins so we could carve them. I was happy to scrape them out, I poured some wine, and waited for my husband to come home. When he came home, he brought home flowers. I love getting flowers. I used to get them all the time, so when I do it is amazing!

After we carved our pumpkins, we made dinner, and he gave me my birthday gifts, and I gave him his anniversary letter, and he wrote one for me too. We cut the top layer of cake. It was so nice, and drank our champagne that we had in our room on our wedding night. The cake was better than the champagne. It was romantic and sweet. Our cake was so yummy! It was a great birthday and a great one-year anniversary.

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