Sunday, June 30, 2013


Our friends Grace and Brian recently adopted a puppy. Not just any puppy, a goldendoodle puppy! And not just any goldendoodle---ok I have to stop I'm annoying myself. Anyway. They adopted Samson from Cowboy Country Doodles, the same place we got Gilligan 7 months ago. Actually, Samson and Gilly have the same pop, so they are half brothers! Samson is soooo floppy and sweet and practically edible. I think less is more here in the words dept. On to the pictures.
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Samson and Gilligan get along so well! Jared is ona campaign for another puppy, but I am staunchly against it. For those of you out there who have two dogs, what do you say?

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Unfortunately by the time I decided to make this little video we were halfway through London,
so it's a bit Paris heavy. I'm excited to make home videos of our trips like this in the future!!

P.S. That's Jared and Ed walking across Abbey Road! Ed doesn't have any shoes on ;)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Paris was simply my biggest and grandest dream. And I ate it up. I love that city.

Our first day there was not a good one. The overwhelming sense of being in a new place that I thought would happen in London saved itself for the train station in Paris. Gare Nord is kind of the most depressing place. It's pretty much the Regency Mall of Paris. There were so many stair. So many. Our luggage  didn't float behind us on wings of a cherub, instead we dragged them up and down and up and down until finally arriving at our homestead. BUT it was worth it yet again.

We had the immense pleasure of staying on the Ile de St. Louis, AirBnB proving fab once again.(Stole these pics from there because I couldn't get a good one to save my life. )
 The most remarkable thing about Paris to me was the fact that it really DOES feel like the movies. Yes, there's more trash and the Metro smells, but there is truly a gorgeous little cafe on every corner. There was always someone playing the accordion. The Louvre was huge, the Mona Lisa sly and the gelato plentiful.
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There were so many tweens taking selfies with the Mona Lisa. It was awesome.
On a recommendation we went to this suuuuuper touristy fondue place in Pigalle. They serve all the drinks in baby bottles! We were not hip enough to know why. By the middle of the meal all these chairs were filled. You had to step over the table to sit down in the booth. 
The Catacombs had us waiting two hours before we could go in. It was really cool, very eerie. I of course had to touch a few skulls. They were surprisingly smooth, like a river rock. 
We had at least one treat a day in Paris. And everything EVERYTHING was the best. Have you heard of Specaloos? Its sort of lie nutella, but instead of chocolate hazelnut it tastes like graham crackers. I became quickly obsessed with it. This is Specaloos and chocolate gelato.
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Jared was a daredevil and got steak tartare one night. It tastes like creamy beef with a smack of worcestershire sauce. Weird. 
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I am currently dreaming of this pizza covered in cured meats. 

Suffice to say, I can not wait to go back to Paris!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The first thing you should know about our trip to Versailles is that at midday, as we prepared to enter the palace, we witnessed a 3 year old asian girl drop drawers, squat and pee all over the beautiful cobblestone courtyard. There's nothing I could do but take pictures.
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Right, so second thing you should know is that the palace is very regal and pompous and guilded, and the hall of mirrors very packed. Its an amazing building and I loved learning its history. However, the real showstopper in my opinion is Marie Antoinette's fairytale farm and the huge gardens. This was probably my favorite day of the entire trip. When we arrived the line to get into the palace was over an hour long. We decided to take the little train out to the borderlands of Versaille and explore a bit, hoping the palace crowd would hit an afternoon lull. Jackpot! This was the best thing we could have done. We spent several hours roaming around out there and it was so heavenly. By the time we got back up to the main building in later afternoon, we literally walked right in .

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Sometime you just gotta stand in front of Marie Antoinette's temple of love and pose your little heart out, senior portrait style. Also, I think that it's very very important for the 1 person who reads this and has never met me in person to know that my legs are that white, whiter even, and I have no problem with that. Haters gonna hate. 
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Practically every single square inch of Versailles was more beautiful and perfect than anywhere else I have ever been. And I am a Disney fanatic. I say practically because let us not forget I saw a baby urinate all over the courtyard. Then again, I found a fully formed log of human poop in the middle of the line for It's a Small World when I worked really it IS a small world after all. Full circle, y'all.
Marie had a little farm and fairy tale land built off on the back 40. The is one of the beautiful, perfect adorable chateaus. I could not stop pretending I was Belle. I could NOT. The words to "Bonjour" were spilling out of my mouth like I was possessed. Everything was just so green and beautiful. One of the houses had a working water wheel on it! There were tiny little baby lambs and manicured cabbage patches! Let me live here.

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On a creepier note, the pond surrounding this wondrous place was FULL of le poisson (le poisson, hee hee hee, hau hau hau. Ok last Disney reference I swear). These catfish would see you on the bank and then begin to swarm. In some places there were more fish than water. They were staring up at me in a teeming, writhing mass, opening and closing their mouths and rolling their eyes. Obviously they were accustomed to being fed. We just stared at them for awhile, it was fascinating and such a repellant thing to find in such a gorgeous wonderland. Oh, and I totally embarrassed myself in front of a nice French lady. I was calling out for Jared to come and get a better view of said fish, when I turned around to a French woman standing there asking me a question. I don't know why but I swear she said something about the fish, so I excitedly told her, in very garbled french, that the fish were right here! Beaucoup of them! She was obviously horrified and gave me a small smile before turning around and getting the heck out of there. Ugh why was I so excited about those fish. I am ready to go back now. I will take the whole place, fish and all. 

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Friday, June 21, 2013


Remember that lady on My Strange Addiction who married the Eiffel Tower? Well watch your back lady. I think Jared snapped probably 100 different pictures of La Tour. In his defense, I don't think anyone is immune. However I have already prepared a speech for the moment Jared asks to name our first born Eiffel or some weirdo crap like that.

Seeing that monument, seeing it explode in sparkles on the hour, going to the top and looking over Paris, laying in the grass surrounded by Parisians and tourists and weird men selling "Beer,Champaign-yuh, Ceegarette." It was all so charming. Those men never ran out of drinks either---then the mystery was solved when we saw one pull a bunch of bottles out of a nearby tree!

 I swear I loved every dog in Europe,especially this hound. He sat there patiently for over an hour, never moving. 

 Views from the top.

After this I pretended to sing a The Boy Is Mine duet with the tower. I was Monica obvi.
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May was long. Time seemed to stand still while Jared was in Germany. It was harder for me then I expected. I wasn't tormented day and night, I could sleep OK and ingest food and all that...I was just so bored! Nothing seemed as fun without my partner in crime. I didn't feel quite right. It was almost like walking around with my clothes on inside out all month or wearing two different shoes. Perfectly functional just not incredibly enjoyable. I missed Jared Birdwell Alexander- his crinkle face, his golf obsession, his squealy little chirps. By the time it was over, I was buzzing out of my seat with anticipation. That first hug after a month...thats a great feeling. I definitely have a new respect for all of you out there in long distance relationships.

My father-in-law Ed and I took the red eye to London and I thought it would be a great idea to take  a sleeping pill so that I would arrive in the Queen's backyard bright eyed and bushy tailed. Oh what a freaking mistake. My seat mate was a nice British man who, even as I began nodding off while he was speaking to me, kept plowing through talking about who knows what. I started hallucinating at some point and as I stared into his face trying desperately to concentrate his features started to move and shift. His face looked like the real life embodiment of the swirl feature in a Mac's photobooth. The sideshow mirror thing really started to freak out so as soon as he took a break for air, I high tailed it to the bathroom. When I came back I turned on a movie and immediately fell into a nightmarish fitful sleep.

Suffice to say--do not follow my example.

After we arrived everything was smooth sailing. We stayed in this apartment I booked through AirBnB. One of the best decisions I made was using AirBNB.

London was perfect.The entire vacation was pretty perfect, but London truly knocked my socks off. I think because I was so psyched to go to Paris that London was sort of an afterthought and snuck up on me. I would love to live in this city someday. 

I have been putting off this post trying to figure out how to put our week in the UK into one post. Pardon my stream of conscience, but my vacation is swiftly becoming more and more ephemeral, an exciting little island, slowly fading into the background as my real life engulfs it.

There are more hamburger restaurants  in the UK than any other place I've ever seen, and they're alright but they still don't know how to make a milkshake

The tube is incredibly easy to use, and an Oyster card with £30 on it will let you travel an insane amount for a good week--literally anywhere you want to go. Once, in a fringe neighborhood of the city, I quickly realized I had spaced out and we were about to miss our stop. I quickly jumped off the train only to turn around and see it pulling away with Jared and Ed still aboard. Woops.

We walked and walked and walked and walked. Walking from the British Museum, up to Parliament, across to St. James Park and up to Buckingham Palace was one of my favorite things. We did different versions of that walk quite a few times and it never got old.

There are so many cute dogs in Europe!! In pubs! Pub dogs! And everywhere else for that matter. My kind of place.

Speaking of pubs, 9 out of 10 pubs went down the gastropub route and while trying to be unique ended up having the same exact menu every single time. Besides hamburgers, it seems as if the most popular food in all of London in cuttlefish cooked in its own ink. Mmmmmm.

I got the super duper heebie jeebies seeing "The Woman in Black" in the West End. If you ever get a chance to see it, DO!

British bacon just ain't the same.

Yes, we did the ultimate touristy thing ever and went on the Harry Potter Studio tour. It was awesome. I embarrassingly took more photos there than almost anywhere else. And yes, we skipped Stone Henge in order to go.

The weather was perfect in early June. We had cool clear days and crisp nights. One thing I didn't realize until a few days in was that we desperately needed sunscreen. I would come in every night and feel like I was blushing uncontrollably, but really my cheeks were just glowing with sunburn.

You had to climb like 6 flights of the STEEPEST stairs of my life to get up into our apartment. Every night I would crawl up them and then go into cardiac arrest.

One of my favorite days was going on a Beefeater tour at the Tower of London. So funny and smart.

This is a city I know I could visit many many more times. I'm getting a bit wistful just thinking about it...