June 2014 archive

Travel Day

Hello from Philly! We landed here for a 2 hour layover, which I don’t mind because… people watching!!

We did not get a chance to see the liberty bell, but luckily they have a Lego version on the airport.

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We board our next flight in about 15 minutes. We’re both tired and ready for a nap. Here’s a couple more photos from travel day…

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How to pack for Europe

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We’re leaving for the airport in less than two hours and I am so excited — it’s like my birthday and Christmas all at once! Joe is in productivity mode, getting everything set so that we can leave the house for two weeks — washing the cat food dishes and whatnot. In the interest of killing time before we leave — here is my guide to how to pack for Europe! I’ve never been there and I’m not the most practical person in the world, so please take my advice with a salt shaker in hand.

We’re not exactly backpacking, but we did buy some backpacks on clearance at Target along with these water inserts. I’ll check this on the plane and will also bring small carry-on suitcase and a day pack.

Here’s what’s in my carry-on:
Sweater
Travel books — Rick Steves –kind of a dorky old guy, but he knows his stuff
Vitamins and meds
Pass ports
Travel documents
Eye mask
Ear plugs ( I’ve never used these or the eye mask in my life, but I got them free at a hotel in Wisconsin and decided to bring them)
Chargers
Compression socks I stole from Joe who wears size nine so they fit great (only not)
More socks
Sunglasses
Gum
Phone

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Joe got an adapter that apparently plugs into the airplane chair’s secret charging station — who knew…

Finding things to wear for 12 days of walking was a good fashion challenge. When you’re trying to pack light, it’s a good idea to start with the shoes. I am bringing 5 pairs (sadly, no heels — my security blanket!)
-2 Sketchers Sweet Pea ballet flats (black and white)
-Gold sandals
-Black sandals
-Running shoes

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For clothes, I brought 6 dresses.

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3 T-shirts

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Several tanks and camis for layering

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Some more shirts:

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6 skirts

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2 pairs of shorts

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One pair of jeans, a raincoat, and a swimsuit

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Here’s a few accessories:

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I made a few special purchases for this specific trip too:
Power Converters
Travel curling iron
Travel blow dryer
eBags
Tide (for washing laundry in the sink)

I can’t recommend the eBags enough — while I was concerned they would just take up space in my luggage, they actually keep things contained and organized in a way that creates more space.

That’s all I’m going to share for now — time to grab some lunch and hit the road!

Cat Cam

We might be crazy cat people, but I don’t think we are.  I might have more pictures of our cats on Facebook than pictures of myself, but I’m not to the point where I have clothes with cats on them yet or started knitting with cat hair.  I do buy a lot of toys for them like an automatic cat laser or a Cat Sitter DVD.  One of the coolest gadgets I purchased was our wireless camera.

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After an incident when one of our cats was locked in a room for a few days without food and water and destroyed the carpet when we were gone, we decided that a security camera would be a good choice to help have a daily headcount to avoid this from happening again. The camera is a D-Link DCS-5010L.  I found a great deal online for it and got it for almost half-price.  It has night vision and when motion is detected, I get a text message and a set of pictures sent to an email account during a certain daily schedule.  I can pan the camera with my phone and hear what is going on.  Basic setup was easy, but the motion sensor and notifications took some advanced configuration but wasn’t too bad.

All it needs to work is a wireless connection and a plugin.  We have moved this all over the house.  It took some time to find a good spot and it was interesting to find that the cats typically stay together throughout the day.  They also have a predictable schedule too.  I highly enjoy this toy.

The Dinner Boat Tour

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For our 5-year anniversary, Katie purchased a dinner boat cruise up at the Lake of the Ozarks on Groupon.  Our Groupon luck has been slightly rough lately.  The last Groupon we used was for our local Pizza Inn.  The deal was really good, but the staff there knew nothing about it.  None of them knew even what Groupon was.  In the end, I think we actually lost money on this one.

The savings for the boat tour was significant.  I feel we definitely got a great value.  Service was great.  The food was better than expected.  The tour was really cool.  It was another adventure that the two of us have taken where we are the youngest ones doing it, but I think we’re slowly getting used to this.  What made the cruise very cool was the entertainment of the passengers on board.

The fun started on the dock before we boarded.  There was an older lady in line in front of us flipping out thinking that she was going to be claustrophobic on the boat.  She was making a bit of a scene.  She stepped out of line and waited to get onto the boat before we left.  Her husband and their friends remained in line.  When we checked in at the bar, her husband said something about calming her down with a few drinks and asked for any drink with some gin in it to do the trick.

Once we sat down at our table, there was another interesting group of friends.  They looked to be two couples doing this together.  Because the meal was several courses, we got to be across from them for the majority of the cruise.  A couple at this table created a bulk of the entertainment.  They were definitely not a quiet couple.  He knew everything about Missouri and US boating regulations and she knew everything else.  No one at the table could see anything so that added to the fun.  I guess the one wife had issues knowing how the bathroom toilet worked on the boat, but she gave a nice rundown on how to use it properly.  Pretty sure they weren’t using a Groupon because computers might be too scary.

All-in-all, the trip was fun.  I recommend going because it was better than I could have expected.