Today I was reading one of them many blogs I check out, Heart-of-Light, and she had a great link to a service that can help me get organic and fresh food as well as support my local farmer. On Local Harvest, you can sign up for what is called a CSA box (look for the tab at the top of the page). All you do is put in your zip code, they give you local farms, and you can pay around $15 a week for a freshly picked box of fruits and veggies in your area. Some of the farms even deliver! Also, some have eggs, meat, honey, soap and other things you might find interesting. I have already chosen my farm for when we get back to Birmingham in September.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Okay so if you know me, you know that I love to cook and bake. But one of the biggest things for me is having fresh fruit and veggies. I love them so much, that on Monday I was picking blackberries in the middle of a battlefield (story to come later). Sadly, when money runs tight, fresh fruits and veggies always get left out. I would love for all of our food to be organic, but yet again that hits the pockets hard.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Our day trip was a complete and utter failure!
We decided that we would make Monday's our day trip day. We want to be able to visit some of the wonderful historical gems that are scattered throughout the countryside. I am trying to spend 40+ hours in the library each week, so that means working Tuesday to Saturday in the library, using Sunday to do laundry or take long walks or do laundry, and traveling around on Mondays. Yesterday, we decided that we wanted to go to Battle Abbey and explore the battlefields from the Battle of Hastings. So we left our place around 1 and headed for the bus station. (I have to admit, I am not a morning person and so not move quickly in the mornings) We asked the lady in the office what was the best way to get to Hastings. Well, she said take a bus to Folkstone for 40 minutes and then a bus to Hastings which would take an hour. So we thought that would sound great, we would make it there with plenty of time to explore. So we had to wait about 10 minutes for the first bus and we were on our way to Folkstone, which took a little less than 40 minutes. We got off the bus and immediately got on the next bus. Unfortunately this bus ride was not pleasant and was not an hour long. We wanted to sit on the top of the bus to see the countryside and the ocean when we passed by it. The bad thing was that we forgot that the top of the bus is the popular hang out place for 10-16 year olds.------ I know it's not nice of me but I think the children here are the most horrible children I have ever met. They are rude, vulgar and obviously undisciplined. -------- To make a long story short, we didn't make it to Hastings until 5:15!!!!! In order to get to the abbey, we had to still travel to Battle and make it before it closed at 6. So needless to say, we walked on the beach in Hastings, played an arcade game, ate dinner and had a cup of decaf. And then we began our trip home. We were so let down, and it was my fault we wasted a whole day riding on a bus. Our return trip was faster but still longer than an hour and 40 minutes. When we arrived at Folkstone, there was a drunk man under one of the bus stops. He looked as if he had passed out and thrown up on himself. When we made it to the bus, the driver was away from the bus and on the phone. Apparently the drunk had been there for 2 hours already (this was around 9:30) and had been refused by every bus he tried to get on. Oh well, at least we had a better day then him. We finally made it home around 10:15, disappointed and tired. Hopefully, next weeks trip will be more successful.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
It's Sunday and that means it's my day off. After spending long hours in the library on a Saturday, Sunday becomes the most amazing day of the week ----- the library is closed. The thesis is in full swing. This week I paid for the use of a carrel at the library because it will hold me more accountable to actually study at the library (and to have my own space!!!!). In exchange for £15 and the promise of 25 hours per week in the library, they give you a closet with a desk in it! Fortunately mine has windows, but don't be fooled, they don't open more than a couple of centimeters. So after paying for the carrel, Andy and I went up to clean it. I honestly don't think it had been cleaned or used in a long time. The light switch was brown from grubby fingers and there was a layer of dust on everything. Even though it took some work it was worth it. I am a little afraid of getting swine flu which seems to be running rampant here and has spread to the university. So now I can collect my books and lock myself behind a door and read.
I have to be honest, I have been really down over the past couple of months. We have been a little strapped waiting for a money situation to work itself out. It finally did this week. It is really great not to have to invent new recipes using rice!!! So this week has been my cooking week. I had a list of things that I wanted desperately to eat like watermelon, avocado, and salmon. I have to say Andy is reaping the benefits (honestly he would eat anything and he tells me that my best cooking is when we only have 3 or 4 things and I just come up with something from scratch) It feels so good to be able to provide for him in that way. It also makes me feel good to know that he is not eating fried rice for 3 weeks straight like he did in college.
So another part of being more secure is that we are able to travel to the few places on our travel list. We don't have many because we are trying to save up for our move back to the US (we will only have mattresses when we get back!!!!) So next weekend we are planning on going to Paris for a day. Next Sunday is the end of the Tour de France and I want to see it. It's not really because I follow the Tour or that I enjoy seeing malnourished men in spandex on bikes, but it's because I want to experience it! I just hope that we can also do the other things that we want to do while we are there. We only have one other main place to go and that is Edinburgh. We will be planning a trip there very shortly (because we will be home in 2 months!!!!!) Other than that most places are day trips of interesting places or events, like going to see Romeo and Juliet at the Globe theatre.
I just wanted to thank you all for following our time in England and giving us all the love and support. I have had so many positive emails and facebook messages encouraging me. I just wanted you all to know that they have been so helpful. We love you all and can't wait to see you!!!
Okay, well I guess that's all for today. It is almost time for me to fix some dinner and get ready to go see Harry Potter. Until next time.......
Monday, July 13, 2009
Okay, so I know I have been promising honeymoon photos for a while now. Sorry! But I am delivering today. I can only show you some of the photos: first because there are hundreds, and second because we have somehow lost the cord to Andy's camera. I will post the rest of them after we get him a new camera cord or reader.
On the first day, we decided we would walk through the city and try to find our way to the Piazza San Marco. We roamed the back alleys and bridges until we made our way there. It is truly an amazing place.
Well here they are! I know there are a lot, but I hope you enjoy them:
One of the main attractions on our 'To Do" list was the Basilica San Marco. We climbed up to the museum/balcony and decided we would spend some time watching people below. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from the inside (sadly, they don't allow you to take pictures in Italian churches, but I can't say we always followed that rule)
After going through the Basilica, we went through Doge palace which is right next door. This photo was taken in the inner courtyard looking toward the Basilica.
We thought that we were going to eat at Harry's Bar--- the guide book said it was a must eat because it was made famous by Hemingway. Little did we know that the dish they suggested was €55... I almost choked. I think the cheapest item was €23. So needless to say we got out of there fast. Instead we decided to eat in the Piazza San Marco and listen to the live performances. We had a nice Bellini and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
On the Vaporetti (water taxi).
The Rialto bridge.
We like to call this one "Drive your boat to church"
The lovely Campo San Rocco.
One afternoon, we found a lovely little courtyard called Campo San Giacomo del'Orio. We just sat and watched people. It seemed like a nice community. There was a children's birthday party going on under a tent, a little grocery where we bought a few things to eat, a bakery where we bought sweets, and a restaurant where we had an amazing dinner. It was a wonderful, simple afternoon.
I loved just siting and watching the canal as the sun sat.
We decided to visit a few of the other islands around the lagoon. We visited Murano, where they make all the famous glass. We were able to see a glassblowing demonstration.
There are tons of little islands scattered around the lagoon that were once monasteries. We saw them as we rode the Vaporetti from island to island.
Andy took a seat in the throne of Attila the Hun, which is outside the Basilica and museum at Torcello.
We also visited Burano, where they make the famous Venetian lace. We had a nice meal in a small park on the island and then walked around looking at all the brightly colored houses.
Burano is recognizable by the brightly colored homes and their famous leaning clocktower.
From Burano, we took the Vaporetti the long way, through Lido (where we visited the beach on another day) and then back to the Campo San Marco.
On Sunday, we traveled to the San Giorgio Maggiore with the promise of hearing Gregorian chants in mass. Unfortunately that was not exactly how it went. We like a lot of other tourists standing around were extremely confused because a sign for the mass led you into a hallway but then didn't tell you where to go. And it is sad to say but the attendants or monks didn't want to have anything to do with the people standing around. Finally someone came into the hallway and told all of us that we needed to go up the stairs. Apparently we were supposed to know that we should go up the stairs that were hidden by the open door we went through and then to a room that said no admittance. Oh well, we know for next time. And sadly, there was no Gregorian chant!
On the day before we left, we took a gondola ride. We had saved it until the end because it was extremely expensive. Finally we just went up to a guy and asked how much he charged, he said €100 ( we were not going to pay that much), we said oh that's too much for us, and his buddy asked how much we wanted to spend, so we got a fairly short gondola ride for €60 instead. I don't know what I expected, but it was not smooth at all. I often felt that I was about to go out the side into the water. But thankfully it didn't happen.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Just to let everyone know, I fixed the comments! Thanks April for letting me know they were messed up. Apparently they were set so that only the authors of the blog could comment, which is pretty useless. But it is all taken care of, so feel free to leave us a note.
Hope you all are enjoying summer wherever you are. It is beautiful here. With a top temperature of 75 degrees, how can you not love July? I know, I keep rubbing it in. We are very lucky here because in some other parts of the country they are experiencing a heat wave causing temps to rise to 100. Let's just hope our nice breeze lasts all summer (mainly because we don't have an air conditioner).
I hope to add honeymoon photos very soon. We have to get a new camera cord for Andy and as soon as we do, I will add even more photos. Venice was amazing and I could live the rest of my life there! It was a dream I can't wait to share.
As far as school goes, I went to a workshop today on how to write a dissertation. I have a lot to do. This week I am going to finalize a system to organize all my research, note taking, and chapters. The more organized I am, the easier this will all go. I also have to set up a schedule so that I can set goals for myself. Whew, it's hard to know where to start, but it's time that I really focus on this!
Okay, so until next time, I hope you all have an amazing holiday weekend. Sadly we are not able to celebrate until next week. But as soon as we are able, I am going to cook the biggest belated 4th of July meal and buy the biggest watermelon I can find! I may even post some photos!
Suzie and Andy