Monday, December 27, 2010

a new chapter

Today was our move in day to our new apartment...well sorta of a move in day. Our household goods are still floating somewhere in the mediterranean, so the Navy was nice enough to give us loaner furniture until ours arrives. Our car also isn't here, so we had to rent one so Gene can drive to work every day.

driving the rental car to our new home

our new home for the next 3 years

view from our apartment

the living room

a bedroom

our very short hallway

nicely new remodeled kitchen with our loaner stove :) at least it's gas!

a beach down the street

beach outside apartment, Acitrezza

fish market down the street where our landlord works

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in Rome

Well Gene surprised me with plane tickets and a hotel in Rome for Christmas and my birthday...what a wonderful present! So we took a one hour plane ride to Rome and stayed for 3 nights during Christmas. We reserved a nice restaurant on the roof of a hotel for Christmas eve and had a delicious 5 course dinner. The tradition in Italy is to eat 7 fishes on Christmas eve, so that we did :) We had to do most of our touring on Christmas eve since everything is closed on Christmas day. We managed to make it to the Vatican, the Pantheon, the Forum, and the Colosseum all in one very rainy day. But the end of the day our shoes were filled with water and we were frozen solid. Christmas day we walked to the Trevi fountain, the Spanish Steps, a Christmas market, and all over Rome. On my birthday we walked to Villa Borhese and rented an electric bike so we could tour the entire park, it was a wonderful ending to our trip to Rome.

The Vatican

Basilica at the Vatican

inside the Vatican

Sistine Chapel (not allowed to take pictures, so I was hiding it which is why it isn't a very good picture)

The Pantheon

the dome inside the Pantheon

Inside the Forum

at the Forum

The Colosseum

inside the Colosseum

Christmas Eve dinner

Fontana di Trevi

The Spanish Steps

roasting chestnuts

Villa Borghese

riding through Villa Borghese

Gene next to his dream car :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010


We decided we needed a Christmas tree to brighten up our hotel :) Thanks to Natalie, we have some really cute purple ornaments! So we decorated the tree while Mr. Stripes slept in a box my Mom sent with some presents...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Madrid and Morocco

One of my best friends is living in Spain right now, so we decided to plan a trip in Europe to meet up. I flew to Madrid where I met her and 2 of her friends. Within 20 minutes of landing in Madrid I was pick-pocketed. Two girls actually reached into my purse without me knowing and grabbed my wallet. Thankfully there was a man who had noticed them following me a little too close and kept watching. He grabbed my wallet from them and started yelling in Spanish to them. He gave me my wallet and called security, I don't know if they caught the girls. So I was very thankful I got my wallet back...I had all my cash and IDs in it which would have made Madrid and Morocco not very fun for me! Needless to say, I was much more aware of my surroundings after that. Anyways...Madrid was very beautiful and very cold! We walked around for 3 days admiring the sites and eating tapas :) Madrid had beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere, it definitely felt like Christmas. Next, we went to Morocco! We hopped on a flight and arrived in Morocco an hour later. This was a whole new experience since I had never been in an Arab country. I felt a little out of place since I did not see a blonde/redhead the entire time! We stayed in 1 floor of an apartment building which looked like a palace! It was amazing how fancy this little apartment was. We met a taxi driver named Muhammad which was the best part of our trip. He was the nicest guy and spoke Spanish so that we could still communicate (no one spoke English). Muhammad took us on a tour around Morocco both days for only $5 Euro/ea. He drove us to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean oceans, showed us the palaces of the King of Saudi Arabia and the Forbes, took us to some markets, and gave us a background on everything we saw. We went to some really yummy restaurants. Our favorite one overlooked the Mediterranean and was only $4 Euro/ea. for dinner, dessert, and coffee. We were going to go on a cammel ride, but it started raining :( I want to go back just so I can do that! The second morning I was woken at around 4am to a loud recording being played over the entire city in Arabic. You could hear people in the city speaking back to it which went on for about 5 minutes. It was really fun to see both countries and how only a 1 hour flight can take you somewhere soo opposite.


We did not plan our outfits to match! We also found ourselves a Starbucks :)

Christmas tree in the middle of Madrid

It was a holiday in Spain, so you can see how many people were out in the city this night

Tanger Airport in Morocco
our palace :) this room is actually way bigger than the picture shows

this guy really wanted Ana and I to try these on :) He was very excited to show us his shop with his "magic carpets"

this lighthouse shines on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean

Muhammed took this picture, I don't think he had ever taken a picture before! He felt bad and kept trying to get it straight and not shakey.
famous cave in Tanger (Tangier)
These girls thought it was soo funny to take a picture and both started busting out laughing right before we took it :) Their sister could not be in the picture because she said "I am married".
coffee at a restaurant in Morocco
chocolate and banana crepe...mmmmm
walking around the city

spices, spices, and more spices

goodbye Morocco!