The Start of of the Holiday Season

posted on: Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Last weekend was my favorite. It was full of snow and winter fun and all that heartwarming holiday cheer stuff. Basically the best ever. There was a candlelight walk in our little downtown square with free hot cocoa and horse drawn carriage rides and a barber shop quartet who serenaded us with carols. Then first thing in the morning there was a parade with lots of candy and a very special guest. (hint hint, it was santa). 

And you know what else happened? Josh and I went to a Browns game (What?! I KNOW!). As you probably guessed, NFL activities are not normally my scene, but Josh has been wanting to go to one of these and I just so happened to stumble upon available tickets to the Browns vs Steelers game which is kiiiiind of a big deal around here and I couldn't pass them up. It turns out you just really have to put aside all your knowledge of questionable NFL policies and everything in that documentary you saw about concussions and try to enjoy the experience. We even sat in the "dawg pound". I put that in quotation marks not because that's not what it's called - it is. I just feel ridiculous even writing it. But I will say listening to the, um, "commentary" from the folks around us was quite enlightening. That was definitely the highlight for me. Oh, and also it was zero degrees out with wind chill. I had on all my Iceland layers and hand warmers in both pockets and shoved in the toes of my shoes. Also $7 hot chocolates. I feel like everyone should probably have that experience at least once in their life. I'm like a bonafide Northeast Ohioan now. I came, I saw, I froze, I conquered.  

By the way, the Browns lost. But that kind of goes without saying, right?


And the most important part of the weekend was the annual "cutting down of the christmas tree". I put THAT in quotations because every year we drag a sled and a saw out to the fields and wander around looking for the perfect tree. Problem with that is that perfect trees in fields don't exist and we never actually cut one down. We just retreat back to the barn half frozen and fully defeated and pick a pre-cut one. But somehow, I still love this. Best part though - this year it snowed! I was so happy I was practically giddy. Will you just look at that perfectly snowy landscape?! Love, love love.

and on that note I will leave you with my very favorite christmas song...

my sentiments exactly

And finally, Venice

posted on: Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Alright, this is it. My last Italy post and some actually half way decent pictures for once. Although only one of Josh, because apparently he did all the photo taking whilst we were in Venice. I think I did all the walking around with mouth agape trying to figure out a way to stay forever. Because there is nothing like this place. Nothing like it at all. And even to this day when I find myself daydreaming about Italy and mentally transporting myself back there, I always seem to find myself in Venice.

My favorite memory from our few days here was the night Josh and I went to this amazing little restaurant where no one spoke english but the food was incredible and our waiter was so great and was trying so hard to be accomodating. He kept bringing us complimentary shots of limoncello - and I'm not sure if you know this about restaurants in Italy or not -  but they get very offended and take it very personally if you don't finish your whole meal and eat everything on your plate. For instance, I'd had this one pasta dish a few nights before and it came to the table full of raw onions. (I was not expecting this, hello language barrier!) It was totally my fault because I didn't realize what I was ordering, but what can you do? So I picked around them and tried to eat as much as I could but it was just not my style. The waiter at that restaurant was so concerned that I wasn't eating that I thought he was going to throw himself into the canal afterwards. So when this guy brings us these shots we freaked out a little because neither of us really drink alcohol but we didn't want to offend him and we couldn't even explain the situation since the only italian I'd retained from my cramming session on the plane ride there was the very helpful "fuoco!" (fire!). Preparedness.
So after Josh kept shoving his glass at me and telling me to drink it and I realized I would be dead on the floor after a few minutes of this I downed most of the contents of my water glass and poured the shots in there, praying our waiter wouldn't notice. And he didn't notice. Instead he just thought we'd thoroughly enjoyed our drinks and kept bringing more rounds, and in to the water glasses they'd go. It was actually hilarious although I did feel bad about wasting all that good limoncello that someone with a sturdier liver would have surely enjoyed. I'm looking at you, Don Cureton.;)
St. Mark's Cathedral

The Bridge of Sighs - legend has it that it was named this because the bridge connects the bulding that used to hold the old interrogation rooms to the building that holds the the prison. So it's said that men being taken to their cells would get one last glimpse of Venice from this bridge before facing their imprisonment. It's also said to be good luck to kiss on a gondola at sunset under the bridge of sighs. Which we did of course because, I mean, when in Venice...

And there you have it. The end of my trip down memory lane, and not a minute to soon either! I have lots of photos from the weekend I want to share tomorrow. We got our tree! And it snowed while we were out there in the fields hunting one down! I was in heaven. But Josh was too distracted questioning why he ever married me in the first place to thoroughly enjoy it. Ah, well. We also had a photo shoot for our christmas card and I'm dying to get those pictures up here to share as well. The holidays are coming, folks and I could not be more excited. Ready, Set. GO!

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