Thursday, November 19, 2009


Do you see what I see?

Yep, little puppy foot prints. Why do I care?

Because of where we keep the ottoman. Our little ornery puppy has become quite the little counter cruiser! I know that this happens daily, because each day I rub off the little foot prints, and each day they appear again.

Of course, she believes she is innocent. Just look at her, you just know she is thinking, "I did nothing, I am perfect, look at me, I have such nice manners I even cross my legs." Orneriness!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


One very annoying thing about how much it rains here is that my pants always end up wet!! Mainly because I am too short and the backs of my pants always meet the ground, thus the water loves to run up them. And before you know it your pants are soaked from the knees down, and then your socks end up soaked, and then you have to change pants and socks, which only makes for even more laundry for me to do in my itty bitty German washing machine. And the fact that Clara gets 2-3 walks a day translates to 2-3 pairs of pants and socks. And yes, I have been trying to re-wear things, but this means that I am changing pants now 6 times a day!!

So, today I decided to order my first pair of Wellies!! J.crew makes some really cute ones, but right now they are between styles. I thus found these ones from j.crew on Ebay for the bargain price of $20. The listing said they were new, but I guess I'll find out. Green with little polar bears, perfect! I'm pretty excited if you can't tell! Can't wait for them to get here!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bazaar fun

This weekend the base had a Holiday Bazaar. It was a lot of fun! We got some great stuff for ourselves and also some Christmas presents for others! Cheese from France and Holland, cookies and vanilla liquor from Germany, and some other great things that I can't talk about since it might show up as your Christmas present!!

One thing Phillip and I each got for ourselves were some alpaca scarves from Peru. They are pretty neat because you can make the scarf work as both a scarf and hat! Hard to explain here, but it works, and it is very warm and super soft!!

Well, since Phillip got a new scarf, guess who got his old one? Here are my little cuties, all ready for Clara's nighttime walk!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rome Day 3, The Final Installment

We decided early in our trip that our last day in Rome, a Wednesday, would be spent at the Vatican. The main reason being that every Wednesday morning the Pope gives his weekly address and blesses the crowd. While I'm not Catholic, Phillip is, and I've been with him to church numerous times, so I felt that I could actually appreciate the service. It really was a very neat experience!

The Pope in his Pope Mobile!! I LOVE IT!!! I couldn't believe how close we got to him!

The Pope reading his address. He read the same address in about 7 different languages. I definitely at least recognized Latin, Italian, English, Spanish, French, and German. The entire address lasted an hour and a half and he ended it by singing the Lord's Prayer in Latin and blessing the crowd.

We then decided to go have some lunch and let the crowds clear before we tackled the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. I have many pictures from the Vatican Museums, but since I've already posted a lot of pictures on this post, you can see them on facebook. Unfortunately they did not allow any pictures of the Sistine Chapel. The Museums were very nice, but very overwhelming! There was just so much to see! The Sistine Chapel was beautiful, but not quite what I expected. It is very small. There were also about 200 people crammed into the room, with ushers constantly shushing people, so it was hard just to stand there and appreciate it. I really wanted to just lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling, but you were lucky to find a comfortable place to stand. The frescoes were incredible though!!! I actually appreciated Michelangelo's Last Judgement fresco the most, which covers the entire front wall of the chapel. The ceiling is beautiful too, which is where his most famous Creation fresco lies. The Sistine Chapel was very overwhelming too because every single inch of the walls and ceilings are painted, and I mean every inch!!

After finishing with the Vatican Museums (we only saw about 2 out of the 4 museums, and we were running out of time), we headed over to St. Peter's Basilica. It was incredible! So huge, and just breathtaking.

The Chapel is built upon the original burial place of St. Peter the apostle, considered the First Pope of the Catholic church.

St. Peter's Tomb down below.

Michelangelo's La Pieta. Beautiful!

And thus this ends our trip to Rome!!! That evening we took the train back to Pisa and flew back to Germany the next day. Pisa's airport was cheaper than Rome's, so that's why we went back. We had a fantastic time on our trip! We were really only there for about 4 days, but we saw so much! And of course, we had plenty of gelato!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rome Day 2

On our second day of Rome we visited lots more historic sights, but with more of a relaxed pace. Our day started off a little slow as we were enjoying our wonderful hotel room and gigantic bathroom, very uncommon in Europe! But after a nice relaxing morning and long shower we headed out for another fun filled day!

Our first stop, the Pantheon. Just like many of the other sights in Rome, you are walking along between modern buildings and all of the sudden this ancient structure is in front of you. I was astonished at how huge it is! The pantheon was built as a temple to the gods, but Christians rededicated it as a church in the 7th century. It also contains crypts of the first 2 Kings of Italy and the artist Raphael. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.

The beautiful ceiling. Completely open, so the inside is always exposed to the weather. The hole in the ceiling is 142 feet in diameter.

After the Pantheon we headed over to Piazza Navona, built in the first century A.D it is one of the most famous squares in Rome. It was once used as an open stadium for games. Now it is a popular attraction of tourists and artists. Callie and I each found some beautiful, and inexpensive, watercolor paintings for souvenirs.

We then headed over to the Trevi Fountain to take more pictures and to toss in a coin. We were able to get more pictures, but it was difficult to enjoy as the crowds were so big and vendors kept coming up to us trying to sell us stuff. Very annoying. But it was nice to see the fountain in daylight, and we weren't there for long anyways.

Tossing a coin in over my shoulder for good luck. Not sure I tossed it over the correct shoulder, but it must have been lucky because I got hired on for a new job the day after we got back!

Our last stop for the day was the Spanish Steps. We were glad we made it our last stop for the day because it was further away from the other sights and was very lovely in the evening light. Located near the high end shopping district, we also took some time to visit some of the stores, and I even found some Italian leather gloves to bring home to Phillip! (I got myself a pair too!)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Movie time

Phillip and I went to see "Where the Wild Things Are" this afternoon. I fully enjoy watching movies on base, despite the fact that they are usually about 3-4 weeks behind regular showing, mainly because we only have to pay $4.50! For the 2 of us, plus popcorn and cola, we only spend $16. Not bad considering what it costs in the states. Just remember to stand for the national anthem!

So, I thought the movie was cute and enjoyed the little message it was trying to get across. Phillip on the other hand was not as pleased.

While walking out of the theater...

Phillip: I don't get it. What was that about?

Kim: It's based on a children's book. The message is to be nice to your family.

Phillip: I guess I would have had to read the book.

2 Families walking in front of us with a little girl crying...

Dad: Of course she's crying, the movie was terrible, I didn't get it.

Uncontrollable laughter with a tinge of sadness!! How many people have not read this classic children's book?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pictures are Up

I finally posted pictures of our trip to Rome and Pisa on facebook. I'll keep posting more about our trip here, but now you can see lots more photos. Here is the link:

Hope you enjoy!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rome Day 1

The day after seeing Pisa we hoped a 4 hour train to Rome!! We made it there around noon, got checked into our hotel, and headed out to see the sights. First stop, the Colosseum!! It was incredible! It's amazing to think that this structure was built almost a full 2,0000 years ago.

The side of the Colosseum. A large portion of the bricks used to build it were taken to build other structures within Rome, including parts of the Vatican. In 1749 Pope Benedict XIV claimed it as a memorial to martyred Christians, and thus a sacred place, stopping its use as a quarry. However, no such evidence exists that Christians were murdered here. None the less, his decree probably saved the Colosseum from further destruction.

Inside the Colosseum. It once sat upwards of 50,000 people. And everyone had a ticket to a specific seat. The senators even had their names carved into the stone of their seats. The names can still be seen!! It is estimated that over 500,000 people and a million animals were killed in the arena.

A view of the eastern portion of the Roman Forum from the Colosseum. They are the ruins of the earliest civilization of Rome, originating in 600 B.C. We would visit them next.

More pictures of the Roman Forum. I find the pillars that are still standing most amazing! You are allowed to wander through the ruins and really get up close to the structures.

That evening we would have dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant near the Trevi Fountain. It is the most famous fountain in Rome. It's very odd though because it is found in a very small square where you are walking between buildings and all of the sudden it's in front of you. Very pretty at night!! I'm so happy we went then too because the crowds were far smaller then and you could really stand and appreciate the beauty. We did go back later the next day to get some daytime pictures and it was a mob scene! Don't forget to throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain for good luck!!