Monday, April 28, 2014

Oh hey Italy week!!

So it's finally time for Italia.
I'll be saying Grazie to Gelato servers in no time.

The last time I was in Italia was March, 2012.
We went to Milan and Venice.

It was a good trip, but we were backpacking
so it was budgeted and we missed some things I'll
probably go back and do one day.

But this trip to Florence was a gift from Tom's parents.
So we're kicking back and relaxing and doing any and everything 
we can possible do (within reason and budget) while we're there.

I'm looking forward to three four things.
Italian food, Gelato, Sunshine, Culture.

Tom and I are Pizza lovers on a regular day so
Italy is going to make us really fat, basically.

I can't wait to round that corner and be in the Piazza Del Duomo.
I can't wait to see the Statue of David.
I can't wait to see views of the city
while stuffing my face with more gelato.

My only fear is the weather.
It's looking a little rainy in the forecast.

Looks like we'll be bringing our brelly with us.
I'm not too worried though, Gelato will taste the same, rain or shine.

Plus thursday is looking pretty nice.
We're thinking about heading to the coast
and seeing a little bit of beach.

Rain or shine it will be such a fun trip!
I'll be updating on Instagram daily but won't blog
about it till the weekend! :)

Hope you all have a great week!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

19 things about Emily

Here's some things you may not know about me.

1. Lizards are my worst fear. No really, I run, screaming.

2. I am a super picky eater, the tomato is the Devils favorite food.

3. I hate wearing more than one ring on each hand. 
(Ahem...Wedding/Engagement rings are obviously allowed)

4. I own very little makeup and I wear even less. 

5. I laugh at my own jokes on a regular basis. I'm hilarious!!
I also like Jim giggle gif's.

laugh gif photo: Lol d022e5bf.gif

6. I studied abroad in Paris, France with Lauren Knight [Aspiring Kennedy] as my Tutor.
(She's amazing, by the way!!)

7. Tom is my first real boyfriend. I've had 'boyfriends', but none that I dated more than a few weeks. 

8. I played soccer from age 5 to 18, I've beat Tom at one on one every time we've played.

9. I had a really really rebellious year when I was about 10. I toilet papered my school's bathroom.

10.  I sang in choir from Elementary school through College. I have a lovely voice. 
(At least that's what my mom tells me.)

11. I joined the penpal site where I met Tom back in 2009. I just happened to look at it the same day Tom messaged me.

12. I talk in a British accent more than i'd like to admit.

13. Between 2006-2009 I took approximately 22,000,000 selfies. I also photoshopped all of them.

14. I've seen about 20 live Musicals. And I loved every single one of them.

15. I used to pray for my stuffed animal elephant to come alive so I could have a friend.
(I had tons of friends I just liked being dramatic)

16. Tom and I are trying to perfect the Australian accent. We start each sentence with Ah! CRIKEY!!...

17. I'm allergic to cats and dogs. When a dog licks me I break out and get itchy. And cats just make me ill. However, there is hope for me with hypoallergenic animals like this little kitty.....yikes.

18. I have this feeling that if I was ever kidnapped or just threatened in general that my overly nice personality would lead to my release and change the baddies life for the better. We'd become friends and he or she would leave behind their life of crime. It's just a feeling...

19. My first thought after winning anything is that i'm on a hot streak and need to go to Vegas ASAP.
(Even though I don't gamble, that's always my first thought)

19 seems like enough for now!!
I'm just feeling a bit random and this did the trick.

Hope you're all having a great FRIDAY!!
Have a happy weekend!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tripception {Trips within trips within trips}

So a week from today Tom and I will be in ITALIA!!

We are so so excited for this trip.
Three days in Florence and the surrounding areas
and one day in Cinque Terre.

It's going to be absolutely brilliant, 
as the British would say!! ;)

It's weird to be mid trip here in Liverpool
but preparing for another trip [to Italy].

And if that's not crazy enough
we're planning for another trip 
to the Dominican [Caribbean] in August.

I actually bought my flight yesterday for my Dominican trip.
I've been trying to save about $650 so that I could book this flight
either at the end of my stay here in England or right when I got home.

Back story: Tom's family and a few friends of theirs will
be going to the Dominican and have had this trip planned since
last summer while Tom was in America.

We actually found out about the trip while eating at a Denny's
in the Mojave Desert in CA while on our CA trip!!

So almost a year later...I'm booking my flight.
Tom hasn't even booked his yet because we're going
to find the best way for him to go to the Dominican and then
come to Texas afterwards...for a while.

That's right Texas, Tom is coming back for ya ;)

$650 seemed like a lot to spend on a flight.
Which is why it's taken me so long to buy it.
Mostly because I didn't have the money.

So yesterday I randomly decided to look into flights again
and GUESS WHAT???!!!???

They were $339.
That's a steal!!!

excited gif photo: Giselle Excited Giselleexcited.gif

An instant panic came over me because
that's what happens when flight prices plummet.

Your palms get sweaty and you know
that this is a stroke of luck and you need to ACT FAST!!!

So Tom had my debit card which meant
I had to text him to send me an image of my card
so that I could go through with the purchase.

[He holds onto that bad boy because i have no restraint when shopping]
We have a good little system set up ;)

So I book the flight for $339!!
Holllaaaa, like the realest Holla ever Holllaa'd

Three hours later...It's back up to $650.
My sweaty palms return because i know
i totally lucked out on that flight purchase.

It was an adrenaline rush!!

All that being said...Flight prices are so tricky.
It's not fair that there are better times to buy because
it's a total game of chance as to whether or not you're getting a good deal.

I don't like that system but i'm glad I caught it at a good moment.
Saved me about $400 dollars.

I purchased my ticket on a monday between 12:00-12:30pm UK time.
Which is 6:00-6:30am US time.

Maybe there is luck in that timing.
Try it out if you're booking flights soon.


Hope you're all having a great week!

Favorite things

I'm currently loving flowers.
Tom laughs at me every time I stop to literally smell the roses.
I can't pass a bush of flowers without taking them in.
And right now, Spring has sprung and the flowers
are in full bloom and i'm loving it!!

I'm loving this skirt from H&M.
It's a maxi skirt, with pockets, color is cognac.
I window shopped this skirt for like a month before
finally buying it and i'm so glad i did.
It's so lovely!!

H&M has really hit it off with me so far this season.
These shoes, are so comfy and are floral.
Double win!!

At least it was a double win until i dropped pasta sauce
in a Tesco and it went all over them.

They've been washed so all is well!!
I've bought three different pairs so far and i love them all.

Sunshine and the great outdoors.
Tom and I have swapped the gym for some
much needed sunshine and football or tennis.

I think i'd much rather play outside than go to the gym.

And finally i'm loving game of thrones.
Holy Moly!!

This show is so good.
Tom and i questioned whether or not to watch it for a long time.
I'm glad we finally started it, now we're almost caught up to the current episode
which is SO great because spoilers have been ruining our lives!!!

Hope you're all having a great day!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mean kids!

I love kids, i do, but I could do without the mean ones.
Not really do without them, like i don't want to lock them away in a dungeon,
but rather put them into a school that teaches them to be polite.

Mean kids make me really uncomfortable. 
Maybe it's because I'm a nice girl and I've always been a nice girl.
So when I see a really mean kid  I'm like whhaaaaaa??? 
How can you be mean? You're like 10!!!

    mean gif photo: You Are Mean YouAreMean.gif

Then i'm reminded of monkey see monkey do
and a majority of kids learn to be mean from parents,
or siblings or kids at school or they're just really observant
and they see random people being mean and just think it looks good.

But really, when you stumble upon a mean kid or a couple of mean kids
you just really feel like putting them in their place and giving them
a lesson that will make them sit back and think about their actions.

The other day I was on the bus by myself and these two
teenage kids were sitting at the front of the bus in the cool bus seats.

They were not deserving of those bus seats, but that's not the point...

One of them decided it would be funny to draw a penis on the foggy window
while the other one played a game called pick out the ugliest
woman walking down the street.

mean gif photo: Regina George Crying .gif cryyyyyy3.gif

More and more rude comments came followed by some
Hitler hand gestures that eventually led me to a dangerously dark place.

I was so ready to zing them.
Teach them a lesson.

My favorite line that i came up with was walking up to them and asking
if the penis drawn on the window was a self portrait...

"Oh wow, did you draw that?? It looks just like you, well done!!"

laugh gif photo: lol 2 e09f5746.gif

Whoaaaaa Em!!! Calm down tiger!!!!
I giggled to myself at what could have been
and then i went on my way.

Once i met Tom in town he told me that he saw a little kid
who was probably like 8 spit on an old man who was 
playing an instrument for some extra money.

He spit on him.
That's like one of the most degrading things
one human can do to another and it was a kid spitting on an old man.

My heart broke, we walked over and gave the man some money
and went on our way, which really meant kept an eye out for the bratty kid
so we could say something to him about respect.

We passed the kid again, Tom spotted him and we said nothing.
As much as i would have LOVED to teach him a lesson worth learning
there was nothing that i was going to say to him that would change his ways.

Plus i was probably going to tell him something like
how we gave the cops his picture and they were after him.

I really just wanted to make him pee his pants.

But then i was like hmmm...that's like being mean to a meanie
and what does that teach the meanie??
Probably nothing.

So how do you deal with mean kids that aren't your kids??
No clue!! I just hope my future kids are like superbly nice
which i'm sure they will be because i'm really nice.
And I promise to keep my zings to myself.

Us nice people have some darkness too, we are just better at keeping it locked away.
And while we may not say the things we think we sure do giggle about them.
If you see a nice person giggle it's probably because they've thought of something
in their heads that they'd never ever say out loud.
It's the truest of true statements.

Hope you're all having a good weekend ;)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Open for business :)

Remember that Etsy shop I had before I came to England??
I put it on vacation mode so i wouldn't have to worry about how
to get a gold glitter Texas canvas to someone while I was in England.

Well now that i've only got a little over a month left in England
i've decided to re-open the shop and take pre-orders
that i can make once i'm back home.

This way, if i get any orders, i'll have some income
to come home to while interviewing for jobbsss.
I've had loads of emails about the canvases so maybe now
people can just buy them now as long as they're ok
waiting till mid June for the shipment :)

I've also got a few more items coming to the shop.
I probably will wait to post those until i can get them
completely figured out but i'm excited to re-open and get
my little shop going again :)


Once again thanks for all of the kind words over the past week!! 
My family really really appreciates it :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Saying goodbye!!

It's been a really strange and emotional week so far.
The news of death can take you to some weird places that
most people are not used to visiting.

I'm thankful that death is not the norm.
I'm thankful that we aren't skilled grievers because
that would mean our lives were full of sadness.

I'm thankful that people are nice and when sad
things like a death in the family happen people band together
whether they knew the individual or not.

I'm thankful for babies which might sound out of place
but my cousin and his wife had a little baby boy
just a few days after my Grandpa passed.

The circle of life is amazing and miraculous and
totally, totally depressing and wonderful all at the same time.

Today I laid in my bed with my phone on the pillow next to my head
and I listened to the funeral of my Grandpa that was taking place this morning.

Thank God for technology and what we're
able to do with it these days!!

I was able to see some family over the week via facetime or skype.
I was able to see my grandpa laid to rest.
I was able to have peace with the fact
that he's gone to a much better place.

I like to keep busy when i'm sad.
Tom and I have played football at the park a few times.
And we've gone to dinner and a movie.

We played tennis yesterday and during the first match
I looked up at the sky and a flood of emotions came over me.

I started to cry, Tom came over and comforted me
and we talked and I cried, Tom hugged me and I cried.

Today I sat on a football pitch while Tom was running after the ball he kicked,
and I looked out at the sky and the tree's and the clouds and the grass and
just really looked at the world around me that still looks the same
but it feels like i'm in a totally different place than I was in a few days ago.


A year and a half ago when I met Tom I did not know
that he was going to be the one wiping my tears when my Grandpa passed away.

As we grew together as a couple I knew I loved him
and I knew that I was very lucky to have a funny and kind man
by my side in all types of situations.

Those situations have never been as real as they got this week.
This week Tom really really blew me away.

I honestly could not ask for a better man.
He has looked after me and taken care of me all week.
He makes sure i'm ok and if i'm not ok
he sits with me and talks to me and gives
me forehead kisses and holds my hand and
he makes me feel so warm and loved
when i'm feeling so very sad.

*Relationship advice from Emily - Find someone who will hold you
and kiss you and love you when your tears have made your face
all red and hot and your eyes all puffy and wet. Someone who doesn't mind all of
the nose boogies after a good long cry. Someone who cares for you
so deeply that they don't want anything more than to make sure you are taken care of.

I love Tom so much and i'm glad i've got him
around me during this really hard time.

And i'm also really glad that Tom and my Grandpa were
able to meet each other last summer in Texas.

I know Grandpa really liked Tom a lot, even if he couldn't
really understand a lot of what Tom said ;)

One of Granpa's favorite verses was read today during the funeral.
It's been marked in my Bible with the date and Grandpa's name written next to it.

Grandpa was such a wonderful man who made sure he showed love
to everyone he ever crossed paths with!!

Print found here

I want to thank everyone for the kind words over the past few days
and for the support that is sure to continue.

Like I said earlier, people are really really great!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rest in peace Grandpa Rex

On Saturday my sweet, sweet Grandpa went to heaven.
He was surrounded by his wife and kids when he 
passed which is just about the best way to go.

I'm so incredibly sad that he's gone.
When I left in January to come to England
I knew that I was likely getting my last hug and
saying my last goodbyes to him.

That was one of the hardest moments of my life.
But something in me had hope that maybe he'd be ok
and he'd be around when I got back home in June.

I haven't stopped thinking of that sweet man since
i've landed over here in England.

He's always been on my heart and as the months
passed I really started believing that I'd get my grandpa hug
when I got back to Texas.

I'm sad that I won't get to see him again but
I'm so very thankful that he's no longer in pain.
I know he's already having such a blast up there, 
jumping around and doing all of the things he hasn't
been able to do in such a long time.

My mom skyped me and told me.
I was sitting with Tom and I knew before she
even said anything that he was gone.
The tears came, I talked to my mom for a few minutes
while she was on her way to the hospital.

After hanging up with her I sat and cried
with Tom by my side.

Tom was amazing.
He stayed with me, cuddled me, held my hand,
brushed my hair, put his chilly hands on my boiling hot face.

He cuddled with me and I cried and talked through the emotion with him.
I told him stories about Granny and Grandpa as kids and what
Grandpa did for a living (He was a Firefighter).
We laughed at some silly things and then I cried
when I told him that when you hugged Grandpa and pressed
your ear up to his you always got a ringing from his hearing aid.
It's something that always made me smile
and now i'm devastated that I won't get those hugs anymore.

Grandpa was a tall man, really tall.
In the past few years he's been in a wheelchair.
But before that, when he'd stand up, he was a bit of a giant.
A really friendly giant.

As I said earlier, he was a firefighter.
A hero to all kinds of people and a hero to us.

He was an Elder at our church and he was
the most loving and kind man.

He set an incredible example to everyone around him
which is why it's not only my family in mourning but hundreds
of people who knew him and loved him almost as much as we did.

I'll never forget his hugs or the way he'd hold my hand and give it a kiss.
I'll remember the days we all sat around the table to eat or play rummikub.
I'll remember his prayers for the rest of my life because
he always started and ended them in the same way.

He's watched me grow up into an adult.
He's laughed with me, prayed with and for me,
and been an amazing example for me in everything.

It's not going to be the same without him
but he will live on in us for as long as we live.

While Tom and I sat together last night I remember something
that gave me so much joy and pain at the same time.

A few days ago when Grandpa was leaving the Hospital
my dad recorded a short video of him and sent it to me via Glide.
Glide never tells me when I have a message so I forgot about it until
last night when I went to check and found a video of Grandpa.

He was in bed telling me hi, and I love you and I'm going home.
Home being his house but now he's really gone home.

It made me sob, but also made me so happy.
I got to see him and hear him again and I was so glad I had that moment.

Then today while I was on my way to Church I was reading some of my
book 'Cold Tangerines' I was on a new chapter and as I began reading the chapter
I realized that the chapter was all about her husbands grandfather passing away.

She told her story and gave comforting words for people going through loss.
It was so crazy how in that moment of grief a random chapter out
of a random book pulled me in and gave me comfort.

I like to call that a God thing.

My Grandpa was an amazing man.
I can't wait to tell my kids and grandkids
about the amazing man that they sadly weren't able to meet,
but they will have a complete understanding of the 
wonderful man he was while he was here.

I'm going to miss him so very much.
RIP Grandpa Rex

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Travel Tips - Traveling between cities - Planes, trains, buses!!

Word has gotten out that I have a knack for travel
and all of the components within.

This news makes me SO happy!
I love when people send me emails asking
questions about how to do this or that while traveling.

I could probably sit down and talk about the ins and outs
of travel all day long and never get tired of it.

Which is probably why i'm dedicating like 100% of my time at the moment to
writing up a business plan that has travel written all over it.

I love to travel, I love to talk about travel
& I love to help other people travel easier and cheaper.
Cheaper being a BIG bonus to most people.

Casey {a reader of le blog & a really nice lady} 
asked me a question the other day and I thought I'd address it on the blog.
It's a great question and I feel like loads of people have it.
So I thought I'd just blog about it.

Ok, so traveling between countries can be really cheap or really expensive. 
That's a pretty obvious statement...

I've taken my fair share of trains, buses and planes. 
Telling you that one is better than the other would be a lie
because they all have their pro's and cons.

If you are thinking about trains I would suggest a euro rail pass, 
you can buy them online, they aren't cheap up front but it could save you tons 
if you plan on traveling by train frequently. 

The way a eurorail pass works is kind of tricky.
It looks like a train ticket but it's a pass that will act as multiple tickets.
You have to buy the pass in advance so if you like the idea of buying tickets
at the drop of a hat then forego the pass and just buy tickets as you travel.

The pass covers the cost of train tickets over a certain number of days.
The cost of the pass depends on how many days you plan on traveling by train.

So if you have a well planned out trip where you know
the days you'll need to get from point A to point B then you
would know how many days you'd need to buy for your pass.

Every time you ride the train, whether it's for an hour or for 12 hours
you are using a day off your pass so you have to be careful
not to use up all of your days on just small train rides.
Use the pass for getting from one town/country to another.
Make it worth using a day.

I used a euro rail pass when I studied abroad 
and it saved us some serious cash. 
I would recommend the Euro Rail Pass to anyone
wanting to travel through Europe, just remember it will
feel expensive when you buy it up front but later on when
your train trips are basically free you'll feel better about it.

If you don't mind dealing with airports then you can go a cheap route 
and use Europe's budget airlines called easy jet and Ryan air. 

Both airlines have scandalously low flight prices, 
for example, we are flying to Italy round trip for £50 per person. 
It's crazy!! 

The only con to these budget airlines are that they
find ways to make you pay more than you thought you'd have to.

I think it's easy jet that charges for picking a seat.
If you choose to forego that step they will assign you a random seat.

They also charge for baggage and have really strict carry on rules.
So keep that in mind as the cost can add up quickly,
but also remember that a train can take 12 hours to get to Rome
while a plane only takes about 3.

Last but not least are the buses. 

The only bus system I've ever tried has been MegaBus. 
We payed about £20 for a round trip ticket to London from Liverpool. 
I know it can be cheaper than that and also more expensive than that.
It all depends on time of day you travel and where you're going.

It's meant to be a really cheap way of traveling and it's pretty comfortable too. 
Plus If you don't mind the trip taking longer and you like the idea 
of seeing Europe as you drive by (at a slower pace than a train) 
then you might like the bus option.

Honestly you can't go wrong getting to places in Europe...
unless you hitch hike, I wouldn't advise that ;) 

That's all for now.
Feel free to throw any and all questions at me
that have to do with travel or living abroad or any of the above.



Three Months & Italia

Today marks three months in Liverpool.
How crazy is that??

It's weird because sometimes i feel like i've been here
for a year and other times it feels like only a day.

But in reality it's been three months.
Three of the best months ever, i might add.

In other news Italy is booked for the end of the month.
We are SO excited for four days under the warm tuscan sun.
Pizza, Gelato, beaches and sightseeing.
We are so ready!!

I've been doing too much shopping lately, in preparation for Italia.
Lets just say i'm glad i'll get a little money back from 
my taxes in the near near future.
I need it!!

This month will be an exciting one.
I can't wait for Italy, but at the same time I can,
because i'm not ready for this journey to come closer to an end.

In other other news...
I've given up sweets, again.
This is like the 1000th time i've done this.
I have a mega mega sweet tooth.

I've decided to cut sweets till we leave for Italy
and I want to weigh myself every time we go to the gym
to see if cutting sweets does anything for my weight.
We shall see.

I need a little motivation towards the no sweets quest
so i'll be posting on here for the next twenty or so days
with statements like this one.

'One day with no sweets'
Go me!!

I'm already having withdrawals ;)

Hope you're all having a great day!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cold Tangerines - Blog Book Club

Let's start a book club.
I'll throw out the first suggestion
I'm reading a book called "Cold Tangerines" by Shauna Niequist.

Have you ever read a book and felt like
the author has been stalking you for months
and instead of this being their story it's more like your story.

You identify with every word that the author writes
and you begin to feel so thankful that you're
not the only one who has felt a certain way
about sooo many things that happen in life.
That's where i'm currently finding myself.

"Cold Tangerines is a collection of stories that celebrate the extraordinary moments hidden in our everyday lives. It is about God, and about life, and about the thousands of daily ways in which an awareness of God changes and infuses everything."

I'm only 20% through this book, say's my kindle app,
but i've already decided that I absolutely adore it.

It's really real and touching and I love it so much
that it might just be a yearly read to remind myself that
i'm not the only one that thinks the way I do.
I'm pretty sure Shauna and I would be great friends.

I think one of the toughest parts of growing up
is finding the real you and being happy with that person.

Over the last 6 or so years, from 18 to almost 24
I've been on a quest to find myself.

A quest to really understand how I feel about
everyday life situations that are constantly
floating all around us like religion, politics, jobs, money, 
family, relationships, people, etc.

Shauna really captures the essence of 
figuring out life and doing it on your terms and God's terms
and along the way something wonderful happens
and it all just falls into place and you're just good.

She's like a word magician and I love her!

Here's a little blurb that I love from
what i've read so far.

I lovveee this book.
I think it's a great read so far
and i'm sure i'll continue to love it
as I continue to read it.

I'll give an overall synopsis of it
once i finish it!! :)

Hope you're all having a great day!

Friday, April 4, 2014

A year and a half with Tom

Ask us how long we've been a couple
and we'll tell you a year and a half.

Ask us how many days we've spent together as a couple
and we'll say 547.5 days.

Ask us how many days we've spent together
in person not via a computer or a phone and we'll say
that we've spent 125 days together without the use of
any type of connection other than hand holding.

Sparks flew so quickly between us
that we trace our relationship back to day one.

It was a simple email, hi's and hello's and how are you's
and questions as to who the other person was.
Nothing really romantic but in an instant a
friendship was born that was unlike any other.

Soon after we realized we'd stumbled upon something
more powerful than either of us had expected we embarked
on an adventure that would take us both to places
we had never been before.

Literal places like Texas for Tom and Liverpool for me,
and more emotional places like being so in love with someone and 
not wanting to be away from them ever.

Tom makes me laugh every single day
whether we're together or apart, he always makes
sure there is a giant smile on my face.

He thinks it's so funny when he makes me laugh
and my laugh turns into high pitched giggles that I can't control.
Then he gives me a big hug and tells me how much he loves my laugh.

He's the sweetest in so many ways.
He can sense if I'm a little sad or homesick
and he does everything he can to make
me feel better, whether it's curl up with
an animated movie or take me out for
some American cuisine.

We high five when we're excited
and we are rarely seen not holding hands.
We are found laughing most of the time
or being sarcastic with each other which
turns into laughter eventually.
We do the fresh prince hand shake between 
Will and Jazz except after we slap hands
and do the 'psshhh' we kiss because we're
allowed to change up legendary handshakes.

We're quirky, awkward and hilarious
and it makes me so happy to have found someone
that let's me be me in so many ways!!

A year and a half with my guy makes
my heart flutter a million flutters ;)

Alright, enough sap for one day ;)

P.S. Go listen to 'Lost in my mind' by The head and the heart.
It's been on repeat all morning :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fitness | Birthdays | Italy

Tom and I have been working out for about two months now.
I've lost like 7 pounds which is crazy because
I still eat every meal like it's my last...

It's easy to work out when you've got views like this
to stare at while running for your life on a treadmill.

So it's been really nice to have a place to go workout,
but yesterday we decided to skip the gym and go play tennis instead.

We've never played Tennis together before so
the smack talk was in full force and neither of us 
really knew how good the other one would be.

Turns out Tom is quite good,
he's also all up to date on the rules.
So while he was like "15/40"
I was like "can we just play to 10?"

I had no idea what I was doing but I smack talked
quite a lot so i needed to be on my A-Game even if 
I had no idea what was going on.

Three hours later we were both pretty much dead.
Tom had won 3 sets and I had won 1 set.

I was proud of my 1 set ;)

Turns out we're both pretty good at tennis.
I think it will be something we'll do more often to
switch up the workout routine.

That being said...
I feel like I was hit by a truck this morning.
I asked Tom if we were going to the gym
and he just moaned and limped away ;)

We'll take a little break today!

In other news...
Yesterday was my dads birthday
and today is my moms birthday.
They are the same age and were born
just a few miles from each other.
So cute, right?? :)

So since I wasn't able to be there with them
for their birthday's Tom and I decided to
send them a little video of Tom and I singing happy birthday.
We even ended it with some hip hip hoorays which
was just too amazing in Tom's cute accent ;)

I think it was a hit with the parents :)

In other other news...
Tom got permission to be off work for 5 whole days!!
So ITALY is happening.

I'm currently dreaming of stuffing my face with pizza and gelato.
We are booking the trip today and we couldn't be more excited! :) :)

Hope you're all having a great day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Hostel Life

My mom gave me this topic yesterday
because she's got some friends who wanted some info
on whether or not to choose the Hostel Life while traveling.

I remember when I would tell people my plans
for backpacking around after my semester in Paris.
I'd tell them that we'd be staying in Hostel's and
the reaction was always really really bad...

How on earth could I be that crazy??
Do I want to get my stuff stolen
or worse, do I want to be KILLED?? 

I don't think people know enough about these unique places.
A lot of people have bad impressions of hostels because of
what other people have said or even because of Hollywood.

Hostels in Europe are not like the Hostel movies!!
For real people, that's not real!!

That's why most people were horrified when I told them
where we'd be staying, If hostels were really that bad
then they wouldn't be around anymore.

But they are around and to be perfectly honest I think they are great.
They are great for the money if you like to budget.
They are a great place to meet other people and
get involved in some different activities that you may
have otherwise missed out on.

Let me break it down for you.
Hostels are similar to Hotels.
You have a bed and a place for all of your belongings.
Sometimes you have a TV but most times you won't.

There are different types of rooms at most hostels.
Male dorms
Female dorms
Mixed dorms
Private ensuite
Private w/ shared bathroom

Dorms are cheap because you are in a larger room
with bunk beds all around.

I've seen dorms range from 4 beds to 28 beds.
I wouldn't advise the 28 bed ones because
that's way too many people coming in and out.

But for cost sake you can get in a dorm with 4, 6, 8 beds
and it's really not a bad experience at all.

Some people will be scared of sharing space like that
mostly because they are afraid to leave their stuff in a room
with people that they don't know.

That's not an issue, mostly because people aren't staying in hostels
so they can steal your stuff. A lot of the people at hostels are just trying
to save some money on their travels, just like you.

That being said...don't be dumb and leave your stuff out.
Always lock your stuff up no matter what.

Every hostel i've stayed at 
where we stayed in a dorm has had some way of
locking up your stuff.

Most of the time it's a locker.
Some hostels supply them for free and some charge.
It really just depends but that's something you'll want to
check out if you plan on staying in a dorm.

Hostels also have Private rooms.
Most of them do anyways.

You can always go the private room route,
it's a little more expensive but it may be cheaper than
going to a hotel.

Another plus is that all of the rooms will be locked
and you'll either have a key or a card to get inside.

So in a private room situation you know your
stuff is locked in the room just like if you were in a hotel.

Bathrooms would be where I would pay the most attention.
Most of the hostels i've stayed at have had shared bathrooms.
For some people that's a big turn off but it's really not bad at all
as long as you bring some sort of shower shoe to wear.

Some Hostels have bathrooms in the room.
This is mostly for privates but sometimes there's even
a bathroom in some of the smaller dorms.

Traveling in Europe can be relatively cheap if you do it right.
Hostels are the cheap persons best friend.

If you don't have a problem spending money on a place to stay
then you might as well seek the comfort of a hotel.

Sometimes, depending on how many people are in your party,
a private room in a hostel can be just as expensive as a hotel.

Because you pay for the number of people, not just for the room.
I won't lie, hotels can be the better choice.

But there is something really fun about the Hostel life.
I've had hosts at a hostel make me breakfast because
it was a smaller place and the owners really liked to take care of you.

I've gone on tours that I didn't know existed because I stayed in a hostel.
I also got to meet some pretty cool people along the way.

If you're thinking of staying in a Hostel but you aren't sure
just bite the bullet and do it once.

You never know, you may love the simplicity of the hostel life.
Plus you're most likely on the trip of a lifetime, so the place you lay your head
is where you'll be spending the least of your time...right??
So spend less at a hostel and have more money for your trip.
It's as easy as that!!

Here are the two main hostel websites that I use.

I hope this post was helpful.
If you have a question about Hostel's leave a comment
and i'll get back to you! :)