Monday, October 27, 2008

24hr in Milan

Though it seems like a short amount of time to see such a big city, I actually covered a lot of ground. Especially thanks to the bike that came with my hotel room. I arrived at night and treated myself to a Campari and a salad at Savini...a "landmark" in Milan near the Duomo.
The Duomo by night is gorgeous. It is the 3rd largest church in the world and boasts more than 3400 statues, 135 spires, and 96 gargoyles.
Sunday I woke up early...really early given that we turned the clocks back that night. I headed out to the Castello Sforzesco and enjoyed the fall colors and smells in the gardens.
Then it was off to the Navigli district where I was plesantly surprised by the largest flea market I have ever scene. I hunted through piles of stones to get some great necklaces as well as a vintage winter coat. I know, I know..I don't need anymore winter coats, but I couldn't help myself!
I checked out of my hotel, turned in the bike, and explored the rest of the city by foot. I happened upon a park where lots of locals were watching their I got a cappachino, sat down, and made some new four legged friends.Later I did some window shopping on Corso MonteNapoleone where the new designer fashions are unveiled and just enjoying wantering through the streets. I am a big fan of Milan, which I really wasn't expecting.

For all the pics from Italy, click here.

Genoa...Italian Style!

What constitutes as Italian style? Riding around town on the back of a scooter of course!

I was in Genoa for a short work trip and stayed through Saturday night. Days again were filled with workshops and post-its. Kati, Rasmus, and I went to a great restaurant (da Rina) where the maitre d' treated us to magic shows.On Friday night I met up with Marco, a friend of Cecila's from when she studied there for a year. He picked me up via scooter and then we walked through the historic district where Marco taught me a lot about Genoa's history...different epochs of design, unfinished churches due to lack of funding, etc.On Saturday moring we met again and cruised up and down the coast via scooter visiting little fishing villages.We also went to a chocolate factory on a tiny side street in Genoa. The wicker baskets stacked on the left are different chocolates.Saturday afternoon I was off to Serravalle, an outlet mall that several collegues had told me about. My best find...a pair of black leather Salvadore Ferragamo boots...originally 77Euros!! Then it was back to Genoa to pick up my bags and catch the train to Milan.

Third time's a charm?

Absolutely! I went back to my favorite Vietnamese place in CPH the other night. It was just as good as I remember…I went back to my favorite drink..gin, cucumber, mint, tonic. I was surrounded by Latin Americas – Cecilia (Brazilian), Mariano (Argentinian, working for Maersk Brazil, in CPH for training), and I enjoyed good food and great conversation!Beforehand Cecilia and I had been at Seeker's Haven which is an outreach program my church has at local coffee shops.

Monday, October 20, 2008

2 Weeks in Brazil

I headed to Sao Paulo, Brazil for 2 weeks...yes 13 days...on a work trip. It was a long trip (about 20hr in transit), but I have discovered a new favorite international carrier...KLM...great entertainment system (I watched 5 movies on the way there) and pretty good food.Sao Paulo a word...HUGE! Talk about urban sprall! The city is 70km in diameter and when you look out the window it just goes on and on and on. We stayed in an area of town called Brooklin Nuevo. The bridge outside the office was really cool...At the office my days were filled with brown paper, post-its, affinity diagrams, root cause anaylsis, and the like.
Oh yeah...and the complimentary Friday massage at the office!
And my nights were filled with caipirinhas, churrascarias, a futbol game at Morumbi stadium, and samba dancing. We went to a great club called Rey Castro. It felt like Havanna...not that I have ever been to Havanna, but it is what I imagine it would be like :) Cigars, palm trees, exposed brick, like band, and lots of black and white photos of favorite is ths one of Castro, Cuban flag at half mast, and a photo of Che Guevara in the background.For the weekend we headed to Brotas...a resort area about 3.5hr from Sao Paulo. We stayed at Posada Recanto Alvorada which was set in the country, on a lake, in an extreme sports capital of Brazil. We sat on over the lake eating our breakfast of the most amazing fresh fruits, went kayaking, went on "country" hikes to see all the animals on the farm, did yoga, did water aerobics, laid by the pool, went rapeling, and galloped through the sugar fields on horseback. Not a bad way to spend a weekend!I was in charge of organizing the team activity on Saturday night at at Rasmus and Susanne's suggestion, I got a murder mystery...Lei'd to Rest...that's right, Hawaii theme. Everyone got really into their parts...making leis, grass skirts, and studying their parts all throughout the day. We created quite a scene in the community dining hall with several little girls wanting to play too. After the murderer was revealed, we spent the rest of the night dancing and being "somewhat" entertained by the resort entertainers, at least they kept the music going all night!And back to CPH....
Overall it was a fantastic trip...great people, great weather, great food, lots accomplished at work, and many friendships made and strengthened. For all my photos, click here!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Progressive Dinner

Last night Katie, Claudiu, and I hosted a progressive dinner for our department. Almost everyone could attend...which meant 22 people crowded into Katie and my apartments...everyone had plenty of room at Claudiu's!

Katie kicked the night off with appitizers...which included a delicious dish made with haggis! Katie is Scotish - obviously...who else would have a recipie for haggis?? If you don't know what haggis is DO NOT look it up...if you do, I swear it was really good!

Then it was to my house for dinner. I made salad, bread, and two kinds of baked ziti. I still don't quite see how 22...actually 23 because my neighbor joined us...people fit, rather comfortably, into my apartment.Claus and I know how much Mattias loves his frilly drinks so we made him a special cocktail!Time for dinner!!

We recently had a contest in Centre Sales to see who could guess how many nationalities are represented...25! Well, 12 of those are from my department...Danish, Polish, Romanian, Indian, Chinese, Australian, Scotish, Italian, Indonesian, French, Colombian, and American.Next stop was Claudiu and Janina's mansion for desert! Janina had this rock-like looking thing that when you poured hot water over it, blossomed into a flower and green tea.

Our wonderful hostess also made these amazing lemon sorbets in orange skins! Dorota and I have decided that we are moving in...Janina and Claudiu can feed and house us in exchange for free childcare!
Here's to a super evening with great colleagues and friends!


Well, my long awaited October has officially begun! Yipee! It started with me heading to London for a few days. I met up with David for dinner at Wagamama's! Then commenced the night of Wagamama hopping...David was looking for a t-shirt for Ruby, so we hit up 3 different Wagamamas, but to no avail.
Then it was off to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese for beers. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is one of the oldest pubs in London...and survived the great London fire. It was home to a lot of the greats...Dickens, Yeats, etc.
Thursday night was the "main event" - a real live Plumtucker concert! I haven't seen David play since Shorty's at WFU and he was absolutely amazing!
It was a night of me and the Texans (all too familiar for me!)...Julie Wareing Aldrich lives in London as does Shannon Watkins Catlettt. Leslie Overstreet was in London for a wedding (congrats Melanie!) and Thursday was her only free night!
I should be used to this by now, but it always amazes me how quickly things fall into place when you see old friends. I had not seen Shannon since she graduated in 2000, Julie since her wedding about 4 yrs ago, David since Brooke and Lee's wedding 2 yrs ago, and Les I had seen when she came to visit a year ago.
I took some videos of David but can't get them to load...I'll keep trying because he is so fantastic in concert! Congratulations David, I'm so proud of you!