Friday, April 17, 2015

That one time we accidentally hitchhiked… and didn't get killed… or kidnapped…

Please pardon my multi-sweater, super-zippered layered look.  I swear, I had a cute outfit on underneath it all, but it was soooooo cold!  

Out intention was to hop on a boat and sail to Malta's sister island of Gozo, but it was soooooooo windy, that all the tours were canceled.  We ended up on a harbor tour around Malta (not worth it on it's own… only did it because it was free with the purchase of a Gozo tour, and who doesn't want to spend some free time on a boat?).  Unfortunately, I left my nautical-themed pashmina afghan at home, so I was a little ice cube on the boat and didn't take any photos.  

Upon shivering right off of the boat, we hopped onto the nice warm bus (remember, you can get a 7-day bus pas for 6.50 Euros) and headed south to the "Blue Grotto."  It took forever.  We had to switch buses in Mdina and then decided to hop off in the middle of nowhere to look at some prehistoric temples that we couldn't afford to get in to, waited another 40 minutes for the next bus and finally made it to the blue lagoon.  It was definitely worth the wait. 

I love looking at the sea.  I could stare at it all day.  But this time was especially special, as the sun was in just the right spot and I found a good spot to sit on the rocks and for the first time this whole trip, I was WARM!  And just as I was settling into my rocky little nook and preparing to call it my new home, SB got bored and decided that we simply must go onto another boat to see the clear water and explore some of the coastal caves.  I readily agreed.  

It was way cooler than the grottos in Italy last summer!  There were jellyfish everywhere and since I was still warm from my sojourn on the rocks, I was happy. 

… and when we got off the boat… a lady gave us free ice cream!  Weeeeee!  

Well, friends, that's about when the fun ended.  We got onto another bus to see the Dingli Cliffs, but I think we got a bit jaded, where cliffs are concerned, in Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher.  These cliffs were, well… cool, but not what I was expecting.  And the sun was going down.  And the wind was blowing.  And the next bus wasn't due for an hour.  I pretended to hitchhike several times as we walked to bus stops closer to civilization, but no one stopped.  

We reached the edge of a town and settled in for the hour-long wait for the next bus.  I was crouched down and digging for my iPod so I could work on choreographing some new Zumba dances when a car drove past us, stopped, and reversed to us.  It was a man, his wife in the passenger seat, toddler on her lap (no seat belts).  He got out and offered us a ride to the bus stop in the next big city.  

Now, normally, I'm pretty trusting, but my hackles went up.  On the flip side, normally SB is totally against agreeing to anything like this, but he was all for it.  We hopped into the back of the SUV and got out own private tour of the southern half of Malta on the way back up to Mdina.  

It was a wonderful reminder that there are good, honest, genuinely kind people in the world. 

… and now we must pay it forward! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Another day, another wander…

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Day 2 in Malta started out with a deceptively warm-looking sunshine and a cool breeze.  We ended up getting two free days of breakfast at our hotel as compensation for the issues with our room, so our day started with about 25 mini croissants (always a good thing) and two cups of horrendous cappuccino.  Since, as I mentioned before, we had done absolutely NO planning for this trip, we wandered across the street from our hotel in Sliema, hopped a bus into Valletta and went to the "Malta Experience."  We thought it would help us get a better grasp on the history of the island, some insight into the language, food and culture, but I'll tell you right now that if you go to Malta, do not waste your money on this.  

The "Experience" is a 45 minute movie about Malta followed by a tour of the knight's hospital.  SB and I opted for the movie only and for real, could have probably found it on YouTube and not spent the 17 Euros (including the discount I received since I always have a student ID on me).  We learned very little, the theatre was super dirty and you have to wear headphones to hear the movie in your language. You choose your language via a dial on the armrest that essentially takes up the entire armrest and I don't even want to think about the last time the headphones were cleaned.  Just skip this attraction.   Google "Malta" instead. 

After our sad movie experience, we had a bit of a wander around Valletta.  The sun got warm enough for me to take my jacket off, which was, of course, when we decided to hop a bus (you can get a 7-day ticket for 6.50 Euros) to the Silent City of Mdina at the center of the island.  

My only complaint about Mdina is that I was covered in goosebumps the whole time we were there.  It's a freakishly quiet city, but looks like it's been preserved in history for centuries.  The streets are twisty and turny… it kind of reminded me a bit of Split, Croatia.  

Monday, April 13, 2015

To plan, or not to plan?

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Oh travel.  You are wonderful, but you also drive me insane.  

Spring break kind of snuck up on us this year. SB was in the states for training (leaving me alone in our haunted house for weeks) and upon his return, he had to finish school work and I was so exhausted from having been awake so much (thanks a lot, ghosts) that my ability to adequately plan our spring break was severely compromised.  

We had flights, we had hotels, and that was it… 

… or so we thought.  However, I discovered about 5 hours before our flight (had to fly to Milan for a night and then fly to Malta) that we'd booked a hotel in Milan near the wrong airport.  Our hotel was actually about an hour away from the airport that we were actually flying to.  Luckily, I caught our error and we were able to book another hotel in time for our flight. 

… and then our plan was struck by lightning. 

I kid you not, I thought we'd been hit by some sort if missile.  I was already shaken up because we'd been flying through a crazy turbulent storm and then this huge flash came out of nowhere.  I jolted my whole body and braced for impact, while literally the entire rest of the plane was silent.  SB was all "Whoa… that was so freaking cool!" I think I was the only scared person on the entire plane.  It took until our landing about 20 minutes later for me to calm down.  And in hindsight, it makes for a pretty cool story.

Anyway, once we landed, we discovered that the only way to get to our hotel was to take a cab… for 20 Euros… for a 10 minute drive.  We had to make the same trip the following morning, which meant that our grand total for one night's stay in a hotel was 40 Euros in transportation, about 60 Euros for the hotel we actually stayed in and another 70 Euros for the hotel that we didn't stay in.  Word to the wise… plan your shiz. 

We got on the plane to Malta without any issue, got on a bus to the hotel without any issue and then arrived at the hotel to be told that our room was under construction and we'd be given two single rooms.  Let me tell you… they were the tiniest rooms ever, with windows that opened onto the heating/cooling system for the building.  It was a noisy night, but we made it… and got to wander around this super cool, peely city! 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

If I a lumberjack, I were…

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… Yoda, I would wear… 

I have no patience, whatsoever.  I was really trying to save this shirt until May the Fourth, but I just couldn't do it.  

In other news, I fell off the face of the earth for a while, and by that, I mean that I was away on spring break!  Weeeeee!  

Photos of the beautiful (if somewhat chilly) islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino are in the works!  

Until then, please enjoy these snaps of DJ Yodajack… 

Backpack ℅ AMI Clubwear
Plaid button down ℅ Deb
Pyrite bracelet ℅ Kalypso Creations
Arrow necklace ℅ Primlark

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The proper occasion...

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Sometimes, outfits kind of fall together. I'll be rearranging my wardrobe and it's like certain articles of clothing develop so,e sort of magnetic pull towards one another and before I know it, they've stuck themselves together where they end up sitting and waiting in the "bullpen" of my closet.  This is where I store outfits that I have out together and want to wear but am simply waiting for the proper occasion per ensemble. This is one of those outfits.  And truth be told, the occasion ended up being a morning off of work. I quite literally got all dressed up, ran outside between 60 mph gales of wind and torrents of raindrops, snapped these shots, and then was right back into my unsightly sweatpants from freshman year of college and an oversized t-shirt. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

This one time when I accidentally created the most delicious meal ever…

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It may not look like much… and the lighting is not the best because I forgot that our clocks moved forward and it was still slightly sunny at 8:30 PM and I had to cook in a hot hurry. 

This meal was created by accident.  Since I was apparently just running late all day, I woke up late, knew I'd need something defrosted and ready to quickly sauté when I returned from work 10 hours later, so I literally wandered into the pantry, grabbed a bunch of random stuff, tossed it into a container of frozen chicken to simultaneously defrost and marinate all day and I'll be darned if it wasn't amazing! When I added the couscous, it was perfection.  Here's what I did to create this savory orange chicken, garlic couscous, and broccoli: 

Chicken (I used 4 tenders to keep portion sizes small)

: 2 tbsp orange olive oil
: 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
: 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
: 1/2 cup chicken broth
: a sprinkle of garlic powder, rubbed sage, and some freshly cracked pepper

Like I said, I literally tossed all of this into a Tupperware container and let it sit all day to defrost and marinate.  Then, I sautéed it for about 8 minutes and that was that! 


: 1 cup of Pearl couscous
: 2 cups of water
: 2 tbsp butter
: 1 tsp garlic
: cracked pepper

Boil the couscous in water until it has become soft.  Turn off heat and add butter, garlic and pepper.  Stir in so it is evenly distributed. That's it! 


I cheated and just used 2 cups of the frozen stuff that I cooked in the micro (totally meant to steam it, but I ran out of time).  Added 1 tsp of lemon juice and garnished with sea salt! 

So delicious! 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dolla, dolla bills, girls…

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Majorly debating the world today.  I know that it can be a great place, but it seems that with each passing day, something crazy happens, someone gets offended, new rules are made to micro-govern down to the smallest thing.  

Just this morning, I had an interesting conversation concerning the letter 9-year old Sophia wrote to President Obama, asking him why there were no women featured on US currency.  My conversation partner pointed out that Susan B. Anthony is on the silver dollar and that Sacagawea is on the dollar coin and that currency should only feature US presidents.  

I immediately asked, "But what about the Benjamin's?" since good 'ol Ben Franklin is on a $100 bill and wasn't a president, and my convo pal told me that that was acceptable, as Ben Franklin played an integral role in the history of our nation… and then said something about how girls should do more (cos you know… being vessels of life isn't enough already…) and that the campaign to replace a woman on the $20 is crazy ("Just because girls are getting offended that they aren't on money…" is where that branch of conversation led). 

I do get what my pal was saying.  I'm slightly fed up with all the things I have to do on a regular basis to keep up appearances and keep people from getting offended (like putting a sweater over the Jack D. shirt I have on in these photos, when I went in to teach dance classes), but I had to back Sophia here… because quite simply, chicks have been historically known to do some pretty awesome shiz.  Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Eleanor Roosevelt, in my humble opinion, have every right to be featured on currency right along with their male counterparts.  

… of course, I was then called a communist/fascist, but for real… recognizing women who did things that changed the course of history on currency seems perfectly logical to me.  

What do you think?  Should our currently evolve with the feminist-leaning times?  Or should we stick with our old tried and true dolla dudes? 

Earrings ℅ my daddy!