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Easter, Roman Style

Four years ago, Mr. Beez and I were cruising the Mediterranean for our honeymoon.  The ship happened to have a stop in Rome on Easter Sunday.  We assumed this would be a disaster.  After all, isn’t the city overwhelmingly Catholic? Wouldn’t the city be disappointingly quiet?

We were thrilled to hear that we were wrong.  A lot of the small family businesses (shops, restaurants, etc) were closed for the holiday, but there were plenty that were still open.  Rome was awake, but not stiflingly crowded.

We kicked off our visit by hanging out with the Pope. I thought St. Peter’s Square would be packed and you’d have to have special tickets to get in, but that was not the case at all. It was open to the public and there were plenty of people, but not obnoxiously packed at all.
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We next made our way over to the Palatine and the Colosseum, which despite the Easter Holiday, were both open to the public. Lucky for us, the usual tourist hordes were all searching for eggs or having family meals or what have you, and not crowding up our visit.
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And since our travel time was not bogged down with fighting through people, we even had time for a visit to the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.
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As you can see, there were definitely tourists out and about, but it was nowhere near the Mid-July-At-Disneyland level of crowds that I had expected.

Our visit of course would not have been complete without a sangweech.
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They were simple street food, but man, these were some good sangweeches.

Despite our hesitations, our Roman Easter Holiday turned out fantastic. We’d love to go back for more in-depth exploring of the city (and in my case, several leisurely afternoons of sipping wine at outdoor cafes, watching the passers by), but the few hours we did get to spend there were lovely.

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So this happened…

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Four years ago today! And it’s been great fun ever since :)  I’m not the easiest person to get along with, much less live with, and Mr. Beez is my perfect match.  He’s patient, tolerant and sweet, and thinks serial killer greeting cards are as funny as I do. Happy four years Mr. Beez! Let’s have many many more!

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New Kicks

I’ve been pounding the pavement (well, really the treadmill, the track and the elliptical) for the last 2.5 years in my trusty Brooks.  I keep telling myself that they still look fine and work fine, so they’re still fine to use, but really it is time for new running shoes.  I think the guideline is something like 1 year/150 miles.  Well, we’re way beyond that.  Happily, I ordered a new pair of shoes yesterday!

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Mr. Beez says the 80s puked all over these, but I LOVE THEM!

I’ve had bad luck with running shoes giving me painful blisters, so I love that these come with a 15 day trial period. There’s nothing worse than picking out new running shoes, taking them out for a spin, realizing that they’re just not going to work, and not being able to return them.  That’s why I’ve never ordered running shoes online before (at least you minimize the risk by getting fitted at a specialty running store).  The trial period is an all around win for me!

And Baby Beez certainly has more shoes than she needs, but I just couldn’t help myself from sharing the bright-color fun with her too.

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First Night Seder, Crazy Busy Working Parent Style

I wish I had a full day to spend cooking for the Passover seder, I really do.  In the past, when I was in school and had more time to burn, I would spend a whole day making brisket and potato kugel and noodle kugel and all kinds of delicious things.  Sad to say, I don’t have a whole day to spend on cooking.  And I know, there’s no such thing as not enough time, it’s all how you prioritize it.  I can prioritize having making a Passover meal, and having a Passover Seder, but I just can’t prioritize spending an entire day on cooking when everything else is so busy right now.

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I’m really proud that I was able to effectively work with what I had this year.  My total cooking time was less than 2 hours.  I tossed a brisket with onions, carrots and potatoes in the crock pot before I left for work in the morning.  I skipped out of work a little early and prepped salad, charoset, balsalmic butter green beans + mushrooms, and mashed potatoes.  I took some shortcuts with pre-made hardboiled eggs and Kosher for Passover chocolate bon bons from Costco for dessert (Costco also had pre-made Kosher for Passover broccoli kugel, noodle kugel and potato kugel, but I’m the only one who eats any of those, so I didn’t bother).

Passover can be confusing for an Interfaith family like ours.  We’ve made the holiday our own by making our own Haggadot online (the site we originally used is no longer available, but you can make your own at Haggadot.com)  This was a nice way to balance the Passover story and traditions I hold dear, against the need for the Seder to be introductory and accessible.

Baby Beez is to young to make a real go at finding the afikomen, but we made do, and she had fun.

(Please don’t mind the extremely cluttered pet supply corner in our dining room…)

Happy Pesach to all! Hoping your Seder was special and full of friends, family, and delicious food!

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This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

In addition to now charging up for two (count em TWO) trials, both to take place within April, I’ve apparently made a point to fill our weekends with ceaseless activity.  Late this afternoon, Mr. Beez begged “Please tell me this is the last weekend you’ve booked up.”  Lucky for both of us, yes, it is.  Next weekend we have an outing for our Anniversary and an Easter Sunday get together with my in-laws, but that’s it.  And most of the weekends in April are completely open, and are going to stay that way (or we are both going to lose our minds.)

I was going to do separate posts about each of the activities that we did this weekend, but then I’d be spending forever and ever writing blog posts.  So here’s the rundown of what happens when my enthusiasm for “doing stuff” goes unchecked.

Friday:  Bubble Time at the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater and dinner at Las Velas (Fajita Salad, yum)

Saturday: Gym workout for me, Gymkhana for the little one, Farm to Table Conference and SWAN Day Celebration

Sunday: Had new portraits taken of the little one (which involved much yelling and bribing), ran errands including Costco, saw Madama Butterfly, and desperate rush to catch up on work before the new week.

A Monday full of work actually seems relaxing in comparison.  So if you invite me somewhere in the month of April and I politely decline, please take no offense.  The last several weekends have been b-a-n-a-n-a-s.  Plus I’ve got a Groupon for a facial and a massage that I really need to put to good use.