Monthly Archives

May 2017

Travel

3 Things that I thought were weird in Paris and Rome that was just culturally different from America

  1. What’s up with Europe and Ice cubes???

The whole six days I was in Paris and Rome, I noticed that no one used ice or even liked to give you a cup of ice.  It was really weird.  I was in McDonalds and asked for a cup of ice.  The lady taking my order was like hold on and called the Manager.  Weird?  For some ice???????

I read somewhere that Europeans don’t believe in diluting their sodas.  I don’t know but it made me feel some type of way.  Are we Americans that spoiled?  Are we that excessive?  But it’s just ice!   Hell, in America, McDonalds always gives too much ice.

I have read on some blogs that Europeans do not feel that what they are drinking will taste the same if they dilute it with ice.  Some places in Europe even drink warm beer.  Imagine that?  We Americans would frown at the thought of that.  Some Europeans feel that ice messes with the digestive system.  I don’t know but I have had ice all my life in almost every glass of whatever I am drinking and I found it really hard to be deprived of it while on vacation.

  1. They have no lanes in their streets. The drivers are scary.

People just drive with no structure and they drive aggressively.  It’s very weird.  I thought New York was scary but Paris and Rome were worse.  In Europe people just seem to drive.  They drive small cars like the Smart car and the Fiat.  They squeeze in tiny parking spaces and park really close to each other.  I did see one car accident.  One of our drivers in Rome called their roads the Jungle.  When our driver was taking us to the airport someone actually hit our passenger side view mirror and just kept going/.  That is how close cars drive to each other.

In America, I am used to 2 or more lanes.  I am used to turning signals, strict rules, and traffic cameras.  It was a bit weird or me but I do understand that it’s a culture thing and a way of life.  If I lived in Paris or Rome, I would have to forget what I have learned as a driver in America and learn a whole new way.  I would need to be super aggressive and willing to run traffic lights.  Quite frankly, I think I would just catch the bus or walk.

  1. Almost everyone was rude and had no personality.

If I’m on vacation and someone comes off as agitated all the time.  That’s going to put a dark cloud over my head as long as I am in the presence of you.  I met this guy while going through customs in Atlanta, I was discussing the rudeness of people and he totally agreed with me.  I was like well I am so glad you saw it too because I was starting to think it was just me and quite possibly, the color of my skin.

When I returned from my trip and landed in Atlanta.  Everyone was so nice and greeted me so friendly.  When I arrived in Paris and Rome everyone was so not friendly (especially Rome) and seemingly annoyed by people being in their presence.  Well, I won’t say everyone but about 80% of people.

I am sorry for calling these things weird but to me as an American they are very different from our way of life.  The ice thing, well I understand.  The driving differences, well I sort of understand that too but the rudeness in Europe, I do not understand.  It cost nothing to smile and be nice to people.  This may also be a cultural thing but in my opinion.  That sucks!!!

Travel

The Long Flight to and from Europe, Was it good or bad?

My recent vacation to Europe was nice.  My flight to Paris was an 8 hour flight.  I brought books and magazines.  I did not get to look at any of them.  Because we were on a Delta Airbus 330, and the flight was so long, they served us 2 meals (which were actually decent) and there was a charger at each seat, a plug outlet and each seat had a TV monitor with tons of movies and tv shows to watch.  It was great!  I literally watched 4 movies, all where movies that had just recently came out the theaters and I had not seen.

The Flight to Rome from Paris on Air France was ok, nothing special about it.  It was only 2 hours.  My expectations were not high.

The flight from Rome to Atlanta was great and quite like the initial flight to Paris.  There were movies, free food, drinks and chargers for laptops, i-pads for phones.  I am not sure how other airlines operate but my Delta flight was great!

Travel

10 things you BETTER have or do before traveling abroad

These are in no particular order. These are my opinions based on my travel experiences.

1. Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards. If you planning to take a cab, you will need local currency. There are alot of places you are able to use your card but just know that you will be paying a little more when using them because of bank fees. Go to your bank before you leave and get the correct currency. Look up the monetary conversion before you go. You don’t want any surprises to your budget. Do your math before you travel to get a sense of where the conversion rate is.

2. Make sure you tell your bank and credit card people that you will be traveling abroad. You do not want to use your card and it NOT work while purchasing something and then have to go through the hassle of calling your bank long distance to get everything straightened out.

3. Make sure you have an international calling plan. Call your carrier and see what they offer. It will increase your bill but you need some sort of communication while you are traveling. I plan on carrying a portable Wi-Fi box, so that I am always connected. It is $10 a day and you can have it with you at all times. Www.tepwireless.com I will be doing a You Tube review on this box around Mid-May. Note: I did not have an international calling plan. I only used wifi and when I needed to talk to friends or family, I used an app called Whats App or Imo. Both of these apps allow wifi called and texting. (No Overages for me!)

4. Buy adapters for the country that you are going to. You will need it for your phone, hair dryer, laptops, I pad etc. Countries have different size plugs and voltage. You can get these adapters on amazon for less than $10. Note: Please take more than one. As an American, I know that I am electronic excessive person. I needed a plug for my cell, laptop, and hair curlers. If you are traveling with other people you most definitely will need extra sockets and adapters.

5. Eat native food. Do your research and see what the country is best known for. Try it because you only live once!!

6. Make sure you check to see how many bags you are allowed to check when flying international. All airlines are different.

7. Buy your tickets early for any tours you want to attend. Try to plan your days out. Note: On the first day of your holiday/vacation don’t plan anything. You will probably be tired, jet lag and all screwed up because of the huge time difference you are use to.

8. Register with your embassy. If there’s a problem in the country, it will be easier for your government to contact you and get you to safety.

9. Take Flat shoes. Don’t try to be cute and wear heels. You will be doing a lot of walking. Only take a pair or two if you are planning to go out to dinner or to a bar/club.

10. Learn a few phrases of the country you are visiting. You will appreciate it and so will they.

Food

10- day GREEN SMOOTHIE CHALLENGE

What a challenge. Where do I begin?!? I’m going to try and make this short. A few months before my Paris, France trip I decided I was going to loose a few pounds, because I picked up a some weight due to being off work for 6 weeks related to some surgery I had….let me tell ya (SIGH), I super stoked at first; I went to the grocery store and bought all my ingredients, I even bought 6 cute little cups and chalkboard labels to label each flavor , but QUICKLY (ZOOOOM) once I started this challenge, I thought to myself what have I gotten myself into. Talk about discipline, its something serious. This challenge requires no MEAT or SWEETS , you are to drink only a 12 oz cup of smoothie 1 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you can drink detox tea as well…YEP that’s it, now in between for snacks, you can eat dry fruit or nuts. All of this for 10 days straight. Preparation is key, I suggest whipping of your smoothies the night before and letting them sit in the freezer or refrigerator over night. I liked mine super cold. By doing this, before heading out of the door for work, all you’ll have to do is reach into the fridge, grab your smoothie’s and you’re ready to roll out. Do this every night before the following day for the complete 10 days.

I referred to J.J Smith 10-day smoothie cleanse for guidance and the recipes. Please click on the link to purchase the book.

In conclusion: I felt better, felt lighter, skin looked and felt smoother, and I reached my goal of losing 10 pounds. So I will end this with saying, the 1st couple of days were rough, but afterwards it gets a LITTLE bit easier and its definitely worth it all.

Can’t you tell by the look on my face (below) how much I’m enjoying this challenge ***SIGH**** Beside that aren’t you loving my DIY deep purple cardigan that I’m rocking 🙂

XOXOXOXO…..Ms. Kim Austin

 

Sewing

DIY Lace Top

Hey guys!

I took these pics after participating in the 10 day green smoothie challenge and let me tell you, that’s a whole nother post(yep I said nother). Anyway, after the challenge I slimed down about 10 pounds, which allotted for this super cute top to fit more comfortably on me. When I originally made the top, I cut it a size to small, but after the weight lost, it fits perfectly in every area :-).

Conclusion: I’m in love with this top, because of the color, the fabric choice (lace), and the style of it.

Well, I catch up you all later. Hope you enjoy this post.

XOXOXOXO…..Ms. Kim Austin