1) My gladiator sandals: I’m milking this whole “When we were in Europe…” intro to conversations for as long as I can (and feeling like an expiration date is approaching), so let me just say, when we were in Europe, I fell in love with and had to buy this pair of sandals. The sandals worn on the feet of European women? Yeah, YOU CAN’T FIND ‘EM HERE. Believe me, I’ve tried. I could have bought and filled another suitcase with all the shoes I fell in love with there, but it feels special having come home with this one pair. Which I hope I can wear for the next 10 years to continue the streak of nonchalantly being all, “Oh, these? Well, you know, I bought them in Paris.”And BTW, if European women are still rocking gladiator sandals, well, I figure I’ve got at least three more years’ worth of mileage on the trend here in the states. Right? :)
2) Inception: Nick and I saw this film on a double date this week and IT BLEW MY MIND. No really, I felt like I had to pick up the bits that were left after we saw it. It was THAT confusing, that complex, but also, that amazing. We talked/argued/talked and argued some more for about an hour post-viewing on all the loop holes that make up this film, but I love Christopher Nolan and love slipping into a movie where I have to think for a change. Which, I can assure you, doesn’t happen much with a viewing of, say, Eclipse. Unless I’m thinking of how much I’d like to see Edward with his shirt off for a change.
3) Frommer’s Day by Day guidebooks: If you’ve ever traveled with me, you know I don’t leave the house without one of these guides (which happen to fit oh so nicely in a pocket of a ShootSac). All the smart phones in the world can’t replicate the simplicity of a well-made pocket guide and I think Frommer’s are the best (full disclosure here: I occasionally do a bit of copyediting for the company). Check to see if the next city you visit has one in stock and I promise it’ll be the best $13 you spend the whole trip! (Unless you’re in Europe, in which case, it will be that hazelnut gelato you had in Rome).
4) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series: I won’t be able to think of this vacation without thinking of how I devoured the three books in this series in all the downtime we had in airports, train stations and hotels along the way. I’m not usually up for books heavy on violence and crime, but curiosity got to me with these novels by Stieg Larsson and I’m so glad it did. I just couldn’t put ‘em down. If you’re looking for a fast-paced read with one of the most intriguing heroines in contemporary fiction, I highly recommend.
5) Nutella: One more time before I become a giant pain-in-the-you-know-what with this, but when we were in Europe (cringe), Nick and I developed a unhealthy obsession with Nutella. They love this spread over there the way we Americans love our peanut butter. But you know what? NUTELLA IS SOOO MUCH BETTER. Since we’ve been back, Nick and I have put this stuff on croissants, bagels, toast, waffles, bananas …basically anything edible in our kitchen. As he stood there with the jar, Nick paused mid-lick to ask the (very good) question of “How come it took us so long to discover this goodness?!!” To which I couldn’t help but agree. It’s seriously that yummy. Don’t believe me? Grab a slice of bread and give it a try.