Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Our daily ice cream date She gets very excited when she sees McDonalds!


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That's what real humidity looks like!


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Sometimes we wear makeup and brush our hair, even though we haven't left the house all day. And then take selfies to document it.


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Tour Life and Coming Home Again

95% of my life is spent alone. I live alone. I work solo. I'm single. I really am alone nearly all the time. I wish it weren't always that way. I'm not a loner, but circumstances have made me that way to some extent. 3 weeks of close proximity with 44 people is a big change for almost everyone, but an especially overwhelming one for me. (So many people in my space! So little control over my surroundings!)
It's a challenge, but one that I enjoy 95% of the time. (See "Serbians After Midnight" for the other 5%.) I'm grateful to be home and getting back into my routine. But missing my big, funny, tour family. And daydreaming about next year already. (Germany! Netherlands! Belgium! Ireland!)
It's a strange adjustment going back to solitary living. So quiet! I look forward to the day where I get to live in a nice happy medium.


My setup for the day. Video editing, writing, job hunting, and networking to do! And maybe even a live video on live videos for my marketing for authors group on Facebook! #SMM #multitasking #strangerthingsonnetflix


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Friday, July 22, 2016

The city/country that would rather take a blood payment than a credit card, has Ta is that take PayPal. Go figure.


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Erin doesn't like snakes.


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Um overlooking Rome?


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Kylie needs a hug.


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Inside St Peter's Basilica. And getting tired and hangry. And a little slap happy.


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After 23,000 steps, and 5.5 hours in the Vatican, gelato makes us happy and not hangry. #erintakesitaly #kylieisdrooling #gelato #stpeterssquare #eatingmywaythrougheurope2016edition #zachisagoodsport #notthefirsttousethathashtag


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No pictures in the Sistine Chapel!! #rebel #alreadymetthepiceoncetoday #whataretheygoingtodokickmeoutofitaly #erintakesitaly


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Ha. My day.


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My view of Colloseum so far. Having very interesting start to the day. I'd explain how the police are involved and threatening me. I'm thinking it's the Italian equivalent of "black while driving." I'm "blonde while standing." Ergo, I'm the problem.


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Sunday, July 17, 2016

I think this cutie is from Italy. (It's hard to say.) she also asked me for a selfie in Italian but used the word #selfie.


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Sometimes inexplicably kids ask to take selfies with me too. "Americano, selfie, grazi!" #catour2016 #selfie #etintakesitaly


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And the non-selfie version. #catour2016


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These little ladies just came up to me and said "Selfie! Like boys!" So I got them some boys for a selfie. (And one regular pic. And yes, they said selfie. Apparently it's a universal language word.) #catour2016 #selfie


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Pranzo! Chicken parm. And the first green vegetable since the ratatouille. I didn't know I loved vegetables so much. Oh and this is the second and third courses. First was crusty bread. We assume a fourth is coming. There was also white wine on the table (which I spilled on all of us) but we traded it with Mexico for water. Wine into water! #erintakesitaly #eatingmywaythrougheurope2016edition #catour2016 #greenvegetablesareagoodthing


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Now that's what I call an obstructed view.


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Intense Italian sunset! #erintakesitaly


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One if my favorite pics from tonight's show. Shaylynn nails the stunt and stage presence.


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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Last (Nutella) crepe in France! Au revoir, mon ami!


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That my friends is a breathalyzer! Our bus driver must blow into it before the bus will start. Also he has a personal espresso machine behind his seat. So French. So Italian! #bastilleday #carcassonne #catour2016 #clogamericatakesfrance #erintakesfrance 🇮🇹🇳🇱🇺🇸


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Tour life. So glamorous!


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Dejeuner Bastille Day. French pizza. Because it made sense to eat pizza the day before we go to Italy. Super thin crust, trois fromage. And it's crazy windy on this 500 year old bridge and moat. 🇳🇱🇺🇸🍕🇮🇹💨🌥


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Sometimes the filter shot is awesome.


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Shaylynn and Erin picture 2016. Inside the Carcassonne Castle on Bastille Day. #nofilter #erintakesfrance #clogamericatakesfrance #catour2016 #carcassonne #bastilleday


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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Au Revoir, Mes Amis


In just about 24 hours I'll be in a plane bound for Europe. It's a much-needed trip to get away for awhile.
I've had all this free time to work and be creative lately, but my head has been too full of drama from the past to really be able to let go and let my creative side take over. I hate having all this free time and not putting it to good use writing! I have let my creative side out a bit with painting and refurbishing furniture. I've redone 5 tables in the past 3 weeks. I think my neighbors will strangle me if they hear me fire up my orbital sander one more time. I've loved doing something creative and different from my usual routine. It's good to exercise the design and aesthetic muscle from time to time. I've been trying my hand at sewing again as well. (I'm taking several small crafting projects with me to Europe to give to an orphanage.) I think it's in everyone's best interest if I put the sewing machine away and stop watching "Project Runway." I can't sew a straight line to save my life.
But back to Europe, and all that chocolate and cheese that's just waiting for me! I've lost 30 lbs since January 1. And I don't care if I put back on every single pound by eating chocolate, cheese, and pasta. Did I mention I'm headed to France and Italy? Yeah. Good food awaits!
And so does creative freedom. This trip is coming at just the right time for me to shake off the past, clear my head, and reboot life a little bit better. Time for a new outlook. Time for new Italian shoes. Time to visit with old friends and make some new ones. And time to twirl in the Alps and put my toes in the Mediterranean Sea. All things that will definitely be happening!
Here's a funny thought for you- this is my first trip in about 10 years that I will be able to drink the water where I'm going. I always seem to be heading off to another less developed country where I have to get shots and take medications. This will be a whole new adventure for me to be in a place where the dollar isn't high-valued, and the water is clean.
Granted, I'm traveling with Clog America again, so it's not like we'll be staying in hotels or resorts. (We're staying in hostels, a dorm, and with host families this time.) But bring it on! I'm ready for some new sights and sounds! And to listen to the sound of little clogging feet, fiddles, and banjos every night. (Not looking as forward to all of the Eastern European dances as much. But still, I love them too.) Ooh and this year there will be teams from Africa and Asia performing as well. That should bring a fun new element into the mix.
I'm trying to force myself to stay awake another 33 minutes so I can book my seats and check in online. My flight has a layover in Istanbul, and due to the bombings there last week it's guaranteed to be a jam-packed flight. (Also it's the end of Eid in Muslim countries, so a lot of families are traveling that direction.) I don't want a middle seat!!!
So look forward to lots of pictures of food, cloggers, and pretty scenes over the next few weeks! And be sure to follow our adventures at clog-america.blogspot.com. 

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