Posts Tagged ‘flashbacks’

Fake Iron & Real Italy

Happy Friday! Did this week pass by in a blur for the rest of you? It sure has gone by fast for me. Today will be quick too, because as you are reading this I am likely at the gym, at the doctor for a confirmation of pregnancy visit, or at lunch with Lindsey of Cardio Pizza. I’ll be back later with an update on all of those. Right now though, it is time for a flashback and something I saw that bothered me earlier in the week. We’ll get the irksome out of the way first.

In recent celebrity “news” articles, like this one, there has been discussion of Gwyneth Paltrow working out with her beloved Tracy Anderson in order to get in shape for her role in the Iron Man 2 movie. There are claims that Tracy Anderson’s special method helped Gwyneth put on 10 lbs of muscle…with “aerobic dance moves” and a leg workout similar to the following:


I’m sorry to be such a cynic…but a bunch of leg lifts, kicks, and funky body twists accompanied with “aerobic dance moves” will NOT make you gain 10 lbs of muscle. Especially while also leaning down. You would have to eat a great surplus of calories and do more concentrated weight lifting to gain muscle like that. I’m not saying that Tracy’s workouts won’t leave you with a good “burn”, because contorting your body in weird ways or kicking your leg out a 100 times will likely hurt, but it is not in my mind a quality workout that will extraordinarily change your body composition. Completely fake in my mind.

What isn’t fake is the gelato, gondolas, churches, and art in Italy. For this Flashback Friday I will share some of my visit to Venice & Florence during my Europe vacation.

Venice and Florence came at the perfect time of our trip. There wasn’t as much to do in these cities, so we really got to just enjoy the scenery, the culture, and the towns. In Venice, we sat in awe of the little water town and eyed the gondolas in the Grand Canal since they cost an arm and a leg we weren’t willing to lose with 1/2 of our trip remaining.

water canal

We shopped farmer’s markets for food and tourist markets for Ciao Bella shirts in the piazzas.


We traveled by water taxi when we otherwise would get lost in the confusing road setups that end in canals.


We viewed beautiful churches such as St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and the Duomo in Florence.



We climbed the Camponile Bell Tower in Florence to take in the views of the town and even a little hint of Tuscany-esque views off in the distance.


We visited museums where we got to see all sorts of amazing Italian sculptures. I feel like I should have some tiny black rectangles strategically placed below.

statue david

But the best part? Getting real Italian gelato! It makes Italy that much sweeter to visit.


  • What do you think of Tracy Anderson’s workout for Gwyneth Paltrow? Do you think she is credible?
  • If you could go to Italy what would you be most excited to experience? If you have been, what was your favorite part?
  • Do you enjoy the flashbacks? Would you like me to switch it up and do trips some weeks and other things in between? Or do you like the trip flashbacks in the order I experienced them? Or none of it and flashbacks bore you?

Posted by on May 14th, 2010 19 Comments

Flashback Friday – Amsterdam & Munich

I have to say I am really loving doing the Flashback Friday posts! It is fun to remember such a great trip. Plus, who doesn’t love to look at travel pictures? Thanks Janetha for starting such a fun post idea! This week’s Flashback Friday will show my stops in Amsterdam & Munich during my 2 month exploration of Europe. Let the party begin! Unlike the party I will be attending this afternoon. Dentist appointments are so fun, right? *please note the sarcasm*

Oh, Amsterdam. I’m sure you would think this would be the highlight of our vacation. You would be very mistaken. I was pretty disappointed with Amsterdam and would have much rather spent the few days we stayed there elsewhere. When we planned the trip my friend & I were both in our intense partying phase. When the trip actually came…not so much. We still decided to hit up Amsterdam because we had heard things about how beautiful it is and the history is interesting. Plus, we had to say we at least went!

It is true that Amsterdam is pretty. Especially the Amstel River that runs through the city. And it is true that there is interesting history. Visiting Anne Frank’s house was pretty cool.

amstelriver2 Amstel River amsterdamhouses

It is also true that the Red Light District has hookers in windows and pot is readily available. We were offered some within 10 minutes of our arrival. No, I did not have any. I have never had the desire for it, and so have never tried it. Below is a picture of the Red Light District (mid afternoon and clean version), but also a scandalous shot of a carving in the ground. Can you tell what it is?



Another part of Amsterdam that was nice was the countryside area. We walked about 2.5 hours out to some windmills. I must admit we were mildly disappointed it was summer and not spring, so there were no fields of tulips to admire. Also, please excuse the poor picture quality from bad cameras and scanned photos.


And that was about all the excitement we had in Amsterdam. No crazy stories to share. Munich was better though. Not only did it have interesting history, but also fun in the name of the Hofbrauhaus. 😀

In Munich, we stayed in a hostel called The Tent. It was actually more comfortable than some places, even though we were sleeping on the floor.

tent meonfloor

We also went on a free tour that included the Marienplatz square, a funny music tower…

Marienplatz munichtower

…and biergartens. Now those are fun places! Who doesn’t like being outside with a bunch of music, food, beer, and fun? We tried out a real bratwurst at the biergarten.


We did save the majority of our beer fun for the well known beer hall called the Hofbrauhaus. We enjoyed a pint of beer and a ginormo pretzel. Yes, I put down all of that. Best beer I have ever had. I don’t even like beer much, but could have had two of those suckers.


Also, the World Cup was in Germany at this time so there were a ton of crazy soccer fans all around. We bonded with some cute Swedish dudes. I was even dubbed an honorary Swede, since that is why they originally approached us. I can’t tell you how many people asked if I was from Sweden. Or just spoke to me in Swedish expecting me to understand.


It wasn’t all fun and games in Munich, however. We did take a short trip outside the city to visit Dachau, one of the biggest concentration camps during the Holocaust. It was so disheartening to see.


Even with some examples of what they endured right in front of us (unbearable living conditions, gas chambers, photos of the executions on display, etc), it was hard to fathom what it must have been like for those people. I do not understand that level of hatred. And while reading The Help, it is obvious that we have been guilty of the same types of things here in the US. Sadly, hatred like that still exists and I long for the time where we don’t have to live with it anymore.

  • What things of history interest you a lot? I have never been a big History fan. But I will say that World War 2 and all that happened during it actually touches me and draws me in way more than anything else. It was weird to actually see parts of it on my trip.
  • Do you like beer? I am very much a wine, margarita, and martini girl. Those are the only drinks I ever get. But, I would be a bigger beer drinker if beer like that was more readily available.

Posted by on April 30th, 2010 No Comments


Catch Up With Recent Posts

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Posted: November 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

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Where The Change Happens

Posted: November 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

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From Beginning To End

Posted: November 15, 2011 at 11:53 am

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