Family Planning: Confessions Of A Crazy Person

It’s been about four months since a fire in the Rome airport created mass chaos and forced Dan and me to gate check our luggage (against our will) in exchange for seats on a flight with a final destination of Athens, Greece.   As fate would have it, after a long delay and a connection through Istanbul, we were left staring at an empty luggage cue well after midnight in the Athens airport.

IMG_2587Just great…

Despite our frustration, we were able to grab a last-minute (and very overpriced) room at the hotel across the street and hoped that our bags would miraculously appear by morning. When morning arrived with no bags in sight, we cabbed it into town and found an H&M and pharmacy to grab supplies for the next few days. Scheduled to depart to Mykonos the next morning, we decided that if need be, we could probably rough it in the Greek islands if necessary.

I know, tough life. Continue reading

Anniversary Trip: Beantown!

Always looking for an excuse to travel, Dan and I seized the opportunity to commemorate our first year of marriage with another adventure; albeit stateside this time. In true DeRose fashion, rather than wrapping up surprises for one another, we decided to replace the gift-giving tradition with a pair of plane tickets, and a week-full of memories to go with it. After all, since the first year is supposed to be a gift of paper, plane tickets were totally apropos!

Thankfully, our flexible work schedules allow us to take full advantage of off-peak travel specials so when we found cheap flights to Boston and a couple good deals on Airbnb, we quickly decided a tour of Harvard Square and Fenway Park followed by a quiet (and productive!) week-long retreat on Cape Cod would suit us just fine. After securing subs to take over my CrossFit classes, we packed our suitcases, laptops in tow, and headed out for our 8-night trip to the Northeast. Continue reading

His Plans Are Better: Thoughts On Not Having Control

There are a few things I know to be sure in life: God is real, my Mom is the most selfless person I’ve ever met, I’ve been blessed with a husband I don’t deserve, and His plans are always better.

If it had been up to me, I would have spent the entirety of my formative years in Richmond Heights, Ohio in a small three-bedroom ranch house. I would have graduated from Richmond Heights High School, and inevitably, like most other grads, went on to Ohio State. However, instead of living in the same home collecting memories  with the same group of friends for 18 years, over the course of our childhood, my sisters and I were forced to go to two elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. And after that, all three of us even went to two colleges!

Isn’t that nuts? Continue reading

Sales Anonymous

It has taken me a really long time to admit that I want to be a writer. To admit to actual human people that my biggest dream is to someday author one of the gazillion books that I have dreamed up over the years. But as you can tell from my post earlier this week, this blog is only the first of (hopefully!) many steps towards making that dream come true.

Deep.

Breaths.

It’s no surprise it’s taken basically forever to come out of my figurative writing closet. After all, I’m a recovering saleswoman. I am an 8-year veteran of a special group of humans that can’t seem to get enough of that rush of the sale.   Quickly becoming chained to the highs and always feeling ashamed of the lows, we ride a roller coaster of emotions on the regular; fully gripped by our addiction and our.need.to.hit.quota.

I swear, I’m not the only one…right?! Continue reading

And So It Begins…

As many of you know, I have spent the last seven plus months taking a TV time out from the corporate world. My husband, Dan, and I backpacked through Europe for 14 weeks (a lifelong dream and an I-can’t-believe-that-really-happened kind of experience) and when we arrived back home in Chicago, I started a new career that was blissfully free of business cards and board rooms. These days, instead of enduring the daily stresses of a sales person’s life, I spend my time teaching fitness classes and working on my writing (read: dream job). Oh, and doing all the other things I love.   Which obviously includes spending lots of time with my people….

IMG_3153I mean, with my new flexible work hours, I just took my awesome 10-year-old niece to Dave & Busters on a Wednesday. Rather than being chained to a desk, we spent the entire day playing arcade games and trying to see who could collect the most tickets. She won by a landslide. She is also far more proficient at DDR  than I am (see her going for it on the right).

Take THAT real job.

So let me tell you, THIS. CAREER. CHOICE. IS. WORKING. FOR. ME.

Continue reading

One Last Stop…Istanbul!

IMG_2708An amazing flight deal to O’Hare via Turkish Airlines prompted us to spend our last weekend abroad in Istanbul, Turkey.  In order to go out with a bang, we cashed in the last of our credit card points and stayed at a nice hotel off Taksim Square, a busy and young district in downtown Istanbul on the European side of the Bosphorus Sea. (Istanbul, previously known as Constantinople, literally sits at the crossroads of Asia and Europe and is the only city where you can be in two continents at once; in fact 2.5 million people commute from Asia to Europe every morning for work! Crazy!)
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Mykonos

IMG_2614Let’s just say there is NOTHING to complain about when you’re in the Greek islands!  Even though our luggage appeared to be gone for good, the sunshine, amazing Greek food, and a quick stop by Zara for some island clothing essentials, made me forget that I was missing my favorite creature comforts; even if that meant I wore the same thing to dinner every night!  Thank God for an in-unit washer at our apartment rental!

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DeRoses Do Italy <3

After leaving Milan, we boarded a high-speed train to meet Dan’s parents, Dan Sr. and Suzi, for an 8-night adventure through Tuscany and Rome. Sadly O’Hare, notorious for delayed flights, struck again and they were stuck at the airport for five hours before they had begun their voyage across the Atlantic.  By the time we picked them up at Firenze, they were exhausted, but excited to have finally made it to their vacation.  They managed to stay awake long enough to go out for dinner where we sampled bistecca (the Florentine speciality of steak grilled on a plank of cedar–yum!) and had our first round of pasta and tiramisu; both becoming daily staples for the duration of our trip!

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Milan: Fashion Mecca

What better place to attempt a commentary on European fashion than from the fashion mecca itself: Milan, Italy! Throughout our travels, I have been keeping an eye on the locals to try to catch a preview for what’s sure to cross the pond and land on our dress racks within the next 6-12 months. Maybe it’s because I am starved from weeks of zero optionality within my backpacking wardrobe, or because my favorite shopping season has arrived, but it’s been impossible to ignore the trends surrounding us at each new city. Continue reading

The High Price of Zurich

After several days exploring the progeny of Yugoslavia, we ventured to a place with no hint of any strife whatsoever: Zurich, Switzerland. As we’ve been on this journey, rarely a day (or walking tour) has gone by where we haven’t learned about some battle, city sacking, or other geopolitical tussle in recent history. Switzerland, on the other hand, has been able to stay famously neutral and, seemingly, only grow richer. Continue reading