Long days of winter

The trip that would not end. Are we there yet? So where the flip do I begin? I guess we start with the trip planning. Well let me preempt you-use major airlines and direct flights. (most of the time)

So here were some considerations.
-to check or not to check the car seat
—-decided to check car seat
-to keep or check stroller till the gate
—decided to keep till gate

Low cost airlines charge for everything and you may even get combined flights from different airlines (if you don’t have direct flights) so you need to buy things (luggage allowance for one) on both. For example I purchased tickets and took the basic weight allotment. Now the basic for Norwegian was 20kg. However when you switch to Ryan air (small inter-European) the weight basic is 15kg.  When booking I somehow did not really notice this.  Fast forward to Ryan Air check in at counter in Oslo, Norway.

Hmm what the f to do? At the moment of check-in (from Oslo to London) the choice was to pay per kilo for being over or check another bag and pay for that. The former is up there but still the least expensive. In all the rush and panic, I did NOT even remember that I had a hand bag (a day bag) stowed away in my carry on. That could have made a second carry-on which was fine since there was three of us.  So guess what we did-we paid for the extra kilos. That was flipping fun. 50 dollars. (Oh after all said and done-our flight was delayed–yes.  Perhaps I might have had a moment to think out a better solution than to pay the money–since we were not boarding.)

Another barrel of laughs was the getting out the airport for our 8 hour layover. (immigration control was a little confusing to start) Well we had to train it to the central city. It was about 21 dollars each way per person. Then in the city we had to look for a place to eat. We thought maybe a local restaurant would do. We checked a few menus and only superficially looked at the prices. So we kept going. We came upon Max Burger, a local burger joint. It was crowded so we thought what the hec, why not. So we got burgers with fun toppings. It was good. Then we sat down and reviewed the costs(convert back to dollars). My eyes almost left my head-40 something dollars $, as if I had bought the whole office pizza or something for lunch.

During the time that we ventured into Oslo we had to store our luggage. Oh that bill came up to 35 dollars. 

So if you are doing the math we added about 200 to our ticket price and we had to gather and recheck our bags.

Also low cost airline do not always fly at the time that works best for you and to the location. Our flights were out of Stansted which is about an hours plus drive straight from southern London. Jesus. That cost us a bunch as well. We paid about 28 pounds  for the bus to the city center and then another 46 Pounds from there to the house by taxi.
200 plus 100 hmm that is 300. There goes the savings.  Oh did I mention that our flight was delayed 2 hours. (yes I did) Oh there nothing like barricading a toddler in for 2 hours.

After a long day we arrived to my uncle’s house and the room we were to stay in was kind of a closet. Stroller and car seat had to remain by the front door  of house and suitcases buy the walls of room. Would the day ever end? It did. It never improved.

Lessons learned
Plan every detail out (at least if you plan to cut corners)
Read every fine print
Don’t cut corners  (lol, can only do that if you are travelling light and bby yourself maybe)
Time is money (sometimes just time)
Airlines are not your friends
Airports are sometimes not your friends (when you have to walk about a mile to the main terminal–toddler, stroller and backpack in hand)
Know the country you will visit in terms of cost of living 

 So I took pictures of my trip but none of the airport–I would rather not have it memorialized in my brain.  OH–OH, no changing rooms for kids or at least facilities.  WTF, they have it in other modern countries, like Portugal, South Korea.  Really, Norway, Really!!!

Okay I am done trip busting.  In my next post I will put some photos of memorable things.


This is purely a commentary  on space–the kind you need for all your stuff.



Use all available space  (when every nook and cranny in your home is filled to the max and you have spilled over into the hallway and onto the floor)

Minimize items in a space (less is more, like a museum)

More than enough space (just right and it feels comfortable)

Unnecessary space (so you are a family of 3 but you have 8 bedrooms and well you just buy things to fill the space)

Cheat to get space  (this is what inspired me to post about space)

-In NY as in other cities with older buildings, you will notice some of the living room or the front facing siting rooms in the brownstones are sometimes bumped out.  And, they are bumped out in sometimes grand fashion.  When you stand close to it and examine the build, you notice that it is another 2 feet out and the length of the window could be about 5-8 feet.  Square footage increase by 10-16. You can have a narrow functioning table or a small desk or a slim couch in that space. WTF.  That is what I call cheating and stealing space.   I saw this often while in the old areas of the city-Cadiz/Jerez and Seville.  Lest not forget to mention the proximity to the building across the street.  At one point I walked down an alley of houses (town houses) and 8 -10 feet separated the walls.  So if you take away 4 feet total , giving each neighbor a 2 foot bump out then you have 4 feet separation.  How about you reach out and touch your neighbors window.

The second commentary on space is using the roof.  Spain does a good job of this.  There are hardly any green spaces in the city and there is no place to linger outside of the apartments just back onto/encircle a courtyard that is shared.(not counting a tapas bar)  I saw nicely done top floors that had decorated balconies, awnings, laundry lines, tables and umbrellas set up, and grills.  It was literally the backyard.

So where do you fit in the space continuum?  Is your home office in a walk in closet, are you using your garage as an extra room, is your basement expressly used for storage or lastly do you live by yourself but have a 4 bedroom house? Or are you living in a studio apartment with all fold away furniture/appliances/amenities?

Let there be space!




Lido–Harlem NY

So we had our first family get together in a long while and it was actually 2 families.  My parents, my husband and I, my sister and my dad’s cousin and husband. We needed a place that would fit 9 people and we also needed it not to be to ridiculous–expensive.  I could not promise that and I also did not look at the bill in the end.

So I like the interior and the coziness.  I am becoming used to having to reserve every time I need to eat out in Manhattan.  When you only have a few days to book, it is close to impossible.  It is disheartening when you have to find a place and no space is available.

So onto the review.  The host as usual, waits to seat the whole party.  We got a booth and believe me, it fit us to a t.  We had to wait for part of the family to arrive and the restaurant was patient with us though we had a limited time.

It was good for breakfast but just good.  I had pancakes and there was only one kind offered.  I am a cook so I add blueberries to my pancakes as well as some nuts and I bring some funky syrup to the table.  All in all, I am not a fan of paying a ton for food that is really easy to make.  As my cousin said, I can make this at home.  Some times I really feel like inviting everyone over to the house and making them breakfast–breakfast of champions .  Check it-ham frittata, sausage with fennel or something, croissants and wheat toast or fresh banana bread, yogurt with mueslix, and sangria or fresh fruits.  When a restaurant starts doing this spread family style then you can charge me 17+ dollars.  (pancakes 14$, plus order of bacon 6$, $20 total)  Bam, enough said.

Lido gets a 6.  It was decent enough but nothing memorable, at  least concerning the dish I ordered.  Place was nice and homely.

Can I tell you what gives Lido its other reason to be remembered,  it is across the street from Levain Bakery. levain bakery  I love Levain.  Simple menu and well made products.  They are like a factory just pushing out product.  They have it down to a science such that the store is 85 percent production facility and 15 percent sales space.

So I will visit Levain again but will try another place for brunch.

My favorite things!!