Friday, September 28, 2012

Reason #28 why it sucks when your car stereo is stolen... don't remember any of your radio presets so you have to scan through a zillion radio stations to find the two that aren't country. Oh, the joys of living in Music City.
Anyways, you might have already seen the picture I posted to Facebook on Wednesday of what happens when some thugs decide your $125 car stereo looks fancier than it actually is.
We think that since I had an aux-in cable plugged in, they thought maybe there was an iPod in the car. Sucks for them, because even if it had been in there, my iPod is about four years old and scratched all to hell. At any rate, they climbed in through the window and ripped that stereo right out of the dash. They had to have climbed in and out through the window, because if they had opened the door, the alarm would've gone off (thanks for that, VW...relevant later).

They must've seen the extra wiring leading back to the subwoofer, because the thief's next course of action was to fold down the back seat and get into the trunk. Thank goodness Shane and I went to the zoo on Sunday, or my Nikon would've still been back there, where it had lived for the past two months or so. Anyways, the joke was on them, because my sub box is ginormous and wouldn't have fit through the window, and the amp was old (and like Walmart brand) when we got it via trade at a yard sale four years ago, so they left all of that. In fact, the only thing they got besides my stereo (and hopefully some nasty gashes from the glass) was my Nicki Minaj cd, which was in the stereo at the time.

Shane is awesome and called the police for me and took care of calling a guy to come replace the glass. When the guy got to the apartment, he worked on the window for a good hour or so before he finally broke the window regulator. Crap. It would be until Friday (today) before they could get the part in at the VW dealership to fix it, so the guy just taped the window in place, said sorry, and that he'd be back to fix it (and that his company would be paying the $400 replacement part cost. I swear, anything you replace on a VW costs $400. It's like they thought it was just a nice round number or something). You know I can't be that lucky, because this morning they called and said the shipment had been delayed, and that now the part would be in by (hopefully) Monday or Tuesday. So this is how I get to drive around for the next few days! It's especially fun when you drive on the interstate and you can hear wind whistling through the gaps, then you hope and pray the wind doesn't make it somehow shatter and slice you to bits while driving.
Window just taped in there with yellow tape, oh and that wire with the white thing on it is now how you open the door from the inside. How ghetto fabulous is that?
Yay backseat full of car parts!
This label on the inside of the door seems to think that something is LOL-worthy. My car has a bleak sense of humor.
Lovely view of the tape, and also where I started to peel off the paid-too-much-for-it window tint, which really sucks. Now it's super bright driving in my car and other people can actually see in. And of course it couldn't be easy to take off, so some of the windows have little bits and pieces that just won't let go.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Paris and Nice: Part 4

After the craziness of Paris (see here, here, and here) it was time to pack our bags and head to Nice (pronounced like "niece") in southern France. We were exhausted from the first four days of the trip, and really looking forward to some relaxation by the Mediterranean! 

Day 5: Friday, June 1, 2012

Today was an early day. Our wake-up call was at 5:15 a.m. and we had to be in the hotel lobby dressed and ready with our bags packed at 7 a.m. to catch the train from Paris to Nice. 

Shane enjoying some "Bolognese" flavored
chips on the train.
Once on board the TGV, our trip took about 5 hours. (I later realized that this 5-hour train trip was more hours of relaxation than I'd had of sleep the previous night. Ridiculousness.) I slept a little bit then woke up to eat some of the ham sandwich I picked up at the train station. My mom had also packed a bunch of snacks, which was nice. I spent the rest of the trip putting together the first of my travel videos on the iPad. Shane played poker with the other boys on the trip (and I think ended up winning most of the money, although they weren't playing for keeps). Everyone enjoyed the scenery flying past the window. And if felt good to sit for that long :)

After the TGV we went to our hotel, the Best Western Hotel New-York. After a quick stop to drop off the bags, Angélique took us on a walk through Vieux (old) Nice to get some of the best ice cream I've ever had from Fenocchio. It actually won the silver medal for best ice cream in the region! They had some rather adventurous flavor options, but we opted for some of the safer looking options. I had a scoop of strawberry and a scoop of Nutella. Yum! Shane had passion fruit and cherry. 
Yes, that is cactus-flavored ice cream, and it's apparently pretty popular by the looks of it!
Next we went up to the top of the hill (by elevator, thank goodness) to see the ruins of a castle and a panoramic view of the city and the sea. It was absolutely gorgeous. There was also a manmade waterfall at the top, making it just that much more picturesque.

View from the top!

We walked down the hill and went on our way to the Confiserie Florian candy factory. They specialize in local favorites such as candies and jams made from flowers (violet, verbena, jasmine, you name it) and candied whole fruits (tangerines, pears, etc.). We learned about the candy making process, which is very intense -- the tangerines are soaked in sugar syrup for 45 days, for instance -- and then went upstairs to the shop to sample the bounty and buy souvenirs to bring home. Shane loved  the jasmine jelly and bought some for his mom. I was glad that we got to taste the candied tangerines, but I honestly did not care for the taste. They were oozing with thick, sticky, sugary syrup and did not taste like I thought they would. I preferred the candied orange and lemon peels, so we got a bag of each to bring home. 
Candied tangerines

Later we did some walking around town and down to the beach. We even saw the castle where an old film version of Beauty and the Beast was set. The beach was different than the beaches we're used to because it is made up of rocks instead of sand. We walked into the water a bit even though it was freezing (!) because you can't go to the Mediterranean and not dip your toes in. Some more adventurous vacationing teenagers had chosen a big rock and gone diving. Yikes!

Despite the beach made of rocks, there were still plenty of sunbathers.
 I can't imagine it's comfy to lay on those,
 but I guess if it gets hot enough, free hot stone massage!
We had a little bit of time before dinner so we looked at some of the little shops near the beach. We picked out a postcard to send to Shane's mom, her special souvenir request. Dinner was at a little restaurant overlooking the beach, and Shane and I got to sit at the adult table. Of course when you're in Nice, you're going to have salade niçoise. We also had a nice beef roast and little chocolate cakes for dessert. 

Happy birthday Stewart! What a fun way to spend it!

After dinner we went to the square near the beach to go shopping in the market they had set up. They had all sorts of interesting booths there, selling things like jewelry, purses, artwork, and souvenirs made out of the beach rocks. There was even one man at a clay wheel turning tiny clay pots and vases and giving them out to passerby. Shane bought a teensy clay owl for his collection at home.

It was finally time to come back to the hotel. It has been a long day, especially with all the travel, but I am really looking forward to the slower, relaxing pace in Nice.

As usual, there are way too many photos of the day to fit into one blog post, so check out my corresponding YouTube video below!