You wouldn’t think hanging out with pigeons would be that much fun. Certainly not a highlight of an entire city as intriguing as Venice. But it was really something. I finally get why Mike Tyson loves these ugly birds so much. We walked along a couple miles of narrow roads full of shops and found our way to the square. There was a lot of lovely architecture and beautiful churches and by far the most open space in Venice, compared to the cramped walkways we were used to, but our attention soon went to the pigeons. *
*Caitlin insists on calling Piazza San Marco “San Marco Polo.” She even labeled this album of photos that way. Probably the Venetians would be offended by this. Sorry, Venice.
*I’ve always been somewhat fascinated with average, run-of-the-mill birds. They have adapted to urban life so well! They walk sometimes!! THEY BOB THEIR HEADS WHEN THEY WALK SOMETIMES!!!
Welcome to the first preview of the first film in The Tom Hanks Project. Our plan is to post these previews every Thursday and post the review the following Tuesday. In each preview, we’ll post a trailer along with some reviews, trivia, and especially fun Hanks promotional clips. And of course, we’ll tell you our background with the movie, whether we’ve seen it and what we expect from our viewing experience.
When you think of Tom Hanks, you think of horror films. Wait, what? Four years before Hanks had his break-out role in “Splash,*” he briefly appeared in this 1980 horror film, “He Knows You’re Alone” as the 8th billed actor. It came out two years after “Halloween” and from what I’ve read, it borrows from it pretty heavily. Caitlin and I debated whether or not to watch it, but decided if we’re going to do the Tom Hanks Project right, we have to watch all 47 feature films he appears in. And the clip below has his very first on-screen scene! How could we not watch it?**
*I am SO excited for “Splash.”
**Important things to note about me: I HATE horror/slasher/gory flicks. I am NOT excited for this one. And yet, I was the one to push for it because, as Zack said, we gotta go all-in if we’re doing this project right.
Welcome to The Tom Hanks Project. A year-long* experiment in which we will preview and review every single movie Tom Hanks has ever appeared in, in order. We start with his five-minute appearance in the little known 1980 horror film “He Knows You’re Alone.” We continue with his break-out role in “Splash” and then go through everything from “Big” to “Apollo 13″ and “Saving Private Ryan” through 2013′s “Captain Phillips” and “Saving Mr. Banks.”
The idea for the project grew from Caitlin and I spending nearly an hour in I <3 Video a couple weekends ago before deciding to watch the early Tom Hanks & Shelley Long flick “The Money Pit.” It hit the spot. Hanks always does. Why sweat over picking a movie when we can just watch the entire Hanks catalog and know it will always deliver**? After the jump we’ll explain how this whole project is going to work.
**Or at least, that’s what we’re banking on. Continue reading
As much as we adore costume Halloween parties, the Wittbloom apartment is best served for smaller, more intimate parties, so the Pumpkin Carving party has become our thing. We brew up some hot cider*, grab as much pumpkin beer as we can find and have some friends over to carve pumpkins a week or two before Halloween. And no Halloween party would be complete without a ton of candy and pumpkin cupcakes**. We had pumpkins ready to carve and a couple friends brought pumpkins as well, but I’m proud to say that only one pumpkin got carved Friday night. Without planning it, the party shifted from pumpkin carving to beer tasting. And that’s way more my speed***.
*Or, as you have seen in the past, orange-colored ‘ritas.
**The “Witt” side of the Wittblooms heartily approves this message.
***Don’t worry, though, my fellow craft-lovers — we’re carving next weekend so our pumpkins last through Halloween, and they’re gonna RULE. Continue reading
I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to the pumpkin patch. After Caitlin told me it was at a place that doubled as a Christmas tree farm that was super religious, I was a bit intimidated*. I just wanted to get a pumpkin. Maybe ride a tractor and go through a maze if it looked cool. I didn’t want to carve a cross into a pumpkin or I don’t know what**. It was also 40 minutes away, but when Caitlin told me how much she wanted to do it and offered to drive, well, what else did we have to do***? It ended up being a great little Friday afternoon activity.
*They really put “God Bless” everywhere they possibly can. On their sign, it says they’re a “CHRISTmas” tree farm…oof.
**I just laughed aloud quite hard at this. Maybe he can carve a star of David into his pumpkin? ***I have a little bit of farm girl in me from my grandparents’ farm when I was a kid, and I figured it’d be a pretty quick and painless trip that would have great photo ops. Continue reading
I was absolutely thrilled to be going to the Berlin Zoo. While I do have very mixed feelings regarding zoos — I think keeping animals in captivity just for our enjoyment is terrible — I do think that when they are well-run, and the animals are taken care of appropriately, they can be a great place for people to fall in love with wildlife, learn about them, protect them if they are endangered, and get people thinking and talking about conservation. I knew we were going to be VERY jet-lagged on our first day in Berlin, so I also wanted to pick an activity that was going to be somewhat familiar and easy for us to navigate. We had also heard that the zoo had a giant panda, which we thought would be awesome to see. Despite Zack not being totally bought-in at the beginning*, I think he enjoyed the leisurely walk around the zoo, and we spent just enough time there to get our fill** but not get bored. I think Zack intended some of the text below to be space-filler*** as we were uploading photos, but it literally made me laugh aloud so I am insisting that we keep what he had.
*I like zoos for the most part as long as we don’t stop too long at boring animals. I can chill with the lions and tigers for a while, but the extended stays with birds or reptiles is the worst. Also, we were crazy tired and jet lagged.
**I really did enjoy it and it brought me back to how much I loved the Lincoln Park Zoo as a kid in Chicago.
***I uploaded the first dozen or so photos before going to sleep last night and the captions were half for Caitlin’s benefit and half intended to be used because why not.
Before we left for our trip, we came up with 10 predictions for how the trip would go. Would we make it to four museums in Paris? Would we climb the Eiffel Tower? Would I say “When in Rome?” more than 20 times? Would we talk about Scooby too much, etc. Here’s the recap with each of our predictions and an explanation of what actually happened. My pigeon friends and I are excited to share the outcomes with you. Continue reading
We did a lot right on our trip. We picked great cities to visit, we hit a ton of incredible landmarks, ate and drank well and had a wonderful vacation. Having said that, we did made our share of mistakes. We probably could have avoided getting overcharged for baggage, getting stranded outside a hostel in Paris AND Rome with just a bit more planning, but some things are inevitable. You’ll get bumps and bruises* and eat at the wrong place and attempt to drink more than you’re capable of**. That’s just a part of vacation. Here’s our 10 biggest mistakes we made in the order we made them and a tip for each one to make sure you don’t make the same mistake on your next vacation.
*Or, if you’re me, a LOT of bumps and bruises.
**That one’s if you’re Zack. Continue reading
We’ve already gone through the 10 things we learned about Germany, Paris and Italy and now we move on to what we learned about each other. After nearly three years together (anniversary on Thursday!), we know each other quite well. Caitlin told me she already knew I make a smacking sound with my mouth after I’ve been mulling something over for a while and am ready to talk about it, but only told me about it this trip. I knew that she gets so anxious to fly, she won’t sleep much, even on an international flight, sleeping pills or no. We won’t count those. Here’s 10 things we learned about each other on our fortnight abroad. I love that there are still surprises after our three short years, and that Zack helps me to learn things about myself, too! Continue reading
Italy was incredible. It was the country that most made us feel like we were truly in another world*. Venice proved to be the most relaxing three days of a vacation that we’ve ever had together. Rome was incredibly stressful at first, but we had two ideal days taking in the wonder of the ancient city. We could have predicted most of that before we went. Here are 10 things we did not expect.
*Exactly! Zack hit the nail on the head here — whereas every other city felt like a big city with unfamiliar words posted on street signs, both Venice and Rome felt special and totally unique. Continue reading