Tag Archives | couple fighting

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? In Mississippi!

The hayseed cult-classic, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou,” starring George Clooney has long been one of our favorite films. The film is set and was filmed in the American south.   As the storyline loosely follows the Odyssey by Homer, it appeals to wanderlusters. During our recent visit to the south, we tracked several of the film’s most iconic locations.

Its has been a while since this film came out…. How about a quick review? Here is the trailer:

The Woolworth Store

George Clooney

The Woolworth Store. Luci said she would never kick Clooney out of her Woolworth.

Perhaps the only establishment that George Clooney has ever been banned from: the Yazoo City Woolworth. As the story goes, Clooney’s character Ulysses Everett McGill confronts his ex-wife and her new fiancé.  Yazoo City is located an hour north of the State Capitol of Mississippi, Jackson. Getting to the city is fairly strait forward. Take 49 north. The “Woolworth” building today is actually an antique dealership and is located right on Main Street. Location: 128 South Main Street, Yazoo City, MS.

Yazoo City is a unique place, with colorful buildings lining an active Main Street. Try Tom’s on Main Street for lunch. He makes a mean cheese burger.

Movie Fun Fact:  George Clooney practiced his singing for weeks, but in the end his singing voice was dubbed by country blues singer Dan Tyminski. -IMDb

 

Yazoo Bank

Just down from the Woolworth Building is old Yazoo City Bank. It makes an appearance in the film as the boys and George “Babyface” Nelson rob the Bank of Itea Bina. The structure is small, just as it appears in the movie.  There are Greek revival columns that frame the door. There is an engraved logo above the doors, that was whited out for the movie. The bank is located at the intersection of Main Street and Commercial in Yazoo City, MS.

Yazoo Bank

Yazoo Bank

WEZY Radio Station

The elusive WEZY Radio Station. Photo courtesy of http://martykittrellphotos.blogspot.com/

The elusive WEZY Radio Station. Photo courtesy of http://martykittrellphotos.blogspot.com/

The boys meet up with blues guitarist Tommy Johnson along the way, and form a signing group called the “Soggy Bottom Boys.” In an effort to make some quick cash, they head to WEZY Radio, where they “sing into the can” for a blind radio engineer. This was perhaps the most fun and frustrating location to find.   I say “find,” but I was never able to actually find the location. The scene was shot in Valley Park, MS, west of Hwy 61. From what I have been able to track down, the radio station itself was made for the movie and destroyed after. What remains is just the radio tower. I wandered around town (a few farm houses and a post office open in the afternoons.) If you have found it and can give directions, please leave a comment below.

Baptism

The Scene of the Baptism.

The Scene of the Baptism.

In Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, a baptism scene takes place at Alligator Lake located on Long Lake Road. The lake is located 20 minutes north of Vicksburg, MS. During my visit, the river was flooding, so I wasn’t able to get all the way in. The water was warm!

Movie Fun Fact:  All of the records shown in the film are turning at 33-1/3 RPM. In 1934, only 78 RPM was used. The first 33-1/3 RPM album was released in 1947. -IMDb

Theater

Every time I see this picture, I start singing, "you are my sunshine!"

Every time I see this picture, I start singing, “you are my sunshine!”

At the climax of the movie, George Clooney and his cohorts, The Soggy Bottom Boys, sing at a political function in a community hall. It is here were the Homer Stokes for Governor campaign makes a major misstep and Mr. Stokes is run our on a rail. The hall is filled with tables and features a stage at the front of the building. This scene was filmed in the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation Building.  Scenes from the movie, Mississippi Burning were also set at this location. Interesting thing about this location, as you watch the movie, and they are carrying Mr. Stokes out on the rail, the sound of them marching is very loud. The floor of the hall is wood and sounds exactly the same as you walk on it! Loud! This location is 1302 Adams Street, Vicksburg, MS.

Movie Fun Fact: Although Homer is given a co-writing credit on the film, the Coen Brothers claim never to have read The Odyssey and are familiar with it only through cultural osmosis and film adaptations.

Pappy’s Porch

The Governor's favorite porch.

The Governor’s favorite porch.

Governor Pappy O’Daniel, the flour magnate and proud governor, plots his re-election plans on the porch of a beautiful plantation. The plantation is one of many antebellum beauties in Natchez, MS. The plantation is aptly called, “Cedars,” and is located along the Mississippi River. A tree lined lane leads to the stunning home. It is privately held and there are heavy gates that block entry. We did our best to photograph the porch from a distance. The location is Cedars Plantation, 13688 River Road, Natchez, MS.

During out stay in the south, we elected to stay in Natchez and can highly recommend the area.  The entire city is filled to the brim with stunning well kept plantation mansions. We used Flipkey to book this amazing cottage . This house has a ton of history of its own, and has been lovingly restored.

Movie Fun Fact:  When Everett and Delmar are eating at the restaurant, Everett orders the restaurant’s “finest bottle of bubbly wine.” Though Prohibition was repealed nationally in 1933, Mississippi still prohibited the sale of alcohol until 1966.

River Sex Scene

The D'Lo Water Park

The D’Lo Water Park

Everett, Pete and Delmer’s harken to the Siren’s call. Three southern belles call to them along a trickling creek.  The boys participate in debauchery in one of the most beautiful settings in the south, D’Lo Water Park. It is here that Pete gets loved up and turned into a horney toad. The location is D’Lo Water Park, 135 D’ Lo Road, D’Lo, MS. It is 20 miles south of Jackson.

The KKK Cross Burning

The Coen brothers, the directors of this movie didn’t feel that it would be appropriate to recreate the cross burning scene in the south. They elected to use a sound stage in Hollywood.

Movie Fun Fact: The song recorded by the Soggy Bottom Boys (“I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow”) , contains the line “I bid farewell to ol’ Kentucky, the place where I was born and raised.” George Clooney, who played one of the Soggy Bottom Boys, was born in Lexington, Kentucky.

 

We hope that you enjoyed this behind the scenes peek at a great movie. Each of these locations are close together so you can hit all the sites mentioned in one day. Now go R-U-N-N-O-F-T.

 

Disclosure: On occasion we are offered items to review on this site.  Does this affect our honest review and opinion?  Not one bit!

3

Remembering Pearl Harbor

In the early hours of December 7th, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a massive attack on the naval base just outside of Honolulu, Hawaii.  This attack would result in a declaration of war, the entry of the United States of America into WWII.   Both Luci and I have ancestors that fought in the Pacific.  During our recent visit to Hawaii, we spent the morning paying our respects to those that lost their lives in this attack.  The Pearl Harbor visitors center is a helpful resources to learn about the history of this fateful event.  Once you have had the chance to visit the museum, you are ushered into a theater to watch a short documentary on the attack.  From the theatre you board a small shuttle boat that takes you out to the USS Arizona memorial.   Below are a few of our pictures from our visit.

Visiting Pearl Harbor:

Official Website:  http://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm

twitter:  https://twitter.com/PacificNPS

The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii

 

A beautiful white building is situated over the underwater wreckage of the ship.

A beautiful white building is situated over the underwater wreckage of the ship.

The rusting hull of the USS Arizona can be viewed from the memorial.  A small amount of oil continues to leak from the underwater tanks of the ship.

The rusting hull of the USS Arizona can be viewed from the memorial. A small amount of oil continues to leak from the underwater tanks of the ship.

Over 1000 servicemen died as a result of the attack.   Listed on the wall of the memorial are crew members that were killed aboard the USS Arizona.  Survivors can elect to have their remains interred in the ship when they pass away.

Over 1000 servicemen died as a result of the attack. Listed on the wall of the memorial are crew members that were killed aboard the USS Arizona. Survivors can elect to have their remains interred in the ship when they pass away.

battleship

USS Missouri (BB-63) nicknamed the “Mighty Mo”. The Missouri was the last battleship commissioned by the United States and was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II. The ship (now a museum) stands on guard watching over Pearl Harbor.

In an address to congress President Franklin D. Roosevelt penned the famous "Infamy" speech.  An hour after the speech, congress declared war.

In an address to congress President Franklin D. Roosevelt penned the famous “Infamy” speech. An hour after the speech, congress declared war.

Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial are reminders of the sacrifice of so many for freedom.   The Fighting Couple salutes those service men and women and their families that have given their all that we may live free.  Thank you.

Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial are reminders of the sacrifice of so many for freedom. The Fighting Couple salutes those service men and women and their families that have given their all that we may live free. Thank you.

3

The Fighting Couple’s World Cup

The world is in a World Cup Fever!  This got us thinking….What if the “Fighting Couple” were to decide the outcome of the cup?  Forget the bad calls and last second scoring.  What if we based the group outcomes on how good their beaches are?  What if they scored points for having the best cuisine? Why not?

Let the games begin!

Group A:

Teams:  Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

This is a tough one.  How can you not pick the odds on favorite, the host nation of Brazil?  Brazil’s beaches, jungles, and warm hospitality seems like a given.  Perched on the Adriatic Sea, facing the Italian boot, Croatia is one of the more understated paradises out there.  Mexico is also a strong contender.  Mexico offers traveling couples some of the most amazing coast line found on the planet.  Cameroon?  Never been…..Sorry….

The winner:  Croatia.  What we love about this place is the understated beauty.  One of our fave national parks has to be Plitvice Lakes.  The entire park is made up of crystal clear ponds and waterfalls.  You walk on a wooden boardwalk that takes you into some of the most picturesque and photogenic scenes in all of nature.  Goooooaaaal!!!!    Croatia, you win!

waterfalls

The wonderful waterfalls of Croatia.

 

Group B:

Teams:  Holland, Chile, Australia, and Spain

This choice caused a great deal of fighting between the Fighting Couple.  Three of our favorite counties are represented in this quality grouping.  We just returned from our first trip to the land “down-under” and were blown away with Aussie hospitality.  The diamond of the Med, Barcelona has a special place in our hearts.  With its Gaudi creations and delicious tapas, Spain is a contender.  Due to routing from the states, we have spent a great deal of time in the Netherlands, and Luci may have a crush on the tall Netherlanders that man customs desks at Amsterdam airport.  Although we have yet to visit Chile, the backbone of South America is high on our list of locales to visit.  A camping trip to patigonia is high on our must see list.

The winner:  Australia

OK, call it a fix.  Having just visited the country-continent, we may be a little biased.  Australia with its rough and tumble natives and amazing landscapes make it a great choice for anyone up for adventure.  The highlight for our visit was another water theme.  We loved Wagi falls in Litchfield national park.  The rolling water of the red stone is a sight to behold.

waterfalls

Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park.

Group C

Teams: Colombia, Greece, Japan and Cote de Ivory

This one will be a bit difficult for us.  We have only visited two out of the four counties: Japan and Greece.  The land of the rising sun has amazing Sushi. BTW-The Fighting Couple loves sushi.  With austerity measures in place…Greece couldn’t afford the bribe.

Winner: Japan. (Mmmmm Sushi.)

 

sushi

Did someone say Sushi?

Group D

Teams: Costa Rica, Italy, England, and Uruguay

These teams are all worthy in their own right.  Costa Rica with its inviting beaches, jungle canopy tours and great latin food, scores a lot points.  England, home to all things Jane Austen and Top Gear, olde England dominates the field.  Fighting Couple Travel Tip:  For all of you Englanders headed to Brazil for the real contest, fly out of Gatwick!  It is much more organized, faster and still has a great selection of flights.    Italy-oh how we love thee.  Let us count the ways: food, towers, hill towns, beaches, history, and architecture.  Uruguay?  Never been.

Winner:  Tie:  Italy and England.  It is like picking which is cuter Brad Pitt or George Clooney.  Tough choice.  Both of these locations advance to the next round.

England!

England!

Group E

Teams: France, Switzerland, Ecuador, and Honduras

Ecuador=Equator=too hot.  France-  Gertrude Stein once said: “America is my country, and Paris is my home town.”  We tend to agree.  Having visited the wonderful city a handful of times, we keep finding new places to explore and experience…and then there is the food.  Yum!  Switzerland.  Luci wants Swiss-land voted in just to keep Roger Federer happy.  Honduras… Wasn’t Moon over Parador filmed there?

Winner:  France!  Viva la France!  Our hands down winner.  For one of the most romantic evenings of your life following this recipe:  Dinner at a small café along the River Seine, then stroll hand in hand under the glittering Eiffel Tower, and cap it off by sitting on the steps of the Sacre’le Coeur for a wonderful view of the grand city.

french chapel

Viva le France!

Group F

Teams: Argentina, Iran, Nigeria, and Bosnia

Iran….I don’t think we are allowed to be Americans there.  Their loss.  Argentina is another country on our bucket list to visit.  We hear all good things.  Across from our jr high school growing up, we had a little Argentine lady that made the best pizza and bambinos.  So good!  Nigeria-We get daily invites to do banking over there for some lottery winners.  Nigeria, not gonna happen.  Bosnia is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth.

Winner: Bosnia.  This is one of the surprise upsets.  We added two days to our visit to Croatia to enter into the war torn county.  We ended up drooling at the countryside.  The county is putting its difficult history behind, and developing some great places to visit.  Bosnia has become a destination that we must revisit.

bosnia waterfall

Beautiful Bosnia

Group G

Teams: Germany, USA, Portugal, and Ghana

First off…Portugal is now owned by Germany…so I will include them in with the Deutsch.  Ghana…never been…So it comes down to a grand battle between Germany and the States.  Merkel vs Obama.

Winner:  Germany! (Proving we are not biased.)  Our recent drive down the Rhine area of western Germany has made us fast fans.  It really came down to which country lets you drive faster.  Hands down, Germany.

Rhine Germany

A great perch for viewing the Rhine.

Well those are our pics to get out of the first found.  Do you agree with our selections?  Please make a case for your top pick in the comments section below!

 

 

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0

Adventure: Horses that Walk on Water

Northern Germany has much to offer traveling couples, but this is one experience we never imagined:  riding on water!  The morning before our adventure, our good friends in Cuxhaven, Germany, took us down to the seaside and said, “Tomorrow we are going to take a horse ride across the sea to the lighthouse.”  We thought that something might have been lost in translation.  German is one of the languages where certain words take on different meaning in English.  Nothing could prepare us for the next day’s adventure.

In the morning. our wonderful hosts said, “We are going to the post office to pick up our horses.”  We chuckled and said we were game.  We bundled up as it was a brisk fall morning expecting the worst.  As promised, we arrived at the Wattwagen Poste (loosely translated Mud Wagon Post.)   The wagons double as tourist carriers and delivering mail.

 

Sea horses

Boarding our yellow “mud wagon.”

All Aboard!

We met our wagon master.  He was a chipper fellow and he instantly had all on board that spoke German in stitches laughing the entire trip.  Those of us that were Germaniclly challenged, just nodded and smiled.  I need to work on my Deutsche.  We climbed up the yellow elevated carriage and wrapped up in woolen blankets.  With a whistle and a snap of the whip, our driver encouraged our two steeds onward.  We crested the dike and lo and behold, the tide was out…letting us travel across the sea on dry ground!

Cuxhaven mud wagon

Headed our to sea in a horse drawn wagon.

 Yellow Wagons!

Our yellow wagon train headed across the sea!  The horses loved traipsing through the water puddles and little tidal streams.  There were bundles of sticks set every so often to mark the best path out to our destination, a lighthouse in the distance.

Wattwagen

Follow the sticks!

Along the path, there were elevated cages.  Our friends explained that these are rescue pods for the high tide.  If the water starts to rise and trap you between the island and the shore, you simply climb up one of these.  You have two options…wait it out or send up a flare.  Option two comes with a stiff fine and fee as a rescue boat is send out to deliver you back to terra firma.

Rescue pods

Rescue pods along the way. Rumor is there is some whiskey in the first aid kit.

 Neuwerk Lighthouse

Our journey across the water ended at the island of Neuwerk.  Population 39.  Is it really an island, if you can take a carriage to it?  The focal point of the entire island is one of the most quaint light houses we have toured.  For a small ticket (5 euros)  you are allowed to climb the circular staircase up to the top of the lighthouse.  What is most interesting, the lighthouse…and the entire island for that matter is officially a part of Hamburg, Germany (the city is 75 miles away).  Technically the lighthouse which was built in 1367 is the oldest surviving building in Hamburg.  For its age, the entire lighthouse is in very good shape.  The views from the top show the sea and Cuxhaven.

Neuwerk Lighthouse

Stairs of the Neuwerk Lighthouse

During the summer, you can walk around the island and see the farm. There is also a nice museum that explains the ecology of the area. After we had milled around for a time, our wagon master mustered us up again, we boarded our yellow carriage and headed back to the mainland.  It was a great day trip.

Hamburg horses

What a great day! Who knew we could walk on water?

Cuxhaven and Neuwerk are wonderful off the beaten path locations to visit as a couple.

12

A Tax Attorney Turned Tenacious Traveler

We love highlighting unique traveling couples!  In this installment of our seven questions, we want to introduce you to our new found friends Amber and Eric of the Husband in Tow.  They were kind enough to break away from their hectic lifestyle in Bali to share with us a little about their adventures and path to full time couple travel.  If this couple travelling around the world doesn’t inspire you to book your next trip, we don’t know what will!

Blog:  www.WithHusbandinTow.com

Twitter: @husbandinTow

Facebook: WithHusbandinTow

traveling couple

Eric and Amber of Husband in Tow in Dubai

First off, tell us a little more about this traveling duo:

Amber and Eric met at university, way back when, in 1997.  They were married in 2001, while Amber was attending law school in Washington DC.  They took their first overseas trip to visit family in Ireland in 1997, followed by a mess of trips to Europe, but their thirst for travel really did not kick in until their first trip to Asia in 2006.  In 2009, they left their jobs and traveled the world for 14 months.  After thier first big trip, (aka the Master Plan) their goal was to return to the US, and to Amber’s big law job.  The plan was to stay five years, save money, then plan their ultimate escape.  As plans sometimes do, the plan changed.  They barely made it two years when they caught a bad case of wanderlust.  They headed back on the road!  This time it was permanent.  They have been on the road since July 2012.  Amber is now a recovering tax attorney, blogger, and yoga teacher, while Eric is a budding entrepreneur and independent advertising sales executive.   What an amazing traveling couple!

Amber and Eric were kind enough to face our dreaded 7 questions:

1) Amber, we are so impressed by you.  Leaving a heady job for the life of a traveler.  What has been the hardest things about leaving the corporate world behind?

Amber: The large paychecks.  That’s about it.  Seriously.

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)

He Said: Mario Batali.  Jersey bred celebrity chef, with a speciality in Italian, Spanish, and Asian cuisine, helping me eat my way around the world.  Come on.

She Said:  Karl Pilkington.  I have been fascinated by the number of hours I can sit and watch Ricky Gervais play an enormous joke on his long time friend Karl, by sending him around the world. I  would love to travel with Karl myself to seethe world through his strange eyes.  And, if I could have Ricky laughing in the background, so much the better.

3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings? Why?

He said: Vietnam.

She said: After so many years together, we share a brain so he said, she said, is a little hard for us.  Vietnam as well. We taught English there twice back in 2009, and just experienced the country in a whole different way.  It is just a place that is special for both of us.

Love

With Husband in Tow in Thailand

4)  Bali is our next destination.  Fill us in!  What three things do you love about Bali?

He said: 1) Babi gluing, which is Balinese roast pig; 2) warm weather, but always with a breeze; and 3) the remoteness, it is not easy to get here from The States.

She said: 1) The Balinese Hindu traditions; 2) the stunningly gorgeous rice paddies; and 3) high caliber yoga teachers to keep me healthy and happy.

5)  We love the book section on your blog.  (Why is it most travelers are readers?) What is your favorite traveling read?  What are you reading now?

He said: I read The Quiet American every time we go to Vietnam.  It’s the only book I’ve read more than once.

She said: I’ve been reading a lot about happiness and how to find it and enjoy it.  Right now, I am reading The Happiness Makeover by M.J. Ryan.

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: Land mines and unexploded ordinance

She said: Women’s equality and security in the developing world.

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

She said: We had a good one in the rain in Hanoi in 2009.  I felt I was organizing all of our RTP, writing a blog, managing our finances, etc. But, when Eric tries to help I get a little control freaky, so it is really not his fault.  Our biggest mistake, though, was traveling with only one lap top back then – it was our only internet device, so we fought over it all the time.  We learned our lesson and have multiple devices now – a lot less fighting.

He said: Does it make a difference, they are all my fault, right?

1000Fights:  We think that is a bit of a cop-out…but you have learned an important lesson.  Would you mind teaching Mike?

Thanks again to Eric and Amber for sharing with us a little couple travel inspiration!  The key takeaway for sure is that there isn’t just one way to travel.    Find the path that works for you and yours.  Stay tuned, this is not the end of this story!  Yes, the Fighting Couple is definitely looking forward to meeting up with the tax attorney and the husband in tow this May in Bali!!!!

Calling all traveling couple, contact us, we would love to feature you.

5

I am a Menu Coward

Every word on the menu looks Greek…and you are in Poland.  What to do?  

I have something to confess.  I am a recovering menu coward.  Luci and I are supposed to be the adventure couple travel gurus.  We are supposed to try anything, anywhere, from any roadside stand.  Sorry, I cant do it.   When we travel, I nervously scan the menu for words that remotely look like steak, chicken, pasta or better yet….have pizza in its name or description.

In order to understand my eating history…you must know where I come from.   I grew up in the rural western US.  Really good Pad Thai, balut, or even casu marzu were nowhere to be found.  Steak and potatoes were the plate de jour.  Right after high school all that was about to change.  I moved to Taiwan.  Food culture shock!  Thank heaven for fried rice or Chao Fan as the Taiwanese say.  I basically survived for three months eating one thing, and one thing only.  Then I slowly got brave.

Meat and potatoes

Meat and potatoes…the old standby.

One of the beauties of international travel is that it takes you outside your comfort zone in so many ways.  One of the biggest ways to get out of that zone is breaking our menu coward-ness.  There is so much delicious food out there!  In today’s flat world you could live on McDonald’s hamburgers and fries just about anywhere in the world you travel.

What follows is our 5 step program to overcoming menu cowardness.

Eat Breakfast

So often what halts us from trying something adventurous while we are traveling is that we are hungry!  After tramping around Rome all day, you are famished and frankly, you want something that you know that you are going to like.  This happens to us all the time.  Key is load up on a good breakfast.  Stateside, I am not a breakfast food eater.  If my mother in law is reading this….sorry.  I know, I know it is the most important meal of the day…ya.  Seriously, most nation’s breakfasts are the same.  Fruit?  Check.  Some form of cereal? Yep.  Bacon!  Need we say more.  Our advice to traveling couples is load up on breakfast.  If the hotel has a buffet.  Eat to full.  This allows you to have the energy to hit the tourist trail and not be weak at your “menu”  moment.

I will NOT have what she is having

One of the recommendations we make to traveling couples is seeking off the beaten path sites and eateries.  Many of these restaurants…the really good ones…. don’t have English menus.  In fact if a restaurant has an English menu, it is likely not frequented by the locals.  Another thing that Luci and I try to do is always order something different from each other.  This is a great way to cover more bases.  One of us is bound to get something that we like.  Sometimes this “sharing” disintegrates into a fight…but that’s just us.

macaron

Yummy macarons!

Hunt and Peck

One of our favorite pastimes in France is stopping at every boulangerie.  As we see the sites, we stop occasionally and buy a croissant or a pastry.  In Thailand, we would hit the fruit smoothie stands for a pick me up snack.  Eating a little throughout the day helps us to avoid the hunger blindness that can hit you late in the day.  That monster tells you it is ok to go get a burger.  Don’t surrender to the hunger.  Eat a little during the day.  Keep the blood sugar levels up.

Listen to Food & Travel Bloggers

One of the very best ways to overcome you fear of the unknown is to do what you are right now!  Read food and travel blogs.  Bloggers are great guinea pigs.  They know where to go to eat.  They know what to eat once you get there.  Case in point.  I had never had “real” goulash.  When we were in Budapest this past spring, I made it my mission that I was going to goulash.  I just put it out there onto twitter

 

Goulash

Goulash at Kadar’s

The Fighting Couple ‏@1000Fights

Calling all #Budapest #foodie‘s- where is the best goulash? #hungary

And within seconds…boom -we had an answer from @ConfusedJulia.  She told us what to eat at Kadar Resteraunt.  LOVED it! She even followed up with us to see if we liked it!

Julia ‏@ConfusedJulia

@1000Fights Awesome! So glad you went to Kadar – we loved the goulash there :)

Travel bloggers and foodies are a great sources of info and can help you make the right choice.  While you are eating breakfast with the free wifi, put it out there on twitter…what should I eat in #________.  Use the pound sign to cast your net a little wider to the world.  If in doubt…ask @ConfusedJulia!

Cheaters Always Win

Ok, you have followed our guidance from above.  You are in the right place.  Not a lick of English on the card.  Every word on the menu looks Greek…and you are in Poland.  What to do?   We always survey the room.  Pay attention to what the waiters are bringing out of the kitchen.  You can test drive a meal before buying.  Another strategy is to engage the waiter.  Ask a few questions, ask them to describe some of the dishes.  If you happen to be allergic to some food or ingredient… you must learn the words for those items in every language you may be eating in.  If all else fails…throw caution to the wind.  Order the Shiokara!

Ok..its your turn.  What do you do when you don’t understand the menu?

What is the craziest thing you have eaten?

Leave us a comment below, we would love to hear from you.

12

We are giving away a Handmade Santa Fe Leather Journal!

This Giveaway Has Ended.

 

The giving season is upon us and the Fighting Couple is in the mood to give!  For all of you traveling couples (and solos) out there we have just the thing.  We are giving away a lovingly handmade, leather journal made by our fave journal artisan Jenni Bick.  (www.jennibick.com).   You may remember, we gave away a journal this past spring.  We have talked Jenni into letting us do it again!

We are giving away a Santa Fe Leather Journal!

leather diary

Mike capturing a few thoughts in Budapest

This is no ordinary journal.  This is a work of art.  Each one is one of a kind.  Made from the fine heavyweight paper to the soft leather cover, this is a must have.

Specifics on the Santa Fe journal:

  • Measures 5″ x 7″
  • 240 pages (120 leaves)
  • LINED pages in a crisp ivory laid finish
  • Leather colors will vary from buckskin tan to deep espresso brown.
  • Handcrafted on Martha’s Vineyard by Jenni Bick.

It is no secret that both Luci and I are journalists.  Not in the pencil behind the ear, newspaper sense, but in the personal “diary” sense of the word.  Both of us have kept journals for years.  Our blog is kind of an outgrowth of our journals.  We have found it a great way to track the ups and downs of life and bring back great material to FIGHT with!

Entering this giveaway is super simple.  Just three easy steps:

1) Give The Fighting Couple a like on Facebook (here).

2) Give Jenni Bick a Like on Facebook (here).

3) Leave us a comment in the comment section below and say:  Send me a Bick!

 

Easy huh?

 

Should you journal?  Yes!!!  The benefits of journaling are well documented:

Health benefits of Journaling  http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/000721

100 Benefits of Journaling  http://www.appleseeds.org/100_journaling.htm

It is rumored that even Mae West kept a diary!

 

The fine print (sorry, we don’t look good in stripes):

1) To enter, you must be a resident of USA or Canada.  (Sorry Uzbekistan, catch you next time?)

2) Void where prohibited.  (Void is such a weird word…..Void.)

3)  Just so you know, Jenni Bick was kind enough to provide a journal for us to review, and one for us to give away to one of our fabulous readers.  Does this affect our love of our journal?  Nope.  Not one bit. Never.  Ever.

4) Contest rules are subject to change.  (Unless Luci changes her mind….which NEVER happens.)

5)  Contest ends on December 8, 2013 at midnight MST.  (All good things must come to an end.)

5.5)  18 years old and above only to win.  (This is the most fun adults get to have…no kids allowed!)

6)  We will then pick a winner via random.org.  (There are no rules against crossing your fingers.)

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Adventure in a Sri Lanka Taxi

I had always wanted to go to Sri Lanka after sharing a flat with a Sri Lankan friend through uni. I convinced my partner (now husband) to go and after a bit if investigation we found a site where a driver took you around the island for 3 weeks, with accommodation included. It was ridiculously reasonable so we thought why not.

buddha Shrine

buddha Shrine

Our taxi driver, Mr de Silva (never once did we get to know his first name) was an interesting driver and person. He arrived to pick us up on 2 crutches – he had just been discharged from hospital after having broken his back and being in hospital for 6 months. Interesting start. Then it got even more fascinating.

He told us that he was a devout Buddhist and did not drink yet he stopped at every shrine, temple, and church (regardless of denomination) along the way, for the entire 3 weeks. He blessed himself and said a prayer every time. It didn’t take us very long to figure out that this was a very very good thing, as he was the most erratic driver we have ever seen.

He favoured pavements and going up wrong way streets. He liked to take on trains and to cross right in front of them. The best and most intriguing though, was his afternoon driving. It took us a few days to figure out what was happening. At about 2 ‘clock he stuck his foot down and gunned it, stopped at the next village and told us to go for a walk. It got the better of us and we followed him. He was going to the ‘turf accountant’.

We didn’t say anything for a couple of weeks, because we really liked him despite of, or because of his quirkiness, but we just followed him at times to make sure, and always he was off to the turf accountants. Eventually we asked him about this. He stopped his car. Told us to get out. We thought he was going to leave us stranded, but he walked around to the boot and got out a bottle of absinthe, poured some shot(s) and told us that he was placing bets on English horse races. An interesting take on devout Buddhism.

Another time we were wandering around a very small town and he had said he would be about an hour, but it wasn’t the afternoon. Then next thing we see him in a barber shop getting his hair dyed. He saw us, we bolted and it was never ever mentioned.

Sri Lanka Feast

Sri Lanka Feast

Despite all of his erratic and strange ways he was very good to us always. We met some people in Kandy and got into a discussion on which were the better wines, Australian or America. So we started sampling them both, bottle after bottle. Mr de Silva hovered like a mother hen and at times came up and said it was time to go. But we didn’t. I think it was when the bar had run out of all wines that we finally left. We were in so much trouble the next day, and nor were we very well. He gave us the cool treatment just like my mother used to do. Sorry, still does.

But we did make friends again. He invited us to his house to meet his family at the end of the trip in Colombo. They laid on a massive feast and then they left and ate in the kitchen. It was so dreadful, I hated it. I wanted them to eat with us and we asked them to, but apparently that was not the way.

So Mr de Silva was the most dreadful and erratic driver who drank and gambled despite his polytheistic beliefs and it was a sheer pleasure to have a holiday with him. And his hair didn’t look too bad either.

 

Guest post from our friends http://www.contentedt​raveller.c​om

Gordon and Paula have been travelling ever since they met 10 years ago, and for some unknown reason are contented traveller(s). Gordon forgot the ‘s’. They represent the baby boomer/ empty nesters who are fit, free and financial. They can and do (m)any things. Their site arose from their love of travel and unusual adventures, but also, and most importantly their ability to embrace serendipity.

 

 

 

 

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A Grecco Aussie Adventure?

In our never ending quest to introduce you to traveling couples that make the whole: relationship + work+ travel thing work, we want to introduce you to Bell and Alex of Wanderlust marriage.com.  Have you ever just wanted to pick the brain of a traveling couple, find out how they make it work?  Hear some great couple travel fights?  Now is your chance!

Here is how to follow them:

Blog: WanderlustMarriage.com

Twitter:  @WndlustMarriage

Facebook: Wanderlust Marriage

couple by ocean

Alex and Bell of Wanderlust Marriage

1000Fights:  Ok, start off by tell us how you two met?

We met over a decade ago (ouch!) in a dingy hostel in Brugges, we were bunk mates in a mixed dorm. Alex’s favorite line… “we were thrown into the same bed, it was meant to be!”

1000Fights:  Wow! Ok….enough info…..

1) How many countries visited between the two of you?

We have been to 43 Countries! This travel thing is addictive isn’t it?

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)

He Said: The Pope. I would love to ride in the Pope Mobile and get a keen insight into the Vatican’s wonderful fashion sense ;)

She Said: My dad, he passed away 20 years ago, but before that he loved to travel, camp, and take us kids with him into the Australian outback.

 3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?

He said: Probably Thailand. Such great food, scenery, shopping and great value. Thailand holds a special place in our hearts because Bell and I met up there again after not seeing each other for 2 and 1/2 years. We got engaged 8 days later on the island of Ko Phangang, a day after the full moon party!

She said: Such a difficult question, probably Vietnam, such a beautiful country and just crazy, crossing the road there is truly a “leap of faith!”

4)  Looks like you guys have spent some time in Greece.  Many couple travelers have Greece on top of their list.  Tell us about your suggestions for couples.

He said: Over the years I’ve spent more time in Greece than Bell because my Dad is originally from there (born in Pyrgos, near Olympia) and through him I also have Greek citizenship, along with American. Greece can be one of the most hospitable countries in the world. It is a great trip for couples!  If you’re courteous when you’re out in restaurants and bars, you’ll surely get a few free coffees and spirits in your travels from staff or fellow patrons :) Particularly for couples: In Athens- find a nice roof top bar with a view of the acropolis lit up at night and enjoy some nice food, wine and traditional Greek music. I’ve seen a lot of Greece and there are loads of romantic spots on the islands and main land. Santorini is really quiet during the off-season but it’s so beautiful that couples can rent a car and feel they practically have the island to themselves, which is really special if you don’t care about swimming and lounging in the unique black sand beaches.

She said: It is really romantic to visit Syros in the off-season and rent a little apartment. We only had a few nights there, but I could have spent a week there relaxing and enjoying great food, wine and hanging with just Alex. Syros is a great island because along with being gorgeous, it’s the capital of the Cyclades, so a lot of Greeks continue living there year round and there is FAR more happening in the off-season than Mykonos.

couple under tree

Alex and Bell the creative couple behind Wandlust Marriage.com

5)  You guys have some great posts about how to live and travel abroad.  What are the keys to surviving as a couple abroad?

He said: We’ve been living in Europe 5 and 1/2 years now and I kinda feel like the 5 year point is where the term “expat” really sunk in for me. I currently find myself in a strange place ideologically…Couples should make sure to keep the adventure alive. Try and have a nice short trip booked semi regularly because when westerners move countries it’s often for adventure. If that dies the whole ship can sink.

She said: It’s a miracle we’ve not killed each other on a couple of occasions! It’s tough, we love our families and friends, so we both get some sort of “homesick” and can feel a little isolated at times and take that out on each other… The key, not sure, but trying to find some good friends in your new home helps a lot, and have a balance of people who are locals and expats. Expats are easy to get in with, but they are more likely to move and perhaps be unhappy about the country you’re in… try not to get caught up with that group, it’s too easy to blame small annoyances on *insert country* when the reality is there are similar problems everywhere.

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: At the risk of sounding like a ditzy beauty pageant contestant world hunger. There’s too much discrepancy of wealth in this world. The first world lives off the backs of the 3rd world. Programs like the World Bank and IMF are meant to help bring people out of poverty but first and foremost they cater to Western interests, so often programs to 3rd world countries that provide loans have stipulations for poorer governments to actually cut programs for their people in order to re-pay the loans. It’s a tricky problem but it’s one that wealthy countries can do a better job at if they want.

She said: Education for everyone, if people are educated it helps to empower them, and while it isn’t a quick fix solution to world problems, I believe we have to stop thinking about issues with a short-term, quick fix mentality.

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

She said: We look sweet, but we can argue! Especially if Alex is tired and I am hungry, this is a recipe for disaster! We actually had to discuss which fight to talk about, but I decided upon a recent one on our last trip to Australia, my home country. We’d flown direct from a few days in Dubai with friends. Between the 2 of us I think we’d clocked about 3 hours sleep. Alex was drunk and I was tired, hungry and my usual emotional self when going back to Aus. It started when I woke Alex for breakfast (he’d asked me to). He was still drunk and now really tired and it started small, but by the time we arrived at immigration we were being horrid to each other, names were involved and this is all while standing in line for immigration. I’d actually filled in Alex’s slip because he wasn’t really able to and had accidentally left “job” blank, so when we arrived at the immigration desk after a scene in the line, the lady processing us was less than kind… we totally deserved it though and at least we did not get pulled aside! Advice -> take sleeping pills on long haul flights!!

1000Fights:  Great Story!

He said: The Aussie one was good! Another one was early in our marriage when Bell first moved to the US 8 years ago. We went to Las Vegas and we realized we could score truly free drinks by sitting at the hotel casino bars and putting a $10 note in the video machines on the bar. We would slowly play 25 cent hands and since we had 10 bucks in, we would get free drinks easily because the bartender is right there! But Bell hates gambling and when she went down only $5 after an hour she was complaining about it. I didn’t get it because that was paying for the drinks so she wasn’t even down. And it was only $5 anyways! We kept drinking and the annoyance built up on both ends. We eventually got into a huge shouting match on Las Vegas Bouvelard at 3am. Luckily there weren’t many people around because it was not very nice!

1000Fights:  Something tells me it wasn’t the first couple fight on the boulevard at 3am in Vegas?

We want to thank Alex and Bell for sharing a little about their traveling style and a couple of great fights!  Give their blog a look!

Are you a traveling couple?  Wanna be featured?  Share your best travel fights?  Send us an note.

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