Aqua with gas

I have become horrendously addicted to sparkling water. I know a random thing to become addicted to, but I am. I can remember in 2001, my sister and I went on a trip to Italy. A quick side note. My sister, the amazing person that she is, decided that she would take me to Italy for my college graduation present. What a cool present from a sister, in a family with no parents. Back to the trip — I had no idea how to speak the language and figured my sister could handle that part. I was the map girl, and man was that important when we were in Venice. The only words I knew how to speak were: “Where is the bathroom.” Important, right?

Imagine sitting in a trattoria in Italy with a gorgeous waiter taking your order. You are on vacation and you have absolutely nowhere to be. It was probably the last vacation of my life (with the exception of my honeymoon) where I truly felt no stress of the workplace that I left behind (although I do remember making a long distance phone call from Venice to Boston to check in on my boss as he had asked if I would check in partway through my vacation). I guess I was just as crazy back then.

I digress. This post has only a tiny portion to do with Italy. I can remember when you would order they would ask if you wanted aqua with gas, or without. I was adamant that we had water without gas. Sparkling water, gross?! Well, I guess over time you do change. Fast forward to 2014. At some point during this year I got addicted to sparkling water. I still cannot remember when or where, but now I prefer drinking water with bubbles. We even purchased a Soda Stream last spring. We do not use any fancy flavors, but I love to come inside after a long run and gulp down a glass of cold water with bubbles. Somehow I feel like the water is just slightly different. It tastes different. It has a bit of an edge… Especially when you hold the Soda Stream button down just a little longer than you should.

Now back to a few weekends ago when Chris and I went out to dinner. We knew we would be getting sparkling water. When we ordered it I assumed we would be paying for our water. It was a nice restaurant and of course they would charge more for the bottled sparking water. When they asked right away if we wanted sparkling or still we asked for sparkling, only to find out that they bring you their own bottle of sparkling water. I am sure they have their own machine that makes sparkling water, but why not? More restaurants should make their own sparking water and stop charging customers $3-10 for a bottle. I know when I was in Shanghai I sometimes had to pay $15 USD just for a bottle of Perrier (craziness)!

Thank you, Ava Gene’s, for letting us enjoy our food, drink countless bottles of sparkling water, and never paying a cent for the bubbles. There is more in this world than price gouging over some carbonation. More places should make their own sparkling water. I would be a fan. Bring on the bubbles!

When life brings you moles

Have you ever seen a picture of a mole? Not the ones that show up on our body and are watched by dermatologists. I am talking about the ugly little suckers that bore holes in your yard. They look like rats, but with larger front paws, and they have poor eyesight. Can you believe they can be as little as 3 inches long, and weigh 3+ ounces? Those little suckers can make a major mess for being so little.

photo 2 (30)They are also annoying little suckers. Chris and I are in the process of overhauling our backyard, a little bit each weekend, and while it is nowhere near completion, we have been joined by a mole or moles (we are not sure yet).  It started at the perimeter of our yard and only in mulched areas where we could smash the dirt back down and then cover back up with mulch, but over the past week it started in our grass. First one then another hole. Chris filled the large holes with water, and added the pellets that are supposed to make them itch, but then it was obvious that they came right back up the same holes and then created another one each day last week, so now we have 6 new mole holes (see photo below).

From our research it sounds like we are not the only ones that are stumped and there seems to be a zillion options for handling a mole (see this list of ideas, some seem a bit far-fetched). photo 3 (19)

I am about to start my own version of “Whack a Mole” in my backyard. We are fed up. If I knew where they would be, (sorry mole lovers) I’d get a pitchfork and shovel and have some fun. Alas. Mister Catch-a-Mole Man is coming to visit us today. I hope it is his only visit and he catches this mole. When life brings you moles, you fight back.