Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stuffed Bird

Oy, that was a lot of food! I love Thanksgiving because it really is all about food. In our family, my mother always made the matzoh ball soup in the morning. She used the turkey parts that everyone else throws away to make a turkey stock. She then adds veggies and as she says.. a whole lot of dill and lets it simmer all day long. When the bird is just about done, she adds the canadles and some noodles and when that is ready... we are ready to eat. Today's Thanksgiving feast was the somewhat the same... it started with the matzoh ball soup and then my husband took over. He was like a machine today. He made a Paula Deen stuffing, some mashed potatoes and some great creamed spinach.... and now, I am as stuffed as the bird was this morning

This morning we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade as we drank coffee and my mom made the soup. Eva loved watching the dancers and she called Kermit a turtle.

I hope you are all enjoying your families. Eat lots and remember to say thanks.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In Orlando for Thanksgiving

Every traveler in the world knows that the week of Thanksgiving is the absolute hardest time to travel in the US. Well, I will be the one to tell you that it is not that bad if you plan ahead. We had a very uneventful trip from Washington to Orlando yesterday.... and here's why.. we booked well in advance and we gave ourselves plenty of time. Sometimes its just that simple.

You all know that I travel all the time and there is nothing worse than arriving early to sit and wait for a delayed flight. I get it... I do it to. I get to the airport one hour before boarding... I coast through security as fast as I can.. ( laptop out of the case, no liquids, slip-on shoes...) I am super efficient. I then grab a rag mag and I am ready to board. Simple stuff. Well, forget that. This is not your normal flight to Boston... or to Oakland. This is travel during Thanksgiving and you need to be at the gate one hour before they board. That's right, people. Give yourself time! Pace yourself and you will see that everything will feel a whole lot better.

Another big tip... book in advance and make sure that you do not fly in the thick of it. Meaning... try to go out the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving and come back on the Monday or Tuesday after. I also suggest flights in the afternoon... this helps avoids the long security lines and also almost guarantees you a parking space at the airport.

Let me take the advice columnist hat off for a moment and tell you about our trip...

We left the house 3 hours before our flight. The airport is an hour away and I wanted to give us a full hour to get us parked, on the bus to the terminal and through security. Once we got through security (Eva told the FSA guy that she was flying on a big airplane today!) we then sat and had a nice lunch before we headed down to the gate. We then boarded the plane (remember: I printed our boarding passes 24 hours before to ensure that we were among the first to board) and prepared for the flight. Eva had her lollipop and was looking out the window as we took off. She then settled back and watched Finding NEMO on my video Ipod. About an hour into the flight she was sound asleep and 40 minutes later we were in Orlando. It was that easy.

Here's where things got a bit annoying... that damned AVIS! I HATE AVIS! Ok, so... I called them two days ago to confirm that they had a car seat for me and that they had my wizard number in the record. I wanted to just go to the preferred desk, pick up my keys and drive away. Simple... right? We walked to the garage to the preferred booth to pick up my keys. They should have my name on the board... nope. Nothing. So, I spoke to the agent who asked for my name and said that he could not find my reservation. I then handed him my preferred card and suddenly... he found my name. I asked him if we had a car seat...and he said that it was not in my record. I snickered and told him that I called only two days ago to confirm all of this. All he had to do was apologize... but, instead.. he said, "I don't know... I just work here." What? Then, we get into the car (he told me it was supposed to be a Nissan Altima... and it was a Toyota Camary... I can see how you would make that mistake.) Whatever... I'll stop bitching now.

My parents live about 30 minutes away from the airport. There was zero traffic and we made it to their house in no time. Travel to Orlando... done.

Today was a relaxing day. This afternoon we went out to the Premium Outlets in Lake Buena Vista. That's right folks... across the street from Disney! You could smell Mickey.... we were that close. After a good credit card workout, we all came back and started our Thanksgiving baking.

My Nana is 96 years old... she is deaf and partially blind and still makes the best Apple Pie. Tonight, I sat at the kitchen table and watched her make a crust by hand. Her recipe is easy... we call it "A half, A half, A whole and One." Its a half a cup of Crisco, half a cup of sugar, a whole cup of flour and one egg. You mix that together to form a wet dough. You then grease the bottom of a baking pan (Crisco again) and using floured hands... press half of the dough to form the bottom of the pie. You then fill the pie with 7 peeled, cored and sliced apples. She sprinkled some sugar and some cinnamon throughout and then spread the rest of the dough across the top of the pie. It then went into a 350 degree oven for about an hour and 15 minutes. I just took it out... and I have to tell you... even with all the craziness of travel.. the smell of that apple pie makes all of the travel well worth it.

Enjoy your families tomorrow. Remember to pray for all of our troops who are away from their grandma's apple pie this Thanksgiving.

Travel safe.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Off to Orlando for Thanksgiving

We are heading to Orlando tomorrow afternoon to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my parents. We are flying out of BWI on Southwest. I am not a huge fan of Southwest Airlines. Mainly because they tend to kid around too much on the flights. For instance, my entire family was on a Southwest flight from New York to Florida to attend my grandmother's funeral. We were all grieving and the only thing we wanted to do was sleep on the flight. When we boarded the plane, the flight attendants started their little safety announcement and one of the guys said.. and I quote... "In the unfortunate event that this flight happens to become a cruise... your seat cushion doubles as a floatation device." I nearly lost my mind. I had my entire family on board... and this was pre-zoloft... and I was having none of it. I literally tore him a.... but, I digress. So, we are heading to Orlando tomorrow...Southwest. We are packed... and we have all of the necessary stuff for travel with a toddler. Birth Certificate - check. Ipod packed with cartoons - check. Music - check. Lollypops - check. This is our first time traveling with our girl over Thanksgiving and we are a bit nervous for tomorrow. Here's what I did to prepare... first, I made sure that we we rented a car seat from the rental car company. This saves us from schlepping our own! I then confirmed that they had my preferred number in their computer... I do not want to have to wait on line with a tired toddler! The next thing I did... I called Southwest to confirm the documentation we needed for her. She is 23, just under the two year momma has to buy her a seat mark... all we need is a birth certificate. Cool. Then, I jumped online and printed our boarding passes 24 hours before the flight. For Southwest this guarantees that we will be in the "A" group and one of the first to board the flight. AHHH... but you say... Lori, you told us NEVER to pre-board with a child. Yes, I did... I get the "A" boarding to get my husband to get on board and get us seats. Then I come on last with the baby. This way she can run around the gate a bit longer and I can put her on the flight at the last second. Last tip for the night... lollypops. Kids do not know how to "pop" their ears... so, the lollys help them to swallow during takeoff and landing! So, fingers crossed.. her little ears will be fine. I;ll write more from Orlando to let you know what else I discovered. If you are heading out tomorrow... travel safe and remember to pack your patience. This is THE hardest travel period of the year! Plan well, take your time and enjoy. xoxoLori

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Because I am the Mother"... a Monthly Feature from Eileen Rothschild

My mother knows A LOT about travel. She has been a travel agent for almost 30 years. The woman remembers the days of the hand-written ticket on carbon paper! She now lives in Florida ( like all good New Yorkers) and handles all of the travel for a cool sailing camp for kids called Sail Caribbean. She has graciously agreed to submit a monthly blog for this site. If you need travel advice or even booking information... please send her a comment! Here is blog #1... enjoy.

My husband and I left New York for the "better life" here in Florida. Since being here almost 3 years, we are wondering why we ever did this move. There are no diners here for an after dinner coffee and danish. They don’t even have a clue as to what a danish is here. I mean, I had to ask a cousin who was meeting me in Maryland for a family event to bring me kosher mustard! You can get kosher franks and sauerkraut... but no kosher mustard? Then there is the issue with the rolls and bagels. You can get both, but neither tastes like it should. They don’t believe in crusty pieces of bread and the bagels leave a lot to be desired. The closest thing to
a piece of Italian bread down here is a baguette, a poor second to a hunk of Italian bread.
I recently made a trip back to Long Island and came home with a schlep bag filled with NY bagels (all flavors), knishes (another of the unknown wonders of Florida), freshly grated Locatelli cheese (they only know Parmesan from Kraft here) and real black and white cookies.
I ask you, why did I ever leave NY-------could it be the weather!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


As you know, I recently took a flight from DC to Atlanta on a Delta. Let me first say... that I really like DELTA. I do not work for them... and I do not get paid anything for saying that. Here's why... they have GREAT customer service. Some examples... the new attention they are paying to their customers on-board experiences. We all love Jet Blue because of the TVs at each seat. Well, Delta is fighting back with new on-board entertainment choices and they are also tapping chefs and entertainment insiders to help with their refreshment selections on board. I recently had a cocktail created by Rande Gerber. It was fab.. not like having a cocktail at one of his bars... but, made the trip a little more enjoyable. I also like that when they say that there will be a Delta rep meeting their planes... they do! I saw it with my own eyes, people.

They are typical in other areas... like WHY is there shuttle from DC to NY so damn expensive? I mean, I love that I get a snack on board... but do I really need to pay $200 more for that cheese and cracker snack? I also HATE their boarding system. What ever happened to boarding the first class people first, travelers with small children (which you should NEVER do)... and people who need assistance first... and then go from the back of the plane to the front of the plane? I am not saying that because I want to board earlier... because I always choose to sit in the front of the plane. So, I asked Delta through their customer service email address and received a prompt reply... Here it is...

Dear Mrs. Rothschild Ansaldi,

Thank you for contacting Delta Air Lines.We know that being on-time is important to you, and our goal is to deliver simple, fast and reliable service. Prior to implementing zone boarding, we tested it in several cities and found that customers were able to board and get settled intheir seats more quickly. This allows us to perform final flight preparations earlier, and an on-time departure is more likely.

Our boarding process includes 9 zones. The first group to board is zone1 which includes our First Class passengers, followed by our SkyMiles Medallion members in zones 2 and 3, and then all other customers seated in the Economy cabin are boarded in zones 4 through 9. The zone number assignments in groups 2 through 9 vary depending on seat assignments -window seats come first, followed by middle, then aisle seats. Also,please note that while there is no pre-boarding announcement, passengers with special needs such as a disability or children traveling alone are normally boarded first. If you require pre-boarding, please let the gate agent know, and we'll do all possible to assist you.

Again, thank you for writing. We appreciate your selection of Delta and will always welcome the opportunity to be of service.


Kaye Taylor

Online Customer Support Desk

I thought that Kaye did an excellent job of explaining their system... and again, I LOVED the prompt reply., I know you are dying for my tip on boarding with Children first. Don't do it. Boarding LAST is always the best option with small children. Reason is that if you board them early... that translates into more time that they are expected to sit still in a seat. I have a 2-year old and I make sure that she is well rested before a flight (I never force her to sleep on a flight... and it never works anyway) so that she is well mannered and has a bit of patience. I then giver her a clean diaper and I make sure that she has plenty of snacks, toys and puzzles to play on board. My husband will sometimes board first to get out gear in place... and then me and my girl come on later.

Do you have any advice with traveling with children? Please send me your travel tips, best family destinations and ideas. Would love to hear from you!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tell me your Thanksgiving travel tips!

Here are some of my Thanksgiving travel tips...

(1) Don't even think about getting on I-95... or if you do, leave days in advance and come home days later. Oh, yeah.. and pack your patience.

(2) Book your travel early... not only to get a good price on your flights, but to also get a seat. Most airlines oversell their, make sure that you are one of the first to get seats!

(3) Stay local... eat local. Sometimes you just have to weigh the options of leaving home. Is it really worth the pain?

Around the World for Free

Its Sunday November 11th... t-minus 9 days until we are all officially in travel hell. I absolutely hate traveling over Thanksgiving. We once drove up to Long Island from DC on Thanksgiving morning... thinking we would make it just in time for dinner. Ummm.. yeah, that trip that usually takes 5 hours.. took 9. I had to pee so bad on the Belt Parkway, that we had to stop at that little gas station in the middle of the highway. If you are a strong islander, you know what I am talking about. Yuk! (This momma bear don't pee in the woods... so...) Anyway, this Thanksgiving we are going to see my family in Orlando. We are then going to meet up with one of my crews shooting in Disney with Samantha Brown. So, we are leaving on the 20th in the afternoon (seemed like a safe time to travel with a 2 year old) and we'll come back on the 27th... again, safely out of that weekend after T-giving zone. We'll see. Just so you know, I have an email into DELTA about the zoning system. I promised you an answer... and I will get you one. For now, I am in DC working and enjoying some down time before I jump on plane again. Oh, yeah... if you have a sec (and you know you need something fresh to search on at work...) take a peek at This is the site where Alex Boylan is trying to go around the world without a dime in his pocket. Take a look... Alex is a friend, but his content from South America is amazing.. (so, not just a plug).

Until next time.. Be Good, stay safe and always travel.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hotlanta with Kirsten Gum

I hate being sick on the road. I just got back from 48 hours in Atlanta where I was holed up in my hotel room with a stomach flu. I was supposed to be there shooting a Chase commercial for Cash and Treasures with Kirsten Gum. We were then going to shoot the new show open for the show. The first part of the trip was fine. DCA was perfect... no lines... flew through security and had plenty of time to grab the new Conde Nast Traveler and a coffee. I do have one question tho... how does Delta's zoning system work? You know... you get to the gate and they tell you that they are boarding by zones? Well, I was at the airport almost 2 hours before the flight and I was in zone 8! How does that happen? The best part is that they make you feel like a loser if you are in the "later zones"... oh, sorry dear, we are not boarding your zone yet. You will have to wait. F'n gate person. You think you have power. Are you hearing me right now, people?? I will get down to the bottom of the zoning and believe me... if you are not paying for first are in the back of the line! Ok, off the soap box. I boarded the plane and I read about how Delta has an SVP of on-board experience. That sounded like a cool job. Anyway, the woman who holds that position is now creating cool new things to make our on board experience better. Most of the really cool stuff is in business or first...but, I did notice some adjustments to economy. For instance, they have music piped in as you board and as you are taxing to and from the gate. Nice. I like ambiance. They then told us that they were serving Rande Gerber cocktails as part of their beverage service. Cool. I also read about how they were improving the lighting in the planes so that you were given a less stressful experience. At least they are acknowledging that is is stressful! I sat back with my Conde Nast and enjoyed the hour and fifteen minute flight to Atlanta. When we arrived, we were met at the gate by a real Delta representative asking us if anyone needed assistance. I mean, they always tell you that a rep would be meeting us at the gate, but have you ever actually seen one? I just did! I followed the signs to baggage claim and quickly found my bags. I then met the rental bus for my car. I boarded the bus and I was told that I was not listed as an Avis preferred member. I told them that they must not have the right information in my record. I was told to go into the preferred office and when I did I told the girl that I was not on the list and she said to me... "Who are you?" I shit you not... those were her exact words. I then told her my name and she said that I was not listed as preferred. So, I handed her my preferred card and she corrected the information and gave me the keys to the rental. I then thanked her for her help and she said... "you can thank me by giving me that bag"... referring to my fake D&G bag that I bought in a market in Beijing. Yeah. Whatev. I then got in my car and made my way to the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead. If you ever go to Atlanta, make sure you stay in the Buckhead area. Its perfect for travelers. Great hotels, loads of restaurants to choose from and some great shopping. I chose the Ritz because I love the staff at the hotel. I used to come to Atlanta a lot for business and called that hotel my home for weeks on end. So, I naturally got to know everyone. The one thing that I love about the Ritz brand is that they get to know your "favorites"... doesn't matter who you are. Here's what I mean... I checked into the hotel and went up to my room. At around 8:45 I received a knock on my door from room service with a bowl of my favorite evening snack - mango sorbet. Yum. I had not had dinner yet... but, I was looking forward to chowing on that t like midnight while working on my blog. Kirsten, the host of Cash and Treasures met me at the hotel (she flew in fromLA) at 9 and she came to my room to work on wardrobe for the shoots. We then went downstairs to grab a bite at the lobby bar. We were served by a really cute waitress named Sherry-Lou. Again... I shit you not. We ordered some cheese and wine and a salad and I went upstairs to bed. We had a 7am call... and I wanted a good nights sleep. I got up to my room and took a hot shower and went to bed. Nice, right? Right. That's where everything got a little crazy. At 3am, I woke up with a violent stomach flu. I HATE being sick on the road. It sucked! I ended up sleeping about 2 hours that night and struggled to make that 7am call. Kirsten and I went to Starbucks and got some tea and headed over to the set. It was a nice set.. good people... and we were shooting on green, cool technology. Kirsten was in hair and makeup when I finally called it a day for myself. I was basically laying on a couch and just plotting my course to the bathroom in case nature called. I got into my car and went back to the hotel and climbed back into my 350thread count sheets. Kirsten and Caroline (another producer from our marketing department) came back to the hotel around 6 and checked on me. When they found me in a worse state, we decided to go to the hospital. We went down to the front lobby and asked for a cab to the hospital and the doorman insisted that we use the hotel's limo. The driver suggested an emergency clinic close to the hotel. I met with a doctor who told me that I had a stomach flu. Nice. The best part was the prescription of codeine that I walked out with! I had such a great sleep that night! So, needless to say... this trip was basically a bust. I was super glad to get home last night... my own bed. I love to travel... but sick on the road sucks. Until next time. - Lori