Apr 242009
 

Well, we’re headed to Paris in May for one of our little adventures. The decision was made totally last minute and we could not be more excited. It took us two days to decide between London, Paris and Napa Valley. Since we had traveled to Italy last Spring, we were both itching to go somewhere this year and had made no plans. We put in for leave at work without having any idea what we would do and once the days were approved, we just decided on it and booked it!

Brian’s been to France before but this is my first time. I can’t wait to walk along the Seine river, see the Eiffel Tower at night and sit in a cafe and watch all the pretty people go by…

 Posted by at 8:14 pm
Feb 152009
 

Just got back from a wonderful B&B and VA winery tour for the weekend and had a wonderful time. We visited some beautiful vineyards and were able to taste and bring home some great Virginia wine. As we heard over and over from some vineyard owners, Napa Valley better watch out!

This past week I started working nights. It’s an adjustment but I think Brian and I are doing okay so far. My work is a totally different place at night and I like it. Sleeping during the day is hit or miss right now because it depends on Jack, the phone, UPS, the mailman, etc. I guess I have to get better at controlling my environment and WILL!

Other than that, all is well.

 Posted by at 6:20 pm
Jan 212009
 

We welcomed the new year in NYC and had a great time with family. We didn’t dare go to Time Square but had a lot of fun watching it on TV where it was warm. During our visit, we did manage to visit Rockefeller Center and witness yet another marriage proposal on the ice. This was our second one and very exciting because the hundreds and hundreds of people watching always cheer and clap…very romantic. I’m such a chick!

2009 has been uneventful so far and we’ve just been busy with work. I’m going to be switching to nights and I’m sure that will prove to be a new adventure. Not sure how much problems I’ll have sleeping during the day and if little Jack will let me. He has the habit of trying to open the closed door to the bedroom when I’m sleeping by crashing into it so we’ll see how it goes.

We haven’t planned any trips this year but it’s still early. We’ll see what we come up with to amuse ourselves.

My favorite Christmas gifts – my new MacBook, Friends – the entire series collection and a breadmaker which helps Brian make the best fresh bread EVER. Thanks baby!

 Posted by at 11:08 am
Dec 112008
 

We just want to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2009!

We just got back from our annual trip to DC to see the national tree and museums. We had a wonderful time. They just re-opened the National Museum of American History and it is wonderful. We recommend a visit next time you’re in DC.

Everything here at home is great. Brian has recovered well from his surgery last month and feeling almost back to normal and ready to celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. We’ve decorated inside and outside for Christmas and we totally love it. We have so many ornaments that we’re running out of places to put them on the tree. The latest and absolutely funniest is my new Dirty Dancing ornament. It’s a depiction of Johnny holding on to Baby in the air during the last dance and when you push the button we hear things like “nobody puts baby in a corner”, “I carried a watermelon”, etc. I laughed so hard at the store I had to get it!!!
And here it is…

dirty-dancing-ornament

Anyway, we wish you all the best this Christmas. Stay safe and lots of love for everyone!

Oct 272008
 

Our vacation at Disney World was wonderful. We spent our very tired nights after visiting all the parks at the Animal Kingdom Lodge which was a real treat. We had a savannah view room which meant right outside our window were giraffes, ostriches, zebras, antelope just going about their daily living while we zipped coffee and just watched them when we had a chance. At night they also had actual safari guides speak and tell you a little bit about their particular country in Africa and what would it be like to visit. After sitting through 2 of those presentations Brian and I have added going on safari in Botswana to our list of vacation spots and can’t wait. Not sure where that falls on the list but maybe before Japan, after Ireland. Who knows?

Our favorite park is Epcot and they were having their Food and Wine Festival which is the main reason we went this month and were not disappointed. Going through all the countries drinking good wine and tasting some delicious food was really exciting and fun.

We also had some wonderful lunches and dinners as well at some of the restaurants which we had to book months ahead of time. My favorite evening was when we ate at California Grill on top of the Contemporary Resort which is 15 floors up overlooking all of Magic Kingdom and the Grand Floridian Resort. When it was time for the nightly fireworks at Magic Kingdom, we were taken to an outside viewing area where we could see Cinderalla’s castle and look down on the fireworks. After they were done, we were brought back to our table where our main course was waiting for us. Now that’s “magical”.

It really was a wonderful vacation! Now to plan our next vacation……

On the home front we have started to renovate the kitchen/dining room areas and it will probably prove not fun but going ahead with it. Painting in the dining room is complete and it was not hard changing red to an earth tone color thanks to the wonderful people who invented primer. Genius!!!! We’re in the process of dealing with the cabinets and can’t wait to get rid of the butcher block counter tops. YUK!!! It took a while getting to the kitchen but are happy and dreading the project at the same time.

Work is going well for both of us and Jack is fantastic! More soon.

Don’t forget to vote!!

Aug 182008
 

We’ve been celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary all year long and have been having a great time. We started our celebration with our trip to Italy, and will continue with a trip this fall to one of our favorite places…Disney World. Epcot is having their food and wine festival in the fall and we’re all about that. We’ll be staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and have heard some great things about it.

In the mean time, Brian thought it would be great to celebrate by getting some iPhones. I thought no way….but after awhile, I decided to check it out and I totally love mine. I guess after some resistance, we’ve totally bought into the whole Apple thing and I have to admit some of the stuff is pretty cool. Watching movies with an iPod is pretty cool especially when one is waiting those long hours at the airport. I wonder what other gadgets out there will help us celebrate our anniversary year as far as Brian is concerned. 😉

Jul 042008
 

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

May 302008
 

Can’t believe summer is almost here!

Movies
We saw a couple of movies last weekend. Prince Caspian which we totally enjoyed and Indiana Jones which Brian says is worth watching but just ok. I thought it was just not good. Not good at all. I left feeling like they recycled some old jokes (like the whole snake thing), put in some good stunts and cob webs and that should be enough to distract you from the fact that there is no character development and the actors don’t seem to even want to try. Oh, well. Can’t wait for Batman. Hopefully that wont disappoint. Iron Man was pretty good and Robert Downey Jr. was awesome!

TV
What will I do without The Office and Lost? Both season finales were very good and now I have to wait…American Idol was pretty good as well and I was happy David Cook won.

Summer Plans
Not much. Just relax and head to the beach.

Random
We’re having our milk delivered every week. Isn’t that a hoot? A local dairy leaves our milk in glass bottles so that it’s there when we open the door and we just leave the old glass bottles for them to pick up. Really good chocolate milk as well! I feel very Rob and Laura Petrie!

We started adding Tofu to our diet. Very yummy!

Not much else going on. More updates soon!

May 022008
 

It’s been a couple of weeks since we got back from out Italian vacation and we still can’t get over it. We talk about it all the time and look at our pictures and say “I can’t believe we were there”. We were in Italy for Brian’s birthday and we celebrated it by spending the day at The Vatican and experiencing the Sistine Chapel or Cappella Sistina. I don’t know how we will top that next year!

Italy was everything I expected it to be. Florence and the countryside in Tuscany is just like the pictures and movies. I thought that maybe I had built it up too much in my mind and I was going to be disappointed when I got there and it was totally the opposite. You have to see it to believe it.

Here are some of my (our) favorite things about Italy:

The ease of the transportation system. We went from the airport to Rome, to Florence, to Pisa, to Lucca and all over Rome with ease.

The fact that espresso is more important than water. You can get a shot of the most wonderful espresso ANYWHERE and that is right up our alley. We started our day with a cappuccino (which is when Italians drink cappuccinos) and for the rest of the day we had shots of espresso. YUMMY!

The wine is simply delicious and drinking a bottle with dinner is a common thing. Brian and tried it twice and then decided that maybe 1/2 a bottle works just right for us. And we were right. Needless to say we brought back some wonderful wine from the Chianti region.

The food is different from our Italian food here in the states. Over there the sauces are lighter, olive oil is extremely delicious and the pizza is also very different. I have to say that nothing I’ve tasted here compares to anything we had over there. We never had a bad meal.

The Gelato. Delicious, delicious.

We didn’t know that we could climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa and The Duomo in Florence. In Pisa I was petrified as it felt like we could tip the tower right over or I could lose my balance but it was perfectly safe and beautiful.

When trying to speak the language, most Italians were happy to help us with pronunciation. They seemed pleased that we were attempting to speak their language.

The little, tiny cars. Can’t wait to get one!

The tiny cobblestone streets (hence the need for tiny cars) with tiny sidewalks and the wonderful windows and terraces with lots and lots of flowers. Just like a picture.

Things that were not so hot:

The flight over and coming back full of people that don’t sleep during flights or even speak in calm, quiet voices to not bother anyone. They talk, talk, talk, congregate in the aisles and let screaming toddlers run up and down the aisle. I don’t recommend Alitalia. Do American airlines like Delta, American, United let people do this? Isn’t it a safety issue? I remember during one flight on American when I stood with a lady on the aisle waiting for the bathroom and I was told to sit down because it was a safety issue.

The gypsies! I never saw real life gypsies before but they are all over Florence and are very aggressive about wanting your money. They just come up right in your face and invade all personal space. This type of aggressive moves are also done by the guys who want you to buy their fake purses, flowers or whatever silly novelty they’re selling. They love to congregate at the Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain. Very annoying! They are not Italian but we could not figure out if they are Indian, Arab, from countries in Africa…who knows. They are just very aggressive.

The TV. We were never in a our rooms for long but sometimes before going to bed, I would want to just chill and see what was up. Well, let me tell you it is different! I missed our TV channels. Thank goodness Brian helped us out by filling his iPod with episodes of The Office, Star Trek and some movies. Anyway, it helped us out to get our American TV fix.

Not much else we didn’t like. Praise God we were safe and had a wonderful time!

Apr 192008
 

We’re back from Italy, and the trip was fantastic. I’ve posted the pictures in the photo gallery, but I haven’t posted the video yet. It’s going to take some time to edit the 3+ hours of footage into something that’s watchable, but I’ll post it here once it’s finished.

In case you haven’t noticed, you now have to be logged in to view the photo and video gallery so to everyone that wants to view the Italy pictures, go ahead and click the register link in the sidebar to request your login id. Once I approve your request, you’ll be able to view the photos.

Ciao!