Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wedding Weekend, Day 1

As I mentioned before, we arrived in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area on Thursday to check into our wedding hotel and gear up for our fun filled weekend.  That night, JD and Meghan had made arrangements for us all to have dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Uncle Julio’s, which was right in the same area as our hotel. We walked over and met JD, Meghan, Meghan’s parents, Callie and Zach, Shalynne and James (my daughter and son-in-law from Hawaii), my in-laws and Alex. Yes, we had all five kids with us! Here is a photo of just the kids.

There is nothing more thrilling for me than to have all my chicks with me. I was in heaven.

Here I am with the bride and groom.

Meghan’s mom, Meghan and me.

Nick, JD, and Meghan’s Dad.

Callie and Zach.

Shalynne and James.

Nick with the other Callie (oy!)

Alex with is big brother, the groom.
Last but not least…

Me with my boy.
I can’t tell you how pride I am of this kid and how happy I am for him and Meghan.  I was thrilled to have this time with them and share in their special weekend.
More to come….

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Road Trip 2011 Continues

After our overnight stay in Niagara Falls, we set out for our next destination, Green Bay, WI.  The drive from Niagara Falls to Green Bay is nothing to take lightly. That’s one long trip. We spent around 14 hours on the road and were completely exhausted when we arrived.
Going to Green Bay meant that Nick and I would have our own room and we would be able to have home cooked meals and do our laundry. His parents are very hospitable and we always have a good time there.
We took a day off from travels on Monday of last week to catch up on laundry, visit with family in the area and re-pack for our side trip to Texas.
Bright and early Tuesday morning we took off from the small Green Bay airport to land in Dallas/Ft. Worth. The rest of the day was a blur. We grabbed our luggage, rented a car and headed towards JD’s apartment to pick up his hand me downs for Callie’s apartment. Once all the vehicles were loaded (our rental van and Callie’s car) we headed south to her new home in central Texas.
We spent all day Wednesday moving Callie into her cute little apartment and buying the things she still needed. Did I mention that Texas is hot this time of year?  The work wasn’t too bad but add the 95 degree heat and a few sets of stairs to it and I was one tired mamma at the end of the day.
Callie was thrilled to be able to stay in her apartment Wednesday night and be a grown up. I’m so happy for her! She’s got exciting things ahead.
After a wonderful dinner out on Wednesday night with some dear friends, we set out Thursday to go back to the metroplex and prepare for the week-end’s wedding festivities. Nick’s parents flew in on Thursday and so did our other Callie that lives in North Dakota.  Callie (from Texas) picked Zach up at the airport Thursday afternoon so we had a crowd gathering. We checked into our fabulous hotel and I knew it was wedding weekend right away, because I was given this.

A great little goody bag filled with snacks and directions to all the places I needed to be for the weekend.


A bag of popcorn, two HUGE chocolate chip cookies (of which I got NONE), two bags of peanuts, two bottles of water and the pink paper with the directions on it.
I immediately sent JD and Meghan a text message stating that I was in the hotel and that I LOVED my goody bag. Nick and Alex had dropped me off while they went to grab Alex’s tux for the wedding.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed my alone time in the hotel. I was able to sit and finish the slide show (nothing like waiting until the last minute) and relax a little before dinner with the crew.
Photos of Thursday night’s dinner, Friday’s festivities which include the rehearsal and dinner as well as a few shots from the wedding (my camera batteries died in the middle) are coming in other posts.
Today we are on the road again. We’ve spent a relaxing day in Green Bay (again) and are headed to Fargo, ND to drop the boy at his mother’s for a few weeks. Fun times I tell ya, fun times.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Niagara Falls

As I mentioned previously, our first day on the road took us to Niagara Falls, NY.  Neither the kids nor I had ever been and it wasn’t too far out of the way, so Nick decided that would be a good place to stop for the night.


I had people tell me that the Canadian side was the place to be as far as hotels and restaurants, but alas, we didn’t pack our passports (and the kids didn’t have any) so we were limited to the US side. I have to admit, I felt like our side was a little seedy. It was very touristy and a little yucky.  In spite of that, we had a good stay.
We checked into our hotel, settled the dogs in and started the walk over to the falls. I was amazed at the magnificence and power of that much rushing water. It was truly awesome. I could have stayed and watched for hours with the spray hitting me.




After the hiking around the falls area, we were a little hot, tired, thirsty and hungry. We headed over to the Hard Rock Café for an adult beverage and dinner. Later, after we got back to our hotel, Callie decided that Zach would like a Hard Rock t-shirt so she and I headed back over to pick one up. As we made our way back to the hotel, we saw this and decided we needed ice cream.

I couldn’t believe the flavors this place had. It was a simple little ice cream shop with a walk up window. They had stuff like red velvet cake, yellow cake with chocolate frosting swirls, and all kinds of stuff.  They were delicious. I didn’t get a photo of us eating them because they were melting so fast we had it all over!
It was a good first day on the road and we enjoyed Niagara so much. Next stop… Green Bay, WI. Now THAT was a long drive!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First Day on the Road

As I mentioned before, we left Rhode Island last Saturday. We checked out of the home we’d had for the previous few days, The Navy Lodge, and hit the road.

Here are a few photos of us getting ready to go.

Our two cars were filled to almost overflowing. Between suitcases, dogs and a few household items, there was nothing else fitting in either one of them.

This little dog wasn’t happy about being in a crate at all! In spite of the doggie downers we gave her.

To break up the trip, Callie and I made a few signs to flash at the boys in the other car. Here is one of them. (I couldn’t find my sharpie so I used a pen to color in some sloppy letters)

Another time, we just drove up next to them with the camera pointed at them.  This is what I got. (forgive the glare, I should’ve rolled the window down)

I have to admit, I enjoyed being the passenger. I loved making the goofy signs and taking photos of stuff no one else would find interesting.
Here’s a shot of my girl helping me drive.

Does anyone see a common theme with my family?
We drove from Newport up to Niagara Falls Saturday. Next post will be of our walk around the falls area. I think I’ve overwhelmed everyone enough with photos in this post.
We are currently staying a couple of hours south of where JD and Meghan will be married this weekend to get Callie moved into her apartment. We’ve had a great day today and I’ll write about that more later too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Saying Good-bye

After 11 short months, we are packed up and leaving beautiful Rhode Island. It really seems like we just arrived.
Our last week in Newport was very busy.  On Friday, June 10, Nick graduated from the Naval War College. 



That day was the last day I was with both the two women I’ve become so close to over the last year.  It was definitely bittersweet.

Cindy and Debra have definitely come to be two of my very best friends. We have spent many days chatting, shopping, lunching and having coffee.  We shared stories about the Army, our kids, our husbands and solved problems of the world. I will miss these two ladies so much!
That night we hit our favorite watering hole, Pour Judgment with Deb and her husband, Jim for one of our last orders of their delicious house fries. (they have a smoked gouda cheese sauce…YUM)

Deb and Jim left town early the next morning and we started the chore of getting ready for the packers/movers to start a few days later.
Our packers and movers were fantastic. I don’t have photos, but they very quickly and professionally packed and loaded all our worldly possessions into a big truck.  As I type (and ride as a passenger on our road trip) that truck is on it’s way to the Ft. Lewis, Washington area. We will meet up with it in a few weeks.
We are currently on our second day of driving across country. We will take a few days detour to Texas to get JD married off to Meghan on Saturday. I’m very excited about the wedding and seeing all our family. While we’re there, we’ll move Callie into her very first apartment and do a whirlwind visit with some old friends. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
So far, we’ve had 5 days in two different hotels with a teenage boy, a 20 year old girl and two dogs. A trip that has the potential of becoming a logistical nightmare is going very smoothly, mostly because I’m married to an uber organized Soldier who has everything mapped and planned out for every day. It sure makes my life easy!
I will continue to write about our cross country adventures! I’m so excited to see the Pacific northwest. It’s an area I’ve never even visited and I’m anxious to see experience it!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

So Little Time…

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve blogged. I haven’t even taken time to read any of my favorite blogs lately. That’s so not like me.. I’m really a huge geek.
We have been busy cramming all the things we love to do into a short time before we leave. We’ve also been wrapped up in end of school activities, Nick’s graduation and just the busy work that goes into moving.
We bought a new camera several weeks ago and it takes awesome photos. I thought, for this post, I’d show what we’ve been doing in some of those pictures.

On May 31st, Alex had his 16th birthday. How can our youngest be that old already? He was only 8 when I met Nick. Time surely is flying.

We’ve been talking lots of walks down to our favorite sea glass beach. I have a big glass jar I’m trying to fill before we leave.  Here’s a great photo of Alex enjoying the sun while I dig for glass.

The dogs enjoy our walks to the beach too.

We went back to NYC last weekend so Callie could experience it. It was her first trip there. She’s always wanted to see Phantom of the Opera, so she and I got to do that. We had a great visit.

Some of my favorite people on the ferry out to Liberty Island.

We had our friends over last week as they were packing out to move. One of the hardest things about the military is that you’re always saying good-bye to friends. This photo was taken in our back yard. We had drinks and dinner sitting out there just like this. It was a beautiful night.

Nick’s graduation was Friday morning. I’m very proud of his accomplishments and I know he’s glad to be finished! 
Tomorrow is our last day to get ready for the movers who arrive on Tuesday morning.  I hate this part. I hate trying to separate the things I’m going to need for the next few weeks from the stuff the movers can pack and take away. I’ve been taking curtains down and all the pictures off the wall. Tomorrow, I’m going to tackle Alex’s bedroom. I instructed him to do it today, but I fear he’s failed at this task. I will have to finish it for him.
I hope everyone is doing well and hangs in there with me as we transition. I’ll try to be better at blogging!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fun times

We are trying to cram as much fun as we can during our last few weeks  here in Rhode Island.  Now that the weather is mostly nice, we are trying to do more and more.
Friday night we drove up the road a little to see a minor league baseball game. I do love watching baseball (at the park, not so much on TV) but even more so, I love having the beer and hot dogs. This ball park had margaritas too. You know I had to have one .. or two.

Here we are enjoying their ball park food. Alex got a hamburger, a hot dog, fries, soda and then later went back for ice cream. Holy Cow!


You have to love a boy scout troop color guard. It’s so home town.

Saturday we played tourist and went to see the last of the two Newport Mansions we hadn’t seen previously. I absolutely love walking through these “cottages”.  It’s amazing how they lived in the gilded age.
Sunday we hosted friends for a lobster boil. It was awesome. Nick cooked lobster in our turkey fryer on the back patio. My friends Cindy and Deb both brought side dishes and I provided the third side and made homemade ice cream.  We haven’t had homemade ice cream in sooo long. It was delicious and everyone raved about it.  Later that evening we cranked up the fire pit and let the kids make s’mores.  We spent the last few hours of the evening sitting by the fire chatting and enjoying our adult beverages. It was AWESOME. I’m SO going to miss my buddies here.  I was just tickled that we got to get together one more time before we all get crazy with moving.
On Monday, Nick, Callie and I took the water taxi over into town and just walked around. We had a delicious lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, The Red Parrot, where we enjoyed raw oysters and lobster nachos.  I can not describe how amazing these nachos are. The lobster meat on top is in big lumps.. no skimpy wimpy lobster there. The sauce is so stinkin’ rich and then it has melted cheese over the top. I just gained five pounds typing about it.
Here are a few photos of us taking the water taxi. It was such a beautiful weekend. I’m thrilled to have had such a nice four day weekend with friends and family.



Have I mentioned how much I’m going to miss this beautiful place??