Saturday, October 31, 2009

Our Cinderella

Kate dressed up as Cinderella this year, decked out in a custom dress with headband and all to match the dress that I wore at Kids' Camp this year! With silver slippers in place of glass, turtleneck underneath and her beloved penguin mittens in place...she managed to stay warm on this blustery day. She loved walking around, watching her friends and cousins in their outfits too! Despite only taking a one hour nap, later in the evening she was giving out hugs like candy and behaved so well all day long! Happy, sweet and precious little princess...

So many fun places to discover at Fall Frenzy this year!

Mommy, this kitty as big as me!

Michael and Matt with their girls on the hayride

Maddy, who was Dorothy, showing Kate Toto in the basket

Hugs from Bumble Bee Alina

Me: Kate, who are you?
Kate: "Lella" (Cinderella)

Medival Princess Kaylie running away from the camera

Say "cheese" with Ally...two year in a row of matching costumes. Maybe we will make this a tradition.

Exploring her goodies gathered from the night's fun-oh the squeals of delight

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Walk in the woods

Michael had the wonderful idea to take Kate for a picnic dinner to Metro Beach and then walk through the natiure trails...We grabbed a Luigi's pizza (the best), found a cozy little spot behind the nature center and polished off our pizza. We then headed into the woods where we spotted a family of deer, tons of birds, a bridge with "pretty waddoo" (pretty water) as Kate decribed and had a great time as a family. Way to go creative husband. We love you!

Food, movies, crafts too

Kate watching Lady and the Tramp with her "lay-laies" (Lady)

Out to eat with the Poxon's...Drew wins the prize being the most adventurous eater EVER...grapeleaves, fatoosh and even big pieces of raw kibbe!!! The girls weren't quite as eager, but we all had a great time!

Attempted "movie night" at the Bunk's...the matress covered in blankets and pillows, the bowls of fresh popcorn and Mickey Mouse kept these kids entertained...for a few minutes at least!

Harvest craft with autumn leaves for the grandparents. Kate loves y'all!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Five years (and a few months) ago, Michael and I pledged, "I do". So in celebration we decided to travel to a city we have both wanted to visit for some time...Boston. It just so happened that our good friends, Phil and Karlyn, who just celebrated their 10th anniversary, were also considering Boston as a vacation spot. Once we found out about this curious fact, our plans took off. Well, Michael's research on hotels, parking prices, tours, etc took off while the rest of us merely waited in expectation for a fantastic trip.

That fantastic trip just took place this weekend. We all had a blast, never stopped and now have great memories of traveling with friends. The guys took off driving Friday and Karlyn and I flew out bright and early (up at 3:30 am early) to meet the boys in New York City. We were picked up by our price charmings by 8am and off we headed toward Massachusetts. After many tolls and a few missed turns (despite having GPS) we made it to our destination! The Hilton by the airport was our first landing spot. Beautiful hotel for an amazing price. We quickly learned the subway system (the T) and went straight to Government Center for a bite to eat at Quincy Market (pronounced " Quinzey" by locals). Ok, so this Quincy place must have been the world's largest food court...overwhelming amounts of yummy samples, smells and choices. After we made our decisions and eat, we watched a few street performers and began the Freedom Trail, which would take us through all the old historical sites in town.

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads you to 16 nationally significant historic sites. Preserved when the wrecking ball threatened, the Freedom Trail today is a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond.

We walked through Paul Revere's house through the North End (Little Italy section)

Old North Church is the oldest standing church building in Boston, having first opened its doors to worshipers in 1723. Its steeple is the tallest in Boston and would play a dramatic role in the American Revolution. "One if by land, two if by sea" in Longfellow’s Paul Revere’s Ride. The British were advancing by boat across the Charles River while two famous lanterns up in the steeple marked the beginning of the American Revolution.

Karlyn and Michael being cozy in a church pew...he was then sent to the back row to sit where the naughty children might have sat during the 6 hour church services back in the day.

Copp's Hill Burying Ground. No one really famous burried's just really old.

Across the Charlestown Bridge to...

Bunker Hill...On June 17, 1775 it took a force of 3000 Redcoats three assaults to dislodge the Colonial Militia from a hastily constructed fort atop this tiny hill in Charlestown. It was largely due to a lack of ammunition that the Militia was forced to give up defense of the hill. The supposed shortage of ammunition led to the famous order "Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes". At battle’s end, the British had 1000 casualties, a staggering number including one quarter of the officers they would lose in the entire war.

Typical sight our first day...

We then ended with dinner at the Green Dragon Tavern which was used by several secret groups and became known by historians as the "Headquarters of the Revolution". The Sons of Liberty, Boston Committee of Correspondence and the North End Caucus each met there. The Boston Tea Party was planned there and Paul Revere was sent from there to Lexington on his famous ride.

Walking around Faneuil Hall and Quincy Markets' shops for potential souveniers

Slept in til 8am! We thought it was amazing! Phil and Michael pillow fighting. Unfortunately the camera missed the part where Michael picks Phil up and body slams him on the bed. So sorry honey for not filming such an awesome feat.

We then looked outside and found that the forecast was cold, rainy, windy. A Duck tour of the city sounded really good at that point. Our "DUCK", a W.W. II style amphibious landing vehicle was nicely enclosed and shielded from the outside elements. Michael and Karlyn had the crazy idea to switch to a "duck" that had an open back with seats...Thank you Phil for saving us all from dying of pneumonia by being that "stick in the mud" Michael called you. First, we were greeted by one of the legendary ConDUCKtors, "Ray Beez" who narrated our tour. With laughs and lots of history we toured the whole city by land and water. A few of us pretended to be captain of the boat too!

On board the USS Constitution

Is it just me or ould Michael be pregnant too?!

24 pound cannon balls, captain sleeping quarters

Phil and Karlyn behind the umbrella (were you guys necking?) while Michael salutes

Phil being a victim of a pirate pick pocket

Threatened by another pirate in the USS Constitution Museum

Hoisting the sailors dinner, complete with life like sounds

Sleeping arrangements

We met my college friend, Holly and her husband Nate for lunch at a great restaurant in Harvard Square called Fire and Ice. We enjoyed brunch, lunch and dinner all in one sitting and by the time we rolled out of there, the rain had turned to snow! Holly and Nate were kind enough to give us a quick tour of the original Harvard since there are not any signs that say "this is Harvard". I suppose one just knows when they have stepped on to campus.

Our sorry selves bundled, wet, laughing and ready for more adventures but even more ready to rest our feet and put on dry socks.

Once we thawed and dried we headed out for the long trek to Modern Bakery in the North End for a surprisingly delightful array of the freshest of desserts ever!

We also made a pit stop at the Liberty Hotel (suite prices never drop below $1200). Not only is it an incredible building, but it used to be a prison which was closed down because of the wretched living conditions. It was later remodeled and transformed into an amazing hotel!

Just before we reached our hotel I made everyone stop at Wendy's for a quick something, but even after this the Michael spotted an ice cream store...he "twisted" Phil to join in the tasting of this homemade spectacular icecream. There scoops consisted of grape nuts cereal/banana (Phil) and coffee/lemon pistachio (Michael). Interesting, but delicious.

The boys surprised us with an incredible hotel that night, after Michael had us worried we might we attacked by bed bugs.

Breakfast was at a local dinner sitting at the counter in the Harvard area and then we walked through the "Havahd" campus...I even peeked my head into a music class and would have gone in to sit down, but the room was too tiny to just observe. Off to finish the remainder of the Freedom Trail...Public Gardens and the Boston Common.

I find it interesting that the most liberal school in the country began with it's foundational teaching of Puritan philosophy. Despite how far it has gone, students can walk by this original building which has inscribed, "What is man that Thou art mindful of him."

We passed what must have been a laundry vent (it smelled just like bounce) and Phil jumped at the opportunity to air out is coat which still smelled of food from our first day.

The Old State House...the Declaration of Independence was read to the people of Boston from the building’s balcony in 1776.

Phil inside a city toilet with automatic doors that open and close almost too quickly to let you in or out.

They finally got their clam chowder!

We drove to NYC that evening, grabbed a quick pizza dinner and walked around Times Square.

The Belvedere! Ah the words to adequately describe this hotel. I can say that we all fell asleep laughing because of the loud construction going on outside our drafty window and actually got a great night's sleep.

Breakfast and Jamba Juice, a walk down 5th Ave to Central Park.

Inside Trump Tower, which is all mirrors and marble.

For those of you who have seen Disney's Enchanted, I did a small re-enactment of Giselle singing in Central Park. The best part was how embarrassed Phil was, probably due to my off key singing!

The guys racing to the top of the rock formation

Karlyn and her bed bugs..she kept asking when we would notice if there had been bed bugs in our sheets at the Belvedere. Would we be itching by now?

Farewells to the Big Apple, drop off at the airport and now home safe and sound with our family of three. A trip never to forget...