Archive for the ‘If we took a holiday’ Category

Our Thanksgiving

Monday, a week ago, I celebrated my 33rd birthday.  By choice, it was a very low key day.  I didn’t have anything I really wanted.  Plus, just a few days after my birthday, we were traveling to Virginia Beach to visit some of my family for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Eve, we packed up the truck and hit the road.  The rest of my family was already there, but Hubby and I both worked half days that Wednesday.  Aside from a little traffic outside of Charlotte and Hubby getting a speeding ticket, the drive was good.  It was great to see family.  It was my family’s first visiting VA Beach and the home of my cousin hosting the meal.  He has a grandchildren RJ’s age, so RJ had great playmates, once he broke out of his “shy” phase.  Thursday, we ate, ate, and ate some more.  *I tried my hand at baking a cake for the first time.  Some of my chocolate pound cake was actually eaten.  I was pleased.*

The 3 Musketeers

Thanksgiving evening, we abandoned the husbands and babies and headed out.  I was going join a few of my cousins and try my hand at  BINGO for the first time.  However, I decided to go with the group who was going shopping instead.  Off we went to Sears.  They were having a sale on a flat screen tv.  One of my cousins wanted it for her MIL.  She waited in a ridiculously long line while myself and two of my teenage cousins sat in the car.   After two hours in the line, she learned the vouchers for the tv had been given out and they wouldn’t give out any more until 4am…ummm…it was 8pm at the time. Case closed.  We headed back to house to sleep for a few hours and hit the streets again at 5am.

My cousin who lives in VA is retired from the NAVY.  So, we hit two Navy Exchanges for shopping.  Good sales and no taxes! Need I say more?  My family members racked up shoes, designer handbags, clothes and electronics.  *I stuck to my budget and resisted the urge to buy for the sake of buying.  I scored Hubby a much need pair of Nike sneakers for work and 3 pairs 0f nice fuzzy of socks for myself! *  We then doubled back to the house to unload the mornings loot then hit  mall.  I purchased a couple of Christmas gifts for RJ, and a pair of pants for me.

After a few hours of resting back at the house, the ladies went back out to shop.  Hubby, RJ and I dropped off my cousin’s wife with the rest of the shopaholics.  *Only after we used her military i.d. at the Coast Guard Exchange so I could do some alcohol shopping.* Then,we headed to Norfolk Botanical Gardens for their Christmas light display.  We drove through 2miles of Christmas lights.  It was decent and it was something we could do as a family.  It was a nice break from the rest of the family and shopping.

Saturday afternoon we heading back home to avoid the Sunday traffic and so I could start getting our house ready for Christmas.  It was a great holiday filled with family,food, shopping and fun.  Hope your Thanksgiving was a great one, too!

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Monday, our plan was to let my niece join in on the fun and spend the day with her mom and auntie!   We wanted to get an early start because the forecast called for rain in the afternoon.   Let me tell you, teenagers are very slow! We didn’t leave the house until 1pm.  I had a hankering for crab so we headed to City Crab for lunch.  We had just taken our seats when I looked out the window and saw who I thought was Boris Kodjoe crossing the street.  I had just told my sister, on our way to lunch that I never see celebrities when I visit!! As he continued through the crosswalk, I was certain it was him and I freaked! My sister and niece had no clue who he was.  My niece took my cell and went outside to get his picture for me.  It seemed that she was out there talking to him and his friend forever.  I wasn’t sure if there was a problem  and since she went out there for me, I headed out to see what was up.  When I arrived outside she was finally taking a picture. He standing there not really looking pissed, not really looking happy, just aloof.  I notice his appearance, but I was out there and his friend still had my phone so I asked if he minded taking a picture with me. I don’t recall him responding, he just stood there and his friend snapped the picture.  I told Boris I sent my niece out.  He asked why and I said because I wasn’t sure if it was him or not.  That was the extent of our conversation.  Back in the restaurant my niece explained she had ask to take a picture of him and not with him.  *Remember, she didn’t know who he was.* He told her he doesn’t take pictures by himself and she could see a picture of him alone on the internet.  So, that’s how we ended up with this picture:

My reluctant niece and Boris.

My must say I think that experience killed the “I want to meet a celebrity” thing for me.  I didn’t expect him to be lovey dovey, but I did expect aloof either!  Oh well!

I appear very pleased. Him? Not so much…

Side note: He was still F I N E! Damn, I wish he’d looked like a toad in really life! LOL

Anyway, lunch was great! My niece dumped us soon after we ate.  I guess we just weren’t cool enough!? Sis and I wandered the city.  I hit up FAO, my usual stop, for RJ and she did some shopping. I only had a carry on  so shopping for clothes wasn’t on my radar.  Later, we enjoyed some banana pudding from Magnolia’s Bakery.

My trip was everything I thought it would be.  I sister and I got in some much needed quality time.  I’m glad I didn’t jam pack it with lots of sightseeing. It was the perfect balance of touristy and relaxing.  I think it may need to be a yearly thing.  Next time it will definitely include an extra day and a trip to the spa!

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My New York “me” trip was great!   I was up and out of the house at the crack of dawn that Saturday morning and headed to Charlotte-Douglas Airport.  My flight left at 8am and by the time I got through security and to my gate, it was 7:30am. I was cutting it close but made it.  I arrived in New York around 10am and was greeted by my sister and her husband.  Actually, I was so into my phone conversation with Hubby, that I nearly walked right by them!  We dropped my bags off at their place and were going to head out to a park in Brooklyn for a cookout with her extended family. However, it was supposed to start at 11am and her brother, the grill master, hadn’t left his house yet. (Can you say C.P. time?!) So, we went to a diner for brunch and then headed to the park.  The original plan was to stay for 30mins -1hour, but once we started yapping, laughing and eating before we knew it, it was 8pm and quite CHILLY! Darn NY weather!

Sunday, my sister and I headed into the city.  I wanted to check out The High Line.  So, we headed to the meatpacking district.  I’d never visited that part of the city before.  I was a little disappointed that all of the “meatpacking” part of the meatpacking district has basically moved across the river to Jersey!   The area is now filled with restaurants with alfresco dining and high end clothing designers like Diane von Furstenberg!  In hindsight, I’m guessing strolling the High Line or enjoying a great meal wouldn’t be the same with the smell of raw meat permeating the streets…  We had brunch at Dos Caminos mexican restaurant.  The food was very tasty and our waiter, 23 year old David, was a cutie:)

Sis & the cutie…I mean waiter;)

We walked off our guacamole calories on The High Line.  We loved it! The absence of humidity and oppressive heat made our leisurely walk very enjoyable.  At various points along the trail, you can peer right into people’s apartments.  Some of the homeowners play on this by placing funny cardboard cutout of people in their windows! I was really taken by the ingenious homeowner who place a life-like mannequin that actually moved! My sister took great pleasure in my naivete when she told me it was just the occupant looking out the window! LOL Anyway, I loved it and can’t wait to enjoy it with my family!

Seen along The High Line route. Very creative.

An amphitheater to watch traffic?! Apparently, if you build it, they really will come!

Before we headed in for the night, Hubby called and said RJ wanted to see and talk to me.  I didn’t want to rush what we were doing and try to make it in before his bedtime, so we stopped at a Starbucks and I used their Wi-Fi to Facetime my guys.  Not a good move on my part.  Hearing his voice on the phone is fine, seeing his face, melted my heart.  So, who was the Mommy who cried while Facetiming her toddler in a Manhattan Starbucks filled with strangers? Yep, that would be me! I’ve been away from him for overnight trips many times before, and never had a problem doing it.  This was different. I think it was the mileage. I’ve never been more than 2 or 3 hours way. This was 700 miles and 6 states between us.  Thankfully, NYers have seen it all, so my breakdown didn’t seem to raise any eyebrows!  However, afterwards, I did feel the need to convince my sister that I was really happy to be there with her. True statement.  *Confession: I also a few tears as I drove to the airport to start my trip…*

Now, I’m going to trying something different. I’m not going to be the  “Chatty Cathy” I am in person and I’m making this a two-parter.

Stay tuned for NYC: The Celebrity

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I was having trouble coming up with a Father’s Day gift for Hubby. Last year I gave him a photo book of pictures of him and RJ. Well, I was creatively drained from the Mother’s Day photo book of RJ’s artwork for the grandmothers this year.  So, I had to come up with something else. My co-workers suggested a day trip somewhere and that got the wheels turning and I planned the fun-filled weekend!


I “stole” Hubby’s truck from the parking garage at his job filled up the tank and got it washed. He was pleasantly surprised when he discovered it and the cute note I left on the dash.

That evening, I made sure to tell him to be home by 5:30pm. I had dinner ready for him and RJ and then sent them off for a surprise trip to the “Daddy and Me” event at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate.  They had a blast exploring the museum and taking part in the craft projects.

Hubby says he was obsessed with the syrup!

Their crafty work! That hat is an RJ original:)

Plum tuckered out!


We were up and out of the house by 9:30am. Once we got on the road, I let the guys know we were heading to the Georgia Aquarium.

Our first stop was Legal Seafood for lunch.

Then, a stroll across the street.


I made this an easy-going day. Hubby opened the gift RJ made for him at school, I made breakfast and we headed to church.  After church, I just told Hubby he was free for a few hours. That evening we headed out to dinner at Miyabi’s Japanese restaurant.

This is supposed to be RJ all grown up…….. I have no words……..

Waiting for dinner

RJ was not a fan of the steam and fire. He did enjoy his food when the chef left the table.

Hubby LOVED his weekend of surprises and I LOVED putting it together for him.  I hope you all had a wonderful time with your families as well!

The M Spot Clan

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I hope you’re having a wonderful day with the father’s in your life or remembering the fathers who helped shape your life but are no longer here.

Here are a few of the dads I love the most:

My dad, brothers, grandkids and me circa 2003.

My father-in-law and RJ at the zoo.

Hubby reading RJ bedtime stories.

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