Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

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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Last Friday, we packed up our SUV and headed to North Myrtle Beach.  Though, we’ve traveled numerous times since RJ was born, it has always been to see family or friends.  This was our first REAL family vacation.   Upon recommendation from my BFF, we stayed at a great resort.  Since we’ve been travelling with RJ, I like for our hotels to have at least a mini fridge.  This resort was perfect. We had a two bedroom condo equipped with a full kitchen as well as a washer and dryer.   I would also highly recommend beach trips near the end of the summer.  The hotel rates are cheaper and nothing was crowded! There weren’t any long lines for attractions, or long waits for restaurants, the beach wasn’t crowded, it wasn’t blazing hot and the water temperature wasn’t frigid.

RJ LOVED the ocean!! He was a little hesitant at first, but quickly got over it.  For the most part, he was well behaved only getting cranky around nap time.  However, his sleep issues continued.  He would start out asleep in his own room, he woke up every night and ended up with one of us sleeping with him or him in our bed:(

Despite the fact that Hubby got sick and had to stay inside one day, our trip was wonderful!  Here are a few pictures of our beach fun.

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That’s So Random

  • Our vacation is booked for next month. Yeah, I’ve probably posted that we decided on Myrtle Beach months ago, but I’ve just booked it. Hubby and I had both settled on dates , then, he told me he may have to go to a conference in California. Of course, the conference would fall on the dates we settled on. So, we were in a holding pattern until the conference was actually yayed or nayed. Here’s the catch, the holding pattern was contingent upon Hubby writing up a proposal as to why he should go and he didn’t do that until this week! *Side eye to Hubby who will probably read this post.* Anyway, then he said if it was a go, we would tack more days onto our orginal vacay time and RJ and I would tag along!! Hello Cali…umm…not so fast. The request was denied, due to budget. So, hello Myrtle Beach!
  • My job’s biggest annual fundraiser was today. It’s a large used book sale. 127,000 books were donated over the course of two months and we will sell them for dirt cheap today. Seriously, no book was over $10!! I attended the sale before I worked for the organization and as a consumer I LOVED it. I worked yesterday and today because of the sale. I’m a little out of sorts because I’ve been off on Fridays for the last 2 1\2 months and this just makes my week feel so long. *Feel sorry for me!* Thankfully, I’ll got to shop while we set up Friday and I’ll still have 2 more weeks of work free Fridays after this week!
  • RJ had his 3 month after the ear tubes were placed check up yesterday. They checked to make sure his hearing was a ok and his speech wasn’t affected. I’m happy to announce he can hear just fine and his speech is perfect, well by nearly 2 standards. I knew that before the test, but reassurance is great.

The books I purchased for $7, me heading to work, the crowd rush when we opened the doors at 8:30.

  • RJ and I went to Barnes and Noble after his ENT appointment. They were just finishing up storytime, I think we will be attending in the near future, and we’d wandered over to the section where the storytime parents and kids were sitting. One little boy, in particular, seemed interested in RJ and when I looked down at RJ, he was smiling and pointing at the boy. I thought to myself that they must have had some unspoken toddler code thing going. Then, the little boy’s mom said, “Who is that?” and the little boy exclaimed, “RJ!!” WHOA! Hold up! How do you know my child? Turns out they attend the same daycare and according to Hubby, I told him about the encounter later, the boys were actually in the same class for several months. So, I’m on the PTA board of the daycare. I know all about where the school money goes, upcoming programs and events, but I have know clue who’s in my own child’s class:| In my defense, I RARELY take RJ to or pick him up from daycare because it’s 10mins from Hubby’s job and 25-30 from mine. However, I really must do better!!
  • We picked up our photobook of our family pictures last weekend! I love it. Also, because I mentioned the photographer here at The M Spot, and didn’t crop her logo out of the photos in this post, she gave us a free 8×10!! Giving credit where it’s due pays off.

  • In the coming months, we are going to turn our guest bedroom into RJ’s big boy bedroom. It’s larger than his nursery and he needs more space. So, we’re going to swap out the rooms. His current room is the perfect size for a nursery or office. As a guest bedroom, I’ve estimated that it will only hold the queen sized bed and that will be a very tight fit. However, we rarely have overnight guests or any guests for that matter! I’m going to keep the color scheme in his current room in case we have another baby and it needs to function as a nursery again. We will probably change the light gray color currently in his new room or keep it but add some red and or blue. I, recently, saw some nice sports themed wall decor in Hobby Lobby that I’m contemplating. Much to Hubby’s delight, RJ loves watching and playing baseball with his Daddy. I know I want to do focal alphabet wall with the letters in varying sizes, colors and patterns. I purchased the letters from Hobby Lobby a couple days ago. Some of them I will paint myself. I’m also debating whether I want to try my hand at painting a section of wall with chalkboard paint below the letters or just buy him a chalkboard/dry erase easel. Decisions. Decisions.
  • I finally figured out how to change the settings on my blog so I can respond to each individual comment instead of typing one mass response… Yeah, I’m JUST figuring that out! 😐

Chalkboard painted circle.

Alphabet wall.

image source

image source

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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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