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Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category

Busy or lazy? I’m not quite sure whether I’ve been keeping too busy to blog or I’ve been involved with schools for so much of my life that summer means taking it easy and focusing on fun. Either way, I’ve had a very interesting summer filled with lots of rich experiences.

I got to hang out with friends at some fun parties. I attended an Independence Day Parade in our small town and hung out with friends afterwards. Luckily, some of my friends still have small children. I think parades are so much better with little ones around. Their excitement adds so much to the experience.

parade

Watching the parade on a very sunny July 4th

 

I had the opportunity to attend my first professional major league baseball game: The Mets vs. The Nationals. The game was terrific and hard played/won. McHubby explained whispering in my ear all the nuances of baseball throughout the game which really helped me understand that professional baseball is as much about strategy as it is athletics. I enjoyed myself so much that I’ve been following the Nationals games ever since. I’ve got my “Natitude” on.

Nationals Park

We had the opportunity to see President Obama speak. We don’t have the chance to seeing a sitting president in person that often so we jumped at the chance. Maybe I should say, we stood in line for tickets for over an hour and stood waiting in line and in the audience for three hours before he spoke. The experience was very surreal. People were passing out from the heat and were treated by emergency personnel. News personalities were filming their segments for the nightly news. Security was very, very tight. It was worth all the effort.

President Obama speaking

President Obama Speech

Now for the bittersweet part of the summer…my oldest son, Kyle, became engaged this spring to a very lovely young woman. She was offered one of those can’t pass up deals to attend a Ph. D. program at Tulane University in New Orleans. Gulp. So very far away. What about hurricanes…remember Katrina? So, the beginning of August found McHubby and I helping Kyle move to New Orleans. McHubby rode with Kyle to New Orleans while my other son and I flew.

Tulane University

While New Orleans has never been a place I felt the need to visit, I absolutely fell in love with it. The laid back ambience is very different than the highly focused and professional Washington, D.C. suburbs. I felt much better leaving my son there than before my visit. After getting Kyle and his fiancé moved in, we were able to sightsee.

We went to Olivier’s with the future in-laws. Olivier’s is a 130 year old family owned restaurant in the French Quarter. The food was delicious and made from old family recipes. Delicious! We had met the future in-laws the week before going to New Orleans when we hosted them for dinner at our home. We’ve really enjoyed getting to know them.

 

McHubby and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by taking a bus tour of New Orleans (a must) and eating dinner at Nola’s (one of Emeril Lagasse’s three New Orleans restaurants). I highly recommend eating there. McHubby ordered Scallops Gratinere (a Julia Childs’ recipe on the menu to celebrate her 100th birthday) and a crème brulee trio. I had shrimp and grits followed by Bread Pudding and Mexican chocolate ice cream. All the dishes were Nirvana on a plate.

Nola Restaurant

Our flight home was delayed by bad storms in the east. We were travelling for almost a full day for a short plane ride (maybe going with the cheapest rate with layovers isn’t the best way to go.) Much of the following week was spent resting up from travelling. Then, we started preparing for my younger son, Kelly, to return to college.

I suspect that most of the preparation was mentally getting ready to be an empty nester, but I did make some dorm décor with the help of McHubby’s carpentry. Kelly is a huge fan of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. He’s been hooked on the series for years long before the HBO series. I used my Silhouette machine to make some removable wall stickers and some iron-on transfer paper to make a board with the Game of Thrones family crests (most but not all of them). McHubby constructed a C-table from Ana White plans. I covered it with black faux leather.

Game of Thrones decor

Game of Thrones Decor

Plans for Ana White C Table

Kelly excelled at packing this year making the move in quick and easy. Plus, the skies waited until McHubby and I were returning home to start pouring rain. (Last year, we weren’t so lucky. The cardboard cart on wheels disintegrated from the deluge before we made it to the dorm building.)

But wait there’s more…I almost forgot the derecho. We lucked out since we are close to the mountains and had very little damage or disruption from the derecho. Unfortunately, many in our area weren’t so fortunate.

Washington, D.C. during the derecho in June

So, I am officially an empty nester. Boy, am I missing my kids. Boy, am I worried about my oldest son waiting out Hurricane Isaac in New Orleans. He assures me that they are on high ground in their neighborhood so my worry is somewhat less.

Hurricane Isaac

I’m planning on some minor changes to the blog which I will outline in my next post. Primarily, I’m going to have different themes for each day of the week.

I hope you all have had a great summer and you will stay safe if you are in the path of Hurricane Isaac.

I’d like to hear about your adventures.

TTFN- Ta Ta For Now

Amy

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I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I was just so excited to be home from a vacation to the Virginia coast. Don’t you just love it…we go on vacation to relax from our normal everyday life. Then, we need a three day weekend to recuperate from the vacation.

McHubby and I rented a cottage on Chincoteague Island. Chincoteague and its sister, Assateague, were brought to America’s attention through the book, Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. Assateague is a barrier island, the home of Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge and a National Seashore. These areas appeal to people more interested in natural settings and small towns rather than large, overcrowded, over-commercialized beaches.

The Wildlife Refuge has several paved walking/biking trails which we used every day. (Tip: wear bug spray and cover your arms and legs.) We had several nights of delicious fresh seafood. Apparently, the oysters are wonderful because they get fresh ocean water every 12 hours due to the geography and the tide. I’m not an oyster eater though. I’ll take Captain Charlie’s word for it. Our favorite treat for the week was ice cream from Island Creamery. All the flavors that we tried were rich and creamy.

Dock in to the bay

The pier from our rental cottage

Sun setting over the bay

Sun setting over the Wallops Island

Chincoteague Island Cruise

Captain Charlie explains oyster farming

Hoofprints Farm

Captain Charlie’s Oyster Farm

Nesting Osprey

Osprey Nesting next to Chincoteague

Building in water

Building in water due to beach erosion

Chincoteague Island

Tom’s Cove on Chincoteague Island

From the water, Assateague Lighthouse

Still in operation, the lighthouse on Assateague

Best darn fisherman

Captain Stanley with cooler of flounder

Butterfly on thistle

Butterfly

Goose family

Goose and goslings

bird on nest

Waterfowl sitting on nest

Raccoon

Raccoon

Chincoteague pony

Wild Chincoteague pony

Chincoteague pony

Chincoteague pony

To wrap up my vacation, I received a nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award from Thea at Organized Living Essentials. Thank you so much, Thea, for all your lovely compliments and for nominating me for this award. As a new blogger, I enjoy just having someone read what I’ve written. Being liked and hearing such kind words is icing on the cake.

Seven Things about Myself

  1. Summer is my favorite season. I love being warm, even if it means sweating.
  2. I could probably eat pizza every day.
  3. During my first pregnancy, the smell of pizza made me nauseous. I didn’t eat pizza until a few weeks before labor and delivery.
  4. I love watching the sky.
  5. I enjoy learning about other cultures, religions and languages.
  6. I’m not a big fan of heights.
  7. I am a big fan of texture. I have to touch things before I decide to buy them which doesn’t work very well for internet shopping.

What vacations and projects do you have planned for the summer?

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