Monday, May 26, 2008

Fun Monday - # 33 - Vacation Edition

Happy Memorial Day to all of those residing in the US of A. Today is the beginning of vacation season for many of us. RDH Mom is the wonderful host this week and her assignment is:

Vacations...this is the time of year when most of us go on vacations. Show us and/or tell us about your favorite vacation - where you went, what you did, etc. Pictures would be great. Let's all take a trip around a the world via our FM friends!!

As a child (and also a military brat), my family didn't go on vacations to exotic and far away places. Basically, we would make the yearly trip to visit extended family - like in grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

As a young single mother to two boys, we, also, didn't go on vacations to exotic and far away places. I just didn't have the money or resources to do so.

Rest assured, many memories were made during those years - we just stayed close to home to make them.

Now, as an adult (with no children at home), the vacation of my choosing (when money and time allows) is CRUISING to those exotic and far away places. I have been on 4 different ones with a 5th one planned for October of 2009.

I have been to San Juan, Puerto Rico - and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands - and St. Croix, Virgin Islands - and St. John, Virgin Islands - and Barbados - and Curacao - and St. Maarten - and Antigua - and Aruba - and Trinidad - and St. Lucia, Virgin Islands and Martinique.

And the latest one (June 2007) - Bermuda !!

I got such a kick out of this ... normal work attire ... Sport coat, shirt, tie and bermuda shorts !! We saw men everywhere in such attire.

Chocolate martinis - absolutely delightful !

Unfortunately ... the trip had to come to an end.

Oops ... I may have gotten a little carried away with the pictures. My bad.

Next adventure: Bahamas in October 2009.

Make sure you take a few moments and pay RDH Mom a visit and see how everyone else has spent their vacations. Happy Traveling !!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Where Does The Time Go ?

It is May 25th - I can't believe that the month is almost over. It's been a busy one, that's for sure!! I didn't forget everyone because I snuck in reading time, but just never got around to posting. The whirlwind of my lost time really started on Saturday, April 26th.

That is the day that my parents flew into town from Colorado (many thanks to LB for going to the airport and picking them up ) and I had a previous commitment ... I participated in Rebuilding Together (formally known as Christmas in April).

I had it somewhat easy this year ... seeing that I'm not a plumber or a carpenter. I got to scrape then paint the porch two coats even) with a couple of other women. We let the men do the hard stuff !!

I'm in the back row - on the left !

After all my hard work (not really, it was a piece of cake this year), I headed further south to my brother's house because it was my nephew's birthday AND I would get to see my parents.

The following weekend, my niece graduated with a BS in Sports Management from Methodist University in NC and I didn't go because, once again I had a previous commitment early on that following Sunday morning !!

I participated in:

It was a very pleasant day for walking (once I actually "woke" up since I had to be in Washington DC rather early).

Me ... back row in the middle !

Again this year, I walked in memory of a former co-worker who passed away 2 years ago this March after a valiant fight. He passed away 18 months after his brain tumor diagnosis.

His daughter ran the 5K ...

I walked ...

This year, not only did I walk in memory of Jeff Chewning ...

but also for Wendy's father, Ken Thomas and a little girl that lives in the Washington, DC area named Emily Mandell.

I almost forgot ...

This gentleman ... walked the entire 5K course (THE ENTIRE 5K COURSE !!) playing the bagpipes - almost constantly. He must have a lot of hot air !! I greatly admire his dedication to the cause ... I got winded towards the end ... he walked the same course as I did and played at the same time. He totally inspired me. I was in awe of his ability again this year (he was there last year also).

Brain tumors/cancer can happen to anyone of any age ... Senator Ted Kennedy (isn't he like 80 something?), Jeff Chewning (50 something), Ken Thomas (30 something) and Emily Mandell (18 months old). At the end of the festivities of that day, an announcement was made ... an anonymous donor (she wished to have her identity kept secret) presented a check for ONE MILLION DOLLARS to the Brain Tumor Society. With gifts like that and the tireless work of many, Emily will hopefully be alive to see her grandchildren grow up.

Once again, I headed south ... to attend my niece's graduation party.

I went to work on Monday morning and about 3:00 (2 hrs later than planned), my co-worker and I got into a rental car and headed to Valley Forge, PA to attend a conference. We stayed at this fancy looking hotel ....

The conference was a success, we kept busy, but ... can you just imagine how cranky a blogger can get when she can't check in on her internet friends - FOR THREE DAYS. I was having major withdrawl symptoms - not pretty! To make up for the uncomfortableness (is that a real word), we had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. before heading home Wednesday afternoon. The cheesecakes are to die for and of course I had some - Adam's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple. And, NO I didn't share.

My parents were on the East Coast for 3 weeks but not all of it was spent in Virginia - they had places to go and people to see !! They were up north in NY and VT when I got home from PA, so I took off a couple of days the following week to spend some time with them. We made the trek to the Shenandoah Valley to visit my brother and his family (including the twins whose Daddy will be coming home (for good) on June 9th.) His year assignment protecting our country abroad is coming to a close. Remember this post ... soon they won't have to say good bye to him again.

This is Kendall

And this is Zoe

Help me out PopPop ... did I get it right?

They change so much every time I get to see them. June 14th will be the last for a while (the big Welcome Home party takes place that day) as they will be stationed in upstate NY shortly after their Daddy comes home.

Sadly, just a few days later, I had to say goodbye to my parents as they made their trip back home to Colorado - SJ - Take good care of them, OK?

In between all of the activity above, the contractors finished up on the work that I was having done to the outside of my house, I kept up (at least tried to) with the housework and laundry, did some much needed yardwork (MOM, my backyard looks awesome) and went to work (almost) every day (with way too many OT hours).

Splattered in there was some blog reading and of course, I had to watch all the season finales (and the episodes leading up to) of my must watch TV programs. The list is way too long - but what the hell - I had to see them and I am saddened that they have all come to an end for the season. As pathetic as it sounds ... I just had to watch American Idol (David Cook ROCKS), Extreme Makeover - Home Edition (it makes me cry every time but I watch anyway), Greys Anatomy (McDreamy and Meredith will have another chance to make it work), Desperate Housewives (it ended a bit weird, IMO) and Brothers and Sisters (much happened on that show this season). Now, it looks like I just might have some time to enjoy my nights and weekends.

And this morning, I got to once again witness an awesome sight - Rolling Thunder. One of the staging areas is just south of where I live and I stood out on my deck and watched and listened as the bikes went by on their way into DC for TWENTY MINUTES. There was a solid stream of bikes for the entire time (and this is only a small portion of participants) and the ROAR was a spine chilling experience.

Happy Memorial Day

May we never forget those who have served / are serving for our country.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Another Quote for Another Day

Chocolate is not to be taken lightly !
A woman once set her husband on fire because he ate her chocolate Easter bunny.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Quote For Today

Stress would not be so hard to take if it were chocolate covered.
Happy May Day!
(Did you dance around the May Pole today?
I didn't - too much stress !!)
(Make mine dark chocolate - OK?)