There's something about...

NYC and the holidays!  I WISH I was there to see the tree light up.  But.....36,000 lights later and here's what we have -

The holidays are upon us! Bring 'em on.....


This tree...will be lit!
I LOVE Rockefeller Plaza. Always have. Always will. Partly because I LOVE the Today show and stood down there a few years ago while the show was being aired.
Partly because I loved ice skating with Chase but mostly because this is where one of the prettiest trees lives each year! A few weeks ago we actually watched how they found this tree which gives it just a little bit more meaning, ha! But regardless, I'm excited to see the lighting tonight, on NBC. So if you're not busy, grab some hot chocolate and share in the excitement!


One of the funniest things.....

So...Chase is frequently called Justin Bieber, lol! I never quite saw the resemblance until this past weekend. As we were walking down the parade route, some guy hollered "JUSTIN BIEBER"! Of course we laughed and kept walking since it happens frequently but, check this out =)
Ok, I sorta see it. You?


The 'return' ride -

Once the parade was over we wanted to warm up, we wanted to grab a bite to eat and we wanted to head back to enjoy our "2nd Thanksgiving dinner". Hmmm where do we start. Chase decided he wanted to shop for some shoes (NO idea where he gets that from) so while he shopped, Ronnie searched on his phone app for someplace to eat.
(check out all the trash.....so sad). Ronnie did notice a lady that appeared to be upset and come to find out, she had lost her son. She was an 'older' lady and her son was 62. Evidently somewhat challenged. Regardless, he was lost in NYC. She spoke with a police officer who notified others but we're not sure how that ended up. Of course we are hopeful that the story had a happy ending. Anyway, NO ONE else was thinking it was a good idea to grab lunch, lol so we headed back to the bus terminal to grab food there and find our way back to 319 which is where we were told to board.
Ummm looks like we missed the bus - oh well, one should be coming soon (we hope). Guess we will just have to check out the sites.....we listened to a lady read to her cat -
we were entertained by a pidgeon, ha!
but still no bus. Soon, lack of sleep was catching up with some of us -
while other's entertained themselves =)
and I just took pictures. But soon - our ride arrived and off we went -
and boy was I glad she was driving!
An hour and 15 minutes later (she said she had dinner plans, lol), we pulled into the Toms River terminal -
Wishing her a Happy Thanksgiving...
Now it's time to fry the turkey! But, all jokes aside the bus ride was the easiest way to go. It cost us $167 for the five of us, round trip. It was convenient, dropping us off right at 42nd street, no parking hassle or NYC driving. We would definitely do it again. We enjoyed our turkey and this time, thanks to Damian, we fried some potatoes/fries. Very yummy. Some with old bay and some plain.
another perfect meal -
and everyone was happy =)
check back for our "Black Friday" excursion!



Yes, I totally FAIL! I promised I would have some pics up and an update from the parade and here it is Sunday night and NOTHING =(. Sorry. So here's the deal....while it was just a little chilly, we had WONDERFUL weather ALL weekend =) Thanksgiving morning it was in the mid 30's and the toughest part was waiting for the parade but once it started (didn't hit where we were until around 9:30) it was all OK. Ronnie was sending pics to Ashley's phone for Kayden to see and of course if she were there, this one would be her absolutely FAV -
and here's the highlights (or at least what I thought were the best =) -
It was totally worth the cold and wait and I think Chase and Cierra would definitely agree. There's just something about experiencing the parade in person. Once the parade was over, we headed back towards the bus depot. Hmmm...that in itself was interesting but that will have to be tomorrow's post =) Thanks for being patient with me =)


HAPPY Thanksgiving!

For the past year we have been planning our excursion to NYC to celebrate 2011 Thanksgiving and honestly it's taken just about that long to figure it all out. Here was our plan - camp about 1 hour from NYC and drive into the city 'very' early Thanksgiving morning to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Hmmm.....easier said than done. But, after a few months of calls and some coordination we did actually pull it off. First challenge - finding a 'full hook-up' campground in what's considered 'winter' in the North. Check. This place had it all....
Next challenge was figuring out how we would make it into the 'City' on Thanksgiving Day. Hmm...bus or ferry. Again, after some detailed research we opted for the bus. After two phone calls I was informed to just 'show up' that morning to purchase tickets. Really?! Regardless, we left Wednesday morning and made it to the campground around 3. We got set up and for those of you that know me, you know anytime I'm doing something I haven't done before, I have to make a trial run. Shew....good thing we did! We headed out and of course, got lost. After paying a toll, did find our way here....
And, it's a REALLY good thing! Why you ask? Because when I inquired about a ticket, I was told they are closed tomorrow (which is Thanksgiving which mean NO TICKETS for us, ha)!. Reallly? I must have talked to 3 different people and was never told this ;( Oh well. We purchased our tickets for the 5:15 a.m. bus. So, spaghetti for dinner, showers then in bed early. But not without Cierra painting her nails, lol!
and Chase setting his alarm, lol
But eventually, we all went to sleep and were up and ready to hit the road by 4:30 a.m....oh my. Of course, making sure we boarded the right bus.....
And....we arrived in the city safe and sound well before the parade. Starbucks was just perfect =)
then we hit McDonalds for some actual 'food' -
then off to find our 'perfect' spot to await the whole reason we are here - and yep....preparations are underway. The lightposts are all out of the way =)
and now we just wait...
check back tomorrow.....to see how our day unfolded =)



9 years ago today this was written.....
Ronnie loved it back then and it's still something that he carries with him. When he was cleaning out his 'work' van a few weeks ago he stumbled upon it. How fitting....the leaves come down, temperature changes, flowers die and the grass has frost. All with Piglet raking up the leaves. Somethings always stay the same =)


A little early

but just as special. Yep, our Thanksgiving celebration was tonight since we'll be in NYC on Thursday without J, Ash, Kayden, Britt & Brandon. So just like years past, the turkey was fried -
it came out golden and this little girl was hungry!
The marshmallows didn't burn this year -
and the kids took care of drawing names for Christmas without any complaining - Yep, if I must say so myself, it was a perfect dinner - thanks, kids!
Now, two days of work, packing and wrapping things up then heading north. Very excited!


3 weeks ago today

it looked like this -
The earliest snow I can ever recall. It didn't last long but was just enough to cause havoc on the roads...
but today, it's absolutely gorgeous...a little brisk but sunny and not a cloud in the sky. A perfect day to start getting ready for our trip, pick up groceries for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and digging out our Christmas tree so we can all partake in decorating tomorrow. Life is good, ha!


Just in case some of you are as excited as me about Christmas.....tomorrow kicks off holiday music... RIGHT HERE!!!! I love this time of year and enjoy my two hours in the car just a little bit more =) Now, just gotta get through three more work days then off to NYC! No doubt it will feel like Christmas once we see this - right there in Rockefeller Center!


That's my bed.........
so every now and then Scanlon does actually RULE! I think he feels like he's been here just a little bit longer so he can lay wherever he wants, lol! Notice how Java is really just laying low......
As Ronnie and I scanned the TV last night for something to watch while we just chilled out, The Grand Ole Opry was an option. How perfect....it was "How Great Thou Art" night =) and I love this song.....


I want that....

and that.....and that.... - so cute! Kayden is at such a fun age right now and I can only imagine what Christmas is going to be like. The pages of the Target flyer have been abused lately and she LOVES it all! It is so cute to watch her look at all the options for Christmas this year -

And the other thing?! She is such a fashion statement! Always dressed so cute with the latest fashion. Whether it's her shoes/boots, clothes or hair stuff, she is something else! We love her so much. (AND...she loves her Japanese soup, lol!)

So have you started on your Christmas lists?!


Dinner time!

I grew up in a really small town. The main road was tar and chip, not much traffic and we rode our bikes everywhere we went. Our parents didn't need to be very worried, everyone knew everyone and they always knew we were at someone's house or at the local store.

There is one thing that sticks in my mind though. Right in our front yard on a white post was a dinner bell. My Dad was known to ring it for no reason and my Mom would ring it to let us know it was dinner time. So when I saw Ronnie bring one home I was very excited. He cleaned it up, painted it and found an old cedar post. Then it was on his list to put up. Yesterday was the day!

So with a little help the bell is now right in our yard! Yay!

And I LOVE it!


What a group!

About a year ago we planned a wine trail 'limo' style only for snow and ice to cause a 'reschedule'. And after many, many months the day finally came. The fourteen of us hit the trail 'party bus' style.

We couldn't have asked for better weather.

Our first stop was Sunset Hills where the group 'tasted', we inducted two new Estate Club members and then shared some vino before heading to the next stop.

8 Chains North, it was! This is only the 2nd time we have been there and we certainly weren't disappointed. We were welcomed by the tasting manager and the group loved their wines.

It was warm enough to sit outside where we shared some wine, laughter and stories.

Then we headed over the mountain to Bluemont. The Fall colors are pretty much gone but it is still breath taking to stand atop the mountain and take in the view.

Our fourth and final stop was planned to be Barrel Oak. Hmmmm once we got there, the owner wasn't quite having a good day and wouldn't let us in. They were turning groups away. Not quite exactly why but after a few words we hit the bus and headed back over the mountain, calling a few places that just might still be open. Yep, we hit Notaviva, they were open til 8. We loved this quaint place and our tasting guide -

Music was playing and they were happy to see us. This is definitely a place we'll visit again. And, it's very close to our home.

Needless to say, we had a great time and hope everyone else did as well.