Saturday, October 17, 2009


Two years ago yesterday I watched him being born. Only four months after watching my Mom take her last breaths and leave this earth, I watched her only grandson and my nephew arrive. It was a wonderful moment and I felt so fortunate to be there. Life and death. Two equally monumental occasions to witness and share. There will always be something special about Carson. He will forever be the only grandchild my Mom ever got to know, think and dream about meeting during her time here. She would have loved to kiss on his cheeks and bury her face in his neck. She loved him from the first moment she knew about him. He will forever have a pretty special angel looking out for him.

Now, he is a happy little guy who is so proud to be TWO!

He's really into Thomas the Train. I was walking around Target last night worrying about what to get him - worried I wasn't making a good choice, hoping no one had gotten him the same thing when... I ran into my brother! That couldn't have been more perfect! He helped me out with what I was considering and assured me what Carson would love. Oh, what great timing!

We were going to get him Thomas sheets, but Corey noticed this Thomas DVD at the checkstand. Appears to have been a good choice from Carson's interest in it!

Then there was the fuzzy Thomas blanket. He realllly liked this!

Not the greatest picture. I was having trouble with the window light from behind. But, this at least shows you how excited he was. He grabbed the blankie to cuddle with a huge grin. It was so cute!

He had to show it to Daddy - we were surprised how big it was!

He wrapped himself up in it and walked around.

Ready to blow out his candle! (PS: Corey decorated the cake - pretty impressive, eh?)

Such a cutie...

The kids all gathered on the kitchen floor to eat their cake. I thought this was a great idea!!

Happy Birthday, Carson! We love you, buddy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

San Juan Getaway - Final Destination

Our last stop was supposed to be Victoria. That was until Bill snagged a ferry brochure at Anacortes and I looked at the charges. Are you kidding me? It would be $160.00 to take the ferry to Victoria! We'd only be there one night and not even have time to do much. We canceled our room and thought of different things we could do.

It was at dinner with Ron and Roxanna that I casually mentioned, "We should have planned to go see Bob and Helen our last night." Ron and Roxanna both urged - YES! I was a little shy calling them about it this late in the game, but they talked us into it. So, that was our plan. We'd leave the San Juans on Friday, stop in at the Premium Outlets and head to Bob and Helens.

Helen and I worked together before both she and Roxanna retired. Those were definitely the "good old days". We had a lot of fun together.

It was so great to see them. First, we spent time catching up and taking a tour of the latest changes they've made to their home. Their house is just amazing. They've paired Bob's love of antique toys and Helen's passion for decorating and anything vintage to create a home that is an amazing showcase. More to come on that.

We went to dinner to a tapas restaurant called Sazerac. It was an amazing dinner and happy hour lasted until 8 p.m., so it was also a fantastic deal. Everything was very good, but the bacon wrapped figs filled with goat cheese with a balsamic reduction - I must say were simply divine!

The next morning Helen made us a lovely breakfast and we spent more time catching up and telling funny stories. OK, here we go. Here are some of the highlights of their home.

The library. This was an idea from Bob's head paired with Helen's creativity. It is gorgeous.

This is a shot of their living room. Check out the beautifully carved marble fireplace.

Here is where we slept - in the Victorian Room. Such a comfortable bed.

Here are their cutie kitties - Hannah Bella, Sherman and Hunter. They weren't allowed to come in our room and they didn't like that much!

Bob was a flight attendant - check out the Pan Am room!

This was Bill's favorite part. Here is where the kitties sleep in the bedroom!

Lastly, here is the most incredible part of their home. Their basement is turned into an amazing toy village and re-creations of their childhood. These are steps downstairs into the Toy Room.

There is music and special lighting. The decoupage to the right was done by Helen and she glued on the beads on polka dots on the bottom.

Toy Town. Each little "closet" area is a different show case.

This is the drugstore - likened after the drugstore Bob's family ran for years in our hometown. If you look closely the clock is not a grandfather. It is a wall clock with painted adornments to make it look like a grandfather clock.

Helen's father owned a butcher shop when she was little. You'll notice the black and white photo on the butcher block. The painting on the wall is a re-creation of the photo. That's her father with the glasses.

Next, was a gift from Helen to Bob. He wasn't allowed to come down the toy room for a while. You can see the photo in the top right and the likeness painted onto the wall. This is Bob as a little boy - priceless!

Of course, you have to have a bank!

And the toys! Bob's greatest passion are antique toy soldiers and sets.

My dear Helen.

I loved this clown Helen found at an auction. It is the kind that would blow up balloons for children from it's mouth.

The kitties kept watch at the top of the stairs. Note, those aren't real drapes behind them - just painted onto the wall.

I mentioned the decoupage on the stairwell? Some of the clippings were from music written by Helen's mother, Hazel. These are the most special touches.

And, most important of all, my friend. I love Helen very much. She is a friend that doesn't have to ask what you need, she just knows. She has my heart.

I was so happy when she met Bob. They are a lovely pair.

Thank you Bob and Helen for such a wonderful visit. It was a pleasure being in your home and sharing in your company!

What a great end to a wonderful week. We're back home now. Furry ones are back where they belong too. Ahhhhh, vacation.

San Juan Getaway - Part Three

The next day we did some trekking around the island. We went to the English Camp. Here's the story.

We walked up a very steep hill that just kept going. I'd be complaining, but couldn't given how we'd eaten over the week. I needed this work! At the top of the hill was this small cemetery on a huge lookout. Beautiful.

We went to American Camp next.

It was very beautiful there.

Next we went to Lime Kiln State Park that had a lookout for whale watching. Everyone told us though that this wasn't a good time to spot whales, so we didn't have our hopes up. However, we reached the lookout and heard a couple excitedly tell us, "We have whales!" We looked out in anticipation... It was great, except we were missing something pretty important. My advice to you before you go on a trip to the San Juan Islands - bring, borrow or buy BINOCULARS. Pretty important item. Without these babies what we were told were whales looked like tiny black specks bobbing in the water. Without the tip, we surely would have thought they were seals or even birds that far away. I didn't even take a picture.

And we move on...

The park was beautiful.

Bill loves to make me nervous.

But, I still love him.

The lighthouse...

Next thing you know, it was time to say goodbye to our room at Friday Harbor House. I took this picture of our room number for Evelyn.

We waved goodbye to the San Juans. It was a lovely, satisfying and enjoyable trip. We really had a great time and cannot believe we've never spent time there before. We'll be back.

One more leg of the trip left. More to come.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

San Juan Getaway - Part Deux

After Lopez, we went to Orcas Island. We checked into our hotel and were a little disappointed in the accommodations. The biggest problem was not the towel left from a previous guest or the old furnishings. No, it was the fact they had no water, but assured us it would be back soon. We dropped off our things and headed out to explore - hoping for the best.

Our first stop was Mount Constitution. Wow. Wow. Wow. This place was breathtaking.

Get a load of this guy hanging out just by the edge of the railing. Rox, did this look like your visitor? Yikes.

Prepare yourself for gratuitous scenery shots. I could not help myself.

Check out the rainfall in Washington State. Now THAT is depressing!

We headed back to our room and guess what? No water. The lady was none too happy when we told her we couldn't stay there. We called the hotel on San Juan where we had reservations the next two nights and were able to get in a day early at the same rate. Sorry, Orcas Island, but a hotel where we aren't assured a shower or even a bathroom just isn't going to work for us. So, we were back in the ferry line.

Friday Harbor is beautiful and our hotel is amazing! Jetted tub, gas fireplace, balcony with view of the harbor... We're in love.

Before we left, I searched "San Juan" on Well, guess what showed up? Turns out Rachael Ray spent a day here!! Now, you know I had to go to some of the places she went.

First stop on the RR tour, Krystal Acres alpaca farm. We really enjoyed meeting and talking to the woman who runs the farm. I liked hearing about how they sold everything to take on this business eight years ago. She also told me all about when Rachael and her crew showed up. She even showed me the things she purchased. I loved her things, but without the celebrity salary, we just bought socks! :-)

The farm was just beautiful.

The alpacas were cute, but they don't like people we learned. Now, where's the fun in that?

Here is their home on the property. I can picture OJ loving it here.

Next, we went to Roche Harbor and walked along looking at all the boats.

Roche Harbor is just beautiful in the fall. But, given the time of year, everything was pretty buttoned up. We had lunch at the one place open.

Another Rachael Ray stop on the tour, was Pelindaba Lavender Farm.

We tried lavender chocolate, lavender honey and even spicy lavender peach chipotle.

We went to the whale museum next to our hotel and had an ice cream cone downtown. Tonight we'll be laying low and having a late dinner. Afterward, we'll be watching this...

I do have a great husband. More to come...


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

My Blog List

Who's Visiting Today?