Saturday, July 7, 2018

Backyard Camping

It only got up to 80 degrees today. 
It's actually a lovely temperature outside. 
So at the last minute, we decided to open up Nana's camper, and 'air it out'. 

By air it out, I mean, we don't turn it on, no air, no water, just people camping in it with pillows and sleeping bags.

Jake and I shared one end. 

Chris and Sam got the other end.  

We weren't planning on opening it up all the way, just enough for some boys to enjoy a reasonable temperatured evening.  Which it really is!  

But we aren't the only ones out enjoying the evening.  

Somewhere to the south of us, people were blasting off fireworks until just now.  
We watched for a while, until we couldn't see anymore.  
Then the kids conked out.  
But Mommy stayed awake, because our neighbors who don't talk to us are having company.  
They were out back yapping, cheering for some sport on tv.  What sport is on at 11pm?  I don't know. 
But it was obnoxious.  The kids managed though.  They are superchamp campers.  
We're going to go actually use the camper in a couple weeks with Nana, and they can't wait! 

We'll just call this a test run. ;) 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Glorious 4th

Why is it we call it the 4th of July, but we don't do the same for 25th of December or 14th of February?

Just more random thoughts that occur to me today while we were resting together.  Ahh, Freedom!  Freedom to sit around and watch a parade, or be in it, or have a cookout, or just stay home and appreciate all our Blessings.  And we have Many. 

We started our holiday participating in the Brownsburg Community Independence Day Parade, which as it turns out, is the 2nd largest local Parade in the state, 2nd only to the Indy 500 Parade!

We got Spirit, yes we do!  

OK, this is the 1 picture I did not take today.  This is the Boy Scouts from Troop 396 that led the Parade, holding the starting banners.  Note the nutty one up front with the wild hair and goofy glasses.  Yep, that one is mine. 

Meanwhile, the Cub Scouts from Pack 396 all wore their Camp shirts so they could ride in the Parade.  

Sam and Jacob sitting in the truck, ready to ride! 

The big kids walked it and the littles rode.   My kids both rode.  I had fully planned to walk it, but at the last minute they needed an adult in the truck back with the littles, so I hopped up.  Eric had parked the car and hadn't caught up with us yet, we caught him just as we were turning from Williams Park setup to the street to just starting, and he hopped up with me.  

The Littles in our truck waving their flags! 
There was a trailor behind us with hay blocks that the other kids sat on, and a couple coolers. 
As we got moving, they started passing out popsicles.  I had no clue we'd be handing those out.  
No doubt we'd run out!  We ran out of popsicles just after crossing 267. 
But right before we'd run out of our own, we got stuck at the light, and some citizen came up and handed us handfuls of popsicles for all the kids... and a couple grownups.  It was hot out, but this was the most fun I'd ever had doing a Brownsburg Parade!

As the Parade progressed, Jacob wanted to snuggle. 
Only the Best Daddy in the World would hug this hotbox on the hottest most humid day in IN.

  After we got home, we recovered. 
We got home and showered, as cool as our bodies would tolerate, and Jacob made us all put on our Mickey flag shirts.  

Eric cooked out, brats and hot dogs for lunch, which were Awesome, as usual.  We ate with some Grippos chips we'd gotten from down South, and after which we still all were tired, so we sat and chilled out watching 1776.  This is my Favorite 4th of July Musical. 

We paused for naps, and dinner, and Kumon, and stopped just in time to go outside as the sun set.

All three boys discovered and worked the beauty of Pop-its!
They dropped in unison.  
It did my heart good. 

They love stepping on them too.  

They ran through a good few boxes of Popits, each.  
Then we broke out the big guns. 

 We had been telling tales of last year when Chris discovered 'sparkulars'. 
I think it moved them to curiousity. 

Then we offered a sparkler to Jacob.  
You'd have thought we offered him $1000. 
His jaw dropped in shock. 

And he took the Sparkler!

He didn't do much, just watched it burn down.  Fascinating.

 Chris felt like he was the old pro with them, since he'd begun last year. 
But he was very cautious.  Comfortingly so. 

This was mine.  
I was playing around with my camera, trying to get some 'action shots'. 
This one turned out fun!

We asked Sam if he wanted to try a Sparkler this year too. 

I think he overcame his fear by giving them a try this year.  
He just held on and didn't move. 
He was the last holdout.  
And he Loved them! 

Next thing we knew, they were lighting them off of each other. 
Getting braver with each sparkler.  
I was so proud of them!

Trying to capture my happy Patriotic jamberry nail wraps.  
I used Kaboom and Born to Sparkle, with a blue polish I had covered in the holographic Independence. It's one of the happiest combos I've done in a while. 

More Sparkler Action!

And Drop another round of Poppers!

Jacob started getting a little more feisty with his Sparklers. 
See?  He makes more faces than just angry. 

He started to spin, but he zapped his finger.  
We had to tone him down.  
Still, he was happy.  

Then the kids let me challenge them while I played with my camera!

S for Sam. 

C for Christopher.

J for Jacob. 

E for Eric.
The kids felt the need that Daddy and I get in on the action too.  

C for Cathy. 
Christopher took this for me!
What can I say?  The kid has a good eye. 

With the last round of letter sparklers, they went crazy.  

Then we went in to try to find some fireworks on tv. 
We've got too many trees around here to see much other than the occasional high spark. 

We watched the Macy's day Finale, to which Chris felt the needed to dance. 
We caught part of Capitol 4th, with them playing some John Williams.  That thrilled all the boys. 
We tried to watch the Indy ones, but the news was just showing snippets, and all the fireworks were interfering with our reception of live tv.  Youtube worked best as it turned out.  From youtube we caught Disney's 4th Celebration from last year.  They liked that, and then NYC was the perfect note to end on.  I love a good fireworks finale.  
Meanwhile, we decided to go to a baseball game later this month and catch some live fireworks there.  We'll let the party continue all month long. Hope you all have had a Glorious 4th too. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Happy Anniversary to Us!

June 6 was our 20th Wedding Anniversary! 

Eric worked half the day... I thought it was going to be the whole day, but he showed up just before lunchtime.  While I was getting bathed, Eric appeared with a bouquet of 20 red roses! 

20 red roses, 1 for every year we've been married.
He likes to do that for me.  
Honestly, I love it more than getting a ton of roses at Valentine's Day. 

A rosy selfie. 
It was a beautiful day for a perfect surprise. 

I thought he might make it home from work a little early, but really he was home super early, before lunch, and armed with flowers.  I was still in the bathtub even! 

The first shot I went to take of a closeup ended up using the flash, unintendedly, but I like the pic.

That's more like it. 
Velvety and soft, so perfect. 

Repeating our return to the scene of the crime. 

Since he was home for lunch, we returned to the scene of the crime. 
20 years ago, on our wedding night, we arrived at our hotel, and after changing out of my gown, I realized I was hungry.  We went downstairs, across the street to Steak-n-Shake for a late night supper.  Then upstairs at the mall for a movie, we saw the Truman Show on our wedding night.  

Blessedly, my mother in law was in town, and was able to take the kids. Since Eric was home early, she let us bring them over about 3, so we could go downtown.  
The hotel where we had our wedding night was called the Cantebury Hotel.  
The hotel was built in 1928, and was lovely, with high tea and that classic old feel. 
We celebrated our 10th Anniversary by spending 1 night at the hotel again in 2008.
But it didn't last.  In 2014, they got bought out, and refurbished by Le Meridien. 

Le Meridien

We decided staying at the "not-Cantebury" would be neat for our Wish List for our 20 years.  
When we had arranged Child Care, we made Reservations! 

Things have changed a bit.  
It's very simple decor, very European.  
The rooms are not large, because in the 20s who needed a large hotel room?! I suspect it really works well for business men in town from Europe.  It has a modern European feel now.  The rooms are small, but you expect that in a hotel building that's 90 years old. 
Still, it was nice and clean.  

Eric gave me his Grandmother's watch, refurbished, for my Anniversary. 
Isn't it just PERFECT?!   
I think Rose Gold is my new favorite metal!
I'd spotted it among her things, and grabbed it, hoping to fix it up someday. 
Someday is this year! 

Now it works, it's probably from the 40s I would guess, a Rose Gold 14K Bulova. 
Very dainty and ladylike! 
I love it! 

For our 20th we made a Wish List, and since we had some time, we decided to cross off a few more items of the List. 

Like riding the elevator in the Hyatt! 
When we were in college, we'd come downtown and park (parking was free late back in the days) walk around and ride the glass elevator in the Hyatt.   For my 21st birthday, Eric brought me to the Eagle's Nest for dinner.  It was expensive for the quality of food, which was good, but not that good. 
I have heard that hasn't changed, so we haven't been back.  But we did ride the elevator to the top.

What a neat view! 
We rode the elevator to the top, accidently got into the Eagle's Nest shuttle, spitting us out at the restaurant.  We took one look at the view, another look at the drink menu, and headed back down. 

Our hearts were set on another location for dinner. 

Dinner at Palomino! 
We used to come here often when a. Eric worked at the mall across the street, and b. we had money.
Back in our dating days.  
But we hadn't been here since we had kids, probably longer for sure!
Our 10th anniversary is the last time we thought about it, and we ended up eating at the Cantebury restaurant. Today though was all about Palomino! 

We split a bowl of Portobello Mushroom soup.  
Oh sweet Christmas! 
I'd forgotten how amazing this creamy mushroom soup was. 
We split a bowl, thinking we'd just share, and they brought it out to us in smaller bowls, already split out!  So nice! 

We split a chopped salad, and bought a bottle of wine. 
For dinner, I had salmon with gnocchi and peas.  I also added on a side of prawns (shrimp) and some potatoes that sounded Amazing, but came with the steak.  I got both.  Eric got scallops.  They are his favorite, and he always worries that they'll get messed up, oversauced.  But not this time! 
They were Excellent!

Wouldn't you know, we ate it ALL!?!

Dessert - we split an orange chocolate truffle from the South Bend Chocolate Company.
We didn't have any room for dessert at the restaurant.  But we decided to cross another item off our list (this is #4 for those keeping count) and decided to go on a Carriage ride downtown.  
Turns out the pick up/drop off point changed, to become right in front of the Chocolate Shop on the Circle. Oh the problems. 
So we stopped in for dessert.  And some goodies to go.

This was our starting point on the Circle at dusk. 

The Circle is all bedecked to Support our country.  
We love showing Patriotic support from Memorial Day through Flag Day and on through the 4th! 

Ready to ride! 
Did I mention we took one of these carriage rides on the night after our wedding?  
Our wedding was Saturday but we stayed 2 nights downtown, because we didn't leave for our honeymoon until Monday.  So on that Sunday 20 years ago, we had Brunch with my Mom while we opened presents, then headed back downtown for dinner at Palomino and a Carriage Ride.  
For our 10th Anniversary, we did the Cantebury and a Carriage Ride.  We'd only been able to sneak away for 18 hours because Christopher had just received his feeding tube 2 weeks prior, so we showed Mom how to feed him, for dinner, and came downtown, and were back to him before lunch the next day.  But that ride was the highlight, riding through downtown, child free, at sunset. 

This one was pretty Perfect too.  The sun was almost down, but it was darkening downtown. 
Even the Capital was lit gorgeously!

We're pretty cute.  

What a great view coming back to the Circle. 
The old way started close to Illinois, near the hotel and Palomino. 
But returning to the Circle for the end of our ride, was a little bit Awesome too. 

The ride around the Circle. 
I tried something different this time, to record the journey in Time Lapse mode on my phone. 
I was happily impressed at how it turned out, it doesn't make me nauseous.  We'll see what you think. 

Narrow halls in the historic hotel. 
As we walked back to our room leisurely, I noticed a number of the small features that make this place interesting.  The halls are narrow, well, people were smaller back then.  And they can't exactly widen them in an historic hotel.  It's something we're not used to. 

Look at that crown molding and accents under the bulkhead.  This was where the mall meets the hotel, kind of a second floor mini lobby. 

I need the coffee in order to make the coffee. 
By morning, I was swearing at the coffeemaker, "Europeans!"  Don't they know how to give us dumb Americans a hint on how to operate the coffeemaker?  Because they didn't.  And they were really skimpy on sugar and creamer, probably because true Europeans drink it black. Not me.  I like coffee flavored sugar milk, and require it to function. Once I finally figured it out, I made Eric an espresso.  Verra Fancy. 

Then I got my shower, and got to drink the coffee. 
It didn't work so well making the coffee when I need the coffee. 
But the robe was nice.  

Our hotel, on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Last shot of our hotel.  
We were on the 5th floor, in the middle, where the cream colored limestone trim surrounds and tops the windows.  Very Cool.  

Unfortunately, since we our Anniversary fell during the week, Eric had a morning meeting at work, so we couldn't do a fancy brunch.  The hotel didn't even include brunch, and I hadn't heard anything amazing about it. So we ventured out for breakfast. 

After much debate, we finally decided on Qdoba by the hospital. 
You know, I'd never had their breakfast before?  They do breakfast burritos, you build them, just like their regular day menu, just instead of rice and beans, eggs and potatoes as the base.  

What a handsome date! 
He thought I was a goofball for taking breakfast burrito pictures, but hey, after 20 years together, he knows I'll just take pics when the mood strikes.  And my mood was feeling so abundantly blessed after being able to sneak away for the night and celebrate our 20 years together.