Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Wow… it’s been several months, very long and very challenging months.. happy to have the start of a new year upon us!

Since I last posted… Acadia National Park reopened!  The government still has some major issues to resolve.. but, whatever… I wrapped up my last (allegedly) of five full seasons in Bar Harbor, and New England, moved back to Plant City, started in my new role as the Operations Manager in Tampa, celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my thirtieth birthday!  Whew!

The season in Tampa started mid-November, although I felt like I had been on the go from mid-August!  It’s been a challenging few months moving into my new role, constantly learning and adjusting… it’s been a mix of highs and lows as I learn to manage people, and it’s amazing to think that there is still more to learn!  Crazy, right?  Extremely thankful that the season in Tampa is seasonal… for one, I know the itch to travel is going to hit soon!

Richard has been traveling a lot for work, so it feels like we have switched roles..  He headed to Virginia with his father for Thanksgiving (to go hunting, of course) and spent time with Grandma Jane and other family, while I headed over to Mom’s for a relaxing week, and Alex joined us for a lovely meal at home.

After much traveling for work, Richard was finally home a few days before Christmas, and we headed back over to Mom’s and crashed at her place for a few days.  It was quite nice to relax, celebrate Christmas, eat delicious foods and not have to clean up!  We didn’t do any decorating this year… mainly because Richard was out of town and I am not a fan of going into the attic, but I knew I didn’t want to have to clean up either!  Mom got a fabulous black Christmas tree this year, and decorated with white and silver, it was gorgeous!  At work, the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas helped us to celebrate the holidays too, we decorated the terminal and the team wore fun hats… the ship gave us a delicious cake too!

A most fabulous end to 2013 was my fabulous dirty thirty birthday party!  (this deserves a post of its’ own!) ….and I am waiting on the pics from Alex too!


Ron White LIVE!

Posted: February 2, 2013 in Family Fun
Tags: , , ,

Me, Richard, Mom, Alex, Ashley

Mom got us all tickets to see Ron White LIVE at Hard Rock in Orlando on January 25.  Awesome night, he was hysterical, and I think Richard and Alex had tears running down their faces all night!!

Christmas 2012

Posted: January 23, 2013 in Christmas

And jumping back another week in time…. to Christmas 2012.

Christmas this past year was a three day event… Christmas Eve and Day at our house, and Boxing Day at his mother’s house.  Decisions were made, and we had eleven people for dinner on Christmas Eve, and a selection of foods!  Mom and Alex spent the night… and Santa’s helper helped to protect the Christmas presents.


Christmas Day was a relaxing one.. Richard and Alex played video games most of the day….

For the day after Christmas, we headed over to the MIL’s – and she had a big spread, with extended family, cousins and whatnot.  It was fun to see everyone, most of whom we hadn’t seen since last Christmas.


A little free time, a lot of miles, and a free hotel made for an awesome trip to the Windy City, Chicago!

Mom and I headed up for a quick weekend, December 4 – 7, and really enjoyed ourselves.  The weather was perfect, it certainly could have been snowing and so very cold… luckily, it wasn’t.

We arrived on Tuesday evening, and took a walk along Lake Michigan, the sunset was amazing.  We walked until we hit Soldier Field and then decided to return to the hotel.  They had huge toy soldiers at the front entrance, beautiful chandeliers, and a massive Christmas tree inside.  The elevator lobby hosted a full size gingerbread house, and a cute little snowman at the house’s front door!

The view from the hotel room was of Lake Michigan, and the Navy Pier,, it was just gorgeous.  To see the Ferris Wheel, both up close and afar, in the dark, was just beautiful.

On Wednesday, we decided to take a bus tour of the city, and get our bearings.  We had a variety of bus drivers, each a little bit better than the best.  Very interesting to learn about the town from the locals, and to hear the history.  We found a local joint, Portillos,, for lunch, and it had great burgers… fun little joint that was full of local, somewhat tacky, art.  We headed up to the Sears Tower, which is always a highlight in Chicago, and had some fun with the pictures.

On Thursday, we headed back out to finish the bus tour, Chicago Trolley,  While waiting for the bus, we found a cool little shop that sells Russian matryoshka dolls, right in the hotel!  There were so many neat things to see..


What a wonderful week of Christmas!  Christmas Day turned into a full week for us… and it was awesome!

The highlight was certainly having everyone in New York City together, and, even though it didn’t snow, it was still a great time.  We did so much, and yet, still didn’t accomplish all we had set our sights on.

We flew up on Sunday, Christmas Day (a first for me, NO ONE in the airport!), and while everyone headed to the hotel to rest and relax, Richard and I headed to Times Square.  We went to dinner at Wall and Water,  The dinner was okay, it turned out to be a buffet, and only beer and wine was available, but, we made the best of it.  Mom had a great gift exchange idea, and before we left Tampa, we all got assigned another person to by a $15 gift for.  That turned out to be pretty funny.  Alex forgot to buy Richards’ gift, and ended up with cash wrapped in tissue paper, wrapped in a shower cap.

Richard and I, NYC Times Square

On Monday, we headed to the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Museum,  It was a super neat experience, that was actually housed on an aircraft carrier, and we got to see a lot of different aircraft.  We even got a guided tour on a Concorde!  That night we had tickets for the Rockettes, which was a wicked amazing show!  It was super neat to finally see a show that is such an iconic part of Christmas in the City.


Inside the Concorde

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Tuesday was a trip to the World Trade Center Site, which is now a site of hope, instead of despair.  It is amazing how the construction has been coming along… Mom, Richard and I were in NYC for Thanksgiving two years ago, and it didn’t look like much had been happening.  It was pretty neat, Alex had a hotel room overlooking the site, on the 53rd floor of the Millennium Hilton.  To see the site at night was pretty amazing, the buildings had all the floors lit with different lights and the memorial pools were beautiful.

In front of the Memorial Pools

1 WTC, the Freedom Tower

Memorial Pools, at night

We sprinkled in a little bit of shopping, checking out the windows on Fifth Avenue, and taking pictures with all of the amazing sidewalk displays.  And sadly, Wednesday, we headed home.  It was quite a tragedy getting back to Tampa, but I will have to save that for a post all on its’ own!

along Fifth Ave, Christmas Lights...

and Christmas Tree Ornaments...

and beautifully decorated windows!

This month has been SO busy…. yet again, and I have failed to keep up on the blogging!

Where to begin… I had my first experience with a “crasher,” and it was great!  My friends (and wedding photographer) created, which is a open air, multimedia photobooth, and it is awesome!  Here are some fun photos we took using some of the props..

I spy!


The next week, I headed to Austin, Texas, to visit Heather.  She has taken up travel nursing and I had to go see what all the fuss was about!

I flew out on Monday night… and we got started right away and headed to the Highball Bar,, which was a pretty neat bar.  It is totally different from anything in Tampa, or anywhere else I have been.

Tuesday, we started out the morning with 24 Diner,, and headed to the Capital Building,, which was absolutely amazing architecture and history.  We hit Mozarts Coffee Roasters,, which had delicious danishes and then back to Heather’s place, where I fell asleep at the fire.  We went to growth group at her church and out to Lion and Rose Pub,, with some of her church mates.

Eastside Cafe started Wednesday morning for us, and then we headed to San Antonio,, for the day… The Alamo, the Riverwalk, and Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub was the schedule that day and it was a wonderful day, a little windy but otherwise a gorgeous day.  Dinner was at Tittaya’s Thai,, and it was superb!

Thursday was Magnolia Cafe,, and then we headed to the Smithville/Bastrop area to participate in the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  We didn’t do as much as I had hoped, but, we were there.  We did our part to help, and it felt good.

Hot Chocolate

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Last night was the second (or third) annual Christmas Dinner with Intercruises, and we headed to Sleuth’s Mystery and Comedy Dinner Theater,, in Orlando.  It was a great night out with Patrick and Jane, Tom and Vicki, Bill and Marty, and Richard and I.

Thanksgiving… house decoration…would you believe I did not take photos of the TURKEY??? ARGH!!

Richard has always had a live tree… and we have always had an artificial one, so we went to Lowe’s (so wish we had one of those super cool Christmas tree farms in Florida!)…

We then headed home, with intentions to decorate the house too…. then I learned that the tree has to be set up in the stand and wait until the branches fall down.  Darn… So, the next day, we got to work on decorating…


We hosted our first Christmas party on Dec 18..

Christmas followed the next weekend… with a total of 11 for dinner!

And my birthday was the weekend following.. We had dinner at Kobe’s.. one of my favorites!