Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

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!

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Richard’s company sponsored a trip to Gatlinburg, TN, from the 18-22 of November, and we stayed at the Doubletree Park Vista, the hotel was beautiful.  We had a great time with his co-workers, and a lot of fun with all the different activities!

On Sunday, we flew into Tri-Cities airport, and had to rent a car and drive to Gatlinburg, we stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast and the Bass Pro Shop, and then continued on our journey.  Once arriving at the hotel, we found we were still really early, and housekeeping was trying to catch up on all the check outs from that morning.  We decided to go for a drive through the Smoky Mountains National Park, and stopped at Laurel Falls Trail.  It was a hike up, but beautiful once we arrived, a little disappointing after all those massive waterfalls we saw in Hawaii, but pretty nonetheless.  That night, the group decided to play mini-golf, which I am terrible at, it was fun, and Richard’s boss, Harvey, ended up winning (even though we all think he was cheating!)

The next morning, we headed over to Log Cabin Pancake House, which we heard was absolutely amazing and super affordable.  The food was much better than Cracker Barrel, and the atmosphere very cozy.  Cade’s Cove, http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove, was next on the list, and it was a stunning day for it.  The animals were not so cooperative, until we got to the end of the loop, where I was able to get out of the car and get thisclose to a deer, awesome!

On Tuesday, and then made our way to Pigeon Forge.  Harvey purchased tickets for everyone to see Country Tonight, http://www.countrytonitepf.com, which was a lot of fun, and a great little Christmas program.  Along the way, we did some shopping, both for ourselves and for Christmas.  We had been told about a little winery, called Apple Barn, http://www.applebarnwines.com, and we decided to check it out.  It’s a fantastic place, and we sampled some wines made from apples and other fruits.  Next door, the location makes ice cream, and we decided that was definitely on the menu for lunch.  🙂

On Wednesday morning, it was time to pack up and head out, we stopped at the Little House of Pancakes for breakfast, and then began the roadtrip back towards the airport.  Harvey invited us out to a home cooked meal and bonfire at his little house, and we had a lot of fun playing on the four wheelers.  We stayed in a local hotel, and headed out bright and early the next morning.

Thanksgiving was spent at Tim and Kristin’s, which was lovely.  And Richard, Tim and his dad headed out to Virginia shortly after dinner for “huntin’ in the VA woods!”

 

Life over the past month has been very full… full of surprises, full of people, a full house…

Often, I feel like I am in a dream world, where my life is not really my own… we have been married almost 8 months, living in our house for almost 3 months… had a full house of guests for several weekends, hosted our first house party, and we are planning on hosting Christmas at our house this year.  It just seems so bizarre that life this year has flown by SO QUICKLY!  A year ago… I had no idea that this is where I would be now.

What is there to catch up on?  Thanksgiving was fun… we still don’t have any “real” furniture in the house, but I am so lucky, and thankful, that Mom is helping us out.  One of our guest bedrooms is now a replica of the bedroom I left behind… literally.  She gave us the bed, and I still had my furniture from my apartment days… kinda funny to see!  We used her old kitchen table, my kitchen table, and a lovely shade of blue folding table covered in tableclothes.. but we had a great Thanksgiving!  Huge thank you to Mom and my SIL, Kristin, who helped make it all happen.  The turkey was tender, there was plenty of leftovers and dessert finished a great night.

Richard and I went to work on the master bedroom and I love the color I picked.  There was a debate when the color first went up…. it was not a pleasant color, however, after drying it has really started to grow on me.  We, meaning Richard, still has to put the crown molding up, and I need to find something for the walls.  However, it is so nice not having white walls anymore!   The crown molding went up in the office, and it looks amazing.  I am so thrilled, I can’t believe how good it looks!

We had two invites to weddings for friends this month… James and Katie, http://www.12eleven10.com, and Steve and Sandra.  Both brides looked amazing!  Katie chose the Italian Club, which is where church used to be held (we are in a new building now), and it was catered by Wayl of a Time… which is just an amazing menu, all the time.  Sandy’s was at Tradewinds Hotel in St. Pete.  (Which happens to be just down the road from where we got married!)  Mom joined me for Sandy’s wedding as Richard had to work.  Both weddings made me think back to my own… wow.

Company Christmas parties are also in high swing… MPI hosted their party last Friday… the owners catered in at their home and we had a great time with the White Elephant gift exchange, we brought lotto tickets… they were a hit!  My Christmas party will be this Wednesday night, we are meeting my boss and some colleagues in Orlando for a Texas de Brazil dinner.. can’t wait!  Meat on sticks, unlimited salad bar… yummy!

We hosted out first party last Saturday night… It was definitely super fun!  It started about 7pm… and I think I finally fell into bed about midnight… Richard made hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill.  Mom, Kristin and I put a ton of other stuff together… lasagna, spaghetti sauce croissants, cucumber sandwiches, cookies, cakes, punch… I ate so well!  Reid took our Christmas picture- which will be going out in the mail today (can you believe how late I am???) and we had great conversation.  It was fun to show off the house and spend some time with friends.

Lots to do, Christmas shopping has to get finished.  I can’t believe how late I am in doing this… I have never put it off so late!  Pictures to follow soon….