Monthly Archives: July 2011

New York City – Family Reunion – Part II

Adam recently informed me that he could not BELIVE that I forgot to include “the very BEST part of the day” from the Part I post about our trip.  What was this “highlight”, this “unforgettable  moment” you ask?  Obviously it was that we got to see a real, live under-cover NYPD bust unfold just a few feet in front of us! 

It was actually very cool! Like an episode of Cops happening right in front of us.  We were walking down the street toward the prohibition-style secret bar, and all of the sudden an un-marked mini-van and another un-marked sedan screeched to a stop right next to, and behind a car that was parked against the curb.  Almost before the cars even came to a stop, several guys, with bullet-proof vests and guns-pulled, hopped out and started screaming. “Get out of the car!”  “Put your hands up!” “Now!” (with more than a few F-bombs thrown in!) 

The driver and passenger got out with their hands up.  But, then, the really strange part started.  While half the cops went over to arrest the passenger, the driver blatantly sneaked past the other cops and hid behind one of the cop cars.  The cops who he had just walked right by started yelling “where’s the driver?” “he ran off that way” “let’s go get him”.  And proceded to go ona fake chase, while one of the cops sneakily went back to where the driver was hiding, tapped him on the shoulder, and let the driver disappear into the crowd the other direction. 

It took us a minute, but we soon realized that it must have been a set-up!  That the driver was really an undercover cop setting up a sting on whoever the passenger was.  It was definitely a unique NYC experience! haha!

Anyways…on to Part II. 

Self Portrait in Times Square

Our second day in NYC, we slept in, and then did a lot more walknig around Times Square and the Theatre District before arriving at the Carnegie Deli for an early lunch, where we shared (and still couldn’t finish!) this…

The Rediculously HUGE Sandwich: Rye Bread, Salami, Corned Beef, Pastrami, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Spicy Brown Mustard

Once we had stuffed ourselves silly (we had pickles and a potato kinish along with that sandwich!), we decided to go for a nice, long stroll through central park. 

Adam was VERY excited to see the Balto statue.Enjoying the beautiful weather and this famous bridge!

Next stop was the Museum of Natural History.  We both really loved the Night at the Museum Movies, so we knew that this place was a must-see! 🙂

Then, it was time to head over to my cousin’s house in Brooklyn to meet up with the rest of the family! yay!

 

 

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Weekend Whereabouts – the last low-key one for a while…

As the title suggests, we had a wonderfully low-key and relaxing weekend.  Which is a very good thing since I’m booked solid for the next 6 weekends in a row! (5 of those being trips out of town!!)

On Friday after work I went to yoga, and then we just relaxed around the house for a while.  It was just too hot to do anything else!  Eventually, we mustered up enough energy to go to the grocery store and then we came home to make bacon and cheese turkey-burgers! yum! 

Saturday morning, Adam had to work, so I got up early hoping to be able to take the dogs for a walk before the heat got too bad.  But, it was already 88 degrees and sunny at 7:30am!! So, I just spent the morning cleaning, and then went to another yoga class.  In the afternoon, I  met Erin for a shellac manicure.  I have probably only gotten 5 manicures in my life, and they are ALWAYS chiped by the next day.  But, Erin swears by this shellac stuff, so I figured I’d give it a shot. They ‘bake’ on each layer (undercoat, 2 layers of color, and then a top coat) with UV light, and when you’re finished your nails are totally dry, so you don’t have to worry about smudging them. I have to say that it really seemed to work well, and now, 3 days later, they still look great!  Thank you Erin! 🙂

Shellac Manicure – Day 3

After the manicure, I went to meet up with the girls to have another Yarn-Ball-Extravaganza!  Unfortunately, about half of the yarn balls did not survive after the last one.  It was quite tragic, really, the heat caused the balloons to deflate before the yarn dried, and they ended up looking all wobbly like a birds nest, rather than a ball. 😦 

Anyways…we were happy to help make more.  We met at Beth’s cute little house, and spent the afternoon covered in glue, having a great time together:

Yarn-Ball-Extravaganza!

Yarn Balls Drying in Beth's Dining Room

 Saturday night, Adam cooked a yummy dinner of bacon-wrapped chicken kebabs on the grill with a salad.  After dinner we had a little date & walked to TCBY for some frozen yogurt!  🙂  It was a great end to a 100+ degree summer day!

Sunday morning, we went out to brunch at Terrace Cafe using a gift certificate from my mom.  (Thanks mom!)  We had been there for dinner once, and were not impressed, but the brunch was really delicious!!  I had a quiche made with chorizo, cheese and some veggies, with a side salad & fruit.  Adam had an omelete with mushrooms, sausage, and cheddar with a side of hashbrowns and fruit.

Then, we came home, cleaned the house, and had some very important snuggle-time with the dogs.  Does a Sunday afternoon get any better than this??? 🙂

 

Late Sunday afternoon, I spent some time hanging with my mom by the pool, while Adam went to a driving range with our friend Bo.  Then we had a quick dinner with my grandparents to wrap up the weekend.

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Weekend Whereabouts – lots of yummy food!

I almost forgot to do this post from last weekend!  It was another busy/fun/relaxing one filled with LOTS of really yummy food!  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a lot of pictures of it….  but here goes:

Friday Evening: I went to yoga after work (go me!) and then we ate leftovers from a really yummy dinner that i made Thursday night.  We had grilled chipotle-honey BBQ chicken, an Israeli salad made with tomatos from our garden, cucumbers from my co-worker’s garden, red onion from our CSA, and feta cheese , and fresh green beans from our CSA. Then, we went out to meet our friends Bo & Rebecca for a drink at one of the bars we can walk to.  It was a fun, but early night.

Saturday: I ran some errands and visited my grandparents and then we took the dogs to play in the park in the afternoon.  That night we had a double-date with my dad and Erin at one of their favorite restaurants, Passion8.  It was resaturant week, so we figured we’d splurge!  The food was good, even though their restaurant-week pre-fixe menu had some strange options.  I had a salad with a pancetta chip and some sort of cheesey custard thing, a bison steak (orderd without the sweetbreads – which are the thymus gland from baby cows – ugh!), and a delicious tiramisu dessert!!  Also, a yummy watermelon beer.  Adam had some pasta made with sausage, fish with succotash, and chocolate ganache for dessert!  

Sunday: I got up early and walked the dogs (separately, of course!  because if I tried to take them at the same time, I would be the one being taken for a walk!!).  Then, we went over to my dad and Erin’s house for brunch.  They served fresh blueberry pancakes, bacon, fruit salad, mimosas, cheesey scrambled eggs, and english muffins with cream cheese, lox and all the fixins.  It was absolutely delicious, as always!!! 🙂  After we rolled our stuffed selves home, we spent the afternoon cleaning.  That night, my mom and grandparents came over for dinner.  My mom and I combined forces to create this delicious meal:

Grandma & Pappy were ready to chow-down!

We ate: soy-honey marinated & grilled tuna steaks, fresh tomato/basil/mozzerella salad, purple-cabbage cole slaw, crescent rolls, and grilled corn on the cob.  It was all fresh and delicious and so so good! 🙂

After everyone left our house, we decided to beat the Sunday-Night-Blues by walking to one of the nearby bars to sit outside and have a couple beers.  And OF COURSE the puppies got to come with us!! 

Sophie was being such a good girl!

 

Emma loves her daddy!

Another wonderful weekend!! 🙂

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New York City – Family Reunion – Part I

Back in May, Adam and I headed up to New York City (well, Brooklyn actually) for a family reunion with my dad’s side of the family.  We try to have a Littman family reuion every year, and this was the first one at my cousin Blake’s new home.  Although Adam had been to every airport in the greater NYC area (and once even rode a shuttle between JFK and LGA), he had never actually been able to visit the city.  So, we decided to go up a day early to do some of the tourist-y things and make it a mini-vacation for us. 

We arrived early on a Wednesday morning, and took a cab to our hotel (the Marriott Marquis in Times Square).  We had them store our luggage, and then went directly to the Galaxy Diner on the concierge’s reccomendation for a yummy breakfast.  (Notice, food was our first priority!)  Then, we walked all around the theatre district, and down Broadway before eventually taking the subway down to Battery Park for our reserved tickets on the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island ferry.

Thumbs Up for Audio Tours!!

 We love doing audio tours for things like this, so our first stop was to pick up these awesome headphones!  We toured the statue museum, and then got to go up to the first level to see the statue up-close.  I had done this before, in 8th and 10th grade, but it was fun to hear about all the engineering efforts that go in to keeping our Lady Liberty standing tall. (I am such a nerd!)

Statue of Liberty up close
 
Then, we hopped back on the ferry to go see Ellis Island.

View of the statue from back on the ferry.

Adam enjoyed seeing the statue, but I think he was more excited to go visit Ellis Island.  He’s really into geneology and figuring out detail from when all of our ancetors first came to this country. 

Fun Fact:  At some point in our dating history, my mom told me that my great-grandmother’s maiden name was the same as Adam’s last name!  So, of course, I’m thinking “oh, great! i’m dating my cousin! i might as well just move to west virginia!”. But, Adam did some research and figured out that my family and his family came from two different countries in eastern europe, and came to America in different years.  So, I think we’re good.  But, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if our kids end up with 6 eyes or 12 fingers or something!  

Adam at Ellis Island

Since we visited in the middle of the day on a work-day, the ferrys, statue of liberty, and ellis island were swarming with mostly foreign tourists.  It was crowded, and by mid-day, pretty hot and not-so-great-smelling.  As we’re listening to our trusty audio-tour at Ellis Island, the narrator is trying to ‘set the scene’ by asking you to “imagine you’re on a crowded, hot, smelly boat, traveling to Ellis island with a bunch of stranger from all different countries, speaking languages that you don’t understand.”  We were both like “um, yeah! I can totally imagine that!”  haha!  It was pretty funny! 

 
After that, we were pretty tired, so we headed back to the hotel to check in and rest a little bit.  We had a GREAT room with a spectacular view of Times Square. 

View from our room during the day.

We took naps and then got ready for our amazing dinner date at Mesa Grill.  We love the food network (and food, in general) so we knew we wanted to eat at one of the Food Network Chef’s restaurants while we were in NYC.  We chose Mesa Grill (one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants) since we had already eaten at one of Mario Batalli’s in Las Vegas a couple years ago, and Adam had eaten at Paula Deen’s restaurant once in Savannah.  And, I was absolutely thrilled with that decision!

WAY excited about the delicious food at Mesa!!

Everything was absolutely AMAZING!  The service, the food, the drinks, EVERYTHING!  I started with one of their specialty margaritas – high quality tequilla mixed with kiwi puree and a splash of lime.  For my food, the appetizers just sounded too good, so I ended up ordering 2 of them as my meal; tuna tartar ‘nachos’, and a shrimp and sweet corn tamale.  We also shared some mashed potatos with a queso/chili sauce. 

My handsome dinner date!

Adam got a rare spanish beer, and a chipotle glazed pork tenderloin for his dinner.  We both loved every bit of this dining experience!  And, I’m not gonna lie, I woke up the next morning still thinking about how delicious our dinner was the night before….

After dinner, we tried to go to a speakeasy called Please Don’t Tell, but they were too crowded.  It was still really neat to go there, though.  You had to go down into this little sketchy hot dog shop, and step into the vintage phone-booth, pick up the phone, and then someone would open the secret back door of the phone booth to let you into this bar!  We ended up just getting a drink across the street at a little bar, and then heading back to the hotel. 

Check out the view from our hotel room at night!

 

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Weekend Whereabouts – Crafting & Bowling

This past weekend was another fun and busy one!  Friday night we ate leftovers for dinner and just had a quiet evening at home with the animals.  Saturday morning my friends Daphne, Beth, Miquel, Shannon, and Courtney came over for a craft-day to make decorations for Daphne’s upcoming wedding.  It was probably the first and only time Adam was happy to be at work on a Saturday!  

Before the crafting began, Daph made us a delicious brunch with homemade sticky buns, lemon-bluberry spritzers (non-alcoholic, of course, we have to remain focused and sober for crafting!), brown-sugar-bacon, and a zuchini-goat cheese fritata.  It was soooo yummy!!  After we ate, we spent the entire afternoon making paper & tissue paper flowers and yarn balls.  I’ll have to get some pictures of the messy process, but all i can tell you is that we were all covered with a mixture of Elmer’s glue and cornstarch by the time the day was over. 

That evening we took the dogs to play at a nearby park, and once they were all worn-out and tired, we went home to make turkey burgers and sweet-potato fries for dinner.  Later on, Adam and I went out to see Pirates of the Carribean.  I got a groupon for the movie tickets so it only cost us $4 total!  Since we got such a great deal on the tickets, we decided to splurge on popcorn AND candy!  It was a really fun little date-night with the hubs!

Sunday, Adam’s dad and sister came to visit for the day so that we could celebrate his dad’s birthday!  We went to a yummy brunch at Flying Biscuit, and then decided to have Sunday-FUNday and go bowling uptown at Strike City!

Gunga, me, Adam and Brenna with our lucky bowling balls

It was all of our first times at one of thes fancy-bowling places, and I was surprised by how nice it was inside.  The prices weren’t too unreasonable, either.  They had beer specials for $3, and we all had a really great time!  Especially me, when I scored 5 strikes in one game!!!  (I promise I have no idea how that happened, but it was totally freaking awesome!!!)  Here are some more pictures:

Sunday evening we went out to Chinese with my mom and granparents, and then came home to walk the dogs.  Afterwards, we ended the weekend on a sweet note with homemade cheerwine ice cream!!  It turned out OK, but I think next time we’d add more cheerwine and less eggs to the ice cream mixture.

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Weekend Whereabouts – Happy 4th of July!

Hooray for long, fun-filled weekends!  This past weekend was the perfect balance of fun-time and relaxing-time…unfortunately it was pretty slack on the house-cleaning-time, but that’s OK! 🙂

Friday Night: We went to NODA to see Andrew’s band (Pseudo Blue) play.  We ate yummy sandwiches for dinner at Salvador Deli, and then grabbed a couple beers and met up with friends for the street-show.  It was such a nice evening, and Pseudo Blue rocks!

Loving that wine in plastic cups! ha!

We had to leave a little early since Adam had to work the next day, but he insisted that we stop to get some frozen yogurt on our way home!  YUM!

we heart fro-yo!

Saturday morning, I got to sleep in (yay!) and then spent the morning hanging out around the house.  That afternoon we decided that it would be fun to go down to Carowinds.  (Carowinds is a big amusement part like Six Flags or Busch Gardens, that is just south of Charlotte sitting right on the NC/SC border.)  We had both been here frequently as kids, but neither one of us had been back in at least the past 10 years!

Which roller coaster should we ride first, honey?

 
We were both excited to ride all of the new fancy roller coasters, even though it was a very hot day.  Unfortunately, I got very nauseous after the first ride, and despite drinking 2 bottles of water, the feeling didn’t really go away.  Adam thought it was heat-exhaustion, and almost took me to the medic!  Even though I got sick, we were still able to ride 3 pretty awesome roller coasters, and we still had fun!

We rode this crazy NASCAR one first!

 Then, we came home and spent a quiet evening on the couch eating pizza and watching The Fighter.  I really liked the movie, but I think the dogs were bored by it….

ChiChi (my mom's dog) and Sophie sleeping on the couch!

Sunday, I got up early and went grocery shopping, and then to yoga (go me!), while Adam spent the morning doing yard work (go him!).  Then, I came  home and made mini blueberry pies and a plum-peach-raspberry crisp for the 4th of July celebration we were going to that night.  My dad and Erin hosted us for a delicious and fun night!  My dad made really freaking awesome ribs and there was lobster, too!  The food was actually so yummy that hardly anyone touched the desserts, but that’s OK.  More for me!  Here’s some pictures of our 3rd of July celebration:

On Monday, we decided to do this….

Adam and I took the dogs to Lake Wylie for a little bit of hiking and swimming (well, swimming just for the dogs).  Sophie has always loved the water, she’s actually from the beach, but this was Emma’s first time swimming in a lake – and she loved it!

Sophie & Emma Swimming in Lake Wylie

Sophie likes to play fetch in the water.  She stands absolutely still as you throw a stick and she does not move a muscle until it hits the water with a splash. Then, she jumps right in, swims out to get it, and then paddles herself back to you on the shore.  She could do this for hours!!

Sophie going after a stick!

We were so glad that Emma enjoyed the lake, too!  We’ve only ever taken her swimming at the beach in the past, and she is scared of the waves.  But, she really enjoyed splashing around and cooling off in the lake.

Emma was loving swimming in the lake!

We all had so much fun hiking and swimming, what a was wonderful way to spend the 4th of July! 🙂

That night we stayed in and ate leftover ribs (yum part 2!) and watched the Adjustment Bureau.  And ya know what? We had such a fun weekend that I didn’t even get the Sunday-Night-Blues (even though it technically would have been the Monday-Night-Blues)! 🙂

Hope you all had a great weekend, too!  And, I’ll leave you with one more cute picture of Sophie, just because….

Happy Puppy!

 

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T.G.I.F.

Thank Goodness It’s Friday!  I’m definitely one of those people who ‘works for the weekend’, and I’m especially exited because this one will be a long one!  But, in an effort to not dwell on the negative (a.k.a. my job), here’s a list of some of the little things that made me happy this week:

  • I survived my first yoga class!  Monday night I used my birthday gift (from the hubs) to try out yoga for the very first time.  I was surprised by the intensity of the workout (I thought it was mostly meditation), but overall I really enjoyed it!  I may or may not still be sore (haha!), but I’m looking forward to attending another class this weekend! 
  • Also on Monday night my fabulous friends Miquel, Daphne and Courtney took me out to frozen yogurt!! (my fave!)  Miq even treated me as a late birthday present.  Thanks ladies, it was super-fun way to end a Monday!!
  • Adam made this on Wednesday night….  YUM!

    Bread Pudding with a Home-Made Burbon-Carmel Sauce!

 

Also, this happened:

Emma trying to lay in Chi Chi's dog bed! (Chi Chi is my mom's dog who weighs about 10 lbs!)

  •  And, last night I visited my grandparents just to say hi.  That makes them happy, which in turn makes me happy! 🙂

Now, it’s almost time for a long 4th of July weekend!  Yay! 

 

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