Ken and I are in the throes of planning a vacation in September for Ken’s 40th birthday! I think we’ve decided on a week in the Canadian Rockies. Seriously, Lake Louise, the Icefields Parkway, and Moraine Lake just look so stunning! Can’t wait!
Speaking of birthdays, we hosted lots of family last weekend to celebrate my dad’s 75th birthday. He’s had a very rough few years health-wise, so we’re so thankful to be celebrating this birthday!
I’ve had a really miserable cough for more than a month now! At one point I was coughing until I gagged and threw up, multiple times a day. I went to the doctor when the cough was at its peak, about three weeks ago, and they prescribed some good cough medicine. But damn, the cough is STILL lingering and unfortunately the cough medicine knocks me out, so it’s only really good at night. I’d say the cough is like 80% better, but oy, can’t wait to be rid of this one.
We got a new faucet for our main floor half-bath sink. How cool is this! Our old fixture wasn’t terribly old, but it was oil-rubbed bronze, and a lot of the bronze finish had started to chip off. So it was time for a replacement! It passed the “kid-approved” test when we overheard our 10 year old nephew and 8 year old niece talking about it, unprompted, at my dad’s birthday celebration.
I’m working from home almost all this month thanks to Metro’s current SafeTrack phase affecting the Blue Line. I commuted to work during last summer’s Blue Line SafeTrack work by taking the bus to the Pentagon station and then picking up the metro to downtown from there. The morning commute was fairly quick and easy, but the afternoon commute was hellishly long waiting for a bus. So, I asked if I could telework this month, and was approved!
I’ve been taking a break from credit card churning mostly because I’m 5/24, but have seen some good non-5/24 deals, like the increased SPG Amex bonus and I received an offer by mail for a 60,000 AAdvantage miles Citicard bonus. But, now that we’re pursuing an offer on an investment property, I don’t want to jeopardize anything with the mortgage applying for a credit card so close to buying a house!
Happy new year everybody! I hope everyone had a great holiday. Ken and I went to Pittsburgh to visit with my family for almost a week, and then had a belated Christmas Day celebration with Ken’s family from Baltimore at our house on New Year’s Day. Did you have any holiday travels?
We got an Amazon Echo and two Echo dots for Christmas! We’ve been having a blast with these. Perhaps most entertaining is how our 3.5 year old niece and 20-month-old nephew have caught on fast that trying to yell “ALEXA!” can trigger a response. However, neither of them can quite pronounce “Alexa” correctly to get it to turn on. Well, really, our 20-month-old nephew was just baby-talking at it the whole time.
Back over the summer, I got a new car! It’s a Ford that has Sync 3, and I’m very excited about the prospect of asking Alexa to start up my car. It’s my first car with remote start, but I can’t get used to starting my car up in the morning to warm it up! I’ve tried to work it into my morning routine, but I keep forgetting! Maybe if it integrates with Alexa, I’ll remember!
Please take a look at these enormous vultures that were pecking at one of our community’s trash pickup spots. I’ve never seen these around here before! Literally the one is taller than the trash bag.
I finished the entire season of The Crown on Netflix. I thought that was a really fantastic show! Highly recommend. Although I feel a little guilty now that most of my historical “knowledge” about King George VI comes from watching the King’s Speech and now The Crown. Seems like a legit way of learning, no?
My commute home on metro yesterday was absolutely brutal. After searching twitter to see what other people had to say about Metro/WMATA, I definitely wasn’t the only one! These tweets made me laugh out loud.
Ken and I are officially ALL CAUGHT UP ON GAME OF THRONES! We did some serious binge watching of Season 5, because we were having too many close calls on spoilers from the current Season 6. We typically don’t binge watch shows, so the fact that we watched season 5 in less than a month is CRAZY. Plus, we don’t have HBO (or HBO Streaming), so that always eliminated the chance of ever being truly “caught up” on shows. But, we’ve had a free trial of HBO on Verizon Fios, so we’ve been able to stay up-to-date on the current season now! I love being able to read episode recaps now!
Both of my sister’s kids have birthdays this week! My niece turns three and my nephew turns ten! My how time flies!
Ken and I visited a local park for the first time last weekend called Pohick Bay Regional Park. It was so lovely that we’ve decided to host a family picnic there later in the summer! We enjoyed the trails (well, we only did one trail), and it reminded me how much of a klutz I am. One encounter with some slippery, muddy ground and I nearly wiped out right onto my ass. Since this has been a repeated problem in the past, I decided to buy some trekking poles and see if they help!
The few hours at the park was kind of a replacement for what was supposed to be a camping trip. We had scheduled a long weekend camping trip for the last weekend in April, and then for the first weekend in May being a rain backup date. Well, there were a few things that happened. My 91-year-old grandmother experienced a sudden health decline and passed away in April. So, I had already missed a lot of work for that, since I stayed with her for about a week (this grandmother was my mom’s mom. My mom was an only child and died a few years ago, so that just left me and my sister to take care of my grandmother). Plus, my god, the RAIN. THE RAIN. The DC area has been a sopping mess. Both those weekends we had planned to go camping would’ve been a washout anyway. So, we’re going to reschedule that camping trip for the fall.
We hit the six month mark for our Disney trip coming up this fall as well, which meant being able to make Advance Dining Reservations. I’m excited for all of them, but I’m REALLY excited for Kona, Via Napoli, and Sci-Fi Dine in Restaurant.
I think all our plans have been finalized for our Northern California trip in July. We’ll be trying out Jetblue’s new(ish) Mint Class. Fully reclining seats to the west coast! Yes, please!
We went camping last weekend at Gifford Pinchot State Park in Pennsylvania (just south of Harrisburg). It was a relatively short drive from the DC area (except for all the Friday rush hour traffic we hit), and we had a gorgeous lakefront campsite! So relaxing and just nice to be outdoors! We stay indoors much too often.
As soon as I get back from a trip, I always start planning another trip. I can’t help myself, it’s a compulsion. I was thinking about another beach camping trip next year, like our trip to Assateague last April. But I was thinking that May might be a better month since it would be warmer. Our beach camping at Assateague got pretty chilly at times!
I keep tinkering with different methods of organizing camping supplies, but haven’t found the right technique yet. How do you organize your supplies?
Can you believe that the holidays are right around the corner? We stopped by the Lego store at Potomac Mills Mall earlier this week and I was already eyeing up some Lego sets for my niece and nephew! And maybe even a Duplo set for my 2-year-old niece. I’m worried about keeping my 2-year-old niece occupied when my family comes to visit for a few days around Thanksgiving, and I figure that Legos could keep her occupied for a few minutes? One minute?
Speaking of Thanksgiving, it feels like the holidays are right around the corner! Ken and I are hosting Thanksgiving this year again (like we did two years ago), and I’m already planning menus!
My sister and her family spent last weekend at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, TX. That’s the second year in a row they’ve gone, and they all really love it. There’s apparently a lot to do right on the property. I might need to go visit that sometime soon!
Did you see this article about Koko the Gorilla and her new kittens? Adorable overload! Be sure to watch the YouTube video at the bottom of the article.
I keep trudging through the 4th season of Prison Break, very, very slowly. That show really jumped the shark after the second season. I thought the season premiere of The Walking Dead last week was really intense. Yikes!
I am thoroughly enjoying all the autumn and pumpkin beers right now available in the supermarket! I thought it was a little weird that they appeared on shelves the third week in August, but I am drinking them up! A new supermarket opened near our house which allows you to make your own six pack for $9.99. I’m using the opportunity to try out some different beers!
Have you been following the stories of Syrian refugees being documented on Humans of New York? They are heartbreaking, and when I think I’m having a bad day, I just need to think of these stories to put my “problems” in perspective. I can’t imagine what these folks have been dealing with.
We started Season 4 of Game of Thrones. Holy hell, what on earth was up with the 2nd episode!! Did not see that coming at all!
I was at Home Depot on Wednesday and they ARE SELLING POINSETTIAS! What in the world? It’s not even Halloween!
On a related note, I saw this photo the other day! Source
If you’re local to the DC area, I recommend the video embedded in this article, which features drone footage of the “dead” White Flint Mall. It looks like it could be straight from The Walking Dead! If you’re interested in the back story, check out this article which explains why the mall renovation can’t proceed.
Speaking of The Walking Dead, the new season premieres on Sunday. I’m so excited because my TV pickins’ have been slim recently. We finished up Fear the Walking Dead last week. I really enjoyed the first season, even though many online commenters seem to think it was moving too slowly. I continue to watch Scandal, and then subsequently hate myself for it each week. Nobody on that show is capable of having a normal, healthy relationship. But I guess that would make for boring TV then, wouldn’t it?
Our basement renovation is progressing nicely! We had Ikea Kitchen cabinets delivered this week, which we’ll be using as a new bar / workbench space.