Monday, December 22, 2008


While we were out shoveling, the neighbors across the way came out and asked us if we needed anything at the store. Considering we're still housebound, we asked for the essentials:

  • Sugar
  • Diet Coke
  • Skittles
  • M&Ms
  • Laundry Detergent
You know, just the essentials. We made sure to add that anything on the list could be forgotten except the Diet Coke. Gosh I love being home.

Snow place like home

Update: We had to shovel today. 6 inches snow, 1 inch ice, 8 more inches snow. (photos below)

Dear reader(s),

I'm not sure where your location is this time of the year, but let me tell you a little bit about mine. Snow. Portland, Oreg. rarely gets snow, but the heavens have decided to remain open for eight days and counting. The universe righted itself this year and let me fly home without major incident. I threaded the needle between Boston and Portland storms and arrived Tuesday evening.

Due to inclement conditions, I've left the house only twice in the last six days. The snow is really coming down! Yesterday, after eight inches of snow, it rained for awhile--creating ice an inch thick. Now it's snowing again with no dry day in the forecast until the 1st of the year.

I haven't grown bored or stir crazy... yet. This is when the true home-body in me is clearly evident. I'm happy being at home relaxing and wearing the same clothes. We're trying to ration the Diet Cokes with little success.

So far we're healthy, happy and enjoying the time to laze about and watch movies or play board games. Here we are, Saturday at 1pm, still in our pajamas and ratty hair playing Ticket to Ride. It's rather heavenly.
ticket to ride snow

Now we need the heavens to close for just a few minutes to get our final guests in on Tuesday and Friday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

An otherwise odd pairing

Why yes. That IS a bacon-topped cupcake. Your eyes are not deceiving you.

bacon cupcakes

Isn't everything better with salty meat?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Now fess up

Someone left me a voicemail Tuesday night while I was en route to Portland. My phone was off, ergo I (sadly) can't tell who left the VM. Hands down one of the best voicemails of the year -- 45 seconds of my birthday/favorite Christmas song, and some kind of hard to hear best travel wishes message.

Honestly, I have no idea who it came from--and I wish I did. Reveal yourself!

And for the rest of you, check out what's become into quite the birthday tradition...


What's better than vampires?

PUPPET Vampires.

Ohhhh. Would that I could have jumped on this genius.

"You are dreamy, but not very strong." I too hear that a lot.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't Stop Believin'

I'm on some kind of blogging sprint. The most wonderful time of the year has inspired me I guess. Or I had a really great December (remember how I love it so much?) and am wanting to brag about my beautiful friends. The answer is F) all of the above.

Last Saturday was the annual Christmas Gala. It was exactly two years ago this night that I had my first experience in B-Town; I was flown in for an interview, attended the dance and met 30 people whose names I remembered. (That may have been the only time those people ever spoke to me--even though we've been living in the same place for 700+ days)

I brushed off the oldie, but goodie As-Is $7 red dress (as seen with red hair at last year's birthday), spent more time on Linda's hair than my own (totally worth it!), and bundled up for an evening of dancing and gallivanting about with friends. The highlight of the sponsored dance was definitely the 1, 2 punch of "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Don't Stop Believin'." It must be the apostraphes and dropping of the g's.

Christmas Gala

After the dance we had a somewhat impromptu (planned at noon that day) fondue and pumpkin pie post- gathering at our place. One of the greatest nights of the year was born from jovial attitudes, fantastic attire, and the variety of music stations courtesy of Comcast. Insert one or two people dancing in the middle of the room the entire night (including a special solo dance of 'We Didn't Start the Fire" that you never saw coming), and it was nearly 3AM before anyone noticed.

I do love December.

Celtics > Jazz

I can't debate the merits of one musical genre over the other, but when it comes to basketball, the Celtics played a more lively, up-tempo game while the Jazz looked discordant, out of harmony, and out of rhythm. Linda and I had such a blast--we even made it on the jumbotron! (Thanks green hats, you were easy to spot.) We celebrated the C's fifteenth win in a row with a late night Big Gulp and run to the Bell. The *perfect night for my last night in Boston.

And all that JAZZ

*Linda's was almost perfect, save the nachos she stepped in during the 4th quarter while having her photo taken. Sorry L.
**Sorry that photo of me is so big. Picasa collages (FTW!) are the greatest, but are sometimes a bit finicky about rotating out photos of manual sizes. I guess you'll have to deal with staring at my braids.

Euro shorts

Alaina is doing a MUCH better job of travel-(b)logging our European Cruise of Dreams. Things have been pretty wild for me, so I'll get to posting some more photos in the next few days; especially now that I'm in Portland and everyone is pretty much iced in for the next three days. Today on the plane I put a few totally random stories or memories from the trip to type.

• Every day we had an off-boat excursion (which let’s face it was, Alaina and I would plot where on the bus we’d like to sit. After our first bus day in France, we quickly learned there are seats with better visibility, better door position, and all-around betterness. Each morning we’d spend several minutes discussing the pros and cons of seats x, y, and z and our first, second, and third choice for seats on the bus if rows with higher desirability were already occupied. Sounds incredibly geeky, but ask me who never got sick on the bus and who had the best views and photos of the Amalfi Coast. Luck comes to those who plan for it.

• Our first big discovery once we got onto the boat was the pizza bar. The best piece of combo was eaten while we were still docked in Barcelona. No big shock here, but room #9306 quickly became regular customers—fueled by the younger set, but readily accepted by the elder. It didn’t matter how many courses we ate at dinner, if someone (anyone) suggested stopping in “just to see what they had” (as the cafĂ© also doubled as a mini-sandwhich, rotating desserts, and hot chocolate stop), someone was always willing to accompany the seeker. If pieces were brought back to the room they were eaten; it didn’t matter what time of day. My favorite Deck 5 memory was Thanksgiving night where literally on the way back to our room from dinner we stopped and sat for more than an hour; eating, drinking, and generally making merry.

• Cruises are all-you-can-eat pretty much from the minute you arrive until the minute you depart (or for me, in Paris, where I was still eating rolls I swiped from the boat the last breakfast morning), including the full-coursed dinners. My Grandpa set the tone early on at our evening dinners. He ordered with abandon and made us all (or at least me) feel comfortable in ordering whatever I wanted—even if it was two appetizers, two entrees, or two desserts. (One night I may have had three appetizers. Ceaser Salad, a shrimp cocktail [not on the menu but special ordered by our waiter who knew I loved shrimp], and some kind of veal/beef something-or-other.) My Gramp ordered three of something more than once, and when later in the week he was only ordering two, our waiter took to asking him every night if he’d like soup with his starters as well. He always agreed, we always laughed, and then I taught him how to rank order his choices. I think some kind of soup took the ultimate prize but my memory might be a little hazy.

• Then, and now, even in hindsight, I can’t believe how tired we were on the cruise. We’d get up between 5:55 and 6:30 most mornings, get ready, stumble to breakfast, do our off-boat activities and get back to the boat to barely make our 6:30 dinnertime. (It’s no wonder we slept on every bus we got onto!) We’d usually get done with dinner after 8, and then meander up to our room. We’d puruse the collateral for the next day’s activities and then one by one start to die off. Someone was usually in bed sleeping before 9:30 even rolled around. Everyone once in awhile someone might venture off on their own to a hot tub or to play a few nickel slots ::cough-cough::, but I’m 100% serious when I say there was no nightlife in our room. I think the TV was powered on a handful of times (a feat considering the tenets of our room!) and even G&G were wishing we could sleep in later in the AM (wild if you know my grandparents and their general AM cheeriness.)

These were the first four I remembered--chances are others will up-level in the next few days, but it should be enough to chew on for a bit.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Small and simple

• Girls in tight pants and dressy boots at Celtics games

• People who try to pass on the escalator when there are stairs right next to the "moving stairs" (Porter Square T stop being the only exception)

• The GG hair mystery. Am I supposed to believe the ladies of said show do their OWN hair? Could they just allude to (even once!) the stylist who gives the perfect body and flounce to every female on the show save Jenny every. single. day?

• The inability to find people who want to attend Celtics games

• My eyes glow red with 98% of camera flashes

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

No one loves December as much as I do

And now, a break from your regularly scheduled cruise recaps....

If I don't blog about the first week in December this very second, I'll never do it at all. I love December. Every. single. thing. about. it. It also helps that I have a holiday birthday -- I love that too. What else to love this December? The parents, Kendall, and Mallory came to visit. Hel-LO fun.

We did what we do best on vacation -- shop and eat. And then I took them to do what I love best to do. The girls thugged it up Celtics-style. My Dad was true to his homeland and rooted for the Blazers. Don't worry, they still lost.


Just like that, the family was gone, and it's the 8th day of December. And all rejoiced with pumpkin pie, cheeseball, and the glory of seeing a sequined, argyle sweatshirt. (Lemme know if you want to borrow.) The white elephant gift exchange was a success; and a rousing rendition of "All I Want for Christmas" performed. Many, many thanks to all the emails, calls, texts, e-cards, f-book shout-outs, twitters, and in-person visits.

Now come over for some pie and cheeseball, there's more left than Linda or I could possibly consume.

PS -- get used to seeing these photo spreads. Picasa upgraded their collage spread, and photos just got oh so much easier to display. Try one, you'll get hooked.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I'm getting behind. Actually, can it be considered "behind" if you haven't really started? Nonetheless, VE VILL SAIL ON. (Approximately one of you readers will get this reference.)

We went to the French Riviera. And Monaco. They were lovely, the weather was lovely, the grandest casino in the world was lovely (even if we'd been better off leaving the slots alone; you have to play in Monte Carlo, right? Right? That's what I told Alaina. She was a good sport.).

This was one of the two colorful days on our trip...


... little did we know the rain was coming...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Let me entertain you

On the third day of Christmas, Costco sold to me--three pumpkin pies, two movie tickets, and one system for surround sound.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Going to Europe was good for me

My body and brain are still 6 hours ahead. I go to bed at 11pm, dead to the world, and wake up naturally at 7am.

This morning before getting on the bus at 8:05 (nearly 90 minutes before usual), I made my bed, unpacked more stuff, put my laundry away, and cleaned the bathroom.

Is this what being an adult feels like?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Guess who's back, back again?

So I'm back. Holy trip, you guys--it was unreal. Ten days, ten major cities -- Zurich, Nice, Monaco, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi, Palermo, Barcelona, Paris. I'm home, I'm exhausted, and I'm completely fulfilled. The trip was everything I wanted it to be--everywhere we went was so beautiful and different. It's kind of overwhelming being home and trying to make sense of the last ten days; and the 600 photos that accompany the last week and a half.

Before I start the daily (or city) recap, I wanted to give a shout out to my fantastic traveling companions -- my Grandpa and Grandma Wood and my sister Alaina. We had the grandest time. We laughed and laughed and laughed. (And ate and ate and ate.) It is no doubt a trip that we'll talk about for years and years to come. How special it was to have so much time with G&G. Here's my tip for the day -- try to make that kind of thing happen, it's worth it.

While I try to get my act together, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at what we taught G&G to do on the trip -- self portraiture.

A) Getting ready for the mandatory emergency boat drill B) Cold, wet, and dark at the Leaning Tower of Pisa C) Formal Night on the boat on Thanksgiving D) Wearing our new Jihadist scarves in Barcelona

Cold, dark, and wet at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Formal Night on ThanksgivingJihadist scarves in Barcelona

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!