It's soooooooooooo nice to be back home! Hearing Timothy say "Mama" and geting cuddles from the kiddos is just the BEST. The more places I go, the more I love home. There is just no place like it.
My dad and I flew out of Portland on Sunday the 2nd. We got into Albany NY at like 11pm at night. Yikes, that was a long day. My time spent on the East Coast was just go-go-go. We did something every day and it was hard fitting in all the visits I wanted to make! I didn't get to see everyone I wanted to see, but unfortunately that happens.
Monday morning my dad and I loaded up and headed out to my brother and sister in law's place in Rutland, Vermont. The first thing we did while on our way there was stop and get a dozen donuts from Dunkin Donuts because we don't have any of those by me. Goatie liked them too! (Anthony has a stuffed animal that's a bull that he has had since a little boy he named Goatie (lol) and whenever Sam or I go someplace, we take him with us and photograph his adventures).
After arriving at my brother's, we headed out to lunch at the Long Trail Brewing Co.
After eating, Matt and Erica drove us around to see some of the sights in their area of VT. We went to one of the many covered bridges they have in VT for a few photos, then went to Queeche Gorge to take in some of the beauty there. Unfortunately, with it being later in the fall season, most of the leaves had already turned and fallen, but there were still some pretty trees left! And I enjoyed my time and the beautiful scenery regardless of it not being prime "leaf peeping" season. I love VT!
Matt and Erica know how much I love antique shops, so they made it a point to take me to a really large antique place in Queeche. It was awesome! I bought a blanket and an old bottle to add to my collection I have in my bedroom windowsills. We also stopped in at a lot of little shops selling awesome Vermont goodies like maple syrup, cheese, candies, and tons of other awesome treats. It was so fun getting a little bit of Christmas shopping done and picking up some treats for family and friends. We even found and had to take a picture of Timothy's all time favorite book he got last Christmas from Matt and Erica...Good Night Vermont. We've all read that book so many times, we know it by heart. It was fun to find it...helped me feel connected to home even though I was so far away.
That night Matt and Erica made us dinner! Crock pot calico beans, corn bread, and apple pie! Yum! Thanks guys!
Tuesday morning we went to Sugar & Spice for breakfast where I got the most delicious pancakes with the most delicious VT syrup.
After breakfast, we went to the New England Maple Museum. We took a self guided tour and learned about the history of maple syrup and it's process from tree to bottle, watched a short film, and then finished up with free samples! We got to taste all the different syrups and other goodies they had....and then naturally, I bought some. :)
After the museum, we drove around taking in the sights and stopping in at little shops here and there along the way. We ended our visit with a nice lunch out where I got the most delicious mac and cheese. Afterwards it was time for my dad and I to head back to his place in NY. Thanks for your hospitality, Matt and Erica! We had a wonderful visit!
On Wednesday it was time to head to Philly for my childhood friend's wedding shenanigans! Jill's mom, Jackie, picked me up at my dad's at 11 and we made the 4 1/2 hour drive to Jill's place. That morning, while I waited to be picked up, I took the time to walk around my old house, take some photos, and reminisce.
We made it to Jill's house a little bit before 5. It was so nice seeing Jill! And she made us dinner too! We ate, caught up, got some last minute wedding to-do's done, and waited for Jill's friend Nicole and Nicole's boyfriend Peter to arrive. That night we just hung out, snacked, and watched tv. It was nice to sit back and relax a while.
Thursday morning, Jill's sister Jamie and Jamie's boyfriend Jameson, as well as Jill's friend Megan and Megan's husband James, arrived. After we all ate and got ready, us girls headed out to get our nails done! I got a manicure and a pedicure and it was awesome! The massage chair was my favorite part, haha. In photo directly below....Jamie, Me, Jill, Nicole, Megan.
After nails, we headed back to Jill's place for lunch and to get ready for her wedding rehearsal and dinner. The rehearsal went really well. We decorated a bit, hanging up some bows, and then went over a few times the time line of events and walking in, walking out, where to stand, etc. etc.
Dinner after the rehearsal was at a pizza place and ohhhh my, was there TONS of food. Bread sticks, salad, pizza, and two different kinds of pasta. I was stuffed! While there, Jill gave all the bridesmaids their thank you gifts and Tim gave all his groomsmen their thank you gifts. I got beautiful red earrings to wear with my dress, a brooch for my dress, black flats to change in to for dressing, a little jewelry box, a wine glass, and a little goody bag filled with makeup, lip gloss, tissues and gum. All the wedding day essentials! THANK YOU, Jill!
Friday! Wedding day! Eekkk! We all made it to the hair place at 8 am for our hair appointments. The place was wonderful, with 3 people working on us girls. I got my hair and make up done and I'm so glad I did! It was super fun to be pampered and the guy did a really awesome job. It was nice to feel pretty! The guy who did my hair and make up kept talking about how long my eye lashes were and how others should be jealous and how I need to work to bring out my untapped beauty, lol! I suppose.
All of our up-dos turned out so pretty! And Jill's wedding hair was amazing! She looked so pretty! A true blushing bride!
After our hair appointment, we went back to Jill's place where we gathered our belongings and waited for the limo to arrive. The limo was awesome! We got to the church where Jill and Tim were to be married and got busy with getting ourselves ready. People were starting to show up for the ceremony and we didn't want to be late!
After arriving to the church, I was able to take a few photos, but then put the camera away when we got dressed. I wanted to be truly present for Jill's day and not be distracted with trying to take photos, so I even put my cell phone away. Point being, I don't have very many photos....and the ones I do have of us all dressed and during the ceremony and such I got from the other gals' phones. So I'll just have to wait until the photographer gets her professional photos done so I can show you photos of us all dressed up then!
The ceremony was beautiful. The girls were beautiful. Jill was beautiful. It was awesome! And the reception afterwards was just as awesome! We were really cold while getting our photos taken, but after that, it was all FUN! We ate delicious food and danced the night away! We even "danced out" when the wedding party was being introduced, it was funny, lol. I can't wait to see and share the professional photos!
Wow, what a looooong night! I sure was ready for bed after all the wedding fun! Luckily I had an awesome hotel room with an awesome king bed all to myself! Well....and Goatie. ;) Saturday morning arrived and after eating breakfast in the hotel breakfast room, I met up with Jill and her family and we all headed back to Jill's apartment. We helped unload gifts and other items and then ate a quick lunch. Jill and I said our goodbyes and then her sister Jamie and I made the 4 1/2 hour drive back to my dad's place. Thanks for the ride, Jamie! And thank you Jill for such a wonderful time in Philly! So fun! Enjoy Jamaica!
Sunday, back at my dad's! That morning we stopped in for a visit at my Aunt Susie's place. I didn't bring my camera in, so no photos, but it was nice to catch up with her. Later, my dad and I met up with my sister Robyn and her boyfriend Jason at Thatcher Park to walk the Indian Ladder Trail. As a child, my family and I use to go there every summer for picnics, birthday parties, and hikes. It was cold, but it was so nice to go back there and walk the trail. I really had a great, great time! I hope some day I can bring my children there so they can walk the trail and play under the water fall and crawl into the same caves I crawled into as a kid.
After walking the trail, we ate lunch!
And after lunch, we went to Indian Ladder Farms! This was another place I went to a lot with my family when I was young. We'd go there every year to pick berries and apples, get apple cider, and most importantly their hot and fresh apple cider donuts. Ohhhhhhhh was it heavenly having one after all these years! Another place to visit with my kids. Some day.
That night I also got to stop in and have a short visit with my cousin Doug and his family. Then, back at my dad's after our long day, we ended the night by watching the season premier of Finding Bigfoot!....because I knew Anthony and the other kiddos were watching it at home at the same exact time. :)
Monday morning I got to meet up with my childhood friend, Alyssa. She lives in NC, but was in the area visiting family for Thanksgiving. It was great we were in NY at the same time so we could meet up and I could meet her new little one, Amelia! What a cutie pie!
After my visit with Alyssa, my dad and I made another drive to Vermont to visit other places I went to with my family as a kid. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to take a trip down memory lane and visit all these places with my dad. Not everything was exactly the same...some places were different or weren't there at all. Time has a way of changing things. But the memories of those places never change.
We ate lunch at Jensen's, also a place we use to go to when we made our VT trips when I was a kid. It was made even more of a special place because back in 2011 when Molly was 1 1/2 and Anthony was 3 1/2, I made a trip with them to NY to visit family and my dad and I took them to Jensen's.
After lunch we made our way back to NY, stopping at a few shops along the way, including a chocolate shop where I bought a variety of delicious VT chocolates! That night, our last stop before getting home was my Aunt Tanya and Uncle Butch's place. He's taken ill...it's cancer. We made our visit short, but sweet. Staying just long enough to say hello without wearing him out with out presence.
Tuesday was a chill day. My dad went to work and I hung out at the house working on photos from my trip and packing my belongings. At 3 my sister Robyn came and picked me up and we went to her place for dinner and a movie. After my dad got off from work, he picked me up and we headed home for an early bed time.
Wednesday morning we were up at 3 am. Ugh! My flight left out of Albany at 6. After a layover, I got back into Portland at 12:30 where Sam was already waiting for me. We decided to have a night to ourselves, so we got a hotel room in Portland and spent the rest of the day doing some shopping and enjoying the night. I was dead tired and worn out, but I'm glad we took time for ourselves and spent the night in Portland.
Thursday morning we woke up to yucky weather. The closer we got to home, the yuckier the weather was. Snow was starting to fall and it was really windy. We made it home just in time to get Anthony and Molly off the bus.
Dang does it feel good to be HOME!