Sunday, August 31, 2008

We're here!

When I woke up this morning, I was so excited to remember we're on vacation!  I was so excited in fact that I couldn't sleep past 7:30, even though I definitely needed to catch up on some sleep.  In any case, I was up and just enjoyed a few minutes on the deck with the warm sun and cool breezes.  Peter woke up shortly thereafter and after lounging around for a little bit and having breakfast, we headed down to the pool.  After a little over an hour, we came in again since it was getting prime sun time and I didn't want to get burnt.  After reading for a while and doing a whole lot of nothing, we had lunch and then headed to the beach!

Obviously it's our first day because Peter's not tan and I'm not sporting the millions of freckles I get when I've been in the sun.  

Though online the house was advertised as "ocean side", it's not really that haha.  It's not far though, about 4 blocks away.  It's actually a nice little walk to and from the beach.  Upon arriving and walking up the steps, this was our view:

So pretty!

We were still tired from our trip so didn't really get in the water much.  We just laid on our beach towels until our stomachs brought us back to the house for some dinner.  The rest of the evening we just bummed around, making another trip out to the beach for an after-dinner walk. 

The beach at night.  It was kind of humid so the camera picked up on the moisture in the air.

What a fabulous first day of vacation.  I just know this week will fly by!

775 Myrtle Court

This is the house we're staying at this week!  Isn't it great?!

This is the front.  I love all of the decks.  On the second story deck is the hot tub and a picnic table.  On the third store is a sun bathing deck with chairs and also a dining set on a screened in porch.  

This is the queen master bedroom on the third floor where Peter and I are staying.  

And our fish overload bathroom haha.  There are fish curtain hooks and fish pictures on the wall too.

The nice, fully stocked kitchen.

Dining area:

Super comfy living room:

Another shot of the living room:

Queen bedroom on the second level:

The kids room.  This room has a super nintendo in it, with TV, VCR, Disney movies, games, etc.  There's also a pull out trundle bed under the bunks.  This place is definitely big enough for way more people haha.

Another shot of the kids room.  All bedrooms have TVs in them too.

Queen master bedroom on the second level where Tim and Vasti will be.

The super sweet lighthouse bathroom.  I like the decor in this room the best haha.

Hot tub on second level deck:

Peter checking out the second deck.  There's also a swing on this deck too.  

The gameroom downstairs.  it has a pool table in it amongst other fun things.

There's even a washer/dryer with a foldout cot here.  And the futon can sleep another person haha.  Definitely enough room for more than 5 people.  I plan on doing laundry before we leave so we can have clean clothes when we get back home haha.  Of course I won't let it cut into vacation fun time :P

The pool where I'll be most of the time!

There are steps down into the pool on each side where you can also sit which is nice.  I plan on reading here a lot.  And there's a picnic table for lunch. :)

This house is super nice and the online page didn't do it justice.  There are even beach chairs, etc. here which is good since we forgot ours at home.  We thought about buying new ones, but when we saw they were $40 for the cheapest ones, we decided to just sit on towels.  Lucky for us, we don't have to haha.  

Saturday, August 30, 2008

August 30th: Departure

This is a backpost from our adventure down to NC.  We left our house at 6:30 AM on Saturday.  As you can see here...we were very tired and the flash was really bright haha.

We stopped and got some breakfast on our way out of town and made really good time while it was still dark out and before many other cars hit the road.  Traffic didn't really start getting congested too much until we were about halfway through the trip-getting closer to the DC area.  It was probably because it was a Saturday on a 3 day weekend and it was prime driving time haha.  

We made very few stops, which is surprising because I usually pee at the rate of 1 time per hour.  I purposely didn't drink as much water as I usually do to avoid the frequent stops.  Here we are stopped right off Rt. 95 to make a pee stop and get some lunch out of the cooler.  So excited to be more than halfway there!

Traffic came to a dead stop a few times, which is always scary when you're going around 75 mph and then slam on the breaks.  It was only because of all of the traffic.  Luckily I have a great hubby who drives like a champ :)  He drove the entire way.  

We passed a sign for Mallory St so I had to snap a picture.  Plus we were stopped in traffic again before the tunnels to get to the Outer Banks.

After stopping for groceries and to pick up our key, we finally arrive at our beach house!  Just in time to unpack, grab a bite to eat and hit the pool!  It was a bit stormy when we arrived so we only hopped in the pool for a few minutes.  It was ok though because we were ready to just veg out from a long day.  I unpacked all of our groceries and put them away and unpacked our clothes for the week and other things and put them in their places so we could avoid any unpacking tomorrow or as we need things.  This is definitely a much needed vacation for us and I hope the week goes very slowly haha.

Friday, August 29, 2008

T minus 1 hour...

Ok so we don't really leave for vacation until early tomorrow morning, but we will be packing and getting everything loaded up tonight. And work will be over so it's the unofficial start of vacation really. Peter and I even tossed around the idea today via text messages about leaving tonight instead and driving all night and sleeping on the beach and hanging out tomorrow morning before we can check into the house. Who knows what we'll end up doing. First things first and we have to get the car packed still. In any case, I am beyond excited about vacation! It's finally here! I can't wait to spend hours by the pool reading and relaxing. I started an excellent book recently and am looking forward to reading more of it in NC. And Peter will be bringing his car magazines so we're all set haha.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Odds and Ends

So far this week has been filled with doing random little odds and ends in preparation for our vacation that is only a few days away.  We've went to the eye doctor to make sure Peter's eye was healing nicely.  We also went to the dentist and had my final appointment.  No more monthly appointments!!!  A year and a half later and all of the agonizing is finally over!  :)  And we got Peter's hair cut and bought a few things that we want to bring with us on vacation.  Oh, and I've started a few loads of laundry so we can start packing tomorrow night.  Our plan is to have the car packed up Friday night except for the food and our "last minute" bag full of items we'll need Saturday morning.  Tomorrow night I'll also begin making some of the food we'll be bringing with us.  I love that we'll be driving so we can just pack the car full of whatever we need/want.  And since we'll have the room I'm going to make food ahead of time again like we did when we went to Cape May last July.  3 days and we'll be there!  Luckily it's been raining down there this week and is supposed to clear up and be sunny and low-mid 80's while were there.  Perfect.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Schindel Ranch Summer Gathering

Yesterday we spent the day at the Schindel's with some friends.  A great time was had by all.  Despite the heat.  Note to self: next time bring a swim suit.  All of the guys could jump in the pool in their shorts or a borrowed pair of swim trunks, but the ladies had to just sit by the pool and watch the fun haha.  

Some of these photos I stole from Jeff and some of them I took with his camera.  I brought our camera but left it in the car and when I don't have it in front of me I forget to take pictures.

Jeff really enjoys shrimp.

Barney and Alicia

The boys playing in the pool:

Not a great picture of us, but we were having a good time:

One of the several action shots I was able to capture as the boys played "Shark" in the pool.  This particular jump ended in a belly flop.  Poor Peter!

We had great food and great conversation throughout the day.  Note 2 to self: cheesecake melts in 90 degree heat.  Sorry Kelly!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Commissioning Service

Today Peter and I attended a commissioning service for friends leaving for North Africa.  It was a great service and was good to visit with them briefly before their quickly approaching departure.  It was too hot out though so we didn't stay very long during the picnic.  

Us before heading out:

The fruit salad I made for the "pot-luck" picnic.  It was so yummy because of all of the fresh fruit I was able to use and so I felt the need to snap a photo haha.

After the picnic, we just came home to relax since we've both had long weeks and we needed to just veg out.  I ran out for an hour or two later on to do some errands and then came back made dinner and now we are just watching a Harry Potter movie on TV.  A very low-key night which is just what we need!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bye Bye Pines!

Jeff came over today and cut down the 3 pine trees in our front yard.  They got them all cut down, chipped, and cleaned up in 2 hours.  It was great!  I made dinner for us all before they got to work and cleaned up and made lunches for tomorrow after.  I couldn't be much help outside so I gave myself a pedicure inside haha.  

I was going to post 2 videos of Peter and Jeff cutting down the first (and biggest at roughly 20 ft) tree but they weren't uploading correctly, so these pictures will suffice.

Then they took all the branches off and chipped them up:

And onto the 2 smaller 15 ft pines...


...and after!

Once again...before...

...and after!  In the first picture you can't even see the beautiful dogwood behind the pine.  This was the biggest pine and I'm glad it's gone.  I used to duck under it getting in/out of the car and when it was raining or droopy it was just even more annoying haha.

You can kind of see here how many trees we had in the yard and that it really was tooooo much! 

We kept the dogwoods on either side because we don't want it totally bare and they really are beautiful in the springtime.

We'll be taking out the stone area and moving the rhododendron and a few other flowers in that area elsewhere.  We're continuing with our theme of simple in the yard and clearing out all the mess from the old owners.  We've had several neighbors compliment us at some point since we've moved in and said they like the work we're doing.  It's gone from looking like an overgrown, unmaintained jungle to a neat and simple home.  

The two people that are doing the majority of all this grunt work.  Boy, am I grateful!  Plus I love Jeff's face in this one haha.

A great picture of great friends:

Monday, August 18, 2008

An Unusual Sighting

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after thee
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship thee

You alone are my strength my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship thee

You're my friend and You are my brother,
Even though you are a king.
I love you more thank any other,
So much more than anything.

I want You more than gold or silver,
Only You can satisfy.
You alone are the real joy Giver,
And the apple of my eye

This morning when I woke up I was greeted by an unusual visitor. A beautiful doe. I heard a munching noise and looked out the window and saw the doe eating some weeds. I woke up Peter and tip-toed downstairs (since the windows were open) to grab a camera. I didn't want to use a flash so I quickly retrieved Peter's iPhone and snapped a few pictures. Here are the best two pictures I was able to get. You can see it was through the screen, but oh well. Not long after I took the first shot of the doe a buck came galloping beside the house and into the backyard. It's very odd to see deer in our back yard because we're pretty close to the city and there aren't woods around. Plus our back yard is pretty enclosed. The only way in/out is by walking between our house and the neighbors or by coming down the steep hillside (where the deer later took off to because the neighborhood cat came into our yard also and scared them).

Monday, August 11, 2008

35 cents pays for dinner.

Tonight Peter and I had dinner for 70 cents.  Not each, but total.  Wondering how?  Well here's how it happened.  I bought rice pilaf at GE last week for free with the double coupons.  And I bought a pound of fresh green beans on sale for 99 cents a pound.  Well we used half of those in last night's dinner and the leftover for tonight's.  So half of 99 cents is about 50 cents.  For the meat, we picked up Jack Daniel's sesame chicken strips from TGIFridays on the way home from the eye doctor's.  They are $8 with tax etc but I had a coupon for a free appetizer for up to $8.  So the total came to 21 cents.  That with the 50 cents is about 70 cents.  Divided by two = 35 cents for dinner.  So when we came home we had a nice 35 cents dinner of sesame chicken strips, rice pilaf and fresh green beans.  I can't believe how cheap it was haha.  This is really the cheapest I've been able to make dinner.  Usually it hovers around $2-$4 per person.  Sometimes I have a hard time eating out because I can make the meals for a whole lot less at home.  I'm breaking financial records this week with coupon savings and dinners!  It's such a good feeling to save money.  

Sunday, August 10, 2008

How is it Sunday night already???

It felt as though I was just being picked up on Friday after work and excited for the weekend.  Now it's Sunday night and another week is quickly approaching.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted!  

This weather this weekend was beautiful.  Sunny and warm and breezy.  Cool evenings.  My favorite!  

Peter's eye had been bothering him the past few days and on Friday night it seemed to get really bad so we went to the eye doctor at GE Saturday morning.  The expense is reimbursable so we decided to go just to get it looked at.  Boy am I glad we did!  It turns out Peter has recurring corneal erosion.  It basically means that the layer of skin over his eye can get severely dried out and then attaches to the inside of his eyelid.  When he opens his eye, he rips the layer of skin off.  It sounds so painful and according to Peter it really is.  The doctor put in a contact as a way to protect the wound and put Peter on antibiotic drops.  The tiny bottle of drops weren't cheap either-$85.  Thank goodness we have excellent health insurance coverage and didn't have to pay anything out of pocket.  Well, we did, but it's all reimbursed.  

The rest of the day was spent outside doing things around the house.  Peter cleaned out the basement and garage a bit in preparation for our big cleaning out of the rocks in a month or two.  And we painted the two back doors.  We fixed up our old screen door with new screen from some old broken screens in the basement.  Only the frames were bent so we just pulled the screen out and put it in the door.  And a few weeks ago stopped at Lowe's and got a few new pieces of wood for the trim.  For about $3 we have made it a lot nicer.  We used leftover paint from the front shutters and trim work we had done last year so it was a pretty cheap fix.  It looks so much better than the ugly red color the previous owner had slopped all over the doors.  And it matches the mortar just like in the front.  I love it.  We had been looking to get a new screen door because the other door was all glass but found that the old door has removable parts of all glass and all screen.  I'm so glad because our door is smaller than the standard size and would have been over $300 to purchase a screen door.  Outrageous.  We were prepared just not to have one.  But thank goodness for the awesome discovery in the basement of the extra screen removable piece!  $3 instead of over $300.  Much more our style haha.  And it wouldn't have looked right to have a new door on the back because our house isn't new.  It's all old and got lots of knicks and character.  

It took us through Sunday to finish the doors but well worth all the effort.  I didn't strip them and sand them because I didn't think it was worth it.  Since the previous owners didn't take care of the doors and just painted layer on top of layer I didn't want to go through the mess of it.  The fresh color looks a lot better though.  

We also got new patio furniture that Peter and Jeff picked up on Thursday.  It was $50 on craigslist and so nice.  The chairs are nice and light and stack for storage.  We had to spend $80 all together because we also had to rent a truck.  Jeff was driving his down and the brakes went out again!  We felt so bad but are glad it happened while he was stopped instead of on the highway. 

Here's our great new patio set:

The table is much larger than our other one and is actually made for outdoors which is nice.  The chairs are really comfortable too.  We kept the old table and put it in the basement next to the work bench for some added working space.  We just trashed the chairs because they weren't in great condition and we didn't want any hassle.  Trash pickup is tomorrow so they'll be gone before we're home from work.  

All in all it's been a very nice weekend and I'm sad to see it coming to an end.  I'm really looking forward to vacation at the end of the month for more than 2 days off for relaxing.  Peter and I are already chatting up what we'll be taking, etc. 19 more days until the beach!