Monday, July 26, 2010

Fun Time in Cleveland!

Yes, as if the youtube videos weren't enough to deter us, Benjamin and I spent a day and a half in Cleveland.  It's only a three hour drive from Pittsburgh and it is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which just so happened to be on our Bucket List!

The day that we drove in we checked into the hotel and went out to grab a bite to eat and then head to the museum.  After having a lovely conversation with the valet about how our best choice was to just leave Cleveland, we opted to go eat at the Hard Rock Cafe.  It's become a tradition of ours to eat at a Hard Rock if there is one in the town we are visiting.

Next we headed to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The architecture of the museum is really very cool and it was designed by the same folks who did the pyramid at the Louvre.  There are seven floors in the museum with the first floor containing the most history and paraphernalia about the beginnings and re-inventions of rock and roll.  The Beatles, Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, U2, Fleetwood Mac, The Supremes are just a few of the hundreds that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.  They had artists original stage costumes, souvenirs from concerts, high school year books, and letters written from many of the honorees.

After a few hours in the museum we decided to head back to the hotel and try to figure out where to eat dinner.  Our hotel was right next to the Halle Building, which is famous for being in the Drew Carey Show among other things.  There was a sign in the window advertising a food court...which happened to be a Thai restaurant that was only open from 11a-2p daily.  We continued on down the road and stopped in at the Winking Lizard.

The sun was starting to set, so heading the advice given to us by the jolly man we sat by on the plane, we hurried back to the hotel as not to get caught out on the streets after night fall.  There are a lot of sketchy homeless people in Cleveland...

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Camp Celebration

Benjamin and I were unable to make it into town for Pappy's Friday night celebration.  So my Grammy planned on having a second day of celebrating at their camp in Sigel.  It was Benjamin's first time to Camp and it exceeded his expectations.

As you drive up to Camp, you are greeted by all types of animals and a sign that has been a part of the camp since I can remember.

Benjamin and I were the first ones to arrive.  We were greeted by Grammy, Pappy and a huge spread of food.  Just like Grandma to make sure that no one goes hungry!

After the rest of the gang arrive with hoagies from Miller's, we ate and then headed outside to play ladder-ball.

The rest of the afternoon passed by quickly; we walked through the woods, prepared and ate a dinner that consisted of hotdogs and homegrown corn from Pappy's garden, and ice cream from Farmer's Inn.

Being at Camp is like being at that place that takes you back to childhood memories of asking "how much longer 'til we get there?" and looking forward to stopping at Arby's and the Sigel gas pump along the way.  There are memories of pulling notes in a bucket up to the loft; memories of playing badminton and lawn darts.  Memories of walking to get water from the well and light night runs to the outhouse.  It's a place where our family would come together for times of celebration and for times of just getting away for a while.  I love Camp with all of my heart.  I love what it is and what it reminds me of: a place where everyone in the family loves to be, even if only for a day.
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pappy's 80th Birthday

My grandfather turned 80 this weekend!  Mom and Aunt Deborah threw him a surprise party after the family had dinner together.  Grandchildren, siblings, nephews, nieces, cousins and friends all turned out to celebrate together!

My Grandfather and his siblings:  Carl, Mary, Margaret, Pap, and Rosie

Pappy with Grammy's siblings:  Paul, Carol, Joyce, Pap and Grammy

Dad, Mom, Aunt Deborah, Pappy and Grammy
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Katie and Mark's Reception

This past weekend I flew to North Carolina to celebrate my cousin Katie's marriage to Mark while Benjamin stayed home to work on Ortho applications and keep Lubaby company.

Katie and Mark had a destination wedding earlier in the year and threw the reception as a way for family and friends to celebrate their union together.  There was a fantastic showing from the Johnson clan - Grandma Ruby and Papa Jim, Aunt Lisa and Uncle Bill, Mom and Dad and me.  Uncle Darren, Aunt Dracy and both girls and their loved ones were there also.

Congratulations from the bottom of our hearts Katie and Mark!  Wishing you all the best in your life together!

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Monday Meal Planning

Hello All!

Did last week fly by or what?!  This week shows no sign of slowing down for Benjamin and I so this week is make-shift quick dinners.

Monday:  Chicken Express - We have a coupon and it's going to make the food that much more delicious!

Tuesday:  Tortellini, salad, and breadsticks

Wednesday:  BK for Benjamin with Stephen; Sara leftovers at home.

Thursday:  Catered meal at school for Benjamin; Salad Supreme with Chicken for Sara

Friday:  Grab something quick on the way to the airport!

Saturday - Tuesday:  Eating here and there on our adventures in Ohio and Pennsylvania!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cow Appreciation Day

For the past two years, James and Andrew have participated in the Chick-fil-a Dress Like a Cow and Get a Free Meal Day.  I haven't ever dressed up, but I do aid in the making of their costumes and encourage them to go out in public dressed like cows.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Slip n Slide Funday

Ben and Samantha came over on the Monday after the fourth of July.  They were in Dallas doing some apartment shopping and popped over to stay the night with us.  Benjamin had planned out an evening of grilling out, slip n sliding and then chilling afterwards!

Bailey, the newest addition to our family, wasn't quite sure if she enjoyed the water or not.  She did however, love stealing our flags and chewing on them!  Lulu loved being right in the middle of all of the water goodness!

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Three Wonderful Years

Three years ago I married my best friend.  Together we have moved away from families, created a home in Dallas, tackled dental school, raised a Lu-Puppy and defeated the terrors of Mario Galaxy!  We have been blessed beyond words with a fabulous family, outstanding friends and a love that continues to grow between the two of us.

Benjamin: I am excited as we look forward to see what the next years of life hold for us!  You are my promise and I thank God for you daily.  I love you to bits and pieces!
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Italian Pasta Salad

This pasta salad reminds me of summer weekend meals at Mom's house.  It is deliciously cool for those hot afternoons!

12 oz bag of Medium Shells
1 green pepper
2-3 stalks of celery
1 jar of green sliced olives (or black sliced olives)
Turkey pepperoni
Salad Supreme
Seven Seas Italian dressing

While the pasta is cooking, dice up the green pepper and slice up the celery into small pieces.  Take about half of the package of pepperoni and cut up the pepperoni.  After the pasta has been drained, mix in the green pepper, celery, olives (drained) and pepperoni.  Then add between 1/2 and 3/4 jar of Salad Supreme depending on preferences.  Then add half a bottle of the Italian dressing.  Mix together and put in the fridge to cool!

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Monday Meal Planning

As part of my effort to be more on top of meals, I am going to try and keep myself accountable by posting our meals up here.  When we first got married and I worked from home, it was much easier to create a meal plan for the week and stick to it.

So here we go - first meal planning blog entry...

Monday Breakfast:  McDonald's with hubby.  As Benjamin says, "McDonald's breakfast just makes me think I'm on vacation!"

Monday Dinner: Dale's Montreal Chicken, Italian Pasta Salad, corn on the cob, cucumbers and icecream!

Tuesday:  PF Chang's for our Anniversary Dinner!

Wednesday:  Benjamin - BK with Steven; Sara - leftovers at home

Thursday:  Shake 'n' Bake Porkchops, broccoli and rice

Friday - Sunday:  Sara in North Carolina; Benjamin to eat what his heart desires!

Until next Monday....  :)
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6th Floor Museum

As part of our staycation, we decided to mark another item off of our bucket list: The 6th Floor Museum.

We walked around Dealey Plaza, enjoying the nice break from all the rain before we went into the Museum.

Along with our admission to the museum, we were given headsets and an audio tour.  The whole exhibit was put together well and was very interesting.  It started from the beginning of JFK's run for President all the way through the impact of his funeral on the world.  There were news reels to watch along the way as a break from the massive boards with photos and information.  It gave me a surreal feeling peering into the display of boxes that they had set up like Oswald had and then onto Houston Street as he had on that fateful day.  The whole exhibit was featured on the 6th floor with a photojournalism exhibit on the 7th floor.  Benjamin and I were both glad that we had made a point to visit the museum as part of our Dallas experience.

If you are planning on going sometime in 2010, be sure to print this coupon.  It give you $2 off admission and is good for up to 4 visitors.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Staycataion at Hotel Palomar

This weekend Benjamin and I decided to do a staycation in Dallas for our third wedding anniversary celebration!  A few months back we started planning our trip and came across Hotel Palomar.  Other than the awesome deal that Benjamin found on Expedia for the weekend, the other thing we loved was that it was an uber pet friendly hotel!  We decided to bring Lulu along with us for the few days we were going to be there.

Both Benjamin and I had been counting down the days until this long holiday weekend.  We both had been coming and going at rapid speeds.  The opportunity to just be in each other's company celebrating 3 awesome years of marriage was exciting to us and having Luly along was icing!

On entering into the main doors of Hotel Palomar, we saw that they had a little sign up with all the names of their furry guests...including Lulu's!

On entering into our home away from home for the weekend, we were greeted by a goldfish swimming contentedly in his wee home and relaxing sounds of a rainforest.

The first night we stayed in because of the weather ordering food from Central 214, the hotel's restaurant and renting "Date Night."  The second night we stayed in because we could!  :)  Both nights after dinner we ordered desserts....and they were stellar!  The first night we had The Chocolate Waffle which was covered in chocolate sauce, peanut butter ice cream and caramelized bananas!  The second night we had Upside Down Key Lime Pie.  Needless to say the plates were left clean!

Our time at Hotel Palomar was everything fantastic about a weekend: relaxation, great food, Lulu and a husband who is wonderful beyond what words can describe!

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Celebrations continue!

Before Noah and Salem were engaged last Thursday, they had already planned on coming to Dallas to spend the weekend with her Mom and then to pop over to see us for a wee while.  Salem's Dad was also going to be traveling down from Oklahoma to spend Saturday with her and Noah.

After their engagement was announced, they wanted everyone to get together for dinner to celebrate!  And so we did!  We all gathered at Maggiano's for a delicious dinner that ended with unlimited creme brulee!


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