Easter out west

Posted by Katie on August 29, 2011
Easter, Travel / 3 Comments

This is how Dave and I celebrated Easter earlier this year.  Don’t worry, it wasn’t as sacrilegious as it may seem.

California for the holidays!

Posted by Katie on January 30, 2011
Christmas, Family & Friends, New Year's, Travel / 2 Comments

In what was a very lovely break from work and winter weather, and a wonderful chance to visit with family, Dave and I spend Christmas and New Years this year (or last year, or whatever) in California with his family.

Christmas and New Years were both very properly celebrated with chocolate and wine and ham and lots of goodies.

Touristy things were visited.

The Hollywood sign from Griffith Observatory.

Sunny and smoggy downtown LA from Griffith Observatory.

Personally the most exciting touristy thing over vacation was getting the change to see a gray whale migrating off the coast.  At Point Vincente, volunteers track the whale migration.  This time of year the whales are heading south to birth their young.  We had been to this spot before for whale watching, but despite our previous hours of patience, had not actually seen anything.

This time around we were treated to a gray whale upon our arrival.  I know it looks small…it’s cooler in person.  Really.

Christmas presents were played with.

No, this isn’t a picture of the family contemplating the skies or the meaning of the Korean Friendship Bell.

They’re checking out Dave’s kite, with it’s 9′ wingspan and 50′ tails.

Quite honestly, I’m shocked that the kite didn’t fly away or launch one of us into the Pacific Ocean.

But the most important we got to do in California was visit with lots of family and friends!  I only wish we lived closer so that we could visit more often.

Now we’re both back in the swing of work, and almost over the colds that we got after returning to Chicago.  Blah.

Chicago fireworks

Posted by Katie on July 05, 2010
Chicago, Holidays, Summer / 1 Comment

Why fight the crowds downtown to see the official fireworks when the neighborhood kids put on such a lovely illegal show?

Yay Chicago!

Happy 4th of July

Posted by Katie on July 04, 2010
Holidays, Summer / No Comments

We should invest in a proper kite.  This free one is pretty to look at, but a real challenge to fly.

Proper vacation coverage

Posted by Katie on July 03, 2010
Anniversaries, Birthdays, Marriage, Travel / 4 Comments

I plan on making a digital scrapbook of all our pictures and souvenirs from our vacation, somewhat as a trial run for those wedding and honeymoon scrapbooks I have yet to make…oops.  But until the scrapbook happens, here are more pictures from our recent trip.

Niagara Falls!  We learned that 20% of the world’s fresh water resides in the Great Lakes…with most of it flowing over Niagara Falls.

Journey Behind the Falls.  Yes, we got wet.

Maid of the Mist.  We did take the boat voyage, which is pretty much just like an amusement park water ride.  And yes, we got wet here too.  That’s why I didn’t take any pictures from the boat.

We stayed at a bed and breakfast in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a small town on Lake Ontario right at the point that the Niagara River joins the lake.  It was only a 30 minute drive to the falls, and it was nice to stay away from the tourist traps of the falls.  Plus it gave us the opportunity to explore the local area a bit more, including…

Visiting a winery.

Hiking along the Niagara River.

Biking along the Niagara River.  We are on Canadian soil, with the United States and Old Fort Niagara in the background.

We took lots of time to relax.

Enjoy nature.

And eat lots of gourmet food.  One of the best things about this bed and breakfast was the AMAZING breakfasts.

Vacation was a nice break from reality.  This summer is turning into a hectic one, but it was nice to do something to properly celebrate Dave’s birthday and two years of marriage.

Wait, TWO YEARS?  That doesn’t seem possible.

I know, I know, you’re thinking that you’ve been married for five years, or thirty-five years, but you probably knew what you were doing when you got married.  Dave and I have been completely winging it these last two years.  I’m sure it’s obvious!

Happy Easter for real this time

Posted by Katie on April 05, 2010
Easter, Family & Friends / 2 Comments

Hope you had a great Easter this year!

We had a wonderful long weekend hosting part of my family in Chicago.  Lots of beautiful church services, lots of yummy food, copious amounts of candy and most importantly, the chance to visit with family.

Oh, and an Easter egg hunt which resulted in every item in our apartment being touched 10 times.  There is still one egg missing, and I don’t remember where I hid it!  Moxie will find it.

Note to self – don’t agree to organize an Easter egg hunt when the majority of participants are competitive grown men.  The funny part is that those same men were the biggest proponents of the hunt in the first place!

We had a wonderful time with everyone.  I am so lucky to have a great family, despite the chaos and crazy egg hunts that come as part of the package.

But now that it’s all over, I can not wait to go home this evening, open a bottle of wine, sit quietly with Dave while eating Easter ham sandwiches for dinner and go to bed at 8 o’clock.

They wore me out.


Posted by Katie on March 28, 2010
Easter, Family & Friends / 2 Comments

Don’t tell anyone, but the Easter Bunny has been hard at work this weekend.

We’re hosting my family for Easter this year, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Anyone know how to cook a ham?


Posted by Katie on March 20, 2010
Birthdays / 3 Comments

Speaking of my birthday and of drinking wine, I woke up on Wednesday morning to find a present at my front door.  My brother, Michael, had left me a bottle of wine, a plastic wine glass to drink on the go and a St. Patrick’s Day cookie.  And the gift came with clear permission to drink before work.  For the record, I didn’t actually drink wine before work, but I did love the surprise.

Dave and I celebrated my birthday night with a fancy dinner out.  I know it was St. Patrick’s Day and all, but I didn’t really feel like eating corned beef and cabbage or getting drunk on green beer with a bunch of wanna-be Irish.  Instead we headed to a new restaurant in our neighborhood, Mexique.  The food was fantastic, and apparently not many other people think of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Mexican French fusion food, so we had a quiet table to ourselves all evening.

So, here it is…32.  The number doesn’t bother me, it never really has.  It does, however, seem like I should be a mature and responsible adult by now.  Maybe that’s at 33.  Or maybe that only comes with kiddos.  Or maybe we should all just give up hope on that one!

Happy Easter!

Posted by Katie on March 20, 2010
Easter, Family & Friends / 1 Comment

It’s Easter.

Ok, well not technically.  But that didn’t stop us from celebrating Easter one night last week.

My sister, Maggie, really has quite horrible luck when it comes to having to work on major holidays.  There was that Thanksgiving not so long ago, when Maggie was living with me…oh, never mind…it was not pretty.  I love you Maggie!

Anyway, this year is no exception, and Maggie is required to be the RA on duty in her dorm on Easter Sunday.  She and one of her friends spent a couple days with us last week visiting over Ball State’s spring break, so we took the opportunity to designate one of the days as “Maggie’s Easter.”  It was great to hang out with Maggie on a major holiday for once, and it was the perfect excuse to open a couple of bottles of wine during Lent!

Liberal interpretation, I am well aware.  Don’t judge.  Even the Easter Bunny left his presents!

So we had wonderful company and good food.  And they surprised me with an early birthday cake, which was quite yummy, and much appreciated.

Hope you had a happy “Maggie’s Easter!”

V is for Valentine’s day and Vacation day

Posted by Katie on February 18, 2010
Chicago, Valentine's Day / 3 Comments

Dave and I celebrated a low key Valentine’s Day this year, making time for a date night out on Sunday.  And while Dave had the luxury of a 3 day President’s Day weekend, technically, I did not.  To solve this horrible injustice, I put my vacation days to a good use and took the day off.

After some deliberation about what we should do with our free day, we came up with the great cheap date idea of going to the Shedd Aquarium, which is hosting free admission this week.   Unfortunately, we were not the only people with this brilliant idea.  It turned out that the wait to get into the aquarium was pushing 2 hours.

Dave and I promptly agreed that we are not cheap enough to stand out in the cold for 2 hours, and we paid full price to get into the Field Museum.

So, instead of learning about fishies, we learned about dinosaurs…

And found conclusive evidence of alien presence in ancient North American Indian tribes…

And when it was closing time at the Field Museum, the line for the Shedd Aquarium, which was staying open late to accommodate the crowds, was non-existent.

We did get to see fish after all, but a formidable mad-dash through a few main attractions would best describe our visit.

On walking into the aquarium, however, someone approached us with extra tickets to Fantasea, the dolphin show.

We were excited to see the show…for free…but it was honestly a disappointment.  It’s really just a rock concert style theatrical performance, to which any non-deaf person should bring earplugs.  It includes a plant child and mother in the audience who by “random luck” participate in the show, flying canoes, grown men dressed as fairies and an occasional animal.  While the animals are cool, they make up about 25% of the show.  My sister, Amy, tells me this is how things go at Seaworld, but I’ve never been.  I prefer the old school dolphin tricks on crappy bleachers at the zoo.

Fantasea may be best described by one of Dave’s favorite web-comic authors who lives in Chicago and recently chronicled an hourly comic which includes a reference to the show.  Check out the 6:38 PM time slot.

Dolphin light show complaints aside, we had a really great day.

Especially when things are busy and it’s cold out, it’s easy for Dave and me to focus on the daily chores and get in the rut of our own habits.  We need to make more of a conscious effort to get out of the apartment and do something different on occasion, lest we become too grouchy and reclusive.  Turns out married people should go out on a date every now and then!