Vacation Part II: Rehoboth Beach & Hershey Park

So I am back for round two of my vacation diary!  You can catch up on Week 1 here!

The kids spent a few days at my inlaws while Owen and I headed back to New Jersey to catch up on housework and laundry!  I also had to get everything packed for the second week of our vacation.  This year we didn’t go to Avalon for our normal week.  We ended up staying local while the kids enjoyed weeks at basketball, CCD, camps and swimming lessons.  We had a very busy summer.  But towards the end of July, Joey and I were really missing our week away at the shore.  It was a little late to book a house in Avalon so we decided to head on down to Rehoboth.  We both grew up right in Delaware {Joey was only 15 minutes away from the beach town} but we never really vacationed in Rehoboth.  Yes, we spent tons of time there growing up but neither one of us actually stayed down there for a vacation.  It was so nice staying at a hotel right on the boardwalk!  We just parked our car for a few days and walked everywhere!  It was great! The beach and boardwalk were right outside our window.  Plus all of the restaurants, rides and games were a few blocks south on the boards, it was awesome!

Joey and I were in NJ and packed up and left Saturday morning to head down to the beach {for all your Jersey folks, we call it the beach in Delaware … I know it’s the shore in NJ}.  We took our time traveling down.  It is only a 3 hour drive but we decided that since we only had Owen that we would stop for lunch and hit up a few beer stores that we can never get into when we have the whole gang!  I think this trip took us 6-7 hours but it was fine.  Owen was a trooper!  We stopped for lunch at Two Stones Pub in Wilmington, DE.  We love this place! The food is awesome and the beer is superb!  We have never been disappointed!

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We finally arrived at Joey’s parents around dinnertime!  We picked up some pizza and had dinner while we were reunited with our other two boys!  They almost forgot about us!  They have a blast down there in the open yard.  They swing, play basketball and we cook s’mores on the firepit!  It’s always a nice and relaxing time! Plus they live 2 minutes from Dogfish Head Brewery so we always stop in to see what’s new.   We spent the night there and the next morning headed into our hotel in Rehoboth.

We stayed at the Henlopen Hotel.  It’s nothing fancy but it has a great view and the rooms are decent.  It definitely needs some upgrades but it was perfect for us!  We couldn’t check in right away so we decided to go to Dogfish Head for lunch!  The kids always enjoy the food and mommy and daddy always enjoy the beers!

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After lunch we headed to the beach for a few hours while we waited on our room.  I think that the kids were still a little nervous about the rough waves after last weeks knockdown.  But they still had a blast.  It was another rough day but they managed to get wet and sandy!  Owen on the other hand hid from the sun!  The kid sat like this for a good 10 minutes!  He cracks me up!

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At this point we were all anxious to get into our room.  Luckily it was ready.  So we unpacked the car and headed on up!  I fell in love with our view.   I mean look at this!  I love falling asleep to the sounds of waves crashing and since it was a cool night we slept with the door open so we could hear all the wonderful sounds of the Atlantic!

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After we checked in and unpacked a bit we headed on down to the boardwalk! Walking the boardwalk with my kids brought back sooooo many memories of my childhood.

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I remember walking up and down the boards holding my dads hand as we walked past the “hotel that had the pool out front”.  It was my favorite place to look at. I loved how my boys had to stop and check out the pool as we walked down.  I loved taking my guys into Ryan’s Gems and Junk {I think that they just call it Ryan’s now}.  They sold some of the same “junk” from when I was a kid. I made Sean pose in front of the sea shell jewelry boxes! I guess that they never go out of style {were they ever in style}.

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We stopped off at Obie’s by the Sea for dinner that night {after a hit up Candy Kitchen and the arcade}. I mean how can you not love this view at dinner!???

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The boys were a little crazy but we somehow managed to get through dinner {after I had to remove one of them from the restaurant}.  The next morning was a little windy so we decided to go for a nice walk around Rehoboth and hit up the park for a little bit and then Grotto Pizza for lunch!  We can’t go down to Rehoboth without getting some slices from Grotto’s.

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Then it was off to Funland. The rides were opening so we had to get there as soon as we could.  My inlaws came into town to spend the afternoon with us.   We had one major meltdown because of a game that we will never mention again.  Okay it was that damn claw game! Come on, it’s rigged… The 6 year old boy never win it!  But despite the breakdown we did get on a few rides! Owen went on the boats for the very first time! It’s a tradition that all kids must ride those boats {there are quite a few generations in our families that have spent many of summers ridding those boats}.

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After the rides, we decided to go down to the beach for a few hours before dinner.  It was such a gorgeous night!

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Since we loved Obie’s the night before we decided to go back again! It was the perfect spot to bring the kids and the stroller.  This night was a little smoother and the kids were pretty well behaved!

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Tuesday morning we met up with some good friends on the beach in the morning.  We spent a few hours down there playing and relaxing in the sand.  After they left it was off to lunch at Nicola Pizza and then back to the beach! That night was our last night in town so we had to go big!  We spent a ton of time back at the rides and the boys went into the Haunted Mansion for the very first time! Again this ride has been there FOREVER so we knew it was time for them to get on it. I love how they pretended to be so scared waiting in line but their faces as they came out of it were priceless! They were scared to death!  It was awesome!

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After the rides we hit up the ice cream shop and ran into a skunk in the dunes before heading back home to get some rest.

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The next morning was checkout time! Since we were so close to Joey’s parents we decided to drive there and drop off Owen.  We had a few more things that we wanted to do with the boys and it was just easier if we didn’t have the stroller {sorry Owen}!  We just had to squeeze in one more day of rides and miniature golf!!

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After we finished up the day in Rehoboth it was time to head back to my inlaws!  That leg of our trip was coming to an end!

We spent a few days relaxing at my inlaws before we packed up the car and headed to Hershey Park!  That was an interesting trip.  The boys were soooo naughty that night in the hotel that we almost didn’t go to the park the next morning.  But we sucked it up and took them!  They weren’t on their best behavior but I think that they still had a blast!

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Overall, we had an awesome time.  Yes there were a lot of moments where the boys were fighting and we were all yelling, but I know that we will look back and only remember all of the fun times and memories that were made that week.  Ok I’ll still remember Ben’s breakdown when he didn’t win the Despicable Me minion at that claw game!  But I will mainly remember the skee-ball games, the rides, and of course the massive amounts of pizza and ice cream that we consumed! I can’t wait to see what next summer brings for us!

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Vacation Part I: Bethany Beach

So the last two weeks of summer we spent it traveling around Delaware for a mini vacation! We had no camps, no doctor appointments and no schedules. Just some good old fashion summertime fun.  We started off the two weeks by celebrating Sean’s 5th birthday at the bowling alley. He had a small group of friends and his family there to celebrate.  His actual birthday was still a few days away but it was the best time for everyone to come together and celebrate.

The next day we headed on down to Bethany Beach Delaware to crash my sister’s vacation!  Her family had a townhouse with a ton of space so I brought the three boys down for some beach and pool time with family. Unfortunately, Joey still had to work so he missed out.  The first day we all did our ice bucket challenges on the deck before chowing down on Grotto’s pizza.

My boys were in absolute heaven.  All of their cousins were down at the house as well.  They had their baseball gloves and soccer balls and 3 other boys to play with! They were awesome with my guys.  And Ben only fell down in the swamp by the lake once!  Poor kid was all cut up but he didn’t complain {much}.  It was quite funny.

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Tuesday was a gorgeous, hot, beach day.  The kids were so excited to get in the water.  I was a nervous wreck.  The ocean was angry that day and the rip currents were very strong.  The boys both wiped out under the same wave and I thought they were going to get swept away.  Thankfully I was able to grab Ben while my brother-in-law grabbed Sean.  It was the scariest 10 seconds of my life.  Ben was pretty nervous the rest of the day.  Sean, yeah not so much.   After a few hours my anxiety couldn’t take it and Owen was a little fussy so we headed back to the house.

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On Wednesday, we decided to skip the ocean.  My sister and brother-in-law took most of their kids to Bethany Beach for the day but my mom, my niece Molly and I took the boys to the community pool.  That was much better for my anxiety!  The boys were so happy that they could swim without swimmies.  The lessons were a hit this summer.  They were doing cannonballs all afternoon long and they actually let me throw them across the pool.  It was a blast. I had such a great time that day.  That night we had a nice family dinner and celebrated Sean’s birthday again!  This time with a Ninja Turtle Cake from his aunt Tara and uncle Matt.

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Now it was Thursday morning and this part of our vacation was coming to an end!  We had an awesome few days with the Rahe/Thuer crew!  Thanks again Tara & Matt for inviting the Callaways down to invade your vacation! We all had a wonderful time!

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Now onto the next part! It was time to head up to my in-laws house.  They were going to watch the boys for a few days until Joey and I came back down to start our week of vacation.  Today was also Sean’s actual birthday! He had birthday cake for breakfast, Chick-Fil-A for lunch and his grandparents attention for 3 days!  He was thrilled.

Owen and I headed back home to New Jersey to clean the house, do some laundry and pack for round 2 of vacation!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Summer Vacation!

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Five Things….

Hello there? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone still reading this? Sorry that I have been MIA lately. But yeah life with three kids doesn’t leave me a lot of time to blog. I don’t know how you moms do it everyday!  You rock!  

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A long, long time ago {maybe last summer} I saw this post over at my friend Janine’s page: Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic.  I thought it was a great idea for a fun little blog post!

Five things that I have a passion for:

  1. Family. My family is number 1 in my life.  No matter what they are the most important thing to me. Even if they are all driving me nuts I still love them and put them before anything else. Except maybe a quiet beach day to myself {kidding of course}.
  2. Friends. As you get older the definition of friendship really does change. It’s not a matter of quantity but quality. You will discover who your true friends are when you are experiencing the good and the bad.  The friends who check on you when you know you might need to hear their voice or read their text. They just “know” to reach out and chat. I am passionate about my friends! They mean the world to me and my family will always come first but friends are a close second!
  3. Blogging. I have spent the past year sharing almost every part of my life with my fabulous readers and I love every second of it.  I really hope to get back to blogging a lot more if things settle down here with the boys and I develop a routine.  Blogging gave me a voice, an outlet in an otherwise lonely world.  Being a stay at home mom can be lonely! Even if you have three kids keeping you busy non stop I crave interaction with adults — whether at breakfast with friends on comments on this page!  Having a place to write down my thoughts and experiences has been a great release. And that so many of you guys read this page and share your own issues makes it even better.  I don’t feel so alone! 
  4. My house. I love my house. Yes it is small and 364 out of 365 days a year I wish that I had a larger kitchen, a fourth bedroom and a large back yard. But we don’t so Joey and I make it work!  We try our best to make it feel comfortable for us and for any friends who want to stop by and visit. And when I walk in that door each day, I feel like I can relax because I am HOME.
  5. The beach.  I love the beach! It’s a lot harder these days with the kids but it is still a blast.  I love sitting in my chair {under the umbrella of course}, digging my toes into the sand and just closing my eyes so I can listen to the sounds of the waves.  I don’t get to do that much anymore since I am usually yelling “Don’t throw sand”, “don’t feed the birds” and “no you can’t have anymore snacks”.  But I still love it.  Which is odd because of my entire skin cancer issue!!!!!  I am pretty much allergic to the sun!
  6. Football.  Ok I cheated and did six for this one!  There are a lot of things that I enjoy and football is one of them.  I love watching my Philadelphia Eagles and my University of Delaware Blue Hens!  I am sad now that football season is over and neither of my teams went far this year.  But like a true fan I won’t give up and I hope next season is a better one for both of my teams!

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Photo Credit: Photography by Jen Davis (check her out, she is amazing)

Five things that I would like to do before I die:

  1. See all of my boys graduate college, get married, have babies. I can’t wait to see them as adults {if we all survive the toddler years}
  2. Take the boys to Disney World!!!
  3. Visit some exotic resort where Joey and I can live in a hut in the water for a week.  Just once, maybe after we get these three boys through college.
  4. Own our very own beach house!
  5. Run a marathon {crap at this point I would just like to do a 5k one day}.

Five things that I say a lot:

  1. Oh my God, just listen to me for once.  
  2. Ben stop hitting Sean.
  3. Sean stop hitting Ben.
  4. I need a glass of wine
  5. Leave the baby alone.

Five books or magazines that I have read lately: ummmm who has time to read with a newborn, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old. 

  1. I have been reading Baby 411 lately. I am trying to remember all the stages of a newborn. It’s been over four years and I have forgotten a few things. 
  2. What about TMZ.com? Does that count?
  3. Oh CNN.com??? Seriously, do you see a pattern here.
  4. Delaware Today Magazine… Ok that counts. It’s an actual object and not a website.
  5. Facebook.

Here’s my winter reading list:

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Yeah I haven’t read anything with any substance lately.  If I do have time by myself when the boys are at school and the baby is sleeping, then I am usually sleeping or catching up on the online news & gossip! Priorities people! Priorities!!!

Five favorite movies:

  1. Dirty Dancing
  2. Every Julia Robert’s flick ever made: Pretty Woman, Mystic Pizza, Steel Magnolia’s, My Best Friend’s Wedding, etc.. They count as one movie, right?
  3. Garden State
  4. The Notebook
  5. Love Actually

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Five places that I would love to travel to:

  1. Greece
  2. London {I have already been there before but would love to go back}
  3. Ireland {I have been to Dublin but would love to see more of this gorgeous country}
  4. Hawaii – The beaches just look so pretty!!!! My mom just got back and I am super jealous!
  5. Bora Bora – I have always wanted to stay in one of those gorgeous little villas right over the water!

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Well that’s my list! I hope that you enjoyed it. Please share some of your top fives with me!!!! And stay tuned for some more reviews of some products. I have a few ipad covers that I am reviewing as well as some baby items and lotions!  I also promise to sit down and write a little post about what is happening around here lately and how we are all surviving with 3 kids!

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One Crazy Busy Week

I feel like I haven’t typed a post in ages! I mean a real post, not a baby update or a Wordless Wednesday post.  I finally have a few minutes a day while Sean is at camp to type up some posts. Of course Ben has been sick the past few days so my time is limited.  Let’s see what’s been going on with us.
Last Saturday my in-laws came up to our house so I could go to a Dave Matthews concert with Joey and some of our friends.  It was the first DMB concert that I have been to since I had Ben. I honestly think that my last DMB concert was back in 2006.  I couldn’t believe that it has been that long but lately I have been sending Joey to concerts with his friends. It’s too hard to get a babysitter all of the time so I pick and choose the shows wisely.  So it was nice to finally get out on the town and bar hop {oh wait, bar hopping sucks when you can’t drink beer}! But it was still fun hanging out with friends in Philly.  The concert was a lot of fun but I must admit that I didn’t know a lot of the songs.  I really haven’t been following Dave’s new songs over the past few years so I was a bit lost.  Thankfully I had good company!!!!

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Sunday we spent the day packing up Ben’s stuff for his trip to southern Delaware with my in-laws.  It was his first time away without mommy and daddy!  We have gone away for a night here or there but never for this long.  He was so excited to go and I think that he packed up almost every single toy in our basement to take with him.  He just wanted to pack everything up so Sean couldn’t touch it.

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From what I hear, he had a great week!  He played outside, spent a lot of time in his swing, got his haircut, and even played “bop the can”.  I’m still trying to figure that one out!  But he had fun and was well behaved so I am thankful. I missed him so much but it was nice to Facetime with him while he was away. I just love technology.  I remember spending a week or two at my grandparents house when I was little and waiting for that rotary dial phone {the only phone in their house} to ring so I could talk to my parents.  Times sure have changed.

Sunday night after Ben left we went out to dinner with daddy!  He was craving some ribs so we popped into Texas Roadhouse for some food!   Some of my best pictures of Joey and the boys are sitting in a booth at a restaurant.

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While Ben is away, Sean and I will play.  And by play I mean we just moved in with my mom in northern Delaware.  She has a big pool in her backyard so we decided to spend our time there since it was so freaking hot outside.  We went down Monday afternoon and swam all week long.  We did take a break to run some errands on Tuesday.  We hit up Newark to full fill my Grotto Pizza craving {twice}.

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On Wednesday we met up with my sister to do a tour of the Herr’s Potato Chip Factory!  I love a tour that gives out fresh chips at the end! We wrapped up that day by stopping by the mall to do some retail therapy {and Sean had some play time}.

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We also went to a friends house for their annual July 4th picnic.  What did Sean do at the picnic? Well he swam for 4 hours straight. I could not get him out of that pool to eat.

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While we were at the July 4th picnic, Joey went down state to pick up Ben from his parents house.   He spent the day visiting with them and drove back up that evening.  I was so happy to see Ben, but I think that Sean was a little more excited!  Despite all of their fighting he really did miss his brother. Oh and they had a fight within 10 minutes of reuniting!

On Friday we said goodbye to daddy so he could go off on his 4 day Phish tour in Saratoga Springs, NY.  I spent two more days at my moms with the boys and then headed back to New Jersey on Sunday afternoon.  We managed to squeeze in two more days of pool time. I don’t think that my mom has been in the pool that much since they put it in.  I know that she has never been in it this early in the season {or that early in the morning}.  She was a trooper with the boys!

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So here we are on Wednesday.  I have my 20 week OBGYN appointment this afternoon and Joey is off to another Phish show tonight.  Sean started his first week of camp ever at his preschool.  HE LOVES IT!  This week they are celebrating all of the holidays.  Monday was Halloween and Tuesday was Christmas.  Sean told me Tuesday was Easter so I put him in an Easter shirt, only to find out it was Christmas! AHHH.  That kid loves to mess with me.

Ben has been sick now for a few days with a headache {and a fever at night}.  The boy refuses to take any kind of medicine other than his seizure meds.  The poor little guy, I hope he starts feeling better soon.  He was supposed to start karate last night but  I had to reschedule his orientation because he was sick.  I am so excited for him to start, I just hope that he enjoys it.  I can’t get this boy to commit to anything.  He wasn’t a fan of soccer and refused to do t-ball.  Let’s hope karate does it.  I want him to be active in something other than his angry bird games!

Well I guess that’s it for now.  Nothing else to report here in New Jersey other than it’s hot and humid! Happy Summer!

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Vacation….Jersey Shore Style

So we leave tomorrow for a week at the shore! I can’t wait!  New Jersey has been through so much since Hurricane Sandy but like the Governor and President said “We are Stronger Than the Storm”.

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But don’t worry, I will be posting next week. I have some posts that are scheduled and ready to go.  Plus I will be writing one or two posts to share with you all while I am down the shore.  I will definitely have my Wordless Wednesday, ThrowBack Thursday and Finish the Sentence Friday posts.   I may also have a post that will reveal the sex of the baby{no I don’t know yet but soon}.   I also have a great sponsor to share with you.  So don’t go anywhere!!!!

Oh and if you want to see some pictures of us down the shore, make sure that you follow me on Facebook and Instagram. I am sure that I will be posting obsessively on those two sites!  Check them out now!!!

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Have a great week everyone!

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Europe Trip Part 3: Paris

Thanks for joining me again for Part 3 of my European vacation series.  I meant to put this up on Monday but I was so busy this week that I didn’t get the chance to finish it. But I am finally done uploading the pictures so today I am going to talk about our trip to Paris. In case you missed the other two parts of our European vacation, you can click below to catch up: 
So I must admit that I had a love/hate relationship with Paris. Yes it was gorgeous and romantic and everything that I thought it would be but for some reason I didn’t love it. I know, I am weird. I think it was just coming off of such an amazing week in Dublin and London and then headed to Paris into a city that I didn’t know the language was quite intimidating to me.  I was nervous and a little scared . My husband could wing it THANK GOODNESS. Otherwise we would have been screwed.  
From the moment we arrived I was a nervous wreck.  Joey navigated us to a cab and we found our hotel, the Villa Pantheon.  Our hotel was pretty nice and was in the French Quarter section of the city. It was a small little room with lots of dark greens and plaids.  It was perfect for us for a week.

After unpacking and relaxing for a bit we headed out for a bite to eat.  This was my first time speaking in French and I attempted to order on my own, but I know that the waitress spit on my frites!  Thank goodness their frites are very good because I lived on them for a week. Well not just frites, I also consumed a massive amount of wine and banana, nutella crepes.
The week that we were there the University students were protesting because of tuition increases, so of course I was a little anxious over that. They actually closed all of the museums down one day because of the protests.  But thankfully our trip wasn’t disrupted too much {but I will get into that one in a bit}
Our first major stop after walking around for a bit was the Arc de Triomphe.  We went up to the top of it and let me tell you, the views were absolutely stunning. When you walk around Paris everything seems to be wild and crazy but up here the streets look so uniform and calm.  
Sorry for the blurry pictures. Our camera was on it’s last leg this trip!

We visited so many buildings over the week that I lost track of some of their names. But here are a few pictures that we took… 
We hit up all of the wonderful {and expensive} shops. I can see why everyone wants to shop in Paris.  Louis Vuitton was amazing! If only I could get another bag.

 

I spent a lot of time sitting while in Paris!

Don’t worry, we just walked by the McDonalds, we didn’t eat there!

We took a long walk along the Seine River.  What a gorgeous river running right through Paris.  I loved looking at all of the street vendors lined up all down the river as well. Some interesting art and tons of touristy stuff too.  

One of the many stands set up along the river. 

We of course stopped by the Cathedral of Notre Dame.  The outside of it is gorgeous and where it’s situated  in Paris couldn’t be more magnificent.  Then you walk inside and it’s even more stunning.

I think we spent a few hours touring the church and sitting outside in front of it. Just admiring the beauty of it. The pictures don’t do it justice!  Just look at this place…. amazing.

One day we too the Metro out to the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur.  Traveling to see this amazing church is not an easy task.  All I remember after getting off the train is taking the stairs up to the town.  We figured that we would skip the elevator {since the line was about 20 minutes long}. I mean we were living in NYC and walked the subway steps all day long. But little did we know that we would have to walk up at least 1,000,000 steps all in a curved subway like staircase. When we finally got to the top we just collapsed on a bench for at least 15 minutes trying to catch our breath.  When we finally got moving, we realized we still had to hike up through the town to get to the Basilica. But let me tell you, once we FINALLY reach the top, it was AMAZING. The views over Paris were stunning.  We just sat on the steps for an hour or so {I know that I was still trying to recover from the stairs}. 
The town was pretty amazing too.  It had a center square where you could buy art, food, etc. It was a gorgeous little area {despite all those hills and steps}

 Just look at these views!

Such a gorgeous Roman Catholic Church

Like everyone else that visits Paris, we made our way over to the Eiffel Tower. After much conversation we agreed to go to the second stop of the Tower. Neither one of us liked the looks of that “elevator” and agreed to skip the top! I know something we will probably regret but at least we got on the elevator. Have you ever been on that thing? You are crammed in there with 700 other smelly tourists and you are leaning sideways as it slowly cranks its way up the side of the tower. Not my idea of fun. I was thrilled when we were able to get off and walk around.  Despite only being a part of the way up, the views were still pretty amazing! You definitely have to see it at night when it’s all sparkly and shining.  Again I wished that we had a better camera at the time but oh well….and I know that I have pictures of when we were up on the Eiffel Tower but I don’t think that they are on my computer! GRRRR.
Of course we took some time to hit up all of the Museums.  We went to the Louve as well as the Musee d’Orsay.  I think that I saw the Mona Lisa. It’s amazing how many people crowd around that painting.  I think it was about 50 people deep when we were trying to catch our glimpse. Plus they rope off around it and I am super short. But I am pretty sure that was the painting that I was staring at.  It was still impressive from that far away.  No pictures of the Mona Lisa since they are not allowed but I did snap a few others from the different museums.

The entrance to the Louve

 

After a few days in Paris we did take a day trip to Brussels, Belgium on the Eurostar.  The main part of the town was the center square. Everything from our guide book was in one easy spot.  Our first stop though was for breakfast. We had to get some waffles.   Then we hit up some of the historic sites before walking outside the square to explore a bit more.  We also found a little restaurant where we could try some beers!  I was happy to sit there for a bit to relax! The 2 weeks of walking was really starting to take it’s toll on me!

I can’t hide my emotions! You can tell that I am a nervous wreck here. 

Joey didn’t care, he was in HEAVEN!!!  
 

The way home from this trip was a little eventful. After a day of walking around Belgium and a few beers, I was exhausted. I just wanted to get back to our hotel and get a good nights sleep. Well as we were headed into Paris, the train stopped for a bit. After a few minutes they finally started to make an announcement over the intercom.  Of course English was last on the list and the pre-recorded announcement was “Sorry for the delay but the train has tipped over”. Ummm what? Yeah I started to have a panic attack. Joey had to calm me down telling me that we were still upright. Um yeah that’s true. I guess we didn’t tip.  What happened was some of the students were on the tracks protesting. Lovely! After about an hour delay we finally got back into the station. What a relief. I didn’t want these students causing me any more stress! 
The next day we decided to take the Metro out to the Palace of Versailles.  What another amazing place. I think that I was meant to live in that Palace. It was HUGE! 

I wish that we went a little later in the season, the gardens are amazing but they weren’t in bloom yet. 
Home Sweet Home!
After a long but fun week in Paris, it was time to pack up all of our bags and head back home to New York City.  It was an amazing two weeks and something that I will always look back on and smile. I know that I was a nervous wreck traveling to so many foreign countries but I was so far outside of my comfort zone. But I can say that I did it and thank goodness I went with my husband. He is the only one that could keep me sane {especially in Paris}.

Thanks for checking out my European Vacation posts. I hope that you enjoyed reading them. Share with me some of your fun vacation spots. Europe? South America? Asia? What are some of the best places that you have traveled too. I love hearing your comments. 

Happy Wednesday!

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Europe Trip Part 2: London, Baby

Thanks for joining me this week for Part 2 of my European vacation series.  Today I am going to show some pictures from our trip to London, England. It was an absolutely fabulous 5 days and I would love to get back over to London again soon.  You can click here to read about our Europe Trip Part 1: Dublin
We flew from Dublin to London via Ryan Air. Oh my, what an odd little airline.  It’s a really cheap, discount airline that’s always in the news for their odd charges {i.e. fee to use the bathroom}.  Well our flight for the two of us was a combined $35. Yes, that is correct, $15 per person. But of course, there was a catch. We were not traveling light since we were going to be gone for 10 days without laundry so our suitcases and carry-on bags were quite heavy. So heavy that we had to pay over $250 in fees to get them on the plane.  Oh well it balanced out the cost of the flight. And what a flight it was. I think that the pilot had just finished up at the pub before he hopped on the plane because that 45 plane ride was pretty scary! Plus the airline attendants didn’t walk around with snacks or drinks, instead they were selling raffle tickets. I think Joey and I spent the entire flight praying we were going to make it to London. When we arrived in London we somehow missed customs so the entire rest of the trip I felt like I was sneaking around the different countries! LOL
Once we got to London, we jumped into one of their awesome taxis and set out for The Cumberland Hotel. It was our home for the next 5 days.  It was such a perfect little room and a gorgeous hotel.   So clean and modern. The restaurants were delicious too! 
Once we got all settled in our room, we headed out to explore.  Our hotel was right on the edge of Hyde Park on Oxford Street.  We were steps from a tube stop and it was such a great location to stay.  One of our first stops of course was a pub.  We were starving and thirsty.  I can’t quite recall what I ate this week but I know that Joey had every single Fish & Chip in the city of London! I am not exaggerating when I say that he probably had them at every single meal {except breakfast}.
We met up with Joey’s cousin Allen, who stayed at the same hotel as us.  The three of us had a blast together wandering the streets of London for a few days.  Of course we had to do the double decker bus tour, we stopped by Big Ben and Parliament, we saw The Tower Bridge and the London Eye {which none of us went in, we were all a little wimpy}. 

We had to go shopping of course! Harrods is simply amazing. Oh and I loved hitting up Burberry, Thomas Pink and some of the other fabulous stores.
 

 I had to do the typical “I am a tourist” photo. 

 

We saw the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace. We had to wait a very long time for it to start and then it took forever, but it was still really neat to see and totally worth it. 

One day we took the train out to Oxford University and walked around there all day.  That was another great day. The town itself was gorgeous but the University grounds and buildings are simply amazing. We even went into the dining hall that the Harry Potter one is based on. Oh and they had a main street of cute shops and bookstores. Allen and I lost Joey for a very long time that day. I even got lost myself. I don’t like walking around foreign countries alone. Thankfully I found them after about 45 minutes. I knew to find Joey in a bookstore. 

University Church of St. Mary the Virgin

How gorgeous is this campus?
 

Looks pretty close to what they had in Harry Potter. This room was absolutely stunning.
The Radcliffe Science Library

After our trip to Oxford, Allen left us to head back home and Joey and I were going to head off to Paris.  We have just hit the halfway mark of our trip! It was such an amazing time in London. I felt right at home there. I guess because it’s similiar to NYC with the hustle and the grandness of the city.  It was a wonderful town and despite the cold weather I loved every second of it.  I think if we ever get back there I will finally be brave enough to get in the London Eye. 

I’ll be back on Monday to talk about our trip to Paris! I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend.  We have a birthday party {you know for the girl that Ben needed to buy the Shiny, Gold Necklace for} and then we are headed down to Delaware for a Beef & Beer Fundraiser for Katie’s Cancer Crusade.  And hopefully we will be able to get to the Philadelphia Zoo on Sunday.

Make sure that you enter my giveaway below … it ends Sunday.  Also, please take a moment to vote for me for the top mommy blogs. I am now in the 40s. Boo!

Talk to you soon! Happy Friday.

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Europe Trip Part 1: Dublin, Ireland

It’s been seven years now since my husband and I went on our last major vacation. Sad, I know but kids started coming into the mix and we just haven’t been able to plan a vacation for just us.  Someday though, it will happen.  But in the meantime, I thought that I would put up some pictures that I haven’t posted before of our last big getaway.  At least we went out with a bang. We spent 2 weeks travelling over in Europe.  First we hit up Dublin, Ireland for 2 days and then flew into London for another 5 days. After London, we took the Eurostar train to Paris, France and spent a week in Paris.  We also did some side trips to Oxford, Brussels and then Palace of Versailles.
I thought that I would break this post into 3 separate ones. There are a ton of pictures and a lot I wanted to talk about and it was just too much for one post.  So I will start with our trip to Dublin. It was the first stop of our vacation and I must say that we were pretty excited to get there.  At the time of our trip we were living in New York City so we flew from Newark, NJ directly to Ireland.  It was my first time I got to use a passport and my first time out of the good old U.S. of A. I was a little nervous travelling abroad but excited at the same time.  We flew at night so we would arrive in Ireland early in the morning.  We stayed in a quaint little hotel on the River Liffey right in Dublin.  

That’s our hotel. Our view was right on the river so that was nice. Not that we were in the room much but it was still a cute little hotel and room.  

We ended up taking a longer than expected nap in our room but we rebounded quickly and squeezed as much stuff as we could into the two days.  We did do a bus tour so we could at least see everything. We saw Dublin Castle, Trinity College, some churches, pubs, quaint streets, awesome hotels. We saw all that we could in such a short time frame. I have to go back and look up the names to some of the places. But it was a great little town!

 

We spent a lot of time walking around the streets where we found a lot of wonderful pubs.  Now pubs in Ireland are a lot different than here in the states. They don’t serve the massive amounts of food that we do. It’s mainly beer. Okay it’s all beer and only beer.  We weren’t hungry until 10pm because of the time difference and our nap and it’s not like we could order a burger and fries.  We actually ended up eating at a steakhouse. Which was fine by me! We had a great meal and even though Joey doesn’t remember it that’s where we decided on naming one of our kids Ben. 
Okay back to the pubs. They are awesome and everything you would expect them to be. It is quite amusing sitting in the pub around 4:30-5:00pm. People get off work and start piling in.  They filled up faster than the Stone Balloon did on a Mug Night.  The Irish love their beer!  I just wished at the time that I was more into beers like I am now.  Now that’s not saying that I didn’t drink because I did. I am just a more well-rounded drinker now! I will try anything. 

Of course we ended up at the Guinness Storehouse for a quick tour and then of course the one pint that is included with your ticket price.  At the end of your self-guided tour, you end up on the top of the building at the The Gravity Bar.  It’s a wonderful rooftop bar  with awesome view of Dublin. I could have sat there for days just drinking and looking out the gorgeous floor to ceiling windows! But alas, we had to move on.
So of course we had to stop at The Old Jameson Distillery for some Whiskey. That was a fun stop! The tour was your typical one but the best part was the tasting at the end oh and the gift shop! Good Times. 

Dublin was a pretty awesome town.  We were not there too long and looking back I wish that we did have more time.  Maybe someday we will get back over there! We didn’t even get a chance to visit other towns or hit up the countryside!  
Tomorrow, I will talk about our travels in London, England. We had a blast in London!
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Finish the Sentence Friday – Week #3

So I missed last weeks Finish the Sentence Friday Blog Hop, but I’m getting back on track and I’m ready to go this week.


As you recall, one of my fellow blogger friends, Janine, from Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic is hosting a weekly Blog Hop called “Finish the Sentence Friday Blog Hop”. Janine along with Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine present you with the start of a sentence and you finish it with your own response. Simple enough.

Finish the Sentence Friday
This Friday’s sentence: The last time I went on vacation, I….
The last time I went on vacation, I actually relaxed a little bit. I mean how can you really relax on vacation when you have two crazy toddlers? It’s not easy but I managed to chill out a few times over the week. Alcohol helped me out a lot with that relaxation!
Every summer we spend a week in Avalon, NJ. We absolutely love it there. It’s a quiet and beautiful town with great beaches, restaurants and shops. We have gone down the shore for three years now and I will admit that each year it gets slightly easier.  We know what to pack, we are familiar with the town and we are getting this beach thing down!  The boys are starting to get used to sleeping in a bed other than their own (even if it takes two hours to get them settled). They love playing at the beach every day, even if I hound them every 45 minutes to put on more sunscreen or to wear a hat. The sand and the ocean makes them happy and plopping my butt in a beach chair under an umbrella makes me happy. Thankfully my husband enjoys playing in the sand and doesn’t mind getting in the cold water, because it can get really cold! The three boys have become the best frog catchers in town, but I think that Joey enjoys the frog hunt just a little bit more than the boys. Ben loves catching them and Sean loves squeezing the life out of them. Poor frogs. They don’t stand a chance when the Callaway’s are in town. We love cooking on the grill every day, going out to breakfast for the largest stack of pancakes and enjoying a nice cold ice cream cone when walking down the main street. It’s just the perfect time…….plus we get a whole week with Joey.
It’s a fun new family tradition and I hope that it’s something that we can do each and every year! Time too book the house for this summer!
Summer 2010
Summer 2011

]

Summer 2012

Remember to keep on voting each and every day for me! I just dropped from 29 to 31.  I am hoping to crack the top 25 by Valentine’s Day! Just click on this link below! Once it takes you to the website Top Mommy Blogs, you are done! That’s it. There’s no clicking anything else! Thanks again for your continued support!. 

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What Happens At Girls Weekend….

…. Goes on my blog! 

I finally have a few minutes to sit down and write about this past weekend. It was just us girls and it was awesome! I finally got away with a few great friends for my first girls weekend in a very, very, very long time. And let me tell you, it was a freaking blast! Now we may not have lived it up like we were 21 years old again but for us old ladies it was the perfect weekend.

My good friend Leslie picked me up Friday night and we drove down to National Harbor just outside of Washington, DC. We stayed at the Wyndham in an awesome 2 bedroom condo. Take a look at this place. I think two of my NYC apartments would fit into this condo.






It was a late night arrival but it set up for the perfect morning – I was able to sleep in until 8am without hearing the sounds of little voices screaming at me for their morning breakfast. It was blissful. After we finally got dressed our friend Jen drove over after dropping her kids off. We barely gave her time to throw her bags on the bed before we headed right out on the town. We decided it was the perfect time for brunch aka Mimosas! We found this great little spot called Ketchup. It’s a chain from the Dolce Group (if you are a Big Brother fan then you know that Mike “Boogie” is one of the owners. The food and drinks were delicious.


After brunch we decided to take the ferry over to Old Town Alexandria, VA. It’s a quick trip and while we were waiting for the boat to arrive we took a moment to relax here. It was such a gorgeous and peaceful day and I probably could have sat in those chairs for hours and been perfectly content.



We spent the afternoon in Alexandria browsing around the shops and eating delicious cupcakes. There were so many cute boutiques and shops and I know we probably only saw a small part of town.


We headed back to our condo where we relaxed with several glasses of wine and some great conversation before heading out to dinner at Sauciety in the Westin Hotel. Again, another delicious meal. It’s a good thing that I started Weight Watchers AFTER this trip because I know I gained a few pounds. 


After dinner we strolled over to Bobby McKey’s, which is an awesome dueling piano bar. These two guys were excellent. If you are ever in town you should check this place out. It is a bit of a club (full of bachelorette parties) but it was worth the $7 cover charge. Sorry for the poor photography but it was late and I had a few glasses of wine and I must say it has been a very long time since I had a stamp on my hand from a club. 


Finally, we headed back to the condo to crash for the night. We even stayed out late past 10pm. WOO HOO! It was a perfect night.

Sunday morning we woke up and headed back to Ketchup for one last brunch before we had to say goodbye to Jen. When Jen headed home, Leslie and I strolled around the town for a few hours hitting up some of the local shops.


That night we headed to my FAVORITE Mexican restaurant, Rosa Mexicano. We used to go here when we lived in New York City and when I saw that there was one in this town I knew I had to get there. They were booked all weekend but thankfully we did get in on Sunday night (for an early dinner).  They have some of the best guacamole ever!



Just in case you where wondering, I absolutely hated my chicken enchiladas NOT.  They were delicious. I just wish that I had somewhere local that could make these for me!



After dinner, it was time to pack up the car and head home. Our girls trip was over – BOO! It may have been a short weekend but it was just right. We all got away from the kids for a bit and were able to recharge our batteries and still have a lot of fun. 

Thanks girls for a wonderful time! I cannot wait until next years trip.