For real. Well, not open, but does a an oven broiler count? This activity was just ONE highlight of our Thanksgiving2008! Roasting chestnuts, like in the song, apparently is a tradition out east much more so than we had heard of out west. John and Lisa have done this since they had both been kids. If you have never had them, a small slit is made in each and then broiled for 15 min or so, they turn out so delicious. The texture is more like a crumbly, but good cookie. Delicious!
Those combined with the Turkey, stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce (thanks Li), rolls etc---made for a filling dinner. We also had major laughs over game time with the extremely tense Jenga and the purposeful lying in Balderdash! Very fun! We are all pretty good bs-ers it turns out!
It was so nice to have them over! We are very thankful for them being in our lives. Of course Reeces and Snicks came up too and all 4 dogs ran around like crazies until they tired out and each crashed in different areas of the kitchen/living room. Very cute.

We are having just the best time off. This long weekend has really turned into a much needed vacation from the everyday stresses of work and we are enjoying each minute. Today we got our tree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We plan to decorate the house and tree tonight/tomorrow! The Christmas music is on, the dogs are dressed in their Santa and Mrs Claus attire (pics to come), 'Christmas Vacation', 'White Christmas' & 'A Christmas Carol' are queued in the dvd player and we are ready for another much anticipated Christmas season!!
Here are some pics from Thanksgiving!

Li & Di with the gaggle of wieners
John preparing to roast the chestnuts
Tom and Li working on the next move in Jenga
Tom, Di and Lisa
John, Di and Li

happy thanksgiving!

This year we are staying home and having John, Li and their dogs over! Tom and I started the day with a run and then watched the Macy's Parade on tv (we decided not to venture into the city to see it again. While that was awesome--once was enough for us!) We are making the full meal deal dinner (which is the real reason Tom and I got a run in this morning)!! The temp is much cooler this year than last, but still beautiful out.

We'll post pictures later! Hope everyone is having a great day! Tom and I are very thankful for all of our friends and family and we miss the ones we can't see -- especially on holidays.

brrrrrrrr






It is freezing today!! With wind-chill, its in the teens! After running some errands we are now at home, in front of the fire staying warm and watching the annual Apple Cup (UW vs WSU). This year, its been labeled the Crapple Cup by all the media outlets thanks to the two team's combined record this season of 1-20. WSU has the only win (but it was against Portland State so it doesn't really count as a win). Hopefully the Huskies will win. There is nothing else I can say on this, no spin, nothing. Pathetic. The one bright spot... the leading rusher for WSU in the entire first half was the punter. Regardless of whether the Huskies win or lose--that is pathetic.

Here are a few more pics from my trip to Seattle...

*pics
-kurt cobain mural in the U Dist.
-geoff playing a most excellent host
-michele and I
-emily and ash jumping on the bed (when auntie comes, anything goes)
-their enourmous cat (tigger--which sounds friendly and harmless... but he isn't). He is HUGE. That is my large laptop bag he is sitting next to. I avoid Tigger at all costs.

home sweet home

Although I had a fun time in Seattle I was SO glad to come home!! I ! was so looking forward to seeing Tom. I got home around 5 and after having only three hours of sleep (thats what I get for hanging out with Geoff and Michele the night before) before catching my flight, the couch, the dogs and Tom were all I wanted to see. I had a great time with Geoff and Michele though so the teeny amount of sleep was worth it. Their sweet kids, Emily and Ashley are our little nieces--even though technically unrelated (That family is as close to us as our immediate families)!!!

We got tons of pics and I will post some for sure---but prob tomorrow when I am more awake and I feel like taking the long trip from the couch to my suitcase to grab my camera. :-)

One tidbit of news we'd like to add here that is relevant to my recent air travel (so it seemed to me at least thanks to my aisle neighbor in row 15 on fliht 1580...and relevant to Tom's homeland). Very interesting we both thought...

"Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that obese people will have the right to use two seats for the price of one on all flights within Canada.

The court declined to even hear an appeal by the Canadian Transportation Agency.

The Canadian airlines had originally lost an appeal, launched by Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and WestJet, back in May at the Federal Court of Appeal.

The airlines were seeking to get a new appeal with the Supreme Court but they got denied."

Will America follow suit?

wrapping up the week





its been a great week here in seattle. I had great meetings at work and got to see tons of people I don't see much both at work and friends and family.

Today I wrapped things up at work and had a chance to go to lunch with my team as well as meet my friend Todd for coffee later. Its always great to see him and share coffee, m&m's and grand plans to partner in an up-start coffee roasting company in the hills of Guatemala. I hope he can make it out to NY again soon.

Attached are some pics from GNO #2 (Girls Night Out) and at Deb and Chris' house just before we went out where they toasted Tom and my engagement! Little Lauren even got in on the "ching-ching" toasting action (with juice of course).
Seattle has also put me in the Christmas spirit!! One of the radio stations here is already playing 24x7 Christmas music! Love it!! At first I felt repulsed some--its too early--but really when you think about it, its not. A month from now we will be doing that last minute shopping!!

Early am flight tomorrow and its supposed to snow in NY (fingers crossed, yay) so hopefully my flight is on time (fingers crossed again). But------ before I can even think about that too seriously, I am prepping to head to Michele and Geoff's (my BFF's) house for relaxing and laughing. I may just stay up all night watching movies with them to avoid having to get up at like 4 30 to get to the airport. :-)

pics: girls night out bunch (Marin, Melissa, Deb, Laura, me)
Deb, Chris, Lauren and me
Lauren with the girls
Seattle from my camera phone while I was stuck in traffic on I-5




hey everyone--I haven't had a lot of time to post any entries or pics and I am sorry about that. My visit has been non-stop action with work all day and then visiting friends and family in the evening. I do have lots of pics and I will post them as soon as possible. Since I last wrote, I met up with Jean and we shopped, laughed, ate and slumber-party-ed it up, had a girls night out last night with Marin, Deb, Laura and Melissa and tonight Melissa and I hit up this great new wine bar in Bellevue. Its been a wonderful visit and the weather, so far, has been great. Tomorrow is another full day with lunch with my friend Todd, a group outing and then a celebratory engagement dinner with Matty. There are so many people I wish I could visit with more/longer/at all---but the time goes by so quickly. :-(
I am a little happy though that the week is flying by--I miss Tom so much! He is doing a great job with being mr. mom this week with the dogs--not an easy thing to do alone, especially with his 12hr work days. I am looking forward to seeing all of my little family Friday afternoon.

For now, here are (some silly) pics from when my brother and I hung out with my cousin Ryan and his beautiful wife Katrin on Sunday at my parents house. More to come, I promise.

Confucius says...





"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart".

And this week I have whole heartedly come to Seattle. I am here for work but flew in this morning and spent most of the day with my parents, brother and cousins at my folks house. It was very relaxing and very nice to see them, catch up and talk about old times. My nephew and niece are sick so I didn't get to see them. That bummed me out.

I loved watching the mountain ranges as we flew over Washington-- I do miss that back east, no real mountains. The weather was actually pretty good today too, around 60 and some blue sky. Mt Rainier and the Seattle skyline stood out brilliantly.

Tom is home partying it up with the dogs. After they (yes, they) took me to the airport this morning, they headed to the boat to continue working on getting it ready for winter.

So aside from this long day today, I have to tell you about yesterday. Tom, the dogs and I decided to do a borough tour around NY. It was horrible weather yesterday morning so we thought a drive out of town would be great. As soon as we got into the Bronx--the fog that enveloped the city (couldn't even see the top 2/3rds of the Empire State Building) lifted and it was beautiful blue sky and hitting about 72 degrees! In mid November? What? It was GREAT!

We drove through the Bronx, Queens and parts of Brooklyn. We drove over the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge (you can walk across both as tourist attractions). They take you over to Manhattan, right in the heart of Chinatown. Driving through the bowels of Chinatown at a snails pace (heavy traffic, narrow streets) is nearly as fun as walking through (for the car passenger at least--poor Tom, driving in the city is NOT easy). After our drive around and snapping some shots (see below for the inspiration for the quote in this entry) we headed home to get ready to come BACK into the city with our friends Frank and Patti for dinner.

We had reservations at Bar Americain (a Bobby Flay restaurant in the Theatre District). This is a pretty hip restaurant right now and of course Patti and I had our movie star finding glasses on (but alas, no movie stars this time...AGAIN! Where are they all? I am not going to these hip places just for the food!!) :-)

The dinner was wonderful and the company even better. After, we walked a couple blocks to see the tree at Rockefeller (just being put up now) and the lights and festive decorations that are going up all over the city! The shirts you see all over say it all... I (heart) NY!!!!

More to post later this week. I plan to see as many of my friends as possible in the evenings after work so it should be a fun, busy week!

pics:
seattle skyline
radio city music hall decked out
a couple shots of bar americain
Confucius statue in Chinatown (uploading soon...)

random information day

Today my good friend Lisa brought this news story to my attention. Who knew this was even debatable?

Of course, this news changes my agenda entirely for my trip to Seattle next week...:-)

Seattle Parks Board won't ban nudists
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Parks Board has declined to ban nudity.

The board refused to change its policy at a Thursday night meeting despite a few complaints about naked bike riders and nude swimmers and sunbathers.

KING-TV reports some people saw more than they cared to in July when nude bike riders flashed through several parks. And others were offended by nudists in a Seattle Center fountain.

A police spokesman, Sean Whitcomb, says just being nude is not against the law, but showing yourself naked with the intent to alarm and offend is illegal.

sunny day


happy weekend! Not too much happening here--but wanted to just post a quick one to say hello. Tom started winterizing the boat yesterday. We keep it in the water all winter as the marina "bubbles" water under the boat all winter so things don't freeze. The leaves are nearly all gone on our trees, much different than last year at this time when summer extended into Nov it seemed. Its still so beautiful and planning on seeing sunny crisp days make getting up in the dark mornings much easier.

All of the decorations are up in the city and the store windows that display their decorative masterpieces that are tourist attractions in themselves, open this week. The Rockette's opened their show, White Christmas is on Broadway and The Rockefeller Center tree should be up soon too. Melissa is coming to visit in December and every single thing we do that weekend will be holiday related! We can't wait!!!

This will be a busy week for us--Tom will be traveling some within NY and I will be working and preparing for my business trip to Seattle. Sadly, I won't be able to see everyone this time--its just too hard. This next summer Tom and I are planning a trip out there together---not for work, for vacation, so we'll see everyone then!

Until we have something more interesting to say... have a great week!

pic: our pumpkins' last day...

yes we can!


You know, its been a while since we have felt proud of our President... but after last night, that feeling is back. This is a victory not just for the United States, but for the World. Of course there are areas, as in all administrations, that don't fit with our lifestyle 100%, but what is that saying---"you can't please all of the people all of the time". Overall, we are pleased.

And that's all we will say on this matter going forward. Our blog is for ALL people--and we don't wish to offend anyone.

I am sure that one thing we can all agree on, regardless of who you voted for, is the all encompassing feeling of joy that the election is OVER! Yay! No more campaign commercials!!

Have a fabulous Wednesday.

marathon mania






Yay Fred!! He ran the famous race and won!! (not really, but he got really close--- he got 6745th out of 37,000 runners!!)! He finished better than he had wanted and was very happy! Tom had some work stuff going on that kept him on conference calls most of the day sadly so Kim and I banded together and became support staff for Fred (well, truth be told, we were REALLY hoping we'd catch a glimpse, or more, of David Beckham cheering on his wife (whatever her name is) who was supposed to be running the race too, but we didn't see him...

Before meeting up with Fred (the race ended at the Tavern on the Green in Central Park), Kim and I headed into the city and after visiting the biggest store in the world (Macy's) we headed to the Upper West Side to wander around before meeting Fred at Starbucks (fans can't really get to the finish line unless you are there from the beginning of the race).

It is safe to say that the Upper West Side is now possibly my favorite part of the city. Its very local-- not touristy at all and the shops and buildings are so beautiful. We wandered through (although probably not really welcomed) into the Astonia where Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have a place and where Babe Ruth used to live. NICE.

The cool supermarket, the awesome cheese shop, the Nepalese store, along with the many trendy dogs and people are never ending entertainment.

After meeting Fred we headed home on the subway and train and Tom picked us up.
What a day! Fred looked great and did great!

pics: david beckham (since we didn't get a race pic of him) :-)
fred and kim at the subway
part of the race route on Central Park West
gargoyle at the Astonia

dogs

reeces and ollie running around in costume. frank's costume was dead to him at this point.

thriller

ghosts in greenwich

Happy Halloween
















WOW! Best Halloween ever!!! Fred and Kim are here visiting and while Fred and Tom hit the NYC Marathon expo on Friday afternoon (after dining with Kim and I at one of our fave hangouts, Dos Caminos), they headed home and Kim and I decided to stay in the city and see the sights. Not only did we hit the regular haunts (pun intended) the highlights including Top of the Rock (got my fall pic of the Park), Grand Central Station, Union Square, Bryant Park.. and Greenwich Village (more on that in a sec). This wasn't just any day in the city-- people were dressed in great costumes (adults and kids) all throughout the city and many of them were getting ready for the famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. Each year this parade heads from Houston St up 6th Ave and finishes at Union Square. It starts around 7pm and approximently 2 million people head to this stretch of the city to see the spectacles. Greenwich is one of the more liberal areas of this liberal city. As many of you know, the beatnik area pretty much IS Greenwich Village. Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and more all lived and played here and today the music stars of now, that keep with the hippie chic feel of the 60's and 70's--and 80's actually, can be found performing impromptu shows in small bars and clubs through the Village. The parade, one of the most famous that occurs in the city is quite the event and that is why Kim and I had no choice but to go. We had to, how could we not?? As we got closer to the Village the crowds grew and the costumes became more common. Some people really went all out and the gashes in the face and swords sticking out of the chests look quite real. Others, like us, just witnessed the fun in our normal clothes. It was 65 degrees out--we couldn't have asked for better weahter. After having yogurt at Red Mango (missed you Kristen) we headed to the parade route and took our place behind one of the countless barricades. We marveled at the costumes in the crowd and made conversation with the folks around us (one inpaticular complimented on my beautiful toes (I was wearing sandals). For real. I didn't know what to say. Kim, like a good sister-in-law who had my back, chimed in with "you do have nice toes" and a guy to my right encouraged me to consider foot modeling. He was kidding. I think) so needless to say, we enjoyed the crowd well before the parade started.

We got some great pics of the parade and some video with our faves being the reinactment of the Michael Jackson Thriller video and some really cool ghost float things. We had SO much fun and were so happy to witness this tradition. And just for you Eric (our nephew, Kim and Fred's 18yr old son) we snapped a pic of some clothing challenged women that were very happy to be part of the action. After leaving the parade we headed back towards McDougal and Bleeker (the main drag in the Village) thinking that we'd miss some of the crowd while we headed back uptown. Wrong. There were just as many people partying on the streets there than there was at the parade. It was great and we got a bunch more pics of some great costumes. People were very nice and more than willing to pose for pics.

We managed to shake the crowd and hopped the subway to catch the train home. Tom and Fred picked us up at home and we are sure they wished that they were in Greenwich with us for the parade. haha.

It was a great time, we had so much fun and we can now scratch this off our "to-do in life list".

Today, we took a quiet day at the boat and took a spin out in the Atlantic. It was warm again today--Spring weather--we can't believe its Nov 1. The dogs had their little halloween party. the pics are great.

Tomorrow we head to the city again to cheer Fred on for the Marathon. The race starts in Staten Island and ends at the Tavern on the Green. We had our pasta for dinner and have sympathy pains for Fred as he prepares to run the 26 hilly miles through each of the 5 boroughs.

The attached pics are:
Diana and "Andre Agassi" at the parade
Some parade shots
Di & Kim with the Empire State Building
Autumn shot at Central Park
Ollie (dragon), Frank (frankendog and possible future participant in the greenwich parade), Reces (Hula girl). Snicks grew tired of his costume and chose not to be pictured. :-)

videos to come...

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