Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm Not TOO Old!

I'm taking a break from my vacay photos to post a few from my birthday (which was yesterday). Yesterday was also Brittany's first day of the new school year, which means we are back to having Emma & Giffy days, my favorite kind of days! Emma arrived at 6:45 AM, dressed and ready to take me to Starbucks for breakfast. We rarely eat doughnuts, but Starbucks has two that Emma and I love (and which are gads better than any other donuts): apple fritters and old-fashioned buttermilk. We only go there on special occasions because they are waaayyyyy too bad to eat just because. Anyway, Emma had her heart set on going there for my special birthday breakfast, ordering one of each and sharing them. Sounded perfect to me! So we drove 15 minutes to the first Starbucks. Guess what? No donuts. So we drove another 10 minutes to the second one. Guess what? No donuts. Apparently their suppliers hadn't be able to make deliveries because of Hurricane Irene. What a lame excuse! LOL Emma suggested we make a different plan: go to Dunkin' Donuts! (Exciting for her, not so much for me. Soooo not a DD fan, and I wasn't smart enough to get my coffee at Starbucks.) Well, guess what? Dunkin' Donuts was out of apple fritters and buttermilk donuts! So we changed our plan again and nibbled on a few donut holes and called it good. Of course, I am still craving the yummies from Starbucks. Gotta get my mind off of those!!! 

Anyway, here's my Emma quote of the day, spoken lovingly in Dunkin' Donuts in front of some very amused customers.

Emma: Giffy, how old are you now?
Me: I'm 49.
Emma, patting my hand quite sympathetically: Don't worry, Giffy. You're not TOO old!

From the mouths of babes...LOL

After the Big Birthday Donut Disappointment, we snuggled and watched Beauty and the Beast (my favorite princess movie). After Emma's nap (during which I relaxed and read The Help which, so far, is wonderful), we went shopping and met Brittany for pedicures. Then we met Rick and went for dinner at my favorite restaurant. It was really a wonderful day!

Simply for your enjoyment, here's another funny conversation (via voicemail), this one with my older brother Dave. Just FYI, we love to spar back and forth, all in good fun.

Dave: Happy birthday, Sis! Now that you're soooooo old, you must be taking a nap!
Me: No, in fact I was not taking a nap. I was much too busy getting my diaper changed.
Dave: I laughed so hard at your message that I dropped my phone!
Me: No wonder you dropped it, what with your arthritic fingers and all.
Then we called a truce and had a normal conversation just like normal siblings have: we blamed everything on our parents! JUST KIDDING, MOM! 

Emma has been dying to give me her gift. It literally drove her crazy to wait all day. She painted this picture for me. It's of me, Brittany, and Emma wearing princess dresses in our favorite colors. Emma is in the pink dress, with the long flowing Rapunzel hair that swirls all over the page. Brittany is the green dress. I, of course, am wearing a purple dress and a huge purple bow in my hair. So huge, in fact, that I thought it was a fascinator. Maybe it's one of Princess Beatrice's, LOL.
 Now look at this close-up of the painting. Take a good, long look.
Anything catch your eye? Well, it's a really good thing that Brittany informed me that the circles on our dresses are princessy puffy sleeves. I thought they were something else. Actually, two something elses. Not only that, but I thought that Emma had drawn mine to accurately portray the effects of nearly a half-century of gravity and I was more than a bit envious of Brittany's perkier placement. That made me feel old! Now that I know that they're just princessy puffy sleeves, I feel so much better about myself.

Back to my gift from Emma and Brittany. This is our new living room, aka our wine and cheese room, aka my reading room.

I've been looking for some kind of tray to set on the ottoman. Well, Miss Emma decided that she wanted to make something special for me to use on the ottoman. She came up with the idea of making a plate for each chair. Then she decided to decorate the four plates like the four seasons so that each chair would have a unique plate. I can't believe she had such a well-thought-out plan! Check out what she did:
I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! Emma chose all of the colors and did all of the sponge painting by herself. Then she used her fingerprints to make the centers of the snowflakes, the tulips and butterflies, the ladybugs and roses, and the acorns and pumpkins. Brittany added the details. Are these not the prettiest things EVER
(Sorry about the flash spots.)
As if Rick hadn't already spoiled me with the pedicure and dinner, he also gave me a few glass beads for my Pandora bracelet, as well as some Pandora earrings. My Prince Charming sure does treat me like his princess even after 31 years. 
Me and my two beautiful sweethearts! 
 You'll never guess what Emma ordered for dinner: salmon! I told you that she loves it!
 Here we are blowing out the candle on a piece of cranberry bread pudding. YUM!
The only really horrible, terrible, so-not-what-I-wished-for part of my day was that my beloved Red Sox lost to the Yankees. Guess I'll serve myself a slice of humble pie on one of my beautiful new plates. :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

St. George's, Part 1

We made it to Bermuda early Wednesday morning. We had planned to spend the day at a beach on St. George's but woke up to yet more rain. We decided to go for it anyway. There was no way we were sailing all the way to Bermuda just to stay on the ship to hide from the rain! We figured that it's way better to be on vacation in the rain than at home in the rain. At least we weren't working, going to school, or doing chores. Besides, it was warm and we intended to get wet in the ocean anyway. So we packed our stuff and off we went.

St. George's is one of the islands which compose Bermuda. It is also the name of the main town on St. George's Island. Clear as mud? LOL Here are a few shots in the town of St. George's.
Here's Miss Emma, sitting at a desk in the most beautiful Town Hall I've ever seen.
Check out the Town Hall's ceilings.
We walked over to Somers Garden.
We then began our one-mile hike through the pouring rain to Tobacco Bay. Emma was a trooper and walked the whole way without complaining. She is such an awesome kid!

This is The Unfinished Church. Back in the 1870s, St. Peter's Church was severely damaged by a storm, so construction began on this church. However, the parishioners of St. Peter's Church were divided: some wanted to try to repair it instead of building a new structure, while others believed that St. Peter's church was irreparably damaged. Consequently, the new structure was severely underfunded and construction was halted. This unfinished church later became an historic monument. For many years, the public was permitted to use this church for gatherings and weddings. Exposure to wet and windy weather has caused some of the masonry to deteriorate. The Unfinished Church is now closed to the public as it is being repaired. 
The rain came and went as we continued our hike towards Tobacco Bay. Along the way, Emma created a silly game which she continued for the duration of the cruise. It went like this.
Emma: Papa, I need to tell you something.
Rick: Okay. I'm listening.
Emma: Papa, you don't have any hair.
Rick (putting his hands on the sides of his head): What do you mean I don't have any hair? I can feel it.
Emma: No, Papa, on the top of your head!
Rick (putting his hands on the top of his head): Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I have no hair up there! Emma, what did you do with my hair?
Emma: I didn't take your hair, Papa!
Rick: Then what happened to it? (This is when the boys piped in with "you had Brittany.")
Emma: I think you throwed it away!
Papa: I think you stole it from me! (Rick grabbed her ponytail). Give it back!
Emma: No Papa! That's my hair! (Emma hysterically giggled, which made us all laugh!)
Apparently the game is still fun because she keeps on playing it. Rick is such a good sport!

Anyway, back to the photos. We aren't golfers, but I would take up golf in an instant to live in Bermuda and play on this course!
Bermuda's beaches are adorned with limestone rocks which separate the bays from the open ocean. Here are some views of Tobacco Bay, one of Bermuda's best known beaches. We decided to keep walking in search of a beach with a little more actual beach. There was only about ten feet of sand or so beyond the water's edge. It was also a bit rocky in the water.
I really like this photo!
I couldn't pass up the water drops on the hibiscus petals.
I have no idea what species of spider this is. I looked it up on Google and refuse to tell you the search results Google posted. Trust me when I tell you that they had nothing to do with spiders. At any rate, we all thought this spider was really cool. I couldn't get a great photo of it, as they were all pretty high above my head and it was raining. Still, you'll get the idea.
Not far from this spider, we stumbled across a small, completely empty beach. We were just about to settle in...
...when the sky looked like this. 
This beach was right at the foot of St. Catherine's Fort. We decided to explore the fort for awhile as we waited out the storm. I'll be back tomorrow with more!

Update on Hurricane Irene: We fared quite well. The storm weakened as it passed New England. Vermont suffered the most damage. We had heavy rains and high winds. Several branches came off of trees, but nothing big. We lost power three times, but by 9:30 pm it was restored. The worst part was that our cable went down, which meant no internet or TV! That lasted for about 18 hours. Me - internet = one unhappy camper. I seriously don't know how Wilma Flintstone did it. :)

Well, off to bathe at least one of my three stinky dogs. They all have that lovely "wet dog smell" from going out in the storm yesterday.

Wishing you a happy Monday!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bermuda, Here We Come (aka Emma on the Cruise Ship)

Monday and Tuesday were all about Emma and the pool. She loves the pool. We took shifts with her and she still outlasted all five of us. After four or five hours in the pool each day (including cool and cloudy weather which was not conducive to getting an "I went on vacation to a tropical island and brought home a tan" tan), we were thankful for the heavy downpours. It was the only was we could get Emma out of the water! Of course, it also made the ship rock a bit, so maybe we shouldn't have hoped for an escape after all. Gotta be careful what you wish for, huh? Anyway, here's Miss Emma having a blast at the pool.
Playing with Uncle Brennan's sunglasses...
...and my hat.
When we finally escaped from the pool, we entertained ourselves with a whole bunch of nothing, which is perfect when you're on an R&R vacation. Emma drew a portrait of the three girls.
She loved sitting in the windows!
There was a "cupcake decorating" party for the kids. The cupcakes were kind of lame~just leftover muffins from breakfast~but not a single kid cared. For them, it was all about the heaps of frosting and candy and fruit punch that they were given. 
Yup, that's a bran muffin with frosting and jelly beans. Umm, yuck. But Emma loved every bite.
Each night, our assistant server brought Emma a super fancy glass of chocolate milk and he turned the straw paper into a heart for her. It was so sweet! 
About Hurricane Irene: yes, we are going to get hit by her, but we should only get very high winds and very heavy rain. We've moved all of the outdoor stuff indoors. We're stocked up on water and food and supplies. We'll just hunker down tomorrow and enjoy the last day of summer. What a way to celebrate, huh? Our prayers go out to Rick's sister who lives with her kids in Locust Valley, NY. The eye of the hurricane is expected to pass directly over her. She's well prepared and a Red Cross evacuation center is set-up at the kids' school right down the street from her. I'll keep you posted. 

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend. Hope your weather is better than mine!