Vegas baby

Have you ever been to Vegas?

David and I made our way to Sin City for 48 hours this past weekend. What brought us so far for a weekend you might ask?  Some awesome friends of course!  We were invited to share and celebrate in the wedding of our friends Andric and Amanda. It was a fun trip for so many reasons. First, our friends got married!!!!  What is not great about that.  We stayed at a dump of a hotel which allowed for great stories to follow. We didn’t gamble but we did eat a lot.  We learned how to play craps and I sort of want to try my new skills out at Foxwoods. We saw naked Cirque du Soleil and my goodness are those performers strong. We walked the strip and “people watched” to our hearts content. We drank some interesting cocktails and danced ironically. We saw impersonators and water shows and listened to great music. We did not get enough sleep.  But, we had a good time!  Vegas in 48 hours is intense and exciting and hypnotic and not nearly enough time to see it all.  But, definitely a great place to celebrate our friends!IMG_4918

Landing at sunset in the desertIMG_4919What you might not be able to tell from this picture is that the women with the blond hair is Holly Madison. That is right, she went to the same performance as us! IMG_4922A random bachelor in drag finds his way to Andric. IMG_4924Singing Michael Jackson.  I love how casual the gamblers are about this. IMG_4925

Ugh our unfortunate hotel. We wanted to save money so we went to Circus Circus otherwise known as the mistake in the desert! Sheesh what a sad hotel room that was. Next time we will absolutely splurge and stay at the Wynn.IMG_4926Mornings in Vegas are quiet. Teacher clock still woke us before much of the city. IMG_4928The Wynn was so pretty inside. IMG_4930 IMG_4931

Interesting horse outside of the Wynn. Clearly, having come from Circus Circus this hotel left an impression on me.IMG_4968

The Atrium in the VenetianIMG_4935The Venetian IMG_4937Wine bottle art IMG_4938A little bit of Venice IMG_4939 IMG_4942 IMG_4945Ceasar’s Palace.  Seeing it made me want to watch the Hangover again IMG_4948Got my rings sparkled up at Tiffany’s IMG_4949

Playing craps.IMG_4950

Michelle’s winnings!IMG_4967

The Bellagio. IMG_4954The Paris across the way IMG_4956

ChihulyIMG_4961David and the Groom, Andric. IMG_4965Married People!

florida vacation

In mid July David and I were able to fly down to Florida to visit with his brother, sister-in-law, and their littles. Each year around the fourth of July we make our trek down for a long weekend of fun and sun. This year we met our newest little nephew only 14 days old. When we arrived a tropical storm was trailing us, promising to keep us indoors during the visit.  Somehow though, it broke up allowing us all to enjoy the outdoors. We had a picnic at the beach at sunset, went to a cookout in a local park to honor the Navy Reserve, took walks around the block, had a massive water balloon fight, and just soaked up as much time together as possible. It is always so hard to leave on Monday.  I wish I could pick up Florida and place it right next to Massachusetts so that we are only a short drive from one another.


Uncle David meets our newest nephew. They are both rocking the same hairdo.IMG_4329

Just a little beach nap at sunset.


Setting up our camp site. We packed blankets & fried chicken and sat in the sand between sea turtle nests.


Nothing beats this view


Did not done a bathing suit this time, but still had to put my feet in.


The little guy woke up right before it was time to head home. First visit to the beach at just a few days old not to shabby.


Our niece and nephew splashing around in the waves. They are fearless, beautiful, little fish.


A little family portrait?  Gosh do I want us to start a family. Holding little boy really made that desire apparent. Maybe someday…


While we were there, I was reintroduced to ramen noodles and fell in love with that salty, noodle soup


Kid races at the cookout. About to launch off for the potato sack race.


David and his littles

life lately according to my iphone


Puppy playtime with Parker & BusterIMG_4126

A snack at my favorite spot, Flour Bakery

Walking around Boston in the rain


Roses after an afternoon thunderstorm


New haircut. What do you think?IMG_4232

The SoWa Market in the South EndIMG_4231

Some more of SoWa.  Man did we eat a lot that day. Free Samples always get me, and we left with some local treats!IMG_4253

Lunch time at Lola’s in Natick

spring break

March has become my favorite month of the school year. Why?  It is a month of excellent transition. Not only from Winter to Spring, but from the second trimester to the third. It is a clear turning point in the school year. When March begins Winter engulfs Boston, yet by the last week of the month, Spring’s arrival is upon us and the tempo of life shifts in the city as Bostonians come out of their hibernation.  School becomes exciting as Seniors look forward to their graduation and as underclassmen are convinced that summer vacation is just around the corner. Sandwiched right smack in the middle of the month is our two week Spring Break. It is a decadent, luxurious time that I look forward to every year.  It gets me through the dark, cold winter of Beantown and rejuvenates my outlook on the end of the school year.  Its timing could not be better.

This year, I went to visit my family in Southern California.  After getting 12 inches of snow dumped on us, I packed my suitcase with summery items and boarded a plane for So Cal. IMG_3423 IMG_3427

The flight was an easy 5 hours or so and I upgraded to a “select” seat which meant that I sat directly behind the first class cabin and soaked up the free food, drinks, and wifi all the way there.  Of course, a first class upgrade would have been ideal on such a long haul, but I was content especially when it landed me in a row all to myself.

The best part of the visit though wasn’t the location (although So Cal is beautiful), but rather  seeing my niece, nephew, brother and sister-in-law for a full week was the real treat. I wish in 2013 we had the ability to teleport so that I could visit them more often.  By the time everyone has let their hair down and gotten reacquainted and playful with one another it feels as though the trip was a blink of an eye. I really miss the opportunity to live closer to family and I take for granted that we do live in a modern world, despite our lack of teleporting, and we can visit one another from across the country with a fair amount of ease.  Although even this is never enough!

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It is amazing how fast a niece and a nephew grow. Most of my visit I am just awed that they even exist let alone that they are flourishing! I just want to cuddle and play with them all day long.  And, of course, I secretly, and not so secretly, want to steal them away with me to Boston.

Each time I visit, I am inspired by the loving, empathetic parenting I see my brother and sister-in-law committed to. They set their limits and enforce them but within those limits there is much freedom and constant love. It is clear that my niece and nephew are developing into confident youngsters as a result of the support, love, and independence that frames their daily lives. David and I can only hope to model this when our time to grow our family arrives.

This trip was full of exciting moments coupled with endless quiet times in the home when we got to “just be together.”  My niece turned two, we went to Disneyland, I had the opportunity to visit my niece’s school and tumbling class, we explored the culinary world of So Cal, we shopped, we went on afternoon adventures, and we just existed together and appreciated the closeness of family. I wish so much that David could have joined in on all of the fun, but someone had to stay home to work and take care of the pups. We definitely have to get him out there for a visit next time. Nevertheless, the trip was heartwarming and was truly the best place I could have been for my Spring Break. Planning my next visit out to the littles will consume the last days before school begins agains…