Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hoppy Easter

Did the Easter bunny come see you?

No I cannot take credit for this!  Kristi did for Easter brunch at her house (I know, I know, she is super talented!)

Why I all of the sudden want to go to Chicago!

Let's get a few things straight first, I have always wanted to go to Chicago, but after my recent read, I have this burning desire to go there like right now!  My friend, Kristi, suggested I read "Devil in the White City," a book about the building up of the Chicago world's fair.  The book follows two men: Burham and Holmes.  Burham is the architect of the world's fair in Chicago in the late 1890's, while Holmes was the world's first serial killer.  The juxtaposition of the book is awesome!   You follow the success of one man while following the downfall of another--it was a good read, needless to say.

But the author paints a beautiful picture of what Chicago was like during the world's fair and I instantly wanted to go there like NOW to see the leftovers of the world's fair.  Needless to say after reading the book, I was googling things like the Ferris Wheel (first made it's appearance at the world's fair as a way to out-do the Eiffel tower in Paris), the "white city" and the statues of the world's fair.  Well turns out like NONE of them actually exist in Chicago, but that is not stopping me!  I still want to see the architecture of this amazing city and as such, CJ and I have re-planned our Midwest trip yet again to this time include Chicago!  So in just under 4 weeks, I will be there!  Stay tuned, travel stories and more books are a-coming!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Les Miserables

Last night, my friends (Anna, CJ, Kristi) and I went to grab an early dinner at Panera (the dinner of champions  and then headed onto the Landmark Theater to see Les Miserables.  It was awesome!  I was a little concerned because I had seen the recent movie and thought that was real well done that I was not going to be as impressed with the play, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well they were able to portray everything.  Love, Love, Loved it!  
The stage before it started!
Also, the theater is apparently the best place to run into other Richmonders, I saw an old friend's Dad, a friend from cake class, my boss and his family, and another YP and his girlfriend.  All in all, it was a fantastic night, just wish I could have gotten to bed earlier!

Emily gets hitched!

So back in December, my good friend, Emily got engaged.  Well, Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma'am, she proved that you can plan a wedding in under 4 months!

After repeatedly basically begging to be invited to the wedding (it was a S M A L L wedding with only family), Courtney, CJ, and myself planned the trip to the Homestead to witness this wonderful event.  So we left work early on Friday to get down for the rehearsal dinner, since it was only family and us three, we scored made props and got invited to all the wedding fun things (read: open bar!!!)

On the way to Hot Springs, VA, the beautiful mountains!

Well the plan was to arrive about an hour before the rehearsal dinner on Friday night so I could do Emily's hair (apparently she likes my work), but we got there but the kids were still out at the shooting range and by the time they got back to the room, it was time to head down for the rehearsal dinner anyway, so she just went with the hair as is (still super cute!)

Freakin' adorable couple!

So pretty!

The Girls at the Rehearsal Dinner!
Saturday morning we slept in and then enjoyed some breakfast in bed with the bride before the big evening!  We decided to get moving and walked around the property and into town before realizing that "town" is pretty much closed up for the season.  We made our way back to the hotel and Courtney, CJ, and I grabbed lunch and a swim in the indoor pool while Emily took a little nap.  Afterward we went to her makeup appointment with her and then I started on my job to get her hair done all up for the big day (whoops no pictures to post here but if you look closely you can see it below)!

Emily and her dad giving her away!

Exchanging Vows!

Mr. and Mrs. Carr

Us three single gals at the reception!

This is Courtney and myself when they called all the couples to join the new couple for the first dance.....NOTE all the empty tables, we were quite literally the ONLY people left at any of the tables!  Score one for the singles!

The newly married couple!

The cake!

Emily with all her siblings (aka the wedding party)

All in all, it was a great trip.  The homestead was beautiful and I can see why so many people love it there, but for the price, I doubt I will be going back anytime in the near future!!!  All the details came together beautifully and it was no surprise that Emily made a beautiful bride.  I have never been to a wedding quite so small in my life, but it had a wonderful appeal to it, you really get to know all the guests and family by the end of the weekend and it made for a very fun time!  After growing to love Emily and her family over the years, it was nice to meet and get to know Kevin's family over the weekend.  I hope all the best for the newlyweds in this new life together!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Seriously Phil???

If I had a mean list, Punxsutawney Phil would be on it.  March 24th and we are covered with snow again.  I think all in all, we got about 5 inches which made for interesting road conditions last night.  Luckily, the roads seemed okay this morning but all of Richmond and surrounding counties enjoyed yet another snow day.  Here are pictures of hopefully the last snow day of 2013!!!

You can really see the big flakes falling here

More flake pictures

Glad I was not driving!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Springtime, it is a little early for April Fool's!

Yesterday was the first day of spring, the daffodils were in bloom, the sun was shinning, and I almost could hear the birds whistling along to Mary Poppins in the background. And then something happen, something awful and upsetting....WINTER CAME BACK!

I am not sure why, but somehow Old Man Winter thought he was actually welcome back, uhhhh, no thanks!  But I awoke this morning to freezing temperatures (I know, I know, Amanda, I have no say when I only have to deal with temperatures in the 30s and I am sure you are hoovering around the teens) and SNOW (albeit light snow, but still snow).  No one wants that in the spring.  Heck some people (**myself**) do not even want that in the winter-time.  

So here is my plea:

Mr. Springtime,

Come back and stay back this time!  

Thanks kindly, Laura

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

States I have been to...

If you are following, my friend, CJ on her blog, you might have seen something similar over there a few weeks ago!  Well this is important to know, because in just over 4 weeks, we will be taking off on a 10 day - 10 state vacation tour of the mid-west.  Some may call it crazy, some may call it not-fun, but some would be wrong.  Actually, we probably are a little crazy, but when has that stopped me before?  All in an effort to get closer to that 50 states goal of mine!  

17 will soon be almost double!

1. Alabama:
2. Alaska:
2. Arizona:
4. Arkansas:
5. California: I went to CA for a week when I was 13, I was sick the whole time, but I was still there!
6. Colorado: When I was 14-15, I spend a week in Colorado, this is where i went whitewater rafting!
7. Connecticut:
8. Delaware: Had dinner at the Charcoal Pit on a road-trip one time, I have not spend the night there but have been through the state enough on various trips.
9. Florida: Been there more times than I can count--Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Lake Worth, Vero Beach, Port Canaveral, Key West, etc.
10. Georgia: Also been here to visit friends and for multiple bowl games.  Spent a memorable St. Patty's Day in Savannah!
11. Hawaii:
12. Idaho:
13. Illinois:
14. Indiana:
15. Iowa:
16. Kansas:
17. Kentucky:
18. Louisiana: Been to New Orleans for a long weekend in College
19. Maine:
20. Maryland: Been here more times than I could count too!
21. Massachusetts: made my first trip to Boston and the Cape last year with my friend, CJ
22. Michigan:
23. Minnesota:
24. Mississippi:
25. Missouri:
26. Montana:
27. Nebraska:
28. Nevada: Las Vegas for Andy's 21st birthday!
29. New Hampshire:
30. New Jersey: Spent many nights here while traveling to and from NY
31. New Mexico:
32. New York: been to NYC 4 times, Syracuse, Ithaca, Cortland, etc.
33. North Carolina: oh yes, I have been all over this lovely state and have many great memories from OBX
34. South Carolina: Obviously!  my girl, Allison, lives there!
35. North Dakota:
36. South Dakota:
37. Ohio:
38. Oklahoma:
39. Oregon:
40. Pennsylvania: hit up this state on more than one occasion--the city of brotherly love and Amish country!
41. Rhode Island:
42. Tennessee: The King family hails from the TN border, need I say more?
43. Texas:
44. Utah:
45. Vermont:
46. Virginia--Born and Raised Baby!
47. West Virginia: Made the trek across the state lines on many occasions
48. Washington:
49. Wisconsin:
50. Wyoming:

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patty's Day turned Bachelorette Party

St. Patrick's Day has been a long-standing "G" tradition.  Three years ago, Anna, Emily, and myself made the trek to Savannah for the big Saint Patrick's day celebration down there.  Last year, while I was out of town, Anna, CJ, and Emily went to Shamrock the block here in Richmond.  Well this year, while Anna was out of town, CJ, Emily and myself (plus Emily's co-worker, Courtney) headed out for a St. Patrick's Day celebration.  This year, however, had a little spin-off.  Since Emily's wedding is coming up anyway, the night turned into a small, bachelorette-ish celebration for Emily.

At dinner, CJ got a Singapore sling and I got a "woo-woo," they were both YUM YUM!

Lovin' the new beverage!

She is getting married!

Emily and Courtney

CJ and me

Kevin (Emily's DD) and Emily!

The girls!

Us with our new friend, Jimmy!
Did you represent on St. Patrick's Day with some green, or did you get pinched instead??

Friday, March 15, 2013

Universal Fun take 2

On Saturday we got so much of both parks done that we did not feel the need to get up quick as early, we decided we were content to take the hotel shuttle over to the park and re-ride the rides we wanted to and finish up the rides we had not yet ridden.  I opted for jeans on Sunday, because despite the 70+ temperatures, I kept getting cold the day before.  I was much more comfortable in jeans...apparently my shorts weather does not start until temperatures reach the 80s!  

Amanda and me waiting for the shuttle bus!

Here we are in line for the Harry Potter ride again!

Me with the Harry Potter Train Captain.  He is at my level of excitement for sure!
Amanda with a different conductor!  

After doing a few of the rides in Islands of Adventure again, we made our way back to Universal Studios to hit up the rides we missed the day before and to go on a few a second time.  

The Simpsons Ride.  Here we waited in line, then got in our "car" online to find that it did not work right, so we had to get moved to another car.  Meanwhile, the couple that was in the ride with us kept talking and as we were leaving the girl goes "Well ladies, we will always have this memory...."  Ummm I guess we will but I do not think I am going to dwell on it!

Simpsons (this actually replaced Back to the Future)

The afternoon Parade, not as good as the one the night before!

My least favorite roller coaster EVER!  This one did not have a harness and you went upside down on it, so I felt like I was going to fall out and my head was banging all over the place.  On the bright side, you did get to pick your song to  listen to while on it!

It's so Fluffy, I could die!  Apparently a reference from "Despicable Me," Amanda made me make a video saying that for her enjoyment!

Amanda and me with the minon in the Minon dance party!

Pretty at Sunset!

Nearing the end of our 2nd day!

Unverisal, there you are!

I will take things I never thought I would see for $200, Alex:
Me as a Hogwart's student, complete with an owl and all!

Amanda as a Dr. Seuss "thing"

Maybe my new favorite picture and it was taken in the airport!  Me with Snow White!

Well another adventure is over and done with, but I will have the great memories!  And have no fear, my next trip is just 7 days away with my next real vacation being a little over a month away, so tuned more fun is to come....

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Universal Studios Fun

So a few months back, my friend Amanda sent out an email saying she was looking to go to Universal in Florida and wanted to extend the invitation to a handful of us.  Well if you know me, you know I jump at the opportunity for a quick/budget-friendly trip whenever possible (especially to warm places in the middle of winter)!

This past Friday we took off to Florida, me, from Virginia, and Amanda, from New York.  After getting into Orlando and getting transportation to the hotel and checking in, we were in our room asleep shortly after 2am on Saturday.  Since we wanted to "get our moneys-worth," we were up at 7:30 on Saturday morning to head to the park.  Little did we know, the "free-shuttle" service from the hotel to the park was only good for one drop off time, about 2 hours after the park opened, and one pick up time.  Well that was not going to work, so we decided we could just walk to Universal, so we took off.  A little over a mile later we arrived at the park...

Here I am photo-bombing Amanda's Universal Picture!

We decided to hit up Islands of Adventure first (we figured the lines would be longest there).  So we headed straight for The Hulk roller coaster and encountered our first wait in line...all of 10 minutes.  We were thinking it was probably a good idea that we had gotten there early!  In fact, we had finished half the park before our free shuttle would have arrived!

Islands of Adventure!

Here we are with Harry Potter world in the background.  We look so full of energy here!
After a few rides, we wanted to get a morning shot (see above) so we could see the progression throughout the day!  This was after we got out caffeine kick in too :)

Here we are in Seuss Landing--look at all the colors!

Scary Dinosaurs!!!

Toon Land!!!  Who does not love the Sunday cartoons?

Amanda being 'thought' provoking!

My favorite cartoon EVER!

The T-rex scared me!

Jurassic Park World--here we went on a ride that I told Amanda you only get a little wet.  Well apparently since the ride was not full, you actually get super wet.  Which seems like it would be nice in mid-summer in Orlando but with temperatures barely in the 70s, the shower was not as welcoming for me!

Going into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

NBD, there is Hogwarts behind me!  This picture shoes a little bit how wet we got on Jurassic Park!


Cool Architecture

More Seuss!  I like my colors!

Pink, obviously!  (harnessing my inner Sara here)

We were at Universal, see here is the picture to prove it!

The Delorean from Back to the Future

This was the longest ride wait!  Not sure it was 100% worth it, but it was super cute anyway!  Now I have to see the movie!

We were worn out by the end of the day but figured we should stay for the parade and it was totally worth it!

Mardi Gras Float!

More floats, you all should know how much I love a good parade (cough cough Christmas)

They threw out a TON of beads so we grabbed them obviously!  No worries, there was no flashing!
Well there you have it, a summary of our Saturday at Universal.  Check back in another day or two for our Sunday adventures!!!