September 30, 2016

Fall Vacation: The Announcement

So as fun as our vacation was, it was also a lot of fun coming home knowing that we were finally ready to share our baby announcement with everyone.  We found out we were expecting on our 3rd Anniversary in July (more details to come about how I told David!) so it's felt really weird to not talk about those things here, because it feels like we've already been doing a lot for baby.  

We are due at the very end of March and are so excited for this next journey.  It's no secret how much I love all things Fall related, so when I realized that the end of the first trimester lined up with the first week of Fall, I started looking at different Fall pregnancy announcements.  And then I realized it also lined up with our vacation, so we decided to make the announcement once we were home and we set out to take some pictures that would work for the announcement while we were up north.  As I mentioned, it was still early for much fall foliage, but we got a few good pictures with some changing trees and decided to use this one to announce our news.

This past year has been crazy and busy and full of lots of changes for us.  And I am so grateful for the Lord's hand in all of the details of our lives and His perfect timing for this little one that is coming soon.

September 29, 2016

Fall Vacation: New York

Friday morning, we woke up and made the 3 hour drive to Cooperstown, New York.  When we originally booked our trip we had planned to fly into Boston and fly out of New York City and end our trip with a few days in NYC.  But the more we talked about it, there wasn't anything specific we wanted to see in NYC and both of us had been there before on previous trips.  So after some thinking about it, I asked David if he would rather go up to Cooperstown on part of our trip to see the Baseball Hall of Fame.  He was hesitant at first because it's not really close to anywhere else we were going, but since we were renting a car we had the freedom to drive wherever.  So we decided to change our return flight to fly out of Albany since it's only about an hour and a half from Cooperstown and we ended our trip in Upstate New York.

Entering our 5th State in 5 days.  (New Hampshire Monday, Massachusetts {Boston} Touring on Tuesday, Rhode Island Wednesday, Connecticut Thursday and New York Friday).  This was so weird to me being from Texas where it takes hours to get out of our state or get to another major city in the state.  It was fun getting to see so much!

An added bonus of this part of our trip is that this drive is actually where we saw the most Fall Foliage.  Again, the pictures don't do it justice, especially since I was taking them from the front seat of the car.  But it was beautiful
We both discussed the possibility of moving to New York after this drive :)  But we don't think we'd handle all these beautiful roads in the snow quite as well.

We got to Cooperstown around lunch time and grabbed lunch and walked around a little.

Cooperstown is such a beautiful town!  The downtown area is so fun.  And it's right at the base of this mountain so it was gorgeous.  This picture was taken right in front of the Baseball Museum

So glad we came here!
David took hundreds of pictures while we were in the museum--so many in fact that he had to delete some things off his phone to have enough storage space.  I hung with him for a while touring the museum, but all of the walking we did that week had caught up to me and I was pretty wiped out.  So I spent a lot of the time seeing things and then sitting and resting on a bench while David took his time seeing all the exhibits.  There were a lot of really cool things.

Ken Griffey Jr is one of the newest inductees into the Hall of Fame, so he has a whole wall dedicated to him as you enter the Hall of Fame part of the museum.

Taking in the Hall of fame and all of the plaques.

We stopped on our way out of town and bought a few souvenirs and then drove to Albany to eat dinner and check into our hotel.  Our hotel was close to the airport and not all that close to downtown Albany, so Saturday morning we decided that we would just head to the airport instead of going into downtown for a few hours.  We had already seen lots of cities during our trip!  But we did laugh when we got to our gate at the airport and they had this "selfie spot" where you could take a picture with the Capital Building!  So we grabbed one to pretend like we were there! 

After a lot of waiting at the airport and a layover in Baltimore, we made it home Saturday night around 10:00 and were excited to sleep in our own beds.

Sunday we got up, unpacked and got laundry started before heading to pick up this girl.  So grateful for Grandma and Uncle Nick keeping her company all week!

Trip by the Numbers:
3 Planes
5 States
200 mile bus tour
About 20 miles of walking
About 430 miles of driving
It was a great week away!  We saw and did a lot and are so glad we had this experience together!!

September 28, 2016

Fall Vacation: JFK Library, Rhode Island and Connecticut

Wednesday morning we checked out of our hotel and went to Cambridge to pick up our rental car for the rest of the trip.  We didn't rent a car for our time in Boston since we could walk or use public transportation, but I am glad we got one the rest of the week so we could see so many other states and places along the way!

On our way out of Boston, we stopped to see the JFK Library

Living in Dallas, I've learned and heard a whole lot about JFK's assassination and his death.  I've been to the 6th Floor museum and the Grassy Knoll.  And I know that he made an impact as a President, but it was neat to see the library and hear so much more about his campaign and his Presidency. 

They were showing a video of him in the Oval Office Room 

At the end of the museum, there is this big open room that looks out over the Ocean and across to the skyline of Boston.  This flag is hanging from the ceiling in there

After the museum, we headed to Rhode Island to spend a night in Providence.  We checked into our hotel and got ready for a night out. 

We decided to splurge and have a little nicer dinner this night and everything was delicious.  It was a ton of food and we couldn't finish it all, but I'm so glad we got to try it!

I had the Lobster Mac and Cheese (which was actually listed as a side dish!)

And David had a steak.

Then we walked to the Providence Performing Arts Center to see Wicked.

 Fun Fact: Halfway through the first Act, I started worrying that I had left my hair straightener on in our hotel bathroom.  So during Intermission we walked back to our hotel (luckily it wasn't too far) to turn it off.  Only to find that I had in fact turned it off and unplugged it, I just didn't remember.  Oh dear.

We enjoyed the show and it was a beautiful theater in downtown Providence!
Thursday morning we got up to head to Connecticut.  We were meeting up with one of David's friends for dinner and we decided to stop in New Haven on the way.  While we were in Boston, I had seen one of my friends post pictures on Facebook from her trip to Boston and Connecticut the week before and I had commented that we were there as well.  She told us that everyone recommended this restaurant Frank Pepe's Pizzeria in New Haven, so we thought we'd give it a try. 

David had some of their Root Beer and we split a pizza.  It was fine, but not my favorite pizza.  

After lunch, we walked around toward Yale.  We found some of the Yale buildings, but never actually made it to the main part of Campus before it was time to head back to our car.  But it was still fun walking around in the city!

Then we headed to our friend Jon's home for dinner with his family.  While dinner was finishing up in the slow cooker, he and his wife recommended we go see the beach that was closeby.  So we spent some time at the beach with them and their 2 year old chasing birds and walking along the sand!

We came back and enjoyed pumpkin chili and some time catching up.  We are so grateful for their hospitality and had a really good time seeing where they live.  

Then we packed up and headed to our hotel for the evening.

September 27, 2016

Fall Vacation: Fall Foliage Tour

As I mentioned, one of the reasons I wanted to go to Boston in September was to see Fall.  So we found a Fall Foliage tour and booked tickets for it.  Since it was only the middle of September, it was still early and most of the leaves hadn't changed yet.  But I am so glad we did this tour because we got to see a lot of fun local places on the 200 mile loop through Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Also, it rained most of this day, so we were glad to be on a bus and not trying to walk around downtown Boston!

We loaded up the bus in downtown Boston and headed out with our group of about 10 people

The first stop was to a little coffee shop and restaurant in Massachusetts 

David got some bacon and eggs and I had a Pumpkin Muffin which was a perfect start to our Fall Tour! 

We stopped at Willard Brook State Forest to take some pictures 

Some of the trees were changing, but it's hard to see in the pictures 

We walked down and checked out this waterfall below the bridge

Next stop was for lunch at this New Hampshire Inn.  We had their "Fall Buffet" of steak tips, grilled fish and potatoes 

And finished it off with a delicious apple crisp for dessert

After lunch we headed further into New Hampshire and our driver pulled off at this overlook by a Lake.  There were lots of Red trees across the lake from us and it was really beautiful. 

Getting good use out of our selfie stick :) 

The last stop in New Hampshire was at a Farmer's Market and Pumpkin Patch

They had a place to pick your own apples, but it wasn't open 

Neither was the corn maze, but it made for a good photo op!

We had a great day touring New Hampshire and Massachusetts and crossing another state off our list!

September 26, 2016

Fall Vacation: Boston

We got home late Saturday from a fun week long vacation to the Northeast.  Since we got married, David and I have been talking about wanting to visit Boston.  One of the main things he wanted to see was Fenway Park.  One of the main things I wanted to see was Fall :)  So we settled on September so we could try to catch both.  It hasn't worked out the last few Septembers due to job changes and other things, but this year ended up being a perfect time.  And we had a great trip!  Today is all about our time in Boston--later this week I'll post about our Fall Foliage Tour and the rest of our trip to Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Cooperstown, NY!

So here we go!

When we first started planning our trip over the summer, we realized that hotels in Boston are really expensive.  So our best options seemed to be staying outside of the city.  Until we found this short term rental building.  It was basically like a studio apartment.  There's no onsite management, but they send you all of the information you need ahead of time.  It ended up being half the price of most of the hotels we looked at and it was so close to everything!  And we thought it was a fun way to experience a Boston neighborhood.  This is us in front of our building.
Fun Fact: The building has no elevators.  And we were on the 6th floor (although the first 2 floors are basement level, so we really only had to climb 3 flights of stairs every time, but still it was a lot)

We got to Boston on Saturday afternoon and took a taxi to where we were staying.  We grabbed a quick late lunch and then went back and took naps since we'd both been up early (like 3 or 4 am) that morning.  After resting, we got ready for our night out.  We went to a New York Pizza place close to our hotel and ate pizza slices bigger than our faces
 And then we headed to The Wilbur Theatre to see Jim Gaffigan's stand-up show.  He was very funny and a lot of fun to see in person!  The show didn't start until 9:45, so I was pretty exhausted by the time we were done!

 Sunday morning we slept in some and then walked around the city.  We walked out to Fenway Park to make sure we knew where we were going for the game and also to check out their team store.

David enjoyed taking pictures as we walked around the outside of the stadium
He bought a David Ortiz Red Sox shirt and we bought ponchos since it was supposed to rain for the game (although we luckily ended up not needing them!)

Then we headed back toward our room and stopped at this recommended seafood restaurant for lunch.  We had corn and lobster fritters, shrimp tacos, and fish and chips.  Everything was so good! 

We rested some that afternoon and then headed back to Fenway to see the Red Sox play the Yankees!

Fenway Park is such a fun atmosphere and it was a fun game to be at.  It seemed like the Red Sox weren't going to pull out a win, but they ended up coming from behind and winning 5-4! 

Monday was our fall foliage tour up to New Hampshire.  More details to come later :)

Tuesday we geared up for sightseeing in Boston.  We decided to book tickets for a Hop on Hop off trolley that went to 20 stops around Boston and Cambridge.  We got to the ticket counter to exchange our online vouchers for paper tickets and the guy informed us that they were short staffed and it was about 45 minutes between trolleys (instead of the usual 20 minutes).  As we walked out to catch the trolley he told us "Good Luck" which left me feeling not so confident in our choice for the day.  When we got to the trolley stop we talked to a couple who had been waiting over 45 minutes and every trolley that had come by was too full for them to get on.  Our hopes sunk a little further and we were discussing trying to get a refund when 3 trolleys in a row came and we were all able to get on.  I worried that it would be difficult to find seats at any other stops if we got off, but it ended up not being a problem the rest of the day which was blessing!  So we got on our trolley and enjoyed the commentary from the drivers!

First stop we got off at was in Cambridge.  The stop was right by MIT, so we saw some of it as we drove in.  We grabbed lunch and then got on the subway to head to Harvard.

 We had a lot of fun walking around Harvard and taking in all of the sights.  The buildings are so beautiful and it was a perfect day for walking around.  Here's David at the entrance to Harvard

After some walking around, we took the subway back to our trolley stop and headed back into town.  We got off at the State capital building and took a few pictures 

From there we walked the Freedom Trail to see several of the historic sights in Boston.  It was a few miles of walking, but we enjoyed everything we got to see!

This picture is in front of the fountain at the entrance to Old North Church.
Fun Fact: I bought a selfie stick before we went on this trip so we would be able to take some good pictures with scenery behind us.  Luckily we got a lot of good use out of it during our Fall Foliage Tour and the first half of our sightseeing day in Boston.  And then it stopped working, right before we took this picture.  Oh well, it was a $5 purchase so we got some use out of it before it died!

We ended the tour with a walk back into the city and capture this picture with the downtown buildings behind us

After that we took another trolley on the Seaport Loop to see the site of the Boston Tea Party and the USS Constitution.  It was too late in the day to get off at either stop, but we saw them from the trolley.  We finished the day off with dinner and a movie before heading back to our room to pack up.

Overall, we really loved Boston.  We did a ton of walking (miles each day) because everything is within walking distance and there was so much to see!  Definitely one of our favorite places that we've been!