Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A great Memorial Day weekend!

This past weekend Andy and I took advantage of the already long weekend and made it longer! We both took off on Thursday and Friday and enjoyed five days of being out of the office and together as a family.

Thursday morning we quickly dropped Liddy off at the groomers then we headed out to the club for an early morning round of golf. We played with two really nice guys and were finished in time for a quick lunch before we headed home to pack for Wintergreen. After we were all packed up we scooped Liddy up from the groomers (she looked so cute! They even gave her a red white and blue bandanna to wear!) and headed up to the mountain for the weekend.

We spent Friday driving around the valley visiting a winery and an adorable little country store where we picked up a few things for dinner and of course some yummy (and stinky!) cheeses. We also picked up some sandwiches to bring to our beloved Wintergreen Winery where we enjoyed a great picnic in the warm sun. Liddy had a great time (as always) running around chasing after sticks.


Friday evening my parents arrived and we had prepared for them a great dinner of prime rib, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, and homemade french onion soup as a starter. Andy gets all of the props for this meal, though I have to admit I did make the salad and mash the potoates.

On Saturday we woke up early for a tee time at the golf course on top of the mountain. It was a tad bit cooler than I would have liked, but it did warm up as we got to the back nine. The sky couldn't have been more clear so it made for a gorgeous round of golf.


After golf we met up with my brother, Mark, who had driven up the mountain earlier that morning. We took him up to the Virginia Wine Festival where we spent the afternoon tasting lots of great wines from the various vineyards in the area. It was actually perfect because most of the wineries that were there are not ones that we've visited before, so we tried a lot of new wine and found several that we decided to take home with us.

Dinner that night was on Mark's shoulders and he did a fantastic job cooking up a Rigatoni Bolognesse. It was accomponied by a tasty salad, warm rolls and homemade blondies for dessert. Mark better be careful or we'll be leaning on him more often to cook for all of us :)

Sunday morning we headed out early to go home as we had a Couple's Golf Tournament to play in. Let's just say, it was a beautiful day...there aren't nearly enough excuses in my pockets to cover the golf part! On the bright side, Andy and I are still happily married...right hun?! :)

Memorial Day was a perfect day filled with an early morning boat ride, swimming for Liddy (see the video below), lots of sun, some World Market shopping, ribs on the grill, and dinner on the deck. It was a great way to end a wonderfully long and fun weekend!










video

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wii with the family

Last weekend we had a dinner party with my parents, my brother, and our dear friends Don and Rosemary who were visiting from Myrtle Beach. If you'll recall, Don & Rosemary were the ones who helped us find our Wii in South Carolina, so it was only fitting that we'd let them see it working in action!

To get things started we set up a game of bowling with my dad, Don, Mark and myself competing. Now typically bowling is my game, but I have to admit I got smoked by my dad. I suppose I could say I was just "letting him win" as he did for me so many times growing up, but he really did earn his victory and even informed me that he had figured out how to get the "wrist action" working in his favor. Good grief!






After bowling we paired Mark and my mom up in a tennis match, followed by Andy and Mark in a boxing match.


All in all it was a great night of "Wii Sports" and was also a great way to burn off some of the calories from the cake that I made. I saw this cute way of decorating a cake in Rachael Ray's latest magazine, it was time consuming but was a great way to jazz up a boxed strawberry cake mix!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

South Africa here I come...

Well, it is official, I am headed to South Africa (cue the Toto song.) I am feeling a combination of anxiety and excitement. The anxiety coming mostly from the fact that I am making this trip on my own and entering a country that has had some issues in the past, and the excitement coming from the fact that I get to see a country and continent for that matter, that I never in my life thought I'd visit.

I will be traveling there for work, so the good news is, the trip is free of charge. I also get to fly business class which was a huge concern as I don't think I'd be able to survive in coach for the 40+ hours that I'll be in the air during this trip.

The hotel I'm going to be staying at looks really awesome and seems to be very family oriented which makes me feel less apprehensive. You can check it out here:
http://www.graceland.co.za/overview.asp.

The other great thing about this trip is that I am flying through Frankfurt and was able to work in a five day layover which allows me to take a quick jaunt over to Budapest to visit Greg and Erica one more time before they had back to the states. I am really looking forward to seeing them and to also visiting Budapest in warmer temperatures.

I leave two weeks from Thursday, so in the meantime, feel free to pass along any book, music, magazine favorites as I'll have a lot of time to kill on my various flights and layovers!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wally takes a splash!

Last Sunday, we got Wally out on the water for the first time this season. We are always a tad bit nervous the first time out as you never know what's going to happen when you turn the key. While Wally was a bit slow to start, once all that gunk that built up over the winter was coughed out, he was just like new.











There were tons of boats out on the water and the wind was whipping a bit so it made for choppy waters, but it was still a great ride. We had decided ahead of time that we would celebrate our first day out by taking the boat over to Tim's River Shore Cafe. I think the best way to describe this place is that while you are there you feel like you are in the middle of a Jimmy Buffett song. There are tons of boats, tons of people, a lot of tattoos, and even sand on their patio area. While they had run out of fresh crabs, we still enjoyed some steamed shrimp and my favorite, oysters on the half shell. We are looking forward to going back there throughout the summer, especially when crabs are more plentiful!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Andy Gribble a.k.a Bear Grylls

If you've seen or heard of the show, Man v. Wild, then you'll know of a man named Bear Grylls. The purpose of the show is that Bear is dropped off in the middle of either a desert or forest or some place remote. He has with him a few supplies and a hand held camera where he captures his survival on tape. I mention all of this because while we were at Wintergreen and I was up at the Mountain Inn blogging, Andy was off on a hike with Liddy. I dropped them off and shortly thereafter realized that Andy had the camera with him, and this is what he did with it...

http://good-times.webshots.com/album/563330028xbMKXQ?vhost=good-times

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Live blogging from Wintergreen

Andy and I took yesterday off so we could enjoy a long weekend at our family's home in Wintergreen. We left early yesterday morning and got here in time for lunch and a round of golf at Devil's Knob Golf Course here on top of the mountain. I had a record round, shooting a 96, and Andy...well, Andy enjoyed the scenery ;)



We were also excited to see the new grill and deck furniture that my parents just purchased. We were the first to test it all out, and we are happy to report that the grill cooks a mean filet and excellent lamb chops, and the deck furniture is perfectly comfortable and will make for some great evenings on the mountain.


Today we drove around the mountian a bit and got some pictures at one of the overlooks. There was also a bike race going on, so we did some cheering as we watched the racers trudge up the mountain...phew, that looked challenging for sure!


We also went down to Wintergreen Winery (our favorite) and brought along a picnic. Liddy had a great time running around looking for sticks, and Andy and I enjoyed a nice Viogner and cheese and crackers. We also got a little bit of sun, which is always helpful this time of year as we are both far too pale for it to already be May!



On tap for tonight: BBQ ribs, cous cous salad, broccoli, and a Wintergreen Winery Three Ridges Red. Yum!