Friday, December 30, 2011

Home for the Holidays

This year I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be able to go home for Christmas and celebrate the Holiday with my parents in warm, sunny San Diego.

The Christmas Day Forecast

When I got there, my Mom had already broken her foot from trying to ensure that I wouldn't have a Charlie Brown Christmas.  My brother was also home to get lasik repair surgery.  And on Friday night we got to have a true old school Frazier Family dinner at Tony Jacal's.
















Ian left on Christmas Eve so he could spend Christmas with his Family in NorCal and that left me, Mom and Dad at home for a quiet night.  Christmas Day we organized Dad's new wine fridge and sadly enough I really enjoyed it.  That's what you get when you give an organized OCD freak a organization project.

She used the vacuum as a crutch

Even though I was only home for 3 days (I wish it were more), it was the perfect So Cal Christmas.

I then came home to my depressing effort of Holiday Cheer...


At first I really tried, maybe a little too much because I nearly drowned it and now it's dying a slow waterless death.  Next year, plastic.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays mainly because there is no judgement on the amount of food consumed. And I consume food like a fat person at an all you can eat Vegas Buffet.  Oh, and I am thankful and all that other stuff that we're supposed to be at this meal.  But let's be honest, it's about the food.  I'm pretty sure the Native Americans aren't THAT thankful the Pilgrims stole their land, gave them small pox and eventually destroyed their culture and land.

Back to the food: there are donuts from L&M Bakery (sinful) when you first wake, then quiche for breakfast when Jonathan finally wakes up.  Then we digest until 3pm when Happy Hour starts when we will have more appetizers available than dishes on the Thanksgiving table.  Finally at 5pm Tom comes out of the oven and we feast on all the traditional American dishes.  Once we've cleaned our plates its time for at least 3 different varieties of dessert.  I suspect that I will gain at least 5 pounds from all the food that will be so joyously shoved down my throat.
Illustration from the L&T archives
After dinner we attempt to watch a movie, this year I brought Bridesmaids.  I'm not sure how my stomach will feel laughing so much while intensely full.  Friday I will wear spandex and a mumu to work to cover the small Thanksgiving food baby and starting on Sunday I will begin fasting until I lose all the Thanksgiving weight.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Boston

I'm writing this blog update as the Amtrak train is taking me home to NYC from an awesome weekend I Boston with my favorite cousins, Ashley & Chelsea. (Pictures to come later, once I'm home).

This weekend was "special cousins weekend part 2", as part 1 happened over the Summer in NYC right before the Girls went back to school for the year.

Friday: 4 hours in an Indian Sweat lodge of an Amtrak car wearing a cashmere sweater to Boston from NYC looking like a classy bag lady.  I was delivering multiple pairs of UGG boots to the Girls as "Xmas" gifts and we needed to exchange colors & sizes since NYC didn't have what they really wanted.
Anyways, Chelsea met me at the BackBay Train Station and we walked over to the classy Newbury Street for dinner at Joe's.  It was great to have some one on one time catching up with her and checking in on her life as a college freshman at BC.
After dinner we took the T back to Boston College got some ever so yummy ice cream that froze our fingers then headed to her dorm room.  Chels packed her bag, we called a cab & the headed over to my hotel for the night.

Saturday: Chelsea woke up early and used the hotel gym to go for a run, I continued to sleep.   We got showered and dressed while watching Greese 2 (it's not as good as the original, but when there are only 10 Channels to choose from abc family tends to win).
We headed back to campus and we had breakfast in the lower campus dining hall.  I haven't eaten in a dining hall in 9 years, since my freshman year of college (I made a point to stay away from the Zin Sophomore through Senior year). If the dining hall on Sonoma State's campus was anything like the dining hall on the BC lower campus, I would have had a dining plan every year, even when I lived off campus.
After breakfast, Chelsea and I toured the campus while walking back other dorm on upper campus.
Chels on the million dollar stairs
 The BC campus is just so beautiful and really makes me think of what a old college campus should look like.  I know it's a Catholic University, but there a shit ton of churches/chapels on that campus.  I'm sure lots of praying happens there.  "Dear God, please let me pass this test." or "Please Jesus, let the stick say negative." ha!
We waited for Ashely to arrive from here drive over/down from Syracuse while Chelsea finished a paper & I planned some actives for the weekend.
Ashley arrived around 3, we rushed her to change & we headed out for a historical adventure.

Bunker Hill Monument
I wanted us to walk the Freedom Trail, so we started at the end at The Bunker Hill monument, because why would we start at the beginning? But by the time we got to Bunker Hill it was 4:00 and almost dark and by the time the girls came down from climbing the 294 steps it was dark out.
Trying to follow a red brick path through the city at night when it was cold and windywasn't looking like the best idea anymore.

So we hoped back into the car, got lost trying to heads to the Prudential Center, but that's not here nor there.
Getting Lost crossing the Charles River
We parked and the took the T to Faneuil Hall to see the tree lighting.  By the time we got there the tree was lit, but the party was still rocking. There was a band playing in the court yard and they played a really bad version of Journey off key.  Totally awesome!

After walking around for a bit we took the T back to BackBay for dinner at Casa Romero which Laura recommend.  Laura warned me it was in an alley, I didn't think she was serious, but no, its literally in an alley like a secret hideaway that looks slightly suspicious if you didn't know any better.  It was ah-mazing.  It was voted Best Mexican restaurant in Boston for 2011 and I now know why.
White Hot Coco








After dinner we aimlessly we walked around Newbury street trying to kick start our digestive systems since we had reservations at Max Brenner. Max Brenner was overly decadent and I think I might have gone into a diabetic coma if I ate my entire dessert.

Sunday: Slept in, which I think Ashley really enjoyed, but poor Chelsea has an internal alarm clock set for 5:45am.  She woke up to finish a paper so she could play all day.  (God, I'm so thankful to be out of school and not have homework anymore.)  We did breakfast again at the lower campus dining hall, even Ashley was impressed with the variety and selection available.  Guess Syracuse isn't as classy as BC when it comes to the food services industry on campus. Back to Chelsea's dorm so the girls could change then headed down to BackBay Boston for a day of touristy adventure.















 We did a Duck Tour, quack! It was a beautiful day in the mid-60's and I thought we should get in as much history/sights as possible in a short amount of time since my Freedom Trail adventure was a bust.  The Duck Tour was a lot of fun and we got to see a little bit of everything with a great tour guide who added his own flavor to our trip.  Highly recommend.

 After the Duck Tour it was time for the girls to shop and window shop they did.  We exchanged the UGGs at L&T and that was about it for swipping plastic, but we enjoyed window shopping the Prudential Center & Copley Place.  We met up with Theresa (my Jersey Aunt, the girls actual Aunt) who just flew into town for a business meeting on Monday and we again aimlessly walked Newbury St until it was time for me to head to the Train Station.

And that's where the weekend ends, me on a train back to life and the girls having dinner with their Aunt.  Great thing is that I'll see them all again on Wednesday night for Thanksgiving, the feast of too much everything and the weekend.

 It was a fabulous weekend with my favorite girls and I can't wait for part 3 in Syracuse.  But I'm going to have to do some serious search on actives for the weekend for that trip.

 A few things to note:
-The freshman girls in Chelsea's dorm are really lame.  They spent Friday & Saturday night sitting in their hallway with their computers effing around on Facebook.
-The girls I did see go out we're dressed totally inappropriate for the weather, ie they dressed like sluts.  One had on gladiator sandals on, it's late November, honey your toes could possibly freeze off.
-The boys are ones that only a Mother could love.  They throw footballs and run like girls, Chelsea does not have a lot of lookers to choose from, poor thing.  Good thing there are a shit load of college campuses in Boston.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AMAZEBALLS - Gotta Love a Dumb Blonde

I saw this on my friend Blake's facebook page and it was totally AMAZEBALLS and I just had to share...
This video totally made my day and I probably could watch this over & over and never stop laughing.

Please enjoy


And.. you're welcome

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jamaican You Jealous



 I totally Jamaicaned you jealous with my totally awesome trip.

I got to spend a long weekend with my favorite Southern Family and friends while being witness to Ryan & Haley's beach-side nuptials. 
11/05/11

CONGRATULATIONS RYAN & HALEY!!

It was a beautiful sunset ceremony and the party that followed (from what I can remember) was too much fun!









The Stier's always know how to throw a party! And the song "I've had the time of my life" seems to play on repeat in my head when I think of this amazing trip and the memories it created.











It now has been determined that whenever I get married that I will need save at least 2 tables for the Stier clan at the reception.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Girls/Twins/Ladies Turned One

I can't believe I almost forgot that I celebrated another birthday in September. 

The girls/twins/ladies turned one on September 24th. 

Katie's face is priceless
It's hard to believe that it has already been one year since I updated the ladies.  And I'll still make the claim it was the best decision I've ever made with my lasik eye surgery coming in a close second.

Happy Belated Birthday Girls!  I thank my surgeon & Insurance for you everyday!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

LT Fash Mob

We Lighted the Night and we did it in style!

Thanks to all those who donated to my fundraising efforts! 
The Walk was on a perfect Fall NYC night and it was a ton of fun to boot.

Part of Team Lord & Taylor at the Finish Line
----
The only off putting part of the walk was getting there and having to walk though the Occupy Wall Street Protesters march.  They were just obnoxious, annoying and asked if we wanted to join their protest.  Um.. No!  And besides that they decided to march through downtown on the same day/night as the LLS Light the Night walk where our walking paths would somewhat converge.  How selfish & gross.  I don't think they wanted to come into the starting area and see all the greedy corporations donationing thousands of dollars to a lifesaving cause.  (Sorry tangent, can you tell I think that Occupy Wall Street is stupid and they should just go away and occupy some place else?)

Chow-hound

If you've been to my apartment you've walked by a framed piece of aluminium with a picture of a B-52 Bomber from WW2. 
(sorry not the best picture)
That piece of aluminium is a piece of my Great Uncle Blake's plane that was shot down by the German's in France during WW2.
The Chow-hound crew
Below are pictures from after the crash of the Chow-hound:






The wing of the plane


When my Parents and Uncle Mark went to France in 2009 they brought back pieces of the plane for our family to cherish and keep forever this piece of history.

On Sunday, September 25th the wing of the Chow-hound was returned to the United States from France.  It landed at McGuire AFB in New Jersey and my Granny, Uncle Blake, Uncle Mark, Uncle Dave & Jen were there to welcome the Men & Women who went to France to retrieve the wing of the plane.

The wing 67 years later

Granny w AF Dudes


My Mother and Uncle Mark worked diligently with a group of Norman's to bring the wing back to the US.  I think its just amazing that my family has such a special part in American and French/Norman history.  The next steps is for the wing to be displayed in the hanger where the men and women who protect our freedom leave for deployment out of McGuire AFB.  I think that's pretty amazing and totally awesome.

Below are the French articles (translated into English) about the trip the Air Force squad made and history on the plane.
1) Le Publicateur Libre: 40 Americains sur le lieu du crash
2) Ouest: L'aile du B17 am√©ricain retourne aux √Čtats-Unis
3) Ouest: L'aile du bombardier tombe en 1944 est rentree aux Etats-Unis - Lonlay-l'Abbaye

Mom's Special Weekend

The reasons the Travel Gods hate me is that I went home for a special long weekend to celebrate my Mother. For her "special" weekend all she wanted was all her children home together (there is only two of us, but with Ian's family and me living in NYC we make if very difficult).

Friday we took our new family pictures (images to come).  I'm not sure where Mom & Dad is going to hang this new picture since the wall going up the staircase is full of our family pictures from my childhood and our last family picture is next to the front door.  There isn't much wall space left.  After family pictures we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant Tony Jacal's for a delicious dinner.  Even better for Jackson since he got to actually meet "Tony"; who really isn't Tony but the husband of the woman who owns the restaurant but Jackson thinks he's Tony.  Tony has been dead for over 40 years but Jackson doesn't need to know that.  Jackson talked off "Tony's" ear what we think was about how much he loves eating at Tony's.  Jackson thought meeting Tony was jut so cool, it totally made his night.

Ian & Makenzie

Saturday was a fabulous day!  I got to spend the afternoon having some Mommy, Daddy & me time, which was exactly what I needed.  It was so nice to have some special time to catch up with my parents on what's going on in my life and just talk.
We went to lunch at 3rd Corner in the Encinitas Lumber Yard (yum!) and then walked around downtown Encinitas, which my parents haven't done since they lived there over 30 years ago.  Then we took the coast and headed down to Cedros Ave in Solana Beach and continued are walk around little shops.  The coolest little adventure was finding an Olive Oil tasting store from a Olive Plantation (is that what they are called?) and we tasted some pretty interesting Oils.

I let Kenzie climb the stairs; I'm such a good Auntie
Saturday Night was Mom's "special celebration" at the Furgerson's.  Scott & Paula made an amazing dinner and for Mom I think it was the perfect way to celebrate her "39th" birthday.  The dinner was filled with laughs and great conversation which equals lots of wine bottles and good times.
 
Grandpa & Kenzie
Me & Meghan
Me & My Mommy



Sunday morning I helped my Dad make pigs in a blanket and eggs for breakfast.  And we all chilled around for a while in our PJs.   Then Mom & I went to Kohls so I could get some new Charger's gear and my In-n-Out (yay!) for lunch. 
But by far the best part of Sunday was the sunset hot air balloon ride.  It was the most amazing experience.  We soared up to 5000 ft above sea-level, above the clouds and the noise.  Watching the sunset was breathtaking and coming through the clouds on the descent was totally awesome.  Now the landing was another thing.  Apparently it was our pilot's toughest landing of the year, we clipped a tree and almost slid off an embankment.  I was laughing the entire time while I think everyone else was almost shitting themselves.  The landing felt like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland; the bumps, jolts, sudden stop.  Overall so amazing.
About to take off
Mom & Dad
Church of the Nativity (the one on the left)



Ian & Teresa



Descent into the clouds....

Then it was off to dinner and then home to pack because I had to leave bright and early Monday morning.

Monday. It was rough to wake up so early and finish packing.  Hardest was saying goodbye to my Mom and actually walking into the airport.  I wasn't ready to leave SD, I could have stayed one more day.

Special Family Weekend