Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Little More Rome & Florence Photos

********This is rather long. Grab a cup of coffee or tea. Get cozy.*********

I realized that I hadn't shown any more of our amazing trip this summer...and I thought this was the easiest way to do it. We all need to give an extra round of applause to Joe for his skillz with the Sistine Chapel pictures - photography in there is a big no-no. So he had to nonchalantly stand with the camera at his hip, and snap away, and he got some great, non-blurry shots. Is he amazing or what? Also, I feel duty bound to tell you that the pictures of the "David" are of a copy, not the real one. The real one is in a tiny, tiny museum with about 6 security cameras aimed at it and many people monitoring it walking around it, enforcing the no picture rule. Joe wanted to try anyway, but I was scared they would take the camera or something. Which is too bad, because it is beautiful, immense, and looks like at any moment he's going to stride off the pedestal. Incredible. Be on the lookout the next couple days for a slide show of Venice. Pinky-swear promise!

East Coast VaCa (from, oh, two months ago)

So have I been the poster child for a bad blogger or what? You know it is bad when your husband sends you not so subtle hints that you should update your blog accompanied by sighs and stares.

Tsk, tsk.

Here's my feeble attempt to make up for my rudeness, because really, that is what it is. I've still been reading other's work, just not caring to contribute any of my own. Now, we have been swamped by a lot here recently, but I can't even really play that card when half the people that I read have at least one child if not more so you know they've got their hands full, and they faithfully find the time to keep me entertained. The cycle must stop! So follow me while I reminisce about our trek to Virginia and DC.

Jefferson's beautiful Monticello.

The real reason for the trip: Jerrod, Amanda, John and Tyler. We love them! It was so great to be able to spend time with them, see what their lives are like, and relax in their home. Thank you four so much for your warmth and hospitality. We can't wait to return the favor when you guys can make it out to Cali! I even got to meet some blogging pals too!! Candace and Kelly, thank you both so much. It meant a lot that you took time out of your very busy lives to come spend an evening with us! You both are as sweet, funny and warm as your writing portrays you to be.

Oh, sweet baby Tyler. I held him every single chance I got. What a happy little guy.

Mt. Vernon, Washington's home, was one of my favorite historical sights that we saw. Because we were there in the extreme off season, it was like it was open just for us. I could've sat out on the back porch for a long time. So peaceful and quiet looking onto the Potomac.

OK all you Ugg haters (my SIL Amy!), take note. I wore mine in the freezing snow, sock less, and this girl who always has cold feet and hands, had toasty warm toes. They are awesome, and I will use them forever. So there.

Some fun facts about Virginia: I had my first Chick-a-Fillet and Cracker Barrel experiences. They were tasty. The speed limit feels extremely slow. Most traffic seems to amble along at 40-45mph, verses the Bay Area's 80mph freeways. It drove Joe nuts at times. Also, road signage is very confusing. When we were heading to Lynchburg at one point we saw sings that told us we were on 129 South and (I think) 52 North at the same time. Not sure how, but we were. All in all, I really liked it.

Moving on to the DC portion... we stayed in the historic Foggy Bottom section which is about 5 blocks from the Georgetown area, and it was great!! Waaaaaayyyy too cold, and so I think to do DC justice we'll have to head back in the spring sometime. For instance, the last day there we had planned to do a open air bus tour so we could see all the monuments, and we woke up that morning to a raging snow and ice storm. There was a lot we missed. Owell. Reasons to head back, right?

I started noticing that most of the old churches have bright red doors. Love it!!

We were able to go to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, which obviously has a lot of meaning to us. It's nice to see those heroes honored.

Me and Rex getting friendly at the Smithsonian.

The Hope Diamond. Which was really sparkly.

This was the closest we got to it walking to dinner one night. On our way to the Old Ebbitt Grill, actually. I would love to go back - the flavor there is older, and you really get a sense of America's roots, which as a history person and lover of all things old, I connected with.

I'm already set to go back. As usual, travel only whets my appetite for more of it!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Welcome to My World

Welp, here she is; the Casa de Joe & Kate. Are you ready for the tour? It'll be slightly disjointed because these were just some shots that Joe took on the second or third day of being in the house. Pretty bare bones. Keep in mind that we're working on changing some things, so this is not obviously the finished product. Just some tidbits so you get an idea of what it's like here. Ready to start? Great, wipe your feet before you come in!

You'll have to use your imagination to envision hydrangeas and geraniums in the front flower bed where currently there are some nasty brown daisy bushes. Yeah, those suckers are coming out. But gardening is lower down on the honey do list. Which is too bad because since the house has been empty for so long, there are some weeds we have that could probably eat a kindergartner.

Living room. And me in my scrubs. Classy. The walls are actually a moss green, not gray like is coming thru in the picture.

So this is the one of the bedrooms that we'll set up as the "office" and place for guests to stay with us (and hopefully I can have a little nook of it designated for craft stuff). In fact, Joe's cousin Jerrod was the first to grace it with his presence last week. He slept on the floor on a Coleman blow up mattress. Nothing but the best for our guests. Currently, the color is a dingy baby blue, but we chose a cinnamony-red color called "Rum Punch" that I can't wait to slap up on the walls! It'll really warm up the space.

Next down the hall is what Joe is already referring to as "the kids' bathroom". Nothing too much to say, other than that the walls are a cafe au lait with white trim, so I bought aqua towels, rugs, and brought in some red accents. You'll see.

This is the smallest of the three bedrooms, and has already been appointed as the baby's room for when we have one. In the mean time, it holds all the stuff that we have to unpack. Don't worry, the hippy-dippy bead curtain was promptly ripped down and stuck in the garbage.

OK, now the kitchen, which I love. Do you see all the storage? All the lower cabinets have roll out shelving. Do you see all the counter space? It is wonderful Formica, not that horrible tile which we had in the apartment which never looked clean and was always loosing grout. This stuff is a dream, wipe it up and you're done. Do you see the skylight? That thing is awesome!!

Hallelujah! A FULL SIZE FUNCTIONING dishwasher!!! After three years of washing everything by hand, you can imagine my excitement. The view from the sink is out into the backyard.

And the other jewel of the kitchen is the washer/dryer. No more lugging laundry up and down a flight of stairs. No more using quarters. No more waiting for others. I commented to Joe not long after moving in that I could cook, clean dishes and clothes all at the same time here, and really be an efficient woman, thankyouverymuch. Before at the apartment? Not possible.

So this is back out from the kitchen (door is on the right) into the living room/dining area, and we're heading thru that back doorway to the master bedroom, mkay?

See how there's two doorways here? This was really appealing to us. It's like 2 barriers to whatever is going on in the rest of the house, which for Joe and his opposite hours, is perfect. He can still sleep in peace during the day, and I can go about my normal routine and function without feeling like I have to be absolutely silent. Our bathroom is to door to the right.

And here it is! Again, this room is in dire need of paint; it's gonna be a warm golden-yellow color. Probably the most exciting of all is that when we closed on the house our realtor gave us some money back (what a nice guy!), so we decided to split the money, with the stipulation that it had to go towards things for the house. Joe spent his chunk on exercise equipment and fixing up the garage to be a gym, and I spent mine on bedroom furniture. YESSSSS!!! I marched on down to Pottery Barn and ordered a headboard and bedside tables, and as luck would have it, caught a killer sale. Since the picture was taken, it has arrived, but no peeking yet for you. I want you to see the complete finished product. Yes sirrie; paint, furniture, some black and white pictures that we took in Italy blown up and framed, and you won't recognize it.

Different angle of the room.

So, here's what is in store for us. Painting. I really can't wait to do that, because once that happens, we can really place furniture, hang things on the wall, and make it look like a cozy home, not just a house.

Thanks for coming by!