Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend with Matthew... and the kids

Oh what a nice long weekend with Matthew.  We really got a chance to hang out a lot.  They got down here Wednesday night and Thursday Opa did most of the playing while us girls cooked.  Melanie made the most awesome Pear pie.  It is Gary & Aarons favorite.  It was a very relaxing day.
Black Friday Melanie and I took Matthew to Target for some shopping, it wasn't too bad out actually.  We had him back home for his 1:00 nap.  Aaron got home from work and took Melanie out to dinner and the Twilight movie.  It was Aaron and Melanies 5th wedding anniversary, dinner was at  Panera Bread which they just found here in Gig Harbor and LOVE!  Matthew fell asleep at 8:00 and didn't wake until 10:00 the next morning....Oma's touch!  Great Anniversary present for the kids!

Saturday Gary and Aaron tackled the outside Christmas lights (not an easy feat with this place).  We had to call the previous owners to find out how to turn on the lights where they plugged in up under the eves...found out they are on a timer with all the other outside lights so that works great.  Melanie and I did some running of errands so she could finish her project for me with the chandelier Christmas shades and we could come up with Christmas present ideas for he ready for leap frog yet? Opa thinks he is ready to start college and wanted to get him a learning toy for Christmas.

Saturday night I was exhausted and called it a night quite early and Sunday more running around to find more light hooks.  I took Matthew with me so that Melanie could get lots done on her projects. 

We stopped at Peninsula gardens and met LaVina, Crystal and Max.  Max is one month older than Matthew and did not enjoy sitting with Santa for pictures at all!  So I opted out of putting Matthew in that spot.  Peninsula Gardens is so beautifully decorated it really got me in the Christmas spirit.  This week I will work on getting that done around here.  Thought we would be able to work it in this weekend but that did not happen.

Lots of good memories from this long wonderful weekend with the kids......let the holdiays begin! 

Matthew learned lots of interesting new things this weekend, if you have a strong stomach watch the video below.....Aaron has his Dad's sense of humor!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Matthew was here for the weekend!

The kids just left and we are exhausted.  I woke at 4:30 this morning, my jet-lag is getting better.  Or maybe I just was so excited have the baby this weekend that I wasn't tired, in any case we had an action packed weekend of eating/shopping/playing and napping.

Matthew is so good to be around.  He just loves to sit and play or read.  He can take about 10 steps by himself and is so close to giving up the whole crawling thing.  He eats so good and everything we eat.  I had a pot roast on Friday night when the kids got here and Matthew ate left overs on that all weekend long.  If you can believe this his favorite vegetable seemed to be the onions!  He loves feeding the dogs.  One for Matthew 2 for the dogs.  They sat under his highchair all weekend long.  This is the first time I got to use the new highchair and it's perfect.  I can't imagine life without it.

Melanie and I took off for a few hours to do some Christmas shopping to a new baby boutique in Gig Harbor at the uptown center.  It is called Possum and it replaced the  pretty little "Hush Baby".  Sorry to hear they went out of business but this place carries more stuff and prices are somewhat cheaper.  Got a lady bug night light for Mattie and one for Matthew from Grandma Gee Gee.

Melanie cut my hair and styled it with a straight iron, it has never been so straight.  I love the change, Gary not so much.  We also worked on putting some Christmas material around my chandelier lampshades...they look great.  She is taking the rest home to finish.  I can't wait to see the finished result, I'm sure they will look great.

Going to bed now, Spanky is already asleep he had such a busy weekend keeping Violet and Puppy in line.  Actually the 3 dogs did real well together for their first time.  Great weekend.  I am so lucky they like coming down.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We made it home in style, thanks Waebers & Dad!

Thursday morning at 3:00 a.m. Gary's fever broke and his coughing started producing!!!!  He had gotten a couple of hours of sleep.  This was great news.  I had been so concerned that  Thursday morning I was going to take him to the hospital instead of getting on the plane if he wasn't better.  Now this cough was able to be controlled with cough syrup.  We could get on the plane and not get kicked off.

Same exact  routine from trying to get a seat Tuesday at the airport, same chocolate filled crossiants, same amazement at watching huge steins full of beer being drank at 9:00 a.m., same duty free store, but this time we got on and we got in first class!!!!!!.  We were thrilled.  Usually we will wait for a flight that we know has first class available but this time it didn't matter, Gary was just ready to get home and we were going to go no matter what.

We saw the 3A & 3B on our seat assignments and almost started to cry, really it was such a wonderful gift, we were skipping down the breezeway.  Business Class on Delta is heaven. A ten hour flight is bearable with seats that lay all the way down, the best food, seriously fantastic filet mignon and 1st thing when you walk on they give you mimosa's.  As many movies as you can watch and as much liquor as you can drink can make 10 hours actually go by fast.

 Did I mention how much we love our friends Jim & Elaine who gave us these buddy passes?  I will not be letting anyone meet them, they are our friends and only our friends....they don't need any new friends.  We met them at a motorhome park in Coeur d'Alene one year while we were there for the street fair where  Rich & Susan were selling their jewelry.  The Waebers had the same motorhome as us and Jim stopped by to see if we liked ours.  We are so lucky to have them as friends and not just because we have been able to go see our granddaughter several times first class, but because they are truly wonderful people.  How lucky we were to have had that motorhome.

We got to Atlanta and the next flight was full so we waited until 9:30 pm Atlanta time that put us in at 12:30 a.m. Seattle time.  Dad had left the car at the shuttle place for me that day with a full tank of gas and had it, we wondered, what had we done to deserve that, did he miss us that much?  What a perfect way to end the trip, thanks Dad.

 We got into bed, our bed, our wonderful, big, soft bed at 2:00 a.m. (which was 11:00 a.m. the following day German time) we had been up almost 30 hours and gone almost 30 days.  But traveling first class, getting into a warm, clean car full of gas, and getting into that bed made it all worth it!

..Did you know Germans have beer for breakfast?

 Going space available has definitely got it's perks (cheap) however  even with the best laid plans it can be ....not fun.

 Things looked good last Tuesday morning as we had packed all 4 bags (to the brim) and 2 carry ons in the back of the car the night before and were ready to leave the house by 7:00, which means getting up by 5:30.  Keeping in mind that Gary is sick, very sick I do all the packing, loading and everything so he doesn't have to do a thing.  Sometimes I just have to pat myself on the back for being such a good wife.

  I was not able to talk him out of leaving because he just wanted to GO HOME and be sick there.  I was concerned that they wouldn't let him on the flight with all his coughing but he was determined.  We had gotten an email about the difference between H1N1 and the regular flu/colds out there and because he had gotten the sore throat and this cold had taken a couple of days rather than hours to feel horrible this was probably the same thing he gets every year.  But my main concern was that he was dry coughing, a non productive (and very irritating) cough.  He had been on the couch for two days before, sleeping there as well so that  at night the arm rest could keep his head up comfortably and he wouldn't keep me up, he's a good husband too.  He was miserable and I  kept fluids in him so I thought for sure this would be better by the time we were to leave.  It wasn't.

Our flight left at 10:50 but Annie works right by the airport so we rode with her when she needed to leave. We waited by our counter until 8:00 a.m when Delta station agents get there and being first in line was great....then drop off all 4 bags and we feel "free".

 There is a great Beer Garten right there to get breakfast so that was perfect, we both had these fabulous chocolate filled croissants with a huge cup of coffee, fruit and orange juice....we watched others get these huge steins of beer, this is not even 9:00 in the morning and  we saw lots not several but lots of beer being drank...Gary says that is not uncommon in Germany for drinking to go on all hours of the day.  Well I know they are known for beer in Germany but I had no idea for breakfast, hummmmmmm

   Well next is the duty free shop....tons of perfume.  Since we had hours to go I took my time and smelled many until I came across my new favorite Nini Ricci in this cute little burgundy bottle with a bow on top....oh I loved that smell and tax free, why not.  The gal at the counter said they just got that in and she also had these cute tiny little bags if you purchased it.  She said Munich was the only other  duty free shop that had that perfume because it was brand new......oh my gosh I am getting something new that hardly any one else has, how can you pass that up!  Only $69 euro (ouch over a hundred bucks) but hey one last purchase of something I will remember Paris by since when I was there we never even looked at perfume.  Ok now I am happy that we had so much time this morning.

Finally at our gate with an hour before boarding I seat Gary in a completely different gate area so the others don't notice this man coughing uncontrollably and thinking the same thing I would have thought  "are they really gonna let him on"?  But get this there was another woman Gary's age sitting there by him coughing worse, I know people must have thought they were a very sick couple until Gary got up and moved, he couldn't stand the sound of her cough......

Usually when we go Space A the monitor has our names up there and finally it will say "cleared" and we go get there were no names, I go ask if this was the right place to be and she said "doesn't look good", what?  The night before our "knight in shining amour" Jim who is so good to us by giving us these buddy passes and checking the flight loads for us, said it was "clear sailing all the way home"......what could have changed?  This is the first time this has happened on the the Int'l leg of this flight.  I've only done this twice before but had never had an ounce of trouble with this portion of the trip.  I waited there until the gate people took down all the signs and ropes for boarding.  There were about 30 of us just still sitting there waiting for a glimmer of hope when she came on the speaker and said that because of unusually heavy head winds that would require more fuel and extra cargo no Non-revs today.  I have to say that with as sick as Gary was I was happy about this.  Poor guy was still over in another gate area. We had to go to retrieve our luggage.  On Int'l flights they will remove luggage off the plane for Non-Revs so that was another ordeal to go get that and go back to the ticket counter to get re-listed on Thursdays flight as there was no Wednesday flight out.  We called Annie at work and by now it was her lunch hour so she came to get us and take us home.

I was happy and knew that the Flu Gods were watching out for Gary, he needed the extra two days to get better and I, well two more days of Mattie were heaven.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Goodbye Europe

We are packed up and ready to go home tomorrow.  Very bittersweet leaving my little 2 year old Mattie.  This morning I dropped her off at daycare and she said "Oma, no, please" If that doesn't break your heart, I don't know what does.  We were too sick today to keep her, we needed our naps today to get ready for the 24 hour traveling that it will take to get home.

We got in so much traveling on this trip that we are worn out but satisfied.  Of course a few little Germany overnight trips were fun and Normandy was always a dream for Gary to do but I didn't realize I would like it as much as he did.  I wanted Gary to see Paris and he didn't realize that he would love it as much as I do. On the trip over and back to France from Stuttgart there were some real interesting champagne and U.S.A. memorials to see.   However I think what surprised us the most was Austria.  Both Salzburg and Vienna were very unique and a huge find.  This is where we want to come back to.  A trip in the summer so we can go up in the Alps next time.  Of course it goes without saying that I have to come back to Paris...maybe a girls trip to do some flea-market shopping.  I was so close to doing that this time but with girls it would be better anyway....

We ran out of time to do Italy.  I think Italy should be a trip on it's own.  I would love to do Italy with someone who really knows where to go and what to see.  I would love to see the Tuscan countryside, the olive farms, the cheese factories, the glass from Murano, Venice, Sienna,  Florence, and the coast.  I don't want to have to do Italy on a tight schedule.  I have a lot of wants, I know I have big dreams. But sometimes dream do come true..............