Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Providence, RI

New England holds a special place in our hearts.  Not only do we have ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower, my mother was raised there in a quiet little town south of Boston.  Whenever we have the chance to make a visit back there, we jump at the chance. This month Mark had a board review conference in Providence, Rhode Island. Despite the fact that I got sick the first day we were there, we had a really sweet time and really enjoyed the time we shared with family.
 First order of business is lunch at Caserta's!  It's the real deal people! And the pepper pigs!  Yum.  So nice to be with Aunt Gin and Uncle Len. Lots of chatty catching up and Mark had to get back to his classes, I got to go home with Uncle Len and Aunt Gin.

 This is one of my very favorite photos - ever!! I snapped it with my cell phone while I was recording some of our conversation.  She pulled out her tape recorder which is full of her telling stories about her life and singing songs!  We sat and listened and laughed until our sides hurt!  Then she shared stories and recipes.  It was the best!

 I love how she will turn the card over and record what was going on that day while she was preparing the recipe.  What little treasures these cards are. I helped her cook up some crepes for dessert.

 She made us her mother's recipe (which she has tweaked a little) for Goulash and we enjoyed the crepes for dessert with Lens' homemade applesauce and strawberries. Nothing better than dinner at their table.  Such a treat!

 Uncle Len doesn't like to smile for the camera too much but he is the sweetest guy you will ever meet.  The stories these two have!  I need a copy of him smooching me off of their camera!

 On the "hill".  One of our favorite places in Providence.  So Italian.
When we go with a big group of us, everyone orders and we take a bite and pass it around the table.
Today it was a Chocolate Peanut Butter Square for Mark and Lemon Tart for me!

Thursday I rested in the hotel and did some stitching.  Colds are NO FUN on vacation! That evening we went to dinner at Siena's on Federal Hill.  Maddy introduced us to this fabulous restaurant a couple of years ago.  They win "best of" awards every year.  I think they were best in the state for Italian this year.  Fantastic!  If you go...get reservations for the back of the restaurant, it's more quiet.

The architecture up around Brown University is beautiful.  We went to the museum at Rhode Island School of Design - RISD. It was fantastic! It is housed in several old buildings that are all joined together. A neat display of Japanese block printing...

One room full of about a dozen cases of textiles from over the centuries.  The students were given an inspiration piece from which they had to design their own new piece.  This cute girl was so fun to visit with.  Oh to attend this wonderful school of design!!  She knitted the black thread out of a plastic type material and worked it into her piece. So cool!!

Quito's is a family favorite.  Their full bellied fried clams and scallops are the best in the world! 
And the chowda... oh my! So nice to dine on the waterfront.

Saturday we went with Maddy down to Point Judith to get lobsters off the boats!  What a blast!!  She is one of the most delightful people you will EVER meet.  Her sister, Cathy is just as wonderful.  They are Len and Gin's girls.

Questions about the industry...and we learned many things.  A bullet is a lobster with no claws, a cull has only one claw.  If they loose their claw in a fight...they will grow one back! Cool!

Maddy is adding to our collection in the cooler.

 These little necks/quahogs, whatever you like to call them, will be opened up and slurped down raw with lemon juice and hot sauce!  I'm definitely my mama's girl when it come to these treats!
 I don't look too excited, do I?
I think we took home about 12-13 when all was said and done!

 What a gorgeous day!

 You can see Maddy's new outdoor room that they have worked on this past year.  What a place! It has everything you could want from a TV to a fridge with chilled beverages! Her sweet husband and chef extraordinaire,  made us Stuffed Lobsters and we gorged ourselves, enjoying every last morsel!
Can't thank you enough - Eddy and Maddy, for your generous hospitality and love!


And last but not least...the BEST part of the entire trip!  We got to meet up with Brady & Dani with the kids at the Baltimore airport on our layover there!  It was such a great refueling visit with them!  We hugged those kids over and over again! Liam showed us his two new teeth and how well he is learning words in French and Elsie is talking up a storm! ADORABLE!

Now...four more days until my Open House!!  Better get busy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Middle of the Month

Emily is doing in great in school!  She is busy keeping up with her homework, social life, teaching a young class of girls in Irish Dance, dancing herself, and getting VERY anxious to get her license.  Below are a few photos from the homecoming game and a trip to the corn maze.

New signs for Black Sheep Woolens!!  Very exciting!  I learned how to dye velvet this month and have been busy getting ready for an open house.
 The weather has been perfect.  The other night we had amazing overcast skies with the most beautiful light. The leaves up the canyons are spectacular!  We love this time of year!!


 We load up two vehicles with family and canoes...
and the adventure begins!
The colors were just about to peak.  What a beautiful time of year. We had great conversation on the trip up, just wish we could  have all fit in one vehicle together. For breakfast we stopped at the Ender Hotel in Soda Springs and had a picnic breakfast served off the bed of the trailer...croissants with cold cuts, cinnamon rolls from Great Harvest, granola, fruit and  juice! We browsed around the museum, watched the geyser go off and headed on down the road.

Sweetwater Restaurant...a new place we decided to check out.  They are VERY busy all the time but the wait was worth it! My choice was a veggie sandwich with Parmesan Crusted bread and salad.  The seafood options were great as well. We will definitely go back.  One regret of the trip was missing Nora's Fish House.  Just not enough time.

 We floated the river our first night. We put in at Jackson Lake Dam and take out just as it is getting dark after a three hour leisurely float. It is so beautiful and peaceful. There is a spot we always pull over to pose for sweetheart photos.  Once we get going again the sun has set and this time of year the elk are bugling and it is heavenly.  This is the first time EVER we have not seen moose.  I guess with our big group we were a little noisy.  Lots of birds, beaver and bats though :)  and the size of the trout! Really unbelievable to look down into the large schools of this beautiful fish swimming right below us. I love breathing in the smell of pine and just listening to nature.

We got to meet a family member!  Steve, the son of my mother's cousin lives in Jackson...and has for over ten years.  We had no idea until this past year.  He met us at Bubba's for breakfast and we had a great visit with him.

 The whole crew!
 We sure love this beautiful valley!
And the art galleries are always a treat to visit.
We picked out a new project for Mark to create...
you know, in all of his spare time!

The second night we drove back down by the river to listen for the Elk again. It was pitch black, a little spooky but very exciting to listen to all of the wildlife in the river. We are lucky to have friends who rent their home out in the perfect location. There were a couple of fires in the area so we didn't get spectacular shots, but we certainly had an amazing trip together...we made great memories and will never forget that BYU-Utah game at the sports bar! My parents were troopers in the canoes.

 Two of my brothers, one sister and my parents joined us.  I have a sister and two other brothers who couldn't make the trip.  I love my family!! In-laws especially included in that last statement!!

Several years ago I took this photo on a morning float 
- Oxbow Bend.
Already looking forward to our next trip!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Birthday Love

Our family l o v e s birthdays and the celebration they bring with them. Especially two adorable grandchildren who live far on the east coast.  We love it when everyone can be together, but that doesn't often happen.  We also love to stretch out the birth-D A Y and turn it into a birthweek or even a birthmonth!  Isn't that much more fun and festive?? My birthday lands in one of the most beautiful months of the year.  September. Yesterday we met our Salt Lake family in Bountiful and enjoyed a meal together at The Mandarin.  They know their Chinese dishes and it's a treat to dine there.  Lindsey brought a box full of cupcakes from the Sweet Tooth Fairy and we had a great time together.  I sure feel blessed with the family I was born into, married into and gave birth to :)
 This morning Mark made us Peach Crepes for breakfast and for dinner, he and Em cooked up a delightful steak dinner and we dined al fresco.  The drinks slowly savored...Brazilian Lemonade.  Spoiled rotten.  September is magical. 
And they tell me they attempted a Lemon Pie...and there are a few gifts on the fireplace :)