Friday, November 18, 2011

Expect the Unexpected

A couple of day's after Brian and I returned from Boston, my mom arrived for her long awaited visit. As is usual with me, I realize looking back that some of the funnest memories came from totally unplanned, unexpected moments. In my life, I truly am beginning to not only expect the unexpected, but to crave the lasting memories and fun that going with the flow brings.

Don't get me wrong. We did plenty of the planned and expected, and loved every minute of it. Long, brisk walks in Fort Ward enjoying the leaves that waited to peak until my mom arrived; walking through neighborhoods in our area enjoying the gorgeous houses; making a planned trip to the National Aquarium so my mom could see the dolphins Londyn adored; shopping at both malls nearby, H&M, and of course, Home Goods; watching a Friday night movie with pizza; being spoiled rotten with delicious dinners out at both nearby gluten free restaurants; munching on candy and goodies galore; FINALLY getting to show my mom the black squirrel that's moved into our apartment woods and is constantly discussed, and much swooned over, via cell on my morning walks; CVS runs, and Magruder trips.... all expected, and all so lovely.

But this trip, I think the most memorable moments came from the unexpected moments:

Seeing my mom as a convict. (Seriously...look at that mischevious little line-up grin. She's loving it! Starting to wonder if she was born for life on the lam) Me and my mom have always been into watching crime shows together, so the Crime and Punishment Museum tickets I got for a steal on Groupon were a blast.

Getting lost on our drive to Harper's Ferry, WV... only to see the most gorgeous color, and beautiful scenery of her whole trip. Or maybe of our lives. We haven't quite decided yet. All three of us were blown away. We borrowed some farmer's fields and fences for a photo op. I'm sure they don't mind. Farmers are nice as a rule, right? :)

Harper's Ferry was breathtaking too, by the way, but we expected that.

Setting up our Christmas tree. Beginning of November. Yes, I went over to the dark "pre-day-after-Thanksgiving" side. It was too tempting to have my mom see it, what with all the ornaments she's shipped over the years. And guess what? I'm LOVING having it up early, and have even snuck in some Christmas music here and there.

Spending a full day washing and waxing my car. Never expected to do this with my mom in town, but with the weather she thought it was a great idea, and we quite enjoyed each other's company while I learned just what a workout a full Turtle Wax can be.

Finding a See's Chocolates in the mall around the corner. NO WAY. Two boxes later...

Seeing hundreds (if not thousands...seriously) of crows migrating right over our heads on an impulsive walk to Safeway. The sun was getting ready to set, the moon was almost full, and it was...magical. For lack of a better word, magical! 15-20 minutes of amazement. It was just one of those moments I think we'll always remember. And now I know why crows are always found in autumn decorations. Never understood this while living in Utah... but now... boy howdy!

Boy do I love my mom and her visits. COME BACK MAMA! I'm not sure I can wait the few weeks til Christmas! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The British are Coming!!! The British are Coming!!!

Ever since we've been married, I've been wanting to get Brian to Boston. He loves boats, water and history, and after making some awesome memories in Boston with my girlfriend, Kristy, the fall Bri and I got engaged, I couldn't stop thinking about how much my boy would LOVE beantown. This summer, we decided this fall was THE fall, and this past week the much anticipated trip finally arrived!

I'm betting the Bostonians wished Paul Revere was still around to hang a couple lanterns and warn them we were coming, cuz boy did we take the town by storm! In our 3 days there, we saw tons of history, fall color and RAIN. We were bundled up, freezing, and trying to stay dry, but didn't let it slow us down. Some of our favorite highlights...

*Isabella Gardner Museum: they wouldn't let us take photos, but talk about an awesome lady. She spent her life collecting antiques and art, and then designed a big, Venetian Palace, complete with an inner courtyard, to house it all in. Amazing exhibits, all hand designed by an amazing lady in the early 1900s. (Speaking of Venice, early Bostonians were obsessed with Italy. It's so fun to see all the Venetian and Pompeian architecture around the city! Happy second honeymoon to us!)

*Tour of Fenway: Yep...Bri was in heaven touring the oldest ballpark in America...despite the cold and rain. Let's just say he was the last one out of the press box, and the last one off the green monster. Really, really neat.

*The Freedom Trail: old burying grounds where we met Ben Franklin, John Hancock and Mother Goose, Paul Revere's house, the USS Constitution, Bunker Hill (our walk up the hill led us to the cutest park), the Old North Church, the site of the Boston Massacre, and lots and lots of other historic sites, all crammed into a full day of walking all over a picturesque city. So amazing.

*Salem: Yes, we did Salem the Saturday before Halloween, and YES it was WILD. The rain kept us from doing the planned walking tours all over, but we still saw lots of old houses, lots of witches, lots of lines for bathrooms, the Salem Witch Museum and the House of the Seven Gables. Happy Halloween to us.

*Harvard: We pretended to be brilliant overachievers, and soaked in the gorgeous leaves and buildings for a couple of hours.

Add a yummy dinner by the harbor, lots of good food, hot chocolate galore, catching the "T", strolling through a park in the pitch black to find some duckling statues, praising the inventor of Hot Hands, and pondering with each other about why the outspoken Boston men weren't catcalling in their oh-so-distinct accents like they did with Kristy and I.... and you pretty much have our trip all summed up. :) As usual, the best part was just being around each other for 3 days straight. A little smidgen of our photos are below...

Hope you all had a very Happy Halloween! Now...bring on the holidays!