Friday, April 30, 2010

We are in Paris ... for a few days

So I have a whole update written right now about our goings on in Paris since we arrived Wednesday. I use a software called MarsEdit and can write a blog when I don't have Internet access and post it when I do. The Internet access we paid for right now we can only use on Curt's computer for some reason and where is my post?
So until then you will have to wait to hear about Versailles, Eiffel Tower visit (my mom went all the way to the top, Ed and Marilyn arriving and our visit to the Louvre today.
This evening we all went our own ways. Curt and I had dinner at a little cafe. We sat outside and drank our beer and had a tres bien dinner. I had an amazing sea bass with some crazy buttery goodness sauce. That was some pretty good people and dog watching. Afterward we came back to our room to get jackets and we headed out to the mall area to see the skyline get dark and the tower light up. On the way we ran into Ed and Marilyn. Marilyn was getting gelato. I wasn't gonna get one and then ... I did. I had crem caramel. Yum! We walked over to the mall area and watched the tower lights get brighter. We ran into Mom and Fred, too. We took some good pics and then started the walk back. We stopped at a cafe for dessert and drinks. Then back to the hotel. Curt and I are getting cleaned up and winding down and getting ready to visit Notre Dame tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another lovely day in London

Today we met Mom and Fred about 9 in the lobby. We grabbed some coffee and pastries and were on our way to Westminster Abbey. The abbey is absolutely gorgeous with some amazing history. Mom and Fred really liked it. Once in the gift shop I found a beautiful small wooden crucifix I wanted to buy ... but it was made in Italy so I passed.
After the abbey the guys wanted to go to the Imperial War Museum. Mom and I had no interest. So they went to the museum and Mom and I wandered around St. James Park. It was sunny and beautiful. We chatted, looked at tulips, ate some ice cream and had a lovely time.
We met back up with the husbands and had lunch at Covent Garden. After that we jumped on a double decker bus back to the Waterloo station--which is right near our hotel. (I took video of our ride.) It was a ton of fun. The bus dumped us off in front of a pub. Curt and I went in for a beer. Mom and Fred headed back to the hotel.
We are back in the hotel for a little R&R and Internet time (we paid for 24 hours of Internet for a high fee and our 24 hours is up shortly--so likely no more updates until Paris).
Tonight we are meeting some friends for drinks and dinner. Should be a good time as always.
Then tomorrow we hop on the Chunnel to Paris.
On Thursday Ed and Marilyn meet us for the rest of the trip.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Drinking beer, eating crips, drinking tea, watching the theatre

Writing this while having some tea and crisps.
First, let me just saw how wonderful my husband is. We got back to the room late. About 11:30 0r so he offered to pop 0ver the covenience store and get me crisps and biscuits. (The last time we stayed at this hotel we got biscuits with our tea.) Apparently times are tougher these days.
(Please mind any typos: I am tired; I have a had a few drinks; and I just took a sleeping pill.)
Today was a good day. Curt and I had an easy morning. We headed to coffee and muffins and then met up with Mom and Fred. After that took the Tube to the area where we would be meeting our friend David. We got there a little early and did some wandering. Eventually we headed the The George for pints and lunch. We had a good visit with David. After that we walked along the river to the Tower of London for a tour, which is pretty cool. I like looking at the gaudy jewels and crowns and all that. After the Tower we came back to the hotel for a break and for mom and me to get ready for our girl's night out. We headed toward the theatre to get our tickets for Avenue Q. After that we had a deliciously brilliant Indian dinner. We both enjoyed it so much. Wow, the food was good.
After that we went back to the show with upgraded tickets. Nice! We had really good seats. The show was absolutely hilarious. Inappropriate at times--but a ton of fun. We laughed so much. Mom and I had wine at intermission. And then continued enjoying the show.
After the show we walked back to our hotel. We checked the hotel bar and both our rooms and no husbands. So I texted Curt and I wrote back saying meet at the bar. So we did. We had a night cap and are now in our rooms. I am sure Mom and Fred are out. I am updating my readers on the goings on of us.

First London update

(Written Sunday night about 10 London time)
Mama and me with our first pints at Angel & Crown

We flew to London on Friday night and arrived Saturday afternoon. Curt and I were on United and Mom and Fred were on British Airways (the itineraries worked better for us to be on different airlines when coming home). Our flights were a little longer than normal since we had to stay the less direct route--across the US and then north--well south of the volcano.
We met at Heathrow and then headed to our hotel. We are staying near the London Eye.
Once we checked in and cleaned up a bit we headed out for a drink and dinner. We first stopped at Angel & Crown for a pint. After that we walked to the Covent Garden patio area for dinner. We found an Italian restaurant to have dinner. Had a nice dinner (even though I dumped a wine glass on Fred and Curt).
I slept not so bad last night. I woke up a few times--but what's new? There have been times when I come to Europe and I crash about 10 p.m. and then wide awake about 2 a.m. But last night was better. Let's hope it stays that way. The rest of the gang slept really well.
We met up about 10:30 ... walked by Big Ben. Then we walked over to Westminster Abbey. It started raining pretty hard. And since it was Sunday we couldn't actually go into the Abbey. So we decided to get out of the rain and take the Tube to Harrod's. We stopped for coffee and a snack. Then we wandered around and did some shopping.
After Harrod's a stop at Buckingham Palace. Then we wandered back toward the hotel. Curt and I stopped at a cafe for a drink and I had a snack of hummus. Mom and Fred did a little more wandering.
We met back up about 5 and headed toward Covent Garden for dinner. Mom wanted fish and chips. So we found a restaurant and had dinner and some pints. After dinner more wandering around. We went to Leicester Square and Picadilly Circus. After that we stopped for coffee/tea.
I am back in the room relaxing. Took a shower, watching some TV and making some tea.

Friday, April 23, 2010

It has been a long week ...

Last weekend was action packed, which was great and fun. But I didn't get much done.
This whole week was ... are we going on our European vacation or our we postponing? Things started looking up Tuesday night. Then sometime last week our car alarm started going off when we locked the car. GREAT! So I took it in Monday and I got it back Tuesday evening.
There's always a lot to do at work. But even more so right before going on vacation.
Yesterday late afternoon Mom and Fred arrived. After I got out of work I met them and Curt at McNally's for a drink. Then we got a pizza and headed home. We just lounged and watched TV, drank wine and had pizza. I, of course, got nothing done last night.
So today I had an early dentist appointment. Then home for packing, a little laundry and various things that I needed to get done. I feel pretty good.
I am ready to take my mom to Paris to celebrate her 60th, even if she is still 59. We first hit London for a few days, then off to Paris. Curt's parents, Ed and Marilyn, will meet us in Paris (to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary). We will be in Paris for a few more days and then all of us head to Amsterdam. Curt and I come home after Amsterdam. Mom and Fred go to Nice and Ed and Marilyn head to Switzerland.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Gonna do some name dropping ... (Awesome weekend!)

Friday night Curt and I met family friend Tag and my dad and Hilda for drinks and dinner. We had beers at The Trappist, a Belgium beer bar in downtown Oakland, and next door to an awesome restaurant called Tamarindo. It was a really fun night. We hadn't seen Dad and Hilda for some time. So it was nice to catch up. Dinner at Tamarindo was delicious. For dessert I had probably the best Mexican hot chocolate.
Saturday morning Curt and I headed down to Hayward to see Tag play in the Nationwide tournament. It was a gorgeous and sunny day. We watched Tag tee off and then did some relaxing and had lunch. Tag had told us the first 9 holes was a tough walk. So we met back at the 9th hole and watched him play the second half of the course. He played well. We are convinced that we are his good luck charms and we need to reap some financial rewards. :)
Later that evening we met Tag for dinner at La Tratorria Siciliana. That place is always a mob scene. We had a 7:30 reservation and got a table at 8:30. We were all so hungry by the time we sat down. But it was worth the wait. We had an amazing dinner. We had a good time.
Today Jim and Jennifer came over and we headed up to Napa for an event at Andretti Winery. We got to meet Mario. I got a couple of pictures with him and he signed a bottle of wine for me. I told him that I have been a wine club member for five years and this was the first time I got to meet him. They couldn't have picked a better day for the event. It was about 75, sunny and beautiful. We sipped a little wine and hung out for a bit. Then we headed to our favorite Italian restaurant for a yummy lunch. After that we headed to Mumm for a tasting--Jennifer is a member. I had some yummy sparklings and we had some fruit, nuts and crackers. They even had free fuu-fuu water or juice for the designated driver, which was my wonderful husband.
This evening we Skyped with both sets of out of town parents, talked about our upcoming trip. I got a few things done around the house.
Now we are watching The Pacific. This episode is insane. The battle scene is pretty intense.
The photo above is me meeting Mario. I am chatting with him while he signs my bottle of wine. I do have a shot of he and I as buds facing the camera. You may have to wait for a Christmas/holiday card for that shot. :) Or maybe not.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy birthday to my furbaby!!!!

Joey turns 16 today.
This morning he received some treats to munch on and a catnip pineapple.
If he were a real baby he would be able to drive today.
I can't believe I have had my little old man for almost 16 years.
Check out Joey's blog for video, pictures and his tale of his fun day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Damn you, cold!

It has been about a week and a half and I still have a cold!
Yesterday driving to work I felt cloudy and in a fog. Congestion and cough still existed. I got tired pretty quick and left work a little early.
Today I feel a lot better. Still have this annoying, dry cough and, of course, the congestion. I ended up working until about 7:30. I feel so behind on things with me being sick lately. It is weird not even working 8 hour days. But I was back to my old work self today clocking in a 10ish-hour day.
The waking up often in the middle of the night to cough really sucks.
I am so over this stupid cold.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What a wild weekend!

Ha! I wish.
This weekend was full of TV watching, lounging, napping, a lot of coughing. A little knitting was done.
I left the house once ... this morning to hit the grocery.
Most of today I on and off napped. I just felt so tired. And I am trying to be really good and not over do it and just rest and yet still I am tired.
I got a few things done around this house that I needed to this weekend. But not everything.
Next weekend is our last weekend before we leave for two weeks to Europe. And our weekend is pretty packed--which stresses me out. I am trying to not freak out about it. I really can't right now since I am just tired. So that helps.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Hot tea with a little rum? And some rest

I went back to work yesterday. It was tough. I only worked five hours. Then I came home for lounging, movie watching and knitting. Oh, and, of course, rum in my tea drinking.
This morning when I woke up I felt much better. But now I have a sore throat. The congestion is not as bad. The cough is still nasty.
I have a really horse voice. So I must sound awful.
I worked from about 8-4 today. Then I came home for lounging, knitting and movie watching (and, definitely, tea with rum drinking).
I have watched some super crappy movies and some good ones. Thank goodness for a couple of Netflix movies. I watched Brothers the other day. Pretty intense. Sad, but good. And today I watched An Education. It was good. I really enjoyed it.
I am doing my best to rest as much as possible and not over do it. I will only get sicker or stay sick longer. It's just tough when I have a lot of work to do, especially since I will be going on vacation in two weeks! Schweet!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Stay-at-Home Sick Day No. 2

My chest cold turned into a full on cold last night. I am so tired. Bleh!
I decided it was best that I stay home another day. Yesterday I was so bored. I can't believe I want to get back to work. But I do. Plus I have a ton to do. It will be a tough week trying to recoup. But I will do what I can.
There has been a lot of movie watching--Lifetime and chick flicks on the DVD player--and knitting. That is one benefit about being home sick. Lots of knitting gets done. Last night I finished my third troop hat.
Also, I have discovered a soothing hot drink. It definitely isn't Theraflu. That stuff is so nasty. Where do they get off saying it is soothing? Anyway, hot tea and a little rum. Yummmmm.
OK, back to the couch, my tea, a movie and hopefully a nap.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy non-garden day!

On Friday work let the employees leave at 1 to start their weekends early. I have a lot of work to get done before I go on vacation in a little less than three weeks. I worked until about 3 and then brought some work home with me and lounged the rest of the day.
I felt like I might be coming down with something. But also thought it could be allergies.
When I woke up Saturday I definitely had some sort of chest cold, cough thing going on. I decided it was a bad idea to go to the gym. (And just the other day I blogged about how I haven't been sick in a little more than a year ...)
Curt had to work Saturday because of the release of the iPad. So I went into the office for about four hours to get some stuff done. It was quiet and no interruptions.
After I came home I relaxed and watched some movies and knitted. I am now on my third hat for the troops.
Normally on Easter Curt and I plant our garden. We didn't today because of the buckets of rain. So hopefully next Sunday. Kinda a bummer. But I think I likely wouldn't have been too useful with this damn chest cold.
Today Curt and I went to REI to pick up a few things for our upcoming trip. After that we had lunch at this place called Sea Salt in Berkeley. Their menu is quirky--but so yummy.
That outing had me worn out. So I came home and took a nap.
Oh, the real excitement of the weekend was Skyping with Mom and Fred. We bought them a cheap little camera for their computer. My stepsister's husband helped them get Skype on their computer and hook up the camera.
Now I am ready to eat some soup and watch some Lifetime movies. That's a good evening. I think in a little bit we are gonna watch District 9.

Friday, April 02, 2010

1 hat down, second started, many to go ...

As many of you know, in 2008 I worked on a charity project ... I knitted hats for the troops over in Iraq and Afghanistan. I sent my hats and other hats and extras, which friends contributed, to The Ships Project, which then sends the items on to different branches of the military based on need and requests.
Well, I am doing it again this year. I have one hat knitted and the second one started. The first time I worked on this project I made 20. I have a higher goal for myself this time around. My goal is to have my hats ready for the November mailing to The Ships Project so that they get to the troops by Christmas.
Last time around we sent 49 hats, a bunch of extras (coffee, ChapStick, Crystal Light, bandages) and money for postage.
If anyone would like to participate please let me know and I can get you the specifics. Some of the color rules for the hats have changed since I made them last.
I may not support the war, but I do support our troops.
And I will keep on knitting ...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Please support my virtual walk, if you can

My company, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, has created a team to support the MMRF Race for Research.
I have signed up for the virtual walk since I will be on vacation.
Any donation is accepted. But I also totally understand if you can't donate at this time. I will take support any way I can get it.
If you do want to donate, please go here to view my page.
I love that my company is trying to change the way cancer is treated.
Thanks for your support.