Monday, December 08, 2008
IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS...
This weekend my apartment took on a decidedly Christmas feel. The jigsaw puzzle that is my storage closet was dismantled one box at a time until we retrieved the tree and all the ornaments. I thought that was tough... Once we brought everything into my apartment, we had to re-arrange furniture several times before finding a way that everything would fit, somewhat normally. It was tricky but I think I'm happy with the results.
It's always fun putting up the tree and seems to "officially" start the Christmas season. I bought candy cane eggnog (still deciding if I like it) and had a chocolate fondue to help set the mood. After de-tangling the lights and carefully stretching out a couple of extension cords, we had lights.
An artificial tree with only lights looks a little pathetic, but as the ornaments slowly made their way onto the tree, it started to look pretty good! I just bought some new ornaments at Sam's Club a few weeks ago and I really like them. At the same time we were decorating, we were figuring out my new camera and its features. Check out the panoramic shot I did this morning. You take 3 photos in a row and it combines them! So cool.
So, the tree is up, the stockings are hung (I love that I have a "fireplace") and some presents are under the tree. Lookin' good!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
My friend Sue & I were planning on renting a cottage for a weekend in October. Sue had been there last year with a friend and it was a nice getaway during a beautiful time of year. I thought it sounded like a good idea; catch up on some reading, talk, laugh, etc. When those plans fell through (due to cottage conflict) we changed our plans to a shopping trip to Detroit. Not quite nature, but we had talked about hitting Somerset Mall and this might be a nice alternative. Somehow, this idea ballooned into a trip to CHICAGO!!! It seems like everyone I've talked to lately had just been to Chicago or is going. So, why not? Taking the train from Port Huron to Chicago is really affordable and we were soon booking our trip!
It was so fun. We had to leave London super early in order to catch our 5:15am train in Port Huron. But, we just picked up a Timmy's and enjoyed the anticipation-filled drive. The Port Huron train station is a bit ghetto to say the least...not even a vending machine! Fortunately we weren't there long before boarding the train. We were able to get a little sleep as well as a lot of laughs on the train. When we finally pulled into the city, it was around noon.
We were just a short walk to the hotel and the sun was shining. What a great day! We were able to check in early and head out to explore the city. But back to the hotel for a moment. It was SO COOL! It was full of retro furniture and very funky. I loved it. And it was so close to everything. We were in the Entertainment District and right next door to a theatre that was hosting "Dirty Dancing".
So, we headed out to do a double decker bus tour of the city. Our tour guide was very entertaining as she explained the sites of the city. At first it was pretty cool but as the afternoon wore on, it got COLD. I was on the top of a double decker bus in the windy city and I was freezing! I couldn't wait for the tour to be over. When we got off the bus we were cold, hungry and had to pee like crazy! Our initial plan was to get deep dish pizza for dinner but since we weren't sure where to go to get it (and needed food intake immediately) we decided to go to a steak house that we passed.
It was the most hilarious dinner ever. We were both SO hungry. It was not your typical steakhouse, you ordered like a cafeteria with a tray and everything. After looking at the menu, I asked Sue what she thought she'd get. I was absolutely shocked when she said the 20 oz steak!! This is a woman that is usually a vegetarian!!! I talked her down and we each got the 10oz steak. I had mine with a side of macaroni & cheese, baked potato (WITH cheese & bacon) and garlic bread. Um, ya...what the heck were we thinking??
The next day we spent shopping on State Street. While walking down the street, I saw someone that I knew was famous but couldn't just place him. I made Sue turn around and we caught a glimpse of him talking on his cell phone. She ID'ed him as being on Spin City (and I later discovered it was Richard Kind) Cool. Famous person spotted in the windy city. We returned to our hotel in time to buy tickets for that night's performance of Dirty Dancing. My friend Jen joined us for the performance, which was a lot of fun. We had a late dinner and a tour of NBC which is where Jen works.
On the Monday, we headed out for an architectural boat tour. Despite the bitterly cold wind and near the end of the tour - rain, it was really cool. We had just enough time to see "the bean" and get our chicago-style pizza. By the time we got back to the hotel we were soaked, so we took a cab to the train station for a LONG ride home.