Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Joe's 40th: Day 5, New York City

Joe indulged me on Sunday morning and agreed to head back to Cafe Lalo for breakfast. He knew I was going to miss that place, and I was so excited to eat there one last time. :) We took a nice walk through the Upper West Side to get there.

Love the stoops and streets of NYC.
We then headed to Times Square to do a little shopping. You have to love traveling with the Stutzmans! They like to shop! Plus, it was super hot out, so heading into the little stores along the way was a nice way to get out of the heat for a bit.

Times Square


Joe buying water at the hot dog stand.

The girls checking out the street vendors.

Joe and me cooling off at Dean and Deluca.

In a cab. (Sam was a little worried about the local cab drivers. She kept telling us to keep our arms inside the cab at all times, since she thought we would get them ripped off by how close the cars zipped by one another.)

We then took the Staten Island Ferry out past the Statue of Liberty. Always a nice thing to do in the city. You get an excellent view of the statue for free!




When we got off the ferry, it was pretty much time to head home. So, we went back to our hotel, grabbed our bags, and headed to Grand Central.

It was definitely a busy, busy weekend, but I certainly had a great time, and I really think Joe and the girls did as well. We returned home from NYC around 9:00 p.m. Sunday night, and Cindy and Sam had the entire day on Monday to rest up while Joe and I were at work. They spent the day sleeping in and laying by the pool. I think it was a much needed break from the whirl-wind adventure I planned. haha.

I took them to the airport at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Thanks for coming, girls! We carried out the surprise and it was such a great week!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Joe's 40th: Day 4, New York City

We came home from Boston on Friday night, ate and slept, then headed out to New York City first thing Saturday morning. (Yes, I ran our guests completely ragged during their trip here!)

We took the train into the city around 8:55 a.m.

On the train, before being bored to tears. haha.

Once we got to the city, we had to do our usual routine. Breakfast at Cafe Lalo, then a stroll to Riverside Park. I love this routine and it makes me so sad that I won't be doing it again for a long time...

At my favorite place - Cafe Lalo. Have I mentioned that they have the BEST coffee??

Our Engagement Spot!

They put the sign back up!

I took them on the subway for the first time ever. I think the girls were kind of nervous, but they got used to it, and became like locals before long.

On the subway.

Heading underground to the subway, from our hotel.

We had dinner reservations at this great restaurant on the Upper West Side, to really celebrate Joe's birthday in style. It was a fabulous place and great food.




It was a great first night in the big city!

(Don't worry, only one more birthday post to go!)

Joe's 40th: Day 3, Hanging Out in Boston

After the tour of Fenway Park, we headed into downtown Boston to explore a bit before heading home. We stopped at Faneuil Hall and had lunch at Cheers.


How cute are these two??


For some reason we all thought this display was so cool. The outline is made out of baseballs.


We did some shopping and then decided to head back home. Of course, we ended up leaving Boston at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday, when everyone else was heading out after work for the weekend, so it was a looooong drive home. But we got home to two very happy dogs and collapsed into bed!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Joe's 40th: Day 2, Lunch in Boston

I have totally brainwashed Joe, because every time I let him pick a place to eat, he always seems to pick a Mongolian BBQ! Love it! So for his birthday lunch in Boston, we went to a place called Fire and Ice. I guess a few of his patients recommended it to him.

It was a really great place (but not as great as the Wok).

Samantha, Joe, and Cindy all decked out in Red Sox gear!

I totally stuck out in my new red Red Sox shirt. But we were all pumped for the big game!

I told the cook that we were here for Joe's birthday and he said he always took pictures with the birthday guests, so not to forget on the way out.

Next up, Fenway Paaahhhk.

Joe's 40th: Day 3, Tour of Fenway Park

So, I have to post a little out of order here, and for those of you who know me, you know that is absolutely killing me. But I don't have any pictures of our time at the Red Sox game because I forgot my camera in the car (big surprise, I forgot something, I know) and Cindy took all the pictures. And she is sending them to me in the mail. So, you'll just have to wait. :)

We were actually supposed to take the tour of Fenway Park prior to the game. We were going to take the last tour of the day, where we would have been able to see the players warming up on the field. It would have been awesome. And we would have made it, except they changed the time of the game to an hour earlier to accommodate the Celtics, who were in the basketball playoffs. (That city really rallys behind their sports teams, let me tell you.)

So once we got done with lunch, checked into our hotel, and took a taxi to the ballpark, we had just missed the last tour. I was pretty disappointed, because I knew Joe really wanted to take that particular tour, but we made up for it with some shopping.

Anyway, we took the tour the following morning (Friday). There were a TON of people and it was super hot out, but it was still pretty awesome.

Joe was the only one who got searched. He must have looked dicey.

We got to hear the history of the park, the team, and the team's infamous rivalry with the New York Yankees. It was actually really interesting. It's really an amazing history. That stadium will be 100 years old in 2012, at which time it will become a historical landmark and will never be able to be torn down. I hope it makes it because there is so much history there and so many little nuances - it should never be torn down!


Don't ask me why Joe looks so pissed in this picture. It was really his perfect day and he had so much fun.

Sitting much closer than we were at the actual game!

The famous Green Monster!

Box seats.

More of the stadium.

The last manual scoreboard. I guess there is a 30-year wait to do this job. Amazing.

The digital board.

Another shot of the stadium.

That beautiful grass.

Batting practice cage.

More of the stadium.

See that red seat back there? That marks the longest home run in Fenway history. It actually hit a guy on the head!

It was an amazing morning and I LOVED hearing all about this park that Joe loves so much.

Joe's 40th: Day 1

Sorry for the delay in getting all the fun posts up about Joe's birthday. It really sucks not having internet at home and since all my picture are on my computer, I can't blog at work. (Not that I would ever do that, I am a model employee...)

Anyway, you saw the video of the big surprise. Joe was absolutely shocked and completely thrilled. He hasn't seen his sister and niece since last Easter and has really missed them. That first night they were here (Wednesday) we all just hung out and everyone got caught up. And Joe finally got to open his presents.

Oh, and I decorated for his big day:




Before we go on, I have to tell you a quick story. So, I had this great idea of baking Joe a birthday cake. I went though all this trouble buying a new cake pan, and figuring out how to bake a round cake (I know this sounds pathetic, but I am definitely not a baker). I took it out of the oven and it actually looked good! I put it on a plate to cool and took Jackson out for a walk. I thought I would frost it when I got back.

Well, when I walked in from our walk, Ava came running out of the kitchen licking her lips. When she saw me she jumped into her chair and ducked her head. She knows when she has done something bad.

I looked into the kitchen, expecting to find the cake in a mess on the floor with a broken plate. Instead, I found this:


I did not move that plate back for the picture. This is exactly where it was, and somehow, she managed to jump up enough times to actually eat the cake OFF the plate, instead of knocking the plate down. I honestly have no idea how she did it.

I was so pissed, I couldn't even look at her, and just left the cake as is and walked out, since I had to head to the airport to pick up our guests. I was so bummed. I really wanted Joe to have a nice, home-baked cake for his birthday.

(Samantha, Joe's niece, ended up coming to my rescue. She was so sweet. I told her the story and after having a good laugh when she saw the cake, she cut out the nibbled portion, frosted the cake, and made it edible. She's a sweetheart.)

Anyway, on with the festivities that first night.

Joe still in shock after seeing the girls (and scolding Ava).

Sitting down for snacks (you can see the frosted cake in this picture).

Opening presents.

More presents.

Joe got some great stuff. He got a full outfit from my mom - pants, shirt, tie, as well as some awesome chocolates straight from Ghirardelli Square and some San Francisco Giants peanuts. (My mom just returned from California.) I got him a little stuffed 'green monster' to commemorate his first Red Sox game, and some Red Sox pins to wear to the game. And then his sister's family and his mom and dad went in together to buy him an ipod! He has been wanting one forever and they got him the top-of-the-line model. He's totally excited to start downloading stuff to it. (And I'm pumped because now we have an ipod for our wedding, haha)

Then, to end the night, we had to celebrate with a shot of Don Julio. It just doesn't get better than that!


It really couldn't have turned out any better. Everyone had a great time and really kicked off Joe's birthday week in style.

Next up, our trip to Boston and the Boston Red Sox!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Surprise!

After months and months of planning, I was finally able to pull off a surprise for Joe. His sister and niece came to visit for his 40th birthday! We have been planning this for so long and all of us thought someone would eventually give it away - but everyone stayed true and Joe was completely surprised. Check it out:

video

More to come!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jackson's Monthly Playdate

Jackson had his monthly playdate on Saturday and had a great time as always! They have switched things around since we went there last (we missed last month) and they have a great new play area and fun toys. We were the first to arrive, and Jackson had a chance to explore the new digs in detail.

He LOVED the little play gym they had set up. I swear, when we finally get a yard, I'm buying one of these for him. I know it's crazy, buying a play set for a dog, but he so loved it! He was going in and out of the little tunnels and checking it all out. Too cute!




I played ball with him a little and he got tired and laid down. Seriously, no other dogs had showed up yet!


The other dogs finally showed up and Jackson did really well playing with all of them. Of course, he tried to hump them at times (we really need to break him of that!) but all was well.




I'm hoping Joe will be able to join us for the July meetup - our last one. It's just so fun to see Jack having so much fun!