Thursday, February 5, 2015

Weekend Getaway



The final weekend before school started up for Dan we got out of town for a little adventure. Dan planned some fun for us in NW Arkansas as a Christmas gift to me. We dropped Annie off at Happy Tails and had a nice drive down to Fayetteville where we stayed at the Dickson Street Inn, an adorable B&B right on the main street.
Dickson Street Inn
After checking in we strolled through downtown, dropped in a used bookstore where Dan couldn't help but buy some history books and walked over to the University of Arkansas campus where we enjoyed some beautiful Native American art.

Native American Sculpture on Arkansas' campu

For lunch we went to the funkiest restaurant in town, Hammontree's Grilled Cheese. It was packed! We waited about 30 minutes for a table and then each ordered a delicious sammy that we shared with each other - mine filled with brie, gouda, apple, carmelized onions and fig jam. Dan's was stuffed with wild mushroom goat cheese, asiago, sauteed mushrooms and sun-dried tomato spread. I'd go back to Fayetteville just for more of these incredible sandwiches! After exploring downtown a little more we went to Therapods Spa where we indulged in a float tank experience - it was extremely relaxing! After a stroll around Fayetteville's square where we picked up some music we went back to Dickson Street where we enjoyed a fantastic meal and then we bar-hopped and enjoyed some live music.

On Sunday we had a terrific breakfast at the Inn then drove up to Bentonville where we visited the amazing Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The collection of works was really outstanding and the museum itself is, architecturally, stunning.   

Roxy Paine's sculpture "Yield"

View of the West Wing from the Center of the Museum 
We were lucky to get really nice weather so we had a nice hike on the grounds of the museum and got to enjoy the museum from the vantage point of the surrounding forests. We hope to go back again in the spring when the flowering trees are in bloom.



After the museum we went to downtown Bentonville where we enjoyed crepes from a crepe food truck - YUM! When we returned to Springfield to pick up Annie the gentleman working there said that she was "a very sweet dog" and that she had made friends with a miniature doberman pinscher. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

More fun in Ann Arbor

In addition to all our fun with Mom and Dad we were also lucky enough to have them "babysit" Annie while we met up with old friends, Jenn and Darrin in Tecumseh for dinner and met our good friend Diana downtown for dinner then saw her awesome new house.

We even got out to see an exciting Michigan - Illinois basketball game in which Michigan had a great comeback win in overtime.
Michigan Stadium billboard welcoming home Coach Harbaugh
Jim Harbaugh, the new coach of the Michigan football team made an appearance and brief speech at halftime to a standing ovation from the fans.

Coach Harbaugh addresses the crowd
 On New Years Eve we hosted a terrific dinner of tofu jambalaya, black eyed peas & rice and a delicious pear walnut salad. Adrienne and Becky brought delicious bubblies. Afterwards Mom and Dad watched Annie while Dan and I went to Becky's house then a party downtown.

Happy New Year!
On New Year's Day Mom and Dad sent us off in style with a delicious breakfast then off we drove to Missouri. Hope your New Year is off to a fantastic start!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

More Christmas Adventures in Ann Arbor

After the excitement of opening presents we settled in to some Christmas dinner preparations. Dad made his famous vegan eggplant moussaka. Mom made pumpkin pie and Dan and I made a tempeh pate featuring nocino!
Mary showing off the Vegan Pate Dan and she made for the Christmas Feast
 Before the feast we got in a few good games of Jenga - Dad and I both lost. Dan remains undefeated in Jenga!
Dad trying hard not to knock over the Jenga tower

Dan (aka the Jenga Champion) skillfully pulling out a Jenga Block
 We toasted to a terrific 2014 and recalled some favorite memories from the year including Julian's 1st birthday at the Kelly Family Reunion, Halloween in Steamboat Springs, great hikes in Jackson Hole and celebrating Alex and Aline's engagement.
Dan and Mary toast a very Merry Christmas with Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad model their Christmas crowns

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve ice skating
A rather fit Santa on Ice

Dan speeding around the rink


Christmas breakfast after mass at St. Mary's.
Dad says Christmas cheers with fancy coffee and frothed milk


We were spoiled with lots of presents and now off to prepare Christmas dinner!
Annie trying on Dan's new pillow for size

Monday, December 22, 2014

Visiting Ann Arbor

Dan, Annie and I arrived safely in Ann Arbor this past weekend. Annie was great on the car ride up to Michigan and was SO excited to see Mom and Dad. She ran around the house squeaking and happily wagging her tail upon arrival.

On Sunday to get in the Christmas spirit we went to see a matinee of "It's a Wonderful Life" playing at the Michigan Theater.

Dan in front of the Marquee
 Then we went to a holiday happy hour at the Wolverine Brew Company tap room where we met up with friends for beer, hot cocoa and a meeting with Santa!

Mom and Dad sat on Santa's lap
 We continued our good cheer by putting up the Christmas tree and decorating it which listening to Johnny Mathis' Christmas record and Joe Cocker (RIP).

Mom and Dan add the finishing touches to the Tree

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here in Springfield. We were invited over to the Patton-Allans where we joined their family and friends for a delicious feast.
Elaine, Justin and Jack

Ray hard at work carving the bird
 Ray's brother, sister-in law and nephew joined us from Athens, Georgia. Kerry's parents came from Georgia and Ray's parents arrived from California.
Baby Wendell visiting from Georgia

Dan and Mary ready to enjoy the feast

Avery playing with his police car
 On Friday Dan, Annie and I drove down to Roaring River State Park where we went for a long hike along the river and then up through the woods. After our hike we drove to Noel where we dropped off our Christmas cards with a volunteer at the post office who stamps them with the Noel Christmas stamps.
Annie and Dan taking a lunch break on our hike

Annie found lots of good sticks in the woods
This year we are thankful for our terrific friends and family and our wonderful dog :-).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tree Lighting on the Square


Last weekend we went downtown and met up with some friends for the lighting of the town square Christmas tree. There was an all-tuba band playing Christmas songs and there were free horse-drawn carriage rides. The lighting of the tree did not go off without a hitch though. The person in charge of flipping the switch prematurely turned on the lights before they did the little countdown so the mayor was giving some remarks and then in the middle of his little talk the lights went on - oops! They did a quick countdown for the kids anyway.
Mary and Dan in front of the Christmas Tree
 After the lighting ceremony we watched "Birdman" an interesting movie that got mixed reviews from the Livesay household.

As it's starting to get colder here Annie has been bundling up:
Annie is bundling up for the cold weather
Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

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