Monday, April 30, 2012

Last Day of Classes

Friday was the last day of classes at William & Mary. Dan taught his final class at William & Mary on Thursday night - the next course he teaches will be at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. We'll be there next week to find a place to live!

Students lovingly refer to the conclusion of classes as Blowout Day and they celebrate quite a bit - not quite as raucously as U of M or CU's undergrads although our neighboring student house was up and at 'em at 7:30 am! A tradition for graduating seniors at William and Mary is to ring the bell of the Sir Christopher Wren Building, the country's oldest active academic building. While Annie and I were enjoying our afternoon walk on campus we strolled through campus to the continuous ringing which translated to happy smiling graduating seniors - what a fun tradition!

Seniors lining up to ring the bell
Another way they commemorate the day is by hosting a big party for the students in the Sunken Garden. Annie loved the shenanigans ranging from a mechanical bull and bouncy castles to a huge rock wall. We passed an adorable 4 year old in tears pleading to his mother "but I wanna go on it too" . . . maybe in another 14 years kiddo! Annie was not allowed in the bouncy castle either.
Festivities in the Sunken Garden

Friday, April 27, 2012

Colorado Visitors

Dan, Annie and I were very lucky to have Sonja, Angie, Shane and Lindsay visiting from Colorado. We showed them all around the historic triangle; Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown. In Colonial Williamsburg we enjoyed visiting the Charleton Coffee Shop and tasting a sample of the hot chocolate. After our fantastic tour of Yorktown we had an ice cream treat on the water then Lindsay and I played together on the York River beach. We loved building sandcastles, dipping our toes in the water, drawing in the sand but we did not love when a boy playing in the water near us found dead crabs to show us!

We encountered this guy in CW

Dan, Lindsay, Angie and Sonja in the gardens

Beautiful foxgloves

In front of the Palace
We were happy to run into a fife and drum parade while walking down Duke of Gloucester Street to our car. Their tune put a pep in our step and a smile on our faces.
Colonial Fife and Drummers

Dan took his family to the glasshouse at Jamestown where there was a master craftsman and an apprentice working on their trade. Shane overheard the teacher pointing out cracks to the pupil in his glass work. Guess he needs some more practice!

Apprentice and Master Craftsman

Lindsay and Angie looking at the glassworks
 Annie was at first a little suspicious of our new friends but by the time they left she was hopping up in Shane's lap and whimpering as we waved good bye to them on Indian Springs Rd. Annie's whimpers echoed our emotions - we were sad to see them go but definitely look forward to seeing them in Colorado again soon :-D.
Shane and Annie getting better acquainted

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Birthday Celebration

I was lucky enough to have Becky in town to celebrate my birthday for breakfast at home and a walk with the dog then it was off to the airport for her. When I got back to Williamsburg I joined Sonja, Angie, Shane, Lindsay and Dan for lunch. After lunch we went off to Jamestown settlement to visit the recreated Jamestown fort, wig wams and ships. When Dan and I got home to take Annie for a walk I was surprised to find birthday flowers and balloons in abundance.

Birthday flowers from Mom and Dad
Birthday flowers and balloons from Shane, Angie and Lindsay

Shane and Angie took everyone out for a birthday dinner and after dinner we went back to the hotel for a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake from Sonja. For a post dessert celebration we all went swimming in the hotel pool and a dip in the hot tub. What a great birthday! Thank you all for the birthday wishes and love :-)

Mary, Lindsay & Dan with ice cream cake

Lindsay enjoying the birthday cake

Monday, April 23, 2012

Becky's Visit!

This past weekend Becky came to Virginia to visit us! Annie and I went to the airport to pick Becky up and I was a little afraid that Annie might not remember Becky but that was just silly. When Annie saw her at the airport she was so excited and rode home in her lap all the way home :-). On the way home from the airport we showed Becky Yorktown. Then we chatted and cooked dinner at home.

The next day the first order of business was going to Busch Gardens! The park opened at 10:00 am so we were there pulling into the parking lot at 10:05! We brought a lunch and had a picnic lunch and rode all the rides twice. It is a very beautiful park but Becky and I agreed that it doesn't compare to Cedar Point! When we got home we were pooped. So Becky and Annie took a little snooze together.

Annie and Becky snuggling for a nap
 Saturday was another gorgeous day so the three of us headed out to the farmer's market where we picked up strawberries, asparagus and goat cheese. Annie and I also gave Becky a tour of the William and Mary campus on our way back from the farmer's market.
Becky & Annie at William and Mary
 After lunch at home we headed off to fun filled afternoon at Colonial Williamsburg. Becky just looooooved all the history and the interesting tours. She especially loved pretending we were in the 1770s at a ball at the Palace.
Becky outside the Bruton Parish

Get us out of here!
Colonial Carriage
Becky enjoying the armory
After an afternoon of touring Colonial Williamsburg we made dinner featuring our farmer's market bounty. Strawberry spinach salad with a little goat cheese, asparagus and more. Becky treated me to drinks at Chownings Tavern where we met a couple ladies from Ohio and played some dice games with them; Ship, Captain, Crew and Buck.
Enjoying a drink at Chowning's Tavern

On Sunday we went up to Richmond to meet up with Becky's friend Magnus. We went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and out to eat in Carytown (not to be confused with Kerrytown for those Ann Arbor readers). All in all it was a fabulous visit and we were so glad to have her come see our little part of the world. It was very hard for Annie (and me) to say goodbye. :-(

Saying Goodbye

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Alyssa's Birthday Weekend

This weekend Dan and I headed up to Northern Virginia to help Alyssa celebrate her birthday! We met in Deplano at Vintage Ridge Vineyards.
Vintage Ridge Vineyards
We arrived a little early so we had time to walk around and explore the vines and the grounds of the vineyard. The hilly grounds were beautiful and they even had a clay tennis court on the property - if only we'd brought our tennis whites!
Dan inspecting the vines
We went upstairs for our 6 flight wine tasting where we enjoyed a tasting platter of cheese, meats and nuts with our wines. The goat cheese stuffed dates were a big hit.
Our group enjoying wine tastings
After our tasting we chose a bottle we all liked and headed outside with a couple bottles of wine (and more cheese and nuts!)
Birthday Girl
Dan in front of the hills
After our fun afternoon at the winery we headed to Leesburg, Virginia in the heart of horse country. Leesburg is an adorable little town and we grabbed dinner at a wood-fired pizzeria. We were pretty hungry waiting to have our dinner so we enjoyed dessert before hand. I brought chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel icing.
Salted Caramel Chocolate cupcake
After dinner we headed to Rockville, MD where we picked up Alyssa's new dog, Maize, from her mom's house. Alyssa adopted Maize in January and he is so friendly and cute :-). On Sunday morning Dan, Adam, Maize and I went to Germantown to watch Alyssa's soccer game. Alyssa's team won 4-2 and she played very well - Maize was very proud. Since we left Annie home with Kuma it was nice to be able to get some dog time in.
Getting our dog fix with Maize
After the game we enjoyed some Jimmy John's subs for lunch then strolled around Bethesda and the boys picked out gelatos at a cute gelato shop. Coconut and chocolate for us and mango and something else fruity for Alyssa and Adam. What a fun weekend!
Jimmy John's!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy (early) Anniversary

Dan and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary early yesterday - he teaches on Thursday nights so we wouldn't be able to celebrate on the 19th. He brought home beautiful pink roses and I gave him some delicious chocolate. We got dressed up and went out to a French restaurant, Le Yaca, in town that had received a great review in the paper and from a colleague of Dan's. It more than lived up to our expectations!

To kick off our meal we had house made baguette and each enjoyed the soup of the day; roasted red pepper & tomato. For dinner I chose the Terre et Mer (or Surf and Turf) beef tenderloin with an outstanding crab cake in a beurre blanc sauce (oh how I love my crab cakes!) Dan went temporarily off his vegetarian diet to enjoy a fantastic seafood trio of sea bass, scallop and jumbo prawn in a champagne saffron sauce. You don't think we stopped there do you? No, we indulged in dessert too :-). At the beginning of the night our waitress had asked if we were celebrating anything and we told her it was our anniversary we didn't think anything more of it until she came out with two mini champagne glasses to savor with our sweets! My dapper husband chose the almond cake and lemon mousse with raspberry coulis and I had a divine vanilla bean creme brulee!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


We had a beautiful Easter in Williamsburg. We met up with friends for a potluck picnic (beet & quinoa salad, sandwiches, hummus & cheese and chocolate chip cookies - some with bacon!) at York River State Park then went for a hike to the beach and off on a kayaking trip. Sadly Annie wasn't invited to our potluck but that doesn't mean that she didn't get to enjoy the goodies! While Dan and I were preparing our dinner of carrot soup (courtesy of Kelly's Cookbook) and leftover quinoa salad we left the salad plates unattended on the coffee table and Annie was able to scarf down half a plate of salad before being caught red-pawed - she loves her beets! 

Our niece, Audrey, in Steamboat has begun rolling over:
Since it won't be long before Audrey's tricks far out number Annie's Annie wanted to show off her rolling too:
Isn't Audrey precious?!?!

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Harness and Haircut

In the mail today Annie received a new harness from Kevin and Kathleen! We just got back from a walk wearing the new harness and Annie loves it :-). In addition to the gift of a harness from the McGuinnesses Dan and I gave her the present of a new haircut so that she looks dapper for her upcoming visitors. Annie doesn't really like it when we groom her but she tolerates it and when her haircut is finished she usually runs around for a bit like a wild banshee showing off her new do! Below you'll find a couple "before" pictures where Annie was beginning to look a bit scrappy with her long hair and beard and then a few "after" pictures modeling her new haircut and harness. Annie says "Thanks!" to Kevin and Kathleen for this gift.