Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A big day

not for Lily but for the parents:
Cara moved out - after almost 2 years living with us - and we have to think about what to do next with downstairs. Then our celaning lady smashed our sink in the red bathroom, and someone smashed a friends car's windshield in front of our house. We also checked and test drove some cars (yes, we are looking into buying a new car), but we just can't figure it out. Lots of changes and possibilities, which is kind of cool.....

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lily and her new favorite spot

Lily got from our neighbors Tina and Yoel a cuper cute little wooden stool, that seems to be her new favorite spot, where she like to sit and step up and down and up and down.....

Saturday, June 17, 2006

From Jersey to Ithaca

We took our time for the drive to Ithaca, knowing that the Lehamnn's wouldn't be home until later, so had a "nice" lunch at this enormous highway truck stop, where we ate at Taco Bell, pretty funny. And after seeing all the sign pointing to "Bushkills Falls", the great Niagara Falls of Pennsylvania, we just had to go there and check them out. It was a nice little break from driving and they were some pretty waters. We finally go to Ithaca, which reminded me a lot of Bavaria, it had the same look of hills and lakes and trees and green, it was very very pretty. After some trouble finding the house (who knew there were all different Cornell Streets, Avenues, Roads, etc...) we got to Johannes and the girls and had a great dinner. They have a cute house with a beautiful backyard, where Cesia and Sophia played with Lily a lot. Next day we went for a little walk up the gorge and then took a trip to their wineries, and had some nice Rieslings and enjoyed a gorgeous day. On Friday Aimee showed us Cornell which is a really cool old University with some amazing building, and HUGE.... and has all these beautiful rivers going through the area, so we hiked along one of the gorges that goes right through town, which was beautiful. That night we went for dinner in Cornell and it was nice to just hang out with the family. Lily will miss Cesia and Sophia, they played so much with her, and took turn with watching her, and playing with her, and had to laugh so much, was fun to watch. Thanks to the Lehmann's for a wonderful visit and we sure hope they can come and visit us in San Francisco soon.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

from Philadelphia to New Jersey: Mendham, Chester, Clotham

From Jill's house we took a leisurely adn beautiful drive to meet up with Stuart’s old Eric, ate amazing Sushi (probably THE bext Sushi I ever had) and the two had a chance to catch up and we planned on getting together on our first night in NYC. After lunch we had an appointment at Stuart’s old house which was for sale, so we were pretending we were potential buyers. Stuart said the house had changed a lot since they sold it: they took out some fancy bathroom they created, changed the whole kitchen layout, downstairs was different, and they added a deck to the outside. It was cool to see the place where he grew up, and to see how similar our childhood environment was. Mendham is a pretty cute little town, but not as small as I thought it would be.
We stayed at a super cute little Bed and Breakfast in Chester, another cute little town, and had a nice dinner at some basic but tasy Italian restaurand in Clotham - all these little towns are very close to each other so it is easy to go from one to another.
When we got back to the B&B Stuart realized he didn't take the lck combination for the front door, and we had no number to call to get back in - thank god someone heard our knocking and opened the door for us (I already saw us sleeping in the car :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

From Raleigh to Philadelphia

We took a plane from Raleigh to Philadelphia, very un-eventful, with Lily sitting on our laps for this short flight, and loving it :) From the airport we went straight to downtown Philadelphia, and took a carriage ride and checked out the old brick house.

Then we tried tto find our B&B, which supposedly was in Chestnut Hill, but turned out to be Germantown (not too exciting), but it was a funky place, with interesting people that hosted a party for one of their friends one night (and the guests had to use our bathroom, very interesting). We learned that funky B&B's are not the best place to take little kids who like to put everything in their mouth and pull on all the little trinkets....

Philadelphia was very fun and very beautiful, and we ended up at Stuart's old friend Jill and her family where we stayed one night and played with the kids and their animals (snake, bird, rats)

Monday, June 12, 2006

From Raleigh to Philadelphia

Returning the rental car at the airport was no problem, other than that we realized we forgot out toiletry kit at the Rappoports, oh well. The flight went well, Lily cried for a while, she was so over-tired that she couldn't sleep, but eventually gave in. In Philly we drove straight to downtown area, parked the car, and took a carriage, which was very nice. After that we drove to the B&B, which was supposedly in Chestnut, which turned out to be Germantown, so not exactly where we wanted to be, but another: oh well. The owner Gloria was quite a character, very nice and fun, but unfortunately she had planned a party for 45 people on our second night, so we had a rather loud night, and the all the guests were using our "private" bathroom in front of our room, so when we had to brush our teeth we were in line with the party people, pretty funny (actually not so funny that night). Oh, and we had a nightingale right in front of our window, which kept us up after the party slowed down, more fun. Needless to say we were really tired the next day. But it was a great neighborhood for checking out great mansions which we did the next day on our way to Manyan Road, where we ate great lunch and moved on to visit Gill (old friend of Stuart's) and her husband Greg and their 2 kids Chelsea and Brielle, all beautiful people in their beautiful house. Lily got to pet their pets: rats, a snake, 2 birds and 2 cats. And jump on their trampoline, which she didn't like so much. It was a fun little visit

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Wilmington, NC

After a short 2.5 drive we all arrived at the super beautiful and private island of Figure 8, to our "little" beach house (3 stories, 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, right at the water).
Check out more pictures from the Beachhouse

Our first
day was - of course - raining on and off with thundershowers, yet it was pretty. That night Stuart and I made ceviche and brie quesadillas, and lots of strong super tasty Sangria. Oh, and Micah brought back a turtle, that he found on the road - and had to return it right where he picked it up :)

All the kids are having a blast and get along great:
Elsa (6 months) is THE happiest baby ever, Skylar (1 year, the birthday girl) is getting over her viral infection (spiking a fever of 103 before we left), Lily who thinks everything is fun anyway, and Wesley (almost 2 years) who is the token boy and teaches Lily all kind of new tricks.

On our second day we had a wonderful sunny day with perfect temperatures, which allowed us all to hang out at the beach, followed by Skylar’s big birthday BBQ.
The other days were just as perfect, sometimes rain in the morning but usually followed by lots of sun and beach weather.

We had great beach days, and Lily finally found the love of the ocean, which meant she tried to walk in the water whenever possible, silly girl.

We had lots of great cooks in the group, which means all the food we had was just amazing, from clams or grouper for lunch, ceviche and quesadillas, tasty BBQ, amazing clam pasta, jambalaya, and then stuffed flounder, and when we all went out for dinner the last night it all seemed rather bland to the gourmet food we cooked the whole week.

As for the drinkin, on the last day we counted the bottles and it came to 35 wine bottles, plus big sangria, tequila and vodka – god, we were good!

When we got back to Raleigh Dawn’s mom volunteered to watch the babies while the 4 of us went to an amazing steak dinner and behaved like some grown ups, eating great food, checked out “B’s” and drank some amazing wine. Life is good, thanks Rapoports for a fun, let's do it again next year!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Train from Washington DC to Raleigh

After some 45 minute delay we finally boarded our little roomette (cabin with 2 seats facing each other that can be converted to one bed and another bunk bed on top of it, and a toilette and a sink, all of this in a 3x6 little space!) - and still got stuck in DC for another 1.5 hours due to some freight train blocking the tracks. So instead of 6 hours it took us almost 9 hours and we arrived around midnight, phew.... And our little roomette had some air-conditioning problems, a flickering light and a leaking sink, so we finally moved to another one with working air condition, but broken toilette, ha! Even with all the fun we had on this train ride, we decided this will probably be our one and only Amtrak trip ever :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Washington DC and the heat

We had lunch at the Sequoia with Stuart's old high school friend John that he hasn't seen in
25 years, lot of catching up to do, while Lily and I met everybody from the staff to other folks eating their lunch. That's what you get with a little one that prefers walking over sitting in a high chair.

On a day with record heat (about 100, which felt a lot more, due to the humidity) we decided
to spend the afternoon in the Museums to find some air-conditioned entertaining. We parked
our car along the Mall, and visited the Museum of.... (which was kind of lame, but nice and
cool) and then the Space Museum, which was kind of cool, especially because it had lots of
carpeted floors where Lily could cruise around and meet all kinds of people.

That night we went for Tapas and then walked to the Obelisk around 9 o'clock when it finally was cool enough to walk around. From there we walked to the World War II monument, which was very cool, especially at night.

Next day we were determined, and walked from our hotel to the .... monument, to the
Washington monument, to the White House and then had to stop at the Museum of Natural History to cool off. Lily was so thrilled to see all the dinosaurs, that it was hard to get her away from all the excitement (the place was insane, filled with screaming school kids, Kari's nightmare :)

Back at the hotel all we could was cool off at the pool while Lily was still asleep, the heat was killing us - and we thought about moving to Texas, ha!
Once we all recovered we got in the car and drove to Alexandria to visit Joey D and his wife
Karen, for some lovely dinner they cooked for us at the cool Town house (which they are
trying to sell so they can move to Novato). Lily was in love with their dog Fred, who was
thankful for all the food that she dropped on the floor.