Monday, December 13, 2010

Chris' Birthday Dinner...

For Chris' Birthday I planned a surprise weekend get-away to explore the area in VA near us. I settled on Mineral, VA as they had several Christmas Tree farms where you could choose and cut your own Christmas Tree and it was only about 2.5 hours away. In addition I found this lovely historic Inn called the Littlepage Inn that was a plantation in the 1800 and is still owned by the same family today. On top of that loveliness I reserved us a 2 hour horseback riding trip in St. Anna's National park. If you would like to view pictures of all these activities see Chris' blog.

For Chris Birthday dinner, however, I made reservations at Pomme french restaurant in Gordonsville, VA about 1/2 hour away from Mineral on the recommendation of the Inn owner. What a fantastic reservation. The town of Gordonsville was lovely with Main St. all lit up for Christmas. There were many antique and quaint looking shops that we would have liked to explore had we more time, however, we were satisfied with our experience at Pomme.

They had an extensive wine cellar and the specials for the night were lovely and complimented our meal perfectly.
Chris and I were seated at a lovely table near this mural of an apple orchard, which was fitting since Pomme translates to apple in English. The decor was lovely and welcoming, the service was attentive, but not over powering, the food was nice and overall we would go back.
Two satisfied customers!
Happy Birthday Chris!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Facial Fun...

After another night of games...I believe it was Catan or Skip-Bo this time...but really who can keep track, Carl, Chris and I started talking about weird things we could do with our faces. Inevitably the stories started rolling out about the crazy faces we used to play around with in our youth. These were two my brothers, friends and I used to do in elementary school.

WARNING: This next set of pictures is not PC, so if you are faint of heart turn back now!

When I was in elementary school the fun thing to do was "Chubby." The whole series isn't captured here, but basically the story goes like this:

"Hi my name is Chubby! I'm Chubby, my dad is chubby, my mom is chubby and my brother's chubby too. One day my brother says to me, "hey Chubby you want to go for a ride on my motorcycle?" So I say sure. We started riding on his bike and I said, "Faster, faster!" My brother asked, "Are you sure?" So I said sure (pull hands back on face to stretch the skin tight) and it went so fast!

Then came my O'Connor family's "scary face". When my brothers and I were little we used to do all sorts of crazy face contortions. This is one I remember my parents showing us. My hands were so little at the time that it was difficult for me. As you can see, it's not difficult anymore...just a little disturbing!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kate comes to visit...again!

Kate came to visit for an evening to celebrate the end of two long and rewarding years of earning her Master's in Occupational Therapy at VCU in Richmond.

We celebrated by putting on some very large pants...
So large, in fact, that two grown women could fit into them with plenty of room to spare!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


What am I? I ask myself that regularly...
This was my Halloween costume this year, thanks to my quick trip to the Goodwill Thrift Store.
I won Most Creative Costume at work
So, can you guess?
A Psychedelic Candycane

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Celebratory lunch...

After a very long time searching, after many revisions of resumes and cover letters, after many discouraging interviews and lack of responses my search for full-time employment has come to a end...nd it was all worth it! I have been offered and have accepted the position of Fitness Coordinator at Chambrel at Williamsburg, a Senior Living Campus near William & Mary College. I will be in charge of personal training, group exercise, fitness programming, healthy cooking demos, nutrition and health education workshops...skies' the limit really...for independent and assisted living residents and staff! I am very excited and really feel like I belong in this environment. They are my kind of people!

To celebrate the joyous news Bev and Robin took Chris and I out for a celebratory lunch and it was DELICIOUS!!!! Thank you both so much for all your support and encouragement!
I would also like to thank my parents for their thoughtful card and oh so special box of chocolates that I love so much (you know me so well!), as well as their never-ending support and encouragement. I wish we could be closer, but I am glad for the chats we are able to have!

And, of course, my loving husband who has continued to support and encourage me from the very beginning! I love you very much!

Thank you to everyone else who have been so supportive via e-mail and phone calls/texts! It has meant a great deal and helped me continue on even when there didn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nights of Catan...

As usual, Chris and I can't get enough Catan...luckily, we were able to partake Friday and Saturday night, thanks to Carl & Kate.

Yet another one of my talented husband's mysterious and "useful" tricks!
Carl studying the board very intently...we threw in a new spin by the "explorers" version that my brothers and sis-in-law came up with last year!
Kate joined us Saturday for a delightful grapefruit & avocado salad. She was in charge of making the salad dressing. Ever since culinary school, I've been giving Kate some informal lessons and one goal she's been working toward has been to properly emulsify a vinaigrette! Well, with a bit of over-motor stimulation, she has successfully done it!
And here's the proof! Isn't it beautiful!
Good job Kate!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Chris and I took advantage of the lack of humidity, but warmth of the sun by heading out to the dock and me learning all about one of Chris' favorite childhood activities...crabbing. Now this isn't crabbing for meat, it's crabbing to be able to experience crab!
The bait...raw, gone-off, chicken wings...yum!
I wasn't sure what to expect yet...
But I quickly caught my first crab...I yelped loudly when I thought it was going to pinch my toes!
This one was enjoying his lunch so much he wouldn't stop eating even after being caught...

Chris is "The Crab Whisperer"

Sittin by the dock on the bay...wastin time!

The Crab Whisperer...

Luray, VA...

Chris and decided to explore VA, as it is such a beautiful and charming state! We decided to head to Luray where they have the Luray Caverns and tubing in Shenandoah Nat'l Park.

We stayed at the charming Cardinal Inn...
It was actually somewhat cool and without humidity the evening of our arrival, so we played cards in from of our room!

Luray Caverns - Audio tour...

Chris and I headed for the caverns and man were they worth it. Such beauty that has taken thousands, if not millions, of years to form below the surface of the earth! They have maintained them well. Chris and I were impressed with how respectful the tourists have obviously been, as it is very easy to touch the stalactites and stalagmites, but visibly people have refrained.

I don't love audio tours, as they often, in my experience, drag on and aren't very interesting. This one, however, was just the right amount of intriguing information with the option to learn more about specific formations. Chris and I synced our audio up by pressing play at the same time for each section, which made it more fun too!

This is a good example of drapery. Apparently the surface was initially flawed and not smooth, which forced the water to take a round about root and ultimately formed the long, thin draping stalactites!
This is the best picture I could take with my camera of the dream pond. It was a large pond when it came to surface area, but only about 12 inches deep at the deepest part. It was a mirror image of the stalactites coming down from above. Chris and I could have sat there for hours being pleasantly awed by it's beauty.
You are witnessing a blind date cavern style! ;)

I do love those drapes!
This is a draping stalactite from the side. It's a good example of how this they are...and looks like a draping towel..yes?
This caught my sights as I rounded the corner! I call it the Buddha temple underground.
A great example of a stalactite (right) and stalagmite (left) union...they've been together for hundreds of thousands of years...
This is the organ that serenades many a wedding in the caverns...
The guy who created it wanted to make the rocks sing...and sing they do with the help of tuning forks attached to various stalactites around the organ, that is in turn attached to specific keys on the organ. It was beautiful and had wonderful acoustics!
This is most people's favorite part. They are called fried eggs...they were stalagmites that broke off and back in the day people would rub the nubs for good luck upon their exit from the caverns (which isn't allowed anymore) and that action over and over again caused the smoothness that resembles egg yolks frying!

Luray Caverns - Garden Maze...

With our pass to the caverns we got free admission to the Secret Garden Maze. Chris wasn't too excited about it in the beginning...

Then he found relief in the misters and I had a happy camper on my hands again!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And then there was Kate...

Oh Kate... One of the things I have truly loved about living in Poquoson, VA has been being closer to Beth and Kate, who both reside in Richmond now. It's a quick drive up for the weekend and I've always got a place to stay!

Kate found out about that South African Wine Festival going on at a local VA Winery, so we partook in the food, wine and festivities!

The parking lot was right next to the vines...
They love their meat!
Enjoying all the overpriced delectables!
Only at a wine festival...or an O'Connor family reunion (he-he)
Our favorite part was the entertainment!