Washington DC, Gettysburg, and Points In-between

Washington DC, Gettysburg, and Points In-between


August 16, 2016

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My family enjoys a “Kodak Moment” at the Gettysburg Visitor Center.
I am fourth from the left.

Location, Location, Location

My four children (+ a very special friend, who is like a “brother to the others”) are spread throughout the country.  Residing in Minnesota, Florida, Maryland, and South Carolina. It occurred to me a couple of years ago, that if I wanted to see all of my offspring, at the same time, we would have to begin planning annual summer reunions. :o)

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My kiddies are all grown up!
April 2011

Two years ago, July 2014, saw us enjoying magical Walt Disney World in Florida
for our first reunion.
Last year, we all met up in beautiful Hilton Head, South Carolina.
With the addition of triplet babies in May to one of my Maryland sons and his wife,
it seemed logical that all meet at our house for this year’s reunion week,
enabling everyone to meet their three new nieces.

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Walt Disney World was the site of our 2014 family reunion.
See that trip here.

IMG_1702Last year’s family get-together was in Hilton Head.
Read about that here.

Getting Ready for the Troops, or True Confessions

Dale and I lived overseas for two and a half years (May 2013-June 2015).  During that time, we would fly home every two-three months for a couple of weeks. We would check on our college-age son, our house, and regroup. Our routine was to riffle through the mail, dump the excess in our office, close the door, and hastily leave again for the airport, barely recovered from the jet lag from our flight home two weeks before.

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I am laden with luggage at a German train station.
March 2015

As you can imagine, two and a half years later, that room’s condition was disheveled and disheveled. Upon returning from home, I just could not face the mess.  I cringe as I share a photo of the rooms sad state below.  :o(

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Our office after 2.5 years of being a dumping ground.
Hey, don’t judge me!  :o) 

In the excitement and anticipation of all of my children coming back home for a week,
it occurred to me one day, that we did not have enough beds!  This was the impetus for converting our “junk room”/office into another guest room.  Thus began a lot of organizing and decluttering,  painting,  and the purchase of a nice sofa bed.  Happily
we no longer hang our heads in shame when entering this room. The once eyesore of a room is now clean and guest-worthy.

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My entryway table welcomes my visiting family members.
I found this cute and free printable here.
Thank you to blogger Laura at her blog Four Feet Design .

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I bought and framed this fun sign, having it personalized with our information on it, for my guest rooms.
I purchased this from PureAndSimplyMe via Etsy here

Highlights and Photos from the Week

It was a fun week that went by too quickly.  Arriving at various times during the week, each family planned our activities for one day, including deciding on and preparing dinner. Here are a few photos from our special week.

Monday
Smithsonian, Museum of Natural History
Washington D.C.

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Visiting the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC was our first day trip.

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A South Pacific Easter Island statue (above), called a moai,
was one of the wonders that first greeted us as we stepped into the museum,
along with a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull (below).

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We all enjoyed seeing the skeletons of the dinosaurs on display.

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The Tyrannosaurus was impressive, even the display of the T-rex’s
fossilized droppings!

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While looking at these giant fossils, I can not help but think of the 1938 film
Bringing up Babywhere Cary Grant puts together a dinosaur skeleton.

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The Rotunda Elephant is a popular photo op for museum visitors at the Smithsonian.

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 My favorite at this museum is always the glittering gem exhibit.
The Hope Diamond ( Above at top, although the deep blue color did not come through. Click here for a clearer photo.) is always the star among jewels from Marie 
Antoinette, to Napoleon, and Angelina Jolie (above at bottom).

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Ajaye, with his mom, happily displays his Smithsonian souvenirs when exiting the museum.

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Headed down the DC street to lunch at Plan B Burger Bar.

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Plan B Burger Bar was delicious food with a cute restaurant environment.
After reading this write-up here ,while doing blog research, I will definitely order the 
flourless Hostess-like cupcake filled with white chocolate mousse next time for dessert!

We enjoyed viewing the outside of The FBI Building, Washington Memorial,
National Archives, and The White House before heading back home. 

Wednesday
Gettysburg, 
Pennsylvania

The Visitors Center

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Meeting Abe Lincoln at the Gettysburg Visitors Center.
Brandy (Top row and third from the right) is an ancestor of our 16th president!

Longstreet Tower

IMG_0075.JPGIMG_0176IMG_0170Longstreet Tower allows panoramic views of the beautiful Gettysburg countryside,
or so I am told. Only the braver members of our party made their way to the top. :o)

 Little Round Top

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A view from inside “the castle” at Little Round Top.
The scenery around Gettysburg is breathtaking.
It is sobering to think that war once touched this area.

The Dobbin House Tavern

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Dale and I love Gettysburg’s historic Dobbin House Springhouse Tavern!
Built in 1776 atop a natural spring
(See the photo to the left of the Springhouse Tavern menu above.),
we were eager to share its rustic charm and wonderful dishes with our family.
The Tavern is famous for their delicious onion soup.

For the restaurant recipe for their onion soup click here.
My revised version of the recipe is here.
Also, check out my recipe for Gettysburg Banana Bread here.

 

Marty Mummert Studios

I have been a big fan of Marty Mummert’s metal sign art for a long time, and own several of them.  A true artist, Marty hand designs all of his signs. You can read more about them here.

DSCF1731.JPGIMG_2246Top photo: A visit to Marty’s East Berlin, PA shop in May 2010.
Bottom photo: Our most recent visit to Marty’s Gettysburg shop in August 2016.
Do I spy a photo bomb?  :o)

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Marty Mummert’s DONUTS sign currently hangs in my kitchen. I love it!
(See the photo below, near the recipe, to see it on my wall.)
You can also get a closer look at this sign here.

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Marty’s bench design welcomes us to the shop.

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Marty kindly allowed our family to visit his shop, and showed us around.
It was so much fun seeing all of his creations! I love the Color TV light/sign!

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Some in our group wanted a good cup of coffee.
Marty directed us to Eighty-Two Cafe, where there were some very happy customers.
Marty designed their awesome sign, above.

Thank you Marty Mummert for the nice visit!

Saturday
Maryland Crabs!

Eating crabs is a tradition in Maryland. Saturday was our day to continue that tradition.

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Crab pickin’

Other Activities During the Week…

There was blackberry picking at Larryland Farm . Yum!

Visiting our local Snowball Stand is always a hit!

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There were outdoor games.

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There were indoor games.

Plus,there was a whole lot of good eating, family time, and making special memories.:o)

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It was tough saying good-bye to everyone, but as Ajaye found out,
there are always more adventures ahead.
Upon arriving home, the pilot invited Ajaye to visit the cockpit as Ajaye and his family departed the plane.  Thank you Southwest Airlines!  :o)

Cooking for a Crowd

As mentioned above, each family planned the group’s activites for one reunion day, and prepared the evening meal.  We had a great time and ate well!

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Our Buffalo Wing Team of Eric and Brandy prepare dinner for the crew one night.
(Notice Marty Mummert’s DONUT sign in the background.)
Check out Brandy’s Instagram about food bee_eats_charleston.

Back in the day, our household was bustling with activity,
consisting of seven hungry family members (Three were athletic teen-age boys!).
I appreciated recipes that made a lot.
This Enchilada Casserole recipe falls into that category.
Easy to prepare in advance, it served us well during reunion week.

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I have had this recipe for many years.  The original (above) was given to my mom by a colleague at work, who had lived in New Mexico,
where chiles and frijoles (pinto beans) are the state vegetables.
I “tamed” the chile part down of this recipe for my family.  My recipe is below.

Enchilada Casserole

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Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of the finished product.  I will include one soon.

Ingredients

1.5-2 pounds of lean ground beef
1-2 medium onion, chopped
2 large (28 oz.) cans of peeled and diced tomatoes, Undrained
1 small can (4.5 oz.) of chopped green chili peppers (NOT Jalpenos)
1-4 fresh garlic buds, pressed (Optional, I do not use any.)
salt
cracked pepper
PAM
Approxomately 16 flour tortillas, regular size
2 pounds, or a bit more, of grated cheddar cheese
4 cans of El Paso Mexi Beans, or Bush Mexican-style chili beans, or Bush Chili Beans,
or whatever chili bean is available with a pinto bean base.

Fritos
Light Sour Cream
Ripe/black Olives

Guacamole (Recipe below)

Directions

Brown together ground beef and onion.  Drain off excess grease.

Add Tomatoes, chili peppers, optional garlic, salt (Optional), and cracked pepper.

Simmer 20 minutes-one hour.

Meanwhile….
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Spray two 9 x 13 pans with PAM cooking spray.
Layer…

One layer of tortillas on the bottom of each pan.
(I often tear tortillas to fit the bottom completely.)

Add layer of cheese to each, using half of cheese.

Use one half of meat mixture for next layer.

Another layer of tortillas.

Add remainder of meat mixture.

Layer 2 cans of beans onto each pan, for a total of four cans.

Cover the top with the remainder cheese.

Spray foil with PAM. (This prevents the cheese from sticking.)
and seal the pans, with the PAM side down, tightly with foil, attempting to avoid touching
the foil to the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until bubbly hot.

Meanwhile…
Make Guacamole while casserole is in the oven.

Serve on plates over a layer of Fritos.

Allow guests to garnish with more Fritos, sour cream, olives, and Guacamole.

Guacamole

 Ingredients

1-2 tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

¼-3/4 onions, chopped

½ lemon’s juice

Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning to taste

3-5 ripe avocados

Tortilla chips, if desired

Directions

Combine cut up tomato, chopped onion, and lemon juice.

Add Cavender’s to taste.

Marinate for 10-20 minutes.

In the meantime, cut open avocados, remove seeds, and take off peel.

Mash avocados.

Combine marinade to avocados.
Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.

If waiting to serve, place plastic wrap directly on top of Guacamole and place in fridge.

Enjoy!

Ellicott City, Maryland

Of a more serious nature, on Saturday, July 31, the first day of our family get together, the rains came to us in major amounts.  Fortunately, except for a little rain seeping in through windows and door openings, we stayed high and dry.  Sadly, our beloved and historical Ellicott City Main Street was not so fortunate, finding itself at the mercy of a horrendous flash flood.

I purchased this bracelet from A La Mode Boutique in my support of the clean up efforts. To buy one of your own for $20, click here for details.

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A big thank you to my family members for their generous contribution of photos for this blog, and for their extreme tolerance of my incessant photo-taking throughout the reunion week.

I would love to hear about how your family plans get togethers!  Please, let me hear from you in the comments section.

Thanks for reading!

Annette

Note-Due to a technical error (more accurately, mine), many of the photos from past blog posts were accidently deleted several months ago. I have been slowly working to replace them, and most are now back in place. If you wish to view my past blogs and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net .

I attempt to post my blog once-twice per month. My next post will be around September 6.

As always, thank you to all of my blog followers!!!
It is your encouragement that keeps me writing! :o)

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and receive “I’m Annette”via email,
FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

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Kali says that she had a fun week, too, with all of the extra love and attention. :o)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Willy Wonka and Lebron, new and improved

June 28, 2016

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Good Grief, Charlie Brown!  Yesterday, in euphoric haste, I posted my newly completed blog, here. Hours later, I reread it, to find typos and mistakes that I had missed. (Moral of the story?  Proofread, wait an hour, and proofread again, and then post. :o)) In addition to my own errors, a technical formatting error also occurred upon posting. So, I will try this again. I present to you the new and improved version, of yesterday’s post.  Have a great day!!!  Enjoy!  :o)

June 27, 2016

Willy Wonka and Lebron

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Willy Wonka greets me as I walked into the theatre.
June 26, 2016

What an exciting week at our house!

First, the Cleveland Cavaliers, with Lebron James, won the championship last Sunday evening!
(A mega parade in Cleveland followed on Wednesday.)

Then on Thursday, Dale and I very happily met our triplet grand daughter!
(We still look forward to meeting the other two soon when they are released from NICU.)

Today, I enjoyed seeing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on the big screen!

It has been one fun-filled week! :o)

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I had been waiting for months in anticipation. Thanks to “TCM Big Screen Classics”,
Willy Wonka was showing on the big screen! I used to watch this fun and colorful fantasy film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with my children when they were young. I still chuckle at this movie’s quirky humor and smile at its entertaining story.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 12.32.55 PM

My email invitation to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

As an elementary school teacher and parent/elementary homeschool parent, I have read the book that this movie was based on many times: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl. Written in 1964, I first became familiar with this novel in my elementary years, read aloud by my own school teacher to my eager class.

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 10.16.39 AM

Photo thanks to kena1956 of Ebay.
Want this copy? Click here.

Arriving at the theater, I was happily greeted by a fellow resplendent in Willy Wonka attire. (See photo at the top of the page.) Immediately transported into Wonka’s world of chocolate fantasy, I was more anxious than ever to make my way to the theatre! :o)

Version 2

Happy to be at the showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Entering theater #8, a jovial group awaited me. Among the happy group, sat one upbeat woman dressed in Oompa-Loompa apparel, and another woman with Golden Ticket in hand. (The Golden Ticket Lady informed me that a Maryland woman, Diana Sowle, had played Charile’s mother, Mrs. Bucket!)

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This smiling Oompa-Loompa was very eager for the film to begin.

IMG_1523

I want a golden ticket…

Watching this film on the big screen was such a treat! Although, I own the dvd and have watched it many times, seeing it in the theatre was a new experience, with new detail.
I saw for the first time Slugworth candy displayed in the candy shop, for example.

IMG_1525
My DVD copy of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

IMG_1506

Ben Mankiewicz introduced our movie. Always a wealth of information, he explained that when this film first came out in theaters, it was considered a failure.
TV gave this movie a new life, and is now a family classic.

IMG_1507

I was all smiles as the film began! :o) For some reason I also wanted chocolate! :o)

The magical scene in the Wonka chocolate factory is such a delight.

I remember that the first time that I saw this film, I did not understand what type of candy the giant bears represented. Gummi bears were not a common American candy at the time.

Did you know that the actors did not see this set until the filming of this scene?
The astonished and delighted looks on their faces in the movie are authentic.

IMG_1521

The candy making Oompa-Loompas!

Seeing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was so enjoyable. I thank my hubby, Dale, for indulging me! :o)

A couple more random facts about the making of this movie.-
*The chocolate river in the factory was really made out of chocolate!
*The movie was made in Germany, and the outside shots of the factory were actually that of a gasworks.

I briefly mention this film in a past post, while in France, here.

For more Willy Wonka movie facts and tidbits, click here, here, here, and here.

Although I do not own a factory like Willy Wonka, I do have a favorite recipe for my deliciously simple chocolate peanut clusters! Click here for the recipe.

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One of my favorite candy creations is Peanut Clusters. For the recipe, click here.

Lebron and the Cavaliers

While Willy Wonka was king of the candy world, Lebron James holds the title of king in the basketball world! Clutching the “golden ticket”/trophy for Cleveland, James and his team mates put an end to the city’s 52-year championship drought.

 

IMG_1417.jpgMy son watches as Lebron clutches the championship trophy.
June 19, 2016

Three days later was the city’s celebration and parade. Through the miracle of the internet and Fox8.com, I was able to experience the joy of Cleveland’s victory parade at my home in Maryland.

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A beautiful aerial shot of Cleveland during the parade. Note the center of the photo where all the people are gathered, and the Terminal Tower , the tall pointed building next to them.
Photos taken while watching via Fox8.com on my computer.

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Lebron James celebrates with Cleveland at the Championship Parade.
1.3 million people gathered for the Cleveland Cavalier victory parade,
plus many more online. (Me included!)
June 22, 1016
Photos taken while watching via Fox8.com.

Having been married for 38 years to Dale, a Clevelander born and bred, (His grandfather helped build the Terminal Tower!) I, too, have become one of them. Living in NE Ohio for seven years only strengthened that bond. My four children were all brought up staunch Cleveland fans, as well.:o)

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Dale and me, with two of our children at a Cleveland Browns-NY Jets game.
December 2007

It is intangible, something that those elsewhere in the country may not understand. Many, more elequent than myself, have tried to explain it. Hollywood has based movies on it: Major League and Draft Day to name a few. ESPN spoke of it just earlier this year on their ESPN Films: 30 for 30, Believeland.(A new ending to Believeland is currently being filmed and will air at 8 p.m., Thursday, June 30 on ESPN!  Read about that here.)  But it really is more than a game for us. It is the city of Cleveland’s, NE Ohio’s, pride. Just believe me! Way to go Cavs!!!!!

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I love this photo of a confetti-filled downtown Cleveland in front of the Lebron sign.

Thank you to gvartwork.com for permission to use this photo.
GVartwork makes great quality Cleveland tee shirts.
(No, they are not paying me to say this!) I have bought many for my family!

Thanks for reading!

Annette

Note-Due to a technical error (more accurately, mine), many of the photos from past blog posts were accidently deleted several months ago. I have been working to replace them, and most are now back in place. If you wish to view my past blogs and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net .

I attempt to post my blog once per month. My next post will be around, July 20.

Thank you to all of my blog followers!!!
I appreciate you!!!
It is your encouragement that keeps me writing! :o)

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and receive “I’m Annette”via email,
FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.06.31 AM

Isn’t this Etch A Sketch art amazing?
Read more about George Vlosich III’s talent here.
Again, thank you to GVart!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Willy Wonka and Lebron

June 27, 2016

Willy Wonka and Lebron

IMG_1497

Willy Wonka greets me as I walked into the theatre.
June 26, 2016

What an exciting week at our house!

First, the Cleveland Cavaliers, with Lebron James,  won the championship last Sunday evening!
(A mega parade in Cleveland followed on Wednesday.)

Then on Thursday, Dale and I very happily met our triplet grand daughter!
(We still look forward to meeting the other two soon when they are released from NICU.)

Today, I enjoyed seeing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on the big screen!

It has been one fun-filled week! :o)

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I had been waiting for months in anticipation.  Thanks to “TCM Big Screen Classics”,
Willy Wonka was showing on the big screen!  I used to watch the fun and colorful fantasy film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with my children when they were young. I still chuckle at this movie’s quirky humor and smile at its entertaining story.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 12.32.55 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My email invitation to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

As an elementary school teacher and parent/elementary homeschool parent, I have read the book that this movie was based on many times: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl. Written in 1964, I first became familiar with this novel in my elementary years, read aloud by my own school teacher to my eager class.

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 10.16.39 AM.png

Photo thanks to kena1956 of Ebay.
Want this copy? Click here.

Arriving at the theater, I was happily greeted by a fellow resplendent in Willy Wonka attire.  (See photo at the top of the page.)  Immediately transported into Wonka’s world of chocolate fantasy,  I was more anxious than ever to make my way to the theatre!  :o)

Version 2

Happy to be at the showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Entering theater #8, a jovial group awaited me.  Among the happy group, sat one upbeat woman dressed in Oompa-Loompa apparel, and another woman with Golden Ticket in hand. (The Golden Ticket Lady informed me that a Maryland woman, Diana Sowle, had played Charile’s mother, Mrs. Bucket!)

IMG_1503

This smiling Oompa-Loompa was very eager for the film to begin.

IMG_1523

I want a golden ticket…

Watching this film on the big screen was such a treat! Although, I own the dvd and have watched it many times, seeing it in the theatre was a new experience, with new detail.
(I saw for the first time Slugworth candy displayed in the candy shop.)

IMG_1525.jpg
My DVD copy of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

IMG_1506.jpg

Ben Mankiewicz introduced our movie. Always a wealth of information, he explained that when this film first came out in theaters, it was considered a failure.
TV gave this movie a new life.  

IMG_1507

I was all smiles as the film began! :o) For some reason I also wanted chocolate!  :o)

The magical scene in the Wonka chocolate factory is such a delight.
I remember that the first time that I saw this film, I did not understand what type of candy the giant bears represented.
Gummi bears were not a common American candy at the time.

Did you know that the actors did not see this set until the filming of this scene?
The astonished and delighted looks on their faces in the movie are authentic.

IMG_1521

The candy making Oompa-Loompas!

Seeing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was so enjoyable. I thank my hubby, Dale, for indulging me! :o)

A couple more random facts about the making of this movie.-
*The chocolate river in the factory was really made out of chocolate!
*The movie was made in Germany, and the outside shots of the factory were actually that of a gasworks.

For more Willy Wonka movie facts and tidbits, click here, here, here, and here.

Although I do not own a factory like Willy Wonka, I do have a favorite recipe for my deliciously simple chocolate peanut clusters!  Click here for the recipe.

IMG_0850

One of my favorite candy creations is Peanut Clusters.  For the recipe, click here.

Lebron and the Cavaliers

While Willy Wonka was king of the candy world, Lebron James holds the title  of king in the basketball world!  Clutching the “golden ticket”/trophy for Cleveland, James and his team mates put an end to the city’s 52-year championship drought.

IMG_1417.jpg

My youngest son, Chandler, watches as Lebron clutches the championship trophy.
June 19, 2016

Three days later was the city’s celebration and parade.  Through the miracle of the internet and Fox8.com, I was able to experience the joy of Cleveland’s victory parade at my home in Maryland.

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 1.07.54 PM

A beautiful aerial shot of Cleveland during the parade.  Note the center of the photo where all the people are gathered, and the Terminal Tower , the tall pointed building next to them.
Photos taken while watching via Fox8.com on my computer.

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.43.47 AMLebron James celebrates with Cleveland at the Championship Parade.
1.3 million people gathered for the Cleveland Cavalier victory parade,
plus many more online. (Me included!)
June 22, 1016
Photos taken while watching via Fox8.com.

Having been married for 38 years to Dale, a Clevelander born and bred, (His grandfather helped build the Terminal Tower!) I, too, have become one of them.  Living in NE Ohio for seven years only strengthened that bond. My four children were all brought up staunch Cleveland fans, as well.:o)

DSCF1410

              Dale and me, with two of our children at a Cleveland Browns-NY Jets game.
December 2007

It is intangible, something that those elsewhere in the country may not understand. Many,  more elequent than myself, have tried to explain it.  Hollywood has based movies on it: Major League and Draft Day to name a few.  ESPN spoke of it just earlier this year on their  ESPN Films: 30 for 30, Believeland.  But it really is more than a game. It is the city/Cleveland, NE Ohio, pride.  Just believe me! Way to go Cavs!!!!!

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 12.56.40 PM

I love this photo of a confetti-filled downtown Cleveland in front of the Lebron sign.

Thank you to gvartwork.com for permission to use this photo.
GVartwork makes great quality Cleveland tee shirts.
(No, they are not paying me to say this!) I have bought many for my family!

Thanks for reading!

Annette

Note-Due to a technical error (more accurately, mine), many of the photos from past blog posts were accidently deleted several months ago. I have been working to replace them, and most are now back in place. If you wish to view my past blogs and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net .

I attempt to post my blog once per month. My next post will be around, July 20.

Thank you to all of my blog followers!!!
I appreciate you!!!
It is  your encouragement that keeps me writing! :o)

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and receive “I’m Annette”via email,
FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.06.31 AM.jpg

Isn’t this Etch A Sketch art amazing?
Read more about George Vlosich III’s talent here.
Again, thank you to GVart!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

A New Stove and Disney Peanut Butter Cookies

June 20, 2016

A New Stove and Disney Peanut Butter Cookies

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I am happy with the way my new oven bakes!
(Not so happy with this blurry selfie photo, though. :o()

She had served us well.  Miss Whirlpool had been with us the eleven years we have lived in our Maryland home.  Our 27-year old, (Miss) Whirlpool double wall oven, had baked up eleven years worth of delicious Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and festive birthday cakes. She had baked up yummy family meals and goodies,including countless numbers of Dale’s famous mouthwatering creation of Chef Boyardee Pizza (always made with additional mozerella cheese on top.).

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Dale’s pizza specialty

Did you know that Chef Boyardee oversaw the food served for President Wilson’s wedding, and produced rations for servicemen in WWII ?
Read more about Chef Boyardee, originally known as Ettore Boiardi, who lived in Cleveland, here.
(My husband grew up in Cleveland!
Way to go last night, Cav’s, winning the championship !!!!)


It had become apparent, after a bevy of burnt-to-a-crisp items,
that Miss Whirlpool had seen better baking days. :o(

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Miss Whirlpool had seen better days, and her cooking temperatures had become erratic. 

After some research in Consumer Reports (Thanks Dale!), it was a trip to our local Sears to oven shop.

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We bought this. 

It has been fun testing out our new oven using my tried and true recipes.  I had been saving the oven’s handy-dandy convection feature, however, for something special.

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For its maiden voyage baking, I opted to bake a Disney cookie recipe that I had tried once before in my old oven.

Disney Peanut Butter Cookies
May 2016

Disney’s Peanut Butter Cookie came to my tastebud’s attention when we were visiting  Walt Disney World in November 2015.  Mike, my son-in-law (Martese’s husband), and I became big fans after just one bite. We had been  given free samples while strolling by the
Prairie
Outpost and Supply  in Frontierland. We were hooked! So good!

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Photos thanks to the kindness of  DisneyFoodBlog!
Click here to visit this fun Disney foodie blog.

 Thanks to the “magic” (Yes, that was a pun. Magic Kingdom-magic…) of the Internet and Pinterest, I came across Six Sister’s recipe for their knock off of this cookie of peanut butter awesomeness here.  I made a few changes of my own and christened our new convection oven by baking up this Disney treat.  :o)  My recipe and instructions are below.

To follow my Pinterest account, go here.

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Mike washes down his peanut butter cookie sample with his Country Bears (jug) beverage.
Read more about that Walt Disney World trip, here.

Speaking of Disney…My family and I love Disney!  We have been blessed to be able to enjoy family time on Disney soil on several occasions. In an earlier blog, here, I shared about a recent trip to Walt Disney Studios.  Here are a few photos from that same trip, at Disneyland.

Disneyland
March 2016

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Natasha, Martese (my daughter and Mike’s wife)  and I were all happy to be at Disneyland!

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I enjoyed one of my favorite rides, “It’s a Small World“. :o)

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Natasha and Martese check out some of the sights and smells of Disneyland.

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One of my favorite areas in Disney’s California Adventure: Cars Land.

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This smiling Disney employee obligingly agreed to pose with me in front of Flo’s V Cafe.

IMG_0034Disneyland’s Blue Bayou Restaurant was the spot for my fun birthday meal.

IMG_0044We were all surprised by the “light-up” menu.  :o)

IMG_0045A view of the dining experience at The Blue Bayou.
To the left, the bluish area, overlooks to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride.

IMG_0051I was presented this delicious Mickey chocolate  birthday treat in honor of my birthday.

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The Blue Bayou Gumbo is famous for a reason.  It was wonderful!

IMG_1402.jpgThe Blue Bayou staff kindly gave me this recipe to recreate their yummy gumbo.

IMG_9934.jpgMickey and Walt are flanked by our happy crew:
Dale, Annette, Martese, Natasha.

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Evening is magical at Disney’s California Adventure.

To read more about our fun 2016 Disneyland trip, click here.

The Recipe

 

Disney’s Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup crunchy peanut butter (I use Jiff)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
3 eggs

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  (For convection oven, 350 degrees)

In large mixing bowl,
cream together the butter,
peanut butter,
1 cup of granulated sugar,
and light brown sugar.

Add vanilla.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.

In a separate bowl,
mix flour,
baking soda,
and salt together well.
Add this mixture into mixing bowl and stir until completely combined.
(I stirred ingredients in, and used mixer to quickly finish blending together well.)

Place remaining 1/3-1/2 cup of granulated sugar in bowl.
Using cookie scoop, form dough into 1 and 1/2 inch balls.
Roll dough ball in sugar until completely covered.

Place dough balls on baking sheet that has been lined with parchment.

Use a flat-bottomed drinking glass to gently press down each dough ball.
Leave fairly thick. (These cookies will stay whatever thickness that you press them to.)

Bake cookies 7-10 minutes, checking  after 7 minutes, and in minute intervals thereafter.
These cookies are very soft.  Do not overbake them, or allow them to turn brown at all.
They will continue to set up as you cool them on the pan.

Remove cookies from oven, allowing them to cool on their cookie sheet for 5 minutes,
then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Place in sealed, air-tight container, once totally cooled.

Thanks for reading!

Annette

Note-Due to a technical error (more accurately, mine), many of the photos from past blog posts were accidently deleted several months ago. I have been working to replace them, and most are now back in place. If you wish to view my past blogs and photos, click here, or go to annettehoffman.wordpress.com, or  coming very soon imannette.net .

I attempt to post my blog once per month. My next post will be around, July 15.

Thank you to all of my blog followers!!!
I appreciate you!!!
Your encouragement is what keeps me writing! :o)

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and receive “I’m Annette”via email,
FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

Planning a trip to a Disney Destination?

1621805_259645820870262_43649048_n
Our Daughter, Martese, is a Magic Maker® for Off to Neverland Travel,
an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for any of the Disney Destinations,
and other vacation locations.
Martese’s vacation planning services are totally FREE!
Martese is a wealth of Disney information!!!
Click here for her website, or
here for her Facebook page.

IMG_0438.jpgIn-between Disneyland rides, I spotted some flowers in my favorite color, purple!  :o)

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Recipe for The Lodge at Geneva’s Breakfast Pinched Redskin Potatoes

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Seated at the breakfast table at The Lodge of Geneva restaurant.
February 2016

Dear Friends,

Just a quick share of this yummy recipe, thanks to Barb at The Lodge of Geneva.  I just added it to my earlier post from February about Ohio, here.

Happy Weekend!

Annette

Recipe

The Lodge at Geneva’s
Breakfast Pinched Redskin Potatoes.

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The Lodge’s restaurant manager kindly gave me this recipe!
Thank you, Barb!
Barb says, “Guests LOVE our potatoes!!”

Ingredients
Red Potatoes
Cooking Oil, i.e. vegetable or peanut oil
Lowry’s Montreal Seasoning

Directions

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Take little red potatoes, baked at 350 for about 35 minutes until cooked.
In the meantime, heat up oil to around 350-375 degrees.
(I use my electric skillet for this.)

Let potatoes cool, then crumble/smash potatoes (I use a juice glass to smash them.)
and toss into the fryer with hot cooking oil, until browned.

Season with Lowry’s Montreal seasoning.

Enjoy!

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly. My next post will be on, or around, June 15.

Thank you to all of my blog followers!!!
To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and receive “I’m Annette”via email,
FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

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An evening view from our Lodge of Geneva room in February 2016.

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The Times They Are a-Changin’

May 26, 2016

The Times They Are a-Changin’

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 Is 29 my age (again)? :o)
Actually, 29 is my order number.
I happily wait for my favorite sandwich to be delivered at the Nordstrom Cafe
in July 2015.

How does the old saying go? “The one thing that you can count on is change.”
Or, as Bob Dylan would say,  The Times They Are a-Changin’.
On May 19th, our family underwent a profoundly happy change! My son and
daughter-in-law had precious triplet girls!!! Insert enormous Gammy  grins here. :o)(Gammy is the name my grand daughter calls me.) I am happy to report that Mom and babies are all doing well!

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Image used thanks to www.cliparthut.com

I smile when I think it all started with our May 28, 1978 wedding! :o) Speaking of change, the fresh faced kids in the photo below may have changed a little bit over the past 38 years. :o)
I am so happy that I picked this guy!  Happy Anniversary, Dale!

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Dale and I married six months after this photo was taken on May 28, 1978.
To read more about our wedding, click here.
To read more about grandparent fun, click here. and here.

To hear Bob Dylan perform The Times They Are a-Changin’  in 1964, click here.
To read more about Bob Dylan and his Minnesota connection, click here.

Changing Menus

Another change, minor in nature, is the recent menu at our local
Nordstrom’s Market Street Cafe.  This cafe has long been a favorite of mine, for a quick bite at our nearby mall. Over the years I have become a big fan of the
Chicken Mozzarella Chibatta Sandwich,  a menu standard at the Cafe.

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I photographed my delicious Chicken Mozzarella Chibatta Sandwich at Nordstrom’s 
in December 2011.

I am hoping that this tasty sandwich will soon find its way back on the menu, but in the meantime, I have a recipe for my version of the sandwich below. In 2009, Nordstrom’s Customer Service kindly gave me the recipe to make this at home. Over the years, I have made a few alterations to speed up this sandwich’s assembly. Also, take a peak at some photos taken of my family dining at Nordstrom’s Market Street Cafe over the years.

A Nordstrom Market Street Cafe Montage

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My mother and daughter sit in a Nordstrom booth in December 2011.

Martese in faux eyeglasses and Mickey tee shirt in July 2012.

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My two youngest joining me for lunch in July 2015.

IMG_6578 (1)Martese is happy to get her yummy Crab Pizza in July 2015.

The Recipe

Annette’s Version of the
Chicken Mozzarella Ciabatta Sandwich

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Ingredients

Sandwich

Fresh Rotisserie Chicken
Baby Spinach, cleaned and dried/drained 
Sliced Tomatoes
Sliced Fresh Mozzarella
Freshly Ground Pepper
Balsamic (reduction) Glaze (Usually found in the Pasta Section)-see photo below

Italian Ciabatta Roll/Bread (Usually found in grocery store, made in own bakery )
Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Water

Pesto Aioli 

1/3 cup Pesto (Usually found in the Pasta Section)
2 cups Mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s Light)
Fresh Ground Pepper 

Reduced Fat Cape Cod Potato Chips, or another kettle/crunchy variety, if desired

Instructions

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Slice Ciabatta rolls in half.
Place roll cut-side down onto cookie sheet. (I  prepare mine with parchment paper).
Brush roll tops with water and sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until roll is crunchy.
Remove from oven and cool slightly.

While roll is baking…
Prepare aioli by mixing together pesto, mayonnaise, and ground pepper.  
Refrigerate until assembling sandwiches.

Remove and slice chicken breast from rotisserie chicken.
Refrigerate until assembling sandwiches.

Assemble Sandwich as follows…
Spread both sides of roll with pesto aioli.
(Nordstrom uses a generous amount, but
my waistline prefers a thinner layer of pesto aioli.)

On bottom half of roll place- 
baby spinach
sliced tomato
sliced fresh mozzarella
black pepper to taste
drizzle balsamic reduction glaze
chicken slices
sliced mozzarella
top half of roll

Serve with potato chips.
Enjoy!

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An example of two different brands of Balsamic Glaze

Thanks for reading!
Annette

Note-Due to a technical error (more accurately, mine), many of the photos from past blog posts were accidently  deleted several months ago.  I have been working to replace them, and most are now back in place.  If you wish to view my past blogs and photos, click here, or go to annettehoffman.wordpress.com.

I attempt to post my blog once per month. My next post will be around, June 15.

A giant thank you to all of my blog followers!!!
Your encouragement is what keeps me writing! :o)

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and receive “I’m Annette”via email,
FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

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Dale and I pose with the Red Sea as our background.
July 2013

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My Birthday with Disney

April 8, 2016

My Birthday with Disney

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Walt Disney presents me with my first Oscar!
I made sure that I thanked “all of the little people”.  :o)

Planning 

This trip had been a long time in the making, over ten years, to be exact.  Through the Disney Movie Rewards Member Program , my daughter and I had been religiously racking up points with each DVD movie purchase, and every purchase of Disney movie tickets. At last, we had accumulated the 15,000 points  required for the ultimate prize;
The Walt Disney Studios: Special Private Tour for 4!  Martese and I excitedly made plans for our tour. It would take place the week of my (March 2) birthday. :o)

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The coveted prize, as shown on the Disney Movie Rewards Member Program website. 

Dale and I would fly to California from Maryland, meeting Martese from Minnesota, and, Martese’s often “partner is Disney shenanigans”, Natasha from Texas. Martese and Natasha’s friendship began when they were both on the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World in 2010. Natasha joined us, thanks to the generosity of Martese’s husband, graciously giving up his spot on the tour.

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Martese and Mike, in formal mouse ear attire, at their
May 2013 wedding.

Griffith Park

The four of us were up bright and early, in anticipation for that morning’s Disney Studios tour.   Allowing plenty of time for our drive (and the LA traffic) from  Anaheim, where we were staying, to the Studio area of Burbank, we had time to spare.  We explored the nearby and historic Griffith Park .

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Martese, Natasha, and I stand in front of the famous
Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round.
It was while sitting here, watching his young daughters, that Walt Disney first envisioned his iconic Disneyland.
You can read more about it here and here.

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This former park bench now resides in
The Opera House at the front of Disneyland.
Walt sat on this very bench, by the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, when the Mickey Mouse-shaped light bulb went off in his head; the beginning of Disneyland.
Disneyland is now the benchmark for all amusement parks.
(Get it? Bench, B
enchmark?  hee hee)

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Natasha enjoys the beauty of these pink blooming trees in Griffith Park.
After some research, I believe that they are called the Cigar Tree, also known as the Indian Bean Tree, or Catalpa.
They were fragrant, and smelled like cotton candy!

Walt Disney Studios

Meeting Lisa

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We were greeted at Disney Studios by our enthusiastic, and totally fun,
guide Lisa Donahey.
Not only is Lisa a Disney Guide Extraordinaire,
she is also a talented singer, (listen to Lisa’s melodious voice
 here and here)
and actress (see Lisa in a small part on one of my favorite shows, The Middle, here).

Lisa is also a googley eye enthusiast, as evidenced (I am guessing) by the
addition to the Disney Studio fire hydrant pictured below.

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Photos Ops

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Our crew stops for a few photo ops on the property. :o)

Top photo- We are all smiles with the Disney 6-leg water tower behind us.

Photo just above-We all  happily pose in front of the Disney animation building.

Below- A bit in awe, we  stand around the historic Disney Studios sign.
The movie Saving Mr. Banks used the area at Walt Disney Studios, including this spot, for some of it’s filming.
  (Read more about that here , here, and here .)

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101 Dalmatians

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On the tour, Martese enjoys some illustrations/cells from her favorite movie
101 Dalmatians(above).

 101 Dalmatian figures “play” in the Disney Studio gift shop (just below).

Martese stands in front of a model for 101 Dalmatian  villainess, Cruella de Vil’s, car .
(Read more about the car, here.)

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Exploring Disney History

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We enjoyed strolling the hallowed halls at Disney Studios.
Steamboat Willie (1928), Mickey’s first film, is immortalized in this floor decor.

To view Steamboat Willie, click here.

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At every turn, we were treated to a piece of Disney history .  Above, I stand  with (wearing) a pair of authentic Mouseketeer ears from original 1950’s The Mickey Mouse Club,
and a chimney sweep broom from 1964’s Mary Poppins.

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A highlight of our visit, was our visit to the Disney Archives/Library.

We got to hold a real Oscar.

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We saw a treasure trove of items from Disney’s past,
including these 1950’s Mouseketeer pieces.

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I loved seeing these “puppets” from the opening scenes in 1961’s Parent Trap,
one of my favorite Disney films.

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Dale enjoyed this prop, Tim, the tool man’s, tool belt from the 1990’s TV show, 
Home Improvement.

Disney Legends Plaza

This beautiful, parklike, area is a tribute to the legends of Disney.
I stand proudly (below) with my namesake, Annette Funicello’s handprints.

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I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.
Walt Disney

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It had been a great day!

For more information about the Walt Disney Studios , click here.
Read about my February 2015 visit to Walt Disney Studios and Disneyland, here.

Thanks for reading.

Annette

I attempt to post my blog once per month.
My next post will be around, May 8.

A great big thank you to all of my blog followers!!!
Your encouragement is what keeps me writing!  :o)

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and receive “I’m Annette”via email,
FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

Planning a trip to a Disney Destination?

1621805_259645820870262_43649048_n
Our Daughter, Martese, is a Magic Maker® for Off to Neverland Travel,
an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for any of the Disney Destinations,
and other vacation locations.
Martese’s vacation planning services are totally FREE!
Martese is a wealth of Disney information!!!
Click here for her website, or
here for her Facebook page

image003.jpg

A souvenir photo put together by our wonderful guide, Lisa,
from our Disney Studio tour.
The seven dwarfs look on.

Thank you, Lisa, for the great tour!

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O-H-I-O

February 16, 2016

O-H-I-O

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I enjoy the hominess of “The Covered Bridge Pizza Parlor” with my friend, and former Ohio neighbor, Michelle.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Ohio holds a special place in my heart.  Ohio is where my hubby was born (Cleveland) and raised (Geauga County).   Ohio is where our two oldest children graduated from high school (Edgewood High), and also where our oldest, graduated from The Ohio State University. Ohio, Ashtabula County to be exact, is where I enjoyed living with my young family for seven years, near the shores of Lake Erie.

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I quickly snapped this photo as my four kiddies walked on the beach of Lake Erie                   in 2001(?).


On the Road, Again

Business trip bound, it was a pleasant six-hour drive from our home in Maryland to our hotel, The Lodge at Geneva, in Ohio. Along the way we enjoyed a short side trip, visiting with Dale’s brother and family.  Not only did we catch up on “the latest”,  but we were treated to some yummy snacks.  To see the recipe for one of those hunger-busting snacks, click here.

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We enjoyed a brief visit with Dale’s brother and family in Ohio.

The Lodge at Geneva

The Lodge at Geneva is a lovely place to stay. The rooms, and the dining area, affording constantly changing and scenic views of Lake Erie, along with a cozy atmosphere.

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The scenery changed, it seemed, each time that I gazed out of my window.

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The dining room welcomes diners with a cozy fire, yummy food (One my favorite foods was the breakfast’s Pinched Red Skin Potatoes!  See recipe below.) with expansive views of Lake Erie.
I  was fascinated by the large squirrels who frequent the property.

IMG_9725I “found” this souvenir in The Lodge of Geneva gift shop.  Made with a pretty color of Lake Erie sea glass,  in the shape of a crab (I live in Maryland, in the land of all things crab.), and locally made, I just had to get it! Right?

Friends, Family, and Food

One of the best parts of returning to NE Ohio is visiting and catching-up with friends and family. It was such a delight. Good food made it even better! :o)

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Michelle and I visited and dined at The Covered Bridge Pizza Parlor .
(See the photo at the very top of this post.)
Yes, this restaurant started its life as a genuine covered bridge!
(To read more about its history, click here.)
I love The Covered Bridge’s Roast Beef Subs, smothered with provolone cheese!
(I am a big fan of their Taco Pizza, too.)
The exterior photo of the restaurant was taken in October 2014.

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It was fun seeing  Debbie, another neighbor from the “old hood”,
when I popped by to say “hello”.

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The Harbor/Bridge Street area of Ashtabula is always a treat.  Thanks to Michelle’s recommendation, we checked out Bascule Bridge Grille .  It was wonderful!
The Bascule Burger, with blue cheese, was delicious, and the luscious
Chocolate Pot De Creme, that Dale and I shared for dessert,
was just made for my needed chocolate fix! :o)

Click, here, for coupons to the street’s merchants.

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One evening, Dale and I decided to visit an “old” favorite restaurant, Ferrante’s.
The Langostino’s Ala Manicotti was truly incredible, and a shared Chocolate Torte for dessert was wonderfully chocolate, through and through.

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Laura, Dale’s cousin, joins me in the Lodge at Geneva dining room for lunch.
We shared a delicious Pretzel Crusted Chicken sandwich and lots of fun chit-chat.
Laura shares my love of unsweetened iced tea, too!  :o)

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Upon arriving at The Lodge in Geneva
, Laura surprised me with this cute Valentine’s scarf.
I love it!  Here I am at home, showing it off.

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Time flew by quickly, and it was time to point the car back towards home.
Goodbye, for now, Ohio.

Recipe

 The Lodge at Geneva’s
Breakfast Pinched
 Redskin Potatoes. 

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The Lodge’s restaurant manager kindly gave me this recipe!
Thank you, Barb!
Barb says, “Guests LOVE our potatoes!!”

Ingredients
Red Potatoes
Cooking Oil
Lowry’s Montreal Seasoning

Directions

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Take little red potatoes, baked at 350 for about 35 minutes.

Let cool, then crumble/smash potatoes and toss into the fryer with hot cooking oil until browned.

Season with Lowry’s Montreal seasoning.

Enjoy!

 

Thanks for reading!
Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly. My next post will be on, or around, March 11.

Thank you to all of my blog followers!!!
To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and receive “I’m Annette”via email,
FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

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One of my favorite treats from NE Ohio is the apple cider doughnut from                        Brant’s Apple Orchard.                                                                                                                          Paired with Brant’s apple cider slushie, it’s the dynamic duo!
Unfortunately, these little gems are only available during apple season,
August-November.                                                                                                                                    This photo was taken in August 2011.

To see photos from my August 2014 trip to Ohio, click here.

 

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Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure: Switzerland-Finally!

February 6, 2016

Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure, Switzerland: – Finally!

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I am star stuck, as I “chat” with 007/James Bond,
George Lazenby, 
star of Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Piz Gloria; Schilthorn, Mürren, Switzerland
September 2014

The time has finally arrived for my final installment of the Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure series,
this one on Switzerland.  I am behind, very behind, with this, my fourth country’s installment.  My third installment having been back in June 2015! This post is the final blog post of my Switzerland visits;
one taking place in September 2014, and the other in March 2015.

Breathtaking Switzerland in September 2014

The difference was staggering. The tans and beiges of the desert sands of
Saudi Arabia, where we were living and had left just hours before, had been replaced by the brilliant green landscape of Switzerland, below, as seen through our aircraft window.

The brilliant green landscape of Switzerland greeted us as we landed in Zurich.

My hubster, Dale, had business meetings in Zug, and I was happily tagging along. Anticipating an entire weekend ahead of us, we had made reservations in Interlaken.
With our luggage secure in our rental car, we were on our way. The Swiss scenery is always a treat for the eyes, interspursed with the occasional mountain tunnel.

Dale, navigates the Swiss roads and tunnels with ease.
Each time we now encounter a tunnel, I think of Switzerland!

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One of my favorite “just off the road” spots in Switzerland,  is this picturesque lake in Lungren.

 

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Yes, the water in Lungren really is this color!

Interlaken, at Last!

Happy to arrive at the Goldey Hotel, we were enchanted by the lovely view from our balcony. After quickly unpacking, we were off for a walk, exploring the area.

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The Goldey Hotel, the brick building behind me, sits on the bank of the
River Aare.

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We were delighted by the scenic view from our balcony. 

Dale and I had stopped briefly in Interlaken in 2013. We had enjoyed the breakfast buffet at The Victoria-Jungfrau’s La Terrasse, or I should say we enjoyed the bacon from the breakfast buffet. Dale and I had been more than excited, at that time in 2013,
to find American-style bacon on the beautiful buffet, and in plentiful supply.
Living in Saudi Arabia at the time, it had been months since we had tasted that
distinct bacon flavor. :o)
We  vowed that if we were lucky enough to find ourselves in the area again,
that we would explore Interlaken’s other treasures.

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Immensely enjoying my bacon-based buffet (This photo was taken mid-bite.)
at The Victoria-Jungfrau’s La Terrasse in Interlaken.
August 2013

To read my Switzerland post from August 2013, click here.

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Many of the “neat as a pin” Swiss houses, complete with flowers, reminded me of a cuckoo clock that my grandmother used have hanging on her wall.

 

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This street in Interlake is busting with tourists.
The stately Victoria-Jungfrau is the tall building with the spire on the left.

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Hang gliding seems to be a popular past time here, with the Jungfrau (the name of the mountain) in the background, and Victoria-Junfrau Hotel across the street.

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Dale and I enjoy dinner, with a view of the Jungfrau.  I do not remember exactly what I was eating, but I do remember that it was a delicious sandwich and had bacon in it. :o)

 

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A model of the Piz Gloria in a store window, gives us a glance of what we will see the
next day.

 

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The night time view from our room was magical.

Piz Gloria, but first, Breakfast

I love classic movies, with the James Bond films of 1960’s falling into this category.
One of the most intriguing locations for a Bond film is the Piz Gloria, featured in
Her Majesty’s Secret Service
(1969). Situated on Mount Schilthorn are the observation deck and revolving restaurant seen in the film.  Only about 10 miles from our hotel to the base of Mount Schithorn, Piz Gloria would be our destination for the day.
To read more about this Bond location, check out this Bond blog here.

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Starting the day with a hearty breakfast at our hotel.

 

Hazelnuts (also known as a Filbert) were always an option at our hotel breakfast buffet.
I love them!

I enjoyed the unique decorative touches in the hotel’s common areas. 

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In this blurry photo (sorry), I stand near a map which charts our course up the mountain to the Piz Gloria via the longest aerial cable system of the Alps.

If the cute red coat that I am wearing seems a bit small, it is because, not knowing about this trip earlier, I had not brought anything warm to wear with us to Saudi.
My friend, living in our compound, lent me this coat for our Swiss trip.
Thanks, Emma!

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While waiting for the cable car, we were fascinated by this huge backpack, and I asked if I could take a photo.  We later surmised that these fellows were headed up the mountain to hang glide with this mega-backpack carrying all of their glide gear.

Dale and I board the gondola, complete with the James Bond musical score piped-in from overhead.

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The views going up the mountain were spectacular…
and the views at the top,gorgeous.IMG_1969In my very best 007 pose, at Piz Gloria. James Bond once walked here.
In fact, part of the completion money for the revolving restaurant and the helicopter pad here came from the making of Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

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Dale and I were overwhelmed by the beauty of Switzerland’s Alps.

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You would not know it to look at me, but I am a little fearful of high places…

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…but I eventually got used to the heights and took in the majesty of the landscape below.

Evidence of the James Bond legacy was everywhere, from the museum exhibit here, complete with vintage movie posters, to the the 007 emblem decorating the restaurant windows,
to the Wi-fi internet code of 007.  :o)

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The revolving restaurant was such a treat

Mürren

Piz Gloria had lived up to its reputation as amazing! After our lunch, it was time for us to take the trip back down mountain.  Dale and I decided to explore the second stop from the top; the small village of Mürren. There are no cars allowed here, except for essential personnel, making it is a great place to walk around.

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On our way back down the mountain was this quaint little village of Mürren.

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I was feeling the need for outerwear that would actually fit me. I struck out at the overpriced gift shop at the Piz Gloria.   Mürren was a happy contrast, with a cute and reasonably priced shop. I  bought this warm and furry Swiss jacket.

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Dale and I relaxed as we sat on park benches, enjoying Mürren’s tranquil view.

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The tranquility did not last long.  We soon came to the uneasy realization that this “park” also served as Mürren’s heliport! We, along with others sitting and relaxing in the area, soon found ourselves overwhelmed by hurricane-like winds, thanks to this helicopter landing just feet away from us!  We all held on to our hats (literally) while clinging to our packages in utter dismay!

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We stop for tea, where we chatted with some fellow Americans, at one Mürren’s hotel cafes, before heading back down to the bottom.

To read another blogger’s Mürren experience, click here.

Trummelbach-Falle

A side trip on our way home, took us to Trummelbach-Falle, a maze of ten waterfalls.

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My fear of heights reared its ugly head once again this day.

To read more about Trummelbach-Falle click here and here.

Cows

On our trip back to Interlaken, we were surprised to see colorfully decorated cows.  The cows had been part of a cow parade earlier that day. Having spent the warmer summer months in the Alps,the cows were brought down to the mountain to spend the winter months.

To read more about this tradition, click here and here.IMG_3215

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Bossy does not look all too happy about her new headpiece!

A fun cow fact for ya-Did you know that the some Swiss have cow washes for their cows?

See and read about cow washes here.

Our Final Look Around Interlaken

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This cute chef sign caught my eye.

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I snapped this photo of a granny on her moped, as we waited for the train to pass by.
The bicycle rider uses this time for a little snack.

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A few sights on our final walk around town.

 

Zug

Zug was our ultimate destination in Switzerland.  Zug is a beautiful small town on
Lake Zug. Dale had business in Zug for a few days. My friend, Lyn, who was currently living in Zug, offered to show me around Zug one day, and Lucerne the another.

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Lyn brought me to this cute restaurant with a view Lake Zug.

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The view was beautiful and the food delicious.

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This photo was taken just outside of the restaurant.

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The Clocktower is an iconic symbol of Zug.

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I stand on a cobblestone street of Zug.

To read another blogger’s perspective of Zug, click here.

 Lucerne

I adore the Swiss city of Lucerne.  Lyn kindly offered to take me the 20 miles from Zug to Lucerne for an informal rooftop lunch, and a little sightseeing.  It was a fun day.

 

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Lyn and I enjoyed the sunshine and views of Lucerne during our lunch.

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An interior view of the Jesuit Church.

Click here for more information on the church.

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A view of the Jesuit Church (left) from the Chapel Bridge.

To read more about the Chapel Bridge, click here.

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Lyn looks out from Chapel Bridge onto the River Reuss.

 

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Lyn showed me The Lion Monument of Lucerne before our trip back to Zug.

To read more about The Lion Monument, click here.

Thanks for reading!

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly. Stay tuned for part 4b of Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventures. My next post will be on, or around, February 28.

Thank you to all of my blog followers!!!
To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and receive “I’m Annette”via email,
FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

Happy Birthday, Spencer!

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Is that Heidi?  No, I’m Annette!  :o)

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One Wedding and a Whale of a Snowstorm

January 27, 2016

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I enjoy a calm morning stroll on the beach.
Pompano Beach, Florida
January 21, 2016

Heading to the Wedding

It would be a happy weekend!  Early Wednesday morning, we (my hubby, two sons, daughter-inlaw, and grand baby) boarded a plane in Maryland. We were off to Florida, for my first born, Trevor, and his finance’s, January 22nd wedding.

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I happily head to Florida for my son’s wedding. What am I laughing at?                               My sweet 22 month old grand daughter is siting on my lap, just outside of this photo. :o)

                                                                 January 20, 2016

Florida

Through the miracle of air travel, (Thank you Wilbur and Orville Wright!),we were gazing down at Pompano Beach from our hotel room in just a few hours.

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The ocean view from our hotel room in Pompano Beach.

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Our “home” for the next few days, nestled between the coconut palms.
The Residence Inn
Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach/Oceanfront

The Whale’s Rib

Clothes were quickly unpacked, as we anticipated lunch!  We met Trevor, the groom to be, at one of my favorite restaurants in this area, The Whale’s Rib, in nearby Deerfield Beach.
First introduced to me by Trevor, several years ago, this unpretentious seafood haven
serves great food at reasonable prices, and has the stamp of approval from
Diners, Drive-ins, and Dive’sGuy Fieri.

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The Whale’s Rib in Deerfield Beach

When planning Trevor and Tanya’s rehearsal dinner, it was here that I first inquired.  It became clear rather quickly, however, that they did not have the kind of space that was needed to accommodate our group. So, instead, we would visit here twice while in town, sharing its ambiance with some of our relatives who were in town.

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The Whale’s Rib is renowned for its Whale Fries served with Whale Juice,
a mayonnaise-based sauce.

We enjoyed eating at The Whale’s Rib, two times while in town. Always delicious and fun! 

Dining at The Whale’s Rib on our first day in town.
January 20, 2016

Dining at The Whale’s Rib, the day after the wedding.
Our group group grew in number from our first visit!
January 23, 2016

The Rehearsal Dinner
January 21, 2016

As parents of the groom, Dale and I had the honor of hosting the rehearsal dinner, immediately after Thursday’s wedding rehearsal.  We decided on an informal dinner at the same location as the rehearsal.The wedding would also take place here the next day, at Galuppi’s.
On a golf course, Galuppi’s setting is pictuesque.

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A sunset view from the Galuppi’s back patio.

The rehearsal dinner was an enjoyable time, and we even had an enthusiastic game for the bride and groom.

Trevor and Tanya play a light-hearted game of “Who Will” during the rehearsal dinner.

The Wedding
January 22, 2016

Friday greeted us with rainy skies, but that did not dampen our spirits for the impending nuptials. Although, the wedding was slated to take place on Galuppi’s outdoor patio,
an alternative location was available in the reception area, if needed.

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Our daughter, Martese, served as officiant for the wedding.
45 minutes prior to the wedding, we were still hopeful that the rain would subside.

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Tanya’s handsome son waits for the wedding to begin.

It was wedding time and the rain continued to fall.  It would be an indoor wedding.
The wedding was beautiful!

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Trevor and Tanya say their vows.

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Trevor and Tanya kiss as husband and wife.
Tanya is a lovely bride.

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Trevor and I do our Mother/Son Dance to “Singing’ in the Rain“.

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The pretty wedding cake was delicious.

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The evening was spent celebrating on the dance floor.

To read about Tanya and Trevor’s fun wedding shower, click here.

Homeward Bound?

With the honeymoon couple on their way to Colorado on Saturday, we turned our thoughts toward heading home.  Our Baltimore son and family were to originally fly out on Saturday, but with a mega winter snowstorm in that area, on Friday they rescheduled their flights for Sunday.  My hubby, son, and I were also scheduled to fly out on Sunday.  We all got the word on Saturday that all Saturday and Sunday flights had been cancelled.  Rescheduling, we found, would not be an option until Tuesday,
or Wednesday.  With that in mind, we all decided to drive the 15+ hours home in our rental car.

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Newlyweds Tanya and Trevor enjoy the slopes on their honeymoon.

We pointed our car north, as our trek began at 3:30 am on Sunday morning.  Yawn.
Travel was relatively uneventful for the first several hours, with sparse traffic on
Highway 95. Baby girl was a travel champ, spending part of the travel time watching
Kid Songs on dvd. The highlight of the first part of our trip was having lunch in
North Carolina at Zaxby’s.

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There are no Zaxby’s in Maryland, so we were happy to find this one just off the highway in Lumberton, North Carolina.

We continued to travel north. Through the photo (below) texted by our friend, Abe, and neighbors’ Facebook photos, we anticipated the snowdrifts that awaited us, with a bit of trepidation.

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We were thankful to our good friend, Abe, for checking on our place,
and sending us this photo of our house on Sunday.

It became apparent about two hours south of Washington DC, that the landscape “was a changin‘”.  Large piles of snow began to envelope us from both sides of the road, and the number of snow plows began to largely outnumber the “civilian” vehicles on the road. It was eerie, as we carefully made our way on the newly, barely, somewhat, plowed highway.

 The Washington Memorial, and scaffolded National Capitol shone to our left, over an uncustomarily silent Washington DC.  It was at this time that it became sadly apparent, to some of our car’s occupants (having passed two unplowed rest areas) that the time had arrived for “resting”. As treacherous as it was to veer off the highway, it was now more treacherous not to!  As we made our way to a small unkept gas station, in a not so great part of town, a large sign made it clear that they had no public facilities.  Desperate times call for desperate measures. (Use your imagination.)  It was not long before we were more comfortably back on the road, marveling at the mountains of snow all around us as we went. It was then, after a total of 18 hours, we were finally home! Parking in our  neighbor’s shoveled driveway, we trudged through the snow and into our house, deposited in a giant snow cone machine. We said a quick prayer of thanks. We had made it home safely, after a wonderful wedding. :o)

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Our back deck piled with snow, upon walking into our house after 18 hours on the road.

Thanks for reading!

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly. Look for my next post on, or around, February 15.

Thank you to all of my blog followers!!!
If you are not yet currently getting my blogs via email,
I’d love for you to do so!

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and receive “I’m Annette”via email,
FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

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Trevor, our oldest at around age 1.5 years, with my husband and myself in 1986.
Time flies!

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