Showing posts from July, 2012

Pittsburgh to D.C., More Time with Jessica, the Sudden Storm, Making New Friends, Countdown to Closing

Pittsburgh is a short putt from where my parents live.  We arrived at lunchtime.  First we had to deliver a painting for my Mom.  One of the customers at Cannon Coffee noticed my Mom's work on the walls and commissioned her to paint a portrait of his late wife.  He was really fun to talk to, retired enlisted Navy, just had gotten back from a Navy reunion and was showing us tons of photos and news articles about it.  It was awesome.  He loved the portrait so much he asked her to paint another one, her wedding photo.

We had lunch with Ben at the Crested Duck Charcuterie... so stinkin' delicious.  I contemplated submitting this place for some food network show, but it's not a diner nor drive-in and certainly not a dive... so I'm at a loss.  The chef/owner is a self taught meat genius.  The duck lomo was perfect, just the right amount of "I miss Spain" with enough originality, lots of outstanding flavor.  Nate was kind enough to hang out with the dogs so we could…

Saint Louis, Columbus, to Grandpa & Grandma H.

We left Leavenworth at 8am, hoping to make it to our hotel in Vandalia, Illinois at a reasonable time after some sight-seeing in Saint Louis.  I did some "sight-seeing" of Kansas City from the car, including their stock exchange (livestock).  

We arrived in St. Louis just in time for lunch.  We found a great pizza place called Pi, which was some of the best pizza we've ever had (and we've been to Naples).  It was really hot, but we were eager to see the famous Gateway Arch up close and personal.  You could see it everywhere you went.  It is ginormous, quite a sight to behold.  We didn't go up into it, although you can.  We didn't feel like waiting in line and there was plenty of free stuff to enjoy anyway.  The entire "welcome" area was a free museum showing the history of westward expansion in the USA.  It was fascinating.

We also went to the children's science museum in St. Louis (more free fun).  We were there until 5:30.  The boys stayed in …

Grandpa and Grandma N.

The entire time we were in Kansas it was ridiculously hot so we didn't do too much outdoors.  The first day we arrived was one of the hottest, in fact.  Grandpa got out all his vintage game systems and let the boys (Josh included) play the original pacman (among others).  They were in heaven :)

We caught up on news and watched a couple movies, enjoyed a fabulous pork roast and brownies, got all nestled in (AC is awesome haha).  The next morning we got a little more motivated, but it was still stinkin' hot and humid.  We took a short trip to the park down the road after breakfast.  It was the same park we enjoyed during Josh's reunion picnic back in October, but they made a lot of improvements.  It was nice to see!  

When we got back Grandpa fired up the remote control cars and we camped out in the shade of the driveway.  The kids went wild!

Sally and I stayed inside (cuz we're smart like that haha).  We made plans to meet a few people out at High Noon for some dinner a…

Fort Riley to Leavenworth

We left Gpa and Gma B's house early in the morning for Fort Riley.  Along the way we got a hold of Josh's cousin Lindsey and met up with her for lunch on her break from work.  I'm a big fan of Five Guys... one of the few burger places that don't make me sick.

She's all super important managing a high-end jewelry store, has her own little business cards... fancy.  Josh snuck over there and bought me some awesome real earrings for my big 31st birthday :)  Love them!!!  They go perfectly with my birthday present from V last year (the necklace)!
After lunch we were back on the road to Jessica's.  We got there at five, kids impatiently waiting in the driveway for us.  HUGS HUGS HUGS!!!  HOORAY!!! :D  They all wished me a happy birthday and I was immediately presented with a tiara, a freakin' hilarious card with pirate booty's, and an awesome (because it speaks the truth) present which shall be hung in my house soon.

We had brought Jess some coffee beans from…