Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Out & About!

There's plenty to see and do in Williamsburg, and I felt like we did a lot; but I think we mostly did a lot of shopping! Who knew we girls liked to shop so much?! Well, we do, and we did, but we snuck in a few other outings as well.

William & Mary College is here! It's probably something that I should've known, but didn't; Ann had been here with the girls for sports. It's the second oldest college in America, and a 17-year-old George Washington received his surveyor's license here. Surveyors, as well as cadastralists, are very cool ; ) 

I walked around while the sisters headed to the famous Peanut Shop (well, it's famous to us because it's Sara's favorite; she uses pounds of this particular shop's peanuts in her very famous Christmas Chex mix). Looking towards Merchant's Square ~ I love the colonial blue and brick buildings in the background.

Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt, Governor-General in 1768, where he stands in front of the Wren Building at William & Mary. They loved this guy. I liked his statue and the brick walk.

Crepe myrtles were in full bloom literally everywhere, and every single day I would say, "Gosh, these crepe myrtles are beautiful!" I'm thinkin' my sisters were pretty sick of hearing that, but, gosh, those crepe myrtles were beautiful!

Merchant Square on Tuesday evening, the hottest evening in recorded history. It was my bright idea to go on a walking ghost tour that night. We could have turned tail and run back to the extremely comfortable air conditioning at the condo, but we stuck it out! 

On Duke of Gloucester Street, on the way to meet our group by the Governor's Palace. Lovely :)

Peeking in the back windows of Bruton Parish Church. This famous church was attended by Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, George Wythe and Patrick Henry! What a feeling of awe to know our forefathers walked these grounds!

The cemetery gates of Bruton Parish Churchyard. Oooohhhh, the scene was being set for our ghost tour!

The very famous Governor's Palace at the end of the Palace Green. Next time, I'm takin' a tour!

We rested here at the Elkanah Deane (a coachmaker) House, while we waited for our guide. Honestly, it was sooo hot (how hot was it?!), over 90° at 8:30 at night. Bleck, we felt very melty! I think Ann held up the best, she is THE consumate exerciser!

Our first stop was at the George Wythe House. Mr. Wythe trained Thomas Jefferson, and was the first ever professor of law; he was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His house is included on the tour because it is said to be haunted (obviously); George's grand nephew poisoned him and his family, but George had just enough time to write the killer out of the will before he died.  I included this pic even tho the lighting is poor, because....do you see what I see at the top of the photo?! No joke, I seriously don't know what it is! 0_0
We heard some great stories, did quite a bit of walking, and hopefully lost a few pounds!

Wednesday was Sara's & my birthday. I taught her how to really "milk" the day! She wasn't good at it at first, but she caught on quickly. We shopped, and I didn't take pictures, but it was a really good day ♥

On my last full day there, Con and I went to the local microbrewery. We were very well suited drinkin' buddies, and enjoyed the small tour as well as the beers! She gave me some insider knowledge on hops and grains (thanks, Gordon!), and it was here I decided I realllly don't like IPA. But we both loved the Coffee Stout & the Washington Porter! Guess I put back on those few lost pounds :(

These are "growlers" to be filled with your favorite beer for home enjoyment. But, a word of caution...once the beer is opened, it must be consumed in 24 hours. Oh, wait...no problem!

THIS is my flight home. I'm a good passenger (I listened to the pilot when he told us "airplane mode" was not "powered off", and was amazed that no one ever told me that before), but I DO NOT like to fly. It was bumpy. All the way. I was a nervous wreck. I fiddled. I played Boggle on my phone. I almost cried. I prayed. I listened to Maroon 5 (praise the Lord for Adam's soothing voice). The very nice pilot apologized for making us keep our seatbelts on for the entire flight (no complaints from me!) Then we landed, and my week was over, and I was sad.  

These are the beautiful faces that I spent one fabulous week with. Three of my amazing sisters and one of my three fantastic sister-in-laws. There is so much wisdom, humor, talent, compassion and love standing here. I asked Sara, Connie and Ann to think of "fun names" for themselves, based on their best attribute, but that was silly; no one name would do any of them justice. As the littlest sister, my big sisters have been my teachers and counselors; they've given me strength and comforted me. They never judge, and give only love. They are my forever friends.

♥ Sisters are different flowers from the same garden. ~

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ollie's Girls Take On Williamsburg!

My long anticipated trip to spend the week with my sisters finally arrived! The trip was "iffy" a few times for various reasons, but it finally came to be. They drove from PA, and I flew as close as I could get to the timeshare in Williamsburg. I chose Norfolk Airport because I liked Southwest and their fares over Richmond Airport's Air Tran, and both airports seemed equidistant from where we would be staying. I confidently made my reservation when my phone's GPS showed a mere 43 miles and 50-odd minutes for someone to pick me up. In retrospect, my phone's GPS doesn't know....you know...STUFF! And so the trip begins...

Cute art in the airport. I took this photo right after I picked up my bag. (there was a lone bag of flour tortillas laying beside my bag on the conveyor belt, wonder who lost them?!) Connie and I were texting, and she said they were running late. No worries, there's a Phillip's Crabhouse in the food court! I've got no problem waiting; I've got an iPhone, a laptop, and a Nook, for heaven's sake!

I always take a pic of a little diorama when I see it; they remind me of the movie Zoolander, and crack me up. Then I send it to Laura, and we each chuckle on our end of the phone. The actual airport isn't much bigger than this ; )
I had my crabcake. Just a little longer, and they'd be there! I played on my phone. I got out my laptop (drat, they charge for wi-fi, no thanks). I read some of my book. I texted. I talked to a nice Scottish woman from England and let her use my phone. I made friends with the taxi drivers. I people watched. I started to worry that my sisters were headed to Richmond. I worried that I may be picked up for vagrancy. I worried that when they arrived, they would leap from the car and choke me for choosing this airport. Four and a half hours later, Sara and Connie pulled up. The 50+ minutes that my GPS had clearly lied about turned into nearly two and a half hours. Uh oh, maybe Richmond next time!

But back at the condo, life was good. We ate junk food. We caught up. We played dirty word games (guess who brought those?! Annnnn....) We drank margaritas. And we laughed; more than I had laughed in a very long time ♥

Sunday morning Mass was at St. Bede's, a beautiful church in the round.

See? It's round. We counted 24 Eucharistic ministers, and Communion was done in six minutes (Sara timed it!) from start to finish. They get a bunch of folks through there!

The Remembrance Garden on the grounds. All the foliage was green and lovely, but boy, was it hot!

Back to chill. All the essentials were there: salsa, beer, Reese's, wine, cake, hummus, Tastycakes, wine coolers, and dip ; )
Sunday night we drove to a nearby cinema-pub for dinner, and saw Magic Mike (Oh, Lord). That was the only meal we ate out all week...at the movie theater! We had a ball!

Monday morning, before Robin had to head home, we took our group photo: me, Con, Robin, Ann & Sara. Robin scribbled her directions home on a paper plate, and left us to fend for ourselves. We missed her, but we trudged ahead...stay tuned! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Sugar Cookie Day, Mom ♥

I have a habit (probably very annoying to some people!) of posting odd "holidays" almost every morning on Facebook. July 9 happens to be National Sugar Cookie Day; but more importantly, today is Momma's birthday. Olive Mary Cecilia Britcher Sheaffer Weaver would have been 81 today. Life has been a bit hectic lately, Mom, but there's no way I would miss the opportunity to celebrate you today!

In honor of the sugar cookie, here is Grandma Aggie Sheaffer's renowned recipe...Mom made these at Christmastime (then hid them, along with the chocolate chip cookies, Russian rocks, etc, but we alwasy found them). Aggie was the only mother-in-law Mom ever knew, and (in the short time I knew her) she was a lovely, clever woman. You may, however, want to use "mace" instead of "maze"! (I didn't know much about cooking/baking when I wrote this! Obviously!)
The following are recipes that just make me smile, and fondly remember my Momma:

This is Mom's handwriting ♥ Coconut macaroons were Dad's favorite, and Mom and Mary made the best. I think I'll make some very soon.

Mom made this a lot. This recipe reminds me of the 70's. Accent?! Water?! Corn flakes?! Yikes. I believe this was Robin Brown Sheaffer's recipe; it's like hamburger bbq...Mom had to make dishes stretch, since she was always feeding a crowd.

Another 70's favorite: onion soup mix, cheese whiz, instant rice...I'm sure this was quadrupled to feed all 14 of us!

Mom made the best ham n' bean soup. This can't be all there is to it! It was warm & wonderful, and another of Dad's favorites.

I don't remember eating Shepherd's Pie (although Potato Buds were all the rage!) too often, but I like this because she wrote it : ) I do remember American Chop Suey (thanks, Aunt Sylv) and Hamburger Filling Casserole though!

Mom, in my favorite pose of all time. (yeah, I'm built just like her)
Happy birthday, Mom, ya taught me good : )
I love you! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

We're Off to the "Vineyard"!

Since I'll be in Williamsburg with the sisters on my birthday (July 18...but I celebrate all month), Linds bought us tickets for a vineyard (actually, blueberry bush) tour & wine tasting for an early birthday present. We had this planned for weeks, and were both so excited, since this was our first outing as gf's since she turned 21! (I encourage alcohol consumption, what kind of a parent am I?!) Anyway, Keel & Curley, here we come! (I forgot the SD card for my camera again, so these are iPhone pics. Drats.)

We have issues with being photographed. I know, it's a problem. It's actually a joke now; we love a camera!

We were a bit early, so we sipped a few wines before the tour started. They specialize in blueberry wine, and I wasn't sure about that...I am, after all, a connoisseur of the grape ; )
Here's my all-grown up baby girl, having her first glass of wine ; ) Just kidding...the clerk at the liquor store across the street from her apartment knows her by name, and she's only been 21 for three weeks. The apple doesn't fall far, does it?

Inside the tasting room/gift shop with fellow lovers of the...berry! After we sampled a few yummy wines, a nice fellow came in and called us to get on the tour wagon, so off we went. Don't worry, we'll go back to taste the wines we missed!

Country charm! Here's Lindsay, striking a rare pose for the camera.

On the comfy wagon, pulled by a tractor. Are you starting to see a pattern with the pictures?

Ok, this isn't Lindsay...this is Sam, our very friendly and knowledgeable guide, with acres of blueberry bushes in the background.

The shiny bottling machine. The business is family owned, and it's easy to see they take meticulous care of the equipment.

Hey, is that Lindsay in another picture?! The truck in the warehouse makes a perfect backdrop for yet another photo op for us. Sam took us back to the tasting room, where we chatted for a bit. He loves wine, too!

Hard to believe I liked every one, huh? Ok, I'll be honest, the only "miss" for me was the Key Lime fusion wine, but it would be awesome topping a glass of Corona! (our bartender shared that secret with us)

Say, Linds, why don't you jump in this pic for me? I talked to the kids at the table in the background, who were just chillin' with some wine and cheese & crackers. Fun!

Live music on Friday nights, count me in! This place would be a wonderful venue for just about any event. No kiddin', I'm going back!

I'm sure weddings in the gazebo are verrrry popular here. It was hotter than all get-out, but we didn't notice toooo much! Maybe it was the 12 wines and wine slushie that we sampled...

This pic and caption are so funny to me...Linds and Jordan got me hooked on an photo-caption app Friday night, and this one seemed perfect!
What a great gift and fabulous day! Check them out ~

Thanks, Linds! ♥
 (I just wish she was more photogenic...)

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