This One Italian Girl

Weekend Recap – Bridal Shower and Hot Air Balloon

Sep
26

I had such a fun weekend!  I’m sad to see it’s over already.  But not completely over yet, because I still get to relive it in this post.  Last weekend was the calm before the storm, because starting this weekend I am busy every weekend until Thanksgiving.  It makes me tired just thinking about it.  Lots of fun to be had though.

Friday night I was supposed to play softball but the other team never showed up so there was no game.  Instead we had batting practice for a bit and then went out for dinner and drinks.  After dinner I had to get home and pack because the fiance and I had a little trip planned for Saturday night.

Before our trip though I had my first bridal shower on Saturday afternoon.  To be honest, I was a little nervous going into because I am not the type of person that loves having all of the attention on me, and that is exactly what this entire party was about.  Thankfully it wasn’t that bad being the center of attention for one afternoon and I had a lot of fun.  One of my Aunt’s on my Dad’s side hosted this one so it was mostly his family.  I got a lot of really nice gifts and I can’t wait to start using them and get rid of our old hand me down stuff.  My next bridal shower is in October so I think I am more ready for it now.

After the bridal shower I hurried home to pick up the fiance so we could drive up to Napa for the night.  I bought us tickets to go on a hot air balloon ride way back in February for Valentine’s day.  We had a year to use the tickets, so I thought maybe we could wait until our 10 year anniversary and go in June.  Turns out the fiance had to work, so we waited until we both had a free day.  This was one of the only days so we booked it.  We got to Napa around 6:30pm and picked up a bottle of wine on the way to the hotel.  We decided to have a couple glasses of wine before dinner in our hotel.  Our hotel was perfectly located near lots of restaurants so we had no problem finding something for dinner.  We picked a Thai restaurant and it was delicious.  After dinner we walked back to the hotel and watched TV for a little bit before calling it a night since we had to be up super early.

Sunday morning we had to meet at 6:30am for our flight.  They provided us with muffins and coffee and shuttled us to an open field where all the balloons were being inflated.  I didn’t realize just how big these balloons were until I was standing right next to one.  We got to watch them inflate and then it was time to hope in.  There were 16 people in our group that fit into what looks like a giant floating picnic basket.  Within 5 minutes we were already floating away.  Taking off was probably my favorite part just to watch everything get smaller but your view of everything around you get so much larger.  It reminded me of the Soarin’ Over California ride in Disneyland.  Once we were up high enough our pilot turned off the burners and it was so quiet and peaceful up there.  Our flight was about an hour long which went by so fast.  Then it was time to land, which got a little scary at times.

There’s no real steering the balloon, it all depends on the wind.  So being able to judge when and where the wind is going while trying to find an open spot to land in the middle of all these vineyards can be a bit challenging.  Our pilot found an open spot to land and got us there, but it was hard to stop the balloon so we made a couple bounces.  The scary part was that we were headed for a giant tree if we didn’t completely stop in time.  Thankfully we were able to stop, but they couldn’t deflate the balloon here because it would fall on the tree and possible tear.  The pilot was able to get 3 guys to come help, but they weren’t able to pull us up this hill to get away from the tree.  Their next attempt was to walk us down this hill but it was way too far so that wouldn’t work either.  Finally they let all of us out of the balloon so they could get all of the guy passengers to help push this balloon up the hill.  Thankfully they were able to do it once we all got out and they safely deflate the balloon.

After that little adventure we got shuttled back to the hotel we met up at and were provided with a champagne brunch.  It was a really fun experience and I am so glad I did it.  Once our bellies were full we headed back home to pick up the pup and we all took a much needed nap.  So that was my excitement for the weekend.  Next weekend will be filled with softball and a country concert.

Summer Recap

Sep
21

Back in June I posted my summer wish list that included all the fun things I wanted to do this summer.  Well now that it is September and all of the kids have gone back to school and the weather is starting to cool down, I think summer is officially over.  That, and the fact that tomorrow is technically the first day of fall.  I thought I would take a look back at that list and see how many things I was able to cross off.

 

  1.  Go backpacking.  Unfortunately, this one did not happen this summer.  All this wedding planning is really taking up all my free weekends.  But since the weather stays nice here until late October, I’m still holding out hope that we can squeeze in one little trip before it starts raining.
  2. Go hiking more.  We did go hiking a few times this summer.  Although not as much as I was originally hoping for, some is better than none.  And we even got Stella out on a hike one time which was so fun.
  3. Take engagement photos.  We can cross this one off the list.  We took photos back in July and I absolutely love them.  We already picked one to use for the save the dates and now we just have to decide on which ones to use for our guest book.
  4. Find a new apartment.  Yes, we did this one too!  We moved in to our new place early July.  To be honest, I don’t love it as much as our last place, but we signed a year lease so I’m stuck here at least that long.  I will say that I do love the location though because we are right across the street from downtown.
  5. Attend some country concerts.  We went to one country concert back in July which was amazing.  We got to see the group that sings the song we chose for our first dance, so that was pretty special.  We also went to a country concert at the county fair which is always fun.  I do have tickets to another concert in early October, which will probably the last one for this year, so I am definitely looking forward to that.
  6. Go camping.  I am so happy that I got to go camping this summer.  I usually go at least once with the fiance’s family but when I wasn’t able to make it this year I was worried I wouldn’t go at all.  But thankfully my best friend was willing to go with me.
  7. Finish a scrapbook.  Sadly, this still hasn’t happened yet.  Between getting engaged and wedding planning and my Mom’s treatments, this one has lost it’s priority.  But hopefully next year we will have more free time and be able to focus on finishing it.
  8. Go floating.  This one was done on the camping trip.  The river was pretty shallow this year and the water was freezing, but it was still a lot of fun to be outdoors all weekend.
  9. Go on more bike rides.  This one has not happened yet.  When we moved my bike got brought over to the future in-laws house because they had the truck that the bike would fit in.  And it’s been sitting there ever since.  So I need to borrow a bigger car to get my bike back.  But once I do I would love to go on more bike rides.
  10. Bake.  I did a little baking this summer, but I will say that I tend to do more baking in the winter.  I think with the heat of the summer I never want to turn on the oven.  This summer I made cake pops, zucchini bread, cupcakes, and cookies.

 

Well, all in all I think I did pretty good with my summer wish list.  I will say I accomplished 7 out of the 10 items.  Not too shabby.  I plan to create a fall/winter wish list next.  It will give me something to look forward to between all the rain.

Weekend Recap – Dog Sitting

Sep
19

This weekend was a much needed relaxing one.  My parents were out of town for the weekend so I was left to dog sit.  With the fiance working all weekend, it was just me and the pups.  And I was totally okay with it.

After I finished up work on Friday, my best friend came over and we went to the pool for a couple hours while it was still hot.  Trying to soak in all these last few days of heat before the winter rain is upon us.  Once we had had enough sun we headed over to my parents house to feed the dogs.  We left the dogs to play so we could go eat ourselves.  We decided to go downtown for dinner but first we did a little window shopping.  The stores downtown are already selling winter sweaters and boots.  I was very tempted to buy them all, but decided to wait until it actually starts getting cold.  With both of us empty handed and hungry, we stopped at a sushi restaurant for dinner.

The evening wouldn’t have been complete without a little ice cream.  I took her to the dairy for an ice cream cone.  The dairy is the most iconic place in my hometown where you can drive through or walk up and buy your basic grocery needs.  But they also have soft serve and it is the best in town.  With our ice cream in hand we headed back to my parents house to hang out and watched a few episodes of Modern Family.  We were both exhausted so she headed home and I fell asleep with the dogs.

Saturday was the only day I actually had some plans.  I slept in and had breakfast with the fiance before he left for work.  Then my sister-in-law picked me up so we could get some stuff for my cousin’s baby shower we are throwing her.  We went to Target and got invitations and things for decorations.  For the decorations we are going to wrap 4 boxes of diapers in paper so they look like blocks.  We also got some fabric to make a banner with the baby’s name on it.  For party favors we got little mason jars that we will fill with jelly beans and use the fabric to cover the lids.  On the tables we plan to use some mason jars with flowers and wrap them in ribbon.  After we got all the supplies we printed out the invitations and labeled them all to mail.

After that I had some lunch, went grocery shopping, and took the dogs for a walk.  Taking two dogs for a walk is a lot harder than I expected.  Especially when the dogs are 2 different sizes with 2 very different walking paces.  But we all survived.  The dogs passed out right after we got back so I had time wash and fold my laundry.  My night was spent doing laundry and reading.

Sunday was the most relaxing day of them all.  Again, I slept in and had breakfast with the fiance before he had to go to work.  Then I took the dogs for a walk before it got too hot.  The rest of my day was spent working on the wrapped baby boxes, reading, and wedding party favors.  My parents came back home in the afternoon and I decided to stay for dinner and watch the Emmy’s.  The Emmy’s were pretty uneventful but we watch every year anyway.  And that was it for my weekend.  Completely relaxing and a much needed recharge before the next few weekends full of bridal showers start.

Meeting with the Pastor

Sep
17

Another thing to check off the wedding to-do list.  It feels so good to do that.  We were originally supposed to meet with the Pastor at the end of July, but then something came up and she had to reschedule.  Turns out she was pretty busy this summer, so we had to wait until last week to meet.  Thankfully it all worked out this time and we were able to meet and start talking about the ceremony.

We already knew a few things we wanted included in our ceremony, but definitely needed some help with the timing and flow of things.  We knew we didn’t want a full mass, and we knew there were a few cultural things we wanted to include.  We also have a friend that we would like to sing at some point during the ceremony.  As far as the overall flow of the ceremony though, we had no idea what to do.

Although this Pastor is new to our community, she has been a Pastor for a long time and has officiated hundreds of weddings.  So I already felt comfortable with her.  She was very helpful, and provided us a general layout that they start with for creating the ceremony.  We are able to change and move around anything that we like, but this will help us at least start somewhere.  She talked us through how the ceremony could look and got an idea of certain things we want or don’t want said.

Now our homework is to read through all the options and pick out which way we want things to be said.  We also have to pick a couple of readings to be done and who we want to read them.  The plan is meet again at the  end of the month to really nail down the ceremony details.  We only have 4 months until the wedding.  I simply cannot believe how fast time is going.  And I know these last few months are going to go by even faster with the holidays right around the corner.  As scary and fast this is all happening, I am getting even more excited by the day to marry the man of my dreams.

Weekend Recap – too many margaritas

Sep
14

I thought this weekend was going to be a nice relaxing one, but it turned into quite the adventure.  Well Friday night was actually pretty relaxing.  The fiance didn’t have to work on Friday, so during the day him and a friend went to lunch together and then played disc golf.  After I was finished with work for the day we all went to the pool for a bit.  Once the sun went down we decided to go to the driving range to hit some golf balls.  We got two jumbo sized buckets which took a long time to finish.  I may or may not have bailed out about halfway through.

 

After golf we parted ways with his friend and me and the fiance grabbed burgers for dinner and headed home to the pup.  The fiance’s brother and girlfriend came over after dinner to see our new apartment.  We watched the Parolympics and then they went home.

Saturday morning I got up early and went for a run.  After that the fiance cooked us breakfast which was followed by a nice walk in the park with the pup.  Then my best friend came over for lunch and some pool time again.  She had planned to go home that night, but things changed after we had a couple beers at the pool.  One of the fiance’s friends came over that night and we all had a few drinks together.  We walked downtown to get some dinner at a Mexican restaurant where we ordered 2 pitchers of margaritas.  That was a big mistake.  We all stumbled home and went straight to bed.

The next morning was a little rough to say the least.  But we had things to do that day so I had to get up and function.  Most of the groomsmen came over to get fitted for tuxes.  I decided to go with them just to make sure they ordered the right color tux.  It was really fun to see the fiance in a tux again.  We haven’t gotten that dressed up since prom in high school.  By the time they finished getting fitted we were all starving.  We went to a local pub and got pizza and wings while watching football.  After lunch we all parted ways and the fiance and I went home and took a much needed nap.  But we couldn’t sleep for too long because we had to go to the future in-laws house for dinner for the fiance’s brother’s birthday.

Although the weekend turned into something other than I had planned, it was still fun.  I feel like I need a weekend to recover from my weekend though.  Next weekend is another low-key weekend so I am looking forward to it.  And I hope to actually keep it low-key this time.

Weekend Recap – Labor Day

Sep
08

I didn’t even realize I had a 3 day weekend until the week before.  Whoops.  But at least it made for a nice surprise.  Since I didn’t realize it was Labor Day weekend that means I didn’t make any big plans ahead of time.  Which I was actually happy about because I feel like we have been so non-stop lately, that it felt good knowing that I could just relax at home for once.  The fiance had to work all weekend so it was just me and Abby.  I knew this would be the perfect weekend to get a few wedding things crossed off the list.

I was waiting to call about having my first fitting for my wedding dress until I found the right shoes.  Well I ordered some shoes online and I think I have found the ones.  So on Friday I called the tailor to get an idea of when I need to start having these fittings.  Next month will be the first fitting.

On Saturday I ran a couple wedding errands with my Mom.  Originally I was only going to register at Macy’s but then I started looking at Crate and Barrel and they have a lot of good stuff too.  So my Mom and I went to the nearest Crate and Barrel and registered for some more kitchen stuff.  Then we went back to Macy’s to finish getting the random things like an iron, bed sheets, and kitchen towels.  After all that shopping we were hungry.  We went to this restaurant downtown that is known for it’s bread and split a salad and sandwich.  It was delicious.  We grabbed a coffee for the road and headed home.

I left Abby at my parent’s house to hang out with Stella while we were gone.  When we got back I decided to take Abby for a walk since Stella already got one that morning.  My Saturday evening consisted of working on party favors, playing pool, and eating pizza.

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Sunday was another day spent with the family.  My brother drove down in the morning and we all went out to brunch.  After brunch my Dad and I took the dogs for a walk to help digest a bit.  By then I was pretty tired so I took a little nap while they watched the Giants game.  I couldn’t sleep for too long though because we all went to go see Finding Dory that afternoon.  It was a cute movie, but I definitely liked the first one better.  I was super impressed by the movie theater though.  They recently remodeled and put in recliners in all the seats.  So I was able to put my feet up and lay back to watch the entire movie.  Which was dangerous because it makes it way too easy to fall asleep.

After the movie my brother headed home and so did I.  Since we all shared popcorn and candy at the movie, nobody was really hungry for dinner.  I spent the rest of my Sunday evening working on party favors, cleaning, and watching movies.

The fiance did get Monday off so we got to spend the day together.  We woke up early and took Abby for a hike in the morning.  Then the fiance went and played disc golf with his Dad while I stayed home and took a nap with the pup.  Once he got home, we watched a few episodes of a TV show and went grocery shopping.  Then we headed to his parent’s house for dinner.  They BBQed pork chops and we made scalloped potatoes.  Dessert was a blackberry pie and ice cream.  It was all delicious and the perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

I wish every weekend was a 3 day weekend..

 

August Favorites

Aug
31

Summer is flying by and I don’t like it.  Although fall is probably my favorite season, I’m still not quite ready to say goodbye to Summer.  There’s so much I wanted to do but didn’t get the chance.  And a lot of stuff I did that I want to do again.  But as with anything, all good things must come to an end.  Technically, we still have most of September left until fall begins.  But when I was in school it always started back up at the end of August so that’s when I get that end of Summer feeling.

To be honest, there wasn’t a lot of new things I was loving this month.  At least nothing that stuck out enough for me to remember.  But there were a couple memorable things that I was loving this month.  They are totally random, but here they are:

  1.  Double head showers.  I don’t have this in my apartment, but I would LOVE one when I get a house someday.  I have seen them before only a couple of times, until recently I started seeing them everywhere.  If this is becoming the new thing in showers I am all for it.  What drought?  If you don’t know what they are it is literally two shower heads that face each other so when you stand in the middle you get hit from water on all sides.  It is magical.
  2. Car cell phone holder.  I bought this for myself a few months ago, but just recently started using it.  With all the hands free laws of the road, I figured it was the responsible thing to do.  And I’m actually loving it.  I bought one that clips to the vents and I put mine right in the middle so I can see when I’m driving.  Since I have been doing a lot more traveling for work this month, it has been a life saver.  I’m thinking about buying one for my Dad because he uses his GPS all the time.
  3.  Engagement photos.  We took our engagement photos at the end of July and got them back earlier this month.  I have looked at them more times than I am willing to admit.  They are just so cute, I can’t help it.  Plus we had to pick one picture to use for our save the date, and about 20 pictures to use for our guest book.  Totally justified.
  4. Not wearing makeup.  I used to wear makeup every day in high school and college.  I don’t wear that much makeup now on a day to day basis, but whenever I get the chance to not wear any at all, I take full advantage of it.  I wear minimal makeup to work so I don’t scare my coworkers and to special occasions if there’s going to be pictures.  But other than that, I have been going all natural and it feels so good.

I could only think of 4 things this month.  How pathetic is that?  Couldn’t even make it to 5.  Oh well.  I am sure there will be plenty more things I will be loving as fall gets closer.  All the candles and baking and pumpkin things.  Okay, I think I am ready for summer to be over now.

Weekend Recap – Tacos & Tequila

Aug
29

Two of my favorite things in one place.  This past weekend there was a Taco and Tequila Festival in Santa Cruz.  It was a two day event, but I only attended on Saturday.  I went with my best friend and fiancé and it was so much fun.  The festival was an all day event, so we had to make sure to get there early.  My best friend came over Friday night to spend the night so that we could get up early Saturday morning.  One of the fiancé’s friends came over too and the boys made us dinner.  After dinner we made a fort and watched a scary movie.  It was a great night.

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The next morning we got up early and left for Santa Cruz.  We stopped in San Jose on the way for breakfast where we split a breakfast burrito.  There was a huge line when we got to the festival so I’m glad we got there early.  With the tequila tasting we got a souvenir glass with 6 tastings.  Mostly everything we had was delicious.  My favorites were a bubbly tequila that tasted like champagne and a Moscow mule but with tequila and the fish tacos.  They had a bunch of food trucks with all kinds of Mexican food.  They also had a band playing music all day.  It was such a fun way to spend the afternoon.  After we used up all our tickets and our bellies were full we got a ride from my friend’s cousin, who lives in the area, to hang out for a bit.  We hung out at her cousin’s house, took a nap, and then went out dinner.  After dinner we drove back home and crashed.

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Sunday morning my friend left and the fiancé and I did some chores around the house.  We went to the grocery store and meal prepped, cleaned house and watched some Netflix.  My Dad took my 2 aunts and uncle to the Giant’s game Sunday afternoon.  So after the game when they got home we all went out to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant.  After dinner we went back to my parent’s house for dessert which was a home made peach pie from my aunt.  It was delicious!  It was the perfect ending to a fun weekend.

Weekend Recap – Camping

Aug
24

I have been looking forward to this weekend for about a month, ever since I booked the camp site.  I love camping.  And since I missed out on the annual camping trip with the fiance’s family, I was super excited to have a trip of my own.  My best friend and I tried to get a group of our old college friends together for this camping trip, but unfortunately, most of them couldn’t make it.  So it was just me, my best friend, one of our college friends, and one of her high school friends.  Which was perfect because the campsite would only allow 4 people.  And the pup too.

I found a camp site on the Russian River, which is right by where I went to college.  My best friend and I went to the river one year for 4th of July and had the best time, which is what made us want to plan this trip.  So Friday afternoon I packed up my car with my tent and all my camping gear and met up with everyone else halfway.  We switched cars to one of the guy’s 5-seater trucks so we could all ride together and stopped at Safeway to get all our food.  Then we hopped back in the car and headed up to the river.

First thing we did when we got to the campsite was set up all our stuff.  Our campsite was pretty big, but we were surrounded by a playground and lots of screaming kids.  We set up our tents in a little barricade around our site to keep the kids out.  After everything was set up we decided to get dinner cooking since none of us had eaten lunch.  For dinner we had BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and salad.  It was delicious.  Then we decided to do some exploring of the campground.  We walked through the campground to scope out which sites we would want for next time.  Then we found the path to the beach so we walked down and hung out at the river for a bit.  Once it got too cold, we headed back to camp to start a fire.  The rest of the evening was pretty relaxing, we played some card games and made s’mores.  The fiance ended up coming late after work, so we stayed up until he got there and then we all went to bed.

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Saturday we got up early, made some breakfast, and packed up for the beach.  We carried all our stuff to the beach and spent the entire day at the river.  We couldn’t have gotten better weather that day.  We floated down the river a bit, people watched all the canoes going by, and played some drinking games on the beach.  It was the perfect summer day.  Once the sun started to set we decided to head back to camp and start dinner.  We ate sausage and bell pepper sandwiches.  After dinner we played a few games and made s’mores again.  I think being in the sun all day tired me out because I went to bed early that night.

Sunday we all got up early, made breakfast, and packed up camp.  I can’t believe how fast that weekend went by.  The cars were all packed and we headed for home.  The first thing I did when I got home was give the dog a bath and give myself a bath.  After that it was time to unload the car and do some laundry.  It was such a fun weekend getaway, and it makes me want to go camping again.  There’s something about being surrounded by trees, actually being able to see the stars at night, and not having cell service that is so relaxing.  I’m hoping I can squeeze in one more camping trip before the summer is over.

Weekend Recap – Dog Sitting

Aug
23

I am so behind on my weekend recaps.  Before I recap this past weekend, I need to recap the weekend before that.  Two weeks ago I got to dog sit for my parent’s dog (Stella) while they were in Hawaii.  I wish I could have gone to Hawaii.  They went for a family friends wedding, which I was actually invited to, but unfortunately I am saving up vacation time for my own wedding and honeymoon right now.  So I stayed home and watched the dog.  Which was totally fine by me.  Free food, free laundry, and another dog for my pup (Abby) to play with was more than I could ask for.

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When we first got Abby, I was really nervous to introduce her to Stella.  Thankfully it has worked out great and these girls love to play together.  We took Stella to puppy classes when we first got her, and she was fine with other dogs.  But after that, we never really took her to dog parks so she didn’t get the best socialization.  Because of that, she has grown to bark when she sees other dogs on walks, especially with smaller dogs.  So when we got Abby, I was nervous that Stella would just bark and try to attack her.  But I think because I brought Abby over and was there with both of them, Stella knew she was my dog and knew she was a puppy and has never once tried to hurt Abby.

Watching them play is probably my favorite thing ever.  They have two completely different play styles.  Stella is 11 years old and Abby is 1.5 years old.  Their energy levels are polar opposite.  Stella can keep up for maybe 5 minutes and then she has had enough.  Abby will run circles around Stella, biting at her ankles, trying to herd her, and then Stella gets tired and lays down.  But Abby isn’t done playing, so she continues to torment Stella by nipping at her face or her legs to try and get her to keep playing.  If Stella wants to keep playing she will paw back at Abby, but if she’s had enough she will give a little growl that lets Abby know she is done.

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That was our excitement for the week.  Then last weekend I purposely made no plans so we could get some wedding things done.  Which we did.  Friday night I got my hair done as a trial for the wedding.  I really liked the way it turned out and if I don’t find another style I like better, that is probably what I will do.  Plus I ended up playing softball Friday night, and my hair held up pretty well with all the running, so that’s always a good sign.

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On Saturday we got up and went to the jewelry store to get my engagement ring cleaned and also to pick out my wedding band.  After that we went out to lunch to prepare ourselves for the next thing.  Our next big task was to get started on our wedding registry.  I had no idea how much of a task this was going to be.  We registered at Macy’s which we were probably there for a good 3 hours and didn’t even get close to finishing.  You have to make sure you register for enough gifts based on your guest list count, but they also have to be a wide range of prices so everyone can purchase something.  It is a lot of work.  Thankfully there’s the internet so we were able to go home and look for some more things from the couch that night.

Starting our registry wiped us out.  We got ice cream on the way home and then we both took a 2 hour nap.  After the much needed nap we hung out with the dogs, did a few loads of laundry, and got sushi for dinner while watching the Olympics.  It was a pretty relaxing night.  Sunday morning we got up and took the dogs for a hike before it got too hot.  Then we went out to lunch, came home and took a nap, and then cleaned up my parent’s house before they got back.  We went over to the fiance’s parent’s house for dinner because they just got back from a trip too.  After dinner we did our grocery shopping and watched some more Olympics.  It was such a relaxed weekend and I loved it.  Because the next few weekends were busy.