Peaches Prattlings











{March 23, 2016}   My apartment

You wanted to see where I reside, well, here you go!

So…I needed a place to live after I finished my project in Massachusetts last year. I wanted a place close to the airport, not too expensive [this is Boston after all] and takes pets, simple, right?

Not quite. It may sound unreasonable, but I wanted to find something about $1000 per month and I have to tell you, anything in that range would be a roommate situation. You can’t really move into a house with other people and ask them to watch your furry kids. So, alone it is. I found a place, it was perfect, well perfect in the way it was what I needed.

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Do you remember your first “POS” apartment? It was the worst, right? Falling apart, missing things, but you loved it. Well, this is not that, ha ha. I am almost 45 years old and I had that first POS apartment, I’ve owned a home and now I’m where?

Truth be told, it was a wee bit scary when I first saw it, well, scary to others, but I saw potential. The agent told me that a young girl, about college age saw the place and walked out.

It’s the basement apartment in a house in East Boston, I just found out the other day that makes me “an Eastie”, ok, I’ll take it. It reminds me of being called “a Slopie” when I was still in New York.

Being a basement apartment, you hear everything!  I would love to know what those people upstairs are doing all night and sometimes into the morning, on occasion, joining me in my insomnia.

When I first walked in, I was less than pleasantly surprised. The baseboard heaters were falling off, the walls were that lovely fake wood paneling, cabinets had to be from the 80s, if I was lucky, counter tops are fake marbling, glued down in some places, coming off in others and burned through in some places and yellow and sticky. Doors falling off the hinges, the ceiling in the bathroom was falling off, the dishwasher…1980s PINK people, PINK and sticky, on the outside. The range and refrigerator were fine, at least I hoped they were.

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So…I told the agent that I would take the apartment if he fixed the issues and he would have three weeks to do it as I was going to be out of the country for that time as you may remember. He agreed.

Did he fix everything? Not exactly, but big things were done. Walls are now white, the baseboard heaters are re-attached, the ceiling in the bathroom is now in one piece, shower is re-tiled, new carpet in the front room and there is a new fridge and dishwasher.

The cabinets, not replaced and still falling apart and VERY icky, sticky, storm door can’t stay open, some windows don’t have screens, some of the existing screens are ripped. The only closet is the one under the stairs by the front door, there is a set of stairs to no one where and they added a giant shelf. Shelves or cubes would have been better, just saying.

First, I don’t know if you remember me telling you about my dad selling the summer house and me getting a lot of stuff to furnish the apartment, I didn’t have to buy much to furnish the apartment, which was great! My dad’s first set of dishes, a table and chair my mom used to use as a makeup table, a table from my grandmother’s house, among other things.

I took the doors off the cabinets and used Greased Lightning, bleach, whatever I could think of. When I sprayed the Greased Lightning, his yellow stuff just started to drip and drip and drip, it was kind of, well, grody! I put the doors in the shower to drip, drip, drip, didn’t help..they were all still sticky and gross. There was one door I couldn’t get off because they hinges were rusted solid. Even the drawer pulls were nasty. What did the people who lived in this place do?

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Ok, I wasted enough time trying to clean the cabinets, so I decided to forget the cleaning, I’m going to paint. I went to Home Depot and picked out a nice blue, after asking the landlord for permission, of course.

I started with primer and moved on to paint. I painted inside and outside the cabinets, the roof of the cabinet, under the cabinet, pretty cool. I cleaned the drawer pulls as best I could and decided that I was not putting the doors back on and after they were dry and I loaded them up, I seconded my decision, I love the way it looks.
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After I got the bed set up, I was no longer sleeping on the floor, have my fabulous new comforter set that my dad got me and I’ve made this space my own.

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Do you love the pillow my mom made when she was pregnant with me?

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She loved this doll, it was at the summer house.

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The entrance to the shower looks bigger in the picture!
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The area where my clothes are is ffffreezing!

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I even put in a closet rod so my clothes stay a little warmer.

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See, open cabinets, love it!

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See…special artwork on my fridge!
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See my Starbucks mugs on the windowsill?
Something to put my paintbrushes and colored pens and pencils in!
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Found a place for my medals and race bibs.

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The dishes look great!

So, that’s my place, now you’ve seen it and where I hang out when I’m off the road. What do you think?



Another city…another hotel…another hotel family…

This is my third time here in Buffalo, same client, different phases of the project. The team has stayed at a few different hotels while here.

I started starting at the Hyatt downtown sometime last year and I really liked it. You know I’m a Hilton girl but after staying here, I’ve been splitting my allegiance.

I got used to staying at the Hyatt in Buffalo, so much so that one week they were booked and I stayed at another hotel chain for that week and I feel like I cheated!

The hotel is nice, in a good location, but you know what’s important to me…the people.

The front desk staff has been great, I really only know the evening/night shift, the day shift is nice,  but I’m not there in the morning, not much more than leaving for the client site.

The valet’s are great, some better than others,  they know who I am,  recognize me when I check in,  sometimes even remembering my name.  The front desk staff knows my name,  it makes me feel good.

I try to bring them treats when I can,  sometimes it’s leftovers from dinner,  sometimes just a flat out treat. They work so hard, they deserve something extra. If they are free,  I get to hang out and chat with them or when I come in from whatever in did that night.

I made sure to go down to the front desk to say goodbye tonight,  I knew I wouldn’t see them tomorrow, as I am checking out.  They were disappointed that I am leaving, they said I’m a favorite of theirs. That made me smile, if it’s true,  ask the better.

I will definitely miss them all when I go. Parting is such sweet sorrow…sigh.

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{January 14, 2016}   A nice quiet night

Just what the doctor ordered.

Tonight was the end of a lot of celebrating and quiet was on the menu.

Since PSM is leaving very early,  I booked us a night at a hotel near the airport. He arrived first,  stored his bags and hung out waiting for me.  When I got there,  we went up to the room to chill out for a while.

You know we’ve been to multiple parties and dinners and celebrations and send offs over the last few weeks and it’s been wonderful and exhausting! Tonight,  after the last lunch/farewell party, it was just the two of us.

After a bit of nothing,  we went down for happy hour and then a bit of dinner. PSM was very excited to learn he could take that last beer back to the room, finish it leisurely and that’s what he did.

Back to the room, snuggle on sofa, enjoy each other’s company one last night for a while.

Safe travels PSM, see you soon! I heart you.

Just what the doctor ordered.

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{January 13, 2016}   Another fabulous send-off

One could get used to this… and spoiled!

Tonight was a treat, PSM’s  aunt and uncle hosted us for dinner, just the four of us.  PSM is very close with his aunt and uncle,  his mom’s brother and sister-in-law.

We had such a nice time,  I haven’t had the opportunity to sit down with them and chat one-on-one for more than a few minutes until now.

The really great part was that the entire meal was vegan and gluten-free! His aunt went out of her way to find options for me that everyone could eat!

We had potato leek soup,  fabulous! Cucumber and onion salad,  potato gnocchi with a creamy tomatoe sauce, gluten-free garlic bread and a spinach pizza [gluten-free and vegan!] And for dessert,  small vegan, gluten-free pies, apple and blueberry.

How sweet and touching,  it made me feel so good to be able to say yes to everything that came around the table and that someone went to the effort.  So many people have been so accommodating with my meal requirements and restrictions I am forever grateful.

We ate,  laughed, kibbitzed, told stories and had a wonderful time.  I look forward to the next time!

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{January 9, 2016}   Another wonderful celebration

How wonderful to touch people so much that they want to honor you.

As you know,  last night we had a great throw down for PSM, aloha, and SB, happy birthday!

Today was a little more low key,  but just as lovely. After a very early start [230am down,  6am wakeup,  what!] We got Mollie from the dog sitter, she wanted a few days to say goodbye. Then go the vet for a shot and some paperwork,  then to another vet for different paperwork. You thought moving yourself to Hawaii would be tough…moving a dog to Hawaii is taxing!

Then on to PSM’s brother to leave Mollie until we send her to reuinite with him in Hawaii. Whew! After we went back to PSM’s house for a rest,  we’ll deserved!

A while later,  celebration number two,  with the family. We went to J&A’s house to have a nice dinner with the family. Sounds idyllic,  doesn’t it!

We talked a bit,  then head  to J&A for more fun and frivolity. It was J&A, their two girls,  M&H, PSM’s brother and his family,  S&J with their son,  J. His aunt and uncle and his aunts sister, and to rounds the group up GES, ACS and MGS.

The food was great,  lots of Italian. While we were sitting there, the girl scout cookie drive was in full speed, I donated cookies, even after “but they have gluten free!”

Speaking of food,  the girls made two cakes, one for PSM and one for ACS,  his birthday is tomorrow.  One guess what tomorrow’s post will be!

We had a great time, laughing, eating, drinking, reminiscing, no settling down for him! It really is such a treat to see how people love, value and respect him. So wonderful and touching to see,  it’s not just me thinking he’s the bees knees.

A fun night all around.  On to the next exciting event!

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{January 8, 2016}   Aloha/Happy Birthday…Party!

Tonight was fabulous!!! [Must be shouted!]

Two events were happening; a farewell to PSM, known to most as Boo, who,  you may or may not know,  is moving to Hawaii and SB, known affectionately as Sarge, it was her 50th birthday. January 9th is her birthday, to be exact.

Since we wanted to celebrate both,  what better way than a joint party! BB and AH took the lead, found a place, chose the food, a hotel, soup to nuts. Two thumbs guys!

We got to the hotel and began running into everyone else as they were checking in.

After dropping our stuff in the room,  we headed back downstairs to the bar where everyone was meeting before we went over to the Emerald Lounge for the festivities. Technically, the festivities started at that moment,  drinks all around while we waited for everyone else.

Then a nice, brisk and crisp walk, about 10 minutes to the Revere Hotel,  which had our party room at the Emerald Lounge. GES and ACS were already there with a few other people and then we were off!

There were a lot of people in this small-ish room, but it was great. Almost everyoneknew each other,  I think there were only two people in didn’t know, felt good.

I got to introduce my sister and brother-in-law to PSM’s friends,  the ones who know and love him so much and now my friends.  That was the better feeling.

After a while,  both GES and ACS commented that it was a good group of people and friends and how much they all care about PSM, I couldn’t agree more. 

The appetizers were flowing,  really good too! A great variety of sliders and tidbits, one cool one that I did not participate in, tenderloin w/mashed potatos. The cool bit…they sat on top of a salt block on a slate tray, very clever.
 
The presentation on all the food, the service, our personal bar tender, the drinks,  all top notch and very attentive.

We had the room until closing at 2am, which was great, we could leave all our stuff in there, go out to the dance floor and shake and shimmy. And these people can shake and shimmy!

We made sure to all be there, on the dance floor before 12am to celebrate SB’s birthday at the stroke of twelve. That was pretty cool.

There was more dancing,  stories, reminiscing, laughing, photos, hugging and goodbyes. Not to mention discussions about Hawaii, that made someone very happy.

About 1:45am, we said our final farewells and grabbed a cab with G&J B back to the hotel. One last goodbye and it was time to crash.

What a great time! A proper way to send off a good friend and celebrate a birthday! Top notch!

What’s next?! Alo-ha!

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{December 1, 2015}   I’m in Hawaii, what?

I was in Europe three weeks ago and now I’m in Hawaii? How does that happen?  Well, I’ll tell ya…

I couldn’t say anything before, it was very hush-hush, but PSM was looking to shake things up a bit and one of the things he did was interview for new opportunities within his company.

And then we waited.

And we waited.

And we waited.

We got tired of waiting and ran away to Europe. And here’s where the cool part comes in.

It was our first day in Marseille and we were on the Il d’If, the prison I was telling you about that the Count of Monte Cristo was based on. We were in someone’s prison cell when he got the call. Cool, huh? I thought so.

Good thing it was a large prison cell, I had to walk around it for the next twenty minutes while he talked to his new boss! I took a lot of pictures from the same window, great view!

“But, JJ, you still haven’t told us why you’re in Hawaii.” I’m getting to that dear friends. The new position, if you haven’t followed my chaotic train of thought is…in, yup, you guessed it, Hawaii!

It has been a whirlwind! I couldn’t tell you before because I had to tell my family first and I couldn’t tell them until he told his family first and then his first cousin’s wife, AT was waiting so patiently for my sister to find out so she could say something! It was like a sitcom!

Now, I’ve told my immediate family, first reactions were: Dad “I knew that when JJ said PSM was going to Hawaii, she was going with him”, GES “April break, auntie’s house!”. ACS “oh yeah!” then I’ve told some friends and I’m working on telling the world. For PSM, it’s a quick phone call to friends and family, maybe a 15/20 minute call, max. For me…1-2 hours! My mouth went dry!

The plan is that PSM will move in January, he starts work mid-January and I will join him when my lease is up, around August/September. Until then, I will do what I can to visit him as often as possible, hopefully once a month, if not every two months. If I can get a job on the west coast, then it will be a lot easier to come on the weekends.

I have to tell you, it was easier getting here than I thought. PSM got a flight yesterday morning, very early as his girlfriend got him to the airport at 4am, what a girlfriend he has! He flew through Texas and got to Hawaii about 2pm yesterday. I flew out at 6pm, after a fabulous time at the Nutcracker with the family, got to LA about 9:30, got a room for the night and was back at the airport for my 8:30am flight, 10 hour layover and then to Hawaii and I got in about 12:15pm.

I have to admit, I think I liked the way I did it, especially if there were kids involved, fly 5/6 hours spend the night in a bed getting decent rest, then fly 5/6 hours the next morning, get in relatively early and have the entire day ahead of you. On the way back, I am flying through LA again, but with a one hour layover, we’ll see how I feel!

So, the reason I am in Hawaii with PSM…he is here looking for a place to live and I was hoping to, based on my schedule, join him so we could look and make decisions together and much to our surprise, things worked out and here I am!

It was a crazy day. I landed, PSM picked me up, we went to the hotel, dropped bags, went out for a bite to eat, then met the agent taking us around about 2pm, looked at about 6 or 7 properties. A few apartments, some houses, some town houses. We went in a few and others, we checked  out the neighborhood to decide whether or not we wanted to even go inside.

The last house we looked at, from outside was in a great neighborhood, on a hill, overlooking the island and the farm PSM will be working with and met the neighbors, great people who we ended up talking to for TWO hours! The sun went down!!! It was a very long day, some of the houses started to blend in with each other, but I think we picked the one we want and fingers crossed it’s available!

We are on the island of Oahu, for those of you with inquiring minds. And now you know why I am in Hawaii! Looking for a place to live, can you believe it?

Yes, we’ll have a guest room, all ready for your visit!

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{November 8, 2015}  

What is a relaxing Sunday?  Could someone explain it to me?

People experience international travel differently.  Some people get wiped out by jetlag, sometimes it hits later,  some people have trouble adjusting or readjusting to their time zone. When we were working on the plans for the trip, we decided to come back Saturday morning so we could chill and relax on Sunday.  Ha!

Apparently my internal clock is still 6 hours ahead. So,  after falling asleep about midnight 6am here) I felt the need to wake up at 3 am and apparently,  I’m not go back to sleep.

I stayed in and unpacked, cleaned up, all while binge watching ‘How to get away with Murder’. Dozed off one or three times!

PSM unfortunately woke up at 6am, ugh. He and Mollie when for some walks, then he picked me up and took me to GES’ house to pick up more stuff. Back to the apartment, unload the car , back to GES for dinner and catch up and more loading of the truck.

I love my greetings and catching up!

Back to the apartment, unload the truck, we’re getting there! PSM left so he could spend some time looking at the back of his eyelids.

Now,  at 12:30am it’s time for me to bid you a very good night.  It’s a work and school day tomorrow!

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{October 11, 2015}   Bittersweet

Today was bittersweet, there were good memories and sad moments.

Today the family was together, me, GES, ACS, dad, La La, MGD and EJS. Like I said the family was together, the only one missing was PSM. We are all at the house out on Long Island and the reason we were there was to clear out what we wanted and identify what would be shipped because my dad sold the summer house.

When I was about 10 and GES was about 6, our parents were looking for a summer house and while we were at camp day bought one. We were with them looking at the houses that they were interested in, my favorite had a hammock in the middle of the house but that’s not the house they bought, darn it. The house they bought was nice, it was a ranch, with 3 bedrooms, a back porch and the original owners had enclosed the garage and build up the flooring so that it was one big family room.

The house is about a block and a half from the marina and about a 10 minute drive to the beach. We could bicycle to the library and the grocery store and the beach. What could be better? Not much.

We spent our summers, a few of them in summer camp and then at the summer house and other years just at the summer house, it was awesome, our days consisted of biking to the beach biking to the library biking to the beach. I know it sounds rough but we muddled through.

This house was fabulous, I remember the year my mom and dad made renovations and took the back porch, which was separate, opened it up, connected it to the kitchen, there were skylights a great open space and they even added a deck off some of the bedrooms added sliding doors that open onto the back deck.

One of the coolest things about the house, is that from the outside, it looks like almost any other house, very unassuming but when you opened the front door and walked in it was an oasis.

It had a nice big backyard, and outdoor shower that we built which was the best ever because you had sides on it to keep you covered and you had an open ceiling so you could shower under the sky it was amazing especially after going to the beach then you didn’t have to track stand in the house. Ingenious.

The house was furnished from the Salvation Army and yard sales and things that came from the other house and it was fabulous. It was warm and cozy and open and breezy and perfect. Before the renovation GES and I shared the back bedroom and mom and dad had the front room. After the renovation they installed a bathroom in the larger back bedroom so now the house had two bathrooms, hallelujah.

There were so many weekends during the summer that we had friends come and stay, either families and friends from school or home. We had a little 14 foot motorboat that my parents bought at a yard sale, to start out, it was the only thing I could drive without a license at 11 years old, and as we got older dad bought bigger boat, which are a lot of fun.

When we would go to the beach we would either bicycle, drive the car, or the boat, there were a few beaches that you could only get to by boat, which was fabulous. There are even some restaurants that we could go to just by boat.

It was a fabulous place, a great refuge, a place to refuel, recharge and rejuvenate. Summers on the beach we’re amazing, I remember moving to Atlanta and being landlocked, it was a little disconcerting. When I was in college, I worked in Westhampton Beach common for all the rich folks. It was quite the experience.

After college I move to Georgia but I still came back every year for a few days or a week especially for my dad’s birthday. As the years went on it got tougher and tougher to come out, and admittedly I haven’t been able to come out over the last few years due to work and that was disappointing. Sorry daddy.

As time went on, dad also started going out to the house a little less because he was on the road going somewhere traveling visiting just being fabulous. And so as time marches on things change and it was time to sell the house. So that brings us to where we are today, clearing out items picking things that we want smiling and laughing at memories being nostalgia . even a little teary eyed.

But, our memories live on, and one great thing is that all the items that I took today, are going to furnish my new apartment in Boston. So for that thank you very much daddy it is most appreciated.

Smiles all around, fabulous.

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{August 9, 2015}   The weekend in New Hampshire

A new weekend, new friends, new experiences, new food, what more could you want!

Another eventful, wonderful weekend in New Hampshire, sounds pretty good, huh? I got lucky and had the weekend off, so I got to take advantage of the opportunity and join PSM up at the house in New Hampshire. We headed up Friday evening, I got back to the hotel from the hospital, remember…I am working at a hospital, I’m fine! about 30 minutes before PSM and Mollie picked me up and away we went.

We didn’t hit too much traffic, it was good, and unusual! Could be because it was close to 8pm. We got to the house about 10:30, settled in and relaxed, then conked out about one am, luckily I was able to fall back asleep after the alarm went off at 5:30am! PSM was not so lucky, poor guy! We finally got motivated and decided to walk into town to get some breakfast. It was a really nice walk, about 2.5 miles and it was off the beaten path, so to speak. We walked through the neighborhood, then the next, came out of there, crossed the street and walked on the path that was created behind the trees, off the street, then across the street, same thing, until we got to the street, about a quarter mile from our destination. It was a good walk for Mollie too.

After a great breakfast, we waited while the other families showed up, we decided to wait for them at the restaurant, easy to find. The first family, J&AH and their kids, C and B, every sweet kids and great family. Next was C&CV with their kids, O and E. E and C are the boys and were so excited to see each other, the girls were just as excited to see each other. After a nice reunion, we all piled into the two cars and headed back to the house.

M&K and their son JT were the last to arrive, another nice reunion, then everyone figured out where they were going to sleep, kids in one room, parents in other rooms, the kids were excited, there are bunk beds, what kid isn’t excited! All of these people have known PSM for a very long time and they are all part of the group who call him Boo. Even the kids!

That is frustrating sometimes…I call his name a bunch of times, but then I say “Boo!” and he hears me, geesh!

After everyone settled in, we headed out for a hike to a trail less than a mile from the house. All the kids piled in the back with Mollie and away we went. We hiked/walked for about a mile and a half, maybe two, possibly, came to a spot where we could go in the water. Lots of rocks and deeper pockets for swimming, the kids had a blast! Swimming, jumping a bit, skimming stones. Then it was back to the path to head back to the house, perfect timing so we could shower, have some snacks and then head to dinner, reservations at 7:30, there were 13 of us!

On the way back is when I twisted my ankle, fun…One of the kids gave me their walking stick, very sweet. We all piled back into the truck and headed back to the house, chilled out, wine and cheese, beers, special concoctions made by our two resident bartenders, AH and KS, I did not partake, but everyone seemed to like it.

The sad part was that C&C got a call that one of their dogs had gotten out and mom had to go because the dog would not come to anyone except her, we were all bummed out. 5:30 this morning we got the news that the puppy was home! Wahoo!

Off to dinner, all piled into the two vehicles again, apparently we were the kid mobile, they are so funny! Dinner was good, good food, conversation and company, then off to get some ice cream, well, most of the party had ice cream, yours truly and PSM were good and skipped. After everyone was happy with dessert, back to the house.

Right to jammies, brushing teeth and movies while the kids fall asleep, one even on the floor, he was so tired!

The rest of us huddled around the table and put in $20, thanks to PSM for covering me, and got down to playing Texas Hold ‘Em. Yup, yours truly included! I held my own for a while and as we neared 2:30am, I starting betting pretty hard, I was winding down and getting tired, I still needed to write to you, of course! I did this in between rounds. Finally about 2:45, we all cashed in and split the money, oh, I was the banker! It was kind of cool having that much cash in my pocket!

We all cleaned up and headed to bed, crashing out pretty quickly and slept until about 8:30am, it was lovely! No alarms!

Tired yet?

This morning, we all got motivated, sort of, and everyone decided they wanted breakfast from the same place PSM and I ate at yesterday and Dunkin’ Donuts, so orders were placed and away the guys went. We took showers, packed bags, stripped beds, threw towels and sheets in the washer and all cleaned the house, people were coming in about 5pm for the week.

The cutest thing, at one point this morning, all five kids were sitting on the sofa playing on their devices, but all the same game, they were in the same Minecraft world. AH laughed and said that they came all the way to the mountains to play games together!

After the house was cleaned and everyone was packed, all the families went to take the gondola up the mountain like we did a few weeks ago with GES and family. PSM and I headed to the craft fair happening in town, it was great! I got some Chanukah, Christmas and birthday shopping done! I am thinking I may go online to find some of these vendors, I want more! Not to worry, I did pick up a little something for myself and…one of the vendors found out I was buying gifts, gave me one of her products for free, how cool is that!

Then we got some lunch, headed out for home, PSM dropped me off at my hotel, I picked up the car and headed to GES and ACS’ house for dinner with the F family across the street. Grilling out, burgers, dogs, corn, the works, it was great! MGS even gets excited seeing PSM, running and jumping up for hugs, I love to see that, I know her parents do too! She was excited to see Mollie too!

After good food, friends, conversation, it was time to come back to the hotel to hang with the cats, unpack, get ready for the week and talk to you.

I am sure you are tired, I am, and you just read about my weekend! How was yours?

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