Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday - Family Style

Today I'm posting 5 on Friday, Family Style!

1.  My niece had her first day of kindergarten this week!  She is growing up way too quickly!!!

2.  My other niece Sarah, Anna Kate's little sister, is playing with the wood that is staking out their new home on the water in Pawleys Island!

3.  We've had some Mills and Nannie/Poppa FaceTime.  They miss each other after he was in Maryland for 3 weeks while we were in Europe.  

He perks up every time he hears their voice and sees them on my phone!

4.  My new lil craft!  I couldn't validate spending $60 each for these wreaths on Etsy so I decided to make my own.  And I may go into biz and offer them cheaper.  Anyone interested in their own design choice?!  

5.  We celebrated Kevin's Dad's birthday a bit early last week and took them to Kabuto.  It was really good!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Paris Days 1 and 2

On the afternoon of Saturday, August 3rd, they came and picked up all of our luggage that we put outside of our door so it could be trucked up to Paris.  We just used small bags to put our last minute things in.  The large suitcases wouldn't fit on the PRIVATE TRAIN RIDE TO PARIS!  So they transported all of our luggage on a big ole truck.  Oh my. 

And we got picked up on Sunday, August 4th morning in coach buses and taken to the Monte Carlo train station to get on an 18 car, double decker train, only for Kevin's company.  Who charters an entire train?  Oh, them.

They had boxed breakfasts and lunches for us as well as drink tickets.

And a magician that came around and did tricks for us.  I'm telling y'all - no detail left undone.

We arrived to the main Paris train station and there were mannnnny buses waiting for us.  They took us to the Westin Vendome right in the middle of Paris.  It was within walking distance to the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and the big shopping area.

I like to say we got the best room in the floor, corner room and an amazing view....

You just couldn't beat it!

These are all from my phone!

Thursday night we got to reunite with more friends that joined us from the States and catch up.  They had a dinner at the Westin for us and we hit the sack early.

Monday, August 5th, we had a city tour and tour of Versailles.  This wasn't just any day that we had in store.  We didn't know how crazy it was going to be.  Our French tour guide ladies narrated as they took us around the whole city on a fancy coach bus.  They showed us EVERYTHING and really got our barrings for the rest of the week.

Umm iPhone picture from inside a bus?  Crazy.

They let us out to take some pictures.  

Of course they gave us a snack bag and a water on the bus.  No detail missed.

Then we went to Versailles.  AND PULLED RIGHT UP TO THE GATE.  

Versailles is closed on Mondays but they opened it just for us!  INSANENESS my friends!  Who can get Versailles to open just for one company?!!!!

The top two heads of the company greeted everyone.  I thought that was a pretty classy move.

I won't bore you with a bunch of museum pictures but a few stood out...

The Queen's bedroom.

Look at all of that silver!

Then we were lead around and we encountered these folks that led us to our luncheon.

They had at least 25 stations set up for us inside and outside under a huge tent.  Oh, just a little lunch.

They had this table of amazing wines.  The guys told us all about each one.  They were amazing.

Ridiculous food.

A band of course.

Umm this is just lunch yall!

Kevin looks like such a tourist in those tennis shoes.

Rose petals in the lil pond.

That night we went to dinner with about 16 people.  We sat with Ken and Stephanie.

The whole group!

We returned to stand on our balcony and watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle.  A truly magical day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


A couple of weeks ago Kevin noticed I was just being grr that afternoon.  He asked me what was really wrong with me and I told him...I just feel so much guilt recently for not being able to see everyone and spend time with all of our family and friends.  I realize this is an amazing problem to have but that doesn't mean I don't feel guilt about it.

I just feel like I'm constantly on the go (traveling on the weekend and every week for work is rough stuff sometimes).  Don't get me wrong, I love all of that.  And I wouldn't trade it for the world.  

But I just feel constant pressure to get together with so many couple friends of ours, girlfriends of mine or old friends that we haven't seen in forever.  And I want to see all of those people and travel to visit our family and friends but we simply cannot do it all. 

The most embarrassing and upsetting part - I haven't seen my nieces since our wedding or been to their house since December of 2011.  That is so unacceptable, I hate thinking about it.  FaceTime is only so great.  I want to be there and spend time with them.  They are my FAMILY and we all only get one family, right?!!

Kevin suggested us to have a big party, maybe a Christmas one, each year and invite everyone we know.  That way, everyone will eventually know that we do that annually.  I think this is a really good idea and hopefully we end up doing this.  

One reason I feel this guilt....I can't say no.  A typical excuse when I'm asked why I'm so overprogrammed is: Because I had to do it, I had no choice.  I had already committed and I will not be that friend that backs out.  She did it for me so I should do that for her.  Etc. etc.  You all know the drill.  But when do you say no?  When do you say you just can't do it all?  I don't know.  

And I must say, I just want to be HOME too.  I want to hang out with Kevin and Mills and have no agenda.  I want to take Mills for a long walk and go out to a random dinner date with Kev.  And sometimes I want to do nothing.  

It just isn't reality that we can see and spend time with everyone all the time.      

Okay thanks for listening.  I'm done.  Do you all feel this guilt too?  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Monte Carlo Day 3 - Eze

Alright so day three in Monte Carlo started out with a stroll down to the marina to check out all of the boats.

They were crazzzzy.

I liked the name of this one, "High Roller"

One guy that was sitting on the back of his boat sipping coffee did not like the fact that Kevin took a picture of him.  I just smiled and waved.

We walked back to the square and went in a couple of shops.  Then we had a delish lunch in the lobby restaurant at the Fairmont.  We actually split a burger and that may have been the best burger I have ever had.  Haha.  

We got cleaned up and jumped on the coach bus for a boat ride to Eze, France.  Excuse me, a yacht ride...on this bad boy...

They served drinks and hor'deurves of course and we had a sweet French lady that told us about everything we were seeing.  

That's the Fairmont from the water.

The boats out on the water were unreal.  I had such a big time looking at them all.

Kevin got up there with the Captain.  He wasn't allowed to drive but somehow the Captain let me drive when we got closer to where we were docking.  I told him I had my Maryland boaters license...I'm sure that's what did it!  And no, I didn't get a French BUI (Boating while intoxicated)!

The sights were just unbelievable.

Largest sailboat in the world.

Our friends.

They told us who owned each of the yachts.

Then we docked in Ville Franche Sur Mer.

And of course coach buses were waiting for us there to take us all the way to the top of the mountain to Eze.

We walked up to this castle.  And that's where we would be having dinner with indescribable views.  Probably the prettiest site we've EVER seen.

And y'all know Kevin's work doesn't miss one detail when they plan these events!  She was out there greeting us!

We had dinner at a place called Eden.  And this is a view from Google that I took to really show you how gorgeous it was.  It's ranked as the #201 place to see out of 1,000 before you die.

The most amazing gazpacho EVER.

Meditteranean John Dory fish.

Imagine how long each of these desserts took to make?

Oh those chocolates.  And I don't even really care for chocolate.

Back to the buses to go home.  These buses on some of these roads just cracked us up.  The tight corners and narrow roads proved for some very entertaining rides.  People saw the buses and would just stop and back up and let us through. 

One last shot from the water.

The next day we were on our way to Paris!