Faith (5) Family (33) Friends (25) Fun Days (20) Lake House (19) Philly House (8) Travel (59)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Flew By

Our summer has been filled with visitors, grilling out, visitors, playing on the lake, visitors, traveling, and (did I mention) visitors!  We have been blessed to enjoy friends and family in our home.  Here is a quick peak at the fun times spent with people we love.

Sebastien had his 2nd Annual Philly Guys' Weekend . . .

I went to a Bruno Mars & Aloe Blacc concert with my mom and sister . . .

We reconnected with Matt & Katie Moslener (Philly friends) that are best friends with the new RUF couple at Carson-Newman (small PCA world) . . .

There was a little tournament called the World Cup, and yes, Belgium beat the USA . . .

 Sebastien's cousin, Pascal, and his family came to visit for 2 weeks . . .


We went hiking on the Grotto Falls trail . . .

And walked behind a waterfall . . .

Then, we tagged along with my sister and brother-in-law on a trip to the Dominican Republic . . .


 And, we said goodbye to our dear friends (adopted grandparents) Wayne & Irene.  We spent some time with their two crazy sons too . . .

Our old Philly neighbors, Brandon & Aliese, came to visit.  They are awesome and have the most adorable kiddos . . .

What would the summer be without the occasional eagle sighting . . .

We currently have Sebasten's uncle and cousins here visiting as well.  School begins next week, and football is around the corner.

Feeling blessed, sentimental, and a little tired!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Napa Valley with My Uncle

Sebastien and I have not traveled with my family much (which I hope changes in the near future), but my uncle invited us to join he and his wife in Napa Valley over the Fourth of July weekend.  He has some great business connections, and we were able to experience Napa unlike most others.  We met in San Francisco and headed straight to Carmel for two days.  Then, we headed north to Napa.  Memorable trip!

 Carmel (Highlands Resort)

We explored the Carmel area visiting the Point Lobos State Reserve. There are several trails to take and beautiful sites to see.
 Allen (my uncle)

Then, we headed to Pebble Beach.  I know my Dad was envious.  We had lunch overlooking the 18th green.

Our first day in Napa we headed to Chandon Domaine to sample some sparkling wine.

On Saturday, the "real" wine tour began.  My uncle's friend met us and took us to three private tastings.  We received royal treatment and enjoyed each vineyard.  Our first stop (at 9:30 am) was at Robert Biale vineyard, which is known for its Zinfandel.  Their most famous wine is the Black Chicken, which was the code name used for their wine during Prohibition.

 We were able to do some barrel tasting from the 2013 vintage.

Then, we headed to the Boyd vineyard, which was our favorite.  The Boyds are a lovely couple who left the business executive world to open a vineyard.  We were able to enjoy the wine tasting in their home.  They were incredibly hospitable and welcoming, as were their dogs.

 We tasted wine around their back porch table.

 Happy Man

 I look a little vampire-ish with the red wine teeth.

Our final stop was at Chase vineyard.  Many of their vines are over 100 years old.  They use a dry vineyard method where they do not irrigate the vines.  Some vine roots reach 30-50 feet below the surface to reach water.

Napa is lovely, and I am sure that we will return!  In the meantime, we have wine on the way to remind us of each place.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mediterranean Cruise: Greece

After visiting Turkey, our expectations of the region were high, and Santorini lived up to them!  Santorini is one of those places you see on postcards, and we completely understand why.  We had to get tendered in to the port, and there were three ways to the top - 600 steps (no thank you), a donkey ride (uh, not even a consideration), or a cable car ride (of course, the obvious choice).  So, once on the island, we headed up the quick cable car ride.  We rented ATVs and explored the island.

 Village of Oia

 Notice the indoor/outdoor pool.  We want to come back to stay in one of these hotels sometime!

 During the Ottoman reign, the Greek citizens were not able to fly their flags.  So, on the island (and maybe other places in Greece), the citizens painted their houses white and blue, which were the colors of their flag.

 We saw mainly black lava beaches.

Our second stop in Greece was on the mainland in Katakolon.  We rented a car and headed to Olympia.  The site of the first Olympics.  There used to be a temple to Zeus in Olympia and athletes would come to compete in the games and worship Zeus.

 Entrance Gate

 Marble starting line for the races, which were in a straight line, not in an oval as we run today.

 There were still pillars that remained with the names of Olympic game winners engraved in them.  I found this is to be incredible!  Can you imagine your name still known 3000 years after your life for winning an athletic competition?  There were also pillars with names of cheaters engraved on them.  It was illegal to drink blood before your competition, and there were urine testers to check for cheaters!

In the museum next to the Olympic site, there were statues from the tympanum on the Temple of Zeus.

After Greece, we headed back on a windy, cool cruising day to Venice.