Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Carl & Lisa's visit and holiday weekend recap

My old friends Lisa and Carl arrived on Thurs around 1:00.  We met each other in elementary school and have maintained contact, on and off, over the years.  Within the last 10 years we've made sure to see each other at least once a year at Christmastime.  Last Christmas we decided Lisa would come from NYC and Carl would come from Northern VA and meet here in DE for a few days.

Since it was lunchtime I took them to a local favorite, Arena's.  The weather was nice so we sat at an outdoor table with an umbrella and ordered food and cocktails, because, well... cocktails! Roughly 3 hours later we returned home and sat out on the screened porch and continued talking.  I opened a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, a birthday gift that's been burning a hole in my pocket since receiving it.  Joe came home and gently teased us for being tipsy but we just laughed it off.  Literally.  
He went to his personal trainer appointment and we continued visiting on the porch.  Then the 3 of us went to Cafe Azafran for tapas and cocktails, and then onto the Blue Moon for karaoke.  Since it was the Thurs before a holiday weekend it was super crowded, and we got there late, so we could only put in 1 song.  We decided to turn "I Love the Nightlife" into a trio!
Karaoke selfie
It was really fun, and afterward 3 different people told us what a great job we did!  It was such a pretty night that after karaoke we sat on a bench in front of the Blue Moon and enjoyed the breeze and watched the 'boys' go by in their short shorts and tank tops.

Fri morning we had a continental breakfast and then continued drinking coffee on porch. 
Next we went for a walk through downtown and eventually to the beach, stopping at Dairy Queen.  We sat on a bench facing the water and ate our ice cream, then stopped for a beach cottage tour (a home my team has for sale) on the way back to the house.  Since the Dairy Queen had eliminated our desire for lunch we just had some snacks along with cosmos on the porch.  
Spouse joined us after he got home from work, and then a little later we walked to dinner at Gilligan's waterfront restaurant.  

We spent the rest of the night talking and listening to music on porch.  In fact, we spent the entire day outside!

Sat morning we had a continental breakfast again and then said goodbye to Lisa & Carl.  They were heading to NYC (where Lisa lives) so they could spend a few days in the city, then Carl would head home on Mon.  We had SO MUCH FUN together, and I feel really lucky to have such great friends.

After Carl & Lisa left I met up with a client who wanted to see 5 houses very close by, and then that evening we met Steven & Thad for dinner at Bethany Blues.  It was also mine & Spouse's 22nd anniversary.  But since we'd had Carl & Lisa visiting we really didn't make special anniversary plans, which was fine.  Its not like it was a milestone anniversary or anything.

Sun morning we met up with Steven & Thad and Carolyn & Derwin for breakfast since it was Carolyn's birthday.  
Carolyn and most of the gang
We went to a diner we'd never been to before and which was kind of like stepping back in time, but not in the cool 1950s way.  The food was good and cheap so that was nice. 

Back at home Spouse & I made 2 strawberry/blueberry pies. 
Spouse made the filling and I did the lattice top
Before baking
After baking
A little later we went to a BBQ at Joey & Glenn's house and took 1 of the pies.  That night Spouse & I just ordered a pizza and ate at home.

Mon (Memorial Day) I went on a listing appointment.  The client to whom I'd sold this home 5 years ago was about to go out of town for a week so he asked if I'd come take a look on Mon and advise him about selling.  When done Spouse & I had lunch with Steven & Thad, and then I caught up on some work emails while Spouse made enchilada casserole.  Steven & Thad came over for dinner & pie.  The weather had turned cooler so we ate indoors.

It was a VERY full and VERY fun 5 days!

Friday, May 25, 2018


My friends Lisa & Carl arrived yesterday from NYC and Northern VA, respectively, for a few days visit.  Oh my god have we been having fun!!! 

Look for a report and some non-incriminating photos next week.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Sat morning Spouse & I drove to DC and picked up my aunt Mary and then drove to Pittsburgh to join the rest of the family.  The total drive time with 1 stop for food and restroom was 7 hours. We checked into the hotel and then met up with the family who' already arrived.  That evening we all went to dinner at Lidia's.  Most of had the pasta tasting trio which was amazing.  We had a wonderful meal and had a lot of fun.
David the college graduate and me

Anna, Gabby, and Randy
Paul, Evelyn and David
Mary & Eric (parents) and Evelyn

My handsome Spouse
Karen, Louis, Eric
The next morning I met fellow/former blogger David for breakfast at Pamela's Diner in the Strip District.  The family thought I was crazy for making breakfast plans with a stranger, but I explained that we 'know' each other through our blogs.
Me and David
The conversation was easy and we had a really nice visit over a delicious breakfast, and then David offered to give me a tour of Pittsburgh.  He drove me around and pointed out many noteworthy buildings, parks, stadiums, as well as shared lots of historic info only a true native would know.  We ended up at the top of Mount Washington where I took these photos:

I feel like Pittsburgh is an under-valued city for tourism.  There's so much to see and do here it surprises me that I haven't heard more people talk about going there.  I enjoyed it very much and wished I had more time to explore.  I hope to go back again, but its a long way to go for a weekend.

After returning to I hotel met up with most of the family and sat outside and talked for a while in the covered patio area, then everyone got dressed for the graduation.  First there was a small reception with sandwiches, salads, cookies, and drinks, then the diploma ceremony. 
The general commencement ceremony was early in the morning.  We all decided just to attend the diploma ceremony for his specific group in the Tepper Business School.  David's major was Business Administration with a 2nd major in Creative Writing.  He's already gotten a job with a DC consulting firm starting in July.  We're all very proud of his accomplishments.  Afterward David posed for photos with all the family.  Here are just two:
Me, David, Aunt Mary, Spouse

Proud parents Eric & Mary with David
Afterward the family went a park for a picnic dinner of pizza, wings, and subs.  But I made plans to see some of my family.  My cousin April's daughters Chelsea (and her husband Gabe) and Micah (and her fiance Justin) live in Pittsburgh so we made plans to get together for dinner.  Unfortunately Micah had to go on a business trip, but I did get to meet her fiance Justin.  Chelsea & Gabe invited me to dinner at their house and since the weather was so nice we ate outdoors.
We had a wonderful time catching up on each other's lives, talking about real estate investing, and Justin & Micah's upcoming wedding.  It was really, really great... such sweet folks.

When I got back to the hotel several of the family had gathered in our room and we talked and ate cookies that Karen had made.

The next morning Spouse & I and Aunt Mary headed back home.  It was a great weekend full of quality time with friends and both sides of my family.

Monday, May 21, 2018


Today is the anniversary of Marvin's homecoming.  6 years ago on May 21st, which was also a Mon, Marvin joined our family and his name was then augmented to Marvin Parker.  Click here to read about his arrival and the reason for his name.

In his honor, I'm sharing some of my favorite photos of our good little boy.  Click to enlarge them.