Saturday, December 29, 2007

Back to Reality

After a wonderful dinner at Dana's favorite Greek restaurant, Epsilon, and yet ANOTHER game of Settlers of Catan with Ellen and Craig, we're heading back in the morning to Dallas. We're excited to see our kitties but not excited that it is COLD there. What happened to the 75 degree weather we left?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Big Travels Ahead - Come join us!

We can't wait for our big trip to China and Vietnam this Spring. First we're visiting Dana's brother Sam in Hong Kong for 4 days. Here's Sam:

Then, anyone interested in joining us for 10 days in Vietnam is formally invited! We're traveling with a tour group company called Intrepid (we've used them before and think they're great) on a trip called "Spirit of Vietnam Northbound". We'll be there March 5 - March 14.

Here's a description of the trip! Vietnam Trip

Highlights: See the sights of Ho Chi Minh City from a cyclo, Delve into the underground world of Viet Minh guerillas, Embark on a shopping spree in Hoi An, Peer into Vietnam's imperial past in Hue, Experience the magic of Halong Bay, Relax with a hot Vietnamese coffee at a Hanoi cafe

(I have to add a funny story: Christine mixed up "guerillas" with "gorillas" and was quite sad to find out that we weren't going to visit any smart, nice creatures)

After Christmas sales are the best

We hit up the mall yesterday and the after Christmas sales are truly incredible! We didn't buy too much but what we did pick up was all on fantastic deals. I love my new sweater from REI - it's super soft and warm!

We also saw the movie Juno which I definitely recommend. It's not at all my "type" of movie but that's why I'm even more glad that we saw it! Check it out. Afterwards Dana was able to catch up with Anthony, one of his highschool friends, and then we went to a restaurant called Taste which was really delicious - one of the best meals I've ever had. (If you go, try the Eggplant appetizer and Lamb or Tortellini for your entree). I can't believe that I've had two of my "best meals ever" in the past 2 weeks (at Taste in Monterey and Silver Fox steakhouse in Frisco). Not bad!
Today we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium. A visit to Monterey is not complete without a stop at this amazing site. We really enjoyed watching the enormous (400 lb!) Tuna feeding, the Great White shark and the breathtaking jellyfish exhibits.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Never lost again!

My days of getting lost are over - thanks to our new GPS system! The Garmin Nuvi is going to be my new best friend. What a wonderful Christmas...

Other highlights: Apple's stock went up today with all of our Apple purchases (Dana's new ipod, Judy's iphone, Sam's shuffle) I'm psyched to get my massage at the Red Door spa and do some shopping at Nordstroms. Ron has a nice new sweater (and camera). Judy was over the top excited about her harmonica and instruction manual (did you know she's always wanted to learn how to play?). Also, Ron made copies of our parents' life videos from Thanksgiving for everyone (family-you'll get them soon).

Here's a pretty "Townsend Warbler" we saw out the window - especially for Dad and LMJ!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas in California

We're out in Monterey, CA enjoying Christmas with Dana's family. Last night we drove up to Tiburon to celebrate with Christine's sister's family (Ana, Justin, Skylar and Larkin). We've played Settlers of Catan 3x already and enjoyed watching our 3 year old niece indulge in more exotic sushi than we'll even try. Truly amazing to watch - she LOVES sushi!

We also had a nice visit with Dana's dear friend Cory and his wife Kim and their adorable baby girl. Then it was fun to surprise Dana's parents when his brother arrived unexpectedly from Hong Kong! It's so nice to have everyone together. Soon we're off to a party to sing Christmas carols!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Celebrating "A Holiday in the Park"

Last night we went to 6 Flags with our church community group. I love the Titan! It's one of the best roller coasters I've ever been on. I haven't been on a rollercoaster since Shannon's bachelorette weekend in Vegas and it was a blast! I LOVE them.

Tonight we're hosting a lasagna and gift exchange party for all of the women in Frito's Marketing Department. After that we'll just be trying to make it through a busy week at work (Christine's got a presentation to the CEO on Thursday) and then Friday we leave for Monterey, CA to see Dana's parents and relax for Christmas!
Also, we're going to be in Puerto Vallerta, Mexico for a long weekend in mid-January if anyone's free to join us. We'd love to see some of you there!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hottinger's Holiday Party

I got my hair cut (even shorter!) today and then we headed to Janelle and Michael's for a yummy holiday dinner. The men dominated the women in Catch Phrase once again! I'll blame it on the wine...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Cookie Decorating with my Bible Study

Stephanie hosted the most elaborate cookie decorating party you could ever imagine! It was so much fun - especially learning tricks from Chelsea who once worked at a famous cookie decorating company. The results look almost too good to eat!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Kate's Baby Stella celebrates Christmas

Okay - I caved. Just start sending them to me now.... : )

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Erol & Danielle's Holiday Party

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The most memorable dinner party ever

Last night we hosted the annual Holiday dinner for our church small group. We played in a Couples Catch Phrase tournament and exchanged (joke) White Elephant gifts. Our Nascar Christmas ornament, dog water bowl that looked like a small toilet and hunting figurine were a hit! Dana tried a new tomato gorgonzola gnocchi recipe that was delicious but took longer than expected. I'm sure that the party will be memorable for many - since dinner was served at 10:30 PM. Yup - that's when it was ready. We're already laughing about how I started serving our stash of Thin Mint cookies for our first course around 9 PM to tide people over! Good times. Tonight we head to Erol & Danielle's holiday party and tomorrow I'm excited to decorate holiday cookies with my bible study!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The first Allen Christmas tree has finally arrived and it has put me in a very festive spirit! I can't tell who is more excited about it though - me or the cats.