bevanddara

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Trip to London for Bev’s 60th!!!

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A few weeks ago we went on a girls trip to London for my Mom’s birthday.  We managed to fit in A LOT over a two and a half day period.  We took a tour bus all over the city, went to the Tower of London (and saw the Crown Jewels), went on a boat cruise, got caught up in the middle of a protest, had a special Indian dinner in Chelsea, had a proper tea at Harrods, went on a paddle boat tour in Hyde Park, had dinner at a pub, bought my (and now my mom’s) favorite chocolates on Bond Street, walked through Buckingham Palace (which you’re only allowed to do in September when the Queen is out-of-town) and a took a tour of Westminster Abbey (where Mom sang once as a little girl).  I had two work two days while Mom did her fabric tour of London which I hope she shares with you soon.

Here are a few pictures of our time together!

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When I travel I get a little too obsessed with seeing everything I can possibly see.  I forget that I’m actually living life instead of walking through a travel book.  And when you have to mix in working on top of that it’s a disaster waiting to happen . . . because not only am I trying to exercise every day, see every single thing to see wherever I am and trying to not think about home too much . . . I’m also checking my work phone every two seconds and responding to phone calls and emails.  So the bottom line is that I’m the WORST travel buddy that you could possibly find (or actually the best when you’re married to a person that is the exactly like you so you can both be crazed nutsos together).  My mother . . . who beats to her own drum, has legs that are half the length of mine, actually takes the time to take everything in . . . instead of taking in a little and then rushing to the next task . . . was amazing on this trip.  She kept up with me every second of every day.  Even walked barefoot because her blisters had blisters . . . just to keep up with me.  I feel guilty putting you through a “tornado trip to London” but I hope you enjoyed it, Mom.

Mom, what a life you’ve lived these past 60 years.  Growing up in Philadelphia with a bunch of characters (and ONE BATHROOM), to going to college in Delaware, to moving back to Pennsylvania and eventually to Florida.  To go from advising people what to eat . . . to running an assisted living facility . . . to working at a college . . . to now be making a career out of quilting (while also running the Sale Household).  There have been ups and downs and tons of challenges and tons of rewards.  You’ve lived your life with grace and a smile.  You’ve taught me, throughout my entire life, that being kind and positive is the only way to live.  And in turn, I’ve taught my son that.  I can see glimpses of you in him every day, for which I’m so grateful.

I really wanted to do something special for your 60th birthday.  You are a special person.  I hope you had a nice time and that you will cherish the memories, and these photos, for the rest of your life.  And when you’re blisters heal, maybe we can do it again.  Love you and happy birthday!

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Written by bevanddara

October 9, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Posted in Dara, Travel

A good parent prepares the child for the path, not the path for the child.

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We just got back from our first little family trip to Miami.  I was a nervous nelly going into the trip (even though I was trying my best to pretend I wasn’t) . . . what if Julian had a tantrum on the plane?  What if the room wasn’t as nice as I was expecting it to be?  What if Julian got bored on the beach and I couldn’t spend a second relaxing (which I so desperately needed) because I would have to run around after him the entire time?  What if Mike worked the whole time and that annoyed me and we would fight about it?

As life would have it . . . everything I worried about came true.  The hotel we stayed at was nice and in an awesome location . . . but the “1 Bedroom Suite” was just a glorified studio with an open doorway between the living room and bedroom (which isn’t ideal when you have a toddler that goes to bed at 7:30 and you want to stay up and spend time with your husband).  I had the hotel staff show me three different rooms until I settled on the room we stayed in.  I spent an hour on the phone with Starwood trying to figure out where we should move to the next day because there is no way this current situation would work out.  When I really exhausted all options and came to the realization that we were “stuck” there, I made the most of the situation.  I poured myself a glass of wine and put Julian in the bathroom sink for his bath (no bathtub at this hotel!) . . . he thought it was the best thing in the world (he pulled every single tolietry into his little “tub” with him).  He also LOVED the room.  He had a smile on his face from the time he woke up until the time he went to bed (which he did . . . every night at 7:30 . . . and never woke up while Mike and I sat in the living room catching up).

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The moment when I saw this little face happy as can be . . . taking a bath in a sink . . . I decided that I wasn’t going to let anything that happened on the vacation bother me . . . and just soak up every single moment of the time I had with my boys.  It was seriously one of the best vacations of my life because of that mindset.  Yeah, I told Mike that I was going throw his phone in the water (after the 10th hour-long phone call he took ended) if he didn’t start relaxing (which he eventually did).  I didn’t get to relax much on the beach . . . but that was because I WANTED to build sand castles with my little boy in the shade . . . and run after the ocean waves . . . and get wrinkly hands (my BIGGEST PET PEEVE) because he’s a little fish and wants to spend every second he can in the pool “swimming”.  I did get to spend a few moments like this . . . though.  Heaven.

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Julian had MULTIPLE tantrums on the plane (in First Class – eek – never sitting up there with a toddler again!) but we made it through and I’ll NEVER see those people again.  Most of the tantrums were the result of people behind us not saying hi to him . . . after he had said “hi” and waved to them for 10 minutes straight (meanies in First Class).

The resort ended up being awesome.  In every single way.  Everyone knew who we were by the time we left . . . Julian had charmed the socks off all of them.  Running, barefoot, through the halls with the biggest smile and cute little laugh . . . arms flailing . . . like it was the best moment of his life.  Noone could pass him without stopping and smiling and commenting on how adorable he was.  Most of the time he would stop, and say “hi” to them and, if they were lucky, he would tackle them with a hug.

We had nice family meals out . . . and strolls along the beach at sunrise . . . and sunset.

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I was worried that a 5 star hotel and flights in first class would not be good enough for us.  That we wouldn’t have fun because our 600 square foot incredible room didn’t have a door.  I was worried that playing with my little boy on the beach was going to make me not have a good time.  Shame on me for having that mindset.  Shame on me for being blinded by my outrageous expectations, rather than be grateful for the time with my boys, the sand between my toes and a crisp glass of rose at noon on a Thursday. I worry WAY too much and need to stop and enjoy this beautiful world we live in.  Especially when it comes to raising Julian.  I really hope he turns out like his Dad – more carefree and spur of the moment.  I am going to really try to make sure he’s prepared for life and takes it all in. Maybe I’ll have to buy some Tab, bologna and white bread (you have to read the article to get that reference).

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Thank you, Miami, for giving me what I needed.

Written by bevanddara

April 7, 2015 at 11:34 am

Totally Todos

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Waking up to the sun shining, reflecting off of the beautiful blue waters . . . watching my little boy spend all day, every day happily covered head to toe in sand and having a blast with his cousin. Seeing my big boy come back from his surfing adventures pumped that he didn’t kill himself or loose a limb. Eating guacamole at EVERY MEAL and drinking a margarita at sundown EVERY DAY . . . not a bad week at all!

We didn’t really have a bad meal in Mexico but our favorite restaurants were La Casita and Hierbabuena. We spent almost every day at the Los Cerritos Beach. There was this INSANE hotel called Hacienda Cerritos on a cliff overlooking the beach. I would love to go back and stay there.

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Here are a few more pictures from our trip!

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Written by bevanddara

December 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Posted in Dara, Family, Travel

Todos Santos

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One week from now our little family will be departing from New York . . . Ellen, Richard and Lauren will be departing from Boston . . . and Shannon, Sebastian and Harper will be departing from Anchorage . . . all with Todos Santos as our final destination! SOOOOOOO excited!  I really need a vacation and its perfect that we’re going somewhere warm when things are starting to get cold here.

Todos Santos (All Saints) is on the Pacific coast of Mexico about 45 miles north of Cabo San Lucas.  Its was initially founded as a Mission in 1724 and later became a major sugar-cane producer.   It reminds me A LOT of Kauai (from the pictures at least) because there are huge beautiful mountains and the ocean is filled with waves.  Here are a few more pictures and a great article on the little town can be found here.

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We will be staying here.  Love the little deck at night time.

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We will probably eat most of our meals at home but there are some REALLY awesome looking restaurants in Todos . . . especially Hierbabuena.  A little farm-to-table Mexican-style (horrible picture quality but you get the idea).

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On a separate note, this will be Julian’s FIRST time on an airplane and first time out of the country – so big trip for the little guy (and me).  I went a little overboard on the toys I bought for the plane and will be packing WAY too many snacks . . . but you can never be too prepared, right?  Fingers crossed that it goes well!

Adiós tienen un gran fin de semana!  ( <– Working on my Spanish :))

Written by bevanddara

November 14, 2014 at 11:44 am

Posted in Dara, Family, Travel

Flashback Friday – Switzerland/Italy

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I was just thinking back to last year around this time when we were in Switzerland and Italy.  It was SUCH an amazing trip . . . a highlight of 2012 for sure.  I relived it a little today going through some old pictures. I hope to get back someday and am so glad we pulled the trigger and went last year.

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Written by bevanddara

March 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Posted in Dara, Travel

New York Times You Are KILLING ME!!!!!

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The New York Times just came out with their annual “Places to Go” list.  There are so many on the list that Mike and I have been thinking about going to . . .

Like RIO! (Well, because of Tory)

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and Nicaragua (The new surf spot!)

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Australia (As you know I’ve been dying to go here for pretty much my entire life)

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New Zealand (If you’re going to Australia you might as well check out New Zealand too, right?)

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South Africa (Safaris, wine and places like this . . . sign me up!)

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Thailand (Awesome food, scenery and people . . . and cheap massages . . . sounds pretty awesome!)

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Ireland (Well, Mike has been there but I haven’t)

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But after reading this I now want to go to these places too!

Montenegro (Um, yeah, the picture pretty much explains why . . .)

Montenegro, Adriatic coast, Bay of Budva, Sveti Stefan peninsula, the fortified village of Stefan-Svesti transformed into a luxury hotel

The Philippines (For the same reason as above)

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Republic of Congo (aaaaaamazing)

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And then, of course, the places I’ve been, which include . . .

Hawaii (Not the Big Island, but Maui and Kauai, which are close enough)

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Paris (With Vicki for Valentine’s Day my senior year in college . . . it was freezing, I only knew how to order bread, cheese and wine . . . so that’s all I ate . . . and we spent 20 hours a day soaking in all of the art and nightlife Paris had to offer . . . nothing wrong with that . . . ).

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Jackson Hole (Where we stayed at an amazing resort and got to ski the best conditions we’ve ever experienced)

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Spain (Not Burgos, but Barcelona and Madrid . . . to visit Lauren while she was abroad)

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Puerto Rico (With Vicki my senior year of college . . . stayed at a classmate’s INCREDIBLE house that overlooked all of Old San Juan . . .  such an amazing trip!)

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Mexico (Haven’t been to Yucatan but I’ve been to Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Bucerias and Troncones)

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and Amsterdam (I seriously need a re-visit, because I mostly only saw the inside of our bed and breakfast bathroom instead of the city when we were there last.  Gotta love food poisoning! 😦 )

US artist Mike Kelley exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum

I know someone who has probably been to every place on this list . . . Jamie Beck from the Between You and Me blog (which, if you don’t read on a regular basis you should).  I thought I had a fabulous 2012 . . . but mine doesn’t even hold a candle to hers (Actually – in 2013 so far she’s been in Palm Springs and Florence!).    Check out her 2012 recap!

Happy Friday!

Written by bevanddara

January 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Bye Bye 2012!

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How the heck is it already January 3rd (happy birthday UniKat!)!?  What a year 2012 has been.  Last week, Mike and I put a list of things together that we’ve done and places we’ve been in 2012 . . . in addition to buying our first “house” and a new car, turning 31 and 36, watching great friends get married or welcome new babies, hosting our first Thanksgiving dinner and furthering our careers, we travel to 11 states (NH, MA, RI, CT, PA, NJ, MD, GA, FL, OH, CA)and seven countries (Switzerland, Italy, England, Scotland, Aruba, Mexico and Canada). 

As we were walking through the beautiful maze back to our room at The Parker on New Years Eve we noticed a room that was glowing out of the corner of our eyes . . . as we got closer we saw the white isle bordered by white candles and white flowers . . . a picture perfect wedding ceremony set up . . . and no one was there . . . so of course we snuck in and took a pic (that drink in my hand was a SHARED nightcap BTW :))!

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Looks very similar to our wedding that took place exactly three years prior. 🙂

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What an amazing (almost) decade it has been with Mike in my life and a really awesome three years of being his wife. 

2012 was a really great year and I have a feeling that 2013 will be even better (which will start off with trips for us to London, Miami, Orlando, LA and Atlanta all in the first month!).

Happy New Year!

Written by bevanddara

January 3, 2013 at 11:18 am