Sunday, September 26, 2010

Soothing Sunday

After both the brutal heat yesterday and the brutal Bruin beating, we wanted to spend Sunday afternoon recuperating and relaxing. We awoke to drier air and cooler temperatures which always puts you in a better frame of mind. We decided to do a little shopping this afternoon and then meet Amy and Chris for a late lunch before taking Erin to the airport.

We started out at Plants for All Seasons, my favorite nursery that also has the best gift shop. They carry lots of the Round Top Collection and we all know that you just can’t have too many metal pumpkins! There was even a tree decorated for autumn – which made a very convincing argument for leaving your tree out all year. Ha!


We bought some of those pumpkins for the yard and then went to Laurie’s Home Furnishings in Tomball. Erin and I both found lots of tempting things here, but neither of us succumbed. (I might have to go back next weekend.)


They have some great lamps and light fixtures.


I don’t have tall enough ceilings for this chandelier, but I really liked it.



I really liked this couch.


Here it is in another color. It was reasonably priced and comfy, too. I’m considering it for my living room. IMG_2398 

Although you can’t really tell in the picture, this chest is a sage green. Perfect for my entryway.



These were metal baskets lined with burlap.IMG_2394 They had some really pretty bedding by Pine Cone Hill and lovely beds.


I liked this combination of gray and red…very interesting pillows. IMG_2396

Our final stop before dinner was The Arbor Gate. They specialize in plants that are native to Texas and also have great gifts. Like Plants for All Seasons, they too had a “Christmas” tree decked out for autumn that was gorgeous. The case for leaving your tree up all year is getting more convincing. I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture.




Erin can’t leave Houston without Mexican food, so we ended the afternoon at Gringo’s. Hannah is blurry because she is always on the move. Grammy and Grandpa will need plenty of vitamins before we take both girls to the football games!


Look at those pretty blue eyes!


Katie is going to be so mad at us when she grows up. We have an inordinate number of pictures of her eating. It’s just that she enjoys her food so much. Eating out is definitely an occasion to savor. She’ll be glad to know that Grammy skipped the picture of her with the ice cream cone. Ha!


And, finally, what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than with a nap! (Especially when it’s in Grandpa’s lap!)


Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

I didn’t know a Bruin was a bear…but I found out

Every year Erin tries to come to Texas for at least one of the Longhorn football games. She chose this weekend to come home to see her beloved Longhorns play (if you could call it that) the UCLA Bruins. We decided to take Katie as well since, in spite of the fact that she’s 2 1/2 years old, she also loves to go to the football games. After all, she needed some special bonding time with her aunt!
We left Houston around 8:00 and stopped in Chappell Hill for breakfast. By the way, it was also Round Top weekend so there was lots of traffic on Hwy. 290. There were also booths and antiques all up and down the highway. Maybe we should have gone to Round Top instead of the game – it would have been more gratifying and a lot more exciting (as far as the game went…can you tell I’m bitter?).
I believe Grandpa was doing a little tickling of someone’s tummy.
Walking to the stadium…Katie was anxious to sing “The Eyes of Texas!” She told us that repeatedly. Most of the time Katie walked, but it was blistering hot on this asphalt so Grandpa relented and carried her.
We always walk through the grounds around the LBJ library. The live oaks are just beautiful. This is a picture of where my sister and brother-in-law have their season tickets. I have a fear of heights so I’ll never join them at the top of the stadium.IMG_2363
Aunt Erin is getting some lovin’ from Little Miss Longhorn.
Racing down the hill – we’re trying to get to the Coop with time to spare before the game. After all, you can never have too much burnt orange.
Katie calls the UT Tower the “castle.” When we passed by it she said that she wanted to go up to the top of the “castle.” I don’t know what made her think of that, but when we passed by a second time she said that the next time she comes we’re going to the top. So…I guess Grandpa will be taking her because Grammy is afraid of heights (See above. Ha!)
She got upset when we passed by the stadium and didn’t go in. We had to explain to her that we would be back.
We were captivated by the balloons.
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Naturally, Grammy purchased a new bow and cheerleader togs (and maybe a purse and a little Bevo). We stopped at the student center to change into our new duds and Katie looked at me and said “I want to sing the Eyes of Texas,” which meant she was ready to get to the game. After we were seated she immediately spied Bevo and would not have anything to do with anyone until she had got her fill of seeing him.
Is this not the best, Grammy? (Of course, the game hadn’t started yet! And oh, by the way, did I mention it was as hot as the dickens??)
IMG_2375 You’d think that she would get tired of it soon…we do have a seat for her so she can sit down…but she wants to be where she can see during the (It would have felt shorter if we would have played worth a darn.)
Katie hasn’t figured out how to do the “Hook ‘em” sign yet. She’s still working on it.
If you can’t “Hook ‘em,” just hold onto someone who can…
After all that cheering, we needed some nourishment so we stopped at the Hyde Park Grill on the way home. They have the best french fries ever.
Nothing like a good french fry to take the edge off a disappointing game!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Watching Football with Grammy and Grandpa

If you know my family at all, you know that we are ardent University of Texas football fans. We have season tickets to the games and are brainwashing passing down that love to our grandchildren. Amy invited us over for dinner (it was yummy) to watch the Tech game last night. We were met at the door by our two little cheerleaders. Unlike my husband, who has umpteen UT shirts but didn't wear one, I was dressed to show my support for the team. Katie crawled into my lap and pointed at the embroidered horns and said "Bevo." I don't know how that girl knows the difference between UT and other football games, but when the UT game came on, she started jumping up and down and shouting Bevo, Bevo! She can say "Texas, Texas yee haw!" Maybe next week we'll take her to the UCLA game.

Goodness, did Garret just get intercepted again?



Let me just fix your tag here…


It’s hard to get everybody looking at the camera at the same time. Oh well…


Grammy contributed a fresh-baked pumpkin pie to the meal. I believe Katie and especially Hannah could have eaten half of the pie by themselves. After the pie-eating, we had to change clothes because we had burnt orange all over us that had nothing to do with the longhorns.


I’m getting worried, Grandpa. Do you think we’ll win?


Yea! I knew we could pull it out!IMG_2356

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Boston

The last night we were in Boston we went down to the wharf area to eat at Legal Seafood, a restaurant that came highly recommended from a teacher friend.
IMG_2285I had delicious crab cakes with grilled shrimp and scallops. Dan had stuffed shrimp. All of it tasted like it had just come out of the ocean. We miss our night-time strolls through the downtown area. Anywhere you step you are standing on history.
I can’t say enough nice things about the way we were treated at the Omni.
I just had to take a picture of the elevator doors. They were almost the focal point of the lobby.
We realized that we had not taken a picture of us together so we decided to use the long arm technique. Dan couldn’t quite coordinate the position of his arm with that of his head. Ha! I know we have both looked better. Oh well…it is what it is!
One last look at my beautiful flowers. Thanks again to our precious daughters.
The next morning we decided to take a stroll through the Boston Public Gardens and down Commonwealth to see some of the brownstone homes and shops  in the Back Bay area.
The statue is of Edward Everitt Hale, an author and Unitarian minister. He is famous for the quote "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I should do and, with the help of God, I will do." He was the nephew of the Nathan Hale and was at one time Chaplain of the Senate.
These are the famous swan boats.
One of my most favorite thing about the Boston Public Gardens is the duck statues from Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. I loved that book and read it both to my daughters and my students. It takes place in the Boston Public Gardens where Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are trying to find a place to hatch and raise their babies. The picture below isn’t mine, but I couldn’t have a post about the gardens and not have the ducklings.
Many, many commuters walk through here everyday. Wouldn’t you like for this to be your commute?
Where would we be without General Washington?
IMG_2299 IMG_2300
If you aren’t interested in brownstones and churches, you might want to skip to the end. I couldn’t resist taking all of these pictures.
The front door on this one was just gorgeous.
This is the First Baptist Church.
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I’m sure that people walking behind were wondering what this stalker woman was up to…or maybe they’re used to crazy Texans fascinated by their architecture and gardens that are still blooming and not dead from the heat.
Another beautiful front door…
This is the Church of the Covenant. A lady on the street told us that the stained glass in the church was made by Tiffany and that we should really try to go in to see it.
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We walked down Newbury St., the premier shopping area in the city.
After we checked out of the hotel, we drove to Cambridge so that we could see the Harvard campus before we headed to the airport.
The Old Harvard Yard…this is where the freshmen live. We know because we kind of attached ourselves to a group of prospective freshmen that were on a tour. When we weren’t attached to that group we followed along on a tour specifically for tourists.
John Harvard…
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Our group of nervous freshmen. It was starting to drizzle a little bit, so some were beginning to drift away from the group.
I’m unsure what this building is…it looked like some kind of student center. In many of the grassy areas, like in the Old Harvard Yard, they had groups of multi-colored chairs. It looked funny to see such modern chairs against the backdrop of such old and staid buildings.
This is the Harvard Memorial Church. We were about to seek shelter in the portico because it was raining, but it looked as if they were having some kind of service.
IMG_2339 IMG_2340
This is our “tourist” group that we drifted in and out of.
The library…these buildings are part of the “new” Harvard Yard.
Another church with gothic architecture…it happened to be a  Baptist Church (but obviously not Southern Baptist-a tad more liberal). 
There were no vacancies in this inn.
We had lunch at Grafton Street. It’s on Massachusetts Ave., a main street that runs through Cambridge, Boston, and down to Quincy.
I had gourmet baked macaroni and cheese. Afterwards, we headed down Massachusetts Avenue to Logan Airport for our return home.
What wonderful memories we made and what memorable places we saw!