28 September 2011

The Earles are moving!

The Earles are moving this month! We are finally getting out of Laura's 1br bachelorette for a luxury duplex unit a whopping 3 blocks away. We're still stupid close to Winnemac Park, which we love and adore, and we're even closer to the trains. It's a win-win! Check out the "before" pics of our new place...

03 August 2011

Quad City Anniversary Extravaganza!

Hey!  We had an anniversary!  We've been married a whole year already.  It seems like not a whole lot has happened in the past year, but I guess there have been some big changes.  George moved into Laura's bachelorette pad, bringing along Billie the 19yo cat.

Billie really did not enjoy Genevieve and Bell at first, but she's grown to kind of tolerate them.  At least she doesn't hiss at them unless they're up in her business and that's a big leap from where we were last August.  She's doing well, other that having those annoying dogs around.  Genevieve and Bell each had some big expenses last fall.  Gen had an eye thing that needed to be removed, Bell had a cancer growing on her knee and they both needed a good tooth brushing.  They are both doing pretty well for being old girls - they turned 10 this spring!

George got his condo on the market and it finally sold this past July 1.  That is a big relief for both of us.  It is a tough real estate market out there! 

We don't have any big plans for the rest of the year.  We're slowly, tentatively looking and thinking about where we want to go from here.  Buying/renting is such a big decision and there are so many factors to consider.  There's a reason "they" say moving is one of the biggest life stressors! 

For our anniversary, we headed down to the Quad Cities with a stop in Freeport, Illinois along the way.  For George's birthday, I'd secured a spot for him to drive a real steam engine at a little club in Freeport and July 20 was the big day.  We had a great time; George got to drive and fire the engine and play train with the other guys while I relaxed in the shady breeze and talked to some local folks.  It was a nice day!  The Quad Cities was holding the 2011 National Train Festival and was just down the road, so that was a natural choice to head for the rest of the weekend.  George spent hours exploring the train festival while I relaxed at a nearby spa (are you seeing a theme here?).  We had some fun adventure dinners - one on a paddleboat cruise up & down the Mississippi and the other on a historic dining car that has been restored to its original 1930s setup.  We cooled off one afternoon with an IMAX viewing of Harry Potter - we WERE in the middle of a heatwave!  On the way home, we stopped in Rockford to visit my grampa.  He just had his 80somethingth birthday so we visited with him and took him out to lunch.  It was a great weekend with lots of time to celebrate our year together and to look forward to and talk about our future.  Here's to many, many more!

And of course we took lots of pictures!

07 February 2011

Puerto Rico!!!

We are heading to Puerto Rico this Friday. I am dying. DYING. I need some sun and some warm and some no snow. I think PR will fit the bill! First up: Three days at the Gran Melia Resort on the northeast coast.
Yum. While we're not much for golfing, I am planning on doing some damage at the spahhhhh! We have a bunch of day trips planned - the fabulous little town of Luquillo with crazy natural waterslides, "local" cafes and a gorgeous beach; hiking through El Yunque, the rainforest in the middle of the island; visiting the old forts of San Cristobal & El Morro; walking Old San Juan during their Friday afternoon festival; touring the rum distilleries; exploring the river cavern of Camuy & Arecibo Observatory... yeah, there's no way we could fit all that in in 3 days! But we'll try. We'll also cram some time in to just lay by the pool & relax. :)
Monday morning we head to Fajardo to take the ferry to Vieques. There, we are meeting up with some of our favorite people in the world - Jacqi&Jay&Claire Coleman. We have a villa in the mountains for the rest of the week.
Wild horses and chickens roam the rural island and the key here will be to RELAX. Days at the beach, nights at the villa. We have a chef coming to teach us how to cook traditional Puerto Rican meals two of the nights and we'll have a luxe dinner on Valentine's at the new W resort on the island.
The only thing I'm really bummed about? The moon is not participating. It will be full the week we're there, which means there won't be any trips to the amazing bioluminescent Mosquito Bay. No light-up plankton for us. THIS time. ;)