Saturday, July 30, 2011

John and Mable Ringling Museum

The Ringling Family is from my neck of the woods. Trust me, their Northern home looked nothing like this. We have been to the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, but this Museum and House in Sarasota was - WOW!
The house, Ca' d'Zan, was a little gaudy for my taste, but I can appreciate the craftsmanship involved. Lily pads

Museum garden

The marble terrace which made me want to throw a really fancy black tie party.

I would pretend Jay Gatsby was my date.

Miniature Circus - the details are unbelievable.

And I'm glad he isn't my husband!

David in the Garden

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lands' End Warehouse Sale- what I got this year!

and jackets...

and tote bags, oh my.

I got lucky with shoes... they ran a special while I was there, half off the marked down price!

At one o'clock, orange suede: these are samples for $7.50

brown suede: regular price $29.50 sale $7.25

orange ballet shoes regular price $69.50 sale $14.75

navy suede moccasin regular price $29.50 sale $7.25

brown suede boot regular price $105.00 sale $31.50

Now I just have to wait for autumn.

Black Watch blazer for J

two ribbon belts

beautiful black sweater

and not pictured, boat shoes for both boys, slippers for S, and a gorgeous wool plaid tote for me.

Always worth going!

Until next year...

Craft Day with Aunt Gwen: "Tie Dye" shirts

This was such a fun project! I kept wondering why I didn't buy myself a t-shirt!

You will need one 100% cotton shirt, Sharpies or Bic permanent markers, eye droppers and rubbing alcohol. It's easy-peasy. Lay the shirt flat, placing a piece of cardboard inside the shirt to prevent bleeding through. Make dots in a circle, pressing hard to have lots of ink on the fabric, then drop rubbing alcohol in the center, and watch the ink bleed. I threw them in a hot dryer to set the color. The kids all loved this project. And I am now working on a tote bag.

M was the most diligent, which probably comes from being the oldest. I think hers turned out the best, just don't tell the others!

The finished product. I love that the kids love spending time together, and get along great.

The Fab Four!

Visiting Aunt Judy

My favorite part of my two weeks was spending the day with my Aunt.

Geez... guess who I look like?!
She took us to Homosassa Springs, and we got to see manatees being feed.


I have never been so close to an eagle.

The animals here have been injured and are on the mend.

J caught this lizard in Aunt Judy's yard. We released him back into his own environment.

My cousin joined us for dinner. I was wonderful to sit and talk to my Aunt. I got to read my Grandmother's journal from the early twenties. And letters written from my Great -Grandmother, when she lived in a sanitarium out west, asking about her toddler son whom her sister-in-law raised. She never saw him again.
I saw some of the dresses that my Aunt sews and sells on Etsy. I wish I had a little girl to wear them.
Aunt Judy is coming our way this fall, I can't wait.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tarpon Springs - OPA!

I had been to Tarpon Springs thirty years ago (that statement makes me feel old!) and I knew I had to take the kids there. First on the agenda -lunch.
and dessert! Oh the problems picking just one.

We picked out sponges and saw the big fish trophies.

And the owner is an adorable man who gave words of advice to my boys, saying "Take care of your mother, because she will take care of you her entire life." His own mother is 93, and he said he always worries that when he calls her, he will get bad news. I told him, given that I recently lost my own mother, I would give anything to be able to call my mom.

The boats filled with sponges.

The town is sort of a tourist trap, but the sponge docks are interesting, given that we don't have anything like it in Wisconsin. And, of course, the baklava makes it all worth while.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Florida, beginning with Disney

Welcome to Florida!
The Grand Floridian was fabulous! We loved it!
Beautiful, wonderful music in the lobby, helpful and friendly staff (or cast members, as they are referred).

Getting spit on by a pretend camel.
Must be a boy thing.

J HAD to have a turkey leg for lunch.

Cooling off. It was hot and humid!

On Safari. Also, while in the Animal Kingdom I got pooped on by a flying bird. I love nature!

Taken during the Dessert Buffet and great seating for the fireworks.

Mary Poppins was practically perfect in every way.

Using his muscles, J tries to pull the Sword from the Stone.

S and Daddy driving!

Trying to not make a mess... at least he tried!

One our way to Mickey's BBQ!

In full disclosure, I don't really "get" the draw of Disney. I know lots of people that love it , and go frequently. But once you've been there, well... you've been there, done that. I talked to a man, from Texas, whose family were on their third trip to Disney World in thirteen months. What about the rest of the country? Niagara Falls, the Outer Banks, Mount Rushmore? It is very clean and organized, everyone is incredibly helpful, but I never want to go back.

Also, I was appalled by the amount of piercings and tattoos. And I must be really out of the loop, because when did bra straps become a fashion statement?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Marvelous Macon

We saw this house the last time we were in Macon, and fell in love with it. It was for sale then, and the new owners have done a great job.

The famous Johnston-Felton-Hay House.

B wants the turret. We love Macon, just driving the streets, admiring the homes.

Lunch in Atlanta

I planned the trip so we would land in Atlanta at lunch time. I had to eat at Buckhead Diner. We ate here several years ago, and I had the best steak I have ever eaten.
These are to die for- potato chips with bleu cheese. I would have licked the plate, if no one was around.

My lunch, another perfect steak. I didn't have room for the white chocolate banana pudding, but I've had it before, and you should definitely try it.

The lunch was wonderful, and we saw a movie star to boot - from my all time favorite movie, The Godfather. Robert Duvall was sitting in the next booth.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Florida or bust

My entire wardrobe of Lilly is packed and we are off to two weeks in Florida!

Disney, Clearwater, Sanibel, Everglades, the Keys, Miami, Palm Beach...

We'll see it, and eat it, all!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July Fourth Weekend

Time with all the cousins
The dinner beauty shot

My Brother-in-law's beauty shot, I love him!


Pretending a graham cracker is a cell phone

At the beach.



Eating Frosty Tip