Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy 29th Birthday Brian!

On Sunday, my boyfriend Brian celebrated his 29th birthday! In honor of his birthday, I'd been planning a SURPRISE (shhhh!!!) weekend getaway for the two of us. Originally I wanted to go to Ocean City, because Brian had never been there before and I thought it would be fun. Finding a place to stay proved to be more difficult (not to mention expensive!!) than I thought it would be... I totally wasn't thinking about the fact that Brian's birthday falls smack dab in the middle of the busiest season... special thanks to Serita McGuire, for having a SUMMER baby!! LoL So I considered a trip to Pittsburgh instead, since our first trip together had been there, plus Brian has been talking about wanting to go see a baseball game at PNC Park. Well, as my luck would have it, the Pirates weren't in town that weekend! So, back to the drawing board! I researched places to stay but I couldn't find anything decent or really anything at all that was under about $500 which is CRAZY!! Fortunately, my friend and fellow-midnight shifter Brian and his wife Michelle were going to be on vacation in Ocean City that week and offered to let us stay with them for FREE!! Once I'd found a place for us to stay, I got started on the rest of the planning... there was so much I wanted to see/do and so little time to do it in!

I knew I wanted to take Brian to eat crabs and to try snow crab legs for the first time; I knew I wanted to go to the beach so Brian could go for his first ever dip in the Atlantic Ocean; I knew I wanted to walk on The Boardwalk; I knew I wanted to go do something fun (play mini-golf, ride go-karts, go to the water park, etc); there were several Ocean City must-haves that I wanted him to experience (Thrasher's fries, Dough Roller pizza, Fisher's popcorn, Dumser's ice cream, etc)

In preparation for our weekend excursion, I went out and bought myself a new bathing suit and some stylish new swim trunks for the birthday boy. I also bought some new beach towels, some sunscreen, and a bag to carry our beach stuff in. I asked Brian if he could come home from work earlier than he normally would've, so we could get started on our journey. I was hoping to be packed and ready to go by the time he got home, but I was working on Jomi-time (a.k.a. LATE!!!) so of course that didn't happen!

My lips were sealed... that was until I accidentally ruined my own surprise! :( Fortunately, my little slip of the tongue didn't happen until Friday (the day we were leaving for the trip) so it wasn't a HUGE deal, but I was still disappointed about letting the cat out of the bag!

After a little nappy nap, we got started on our trip... a little later than originally planned, but better late than never! We arrived in Ocean City around 8:45pm, just in time to go to my favorite buffet... Castle in the Sand. It's a clean, affordable restaurant that is tucked away in the basement of an oceanfront hotel. They have a wide assortment of yummy food like fried chicken, prime rib, corn fritters, salad, fresh fruit, steamed shrimp and my personal favorite, Alaskan King Crab legs! Brian is still getting used to my love of seafood and he'd never tried the crab legs before so I was excited for his first time! Check this out...

After dinner, we stopped at the condo to drop off our stuff and say hello to Brian & Michelle. Then we headed to The Boardwalk to check out the sights. We stopped at one of the food stands and ordered some Deep Fried Oreos... they were so rich, I could only eat about one and a half! Brian and I walked along the beach for awhile and dipped our toes in the ice cold water! We had one more stop to make before we headed for the car... we stopped at Kohr Bros. ice cream to get Brian a creamy cone of his favorite flavor... peanut butter & chocolate! We got back to the condo around 2am and got ready for bed, so we'd be rested for the next day!

The Boardwalk in Ocean City! :)

deep fried oreos!!

take a bite out of some ooey gooey goodness!!

On Saturday morning, Brian & I were hungry for some breakfast but there were so many places to choose from... there's Bayside Skillet, Layton's Family Breakfast, English's Buffet, General's Kitchen, Happy Jack's Pancake House... and those are just SOME of the MANY options! We finally decided on Castle in the Sand (again) and we grubbed on some french toast, pancakes, hashbrowns, grilled ham, bacon and sausage. After breakfast, we headed back to the condo to change and get ready for the beach! We walked out onto the warm sand and looked for the perfect spot to spread out our blanket and catch some rays! It wasn't long until we were ready for a dip! We had so much fun crashing the waves and being tossed around in the surf! After about an hour in the water, we took a little break. We slathered on some sunscreen and relaxed on the blanket for awhile before we spotted a Scopes photographer and grabbed him for a few memorable snapshots. We went back into the water to rinse off the sand we had acquired during our photo shoot and we didn't come out for over 2 hours! Despite the fact that we got a little too much sun, we had so much fun! We packed up the blanket and headed back to the condo to take showers and get ready for the evening. That's where things started to unravel...

Brian trying to decide where to put our stuff :)

this one is Brian's favorite...

I can't decide if I like this one better...

... or this one??

As only my luck would have it, I wound up with some freak injury to my legs. The swim shorts I bought from Walmart caused some large open sores on the insides and tops of my legs, which made it excruciatingly painful to walk even a few steps. We stopped at Rite Aid to pick up some first-aid supplies do that I could try to Paramedic myself... it didn't work as well as I'd hoped! I wanted to take Brian to Seacrets for dinner, but there was some band playing and they were charging a $7 cover charge for each person so we changed our minds. Then we decided on Big Peckers for some fried chicken, but the wait was insane and since we were both tired and hungry, the search continued. We finally settled on some Pizza Tugo's, which was pretty yummy even if it wasn't what we had planned on.

We headed back to The Boardwalk for Round Two... first, we stopped at one of the souvenier shops so I could buy a few supplies for my two hermit crabs, Rickie and Charlie. (last summer, on a whim, I bought two hermit crabs and much to everyone's disbelief, they're STILL alive!) $60 and FOUR more hermit crabs later, Brian & I headed to Thrasher's for some famous fries! By the time we got back to the condo, I could barely move... my legs hurt SO bad, I cannot even explain it! I've got a pretty high pain tolerance but this was so painful that I even shed a few tears! I was also disappointed because I had really wanted to do something else fun with Brian, but my stupid legs were preventing me from it! Thankfully, Brian was a good sport about it...

Thrasher's are not your average french fry!!

On Sunday morning, we woke up bright and early to pack up and start heading home. We stopped at Candy Kitchen and picked up some taffy as souvenirs for my family and some fudge as a souvenir for ourselves! Then we stopped at Fisher's Popcorn to get some fresh caramel popcorn (w/peanuts!) for my Mom. After a quick stop at home to shower and change clothes, we joined the rest of the family at my mom's for a BBQ to celebrate Brian & my older sister Kelly's birthdays (hers was 2 days later). Mom made NY strip steaks on the grill, shrimp kabobs, stuffed tomatoes, roasted potatoes and lots more! My Grandma made a german chocolate cake for Brian and my mom bought a chocolate cheesecake for Kelly... she forgot to get candles so she had to improvise! Here are Brian & Kelly making a wish on their giant matchsticks...

Candy Kitchen = mmm!!! :)

Fisher's popcorn for Mom... caramel WITH peanuts!

Happy Birthday, Sweetie... I hope you enjoyed your birthday and that all your wishes come true! I love you, Brian McGuire!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Days go by...

*** this is my 3rd time trying to write/post this blog... since the first two times have been unsuccessful, let's hope that three is a charm!!! ***

Well, it's happened again... it's like I blinked and the next thing I knew, we're more than halfway through June! I can't believe that today is the first official day of Summer... the last day of school was last week, so the rugrats are already celebrating their freedom while the rest of us grown-ups have to drag ourselves to work every day. Oh, how I miss childhood! But I can't really complain... tonight is my first night back to work after 14 glorious days off! Besides getting some extra R&R in, here's what I've been up to these past few weeks...

Brian and I are now the proud parents of... a fish!! We went to Valley View Farms to get some things we needed for our backyard pond and while we were there... we got some oxygenating plants, some floating flowers, some tadpoles, some snails, and the fish which we decided to name "Gil". Gil is a calico and he seems to be enjoying his new life at our house, so far! Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure...

if you look VERY closely, you might be able to see Gil... he's a little camera shy! LoL

my pretty floating flowers :)

the "before" picture of the pond... I'll get to work on an "after" picture ASAP!

Last week, a new seafood carryout called "Wye Knot Crabs" opened in the Riverside Shopping Center just up the road from my house. I decided to surprise Brian with our first crabs of the season... after a short lesson in Crab-Picking 101, we dove headfirst into this dozen of deliciousness!! They were SCRUMPTIOUS!!! These crabs were heavy, meaty, sweet, well seasoned, and everything else you want a crab to be... they were WELL worth the $20/dozen I paid for them on special. And now they've started to offer a 10% discount for fire/EMS personnel, so I'm looking forward to going back again soon!

a dozen of DELICIOUSNESS!!!

Last week, my 81-year old Grandmother took a tumble outside on the deck... face first! She has some bumps and bruises, but thank God she wasn't hurt more seriously. No one was home at the time, so if she had hit her head or something worse it would've been hours before someone had found her! This lady makes me WORRY!!!!!

Grandma vs. deck = OUCH!!!

Brian & I had a "date night" on Monday... we went to the carnival in Jarrettsville and we had such a good time! We rode the Tilt-a-Whirl, Bumper Cars, Pirate Ship and my favorite, the Ferris Wheel! We walked around, ate some yummy carnival food, played some games and Brian won me a prize! How cute is this little guy?!

He also brought me flowers (AGAIN... what a sweetie pie!) and they were BEAUTIFUL! See...

Tuesday June 8th was the last night of the Citizens' Academy that I've been attending every Tuesday for the last 16 weeks. I can now say that I am officially a graduate of the Harford County Sheriff's Office Citizens' Police Acadamy Class #16! We had a small graduation ceremony at Harford Community College... it was very nice! We got diplomas and some other goodies as congratulatory gifts from the Command Staff. Looking back, the class was very interesting, informative, and worthwhile. I'm glad I got the chance to participate, but I'm also glad that my Tuesday's are free again!

I've been feeling a little spontaneous lately, and I've been itching for a road trip... combine that with the fact that Rascal Flatts was scheduled to play on The Today Show on Friday for their Summer Concert Series and I devised a plan! I've never seen Rascal Flatts in concert but I've always wanted to. It just so happened that I was off this day and the concert was free, so I thought it would be fun to go to. Unfortunately, Brian had a mandatory meeting at work and couldn't go with me so I recruited two of my co-workers and former classmates, Christy and her fiance Chris, to come with me. Our mini-road trip began at about 1:45 am and we arrived in "The Big Apple" at about 4am. When we first rode past Rockefeller Plaza, there were only about 4 people standing in line. By the time we found suitable parking and walked back, there were about 30 or so people in line ahead of us. After a few hours of standing in line, security finally let us through. We packed in like sardines and waited for the start of the show. The band played "Summer Nights", "Life is a Highway", "Unstoppable" and one other song that I can't think of right this second! Afterwards, we walked around Times Square and did some window shopping and a little bit of real shopping too... Christy was looking for a I <3 NY onesie for her baby-to-be! Before we headed home, we stopped to get some authentic New York pizza... mmm, mmm, MMM!!! Let's just say that it was every bit as good as I thought it would be! LoL

we made it!!

here's what The Today Show stage looks like at o'dark thirty!

and here's what it looks like when we're waiting for the show to start!


a visit to NY wouldn't be complete without stopping by NYPD in Times Square!

silly photo op with a man dressed up as the Statue of Liberty :)

Times Square to the left...

Times Square to the right...

Radio City Music Hall... home of the Rockettes!

On Saturday 6/12, Brian went to visit his/our friend Jith in Virginia to hang out and watch The World Cup. Since I'm not really "into" soccer, I stayed at home and told Brian & Jith to have a boys night. My sister called that morning and asked if I could watch my nephew for the day because she had some training to go to for work; she dropped him off around 1pm and I kept him until about 10:30pm. Khalid was such a big helper, carrying things for me and helping me with little chores around the house. As a reward for all his help, I took him to Chuck E. Cheese and met up with my best buddy Maria and her two kids, Kaden and Bailey. The kids were so well behaved that we decided to go get ice cream afterwards. Kaden & Khalid became fast friends, even though neither one of them could seem to remember the other one's name! LoL

Khalid & Kaden = best buddies

Bailey and her lip gloss... LoL

playing nicely together... aww!!! (why does my nephew look like a thug?!)

Last Friday, Brian & I were just 2 of 14 people who drove to Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania to watch my friends' daughter Sydney perform in a dance recital. Sydney has been dancing for 6 years but this was my first time ever going to one her recitals and I loved it... the dancers ranged in age from about 4-5 years old (the little ones were SO cute in their little tu-tu's) all the way up to adults! Sydney participated in about 5 or 6 dances and she did such a good job! Here she is after the performance...

the STAR of the show!!!

I think that's just about all, for now... but stay tuned because Brian's birthday is only 5 days away (yay, now technically I won't be older than him anymore! LoL) and I've got a surprise planned for him!! =)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm still alive...

Just a note to let everyone know that I'm still alive! I seem to have come down with a slight case of writer's block lately, which is sad because before that I was on a roll! I hope it doesn't last too long!

So, yeah... I seriously cannot believe that it's June 2nd already... JUNE!!! Summer is just around the corner... I wish time would slow down a little! This Summer is going to be a busy one... next week is Fireman's Convention and this will be the first year I haven't gone! Then later this month (in 25 days, to be exact) is Brian's birthday! I'm working on planning a special surprise for him... shhhhh!!! =) Two days after Brian's birthday is my sister Kelly's birthday. The second week in July, Brian is flying to Chicago for a few days, to attend his friend Rick's wedding. I'm not going with him for that trip, but we're both going in August for about 10 days when his sister Kelly gets married. We're still working out the details about whether we're going to fly or drive... from our house to Brian's parents house is a little over 728 miles. That would make it my longest road trip ever and it would take me through two new states that I can add to my list... Ohio and Indiana! That would bring my grand total to 16... only 35 more to go! LoL

Anyway, nothing too noteworthy has happened since I last blogged, so I guess that's good news. And that's all folks... LoL