Life has been crazy lately, and I still haven’t had the chance to share this year’s Beau’s Oktoberfest yet. It may seem a bit late to talk about it, given that October is already over and Beau’s Oktoberfest was actually in September, but since we loved it so much this year again, I really wanted to share our weekend in beautiful Vankleek Hill with all of you. And the good news is that we only have to wait another 11 months until the next one, instead of the usual 12!
We were sooo excited about Beau’s Oktoberfest’s 10th edition: we had bought our tickets at the brewery earlier this summer, scheduled our babysitters months ago, had made plans to meet with friends and family throughout the weekend, had prepared outfits in advance for both Friday and Saturday, and considering that in the last few years we had sunny days over 40 degree Celsius as well as rainy days closer to zero degree Celsius, we had prepared outfit options for all possible weather conditions… but NOPE, we did not! My beautiful Hunter Boots and my lovely rain jacket could not take on what stormed through our region on that Friday evening.
Never in my wildest dreams I would have thought a tornado would hit so close to home. So I left work at 4 on that Friday afternoon and I remember the sky in my rear mirror being somewhat scary. Driving home was weird, sunny in front, purple and gray on top, and pitch black in the back. Picked up the boys at school, met Brian at home, packed up the car and left, still not knowing what was about to happen in Ottawa and surrounding areas that night. Nearly minutes after we left, we got a weather warning on our iPhones and at the same time a tornado was touching down in a few towns and villages close to us. We were so lucky, some, not as much. The pictures we saw from places close to us just made me cry; and still makes me.
So we arrived safely to my Mom’s and hid there for a while hoping the wind and rain would calm down. Once we thought the storm had passed, we decided to venture to Vankleek Hill to attend our beloved Oktoberfest. Unfortunately, as we arrived, the rain had picked up again, and they had to close it down for the night due to another approaching storm. Clad in our rain boots and ponchos, a bunch of us gathered at a local restaurant and spent the evening there having a few Beau’s beers while talking about what had just hit our region, thanking our lucky star we had been spared, hoping no one had been hurt.
By next morning, we were in top shape and ready to party! So we dressed up in our best rubber boots and out of the door we were. Pretzels, craft beers and live music here we come!
I was still hungry from the night before, which I guess was a good thing, cause I had carefully planned ahead my menu for the weekend, and I still wanted to try all of it, so having to squeeze a two-day menu into a one-day event was going to be a challenge, but I was up for it! When we got there, the fairground was a mess… like, a muddy mess. Thank God we were both wearing our rubber boots. Some areas were okay, but most of it was covered with mud. If I wouldn’t have worn my Hunter boots, I wouldn’t have made it out of there alive. And by that I mean I wouldn’t have been able to get to the pretzel vendor, which was surrounded by a foot deep of mud and water… but I made it there, twice actually!
Sadly, one of my favourite vendors had to cancel due to the storm. But don’t worry, I will satisfy my raclette craving very soon as we got reservations at Meule & Caquelon next weekend! So as we were walking around the fairground, we met with friends everywhere, at every corner we turned and every tap bar we stopped at. We shared drinks, tried amazing food and listened to music I’m not used to listen to. Brian had told me there was one show he absolutely didn’t wanted to miss, so he dragged me to the small stage just in time for the show; what I didn’t know was that he was about to turn into a real groupie in front of the stage, listening to this local singer songwriter I had never really heard of. Well, Rory Taillon, you have a fan for life! And I agree with my husband, yours was the best show at this year’s Oktoberfest.
We then visited the Midway Games, definitely one of our favorite things at Beau’s Oktoberfest. After all, who can pass on a game of Plinko? Not me! Can’t remember who won but it was so much fun. We also played a game of sling shots, which we sucked at and didn’t win anything. Then played a few rounds of ring toss on the beer bottles. Then ended it with Brian’s new found favorite, Roll In Zie Hay, a balance and precision game where he won three times in a row and then wouldn’t shut up about it! Overall, we basically spent 40 bucks to win a Beau’s pin, but what the heck, Brian really wanted it, he was happy about it, so it was totally worth it!
This year’s awards for best food go to the Reuben Egg Rolls from Moose McGuire’s… those were simply AMAZING, and also to the 3 frozen ice cream treats I had from Pascale’s Ice Cream! Please don’t judge, I do not drink alcohol, but I can definitely hold my ice cream!
I may not have been able to try everything, but I definitely try many things… so I’d like to give a shout out to the Smoque Shack for their Brisket Mac and Cheese Cone, for our local favorite Vert Fourchette for their delicious Beer Battered Fish-on-a-stick, and to Hintonburg Public House for their out-of-my-mind Seed to Sausage Jalapeño & Cheese Curd Smoke Corn Dog.
We were once again in awe from all the keg toss competitions, the stein holding competitions (that Brian still didn’t do but once again said he would try ‘next’ year), and this year’s most fun to watch: the team-pulling-truck competition. Boy, I would never sign up for this, but it was truly awesome to watch! And once again, that guy on the mic is worth alone the entrance fee, as he’s just so clever and funny in congratulating and insulting the participants. Can’t wait to hear him make fun of my husband if he ever decides to do the stein holding competition!
As the tradition goes, we once again ended up at good ol’ Miss Hawkesbury, and once again, ended up doing Tequila shots… yep, they were all drunk already but found a way to convince me they had to do shots to keep the tradition alive! When the place doesn’t have enough shot glasses for 7 people, you know it’s time to go home! But they do have the best pizza and poutine in town, so I watched them doing shots while I enjoyed the last item on my previously planned Beau’s Oktoberfest weekend menu. And I agree, you don’t mess with traditions… so we’ll be back next year!!!
It was definitely another great Oktoberfest! I wouldn’t imagine an end-of-summer or beginning-of-fall season without it. It is definitely one of my favorite outside activities of the year, year after year (probably Brian’s favorite!). Finally, I’d like to add that you guys did an amazing job dealing with all the unexpected and unforeseen turn of events that happened on Friday evening. I am really proud to be a Beau’s fan, and we can’t wait for next year’s; let’s all just hope the next one will be less eventful, weather wise. Prost my friends.
I know, I’m obsessed about a lot of things… but two of those things hold a pretty special place at the top: Halloween and Harry Potter! And if you combine the two of them, you end up with costumes and magic!!!
Talking about Halloween costumes is a pretty common thing in our house. Every year, we go back and forth with different ideas in the months leading up to October 31st, trying to please everyone, since I’m pretty hooked on family themed costumes… oh yeah, I’m one of those! I don’t think I can’t top last year’s creations: Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez. I’ve been able to design some pretty awesome costumes over the years, but these two cars earned the all-time Oscar award for Halloween costumes in our home!
So this year, at the beginning of the summer, Liam told me he wanted to dress up as Harry Potter! That boy is after my heart for sure… on top of the Halloween costume, he also told me I should start planning his Harry Potter birthday party for January! I’ll take that, thank you God, finally a BDay party theme I also love!!!
On the other hand, Logan asked me if he could be a combination of dressing up in his Mario Bros’ pajama, with sunglasses, a bow and a top hat… not sure where he gets all his ideas from… but I love his imagination. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree they say!
So since we’re going in Orlando in March, I decided I really needed to buy the official HP robe for Liam for when we’ll be visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal, but the price tag was kind of steep… and I knew that once Logan would see Liam’s robe, I’d have to get another one, so I wasn’t sure what to do. BUT then, just in time, Pottery Barn Kids came to my rescue with their new HP line, which got me even more obsessed with everything HP. So without any hesitations I ordered two robes, and the rest is history: from the moment the robes were came in, Logan putted his on and right away confirmed he was going to be a Slytherin for Halloween. They’ve been dressing up and playing none stop with their costumes and wands since then, and I couldn’t be happier.
One thing I always do comes October is a Halloween photoshoot. I find we’re always rushing the morning of Halloween or right before Trick or Treating, so a few weeks in advance, we dress up, I bribe them (a little) and we take many pictures, like just enough to please my obsession! And let me tell you, this year did not disappoint, as it’s been one of my favorite Halloween photoshoot ever. We went back to Courges et Cie to pick up our pumpkins, you know, since we loved it so much last year… and just like a few other traditions we have, I couldn’t imagine a year we wouldn’t go… such a beautiful pumpkin patch, set in the most laid back of setting, family-friendly, and on top of that they serve the most delicious squash fries, squash poutine and pumpkin donuts.
So our trunk was full of props and costumes, we got there, got a wheel barrel and made our way to the beautiful field full of pumpkins; and it was magical. The boys putted on their costumes right away and then played around just like they do at home, which gave me a lot of time to take pictures. I think they felt like they were in one of the movie (minus Voldemort, of course, cause they’re scared of him), playing with their wands, casting spells, laughing, running, and searching for the perfect pumpkin. Also, in order to follow the theme, I had made myself a Luna Lovegood Gryffindor Lion head/hat the night before! But Liam didn’t let me wore it, as he really wanted to be the one taking pictures with it… so of course he did… and he was so cute! Logan was wearing the houses Sorting Hat… oh boy! That boy should be in a movie for sure!!!
I couldn’t wait to get home and take a better look at my boys’ picture and all the magic they had created. And I was so happy I was able to get some awesome shots. That’s what I love the most about Halloween, the magic, the mystery, to costumes, pretending to be anyone you want; plus the candies… of course the candies don’t hurt either.
So if you need any help finding awesome Halloween costumes, just contact me, I will not have enough Halloweens in my lifetime to be able to dress up in everything I’d like, so I would for sure share some of my ideas!
Enjoy this (most) festive month of all, light up your Jack O’Lantern, blast up Thriller and get ready to hit all the houses on your street. Treat yourself, eat many treats, and trick or treat with your kids, I know I will do all of this by October 31st!!!
You know the feeling when you get craving for a certain taste and it just doesn’t go away until you have a bite of it? Well it was early October and I was in the mood for some chocolate chip cookies: gooey, soft and moist. Not the store bought kind, but the warm, directly from the oven kind! I just love baking cookies, and while most of the times the already premade cookie dough will do the thing (this dough is sooo good uncooked right out of the package… someone please tell me you can’t actually dies from eating this raw, right?), well this time, I felt like I wanted to add a little something extra to it… a little pumpkin extra!
Well, why not!? It’s pumpkin season, I’m obsess with everything pumpkin, so let’s do this!
All you need is to buy a can of pumpkin puree and within minutes you will have amazing cookies.
One of the best October idea ever: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Ice Cream Sandwich! Oh yes, this is a thing, I’ve tried it, and you’re welcome! Splurge into your favorite fancy ice cream and place a scoop of it between two cookies. Pumpkin Heaven!
Make it this weekend and this will become an immediate Fall favorite of yours. And don’t expect any leftovers for Halloween, these will all be gone by Monday morning. I will probably make some more this weekend, I kind of feel another craving coming now that I’m thinking about it!!!
Well finally, let the fall decorations season begin!!! I’ve actually been quite good so far, it’s almost October and I’ve only started decorating for fall earlier this week; but boy has this got me in like a full-blown Halloween mood! I’m pretty sure I have more Halloween decorations than I have for Christmas’ or anything else, and I am not done. I know I will buy more, it’s just a question of when I’ll have time to go to Home Sense or Target next! So this week the boys have been going crazy pulling out everything from our Halloween boxes, trying on some old costumes and decorating every crooks and cranny they can find; but of course I’m okay with this. I actually love it! I always feel like my house loses weight when I see stuff going out of the house instead of in! So since I got my eyes on some new things to come in, I decided I needed to have some sort of purging week… and I did… and it feels so good to sell and give stuff away. You know, to make room for new stuff!
I’ve got a few festive outings planned for next weekend. I want to hit Courges & Cie, a gorgeous pumpkin patch I’ve blogged about last year, and I also want to visit our local farmer’s market to go see my friend Pascal Ice Cream. One other thing on the list for the weekend is a Halloween movie marathon! But not the gory type… no wayyyy. I can’t handle scary movies very well and neither does my husband (if you know him, you know what I mean), so instead, I will watch some fun and good and cute and almost scary movies from our own collection; well, family movies! Since we don’t have cable here, the only thing the boys watch are movies, so I always keep a small basket filled with their current favorites close to the TV, but around this time of year, it is filled with Halloween themed and festive movies. So I decided to round up our favs and maybe you could have a fun movie night at home yourself!
1- Harry Potter: Of course this had to be number one. It couldn’t be anything else. My boys are NOT scared, at all, of all the HP movies. We are all addicts and we’re not ashamed of it! The entire collection can be seen over and over again, so if you haven’t watch Harry in a while, this Halloween season is the perfect time!
2- Mickey Mouse Monster Musical: I can’t tell you how many time my kids have watched this DVD. I think I know every single lines of the shows. Yet, I’m excited to sing “Monster Boogie” every single time. With only 22 minutes per episodes, these are fun to watch in the morning while the kids eat breakfast or while you need keep them quiet while you are getting ready for work… or not so quiet with all the singing!
3- Adams Family: My brother and I watched this on and on when we were kids. I just LOVE that movie. I’ve watched it last year and it still holds up even 30 years later. I’m sure you’ve seen this before… but you need to see it again!
4- Ghostbuster: No, no, no, no, no… not the new one, even if I’m all for “Girl Power” and stuff, nooo, not the new one; but the very first one! I still think it is way more funny than scary, and that’s probably why I love it. We usually all get a good laugh watching this. And now, I bet the song is stuck in your head… right? Well you’re welcome! I ain’t afraid of no ghost!
5- Hocus Pocus: Okay, so this one is mostly for me! My boys think it’s freaking boring, my husband judges me for watching it in loops year after year, but I get such a thrill out of watching it 20 times per season, they just don’t understand, and I just can’t explain it. Also, there’s a book sequel out that I’m currently reading, so I’m really into it right now, and can’t wait to watch it for the first time in 2018. This is clearly a must… every… single… year! It is fun, light and so amusing to watch Bette sing; and what can I say, I just can’t get enough of it!
6- Monsters Inc. & University: These two movies are simply AMAZING! Make a marathon out of it. Order pizza, wear festive pj’s, have a bowl of popcorn with candy, and just sit back and enjoy. You will have the best of time, guaranteed. Can they make a 3rd one? Please.
7- Hotel Transylvania: HEY kids’ movie lovers, you got to watch these ones. Adam Sandler is to die for. Great for the kids, yet so many clever lines for adults; and the music is amazing! The third movie will be out on DVD or Blu-ray in the next few weeks, so you can have a three movies marathon in the comfort of your couch… which I know we will.
8- E.T.: Kind of afraid to say this, but I’ve never seen ET. I know I’ve seen part of it, and I know was afraid while seeing it, but this year is the year. I’m doing this for you, my beautiful Drew. I’ve bought the illustrated ET book and I intend on reading it to the boys and then watch the movie with them. We’ll see how it goes. At least I know that if I’m scared, we’re all going to be scared together!
9- The Nightmare Before Christmas: For me it’s a Halloween movie, for some, Christmas (although it is clearly NOT!). I was not a fan of it growing up, but I’ve been for the last couple of years. Best part for me: the music. And last year, Liam learned it on the piano… so we will keep on watching it, and then get him to practice. It’s Tim Burton… so, like always… NOT for everyone!
10- Casper: Can I keep you? Oh, Devon Sawa… I was so in love with the teenage version of you. I still remember the summer the movie came out, I went to see it twice in one weekend with my friend Jannick. My Mimi had bought me a Casper pajama and the soundtrack, and I was so obsess… and I think it is STILL amazing! Right? We will watch this for sure a few times before October 31st!
So many other movies could have made the cut, but I tried to keep the list somewhat kids friendly. After all, Halloween is for kids, right? Well, for kids and for adults like ME!!! Hope you have fun watching some of these movies; I have to run now, the boys are waiting for me to see if ET goes back home or what. Enjoy fall my friends, this is the best time of the year!
Even if it’s super-hot outside and still feels like we’re mid-summer, all I seem to be craving for right now is comfort food. Bake pasta dishes, hot spicy chili, pot roast, homemade donuts and these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. So if I could tell you only one thing about this recipe is that –OMG– the smell in the house as they bake is as AMAZING as what they taste!
So I baked one batch and I swear that Liam could have eat it all by himself, easily. But that will never happen because I, for sure, had to have a few as well!
Liam just love Cinnamon Rolls. Every time we go to a shopping mall, he sniffles around to see if he can find a Cinnabons’ store around the corner! And when he does find one, we always take a break, share one, and then continue along with our shopping, full and happy. The soft dough makes these simply the best! So when I told him “Are you up to whip up a batch of cinnamon rolls with me?”… he was all too happy to help… but also a bit impatient during the rising phase! I did let him have the first one, which he did few minutes after they were out of the oven. He was way too excited to wait… I understand you buddy, don’t worry!
So buy all the ingredients you’ll need, and next Saturday or Sunday morning, wear your comfiest pj’s and start baking. Your house will smell like Fall with all the nice scent of the pumpkin spice baking!
Then, all you have to do is grab a book, sit outside in the crisp morning air with a warm blanket and eat your delicious pumpkin rolls! You can also invite me over if there are some left over. Happy baking my friends!
And the winner is…
Well first, I would like to thank everyone who entered this free giveaway. Your support means the world to me and I’m so glad you keep on coming back for more lemon drop every week! You guys are simply awesome and you are the reason why I keep on doing this.
So now, congrats to Janik Pichette, the winner of a bottle of Young Living LEMON essential oil and a bottle of wine! Thank you Janik for sharing my blog with your friends!
And to all of you who didn’t win this time, I swear I’ll have some more giveaways in the near future! Thanks for sharing the love my lemon friends! Every like, every share and every comment means a lot to me.
Hope you all had a great weekend. And you know what, you should all want to come back in a few days for this great pumpkin cinnamon rolls recipe I’m going to share!
Well, you know what? According to me, Fall starts tomorrow… I actually don’t care about the real date, but the boys are back to school, I’m back at work after a summer off, Halloween decorations are hitting the stores, Beau’s Oktoberfest is just a few weeks away and Pumpkin Spice Latte’s are back at Starbucks. But guess what? I love Fall, so no complaining here!
Back to school usually means lots of time spent shopping in store and online… and I’m not the one to complain about that either, but this year, I spent way more time browsing than shopping, since beside a few pair of jeans and shoes, most of the boys clothes seemed to still fit perfectly. So here’s some of my Favorite Fall Finds from all this shopping and browsing I’ve done this past few weeks.
1- I actually bought this for Logan because as soon as I spotted it in store, I thought of him. Gymboree Wild One sweater is super soft and light but still cozy and warm. Can’t wait to pair this with rusty coloured pants.
2- Every girl, young and old, need a Chambray dress. I mean come on! You can wear it year round, paired up with flip flops, cute flats or awesome Hunter boots. I love the style of this dress with the original collar style. And this one won’t break the bank. So, way to go Joe Fresh!
3- Okay… I’m not getting these because they cost like an arm and a leg and I couldn’t just buy one and would end up ordering a pair for each of us… BUT, if I would have the budget, we would all be wearing Blundstone. I LOVE these boots, and imagining them on my boys… with a chunky sweater… be still my heart!
4- Do they make these in my size? I’m actually not joking. Pompoms, gold and pink… eh, hello! These shoes have my 8-years-old-self singing! For all of you with girls, please get your daughter a pair at Gymboree!
5- Here’s the perfect pair of Hunter Boots to go with that new Chambray dress of yours! I got my Hunters about 5 years ago and I think I’m due for a new pair. I never thought I would wear them as much as I did. Expensive but so worth it.
6- My mom makes most of my hats but I got my sight on this one. I must have been a Kate Spade handbag or something in my previous life because I’m attracted to EVERYTHING this company does. Cute and warm hat for crisp Fall days.
7- Talking about gorgeous handbag, I’ve got my sight on this one. The color is AMAZING… and again, just gorgeous with the Chambray dress or paired down with comfy jeans and a soft knit! And yes, from Kate Spade. Like, I could totally see this color as a lipstick, right?!
8- I’m all about Pompoms, I just can’t get enough. And when I spotted this JCrew girl sweater, I immediately imagined my fictional daughter wearing this!
9- In my opinion, pink is and will ALWAYS be in… and this dusty pink and cream combo screams “Let’s take a walk”. Well you know what, enough with the browsing, this time I’m buying! I really need this one since my workplace is always freezing cold. So why not be warm, comfy and cute at the same time with this RW&Co pink cardigan with suede patches.
I’m kind of in a crimson/plum/dusty rose mood palette this season and I can’t wait to start wearing my new vest to work. So, now that back to school shopping is done… it’s time to think about Fall activities and Halloween costumes! I just love Fall and this weather and the colder nights, and I think September will be a great one. Happy early Fall my fellow lemon friends!
Pop the champagne, blow the candles and let’s celebrate my friends! My Lemon Drop Life turned 2 earlier this week and I couldn’t be more excited about it! So much happened in the last two years and I’m so glad I get to share it with all of you.
The boys have no clue that I blog, or what it means to blog, and I guess that’s a good thing, for now! Hopefully they’ll appreciate it later on. All I know is that they keep on asking me to take more pictures, to do more crafts and to go to new places, all things I love; which makes me enjoying writing about it and then sharing it with you. So thank you Liam and Logan!
Let’s hope this thing keeps on growing and bringing more people together from everywhere. Thank you to all my supporters, all the people that cheer me on, the ones who share my posts and to every single one of you who takes few minutes of your precious time each week to read about my lemons and my stories!
Here’s a little something to help celebrate! I’m giving away a bottle of Young Living Lemon essential oil, as well as a nice bottle of red wine personally selected by my very own wine connoisseur, Brian. All you have to do is be or become a SUSCRIBER to mylemondroplife.com, TAG two (2) of your friends on social media and SHARE this post! You have one week to do so and you don’t want to miss on that!!!
Oh, and if the winner is not living in a drivable distance, I will ship the essential oil as well as a Visa Pre-Paid credit card so you can treat yourself to something else than wine. I know that’s what I would do!!!
Cheers and thank you all, you truly make my life better.
Oh Boston, you’ve stolen our hearts, once again! We’re back from our ‘Family Summer Getaway’ and I’m still in a vacation hangover! Does it happen to you? I’m never really ready to come back from a vacation… you know, even if I love our home, there’s just something about being away together and exploring and enjoying new (or familiar) places that makes me want to stay there, just a little longer.
So when we decided to bring the boys to Boston this summer, my Mom and Frank told us they would tag along and we were so happy about it! We had 4 days to work with and a very long to-do list, but we couldn’t wait to get started!
We decided to rent a mini-van, yep, and it was AWESOME. Now that I’ve traveled comfortably in my mini-van for a week, I kind of regret not getting one when the boys were babies and I was carrying that enormous double stroller in my Matrix (I called it my Go-kart, and I hated it!!!). So after having planned everything carefully and having packed everything in the van the night before, we all watched the movie Fever Pitch, went to bed, and then left in the early hours on Tuesday morning. We made a quick stop at Timmy’s for breakfast on-the-go and then on our way we were. I keep on saying “up until now” every time I talk about this, but my boys are really good travelers. Like really really good! Logan might have asked 20 times “are we there yet” in the first half-hour (of the 6 hour drive), but honestly, I think he was just trying to be funny more than he was interested in knowing! We had perfect weather for a long drive, made 2 stops along the way and then we finally reached Burlington, Massachusetts (a gorgeous Boston’s suburb). Our hotel wasn’t ready, which is really annoying when you’re travelling with kids who need to unwind after a long drive, so we decided to go shopping and grabbed lunch at the Burlington Mall, where Liam found a new love for Lego! We went to Lego stores before, but this time was like “TA-DAM”. He bought a Harry Potter Lego kit and I was so happy that he was excited about this… like, Harry Potter Lego, really??? I finally have a reason to buy them Legos… yep, my mamma’s heart was full!
Then we drove to Fenway Park to take the Fenway Tour. But first, we had our first (of many) stop at Target! I swear I didn’t brainwashed my kids, but they LOVE this store just as much as I do, or maybe even more! They actually asked to go to Target every morning, no kidding. Brian loves Target as well, but you could tell that he was starting to get annoyed the moment I asked him to take a video of me and my shopping cart going up the shopping-cart-only-escalator!!! Yep, the boys and I get really excited about things like that! Wait until you see this part in my Boston video, yep, I look like a real tourist (and probably a total moron), but seriously, isn’t this impressive or what!?
So the first time we went to Boston, 11 years ago, we did the Fenway Tour, but since we had 4 family members who had never experienced it before, we decided to do it again. A full hour about the Red Sox, Fenway Park and Boston history, where you visit some behind-the-scenes areas, the Green Monster, the commentators and media press box, as well as various hot spots of Fenway. If you’re going to Boston, you definitely have to do the tour whether you’re catching a game or not… Once you’ve been through Fenway, you understand why this is America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. It is truly something, even for a non-baseball fan.
Then it was time for our traditional dinner at our fav Downtown Boston restaurant, Maggiano’s. Yum! Hello ginormous mozzarella marinara sticks, delightful bread, delicious gnocchi and bigger than your fist meatballs! It was simply delicious, as always. We’ve discovered Maggiano’s during our Honeymoon, and since then, everywhere we go, if we can find one, we HAVE to go!!! So after a long long day on the roads and visiting Boston, we finally arrived at our hotel at about 10 pm; the boys were drained, and so was I. So I took a few minutes to quickly unpack, then showered, and then hit the pillows for a great night’s sleep.
Wednesday morning was lazy and slow. First stop of the day: Target, as we had some shoe problems the day before… Liam had blisters from walking and Logan’s Crocs were now apparently too small… like really buddy, you tell me this in Boston after wearing them all summer? So we got there, I went directly to the kids shoe section, Brian got me a Starbucks cold fruity drink, we made our way through the entire store, bought a few things I absolutely and definitely needed, and yes, that made me very happy as it was such a great start to my day! Be still my heart… two visits to Target in two days!!! And to be continued…
We then drove to the Boston Common Public Park, right in the middle of the city, and immediately fell in love with this spot. Here’s a fun fact… on my first trip to Boston, again, like 11 years ago, the ONLY thing I had asked Brian was to do the Swan Boats ride in that park, and to that day, and in the previous six times we’ve been to Boston, we NEVER even went near the park, nor seen the Swans; but we did see about 20 Red Sox games *eye rolling*!!! So, believe in your dreams my friends, because they do come true! And it was truly a dream come true… right in the middle of the park, you can take a 15 minutes ride on these cute Swan Boats through this beautiful and peaceful pond, and all that for a mere 4$. YEP, four (one, two, three, four) dollars!!! It took me 7 trips to Boston to finally get him to bring me on a 4$ boat ride… and right after he had done the ride and seen the park, and all the giant trees, and the beautiful flowers everywhere, that’s all he could talk about for the rest of the day! That evening, he even told me, right before we fell asleep, that from now on, he really wanted to go back to the Boston Common Park every time we’ll be in Boston. I wanted to punch him, but just said ‘I’d love to go as well’ *eye rolling again*. So, back to our day… after the boat ride and a long stroll through the park, it started to rain a little, so we decided it was time to cross the street and get to Frank’s only request of the trip: Cheers.
So when we first talked to my Mom and Frank about possibly going to Boston, he said right away ‘I’m in, but only if we go to Cheers’! Although Brian and I were not really into 80’s sitcoms, to have lunch at the real Cheers’ bar where they filmed the popular TV show, well yeah, of course I’m in! We took a lot of pictures, had a great time, and a great lunch, and of course the guys had a few beers. We were all really happy we went, especially Frank. So with a bit more rain in the forecast, we decided to head back to the hotel, take a swim between storms and then go back to the mall. We had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, which is always a hit for us, only this time I had the best dessert ever, a Godiva’s Cheesecake. OMG. Pure heaven. I can’t wait to go back and have it again. We all had dessert-to-go, and one of my favorite moments of the trip is definitely my video of Logan eating Frank’s banana cheesecake in the hotel room… I can’t explain, but yeah, let’s say he really enjoyed it!!!
Thursday morning was spent at the New England Aquarium. The boys have been loving rays for a while now, well like since the movie Moana came out about a year ago, and we had told them all about the exhibit where you can touch rays, so let’s say they were quite excited about visiting the aquarium. We all had a lot of fun, but no one did more than Logan. He was really into this aquarium experience, as from the moment he found a map when we came in, he took control of the tour and made sure we went and saw every single thing inside. It was just like we were having our own private visit with the cutest tour guide ever! Once we were done, we crossed the street to visit Quincy Market, an open-air shopping and dining experience. We all had different food from different vendors: pizza, nachos, clam chowder, lobster rolls and Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes (for me!). And oh god were they pretty and delicious!
So after lunch, we were all starting to get tired, especially with that heat and humidity, but on our way to the parking lot, Logan spotted some fountains and decided to get into his underwear and play a little. He was in heaven. He would have spent the entire day there… me too buddy! So we drove back to the hotel, took a quick nap and then got ready to go to Fenway for our game. But first, another trip to Target! Yes, we did it, we went to Target 3 times in 3 days… I know, get a life… but really, Target is my LIFE!!! Well, you know, we were there early, we parked in the Target underground parking and it was still raining a little outside, so why not!
Liam is really into baseball this year, he loves to watch the games with Brian and play catch in the backyard. The idea to go to Boston started with him watching a game and seeing #28 hitting a homerun. So he was extremely happy to be there. He wanted pictures of everything. While Liam was all about #28 JD Martinez, Logan was showing us everything he could find about our Beloved #34 Big Papi. Brian had enrolled the kids in Red Sox Kids Nation and they got free game tickets, some lanyards with their names, some field dirt and some pins. Take you so much Red Sox Kids Nation, you made our trip and our kids’ Fenway experience so much better!
Fenway never gets old… I am not a baseball fan, never been, never will, but there is something about Fenway Park that definitely makes me a Red Sox fan. From the moment you enter the park, with the music, the people, the food, the smell, the grass, the atmosphere; it’s pretty surreal. So we ate some ‘Fenway Franks’, French fries, popcorn, peanuts and had a few beers. The Red Sox might have lost but we still had a great time and we can’t wait to go back. Logan was done by the 3rd inning and missed most of the game, but then woke up just in time to dance to Sweet Caroline, followed by a tough emotional moment from both of them when they realized that they had lost! Next time they’ll win, I promise.
Next morning, which was the last day of our little getaway, came way too fast. We packed up the mini-van and drove away from beautiful Boston, sad that our summer vacation was almost done. We had planned to stop for lunch in Burlington, Vermont… Church Street was super busy and we were looking forward to spending more time there, but another storm was coming in, so we decided to hit the road back home earlier.
It was a nice drive through Vermont, but I was happy to finally get back home. The boys cried when we returned the mini-van to the car rental place as they knew it was the end of our trip. They just love to be away with us and always look forward to all of the trips and family getaways we plan with them. At least, we have another one on the horizon boys… but until then, we will think about the great time we had in Boston and all the memories we made there, including Liam’s many pictures at Fenway and all of Logan’s hilarious videos (yeah, he was on a roll that one)!
Until next time Boston, we love you!
Finally, he’s 6. And when I say finally, it’s because it seems like he’s been waiting forever for this birthday. He even created a calendar countdown in his bedroom where he would colour the date each morning when he got up… yep, he truly is my child, as I am pretty sure I did the same thing from age 4 to, eh, like age 25!?!
So since our very first day of summer vacation, he’s been constantly asking about when were we going to start decorating for his birthday and baking his cake. Well, finally, a week prior to his birthday, I was ready to decorate and bake with him. The theme (once again) was Mario… but this time not the regular Mario Bros theme, the Super Mario Odyssey theme! At least, of course I already knew the differences between Mario Bros and Mario Odyssey, after all I have two boys, a Nintendo switch console, and I am married to Brian *eye rolling*!!! So off we went to the Michaels and Party City to get some stuff to get ready for the big celebrations.
First thing we did was a “Cappy” chalkboard, which is Mario’s new hat and the key thing to this whole Mario Odyssey theme apparently! Then I built the odyssey from wrapping paper and construction paper we already had at home, practiced my face painting Mario skills, baked a few cakes and Rice Krispies ‘?’ blocks, prepped the goodie bags and waited for our friends and family to arrive!
He is going into Grade 1, and now that he has made many friends at school in senior kindergarten, we had decided to hold his first “friends from school” party in the morning of his actual birthday, followed by a family diner/gathering. I’m surprised he actually slept the previous night, as he was soo excited and couldn’t talk or think about anything else!
We also had planned a pretty big surprise to reveal for when he would wake up. So on the Friday night, once they were both in bed, we prepared a treasure hunt with clues and places they had to find in the house that would lead them to a giant Mickey Mouse air balloon. Cause, yes, WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY!!!
See, right there with the caps lock on, that was me being ecstatic about the idea of going to Disney. But you know what, things do not always go as planned or as you’ve imagined it! And this time it didn’t. I really wanted to film the treasure hunt… so when the boys woke up, they came into our room and we started filming them from there, and we did until they found the Mickey, which ended up being like the most boring and most disappointing video ever. Nothing like the cute surprise videos they have in the Disney commercials or on YouTube… nope, but mine could probably make it in the fail videos of the month.
So the second they opened the first envelope, Logan said in the most boring voice ‘we’re going to Disney’… with ZERO expression or cheerfulness! I just looked at Brian and I wanted to cry… So I pretended I hadn’t heard him. Then, I have to say they really enjoyed the treasure hunt portion of the surprise, which I guess it’s good. But when they got to the living room, where we had our big surprise, the Mickey, nothing, nada, zip…. crickets. Nobody was jumping or screaming in joy… they just looked at the balloons and said “are we going to Disney?”. Like it was an everyday occurrence. I was NOT impressed.
I had been keeping that secret for over a month now, and spent countless hours trying to plan the perfect trip and they gave me nothing. All Logan asked for after they realized we were going to Disney was if he would still get a stuffed animal for his birthday. Then, I was pissed! Oh well, this will go down as one of the worst surprise ever. But I know they will be excited once we leave for Florida. I still don’t understand why I didn’t get the classic surprised kid reaction… you know, for the last 2 years, Logan has been asking almost EVERY SINGLE DAY when we’d go back. And the moment I give it to him… blank! Oh well, I’m excited for both of them, that’s for sure!!!
So after the surprise fiasco, my 25$ Mario balloon popped. Then Brian went to have it replaced and came back with something completely different, which is when I nearly had a breakdown over a stupid balloon (also my cake had just fell down 3 times, plus the Disney thing, you know!).
But finally, Logan’s friends arrived and having 7 kids running around the house got me distracted enough to forget about all my morning disasters (like by then I knew I may have had overreacted a little about a few things that morning!). Overall, this was a great party, the kids had a blast, we played pin the mustache on Mario, Mario bingo, made a Luigi and Mario puppet thingy, played don’t break Yoshi’s egg and did face paintings. We got some Happy Meals from McDonald’s for lunch (turned out it was Mario Bros boxes and surprises inside!), which was the best decision ever as it was so simple to serve and clean up, and you know, what kid doesn’t like McDonald’s! Logan loved all the handmaid cards and presents he got from his friends, and also had so much fun playing with all of them in the basement. He was so happy his friends came to party with him!
Once the kids were gone, we put the boys down for a quick nap while we cleaned up the house and prep for the second party of the day, the family birthday party. Logan had requested his favourite meal for diner: Spaghetti. Another win, so easy to make and serve… especially when your hosting 25 people and using plastic dishes!
It was a gorgeous day and we swam and played baseball outside all afternoon and evening long. We then all sang loudly for the birthday boy who enjoyed every single minute of his special day. The day was not over that he was already talking about his 7th birthday. But sorry Loggy, this is far far away, and I am not ready to think about it yet… as I have another countdown I’m planning on following closely: my Disney one… 221 days, and counting!
Happy birthday to our baby boy Logan. Loggy, you are the sun, full of light and happiness, your mood is sometime a little too hot to handle, but everybody that knows you, loves you! Don’t ever change; you were born to stand out.