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This has been the view from our balcony all week:

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And this has been what I’ve done all week:

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I think I have read more this past week
than I have in the past 3 years.
I’m not kidding.
Mike was in meetings all day,
so I took my book down to breakfast,
LINGERED over my coffee (an hour each morning I think!)
and then carried my reading out to the pool or beach.
Divine, I tell you.

I finished this:

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FINALLY!
I really don’t know how many years it’s taken me.
I’ve put it down for months at a time without resuming reading.
Michelle is convinced I started reading it before Mike and I started dating.
I don’t know about that,
but I’m going to go with the excuse that graduating college, getting married, buying a house and having a kid are, well, good excuses.
That, and the book IS 1,000 pages after all.

So, with my feet propped up…

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(thank goodness for the pedicures we got before Margie’s wedding!)

I delved into this gem of a read next…

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48 hours and it was done.
That’s how good it was.
Ange really gives the best recommendations!
I had to pick up another book at the gift shop because I underestimated how much reading you can get done with zero distractions around 🙂

Tuesday evening, I tagged along on one of Mike’s business dinners.
It started with a tour of Amelia Island,
where I learned many interesting facts,
one of them being that the most common shark in the area
is a Shovelnose Shark.
Also, the occasional Great White.
And the story of a Manta Ray the size of our trolley that obliterated a woman and her boat a few years ago.
Sarah Greenslade, this kept me out of the water.

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The tour ended at the restaurant Espana,
where, once again, I tried to feign interest (and intelligence) in science smarts.
We sat outside by candlelight
where the chef cooked Paella right next to the table.
The food was truly phenomenal.

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The owner grows his own herbs in the back garden!

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The resort was beautiful!
We really are so grateful that we had this opportunity.

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Probably one of the most unique aspects of the beach was the amount of
SEASHELLS!
More than I’ve ever seen in my life.
I found conchs, and even a real live hermit crab!
It was giant, too.
Makes me feel like I got ripped off all those years at the Jersey Shore.
No wonder my hermit crabs always died.
They clearly were not on par with these Super Hermits.

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So, in conclusion,
the weather was fantastic,
the beach was gorgeous,
the pool was relaxing,
the food was incredible,
and the company was the best of all.
Mike and I really enjoyed the week together.
Although, there were the conflicting emotions of missing Julia so much.
a BIG thank you to the Smiths and the Sharps,
who watched the J-Monster for us while we were away!
We can’t believe how lucky we are to have family that loves our little girl enough to keep her with them for over a week!!
She is probably the most exciting part about going home for me.
I will miss the rest and relaxation,
the non-existent schedule,
the ocean and the pool,
and being waited on hand and foot,
BUT
I am so ready to go scoop up my little girl and smother her with hugs and kisses! 
To tuck her in at night and be there when she wakes up in the morning.
I have missed her so very much,
and yet have enjoyed my time immensely.
I want to go home so badly, but I don’t at the same time???
Oh the schizophrenic emotions of a mom on vacation. 🙂

Thank you, Mike, for taking me with you.
And most of all I am thankful to God who provided us with this getaway.
It has truly been rejuvenating 🙂

And with that I bid a final farewell to summer.
Bring on Autumn.

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Mike has a knack for picking super fabulous restaurants.
Last night was no exception.
He took me to 800 Bay.
It has one of the best views – we ate in a room full of windows overlooking a marina on the bay.
And the clincher?
We saw a double rainbow, all the way! 😉
Sadly, only one of the rainbows showed up in the pics.
They were full rainbows, too! 
Amazing.

Photo credit to Mom for the first picture here.
She is very proud of it 🙂

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Mike got the Rib-Eye

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I got the Salmon
 

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After dinner we walked out on a pier on the bay

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Thank you, my love, for such a great date 🙂

Dinner by Mom: Pasta and Bolognese Sauce.
J thoroughly enjoyed it.

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signing “All Done!”
(with some demonstration from Aunt Rosie)

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After dinner we went to the Boardwalk.

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Dad entertained Julia while Mom, Ro and I spent 20 minutes picking out new sunglasses.
Such is his life with 4 women.
He is definitely outnumbered until Andrew and Mike get here.
 

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Throughout the course of the evening, Dad fed Julia the following:
Ice Cream.
A chocolate chip cookie.
Strawberry Lemonade.
I finally intervened when he tried to sneak her the fudge.
Grandpas will be grandpas.
Here he is sharing his lemonade.

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Here he is consoling her after “all done!” didn’t go so well.
 

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And here he is caving under the pressure.
Oh the power that a one-year-old girl has over her grandpa.

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i love him.

There is no other way to describe the seaside.

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Here’s to a fabulous first day.

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Back from the beach.
What a grand time we had 🙂

was fabulous.

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Some highlights from the week:

the girls’ date to Fractured Prune, for 3 reasons:
1) we did not tell the boys we were going
2) they gave us an extra donut
3) we ate our donuts on one of Giant’s patio displays 🙂

– Julia learning to climb stairs for real

Julia learning to fall down stairs.  For real.

– lots (and I mean lots) of Pringles

– my own personal date night with Meg.  It felt like college days again.

– Matt learning what “that’s what she said” means.

– Matt adding “that’s what she said” to the end of everyone’s sentences,
whether it was applicable or not.

– lots of rest and relaxation for me and my love

– spending Friday afternoon on the beach with Heidi, and zero babies.

– Gray’s 10 diaper explosions throughout the week
(much to Heidi’s chagrin and our amusement)

– fantastic, and I mean fantastic, weather. 
Every day was a good beach day.

– eating Cheez-Itz.

– Grocery shopping on the first day and dividing it into 5 different transactions.
We felt like we were on Extreme Couponing.
Only we didn’t save as much money as they do.

– Matt-a-ritas.

– A great week with great friends.
So thankful to God for providing this vacation for us.
It was a blessing in every way.

Each couple gets a night out while the other two babysit.
Last night was our date and we went into Rehoboth for dinner at
Henlopen City Oyster House.
so.  good.
We highly recommend it.
Tonight is Joe and Heidi’s date (and 4th anniversary.)
They are going jet skiing and then out for an all-you-can-eat crab dinner!

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Mike got the Clam Chowder

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I got the Baked Brie Salad.  Yum!

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Mike’s dinner was out of this world.
Blacked Salmon and Sea Scallops over Andouille and Crawfish Grits.
Need I say more?

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I got the Fish and Chips.
The “chips” were crab fries.

Afterwards we walked around the boardwalk for a bit, and we stopped at
The Ice Cream Store.
We were so full we didn’t get anything, but I did taste the Booger ice cream,
and I am making Mike take me back later this week :)  It was delicious.
That means I have to go back twice, because I also need to get some
Annie’s Bananies while I’m here.
Maybe Meg and I will go tonight and make the boys watch the kids 🙂

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Chloe: I’m trying to play here, do you mind?
Jules: are there any more Pringles?

 

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Girls.  Am I right?

 

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Julia stole my pacifier.  She doesn’t even LIKE pacifiers.  This is no vacation.

 

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Are you sure you are qualified to be my mother? 
Because I just ate a bunch of sand, and you didn’t seem to care. 
At all.

 

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First name: Sandy
Last name: Butt

 

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Julia: What do you think they’d do if we ate it?
Chloe: probably take pictures and blog about it.
Julia: let’s do it.

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Saturday mornings in the borough are quickly becoming
a treasured weekly tradition.
First, I hit up the Grower’s Market and my favorite local stores.
Then I crash at Starbucks to do some reading or grab coffee with Mich.
Sometimes I bring Jujy.
Other most times I do NOT. 😉

This week’s finds:
Fresh lettuce – 3 heads for $5
Asparagus – $2.25 a bunch
Broccoli – $1
Whole Milk from Farmhouse Markets.
Apple Rings, Goji Berry Mix and Raw Sugar from The Head Nut

I was particularly excited about the milk – it was about to expire that day,
so I asked if I could get a discount. 
And they gave it to me! 
Instead of $2/half gallon I paid $1.50/half gallon.
I probably could have gotten it for $1 each if I’d been more savvy,
but I am new to the bargaining process. 
But my first lesson is learned:
You never know if you never ask! 🙂

And I was EXTREMELY excited about The Head Nut.
I’d driven by it several times and wanted to go in,
and Saturday was my day.
I love everything about it.
All sorts of:
grains, nuts and seeds, dried fruit, spices, coffee beans, loose tea,
chocolate-covered-anythings.
It is my new favorite store.  I’m so glad they opened one in West Chester!
You’ll find it right on High Street between Gay and Chestnut.
Definitely check it out.

Collective Reminiscings

The Smittys

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