Saturday, November 27, 2010


We drove up to Connecticut at 3:30 in the morning on Wednesday. We hardly encountered any traffic at all and we were extremely pleased about that. So worth not having any sleep. Our first stop was at Steven's Aunt Ann's house. She rallied up the troops so we were able to visit with a lot of family that we just don't get to see that often. Ellie and Emma love seeing their cousins and getting to catch up... we love it too. They are so full of love and it always makes us reconsider living so far away. After our day with family, we headed to our friends Laurel and Tony's place. We stay with them every time we go home. Laurel and I have been friends for years and she makes us feel so comfortable when the four of us stay for a few days. She always has a little something waiting for the girls in their room and they have the fridge stocked with all our favorites. They are the best - such good friends - we are really lucky.

That night my girlfriend MaryAnn came out to pizza with Laurel, Emma and me. Steve and Ellie hung back with Tony so they could all go to bed early. We went to Pepe's pizza and it was AMAZING as it always is. So wish we could have something even halfway as good as this pizza in Richmond. Of course, we did a little shopping after dinner as we caught up some more.

Thursday morning Steve, Ellie and I awoke at 6:30 to get ready for the Manchester Road Race. This race is one of the biggest and most famous ones on the east coast. The race is 4.8 miles and it started in 1927 and there are 15,000 runners and about 20,000 people lining the race route. When Steve was a police officer in Manchester he had to work this race every year. Running was not an option. So this year we decided we were heading home for Thanksgiving and that it would be perfect for him to finally run. He did a fabulous job and crossed the finish line in about 46 minutes. Ellie and I stayed with some friends who have a house along the route around mile marker 3.5. I was so thankful to have a warm house to duck into with hot apple cider- it was freezing cold and my thin Virginia blood was not happy. We had a fun morning cheering on the runners and seeing all the goofy costumes too.

After the race we headed to Wilbraham, Massachusetts to Steven's sister's house. It was the perfect spot to spend our New England holiday. They have a beautiful home located on a wooded lot and inside there was a crackling fire ablaze in the fireplace and all those wonderful smells of turkey and stuffing...just picture perfect! Darlene and John were fabulous hosts and dinner was de.lic.ious. It was really great to be there with Steve's sisters and the girls' cousins. Once again we were wishing we didn't live so far away. Emma mentioned several times about how nice it would be to live back in this area, she was really enjoying all the family time over the last two days. The day was perfect and on Friday after a quick visit with my niece and a little shopping, we headed home and again there was no traffic problems at all. That in itself is amazing. We have so much to be thankful for in our lives. Healthy and happy girls, wonderful family, fabulous friends and the best part of all - realizing how thankful we are and not taking it for granted. Now if only I had some Thanksgiving leftovers....

Here are some photos from our holiday.

Steve with his Aunts Rose, Ann and Joan.

Ellie and her partner in crime, cousin Gianna

Pepe's pizza. OMG

15,000 runners ready, set, GO!

There's our runner boy! He stopped to give Ellie a kiss.

There were hundreds of costumes. I have dozens of funny photos -this one is pretty interesting... did I mention it was about 35 degrees out?


There were pilgrims, indians, many turkeys and one very large turkey head, santas, ballerinas, Teletubbies, Smurfs, chickens, tacos, french fries, angels, elmo, cookie monster, bananas, astronauts, sports players, wizards, super heroes and many many more costumes.

I have no idea how this Christmas Tree could see.

After the race. Great job!!

4 wheeling at Aunt Darlene and Uncle Johns! What fun

Ready to hit the trails

Ellie had a BLAST with her cousin Jeff

Steve and I take a spin. :)

Hold on tight Emma

The girls with their cousins Jeff and Greg. They are great kids.

Steven with 3 of his sisters (he has 4 total and one brother). Denise, Linda and Darlene