Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer time favorites



These are pictures from our trip yesterday to the Manayunk Arts Festival on Main Street. There were tons of locals out buying and selling interesting pieces of arts and crafts. Keith and I got some free stuff like reusable grocery bags (which we used when we went to the grocery store right afterwards) a bottle of water (which was great because I was about to die of dehydration) and a free cup of water ice (which is the Philadelphia term for Italian ice, and my mouth is probably STILL blue from my blue raspberry treat haha). It was a pretty good way to use our Sunday off together, even though the temperature was in the 90s and we probably lost a couple pounds in water weight for all the sweating we did haha. I'm definitely enjoying my summer so far. Here is a list of my favorites:

1). Cool summer nights.The heat here has been pretty extreme, even for us Southerners, I must admit. The real difference is that I no longer live a 100% air conditioned life, which is a huge change from South Florida summers. We have a little window unit in our bedroom, but otherwise it's pretty unbearable in here. Yesterday we debated whether it would be cooler if we kept the windows closed vs having them open, but there really is no changing the heat haha. The one reprieve that Pennsylvania has over the Southern states though is the calm, peaceful, cool breeze that rolls in by about 8pm every night. As Keith described to friends the other night, I am very night and day when it come to my love for summer. I spend most of the day complaining about how I just sweat out water faster than I can drink it, and how generally feel disgusting, but once the sun goes down I can't stop raving about how much I love summer haha. Conclusion: I love summer nights :) I love taking long walks on our favorite trail at twilight, getting away from technology and spending quality time talking to each other. Friday night we walked for about an hour and finished off our trip by stopping by our favorite ice cream shop and getting milkshakes. I wish EVERY night could end like that :) It was so nice.
2). Lazy afternoon naps.I've been taking a few too many of these recently, oops haha When it's just the right temperature of warm in our apartment there is nothing better than putting down everything that I'm working on, setting the fan on high and having it blow directly on me as I take a little snooze. Yesterday after our trip to the art fest we took a nap, and I felt like I could have slept forever. I think that I also like the feeling of knowing that I have a list of things that need to get done, but that none of them will be affected if I let an extra hour go by.
3). BBQs at Dan and Aly's.Saturday night we were over at their place grilling pizzas and drinking frozen margaritas and it was awesome. I spent most of Saturday driving around and picking up wedding supplies so it felt great to sit and relax on their patio, enjoy some great food and great conversation. (shocker! yes! you read that correctly, I DROVE our car yesterday... first time since we moved here last August. I was nervous for every moment of it haha). Aly is unfortunately leaving for Italy in less than a week, but Keith, Dan and I will have to keep on without her. Summer BBQs are really the best way to enjoy summer nights.
4). Listening to favorites on vinyl.Our record player doesn't get used as often as it should, but we've made a new habit of turning on some classic tunes as we make dinner in the evenings. It puts such a huge smile on my face and makes me want to dance, which is a welcome break from the sweltering heat in our home (having the oven/stove on obviously makes an already hot place even hotter. It makes it very hard for me to feel motivated to cook, which is why I'm glad my amazing fiance loves to cook for me). Listening to music definitely beats watching the 6:00 news, although we do like to finish dinner in time to watch our favorites: Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune haha.
5). Getting wedding projects done! I definitely hit the "oh my gosh we're getting married in less than two months" panic mode. Things are getting done little by little, but I don't have one thing that I can say is 100% done. Keith did assure me that nothing is really going to be done until the day of, which I suppose is true, but I want to feel a little more accomplished. If I keep making lists, I can keep crossing things off and this weekend I got quite a bit done. I ordered all the glasses and lights for the centerpieces/tables, got all the fabric to make our altar, the twine for the pennant garlands etc. Things are getting there, and it will be done when it gets done :)


A few honorable mentions:
1). The return of Keith's farmers tan: I got a really good laugh out of this yesterday, it's a pretty bad one. We need to get to the beach!!!
2). Watching our cat adjust to the temperature change: I think out of the three of us, Theo has had the toughest time getting used to our hot home haha I can't image that having a permanent fur coat on would be very comfortable though. He's been really really lazy and lays in the middle of the floor with his legs stretched out behind him for most of the day. He also no longer stand up when drinking from his water bowl, he lays down in front of it for hours at a time. He's also figured out what the fan is, and is fond of taking naps in front of it so that it blows his whiskers straight back and he looks crazy. It's kind of precious :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Weekend in the City

I finally moved my iPhoto library over to our external hard drive, freeing up space for pictures from last weekend. I seriously can't believe that it is already Wednesday night, where did this week go? Keith was supposed to join me in NY but had a tough weekend at work and couldn't make it up :( One of his fellow managers was out of town to be a maid of honor at a wedding, and his other manager is really sick and can't work for 2 weeks. No good. Needless to say, he hasn't had a day off since Kathleen was in town and he was pretty run down. Today he was off so we started out by watching the USA soccer game and then took a 3 hour nap haha Neither of us meant to sleep that long but apparently we both needed it. Keith will be off again tomorrow and I CAN'T WAIT to have a whole day to spend together.

Back to my NY trip.... I had such a great time hanging out with my dad, Jake and Amanda (I just wished that Keith could have been there, I think I would have had a much better time if he could have come). We got to spend time with family friends Peter and Nancy and their kids Jackie and Ali. I got to meet my cousin Thomas' baby Benjamin, visit my grandma in her nursing home, and see Jake's band play twice. We also got to have an awesome lunch with my dad for fathers day, and watch a couple soccer games a long the way.

Here are a few shots:

This is Dad and I with his friend Peter and daughter Jackie at dinner on Friday night. Lots and lots of laughs were had haha

Here is Dad with his sisters, Nancy and Pam and my grandmother.

Jake's band Bodhi.

Amanda was pretty excited about finally finding the Italian soccer team's poster haha FORZA AZZURI!!

Fathers Day lunch with Dad.

After lunch we drove through the neighborhood that my dad used to live in and took a picture of his standing in front of his old building.

It was a great weekend :) but I am pretty glad to be home relaxing for the next couple of weeks.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gift card shopping

I just got home from my weekend in New York and still need to sort
through pictures before I post them and tell you about my trip. In the
mean time... with one wedding shower under our belts Keith and I had a
couple gift cards that we were itching to use, so we headed over to
Target tonight to pick out some cool stuff. I knew that I wanted to
get a sewing machine because it's going to be essential for some of
the decorations I'm making so I wanted Keith to pick something out
that he wanted as well. He settled on the knife set (which I'm pretty
excited about also!). We'll be going from having one sharp knife in
the kitchen to having a
15 PIECE SET! Definite upgrade haha. Didn't want Theo to feel left out
so he got a present tonight too... fresh cat litter, how exciting
haha. I feel like such a little kid, I can't wait to open up my sewing
machine and use it!!! Thank you all so kindly for the awesome wedding
gifts :-)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Visitors from the South

Like I mentioned, Keith, Theo and I had some visitors staying with us the past couple of days. After seeing Kathleen, Renee, Jack, Grammy and their puppy Maycee in Upstate NY last weekend, the summer vacationers travelled through Philadelphia so that we could show them around. We had such an awesome time, and I'm SOO glad that they all finally got to see where we live and why we love it so much. Tuesday we just relaxed in the neighborhood, but on Wednesday we got a chance to be tourists again and take in some local sites.




We took a horse carriage around the Independence Mall and through Society Hill... really really cool!


Lunch was at the Reading Termal Market... everything was so good!



Here is Jack running up the art museum steps doing his best Rocky impersonation. He actually made the trek up there twice he was so excited about it haha Keith queued up the Rocky theme music so that you get the ultimate effect haha (ps- I can't WAIT to get a Flip cam. My digital camera takes the worst videos. Note: constant blurriness ugh).
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For dinner on Wednesday we went to one of our favorite local spots for all you can eat crab legs.

Renee definitely won the prize haha

So now Theo has officially met his first dog and it wasn't a total disaster! Tuesday he was very cautious around Maycee but by Wednesday night we could tell that he was finally warming up to her. I bet they would have played with each other if they had been together another day. That makes me feel just a little bit better about getting a dog down the road, I'm glad our little boy was so good.

I love visitors! Please more people come to Philly and hang out with me this summer!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gol!

Keith and I don't have cable in our apartment which hasn't been much of an issue for us because we have a trusty set of rabbit ears that pick up all the network stations in HD. It does become a pain though when we want to watch world cup games that are only being broadcast on ESPN.... OR SO WE THOUGHT! Today I was flipping channels and found that one of the Spanish stations was showing the Spain game... in Spanish haha. We watched and then later they also showed the 2pm game, granted we put it on mute because the Spanish announcers talk too fast to understand and the blow horns in the stadium drive me nuts anyway. I checked for the rest of the week and they're broadcasting ALL the games! I'm so excited that I don't have to go down to the bar to watch all the time. FIFA copa mundial en espanol! Arrrrrriba!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Zoo Time

After the wedding shower on Sunday Keith, mom and I drove back down south to Philadelphia so that Keith could get back to work on Monday morning. My mom's flight wasn't until late on Monday night so we had plenty of time to hang out together before trekking to the airport and since the museums are closed Mondays we hopped on the bus and went down to the zoo. Both of us loves zoo's a lot and are always looking to add another to the list of ones we've visited, so making a trip to America's first zoo seemed like a pretty decent choice. We ended up having a great day and saw a lot more that I think we expected. Most of the animals were out and about and I think the only thing that I didn't get to see up close was the red panda (he was napping in the corner of his little tree area... boo). Here are some photos from our adventure:

We loved these penguins, we seriously watched them forever haha their little waddle was adorable.

This polar bear was a lazy swimmer, and pretty much just floated past us, it was pretty funny looking haha



SLOTH BEARS!!!! Anyone who has been to the Metro Zoo in Miami with me know that my all time favorite thing is the sloth bear. He's just too funny! And the Philly zoo has TWO sloth bears :) smiles.



When we first walked up to the Cheetah exhibit there were no Cheetahs to be found... until one of the zoo keepers who was standing 30 ft away made his crazy Cheetah whistle call and they all ran out and sat up straight on that little hill. It was pretty impressive how trained they were to his call and we were just excited to see some big cats haha



Successful zoo adventure. I want to go back!

Wedding Shower Weekend

This past weekend Keith and I were on a hiatus with my family in upstate NY. My mom comes from a family of 6 meaning family get togethers always involve lots of awesome people, awesome food and endless beers. Mom flew in to Philly on Thursday morning and we had a relaxing lunch together before hopping in the car with Keith and heading 3 hours north. My aunts Kathleen and Renee and my cousin Jack drove up from Florida for the occasion and we met up with my aunts Liz and Cindy, uncles Paul and Chris, my grandmother, cousins Colleen and Kelsey and even Jake and Amanda made the trip from NYC. It was SOOO great to have everyone in the same places for the first time in a long time. I gave up my diet for a few days because Liz makes the greatest cookies in the world and my uncle Paul always knows exactly what I want to eat for any meal. We had a very relaxing weekend, got to sit outside and look at the stars, enjoy camp fires and lots of old photographs and stories. I am the way I am because of these people and it fills my heart with so much joy to see how excited they all are to have Keith as part of our family :) Here are some photos from our weekend:

On the road, mom is hiding in the back behind my big head haha

My aunt Cindy has a miniature horse farm which is where we spent most of our time. Here is Jack.

Farms mean lots and lots of animals! Including baby barn cats :) Jack, Amanda and I spent lots of time hanging with these little guys.

This is one that Amanda fondly named Porter, she wanted to take him home pretty badly. He had a perfect mustache!

Keith kept the fire going all day long so that I would be nice a warm when the sun went down and it got chilly.

Rope swing.

Keith and Kathleen.

Aunt Cindy and my grandmother with their matching sweaters. It got super cold on Friday night.

Liz and Mom.

Colleen and Kelsey.

After running some errands on Saturday most of us gathered at a local bar to watch the USA/England soccer game. Amanda got some festive gear.

and Jake drank Budweiser in honor of our country.

I didn't get any good pictures from the actual shower so I'm waiting for my mom to share the ones from her camera. It was an awesome party thanks to Colleen's excellent planning. I got lots of cool gifts and we played some fun games. Thank you everyone for everything!

Here is a photo of all the Bennett children with my grandmother. From left to right: Cindy, Mom, Chris, Kathleen, Paul, Liz.


NOW! I'm sitting on my bed waiting impatiently for Kathleen, Renee, Jack and Grammy to arrive in Philadelphia and hang out with us for the next couple days. Expect photos soon :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oil is everywhere




This has broken my heart.

More than I can really express to anyone right now. I've stayed away from watching news reports, or reading about the spill online because I just can't stand to think about it, but tonight I watched Brian Williams talk about it and it literally brought me to tears. I sat in front of our television feeling like a crazy person for being so affected by an oil spill it is so far from where I currently live, but it is destroying so many things that I love.

My heart is broken for our world. For our plants and animals in the gulf that never stood a chance against all the greed that fills our hearts. I love my country, but I hate the way that we disregard natural resources, and refuse to take care of this planet that God so graciously gave us.

Another sneak peek!

Here's the monster stack of books that Keith and I collected yesterday so that we can make centerpieces for our wedding! We (meaning me) were
a little nervous about finding 75 books for a decent price because most thrift stores charge a dollar or two each and they usually only have new looking paperbacks. We went to a store before Keith had to go to work yesterday and they had a goldmine of old hardcover books and Keith totally wheeled and dealed with them. HUGE weight lifted! (which is an ironic statement: they were not fun to lug up the stairs haha). I don't want to give away too many of the projects that I have up my sleeves but I think these centerpieces are going to look really cool. Also if worse comes to worse and our wedding is totally boring you can pick up one of these guys and read for a bit. Yesterday I also worked on making the placemats were going to use and worked on an idea for our table favors. It was nice to have a day of just focusing on wedding stuff, even though I had a minor breakdown about finding people to help me make some of this stuff.

Regardless, I'm super excited for my mom to get here tomorrow and to spend the whole weekend with my family! My brother and Amanda will be joining us at the wedding shower and afterwards my favorite aunt will be in Philly visiting for a couple days! Lots of good things going on. Although that does mean that I spent all day today cleaning, booo. I love visitors but I'm not a fan of cleaning for them haha if people never came to my house I would probably eventually be killed by the dust bunnies I would collect haha. Hope everyone has a great weekend! I look forward to sharing lots of pictures when I return!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer weekends

Although the summer solstice doesn't come around until June 21st, summer has definitely kicked off here in our home. This weekend was the first of 3 awesome June weekends and I can't wait for the rest of this month. Next weekend we'll be in upstate New York with family and friends for our first wedding shower (!!!) and the weekend after we'll be in NYC for Father's Day and my brothers birthday. I'm so happy that we're able to relax a little bit and hang with some family.

This past Friday Keith and I went down to our favorite Irish pub and cheered on the Flyers with lots of other rowdy fans haha Basically I love watching hockey (shhh don't tell Keith that I think it's way more exciting than baseball :X) and I'm pretty excited that the Flyers are in the playoffs so we can cheer for our Philadelphia home team.

Saturday Keith was off so we enjoyed sleeping in before heading to the gym and then driving over to Dan and Aly's for a BBQ. Aly and Dan cooked us up and amazing dinner: grilled chicken, corn on the cob, sweet potato mash and lemon tart! They also made some homemade sangria which was incredibly refreshing on our warm summer night.




We also love going to Dan and Aly's house because they are kitten foster parents and always have the cutest little ones roaming around.


Today I headed downtown to take part in the Philadelphia International Championship Pro Cycling Race. It's pretty much the biggest party in the city and next year I DEFINITELY want someone else to come with me. Keith and I did a little research last night because ever since we moved people just kept telling us about "the crazy bike race in June" and we wanted to know what was actually going on. It's a 156 mile race through different parts of the city which is the longest running single-day cycling road race in the United States. Part of the race comes through the neighborhood where Keith and I live (Manayunk) and it's a famous place for people to stand and watching because it's the home of "the wall". As I'm sure I've mentioned before, our neighborhood is known for having steep San Francisco style hills and part of the race's course goes up the steepest hill in the area (which is 17% grade, and not very much fun to walk/run/bike or even drive up haha). The racers actually have to climb that hill on their bikes like 10 times or something crazy because the course loops around, but I headed down to watch their first climb. THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE CHEERING! It was nuts... there were people everywhere, and there was beer everywhere haha Lots of people were at the bottom of the hill, mostly because everyone had coolers and even kegs that they brought with them. There were people on roofs and hanging off of porches of all the houses on the streets. It was pretty unreal.

The firemen even came out and opened the hydrant for kids to play in since the streets were all blocked off.

When I first looked at this picture I thought that I had just taken it horribly crooked, but when I looked again I don't actually think the issue is my unsteady hand haha the street REALLY is this steep haha



Here is a video of the pack of racers about to head up the hill. My favorite was all the mini coopers that follow behind with extra bikes and tires for the racers, oh and all the dude-bros chanting USA haha. I tried to get a photo of the leader, but he was biking just a bit too fast haha
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