Sunday, August 16, 2009

Noah's 2nd Birthday Party

We celebrated Noah's second birthday yesterday with lots of family and friends! Here's just a few of the billions of photos!

The Barrel of Monkeys cake. The idea was that they were escaping from the barrel. You can't really see the ones hanging off the side that well. (And, a few kiddos had "played" with them!)

Paul carving up the brisket. He also smoked a pork shoulder for the party. MMMMmmmm!

Mommy and the birthday boy.

Happy Birthday bunting I made.

These were the pinata bags. Everyone also took home a barrel of monkeys.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hot Day Fun

How do you entertain four kids ages 4 and under when the temperature is 100+?

Bathtub Swimming!!!

My friend Tenley came over with her two adorable kiddos and we suited them up and threw them in my tub. Giggles and splashes ensued!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Family Vacation 2009

We had a wonderful vacation with Paul's parents and brother at the Amelia Island Plantation. The week was spent in the sand, surf and sun. This was Noah's first trip to the beach, and he loved it as much as Mitchell.

Noah feeling the sand in his toes. The poor marshmallow had to be thrown away (you should have seen the sandy crust on it!).

Grandpa and Noah enjoying a walk on the beach our first night there.

As usual, Noah showed no fear of the waves.

Mitchell loves the ocean and asks daily when we'll go back!

Mitchell and Uncle Frank hanging out in the ocean. Those boys love their Uncle Frank!
Paul and Noah taking in some waves.

Mitchell trying not to smile at 29 South. Chef Scotty brought him some special ice cream.

Noah balancing a spoon on his nose at 29 South. Chef Scotty brought him the biggest spoon he could find. (I'll spare you the photo of him covered in the sorbet!)

Mitchell took this photo from our condo balcony.

One of the many turtles we saw snacking on grass outside our condo.

As always, we enjoyed some great food on our vacation. I'm not sure which was my favorite: 29 South, Joe's 2nd Street Bistro or PLAE.

At 29 South, we enjoyed the chef's table, just outside the kitchen. Chef Scotty Schwartz kept us entertained - and well fed! - throughout the entire meal. (And, the boys kept him entertained!)

Mitchell expanded his palette during this trip, enjoying almost half of Uncle Frank's Smokehouse Mussels at 29 South! He also devoured the calamari at PLAE. (Noah, too, enjoyed lots of new foods, including duck!)

Paul had the Shrimp and Grits, which was to die for. I had a fresh corn and shrimp bisque, followed by the Southern Barbeque Cobb Salad. Frank ordered the Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chop, which was genius. The macaroni gratin featured blackberry preserves, which sounds really bizarre but was delicious. (It wasn't mac-and-cheese with jelly!)

Be on the lookout for the recipe for the delicious "Coffee and Doughnuts" dessert. Chef Scotty says it will be published in Bon Appetit's RSVP column toward the end of the year! (And, if you are ever out that way, stop by 29 south and enjoy it yourself!)

Joe's 2nd Street Bistro was our favorite restaurant during our last visit to Amelia Island (in 2007, while I was pregnant with Noah!). Nothing has changed - it was as wonderful as we remembered.

Mitchell instantly made friends with the entire staff. He was on a first-name basis with our waiter within minutes! (He knows no strangers!)

I thoroughly enjoyed my Grouper wrapped in a Corn Husk. Mmm - I can taste the spices just thinking about it! Paul and his mom both enjoyed an elk special that was perfectly done.

We almost didn't eat at PLAE because the description made it sound like it was adults-only. And, when I made the reservation, they said they don't have high chairs. I'm so glad we decided to go!

The staff went above and beyond to make the boys feel special! And, we had a wonderful meal. Mom and I enjoyed the Duck Springrolls and the Open-Face Salmon Ravioli. Noah loved his Coconut Chicken, and Mitchell polished off his Calamari.

The always-good Verandah didn't disappoint on this trip either. They have a fantastic starter salad that includes crisped wontons and a yummy sesame dressing. The grouper with the blue crab crust was delicious too. (And, we ate way too much dessert there - it was too good to stop!)

And, we enjoyed some nice lunches too. Gourmet Gourmet, our favorite sandwich spot from the last trip, was still open. We even braved Marche Burette - which, I'm happy to report, now has changing stations in its restrooms.

Mom and I (and Noah) enjoyed a morning of shopping in historic Fernandina Beach. We stumbled into two great shops: Twisted Sisters and Twisted Kids. I came away with a gorgeous Viva Beads necklace (thanks Mom and Dad!) and tons of ideas for sewing.

Mitchell had an extra-special day of his own, attending the Kids Camp. It was Super Hero Training Camp, and he was the BMOC! He went fishing and caught a sun fish, went swimming and enjoyed a super drippy fudge pop.

There are lots of other great photos that Paul's parents took, but I can't seem to make the disk open on our computer. Boo! While Mom and I shopped, the big boys went fishing. Lots of time, too, was spent in the sand and the waves.