30 May 2012

Mara at 11 Months

At times, I am amazed she is already 11 months.
But then I am amazed that it has only been 11 months... that we have only known her 11 months.
Feels like she has been in our life forever.
It makes me happy to know we have so many more years with her.
They will go fast, I know. But today... time is on our side.

I love you my baby girl so big.

25 May 2012

Europe 2012

I can now say I have been to Monaco (check!), France (check!), and Italy (check!).
Now I only have about 42 things on my bucket list. ;)

We spent eight days in beautiful Monaco to watch my father in law race his Formula 1 vintage race car.
This race was on HIS bucket list and so he took his entire family to watch him race. No, I am not kidding!

Leaving my kids for eight days was no easy feat but we did it! I left them in the capable hands of my mama and my Aunt Jeanie. And though I missed them dearly, this truly was a trip of a lifetime.

So sit back and enjoy a ridiculous slew of photos!

the pool at our hotel 

Some people don't know but Princess Grace was actually a famous Hollywood movie star in the 1950's until she met Prince Rainier of Monaco. She left her Hollywood life to become the Princess of Monaco. I was infatuated with this story as a little girl so it was pretty exciting for me to see where she lived. 

View from our hotel room 

Just a couple of small boats in the Monaco Harbor ;)

Vintage Bentley's parked in the front of our hotel in honor of the Monaco Historic Grand Prix Race

Our second night in Monaco... dinner at the Cafe DE Paris

We spent one of our afternoons at Eze Village which is located high up in the hills above Monaco. 
Truly, the most beautiful place I have ever been. I absolutely loved it. 

Sean hates this picture of himself but I just love it. I think he looks SO HANDSOME! 

On our way back down from Eze, we took a taxi. The taxi decided not to drive us all the way into Monaco and instead insisted that we walk  from the outskirts of town. We literally got dumped off in a major intersection and had to walk through two major tunnels. I was freaked out! But, we did get some great photos on our little jaunt through Monaco! :)

On Saturday, we watched John officially qualify to race in the Historic Grand Prix and in celebration we all went out to a fancy dinner! 

John and Patty's dear friends, the Lanes and the Pietromonicos, also joined us on the trip! 
We had such a good time with them! 

And finally, it was race day! Right before the race and I mean RIGHT BEFORE THE RACE, a huge rainstorm hit Monaco threatening to cancel the last race of the day which was John's. We were so nervous about a) racing on wet roads and b) the possibility that he might not get to race after all! 
But he DID get to race and while we waited for the race to start, we snapped a few photos and gave Patty her Mother's Day card and gift! 

And he's off! He completed all 18 laps! We were so proud of him! 

The day after the race, a few of us went to Italy for the day. Amy, Sean, Harv, Jamie and I went to Portafino, Italy... a stunningly beautiful town! We ate lunch at an unbelievable restaurant where we ate authentic pasta dishes. After lunch, Sean and Amy continued onto Favale, Italy where they were able to re-connect with relatives of their great-grandmothers! They were even able to see the abandoned cottage where their great-grandmother had been born. Such a neat experience for them! 

On our way to Italy, as we drove out of Monaco, we stopped at  scenic overlook and snapped some photos with Monaco in the background. Amazing! 

And then we were off to Portafino! 

And finally, here are the photos from Sean and Amy's visit to Favale! 

Sean and I stayed one day longer than everyone else. 
We spent the day walking around Monaco, taking a tour of the Palace and eating!! :)
By this point, we were getting REALLY antsy to get home and see our little ladies so we tried to stay busy on this last day! 

If you are still reading this post, I am impressed! It is a lengthy one! 
I wanted to include everything though in case I ever actually get around to finishing our 2012 blog book! Thanks to John and Patty for a truly amazing trip! We had a wonderful time and made tons of great memories. We will remember it always!