Friday, January 7, 2022

Week(s) in Review: Christmas Break Shenanigans

After Christmas, Nana and Deacon Gramps came up for a visit!  There were lots of new games to be played...

And Phil took them to see a Newport mansion, The Breakers, which was the Vanderbilt's "summer cottage".  

You can take a virtual tour here or come visit us and see the real deal!  Maggie took these photos of one of the girls' bedrooms...

This was the kids (they had seven too!) playhouse...

And of course it was lavishly decorated for Christmas...

Some of had to work over break and some of us got to go to the Breakers.  Harrumph!

Eamon (#3) and Andrew (the one dribbling the ball in the bottom photo) had basketball practices and games before Covid hit the team and cancelled that.

We took the kids bowling with some cousins.  Brendan (age 5) and Declan (age 7) are very good bowlers, having practiced on Wii.  I mean just look at Brendan's form...

And Declan's spin...

What a fun group of cousins!

We baked the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins from the recipe (and ingredients) that my sister-in-law sent up from PA...yummy!

On New Year's Eve, some of our kids slept over with cousins and we took some of them out to dinner and then to see...

It was good, but the plot had me suspending my disbelief quite a bit.  Ah well, still worth it.

A quick story about the dinner before the movie.  When we got to the restaurant at 4:30 (the only open reservation time left) it was BUSY!  This restaurant almost always is, but we were sat fairly quickly and then waited and waited and waited.  The waitress came to take our drink order and then we waited some more when all of a sudden, a kitchen worker came out to the middle of the restaurant yelling (I paraphrase):

"Happy New Year's Everybody!!  (we thought she might be offering us all free drinks?) "I just wanted you to know that we have had a serious outbreak of COVID among our kitchen staff and management is not doing anything about it.  I have already had COVID and therefore can't transmit it, but there has been a serious outbreak in the kitchen!"

We were

The manager comes running over to escort her out, as she yells "Will you listen to us now?" and leaves the building.


Actually just recounting what happened is giving me chills.  Yikes.  It certainly killed my appetite.

By 6:00 we had not received our food yet, and we had to leave to catch the movie at 6:15, so Phil went and told our waitress that we had been waiting for an hour and a half and still had not eaten so we needed to take our meals to go (the tables around us had come in after us, eaten , and left so we weren't being unreasonable).  The manager came over to us and apologized and said that the meals were on the house.  *I immediately wished we had ordered differently, as we were trying to budget with water and no apps* They brought us our to go bags and we ran out and stuffed food into our face in the van before getting to the movie theater.  We needn't had worried because the previews were soooooo plentiful.  But still, what a weird and crazy dining experience.

Phil and I snuck out for a quick and early dinner date on New Year's Day, feeling justified in spending the money for dinner since last night's was free.  The waited brought around a huge bottle of champagne and asked if we'd like some.  I said "sure!" and Phil gave me a look, later explaining that we were going to get charged for those glasses of champagne.  I didn't think we would because it was offered as though it was free, so we made a bet.  If the restaurant charged us for the champagne, I'd have to mop the floor the next day (a chore I was planning to do anyway) and if we were not charged, Phil would have to mop.  When we got the bill, Phil said "Looks like I'm mopping tomorrow!"  Free champagne and a clean floor - win win for moi!  And just like that, 2022 is already looking promising :)


  1. Free dinner AND free champagne the next night! t ink it's going to be a great year for you guys! Happy New Year!

  2. I think the free mopping was almost a better deal than the champagne! Happy New Year! Your pictures are really great! (And your kids have great smiles - it's amazing how you can see them even beneath the masks!)

    1. I hate to admit this, but I kind of like to mop. But still, one thing taken off my to-do list was very nice :)

  3. Oh my - that dinner out experience is NUTS. While I hate when an eating out experience is less than nice, I do love a free meal.

    The photos of that house are amazing. I'll let you know when we are coming to visit so we can tour it. Hee hee. I don't know about the wallpaper though in that girls' room. That makes me dizzy.

    Declan does have great bowling form. I laughed that he picked that up on Wii.

    1. I'm with you on the free meal...and the coming out to visit!


Talk to me...