I heart the holidays

Who doesn't absolutely love this time of year!?!? It would be an easier number to count the scrooges and grinches (who are just in the closet about their holiday infatuation) out there because this time of year is an opiate for all things merry and bright.  My mom is an annual member of the notorious group who prematurely welcomes Christmas.  She sings along loudly to "Let it snow" long before any sign of winter (or even autumn) because she claims that the duration of holiday cheer aligns directly with  the "-ber" months.  I'm sure those who look forward to Labor Day would have a strong rebuttal to my mom's logic, but her enthusiasm to stretch the joyful season isn't entirely ridiculous.  All that fun, hectic, colorful, coziness in the air with the nostalgic songs and movies playing in the background...love it! love it! love it!

Hubs took a page out of my mom's book this year and gave me the best Christmas gift ever right after Thanksgiving.  Canon EOS 60D.  Whoa.  It's a beast.  The DSLR research, decision, and acquisition phases are now over, and I (we) finally have one of my (our) own!  I'm so excited about this bad boy, trying to read and learn as much as my wee brain can absorb through practice.  ISO, aperture, shutter speeds, depth of field, what?!.  (If you have any tips for beginners, please share!) Hubs gave me the camera early so I can bust it out for our trip to NYC with my dear cousins from VA Beach.  What a blast!  Hubs and I have been lucky enough to go to NYC almost every year since 2006.  From DC, it's very easy to take a quickie trip to the Big Apple because there are 9283742983 different, inexpensive ways to get there within 4 hours time.  Our preferred transportation is taking the bus, and we've tried Bolt Bus, Vamoose, another bus company that's no longer around, and most recently, Megabus.  Price points are comparable (about $15-20/ticket), and I think the travel experience is greatly determined by expectations (it's a bus) and the timing of your trip (lines/crowds/noise).  Of all three, Megabus is probably the one we'll use again because it's double-decker (more space), the restroom was impressively clean (could've been because we took the first trip in the early am), convenient pick-up/drop off points, and sometimes the prices are even less than $10/ticket. 

Needless to say, NYC was a whirlwind of super fun times.  I haven't uploaded all my camera pics, but here are a mixture of my feeble attempts to take pro pictures via DSLR and iPhone. 
George, Marissa, Hubs, James


Check us out on the big screen at Times Square! 

Shake Shack's Shack Stack

Totto Ramen Miso Ramen with char siu pork...mmmmm
I would live in NYC for a year to fully commit 365 days to eating and watching plays and musicals on Broadway.  This past trip was a nice consolation.  We saw Rock of Ages, which was awesome, but the ice cream on top was seeing Hugh Jackman (squeals and high pitch sounds!!!) after the show.  The theater for his one-man show was across the street from ours, and I sped my way through the crowds when Hubs told me that he was exiting the building.  I was only three feet away from his adorable face, and you should be proud that I didn't push over the elderly lady standing in between us, but which I immediately regretted as he reached out to touch her arm.  Yep, he freakin touched her!  Grrrr.  That's okay.  I'm pretty sure he winked directly at me and told me that he loves me as his eyes gazed deeply into mine.  My knees turned to jello, and cousin Marissa and I giggled, skipped, and giddily relived the moment for the rest of the night. 

Hubs and I returned to DC to celebrate my mom's 68th birthday that weekend.  More fun times to capture on my new toy, but here is one of my favorites.  My twin nieces Lyla and Makayla with Talula in the background.  Aren't they just the cutest?!?

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