"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Now That I Have Internet...

>> Friday, February 27, 2009

You would think I could post a bit more regularly, wouldn't you? HA! Not likely. You see, we have no schedule right now and that is wrecking havoc on more than my blogging. It is wrecking havoc on the girls, too. We're all creatures of habit- and when we are at home that habit is nicely laid out in the form of a (very detailed) schedule that includes preschool and gymnastics class. Last week wasn't too bad as we were in "settling in" mode. This week, however, was painful. I did find a nice gym (but not as nice as our beloved Triad) that the girls will be attending every Tuesday morning.

But, since we found out yesterday that our trip will be extended by 3 weeks (I can hear the audible groans from friends, family & teachers), I am now in search of a preschool - or something intellectually challenging - for Brenna. The girl is bored. And I am not teacher material. At least not all-day-every-day. (I don't know how homeschooling moms do it.) Today the three of us (Caelan, Brenna & I) had to have time-outs from each other.

OK, enough of that... Here's what we've been up to lately...

Wednesday the girls and I ventured into Quincy and to a larger mall - in hopes of finding a large play area. No such luck. But the girls did get to visit the great haven known as the Disney Store. Caelan was entranced by all the very fancy costumes. Brenna, a girl after my own heart, really wanted a fancy fairies desk set (with neat "hidden" compartments). What they each got was PJs from the sale racks in the back. Hey, we'll be here for Easter... Who knows what that bunny may see fit to bring?

We got to go see Doug's office and meet a few people he works with and then it was off to dinner... We went to a place called Cela's. From the reviews I'm guessing it's a relatively new place. It is not really a place for kids, though the girls did well enough. It wasn't too busy, and it was early. The waitstaff were good natured about the girls and Doug dancing in the dining room. The food was quite good... Check out these salads:

We ordered the girls Chicken Parmesan to split (and it ended up being enough food for Doug & I to both have it as leftovers the next day!), I got a sweet Italian sausage in pesto sauce over gnocchi and Doug got a lobster gnocchi with a cheese sauce. I say my dish was the best.

Caelan has graduated to diapers at night only and continues to do an amazing job with her potty skills. Here she is in her new Aerial nightgown, very proud of herself.

Thursday was nice enough for the girls and I to head out exploring in the afternoon. We visited the Scituate lighthouse, explored the beach and picked up more shells for our collection. (click the picture for a closer look)

We tried our best to get lost but with a compass in the van I was able to keep us heading in a direction that would either take us to the ocean or back to the house. And though I had heard it existed, I really didn't expect to find the Scituate castle.

OK, so it's a water and clock tower but it's a really cool one. And it's right next to a playground and the library - which is having an Irish music concert on March 8.

Today was another lovely day so we made a visit to our beach after running our morning errands and having lunch.

Tonight weather is blowing in and I have no idea what adventure tomorrow will hold.


What should we do in New England?

Well, another weekend is upon us. The weather isn't supposed to be nice enough for a lot of outdoor activities, especially on Sunday. So, my question to you is; what do you recommend doing?

We are 45 minutes by train to Boston. Or an hour and a half drive to Newport, Rhode Island. Or an hour to Hyannis, Mass, in Cape Cod. Or should we just hang out and do nothing?


Scituate, We Have Internet!

>> Thursday, February 26, 2009

I am hooked up and ready to go! I only have a few hundred emails to sort through, a few dozen articles to write for blogs (my own and a couple others) and near a thousand updates to browse through on my blogroll.

It will take some time to get around... So if I've neglected you in the past couple weeks I apologize. I'll be by soon to say hello!


As Promised: Caelan's Song

>> Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I had a song dedicated to Caelan at an Irish Pub in Boston. I think we'll show this video at her 16th birthday party, her high school graduation and her wedding!


No More Car Payments!

Just today I sent out the final car payment! I also sent out a pretty big tax payment the state decided we owed them (5 years after the tax filing).

According to my snowball chart we will have three more bills paid off pretty quickly.



Catching Up from the Weekend

Still no internet so I am writing this post in Word to publish tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Marshfield Library. We haven’t been there yet but I have a vague idea of where it is…

Our weekend was full of adventure! Friday the girls and I headed to Hanover Mall; Doug said it had a play area. The girls were both feeling a bit of cabin fever as the weather had been cold & windy much of Thursday and Friday wasn’t promising to be much nicer.

We found the mall with no problem (I almost feel like a local already!) and made our way toward the center. It was a school holiday (for what, I don’t know) and the mall McDonald’s had hired the Ronald McDonald to perform. Brenna ran right out and took her spot in the audience. Caelan opted to stay by Mommy, in the stroller and away from the strange man with big shoes. Ronald put on a great show with education (knowledge of common road signs), magic, music & dancing.

After that ended we found the play area. It is quite similar to the play areas in most malls: large “foam” items to climb, slide on and jump off. The theme here is sports. I guess that’s what you get in an area that has one of every major sports team.

We finished our mall trip with lunch at a very good, very un-mall-like Chinese restaurant. Brenna chose it and I was more than happy to not dine at McDonald’s!

Friday evening Doug had to work late so we drove in to Quincy to pick him up as the other option was a late train. A quick stop at Best Buy for a wireless router and then to the Mad Fish Bar & Grille, just down the road from the house, for dinner. (We had fish. Go figgah…) We had to beat a hasty exit as Caelan was getting wiggly and wouldn’t use the strange potty. We made it home and completed another successful day of no wet diapers!

Saturday was filled with excitement. We idled about the house until late morning (Caelan pottied!), ate some lunch and then we were off to Boston. Destination: aquarium. We drove to the closest “T” station (mass transit, or “the train!” to the girls) and got to not only ride a “train” but switch lines twice. It was thrilling for the girls. Not so much for Doug & I as some of the stations are not stroller friendly.

The aquarium sits right on the pier. It was quite a popular place on Saturday- the line to buy tickets stretched over a block. We promptly turned around and wandered Faneuil Hall and the Quincy Market. We browsed the carts, poked through a few shops and took in the history. Caelan and I even had our photo taken with the Ben Franklin.

Brenna was complaining of tired feet so we decided to hop a trolley for a tour of historic Boston. As it was approaching 3:30pm we didn’t have the opportunity to utilize the hop-on-hop-off feature of the tour but we got to see many places that we plan to go back and visit. Our driver was great and paid special attention to the girls, even commenting on how well behaved they were.

After our trolley tour it was time for dinner. We bypassed the famed food court at Faneuil Hall (ok, we grabbed some huge cookies for later) choosing to dine at Roisin Dubh (the Black Rose), an Irish Pub just down the street. Not only did we have great food (I had a wonderful Irish Beef Stew; Doug said his Shepherd’s Pie was better) but there was also a singer performing traditional Irish songs and American folk tunes. He was really good and we all had fun dancing while he played (there wasn’t much room for dancing but it didn’t stop us!)

In the middle of dinner Caelan began to get restless and cuddly- a sure sign that it’s time to “go”. She and I rushed off to the bathroom where she did her first pee-pee in a potty without her potty seat! It was such a momentous occasion that I had the singer dedicate a song just for her!

As you can imagine, the girls were exhausted when we got home. They got tucked into bed in their clothes.

Sunday began lazily… I made breakfast (Finnish Puffed Pancakes), we all got cleaned up, and then we were off to explore with no destination in mind. With rain imminent we planned to drive around, grab a late lunch and head home early. Well, we drove. We had a late lunch. But we didn’t get home early.

We drove to Cape Cod, which has plenty to see. We exited the car twice. Once for this great candy shop and the second time for lunch (where Caelan did her second pee-pee on a strange potty).

Heading home we passed through many places we want to go back and see when the weather is nicer.

Once home we settled in a relaxed. Caelan announced before bed that she needed to use the potty and led Doug upstairs to take care of business. Woo-Hoo!

Monday had no big excitement. Unless you count grocery shopping… The Stop & Shop has scanners so you can scan your items as you shop. Not only can you keep track of what you are spending (very handy if you’re on a budget) but it also shows you special prices on items that correspond with what you are purchasing. Which I didn’t see as Brenna was in charge of the scanner. She caught on very quickly and by the third or fourth item she could get the scan done on the first try.

Tuesday (which will be today when I publish this tomorrow) will take us into Marshfield, the small town just across the river from our little island. We have a drop in planned for 9:15 & 10am at Tumble Fun (the girls really need to burn some energy!) and then a trip to the library so I can get some much needed internet time!

OK, the gym didn't wear the girls out and they aren't letting me get anything done at the library. Thursday can't come soon enough!


Our Little Home By the Sea

>> Saturday, February 21, 2009

You know you have a problem when you are without internet for 5 days and are wondering just where you can go that will both entertain the kids and allow you to get your screen time. Unfortunately you need the internet to find such a place when you are in a strange city.

The internet at the house was scheduled to be hooked up Thursday but it obviously didn’t happen… I am writing this post in Word and making a list of what I need to do so I can maximize my internet time when I get someplace with wi-fi… (note: Panera early Saturday morning)

Before I go any farther I need to give a big HELLO to Amy, Leanna and everyone else at Triad who I know are missing us right now. Being as we’re in there practically every day…

We are enjoying our little house by the sea. The beach is half a city block away. Weather blows in from the ocean and gives us a variety to “enjoy”. We have a nice pile of seashells and rocks. Thursday the waves were crashing in, roaring loudly and would occasionally have enough force behind them to bring the water almost to us.

We have explored the villages around us… Scituate, Marshfield, North Scituate, Pembroke & Hanover. We’ve been grocery shopping (I’ve got to share the hi-tech goodies next time we go) and to a mall (to use the play area and burn off excess energy). We’ve made the acquaintance of our local postmaster as our mail comes “General Delivery”.

The girls are having a great time… They aren’t homesick yet (sorry). And though I really need to get stuff done I have been accomplishing a few things by not having internet access… I have been playing with my digital scrapbooking software, which is fun; I’ve finished one book that I’ll be giving away next week and have started another; I made a gourmet meal (on par with Splash in downtown Des Moines) last night of seared sea scallops and garlic gouda mashed potatoes.

And if you’re keeping track, Caelan hasn’t used a diaper since we left Iowa (except for one really necessary poo… She hadn’t had a BM while we were traveling.) Yea Caelan! She still tells us that she doesn’t want to pee-pee on the potty. “Never, never, never,” she says in her little sing-song voice. But she’s getting to where we put her on the potty and she goes. We call it Pavlov’s Potty…

We’ll be getting out this weekend to explore. And I’ll check in again early next week from the library in Marshfield. Countdown to internet installation on the 26th…


Chicago Tax Revolt

>> Friday, February 20, 2009

Warning, read it and you will be very frustrated.

There is a lot of blame that can be placed on a lot of people. The incentive for a mortgage broker is to sell you a mortgage - they get a cut. The incentive for a realtor is to sell you a big house - they get paid as a percentage of the sale. For the past decade, the person shopping for a house not only wasn't deterred from over-buying, but actually "helped" into a super-jumbo-balloon mortgage. Companies had a ready buyer of these mortgages in Freddie and Fannie.

Then, there are the politicians from both sides of the aisle that get to look good "helping" people over-buy and companies get overextended.

Another thing to consider is that all of this easy credit helped, in no small part, to drive up prices. Which, of course, further fed the speculation cycle.

My personal opinion is that government intervention, as happened under Bush and enlarged under Obama, is the worse possible "solution". The government backing of Freddie and Fannie and bailout of everyone else doesn't help, it merely prolongs the pain. Better six months of pain while companies buy pieces of paper from each other than to bureaucratize the thing into a multi-generational scam...errr...program that does nothing other than make us less free, companies less willing to do business, and taxes everybody way beyond what is necessary.

2010 can't get here fast enough.


Live from New York...

>> Sunday, February 15, 2009

Corning, NY sculpture

Corning, New York, to be exact. We pulled off the interstate and lucked in to what appears to be an incredibly cute town. We checked in to the Radisson which lies at the end of the Gaffer District, a historic district with shops, galleries and eateries. We took a short stroll after check in to Aniello's Pizzeria for a pie with lots of garlic & cheese. Mmmm... We may take the time to explore a bit tomorrow before hitting the road again.

As for today's drive... There isn't much to share. We left our hotel, got through the rest of Indiana and drove on I-80 through Ohio to Cleveland. It's a toll road... Funny that it was a worse highway than the "free" ones...

There is a really nice service stop on the Ohio Turnpike right before Cleveland... It's Vermilion Valley... Really nice and big; clean; with a Starbucks, Panera, Great Steak & Potato, Popeye's...

The only weather we ran into was driving through Cleveland. Huge snowflakes and reduced visibility. But it didn't last long and the road was clear as we got onto I-90 and headed into Pennsylvania.

Forty-five miles later were entered New York. We're taking the southern route. The terrain reminds me of Kentucky and Tennessee; large hills, not quite mountains, with villages in the valleys.

Tomorrow evening will find us arriving in Scituate at Ocean Perch. It will be nice to tuck into a bed knowing we don't have to drive the next day. Unfortunately I won't have internet until the 19th unless I find a coffee shop near the house with wi-fi... So if we do explore Corning tomorrow you'll have to wait a few days to hear about it.

And for those who are keeping track... Caelan is on a roll. Day 3 of dry diapers and pee-pee on the potty when we got to the hotel! Woo-Hoo! I am not buying any more diapers!


Hello from Sturgis!

>> Saturday, February 14, 2009

That would be Sturgis, Michigan as Sturgis, South Dakota does not actually lie between Iowa and Massachusetts.

We had an uneventful drive through Iowa, Illinois and most of Indiana. The fact that we are in Michigan is funny as the Hampton is just over the border from Indiana. Had we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, half a mile away, we would be in Indiana.

Travel note from today: did you know that the World's Largest Truck Stop is in Iowa?

The girls were both very good; complaints were minimal and they rode very well. Caelan even took a little nap.

Speaking of Caelan... She has been potty training herself in the past week. She's got a bladder like a steel trap. 24 hours of "holding" is not unheard of. But I haven't been forcing her because I tried that with Brenna and nearly tore my hair out.

But the past few days Caelan has been doing a pee-pee dance and fussing when she needs to go. She doesn't want to use a diaper but she doesn't want to sit on the potty. The past three days she has used the potty at least once. Today we had no wet diaper. She may come back from Massachusetts potty trained! Woo-Hoo!

We will hit the road again tomorrow... It's hard to say what time as we are still on central time but in the eastern zone. I should probably set an alarm to make sure we are awake in time for breakfast...



>> Friday, February 13, 2009

What Will Your Politicians Do?

I don't care what side of the aisle your on. I don't care whether you voted for President Obama or not. What I want to know today, right now, is what you think of this:

The public was promised a 48 hour time period to view the finished stimulus bill before it went to vote. Well, the bill was "finished" about 11pm last night at it is going to a rush vote today- before Nancy Pelosi catches her plane to Europe.

Now I don't care if you are for or against this bill. But don't you think your elected officials should actually read it before voting on it?

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) predicted on Thursday that none of his Senate colleagues would "have the chance" to read the entire final version of the $790-billion stimulus bill before the bill comes up for a final vote in Congress. Article here.
Now, that's a lot of tax payer money to be voting on without knowing where it is going. If your elected representative were to read the entire thing today, before the vote, they would have to be able to read 640 words a minute (and understand them). Check this link for just a bit of the bill (the bill wording begins about half way down) Do you understand it? Don't tell me you can because in this portion f the bill it refers to other portions of the 1100+ page bill.

Thanks to RedState for the number to the Congressional Switchboard: (202) 224-3121. Call your representative. Tell them to vote no today if they haven't read the bill. This vote can wait.

Just FYI:

The people at Senator Grassley's office were very kind. They listened, answered my questions and took my name and address.

On the the side of the coin, the reception I received at Senator Harkin's office was much different. Not only did they not take my information, I was argued with when I said that I expected the senator to have read the entire bill before he voted on it.
"Senator Harkin helped write the previous version of the bill."
"Yes,", I said, "But there are 400 more pages that have been added since then."
"So you expect the senator to read and memorize this entire bill?"
"I expect him to read and understand it. This is billions of dollars, my money, he is playing with. I expect him to know exactly where it is going."
"I'll make sure he gets the message."

I am so annoyed that I am shaking now. I don't know if the offices are getting flooded with calls and the people who answer the phones are getting stressed. And you know what? I don't care. Because my taxes pay their salaries, too. Call your politicians. Expect them to know what they are voting on. And expect them to put the people, not a party, first.


Coming Down from My BlissDom High

>> Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I don't want to rave too much about BlissDom. Not because it wasn't wonderful (it was!) but because I want to be able to get a ticket for it next year! Honestly, I'm not sure the Hotel Preston could handle many more internet users!

First I want to give a lot of love to Mrs. Fussypants and One2One Network for hosting the bash. They did a tremendous job and I would like to book my spot NOW for BlissDom'10. (Not joking ladies. Pre-booking available?)

Next I want to tell you about the amazing sponsors (in addition to Land's End, mentioned in the post below). It's a long-ish list, consider yourself warned. PS... There's more after this list...

Now, I have a love/hate relationship with my local Walmart. And I really think it's an individual store thing because I have been in some really great stores and I've been in some really bad stores. Fortunately Walmart sent their social media guru John Andrews (@Katadhin) who was very open to hearing any compliments or complaints. I must say, Walmart "gets" social media.

Disney provided us not only with a private screening of the new Yanni Voices (I was not a fan of Yanni but add vocals and WOW!) but also brought two of the amazing vocalists - Nathan Pacheco and Ender Thomas- right to us. Hmmm... is it telling that they brought two handsome men into a room filled with women?

Little Debbie hadboxes and boxes of their new 100 Calorie Packs. Everything I had was yummy... The treats were tiny, but not minuscule. These are perfect treats for my kiddos. OK, and for me. The Snow Puffs are divine and my girls adored the Yellow Cakes & Marshmallow Treats.

The talented Chris Mann performed for us at the end of day 2. I got it all on video... Yes, I'll share it. Hopefully tomorrow. And be sure to check out MANNblog Monday next week-his "mom-licious" report from Blissdom.

With 250+ bloggers in attendance there had to be some sort of support... Enter the Geek Squad. Being from the Twin Cities I remember the Geek Squad when they had only one location in a not-so-great part of Minneapolis- before the uber cute VW Beetle was their car of choice. In addition to their geekspertise they had a Wii set up with RockBand.

Real Girls Media brings together social media and professional publishing. It's definitely something I will be delving into more in the coming weeks.

Who knew that Crocs made cute shoes? I didn't. I thought they consisted of those plastic thingies with holes in them. But after seeing some really cute shoes on feet at Blissdom I may become a convert. I adore their Cape Cod ballet flat...

A site offering the best CARE for your children, special needs, tutoring, senior care, pet care & housekeeping. You can search for caregivers or post jobs and have people find you.

Lijit is a search and stats engine. I'm intrigued by it and will definitely be testing it out soon.

Shall I say more about Chris Mann? I'm guessing Victor Records is a part of the Sony group.

Blue House Blogs is your Wordpress headquarters. Check out the new Worthington Wire to see what Daisy can do.

And finally, Wind Up Records who supplied us all with music (and tickets to see Thriving Ivory for free. Of course they aren't anywhere near me. I have 2 tickets for their tour through March 09. Email me if you're interested.)

OK, so you made it through the sponsors. Pretty cool, huh? Now, about the conference. First off, I have to say that everyone was so nice. I met amazing women that I bloggy worshiped from afar and made new friends who I plan to introduce you to soon. And I learned a lot!

The main thrust of the conference, though, seemed to be "find your voice". You can't be all things to all people, so don't try. Not everyone is always going to like what you have to say.

Of course I can't even begin to share all I learned. If you were following me on Twitter (@iatraveler) while I was away you saw a lot of info roll through. Luckily you can get all that info in one place! BlissDom was transcripted and you can get the entire conference of just the pieces you want.

I'll try to share bits and pieces after I get settled in Boston (and we get internet- which won't be until the 19th!!!). Until then I suggest you get on to Twitter and search #blissdom09 to find links to some great posts.


A Bit from BlissDom

>> Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I owe you all a post about BlissDom. And I really, really plan to get one done. But today passed in a blur of laundry, sorting & packing for our upcoming time in Boston.

But there is one thing I want to share that is from BlissDom.

One of the sponsors was Lands End. In fact, our "swag bag" was from them.

We all received the super-sweet medium size open top tote (it measures 17"Wx13"Hx6 1/2 "D; bottom 11 1/2"W) in natural & pink coral. Not only is it attractive, it's sturdy. It can stand on its own, has 4 interior pockets, one exterior pocket and a clip to hold your keys.

Now, I love all my readers quite a bit but I'm not parting with this tote. I do have something for you from Land's End, though: Free Shipping thru Sunday, February 15. Promo Code: BLISSDOM Pin: 2175

So you know, the amazing medium tote is only $20. This bag will be hittin' the pool this summer, hauling books to the library, maybe even accompanying me to a market in Boston. It's a bag for all activities.

While you're perusing the Land's End website be sure to look at the new Sun.Life line of UPF "smart clothes". Not only can these clothes block harmful rays from the sun but they are also made of breathable moisture-wicking material; great for your outdoor activities.

Remember: offer ends at 11:59pm, CST, Sunday February 15!

The legal stuff: free shipping & handling on up to two orders that include regular priced merchandise to US addresses (includes US territories, APO/FPO). 4-7 business days to most addresses. Monogrammed, special request or hemmed items may take longer. Applies only to merchandise purchased from Land'sEnd.com & the Land's End catalog. No valid on previous purchases or when combined with other promotional offers.


Valenties Savings With AAA

>> Monday, February 09, 2009

Honestly, I need to pull my AAA card out everywhere. So many great deals on Valentine's gifts... If you have a AAA card you can save:

20% thru Feb 14 on flowers at 1-800-FLOWERS. Mention promo code AAA2. I am not sure if you can get this deal online

20% on the Diamond Curved Heart Pendant from Blue Nile thru February 28 at AAA.com/BlueNile with promo code AAAVA.

15% when you show your card at New York & Company.

10% at Target.com... Maybe for romantic candles

And if you're a member be sure to check out the Dynamic Deals on amazing savings that don't last long...


And I'll Have...

After my whirlwind weekend in Nashville I spent half of Sunday on a plane bound for home. I was so excited because I just knew that my family would have missed me so much that they would be waiting just outside security.

As Paula and I came down the escalator, bending our bodies to catch a glimpse of our waiting families....


Nothing. I was a bit let down. Our plane did land about 15 minutes early but one would think that mommy would be missed enough to warrant at least an hours wait in the airport.

As we entered baggage claim I saw my little family come in the far doors with flowers. The girls ran to me with hugs ready. OK, I'll forgive them...

After being away for most of 3 days I wasn't about to cook so we went out for dinner. Our waiter was wonderful, addressing the girls first. He asked Brenna what she wanted to drink, "I want chocolate milk, and so does my sister," she replied.

And then, before he could ask what Doug or I wanted Brenna continued, "Daddy will have coffee and Mommy will have tea."

Our server looked at me. "Hot tea," I clarified.

"Yes, hot tea for Mommy and hot coffee for Daddy," Brenna told him, letting him know exactly who was in charge of the outing.

And, while she ordered her own dinner, she- thankfully- let Doug and me order our own.



>> Sunday, February 08, 2009

Just in case you all think I disappeared I will first offer my apologies. I really thought I would have more time whilst in Nashville to blog. I was, after all, at a blogging conference, surely I could pop in and let you all know how I was doing and what I was up to.

Nope, not so much.

The conference was amazing and I plan to share all kinds of stuff with you this week.

  • The amazing bloggers I met (stars in my own little world)
  • The great entertainment (including a couple of the stars of Yanni Voices (#voices on Twitter)
  • The talented and funny Chris Mann (@iamchrismann on Twitter)
  • Jen Lancaster was the keynote speaker
  • Little Debbie was a sponsor (Hello... New 100 calorie goodies!)
As much as I would like to ramble on about this it's now shortly after 10, I'm exhausted, and we have to take Doug to the airport at 5:30 in the morning.

But I have much to share. Including giveaways for Iowa Geek Reviews! Until then go over and sign up to win Galway Bay.

This week should be exciting. Have I mentioned that we are relocating to Boston in 6 days?


Mussachusetts, Here We Come

>> Thursday, February 05, 2009

OK, I'm technically going to Nashville this weekend for Blissdom first... My bags are almost packed and I think I have everything situated for that.

When I get home Sunday I will begin going through the house, room by room, and figuring out what absolutely must go with us. Doug will stay in our rental next week and give me his thoughts.

He'll be back next Friday and we'll head out Saturday morning for a long (very long) drive.

We ended up choosing a house that came to our attention just two nights ago... It wasn't even part of my poll... But one look at the HomeAway listing and I was hooked.

First, I love a house with a name. This one is called Ocean Perch. Second, I adore a big front porch (I hope I'll get some time on it!)

Combine those two "pluses" with a nice kitchen, a sunny eating area and 3 bedrooms... Well, it's practically perfect in every way.

I was showing the girls pictures that Doug sent and they are very excited to see boats and walk on the beach (when it gets warmer, of course). As you can see from the Google map, the ocean isn't far away.

It should be a grand adventure.


The Votes Are In

>> Wednesday, February 04, 2009

With 20 votes counted:

Live by the ocean: 7
Live near transportation: 10
Stay in Iowa: 2 (I think my mom may have voted this way!)
Make up your own mind: 1

Our choice isn't quite made yet...

I was leaning toward the one on the bus line but I gotta tell you... I really am not impressed with the photos I am seeing of the interior of the apartment/condo.

The one in Hull is nicer, much more homey.

And then we found this house. It's further south but near a train line so Doug could commute to work that way. It's bigger, has a nice kitchen, a sunny yellow eating area and twin beds for the girls. This is the one I want. Now the owner just needs to call me back...


Color Me Company Cards Winner!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-02-04 15:48:54 UTC

cpullum said...
Blogger: Iowa Geek - Create Post
I like the Beach Girl Pillowcase !!

I have emailed Carla and she has 2 days to respond. If I don't hear from her within two days I will draw another winner.


My New Review Blog!

>> Tuesday, February 03, 2009

You know... Once upon a time Iowa Geek was just Iowa Geek. Then I started writing about travel stuff.

And that's how Have Kid Will Travel came along.

Then I started sharing recipes every Friday.

So Fab Food Friday was born.

Then I got so many opportunities to share so many great things that I have now added another "baby" to my bloggy family.

Let me introduce Iowa Geek Reviews. This is where you're going to see great products, giveaways and other great stuff you should know about. And just to bribe you to head over there I've got a give away!

Be sure to sign up for the RSS or email feeds! You don't want to miss out on anything!

Now Iowa Geek can go back to "boring" family stuff, politics and our upcoming relocation!


Tough Decisions...

Do we live in a lovely little house in Hull, an island town with water taxis to Boston, on a residential street about 2 miles from the nearest bus stop.

Or do we live in Quincy in a small condo on the edge of the center of town, with a bus stop just outside, a park at each end of the street and shops within walking distance?

Both places include utilities (and internet!) and are about the same price.

So, a place with views of the water? Or the convenience of transportation?

I've got a poll to the right... Weigh in, will you?


Such Big News

>> Monday, February 02, 2009

I've mentioned it over at Facebook and Twitter... But if you don't keep up with me there this may be news to you...

No, before you guess, we are not having another baby.

We are relocating. To Boston. For about 2 months.

Doug is looking at rentals this week. All with views of the Atlantic. Our plans are to drive there and back. We looked into Amtrak but it's so inconvenient- no stations in Iowa have baggage check in! And flying would be wonderful but then we would have to ship quite a bit of stuff, which is expensive. So we are driving.

From central Iowa to Boston.

It's a big adventure! So... What should we see on the way? Any of my bloggy friends anywhere near our path of travel?

Oh, and we plan to leave next week! SO much to do!!!

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