Roadtrip Fun

Summer 2015 – Best Summer Ever {Photo Album}

O'Neil Summer 2015 photo recap

Last night as we returned from a 50th anniversary family cookout, Chuck and I collapsed on the couch from exhaustion and he said to me, “I had an amazing weekend with you.”  This has become an unspoken tradition we have created this summer.  That sentence has been repeated at the end of every weekend and definitely more often this summer than past summers.

The only regret is not updating this blog as often as I had hoped. I even thought to capture the moments on Instagram instead.  But you know what?  I was so in the moment living life and making memories that I didn’t do that either. It isn’t an entirely bad thing.

This has been one of the best summers in a very long time!

Mostly every weekend was surrounded by friends and family at some cookout or gathering.

So I am sharing a summer fun picture recap and I want to thank Lauren at Working Mom Magic blog for creating the hashtag and goal of #OperationSummerFun. You can read about it here and her summer recap is here.  We even made 2 cameos in the second post!

This summer, I adopted this operation to its fullest capacity.  

As Labor Day Weekend comes to a close, and fall begins to set in, I can honestly say I did everything in my power to make this the best summer it could be.

Here is what we have been up to:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#OperationSummerFun in numbers

  • 25 lbs of Potato Salad
  • At least 6 cookouts (I lost count after that)
  • 4 days by the pool
  • 3 summer music concerts
  • 2 cookouts with requests of Broccoli Salad
  • 2 trips to Foxwoods Casino
  • Dining out (more times than I can count)
  • Unlimited glasses of Homemade Iced Tea
  • Countless laughs, smiles and entertainment

What is your favorite memories from this summer?  I want to know!  

Our 18 Hour Birthday Road Trip {Recap}

Our 18 Hour Birthday Road Trip {Recap} At Home With The O'Neil's

In my last post, A Love Note to My Husband on His BirthdayI shared our new tradition to run away for a night or two for his birthday to just soak up our time with one another.  Out of all our trips this last one was probably was the shortest and most fun.  Which goes to show quality over quantity is always key in most areas of life.  We were away for less than 24 hours and had a blast!  I promised Instagram updates but I was so in the moment that I failed on my mission.  I’m sorry!  But I am making up for it with this 18 Hour Birthday Road Trip Recap!

We started our road trip off with a late lunch at one of our favorite local restaurants.  Given it was middle of the afternoon and mid-week we knew we would get prime outdoor seating at Sylvan Street in Peabody MA.  Our hunch was right!

Starting off our road trip with some drinks by the waterfall at one of our local favorite restaurants.

Starting off our road trip with some food and drinks by the waterfall at one of our favorite local restaurants.

After we filled our bellies, we started on the 2.5 hour road trip.  Chuck has a passion for music so he is always in charge of music, even when driving my car.  I loaded up my iTunes with some podcasts and we co-habitated with talk radio and rock music.

Earplugs in and podcasts on while my handsome guy jammed out to some rock music.

Earplugs in and podcasts on while my handsome guy jammed out to some rock music.

Early on the trip the skies appeared to be a little gloomy but we drove through the downpours and came out on the other side about 10 minutes later.  Like they say, when you live in New England and don’t like the weather just wait – it will change.

Cloudy skies...

Cloudy skies…

and 10 minutes later we are through the downpour and in the clear!

…and 10 minutes later we are through the downpour and in the clear!

After checking in to the Great Cedar Hotel, Chuck ran down the Casino to play a few games while I unpacked and tried to get some work done.  I know this sounds lame, but the change of location helps with my motivation and I am not a huge gambler.  I enjoy the change of scenery and Chuck enjoys me not hounding him with questions of when he will be done.

About 2 hours later he returned and we got dressed for dinner.  We decided on the Hard Rock Cafe.  My music man loved it.  We had to wait for seating so we first got drinks at the bar.

I got the Red Berry Press which was amazing and took me 2 hours to drink. Lots of alcohol with fresh fruit to take away the guilt.

I got the Red Berry Press which was amazing and took me 2 hours to drink. Lots of alcohol with fresh fruit to take away the guilt.

Chuck was very happy to get a souvenir glass to bring home.

Chuck was very happy to get a souvenir glass to bring home.

While we were waiting for our food we were watching Van Pelt Faraday, a Boston-based duo set up the stage.  They started performing and were very good.  They both have a long list of music credentials.  Erika Van Pelt (one part of the duo) was an American Idol Finalist during the 2012 season.

Boston Based Duo Van Pelt Faraday rocked the stage while we ate dinner.

Boston Based Duo Van Pelt Faraday rocked the stage while we ate dinner.

We ordered the Molten Chocolate Cake for the birthday boy.

A fantastic marriage benefit of being married to the birthday boy, I got to have half.  He knows “what is yours is mine – especially when it comes to chocolate”.

A fantastic marriage benefit – I got to have half.  He knows “what is yours is mine” – especially when it comes to chocolate.

After dinner, we strolled through the Casino, took a few pictures and then went back to the room.  I changed for bed and grabbed the iPad to read, while the Birthday Boy decided to try his luck downstairs.

Next Day

The next morning we got ready and headed to breakfast.  We love going to the Veranda Café. They have a massive buffet that Chuck loves to attempt to put a dent in every time we go.  I love the view looking out into the luscious hills.  It is secluded and so relaxing.  I am bummed I didn’t grab a photo.  Last time we came for our anniversary I saw they had Red Velvet Pancakes on their menu.  I was on a mission.  This is something I NEVER knew existed and I am a bit ashamed of that fact.  I love chocolate and pancakes are my breakfast meal of choice.

 I figured I would commemorate Hubby’s birthday with chocolate pancakes and they did not disappoint. 

I figured I would commemorate Hubby’s birthday with Red Velvet Pancakes and they did not disappoint.

After we filled up on food we went back to the room, packed up and checked out.  We put our bags in the car and snuck back into the casino for a few more hours of fun.  I found a comfy seating area with wi-fi.  I really am not a gambler.  I did some work and then continued to read on my iPad.  Chuck had some more fun then found me at 12 PM and we started our trek home.

It was so nice to just be, do what we wanted at a pace we were comfortable with.  No agendas or time schedule.  We had a little time together, a little time apart doing what we loved.

 We left feeling refreshed with huge grins and some great memories. 

We left feeling refreshed with huge grins and some great memories.

Thanks for coming on our trip with us!

What place do you like to escape to, to just get away for a short time or evening?