Dec 04 2012

November and December

So for Thanksgiving this year, we did something that Emily has never done in her whole life – we went to her dad and Colleen’s house in NY. Normally we bounce between St. Louis at my Mom’s and staying in Cinci with family coming into town. It was a long long trip, but quite fun! The weather held out until the very last day. We took a few pics, although we should have taken more (Emily’s dad took some so we will get a copy of those):

We left the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving and stayed in a hotel north of Erie, PA. It was Lillian’s first time staying in a hotel and she was NOT interested in going to 1145pm. I rocked her until around 130am and she finally went to sleep.

We did the usual camp stuff – walked in the woods, road the four wheelers, etc. We got to visit with Emily’s Uncle Bob (a car enthusiast – Audi TT RS, so I got some car talk in) and Aunt Sue. Thanksgiving was delicious – stuffing with sausage in it? YUM! While we were up there, My good friend from college, Adam B. and his wife Kim drove up to visit friday – saturday. Haven’t seem him in years and it was our first time meeting Kim.

I also tried a local vodka made in Lake Placid, NY by Lake Placid Spirits called P3. This is bar-none the smoothest vodka I have ever had. So much so that when I poured it in a glass over ice, Emily actually asked me if I had watered it down! The final filtration process uses garnet! they have another vodka called 46 peaks that is filtered over diamonds. Only problem – its ONLY sold in New York!

Big thanks to my mom for lending us the Orange Honda Element for the trip!!

I flew to Minneapolis/St. Paul for my birthday this year to spend with Sean. Again, didn’t take many photos, but there will be other opportunities. We hung around his apartment a lot (because I had to work 🙁 )but we got out to the Mall of America, Best Buy Corp offices, I at a Juicy Lucy called Spanish Fly (Yum!), went to the mill district and took some photos, and we had our Birthday dinner at Manny’s Chophouse (where the maitre’d called Sean … my …”partner”. what? business partner right? hmmm). I made a small album of the photos taken. Most are from the mill district that has some “ruins” from the original mill infrastructure from the late 1800’s/ early 1900’s. Photos are not in any order because we took some with my cell phone using both normal and HDR mode; and others with my camera (well, Sean took most of those). Gallery:

We are doing Christmas in Cinci this year and I think My mom, Megan (and matt?), and Sean are coming down for that. I don’t think I have seen Megan and Matt since Christmas last year! Crazy! Will get pics up when that rolls around.

Aug 13 2009

So what has Paul been up to?

I’ve been really busy lately with work, travel, being a dad, husband, etc and haven’t really posted anything significant in a while. So what have I been up to?
Last month, I took a long weekend trip and flew to Seattle to visit Sean and Tim and Bridgette’s family, and go to a Mighty Mighty Bosstone’s concert (YAH!). While in Seattle, Sean and I visited one of my co-workers, Debbie, at her parent’s cafe – Chelan Cafe. Its a great place with AWESOME food. On our way out to the cafe, we drove by an import dealership and saw this parked on the street:

Its a VERY rare BMW M1 and it was in awesome shape. In the sun, you could see the carbon fiber reflecting back under the pearlescent paint.
So after our brunch at Chelan Cafe, Sean and I got on the road for our drive to Portland, OR, to visit Corey, Aija, and their newborn daughter Zora. I haven’t seen Corey and Aija since Stephen’s wedding, and have never been to Portland. on the way up, we passed this weird sculpture:

Its a very pretty city. We had some good meals there (especially lunch the next day!) and hanging out with old friends made the weekend worthwhile.

While in Seattle, I got to hang out with Tim, Bridgette, Rylee and Tyler. Turns out Rylee and Brig are big fans of So You Think You Can Dance, which is my anti-masculine guilty pleasure TV Show that Emily got me addicted to. Rylee LOVES the show. She knows every name, dance style, choreographer, etc of every person on the show. The three of us watch the show while Sean and Tim played some PS3 game 🙂
I got to swim in the Snohomish (?) river. The river was VERY high and the curretn was so strong that sean and I couldn’t get more than 10 or 15 feet from the bank without getting a chance of us getting swept away. A great public park..things you just don’t see in this area. Another thing that was great? I actually got to see the sun shine in the Pac NW. The three or four times I’ve been up there, its always rained (surprise!).
So the last night there, Sean, Tim, and I went to see my all time favorite band, The Might Mighty Bosstones. They got back together and this was the main purpose of my trip – to see them again. Of all the concerts I have been to, I”ve seen them the most. I think this was my 5th or 6th time seeing them. This show did not let me down. I’ll post some video and photos (ala cell phone so not great…) at a later time.

So fast forward to a week or so ago. For Father’s day, Emily got me a gift cert for Boi na Braza (sp?), a Brazillian steakhouse in Cincinnati. For those not familiar, these places charge a flat rate and you get a pretty decent salad bar. Also, they have waiters walking around with 15 different cuts of meat – sirloin, lamb chops, chicken breasts, filet mignon, and plenty of others. It was amazing. While NOT cheap, one of the things Emily and I enjoyed the most was the personal time. The wait staff doesn’t bother you. Because you let them know when you want more food, they basically stay away from your table unless you need a refill on your beverage. We had a great time talking all night without some person interrupting us to see if we wanted to buy something else. And MANY thanks to Aunt SheShe for watching Sean so we could have some time out. Oh..and the deserts are freaking great too! I love a perfectly cooked flan. Their wine list is pretty decent also. We had a nice pinot grigio.

Coming soon – my twin brother Sean is flying in from Seattle for a visit over Labor Day weekend. When he is here, my mom, Megan, and Megan’s boyfriend Matt, plan on coming down and we are hoping to see Stephen and Amy as well. (Little) Sean is going to have a BLAST!

Tonight, I gave Sean one of my die-cast cars. Its a Porsche that I got when I was in the 8th or 9th grade as a Christmas present from (I think) my grandmother’s brother, my Uncle Jack McNaughton (the Scottish side!). Sean LOVED it. Its bright orange. When Emily picked him up to take him to bed he cried. He wanted his car! So she gave it to him and carried him upstairs. Up in his room, she tried to get him to put it down on his dresser so they could get ready for bed. He wanted nothing to do with that. He was hugging and snuggling her…while hugging and snuggling his new car!! I knew I loved this kid for a reason!!

Can’t wait to see what happens when he finds out I have 20 or 30 diecast cars in storage 😉 He likes that orange Porsche 959 so much he may go into overdrive if sees the others! 🙂

Last night Uncle Phillip and Gramma got back from their trip to the Cabin and NYC and Phillip brought Sean back a present! Sean is now the proud owner of some Air Jordans!

He thought they were so cool. He is wearing them to “school” today. Phillip has a matching pair so we’ll have to get a photo of them wearing them together. He is in size sixes now, and when he gets to size sevens he gets to wear his Chucks that Megan and Matt got him 🙂

Links for the various galleries related to the posts above:

Seattle Trip:

Sean’s new car:

May 06 2009

Make some awesome food at home

Tag: food,Fun,PaulPaul C. @ 10:26 pm

I’m a big fan of Asian food – I love sticky white rice. Emily bought me a rice cooker a few years ago as a present. We used it often, but got tired of the recipes we used that it kind of fell by the way side.
Emily and I were at one of our local grocery stores and came across a powder mix for General Tso’s chicken. It was produced by a subsidary company of Williams Foods, called Sunbird. We tried it and loved it. After that we tried the Honey Sesame Chicken and Mongolian Beef packets.
Basically, these packets are the spices and flavoring – you still add soy sauce, beef/chicken, veggies (GASP – yes paul adds veggies like green onions, spinach, and been sprouts!), rice and any other favorites you like in your Asian cuisine.
They are an inexpensive way to make your dinner night interesting – its a great home cooked meal but tastes just like (or better!) something you could get from your favorite Chinese restaurant.
For any of the single guys out there, these could give you the edge for an “exotic” dinner prepared at home!

Aug 20 2008

this past weekend…

Tag: Emily,Family,food,Friends,Fun,General,SeanAndrewPaul C. @ 2:34 pm

We had a really fun weekend. My mom came down from St. Louis on Saturday and stayed until Monday. On Sunday, we went to the Conservatory and the Art Museum. The conservatory was really pretty – alot of cool plants. I would have taken more photos, but our main lens for the Nikon D80 is on the fritz so I was using my backup Olympus 750UZ. We didn’t get much time in the Art Museum, but we were able to visit a number of the wings and exhibits. Will have to go back there soon. Sunday night we had dinner at Teak for Emily’s birthday. Its a thai place. Brian tried to order his food with a spice level of 10 (on a scale of 1 to 10), but luckily he let us talk him out of it and ordered a 5 🙂
Monday, mom got to spend the day with Sean while we were at work. We are going to visit her this weekend too, so that will be nice quiet weekend away from Cinci.

Sean likes bath time!

Jun 16 2008

Father’s Day 2008 – My first!

Tag: Emily,Family,food,Fun,General,Paul,SeanAndrew,The HousePaul C. @ 11:21 pm

We started out on Saturday by attending a musical that Emily’s cousin Wes was in. It was a small theatre group introducing a new Christian musical. We enjoyed it. Sean enjoyed his afternoon with his Auntie Gamma (Emily’s Aunt Laurie).
Emily made us a reservation at John Philip’s in Crestview Hills. Its one of my new favorite restaraunts. The menu is small (wine list huge), but the selection of appetizers and entree’s is not missing anything. I went with the Filet (with a side of mushroom bourdalaise sauce) and Emily got the prime rib. Having a restaraunt of this nature makes me feel we don’t need to drive down to the waterfront anymore! The service is great as well. Our waiter was never overbearing and even remembered the last time we came in (and he wasn’t even our waiter that time!).
Ashley kept an ear out for Sean while we were out to eat – Thanks again Ash! Another advantage of the colony! Emily and I finished up the night watching the movie Jumper – although she didn’t make it through and had to finish it on Sunday. I don’t know why that movie got such a bad review when it was in theatre’s, as we both enjoyed it. Def. a renter and not a buyer though.
On Sunday, Emily, Sean, and I went to the Newport Aquarium. We got the idea a few weeks back when we visited a Petsmart store. He just stared with great awe into the little aquariums there.

We had a great time. Sean stayed up for it as long as he could. We actually got almost to the end before he couldn’t keep his eyes open anymore. He only missed the penguins (We’ll just have to catch them when we go to the St. Louis Zoo next time).
On Monday, I came home to a Father’s Day surprise! Emily and I have been looking for a small table and chair set to have on our front porch, but never got around to picking one up. I had a model that I liked, but Emily was unsure about it. Turns out, she liked it enough to make it my father’s day gift – I was quite pleased!

Nov 30 2007

Better late than never…

Tag: Emily,Family,food,Friends,Fun,General,Holidays,Paul,VacationPaul C. @ 1:30 pm

I know I know, I should have posted this a few days ago, but I’ve been sick! 🙂
Like I mentioned earlier, Emily and I made the trek to St. Louis to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. Sean was also in town from Seattle. Wednesday night, my sister Megan and I stayed up sharing a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle cabernet and talking until 3:30am (430 my time!). We rarely get to do that, so it was very cool. Thursday was Turkey Day! Man I love thanksgiving…I think we should have it at least twice a year! Although, I’m sure there are a number of turkeys out there who disagree with me. Mom cooked and awesome meal for us and Emily made the famous Marshall Rolls. Aunt Karen, Uncle Ted, and Scott made it down from west St. Louis as well and it was really nice seeing them.
Sean, Manders (friend of ours and Megan’s from high school), and myself then made our trip to the movie theatre to catch our annual bad-movie-on-turkey-day which started back in the day with my selection of “Paycheck” starring Matt Damon. Sean’s selection this year was Hitman. HOO BOY was it rotten. We got to the theatre about 15 or 20 minutes late so we missed the beginning of the movie ( **cue Office Space “I wouldn’t say I was missing it, Bob…” ***). The acting was lousy, the female character in the movie probably only got the role cause she showed her boobs. What can you expect from a movie produced by Vin Diesel? But I digress…
The rest of the week was pretty uneventful – we went out to an irish pub in Belleville, IL that was nice, hung out at a local bar in O’Fallon, had an awesome hamburger at Denny’s (eggs and hashbrowns on a burger! YUM!), and hung around the house. Saturday we did a family trip to Pierre Marquette State Park to lunch on their lodge’s famous fried chicken and take some family photos.
While we were home for thanksgiving Mom and Dad presented us with some new gifts for Little Sean. As we’ve mentioned before, my dad is *very* handy in wood working. When Sean and I were born, he made us a cradle that was also used for my sister when she was born. Well, now we have a cradle of our own:

Paul’s mom has also recently dusted off her knitting needles and made a fun little hat for Little Sean:

Can’t wait to have him try them both out (only three more months to go!!). Here are some highlight photos from the trip:
me showing my approval of the baby bump:

My parents – dad looks great! (mom too!)
mom and dad

I’ll post some more from my dad’s set of photos after I process the huge DSLR snapshots from his Nikon D80 🙂

Nov 27 2007

Busy Busy…*cough*

Tag: Family,food,Friends,Fun,General,Paul,VacationPaul C. @ 10:27 pm

Emily and I took a trip to St. Louis for Thanksgiving this year.  My sister and brother were both in town as well.  I didn’t bring a heavy enough jacket with me and now I’m fighting a nasty cold….so now I am going to bed and I will post photos and a run-down of turkey day at a time in the very near future.

Sep 20 2007

Max & Erma’s triples loss in 3Q, considers sale

Tag: food,Fun Links and Stuff,General,PaulPaul C. @ 4:11 pm

Max & Erma’s triples loss in 3Q, considers sale – Business Courier of Cincinnati:

Saw this on an RSS feed and it simply doesn’t surprise me.  Emily and I ate there a number of times since they opened in Crestview Hills and every time the service was lousy.  I know I am sometimes picky with my service, but it is VERY rare that I won’t leave a at least a 15% tip (I normally leave 20% or more).  We always had problems with their service, the kitchen, the food, etc.  Its a shame to, because they have some nice, unique, and yummy menu items.  Even Ashley blogged about this. We’ve called their corporate offices and sent them emails about the bad service we received.  Nothing has really changed.  Oh well, there are too many of those style restaraunts anyway.