Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It is NOT always sunny in Philadelphia!


After my flight was cancelled (it was cloudy), I ended up staying an extra night, taking a flight to Boston (instead of directly to Portland, ME), and then a bus from Boston to Portland.  I was traveling with two coworkers and there was some drama with our travel agent, US Airways, etc until we had "A Plan" but we handled it pretty well.  Really, my coworkers and Jake handled it well.  I do not like to fly.  Jake was my lifeline over the phone.  He kept me from hiding in a corner at the airport and offered options that he was finding online while the people that do this for a living were telling us that there were no options.   

I'll share Jake's favorite story from the trip in which I do something dumb.  Ok, maybe I did a few dumb things.  We stayed at a different hotel in downtown Philly's historic district our last night, had dinner at Tavern 17, and did not go to bed early.  I knew that I had to be up early for the flight.  I set my alarm for 4am so I could meet my coworkers in the lobby at 5:15am as planned.  You can see where this is going, right?  Of course, my alarm didn't go off because I didn't turn it on.  The front desk called me at 5:15am and I was sound asleep on the wonderful Sleep Number bed (have you tried one?).  I spotted the hotel phone across the room and leapt over to it.

Pleasant front desk lady, "Good morning.  Your car has arrived." 

Me, "Huh?"  I'm more clueless than Alicia Silverstone.

Helpful front desk lady, "You're at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel Philadelphia and your car has arrived."

Me, "What?!"  I haven't actually woken up yet and still have no idea why I'm at this hotel or why my car has arrived.  I'll admit that I thought she meant my Mariner had somehow magically appeared in Philadelphia.  Because, you know, that happens to me all the time.  Pesky Mariner.

 Patient front desk lady, "Your driver is waiting in the lobby.  He'll take you to the airport for your 7:15am flight to Boston."  The hotel is very helpful and had already printed my boarding pass for me.

Ding, ding, ding!  "OH!  I'll be right there!"  **Forehead slap**

I slammed down the phone, glanced at all my stuff laying around the room, realized that my coworkers must be wondering where I am, and called one of their cell phones.

Me, "Um, my alarm didn't go off.  I guess I'll throw my s--- in my bags and come down?"

Coworker, "Yes, throw your s--- in your bags and get down here."

So, that's what I did.  I gathered my crap, shoved it in my bags, and ran out of there in my PJs and flip flops.  No bathroom break, no glance in the mirror, no one last look around the room to make sure I wasn't missing anything, no arranging my items for efficient security screening, nothing.  I told myself that as long as I had my driver's license I could get home and anything else could be replaced.  I wish I believed it.  I'm a 'put a letter in the blue mailbox and reopen the mailbox flap to make sure it went down' kind of gal.  I fought the urge to make the elevator go back to the 11th floor and proceeded onward to my walk of shame through the gleaming lobby into the gleaming towncar.  Do you know how ridiculous I felt getting out of the towncar at the airport with my unbrushed hair, pillow lined face, and PJs while other bright eyed and appropriately dressed business travelers looked ready to step into a boardroom?  I will not make that mistake again!  Probably. 

I've been home since Thursday afternoon but am still getting back on track at work and home.  You should hear more from Jake and I on here soon.  Jake did a great job at keeping all our household and dog stuff under control while I was gone but he's happy I'm back.  :)  Max gave up on looking for me the first night because he's a bright little guy.  Brewster just didn't get it, never gave up looking, and has been staying close to me since I got home.   

Any who, we've got lots to share from our recent adventures in Old Orchard Beach and Kennebunkport.  This weekend we're going to Boston on the Downeaster.  It's my favorite way to visit Boston because we can play travel Scrabble!  We're going to let the weather help shape our plans when the day comes.  I'm just hoping to keep it simple by visiting a museum and eating something unusual for lunch.  The Carnival of Madness tour we've been looking forward to for months will finally be stopping in Maine next Saturday.  Yay!  I am so excited!  We've seen these bands before so I know it'll be a fun time.  You can read about a concert we went to in May here (different bands but it's also the first real post that I ever wrote). 

I don't like posts without photos so here's a random photo I took of a boardwalk amusement park ride in Old Orchard Beach.  I need dramaine just looking at it.  This does not look fun to me!
Oh and here's another photo from right before when the ride was still working on reaching its full height and speed (click to enlarge).  Random stuff was flying off these people.

I look forward to catching up on what all of you have been up to since last week.  I hope you've been enjoying this summer as much as I am!  :)

P.S. Our porch sheets project came in third in the Iron Crafter challenge.  :)  The next secret ingredient is
Knobs and Hinges.  The competition starts July 26th so get your projects ready!

Shutter Love Tuesday - Faces

This week's Shutter Love Tuesday's theme this week is Faces. 

Here's Bru with her "No, I won't stand up" face!  :)


Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday and we're semi-finalists!

Happy Friday!  This week we're participating in New Friend Friday, Blog Hop Friday, and Friendly Friday Follow.  All comments and followers are welcome and we'll do all follow backs by Tuesday.  We're interested in all sorts of things so please don't be shy.  Leave us a comment so we know you were here! :)

This week at Welcome Sunshine Home...
1.  Our outdoor curtains project here was selected as a semi-finalist in the Iron Crafter Challenge.  If you like what you see, you can vote for us here until 12AM CST Friday July 8th (we're project #7).  I must admit that I'm a competitor at heart so I would love to win!  :)

2. We joined the Shutter Love Tuesday - 4th of July themed party here.

Twilight Newlyweds

3. Jake shared info about tankless hot water on demand here that we learned during our trip to the Maine Home & Design show here
Rinnai R94LSi Tankless Water Heater Natural gas

4. I professed my love for drive-in movies and talked about our recent experiences here.  :)

5.  Yesterday was our two month blogging anniversary.  Many thanks to all of you for making this such a fun hobby for Jake and I to share!  :)

Next week, I'll be traveling for work...Do you have any restaurant recommendations for Philadelphia?

Enjoy the weekend!

New Friend Fridays

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Drive-in Movies

I love watching movies at the drive-in!  We're lucky enough to have a few different drive-ins near us and one of them even offers two screens.  Last Friday night we went to screen 1 at the Bridgton Twin Drive-In Theatre to see Grown Ups and The A-Team.  We had such a fun time that we went back to screen 2 the next night to see Toy Story 3 and Prince of Persia.  Then, we went again this past Friday and saw Eclipse and Letters to Juliet.

The shows start at dark so we were driving there during sunsets.  We couldn't resist stopping to take in the scenery at a few stops along the way and enjoyed some live music in Naples (Max really liked it).
Here's our drive-in movies "must haves" list...
  • cash
  • bug spray
  • lots of pillows and blankets
  • popcorn, junior mints, gummy bears, and diet coke
  • dog bones and cookies (aka bribes)
We positioned the truck so we could watch the screen out the back window and sunk into our big pile of pillows and blankets. 
I tested the limits of my camera's Night setting and zoom.  This is Jessica Biel in The A-Team.
We saw a trailer for the next Harry Potter movie before Eclipse!
Do you have a drive-in movie theater near you?  What's the last movie you saw (at the drive-in or otherwise)?

P.S. If you're a drive-in rookie, don't forget to let your vehicle run between the two movies so your battery stays charged!  :)

Hot and Tankless

Hey there, Jake's here today.

At the Maine Home & Design show (I wrote about here), we talked with a local energy company about the benefits of tankless hot water.  I’ve been interested in tankless hot water heaters for a while.  It seems like a fairly simple way to save energy and money. 
Rinnai R94LSi Tankless Water Heater Natural gas

With a traditional water heater, a large tank of water is constantly kept warm regardless of whether you need it or not. We generally need hot water available during a one hour time frame each morning and evening. For us, this means we only need to draw warm water 2 hours every day but our water is heated 24 hours a day. It is always kicking on 10-12 and using up our oil in the process. A tankless hot water heater works on demand. It heats the water as it travels through the unit on its way to the tap so it runs when your hot water tap is running.

Cash in the bank and it's better for the environment. Is it too good to be true?  Since we were talking to sales people at the design show, I did some research on Consumer Reports too.  The sales team indicated that the cost of an installed tankless water heater would be about $2,300 and Consumer Reports is in the same ball park.  The sales team and Consumer Reports messages regarding efficiency and cost savings were not in sync. Where the sales team indicated that we may be able to recoup our costs under five years, Consumer Reports suggests that on average it would probably take about 20 years to break even.  In our case, the difference in opinions mostly had to do with our individual scenario.  Since it is just the two of us there is not a lot of need for hot water and our heating system is about 15 years old, we would have a higher than average savings through efficiency.

Investing over $2,000 upfront for a tankless hot water heater is not for everyone.  What really got my attention at the home show was a rental program this particular energy company offers. For $35 a month, you can rent a tankless hot water heater.  There are no installation costs and no future maintenance/repair costs for this rental program option.  Consumer Reports stated an average savings of $80/month so if you fall into that category, you could potentially be more environmentally friendly and save yourself some money in the long run.  I think this program is excellent and demonstrates a level of responsibility, I'd like to see of more corporations.  If you can afford to buy a tankless hot water unit, don’t forget to look into available tax credits.

I would never suggest that someone throw a properly functioning water heater into a landfill in the name of energy efficiency or the bottom line.  Hot water on demand should be considered when it's time to replace current systems or during new construction. 

 If you have tankless hot water on demand, do you like it?  What's your biggest pro/con? 

If you don't have tankless hot water, would you consider switching?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shutter Love - 4th of July

Jake and I sorted through dozens of photos we took while celebrating the 4th of July this weekend.  There were other contenders to include today but we kept coming back to this one.  We hope you enjoy it too.  I love the dreamy quality and Jake said, "It looks cool." 
These Independence Day newlyweds were celebrating at Kennebunk Beach while we waited for the fireworks to start.  It was dark out!  It was dumb luck that I caught their photographer's flash, of course.   :)

Here it is without any cropping or retouching (click to enlarge).

Twilight Newlyweds

Just for fun, I'll also share the song that popped into my head... "Get outta my dreams, Get into my car..." hehe


Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday and Award

Friday is here!  We're getting ready to enjoy a nice, long weekend and hope you are too.  This week we're participating in New Friend Friday, Blog Hop Friday, and Friendly Friday Follow.  All comments and followers are welcome and we'll do all follow backs by Tuesday.  We're interested in all sorts of things so please don't be shy.  Leave us a comment so we know you were here! :)

This week at Welcome Sunshine Home...
1.  Jake shared a simple game for all ages here.  This is great on a hot day!
2.  You can see our sunset picnic at the beach here.  I love picnics!  :)
3.  We joined the I Heart Faces photo challenge for the first time here.
4.  The HGTV Green Home winner was announced this week.  You can find out who won and revisit our tour of the house here.  I loved so many things in this house but today I'm crushing on this recycled sunburst mirror.  I'm still thinking about how I can make a DIY version...
5.  I revealed our front porch makeover and gave an outdoor curtain tutorial here.  This is so much nicer to come home to after long days at the office.  What do you think?
***UPDATE: We're a semi-finalist in The Iron Crafter Sheets and Pillowcases competition!  If you like what you see, you can vote for us here until Friday at midnight (we're project #7).*** 

6.  We received a blog award that I'm announcing right now!  :)
Dania from Life As A Cuban Mama choose us as one of her five recipients for The Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :) Please take some time to stop over and visit her.  I love her button!
When accepting The Versatile Blogger Award you share seven things about yourself and pass the award on to at least 5 bloggers you've recently discovered and think are fantastic. Here we go...

Seven things about Jake
1. I am a die hard New England sports fan.
2. I was installing shelves in our bathroom during the Super Bowl this year.
3. My favorite birthday present ever is the plasma TV in our living room. See #1.
4. I enjoy speaking in TV and movie quotes.
5. My sister calls me a home wrecker because I split infinitives.
6. I plan to become Alison's personal driver when she moves far enough up the corporate ladder. We commute together daily now so it'd just be making it official.  See Alison's #6 below.
7. I put dirty dishes in the sink. Two feet from the dishwasher.  See Alison's #7 below to find out why.

Seven things about me (Alison)
1. I love sunshine! I want to be like all the retired folk (aka Snowbirds) that summer in New England and take winter in Florida.
2. Scrabble is my all time favorite board game and I like to win. Apples to Apples and Cranium are great fun too.
3. I bought two houses with my college sweetheart (Jake, of course, you silly heads) in the five years before we were married.
4. I love to have several projects going at once.
5. I crave spontaneity and can't find routines to fall into consistently at home (housework, cooking, exercise, etc).
6. My new 'corporate title' at work is Vice President.  I've worked my way up from being a part-time teller during college.  See Jake's #6 above.
7. I use whatever clean dishes I need straight from the dishwasher instead of unloading it. 

Now we have the task of presenting this award to several blogs who we've recently discovered and think are pretty fantastic. In no particular order:

Life Spent Wagging
5 Minutes Just for Me
Road Dog Tales
a and w
One Guy in a House of Girls

Remember...there are a few "rules" that come with accepting The Versatile Blogger Award (simply right click and copy image above):
1. Thank the person/people who gave it to you.
2. Tell seven random things about yourself
3. Pass the award on to 5-15 bloggers whom you have recently discovered and think are fantastic.  Don't forget to let them know! :)

Thanks again to Dania for choosing us! :)

New Friend Fridays

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