Sunday, December 26, 2010


As has become a holiday tradition, I (Mary) once again flew to Pensacola for a quick trip to visit Jessica and Brady and meet up with a few other friends for the holidays, and then headed to Birmingham to spend time with my family there. Shannon and Riley met us on Christmas Eve and even though the week flew by - we had a wonderful time seeing everyone! We leave for Israel soon (delayed due to snow), so stay tuned!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I had a committee meeting in DC on Friday, so Christine came down from Boston to meet me and we made a weekend of it. A good idea in theory. Until snow in ATL made for a ground-stop affecting most of Delta's fleet and we couldn't gegt home on Sunday. Luckily Christine's siter lives nearby in Baltimore and was kind enough to pick us up at Greenbelt and give us a cozy bed for the night. We made it home Monday instead.
We still had a really fun trip - we ate delicious food (of course!), and saw the sights all holidayed up for the season. And we took part in santarchy dc, which was super fun!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I had meetings at the NIH today - just a quick trip, in and out in the same day. Getting pretty used to spending time at National! ;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


In DC for just 2 days for work. One of my favorite places to visit for sure. The metro system is fabulous, and the historic scenery wonderful. It was a quick trip, but I was struck by the kind airport workers, both here in ATL (Delta gate agent), and in security at DCA. One listed me on his flight so I didn't have to run to another gate, and the other offered to mail my postcards so I didn't have to go back through security :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010


A quick day-trip to round out the fab 4 for a holiday weekend brunch! I also got to catch up with the Lee fam, who are fabulous as always. It was great to see everyone and a great use of my flight benefits on a busy weekend :) Happy Labor Day all!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Does it really even count if I never saw outside the hotel?

From airport to train - underground mall to hotel and back again the next day.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010


We had our trolling reunion trip this weekend with some of our fave trolls from college. Natasha was kind enough to host us at her parents' place in Gulf Shores. The trip actually began as an elaborate fly-in in an exotic locale, but we may have gotten a little out of hand. Just as Plan A was losing steam, N magically remembered the condo on the beach and we jumped for joy and set a date.

this was happening.

Ah well, what can you do?

The oil was everywhere, so we couldn't really go swimming, or walk on the beach for very long, but we found plenty of other things to do - including shopping, eating, TV-watching (of course), chatting, and playing games. We had an awesome time visiting with everyone, and in the end I think we were all glad we got to see the impact our own greed has had on one of our favorite places.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I (MW) was in Fort Worth for my annual research meeting this past weekend, and I had a blast! It was my first in the city, and it's just adorable - so friendly and very quaint. I just loved it. I would definitely go back for a quiet weekend getaway. We stayed at the Worthington Renaissance, and it was just a wonderful property. Of course it helps that I had a super pimp room, but it's a great location too. Right in Sundance Square, you walk out the doors and you're surrounded by great restaurants with rooftop bars, cute shops, art museums and concert halls, etc. etc.

We got in Thursday, so Damian and I did some shopping before our pre-con meeting. Some of our favorites were Leddy's, EarthBones and Retro Cowboy. During our pre-con, they toasted our meeting with a Sunrise/Sunset - which is just cranberry juice and champagne - but I'd never had it before. It was delish! So festive and yummy. That evening a group of us had dinner at Del Frisco's (of course!). And it was awesome. And very Texas. ;)

Friday was all-day meeting, but that evening we had dinner at Billy Bob's Texas - it was a total blast! We raced armadillos, compared handprints with country music celebrities and got this awesome photo on a bucking bronco. Saturday and Sunday - meetings all day and then on to the airport, passing (but unfortunately not stopping at!) several Whataburgers, making my mouth water... mmmm...

It was a great trip and a very successful meeting - I'm looking forward to going back!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


We traveled down to the beach for Michael & Elizabeth's wedding and made a long weekend out of it because we were long overdue for a break! It. was. FABULOUS.

We arrived Thursday and headed straight to the beach for a long walk, followed by a swim, pizza and a movie. We even took Riley on a nighttime crab-hunting expedition, which she of course loved. Perfect! :)

Friday we rented a catamaran and took to the open seas! We saw a few playful porpoises and they even gave us a tail-splash or two. It was awesome, and Shannon was a natural! We had a great lunch at the Back Porch, and then headed back out on the boat. Friday night we attended Michael & Elizabeth's rehearsal dinner for a super fun low country boil.

On Saturday we had a leisurely day. after sleeping in, we laid out by the pool with bloody mary in hand. Later we played some fun games at the resort, including disc golf, which Shannon of course won! That afternoon, we attended Michael & Elizabeth's wedding on the beach, which was absolutely gorgeous!

On Sunday, we had a great brunch with the fam in honor of Mother's Day (and Mom's bday of course!) at Another Broken Egg. Then we packed up the doggies and headed back to the ATL. We had gorgeous weather the whole time, and it was such a great trip!

You can see photos from our beach adventure here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I (MW) had meetings in Chicago this weekend, and my BFF Julie tagged along for the ride. We had an absolute blast! I went in a day early so we'd have some downtime before I had to work Friday and Saturday. We arrived Thursday and had a delicious deep dish pizza at Pizano's, followed by an awesome architectural boat tour on the river. We got some really great photos (of course) and had a great time! We also visited the bean (no trip to Chicago is fun without it;) and the rest of millennium park, enjoyed two of my faves - garrett's popcorn and argo tea, and rounded off the day with a fabulous dinner with Naama and Katie at cibo matto, the new restaurant at the Wit.

On Friday, I had to work but Julie headed over to Willis Tower and braved the glass-bottomed observation cubes and got some really great photos before the storms set in. She saw a movie with some of her new friends (I work with some awesome girlies I tell ya) and they had a nice dinner and I met up with them
later in the hotel bar for drinks with an old friend who now lives in Milwaukee and drove in to see us!

On Saturday, after my meetings, Jules and I hung out with Naams and Erin for a bit, and then grabbed a late lunch and headed to the airport, only to find all flights to Atlanta had been canceled due to inclement weather (in Atlanta - tornadoes and all). So we headed BACK to the hotel, watched a movie, and then had a great dinner at Carmine's with Katie, Naama and Erin. Julie's buddy pass chances were shot to hell with all the cancellations on Saturday, so she ended up booking a cheap one-way back to Atlanta and headed out at 5 am. Naams and I followed at 9:45 and we all arrived safe and happy in Atlanta to sleep in our own beds once again.

It was a really fun weekend and I'm so glad my bestie got to come along and spend some much-needed time in her favorite city!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Quick in-and-out for work trip this Fri - Sat in Dallas. Of note were the Erykah Badu scandal, and a delicious seafood dinner on Good Friday at Pappadeaux's. Peer review meeting on Saturday and then back home just in time for a beautiful Easter with my beautiful hubby!

~ Mary

Monday, March 29, 2010


I (Mary) flew to Chicago for a meeting this weekend and had a total blast - see the full report here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


On Tuesday we arrived in beautiful San Francisco to find gorgeous sunny skies and mild weather. It was right around lunchtime, and Shannon had found a great sandwich shop with a cult following so we checked it out and we certainly weren’t disappointed! The place is called Ike’s, and they have a pages long menu of creative sandwich combos with equally creative sandwich names.

After a quick lunch, we headed off on our trek, via the golden gate bridge so Naams could check it out up close for the first time. We snapped a few pics, walked out to get the full experience, and then hopped back in the car for our scenic drive to Napa Valley. After only 2 ;) navigating snafus (you’re welcome Shannon), we made it to the Silverado resort, our home away from home for the week. After checking in, we joined Tiffany for a delicious dinner at Bouchon where we had some of the most delicious oysters ever! And some really great french cuisine as well. Not to mention the protiferoles! Yum :)

On Wednesday, we headed over to Yountville to rent bikes for the day and after some pointers from the shop attendant, we set out on our 10-mile route, which we thought we’d so cleverly mapped out on google maps, only to find it highlighted in blue on the shop’s map. Ha! We took our time, snapping plenty of photos along the way, and stopped off for picnic supplies at Oakville Grocery – I love a good sandwich, so no big surprise that this was actually my favorite meal of the week! ;) About halfway through our route, we stopped off for a tasting at Saddleback Cellars in Oakville. We were able to meet the owner, Nils Venge, and our wonderful sommelier, Bob "The Colonel" took us through a flight of eight wines, throwing in a few extras he had open, including a delicious Gewurtztraminer, which I promptly fell in love with. It's a beautiful full-bodied wine, full of fruits and florals, with a great hint of lychee that is just delightful. We visited and took our time and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. We hopped back on our bikes to complete our ride and enjoyed breathtaking views of the valley as we climbed up our last hill for an easy ride back to Yountville. We stopped for a quick break and made a little video to share with you all. Hope you like it :) After our full day of fun, we opted for a quick dinner in the hotel restaurant and called it a night.

On Thursday, Mary actually had to work (go figure!), so Shannon made a trip out to Point Reyes, the windiest point in the continental U.S., to break in his weasel. Unfortunately, the wind was not cooperating that day, but Shan still enjoyed the beautiful park, seals and all.

On Friday it was supposed to be rainy, so while Mary had meetings most of the day, Shannon checked out the local Napa County Airport. Before dinner we checked out the Napa Valley Olive Oil Company in St. Helena at a co-worker's recommendation and stocked up on their delicious oil and balsamics. We managed to squeeze in a tasting along the way to dinner at Louis M. Martini, and it was quite a treat - awesome cabs! Next we headed to a wonderful dinner at Merryvale Vineyards, where he had a tour and tasting, and then sat to dinner in their dramatic cask room, surrounded by enormous French oak barrels and beautiful candlelight.

Saturday morning Shannon drove out to Thornton beach to give the Weasel another try - this time it panned out and he joined a couple other R/C friends for a great day of flying. You can check out the videos here. Mary, Naama and David swung by Miner Family Wines – nestled on a hillside along the Silverado Trail in Oakville with a great view of the valley from their elevated tasting room, followed by a quick tasting (with a sommelier from Marietta!) at the quaint Elizabeth Spencer tasting room, which is inside the former post office - so cute. Finally, we met up with Shannon for a delicious dinner at ad hoc restaurant where we were treated to an absolute feast of fried chicken, short ribs and all the fixins!

On Sunday, we slept in and after breakfast drove out to Rutherford Hill Winery which is on a hillside with a great view of the valley. This is a popular winery for tasting, touring, and a picnic lunch. The winery has great tours, which include a visit to their amazing mile long cave system. Here's a nice video of our guide Jack talking about part of the process and pouring us a taste of cab funk. There are several different picnic areas to choose from, including one hidden among olive trees. It is quiet and provides a good view of the Napa Valley below. Mary tasted a raw olive a la Mike Rowe (see the hilarious video here), only to discover he was right ;) After a long but fabulous week, we were pretty beat, so we had an early dinner @ Mustard’s in Yountville (which was delicious), checked out their garden and took the long way home, winding through narrow mountain roads. We picked up a bottle of Domaine Chandon sparkling wine and some local chocolates to enjoy fireside for dessert back ‘home.’

It was such beautiful country, and a wonderful trip. We're certainly happy to be home and know of a certain chi baby who is glad we're back too :)

Now we can't wait for our shipment of oils and wine to arrive later this week! And after reading some pretty extravagant wine descriptions, we're very excited about writing our own... you can bet it will be every bit as ridiculous as we are ;) PS - you can view all our photos from the trip here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


We've been wanting to go on a short day trip, just to get out of the city for a day and explore a nearby place so this past Sunday we made the short drive down to Macon to check out their historic downtown. Armed with maps and walking tours, and brochures galore, we arrived to find the city desolate and every establishment closed. Not to be defeated, and with good weather on our side, we checked out a few of the historic buildings (even though we couldn't go in!) and of course took PLENTY of photos ;) We abandoned our 'walking tour' and decided to drive around and see what there was to see. We did find a pretty neat park, and even though there were no humans nearby, we had the company of a few hundred birds, which was pretty magical. from there, we checked out the historic Rose Hill Cemetery, and it made our day!

The cemetery stretches for 50+ acres and joins with two others, creating endless browsing of centuries old grave sites with some really beautiful markers and statuaries. There's a great Web site which does an awesome job of documenting the cemetery here. We took a couple hundred photos and wandered the grounds, finding a very special area down in a valley which contained a little creek and a few gravesites built into the side of the hill there. There was even a staircase down to the river.

>> This monument intrigued us, especially since people had filled her hand with coins and there were candles on her grave, but we figured it wasn't likely it was the attention of living relatives since the 12-year-old girl buried there died way back in 1896. We looked it up, and turns out she inspired an Allman Brothers song (they're from Macon). Pretty cool right? You can read about it here.

All in all, we had a fun time and made a great find in Macon! You can see photos from our trip here.