Thursday, May 21, 2009

Portland, Maine

Last weekend Michael and I decided to take a day trip up to Portland, Maine, just a 1 1/2 drive from Beverly. We both want to explore more of New England and are trying to do so little by little. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't our best friend: cloudy, chilly and overcast. We managed to fight hard, though, and successfully enjoyed this fun port town. Below are some pictures of our adventures.

We ate lunch at this cute little eclectic burrito stop, Wild Burritos. Go figure- Michael has to find his mexican everywhere! :)

And when I said eclectic, I meant it!

We then meandered around town, checking out all the "hot spots", the water, the good shopping, and pretty much all downtown Portland had to offer. Here is a rundown of our trip in pictures: The Portland Market, which unfortunately was not open.

Coffee stop at Arabica! Local coffee shop, check! The owner must have gotten inspiration from Boone NC!

Checking out the views on the dock.

A cool side street...that is Michael in the orange shirt on the left.

More New England adventures to come later this summer!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Andrew & Suz's Wedding

This past weekend Lynn and I were down in Charlotte for Andrew & Suz's wedding. Andrew and I have been great friends since the day Stuart and I moved in to Justice Hall freshman year at Appalachian State. We have seen each other through a lot of classes, relationships, and experiences together over these six years. I was recalling he & Suz's story yesterday with Lynn, just thinking how unique it is, since they were good friends growing up in Charlotte, but didn't become a couple until their last year in college. After college they were long distance for a while like Lynn and I were, so I know the joy Andrew is feeling this week just being in the same place with his wife!One of the fun things about the weekend was interacting with his family and seeing friends from ASU. It was Lynn and my first time seeing friends since the wedding, so it was a new experience for us, and a joy to be able to swap newlywed stories with friends. Friday night we had a good ol' country rehersal dinner with BBQ, Sweet Tea, and Line Dancing. It was the first time I can remember where I was more excited to dance than Lynn... it could have been Andrew's jean shorts, or it may have just been being back in the south that put me in the mood to dance.

I echo the sentiments of one guy at the rehersal dinner who said he was jealous that Suz gets to marry Andrew. While I won't go as far as to say that, especially in public, I will say I know what he means. As someone who lived with Andrew for two years, I know there will definitely be a lot of laughs and adventures in the new Willis home! Congrats Andrew & Suz!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A New Jersey/NYC Weekend

This past weekend we visited New Jersey and New York to celebrate the wedding of my cousin, Matthew Ruggieri, to Kristin Williams. It was a great weekend of joy, fun, laughter and family time together. For the first time since my grandfather’s funeral in 2004, all of Joseph and Josephine Ruggieri’s children and grandchildren were together in one place. It was nice for this to happen on a joyous occasion! Here a few snapshots from the Friday night wedding:

On Saturday, my immediate family decided to head into NYC for the day to spend some quality time together. After stopping by Joe and Kerry’s apartment, we went to Chelsea Market, a unique new spot with a plethora of restaurants and food shops. Just above the market was the Food Network Studio, so needless to say I was happy :) We ate at a nice brunch place and celebrated Mother’s Day with our Mom. “Us all just being together” was the greatest gift for her.

After walking through the city and doing a little shopping, we met our good family friends, the Dinizio’s, at Joe & Kerry’s apartment for some appetizers and the American Idol Wii game. This was quite the hit, and I don’t think I have laughed so hard in weeks- especially for the first timers Mom and Cathy. We then headed over to Brooklyn, via walking the Brooklyn Bridge, to wait in line at Grimaldi’s Pizza. And let me tell you, this was worth the 1 1/2 hour wait. Amazing pizza, lots of laughter, tight quarters = a fantastic dinner. After squeezing ice cream into our bellies, we walked back over the Brooklyn Bridge to catch the tail end of the Celtics game, whose “W” made a nice endcap to the evening.

All in all, never underestimate a weekend with the Ruggieri family- you will never leave wishing you had more fun. We were sad to leave but excited about the next time we can all be together again!