About two weeks before Christmas I started having a nagging cough. I went through about 5 bags of cough drops. It was pretty annoying being sick during Christmas, parties, etc. but I hung in there. Then this past Sunday I threw up and started having the runs which I’ve had pretty much non-stop since. Then I finally went to the doctor (yesterday) and on my way I broke out in hives. I am taking two different pills (one for cough and one for upper respiratory infection) and two different inhalers (nasal and oral). Then about a half an hour ago I broke out in hives 10 times worse than the first time and am itching all over. Anyway, not looking for sympathy as I know I’m surely not the only person sick. Just trying to distract myself from the itching for a few minutes.
I don’t think it’s working.
Well, happy new year everybody! I had a fantastic 2008 (except for the sickness) and am feeling very blessed. My awesome wife got all A’s for her first semester at Vanderbilt. She’s been on break, which has been nice. Enjoy the holiday and please be safe.
P.S. I did manage to make and enjoy a very nice Christmas dinner with Ronee. You can check out some pictures here.
Since we shut off our digital cable I have not been able to watch any hockey games this season. A huge bummer. I also have not been able to attend any games. But my awesome wife gave me my Christmas present early, which was a 3 game pack of tickets. I’m going tonight to see the Predators Vs NY Islanders. I’m excited to go, despite being a bit under the weather.
If you like to laugh then you will enjoy this video my boss and friend Mike made for me and my co-workers.
Friday the 21st I turned 40. The previous week I got a new tattoo to celebrate. You can check out a picture of that here. It was a collaboration by Josh Woods and Steve Martin at Black 13 here in Nashville at Cummins Station. That was the nicest shop I have ever been in. I encourage you to check it out. Josh and Steve both worked on the drawing and the tattoo it self – taking turns. It was a cool experience and I love the tattoo.
Anyway, we got up about 4am and left for Pennsylvania. Everything on the drive went smooth except for Harrisburg, PA where snow had turned to ice on the roadway. Ronee had to drive about 1 mph for over an hour. The only accident I have ever been in was when I was in the Army in Germany…and it was on ice. Not a fan of ice on the roadway. We saw a horrible crushed car and a truck in a ditch which did not alleviate my anxiety for the white knuckle ride we were on. Eventually we made it through and arrived safely in Mount Bethel, PA at the beautiful home of our friends Phebe and Jon. Phebe is a childhood friend of Ronee’s and they were Maid’s Of Honor in each other’s weddings. Phebe made an incredible dinner with pasta, chicken, salad and more. She also made a delicious chocolate ice cream cake for me.
The next day we drove into NYC. We were having a little get together for my birthday at Lombardi’s which is the first pizzeria in the United States, founded in 1905! It is in Manhattan in Little Italy. We waited for about an hour, but it was well worth the wait. The pizza was absolutely delicious. You can check out some pictures here and here. The Lacay’s (Phebe and Jon) and us were joined by Ronee’s parents (The Cozza’s) and Gerard, Mickie and Hannah DeMatteo. Gerard was the pastor who performed our wedding ceremony. After we were were warmed and well fed we headed over to Ferrara’s (since 1892), a pastry shop, also located in Little Italy. We enjoyed some wonderful pastries and cannoli’s and then we all headed our separate ways.
Later on we went to the AT&T store so Ronee could get a new iPhone as her phone died. Lucky girl has a better phone than me!
Sunday morning Jon and Phebe treated us to an incredible breakfast. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and played pool and mahjong. After some shopping at the mall and a cool store called Five Below (I got a couple knit caps) we had a wonderful dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse.
Monday morning we had another great breakfast with the Lacay’s and then took off for Ronee’s parents house in New Jersey. On the way we stopped in to surprise Ronee’s mom Susan at work. She works at Whole Foods. Check out the fresh pasta. For dinner we had homemade beef stew (holy cow) and rosemary sourdough bread (love it) from Whole Foods.
Tuesday Ronee and I did some clothes shopping (well, I did) at The Garden State Plaza. I picked up some jeans, cargo pants and a cool long sleeve polo shirt at Old Navy. Later on we picked up our friend Jessica and went to Dunkin Donuts to hang out.
Wednesday morning I went to Target for a little more clothes shopping (birthday money to burn and no tax on clothes in New Jersey! I got another pair of jeans and a flannel shirt. Jessica came over and we had some food and some of the Pumpkin Cheesecake (wow) that Ronee’s mom got for me for my birthday. As the evening went on Aunt Karen and the girls (Nicole and Gianna) came by for a visit and then Jay (Ronee’s brother), Asia and baby Jason came up.
Thursday was, of course, Thanksgiving. Ronee and I got up at 4am because we were going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in the city! We drove over to Aunt Karen and Uncle Ricky’s house and rode into NYC with them and the girls. We arrive at 54th and Broadway around 6am (the parade starts at 9am) and we put our chairs right on the street. We got some breakfast at a nearby McDonalds and tried not to freeze while we waited for the parade to start. Everybody thought we were crazy for going and camping out. But it was really fun and the parade and the giant balloons was cool. It really put me in the holiday mood. I took a TON of pictures which I plan on uploading later this week. Driving out of NYC was nuts and funny.
Back at home Ronee’s parents were hosting 18 people for a gigantic Thanksgiving dinner. All the family and our nephew’s were there. And there was of course a ton of food. Italian wedding soup, antipasto, turkey, sausage stuffing, cornbread stuffing (Ronee made that!), asparagus, beets, cranberry, mashed potatoes, bread, etc. For dessert there was apple pies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, canoli, pastries, cinnamon bundt cake, and a chocolate fountain with strawberries, pretzels, wafer cookies, etc. Yeah, holy cow! So much food. Ate and ate and ate and then ate some more.
Friday we mostly spent time at home with family and relaxed and tried to recover from all the food.
Saturday we had breakfast with the family, packed up our stuff and leftovers in a cooler and hit the road. The drive back took about 14 plus hours and was not too fun. It was raining most of the way. We made it home about 2:00am in the morning.
This was such a great vacation and it was fun to see all the family and friends back in Jersey. Ronee and I’s earliest dating and holidays were in New York and with her family. So being back there always brings back a lot of fond memories. We did not get to see everybody we wanted as there is never enough time. But all in all it was a super great time and a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday and Thanksgiving.
We just enjoyed a nice dinner with the leftovers after putting up our Christmas tree (a live Douglas Fir from Lowe’s). The holidays have officially begun!
You can check out photos from the trip here. More to be added later this week!