Archive for the 'Melissa' Category

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

What a great weekend! We just returned from spending the weekend up north at Chris and Tracey’s cabin. It’s the first time Kylie and I have been there in almost 10 years, and it’s the first time for Melissa! We had a really good time, the kids all got to play together and the adults got to relax a bit. Even though it was a long weekend the time still went by really fast. The drive up and back took a bit longer than they normally would due to the holiday traffic, but luckily there were no real standing points, just congestion and slow downs. We are already talking about trying to find some more time to go back up this summer. Not sure if we are going to be able to or not, but we definitely won’t wait another ten years to get up there!

Beauty and the Beast

Tonight Melissa and I finally celebrated our second anniversary by going to see the musical Beauty and the Beast at the Fox Theater. We first went back to Angelo Brother’s for dinner and enjoyed some delicious Italian food. Afterwards we drove down to the Fox and luckily found a pretty good parking spot. I say luckily because there was also a Tigers game going on at the same time, so the city was even more busy than usual. It was a short walk to the theater from where we parked but it was a beautiful evening so the walk was rather enjoyable. Even though we arrived early the lobby of the Fox was already very busy. We had plenty of time to wait in line to pick up some souvenirs, Melissa was very happy that they had a full color souvenir program as she has begun collecting them from the events we go to, and then make our way to our seats. The show itself was very good. The way the stage and props were constructed so that buildings and set pieces were easily moved and served multiple purposes was great. The colors in the outfits were very vibrant, and the characters were all amazing. I can’t imagine portraying a candle stick or feather duster is an easy task, but they were incredible. I was amazed, however, at how many people appeared to show up late. I’ve attended many plays and musicals and never have I seen so many empty seats at the start of the show and so many people trickle in after the show had begun. There were a few seats in front of us that were empty until after the intermission, and then there was only another 30 minutes left of the show! Regardless, it was a great night for Melissa and I and we are very happy we had the opportunity to see this musical. Happy Anniversary Melissa, I love you!  

My Love Gets Older

Happy Birthday to my beautiful wife, Melissa!

To celebrate we had dinner at Angelo Brothers, a small Italian restaurant up the road. Seeing as Italian is Melissa’s favorite and there is no Olive Garden around (which I am kind of thankful for) we decided to give this place a try. I thought the food was excellent, and in my opinion, better than the previously mentioned chain. Not only was the main course excellent, but the homemade cannoli we had for dessert was also exceptional. After dinner we took a trip over to Best Buy where I purchased Melissa a new Dell Inspiron 11 3000 in Bali Blue to replace the ASUS Tablet that I had originally purchased but was defective. Afterwards we came home to configure her new laptop, watch some TV, and relax together. I look forward to many more years with you, my love. Happy Birthday.



Today we went out to the Wharton Center to see Riverdance, and it was amazing! It’s hard to believe that this show has already been performing for 20 years! Kylie loved seeing the dancing, and when she realized that they were doing Ballet, Pointe, and Tap all at the same time, she loved it even more.

We purchased a program on the way in, and because Kylie was with us the guy at the souvenir stand gave us the heads up that the woman 2016-04-02 16.21.20(Natia) we had purchased the program from was one of the dancers, and that if we asked she would sign it for us! So off we went to have it signed, and in doing so she pointed us to another dancer (Mariia) who also signed it! Then Mariia gave us the heads up that if we went around to the stage door after the show that we could have the program signed by the cast of the show!

So after an amazing show we asked the Wharton Center staff and they directed us around to the stage door out back and we waited, in the snow, for the performers to come out, and we are super glad we did! There were only two other families who were waiting so we got to interact with many of the dancers and crew, get autographs, and even a couple of pictures. They JONeill_Tweet were all so kind, happy, and thankful that we waited out in the cold and snow just for the opportunity to meet them. The highlight is this picture of Kylie with Jason O’Neill (Twitter), the principal dancer for the show! We even tweeted him after, and he replied! I can’t overstate how incredible it was to see this show live. If it ever comes through the area again, and we have the opportunity, I am certain we will go! We weren’t allowed to take any pictures inside of the Wharton center theater, but we were able to take a few outside in the main area, and those pictures, along with the one above of Kylie and Jason, can be seen in the gallery here.

An Evening with the Stars

I’ve been a fan of astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson for a long time now. I frequently listen to his StarTalk Radio podcast and I absolutely loved his Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey series. I think very highly of Mr. Tyson and am inclined to stop and listen whenever I hear his voice, as I am certain what ever he is going to say is going to be both educational and entertaining to me. So it should come as no surprise that I was very happy that Melissa got me some tickets to see him live for Christmas, and even less of a surprise that I am very happy that tonight was the night that we finally got to see him at the Fox! It was an incredible night listening to him talk on many subjects as they relate to astrophysics and us as people. I have already decided that I would love to see him again if he ever comes back through town. Thank you Melissa for such an awesome gift and an incredible evening.

An Evening with the Orchestra

Melissa and I had a unique opportunity tonight to listen to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a small intimate setting in Southfield at Congregation Shaarey Zedek. I have seen this building from the road almost daily for the past 2 years now and while my thoughts were that it was a very attractive building that clearly had a religious affiliation, I did not know what it was until this event. It is as beautiful inside as it from the outside, and now that I know what it is, you can see images of it on Google. For their part, the DSO, was amazing! This is the first time that I can remember hearing a professional orchestra play as a standalone event, having heard that before with plays and musicals, and I have to admit that it is a completely different experience when what you are focusing on is the music and the players and not what it is accompanying. The acoustics within the building were a lot better than I had thought they were going to be as well. This experience has made me more aware of how enjoyable going to an orchestra event can be, and as such I am going to try to keep an eye on what performances they are doing, perhaps next time we will go see them at Orchestra Hall.

New Year’s Eve

Melissa and I decided to try a new restaurant tonight for our New Year’s Eve Dinner, and there is no shortage of those to choose from now that we live in a new area! For tonight we choose Hayden’s, which is only a few short miles from the house. It’s technically a bar and grill but it feels more like an upscale restaurant when you are there, though we may have been slightly over dressed. The atmosphere was very nice and relaxed, the staff was attentive and polite. The food was just ok in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, it was just ok. Considering the price of the entree’s I thought it would be a little more than it was. I will most likely give them another chance sometime down the road, once we explore all the other new places as well. Afterwards came home to enjoy a relaxing evening and our first New Year’s Eve in our new home.  

And We’re Out

We are officially finished with apartment living! We turned the keys over to the Roundtree office this morning and said our goodbyes to the place we have called home for the last 8 years. The only thing I think I am going to miss is the availability of a pool in the summer. I didn’t use it very often, but I spent many days down there watching Kylie swim and have fun. Otherwise, I am very much done with this place. The neighbors have been going downhill and the repeated damage to the motorcycle will most certainly not be missed! Though in all fairness the property staff have been great throughout the years, very responsive and always on top of things. We had until the end of the month, but we finished the cleaning and have gotten everything moved to the house, so we were more than happy to turn the keys over early. Goodbye apartment living, hopefully we never go back!

Large Items Moved

We are now one step closer to being fully moved into our new home! Today we had professional movers move the larger items that we could not, or did not want to, move ourselves. This was mainly the furniture items that would not fit into our vehicles; king sized bed and box spring, couches, kitchen table, etc. Everything got placed into the truck surprisingly fast, especially considering there were only two guys. They also unpacked the truck and moved everything into the new house fairly quickly as well. Though moving the king sized mattress upstairs caused some havoc and ripped the underside of the mattress. The company is going to send someone out to repair it in the next couple of days. Thankfully it shouldn’t impact us sleeping on it at all because it is the bottom of the mattress and not the pillow top. In any event we are now capable of staying in the house overnight for the first time and that much closer to turning in the keys to the apartment. We have a few small things to gather from their and some light cleaning to finish and then we are done!

Chim chiminey Chim chiminey

Chim chim cher-ee!

We had the chimney cleaned today in the new house, mainly because we didn’t know when the previous owners last had it cleaned, if ever, and wanted to have it inspected before we used it. I am glad we did because we discovered that we are going to need to replace the bottom damper because it doesn’t close properly. Additionally we will most likely have a top damper installed to help reduce the stack effect. On top of that we need a cover for the ash shoot, as that is missing as well. When we do all that we will also need to have some other repairs done to the chimney such as having some bricks replaced and even having the top cement reformed so it drips away from the opening. Currently this is going to run around $3000, and seeing as we don’t have that now, it will have to get put off until a later date. I just hope the delay doesn’t cause the price to go up too much do to further deterioration. I’m starting to see why being a homeowner can be so stressful!