Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back to the grind!

After such a great Holiday and so much fun with family and friends, it is back to work time for us.  However I am happy to report that with the coming and now going of this festive season The Busy Bryants will now be back up to getting out and seeing more of Virginia (and who knows where else).  We do have a small matter of New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, my birthday, and one open house to host....before the comings and goings....get going.  Last night while formulating some ideas about what we would like to do in January I started thinking about this last year and everything that has happened and all the places we have been.  I forget just how busy we are until I think back on all that we have done.

We welcomed in the year at Smith Mountain Lake.

We travelled to Williamsburg by ferry for Father's Day

We camped at Todd Lake

We visited Virginia Beach.

Mark and I had a weekend away in Leesburg.

Visited Manassas.

Hiked the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We biked the Virginia Creeper Trail.

We did a one day marathon wine tour in the Great Neck region.

Visited friends in Harrisonburg.

Took in some culture at a plantation.

Attended a few festivals.

Did I mention we visited a few wineries?

All in all it was a great year.  We made so many great memories and the good part is I have them documented on here for us to read about whenever we want to take a stroll down memory lane :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays everyone.  I've just been very busy this week getting ready for all the Christmas festivites.  I hope that you and your family are all together and able to share in the season. 

Here at the Bryant's there has been lots of baking, a little wine here and there, some mechanical work and a wrapping...ohhhhhhhhh the wrapping!

Pumpkin rolls

Peaks of Otter wine.

Lost Creek Wine

Mark putting Emma's gift together.

All decked out for the holidays.

That's only the half of it folks.

I made four of those pumpkin rolls.  A couple for our neighbors and then a couple for the house.  One will be saved for our open house on New Year's Day. 

All package up and ready to go.

We have celebrated Christmas once already with Mark's Grandma's house.  It was a fun day with family and food.

Emma probably enjoyed it the most.

I made time for a little crafting too.

I had to work hard peope to get those corks!

I hope everyone is having a great holiday.  I have been off from work for the most part and have been happy to play Marth Stewart.  We have enjoyed our time with or friends and family and hope that all of you are doing the same.  We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yay or Nay

New Kent's Patriot

Remember our trip to the New Kent Winery?  If not you can check out some of the details here.  On my second visit to the winery Mark picked up this little bottle of wine and we opened it this week to give it a full scale taste.  To me the taste of wine in a winery is different than the taste of wine at home.  I know the amount of time the bottle is open and what the wine is eaten with or what you drink ahead of time change the flavor so how it tastes at the winery does not mean it will taste the same later.  But since it still tasted great I was not let down :) 

If you visit New Kent Winery's web site they no longer have it listed as a selection.  I know that this was a special creation and that part of the money from the sales of the wine were going to help the families of soldiers.  Their wine menu describes the wine as "Refreshingly sweet, blended white wine."  I would say that's pretty accurate.  With 3% residual sugar it was a sweet wine but not so sweet to the taste that I couldn't stand it.  I really don't usually care for dessert wines so it was just sweet enough to have with some fresh fruits or crackers but not sweet enough to serve as syrup!  We enjoyed this wine so another "Yay" for the records. 

The weekend is upon us and holiday shopping and a few errands to run for the weekend are in store.  Have a great one folks! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Old Town Petersburg

There is just something about small quaint little places that drawn me in....and keep me coming back for more.  And Petersburg is one of those places.  The town of Petersburg itself is full of historical sites...many of which can be found in the area of town known to locals as "Old Town".  When in the area you can understand where that names comes from.  But don't let the name fool you.  The buildings are old yes but the feel of the shops, dining and entertainment is all new. 

There are antique stores, consignment shops, small diners and restaurants, boutiques, coffee and book shops, museums and Old Town is also home to the Petersburg Regional Art Center.

The Oak Antique Store.

Open....come on in!

Side walk murial

More sidewalk art.

The Siege Museum

The Siege Museum dressed up for Christmas.

What a window display!

On the second Friday of each month the stores in the area stay open extra late and the Regional Art Center puts on an art display for visitors to the area.  Some stores serve refreshments and offer specials, the Art Center has artists on hand with various art and also serves refreshments.  This particular Friday the Art Center had live music and a cash bar. 

The Art Center

The Art Center.

Christmas music filled the room.

I couldn't get Christy to stand near this thing!

After visiting the Art Center we walked around the area just a little more getting a feel for some of the new spots in the area. 

Visitor Center

Center fountain

You can see it's past my bedtime :)

It was an enjoyable Friday night.  I liked seeing all the holiday displays and even got to see some Christmas Carolers.  Mark and I spotted a new place to try when the kiddos aren't with us...keep you posted on that :)  Hope the Merry season has everyone feeling full of cheer!  T.T.F.N.

She said he was a boring date!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Love

Did everyone have a great weekend?  Get some of the holiday shopping out of the way?  Spend time with family?  Anyone go a-wassailing?

The Busy Bryant's visited Old Town Petersburg and slipped in a little shopping while checking out the local art.  Saturday was a day to get some work done around the house so that come Sunday we could relax.  Saturday night Mark and I had a Christmas party to attend....and had a great time.  Always good to see friends that we haven't seen in a long time.  Sunday was volunteer time at Pocohontas State Park and then my parents came over for chili and grilled cheese!  Super yummy.  

My girls coming to wake up mommy...

Now that is a lot of grilled cheese.

What a sound sleeper!

The holidays are always so busy I'm glad we found a little time this weekend to just sit back and relax...I'm sure down time won't last long so I'm enjoying it while I can!  

Friday, December 9, 2011

Yay or Nay

Horton's Eclipse

Well folks we finally made it to Friday!  Another busy week under our belts and another busy weekend to come.  Night before last Mark and I celebrated Wednesday night with half a bottle of Eclipse from Horton Vineyard.  Horton describes it as "a semi-sweet wine loaded with cherry and tropical aromas." 

Both Mark and I agreed this one was a keeper...enough red wine to not make it super sweet and yet not dry on the pallet.  We had already had dinner so we did not try pairing it with anything but I can see it going with crackers, cheese and fruit....but not something tangy or spicy.  I did have it with some roast beef the next night and after being open over night the flavor did change but for the good.  Defiantly a keeper.  So two YAYS from the Busy Bryants. 

Hope you guys have a great weekend and that your enjoying the Holiday Season. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The James Center

Downtown Richmond.

Saturday night The Bryants went to the James Center in downtown Richmond.  They decorate the plaza with lots of lights, some reindeer, and one really large Christmas tree.  It's become a sort of family tradition to visit the Center during the Christmas season.....we take hot cocoa and fresh baked cookies and enjoy them while taking in the sites. 

Look Mom it's a horse.

My crew :)

The really Really REALLY big tree.

Excuse the demon eyes....

Inside there is a model train set up and there are displays here and there for the children. 

Model trains...

Another Christmas tree.

Emma just after kissing the Santa.

There is even a horse drawn carriage ride....

Wonder if one was named Rudolph.

There is plenty of free parking around the area if you go on a week night....but if on a weekend save your self the 30 mins of searching and pay the $4 to park right across the street!  To walk around the plaza and play in with the deer is free :)