Monday, February 28, 2011

Georgia on my mind

Hi there, hope your week is off to a great start?

I'm heading to Atlanta soon to join my friend Susan for some fab scrapbooking classes! Her local sb'ing store (owned by another Susan - so that makes 3 of us!) is hosting scrapbooking designer extraordinaire Teresa Collins for a 2-day special event filled with classes & fun! TC will be teaching 3 mini-album workshops, all with her brand-new, just-released collections, "Timeless" , "On The Edge" and "Notations"! From this pic that Teresa blogged, it looks like we have project kits filled with lots of goodies awaiting us! :-)
Susan and I have some other fun things planned too....the Georgia Aquarium, shopping, lunch....yay!

See you soon, Susan!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

my big fat Greek trip!

Whew, the month of February has been a total BLUR !!! So much going on.....busy, busy and some stressful days..... but some fun stuff too!

And that's part of the reason I (still) haven't blogged about the rest of our Hawaii trip ... because when I'm not working, I've been busy researching and planning our next adventure, LOL. I hinted at it in my January 13 post, and my friend Kyoko (in Japan) guessed it right away --- GREECE !!! (I was channeling my inner Homer when I gave that "odyssey" hint, LOL) Gotta dust off my passport, it's time to visit the "cradle of Western civilization"!

I must say that this has probably been one of the most challenging trips I've planned ... a real PITA (pun intended, LOL)... Greece travel websites aren't always up-to-date, some are only in Greek, etc. But I've got a grip on it now, only a bit more to plan.

Actually, it will be part of a whirlwind summer trip, starting with a huge annual Lepore family reunion picnic in Philadelphia, then we'll travel to Italy ... Sal has some business at the University of Rome. From there, we'll head to Greece where Sal will meet with research collaborators at the University of Athens. And of course, we're NOT leaving Greece until we've toured the country! So I've got lots on our itinerary for when Sal's done with his work ..... from the classic ancient sites like Delphi to the breathtaking Greek islands. OMG I am giddy!!!

(photo courtesy of

And to celebrate, Sal and I are heading to a Greek Festival this weekend! Perfect timing, right? A local Greek Orthodox Church is putting on quite a shindig, complete with Greek taverna food, live Greek music, Greek dancers, the works. I hope to chat about Greece with some folks there!

See you back here soon....


Enjoy the weekend,

Friday, February 25, 2011

it's Angela's special day!

Happy birthday today to Sal's Mom, Angela! She lives in Gulfport, Florida.

We wish you a day full of smiles & sunshine, Mom! :-)

Susan, Sal, Buddy & Aruba

Monday, February 14, 2011


Love you, Sal !!!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Hey there, how was your weekend?

With the exception of a scary incident, we had a great one celebrating Sal's birthday! He spent time relaxing and enjoying his day (no work!). We went out for dinner at Buca di Beppo, one of our fave restaurants. Sal indulged in some delicious cannoli as a birthday treat! Doesn't he look happy??? ;-)

Then ... we were driving home on the Florida Turnpike, having a delightful conversation, when BHAM !!! at 65 mph we hit a big truck tire laying in the middle of our lane, OMG !!! It was a shock, I was stunned and shaken-up ... but kept ahold of the steering wheel and maintained control of the car. It was a dark stretch of highway, and the tire was black, on black pavement, so I didn't see it until we were practically on top of it.

We were near a toll booth, so I pulled up to let the attendant know about the tire and to get someone out there to remove it. Apparently tho, we were the 3rd car to hit it, so we pulled over with the others (and the truck that shed the tire) and called the Florida Highway Patrol. And then a 4th damaged car pulled up behind us......

Long story short ... after a couple of hours on the side of the Turnpike, FHP documented the incident and we were able to drive home. And now the fun begins ... dealing with insurance and the body shop. We're hoping there's no damage to our (practically new) car's undercarriage. BUT, annoyance aside, we are so THANKFUL that no one was hurt, it could have been a really serious accident!

So, that wasn't exactly the birthday that I had planned for my sweetheart, but all is well. Love you, Sal !!

On a more trivial note....did you watch the Super Bowl? Great game! The ads? Not so great, IMO. Most of them were lame, vapid, even morbid (I mean, using Doritos to turn grandpa's ashes back into grandpa ... really?) But I did have a couple of faves ... VW's pint-sized Darth Vader ad ("The Force" --- cute!) and Bridgestone's beaver ad (what goes around, comes around, right?).

I'll be back soon with more about Hawaii ....

Have a great week,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

it's Deborah's special day!

Happy birthday today to Sal's sister, Deborah! She lives in Gulfport, Florida.

We wish you a SUPER day, Deborah! :-)

Susan, Sal, Buddy & Aruba

Saturday, February 5, 2011

it's Sal's special day!

Happy happy happy birthday today to my darling husband Sal !! :-)

We'll have fun celebrating the day together! I wish you a new year full of joy, smiles & happiness! You are the love of my life!

Love you,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Maui is wowee!

"...Hawaii is the most sought-after postal route of them all ... where the air is so dewy sweet you don't even have to lick the stamps...."

----postal worker "Newman" on Seinfeld

Ah, finally, I'm here to share our Hawaiian journey ... hard to believe that we've been back for over a month! But with the holidays, lots of veterinary appointments, and work/stuff of life, I guess it took me this long to sort through our photos and start typing. And since I have lots to "show & tell", I'll be posting it island-by-island. Today ... our first stop ... Maui !!

Oh, and viewer discretion advised: I apologize in advance to those of you in the midst of the winter blahs! The following images of tropical paradise may offend some viewers. {wink}

We left Florida after scurrying to get everything done, like holiday gift shopping and Sal wrapping-up his fall semester. Such a dedicated professor ... he spent part of our 11+ hours in the air grading final exams! He found that more appealing than watching the in-flight chick-flick they were showing ... Eat, Pray, Love ... LOL ... I was thrilled tho!

We arrived on Maui tired, but excited! This was our third visit ... and this time we did something different -- NO exploring! I know, so unlike me and Sal, right? But we've been around the island twice before, so this time we planted ourselves at the gorgeous Four Seasons Wailea Resort and celebrated our 20th anniversary with lots of down-time and pampering! The service there is impeccable, we felt like CELEBRITIES for 6 days! One thing that I really liked about this resort is how it was posh without being "snooty". It was laid-back, casual. I don't carry a purse by designer so-and-so.....and my bathing suit is from Sears! And so what?

We were greeted in the lobby with leis, a cool drink, and happy anniversary wishes. And then got to our room and found a rose, an anniversary card, and chilled bubbly cider awaiting us in the fridge!
My fave breakfast in Hawaii -- sweet juicy pineapple, OMG so good !!!

But, our first day on Maui was, frankly, disappointing weather-wise ... lots of rain and clouds all day, ugh! The Wailea part of Maui hardly gets any rain, but I guess it waited for us to arrive? So what was a girl to do? An indoor activity ... hmmm.... the spa, of course! Lemons-to-lemonade, I say! And the Four Seasons had a SPA-some facility, no surprise!

I savored a Thai herbal massage in an oceanside "hale" (a traditional Hawaiian thatched-roof hut) ... and I must say that hearing the rain sprinkling was a nice complement to the sound of the ocean surf! ... BLISS .... I was apparently in a very relaxed stupor as I left the spa because when I met up with Sal, he pointed out that I had my shirt on inside-out!! LOL

With the rain did come some disappointment tho... we had planned a day-trip from Maui to the nearby island of Lanai (we had never been there). It was to be a beautiful sunrise ferry ride and day of island exploration in a jeep! But, it was not to be ... the rain had made Lanai's volcanic clay a total muddy mess! (it's a relatively undeveloped island, pristine ... accessible mainly via dirt roads, which became impassable, even in a jeep). Oh well, next time!

But the rain let up, and we enjoyed the rest of our stay under blue skies and the Maui sun. I even left my pool chair for a water aerobics class (that's me on the right, pretending that I'm limber):

Other than that activity, I think I may have definitely proven a law of Physics while in Maui: "a body at rest tends to stay at rest", LOL.

Every evening, there was live entertainment in the open-air lobby lounge. It was one of the things I love most about Hawaii ... hula! A solo dancer, so graceful ... and we got hooked on the nuts-and-olives snacks they served there! Such a relaxing way to unwind after a day ...unwinding!

I loved walking around the resort, admiring all the tropical eye-candy! The floral arrangements, the lush landscaping, the sparkling pools, the ocean view in every direction.

The Four Seasons pays LOTS of attention to detail, and offers so many nice luxuries ... we felt SPOILED! Even the toiletries ... all kinds of big bottles of L'Occitane products (ladies -- you get it, right? French goodies? ... they have that je ne sais quoi! ... Sal didn't understand my enthusiasm ... something about them being just some soap and lotion, whatever ... LOL).

Oh, and there was nightly turn-down service....and Hawaiian music piped into our opulent marble bathroom..... OK, not sure if I can continue ... I'm tempting myself to book another trip....uh oh!

Stepping out to enjoy the resort meant more pampering! We spent a lot of time at the "Serenity Pool". Not a misnomer folks!It's a tranquil pool that's meant for quiet relaxation ... no screaming kids, no music, no cell phone conversations allowed ... nothing but peace and this ocean view! HEAVEN!

I always love to see Sal relaxing!

I couldn't get enough of the pool's "bubblers" ... not a hot tub, just a shallow "shelf" within the pool with jets shooting up ... unique! ... and a nice way to read my daily copy of The Maui News! I love perusing a local paper ... a travel journalist whose writing I love, Daisann McLane, once wrote that "...newspapers are the heartbeat of a place...". Agreed!

We indulged in some delish snacks poolside ... more olives! I sure miss those daily mango-pineapple smoothies too....
(yes, everything in Hawaii is served with a beautiful orchid!)

Poolside pampering ... may I offer you a chilled towel Mr. and Mrs. Lepore?
But wait, there's more! ... they came around the Serentity Pool with ice water, chilled pineapple, popsicles, and cleaned our sunglasses!

We celebrated our anniversary with a ROMANTIC oceanside, sunset Italian dinner at Ferraro's Ristorante...after dark, it was fabulous to eat by candlelight under the stars!

(yep, that's matching "aloha wear" that we're wearing!)

My handsome husband ... love you Sal !!!

OK, so we didn't lay around by the pool the entire time ... we got up early one morning to go out for an outrigger canoe lesson, learning to launch and how to paddle in synch....went out in the beautiful ocean for about an hour, peering into the clear water at coral and fish. We could see all the way to the bottom (about 20 feet)!
When we got back to the beach, the crew had a cooler full of -- what else? -- chilled pineapple for us!

I'll be back soon with pics of our visit to 2 other islands...."mahalo" for stopping by!