Ping, Paris and Peppermint Cupcakes

This is the first post I've managed to get out since the holidays rolled around. These past 3 1/2 weeks seem a blur at first thought, but as I dissect the days and weeks it's quite clear there's a lot that's been going on. So here's what's been going on, pretty much in chronological order.

1. I actually was going to post some pics from my birthday, but the pics are on Bryant's laptop so I'll have to wait until he gets home. Is that against the blogging rules to post old news? Oh well.

2. I always grab his laptop when we are both home and it bugs him that I don't use one of mine. I like his better. He has the aluminum framed MacBook and it is so light. It's just less effort to pick it up and at the end of the day after I'm tired of carrying stuff.

3. I was in Nashville the first week of December and found 2 cute bakeries that serve cupcakes. The first day we got there we visited the Cupcake Collection, a family owned business that operates out of a renovated house in the downtown Nashville area. My favorite was the Pink Lemonade Cupcake (strawberry and lemon swirl cake with pink/yellow icing). On our way out of town, we stopped in at Dulce Desserts, a bakery in an artsy district close to Vanderbilt University. The Pepperminty Cupcake was sooo good. They also serve cakes and cookies. No kidding I had the best cookie I had ever tasted in my life called the Baci.  It was made from almonds and chocolate... yum!  Here's a pic of the Cupcake Collection:



4. One of our night's in Nashville we went to the Opryland Hotel to see the Christmas decorations and have dinner. Not impressed, food not good, wouldn't go back.

5. The second week of December I spent most of the week downtown Memphis for work. I don't think I've ever been in the Marriott Downtown Memphis, but it was really nice. It reminded me of an old hotel you would see in a more famous city. It was decorated for Christmas and has a large escalator in the lobby. We ate lunch there a couple of days since it was right across the street and it was really interesting seeing the city as if I were visiting. It kept my holiday spirit up even though it was a very busy workweek.

6. I finally converted to the iPhone and tossed my Blackberry aside. My Blackberry lasted longer at 2 1/2 years than any other cell phone I've had. I really enjoyed my Blackberry, but had no idea how much I would like the iPhone and how quick I would get used to it. I knew I would like the internet browser and the larger screen, but didn't realize all the nifty apps that I would actually use.

7. One app that is just great for us Langleys is Ping! When Bryant is gone on a trip, I wait for him to call me when he has access to the satellite phone or can get on a wireless network and use Skype. Since his trips are all international, that's our only way of communication. So, imagine my delight when I discovered Ping this week. I can send Bryant a Ping (message) anytime and he will get a notification on his phone (if he is connected to a network). And supposedly it doesn't cost anything between iPhone users. We don't text because it would take days for him to get it and it would be expensive. For the first time in 3 1/2 years, I can actually send Bryant a message halfway around the world. Impressive. Very impressive technology.

8. Bryant turned 30 last Friday. It was a little confusing because we couldn't decide which day was actually his birthday. I was talking to him Thursday night, but it was Friday in Germany. So he was like, "It's my birthday here in Germany." And I was like, "Ehh... I'm going to wait 'til tomorrow to tell you Happy Birthday." It just didn't feel right to wish him a H.B. the day before. We'll celebrate when he gets home.

9. Bryant did get to go to Paris for his birthday weekend! If I couldn't celebrate with him, at least he was in Paris, right? He said the Eiffel Tower was very impressive. He located a couple hot spots: Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe. He walked down the famous street of cafes and designer shops, Champs Elysees (sigh).

10. B told me that the most surprising thing about Paris was that it has the most graffiti of anywhere he's ever been to. He drove from Germany and said the walls were completely filled with graffiti all the way into the city (but not in the city). I was surprised; it's not exactly the picture I had in my head.

11. When you're out around town, pick up the December copy of VIP Memphis magazine. Amanda modeled for the Laurelwood Christmas ad. The photographer told her they might use another one of her pics for next month's edition as well.

12. To end my list for the evening, I got a call today from my security system provider that my alarm was going off. I was concerned up until the point when the dispatcher told me our living room motion detector had been triggered. I'm sure my little four-legged friend didn't appreciate my pushing the wrong buttons when leaving the house. I had this sad mental image of Miles getting an earful as he was taking his afternoon lap around the house.

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