Saturday, August 29, 2009

LBI: Let's Go Fly a Kite

Late in the afternoon on our last day there, the weather was perfect for kite flying.

Where's the kite, Jack?

Jack took one last chance to frolic in the waves.

LBI: Beach Days

Toby & Steve treated the family to a week long vacation on Long Beach Island this summer. It was a great chance to spend a week relaxing on the beach and having some quality time with everyone, particularly the Monahans! While Matt took the opportunity to get in some golf, the rest of us spent most sunny hours (and some not so sunny hours) playing (and reading and napping) on the beach.

I loved watching Aileen and Jack run around and play in the water, dig holes and build witch castles.

One overcast day while the boys golfed, the girls (and Jack) hit the bay beach, where the water was calm and the kids could swim.

Later that afternoon, back at the ocean side, I got a good close up of Aileen.

Matt even enjoyed the fun.

Backyard Project

Our backyard was extremely ugly and rather unpleasant, despite our downstairs neighbors' valiant efforts in gardening the border. Most of the small space was covered with concrete which had been painted ever so long ago in red and green. This paint, which I assume is lead based, has been chipping so much that the color scheme was really red, green and gray. The added bonus to this patio was it sloped nicely towards the building so all rain water funneled directly into the foundation and under the door into the garage/storage/laundry space. Charming and functional.

So we decided we could fix this for a pretty small budget. Step one: remove concrete.

Step two: build deck

Step three, landscape the rest.

I have not yet taken any photos of the finished product with the landscaping. Our neighbors, Chris and Heather, did a great job with the flower beds. I'll get some "after" pics up soon!

Master Bathroom Project

In May we began a big project to add a second bathroom to the place. We had been wondering if such a thing would be possible and had ruled it out several times. Then we had a designer come in to suggest the best way to maximize the existing bathroom when we renovated it. He ended up convincing us that we could definitely add a bathroom where the master bedroom closet sat. He drew up some plans and we were sold. Let the demo begin:

To maintain a relatively clean living room and kitchen, the contractor's first order of business was to set up a plastic wall in the hallway - this also helped cordon off the (alien) cats.
Occasionally this aided in their efforts to keep away from Sunapee.The bedroom became a plastic walled storage area while we bunked on the pull out couch in the spare bedroom.

After about 3 weeks of demo, framing, extensive plumbing and electrical work, the tile started to go in.

And the shower pan, which of course the cats felt required inspection.

We found a great tile shop in the city where they really had some great suggestions, like this waterfall effect in the shower:
Toto! The Cadillac of toilets (ok, we went for a low cost model, but it has what we wanted and we are installing the same one in the other bathoom).

With shower door (duct tape was temporary)

The cats are huge fans of the heated tile floor. Marin spends half her day there.
Now it's finished, complete with a large skylight where the old roof hatch used to be in the closet. Having two bathrooms is great... except when we returned from our East Coast vacation, we demo-ed the other one. So, I imagine it will be nice to have two new bathrooms!