Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Tyson's Corner (at the shopping mall) near the ice-skating rink.  We were here sitting in a chilly courtyard because there was no room inside the crowded restaurant.  We ate a quick lunch with tall buildings surrounding us, and fortunately pretty blue skies overhead.

Good Fences and SkyWatch Friday

The Zamboni cleaning up the ice-skating rink surrounded by fences.

Now ready for the skaters

There were several of these seating areas.  In the middle is a gas fire.  All the seats were filled.

I froze and it tickled Gregg to come back to our seat and find me like this.  Gregg found out about this new burger place that he wanted to try out.  They were good and I told him I would be happy to go back in the Spring.  It was colder than I thought it would be and I didn't bring a coat or gloves, and I didn't know we would be sitting outside.  The weather was mild the last time we went out.  Don't worry, we didn't stay there too long.  Just long enough to get lunch and then go for a hot chocolate inside the mall afterwards, to warm up my numb fingers and frosty nose, and did I mention my ears were tingling?  

It was fun to see everyone enjoy themselves on the skating rink.  And that's the way to start them out, when they are real young.

I'm glad we got to see the Christmas Tree before it was taken down.

I bet it's so pretty all lit up at night.  It was enormous!

Another sky reflection in one of the glass ornaments and you can just make out Gregg and me.

Scattered here and there on the stone benches were sculptures of birds.  A very nice decorative feature I thought, just so long as you were aware they were there and didn't try to sit on them.

It is time to go back inside the mall.... 

and get that hot chocolate.

Isn't this overhead light festive?  It covers a very large part of ceiling, located near the escalators.

Gregg wanted his photo taken in front of the book store for nostalgia reasons.  Our son used to work here.

One last shot for Theresa's Good Fences.

I discovered something new today. As we are driving out of the underground parking lot I noticed all those red lights.  They signify that there are no parking spots.  Every light is over where you would park your car.  When we came across the rare green light it was an empty space and you could see that green light at the opposite end, they were clearly visible in between all those red ones.  As soon as a car pulled in the light turned red or when a car backed out it turned green.  It does not take much to fill me with wonder, and yes I am smiling.  It actually took both Gregg and me a few minutes to figure this out as the green light went on, to pardon the pun.

Willy Nilly Friday Five

1) I have lost count of how many times in my 64 years that I have sung this song.  In my family it was a wonderful tradition on New Year's Eve.  Aunts and Uncles would come on over, as well as close friends of Mom and Dads, and we would be listening to Hogmanay on the TV.  

What is Hogmanay and for those who are unfamiliar to the term, this is what I found online:

"Hogmanay is the Scottish celebration of New Year's Eve and can last for days.  No one celebrates the evening quite like the Scots.  It is believed the Scots inherited the celebration of Hogmanay from the Vikings and their celebration of the shortest day.  Many, however, believed that as Christmas was virtually banned and not celebrated in Scotland from the end of the 17th century until the 1950's, New Year's Eve was an excellent excuse for revelry, to drink whisky and eat good food.  To this day Hogmanay involves parties and festivals all across Scotland, with the largest and most famous public party in Edinburgh."

I had an Aunty who was born in Scotland, who used to tell me how she celebrated it as a child. I love those memories of her stories as much as I love my own. We all crossed arms, held hands and sang Auld Lang Syne to say goodbye to the Old Year, then we would hug one another and raise a glass to bring in the New.  It was the only night of the year that we kids were allowed to stay up late and party with the adults, that and Christmas Eve.  There was always a lot of laughter in our house, especially at times such as these.

2)  Here's a video I got off YouTube, such a pretty version.  If you can't access the video below you can also go here.

Auld Lang Syne
by Robert Burnes in 1788

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll take a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, me dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o'kindess yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie's a hand o'thine!
And we'll take a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

3)  This week returning back to normal after all the fun activity of the holidays.  Back to being good after all the delicious goodies we don't get to eat that often, just as well but boo-hoo! 

4)  Trying to put No. 3 back on track is hard, but we're getting there!

5)  As this is the last Willy Nilly Friday Five of 2014, I wanted to say that I have so much to be thankful for.  It has been a phenomenal year.  I take no day for granted because having family and friends whose lives have changed in the blink of an eye and with events that have happened in our own lives, I know only too well that I need to count each day as a blessing.  If I have made any New Year's Resolutions it is this, to tell those nearest and dearest to me how very much I love them, and how much better I am for having them in my life.   Happy New Year everyone!  May 2015 be your best one yet.

Thank you to our hosts for these great memes.

Good Fences here
SkyWatch Friday here.  
Willy Nilly Friday 5 here


Linda said...

Beautiful photos, Denise, I really enjoyed this tour. There is something I find very relaxing about watching skaters...and you do look cold. :) Happy 2015 to you, thanks so much for sharing all your lovely photos, I really enjoy your posts.

Ginny said...

LOVE that awesome ceiling! I used to live not very far from Tysons. But that was many years ago, and they are marvelous now. Love the tall buildings and the ice skating rink in the center. And that amazing. awesome tree, WOW it is gorgeous!! Barnes & Noble is one of my favorite stores and I sure hope it does not close the way other book stores are.

Elephant's Child said...

Another brilliant meme packed post. Love that light, envy the skaters and am sure the hot chocolate was an essential.
We have the red/green light thing in one of our car parks - and I think it is an excellent idea.
Happy New Year (less than eight hours away here) to you and Gregg.

Katinka said...

Happy new year to you!

orvokki said...

Lovely series of photos.
I wish you very happy new year !

Rose ~ from Oz said...

EC penned it beautifully - a brilliant packed post Denise, and towards the end it brought tears to my eyes.

eileeninmd said...

Great post, Diane.. You are the brave one out in the cold with no gloves or hat.. I have never seen the red/ green lights in parking garages, that is new to me.. A great idea..

I wish you and your family all the best in 2015. A very Happy & Healthy New Year!

Linda Kay said...

Denise, I would not be sitting outside in the cold...Brrr. Love the pictures of the blue sky and the architecture. I'd be there in Barnes and Noble have a hot chocolate and reading a book!

TexWisGirl said...

the photo of you freezing is too cute, but i wouldn't have wanted to sit still for long either! the skating rink looks like a fun place (if you can skate!) i know you had a big 2014. i hope 2015 will bring many more blessings and good adventures to you and yours.

Sandra said...

i love that glass dome and all the pretty places you went, fantasic skating rink and the tree is wonderful. you do look favorite thing is the fake birds.. cool shot... happy new dad's side of the family is Irish, my moms Scottish... that is where i got my hot temper... that is the greatest idea for parking spots. all parking should be that way.

William Kendall said...

Beautiful shots, Denise. The ice looks in great shape!

Happy New Year!

Linda Gross said...

I am going to try to get Bob to play that song on a lap harp. I will record it, if he allows me to do so. Happy New Year to you and your family!

Country Wife said...

Great photos Happy New Years

Linda P. said...

I think that hot chocolate was very welcome, Denise. It's fun watching the skating, but I know I wouldn't sit for long either even though it looks a beautiful spot! Although it will be a quiet evening here for New Year's Eve we shall be watching the live television broadcast from the London River Thames embankment, the firework display and the Hogmanay from Edinburgh singing Auld Lang Syne. A piece of coal and some bread (symbol of warmth and sustenance in 2015) will be brought in from the front door by my husband, which is a northern tradition. Every blessing to you and yours for a very happy new year!

gigihawaii said...

You and Gregg have so much fun together, it is a blessing to watch you.
There is only one B&N Bookstore here in Hawaii. Once that shuts down, where can authors sell their books?

Sharon Wagner said...

Happy New Year!

Felicia said...

I haven't ice skated in years. Looks like they are all having fun, you too.

Actually I've never seen red and green lights in a parking garage like that, its pretty neat.

Happy New Year Denise.

Adam said...

I've been ice skating before, haven't in a few years. I miss it.

Betsy said...

Gorgeous shots and beautiful tree. Ahhh hot chocolate sounds so nice. Greats shots of the both of you and such wonderful smiles, I saw you smiling under your wrap..
Happy New Year!!!

Kay said...

My mother was just wondering tonight what country Auld Lang Syne came from. She thought Ireland. I didn't think so. Thank you for telling me. I'm going down to tell her right now. :- )

pattisjarrett said...

That is a great tree. Hot chocolate does sound good! Happy New Year!

Ela said...

Such a wonderful place to visit !
Happy New Year !

Knipsa Passtscho said...

Thank you for the beautiful pictures!
And especially for the wonderful music video. I love Scotland and visited it twice before.
I wish you a very Happy New Year!

EG CameraGirl said...

Hogmanay is a new word for me! I think I know very little about Scotland's history!!

Karen Schurr said...

What a cool place to spend an afternoon. Love all the shots, but especially like the reflections in the glass bulb. Happy New Year.

Mage said...

Happy new year, and thanks for the chilly welcomoe.

Ida said...

Fabulous post. That tree was stunning. I think it would have been fun to have lunch there and watch the skaters. To bad you weren't dressed warmer though.

Happy New Year! - I love Auld Lang Syne

Carver said...

Great post. I enjoyed the shots and narrative. Happy New Year to you and yours.

cranethie said...

Just popped in to say Happy New Year to you Denise and all your family.
What a lovely post, I certainly enjoyed your (cold) day out. I'm sure you will really enjoy the outdoor part again when the weather warms up a bit.
I see EC mantioned the red and green car park lights that are becoming more and more evident here in Australia. They even have them in the car park at The Golfers club - saves so much time and also means stress levels are lower. You can see at a glance from the end of a row if there is space - saves having to drive up and down the rows I have to say it's the best invention since sliced bread!!
Take care

maryaustria said...

Seems you had a wonderful day! Love all your photos! A fantastic blue sky!
A happy new year to you and your family!

Pauline Woodcock said...

Thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable post, all the skating, the fences, the birds, even the parking lot. Happy New Year!

Lina Gustina said...

Great tour, lovely post and photos, Denise.
Happy New Year!

Jim said...

These are great

Tom said...

Wonderful photos, the one reflecting in the ornament blew me away. Tom The Backroads Traveller


Just seeing you all huddled up in that blue sweater makes me want for hot chocolate too!!!

Maggid said...

Looks like everyone had a GREAT TIME - (except freezing you . . please take care of yourself.)

I like the red light/green light thingy . . .

Happy New Year!

Marie said...

Loved the photos, Denise! What a wonderful outing, though you nearly froze. So sorry it was so cold and you didn't have your coat! Loved the info on Hogmanay and how Christmas was banned for so long in Scotland (WHY till 1950!!??) which is disturbing. One of the saddest things I have read was by a fellow blogger from Germany who was raised in the East and had no good memories of Christmas from her childhood because it was banned. LOVED the video! I have a dear Scottish friend I am going to share it with and wish that she had a Happy Hogmanay! :-) God's blessings for you and your family in this coming years. Your sentiments for #5 were especially sweet.

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest Denise;
Oh, what an interesting post to know about the Hogmany and the pictures♡♡♡ Must have been so cold, though; Take Care.
Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Tanya Breese said...

gosh, where do i start?! i loved this whole post...i've always wanted to ice skate in one of those outdoor rinks and i am a pretty good skater, this san diego girl, can you believe it?! i love those little bird sculptures on the benches but laughed at the thought of someone sitting on one by accident, ouch you gave me the idea of needing to get photos of ashlyn's first job, little caesars, and christian's, kroger (where he still works) but i really should do that....loving the aulg lang syne video...thank you! and thank you so much for being a part of my 2014! happy new year to my english friend!

Bob Scotney said...

I never got the hang of ice skates and indoor ice hockey rinks were cold enough for me.
I'm an English fan of Barnes and Noble shops whenever I visit the states.
Happy New Year. Lang may yer lum reek!

Donna said...

What fun to follow you on an excursion....Happy New Year Denise!