C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Susan Mangigian ROCKS! The Little Minions continue their AR road trip adventures...

The little pookies and I were busy watching these dark clouds rolling in on our holiday weekend while Dad did all of the driving. At one point we started wondering if a funnel was coming down because of the peculiar cloud formations. I could not resist pulling out my Nikon and managed to get a pretty dramatic shot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (I-278) while traveling on the parkway (with a lot of help from the hubby). Taking pictures at high speed is always interesting because you never know what you're going to get. When you are on a 133.5 mile trek into PA and have a thing for eye candy (and are anything like me) you will try for the shot. Mike thought it would be a tough one to get but was willing to do some fancy driving so I could take a crack at eliminating cars from my view finder. I'm glad we did go for it. The first four were a bust, but the fifth one certainly made my day. :-) 


All of that took place while we were on our way en-route to another AR adventure. This trip the little minions were off to visit Susan Mangigian, a wonderful friend with an excellent blog that I happen to love reading, who is also the founder of the Active Rain Group Realtors & Friends Who Read.

The road trip was fun and we only got lost once... unless, of course, you also want to count the fact that we actually drove past her home a couple of times, prompting Susan to come out into the rain and get us after watching us circling around trying to read mail boxes (LOL). We were too busy being distracted by lots of eye candy while commenting on neighborhood homes, which basically translates into not paying a lick of attention because we were in awe of our surroundings. It's moments like this that make me truly love Active Rain because if not for AR we never would have met, become friends, then had a field day mingling our families together.

I want you guys to know that a very lovely family lives in this beautiful home and I am so happy we've converted our on-line friendship into a brick and mortar relationship. Noah dived into the toys and movies, kicking his shoes off and getting real comfy. Stephen rolled in the wet grass and later stripped down to his underwear and circled the pool on the hunt for a leaf or two to toss into the water and follow paths with patterns. We stuffed ourselves with Italian food (BTW, she's a very good cook) and had a great time laughing about life in general while the weather continued to be fickle. The cool thing is none of us cared whether it rained or not. We were outside just as much as inside and made good use of every single pause in the drizzle. Her Mom is a lot of fun and kept Michael and I cracking up and I can see where Susan inherited some of her humor from. Hanging with the two of them was priceless and her hubby is absolutely adorable. Max is a fabulous kid and I am soooo gonna have to learn how to play Halo or he's going to wipe me out on our next visit. We promised to play video games together, which is another favorite past time in my household, so it is very cool to be introduced to something new to play.

We did have a couple of moments that made me go hmm... Noah surprised me about being nervous around the puppy. Considering the fact that he gets lots of face time with our neighbors' pit bulls and rottweilers, you'd think an adorable puppy wouldn't have him climbing into Mike's lap going, "nooooo," but he did. I'm gonna have to get him out around smaller dogs more often. Stephen, in true minion fashion, wasn't phased a bit, chased the dog around the yard and at one point had the nerve to tip the dog into the pool (sigh). I have really got to work on that boy's social skills...

Susan selected and planted a wonderful flower garden which screens the pool and really gives one something wonderful to look at from so many vantage points within their home and off the deck. There's color everywhere and my whole family fell in love with the place and its occupants. After great debate, we stayed in PA for another day at a lovely hotel near the Mangigians so we could check out the QVC Studio, King of Prussia Mall, Lancaster, Valley Forge National Park and Longwood Gardens.  (So much to blog about, so little time...)

Here is some eye candy from the Mangigian backyard. Enjoy!






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Comment balloon 40 commentsC Tann-Starr • August 30 2008 07:45PM


And this is what I love about ActiveRain...the connections we make that progress into meetings for a lifelong friendship. I love it! Glad you all had a great time :)

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) about 12 years ago

C. I am glad you all had a good time. I love the picture of the bridge. That sky is really beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Laura Watts (Positive Properties, LLC) about 12 years ago

Looks like you all had a great trip.  It is alway a pleasure meeting a fellow Rainer.  Great shot of the bridge.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) about 12 years ago

Carolyn, thanks for sharing the story and pictures with us.  That is great that you have been able to meet some AR friends.  It sounds like you all had a great time - except for the dog maybe. lol.   At least your kiddos are helping your create some priceless memories.  

The sky shot looks wonderful.  As I was on my trip, I wondered what would happend if I tried to take a picture without stopping. Never did attempt it.   

Posted by Sondra Meyer:, See It. Experience It. Live It. (Star View Real Estate ) about 12 years ago

Hi Carolyn, I think it's great you and Susan, two of my favorites here in the Rain got to finally meet up for real. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge shot is wonderful as is your group gathering with all the happy faces and Susan's beautiful home. I'm so happy for you C that you got out and met another wonderful family such as your own.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 12 years ago

C Sally C, it was absolutely wonderful.

Laura, Thank you. The bridge was quite a nice surprise and we really did have a great time.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

C: I love your family photos and, well, all your photography and your writing. Please, don't ever stop. Just keep being you. Someday I hope we will meet in real life.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) about 12 years ago

Jennifer, thank you. I'm with you on this one, for it's is definitely nice to meet AR members as sweet as Susan and her family. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Carolyn, you are too kind!  We had a lot of fun!  Well, maybe not JJ!!  He said he and Stephan need a rematch!!  Thanks for coming over and thanks for the beautiful pictures!  My mom and I really enjoyed meeting you all!  xxoo 

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) about 12 years ago

C. Max says to tell you it is Halo I, Combat Evolved!  He also said that this post was very nice of you!!  Mike is home now.  I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to meet him.  He's a great kid too.


Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) about 12 years ago

Sondra, the kids really make it very interesting. I never know what the little minions are going to do until they let their inhibitions down and hop to it. My little people have a way of keeping everyone on their toes and sort of influence which directions we migrate to (e.g. yards are a priority to kids who don't have any). I am looking forward to spending quite a bit of time with my CC AR family and you are definitely on my long list of people to say hello to. Mel and I have been cooking up plans to bring the little people to Texas. If our phone-tag is anything to go by, then TX is going to be a real hoot when the minions set foot in your state (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Sondra, BTW, if someone else is driving, experiment and take the shots on the fastest setting you have! Digital is great. You can whack them if you don't like 'em and try again (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Gary, thank you for your kind words. We had a great time and I am so looking forward to catching up with you when we eventually get to TX. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Elizabeth, thank you. You and I are definitely hanging out together (as soon as we get Stephen used to air travel or should I say air travelers used to Stephen? Hmm... may have to charter a flight with that one - LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

C-, Mike, Susan and family,

I really dislike using the word jealous...but, if the shoe fits! I would have loved to have been there to witness the fun! Brick and mortar is wonderful. Especially on a one to one basis where you really get to visit and learn one another. I've been to a couple of AR get  togethers but you're spread so thin the visit isn't as high a quality as this.

I am glad you both got the opportunity to meet! I am getting to meet Sondra Meyers on Tuesday and I'm really excited about that! Someday maybe we will all get to meet.

Later in the rain~Deb

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) about 12 years ago

Susan, sooo sorry about JJ and the minion love tap (LOL).  Stephen can be peculiar for a two year old and his predilection for tossing things into your pool will have to be worked on. ;-) 

Tell Max I will buy Halo I Combat Evolved tomorrow so we can work on our learning curve and get busy playing the game. I am really looking forward to meeting your older son Mike. I do hope your Mom will be available for our next visit down the road. Michael was chatting up a storm about her on the way home and is very impressed with your family (so am I). We had a great time and I am looking forward to introducing you guys to my Uncle William (my Dad's brother). He's a retired chef in Philadelphia who has just dumped every stick of furniture out of his house to start over again at age 63. He had me crying with laughter about his new T.V. and leather seating for his crib. He'll be 64 next month and is determined to travel all over the world. Dude is funny as hell so all of us "first cousins" are starting to ask each other, "wanna hang with Uncle Buddy?" Heck yeah! :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

C, you'll have to get a headset and use skype and then Max can play along with you via the internet.  I'm not sure how it works, but he talks to my neighbor's son over skype while they play halo.  You'll really like my Michael and I know I would love your Uncle William.  My dad was a chef, among many other short lived careers! 

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) about 12 years ago

Deb, we will be coming to Texas really soon. I'm am so looking forward to hanging out with you and the CC AR crew while we're on our next family vacation. I am high-jacking Melody Botting to be my tour guide to all things TX on the first go around. (I get to come over first to scope it out and the minions with their Dad will be following for the full AR adventure when school is not in session.) I'm thrilled that you will be hooking up with Sondra on Tuesday. That is awesome! Give her my warmest regards and I know you will enjoy your visit together. Very cool, indeed! :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Susan, will do. Mel hooked me up with Skype, so that's one down. I shall get a headset tomorrow. This game is really cool. I've been checking out the website. Mike is a die hard World of Warcraft fan, but I will see if I can get him in on the deal as well. This should be very interesting (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

That is so cool that you gals were able to meet up! 

You better let me know when you get to Texas! 

Posted by Amanda Evans, Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas (DFW Living) about 12 years ago

Amanda, you shall know everything the moment I lock the plans down and have plane tickets in my hand (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Hey C, What a beautifully written blog - it shows so much warmth :)  Also love the bridge photo - can't believe you took it while driving!

Posted by Lisa Friedman, Central New Jersey Real Estate (Alliance Realtors) about 12 years ago

C - how fortunate to  meet all these wonderful people in person. And how fortunate we are to have you share those moments with us.

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) about 12 years ago

How cool is that?  I am glad you got to spend time with your family and hers.  She seems like such a fun person here in the Rain. 

Posted by Melody Botting, You Deserve The Best (Broker Associate PenFed Realty) about 12 years ago

C- I love that area of the country we have visited many times. I have never seen the QVC Studio though- It is on my "Bucket List" 

I hope you all have a wonderful time!

Posted by Barbara Carter, Serving Your Real Estate Needs in the Hudson Valle (C21 Alliance Realty Group) about 12 years ago

Morning C,

What a rewarding trip, great photo opportunities, wonderful folks to be with and good food to boot. Pick me up when you head out next time. Hope the balance of your trip is just as rewarding.

Posted by Harold "Hal" Place (A1 Connection Realty, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Carolyn ~ That's a great picture of the bridge; don't want to know what "fancy driving" Mike did to allow you to get that picture! : )  It sounds like you had a great time at Susan's and your pictures show her lovely garden; love the pool area.

Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) about 12 years ago

Thank you Lisa. Visiting with Paddy and Susan were the two high points for me on our three week vacation. I can't wait for Mike to retire because then we'll be free to roam around when ever we want. The boys enjoy taking day trips so we are already planning the next one. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Big Mike, I love sharing with you guys. I love when you guys share. It's the easiest thing in the world to do when you're hanging out with such wonderful people (like you). ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Mike, I have lots of cousins in GA, so you know we are soooo gonna hook up during 2009 (LOL). You, Richard and Julie are a MUST SEE and DO! :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Mel, you would absolutely love them. I hope you come to Inman in January because I am looking forward to being soooo devoted to totally taking you over and dragging you around New York to share some great foodie paradise spots. You'll get to see your minion nephews in their natural habitat and hang with my favs like Cindy and Audrey (who work in Manhattan). You will also get to finally whack Michael for all those naughty comments he makes while interrupting our phone-tags. Fact is, he is secretly itching to meet you because we talk so much. Now when I am on the phone I have to actually explain that it really is not you when he starts messing around in the background (LOL). Dude is starting to get confused because he thought he had our schedule down pat. His new thing is to now ask, "Who is that?" when ever the phone rings. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago


It looks like you had a great time while visiting with Susan.  Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.  BTW, the pool looks really inviting.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) about 12 years ago

Barbara, too funny! What are you doing with a bucket list? Haaa! What a great movie! We had a wonderful time and we are looking forward to many more. I can't wait to have a play date with you and Becky. Getting the kids together will be mad fun. They have so much in common I can't wait to see how their minds work as a little people team. (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Hal, we should be relocating to FL for either the Fall of 2009 or Summer of 2010. Get ready for minionville! :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Kathy, M is very good at defensive driving (LOL). I'm glad you like the pictures and I am so looking forward to catching up with you on Friday. It will be Stephen's first trip to Long Island so that should be very interesting. He's never seen a ferry boat before (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Don, you're always welcome and the pool is very inviting, indeed. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

How fun C!  I am excited (but a little jealous) that you got to hang out with Susan and so many other wonderful AR friends! 

Thanks for the eye candy!

Posted by Pam Pugmire, Meridian Idaho Real Estate (Silvercreek Realty Group) about 12 years ago

how cool that you got to meet!  i'm jealous of that AND the pool!  :-)

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor about 12 years ago

Liz, too funny. I hope to catch up with you one of these days as well, so don't be jealous, sweetie (LOL).

Pam, I have never been to Idaho but am very curious... :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Pam, you know you are more than welcome here!! Did you get your passport yet?  Lol!!

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) about 12 years ago

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