Monday, October 27, 2008

Catching Up Again......

Well, I've missed a lot of fun stuff since I wrote last, but I'm gonna do my best to catch you all up. This past weekend Ryan and I enjoyed a quick trip to southern Indiana. First stop was Oliver Winery just outside of Bloomington on state road 37. It is so beautiful there. This picture is just outside the entrance. It is always decorated really nice during the fall. Lots of good photo ops, although my batteries in my camera died while we were there. Boo.......

We got a few though.After sampling several different wines, we decided to buy a bottle of Gew├╝rztraminer (pronounced gov-ertz-tra-mee-nor) to take with us on the rest of our trip. It is one of my favorites from Oliver. It's kind of a semi-sweet white wine. I am realizing more and more that I don't like the sweeter wines like I originally thought. My favorite here lately has been Chardonnay..........LOVE IT!!!!We walked around the winery for a little while before taking off to French Lick for the evening. The weather was gorgeous. It was cloudy on the way down, but by the time we got there, the sun had just barely peeked through the clouds. It was plenty warm to spend some time outside. We really enjoyed our time there.

Later that evening, we went to the casino in French Lick to see David Crosby and Graham Nash. The show was great. They still sound so good together. Their harmonies gave me chills. The casino was really nice, but it wasn't the greatest place to see a concert. It was very fancy, and for a show where people won't be getting up and moving around much, it would be fine. However, for me, it's hard to stay in my chair during a concert...........I wanted to dance!!!!!!!

I finally got brave and jumped up and ran to the front of the stage for the last song. After all, David Crosby told us to get up. I was just doing what I was told!! Apparently the lady in the front row who pushed me out of her view didn't hear David send out that invitation. She was totally pissed that there were people standing in front of her. I wasn't pissed until she touched me. Honestly, I wanted to deck her in the jaw, but I decided that would be a bad idea.All in all, it was a wonderful show. Short but sweet!!!

After they got done playing, Ryan and I went down to the casino for a little while. We had a couple drinks and walked around checking out the sights. There is a slot machine that I love and always look for whenever I'm at a casino. It's called Texas Tea..It's my favorite!!! So, we walked around and looked for one of those. They had one in the main casino and one in the non-smoking area, so we stalked the people on both of those machines for awhile in hopes of one opening up. While we were stalking in the non-smoking section, we decided to sit down and drop some cash in a Wheel of Fortune slot. I put a twenty in, bet a dollar a couple times, and then decided to get really crazy and play the max bet. It was three bucks. I hit $250.00 just like that, and then I was done!!! I cashed out and told Ryan I was ready to go whenever he was.

We walked around for a few more minutes and eventually a Texas Tea machine opened up, so we swooped in and sat down there for a few minutes. After about ten minutes and almost forty dollars, we decided we were done and ready to go. Yeah!!!!!!!!!I always love all the fancy decor in the casinos. The carpet and drapes are always so gaudy, but gorgeous at the same time!! There were some really cool paintings in the halls by the elevators, so we stopped for a couple shots there.We drove down to a small town called Huntingburg to spend the night after the show. We didn't realize how beautiful it was until we got up the next morning. We ended up getting up early enough to enjoy some breakfast, believe it or not :-) and then we hit the road again. We were hoping to get home by 2:30 so we could go to our friends' Rory and Allison's wedding.

We left Huntingburg at about 9:30 and took the scenic route home. We got up to Kokomo just in time for the wedding.I absolutely love being on the road. It was perfect timing in planning our trip to southern Indiana for this time of year. The trees are all starting to change and the weather is still warm enough to get out and walk around. It was perfect!!! It will probably be even prettier in a week or two. A lot of the trees are still green, but the few that have changed that were poking through were brilliant. I'm always tinkering with my camera when we go somewhere, so of course I had to play paparrazzi while we were in the car. Luckily, Ryan's a really good driver and has learned to handle me leaning all over him and snapping pictures all the time.

When we got home, we had about twenty minutes to let the dogs out and get over to Rory and Allison's wedding. They got married at Camp Tyconey and Clint married them.

Some of you may not know, but Clint is an ordained minister, so he has married a few of our friends. I really wish we would have thought about our wedding for longer than twelve hours so we could have had him marry us too. That's OK, it worked out perfect anyway......

Allison's parents used to own the restaraunt called A WONG'S here in Kokomo, so we all had really good Chinese food for the reception. It was such a perfect ceremony for the two of them. It was very casual. In fact, Rory bought tuxedo t-shirts for all his groomsmen. He he he.......
This is Allison and her grandfather. She wore socks with skulls and cross bones and big clunky red shoes with a fancy black dress. It's a little different, but totally her :-)There were so many people there who hadn't run into eachother for years. It was a fun crowd. We apparently have a lot of mutual friends that I never realized we had. I saw a lot more familiar faces than I thought I would there.

I'm not a mushy person normally, but the vows that Clint wrote for them were really touching. I almost cried a couple different times. The picture above is Rory hugging his mom. Seeing his parents tearing up really got to me. Rory is a big softy too, so he was crying.......OMG it was so freaking emotional............but it was wonderful all at the same time.Their cake was pretty cool. They had a statue with Fu Dogs on the top of it. The Fu Dogs are the statues of dogs that look similar to lions. They are symbols of protection and often sit at the entrance of builings in Asia.

I was so happy their wedding was on a Sunday. It was perfect timing for us to make it since we had the show in French Lick the night before. I hope Rory and Allison have a long happy life together. I hope they realize how much all of the guest enjoyed themselves too. it was so great to see everyone.

I still have pictures from our party at Bankowski's house a few weeks ago. Maybe I'll post those next...............

Friday, October 17, 2008

Otis Redding

This is one of the most peaceful and relaxing songs I know. I have listened to it every morning on the way to work this week. It has really hleped me keep all my worries in perspective.

Otis Redding seemed to almost have a premonition as he was writing this song. It was recorded just three days before his plane crash in 1967.

(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
by Otis Redding
Sittin' in the mornin' sun
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' come
Watchin' the ships roll in
Then I'll watch 'em roll away again ...Yea

Im sittin' on the dock of a bay
Watching the tide roll away ...ohhh
Im just sittin' on a dock of a bay
Wastin' time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco bay
Coz I have nuthin' to live for
And look like nuthin's gonna come my way

So...I'm just gonna sit on a dock of a bay
Watching the tide roll away ...ohhh
I'm sittin' on a dock of a bay
Wastin' time

Look like nothings gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same

Sittin here restin' my bones
And this loneliness won't leave me alone ...listen
Two thousand miles I rome
Just to make this dock my home

Now... I'm just gonna sit at the dock of a bay
Watching the tide roll away ...ohhh
Im sittin' on a dock of a bay
Wastin' time

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Get Well Wishes!!!!!

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Just wanted to wish Grammy, Andrea, and Rosie's Mom well. I hope all of you feel much better really soon!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ft. Lauderdale Florida!!!!!!

First, I must say that Ft. Lauderdale was one of the most diverse citites I have been to next to maybe Las Angeles, and Las Vegas, of course. It was very beautiful in most areas. Especially where we were........all the touristy spots. But, it wasn't unusual to see someone homeless sleeping on a bench just a mile or so from what they call Millionare Row. There was so much culture around us down there. Lots of different ethnic groups everywhere. It was pretty cool just to sit back and watch everything going on around us for awhile.

Jenny and I met up very easily at the airport. My flight arrived about an hour before Jen's, so I just sat at the baggage claim and waited for her to get there. It had been a long day for me already, and it was only about noon. I had to get up super early and leave our house at about 4:30 AM to make it to the airport in time. My flight left at 7:00 AM. UUUGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Plus, Ryan and I had just gotten home Sunday afternoon from Sandusky, Ohio. We went to Cedar Point to celebrate my birthday, and had a blast. Needless to say, I was exhausted, my back was aching, and all I wanted was a good nap. That three hours of sleep I got before heading to the airport was not the nap I had hoped for.

Jen and I headed into town after we checked into the hotel so we could find some food. We were both starving by that time!!! We found a nice little restaurant called Mangos where we ate some lunch. Just outside the window I noticed a sign that said Water Taxi. Jen and I were curious, so we walked that way after we finished our lunch. It turned out to be a great little tour. The Water Taxi took us through "The Venice of America" along the Intercostal Waterway in Ft. Lauderdale. The area where we toured is also known as Millionare Row. When we saw the homes and yachts, we understood why. It was unreal!!Jen and I really enjoyed that little part of our trip. We definitely got to see a lot of things we wouldn't have been able to see otherwise. Some of these homes were actually on little man-made islands. Almost everyone who lived there had a yacht. Some of the yachts were bigger than the homes. I could have fit my home in some of those yachts. One of them was over 3,500 square feet. That's three of my homes..............WOW!!!I don't specifically remember who lived in a lot of the homes. One of them used to belong to Nick Nolte. Most of them were big business owners such as the founder of HBO, Sunglass Hut etc.....
I thought it was really cool to see this house because this is where the movie "Cape Fear" was filmed. Not the old original, but the remake with Robert De Niro from the early 1990's.

It was absolutely amazing to be out in the middle of all that wealth. This is looking into downtown Ft.Lauderdale from the intercoastal waterway. The tour was about an hour. It was really nice. The water Taxi was really cool because there are several stops where you can get on and off the boat, and your pass is good for the whole day when you get one. The boats run up until midnight.
It seemed like it would be a great way for the old Florida snowbirds to get around after starting their days off with a stiff drink. Jen and I rode along with one guy who had definitely been drinking already, and all he wanted was to get to the next happy hour someplace. It was funny.
We all took turns taking pictures on the balcony. It didn't overlook the pool or anything, but it was beautiful in the morning with the sun shining down on the balcony. I think I got most of my tan from just standing out there so much.
John and I went out to playa round of disc golf while Jen was in trainging the first day. It was fun. Hot, but fun. Most of the holes weren't extremely difficult, but it's totally different when you lose a disc in Florida............there are a lot of places I wouldn't feel safe going after a lost disc. Like..............the water, where I lost my very first disc I ever bought. It was a Valkyrie, and I loved it like a part of me. I was bummed out, but it was my own fault for throwing that disc on that hole. I knew I was throwing near water, and I knew my disc would curve around to the always does. I had even brought a back up disc for exactly that reason. I thought maybe I would need it for a tough hole near some water, and I knew I didn't want to chance losing the Valkyrie. But did I think of that when I stepped up on the platform to throw?.............NO WAY!!! I just threw my favorite disc right smack dab in the middle of the water. Just like that. Damn. But hey, I had fun anyway. John gave me a bright pink disc to throw the rest of the game.................thanks Cuz!!!!
This is Jen acting goofy with her crab legs. She was a mess by the time she was done eating those things. Kind of like a one year old with their first birthday cake.....he he he!!!
This was taken at a really nice restaurant called The Rustic Inn that Jenny had found online. There was a whole page of the names of celebritites who have eaten there in the past. I had fun looking at that and wondering where they sat and what they ate. We sat outside by the water and watched some boats go by while we were eating. I'm not a big fan of crab meat or lobster, so I stuck to shrimp. I got some coconut shrimp that was to die for!!!!!After dinner at The Rustic Inn, we headed into Hollywood where the Hard Rock Cafe and Casino is located. The little shopping area outside of the Casino was really cool. Everything was really fancy, and much too expensive for my taste, but it was still cool to look around.
We were all a little disappointed with the Casino. John wanted to play roulette and I wanted to play craps. They didn't have any tables though. They had black jack and poker tables and lots of slots, but even in the slots, I couldn't find the one I wanted to play. So, we just walked around and looked at all the music memorabelia. That part was pretty cool.They had a whole display case of Peter Frampton's stuff. They even has the voice box he used on Frampton Comes Alive. It was super cool to see that!!!!After we got back to the hotel that night, we started watching Youtube on Jen's computer. She made it through an hour or so of the entertainment before she passed out. John and I stayed up cracking up laughing until Jen rolled over and said "it's 2:30, so you think you'll be wrapping things up by 3:00?" It was hilarious!!! Sorry Jen...................
The next day, I got up and headed down to the pool for a few hours. It was awesome. I had the whole pool to myself the entire time I was down there. I laid out in the sun for a long time and jumped in the pool every once in awhile to cool down. I finished reading Slaughterhouse Five and started reading a sweet book called Marley and Me about a crazy Golden Retriever. It was so relaxing.That afternoon when Jen got done with her training, we headed over to Ft. Lauderdale Beach. The beach was gorgeous!!! The water was not as clear as I would have liked it to be, but it felt really good. It wasn't dirty exactly, it was just full of seaweed and stuff like that. So, we never managed to get too far out in the water. I get nervous in saltwater when I can't see my feet. I'm scared of all those crazy ocean creatures!!!!The strip along the beach is called Breezeway Blvd. It was a pretty cool area. It was a lot more happening at night when all the bars started filling up. There were lots of little gift shops along there, but Jen and I got there a little late to shop around in most of them. They all seemed to close really early. We did stop in a surf shop where Jen got some cute new flip flops and I talked tattoos with some cutie with long curly hair and lots of bright tattoos. We hit it off right off the bat. I loved him!!!!! ;-)
Jen grabbed my camera while I was playing in the water and snapped some shots when I wasn't looking. I like this picture of us laying in the sand together. It would have been nice to have been able to spend more time on the beach, but time wasn't really on our side. Jen had training all day the two full days we were there, but it was nice while we were there.Funny how I hate feet, but I always want to take a picture of my feet when I'm on a beach somewhere..........................
We decided that Breezeway Blvd is where we needed to go for our last night out on the town, so when Jen and I got done at the beach, we went back to the hotel to pick up John so we could all go out one last time. We all walked around looking for someplace good to eat and listening to all the live music coming from the nightclubs. Some of it was really loud and overwhelming when you were trying to talk to eachother, but it was still cool to walk around and hear everything that was going on.
We walked past an alley that had a bunch of pirate statues lining the walkway and a sign that said "pirate bar is open." So, we decided to check out the pirate bar. It was pretty fun. The bartender, Jenny, was really good at playing the pirate girl role. She talked really loud and said "AARRRGGHHH" a lot. When the clock struck 9:00, she yelled "nine o'clock and all is well!!!" She was fun.There were white walls troughout the bar that all the tourists have signed, so we had to make our mark too. Some guy named Jesse bought hats for all the girls in the bar that had rinestone skulls and crossbones on them. They're actually pretty cute. Jen and I wore ours together for a few minutes until Jen couldn't take it anymore. It was already obvious we were tourists. I mean, we took pictures of our food for crying out loud....but wearing matching hats, well, that was just a little too much. I love my hat though!!!!We had Jenny the bartender take this picture for us. I think it's almost frame worthy......LOVE IT!!!!
By the time we got back to the room that night, we were all pretty beat. I sat up and read some more of my book while Jen and John drifted off to sleep.
Jen and I woke up the next morning and decided to get another hour of sun out by the pool. It was kind of overcast when we first went out, but it cleared up and we had a little sun to enjoy before we had to leave.
I was originally supposed to fly home on a seperate flight than Jen that had a layover in Memphis, but when we got to the airport, I asked if they had any seats available for the direct flight back to Indy. I totally lucked out. They had one seat left......and I got it!! I was so happy to be on the same plane as Jen. Even though we couldn't sit together, we got to say our goodbye's in Indy instead of Ft. Lauderdale. That was nice. Plus, I got home about five hours earlier than I had originally expected. I was really happy about that.

I took this picture as we were flying out of Ft. Lauderdale. It was beautiful flying over the coast.

I was ready to get home. I really missed Ryan while I was gone, and kept asking myself in my head why I would go somewhere without him. I really did have a blast, but it's always more fun if my baby's around. One night away from him now and then isn't so bad, but a big trip like that.....I don't know. This may have been my last vacation without Ryan.

My vacation ended perfectly when Ryan got home that night and we could be together again..........................I know you are probably all puking right now.



Saturday, October 11, 2008

Meet our new addition

We call her Powder Blue (WEEN Song title) and for once, our new addition to the family is NOT a dog!!!!Ryan and I had been tossing around the idea of getting a new car for awhile. Not a NEW car, but a used car that would be new to us. Neither one of us wanted to get rid of the vehicles we already own though. I'm totally attached to my car. I love her and I will dirve her until the wheels fall off. But, the idea of having something reliable AND good on gas has been on our minds a lot lately. Especially with as much driving as we do.We found this little beauty through a friend of Ryan's from work who buys old cars, fixes them up and sells them for a profit. It's a 1996 Honda Accord. So, technically, it's older than either one of our vehicles, but still new to us!! It has less mileage than my car and Ryan's truck,it's only had one previous owner, AND it gets great gas mileage!!I'm really hoping this little Honda will be as good t us as Dad's Hondas always were to him. If we're lucky, we could still get another 150,000 miles or so out of it. It only has about a 100,000 now. Dad's Honda ran until it had nearly 300,000 miles................HOLY COW!!!!

You should all be able to spot us pretty easy when you see us coming though. Check out the front side panel. That's HOT, huh?!?!? Pretty small price to pay for a new ride though!!!