Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Southeast fun

I believe the fam all saw these pics, but I don't believe anyone knows quite how much fun our weekend away was. We traveled with Paul and Lynn for the first time (since Keswick camping that is...) and I hope it won't be the last. We just had a blast sharing jokes, talking about life and kids, and learning trivia of which Paul is the *King*.




First we visited Dad and Trish in Atlanta, and had a really nice visit. They are doing well and took us to a cool WWII Air Force base themed restaurant called 57th Restaurant. It was located adjacent to a regional airport and we could see planes taking off and landing...even saw a blimp land. If you look to the right on this pic you will see an airplane wing...there was aon old army jeep right behind me too.


We had breakfast in the am at their house and spent 2 hours recapping everything from Italy where relatives live to the old town in Plainfield. Lots of fun.

Part 2 of the trip was to tour Nashville. This won't be news to all you country music fans (all two of you that is) but Nashville is a HUGE center for music. Lots of things to do around that, including live music venues for dinner and clubbing, as well as the big concert scene. e.g. Ed Scheeran was in town, but being out of it I had never heard of him.

We went to the Grand Ole' Opry because, well because going to Music City just wouldn't be complete without it. The show turned out to be the regular weekly radio program (commercials included). While some of the entertainment was lively, lets just say we now know why they call it "Ole'. Some of the artists were virtually brought back from the dead. Maybe it was the show we picked. Check the lineup before you buy tickets. I didnt take this picture and I have no idea who this is...but we did see Roy Clark, Crystal Gayle. and few young artist, too.



We also went to the Country Music Hall of Fame. This one really is a must see. So many fabulous exhibits...including movies, old cars, recording studios, and everyone's in there as they took a very inclusive approach (did you know Elvis sang country music?...no, I didn't either.)







And what visit to Nashville would be complete without a visit to the Parthenon? Yes, you heard that right. A replica of the one in Greece (Bob and Lynn eat your hearts out).




No idea why this one is here, they said they built it as a part of their Centennial celebration a hundred years ago. Oh well, you just have to wonder.



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Saturday, August 30, 2014

DiD U KNow?

Life has been moving pretty fast these days, and we've done so many different things - really enjoying it too. So I though it might be good to share a bunch of things in a list-style form my girls have made famous. I'm going back a week or so - did you know:

- we sold our van - the check cleared so it's official. The buyer has a trust fund which was controlled by the AZ court system so I dealt with a lawyer as a middle man. All went well - whew, relief, and some sadness. Its been a reliable vehicle and faithfully transported Joe to many Drs appointments and fun trips too, but it is no longer needed (btw he is getting around quite well without it now, thank you.)






- We went to an AZ Diamondback's game...and they won! the Chase field has a roof on top that opens, but they kept it closed because the weather was way too hot! They even have a "roof report" where they announce the temp inside and out. Following the game they had a free Third Day concert which was just awesome!





- We've been hanging out with Ken and Terry, our new neighbors and Jamie's in-laws. This week we went to the movies, went to church, shopped at a cool rug store in Scottsdale, had pretzel bun burgers at home...and that's just for starters. No pictures, just lots of fun.

- Speaking of church, our church is in the middle of a series on how God Speaks today. They've titled it "The Voice" and each week they have had finalists from the singing contest show of the same name. This week we had Bif Gore, one of the contestants singing and leading the worship. Very cool.



- Our front yard has some additions...we added some river rock to improve drainage during monsoons and added pavers where the side gate is so we can keep our garbage cans outside behind the gate. This gives even more room in the garage to get in and out of the cars, and it doesn't stink anymore in there. Oh, and the best front addition is a cool metal plant sculpture. It may look weird if you just look at it alone, but it really looks great in place and completes the picture out front.


- the garage workbench project is complete (yeah). And the office is also 99% done - all I need is a valance / cornice which I think I am going to make and cover with a piece of fabric. TBD.



- we got a new bed - its a temperpedic, and a new bed frame, which is wonderful, except for a small problem with the footboard. The threads inside the metal post are stripped and the company had to replace the entire footboard...they came out to install the new one and that one was stripped also, but this time on the other side. oh well. they are going to try again. NC to us, so its kinda humorous. (the rest of the room is undergoing a makeover as well - more to follow in time).


- FB doesnt stand for facebook anymore, it stands for fitness blender@ 0 J and D have totally converted me to the new style of workout and it is awesome. Im hooked, even if i spend 10 mins when the workout is complete recovering. This picture is from the ABS challenge a few months ago; just imagine me laying flat on this same mat dead.



- thats about it for now, and Summer isn't even over yet!




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Show Low?

We took a trip to Show Low, AZ this weekend.

Yes, that's right, Show Low. Strange name right? We thought is was too. But its a real town up north about 3 hours. Its at about 6,000 feet elevation so it was great for getting out of the heat. Some of the people we know own cabins up here. Can you guess from this picture where it got it's name?




We went to a history museum to find out. And we found out lots of things besides. Like that the town was founded by Mormons (no big surprise out here). And that they did a fabulous job documenting everything, I mean everything. They even had a cool working miniature train exhibit. And Andy would have liked this one...



An entire display on old surveying equipment! We also had to ask about this very strange phenomena that we noticed right away at just about every street corner. Couldn't explain it but we had our guesses...



You probably guessed - this is a camera for catching people who ran the traffic lights (like I said they had lots of them). But why were they all covered up?

The curator confirmed our suspition...the police installed them but the town's people had such an outcry because they hated them. so they covered them all till they could figure out what to do. Oh well. Out for Mexican food in the evening (btw we have eaten more Mexican food in the last 4 years than we did our entire lives!)

We spent the night and then went to this wonderful recreation area called Fool's Hollow Lake (another funny name).









Really nice and had a great walking path that surrounded the lake. Even with the temperature being cooler (80's) the sun was still strong. So we packed up and headed home via Payson.

So did you guess? The name Show Low came from a card game - apparently some epic game to settle a dispute between two men over who would own the ranch they lived on. The game, seven-up, was to be used and went late into the night...until finally one of them supposedly said - whoever can "show low" will win. The deuce of clubs (also the name of the main street in town) has become the symbol in the town logo.

So they say this is the Wild West, then this must be how the West was won!


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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Guess who had a birthday?

You'll never guess...well maybe you will when you see the pictures.










It was a festive occasion. We celebrated while we were in San Diego with our Small Group. They went out and bought the cake as a surprise, but they did check in with me to see what kind.

Can you guess what I said?
Yep, a perfect 10.
Both the birthday girl and the cake, that is!


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Monday, June 23, 2014

What? A real vacation?

We had a wonderful opportunity to get away on vacation this past week - to cruise to a place as enchanted as it was relaxing...Bermuda!



What can be said that would describe this week - perfect weather, beautiful beaches, terrific food, and no cell service!
















Vickie and I had the time of our lives; a virtual second honeymoon. It took a while for us to get acclimated but by day three we both relaxed and started to get in the groove. We sat down with the upcoming day's options in front of us every evening and found out how much we wanted to do or not. It was a piece of cake really, since we both enjoyed the dinner service in the restaurant so much we made that our top priority. The entertainment was also high on the list each day.

After three days at sea we arrived and started our excursions ashore. These we figured out on our own, and chose a different beach each day to visit. Each was different from the one before...we found everything from seclude snorkeling beaches, to popular wave filled locations. Each one was wonderful in its own right. The transportation was good on two of the days - but one day the ferries to Hamilton went on strike which made things a little crazy - we figured out alternatives and made it work just fine.














There were plenty of places to enjoy on the ship as well. we had an inside cabin so we didn't hang out there, but found the lounge chairs on the more secluded decks and the lounges with live entertainment the most relaxing. Vickie had the misfortune of getting a cold-type bug on the last day, so she spent most of that day resting, but by evening we were in the restaurant again eating and went to the show that night as well.









And now I sit on the plane writing this, anticipating 107 degree weather back home, and our next trip somewhere relaxing. But then again, people come to where we live to relax most of the year. So, no complaint today; only a grateful heart for what we were able to enjoy after 33 years...btw - anyone every heard of a 3rd honeymoon?




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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Travelers

We've been on the road lately. Really on the go.

First our trip to NJ for Joe's memorial and Christa's graduation (10 days). This week we were back in NJ for a work trip (4 days that turned into 5). That says nothing of upcoming trips - we know of 4 that will be happening and at least two of them will be more than a week long. Bermuda, Atlanta/Nashville, Virginia, Brazil.

Now if you are wondering what this looks like, it sometimes looks like this...



There are long hours on airplanes and in terminals. Waiting for your time to board, reading Harry Potter, waiting to use the restroom, crossword puzzles, waiting for your baggage, trying to do emails, free peanuts and occasional wheat thins, airport food or packing sandwiches, rental cars, piles of unread newspapers, trying to sleep in tight quarters, Newark Airport (especially when it's under construction). Not as glamorous as it sounds. But we are loving it...Sometimes.

Mostly because we get to be with the ones we love. To laugh together and just to enjoy time...something that seems more valuable every day. And we get to be with each other (we actually enjoy each other, imagine!)

And sometimes we get to stay at home too, and have others come here to visit.

See you soon!



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Location:S Cardinal St,Gilbert,United States

Friday, May 30, 2014

Mexican food

Out here Mexican food is as common as pizza in NJ. I'm not exaggerating. There are a plethora of choices. A few weeks ago we went to a place with a work friend and his wife that is famous for good Mexican food...very basic, just good and cheap called Carolina's.






I never said it was nice. I wish I had taken pictures of the hand written CASH ONLY signs all over the walls. And my friend said we really had to go during the day because of the neighborhood. He was right.

Today I decided to forego the 5 minute plank exercise and we went out to Mexican again, this time to a nice, new place near home called Cafe Rio.







This place actually was nice. The concept was pretty much the same at both...you walk up to a counter and order your food and pay. But at Cafe Rio you get a show as you wait, they are making the meals right in front of you as they do at Chipotle...right down to the tortillas. We loved it and will return.


Now, can someone tell me where I can find a decent slice of pizza for lunch tomorrow?





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