Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guess Who Tried to Surprise Us?

Gino arrived home yesterday!! Just yesterday morning I was telling Patrick that he needed to get Gino's car home (it has been sitting at his work since the minor repair work). Since the car hadn't been started in two weeks, the battery needed to be charged. Patrick said that Gino had mentioned he thought he would be home mid-October. I told him that I had a feeling and that Gino would be home in the next few days and that he was planning on surprising us. SURPRISE or not so much!!!

It is good to have you home son and working so close! Disneyland ~ here we come!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vacation Day 2

This is the view from our hotel room at 6:30 in the morning - on the 48th floor! Nice view huh! The hotel we stayed at included a free breakfast so we started our day there and then we were off and running for our daily activities. 1st up was the Super City Tour. It was a 2-hour tour and a great way to experience the city. A part of the tour we were taken through a neighborhood where you could see the effects left on the community by Katrina. We saw many homes that were in the process of being rebuilt and also vacant lots where houses have not been rebuilt. We saw many lovely homes in the garden district.
The tour bus made a stop at a cemetery. The cemeteries there in New Orleans are all above ground and they build small crypts to hold the bodies. For the most part they only hold two bodies. Interestingly enough, when you need to bury someone else in the crypt, the old body is taken out, the remains put in a bag and placed below the space for the casket and the new casket is put in. The names of those inside go on the front of the crypt. When you run out of space on the front of the crypt, the older names from the front are moved to the side of the crypt and the new names start once again on the front.

New Orleans is truly a lovely city to visit (well except for the heat and humidity). Patrick and I stopped into the Hard Rock for a drink and to enjoy the air conditioning before our next adventure began.
We then boarded another tour bus for the drive (1.25 hours) out to Oak Alley Plantation. I snapped this shot from the bus. I thought it was an interesting blend of the old and the new.
Oak Alley is an old plantation where the walk from the Mighty Mississippi is showcased by 28 (14 on each side) giant oak trees. The grounds are magnificent. We heard about the history and pageantry of the times during our tour of the plantation house. I am glad we made the drive out. It made me happy to hear that Patrick also enjoyed the plantation. I will post more pictures in a separate entry because Oak Alley gets a post all to itself!
We arrived back at the hotel in time to join the group for snacks in the Club Level Lounge on the 42nd floor. There we all relaxed and chatted before our next big adventure - the walk down Bourbon Street. Oh, my is all I can say. There is craziness at every turn. There are more gentlemen’s clubs and the like than you can shake a stick at! Second only to the bars! We saw many a (manly ladies) stumbling down the street. One such woman had her 3 friends trying to carry her away – she was that drunk. And they way she was being carried, we could tell that she was not wearing any panties!! (Oh my) We stopped to watch this performance for a few minutes. At some point her friends left her as she was making a spectacle of herself. They didn’t really go far. Scotty was watching from up the street and the friends stopped about where they were. After a few moments, they handed their purses to Scotty and asked him to hold them as they attempted to retrieve their friend once again. (Now you tell me, especially when in a strange city, would you hand your purse to a person you don’t know). They were finally able to get their friend off the street – and into another bar!! WTH?
As a group, we walked down the street, looking for a place to eat. We tried to get into Pat O’Brians, but since there were 12 of us, it would have taken an hour at least to get a table. We settled on a restaurant that was fairly empty and could sit us immediately. Umm, usually a sign and not a good one. Let’s just say that it wasn’t the best experience. Why is it that when you have a large group, the service severely declines. Go figure. After dinner the majority of the group was going to walk back to the hotel. WE decided to venture around the French Quarter some more. The night before I had seen a shop with some vintage glass bottles with cute toppers on them. I have a habit of seeing something I like, not buying it, and then wishing later that I had. So I searched for the store, found it and bought the bottle.
We passed a few bars playing live music and stayed listening at one for a set. Then the show started. The floor show included a song(?)/dance(?) featuring an older lady who had been a cabaret star many, many years ago. We stayed for two songs and decided we had enjoyed the show long enough. We ended our evening back at the hotel in the main lounge enjoying the company of the group.

Bloglines is going away

I am really sad. Bloglines, the way I keep up with all the blogs I love to read, is going away. October 1st will be its last day available. :( Tell me ladies, how do you keep track of all the blogs you follow. I need a new system fast!
I still going through my pictures to post of my vacation, they will appear soon! I leave you with this picture of Lambie looking out the window of our hotel room. You can see the muddy Mississippi in the background. There is also the voodoo doll I purchased in New Orleans!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Vacation Trip - Day 1

Day 1 of our vacation started with a 4:14am wake up call. Our plan was to leave the house at 5:00, pick Scotty up and off to the airport. Michelle drove with us so that she could take the car back to the house. All went well until, at the airport, I remembered that I had left my camera (gasp) at home! I called Anthony to see if Michelle had arrived at home to see if she could come back really fast with it. He said he would call as soon as she arrived. Do you know how slow the clock ticks when you are anxiously awaiting something as important as a phone call. He calls and says they will bring it right down. The clock is ticking away as we still needed to make it through security. In the 20-30 minutes ALL that took (from the phone call to delivery) I was just a bit stressed (read quite a bit stressed). THEN, when we went through security, I got one agent and went to the left side line. Patrick got a different agent and went to the right side line. He got stuck behind an elderly gentleman and there was something on him that keep setting the alarms off. He was extremely confused and they wouldn’t let his family help much. They asked him to take his belt off. He had suspenders on and when he took those off, his pants just about fell down. Poor guy. This took a just a few minutes, but it seems to be forever when you are waiting on your husband (who is 3 people behind this whole mess) and the clock is still ticking. At this point I wasn’t worried about missing the flight, I just knew that my mom would be worried about us as they had already boarded the flight and didn’t know that we were ready to get on. We were one of the last people on the flight, which is ok with me. I hate sitting in those tiny seats while the plane boards.

We arrived at the hotel about 3:30ish and what a nice hotel it was. We were on the 48th floor with a nice view. After a bit of relaxing, we met up with the rest of the group to decide where to venture off for dinner. We chose Mother’s. A local diner and the food did not disappoint. I had the fried fish of the day and it just happened to be catfish. It was really good, almost tasted like chicken. I am sure they used the same batter for the fish as they did the chicken. My meal came with two sides. I choose the red beans and rice and the steamed cabbage. Both great choices! Kim ordered the grilled catfish and it was really good to.

Our server was Effy and she took great care of us.

Part of the group took a Haunted Walk around the French Quarter. It wasn’t from the tour company that I wanted to use, but it was the one that had the hook up from the hotel lobby desk. Our tour was a bit of a disappointment, but we did walk around a bit of the French Quarter and hear some interesting stories.

Look what I found - a lawyer voodoo doll!! I bought a generic voodoo doll!!
I was playing with the setting on my camera and this shot was taken at 8:30 at night. It was really dark and this is the shot I got. I was quite please with the shot! Legend has it that am man who had lost his fortune and the family fortune as well hung himself over where this table now sits. The restaurant experienced hauntings until they set food on this table nightly!!
Same with this shot, really dark outside and leaving the shutter open for 6 seconds allowed enough light to enter to get this shot. Legend has it that in this courtyard, a man killed his lover by chocking her and throwing her from the balcony.
I just thought this was a great shot. You can actually see this courtyard from Bourbon Street down one of the alleyways.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Arianna is now in the 4th grade

Can you believe it?
Here she is with her teacher, Miss Lorraine.

September Basic Grey class

Saturday, Kari and I attended our monthly Basic Grey class. We were using the Olivia line. I wasn't recall keen on the layout from Basic Grey, but these are the layouts (with slight modifications) that Rebbecca shared with us. This is a picture of Jillian, Arianna and Amara from back in 2006.
This is a picture of Glee and my grandson Dane.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dove Evolution

With all the time they spent putting make-up and styling this women, they still spent additional time in post processing editing. People need to stop believing that what they see on covers of magazines is equivelant to real life. Ladies - we are beautiful - each in our own ways.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Many Faces of Rylee

Ryan, Darleen and the kids stopped by for a visit on Sunday and to take Patrick out to celebrate his birthday. We went to the Cheesecake Factory! I took a few pictures of Rylee and that girl should be a model!She is too cute! I am feeling the need to do another layout here. Now to plan it out and print some pictures!
And what did Dane think about all this? I am not sure, but I think he thinks we are kind of goofy!!

Who 'dat in the Hat?

These pictures were taken at Disney's California Adventure in one of the gift shops. Arianna thought this was a cool hat. Obviously Grandpa Pat did too and even posed for a picture. I couldn't believe he let me take a picture with this hat on!
Publish Post

Papers are Graphic 45 from the Hollowe'en in Wonderland Collection, Prima bling and Webster's ribbon. The journaling block is an .svg file that I cut on my Cricut from Jill D Zines at Scrapdish.

Happy Labor Day

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Disney's 5k Family Fun Run/Walk

Today was the Disney 5k Family Fun Run/Walk. I had been excited to attend this annual event for the 1st time. I work up super early (3am - too much stuff on my mind) and wondered if I really wanted to go. I would end up running alone and I didn't want to run alone.
I didn't get much sleep but decided to go anyway. The event organizers suggested a minimum of a 16 minute mile to make it to the end of the course in a timely fashion. I didn't know if I could do that - but I wanted that medal!
This is everyone at the start of the race going under the start banner. There were 4,000 runners and I was ready to be one of them. The course started at the parking garage and wound through Disneyland and ended in California Adventure.
Throughout the park there were characters and Disney cast members there to cheer you on. It was great. I passed the 1-mile marker at 17 minutes. Seeing that I probably didn't pass the start line for a minute passed the official timer (due to all the people in front of me) I thought I was doing pretty good. I passed the 2-mile marker at 31.09. Still doing good with my running and walking!
Almost done. At mile marker 3 I was at 43 minutes 40 seconds. Rounding the bin, I crossed the finish line I am estimating at just over 44 minutes!! I think the official photographer got a picture of me crossing the finish line - at least I hope it was me he got. I will know in a few days.
I did it and I have the plastic to prove it (the medal was plastic)!! I am glad I started and finished when I did. I talked to a family that finished about 5 minutes after I did and they didn't get a medal - Disney ran out! They will receive their medal only through the mail. I hope to do it again next year. The balls of my feet are really sore tonight. I think I needed to stretch more before the race.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to You My Love

Today is my Patrick's birthday. We will be spending most of the day at his Happy Place - Disneyland! Then we have bowling and dinner at one of his favorite pasta places. I love you dear. You make my life wonderful!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Boy and Their Toys

I just had to snap this picture and all I had next to me was my iPhone. The boys were playing so nicely together! Bailey loves his stuffed animals. Sarge loves to rip the stuffing out of them. I try to keep lots of chew toys around for Sarge. I recently got them a new stash of toys and Sarge promptly broke the first one and tore the stuffing out of Bailey's. That LB!

August Basic Grey Class

These are the layouts from the August Basic Grey Class at the Scrapbook Oasis last week.
This is the layout featuring pictures from when Sarge first came to live with us and is the sponsored layout from Basic Grey's Page Of The Month Kit. This kit featured papers from the Max & Whiskers paper collection. The layout is two 12x12 pages put together.
This picture was from June 2007 at Disney's California Adventure - Father and Son on the California Screamin ride!
This picture was taken at Disney's California Adventure one day when Gino was home on leave. My parents were able to join us this day.