You know me…it’s all about the details 😉
We spent Christmas in Pensacola Beach Florida and it was really cold, with temperatures in the 30’s in the morning, and in the 40’s (possibly in the low 50’s) and really windy. But this isn’t snow, it’s a snowy-white beach.
Not mine… Mel’s!
She brought one of her art projects home recently, and when she showed it to me my reaction was “Wow! WOW! This is really good!!!… Can I have it???” 🙂 Just wish she had rolled it up instead of folded it…
…lies in the mirror.
Yup, all it takes is two mirrors mounted in the corner of a room 😉
At the Plano Balloon Festival a couple of weeks ago, Sara said that she wished she had a better camera than the little point & shoot. She was getting a little frustrated with it because everything was so far away, and when it got too dark, the pictures didn’t turn out well at all.
The following week-end, on a boring Sunday, I asked her if she wanted to go to her school and take some pictures with Melissa’s Nikon D70s (we didn’t tell her, and I just said I needed to borrow her camera. She didn’t want to go anyway).
So off to the school we went, for some FUN! Sara never even complained about the heat!
I switched the camera to Auto mode for her so she could just snap away without having to worry about constantly changing the settings, depending on which way she was facing, and it probably would have been a little too overwhelming for her to remember. And besides, this little outing was more about having fun, than learning something new.
First, I took a picture of her….
….. taking a picture of me
Then a fun little mother-daughter reflection portrait (hers turned out too blurry, unfortunately)
The shadow picture was her idea. While editing, I added the same texture to both.
What did you expect? 😉
Even caught Melissa… Greg and Sara are there, too, but hiding.
I hate laundry. Hate it, hate it, hate it!! Ok, it’s not the putting a load in the washer or in the dryer part, but the folding part I could do without.
Melissa has been folding hers (although she needs a refresher course), Greg is hopeless, and Sara is just a little too young, but everyone puts their own clothes away. We have a sectioned hamper, and everyone knows where everything goes, so the laundry is already pre-sorted. It’s just that darn folding part.
I can’t remember how old my washer was, but sometime last summer I noticed white flakes on the clothes, thinking it was detergent that didn’t completely dissolve, and switched to liquid. Found out much later that it was a problem with the washer, and not the detergent at all.
Then a few months ago, the loads became unbalanced. It wasn’t anything I did wrong, it was the washer. It got worse and worse, and every once in a while, the water wouldn’t drain during the spin cycle. I tell you, it’s no fun, having to baby-sit your washing machine all day. Running in the to fix the unbalanced load, or opening the lid and closing it again at the start of the spin cycle. That seemed to fix the water draining problem, but there was still this burnt rubber smell if I didn’t make it in there fast enough.
Then finally with the tax refund and Greg’s bonus in the bank, we looked for a new washer (thankfully the old one hung in there just long enough!). It’s bigger than the old one, and a front-loader instead of top-loader, and it’s a high-efficiency model. Not only does it save energy and uses less water, but the clothes come our so dry, it saves about 20 minutes of drying time in the dryer! AND it plays a happy little song when it’s finished. I still don’t like doing laundry, but it isn’t quite as bad as it was before.
Some more pictures from our winter storm yesterday. I went outside three times, for about 5 minutes each, and that’s all it took for my fingers to get so cold that I couldn’t feel them anymore. Wouldn’t have been so bad out, if it wasn’t for the wind!
Icy plum tree
Frozen blackberry leaves
Frozemary (aka frozen rosemary)
Leaves of whatever plant that is with the red berries. See those “snowflakes” on that leaf in the bottom right corner? If only I had seen them earlier! By the time I started editing the pictures (hours after taking them!) and went back outside to search for them, they had disappeared.
Frozen dandelion that I picked and placed on the porch railing
Half-buried leaf and dead grass
My (slightly warped) reflection in one of my car’s icy side windows. Note the lobster-red fingers that I couldn’t feel at that point and wouldn’t have known if they had snapped off from the cold 😉
Unfortunately she only took one, and it came out a little out of focus, and she decided not to share it on her blog.
Right where I belong!
I met with a friend for a very belated Birthday lunch today. I met Claudia at the gym sometime last fall, when I walked in shortly after her and someone at the front desk mentioned to me that she was from Germany, too. He also mentioned to Claudia that I was from Germany (well, close enough anyway) and we bumped into each other (not literally) a while later and introduced ourselves.
We ran into each other from time to time and chatted for a few minutes each time. When we found out that we’re the same age, AND our birthdays are only within about two weeks of each other (I’m the older one 😛 ), we decided to celebrate together when the weather was warmer. Unfortunately sick kids, vacations, bad weather, and busy schedules prevented us from meeting up… until today! And I have to say that we picked the perfect day, because it was just beautiful outside, and we did ask for a table outside.
We met at the restaurant at 11:30 am and didn’t leave until 2:10pm, when we had to go because it was time to pick up the kids. We probably could have sat there all day otherwise 🙂
Sorry for the delay in posting about our vacation, this past week has been a little crazy and it took me a little longer than I wanted, to get all the pictures edited. I took almost 800 but got them weeded down to 449.
Anyway… we left on Friday, March 12. Greg worked from home that day so we could get the car loaded up, I picked up the kids from school a little early, and we were on the road just before 2pm and missed most of rush hour (lots of people leaving work early that day). I decided to keep the camera packed away, because I knew there wouldn’t be anything interesting to take pictures of. I mean, this is Texas after all. It’s so flat, I bet if I climbed one of the telephone poles, I could have seen all the way to Colorado! 😉
I did have my phone and texted a couple of friends. Thanks Amber and Treva, for saving my life. I would have died of boredom if it wasn’t for you! 😉
We spent the night somewhere in Amarillo, TX and then made it to Colorado Springs, CO by about 3pm on Saturday. We originally planned to take I-40 to Vega, TX, and then take 87 to I-25, but Amber told me that this was a long stretch of nothing and I talked Greg into staying on the highway instead, and I’m so glad he agreed! We did take a little shortcut (84 to I-25) and there was absolutely nothing there! No gas stations, restaurants, and certainly no rest areas.
The drive that day was still boring, but it got a little more interesting once we made it to Colorado, and the mountains.
While in Colorado Springs, we stayed at the Embassy Suites. Very nice hotel. Free, cooked to order breakfast every morning, free happy hour every evening, as well as a restaurant. The kids loved all the waterfalls and the fish in the “stream”. And the glass elevator! I will leave you with some pictures of the hotel at the end of this post, but here are a few more pictures from their website (clicking on the thumbnails on the left will take you to the slide show). # 17, 18, 21, and 23 is pretty much what our room looked liked.
That evening we met up with one of Greg’s co-workers and his family. We had dinner at the hotel restaurant and then went to It’z for some fun. Well, fun for the kids anyway. Us grown-ups found a quit(er) spot and had drinks while the kids got to wear themselves out, although they spent most of the time riding the bumper cars.
Sunday morning we drove around Garden of the Gods – and took pictures! – and then stopped at the Trading Post (aka souvenir shop). A little preview of Garden of the Gods is in my header.
We had reservations to take the cog rail up to Pikes Peak. Greg had made the reservation the day before and we were told that we would not be able to go all the way to the summit because of bad weather. When we got there, they told us that there wasn’t enough interest for the 11:something train and they had moved us to the 1:20pm train. We had plenty of time to kill and went back to the Garden of Gods Trading Post to eat lunch. By the time we got back to the cog rail, it had started snowing (yay!) which made the ride up the mountain that much more fun. We got seats together, but there were some empty seats, and Greg and Sara moved so they could have window seats, too. I think the summit is about 8 miles up the mountain, but the train stopped just past mile 6 and that’s as far as they could safely go. We were stopped for a few minutes and were allowed to stand up, and that’s when you noticed just how steep it really was!! At one point the train was going up such a steep hill that the front of the train was three stories above the back of the train! Not that we noticed, sitting down.
On the way back, we stopped at Mile 4 and were able to get off the train for a few minutes and enjoy the snow.
It was still kind of early when we got back, and we went in search of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some goodies. I have to say, though, the chocolates they sell by the piece behind the counter, is better than the boxed chocolates.
Then we headed back to the hotel for Happy Hour (can’t say no to free Margarita, after all 😉 ) and then to dinner at Edelweiss. Yummy, German Food!
On Monday we went back to Garden of the Gods for more pictures, and to see what we didn’t see the previous day. It snowed in Colorado Springs overnight, and Garden of the Gods looked even prettier.
We had lunch at the Golden Bee, where the waiters throw sticky little bees (they look like iron-ons, except that they’re sticky) on you when you order. Food was very good! Afterwards we went to Seven Falls, but because of the snow, the steps were closed and we couldn’t walk up. We were able to take the mountain elevator up to a viewing deck across from the falls. The falls looked cool, because they were partially frozen.
Not having being able to climb all those steps to the top of the falls saved us some time and we went back to Manitou Springs to look for the Mineral Springs and sample the water. We didn’t find all of them, and some were too far away to walk to, but the water of most of the ones we found wasn’t all that bad, and probably would have tasted even better if it was colder. One of the springs was inside of a store. It wasn’t a fountain, like the other springs, it was one of those old-timey pumps. This was the only one I refused to try because it smelled so bad!!! Greg said it tasted better than it smelled. By the way, this day was the only day I have ever seen Melissa drink water! She hates water and would rather die of thirst than have a sip of water! I was surprised that she was willing to try the mineral water, although I don’t think either of the kids tried the water from that awful smelling spring.
Tuesday we left Colorado Springs and headed to Estes Park, with a pit stop in Boulder to visit the Celestial Seasonings Tea factory. We sampled some of the teas, took the tour (very interesting, and surprisingly, for being the biggest tea manufacturer in the US, the plant isn’t very big. Unfortunately there were no pictures allowed. Very difficult, with a camera around my neck!!). After the tour we sampled a few more teas, and then ate lunch at their restaurant.
We got to Estes Park just in time to check into the hotel, and then headed downtown for a stroll through the shops and a little snack.
Wednesday we spent most of the day at Rocky Mountain National Park. Beautiful!! We didn’t see it all because they had some roads closed for the winter. We did see some Elk, a coyote, some birds, frozen lakes, and lots of snow. We had stopped at the visitors center before we entered the park, to pick up some maps, and the kids each got an activity book. On the way out of the park, we stopped at the ranger station where the kids became junior rangers 🙂
Thursday morning we checked out of the hotel and headed back to Rocky Mountain National Park, to walk around Sprague Lake. It was cold that morning and we didn’t walk all the way around. Melissa wasn’t feeling that well either, but better than the day before.
Then it was time to head toward home again 😦 Greg didn’t want to drive through Denver again, so we took 34 to 385 to I-70. What a boring, boring drive!! We stopped in Colby, Kansas for the night. Still a loong way from home!
Friday morning was drizzly and extremely windy! So windy, it ripped the rear license plate (which was only a plastic thing with the dealer’s name on it, held on by two screws) right off the car!! Thankfully the temporary tags were taped to the inside of the rear window, and I slappend even more tape on before we left home. Thankfully the plastic broke off around the screws and didn’t take the screws with it!
We had stopped at the Kansas Welcome Center the day before and got some travel guides and brochures. Greg found some wineries and we stopped at two tasting rooms and walked out with some “souvenirs”. At least there’s something good about boring Kansas 😉
We planned on spending the Night in Oklahoma City and have dinner at one of the restaurants, featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. We ended up at Ingrid’s Kitchen, a German restaurant. Yum!!
Saturday morning, we wanted to visit the National Memorial, but when we woke up it was snowing, freezing cold, road conditions were only going to get worse, and visibility wasn’t all that great. We decided to come back some other time, and head home instead. It was a scary drive! The roads were slippery, and we saw someone lose control right in front of us on the highway. Thankfully they were able to stop on the shoulder and no one was hurt. It was slow going for a while, but the closer we got to home, the better it got because Oklahoma City was on the south end of the storm. We even missed the thunderstorms in the Dallas area…. and got to enjoy seven inches of snow Sunday morning.
Whew! I think that’s all the details of our trip. We’re already planning on going back in the summer, but not until 2011, because this summer we’re going back to Indiana (and then on to somewhere else, not sure where yet, though).
View from our room.
View of the breakfast/happy hour area
Restaurant (hidden behind the greenery on the right)
In the elevator
Another view of the breakfast/happy hour area
One of the waterfalls
AND… a family picture in the hotel’s exercise room
Time for another self portrait, don’t you agree? 😉
OK, a real picture of me this time, not one of my “special” self portraits 😉
Now you can’t say that I never post any pictures of myself!
The Johnson Space Center in Houston has some great mirrors. They show no distortion whatsoever! Nope, none at all!
(But please remember that the camera adds 10 pounds!)
Friday, July 3, 2009 was probably the single most exhausting day of our whole trip. The day we went to New York City!
It all started out perfectly with a breakfast of fresh bagels and coffee at Dalia’s. After breakfast we headed to the nearby bus station and took the bus to the subway. One thing about the NYC subway: been there, done that, never want to do it again!!
First stop was Heaven B&H, where, unfortunately I didn’t get to buy a souvenir. Greg suggested an external hard drive, but what would I want that for? (don’t answer that!). The kids were happy to be there, because there were bowls of candy on every other shelf and they just kept helping themselves…. and I’m sure they were followed by employees who refilled the bowls again!
I think Dalia attracts the rain, because it rained again that morning. Just a light rain that didn’t last very long, and then the weather played along for the rest of the day.
Leaving B&H we walked…. and walked… and walked… and walked some more, I don’t even know through which parts of NYC, until Greg finally had enough and put his foot down and insisted on taking a cab to wherever the Merrill Lynch Bull was. Never did see it, but that’s OK. From there we walked some more… to Ground Zero…
… then a memorial dedicated to the fallen police officers of New York City, where even the kids found some photo ops. Max and Sara were so cute, taking pictures of each other and then looking at them on the LCD.
… then to Battery Park where we stopped for a bite to eat, and look for souvenirs. The girls each picked a pink NYC hat.
Then we took the subway to Times Square. WOW!! Pure craziness! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people in one place! We were probably lucky that we didn’t lose one or more of the kids!
Dalia had promised to take her kids to Toys R Us (formerly FAO Schwartz) and that’s where we went. This store is huge! Three stories I think? A paradise for kids of all ages, but it was so crowded, you would have thought it was Christmas Eve, five minutes before closing time!
The subway and bus ride.. and walk!… back to Dalia’s seemed endless and I think everyone was glad to be back. We went to dinner at Chili’s (nothing like a frozen Margarita after an exhausting day like that!) and then back to Dalia’s for a while.
We all got along so well, it was hard to say good-bye at the end of the evening. I’m so glad we finally got to meet, and the funny thing was that Dalia and I have the same cell phone…. with the same ringtone! And not only that, but we have the same dishwasher, too!
Again, here is what Dalia wrote about the day.
Loved the little add-on to the license plate!
Notice how happy and excited everyone looks? And no, I don’t think it was because we had been walking around NYC all morning and half the afternoon before this was taken. See why I prefer flowers? 😉
Love it when it’s not me!!
Ohhkaaay *covering eyes* put on some clothes, will ya? I really don’t want to see anyone reading my blog in their birthday suit! Unless you’re my hubby, then I don’t mind… but you’re definitely NOT him!
Hmm…. where IS hubby anyway? Oh yeah, probably reading “Hurley’s” blog. Again!
(Btw. you should really close the door, when you have guests… your granny just walked by and she didn’t like what she was seeing either!)
And what’s with all you lurkers out there? Always here to read, but never leave a comment. Why is that?! Come on… leave me a comment. I dare you! But you wont, will you? You’re too chicken!
You look like hell! You should probably call in sick today…. take some aspirin and go back to bed.
Good morning! You look like you had a few too many last night! Starting the week-end early? Have fun with that hangover… maybe you should call in sick, too!
Hey, did you know that your kid is right behind you, making faces at you? Tell him you saw that and “prove” to him that moms DO have eyes in the back of their heads!
You again! Turning the light off in the room is NOT the same as putting clothes on!! At least get a robe or something! Your neighbors might appreciate that, too! And your granny!
Quick! Close that browser! I think that’s your boss coming down the hall… he probably wouldn’t be happy to find out what you really do all day at work.
Hi Honey! Nice if you to tear yourself away from Hurley’s blog and come read mine! Hurry home today, I MISS YOU ♥ !! Have a safe flight back! See you tonight!
Well, I tried to take a self portrait for all of you, but unfortunately (yeah, right!) my arms just aren’t long enough to hold the camera far enough away to fit more of me (oh darn!), and I didn’t feel like digging out my tripod and setting it up (really!)
There. Now no one can accuse me of never posting a pic of myself.