Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Vacation...I looooove it!


VACATION....

It's probably one of my favorite times of the year...for the simple reason that it allows me to step out of reality for a week and enjoy a relaxed pace of life...no work, no "necessary" alarm, no schedule conflicts...the only thing I had to think about was what I wanted to eat, and when I wanted to sleep:) However, I am back to reality now and have almost gotten back into the swing of things...



Generally, I'm pretty good at planning and preparing myself for various things...but this year was quite different. I had good intentions of being packed a day or two in advance so I could "enjoy" getting ready for the trip, rather than being stressed, but that didn't happen! I had a friend come in from out of town the night before I left, so I decided it'd be much smarter to hang out than pack and get sleep...it was a good choice:) I barely woke up at 4 in the morning on the day I left....but I rolled out of bed, got my stuff together, and managed to convince one of my roommates to take me to the airport...the incentive was that she could drive Maxwell (my car:)) to and from the airport if she would take me! How could anyone turn that offer down!?! So I got to the airport, got through security, and the minute I sat down, my eyes literally shut and I was out until I heard calls for my plane boarding! I walked onto the plane, and again, was knocked out once I sat down...the only thing I remember was feeling the bump as we safely landed (much better than another plane experience, when I fell asleep and a man spilled his cup of water on me...I heard him say "maybe she won't notice" to the flight attendant, so I had to pretend i was sleep the entire trip with cold water on my lap..aye!). I met up with my family and we stopped at the Cracker Barrel (a tradition) on the way into TN! Once we ate our big breakfast at Cracker Barrel, vacation had officially begun!




I won't go into toooooo much detail with the week...but it was great! The only negative to the trip was that my sister and I got jipped out of the master bedroom in our condo, and instead spent the week in the twin bedroom, letting my little brother (who normally gets to sleep on the floor or a pull out couch) take the master bedroom....actually we didn't really "let" him...he threatened to lock us out of the condo if we didn't let him get the big room:)



For those of you who don't know, we go to TN every year...and have gone nearly every year since my sister was a baby (so, 25 years now)...we have timeshare down there, so being at Fairfield Glade, is almost like a second home to us...we have the same condos each year, see the same workers, do many of the same activities...its just second nature! I love it:) We had beautiful weather the entire week...90s, and sunny! There were a few days at the end of the week with evening rain showers, and one huge storm the last night (it actually knocked the power out, so we had to entertain a number of little cousins with no lights or running water for a few hours...)...but for the most part the weather was screaming for us to be outside and living it up!!



The reason I love vacation (which I sort of mentioned earlier) is that it's so laid back and just relaxing...some vacations are busy...going to do this, or that....but when I'm in TN my days went a little something like this....wake up...go for a morning jog before the sun gets crazy hot...end up at the tennis courts after my jog and watch some of the family tennis tournament--I like playing tennis, but I wouldn't claim to be an expert, and I figured it was safer for me to watch and admire rather than getting into the fierce competition (some of my family members have been known to throw rackets due to loss or frustration! yikes!!). A few of the days I did dabble at the game just for fun, but never got too far before I was kicked off the court for the serious players! :) After tennis, we would head over to the pool and jump in as soon as we got there...it was SO stinkin' hot that I could barely wait to get into the chilly water! Oh, and I can't forget to mention the daily slushies that were quite refreshing after being sweaty and gross! After being at the pool for a few hours, I generally went back to my condo....watched tv, relaxed, or took a nap...then we'd find something fun to do in the afternoon, meet up with the rest of the family for dinner, and then the evenings consisted of games, cards, reminiscing (as we do every year), and lots of laughing!



We were also able to get out on a lake one of the afternoons...that was a lot of fun...a little gross when I stumbled across a section of the lake that was FILLED with tons of little dead fish that were about to float into my mouth! NAST-O! I also went with the ladies in the family and went to see a musical (Singing In the Rain) at the local playhouse and it was fantastic! I'm always extremely impressed!!! What else....we stopped by a winery to check out the selection and let me tell you it wasn't the wine I kept going back up to the bar for....the cheese and crackers were DELICIOUS! I never knew:) We enjoyed our annual chili cook off, as well as trips to the "Bean Pot" for the best ice cream ever (the Bean Pot is this crazy restaurant right off the highway that nearly all the truckers stop at....so we've had some interesting experiences there!)

Anyway....that about sums it up in a short novel:) Sorry for the length of the blog...I enjoy sharing, and now I can do it for all to read!!! (I know, LAZY) :)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

TV Junkie



You may be thinking I'm talking about myself...but I'm not (although I do admit that I easily get sucked into TV...especially reality TV...I already have a list of shows I want to start watching this summer!!




I have never known a baby more interested and CAPTIVATED by TV as the little baby I nanny for. She is a little bit over 6 months old and she just LOVES TV...often times I have to take her away from the TV to feed her, or else she'll be so distracted and won't eat...just check out the pictures and you'll get what I'm saying...:)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

To Michigan or Bust...


We had been planning the weekend for what seemed like ages...and then all the sudden it just crept up on us...and now, it is no more. My roommate, Megan, and I decided to take a road trip to Michigan to visit our families for the fourth of July weekend. I like to surprise people, so of course my first thought was to not tell ANYONE about coming home...but then I realized that I generally get too excited when I plan something like this and want to share with the world. Well, I limited my sharing to my sibilings...I told them, because I know they are busy and I wanted to be able to see them when I was home...so I let them in on my little scheme, but kept my parents in the dark about it.

So, most people wouldn't think that going 3 weeks without blabbing would be too hard, right!? Well...a few of my lovely family members hard a slightly difficult time keeping this info on the down low...this story could literally be turned into a book...but I will give you the short verson: my mom "found out" that I was thinking of coming home, tried to get it out of me, and couldn't so she moved onto a different child to which they "couldn't help" but tell her what was going on...then of course I explained that they needed to stretch the truth slightly since I had just told her I was not coming home...if you are following, I am impressed...if not, that is ok...just keep reading. Long story short, my mom went back and forth with "knowing" and "not knowing" and I think we confused her enough that she really had no idea wht was going on.




Megan and I left Minneapolis right after work on Friday nigt and began the journey east towards Michigan. It was surprisingly a really smooth trip to Chicago, where we stayed on Friday night (minus the one small detour that took us into the middle of no where and looked like a creepy scene out of a movie...eeek). The plan was to arrive in Saline around 1 pm and surprise my parents at that time...my siblings were assigned the job of distracting them...so we went to bed on Friday night around 1:30 planning to set the alarm for 7:30...that would give us an hour to actually wake up, get in the shower, and get on the road by 8:30 (from where we stayed in Chicago, it was only 4 hours to Saline)...I woke up on my own around 7:15 and the first thought that popped into my head was "Oh no...there is an hour difference...it is really 8:15 right now). So...I frantically wake up Megan and explain to her that we need to boook it out of there so we can follow through with our plans. We gather all our belongings and get out the door in a record 10 minutes! We get on the road and we are ready go...right on schedule. The only bad part is that we didn't have time to shower, or really do anything other than brush our teeth! Nasty-o! Then between the time we left and the time we arrived home, the plan of surprising my parents changed about 5 times...eventually we had it nailed down and everything was going according to schedule. We sneak in a resturant where my brother works, and where my parents were eating lunch, and walk up merely saying "hey..."

My dad had to quickly put his glass back on (they were off at the time so he couldn't see super well)...my mom did a double take...and my grandma said, "oh my...you are here?!" It was a lot of fun:)



The weekend was very busy and we had a lot going on...but it was a really nice visit home! We got to go downtown Ann Arbor for dinner on Friday night...Ann Arbor is always an interesting place (we saw a guy riding a bike in short spandex and a bikini top....hmmm!?) Then Sunday morning Megan went to visit her extended family, and I went with my family to the church I grew up in...we all met up again in the evening to celebrate my sister in law's birthday and then we headed to the Henry Ford Museum to see the Salute to America program with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and fireworks! Monday we slept in (the only day on our short "vacation" to do this) and just hung out...watching "My Sweet 16th" on MTV as well as a few TLC shows:) We made it to the mall, shopped, and then got home in time for a nice home cooked meal before the drive home in the morning! Plus we toured nearly everyone's house in my family (my parent's, my grandma's, my sister's, and my brother and his wife's:)) It was one GOOD weekend!



We set back out for Minneapolis on Tuesday morning around 8:30 after a short delay (I went running on Sunday morning and noticed my CD case and CDs all over a yard down the road and I could not figure out how they got there...then when we got in the car on Monday I noticed all our Chicago toll money change was gone from my car...someone had stolen my CDs and money, but decided my "gospel mix" and "dirty dancing havana nights" cds were not worth anything...needless to say they kept the toll money and we were left scrambling for change on Monday morning as banks were not open). Once we got on the road we barely had to turn the cruise control off! We stopped 3 times for switching drivers, getting gas, taking short breaks, and lunch....and we made it home by 6:00...if we had not stopped, we figured we would have made it home in just 10 hours! NOT BAD! :)

We're back, and life has been busier than ever since we've been back, but it was nice to get away for a few short days...however, I'm not interested in a 10 hour road trip for at least a month or two!