Today is Sunday

Life: Happy Work: Indifferent
Weight: Hours of Sleep:
Okay, after getting up this morning – showing Sunnee the car – it was time to take it for a bath. As Railee pointed out, I put a dent in the bug population of Texas and Southern New Mexico on the trip!
We washed and vacuumed the car and then took it over to show Jill, Donald and Emma. Emma was not impressed. Then it was over to Mom & Dad’s.
I just got home and started some laundry and now it’s time to mow the lawn. Ick.
Here are some photos to look at.
It was a great trip. We all had a good time and yesterday was good too.
Sadly, either overnight at the hotel or in the parking lot at breakfast – I got my first dings in the car 😦 Both are pretty bad from the standpoint that they are new but they were destined to show up sooner than later. One is a decent crease, about 1″x2″ – the other just creased the chrome trim. Problem is the trim now hits the other door causing more damage. Grrr. Didn’t notice until we were in White Sands – but that’s a good part of the trip.
We went through Las Cruces and we drove around the NMSU campus – showing that their mom went to school there. Not much interest. I tried showing them places where Sunnee lived but they were not into it. I had wanted to go to Old Mesilla but could tell they weren’t going to be impressed – so we headed out. The drive to White Sands was nice – the Organ mountains are impressive and unique – you just know that those are the Organs. Las Cruces had grown significantly since any last visit.
White Sands was awesome! The kids had a great time and I did too. We got a sled to go down the dunes on – just like snow! We buried the kids and basically just got sand in every crevasse of our bodies. I was over heating and the kids were on the brink.
Before we knew it we were in Alamogordo. I had to stop by the Home Depot there to swap out some signs that we were yelled at two weeks ago about. Done.
It was almost 5:30 by the time we got out of there and I was worried that we would be too late for Green Chile Cheeseburgers at the Owl Cafe in the other San Antonio – New Mexico. We weren’t. The place was busy, but not packed. It was a bit more unclean than I have remembered on previous visits but the food made you forget any of that. DELICIOUS! Back on the road and on our way home.
The kids had a great time and didn’t get on my nerves like I was initially afraid of. A couple of tense moments but otherwise they behaved themselves and we all had fun. Not as much talking as I had wished for but they didn’t just put themselves on ‘ignore’ and play video games or watch movies. I really enjoyed the time and got a new car to boot!

Published in: on August 16, 2009 at 3:34 pm  Comments (1)  

Today is Saturday

Life: Happy Work: n/a
Weight: ??? Hours of Sleep:
Life on the road! I’ll post photos later from the ‘regular’ camera.
We arrived in San Antonio on Thursday with no issues. Easy flight, full – which is good to see.
There’s a chicken finger restaurant at the airport in SAT called ‘Raisin’ Caine’ (sp?). It’s always a good stop and since it had been six hours since we had eaten, was looking pretty good. The guy who was to pick us up said to call once we landed and he was just six minutes away. We were a little later than we had anticipated – with the chicken fingers – and he wasn’t answering his phone. We waited. And waited. I remembered his description of himself – tall old guy with red shirt on. Small white car? I forgot. After about 45 minutes of waiting we spied a guy that had tried to park in the loading zone and I thought the officer was going to arrest him. GREEN CAR! The officer made him go around. I’ve been there enough times to know that we had about ten more minutes for him to get back around. He made it around and we squeezed into his car. Wow. What a talker!
We got to the house of the lady who was selling it and it was beautiful! A couple of dings on the doors and rear quarter panel but it was gorgeous! I didn’t even bother test driving it. We went inside and finished all the paperwork and then I pulled it around to the front to collect the kids and bags. When you put it into reverse, the mirrors tilt down! Freaked me out and I was excited. I burned rubber in her driveway – in REVERSE! AWESOME!
We headed out and found the hotel.
It wasn’t the nicest hotel and right next to the Interstate so it was noisy. I didn’t care. The kids opted for cooling off in the pool and sat down with the owners manual to read up on everything. Yes, I actually read those. In my haste of leaving, I did not pack my swimsuit. After about 90 minutes, the kids were prunified and I was getting hungry.
We took the city bus into the Riverwalk area and walked around – deciding where to eat. The kids opted for Rainforest Cafe – not exactly the local fare that I was wishing for but this is not about me on this trip. Ok. The car was about me, the rest is for everyone else!
Dinner was tolerable and then we walked over to the Alamo. It is impressive at night – the day too, but given the circumstances….
There’s a house of mirrors right across the street and that occupied almost two hours of fun. After that I was beat. We took a cab back to the hotel and if I had my suit, I would have gone for a dip.
The next morning I set up some of the things on the car, seat adjustments, etc. We went to a WalMart and I got some supplies and we went up to New Braunfels to the Schlitterbahn water park. It opens at 10:00 and we arrived about 11 – still packed. We figured out where to go and truly had a great time. Lines are LONG wait for the really cool stuff but we still enjoyed ourselves. My intent was to leave around 1pm (had we arrived at 10) and ended up leaving around 3 ish. That made for a long drive to El Paso. I had to stop every 60 miles or so and just stretch and walk around to stay awake. About 120 miles out I gave up and pulled into a rest stop and took a 30 minute power nap. That did me some good and I made it the rest of the way in.
This morning…. Las Cruces, White Sands, Alamogordo, and then up to San Antonio (New Mexico). A great road trip with the added bonus – a new car for me!

Published in: on August 15, 2009 at 10:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Today is Saturday

Life: Indifferent Work: Indifferent
Weight: Hours of Sleep:
CATCHING UP…
So I was in the Austin area – driving some 700 miles all around the neighboring burgs and towns. I didn’t have internet at my $45 / night four-star hotel (NOT!) so I wasn’t able to update much so here goes:
– Tuesday – arrived fine – started driving – out west of Austin, up north and back into town. I was supposed to get my normal Dodge Charger. When they don’t have those they upgrade me to the 300’s. I like them, they are quiet, have Satellite Radio and a pretty comfortable. They ‘upgraded’ me to a Mazda CX-7. I didn’t feel like it was an upgrade. The Austin Airport Dollar was not exactly a friendly lot and I was not in an argumentative mood. Once I got out on the road I was sorry that I hadn’t demanded the 300. I opted to stay north of Austin, in Georgetown to save 30 minutes of driving the next morning. I also opted for my dinner/movie where I watch a movie and my dinner consists of lightly buttered popcorn and a diet coke. I’m sure I get something beneficial from this but I doubt it. I opted for ‘Four Christmases’. Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. BORING. I had seen a trailer for it sometime last month and it looked like it had the potential for some funny parts. Ugh. It started out like it could be funny but I saw through what was happening and then it never regained any momentum. Halfway through, when I had finished my dinner – I thought about leaving early. Sadly, I always feel like I spent my money anyway and should sit through the end in case something exciting happens. It has a lot of surprising actors in it and that was what kept making me think that something good was going to come out of it. Robert Duvall ended up just being a cranky old guy, Jon Favreau played a dumbed-down role that you wonder why – maybe it was to be Tim McGraw’s brother?, Mary Steenburgen and Dwight Yoakam – that was interesting, Sissy Spacek could have been a funnier situation, and Jon Voight seemed to be doing a personal, public apology to his real daughter in his ‘spotlight’ speech. Sad movie all around. I wish someone had warned me about this before I went.
Wednesday I woke up early and headed out for 400 of my miles. I should have called it my ‘college tour’. I went through Austin (home of University of Texas), Waco (home of Baylor University), and College Station (home of Texas A & M University). Lots of driving in a noisy car and no satellite radio to go to when I was out of range of earth-bound stations. Grrrr. In other technology woes, my GPS was not taking me the ways that I wanted to go. I have to figure out ways to get it to go the ways I want to to – not necessarily the quickest ways. I thought I had set the preferences correctly. Apparently not. It messed me up tonight and took me back towards Austin when I really wanted to stay south of town.
I found Ellen and we continued our tour of places that she hasn’t been before. It’s actually pretty hard to find restaurants. I used Yelp and LocalEats from the iPhone and we had been to six of the ten places already! That’s pretty funny.
Bess' Bistro in Austin - Good Eats!
Sandra Bullock has a place downtown on 6th Street (the main drag) called Bess’ Bistro. No wait for a table on a Wednesday night with cold weather moving in so we got right in. Nice place. Hip but not hip enough for me to be included. The server was nice, kind of reminded me of Sandra Bernard in retrospect.
Our Server...
(Our last server reminded of us of Billy Crudup.) Nice wines by glass, relatively short menu. The beer braised pork belly caught my eye because it sounded good and was fun to try to say out loud! Ellen was going to have the same and we figured we should share so we went for the seafood risotto. The server concurred and we started with a nice crawfish bisque. Very creamy, good flavor. Conversation was wonderful and we hardly noticed the normal extra time that risotto takes to make. The food was nice. Large enough portions to share. The pork belly was tender and tasty. It reminded me of the beef cheeks that Dirk and I had in Vegas! The risotto was nice – the scallops were unfreaking believable. More great tastes. We opted to drink our desserts and went down the street to Star Bar (no website link, sorry). It was pretty dead but we just wanted to talk anyway so the tarbender kept our drinks coming. I opted for Gran Marnier and El went for the tequila. We laughed about all things in life and left early enough to know better that we have jobs to do in the morning.
Thursday morning came quickly and I ran off to my 8am class. I get there and there’s three people in the class. I was expecting ten. The class went okay, but it’s hard to get excited with that few of people. I had plenty more stores to hit afterwards and went on my way. El and I were going to go someplace else tonight but she got a migraine at work and couldn’t come out and play. That ended up well as I just found a good meatball sandwich and went back to the hotel and packed. Perhaps I had a bit too much time to myself as I found myself really contemplating how our current business model was not living up to it’s expectations and how we can change things to be able to survive until this economy can start climbing out of the barrel!
Another early rise for a 7:30 departure to… MORE STORES! Two more Home Depots and a Direct Buy location that used to do more business but hasn’t sold anything this year. The guy there was a bit standoffish at first but then warmed up. I really think he would be good for sales in the future.
One more stop to a ‘green’ built house that wants some of our doors. It’s perhaps an 80 year old house that the builder is going ‘green’ with the insulation, hot water heater, etc. It seems like a nice project but I wonder how much of it is capitalizing on the word ‘green’ and how much it’s actually for the environment. I can’t tell yet. It’s a small house in an old part of town that is being revitalized which means that everything is becoming overpriced.
I made it back to the airport in time for my second favorite thing at the Austin airport. First is the fact that they have musicians throughout the airport. Second is the chair massages! They have a little setup there – basically $1 a minute. The therapists are top notch – several ‘studied’ in Santa Fe. It’s always my last minute treat before coming back to the ‘real’ world.
The flight back started interesting when the guy in the aisle seat was forced from his seat by a young man that was deaf that was trying to say he needed two seats but basically made the guy move. The new guy’s seat-mate was lead onto the plane and she was deaf as well. I have had conversations with other people who have worked with deaf people and they seem oblivious to the fact that they are making sounds when people who can speak would not normally. I mean, you can feel the vibrations of making noises – why don’t they? Also, and it’s kind of funny, deaf people pass a lot of gas. Again, there’s a certain vibration that occurs, can’t they tell? It’s not like their sense of smell is impaired. So, the first leg was noisy, smelly, and consisted of my having to fight for my own space as the young girl tried to sleep, covered herself with her smelly jacket – and me too, and became very excited about flying a few times.
Luckily they both got off the plane in El Paso and I had a nice continuation of the flight.
I got back home to sort of welcoming kids and an asleep wife. No dinner. A stack of clothes that could be climbed with the proper gear. I made some paper snowflakes with Railee and opted to go straight to bed. Sunnee had woken up sometime and got on the phone for two marathon, loud phone calls. I finally drifted off to sleep…
This weekend is cold and windy so I don’t know what I’m up in for. Laundry. Obviously. But who knows what my family has in store for me!!!!!!

Published in: on December 6, 2008 at 10:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Where Am I

Hmmmmm…

Published in: on November 14, 2008 at 9:18 am  Leave a Comment  

2008 Travel Page has been updated

I added the latest trip to the totals. It’s not so much fun anymore…
You can look here.

Published in: on November 1, 2008 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Where Am I

More pix…

Published in: on October 28, 2008 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Where Am I

Can anyone say… Sushi? =)

Published in: on October 28, 2008 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Where Am I

This was the view when I left this morning. It was kind of pretty.
The flights were unremarkable. They were offering big cash to get off in Kansas City, but I wouldn’t have made it to my hotel until midnight, so I let some other people be late…
The Nashville airport was much larger than I remember, or maybe it has always been under construction the previous trips? Like Austin, they have musicians playing throughout the place so it’s always fun to hang around. I was excited to be able to look around on the flight out – doh! I’m NOT flying out from here!

Published in: on October 26, 2008 at 7:01 pm  Comments (1)  

Where Am I

Flight finally left and all is well.
I knew I wanted to make if to the arch and was not disappointed!
It is very amazing – I am so glad I made it. I think I will make a new category for ‘High Places I Have Visited’…

Published in: on October 15, 2008 at 4:46 pm  Comments (1)  

Where Am I

I was bored at the hotel and opted to go to the airport early. I noticed a lot of fun-looking shops on my way in. There were tons of restaurants so I was hoping I could find some ‘real’ Chicago pizza. Nope. I found some pizza that at least appeared to be of a ‘deep dish’ style. Nope. Oh well. Another visit I guess.
My plane is delayed at least 20 minutes – it’s too early to guess when it will actually leave. I’m glad I’m not going towards the northeast, those appear to not be going.
I did get some fresh popcorn from Nuts On Clark – it has made up for the pizza fiasco (it’s THAT good)!

Published in: on October 15, 2008 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment