Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Random Smattering

Here's just a collection of mini-posts...

Hark! Do you hear that? That is the sound of no one being sick in our house. And it's a beautiful sound. That mess lasted almost a month. We're all finally sleeping again.

Remember how I told you to use whenever you book a rental car for a trip? Oh my gosh, for real do it. Our price has already gone down $76. $76! That's like, a 3D movie and some popcorn!

We're trying to decide between building a house or buying one already built. I'm not super picky about a lot of things in life. I don't care which restaurant we eat which we eat, sorry. (I have to be in the mood for Mexican, but that's about it.) I'm fine with whatever movie we see. I'm okay with whatever flavor of cake. I mean, it's cake. But, a big purchase like a house or a car, I do tend to be picky. The house we went and looked at two weekends ago was great. I really liked the layout, the yard, the amenities, the cabinets, countertops, floors, etc. And it was just the size that we need. I couldn't find anything bad to say about it. But, I know when you feel like, "Nah...I don't think that one's it." I want it to have its own character. This will be the house we'll be in for AWHILE, so I want it to be just right. We're not in a rush, thank goodness, so we can take our time looking, but y'all...houses are overwhelming.

After two months of multiple technician visits and box/wire replacements and long phone calls, I think our AT&T U-verse is FINALLY working properly. The internet hasn't been a problem, just the TV. Another tech came out yesterday to just replace everything. I will say that in spite of all the trouble we've had, their customer service has been outstanding. It took him about 4 and a half hours to do everything. He was all up in the attic doing all sorts of stuff, running lines through the walls. When he was finished, he wanted to test the DVR one more time. He said he was going to record something and make sure it got it. He turns on the guide and scrolls through the channels. It was like he was browsing for something to watch. I'm thinking, "Just pick something. Anything." He stops on Jersey Shore. I thought, "If you waste one millisecond of my DVR space on that junk...there will be a throw down right here, right now." Thankfully, he scrolled back up to Extreme Home Makeover. Good decision, mister.

It's taken me awhile and I've thought about it long and hard, but I have officially decided that The Happening is the worst movie I have ever seen.

I think we're going to start potty training soon. I know, I know, it's early. But, they seem interested in it. And if I'm being honest–and I always am–I wouldn't mind them being out of diapers too much. They'll come up to me and say, "Tee tee potty." And we'll go to their little ducky potty and they'll take off their pants and diapers and sit on the potty and we wait...and we wait...and we wait...and we'll read books and sing and talk. But, so far, nothin's hit the pot. I know it takes times and I'm not pushing them in any way. When they're done sitting, we get up, put their pants and diapers back on and I'll praise them for sitting like big girls on the potty. But, I think we're gonna start trying the no pants/diapers in the house routine and see how that goes. I know they will LOVE it. They would so rather be naked. I mean, who wouldn't?

Bath & Body Works is having a great sale on their antibacterial soaps. Then again, when are they NOT having a sale on their antibacterial soaps? Well, regardless, I needed some more coconut lime verbena.

I don't have a ton of pictures today. I wish I did. It's been a little busier than usual lately with some extra freelance that came in. But we're headed to the zoo tomorrow with our friends, so I will have lots of pictures next week! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Adventures in Atlanta

On Friday, sweet Uncle Greg and Aunt Becky came up to keep the girls so David and I could have a little weekend getaway in the A-T-L. We frequently check the Fox Theatre's schedule to see what's coming up and when I saw Wicked was gonna be in town for a few weeks, you know I got us some seats. And I also got us a room (three months in advance) at one of our favorite hotels. We took our time getting there Friday evening and arrived aroundish 10:30 p.m. Atlanta time. We were tired. It had been a long week. I couldn't wait to snuggle up in our fluffy bed and sleeeeeeeeeeep. You may have seen in the Twitter feed on the right to which hotel I'm referring, but I won't go into a lot of detail about the incident that happened because they asked me to email them a formal statement and I'm waiting on their response, so I don't wanna be like, "They're so dumb." So, we'll see what they come back with. I'm a pretty easy-going person and I don't cause much of a fuss with stuff, but this definitely called for it.

But, it left us without a room for the night. Their fault, not ours. We, thankfully, found a room at the Holiday Inn International and were met with fabulous customer service, a very plush and comfy bed, and a great view. I sent them an email telling them so. Further from the Fox than we had originally planned, but only a mile away. We slept so well that night. In the morning, we ate at the restaurant in the hotel and went back to the room. We thought about going to the Aquarium or just walking around, but to be honest, all I wanted to do was sit in the quiet and rest and that's what we did. I mean, we didn't get back from breakfast until 11:30 a.m., so it's not like we just sat around for hours. David went to the gym and I took my time getting ready for the show.

Y'all...I can't even describe how amazing Wicked was. We've seen several shows at the Fox, including Les Miserables, but this one was my favorite so far. Les Mis was awesome, don't get me wrong, Wicked. The actors were INCREDIBLE. Their voices were so pure and don't tell them this...I think better than the original cast. BLASPHEMY, I know. But the gals who played Elphaba and G(a)linda may have been better than Idina and Kristin. Actually, the lady who played Elphaba had played that role more times than any other actress, so she knew her stuff. The ONLY thing about the show that was...weird...was during the scene when E and G are entering the Emerald City, there's all these munchkins dancing around and welcoming them. But, then, these three HUGE things come out to "dance" and it's the. creepiest. thing. I've. ever. seen. They were like bald clowns with big noses and gigantic heads and big feet and no arms. And the people inside the costumes were, of course, moving them. At one point, their necks stretched way up and moved the heads. It was like a nightmare. Everyone in the audience gasped and people around me were like, "'s not right." Thankfully, that scene lasted a short time. But, the rest of the show...A+.

David didn't want to have his picture in front of the sign. I don't know why.

David asked if I wanted to take another taxi back to the hotel, but we decided to walk. It was only a mile and it was a BEAUTIFUL day. That was a fun stroll. I like all the old buildings downtown. I was wearing these super cute (y'all should see them) wedge sandals and I was doing so good until the last 100 yards. Blister attack. You wanna see?

When I took my sock off, it pulled the scab off and started bleeding.

I thought you might want to see the sock, too. I had other blisters, but they weren't as dramatic.

We got back to the hotel and chilled for a little bit before heading off to dinner. I might have been as excited about dinner as I was about the show. And yes, I wore the same thing. Shut it. Nobody there knew me.

Back in January, David surprised me with an Atlanta trip when we went to see Beauty and the Beast and he found this restaurant called Canoe. I loved it. I have officially declared it my favorite restaurant of all time. It is THE BEST food I've ever eaten. I was afraid it wouldn't live up to how good I remembered it being the first, maybe I had hyped it up in my mind...but oh no, it surpassed my fond memories of its culinary expertise. We decided every time we come back to ATL, we have to eat there. Yeah, I'll try new places to eat, but once I find something I know I'll always be happy with, why shop around?

These pictures aren't that great. We were seated by the windows and the lighting was low, so everything is kind of blue or yellowish.

For appetizers, we got a warm cheese salad, some kind of corn soup, and a crab cake. There's really no point in trying to tell you how "amazing and delicious and surreal and other-worldy" this food is. I mean, it's indescribable.

David got a pheasant something. It had a little croquet...kind of like a pheasant pot pie. I kept saying "peasant" and David kept reminding me, "This isn't a cannibalistic establishment."

I got braised short ribs on a bed of something. I can't remember. It was great.

For dessert, David got a blueberry cobbler with lemon curd ice cream. Oooooooh....

And I got my chocolate grotto. There's nothing I can really say about this. It' makes me so happy.

Oh, and their bread! You think, ah, bread is bread. NO. This is like crack bread.

At the end of the meal, I had discreetly unbuttoned my drawers and held my purse in front of me as we walked out. You know in the movie Seven, with Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow? And Kevin Spacey is killing those people using the seven deadly sins. And he makes that one guy literally eat until he dies...he's the Glutton sin. And I kept thinking, "There is no way you could do that." But, this weekend I discovered it's possible. I ate 1 million pounds of food. And it was worth it.

Although I hated the weekend being over, we were glad to see the girly gals. Piper Lee's fever virus subsided and then Harper got it. So, she's the sicko this week. Ready for this to get out of our house.

Thank you, Uncle Greg and Aunt Becky!! I love you!

Friday, September 23, 2011

La Belle Mer...with pictures

Okay, pictures! There are a lot of bird pictures because, let's face it, birds are funny. And seagulls are one of my favorite things God created. They're ridiculous. And ever since Finding Nemo, you can't not look at one and not think, "Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine." That's EXACTLY how they are. And they're pretty when they fly, so I took a lot of bird pictures. Bear with me.

When Mom and I got there Thursday night, I went outside to the dunes in front of the condo...sea oats. They're sea oats, but I don't know if you can actually use them for food. I dunno, though.

Mom and I went to eat at Bud and Alley's Taco Bar in Seaside. I highly recommend eating there if you're ever in the area. I highly recommend eating anywhere in Seaside. It's where they filmed the Truman Show. Super cute community. Great coffee house. A whole street of airstream trailer food trucks filled with some of the greasiest, most Southern, most food-trucky, most delicious food you'll ever eat. We ate at the taco bar. Their guacamole is to die for.

Fresh shrimp and corn salsa taco.

Before Dad got there, we went for a walk on the beach.

I never realized how squatty my feet are. It's like I have child's feet.

I don't know why I like this picture so much. It's nothing spectacular. But if you look in the reflection of the water, there's a bird flying overhead. I just noticed it this morning.

About a half mile from the condo is the inlet where the bay drains into the ocean. That night, it was like a class-5 rapid. Maybe some rain a few nights before made it like this, but I've never seen it so rough. We used to play in it when we were little and catch crabs. Mom and I didn't try to get in.

You can see where the bay water mixes with the Gulf.

Friday and Saturday, the weather was perfect. The water was crystal clear with hardly any waves at all. It was beautiful. There were a lot of crabs in the water, but they scurry away pretty fast, so not an issue. Well, not an issue for the humans. The crabs were being corralled by every kid on the beach. I passed one little boy who had caught about 10 of them and he was going back into the water for more and his mom yelled out, "Don't you leave me alone with these things!" He responded with, "Moooooom! They're not going to get you!," as the crabs were fighting each other, claws raised and snapping, gladiator style.

This is a house you can rent. Four bedrooms, three and a half baths. It's called "A Place in the Sun." I thought it was super pretty. Kind of looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright house.

Hermit crab trail.

Stand up paddleboarders.

"I'm sitting...I'm sitting...where are my feet?!"

Two baby twin sand dollars.

At the intlet, you know how the water was really high...well, fish from the ocean swim up in the little wade pools and get stranded when the tide goes back down. Poor, poor fishes.

Sunset walk...

This is one of the gross rain/bay water pools, but I liked the way the sand looks.

I kept looking this picture thinking, "Is that a shark?! How did I not see it!" But, it's a bird's wing.

We did see some dolphins, though.

This is how the inlet normally looks.

We ate at the Donut Hole, another place I highly recommend. I've eaten there many, many times, but I've only ever ordered two things. These amazing cream cheese blintzes with sour cream side, brown sugar, and fresh fruit. And their BLT. They have good donuts, too. Ooooh, and key lime pie. Also, you should eat at The Back Porch in Destin. Get their crab cakes.

I woke up super early Sunday morning to try to get some sunrise pictures. HUGE disappointment and waste of time. The sun was rising behind the buildings. I should have known that. Took two pictures and went back to bed.