Monday, August 31, 2015

I had a lazy day

yesterday -- 
Piddled around the house a bit - 
 Fought off a nap -
was it the weather?
 and watched hummingbirds -
Very relaxing...
Now it's back to the work-week...
Have a good one!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Three Things on Thursday – 
1. LOVE this weather – May I quote a friend [Lisa Reeves] who said,
“Sitting outside and listening, finally, to autumn sighing through the trees.”
– It kinda makes me want to go camping.
2. WHAT a difference non-impulse buying makes!
I looked at this luggage [the purple one] before work one morning and pondered buying it all day –
When I went back that evening  it was $15 LESS. Yes, please.
3. We’ve eaten AT HOME three times in the last week –
How’s THAT for a trend?
This is a favorite meal of ours –
White beans and cornbread + mixed greens + fried squash and fresh tomatoes = Yum.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More than a few weeks back we got a new refrigerator –

Our old one was over ten years old – and somehow I think it should have lasted longer than that [we have one in the utility room that is old-old and still going…] 
but things just aren’t made to last these days… 
or maybe there’s too many fancy parts on them that cost too much to repair – ha. 
It was dying a slow death… it began making noises a while back every time it would re-fill the ice maker… then it started dumping a big pile of water on the floor…  
We lived with that for a while...
And as the noise got LOUDER I noticed a huge sheet of ice on the bottom of the freezer…hmmm. 
Turns out it was the defrost motor… and after some research… the decision was made to begin looking for a new one [fridge – not motor.]
There were a couple of problems though – 
One – the noise had become almost constant [well… it seemed like it – we were actually unplugging it every now and then to be able to watch the telly undisturbed…] 
AND, two -  we were going to both be out of town for almost a week, so of course my anxiety went on fire alert – there was no way it was going to stay plugged in while we were gone. We made the decision to move everything out to the extra [old-old] fridge and freezer [new-new] while we were gone…
 But on a whim we thought we’d take a look around our fair city and 
see what was out there. 
Oh. My. Who knew you could spend $6,000 or more on a fridge? 
Now, if you did [and could do so with no reservations] – Good for you! 
It’s just – I can’t… and really don’t want to…
  But I REALLY wanted one of those refrigerators with the freezer drawer across the bottom –  try as I might, I couldn’t make it fit our space. 
Have I mentioned we live in an old house? Our counter depth is a little [? - ha] less than what is standard today --- so I had to adjust my wish list just a bit – bottom line – I wanted ice and water in the door – It’s something we’ve had for the past ten years and we use both of these conveniences every day. So we looked and we looked –
And then my sweetheart asked if there were any clearance models – voila -- > 
There it was… stainless, no less [without the shiny-smudgy part on the sides] 
and it was within our budget! 
It’s got a few more fancy buttons on the front along with the standard ice and water… 
and it’s got theater lighting [LED] inside that comes on in sections when you open the door – WHO KNEW we needed theater lighting?! 
I also love that the ice maker is in the door -- 
I rarely used the little shelves there in our other fridge [nothing much fits AND what did would fall out on my toes - ha - 
So I don't miss them at all - and having it in the door frees up even more space inside the freezer. [The freezer part has theater lighting too - ha]
 We've had it a couple of months now -- 
and I'm still not used to it lighting up in stages - lol.
Oh! One last thing it has that we never knew we NEEDED [lol] -- is the retractable cord in the back - Seriously - SO NICE to not have that electrical cord all jumbled up in the back... not a feature we'd have EVER thought to ask for, but very nice indeedy...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sooooo.... a quick re-cap

of our trip to south Florida -- 
Craig had a little work trip a week or so ago 
and I had the opportunity to go along with him...
I love to fly up in the clouds!
We flew in / out ofOrlando and enjoyed driving south a bit -
I LOVE the Florida of my memories with  
sweet little shops... palm trees everywhere...
Cute houses... with those 'Florida' windows that roll out...
While Craig was in meetings I took a little art class up in Ft. Lauderdale 
and had a facial in Dania Beach - fun and relaxing!
We stayed at The Diplomat -- 
So beautiful!
This is the view walking in from our parking garage...
and on each side of the street...
---- Not the Florida I grew up with!
We enjoyed time on the beach 
[NOT the beach I grew up with either! - lol] 
And at the pools  - so gorgeous!
['Mineral' pools - so  none of that chlorine smell!]
And of course we ate good food -
splurging on a three course meal at 
[Food Network's] Scott Conant's Corsair
- worth it!
We also had Cuban [not for me - ] Italian, Grandpa's Bakery [on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives] and LOTS of seafood! We love to go to the local places [like 12A Buoy, above] - and Craig was happy to find that SouthPort was still open since he remembered it from his extended training times [more than a] few years back. - And it was as good as he said it would be!
 But I mostly enjoyed relaxing with my view of the sea...
I'd just finished up a week of training-- 
so it was nice to have a break from the work world...
I caught up on some art video classes 
[thanks for the free WiFi, Hilton Honors Club!]
And enjoyed reading a bit out on our little balcony...
It was kind of hard to say goodbye to this plush little [HUGE] hotel...
[This is the view walking TO the parking garage...]
But we know we've got other adventures ahead of us!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Twentyfour Hours at DIsney

This is what we did after I tagged along on Craig's business trip to South Florida 
[I'll share more of that later - so fun!] 
We decide to spend 24 hours [well - maybe 36...]
at Disney since we had a day left on our tickets AND points for free rooms...
So here's a quick run through our time - in photos - lol 
Day One - 
10 am - Breakfast at Denny's 
 since we slept through our complimentary hotel breakfast - 
It was good, and the balloon artists were A-MAZ-ing.
11 am - WalMart on 536
We had to pick up a few Disney items 
[I found an adorable zippered pouch - 
and Craig {{wisely}} picked up Mickey / Minnie rain ponchos.]
12 pm - off to Downtown Disney - 
We'd heard there were changes - but OMGoodness...  We weren't truly prepared for what we saw - lots and lots of new upscale shopping - 
But, thankfully, most of the stuff in the Market Place is unchanged. 
I don't like change... 
But in a couple of years it will be completely different and will look like it's always been that way - that's the magic of Disney...
I do kind of love the parking garage though - FREE parking and its easily accessible.
[Tip - if you park here to avoid parking fees in the park - note that buses from DD only go to resorts - you'll have to pick up transportation from there on to the parks... we heard more than one group discussing this.]

3 pm - We stopped at Portobello's  
and had some delicious cake for lunch.
Y'all know we're crazy - [we shared a piece... ]
We continued shopping around until dinner time
6 pm - Boma
A taste of Africa - in Animal Kingdom Lodge
So beautiful.
We had to try a little bit of [most] everything, including: Lentils and Sausage Soup, Chicken-Corn Chowder, Mulligatawny, Chicken Salad with Chili Cilantro, Tunisian Couscous Salad, Spinach and Quinoa Salad, Ghana Tomato Salad, Artichoke and Preserved Lemon Salad, Avocado Grapefruit and Papaya Salad, 
Pork Shoulder, Whole Durban-style Roasted Chicken, Spice-crusted Beef Striploin, 
 Mater Paneer, Fufu, Bobotie, Zebra Domes, Kenyan Coffee Tarts, 
and Cinnamon-Chocolate Mousse.
 Whew - I ate WAY too much.
And it was all good - even if I wasn't sure what I was eating at times - lol.
8 pm We headed over to The Contemporary where we took our traditional 
first-night-at-Disney monorail ride
to Epcot and back.
We love the almost empty cars during this time of the night --

and seeing the sphere lit up - 
and we timed it just right 
to see some of Illuminations as we rounded the curve!
[Always fun to us!]
We also reminisced about how Chef Mickey's used to always be our traditional first meal at Disney - so fun when the boys were younger - and we'd camp with 4 - 5 other families!
After our monorail ride it was time for bed so we'd be READY for the morrow -
Day Two -
7:00 am - Up early and had breakfast at our hotel - Mickey Waffles!!
 7:30 - Off to The Magic Kingdom - with the sun coming up over the monorail - 

Love the anticipation of going through the main entrance! -
 8:00 - We have valet-parked at The Contemporary and
we've got to be on our way - I have a date with Peter Pan before 9:00!
We walked the short pathway over to The Magic Kingdom
8:30 am - Traditional photo in front of the castle --  
Oh Look! There's Snow!
I'm not sure we've ever seen her out and about - 

9 am - Peter Pan! -- I've loved Pan since I first rode it as a 7 year old in DisneyLAND. Loved flying over his world THEN and now --  
We rode it a few times, zipped through It's a Small World, 
saw Mickey's Philharmonic, 
 and stopped by to see Buzz Lightyear...
Where Craig quadrupled my score! Ha.
and OF COURSE did the People Mover - 
Cool thing: The lights inside Space Mountain were on when we went through... 
11 am - Lunch with Belle and The Beast @ Be Our Guest
I had French Onion Soup - Quiche - and 
of course the grey stuff - yum.
Then we headed over to The Haunted Mansion - 

[My most favorite attraction in The Magic Kingdom!]
before going back to the monorail for one last twirl through the resorts before heading back to rest a bit from the extreme Florida heat and humidity.
I've never loved The Fast Pass more than I loved it that morning.
It was wonderful to have it pre-planned before we EVER walked into the park --
Note: Pirates was closed....
2 pm - Goodbye Magic Kingdom - I'll see you in a couple of years 
[three visits in three years is too much for even me!]
We stayed off-site - but it was an easy drive on the back roads [staying away from 192.]
 4:30 pm - Back to The Contemporary to park and catch the monorail to Epcot...

[Our valet parking pass was good all day at any of the resorts - 
but we feel like The Contemporary is the best.]
It rained all during our rest time and was continuing to rain as we walked through the gates -
 But we stepped inside to see a few attractions 
 [and picked up a giftie for a sweet friend in Taiwan who loves Disney even more than us -- 
6 pm - Dinner at Chefs de France -
Always a great meal - and so many memories of being here 
through the years with the boys and our camping buddies!
It was fun to celebrate our THIRTY SECOND wedding anniversary here!
But y'all - the RAIN just kept coming down - I'm talking monsoon rain - thunder / lightening rain - limbs falling from the trees rain - fireworks cancelling rain -
 oh. my.
[So glad we had our ponchos!]
8 pm - we stood in line a bit for Soarin'
- another all-time-favorite ride of ours! 
LOVE flying over the California countryside!
Tip: Get on the front row 
and you want see everyone else's feet hanging all around you - ha. 
We'd originally planned to finish up the evening back at The Magic Kingdom [they didn't close until midnight!] But the rain wasn't stopping - and Craig was feeling pretty bad [we found later he had a pretty severe ear infection -] so we decided to call it a night...
 But wait! 
There was still some Disney Magic left for us - as we were driving back to our hotel we were able to see the Frozen Fireworks from Hollywood Studios 
[although we will forever call it MJim - ha] 
A great way to end our quick 36 hour trip to The World.
11 pm - Good night all - 
and yes - I have Mickey PJs - 
But by now you shouldn't EVEN be surprised....