Sunday, October 31, 2010

trick or treat.

Last year during Halloween, R and I lived on the second floor of an apartment complex in a college town, so we knew we weren't going to get any trick or treaters. (And let's be honest, we were out on the town, dressed up as a cowgirl and a pilot, drinking the kinds of drinks that cowgirls and pilots drink, so we were in no place to be passing out candy to kids.) But this year, we live in a nice townhouse and we are nice, mature adults, so we thought it would be great to pass out candy to trick or treaters. I bought a bunch of bags of candy that kids (and pilots) love, turned on the porch light, and I was ready to ooh and aah at the Supermen and Princesses that came knocking! But, of course, not one single kid came.

So here we are, two mature adults with too much candy. R is in the other room studying for his first flight tomorrow and I'm sitting here, knee deep in Twix wrappers. So, in the spirit of Halloween, I managed to dig up some old pictures of us in costume. Now, to do our parents justice, I have to say, these costumes are cute, but we both had some way better ones over the years. When I was in kindergarten, my parents put me in a tiny bathrobe, put pink curlers in my hair, and had me trick or treat with a pot and tell people I was a housewife. I didn't really get it at the time, but by the reactions and the amount of candy I took home, it seems all the adults thought it was the greatest. R's mom was equally creative. In all his years, I don't think he had a store bought costume once. She managed to put together a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Batman, a clown, a firefighter, a pirate, and my personal favorite, a "victim". This last one consists of bloody makeup, a bandaged head, and a cast. Morbid? Maybe. Creative? Absolutely. In his defense, R says this costume stemmed from his fascination with EMT's and paramedics. He cannot, however, seem to specify the nature of his fake injuries. I suppose to a little boy with blood makeup all over, it really doesn't matter.

Here's R as a baseball player for the Brewers. See what I mean? I'm sure his mom told him to put on all the blue clothes he has, pull up his socks, and put on a cap he already owned. Bam, fifteen dollars saved. Still, it's better than my costume below.

Here I am as a clown. It appears my clown suit was made from old bridesmaids dresses and I distinctly remember my mom just putting lipstick on my nose. A lipstick nose and a taffeta suit do not a clown make, Mom. I wonder if my mom and R's mom could have a contest to see who was more thrifty with their Halloween costumes.

And here we are in costumes of our own invention. I was one of three blind mice, complete with a walking stick and R was Grandpa Brett Favre, complete with Wrangler jeans. I admit, we did take a few costume making tips from our thrifty moms. So, we hope wherever you are this year, you had a good Halloween.

As for me, I'm going to go try and forget about that weird clown suit with a few more mini Snickers bars.

Friday, October 29, 2010

there's no place like home.

Alright, I am officially the worst vacation blogger. It's just so hard! There's so much to do and see and every time I get close to sitting down and sharing some of my adventures, someone suggests a great place to eat and then I just get totally distracted. Blogging is not for the easily distracted.

Anyway, I left you all on the road in Missoula, Montana. I've made it quite a ways since then. We made it through Wyoming and some very beautiful landscapes, took a break in South Dakota to take in Mount Rushmore and Wall Drug.

Nothing says welcome to South Dakota like a couple of cowgirls. The locals could tell by our excitement over hats that we weren't from around those parts.

Then we pretty much booked it through Minnesota and northern Wisconsin to our final destination; Milwaukee! I had such a great time in Milwaukee. I mostly just ate all the bad-for-you foods that Wisconsin does so well, visited friends, and cheered on the Packers when they beat Brett Favre. All in all, a pretty decent Milwaukee trip. And now I'm back in the South, which actually has gotten just a bit cooler, who knew? It was so good to see R after such a long time away.

Speaking of R, as of Wednesday, he completed ground school. If all goes according to schedule, he'll start flying on Monday! He is in Training Squadron Two, the Doerbirds.

The squadron motto is, "Quality with Class". I'm not sure I could have summed up my husband in a better way. What's cool is VT-2 is the Navy's oldest primary training squadron. So R is joining the ranks of over 50 years of 'Doerbirds' who have gone on to be amazing pilots. (Can you tell I'm a proud Navy wife?) Yesterday, the squadron had a little tour for the spouses and kids so we could see what our husbands will be up to. I got to get into the T-34, which is the airplane that R is going to be spending pretty much the next six months in.

That guy didn't think I was so funny when I told him to be careful or I might run him over once I figured out how all the buttons and switches worked. Jeez, these baby pilots have no sense of humor.

So that's it for the whirlwind tour of the U.S. and now I'm back home, searching for a job and helping R study. We will definitely keep you all updated on his progress through primary. As for our big weekend plans, we have a fabulous nephew who is turning 5 tomorrow and needs our help celebrating! Hope your weekend is as fun as ours!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

on the road.

Yesterday we said goodbye to La Conner. I know I haven't been the best blogger. Blogging on vacation is hard! But I'm trying. La Conner was very relaxing. We mostly spent the time snuggled up under blankets (at least I did. I'm not used to any weather below 90!) watching our favorite shows and eating yummy foods. La Conner has perfect fall weather and I missed the crisp, bright days after being in sunny Florida for most of the year.

After leaving San Jose, we flew into Seattle. We spent the night there and walked around the market the next day. It was a beautiful, clear Seattle day and the market was bustling. An of course, we had some Starbucks from the first Starbucks store.

Once we got back to La Conner, Melissa took us to one of her favorite places, Deception Pass.

Here's the view from the bridge. You can see snow-capped Mount Baker in the background. It was nice to revisit the Pass because R and I came here on our honeymoon last year. So beautiful and so many great memories.

Mom and Melissa are a little scared of heights. They didn't come out too far on the bridge and every time a truck drove past, the whole bridge would shake. They also didn't like it too much when I pretend to fall over the edge. I just had to.

One night we went to the Taste of La Conner. We went to five different restaurants and tried a little appetizer and glass of wine from each one.

My favorite stop had smoked trout and white corn salsa on a tortilla, a mini apple turnover, and a glass of Riesling. All the places we delicious, and our last stop was dessert. We had a chocolate mousse cake and the most amazing coffee port wine. So yummy!

Unfortunately, I suffered a nasty stomach bug after that yummy night, so I was pretty much laid low for the rest of the trip. Everyone else got to eat fresh caught crabs and homemade mushroom risotto, lots of local wine, and even some unbelievable goodies from a local bakery. I was on a pretty steady diet of saltines and Gatorade. Not fun at all. But I'm recovering and we're on the road! We left yesterday and spent the night in Missoula, Montana. We're going to keep trucking on and hopefully I'll have some pictures of life on the road for the next update.

In other important news, R hasn't been too bored back in Florida. This week he started Primary! This is the second phase of flight school where they get into the trainer aircraft and begin flying. He's got two weeks of ground school then, for about the next six months , he'll be going up in the trainers. The next six months will be a long, very tough road ahead of him, so any encouragement is more than welcome! There will definitely be lots more updates as his flight career continues to unfold.

For now though, I'm packing up and getting back in the car! Wonder where I'll be writing from next?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

sunny san jose.

Today we are saying goodbye to San Jose. It's been lots of fun, though! We've spent lots of time talking and catching up, and seeing some new things. On Friday, we went to a few wineries and tasting rooms to enjoy some of the fantastic wines this region has. I think between Northern California and Washington State, there is no shortage of delicious wine to drink on this trip!

This was our first stop, Savannah Chanelle Vineyards. The guy doing our tasting was a Wisconsin native so we enjoyed talking to him and he even hooked us up with some off the menu wines.

Here we are at Cinnabar Winery, our second stop. This guy helping us was so unpretentious, he made the tasting a lot of fun. We were all cracking up at his college drink recipes, like Mimosas made from cheap champagne and Tang. But the wine really was good!

Here's me, Mom, and Melissa at the last stop of the big winery tour, Big Basin Winery. At this place, the winemaker even stopped in and talked to us for a little while, which was cool. I even bought my first Rose!

After the wine tastings, we walked over to a cute little Mexican place called Casa de Cobre where we had some of the best margaritas and carne asada taquitos I've ever had. This is me, Grandma and Melissa. It was a great girls day!

On Saturday, we took advantage of the rare occasion where all of us ladies from all over the U.S. were together in one place and went and got photos taken. We had a great time laughing and goofing around, I'm amazed our photographer got any normal shots at all.

Here's all of us; Grandma, and then two generations of daughters. I think this is such a great shot of some of my favorite women in the whole world.

This is one of my favorites of me, Mom, and Melissa.

After pictures, we headed off to get a little pampered with massages. Now, I've gotten massages before, so I was expecting a quiet room all alone and a gentle rubdown. Well, I have to admit it was a little different. We went to a Chinese massage place called Happy Feet. We each got 40 minutes on our backs and 20 on our feet. Well let me tell you, my feet sure were happy. I don't think I've ever had someone give me a 20 minute foot rub. The focus is reflexology, so they massaged around pressure points and took lots of time on my legs. I was totally in heaven. Then I moved over to a table and my masseuse started in on my back. I'll just say this... they use their elbows to massage. And they pound on you. They certainly did give a great massage, but I was definitely feeling it in the morning.

Yesterday we went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We enjoyed some carnival rides, some arcade games, and lots of fried food. It was a beautiful.

Here's me and Melissa getting ready to go on the Fire Bolt. Melissa is really scared of heights, so I enjoyed seeing her squirm. We liked it so much we went twice.

Today is our last day in San Jose and we're getting ready to go to the Winchester Mystery House and In-N-Out for lunch. Then tonight we're staying in Seattle and seeing the sights tomorrow. More to come!