Category: Cool People

Family and Good Times

“Let the stories be told. They can say what they want. Let the photos be old. Let them show what they want.” Let The Good Times RollThe Cars

One of the things I had been most excited for was Miriam’s arrival. Miriam is my niece who currently resides in Germany along with her sister (my other niece) Victoria. We had already been in Washington for a month and half before she flew out with her dad. It was so good to finally lay eyes on her 🙂

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We gathered around the patio table for everyone to just sit around and have a good time and converse 🙂

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imageI hope everyone has noticed the coats and long sleeved shirts everyone is wearing. Yes, I will say it again, it was CHILLY some days this summer in Aberdeen WA.

One of the neatest moments happened on this trip. When Miriam arrived we were sitting in the dining area – myself, mom, Miriam, Rayann and Hayley – talking and just “visiting”. Mom began to tell a story from her childhood. They looked on with intent?

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But little did they know the story would turn into BALLS of laughter! These girls were so tickled! I had heard the stories before and had been equally as amused by them and knew that the girls would get a good chuckle. I wanted to cry from being so happy watching them giggle.

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The stories are pretty funny but I wouldn’t dare tell them. That’s mom’s story and it’s always better to hear her side first 😉 *hehe*

I tell you, this trip really gave me/us some spectacular memories that I will always cherish. When we are apart I can always come back to these and remember how I felt. Family is so important if you have it. If you aren’t close with certain ones, that’s okay. But if there are tolerable people in your family, please spend time with them. I really, maybe for the first time, finally understand the connection of family. It tugs at my heart strings when I think about it. These people are me. Even the ones that are distant or in our family by marriage or something else; they’re my family. We will always have that connection. Even if we do not like the same things or believe the same beliefs, we will always have a tie that binds us together. Something about that is really special. It gives you a feeling that you have a place in life, an identity or character that separates you from others. Now, with that being said there are certain people in your family that you would rather not have a tie with. LOL I understand that completely and hold no judgement should you feel yourself separate from them. *hehe* Hopefully you understand the weight of what I mean.

The 4th in Aberdeen

“She couldn’t help thinkin’ that there was a little more to life somewhere else. After all it was a great big world with lots of places to run to and if she had to die tryin’ she had one little promise she was gonna keep.” American GirlTom Petty and the Heartbreakers

During the 4th of July, most all of America is up and running. People are gathering with their families to roast hot dogs, hamburgers, eat Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and basically enjoy all things American. In Belhaven, where I’m from, they PARTICULARLY LOVE and celebrate the 4th with major festivities. They start off the day before with a Miss Independence Padgent then move into a “Street Dance” that lasts until very late. People dance the night away and have a great time. Then the next day there’s quite a large parade with festivities around every corner and booths to buy lots of cool junk. Up the road from this, there is a famous “Mud Run” where trucks are forced into the mud with their tires-a-spinning and the redneck in every one of us flying. You could say Belhaven is pretty hoppin’. But there’s one thing that can make all of this not worth the effort and that’s THE HEAT! One of the sayings go, “It’s hotter than the Belhaven 4th of July’s in here!” That’s when you know it’s hot! LOL So…this year I took great satisfaction in enjoying our day of independence in the nice 78 degree weather that was Aberdeen WA. :p

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Everyone gathered together: Me, mom, dad, sister, nieces, cousins, cousin’s girlfriends and children. We feasted on some wonderful dishes: watermelon, cheese/summer sausage and crackers, pasta salads of all kinds, crab salad, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, cookies, WA cherries and other fruits. We played “Washers” (which is something like cornhole I suppose) and were just all around merry. Check these guys out. Dad (on the left) is attempting to explain something in the best of ways. Tommy (my cousin on the right) of course looks confused, but I assure you he’s not. Though he may be deciphering the white man’s speak.

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It was really great because I got to hang out with my cousin Chris. This summer’s trip was the first time I’ve seen him since I was 13 years old. I have great memories of those times. I met him and a lot of other relatives at a family reunion in Cowden Illinois (look for that post to come). He was 18 then and now we’re both in our 30’s. My how time flies!

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We really were having a great time. It was the first time in many years that I’ve really enjoyed myself. There was no heat really and it seemed like the most simplest, easiest action to just put food out and hang with the family!

Now, let me say that Belhaven puts on a nice little firework show at 9 p.m. It’s nice. BUT, in North Carolina, only cities can administer big fireworks. They’re illegal for residents to just shoot them off (or at least some are). In WA State…THEY’RE LEGAL! This town and every other town is lit up with explosions. Here, there, EVERYWHERE they shoot them off. Fireworks had been blasting off for days before the 4th actually came around. So naturally, Chris being the dude he is went and bought a lot of fireworks so we could have our own firework show!

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Everyone was ready to kick it off! Even the kid.

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It was so funny because he set all the chairs up in a row to watch the fire show commence. Hey look! It’s Kenny again! LOL

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These fireworks weren’t just some run-of-the-mill fireworks. These were the BIG ones!

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It was so exciting even I decided to try my hand at it. I lit several off. I have to tell you I was a little nervous to start with but after that it was all in good fun! After the show commenced we were all lit up; on the inside as well as outside. I know I definitely was. Yes, that IS a sweater. The nights are cold in Aberdeen.

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Our 4th of July celebration was a hit and I’d LOVE to do it every year. I do love America. God bless our soldiers and all of those who fought for us to be free! We know it comes at a price. We love you and will always support you.

Seattle Part 1

“You’re the one thing I can’t get enough of. So I’ll tell you something, this could be love because I’ve had the time of my life.” I’ve Had, The Time Of My Life Bill Medley

Seattle….it was love at first site…and boy, WHAT A SITE!

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My dad kept saying, “I’m interested to see how Heather reacts to Seattle”. Well, I can tell you I absolutely FELL IN LOVE. This is the COOLEST, most fantastic city that I’ve seen thus far! Words cannot even describe how awesome and friendly this place is. This city was meant for me!

We got off to kind of late start but headed toward the Bremerton Ferry. It crosses the Puget Sound and takes you directly into Seattle. Check out the video of us boarding the boat: Boarding Bremerton Ferry

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The view is just beautiful and picturesque during the entire ride.

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I mean, the water is beautiful but what can top it? Oh I don’t know, maybe Mt. Ranier! It’s hard to see it in this image but it’s so clear when you’re on the ferry looking at it.

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Oh and just to let you know, this ferry ride is a little chilly! It’s summer, but it’s chilly.

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I will tell you, riding the ferry IS the way to see Seattle for the first time. If you were thinking about driving in, DON’T! Ride the ferry because when you peer around the corner, it’s at that precise moment that you can see the city of Seattle and something happens. This amazing feeling floods over you and it feels spectacular.

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You can see the CenturyLink Field upon entering Seattle. It’s the home stadium of the Seattle Seahawks, and houses concerts along with other events.

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It is such a phenomenal view!

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We had finally arrived and my heart was pulsing with excitement and readiness. So we knew that we only had pretty much a half a day to see what we could so we started in Pike Place since that’s where you arrive at when you get off the ferry.

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The First Starbucks (est. 1971)

We had agendas, and the first one happened to be the very first Starbucks. Check out this video of some really great bluegrass musicians set up outside of Starbucks: Street Musicians

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The line was WAY too long to get in. I did purchase a couple of coffee mugs. I’m of the understanding that at one point the mugs sold in that specific Starbucks were exclusive to that store and could only be purchased at that store. Unfortunately it seems as though you can purchase the same mugs on ebay and a couple of other places on the web (probably due to people purchasing them from the store and then reselling them). It’s a bit more expensive but you can still buy them. It kind of takes the fun out of it ya know? Anyway, I was glad I purchased them and have that token memory. 🙂

Public Farmers Market

We tightly weaved in and out of the foot traffic as we made our way down the narrow isles of the market. There were TONS of people and it was a bit crowded but we ended up at the Public Farmers Market…you know, the place where they throw the fish! I apologize in advance, I didn’t realize it was turned sideways, but check out the video anyway: Farmers Market

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This video isn’t turned sideways (thank goodness) but they are throwing the fish: Throwing Fish at Farmers Market  They weren’t officially throwing fish at that moment but decided to do so for all of us tourists 🙂 That was nice. I also thought this sign was nice, “We only sell wild salmon caught by wild fishermen”. Very funny and cute!

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I can’t tell you exactly how I felt seeing this. It would be like watching a movie that you were really in to and you’ve always loved, then at some point in life you were thrust into the very movie while they were making it. It’s like you’re star struck or something. It’s hard to explain. I’m standing there watching these guys do what I’ve seen them do in T.V. shows, movies, documentaries etc. It’s just a really neat experience and I’m so happy I witnessed it.

Gum Wall

Just around the corner from the Farmers Market is the famous “Gum Wall” which has tons of pieces of chewing gum stuck to the walls.  According to Wikipedia the tradition began around 1993 when patrons of Unexpected Productions’ Seattle Theatresports stuck gum to the wall and placed coins in the gum blobs. Theater workers scraped the gum away twice, but eventually gave up after the market officials deemed the gum wall a tourist attraction around 1999. My thoughts…it’s pretty disgusting.

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Eeew. Yuk.

There are street musicians around every corner. These two were perched next to a neat mural.

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Ride the Ducks Tour

So we were definitely looking to take a tour, ESPECIALLY since this tour ride is in a bus/boat! That’s right, a bus/boat. It is a bus on land but turns into a boat when you go into the water! I was totally intrigued, so we got our tickets and hopped aboard, or whatever.

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Our driving was very entertaining (I think all of them are). There weren’t a lot of facts and history provided but it was extremely entertaining. Check out these videos: Fantastic VoyageCarly Rae Jepsen

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Dad liked it but I don’t think it was his cup of tea. 🙂 .

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You can purchase these little duck callers or toys at the gate and then when you get on the tour the driver tells you to quack them when he gives you the signal. It’s really silly but a lot of fun. Well eventually we were bound to go in the water. Look at this video to see it: Duck Boat Ride Also, I think I may have done a Cosby face in this. LOL

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This was the MOST entertaining ride I’ve had when touring a city or place. It was so enjoyable and the Captain was really cool. Oh yeah, also, he was on the show The Deadliest Catch in 2005! He used to be a fisherman, but it was so dangerous doing that career that he left that job and decided to stay alive and be a tour guide. He was very nice and I hope when I take Miriam (my niece) to Seattle we will get his bus again. 🙂

5 Point Cafe & Bar

We decided to wrap up the day with some good grub from a local restaurant/cafe/bar that’s pretty iconic and has some good food. This place has been here for 85 years and is the oldest running family eatery in Seattle. Some rock stars and VIPS have been thrown out of the restaurant. This is the type of restaurant that does NOT cater to anyone. They are not, “The customer is always right” kind of place. Apparently the idea is: if you act like a jerk, then you get treated like a jerk. Not to mention there is a sign located somewhere that says, “We cheat tourists-n-drunks since 1929”.  I couldn’t even tell you if they put that into play (which I’m sure they do) because I didn’t look at the tab for any discrepancies. I would venture to guess that they did so we just wont go there again. LOL Honestly I’m not interested in getting cheated. They have a cool place, and that’s nice but I’m not about to go back and get cheated, potentially a second time.

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Unfortunately we did not get to do the Space Needle tour. By the time we got around to doing it the next shuttle was going up at 10:15 p.m. and we just couldn’t stay that late. We will go up the next visit which will be in a couple of weeks with my niece. That’s why this is part 1 🙂

So for anyone who has been to Seattle, what are some other great restaurants to go to? I’d really like something local and authentic that WON’T cheat me out of my money.  What do we HAVE to do or see? We plan on doing the underground tour, Ride the Ducks, Ride the Monorail, and go up in the Space Needle. I’d like to get some feedback of any kind! Please comment below 🙂

From California to Oregon

“I got a golden ticket, I’m not gonna even pick it. I heard it, he said it, I heard it but then it went something like Visit. I wanna visit the world.” Visit311

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Well, we said our sorrowful goodbyes to Glenda, Bob, Bobby, Chad and Troy. They were so hospitable and incredibly sweet. We couldn’t thank them enough. So thank you all for extending your home and being so kind and generous. We love you 🙂 ❤

We started our journey up Hwy 101, cut through on 199 and then took the rest of the route on Hwy 5. So we basically took the coast up to Crescent City CA and then cut over and used the interstate all the way to Washington. We were really searching for time so it was easier and more efficient to take the interstate.

Going up the coast from California to Washington is not only beautiful and really amazing, but it really gives this North Carolina girl a different perspective on beauty. I can’t stress enough how different it is out here. The scenery is wonderful. It almost looks like Big Sur going up the entire coast of California!

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The sky seems to always compliment the cliffs and water creating a magnificent view of California’s coastline.

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Everything is so big that you feel so little.

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We saw this guy ride next to us. What a nifty thing he’s done with that little trailer!

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You know, there’s just miles and miles of different things to see coming up from California and into Oregon. The scenery definitely changes from golden hills to nice green trees.

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Drive-Thru Tree

Right before we decided to jump over to the interstate we decided to take a nice little detour to visit the “Drive-Thru Tree”.

“Drive-Thru Tree Park is a privately-owned grove that has been operated by the Underwood Family since 1922. Located approximately 180 miles north of the San Francisco Bay Area, the park was an ideal stopping place for overnight or week-long stays. In 1937 the Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree was added to provide a unique treat for travelers. Visitors have been taking pictures of their vehicles inside the opening ever since. With the exception of motor homes or vehicles pulling trailers most vehicles will be able to drive through the Tree. Parking is provided for larger vehicles and tour buses.” from http://drivethrutree.com

Unfortunately the van wouldn’t fit through the tree, but that didn’t stop me from getting some shots.

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imageThere’s a place for people to have picnics and enjoy the scenery on the property so it’s a really nice little stop off when driving up the coast. I enjoyed it.

Bad Experiences

Every traveling story MUST have a bad experience right? LOL We decided that we would stop in Arcata California and spend the night. I looked online and did some research on moderately priced hotels with good reviews and found a Quality Inn that seemed reasonable. We have stayed at Quality Inn’s before so we thought this would be satisfactory. It was quite late when we arrived so we were EXHAUSTED when we checked in. Upon opening the door to the room, there was a very musty odor, almost a pet and cigarette smell that hit immediately. I disregarded this as I’m not that picky and a lot of places smelled odd anyway. So we walked in and set our stuff down on the bed. I noticed there were four pillows on the bed, but non of them were standard sized pillows. They looked like they were for a child. So I called the front desk clerk and said they must have put the wrong pillows on the bed because they weren’t a standard size. He said that was the only pillow size they had and there was nothing he could do about that. So, that was okay. It had to be right?

I collapsed onto the end of the bed and mom says, “Are you going to check for bed bugs?”. I immediately pulled up the sheet and was disgusted by the soiled stains on the end of the mattress. There were no bed bugs but what I DID find, when I moved the sheet back were what looked to be blood stains on the sheet!

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After getting attitude from the desk clerk I felt like I would pretty much have to deal with it. I decided the best thing to do was to not look around anymore. I would just go to sleep and be done with it.

When we woke up, THAT’S when everything came into the light.

The carpet:

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The walls:

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The bathroom:

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Enough said. I really don’t need to discuss it further. However, I did leave a pretty nasty note for the manager. I also emailed corporate headquarters. I did receive an email back from them and they told me they would contact the manager of that hotel and have that person contact me in 72 hours. I have yet to receive a call or an email and it has been 5 days. I’m not very good at math but I think we’ve passed the time frame for the manager to call. Anyway…we were happy to be on our way and decided to enjoy the rest of the journey.

Driving Up the Coast

Driving up the Pacific Coast isn’t all beaches and cliffs, there are times where you come through mountainous terrain.

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I do have to say that I went through a mini panic attack to get this image. I had to step down on the edge a little bit to get the angle. At first it wasn’t too bad at all and my body wasn’t freaking out or my mind. As soon as I got the shot and went to step up I immediately froze. I realized where I was and how high up I was and everything in my body suddenly stopped and shut off, as if it were in survival mode. I didn’t know what to do. Clearly this step up wasn’t terrible because all I had to do was make a couple of steps and I would have been in the clear. It was a little steep but to someone without a fear of heights this would have been a piece of cake. When you’re afraid, like I was, your brain works in a different way. I felt as if I would certainly fall if I took a step up, or gravity would pull me backwards and I would be supper for this beautiful little river. I knew I couldn’t stand there forever, so I mustered the courage and slowly climbed up the steep edge and landed successfully on flat ground. I survived! Yay!

 

Oregon

We arrived in Oregon and…I fell in LOVE! I could, quite possibly, live here. The scenery is SO gorgeous! Everything turned from golden hills to luscious greenery! Everything looked so alive and thriving! Flowers popped up everywhere along the road. Daisies and Hemlock are plentiful along the road and on the sides of hills. Even though Hemlock is poisonous, I think it’s beautiful.

We found a Holiday Inn Express in Roseburg Oregon that seemed to be nice so we decided to stay there for the evening and it was FANTASTIC! We told them what had happened to us with the Quality Inn so they gave us the nicest room with the best view. And it really was the best view!

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We were so happy to have a CLEAN room and CLEAN sheets and a CLEAN bathroom to occupy! That may have been the most restful sleep I have had on this entire trip thus far. So thank you Holiday Inn Express for providing a wonderful comfort for us. Everyone was so hospitable and friendly, we couldn’t have asked for more. And the only way to top off a great night of sleep was with a great cup of coffee the next morning!

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I’m in love with Dutch Brothers Coffee. We don’t have them on the east coast so I suppose I will get my fill while I’m here!

We decided that we would just take the interstate all the way to WA so we could arrive sooner. My sister and nieces were VERY ready to see us so and we were ready as well. So we booked it. I caught a glimpse of the city of Portland.

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If we had more time I would have liked to go into the city and explore but we were hungry and in a hurry! We stopped to eat lunch and what better place than, “Bannings Restaurant Pie House” in Portland. I’ve never been to a little place like this but have always seen them in movies. It was a really neat little diner :).

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Did I mention that in the state of Oregon you do not pump your own gas?! They have gas station attendants to pump it for you! This guy was of such an attendant and posed nicely for me.

imageI thought that was the neatest and also craziest thing! But you know, it’s cool just like Oregon and I could DEFINITELY have seen myself living there. It’s such a beautiful place (what I saw) and I now know why everyone talks about it so fondly and are interested in living there.

I might be in the business of moving there. Anyone want to be roommates? 😉

New Experiences

“This ain’t no funky reggae party, five dollars at the door.” Garden GroveSublime

That song lyric might have been more appropriate for the last post HA! But you know, Sublime is always a band I think of when I think of California along with No Doubt and a slew of others.

So at this point everyone should know that we are staying with our cousins Bob and Glenda in Penryn. Well, their grandson Chad, who is my second cousin once removed, has been showing me, “around town” and it’s been really great!

We went by his house for minute or two, then ran over to his mother’s house, Lynnette who is my 2nd cousin and talked with her for a bit. That was really wonderful because I have always heard of these people but had never met them! I can’t explain the feeling you get when you meet another family member for the first time. I think this feeling starts when you get older and can appreciate it more. It’s finding others that are part of your blood in some way and so you’re automatically connected and I think that is what I like so much about it.

Touring Homes

We then went and toured some model homes. WOW. These buildings were quite large but some not so large. One thing I noticed were the bathrooms and they were like a room all in themselves.

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After home touring, we hit up Nordstrom Rack. I’ve never been to one and we don’t have them in NC and if we do they’re either in Raleigh or Charlotte. I purchased a shirt for a very decent price and then we scampered over to the mall.

Tiffany & Co.

Before I begin this it should be addressed that I do love diamonds. It’s my birthstone and even though it’s not very rare, I still love the sparkle and shine. So I saw the Tiffany store and told Chad I had never been into one. He immediately grabbed my hand and pulled me in there. The first thing he said to the salesman was, “We’re not buying anything, but we’re just looking. She has never been into a Tiffany’s before and I want her to experience that.” At this point I was thinking, “Well, he can either say okay and turn around and walk away, or he could tell us he doesn’t have time for us at all that only paying customers were worth his time.” I think all of this because this IS the mentality of most salesman. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to think what I did because that’s how the world works. Well…imagine my surprise when he presented a sophisticated half-smile and said, “Please feel free to take a look. Anything you would like to try, let me know.” I disregarded this as I wasnt sure if I heard him right. I saw a princess cut diamond ring. The salesman came over and chad said, “She likes that one.” The man opened the glass door and set it on the counter for me to look at. It priced at around $24,000. The price wasn’t shocking as I know it can be expensive. I looked at it and he said, “Go ahead and try it on.” I responded, “I can’t because it won’t fit my finger.” He just responded in a very non assuming way that, “it doesn’t have to fit, it fits no ones finger, it’s just there for you to try it on the part that it will fit on.” So I hesitantly picked up the dainty little $24,000 ring and place it on the thinnest part of my ring finger. Hello love. Where have you been all my life. That feeling was wonderful. It was so dainty and shiny. I thought, “This must be what it feels like for other women.”

I looked at the next ring that was clearly covered in diamonds. Chad said, “Can we look at this one”. He said, “Absolutely but we must go into the room over there to do so.” Apparently this ring cost a bit more. We walked eagerly to the room and he pulled out the ring. I placed it on my finger…and then looked at the price.

 

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$127,000 sitting on my undeserving finger. Wow.

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I honestly didn’t know how to pose for the photo. I felt very out-of-place trying it on because I will never have money like that to spend on such a beautiful ring. I feel like such a simple woman in the things I own that I almost felt uncomfortable walking into Tiffany’s to start with. I felt like maybe I should have been dressed up to do this.

The coolest thing about that whole experience, I think, was the salesman. He was so very nice and completely sweet. He was never assuming or bothered. He seemed to enjoy talking and loved his job. I would love to give him a wonderful review. I never for a minute thought he would give us the time of day. It was very sweet and I’ll always remember that. :’)

Buca Di Beppo

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So after all of the stuff we did, Chad took me to one of his favorite restaurants in the area which is, “Buca Di Beppo”. It’s an Italian restaurant located near the mall. He told me he reserved us the VIP seating. I didn’t think much of this because of the VIP seating style back home. When you get a VIP seat, it’s usually just a dark corner that’s somewhat private. It’s not anything to really write home to mom about but THIS was something to write to y’all about!

The VIP booth is IN THE KITCHEN!

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Talk about private! This is uber private! It was just an amazing thing! So you get:

A private booth in the Kitchen

Whenever your bread or water are low a server immediately fills it up for you whether they’re your server or not.

If an order is messed up in the main part of the restaurant, they will bring that order to the VIP table and let you have it.

Sometimes they will let you try different sauces (though I think that might have actually just been Chad’s doing since he frequents there a lot).

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I was surprised to say the least. Behind the booth, located on the wall were pictures of famous celebrities who had eaten there, either at that locations or others across the country. There are very few Buca restaurants in the whole of the U.S.

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We ordered the Spicy Rigatonni and for dessert a Tiramisu (El, it was amazing!) I didn’t eat too much beccause that wasn’t going to be good for anyone! Hands down, that was another experience I will put down in the books. Thank you so much Chad 🙂 Now I just have to work off these calories! Yikes!

After all is said and done, you can call me, “Experience Lady”. HA!

Birthday Good-eez

“Now I’m ready to turn the page on yesterdays and forgive them. Now I’m willing to disengage to seize the day and move on.” Boom Shanka311

So my birthday was yesterday–I’ve still not completely digested that–and I just keep getting older. We don’t feel any different as humans when we have a birthday, right? That day feels just like the day before and no physical or mental change took place over night. So when do we transition? When does the major change of feeling happen for us? Well, for me I have noticed that mine happens in spurts throughout the course of my life. I NEVER feel my age. Sometimes when I meditate on it, I do not feel an age at all. I would say that I feel myself to be a certain age on certain days or months. Sometimes I feel like I am a woman of around 55, then some days I feel like I’m around 27 or 28 and then moving into feeling myself to be 31. Does anyone else feel this way?

I have to say that yesterday’s birthday went smoother than I would have imagined. You know, it really just happened this way because I was determined to have a fantastic day. I’m not very big on birthday’s–whether they be mine or someone else’s–but it ended up to be wonderful. The sky was beautiful and the temperature was perfect. With weather so perfect, it’s really hard to be angry, depressed or worried.

Birthday Goodies

Yesterday after class I just sat back and cruised home. I picked up a pizza from, “Frank’s” for myself and my mom and then some fried chicken for my dad. Banana Pudding was the dessert! YES! A THOUSAND TIMES YES! As a diabetic this is something I can’t really have at all. Yesterday I made an exception and enjoyed every bite 🙂 (I should mention that my mom’s banana pudding is really awesome. It’s made entirely from scratch, so no packaged pudding.) My dad searched for miles for some honeysuckles and he found them, single and isolated. They smelled so wonderful and that just put the icing on the cake…or rather the pudding. So thanks to dad for that and thanks to mom for that amazing pudding 🙂

I REALLY tried to take yesterday and enjoy it. It’s hard to do that when I know that in just 17 days WE’RE OUTTA HERE! The itch is getting serious. There’s really nothing I can do at this point to prepare for this trip I don’t believe. This is an awkward middle point where I’m just kind of twiddling my thumbs, trying to appreciate the present but secretly containing my yearn for the future. *hehe* If I’m doing any preparation it is for UNCG in the fall and wrapping up things here for the end of the semester and saying goodbye to my students. *sad face*

This trip, in so many ways, feels like a milestone for me. It’s also pivotal in ways. I will be learning so much while on this trip; not just learning about facts and information about certain National Parks, but also learning processes, organization and direction. I anticipate that I will be driving most of the time and that will be good in several ways. I’m sure that I will gain so much more world experience from this as well. I hope to meet some super cool people and gain wisdom from their travels.

*Stops for a moment*

I can’t believe that we’re getting closer. Haha this is so rad! At this point, I think we’re just trying to, “KEEP CALM AND PACK ON”.