29 July 2009

Vacation posts #3 - Visiting the Atlantic

While in Florida I wanted so badly to go to the Atlantic and the Gulf - then I would have seen all major bodies of water bordering the US. But with the necessary 500 some-odd miles we had to drive to Alabama for the wedding and then drive it again back to Orlando for the flight home I wasn't sure if we would be able to. Since Robert drives when we're together it was up to him, and he doesn't like spending his vacation driving. I can't blame him. Who wants to fly cross country and then drive all over the place. Doesn't sound too relaxing.

But after some coaxing and some study of a map of Florida for the shortest distance to the Atlantic (figuring we could get the Gulf trip really easily from Dothan, Alabama - supposedly only 30 minutes from the gulf) we loaded up the cars and headed to Melbourne, FL - straight across from Orlando.
It was about an hour drive, but very easy (thanks again to Florida's super smooth roads) and with pretty views. When we got there we found parking easily, but it was metered parking and we only had enough change for 1 hour for each car. And 1 hour turned out to be just enough for that visit.

The waves aren't anywhere near as big as Oregon's (and probably a lot of the Pacific coastline) but they hit A LOT harder! It was SO loud! There was a nice breeze to keep you cool so you don't really notice just how hot it is. The sun was bright and even with the sunscreen we all got a tad pink.

The sand is less like sand and more like crushed sea shells and there are tons and tons of sea shells for you to gather. Carus went crazy gathering tons of little sea shells to bring home. We had to limit her and comfort her with the fact that I was getting some of my own too.

The kids weren't in their swim suits, which sucked because the water was warm and it would've been nice to go wade out in it, but was good because the pull from the tide was so strong. An adult was holding a kids hand the entire time they were close enough for the water to touch and everyone's feet would sink and be pulled on with each wave.

Peter, Charley, and Carie had their swim suits and went out in the water - not too far. They said the tide was more gentle a little ways out. I just love that picture where Peter is holding out his arms to Carie. She had just been knocked over by a wave and wasn't too sure about going further out.
So back to the car and just as we were starting to back out Adam remembers he forgot his glasses on the beach. I run back to the beach and look all over, but do not see them. Go back to the car and Robert goes to look (yea, I can be that bad at looking for stuff). He finds them, barely. He just barely noticed the very tip of the ear piece sticking out of the sand. They were completely covered and surprisingly just dirty and not at all messed up or broken. It wouldn't have been too big of a deal if he had lost them since he was due for new ones, but still better if he doesn't get in the habit of losing them.
On our way back to the vacation house we ran into a storm. This picture was just before it hit and when it did it hit hard. We went from 80 mph to 20 mph and barely able to see in front of us. Click here to see what that looked like.

27 July 2009

We need your support!

I know a lot of my friends and family just got this in an email, but for those I don't have email addresses for or those I forgot to add to the distribution list, read it here. :)

The kids and I are going to participate in Komen Portland Race for the Cure® on September 20th, 2009. We will be walking in the 5K walk and Robert's mom, Barbara will be joining us. In addition to us walking with the thousands others we are trying to raise funds to support the fight to save lives and end breast cancer forever. If you are near us, or will be visiting us, I highly recommend participating. Last year was extremely moving and amazing. Survivors get a pink shirt instead of a white one - and there are just way too many pink shirts but at the same time, not enough.

If you would like to participate there are many options. You can do the Adult 5K competitive (chip-timed) run, 5k Walk, 1 Mile Walk, 5k Co-ed Run, or 5k Women's Run. Or, you can participate in the Sleep for a Cure. You will receive an official race T-shirt and a commemorative pin in the mail. Click here for more info and a little video.

Please pass this info around to build support, the team, and get donations!

75% of all funds raised will provide the following services for local women:

*Education about breast cancer and early detection
*Information and support to breast cancer survivors and their families
*Mammograms for the uninsured or underinsured
*Transportation and treatment support for survivors

In addition, 25% of their revenue is combined with Komen Affiliates nationwide, making Komen for the Cure® the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the world! Komen funding has touched every medical advancement related to breast cancer to date!

Adam's page - Click here to visit my personal page.

Carus's page - Click here to visit my personal page.

or copy and paste the web address below

Becca's page - Click here to visit my personal page.

The team page, to donate to the team - Click here to view the team page for Providence Rebecca & friends

or copy and paste the web address below

Thank you and hope to see you there!

22 July 2009

Vacation posts #2 - Vacation in Florida

The vacation house we stayed at in Florida was 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, had a washer and dryer, and a kitchen with pots, pans, plates, silverware, etc. You just have to get a few groceries and you have all you need.

And it wasn't a bad price - $470 for 5 days. That's better than most hotels!
The first picture is from standing just inside the front door facing the living room and patio doors. The second is a picture of the kitchen from the dining room. There is also a breakfast area in the kitchen. That is Carie in the picture, Peter's girlfriend. She is awesome! We like Carie. She is sweet and quiet and funny!
This is the living room taken from the dining room. Carie was heading to the pool and Papa was bringing in some ribs. He made some very yummy ribs. The second picture is of the room Robert and I stayed in. Three of the rooms had a full (or queen-sized?) bed in them and the other 2 rooms had 2 twin beds in them.

We got a few games of volleyball going and we played for hours. Until all of our feet (and some knees) were raw from pushing off the bottom of the pool, or falling against the sides of the pool when jumping to get the ball.

Like our makeshift net? It is a hose that we pinned across the pool. Tall people were in the deep end and then short people on the shallow end. I'm on the shallow end.

Carus made quick friends with Sandy's granddaughter Amanda. They announced moments after the met that they were really sisters, and they could have been too. Not only did they get along, but they fought like true siblings, and Carus actually made her cry when telling her she thinks Hannah Montana and High School Musical are stupid (she won't watch Hannah Montana on TV and hasn't seen HSM - no interest in either). Carus has this thing where she tries to make you as frustrated as she is feeling. I was surprised with the birthday cake the night we got there. I was pulled off the phone - checking in with the house/pet sitter - and told in an urgent tone that a house meeting was being called so I thought they were going to making rules...and then they pulled out the cake. It was yummy too.

Of course Peter caught a lizard. Those things were fast and all over the place. Charley cooking our burgers for the 4th of July dinner.
My evening pictures from the 4th didn't come out well. We didn't go deal with any major crowds to see big fireworks up close but did walk the neighborhood a bit to get a view of the big fireworks, which we watched for awhile. Then we headed back to the house to light off the firecrackers, bottlerockets, roman candles, and sparklers for the kids. Of course the big kids (Peter, Charley, Robert, Joseph*, and Jimmy*) weren't the 'safest' with those fireworks and I sent the kids in the house after they did their sparklers lest they get some bad ideas. I won't tell you who put a bottlerocket in the seat of his pants and set it off. I will say they didn't burn their tush and that I'm unfortunately related to him and married to the person who dared him to do it...
That was also the night I got stung by the fireants. We were standing on the sidewalk lighting the kids sparklers and I took a step back into the grass and the ground was really soft. I looked down and noticed my feet had little black dots all over them, then the stinging started. I jumped up and down screaming and dumped water on my feet, but they were still there. Peter finally brushed them off my feet - thank you Peter - but ohmygod were they burning! The bites swelled up and burned and got infected and I'm pretty sure I had a mild allergic reaction. The rest of my whining can be found on Facebook. And yea I whined - still am. My feet are scarred!

We miss the pool!
*Joseph is Sandy's son. Jimmy is Sandy's grandson, kinda. He is the son of her stepdaughter from a previous marriage and technically she isn't her stepdaughter anymore. They are both still consider part of her family.

21 July 2009

My Bucket List

I'm stealing an idea from my amazing cousin April 'cause it is such an awesome idea. Make a Bucket List. I've always made a list in my head, but to put it down so I can visually see the progress I make is a really good idea. Italic ones are completed.
  • Become a mom.

  • Visit all 50 states (my count is at 18 - airports count in my opinion).

  • See the Seven Wonders of the World.

  • Visit Europe - UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Greece are at the top of the list of countries to visit there.

  • Visit Australia and New Zealand.

  • Egypt, pyramids, mummys, etc.

  • Go on an African safari and see ALL african animals in person in the wild (zoos don't count).

  • Learn to drive a stick shift.

  • Be in a movie.

  • Be the president of the US, hopefully the first woman president (this one is not realistic since I'm not a politician and would never join a political party and have no hopes of getting enough votes that way - but at election time in 12 years I will be old enough at 39 and maybe I can start a write in campaign - you can laugh at me now but you'll have to vote for me)

  • Visit South America and go down the Amazon River (in a boat/canoe).

  • Swim with sharks - in a very strong shark cage.

  • Learn to speak spanish and french, maybe italian too.

  • Road trip across Canada and America - not necessarily all in one trip.

  • Participate in Race for a Cure.

  • Get to meet my great grandchildren.

  • Live to 100 (really should take better care of myself if I hope to see this one).

  • Learn to knit.

  • Learn to quilt.

  • Learn to play the piano.

  • Buy my OWN house.

  • Learn to surf.

  • Own a horse or two - as well as other farm animals.

  • Make sure my kids' dreams come true.

  • Walk the entire length of the Great Wall of China.

  • Chinese New Year IN China.

  • Visit Asia.

19 July 2009

Vacation posts #1 - Heading to Florida!

I am such a horrible procrastinator! I'm sorry. It is something I'm working on, and have been working on forever. Except when under pressure or when I have a deadline. If something HAS to be done by a certain date or time, it will be done. Other than that, I put it off.

We had to be packed and I did not want to forget anything so I was actually organized for a change. This is all of our clothes, shoes, and toilettries for the 10 days we were to be gone, as well as our carry on stuff. As I was finishing my final count of things Timmy decided he was going to help.

Or he figured out we were leaving and was trying to put a stop to it.

And look, I got ALL of that in these bags. And I had room left over! I was proud of myself.

We had to get up at 5:30 to be able to get to the airport on time for security and such - and actually we ended up spending more time in the Starbucks line for my coffee than we did in the security line. Our wait to board was about an hour, but it went by so quickly.
And then we finally got to board...I haven't flown a lot, I still get really excited about it. When we got there we found out that in addition to the layover in Pheonix we would be having a stop in Reno - well actually we found out about the stop when the pilot said something after we were on the plane and pulling away from the gate. Kinda scared us that maybe we were on the wrong plane, but the number matched our tickets and they know what they're doing right?
It turned out to just be a stop to let some people off, board others, and we didn't have to get off. We actually got to rearrange and no longer be stuck away from each other. Robert and I split up the kids with each of us taking one. I had Carus from Portland to Pheonix and then Adam from Pheonix to Orlando.

The kids did really well on the flight. I let the kids decide what to bring in the carry on's with a few suggestions and Carus didn't want to, didn't hear me, or thought 'nah' when I suggested her markers/pencils and some paper. She colors, draws, and writes ALL the time. Luckily I had a pen and little notepad in my purse. Their carry on's had a small pillow and blanket, their gameboys/Nintendo DS, MP3 players, and books to read. Carus also had 2 stuffed animals ('babies').

She drew her little tiger kitty. I'll have to get a picture of that...
Adam got bored and I pulled out the camera to try to occupy him a bit. I ended up with a ton of pictures of his fingers and of the safety info from the back pocket of the seats.
And then finally we got our first glimpse of Florida. It was covered in patches of water and it was really green.

We got off the plane and found our way to baggage claim, then to get the rental car. The Orlando airport is really big. There is a hotel in the airport. You take a train from the gates to the terminal (or vice versa).
The second we left the air conditioned airport we were surprised to feel like we were stepping into a sauna or the bathroom after a hot shower. The sun was just setting but it was still very warm and very humid. We were told it was going to be humid, just surprised at how humid. We got to the car and turned the AC on as fast as we could. We didn't want to melt :)
Then we tried to find our way to the vacation house, and Robert's phone tried to get us lost - I was using Mapquest on it and Mapquest decided to change the street name on me without telling me and I had us heading down the right road to a wrong location for a bit before realizing it. But it didn't take us long after getting real maps from a convience store (pricey!) and getting some more clear directions to find our way. Florida's road system is surprisingly easy to read, learn and travel on. And they are so smooth! They have toll roads, but if it means that there are no potholes I think I am a fan!
When we got to the house we ate something since we were starving and then jumped in the pool. Peter, Charley, and Carie got in soon after we did even though they left our side of the US the night before us and we ended up joking and playing in the pool until 3 in the morning Florida time, which was midnight our time.
About Peter, Charley, and Carie's flight, I feel SO bad. They way I had to book their flight had them traveling overnight with 2 layovers. One layover in Las Vegas that was 4 hours and one in Memphis that was 3, and they flew into Montgomery, Alabama so then they had to drive about 8 hours to get to Orlando and the vacation house. I am so sorry guys! I hope you still had a good time!
Vacation pics from Florida can be found on my Flickr and I'll write more later. (Soon I promise.)

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