Saturday, December 29, 2007

I'm Okay

Alright, now that everyone is concerned with my fiasco, to the point of me receiving phone calls, I figured I'd update you on how I am. Everyone I see says, "It's not as bad as I thought it'd be." So on those lines I'm pretty darn good. I guess from my post, people expected my face to be massacred. As I stated in the previous post, the wounds/scratches/lesions don't look bad. It's not like my face is all scratched to crap. The cat didn't really scratch at me. It kept moving around my head, digging and biting, causing puncture wounds, which aren't very visible. Not to mention, most of the wounds are in my hair so they cannot be seen. I've attempted to take pictures. but holes in my skin don't photograph well. So most any normal person that sees me wouldn't think much of it.

At the same time I'm not trying to downplay what happened or the possible seriousness of the injury. It was scary and painful, and I wouldn't wish what had happened on anyone. I still have a decent amount of throbbing from all of the wounds. Not excruciating pain. Just a nagging pain that you think to yourself, "Ok, it can stop now." The bruises on my forehead have been a pain today too. For some reason they feel more swollen then they have been and if I touch them they're pretty sore. I'm also making sure I take my medication and having David keep an eye on the wounds. I should be safe at this point, but an infection could rear it's ugly head and change things dramatically. In addition to the physical pain I'm also going to have to deal with the "emotional pain." The scenario keeps playing itself over and over in my head. And I think to myself, "What could have I done different?" and "What would I do differently in the future?" My employer is concerned with me overcoming any fear of handling cats in the future. This is more an issue with them than with me. I feel fine and confident with myself and don't think this will be much of an issue. I did go back to work on Friday and it was basically as hellacious of a day as Thursday, minus the cat attack. Long story. I didn't even have time to worry about what had happened.

So in a nutshell, thank you for all of your concerns. It's greatly appreciated. I'm doing fine and am already able to look back at this experience and laugh. Hey, maybe the cat just wanted to poke holes in my head to let the evil spirits escape.

Friday, December 28, 2007

3.73 Miles

Well, I made it through the night quite well. I decided to take a Darvocet in hopes of getting a good night's sleep and it didn't really let me down. I was out. To be safe, I only took a 1/4 of the dose. With any medication that has sedative effects, I'm out. So even with Benadryl or Tylenol PM I've found that I'm safest if I 1/2 or 1/4 the dose so I'm not totally out of it the next morning. As for the pain, it's under control. I can feel that the Darvocet is wearing off and I have some throbbing, but I've already taken some Ibuprofen in hopes of having it kick in. Looking at my head this morning, I think it looks pretty good. Most people wouldn't even notice the lesions/bruises that are present. On the other hand, I have one near my left temple that is blue and a little more pronounced. Not that I wear much makeup, but I'm avoiding any as to not cause any further infection. I've been religious about applying triple antibiotic ointment and I think I have a permanent greasy head. Even after washing my hair multiple times this morning it was still greasy. Yuck. I have to apply the ointment 3 times daily. I would have preferred to just shave my head, but most would think that extreme since my entire head isn't covered with wounds. Ah well, greasy head it is. One of the medications is also making me parched. I was so thirsty last night and this morning I woke up with the driest mouth.

I had hoped to run yesterday evening but my realistic side told me not too. That would have been kind of fun trying to run while falling asleep. Interesting. I wanted to make sure I got a run in today (which is usually a "day off"). Being that it's Friday, when I get off of work I didn't want to have to worry about getting a run in, so I got up at 5am and took off by myself. It felt good. It was the type of run where I had gotten so far, so I decided to go farther. When I met that goal, I went farther again. Remember, the Forrest Gump mindset? Yep, that's it. I went a total of 3.73 miles, which I believe is my longest run yet by myself. Cool beans. In addition we've been hovering around the 2 mile mark these past few weeks due to the weather, so it was nice to kick up the distance. And lastly, I still kept a good average pace. Not 9:38/mile mind you, but I managed a 10:07/mile pace. Not bad considering my distance was almost double and it's still much lower than my median average. I feel pretty darn good.

Now, let's get this thing called Friday started so I can then start into a thing called The Weekend.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cat Attack

I'm sure most of you, if not all of you, have seen the recent story in the news where a Siberian Tiger at the San Fransisco Zoo killed a person and mauled two others. There have been conflicting reports and no one seems to know exactly what happened. I'm sure as time moves on the true story will unfold.

I was talking about the story with a few co-workers this morning, not realizing that, I too, would be the victim of a cat attack just a few hours later. Not a Siberian Tiger attack mind you, but a 6 lb cat attack. Let me give you a look at my day.....

I must say that most days in my job aren't easy, they are a challenge. But I see this challenge in a good light and find it quite rewarding. If you think about it, there aren't too many jobs out there that are easy, and if I wanted an easy job I definitely wouldn't have become a vet tech. But somedays you just have one of those days. Sometimes it broad sides you unexpectedly and other days you can see it coming just by looking at your schedule, and knowing what type of workforce you have on your side.

Going into today I knew it was going to be hellacious. The schedule was packed full, even before opening, with surgeries and sick animals. In addition, I was one person short with a co-worker being on vacation. I don't normally look at my day-to-day schedule this way. And I hate to start my day with such a negative attitude. But on the flip side if I recognize it's going to be a hard day and deal with it before it happens, when the day starts I just put my head down, get myself and gear, and plow through the day. In the end the "hellacious days" tend to be "not so bad of days". Today I wasn't so lucky.

As expected, the morning started out pretty rough. Our first surgery drop off was late, meaning in 15 minutes I would have 2 drop offs at the same time, feeling the rush. I dealt with it and moved on. That's when the sick animal cases started to pour in. All you can do is say, "bring 'em right in." Thankfully I have my system down with surgery days (Tuesdays and Thursdays) where I get most all preparation done before our doors even open in the morning. This helps when you have the unexpected situations arise in your day. Everything's set up and ready to go. Charts are written up, all I need to do is plug in numbers, do their blood work, draw up injectables, pre-med the animals, and go. I even get their go-home information ready and medications set to go so I just have to put the finishing touches on it when we're all finished. It's still hectic, but every little bit helps. The actual surgery is the "easiest" part of the case. It's all the formalities in preparation and post-op that seem to eat up your time. But these are things that must be done for a multitude of reasons including the pet's well-being and laws. So even with the unexpected sick cases we ended up keeping good time and just figured we'd start surgery later than planned and more than likely be performing surgeries all the way until we started evening hours (which by the way were already full with non-routine cases). We quickly ate lunch and headed into surgery.

I got the first case down with no problems and got Doc all set up in surgery. My co-worker stayed with Doc while I headed to the next case. I was going to get a cat, begin induction, and get it all prepped and ready to go. I headed to her kennel, pet the cat, and began walking to the treatment room. The cat had a good temperment previously, and although she had already had an injection of pain medication and a sedative to calm her down, I still had a good hold on her. As with any animal you have a specific way of holding and transporting them, just to be on guard and safe. I had her by the scruff and was holding her back legs, with her front legs free. All set to go back to the treatment room. That's when she realized she had different plans. Out of the blue she growled, hissed, and using her front paws grabbed onto my head and attacked me. To give you an idea, picture a video of America's Funniest Videos where a cat attack a person. Trust me, not so funny. I didn't let go of my grip but at the same time was helpless. She continued to growl, her front claws were dug into my skull, and she kept biting my head. While all this was happening I had my eyes closed, trying to figure out how the heck I was going to get this cat off of my head, without getting seriously injured...actually I was already seriously injured. My adrenaline had kicked in and the bites/puncture wounds didn't necessarily hurt but I was well aware of each time she took another bite. I just didn't want to lose anymore of my face than I already had. I didn't want to make any sudden movements, because anytime I did, she either dug her nails deeper or attacked me more. I quietly but sternly said, "Help.....Help. Please. Help" My co-worker came to help, not knowing what to do. In the process of her trying to help, she got bit and the cat continued to get madder, and continued to bite me in new spots on my head. At that point she cried out for more help and our office manager came running. She was able to get the cat off of my by unhooking the claws, of course after pissing the cat off even more, and it digging several more punctures wounds in my head. The cat fell to the ground and was corraled in a net. That's when I realized all of my blood on the ground and rushed to the sink to douse my head with water, making myself bleed more, to flush out the wounds. I also found that she not only had attacked my forehead and skull but also had gotten my nose, including the inside (yeah, you try to get your nose to stop bleeding from a cut inside the nose, that is so painful it makes your nose water...impossible). I couldn't believe what just happened. Looking back the cat had continued to attack and was attached to my head for no less than 2 minutes.

All I could say was, "Jesus...." and "Holy...." repeatedly. My adrenaline was still going and I was feeling lightheaded and that's when the tears came. Tears of emotion ranging from scared, embarassed, pain, to rage. It was chaos. And remember, while this was all going on we still had Doc in the surgery suite performing a surgery, wondering what the heck was going on. I knew I had to go to the hospital to get checked out, and also knew I couldn't drive myself in the state I was in. I also knew that no one at the office could take me since we were already shorthanded and still had 2 other surgeries to perform. I made a quick call to David and was unable to reach him. I then called my mom and dad. Thankfully they were at the mall, which is right around the corner. They raced over and drove me to the ER and I got all checked out. I got all scrubbed up, took some meds, got prescriptions, and was sent on my way. My co-worker also ended up at the ER due to the fact that she's allergic to almost every antibiotic so she had to have something prescribed specially for her. Cat wounds are vicious. They puncture your skin and the skin heals so fast that it can't seep, causing the infection to fester and making a BAD infection that travels fast, and may require some serious IV antibiotics or even worse, surgery.

The 'rents drove my co-worker and me to my house and I took a quick shower (per the ER doc), mom greased up my head with some triple antibiotic ointment, and we headed back to work. That's when the Darvocet started to kick in. Oy. When I got to work I found that they weren't expecting me back for the day, the cat was finished, but the last surgery would have to be rescheduled. The treatment area was a mess with all that was left from surgery being finished, and another coworker was so graciously heading in to work (she's on a set schedule due to having a child and only having the ability to have daycare 2 days a week. So for her to come in was definitely a hassle, but I was ever so thankful.) I made a call to David to be picked up (mom and dad had already left and taken my car so I wouldn't drive it home with being under the influence of pain killers). In the meantime I made sure all the surgery cases had been charted correctly and their go homes were ready. I tidied up the treatment and surgery rooms as much as I could and told my coworker to leave if for me for tomorrow morning. What a mess. David and I picked up my meds at the pharmacy and I couldn't even keep my eyes open as we went home. I think the pain meds were working.

As of now the pain meds have started to wear off and my forehead is showing some bruising. There aren't too many noticeable scratch marks since most of them were puncture wounds. I don't even want to know what my forehead and head are going to look like tomorrow, or the discomfort I'll be in. Thankfully I have more pain medication, including some extra strength Motrin to take the edge off. But you can be sure I'll be back at work tomorrow. Cleaning up the mess that was left today and taking care of all the animals that need care.

It's the weirdest thing when something like this happens to you. As stated above, you go through a range of emotions, and it's the type you can't control. You cry, you laugh, you feel as though you're going to pass out. Sadly, I've been through this type of situation before. Never this bad..once a cat bit me on my thumb, causing a pretty bad infection, and another when a 66 pound dog bit me face. (Why must they go after my face??) It's kind of one of those things that comes with the territory. You look back on the situation in hopes of learning from it. However, oftentimes no matter how careful you are, animals will be animals.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Go Fasters

New Kicks
Originally uploaded by heidihvt.

I got my first actual pair of running shoes for Christmas, from Mom and Dad. Now, you're probably thinking, "But you've been running for 8 months and have been wearing shoes. Aren't they running shoes?" Well, yes but technically no. The shoes which I started running in were trail/running shoes. When I got the running "bug" I needed shoes. Not really knowing what to do, mom and I went out and grabbed a pair that I thought would work. Little did I know what we were buying. But they worked and I was out running...that's all that I cared about.

When we went to Florida in September I saw these Asics and fell in love with them. Of course ya'll know me though, and I walked away from them. When we arrived back in Sandusky we happened to pass them at MC Sports here in town and my mom had me try them on. They felt perfect so mom got them but held onto them until Christmas. I know choosing running shoes shouldn't be about what they look like, but at least I'm moving in the right up, actually being fit for shoes. We definitely need to take a trip up to see Erika, KD, and the kids, and stop by Second Sole.

I can't believe the difference in them compared to my old shoes. So light and bouncy. I couldn't help but go, "Boing! Boing! Boing!" as I started to run tonight. In addition to feeling light and bouncy I had a personal best since I've had the Garmin. My median average pace is around 10:30-10:40/mile. (Yes, I know I'm slow). On a good day I get down to around 10:10/mile or slightly less. Well, today I hit 9:38/mile. Hot dang! (happy dance). My previous best was 9:47/mile at a shorter distance. I'm digging these recent "advances" that I've made in running. For the first time my speed is starting to pick up. I know it probably helps listening to music and having new shoes, but I can't help but hope that it's also my body finally coming together and accepting me running.

In other running news, on the recommendation of Erika, I ordered David's Pro-tec Patellar Tendon Straps, which should help stabilize both of his knees. We were upgraded to 2 day shipping so they should be here before we know it. Awesome. Gotta get geared up for our Half Marathon training! By the way, David agreed to running the Cleveland Half too. When I told him I was participating his response was, "What about me?!" Of course I'm up for him doing it and am glad that he wants to participate. We have yet to actually register as I need to contact my school. You see, my classes start May 12th and it's the semester I have go down to Texas for a week. Considering the run is on the 18th I should be safe because I would think that they wouldn't send me down there the 1st week of classes. You never know though. I hope to contact the school first thing after the winter break (Jan. 2nd) and see what they have to say. I'm sure they can't give me a definite answer given that it's a semester away, but I'm sure we can look at past year's schedules and see when it was done. Cross your fingers!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The She Did Award

My Aunt Cindy was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) in early 2006. She's an amazing woman with the best heart and such drive and determination. She never let this disease stop her. Even throughout chemo, a bone marrow transplant, and post-bone marrow transplant struggles, her smile shined through. It wasn't until September of this year that her counts are staying within normal range. As to be expected she will be under close watch with her doctors but She Believed She Could, So She Did.

Today my mom presented my Aunt Cindy with a keepsake..something that she's been holding on to until the right moment. Awhile back we were in Hallmark and it caught my eye. I showed it to my mom and she agreed that it'd be perfect for my Aunt Cindy.

So simple, yet so true. This whole concept has taken a new meaning for me within the past year. From this little quote I've come up with an idea. It's called the "She Did Award". We have such amazing women in our family that do stupendous things, that I feel should be recognized for what they do. So I call on my family members, both immediate and extended, to take my idea and run with it. Recognize the women in your life, whether they are family or friends, when they accomplish something spectacular. Having thought of this idea, I will "award" those that have initiated my thought process in making the She Did Award....

Aunt Cindy-She Believed She Could Beat AML, So She Did.

Libby-Aunt Cindy's Sister-She Believed She Could Help Her Sister By Donating Her Bone Marrow, So She Did.

Erika-She Believed She Could Run A Marathon, So She Did.

Aunt Therese-She Believed She Could Earn Her PhD, So She Did.

Goals are hardly ever easy to attain. While going through trials and turbulations you often want to quit. However, these women have shown that when you face those, along with your fears, inconveniences, and doubts, there is a great reward in the end.

As stated above, this idea has been evolving over the past year. I had thought of presenting it at the family gathering today but chickened out, as I didn't feel it was the right time. I do hope that this is an idea that can continue on whether they are "presented" at family gatherings, a letter or email, or even a simple acknowledgement when you see the person.

I'm Going To Run A Half-Marathon

David and his Dad arrived safely in Minnesota this afternoon. As for the's pretty bad up there. Lots of snow and a ton of cars off the road. They are now at the game and as usual, hoping for a win. As of this moment it's not looking too good. I just hope they have a good time together and arrive home safely.

This afternoon was our big extended family gathering. This year it was held at our local Elks Lodge and was great. It's always good to see everyone and catch up. With a lot of people having blogs you can actually carry on conversations with people instead of having the problem of not knowing what to talk about, or trying to spit out all you've done since you've last seen them. Much better than it used to be. I've already posted pictures from the gathering so be sure to check out our Flickr account.

While at the gathering Erika came over to see me and told me she had a proposition for me....she asked if I'd run the Cleveland Half-Marathon, that's in May. When it came out of her mouth I'm not sure what the look was on my face. More than likely the, "Oh Jesus, I don't know if I can do that. Do you realize that's 13.1 miles...of course you realize that's 13.1've run 26.2 miles!" look. I let the thought settle in my brain and realized, "I can do that!" I told her I'd be up for it but she's going to have to walk me through the training schedule, when to start, etc. While posting pictures on Flickr I took a jaunt over to the Cleveland Marathon/Half-Marathon site and got kind of pumped up. 13.1 miles. Yes. I'm going to do it. I know I can do it. Now what do I do? I guess I better mark it in the calendar and get registered here soon. Oh yeah, by the way, David doesn't know about this. I thought I'd hit him with it when he comes home. I'm thinking he's not going to do it, but we shall see.

After the family gathering we all convened at the 'rents house for Cassidy to open gifts and to open Grandma and Grandpa Quirie's gifts. Since I had all of my siblings present I thought it'd be the best time to present them with their joint gift from me. (They should all be present on Christmas too, but timing may not be on my side). I made a slideshow of all of us through the years. It's 12 minutes long so I'm not sure how I'll be able to get it on YouTube. The only thing I can think is to compress the file, but if I do that it will have to be done at a later date. As I've stated in previous posts, I prefer my gift giving to be thoughtful, which isn't always a high dollar item. I hope it's something that everyone can look at throughout the years, and I hope to add on to the movie in the future.

It's time for me to go to bed but I must post one more thing. It's a post that requires it's own title....

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rachael Ray I Am Not

All Decorated
Originally uploaded by heidihvt.

Today was spent in the kitchen. Justin and Cassie got here around noon and we started making cookies soon after. Making our "Dream Cookies" aka cutouts is a yearly tradition. I can remember making them when Grandma and Grandpa Quirie would come up for vacation. As time goes on we've become lax in our tradition but I try to get around to it if at all possible. I shot an email to J the other day to see if he was interested and he was game. I figured if we made them immediately upon their arrival in town, we'd for sure get them made. Not only do you get to spend time with family but you also get to eat your outcome. How great is that? They ended up a little thicker than normal this year but taste just as good as usual. Yum.

After going out to dinner we came home for David to pack for his trip. While he packed I took the opportunity to make my dishes I will be taking to our big family gathering that takes place tomorrow. My dish choices were pumpkin dip and a pizza/taco dip. They were pretty easy to make and I think they turned out fine, but all of this time in the kitchen today has made me tired. It's also made me realize why I don't cook/bake on a normal basis. It's just not my thing and I don't really get any mental gratification out of it. That's alright though. Doing it once a year isn't going to kill me.

It's about that time for bed, but I must caulk the bathtub before doing so. I noticed a few cracks a week ago and figured I'd take advantage of the time I have while David's gone. Since you have to wait so long for it to cure and we only have one full bath, it's not easy to fit it in the schedule. Off to caulk.

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Diet

Viking and Lily are officially started on a new diet. I've been wavering back and forth as to what to do with them. Lily's gaining weight like crazy. As I've said in previous posts. She's no longer our little Bean, she's our Pudge. This is something I never thought would happen. I am overjoyed that she's healthy and has a ravenous appetite, but if you add in her inactivity, that makes for an overweight pup. I knew I'd definitely change their food at the next bag of food, but I was just unsure as to what to feed. I knew I'd stick with Science Diet but wasn't sure if I should go to the Light, W/D (weight diet), or R/D (restricted calorie diet). In my line of work I deal with these foods on a daily basis and know that the Light and W/D basically maintain their weight and not help them lose weight. Whereas the R/D will help them lose weight. The biggest issues I see are that Viking doesn't really need to lose weight ( a pound won't hurt, but I'll have to keep an eye on him) and I'm worried about changing Lily's diet. Having gone through diet after diet during her bad time we never found anything that worked. When she settled onto Science Diet Adult Maintenance she was great. Of course I also contribute that to many other factors too, not just the food. We're now at the end of their current bag of food so I've started mixing the new R/D in. (got to wean them off the old food onto the new food over a 7-10 day period.) So cross your fingers that everything goes well and our pups get healthy and lean in the process.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Adventure Of Running

What day is it? Ah, Thursday. Almost to the weekend. Yesterday was my half-day of work and due to Doc having an appointment our schedule got flipped to morning hours. That means I had yesterday afternoon off. Nice. I got home and was at a loss of what to do with myself. No school work, no cleaning. And as ya'll already know, I'm not a big tv watcher so I didn't want to sit and watch tv. Uh. Okay. File Cabinet! I could go through the file cabinet and get rid of outdated, not-needed paperwork. Never fear. Heidi can always find something to do. I was in the middle of organizing and purging while jamming out to some music, when David came home. I was surprised to see him home already. Whew! Time flew. That meant it was time for our run. Due to the cold and snow we've found that running at night has been the way to go during the winter. It takes a bit of tweaking with your schedule, but it's worked.

We debated as to what route we should run. The side streets are still slushy so we were going to try to avoid those at all costs. We decided on our route which we hadn't done in awhile. Basically an out and back route on a decently traveled road. In order to get to the heart of the route we had to travel down a side street. Not fun. Slushy also means slippery. But by the time we got to the main road we were fine and took off. For the first time we ran our entire route in the street. If you could see our sidewalks, you'd understand why. On our morning runs we tend to run certain parts of our routes in the street but you're not dealing with traffic at 5am, meaning you can run down the middle. Being a decently traveled road we had to stay as close to the side as possible, meaning we were running on an angle almost the entire time. That's tough on your knees and hips for sure. When we hit our halfway point and turned around we also ran into wind. So not only were we battling traffic and running on an angle, we were battling wind coming off the lake. It was a hard run. A run where I thought I was going to have a horrible pace. It almost felt as though I was running in place. But to my surprise my time wasn't bad. Huh, well that's good.

Last night was a "date" night for us. My generous 'rents watched the kids while we went to the movies. I know what most of you are thinking, "the "kids" are dogs, why do they need to be watched?" Well, Viking's been going stir crazy as well. He's been whining to go outside but once he gets outside he doesn't go far with the snow. And with having hardwood floors he can play but it's not as fun since he can't grip well. The 'rents have carpet and both the dogs live it up when they visit over there. So we couldn't decide what to do....take the dogs over there to run or go to the movies and leave the dogs here. Well, the 'rents offered to pick them up and take them over their house while we did our thing. Kill two birds with one stone. That also gave Sloopy someone to play with. Needless to say both of the dogs slept quite well last night. Thank you so much mom and dad!

We went to see the movie Enchanted. Quite cute. I guess it'd fall in the category of chick flick but it was funny at the same time. A good family movie. David will even admit that he liked it. But I have such a great husband. Of course, for many reasons, but one thing he'll do is watch chick flicks with me and not complain. Believe it or not I think he actually likes them at times.

This morning David had to go into work early but I got up with him to get a run in. I had my route in my head, got all geared up, and went out. I didn't even make it to the end of the street and had to turn around. The slush had turned to ice. There was a ton of black ice too, meaning once I hit a main street I'd still be chancing it. Not worth it. I came back in and did some pilates. Maybe the roads will clear even more today and I'll be able to fit in a run tonight. If not atleast I've done the pilates. I'll admit I wasn't complaining too bad when the roads weren't acceptable this right hip is killing me and I can only guess that's from running on an angle yesterday. When I started running I didn't know it'd be this adventurous. Little did I know...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Running Spells Relief

Today was a high anxiety day. No specific reason. My anxiety was just high, period. Sometimes I go through times like that, but I think I could also contribute not running to the mix. No outlet for me. I knew running was important to me on a multitude of levels...from anxiety, having a place to burn off energy, feeling heathier, and feeling like I have a choice of what I can eat instead of counting every little calorie. On the anxiety side I've had a day here and there where I can tell I haven't run, as my anxiety is up. And as stated in previous posts, as time goes on, I am understanding runners and their mindsets...going out at all hours just to run, in the freezing cold, or in the hot sun. I've now entered the next phase of needing and wanting it. Kind of like a drug I guess. After having 4 days off of running I was about it freak out in my own skin. I needed it and needed it bad. I was determined to do anything to get it. Scary I know. But at least I recognize it. In all honesty if it weren't for others telling me, "don't go out and run in this weather," I'd probably be out attempting to run in it.

During my workday I gave David a quick holler to see if he'd be interested in walking the mall tonight. It's not running, but at least I'd be up, moving, feeling as though I'm doing something. He was game and then he brought up the idea of going to the YMCA. Heck yeah! A few weeks ago we got 4 free guest passes from his coworker. We had been planning to use them to swim, but remember, I was willing to do anything to run. I got home and we zoomed over to the Y and hit the treadmills. My first official treadmill experience wasn't bad. It was definitely different. It took me longer to go the distance I wanted to reach and it seemed rougher on my knees. It also took my body some getting used to. But I didn't fall or make a fool out of myself. And the best thing...we got to run.

So now I can compare treadmill running with outside running. As everyone says, there are pros and cons to each. To point out a few....Running outside definitely lets you be more "free" and is more relaxing to me. You also have more to look at and it's great to get fresh air. But you have to deal with the unexpected elements and safety can be an issue. The treadmill helped me keep better pace and with living in Sandusky, it may be able to help me with inclines a little better than outside running. Being inside with other people around me was kind of claustrophobic. And as stated, it was harder on my knees and leaves you with a weird sensation after getting off...almost like you're on one of those flat conveyor belt like walkways at an airport.

As of now we'll be sticking with outside running but we see the Y as an option if needed. At this point we don't want to jump the gun by joining. I'm not really into the whole driving somewhere to workout type of thing. I like to walk outside and go. But with the crazy winter weather it may be worth it. And having other options like swimming would be nice. But they do offer day passes, which is also an option for days that we can't go outside or want to try out our fins in the pool. Only time will tell. The snow/ice has started to melt in the streets and all of the main streets are pretty clear. Hopefully by tomorrow they'll be even more clear, making it possible for us to head outside. I'll worry about that tomorrow. But for now I'm glad I have my sanity least for the time being.


There's ice still on the ground meaning no running for today, again. David was so gracious to surprise me yesterday with a pair of YakTrax in hopes to help me out. They are things to put on your shoes that help you grip ice/snow. However, all that was available was the walker version meaning they probably aren't strong enough to withstand constant pounding from running. Ah well. He tried and I'm truly thankful. As of now I have an email into Erika and hope to get a reply soon to know what she recommends. She told me a few weeks back about a specific brand, but the name has left my mind. By the time I get them the snow will have melted and I won't need them. But at least I'll be prepared for the next snowfall.

Christmas is coming. What does that mean? Holiday parties. When I think of Holiday Parties, I think stress. Thankfully we only have one gathering. The thing is, it's the stressful to go to one. Actually, I enjoy them thoroughly. It's the preparation that's stressful for me. No, not the cooking, cleaning, etc. It's the trying to find something to wear. I know 9 out of 10 people could care less what I'm wearing, but it's still something I dread thinking about. The bottom line is I don't dress up. I have no reason to dress up. I wear scrubs when I work, which is 5-6 days per week, and I work 12 hour days. What does that mean? I live in my scrubs. When I get home I don't change out of my scrubs and get all dolled up. If anything, I hop in the shower and get cozy in PJ's and head to bed. And on my off days it's jeans and a t-shirt or sweater. Gone are the days that I dressed up for school at least 2 days a week. I couldn't imagine a career change at this time. Not only would I hate dressing up everyday but I would have nothing to wear. And when I say nothing, I mean nothing. You open my closet and 3/4 of my clothes are scrubs. No joke.

The only time I dress up is usually for family gatherings. And that usually requires a purchase of a new outfit. Having already worn an outfit for the last gathering, Heaven forbid I would wear it to the next. Then add on top of that, with my ever changing weight none of the clothes ever fit. I always have every size on God's green Earth in my closet, BUT the size I need. And you know I can't just walk into a store, pick out an outfit and have it be perfect. Oh, do I wish that were the case. I think dress pants are even harder to find than jeans. They will fit perfectly around the waist but will drag on the ground (and that's with 3 inch heels!). And it's not something that you can easily rig with safety pins or something. We're talking about 3 inches on the ground. But if I go with the petite sizing, they're high waters. Then you have all of these gorgeous dresses for the winter season. All with no sleeves. Right. Like I'm going to got out in a dress with no sleeves. What are they thinking?

So basically what it comes down to is for anything that I must dress up for, I have to go out and purchase an outfit that by next season/year I cannot wear due to already having worn it or size. I hold on to it for a few years, which crowds my closet, and then finally get rid of it. What a waste. And as stated in a previous post, I've recently become more aware of my wastefulness. I am truly thankful for all I have, but I look at it all, especially clothes-wise, and it hurts my heart. By being more aware of my wastefulness shopping is definitely not as fun anymore but at least I'm aware of it. Instead of buying it just because it's cute I go through the "do I need it?" questions and 99% of the time it's answered with a "no." I think I'll just stick with my scrubs and jeans for the time being. Try to simplify. Only give me the bare necessities, in all aspects of my life. I'm not there yet, nor will I ever be. But I can try.

As for this weekend's family gathering. I have no idea what I'm going to wear. I think it may just be jeans. This I do know, my closet has gone through it's purge for this month and it's nice having space. I think I'll keep it that way.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Who Doesn't Like Christmas Lights With Music?

I believe the snow has stopped...for now. At 1pm we went outside to dig out a bit. It was still coming down steady but we wanted to work on what was already present, so at the end it wouldn't be so hard. Boy, I'm glad that we did. The snow was wet and heavy, especially at the bottom. Hard on your back. Our snowblower went kaput 2 years ago, meaning shovels are all we've got. Of course since then we've had two of our hardest snowfalls that I can remember in a long time. Having such a long, wide driveway keeps you working for awhile. I also like to try to do all of the way to the corner, which is considered our neighbors, but it helps out those that are walking. I guess I can consider that my "workout" for the day since we were unable to get out to run. I'm itching to get moving but it'd be impossible to run. Oh, that'd be a hoot. To a certain extent I wish we could get a treadmill for days like this. But money and space are not on our side for a purchase such as that. In addition, I've never actually run on one and in all honesty I think I'd hate it. That and I'd fall flat on my face. My family doesn't call me "Grace" for nothing.

After we finished shoveling the afternoon was spent watching football...for David that is. I fell asleep on the couch, again. Even though I felt lazy this weekend I did get a ton of organizing and purging done. That always feels good.

The snow continued until around 4pm. That's when I called mom to find out that she was at the mall. Say what? There's no keeping that woman down. Like mother, like daughter. Having already dug ourselves out and not having too much snow cover from the rest of the snow, we met her at Bob Evans for dinner. Not too many people were out, but at the same time the roads weren't all that bad. The city must have been keeping up during the storm. We made a quick stop at Meijer just to move about for a bit then headed home.

On our way we noticed it was 7:01pm. A local business called SkateWorld has decorated their building this year. Then after 5pm they have a Christmas Light Show that goes at every 1/2 hour. You set your radio to a certain station, which then pipes you into their music. We've been wanting to stop but were always at the wrong time or heading somewhere. Being 7:01 David said, "Hey, you want to stop? It should have just started." We drove in, I set the channel, and we had perfect timing. It was great. I'm not sure if it's a pre-made program or if they did it all themselves but it was awesome. Who doesn't like Christmas lights? And Christmas lights to music? Even better. They did the typical Trans-Siberian Orchestra, with some Peanuts, a choral selection, and Mariah Carey. It ran for 25 minutes. So if you're in Sandusky be sure to stop by SkateWorld to check it out. Pretty cool.

It's about time for bed. Hopefully I can get to sleep after having taken a nap today.

The Evil Eye

I was checking out youtube and came across this video...too funny. Sita, we thought of you horse laughing at it.

It's Arrived

I feel rather uneducated with the whole snowstorm that's going on. I worked until noon yesterday, and knowing that the storm warning started at noon I was on guard. On guard that I decided not to run yesterday. David and I got some things done and then headed home around 2ish....that's when the snow flurries started. He decided to hunker down and watch Pirates 3 for the evening. Considering it still wasn't too bad we ordered a pizza for dinner and David picked it up. The snow continued but there wasn't much accumulation. I kept reading the weather reports only to find that Saturday wasn't the worse of the storm. So wait, we stayed in on Saturday for no real reason? Aw man.

I woke up at 5am this morning, looked outside to see that all the snow in the streets had melted. "Cool, maybe I'll get a run in today," I thought to myself. I went back to sleep for a bit and woke up around 9am. I looked outside again and found that yes, I the storm had arrived. At this point we have 1.5-2 inches of snow present on the ground. Looks like we'll be staying in for the rest of the day. So much for going to Aunt Therese's graduation (although yesterday we kind of figured that'd be a no go) and going to the Henry family gathering. We'll light some candles and hunker down for one more day.

I know, I should be fine with staying at home, chilling, but doing that right before Christmas is hard. You want to get out and get things done. Not to mention, it's the weekend. You almost wish it would happen in the middle of the week in hopes of not having to go to work. I guess the tradeoff there is no pay though. At this point we're unsure if we'll be working tomorrow. It looks like it's supposed to taper off this evening, which I think will give plowers enough time to clean things up. We shall see. For now I'm going to get some cleaning done and enjoy the alone time with David cuddling with the kids...that is, until it's time to shovel.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hey Buckeye Fans

Here's a link to a great highlight video found on It was shown at the OSU Team Banquet. OSU Team Highlight Video 2007 Season. It's also very inspiring, as I wish I could make movies with video, but don't have the ability at this time. Not to mention you have copyright issues to deal with when dealing with the NCAA and NFL. Someday....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mental MP3 Has Been Upgraded

Good Thursday to ya'll. The weather cleared up enough for a run this evening. Whew. I needed it. It wasn't a stressful day from work but I was determined to get out for a run. I was all pumped coming home from work, jammin' in the car, then when I got home I hit a few snags. I wanted to try my MP3 player out for the first time during a run. I didn't change the ear buds before going to Hawaii but determined while on the trip I needed to change them to a smaller size. So I went to change them and do you think I can find the 2 extras sets provided? Nah, of course not. Frustration. Don't you hate it when you put something in a safe place so you won't lose it and then you end up losing it anyway? This drives me crazy! I still chose to take my MP3 just to try it out. Then I forgot my Garmin walking out the door. That's what happens when you're out of routine, you forget things. I went back inside and grabbed it. Then it wouldn't pick up a signal. It took so long that I ended up back inside....why freeze outside while it waits to pick up a signal? I was truly frustrated at that point along with being hungry. All while being determined to go for a run. And at that point I knew I truly needed that time to myself, even if I had already worked a 12 hour day. It finally got the signal and off I went.

Running with music/MP3 player is definitely different than what I'm used to. It may take some time getting used to....getting the perfect volume, figuring out where to put the thing (it has a clip and most of my clothes have a pocket for such a device but I want to be able to change it if need be. I ended up wrapping the excess earphone cord around the unit and held it. You also have the constant "thump, thump, thump" in your ears from the cords moving.

I started out with Shrek 2's "I Need A Hero." Then it was Dirty Dancing Havana Nights' "Do You Only Want To Dance?", then it took off to Michael Sembello's "Maniac" Awww yeah! Kickin' it up a notch. All I could do was think of was the new Kia commercial with the guy dancing to Maniac. Eminem's "Til I Collapse" started up but I had to change it....too slow at the rate I was going. I finished up to Israel Houghton and New Breed's "Favor Of The Lord" I was definitely moving at that point and even debated whether to go longer, but I had David waiting at home (He had already run) ready to watch some Pirates 3 (we only started the special features tonight due to time).

I was pumped to see what my Garmin had to say but was also ready to have disappointment if I hadn't kept as good of a pace as I thought. Well, I had a pleasant moment when the Garmin read that I had one of my best times to date. Sweet. Maybe I will stick with the MP3 player. It definitely kept my mind going. It's also amazing how much noise you realize you make. Maybe people won't understand me...but with the earbuds in it's almost like wearing ear plugs and you hear the breathing noises you're making. I thought to myself, "Do I always breathe that loud? Is it noticable to those around me?" Weird. I wonder what the player will have in store for me on my next run. Oh what fun. No more mental MP3 for me!

Freezing Rain

As stated previously the whole jet lag has been throwing us for a loop. Yesterday morning we woke up at 5am only to realize that we still hadn't slept all night. We decided to sleep another hour and not run due to our exhaustion. During the day I received a call from David wondering if I'd be interested in going for a run after work. I was game so when I got off we headed out for a run. It felt good even with my legs being sore from Tuesday. (More than likely from having too many days off of running.) We both finally slept a good night's sleep last night for the first time in a long time. We woke up ready and raring to go at 5am. We got dressed, stretched, then I looked outside to find that David's car was covered in ice....freezing rain. We attempted to go outside to check it out and found that it was an ice rink when you stepped on the sidewalk. That's when we had the thought, "you know, it might not be a good idea to go out running in this." So I'm definitely glad that we ended up running yesterday night and I'm hoping that when I get home tonight it may have cleared up a bit and I can get out for a run. If not, I'll then hope that it's better tomorrow so we can run, even though Friday's are "non-running days." Gotta get back into the swing of things whether mother nature wants us to our not. We need to invest in some running spike things. That way we're ahead of the game.


I've been attempting to make a "video" of David and myself through the years and have hit a few roadblocks. Mainly, the file's too big to post on YouTube. I tried to upload to VEOH and it denied me access due to having "copyrighted" pictures in it (professional still pictures). So I made the file smaller, lost some quality, but it's now posted on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Additional Blogs

Ha! I just found out that two more family members have blogs and I didn't know it. Where have I been?! I'm such a huge fan of blogs. I feel the "closest" I've even been to knowing my extended family through reading them. You get to keep up with them by seeing what's going on and where it's going on. They'll be added to my list and I look forward to checking them daily. By the way, did ya'll know Christmas is coming? That's crazy talk!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Small Light Is Getting Larger

I started looking at my school schedule for next semester yesterday. Everyone's been asking me, "when will you be done?" for years now. I think I now have a definitive answer (of course if nothing unexpected happens). It looks like I only have 2 semesters to go and I'll be done come August. Sweet. So close I can taste it. Okay, maybe not that close, but it still sounds good. I sat down with my employer yesterday to figure out when I should take what classes since there's a lab component that I must take down in Texas. This component takes a week so I'll miss work for that period of time. Our "downtime" at work is in the spring which would be a better time to take it, but the school recommends leaving it for the last semester and it's probably better that way so I can learn some large animal techniques, etc before heading down there to do a hands on lab (all level 4 classes are large animal). So it's been decided, I'll be heading down to Texas for a week sometime between May-August. We're not sure if David will be joining me, since we're not sure what to expect from my schedule. My understanding is it's a 6 day lab that counts as 60 hours...meaning 10 hour days. I don't want him to go down there just to sit and waste time but at the same time maybe we can make it a few days longer, through the weekend, so that we can have a small vacation. In addition we have friends that live in Texas that we haven't seen since we lived in New Orleans. It'd be great to see them again. We shall see as time gets closer. This next semester's going to be a bear. I'll be taking 4 classes and 1 has a video. Bah. Can't do anything about it. The sooner I take them the sooner I'll be done. And that will leave me with 3 classes the last semester. I just figured it's easier to take more classes in the winter/spring than in the summer. Just a guess. So I see it. That small light at the end of the tunnel that keeps getting larger and larger.

In other news David and his dad will be heading up to Minnesota again in a couple weeks. They hit the idea around last night and David hopped online to find affordable tickets again for a Vikings game. It will be an even shorter trip than last time and they will be driving instead of flying. At such affordable prices you can't pass it up. Of course I get to stay here and work. Someone's got to make money for the family. Just kidding.

Jet lag sucks. We didn't think we'd have that big of an issue due to our fiasco coming home and being so tired. On Saturday night we crashed when we originally thought we'd be awake. We could've slept all day on Sunday but made sure we got up. We were tired all day but when night hit we were wide awake. Monday morning was tough and the day was rough. Then once again last night we were awake again. It's not fun. My body wants to sleep but at the wrong times. Hopefully it will subside in a few days.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I was tagged by Jacki while on vacation. Now it's my turn to let ya'll in on a few of my quirks or random things about myself. I'm also supposed to tag 4 people but I don't know 4 people with blogs to tag. But I will tag Jen and/or Joe and Dad.

Here it goes....

1. I joke about being OCD but it's not always been so easy to recognize that I have definite issues. It all started when I was young, I'd see a piece of lint on the carpet while I was watching tv. I'd get up, grab it, throw it away, and sit back down to watch tv as if nothing interrupted me. Then when I got a little older (middle school-high school) I had routines that I HAD to follow and to this day I can tell you specific step-by-step motions of each routine. From going to bed (closing the bedroom door, moving over to my closet to make sure the door was securely closed, making sure my curtains were perfect, pushing down all the window blinds making sure they were perfectly closed....), changing channels on the tv (8, 5, 2, 20, 29, 44, 45, 11, 12, 22, 13, 35, 38, 57......), praying (making the sign of the cross as many times as needed until it felt "right" and having to say everything in a perfect order. If I left something out I felt something "bad" was going to happen), to checking my alarm clock a set amount of times. My "magic" number was 3 meaning things had to be done in 3's. It wasn't until I moved to New Orleans that my routines got interuppted and they were put to a stop. I do have "relapses" here and there but I've been able to keep myself in check and recognize them before they get to the point at which they were. Even more, while all of this was going on no one knew I had the issues. Mom was quite surprised to hear I had been doing this when she found out a couple years ago.

1.2 This is kind of on the OCD line but I'm a list maker. I make lists for everything and I always have an ongoing list. This even translates to my running journal. I log time, distance, weather, what I was wearing, route, etc.

1.3 OCD yet again but I'm also a number cruncher. I'm always calculating things...even pointless numbers. For instance when I lay down to go to bed I always figure out how long I'll be sleeping for. I also keep a specific log of my hours at work. I write down start and finish times. Calculate projected amount of hours I will work per week and compare them to actual hours worked. And I don't round, they have to be specific numbers.

2. When I run I hold my hands in the "shaka" or "hang loose" position. This isn't really a surprise since most have seen pictures. But this originated from running with pepper spray in my hand. The key ring goes on my pinky and my thumb goes on the lever, naturally putting it in the position. Now, even without pepper spray my hand goes into the position and my left hand mimics the position.

3. I've been told that when I sleep, anytime I move I make a small sigh...sounding like a sigh of contentment.

4. Okay, this is an embarassing one. I'm a touchy feely person. Not in a bad way! I used to want the Pat The Bunny book as a kid and my mom would never get it for me...that's because I was too old for it. I slept with my "little pillow" until about a year ago. It was only retired because it was in shreads. I tried for years and years to replace it with something else and it never worked. Then I started moving it farther and farther away from our bed until it was in our closet. Now I sleep with this soft fuzzy blanket thing that I wrap around my head like a turban (it's feels cool on my face). I was also a big Binky sucker, which turned into thumb sucking, then lip sucking. To this day anytime I feel something soft my sucking reflex takes over and I start sucking on my tongue. Most people wouldn't be able to tell I'm doing it since my mouth is closed. Actually I don't even notice it. This especially occurs with dog ears. Thank God Viking and Lily are so tolerant of my quirks =) (By the way my mom did end up getting me Pat The Bunny but it wasn't until a few years ago. Thanks mom!)

Now I'm truly embarassed. Ah well. You know how hard it is to think of random things about yourself?

Monday's Thought For The Day

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Our Hawaii pictures have been uploaded to our Flickr account. All 322 of them. Enjoy!

Our Trip Home

Warning: this post contains profanity.

Good morning. We woke up to rain here in Ohio. Is it following us? At this point we don't mind. Our heads hit the pillow last night and we were out. I woke up at 10am, thought to myself, "We got to get up," and rolled over and went back to sleep until 11:10am. We could've slept all day but pushed ourselves to get up knowing we need to be able to sleep tonight. I'm in the process of uploading pictures to our Flickr account, so be on the lookout. I know ya'll are just dying to hear our story about coming home, eh? Probably not, but here it is.

To start, our checkout was at 11am. We could've left our suitcases at the hotel but all they do is leave them in the lobby with a big net over them. So we debated to leave them or take them in the car and take a chance with having our car broken into. According to everything you read, car break-ins are huge there and they recommend taking everything with you when you leave your car. With that being said we took our luggage with us and hit the road to try to find something to do.

Since we had no hotel room we had to be careful what we did so we didn't get all funky. We were wearing the clothes we'd be wearing the entire day into our trip home later that evening. We went to Leonards for Malasadas (awesome Portugese donuts that can be cinnamon sugar, or filled with items such as custard to chocolate). They are well known on Oahu for awesome puffy malasadas and they didn't let us down. I'm glad we didn't go there earlier in the weeks because we would've found ourselves there every morning if that had been the case.

After that we went up to the North Shore for the last time. Matsumoto's was open so I got my "official" shave ice. They didn't let us down either. I got the cotton candy flavored with ice cream on the bottom. Yum. After that it was only about noon so we headed back down Kam Highway and ended up at Pearlridge Mall. Grabbed a quick bite to eat and then we were at a loss of what to do. Having that last day is almost like a waste but any flights out to the mainland are at night so no matter what day you leave, you have the same problem.

We decided to head to Pearl Harbor for the last time. We didn't spend much time there and didn't let the car out of our site. Break-ins are HUGE there since they don't allow you to take anything to the Arizona Memorial that would provide concealment. No purses, bags, large camera bags, fanny packs....nothing. So people leave them in the car. Prime target for robbers. They do have a bike patrol for security but break-ins are still on the rise. What we stopped to see was the Healing Field. Very moving. They have different Healing Fields for different occasions but this was to commemorate those lost at Pearl Harbor. Each flag had a purple ribbon attached to the full-sized flag with the person's name, service, and where they were the day of the attack. It was only fitting that we saw it on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

At that point it was 2pm and we had no idea what to do. We didn't want to waste gas by driving. We debated whether to drop the car off but didn't, thank God (I'll explain later). We ended up at the Ala Moana Center for a bit (mall), took a jaunt past downtown Honolulu and Waikiki again and by the time we were back at the Airport it was 6pm (our flight left at 11:55pm). We thought we'd be able to check in and just chill at a restaurant and read or something. Not so. We dropped the car off and showed up at the airport to find a ghost town. Everything's closed and you can't get in. To start, you have to pass through USDA agriculture inspection. You kind of do this upon arrival too, but only have to submit a form. Going into Hawaii you can't take any "foreign" foods, fruits, etc that could damage their environment. Things like peaches, apricots, are totally out of the question. On the way back you have to have your bags x-rayed to make sure you're not taking any agriculture out of Hawaii. The USDA inspection site didn't even open until 7pm so we sat and waited. Before evening being inspected we found out from another US Airways passenger that we wouldn't be able to check our bags in until 8:30pm. Say what? This was a total surprise to us. I just wish that had notified us when we arrived in Hawaii that that's the case. And in none of my travel books was it ever noted. Not only that but it was also a surprise to those around us including those that have been to Hawaii multiple times previously. Thank God we didn't take our car back any earlier. Some others weren't so lucky...some had arrived as early as 2:30 in the afternoon. Just like us there was nothing for them to do and they had to check out of their hotels. In addition, some parking at hotels charge a crazy charge for every 1/2 hour after you're "checked out" Come to find out one of our fellow passengers tried to contact US Air's customer service. To start he had to find a person and the highest ranking US Air employee was at baggage claim (remember the airport is basically closed....I guess this explains why it was a ghost town we arrived in Hawaii, it doesn't "open" until night) and he wouldn't give the customer service number. He ended up getting a phone number some how and called US Air to find that their customer service hours are 9-5 central time M-F and closed on the weekends. So basically you're screwed if you have a problem after hours, if you're in Hawaii since you're pacific time and fly at night, or on the weekends. Somehow we got hold of an actual person on the other end of the line just by staying on the phone, but of course they couldn't do anything.

So first we had to wait for USDA agriculture, which was a total joke. They weren't even watching the screen as our bags passed through the machine. Not kidding. Then we waited at the check-in counter as every other airline checked in. And remember, the airport is all open air meaning we're "outside." Thankfully there's still a roof but that doesn't help humidity. There was only one US Air flight going out that night so we became quite close with our fellow travelers during the waiting time. There was one inparticular named Ross. He was the one that called customer service. The best description I can give is a cross between House and Jeff Foxworthy. He wasn't as arrogant as House but kept you rolling at all times. Just hilarious and he helped pass the time. During our wait time we found that we weren't the only ones that had a horrendous week of travel/weather. Anyone that had been here more than once stated that it was the worst week of weather they had ever seen. It actually made us feel better, allowing us all to vent and not feel as though we were crazy for feeling they way we did. The time finally arrived to check-in, yes! That's when the wonderful customer service of US Air continued. After sitting there for how many hours we had a woman come up to us saying that we had to move back that we were blocking people getting by the desk. Say what?! You've got to be kidding me. At no point was there a person that couldn't get by us. Whatever, we moved.

We checked in, had no problems with security and hung out with our new friends until our take-off. That's when we realized we got the "chosen seats" again. Yes, the same shitty seats that we had on the way there. They weren't so bad going there considering it was day time and we didn't need to sleep. But this time we wanted to sleep. The only way I can explain them is that you have no recline in them. They actually lean slightly forward. Add on top of that the people in front of you reclining in their seats, you have NO room. Here's a picture of David.

It's the best view I could get the situation. You cannot put a 12 inch ruler from your nose to the back of the seat in front of you. David's knees were hitting the back of the seat. They were the worst. We understand that someone has to sit there but come to find out when we were getting off the plane that there were 15 empty seats in the back that we could've been moved to. You've got to be shittin' me! And this time they didn't even acknowledge us getting the crappy seats. In addition the crew was quite rude and inconsiderate. Upon entering the plane there was no place above our seats for our carry on luggage. We were in row 7 and the closest overhead compartment was row 15. Instead of helping us get our luggage to there all we got was, "It can't go up got to put it somewhere back there." I couldn't help but give her a "Oh no you didn't" look. We put our stuff there and returned to our seats. During the flight we found our "neighbor" was a gold member of US Air and got stuck in the same crappy seats as us. Oh heck nah. I'd be raising heck with the airline. She told us that she was getting up to stretch so we all got up to stretch and go to the restroom. She went first, then me, then David went into the lavatory. Immediately when he got into the lavatory the "fasten seat belts" light came on. And you bet that witch of a flight attendant came running to us saying, "You must get in your seats!" We tried to explain the situation that we were waiting for David but needless to say David didn't get to do his business. We got no sleep on the 7+ hour red eye flight and then when we were unloading we got to deal with the flight attendant again. We were patiently waiting for everyone to get off the flight so we could go back to get our carryons when here she comes and says, "What's going on? What are you waiting for?" David replied with a, "We're waiting to go get our frickin' luggage!" That's when a supervisor showed up on the plane and was talking to a fellow passenger saying, "Well, it looks like you two aren't in a hurry and are relaxed from a nice vacation." Basically trying to make us look bad. I've never wanted to get in someone's face so bad and say, "You have no idea!!!" Then when we were leaving the plane the witch attendant said to a fellow attendant, "We got a mean face...." David couldn't help but look her straight in the face and said, "fuck you." Yes, my husband cussed at a flight attendant. You didn't want to mess with us at that point. Horrible vacation, waited forever at the airport for your sucky service, only to be treated like total shit by your airline and have no sleep. Not happy.

David grabbed a quick bite to eat in Phoenix. I was so pissed I couldn't think about eating. That's when I realized the person in Honolulu never gave our Charlotte to Cleveland connecting tickets. We had our 1st and 2nd leg tickets but not the 3rd. I had to go to the desk and get that taken care of. It wasn't a problem. But at that point I wasn't surprised at US Air's mess up. Our second flight was much better. It's amazing how much room we had being in normal seats. You know that those 1st seats were tight when we were rejoicing for the amount of room we got in a normal seat. We ended up not having a person in the seat next to us, which allowed us to stretch out a bit. The customer service was no better, as we had another unfriendly flight attendant. We put our carryons above, as we usually do only to have her come and yell, "Who's luggage is this? Who's luggage is this?" We said it was ours and she said, "It can't go that way, it must be moved. I guess how we had it, it wouldn't fit or something. Kind of funny because it fit in the last plane which was the exact same model. Whatever. We got up and moved it ourselves. I'm kind of surprised about that. Any other airline they would tell us it couldn't go there but then would move it themselves. Even with budget airlines like USA 3000. Not with these 2 crews. They wouldn't touch it and expected you to do it all. I went in and out of sleep on the 4 hour flight. Note to self: never fly with US Airways again and if you're in a B757 don't get Row 7 D, E, or F, or Row 8 A, B, C.

We arrived in Charlotte. It was our first ever stop there. It's a very nice airport. Clean and up to date. Even better, they had a huge pump bottle of Listerine and mints in the restrooms. Definitely something that was needed after not having been able to brush our teeth. The last leg from Charlotte to Cleveland went fast and the crew was great. Why couldn't we have had that crew on any of our other long flights? They were funny, enjoyable, and helpful. They were US Air but called Mesa. Probably contracted or something. And even better, we got into Cleveland 15 minutes early and our luggage was immediately available. Ah, home sweet home. I've never wanted to get down on my hands and knees and kiss the ground in Cleveland. Cleveland, for God's sake. I didn't care. We were home.

When we got home mom and dad helped us unpack and get settled. Then when we went up to bed we found St. Nick came while we were gone! Yay! Thanks St. Nick!! I don't even remember my head hitting the pillow. I was out. It was the best night's sleep ever.

Just wanted to thank the 'rents for all of their help...from watching the pups, checking on the cats, cleaning up any messes, taking in the mail, shoveling our snow, and taking us to and from the airport. We appreciate it so much. Thank you!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Safe And Sound

We're home safe and sound. Everything's unpacked, luggage is stowed away (probably for awhile), pictures our on the computer (they'll be uploaded tomorrow), and wash has been started. We shouldn't be tired considering we should be on Hawaii time...6pm, not 11pm which is here. But having had basically no sleep on the trip home we're exhausted. As with everything having to do with the trip, there's a story for our trip home. It's too long and too deep to write tonight. Time for a hot bath and a comfy warm bed with thick clean sheets. 'Til tomorrow...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Last Day

Last day here in Hawaii. We don't leave until midnight local time though, so we have an entire day. With that being said we have to be careful at what we do since we won't have a hotel room to go back to if we get all nasty. They do offer a hospitality room so if worse came to worse, but still. As of now our plans are to "ride the loop" again, as we call it. We've done it 3 times before. Twice going up "Kam Highway" and around and the other up the windward side and around. I'm kind of bummed that we didn't get to to the leeward side but the day we were going to go the weather had been bad the night before and my understand was it was like a war zone over there. Thank you Cheryl Aloha for all of your advice and encouragement during this time. It definitely helped. We've passed the Puka Dogs several times in passing and I'm very interested. We're going to try to fit it in today but like I said, we're not exactly sure what the definitive plans are.

It's going to be a long flight home but I'm definitely excited to see our pups and kitties. Nana and PawPaw have them so spoiled they probably won't want to come home with us! Hopefully the next post will be from the comfort of our home.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Sun Is Shining....For Now

Hello all! After my post this morning we went out and walked the streets. We then drove to downtown Honolulu to check out the Aloha Tower and Chinatown. We didn't stay long as there was very limited parking and weren't willing to fork over a ton of money for it either since my main plan was just to take pictures, not shop. After our jaunt we went back to our hotel to get in our swimsuits and crossed our fingers that the sun would stay out until we got to the beach. It's been playing a trick on us the entire time we've been here. The sun will be out, we'll get in our suits, and by the time we get to the beach the sun will be covered by massive clouds, it's VERY windy, and/or it's raining. We got to the beach and the sun was out and stayed out. Can I get a hallelujah?! So our afternoon was amazing.....what we had been waiting for. We got in the water for a bit (not all the way in). It was still kind of chilly but much better than the other day. The clouds started covering the sun more and more so we decided to head back to the hotel. In the process it started to pour rain so we took cover fast. Right now it's not looking too bad at the moment and we're heading out for dinner. Our plans for now are Da Big Kahuna. We shall see. Thank God for the sun today. Thank you. Thank you. I'm eternally grateful.

I Want Sleep

The marathon expo was ok. There weren't too many vendors and 50% of them targeted the Asian population. Why should I be surprised? We didn't spend as much time there as expected but I did get this little belt/pouch thing to wear while running. It's tiny but stretches to fit necessities. I don't see me using on normal day-to-day runs but will mostly use it for races when we don't have anyone with us to hold our stuff. Since it stretches it also keeps it's shape and stays tight to your body, not moving around and such. I'll have to let you know how it goes when I use it.

While venturing to the convention center we noticed a decent amount of debris on the streets of Waikiki from the storm the night before. We didn't think much of it and headed up to the North Shore yesterday. Bad idea. About halfway there we ran into a huge amount of traffic around a military based town. Upon passing through we found power line after powerline down. Not just the lines but the actual poles. HUGE trees were uprooted and thrown about. I've never witnessed anything like it before. There was no power including no traffic signals. Those were obviously some strong winds. All the power was out in the area. We decided to continue to the North Shore, unsure of what to expect when we arrived we found everything closed due to the weather and no power whatsoever. So much for our trip for shave ice. Instead of turning immediately around to head into the massive amount of traffic we just circled the island like the other day. We didn't find the rest of the island in too much better of shape. We were detoured down flooded roads to get around downed trees/powerlines. As usual we also ran into some rain.

After arriving back in town we decided to head out on a mission to find shave ice. In the meantime we also got our swimsuits on to "enjoy" the beach. It was windy as all get out but we tried to enjoy the few moments of no rain we could on the beach. While sitting there mother nature started to sputter and we rain back to the hotel. We ended up eating dinner at Chili's and then got some shave ice at the Food Pantry (grocery store). That's not exactly where I had hoped to get my shave ice but at least I can say that I had it while in Hawaii. We made it an early night and went back to the hotel room. Pretty Woman was on tv so we watched that. I was in and out of sleep and then finally was out at 10pm only to have both of us woken up by our neighbors having sex. I'm not even kidding. I know all of us adults do it but it's the grossest thing to hear. We turned our tv back on for awhile to block it out then finally went back to sleep. After all that had happened a car alarm went off outside and continued on and on and on. Probably for atleast 5 minutes. I just want a decent nights sleep, please. I'm begging you.

This morning we woke up to pouring rain so we spent the majority of the morning in the hotel room. As of now we're not sure what our plans are. We're definitely not going to head anywhere else on the island considering as we went to bed last night 13,000 people were still without power on Oahu. I feel so negative in my past few posts and I truly apologize for you having to read my negativity. I honestly feel as though I'm a very positive person on most occasions but during these times I must be honest to myself even if it's got to be brutal. If we could hop on a plane right now we would. Let's look at the bright side of things. At least we have power right?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Crazy Winds

Hey, it's 9:30 am here and we're about to head to the convention center for the marathon expo. Even though we're not running it I want to soak up the experience. Anyway, last night at about 3:30am we were awoken by some crazy winds. Our glass sliding door was shaking and all. Looking outside we saw our palm trees flying in the wind with the rain pouring. We weren't necessarily scared but put on alert. We haven't seen that bad of winds since New Orleans. Pretty freaky. Thank God we didn't lose power or anything. With all that being said it was a rough night's sleep with it being constantly interrupted by the wind. Ah well. As stated previously it's going to continue to be crazy weather with high speed winds, thunderstorms, and flash flood warnings the next few days. Keep your fingers crossed that we don't get caught in the rain, for the millionth time.

Hawaii Continued

Okay, I didn't post yesterday so I'm posting today. Time to re-group and remember all that happened yesterday. We started out at Diamondhead. It was an awesome hike and I'd really like to do it again. We're not really the hiking type so I was quite surprised to find that it was a "beginners hike" but found it not to be so easy. Thank God for having been running. Although it wasn't "easy" it wasn't hard either. Just all uphill with some rough terrain and a decent amount of steps, with some being quite steep. It was great to get that anxiety out of my system and work up a good sweat. They say to give yourself 1.5 hours to finish. We finished in less than 40 minutes. We didn't race through the hike but we kept it challenging by keeping up our speed. And the final paved 1/4 we ran down the slope which felt even better. If you're ever here definitely check it out. I found the biggest issue with people is that they're not prepared. Don't wear crocs, sandals, flip flops, or brand new shoes. You need stability, comfort, and something you don't mind getting scuffed up. Once again, definitely something I'd recommend.

After that we headed back up the windward (east) side of the island and checked out Kailua again, running into rain. Lunch wasn't exciting, just McDonald's, but we finished up with a treat from Famous Amos' Chip and Cookie. We explored the area a bit then headed back south on H-running into rain again. I just had to see the Haiku Stairs aka Stairway To Heaven. I've read and researched about them a lot since learning about them a few months back. I do hope that at some point they re-open them to the public. I'd definitely do the hike, which would be a huge challenge. Right now they are closed, although people trespass and still climb them. If you'd like to see what it's all about just Google "Haiku Stairs" or "Friends of Haiku Stairs." Just amazing. It'd feel like you're on top of the world. Someday.

When we got back to the city we decided to take a swim at our hotel pool. Actually I ended up in the jacuzzi and David ended up in the pool. The water was quite brisk in the pool. Not my cup of tea. After that we headed back to the streets of shops. I think I've said this before but you mostly have two ends of the spectrum when it comes to shops. High-end (Cartier, Tiffany, Burberry, Fendi, Gucci, Coach, etc.) and then the T-Shirt Shacks. I guess we'll stick with the T-Shirt Shacks (gotta love ABC Stores). We stopped at Niketown and I had to pull myself away from the Honolulu Marathon gear. They got some awesome stuff but I just can't get it out of my head about the stigma that comes with wearing gear from a race you haven't run. Although I do think in the back of my head, "I'll never run the Honolulu Marathon." I walked away. I did find these rubber bracelets I wanted. They were kind of like the Livestrong type but thinner and sized for women. The proceeds go to supporting women athletics. They of course had run out and wouldn't sell me the ones on the display. Ah well. Of course I find something that I actually like and want, and am willing to buy and they don't have it. No surprise.

We continued down the street to The Beachwalk (more high-end shops) and got stopped by a hotel/information person. She asked us where we were from and we told her Ohio. She then went on to say, "Oh you looked european!" look european. And David with his Ohio State Buckeye Nation shirt. Okay, whatever. She went on to give us a coupon book (which we already had) and then started some pitch about coming to see the Wyndham during breakfast to see what they have to offer with their vacation homes. In other words, timeshares. Oh no, we've been through that experience before. Of course they offer you all this great stuff but we declined the offer.

Dinner started at Senor Frogs, but we ended up leaving before ordering. We had never been to one and everyone raves about them, so we figured we'd give it a try. We've been sharing all of our meals for financial and caloric reasons. We looked at the menu before entering the restaurant and decided there was something we could share, and then we would get free nachos for mentioning an ad. Well, we mentioned the ad and came to find that we physically had to have the ad for the free nachos. Oh, heck nah. After reassessing the situation it was too expensive, we wouldn't get our free nachos, and we just wouldn't be happy, so we politely excused ourselves. It's the first time ever for us walking out of a restaurant.

We ended up at a highly rated (according to my books) place called La Cucaracha (yes cockroach, but it was darn good), that was at the other end of the beach. We were VERY pleased by the price, meal size, and general ambience. We bummed around the shops some more. We're definitely getting bored with the shops. You can only browse so much and at night there's not much else for us to do. We're not much of nightlife people so it's either the shops or sitting in our room. We stopped by Coco Cove, a convenience store. Something cool here is that they sell individual beers and smaller bottles of alcohol too. Once again, since we're not really big drinkers it's a way we can check things out without wasting money. We holed up in the room the rest of the night and each had our individual sizes of alcohol.

We arose this morning at 6am and headed out for our first run in Hawaii. It will probably be our last too...I'll talk about that later. The run went fine. It's very humid and the pavement was still wet from, you guessed it, more evening rain. We went up the Ala Wai Canal then down to the beach and park. Hitting the beach was like hitting a wall with all of the wind. Very tough. We ran into a lot of runners, people just out for morning walks, and more homeless people than we expected. Due to the wind the run was cut short at 2.5 miles. Hey, at least we got out.

After our run we went over to the Pearl Harbor area. As we got closer to the area the sky got dark and it started to rain. Are you seeing a pattern here? Rain, rain, rain. We stopped and waited for a bit only to find it wasn't going to stop. In hopes of experiencing what we had the other day we headed to the North Shore only to find that it was just as bad up there. So back down Highway 99 we went. As we got closer to Pearl Harbor the skies started to "clear" and we decided to try back at Pearl Harbor. We arrived and found that our wait was going to be an hour. Not too bad considering the books said you could wait anywhere from 15 minutes to over 3 hours. We checked out the grounds until our number was called and then we went into the theater to see the 23 minute movie. I got stuck neck to a kid/toddler that was inquisitive at every little thing during the movie. If I heard, "What's that?!" again that kid was going to see the back of my hand. I shouldn't write/say that should I? Can you now tell why I don't want to have children? David had the notorious gum chomper next to him. I appreciated the film but it could've been better without the surrounding issues. After the film we went immediately to the ferry. I sat on the left side. As the ferry started up we got some misting on our faces. Not that big of a deal. We continued on and the misting got heavier and heavier. By the arrival to the memorial I couldn't see out of my sunglasses due to the salt water on them. Oh, but it gets better. The ferry was docking and whoosh! a splash of what came into the boat and got me soaked from head to toe. David got some too. I couldn't believe it. I immediately felt uncomfortable. Wet and sticky with salt water. It's the type of uncomfortable where you are about to freak out in your skin and want to scream. Kind of like when you're a kid and your socks don't feel right on your feet (maybe that's just my family, dunno). Add on top of that the people watching us as we got off. I could see in their faces, "What the heck? What happened to them?" I just wanted to say, "Don't even ask." I took a few quick pictures, tried to put my issues aside to honor those at the Arizona, but it just couldn't be done. We got immediately back on the ferry and headed back. That's when the tears hit and all I could think of is, "I just want to go home."

After taking making the trip back to our hotel I took a shower, again. We re-focused and went over the Ala Moana Center, including Walmart and had some Papa John's for lunch. Ah, comfort food. Haven't had Papa John's in years. It was good. When we finished up there we stopped back at our hotel and then stopped by the Cheesecake Factory for take-out dessert. Stopped by Coco Cove for our nightly alcohol sampling (don't worry sita!) and here I am.

I know I'm going to get a lot of flack from writing this on here, but I gotta stay true to myself when I say that this wasn't the trip we had hoped for. I had this thought in my mind of having a dream vacation full of paradise and it was a huge let down. Maybe my expectations were too high. We've battled rain on a daily basis and are constantly trying to be on top of it, trying to try another part of the island, only to be let down. As stated previously, in the way of shopping, there's not much choice for us. Not to mention, who wants to only shop on vacation? In our circumstance we're tight enough on money that shopping isn't really an option. I thank God we bit the bullet a few weeks ago and reserved a rental car. If we didn't have that thing I think we'd lose it. I know everyone's going to say, "Relax, you're on vacation." I hear ya loud and clear. My relaxing would be a quiet day on the beach. That's what I expected and packed for. Too bad we haven't been able to do so. The rain and overcast hasn't provided the best of circumstances to chill on the beach or by the pool. And when you have the opportunity to get in the water whether it is the ocean or the pool you freeze your arse off. It's not bathtub water let me tell you. And relaxing in the hotel room isn't really an option since it's so small (we aren't even sharing a bed for gosh twin and one double bed. That's what happens when you try to go on vacation on a budget). And with only about 10 channels with 3 being Asian and 1 being a loop reel of tourist activities, there's not much to watch. I never thought I'd say this but I'm also sick of showers. From all the humidity, rain, salt water, etc we've each been taking 2-3 showers a day. I'm running out of clothes. I never thought that would happen on vacation, I always over pack. We'll wear our clothes and sweat or get rained on (or get soaked with salt water!) so we have to head back to the hotel and change. We set our clothes out to dry in various places around the room but with the humidity they don't dry and only become musty. And since I had planned for mostly beach wear my choice of clothes choices is dwindling. Another things that was unexpected was the amount of Asian influence here. From food to tourists. It's almost as though you're in a foreign country. No joke. And they can't understand you. As for running tomorrow, there's a storm front moving in tonight with heavy rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds that will be here the next 3 other words the remainder of our trip.

On top of all of that I've been battling with some severe nausea while here. My gag reflex has been heightened and it's as though I could vomit at the drop of a hat. I've been getting light headed and just in a plain funk, especially in the morning time. I get these hot flash feelings and feel like I could pass out. Eating tends to help but I have to get passed the feeling of wanting to vomit while eating. By evening I feel decent. I can only attribute it to the highs from eating too much sugar and hitting too far of a low. I don't know, but it hasn't been fun. On top of that both of us have been sleeping horribly and battling constant headaches. Something even Tylenol PM can't help (we've tried it).

I question myself, "Are we not adventurous? Is this just not our thing?" I come to the conclusion that we are adventurous but when it comes to vacation we don't want to think hard for activities. In that way Disney was perfect. Everything was prepaid so we didn't have to worry so much about money and transportation was provided, so we didn't have to worry about that either. Live and learn I guess. David and I have decided to accept it for what it is and continue on.

I'm done with my rant...I can see the comments flying in now (even the unposted ones). On a much lighter note, we got to see Da Kine Bail Bonds today aka Dog The Bounty Hunter's business. I got some pictures. Then something else that brought a smile to my face was the parade of cars with huge Menorahs attached to the roofs of their cars tonight. They were beeping their horns, waving as they went by, yamikas and all. I got a picture of that too. Happy Hannakuh!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Fun In The Sun

Today was a much better day. We woke up to pouring down rain and were a bit disheartened. It would pour, then stop, then start again. However, instead of staying at the hotel we decided to head up the middle of the island to check out the Dole Plantation and the North Shore. Although the Weather Channel said rain once again, we had read somewhere that, "if you don't like the weather, get in the car and'll find something better." On our trip up the island we saw a rainbow. We then turned a corner to find a huge rainbow, complete from side to side. I've never experienced one before, they've only been the half-rainbow. We drove right "under and through" it.

By the time we got to the Dole Plantation the weather had not gotten better. Still humid and wet. We sucked it up and checked out the store then got some fresh island fruit. There are fresh fruit vendors everywhere here. Yum yum in the tum tum. It included mango (not really a fan, weird texture), apple pineapple (never heard of it but boy, was it to die for), and then coconut (never had coconut before, not all that great and doesn't live up to your thoughts on what to expect), and the miniature bananas (not sure what they're called). After that we headed to the Dole Maze. Basically it's a hedge maze kind of like in the Harry Potter movie. Crazy. Not only is it a maze, you have checkpoints that you find to accomplish the entire task. It was a fun time even though it decided to rain almost the entire time. You know me though, once I start something, I gotta finish it. Mission accomplished. It only took us about 30 minutes...pretty poor considering the record is 6 minutes (I can't see how anyone could do it in 6 minutes...lots of planning and preparation I guess). After our hard work David surprised me with a pineapple juice, pineapple sherbert float. That stuff is to die for, but I have to eat it in moderation because I'll get sicker than a dog. David really wanted to go to the Dole Plantation and I just went along not really expecting much. Most of the books called it a tourist trap. It was very "touristy" but fun and enjoyable at the same time. I'm definitely glad that we stopped.

After that we headed up to the North Shore. Just gorgeous. The skies cleared, the waves roared, and we soaked up the sun. Oh yeah, we decided to try out the convertible top again. We figured it out. As we continued our drive all I could think about was, "This is what I'm talking about. This is vacation." The North Shore is totally different than Waikiki. Much more laid back and just chill with little stores here and there. Hard to explain. Hale'iwa is known for it's surfing so that's where we started. We road along the stretch for a few miles then headed back into town for some grub. We shared a burger and fries at Kua'Aina Sandwich. It was an awesome burger and fresh cut thin fries. We then traveled clockwise from the top, down the windward side of the island. Come to find out they're having the World Cup Surfing Competition right now. That's when the big dogs come out to surf Sweet. When we arrived we found that the conditions weren't favorable enough for surfing so the events for today had to be cancelled. We'll definitely be checking out the area again. We continued on down the island, car top down, sun shining, wind blowing through our hair, capturing the amazing natural beauty of the island. Things you only see in photographs. Once again, this is what I'm talking about. I couldn't take the smile off my face.

We rode through all the small towns, stopping here and there to check out little stores and we ended up at the Kailua Beach. It was a calm beach with not too many people. Very peaceful. Oh yeah, we did end up going to the bach yesterday (Waikiki) and found that the water is pretty chilly. Once you get in it's nice, but it's definitely not bathwater warm. Yesterday we only ended up walking the beach instead of swimming. Obviously we had the same problem today with the water being chilly but we did get in. It's been such a long time since I've swam in salt water that I forgot how "sticky" you feel after being in the water.

We finished up our swim and headed back to Waikiki to find that it was still raining...surprise, surprise. We went back to the hotel, took quick showers, then headed out for dinner. Buca Di Beppo was our choice. We've only been to Buca's twice and they've never let us down. Today was no different. Very good and fast service. Once again we shared leaving room for some sort of dessert. We bummed around the area checking out some stores at the Ward Center before they closed. After that we headed back to the hotel and went on an adventure to find dessert. We found a place called Rock Island Cafe. We passed it the other night and didn't think much of it. We stopped by it again tonight and found that it was pretty cool. It's a local deal that's set up like an old diner. They're playing old music and everything's basically Elvis, Coke, Marilyn Monroe, etc. While waiting for our "King Kong Banana Split" (which didn't end up being very King Kong-like) there were old game cards from Trivial Pursuit and other types of games that kept us busy.

It's now 8:30pm and we're going to chill the rest of tonight. Not sure what our plans are for tomorrow. I definitely have Diamondhead, Pearl Harbor, and a few other things on my "must see list" yet. I do know that we'll definitely be headed back up to the North Shore at some point though. By the way, sorry if I have a ton of typos in theses posts, I'm trying to get everything typed real fast.