Sunday, June 24, 2007


The tickets are purchased and I'm getting really excited about our summer vacation this year. We're heading to Washington State to visit Andrew's parents for about a week.
With flights being so freaking expensive now, we did some in depth research before booking. We were pretty flexible with our travel days, but we didn't want to fly any of the "red eye" flights that you find so many of when flying from Cedar Rapids to Seattle. Another thing that played into our research was that if we fly into Seattle, his parents end up spending 4 hours in the car just to pick us up. They live about 2 hours north of Seattle on Lummi Island, just minutes from Bellingham by ferry. Trying to save them the time and save us the expense of a rental car, we looked into flights into Bellingham. $1,200.00 each round trip. Ha! NOT!
Then, remembering our last vacation to Las Vegas in April for Andrew's birthday, I suggested we look into Allegiant Airlines. They fly direct from Cedar Rapids to Las Vegas and I knew that they also fly direct from Bellingham, WA to Las Vegas. After some searching, we came up with the perfect plan! We leave Friday evening Aug. 3rd and spend 1 night in Las Vegas, then catch a morning flight from Vegas to Bellingham on the 4th. Perfect! (and cheap)
We save his parents hours in the car and we get a night in Vegas! The flight home will be perfect as well. We fly from Bellingham to Vegas, two hour layover in the airport, then home to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. By then we'll be completely out of money, I'm sure, so we won't want to spend any time in Vegas on the way home.

When we've gone to Vegas before, we've always stayed on the strip. This time we decided it would be fun to see the older, downtown area of Vegas. So, we got a much less expensive room right on Fremont street downtown. It will be fun to see "old Las Vegas" for a change.

I'll be sure and take lots of pictures while on our trip. Those will be good for several posts when we get back, I'm sure.

Friday, June 22, 2007


What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


My baby is still broken.

I absolutely HATE driving my car when she looks less than perfect. I know it embarrasses her, not to mention I really need an oil change but I can't get one till it's fixed and the hood will open.

I've decided to wait until the first full week in August to send her into the shop. That's when Andrew and I will be jetting off to the beautiful Seattle area to spend a week lounging on Lummii Island. We'll be visiting his parents and family.
That way, I won't have to pay for a rental car while she is being repaired.

I just hope I can make it through the next several weeks of limping my baby back and forth to work, hoping nothing more falls off along the way.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


On the way home from work today I saw a funny bumper sticker...

"Silence is Golden...But duct tape is silver."

After reading this does it make anyone else think of the bodies you've carried in your trunks?...No?...just me?...mmmmkay.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


My last 10 sent text messages:
1. Lunch.
2. kiss
3. kiss
4. Great brats!
5. yeah, big kiss and lunch too.
6. Tardy!
7. Lunch
8. Where are you?
9. OK, see you at home.
10.Why in CF?

My last 10 received text messages:
1. Hi
2. Kiss?
3. Switching coffee displays.
4.Better if you come home, I think.
5. Leaving Cedar Falls
6. May not make it on time
7. You!
8. I'll get your markout
9. Thanks mister

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Thanks to Seething Mom for this video. What a beautiful voice!

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Andrew and I spent a relaxing afternoon Saturday in Amana, Iowa. Amana is one of seven small villages settled by German immigrants in 1855. Now it's a very touristy area with shops and restaurants serving authentic German fare in a family style dining atmosphere. Amana is also the home of Amana appliance maker recently purchased by Maytag.

Our first stop was the Millstream Brewing Company where we sampled a few beers and then sat on their patio and enjoyed a delicious Pale Ale.

After that we headed across the street to see the Amana Woolen Mills and store, where wool blankets and other items are still made on giant looms that you can watch run during business hours.

We then walked a block or so to the Amana Furniture Store and Clock Shop. The quality and craftsmanship are unmatched. We drooled over the enormous grandfather clocks with their glass-smooth finishes and beautiful chimes. I love to stand in the clock shop and hear all the clocks chiming, one after another. It's fun to hear one begin to chime and try to follow the sound and find which one it's coming from before it stops chiming.

After we left the clock and furniture shop we headed a block over to the Colony Inn, my favorite restaurant in the Amana Colonies. I've been going to this restaurant since I was a kid.
The Colony Inn is an old hotel from the 1800's that was converted to a restaurant decades ago and has been serving family style meals ever since. I knew I recognized our waitress and asked her how long she had been working there. She told us she'd been there 18 years. I then asked her about a certain waitress who had been employed there since I was a child. She had red hair and a thick German accent. I figured she had retired some time ago since she was old as far back as I could remember. I'm not sure how long she had been waitressing there, but I know it had to be close to 40 years because I remember looking for her each time my parents took me there. She intrigued me with her accent, her firey-red hair and the attitude to go along with it. Laurie, our waitress told us that her name was Marie and she had just passed away a couple of years ago after living in a care center in one of the Amana Colonies. In fact Laurie's daughter had become very close to Marie in her final years, visiting her often. Laurie told us that Marie had lost her husband just a few months prior to her passing and if you are buried in the Amana Colonies, you are buried in chronological order of when you die, not in a grave site of your own choosing. As it turned out, Marie was the very next person, after her own husband, to die and be buried in Amana. So she was, ironically, buried right next to her husband. How appropriate.

After lunch we walked the main street and stopped in to several shops that looked interesting, including a couple of wineries. The problem with Iowa wineries is that the wines made locally are mostly sweet because this climate is more suitable to berries and fruits. We really prefer the red grape wines to sweeter dessert-type wines.

On the way home we saw this full rainbow. I happened to have the camera in the car, so I snapped a few pictures of it.

Saturday evening, our friend Patty met us at our house and we went out for a great steak dinner at one of those grill-it-yourself steak places. I think it's fun to stand by the grill cooking your giant slab of beef with a 24oz beer in your hand. We got our waitress to snap this pic of us.

It was a great Saturday doing the things we love to do...mostly eat, shop and drink beer and wine. How could it get any better?

Friday, June 01, 2007


Raining, wet roads, stupid women slamming on their brakes for GREEN lights. WTF?!?!
Of course, it was my fault. I rear ended her. Of course, she was driving an enormous Ford Expedition so her bumper was so high it totally missed my bumper so my grill and headlight took the impact. Who NEEDS a vehicle that big? NO ONE.

I'm just mad mostly at myself for being in a hurry and following too close. I know it was my fault, but I just need to blow off steam.

So, now in addition to the scratch, which I still haven't fixed, I now have a broken headlight, grill and buckled hood. I can't even get the hood open so I won't know exactly how much damage is on the inside till it goes into the shop to be repaired.

The initial estimate made by Progressive, my insurance company, came in at just under $1800.00. I'm planning to get another estimate as well by the actual body shop that will do the work.

It happened on my lunch hour so I took the rest of the afternoon off to get estimates and insurance calls taken care of. Not exactly the way I like to spend a Friday afternoon off work.