Day 14 of 30 Days of Thanks- The Internet

I’m thankful for the internet.  Not just for daily tasks (but we do rely on it for everything- I mean, when’s the last time anyone used a phone book?), but for Facebook and Twitter and blogs.  I’m on Facebook every day.  It’s how I keep in touch with so many friends and family.  It’s how I’ve reconnected with long lost friends.  And through Twitter and my blog I’ve met some of the greatest people!  I can’t imagine not being able to check in on my peeps’ lives now that I’m so used to it.  I’m also thankful for the internet for shopping!  I rarely shop at a brick and mortar store anymore for clothes, gifts, etc..  Love online shopping.  I love mail anyway so to get goodies in the mail is even better!

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Disney Magic- Day 1.

Friday, January 27, 2012.

Woke up at 5 am.  We were on the road by 7.  Poor CSP had to work late the night before so I drove and he slept until around Savannah.  Then he woke up and kept me company.  It was an uneventful drive except I saw this- Look at the size of these tires!  I’ve never seen tires this big!  We arrived in Orlando an hour early.  Go me & my pro style driving!   I always love seeing this sign.   We pulled into the BoardWalk Villas and got checked in.   We met up with Lisa & Pete in their room to catch up a little before dinner.  I brought Lisa a cosmetic bag in Black Parisian Pop with her name on it in hot pink and she loved it!  Of course she loved it- it’s gorgeous, like her!

We all caught the water taxi across the pond to the Yachtsman SteakHouse.   This was my first time eating there and it was amazing!  For those who don’t know, Lisa isn’t just my friend, she’s our Disney travel agent.  She recommended that we get the Deluxe Dining Plan for our night at Disney.  It saved us a ton of money!  More on that later.  Back to the Yachtsman.

CSP had oysters with leeks, arugula, fennel, and bread crumbs as his appetizer.  Pete had the oysters as well.    Lisa & I got the shrimp & grits.  The shrimp were HUGE!  And they still had their eye balls!  Once we got the heads off they were wonderful!    Then our steaks arrived.  I got the NY strip.  CSP got the biggest steak I’ve ever seen!    If I hadn’t been there to see it I would have never believed one man could eat so much steak!  But he did!    Then came dessert.  I got the lemon cake with a tiny blueberry shake.  SO good!   CSP got what appeared to be a chocolate fudge cake.  He insisted that I taste it.  At first it was really good. Then the heat kicked in.  He failed to tell me it was a Habanero Fudge Cake!    CSP loved it!

After dinner we road the water taxi back across the water and had to say goodbye to Lisa & Pete.  We went back to our room and were treated to some fireworks outside our window.    We were asleep in bed by 10 pm.  We had a big day coming up!

Like Mary Poppins, but without the singing

I’m a working girl again!  Well, sort of.  My friend Shannon gave birth to a baby girl in May.  She’s transitioning back into work by going part time right now.  So I’m taking care of the baby on days when Shannon’s working.   Baby Colleen is super cute and super sweet and pretty low key.  Newborns don’t do much other than eat, poop, and sleep, but she’s starting to smile more and that’s really sweet!

6 or 16?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching Susan’s daughter Olivia for a few hours.  She is 6 years old and smart as a whip.  She said the FUNNIEST things!  I wanted to make sure to save them for posterity.

  • She was playing with the pugs when she said “I wish I could teach them to roll over.  Then you could win one of those pet talent contests on tv.  You’d win a 4 night cruise.  I hope you don’t get seasick.  You don’t do you?”
  • At Grand Asia Market where she tried bubble tea for the first time – “Yours tastes like chocolate mixed with disgusting.”
  • At my house – “I have the best idea for our vacation next year.”  Me- Who’s vacation?  Yours and your parents?  O- “No, mine and yours.  We’ll go on a 4 night cruise and go to Atlantis.”  Me- Atlantis??  O- “Yeah, you know, the resort in the Bahamas.  You know it.  I have $50 at home.  I don’t want you to spend all your money, so I think that will cover it.  We’ll go and spend time together.”
  • I was painting her nails when she said “You have the clear top coat right?  Cause I don’t want any chips.”
  • On the way to meet Susan I plugged my iPhone in to the car to charge.  O thought I was plugging in an iPod and asked if that’s what I was doing.  I said “Do you want to listen to some music?”  She replied “Why can’t we just talk?  Let’s talk about our lives.  How was your day?  Tell me about your day.  What do you think the future will be like?”

She is the cutest, most articulate, most polite little thing!  I had a blast!

Talk derby to me

Charlotte Roller Girls

Image via Wikipedia

I attended the season opener double header of the Charlotte Roller Girls.  It was a lot of fun!  Ever since I went to a bout last season with Christina, Gigi & Momo & Michelle have been wanting to go.  So I treated them for Gigi’s Mother’s Day present (Gigi & Momo- Michelle was on her own. 🙂 ).  First we met up with my friends Michelle and Lynda at the wonderful Crepe Cellar in NoDa.  Lynda’s cousins are the chef and pastry chef there!  They were so sweet and sent out an order of their Brie Pesto Fries  and Chili Shrimp  as appetizers.  SO YUMMY!  We noshed on those then ordered our dessert crepes.  Gigi and I both ordered the mascarpone and berries crepe and Momo ordered the Bananas Foster crepe. O.M.G.    I can’t even tell you how good they are.  I want one now.  I want one every single day.   We all had a great time enjoying our meal then we set out to the Grady Cole Center for the Derby!

Even with getting there right after they opened the doors it was still a challenge finding seats together.  It’s just so popular and sells out right away!  It really is a good entertainment value.  Only $10 a ticket for 4 hours of derby!  You pay $10 to see a 2 hour movie!  We got in and found seats and the action began.    Click to enlarge.  I love their cute little outfits.  Frilly skirts, fishnets, etc.    The halftime entertainment was this adorable band called School of Rock.  They were all teenagers and they could jam!  At one point one of the singers was this 17 year old boy.  His mom was sitting next to me.  He said “This one’s for the ladies” and sang “Let’s Get it On”!  In front of his mom!  So funny!  He was great though.

We all had a really fun time.  Michelle and Lynda left a little early to beat the traffic but that meant they missed the proposal!  I wish I’d still had my camera out!  One of the referees proposed to one of the skaters.  So sweet!   We left after that and stopped by IHOP for some late night grub before heading home.  You should check in your city and see if you have a roller derby!   Those girls are tough.  Like Nascar with no cars.  And on skates.  And girl in skirts.  Just go.

Part 3 of Momo’s 21st Birthday Extravaganza!

Ok, so now you’ve read about dinner and pre-club drinks.  Now it’s time for the main event!  We were the first to be let in to Howl at the Moon when they opened for the public.  I ran to grab a good table and snagged one right up front.  If you’ve never been to Howl at the Moon you are in for a treat!  And if you have been then you understand why it’s so important to grab a good table.  By 10 pm it is standing room only.  Howl at the Moon is a rock and roll dueling piano bar.  I’m not a bar girl by any means but when I first experienced Howl I knew that’s where we needed to celebrate Morgan’s 21st for a few reasons.  1.  It’s not a stand around nursing your drink kind of bar.  You get a show.  A great show.  2. They play songs everyone knows.  From rap to country to classic rock to top 40.  3.  The people are friendly.  Not just the staff, but the patrons.  4. The musicians are really, really talented.  5.  It’s just really fun!  Click on all pics to enlarge.

So we ordered our first round of drinks and I got my camera out.  We all ordered something called a Pink Passion becauseproceeds go to breast cancer research.  What they don’t tell you is how GIANT this drink is!    Look how big that thing is!  It’s sitting next to Shirlee, my purse, for scale.  It was SO good.  We would have drank those all night except we saw the bucket drinks and we knew we needed some of those.    They come with a handful of straws so everyone gets a taste.  Don’t worry, the alcohol kills the germs.  They are yummy!  Note how normal the first few pictures of the evening are.  After a few buckets and a LOT of singing yelling along with the band, the picture quality gets a littlejanky! 

Behind the bar is a big mirrored wall and for a dollar or two you can get them to write a phrase on the mirror.  We snagged the first free phrase.   You can request songs so we put in for Brown Eyed Girl and they called Momo up on stage to dance along for her birthday.    She pulled Ian (one of her roommates) up with her.  My camera got passed around and we took over 300 pictures that night.  Most were of people drinking from the buckets.    At one point this cute girl stopped by our table.  She was wearing a hat and a cute dress and was hugging everyone.  Then she started drinking from our buckets too!  At the end of the night we found out NONE OF US KNEW HER.  We all thought she was friends with one of us but she was just a stranger!  She hung out with us for a good while too!

  As the night went on and the crowd got bigger and drunker, more people ended up on stage.   Even Gigi got up on stage!    There were lots of characters there that night.  Quite a few bachelorette parties, birthday groups, and even some people out celebrating recent wedding engagements.

I haven’t uploaded all of the pictures for a couple reasons.  1. There are only so many pics of people sucking mixed drinks out of a bucket through neon straws that a person should have to see in their lifetime.  B.  Some of these pictures have been sworn to secrecy.  We are all fine, upstanding adults who don’t normally spend our evenings consuming large drinks via bucket.

I will share with you some of my favorites from that night.  First let me tell you, we learned some things about each other that night.  For one, after a couple cocktails Gigi goes from hugging you to ripping your face off.  Exhibit A.  Poor Sara!   Exhibit B.  Poor Allison!   What can I say?  We’re a very affectionate family.  I also learned that our self portraits tend to suffer the later in the evening it gets. Early on:    Post bucket drinking:   Another thing I learned is that we all have some dance moves that we should probably be ashamed of, especially me.   But we all had a BLAST and that’s what counts!  

You can see more pics here.  Coming soon…part 4.  Oh yeah, there’s more.

Part 2 of Momo’s 21st birthday bonanza

I had our evening planned down to 15 minute increments.  We were behind schedule from the get go but lucked out when we were  able to get seated and fed quickly.  We then headed upstairs in the Epicentre to Howl at the Moon.  A mean, tiny man with Subway sandwich breath came out and told me that we weren’t allowed in.

Me: But the website says you open at 6pm.

Shorty McSubway: We have a private event going on.

Me: Well when can we come back?

Shorty McSubway: 8pm.

Me: Can we reserve a table?

Shorty McSubway: No.

Me: When should we line up so we’ll be sure to get a table?

Shorty McSubway: Look Lady, I don’t know what to tell you.

Mind you, the events director I spoke with on the phone said they didn’t do private parties on Saturdays!  And from experience I know that you have to be at the door when the doors open to get a decent table because by 9 or 10pm it is standing room only. And there was already a small crowd gathering.  And it was almost 7 already.  Also, I’d been planning this evening for a very long time.  Momo is extremely special to me and I wanted it to go off without a hitch.  Shorty McSubway did not care about any of this. UGH.

So we decided to pass the time by grabbing a pre-game drink at Mez.  It looked pretty funky from the outside and it was just a moment’s walk from Howl.  We walked in and knew right away that we were totally not cool enough to be there.  The decor is super modern and moody.  We sat down near the bar.  It was semi-crowded.  Members of the waitstaff came near us multiple times but no one took our order.  Speaking of the waitstaff- the men were wearing all black- shirts and pants.  Pretty normal.  The women were also wearing all black.  But they appeared to be wearing swimsuits, jog bras, ice skating skirts, fishnets, panties on top of fishnets- all very Lady Gaga gone goth.  At one point a waiter came over with a big bowl and said “Shrimp penne?”  to which Sara replied “No, thank you.  We just ate.”  Bahaha!  He wasn’t asking if she’d like a sample, he was trying to deliver an entree!

Finally we were able to flag down a waitress.  They have some really cool sounding cocktails.  I chose the Lotus Blossom  and won the award for prettiest drink of the night.  It was very yummy!  And very strong.  Those people do not skimp on the booze!  We all had to nurse our drinks as they were super strong.  Everyone tried to make me eat the flower.  I ate one petal and it just tasted like bitter lettuce.  We had a really good time laughing at Gigi when she got a serious case of the giggles. I still don’t know exactly what was so funny!  When it was closer to 8 pm we settled our tab and headed over to Howl.

On the way there I snapped this picture of Morgan: Next up: our evening at Howl At The Moon!