Allista has arrived!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Albert's gummy bears melted into a gooey colorful mess
What a busy couple of days! We picked up Allista from the airport on Wednesday. She is staying with us for a few weeks. Friday we drove out to Sioux Falls and stayed at Byron and Paula's place and then drove out to Rapid on Saturday. We stopped at Allista's Grandma Ward in Kadoka. She has the most adorable cat that is super friendly. It was a nice visit. We arrived in Rapid City just in time for Eric's mom, Judy's birthday party. When the Williams family goes out to eat we need a whole room. Saturday night we got an awesome lightening show from our hotel room. Its nice to be on a hill. Allista was very much amazed. They don't get the lightening shows in the Nevada desert. Sunday we spent the entire day at Eric's parents. We talked to Adrian and his family for a couple hours. Yesterday we picked up Albert and Judy and went to Bear Country, Jewel Cave, Custer State Park and Keystone. The whole time we were serenaded by Albert. That kid really likes to sing. It was a really interesting day but it was a lot of fun. Albert got some gummy bears at Bear Country, while on the Jewel Cave tour the gummy bears melted into a gooey colorful mess (see inset). After Jewel Cave we took the long way back to Rapid City via Custer State Park Wildlife loop and Iron Mountain Road to Keystone. We picked up some fudge and head back to Rapid. Last night a bunch of us went to Pirate's Cove Mini Golf. Some had a lot of fun, especially Olivia who had a score of 195.5 and thought she was the winner. (we didn't want to break it to her that the lower the score the better) and I was the overall winner with 48. Juanita didn't have as much fun. She threw a few temper tantrums and kept on saying it wasn't a sport. The rest of us had fun. Not sure what is on tap for today....I guess we will see....

Welcome to the Beautiful Black Hills.

Mental Recovery

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Since my last post from Atlanta airport, there has been a lot going on. The van was towed back to Wisconsin, the insurance dude said it was totaled, my mom started looking for a new vehicle and yesterday she bought one. A 2008 Chevy Equinox. I have to say I'm a little jealous...I've always wanted one of those. So I think all and all everything will be ok.

Besides the van dilemma, life is going pretty good. Nothing too exciting has happen in the last couple weeks. Two weeks ago we went to Sister Rosemary's Golden Jubilee. Amazing! It was very fun. Last weekend I had a concert at the Arboretum and we went to Valleyfair for the first time this year. It was cold! Monday I talked to Adrian and Fa and family for over 2 hours. Eric had 6 games this week (every night he had games). Friday we went to the Twins/Padres Game. I got to see Neshek warming up and he even pitched a scoreless inning for the Padres....I miss him! Yesterday we went down to Independence for the day and got to see mom, Mike and Nancy. And today I'm going on vacation with my friend from Texas, Mary Linda, her mom, aunt and Alice. We are going up the Minnesota 's North Shore of Lake Superior. My most favorite place in the world. Very excited, but nervous about the drive.

I'm slowly recovering from the accident, mentally. I still don't want to drive in rush hour (who blames me) and every time I have to switch lanes my heart starts racing. Hopefully I can get over it. I was doing ok but than on the drive home from the Twins game on Friday we came across a deadly crash on I-35W and the Crosstown split. A Jaguar missed the Crosstown exit and took out the guardrail. First I saw the steering wheel in the middle of the road (Yikes!) and than sadly I saw the body, on the pavement, covered with a sheet. :( That didn't help my recover process! But I look at it and I say THANK GOD, we are all ok.

Gate A31 @ ATL

Friday, June 3, 2011

You maybe wondering why I'm writing from Gate A31 at Atlanta airport. The short story is that I got into a fight with a dump truck on I-85 in Montgomery, AL and I lost. Thankfully everybody is OK. Thank GOD! Needless to say the last 24 hours have probably been one of the toughest for me. Mom's van has quite a bit of damage on the passenger side but hopefully it isn't totaled. The people in Montgomery are the best in the world. They made the whole ordeal easy to deal with. The problem is we are 1050 miles away from home and there is no way we can drive mom's car back to WI. After the accident, I was able to drive the van to a gas station that the police officer suggested we go to figure out what to do next and that is were we sat for 4 hours. It was so hot! It took us that long to get the plan. The police officer that responded to our accident even came by at like 8pm to check up on us. Isn't that amazing?? 3 hours after the incident he came and checked on us! After tons of phone calls, we eventually had the van towed to a hotel near the airport. I got mom and Bev a flight home from Montgomery for this morning. Fortunately, Grace was able to go for free since Doug works for Delta. I just got off the phone and they have landed safely in MSP and are on their way home. After a sleepless night and a morning filled with phone calls and tears, Mike and I came up with a plan that thankfully got me out of Montgomery sooner than later. The tow truck drive the night before, Benny, was a sweetheart. We actually did what he suggested. So the van is currently at the towing company's storage lot. Steve, a family friend is driving down on Monday to pick it up. So by 1pm today the car was towed to the storage lot and I was booking on a flight home. I'm so happy! That was probably the happiest moment in this whole ordeal...I was getting home tonight. I'm still tearing up. I am just so thankfully that everybody is ok. Anyways, I have a 3 hour layover in ATL. I'm not sure if I really want to do anything so I'm just chilling in the seats and watching the planes take off. I have an awesome view of the planes going up and I get to see the landing gear go up. I love planes! The only bright side is I get home from vacation a day early. I have to think of something positive. Ok so before this whole ordeal we drove to Tuskegee to visit Eric's Uncle Dennis and Aunt Beverly. IT was such a nice time. They took us on campus and we had lunch. We spent over 4 hours with them. Overall the trip was awesome outside of this little bleap. Hopefully in the future I will look upon this trip as a lot of fun. I hope everybody can forgive me for the stress I have put everybody through the last 24 hours. It will take me a while to get over this.

Surf and drive

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I was up at 5:25 am for a sunrise that was non-existent. :-( I went back to bed and actually slept in...until 8 am. We are staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Orange Beach. It is amazing! It just opened a few weeks ago and the whole hotel is awesome. They upgraded us to a corner suite so our balcony wraps around the building...very cool...we have a lounge area with a couple chairs, couch, and a table for playing cards. These sisters...all they want to do is play cards. I've been very successful, I don't think I've lost yet. After the awesome complimentary hot breakfast, I went in for a dip in the bath temperature gulf waters. The waves were at least 3-4 feet high so it made for fun swimming. I see they have taken the red flag down so I'm sure the waves aren't as great. I also went in the hotel's pool. My mom even went into the pool!!!! SHOCKING!!!! Around noon we went for a drive to Pensacola Beach, FL. It was such a pretty drive over many large bridges! After driving around Florida aimlessly we returned to Alabama and stopped at Moe's BBQ. Really good food...pulled pork sandwich...YUM! Now we are relaxing in the hotel room. The sisters are playing cards (AGAIN!). I'm going to back out the beach for some more swimming.

Sugar sand beaches

After breakfast, I finally won some money on those evil machines. $64 on pull on the Wizard of Oz penny machine, Woo Hoo! We checked out of the hotel and made our way to Alabama. Here is my gripe, who puts the "welcome sign" behind a tree? Seriously Alabama, get with the program! How stupid! So I didn't get the sign, I was a bit mad...I even said f-you Alabama on Twitter. My words to Eric in a text were not as nice. We made our way down to the Dalphin Island Ferry to Fort Morgan, AL. It was a nice 45 minute ride across the Mobile Bay. There was this baby that absolutely loved my mom. Mom said that baby was being held by grandma and the baby reached out for my mom so the grandma handed her to my mom and the baby girl just cuddle up to my mom and wouldn't let go. How bizarre. Apparently my mom looks just like her babysitter and must have thought it was her. Very cute! We got to Orange Beach, AL at 1pm which was too early for check in so we ventured to Florida. Grace was asking for Denny's so I found a Denny's for late lunch. Then we drove down to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola to see the Pensacola Lighthouse. I climbed up the 177 steps to the top for some great views for the Gulf Coast. Awesome! We made our way back to Orange Beach for some swimming and walked around the beach. Very nice day!