Another Classic Meltdown at Turner Field

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I am known to be fairly composed most of the time, but I am prone to meltdowns, especially when it deals with my camera or website.  Today was another meltdown.  We got on the Braves' Shuttle and got to Turner Park at about 6:30pm. Before we went in the stadium, we walked around the outside to see the statues. I went to take a picture and bam "No Memory Card."  SHOOOOOOOT!!!!!! (Well I didn't really say that but I want to keep it clean.)  My memory card is still in my computer...back at the hotel.  The stadium is not really transit friendly and there are no shops or really anything around the park.  We tried to find a store nearby...nothing.  By this time it is burning hot and I'm very upset.  I told Eric is doesn't even pay to go inside if I can't take pictures (a little melodramatic). Eric said that the Team Store would have one but I was doubtful.  So we started walking the 2 or so miles back to downtown, we don't see any buses along the way and we were on a main bus route. We finally got to the Underground Atlanta, a shopping center.  No card. We could have walked back to our hotel but our hotel is another half a mile or more away and the Braves Shuttle left from Underground Atlanta.  We found one at CVS pharmacy and spent an arm and a leg but Eric said it was worth it to stop my whining.  Now I have 2 SD cards for my camera...hopefully this never happens again.

The game was ok, not that interesting.  The seating arrangement is stupid.  I had section 220, Row 5, Seat 1.  I went down to Row 5 and they had seats marked as 101. I thought this was our seat but no we were on the other side seat 1.  So the rows went 1-10 or whatever from the aisle.  The other side of the row goes 101-110 or whatever from the aisle.  That is so lame! The were not many food choices and we had to walk over 10 sections away just to get a stupid hot dog!  When the Braves hit a home run the Coke Bottle would blow its top and fireworks would come out of it.  For strike outs there was a "South Gas" bomb or something that looked like a bomb that was light. The Braves' trademark tomahawk music and chop got annoying really quick.  As a result I was rooting for the Cardinals. The game was close, Braves beat the Cardinals 5-4.  I would say that Turner Field ranks near the bottom of my stadium favorites list.

By the way, the Team Store had an SD card...Eric was right. Stupid me! :(

World of Coke and Fish

Eric at World of Coca-Cola
Yesterday was a busy day.  We got a lot done.  First was the time change snafu.  I forgot that we were in central time and Atlanta is in Eastern…so we brought the car back an hour late…oops!  On our way back to Atlanta from Auburn, AL we stopped at Auburn University.  We checked out their famous Sanford Hall and the stadium.  We made our way to ATL and dropped off the car and took the train into downtown Atlanta.  Thankfully we were able to check in early to the hotel to drop our stuff off in our room before we headed out to explore Atlanta.  First stop was Centennial Olympic Park.  If you will remember, Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics.  They are very proud of that as you can see remnants of the event everywhere! I would be lying if I didn’t say I was disappointed in the park, it was small!  We walked through the park to the World of Coca-Cola.  It was an interesting tour. We got to see the vault that holds the secret recipe (I doubt is actually in there), international and old commercials and the final stop was the tasting room of different Coke products sold around the world.  Some where good, others were horrible.  Barq’s Rootbeer was my favorite and I don’t even like Barqs.   I tried Coke and I’m not sure why I was addicted to it for so many years, it was horrible.
Whale Shark, Georgia Aquarium

After the World of Coke we went to the Georgia Aquarium.  Just like every other aquarium but apparently this is the largest one in the world.  It was nice, I got to see some whale sharks, beluga whales and the dolphin show was awesome…probably the best dolphin show I’ve ever seen. 

We ventured back to our hotel and just hung out.  Eric started writing his paper and I updated my website. 

Today I actually slept in until 9!  Amazing!  Our first stop today was the CNN Inside the Studio Tour.  It wasn’t that exciting.  We got to see the live CNN anchor.  After a Chick-fil-a.  I love Chick-fil-a but they aren’t in the Midwest so I take my chance to eat there while traveling.  Yum!  After that we headed to the Zoo.  It wasn’t anything spectacular but I got to see Kangaroos, Elephants and Panda Bears.   The things I can’t see at either of the Minnesota zoos.  

Now we are relaxing (Eric is sleeping) in the hotel before we leave for the Braves Game.   I can tell Eric is asleep because there is no way he would have left the TV on this channel. LOL!

Tuskegee and their Airmen

Monday, May 28, 2012

I love being up so early whilst on vacation.  ARGH!
The last two days have been great.  We flew to Atlanta on Saturday.  Our flight was delayed for almost an hour for no reason at all.  It hadn’t started raining or storming yet.  Nope, we took off in the storm.  That was such a bumpy take off and the first 30 minutes was pretty awesome turbulence.  You know it is “awesome” when the flight attendants don’t even get out of their seats.

Kim, Eric, Uncle Dennis and Aunt Beverly
After getting our bags and renting the car we headed down I-85 towards Tuskegee, AL.  Silly me forgot that we actually go back an hour because it is in CT.  Duh!  We met Uncle Dennis at their house and we went over to the Strong Connection Family reunion.  It was interesting.  It was Aunt Beverly’s family.  We met at 101 year old civil rights participant.  I can’t remember what she did but it was in Selma, AL in 1965 and I think it was with MLK Jr.  We also got the meet Bev’s son Eric, his wife Tajuana, and daughter Erica and Kaci.  We also meet Andre’s daughter Ariel.   It was cool with tons of food, some that I’ve never heard of or tasted.  I have to be honest I wasn’t too adventurous…I had southern fried chicken and corn…I know I’m boring.  In the evening we went back to Dennis and Bev’s house.  We watched the movie Red Tails which is about the Tuskegee Airmen, it came out in this year.  It was interesting. Dennis pointed out things that were wrong about the planes…haha! We stayed in Auburn, AL for the night. It is about 15 minutes away.

Yesterday we went back to Tuskegee.  First stop was the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site.  The site commemorates the contributions of African American airmen in World War II. Moton Field was the site of primary flight training for the pioneering pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen. It was constructed in 1941 as a new training base.   Very cool and interesting!
Eric, Tajuana and Kaci on their way to Orlando

After that we went back to Dennis and Bev’s house.  Eric and his family spent the night so we spent most of the day talking with them.  They are going to Orlando today and Bev is going along.  She didn’t realize they were leaving yesterday so unfortunately we didn’t get to see too much of her as she was busy packing.  Eric (her son) kept telling her 2 bags. Apparently she packs way too much. LOL!

After they left for Atlanta, Dennis took us around the area.  We saw the dam in Tallassee and the old Civil War Armory.  We drove up to Martin Lake and up to Horseshoe Bend Military Park. But it was closed already for the day.  :(

Today we head back to Atlanta or as I like to say HOTlanta.
More pictures at:

On our way to HOTlanta

Friday, May 25, 2012

I’m so glad this week is almost over.  It hasn’t been a very good week or a really bad week.  It has been a wet, rainy and dreary week. It was hard to go to work on Monday after the long weekend.  I got a run in Monday night, just over 3 miles.  Eric had a soccer game Monday night that didn’t go too well.  His AR came off the line to argue with a player.  Eric was so stressed when he got home.  And to top it off, he still hadn’t finished his homework so I was up until midnight helping him.  I was not a happy camper!
Tuesday I dragged him for a walk. I wanted to see how long it would take me to walk my running route.  I was very happy to find out that I run 3-4 minutes faster per mile.  So that’s good. 
Eric had another soccer game on Wednesday.  The game only lasted 7 minutes before the lightening started to strike.  That was the easiest $40 he has ever made.   I went shopping. I needed some clothes and I had to pick up a book for Eric so he could write his papers (which he still hasn’t started…ARGH!)  He is such a procrastinator, it drives me nuts!
Yesterday we had a “Lunch 'n Leave.”  Basically we go to lunch as a team and don’t go back to work.  It is nice but the weather was so crappy that I went home and took a nap.  Exciting, eh?
Today is the last day of work for me until June 5th…but technically that isn’t true as I’m working 4 hours on May 31st.   But that is purely for logistics reasons (I need a ride to the airport for a mid-day flight…so I might as well work 4 hours and take the light rail to the airport).
Tomorrow we are flying to Atlanta (aka Hotlanta).  It is supposed to be in the mid-90s the whole time we are there: hot, Hot, HOT!  We have all sorts of things planned.  We are starting our trip in Tuskegee with Eric’s Uncle Dennis and Aunt Beverly.   Very Excited!

What a whirlwind weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

My weekend was pretty crazy.  Eric and I took Friday off and enjoyed our day.  I went for a run in the morning (3.3 miles).  Eric woke up and we went for donuts (the most logical thing to eat after a run).  We took Swirl to the vet, where he got a clean bill of health outside of the tooth that needs to be pulled in a couple weeks.  After we got Swirl back home we went to Don Pablos for lunch. Yum! We hadn't been there in ages and I really had a craving for chips and salsa.  We did some shopping and came home and got ready for Abbie’s Confirmation.  Eric and Abbie had to be there at 5 so Eric dropped me off at DJ house.  The Confirmation was nice; the Bishop for the Winona Diocese seems like a good guy, he was funny and not overly serious.  After some cake we made our way home.  Eric had class Saturday and I had a flight to Milwaukee.
Danielle came up early Saturday morning and the Stayers gave us a ride to the airport for our short flight to Milwaukee.  Not that eventful. Mike and Dylan picked us up and we meet everybody else at Dylan’s house.  We went to the Twins/Brewers game at Miller Park.  We tailgated beforehand, but it wasn’t really tailgating as we ate sandwiches and didn’t grill but it was still good.  It was HOT out but thankfully our seats were under the overhang so we didn’t get the sun.  It was a fun game.  11 innings of back and forth and finally the Twins were victorious thanks to Plouffe’s homerun in the top of the 11 inning.  I was the only happy person of the family as Detroit (Greg’s team) lost too.  Yay for Kim!  We had a late dinner at Applebee’s and the family played cards (of course).
Yesterday I woke up at 6am to this annoying loud crash.  I kept hearing it over and over.  I opened up the door to yell at housekeeping because their door was outside our door and I thought it was them.  Nope, it was Mike, the towel rack fell off the wall and he was trying to put it back up. Haha.  We had the awesome breakfast and went off to the graduations. 
The first graduation was long but ok.  Hank Aaron was the commencement speaker. It was cool to hear from a baseball legend.  The second ceremony was only an hour but it was boring.  After the second graduation we went to the lake front park for a picnic and pictures.  My family left around 3.  Dylan, Danielle and I hung out at the beach and walked around the hills around the lake for a while and then he should us his place for next year.  We made our way to the airport a little early but that was ok.  The airport has a used book store and Danielle actually was interested in, she even said that was the most interesting thing at the Milwaukee Airport…a book store!!!  But they had a Math section. Our flight was again uneventful; we got our peanuts after we had started our decent.  It is only a 45 minute flight so what do I expect?  We got home about 9:00 last night.  It was a great weekend with lots of fun and food.

Book it, Dan-o!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It has been booked...ok not Hawaii!  How about "Da Plane, Da Plane" from Fantasy Island? Anyways, we are off to the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters of Jamaica.  We are leaving Christmas Day and coming back New Year’s Day.  7 days of sun, water and relaxation.  I’m so excited!  Hopefully I won't get bored! I have been dragging my feet on purchasing it and the price went up $400 yesterday!  I was so pissed.  But today I got a Delta Vacation code and saved almost $500.  Yes!  I’m spending another Christmas Day at the airport.  This is becoming a tradition.

I ran 4 miles on Monday and 5 miles today!
  5 miles!!  I was so happy.  It was slow but 5 miles!  I was only going to do 4 again but I went to the preserve by the river and the out and back is only 3.8 miles.  So I had to turn around and when I did I thought what the heck I can do another mile.  I’m not sure what is going on here but I really like running. I celebrated by going to Kohl’s and to buy new running shirts.  I’m getting annoyed by baggy t-shirts, I want something that wicks sweat. 

Tomorrow is my last day of work for the week.
  Yippy!  I have Friday off to prepare for Milwaukee and to go to Abbie’s Confirmation.  

I’m still running!

Monday, May 14, 2012

So I started this running routine in late January and I was really slow and could barely run a quarter of a mile without stopping.   I was majorly out of shape.  Its 111 days later and I’m still doing it!  This is the longest I have stuck to running.  There was a 2 week break in there when I didn’t do it but, unlike the other times, I didn’t wait 8 months or a year to start again.  That says a lot.  And I topped the 3.5 mile run from Wednesday with an over 4 mile run on Saturday! What makes it crazy is I looked at my watch at 45 minutes and said to myself, I can run another 15 minutes.  I’m still slow, 4.2 miles in an hour is slow.  However, I felt good and I enjoyed it…Did I just say that?  I started my run at the house at 7:15 am after Swirl woke me up at 5:30am.  It was cold at first and I wanted to quit after the first quarter mile but I kept going.  I was just going to do the normal 2 miles but when I got the Hwy. 101 (where I usually turn around) I decided to go running in Memorial Park.  It was a nice morning, the birds were going nuts so what better place to run than along the river, in the woods with birds keeping me entertained.  I ran all the way to the campground but had to turn around because the river is flooding again.  It’s a lower area and any big rainfalls will cause it to flood.  I ran back to Hwy 101 and came close to my house but I was so close to an hour I ran around the paths by the house.  I did a full hour and I felt like I could have gone longer.  Am I really starting to like it?  I guess so!!
After the run and the 30 Day Shred video and then I collapsed on the bed and took a nap, an unplanned surprise.  Eric woke me up at noon and we went out for the day.  We went to his favorite, Boston Market for lunch and stopped at Barnes and Noble for the newest Doctor Who release.
Saturday evening we went to another Twins game.  It was such a nice night but unfortunately they lost. (Big Surprise).  That was my second game in a week; I have two this week too.  One is tomorrow (day game) and one is Milwaukee on Saturday.
Sunday wasn’t too exciting. We went mini golfing for the first time this year. I kicked Eric’s butt.  I even got a hole in one!  Yay!  After that Eric had another soccer game so I was all alone.  I went for a short bike ride of about 8 miles (the wind killed me) and did the Shred Video. 
Overall it was a nice weekend.

Dreaming about vacation...again

Friday, May 11, 2012

I love my job, no, really I do.  I love that I’m super busy and my days go by fast…most of the year. There are times of the year which are pretty dead and from mid-May through July 4th is one of those times.  We filed our 10-Q last week and I finished up the loose strings this week. Now is when boredom sets in.   Yea, I have projects to do but they really don’t have a hard deadline and I really don’t need to have them done until after July 4th. 
To fill my time (when I’m not on vacation) I’m dreaming of vacations I want to take.  I seriously have over 10 different trip ideas in my head.  Some materialize, some don’t.  Sometimes I take different versions of trips and combine.  For instance, the Mid-Atlantic trip we took in September, I had two separate trips planned 5 years ago that I combined.  I have trips to Hawaii, Iceland & Greenland, Italy, Greece, Drive to Alaska (that one has been planned for 4 years now, I just don’t have 3 weeks of vacation to burn), Key West, FL, and Yosemite, just to name a few. All planned out, I just need the time and the money. 
Yesterday and today I’ve been thinking about our end of year trip.  I don’t have the luxury of taking off in the dead of winter to some warm exotic place like some people.  That’s my busy time, I’m working weekends!  So I always plan trips during the week of Christmas and New Year’s (and let’s not forget my birthday too).  I didn’t always have this tradition.  It really started the year after my dad died.  I know it probably sounds silly, but I don’t want to be around here on my birthday because I associate it with that horrible time.  The last 5 years I’ve been to Mexico, Texas, Vegas, Switzerland and Los Angeles on my birthday. 
So what place I’m I thinking about this year????  Are you dying to know???   Well it is an island in the Caribbean.  They speak English and they have a famous bobsled team.  If you still don’t know, the answer is below.  We will see if it actually happens but that is my No. 1 contender.  I’ve done the research and strangely it is the cheapest if we leave on Christmas Day and come back on New Year’s Day.  I searched all the days around it and the flights are $200 cheap on those specific days.  Weird.  I looked at 4 day hotel/flight packages and they were $400 more than the 7 day package!  Isn’t that crazy?  $400 more for 3 less days!  Sorry family, we are ditching you on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve for the tropics.
In other news, I ran 3.5 miles the other night.  I didn’t really want to.  I got distracted when I was running and realized I was 2 miles into my out and back run.  I could have walked the 2 miles back but I decided it was faster to run. So I ran most of it.  It felt good.  I can’t believe I did that. 
Yesterday we had happy hour at work. It was supposed to start at 3pm.  At 2pm, my director said let’s go!  That was great!  It was such a beautiful day to sit outside in the sun and enjoy a Leinenkugel’s beer.
By the way, the place I want to go for my birthday is Jamaica.
Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Have we found our Diamond in the Rough?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Well it has only been two full days since my last blog but boy has it been busy! 
Eric is working like a dog refereeing soccer.  He had a game Sunday (but it got rained out) and Monday. He has one tonight and tomorrow night and 3 days next week already.  Woo Hoo MONEY!  I’m such a mean wife, he works so hard and I take his money.  But it is our vacation fund.  He will enjoy it in June.
I made money too!  While I was cleaning the house on Sunday I decided to sell some of my old stuff on Craigslist.  I listed my Nikon Camera that I like but didn’t use for very long.  Within two hours I had sold it!  The girl who bought loves it. I met her and her mom to exchange the goods Monday night.  That was a quick and easy $75. I could have probably gotten a lot more for it, but I sold it quickly to somebody that will love it more than me and it isn’t sitting on my shelf anymore so I’m happy.  I wonder what else I could sell…hum…
Last night we went to the Twins game.  Surprisingly Twins Win!  On a funny note, Eric and I both work in downtown Minneapolis. So he parked by my building before the game and I meet him in the lobby.  As we started walking to the stadium he asked if I had the tickets...DAMNIT!  Morning checklist: Jeans…check, jersey…check, baseball cap…check.  I guess I better add tickets to that list.  Stupid me! So we had to get back in the car, pay $6 for 15 minutes of parking and drive home (25 miles) in rush hour traffic to get the tickets.  It took us an hour! Turned around and drove back downtown in Twins traffic.  We were running late for the game so we parked across the street from the stadium...$13.  It was an expensive night before we even got into the stadium!  Oh well, we laughed about it.  You know where my camera cash went, don't ya! LOL!   Good thing they won!
The pitcher last night was Scott Diamond (get the Post Title now…haha).  He came up from our Class AAA Rochester, NY where he has had a great year.  Last year he went 5-19 with 30 combined starts for Class AAA Rochester!  It was a well pitched game.  And we also got another great player from Class AAA Rochester, Brian Dozier.  He looked like a veteran last night with some of the plays he made at shortstop.  He was fun to watch. Hopefully this is the turning around point for the Twins.  I hope so, otherwise it will be a painful rest of the season.

Crouching Swirl, hidden birdies

Sunday, May 6, 2012

We finally filed our 10-Q on Wednesday.  Wow was that a long, crazy day.  It was pretty horrible but we are done for another quarter. We also finished our year end stuff on Wednesday too.  So now I can look forward to vacation!!  Speaking of vacation, I requested another half day in May and my boss’ response was “Are you working any days in May?” and then she chuckles.  After the last 4 months at work, especially the last 3 weeks, I REALLY can’t wait for vacation.
Also on Wednesday, DJ and Beth visited on Wednesday.  Abbie had attended a concert at the Varsity Club in Dinkytown (near the U of M) and DJ was the chauffeur.   Per Beth’s request, we had Chinese for dinner.

Eric had his first soccer games of the season on Thursday.  I meet Mom and her crazy sisters Bev, Grace and Alice at Mystic Lake for dinner. It was nice to see them all again. It has been ages since I’ve seen Alice.  They didn’t win but they had fun.  I had to run to band practice after that.  Only 3 more rehearsals for the season and then it is the summer concerts.

Friday I went with Greg, Celeste and Evelyn to get our flowers that we planted a few weeks back. They look nice but I thought they would look better than they actually do.  We also went to Quizno’s for dinner.  Yum, I love Quiznos.  That makes it official. I ate out every night this week.  I’m so bad!

Yesterday, Eric and I went to the Zoo.  It was another gray and cloudy day with storms in the west but we managed to see the whole zoo before the rain set in.  Nothing too exciting at the zoo, the animals were not as active as they were a couple weeks ago. 

Today has been a cleaning and planting day.  Eric went to the Avengers movie; I went to Lowes and bought a lot of flowers.  I actually bought too many flowers.  Oh well I found place for them.  They look great.  I also cleaned the garage.  It is so nice again. And I put away the winter stuff.  Space Saver bags are my friends…fill the bag with coats, scarfs, gloves, and hats and vacuum it up. It becomes really small and flat.  Sweet!

Swirl is having a great week.  The weather has been nice enough so that the windows can be open. The birds have been going nuts outside our window and Swirl is crouching down and then pounces on at the window.  It is quite funny to watch.  He wiggles his butt and tail, crouches down and then springs into action.  Hence the title…it’s a play on words from the movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” I’ve never seen the movie but it seemed like a fitting description of Swirl’s actions.

My life is really not that exciting...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My life is really not that exciting.  I don’t really have much to write about it.  Since I last wrote, I had band practice Thursday night. I am a band geek. Friday I worked late (again) and crashed on the couch and watch TV.  Saturday I woke up really early (of course I did, I could sleep in) so I went to the donut shop (because Eric was good and deserved donuts) and grocery shopping. It was freezing and sleeting.  Not a good start to the day.  It was April 28th it should have been warmer!  After that, I came home and brought Eric breakfast in bed (apple fritter and milk).  He got up and we went on our way to Independence.  We had to stop in Burnsville first so Eric could get a haircut.  He likes to look spiffy for my mom. 
We got to Independence by 1pm.  We were there all of 15 minutes before we got in the car and headed to La Crosse to see Nancy and to go shopping.  We need to get a cord for her computer monitor and I need to pick up some accessories for my new camera (which I LOVE!).  We stopped at Nancy’s and went to Pizza Corral for dinner.  Very good pizza!  On our way home we stopped at Tamarack Bar for a drink.  Becky was working and Mike was there.  And then we came home just in time for Mollie B’s Polka Party. As I said before, tradition at Mom’s house.
Sunday was my Godparents, Ed and Shirley Suchla’s 50th Anniversary Party.  We went to 10:30am Mass were they had a blessing and then we went to party.  It was a small affair.  It was so nice to see their kids again.  Todd was up from Florida with his girlfriend.  Tim was up from New Mexico with his girlfriend.  His two daughters were also there.  Teri was there with her family, she has 4 kids now.  Wow! 
After the party Eric and I took the long way home again.  This time we went via Hwy 10 through Mondovi, Durand and Prescott and every other small town in between.  It was a nice drive but very slow!
This week has started out kind of busy at work.  Yesterday I managed to go for another run. I’m getting slower, not faster!  Oh well, at least I did it.  Tonight my volleyball team is getting together for dinner. Yum!
The Wild Bunch!