Friday, September 05, 2014

Fairly Awesome

My boys LOVE the fair.

Last year they got grounded and didn't get to go, so this year it was ON. Satchel actually ended up going on Monday with his friend, Theo. Yes, the 12 year olds were dropped off and left to their own devices. Satchel reported having fun for awhile, and then puking in a trash can. He complained that he was so sick that he didn't want to eat any of Theo's delicious looking Fried Oreos! He did manage to spend all $42 dollars he had in his pocket though.

This is Satchel in 2012.

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Clearly, rides aren't his thing.

Jiro was extremely bummed that Satchel did not want to go with us on Wednesday, but I promised him we would have fun without him. And we did.

Jiro's buddy Ray was there with his mom, Mad, and the two of them literally ran from ride to ride.

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Mad, who had been there about 45 minutes already, was pretty nauseous and hesitant to ride any more rides, but we got her on a few. I was actually enjoying the rides, and practiced being calm and letting the scary flow over me. Mad coped by screaming and praying to Jesus.

By the time we got to Crazy Mouse, Mad drew the line. I ride Crazy Mouse every year and this year would be no different. By now we had met up with another friend, Lily. I tried to tell her how scary the ride was, but she didn't believe me. I think this $6 photo sold to Lily's dad by the Crazy Mouse operators sums it up perfectly.

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We obviously needed a little sugar to keep going.

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And I insisted on at least one selfie.

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Jiro said, "Awkwaaaard."

Check out Lily's awesome fashion, surely fashioned at this year's Rock-n-Romp Camp.

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I love the way the fair looks at night, but by dark I was ready to go.

Moby Dick (below) is reportedly what made Satchel puke.

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Those extra high flying swings are my new favorite.

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Jiro agreed to leave once he had some Fried Oreos and lemonade. He wanted Satchel to be jealous, although he's too sweet for that. He of course asked soon after if he could take some home to him.

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My sweet boy also made sure to thank me about hundred times on the way home. Although he did say that in a perfect world we would have gone two days earlier (Peyton from "Jessie") or two days later (R4). Both boys have actually been making a play to return tonight for R4 (or is it R5?), but I'm just not ready for that.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Party Crasher

Last Tuesday, my best friend, Marlinee, sent me a simple text: "What's the name of that pho place in New Orleans?" My response? "Who is going to New Orleans!" She was, and not only that, she was following it up with a weekend trip to the beach. It was her unofficial 25th high school reunion with her Murphy High pals from Mobile.

In true best friend fashion, she was sending me "Come join us" texts by Wednesday. By Friday, I was out of excuses for why I couldn't possibly go. On Saturday, I hit the road.

I arrived in Gulf Shores around 2:00pm in the afternoon and kicked my shoes off on the back deck.

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Then I walked down to the beach and joined in on the fun.

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Over the years, I had either met or heard tales of most of the people at the reunion, so I felt right at home. After chit chatting for a bit, I went to unload my car and see what was happening inside.

Max and Tally were making gumbo!

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I washed my hands, and started peeling shrimp. Eventually everyone else came in from the beach, or the store, and we had ourselves a little party.

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Tally's husband, Carl, made salad, and Stephanie doctored up the French bread, and we sat down to one of the best meals of my life.

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Seriously, I am going to dream about Tally's gumbo for the rest of my life.

After dinner, we moved outside to play Cards Against Humanity.

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Not to brag or anything, but I totally won.

We stayed up late talking and I went to bed so, so happy I'd made the drive. When I woke up, I was informed that Marlinee's parents were on their way. Even better, Chow was joining forces with Tally, who lived in Thailand for a few years, to make us all a Thai lunch.

I'm pretty sure this is what mornings are like in heaven.

Marlinee was concerned that Tally might take too long preparing his dish, but Chow came with hers all ready to go.

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We snacked on Thai poppers and spring rolls while Tally worked his magic.

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I'm telling you, he is magic.

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Then, once again, we all gathered around the table to enjoy an amazing meal.

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Once lunch was over and the dishes were done, we went out to the beach. The waves were amazing and we alternated between playing in them and admiring them.

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There are no words for how happy I felt.

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The best part? I still feel it.

Thanks to Marlinee for inviting me, all of the Murphy Panthers for making me feel so welcome, and to Warren for keeping an eye on our babies so I could go and not worry.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Loft Life

Last month I moved to Cooper Young. I found a great apartment, er loft, that makes me feel like I am living downtown, but in Midtown. If that makes any sense.

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It's very safe.

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And kind of reminds me of our house. At least the kitchen does anyway.

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Jiro has been my assistant decorator. He had the genius idea of putting the bunkbeds where a desk would normally go.

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And he helped me hang all of the paintings. Well, the ones I was sure about.

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And he helped fix the things that needed fixing.

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Satchel was a little less enthusiastic about the loft, mainly because it didn't come with wifi and I didn't have a TV. But he slowly came around. He and Jiro found ways to entertain themselves.

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(I took a turn too. It was actually quite fun.)

There has also been some reading and a lot of game playing.

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Mancala is my favorite.

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I am the undisputed champ of checkers. Connect Four is not my strong suit.

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Loft life has its challenges. For one, we are all three sharing a bathroom.

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And I am the head chef.

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I pretty much exhausted my repertoire in the first week! (Hence our first tradition--Monday's at Moe's.)

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Warren still cooks several nights a week, and I get to partake when I pick up the kids. And we've been doing family movie day/dinner out on Sundays.

Everyone seems to be pretty happy with the current arrangement. And the loft is slowly starting to feel like home.

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My next door neighbor, who came to introduce herself last night and maybe ask that we keep it down a bit, will be happy to learn that I have purchased a TV and the cable/wifi is getting hooked up today.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

RPCV Reunion in Taos, Part 4

It was time for everyone to leave on Monday, so we spent the morning packing up and cleaning up. We had one final excursion to the house at the top of the hill. It's owned by the same guy that owns the house we stayed in, but it's way bigger. It would be perfect for our NEXT reunion! We hope to sway some more of our stage mates to come out in a couple of years.

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It's still under construction, but is sure to be beautiful. It has a great view.

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If we get a really good turn out, we can rent both houses!

We said our goodbyes and had more group picture of the kiddos.

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It was so great to see everyone and have lots and lots of time to just hang out and talk. It is really crazy to think it's been 20 years since we all met. I love that we are still friends!

On the way out of town, I insisted we stop at Taos Outback for a slice of pizza. It was still as good as I remembered.

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The kids loved it too. (Satchel remembered his previous visit, but not Jiro.)

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We made a quick stop at a store to buy a couple of Mexican blankets, got a burrito to go from Guadalajara Grill, gassed up, and then finally hit the long road home.

I'm so glad we made the journey.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

RPCV Reunion in Taos, Part 3

Sadly Dillon had to return to real life, so we started Sunday off by saying goodbye to him & Ethan.

Then we loaded up and headed out to Jeremy & Andrea's cabin on the mesa. It's off the grid and they go camping there about once a month.

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We had a nice snack of watermelon and Jeremy's homemade kombucha.

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Jeremy had enough country cups for everyone. I definitely prefer the taste of kombucha to palm wine!

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Satchel, Jiro, and Bodhi started a game of Monopoly while the rest of us either hiked or hung out.

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Then Amy came down with some mystery illness, probably from the altitude. It sucked, but also added to the nostalgia.

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When she felt good enough to travel, we all headed out. She & John were going back to the house and the rest of us were going to the Mesa Brewery for beers and lunch. We were following them and Warren noticed something hanging down from the car. We called Jeremy, who was in the lead, and we all pulled over.

Then in the most Peace Corps moment of the weekend, Jeremy fixed the car with goat rubber, which he just happened to have on hand!

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It was awesome.

Once they were fixed up, we commenced with beers and lunch. The Mesa Brewery is awesome. I will do a full DWM post on it soon.

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Once fortified we headed to the Rio Grande for some tubing. The boys were super excited about this.

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After an hour or so we headed back to the house to check on Amy, who was feeling a lot better. We had planned to go out to dinner in town, but everyone was worn out. Thankfully, Warren had thought ahead. He made fufu njama njama for everyone. Even the kids liked it!

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More to come...
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