Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Chase

Yesterday we were coming home from shopping and I saw a pink VW convertible on the access road! That relative was not getting away!! We got off the freeway at the next exit, cut through a car lot and drove up and down each parking row at the Outlet Mall. It was not there. Even though it was 100 plus degrees we were not going home until I found this car. It had to be an older aunt that had extensive cosmetic surgery. We found her parked at the movies. My camera was at home but T used her cell phone to capture this relative. Just look at all the "reconstructive surgery" she has had in the last 10 plus years.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Passport Drama or DOS Form DS-3053

I remember reading Catherine's blog and the tale of the lost passport, little did I know how much trouble we would have getting a passport for T.
Last month the 3 of us went to the post office here, with all the forms filled out, required documents in hand, ready to wait in the long lines and get our passports. The lady in the passport office must have had some pms Wheaties for breakfast because she was on a nasty roll. After a few mundane questions Rich and I passed and the papers were complete. T was next. We had the court papers showing we have primary custody, the official birth certificate, the certified name change documents so we were ready, right? Wrong!! Now she is really unhappy, we need 2 parents to sign form DS-3053 even though at the top of the form it states that this form is for a minor under age 16. Ummm she is 16 almost 17. After questioning that she said she had 3 options, bring the parents in ( hard to do since we don't know where they are), have them sign form DS-3053 (again hard to do, same reason) or her best solution is to wait until she is 18. Now that is the response that made me happy. We leave, call the Dep. of State, they say she is wrong, I can sign as custodial parent, etc. so now we are loaded for bear, the Dep. of State gave us the rules. Back we go, once again she was thrilled to see us. We tell her what the DOS said and here is his number, she slams out of the office and is gone about 15 minutes. She comes back and said, nope, too bad I talked to so and so and we are right you and the DOS are wrong. Now the PO supervisor comes in and the same story. All right I give up, she is meaner than I am and I heard that going postal in the post office is not cool, so we leave. My friend Janet tells us to go to the PO in another town. Hope springs again.... T and I go there the following Monday, again stand in line for about 30 minutes, undaunted, we will get it this time. This passport officer is 100% helpful and things go so smoothly. We paid the $100+, he gives us the receipt of mailing, puts all the documents in the envelope and we are done! Well, now I get a letter from the DOS stating once again we need to fill out form DS-3053. Once again she is 16, by now 17 and we don't have to. I call the DOS and this nice person told me what to write back to the DOS and he said it would even help if I mention I sent a copy of this to our Congressman. I did and today, T can leave the country!! Going Postal has an entire new meaning around our house. I would love to go back to this PO and wave that little passport in her face, but then my mail would probably end up in the trash for the next 6 months!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

WV Road Trip Relatives

We tried to find a relative of my little bug in every state and I think the only state we missed was Mississippi.

Here are some relatives:

The Redneck Alabama cousin
Louisiana cousin with a tramp stamp

LSU Tiger Fan, cousin, must have been a close relative, almost the same color silver. See the Tiger tail??
My Bourbon Street Brother! Parking lights glowing, white leather interior, ready for the night life! The wet bricks are not wet from water, someone had just dumped their beer.

My Cocoa Beach, Florida nephew. This is what I would have looked like if I had gone on the fishing trip. Maybe he had been, he was parked at the dock.
My Florida niece. This beauty was heading for the beach, the seats were covered in those slip on flowers covers, and the beads were hanging from the mirror.

I had a hard time finding a Georgia relative, there were either going the wrong way or way too fast. I finally lucked out, we chased this cousin at about 80mph!

This is my retired grandmother. She wasn't on our vacation road trip, but sadly sitting in Milford, Texas, just put out to pasture!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chunky Monkey

Today Marie and I had a meeting at Everything Hippo, in Hutto. After our meeting we walked next door for lunch here. The food was delicious but the pie is to die for. I had the Chunky Monkey pie and believe me you get chunkier with each bite!! Actually I took home 3 slices, Coconut Cream, Key Lime, and the Chunky Monkey, of course not all for me, but to share with the family:)
Here are a few layouts I did at the retreat last week. Nothing special, just done and in the album. I am working on scrapping Stacy Julians way and found some pictures I didn't remember!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

2008 Favorite Photos

On the retreat I managed to do a few layouts and do my June pictures for my 2008 favorite photos album.June was our first GASC and of course Fathers Days. I used some metal frames, thanks Janet, and some cool BoBunny stamps!The neat matchbook cover is from Pappadeaux,we met some friends there for lunch while we were in Arlington.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cute as a Cupcake

Karen designed this adorable little cupcake mini album a few months ago and has given us permission to use her design. This is just too cute for words, in either chipboard or acrylic. Thanks Karen we are going to have fun with this!!Karen does such awesome work and I am so glad to have her talent on board with us!!Here is an acrylic album she designed for us Kauai acrylic album. You can check out some more of her work here

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Retreat at Our House

12 scrappers spent a fabulous weekend at Our House at Milford,Texas. There just aren't enough words to describe how awesome this place is. Anne and Angie pamper you from the moment you arrive until they hug you goodbye! The food is just the best, about the time you have recovered from breakfast, complete with waffles, strawberries and whipped cream, they stuff you again with a delicious lunch! Dinner is again a marvelous treat, and every dessert is perfection!! This sweet mother and daughter team think of your every need and all you are allowed to do is eat, scrap, sit on the front porch in the big rocking chairs, relax in the hot tub, and even sleep if you want. I did manage to sneek into the kitchen and throw a napkin in the trash but Anne was close behind! Kudos again to you wonderful ladies, we will be back!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I think our brain was a little clouded but we decided we were ready to come home Monday. We left Savannah,GA, at 7:30 am and drove and drove and drove and arrived home at 4:00 am Tuesday. Talk about a long hard drive!
We stopped at a peach orchard in Ga. and bought some delicious GA.peaches!
Here are a few more pictures along our trip home through GA, Ala., Mississippi,LA. and finally Texas!
A few more things we noticed along the way:
At almost every bridge there was a sign that the bridge might ice over first during cold weather, and we crossed a lot of bridges.
We saw lots of log trucks but snapped a picture of this one in Box Springs, GA.
There are a lot of peanut and cotton farms along the way.

I did find a lot of my VW relatives so I will post those pictures later. I am off to a retreat this weekend in Milford!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Georgia and South Carolina

We are in Savannah GA. and it is a beautiful historic city! We drove to Hilton Head, SC to meet some friends,actually he is the pastor that married us some 30 years ago. We had a great visit for a few hours.
I think we have vacationed out! We may pack up and start the long drive home. It has been a lot of fun but we are all ready to get home.
The hotel we stayed in at Cocoa Beach was built by the 7 astronauts, just a tidbit of information.
The very tall bridge is crossing the Savannah River going to South Carolina.The picture of the Savannah River going across the very tall bridge!
The very tall pine trees are in Georgia.

A few fun facts that we have discovered:
Sweet tea, always an option, is realllly sweet!
Hamburgers are done differently in every state.
Coleslaw certainly has a lot of ways to be prepared!
I noticed that on the Interstates the outline of each state is on the sign boards! I never paid attention to that before!
Ice in iced tea is just a cube or two.
The welcome center coming into every state is a wealth of information, and the maps are free.
99% of the time Jill knows where she is going.
Everyone loves to pet a tiny furry dog.
All hotels are not created equal.
White sand is cool to walk on, black sand is hot!!
I have found VW relatives all along our trip!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Shopping and Retiring

Melbourne Fl. is the perfect place to retire! We scouted out the best places and did a little shopping while we were looking for a retirement home. I kept telling Rich to keep up with me, but he was lagging behind until the rain hit!!:) I originally saw this sweet couple sitting on a bench, but by the time we could turn around, they were on the move. I kept hoping they would sit on another bench but they were mobile and kept going, while I kept following. I am sure people thought I was out of my mind following these people with my camera. T stayed hidden in the car! The other couple were coming out of the store just as the rain hit and I had to snap this sweet picture!
Tomorrow we leave Florida,destination Savannah, Georgia, then on to Hilton Head, SC

T is finally 17 and Big Bertha

T is finally the ripe old age of 17 today! We celebrated her birthday by having lunch at Texas Roadhouse. Now why, you might ask, would we have Texas food in Fl.?, simply because everywhere we wanted to eat did not open until evening! We used Jill to locate several restaurants and TRH was the only one open at noon. After lunch we did a little shopping. Bertha was moving in fast and on the way back to the hotel we snapped a few pictures of the low clouds. It is still raining, it really puts a damper on any outside celebration of being 17!!

Fishing Day

Today was T and R day to go fishing on the Atlantic. The plan was for them to catch Red Snapper and have it for dinner, but the fish didn't know that. They left today at 10 am and came back about 5. T caught the first fish and the most fish. No one caught any snapper, just sharks. I opted not to go fishing, I have been before and was so seasick I didn't want to chance it again. I went to an lss across the Banana River and did a little shopping, then came back and just chilled by the pool until time to pick up the fishermen!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Life's a Beach

in Cocoa Beach, Florida! The Atlantic Ocean is beautiful along with the beaches. The sand is not as white as Gulf Shores, Al. and the sand here is very hot to walk on.
T wanted to take surfing lessons today so we sat on the beach for 3 hours watching her become a "surfer girl". The blue shirt is a "rash shirt",in surfer language. It is to prevent a rash that you would get when you get on and off the surfboard. The instructor was "hot" so that made it even more fun!! Jelly fish do hurt when they sting you! I was standing in the ocean and bam one got me! T said that everyone else in her group got stung but her. There were little clear plastic looking jelly fish washing up but it is the tiny little brown ones that sting you. The clear ones don't unless you step on them. The beach experts said that the changes in the temp of the water from the hurricane stir up the jellyfish and make them come in closer. Hurrican Bertha is out here in the Atlantic and it made the waves great for surfing. The waves are supposed to be even better tomorrow when the hurricane moves closer to land. T saw a manatee out in the water today, not up close but guess he was just passing by!

Tomorrow R is going Red Snapper fishing and T and I are doing whatever we want for the day! There is a restaurant that will cook the snapper for you so that hopefully is where we will have dinner!

Tonight we sat in the bar at the hotel and listened to some New Orleans jazz. This music is what I thought we would hear in NOLA, not the rap junk!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What to do on a 10 hour drive

We drove 10 long hours from Gulf Shores, Ala. to Cocoa Beach, Fla. today and it did have some long boring moments! We were on I-10 most of the way and nothing but trees on both sides of us. It would rain off and on and that did help cool it off! This is how T entertained herself during those long hours. Computer, Zune, and TM on her cell, gee life is tough! I was driving and R was snoozing part of the way! When we got on the Fla. tollways, there were rest stops in the center of the tollways, so you could stop going either way! The rest stops were really nice, restaurants, shops, and Janet, even a Starbucks! It did make the long drive a little better. The hurricane is still way out in the Atlantic so hopefully we will get beach and surfboard time tomorrow!

More Road Trip

I love these balconies with all the plants hanging. They were everywhere in the French Quarter! We ate at Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville and then had some delicious coffee and beignetts at an open air coffee shop! We left early this morning, drove acorss Mississippi and here we are at beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama. This has beautiful white beaches and blue Gulf water. We went swimming and sunning this afternoon and had shrimp for dinner,at an open air restaurant! Fun day, tomorrow Florida!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Air Boat Tour

Monday we went on an air boat tour of the swam to see the alligators up close and personal.I am not sure where we went, a van picked us up at the hotel but it was about 20 minutes from NO. Our driver was telling us stories about Katrina and that he was staying in a round hotel and how horrible it was when the windows were blowing out. We are not where there was any damage from Katrina, I think we will see some when we leave LA tomorrow. The tour was awesome. We watched our guide feed the alligators marshmallows and you can see from the pictures how close we were to them. We saw a female alligator and her nest. She growled and hissed at us for even being there. It is really interesting to hear all about her nesting and hatching process. The air boat was a blast. There were 5 of us on the boat and it reached speeds of about 35mph on the water.That did help cool us off and when it stopped in the swamp it was so hot and muggy. After we came back to NO, our driver let us off at VooDoo BBQ. It was voted the best BBQ in NO and I really liked it! We could catch the trolley just outside the restaurant so we stood and waited. We found out we had to have exact change to get on it and we didn't have it. I walked over to a bar ( that was a trip) but they couldn't open their cash register ( I could see why) so I went back to the VooDoo BBQ and got change. All the time T was waiting and worried that I would miss the trolley. You can tell that by the picture! We rode back to Canal street ( where the French Quarter starts) and walked back to our hotel. We are going to ride the river boat tonight and then go to Florida tomorrow for some nice white sand and blue water!