Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bok Tower and Gardens!

In honor of the 80th birthday of their Carillon, the Bok Tower Gardens was offering free admission to all visitors today. Ed lives the Massapequa Motto "If it's free, it's for me" and hey, we both wanted to check it out. This is peak time for blooms on many flowering bushes and plants.

Since there were so many pretty flowers, I played with the close up with Donna's camera. Too bad as soon as I focused, the breeze would start! No, I can't tell you what most of these flowers were, other than they all were very pretty:














When you enter the gates (and normally pay 10 bucks an adult, and 3 bucks per kid 3-12), you pass through orange groves on both sides of the road. These were beautiful trees, with perfect looking fruit. This was taken from the slow moving car, but you get an idea of what we were surrounded by.
The tower is situated on the highest hill in Florida. Our ears didn't pop, it's only 298 feet! This picture looks down below (and towards the general viscinity of Spook Hill.
The tower can be seen for miles around. Not a surprise, since it is a 225 tower atop the 298 foot hill.
The top is adorned with beautiful tilework.
The entrance to the Carillon has a beautiful brass door depicting scenes of the Creation.
I was reminded vaguely of Hick's Peaceable Kingdom.
Some close up of the iron railing of the moat leading to the Carillon.
I think this is going to be my new picture of Gameboy in the blog header. Any time I stick out my tongue at him, he has to show me that he can roll his. He finds it quite comical that I can't do this!The men being silly while they waited for me to take more pictures of flowers
The silver swan, who living, had no note...

There was a special Carillon concert twice today to honor the 80th birthday. We sat through about 2/3 of the later performance. Ed and I are both quite spoiled, between living in Hagerstown and Frederick (and being close to DC). There were many churches with bell towers, admittedly not as elaborate. The bells sounded 'tinny'. Perhaps the humidity isn't a good thing? We're not sure.

I did record one song with the plan of uploading it and I may still do that tomorrow.

Another thing we can chalk off the list of places to visit. Would I pay 26 bucks for all of us to go? Probably not. However, if we get a membership to the Florida Aquarium (the next thing on our list when we have the funds), there's a reciprocal program that would allow us free admission. In that case, yes, I'd come back.

Afterwards, we went to visit Spook Hill. It had great signs-until you got over there. In reading the Wiki page, it looks like there wasn't a sign to turn to arrive at the school. There IS a very nice lake with a park, so the next time we're in Lake Wales, we will try again. Sputnik wanted to go backwards uphill and won't rest until we do it.

In Case I Hadn't Mentioned It

My second Tasty Thursday post is up over at MomDot. It's a little late to help any of you, but I featured some recipes suitable for the Super Bowl: Spinach Dip (the recipe that Jill and I charmed out of our waitress long ago ;) ), Easy Chili and my Mom's Chicken Oreganata. Some of you may have had me serve that as Bread Crumb Chicken, because that's what I'd always say when Mom told me she was serving it.

As is typical for me, once I've written about a recipe, I'm not happy until I have some myself. The Chicken was made last night and the Spinach Dip will probably hit the table tomorrow evening! Also, if you've got requests, feel free to turn them in here or at MomDot.

I have to tell you this, because I'd be a bad bloggy friend if I didn't: If you have not visited MomDot yet, please do. Trisha has crafted a great site that anyone can gain some great information from. On the main page, there is a link for Blog Resources and my word, she has SO much good information to share about blogging, how to build traffic, the ins and outs of giveaways and so much more. You don't have to be a mommy or have Mom Blogs to participate.

If it wasn't already enough that the resources are there, there is a Friday Night LIVE session, in which Trisha gets on a web cam and gives a lesson! I commented to Ed last night that I'm going to "Blog School", because I am learning so much from this dynamo! Trust me, you need to take notes when you're in a LIVE session, because there is no way in hell that you're going to remember all the information that is shared.

Then, at the end, all the comments made during the class (which shouldn't be called a class, because that implies it's boring, but it's not!), there's a giveaway! Last week's was a Mixxo mixer (wah, it wasn't me) and this week, two people won a four pack of Showtime Original TV Series DVDs.

That sounds like a lot already, right? Add to that all the regular giveaways and a FORUM, too! I am digging the forum full of bloggers, because I can ask a question about hosting or what should the blog URL be when I move to self hosted and get real answers. (And from some very nice people, too.)

You know me, I don't crow about something like this unless it means a lot to me. This one does-so I had to share with the bloggers, because the more we all know, the more successful we all will be.

Friday, January 30, 2009

You Take The Good, You Take the Bad

You take them both and there you have: Suzanne's life, Suzanne's life!

Lots of good has happened today. It seems that Dad is smiling down on me and Giggles today, the anniversary of his passing. Both of us have had some serious forward momentum in our educational journeys today. Rather fitting, since Dad valued us getting college degrees more than anything.

Then, I got home from some errands and found an envelope from Social Security.

DENIED.

I'm not letting it get me down. Besides, Ed's doing enough of that for both of us-he is royally PISSED. I think it's because he sees how bad it is when I am working and how it is now that I'm not, that I still have major pain from the RSD, but I can live with it better.

Everyone told me it wouldn't be approved the first time around, that I'd probably have to appeal. Hell, I'm hearing stories of people worse off than me who got denied their first time, too. Robin's RSD is much worse and a neighbor had a bullet shot through his head which totally screwed up his memory. He was denied, too.

I'm going to appeal, because that's what you do. However, the urge to file it TODAY! NOW! DON'T WAIT! is being tempered with get a lawyer, do some research and chill out a week or two until you see said lawyer.

It's a temporary setback. I'll get through it.

In The Past Twelve Hours

I have:

Competed and filed our Income Taxes (yay, we can pay off the bills!)
Filled out the 2008-2009 FAFSA
Filled out the 2009-2010 FAFSA
Applied to the University of South Florida
Purchased a Transcript from NCC that according to a text message, has already been prepared and is ready to ship to USF.
Left a follow up message for the case worker for the SSDI to see if she needs any more information from me.

Weird note: my Elementary, Middle, Senior and College ALL had my favorite color as a school color. It'll be weird to attend a school that doesn't have Blue!

Yes, I'm really getting on with it and preparing for enrollment in the first summer session as a junior. I have to verify if I have prerequisites as a Psychology major. When I last looked into attending USF, it was to be an Education major. This required 5 courses that I could either CLEP or take before being considered a College of Education student. If there are Psychology pre reqs, I have five PSY classes under my belt, almost as many classes taken in my major at NCC.

As soon as that tax refund hits our checking account, I need to go get two money orders and pay for the two CLEP exams that will earn me the AA and a pretty piece of paper. It'll be nice to say I have the Technical Theatre Degree, instead of just transferring the credits. That's my project for this afternoon, to get the CLEP paperwork in place and start studying.

It's the first time I actually filled out an application since 1990 to enroll back in school in Maryland. If I pay, I go. There is no turning back now!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Of Sick Laptops

My laptop, she is not well. Seems that sometime last week, it decided that .exe's don't exist. Yet when I went to repair my file types, Windows told me that I did in fact have the missing .exe, even though though it was not visible in the file type listing. Maybe it was shy?

I know my limitations. I can do some serious damage because I *think* I know enough, but when it comes to expensive computer equipment, I stop myself before I have a hard drive crash. That would be bad and I don't want to lose all the stuff that's on this one.

Meanwhile, there is a conundrum, because the .exe is needed to pull everything I need OFF this machine before repairing it. None of the programs will launch without the 'execute' telling it "Hey, you're needed on deck. Hop to it!" The only reason why I can access the web and word is because I'd left an HTML page and a word document on my desktop. Otherwise, I'd be looking at my HP doorstop.

Last night, Ed and I were talking about the machine. He asked the last time I'd done maintenance to the machine. "When I got the replacement hard drive." Here I was thinking that was two years ago, but no, it was THREE years ago. I've had the machine for four years.

It's still quite serviceable, but it has its issues. I deal with the quirks, like the keys that have popped off and/or stuck so many times. If anyone else used it, they'd wonder why the F, T, and C didn't work. I've worn of the letter N, because I have a habit of leaving my index finger there and not the J. I type a lot more N's, you see. The fan blows constantly and the battery can only support five minutes of use.

Yes, I need a new laptop, but they aren't cheap. Heck, I don't know how I'm going to pay my bills each month, I can't consider it. For now, we've got to do the equivalent of open heart surgery on this one. I'm charged with pulling everything I must have off of this machine in to one folder and then Ed will work his magic on the hard drive. It might actually force me to clear out crap I haven't used in forever, but won't dump because I don't know where the program disk is or I think it may be needed someday.

Earlier today, Ed and I ran some errands and one was to fax off one of Gameboy's prescriptions. Yes, I have an all in one fax machine at home, but I can't see the point of paying for a landline for the occasional fax. Off to Staples we went.

After completing my fax (and mercifully dodging the pervy former coworker in the process, too), he humored me and we looked at laptops. Four years ago, Staples actually had the best price around for the one now in front of me, and it didn't require signing up to MSN or AOL to get a rebate, either.

What once cost $950 can be had for under $500, and that now includes a DVD burner, twice as much RAM and 4 times the hard drive space. That's the nature of computers, hell, my stock line to those I sold computers or software to was "Next week, it'll be bigger, better, faster AND cheaper," so it doesn't bother me that a better machine costs half what this one did. Rather, it makes me wish I had the money for a new one.

A few doors down, Circuit City is going out of business, so we decided to take a look there, too The long and the short of it is that even with the 10 percent discount they're currently offering, they still sell the same products for 30% over what can be purchased at Staples. In the interests of full disclosure, this is the fourth time ever that I'd set foot in a Circuit City, but it seems that things are exactly the same.

I still need to pull stuff off this hard drive, but I've got visions of bigger, better, faster and cheaper in my head.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday



This is for all my blogging friends, who support my efforts and inspire me every day. Sarah, Jess, Mandy, Saffa, Lotus, Gail, Joyce, Lou, Shannon, Vixen, Mary, Robin, Robin, Loralee, Janet, Neil, Audrey, Jennifer and everyone else, THANK YOU!

(You get cake because CrowdSproutJon said over at MomDot that I should give food as thanks today!

What's For Dinner Wednesday

This year, my challenge to myself is to make our restaurant favorites at home, since we can't afford to go out and get them. That's part of the inspiration for the Gyros from a few weeks ago.

With a picky kid, there isn't really much that we can agree on when it comes to dining out. Typically, when we would go out for Chinese, Gameboy would ask for rice. Just rice. It was a little sad to me and Ed that the child who stole pieces of General Tsao's with szechuan peppers on it off my plate when he was a tyke didn't want anything to do with it or anything else Chinese. Until a few months ago, that is.

Finally, all four of us had one meal that we all enjoyed. Chef Jr will eat just about anything, with his favorite probably being Orange Chicken, but Tsao's is a very close second. Okay, it's time to figure this one out.

A few years ago, I learned how to make it at the meal preparation kitchen and that was a delicious dish-baked, using Panko breadcrumbs. Alas, I don't have that recipe anymore. A search of various recipe sites didn't have a sauce recipe using the ingredients I remembered (fish sauce and OJ among them). Instead, Ed was kind enough to print out about a dozen different recipes and I looked through them to see which seemed like the most likely to taste like our favorite

This one actually took one hour from start to finish, but there are quite a few steps: making a sauce, a slurry, frying the chicken:
flash frying the onions, then heating the sauce:

keeping the fried pieces warm and crispy:

Tossing the chicken and sauce together:

And then preparing it for consumption:


The sauce was missing the peppers, but other than that it was spot on-the right flavor and consistency The only thing to remember for next time is that when I plate up Gameboy's that I should deonionify his portion, because he balked at the green flecks.

I think the best part of it is that it cost about 10 bucks to make 25 bucks worth of yummy goodness, if we'd dined out AND I've got enough of everything but the cornstarch to make a couple more batches of this.

Yay!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

I don't dwell on the financial hell we're mired in on the blog. I'd rather deal with that depression privately than have everyone asking how we're doing. Especially since I feel like shit for cashing out stocks and savings bonds to cover the basics each month. We've used that all up, and now there is nothing left to draw from.

If we just had our rent and utilities alone, we'd squeak by on my unemployment benefits and Ed's paycheck. Alas, we have Gameboy's medications to purchase each month. His Medicaid got canceled a while back, due to me listening to my boss that I should keep group health coverage on him, along with the Medicaid. I'm here to tell you DON'T DO IT! Alas, when a child receives Medicaid, you don't get an instruction manual, telling you what you can and cannot do. That's why I didn't know you couldn't have both or that you need to file a change of address, even if you move within the state.

So, since April, we've been without insurance coverage. For Ed and Chef, it's not a big deal. For me, it's tough, but manageable. For Gameboy, this is a nightmare. He takes some expensive meds. Even when one makes a good salary, they eat up a chunk of the income if you don't have group health insurance. Unfortunately, neither one of us is earning a decent wage these days.

His psychiatrist has been a doll, giving samples of either the Strattera or the Abilify where she can. Strattera costs about $300 a month, Abilify much more. (Last we'd filled it, it was $620 a month). The Fluvoximine and Clonidine are relatively cheap in comparison, $100 bucks to fill both.

Thanks to a friend online, I found out about Canada Generic, and was able to score generic Strattera for $100 bucks for a 50 day supply, far better than the $300 or so for the name brand for a one month prescription. It'd be good if Abilify was available in this manner, but it's not.

When we saw his doctor in December, all she had in the sample closet was enough for 4 weeks, but our visit was scheduled for six weeks. We have a deal where I call her when he's running out, and she makes sure there's a bag waiting for us. I make the drive over and everything is copacetic.

Alas, I made the call this time around and never heard back from her. Dr. N has discussed taking him off the Abilify several times, so part of me wondered if this was her plan and she hadn't had a chance to call. However, he DOES need this medication. Dr. N had never seen Gameboy without it, because he started it about a year before she became the resident assigned to him.

So, a few weeks ago, he ran out. I held my breath, because I knew that we'd have trouble. How long would it take before things fell apart at school?

The answer? Two days. Forty eight hours without the medication and the school got a taste of what we lived with for so long. He wanted computer time, was told no, went to the computers anyway and when he was removed, the temper tantrum was so loud that it could be heard four classrooms away, through cinder block walls.

He earned a one day suspension from school for his behavior. However, someone called my cell phone at 11am, it didn't ring and they didn't leave a message. At 4:55, my phone rang while I was in the midst of a coughing fit, so I let it go to voice mail. I listened to the message, immediately called back-and was told that the person had already left for the day. To say I was pissed is an understatement. You knew my child was suspended, but you wait until you're walking out the door to call me?

The next morning, I went over to the school, spitting nails, ready to do battle with the person who couldn't find the time in his day to call me between 11am, when the incident occurred and 4:55pm. Mr. S, the one who'd left the message, was out of the building for the day. The school secretary then got Mr. B to come talk to me.

In the interests of talking privately, Mr. B ushered me into the conference room. The school psychologist, Mr. N was in there. He covers a couple of schools and doesn't have an office, so if there's a free seat, he's got to grab it. When we entered the room, Mr. N offered to leave. However, he'd facilitated Gameboy's last IEP, knows my son and honestly, I figure the more people who know the deal, the better it is for Gameboy.

I asked Mr. B what had happened and why I didn't hear from the school until late in the day. I was told that Mr. S had called me several times, but I was able to show them my cell phone and there was the one message and the one missed call at 11:00am. Then I explained: we are beyond tight on money, we can't afford the $600 a month Abilify and we're waiting for his doctor to call us back AND to hear from Lilly, the manufacturer, whether he's eligible for a Patient Assistance Program.

This is where the strangers come in. Mr. N asked to interrupt. He explains that has access to several grant programs and was pretty sure that our financial situation made us eligible for one. It's a private program. He asked if he could email the board a brief description and get back to me. I agreed, hopeful that he was right and we would qualify.

The next day, Mr. N called and asked Ed and I to come up to the school. He'd just received an email back that we certainly qualified, but he needed us to come and fill out the application. The three of us filled out the forms and he submitted the request for this agency to cover one month's supply of Abilify to get Gameboy through until his next doctor's visit and the wait to get Medicaid and/or Patient Assistance.

Last Tuesday, he called me back. The grant had been approved. Due to privacy, the funds would be dispersed to Mr. N and he'd call me as soon as he had it in hand.

Today, I got the phone call and went up to the school. Mr. N sat me down and said he had some news. "There's a little more in that envelope that we requested." It ends up that the board was concerned that a month might not be enough, so they sent enough to cover two months.

I am blown away. Honestly, I was trying to figure out how in the next ten days I was going to pay rent, car insurance and cover refills of Gameboy's Strattera, Fluvoxime and Clonidine.

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, Gameboy won't go without medication. I don't know how they knew that all the medications would be a challenge this month, but they must have.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Honeybells

Since we've moved to Florida, we've entered a world of new produce. Satsumas, Honeybells, Papayas, Mangoes, and Strawberries are all locally grown. However, we're all used to Citrus being available year round, right?

Once you're down here, you learn about the varieties of fruits and their growing seasons. For instance, up north, I came to learn about dozens from the hundreds of apple varieties (my favorites are Winesaps, and the average person has never heard of them.) When you live in an agricultural area, before long, you realize that, like those apples, there is more than just the generic 'strawberry'. There are big ones, little ones, sweeter ones, redder ones. Now, on our fifth winter strawberry season, thanks to following FlStrawberryFst on Twitter, I learned this:

The six patented Florida varieties of strawberries are CARMINE, EARLIBRITE, ROSA LINDA, STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL, SWEET CHARLIE and WINTER DAWN.

And so it is with the citrus varieties. Sure, we've all heard of Navels, Valencias and Tangerines. Maybe you're used to those little cases of Clementines at Christmastime. But have you heard of Tangelo, the hybrid of a tangerine and a pomelo or a grapefruit? I'd heard of the name, but never saw one. Heck, I never even knew that what was sold in the NY supermarkets as the Breadfruit was really a Pomelo.

The Tangelo is really known by another name down here. The Honeybell. Never heard of it? That's really a shame. Take a look:

It looks like an orange with a dome on top. You'd expect, if you knew its origins, that it would be very tart, wouldn't you? Until the other day, I hadn't had the chance to find out.

These are the rarest of the rare. Like the Satsumas, they have a very limited growing area and season. Each is harvested for four to six weeks. I'd heard of them, but by the time I remembered "hey, what about those Honeybells?" the growing season had passed. Yes, February 1st and I was SOL on something because the season was OVER.

Not this year. It's been in my head for two weeks that we had to get our Honeybells this year. Luck was on our side on Saturday, we had plans to check out a new shopping center for job prospects. Our travels took us past some signs that were set up, Burma Shave style. Ed calls out "Hey, they've got Honeybells!" and we pulled off the highway into a nice farm stand.

Had it not been after dark, we could have picked our own. Instead, we found bins full of the non spherical citrus. I picked one up and it was HEAVY. These things are dense for their size, rather the opposite of their Pomelo parentage. I grabbed a few and put them up on the counter and Ed pointed out that we need to buy a bag of fruit. For ten bucks, we got a lone Ruby Red Grapefruit and over a dozen Honeybells.

Later that night, I finally tried one and found it the juiciest, sweetest relative of an orange that I'd ever consumed. It's like a watermelon in that you will wear some juice! In retrospect, it's a good thing that the U Pick only sold by the bag, otherwise I would have been ticked at myself that we only had four! Tonight, I had one that had been refrigerated. If anything, it seemed sweeter, but refrigeration also helped contain the juice better.

So, If you've ever seen them in the market and wondered what they heck the things are and if they were worthy of the premium price tag-they are. Or, you can come down here and visit me and try them for yourself. Hmmm, makes that price in the supermarket seem reasonable after considering airfare, doesn't it?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

Mary Poppins

I just saw a commercial for the 45th anniversary edition of Mary Poppins. What? No way. I remember when I bought my 40th anniversary CD and DVD and I already lived here in Florida. Oh, wait. June will be 5 years since I moved here. Time really flies.

The CD library here has more than a few soundtracks, and actually has TWO versions of this soundtrack. It's always held a special place in my heart.

In the third grade, one of our elementary school teachers left for maternity leave. She missed the kids so much that she volunteered to direct a play while she was on leave. This was the first school play I was in, and the first school wide production we did.

Initially, I auditioned without singing, but a friend was too nervous to go up by herself, so I went up and we sang "Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore." I got a part, she didn't-which made me feel bad. Later that year, she and I had roles in our class play that were pretty much joined at the hip, though.

In the play, I was assigned the role of an "Animal in the Park", and that was so that we had enough voices on stage to sing "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and the finale "Let's Go Fly A Kite". (When my dad passed away, I found my purple kite among his things.) My mom crafted me a fantastic squirrel costume from some crushed velvet, too.

The best part of being in the play was hearing the music. The Sherman brothers have a way of conveying the mood so well, being deliriously happy with some, and seeing the pictures painted with the words of others. Even 30 plus years later, the soundtrack is one of my favorites.

As for favorite songs, "Spoonful of Sugar" and "Feed the Birds" are the ones I love best, but the whole disk puts me in a happy place.

How about you? Is there a soundtrack that just can't be beat?

.EXE, Where are You?

For some reason, my .EXE extensions aren't recognized by the laptop anymore. This happened sometime between when I logged on yesterday morning and when I got back on last night. My laptop is sick. I still can surf the net, but launch programs? Fat chance. The only reason why I can even access the net is because I saved that HTML link to that job fair to my desktop.

Here's the strange thing: when I search file types, .EXE doesn't show up, but when I go into advanced settings and try to create .EXE, a box comes up. It tells me that .EXE does exist. So, which is it? Is there a secret list of file extensions that I can't see?

I am leery of replacing it until my tech guru comes home from work. It sucks when you know just enough to get by (or get in trouble), but not enough to forge ahead. I don't want to have a spectacular loss of 55 gigs of stuff.

We're off to enjoy the day. I can't write or execute files, so I'll shut this thing down.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mixing Movie Metaphors

The players:

Ed
Suzanne
Chef Jr
Gameboy

The locale:

The car, driving home.

Ed, Gameboy and Chef are talking about Star Wars Characters, centering around Force Unleashed. Chef suspects that one character is the grandfather of Boba Fett. Discussion between Ed and the boys continues as to why.

Ed: Why do you think he's the grandfather?
Chef: He's got the same body armor and is a bounty hunter
Ed: That doesn't mean anything. Besides, he could have bought the armor.
Chef: Where would he buy armor like that?
Gameboy: There aren't any shops on Geonosis.
Ed: Well, he could have taken a vacation at Cloud City.
Chef: Why would he want to do that?
Ed: Well, maybe it reminded him of his home.
Chef: It's not the type of place to vacation, you know?
Suzanne: Maybe it reminded him of his brains, you know, full of air.
Chef: But Cloud City is full of people!
Suzanne: So is Soylent Green.

Not much of a Potty Mouth

According to Cursebird, a Twitter add on, I curse like a bad golfer! Take a look for yourself!

And, for that invisible male member that I keep getting adds to 'enhance', there's the Twick Size. I don't have a very big "Twick" but considering that I don't have the male counterpart, it shouldn't be a surprise. (But Anderson Cooper's Twick will enter the room long before he does!)

Twitter-corrupting people since 2006.

Friday, January 23, 2009

And Now, The Things You Expect To See

When you visit Busch Gardens!

Yesterday, Gameboy had his psychiatrist visit in Tampa. I normally schedule those so that we're back in Lakeland by the time Chef Jr is out of school. However, when I made the appointment, I didn't know that we would have a weekly class nearby at 6pm.

I couldn't see the sense in driving 45 minutes home from the Dr only to head back out two hours later for the class. What's a mom to do? Well, I was a bad one-I pulled Chef Jr out of class for the first time this year and we went to Busch Gardens after we were done with Gameboy's doctor.

Why? Because you can see the freaking roller coasters from his doctor's office and because we don't have to pay for admission, since we already have APs. Oh, and the cooler weather probably meant the park would be lightly traveled.

That was definitely true. Perhaps there were 500-1000 cars in that lot, and we only saw one Brazillian tour group. It was 55 degrees and sunny. Perfect for walking around, and a little brisk for my first ride on a coaster in sub 70 degree temperatures!

Someday, Gameboy will smile for the camera.

Mom, there will be no flash photography of Jedi Force Pushes!

On the trail

I see you trying to steal my soul, woman!

The shutter setting and the Gorilla's fur makes this look like a pastel to me.

Peek a boo!

On the move.

Aaaaack! Double Force pushed. This is the enduring legacy of this year's Christmas gifts.

The normally shy Rhino of the Rhino Rally

Heffalump

We walked all the way to Timbuktu!

Chef Jr is now 52". We are in trouble-he gets his OWN bumper car!

There were crazy people actually riding the Congo River Rapids in 50 degree weather. What's scary is that both kids hit me up for quarters for the water cannons and I gave them each one! Alas, the water cannons were shut down.

Look! The rarely seen in captivity Flying Blue Chinese Take Out Boxes!

Artsy Fartsy Nature shot


Sometimes, it's good to play hooky with the kids for an afternoon. We each got to go on a ride we liked and enjoyed the relaxed pace in the park before heading to class.

Another Thing You Don't Expect To See

Brianiac Koalas hanging out in amusement parks.


Apparently, the abysmal economy has affected the Koala population, displacing them from their chosen professions and sent them to Busch Gardens instead.

See?

Click on the picture to see the text that Mr.Koala is engrossed in!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Things You Don't Expect To See

In a Theme Park Bathroom, Part One:


Busch Gardens ranks up there with clean facilities, but this is a little much, don't you think?

(and I've got more for you later)