Saturday, December 30, 2006

It has been a long eight days.

Last Friday (Dec. 22), Mike and I drove 2.5 hours from Birmingham to Atlanta, where we took a flight to San Francisco, where Mike's mom & stepdad picked us up and drove us another 1.5 hours to Mike's hometown, Stockton, CA. That's where we stayed for a week, including my first-ever Christmas away from my parents. It was a lot better than I thought it would be, as far as feeling like I was missing something, because we had a really good time. Mike's mom cooked some great dishes that she got recipes on from my mom, and we had In 'n Out Burger, which I love. We also got some good presents, I found a wedding dress I really like, and we went to a minor league hockey game, which was really fun. We also drank Fat Tire beer, which is delicious, and especially good because we can't get it in our area of Alabama. I think it is a West Coast/Midwest thing.

After we spent a week in Stockton, visiting with Mike's family and friends, we flew back from San Francisco to Atlanta this past Thursday (Dec. 28). We drove 2.5 hours to Augusta Thursday night, and drove the remaining several hours to my hometown, Richlands, on Friday. We're driving back to Birmingham on Thursday so we're not quite done with all the traveling yet.

Today was my Grandma Catherine's 90th birthday party, which seemed to be the event of the season. I think about 150 people showed up in all. My grandma, and my late grandfather, are both very well-known in the area, and I think I already talked about my grandma in my first blog post, about how independent she is, still lives on her own, drives on her own, etc. Anyway, it was a great party, and gave Mike a good chance to get to know that side of my family. We also talked to my dad's uncle, who is a preacher, and he agreed to marry us! He married my parents back in August 1975 so I think it will be pretty special to have him there.

We also spent last night in my parents' new house. They aren't completely moved in yet, but there are two beds and a couch so me, Mike, and Kelly (my sister) stayed there. It's going to be really, really nice when everything is done. It's really beautiful.

That brings us to now, and as of right this minute we have made plans to take my other grandma out to lunch tomorrow at Smithfield's, which is an Eastern NC BBQ chain with outstanding barbeque. We always go at least once every time we come home to NC.

That's all for now... no plans yet for New Year's Eve but I was never really hip on going out for that anyway. Overall it has been a really great first holiday with Mike. :)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Here is a picture of our new TV and TV stand:

And here is where I found PJ the other morning:

I forgot to write about it in my last post, but our most recent addition at home is this:

As you can see, it is pretty badass. We don't have an HD cable box yet, but it's still a fantastic viewing experience, especially watching sports. Also, it's frickin huge. It didn't look huge at Best Buy but now that it's set up, it pretty much dominates the living room. We also got a free TV stand when we bought it, which weighed about 900 pounds and we had to carry it up to the third floor ourselves. And then put it together. But it's okay because like I said, it's really awesome. I'm kind of scared to see our next electric bill, though.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm back from Oregon, and thank god we made it. It was pretty much the worst work trip I've made so far, since I've been in this profession. It started out Friday, when we were supposed to fly from Birmingham to Chicago at 7:25 a.m. But as you may or may not know, Chicago had a snowstorm on Friday. And since Chicago is one of the biggest airport hubs in the country, if not the biggest, then the storm was affecting pretty much every flight on Friday. We ended up getting re-routed through Tampa (yes, we flew east on our way to Oregon), and we left for Tampa at 11:30 a.m., four hours after we were supposed to have departed for Chicago. All the flights out of Tampa were also on a multi-hour delay and we left Tampa at 5:30 p.m., made a short stopover in Albuquerque, and then landed in Portland at about 10 p.m. Pacific Time. We rented three 12-passenger vans (one of which I had to drive) and got to the hotel in Corvallis at 1 a.m. Pacific, which felt like 3 a.m. to us. We'd almost traveled for 24 hours. Not to mention the drive from Portland to Corvallis was sort of windy & very foggy. Not fun.

Saturday was okay. We got to sleep in, and ate at a Mexican joint for lunch, then had practice from 7-9 p.m. Sunday was awful. We got up early for a 9 a.m. shoot-around, and got demolished by Oregon State, 82-39. OSU led 20-0 before we even scored a basket. It was really not cool.

Monday was okay, although we ran late the whole time and I was really afraid we'd miss our flight. And considering we were on the last flight into Birmingham, if we missed it, we'd be spending the night somewhere. But we made it, and landed in B'ham about 11:30 p.m. Monday night, and boy was it great to be home. Oregon was beautiful but the trip really wasn't very well planned. There was so much fun stuff we could have done if it was better organized. But what's done is done.