Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Geico Opossum Commercial

Just because I freaking love it.

I used to have a "pet" opossum. It lived in the tree just outside our apartment when I was a kid. It would come down and hang upside down on the branch and just stare at me while I talked to it. I named her Penelope.

Then one day she came down with three babies and they would all just hang there upside down, listening to me while I talked to them. I wanted to bring them in the house and feed them but that's where my mom drew the line. :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Suing 11-Year Olds Now???

Just saw this article: http://www.mandatory.com/2012/06/22/woman-hit-with-baseball-sues-11-year-old/#page=1%3Ficid

You have got to be kidding me. How pathetic and greedy can a person be? First of all, if you go to a frigging ballpark where kids are playing, you're taking a chance of getting hit with a baseball.

Following this woman's logic I guess I should sue the kids who hit me in the back of my head with their beachball while we were in the pool a couple of weeks ago.

This country has gotten so lawsuit crazy, it's disgusting. Obese people suing McDonald's because they chose to eat their fries and were apparently too stupid to realize greasy food is fattening, thieves suing homeowners because they were shot after breaking into their home, and now this. Suing kids.

Give me a freaking break. And people wonder why I stay to myself and avoid people as a whole.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tennessee: Hiking in the Smokies

Our last day was spent hiking in the Smokies. I arranged a hike with NOC.com before we arrived. Our guide was from A Walk In The Woods, a guide service in the Gatlinburg area.
Our hike took us to Grotto Falls, a waterfall that we were able to walk behind. It was beyond beautiful.

We went with a group but our guide gave us all individual attention and made the trip really fun by pointing out things along the way. She even had the kids eat ... oh crud, what was it? I think it was birch bark. It smells like toothpaste and is what people used to use to clean their teeth.

She also showed the kids how to find salamanders. They managed to catch about three of them but those suckers were too quick for me to get a good pic.

I know that's boring to some, but I totally love all that stuff.

Amazingly enough, I was able to do the hike despite my legs, back, and head still hurting from my fall off the horse. I'm glad. We got to see a really beautiful side of nature. It was like walking in a painting.

I can't wait to go back to Tennessee, one day to live. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tennessee Day 3 Hollywood Wax Museum

So we were supposed to go to Dollywood on our third day but there was a forecast for heavy rain so we didn't go. Instead, we went to the Hollywood Wax Museum. It was fun for the family to go but I'll be honest. Only about three or four of the wax mannequins (mannequins, figures, statues ...what are they called?) looked like the real person they were modeled after. We really liked how you could have a family picture taken that appeared like King Kong had you in his hand.

The highlight? Getting to "kick Edward in the nuts." ;)

Sorry, Twihards. :) But seriously, did that Bella look ANYTHING like Kristen Stewart?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tennessee Day2

We stayed at LaurelCrest Resort on this trip because we got a deal from Bass Pro. We got 4 nights and 5 days for about $300. After getting back $150 in gift cards we only spent $150 on the room. Not bad.

However, the reason why we got the room at this rate was because we agreed to go to a 2-hour timeshare presentation from Bluegreen. That was the start to our second day. The presentation itself lasted 2 hours but by the time the salespeople were done, 3 hours had passed. To be fair, they were not really pushy so it wasn't bad. no, I did not buy a timeshare. I don't have the money for things like that.

After finally getting out of there we went to the Titanic Museum, which I believe just opened this year.

It wasn't all that great. At the beginning you got a character card, which was the story of a real passenger and by the end of the tour you would learn their fate. The memorabilia seemed to mostly be letters that had been sent from the passengers of the Titanic, and stuff from the passengers lives, not necessarily items actually found ON the Titanic. The display rooms showing what the rooms of the Titanic looked like were pretty cool, and you got to "touch an iceberg" and put your hand in water the same temperature as what the people on the Titanic had to fall into. Those poor, poor people. Feeling how cold the water was, your heart will break knowing how so many people were in that clinging to life.
Unfortunately they do not allow pictures inside so I have none to show.

Next up, The Alamo Steakhouse. This is my main reason fr going to Pigeon Forge. BEST FOOD EVER!

After that, it was on to Wonder Works, a pretty cool place inside a building designed to look upside down. There are all kinds of things to do inside (which would be more enjoyable if it wasn't always packed and you didn't have to wait all day for other people who don't care that there is a line behind them) and an art gallery of "strange"art. I really like the portraits done in bubble gum:

Then it was back to the resort for some fun in the pool!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vacation Day 1: Gatlinburg

We also visited Gatlinburg on the first day of our vacation, despite me hobbling like a 93 year old woman after falling off my horse.

Gatlinburg is a lot busier than the Pigeon Forge area, with shops and restaurants packed in together like sardines along the parkway, and not many places to park. We went right in the midst of the peak hours so finding a place to park was fun.

We were starving by the time we arrived (I hadn't ate anything all day) so we started looking for the restaurant we'd planned on eating at, but despite the website for the restaurant stating it was on the parkway, it really wasn't and we could not find it. So we just parked the car and decided we would go to one f the many restaurants available.

We parked across from the Hard Rock Cafe so I suggested we go there, but got voted down, even though we'd be going there before leaving to get the Year of the Dragon pin my son is collecting (only to find out they are sold out in Gatlinburg :( which needless to say, was disappointing.

Unfortunately, we had parked farther down on the parkway than the area where the larger, much nicer looking restaurants were. We ended up going to the first restaurant we finally found (other than Hard Rock) , which was Mountain Edge Grill. Worst restaurant in Gatlinburg, I'm sure. The french fries were like the cheap ones you find at Kroger and have you ever had bacon you couldn't even taste? I assure you, it exists.
The price of our disappointing meal for our party of five, that could have been prepared at home for $20 and tasted exactly the same? Almost $70 !!!!!

So after that, we walked over to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. It was nice, though we've been on every trip to Pigeon Forge so it's not all that exciting to us anymore. I do strongly recommend it to anyone who hasn't visited it a bazillion times. One of the best attractions in the area. The shark tunnel is awesome.

After that we walked to Ben and Jerry's and picked up the ice cream cake I'd secretly ordered ahead of our visit since we went there on my youngest's birthday.

Then we made our quick trip to Hard Rock to get a pin (albeit not the one he'd originally wanted) my son wanted and it was back to the hotel for ice cream cake, and a long, hot bath for me and my aching bones, muscles... everything. Even my hair hurt. :(

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tennessee Day 1: I Fell Off A *bleeep* Horse!

I counted down for months, anxiously awaiting our trip to Pigeon Forge. We always have a great time there, and this time we were going to ride horses!

The first thing we did upon arriving was visit a petting zoo and stables. The petting zoo area was really nice. We fed goats and deer (deer are a lot more aggressive than you think, especially when you have food in your hand), horses, pigs, even a zonkey (half zebra, half donkey) and a kangaroo.

Then it was time to ride the horses!

We were each assigned a horse. Mine was named Batman, and the man who told me my horse's name also told me that he rode that horse as the lead horse for three months straight before ever allowing anyone else to ride him.

Well, Batman soon showed me he was not happy no longer being the lead horse. The entire half-hour ride was a nightmare. My horse did not want to walk at the same pace as the others. He wanted to gallop, and he wanted to lead. He also kept nipping at the horse in front of me's flank, and that horse happened to be the one my daughter was on. At one point it even bit at the horse's face and I don't even want to go into how that horse reacted and what horrible incident was narrowly avoided.

What made it worse was that at first when I would lightly pull back on the reins, Batman would slow down as he was supposed to ... but he'd always speed right back up,determined he was going to gallop and nip at anything in his way. About halfway into the ride he decided he wanted to be in the lead, he wanted to run, and he didn't like me saying otherwise.

Despite talking softly to the horse, being as gentle and friendly as I could, it got to the point that when I'd pull back on the reins to slow him down before he'd nip at the horse in front he would jerk his head from side to side and reach back to BITE my foot! Thank goodness I had on closed toe shoes and he could only reach the tips.

I was beyond ready for the ride to end by the time we saw the stable coming up. All of the horses followed in single line over to the little mounting/dismounting area, but not my horse. He started to head straight for the stable and when I tried to pull on the rein to guide him where he was supposed to go, he got ornery again and bit at my foot.

At this point, the guy who led us came over to help me get off the horse. He told me to stand up in the stirrup and swing my other leg back. I did...


Ever fall so hard from pretty high up that you jar EVERYTHING in your body? Well, I can tell you it's no fun. I was nauseous for the rest of the day and hobbled for the rest of vacation.

I'm no longer crazy about horses. Unicorns suck too. ;)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Vacation in Pigeon Forge, TN

We went down to Pigeon Forge last Saturday and returned Tuesday night. I have always loved Pigeon Forge and recommend it as a great vacation getaway for anyone with kids. I just totally love Tennessee, period. Maybe I lived there in a previous life. I've been in love with it since Iwas a little girl and would love to move there eventually. I'm sure I will someday.

I'm going to highlight a few specific places we visited on our trip over my upcoming blog posts, but for now, here are some teaser pics:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Why Commas Are Important

Had a little IM exchange at work that was a perfect example of why commas are our friends. :)

Co-worker: I am so sick. All I do all day is eat vomit and sleep.

Me: You realllllly need a comma in that sentence!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Scariest Thing My Child Has Ever Said...

During my son's elementary graduation ceremony,a slideshow was played. It featured every child in the fifth grade. First, a picture of the child holding a paper with their name was shown, followed by a picture of them holding a sign with "I will be " followed by a career/profession on it. The slideshow was titled "When I Grow Up ..."

I watched as child after child was shown along with their future professions. There were bankers and doctors, teachers and entrepreneurs... I wondered what my son chose. I expected Zookeeper, Farmer, Pet Store Owner or Guitarist.

His picture came up. His sign said "in the military."

My heart stopped. I could not draw a breath. My mind was suddenly flooded with images of him on the battlefield, broken and bleeding. If I could have formed a word it would have been "NOOOO!!!!" but then the initial panic that had frozen me thawed.

My grandfather was in WWII , along with all my great-uncles. Many of the men in my family have served. I have several high school friends serving now and there are even more in the army now that I deeply care about. I have always supported our troops and give them the utmost respect. How could I ever say no to my son serving his country if it's his choice to do so? How do you say, "No, you can not be a hero. You can't defend those who can't defend themselves. I am too greedy to let you."

I can't do that. My quick flare of panic was soon replaced with pride. I try hard to raise my son to be a good man. If he chooses to go into the military, to put his life on the line for others, that is more confirmation that I am doing my job right.

I also recalled that the boy has changed his mind about what he wants to be several times, and he still has many years to decide. Whatever he chooses, I will support it and I will be proud, even if he chooses the scariest job a mother's child could have. If that is his choice I will support him and pray for him as I do for all our soldiers. I may never sleep again, but I'll support his decision. :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Kids Say The Darnedest Things

It goes without saying that kids come off with the craziest things. Mine are a constant source of amusement. Just a few gems:

We had just entered Olive Garden for the first time.
Son: Isn't this the place where the commercial says they treat you like family?
Me: Yes.
Son: Oh boy. This is gonna be rough.


Son: We had to write a story about a real life hero so I wrote about the time I ran out into the street and you ran after me even though you were pregnant, and saved me from getting hit by a van, so you are my hero.
Me: Awww, really?
Son: Yup, but I also added how you spanked me all the way back to the house because I ran out in the street, so I said you were also a villian. The teacher read it in class.


Oldest Daughter: I don't think dinosaurs ever really existed. I think the CIA made them up to discourage time travel.


So... what gems have your kids come up with?