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As I mentioned…I had a great time on my vacation.

So bright and early on Thursday morning I loaded my bags into the rental car (a red dodge caliber) and heading south east towards San Bernardino…it was a fairly non-eventful drive down south. I ended up in one way traffic control on Highway 46 (yes the same highway James Dean died on)…and I did get a little giddy when I saw the sign for the California Speedway on my way through Fontana, CA….almost at my destination!

BFM gets to the hotel just in time to check us and then I am pulling into the parking lot. I drag my stuff upstairs in the rickety elevator (the hilton might be doing renovations but what they really need? Is a new set of elevators).  I give BFM her (very belated birthday) presents to open (the highlights of those presents being a very small Dooney and Bourke purse and a deck of cards featuring Jeff Gordon-there is a story there…maybe another time).  Then we go grab a bite to eat and return to our room to prepare to embark on the first of many stops on our journey…Lake Arrowhead.  We banter back and forth about who will drive….and I reluctantly agree (despite the fact I was just driving for live 5 hours!).  So BFM  has our directions and is our navigator for the evening.  And once we get on Highway 18 up the mountain? I am about to shit a brick.  If you know me? You know I don’t like heights. At ALL.  And I suddenly find myself driving an unfamiliar car on a very steep, very windy road up a hill…and the view….well most would probably find it breathtaking. I was too busy concentrating really REALLY hard on keeping the car between the lines and NOT LOOKING because…hello…sheer cliffs!!!!  Lets just say I am poking up the mountain so slowly that I use practically every turn out to let cars by me.  I think I probably scared BFM (who claims the seat in that car probably has a hole worn in it).  The whole time she is saying “I am sorry…I should have driven…I am sorry…I know how you are.”  It was THE scariest road I have ever driven on!!  We pass the local high school…and let’s just say the name fits: Rim of the World High School (or Rim High for short).  Because right across the highway…you can see for ever…and not in a good way).  We finally make it up to the Arrowhead Village and settle in for some shopping and our concert.  Let’s just say that the singer even mentioned something about the treacherous road…anyway I probably would have enjoyed the show more if I weren’t busy worrying about driving back down the mountain…at that point I would have rather taken a helicopter down than actually drive it…but I had no choice really (BFM offered to drive…and I might have let her if she was on the rental car contract).  The drive down actually went a lot better than the drive up (so thought I…BFM might have something different to say about that).  We then found our way back to the hotel and crashed for the night…

Friday we woke up early- grabbed some of our free breakfast at the hotel restaurant and headed off to Disneyland.  We have annual passes so we figured we might as well squeeze in a day at the Disneyland.  We got there and the first thing we wanted to do was ride the new “Finding Nemo” Submarines because we were stoked.  That is until we found out that the line for said Submarines…was was 4 hours long.  DA. AM.  We gave up that dream very very quickly and decided to ride It’s a Small World while in the area before it got too crowded…and then we decided to make our way over to Pirates of the Caribbean and that is when we had a magical moment!!! We were winners and got free Dream FastPasses! That was so cool…because basically we had fast passes to rides (only the ones with fast passes) that were NOT dependent on going at a specific time).  So basically we used them right away to walk right into Buzz Lightyear (my third favorite disney ride second only to Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion).  We had a blast at Disneyland and California Adventure (our dream fast pass was good there too).  I thing I ended up suffering from dehydration or something because I was sooo hot…and I just started to feel sick but even the water I was drinking (by the gallon) wasn’t helping…but BFM told me I was probably needed something with some salt in it and I had a diet coke and started feeling better…NOW I KNOW WHY GATORADE tastes salty!!!  While we were in the area we fit in a trip to our favorite southland mall: South Coast Plaza where BFM got a heck of deal on some Dooney and I got a new Dooney myself…and a dooney lunch bag!!

Saturday, yep you guessed it, we had our free hotel breakfast, and then headed off to Hollywood for the day.  As part of her birthday present I bought us tickets to see Wicked at the Pantages.  And while we were in the area we thought we would do the tourist thing…and we ended up at the La Brea tar pits.  It was interesting….albeit smelly.  Wicked was amazing and if you ever have the chance to take it in I highly highly suggest it.  Then it was time for the final part of the BFM birthday celebration…dinner of her choice.  And she chose RUBY’S which is one of our favorite places and we always try to fit them in if we can…there are a lot of RUBY’S in the southland and we figured that the one in Newport would be the least crowded…until we got to Newport…there wasn’t even PARKING and people were sitting out front waiting…so we winged it and ended up at my FAVORITE RUBY’S of all the one in Laguna Beach…I love that one.   It was a bit of drive back but it was fun.

Sunday we slept in and missed our free breakfast window…but we had lunch before we parted ways!!!

Pictures from Left to Right:

TOP: Me stuck in traffic construction on highway 46, Lake Arrowhead, Matt Nelson

Middle: BFM and her new purse, Walt and Mickey, tarry clothes from the paleontologists in Pit 91 of the La Brea Tar pits.

Bottom: Captain Jack Sparrow of course, A bear statue at the TarPits, Tarpits.

The whole vacation set is here on flickr.

Did you think I got lost? (It wouldn’t surprise me if I had gotten lost- I don’t have the sense of direction to find my way out of a paper bag…but that is a completely different story).

Anyway I have some stories to tell you of my vacation which was probably THE most awesome vacation I have had in a long time….but I don’t have time right now to tell them….(soon I promise).

I am alive and well and well I am working my ass off trying to catch back up at work…and I am exhausted because I had to get up at the buttcrack of dawn to pick up my mom from the airport since my dad can’t drive with his right arm all bound up in a sling…and let me tell you that it was an experience driving his boat pick-up in rush hour traffic! I promise I will update you all on my vacation very very soon.

Oh and an extra-special THANK YOU to Chrissy, Bill and ETS for the great guest posting job while I was in the southland!!!

Oh and be sure to watch Flickr for pictures too.

Last weekend I was stunned to realize as I was lolling about on the couch with book in hand that we have a potential bee problem. The problem in question is that they are attempting to build a hive beneath my coffee table. This has happened before, although it’s been several years; the last two times they attempted hive-building they chose the back of my bookcase and the interior of an unused treadmill that I have since given away, so I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised.

However, I got a little skeeved when we’d kill them as they flew through the door (the painters destroyed our screen years ago and we’re still waiting for the condo association to quit dragging their feet and replace it) and despite the fact that we do so, more would come in carrying little queen larvae attempting to deposit them where I least want a hive. We have tried bee and wasp killer, we have burned the insect repellent outside on the deck and incense in the house right by the door, and nothing is deterring those little suckers.

I keep telling Muffin that we need to get teeny-tiny little spikes like modern-day Vlad Tepes(s) of the bee society and position them around the doorframe bearing the bodies of their fallen comrades so that the new bees that come buzzing up with their burdens will look around, see that we mean business, and begin thinking that maybe our neighbor’s coffee table would be a better site for their new home, but he disagrees with my reasoning, although I’m pretty sure that, agree or no, it would work….

Now I’m desperate.

The way I see it, we’ve got three options: a) we harass the condo association until they’re sick of hearing from us, finally getting a new screen in place just to shut us up, b) we buy a new screen door ourselves and send the bill to the condo association, or c) we go ghetto, I steal my friend Steve’s roll of window screening, and I staple gun that stuff to the outside of our back door. Something tells me that option c is the one I’ll end up with, and I’m fine with that, so long as I see no more queen larvae being deposited beneath the table in the meantime…..

That idea just squicks me right the f*k out….

ETS

I am leaving in a Dodge Caliber…to me it looks like someone took a station wagon and shrank it a bit (it is a total mom car!). I was hoping for a Chevy Impala…but no I end up with this car in the ugliest color. This picture makes it look a lot smaller than it is. It is far larger than my Rav. I find it very uncomfortable but I am hoping that will change as I drive it around because to me it. The steering wheel doesn’t tilt and as my dad says I always like to have my steering wheel tilted up like I am driving a tractor (he exaggerates…kinda) It doesn’t have cruise control which also sucks. It does have a cooler in the glove box. Seriously. That seems odd to me but whatever.

So I am off to see the wizard witches… and maybe a mouse or two. Oh and celebrate BFM’s birthday instyle…albeit a little late.

Hopefully some of my invited guest posters will keep you all entertained…but if not…please visit some of the linked blogs and be good. See ya’ll on Tuesday.

I frankly think that your fine of Tony Stewart for using the word bullshit…is well…totally bullshit.

(I had a totally rocking post thought out and planned for today about Dale Jr…but that went by the wayside when I heard about the fine…I will post it later).

I am having a pretty good Monday so far…how about you? I am hoping it stays that way!

So Saturday saw me up at the unsightly hour of 4:45am (yeah you read that right…). I wanted to be sure I could say goodbye to my mom who is off to Canada for a weekend of sightseeing before she boards a big cruise ship to Alaska (she does that today). I would have gone all the way to the airport with her but there wasn’t enough room in the car for me.  My dad wanted to go but couldn’t drive and my brother and sister-in-law went…plus my mom’s friend who is going with her…and the x-terra only seats five.  My plan was to get up…say my goodbyes…make sure she had everything and that kinda of stuff…and go back to bed and sleep.  Except…by the time they left (6:00) I was awake and there would be NO going back to sleep unfortunately….because once I am good and awake…I ain’t going back to sleep- especially if it is light outside.   The rest of the day involved three separate trips to the grocery store…a great dinner prepared by my brother and sister-in-law…and a killer Busch series race in the evening that was a great race and made me wonder why I don’t watch more Busch races. My problem with Busch is that I haven’t decided who to root for!  Needless to say, by the time I drug myself off to bed I was tired and slept well!

I slept in on Sunday morning a bit…which was nice.  I watched the Indy race in the in the early afternoon…cheering for Tony of course.  Then late Sunday afternoon saw me and Roxy playing ball outside for a long time…so long that she finally gave up…something that doesn’t happen very often.  Then I helped to some yard cleanup that my dad wanted done but couldn’t do one armed…while an exhausted Roxy supervised from her shady spots under the trees (she is usually pretty good out front and will just wander around as long as she can see one of us).

Just a reminder that I will be here through Wednesday and then I am out of town until Monday (technically late Sunday but I won’t be online most likely til sometime Monday).  I am setting up my three usually suspects Chrissy, ETS and Bill with posting privies starting Wednesday afternoon if they want to throw some guest posts your way.

What a great race today! Congrats to Tony Stewart and the Home Depot crew on a well-raced win! (I will have more tomorrow).

  • Yes I know… that is a beer commercial…but it was the first snappy (so says me) title with the word bullets in it that came to my head.
  • I have recently decided that I really want a playstation 2 or 3 or an xbox 360. Why? So I can play NASCAR 08…and that is the only reason. Hee hee. Seriously I really want to play it. Pogo.com has an EA web version of nascar racing and I play it sometimes. I always race at Bristol as Tony Stewart and I have been getting pretty good. My best finish? Third! I raced once at Atlanta and kept crashing…boo me.
  • I can pretty much guarantee that my subscription to Nascar Illustrated will start sometime this week. How? I broke down and bought the copy that is on stands today. You would have thought I would have learned my lesson last month with my CROCHET TODAY subscription that I did the same thing with. But NOOOO I just don’t learn.
  • Is it weird that I am incredibly excited that James Denton is the Grand Marshall of the Brickyard 400 race this weekend? (Um…No…he is super hot should be your answer).
  • Now that I have finished Harry Potter, I am onto Driver #8 and I am only a couple pages in and I can tell you that I am going to love this book! It will chronicle Dale Earnhardt Junior’s rookie year as a cup driver and I am just on the Daytona 500 section (basically the first chapter) but I have found some passages so interesting that I have to stop and read them to my mom (who is a big Jr. Fan).
  • Heads up! Soon I will be leaving on a short vacation/belated birthday celebration where BFM and I are meeting up in a top secret locale to celebrate her birthday in person with good food and fun times. Rumors are we may be joined by a big mouse and a wicked witch…and a concert. I hope some peeps will guest post for me…to keep you all entertained whilst I am out and about having fun without you.
  • I hate it when starbucks makes me the wrong drink and I don’t notice it until I leave.  Now I am stuck with a black tea lemonade…that is really a green tea lemonade and I hate their green tea because it has these weird spearminty undertones that is gross in lemonade.