Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What's so funny about the new life?

The kids made introduce the video this week, so you see me. Gag.

Do not ask what Paige is laughing about. I don't know. She doesn't know. But she gets everyone giggling.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Transportation hates me - the rest of the story

I promise... this is the last of my vacation posts.

Dear Paigey-Beth -

After the last email I sent you, I didn't have internet again for a couple of days. When I got internet back, it was either late or hectic, or I was back on a plane without a good opportunity. Once I got home, I was either catching up on sleep or working.

So back to Day 6...

I emailed you about day 5 while I was waiting for my French toast for breakfast. It was pretty good French toast. I know, you can't believe I ate French toast without you.

We went to the hotel parking lot to meet the trolley we had tickets for again. A trolley driver and a bus driver got in an argument, and the trolley driver drove off. We had to wait for another to come. We had the worst luck with trolleys!

We rode around Stanley Park and got off the trolley a few times and back on. A few times we had to wait for another one to come because we just missed it back at the stop or it was full. One time when we got off, we walked along the sea wall, and got a teenage boy to pick up some purple oyster shells for us. We were up to high, and I don't think Rakia's idea to pick them up with a long stick and a piece of gum was going to work. The teenager was from Switzerland and was hunting for witty bitty tiny crabs.

At one stop, the driver was pointing out a hollow tree. She didn't notice the dead rat in it, but I did. We were talking to the shop workers at one stop when a raccoon came out of the bushes.

The trolley driven by Terry, our guide from the day before was full, so we were glad to get the next one. Except that guy was from Honduras or something and had a wicked Spanish accent that was hard to understand. I don't think anyone wanted to listen to him because everyone got off at the next stop.

Then, we took at little bitty ferry boat to Granville Island. They have a market with a lot of fruit and meat like Pike's, but had other food from all over the world. It all looked so good! When we got on the trolley again, that grumpy driver told us we were on the last stop of the day even though the schedules said different. We had to end up taking a cab back to the hotel to change clothes. Going around the park and market, I actually got sunburned.

Then, we went and saw Mary Poppins (at the live theater like Wicked). It was really good although they were a little hard to hear and understand sometimes. We walked back and I got a blister on my heel. I could hardly hobble around our hotel room.

Vacation Day 7...

This was the only day it rained on us. We had to get a bus out to this rain forest. We just missed one before we got to the stop. Go figure!

This forest had a really long shaky suspension bridge. We tried to take pictures from the bridge, but decided to hang on for dear life and keep moving instead. Then we climbed up this set of stairs and bridges to go up in these high trees. The trees were really really tall. We could have gone on this other narrow bridge, but I decided I was tired of climbing up and down steps.

When we went to leave, we just missed the bus - again - so went to eat across the street. Rakia got chicken strips (she sounded like you). I should have because my food was gross.

We almost missed a bus again, but one of the workers made it stop for us. Terry the trolley driver was driving the bus! The same company owns the buses and the trolleys, but we could not believe he was driving the bus! Then, he would not drop us off at our stop where he was supposed to, so he dropped us off at some stop he made up.

We took a cab out to the aquarium because we had a couple of hours before we had to get to the station for our train. This aquarium had Balouga whales, dolphins, sea lions, otters and penguins, so that was pretty cool.

We were getting close on time, so were trying to flag a cab to get back to our hotel to get our luggage. One cab drives right on by, but he ended up coming back. Then, he couldn't figure out how to get back out of the park where the aquarium was.

Once we got our bags, we waved one cab that just drove off. We were walking towards another in the rain, and finally a driver took pity on us. Obviously, no one wanted to take us anywhere.

When we got to the train station, I thought we were running way late for what time they wanted us there. Then, we find out that instead of the train, they were loading us up on buses to go back to Seattle. The bus was loud, crowded, hot (as in the heater), was a lot less comfortable, got stuck in traffic, did not have wi-fi, and the guy behind us made friends with the girl he was sitting next to. He was loud, nosy, and would not be quiet. There was also a little girl who would play around in the aisle or scream basically the whole time. Also, if you needed to go to the bathroom, there were no stops (even at customs) and had to go in the tiny restroom on the bus. No thank you. When we got to the US border, we had to unload the whole bus, get our luggage for customs, go thru the lines and get back on.

When we finally got back to Seattle, we had to take the subway train back out to the airport. With all our luggage. When we got back to the airport, we had to decide on a place to stay. The first shuttle we saw was to the original hotel we stayed at and the grumpiest driver they had. We did not want to go back there, but if we had, we would have had to wait forever normally. We called a hotel and waited and waited for their shuttle to come. When it finally came, it was full. We had to wait more, and although it was crowded when we got there, everyone left before we could leave.

Finally, we got to the hotel and got the last room and the guy checking us in was as slow as a snail.

Vacation Day 8...

We had much better luck on Saturday. When we got to the airport, they said we had a good chance of getting to Kansas City, then home (except the KC flight was already being delayed). In fact, as soon as we were able to get on the list 2 hours before, they gave us boarding passes.

The best part of that flight was being able to see the very tip of Mt. Rainer poking out from the clouds we were flying over.

Why do all my vacations end up in Missouri? I did not want to be that close to Branson. The airport there was dinky. We must have barely made that flight because we were called for boarding passes right as everyone was starting to board.

We both ended up having to get middle seats at the back of the plane. I guess they had to put us on though because our flight had to have been the last or next to last flight coming in for the day. Everything at Love Field was closed.
I dropped off Rakia at her brother's apartment to get her car. Then, I headed on home. I actually unpacked when I got home after 9.

Last night, I ended up with a messed head and throat. Rakia had a sore throat today too. I say we got sick from someone on the dumb bus.

I hope you're having fun at Disney World and rode Splash Mountain and Space Mountain for me today.

Love you more!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Why Customs Officers do nothing for the Tourism Bureau

Before I go turn on the TV to watch more of the Olympics I accidentally stumbled upon  online (UGH! AGAIN!), I'll share my next vacation letter. Don't worry! There's only one more after this that covers days 6-8.

Vacation Day 5:

We finally found free wi-fi at the place we are having late breakfast. At least I think it's later... My battery on my watch went out before we left out of Seattle yesterday morning. I spent the day looking at the wrong time.

The train ride up to Vancouver was beautiful! I never thought about dairy farms in the mountains of northern Washington. We saw an eagle flying by too.

Canadian customs people don't like me or are just snarky in general. What are you doing here for three days without any plans? That sure is a long way to come... Blah, blah, blah. Everyone up here wants to know where in Texas we are from and there have been a lot of people from Texas up here, they have said.

We took a trolley around yesterday since a free shuttle passed us up at the stop twice. The shuttle would take us to do something else Pops would hate.

We ate on the train coming up (early), then didn't eat until after 5, so had what seemed like the best bread ever when we stopped at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Since we got off of the last trolley of the afternoon, we walked and walked and walked back to the hotel.
We've not been doing anything at night since we've not been close to anything, but tonight we are going to Mary Poppins. That should be much more exciting than feeding this seagull up on our balcony.

I'll email you again the next time I get wi-fi.


PS - send me Peyton's number and I will surprise her with a call tomorrow night from the train.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Olympic commentary for days 1-2

Last night, Jenny and Rachel came over to color pirates for VBS (long story). We had an impromptu Opening Ceremonies watching party. I had set the DVR knowing that I'd miss some of it since Jenny and I already had plans to go eat. That's the way to watch it because we didn't watch all of the parade of nations and the parts that we didn't care too.

There's so much that didn't make sense to me. So random. And Matt Lauer and Bob Costas put together are about like Tom Grieve and whoever is his partner at any given time (even if Steve Busby is better than anyone in a while) doing the Ranger game. Or maybe the pompous Alex Trebeck comment that someone made on Facebook is closer on target.

Anyway, the best part, definitely better than the Queen looking miffed the whole time, was Mr. Bean during "Chariots of Fire." In case you missed it, here it is. It's kind of edited down, but I can't find one that hasn't been.

I told my mom about the never ending "Hey Jude" with Sir Paul McCartney. She asked why I didn't call her since it was one of her favorite songs. I told her I wasn't even sure what time it came on.

One thing I know for sure in watching the Olympics, I'm going to have to shut down the news feeds coming up on Facebook or any other website I accidentally open. No turning on the TV before I want to know who won a given race. That's the problem with technology and events going on in a time zone six hours ahead. Or just the fact that NBC likes to drag everything out. I knew Michael Phelps lost to Ryan Lockte hours before I got to see it. Me and the rest of America.

Also, I agree with Rakia and others who have asked what Ryan Seacrest is doing there. What's strange is Dan Patrick (from ESPN) and John McEnroe were both commenting on swimming stories today. All they probably know about swimming is what I know from watching.

Friday, July 27, 2012

You know what else you can buy at Dollar Tree?

A few months ago, I did a video blog about items that you can buy at Dollar Tree. Things that you probably don't want to buy for a dollar necessarily.

The 5th grade boys saw the video after I forgot it was there and they got my YouTube user name. They didn't understand my joke about the dollar pregnancy test.

Rachel and I ended up at Dollar Tree this afternoon. I was looking for some VBS stuff. There's a new addition to Dollar Tree, right at the check out. Right next to the dollar pregnancy and ovulation tests...

The dollar "Home Marijuana Drug Test." For the person who isn't sure if they can pass a random test at work? For the parents trying to test their kids? For parole officers to buy in bulk?

A) Again, how reliable could they be? 

B) I never knew this existed, but I'm naive.

C) Is this an impulse item? 

D) It's next to the gum and candy, right where the kids are going to be looking.

So, here's your public service announcement. If you need a cheap drug test, go to Dollar Tree.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What exactly is a Texas name?

Last week while I was gone, you got mostly book posts. So this week, you're getting the run down of last week. I hope you are enjoying it. I'll be mixing it up again soon enough. I thought I might change it up today, but plans change. 

Especially, when I'm trying to get a project completed for work.

Vacation Day 4:

Hey all!

One thing that happened last night after I sent the email is that when we got off the boat and got a cab, the ignorant driver did not know where the place we told him we wanted to go was. He asked us how to get there and we told him that he was the driver!

This morning we went to find where the train station is for tomorrow. We finally found it, but the building is under renovation and the station is in a hole.

Then we went via monorail to the Space needle area. This monorail inspired Walt Disney.

We went to the Chihuly Glass and Garden. He's the artist that did the cool glass currently up at the Dallas Arboretum (but was broken in the hail storm). It's the picture that I sent Paige earlier. It was beautiful. I took tons of pictures.

After that, we went to the Space Needle. Pops would hate it. It's tall and you go up a glass elevator. I don't know how many stories it was. From up there, we could see the faintest bit of Mt. Rainier. It was pretty foggy/cloudy so it was kind of ghost like. Later, it was sunnier, and you probably could have seen it better.

After 2, Amy met us to take us to lunch and to ice cream. The salted caramel ice cream was great.

She dropped us off back at Pike's and we sort of saw them throw fish. Long story.

We found a shop we didn't see before, and we bought stuff. Flying on vacation and shopping and trying to pack heavy bags back is not a good combo. You all have something in my bag.

We also went on the giant Ferris wheel. Pops would have hated it. It had glass enclosed cars and takes you right over the water. The first time when we stopped for people to load we both thought we may have made a mistake. Otherwise it was great other than the time we were stopped and started just randomly swinging. Needless to say, this one was bigger than the one in Houston that goes over I-45. This one was probably about the same size as the Texas Star at the state fair.

On the train home, we talked to two guys than train at an Army officers training school. It was quite entertaining because we talk to everybody. (Well not everybody.) By the way Rakia and Audra are not Texas names according to one them.

Tonight we had to pack up so that we can go to Vancouver tomorrow. The next two nights I won't email due to the data rates going to Canada.

If my suitcase weighs too much tomorrow, your presents will have to go. ;)

Wish me luck!!!


Paige's response:

I went to summer youth series and I was so bored to death but besides that I had fun but I wish you were there! Wednesday went to Dallas well because its a long story but besides that i did get my upgrade in Dallas and Peyton got a prepaid phone for vacation so don't worry her phone will be broken and out of minutes before we leave. We went to Fairfield and Courtney took Mike her boyfriend to meet Granna. They are getting serious and I don't know about that???? Today We are going swimming at Nana's and relaxing. I'm glad you had fun on all the things Pops would not like. I wish I was there Baq Baq I miss you and take me to Seattle next trip I will fit in your suitcase and we can leave all your clothes and gifts there!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well except for my Quacker!

Side notes:

The day I headed home, Paige, Peyton and the rest of my brother's crew headed to Disney World. We're having withdrawals from one another because we have spent so much quality time together this summer. She's not been emailing from Disney World, so I can't wait to hear their adventures. I did get some texts today that they should be back home tomorrow night. 

Total side note, but I did get my dad a Space Needle cap that he said he loved as soon as he saw it and knew for sure it was his. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

If you know you have motion sickness...

Continuing with the tales of my vacation, and taking the opportunity to post pictures since everyone said, "take a lot of pictures," I present the next installment.

Rakia's status of the day on Facebook was, "If you are going to take a 3 hour boat ride, please pack medicine for motion sickness...seriously it was like that scene Chunk described...you know that one time at the movies....#theystillusebarfbags"

Vacation Day 3 
A foggy morning
Today was another early day. We got to the front door of the hotel just in time to run after the shuttle to the train. As in we literally ran after the shuttle.

We got held up on the train because a bus broke down in the tunnel. The trains and buses use the same stations to stop at. To make sure we got to the dock in time to get on our boat to Victoria, we took a cab. It was a good thing too!

A picture of the gardens actually inspired our trip to BC.
When we got on the boat, all the window seats were taken. All of a sudden - towards the end - everyone around us got seasick. Let's just leave it as you don't want to know.

But I didn't realize it was these gardens until we got there.
Paige thinks this pig is beautiful. Rub his snout for luck.
The Canadian customs guy that quizzed me at the border may have been cute, but he gave me grief. I guess I misread a question.

3D sidewalk art

We immediately boarded a bus. There were two buses there, but they made us get on the one with two seats left. One seat was next to a screaming 3 year old. The same 3 year old who had been standing up running on seats at Love field and kicked Rakia's seat all the way to Albuquerque. Oddly enough, after talking to them later, they will be on out train to Vancouver and will be flying standby on the way back to Dallas on Saturday.

Our driver talked way too much, but the gardens were gorgeous. We did not have time to see it all in 2 hours because we ate lunch. I literally had to run into the gift shop to get what Granmal wanted and to the bus. The lady cashier was too slow. We were the last ones to get back on the bus.

Victoria is the capital of the British Columbia province and has cool old buildings. We are on our way back now. Here is a picture of my hummus for supper.

Tomorrow, we will be back around Seattle for the day. When we go to Vancouver Weds- Fri, I probably won't be in touch because of phone charges/data rates.

Ya'll would love it up here!


Paige's response to my email:

I am so glad you enjoy hummus! Nothings new we hung out around the house! And my nose still hurts so bad!!!!!!!!!!! Luv ya! Tell Rakia good luck, I hope she doesn't get stuck with that kid again (I guess she wouldn't get along with Layton)

My response to Paige:

Hey girly! I will be the first to say that I do not want to be next to Layton on an airplane. I hope he sleeps!

So... Your nose... Hasn't this happened before? If so, stop it! And what is half skinny dipping?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wavy Jones - the Duck, not the Monkee

 Vacation Day 2

This morning, we got up a lot later than the 3 AM Texas time yesterday. It was great to sleep!

We took the shuttle with a family from Texas. They guy's dad lived in Hubbard. The shuttle took us to the train to go into downtown.

Wavy Jones, our Duck captain
We went into Nordstrom's to go to the restroom. They had some $195 shorts on sale. And some guy had his dog in the store. I can't believe they let his dog in that high $$ store.

We bought our tickets for the Duck tour. Guess who's getting a quacker when I get home!

We went into a Starbuck's until our Duck loaded. The guy at one of the 117 Starbuck's in Seattle could not remember what was in the drink that I wanted, but the people in Target in Waxahachie and Ennis can.

A jet pack powered by water!
There was a family in Starbuck's from Oregon with Ranger caps. They went to the game last night, then found out where the Rangers were staying and got Josh Hamilton to sign their caps.

Our Duck driver, Wavy Jones, was awesome. Except when he played Willie Nelson music. We got to go out on Lake Union and see the houseboats and around town.

Sleepless in Seattle house
When we finished our tour, we went to the Pike Place market. We saw the World's largest piggie bank, which Paigey would love. A million cherries which Peyton would love, tons of gorgeous fresh flowers that Granmal would love, and fish that Pops would love. And a wall full of chewed gum that was just really gross.

It was a really cool place. But we didn't really see them throw fish. We did buy prints from a woman who painted 6 legged cats dancing at the Space Needle.

This picture didn't get the Texas sized donuts
We decided next time we needed to go on the Alaskan Cruise. The ship was humongous. We walked past it on the way to get our tickets for tomorrow to take the boat to Victoria.

We wanted to take the giant ferris wheel, but the line was sososososo long. Maybe Tuesday since everyone was out on the weekend.

I got to the original Starbucks to buy a mug! I tried to find a goat leg at a bakery, and ended up with a cheesecake brownie. Since everything was closing down for Sunday afternoon, we came on back to our hotel.

We're watching a movie now.

We hope to see whales tomorrow. That would be awesome.

Talk to you soon!


Paigey's response:

Sounds like y'all had an awesome time and can't wait for a pictures of that pig. Yo day I had an experience I think I might of broke my nose and it is killing me and I have know gone swimming with people who are half skinny dip pin witch is still not topping the cupcake at the ranger game or the worlds largest piggy bank. (I love pigs) Glad y'all are still having a great time with out me! Can't wait to quack my quacker! I love you bunches!!!!!!!! -Paigey-Beth

Rakia really wanted some champagne grapes.

The first Starbucks

Rachael the pi