old home week

A couple weeks ago, I traveled to FL for a work conference. First of all, as a corporate girl turned stay-at-home mommy, this was a wonderful escape. My awesome job put us up at the Hard Rock resort, a lovely establishment, and fed us like queens (and one lone king…until last week, we only had one male coworker). I had a ball. We got lots of work done, but we also did quite a bit of drinking, eating, and we saw Blue Man Group! In our conference room, there was this huge coffee bar set up – coffee, flavored syrups, hot tea, ice water, soda…I drank fresh coffee all day. I loved it.
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As for the work part, I’ve worked for this company – which is strictly virtual – for almost a year, and this was the first time I had met my bosses and coworkers. It was so nice to put faces with names and acutally have a conversation with people without emoticons. I learned a ton of ways to work more efficiently, we came up with great ideas…it was invigorating.

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Funny what a little adult conversation does for stay-at-home-moms.

I structured the trip so I could see some friends and family also, since I went to college in Orlando, and High School close by in Cocoa Beach. I got to see my grandfather in the nursing home, which was kind of awful because he didn’t recognize me. I got to see my best friend from high school, my best friend from college, I took a tour of my unrecognizable campus, and went up to Jacksonville to see my sister and nephews real fast. It was a whirlwind, but it was awesome. Here are a few photos:

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Well, that’s probably enough for now. I’ve got some crafty pictures to post, so I better get to it :)

60 Minutes

So my favorite new podcast these days is 60 Minutes. The TV show. You can subscribe to get the audio version of the show on iTunes. It’s great. Except, I used to love Andy Rooney. Now I find him a little crochety, always saying mean and pessimistic things. I used to think he was funny – and I guess he still is, but more and more, he’s just sounding like a grouchy old Oscar the Grouch.

But I digress. Today’s topic is about Dubai. Specifically, I listened to a whole story about Dubai on a 60 Minutes episode. So interesting.

I mean, everyone has seen the pictures of “The World”. If you haven’t, you should definitely go to the website. Better yet, take a Dubai Holiday and check it out! Just kidding. I mean, unless you are able to do a Package Holiday Dubai.

Anyway, Dubai intrigues me. In case you didn’t know, Dubai is a city, one of the seven emirates and most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Prime Minister and VP of the UAE and the Emir of Dubai is Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. I find Sheikh Mohammed to be very interesting. First, he has two wives. One is his first cousin, and the other is the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan.

Basically, I can’t even begin to comprehend his life of royalty, immense wealth and power, vision for his city, etc. I am troubled by the seemingly total lack of regard for the environment in the creating of The World, and for what seems to be a pretty serious human rights crisis with the foreign workers doing all the building in the city. In spite of those things, Sheikh Mohammed seems to be accomplishing things one would think impossible in that region. His hope for good education, good healthcare, good LIFE for his people is certainly something I can get behind.

I would love to visit there. Maybe I can find Package holidays Dubai. Dubai is one of a long long list of places of the world I want to see.

I want to know more.

speaking of airlines…

tsa locksUm, what’s the deal with tsa locks anyway? Our luggage came with them but they seem kind of strange to me. I guess I don’t really understand the concept. Are they locks that keep the airline employees and other strangers out but allow the TSA in? Does that mean that all TSA agents have something like a skeleton key and they can open them?

Well, I’ve worked for a few government agencies in my day, and I think it’s pretty safe to assume that not just the TSA can open those locks.

Hang on, I’m going to look this up on wiki just to see if I’m on the right track.

Even better, this is from the TSA website:

TSA screens every passenger’s baggage before it is placed on an airplane. While our technology allows us to electronically screen bags, there are times when we need to physically inspect a piece of luggage. TSA has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal “master” keys so that the locks may not have to be cut. These locks are available at airports and travel stores nationwide. The packaging on the locks indicates whether they can be opened by TSA.

So – they’re exactly what I thought they were. Too bad I’ll never get to use them since I plan to only take a carry on from now on to avoid fees. I can’t wait to see my 2 year old carrying his own diapers.

vive la France

My mother-in-law will be leaving Paris this summer. She’s taking an early retirement, and will be moving back to the states. She’ll be renting out her apartment through a rental agency. This got me thinking…how does one find treasures like these? Reasonable places to stay in the middle of the city?

Is it better to stay in a hotel? I don’t think so. I think it sounds so nice to travel to a distant land, but live like you’re a native while you’re there. I found all kinds of treasure on the internet. Tuscany villa rentals, apartments in Paris, Rome, New York City…you name it.

What am I doing here? Oh yeah, I need reliable luggage!

baggage

Ugh. Baggage. More specifically, luggage. Remember a few months ago I spent a bunch of money on some fancy new Samsonite luggage? I had a cashback reward from a credit card, and if I traded it in for a voucher from a selection of companies – the amount was doubled. This is how I ended up with $160 in Samsonite money that could only be redeemed in an outlet store. Luckily, there’s a Samsonite outlet store about 10 minutes from my house.

I picked out the most lovely suitcases. A big one, a medium one and I got a free carry-on. It’s a nice Martha Stewart-green, and I love it. But guess what? The airlines don’t. Apparently the big one weighs a good 15 pounds empty, and always seems to be overweight – even when it’s only half-filled. This is a pain in my booty.

Next, on the first trip the big suitcase took to Oklahoma, the cool little Samsonite emblem fell off. I know the ramp guys are brutal, but only one trip? That stinks.

Anyway, I don’t know what you’re supposed to do these days. Cheap luggage falls apart. Expensive luggage falls apart. My next purchase will be a Rimowa.

That’s if any airlines are open by the next time I travel!

Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains…

That’s right, I’ve been in Oklahoma. I took my little baby and we flew out to see Gramie and Papa. I know I’ve been absent for a little while, but I wasn’t in drug rehabilitation or detox or something. No, I was visiting my parents – and it was great! All except for the day we left. All our flights were cancelled, so we got rebooked on another airline leaving 7 hours later, only to have our second leg delayed 4 hours. We got lucky and caught an earlier flight, but it came into a different airport, so I still had to drive to the first airport and pick up my luggage at 1:30 am. LONG day, hauling around a 2 year old and all his accoutrements. Lucky for me he’s such a good boy.

Anyway, we had a great time with my parents and that’s what matters. I got to meet my new future step-sister in-law, William got to spend lots of time with Gramie Sandy and Papa Bob, get his face licked off by their little dog Chica, and I even got to go to a fabric store where the fabric was almost 1/2 the price as it is here! Pictures coming to flickr soon!

European Vacation

Back in 2001, my husband and I went to visit his mom in Paris, and his brother in Germany. It was my first trip to Europe, and I loved it. We went at Christmas, so it was cold and gloomy, but still gorgeous. I took TONS of pictures – and in my normal style, most of them were terrible. I was using a 35 mm camera, so I didn’t have the luxury of making sure each shot was good, or wasting a million pictures like I do on my digital camera. Anyway, I used a couple rolls of b&w film, and there were a few gems in the mix. I used photoshop to make them sepia. They’re not going to win any awards, but they look great on my bathroom wall! Anyway, I recently scanned them in because someone needed them for a project, and I thought I’d share them here.

metro at st. michel

eiffel tower

notre dame

golf, anyone?

My husband wants to go back to Pinehurst. I think we’ve already been to Pinehurst, why not go to a different golf resort. There are about a million of them, right? We could get a Hilton Head rental, or we could stay on the west coast and save on airfare. My point is really that if he’s never played a course, isn’t it just as much of an adventure as going back to Pinehurst? His point is that the deal we got at Pinehurst was a little amazing, and we could do that deal again.

Really, I think we shouldn’t all go to a golf resort, since it’s boring for me and the baby. I think he should go on his own to Torrey Pines or something and get some instruction – make it like a learning trip. Then all the cost will have some worthwhile results.

black holes exist right here

I am a consummate time waster. I haven’t blogged in days and days, but I’ve just spent hours and hours reading other blogs. My starting point of exploration was keeping up with the creative spaces featured over on Joyful Abode. I am honored to be listed among them. This took me many exciting places, but one thing is clear. My advertising-heavy blog is not representative of my creative spirit.

More after the jump… Continue reading “black holes exist right here”

Explore!

explore

My quilt picture showed up on Explore on Flickr. This is very exciting for me. I told my husband and he was like, “great honey, what’s that?” I told my friend Stephanie and she was like, “what!? that’s awesome!”

Stephanie always knows just what to say.

We’re headed to visit my father-in-law tomorrow. Should be a fun trip. They’ve recently purchased a new home near South Padre. My husband is especially excited because it’s on a golf course that has gps-enabled golf carts. Big whoop, right? Well, my in-laws don’t even play golf. I’m just happy that my son gets to spend some good time with his grandparents.

I finished the bird wall-hanging, it’s in the dryer. I’ll post a pic when it’s pressed.

My kid is doing this new high-pitched whine when he’s mad. A-NOY-ING. He’s totally playing me. He knows it gets my attention, so he does it for everything. Here’s my plan: ignore it. It’s proving difficult. Even when we’re playing and he has my full attention, he does it when somethings wrong (booger in his nose, can’t get the trains to link up, train tracks came apart…life’s tragedies.)

Anyway, I better get packing. We’ve got an early flight tomorrow. I want to make sure I have all the bustiers. Just kidding. I meant diapers. Good thing we’ve got nice new luggage!new luggage