Saturday, September 25, 2010

Are You Gonna Go My Way?

Just had to include this before I get on with things and post pics from our STL baseball weekend. I love Lenny Kravitz and his music; he's so cool, and has always had a little different sense of rocker style. So, I guess I'll have to try and forgive him for this latest ensemble, with the oh-so-stylish-but-not-so-manly black leather wedge boots:

So, exactly what way is Lenny goin' here?!? I'm no fashionista, but this look is awful. It isn't just the boots - is there anything NOT feminine about the entire outfit? Cowl neck black tunic.... man purse.... and, the BOOTS. I know David Bowie made the androgynous look cool back in the 70s, but I just am not so keen on Lenny's look in 2010.

Ok, now back to my life. Not so outlandish (at all), but still lots of fun. We enjoyed our last two Cards games of the season with a couple of our favorite couples - Friday night was spent with Dave's college roomie and his wife, Scott and Robyn, and some great seats in the outfield. Last time we were in this section was back in JULY, on a Saturday afternoon game, with Jace and his friend. 100 degrees, not a bit of shade, and miserably HOT.

This game was much better - at least the weather was - the Cards still lost big; we (unfortunately) weren't too surprised about that. But the company was great, and the unexciting game just gave us more time to talk and get caught up. Dave and Robyn compared pros and cons on the iPhone/iPad, and Scott and I chatted about all the good old times after he and Dave were out of college, and Dave made friends with an old guy behind us who was also from the Boston area, and wanted to talk about how much he loved living in the Midwest.

When the game was over we hopped on the Metro Link back to their house in the suburbs, and ended the night with a couple of yummy spinach/chicken pizzas, and a lot more catching up on life. Scott and Robyn have a son that is Jace's age, and a daughter who is 15 going on 25, and their lives are as busy as ever!

After a leisurely breakfast the next morning, we said goodbye to Scott, Robyn and kids, and headed back downtown to check into a hotel right near the stadium. We were excited to spend Saturday with our friends from Kansas City, Garry and Heather, or "Geather" as Dave likes to call them. They live about 10 minutes from Paige's college, and have been awesome to her and to us - so nice to have friends like that! With that in mind, we just wanted to thank them for all that they do, with all-inclusive tix and night in St. Louis.

They took a scenic Amtrak trip from KC to STL Saturday morning (and loved it!), and after we picked them up from the station we headed out to start the day. First was some music and a beer at an outside pub near the field, and then we headed over to explore the stadium. I've been to several games in the new stadium, but had never seen the plaque and green & yellow line that shows where the old and new stadium overlap.

Once we headed inside the stadium and to our seats, it was an afternoon of eating, drinking (both all-inclusive!) and just plain fun. AND, a very close and good game, although the Cards still lost.

Later that evening we made our way around the Landing, and enjoyed some libations and more unhealthy food! Cheers!

And after a long and very fun couple of days, some of us (ok, all of us) were very tired.
(Actually, this would be a great ending picture for the weekend, but it was actually Dave resting in between the game and going out that night. Dave will no doubt give me crap that I was not up late enough to take a picture of him going to bed, as I was in bed a good hour before him that night, and he and Garry sat down in the bar and had Bailey's and coffee.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Japanese Fall Festival

No time tonight to post the pictures from our STL Cards trip; but as I took pictures all weekend, I kept seeing these photos from Jace's and my visit to the Japanese Fall Festival at Nathanael Greene park last weekend, and hated that I hadn't already posted these before now. It was a fun experience; Jace liked the martial arts exhibit and the booths with different types of Japanese art, manga, and more. The park itself was beautiful, here are just a few pics:

Off to bed now, have an early morning trip - must leave by 5:30 AM, so have set the coffee pot to auto brew at 5:15!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ahh, it feels like it is already mid-week; not sure why, since it is only Tuesday... but after two long but productive days at work, I'm feeling good about the rest of the week. Plus, Friday will be a half day of work, and then we're heading to St. Louis for our last two ballgames of the season. Too bad the Cards haven't been playing better, but it will still be a great weekend.

At home, the house is in a bit of a mess with recent updates to the bathrooms. Nothing terribly expensive, just some updating of the brass fixtures to a more modern brushed silver, and putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls. AND, taking down all the trim so that I could remove the paint I've dripped on there from the last time I painted four plus years ago. Confession time - I'm a messy painter. I wish I was neater, but I can't seem to get close enough to the ceiling without getting some paint ON it.... same with the baseboards. Poor attention to detail when it comes to painting, I admit it. So this time Dave did all the trim, and I got to handle the broad spaces with the paint roller afterwards. Hmmph - similar to when my dad demoted me from the riding mower to the push mower as a teenager, for driving too fast and not staying in the mowing lines... not enough attention to detail back then, either, I guess!

So anyway, back to the bathroom updates. Some of Dave's suggestions/thoughts over the past couple of years have been to change out/update the toilets, knock out the closet wall in the master bath, take out the whirlpool tub to add more closet space, and retile the shower in the same bathroom. But none of those are cost effective right now, and just some simple updates have made a lot of difference.

We did remove the lovely brass/glass shower door in the main bathroom, and are in the process of filling the holes and hanging a shower curtain. The only downside to this is that the realization that now doggie bathtime will be much less confined - with the glass door on there, they were "stuck" with me in the bathtub, while I used the detachable shower head to scrub them down! Now with just a shower curtain, I'm afraid I'll have a much bigger challenge on my hands with our next bathtime.

Fall shows are starting again soon, which is exciting - I only watch two or three weekly shows, but I'm ready for them to begin! In the meantime, I've been renting and watching the first season of Cougar Town, with Courtney Cox - not too bad, at $1.49 for 8 episodes. Not "Modern Family" caliber, but still pretty entertaining.

That's all for now, time for bed.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Open Road

What an awesome three day weekend; I was really looking forward to some downtime after a crazy work week. Just a lot of different situations/problems going on with some of my physician clinics, and I'm the fixer, the negotiator, the meeting-setter-upper, the handler of all the sh*t! All of it is really manageable, but for this newbie it is a lot going on at the same time!

Dave got home on Thursday night last week, and we chatted about possible plans for Labor Day weekend, since Jace would be with his dad and we hadn't really even thought that far out on what we might do. Dave mentioned he had been looking at renting a Harley for Saturday or Sunday, and asked what I thought. I was a little tentative about it on Thursday night, but by Friday at noon, I was ready to end the week, and do something FUN. So I emailed him to ask if we were really going to rent one, that I was up for it; he went and checked it all out Friday afternoon and had them hold one for Saturday morning pick-up.

So off we went! But don't tell my dad. Ok, not really, I'm almost 40, and can make my own decisions, but some of you non-motorcycle people may know what I mean. I wasn't raised around motorcycles, whereas Dave has been riding motorcycles for 20+ years and has owned two or three. My first time on a motorcycle was in Sonoma Valley a couple of years ago, when Dave and I were there on a trip. My parents happened to call while we were stopped at one of the vineyards, and my dad was all "Are you wearing your helmet? Make sure you do, Nance."
With that in mind, part of me was a bit anxious about riding a motorcycle, but I felt reassured knowing that Dave is an experienced and careful driver. We rented a sweet bike, a Harley Davidson Road King:

After picking up the bike about 10:30 Saturday morning, we started our road trip heading south through Branson, and on to Highway 65, south into northcentral Arkansas. The weather was absolutely beautiful, sunny and mid-70s. We rode for two and a half hours, and our first stop was lunch at the Cliffhouse Restaurant, just outside of Jasper, AR. We ordered the totally unhealthy but absolutely delicious special of the day- barbecue beef brisket, homemade baked beans and potato salad, and a homemade biscuit, with local honey. Here is the restaurant behind me on the hillside, in the area known as the Arkansas Grand Canyon:

The next leg of our trip was about an hour and a half, to Eureka Springs, AR. We hadn't been there since April of 2009, for our birthday weekend. It was nice to be back, and the ride there was beautiful. I was comfortable enough to take a few pictures along the way:

After an hour and half of driving, my rear was ready to be off the bike! We enjoyed a beer and sat awhile on the top balcony at the Pied Piper Pub, checking out all the bikes coming and going in the parking lot:

Our last stop in Eureka Springs was a short trip up the hill to one of the town's most famous attractions, the Crescent Hotel:

The weather was perfect, the ride was beautiful, and it was great just to spend some time relaxing and catching up with Dave - couldn't ask for a better getaway! We hit the road about five o'clock, heading back towards Springfield. Our final stop was at the lake, to see some of our friends on our old dock - terrific end to the day!
Back to work this week, but today was a great day, thanks in part to a relaxing and stress-free weekend. Just wanted to say "thank you" to my honey, for planning a great road trip, and some quality time for just the two of us. I love you!
And finally, I wanted to wish a very Happy Birthday to my brother, Rob and my Aunt Mary, who both celebrated their birthday over the holiday weekend!