Wednesday, January 28, 2009

checking in...

Remember the dips I told you Linda was going to make? Well I tasted them and they were divine (of course!). She made a smoked salmon dip and an artichoke crab dip which was a warm dip, mmmm. I even used some for my road food the next day, I spread the salmon on a pita for my breakfast, LOL. We then went to happy hour at Jake's Famous Crawfish because I was in the mood for oyster shooters. The mussels and spring rolls were awesome. The mac and cheese was made with gorgonzola and bacon but was just ok. The tempura sushi roll wasn't very good but we didn't realize we needed to eat it hot and it was the last thing we tried.
After that we headed next door to take Linda's picture for the MacHalo tour. It's my favorite picture so far. I was going to show it to you but decided to wait until we launch the new page that we have for the tour. FYI, next door is Spartacus, an adult store LOL.

Neighbor Jim got called into work so he couldn't join us for happy hour so while Linda went to yoga I went to dinner with Neighbor jim. I know, I just ate! I had an app of some riblets. They were tasty. The owner brought us by a free dessert. It was a decadent chocolate putting with whipped cream, mmmm. It was fun catching up with Neighbor Jim.

So Wed Linda left for skiing before I even woke up. Once I woke I quickly got cleaned up and headed on to the road. The gps system I got at Xmas has been a god send during this trip. I put in Barb's address and off I went. Nancy kept you updated on that part of my trip.

Since I let Barb know what time I would get in she had dinner ready for me, a delicious chicken salad! Then we watched Lost and Top Chef, felt like I was at home, which I was, Barb's home is my home, LOL.

A funny song...

Barb played this song for me and I knew it was something that my Mannions would enjoy, especially Su and Nancy, LOL.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Roadwarrior Checks In

After her nap and lunch of course!

Lunch was at Linda's Soup Cafe - they make it fresh so even though the sandwich was to go it slowed her down a little bit more than expected. She said it was delicious and worth the wait.

Naptime was a bit later, hey, she waited till she had been on the road for 6 1/2 hours before she had to snooze!

She is now in Cottonwood CA - zooming the remaining 193 miles!

She stopped in Medford Or for gas, not a great deal like before (2.01) but she had to stop there for two reasons -
1) They pump the gas for you - Duh!
2) She likes to stop and have a walk down memory lane because she lived there during 8th and 9th grade there. That is where she met her oldest friend Kirsting (I know shocking it is not me!)

She was 4 minutes ahead of schedule... but due to well deserved breaks she is now 24 minutes behind. She says she is not speeding the rest of the way because she got her only speeding ticket in Northern California (they must be wise to her "I am but a dumb girl act") and she does not want another!

Barb has confirmed dinner with Leiha - Chicken Salad with lots of fresh veggies will be waiting for her.

Gotta run - here is the map - point C is Cottonwood.

View Larger Map

Checking in from the road

2 hours in to the trip and Leiha is checking in. She just stopped in the lovely town of Saginaw (no she is not in Michigan!) and is back on the road again. She started out on a high note by downing a bottle of 5 hour energy drink, and about an hour after she was yawning up a storm.

The weather has been overcast but just now the sun is peaking out... good news you ask - NO! That means squinting and a warm car; that will only make her more sleepy - keep your fingers crossed for more and more clouds - but no rain!

According to the GPS the trip should take 10 hours, so far she has knocked off 4 minutes - after stopping two times! She is not a speed demon but the GPS gives her a goal to try to beat. Of course we havent factored in nap or lunch time yet lol.

A reason to visit Saginaw? Leiha paid 1.85 a gallon for gas, and they pump it for you!

View Larger Map

A map of the whole trip - Whith her firs stop marked as B.

View Larger Map

More updates later...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The road trip has begun...

While I was in Cali for Barb's birthday last Oct I decided I wanted to go to her house for a month since I can work from anywhere, why not work where it was warmer? Plus, the weekend was great but so action packed. I wanted to just spend some time lounging with Barb as well as visiting with friends in the area who I didn't get to see the last time I was there. Since I was going to the SF area I might as well go to LA right?

Turns out my friend Julie is having an engagement party in LA the first weekend in Feb (which is funny cause she lives in SF now so I was planning on seeing her when I went there) so I planned my LA visit around that. I also decided to take the MacHalo with me while I'm driving everywhere and now I have even more plans to meet up with people and what was once a lazy trip to Cali, just going at my own speed (which you all know is slow) has suddenly become so scheduled I can't remember who I'm meeting when. I brought it upon myself, LOL.

Of course, if I'm driving south I'm stopping in Portland. I had lunch plans with some of Karen's fans so they could get a pic with the Machalo and to meet them. I planned on waking up at 7am and leaving at 8:30am. Instead I woke up at 8:30! I set my alarm on my phone but apparently didn't have the volume up, it didn't even phase me, and I'm not someone who oversleeps. I guess that means I need to pull my alarm clock out of my trunk. I haven't had much use for it since my move, LOL.

Did I mention I hadn't packed yet? So I was throwing all kinds of things in my suitcase, including my swim suit hoping it's really warm in LA. I want my sister to be jealous of my tan, LOL. I know I forgot some things but so far haven't thought of anything big. My major thing was to remember the MacHalo and my camera. I figure if I need some clothes I can always buy it, LOL. It's hard to pack for 4 or 5 weeks. I have problems packing for a weekend, LOL.

I made it to Portland at 12:30, thank goodness it was a holiday yesterday! I hung out with Linda for a few minutes and checked my email since I didn't have much time when I woke up LOL. The sun was shining so much I think my face was tanning. I had to turn off the heat and crack the window.

Lunch was fabulous. We were a little late, Linda and I were so busy talking we missed a turn, LOL. We'll soon have a website up with pics of the Machalo Tour but of course I'll show you a pic of moi! Linda made her homemade guacamole for me last night, mmmm.

Tonight we're off to happy hour and then staying mellow since I'm leaving early in the morning for Barb's and Linda is going skiiing. I'm a little sad that I won't be here tomorrow night to watch Lost with Linda and her gang, she's making apps for it. Good thing she's making them today since she will be out all day tomorrow. Lucky me, I get to be the taste tester!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy New Year Part 2

So for New Years I usually go low key. There's just too much pressure to go out and party and have the time of your life. It's always anti-climatic when you have those kinds of expectations, well unless you're my brother Adam who went to Las Vegas for NYE and had a ball. They partied all night long. I was in bed by 1am, LOL.

Since none of my sisters had plans we (as in me) decided to have a get together at Kathy's house. I decided to bring a cheese plate. You know I love me some cheese. My new fave is cambozola. It's like a spreadable blue cheese. The others weren't as wowed by it but that's why I also got a brie and a cheddar, a little something for everyone. My brother David also stopped by which is always a treat. We just sat around stuffing ourselves (big surprise) on finger foods and drinking awful cheap champagne which is my fault. I was going to buy 2 bottles of Chandon but once I found out more people were going to be there I bought 4 bottles of cheaper champagne. I stuck to the sparkling cider, LOL.

I wish I would have brought my karaoke, that would have made the night perfect! Well maybe not for my sisters but for me it would have, LOL. Here's a pic of Jordan that I love. He usually has a goofy look on his face when he smiles or he doesn't show teeth. My sister had a friend over who has kids. The 9 year old used Jordan's bb gun and he shot a bb thru a window. Luckily no one was hurt. That was the excitement of the night LOL.

How did you all ring in the new year? Any resolutions you want to share? I'm not doing too well on getting to the gym on a regular basis but my eating is much better. I've even started eating oatmeal for breakfast. The hard part is I'm going to go to California for a month. I need to try and keep my eating under control both on the road and while I'm off socializing, LOL. Barb and I are going to try and keep each other on track. That's right people, a road trip is coming soon.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

OK, I'm a week late, but it's the thought that counts, LOL. Christmas was wonderful. Sorry Chez, I didn't take pics of the food. I was in the kitchen a lot less. Our dining room table was almost bowing it had so many sweets on it. I brought a platter of home made candies, a platter of home made cookies (not made by me) and also a box of candy that had been given to Nancy. Kim made a rice krispie like dessert called a scotcharoo and my sister in law Myrna brought more home made candy! We had to put the platters in the one of the bedrooms because the kitchen was full when it was time to put dinner on the table.

I can't believe we didn't get a family picture! My brother and his family didn't make it to Thanksgiving and it's so rare for all of us to be together I'm totally bummed we didn't get one but it was a madhouse there. The kids were having fun with all of that sugar. Did I mention Kim and I stuffed the stockings with chocolates also? Here are a couple of pics that Kim took.
We didn't end up taking many pics which is a bummer because its always funny to see all of the presents under the tree. We had 17 stockings up this year, which is why they wrapped around into the dining room, LOL.

The opening of the presents was a mad house! My brother's kids are 3 and 4 and they were awful, just ripping thru presents and throwing them down to open new ones. Since I was living here and have so much fun shopping for kids I bought them 2 and 3 presents but they really took the fun out of it for me and I won't put so much thought and effort next year. At least Jordan has learned to be better. He wouldn't open his next present until he thanked whoever he received the present the present he had just opened from. I know the other two are little but Kathy, who has a close relationship with them said she was appalled by it so I don't think I'm being too harsh.

Dinner was wonderful even though the prime rib was a little over cooked. Not enough medium rare for everyone but the taste was wonderful. My potatoes were a hit. Our ambrosia salad was delightful but not many people ate it. It's more dessert like so people waited to eat it and by then were too full. I've decided I'm not making any more desserts because by the time people have room for it, they're on to the next house. My dad had some pie a couple of hours after dinner but he was the only one.

Since we celebrated Xmas eve for Xmas day I went to Nancy's for Xmas brunch. I don't like to drive in the snow and when I woke up it was coming down like crazy. Nancy stayed the night at her parent's so she couldn't drive. Originally I was going to go to their house then leave early to let my dad use my car. Instead I had him drive me out there and I could come home with Nancy. My dad is from Michigan, he knows how to drive in the snow. Or so I thought LOL. Nancy's parents live down a steep incline. I told my dad that Nancy's dad would come and get me in his truck at the top of the hill but my dad said he could make it. Which he could. Too bad he couldn't make it back up the hill! Nancy's dad, Larry (might as well give him a name, LOL) and her brother Edgar ran out to help him which was too cute. I didn't have my camera out quick enough to catch them pushing the hyundai. Unfortunately there was too much slush so the tires couldn't get traction so they gave my dad alternate directions and followed him in the truck to make sure he got out. How cool is that?

Nancy's cousins came over for brunch and their 3 little munchkins who are just adorable and they love me. Well the boys love me, the little girl is more reserved, sometimes she hugs me, most times she doesn't. The boys run right to me which I love. They call me Nancy's friend, LOL. Brunch was fabulous! We had a sausage souffle, a frittata, cinnamon rolls, fruit salad and bacon! So yummy! To top it off I had Edgar make me a bloody mary since I wasn't there the night before to get drunk with the clan. It was the best bloody mary I'd ever had so I had him make me another one. Big mistake, LOL. I had a headache ALL day. I thought it was dehydration but even after drinking a ton of water I still didn't feel better. So I did blame it on the booze but maybe it wasn't. I'll have to have another one to be sure, LOL.

Nancy had the brilliant idea to pull out the toboggan. It was a total blast. Since I went over in my pj's I put on some of Nancy's mom's (Pat) clothes. Here is my fave pic from the tobogganing, can you believe no one took my pic? Then that would be my fave pic, LOL. The little girl never left her spot so the front seat meant you were behind her, LOL. They decided to trek up a big hill but after a few steps I decided to go in, LOL. Nancy says they only did the hill once since they had to lug the kids.

I had some cool gifts this year, including a pic frame full of pics of me (my fam knows me well, LOL) but my favorite was a gift from Nancy's parents. They had made a cook book for each of us full of their recipes and their family recipes. It is awesome! I show it to everyone who comes by, LOL. I received my own cook book because Pat has hopes Nancy and I won't always live together. We have that same hope, LOL. I loved being included in the family but hey, as if there was any doubt, LOL. I get in the family pictures, just like Nancy does at my home. We have known each other and each other's families for over 20 years.

All of the excitement of Xmas got to me, ok it was the 2 bloody marys (I don't drink much anymore) and I needed a nap. I can't usually sleep with noise around me but had no problem this time. I only woke up because I could hear the kids getting ready to leave and they wanted to give me a hug. I never turn down a hug! Once Nancy and I got home we had our own Xmas. I know, it's like I had 3 Christmases! We decided to do stocking stuffers and had fun opening our little gifts to each other. Of course with being snowed in for a week I told Nancy a couple of the things she will be getting, LOL.

All in all a fabulous Xmas. I hope that you all had as wonderful a time as I did. I had planned on catching up to New Years but this is quite a long post as it is. So what was your favorite present this year? Any gag gifts? The sweat bands I bought for the boys wrists were a hit as were the Star Trek pez dispensers, LOL. Dang, what did I do with my pez?