Monthly Archives: February 2009

Not. Good.

The weather forecast for home for the next few days:

Sunday

Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%
Chance
Snow
Hi 29°F
Sunday
Night

Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 80%
Snow

Lo 21°F

Monday

Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 80%
Snow

Hi 25°F

Monday
Night

Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%
Chance
Snow
Lo 14°F

We may have to stay here until Tuesday.  Awwwww!

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How do you title a blog entry that describes a day you can barely wrap your brain around?

Yesterday was one of those days.  We started by heading out to the Orlando Science Center with the girls.  I think that it is intended for an audience a tiny bit younger than my girls, but they didn’t seem to notice at all:

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We saw a couple of exhibits (check out the fire-bellied frog!)

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we played a few games, we saw a movie about prehistoric sea creatures, then had a little snack.  I wanted to go to the Leu Gardens but the girls really didn’t, so Mr. Chili took one for the team and stayed at the museum while the TwoBlueDays and I strolled through the botanical gardens.

Honey said that a lot of the plants suffered from the hard frost they had here a few weeks ago; I just thought it was normal winter die-off, but Honey said no.  Regardless, it was still a gorgeous walk.  Observe:

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We decided that after our respective adventures, we would meet up at Downtown Disney to have dinner at T-Rex.  It’s very similar in feel to the Rainforest Cafe, except with dinosaurs instead of jungle creatures.  This is a giant anemone-type thing hanging from the ceiling:

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After dinner, we went straight to the Cirque tent and got tickets for Friday night’s late show.  The girls were tired… until the lights came up.  We spent the whole time with our jaws hanging open:

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I’m not sure we could have had a better day.

Tomorrow’s activities include strawberry picking and enjoying the 80+ degree weather (and trying not to fret about the nor’easter that may keep us from coming home when we planned…)

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Filed under celebration, Friends, fun, holiday, Home and Family, kid cuteness, vacation

F-F-Friday, On Vacation

I had the presence of mind to remember that it’s Friday.  I’m sorry that I’ve missed the last few F-F-Fridays; I’ve felt a little out of sorts lately, but I think I’m better now.

This was one of the first flower pictures I took on the way in to Univeral Studios Islands of Adventure, and I think it came out pretty well.  What do you think?

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Yesterday was spent at the beach.  It was pretty chilly, but being hearty New England girls, the Chili Children didn’t give a tinker’s damn that the water was, shall we say, a wee bit nippy?  Honey talked to the lifeguard on duty, and he told her that the water temperature was around 68 degrees, then listed off a litany of states whose residents would think the water was just fine: Michigan, North Dakota, ALL the New England states, that sort of thing.  Honey said she was a native and was told to stay out of the water.  Funny how one’s perspective changes with one’s location.

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As promised, here are my piggies on the beach.  It’s not a great picture, but it gets the point across.

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We had yet another wonderful day yesterday; the TwoBlueDays had an appointment in the morning, so the Chilis got to watch t.v. and sleep in (the small people did the t.v. thing; the grown-ups slept in.  Ahhhh!), then we all motored to the coast where our first stop was a particularly yummy burger joint.  I didn’t think I’d make it through the entire burger, but I did.  Yum.  After lunch, the children got appropriately wet and sandy (but DIDN’T get stung by the man-o-wars that were on the beach), and we coaxed them out of the water with the promise of ice cream.  We strolled up and down the main street, then got back in the car and headed to BlueMoon’s house (that’s Daughter’s new pseudonym, by the way – I called and asked if she liked it, and she approved) where all our girls jumped into the very chilly pool to shiver a bit before we headed to dinner.

I had a hankering for Macaroni Grill.  The nearest one to our house in New England is almost an hour away, and the last time we went I had the mushroom ravioli and it was YUMMY, so I wanted it again.  Gerry groused the entire way there – in true Gerry fashion – but took one for the team and ate with us.  MINE was yummy, but I’m not sure that Gerry really enjoyed his dinner.  I’m grateful he came with us, anyway; it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without him.

After dinner, we went back to BlueMoon’s place so the girls could play a little bit more before bedtime.  All of our daughters were exhausted – mine looked like I’d popped them in the nose; their eyes were all blackened – but they likely won’t see each other again until Sunday, so we wanted them to have the time together.  I came home with BlueMoon, and it was really nice to have a few minutes with just us.  If I lived here, she and I would be great friends; I just know it.

We’re thinking that today will be spent at the Orlando Science Center and the Leu Gardens.  We’re also considering a trip to Sea World on Sunday, and squeezing in strawberry picking and maybe a Cirque show.

Happy Friday, Everyone!

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Wowie!

Are WE having fun!  Seriously?  We could leave tomorrow and I’d consider it an entirely successful vacation, and we’ve still got three and a half days to go!

Yesterday was spent at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.  We had a singularly fantastic time.  The Chili clan was joined by the TwoBlueDays and their daughter – I’m thinking up a good pseudonym for her, because I can’t very well call her “Daughter,” now, can I? – and Babycakes, who got a mental health day from school for the occasion.

A GIGANTIC vehicle was borrowed so that we could all go to the park in one car.  The day was begun with a side trip to Krispy Kreme for hot donuts which, being northerners, we’d never experienced.  I’m not sure that I have adequate words to put around that experience, now that I think of it – let’s just say that there’s nothing like it where WE come from (and I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.  Don’t get me wrong; they were yummy, but I don’t think it’s something I’d want to do on a regular basis).

We got good parking and headed right into the park.  A quick stop was made so that Mimi could buy pins and lanyards for the girls for trading with the employees, and then we were in.  Our first goal was Seuss Landing;

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where the girls ran though The Cat in the Hat ride (I followed about three cars behind – they were too fast for me), then went right to One Fish, Two Fish.  When I get home, I need to dig out the photographs from the first time we were there – Punkin’ was a toddler and Beanie was JUST about a year.  I’ve got a picture of Punkin’ on One Fish, Two Fish, and it’d be fun to compare them.

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After a bit more piddling about in Seuss Landing, we headed for Jurassic Park, where Daughter (I still haven’t come up with a good pseudonym yet) and Mr. Chili headed for Dueling Dragons (thank the Goddess that Daughter loves roller coasters!  I was totally off the hook!) while the girls and I lined up for the Pteranodon Flyers.  We had to wait about 45 minutes for what the park claims is an 80 second ride, but I’m not sure we were on the thing that long.  Regardless, it was a blast and totally worth the wait – especially since all of our children wait relatively well.

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(Babycakes and Beanie, not waiting, but rather taking in the scenery – all my “waiting” pictures are facing-forward, and I try to drastically limit recent, full-face pictures of the small people in my life here; I’m sure you understand…)

After a lovely lunch, we sent Daughter and Mr. Chili on the Hulk.  Twice.  Do you think they had a good time?

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There were water rides and ice cream and fudge and really?  Just a fantastic time.  I’m going to write later about how quickly and strongly I bonded with Daughter, and about how wonderful it feels to be with chosen family, but for now, let’s suffice to say that the Chili family is having a truly satisfying vacation.

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(This picture is a tradition in our family, though usually, Mr. Chili takes a picture of Bruder Chili taking a picture of Mr. Chili taking a picture of… oh, you get the idea.  Keep an eye out for the other Chili vacation tradition; a picture of my cute little feet somewhere warm and sandy – we’ll head for the beach later in the week.)

Wish you were here!

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Nearly Wordless Wednesday

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We’ll be spending the day at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.  I will not be going on this…

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Ten Things Tuesday

We arrived, safe and sound, at the TwoBlueDays last night after a smooth flight and an easy drive from the airport.  Punkin’ was a little upset that the baggage crew failed to remove her suitcase from our flight, so her stuff took a little side trip to Ft. Lauderdale before making its way to our front door sometime between when we went to bed and when we woke up, but that was, quite literally, the only bump in our road to get here.  We are warmly welcomed, happily settled, and in the process of melting into our vacation.  Here, then, are ten reasons why I love Florida:

1.  It’s warm here, even in the winter time.  You knew that’d be the first reason, right?  The coldest it’s forecast to get here from now until we leave is 50 degrees, and that’s a nighttime low, so we’ll all be in bed when it happens.  The warmest it’s been at home in the last several months has been 47 degrees; YOU do the math.

Home:

Today

Mostly Sunny
Mostly
Sunny
Hi 30°F
Tonight

Partly Cloudy
Partly
Cloudy
Lo 10°F
Wednesday

Mostly Sunny
Mostly
Sunny
Hi 38°F
Wednesday
Night

Slight Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 20%
Slight Chc
Snow
Lo 25°F
Thursday

Slight Chance Rain/Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 20%
Slight Chc
Rain/Snow
Hi 45°F
Thursday
Night

Chance Rain/Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 40%
Chance
Rain/Snow
Lo 30°F
Friday

Rain/Snow Likely Chance for Measurable Precipitation 60%
Rain/Snow
Likely
Hi 45°F
Friday
Night

Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 40%
Chance
Snow
Lo 22°F

Here:

Today

Sunny
Sunny

Hi 69°F

Tonight

Partly Cloudy
Partly
Cloudy
Lo 51°F
Wednesday

Mostly Sunny
Mostly
Sunny
Hi 72°F
Wednesday
Night

Partly Cloudy
Partly
Cloudy
Lo 53°F
Thursday

Mostly Sunny
Mostly
Sunny
Hi 76°F
Thursday
Night

Partly Cloudy
Partly
Cloudy
Lo 54°F
Friday

Mostly Sunny
Mostly
Sunny
Hi 79°F
Friday
Night

Partly Cloudy
Partly
Cloudy
Lo 58°F
Saturday

Mostly Sunny
Mostly
Sunny
Hi 78°F

I rest my case.

2.  Manatees, egrets, and alligators.

3.  I have a lot of really nice associations with this part of the world.  Mr. Chili and I have made fairly regular sojourns to Florida for vacation, starting way back when we were dating.  We’ve been to the Sarasota area (when his grandmother was alive) and the Gulf coast, we’ve spent some time near Cape Canaveral, and we’ve vacationed in the Orlando area and, without exception, we’ve always had a really great time.  There’s a sort of reliable consistency about this place that we like.

4.  There are a TON of things to do, even beyond the theme parks.  We’ll likely go to at least ONE park while we’re here (and that seems to be shaping up to be either Universal or Sea World – perhaps we’ll see both), but one can have a lovely time in Florida without ever setting foot inside a pre-packaged park.  Today, for example, we’re planning on a day in Mt. Dora, where I fully expect we’ll have a lovely time.  Gerry has mentioned a trip to the Leu Gardens, which I’m really looking forward to, as well.  So many people turn their noses up at Florida because they think it’s all Mickey Mouse.

5.  There’s, you know, Mickey Mouse.  I, personally, don’t have any problem with theme parks, per se.  I mean, I like appreciating the natural order of things – the local culture and all – but sometimes the pre-packaged parks are a LOT of fun, so I don’t turn my nose up at them.

6.  Oranges, grapefruit, coconuts, and strawberries… in February!

7.  It looks different here than at home.  It’s flat.  The things that grow in people’s yards only grow as house plants at home.  There are seemingly exotic birds just hanging out in the streams by the sides of the roads.  I think that vacationing is easier if the view outside one’s window is drastically different than what one sees at home, and while I’m sure there are many places that are far more unlike New England, Florida is different enough that it works for me.

8.  While it’s not specific to Florida, I love the way I feel when I’m on vacation, and I REALLY needed this vacation.  I’m less cranky – I get to say “yes” to my children more often, and that makes all of us happy.  I don’t have to worry about grading or lesson planning.  I can go to bed when I want and get up when I feel like it.  We enjoy each other much more when we’re on vacation, and I associate a lot of those feelings to Florida because we’ve had so many enjoyable vacations here in the past.

9.  Did I mention that it’s warm here?

10.  I have people here.  I loved Florida before there were people I love here, but now that we have chosen family, in the area, we love Florida even more.

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Monday Meme; 37 Things

I was tagged for this on Facebook, but since I’m never ON Facebook (I need someone to explain to me exactly how to make the thing work), I’m going to do it here:

1. Do you like bleu cheese? Blech!  NO!
2. Have you ever smoked? No.  My parents smoked for the entire time I lived with them – before I was born, even; that was quite enough exposure for me, thanks.
3. Do you own a gun? Only if Nerf dart guns count
4. What flavor Kool Aid was your favorite? I didn’t get Kool Aid as a kid; as I recall, we got ZaRex (does that stuff still exist?!).  I didn’t like it much, though, but I do remember liking Tang.
5. What job would you like to do other than your own?
It occurred to me the other day that, were I not in the life I’m currently living, I might like to teach yoga on a cruise ship that services sandy tropical islands.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? I like them, especially in the summer with ketchup, onion, relish, and mustard, but I try to not THINK about them too much because if I did, I’d never eat them.
7. Favorite Christmas movie? Oh, without question; Patrick Stewart’s A Christmas Carol (and, though it’s not technically a Christmas movie, I have a longstanding tradition of wrapping presents in front of Jerry Maguire, so there you have it).
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Ovaltine with 1% milk.
9. Can you do push ups? Why,YES; yes, I can! I can do both wide-arm AND triceps push-ups. I blame the yoga.
10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? Without question; my bridal set.
11. Favorite hobby? reading (DUH!)
12. Do you have A. D. D.? Nope.
13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? Yes; usually contacts during the day and glasses at night, but sometimes I’ll wear the glasses if I’m too lazy to bother with the lenses in the morning (or I know I’m not going to leave the house).
14. Middle name? Ann – no “e”
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I REALLY don’t want to grade mid-terms, but I don’t want to bring them on vacation, either; I’m never going to get done everything I want to get done before we leave; and I wonder how many of my students are going to show today.
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink
. Green tea, Diet Coke, and Strawberry C Odwalla.
17. Current worry? I hope it doesn’t snow while we’re on vacation.
18. Current hate right now? I am blissfully free of hate.
19. Favorite place to be? Wherever my husband is.
20. How did you ring in the new year? At home, quietly. As a matter of fact, I was in bed asleep, Beanie was at a sleepover, and Mr. Chili woke Punkin to watch the ball drop.
22. Name three people who will complete this:I hate these questions; they’re lame
23. Do you own slippers? Yes; a couple of pairs, actually, though I much prefer woobie socks to slippers.
24. What color shirt are you wearing? A deep brown, thermal-knit top.
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No. I prefer light cotton sheets.
26. Can you whistle? yes.
27. Where are you now? at my desk in the kitchen
28. Would you be a pirate? Probably not; I tend to get a little woozy on the open ocean.
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I sing in the car, not the shower.
30. Favorite girl’s Name? My children’s names, but I’m not telling them here.
31. Favorite boy’s name? If we’d had a son, his name would have been Devin Corey. I’m also fond of Kyle and Kevin.
32. What is in your pocket right now? nothing; I RARELY put things in my pockets (though I do keep lip balm in the pockets of my jackets).
33. Last thing that made you laugh? Mr. Chili, describing something ridiculous happening in his workplace.
34. What vehicle do you drive? A little black VW Golf, which I love with a sublime depth.
35. Worst injury you’ve ever had? I’ve never really been INJURED per se, though I did have a raging – and profoundly ugly – case of shingles on my face a few years back, and I regularly throw my back out (though not for a while.. knock, knock!).
36. Do you love where you live? Oh, now’s a BAD time to ask me that question! MOST of the time, I love where I live. Right now, though, all I can think about is fleeing the scene for warmer climes – Get ready, Gerry; we’re coming at you!!
37. How many TVs do you have in your house? Technically, three; one in the family room, one in the great room (which only gets used when there’s a critical conflict in the family room or I want to listen to the news while I’m cooking dinner) and one in the basement that still works, but is of lesser quality than the ones in the living spaces. We’ll probably give it to Goodwill the next time we do a basement purge.

Okay – the Chili family is making ready for our sojourn to Florida.  Ten Things Tuesday will be composed while I’m enjoying warm weather and even warmer friendship!

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