Friday, August 31, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday #15

Often I try to schedule my Friday post because I can, but this week, I really liked the blanks, so I'ma do both!  << Hello comma sentence.

1. My favorite thing to do on Friday is   come home, throw my uniform in the dirty laundry, chill for a few minutes, take the dogs out, then potentially veg or hang out for the evening.  

2. This Friday I am   being as lazy as possible.  The week was long!  5 whole working days! 

3. The best thing about a weekend is   having the opportunity to take the time to do whatever I want.  Whether that be cooking, cleaning, going on a run with the dogs, doing an extra workout, working on my blog, playing the sims.  I do what I wawnt.  

4. Now that summer is almost over, I'm feeling   relieved.  Summer is always the worst for me.  But at least this year I didn't have to endure Ramadan.  

5. The best thing I did this summer was   be in America?  well, kinda.  I also went to Australia to enjoy a month of "winter", saw Teh Bear in August, spent most of July at home recovering from the loss of my gallbladder....  I'm going with loosing my gallbladder as the best thing I did this summer.  Sometimes eating can be a tricky game now, but it was definitely worse with a gallbladder.  

6. The thing I'm looking forward to about fall is   cooler temps, the possibility of snow, holidays in America, the smell of leaves, stepping on the crunchy leaves, hopes of snuggling with Teh Bear..   

7. If I had to be stuck in one season for the rest of my life, I would choose   fall.  Less allergies than in the spring, not as hot as summer, the possibility of snow, the ability to wear so many layers of clothes, stepping on all the crunchy leaves, less sweating, less worries about Phil's heat sensitivity, colors of fall, holidays..  so many awesome fall things!!!  

1. Over this labor day weekend I will be   doing laundry, playing dominoes with the neighbors, making final arrangements for Teh Dad/StepMom/Stepsister's visit next weekend, dropping Joey off with his Perma-Mom, going to the Scottish Festival in VA with Phil, Amber, and Scarlet, and being lazy.. maybe with a healthy dosage of naps.  

2. With the political debates going on right now, my thoughts are   I hope its too late to register for an absentee ballot...  because having to figure out who I'm going to vote for would be stupid.  Why isn't Hillary running again???  

3. Today   was pretty laid back.  I was able to leave work early AND get a nap in AND take the dogs on a jog despite how hot it was.  Also, dominoes and dinner tonight!!  

4. The best thing I've cooked recently was   "taco soup"..  It was actually Pinterest inspired, but I failed majorly at taking photos for a blog.  I might still make a blog, but you definitely won't be photographically impressed.  Sadly, I halved all the ingredients but the chicken, so my "soup" was definitely not soupy and I ended up having to add the other can of beans and corn to offset the chicken.  Oops.  Nonetheless, it was a hit lasts night for communal dinner..  

5. The last thing I bought was   groceries with Teh Singing Cat Lady on Tuesday.  

6. The best movie I saw this summer was  Captain America?  A Lot Like Love?  I've pretty much given up on seeing current movies since I fell so behind while I was in GTMO and Bahrain.  Meh.  Movies, that place where you go where it smells like popcorn and who knows what else to watch a big screen with loud sounds?  Oh you pay for that?  Nvm.

7. The best book I read this summer was  A Song of Fire and Ice series.  I'm on book 3 and it's been slow progress, but they are huge books and lots of descriptions and people and storylines to keep up with makes me not in a rush to finish.  Along with the fact that the series isn't complete yet, but he is on book 6 and I'm still reading book 3.  I figure by the time he finishes the series, I might actually be caught up....  If he doesn't die first.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Wee Lass visits Bear country.

That title came from the event title on the google calendar.  I'm not sure who came up with that, me or Teh Bear, but either way, I still kinda giggle every time I see it.

What it translates to in English is: I went to visit Teh Bear in FL.

I got to endure not only 1 flight delay, but 2.  Grand.  Love airports.  I got snuggles, I got socializing, I got so much desserts!  All in all, it was a good time, even though we were in Florida.

No checked luggage, aye.

"NASCAR is basically the state's official sport."
If it wasn't illegal to light things on fire on an aircraft, this magazine would have been in flames.

We ate at a place called First Watch for breakfast.  It was delicious!  I really like their silverware wrappers:

I really like this guy too.  He wasn't on the menu.

Playing with the new camera.

This is the disgruntled face from a dutch angled shot.  :(
After breakfast, we met Teh Bear's mom, dad, brother, and nephew at Universal.

Mandatory globe shot.
Waiting in line to get tickets.

Waiting in line for Despicable Me.

Despicable Me propaganda.

I could be friends with this guy!

Teh Bear said I was the right size for sure.

Teh Bear, Teh Bear's Brother, Teh Bear's Nephew waiting to be the next Minions!

Teh Bear said this door was just my size.


I lub all things Despicable Me.

The Mystery Machine in GTMO was so much better than the one at Universal.

Teh Bear suggested the 2nd to last note might disqualify me for the ride...
after we'd been standing in line for at least 30 minutes.
Haha, boyfriend, funny jokes.

I was here in REAL LIFE 2 months ago!!!  

Teh Bear's Nephew was selected to be a "star" for the Disaster ride.
Teh Bear's Brother was the "Dad-ager" instead of manager.

Channeling my inner Harry Potter.

Tacky kids sunglasses.  They start 'em off early for sure.

WOAH!  I feel like I need to be screaming YOLO while wearing these.
After Universal, we were tired and sweaty and decided to go back to the hotel for a dip in the pool and a shower before heading to dinner.  We had smelled a delightful Italian place on the way out of the park, so we thought Italian would be a good idea and then I went from "I want pizza" to "OMG CARRABBA'S!!!"

In the most superb news you'll hear this year, the Dessert Rosa had been mutated into a devilish "mini-dessert."  By devilish, I mean the most unsatisfying miniature morsel they could stuff into shot glass, and it was only unsatisfying because it was so small.  Excuse me, but I need an ENTIRE DESSERT ROSA to be satisfied.  I'm a fattie like that.  They are bringing the original size Dessert Rosa back.  Thank ALLAH!!!!!

My mouth was watering just looking at the menu listing.

Teh Bear looking extremely sunburned, even though it wasn't really that bad.

OMG DESSERT ROSA IN MY FACE!!!!  I waited until we got all the way to the hotel before I even took ONE bite.
That's self-control, ya'll.

The first bite foodgasm photo.
After I had devoured all but 5 bites of the cake (including the piece I made Teh Bear try), there was snuggling and photos!  I'll save you the lovey photos and just give you one.

The next morning we headed to a place (that I can't remember the name of even though I asked Teh Bear at least 5 times while I was in FL what the name was, but I'm a failure and can't remember) where we got pancakes the size of our plates.  Yum.

After breakfast, we did some shopping for new work shoes and flippy floppies for Teh Bear.  Yay clearance!  I also got a new pair of flippy-floppies and Teh Bear finally replaced his GTMO flip flops which have had holes in them since before he left the island.  We hit up Hobby Lobby for my & symbol I've been looking for, BJ's (where we learned you can buy a handle of Sailor Jerry for under $20!), and Old Navy.  By then I needed a nap so we went back to the hotel for a little bit before dinner with Teh Bear's family.

Teh Bear/Moose.

We had pizza (finally) and I ate one of the most delicious cannolis I've ever eaten in my life.. times 2... it was that delicious.  There is no photographic evidence of this cannoli because there was no time for a photo considering how quickly I devoured the dessert.  After some socializing at Teh Bear's parents house, we went back to the hotel for swimmin' and I got to play with the new camera some more!

Teh Bear says that any photos of him shirtless burns people's retinas   

So I will burn your retinas with my own scary photo.
I don't even have words for the look on my face.

Saturday, we headed out for breakfast and then went to downtown Winter Park.  We were looking for a doggie shop, but I started getting hangry, which was a pretty nasty combination for already hot and sweaty (due to wearing long sleeves because of how cold it was everywhere we ate breakfast and I wasn't anticipating being outside when I picked my clothes), so we found food instead.  After I was fed and my meters (a Sims reference for some of you) were all green again, we had to leave to go to our massage appointment.  We got there pretty early, but they were actually waiting on us, so we were able to start early.

I'd found a LivingSocial steal deal for a 70 minute massage for $38.  I ordered 2.  YAY for planned Orlando activities well before the trip!  The massages were pretty good.  Mine was amazing.  We were both sore for 2 days afterwards.

Since we were still on the same side of town, we went back to Winter Park to find the doggy store again.  We found it this time.  I was only mildly annoyed that we'd actually been right across the street from the store before my hangry episode.  Nonetheless, Phil ended up with a new hedgehog that he's not yet seen because I don't really want Joey tearing it up.  He's got plenty of other toys to destroy in the meantime.  I bought the new hedgehog because the squeaker is really funky and awesome.  If I keep buying big toys, I'm going to have to get another bin for all the dog toys!

We stopped at Kilwin's before heading back to the hotel for a shower (since I was super greasy from the massage) before Teh Bear's Brother's birthday dinner.  I relearned that I should just order a kid size cone... for the 6th-ma-billionith time.  Oops.

Chocolate shoes.  When I asked why we didn't go into this chocolate store, Teh Bear told me, "Because you like Lindt chocolate."  Touche.

Teh Bear threw away our Kilwin's trash.
I was being stalker-like takin' his picture.

He noticed.

He said he was leaving me at the park because I was taking pics of him.

We had to wait on the train to get to the shopping area, but it was a coal train.

Being a rebel standing in the middle of the street!
On Sunday, we ate at First Watch again, since it was muy deliciouso!  Then we got to rush to the airport, because I get ready too slow.  I think Teh Bear made it to work on time, but he did call and make sure that he was covered in case he arrived late.

While I was chillin' at the airport, I uploaded the last of the Sydney photos, which only took 1.5 hours.  After the uploads were finished, I looked at the flight board to find out that my flight was delayed.  I looked online (because I'm that lazy) to see that my flight that was supposed to take off at 5pm was now set to depart at almost 9pm.  RAGE.

I stomped stormed up to the gate counter and tried to inquire about getting on a different flight when I was informed that BWI had suspended ALL air traffic due to the storm that were taking place in the area.  SERIOUSLY!?!  Florida had their panties in a knot over a hurricane that probably wasn't even going to hit most of the state and no one had mentioned these crazy storms over Baltimore the entire time that the TV had been on the weather channel?  Florida gets like 10 mazillion hurricanes a year, no one cares.  Storms that shut down air traffic?  I CARE!

RAGE.  I could feel part of that rage becoming hangry-ness, so I headed to McDonalds, because the thought of Sbarro pizza wasn't very appealing after the delightful pizza we'd had Friday night.  I ordered a cheeseburger kids meal because I wasn't that hungry and took it to my gate to find an electrical outlet.  When I opened up the box, the smallest thing of fries ever greeted me.


100 Cal packs of fries?  NOT ALLOWED!

I was super crushed.  The best thing about McDonald's is the fries and I had gotten gipped.  Fail.  Additionally, this was a $6 happy meal.  The only thing that made me more angry than the $6 happy meal with a less than meager amount of fries was the screaming child.

Thankfully, my flight was only actually delayed for about 1.5-2ish hours.  I ended up getting into Baltimore a little after 9 and made it home by 11.  When we arrived to the airport, there were people everywhere.  Probably people that were way more angry than me... Probably.  Some of them were on cell phones saying words like "cancelled flight" which would have been punctuated by me with some nasty words and exclamation marks if I had been them.

I was glad to be home once I finally got home, but not glad that I was no longer able to be snuggled.  Seriously, waking up next to Teh Bear is one of my favoritest things.  Even if he farts on me in his sleep and has morning breath (which wasn't any worse than my own). 

Monday afternoon held going to pick up the dogs from Monica in Annapolis, which was awesome because I missed the puppy-luppies terribly.

Yay for having an almost normal household again!!!  (for a week!)

Australia Adventures #12... the final adventure..

We left off at us getting back to the Holiday Inn late and me agreeing to meet up at 6am to go to The Rocks and shoot more photos in the daylight.  I went straight to bed.  I was exhausted.  I had an early start and a long flight the next day.  The guys didn't.

They went exploring without the girls.  They learned (and shared with us later) that our hotel (that I had very meticulously chosen) was a block away from the red light district.  One was propositioned by a male prostitute, another was offered the stage at a place so he could dance for the patrons..  I'm not sure how long they stayed.. but I probably wouldn't have stayed too long.

0530 came early.  After doing some schedule debates in my head, I decided to just get up and shower so that way if we got back late, I wouldn't still need a shower before leaving for the airport.  We left the hotel and headed to the train station, which was right down the street.  We quickly arrived at the Circular Quay stop and jumped off.  After asking for directions a few times (we were in the downtown area again, and I can't tell N/S/E/W directions from just standing on the street, I'm not a compass yo), we finally saw a sign that said The Rocks.

By this point, I was starving.  I was getting "hangry."  My travel cohort said something about a place called "Pancakes on the Rocks" and I was like, PANCAKES?!?!  YESSSSS FEED ME PANCAKES.  I LURVE PANCAKES!!!  Why was I so avid?  Pancakes are pretty much an American thing.  Other countries don't recognize "pancakes".  It's strange.  Just like America doesn't recognize sticky toffee pudding, that's stupid, not strange.  She said they were actual America-like pancakes.  We asked Suzy (my phone's GPS that worked with my portable wifi internet connector) where to go, and she was directing us.

Then I got distracted taking photos.  Really distracted.  Distracted in a "OMG I'm doing this thing that I never thought I'd actually be able to do in my life.  I'd dreamed of it, yes, but never actually anticipated the dream coming true" way.
Good morning harbor bridge.

Good morning opera house.

A chandelier from the Vivid Sydney Festival that we'd missed by a week.
They light up Opera House with multicolored lights and have things like this chandelier just chillin in the harbor.

The ferry pulling into Circular Quay.

I'd been on the top viewing area the night before taking pictures!

Yarrr matey.

I was able to photograph the Sydney Opera House at sunrise.  Seriously.  In real life.  And the Sydney Harbor Bridge.  Ahhhhh-maze-inggggggg!!!!

Actually, we almost missed the sunrise.  We got to the pier area before the sun had risen over the horizon and we'd taken pictures for several minutes and I decided it was time to go eat, so we pulled Suzy back out to resume following her directions.  We had walked up the steps to get back to the street and I turned around and saw the sun starting to peep out over the land.  

Immediately, I turned around and ran down the stairs and back to the pier/ledge where we had been.  I was already running when my travel cohort asked me, "Where are you going?"  "SUNRISE!!!!" was my only response.  She realized what was happening quickly.

After another round of photos, we did actually leave and my cohort joked, "are you sure we're done here?"  I told her not to tempt me.  We finally found Pancakes on the Rocks.

I teased some of my FB friends with pictures of probably the most grand dessert I've ever eaten..  Well, here's the details:

The menu at Pancakes at the Rocks

The specific description of the pancakes I was going to partake of.

What was set on the table for us to eat.  I asked for one of the pancakes to be crepes instead of pancakes, and they were ok with the substitution.  


After feeding time, it was time to start heading back to the hotel so we could meet up with the boys and head to the airport via our pre-arranged transportation (vs taking the train/buses again).  The pre-arranged transport actually was about the same cost as the train and much easier, so we were all ok with it.

On the walk back to the train station, there were lots of photos taken.  Morning rush hour was beginning, so there were lots of people out.  No celebrities were spotted.

The original Australian settler family.

Much more awesome than our blue mailboxes.

Apparently, there were lots of animals at the Rocks.
This place sold Ugg boots.

I liked the balcony.

Lub old stuffs.

Motorcycle parking only?

Always thinking of my Canadian peeps.

This dragon was cute.

Guarding the church doors.

This is a real place.  We didn't stop there, but we probably should have.

These street "signs" made me smile since they gave me explicit directions on which way to look for traffic.

Lots o flags.

No outing is complete without a flower shot!

Escalator in the train station

Waiting on the train.

Here it comes!

The morning commuters.  

We made it back to the hotel with enough time for me to take a mini-nap, throw all my stuff back in my suitcase, and get downstairs.  Our driver to the airport was nice.  He was from Turkey, but had come to Australia because his ex-wife wanted to.  Now he was a driver in Australia and was ok with it.

The Sydney airport is probably the scariest place I think I've ever experienced.  We rode a bus across the tarmac.  I'm not actually sure if there was an actual road, but it really just felt like we were riding on the flight line avoiding planes and luggage carriers.  Scariest experience of my life.  We all made it through security (yay red passport and no lines!) and met up at our gate.  Foods were had and hoarded, since our flight was only "20 minutes long."  We took off at 1330 from Sydney and landed at Dallas/Forth Worth, TX at 1350.  Actually, our flight was almost 16 hours long.  In order to ensure no pain for the entire trip, I took a delightful cocktail of drugs (that my travel companion from Perth (and resident medical adviser/corpsman) gave me a stern glare over when I told him what all I'd taken) and slept for probably 15 of the 16 hours.  All of those hours were sitting up, and if you know me, you should know that I don't sleep sitting up unless I'm completely exhausted... or drugged out of my mind.  In good news, I was in practically no pain until we landed.

Once we got to Texas, we were all relieved to have at least made it back to America.  We weren't really pleased about a 4+ hour layover, but we were at least in America.  Our flight to DC was a blink of an eye compared to the flight from Sydney to Dallas.  Our VX-1 duty driver was waiting on us at DCA and despite how much I wanted to sleep the entire ride home, I couldn't because I was so excited to be almost home.

It was well after midnight when I finally got home and crashed into my delightful Cloud.

I'm never more grateful to be home and in my own bed than after travels.  Worldwide travels always make me extra grateful.

And this brings us to the end of the Australian Adventures.  I'm sorry that it took me 2 months to finish this, but in my defense, I've had a lot going on these past few months.  Hopefully, you've enjoyed at least a few photos from my adventures.

**If you really loved a photo, let me know and maybe we can make a business transaction in exchange for a large, potentially framed, print out of your favorite photo?  canIdecideanotherday(at) or

Want to catch up on the Australia Adventures???
1st day off in Australia (summary)
2nd day off in Australia (summary)
San Francisco (photos)
Perth Zoo a, b, c (photos)
The Indian Ocean and downtown Perth at night (photos)
Caversham Wildlife Park a, b, c (photos)
Fremantle Prison (photos)
walking around Fremantle (the city) (photos)
Perth from King's Park (photos)
HMAS Ovens (submarine) (photos)
Sydney at night (photos and a story)
Sydney in the morning (photos and a story)

Grand Finale:
panoramics from the entire Australia trip