Saturday, August 23, 2008

During and after the Storm

I know it's blurry, but check out the sheets of rain coming
down in our front yard!

Blurry again due to wind and rain, but look at all the branches
and leaves in our neighbor's driveway.

After--lots of branches and leaves all over the sidewalk and yard.

This is the worst of it in our yard---some small trees bent and broken.
We are SO fortunate not to be one of the families with a large tree squashing the roof of their home or crushing their car.

Some product placement shout outs for items I spent time with during the storm:

--I finally got back into using the wii again. Hey, friends/family who have a wii game system. If you will add our wii number into your address book, we can send each other our miis. Our wii console number is: 0219 7006 0986 7312

--Shout out for one of my new favorite products: The PedEgg. I purchased one at a Walgreen’s while in Ohio this summer. LOVE it! My feet are the smoothest they’ve ever been. My preference is to use it just before bed, then wear lotion and socks while I sleep. And then wake up to soft tootsies. It’s super! Another product shout-out---the lotion I prefer is Bath & Body Works Body Butter. Smells great and is a thicker consistency than most standard lotions.

--Thanks to my Mom for telling me about this link. We used to visit this website frequently so Emma could play Sesame Street games. She isn't really into Sesame Street as much anymore, so we hadn't been to the site in a while. However, they have renovated their website so that it now includes a plethora of video clips from old shows. I especially love the Madeline Kahn and Grover "Sing After Me" and "The L Song" with Ernie and Bert. Smiles.

And finally, some Emmaisms from during the storm:

--"I made this with green, because green is a boy color. But it's o-kay that it's your favorite color, Mommy." (Lol. Thanks, Emma for permission to like a "boy color.")

--"Can we do some more arts and craps?" (Also known as crafts...)

--"Mommy, I have a question. Do you like fish stew?" (Um. No I don't. And when I asked what made her think of that, Em responded that "Little Bear's Dad eats fish stew." Lol.)

--To Aaron, "Will you marry me?" When DH responded, "no" because he is already married, Em said, "Awww!" They then had a cute little conversation about how she'll find someone special just for her. Emma wanted to know if it will be her friend Adrian. DH said she'll have to wait and see. :)

Let me end by saying that after pressure from their Union, AT&T did allow employees to leave yesterday. So DH was home by about 1:30 in the afternoon...after only 1 hour of work. Again the time is unpaid, which I think is crappy...but at least DH and others are safe, which of course matters much more than any money. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

Emma puddle-jumping on Weds between rain

Emma and I have been housebound for 3 days. Duval County schools, city buildings, libraries, etc. have been closed due to Hurricane Fay. Although Fay was downgraded to Tropical Storm status, the TV meteorologists keep reminding viewers that the wind speeds between a tropical storm and a hurricane only differ by 5 mph.

Poor DH had to work yesterday and today. Yesterday they let employees leave early (unpaid, of course), so he was home by about 3:30. Today DH just texted me that he is there “for the duration.” (Until 7 p.m.) He is pretty upset by this. So am I. The mayor and city council don’t choose to shut down the city for no reason…I can’t believe DH had to go in today. Mayor Payton in his speech to the city requested that people “STAY HOME” and “NOT DRIVE.” Just before DH left, we heard on the news that 3 of the local bridges are closed due to high winds (40 mph or higher). I am certain there will be people who don’t go into work today b/c of the weather, or the no-city-buses-running, or the tree limbs blocking intersections that we’ve seen all over the news, or the 50,000 people in our county without electricity. The worst part is that DH and co-workers were told yesterday that the company will consider it “an occurrence” if people call off today. Enter my most sarcastic voice: Thank you, AT&T for taking care of your people. I appreciate you looking out for my hubby and other employees. UGH!

We have been fortunate thus far----many leaves and small branches in the yard, but no major tree limbs. We’ve also had our electricity flicker on and off several times, but have not had any long term power outages. (I just got off the phone w/ my father-in-law who said their power was off for about 5 hours total last night. They live about 4 miles away, so I consider us lucky to not have lost power!)

In looking out our bedroom window, I can see about 2 inches of water accumulated under our deck. (Our deck is about 6 feet off the ground.) And the rain keeps on falling…

Em and I are getting cabin fever. There are only so many art projects, board games, and rounds of hide & seek that we can play. On Weds we were able to go for a walk and play in the rain puddles between bouts of rain. Yesterday and today, no such luck. Yesterday when it wasn’t rainy, it was really windy. Today it literally hasn’t stopped raining. And this is not a sprinkle, mind you. This is POURING and blowing rain. We have a window next to our front door under our porch roof. This is the first time I have ever seen the window get wet, since it is under a ceiling/roof overhang. The window is soaked today, because the winds are blowing the rain so much.

Oh, and did I mention that the dog peed on the living room carpet? Sighs. He is terrified to go outside in the hard rain. Eeww!

TV news indicates that the weather will be like this for at least 24 hours until the center of the storm completely passes out of northeast Florida. Good times, great fun.

"Go away, Fay! Nah-nee nah-nee nah!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

About Me

About Me
Cutting and pasting an email survey my friend Teri sent me. Just for giggles...

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:30

2. Diamonds or pearls? Both

3. Last movie you saw in a theatre? Curious George (w/ Aaron & Emma this summer)

4. What is your favorite TV Show? Gray's Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, The Amazing Race, The Mole

5 What do you usually have for breakfast? Granola bar or breakfast shake

6. What is your middle name? Larie

7. What food do you dislike? Peas and cooked spinach...and seafood....and liver....seriously, if you get to know'll see that I sadly eat like a 4th grader.

8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? I just got my first iPod in April. When in Ohio, I downloaded a lot of my sister and mom's CDs. I really like the Natalie Merchant and Michael Buble (sp) stuff I got from Laurel.

9. What kind of car do you drive? Honda Civic

10. Favorite sandwich? Depends on mood: PB&J or Ham & Swiss

11. What characteristic do you despise? Lying

12. Favorite item of clothing? PJs

13. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? I would love to go anywhere, but have especially always wanted to go to Ireland.

14. Favorite brand of clothing? Don't really have one, just what fits and feels good

15. Where would you retire to? Anywhere close to family.

16. Favorite birthday? Hmm. Not sure...I have special memories from many.

17. Favorite sport to watch? Ice hockey

18. Furthest place you are sending this? Ohio/Michigan/Indiana

19. Person you expect to send it back first? Not sure

22. Are you a morning person or a night person? Hmmm. Not sure. I used to be more of a night owl. But motherhood and a grown up job have made me need to get to bed on time so I'm not dragging...

23. What is your shoe size? 9 1/2

24. Pets? 1 dog and 1 cat

25. News or motto you'd like to share with us?
I'm home from school for 2 days because they closed Duval Co schools due to Hurricane Fay. She then was downgraded to tropical storm status. But that's okay...Em and I have had a nice bonding day and I'll be able to catch up on some school work too. :)

26. What did you want to be when you were little? A singer and/or a teacher

27. How are you today? Good (see #25)

28. What is your favorite candy? Dove milk chocolate (but you can't go wrong with milk chocolate of any kind...)

29. What is your favorite flower? Stargazer lillies or Irises

30. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Emma's B-day in Sept.

31. What are you listening to right now? Cinderella II while Em watches it on TV

34. What was the last thing you ate? Em and I had Mac&Cheese and apples for lunch

35. Do you wish on stars? Sure, sometimes. (Do I think it's legit---no more than wishing with coins in fountains...)

36. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? A pretty shade of green

37. How is the weather right now? Rainy and overcast...good ole Fay

38. Last person you spoke to on the phone? my hubby

40. Favorite restaurant? Casa de Salas, a local family-owned Mexican place

41. Hair color? Blonde

42. What was your favorite toy as a child? Loved Barbies and my Barbie house, car, horse, etc.

43. Summer or winter? Prefer spring or fall, actually

44. Hugs or kisses? Both

45. What is the most romantic date you have ever had? Hmm. I guess it was the 1st Valentine's Day when Aa and I started dating. He hired the "Singing Men of Ohio" to serenade me, brought me roses, and then we went out to dinner.

46. Chocolate or Vanilla? Definitely chocolate

47. Coffee or tea? Coffee=bleck! Tea=Yum! :)

48. Do you want your friends to email you back? Of course!

49. What is under your bed? Our coffee table...been there since Em started toddling.

50. What did you do last night? Watched TV w/ Aaron after learning I wouldn't have to go to work/school today.

51. What are you afraid of? Heights and beestings (allergic)

52. Salty or sweet? Hmm. Depends on my hankering at the moment.

53. How many keys on your key ring? 2 car keys, 2 house keys, 1 key to in-laws house for total of 5

54. How many years at your current job? This is my 6th year working for Duval Co Public Schools. However, this is my 1st year at the school I'm working at this year.

55. Favorite day of the week? Saturday

56. How many towns have you lived in? 4

57. Do you make friends easily? Hmmm. Not sure how to answer.

58. How many people will you send this to? Not sure

59. How many will respond? Not sure

60. Upcoming trips? I would love to go to a Bed & Breakfast or somewhere for a night or 2 for our 10 year anniversary in Sept...if we can persuade the in-laws to babysit. If not, we have no travel plans until we go to Ohio next summer.

If you've read this far---yes, I too noticed that all the numbers from 1-60 were not represented. I did not omit them, this is how I received the survey. :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School

The way our schedules work, I will usually be the first one to leave in the morning. DH then takes Emma to school before he goes to work. And I pick Em up when I finish work in the afternoon.

Today, DH traded shifts with someone at he and Em just left. It's her first day of school for K3. My heartstrings are tugging right now. Em is now in the age group where she has to wear uniforms at school. (Polo shirt with khaki or navy skirt/pants/jumper.) little one is really growing up.

It was sweet listening to her anxiety this morning: "What if we don't get nap time? What if I don't like my lunch? What if it rains so we can't have recess?" Such a little sweetie. I tried my Mommy-best to remind her that we met the teacher this weekend and went over all of her concerns. I hope she has a great day. I sure do love that little girl of mine.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Holy Shnikies!

Whew! My week in a nutshell: overwhelming. I found out at our 1st faculty meeting of the year on Monday that I am indeed the Reading Department Head. (I had suspected, but as previously stated I was not asked nor informed of this position.) How did I find out? When my principal was introducing the school's new faculty, he introduced me as the department head. Overall, I do not mind this role. However, it led to a lot of extra meetings, book distribution, etc. that took planning and classroom prep time away from my schedule during this "pre-planning" week.

Some neat Emma things before I forget:
--She learned how to swing this summer. Yesterday we went to the park after she was with me in my classroom for a while...she swung and swung...her little legs pumping in the breeze. Awww. I loved it.
--She is a fearless climber. She really took off this summer...climbs higher than I can reach, which really freaks me out sometimes. She loves ladders and climbing walls at the park.
--Some Emmaisms of the week:
--In the bathroom at a restaurant with DH:
Daddy: "You're taking a long time. Are you finished yet?"
Emma: "God says I have to poop."
--My favorite Emmaism of the week, after finding a tiny silver sequin on the floor:
"Look! I found a CD that shrinked!" Too, too cute. And it did look just like a tiny shrunken CD! :) (Ode to technology...I didn't know what a CD was until middle school. Lol.)
--Last night after being told she still had to go to bed, despite her "fear" of having bad dreams, we heard her praying. "Dear God, please let me not have bad dreams tonight." She then asked God to "bress" everyone she could think of, ending with "God bress everybody in the world." The little sweetie touches my heart.
--I also like the way Em says "muh-rote" instead of "remote." As in, "Mommy, here's the morote. Will you find a kid show?"

--Emma learned how to write her name over the summer. When we took Emma to summer camp last week, (daycare is "summer camp" during the summer months when they take time off from the school year curriculum) her teacher Ms. Cassandra was SOOO excited that Em wrote her name on the top of her artwork. According to Ms. C., Em is the only one in her class who is writing letters and can write her own name. Yea, Emma!

--Yesterday we went to orientation at Emma's Preschool/daycare. We met her new teacher (Ms. Stephanie) and toured her new classroom. The new teacher seemed nice, and I like her classroom set-up a lot.
--For some reason, Em was separated from the majority of her class. Only one other student in Ms. Stephanie's room was in the prior class with Emma. I'm not sure how the classes were divided, but it sounds like most of her class is still together, but just with a different teacher. I will "go with the flow" and see how things turn out. Part of me is bummed that she will be separated from the others, especially her little buddy Adrian. But part of me wonders if it will be best for her to reach out a bit. (Today: "Mommy, why isn't Adrian in my class? He's my best friend." Aww.) I guess time will tell...

--It burns my bridge---the school cutoff here is Sept 1st. Emma's birthday is Sept 17th. She misses the cutoff by 16 days. Thus, though she'll be 4 in less than a month, she will be placed in a K3 classroom for the year. Right now, this isn't a huge deal. Though she is the oldest in her class, she is still one of the smallest. However, I am thinking ahead----she won't graduate high school until she is nearly 19. Which isn't a just isn't what I'm used to. But then I think if she is the only one in her age group who is writing letters...does this mean she is ahead of her peers a little? I just don't know.

More overwhelming stuff: on planning days, teachers are scheduled to work at my school from 8-3. On Friday after a WEEK of planning, I was informed at 3:40 that I will be teaching a "Critical Thinking" class one period a day. WHAT????? Sighs. What really ticked me off is that the text book for this course was packed away in my garage all summer, from when I attended the training 2 years ago. I could have been planning if I were given prior notice. UGH. So now here I am the weekend before school starts cramming to create lesson plans for next week for a curriculum I haven't looked at for over a year.

The biggest obstacle right now is that county wide this year, they have decided that middle school reading teachers will also be their students' language arts teacher. (Last year I only taught reading, and students attended a different class for lang arts.) But---good ole Duval County--- the curriculum to intertwine language arts with reading HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED YET! Umm? Hello....the first day of school for students is TOMORROW and I don't even have the guide as to exactly what my expectations are. This county is so Bass-ackwards sometimes! It is so frustrating. We have been asked to work with the language arts teachers to try to incorporate what they are doing into our classrooms until the official reading/lang arts curriculum is released. What a crock!

Some other "overwhelmed" issues I've had are because I am new at my school. I had to deal with getting a copy code before I could use the copy machine, I need to learn school policies (escorting students to/from lunch, etc.) It is just a lot to retain. My mind is complete mush because I am on overload.

And the last thing I'm overwhelmed about---it is my first time teaching 8th grade language arts. This is different from the 7th grade I taught for 5 years because in Florida there is a huge writing component on the FCAT exam for 8th graders. And did I mention that the curriculum that correlates these writing standards to the reading standards I am familiar with teaching, has still not been released? Ay-yi-yi.

Tune in Helen Reddy: "If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman." (I am a woman who is nearly crapping herself...) I CAN DO IT!!! I'm hoping if I keep telling myself that, it will come true.

I need to run. Gotta finish figuring out 1st day plans for tomorrow.

On a quick funny note---while on my GP weekend, one of the girls had a book of postcards called "Porn for Women." (No, they did not feature nudity, but rather men doing chores to please women.) In the mail this week, I received a postcard which shows a photo of a man ironing clothes. He has a speech bubble that says, "As soon as I finish the laundry, I'll do the grocery shopping. And I'll take the kids with me so you can relax." TOO TOO funny. Thanks, Molly! :)

Edit: I just checked my school email. Today at 1:18 p.m., the reading/language arts curriculum was emailed to teachers. Although somewhat relieved, I still had to chuckle at the lack of timeliness.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Two recent Emmaisms I found funny:

"Dad, did you used to be a teenager?"

And DH and I couldn't help laughing out loud at this one---we were riding in the car yesterday. Out of no where Em said, "Mommy, someday when you die, can I have your car?"

What?? ROFL. I told her that I hope I don't die for a long, long time and that she'll be a grown up with her own car by then. She seemed okay with this answer.

1st day at new school today went really well....more soon.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I just had to post this. The picture of some of the GP gals
and I inside the Biltmore last weekend. Love the pic, and
it was the only one we have of us inside, as cameras aren't
allowed inside the home. :)
L to R: Michelle H., Jenni, Michelle R., Kasy, Shelly, Me, and Randie

Zoo Day

Em and I went to the Jax Zoo today. It was HOT...but we
managed to stay mostly in the shade, stopped for frequent
drink breaks, and had a great time.

Emma fed a lorikeet

She was really excited when another lorikeet landed on her arm.

Emma and "Special Baby" on the zoo carousal

Emma shows the flamingos to "Special Baby"

Emma climbed on the stage, said, "Ladies and Gentlemen,
boys and girls..." and then began dancing around to the

2nd ride Special Baby got her own carousal animal. Em
thought this was quite hilarious.

She took care of the stuffed animals at the Vet station in
the children's Discovery Center.

We ended our day in the zoo's Splash Park---Em loved it.

Ahhh. What a day! :)

Emma's "Special Baby" (not to be confused with "Pink Baby" and "Purple Baby" or any of her other baby dolls) has been her security toy since shortly after she got it for her 1st birthday. She loves to take the baby on outings with her. Usually Special Baby has to stay in the car (because Mommy and Daddy don't want to lug her around.) Today was the first time I allowed Em to bring the Special Baby inside the zoo with her. She took very good care of her. I loved the way she made sure to "show" all of the zoo animals to her baby. I also liked the way Special Baby would talk. (For example, Emma in a sing-songy baby voice as "Special Baby": "Ooh! I hope the alligators don't eat me!" Then she'd respond as herself in a very brave voice, "Don't worry, Special Baby. The alligators can't get you, they're in a cage. We're safe." ) I also enjoyed when Em was playing in the playyard and asked me to hold Special Baby. She kissed Special Baby on the head and said, "You're too little to climb here. When you learn to walk, you can play with me here, o-kay?"

What makes "Special Baby" superior to the other many dolls Emma owns? We have NO idea. It is her "woobie," sleeping toy, and pretend friend all wrapped into one. I don't know what makes her special, but I know she is my little girl's first long-term favorite.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Does anyone ever read "Ruminations" by Aaron Karo? He started off by writing his humorous thoughts and sending them to family and friends. Now he sends monthly "Ruminations" to hundreds of people via email, and has published a book. Anyway, here is what I've been ruminating on lately...

--I spent several hours yesterday and today working in my new classroom trying to prep. After cleaning out the 2nd filing cabinet today, I think I have finally cleared out ALL of the prior teacher's stuff. Why she still had student work from 2004-05, I do not know. Why she kept 2003 FCAT test explanation guides, I have no idea. Why she did not take things with her (brand new rolls of leopard-print gift wrap, a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card still in the gift box addressed to her, a box full of bulletin board borders, etc.) I do not understand. Anyway, I am feeling like I truly made headway. It is finally just MY belongings in the classroom. I finally have room to organize. I think all teachers are pack-rats in a way because we hang on to supplies never knowing what we'll need from one year to the next. However, I have NEVER and will never leave a classroom in the condition she left it for me.

--I was the Reading Department Head at my school last year. I am wondering if I have unknowingly stepped into this role at my new school? The prior department head left (it is her classroom that I have moved into.) I do not mind being department head, but find it interesting no one has mentioned it to me. In the past few days: I received an email from our district Read180 coordinator. The email was addressed only to my principal and I. It explained that the book order for our school has been delayed, but that we will have them by the time our curriculum necessitates their use. I received another email from our school's Scholastic Consultant (Scholastic assigns consultants to all schools who use the Read180 program) asking me to coordinate a department wide meeting with the Scholastic consultant next week. In addition, I received an email stating that myself and my principal are the 2 Read180 contacts at my new school. Interesting, hey?

--I need to get my butt motivated to exercise. I was doing really well at using the Wii Fit regularly, and have totally slacked off this summer. My sister called this evening to say that she purchased a Wii console AND Wii Fit today. Go, Laurel! I must follow suit. I love the Wii Aerobics, and must get back in gear! And the balancing games are fun too...

--I got a new camera last month--a Canon PowerShot SX100 IS. Can I just say how much I LOVE this camera? No major delays between photos, 8.0 mega pixels, 10X optical zoom. This is SO much better than my old Kodak Easy Share. I also love that I can edit red eye right on the camera itself. Way cool!

--Also, I got my first Ipod back in April for my birthday. Can I ruminate on how much I LOVE my Ipod Nano? Aaron purchased an Itrip so I can listen to the Ipod in my car. The whole way from Florida to/from North Carolina, nothing but belting out my favorite tunes. Ode to technology!

--I had been wanting to re-upholster our 4 kitchen chairs since winter break. I acquired some pretty green fabric, but never got to fixing the chairs. Last week, I finally finished the chairs! Hooray! They look SO much better. The white chair below was the worst of the bunch. You can see the food, dirt, whatever stains from Emma. The green is a lot nicer. I also got an outdoor vinyl chair cushion to put on Emma's chair so the green does not get so soiled. This was the first time I had ever re-covered chairs. Overall I am very happy with the way they turned out. :)

--I must run. DH made lasagna for dinner...smells yummy! Tomorrow and Friday are the last 2 Emma/Mommy days of summer. I think we're going to the Zoo one day and to the beach the other.

Girl Power 2008

I thoroughly enjoyed the "Girl Power" weekend I spent with my college girlfriends in North Carolina...

We all arrived on Thursday 7/31. What Mapquest predicted should be around an 8 hour drive turned into nearly 12 hours due to road construction and a major accident on I26 wherein I literally only went 13 miles in 52 minutes. UGH. (At least I wasn't the one in the accident...guess I should be grateful.) I was the last to arrive at around 9 p.m. I think the girls knew I was extremely frustrated from being in the car much longer than anticipated. They greeted me by raising their arms together to form an arch-way for me to walk under, on the porch of our cabin. What a sweet gesture and warm welcome! (On a side note, this was the longest solo-road trip I've ever taken. Go, me!)

Sorry the following are out of order...I forgot to download the pics in the REVERSE order of vacation, so that they'd be in order for me to describe. Anyway, my fun weekend is chronicled below:

Wow! I crossed the bridge. I was freaked...
but really wanted to cross the bridge. I waited for a gap
between tourists so that I could "book it" and move quickly.
And then I went for it...and crossed the bridge... WOW!
(Can you tell I'm still tickled with myself?) Smiles.

Me with Michelle R. after crossing the bridge

Look! The bridge hangs over a mile above sea level and
I crossed it! WHEW!

Me crossing the bridge. Had to grab my hat, it was
really windy on top of the mountain, especially on the bridge.

This is my favorite pic from the weekend. All 9 of
us at Grandfather Mountain. Sunglasses-wearing-divas! :)

After the Biltmore, we met for dinner in Asheville
and then hung out back at the cabin.

On Saturday we went to nearby Grandfather Mountain

With my height phobia, I was paranoid as we were driving
up the mountain. The roads had sharp turns and were
extremely steep in some places.

The girls liked my joke that crossing the Mile High Swinging Bridge
was NOT the Mile-High-Club that I wanted to join. (Hee-hee.)

View from the top of Grandfather Mountain

The Biltmore House
What a shack! Amazing! :)

One of the two lions which adorn the front entrance

Amazing architecture!

The gang on the walkway in front of the Biltmore

After lunch, we went to the Biltmore Wine Cellar

We saw the vats where the wine ferments.

Next, we sampled wine from the Biltmore Winery
(L to R: Michelle H., Jenni, Kasy, and Shelly)

Randie smells the wine

Me with Michelle R.

NOTE: Those who know that I do not like wine...Nope. The wine-tasting did not
sway me. There were a few wines that were "okay," but none that I liked a lot.
We were able to sample 8 flavors and I requested the Biltmore Grape Juice for my last sample,
instead of having more wine. LOVED it. Very delicious. Guess it wasn't time for my taste buds to grow up yet...

Another NOTE: We were informed by the wine experts at the Biltmore, that during a
wine sampling only a half cup of wine is consumed. Thus, we were all fine to drive. :)

Our cabin's 2nd floor deck with mountain view

On Friday 8/1, seven of our group of 9 toured the Biltmore mansion and its grounds, while the other 2 gals explored downtown Asheville.

The whole gang before sightseeing in Asheville, NC
Back: Kasy, Molly, Michelle H., Randie, Me, Shelly
Couch: Jenni, Vicki, Michelle R.

We had lunch at the Deepark restaurant. The building used to be the Biltmore's calving barn.
Now it serves a gourmet lunch buffet...the steak was dynamite!

The gals and I after lunch.

My view when stuck in STOPPED traffic on I26 en route
to Banner Elk, NC

This sign sums up our cabin area: curvy, hilly, can't drive it too quickly...

Our cabin in Banner Elk, North Carolina

The room I shared with Michelle H.
I LOVED the cabin...but none of the windows had any curtains or window coverings.

Mountain view from our deck

After hiking on Grandfather Mountain and visiting the Animal Center there, we drove to Boone, NC. We saw "Mamma Mia!" at the Regal Cinema there. LOVED it! Hilarious! And it was the perfect group to see a musical with. Some people appreciate musicals, while others don't. We laughed at parts, cried at parts, and sometimes nearly cried from laughing at parts. It was terrific!

That night brought more hanging out at the cabin. We played LCR---I won $24! We reminisced, "caught up," and giggled like little girls. I loved every minute!

Sunday morning we all left to return home. (I made it home in just under 8 hours...guess Mapquest wasn't that far off afterall.) What a wonderful weekend!