Sunday, February 28, 2010

Breaking News! Laptop Kidnapped!

The owner of a new-ish laptop has reported it kidnapped! Said owner, Kate Delicious, identifies the alleged suspect as "a young blond girl with blue eyes and a seemingly unbreakable dedication to all things technological".

She goes on to say that she knows the suspect hasn't taken the laptop, a white HP model, far because she does get occasional glimpses of it. "I see the power cord trailing upstairs as the girl runs away from household noise," says Delicious.

When asked why she doesn't confront the suspect, Delicious reports that she can't get a word in edgewise. The same suspect has also allegedly stolen the phone and its accompanying headset. "She's on the phone all day and all night! I just can't get her attention."

No ransom note has been delivered. Delicious doesn't believe that the suspect kidnapped the laptop for malicious reasons, but possibly because said suspect has entered the teen years and can't stand to be out of touch of her best friend for more than a few minutes at a time.

If anyone should happen to email, IM or Skype Kate Delicious, you might be reaching the suspect instead. While the suspect is not believed to be dangerous, teenagers can be volatile, so caution is advised.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Deliciously Green

It's been a while. A really long while since I've posted about my attempts at Greening our lifestyle. I'm still working at it; just haven't had as much time to concentrate on it over the past year or so. (That darned work thing.)

So here's where I'm at...

1. Still using very few paper towels. I thought this would be insanely difficult, but it's not. I just have a large drawer full of dish towels and we pull those out whenever we need to wipe, dry, rub or scrub-a-dub-dub (approximately seven times every ten minutes).

2. Still using homemade kitchen cleanser. Super inexpensive to make and lasts ages. Before I started with it, I could have bought stock in the 409 company, I was buying so much of it.

3. Not doing so great on printing on both sides of the paper. Too much paper. Too much mess. Too much organization involved.

4. Doing very poorly with all-natural cleansers. Aside from the kitchen spray, that is. Baking soda is great, but it can't compare to Comet. The green toilet cleaners are useless around here. Our water is so bad (thanks to that active volcano a hundred miles north) that we need serious bleach power. And I finally broke down and bought large containers of bathroom wipes the other day. (They're now sitting on the bathroom counters and we each have to wipe down our sinks once a day -- morning or night, our own choice, but it must be done.) I hate the waste, but I hate gross, dusty, pinky mildewed sinks even more.

But.... see that Crystal Light container over there? I punched holes in the lid and filled the thing with baking soda. Re-using in action!

5. We are Recycling Fiends! Every little thing that can be recycled is. And now that our wonderful city waste department has provided up with GIANT recycling bins, it's easier than ever. No more sorting!!!!

6. My Green Fund is severely lacking. I had been collecting the money saved by going green, but when last falls GPD (Great Paycheck Debacle) hit... well, my green money went towards groceries. I had saved $500. Now it's back to a measly $100. I will repay it. At some point.

At the moment, I'm in a very Zen green place. I would love to be doing more, dedicating more time to fully greening our lifestyle, but I just don't have the time or energy to make that happen.

And the great news about my slowed green efforts? I'm don't feel guilty! I know! It's a miracle, isn't it? Kate, Queen of Guilt, does not feel guilty! Woowoo!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Any guesses on what this is??

Anyone? Anyone?

Yeah, it's kind of indistinguishable, isn't it?

It's buckwheat bread. According to my food allergy-ridden husband, inedible buckwheat bread. His official response? "If it were the only food on earth, I'd probably go hungry."

And this is from the man who is reduced to eating fairly horrendous things on a daily basis.

Here's what he's allergic to. But before you start reading, get comfy. Get really comfy. It's a long list...

cane sugar
cow's milk
goat's milk
black and white pepper
alfalfa sprouts
green peppers
baker's yeast
brewer's yeast
brazil nuts
chili peppers

Oh, did I mention he's also lactose intolerant?

And you thought cooking for your family was difficult!!!

So, yeah, I do end up trying crazy (and expensive) recipes like that icky buckwheat bread to see if I can offer any variety into his plain meat and potato meal plan.

A couple years ago, I made a chocolate cake for him substituting the main ingredients with soy flour, agave syrup and meringue powder (in place of the eggs). His verdict on that one? "Hhmm... a bean-flavored chocolate cake. Not so good."

All we can do is try, right?

Told ya!

Now I'm sure that most of you don't go back and read all the comments for previous posts, so I'm taking the liberty of posting this comment from today regarding the Heaven on a Bone recipe.

Ohmigosh! My husband, who in 46 years of marriage, has never said this, said as he put his second rib to his mouth: "THIS IS WONDERFUL!" And it is. I actually had all the ingredients on hand. Because we are only two people, I halved the recipe but had enough sauce for the accompanying rice. I baked the ribs at 425 degrees for 50 minutes. They were so tender and tasty. This has outdone our previous favorite recipes! Thanks for posting it!

Now if that doesn't convince you to try it, I don't know what will.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Heaven on a Bone

You must, must, must try this Delicious recipe.

It's based on the copy cat recipe for PF Chang's BBQ ribs, but I've altered it a little bit. And oh, yum.

It was the kind of yum that makes you close your eyes and curl your toes.

Yup. It's that good. So go buy some ribs and make this tomorrow!!

Heaven on a Bone

1 rack pork spare ribs (baby backs work, too)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T. mirin or rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup hoisin sauce

Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Start cooking your ribs via your favorite method. I love to barbecue mine, but it does take about 45 minutes. (I always forget that and then am frustrated when they take forever to cook.)
Brush the sauce on when you first lay the ribs on the hot grate, then again when you flip them over after about 20 minutes.

You could easily just bake them instead, but then you don't get those darkened sauce crispy parts. And you want those. Trust me. You do.

I believe that PF Chang's actually boils their ribs, then deep fries them before tossing them in sauce. I'm sure they're amazing, but... well... I try to stay away from that deep frying thing whenever possible.

Now you might be one of those amazing people who have their dinner menus set for the next two weeks. I bow down to you. I want to be like you. Can I come over and take lessons?

Seriously, though. (Well, as much as I'm ever serious.) Maybe, just maybe, ribs are not on your menu over the next couple weeks. Don't go agonizing over having to rework that menu. I putting this recipe down at the bottom of the blog under "Deliciously Delicious Recipes".

Ah, man. It just occurred to me that I should have taken photos. Sheesh. I always forget that. Oh, wait! The ribs are still on the counter cooling before I put them away. I'll go snap a pic now.

Lucky you!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Simply ridiculous.

The company that Scott and I both work for was recently acquired by another company, based out of Germany. The acquisition couldn't have come at a better time: it was the end of the line for our employer.

Smiles and laughter were abundant in the office for quite some time afterward, but now those seem to be fewer and farther in between.


Because our new employer refuses to regularly send money wires so that we employees might get paid.

That's right. It's once again payday and there will not be a paycheck. No paycheck for Scott. No paycheck for me.

Where's the emoticon for throwing a furious temper tantrum?

The company has the money. That's not the issue. The issue is that they keep putting off sending the damn wire, but won't tell us why! All they say is that they have questions about the numbers. Bull-oney.

When we actually get paid, Scott and I are comfortable. We're able to pay down the debt we accrued over the past several years of financial hell. We're able to put money in savings. We can eat out when we want to and buy little things here and there.

Frugality and minimalism is our modus operandi, so we certainly don't go crazy with spending. Not at all.

But when the pay checks don't come, everything appears so convoluted. Should I be paying $8/month for my subscription? Should I be working from home instead of going into the office to save money on gas? (Thank goodness I have that option, but I really do like working around other people. Less lonely + adult conversation = happier Kate.) Should I finally get online and sell those things around the house that I don't want, but someone else does?


What would you do? I'm generally curious about what other people would do in this situation. Cut back on absolutely everything (yet again) or go on living somewhat normally knowing that the money will come, just not regularly?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sex. Just how many times can it be said...

in a one hour tv show?

I'll tell you: 47

The guilty show: "Secret Life of the American Teen"

I have to say it. The secrets of the teens on this show? Not. Secret. At. All.

Are you having sex? Is she having sex? Are they having sex? You're not having sex, are you? You're too young to have sex. I'm not too young to have sex. What kind of sex are you having? Are you having safe sex? I'm not ready for sex. You have too much sex. He only wants sex.

It goes on and on and on. It is high school, after all. It's all about drama and talk, not truth and discretion.

Now I can't say for sure, since my kids are not in high school yet, but I'm fairly sure that most dads don't talk with their daughters about whether she's a good kisser or not. And I'm pretty certain that boyfriends don't talk open with their girlfriends' dads about kissing (and doing more with) their daughters.

And call me crazy, but I really don't think any high school would allow signage regarding a "Just Say Me" campaign. (I don't want to spell out what that means, but think about it in terms of sex and you'll understand.)

Hayley and I watch "Secret Life" every week. Sometimes Scott joins us. What a blessing that all the sex talk isn't uncomfortable for us to listen to as a family! When I occasionally get squeamish, I sneak a peak over to see how Hayley is reacting and she doesn't appear to be the least bit phased by it.

Usually, though, Scott and I have to contain our laughter at the preposterous melodrama. It's utterly ridiculous.

"Secret Life's" single saving grace? It widens the roads of communication between Hayley and us "parents" (said with the disgust of knowing that parents actually do "it"). LOL!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How could they?

I adore my Pfalzgraff dishware, but I am so frustrated with the gray utensil markings that I just can't scrub off. Even Pfalzgraff's specially formulated, specially expensive cleanser doesn't erase the marks.

So I started perusing the web for a replacement pattern. I looked at seemingly hundreds of patterns until I finally, finally fell in love with one.

Maidenhair Fern in blue by Martha Stewart...

It was mid-January when I found these, just a few days before I left on my three week travel adventure. Since none of us were going to be home to accept the shipment, I didn't immediately order them. Makes sense, right?

Wrong! Why? One word...


Gone. All out. Forever. Never to be manufactured again.

Okay, so that was more than one word. The depths of my despair apparently needed additional words to convey its distress!

Macy's was the sole carrier of this dish set of Martha's. Every link I find on the web leads me right back to Macy's and that horrible, red "discontinued" notice.

I'm so sad. So very, very sad. If only I hadn't waited...

Monday, February 15, 2010


7 to 7:30 pm this evening was an interesting half hour. We were just finishing up an amazing dinner... t-bones grilled to perfection, sweet potatoes and corn on the cob.

Now turn your head to the left.

Emma asked, for the 50th time this weekend, if I would let her have a SuperSecret account. For those of you not in the know, it's a hybrid online game of social networking and playing games. It costs $60 a year (!), but "Mom, it's half price right now! It's on sale for a limited time only!"

Sorry, but I just don't see paying for online games. As soon as you pay for registration, they're going to find another way to jack up the price or make you pay for the next higher "levels". This is the way of all the silly online game sites... Disney, Club Penguin, PopTropica, etc... They're expensive and I'm not going to pay for it!!!

When I informed Emma that I absolutely would not get her a SuperSecret account, she went ballistic. I think if they'd had their windows open, Grandpa and Grandad down in California could have heard her screams.

She was a tornado of tears and throws and sobs and slams. And yells. Lots and lots and lots of yelling. We parents apparently don't love her enough. Her life is terrible and we just don't understand. All her friends have subscriptions to all these online places and she doesn't even have one!

Oh, the drama! Life is so hard!

She almost had me crying at one point, though. The poor girl was hiccuping from all the sobs, her eyes were red and there was just such desperation in them. I (briefly) felt like the worst parent in the world and I was milli-seconds away from giving in.

I held strong, though. Between Scott, Hayley and I, we managed to help her understand that those companies are out to make money and they're just going to keep asking for more and more. Then we pointed out the computer games she has on cd-rom and the hours of fun she's had with them.

Finally, I was able to distract her by getting her to show me the most recent zoo she's created with her Zoo Tycoon game.

Crisis over. Not averted. But over, thank the good Lord.

Now turn your head the other way...

Hayley, just before dinner, actually loaded the dishwasher without being asked! Yes, it's true! She did! And then, when dinner was over, she cleared the table, put the food away, rinsed and loaded the dishes, did the hand washing, wiped down the counters and the table and finally refilled Scott's water glass for him.

Let me repeat... Without being asked!

Scott and I were stunned to the point of complete glee. I didn't want to go overboard, but I kept telling how great that made my night. And my morning tomorrow.

Waking up to a totally clean kitchen? $1 million
A daughter who did it all of her own accord? Priceless

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Whipping up a new Delicious Pie!

The new skin I put on my blog a few weeks ago never really grew on me. So I've been perusing the web for a new look.

That's providing a bit trickier than I thought because of "Delicious as Pie". Kinda gotta stick with a theme, right?

So over the next few days I'll be playing around with my look. Please let me know if it's Delicious or not so much.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Really? Is the economy that bad?

Sometimes I just can't imagine that it is. Here's why...

We had to run a couple things back to the mall today. It was later in the day, about 5:30 ish and we planned to have dinner at the Chili's in the mall.

The mall was packed. More than it was when we were there the day before Christmas. (Yes, we went to the mall on that Most Dreaded Shopping Day. It's my birthday so we get to do what I want and that means eat at Chili's -- yum!) It took 15 minutes just to park the car, then had to wait behind 11 people in line at Justice.

Obviously, the mall is not hurting for business.

But my confusion at our economic status remains... Chili's has closed permanently. Forever. Gone. No longer available to feed my craving for the most amazing chips and salsa on Planet Earth. They were always busy, so why? Why? Why? (Breathe, Kate, breathe.)

Still needing to put food into our baby birds' mouths, we called over to Macaroni Grill. Hour and ten minute wait. Claim Jumper? An hour and forty minutes.

Seriously? If restaurants are that busy, how money-starved can people be? How can there not be enough money for our schools and our roads and aid for the large population of homeless people here in the Northwest?

I'm so confused!

A Must Read times 12!

That means you really, really, really to the 12th power have to read this book!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is the best book I have read in years. Intriguing, phenomenal, fabulous, educational, eye-opening, absorbing... I could go on and on.

New college graduate Eugenia "Skeeter" Feelind arrives back at her parents' home to await her future: a husband, a house, babies. Skeeter only has two issues with that plan. One, she's never even been out on a date. And two, she wants to be a writer more than she wants to be a wife. It's 1962 and society hasn't yet deemed it possible for a woman to be both.

When she comes up with an idea for a book and gets a publisher's tentative nod, Skeeter befriends the "help" -- the black maids that every worthy society woman employs. It's the maids' stories Skeeter wants to share -- how their experiences working for white women affects them, breaks them, strengthens them.

Socializing with people of another race is dangerous business in the early 1960's. Beatings, mutilation, even murder are common place if white men happen to discover any socialization they believe is untoward. Skeeter, in her innocence, isn't aware of the implications of interacting with the help until only one, just one, person, Abiliene, agrees to help her. Everyone else is scared to lose their livelihood.

Slowly, many other maids begin to understand the importance of having their stories told. The realize that just maybe their stories will make the difference for so many others. Skeeter arranges secret meetings to hear their stories and over the course of a year, her book takes shape and is published anonymously.

Skeeter's book, quickly becoming a must-read, creates caverns of emotions, deep and devastating and freeing.

Kathryn Stockett's writing is unbelievably beautiful. From the very first page, she pulls the reader in with her brilliant descriptions and lyrical prose. You're pulled in so deeply that you can almost physically feel the heat waves rolling over the cotton fields, taste the sweet tea in the Junior Leaguer's glasses, feel the cool imprint of the silver service and enjoy the delight of a first air conditioner.

If you have a chance, listen to the audio version. I have never heard such amazing readers!

You will never forget this book. Go get it. Today. Go, Delicious Readers, go!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hoops Can Have Sharp Corners

Yesterday in my whiny post (sorry about that, by the way), I mentioned the house closing in Michigan. We woke up today knowing that we were going to have to jump through an obstacle course of hoops to get everything taken care of on our end.

We scraped together the amount needed for the check. We signed all the docs and took ourselves to a notary. (Mind you, Scott was in meetings all day and I was bouncing from commitment to commitment, so lining up the hoops took coordination in and of itself.)

Just as we walked into the notary's office... ping! There's a text on Scott's phone.

From the realtor.

"STOP! Closing postponed because of lender's appraisal issues."

And JAB! goes a sharp corner of one of those hoops.

Subsequent text read "Could take at least another 10 days. Will try to work with your mortgage company for an extension."

See, our mortgage company's demand was that everything happen in 20 days instead of the usual 30 day closing. Why, we don't know. But does anyone know why mortgage companies make such insane rules and demands?

What happens if they don't grant an extension? We start over from ground zero.

Honestly, that seems ridiculous to me on behalf of the mortgage company. I mean, they're just going to have to go through the whole process of looking at our desperate pleas for a short sale again. More work for them. Why not just leave it in the books and eliminate so much extra effort on so many people's behalf.

The good news of the day, though, is that we actually have a confirmation number for the money wire that was sent to the office this week to fund our back pay and expense checks. Maybe tomorrow we'll be able to pour money back into our checking account again. Then I can siphon it all out again when I pay the bills tomorrow night.


Put on your Dancing Queen platform shoes and sing Abba with me... Money, money, money. It's a rich man's world.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Post Vacation Blues

I think I need to build up that thick skin of patience again.

'Cause I don't got it right now.

Emma's constant prattle and noise are driving me nuts. I'm doing my best to stay calm and tune it out, but seriously... you'd think she was two, not nine. And the thing is, she expects me to listen to every word and sound that comes out of her mouth. When I don't, she takes offense.

She just finished practicing her violin. Now she's practicing the piano.

She was home from school today with what I think is Post Vacation Exhaustion Disorder: Exhaustion accompanied by severe headaches. The kid is SO going back to school tomorrow.

And that's just Emma. Hayley has been off the walls cranky since she got home from school. You can't breathe in front of her without getting yelled at. She's been in a lot of trouble today and it all started because I wouldn't go to the store to buy her Sprite. We don't normally have Sprite at home -- it's a special treat -- so why she thinks I would go buy it, I don't know.

Scott went straight from work to Men's Group, which I know he was really looking forward to. I'm so glad he was able to resume going, but his delayed return just extends my child-induced torture. (That they're torturing me, not vice versa. LOL)

I worked 8 hours today, answering stupid support emails. Normally I don't mind Support. (Don't tell Scott, but I actually kind of like it.) Today, though, I just could not muster the patience to not want to all cap at these people. If they would just read the instructions, they wouldn't have the problems they do! Seriously!

(Oh, Gracious Lord, Emma is now banging on the piano. Why did she have a nap today? Why? Now she'll be up really late instead of going to bed right now like she normally would.)

Can I run away now? I almost up and left the house house entirely about an hour ago when the girls would just not stop bickering. I knew that would just create more drama, though, so I stayed put and focused harder on my knitting in attempt to block out the frustration struggling to strangle my consciousness.

Add to all that the fact that we have gotten paid for the last two pay periods. The checking account is getting low. And that sucks. But the pisser is that the short sale on our Michigan house is finally about to close, so we have to send them a large check.

Normally, that wouldn't be a problem. I keep enough of a reserve in the checking account to handle such things. But without pay checks and with over $3000 in out-of-pocket travel expenses between Scott and I, the money's not there.

Thus, I must head to the bank tomorrow to do some creative credit card finagling. The ironic part? We're actually supposed to get paid tomorrow, but I need the money before the paychecks will (hopefully) be handed out. I've got to get the money FedExed so it arrives in Michigan Thursday morning. Funny how the date the money is required went from 2/15 to 2/12 to 2/11.

I will be so glad when this is all over. Please say prayers, cross your fingers, arrange your feng shui, whatever you do to bring about positive change, that everything goes as planned and the sale closes on Friday. (If it doesn't, a whole new super-sized can of worms on steroids will open, but we're not going to worry about that. Yet.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Home. Bed. Pillow.

TiVo. (LOL! How sad that TiVo is even on the list of things I'm grateful to have access to again now that we're home.)

What else am I grateful to enjoy again?

My other clothes.
Ready access to a variety of foods.
Space in the bathroom to put my necessities (as opposed to hanging them in a fading purple bag from a rusting metal towel bar)
A normal, not-too-hot, un-mildewed, not-too-forceful shower

Having gotten up at 4am Florida time, 1 am WA time, I am now exhausted. Too sleepy to think at this point, much less write even vaguely entertainingly and creatively, I'm off to enjoy that cushy sleep comfort number upstairs.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Dolphin Cove gets an unheard score of 6 PIES!

That's out of the full point score of 5 pies. Yes, it rates better than perfect.

It was absolutely, unbelievably wonderful!

The attention to detail was unsurpassed by anything I've experienced before...
  • A specific chef was assigned to Scott to help him eat successfully during the day (in avoiding food allergy issues).
  • All the employees were incredibly friendly and ready to help.
  • The entire place was impeccably clean.
  • The food was delicious.
  • Every detail had been attended to.
I could go on and on and on and on!

But I want to share specifics, especially photos! Oh my gracious, the photos are phenomenal. I knew I'd end up buying the insanely expensive photo package, but ya know what? It's worth every single one of the hours I had to work to pay for it.

See for yourself, Delicious Readers...

I'm petting a sting ray (sans stinger). Did you know that rays' stingers grow like nails or claws? The caretakers just clip off the growth every few days.

Scott and Emma leaning in for a stroke...

And my brave Hayley-Girl...

A family of wet-suits...

The ray pool was filled with probably 35 sting rays (no mantas). They glide by so beautifully, often brushing right up against your legs. A little disconcerting at first, but really, so cool!

And now... for the photos you've all been waiting for...

Swimming with Dolphins!!!!

Hayley and C.J the dolphin
sharing a moment...

I absolutely adore this photo of Scott....

Emma, in between yawns and shivers thanks to the frigid water, fell in love with C.J.

Swim Time!

Maybe I should PhotoShop myself in this one.

Alas, all in the effort to cut down on those vicious vacation costs, I chose to video and vicariously enjoy the experience. *sigh* Maybe next time. (I honestly don't mind. I might have but for the fact that we can put the money we saved towards our credit card. That *always* makes me happy!)

Discovery Cove has this awesome, fantastical, totally wicked coral reef. You don your mask and snorkel and flipper your way out among the fishies. Holy Cow, Batman. It was spectacular! All the colors and life and sizes and shapes and beauty! As we finally got too cold to continue peeking in on the life of a coral reef, I said to the others, "God is surely one creative being." They all agreed wholeheartedly.

I did actually attempt to use our waterproof camera to photograph the gorgeousness. Being that I was wearing goggles and couldn't really see through the itty-bitty view finder, I'm not sure they'll come out. If they do, I'll definitely post them for your vicarious enjoyment!

There was one other seriously fun part of the park: the lazy river. It was so awesome that we swam/floated through it three times! The first time we snorkled. There weren't any fish to see, but we loved the decorative touches (think Atlantis/Aztec themed) both above and under the water. And as an extra creative touch, the river wound through an aviary. We love, love, loved looking at the birds. Not that we could name any of them except the peacock, but it didn't matter.

The second and third times we floated through on noodles. And it was pouring!! That just added to the fun. We were already wet, so it was just more adventure.

Our noses and cheeks are all tinged pink tonight even though the sun never actually peeked through the clouds. I had been hoping to relax on a lounge chair on the beach and soak up some vitamin D (doctor ordered, you know) while the kids played in the toasty warm water of the lagoon. Not to be, but that's okay. There were too many other amazing things to do! I can soak up the sun at home. (Oh, wait a minute. Who am I kidding? I live in the Pacific Northwest. There is no sun.)

I know, I know. This blog post got exceedingly lengthy and if you're still reading, thank you! But here's what I want you to do now. Go find an empty jar and start a Discovery Cove savings fund. You must to the third power come here!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Magazine Family Day

Saying we had a blast at Sea World today doesn't convey just how much fun we had. It was awesome!

We spent ages watching and petting the rays. Hayley finally found her inner fish handler and fed (ok, dropped) half a fish to the rays. The silly girl desperately wanted to feed the rays. I made her go look at the ray food before I gave her the money and she couldn't wait. Apparently, she didn't noticed that the fish were cut in half. 'Cause she didn't want to go near any fish with "guts hanging out". Ick.

We perused the shark exhibit and spent time reaching into the dolphin pool. Patience is the key when waiting to pet dolphins. Scott and I were able to reach one dolphin as it glided by, but it was just that much out of girls' reach.

And guess what? I, Official Fraidy Cat of Roller Coasters, actually donned my brave hat and rode the Manta. Upside down, loop-de-loops, spinning around, hanging upside down... *violent shiver of repulsion*

But I did it. Yes, there was a minor panic attack going in and I not so nicely had to tell Scott to stop talking already, but I survived. Did I enjoy it? Not so much? Will I do it again? Really, no.

Emma adored the Manta coaster and insisted on riding it twice. Hayley was partial to the Journey to Atlantis, especially the part at the end when you get WET!

The single bummer of the day? The ice cream was a total disappointment. A long line, too much money, a tiny scoop and weird tasting Rocky Road. We made up for it, though, by having a brownie sundae after dinner at TGI Friday's.

We can't wait till tmro -- swimming with dolphins! I'll be sure to post photos tomorrow night, so definitely check back!

Monday, February 1, 2010

East to West, Florida Is So Not Best

The business portion of this trip to Florida is officially ov-ah!!


Now onto fun! First... three days with the in-laws, then up to Orlando.

We did the Disney thing back in 2006, so this time we're going to spend our Orlando days swimming with the Sea World dolphins.

Well, technically we'll only be swimming with the dolphins for 20 swim-tastic minutes. Lots of moola for a 20 minute swim, but really, it's not as bad as you'd think.

Swimming with the Dolphins is $199 per person, but that includes so much more than just the main feature. We get a full day at Discovery Cove, complete with breakfast, lunch and all beverages and snacks, sunscreen, lockers, etc. etc. All inclusive.

And it also includes 14 days of admission to Sea World. Admission to Sea World for a single day is $75. Can you believe that? Insane!!! How does anyone afford to go at all??

So we'd spend $600 just on two days at Sea World and a full day at Discovery Cove. I'd say that's a pretty good deal.

Off to finish watching The Ugly Truth. Slightly uncomfortable movie to watch with the in-laws -- it's a little risque. People over the age of 50 aren't supposed to know about that kind of thing! (Funny, only three or four years ago, it was all people over 40. Huh. Wonder how that extension came about.)

Happy February!

And here's a great big happy THANK YOU to all my Delicious Readers!

The number of hits on my blog during the month of January almost doubled! I'm not going to give you actual numbers, but suffice it to say that it is *awesome*!!!

** Doing the happy dance! Doing the happy dance! **

Please keep on coming back and pass the link on to all your online cronies!