Category Archives: vacation

Getting ready for convention


Tonner’s Antoinette in spring time.

Next week, my dad and I will be attending the 2013 Tonner Doll Convention in Lombard, IL. I signed up for it in January, and the time has gone quickly by until the convention is almost upon us.

I am way beyond excited, but at the same time, very anxious about it at the same time. We’re driving from our house in Tennessee, all the way up to Chicago, IL. That’s at least a 10-hour drive. We’ll be leaving at 4 a.m. next Wednesday.

There’s always so much to do to get ready for trips like this. What to wear, what to take… I’m a nervous wreck just trying to get ready. I don’t even have my suitcase out… am not even sure where they are (probably in the attic). I am sure I will be spending the majority of next weekend just getting ready to go.

This isn’t my first doll convention. I’ve been to one other, this past October, but it will be the first time I enter a competition piece. Not in any of the doll categories… can’t sew to save my life, but in the craft category. I did a cross stitch piece I designed myself. It’s approximately 8×6 and took over a month to complete. I have no illusions of winning anything, I just wanted to participate.

I wanted to enter the photography category, but the weather has not been cooperative this month. Hopefully I can squeeze in a quick shoot sometime this week in between rain showers. Otherwise, I’ll have to forego entering. I waited so late because I wanted spring to arrive to take some outdoor shots. Indoor shots never look as good.

Wish us luck in traveling… that’s something else I have to do, print out driving directions! Maybe I should start making a list of everything that needs to be done before we leave. 😀


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Filed under this is my life, vacation

Ice cream disaster

So, I’m on vacation this week from work, and decided to spend last weekend in Chattanooga with my brother and his family. Oh, let’s face it. I went down to spend the weekend with my 2-year-old nephew. My brother has been replaced in my affections. Sorry, bro.

Don't be deceived by their sweet and innocent appearance. These chocolate-dipped cones are out to get you!

The weekend was fun, but Mom and I had to leave on Sunday because Sunday is chinchilla cage cleaning day, and it takes about an hour and a half from start to finish. My brother wanted to borrow my mom’s van, so we took their car. We left around 2 p.m., and halfway home, about an hour later, we got the munchies. There’s not much to choose from in Dayton, TN, but there is a nice, new McDonald’s on our side of the highway, so we thought we’d stop in, use the toilet, and get a snack. It was too early for dinner, so we decided to try their chocolate-dipped ice cream cones, which we’d never had before.

Holy. Crap. Never again.

It’s not that it wasn’t tasty. I think it was tasty. But as soon as the Mickey D’s lady handed them to us, they started to melt. Fast. Very fast. We had taken them out into the car, intending on enjoying the ice creamy treats on the drive home. We never made it out of the parking lot.

First, we had to eat all the chocolate as quickly as possible because it was sliding off. Then we had to down the ice cream. If you had been able to see us, it would have looked like we were in an ice cream eating competition. I had one hand cupped underneath the cone to catch the drippings. But it didn’t help. By the time I was down to the cone, I had ice cream on my glasses, on my nose, in my lap, on the car console (uh… sorry, Matt), all over my hands and even in my hair. It was by far the messiest thing I have ever eaten.

It wasn’t that hot out. I don’t know why they started melting so fast. All I know is, I’ve never had that much trouble with a dipped cone from Dairy Queen. I’ve learned my lesson. Next time I want a dipped cone, I’ll go to the experts at Dairy Queen, because trying to wash ice cream-matted clumps out of your hair is not a pleasant experience.

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Filed under this is my life, vacation

You call that a vacation?

I was on vacation all of last week. Prime opportunity to search for my voice and do some blogging! Alas, it was not to be. A combination of a sudden desire to rewatch “Angel” from the beginning and a yucky stomach bug kept me offline most of the week.

The one thing I wanted to do on vacation was go to Knoxville, visit the mall (Apple Store!) and eat Japanese food. Mom and I arrived too early for lunch so we decided to kill time in Target. That’s when I discovered Target has it in for my family. Last time we made a trip to Knoxville for shopping and Japanese food, Mom became violently ill while in Target. This time, it was my turn. There is nothing worse than being stuck in such a public place while your insides are making a violent bid for freedom. That is, until you’re trying to drive home while not being ill and getting stuck on the interstate because of an 18-wheeler that decided to burst into flames.

I think I’m going on two years without Japanese food. And I’m blaming Target. Target, why do you not want me to indulge in delicious yakiniku?

Still not feeling too up-to-par this week. And I know I’m probably putting off the inevitable doctor’s visit, but I really don’t want to spend a whole lot of money for only a little help. I’m trying to manage my condition as best I can, but I think the time will come eventually when I’ll have to get over my embarrassment and penny-pinching and seek some help.

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Filed under health, knoxville visit, messed up me, vacation, whine

Fun, family and food poisoning

Lord a-mercy!

It’s amazing how having visitors can disrupt your entire life. Not that I minded much. It’s great to see family that you would actually like to see more often.

I find it highly ironic that, growing up, and still today, I feel closer to my Australian relatives than the ones who live right here in my hometown. (I think it’s because my Aussie kin aren’t bat-shit insane like my dad’s family.)

Kelly is the oldest of my three Aussie cousins. Her boyfriend had to travel to North Carolina (of all places) for his work, so she tagged along to visit us for eight days. She and Andrew arrived late on a Thursday, and I had to work on Friday, so we didn’t get a chance to hang out until Saturday, when we all went down to Chattanooga so Kelly could meet my nephew and deliver some much belated birthday gifts.

Kelly and Ben have a "whale" of a good time.

Kelly and Ben have a "whale" of a good time.

'Sup, yo. Like my new threads?

'Sup, yo. Like my new threads?

I had the next week off work (YAY!) so on Monday, off we went to tour the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, TN. My uncle Pete, Kelly’s dad, is a big JD fan, so mom felt it her duty to take each of his girls to the distillery when they’ve visited. The distillery is an interesting place. Lynchburg is the only place in the world where Jack Daniel’s is made, but since it’s in a dry county, they’re not allowed to sell it there.

Whiskey, whiskey everywhere and not a drop to drink.

Whiskey, whiskey everywhere and not a drop to drink.

Jack actually wasn't a bad-lookin' fella.

Jack actually wasn't a bad-lookin' fella.

Tuesday, Andrew had to leave for North Carolina, so it was off to the airport to drop him off. Wednesday, Kelly, mom and I went back down to Chattanooga to hang with the bro and fam.

Thursday, we got up early to hit the Tennessee Aquarium. I hadn’t been in years, and they’d added an entire new building to the facility, including sharks, penguins and (my favorite) a butterfly garden.

Oh geez. Daddy's trying to be funny again.

Oh geez. Daddy's trying to be funny again.

Big fish, mommy! (Even though it's blurry, I really like this picture.)

Big fish, mommy! (Even though it's blurry, I really like this picture.)

Afterwards, we stopped at this little hole-in-the-wall burger place my brother likes to pick up lunch. Which promptly gave me food poisoning, so I spent the rest of Thursday and most of Friday sick. Always a good way to end a vacation.

Kelly left us on Saturday, and it was sad to see her go. But she made it home safe and sound Sunday.

It was a good week, if tiring. I told my coworkers when I came back that I needed a vacation from my vacation, but they wouldn’t hear of it.

So now I’m just trying to get caught up with everything and trying to get back into blogging. No Friday Five this week either because I haven’t been online much this week. Hopefully I can get back to it next week.

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Filed under family, vacation