Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tampa: Oktoberfest

Tampa was all work work work... and no fun.
There were baby tigers next to us!The only semi-intersting thing to add to this post is that I had an asthma attack on Saturday night.
I haven't been feeling my best for about 2 weeks now.
I've had heavy chest congestion and a stuffy/runny nose.
The chest congestion affects my energy level and breathing pattern.
Walking 15 feet feels like hard work on my lungs.
I have been an asthmatic all my life and have dealt with attacks every few years, of which all have put me into the hospital.
But not this time.
I was able to meditate myself out of it.
Go figure!
If you know me -- you know I'm not one to meditate.
I turned the air conditioning in the car on full blast and pointed it directly at my face... sat with my eyes closed and the radio off.... focused on calming my heart rate....... calming my anxieties... taking full, deep breathes... and before I knew it, I had my asthma under control.
It was an amazing feeling, as I'm used to flying into the ER just to have an IV stuck in my arm and a breathing treatment started immediately.
Bryan was pretty much quietly flipping out, as he had never been in that situation with me before, but for a rooky, he did great!
What can I say, we're a good team :)
I must add that right now I am sitting in my beachfront condo in Pensacola Beach, FL.
We're here to work a fair this weekend, but figured that we'd make the most out of our time in Florida by staying on the beach as much as possible.
Bryan and I woke up early this morning and took a loooooooong walk on the sand to the pier - it was way longer than we both thought it'd be. Geesh!
We just made lunch and are now about to head out to the beach, which is right outside our door, for the day.
Actually, Bryan just left without me. Hahaha! I'm sitting on our balcony watching him walk out to the water.
Gotta go get my bathing suit on....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Orlando: pit-stop for 1 night

My besty, Renee, and her boyfriend were in Orlando for work, so Bryan and I made a last minute decision to visit them for a day while on our way from JAX to Tampa.
The 4 of us went to Orlando's Downtown Disney We ate lunch at Fulton's Crab House
Renee and I
I love it when I get to spend time with this girl, even if it's only a few short hours!
It's Fall at Disneyworld - gotta love the pumpkin Mickey!
Bry and I love being around palm trees again!
I must admit, we do like our Downtown Disney better than Orlando's... yay for DisneyLAND! It's hard to see, but Mickey's actually in the middle of us...
Until next time you little mouse, you!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jacksonville, FL: PR

This week marks a very important week...
We are to the point in our schedule to where we will be spending the next 5 weeks in Florida.
If we're going to travel for our jobs, near the beach is always the best place to be working!
When in town for work, we stayed on Jacksonville Beach 2.5 years ago and it felt like a complete vacation. Being back in Jacksonville we knew we had to go back to that same beach. Bryan had a blast with the Yeti
Mid October and at the beach?
We have zero complaints with our life!
We do, however, wish our little Cali had been here with us...
My honey was tuckered out from a tough day...
Oh JAX Beach... we love you!

Atlanta: Georgia National Fair

Bryan and I hit the road in Charlotte, NC at 4:30am to drive to Atlanta and make it to our PR event that morning. The Explorer's PR was held at The Varsity in downtown Atlanta... we soon came to find out that The Varsity opened in 1928 and is the World's Largest Drive-In Restaurant. They scream "What'll ya have" at you when you go to order -- They startled me so bad that I froze up when ordering lunch! My little cousin, Chase, who goes to college in Millidgeville, GA, drove down to Perry, GA with his girlfriend. I was able to get them into the fair for free.
We worked with the David Ragan Ford dealership.
That same weekend David Ragan raced in the NASCAR race in Charlotte, NC.
Bryan and I drove to Millidgeville to meet Chase for brunch.
After brunch he took me to his apartment complex and showed me where he lived.
From there, we drove to Jacksonville, FL!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Home to Huntersville for 4 Short Days...

After Chicago we were to go to Atlanta for our next event.
We veered off the beaten path a bit and found our way to our doorstep.
The truth of the matter is that the Country Music Festival ended at 10:00pm on Saturday night. We began our drive HOME at that time and with much caffeine and 5 Hour Energy, we were able to drive through the night. We pulled off the highway and into a nearby parking lot at 4:30am to get a quick snooze in our seats in the truck. Full on truckers style! We awoke at 6:30am, felt rejuvinated and plugged along the rest of our drive, finding ourself home at 2:00pm Sunday afternoon.
YES! We totally drove through the night. It was absolutely worth it to have an extra day at home!
I can't even begin to explain how good it felt to be back in Lake Norman.
We weren't sure how we'd feel, as we still view Orange County, CA as home, but walking into our front door and seeing our furniture... our kitchen..... OUR BED.... we were home.
And it felt sooooooo good!
After settling in for a bit, I got in touch with some friends to let them know we were home by telling them to stop by for a drink if they could. They were out on the lake, so they said they'd swing by the marina to pick us up. On no sleep and with our adreneline running high, we jumped at the chance to see them!
Bryan out on the lake 1 last time for 2010 Shannon and I with Jo tearin' it up behind us!
Ummmm, have I ever mentioned how much I love where I live?
This is one of the reasons!
Cali Hanah and Piper Annabelle, new found cousins, playing away like CRAZY girls!
These 2 are wild when together...
Playing so hard tuckers them out just as hard.
Bryan with our baby girl and Shannon's puppy, Piper. Too cute for words! Bryan's hair is a whole 'nother story (he's refusing to get a hair cut... hasn't had one since August and doesn't want one for another few months)
My BB, besty, bossom buddy, Maid of Honor and Sistafriend, Renee, was coincidentally in Charlotte for work (she does the same thing I do - that's how we met), so it was SO GREAT to celeberate her birthday (which she shared with my mom on 10.10.10) and spend "quality time" together at Rusty Rudder on the lake for lunch and Corkscrew, a wine bar in Birkdale.
Later that night all of our friends got together at Fox and Hound in Birkdale Village for us.
We have truly made some great friends and loved getting to see them all that night.
Jennajust announced she's preggers - YAY!
Us with Paul, Allyson and Matt
With Renee and her boyfriend, Eric
3 American's and 4 Brit's - watch out, we're out-numbered!
Shannon is in the middle of a big change in her life and has been living in our home for the past several weeks. We're so happy to help her out and to have her. We're just thrilled that she's able to babysit Cali these next 5 weeks for us. Shannon has a 5lb Yorkie, Piper, and Cali and Piper have really taken to each other. We're going to raise them as cousins *wink*
I am so blessed to have this girl in my life...
For old times!
Byan and Eric catchin' up
The girls
The night is officially over with this photo!
Could our Cali be anymore precious???
Looking a little snobby, which is funny because she's a full-on tomboy
The morning we left.
I think she knew.
Check out how sad she looks and her ears are back.
Kisses for my baby girl
"Ummm guys, why are your suitcases out?"
After this photo I broke out into tears and cried my way out the door... to the truck..... and out onto the highay. I can't even convey how guilty I feel for leaving this adorable face. But Bryan and I just keep telling her that "Mommy and Daddy are going to buy you a nice backyard"...
Okay Cali-girl... we'll see you in Orlando in November.
Counting down the days til we get back to our little lovey...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicago: Country Music Festival

Chicago was the one week that I had been looking forward to throughout this whole tour.
I truly have the best parents and am so fortunate to have such an amazing relationship with both of them. They are smart and fun and just all around awesome. They adore Bryan and he respects and likes them so much.
My mom and dad rented a condo in Roscoe Village so that we could all stay together.. which actually means, so that my mom and I could stay up late and chit-chat :)
My mom turned 60 this week, which made the visit in Chicago just that much more special!


Check it out - my mom was having a beer with her mom and my grandma, Matilda (who passed away when I was little)

Navy Pier

Wine Bar in Roscoe Village
For my mom's birthday I took her out to brunch at an adorable cafe in Roscoe Village

Brunch was just wonderful - gourmet!
My mom tried a unique coffee where they grind up an orange rind and mix it into the coffee.
I tried the blended pear juice.
For our meal, my mom ordered the pesto eggs benedict and I ordered the pesto and tomato grilled cheese.
We split everything in half and shared.

Funny, right?

While my mom and I went to brunch, my dad and Bryan found their way to a bar... how weird!
Us girls joined them when we were finished.

For dinner that evening we headed to Chicago's Polish section and ate a wonderful (again, gourmet) meal at Szalas. My mom's grandmother immigrated to Pennsylvania from Poland and Polish tradition is a big deal in our family. I grew up with it and will pass along the same traditions to my future children.
Polish beer

We all ordered the same meal - The Polish Plate
Pierogies, Stuffed Cabbage, Kielbasa, Kiszka with Warm Sauerkraut, Potato Pancake
We were all SO excited to dig in!

Notice how I wore a poncho sweater to hide my belly after I ate my anticipate meal. What can I say, I'm always thinkin' ahead!
Jail for these 2!

To enter into the resturant you HAVE TO pull on this rope. The door does not open from the outside. A Polish woman opens the door for you.

The next day we headed to Naperville. Bryan and I love it there and really thought my parents would too. We were right!

Main St.

Once my parents flew back to California, Bryan and I checked into a hotel for the remainder of our stay. Well, the man at the front desk was so obsessed with my wedding ring (he commented a bazilion times :) that he gave us 2 complimentary breakfasts for the next morning. It was really bizarre, as there was no correlation, but none-the-less, we appreciated the compliment and the free breakfast!
Bryan brought me breakfast in bed - a mushroom, tomato and ham omelette with watermelon.
Thank you Doubletree Schaumburg!

Country Music Festival in Millenium Park

Notice the 2011 Ford Explorer display on the left... yep, that's where I work. The stage in the background, well, you'll see who played on that stage a few pictures down...

I got into a conversation with the nicest woman who splits her time in a highrise condo in Chicago and an oceanfront home in San Diego. We bonded over our love for southern California and San Diego. Right before she walked away she gave me her extra FRONT ROW ticket to the Gretchen Wilson/Clint Black concert that was taking place later on that night on the Main Stage.
I was elated and so grateful!!!

Yep, I snuck out of work and watched Gretchen Wilson rock it. Man is she a good performer!

The next day, back in our tent, they had "Storytellers" perform for 2 hours.
Right here is Kix Brook and David Lee Murphy.

Kix Brooks

The Band Perry is on the left.
In the middle is a Grammy winning song writer.
Then on the right is Kix Brooks and David Lee Murphy.


The bean!