Thursday, October 27, 2011


If this entry doesn't publish this time, obviously there is information included that the universe doesn't want you to read.  

1) I just got back from the gym and everything on my body is angry with me.  You'd think that it would be grateful that I'm trying to take care of it, but nooooooooo.  All it wants to do is sit in the puffy recliner and eat Krispy Kreme donuts and watch British sitcoms from the late 90s.  Why must my body fight me at every turn?  Also, it keeps complaining that it's getting old and it wants me to leave it alone.  Getting old sucks.

2)  Our sort-of cat (meaning that it is only sort of our cat, not that it isn't quite a cat. As far as I know it's 100% cat...but only DNA testing can tell for sure) Rorschach has decided that he loves me.  I think.  Whenever he sees me, he does the kitty-biscuit thing, which is very sweet, but he also has a darker side.  I suppose you could tell from the haiku posted a few days ago that he has started bringing me offerings of dead and mangled creatures.  Sometimes the critters are simply dead, and sometimes the critters are dissected and strewn about, but they are always on my porch.  Ugh.

Anyway, I wish you could have seen the cat's face the other day.  We heard the cat making really weird sounds, so I opened the door to see if he was OK, and of course, there was a dead mouse-thing on the porch.  It was in the "sacrificial corner" so I assumed it was a gift for us.  Blarg.  So I called Steve to come and sweep it off, because I'm a big sissy and I couldn't do it myself.  So he swept the thing off of the porch and the cat looked absolutely confused.  Seriously, the cat looked puzzled.  He'd look at me, the corner where the mouse was, the edge of the porch, and then back to me.  His face said "Hey! What...hey!  That was a gift, lady! That was a gift for the whole family!"  We just laughed and closed the door.  Later, when we had to go out again, the mouse was back.  I guess he thought maybe it had been a mistake.  Gross.  We just told him what a good kitty he was and thank you for the dead mousie.  Cats are weird.

3) Steve and I just refinanced our mortgage, and while financially it was smart...I absolutely hate paperwork.  Granted, it was only signing paperwork, but that is a terribly mind-numbing way to pass time, isn't it?  The notary came by with a huge stack of papers, and Steve and I waded in with our blue pens.  Of course, we managed to forget to initial one page in that stack, and the notary asked if we could meet her in the parking lot of the ghetto Wal-Mart to finish them up.  She didn't call it the ghetto Wal-Mart, of course, but that was the one she meant.  We met her in the corner of that lot like we were doing some kind of drug deal.  "Yeah, man, I got some interest rates you won't believe!  Just sign here.  Ooooh, cops!  Look natural...look natural..."  *whistles and looks away* 

4) When Steve went out of town last week, I wound up playing about 45 hours of Portal 2.  I'm not bragging about that, and honestly I'm a bit ashamed that I got so wound up the game, and the only reason I know how long I actually played is because there is a parental thing on the program that keeps track.  Geez, parents are sneaky! :)  Other than being ashamed I spent so much time playing a game, I had fun!  Portal 2 is longer and more complicated, and there is a robotic eye that follows you around and talks to you that sounds like Simon it was enjoyable!  A problem I have with playing that game is that it gets in my head and I think about it at odd times.  I'll be somewhere with white walls and I'll get an urge to fire a portal at it. Or I'll be in a room and I'll sit there and think about how I could escape if I needed to.  I even caught myself at church thinking "You know, I don't understand how the neurotoxin could flood that last room, because I KNOW I disabled the neurotoxin tubes, like...way earlier in the game!"  It's not a normal way to live.  Oh, well, I did manage to finish the game, with the help from hints and cheats when things got too difficult for me, so at least I can think normal-people thoughts for a while.  :)

5)  I went to the eye doctor at the very beginning of this year and got a new prescription for contact lenses.  I didn't want to fill the script right away, because I still had several pairs of my old contacts to go through and didn't want them to go to waste, so I didn't actually get around to getting the new ones until the end of September. When I put the new ones in, I felt that something was wrong with the right one, but I thought that maybe because it was a new prescription, I just needed to wear them a while and  get used to them.  So that's what I did, and sometimes I'd be OK, but generally, the right lens is just blurry.  Not so blurry that I can't function, but when I drive or need to read something far off, my eye starts feeling strange and it gets blurry.  So I made an appointment with my eye doc, just to make sure I didn't accidentally get the wrong kind or something.  When I went in, they did some tests and said... "Oh, you can see perfectly, but your eye is just really dry."  I know I must have looked as if I didn't believe them, because they kept telling me (as if they were trying to convince me) that nothing was wrong, it's just that I have dry eyes.  Actually, dry eye, since my left eye is fine. 

You know, I realize they are the "eye care specialists" or whatever, and I don't know anything about vision correction, and I know they know better than I do about what is going on with my eye.  However,  I do know that I wasn't having any problems what so ever with this dry eye thing until I put in my new contacts, and my eye is fine when I'm wearing my glasses.  That isn't to say I thought they were wrong, even, but they were telling me only one eye is dry and that's why my contact on that side is being weird.  OK.  So they gave me a bottle of cleaner, which I already had but don't use that often because it makes my eyes sting, and told me to use that instead of the cleaner that doesn't bother my eyes.  They also gave me a set of drops and told me to use them 3 times a day, every day, and my right contact will start working correctly.  Whatever.  I'm doing everything they say and the fracking contact lens is still acting weird and my vision is still blurry.  I guess I'll just tough it out until my next eye appointment, and hopefully the lady was right about my eye being dry and I don't go blind on one side from wearing a wonky lens. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


You know, I just spent a lot of time writing a post and the rackin' frackin' internet had a brain fart and deleted it. 

I don't have the time or patience to write all that again right now.

Hastared computer. 

Monday, October 17, 2011


1) Since I've started running A/V on Sunday mornings, one part of my job is to add in new announcement slides that run before the services begin.  Usually we just use a plain blue background for the announcements, but if here is some kind of special event taking place, I try to find a background that fits the "theme."  The other day I had to make a slide to remind everyone about the sign up sheet in the lobby, for people who would be bringing a cake for the fall festival cake-walk.  I couldn't find a background I liked very much, so I used Google image search to find something and managed to find a big, high-res still of the infamous cake from the game Portal that I could turn into a slide. I thought it would be funny, but absolutely no one has a clue what it is from.  :(

2) I felt like such an idiot yesterday.  I don't want to go into much detail, because I know it won't make sense to any of you even if I tried. Suffice it to say that I mistook a statement about one person to be about another person, and made a comment that made zero sense to the man I was talking to. Instead of taking the obviously acceptable chance to just say "Oh, my bad, I thought you were talking about someone else," I tried to play it off, and only made myself sound more insane.  I honestly really did try and correct myself, but I don't know why I didn't just admit I thought they were talking about someone else.  It was like my brain refused to consider it!  I'm fairly certain the man I was talking to thinks I'm a lunatic, and I don't blame him a bit. 

3) We had a meal after church, and I took on the job of washing dishes. I swear to you, I washed like 20 sharp, serrated steak knives and I didn't even nick myself.  Then I picked up a plastic butter knife to cut a roll in half and sliced a gash in my hand. How does that even happen?

4) I suppose you saw from my last post that I do not like going into public places with my computer.  Actually, since I've had time to think about it, I don't think I'd mind so much if I were alone, or doing some kind of work.  I just don't like doing that when there is a person with me.  It feels rude.

5) I finally got to see Scream 4, and it was so much fun!  I know those movies aren't much more than your average slasher flicks, but I still enjoy them.  They're silly.  In fact, I enjoy most screamy slasher movies, as long as they don't veer off into gross, torture-porn territory.  Only one thing about these particular movies really bothers me.  The movies are very tongue-in-cheek, very meta, and making fun of horror movie tropes in general and I get that.  The killers use stuff that they learned from watching scary movies to commit crimes that they think can be blamed on other people, because they've "Thought Of Everything!"  But if we imagine these things happened in real life...there is no way the people they are setting up to be blamed for the crimes would be found guilty.  Forensics, even your everyday, non-CSI-type forensics, would work against them.  Even if the actual killers couldn't be found, the people set up to take the fall would probably be eliminated, simply due to bullet wound entries, knife slashes, DNA evidence, and etc. The ghost-face killers may watch a lot of scary movies to figure out how to kill people, but it's obvious that they don't watch a lot of true-crime TV to figure out what NOT to do in a murdery situation.

Aaaaaaaaand, I've officially thought too hard about it.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011


So, I'm currently sitting in a Starbucks, with my iPad, not talking to Steve (who's on his laptop), and mothra-freaking blogging. Does that make me a pretentious hipster? I think it does. I'd like to apologize to everyone I know.

Ok, well, maybe not a hipster. But this strikes me as sad, to be sitting across from someone and ignoring them. I have the insane urge to reach over and start poking Steve in the forehead repeatedly so that we can at least have a little interaction.

Things I'm Thinking:

I don't like the new Starbucks logo. I know that the brand is ubiquitous and everyone knows them simply by the logo, but to have a logo with no company name smacks of hubris. Like they are the business version of Cher or Madonna. Strangely, I don't feel that way about other companies like Nike.

The salted caramel hot chocolate is delicious. They sprinkle big grains of salt on top of the whipped cream and it is awesome.

I'm only writing this so I don't look sad, sitting here not talking to anyone. Right now I'm socially-awkward penguin.

Yay, Steve just talked to me. The large group of friends who are over there having fun and having conversations don't have to feel sorry for us anymore!

If I am going to successfully look aloof, I should have worn one of my scarves. It's easier to be aloof while wearing a scarf.

Now Steve is describing Memes to me. It loses something when you can't see the picture.

Sorry to sound all complainy. I'm just uncomfortable playing with my computer toys in public. It makes me feel like I'm showing off.

Hey, they painted over the awesome mural. Boo! It was weird, but I liked it! Well, the green is nice too, but still...

I'm going to stop now and play a game.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Oh, Cat, stop leaving
dead animals on my porch.
It's pissing me off.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


1) You know how in my last post I told you about the new cookbook I got at Peach Park, and how I hoped it wouldn't have an actual recipe for possum in it?  Well, it does. It also tells how to catch, kill and burn the fur off of them before you eat them.  I died a little inside.

Oh, and as for the peach cider I got at the same place, it was so very, very sweet.  It wasn't bad, but I think it would be better if mixed with something to cut the sweetness a bit.  You could have poured it over pancakes!  Ooooooh, that would have been good...

2) Raise your hand if you like over-reactions?  Heehee.  Don't ask me how I came across this train wreck of an article, but it has to do with those "Happy Family" stickers that a lot of people have on the backs of their cars.  You know the ones, the mommy-daddy-kids-pets stickers in various themes that basically tell every stranger who sees your car how your family is made up?  I've heard of them referred to as "pedophile menus."  Anyway, someone wrote what I'm sure was intended to be some kind of sociological statement piece about family hierarchy, and it just came across as a little silly, in my opinion.  Actually, the article aside, it is the comment section that really made me roll my eyes.  Really?  People get their panties in a bunch because the male figures are depicted as being taller than the female figures?  Geez.  Some people...

Oh, and as for some of the comments about how you don't see homosexual couples with kids depicted on these stickers, that is untrue.  I saw a two daddy car the other day! 

3) This has to be one of the funniest Flickr photo streams ever!  You may have heard about this already, but in case you haven't, please go click through this.  Apparently there is a haunted house somewhere near Niagra Falls called The Nightmare Fear Factory.  Part of the attraction catches people off guard with bright lights and some kind of jump-scare where their pictures are taken, kind of in the same vein as roller coaster photos.  Whatever the scare is, it must be bad, because these people look terrified and the resulting pictures are hilarious.  Steve and I laughed until we cried over some of these.  If you're having a bad day and need a laugh, please take a look.  It'll make you feel so much better!

4) You know, I've never been to Wisconsin. 

5) My allergies are kicking my butt right now.  I wish I knew what kind of thing was blooming or dying at this time of year so I could destroy it, because it never fails that when fall comes my sinuses shut down and try to murder me.  It's been that way for years.  I can deal with the stuffy nose bit, but the headaches are what get to me.  Blarg, headaches.

6) Yesterday I got out the Sodastream maker and set about making a bottle of soda.  I know that it might seem to be a silly thing to own, but if you consider how much soda we drink, you'd know it's paid for itself many times over.  Anyway, I bought a bottle of tonic water flavoring, because I like drinking tonic water with lime, and I thought that it would be more economical to just use our machine to make it rather than buy it.  We don't normally use the mixes from the Sodastream company, we use fruit juice or something of the like.  My problem with the Sodastream flavorings, which I think I've mentioned before, is that they use a mixture of sugar and artificial sweeteners - and the result is that the mix often has that bitter, artificial taste that some diet drinks have.  I didn't think that it would be a problem with tonic water, though, because it is already kind of bitter and wangy, albeit in a pleasant way.  However, since I don't know how to mix quinine into something drinkable, I thought the mix would be ok.  Well, I made the bottle of soda and put it in the fridge to get cold, and then I had the brilliant idea to taste the concentrated flavoring to see what it was like.

Oh, dear Lord in heaven, it was foul. All I did was dip my fingertip in the bottle and touch it to my tongue, and I think my whole head tried to turn itself inside out.  It was bitter and sour, and the taste of the artificial sweetener that I dislike so much was turned up to 11.  Not only was the concentrate disgusting, the taste stuck in my mouth and I couldn't get rid of it.  I could have gone outside and licked the dog, and still tasted that yuck in my mouth.  Of course, since that happened, I can't bring myself to drink the diluted tonic water that I made.  Although the soda itself would be lighter and not anywhere as bitter, and the artificial sweetness would have been way less noticeable, just the thought of it right now makes me gag.  So much for being economical. 

Friday, October 07, 2011


October 3, 2011

Today was our "travel back" day and I was very sad to leave Destin.  Actually, Destin - Shmestin, I was sad to leave the beach, but the city was nice, too. 

We ate at the hotel for breakfast one more time before we headed out and let Jeepus lead us home.

Nothing too exciting happened as we drove back, sadly, and I kept dozing off.  Well, almost dozing off, but I tried to stay awake so Steve would have someone to talk to.  You know, in case he ever started talking.  Heehee.

Probably the only interesting spot on the whole ride back was stopping briefly at Peach Park in Clanton, AL.

TANGENT: Did you know that Clanton is the peach capital of Alabama? It also has a water tower shaped like a peach. In your FACE, Georgia!* :)

Millions of peaches, peaches for me...

I'd been there once before, a really long time ago, with a very, very dear friend of mine.  However, it was closed when we visited it so this was the first time I'd ever actually gone in.  It's sort of like a farmer's market / tourist stop / restaurant where they have all kinds of fun stuff, plus rocking chairs outside to rest in.  We didn't stay long, and unfortunately we didn't try the peach ice cream (which I hear is boss) but we did purchase some Fuzzy Navel Jelly (not as gross as it sounds), Peach and Scuppernong Cider (which we have yet to try) and a cookbook for my collection called "Possum & Sweet Potatoes."  I haven't looked into the book to read the recipes yet, but I sincerely hope there are no recipes for actual possums in there.  I may be southern, but I don't think I could handle that.

At any rate, after that we got back on the road and made it home in time to pick up the dogs and get settled in before dinner time.  

We had a great trip, although it was too short for me!  

*I actually love Georgia, as some of my favorite people live there.  Please don't be offended. That being your face, Georgia.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


This morning I learned a bit more about our hotel neighbors. As I was standing at the sink doing morning stuff, I could hear them through the infernal connecting door. There are three kids instead of one, and Gavin is not the baby. Apparently he's the oldest of three, Gavin, Grace, and Grey, who is actually the baby. Since the parents spent a great deal of time fussing at the two older kids and telling them "NO!", I'm going to assume that baby Grey cried for so long yesterday because Gavin and Grace stood around him and poked him with sticks. Question: why do people name their kids soap opera names? Also, why do they all have "g" names? Maybe it was so they didn't have to buy new monogrammed baby stuff. Who knows?  I want to clarify that I wasn't pressing my ear to the door to hear any of this info, I was brushing my teeth.  So think about that the next time you've got a connecting door to another room in your hotel. Be careful what you say, or someone may go home and blog about you!  :)

Enough about that. I left Steve asleep and walked down to the beach to walk around for a while and pick up shells. It was just as gorgeous as yesterday. Seriously, the weather couldn't have been more perfect if I had ordered it from a catalog. It was cool,  but the sun was bright and the water was warm. The only dark spots were the giant jellyfish that had washed up on the beach and were floating in the shallow pools. I mean, they weren't Sy-Fy original movie big, but they were still very large. I had to be very careful not to step on them when i was wading in the water or walking along the edge of the water. You couldn't see them until you were almost right on top of them, so....yikes.

We went to breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and if your curious whatever happened to Andy Dick, he apparently grew a goatee and is now the host at the resort. :)

We had planned to go out and do many things today, but ultimately we decided that we just wanted to relax. We rented a couple of chairs and an umbrella, and we stared at the ocean for a few hours. It was lovely.  When we left the beach, we went to the pool for a while. It was actually really too cool to swim, but I got in the pool anyway. The water was so cold it hurt. I thought it would get warmer, but it really didn't. I finally had to get out, and that was even colder! It was fun, though.

Unfortunately, when we got back to the room, both Steve and I realized we had gotten just a bit more sun than we had realized.  Even though we had drenched Steve in sun block, he was fried. Oy, he was so very, very burnt. He just recently stopped taking some medication that makes his skin very sun sensitive, and we thought that he'd been off of it long enough to be safe, but even though he had been under an umbrella and mostly out of the sun, AND covered in sunscreen, he was toasted. Me...I was just stupid. I was so busy making sure Steve had on enough, I didn't put enough sun block on myself. Plus I didn't think my legs would burn. I have no idea why I thought that, because I've had bad sunburns on my legs in the past (that I didn't remember until staring down at my bright red knees.)  OH, and my face was burnt as well, but not everywhere.  I have bangs and a pair of giant sun glasses, so the top half of my face is fine, but the rest is bright red. Sexy! So Steve was in agony, and my legs and face were on fire. Good times!

We didn't feel like going anywhere else, so we had dinner at the hotel restaurant and it almost killed us.  It wasn't that we ate too much, but everything they serve in that place was so heavy and rich that we got sleepy, so we came back to the room and ended the day by watching television and trying not to let anything hurt our sunburns.

Wow, I go all summer not getting sunburned, but October rolls around and I get one.  Nice!  

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


October 1, 2011

I woke up this morning to the sound of a baby crying.  Wha?  Yeah, I had no idea where it was coming from, but it was incessant. I was looking under furniture and checking in the closet, but I never found the baby.  Heh.  Actually, the kid was in the room next to ours (the two suites share a connecting door) and so we could hear him through that. It wasn't loud, but unless that kid was being attacked by an army of angry crawfish, I have no idea what was wrong with him.

But he wasn't my kid, so I ignored him and went about my morning.

I walked out on the balcony and watched the beautiful sunrise over the water.  I love the ocean so much! I have seen mountains, deserts and prairie, and nothing I've seen so far matches up to the seaside for me. One day I will have a home on the beach if I can, I hope.  Steve and I walked downstairs to walk on the sand and it was so nice. It was warm and gorgeous. I like to look for shells first thing in the morning before the best ones are gathered by someone else, but there were hardly any out there. The sand is sugar white and very fine, and where we are the water is very shallow and there are hardly any waves. I've seriously never seen ocean that calm along a shoreline except when we were in Key West. It's just gorgeous.

After a while of puttering around outside, we came back upstairs and got ready to have breakfast.  That kid was still crying, by the way.  I was starting to worry about him, because we had been gone a while and that just seemed like a long time for a kid to cry like that.

After breakfast, Steve and I decided to go shopping while we waited for the day to warm up a bit more. We had a great time going to different places in town. We also stopped at a thrift store near our hotel, just to see what a thrift store in a town full of wealthy residents would have in it. Let me tell you, if you want some awesome furniture at insanely low prices...find the nearest resort town and hit up their thrift store. There is so much we would have gotten if we could have managed it!

When we got back, we changed and headed down to the beach. I donned my new muumuu over my suit and prepared myself to be in public.  I think I've mentioned before how nice it is to go to the beach, because it never fails that no matter how bad you think you look in your suit, someone else comes along who looks worse and so you don't feel so bad. Well, today, I got to be the person who made everyone else feel better.  I'm not just saying that, either.  It was like Baywatch out there, and then there was me.  Oy.  So many gorgeous women in perfect bikini was mortifying. Whatever.  I sucked it up and owned it, y'all, because sometimes it's just what you have to do.  Besides, no one was paying any attention! :).

Tangent - DOLPHINS!!!!!!!!!

Steve and I got into the water, but it was hard to get used to. The water wasn't cold, but the air above it was cool, so we had to inch our way in. When we'd finally gotten out aways, we were surrounded by fish. Not teeny fish, either, but five or six inch silver fish with yellow fins. At first I thought it was funny, because they kept nibbling Steve's feet, but after Steve went back to the towels, they really started swarming around me. I was sitting in the water trying to shoo them away, but they wouldn't go! I probably looked insane shouting at the water, telling the unseen-by-others critters to go away, but I was starting to get nervous. I was fine until they started nipping at me, and the I got out of the water. Honestly, I expected to have dozens of tiny fish-hickies on my legs, but luckily I was unscathed.  I decided to lie on my towel and dry off for a while, so I just lay there like a lump in the sun, loving every minute. Steve had gone back to the room, and it was only after I had lain there a while that I remembered that I am so rarely out in the sun that it wouldn't be too smart to stay out much longer, so I came back to the room.  When I got back, that kid was crying again, or possibly still crying. I was seriously worried about him by that point. What if he was alone in there? I mean, maybe his parents were the type who go on vacation, throw the kid into a playpen with a bottle and turn on the tv, leaving him alone so they could go play golf or something.  I went as far as lying down on the floor by the connecting door to listen and see if anyone else was in the room, and thankfully I heard a woman come by and tell "Gavin" that he needed a nap. A nap, hell, that kid needed a Percocet. Personally, I think he cried so much because he suddenly realized his parents had named him Gavin.

We got cleaned up and went back out again. We went to Fudpucker's to eat, and I'm fairly certain the food there made me sick. I don't mean it was spoiled or anything like that, but something in my lunch made me very sick to my stomach. There are certain types of oils or spices that do that to me, so I guess I'm allergic, but since I don't know specifically what they are, I can't avoid them. Anyways, I at least managed to leave the restaurant without hurling in the alligator tank, so queasiness aside, I'd call that a win!  Luckily, I started feel a bit better after a while, so we stopped by the outlet mall! Steve found a lot of great clothes for himself, which I'm glad about, but I guess I'm too fat to buy clothes in Destin because I couldn't find a darn thing in my size at any of the stores we went into. Actually, the same thing could be said about  almost every store I have been into in this town so far. That isn't an exaggeration. I can't find clothes in my size anywhere that I have checked so far except for maybe the Under Armor outlet, and I'm not 100% certain that my work out pants will fit because I didn't try them on first. Oh well... I guess I'm just too bodacious for this town! :)

We shopped in the outlets for a while and came back to the hotel for a late dinner. We've been trying to stay quiet so as not to wake up Gavin, and either he finally came to terms with his name, or his parents have drugged him, because we haven't heard crying since we've been back.

So far we are having a great time!


 September 30, 2011

Oh, I've been waiting on a beach vacation for so long.  I suppose that sounds ridiculous when you consider all the places I've been this year, but none of the trips I've taken thus far can be considered relaxing.  Steve surprised me a few weeks ago by making reservations at the Hilton Sandestin Resort down in Florida!  He had been to Destin before while on a work trip, and he decided that he'd like to see what it was like to visit it in a less official capacity! Onward!

We actually started off much later in the day than we had anticipated.  For some reason, the alarm didn't wake us up as early as we hoped, but we were still able to wrangle the mutts into their harnesses and get them off to the boarding place before 8:00 am!  We didn't have any biting incidents this time, so that was good.  After that, we had to finish packing and get ready to leave, but we didn't manage to actually get out of the house until about 10:15, which sucked, because it is a six hour drive to Destin from home, and I was afraid we would get there too late to do anything. After we finally got on the road, we actually made pretty good time. We did have a bad moment when we came very close to getting trapped in a homecoming parade in a place called Brewton (I think), but we managed to just miss it. Of course, had we wound up in it, I planned to smile and wave until we made it to the end.  :) We finally made it out of there and began passing through some rather creepy places. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean the places were decrepit or scary, but they all had a very empty, "everyone-could-be-dead-and-no-one-would-ever-know" feeling about them.  It was like being in one of those movies where you have to stop at a normal looking house and ask for directions, only to have at least three of your traveling companions eaten by something gruesome that lives in the barn behind it.  Luckily, we had a GPS, so we didn't have to stop. 

Tangent - Did you know that a town called Castleberry is the strawberry capital of Alabama?  Now you do!

It took us until about 4:45pm to reach our hotel and good grief was it fancy, much more so than either of us expected.  Apparently there had been a major refurbishing done very recently. There was a guard at the entrance who had to give us a parking pass, and he asked our last name, which Steve gave him. Then the guard asked how it was spelled, and Steve spelled it out for him. It's important to know that Steve didn't mumble or whisper while he was spelling our last name, but still, when the guard gave us the pass, it said we were Mr. and Mrs. Perpe. Oh, well, we decided that it should be pronounced "per-pay" so that it didn't sound common. :) We managed to dodge the valet parking guys, because I have an irrational fear of them, and got our things together to get checked in.  Luckily, we had both packed light (I'm finally learning how) and walked in. The hotel is gorgeous, and I had a bad moment of feeling out of place  (like one of the Beverly Hillbillies) but after I saw a lady wearing the same outfit I had on -although I'm sure hers was much more expensive, ha! - I felt better.

The view from our balcony. BEACHY!

Believe it or not, I didn't set foot on the beach at all the first day, but mainly it was because of timing. We were both hungry after taking our stuff to the room, and so we set out to find some food. We had dinner at a place called The Black Pearl, which was very good, and after leaving we went on a wild goose chase to find a bathing suit cover up for me, because I'd forgotten to pack one. There were some for sale in the hotel shop, but I couldn't imagine paying that much for something that was basically going to get wet, so we thought we'd hit up one of the local surf shops and find something a bit more reasonable.  It was a tough job, though, because if you aren't a teeny tiny teenager, or a maw-maw, there is nothing out there. Everything was either way too small or a muumuu. Ugh. We had to go to three or four different places before I found anything I would wear, but I'm still not happy with it. I had to go the muumuu route, because - no joke - everything else was way, way too small.  I'm not thin by any means, but I'm not so crazy big that I can't find clothes for myself.  But in this town, you'd think I was the circus fat lady or something.  It was frustrating!!!!  I wouldn't have even bothered looking for anything, but unfortunately, the hotel has a dress code, and you have to wear something over your swim suit while in the lobby. Granted, I guess I could have worn my street clothes over my suit, but I didn't want to get them sandy and wet because packing light means not having replacements!

The restaurant had fish utensils. I'd eat there just for that.  :)

When we got onto our floor, we tried to find a vending machine for some drinks, but the one on our floor had been removed. Steve had to go up two floors before he found one, and I think I know why they are so hard to find. I found a mini-bar hidden in the television stand and the cans of soda inside were $3.25 apiece! I suppose they want you to get frustrated when you couldn't find the vending machine and buy the ones in the mini-bar instead. Yikes. No thanks. The vending machine ones were still more expensive than normal, but not as much as the ones in the mini-bar.  I'm not at all bad-mouthing this hotel or anything, so please don't think that, but geez, everything was so flapping expensive. 

We heard a couple arguing in one of the nearby rooms, but we never figured out why. It got pretty bad, though. Too bad we didn't hear what the fight was about. Aside from just being nosey, if one of them flings the other off the balcony, it would be nice to be able to tell the police why! :)

Oh, and you know how I said I had earned to pack light? Well, I think I did too good of a job, because when I was unpacking tonight I realized that I forgot some of my clothes! I should have enough to see me through the weekend, but I'd better not spill anything on myself or fall into the gulf, or I'll end up having to wear my new muumuu home!