Oct 30, 2011

San Antonio, Texas!!

Hey ya'll, we just got back from two weeks in Texas!! 
(Their ya'lls rubbed off on me. Sorry.)
I was kinda wondering if I should post pics, cuz I don't want to sound all braggy, like, "Ooh, guess who went on an awesome vacation??" 
However I happen to have friends and family who would kill me if I didn't post pictures so ... yeah.
And so, to make it better for you internet-only friends, you can just pretend that I'm taking you for virtual vacation! And sometimes, virtual vacations aren't such a bad deal. You can enjoy the scenery without having to sit in the car for 27 hrs within two days (ONE WAY!!). Mmmm-hmmm ...
Anyways. So we're all happy now, right? ;)

So let's just skip the car ride and get right to San Antonio!
Getting out of the car in Texas was amazing. It had the heavy feel of summer, and there were birds everywhere. In October, for crying out loud! It's supposed to be sweatshirt weather, and there we were in shorts. Niiice. :)

Anyways, one of the best parts of San Antonio was the river walk. Part of the walk is pretty quiet, and landscaped oh-so beautifully! 
I almost died when I first walked down there.

OK, so I'm pretty sure these are Tillandsia air plants ... in the wild. Oh, yes! I was pumped. 
(You can see an old post I did on air plants here.)

As you walk down, you start getting deeper into the city, and there are more sky scrapers and restaurants around.

Random pigeon chillin' in a pipe. :)

Policemen in boats. Who knew?

There were so many little alcoves and cool things on the river walk. Random benches and stairs, amazing architecture. And at one place there was a hidden waterfall! You would walk up to a brick archway, and then all of a sudden there was a waterfall behind it! It was awesome.

Me and my sis being adorable. As usual. :)

This is a really good view of the river walk. Tall buildings mixed with nature and water taxis and people. Love!

When we walked down farther, suddenly the river walk was lined with restaurants, and sooo crowded! 

 We stopped for lunch at an open air Tex Mex restaurant. It was right on the river, and there were tons of ducks and pigeons walking around in the restaurant. It was awesome. :)

More of the walk. Oh, and just to verify, this river walk is huuuge. We spent hours down there for quite a few days in a row!

One of my favorite things was when we stopped for supper after dark. It was outdoors again, and we had fancy burgers. There were two guys playing slow jazz, and there were strings of lightbulbs hung through the shadowy trees above us. River taxis were going by, and people were quietly jabbering. It was magical.

But we couldn't get a pic of it, cuz it was dark. :-/

Also in San Antonio there were these "trolley cars", which were actually just decked out buses. But it was still pretty sweet. :)

River walk again:

One day just me, my mom and bro went out for lunch on the walk. We sat RIGHT next to the river. Like, I would look down and there were fish and ducks swimming a few inches away.
I made the acquaintance of a duck named Dora (she told me so herself.) Dora was a total PRO at begging. I didn't know ducks had such expressive eyes! She would cock her head, and stretch out her neck. It was begging perfection. So of course, I gave her some of my lunch. I couldn't resist. And I found out something interesting. Ducks like tortillas. But they don't like rice or lettuce. However, the rice and lettuce they pass up, the fish greatly enjoy. Strange, right?


(Later I also made the acquaintance of a duck named Waldo, and one named Henly Tucket. But I didn't get pics of them.)

There were birds everywhere. And when the waiters don't clear the food fast enough, this is what happens. :)

We also went to the Alamo! I really didn't know much about the Alamo before we went, so it was great to learn about it on site. :)

Papayas growing outside the Alamo:

And then we crashed a hotel. Hey, we were just walking around and a certain someone (me*coughcough*) had to go ... so we just stepped into this hotel. And it was soooo fancy! And SO vintage. There were wooden phone-booths, and old time music was playing. There were black and white photos on the walls, and goodness, it even *smelled* like how I would imagine it smelled back then. I think it was the wood-varnish that did it.

 And then ... it was time to leave San Antonio.
We took a few pictures of the hotel we stayed at, just as we were leaving. One of my favorite parts of our hotel decor; red, yellow and green painted "booths" with matching phones. :)

So, that's about it for San Antonio!
I'll be back later for the second half of our vacation.
*Whispers* think beach.

Oct 13, 2011

Dear Person ...

I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed my last Dear Person post. So I thought I'd do a few more! Who knows, maybe this will become a bit of a series on my blog!
These drawings are just for fun, to remember cool and strange things that I've seen. I don't try to make them really realistic or anything ... just fun. :)

The first two were seen on Friday Sept. 24th.
(You wouldn't believe how hard it is to draw a Buffalo Wild Wings logo...)

Seen on Saturday, Oct. 1st:
(I like the way his hand turned out. :)

Seen on Tuesday, Oct. 11th:

So, what do you think? Should I keep doing these?

*Week Two: Gratitude Challenge*

Things I'm thankful for:

Friday, Oct. 7
  • Wind. Whipping the trees, lashing my hair. The sound, the feel. 
  • Apple crisp.
  • Reading. Finding a hilarious bit of writing and sending it to my friend, who appreciated it muchly.
  • A clean bathroom. 
  • Having someone wave to me enthusiastically from a passing car. I couldn't see who it was, but it's nice to be waved at by a friend. At least, I assume it was a friend by their enthusiasm. :)
  • Being able to visit my friends at soccer. I was recovering from a cold and too tired to actually play, but I got to see the kids for a while anyway.
  • Biking home early, without a helmet. Quite the rebellious child I am, eh? ;) The wind through my hair felt so beautiful.
  • Having a girls night and watching a Lark Rise to Candleford episode, while the boys were at soccer. 
  • Cottage cheese rolls, fresh from the oven. Hot, fluffy, dripped with melty frosting. Mmm.
  • Watching Foyles War with the whole family when the guys got back. 
Saturday, Oct. 8
  • That it's Saturday.
  • For perfect photo-taking lighting outside.
  • For turning up the music and having a clean-the-room party with my sis.
  • A clean room. :)
  • Adventures in Odyssey. I haven't listened to an episode for soooo long. Kinda fun. :)
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. 
  • Gorgeous autumn weather.
  • Cheese with Trader Joe's crackers. 
  • Fresh air wisping its way through the windows.
  • Picking scrumptious fall bouquets. 

Sunday, Oct 9
  • For a church that is alive. A church where I can feel Christ next to me, working in me.
  • Seeing an old friend. I haven't seen her for almost a year!
  • Rain. The beautiful, beautiful sound of rain. I miss that sound during the quiet winter.
  • A gray day. Lazy and rainy. Reading and a blanket, windows open. 
  • Super crunchy, juicy apples.
  • That our friends could reschedule some stuff so we can visit them on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. That way I don't have to miss ballet this week! 
  • That I'm finally feeling better. 
  • The internet. :)
  • Carrots and ranch dressing.
  • Today. 

Monday, Oct 11
  • Downpours. I really do love them. 
  • Getting lots of school done, even though I had a super late start.
  • Finishing Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. It was amazing!
  • Having a family that does awesome stuff ... like making Ketchup. True story.
  • Encountering people with wacky last names.
  • The people at my dance studio. And ballet in general. Oh, ballet, how I love thee! Even if you occasionally give me blisters ...
  • Friends who are approximately my age and sit on my lap for no particular reason. 
  • That I get to visit some awesome peeps tomorrow! Getting up early and spending a total of 5 hrs in the car is totally worth it. 
  • A clean retainer. I soaked it in denture cleaner today. I'm sure some of you will think of some highly sarcastic comments about me using denture cleaner ... but that is completely irrelevant. 
  • Straight faced sarcasm, subtle humor, expressive and twinkly eyes. (The actor who plays D.C.S. Foyle is a pro.)
Tuesday, Oct 11
  • Visiting friends. Always so wonderful! We spent the whole day with them, so most of the things I'm thankful for today include them. :)
  • Playing a whole game of Scatergories, sitting in the sun on the trampoline. A whole game, as in, all twelve lists. :)
  • The quiet. OK, so there really wasn't much quiet around us (friends have a tendency to chatter and laugh ... loudly. In case you haven't noticed.) But there was a background of blissful silence which you only get in the country. 
  • Horseback riding. I rode on Jewel, their appaloosa, with one of the friends sitting behind me. Jewel is built like a Trojan war horse! I needed a leg up, cuz there was no way I could get my foot high enough to reach the stirrup. It was probably near my shoulder, as her back is about even with my head. That horse is powerful. And sweet. And wonderful. :)
  • Switching horses later, and having a fabulous canter. (I wasn't quite sure I could hold Jewel back if she got going really fast.)
  • Pupppies. Puppiespuppiespuppies. OK, so there were only two of them, but still. Puppiespuppiespuppies. I do love them so.
  • A birthday party. Only 2 months late. :) Cake, candles ... the works! 
  • Lovely presents. Lovely friends.
  • Not hitting a skunk on the way home. We came *this* close, friends. It went right between our tires, straight under the car, spraying all the way. Yummy.
  • Not dying. Mom and I were getting a little loopy with tiredness on the 2 1/2 hr ride home. We were going crazy trying to keep awake, and we succeeded. Cuz Mom did not fall asleep, and we didn't die. Always a good thing. 

Wednesday, Oct 12
  • Second hand book stores. One in particular. They take trade-ins, so we always get rid of stacks we don't want, and leave with a few beautiful books that we do want. Love it!
  • Being able to find two super cute sweaters for $4 each!
  • That my sis lets me borrow her clothes. :)
  • Smoothie cubes ...  smoothie frozen in an ice cube tray. When I want a smoothie, I just pop a couple cubes in a cup and melt them partway. Instant yum! I just discovered smoothie cubes this week. I love 'em.
  • Conditioning class. It hurts so good! >_< 
  • Tap. Still get confused and left behind, and I still love it.
  • Goofy goofy people. "Hold 8!" ... I totally just put that in for my own amusement. I know none of you will have the slightest idea why that's funny, but I think it's hilarious. :D
  • Coming home and going completely crazzzzyy!!! Me and my bro were singing off-key and loudly in the kitchen*, using random accents, punching each other, etc. I gave myself a headache. And it was awesome. 
  • Glasses. I don't like having to wear them ... but it is rather nice to be able to see. 
  • Blankets. For obvious comfortable reasons. 

*Even the "songs" were crazy. For example, I changed the words to "Do, a deer" from the Sound of Music. 

Do, a deer! A female moose!
Re! A drop of golden moon!
Me! A name! I call yourself!
Fa! A long, long way to walk!
So! A needle pulling yarn!
La! A note to follow doe! (this is where it got confusing)
Te! A drink with jam and toast!
And that will bring us back to Doe!

(I didn't realize how many exclamation marks are in that song ... )

Thursday, Oct 13

  • Waking up to warm blankets and fresh cold air.
  • Getting school done.
  • Going to sewing class and almost finishing my latest project. The things that are left are things I can probably do at home! Yay!
  • Being able to get a ton of stuff done today! Always feels good.
  • Listening to movie soundtracks with my brother.
  • Crazy people and funny stories.
  • Dance. Yet again. :)
  • That my sister lets me use her camera!
  • Having a stack of great books waiting for me to read them.
  • My lovely followers! I can't believe there are 70 of you. You guys are amazing! 

Oct 4, 2011

21 days of thankful

One of my good friends is hosting a gratitude challenge! You can read about it here. The challenge is to write 10 things you're thankful for every day for 21 days!

I've decided to split my lists into three parts, one week for each post. So here we go! Week one of the gratitude challenge! If you decide to join, I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, Sept 27th
  • Sunshine and 80 degree weather in September! Yeah, baby!
  • A fabulous book to read in aforementioned sunshine.
  • Messy fishtail braids. 
  • A friend to chat with. Honestly, we write about and imagine the most randumb stuff together. We often imagine we are different people, shooting witty lines at each other, rather like an improv act. Today's chat topics included grapes splatted in hair; cannonballs into insane asylums; imaginary British folk, one of which was named Edwhad (my character); and Mr. Tumness forgetting his lines in a play. Don't worry if you're confused. Sometimes I wonder about us too. 
  • Hot apple cider in the evening.
  • Selling some items on etsy.
  • That I'm only feeling bleghy, and not completely sick like my mom.
  • That I got to sleep in, since I was feeling bleghy. Bleghyness has it's few perks ... 
  • Being able to watch two episodes of Lark Rise to Candleford.
  • Hearing a robin singing. Mmmm. Sounds like spring.

Wednesday, Sept 28th
  • Beautiful weather.
  • A fairly easy school day.
  • Having enough time to package a package for an etsy customer.
  • That Logan finally answered her phone after a couple tries. (We give her rides to dance, and I wasn't sure if she needed one today. I didn't want to leave her stranded if she did!)
  • Feeling good enough to go to dance.
  • Surviving conditioning class.
  • Being able to keep up pretty well in tap.
  • My mom making delicious and nutritious suppers.
  • A four page letter from my grandma.
  • This video. It's a bit long, but I highly recommend watching the whole thing! The end is so beautiful and indescribable, and, and ... yeah. You have to watch it to see what I mean.  If you watch, stick it through to the end. It's worth it. :)

Louie Giglio Stars Whales Mashup from Ryan Sarpalius on Vimeo.

Thursday, Sept 29th
  • Finally getting thank you cards written for my birthday presents. Presents which I got ... five weeks ago.
  • That Mom is considering letting me get texting.
  • Yellow leaves.
  • Fresh autumn air.
  • That sewing class started.
  • That we finally found out what our spring ballet performance is going to be! Hansel and Gretel!! Woot!
  • That my brother spends 1 hr. total bringing me to and from ballet. 15 minutes to drop me off, 15 minutes home, 15 minutes to pick me up, 15 minutes home. What a nice bro. :)
  • Coming home to fresh ginger-snap cookies.
  • Elssa. My sister's dog. Such a sweet pooch!
  • Cheerios with honey and milk. Yummy! 

Friday Sept. 30th
  • That I had time to work on learning Dutch.
  • That I finished reading two books I've been working on for a while.
  • Crunchy leaves.
  • Getting another follower. Always makes my day brighter. :)
  • That I had a couple really nice moves in soccer tonight. Let's just ignore the fails, shall we? 
  • That my friend sent me a bazillion emails. She does that almost every day, and I love it. :)
  • Hot chocolate.
  • That my sis had safe travels to visit my brother and his wife.
  • That tomorrow is Saturday.
  • And because tomorrow is Saturday and I can sleep in, plus my roommate sis is gone, I can stay up super late and do random stuff tonight! For example, randomly deciding I'm hungry at 10:45 p.m. and making ramen noodles. Ooh yeahhh. :)

Saturday, Oct 1st
  • That it's Saturday.
  • Sleeping in.
  • Reading books. What can I say? I like doing this a lot. :)
  • No school.
  • Being lazy. 
  • Selling another item on Etsy. 
  • Not having to package it right away, as the post office is closed.
  • Studio Crawl. It's a city-wide thing where local artists open their studios and people can come in and watch demos and such. My absolute favorite was the glass blower. So incredible! Very strange and fascinating to watch. My other fave was an acrylic painter. 
  • Stroopwafels. 
  • Pizza for supper. Homemade. Oh yes. Mmmm. 

Sunday, Oct 2nd

  • Being able to get up on time.
  • That children's church went well. (I had to help out ... my first time doing that.)
  • That kids are so friendly. I felt very awkward, as the other two helpers/teachers knew exactly what was going on and I didn't. But the kids, even though they probably didn't even know my name, didn't mind at all. I frequently would find one of them plopped in my lap for no apparent reason. :)
  • Walking home from church with my daddy-O in the sun. It only took us 40 minutes ... 
  • Reading in the sun. Yes, I realize I have put this on my list almost every day. I just like it, OK? 
  • Brothers who make pancakes for supper. And who make a special Micky Mouse shaped one ... just for me. 
  • Watching the first two episodes of Biggest Loser, season 12 online with my fam.
  • Tea. Lots and lots of tea. *Sore throat*
  • Lots of honey in aforementioned tea. 
  • A goodnight note from me mumsy waiting on my pillow. Awwe.

Monday, Oct. 3rd
  • Watching a rain of yellow leaves float past every time the wind blows. 
  • Being sick enough to be pampered, but not so sick that I can't enjoy it. :)
  • That my sister got home safely.
  • That she came bringing Trader Joes gummy bears! Score! 
  • Finishing yet another super good book. 
  • That a wonderful woman I know is celebrating her birthday today. I believe it's her 83rd. Love ya, Maria!
  • Clean sheets. 
  • Open windows.
  • Watching I Love Lucy with my sis.
  • Chatting with my friends. 

What are some things you're thankful for?