Friday, March 30, 2007

Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa FL

this post will be a little more photo heavy than most...
The Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa was a ball! Sure, they have alligators, giraffes, and elephants (actually i think the elephants pictures here are actually Busch Gardens elephants, but it all runs together) BUT for the "Boon Companions", Indiana and Riley, it was all about fun! There was water to play in, slides to be slid down, high fives to be given out, shoulders to be rode upon, there were fish to look at, and manatees too, there was so much to see and do. There were sting rays to be pet, camels to ride, giraffe's to be fed! Yes, people asked if they are twins... they aren't even related except by bonds of love and friendship between families!

In the end we couldn't do it all, although we did most of it. The boys were bushed, and spent the car ride back to Bartow snoozing away.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Day 3: the BBQ

We spent a most excellent day relaxing with Grammy and Kathryn. Papa Harley arrived with large amounts of food to grill and deep fry and otherwise prepare in true southern fashion. A small number of Chris's family and friends arrived to share the bounty. (Chris got to help his dad cook... but only a little) Indy loved seeing Papa and of course, took over Papa's big yellow truck as his own:
This was a nice day to just relax with good friends and good family. Not as exciting as the theme park perhaps, but every bit as enjoyable.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Day 2: Busch Gardens!

There is so much to see and do at Busch Gardens in Tampa that we couldnt do it all in one day.
This is day one:

It seems that no matter how far we get from Oregon, i can always find a guy I used to know... Chris got this great shot of me and the ex (hehe):
What visit to Florida would be complete with out some gators? Sure, the only ones i saw were at zoos and theme parks, but thats the way i prefer it. Busch Gardens has an excellent play area for the little folks called Land of the Dragons. Indy spent a large portion of his day here!Indy rode in a dragon egg, crossed a rope bridge, and found some dragons for his dad and him to fly on:
While the little one rode the dragons with his dad, I got to ride this one:
And of course, what trip to the home of Budweiser would be complete without the Clydesdales? I figured that Sprint the Donkey was cooler though:

Day two of our vacation was full of fun and thrills, some acceptable barbeque (although way over priced) and we returned to Grammy's house tired out but looking forward to the coming day of our vacation... Day Three tomorrow!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Begin at the Beginning...

I thought and thought over where to begin and what to say about the nearly two weeks we spent in sunny central Florida. I finally decided to begin at the beginning and continue along chronologically... there is so much to say and show that it seemed only right

It starts...

We were prepping for our trip for a week before we left, cleaning the house, packing our things, choosing with care the right things to take, visiting often the TSA web site for what we could and could not take aboard the airplanes. We shopped for gifts. We checked with out phone companies for travel and roaming time. We confirmed our flight plans and our car rental plans. We poured over materials from Busch gardens, Disney World and Universal Studios. We made arrangements with Macy (my niece) to babysit the fish. We spoke with the pediatrician about how best to fly with a toddler. We rushed antibiotics to clear up the last minute ear infection before the flight.

We thought, "hey, lets take an overnight flight, so Indy sleeps the whole way". Yeah, that didn't work. He was a monster. But, he loved flying on the plane, and eventually, with just one change of planes in Atlanta, we arrived in Orlando to discover we had no car. Well, actually, we didn't have the car we reserved. Happily, for no extra fee, the rental company upgraded us to the 2007 PT Cruiser. It had 500 miles on it when we got it. It was black. We adored it.
Driving to Fort Meade from Orlando, Chris was exhausted from 36 hours with no sleep, and a little turned around from 5 years in Oregon. As we made our way inland, things began to come back to him and we traveled some beautiful back roads to get to his grandmothers home, where we surprised her with her first meeting with our Indiana Jones. She loves him! (as do we all)
Our first day we slept a bit, then headed out to the boardwalk for my first glimpse of the Florida backwoods...

there is so much more we saw and did... next installment coming tomorrow:

Friday, March 23, 2007

miss me?

well, we have finally returned home!

i have so much to say and a million pictures to show of the wonderful vacation we just had. i am so sorry i couldn't warn openly on the blog that we were taking off for a few weeks, but the folks we were going to visit were unaware that Indiana and I were coming along (they thought Chris was coming by himself) so i couldn't post about it before.

Anyways, i am exhausted and have a lot of unpacking to do, but expect in the next 48 hours or so to see Florida pictures and prose.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007


As Chris has packed up the camera I cant post a photograph for a while... nothing cute of Indy for a bit then, sorry.

happy anniversary hun!

on to other things... I am going to Duck's school tomorrow to take him lunch. He says he would love to have me, and isn't the least bit embarrassed by his mother, even if some of his teachers recall me quite well. I am so pleased i am refusing to believe that his delight in me bringing Subway sandwiches has anything to do with it. i might even take him a contraband coke.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

making sense of some things that dont make sense.

Ok, lets start small with this.

Collectively each bit of my life has made me who I am. Well, each bit has a "name". There is "that summer" which describes the whole of high school. Then came "the marriage". Next There are the "lost years" which describe a section of about 2+ years where i lived in Salem, drinking and carousing with abandon. There was the "Rich incident", which covers the following 4-5 years, at which point i moved to the city cleaned up (sort of) and joined the land of the useful members of society. The "David fiasco" followed that and finally, i have drifted into the "old and settled". Why is this important? because you wont understand the rest of this post without this knowledge.

That summer, i had a circle of friends who i could never have lived without. Even had one of them not been part of it, life would be radically different. I am now at peace with all of them, still friends and in some cases friends again. It's like having my heart returned to me, the missing pieces are all here. Yesterday I made arrangements to hit the tavern with the summer girls (with the solo guy from that summer still not in the state with us, we are the summer girls for now). Shortly before the settled spouse and I were to leave, the man from the marriage showed up with my fabulous number one son. We all hung out. Later we got to the Tavern and there was Starkweather, a huge player in the lost years telling me that i am going to miss Patrick's memorial (Patrick was THE player in the lost years). Now Nate was with us, who lived through the Rich incident and when i returned home to email (this) picture to Starkweather of Patrick (he will be taking this to the memorial and paying his respects for me) there was email in the in box from David... do you notice what i notice?

I had a fabulous time ALL DAY yesterday. I ran around with Jimmie and Duck, who are two of my very favorite people. I hung out with my high school friends, feeling how complete my life is with them in it. I chatted up David. I faced the lost years. My life really is complete, not just complete but continuous. Each bit, no matter how heinous it might have seemed at the time, has come full circle back to me to show me what a great life i do have. I have excellent friends whom i have known for ever, in some cases 20 years or more, I have a good man beside me, two of the best son's a woman could ever ask for who i am exceptionally proud of, and a generally great life.
So, sure sometimes i might think that this is the year of my discontent. Sometimes the weight of the losses oppress me. Sometimes i long for things that i don't have a right to ask for. Then, sometimes life happens to make me realize what a dumb ass i am.

Friday, March 09, 2007

They're Here!

Chris and I's wedding anniversary is on Sunday!
My gift this year is wonderful! Now, I will admit that last year he purchased a similar gift for me as a housewarming when we changed apartments (Long time readers may recall the post from last Feb when i received my beautiful sectional sofa). I was excited until i realized that it was impossible to keep clean, the clips that held the sections together kept coming off, and that in general it was awful. So, without further ado, here is my gift... a brand new, beautiful sofa and love set...As much as I adore this sofa and love-seat set, i may have already discovered a small problem with the way i have the living room furniture arranged...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

fab four...

long ago and far away four souls tangled together
they parted amidst angst and destruction

one soul learned
she yearned for a renewal of those hazy days

as the years drifted by
those four souls grew

repairing the damage of intervening years
viewing each returning soul

through tears of fear and joy
the last soul returns

right now right here four souls tangled together
they band together amidst laughter and love

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

phone time

When Indiana isn't running around causing destruction, mayhem and chaos, he takes a breather to chat up a buddy on the phone.

Indiana enjoys talking to his brother, his papa, his grandma and also our friend John. He loves to tell them what he is watching on television, or what toy he is playing with. His language skills are just exploding! It seems that every day he is saying something new.

I guess it's time to start cursing less, hmmmmmm!?!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Another Beautiful Day!

Happiness is all about being outside, playing in the sunshine on a gorgeous spring day.

Now, if mom would just put the camera down and play, too!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

what a beautiful day!

Ah, what a great spring day we had today! First we wandered over to Costco for lunch (a 1/3 pound kosher all beef hot dog with a 20 oz Coke for a buck fifty!) then on around Waverly Lake, across the street down the trail and on to Simpson park where we walked the three mile round trip nature trail. We proceeded home to pick up some neighbors and head to the elementary school that is across the way from us. We played there for about an hour. It was just a glorious day for enjoying the outdoors. Now, as i write this, Chris is throwing some T-bones on the grill and we will finish off our excellent day with a movie and some excellent dinner. Every day should be so sweet.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Go Ducks!

Sometimes, it's just hard for a little boy to be happy.

Mom, on the other hand is easy to please! Just get his clothes to fit!

Tonight, we have the last game of the season over in Lebanon. I am worried about how the end of the season will effect our social lives. Right now, Indy gets to see Macy and the aunts twice per week, as well as getting to hang out with Duck and his dad. I suppose we will just have to go to their homes more often than we do now. Maybe we should take up bowling.