Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Last Laugh?

It's not often I surf the web for meaningless drivel, but this caught my eye (your comments, opinions are welcome). For a crazy lady, Leona gets props for her final curtain call. She'll have the last laugh when the courts try to figure out what to do with the dog's $12MM when it dies. Laugh long and laugh hard, I guess.

But sadly her final bequest speaks to the person Leona must have been (for the record, I never met or knew her). The irony that today marks the second anniversary of the Katrina Hurricane should not be overlooked. It is sad that a person would be so shallow and mean spirited to ignore the greater needs of those around us. Her legacy and any memory of her should be forgotten like the ashes from an abandoned cigarette.

Such a waste.

Gonzo is Gone

While I mean no malicious disrespect for a man who has generously served the public, our nation will be much better off with a new Attorney General. In fact, I'll go so far to say our constitution and corresponding freedoms, public trust in the honesty of our executive civil servants, and last (but not least) democracy... may very well be better served by someone else. With this in mind Al, we gladly accept your resignation.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Two flat tires
Three rental cars
One lost bag (in towed rental car)
Cousins... first and second
College roomate and baby
One found bag (in towed rental car, found in remote rental lot)
A major traffic jam
More cousins
The beach
The sand
The lost glasses to the Atlantic
The new glasses from "Pearl Vision"
A bored walk to a pier
A boardwalk to an amusement park
One ear infection
One Dr. Visit
One perscrption for Amoxicilin
Food, cousins, inlaws, sibling and chaos
An easy commute North with a greasy spoon pit stop
The heat of DC and conditioning of the Smithsonian
An easy return to the airport and home
And they survived, happily ever after. Whew!

And She Reads

The wonderful thing about museums is that a person can learn an awful lot about themselves by considering the artwork of others. This sculpture was located on the second floor of the West Wing in the Smithsonian Art Museum. The detail of the actual sculpture was amazing, and the contemplation it begged was hypnotic.

On the Mall

We spent the afternoon at the Smithsonian, but along the way, BD, Chalupa, Peanut and Beaner paused for this photo op.

Sunrise On Our Last Day at the Beach

Last morning at the beach.

Friday, August 24, 2007

In The Sand

A father and daughter digging in the sand.

A mother and son running in the sand.
Two idiot kids who should be buried in the sand.

And finally, a castle peacefully resting in the sand.

First Cousins

Big Dawg, Sarah, Peanut, Noah, Chalupa, and Beaner.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Beaner's New Car?

Chalupa, Sarah and Peanut stand in front of a car they would someday like to buy for Beaner.

Leading the Pack

Here we see Noah and his Father leading the pack of monkeys (if that's what you call them... a pack? a bunch? a herd? a barrel? well, you get my point) - Beaner, Peanut, Chalupa, Side Track, E (waaay back there), Big Dawg, and Sarah. The aquarium is no place for Monkeys.

Hey, Who's That Knocking on My Door?

"SpONge BoB!! Get iN tHe GaLLeY and MaKE Me SOmE morE CRaBby PaTTies! On THe dOUble Lad!" Says the crab we found lurking in our driveway.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Playing Around

Chalupa beating on Big Dawg. (right)

Big Dawg beats on his cousin, Noah. (above)

Not sure what Chalupa is doing in the background but we can rest assured the sand castle being built by Peanut, Sarah and Big Dawg will last through a few beatings until high tide arrives.

Beach One

Beaner, Peanut, Sarah, and Chalupa, attack the waves.
The waves attack back.
Sarah shows that sand can sometimes win the day.

Ready for Antics

Big Dawg, Buzz Daddy, Nephew Noah and Sister E. One extended happy family. No disfunction here!

More Cousins

The trip from DC to Richmond, VA should only be a bit more than an hour and a half. Because of traffic, it took us nearly 4 hours!! Ugh. Anyway, upon our arrival, Buzz Daddy's Cousin Jane hosted us for a late lunch whilst the second cousins (Liza, Sam, Peanut, Big Dawg, Beaner and Chalupa), played then posed for the picture above.

DC Gets a Visit

With the monument in the background, Big Dawg poses with cousins Evie and Lila.

Here with La Casa Blanca in the background, Peanut, Lila, Chalupa and Evie bring a whole new meaning to First Family to Washington.

Second Cousins (from left), Beaner, Chalupa, Lila, Evie, Big Dawg and Peanut.

Abe and his memorial are the backdrop for this photo of Peanut and Chalupa. All of this in a during a long, hot afternoon on the Mall.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Flat Tires

We had just flown across country without incident, then ten Minutes after leaving Washington National airport in our rental car, we hobbled into the Hotel with two (count them, two) flat tires.

I confess, I ran over a curb that I didn't see as we were pulling into the Hotel. The next thing you know... two flats. After a few strategic phone calls, the car was towed, and I was to return to the rental desk at the airport to complete the paperwork and get a new car.

After a day in the city (see that blog posting), I took two shuttles that finally got me back to the rental desk. I then had to wait in line for 30 minutes to speak to a service person who set me up with a new rental car. By the time I got to the lot, I was ready to be done with this. Saddly, the car wouldn't start... dead battery. I was sent to another line to get yet another rental.

As they say, the third time was the charm. But the saga does not stop here.

When I returned to the hotel eveyone was getting ready to go out to eat. Side Track reminded the girls to bring something warm because resturants tend to be cool. At this, Peanut let out a gasp and a sort of scream... she left her duffle bag in (you guessed it) the first rental car. With her bag was her long sleeved jacket, her iPod and most importantly... Ducky. She has had Ducky since she was a few months old. She was a mess.

So I made a few more calls and left a few choice messages, but at this point, I was not confident I'd have good news to share with Peanut. By the next morning, there was still no word and we were getting ready to leave for our next destination. I placed one more call and that was all we could do. A pall has settled upon the car as we pulled out of the hotel.

About six blocks from the hotel, because of some very poor markings I missed a key turn to get to the Interstate highway... so I drove up a block looking for a place to turn around. Off to my right I noticed a small industrial park and on the top of one of the buildings, about a block or so off the main road, I saw the name of the auto rental agency we were using. I turned to Side Track and asked, "what are the changes?" to which she responded, if it was going to happen to anyone, it would probably be you".

So we pulled up and after a few minutes of trying to find someone, I found a gentleman and described my situation. He smiled a knowing smile and told me to follow him. He took me to the parking lot and there, in the middle of a bunch of cars, leaning distictly to the left was the original van we had rented! And when I opened the door and looked into the back seat... voila, there was the pink duffle bag AND ducky! Talk about dumb luck.

So despite all that has and will continue to happen during this family adventure... we will always know we have ducky. Thank goodness we found ducky.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Looking Ahead From Behind

Here are some interesting perspectives on a little light reading for a Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Picnic With Big Dawg

Big Dawg's "school" hosted a picnic lunch/fundraiser. Here we see Side Track, Big Dawg and Buzz Daddy... enjoying the summer weather, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, soda and of course... ice cream! Boh Yeah!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Easy Come... Easy Go

Within 48 hours of Beaner's return, Chalupa and Peanut sign in then take off for 5 days and 4 nights of YMCA summer camp. Looks like it'll be another quiet week at the hacienda.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Back From BWCA

Beaner and CC arrive back to Base Camp after spending 4 nights in the Boundry Water Canoe Area. They spent the next two nights in a hotel in Duluth while Buzz Daddy attended an Optimist District meeting.
According to the "happy campers" the hotel room and swimming pool were a bit more comfortable than a sleeping in a tent and swimming in lakes.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Day on the Voyager Trail

On Saturday, July 28 the Chalupa and Buzz Daddy (pictured in front of the Carlton, MN sign) arrived in Carlton for the beginning of the Voyager 50 Mile Trail Run.

For the first two sections, Buzz Dadddy ran with his distance-running friend from MonkeyDoo, Mr. Tom W. (pictured here before the start of the race). During the race temperatures on the trail reached the mid 90's. As a result, Mr. W suffered severe leg cramps which forced him to withdraw from the race.

Every two or three miles or so, there is an aid station stocked with various foods to keep you moving, water, sport drinks, and crowd support. Chalupa worked an aid station all day and here are pictures that show (sort of), how these are set up.

There were 99 runners who started, and 77 finished. Buzz Daddy Came in 23 with a time of 10 hours and 30 minutes. This was less than four weeks after being hospitalized for a ruptured disc, and taking two weeks off all running to recover from that. He'll lose one toe nail for sure and is nursing a bit of tendonitis, but other than that... it's another 50 mile trail run in the bag.