Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rob's Bday Part 3

The next day of riding was the longest. Our route was 52 miles. I was a little nervous about his because I wasn't sure I could finish. I was comforted by the fact that I could always call the SAG wagon to come pick me up if needed! Rob, however, was ready to ride! After breakfast we went out to our bikes (which were locked up and covered with a tarp) and someone had added their bike. Rob decided he would give it a try: Unfortunately, this bike was not a good fit. Rob decided to stick with the one UDC tours had instead. The weather was beautiful and we hit the road. There were a few tough hills I ended up walking, but I made it to the top just fine. Our first stop was at the Martin Ray Winery. We had snacks and visited their tasting room. I didn't do any tasting since we had a long day ahead!
Look closely in the middle of this picture and you'll see a sheep grazing on the hillside.
This is the picnic area at Martin Ray.

After our snack stop we continued on. We rode through Healdsburg, which is a very neat town. They had a very cool Bike Shop called Spoke Folk. Not to long after Healdsburg we arrived at our lunch spot: Hop Kiln Winery. We had sushi for lunch (provided by Terry and Mary) and wandered through the great shop they had in their tasting room.

The Hop Kiln Winery used to be an actual hop kiln- as in hops for making beer. Here's Rob in front of the main building. We gathered around the UDC SAG wagon to fill up on water and snacks. We were a little more than half way on our route. It was a little warm- almost 90- but there was plenty of shade on the tree lined roads. Rob rode most of the day with Ben and Sarah from Tennessee. They were more his pace. This was one of the lovely views. I appreciated the scenery so much more than I would have in a car. You can experience the smells and the sounds of your surroundings on the bike. I managed to ride all 52 miles. The last 5 were a little slow, but I was determined to finish!

Each night, we ate dinner at the Village Inn Restaurant as a group. The food was excellent and we really got to know Terry and Mary and the other cyclists. The second night several of us decide to try the loaded twice baked potato. Here's a photo:

I earned that sucker! And it was GOOD- bacon, cheese, scallions, sour cream- Mmmmmm! Delish! Next post- our last day and our awesome ride on Hwy 1.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rob's Bday Part Two

We left from San Fran and drove about 2 hours up to a little town in Sonoma County called Monte Rio. We stayed at a bed and breakfast called The Village Inn. Romantic weekend? Not really. You see, my friends, I had arranged for an 'active' vacation. I booked a cycling weekend with Undiscovered Country Bike Tours.

This was the view from our room at The Village Inn.

UDC Tours is a company run by 2 great people named Terry and Mary Morse. I booked the 3 day Sonoma Wine Country weekend tour. I found UDC Tours on-line and they were very well reviewed on several travel sites. I can tell you that they lived up to every positive review and then some! We were fortunate to have the owners, Mary and Terry, as our guides for the weekend. I was worried that Rob wouldn't like the bicycles provided by UDC, but all of their bikes are made by Scott with Shimano Ultegra components. About a week before the tour, Terry sent us an email asking for some detailed fit measurements so the bikes were ready to go the first day. Rob and I brought our own shoes and pedals which Terry put on our bikes. We also had these cute little license plates so we knew who's bike was who's.

Notice the little clip holding our route for the day.

So Saturday morning, we got up and went down for breakfast. We had met Terry and Mary the night before when we arrived, but we got to meet the other people on our tour. There were 2 other couples- Don and Joan from Alaska, and Ben and Sarah from Tennessee. (Both couples were very nice and we got to know them much better as the weekend progressed.) Terry and Mary gave us a little briefing about our weekend. We got these awesome goodie bags with all kinds of stuff we might need like sunscreen, lotion, snacks, and UDC socks. UDC gave us each two water bottles that had our names on them so they didn't get mixed up with anyone else's. They also explained that one of them would ride with us and the other would be close by in the SAG wagon. (I think SAG stands for Support and Gear). If at anytime during the ride we needed something, the SAG wagon could come help us out. We could also keep personal things in the wagon that we might need in our bags.

Our ride the first day was great! It was about 37 miles with a stop for lunch at a winery. I had one very scary moment, when I thought Rob had crashed going down a steep hill, but it turned out to be another rider. Thank goodness for me and Rob, but the poor rider had to be AirEvac-ed to a hospital. I hope he is ok. When I was able to pull myself together, I took this picture of Rob to confirm he was ok!

Lunch was at a neat little winery called Harvest Moon. We had lunch and then a short wine tasting. ( I was very judicious with my wine consumption because we had about 15 miles to ride after lunch!)

Here's our group, drinking wine and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery.

Harvest Moon had a sweet chocolate lab wandering around. Turns out her name was Charlotte! Don't tell Sunny!!

We got back to the B&B and showered up. Terry and Mary provided some delicious wine and cheese on the patio and then we had a great dinner at the hotel restaurant. It was off to bed to rest up for another ride tomorrow!! Stay tuned...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rob's Bicycling Birthday: Part One

So my next trip out of town was very special. It was a gift to my fabulous hubby for his birthday. This wasn't just any birthday- it was the dreaded four-oh. That's right people: 40! I'd been asking Rob what he'd like to do for his birthday for at least 5 months prior. He couldn't come up with anything, except what he didn't want. "No parties!" So I decided to come up with a birthday gift all by myself that I thought he might enjoy.

Rob set aside a 4 day weekend for his surprise. On Day One- Friday- we flew into San Francisco, CA. Sounds like fun already, right? The best part of San Fran is that our wonderful friends Duncan and Cathleen live there!! We were fortunate enought to get to see them AND we got to see the new home they are moving to soon. They are going to live in a town home at the base of this building:

Wow! Pretty friggin cool, huh? And they get this beautiful view from their balcony:

They also have this really cool common area with views of the city. Thats the base of the Bay Bridge in the background. As we are hanging out with our awesome friends, whom we haven't seen in a long time, we hear the sound of a jet engine. Well, turns out it was Fleet Week and the Blue Angels were doing a little practice run for their show that weekend. Check out one of their fly-bys:

Very Cool! We got to have dinner with them at a great italian place and then Rob and I took off to our next destination. Stay tuned for our next stop!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

San Antonio

So sorry about the absence, but I've been traveling! First up is San Antonio for the Emergency Nurses Association Conference. I had never been to San Antonio before and I had never attended an ENA conference. The best part about new places is experiencing them with some good friends. I was fortunate enough to be with some great girls!

Our first night in town we had dinner on the Riverwalk. A Mariachi Trio joined us for a song! :)

That's Kelly and her new friends!

AND - we got "Fortune Tacos" for dessert. It seems pretty cheesy now, but I had consumed 2 margaritas at that point and I thought it was cute. Here's Julie nibbling her cookie!

The next day was the conference kick off. We spent the next few days listening to ER nurses from all over the country. It was great. Janet and Rhonda show off their conference badges:

This was one of the slides from an educational session: Yes- We managed to learn something!! :)

The exhibit hall was awesome. We got all sorts of free stuff and saw lots of new products. There were some fun booths too- with jewelry, food and other girlie things. I caught Janet at the scarf booth!!
I think she bought like 10 scarves!!

We also managed a visit to The Alamo. Its a really cool place, but much smaller than I had imagined.

Our last night we had a great dinner and then we rode the river. Our boat captain was kind of sarcastic and his mike didn't work, but we had a good time anyway!

Next year the conference is in Tampa, FL. I haven't decided if I'm going or not. Any thoughts??

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm Baaaaack!

So I took a little blog vacation and now I'm back!! It was a great summer and I am ready for the temperature to start dropping. Hubby and I took a couple trips- one back to see the family in Illinois and our friends Matt, Melissa and Kennedy. (Who by the way just gave birth to a bouncing baby boy named Cameron! Well, Melissa did the birthing part. Their blog is on my blog list.)That's my nephews playing baseball in my parent's backyard. So cute.

Anyway- We've done a few things around the house. We removed a tree. I was really conflicted about taking out the tree, but it continually dumped junk into our pool, making it virtually un-swimmable. It was a tough decision, but the tree came down. The backyard looks so much bigger and the pool is much cleaner and usable! I'll post some pics another time.

We also took a trip with the cousins up to see Nick and Elaine. Jack Henry got to see the "train room" for the very first time. It was great to up in the cool weather.

Nick, Jack Henry, Corbin and Tammi. I love the concentration on Jack's face.

I have some Happy Birthdays to send out! Here's the list:

Cousin Ryan

Cousin Corbin



Jason C (Happy 40!!)


Hope you all had a great day!! That's all for now, folks!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The 80's Party!!!!!! Totally Tubular!

Cousins Tammi, Paulie and Brain decided to throw an 80's party. We all dressed up like it was 'back in the day' and we had such a great time! On the way to the party, I had to stop at a restaurant to pick up a platter of food. I was all dressed up for the party and the look on the waiters face was priceless. I said "I'm here to pick up a platter. For an 80's Party." She started laughing out loud! Everyone in the restaurant was looking at me like I was a freak!

Crockett & Tubbs from Miami Vice

The Jazzercise girl and the Prom Queen

I found this hottie in the kitchen:

Preppy, Madonna, and OP shorts. Check out those popped collars!! Whoo-hoo!
Yep- that's me in my concert t-shirt, side ponytail, and Pop Rocks! Bitchin!
We had so much fun! Thanks cousins! And thanks for the birthday cake! It was delish!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

FUn with cousins: 175 Baby!

Sorry I've been away for so long. I'm working like a dog these days!

First- Congratulations are in order. My nephew has somehow managed to graduate from high school!! I'm just kidding about the "somehow managed" part. He's a pretty smart kid.
So Congratulations to Alex!! We are proud to have such a great nephew. But- just in case you think we're getting soft, here's an embarrassing baby picture:
Second: June Birthday wishes are in order for a few people we love, as well as a few May peeps who didn't make it into the May bday post. (Oh wait- there was no May bday post cause I'm a slacker.)
Aunt Mary Lou
Madison B
Uncle Rich
Chris K
Eric B.

Happy Birthday everyone!! Here's to one more trip around the sun!

When I'm not working I've managed to spend a little quality time with the cousins. I always have the camera with me, so let me share a few shots. Here's a few from the Memorial Day BBQ:

a girlie moment

What bucket?

Yes- that's cousin Brian, and yes- He's on the roof. Is anyone really surprised by that?

We also went bowling one afternoon. Jack Henry is the cutest bowler I've ever seen. Check him out:
Here's the approach....

Here's the toss.....

And here's the wait...... Most of the time he knocked down quite a few!!!

And here's Rob in action:

And for the record, I am a kick a** bowler! Check out the score of the last game. The top score belongs to me! Whoo Hooooo!!