Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dubronik, Croatia...a new place for both of us! Day 7

Dubrovnik, Croatia we had heard lots of good things about before we left, and it was definitely one of the most intriguing ports of call. With all the cruise websites and excursion sites, I came up with minimal things to learn and figure out what to do. We decided we'd play it as it went...take the bus into downtown towards the city walls...and just have a good time. Instead of it just being us, Bob and Lisa joined us to walk the walls and more!

What a beautiful country Croatia is...the water was pristine, the countryside was gorgeous, and the walls were historic. But right as we were making it to the walls we saw a fight! It was a dove and a cat...guess who won? The dove actually...some alert tourist kicked the cat off the dove who was injured but walked away from the fight...not sure why this is information to share in our honeymoon blogging, but it just came to mind. Going for details here! ;-)

When we made it about halfway through the walls we stopped for some local beer...Karlavacko. It was light and tasty, perfect for the stop. We traded in the cans from the first round for more, then more! Who knows how long we'd been up there, just talking, sharing stories, enjoying the trip...we met some of our fellow passengers. Lisa was just saying she got stung by a dead bee when this little boy pops out from behind me (like a jack in the box) and says "how do you get stung by a dead bee?" Lisa's response, "I stepped on it while walking on the beach." Kid says "why weren't you wearing shoes?" Lisa, "it was the beach." Kid, "they make shoes for the beach." It just kept going and going, more kids kept coming and coming...soon enough it was a ball! Funniest part, which is becoming a classic line...someone asked the kid how old they thought I was...he goes..."late....(pause).....forties!" OYE!!

Anyways, I was called grandpa by the father and the story lingered throughout the trip!

Eventually we made it off the wall and through the streets...beautiful.

To lunch! We made it to a local restaurant down some stairs and we all had unbelievable food! Deb had the best pizza here...yes, in Croatia! Bob and I toasted some Grappa. Deb had tried in on previous Italian trips, but I had to go for it. I even convinced Bob (not that it took convincing to go for it with me!). It was awesome!

Back onboard for more spa, food, and honeymoon!

A day at sea then to the Italian Island of Sicily!

Day 6...Last Day in Venice

Our second day in Venice started off with me being...well, me. Like I said in my previous post, we bought 2-day vaporetto passes and I lost mine! We were walking off the ship and Debbie says "do you have your pass?" My thought was "come on Deb, I don't lose everything!" Well.......I did.....and I guess I do! :-)

After waiting in line for the second day, we got moving towards St Marks Square, the Bascillica, Doge's Palace, etc etc etc. It was awesome. We got moving into the church first. The lines grow all day long and we wanted to ensure we got in and didn't spend the day waiting in line! We watched the water slowly rise in the square and even in the church! It was an amazing church.

The water rising is definitely a sad reality for the city...

Next up was lunch on the canal...we had more pizza and followed it up with more gelato! We even bought an original painting by a local artist...he signed the back for us!

Then our walk through the alleys commenced again and we made it back for more shopping at the Rialto Bridge. Deb got her Venetian mask for the nights festivities...

The way out of Venice we watched us sail through the canal from the whirlpools on Deck 15. They were quickly deemed not nearly good enough to the spa and we hustled indoors for some luxury treatment!

That night we did the Venetian sailaway party with our friends...Bob & Lisa, Horas and Tricee, and Derek and Kate. Most nights we spent time at the piano bar, but on this night we headed to the back of the ship to the nightclub.

Two awesome days in Venice went quickly...we were off towards Croatia...

Gondola, Murano, & Running!!! Venice, Italy - Day 5

One of the major reasons we picked the Carnival Dream was it's itinerary, especially that it spent two days in Venice. Of all the cities we were to visit on our trip, I was most excited about Venice. Debbie and so many others have been there in the past...rave reviews from all!

We arrived early in Venice thanks to one of our fellow passengers falling ill. His peril was our bonus. The ship arrives through the canal systems, and I was perched out front with camera and camcorder in hand to catch it all. Debbie eventually met me out front before we started seeing the beautiful views of the city. The ship moved very slowly through the canals and into Venice's Grand Canal where we pulled alongside Doge's Palace, St Marks Square, the Bascillica and the Bell Tower. In addition all the hundreds of canals, gondolas, and excited tourists!

First thing we did was get a Vaporetto pass, which is most like a subway pass. We bought the two day pass so that we could use it both days. Next stop, Murano. Debbie and I planned ahead, bought a Venice popout map, and were all set to take the "DM" boat "direct to Murano Island." So we got on and even had two other passengers that Debbie got acquainted with follow us. Yup...we got lost. See our map was a year old and the routes were changed. Two things then happened...we had to figure out what to do next and get on another boat...and said goodbye to those friendly Dream passengers who said in so many words "we'll get lost on our own!"

We arrived in Murano and it was gorgeous. We ate lunch there, shopped, and enjoyed the beautiful historic glass-blowing city. No big purchases here as the island was quite expensive! I got a pair of Murano glass cufflinks and we got a Christmas ornament for our tree.

Back to Venice we arrived at the Rialto Bridge. A historic bridge with shops lining the topside. Shopping commenced! We both got Venetian masks for the sailaway party back onboard the following day, Debbie got those Cameo earrings (beautiful roses!), and more shot glasses!

We navigated through the alleys to a little restaurant for dinner. I wanted tortellini, so when we finally found the place that had it...we went in! In Italy they seat people next to each other that are complete strangers. One mystery was this was our worst meal of the entire trip. This was better than nearly every Italian restaurant we've ever eaten in (aside from Little Italy and the Hill in St Louis)... The other mystery was our neighbor tablemates. I said no, Debbie said yes. She's prepared the evidence and I have since agreed...yes, they were 60+ year old lesbians. Oye. Feeding each other, holding hands, she was right...I was probably just loopy on some good Italian wine!

After dinner we strolled through St Marks Square and found ourselves a gondolier. See, it was COLD that night, probably 40s or so. We were the only ones at 930 that were up for a gondola! It was great, it was romantic, it was scenic, and very memorable. What great times!

The hike back to the ship was made more funny and dramatic (to me at least) when my new wife says while on the Vaporetto, "I have to use the bathroom." Simple task anywhere else, but not in Venice. Oye. It was midnight and we were still a mile from the ship when we got off the boat. No bathrooms in sight. The walk back to the ship turned to a brisk walk, to a power walk, to a slow jog, a jog, than a slow run! It was me chasing Debbie! As she got to the security checkpoint she pushes past some slow people and I am chasing after her. She runs past and gets back onto the ship as the security people are looking at me like some crazy man chasing her! It was quite humorous and I hope she doesn't kill me for telling the story!!

Sleep time, then another day in Venice!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Water Slide!!! Day 4, Day at Sea...

The weather was cold throughout the honeymoon for the first week...but the best chance we had to ride the water slide, the longest at sea, was today! It was in the 60s (maybe 50s, but likely 60s) and windy, very very windy!

So...Debbie and I were in the spa much of the morning that day. It was mid-day when Bob and Lisa (our friends we met on the cruise joined us in the Thalassotherapy Pool. (It was awesome! We were in in nearly every day! It was the biggest reason we signed up for Spa membership access for the length of the cruise...) Anyways, we got to talking that the racer slides were open. These were two slides that ran parallel that you could race down. Bob and I both started claiming we would be faster, which led to the four of us heading to Deck 15 for the race(s)! The big slide wasn't open just we figured lets bring some demand and perhaps they'd let it open...

There was some cheating in the races...I jumped early, then was awesome. We had a crowd watching (no joke) wondering what lunatics were going down the freezing cold water slides! The wives were watching in support from a nearby deck... Eventually, they opened the big slides! The platform to the slides is so high up, you are far above the top deck and nearly looking straight at the mast and smokestack. This was when we were going around the boot of Italy so the views were amazing!

The two slides were great, a drainpipe which you fly into a big bowl where you loop around till you stop. The other is a 500 ft slide (I think) that twists and a ton of fun. The people continued to watch and a few even joined in. It was an awesome afternoon!

Later in the day it was formal night...the Captains Gala too. Free drinks! When drinks are upwards of $8 and $10 each, we absolutely took advantage...

Fun up, TWO days in Venice!!!

Day 3...Naples, Italy...Mt Vesuvius, Pompeii, PIZZA!!!

So, Deb got a great start to our, I'm going to try and continue it!

Civitavecchia (pronounced chv-tä-vkyä) - yeah, it's not as easy as it looks! Even with the pronunciation, we screwed it up!

Favorite part of Day 1/2, was the fake euros. It is pretty funny looking back on, but in that moment, not so funny. I couldn't believe we got rid of it. I didn't want Debbie to pawn it off on someone else, but I'm sure there were more people like us, in some dreamy other world, that would unknowlingly accept it!

Day 3 - Naples...

In the months leading up to the honeymoon, I did quite a bit of reading. Considering we booked it 14 months ahead of time (and probably got the best deal imaginable), we had tons of time to figure things out. Naples is known for thieves, pickpockets, and danger to tourists. With Debbie and I already being ripped off with fake euros, I'm glad we opted to do a shore excursion through the cruise line.

First stop was a Cameo factory. These expert craftsmen use special tools to carve into coral and other materials, such as shells. They were quite pricey and very very busy that day! Debbie looked but didn't find anything she wanted there...(later, perhaps).

Then we were off to Mount Vesuvius. When we booked our shore excursion we had to decide between doing Vesuvius or the Amalfi Coast. I wanted Vesuvius, Debbie wanted the coast. Debbie compromised...and on the next trip to Naples we'll do the scenic drive down the coast... Back on track, we took the switchbacks up towards the peak of the volcano. About 1 km down from the summit, we are unloaded off the buses and told..."walk." In a more polite way, of course. It was awesome! The view of the crater, down the mountain, Pompeii, Herculaneum, the bay, and Naples...WOW!

After Vesuvius we headed to Pompeii. What a crazy they were able to excavate with such precision and restore to such condition. Looking up to Vesuvius from Pompeii was eerie considering it destroyed the city so long ago. The entombed bodies were a little creepy to look at, but the history in the city was amazing.

Next up, hitting up the Lemoncello factory! A couple of bottles down, we were off and back to Naples! (We were able to bring all the liquor back on board...with a 12 day cruise, the bottle of Creme de Limone was no problem!)
Oh man, the pizza in Naples was to die for!! The fresh mozzarella, the sauce, the crust, was perfect! I want to say I had better later in the two weeks, but I'd be lying. The whole thing was amazing. My only regret, not eating more!

And the scallop shaped pastry we heard about beforehand... Sfogliatelle. Go ahead and try to pronounce! We just called it yummy!!

Naples was a great stop all together, we enjoyed it. It's definitely on our list for next time...there was much we wanted to do but didn't get a chance to...

Next up, Day at Sea...then Venice!

Putting an end to the Blog hiatus!

So it's been nearly two months off from posting blogs...which can be attributed to various reasons. My goal now is to end this hiatus and finish blogging our honeymoon, for one. Then Thanksgiving, Christmas, the upcoming New Year, etc etc etc... Lets see if I can live up to my word and actually get this done! :-)

Now...back to the blog!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When in 1/2

So I didn't quite get through all the 1400 pictures tonight, buuuut I did get though the first day in Rome. So here goes...

We left St. Louis the Tuesday after the wedding, a little late to the airport... after finding out that the banks were closed on Monday as it was a holiday, we were unable to get the Euros we ordered earlier...minor freak out taken care of on Tuesday morning :-)

Terence on the flight to Rome from Newark...about one second after regretting our new travel pillow purchase...super!
After we arrived in Rome, we taxied it to our hotel. Taxi dude tried to rip us off, I told him clearly it was a flat fee (with a little help from the bell-hop)...this was the first of many times I got yelled at on our honeymoon, big smiles :-) After changing at the Hotel Artimede (props to Terence for picking out an awesome hotel), we HAD to get food!
Is Terence getting bigger or did this cup shrink? Just kidding, when in Rome we must do as the Romans do and order "un caffe" (espresso).

First up was the Roman Forum and Colosseum. We used the Rick Steves book for his fabulous walking tour, Terence and I both recommend this book for anyone traveling to Italy!

Next up it was food time again, this time we hunted out the famous Gelati place, close to the Pantheon. YUMMY, we thought this was going to be pretty tough to beat, but Florence wins hands down, best Gelato!

Again, I got yelled at for messing up when trying to order in Italian, he got pretty angry with me for making the bus loads of little kids wait like 2 seconds, he must have missed his siesta!

After this we headed back to our hotel for our own siesta. Then you guessed it, food time! We made a quick stop off at the Spanish steps, unfortunately none of the pics with the church in the back were that great as the lighting was poor at night, but I got a self-timer shot...
Dinner was in a side cafe around Piazza Navona, which turned out to be one of our favorite places and was re-visited the last night in Rome!

Next morning we were so tired we overslept till 11:45 am! With 15 minutes to get out of the room, we were looking good and on our way to the Trevi Fountain to quick toss in our 3 coins over the shoulder. This is supposed to guarantee our return to Rome in the future... it worked last time!
Finally, it was time to head down to the Port which we still cannot pronounce, Civitavecchia. We decided to take the train down, as it was the most economic option and we figured we could handle it! Well, we did, but only with the support of some nice Italians assuring us of the correct train and returning the camera that fell out of my purse! We then took a taxi to the cruise ship, this time sharing with a couple we met at the train station that happened to be on our ship as well!
First thing to do on the and drink, of course! I also have to entertain myself while Terence takes pictures of all the ships in the port...believe me there are a ton!
Next up: Naples with Pompei and Mt. Vesuvius

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

11 airport lines and counting...

This morning we awoke at 4:30 Rome time to a wake up call in Italian,
boo for the last day in Rome.

We got to the airport after an near death experience in the taxi. Then
started the cow hearding and thus far we have waited in 11 lines today
(not including starbucks).

Here's a preview of our feet pictures from vacation, we tried to take
one at every port! This one is us at Newark airport now stuck after
our flight was delayed 2 hours, were on the 18th hour of the day so
far... blah blah

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Last day..."I'm done"

So we have disembarked the Carnival Dream and are now in Rome for our
last day! As our Oregon friends would say "I'm done!" :-)

Today's agenda includes our Vatican City tour and hopefully some last
minute shopping...and of course trying to stuff our faces with enough
yummy Italian food to last us till we return.

Yesterday in Florence was awesome, we ate Gelato twice! It was a shop
that made it right there using only organic ingredients, the best by
far! We finally bought something for ourselves, Terence a leather
briefcase and me a new purse, yeah! We also walked the Ponte Vecchio
bridge, toured the Duomo and Santa Croce cathedrals, and climbed the
414 steps of the bell tower to see some beautiful views of the Tuscan

Pics to come of course :-)

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tonight's towel animal....

No Barcelona :-( but overnight in Monte Carlo!

Yep that's right our cruise sailed into some northern winds from
Africa, which I guess is some rare occasion, but gave or baby cruise
ship quite a scare! We had 40 foot waves and 70 mile an hour winds,
and to the coast guard that meant we had to turn around and could no
longer make it to Barcelona :-( We did however get another day at sea
and an early arrival in Monaco.

We decided to take the night and fancy ourselves up and headed out to
THE Monte Carlo Casino! Terence ended up winning a little which
covered our entrance fees, some Perrier, and a little extra play
money! This is the most expensive place ever, you wouldn't believe the
cars here!

Today we headed to Nice on the train and toured the rest of Monaco on
our own. Tommorow is Florence then Rome then home, boo.

See you all soon though!

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, October 19, 2009

Venice Masquerade Partee

Day ? of the honeymoon and I have no idea what day of the week it is!
I do know that today was our last day in Venice and we are now sailing
our way to Croatia.

After we left Rome we hit Naples visiting Pompei and Mt Vesuvius which
was crazy and we will
definitly have more pictures to blog later! Terence bought some
limoncello and we mostly toured and ate some Margerita pizza (invented
here in Naples) and more gelato :-)

After Naples we had a relaxing day at sea, most of which was spent in
the spa (massages and thalassotherapy pool), napping, and eating! Next
up was our first day in Venice and we conquered the Rialto bridge and
shopping, Murano, and a romantic night gondola tour. Today we finished
up Venice with St Marks Basillica and square, more pizza, and tonights
cruise ship masquerade party!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We made it! And don't worry the gelato is still awesome!

First day in Rome we argued with our taxi driver, got in trouble for
ordeing too slow at the gelateria, but got upgraded on our fancy hotel!

So far Rick Steves has saved the day at the Roman forum with his
awesome walking tour and saved us time waiting in the long lines at
the Colosseum! Oh and the sites are bella!

Here is the pic of Ter in front of the Pantheon eating Cafe and
Chocolato Bianca flavored gelato, jealous? :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Honeymoon: Airplanes galore

Yeah! We're on our way to Rome today. Sitting in Newark Airport now
with our 3 hour layover, boo!

A pic of My new hubby deep in thought on our first flight...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blogging is Calming...hmmm

So as I go to read my blogs for today, this is my relaxation period of the day, Terence tells me that he finds blogging relaxing. I don't know about this, but thought I would give it a shot! (maybe its calming to him because he gets to write about cruising and baseball...ha)

This morning woke up early in a panic to quickly get the table and place cards printed and ready to drop off at the reception location this afternoon. Well CRAP, I have been procrastinating on this project, mostly because I didn't want to think about table arrangements and here I went and waited till the morning before to work on this project. In enters Terence to the rescue!!! He went and bought more cardstock (which I miscalculated for like the tenth time throughout the wedding planning process), he dealt with the devil printer that for some reason liked to eat my miscalculated cardstock, and even cut and scored all the cards!

I think they turned out pretty cute for a 1-day to come!

We also got to drop all the out of town bags off at the Embassy Suites and Fairfield Inn. I always liked this idea of getting a gift when checking in for your room. So we decided to pull a little something together, mostly St. Charles/St. Louis visitor guides, some more wedding information, snacks, and a homemade be shared later after everyone has seen theirs!

We are so excited to see all of out friends and family that have traveled so far!!

2 days and counting...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wedding Week Continues...and Ice Cream today!!

Well Monday was a full day. We got our marriage license (see the pic below), met with our DJ, Debbie had another hair trial, as well as her final dress fitting. Plus there was prepping for the out-of-town guests, arranging seating, going was a loooooooooooong day!

Today started off just like Monday...with a trip to the gym. See Monday's visit was necessary after all the food we ate "on the road" on Sunday. We haven't been eating out much, so the extra sodium left us feeling...well, like we needed to work out! This morning I was less than amused. We woke up early to the sound of Midnight running at full speed into the bedroom. Just before we heard cat cries from her and Phoebe, Debbie's cat here in St Louis. They are in the "transitional" phase of becoming either a) friends, b) acquaintances, or c) frenemies (where they get along when we are all watching them!). We got to the gym eventually and started our day just like Monday.

Today we met with the videographer over lunch at St Louis Bread Company (aka Panera Bread outside of St Louis...). Then we headed over to Mens Wearhouse to drop off my tux and shirt for pressing/cleaning (oddly enough all the groomsmen, fathers, and ushers' tux rentals were ready. I only need to rent the accessories (i.e. vest, tie, etc) and they were NOT there yet...hmmmmm... We then headed to South City to Serendipity...for some awesome ice cream. They are providing the ice cream at our reception...finally got a chance to try the pumpkin pie flavor, awesome! It'll be there on Saturday! I went with my favorite, Swiss'll also be there. Following the loooong stay there, we headed to dinner with our photographer at Three Monkeys (near Tower Grove Park)...had a unique appetizer, Lobster Rangoon...another great find!

Here I am with the ice cream...not the most flattering of shots, but you get the idea. Deb and I really, really have missed the awesome-ness of ice cream! (The sugar crash came later!)

Now it's night...and we are still busy away. As Debbie is on her computer and I'm on another, I'm procrastinating slightly in posting this blog. I don't have time to email EVERYONE, a blog post is so much easier to update the masses!

Tomorrow...oye, avoiding the schedule for now! :-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Arrived in St Louis! Wedding Week Begins!

Well after a long 14-hour drive, Debbie and I arrived in St Louis late last night. We planned on leaving at 7am, but it was just after 8am when we departed Pearland. There were things we had to finish up first thing in the morning, including the drugging of Midnight. She had been stressed all week, we noticed, and when I picked her up and held her on the counter, I don't think it helped. Debbie proceeded to push the little pill into her mouth followed by the syringe full of water! She was pissed from that moment...till...well, she's still pissed! She woke up this morning probably groggy from the meds going..."where the hell am I?"

Anyways, as I backed the Xterra out of the garage, full beyond belief of wedding supplies and four weeks of clothes, travel essentials, etc etc etc...the rain drops began falling on the car. It wasn't until we were 2 hours outside of St Louis when the skies cleared and I could finally bring the car up to a satisfactory velocity!

It was a stressful drive all the way through. We opted for Highway 59 again for leaving Texas...with the GPS taking us off onto Highway 43 upwards of Marshall or so. Yeah, never again. See in dry conditions these roads are plenty safe and we cruise right on through. Not yesterday. The rain was bad, the roads were wet, the wind was blowing, and the stresses and anxieties never left! It was on 43 where the truck in front of us, towing a 20-ft boat, went into a 360 degree spin in front of us going 65-70 mph. We then hit the same slick spot but were lucky and held the road and our lane...he wasn't so lucky. He flew across the road and ended up on the other side of the road...we stopped and he was okay, but the stress in that moment carried on until the rains stopped. (I probably doubled my gray hair quota in 14 hours!)

Anyways, we arrived safe and sound and are ready for a busy few days of "wedding week!" Any moment we'll be headed out for our marriage license, followed by a full day of vendor meetings and such. It's going to be awesome...or tiring.

Weather is 59 degrees right now and gorgeous. Considerably better than what we left behind in Texas. Wedding day forecast is a high of 55 and a low of 37...I am so excited! Coupled with the leaves starting to turn (some, not quite there yet), it's going to be a beautiful weekend!!!

See some of you in St Louis!

Friday, October 2, 2009

What a week, holy crap!

What a week it's been. I don't even know how to start!

Work, work, work! Finish up the wedding stuff, drug the cat, pack the luggage, find everything we need, make to do lists, make more lists, pick songs, .... AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Well it's just short of 5pm on Friday as the week is about to end. I figure I can wait 10 more minutes and then get the hell out of here! I am soooooo ready to start my 4 weeks off! That's right people, be jealous, we are taking off the rest of October! :-)

That's it. I just wanted to come on here and say that. Sorry Tyson, Paige, Chris, Debbie and others whom I got feedback from. Sorry this post doesn't have more pictures or animal stories, but hey, no talk of ships, baseball, or stupid stuff! Well, nevermind, totally a post about nothing. Glad I was able to waste a couple minutes!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mrs Catholic, Cataract,, it's Kadlec!

Those are names Ms. Debbie will soon be called.

When we picked up her wedding ring this week (this time they got it spot on perfect!) the lady says, "what will your new last name be?"

I answered, "Kadlec"

She says, "Catholic?"

Ugh, "No, Kad-lick," as dumbed down as I can.

She responds, "Cath-o-lick."

At this point it doesn't matter, "Yes, Catholic."

I looked over at Debbie and she said, with the straightest and blankest of expressions, "...and so it begins."

It was funny and so true. Even when I get calls from people I don't know they always say Cadillac, like the car, and Cataract (that's to you Owen!!!).

A little over 10 days to go and we'll have a new Catholic or Cataract or Cadillac...correction, Kadlec, in the family!

Baseball 2009...Nightmare is more like it!

I know Debbie said the blog is not for baseball conversations, but who cares, I'm going to vent today!

With the baseball season winding down I am usually saddened come the end of September. Typically it means my days of going to games is over, with the slight chance of going to some postseason games. This year it didn't matter because my favorite team and hometown team decided to not show up to play all summer long!

As of last night, the Indians were an impressive 61-91! That is impressive, 30 games UNDER .500! As of Thursday night they had lost 11 games in a row! Wow. What a season.

It doesn't get much better down in H-town, where the Astros are sitting 5th in the NL Central, having just lost 9 in a row, and a whopping 17.5 games behind division leading St Louis! But let's rewind two months, on July 23rd, the Astros were only 1.5 games behind! In the course of two months they handed the Cardinals 16 games in the standings and effectively all their pride.

Looks like I will need to be more supportive of Debbie's hometown team...I mean the Cardinals are all set to clinch their postseason spot, we're shopping for tickets for games before the wedding, and they are all happy in the midwest.

Too bad this year sucked for my teams. My record this year is unimpressive. I went to the Cleveland-Houston game at the end of Spring Training...Cleveland lost. Then hit 7 games during the Astros regular season...lost every one until the last game I went to. What a forgetful season for my teams.

Oh well, as the Cubs fans have been saying since 1908, "maybe next year." Too bad Indians fans, like myself, have been saying the same thing since 1948...we're not all that much better! :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kitty found a mouse! (After hiding it forever ago!)

A long time ago we gave kitty a package of mice (you know the kinds for cats, not the real ones people!). Well it was reminiscent of the balls we gave her...she would play with one, to the next, to the next, and so on. The same thing happened with the mice, except kitty strategically placed them throughout our place. I would say it's been a solid 6 months since the last mouce sighting...until this weekend!

On Saturday I pulled out the humidifier (as Houston isn't humid enough!) so that I could inhale the heat and try and break up my congestion. When I opened the box out fell a little blue mouse! I mean, how did kiddy get the mouse into a closed box in the bathroom closet? It was a mystery... Note, normally, kiddy follows us around wherever we go but this time she wasn't because on Friday she got her annual shots so she was completely exhausted. I scooped up the mouse and waited until Debbie got home last night.

When Debbie got home I shook the mouse and Midnight went crazy! She was so excited, had that kitten look on her face, shear determination, and a little bit of "how did you find my mouse?!" Typically she immediately would strategically place her mouse where we wouldn't find Kramer fashion when he hides his spare key in Jerry's apartment...but all night and into the morning she was rolling around the floor loving her new found friend! Here are a few was pretty cute...
She even fetches with it! Debbie was fake throwing it and kitty would run to the other room...only to hear a soft meow follow. Then Debbie would shake it and she'd come running back. Eventually we just got used to what we used to do...throw it down the stairs...that keeps her busy for 25 seconds til she brings it back up!
Sorry for the multiple tags of Midnight, aka kitty, aka kiddy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dress & Tuxedo...check!

While Debbie is up in St Louis this weekend handling more wedding things, I am down here in Houston...sick. But I have still been productive!

Debbie called earlier and said her dress looks great. Her voice definitely had that "genuine" sound in it, not just saying it. This was a great start to my day! Later in the day I headed to Mens Wearhouse to have my tuxedo tailored. I figured I'd wait as long as possible to get it fitted...and in doing so, I was able to exchange both the jacket and the pants for smaller sizes! I get it back on Monday... This diet has definitely had a good result for the both of us!

Now if I can just shake this damn cold! :-/

Dress & Tuxedo...check!

While Debbie is up in St Louis this weekend handling more wedding things, I am down here in Houston...sick. But I have still been productive!

Debbie called earlier and said her dress looks great. Her voice definitely had that "genuine" sound in it, not just saying it. This was a great start to my day! Later in the day I headed to Mens Wearhouse to have my tuxedo tailored. I figured I'd wait as long as possible to get it fitted...and in doing so, I was able to exchange both the jacket and the pants for smaller sizes! I get it back on Monday... This diet has definitely had a good result for the both of us!

Now if I can just shake this damn cold! :-/

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Bleh" for being sick...NO, it's NOT swine flu!

Well this week has been a long week. With all the wedding plans requiring attention, calls to be made, follow ups, dance lessons....oh and that thing called "work" still being a necessity, Deb and I are exhausted. So what better way to help aide in my exhaustion than getting sick? Right?

Tuesday I woke up with an awful sore throat, congestion, and those aches and pains associated with the flu. As the day went on, I felt better, eventually capping the day off with our dance lessons. Wednesday I felt significantly better, but by the end of the day all those early morning Tuesday symptoms had crept back. That night I went through my emails and online sites for swine flu info, just in case. Scary stuff for toddlers and babies, especially with how to detect it and stuff. Yikes! in any case, I was in the clear and definitely felt as though I was just sick with a cold, not swine flu or the seasonal flu. No fever, etc. Anyways Thursday was great because I had to get to the office early and prep for a site visit to the Shell Refinery here in Houston. Who needs to inhale Vick's when they can go to a refinery and inhale methane and all the other conglomerates of fumes? By the end of my site visit I was exhausted and ill. It's the double edged sword because if you say "I'm to sick to come in," you'll get those questionable looks. However, when you do come in, you get the comments like, "oh why are you here, don't hurt yourself." It's truly a no win situation.

Best conversation of the day went like this:

He says, "Well, Michael Jordan played with a 102 degree fever."

My response, "I'm not Michael Jordan. I don't get paid millions."

His response, "he didn't do it for the money."

My response, "yeah, but I'm not playing on the 1995 Chicago Bulls. I work for Halcrow."

I mean, come on people. I'm pale (not just my normal paleness, a little more extreme), I'm talking with a scratchy and hoarse voice, walking around like a little old man, my eyes rolling around, my thought process not quite there, and probably looking quite disheveled, why make comparisons to me visiting a project site to Michael Jordan's honorable play? Oye, you just can't win!

At the end of the day I was exhausted and came home. And today I spent at home trying to get better. As of now, I'm feeling better...and really, it's better that I'm sick this week then in three from now!

I mean, who would want to congratulate the groom at his wedding if you appeared to be a swine flu carrier? :-)

And one last time, I don't have it...with the fear in America right now, you have to assume every sick person has it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stupid Parades

OK, so everyone says that something will go wrong with the wedding, well I already know what it is! There is a parade blocking all access roads to the church just in time for our ceremony to begin!

Yep, it is St. Charles' Bicentennial Celebration that weekend which is great because our out of town guests will have plenty to do (hay rides, movies under the stars, historic tours...), everything but making it to the church!

You can see the Parade route below, St. Charles Borromeo is 1 block North of Clark Street. SO you can see that to get from the highway/hotel to the church you would typically head down 5th Street. This intersection may or may not still be closed when guests should be arriving.

I spoke with the parade coordinator for the city today, she didn't sound hopeful, but told me the parade starts at 12pm and 'should' be over by 2pm. And she promised to talk with the police and get some suggested routes for our guests. So please stay tuned for updates!

Terence and I did a walking estimate on Google Maps tonight and it will take 16 minutes to get to Blanchette Park (C) from 5th and Clark (B). Which means the last float should pass through the intersection that we need by about 1:45pm.

Any suggestions?
View Larger Map

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wedding Overload!

We are now within a month! Approximately 24 days, 23 hours, 44 minutes, and change! Yikes!

Debbie is working soooo hard now, and I'm working...well, lets just say I'm "contributing as needed." I think that's fair. This past weekend Debbie and I seemingly got a lot accomplished. We headed out to the Houston outlets, just outside Houston (on the Northwest side). I was able to finish my "need to buy for the wedding and honeymoon" list, but Debbie...not so much. We have a lot left! Then on Sunday Debbie had to work but we were still able to assemble our wedding ceremony that evening. Last night we put together our songs for the ceremony, hymns, processional, etc etc. It's a lot of work considering we can only use certain songs (for the church). We were working past midnight! (Again more Debbie than me...)

Anyways, we are chugging along. Less than three weeks of work to go for the two of us, then we will enjoy the four weeks off!

Funny line today came from my friend, and groomsmen, Alok. He wrote to me, "I am sure you and Debbie must be inundated with things to worry about, but between a structural engineer and a astro-physicist, I am sure that all eventualities must have been planned for :)"

I laughed. When I read this, I thought of the fifty things I need to do! Have to get my tux tailored, call our priest, book the rest of our excursions etc etc etc. It was one of the first moments that I realized just how stressed Debbie must be (and have been for the past year plus!). She is so awesome!

Friday, September 11, 2009

So We're Dancing a "Rumba"

It was an interesting first dance lesson, no joke at all. I don't even know where to begin! Debbie signed us up for dance lessons for the wedding. See, we don't want to look like complete tools during our first dance, so we are getting lessons. Really, they are for me! :-) Stack the two of us up together and Debbie looks like a professional...versus me, the "challenged" one.

When we got there and Debbie was filling in the form the guy says across the counter, "Terence you can relax, it's not that bad." It felt like I was at the doctors, all that anxiety and all! Once we met up with our dance instructor, who neither Debbie or I could remember his name afterwards, he brought us up to speed. When asked of our level of experience, I think "nothing, nada, zilch" could sum it up! When we got to the dancing, our song we decided to do our first dance to came on. (NOTE: we really don't have a song that is "ours," aside from "Video Killed the Radio Star." hahaha, don't ask!) It was decided we'd do a "Rumba" which I recall from Debbie and our days watching So You Think You Can Dance. Saying "Foxtrot" and "Waltz" just makes me think of all the professional dancers on the show failing miserably doing these dances, so they decide to send us up there to do this! Yikes!

I will hold off on all the details of our training and lessons, but I will continue to poke fun at myself, the guy with two left feet with what our instructor kept saying to me..."breathe." Yup, I guess my multi-tasking is limited to walking and breathing, because dancing and breathing is just too much for me! :-)

More to come...

Deb and I have been together over 5 1/2 years, but I realized...I don't think I have one picture of us dancing! Nope, I do! It was back in 2004 at Debbie's sorority formal. We were dancing (I think) just before or after this picture. Whatever, it works. It's like a book with's more entertaining than the book without pictures (well, not really...). (NOTE: perhaps the blogmaster will have to step in here and update me. I don't think this was 2004...I recall Debbie in a black dress, so perhaps this was another year...hmmm...whatever, it's the closest thing I have to us dancing!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom! I will be a little more cordial today for you, mom! I save the sarcasm, jokes, and a-hole-ish comments for my siblings...i.e., Tamara yesterday!

I wish that Debbie and I were able to make it to Florida to help celebrate, but with the wedding in only ONE month, it wasn't possible. I thought the following pics were classic shots...

Here is my mom and I playing Scrabble...of course my mom is doing what she does often during our games...challenging my words! I like to think I win more than I lose, but we'll see. I smell a challenge in St Louis pre-wedding!

One of my mom and I when I was younger, thought it was a funny "past" picture...(this isn't the long hair that Debbie likes to make fun of, but it's what led to it!)

And of course my mom and her kids...

Happy Birthday Mom!