Saturday, January 31, 2009

10 pounds heavier, and 1 year older..

Yes. They are both true, but one of them I can change! Our cruise was great. So relaxing and indulgent. We ate whenever we wanted, whatever we wanted, did whatever we wanted (sometimes nothing), slept like rocks, and thoroughly enjoyed each others company. And then....we came home and I added a year to my age. :( Funniest thing: we only paid $86 for our cruise to begin with, but as soon as we got to our cabin we got a note that said we were recieving a $36 refund each because the price of fuel dropped since we booked. So...our cruise only cost us $14. BooYa! One sad note...the sea was really rough in Catalina and so our whale watching trip was cancelled. But they refunded that too, so we spent it other places. We found a fun store on Catalina that sold color changing products. We bought some nail polish for the girls and flip flops for Jess. They are cool. Well, here are a few pics from our escapades. Our waiter was a funny guy named Oliumpu from Romainia.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Budget Travel Tips

O.K. The #1 first thing to do is get a flight miles debit card, then use it for everything. Mine is with Bank of America. I earn about 2,000 points a month on my card. A free one way ticket is 15,000 with USAirways. (my ff program). Then check out their partners and use their services if it applies to you. USA Today newspaper pays 1,000 points to join and then 100 points per month of your subscription. It used to be Arizona Republic, but they dropped out. Also, Verizon Wireless is a partner. I happened to be needing a new contract so.....They have hotel partners, rental car partner, shopping partner, etc. Then you can join and swap and combine points. (not as good as it used to be, but good if you have a few points in other programs that you can't use).
#2 Look off the beaten path. You can stay in B&B's in some places for almost nothing. They aren't luxurious by any means, but they include a home cooked breakfast and that came save significant money. The nice thing about using ff miles to fly is that you can go during peak season and not pay the huge fee mark-ups. Most destinations have camp grounds that offer cabins (sparsely furnished) for very little money as well. Or you can camp for very little money. There are always bargains out there being offered by one place, group, company, hotel etc. It took me about 6 months to plan our St. Thomas trip, but we spent 11 days in paradise for about $800.00 total. That included flight, car, hotels, food, everything. Not bad, huh. You can do it, too!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pretty Cool

I thought this was kinda cool. I guess it is the 100 things to do before I die.

Rules are: Anything you have done has to be in bold. How much have you done?

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped (NO WAY)
12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train (well I sat there trying to sleep)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping (I was very young)
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (What does this mean???)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (if McDonald's counts)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (and retired from it)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (NEVER)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (Been to his hometown)
71. Eaten Caviar (yuck)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (just my pinky)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (not yet!)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating ( if a fish counts)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (my own child from choking)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby (4!)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (I Won!)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Wow! I didn't realize I had done so many things. Totally cool!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Be Jealous...but don't be mad.

I know we just got back from our Tucson getaway, but we are getting away again. This time it is a cruise to Mexico. We leave Monday the 26th. Again, it is free. We appear to be big time spenders in the travel department, but......not true. We have been all over and hardly spent a dime. Just lucky that way I guess. Or...I am terrilbly gifted at finding travel bargains. Both! We are looking at Scotland for next year. Darrin's family heritage is Scottish. We have enough frequent flyer miles and about 3 hotel stays saved up. By next year it will be nearly a free trip. I am AMAZING! jk. We love to travel and don't have unlimited financial means, so.....I shop around and dig deep for the bargains. All of you can do it too. It takes dedication and perserverance, but it is possible to go anywhere you want on a budget. Check out our theme music....:) http//

Thursday, January 15, 2009

On my hands and knees....

I have been busy this week taking care of the pecans. It is a dirty job........ you know the rest. Dad didn't want to shake the trees but I couldn't let them just rot. Mom would not have liked that at all. Grandma C. certainly wouldn't stand for it. She has picked up some says she can't help. It is a good thing it was her idea. If I had told her not to, she would have been out there on her hands and knees with me. So dad had one rule. If you pick it up you take it home. I don't want all of these and I don't have any sugar sacks (haha) to store them in. I will crack them and leave them in dads freezer (not picked) and all of you who want some...come and get them. Maybe we should have a nut festival next year. Nona and her kids are going to help this weekend when they are out of school. They are very tastey this year. I love pecans! (but they are painful, my fingers hurt already)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Love this site!

I love Allrecipes! I have made several of the recipes listed on it. What makes it unique from all the other recipe sites is its comment and reviews. You can find out if the recipe is worth trying before wasting your time and money. I have not been dissappointed. Reviewers also give suggestions or changes that made theirs better or smaller or spicier, etc. I got my WW bread from there, scones, pancakes, cornbread, monte cristo sandwiches, deserts, all kinds. Check it out! It's Awesome.

Oh, ummm, and by the way, tomorrow Darrin and I are going here,

Loews Ventana Canyon

sleeping here,

eating here,

and I'm having one of these!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Case of the Disappearing Dinner!

The Case of the Disappearing Dinner
Marcie Gordon
One night, I went to the refrigerator to take out the marinated chicken and put it on the grill. To my surprise, it was not there. Where had it gone? Earlier that day, I had defrosted it and placed it in a one gallon zip-lock bag with the sauce and put it on the bottom shelf of the fridge. YES! I am sure that I put it there. We all searched for a long time, inside the house and outCheck Spelling. NOWHERE! Did it grow legs and walk away? Did a hungry intruder swipe it while we weren't looking? Was Raun so hungry that he ate it raw? OR, am I delusional and never prepared the chicken in the first place? We may never know the answers to these questions. Perhaps it will appear, or rather make itself known by smelling bad after it rots. Until then, I will be driven crazy with not knowing. Tune in later (I hope) for the dramatic conclusion of.......The Case of the Disappearing Dinner.
Dun Dun Duuuhhhn!
or is it
Bok Bok Bok?

Saturday, January 3, 2009


New Years day was so beautiful. Perfect weather. We hiked and shot cans and bottles all day. Jess and Sarah are good marksmen. We tried to drive up to Fry Mesa but the road was too rough. So we will go back when we have a 4 wheel drive.

...physically and mentally!