Vacations and Recent Happenings

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DJ / 11 Years Ago

Vacations sure can be draining, especially when they are like the one Kelley and I recently took. Her brother got married on June 9th, so we traveled to Ohio to attend. We figured since we were in the area we would try to pack in as much extra fun stuff as possible. I would say we succeeded.

We left on Wednesday after work, finally getting on the road around 6:30pm. We stopped in Des Moines to eat at Chick-Fil-A for dinner ( we love that place and there are none in Omaha) and then drove a couple more hours before stopping for the night. In the morning, we did a 1.5 mile run before heading out. We stopped at a Subway for lunch and finally arrived in Dayton around 7:30pm. We immediately drove to Donatos for dinner (we also love that place and it is also not in Omaha). After that it was back to Kelley's parent's house to watch game 2 of the NBA finals and then go to bed.

Friday is where things got really crazy. We got up early so we could get on the road to King's Island by 9:00am so we could get there by the time it opened. We like Cedar Point much better, but it had been longer since we had gone to King's Island (5 years vs. 2 years) and King's Island is much closer (1 hour vs. 8 hours). We had a lot of fun there, riding Firehawk (the new "flying" coaster there - awesome ride), the Beast (twice - awesome, of course), the Sponge Bob virtual ride (much better than we expected), Flight of Fear (amazing), Drop Zone (twice - always a thrill), and Tomb Raider (sucked). It started raining pretty early in the day and that is when we rode the Sponge Bob ride and Flight of Fear since those are indoor rides and did not close. It worked out well that as soon as we were done with Flight of Fear it stopped raining and the rides opened up again.

Normally, we would stay at an amusement park until closing or nearly so, but this time we had other plans. We left the park at 5:30pm so we could make it to the Cincinnati Reds game that night. Luckily, the Reds had just called up their first round pick in 2004, Homer Bailey, to pitch in his Major League debut. The crowd was electric and the game was a good one with the Reds narrowly prevailing over the Indians 4 to 3.

We then drove into Kentucky and stayed at a hotel in Florence. This town was notable because it had a water tower that read "It's Florence Y'all" and we found that very funny. Anyone who argues that Kentucky is not part of the South only needs to see that water tower to be convinced of the error of their ways. We did this instead of driving home because we were heading to the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky the next morning. After breakfast at Bob Evans (also not in Omaha), we went to the museum for a few hours. The museum just opened Memorial Day weekend and was quite impressive. While I do not think it will convince any hardcore non-creationists, I do think it will help a lot of people who are stuck on the fence, though. It was loaded with video presentations, colorful charts, interesting reading, and cool exhibits and displays. My favorite part was the planetarium, where we watched a presentation about the universe, starting from the Earth and working larger and larger in scale until we saw the entire known universe.

After that we went and ate lunch at Penn Station (amazing subs - also not in Omaha) and then stopped by a nearby mall to shop at Steve and Barry's (crazy cheap yet nice clothing - also not in Omaha (sense a trend here?)). We had to leave there too soon because we had a wedding to attend, so off we went. However, due to bad traffic we soon realized we were running late, so Kelley changed in the car on the way there and I changed in the car as soon as we parked. We ended up walking into the church 5 minutes late and the wedding was already in full swing. We ended up sitting on the wrong side (the church's design forced us to go to a side before we knew which it was and then it was too late to go back around), but it was a nice ceremony. After that Kelley got in some of the family pictures and then off we were to the reception.

The reception started out slowly and typically, with snack food and bunches of people milling about and talking. I got introduced to a bunch of people I did not know, but it was nice to meet more of Kelley's family. Dinner was surprisingly good and the cake was pretty good as well. After that, things started getting a little crazy as the dance floor was opened up. The highlight of the night was getting a video of Kelley's mother, Ruth, "dancing" to the House of Pain track, Jump Around. The dancing, and thus the evening, would down around 11:30pm and we went back to Kelley's parent's house to spend the night.

The next morning we got up and went for a 1.5 mile run at the Vandalia Butler track behind the house. After that we got ready to leave and took off for home, stopping by Donatos again for lunch on the way out of town. We drove until we had to find a hotel to get some dinner and watch game 3 of the NBA finals. The next morning we got on the road bright and early and got back to Des Moines by lunchtime so we could have Chick-Fil-A again, and once again, it was awesome. We shopped a little at that mall and then left for home, arriving around 3:30pm. Josh and Amber, who stopped by our house a couple times while we were gone to make sure our cats were fine, pranked us by plastic wrapping our toilets shut, hoping that we would have to go to the bathroom badly upon arriving home. Since we had just stopped two hours from home, that part of the plot failed, but it was still an interesting sight. We had a chuckle about it with them later. And that was our vacation - exhausting!

In other happenings, Kelley and I got new cell phones a couple weeks ago. We switched from Verizon to Cingular and Kelley got the Palm Treo 750 while I got the Samsung Blackjack. While the phones have their share of annoyances and differences to get used to, overall they are vastly superior to our old busted up phones. We used them throughout the vacation to check our email, send email, get directions, listen to Internet radio, surf the Internet, and, of course, make phone calls.

I moved into a new office a little over a month ago and things are going well with that. It is my third new job in two years here at the Air Force Weather Agency, but I think it is a good move. I miss the guys I used to work with, but I am just down the hall so I can go talk to them whenever.

Kelley went out to lunch with the CEO of ConAgra today and 14 others who won the priviledge in an inter-company promotion. She had one of the 10 highest point totals in a company-wide health competition. I look forward to hearing how that went. I expect her to blog about that, as well as some other stuff in the coming days.

The photo album database is coming along nicely. You may have noticed on the main page there is a section telling how many photos are in the database and how many have been added lately. Adding pictures to that database is a slower process than I expected, but it is a rewarding one. Once done, that database will be amazingly useful. I have too many future upgrades to list for this site, and most will have to wait until after the picture database, so we are probably talking fall at the earliest.

Well, this blog entry has gone on long enough, I think. Thanks for reading!

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