Cruisin' the Caribbean!

So we just got back from Florida and the Caribbean, and we had a great time. Always nice to escape the below freezing temperatures for a few days of fun in the sun. We were able to spend some time with some of Mark's family in Florida - Mark going to the NASCAR races with the boys and me seeing the Rockettes!! Yes Christmas wasn't ruined this year -the Rockettes touring show was in Fort Lauderdale this year...phew!! I know everyone was worried about how I would make it through this holiday season without my annual dose of Rockettes. No need for worry, it all worked out!
No huge adventures to tell from this trip - we ate, sunned, ate a bit more, slept, sunned, and ate again. A pretty relaxing trip. I think next time we try the cruise route we will opt for a Northern European or Mediterranean destination though. Nassau is VERY touristy and not super pretty to look at (not the parts we saw anyway - the Atlantis resort is very nice though!). There has to be something positive about that place though because so many celebs and such have homes there, or nearby. Oprah has her house and one for her guests, Anna Nicole was there, a few world royal dignitaries and some sports folk too. I suppose they aren't hanging out at the port locales with all of the tourists though.
Now we are back in the Minneapolis 'burbs and right back into the swing of life - work. How nice it would be to not work and travel anywhere you wanted, whenever you wanted!!
Oh well, it is the Christmas season, so time to get those decorations up, the gifts bought, the cards mailed and the Nanaimo bars made. It may be below zero with the windchill, but a cup of eggnog and a slice of nanaimo bar can take the nip right out of the air!!
Just remember folks, only 27 more days until Christmas...have you started shopping yet?? :o)



I am about to share with you something that may knock the wind right out of you.
You might want to sit down before you read any further. Mind you, if you're reading this, it means you're at a computer, which probably means you're already sitting down....so I guess we're covered!!
Ok, here it goes, deep breath... ready?

I miss New York City.

Phew! It feels a little better to finally get that out in the open.

Now let me follow that up with the WHY part of N.Y.C.
The holidays are quickly approaching which means the Rockettes have already begun performing their Christmas Spectacular. I LOVE this show! I went the past two years and wanted to go (SO BAD!) this year!!! It's the 75th anniversary show - it's an EVEN BIGGER Christmas Spectacular - how can I miss it?!!! We had planned on coming out for a visit, pretty much so I could see the show, but it just didn't work out. Instead Mark gets to fulfill his wish list and go to NASCAR in Florida. Now don't get me wrong, I am excited to take our cruise that follows, but every time I see an ad for the Rockettes, or someone we know in NYC blogs that they went and saw the show, my heart whimpers.
Christmas was the only time that, if someone asked me if I liked living in NYC, I would respond with a yes. Nothing against NYC (okay maybe a few things), but it just wasn't my city long-term. I can see why people would love it - I just don't fall under that category (and no it's not because I am from some small, isolated town in the tundra covered arctic of Canada and can't handle the big city!).
I didn't mind the crowds quite as much, or the people pushing everywhere you went. I loved to stand at Rockefeller Center and stare at the light shows on Saks forever. Carol of the Bells is my favourite Christmas song, and it just puts me in the Christmas mood. I loved walking to the subway on my way home from work and be standing on the corner of 48th and 5th when the music would start and the lights would come on. I would cross the street, and move off to the side, just to watch the show for a few minutes before heading home. I loved looking at the window displays in Bloomies, Macy's, Saks, and all the other department stores. Seeing the tree all lit up at Rockefeller as I walked to and from work always provided some Christmas joy - even melting away the hatred I felt for the lack of sidewalk etiquette that New Yorkers possess. Even the Thanksgiving Day parade got me an itsy bitsy bit excited, mainly because it meant there was only about a month until Christmas. When the first snow fell, and I would walk out of my apartment and see all of the trees and grass covered in front of our building - for a split second NYC actually looked clean!! The vendors in their booths at Bryant Park and Union Square....I never bought anything, but we would always go walk around and "window shop", even if there were a gazillion people running into you every which way. It was Christmas!!
The one other thing I am having a hard time coming to terms with that we won't be doing this year....Thanksgiving dinner and our Christmas party!!! It was great cramming in as many family-orphaned friends that wanted to come over to eat turkey. Everyone brought a special dish, we all ate too much food, and had a great time. The Christmas get together, with all the goodies, people standing in the kitchen, hallway, probably even the bathroom because there wasn't enough room (probably because our massive Christmas tree took up half of the apartment!!)... we sure are going to miss everyone who would come to them and wish we could be there this year to do it all over again.
Those are my NYC holiday memories.
I am sorry I am not going to get to experience them this year.
We'll be coming out for a visit in January or February...maybe we can do it then! :o) Everyone loves Christmas in February!!
So, yes I miss New York, but only at Christmas time. Any other time of the year...I'll pass.

Now you know my secret.


Victims of a Tagging

So, Camille thoughtfully tagged Mark and I, and not wanting to be party poopers, please find our quirks after the rules!
The rules:
A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
Melanie's Loveable Quirks

1. I like snow. This might not qualify as a quirk, but the more people I meet, I feel like I am in the minority!! Today we had a few snow flurries (probably only noticeable because I am on the 31st floor) and I was so excited by the prospect of snow!! I love the fresh, white canvas on the ground. That crisp, quiet feeling it gives.... Now Mark may disagree with me on this one as he'll be the one shovelling all of this goodness off of the driveway, but nothing is better than a quiet, early morning after a snowfall. And it totally gets you in the mood for Christmas!!

2. I prefer to keep my food separated on my plate. You know those plates for kids that have divisions on them...I would be happy to use one of those for my meals. There are very few reasons that foods need to touch, the one exception being gravy. Gravy can touch everything and make it better. Seriously though, my mashed potatoes don't need to invade my turkey. The asparagus doesn't need to mix with the chicken. Food needs to be eaten individually so your tastbuds can enjoy the separate and wonderful tastes. If food was meant to co-mingle, wouldn't we just put it all in one big pot (or blender) and cook it up all together?? Unless it's chili or stew of some sort, then the answer is no. I also hate when the juices from vegetables and other foods, pool onto the plate and run into other foods....I have been known to grab a paper towel and wipe this excess drainage off - I don't like soggy foods.


YES ------>

3. While this next quirk is highly improbable, it still overtakes my mind every time I drive. Large trucks scare me. Not just because they are big, or that I fear they will turn into robotic creatures like Optimus Prime. I am scared that they will tip over when I drive by them. Seriously. The worst ever is when I am driving in the outside left lane and a truck is to my right, and we go around a corner to the left. The pedal is to the metal in case the truck loses its balance and topples over me, crushing me and my little Mazda3 like the grapes we are. I can't help it! I don't know where the fear (ok, so it's not really a fear, it doesn't paralyze me or consume my every waking thought) comes from, but honestly, think about it. Thise trucks can be blown over by the wind!! What if it is a windy day when you're out for a drive??
Another scary situation is when you are in the middle lane and come up between two semis. What if they don't see you and one tries to change lanes?? They'd never know you were there!! You'd be crushed between the two like a little bug. Unless of course you drive some sort of awesome car that fits underneath a semi - then you could just veer away and drive out the other side, escaping death, or serious injury! Semis cause me to speed...think a police officer would let me off the hook if he caught me at the tailend of one of my escapes from a death run? He would understand, right?
Don't hate me because I'm weird.
Mark's Mostly Disgusting Quirks

  1. 1. I can't drive by an oil change business with the word "Lube" in its name without getting a big cat eating sh*! grin on my face. I don't know why I find the word lube so funny and lovable, but I do. This bugs Melanie everytime we are in the car together. Yes, I am a twelve year old boy who vocalizes his thoughts way too often.

2. I have a desire to push old people down. Usually it is in public places or when they are crossing the street. Living in NYC was difficult for me because everytime I saw a little old lady leaning over the subway platform to see if the train was coming I wanted to give her a little nudge onto the tracks. The desire is also very strong when I am at a stoplight and old people are crossing the street in front of me.

3. My dress shirts all have to be hung the same direction, with the top button done up, the hook of the hanger always facing in to the closet and often the shirts are color coordinated. I am the same way with books in our bookcase, in alphabetical order according to author's last name. I don't know how I became so anal about these little things, maybe it's some repressed anger towards old people.

So there you have it. Please don't judge Mark too harshly. While he may have the "urge" to push old people, he has yet to do it...he would never, you should see him when they show clips of old people falling on AFV - he doesn't like it.
In keeping with tradition, we now tag Krista and Marshall, Dawnell and Chris, and Katie and Steve.


Viral Infection

So apparently our computer has become the host to a plethora of viral infections....or so my lovely spyware keeps popping up and telling me. Unfortunately everytime I try to run the programs to remove them, the computer freezes, shuts down, or sits there blankly, like it has no idea what to do. How does one become infected so suddenly? One minute I am checking my email and/or facebook....hours later I come back and the screen is a deathly black and red with warnings all over it. Quite strange. Technology...how did we ever live with out it?
Until it is fixed we're not going to do too much from the home computer because you never know what may be lurking... but in the meantime I will leave you with this tidbit of advice: BROWSIE IS BACK!!! Sunday, November 4th, CBS, around the world again here we go....SO excited!! Melissa - make sure you watch and we can discuss all the teams - there is going to be some great clashes, attitudes and complaining this season. Can't wait!!! Oh Phil, how I love you.
Au Revoir for now... hopefully we'll be back up in full throttle soon! Enjoy the weekend - I know I am going to!