the adventures of tina's kids

so this past weekend i took a little trek up 64 and then further west to good ol' bath county, va to see my brother and sister. (you may have noticed my recent profile photo change, that's me and zech, mi hermano.)

thought i would share with you the adventure.

i drove up friday afternoon, sans husband, as he is working his bootie off and couldn't get away from work. the drive is about 3 hours +, and once i hit staunton, about half way, it started snowing and freezing rain. excellent. i don't do inclement weather driving so well. i called victoria, mi hermana, to see what the weather was like where they live, and it was just raining, so i forged on. got to their house incident free and we loaded back in the car to head to my hotel--strike that, MOtel--so i could check in.

bath county (the towns are called warm springs and hot springs) has lots of nice b&bs, and also the fabulous homestead, but i decided it was smarter to just pay $75 and stay in the lone motel (there are no holiday inns, comfort inns, hampton inns, etc. in this county). it sufficed.

after i got checked in, we decided to head to "town." this is covington, home of (stinky) westvaco paper factory, and about 30-40 min from warm springs (which is 20 min from mountain grove, where vic and zech live). we went to applebee's and walmart, a true mountain living outing.

on the way back, my sister discovered my camera and decided to take some self-portraits. isn't she lovely?

now, in the course of my trip up, i had seen an ant crawling on my passenger seat. i thought it was odd, but just squashed him and kept on truckin'. when zech got in the back seat, he commented that there were "ants crawling all over the seat." he killed 'em, and we kept on truckin', and i kind of forgot about it. so we get back to the motel to hang out before the sibs went home for the night, and i reach into my bag to give victoria a dvd of our wedding pics. holy jesus, people, there were like 50 ants crawling all over it!

i totally freaked, and took my bag over to the bathroom counter to de-ant. gross. really. my camera happy sister was amused by this and caught the action on film:

ugh, makes me itch just thinking about it. (where they came from is a long story but i think the problem is solved and am pretty confident my car is no longer infested with ants.)

once the bag and all contents were ant-free, victoria decided we needed to snap some photos. could we look any different? (although we do continue to find things we have both inherited from our mom!)

finally, i took the sibs back over the mountain and then came back to the motel to update my ncaa bracket and get some rest.

i chose this weekend to go because the county next door was having it's famous annual event--the highland county maple festival! when i told vic and zech i wanted to go to it, victoria informed me that going to the maple festival meant we had to go have pancake breakfast, and because the lines get super long (there ain't shit else to do up there), we had to leave "before 7." i was less than thrilled at the time of departure, but i don't see them too often and i never have the chance to have real and true maple syrup, so i hauled my ass out of bed at 6am on saturday, got ready and headed BACK over the mountain to pick them up. i called when i was leaving, and of course they weren't up yet. so i got there at 7:10, and of course they weren't ready yet.

but no worries. we left their house about 10 min later and began the 30 mile trek to the maple festival (no, i did not realize it was going to be this freaking far, but, honestly, everything is that far there).

after sitting down to breakfast, it became obvious that zech didn't think the early start was such a great idea, in spite of the excellent atmosphere of the elementary school cafetorium.

i don't usually do pancakes (don't care for the consistency), but that morning, i was digging in... the maple syrup is yummy!

and victoria certainly liked hers!

after breakfast, my sister met up wth her new beau and we all walked around the gyms at highland high school/elementary school (all one building, no other schools in the county) and checked out the crafts and such, then we headed up to "downtown monterey" and walked around. the weather was not conducive to outdoor activities, but we toughed it out.

zech bought some pork rinds. such a disgusting food if you think about it too much, but damn they're good.

on the way back to the car, i decided to take advantage of the snow/little brother combination. i was in my mid teens when they were born, so i am missing the "haha, i got you" gene and when i pegged my brother just above the neck of his sweatshirt with a snowball, i felt really guilty. he refused to let me brush off the snow though, tough little bastard.

we decided we had had enough of the maple festival after buying our pork rinds, kettle corn, maple syrup and maple fudge, and headed to staunton, the next closest city, to go to the movies. on the way there, we came around a giant curve to a little pull off that made the perfect stop for some "family photos."

my brother took this next picture of us (of course). i think the lighting is awesome!

of course, victoria had to pose for some supermodel pics...

and of course zech had to pose for some "i'm tougher than you and can deal with snow in my sneakers" pics...

after the movie i took them home and headed home myself... it was an excellent adventure, and i loved spending time with these two crazy teenagers!


i, too, am experiencing the madness.

so in years past, i have occasionally filled out an NCAA tournament bracket just for the heck of it. typically when i do this, i get 'em all wrong because i tend to have a soft spot for the underdog and pick all kinds of upsets that, of course, do not happen.

well, this year, a friend of mine told me about a pool he was entering, just a friendly contest among friends, of course (wink, wink). so i decided to fill out a bracket, see if i could win the top prize of bragging rights (wink, wink).

and guess what.

after day one, i am 15 for 16! holy crap! i guessed almost every single game RIGHT! unbelievable! i am so excited and now fully entrenched in this march madness stuff. yesterday i logged onto the extensive coverage at cbs.com and refreshed the page every 5 minutes to see if the teams i chose were winning. ha! it was ridiculous.

now, i am not dumb. i realize that there are still (let me count) 47 more selections to go and anything can happen. but if you don't get the teams right in the first round, you have no one to get right in the second, third and fourth rounds, right? :) plus more points are doled out the closer we get to the championship.

and vcu's win last night over duke! holy wow! that was so much fun. after my cooking class i joined bryan and some of his co-workers, who are vcu alums, at a sports bar in town and got to watch the last four--very intense--minutes. it was so fun!

alright, a few hours until my wahoos take on albany.... pleeeeease don't let me down, boys! at least, not until the next round, when i predicted you will! :-O


a quick thought...

normally i'd have posted this on my news-y blog but i don't have time for that lately, so you get it instead... :)
  • is anyone else a tiny bit skeptical of this khalid sheikh mohammed guy confessing to virtually every terrorist act in the last 25 years? i mean, really, has anyone stopped to think that a) delusions of grandeur and b) torture could have caused this guy to fabricate this lenghty confession? or perhaps i'm just a cynic and find it hard to believe that AHA! we've solved the terrorist problem!


warm weather makes me HAPPY!

well, spring has arrived for a brief stay, and i am lovin' it. too bad it's supposed to get back down in the low fifties this weekend... :-/

so last week i went to the first of my three-part cooking class, and lemme tell ya, i think a monster has been created. it was SO MUCH FUN! the class was called "soups and stocks," so we learned how to make various stocks (for those not into the cooking-speak, broths) and then we broke off into groups and each made a soup. i met some fun people that i'm looking forward to seeing again on thursday, and made some great food, and learned some fun things! this week is "poultry and fish." sur la table, the store where i'm taking the class, offers many, many different types of classes, and i am afraid i've caught the bug. i can't wait to sign up for another class, but they run about $65-$75 each, so i'm going to have to limit myself...

on saturday bryan and i hopped on the motorcycle to do some more furniture shopping, and, after sitting on two different sets for about an hour, decided on one! it was a set bryan had pointed out to me on our first trip to this store, and i really liked it then, but wasn't sure i was willing to take the "risk." see, it's a little trendy, a little edgy--not the usual solid color stuff that i lean towards. but finally, i decided that i really like it a lot and if nothing else, i can always have it reupholstered in a few years if i really grow out of it! so, that will arrive on march 31! just in time for the birthday/easter festivities! i'll post pictures when we get some! now i need to go out and find curtains and artwork and such.... :) fun!!!

this weekend i'm heading up to bath county to visit with my brother and sister and hopefully attend the highland county maple festival. now, you talk about a party! ha! okay, maybe not a party. but it will be fun to see them and do something fun. unfortunately bryan's on outage schedule and won't be able to come with me... freaking power station! :)

well, almost time to head out for the day into the 80 degree weather! woohoo! i love it. on saturday after the furniture shopping we went over to see todd and sarah's new place and cooked out on the grill, so good! you tend to forget how fabulous warm weather is after it's been too cold to do anything for 3 or 4 months...