Tag: kelly

Disney World, Day 1

As it turned out, all travel arrangements worked out perfectly yesterday. Kelly and I got to Dulles, were through security in two minutes, and made our way to the Red Carpet Club. We had a couple of drinks there before catching our 9:35 PM flight to Orlando. Our flight was on time and arrived 5 minutes early. We met vickyandnorm almost as soon as we got off the tram to the main terminal. Norm went to the rental car desk to get the car and we headed out. We ended up with a bright blue car, roomy, but it sure stands out. We spent last night at a time-share property, a condo that was really nice. Full kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, dining room, living room, balcony. Our bedroom had a whirlpool tub in the room. But were were only there for a few hours. We went to bed sometime after 1:30 AM and were up at 7:30 this morning. We had a quick breakfast, checked out, and then headed to Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

The park opened at 9 AM and were there just a few minutes after it opened. The air was a little cool, but it warmed up quickly. We managed to pack in quite a bit. The first thing we did was the safari, which Kelly had never done before. Then we headed over to the Everest roller coaster ride, and Norm and I went on that while Kelly and Vicky waited. They actually saw us on the ride twice. It’s a pretty cool roller coaster. It goes backwards, there’s one good big drop, and some turns that probably reach 2-gees. We did more wandering and snacking and shopping. We caught a few shows. We had lunch. Eventually, we made our way back to Everest, and Norm and I rode it again, this time sitting in the front. Once again, the line was not long (we used Fast Pass). It was even more fun the second time around.

After that, we got some soft serve ice cream and headed for the park exit. Kelly lost her camera case, but it was a cheap one and no one was really upset by it. From the Animal Kingdom, we headed over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM) park. I’d never been there before. We got a wheelchair for Vicky (who is 5 months pregnant with twins) and who had done a great job on her feet for the first 4-5 hours of the day. Once we had that, I ran over to Star Tours to get FastPass tickets and then met up with everyone else. Vicky and Kelly decided to shop, while Norm and I hit the two big rides: Tower of Terror and the Rockin’ Roller Coaster. The Tower of Terror was fun, kind of like Free Fall, but more random and more dropping. I estimated about 1/2-1 second of true free-fall. But the Rockin’ Roller Coaster: Whoa!

The Rockin’ Roller Coaster is touted as the fastest, wildest ride of all of the Disney Parks and it lived up to it’s reputation. The ride “features” Aerosmith. When Norm and I got to the line, there was a 45 minute wait. We opted for the “singles” line and managed to get on the ride and get in the same car in 10 minutes. The ride itself was amazing, beginning with the initial 0-to-60 MPH boost in 2.8 seconds. There were loops and whirls and you name it–all in the dark like Space Mountain–only much faster. It was awesome! And best of all, they play Aerosmith while you zoom through the ride. strausmouse would love it!

After that we needed a rest and went to two shows. I slept through both. The first was only a few minutes long. The second was The Little Mermaid show. It was 17 minutes long and I slept soundly through the entire thing. By that time, it was dinner time. We had reservations at The Hollywood Brown Derby. The food there was excellent. We luxuriated through dinner, taking our time, talking, and really enjoying ourselves. Vicky and I had fillet mignon, Norm had duck and venison, and Kelly had salmon. It was terrific.

Finally, dinner was over and we made our way over to the “Hollywood Hills Amphitheater” for Fantasmic. This time, Vicky’s wheelchair managed to get us good seats. We arrived about 30 minutes early, but it was already packed and so the good seats helped. The show itself was great, although much-changed since I last saw it at Disneyland back in the 90s. Once the show was over, it was 9 PM and we made our way out of the park and to the Dolphin resort, where we checked in. Norm and Vicky’s room is right across the hall from ours, both facing east into the resort. Our rooms each have two balconies, very, very nice. The plan tomorrow is to hit the Magic Kingdom. It opens at 9 AM. We are meeting for breakfast just before 8 AM, so we should all sleep well tonight.

There were a number of amusing things that happened throughout the day, but I’m beat now. It was all I could do to write this all up before crashing. I’m getting in the shower and then heading off to bed. More tomorrow.

Saturday shopping

Yesterday morning, Kelly and I headed over to Tyson’s Corner at 10 AM in order to shop. Kelly wanted to get a dress for the upcoming Rainbow Room birthday dinner. After getting to Tyson’s, parking, and briefly wandering through Banana Republic, we made our way to the dress section of Lord & Taylor’s. Less than 30 minutes after arriving at Tyson’s, Kelly found the perfect dress. A black “Laundry” dress that looks just amazing! Since she found the dress so fast, it gave us plenty more time for us to shop, and I decided to document some of our shopping. The following is a short series of photos of me shopping with Kelly:

Me shopping at Lord & Taylor’s

Me shopping in the “intimates” section at Macy’s

Me shopping at Brook’s Brothers

We were at Tyson’s for 3+ hours, had lunch there, and actually did a pretty good job before it got crowded. Shortly after lunch, Kelly felt shopped out. We headed back to her place, collected her laundry and prepared to head back to my house. I called Doug and spoke to Carson, wishing him a Happy Birthday (2 years old!). I also spoke to vickyandnorm, finalizing arrangements for our trip to Disney World later this week. And I called FedEx to have them hold the Oriole’s tickets for me. I’ll go pick them up on Wednesday.

Back at my house, Kelly started laundry. We waited out a passing storm and then headed over to Target to do a little more shopping.

In the evening, we watched a movie I’d never seen before. You can read all about that in the next post.

Peruvian meals and mundane work

Kelly and I headed over to Denisse and AJ’s last night where we gathered with some of their other friends for a Peruvian dinner that Denisse prepared. I can’t remember the name of the dish, but it was terrific! Lots of mojitos and beer, as well as snacks and desserts. Good company, too. We got there a little after 6 PM and finally headed back to Kelly’s around 11 PM.

After a good night’s sleep, I left Kelly’s at around 10 AM this morning. I got home remarkably quickly. My first task was cleaning up the place a bit. That took about an hour. Then I had work to do. I agreed to write some documentation for a beta-test we are conducting beginning this week, and I spent much of the afternoon on that, taking a break for lunch, and a bit of reading.

All told, I managed to write about 15 pages of documentation (a tad under 4,000 words) and I completed enough to be ready for tomorrow. But the day is done now, and it’s already 7:30 which means it’s nearly time for me to go to bed. I’m going to eat some dinner, make my lunch for tomorrow, and then hit the sack.

Kitchen juggling and other miscellaneous stuff

Happy March!

Last night I prepared the most complex meal I’ve ever done so far. It was not complex in terms of ingredients or anything light that. I made ravioli with pasta sauce, and steamed broccoli, which I suppose is fairly simple. But I had three burners on the stove going at the same time, and managed to plan it well enough so that all three finished cooking at about the same time. (And while doing this, I was also checking some work email.) It was the perfect amount of ravioli, enough for a bowl full for me and for Kelly. And the sauce was a spicy sauce with just a bit of a kick to it. It was very good, and I was pleased with my ability to juggle multiple tasks in the kitchen.

For the second time in a couple of weeks, I accidentally texted he11o_sunshine in response to a text from someone at work. I’m not exactly sure how I manage to do this. I can only suppose that so much of my concentration is taken up by other things that I simply don’t pay attention to what I’m doing. Fortunately, Jen has been through this before and takes it patiently and with good humor.

We watched The Martian Child on DVD last night. The movie (starring John Cusack) is based on David Gerrold’s Hugo and Nebula award-winning novelette of the same title. We both enjoyed it, despite it being sad at times.

This evening we are heading over to A.J. and Denisse’s for a Peruvian dinner, which should be fun. We’ll probably end up playing some games too. Denisse asked me to bring Apples to Apples with me for that very purpose.

I have to work tomorrow. Since I am a fast writer, I agreed to write a significant portion of the user documentation for an application that we’ve been developing for a while and is close to a beta release. It will probably take me several hours tomorrow afternoon, but at least I can do it from home.


The last two days at work have been really busy. In fact, I took work home with me this evening again, and just finished up (having spent 2 hours straight trying to get SQL server to talk to Oracle via linked servers. Stupid TNSNAMES!)

I was at Kelly’s last night. We had planned on making chicken parmesan but both of us got out of work late and in the end, we decided to order in a pizza from Papa Johns (who, by the way, had an incredibly fast delivery time–something like 15 minutes after placing the order).

My plan this evening is to sneak in a little bit of writing, get back on the saddle as far as that goes. After all, you can’t submit if you don’t write.

I’m about 180 pages into Jack McDevitt’s Odyssey, and so far, it’s what I expected based on the other books I’ve read by him. He keeps you interested and entertained, but it’s not a mind-blowing story… yet. One thing he does do that annoys me: he uses third person omniscient, which is fine, but rather than switching view points between scenes, he does it between paragraphs and sometimes even sentences. It makes things a little confusing.

Oh, and if you haven’t already heard, mabfan has sold his first book, a collection of his Hugo and Nebula award-nominated short fiction, which will be called I Remember the Future, published by Apex publications. More information here. Congrats, mabfan!

Early Monday evening

I’ve been trying to rest most of the day today. I slept in. I kept activity to a minimum. But I couldn’t resist the 72 degree temperatures and Kelly and I did head up to Greenbelt to walk around the lake early this afternoon. I picked up some litter for Zeke on the way back. And it’s been rest, rest, rest for the rest of the day. Kelly headed home around 3 PM and I dozed off for about 2 hours. And while I am feeling somewhat better, my voice has not recovered yet, which will make for an interesting day at work tomorrow since I have 3 hours worth of phone meetings.

I have laundry to do but I probably won’t get to it tonight. Kelly got me a whole bunch of new clothes which I am eager to start wearing but which really need to be washed first.

I’m calling it an early night tonight. I am planning on getting up for the gym tomorrow and want to be in bed by 8:30 PM.

Valentine’s Day

Kelly and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together today. We had dinner at Ruth’s Chris near gallery place, and as usual, their filet was excellent. Kelly had their tuna, which looked delicious as well. And we shared creme brule for dessert.

Kelly got me a first edition of The Best Science Fiction of Isaac Asimov. Does she know me well, or what? I had a much more difficult time deciding what to get for her. I finally settled on a two-part gift. Part 1 was a gift certificate to her favorite store in the whole world, Banana Republic, so that she could buy something to wear for Part 2. Part 2 is a Memorial Day weekend romantic getaway at The Homestead resort in western Virginia. We’re staying there 2 nights and breakfast and dinner is included. We are very excited about it.

Really, it was just a great day and it went by too quickly. I head to Boston tomorrow for Boskone. Kelly was invited to come with me, but decided to spend the weekend with her friends instead.

Okay, actually, she decided that there really wouldn’t be much for her to do at the “nerd convention”, as she lovingly refers to it.

But she’ll be at my place on Sunday when I get home.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

The Luckiest Man in Denv*

Our whirlwind weekend tour of Denver came to a close at about 12:30 AM when we got home from the airport. We crammed a lot into 48 hours. I already mentioned what we did on Saturday. Sunday’s schedule was no less hectic–and just as fun. It started with Brunch at a place called Zaidy’s with more of Kelly’s friends (and their twin babies). The food was good and I was hungry. After that, we headed to a nearby mall to spend a little more time with Kelly’s brother and nephews. We had lunch with them and walked around some of the shops. Then it was back to Steph and Jim’s for a little while (where I fell asleep on the couch) and before we knew it, it was 4 PM and time to head for the airport.

We drove back to the airport, returned the rental car, checked into our flight. There were long lines at security, but we used the premiums lines (benefit of Premier status) and got through pretty quickly. Once at the terminal, we headed up to the Red Carpet Club to relax for a little while before catching our flight.

The flight was full, but fortunately, quick. There were 100 MPH tailwinds, and though it took us about 4 hours to get to Denver, it took only 2 hours 38 minutes to get home. We arrived and BWI just before midnight and got home at about 12:40 AM. It was cold out–the wind was whipping and the temps were down in the teens.

Though we were both exhausted, it was a fun trip, my first time in Denver. I would definitely go back again.

*I had this famous science fiction story title in my head the entire time I was in Denver. Fans will know who I’m talking about

Boulder and bowling

We started off the day with a breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and sausage courtesy of Steph and Jim. After breakfast, Kelly and I headed toward downtown to see her brother and nephew. We got the tour of their new place (the balcony overlooks downtown Denver) and hung out for a while before deciding to head up to Boulder, Colorado. Then all four of us piled into the rental car for the 40 minute drive to Boulder.

We ended up at Pearl Street and spent a few hours wandering around there. It’s like a much mellower version of Third Street in Santa Monica, except instead of bordering the Pacific ocean, it bumps right up against the Rocky Mountains. Steph and Jim met us there, and I tried to get in touch with Paul to see if he could meet for a little while, but we just couldn’t do it this time. We ended up stopping for pizza before heading back to Denver.

Once back in Denver, there was a quick change of clothes and then we headed downtown to Lucky Strike where we’d rented a lane for 2 hours to bowl. There were six of us and it was a lot of fun, especially since all of us were pretty terrible bowlers. We bowled for 2 hours, drank a lot of beer, and in general, great fun was had by all. At the end of the two hours, Kelly’s brother and nephew headed home. The rest of us went over to an Irish bar where we sat for a while, munching and drinking.

We got back to Steph and Jim’s pretty late and Kelly fell asleep almost right away. I stayed up a bit longer before crashing myself.

Spoke to Dan today. Looks like he an Megan are not coming out in April, but coming out in May instead. Also spoke to Doug today.

Saturday and Sunday

Friday night was a weird one. I was exhausted from both a long night, preparing for the big rollout, followed by a long day, of second and third winds to keep going throughout the day. When I got to Kelly’s after work, I was literally running on fumes. We decided to stay in for dinner. Kelly made ravioli. Sometime around 7:30, I got into bed, barely conscious. Kelly tells me I was pretty funny throughout the night, saying things. I think I was so tired I was just hallucinating.

We had breakfast at IHOP on Saturday and then headed up to my house and spent much of the day doing laundry, cleaning up and watching a few movies. We took advantage of the mild weather to go for a walk around the lake in Greenbelt. Afterward, we did some grocery shopping and then came back and made a late lunch/early dinner. We cracked open the Grilled Cheese cookbook that he11o_sunshine and stubiebrother got me for the holidays and made one of the sandwich recipes (I think it was the California Grilled Cheese). We used the sandwich maker and they sandwiches turned out really good. Before going to bed, we watched the first half of Disney’s Escape to Witch Mountain, which I hadn’t seen since I was a kid.

We were up pretty early this morning, but spent the early part of the day lazing around a bit. I managed to finish Our Oriental Heritage. I was really hoping to finish the book at the end of January, but work got crazy. In any case, I finished it this morning and it was outstanding. More on that later. We went for another walk around the lake in Greenbelt, and then we had a late lunch at Appleby’s before Kelly headed home.

I’m back at the gym tomorrow morning. Lunch is packed and I’m about ready to head off to bed.

Sunday in New York

Even though we went to bed late, we were still up at around 8 AM. Around 10:30 or so, Kelly and I headed over toward Central Park. We arrived at the Boathouse Restaurant around 11 AM and met Kelly’s friends–Angie, John Jon (thanks, Kelly, for the correction), and their little girl Emma–for brunch.

Surprisingly, we were seated right away. There were no crowds, no long waits. We got a seat by the window, which overlooked a frozen lake. Angie and John were really nice and their daughter was adorable. Brunch was terrific and I was gluttonous. I ordered steak and eggs and had a mimosa with it. When I finished my steak and eggs (and potatoes, and bread), I ordered another mimosa and proceeded to finish the one and a half pancakes left on Kelly’s plate.

After brunch, we walked it all off. We made our way south through the park, stopping to let Emma watch the horses go by. We moved down to the ice skating rink and watched the skaters for a while, and then down to the duck pond to watch the ducks. The weather was really nice, especially when the sun was out. We then made our way to Fifth avenue and walked down past the zoo, before Kelly and I had to say goodbye and head back to Jen and Jason’s.

The walk back got cold, with a bitter wind whipping its way down Fifth Avenue and right into our faces. We walked from 65th to 80th and finally turned down 80th and made our way, shielded from the brunt of the wind, to 3rd. By the time we got back to Jen’s, we had only a little time to rest and gather our things before catching a taxi to Penn station.