BlizzCon 2008

blizzcon 2008 098Two weekends ago I went to Anaheim California, for Blizzard‘s annual BlizzCon.  BlizzCon celebrates all games developed by Blizzard.  Those games being Warcraft, Starcrat, Diablo, and World of Warcraft, which I know I’ve talked about before.  The convention shows off their latest games, and is host to numerous panels about game developing.  For two days its a geek heaven.

One of the two new games they were showing off, and letting us play, was Starcraft 2.  Starcraft is considered an RTS (real time strategy game).  Two or more players are put head to head, to create an army to destroy the other player.  I’ve always been a big fan of RTS games, starting with Warcraft.  When Warcraft 3 came out, I was actually volunteering to host tournaments for a Blizzard fan site.  We would have weekly tournaments and I would arrange the games, and track the players.  Starcraft 2 looks to be turning into a great game.  I just hope I’ll have enough time to play it. 🙂

The other game that we were excited to play was Diablo 3.  Diablo is more of an action/RPG (role playing game).  The diablo series was another game that hooked me in for a long time.  When Diablo 2 came out, I had actually taken days off work, so my friends and I could all play together for days on end.  Ahh those were the days.  We were the first to play Diablo 3, and what a pleasure that was.  With its improved graphics and game play, its a huge improvement over Diablo 2.  I can’t wait to play it again!

blizzcon 2008 091Other than waiting in lines, BlizzCon had some good entertainment.  I saw a few of the panels, which were always entertaining and informative.  Also there were plenty of eye candy, with dressed up characters from all their games.  One of the panels featured actors from an online web show called The Guild.  Its a comedy based around WoW.  Its star is Felicia Day, who recently also appeared in the tv show House, and I believe we will be seeing more and more of.  It was very entertaining seeing them, and hearing their stories about filming.  During the closing ceremony Saturday night, they had a few comics, L70ETC (blizzard employee rock band), and the always impressive Video Games Live.  Video Games Live is a group that gets a local orchestra together to play music from all genres of video games.  Gwendolyn and I were lucky enough to see them recently, and I was glad to have the opportunity to see them again playing Bizzard music.

Overall it was better than I imagined.  I’m sad I missed the first two years.  I hope I can go again at some point. 🙂

Photos

Hillbillies and Dragons

Wow, what a week that was!  Since we were too busy I never got a chance to write any posts.  So lets see if I can relive each day.  They were pretty action packed so get comfortable. 🙂

Saturday, we woke up early after a good nights sleep.  My parents met us at our house, and we did our final packing of the car, and loaded the bike on my dads truck.  We got off right on schedule and headed to Graceland.  We arrived at West Memphis around 7pm, checked in our hotel and looked for a place to eat.  Although we all know the further away from Mexico the worse mexican food will get, we decided to try a nearby mexican restaurant.  Walking in, you think there may be hope, as the decor was bright and lively, and the place was rather full.  However the equation held true, and the food was pretty bad.  On the way back to the hotel, we stopped into a Walgreens.  I only mention this, because I had never seen a Walgreens so packed at 10pm.  Then I find out that they actually have a liquor store inside!

IMG_7282.JPGSunday morning we headed to Graceland.  I don’t think you have to be an Elvis fan to appeciate Graceland.  From his lavish taste in decor, to his outlandish costumes, to his rooms filled floor to ceiling with awards/gold records.  It truely is amazing that one man did so much in so little time.  While there, this time we also toured his extensive car collection and airplanes.  One thing that impressed me about his plane was that it had a phone in it; they said he could make a call anywhere in the world.  I’d love to know how that worked.

After paying our respects at Graceland we ventured on toward Pigeon Forge.  6 hours later we made it, and stopped to have some dinner, and then headed to the cabin.  We stayed in this night as we’ve had a long ride and needed to get some rest for our week of fun.

Monday we started the day by riding the bikes into Gatlinburg.  The first stop of the day was at Hillbilly Golf.  What makes Hillbilly Golf so unique is that its literally on the side of a mountain.  To start the course you ride the incline up to the start.  Then as you play you putt and walk your way down.  Its a really fun course, and one we do on every visit.  After putt-putt we walked up and down the main drag of Gatlinburg.  We stayed till about dinner time then headed back to the cabin.  After dinner the family decided to burn some rubber at the go-cart tracks.  These of course aren’t your everyday tracks.  Each track there has at least one section of the track that is 4-5 stories high.  They are slow getting to the top, but the ride down is well worth it. 🙂

IMG_7418.JPGTuesday, Gwendolyn, mom, and I headed to the Arts and Craft Community in Gatlinburg.  Although we’ve been to Gatlinburg many times, I never knew this community existed.  Leave it to my crafty wife to find it.  Our first stop that day was to the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum.  (yes one actually exists, and yes we went there)  Okay it was actually pretty amazing.  It holds over 20,000 salt and pepper shakers!  I just can’t imagine how much time it must have taken to collect all these and even categorize them.  When my mom was growing up her family had shakers that was a bear hugging a trashcan.  Theirs actually came form the Smokey Mountains and her family had tried to find them before without luck.  Sure enough she saw them in the museum, and actually had one available for purchase.  Looking back on the pictures Gwendolyn saw the sea horse shakers that we actually own.  After the museum we did the craft community which is about a 8 mile loop of shops.  Gwendolyn had already planned out her route, so it wasn’t so bad.  We stopped in everything from Christmas stores, to pottery, to stained glass, and then to a store filled with some awesome Mountain Trolls.

That night we went to see a magic show, Magic Beyond Belief.   As a magic fan, I was entertained and impressed with the show.  After the show we went to putt-putt at Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure.  Gwendolyn got her first hole in one, and she also got it on that days ‘mystery’ hole, so she won a free game to boot.  My parents also bought the picture they took of us, and also received a few free games.  Looks like we’ll be coming back.:)

IMG_7452.JPGWednesday, the day I’ve been waiting for, for a looong time.  This was the day that I finally got to ride the Tail of the Dragon.  Its an 11 mile stretch of the road with 318 turns.  A road like that is a huge draw for all motorcyclist (and car enthusiast).  My dad and I brought up our bikes, and my cousin Brian was going to rent one.  So that morning we headed to a Harley dealership and got him a bike.  We then headed down to 129, which turns into the Tail of the Dragon.  The first part of 129 is beautiful, with lots of slow turns and follows Tellico Lake to Chilhowee Lake.  A little past Foot Hills Pkwy 129 turns into the Tail.  That is where the real fun begins.  Here you can’t concentrate on any of the scenery but have to focus on every turn.  You know you’ve made it through when you hit Deals Gap, the small shop, hotel, eatery, and bike mecca.  I was amazed by how little traffic and other riders we saw on the tail, but once we made that last turn and saw deals gap, there were at least a hundred bikes.  We stopped in the shop and grabbed a tshirt, and looked at the tree of shame.  They have a tree there where riders have placed parts of their now trashed bikes, as a sacrifice to the dragon.  Once we looked around, we headed on our way.  We then headed over to do the Hellbender 28, and then down to Cherohala Skyway.  The Cherohala Skyway was a magnificent 40 mile ride.  Riding on the tops of the mountains reaching an elevation of about 5400ft.  Stopping at some overlooks we took lots of pictures and even found a geocache!  After the Cherohala we needed to head back to return the bike.  By this time we were all getting pretty tired.  Going back we stayed off the main highways and went back country roads.  The landscape and scenery is just so different from Houston, and even Texas.  Its hard to take it all in.  It might not sound like a lot of riding, but here are some stats from the trip.  In total it was 243 miles, and took us 6hrs of driving time, and 9hrs with all our stops!  We averaged 27mph with stops and 41mph driving.  Top speed was 66mph.

While I was out riding, Gwendolyn was going to meet up with Patrick.  They spent the day back in Gatlinburg, and went shopping, to the Hard Rock Cafe and visited the Ripley’s Aquarium.  I think they both really enjoyed the Aquarium.

When we finally met back up, we had some dinner at the cabin.  Afterward Gwendolyn and I left with Patrick to go see his new house.  I think Patrick grabbed himself a pretty nice house.  Its a 3 bedroom house, with a basement and office, and even a 2 car garage.  So far he’s got plenty of room, we’ll see how long that lasts. 🙂  I’m mostly jealous of his man cave, the basement.  He already has that set up with his aquarium, computer and entertainment center.  He says he can do whatever he wants with the basement… again we’ll see how long that lasts. (I’ve heard that kinda talk before, right Gwendolyn :))  Also you can’t complain about Patricks view.  The house is at the end of a road and no houses behind him.  So he’s surrounded by nice lush trees.

IMG_7508.JPGThursday, we woke up and had a quick breakfast.  We headed back to the cabin and tried to meet up with my parents after lunch.  We then headed to go see some waterfalls.  First we stopped by The Sinks, which is right off the road, and a nice small fall under a bridge.  Then we went over to Meigs Falls, which you can see from the road, but is much harder to get to, as you have to cross the small stream.  Then it was off to Laurel Falls, which is about a 1.2 mile hike to the fall.  Laurel Falls is considered a pretty easy hike, due to the trail being paved.  It still wears you out though, as the whole way is uphill.  Amazingly we did see two people in motorized chairs going to the top.  The trail comes out in the middle of the falls so you can get a good view of the upper section.  You can go off the trail to the lower section and get a better view.  From there we headed to another fall called Place of a Thousand Drips.  Part of the road there is a one way road through a dense forest.  So beautiful.

After visiting the falls it was back to the cabin for dinner than deciding what to do that night.  Patrick wanted to do some go-carts and we still had the free Lost Treasure coupons, so off we went.  Our first stop was Lost treasure, where Patrick, Gwendolyn, and myself, vs my parents and my uncle dale.  We had jokingly bet ice cream on who will win.  With 2 golf pros on their team, and Patrick not having the week of practice Gwendolyn and I had, we loss.  So our next stop was a go-cart track, which ended up being pretty cheap, as we had 2 for 1 coupons.  Glad we had the 2nd ride, as we all had crappy ass cars the first go through.  The second time was much better though.  After racing we payed up our bet and got ice cream.  My parents and uncle were going to call it a night, so the youngin’s headed into Gatlinburg for some more fun.  We hit up another putt-putt course, this time it was Ripley’s Davy Crockett.  This is one of my favorite courses, and I think Gwendolyn and Patrick would agree.  I remember last time I was here, I came with my cousin Holly, we liked it so much, we drug the whole family back there.  This course is what you want all putt-putt places to be like.  With lots of animated/singing characters, challenging holes, unique holes, holes that interact with you.  One of my favorites is a Plinko hole.  You start on a hill, and your ball has to go down a plinko style area, bouncing off gophers.  Also when you first drop down into the plinko board a gopher pops up and starts singing one of many different songs.  Another favorite is this water chute.  Part of the course goes under a driveway to the parking lot.  While you play mostly on one side, to get your ball back over to the other side, it travels via a water chute, for about 50ft.  Ripley also has another course in Pigeon Forge, Old McDonald, but we never made it to that one.  Once we were done, we headed back to the cabin, and called it a night.

IMG_7575.JPGFriday, we headed to the south side of the Smokey Mountains with my parents to do some more hiking and check out a few more falls.  My parents and I were on the bikes, while Gwendolyn drove with Patrick in his car.  On the way over there, we took Hwy 441 which cuts right through the mountains.  We made a stop at Newfound Gap, which is right at the border of TN and NC.  Also the Appalachian Trail passes through that point.  We took some great pictures before venturing on to the other falls.  We finally end up at Deep Creek campgrounds, where Juney Whank Falls Trails begin.  On this one loop of a mile or more there are 3 falls you can see.  There’s Juney Whank Falls, Indian Creek Falls, and Tom Branch Falls.  Although we got confused a few times hiking through there, we made it to all 3 falls.  I think I liked Tom Branh Falls the best, as it was the tallest and cascaded right down into the river.  Walking back from the falls, we got to see some tubers going through some rapids in the river.  Made me want to jump in with them!  It’s been too long since I’ve been down the guadalupe.

After hiking, we stoped in Bryson City to eat.  It was a cute little town, and actually had a pedestrian trian.  Amazingly, I believe thats the first one I’ve ever seen.  After Bryson City, it was time to head back home.  Since we were so close to the Tail of the Dragon we had to of course go the long way home and go run that one more time. 🙂  We headed back to 129, and stopped again when we got to deals gap, this time we were riding the other direction.  Today, being friday, there were 2x as many bikes there!  It was hard finding a spot to park.  While taking a few pictures with Gwendolyn, we saw a lady on a big hog getting ready to depart, when she dropped her bike!  Ooops.  A gang of guys come running out to pick her and the bike up.  A few minutes later, we take off, and at the first turn of the dragon, who do we see again, that same lady on the side of the road.  I think she needs to turn in the bike.  Today there were a lot more bikes on the road, and it showed.  Now a few minutes later did we see a ton of bikes pulled over, as someone had not made the turn and went off the side.  I’ve since read that they were okay, just bruised and maybe a broken bone here or there.  The police had also made their prescense known, as they were found on multiple turns.  We made it through safely, and headed home via Foothills Parkway.  We were unable to do this road Wednesday, and I’m glad we got to do it today.  I felt like I was driving on the crest of the mountain.  Each side I looked through the trees only to see more mountains on either side.  The pull-offs had magnificent views of the smokies.  At one point there is a lookout tower, Look Rock, that I will have to make it a point of going to next time.  We didn’t have enough time today to do it.

IMG_7652.JPGFriday night I went out with Patrick and Gwendolyn.  We were going to go back to Gatlinburg to finish our game at Davy Crocketts putt-putt, and also try to goto Ripley’s Believe it or not museum.  The best part was on the way there, Gwendolyn had said “I’m sad I didn’t see any bears” as black bears are pretty common up there and I’ve seen one each time I’ve been.  A turn or two later, and guess whats walking across the road.  Mr. Bear walked up the side of the road as I stopped my car and took out my camera.  Once I rolled down the window he turned to smile, and as soon as the flash was gone so was he.  He came out just for Gwendolyn.  But that’s not all, another minute later, and we saw a fox crossing the road.  Unfortunately he did not want his picture taken.  We started to hope for other animals to show up, like the liger or unicorns or hippos, but none showed themselves.  So we moved on to Gatlinburg, and went to putt-putt first, as we already had tickets for that.  Afterward, we hustled over to the Believe It or Not museum.  This museum is always fun with tons of interesting stuff to see and read.

Saturday and Sunday we sadly drove home.  We made a pit stop at Isle of Capri Casino though.  It was pretty fun.  Mom gave Gwendolyn and I 20 bucks, which we tried to make last as long as possible.  But we wern’t the lucky ones. Dad had a hot seat at the black jack table, and came out ahead!  Before leaving we tried to find two geocaches nearby, but didn’t have any luck there either.

Whew, so there’s our TN vacation.  Lots of fun and lots of driving, and lots of fun memories.  Gatlinburg will always hold a special place in my heart.

And of course here are the pictures.

…and just cause I’m a nerd and will want this info on a future date:
(total time/driving time/milage)
(17:01 / 14:47 / 994)* – going via 59, i30, i40
(20:03 / 15:07 / 996) – coming back via i79,i59,i10
* doesn’t include time/milage from west memphis to graceland

One last weekend

Finally we seem to be catching up to current events. This past weekend was our last weekend before we take off to Gatlinburg, TN for a Johnson reunion. On Saturday we spent the evening with my parents, as my moms sister Mary was in town. My uncle Dick and aunt Vicki, along with my cousin Dan and his wife Jen, and their new baby Jacob. I made my parents make some hamburgers since I’ve been craving them since Memorial Day. They turned out pretty good. I think mine were better though. 😉 We had a nice night of chatting and catching up.

IMG_7182.JPGOn Sunday we caught back up with Cory and Annie. We said we’d continue our Geocaching this weekend so that’s what we did. We meet at 10, and went for some breakfast. This time I was much more prepared. My gps already loaded with all coordinates, and I had laptop as a backup. We went over the plan at breakfast, and afterwards we went on the hunt. There were two caches I really wanted to try to grab. Each one had a travel bug that I would like to take to TN. We found both fairly easily, but neither one had the travel bugs in them that I wanted. One did have a Navy Travel Bug, which was a navy jet, that wanted to travel more miles than the Air force jet. Since my dad and most my family had been in the Navy I had to take it with us. It didn’t want to be held for more than 24hrs so we stashed it in the last cache of the day. I think we did pretty good for still being new at this. We tried for 13-14, and we found 9 of them. Gwendolyn actually found her first nano cache! I couldn’t believe how small it was, no bigger than a half an inch! Unscrew the top though, and find a rolled up sheet of paper of all the past finders. We finished the day with a stop at Carvel ice cream. Then we were amazed as Cory at two large cones. And I thought I loved ice cream.

Like I mentioned earlier, next week we’ll be in TN. We are going to head out on Saturday and try to make it to Memphis. Then Sunday morning we will visit Graceland. I’m not much of an Elvis fan, but Gwendolyn would like to see it, and it does have some sort of draw to it. It must be because I used to listen to Paul Simons Graceland over and over as a child. 🙂 After Graceland we’ll head up to Pigeon Forge, where our cabin actually is. Pigeon Forge is just a few miles away from Gatlinburg, but is more of a shopping strip, where as Gatlinburg feels more of a small town. Don’t get me wrong though, Gatlinburg is 90% shopping also, but much nicer. 🙂

While there, we plan to partake in all the usual tourist stuff. Shopping during the day, and mini-golf every night, along with ice cream. We’ll also visit the Aquarium and Ripleys Believe it or Not museum. What I won’t be partaking in, is Dolly Wood. I’ve managed to not go the past 3-4 times in Gatlinburg, and I don’t plan to go now. What I’m really looking forward to though, is a ride through the Smokey Mountains. We are taking our motorcycles, so we can enjoy one of the best roads in the US. Its known as the Tail of the Dragon, or Deals Gap. It has 318 curves in 11miles. It borders the Smokey Mountains on the South West side and crosses over North Carolina and Tennessee. It will be one hell of a ride.

Also while we are there, we’ll be a an hour or two away from Patrick, so we’ll go visit him in his new house. We should have internet access at the cabin, so hopefully I’ll make a post or two while there. As for the rest of this week and weekend, don’t expect much else, we gotta get packing.

Iron Maiden

Thursday we went with Jake and Brian, and our houston friends to see an Iron Maiden concert at the Cynthia Woods Pavillion. Never been to Iron Maiden before, but it was definitely worth it. The stage was pretty awesome, and they had some nice pyrotechnics, and giant puppets. I was really impressed by how hard they all rocked out. The lead singer was running and jumping around the entire time, and never let it show. If it was me, after the first song, I would have died. They put on a hell of a show, and a perfect way to hang out with everyone.

2 years

Well it’s been a busy past few weeks. Lets see if we can catch up.

IMG_7085.JPGThe end of April marked our 2 year anniversary. We spent the weekend in Galveston, staying at the Mermaid and Dolphin bed and breakfast inn. Neither of us has stayed at a B&B before, so we weren’t sure to what to expect. The room we stayed in was the ‘Enchanted Nights VIP Queen Jacuzzi Suite’. The room was what I would expect any typical B&B room to look like, with antique furniture and beautiful decorations. As you can tell from the name of our room, we had a private jacuzzi for two on the patio of our room. Having that for just two days, really got us thinking about buying one for ourselves. Our room also had a claw foot tub, day bed, and 4 post queen bed. We both loved the room and inn, and would definitely stay there again.

IMG_7071.JPGFriday night we tried the Original Mexican Cafe. It was delicious. Afterwards we went for a walk down the strand. Amazingly Saturday morning we were both up around 8. The awesome part about that, was we actually got to enjoy the complementary breakfast. I have to say it was a delicious breakfast. I wasn’t really expecting much, so having something so good was a nice surprise. After breakfast, we went on a tour of the Moody mansion. It was pretty impressive. I love seeing old houses and all the special features they have, that you just don’t see in houses now a days. One of my favorite features were the built in shutters that folded into the wall. Gwendolyn really loved the wall coverings, from the stenciling to the wood trim. For lunch, we headed over to the Sunflower Bakery & Cafe. I wasn’t too sold of the food, but they did have an excellent bakery. We bought a cream puff, and giant cinnamon roll to go. We then headed back to the strand to do some real shopping. While we were there, we went to the Fiesta store and enjoyed some ice cream.

Once back at the B&B, we went for a bike ride. We rode our bikes about a mile to the sea wall, and then rode up and down the sea wall for another few miles. When we finished our bike ride we then drove back to the sea wall to enjoy a nice dinner at The Spot. We weren’t sure what we wanted to do afterwards, but we finally decided to go check out a mini golf course. The place was awesome. It reminded me of all the ones they have in Gatlinburg, TN, which we’ll be going to in a few weeks. So it was a great way to get some practice in. 🙂 Among all the animatronic animals your ball had to dodge, at one point Gwendolyn found herself having to dodge a flying bird. While Gwendolyn was trying to putt, a bird flew straight into her back, and then aimed itself at me. I tried to swat at it with my club, but the bird swerved, and landed on the dragons head mocking us. The course was so fun, we decided to go again and try the ‘easier’ course which actually ended up being harder.

Sunday we made it a point to wake up early and get some of the mouth watering breakfast. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating today, so we didn’t get a chance to do much. We went to Murdoch’s Bathhouse on the sea wall, and then to Tom’s Thumb, a nursery Gwendolyn had heard about. We headed home afterwards, with our love for each other rekindled.

As always the photos are here.

Camping Fun

IMG_7026.JPGWhat an awesome weekend! After a year of planning, okay not literally, (but I did have the idea a year ago to go camping with 4 other couples) we finally got one couple to go camping with us. Our friends Cory and Anne, from Gwendolyn’s HCPL days came along with us at Huntsville State Park. Overall the park is very nice with plenty of shade, a nice lake, and plenty of trails. The only thing negative about it, seems to be the lack of ‘privacy’. While most parks have spots that are more secluded or surrounded by brush, this one lacked either. It was pretty crowded, but I have to say, we were with a very polite group of campers. It was always peaceful and quiet.

IMG_7005.JPGGwendolyn’s favorite new camping thing is the camping kitchen we got at Academy before we left. We went to the store planning on getting an extra little table so we could keep our picnic table clear, but then Gwendolyn discovered the camping kitchen. She and Annie loved cooking on it this weekend. Check it out! One of the funner things we did was go mountain biking. Before leaving I bought a bike rack to take the bikes camping. Since Gwendolyn and I are on an exercise kick right now, what better way to get some exercise in while camping. Looking at the trails, I saw a loop that went around the entire lake, that was about 6 miles. Before this Gwendolyn and I have only ridden about 4-5 miles. Although I really wanted to do the big loop, I decided we should start small and ride to the front of the park and back. That was a good choice. Although we both had to walk our bikes up a few hills, I’m very proud of us both, for making it through. I know at about the 3/4’s mark for me, my legs were on fire. I was just dreading the next incline. The next day amazingly we didn’t feel to bad, so we decided to go for one more ride. We rode about 1.5miles to the damn, enjoyed some s’mores that were packed for us by Cory and Anne, and came back to pack up.

IMG_7014.JPGSpeaking of Cory and Anne, they made the camping trip so much more enjoyable. It was so much fun sitting around the campfire laughing and playing games and enjoying the funky flames! It even makes camp life easier when you have help cooking and cleaning. Amazingly this was Cory’s 2nd time to go camping! I have to say he’s already well equipped and well adjusted to the camping life. Thanks for joining us, guys. You rock!

Be sure to check out the photos!

Happy New Year 2007!!

Happy New Year everyone! Finally getting around to actually posting something. Yay me! I’ve noticed theres a lot of spam that has been getting through in the comments, I will have to take care of that. =/

Anyways, lets catch up. Thanksgiving we invited our families over. We enjoyed a nice turkey and all the helpings. The day before Thanksgiving I splurged and bought a new 50″ plasma TV.

During December we help an open house to invite our friends over for a little holiday cheer and to see the new house. We had quite a few people show up, and I believe everyone had a good time.

For Christmas we spent a few days before over at my parents house. We celebrated Christmas on Saturday. It was a great weekend. We left early Christmas eve to head to Wichita Falls to spend the rest of Christmas with Gwendolyns Family. We had a great time in Wichita Falls. It was nice spending some time with her family we don’t get to see very much.

And finally we broke in the new year at my parents house. With lots of friends and fireworks a good time was had by all. We (almost) finally finished of my parents street light. The glass casing is all gone now, but the light keeps on shinning. Those lights seem to be indestructible. We will try again on the 4th of July though!

So be sure to check out all the pictures:
Thanksgiving
Christmas
New Years

ROT Rally 2006

Oops… looks like I wrote this but never posted it… so here it is. 🙂

June 2nd, was the annual ROT Rally in Austin. This is the biggest biker weekend in Texas, and we were there! My parents, Gwendolyn, and I all rode our bikes to spend the weekend in Austin. Gwendolyn and I stayed with our good friends, Jake and Beth, while my parents had a hotel room. The ROT grounds were huge! It was definitely a lot larger than Galvestons rally. Although, I think I like Galvestons a little better.

Everyday we tried to go out to a new restaurant we haven’t been to yet. Lucky for us Jake and Beth have already done all the scouting and took us to some really great places! Here’s just a few of the places we went:

Friday night the ROT Rally went for the Guiness Book of World Records, by creating the longest parade. I’m not sure if they accomplished their goal, but I can’t imagine them not doing it. The parade was so enormous! There were just thousands and thousands of bikes. The parade was really fun, with people lined up alond the whole parade route, which started about 10 miles outside of austin and ended on Congress St. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

Saturday we tried to go on a poker run, but unfortunately we went to the wrong place to start, and weren’t able to participate. So we took off on one of the self guided tours of the hill country. Since our first trip to Austin, this is one of the things I’ve been waiting to do. And boy, it did not dissapoint! The ride was so awesome. It’s what driving a motorcycle is all about.

Saturday night, Jake and Beth joined up with us, after we helped them move their new bed (aka matress blob) up to their apartment. We headed back to the rally to watch Joann Jet and the Blackhearts. I have to say she can still rock out, with the best of them.

Sunday we slept in some, ate, and then headed back home. Overall it was an awesome weekend, and we can’t wait till next years!

Bachelor parties, Birthday parties and Accidents! Oh my!

Well what an exciting weekend! Gwendolyn and I started by celebrating her birthday an friday night. We went out and I gave her her present, which was a nice engraved ring box. We had to celebrate friday night because on Saturday I would be having my bachelor party! I woke up around 6ish so Tim and I could head down to Luis apartment. We met up with the rest of the guys there and then headed down to the beach house that my best man Jake had rented for the weekend. We got to the beach house, which turned out to be better than they expected. The location was great and the house was pretty awesome. Once we got settled in, we had to set up Guitar Hero, and get to rocking out! The day pretty much consisted of rocking out to Guitar Hero, movies, water gun fights, and lots of alcohol. We ended the night with a ride on the beach in Jeremys jeep. That was so awesome, painful, annoying and fun all at the same time. Best ride Evar. Great times.

Gwendolyn spent the beginning of her birthday working. Afterwards she invited her friends over for a nice dinner that she prepared. I heard everyone had a good time.

Sunday at the beach house, all the girls were invited over. So Beth, Delena, and Gwendolyn all came down and enjoyed a nice sunday afternoon on the beach. We stayed till nightfall and headed home. After dropping J & D off we headed home ourselves.

This is where the weekend took a turn for the worse. About 2 miles from our house, Gwendolyn and I were stopped at a red light in the right hand lane. Next thing we know we are spinning into the intersection and then our car comes to a stop facing the wrong direction. We were just rear ended. It turns out some guy was going about 60 and driving on the shoulder, didn’t stop or slow down, and plowed right into us. When I got out of the car I went over to see if they were all right. The car reeked of alcohol, and the driver was in the car checking on the female passenger, who was unconscious. He then tries to pull her out of the car through the drivers side door. I’m still amazed by how many people think its okay to move someone whos badly injured. I tell the guy to leave her be. Meanwhile a lady that was in the left hand land stopped, as she saw it all happen. She went around and made sure everyone was alright and called 911. During this time a Minivan pulled up behind the car that hit us. A group of people came out and inspected the car, and one lady came over to us and asked us if we were okay. She then went on to say that the driver knows it was his fault. Well the next thing I really remember is the one witness coming over to me saying that the driver of the saturn that hit us, is gone! I looked around and he was no where to be found along with the mini van! I think he had a group of friends following, and they decided it was best for him not to be at the scene any longer. They left leaving the passed out girl in the front, and the delirious man in the rear of the saturn. The police, ambulance and fire truck all show up about the same time. So the normal routine happens, answering 100 questions and telling what happened 50 times, and then we headed home. A nice lady that came to the scene moments after it happened, stayed and drove us home.

Thankfully, Gwendolyn and I are both okay. We are definitely sore and aching, but nothing more than that. Thinking of the accident it seems like it should have been a lot worse. You can look at the pictures of the car here.

Okay, on a much lighter note. FOUR more days left till our wedding!!! It’s so awesome!! Although the accident has gotten us down a bit, we are still so looking forward to the wedding and our honeymoon!!