Greetings Strangers

Anyone still visit this site?  You do?  Awesome, well here is some stuff that’s been going on!

First my favorite new project, our art car is going along smoothly.  My dad and I towed it out to my uncles (Thanks Uncle Dick!!) house in tomball, so it is now much more accessible to us.  It’s also stored in a garage with all the tools I could possibly need.  The best news though is we got it moving!  Turns out that the axle bearings were bad, so 100 bucks later and we are driving around.

Gabriel is doing great.  He’s almost 6 months old now.  I can’t believe that.  He’s takes notice of everything around him now, and tries to grab everything.  He’s almost at the sitting up stage.  I should also post new videos of him laughing.  He finally has that down pat.  🙂  Other achievements have been his baptism on June 7th, with his Godparents Jonathan and Delena.  Unfortunately they couldn’t make it to the ceremony so we had to have my cousin Dan and Sarah stand in for them.

Gwendolyn turned 30!  We had an awesome birthday party.  We did a murder mystery set in the 1920’s.  Gwendolyn and I were hosts to the new speakeasy, The Four Dueces, in town and throwing a grand opening celebration.  All the high society players were there, when Big Jim Ravioli was murdered.  We had to spend the rest of the night figuring out who would do such a thing and why!  It was an amazing party and everyone really enjoyed themselves.  I am still amazed by the costumes and how everyone really brought their characters to life.

We went to the Art Car sneak peak back in may with our friends Cory and Annie.  Gabriel was also there for the first time checking out down town.  The cars were amazing and we were able to talk to a few of the owners for tips and support.  The next day we meet our families downtown to watch the parade.  We enjoyed the show and can’t wait to be in it next year!

The end of May Patrick and Mandy came down to visit.  Gwendolyn and Gabriel spent the week with them, and had a great time.  I think Patrick and Mandy fell in love with Gabriel, and Gabriel loves them just as much. Maybe we’ll be getting a niece or nephew soon too? 😉

The end of June our friend Beth was also turning 30, along with another austin friend Evans.  Beth decided to through a big birthday/house warming party which we attended.  It was our first long trip with Gabriel and I have to say he did amazing.  This gives us hope for our trip next week to Wisconsin.  The party was awesome, lots of great people and it was good seeing Jake, Beth, and Brian.

And thats about it.  Wow that wasn’t so hard.  Why haven’t I been updating this?!  Gwendolyn has also said she has been interested in writing a post or two.  It must be because of twitter.  She needs more than 140 characters. 🙂

Gwendolyn’s Twitter
Jay’s Twitter

Photos:
Easter
Gwendolyn’s 30th

Oh and happy 123456789 day! (12:34:56 on 7/8/9) or 040506070809 (04:05:06 on 07/08/09)

Slaying the Beast

I’m ashamed its taken me this long to write about an awesome weekend.  I’m finding it harder and harder to write continually, I guess I’m just going to have to power through!

IMG_7673.JPGThe weekend for which I’m speaking was the 4th of July.  It started off Friday morning with my sister, Joann, flying in from Cleveland.  We spent the morning chatting and getting ready for the party.  Later Gwendolyn’s family arrived along with our friends Cory and Annie.  Once everyone was over, we fired up the grill, and cooked those delicious hamburgers once again.  Then we all had to wait patiently for the sun to set so we could start the show.  Once the sun set and with a few hundred dollars in fireworks, the show did not disappoint.  There was also a few exciting moments, when we tried to fire off 6 artillery shells, and the shock from the first few knocked over 3 other tubes, the first went flying towards are neighbors, which exploded over their heads.  The other two that happened to land facing our house.  Oh and Patrick and Joann were standing there. 🙂  They hit the side of the house and bounced down and exploded in the grass.  Later we had a small artillery shell, and lost the launch tube for it.  Patrick decides to throw it in our field.  His aim was a little off as it went straight to our fence and exploded, catching the grass on fire.  I could do nothing but laugh as Patrick ran to the fence and started to stomp out the fire.

IMG_7702.JPGSaturday Gwendolyn went home with her family to spend time with her brother, while I went to Kemah, to spend time with Joann.  Kemah was fun, and while there we decided to ride on The Beast.  The Beast is a speed boat that takes you out for 20-30 mins, that goes really fast and plays loud music and gets you really wet.  Now that last part I wasn’t so sure of.  Yes I saw people walk off soaking, but I couldn’t imagine how you could get so wet on a boat.  I’ve been on a few boats and never got soaked unless I jumped in.  I did see that the employees had water guns.  Given that, I thought that they must go around and just soak everyone or have some hidden fire hose to drench you.  When we were buying our tickets we had just missed a boat leaving, which turned out fine as I got to go change into my swim trunks.  Then again, when the boat came back a lady ended up slipping on the ramp off the boat and paramedics had to come get her.  After waiting an extra 20 mins, we finally boarded and headed out.  It starts off nice and slow heading away from Kemah, but then you get on open water, and then you feel the speed.  We had gotten seats in the middle of the boat, thinking it may be a good place to stay dry.  Then the boat starts to turn.  We hear a family behind us to the right screaming, and turn around to see them getting soaked with water.  It was amazing how much water was coming on board.  It stayed that way for about a minute with the people behind us getting soaked and us laughing at them.  Teaches them for sitting in the back.  Then suddenly it was our turn.  It felt like 50 buckets of water were being shot from the lake.  All you could do was laugh at how wet you were getting.  Then the boat would turn away and you’d enjoy the ride for another minute or two, until it turns your way again, and then it was like sitting through a monsoon.  Just put your head down and laugh as the water pours off your head and back.  Since we had a late start getting out, the captain kept us out another song or two.  The ride was a blast, and fairly cheap.  I would definitely do it again.  There was a casualty though.  Since I didn’t think we were truly going to get drenched, I had wrapped my camera in my shirt.  After the first soaking or two, I looked at it, and my shirt was soaked through, and my camera was sitting in my lap in a puddle of water.  I shook it off and put it in my mothers purse.  After the ride I looked at it and saw that water had seeped in where it shouldn’t have.  I tried to dry it out but alas, it was gone.  I felt a sense of loss as it was my first digital camera, and a good one that I’ve had for the past 6 years.  :'(  I’ll miss you my sweet Canon Powershot G1.

After the ride on The Beast, we went to eat at Babins.  I thought the food was great and although the service was a tad slow to start, it did give us time to dry off.  My sister got the Blackened Tuna, which I tried for the first time.  It was pretty delicious.  I had the catfish and shrimp which was also pretty good.

After Kemah my parents went home, and I went to Gwendolyn’s parents.  We had a great night with the family there, going to the book store and then a stop for ice cream on the way back.  We had a great night just hanging out and chatting, we stayed till about midnight before heading home.

Sunday morning, Joann was going to see if she could change he plane going home.  She was due to leave that afternoon but decided to see if she could leave on monday.  I called over there early Sunday and find out she did change her flight.  She wanted to do something fun and outdoors, so we all decided to head to lake Conroe and rent a boat!  We were able to get an 8 man ski boat, and a giant tube for $90/hr.  I couldn’t believe how cheap renting a boat was.  That also included free gas.  I would have thought renting a boat costs way more.  Anyways, off we went onto the lake.  First we decide to just test out the boat, which was pretty fun, although the lake was pretty rough, so we had some pretty hard slams into the water.  I decided to move up to the front where Joann was sitting and where its much rougher.  It only took a second for my hat to decide it would much rather be in the water.  I watched as both Gwendolyn and my mom tried to grab it, but it maneuvered perfectly around them and dove in the water.  Being this was my World of Warcraft hat, I demanded the captain, my dad, to turn the boat around.  I kept my eye on the hat and guided us back to it.  Once close enough I dove in and rescued my WoW hat!  Since I was now wet, I figured we might as well try to do the inner tube.  Oh what a way to torture yourself.  There really isn’t a better way to beat your chest and arms, unless it’s on an inner tube behind a speed boat.  It really was fun, and somewhat painful.  By the 3rd or 4th time, I couldn’t take any more.  My skin was raw at my elbows and my knees.  Joann had hit the tube so hard that we thought she broke her nose, although she did hurt her jaw pretty bad.  It was such a beautiful day to spend outside and on the water.  I wish we could do that every weekend.

Like I said, that was the most fun I’ve had on a weekend in a long time.  And it was great to get spend it with my family and sister!

Pictures!

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

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.

Deal or No Deal

We just got back from my parents house, and I just have to make a post now.  We went over there to celebrate Gwendolyn’s birthday.  We also haven’t been there since they’ve installed their new Bullfrog Spa.  Let me tell you, its the king of hot tubs.  With 4 seats, and interchangeable jet packs on each seat, you can customize your own spa.  Another feature I enjoyed was the mood lighting.  You can set the underwater light to a number of settings, changing its color, or having it cycle through colors at varying speeds.  Finally after spending about an hour in the spa, they had to force me out.  I’m still so relaxed as I type this.

When we came back inside, my parents said that they had a game for us to play.  I couldn’t think of what they could be talking about, and as it was getting late, I hoped it was a fast game.  We sat around the new kitchen table and they bring out a bunch of folded index cards with numbers on them.  They then say we are going to play Deal or No Deal!  The game was set up so they had 10 index cards (the briefcases) numbered 1-10.  Inside each card they had written an amount from $1-$100. (1, 2, 5, 10, 20,25,40,50,75,100).  Whatever money we won, was going to be our anniversary present, as our 2nd year anniversary is next Tuesday.  So to pick our ‘briefcase’ I thought of using one of the #’s 4, 2 or 9 (4-29 our anniversary).  I didn’t like only being able to choose one of those 3.  So I combined them:  4+2=6; 9-6=3.  We took briefcase 3.  To pick our next cases we went with #2.  Inside was $75!.  ouch.  Each turn my dad was playing Host, and the Banker.  My parents say he is really good at guessing what the banker will offer on the show.  I’d like to know how they come up with the bank offers myself. The banker offered us $22 on the first round.  No Deal.  the game then went as follows:

  1. Opened case #4 = $50! Banker offered $17.  No Deal.
  2. Opened case #9 = $40! Banker offered $24.  No Deal. We just lost 3 top amounts. 🙁
  3. Opened case #8 = $2! Banker offered $27.  No Deal.
  4. Opened case #10 = $10! Banker offered $36.  No Deal.
  5. Opened case #6 = $25! Banker offered $38.  No Deal.
  6. Opened case #7 = $1! Banker offered $55.  No Deal. It started to get more tempting now, and we had to debate if we should try one more time.
  7. Opened case #5 = $5! Banker offered $75.

Now there was only case #1 and #3.  With the amounts of 20 or 100.  Although my parents did not know what was in what case, I saw my dad try to sneak a peak into case #1.  At this point he was saying we shouldn’t take the deal.  I just couldn’t decide if I should trust him or not.  He might be wanting us to win, or he might be trying to save himself some money! 🙂  I said I would rather lose $25 and take the deal, then to lose $55.  So we took the deal at $75!  As it turns out, we should have listened to my dad, as we held the winning briefcase!  What a fun game of deal or no deal.  That was way better than watching it on tv, even if they added dramatic pauses, and it was for much less.  We still had a great time getting 75 bucks!  Thanks mom and dad!

Happy Birthday!

Just wanted to wish my lovely wife a Happy Birthday.  We had a wonderful time celebrating her birthday.  The past weekend, her family and mandy spent the weekend with us.  The girls went garden shopping, while the boys stayed home.  Gwendolyn found another mini metal chicken that matches the bigger one quite well.  I also gave Gwendolyn, two more funky (small) metal chickens for her birthday.  Our backyard is starting to look like a chicken coop.

I hope to get some pictures up soon.