Saturday, February 27, 2010

Regret, hope, defeat, VICTORY!

No, the title of my blog post is not dramatic. It is true! Here's why:

Regret - The year was 1998. The Warner High School football team was in the semi-final 9B football game, the winner going on to the championship at the dome and the loser of the game season was over. Garth Brooks was on tour and playing in Sioux Falls. Yes, both events were occuring on the same day of the semifinal championship game. My mom, sister, aunt, and cousins elected to go to the Garth Brooks concert but I decided to stay home and cheer my little heart out for the football team. I missed the concert. Our team lost. I was upset about both but life moved on.

Hope - The year was 2009. Garth Brooks came out of retirement to play a limited engagement at the Wynn Las Vegas Encore Theater. I was not on the ball enough to get tickets for the first time around, but I signed up to receive an alert if they went on sale again. New dates were announced to me via email, and I logged on at 11:00am this morning to book my tickets to see this icon that I missed 10 years earlier!

Defeat - The time was 12:45pm. I had been trying to buy these tickets for almost 2 hours with no success. Jeff suggested I open multiple windows to sit in the "Virtual Waiting Room" while we get some lunch and the timers counted down.

Victory - The time was 3:35pm. Jeff was on the computer with the Virtual Waiting Rooms running in the background. Then, an excited cry: "Jessie, get in here!". Jeff's wonderful idea had gotten us through to the booking page!!!!!!!!!!!! I tried to book our tickets but ran into another roadblock yet again - the website kept messing up. Then Jeff suggested I look at the other 15 screens open, and HARK! they were able to book tickets as well. He thought those other bookable screens were messing up my 'real' screen and recommended I close them down. I did, and was finally able to select my dates and number of tickets. A few minutes of waiting, and credit card authorizing, and I am so excited to say that we are going to Vegas to see Garth Brooks on June 25th!

If not for my wonderful Jeff, I would never have been able to navigate the Web successfully enough to right the regrets of my past. He is my hero! And I am also getting to see Garth!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Company, and DC

Well, it was such a whirlwind weekend with the family visiting, and
now I am in Washington, DC (again) so posting will be limited.
Hopefully Jen will send over photos from the weekend, which include
playing ball and frisbee in the yard, swinging and sliding on the
playset, singing ABC's and counting and colors, a campfire complete
with hot dogs and smores, a surprise birthday party for uncle Jeff,
late brunches and fun bathtime, and in general just hanging out!

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Zebra loose!

I think I have mentioned before that I really don't like to watch our local television six o'clock news - it is so full of violence, crime, and sensationalism that it just makes me irritated to watch. So we fast-forward through pretty much all of it except the weather.

But last night, there was finally something newsworthy - a zebra escaped from the Barnum & Bailey's Circus that is in town and ran down the freeway during evening rush hour!

I was first notified that there was a zebra on the loose by a coworker who had left early-ish from work, and called to let the rest of those traveling north from the airport that she had been stuck - not moving - in traffic for 40 minutes and the radio reported the running zebra.

The police finally corralled and escorted the suspect to safety, and the traffic resumed as normal around 8pm.

Watch the chase!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

SD visitors, possibly

We had our friend Dustin visiting from Minnesota earlier this week - our house was a layover point before driving a car back home to MN.

Now we are anxiously waiting to see if Jennifer, Dustin, Nick, and Ben (Jeff's sister and her family) will make it down for a weekend visit - so far they have missed 2 flights in Sioux Falls, and 4 flights in Minneapolis. An alternative plan might be hatched.

UPDATE: Sent the family through St. Louis last night and put them up at the Renaissance by the airport. It was reported that milk and cookies were left in their room by my friend at the hotel :) after I had told them they were travelling with a 2- and 4-year old. They will grab a flight from St. Louis to Atlanta in the morning. Keep your fingers crossed! (Haha, either way I am on vacation tomorrow, so more Olympics watching, here I come!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Double Mc-WHA?

Shaun White. WOW. Did you guys watch him last night? We stayed up till almost midnight watching the half-pipe at the Vancouver Olympics and I am a-mazed at the height he got on his first jump thingy (backside air).

And then a Double McTwist 1260 on the second run, even after he already had gold locked in. (I had to look up these names). All I know was it was crazy. And then he landed on his feet.

I think it is SO AWESOME that an athlete chooses to show the world their absolute best - even when they don't have to - for instance, like when the gold medal was already won. Thank you, Shaun, for raising the bar!

Watch it here, NOW!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love yourself and your kitties today! Eat some chocolate. Give your pets some tuna. Everyone will feel loved :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More waiting in SC

My premonitions were correct. My flight at 1:55pm was cancelled and I
am now rebooked on the 4:45pm...I got a feeling this one's not gonna
go either, just because of the dumb luck of the frequent flyer in a
snowstorm in the south (that's me). Would somebody in MSP send some of
your extra Type IV deicer this way?

Update: Made it home -finally- by 8pm. YAY!

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Another trip...more weather

Well, I was supposed to be home by 3:30pm on Friday from my trip to
Charleston, SC. However, thanks to the 2" of snow and freezing rain
conditions sweeping across the Southeast, I am still here in
Charleston. My new flight is for 1:55pm today (Saturday) but I am not
completely convinced it will go out on time, or at all. I am being
pessimistic based on the in-laws not making it earlier this week,
zillions of flights were cancelled yesterday and my resched flight was
ultimately cancelled after 2 hrs of waiting, and now I am not home for
the Valentines Day 3-day weekend (can I have an extra weekend day at
some point later this month?).

The good news is 4-fold: I actually got to use the extra pair of clean
underwear that I always bring along; I did a mile on the bike, a
half-mile on the treadmill, and a quarter-mile on the elliptical in
the fab gym at the hotel; with my stay last night I *think* I am now a
gold SPG member; and I am fairly certain my mom and dad are en route
to Phoenix/Scottsdale, even with the weather.

So, hello to my friends in warm places - Karen and Randy in
Scottsdale, Angie in Phoenix, and Marne in Las Vegas. Be glad you did
not come this way to snowy, untravellable South!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Great Expectations...dashed

Well, we were expecting and hoping to see Gail and Allen's smiling faces in Atlanta tonight. However, it's 11:04 EST and we have figured out that although the flight from Sioux Falls to Minneapolis was flawless, 2 flights later from Minneapolis to Atlanta and the Hartmans were not on those airplanes.

Now there are no flights left tonight so the 2 world travelers are headed to the Holiday Inn Mall of America before returning to the airport in the morning to come right back to Sioux Falls. There is just no way that we will be able to get them down here to visit us anytime this weekend :(

Damn you, Mother Nature!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do you always mess with our travel plans???????????? Damn you!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Melting Pot

Yay! I love The Melting Pot - and my friend (and coworker) Christine and I partook in all of its yummy offerings tonight:

The Wisconsin Trio Cheese Fondue, served with 3 types of bread, apples, and various veggies

Coq au Vin cooking style for the "Early Bird Special" of steak, tuna, and shrimp

Cookies and Cream Chocolate fondue, served with brownies, strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, and cheesecake

Oh, and a bottle of Conundrum - a blend of 7 different white wines.

Seriously, what is not to love?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Epic Road Trip - GA

10:05 PM - Welcome to Georgia! Home of the most terrible drivers on
the planet.

10:20 PM - When Jeff gets tired, he wants to listen to loud music.
When I get tired, I get annoyed by listening to loud music. This is a
match made in heaven. (We are just starting to get testy at each

10:31 - So you would think crossing 8 states there would be an
appreciable difference in temperature. But last night in the snowy
sleet in SD it was 27 degrees, and tonight in north Georgia it is only
35 degrees.

11:37 PM - I see the lights of Atlanta and am struggling to stay
awake. Another 20 minutes and I will be in my own bed. We're spent
after 1,398 miles.

Peace out, readers! Thanks for coming along on the trip with us!!!

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Epic Road Trip - TN

6:19 PM - time change (we think). Sign to Nashville, 43 miles. I get a
little tickle and pretty excited about our upcoming throughpoint.
Music city!

6:24 PM - at some point during my nap we stopped seeing snow in the
ditches. Welcome to the south!

6:25 PM - While admiring above mentioned spring-y weather, we hit the
biggest, juiciest bug ever. Animals in our path, 0; Impala, 2.

6:29 - Debating on if or where we should stop in Nashville since I'm
so excited. Determined we will not stop since we didn't stop for St
Louis arch either (which we drove right by and I forgot to tell you
about since I was the one driving). Oh well, I probably would not
have seen Taylor anyway.

9:03 PM - Somewhere on I-24 between Nashville and Chattanooga. We
just passed our 206th weigh station, 32nd truck-only parking lot with
trucks for sale, and 49th rest area. The only ones out tonight are us
and the truckers. 10-4 good buddy.

9:22 PM - Barely skirting Alabama. Didn't make it across the line though!

9:39 PM - Made it to Chattanooga and the road signs finally say
"Atlanta" when pointing towards a freeway.

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Epic Road Trip - KY

3:50 PM - Stopped at an awesome Travel Plaza for gas and comfort
break. Inquired about magazines (this place was huge and I didn't want
to walk around looking for them)m. My first expeience in Kentucky was
they had no reading material other than a book of maps. Figures.

4:11 PM - Just passed an OLD S10 pickup truck with a donkey penned in
the bed, and the driver's side window was made of saran wrap and tape.
Both donkey and driver looked windblown. Seriously, this is not a
joke! It was way too funny to make that shit up.

5:10 PM - Missed the rest of KY due to nap #2! Tennessee welcomes us.

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Epic Road Trip - MO Day 2

7:42 AM - on the road again! Quick stop at McD's for breakfast.
Although snow is on the ground, we are far enough south to have both
Sweet and Unsweet tea at the Golden Arches.

9:45 AM - First nap of the road trip complete.

10:05 AM - We have consulted Pam and decided our lunch will be in 99
miles at Qdoba outside St Louis. The roads on I-70 are great, the sun
is shining, and our favorite stations are now programmed into the car.

Ok, so I took over driving after lunch at Qdoba and missed blogging
about the rest of Missouri, and our jaunt into Illinois. So we were
there, and now are done.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Epic Road Trip - MO

9:20 PM - Blue Collar comedy on XM Radio is making fun of southerners
stocking up food for the snowstorm. Like when you are snowed in for a
day based on a half inch of snow and you go to the store for food and
all that's left is hot dog buns. So you buy them. Just in case.
And...I just missed the Missouri Welcome Center.

9:29 PM - why do Missouri taxpayers agree to spend their money on mile
markers that show up every 0.2 miles on I-29? Weird.

9:48 PM - Just heard "Only Love" by Wynonna for the 2nd time today. Classic.

9:52 PM - Jeff is "singing" Free Your Mind by En Vogue. Awesome. Even
breaking it down. More awesome.

A few minutes later...head bobbing is giving us a little it's Bone Thugz N Harmony...see you at the

10:49 PM - and we're spent. 545 miles later we are checking into our
hotel. Stay tuned tomorrow for more exciting updates.

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Epic Road Trip - NE

8:34 PM - Got the munchies so we stopped outside Omaha for a taco and
more gas (hahaha, hopefully only one kind of gas was picked up!). I
swear we are not that far south but our server had an accent. Really.


9:18 PM - Missouri snuck up on us. Hello state numero 4!

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Epic Road Trip - IA

6:26 PM - Missed the "Welcome to Iowa" sign due to blogging
distraction. Jeff assures me we are here though. Ah, I just spotted
the Iowa Welcome Center sign. It's true.

6:41 PM - Carbs are out. Homemade Chex mix and Teddy Grahams from Gail
are being snacked on.

7:21 PM - Somewhere in the middle of Iowa, the GPS (named Pam) comes
out. Merely as a precaution, but she may not be that useful if she
never acquires satellites.

7;50 PM - The weather has cleared up nicely and the roads are trying
to dry up. Good-bye snowy Iowa cornfields, hello snowy Nebraska
cornfields! I can see the exit for Omaha now.

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Epic Road Trip - SD

12:30 PM - We just started our epic road trip across 8 states, from
Warner, SD to Atlanta, GA. It has been snowing all night and morning,
so the sooner we get south, the better.

1:40 PM - Taking a piece of SD with us...just hit a pheasant hen. No
damage to the headlight other than a few stuck feathers.

2:45 PM - Stopped at the Cenex in Watertown to stock up on Dakota
Style Dill Pickle and Honey Mustard chips. And water.

3:27 PM - By the Estelline exit, we dialed up OnStar to get XM Radio
ordered in the vehicle. We are activated!

4:45 PM - stopped in Sioux Falls to pick up more stuff and eat dinner
with Jeff's parents

5:55 PM - Jeff is being indoctrinated into A Prairie Home Companion (I
love Garrison Keillor)

6:23 PM - Leaving the motherland and entering Iowa. It's raining, 27
degrees, dark, and slushie. South Dakota's not giving us up without a

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Monday, February 1, 2010

All the Single Ladies

Please tell me that song is stuck in everyone's head today!!! (If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it, whoa oh oh, oh, oh oh oh...) YOU GO, BEYONCE!

Congrats to my favorite Destiny's Child frontgirl for being recognized for her awesomeness.

We in the Hartman household recognized the awesomeness a few weeks before the Grammy's did. We even purchased Beyonce: I Am...Yours. An Intimate Performance at Wynn Las Vegas a couple weekends ago in order to rock out in the living room once again.

That girl can SING, which she showcased in the first half, and she can DANCE, which was all about the 2nd half. And who wouldn't want an all-girl band that can jam.