Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Kienow Beach Vacation!

A sampling of our vacation - arriving Sunday afternoon and departing Wednesday morning left 2 perfect days (well, one with a rainy morning) in which to see the sights on a water taxi, eat in a rocking boat on land, lay on the beach all day, visit Mai Kai and see hula dancers, and most of all - enjoy each other's company!

We decided to ride the Water Taxi on Monday morning since it was raining.

We stopped at 15th Street Fisheries to feed the Tarpon fish and have a bite for lunch.

More Water Taxi...

We ate at the Oasis (?) where our table was on rollers so you could "ride" the boat while you ate your food. Our side of the table had a view of the ocean, the other side had a view of the sunset.

The next morning we headed down to the beach for my first feet-in-sand experience and Jeff and my first dip in the ocean.

Mom came down in a gauzy top to help keep her cool. Dad, on the other hand, was dressed for a vacation...somewhere else...oh yeah, and his phone rang nonstop!

Amy is helping set up our spot - what a beautiful view!!!

And...Dad disappeared for a few minutes and re-emerged with a shit-eating grin and a yellow shirt and swim trunks on. We were all finally ready to relax. (Notice my Bahama Mama!!!)

Of course, it wouldn't be a Kienow vacation with drinks...a 2-for-1 special at Mai Kai during Happy Hour filled with S-T-R-O-N-G drinks made everyone's sunburn feel better.

After we were entertained by the hula dancers we enjoyed a nice tour around the waterfall gardens.

Ahh, what a great vacation!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Flower Hour

It's 5 o'clock somewhere has a whole new meaning today...I have been invited to a "Happy Flower Hour" at Pike's Nursery!!! And get this, it's 20% off the entire store. Which means I will totally blow my budget (again) on garden plants (again) and other stuff (again).

Apparently though, it's not ALL work - they are also having Proof of the Pudding and Chateau Ste Michelle serve food and drinks of some kind.

So...that means I am checking out of work a little early today so I can hit the nursery right at 5pm. Check back tomorrow or Sunday for photos of our purchases and handiwork!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

White Legs in Florida

Well, we all returned successfully from our beach vacation in Ft Lauderdale! Amy is back in Chicago, Mom and Dad are back in South Dakota, and Jeff and I are back in Atlanta. (This may sound simple, but for those of you who have every tried to fly stand-by, you know it can be a bugger!)

We are getting the photos off the camera and I promise to post some soon. Meanwhile, I am off to put aloe on Jeff's legs...I am proud to say with my giant umbrella, floppy hat, and obsessive reapplication of 100 SPF sunscreen, I am the only one who came home as white as when I went! :) GOOOOOOOO REDHEADS!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Yard Maintenance

Saturday was a beautiful day for yard work in Georgia. Since we are apparently the only people in our neighborhood who do not pay for a lawn service to kill weeds, fertilize, mow, and trim, we headed out bright and early (ok, noon) to hit Home Depot for supplies.

After a trip to pick up weed preventer and fire ant killer, we headed over to Pike's Nursery and purchased a WONDERFUL new spring flag (with bluebirds and a watering can) and three Red Double Knockout Roses to enhance our front azalea bed we created last summer.

We brought our goodies home and I began digging the first of three holes in our bed while Jeff mowed the lawn. Then he threw down weed preventer with our spreader while I took a break. Finally, we walked around the yard admired our handiwork and plantings from last year - I am happy to report that even with the "hard" winter that I believe all of our new plants survived: 2 butterfly bushes, 2 hydrangeas, 1 rose bush, and 3 dwarf plumbagos. Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To Be(rlin) or not to Be(rlin)

Last night, I didn't make it to Berlin. After taking off from JFK, our airplane had a little "issue" and the captain thought it prudent to turn back.

After many hours of waiting, a new plane was still not ready and stocked, so we canned the whole darn trip this month. We'll try again in April.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Awakening

Well, to add to our super busy week, we had tickets on Saturday night
to the national tour of Spring Awakening that played at The Fox
Theatre this weekend. We had purchased the tickets back around
Christmastime when we though our lives were too boring and we needed
to get out on the town a little more.

So we did! And although initially we would have preferred to just
stay at home and catch up on our Tivo after our trip to Copenhagen
last week, I was soooo glad to go because it was amazing. Even though
it was not sold out and we heard people walked out of the Tampa
performance, the explicit sexual material was perfectly placed to
propel the story. (I blame poor attendance on Southern conservative

The story is basically a coming of age story about adolescents living
late 1800's Germany.
Look it up up on Youtube...I recommend 3 songs especially: "Mama Who
Bore Me", "The Bitch of Living", and "I Believe". Try it on!

Sent from my mobile device

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Notes from Copenhagen

Well, we did decide to "get outta here", in a roundabout way.

I had to travel to Copenhagen for work last week, and Jeff accompanied me on his first-ever "take your husband to work" trip.

We left on Tuesday afternoon and arrived in Copenhagen 9 hours and 51 minutes later on Wednesday morning at 9:30AM local time. After a quick trip and arrival to our first hotel by 11AM, we collapsed into bed for a quick 2-hour nap. Then, after showers and BBC news, we went to our first appointment and tour at 3pm. We asked all of our questions, over coffee, and got the lay of the land from my sales contact (no security info needed as I had already been there 2 months ago).

By 5:30PM we were ready for a glass of wine and a venture out in the chilly, rainy weather for food. We went to an amazing Thai restaurant where Jeff had wonton soup and sweet and sour pork, I had wonton soup and pad Thai, and our companion had green curry chicken (it smelled the yummiest out of all!). After a 15 minute walk back to the hotel it was time to hit the hay to get ready for our last day in Copenhagen. (Of course, I awoke at 3:30AM like I always do on Day 1 in Europe. Boo.)

On Thursday morning we packed up, had a fabulous European breakfast (complete with an assortment of cheeses, deli meats, and pickled herring), then headed to our next appointment which was just down the street, definitely walking distance even with our suitcases. We stowed our luggage and had a Q&A and tour at the new property, and sat down for a cup of coffee and bottle of water and some chat-time.

Next up was another appointment - after a cab ride across town - and more touring with a "back of house" show (we saw the liquor room). We were hosted with an American-style lunch complete with a club sandwich and hamburger. This was the hotel we stayed at for the night so I headed upstairs for a quick hour and a half nap, a couple hours of work, and then we were ready to go out again.

After a Carlsberg beer in the lobby, we headed back downtown to try some very traditional Danish food: a HUGE weinershnitzel with sauerkraut and pickled herring, osso buco with tomatoes, roasted pork loin, boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, and peas. Everything washed down REALLY well with more Carlsberg...we were definitely glad to cab it back to our hotel.

Friday morning was an early morning with breakfast at 7:15AM and departing for the airport by 8:15AM. Our flight left a little later than the scheduled 11AM departure time, but that was ok because after almost 11 hours in flight, a thunderstorm in Atlanta had us in a holding pattern of turbulence for almost an hour. For those with motion would not have gone well for you. We finally landed and made it through the longest customs line EVER and got back into the terminal. After a quick bite to eat on the way home, we greeted our kitties by 7PM on Friday night.

It was a fast trip - lots of fun experiences but definitely not all vacation. It was cold and rainy, and there were quite a few work hours stuffed between travel, but we definitely had a chance to see the city a bit. A few photos are forthcoming...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Get outta here

I am loving this article today - it says that money you spend on experiences is going to bring you more happiness than money you spend on stuff. Here are the reasons why:

- People are more likely to mull over their material purchases than they are experiential ones, second-guessing themselves about whether they really made the best choice.
- We tend to think of experiences more on their own terms, rather than in comparison with other things.
- It's easier for us to decide on an experiential purchase than a material one.
- We're more upset if we learn that someone else got a better deal, or that a better option exists, for a material purchase than for an experience-related one.

So go on vacation already! I hear Jamaica is beautiful this time of year :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gardening and sunburns

Today's temperature was around 55 degrees. Perfect weather for springtime gardening - Jeff blew some leaves around, trimmed our ornamental grass and other edging grass, cleaned out some bird feeders, and just spruced things up. I, on the other hand, undertook the massive effort of covering every inch of our front lawn with weed killer.

Since it was going to be so nice today, I decided I could wear a few less clothes. But since I also was going to be weed killing with chemical, pants were in order. That left the top half to be more exposed than normal - a tank top finished off my outfit.

Fast forward 2 hours: Jeff is done with his chores but I am out of steam with a good 20% of the lawn left. Like the wonderful mate he is, he brought me some water so I could sit in the shade and watch him finish. As I was sitting there I realized I was just NOT cooling off. Turns out, my red-haired, fair-skinned tendancies could not take the blazing March sun in Georgia. Yes. My left arm and shoulder and all of my neck are sunburned. (But not the right arm. Since I walked backwards from where I was spraying and took nice, even, long swaths as you are supposed to, my left side was always facing the sun.)

So. Our lawn is on its way to being weed-freer, the yard is spruced up, and we made a trip to Target to get Neutrogena Spray-on 100 SPF sunblock and Aveeno 70 SPF Waterproof sunblock. We talked ourselves out of the soothing aloe because we were sure there was some at home. (There wasn't.) Bye for now!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Vivaldi!

Spring is almost here...and in honor of Vivaldi's birthday today, Georgia Public Radio was playing the Four Seasons this morning. I really love Spring the most of all the movements!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nope, no travel this week

Well, I was supposed to go on a trip to Copenhagen on Tuesday, returning Friday, but it threatened snow in Atlanta and my companion's connection was cancelled from Miami - and she could not get here for the rest of the day in time to make our flight. I am really disappointed. Jeff was going to come along and be a fly on the wall for a couple days while also seeing a new city with me! But alas, we will have to go another time.

So, Jeff and I are home this week, with a Copenhagen trip rescheduled sometime in the future!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Closing ceremonies

Since I am such an Olympic junkie, of course I had to watch most of the closing ceremonies...really, for some closure on the whole event (yes, I know that is what the closing ceremonies are for, but I really needed it).

Part of the broadcast contained one of my favorite performances of the whole Games - Tessa Virtue and Stephen Moir skating their exhibition routine for the fans, the ice, and the 2010 Olympics. Enjoy!