Archive for the ‘Daniel’ Category

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Monday, January 27th, 2020

Same place next year? It’s like a habit. But a good one. A very delicious, tasty, yummy, Casper actually eats, habit. It’s the habit no one wants to break because it’s so good. Casper calls it the fireman restaurant and wants to go there all the time. We make it at home and he gets disappointed that we don’t have a big fire and make a volcano out of onions. Which he’ll heat in fried rice by the way, onions and eggs, but at no other time. He will spit out onion or egg if you try to sneak it into any other kind of food.

I ask my dad where he wants to go or what he wants to do for his birthday, and so very often he says Nakato. Like a lot, it’s our go to spot in Atlanta for celebrating anything. And none of us care, it never gets old. We went there for Adam’s birthday too last year.

It’s Japanese steak house, but better because they give you noodles too. And they have tofu which most other ones don’t do for some reason. I don’t get why they are the only ones we’ve found doing noodles, it’s so easy and delicious.

Our Second Anniversary

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

This is going to be an epic post.  It was a 4 day get away that felt like weeks, which is great.

Monday marked our 2 year wedding anniversary, it feels like longer than that though.  For our anniversaries we always want to go somewhere, do something, that way it’s special and never just another day.  This year, with Lori being super into Harry Potter, and because they have a giant Halloween thing going on, we went to Universal in Orlando, with a detour to Daytona just because.

Friday – Daytona Detour

Daniel was able to get a half day off work so we could leave early on Friday, which is awesome, a lot of the trip was in the day time.  Night time trip driving is the worst, well, worst behind pouring rain.  Since we can only afford to go to the parks once each, if we got to Orlando on Friday night we’d have all day Saturday with nothing to do, so why not go to Daytona for the night.  Neither of us have ever been (that we know of) and it’s only an hour or so away from Orlando so it’s no big hassle.  Except we didn’t know it was Biketoberfest.

So now we’re in Daytona, surrounded by motorcycles, tons and tons and tons of motorcycles.  We turned on the main strip and sat for five minutes barely moving at all.  We’ve been traveling all day, we’re hungry, we’re tired, we’re stuck in traffic.  When it finally moved enough that we could go maybe less than half a block we saw a Diner and turned in a few minutes later.  After feeling better about our tummies rumbling it was on to find somewhere to stay, that wasn’t already booked full with bikers, and that didn’t cost a fortune.  Hopefully one like we stayed in on our honeymoon in Charleston.


We found it.  After stopping at several small, shady, hotels that wanted $70 or more for the night, we found this one that was only $55.  Not as cheap as it should have been considering the look of it, but the bike fest was driving up prices everywhere.  It’s hard to describe the exact feeling you get when you walk in and the wet smoke smell hits you and you see where you’ll be staying, and pictures can hardly do it justice either.  It didn’t feel haunted like the other one we stayed in, but it did feel like someone may kick down the door and hack at us with a chainsaw.



Saturday – We’re going to Orlando

Waking up is pretty easy here, staying asleep is the hard part.  It’s like a motorcycle alarm clock you can’t turn off.  That combined with sleeping on a board with a pillow that is easier to compare to a hand towel when it comes to support and comfort.


On to experience what Daytona has to offer us.  Motorcycles.  Yay.  We kept getting the feeling we were going to see Daniel’s mom and dad here, and at one point saw the same Harley they ride.  It being a vacation and all, it just wouldn’t be right without put-put.  The course we found was kinda like Lost cause it was tropical and there was a plane crash.  This one is probably our second favorite at this point, right behind Goofy Golf in PCB.  You have to have to have real obstacles and challenges, not just putting around a corner, and this one used the volcano and cave theme to be awesome.  Lori tried to put through a wall at one point but wasn’t successful.

daytona11 daytona10


Then back to the motorcycles.  There is no escaping them.  Except at the beach.  The ocean was beautiful, the sand was firm and didn’t get stuck in between our toes, and there was practically nobody there.  Weird.  All these people in a beach town, but their riding their bikes around instead of going to the beach . . .

At one point while we were driving around I think we joined a motorcycle parade or something, because there were a gazillion motorcycles and their riders on both sides of the road and all those riders were walking or standing or sitting and looking at whoever was riding down that strip of road.  Surprise, it’s Daniel and Lori in their little blue car with the rose still on the antenna from two years ago.

Enough of this, we’ve got our fill, let’s get to Orlando and go swimming.  On the way we stopped at a mall because Daniel had the great idea that Lori should get the second ear piercing she’s always wanted.  Terrified, and terrifying little girls in the Claire’s, she got it done, but the girl watching (she looked like the girl from Hope Floats) decided she’d never get her ears pierced, ever.

About an hour and a half of driving later, and being harassed by the ticket guy at the hotel that he could have saved us $8 (total, not per person) if we would have booked all of our tickets through him instead of going through the people, we we’re chilling at the pool.  Chilling being a good description even though the water was heated, half of the pool was in the shade of the hotel, making our faces cold, and the other half, the half where you would have a warm face, was full of splashing little kids.


Did you know that there are bad Chinese restaurants out there?  Well there are, and there is at least one in Orlando.  And to make matters worse, I looked up the address on my phone and it said 8 miles, so we got in the car and went down the highway an exit to get there, ate, it was terrible (buffet nasty), and we drove two blocks back to the hotel.  Did you catch that?  The directions made us drive down a highway about a mile, turn a couple times, then to get back we turned right drove a block, turned left drove a block and we were back at the hotel.  It hurt my soul to see other people out walking while we drove the two blocks back to the hotel.

Sunday – Universal Studios for 15 1/2 hours

Good morning non-scary hotel room.  Cold on the outside, warm and fuzzy under the covers.  The hotel is about twenty steps away from the world’s largest McDonald’s (I think).  You’d know it if you’ve ever been, it’s the only one I’ve ever seen with pasta dishes, and on display in glass cases on real plates.  You may find yourself asking, why go to McDonald’s, what about SuperSize Me, and what will Daniel eat?  True, they even sneak meat into the fries and hashbrowns (and Daniel’s McMuffin when he’s not looking, it took 3 tries for them to get it right), but it’s Monopoly time!  And it’s convenient!  And it’s America!  There’s probably 2 things for Daniel to eat for breakfast there (and no hashbrowns).


Our first day in a park, we got up early and super excited, unknowingly arriving right when they were announcing the park open.  Lots of fun stuff here, Shrek, Mummy, Twister, MIB, Jaws … The Back to the Future ride is now The Simpsons ride, same building, same concept, just Simpsons now.  It was fun, Lori absolutely loved it.  She hates roller coasters but goes crazy for the simulated ones.


When we’d done everything there was to do, and the park was closing, we got to stay behind, barricaded in the ’50s alleyways for an hour or so until they unleashed us for Halloween Horror Nights XX (20).  Yay haunted houses.  First up was Hades, it was then closest one, we weren’t thrilled by the description at all but we wanted to do it while there was no line so we didn’t have to wait an hour for something we didn’t want to do anyways.  But boy o boy were we wrong.  By far the best house of the night (we didn’t go through all of the houses).  They used strobe lights, stuck their hands out of nowhere in your face, made Daniel jump out of his skin smiling.


There’s something you have to understand about Daniel and haunted houses, it’s not about the terror or the fear, it’s about the jumping out and going boo.  The surprise gets him and makes him shake and giggle and sometimes (a lot of times) fall down.  He’ll do the Scooby Doo and his feet are moving but he’s not going anywhere, he’ll shake like he’s having a seizure and kinda skid around, he’ll stiff up and fall down, and sometimes he jumps backwards and head-butts Lori (which he is sorry for).


There were 8 haunted houses and quite a few Scare Zones (free range areas of the park where people in costumes walk around and try to creep you out). Most of the houses we did weren’t scary or jumpy at all.  There was the ghost one, just a couple people with glowing white masks on moving around.  The asylum was bleh.  The Catacombs were ok, the masks were cool and at least made us a bit jumpy.  And the Zombie one was fun, it’s the one where Daniel head-butted Lori as he jumped backwards away from a flesh eating zombie coming out of a van.  We were in the park for 5 hours during the HHN and didn’t do all the houses.  They were open until 1AM but we left at 1130PM because our legs couldn’t take it anymore.

Monday – Islands of Adventure & Anniversary Dinner Yummy-ness

This is what Lori has been waiting for, Harry Potter!  This park is full of rides that are built for Daniel and explicitly not for Lori, like The Hulk and the Dragon coasters, and maybe Jurassic Park.  We were in line, Lori said she wouldn’t ride, even though she would get to sit next to her hubby the whole time, then they showed a safety video right before you board and it showed the dreaded drop, which looked about 10 feet.  So now Lori is thinking maybe, until she asks the guy how far the fall is, 85 feet, and then she asks where the exit is.


Harry Potter time, or to better put it, tons of crazy fans packed into a tiny space and inside stores which are even tinier.  Lori was in heaven.  She got a chocolate frog (with Slytherin in it) and the every flavor beans that she wants to use for decorations.  Everything there was amazing looking, they even had owls in the rafters of one of the buildings (they were moving and Daniel got out of the way so he wouldn’t get pooped on).  There were so many people there that they had to have employees form lines for the stores.  Lori waited about an hour in line for the wand store while Daniel rode both dragon roller coasters and the little kid coaster.




Then it was time for the big finale, the new Potter ride.  Lori didn’t care if it was a roller coaster or not, it was Harry Potter so she was going to ride it.  It scared her super bad, she screamed the whole time, but got off and after five minutes said it was her favorite.  It’s kinda like the Spiderman ride where there’s screens and real stuff coming at you while you move around, except this one your in a roller coaster harness attached to one of those arms that builds cars, and it flips you and spins you and turns you and it kinda feels like a roller coaster, but your not on a coaster type of track.  It’s really cool.   After that there wasn’t much time for anything else.  We spent about two and a half hours or so in the Potter section.


We hobbled out of the park and back to the hotel room, cleaned up mighty nice and went out for Italian food.  It was a toss up between two restaurants, one was by a lake, the other had live music, but since the music one never answered their phone (multiple times throughout the day for two days), we went to the lake.  Great choice.  Great atmosphere, the lake was pretty, the company was amazing, and the food was delicious.



Tuesday – The dreaded trip home

It stinks that we have to take an entire day off of work, using valuable vacation days, just for travel.  But that’s how it goes.  We had an ok breakfast at the hotel with horrible service (too many people in there with too few staff) before jumping in the pool one last time before checkout and we were off.


Daniel’s Birthday

Friday, April 10th, 2009


It was my birthday on Thursday and Lori took me out after work.  It was awesome!  We went to Cafe Sunflower, a vegetarian restaurant in Buckhead.  The food was delicious and the atmosphere is better than you’d expect for a place in a strip mall kind of setting.  Lori had the veggie loaf [picture left] and I had the almond crusted tofu [picture right].


From there we went to Startime Entertainment for some video games and comedy at the Funny Farm.  The comedy was a bit more miss than hit, but it was fun just being out.  Oh yeah, and because it was my birthday I didn’t have to do an after hours phone switch for work, and got my boss to do it for me.


This is a picture of us chasing down an imaginary plane that’s trying to take off without us.

Valentine’s Day – Better Than Last Year!

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Let’s start by saying that this year was a lot better than last year.  I (Daniel) admit I didn’t do a great job at all last year, I flat out sucked at the whole day. I didn’t have a gift or a card, and I almost took her to a bar (because she loves the atmosphere). We went to Nakato and I was in a bad mood that night. I did get her flowers, but it was after we got home and I realized how i ruined the night for her. Yep, I was horrible. But that was all last year, in the past, not the point of this post.

This year was better.  Heck, I didn’t have to try hard to top last year.  We went to Ikea for free breakfast (I’m cheap so what, it was quality time we were spending together), then Lenox Mall where I was finally able to get Lori Silent Hill 4 which she really really really really wanted.  And for dinner we went back to Nakato, I had a happy face on the whole time.  Lori got a Japanese Margarita that was the prettiest blue she had ever seen in a drink and wanted to swim in it.  The food was great!  We don’t know why people get meat there because the vegetables are the best!  We both went to bed early that night, not in a good or bad way, Lori had to get up for work on Sunday.


This is a picture of the line going out the front door and into the parking lot at Ikea to get a wristband to get a set of 400 ct. sheets, regularly $40 for $10.


A most grand entrance

Saturday, September 13th, 2008


For most weddings, all the ones I’ve been to anyways, the bride gets to make a big entrance where everybody looks at her and she feels super special and it’s great.  But the groom is just there.  You turn to talk to the person next to you and when you look back up front there he is.  He’s just there.  No big puff of smoke or music or anything, he comes from behind a door or gets out of a chair next to the stage while everyone is talking.  Lame.

Maybe there are other guys who’ve had their entraces, but I haven’t seen them.  And I want one.  I refuse to just walk up there un-announced and be a side note.  You can’t have a wedding without a groom, so here’s Daniel.  No.  It’s going to be HERE’S DANIEL!  I’m entering with a jetpack!  Or maybe a parachute like when Uncle Jesse got married on Full House.  Anyone else have a great idea?

Inman Park Festival

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

For those that don’t know, the Inman Park Festival is a giant block party that has happened for the past 36 years. Here is how it’s described on

The city’s quirkiest and most colorful Parade, led by the Inman Park Butterfly followed by floats, bands, art cars, politicians, drill teams, Kelly’s Seed and Feed Marching Abominable Band, clowns, jugglers, and many more. The parade ends with the appearance of the Inman Park Trash Monarch, perched atop the throne-a street sweeper.

The artists were really cool, James Dean and some of the local artists we see work from around town were there. And it was Saturday so “Fried Food Day” was awesome. We were both able to have corndogs since there were a couple booths setup with regular and veggie ones.

Then there was the parade. How does one go about describing a parade like this? It’s a little bit of everything . . . politicians, draq-queens, cavemen, zombies, eccentric marching bands . . .

We have some pictures up, and there are tons on Flickr if you search for Inman Park 2008.

We found China

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

runninginjungle.jpg It’s literally a jungle out there…in our backyard. We spent the morning dodging giant spiders and hungry pandas in our bamboo filled back yard….with a camera. (I had to document in case Daniel got bit by something crazy!) I was terrified on stepping on a snake and being killed…but alas there were no snakes. We steadied the camera and took some pretty crazy pictures. It was fun…being lost in China.  

My Birfday!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008


It’s my birthday! For about eleven minutes anyways. And it’s been fun, awesome even. Lori gave me a sand bucket and a tofu cookbook and Evil Dead. Quite a few people sang me happy birthday. I got to bowl. Breakfast for breakfast, breakfast for lunch, breakfast for dinner. How lucky am I. Here are some more pictures.

And our buddy from Waffle House, Cee Cee, gave me cake and played a song for me on the jukebox.

All this to be topped off on Saturday with roller skating. Does it get any better? Probably not.

Wedding Superstitions

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

As our wedding is coming up, and planning is under way, it’s made me think about the way we do a lot of the things we do at weddings. Like why does the bride carry a bouquet (besides the fact that it looks nice) and then throw it at the reception? Why does she have something borrowed/blue/old/new? Why doesn’t the groom usually see the bride before the ceremony?

Well, we found some of the answers, and some we’re making up as we go along. The whole thing about not seeing the bride or dress, I want to be awestruck when I see her for the first time that day. And the rest of the answers (what we found anyways) are here – Wedding Superstitions.

But I still don’t know what I think about calling them superstitions, or traditions even. If we do it because it’s what we want to do, and not because that’s what people before us have done, or what most would say we’re supposed to do, or because we’re scared of curses or bad luck, then that doesn’t really make it tradition or superstition. We’re doing because we want to. There’s got to be a word for that somewhere.


Traditions aren’t silly. Doing them only because it’s tradition even when you don’t want to, that’s silly. If you want to take part in tradition, that’s great, as long as it’s because you want to do it. It’s the whole jumping off a bridge thing because everyone else is doing it. If you want to jump off the bridge, go for it. If it makes you happy, go for it.

Our First Get Together

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008


To start, thanks for coming out! It was fun. And if you didn’t come, well, come to the next one. And if you weren’t invited, you should have crashed it. And if you didn’t know about it, you should develop ESP. And if you don’t know where we live, you should also develop ESP.

So here’s the quick run-down of what happened. Daniel showed up like a pirate, LauraAnn showed up with a cake, Lori was too excited to contain herself and kept giggling. Regi stared down Daniel in the stairway (then they said “hey” and everything was cool), Adam died on the way, and Mike and Jenny got there late because they were getting engaged. April and Bill wanted some Pantera, the doughnuts didn’t rise, Adam’s ghost made fun of Lori. And then April fell down the stairs when she was leaving and we all laughed.

Good times, good times. There will be more. We’ll let you know.