Jekyll Island Picture Time

September 9th, 2011 by Daniel

Last weekend was the first Labor Day weekend we’ve spent together in a couple years.  A three day weekend is super enticing for weddings since you get an automatic extra day off for your honeymoon, so Lori is usually shooting at least two days during these holidays, but not this time.  No weddings this weekend, instead we went to Jekyll so she could take pictures of Jill in a wedding dress.

During the beach portion of Lori’s shoot, God decided to let loose and pour rain on us, which is funny in hindsight, and kinda funny at the moment, but did suck.  Then it would stop for a couple minutes and we’d move down the beach and it’d start again, and stop again, and start again.  Kinda like that Red Light Green Light.

Monday morning we did get to enjoy the sunshine and walk to the beach.  We even walked around the hotel where we got married almost three years ago.  It’s pretty much exactly the same.  Makes us wonder if they still have roaches …

Skating Time!

August 16th, 2011 by Daniel

We went skating last weekend, who woulda thunk it, Lori on skates.  But she did it, and loved it, and wants to go back every day now.  Maybe we should wait until the soreness subsides from this time until we go again though . . .

These outfits are what we came up with for Retro, and maybe they are, we just hope they are.  It’s kind of like going to an art opening and saying too loud that “these paintings look abstract” and some smarty pants beside us saying “uh, these are cubist”, to which we respond by spinning in circles until everything looks abstract anyways.  Maybe we mixed eras or were completely wrong in our assumptions in what time we were trying to be, but it was fun.

And we both ripped our pants, which is always classy no matter what time it is.

PCB 2011

August 1st, 2011 by Daniel

Lori finally got her Panama City Beach fix for the year, Daniel lost some weight (in his wallet), and we all got lobster burnt on at least some part of our body.  This year we went with friends, Mike, Jenny, and Jill.  Mike and Jenny have been with us before, but it was Jill’s first time to PCB.

The ocean welcomed us all with wide open slimy arms.  It was like swimming in spinach soup, and when you got out you had left overs in your pockets, like a relative that won’t let you leave a holiday dinner without taking a to-go plate no matter how much you don’t want it.

View more images from the trip at PCB 2011 Gallery.

Lori got on a ride and hated it

August 1st, 2011 by Daniel

We finally got to take some vacation time to head to the beach, but since we weren’t going until Sunday we decided to make use of our Saturday and head to Wild Adventures, which is kinda (but not really) on the way.


Seeing as Daniel was being forced to go to PCB again, he decided that Lori owed him something, she had to get on a ride with him, which she didn’t totally agree with but was feeling bad that she was torturing him and so she gave it some serious thought.  We walked past the mouse ride and she said no, the kiddie coaster and she said no, then the giant swings and she said I guess so.   Apparently this thing looks slower from the ground because she was freaking out when it got to the top.   But she survived!  And that’s the important part.

With our Stone Mountain cards we were supposed to get half off admission, but we forgot.  Luckily the manager in the guest services office was in a good mood and at least gave us two free tickets to come back.  So we’ll be going again in November, we’ll see if lori rides something new then too. We have to expand her fun horizons, or her funrizons, or horfunzins, or funzons, or funions, something like that.

We went to a wedding today

April 16th, 2011 by Daniel

Today we went to another wedding, but not as Lori usually does, being the photographer, but actually going to the wedding.

It was for Lori’s cousin Allison, she married Dan.  Seriously, between the two of our families there are a bajillion Dan/Danny/Daniels.  At least 4 on her side now, 3 on Daniel’s side, plus Daniel’s dad’s mother’s maiden name is Daniel, so technically most of them are Daniel’s too!

Our Second Anniversary

October 21st, 2010 by Daniel

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.

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.

Last weekend

August 17th, 2010 by Daniel

We invited Lori’s family over for a cookout on Saturday, and of course it rained.  But whatever, we still had fun, and having company over means we clean our house so yay for that.

Lori hand pattied burgers and cooked them on our griddle inside, and daniel microwaved his veggie dogs (because he’s stubborn).  After dinner we played baulderdash and learned that Lori’s family is fascinated by the word “turd”, which makes the game easier since the real answers have never used that word.  We also found out Xander is allergic to cats after his eye started swelling and the back of his knees turned red, which sucks for him since he had fun playing with the cats, but also for us because they had to leave early.

This weekend we’re inviting Daniel’s family over which means our house will stay clean.  Yay!