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Friday, February 29, 2008

Xcaret Excitement

Yesterday was a fun-filled day at the Xcaret. I think I must declare that it is the most beautiful place I've ever seen I have lots of pictures to share when I get back. We took a cruise down the underground river across the park. That was super-fabulous considering Sam can't swim. He was swimming like a little toad by the end of our journey. We dined by Jaguar Island, saw spider monkeys, sea turtles, deer, wild boar, and so much more! We enjoyed a post-lunch nap in a hammock overlooking the ocean and after a walk around the park and ruins, enjoyed another dip in the ocean pool. All in all, a super-great time, but we were exhausted little monkeys. The ferry ride over to the mainland was not so great in the morning and I got some sea sickies. The ride home (thank the rolling Jesus) was not so bad and we played a little cards on my balcony before turning in early. Tonight is our fancy dinner out, so I´m all dressed up in the internet cafe area. Good times. I´m glad Sam and I are liquored up enough and Shirley isn´t ready yet. Tommorrow we will be renting a jeep to go out to explore the island. We are all really looking forward to it and I´m glad Shirley will be driving! Next time I blog will probably be from the U.S. So sad. See ya on the flip side.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wind And Clouds And Waterspray

Today has been very cloudy and windy. There were eleven cruise ships expected to port today at Cozumel. I think I got a picture with six of them. We headed down to the beach early despite the clouds and when the sun peered out, we dipped in the wave pool...ah... sea. It was loads of fun, but were called out because someone found a (and I may be wrong here, but...) blue bottle jellyfish. Apparently they are deadly. No stings for us today. However, yesterday on our snorkeling adventure, Shirley was stung by a jelly fish. She got a little grouping of bumpies on her arm, but is still alive and kicking. The snorkeling was loads of fun even though I was apprehensive (I know...shocking, right?). Shirley and Sam and I just floated with the jelly fish. Due to Sam's lack of swimming skills, he needed the aid of a life preserver, but also made it out alive. Now we're off to head to town for some sundries. My beach bag broke open today and with the loss of Shirley and Sam's camera, I thought I should look for more film. All in all, it was another day in paradise.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Holy Spanish, Batman!

It just took me forever to log into my site with the spanish text and this tropically, backwards keyboard. Seriously... where is the @ sign? In honor of Tyler's birthday, we spent a relaxing day on the beach getting rosy. I'm sure that is what he would have done if he were here. It has been very relaxing. Shirley and I swam in the ocean while Sam watched from where he could keep his feet on the rocky bottom. He did give in to my wiley ways eventually and tried to float. Sam is a trouper! We just booked our glass-bottom boat excursion and added on a whole day Excaret excursion for Thursday. Sammy will be wearing a life vest since it entails floating through an underground waterway. Saturday we have plans to rent a jeep to explore the island. I am really looking forward to that. One of the travel people talked us out of the scooter rentals so we don't die. I had to concur that it would be tragic. Shirley just gave up on our computer terminal excursion, so I guess that means it is time to log off for now.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

All My Bags Are Packed

I'm ready to go. Oh, wait...no I'm not. Today is jam-packed full of last minute to dos. I started my laundry going at home and headed out to get my hair cut (and fluffed beyond all reason). Now I'm off to find some warm weather clothes and all sorts of others little necessities. At some point in time I'd like to do one more tanning appointment and I'd bet Peanut would love it if I gave him a bath. I still need to finish packing my stuff as well as Peanut's vacation get-away bag. I think I've given up on cleaning the house. I'm aiming for dinner with the folks in Tremp City tonight (they say it is warm enough to grill out!) and then I'll be off to pick up my travelling companions after their Garrison Keiller show. Then we're off to Minneapolis to catch a few winks before our early morning and flight out at 7:40am. It is almost time. 18 hours, 29 minutes, and 36 seconds, 35, 34, 33, 32...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bon Voyage?

Why does it seem like everyone is trying to get rid of me? I don't leave until Saturday night! Everyone keeps wishing me well on my travels, but I'm not gone yet! I've still got lots to do before Saturday night. Last night after a little wine sipping at The Wine Guyz in the name of charity for La Crosse Community Theatre, I managed to get some cleaning done around my house and added a few more items to my to-do list for an undetermined future moment of free time. That made me feel a little more in control of things.

Tonight will be a rush. A co-worker (no, not you Ken) wanted to pay me back with a dirty martini after work and then I have to rush home to care for my puppers and then back to LAX for my required monthly comedy liaison appointment. I just realized I ran out of month to go see comedy, so tonight is the night. Luckily I was able to convince my sister and brother-in-law to join me. It is always like pulling teeth to get my friends to go with when I need to attend comedy. I'm glad I have an accommodating family! The clock is still ticking away...only faster. 2 days, 22 hours, and 25 minutes left.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

No Accidents

Last night I finished my recent read "There Are No Accidents: Synchronicity and the Stories of Our Lives." Since these final days before my upcoming, glorious vacation are proving to be very stressful, I'll just leave you with this excerpt from the end of the book: "The next time, therefore, that something unexpected comes our way--a phone call, a meeting, a dream, a stroke of good luck or bad...be open to considering that this chance encounter, this random occurrence, may well be a turning point in the story we are living every day. If we bring a symbolic attitude to our lives, searching out the meaning of what happens to us and thereby allowing our own capacity to make wholeness out of the random and disparate events of our lives, then...no matter what happens in the plot, wherever the setting, whoever the characters, major or minor, we will see that indeed, there are no accidents in the stories of our lives."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Winter Weather

You know, I've let this one slide for too long now. We have got to be having the worst winter weather of my lifetime. Over the last ten to twenty years I've looked fondly back on having snow for Xmas and playing in mounds of snow all winter long. At times I questioned whether I imagined it being snowier because I was just a kid and much shorter. When the snow banks were three feet high they must have seemed like mountains, but I can assure you that I have snow banks at the end of my driveway that are higher than I stand tall. As I was driving down my street yesterday, I noticed how most of the mailboxes had been shoveled out, but there were a few that were peering out from snow banks, almost completely entombed. I practically gave up on my hedges months ago after the snow falling from the roof buried them alive. It was just too deep and too heavy for me to remove. Now the drifts over my hedges are as tall as me as well. I'll be surprised if they survive this winter. And the snow is only the half of it! The bitterly coldness that befalls us every other week is really taking its toll on my mental well being. With temperatures expected to dip below zero again in the next couple of days and wind chills well below that, I've got to say that I'm officially ready for a vacation. 4 days, 22 hours, and 58 minutes to go.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Blondy's Birthday Bash

This weekend was dedicated to my friend, Blondy's, 30th birthday celebration. She partied it up on Saturday and I was able to join her in the evening. As soon as I got there I was in a forced game of "catch up," so I didn't last that long. I had to abandon her in favor of a nap. She ended up staying out until bar time, which was at least 12 hours after the beginning of the pre-birthday event. Whether or not she broke her nose by running into the door frame that night has yet to be determined.

For her actual birthday, yesterday, we did our traditional Freighthouse dinner. Blondy and I had our traditional filet teriyaki and I added on the shrimp. These delectable little carcasses were swimming in a pool of buttery wine sauce! How much more fabulousness can a gal stand?

With the passing of this dinner, I feel a little sadness that my birthday isn't until the fall. We may have to do a mid-birthday season dinner date just to tide us over! I do go on more dates with Blondy than boys. We finished off the evening recovering from dinner while sipping drinks at a few local establishments. Overall a quiet end to the birthday celebratory weekend, but pleasant.

Happy thirtieth, Blondy. Here's to many more!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Reflection

I don't do Xmas cards. Maybe it is because I haven't done anything with my life yet or maybe it is because I hate cards so. Either way, I'm left without a means of communication with those far-reaching friends and family. What is going on in the land of Lisa? The good news is that you don't have to wait until Xmas to find out! You can jump onto my blog at anytime, day or night, and figure out what I've been up to! Whether it is about my home, my crazy neighbors, my aging puppy dog, going out with friends, or how I feel, it is all what is going on with me. I'm sorry I don't have stories about kids. It seems like everyone cares about kids. If it makes you feel better, you can think of me as a kid. I am the youngest after all and always will be! The point is, what a better time to reflect on your life and the events of the previous year than Valentine's Day. Since I don't have a Valentine, it gives me plenty of time to think about the people in my life that I care about. I recently ran across this quote while reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel, "It is true that those we meet change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards..." Thank you to those people in my life. I appreciate you more than you know, whether you like it or not.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Delicious Dinner

Last night I enjoyed the company of Shirley and Sam at my house for dinner. After preparing the chicken caesar lasagna on Sunday, I attempted to recruit more eaters, but to no avail. Shirley and Sam and I did what we could; luckily the lasagna turned out to be very tasty. I had never made it before, so Shirley and Sam were good little guinea pigs. I also made a dessert with the Tastefully Simple Almond Pound Cake over cherry pie filling. Just the thought of it now is making my mouth water. I think I'll finish that off for dinner tonight! We enjoyed a few drinks and some lounge around conversation as well as a splash of Cozumel planning. What a pleasant Monday evening. In case you're wondering, two Mondays from now I'll be in Cozumel. Only 11 days, 21 hours, and 56 minutes to go!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Catching Up

It seems like it has been so long since I updated my blog. So much has happened since last Thursday! Well, not really. Friday I met up with some friends during a snow storm in Winona to attend the big Dueling Pianos show at the Big River Room. They had us crammed in like sardines. My friends had arrived before me and selected the center, front row table. They saved the seat right off the stage for me. Sweet. This did put me in prime position to be the proud recipient of the tambourine during Sweet Caroline. One of Beth's sisters got one too, so I had to carry the weight of the rythm. I think my arms are still sore. Dueling Pianos is a show that encourages drinking and the service at the establishment was shoddy at best. At one time the waitress was walking around with shots. Set your damn shots down and get me a beer! I'm dying of thirst here! Then a trip to the bathroom revealed only one working toilet. Maybe that is why they were trying to prevent people from drinking too much. It was almost half time (where the show starts to go downhill anyhow), so I hit the snowy roads to head home. I only saw one accident and it wasn't me. I made it home safely that night. Saturday was spent with my sister attending another community theatre show. We saw "Company" at Appleseed Community Theatre. The show was good, but maybe not for me. It is all about couples trying to convince the single friend that he needs to get married. What an uplifting experience. I headed out for a dirty martini with the light guy and then off to the cast party where I was banished to the kitchen because I had brought red wine. The high-light of my weekend may very well have been filing my taxes on Sunday. I'm getting enough to pay for my trip to Cozumel! That was the plan, so I'm glad it all worked out. Speaking of which, 12 days, 20 hours, and 5 minutes before I jet off!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tick Tock Tickity Tock

16 days, 16 hours, 0 seconds until relaxing Cozumel! The clock just keeps ticking. I can feel the time ticking away today at work as well. Due to extreme weather conditions in Wisconsin, the comedians have been having a hard time getting to La Crosse even though we have blue skies and sunshine on my shoulders. It seems that all I've done the last two days is talk on the phone with our comedy dealer and deal with the repercussions of weather. I have been pretty darn busy with other work as well. My boss has been gone and I'm picking up some slack. Unfortunately the slack is all the stressful stuff I don't like to do. Hungry Peddler was a good stress reliever last night. The food was quite tasty and the atmosphere cozy. Tonight a co-worker is buying me a glass of wine to wash away the stress. Hopefully soon I will regain my sassiness.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sassin' It Up

I decided to break out a skirt today for the practically 30 degree weather we're having. The wind was just a little brisk on my legs walking this morning with Peanut and I've decided that the rest of my day will be spent indoors. I am lookin' pretty sassy, though. Our sassiest sales gal already complimented my legs and wanted to get a skirt like mine...a sure sign of sassiness. I'm thinking I may have to wear my sassy outfit this evening when I bust out with the girls. We are beginning our new monthly tradition of going out to eat. Tonight we will sample the Hungry Peddler. I've received positive and negative reviews, but time is sure to tell. Regardless of the outcome, I'm excited for a night out with the girls!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today is Peanut's birthday! The old feller is nine today. He is furry and loveable as always, but slowing down in his old age. He still has a front paw limp and is using a chair to make the hop off the bed a little easier. It may be just a matter of time before he won't be able to hop up to the bed at all. What will I do without my little snuggler?

He is adjusting well to the new arrangement in the living room. The couch is no longer in front of the windows, but I have a sneaking suspicion that if he sits up he can probably see out the window from the new location anyhow. He still enjoys his popcorn snacks (thanks Dad for that one) and his jaunts around the block (even with his limp). Here is to another year of health for my little Peanut.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bountiful Beer

I kicked off February with a beer tasting at Java Vino. The store was much more than I had expected. It was very nice with tables, comfy chairs, and a large bar area. They serve coffee, wine, and beer (apparently). They had five brewers set up around the store for our sampling pleasure. To be thorough, I tried one of everything...and then some. I had a few stand-out favorites.

At La Crosse's Pearl Street Brewery, they were sampling a new rolled out stout, That's What I'm Talkin' Bout. It was very, very good with a smokey flavor. I don't have specific comments from the brewer on this one because it wasn't listed in our beer tasting brochure. It is a new one and after checking http://www.pearlstreetbrewery.com/, noticed that it isn't even listed on their website yet. My tastebuds hope to encounter this one again soon.

The winner of the show was the Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. The brochure describes it as "Almost opaque, with an unusually silky texture and complex, medium-dry velvet palate." I said it was "Super very good. Coffee flavor." I have to admit this was the last brewer we sampled and I had sampled a lot. But it still wins out. After checking the web at http://www.merchantduvin.com/pages/5_breweries/samsmith_oatmeal_stout.html, I find it humorous to note that it was originally a drink for lactating mothers. If I ever find myself in that boat, I'm going to remember that!

The one I marked Best of Show (I hadn't yet tried the previous deliciousness), was Lindemans Pomme. http://www.merchantduvin.com/pages/5_breweries/lindemans_pomme.html. The brochure describes it as "Smooth, light body with the fresh flavor of real apples and a light green apple tartness." My friend said it tasted like a green apple Jolly Rancher where I thought it tasted like cider made from green apples. Very good and not too sweet, but I'm not sure how much you could drink in one sitting. This would be a good one for the non-beer enthusiasts.

Also worth noting was a Dirty Martini Cheese Ball Dip. I wish I had found that for my martini party last summer, but I still plan to work it into a future party. It was salty goodness. All in all, it was a great way to kick off February. By the way, 19 days, 19 hours, and 17 minutes until Cozumel.

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