Category: Vacations

Melia goes to Washington

This is for my family, friends and anyone else who might care to follow along as I head off to DC to celebrate my daughter’s 18th birthday, and see the city, and watch the fireworks on the Mall. I will be tweeting, twitpiccing and audiobooing. For those of you who don’t bother with Twitter or Facebook, you can just check here for the latest 🙂 Trip tweets etc begin Wednesday the 2nd. Also, Happy Birthday to my gorgeous 18 year old girl, July 3rd 🙂

For the latest Audioboos from DC, check the sidebar 🙂 ———————————>

Latest Tweets:

Latest Twitpics:

View the rest.

Latest Videos:

Also visit to the kid’s tweets, Boos and pix 🙂

Handfasting and Mansions

So I’m sitting in a mansion. Yeah, I won’t shutup about the mansion. ask anyone who follows me on twitter. I’m probably about to lose some of them because I keep yapping about this mansion. The kid and I are in Omahaha to celebrate my cousin’s handfasting wedding. It’s a Wicca thang. It’s Halloween and they were wed in the Crescent Moon brewpub here. It was an interesting ceremony full of Blessed Be’s and So Mote It Be’s. Much polka mixed with punk mixed with country tunes. the bride came down the “aisle” to Toccata and Fuge in D Minor. Fun!

The wedding party, or family of the bride and groom get to stay at the Cornerstone Mansion across the street from Joslyn Castle. This place was built in 1894 by the founder of the Offut Air Force base. If I can be vulgar for a minute – this place is fucking amazing.

Here are some pix of some of the rooms (we filled the whole place, so we had the run of it, which is why I’m enjoying the atmosphere in the sitting room writing this instead of up in my room.)

Beautiful no? I wish I could live in a place like this.

anyway, wedding was great fun. It’s wonderful to see Kelly and Matt again. And tomorrow I am taking Shannon to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Council Bluffs, IA, which is something she has wanted to do for a few years now, but it never worked out. They just happened to be touring here the day after the wedding. Fate I guess 🙂 She is a happy camper, the show will rock, and then we’ll hang with Kels and Matt again, and then Sunday we will crash for the day.

October was an awesome month.

California ’08

I was trying to think of the best way to approach the recounting of our trip to California to see my baby sister get married. Had trouble figuring out how to keep myself from blathering for pages of scroll 🙂 Decided to take my tweets from the trip and repost them here and maybe expand a bit on some of them. So off we go! (Tweets in italics):

In columbus nebraska. Had lovely soak in hot tub. Bedtime now. Up at 2:30am. Ugh.

It’s stupid o’clock and we’re up and getting ready for the drive to Omaha. Wheeeee!

On shuttle to airport. Only got a little lost 🙂 next stop, minneapolis.

Sitting in seat 9c flight 512 on northwest. Full bloody flight for 7am on a thursday in october.

Fog fog fog. Stuck in plane on runway til fog clears. Got exit row. Yay legroom!

I, and others, found it quite ironic that the very beginning of our trip was met with fog in Omaha, Nebraska considering our destination was known for its daily fog.

Landed an hour late in minneapolis. Ah well. It’s an adventure!

Bad news: stuck in minneapolis for 7 hours. Good news: flying first class on next flight. Woot!

And let me tell you, first class is the only way to fly. Thanks Paris! – Harp player at minn. Airport – Ipod vending machine.

Sitting in rock bottom brewery drinking mocha and iced tea. Killing time. Soooo sleepy.

Contemplating $15 ten minute massage at salon outside brewpub. Am sore from carrying carryons.

Minneapolis isn’t a bad airport to get stuck in for several hours. There’s tons of shopping, restaurants, bookshops, and people-watching to be had. The time passed quickly really and I don’t think any of us were all that grumpy about being stuck there.

Two hours to go til we board. Feel like such a rube since it’s been so long since I’ve flown anywhere. Looking @ everything with wide eyes.

And I did feel like a hick. It’s been years since I’ve flown anywhere (since before 9/11 in fact.) so it was all new to me – security was exactly the hassle I was expecting, and everything just felt “different.”

Heading down to wait at the gate in a mo. Passed some monks earlier. I think they were monks anyway. Could have been Jedis.

I only saw them from behind, so who knows! – First first class ticket ever. I’m such a rube.

“Rube” was my word du jour I guess. – Cop segueway thing. Too busy laughing at cop.

I’m still giggling at this thing. I can imagine being chased down the mall area with its little siren and lights a-flashing. I’d get caught so easily because i wouldn’t be able to stop laughing at the spectacle.

First class = niiiiiice so far. Just got seated. Feel rather elite but wishing I was dressed better.

Yeah I dressed for comfort. Wishing I’d worn sexy ballcap and shades so I could pretend I was trying to be incognito.

Am currently on top of the clouds

And I took lots of pictures of it. You’d think I’d never seen the clouds from this side before. Yeesh.

Last tweet was ages ago actually. No cell service at 32,000 feet. Just landed at san jose.

On the way to monterey. Big drama. Fire evac at wedding site. Sister a wreck. Need to get to hen party to see just how bad it all …

I kept getting texts from people saying Kelly was just a wreck because the forecast was for rain, and now a fire threatened to close Point 16. So she was at her Hen party at the bar at the Hyatt (Knuckles was the name I believe) getting very very drunk.

Talked to sis just now. She is very very drunk. Which is good because she’s a happy drunk. Should be most amusing til she sobers up.

Kelly is very funny to observe when she’s drunk. It doesn’t happen often 😉 But when it does, pop some popcorn, sit back and watch the show. When I spoke to her she made a point of telling me she had a balloon tied to her ass. Draw your own conclusions. – Bride to be kelly 🙂

And here she is 🙂 Her t-shirt says “I do…” Hehe. Partcularly love the ‘…’ part of it.

Didn’t sleep well. still tired. heading for brekkie with Meechie soon. Then manicures with sis, then rehearsal dinner.

We had to stay at my friend Meechie’s house the first night. It just wasn’t fun. I’ll leave it at that.

Having weird spinach shroom egg hamb. Thing for brek. Heading to del monte mall next. Meechie took off to deal with his bf (much drama) …

At monterey bus plaza, heading to mall. Wheeeeee.

Taking a break at mall before meeting sis for manis. Hoping not to get cut this time. Not fond of getting manicures.

And after this manicure, I’ve decided I’m just not girly enough to enjoy this sort of thing. Hadn’t done a professional manicure since my days in Cosmetology school years ago, and when I went with Aunty Jo and Miss C, the manicurist left me bleeding and sore. This time my manicurist was too bossy for my tastes. So, don’t think I like this particular girl bonding thing. – At Gianni’s pizza for rehearsal dinner.

Ahhh Gianni’s. We used to go there often when we lived in Monterey. I have good memories, and now I have one more. There was an old guy playing the accordion for tips, good pizza, LOTS of people turned out to wish the bride and groom luck. It was a good night. We played the recording of Grampa giving them a little toast (had trouble with the iHome thing, but they got to hear it eventually :)) and I think that made them happy.

Wedding day! Pouring rain atm. Hopefully will end this morning. My god. My baby sis is getting married. sniffle.

Sniffle indeed. Martin and Debbie (our gracious and lovely family friends who we were staying with) were stressing bigtime over the weather, but Kelly had adopted an ‘Eh. It’s too late to worry about it now’ attitude, truly earning her ‘Bride-chilla’ nickname.

Bride drying hair and very cheerful despite waking up to rain. She looks beautiful.

Bride is coiffed and off to big sur. Intermittent rain, but she’s had some bailey’s.

Buses about to leave now that the wine has arrived. Groom is nervous. It’s so cute.

Groom board and away we go! Looking forward to windy hwy 1 for next 90 minutes.

And that was the last of my tweets until we returned to Monterey. There was no cell service waaaaay out at Point 16. But it was a beautiful wedding. The weather cleared up just in time and the day turned out to be gorgeous (rainbow included) and all the worry was for nothing. The bride and groom had their own vows. Matty said he’s listened to thousands of love songs but now he “gets” them, and he just melted hearts throughout the crowd with his sweet words to Kelly. Kelly, in true Kelly style, whipped her vows out of her cleavage, and proceeded to tell Matty that she had nothing left to wish for now that she’d found him. I’m paraphrasing of course, it was much more romantic and I have it all on video, but my favourite line from her vows was that she was glad to find someone who shared her love of ghost-themed TV shows 🙂 That’s so Kelly.

Martin and Debbie walked my sister down the aisle to Bobby Darin’s “Beyond the Sea” and the newlyweds walked back up the aisle to their song, “Sh-boom” by The Chords. Their first dance together as a married couple was “Never Let Go” by Tom Waits to which they waltzed, followed by “California Love” by 2Pac. What a mix! It was great. The whole rest of the day was a mix of laughter, tears, beautiful toasts, good company and awesome music. Kelly’s Scottish contingent (a few wore their kilts and man, there is nothing hotter than a guy in a kilt) even got a bunch of folks to try their hand at some traditional Scottish dancing.

Negotiating hwy 1 on a bus full of very drunk scots – kinda scary fun 🙂

The bus ride back was fun. We had the Scots on our bus and they sang the whole way back – everything from old Scottish tunes to Queen to the Hokey Pokey. All in good fun and I loved it – especially when they got around to the Proclaimers, “500 miles” when we were all (mostly) doing the ‘Duh-duh-dun-duh’ bit. Only damper was the tool sitting across from us who spent most of the trip making fun of them. Wanted to smack his rude ass. Sorry Kelly, the guy was like the dumb jocks in high school who just don’t get it.

Heading back to monterey on bus. Wedding was spectacular. Weather perfect. Cried like a girl.

At the Hyatt now. Not sure what the plan is. Happy couple off to their suite to… You know 😉 party in bar but am knackered.

And with that tweet, we headed back to Martin and Debbie’s to crash.

Sitting in hyatt lobby wondering where the hell the bride is.

My cousin told us we’d either have to go back to San Jose with them on Sunday or find our own way back there after the last party at Debbie’s sister’s house in Carmel. They had their own plans to meet friends and visit brewpubs and stuff and couldn’t stick around the bay for a late party. So, alas, we had to head back with them. But I wanted to say goodbye to Kelly (and get my ring back, hehe. Her something borrowed was Mom’s wedding ring which I always wear. She put it together with Dad’s wedding ring and a locket on a chain and wore it during the ceremony. Her something old was that locket, something new was the dress and veil, something borrowed was mom’s ring, and something blue was a pair of beautiful sapphire earrings Matty had given her for Christmas one year.)

Currently in Peter B’s brewpub in monterey having lunch before chillaxing in san jose.

At this point we realized Shannon had left her swimsuit in Nebraska on the night we stayed at cousin’s house and hot tubbed before leaving for Cali.

Apparently in sunny california you can’t find a freaking swimsuit for sale anywhere in october.

And we never did find a damn suit. Ended up borrowing one from Rick and Paris’s friend Choo. And then my veggie burger I ate in Monterey decided to play silly buggers with my stomach.

Sitting in mariott, having somee kind of food poisoning issue. Feel awful. Sux, wanted to go swimming. Stuck in room now.

Bed. still feeling ill. Will never eat a veggie burger with eggplant, zucchini and portobello shrooms again.

I came to the conclusion that it was the eggplant. I vaguely remembered the same reaction to it last time i cooked with it. Which totally sucks because I love eggplant. but I was starting to feel better by the time I went to bed. Was able to soak in the hot tub for a bit too. – The poooool. So enticing.

feeling better today thank goodness. On to Winchester Mystery house now 🙂 – Here we are at winchester mystery house – Winchester gingerbread house 🙂

I’ve been to the Winchester many times but Shannon hadn’t, so it was a lot of fun to take her on the tour (man have the prices gone up for it though. Ugh.) She enjoyed it and I dug the nostalgic-ness of it 🙂

Sitting in salon so shannon can go home with “California highlights.”

Shannon was bound and determined to come home from California with her hair highlighted. Originally she wanted Meechie to do it, but it didn’t work out, so we ended up at some random salon we passed in San Jose and she got her California highlights 🙂 Which meant no more getting her hair wet in the pool for the rest of the trip. “Worth it” she says.

Thought highlights would take longer, but guess not. Now onto ihop, then will get totally lost going back to hotel.

Ok, I have never been to an IHOP. I know, I know weird eh? So earlier in the day when we were picking up the rental car we passed one, so after the highlights, we decided to try one out. It was delicious.

At an ihop. Funnily enough, i’ve never been to one of these before. Next up: seeing if there is a benihana’s here.

There is no Benihana’s within “Stephanie won’t get lost” distance of the Mariott by the airport. Shannon disappointed. – My rental car is so red it hurts.

At a mall. Westfield I think. No Benihana in SJ. Shannon disappointed.

Totally got the hardsell from hair flattener salesman. 200 bucks for flatiron?? Uh how about, no.

Ok, dude. This guy spent half an hour trying to sell me a $200 hair flattener. He took my hesitation as me trying to haggle when in actuality I was trying to think of a polite way to get out of the situation. I can’t just be rude no matter how much I may want to. Admittedly, it was a pretty spiffy flattener and he did amazing things with it to Shannon’s hair. But $200?? I’m from Nebraska dude, but I’m not stupid. Went to a Sally’s when we got back, and got the same sort of flattener for 40 bucks and it does everything his magic one did. Suck it Mr. ‘Look at me, I’m a millionaire from selling these.’ Pfft. – For @TongaLH 🙂

Had to take a piccy of Tonga’s Mecca 🙂 And then had to go in and load up on free samples. We got out of the gigantic mall with a small bag of See’s candy, Sephora free samples and that’s it. I’m good.

The last time i was in a denny’s was 7 yrs ago. In one now. They STILL have moons over my hammy.

We were starving after the mall, so we hit a nearby Denny’s. We don’t have Denny’s here in my town, but the one in Monterey used to be my hangout back in high school, so I have fond memories of Denny’s.

@Cascata Can’t believe you’re in Cali and ordered chicken fried steak. Weirdo.

*shakes her head* (Cascata is Shannon btw.)

Off to brekkie, then heading into Monterey again to go to Cannery Row and Aquarium, then BEACHTIME! Woohoo!

There are french ppl behind me and kid in tix line at aquarium. We comprends! C’est fantastique! – Manta rays at MB Aquarium – God i missed this.

We really enjoyed the aquarium. It gets bigger and better every visit. Best part – Otters. We stopped in a tourist trap little shop selling tourist crap tshirts etc. and we ended up getting a couple hoodies and a cute little soft otter stuffed animal. Then we meandered down Cannery Row and I marvelled at the changes. Oscar Hossenfelder’s and the full-size carousel inside is gone. Now it’s a bloody IMAX. The historical Doc Rickett’s actual lab is dwarfed by a big hotel. But KNRY (where my mom used to work) and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory are still there 🙂

Getting lunch at the carls jr. That i had my first car accident at when i was 16. Hehe.

Ugh. I was going through the drive-thru not long after I got my license and was counting out my money and didn’t realize the car was moving. i squished the headlight against a wooden post and did over $1000 worth of damage going around 3mph. Yeah, I was grounded. – At Asilomar beach. So awesome.

Asilomar is so great for sitting and absorbing the beauty and wildness of the Pacific ocean. It’s not so great for walking barefoot as the sand is like gravel. On the plus side, we got great pedicures walking from the beach to the car.

I needed a place to cavort in the waves a little on this trip because I love the beach. Living in Nebraska made me appreciate something I took advantage of when it was nearby. So I couldn’t go home without sticking my feet in the water. So we headed to Seaside Beach, near my old high school, where I knew the sand was softer. There, we did our cavorting and had a lovely old time. Then it was time to head back to San Jose and turn in the rental car.

Watched debate at Red Brick Pizza by hotel. Decided hot tub for achy feet sounded good. Now enjoying last of See’s Candy. Mmmmm.

Waking up. Last morning in Cali *sigh*. For some reason, the thought of going back to Nebraska is utterly depressing.

God, was it ever.

Leaving san jose. Bye california! I’ll miss you!

*sigh* And I do.

At minneapolis. Not for 8 hours this time 🙂 home soon. Looking forward to seeing Spooky. 3 hr drive from omaha 1st. – Gate 16 at minn. Last trip twitpic cos omaha is boring.

Home sweet home. Cat purring. Unpacking can wait. Good to be home, but still wishing I was back in California.

And that was it. I hate that feeling after a lovely vacation when you’ve just arrived home but you weren’t quite ready to end the good times and get back to your daily life. Yeah it was good to see Spooky, and show off pics and videos, play with souvenirs and all that. But I had such a great time out there. I wish I was still there.