Monday, March 28, 2011

Whirlwind!

This weekend was SUPER busy! I felt like I hardly had time to sit still for more than 5 minutes at the time! It all started Friday night. A quick grocery store run turned into a marathon and 3 stores. I was running wild trying to get home and ready for dinner. Justin and Farrah picked me up and then we grabbed Jonathan and Denise and headed down to Birmingham, where we met Forrest at Little Savannah. Since J and D hosted us at their home last month, they got to pick the restaurant. We SO enjoy our mini food road trips, and Friday was no exception. The restaurant has great charm and atmosphere. We were a little disappointed that they wouldn't let us sit at the bar for a while before we went to our table, which was our plan all along, but they said they were too busy at the bar and showed us right to the table, which happened to be situated right by Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb's table. We decided to start with appetizers as usual--a cheese plate for us, shrimp and grits for Justin, a salad for Farrah, fried quail for J and D, and a bowl of mussels for the table. The mussels were VERY good and went VERY fast!! For dinner, Forrest got lamb, which he says was to die for, and I had snapper, which was very good but raw in the center. Farrah and Justin both got the snapper too and theirs was fine--leave it to me to get the raw one. I also didn't receive the mac and cheese I ordered, which was a little sad, especially since I couldn't eat all of my fish. Despite the "sushi" dinner, we had a great time laughing and telling stories as usual, and Forrest and I didn't make it home until 11:30!
On Saturday, we both hit the ground running. For her birthday (which we celebrated last Thursday with a traditional pizza party), all Forrest's mom wanted was for her boys to help their dad clean out the shed behind the house. What an event!! Forrest was busy cleaning and organizing all morning! While he was being a good son, I was in domestic diva mode. I had laundry to fold, tons of things to unpack and put away from the Girlfriend Gala (more on that later) and a batch of Neiman Marcus brownies to bake.  After that, it was time to get ready for Lauren Puckett's baby shower! I can't wait to meet little Hudson and can't believe he will be here so soon! Lauren got TONS of cute baby swag to ring in Hudson's arrival! I realized that other than a baby "party" in a bar a few years ago, I haven't been to an actual baby shower since my friend Emily Smith's shower--that's right, the shower for her before she was born, and it just so happens that Emily started college last fall! Clearly I am rusty!!!

One of these things is not like the other.........
After the shower, I met Forrest at the funeral home for our dear friend, Gordon Isbell Jr's visitation. We have been close with Gordon and his family and it was a sad day for all of us, but Gordon was such a fun character, it was hard not to smile and laugh! After visiting with the Isbells for a while, we had to run to church to speak. We are VERY excited to be starting a "Young Marrieds" group and church and we are hosting the first event next weekend, so Forrest and I attended each Mass to invite the YM's to come. It kept us busy but it was really fun and we had a great response! After Mass, no rest for the weary. We ran home changed, and braved the storm out to the Walnut Gallery Gala. Denise was on the board and so we were super excited to support her efforts! The Gallery is fairly new in town and this was their main fundraiser of the year. They are non-profit and are really dedicated to promoting the arts in Gadsden! A perk of attending the gala was that each ticket holder received a handmade bowl by some of the artists whose work is currently being featured at the gallery: Steve Loucks and Lynnette Hesser. Isn't our bowl cool?

Forrest actually took a ceramics class in college and was very into it and actually really good, so he had a great time discussing the art with Steve and Lynnette. The whole night, actually, was so much fun! The food was really good and we saw several friends there. I hope that we get to go to many more events at the Gallery in the future! When we were leaving, we walked out with Justin and Farrah and the guys were discussing that they were hungry again. Well, what do you do when it is late and you are hungry? You go to Waffle House.  Yes, this is the 2nd time in just a few months that the Bailey's have yet again ventured to Waffle House, and this is the 2nd time that we were not disappointed!
On Sunday we went to speak at the 8am Mass, ran a few errands (which included a stop at Jack's for breakfast--a real treat!) and then went back to the 10:30 Mass. After all of our churching, we went home for another quick change. Forrest stayed busy in the yard all day while I went to the Gadsden Service Guild New Member tea. So many great girls got in this year (including Farrah, Denise, Sarah Kathryn, Kristen, and Lisa, just to name a few friends) and they all seem eager to be a part of our group! The tea was a lot of fun and was the perfect way to mix and mingle with all of the new girls, as well as the "old girls"! After the tea, I went to my Aunt's for a while before picking up Forrest to go to dinner at Mom and Dad's. Beef tenderloin kabobs--yum! Can  you tell why we are both dragging today???

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hello Spring!

Despite the number the spring pollen does to my allergies, I just LOVE when all the flowers start blooming and everything starts turning green again! Here are just a few pics of what the spring has brought to the Bailey home!
Actually this is at my parents' house, but I just LOVE this tulip tree!

We have tons of redbuds blooming in the back yard. I will probably have lots of clippings in the house soon!

Wisteria vine! Yes, I know that wisteria can do damage to trees and even homes, but how can you not just love this look?

Perhaps not exciting yet, but these are my hydrangeas, which thankfully are coming back, despite a dry summer last year! Can't WAIT for them to bloom!

The front flower bed---really coming together! Look at all the new green shoots on the bushes!

One of the 4 white dogwoods we have. This is the furthest along, but when they are all in bloom the yard looks pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Girls and Boys Weekends

I sadly had to leave San Diego on Wednesday, but Forrest got to stay for the research convention. 2 of his classmates, Strud and Richard, took my place, since they were presenting their research as well. I got to go back to work, but since it was spring break, it was a light week! Since I would be alone all weekend, my girlfriends Randi and Deborah came to stay with me for a little girl time. What a fun time we had!! They arrived on Friday night and we went to KOBE to eat and then shopped for shoes. We stayed up late talking and laughing and reminiscing about old times in the sorority! Randi's birthday is in a few weeks so we brought her presents and had a mini birthday party, complete with Gigi's cupcakes (which I of course couldn't eat since Forrest and I gave sweets up for Lent) and presents! We also had a little excitement that night because I was puppy sitting Sullivan since his people were at the beach. Poor little baby didn't want to come in our house and I kept finding him laying on the porch at his house. He was also scared to death of my cats, and they didn't even do anything to him! He whimpered and whined for a while but finally settled down and we were all about to go to sleep!
The next day I got up and got us chicken minis for breakfast--delish! Then we put on our lake attire and headed up to my parents' lake house for the afternoon (although we stopped in Peppermint Pony on the way there, yes, in our bathing suits and cover-ups). We could not have asked for better weather! It was nearly 80 degrees and breezy and it felt amazing! We basically laid out on the pier all day, again, chatting and laughing and telling stories. My mom and sister, Aunt Sue, and Sara were there too, so it was like one big girls' day! Sadly, Randi had to leave around 4, but Deb got to stay for the rest of the day. We walked down to the Condras and had "happy hour" with Jay and Claire, and even Justin and Farrah came up to hang out! By the time Deborah and I got back to our lake house, Dad's ribs were ready so we sat down to a delicious bbq meal: ribs, potato salad, baked beans, salad, fruit, and bread. We were stuffed! Dad and Uncle John started telling stories on each other from college and we just laughed and laughed!

Deb took lots of pictures of Chip wearing her sun hat!

The next day, Deb got up early and went home and I went to Mass. Afterwards, I drove to ATL to pick Forrest up from the airport. I was SO excited to see him, but I wasn't the only one. The dogs went nuts when he got home and wouldn't leave his side. It was such a nice day out so we hung around outside playing with the dogs until time for dinner at my parents'. Now we are right back in the swing of things. Oh well!
You may be asking what Forrest was doing while I had laughing it up with the girls. Well, he and Richard and Strud got to explore more of San Diego, which makes me super jealous! They went to Balboa Park, which Forrest and I had to miss. They also went to Mission Beach and tried their hand at skim boarding like the pros! They even went back to La Jolla and ate at George's on the Cove--check out the view!

The thing I am saddest about missing is their day trip to Coronado Island. Doesn't this make you want to go there too??

Of course, they did a lot of conferencing. Forrest's research was very well received and he fielded questions about it for over an hour! Way to go!!! I am sad that I didn't get to see him do his presentation, but they wouldn't let me go as a non-dentist. Bummer! Now we are just glad to be safe and sound at home and are looking forward to our next adventure!


A few pics I ripped off of Richard's facebook page of the guys' weekend. I am coveting that burrito right now!

UABSOD presenters. Way to go guys!

Beach day!

La Jolla

Ferry to Coronado Island

Forrest's presentation!

San Diego, Day 3

Let's go surfin' now, the Bailey's are learnin' how!!! (Lame, I know). On Tuesday we got up bright and early to take a surfing lesson!!! Yes, a surfing lesson!! This was of course another groupon find! We were one of 3 young couples taking the lesson. One of the guys was here for the dental conference too--what a small world! We started the lesson indoors by practicing our balance on "Indo Boards". This was totally hard but was a great indicator of how good we would do in the water. After a while, we all started to master our balance and the stance for surfing. Then it was onto upper arm strength, so we did some push-ups (ugh) to get us ready for the real surfing push up we had to do on the board. By the time all of the warm ups were over, I was already exhausted!! Next, we got into our wetsuits and the instructor handed us our boards, which were enormous!

About to hit the waves
I really had a difficult time carrying mine so I had to balance it on my head all the way to the beach. Once we got on the sand, I was totally skpetical. I mean, the waves looked huge and I knew the water was cold. The instructor didn't give us much time to dwell on it and ordered us in the water immediately. That first step was sheer torture!!! My feet were so cold they literally ached. I didn't want to be the baby of the group so I sucked it up, but I was VERY miserable, well, at least until I got so cold I quit being able to feel my feet! :) I was also afraid of the sharks that I just KNEW were lurking in the murky water, and everytime I got touched by some kelp (which was a lot of times), I just knew I was about to lose a limb. Despite my wariness, surfing was actually fun and not that hard! The instructor put me on the board and gave me a push and off I went!!! I got up a few times and I must say I think I did pretty well! You basically always have to fall off, so I got smacked with the board a lot, trapped under it, and of course, I swallowed a good amount of sea water, but over all, it was so much fun! Forrest, actually was a natural! He got up way more times than me and didn't need the teacher to help him. Granted, there was a fierce rip current that made it hard for me to move at all, but I think he was just better at it!

I cropped this so it won't let me turn it!
After the lesson, I felt like someone had beaten me with the surf board (for 2 days, I felt like this), which basically happened every time I fell, but over all, Forrest and I decided it was a great time and we were so glad we did it.

Lookin good!

Again, cropped, but aren't we cute!
We rewarded ourselves with a little In and Out Burger on the way home!! Delicious!!!

After a shower and a rest, we headed to Escondido to the Bernardo Winery, the longest operating winery in CA! We had not had great experiences with wineries in Napa so we were a little hesitant about this one, but I had a groupon, so we went with it. We couldn't have had a more wonderful time!! With our groupon we paid 8 dollars for 5 tastes each of any wine on the menu (so that is 10 tastes total). They filled our glasses nearly half full for each taste and we were able to walk around the grounds, snack, and shop in the middle of our tasting! We grabbed a fruit and cheese plate, our wine, and sat out on the patio while enjoyed the amazing weather!!!


Since we were so far North at the winery, we decided we would take the scenic route down the coast to San Diego. I'm so glad we did---it was lovely! We saw Encinitas, Del Mar, and lots of lovely coastal towns!

We stopped when we got to Old Town San Diego--the historical part of the city. It was neat to see all of the old buildings and shops!!


Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

I felt like I was on Oregon Trail!

The 101!

Old Town Dentist office
For dinner, we ate at a Mexican restaurnt that made their own tortillas. These were SO tasty!!! They have won the best tortillas award since like 1977!! How could we not stop there??  Forrest also got the Mariachi band to come and play me a song: Besame Mucho! It was SO funny!!

This was our meal!! AMAZING!!
All in all, it was a great day and I really hated to have to leave the next morning!! I hope we get the chance to go back to San Diego in the future!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

San Diego, Day 2

When planning our trip, I left Monday morning open so we decide what we wanted to do when we got there. We usually end up finding something we didn't know about and I wanted to make sure that we had ample time to do what we wanted. We decided that we should definitely see the San Diego Zoo, since it is one of the best zoos in the world. I am not a HUGE zoo fan but when I hear "San Diego" I think "zoo", so we decided to make a fun morning of it. We got there not too long after it opened and were lucky enough to find a volunteer guide who gave us the inside scoop on how to make it through the zoo in the most effective and efficient way. The zoo can best be described by pictures, so I will just let them tell the tale!

Koala!

Brown bear. The bear next door was getting fed so he stood up at the doorway, waiting on his lunch!


Panda! He just ate and ate!

Love their skinny legs!

Polar bears! I was sad we didn't get to see them swimming in the pool. It had an underwater window!

Riding the skyfari across the park. This is the city and Balboa park!

Mete the tiger. We got to see the trainer feeding her. All of a sudden, she noticed a duck swimming the her pond and she tried to attack it! Luckily she missed!!! She was one mad and wet kitty after that!

Petting zoo! Notice my hot pink, "California" nails, which were the topic of conversation the whole trip.

Who doesn't LOVE a flamingo?

Riding the moving sidewalk--how handy!

We went to a talk on elephants and got to see Mary getting a pedicure!


Riding the open air bus that takes you all over the park. It was so nice to sit for a while!

I was totally obsessed with the meercats!

This jaguar was raised as a cub with a little puppy who was in the pen with him. They were best buddies!

Helloooooooooooo!
Let me reiterate that we LOVED the zoo. It was impeccably clean and well maintained. The food was great and the prices were actually reasonable! I would definitely go there again and I hope I get the chance to do so!
After the zoo we headed to La Jolla (Hoya--I kept saying it wrong) for a Segeway tour. I was a little nervous to ride but it was actually very easy and fun! We rolled through some gorgeous neighborhoods and checked out some amazing houses that weren't that big but I bet had big price tags!! Again, this trip can best be described though pics!

Look at us go! Check out the helmets!


Children's pool, filled with seals!


These trees were Dr. Seuss' inspiration for the drawings in his books!

After the tour, we had some time before dinner so we walked down to the beach again. It was so beautiful at sunset!!


A wave drenched us after this pic!

I took hundreds of these pics.
We had dinner (via groupon, again) at Aloha Sushi and may I say it was the most delicious sushi I had ever had!!! We ordered so much that we couldn't even finish it!!


Delicious!!! The one on the left tasted like Cajun Crab dip---heaven!!!
 After dinner, we decided to ride up to Torrey Pines Golf Course, where Tiger, apparently, goes to play. It was dark so we didn't get to see much, but we did stop to take this pic!!
Just like Tiger!
Again, we were exhausted when the day was done, but what a wonderful day it was!!!
 
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