Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Ah, October 16, 2009...the day we were married. Its been a year, who would have guessed we would be living in East Tennessee? No one, that's who. Anyway, thanks to Kiewit (check out this blog post: Mullet Man) we went on a sweet vacay to Orlando to celebrate! You might ask, "Why Orlando?" Here is why: the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, now open in Universal Studios. Yes, we are nerds. No, we don't care.

So we set off early Friday two weeks ago and arrived in Orlando by 9:30am. The Ritz Carlton let us check in at 10:30 (love that customer service.)
Ah, beautiful room with balcony. And two beds because after a year, we sleep in separate beds. Kidding.

And then off to Universal Studios! Since we've never been there before, it took us awhile to find HP world. But the first sighting of Hogwarts Castle was beautiful.
Oh Harry Potter World!

It was truly a magical place. There was butter beer...
I'm pretty sure it was cream soda with some sweet foamy stuff on top. But still delish.

Olivander's wand store...
Those are wands stacked up in the background. Don't worry, we left some money there.

The Hogwarts castle with a super sweet ride inside...
And lots and lots of people everywhere.
So as you waited in line for the castle ride, you did a tour of the castle. Which was amazing. Since it was pretty dark and we didn't want to be epically annoying (like the women in front of us), we only took a few pics. The walls were lined with moving pictures that talked, just like in the book/movies.

Everything was gorgeous with snowy rooftops...
Love that chunky child next to Caleb. There were many chunky children.

There was Honeydukes sweet shop with chocolate frogs, Burt's Every Flavor Beans, blood-flavored lollipops and more.
Yes, we left more money here as well.
We ate some lunch one day at Three Broomsticks. They had a lovely selection of English and chips, shepherd's pie. And of course more butter beer.
Don't worry, the Hog's Head was just next door where you could get real beer.

Caleb decided that if he went to Hogwarts, he would be a Ravenclaw.
And he's so excited about it.
The Hogwarts choir performed with us, along with their singing frogs.
They made the Slytherin girl be mean to all the other choir members. Hilarious.

I love choir.

Caleb hates having his picture taken so that's why most of these are of me. But I convinced him to pose with the Hogwarts Express conductor.

We tried to take some pics worthy of sending to the boss that sent us on this trip.
This is pretty funny. I  might send it.

We did two long afternoons at Harry Potter World (as I like to call it). Outside of Universal there was this super cool area called City Walk with restaurants and bars and shops and a big stage (kinda like Power and Light in KC). We went to Hard Rock Cafe on our anniversary after our HP adventure ended.
It was very cool and we got to sit in the Michael Jackson corner. Nice.
A belt he wore on tour...his old yearbook fun.

Caleb even got to sit next to a Beyonce quote. Lucky him!
Good thing Michael had such an effect on B.

We had the best server ever, Mikey, who gave us free anniversary dessert. I always tell people things like that in hopes that they will give me something free. I think it annoys Caleb. But you would be surprised at all the free things you get for just asking!

We spent the better part of Sunday at Cocoa Beach. I love the beach and this was no let-down. Note how my skin tone matches the sand. It later turned bright red. Because they confiscated my spray-on sunscreen at the airport. So I had to use my travel size bottle of normal sunscreen. So then I had to buy some aloe. Which they promptly confiscated on the way back. I always try to sneak full size bottles and I always get caught. Stupid airport rules.
LOVE the beach!

On the way back to the beach we went to this magical mall we found the day before, Mall at Millenia. We knew it was a big deal when we saw it had valet parking and there was an Aston Martin parked in the front row. This mall had more designer stores in one place than I've ever seen. Actually most of these stores I've never seen in real life. Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Prada, Michael Kors, Burberry, Louis Vuitton...the list goes on. My sweet husband fed the monster he created with a new Coach purse. I am so spoiled. Its ridiculous. 
I think I could live in Orlando for awhile.

We went to McCormick and Schmick's for dinner on Sunday night. Amazing. 
One year!

Awesome vacation. Loved Orlando and HP and the beach and this amazing man that I married a year ago. Thanks Kiewit!

My house is weird and quiet this morning. Its the first day I've woken up to a day off at home with nothing to do and no one else here in like...a month.  Zach and Audrey and George were here for the weekend and that will be a whole new blog post soon!

One final pic to leave you with from Suess Land at Universal...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Party with the Voths

Three 12 hour shifts: check
All patients still alive as of 7:00pm on October 13th: check
Sleeping in: check
Coffee: check
Discussion with customer service rep: check

Ahh. I had a delightful week of work. But a much better four day weekend with my wonderful parents in town. Yes, they decided to venture into the great land of East Tennessee. We really had a good time. Mostly it was me dragging them and Caleb around to all the things I wanted to do. But they were game. And the hubs pretended to be oh-so-excited to spend the weekend doing lots of fall themed activities. 

Day 1 (Thursday)

I have like 20 antique stores just on my street. We started at the top of the street and worked out way down. We probably shopped for like 3 hours and we didn't even make it into all the stores. Thats how many antique stores there are. Unfortunately, I have no photo evidence of the antique store adventure because Caleb had the camera at work. Don't worry, you are just missing looking at lots of really old junk.

Day 2 (Friday)

My parents and I love a good outlet mall. We have a huge one about a hour away. I thought it would be a good idea to drive down there, mostly because there is a Coach outlet. And I love Coach. (My husband can thank himself for starting this minor obsession.)

The Coach store was insanely busy with crazy women holding like 10 purses.

I didn't buy anything. Sad. Then we went to Johnson City to look at the hospital I work at. So exciting. But we did eat some bbq at this super cute bbq place called The Firehouse. It was delish and adorable and cheap. So many of my favorite things combined! It also provided a great photo op.

My parents. Don't they look great with the fire truck? Also, I used the "antique" effect in editing this pic and I think it looks way better than the original.

Day 3 (Saturday)

The most classic fall day I can think of. This was a great day.

We started with the farmer's market. Because I LOVE the farmer's market.


I love early morning light. Especially the way it shines through those pickled eggs. Mmmmm.

I love pumpkins. Which you would know if you were at my wedding a year ago. I got this little beauty for a whole dollar.
*Side note: See that little circle of weird light in the middle of this pic? I have a really nice camera with two great lenses and I get these sometimes. Can someone please tell me how to NOT get these little reflective light things on my pretty photos?*

Lots and lots of apples. My favorite.


I also purchased a cookbook at the FM. It is called the 2010 Kingsport Farmer's Market Cookbook. I wanted it as a souvenir of Kingsport. It has some great recipes such as "How to cook a possum." Perfect. I was just wondering how I would go about doing that.

Up next: Chick-fil-a breakfast. A Baker Saturday morning tradition. C and I always eat Chick-fil-a breakfast on my Saturdays off. My parents had never experienced the greatness that is the chicken, egg, and cheese bagel.

That is perfection right there.

We had to document such a positive experience.

Next: driving to Rogersville to check out the Kiewit project and to attend "Heritage Days." Thats right, readers. Another festival. SO many things I love in just one day...

The road that takes Caleb to work. I think its super cool.

Peeking through the fence at the tower cranes.

On to Heritage Days...
These mini pumpkins bring back memories of wedding pumpkins...

There were tons and tons of great booths...this was my dad's favorite.
This lady made yarn from Alpacka wool
Mom models a hat made from the yarn.
The alpacka and her dog.

Caleb and the Kiewit booth.

Caleb and one of the Kiewit guy's kid. I just think this is cute.

There was also tons of live music on a stage in the middle of all the booths. This kid was our far. 
Amazing tiny child playing the fiddle. He was awesome. And hilarious.

What festival is complete without some festival food? Deep fried oreos=yummmm.

All four of us at Heritage Days.

There are so many great pics, I will probably make a facebook album. But this post is getting pretty long. And we still have one day left to go.

End of Day 3: introducing my parents to sushi. No pics of this, but it was great seeing them fumble with chopsticks and getting their first bite of raw fish. They liked it! Success.

Day 4 (Sunday)

We went to Bays Mountain Park, which is a really cool place very close to where we live. It has a planetarium and lots of animal habitats and fun stuff to see.

After getting in trouble for driving on the bike paths, we finally found a place to park and hiked for a bit. Mostly, it was just beautiful with all the changing leaves and the lake.

Love that.

All in all, it was a great weekend. We loved having my parents here!

Up next: a fabulous weekend with my husband to celebrate one year of marriage...can you believe its been a year? Me either.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How I know you are an IV drug user/Addicted to Narcotics

Alright, its been two weeks since I have posted. Because of my J.O.B. And also because I was doing cool things to post about. You know, because our life here is so exciting. I have some great pictures and stories of my fab weekend that I will post on Thursday, my next day off. But here is just a quicky for you to enjoy. Double enjoy this if you are a nurse.

Disclaimer: this is not written about any specific patient. This is purely general observations that I have noted.

Top Seven Ways I know you are an IV drug user or addicted to pain medication:
1. You point to your best vein when I am putting in an IV.
2. You ask for your "breakthrough pain meds" every 4-6 hours on the minute...but only all together because that's the only way they work.
3. You tell me that "the other nurses" always push your dilaudid "faster and in that closer port."
4. You return from your walk with blood shot eyes and your significant other pushing you in a wheelchair because you got "a little dizzy."
5. You mysteriously have fresh looking needle marks in your arm because we have been "drawing so much blood" but I know that you haven't had any lab work done today...and the phlebotomist would have covered it with a cotton ball and tape.
6. When I give you your prescriptions at discharge, you tell me that that pain medication doesn't come in a pill of that milligram.
7. Your significant other tells me that you need a new primary care provider because your last one "kicked us out."

There are many, many more. Comment and give me your best ones! I'm just out of time...its 6am and I have to go to day number 3!

Get excited for my picture post tomorrow!