finally a visit to huntsvegas

Several months ago, I posted about customer service woes that I had with US Airways and trying to use a “free” ticket I had been given because I had been bumped from a flight. After trying to use the ticket to fly back home to Huntsvegas, I finally got a customer service agent who was willing to work with me and help me find a date I could fly home on.

For the Huntsville crowd, I’m flying home January 25 – 28. I really want to see everyone while I’m home because I miss all of you guys like crazy, so keep the weekend open. Oh, and I’m trying to get Sean to come home with me, so if you get the chance, drop him an e-mail with words of encouragement. 🙂

the road home

The moon was high and the road stretched like a ribbon across the desert landscape, as a lonely Subaru cruised along the highway. The driver quietly sipped her Monster as the other 3 passengers in the car alternately slept and talked about cars. It had been a long weekend, starting 40 hours before when the car was loaded with luggage and people and started the long trek from Phoenix to Los Angeles.

Sean, myself and two of our friends decided about a month or so ago that a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain was finally in order. Sean and I have lived here 3 years and we still hadn’t made it to the mecca of roller coasters. This was the perfect weekend because we got not only roller coasters, but cooler temperatures and Fright Fest. I have an absolute love of all things Halloween. Thursday morning, Nathaniel and Melanie met us at our house, we packed the car and started the 7 hour drive to LA. It was a fun drive over. Everyone was excited about getting to ride roller coasters and spend a weekend away from work.

Once we got into LA, we drove to the very end of I-10 and spent some time at the beach. I can now say that I’ve been at both ends of I-10 and have ridden a good majority if not all of the interstate.

Friday morning dawned bright and clear and we were at the gates to get in by around 9:30. 10am, the gates opened and we proceeded to spend 12 hours riding roller coasters and having an absolute blast. I was having so much fun, I didn’t spend one minute thinking of work the entire time. We rode every roller coaster at least once and most of them we rode twice or more. I faced my fear of falling by sitting in the very front of their tallest roller coaster, Goliath, and looked down as we hung at the top of a 255 foot drop. It was a terror and a rush at the same time as we went down that hill, climbing to 85 mph by the end of it.
We went back Saturday morning anticipating on only spending a half day riding our favorite roller coasters before having to hit the road to get home. We wanted to ride Tatsu again. This roller coaster straps you in and then leans you forward so that you’re in a Superman flying position before launching you over hills and through corkscrews and loops. You have g’s both pulling and pushing on you throughout the ride. Unfortunately, the lines were so long on Saturday that we had to pass on it. We still got to other rides before the lines got too long and I finally got my requisite funnel cake (an absolute must whenever I’m at an amusement park or fair). We got wet on the log ride and then proceeded to dry ourselves off on the swings.

We finally hit the road about 3pm yesterday and got home around 11pm. We were achy and sore from the punishment we’d put our bodies through all weekend, but all four of us had huge grins on our faces. It was an absolute blast and I wouldn’t trade a second of it for anything. At the beginning of the weekend, Nathaniel, Melanie, Sean and I were relatively decent friends, but we didn’t know a lot about each other. Now, Sean and I have very good friends who blissfully share our joy and love of roller coasters. How lucky are we?

contents of my fridge – travel edition

When I travel to Denver, I’m usually here for the whole week and since I’m here for the whole week, I like to have at least minimal kitchen facilities in my room. This limits me to staying at extended stay hotels when I’m up here. Thankfully, between a couple of my coworkers and myself, we’ve scouted out the best hotels to stay at while up in Denver for business.

As some of you (especially family members) most likely already know after Sean’s and my trip to the Northwest this year, I travel with a chef’s knife, spices, a wine stopper and a corkscrew. I also go grocery shopping at the beginning of the week for items that mainly hold me over for breakfast and lunch as well as just relaxing in my room in the evening. So, that brings us to the listing of what is in my fridge this week in my hotel room:
– 2 Sugar Free Red Bulls
– 1 20 oz Coke Zero
– 2 Breckenridge Brewery Vanilla Porter beers (there were more, but they’ve been consumed)
– Qdoba Mexican Gumbo (lunch for tomorrow)
– cookie dough (this is my occasional indulgence when I’m on travel mainly because there is no way Sean would let me just buy cookie dough to consume pre-cooking)
– 2 apples
– breakfast bars (they’re not in the fridge, but since they’re healthy, I felt like I needed to mention them after the cookie dough)

This week is a little uninteresting. I try to cook at least one meal per week just so that I’m not eating out for every meal. Maybe I’ll grill up some salmon for dinner tomorrow night…

fall has descended

September in Arizona is known as the month when living in Phoenix becomes bearable again after a summer of triple digit heat and monsoon humidity. The weather still isn’t great, but mornings become pleasant, as witnessed by Sean and I starting to hike Camelback Mountain in the mornings. October in Arizona is known as the month when residents of Phoenix forget why we hate the summers so much and love the rest of the year. The windows are open. The temperature drops to the 80s during the day and 50s at night. These are the days when Sean and I can spend lazy mornings sitting on our patio sipping tea and enjoying the chocolate chip and pumpkin muffins I was inspired to bake this morning. The backyard is finally going to be installed this week. Next weekend we’re having the celebration of finally getting a backyard put into the house. An entire evening spent outside enjoying the cool weather and a nicely landscaped backyard. I love fall.

recharged and plugged back in

Sean and I are back from our jaunt into the wilds of southeast Arizona. The weather cooperated with us very well. It was sunny, but not hot. In fact, last night got cold enough that I was grateful for the fire and then my warm sleeping bag. It was wonderful to relax and unplug from the world even if it was just for a couple of days. Sean even got to see how well his all wheel drive worked on the car since the roads we were driving on through the mountains were gravel at the best points and just rocks at the worst. It was fun, though. I don’t think Sean and I have laughed that much in a long time and that alone was worth every bump and jar on the road. 🙂 We’re ready to hit the ground running in the morning to start off yet another week of work.

I hope everyone had a great weekend as well and that their week goes as well as I hope ours will.