It is June, and as I promised... I'm back. I had a fantastic break (actually today is my last day of traveling) and I am ready to get writing once again... just hope my brain is ready too. I think it is. So, what you all missed while I was on break:
1. I had a great time out celebrating K.i.D.'s new job / staying in Chicago. Played the board game Life at this little corner bar in Wrigleyville which no one won (thanks to the alcohol consumed)... or maybe everyone won. Cherry soooo did not win. It was a good time out with friends that included Cherry, the Aussie, Dr. Ken, Classy, Not Carrie, and of course K.i.D.
2. I finally got to meet I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw... and her really nice friend from Portland whose name I forgot. Sorry. Not Carrie was a hoot (and so was her friend). Yea! Hope you both had a good time in Chicago.
3. Realized that the thought of a bunch of bloggers meeting up sounds like the ultimate dork convention... but in reality through blogging I've met some really great people. And yes, there are tweakers out there in this internet world... but I just delete there comments. :)
4. LP and I drove 1,500 miles. Went through the lovely states of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Crossed the mighty Mississippi River four times. Gas prices seem to blow ass in every state. Good mix tapes (CD-Rs) are always a plus.
5. Visited Champaign-Urbana, IL for the first time. Saw the University of Illinois... and went to a wedding there. The ceremony was in Philo, IL which has a population of about 200. I believe the entire town was at the wedding. Every street in Philo is named after a President.
6. Went to breakfast in the little downtown Urbana with two of our friends from NYC that have just finished up their PhD's and are moving back to NYC this summer. Sniff Sniff. It was good to see them. Had some tasty biscuits and gravy.
7. Went to Calhoun City, MS. This was my first time ever in the state of Mississippi... which I was looking forward to, except for all of the magnolia trees (I'm allergic to them). Calhoun City is anything but a city... see Philo, IL. Saw our friend TW's first baby. Her husband took me on a tour of his farms (cotton, corn, soy bean) and saw a cotton gin for the first time (lots of first on this trip). Plus I learned how to blow up a beaver dam. Yep... with dynamite. I'd like to go back to Mississippi and visit Oxford since I have heard good things about it.
8. Made stops in Memphis at Stax and Sun which are two of my favorite places... I seem to go to Stax each time I'm there. Ate BBQ at Interstate, Corky's, and Tops. The BBQ spaghetti at Interstate is unreal.
9. Went to my first Memphis Redbirds game (AAA for the St. Louis Cardinals) at AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis. This is hands down the nicest AAA ballpark... it's better than some major league parks (see the Minnesota Twins). The Redbirds lost, but I was more upset that I did not try the BBQ nachos they sell. Must go back.
10. Spent good time with our friend Fo who we have not seen since her dad passed away. Found out that her family just got finished building a new cabin (more like a massive lodge) in Heber Springs, AR (yep... that's Arkansas) right by the Greers Ferry Lake. I know one blogger who should know where that is. I cannot wait to go.
11. Saw no movies. Still did not finish my book. Slept a lot. Went swimming.
12. Found our favorite Portland beer (Bridgeport) at a grocery store in Memphis and filled up the SUV with it... just like Smokey & the Bandit!
13. Made a few obtainable goals for the summer... which includes no more rests for the 5 of 9er.
I am going to try and post some of my photos of the time off in my next entry... hopefully. Glad to be back... and hope to spend some of this weekend catching up on your writings.