Like a Bat Out of Hell

March just flew past like a bat out of hell! No… not like the Meat Loaf song.


March was crammed full of massive momentous occasions. I loaded up like Ted Nugent on a safari and went out to the hillbilly range at our friend Edd’s and managed to somewhat overcome my skepticism of loaded weapons. Not only did I get over it, I kind of liked it. I still couldn’t shoot a living thing, but I don’t want to pistol whip gun nuts as much. I ended up collecting a somewhat large pile of brass by the end of the day. I even got to fire my friend’s monster 44 magnum. It was a hand cannon, but not as scary as my husband’s pistol grip shot gun, which actually made several of the dudes shake their hands out after firing it!

I’m still skeptical of 98% of people’s capability to handle and operate a loaded weapon.

And I already posted about getting my first dirt bike and riding it for the first time. Also riding my husbands motorcycle for the first time.

In March, I also celebrated the purchase of my first motorcycle! Though, I have yet to ride it, since Ohio’s springs leave much to be desired by way of the lack of dry roads. I don’t really feel like eating pavement my first time in the seat. :(

We also mentioned that we managed to finally haul our camper Hell on Wheels home. We had to back her in our driveway at 11pm on a Sunday night.*

*Warning! The next few paragraphs contain my rant about inconsiderate neighbors! I try to keep things here as up-beat as possible, so my apologies for the negativity that follows…

However, since we live on a very small street where the neighbor across the street is kind enough to have four of his unused vehicles parked right across from our driveway, we had to drive through the yard (ugh!) while our seriously awesome next-door neighbor watched from his window while grinding his teeth. Not at us, but because we had to do that, since the guy across the street apparently is running a used car lot. (They have 7 vehicles total. Only 3 people live there, which includes the 40+ year old no-job-having son.)


Above is a map to illustrate how we got a 27 foot camper into our driveway. Our house is the one with the yellow star. The used car lot automobiles are the blue ones marked 1-7. Note that 5 is in the driveway and 6 and 7 are actually in the garage! They only operate 6 and 5 on a daily basis. The grey cars are my car (left) and the awesome neighbor’s (right).

This would be the same neighbor who came running out of his house last summer when I parked in front of his house (city streets here = public parking) after I had worked a 11 hour day, then made my 1 hour commute home, yelling at me to move my car because “that’s where his son (yes, the one without a job) parked his van.” Too exhausted to argue with him, I moved my car further up the street. When I told my husband what had happened, it took everything I had to keep him from marching across the street and shoving his size 12 Dr. Marten up the old grump’s butt.

Lately, we’ve been entertaining the idea of moving. We seem to be acquiring more things than we have room for. We really need a garage and more parking. Preferably somewhere where I can’t spit and hit my neighbor’s house!

Anyway… back to Happy Town! So yes, we got the camper parked and started on our biggest DIY project to date! We began disassembling the interior. I ordered the new flooring, we went with vinyl “wood” plank flooring. They look amazing, are supposed to survive the apocalypse and be easy to DIY install. I also made a trip to JoAnn Fabric and picked out the curtain fabric. Then we started tearing up the front wall of the camper where there was some water damage and it appears we may have underestimated the severity of the damage… Womp-womp. *Sad Trombone*

Since we don’t have a garage/barn/inside place, we’ll need at least 2-3 consecutive days of good, dry weather to take off the camper’s siding and repair/replace the water damaged studs and rehang the window. Not to mention, we have to pack up everything and put it away each night. And the kicker is… we only can create ONE city trash can size amount of trash once a week. Those things are like 50 gallons maybe? And, that includes the regular trash we create from the house. Our city’s bulk pickup doesn’t take construction or remodeling refuse, so we’d technically have to pay for a dumpster. Blargh!

Even though the the extent of it all is sort of overwhelming, we’re going to keep our Glass-Half-Full-Hats on and keep on keepin’ on! Because what fun is a project if it doesn’t make you cry, rip your hair out or bleed a few times?!

Here are the photos of our progress thus far. It’s pretty scary. The interior is very reminiscent of the set of the Golden Girls.

We’ve found where the leaks were, removed the old insulation, which was soaking up the water like a sponge and keeping all that wood wet all the time. Hopefully we’ll still be able to get this fixed up and come in under budget. Which is pretty tight, due to the fact that there’s zero sense in investing more money into this thing than we’ll be able to get back out if. This is a starter camper and project piece, but eventually we’d like to downsize to something smaller and lighter. And newer.

But that’s where we are now! We’re hoping to get everything cleaned up and in working order by the end of May so we can enjoy the summer camping season. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sorta-Busy Beaver

Sorta Busy Beaver

We have been sorta busy little beavers at Casa Awesomesauce lately!

With the (hopefully soon) passing of yet another disgusting Ohio winter, Spring is starting to show itself in gradual peeks here and there. The temps have been in the mid to high 50’s for about a week, and today they’re promising a record-breaking 71 degrees! Did I mention this warm snap has come after months of sub-zero temperatures and above average snow falls? Why, just three weeks ago, I slipped and fell on the ice walking across the street to work. That ice patch has been there since early January. But today, I’m wearing flip flops.

As the saying goes, “if you don’t like the weather in Ohio, just wait a week or two.” Ain’t that the truth!

Todays weather

A little screen cap of my “weather station” on my computer today! Hey Melbournians, we’re almost at the same temp right now!

But enough about the boring small-talk. With spring comes the renewal of… motivation. So we have been starting to turn the wheels (literally and figuratively!) on some of our bucket list items.

A few weeks ago, I watched this amazing 1971 documentary called On Any Sunday. It’s mainly about three motorcycle racers in the 1960’s, Mert Lawwill, Malcolm Smith and the famous Steve McQueen. These guys were hard-core. They raced come hell and high water and proved to be amazing athletes!

And I’ve always loved motorcycles! Every summer there were motorcycle races at the county fair. This was my favorite day of the fair (a close second was the Sunday night Demolition Derby!) I always wished I could race like they did. I always thought how cool the younger kids were who competed, and on the rare occasions when they announced a heat with a female rider in it, I was green with envy! How completely bad ass those chicks were!

I grew up riding four-wheelers. I could ride 125cc when I was 3 or 4. It was an automatic, but you still had to change the gears with a foot peg. I couldn’t reach the gears or foot brake, but I could reach down and change the gears with my hand and use the hand brakes! When I was older, I used to do laps for hours in the field behind our house pretending I was a mini Evel Knievel. I always thought I was so bad-ass when I would manage to ramp the four-wheelers over a hill and get maybe an inch of air. My dad always laughed watching, because after I landed you could hear the tools in the seat compartment clanging around.

Four wheels were fun, but I always wanted a dirt bike! So last Sunday, my childhood dreams were made a reality. HA HA!

Not because I wanted to fulfill my lifelong dream of flat track racing… but because everyone has always told me that in order to get some experience with a clutch and two wheels, (I’d never driven a clutch on anything but a car) I should try out a dirt bike before moving on to a street bike.

I admit it. I’m a pretty big chicken. I drove a motorcycle once about 7 years ago and the person who was “instructing” me pretty much convinced me that I’d kill myself on a bike. They told me “on a motorcycle, it’s not a matter of if you wreck, it’s a matter of when.”

Ok, hold up. Maybe if I were a 16 year old know-it-all-kid starting out, that may be the truth. But I feel like if you respect the machine, stay off the sauce and pay attention to what the hell is going on around you, you are no more likely to bite the dust on two wheels than you would if you were on 4.

So I’ve ridden a few times since last weekend. I feel like I’m making progress. Travis has had the patience of a SAINT! He has been an absolutely amazing help. He took a rider safety course the first year he had his bike, and that has helped him to be a much more confident and capable rider. He’s been using a lot of the stuff he learned there to help me.

My first ride, I was petrified and really shaky, I barely made it into 2nd gear. The next day, we did laps around Travis’ work’s warehouse building for a couple hours and I made it up into 4th gear. One night last week, Travis put me on his Yamaha V Star 650 and I managed to cruise through a parking lot in 1st gear. And just for shits and giggles, Travis felt brave enough to ride on the back seat. I only wobbled a little!

Just like riding a bicycle.

A 500 lb V-twin bicycle.

Every time I look at this I laugh out loud. Braaaap!

Yesterday I took the dirt bike up to my mom’s and took it on grass for the first time. I did laps for a couple of hours just trying to get more comfortable. My mom sat in the driveway hollering “Wheelie! Wheelie! Wheelie!” every time I went past. She’s not right. <3

It’s not quite as scary as it seemed a week ago. Of course once I get to the point where I’m riding on the street, it will be quite another story! I’ve been studying for the permit test and I’ve managed to get a 100% on a 150 question practice test. (It’s like the first thing I’ve ever gotten a 100% on. I’ve never been a good student.) So Travis too me to take the permit test on Saturday, but the wait was over an hour and I had an appointment to get my hair did in an hour. Boo! We’ll try back again sometime this week on our lunch hour!

Cross your fingers!

I had to leave the bike at my mom’s last night. We had to haul the camper home, and after all was said and done, we spent more time than anticipated getting the camper tow-ready and didn’t want to take the extra 30+ min to unhitch the camper, move all of the crap out of the bed of the truck into the cab of the truck, load the bike and rehitch the camper. So we left her in the garage at my moms. :(

This picture makes it look like the camper is almost as big as my house.

This picture makes it look like the camper is almost as big as my house.

But the silver lining to that is THE CAMPER IS FINALLY HOME! After I posted almost a whole year ago that we were going to re-do this camper, we had to replace leaky pipes in our basement, had to buy a new washer and dryer and then had to pay for a really expensive surgery for our dog, Carli. Then when we finally went to fetch the camper, we learned that the wiring was bad and couldn’t haul it home with no tail lights. :( So last summer was not a good summer as far as finances go.

But we’re going to give ‘er another go this year. We’re going to sit down tonight and figure out all that needs to be done (there’s some water damage, hopefully minor) and what we want to be done. We want to accomplish kind of a lot of stuff on a very small budget. We’re hoping to at least repair the damage, paint the interior and update the curtains and cushions. I’ve already bought some cheap accessories to cutesy things up a smidge!

Last spring, we named her Hell on Wheels! (Hellen for short… get it?) I started a “Smash book” that we’ll keep in the camper and put in fun little things we pick up or do on our trips when we hit the road. We mainly hope to a lot of Boondocking since we like to take one of our dogs with us, and a lot of camp grounds and state parks don’t allow alcohol and enforce “quiet time.” Not that we’re loud-ass drunks, we just enjoy a few beers around the campfire at night with a guitar or music. And to be honest, we’re not totally crazy about camping right next to a bunch of randos. We live in the city practically on top of our neighbors, so camping for us is a chance to get the hell outta Dodge and get some fresh air and peace and quiet! I’m sure as it gets hotter in the summer, I will enjoy the A/C in the camper, so we’ll try to find some more spread out camp grounds with hook ups!

Well that’s it for now! Hope everyone has a great week and is able to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather! And happy early St. Patrick’s day! Don’t forget to wear your green!

A smorgasbord of posts, if you will!

I love the word “smorgasbord.”

It reminds me of Templeton the rat from Charlotte’s Web singing about how a fair is a smorgasbord-orgasbord.

Today is the first day of Lent… which means… 40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS CHALLENGE!!

What is this you ask? Well, let me just tell you! It’s an awesome “challenge” that I discovered last year thanks to Ann Marie over at White House Black Shutters. I even blogged about it in more detail in this post of yore!

The Basics: You get rid of one bag/box/whatever of “junk” every day for the 40 days of the challenge, which just so happen to coincide with Lent. You can trash, donate, give away, or do anything you want with the stuff! The whole point is just to get rid of the crap!

Since we did this last year, I have a really helpful gauge to measure by: If we haven’t used/worn the item since LAST year’s 40 Bags, it’s gettin’ the boot. Last year we were so B.A. (that means bad ass) at this, we ended up getting rid of:

  1. A Desk
  2. A Treadmill
  3. A Drum set
  4. A King size mattress, box springs and frame
  5. A CAR!!!!!
  6. A Lawn mower
  7. A Weed whacker
  8. An older programmable thermostat
  9. Xbox Kinect (we used it a grand total of one time in the year+ we had it.)
  10. 13 JUMBO contractor sized bags of clothing and shoes & coats (donated to Goodwill)
  11. 2 large boxes of misc stuff
  12. 3 pieces of “house ware”
  13. And this HUGE pile of crap that came out of the shed that went to bulk pickup. Coolers, a recliner, vanity mirrors, broke tvs, vacuum, carpet cleaner… etc.

Goodbye Trash

And I’ve done a pretty damn good job of keeping up with the clutter over the year. It feels so damn good to purge! I’ve even minimized the amount of “goo” I keep in my shower! I was so sick of knocking crap onto the floor of the shower, so now I have less product than my husband does. 2 of the 4 shelves in my shower are even completely bare. Gasp!

So long story short, we still have (uuuuugh!!) a master bedroom and a laundry room to whip into shape. And unfortunately, someone *cough*Travis*cough* fell a little behind on the shed again, so these are going to be the main focus over the next 40 days. Squee!

Because you know what?

  1. You don’t need all of this stuff.
  2. It won’t make you happier.
  3. Your home should not make you feel overwhelmed or stressed.
  4. You do not need to be embarrassed.
  5. You can do this. (repeat that)
  6. You are not alone in feeling this way.

Jump on the band wagon! It’s fantastic! (I’m selling the Kool-Aid!)

Get all the juiciest of details at the White House Black Shutters website. She even has a cool little printout so you can keep track of all the decrapifying you’ve done!

GOOD LUCK! And, ahem… May the Force be with you.

Castle Crashers

Landolls Pic

Travis, DJ, Mandi and Me – I’m doing what my family refers to as “bite the apple.” I thought everyone else was doing it, but apparently I was the only one, so that explains why I look kind of like an opera singer.

We got another chance to do a little tiny bit of traveling over the Valentines Day weekend! We ventured about 2 hours north of Columbus to a little place in the middle of the Mohican State Forest, called Landoll’s Mohican Castle.

My sister and her main squeeze joined us, which was fantastic because I think we might have been bored otherwise. With it being winter, there wasn’t a whole lot to do, but we had a lot of fun enjoying each other’s company, playing cards and having some adult beverages and relaxing!

It was about 2 degrees out with wind chills around -10 degrees, plus there was sort of a mini-blizzard while we were there, so we couldn’t really go outside and enjoy nature. Except for the part where I fell down in a cemetery that was on the property. #fail

We enjoyed this toasty little fireplace and being all snuggled up together and warm and safe while being snowed in!

He's misplaced his pipe.

He’s misplaced his pipe.

You can read my Yelp! review of Landoll’s here. There were a few snags, but overall the place was really really cool, but we felt like it was a tad over-priced, especially in the winter when there isn’t as much of a draw to the area. We would most certainly go back sometime, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled for specials and discounts or head back when it’s canoeing season, since Mohican is prime for that!

We made friends with one the sweet waitresses at the Stepping Stone Restaurant which was on the grounds of Landoll’s. (HI BECKI!!)

We got a little tip from one of the locals that should come back sometime and check out the Mohican Treehouses! They look so cool (I always wanted a treehouse), AND they have outdoor showers, which is possibly one of my favorite things in the world!

So there’s all of that. We don’t have any more traveling fun planned until Memorial Day weekend, which is our Memorial Day Extravaganza trip. We take a trip every year, but our most “memorable” MDE trip was chronicled here in The Boat From Hell part one AND two!

Honorable Mentions

Some other honorable mentions from my blogging hiatus…

FullSizeRenderMeet Elvis. Travis got this for me for Valentines Day. It is a real freaking stuffed teddy bear. No, we don’t have any idea what we’re going to do with him.

I also got this. Well, one just like this. This photo doesn’t do it any justice.

Which if you’re someone who knows me well, you would probably think that this was a joke.

I’m not “into” guns. I grew up around guns. I’ve used guns, I know how to shoot them, I know about gun safety, I’m actually even a better shot than Travis is and I’m into western movies. Hell, Wyatt Earp is my dude!

But I hate guns.

Not to be all dramatic, but long story-short, I got car-jacked when I was 20. The punk ass stuck a gun in my face. He fired the gun, not at me thank heavens, but it was still a little rattling. I’ve also had several friends who were killed as a result of accidents with guns. Not to mention a few that weren’t accidents. Ugh.

I  also feel like some people use guns (like they do their trucks) as a measuring tape in which to measure their… junk.

Well hubs, my sister and my future-bro-in-law talked me into shooting their shotgun. Lo-and-behold, it was kind of fun. Loud. But fun.

So Travis had hope that he could get me a little more comfortable with the whole gun situation, so he bought me a Ruger 10/22. A rifle with a little less kick, something I can hopefully enjoy without the fear of killing myself or others and/or losing my hearing.

As I mentioned before, it’s been below freezing for weeks here in Ohio, so in order to shoot my new gift, we ventured out to a local shooting range over the weekend. Bad decision. Neither of us had been to a range before, so I guess we didn’t really know what to expect.

It was so… freaking… loud… And crowded. The a-holes a few lanes down had rented a gun from the range. Listening to the staff member talking about it, he exclaimed how it was the largest caliber that they allowed at indoor ranges. Super. The concussion from it was so strong, it actually sucked the breath out of your lungs every time it was fired.

I also stood and watched as each of the 8 dumbasses taking turns firing it kept setting it down on the counter… with the safety off… fully loaded. The staff dude kept asking them over and over if they set the safety. They just laughed and said “Uhh, no. Whoops.”

Whoops my ass.

Aren’t these places supposed to be like the mecca of safety and knowledge?! It was like recess at the gun range. It seems common sense isn’t very common anymore! So after about 15 minutes, we left. Travis was just as frustrated as I was, if not more so.

I won’t let it completely discourage me. I’d just rather set up some tin cans on a fence post like I did when I was a kid and do things the old fashioned way, where I know the people I’m sharing a “range” with aren’t going to shoot me in the face!

Oh spring, come quick!

I’m still alive!

I realize it may seem like I have fallen off the face of the earth, but I haven’t! The last few months have been a whirlwind and the winds of change have been a-blowin’! (And no I’m not talking about the 80’s power ballad by Scorpions.)

This week I finally decided to get back on the proverbial horse and get this blog thang fired up again. I’m taking a small sabbatical from social media for a little bit and directing that time and energy into the blog and my house again. (FINALLY!)

We’ve been chugging away at a few small projects here and there, we got our basement totally cleaned up (minus the laundry room – ugh). And last week we started overhauling on our master bedroom again! (Just a reminder, that this room has been used for storage for 2+ years and the piles of misc. bullshit have really, er… piled up!)

I am also going to do the 40 Bags in 40 days challenge again this year! But that isn’t for another few months. I’m sure I’ll start a running tally again on how much junk we manage to purge.

I also have a new house project possibly in the pipes. I promised hubs if he helped me get the master bedroom cleared out, re-floored and painted, that we would build a new shed this spring. Our old shed was not put on the proper foundation and is literally (<—the correct usage of the word!) rotting from the ground up. Also, we need a shed that is twice the size of our current shed. So friends + family: We’re going to have a shed-raising party this spring! Burgers and dogs will be on us, come spend a Saturday morning/afternoon with us and we will reward you handsomely with delicious noms!

But the big winner-winner-chicken-dinner is… I got a new job in November! BOOM!

I am now working at a design agency in the Arena District here in Columbus. My drive to work now is 12-17 minutes depending on traffic, as opposed to my previous haul of 45-60 minutes one way. That drive was slowly sucking my will to live. In my new job, I’m being utilized and feel like a part of a team, where in my old job, I kind of felt like I was sitting in a corner collecting dust and not being able to shake what my momma gave me! I was at my old job for over 8 years, and I still got love for ’em, but a lady always knows when it’s time to leave.

So, that’s all I’ve got for now. Not much of a post, more of an update! I’m not dead, I promise!

30 Questions

Thirty Questions

It’s been a long week, folks and I am still trying to adjust to daylight savings… so this week, I thought it would be fun to have a loosey-goosey post where I answer all of those hard-hitting questions, like “what’s your favorite cereal?”

  1. What movie deserves a sequel?
    Legend. This was in my top three fav movies as a kid. Most people have never even heard of it. It was a Ridley Scott film, Tom Cruise’s first movie, and also starred a 14 year old Mia Sara, (Ferris Buehler’s girlfriend). It was technically a “fantasy.” Tim Curry played “Darkness.” (Could it beeeee…. Satan?) The whole flick is a battle of good vs. evil and in the end they fling Darkness out into… er… space? (Ok it sounds horrible, but it was a damn good movie!) After he is hurled into space, he starts cackling like some horror movie bad guy, like he wasn’t quite toast yet. I always thought it was a great ending for a sequel.

  2. Who would you hate to see naked?
    Anyone in my family. Not because I don’t want to see their naked body, just because it would be awkward…

  3. What is your favorite kind of cereal?
    I don’t like the sweet stuff, so I’m gonna go with Raisin Bran.

  4. What is one thing you always wanted as a kid, but never got?
    A pony? No I’m just kidding, I had two ponies and they were both assholes.
    I always wanted a go-cart so I could be the champion of my own version of Mario Kart.

  5. If you were in a witness protection program, what would be your alias?
    Nancy Botwin

  6. If you could bring someone famous back from the grave, who would you choose?
    Chris Farley. And then I would hug him.

  7. Where do you not mind waiting?
    Honestly? Nowhere. I HATE waiting. I have the patience of a… really impatient person.

  8. What is your favorite potato chip flavor?
    Salt & Vinegar, they always make me make the “sour face” but I can’t stop!

  9. If you could project yourself into the past, were would you go?
    The “Wild West,” I am totally into the whole Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley thing. And I’ve always wanted to scream that there was a snake in my boot.

  10. What is your most impressive car repair skill?
    I can replace a fan clutch, wheel bearings and a fuel pump and I can change my oil and a flat tire :)
    “If the women don’t find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy!”

  11. What would you refuse to do for one million dollars?
    Eat fecal matter.

  12. What historical figure would you most like to have a discussion with?
    Wyatt Earp

  13. If you could close one fast food chain, due to disgusting food, what would you pick?
    White Castle

  14. What is one thing you refuse to share?
    Gonna steal this one from my husband: I refuse to share bottled drinks with children. They haven’t quite got that no-backwashing thing down yet.

  15. If you went to a psychiatrist, what would he/she say you suffer from?
    Anger issues probably. I think my ratio of people I want to punch vs. not punch is probably higher than most.

  16. What makes you really sleepy?
    Only drinking one alcoholic drink.

  17. What one thing annoys you most at a restaurant?
    Since I can only pick one… probably having to listen to people snort the snot out of their sinuses. The “hocker” sound. Omg, I’m shuddering thinking about it.

  18. What do people do too much of today?
    Social Media. (I’m guilty too.)

  19. What is the most inspiring movie you have ever seen?
    Gone with the Wind, Scarlet O’Hara is one hard-core broad.

  20. What would be the best thing about not having a sense of smell?
    We only have one bathroom in our house… you get the idea!

  21. Where would you not go back to for a vacation?
    Myrtle Beach, not because I hate the place, per se, it’s just that there’s so many other places I’ve never been!

  22. What is the scariest scene you remember from a kid’s movie?
    In Radio Flyer when the kid opens the blinds and Sasquatch is outside his window. I grew up near the “Sasquatch Siting Capitol of the US,” ya’ll and a woman once bought a camper off my sister stating she was going to turn it into her “Sasquatch-hunting headquarters.” My other sister swears she heard Big Foot running through the field behind her house wearing what sounded like “swishy pants.” There’s probably a million other stories I could tell you about ‘Squatch, but I’m trying to break my own record of less than 1000 words on this post! (Final count: 951!)

  23. If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be?
    Facebook, so much drama!

  24. What is the greatest pain you have ever suffered?
    Uhh. What kind of question is this? Is this where women are supposed to put “childbirth”?
    My eardrum burst once. That was pretty freakin’ awful.

  25. If you could buy one object to complete your home, what would it be?
    Another bathroom.

  26. What was your favorite childhood game?
    Truth or Dare

  27. Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
    I “met” a bunch of people from bands, but that doesn’t really count. I smoked a cigarette with Dave Chapelle in Yellow Springs once.

  28. If fat, calories, cholesterol, etc were not an issue, what two foods would you feast on?
    Fajitas and sushi!

  29. If you were directing a movie, who would you cast as your leading man and woman?
    Jimmy Fallon and Janeane Garofalo

  30. What is your favorite movie line or scene?
    “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”


In case you hadn’t caught on, I’m a lady.

Thankfully, I cannot grow a beard or a mustache, so I can’t participate in Novembeard or Movember. I can’t say that I’m terribly disappointed that my husband is not participating either. I mean, I’ll donate towards cancer research, by all means… But does a man have to look like Burt Reynolds in the meantime?

What’s next, Mullet-cember?

So what else does November signify to most people? I’m going to vote food.

It’s the beginning of the glutton cold weather season. We already had flakes here this morning and last weekend, of course it was when our Trail Blazer decided it wanted to forgo having 3rd and 4th gears, so my poor hubster was out in that mess (no garage) wrenching on a car.

Here in Ohio, November is also the beginning of hibernation for a lot of people. It’s dark and cold outside, so we usually prefer to stay inside and eat things. Not to mention the cluster of food-oriented winter holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day… It’s a wonder we don’t all look like Gilbert Grape’s mom by Easter.

I also loooooove to cook! I love trying new recipes and I love adding my own twists to things. I usually never make anything the same way twice! So for this week’s post, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite winter hibernation meals! A-la “Delicious Dish” via Saturday Night Live!

But without Alec Baldwin.

 Chicken Chili

Photo by TeresaS

Cincinnati, Ohio is the “chili capital of the world,” and I think this recipe beats the pants off of anything outta Cincy I’ve ever had. Not to toot my own horn, bu I won 2 chili cook-offs with my beef chili recipe, but seriously, this chicken one is so much better. And… to help relieve some of the guilt, it’s also a Weight Watcher’s recipe. I served it at a few of my get-togethers and most people are floored when I tell them it’s a WW recipe. It’s also a crock pot recipe (my favorite on days where I don’t feel like cleaning my kitchen at night!), so there is almost zero prep time. Get the recipe here.

Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese

My grandma made me a grilled cheese sandwich every day after school when I was in elementary school. When I was in middle and high school, by request, my dad made me one almost every day for breakfast. (I’m not a huge breakfast-food fan.) So needless to say, a good grilled cheese is probably one of my favorite things in the world. There’s even a grilled cheese restaurant in Columbus now, Melt Bar & Grilled that I can’t freaking wait to check out!

Now throw Martha Stewart into the mix and it’s like a slice of heaven! (Yes, I do love Martha. She was a vixen in her younger days! Not that she isn’t now.) This is her recipe for homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I like my Tuna Noodle Casserole like I like my men; Hot and Cheesy! This is a super fast & easy, one-pot meal. You don’t have to bake it in the oven, although you certainly can if you wanted to. I also found that getting the American cheese freshly sliced at the deli counter makes this that much more amazing.

Potato Soup

More good news! This recipe is also a WW recipe and probably also one of the easiest. Again you would never in a million years guess this is a “diet” recipe. (But, if you prefer you could opt for the full fat versions of the soup and cream cheese.) It’s a crock pot recipe and only has 6 ingredients! This is comfort food at its finest! Check out the recipe here!

Beer Bread

I never tried making beer bread until a few years ago. I grew up with a bread machine and remember how much work some of those mediocre-tasting loaves took. So I guess I was always kind of afraid of trying any sort of bread on my own. Well I finally decided, if it sucks I’ll just chuck it out. This recipe only calls for 6 ingredients that we always have around the house! There are a lot of breweries here in Columbus, so now that I have this recipe down pat, I’m really eager to start trying some micro brews in my bread!

Check out the recipe here!

Helpful Beer Bread Tips:

  • Always use room-temperature beer!
  • Darker beers always make better tasting beer bread!
  • When picking a beer, if you have to for whatever reason use a major name brand of swill, (Budweiser, Miller, PBR etc…) please forgo the “light” version!

Mexican-Style Pork and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Stew

Yes, another WW recipe that I swear does not taste like a diet meal! There is something about the sweet potatoes and the kick from the fire roasted tomatoes. I also usually add a little heat with some hot sauce or cracked red pepper. This is slowly becoming one of my favorites. It’s really different, it’s pretty easy and fairly inexpensive. You also get to roast a poblano pepper yourself, which is always Travis’ favorite part! Recipe here.

Chili Mac

This is shockingly one of the few beef recipes I have. And I actually swap out beef for ground turkey most of the time. Who doesn’t love Chili Mac?! Another WW recipe so you can eat without the guilt. This is another one I spice up quite a bit with Sriracha or anything else with some heat I’ve got around the house. This is also a one-pot meal, which is a Christmas miracle in my kitchen since all I have is an apartment-size dishwasher and I HATE having to hand wash dishes.

Not because it’s a pain it the ass, but because it’s gross. Hand washing isn’t as effective as dishwashers. In order to actually sanitize dishes (without the use of bleach), they need to be washed in water at 140 degrees, and most home’s hot water heaters only reach 120 to prevent burns. Also if your appliance is Energy Star rated, it uses less water than hand washing your dishes. True story: Articles about that Here and Here! Get the Chili Mac recipe here!

Please try some of these out! I swear you’ll be a fan! For those of you that are on Pinterest, I have a lots of recipes pinned to my Noms board. I also have tons of waistline-friendly recipes on my Get the Skinny board! I always try to make sure the links to the actual recipes are good and do my best to curate my boards and keep up with dead links!

Got any good winter-warm-me-up recipes to share? Feel free to comment below, Tweet at me or drop me a line here!

Happy Halloween: Top 20 Horror Flicks

Today is my favorite holiday of the year! Happy Halloween, dudes!

One of the very first posts I wrote on my blog was about why I love Halloween so much (read that post here!)

This time of year also means that there is almost guaranteed to be a good movie on TV at night! It seems like all of the networks have their own little way to pay tribute to Halloween. AMC has #AMCFearFest, ABC Family has 13 Nights of Halloween, SYFY has 31 Days of Halloween. Needless to say, we do a lot of TV viewing in October at our house.

So Hubster and I decided that we should rack our brains and narrow down our top 20 favorite horror flicks of all time! So you can do what we do: Order a pizza or curl up with a bowl of popcorn and some hot/hard cider and enjoy a few good jumps tonight, like we do every year on Halloween! We have a few traditions in our house, but this one is taken the most seriously! (Aside from a new possible tradition with my bro-in-law, DJ where we save our Christmas trees, then set them on fire in the yard in the spring.)

Travis wants the XXXXXTRA Butter Popcorn, I call dibs on the white cheddar popcorn!

So without further ado… Because I’ve always wanted to be Elvira Mistress of the Dark and be my own Horror Hostess I present to you… (cue lightning strike sound effects!)


20. Psycho (1998)

This was a remake of Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller. It’s about a young woman embezzling money from her boss who decides to skip town and picks the wrong motel to stay at! When it comes to most things, I think the originals are the best, but for some reason, I tend to prefer remakes when it comes to movies. I like the updates and the fact that they make them a little gorier! This was the first Vince Vaughn movie I’d ever seen, he played the perfect Norman Bates!

19. The Shining (1980)

A family travels to a creepy hotel in the mountains to serve as the winter care-takers. Jack Nicholson’s character is a writer and takes the opportunity of peace and quiet to write a book. Well he doesn’t get very far before he starts flippin’ out on his wife and son. It’s bizarre, it’s creepy, it’s a damn good flick. This movie coined the phrases “Red Rum!” and “Heeeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!”

18. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Speaking of coined phrases… “They’re coming to get you, Barbara!” is probably the most quoted phrases in my house. This is, in my opinion, the #1 cult classic zombie flick of all time and was George A. Romero’s first movie ever. In 1968, people had seen “horror films” but nothing like this. Even young children were permitted to attend since in ’68, the MPAA Film Rating System didn’t exist. As film critic, Roger Ebert said “I don’t think they knew what hit them.” Haha! Suckas!

17. Scream

I’m sure there are a lot of people that will probably threaten to punch me in the face for this pick… but Scream holds a special place in my heart. This movie came out in 1996 when I was in 7th grade. We went to the “old movie theater” in my hometown and saw this movie for 99 cents… at least 15 times. It was the first real horror movie of my generation and was directed by scream king Wes Craven. (You know, the creator of Freddy Kreuger?!) The killer in this movie is Ghostface.

When I was 15, I wore a Ghostface mask in a haunted house I worked in. My sole purpose was to usher people safely down a flight of stairs into the haunted house… well needless to say, most of the hillbillies who were our paying customers were drunk as skunks by the end of the night. One dumbass started to fall down the stairs and threw his hands out and latched onto my… er… chest… to keep from completely wiping out. He loudly screamed at the top of his lungs, “Duuuuuude! Scream guy isn’t a guy, I totally just grabbed a boob!”

I could have died.

16. Cujo

Although, to be honest, this Stephen King movie about a giant crazy ass St. Bernard infected with rabies, actually makes me cry… There’s still something about it that is horrifying. I guess because it could possibly happen. My mom always swore our neighbor lady’s dog was Cujo. She would call ahead and make her lock the dog up before she went to visit because the dog actually would bite her tires. Woof!

15. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

A vacationing family gets stranded in the desert and are being stalked by a group of weirdos who live in the hills. Although admittedly I never saw the original, I can’t imagine anything being more horrifying than the remake. This one stuck with me, particularly after I went to a weekend-long music festival and I heard a girl in line for the port-a-john exclaiming she didn’t want to go because she was afraid someone would pull some “the Hills Have Eyes bullshit.” This movie is promised to make you feel… uncomfortable.

14. The Evil Dead Trilogy (1981)

Admittedly, when I watched the first Evil Dead for the first time with my then-boyfriend Travis, I didn’t really get it.

So before you delve into this cult classic, understand this… The Writer/Director Sam Raimi and the star of this film, Bruce Campbell had been friends their entire lives when they produced this gem. At the tender age of 20, the two ventured into the woods and began a project they considered a “rite of passage” called The Evil Dead. They spent less than $100,000.00 to make it. The cabin in the film is located in Morristown, Tennessee and is actually where everyone on the set had to stay during the 12 weeks of filming! The conditions sucked so bad, on the last few days of filming, they had to resort to burning the furniture to stay warm! The movie was eventually released and actually out-grossed other large-budget releases like The Shining! It earned a total $2,400,00 worldwide, nearly eight times it’s production budget!

Then they created Evil Dead II out of “desperation.” It is considered to be a comedy horror and a parody sequel to Evil Dead, but was actually more like a re-make of the first film. It was definitely was corny, but immediately made me a Bruce Campbell fan for life.

Then came Army of Darkness… where our hero Ash (Bruce Campbell) is trapped in the middle ages and is forced to battle the undead while attempting to return to present day. Let’s just say people like… my grandma probably wouldn’t appreciate any of the Evil Dead movies.

If you liked the original Evil Dead, don’t bother with the 2013 remake, it was a total fart-fest.

13. The Crazies (2010)

Another remake about the residents of a small rural town mysteriously plagued by insanity. Also guaranteed to make you start locking your doors at car washes. Starring the dude from the show Justified!

12. The Woman in Black

This is probably another controversial pick. Starring Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe… or Daniel Boringcliffe) as “A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.” – IMDb

Something about this movie just didn’t sit right with me… from the marsh “scene” to the creepy house. I definitely flinched and shrieked a few times.

11. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

This might be Travis’ #1 based solely on the pain it brought to him… The pain from laughter as he rolled around on our bed as tears streamed down his face from cry-laughing. This really was hysterical, starring Alan Tudyk who I believe is highly under-appreciated!

In this Horror Comedy, all Tucker and Dale wanna do is fix up their vacation home when they are attacked by college kids who start “hucking themselves into the wood chipper!” This is usually on Netflix and is worth a look-see! But don’t forget the tissues!

10. Zombieland

Ahhh the coveted top 10… In this zombie slaying tale, the characters are simply named after their hometown. The star of the film just so happens to be Columbus! (As in Columbus, Ohio which just so happens to be my lovely home!) It follows four characters as they join forces to travel across a post-zombie-apocalyptic America in search of an amusement park. It has Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson in it, what more could you ask for?! Also a horror comedy!

9. Shaun of the Dead

This awesome flick starring two of possibly the funniest men on the planet, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in another zombie comedy. It gives people like me real hope, who I previously thought would have no chance of survival in a zombie outbreak! You really can be a deadbeat and still hack it! It also will make you giggle every time someone orders a Bloody Mary!

8. World War Z

By far the most realistic of all the zombie flicks. This movie focuses on the outbreak being a real illness and not really being “zombies.” Brad Pitt (Owooogah!) is an ex-government dude trying to save the day and his family from the disease taking over the world. This movie actually sparked a genuine conversation between my family members as to what we would do in the event of a zombie outbreak. I can’t tell you our plan… but let’s just say, we’re probably going to be the ones to survive and repopulate the earth… using Brad Pitt.

7. Dawn of the Dead

Ok, another remake and possibly the most horrifying of all, (after the next on the list) because in this zombie movie (sorry, another one…) the bastards can run! The name pretty much explains it all. This one made the list because I tried to keep in mind any movies that actually made me change my habits, and this one did just that. I used to have to sleep with my bedroom door open because I wanted to hear if someone was coming to get me so I could shoot them in the face before they knew what was coming. However after I watched this movie, I am now a door-shut kinda person! If you watch the first 5 minutes of the movie, you’ll know what I’m talking about!

This flick also inspired my zombie survival plan. Again, can’t divulge any details. Because then I won’t get to repopulate the world with Brad.

6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

The BEST remake of all time. A group of kids end up being stalked down and hacked up one by one by a chainsaw-wielding maniac and his family. The original version never really showed much… but this one… Lordy! I saw this in college and spent most of the movie with my coat over my head. I explained my aversion to chainsaws in that previous post. I can’t even stand the smell of them! Ugh.

5. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

“The next great psycho horror slasher has given a documentary crew exclusive access to his life as he plans his reign of terror over the sleepy town of Glen Echo, all the while deconstructing the conventions and archetypes of the horror genre for them” – IMDb

We rented this through Netflix on accident a few years back and it is one of our favorites now. Parts of it are really funny, and has really unique plot and has some crazy twists and even has Robert Englund, and Hershel (Scott Wilson) from the Walking Dead in it!

4. Halloween (1978)

This is the quintessential movie of the season. I argue with Travis all the time about it being the best of the three O.G. slashers (Freddy, Jason or Michael Myers). It’s the only realistic of the three and who isn’t afraid of a little kid who murdered his sister and was then institutionalized for 17 years, then broke out to return and finish what he started? The original version starring Jamie Lee Curtis was the perfect horror movie.

3. Halloween (2007)

The original was the perfect horror movie… until my main man Robert “Bobby” Zombie remade it. Again, probably another controversial pick… I liked that this version goes a little more in depth in the story line and explains the back story of Michael growing up and what made him finally lose it. The kid who plays young Michael is adorbs and the adult version of Mikey is played by Tyler Mane, the former pro-wrestler/X-Man Sabretooth… although you never see his face. While, Sheri Moon Zombie, who I tell people is my sister, plays Michael’s mom, whose poor, trailer-parkish, stripper, dirt-bag-bf-having self probably was the main reason Michael turned into a bad egg.

2. Pet Sematary

A family’s new home holds the power of life after death! I don’t know why this is my number 2. Probably because I like almost all Stephen King movies and loved all the books I’ve read. Maybe it’s the fact that Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) is the neighbor? Maybe because the family cat is a zombie? Or that The Ramones did a song for the soundtrack! If you haven’t seen this movie from 1989 yet, you’ve been living under a rock!

1. The Devil’s Rejects

Don’t let this one’s predecessor House of 1000 Corpses deter you. Possibly one of the most twisted, yet quotable movies of all time. Also written and directed by my boy, Bobby Zombie! This is about the hillbilly, murderin’ Firefly family who take to the road to escape an Elvis lovin’ policeman whose one goal is to seek vengeance upon them for killing his brother.

Bill Moseley, who plays one of the main characters, Otis P. Driftwood, said even he had a hard time carrying out some of the sick crap he had to do while acting in this delightful cinematic adventure! Sid Haig as the creepy clown Captain Spaulding is probably one of my favorite antiheroes of all time. This movie also has THE BEST soundtrack of all time, with tons of southern rock jams that really make it feel polished. This movie is NOT for the faint of heart.

Honorable Mentions

Travis suggested Stephen King’s IT, which I have not seen since I was probably 8. So I couldn’t really write about from a place of understanding, since all I really remember is that it’s about a clown played by a Sweet Transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania Tim Curry. It was also technically, according to IMDb a TV mini-series, not a movie.

Also, I totally acknowledge that I excluded all Freddy and Jason movies. While I did not sleep for nearly a year after watching Freddy vs. Jason when I was in 4th grade at a friend’s house (which is why I was not allowed to have sleep-overs again for a few years after that), they’re still not really up there for me. I felt that they were over done and I haven’t even seen a lot of either of those “series”. So while “in real life” neither Jason nor Freddy can die, it was a difficult decision but I felt like I had to kill them from my list. Sorry Freddy/Jason lovers.

Did I forget any? Feel free to comment, you guys are kinda quiet.

Bucket, Bucket, Who’s Got the Bucket?

After turning 31 last week, I realized that I’m probably more than 1/3 of the way “done.” (You know what I mean, don’t make me get all dark about it!)

But I realized that I’ve always talked about all the things that I want to see and do in my life, but I have never really thought about it in great detail. So since the Bucket List has been on TV about 7 time in the past few weeks, I thought maybe I’d take a stab at my own! After writing 3 massive posts in the past few weeks, I figure it’d also be a nice change to post something sort of short-ish. I’m sure by the time I get done typing this post, it will be 3,000+ words like the previous 3. Sigh.

Maybe writing shorter posts should be on my Bucket List?

I included my top 50, in no particular order. Because, well… I’m really indecisive and I really want to do everything on this list, so it doesn’t really matter in which order they get done, right? I also included things that were previously on my “mental” list, that I have completed, because I thought they were cool.

Without further ado…

The Unhipdotcom Bucket List

  1. Swim with Dolphins
  2. Get a tattoo
  3. See the northern lights
  4. Go Scuba Diving
  5. Visit the Grand Canyon
  6. Buy a House
  7. Go Parasailing

    Maybe preferably on a lake so I’m not eaten by sharks…

  8. Fall in Love
  9. Visit Australia
  10. Visit Hawaii
  11. Visit all 50 US States
  12. Visit Travis’ birthplace – Landstuhl, Germany
  13. Road trip on Route 66
  14. Take Travis to Niagara Falls
  15. Be a part of a Flashmob
  16. Stay in an over-water bungalow in Bora Bora
  17. Visit Yellowstone National Park
  18. Swim in a hot spring
  19. Drive a motorcycle (with a license)
  20. Deep sea fishing
  21. Snowboard in Colorado
  22. Own a beach house
  23. Build a tree house

    I’m sure with the help of my sisters, we could accomplish this, no?

  24. Surf
  25. See wild ponies

    Even though I’m not really a huge fan of horses (they bite… really hard and can smell your fear!), I grew up on a horse farm and it would be really awesome to see real wild horses!

  26. Learn to play an instrument
  27. Canoe the Boundary Waters in Minnesota

    My family did this several times before I was born, including once when my mom was 6 months pregnant with me! (Go mom!) I’ve always wished I could have gone… like outside of the womb. Cause you know, everyone wants to poop on a rock and bury it.

  28. Visit Amsterdam
  29. Fly 1st Class
  30. Send a message in a bottle
  31. Swim under a waterfall
  32. Breathe Fire

    I almost did this at a party once. But my BFF Jenny-face convinced me that since both me, and the guy teaching me/holding the jug of water to extinguish me, should something “go wrong,” were both drunk at the time, that it probably wasn’t the best idea. Someday…

  33. Pet a “big cat” (My cat doesn’t count. A lion, tiger, etc)
  34. Feed an elephant a peanut
  35. Learn to speak another language
  36. Visit Ireland
  37. Visit New Orleans
  38. Have my palm read
  39. Take a real mud bath
  40. Catch and eat fish/seafood the same day
  41. Make my own wine
  42. Drink milk from a fresh coconut
  43. Dance on a Bar
  44. Go to a paint party

    I don’t really know why, I just always thought this looked like fun. Probably because I hate doing my hair and getting dressed up to “go out” and I would feel less inclined to doll myself up if I knew I was going to get douched with paint. Seems logical, right?

  45. Go Paintballing
  46. Drive a 1972 Chevelle – But I’ll settle for a 1970 Chevy Nova or a 1969 Dodge Charger

    The latter two so I can pretend to be Stuntman Mike in my favorite flick Death Proof.

  47. Race a car at a drag strip (see previous)
  48. Sleep in a Haunted House/hotel/location
  49. Cliff dive
  50. Swim in a Mexican Cenote

Honeymoon Part 3: Bermuda

In last week’s post, Part Two of our saga, I over-shared about the Norwegian Breakaway and about our first time sailing with Norwegian. If you missed out on that monster of a post, you can read that here!

And two weeks ago I posted Part One of our adventure, our first time in the Big Apple, which you can read here!

This week, I’m going to wrap up this whole fan-dangled trifecta with the grand finale… Bermuda! I will try to keep it short & sweet, but there’s no guarantees.

Admittedly, neither of us knew much about Bermuda before we decided to cruise there. We knew there were songs about it. We knew that people get lost in the Bermuda Triangle. And that there are things called Bermuda Shorts, which I have a very hard time taking seriously…

Bermuda shorts: “Sorry Smithers, I’m going to be late to the meeting, George Bush is here with me and he can’t run, he’s afraid he’ll fall and skin his knee.”

Here is Bermuda on a map!

The sunset the night before we arrived in Bermuda!

The sunset the night before we arrived in Bermuda!

We did a little bit of reading up beforehand and read Bermuda one of the more quiet islands of the Atlantic/Caribbean. There aren’t any ‘booze cruises’ or all-you-can-drink beach parties. Which honestly sounded good to us, the older we get, the less we like being around drunk strangers.

GEEK FACTS & NUMBERS: Because I like facts!

Bermuda – 64,237
Columbus – 822,553
The entire county (Logan) where I grew up (just for comparison sake!) – 45,858
Land Area:
Bermuda – 20.6 sq mi
Columbus – 217.17 sq mi
Logan County – 458.43 sq mi

Bermuda: Day One

I woke up around 5:00 am the morning we were due in Bermuda. I happened to sit up in bed and saw a huge pilot boat whiz past! I accidentally woke Travis up in my scramble to leap out of bed to run to the door and investigate. So we brewed a few cups of coffee and took up post on our balcony. As we sipped our crappy coffee, we watched as tiny lights started to become visible on the dark horizon. Bermuda!

Bermuda is shaped like a fish hook. We docked on the very tip of the inside of the hook.


The multi-storied building in the top center of this photo is the old prison. Weird, but now makes for a pretty backdrop to the little town at the dockyard.

By the time we were beginning to dock, it was about 7 am and the sun was up. The dock is located inside the tip of the “hook,” so when our boat finally docked, you could see land surrounding the whole boat. It was really nice since our side of the boat (starboard) was faced away from the dock, so we had a gorgeous view of all of the beautiful homes dotting the hills across the channel/inlet thing instead of just staring at the nothingness of the open sea.

Heritage Wharf, where we docked. When you got off the ship, you went through this building that served as the customs building.

Heritage Wharf, where we docked. When you got off the ship, you went through this building that served as the customs building. It was capable of serving two ships at once, however we were the only ship in port during our three days there.

We were like two kids on Christmas morning as we scarfed our breakfast down to get ready for our first day in Bermuda! We were going to Snorkel Park and spending a day at the beach! Our package included unlimited use of snorkel gear, two loungers, one umbrella and an hour rental for a paddle boat or kayak. The beach was within walking distance of the ship and was kind of in this weird little area right next to the islands old fort walls.


The water, in all of the literature we read, promised to be “gin clear.” While it was a beautiful turquoise color, I’m not sure what kind of gin they’ve been drinking to compare it to! It wasn’t as clear as some of the other Caribbean locations we’ve been to like Georgetown, Grand Cayman or St. Croix, USVI, but it was still beautiful.

Not quite "gin clear."

Not quite “gin clear.”

So we raced approximately 75 other people for prime real estate on the beach to set up our loungers. Have you ever seen the movie Far and Away, with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, where in the end, the go out west to take part in a land rush? Well this is what it was like to stake a spot of beach.

We quickly discovered the beach was a little over-populated as we chose the last few lounges left whose front legs were actually sitting in the water. At least it was water front, right?

Well, sort of… we tried to grin and bear it as a gaggle of kids playing in the waves splashed water and flung piles of sand into the air and all over us as we tried to settle in and get sunscreen on etc. Before we even left our house several days before, we made a pact that no matter what, we were going to try to remain calm, cool and collected no matter what. This is something we both struggle with on a day-to-day basis as we deal with our menagerie of 2 ferrets, 2 dogs and a cat, our fast-paced jobs, and long commutes in a large city full of people who don’t drive well. Life is a rat-race! Sometimes screaming and tempers happen! But on vacation, we vowed, we would be the damn the Mayors of Happy-Town!

As a lump of sand catapulted off of a little boy’s shovel, who was leaping up and down and stomping in the sand in front of our chairs, flew into my eye, Travis smiled and reminded me… “Happy-Town!”


The view from our little stake of land. I had to cut this pic far to the right in order to keep little Bobby and his shovel out of the frame.

But the view was still beautiful. And slowly people started going out into the water and the beach didn’t seem quite as congested. So we got our gear and headed out for our own snorkel adventure!


Here's the view facing the beach from the little rock peninsula that leads out to the reef. You can tell by this photo how small the beach is.

Here’s the view facing the beach from the little rock peninsula that leads out to the reef. You can tell by this photo how small the beach is.


This photo is taken from the bath house facing out towards another portion of the beach on the other side of the peninsula which we apparently weren't allowed to access until our side of the beach was completely full.

This photo is taken from the bath house facing out towards another portion of the beach on the other side of the peninsula which we weren’t allowed to access.

The Snorkel Monster

The Snorkel Monster

Bermuda: Day Two

The next day we decided to have another beachy day and go to Horseshoe Bay Beach, which was about a 30 minute bus ride south of the dockyard. It is the most famous of all the pink-sand beaches in Bermuda. It’s listed as a family-friendly beach, since it has a lifeguard on duty, a cafe, shower house, restrooms and water sports equipment rental. It is also fairly large so we assumed it would be the best option at being able to sprawl out and not be on top of hundreds of other vacationers.



The water here was much clearer than at the snorkel park and was the most incredible shades of teals and blues. The sand had just the slightest hint of pink (you can read why their sand is pink here) and stretched out for quite a distance in a sort-of horse shoe shape. Facing out to sea, you could see different shades of blue which were different reef beds and sand bars and the varying depths. You can see all of those much better in aerial photos. Some of the parts of them stuck up out of the water several hundred feet out from the beach and you could watch as the waves crashed against them. I kept thinking it was some sort of sea creature leaping out of the water at first, but then realized it was just rocks!


Horseshoe Bay Aerial

The waves here were surprisingly huge! We swam and played in the waves for a few hours. This place was probably the second closest thing to paradise that I’ve ever experienced. (Our first closest thing to paradise is Rainbow Beach, St. Croix. These pictures don’t do it justice.)

This is my favorite photo of all time. Travis was swimming out for the first time, getting ready to dive into an oncoming wave.

This is my favorite photo of all time. Travis was swimming out for the first time, getting ready to dive into an oncoming wave.

RIMG0182There was even a little cove nearby where some of the families with smaller children could swim, protected from the harsh waves of the open ocean on the main part of the beach. There were lots of little colorful fish here that people were feeding cereal out of their hands.

RIMG0141We snapped this one last pic before we headed back to the bus. It doesn’t do the beach much justice, but we will always remember how gorgeous it was!


This photo was taken from the dockyard square. But it was crazy to see the hulking cruise ship from miles away as we drove back into the dockyard!

 Bermuda: Day Three

Since we had already done exactly what we had wanted the first two days, we decided to mosey around town the third day and pick up some souvenirs and do some shopping.

Dining in Bermuda was very expensive. It was about $20 for a hamburger on several of the menus that we checked out. So we did all of our dining for free on the ship.

The shopping was very fairly priced and got small trinkets and things for everyone. The people of Bermuda were extremely pleasant (aside from the bar tender named “Tequila” at Snorkel Park who sounded like a catty girl as he preached to people about their bad manners for not saying “good morning” to him first before placing their order. Sigh.)

Even though we only saw about 1/3 of the island, which was MUCH bigger than we anticipated, we couldn’t believe how clean and beautiful it was. And we later found out, we didn’t even go into the higher end area of the island. Even their old bus shelters were covered in murals freshly painted by the school students. There were no “slums,” that we saw anyway. All of the homes were also freshly painted and cared for with well manicured lawns. The roofs of the homes were all cement, painted white, we assume to reflect the sun’s heat and help to keep the home cooler in the warmer months.

Bermuda is a British territory and there are a few reminders of that, like their telephone booths. Although there are no longer phones inside them, they still stand throughout the island. They’re made of cast-iron or some other hard-core metal, so I’d imagine it’d be a task to remove them!

RIMG0132We were a little disappointed there were no free WIFI spots, not even for customers of restaurants or bars. Call us spoiled Americans, but we’re used to free WIFI everywhere in the states. We even found free WIFI in Jamaica and the Grand Caymans on our last vacation. We hadn’t spoken to our family in 5 days, and figured since I had an aunt in the hospital when we left and people were watching our house and animals, we probably should check in. So we found a WIFI station that sold packages (at $10/hour) the connection was slow, but worked well enough to shoot out a few emails.

We walked around for a few hours, but even after a few Gosling’s ginger beers (non-alcoholic soda, kinda like ginger ale), the heat and humidity quickly got the best of us. I hadn’t even had a chance to have a Dark ‘n Stormy or a Rum Swizzle, two of Bermuda’s “national drinks.” :( But it was too damn hot and the only bar we went to, Tequila – that bar tender, was a jerk. We were due to be back on-board by 4:30, so we bid farewell to Bermuda as we stood on the pier, admiring the view.

On the pier, we watched as this guy tried his hand at “Coconut Rockets.” They’re jet-powered shoes that are connected to this jet ski. As the driver of the jet ski opens the throttle, the jet ski’s jets are diverted into the black hose connected to the coconut rocket shoes, which then lift the wearer up out of the water, sometimes 10 feet or higher! We winced as we watched this guy and several others before him bite it over and over again and do face-plants into the water again. It looked like it might be fun, albeit painful and tiresome.


Yes, we took a lot of selfies... it was our honeymoon, give us a break!

Yes, we took a lot of selfies… it was our honeymoon, give us a break! Look, there’s Coconut Rockets over our shoulder!


The little inlet next to the ship where Coconut Rockets was goin’ down.

After we got back on the ship, a quick afternoon rain blew in and from our balcony we saw not only one rainbow…

RIMG0196But TWO rainbows! You could see both of them from end to end, although they were too close to get in frame on my camera. It was a pretty grand finale!

RIMG0197We set sail at 5 pm that day and 2 short days later we were back in the states where we caught this amazing sunrise in New York City.

RIMG0312We spent the next 11 hours in a car driving home, sick with colds. :( But we didn’t turn on the radio one time on that leg of the trip either and just enjoyed our last day of our honeymoon together, even though we were cooped up in a car.

We love new adventures, but I love coming home to my bed and shower too! Travis has more of a gypsy-soul and always craves new horizons, so it will be interesting to see where life takes us next and where we plant our feet one day.

If you made it through all three of these posts, holy cow! Thanks for sticking it out with me! And to think I thought originally I could cram them all into one post! HA! ;)