This was taken by Jennifer Edling at our Eb picnic in Minneapolis just last week??? Feels like eternity ago already...
Oh what a beautiful mornin'
Oh what a beautiful day
I've got a wonderful feeling
Everything's going my way...
... right up until I got off the freeway here in Atlanta... but I'll get into that in a minute!
We got up this morning - get this - at 10:52 am.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA THAT WAS AAAAAWWWWEEESSSOOMMMEEEE!!!!!!!
[Big smile - I crack myself up, really.]
Seriously, I was up till about 4:30 working on the slideshow, and we didn't set an alarm, so I still managed to get a decent "morning's" sleep! Ang needed the sleep, as did Ali. Oh, man, what a wonderful treat to get to sleep in so late. Parents, you KNOW what I'm talking about.
Mary and Tom's homestead...
Us, Mary, and two of her amazing 6 children, Kevin and Sheila...
My sister Mary and me...
Ali playing with one of her cousins, Brendan...
We took our time getting out of the house today since it wasn't as long to Atlanta as I first thought. It was only 4.5 hours (don't tell the cops). Anyway, another beautiful day for a drive; high 60's and sunny. Hardly a cloud in the sky. Ali napped for almost 2 hours in the car! I'm tellin' ya... we lived a charmed life...
...right up until my google navigator told me to exit off the freeway about 4 miles too soon. Not a big deal; as Ali reminded me, "but daddy, you LIKE taking the scenic route!" However, it was a sign of things to come. We got to our Inn and there was no parking, it is on a busy street, and there are restaurants and bars beside AND below the Inn itself. We had to drive around looking for street parking (yikes - everything we own of value is sitting on a dark side street right now on a night where people overload on stupid), and once we got to the hotel, the guy tells me he doesn't have a room for me.
I send flaming daggers through his skull from my twin turrets of eyeballs.
Once he extinguishes the flames in his brain, he scrambles for a back up plan. He sees I am holding a very tired and cranky 4.5 yr old girl, who despite her crabbiness, IS the cutest thing on two feet. He finally says, "[sigh] okay, I'm going to kick someone else out of their room." I thought that was a little harsh and unnecessary, but he went on to explain that he meant that he would give me the last double that was being saved for someone else, because he was pretty sure they didn't have kids. That was pretty cool. He told me he has a little one at home and the look in my eyes made him think of how up the creek HE would have been if the tables were reversed. Pretty cool, right?
Anyhow, in hindsight, I wish he never gave us the room! LOL. It's Saturday night on Halloween weekend, and this "Inn" happens to be sitting on top of a rock and roll lounge and next door to an outside patio that has a rock band playing tonight! The "Inn" is old, and the floor shakes from the snare drum, bass guitar, and now the DJ (who it sounds like MAY have just finished up for the night! Oh, to be 24 again. None of this would have phased me because I'd be DOWN THERE! LOL. Now I drive a minivan, bring Dora the Explorer toys to the diner, and can braid hair like no straight guy I know. Ah, parenthood.
Oh well, what's a little eccentricity and culture right? NO problem, except we are trick or treating IN THE FRENCH QUARTER in New Orleans tomorrow night and figured we'd get all the eccentricity we needed - and then some - there!
The best part? Ali, being the rock star that she is, LOVES THIS PLACE! Man, it took everything under the sun for her to finally go to sleep; she was digging all the people walking the street below in costume and listening to the music pump through the floorboards! Hilarious. I just went with it. It wasn't until Ang had crashed out and Ali was bugging HER that I had to lay down the hammer. I told her, "If you want to stay up and party with me that's cool, but leave your mother alone, she needs sleep!" With that, she promptly laid down next to mommy and CRASHED out... in my spot. Guess I'm sleeping solo.
This is where Ali started at 10:00 pm... in her bed...
... and this is where she ended up at 1:00 am... in OUR bed!
We think we've picked up a little stomach bug in the van; the number of empty alka seltzer wrappers and tums tablets seems to have taken a steady upswing over the past 48 hours. Please pray for happy tummies, especially since we're not going to be that nice to them tomorrow night!
I can't wait to post tomorrow night. I can't wait for you to see the Ringgolds in costume this year! After the year we had, there was only one option. You'll see... wanna take bets in the comments? Post what you think we're gonna be while we're struttin' our stuff on Bourbon street (tomorrow afternoon, mind you; Ali may be a rock star, but she is still only 4.5).
Lastly, I want to thank the Tacky commenter for again being the necessary antagonist/catalyst the other night. Your comment and my rebuttal galvanized a whole troop of people to step up and take action in helping us spread the word and raise money. Nice job!
A slap in the face can carry a blessing in it, if you but look for it.
P.S. Again, here are the details for the upcoming Gatherings and CA memorial:
Bella's TX Blog Gathering:
Tuesday, Nov. 2nd @ 5:00pm
Community Christian Church
1300 Holly Drive
Richardson, TX 75080
Bella's AZ Blog Gathering:
Friday, Nov. 5th @ 5:00pm
Franciscan Renewal Center ("The Casa")*
5802 E. Lincoln Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
*= This has yet to be confirmed - though unlikely, be prepared for a site change
RSVP to email@example.com with what potluck you will bring.
Bella's CA Memorial Service
Sunday, Nov. 14th @ 2:00pm
The Wallace All-Faiths Chapel
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
One last thing; if you want to contact me directly either on facebook or gmail, that's perfectly fine. It's better than leaving a comment as I cannot reply to you directly from the comment. That's the one thing that irks me about blogger; for those who sign in and say who they are; google shows their profile, but stops short of letting you email them. FAIL. I guess they wouldn't want to be mistaken for a social network. LOL.
And now, I give you the slide show from our EB Gathering yesterday, and a personal request picture of "Back-in-the-day Bella!"