Monday, July 30, 2012

a walk down an olympic memory lane...

My first trip to Greece was in 2004 with a group of students and two teachers from Centenary College. It was part of a module required for graduation. This trip was probably one of the most monumental in my experience traveling abroad to date. I still remember it so vividly. I loved the Greek culture from the moment I stepped off the plane. I loved the fact that the trip was planned out by the teachers, so it was literally carefree. I enjoyed not knowing anyone in the group before leaving, but returning with new friends. The trip was filled with educational landmarks with enough time in each location to get lost and take it all in. In fact, the tour bus did leave me behind in one location because I had wondered off exploring... thank goodness someone noticed 15 minutes later that I wasn't in my seat or I might still be there! It was such a growth opportunity for me at a mere 20 years old.

Every time the Olympic Games roll around I think of this trip to Greece and our time spent in Athens, as they were just few months out from hosting the event in 2004. We got to view the stadium, stand next to the Olympic flame, and even run where the first Olympic Games took place. Did you know that the first ancient Olympic Games were held in Olympia, Greece in 776 BC? Let's take a walk down memory lane...

 Yes, we saw Troy in Greece! Can you believe they had an intermission for a smoke and bathroom break?!
The beaches were in-cre-di-bly beautiful! I may or may not have gone to a topless beach...
 The little old ladies in the small towns were the cutest, dressed in all black dresses and scurrying through the narrow streets. Most of them really did look like the My Big Fat Greek Wedding grandmother, Yia Yia.
These pictures make it look like I went to Greece in 1972! Isn't amazing how technology has changed so much in 8 years! I hope you all are watching and enjoying the Olympic Games as much as I am.

Ευχαριστώ πολύ 
for visiting.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

dreams are nothing more than wishes...

{Sunday evening: birthday weekend}

Before heading over to my parents house for dinner and b-day cake, we stopped into Oyster Bar to meet Russell and Philip for a margarita - no salt, on the rocks. mmmmmm...
I just couldn't stand that our Shreveport-Bossier Film Tour didn't end on 15 locations on the 15th of July, so I am considering my Dad's birthday song serenade worthy of movie status. Hudson obviously agrees with me.
Mom made a superb meal for the family. Uncle Garry, Aunt Pam, and Stephen joined us and the "special plate" was used, naturally! {wink, wink} We read birthday horoscopes, talked about the Bachelorette, Facebook updates, and how we would like "to go."
Well, I have really strung out this birthday weekend! Check out part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4. It's going to be a great year!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shreveport-Bossier Film Trail...

{Sunday afternoon: birthday weekend}

Tison, Lauren, and I went on a photo scavenger hunt Sunday afternoon, inspired by all the sites in Shreveport-Bossier that have been used by the movie industry. Go on your own tour using this pdf. We didn't exactly go in the exact order suggested by the map or even make it to all the places on the list, but we sure did enjoy our afternoon exploration.
 Let's Go To The Movies - Aileen Quinn;Albert Finney;Ann Rein by Various Artists on Grooveshark
 {unbelievable acoustics, imported hand carved teak wood, German glass light fixtures etched by hand, and the simplest dressing rooms imaginable}
{This jail cell prop is from an actually film set left in the basement of the Municipal. It looks like steal, but it's made out of wood. Cinemagic, eh?
 {Tison also walked up yellow fever hill. During the time of the yellow fever outbreak, the grave diggers couldn't make the plots fast enough, so they buried approximately 1000 Shreveportians in a mass grave. Nothing like going to a cemetery on your birthday!}
 Just in case you missed it above, here's the film tour brochure.

time well spent at Marilynn's Place...

{Sunday morning: birthday weekend}

This makes the fourth time I have been to Marilynn's Place, two of which have been for Sunday brunch. I have to admit I much prefer the brunch menu. I ordered the mexican breakfast and it was very favorful. It is a tower of jalapeno cornbread served with eggs and bacon, topped with a spicy cream sauce and green onion. Tison and Lauren selected the shrimp and grits, which I ate directly off of their plates. The roasted tomatoes matched with the cheesy grits were melt in your mouth good. The beignets were a perfect side dish for the three of us- one a piece. They tasted like Grands flaky biscuits with powdered sugar on top, but I'm not complaining. The strawberry preserves were a perfect compliment to this sweet treat. The newly enclosed patio is very loud and when it started to rain, it leaked through the ceiling. This old gas station is a work in progress, although it is quickly becoming my favorite brunch spot.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

after ballooning...

{Saturday: birthday weekend}

I was up so early for my ballooning adventure on Saturday that I wasn't even sure what to do with myself at 7:45 am when I was done. I went and had coffee with my parents, then met with Chessi and Stafford for a champagne breakfast. We picked up Another Broken Egg to-go, played with Stafford, and did some yoga. {my hamstrings are STILL sore!}
He is such a ham ;) After I left Chessi's house, Lauren and I went to Hollywood Nails in Pierremont Mall for pedicures. The electricity when out in the middle of it, leaving the massage chair punching into my back and my feet in cold water, but my toes look pretty in purple! When I got home, Tison asked me what I wanted to do for the evening and "lasagna" burst out of my mouth. Soon we were on the way to the store to get ingredients for homemade lasagna and a bottle of wine, of course.
Blame it on my age or on my early wake up call, but a tv tray with my favorite dish and complete control of the remote is my idea of a good night.
Thanks for the excellent service, Tison. Dinner was delicioso! Do you like my outfit? Fancy, right! And yes, I have Strawberry Abita in my hand and wine on my tray. After all, it was my birthday weekend!

Monday, July 16, 2012

birthday adventures...

Another year older, another year wiser.
I had an amazing birthday weekend filled with good friends and new adventures.
Friday night I was craving the flower tortillas and honey from Posados. 
I don't think I've made it in that restaurant since high school. 
The entrees were a big processed salt stick, but the flour tortillas did NOT disappoint,
 neither did the waiter that completely wiped out on the greasy floor right next to our table. 
How I didn't laugh in this poor guys face is a sheer miracle.
I seriously thought we might be on Punk'd.
I went to bed early Friday so I could wake up at 5 am Saturday morning
 to meet Pat, the pilot, at Starbucks for my first hot air balloon ride, 
Tison's birthday present to me!
I was immediately nicknamed "Flip-Flops" by Pat, who has 20 years of experience as a balloonist, because I didn't wear sneakers. He wasn't pleased. Whoopsie!  Pat and his crew continually checked the radar for a storm coming up I-49 and they checked the air pattern by releasing a helium balloon and watching it disappear into the sky. After discerning the weather, it was decided that we would start our trek in the Curtis Elementary parking lot in Bossier City. This route can only be taken if the weather is just right and apparently that only happens 4x a year. Lucky me!
Watching this 105,000 cubic foot hot air balloon fill up was awe-inspiring. Can you believe this balloon costs $50,000?! Up-up-and awaaaaaaaay!
When we hopped in the hot air balloon, it lifted up like a feather, floating at about 5-6 miles an hour over the ox-bow.  With five of us in the basket there was no room wiggle room, but the ride was steady and calm as we drifted over the treetops. Besides the loud burner above our heads used to fill the envelope, or balloon, with hot air, it was very peaceful.
We touched down on the river, which filled the lower part of the basket with water; then we flew back up and over the trees. I even got to grab leaves off the top of one of the trees. At one point of the ride I had a panoramic view of Willis Knighton Pierremont, Youree Drive shopping centers, LSU Health, and downtown Shreveport. Unbelievable!
As we approached our landing spot, outside JCPenney and Kohl's, things got a little intense. The wind picked up and we hit the ground hard going 10 mph. Both me and the other female passenger received minor battle wounds as our knees crashed into the side of the wicker basket. At one point I thought we were going to flip over! It was the adrenaline rush I was looking for-ha! The experience was approximately 50 minutes in the air and it's something I will be doing again. I can't believe this group of balloonists goes up 7 days a week. Thanks Pat and Dave for your expertise. Everyone should check out American Escapes Aerosports to set up a hot air balloon ride of their own.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

visiting the four kingdoms: day 1

I left my heart in Disney World. I am not saying this to be poetic or sweet or anything. It is just the truth! I was spoiled getting to spend every moment of every day with Tison. This morning I threw a pillow over my alarm clock to stifle the radio so I could keep sleeping. I have done more morning grumpy-grumbling than ever since our return. Who would have thought that coming back from an amazing vacation would have such negative effects on my work ethic! Don't get me wrong, I am extremely thankful to have a job, but I just want to play all day! Anyone else experiencing a bad case of senioritis this summer?

In an effort to relive the experience, I am going to walk you through our days spent at the four kingdoms at Walt Disney World, park by park. It is truly the happiest place on earth! Leaving bright and early (4:00 am) we drove from Shreveport, Louisiana to Sandestin Beach Resort, Florida - then left Sandestin the next morning for Orlando. We arrived around 3:00 pm, just as it was beginning to rain. A quick stop in a gift shop for ponchos began our first evening which we spent at Downtown Disney. I highly recommend Downtown Disney for adults as an evening activity. There are tons of restaurants and live outdoor music to choose from.

This is how we spent our first full day at Walt Disney World:
{Hitting the ground running, Tison and I started the day at the educational ride, Spaceship Earth. This is the ride in the Epcot dome. It cracked me up when the computer screen in front of us displayed our future if we keep recycling. I didn't even know they had snapped our picture- Tison's face so hilarious.}
 {I thought I was going to pass out after this ride. The G-force from this ride creates a pressure in your head that made me feel like my head might explode if it didn't release "into space." Why I thought I could handle the "More Intense" version of the ride is beyond me! It literally took us about 4 hours afterwards to feel normal again.}
{Tequila shots in Mexico are a must do!}
 {We enjoyed Bratwurst and Oktoberfest beer for lunch in Germany.}
{I absolutely loved visiting all of the countries! Everything was done with so much attention to detail. Norway, Canada, and the United Kingdom were also visited, but I guess I was still feeling the effects of the Mission: Space ride and didn't take any pictures!}
{Captain EO aka Michael Jackson was amazing. It is a 1986 3D film that follows Captain EO and his crew on a mission to rescue the planet through the gift of music, dance, and light. Need I say more?}
{I was more than impressed with the way Disney grows their own vegetables and distributes it to the resort restaurants. That Tomato "tree" right there produces 36,000 tomatoes a year!}
{After our fun at Epcot, Tison and I rode the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom. We really squeezed every minute out of this day!}
{We walked around the Magic Kingdom beginning in the area called Adventureland where I wanted to ride The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Ali, Matt, Mrs. Chris and Mr. Tim met up with us there for the Disney classics, It's a Small World and Mad Tea Party; as well as riding Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and race cars! The fireworks display began while we were on the racetrack and it gave us a perfect view of the show. What a happy accident!}
{My favorite things from day 1: The World Showcase at Epcot, seeing Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom for the first time since I was 9, the Space Mountain ride, and the fireworks of course!}

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...