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Sunday, October 31, 2010

BlizzCon 2010, Part One: Journey to the West Coast

Hey y'all!  Mr. L and I made it back safe and sound from our vacation, and after some much-needed downtime last week, it's time for a recap!

We left Pensacola around 6:30pm on Tuesday the 19th after a bit of a mix-up with our flight -- meaning Mr. L forgot to check his email to make sure our trip was squared away, so we didn't get the notification that our flight was rescheduled for 3pm that day.  We ended up discovering this helpful tidbit of information after we arrived at the airport around 5:00pm!

Reminder: ALWAYS check your email or phone for flight notifications!  :\
Luckily we were able to be rerouted into San Francisco instead of Sacramento, and also just-as-luckily our friend Joe was able to pick us up in San Francisco that evening.
So with that awesome start to a cross-country trip, Mr. L and I went through security and waited a little while until the plane was ready to be boarded.  I snapped pictures to pass the time:

I think he was dreading the flight!
When it was time to go, we noticed that the plane was basically a toy model of what a real plane should look like:

Okay, maybe not as tiny as this plane, but it was very small!
It wasn't a bad flight at all by any means though, thank goodness.  Mr. L and I are pretty much used to tiny planes since they are basically the only kind that flies out of our local airports.

After we got on our tiny toy plane, I took some more obligatory iPhone photos so we could always remember the beginning of our awesome Blizzcon vacation!


He's probably annoyed with my picture taking...
After an hour and a half flight into Houston, we barely had enough time to sprint across the airport, hop on the inter-terminal train, and run some more before our next flight left for San Francisco.  We made it though, even if those amazing moving sidewalks were nowhere to be found :(

Our flight into San Francisco was pretty boring and long -- it seemed longer than a four hour flight at the time.  I was really excited at first because when we got to our seats, I noticed that DirectTV satellite was on every TV!  Then I saw it was only available after you paid six bucks -- definitely not worth it.  I opted to watch a couple of Big Love episodes on my iPhone instead while Buck read some of his book or attempted to nap in the rather uncomfortable seats.  We killed enough time and eventually landed in the Golden Gate City!

San Francisco
Our friend Joe met us at the airport and helped us take our luggage out to the car.  Then we began the 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive to Sacramento, where we were originally supposed to fly into.  It felt like a long drive, mainly because I was exhausted and I know Mr. L was too.  I stayed awake though, possibly because I was pretty stupid and ended up losing my contact in my eye.  Yep -- I was starting to get a bad headache, and I figured that my contacts were the culprit.  So I tried to take them out in the car in the dark with no mirror.  I'm brilliant, what can I say.  I thought I ended up losing it in the car originally, but it rolled back into place over my pupil while I was sleeping -- a definite answered prayer!

Anyways, moving on from that tangent...even though Joe is a pretty crazy driver, we managed to make it to his house where we happily crashed for the rest of the evening.


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Sunday, October 17, 2010

California, Here We Come!

This week, Mr. L and I will be taking an awesome vacation to California!

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For about seven days, we'll traverse nearly the entire state on one giant road trip extravaganza.  You see, way back in May, a couple of weeks before we got married, Mr. L and I landed an opportunity to attend one of the biggest gathering of nerds in the U.S -- Blizzcon.  Basically, it is a convention for a gaming company's products (click the link for more info).



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On the second day of tickets sales, we entered an online queue that ended up being about 30,000 people long.  My super-amazing and lightning fast clicking skills put me at around 1600 in line, guaranteeing us three tickets to Blizzcon (our friend Joe will be rounding out our party)!  Since this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip, we definitely could not pass it up.

God, that total price hurts my heart...
So on Tuesday, Mr. L and I will be flying to northern California to meet up with our friend Joe, and the next day we will commence on a road trip that will probably span two days and end up taking us to just north of Los Angeles and Anaheim (where the convention will be held on Friday and Saturday).  We are very excited!

I'll admit, though, I don't think I'll be very entertained when we're actually at the con.  I've played my fair share of World of Warcraft, but I've been very lax about it lately and I think I won't be into the content at all.  But I'm really hoping I will get psyched once we're there and experiencing the craziness.  And let me tell you, it WILL be crazy with 25 or 30 thousand people there!

Oh joy, huge crowds of people!
I'm looking most forward to the road trip from Sacramento to Anaheim, to be honest.  I love road trips, and I think it will be an absolutely gorgeous drive down the coast (at least Joe keeps reassuring me it will be!)  In my head, the con is more for the guys and the road trip is my special thing :)

This part does look pretty!
So for now, I'll be MIA until I can get a full post of our awesome adventures with pictures put up here.  'Til next time!  :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Almost Official!

You see this gorgeous-ness?  Yeah, the Navy is sending Mr. L and me there.

Oh hello, Lanikai Beach!
Okay, okay, technically, they're not sending us exactly there, since it's on another part of Oahu.  So maybe this picture is a better representation:

Definitely not as glamorous as the picture of Lanikai Beach, but hey, at least it's on the same island ;)

It turns out Hawaii was the most logical choice in order to advance Mr. L's career, so it is the option we've chosen for our next duty station.  We are pretty excited about this amazing opportunity, but at the same time we are sad that we'll have to leave our families behind for a destination that's so far away from them.  I really hope they can visit at least twice, and I hope Mr. L and I will be able to come home somewhat frequently!

We broke the news to our families this past weekend at a dinner on Sunday night.  We bought little Frommer's travel guides for them to open when it was time for the big reveal!

My mother-in-law was pretty excited about the botanic gardens opportunities, and later on in the evening I noticed my mother flipping through the book and getting a feel for the location.  She's already started searching for apartments for us in case we aren't able to get base housing (which I really hope we are!)

I'm feeling a little confused at this point, though.  I just don't even know where to begin!  I have extremely limited knowledge of what it's like to be a Navy wife, so I'm not sure when we need to get the ball rolling on this moving stuff.  I'm assuming it won't be until we have hard copy orders, which Mr. L says won't be until 120 to 90 days until we ship out (he's estimating we'll leave Florida around June of 2011).  We have plenty of time, though, so I'm not too worried about it.  I know we'll figure out what we need to know when we need to know it.  Until then, I'll be scoping out awesome sights in Oahu (and the other islands!) and daydreaming about the amazing experience we'll be having :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall: Cool Breezes and Stalwart Rivalries

Fall is officially here!  Well, I mean, it was "officially" officially here back on September 22nd, but you don't go by that when you live in the South; you go by the weather.  And the weather has dropped to some AMAZING temperatures in the lower 80s and high 70s, so it is officially fall on my calendar!

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Why do I love fall so much?  Two things, mainly: cooler weather and football!
The weather thing is obvious given the 100-degree temperatures with stifling humidity we enjoy along our beautiful Gulf Coast during the summer months (and extending into September most years, like this year).  It is so nice to be done with that and be able to look forward to cool, crisp autumn nights outside with loved ones!

And oh my, football.  Football is basically a religion down here.  We LOVE our Game Days.  While Mr. L loves football just as much as I do, if not more, Game Days have not always been harmonious between the two of us.  You see, I am a hardcore, crimson-and-houndstooth-wearing, Big Al-loving Alabama Crimson Tide fan.  I have been since birth; it's something my dad instilled in me and my two brothers growing up.  But Mr. L...he's on the other side of the "State of Alabama Football Fence."  Yes, he is a hardcore, orange-and-blue-wearing, Aubie-loving Auburn Tigers fan.

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If you aren't familiar with what exactly this means for our relationship, here's the run-down.  Every year, since 1948, the University of Alabama plays Auburn University in what is known as The Iron Bowl, and is the last game of both school's regular season.  The winner of this game determines who has the best team in the state of Alabama (and sometimes, when ranks are high, determines who goes on to win the SEC Championship and even the National Championship!) and who gets to obtain bragging rights for the next 364 days.  So it stands to reason that Alabama and Auburn's rivalry is one of the biggest school rivalries in the entire country.

In the state of Alabama, you are either for Auburn or for Alabama.  Families are formed with either crimson and white colors or orange and blue colors (and sometimes as "Houses Divided").  Friends are classified as "that awesome Alabama chick!" or "that crazy Auburn lover!", and even businesses have even been known to pick sides.  We live, breathe, and die Alabama or Auburn football.

A literal House Divided
It definitely has been...interesting in the past football seasons while Mr. L and I were dating.  Sometimes things could get VERY heated, particularly around the time Iron Bowls were played.  But, even though Mr. L will never change his colors, I knew the moment he actually attended a University of Alabama football game with me and my family at the amazing Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that he was willing to meet me halfway and support my love for the Crimson Tide.

Mr. L and me, circa fall 2006 in Tuscaloosa, AL
Since then, I have actually put aside my own distaste for the Auburn Tigers and have replaced it with this mantra: "I"ll root for Auburn anytime they're not playing Alabama" (which Mr. L has also adopted!).  And I have now officially attended TWO Auburn football games at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama (oh yes, it is absolutely his turn again to get immersed in some Alabama football in Tuscaloosa!)

With our wonderful friends, Jonathan and Erin, on the Auburn campus in September 2009
With our same awesome friends one year later, September 2010, inside Jordan-Hare Stadium; it was our first official football game as married couples!
It is so wonderful to be able to enjoy all of the exciting activities this time of year so close to home, our families, and our friends.  Mr. L and I are soaking up as much of the experience as we can since we STILL don't exactly know where we're going for our next duty station, ugh.  But that's a gripe for another post!  So until next time, Happy Fall, and ROLL TIDE!