Sunday, August 28, 2011

Is Mother Nature angry with us?

Has it been crazy the last couple of weeks!!!!

The Hampton Roads area introduced a new public transportation rail, The Tide, so last Saturday, Daniel and I decided to check it out.  We got on at the last stop on Newtown Road and there was a line of people, but thankfully it moved quickly.  We were packed in there like sardines! 

Our plan was to ride to Downtown Norfolk, walk around, and eat at a random restaurant.  Then the rain started.  

So we rode the rail to the end and stayed on as it looped back to MacArthur Mall and we exited there.  We walked to a mall directory and decided to try:

Daniel accusing me of stealing a shrimp.  I hadn't even done it...yet!

California Pizza Kitchen was pretty good and the waitress was great.  The strawberry lemonade sucked, though.  After lunch, we strolled around the mall and then headed back to the rail and home.

A band was playing near the station.

Random geese at the free Tide parking lot.

A few days later, on a normal day at work, we had an earthquake (5.8)!  Apparently it was felt from GA all the way to Canada.  I’ve been through a few earthquakes before so I was fine, but some of my coworkers had never experienced it before and were a tad freaked out.  Either the day of, or the day after the quake, all the news channels began broadcasting about Hurricane Irene headed to the east coast.  Whoa buddy!  An earthquake and hurricane in the same week!!!!!

The gym I belong to is next to a Wallycity (Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market), so I normally head over after visiting the gym for fruit, an ingredient for din din, or household items.  This is what the aisles looked like the day after Irene was announced.

Bread aisle.

Water aisle.

Friday at work, people were so nervous about the pending storm.  The forecast stated this could be the worst flooding in years.  In order for some of us to get home, we have to drive through bridges and underwater tunnels.  These are usually closed during horrendous storms so I headed home about 30 minutes early to beat the traffic.  I changed clothes, jumped in the car, and headed to the gym.  It was pitch black with taped windows!   I can understand everyone preparing, but I was really disappointed that I couldn’t work out.  Oh well.   The wallycity parking lot was ridiculous!  So many last minute people trying to stock up on supplies.

So how did we fare?  We were so unbelievably blessed!!!  We never even lost power.  We could hear the wind gusting and the rain pelting the windows, but we just went about our weekend as usual.  I was really worried about flooding, but thankfully, our parking lot was fine.  Daniel and I watched movies and TV, he played video games, and I read books.  I texted family and friends and everyone was fine, although most lost power.

  Sunday, we woke to a GORGEOUS morning.  We decided to ride our bikes around the neighborhood to see how everything around us fared.  There were downed trees and power lines, but thankfully no extensive damage to homes or cars that we could see.  I’m so happy--we survived our 1st hurricane together! 

Shingles ripped from directly below the roof.  One in the grass and some near the stairs on the right.

Daniel in front of downed tree blocking a parking lot exit.

Car riding through Little Creek Road.

It’s been a little over 6 weeks since my kinky twists were put in, and I’m trying to make plans to get cornrows done this upcoming weekend.  Hopefully my next post will have a pic of my newest hairstyle!  I leave you with another photo of the rambunctious Tierra Skye…Have a great week!!!!

Tierra playing in my bottled water container! (There were plenty of huge air holes--she was not harmed in the making of this photo.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Reason # 64 to go natural

The work week was pretty normal, but on Saturday, we went to King’s Dominion with my in-laws!  We met at Alieshia’s apartment around 7am (5 of Daniel’s 6 siblings came, as well as his sister’s boyfriends).  We stopped at Mickey D’s for those that hadn’t eaten breakfast and then hit the road.

"So...what video game are you buying next?"

*the following paragraph may be TMI—please feel free to skip*

I may not have mentioned this before, but I drink a TON of water daily—at least 85 ounces.  I knew we would be in a car for 2 hours each way, as well as being around public, crowded restrooms all day, so I made sure to slow my water consumption for the day.  I drank 4 ounces of water with breakfast, went right before leaving the apartment, and yet ONE HOUR into the drive I had to go.  I was not about to admit this so I held it.  At one point we passed a rest area on the interstate and I had to turn my head in the other direction so I wouldn’t be caught looking at it longingly.  We finally made it to the park around 9:30 and found cars parked in the road.  Daniel pulled up behind the last car, and I jumped out and asked the car next to us when the park opened---10:30.  Umm….I couldn’t hold it much longer.  I looked across the 6 lane highway and saw a Burger King (more about that later) and took off!  I hit the other side of the road and heard car engines starting—turned around and cars were pulling away.  I guess our neighbor was a little off on what time the park really opened.  I then had to run back across the lanes (while dodging traffic and trying not to tinkle on myself), jumped back in the car and then we SAT in line for paying for parking.  10 minutes later, I was finally out of my misery!

The entrance with a HUGE Cancer Awareness Snoopy

Once in the park, we immediately went for the coasters.  Since we were there at the opening, lines were less than 5 minutes for the most part.  Our 1st coaster of the day was The Dominator.  What a great way to spend a beautiful morning!  For some reason, I decided that I would squeal like that pig in the Geico commercial , so over the screaming and laughing, you could hear me yelling “Whee!  WHEE!  WHEEEEEEE!”

First coaster--oh yeah!!!


After that, a few decided to ride the boat that swings back and forth and hangs upside down.  I passed on that one because I knew I would just get nauseous.  I hung out with Dave, Kecia, and Joey for about half an hour and then we all headed to the Volcano.  The ride is short but takes off like a rocket!  Kecia and Dave wanted to ride in the front (which was a longer wait), so we could actually hear her screaming bloody murder when their turn came!

Alieshia, Antonio, Kia, and Red

The next coaster, in my fabulous opinion, is the best ride in the entire park:  The Intimidator!  It’s fashioned after NASCAR racing and it’s stupendous.  It has G forces, negative G forces (free fall), hair pin turns, and more.  I LOVE THIS RIDE!!!!!  Next to the coaster was a warehouse-type building—it turns out there’s a spaceship coaster inside of it.  The wait was pretty long, and the ride was so-so—the thrill part was that the entire coaster was in the dark.

Ride this coaster!!!!

 Afterwards, tummies were grumbling so we decided to go to the Burger King across the street to save some money.  BIG mistake!  Daniel and I decided to walk (it was less than half a mile), but halfway there, it began to rain.  We thought about going back to get the car, but either way we were going to be in it so we kept trucking along.  The burst of rain only lasted a few minutes and by then we were crossing the highway to the restaurant. 

This was the worst Burger King I’ve ever been to.  1st of all, it was 60 degrees in the store, so since we were wet from the downpour, I immediately broke out in goose bumps.  2nd, there prices were atrocious!  We ended up spending $20 on a whopper combo, value menu double cheeseburger, and nuggets ( I wanted a 4 piece, but the restaurant stated the 4 piece was only allowed if we bought a kid’s meal—so Daniel ordered a 10 piece to share).  We could have eaten in the park for those prices!  3rd, and possibly the worst offense of all, they MICROWAVED their patties.  There was no char-grilled flavor anywhere!  7-eleven next door probably had a better burger in the freezer section.  We ended up staying in Burger King for almost 2 hours—the rain came back with a vengeance. 

Shelter under the umbrellas at Burger King

½ of our group drove so once the rain slowed down, they headed back to the park to wait in the car.  Daniel, Kecia, Dave, Joey, and I decided the rain had slowed as much as possible and hit the road.  As soon as we hit the park’s parking lot—the sky opened up again and we all started running blindly for the cars.  Thankfully, Daniel found his car and picked everyone up.  We sat for a few minutes and the rain stopped.  We waited and waited and still nothing so we decided to go back into the park (since there was no lightening, the rides will still going). 

Thankfully, I’m an over-analyzer and brought extra clothes “just in case”.  After everyone else got out of the car, I quickly changed clothes and headed back to the park.  I saw Daniel and realized with horror that I had just changed into the same outfit he was wearing!  When I packed my extra clothes—it didn’t occur to me to look at his clothing choices.  A few months ago, I did a service even with my sorority and we were given T shirts for our time.  Since there were extra shirts left over, I grabbed one for Daniel.  Apparently we’re one of “those” couples that dress alike. 
*so embarrassed*
"honey, what did you say you were wearing again?"

Anyhoo—I knew before any fun began again that I would have to run to the restroom.  A few minutes after re-entering the park, Lieshia and I finished washing our hands and walked to the door---and it was pouring AGAIN!!!!!

The scene when we left the restroom

Rain, rain go away.

We found refuge on picnic tables under umbrellas, and waited it out.  At one point, I heard yelling and laughter and turned to see a group of boys embracing the weather by strutting around with no shirts.  I’m sure some teenage girls were having the time of their lives watching them walk by("OMG, Kelly, did you see them?!?" 

The rain stopped again, so Alieshia, Kia, and Kecia (the IA girls) went a picked up funnel cakes.  If you’re reading this blog, more than likely you know how much I love love love funnel cakes—but I didn’t take one bite (proud of me?)! 

Red, that is a thing of beauty in front of you--respect the funnel cake, man! Bask in it!

Kia and Lieshia

Matt munching on funnel cake goodness

Finally the sun came out.  We continued our fun filled day (including another ride on the Intimidator!!!) and had a blast for the rest of the afternoon/early evening.
Anaconda (similar to the Ninja at Six Flags over GA)

Kecia (falling asleep), Joey, and Matt

Hi, boo!  Have fun!

What is it with guys and cars?!?

I’m sure you’re wondering where the title of the post ties in with the subject matter.  If had I still had my relaxed hair blowing in the wind on our trip, after being rained on multiple times, then air dried multiple times, I would have looked like I stuck my hand in an electrical socket.  Add the fact that we were getting on roller coasters—the frizzy ball of hair would have probably leaned in some fashion toward the back of my head.  Similar to Marge Simpson, but no blue and definitely less chic.  Because of the braided style, I ended the day, just as gorgeous as I was that morning!!!! 

After riding the Intimidator 2nd time

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Parades, buffets, and cakes....oh my!

This past week was pretty fun!  I received a text during work last Tuesday from my Soror, Toni.  There was a community parade (National Night Out) that evening in Ocean View and she wanted our chapter to represent (turns out all of the Divine Nine chapters in the area were invited, but Toni and I were the only ones that showed up).  That just means more publicity for Zeta!  I’m so glad I decided to go—even though it was about 100 degrees. 

After a short program that we didn’t see —we chatted and handed out water to some parched policemen--, we headed out for a parade.  I think it was only about a mile long, but we were in between a health care bus and a group against drugs.   Great groups and great missions, however the bus exhaust wasn’t pleasant, nor was the chanting and singing from the group behind us (“Give hugs, not drugs!”).  Oh well—at least it was quick…AND….we saw tons of men in uniform!!!

After the parade, there were tons of activities and food: bounce houses, fire trucks and ambulance viewings, pizza, cake, Italian ice, and performances.  There was a gentleman that won a contest playing the accordion, and my favorite—the women from Panama.

On Friday, Pop came by my office and asked if I wanted to have dinner with my brothers and nephew.  I was all for it—2 weeks in a row is unheard of!  He took us to Cici’s Pizza (buffets are great for bottomless pits).  My father is notoriously late (get over it, Old Man) and after I picked up my brother and nephew, we headed to a bakery in Chesapeake to waste some time.  I’m always looking for a good deal, and get emails from Groupon, Groopdealz, Pilot Daily Deals, etc. so I had a $20 coupon for a bakery/deli named the Terebinth that I needed to use in the next week before it expired.  It was the most beautiful bakery I’ve ever seen! 

For $22, we picked up 3 cookies, 2 brownies, 2 slices of pound cake, and a chocolate cupcake.  It was delicious!  Blayden is actually pretty funny for a 4 year old.  I had been telling him since we met at the restaurant that I had a yummy treat for him later.  After we ate, I pulled out his cupcake, and he looked at me, then the cupcake, and then looked at me again and said, “I don’t like chocolate.”  I looked at my father mortified wondering why he hadn’t told me this important fact when I asked him what I should get for the little one.  I looked back and Blayden….and HE. WAS. LAUGHING!  He tricked me!

Sunday morning, Daniel and I were discussing what to do for the day, and he suggested a bike ride so I agreed to go.  We started out in a nice neighborhood down the street from our neighborhood.  Although it was already 90 degrees at 9 am, there were lovely breezes since we were near water.  After an hour or so, Daniel suggested we ride to Old Dominion University—the neighborhood we were in was right off of Hampton Blvd—the same road ODU is located. He stated if I was willing to ride, he would take me to have frozen yogurt afterward (I wasn’t about to tell him I would have ridden without the fro yo!).


It was such a wonderful time!  It was tough with all of the curbs (we rode on the sidewalk since it’s such a busy road) and a steep bridge each way, but it was so worth it.  We calculated that we did about 7 miles that day—I was so proud. 

Bridge on Hampton Blvd.
As far as a hair update is concerned, not much has really changed.  It’s been 8 weeks since my last relaxer (4 weeks with the braids) and my hair is growing slowly but surely.  I think I have about ½ an inch of new growth.  It’s hard to tell because some of the braids may have slipped, so it makes it seem that my hair has grown more than it actually has.  Weekly I’ve been using a dry shampoo on my scalp, and after the bike ride, I co-washed my hair in the shower.  Twice a week, I oil my scalp (sparingly) and once a week, I oil the actual braids. It’ll be time to get the braids out in the next 2-4 weeks, so I’ve got to make a decision what to do next.

I think I’ve rambled long enough for this weekly post so I leave you with a picture of the most dramatic heifer I know (in my universe, heifer is a term of endearment).  She was napping on my lap and I turned the volume up on the TV--this is her reaction:

Have a great week!