Staycation Day 6 – Wednesday

July 24th, 2014 No comments

The morning started with an early 5:30 alarm so we could get dressed, pack a cooler, and head to my parents’ house to pick up Brother #1. Our destination? Indiana Beach Amusement Park in Monticello, Indiana. The drive was a long, frustrating one because there was an accident on the expressway near my parents’ house so we had to get off and snake our way around the side streets to get there. On top of that, we’re not familiar with the area in which we got off the expressway, so we had to double-back more than once due to a closed street, a train, and a street that didn’t go through. So even though we should have made it to my parents’ by 8 am or earlier, it was closer to 8:15.

Giant Gondola Wheel

We arrived at our destination just a bit after they opened and got parking in the free lot near the suspension bridge that goes over Lake Shafer and into the park. Everyone bought a ride wristband for $26.95 to make things easier. We also managed to sneak in some water bottles. Apparently sometime in the past five years (I’m shocked that it has been that long since our last visit!) they banned outside food and drinks in the park. Bummer! But no one checked my backpack so we were good.

The weather started out pretty nice when we arrived – cool and overcast, but by 1 pm it was hot, muggy, and sunny. We made sure to apply sunscreen before entering the park and reapplying it when we went back to the car mid-afternoon.

Now that E is older he loves all the rides and went on rollercoasters with Joe and other stuff with my brother. I only ended up going on a handful of rides because, according to my brother, I’m a wuss. I guess I am. I’m even scared of the skyride now thanks to Joe. We went on it, but I don’t plan on going on it again because he got me all anxious about how it is clamped onto the rope (precariously, in his eyes).

Anyway, throughout the day we munched on corn dogs, tacos, cheese fries, elephant ears, and dippin dots, and made a mid-afternoon stop back to the car for snacks, to reapply sunscreen, and to load up with more water bottles (to sneak into the park). That alone saved us at least $30. I don’t mind the overpriced food so much (and it’s way cheaper, but tastier, than the food at most sports arenas), but paying $3-$5 for a single bottle of water is insanity!

I was disappointed to learn that one of my favorite rides, the Flying Bobs, is gone. They also moved the Falling Star and Music Express to a different location of the park and neither were in operation during our visit. That was a bummer because I love the Music Express and E and my brother wanted to ride the Falling Star. In addition, their biggest roller coaster, The Hoosier Hurricane, was being worked on so it too was not operating.

We spent entirely too much time in line for the Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain which is way too bumpy of a ride, and the Den of Lost Thieves which only had two cars operating at a time! That line alone was over a half hour and the line was not that long! It’s super lame, anyway. My gun wasn’t even working properly and none of my hits were registering on the counter.

We did enjoy the bumper cars, however, which is the only ride I went on twice. We ended the evening with a ride on the train just because I’m a dork like that.

We ended up spending a good 7-8 hours there which was a lot longer than I expected, or to be honest, wanted to spend. I guess I’m kinda over that place. While it was nice to visit mid-week because it was much less crowded than any other time we’ve visited, I feel like the place has changed so much and has lost its allure. Whether that’s because I’m an adult now, I’m not that thrilled with rides, or because many of the older rides seem poorly maintained, I’m not sure, but even the gift shop was a huge disappointment, filled with nothing but cheap junk. I remember it having nice carved wood souvenirs and stuffed toys when I was a kid. Now it’s a shadow of what it used to be. And I’m definitely offended that my previous Flying Bobs were removed yet they seem to have room to add a second carousel when no one was riding either of them!

I guess what I’m saying is that even though I did have some fun hanging out with my family, I wouldn’t be too sad if we went another five years before visiting Indiana Beach again. Or maybe if we went sooner than that it would be more enjoyable to pick a hot day and hit their water park instead just for something different.

Besides, by the time we dropped Brother #1 off, I was ready to lose it. I had a pounding headache and he never shuts up. Just talk talk talk the entire two hour drive there and back. And he has a loud voice too. I didn’t say anything because I know he enjoyed talking to E, but if there was ever any doubt about whether I’m an introvert, there is none now. I am glad our Thursday is a lazy day to relax because I need to recuperate from all that noise between the park rides/music and the constant talking. I love quiet for a reason – lots of noise grates on my nerves and makes me feel even more anxious and off-balance than I normally feel.

Categories: Excursions, Family Tags:

Staycation – Day 5 – Tuesday

July 22nd, 2014 1 comment

The morning started out with disappointment. We wanted to check out a local donut shop known for their delicious specialty flavors, like maple bacon, but when we got there it was closed! Apparently they aren’t open on Mondays or Tuesdays even though their Yelp listing only indicates they’re closed on Mondays. Their website has no posted hours at all.

We both decided to work out when we got home since E was still asleep. I did the elliptical for a half hour while watching a couple of the many shows that have been piling up on the DVR.

Once E was up we made a big skillet breakfast with homemade hash-browns, bacon, cheese, and eggs.

After our late breakfast, I quickly whipped up a new batch of spreadable butter, then took the rat brothers out for some playtime while Joe and E played video games.

At 12:45 we headed over to the pool. The boys went swimming while I enjoyed a book. Around 2:15 we headed back home for lunch, then watched a movie.

I decided to try putting in my contact lens before heading to the pool since I had finished my prescription eye medication the day before. While it doesn’t hurt, my left eye still feels weird with my lenses in. It feels like it’s dry and something is caught under my eyelid. WTF? It makes me wonder whether I’ll ever be able to go back to contacts full-time or if I need to stick with glasses moving forward. Needless to say, I only wore my lenses for about six hours today.

Joe made chicken noodle soup for dinner and then we watched a really old move, Just One of the Guys.

Bedtime will be early tonight because we’re heading to Indiana Beach tomorrow!

Categories: Life Tags:

Cleaning Up The Emotional Clutter

July 21st, 2014 No comments

A girl I used to think of as a friend sent me a friend request on Facebook the week before last and it really pissed me off. This girl was someone I worked with over two years ago who I helped extensively at work despite her annoying tendency to literally break down in tears about anything that frustrated her. Despite that, I felt we were becoming friends. We’d often have lunch together and we both wanted to lose weight so we’d go on walks during our lunch breaks as well. After she was fired she only replied to my email/texts twice before completely dropping all communication with me. Now, two years later, she thinks I want anything to do with her? Screw that! I don’t need “friends” like her.

Maybe it was because I was already feeling rather cranky that particular day, but her popping up like that made me evaluate all my friendships and question why I still had certain people in my life. Nostalgia maybe? I had a friend from high school who disappeared years ago who I had friended on Facebook last year. I thought she’d be excited as I was to be in contact again, but she never replied to my message asking to catch up, nor did she interact with me in any way. Why she even added me as a friend is beyond me.

I feel like for some people social media is just a way to “collect” people they really have no interest in. Maybe it shouldn’t bother me to have people on my friend list who never say two words to me, but it does, so I decided to do something about it. I deleted 14 people from my friend list (which is a lot since my friend list tends to hover around 100 people) and I deleted about half of the contacts on my phone. I would have deleted more, but I didn’t want to cause issues over deleting family members so I stuck to so-called friends. These people are clearly not interested in communicating with me and seeing them on FB or in my phone was causing needless hurt feelings on my end, so I decided to let the past go and delete them from my life. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

I had contemplated this purging many times in the past, but my curious nature prevented me from letting people go because I liked knowing what they were up to, or so I thought. But I realized that spending that much time keeping tabs on people who want nothing to do with me was wrecking havoc on my own mental health. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for me emotionally. It probably doesn’t hurt that lately I feel like I’ve got more true friends in my life so the need to hang onto the past has lessened.

Categories: Friends, Health Tags:

Staycation – Day 4 – Monday

July 21st, 2014 No comments

I woke up at 5 am and couldn’t fall back to sleep so I read a few magazines, ate some fruit, and then went back to sleep around 7:30 and slept until 10 am. Joe had a hard time sleeping last night too so neither of us were in a hurry to get out of bed.

We made bagels and eggs for breakfast and then lounged around the house. I got lucky and was able to get a photo of two American Goldfinches on my finch feeder. I put that feeder out over a month ago but they’ve only recently been stopping by. Our feeders attract a lot of wildlife – from bunnies, to toads, to itty bitty mice. I didn’t get a picture, but yesterday there was a small mouse hanging out on the patio no bigger than a fifty cent piece. His nickname is now fiddy.

American Goldfinches

Male American Goldfinch

At 3 pm when we headed out to grab pizza for lunch at the legendary Vito & Nick’s.

Afterwards we headed to US Cellular Field to watch the White Sox play the Royals. We had scored free tickets from a friend so we were in the nosebleed section but I didn’t mind. It was nice going to an evening game for a change since the last two times we went to a day game it was too hot out. I did mind the crowded section we were in and the people who we’re sitting directly behind us – two boys no older than ten and their mother. The boys were swearing and using the n-word and the mother didn’t say a word. I don’t think just because they were black meant they should talk like that.

Our original view:

US Cellular Field

We decided to go get food and sit elsewhere. We ended up sitting even higher up but in a less crowded section with a better view.

US Cellular Field

We stayed until the 8th inning and decided to leave. I find baseball games pretty boring so I didn’t mind. Now take me to a Blackhawks game and I will actually pay attention to the action!

Categories: Excursions, Food, Life, Photos Tags:

Staycation – Day 3 – Sunday

July 20th, 2014 No comments

The alarm went off at 5:30 this morning because Joe wanted to go for a run. My alarm was set for 7 am but I couldn’t fall back to sleep, so by the time Joe got back from his run around 7 am I was showered, had eaten, and was ready to run errands.

Our first stop was the produce market for some fresh fruits, veggies, and lunch meat. We dropped everything of at home and then hit Walmart and Target for more food. After dropping all that at home we went to Aldi. Suffice to say, our fridge is now overflowing with food!

After rearranging the fridge and pantry to fit all our newly acquired food, I cleaned the fish tank. Then I decided to give Marshmallow and Milo a bath. I read that a shared unpleasant experience will help bond two rats. It didn’t work. Instead, after their bath Marshmallow tried to bite Milo’s nose but he ducked out of the way in time and I grabbed Marshmallow. I put Milo on my shoulder and he was shaking. Poor baby. I don’t understand why Marshmallow can’t seem to get along with other rats but now I’m worried I’m back in the same situation as before and will need to get another baby to keep Milo company and just leave Marshmallow by himself. This is nuts! I will continue trying to introduce them because I read for some rats it can take awhile, but I’m worried now since each encounter seems to end worse than the last.

I also gave the brother rats a bath and let them run around for awhile as they hadn’t had any out of cage time in days. It’s quite challenging finding time to let all four rats out for play time because these guys can’t all get along. I just don’t have three hours a day to devote to them which is why I was hoping after the brothers go to their new home I could get Marshmallow and Milo living and playing together so I’d only need an hour a day to set aside.

Shortly after bath time we left to go pickup E for his week with us. On the way there we stopped at the dollar store and Pet Supplies Plus. After picking E up we stopped at Half Price Books since we had a 50% off coupon. I ended up getting a tabletop ping pong game which came out to $2.49 after the coupon.

I made chicken parm meatball subs for dinner. E didn’t care for them as much as I’d hoped, but Joe and I loved them.

Now we’re planning on watching Blades of Glory since E has never seen it.

Categories: Food, Life, Pets Tags: