Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The month of FUN! (Update continued.... - September 24, 2008

As requested by my favorite (and #1) Duck.... the summer blog continues...

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May (The Fun Month!):
May has always been my favorite month for the obvious reason that my birthday lands on the 26th, so I always make the entire month my "Birthday Month!" (much to Levi's dismay, as most of our conversations in my resolve with "... because it's my Birthday Month, that's why!")

I started the month off with a little mini-vacation with my sister to St. Pete Beach. We drove down there without much of a plan other than spending three days on the beach laying out and playing pro-kadima. (or attempting to play this paddle-ball game. I was terrible!) We drove around asking for rates of hotels, but one in particular kept catching my eye. It was perfectly round and completely kitchy-looking. I loved it right away. So we stopped in for a rate and found that the normally $300 per night beach-view room that we wanted was on sale for $150 a night! So we snapped that right up and checked out our room.

A beach view it was, even if it was partial, but it was clean and spacious and had a big bed, so we were happy! We spent the first night eating at a really cute sushi restaurant and watching Rattattoui with Cheryl's friend, who came to visit. The next morning, we found the most local-looking diner we could (and it was packed with locals, which means it has to be good!) and had a delicious breakfast. I had forgotten my ATM card in the ATM the night before, so we went to the bank to get a new card, because the last time I left my card in the machine, they shredded it. (Yes. I am air-headed enough to do that twice!) But to my delight, they saved my card since it was the ATM attached to the building! (Our luck was holding out!)

We spent some time on the beach, walked around a beautiful old fort, and had some dinner at the bar where we made friends with the bartender. (Naturally) He said we had missed all the action the night before- there was a wedding where the bridesmaids all got into a fist fight! Glad we weren't there for that....

The next day we tried to take a ferry out of Ft. Desoto Park to an island, but we (well, I....) had read the sign wrong the day before, thinking it had said "Ferry runs 11 am TO 2pm," when in fact it read "Ferry runs AT 11 am and returns AT 2 pm." (Ok, so I guess I can be a little air-headed about signs too...) So, not to be deterred from having fun, we rented some canoes and kayaked around the mangrove kayaking trail all afternoon. Cheryl got burned to a crisp due to the antibiotics she was taking, but all in all it was an awesome, relaxing trip!

A few weeks later was the Florida Music Festival, a huge music festival that Levi plays in every year down town. Every year since we've been together, someone has visited for the big event. This year was Mallory, Levi's little sister's turn. We were extra excited for her visit because it would be the last time we would see her as a single person, since she's getting married in August! While she was here we saw Levi play an amazing show at FMF and went to three out of the four Disney parks in one day! (A feat in itself!) It was so great having Mal here and I'm SO excited to shoot her wedding in August!

That night, my really good friend Eric Yow and I had a Wii-themed birthday party where everyone dressed up as their favorite Nintendo character. It was SO much fun and quite honestly, my favorite birthday since my infamous boy-girl skate party of 1992. (Hands were held, gossip ensued... hehe) I came as Toadette first, and then later surprised everyone by changing into the Japanese characters in the Wii commercial who come to the front door and say "We would like to play..." with my good friend Sonya. It was hilarious and everyone was so surprised! Later, since we all were Wii characters ourselves, we made life-sized Wii games. One game we played was from Mario Party and the objective is that you have to spray paint a geometric shape onto paper. Whoever spray paints the most shapes most accurately in 30 seconds wins. (We had to use silly string instead of spray paint, of course) It was hilarious!

The next week, on my actual birthday, Levi got the day off from work and we went to Silver Springs, a classic (read: cheesy!) old theme park in the heart of Florida. It was SO kitchy, with their panther and bear shows and gator jumps and of course, their famous glass bottom boats... but I loved it. I absolutely live for stuff like that- roadside attraction type things, so I was in heaven. (And in the vein of all things cheesy, we HAD to take a picture in the lucky Horseshoe Palm, which our boat driver said was such a special anomaly because of the way it was growing in a circle, and whoever takes their picture in the circle gets five years good luck! We couldn't pass that up!)

Our favorite animal exhibit was the bear exhibit. Apparently, they have the largest bear exhibit in the nation! It was really awesome seeing a Kodiak bear that close! We watched him for a long time sniffing around, finding food here and there.... generally just being a bear. Next we saw the panthers, who reminded me sooo much of our own slightly feral kitty. Finally, my personal highlight of the day was feeding a giraffe! They had two giraffes in a really tall 'giraffe barn' and sold little crackers that they slurped up with their long, purple tongues! It was amazing! That night for dinner, we went to Salt Island Chop House, a really nice place on I-Drive and I fell in love for the first time..... with turtle cheesecake!!!!!!!! Wow. Why have I never had this most amazing cake before? I feel so deprived. It's my new favorite. (Although Levi says his Mom makes the most amazing cakes and pies ever, so until I have those, I'll have to reserve my judgement on my favorite cake!)

The next night was our 3 year anniversary. Unfortunately, Levi couldn't get the day off, but I managed to drag him out to a really nice dinner in Canada.... Epcot's Canada, that is... It's a REALLY nice place called "La Cellier" (French for the Cellar) and it takes around 3-6 months to get a reservation there! No joke! Levi didn't believe me last time we were at Epcot, so he ran up to the reservations desk and they informed him that the next available table was in about 180 days! So in December, I made sure to reserve our table for May 27th, our anniversary. We rode the new SpaceShip Earth in the Epcot ball (They re-did the ride and it is SO fun! You get to 'make your own future' and little do you know they use the picture they snap of you earlier IN the animation! Levi had kissed my cheek to be cute RIGHT before the picture was snapped so I was laughing! The animation was hilarious!) and then went over to Minnie's Butterfly Garden that was set up for the Garden Festival. (It was Levi's first time in a butterfly garden!)

When we arrived at La Cellier and checked in, the cheerful receptionist asked if it was our anniversary like the reservation said, and we responded accordingly. "Well where are your buttons?" She chirped. Buttons? That's right.... Disney likes to honor anniversaries and birthdays with a special button so that everyone can wish you a Happy -Insert Holiday Here- type of thing. Well, we didn't have any- YET. So she cheerfully poked two "Happy Anniversary" Pins on our shirts. And Levi turned the exact shade of red that the button was.

Beyond the slight embarrassment, the night was near perfect. The food was AMAZING. Literally the BEST I've ever had in this town. It might take six months to make a reservation, but I'm TELLING you, it's worth it!!! So make your dining plans accordingly.

Another BIG highlight of May came on the very last day of the month. My best friend Shannah had been getting, shall we say, a BELLY. Like a HUGE one. For like, 9 months or so, it grew and GREW!! (Ok, it helped that she was pregnant! hehe) So finally, and on the night she was going to take me to our favorite Wine Room for my birthday, what does she have to do but go ahead and go into LABOR!!!!!! (I would like to think she just didn't have a present for me, so she had beautiful baby Isabella for me instead!) On May 29th, Shannah went into labor and May 30th, the world welcomed it's newest member, Isabella Faith Winn. She's beautiful! (There's evidence of this in my MySpace and Facebook albums) She was tiny but pretty well behaved every time I visited. Shannah, on the other hand, was SO drugged up the first time I came by (About four hours after delivery) she kept nodding off! Rude! (hehe, just kidding) So now I have a baby version of my best friend. And I couldn't be happier!!!

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June... coming soon....


At 9:16 AM, Blogger Ave said...

I'm enjoying reading your blog, and learning a little more about you. We wish you and Levi could have stayed longer in Maine, our whole family LOVES you. Come visit again soon and check out my blog if you feel like it! Lindsay's blog is

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Selena said...

Aw, well I love your family too. Levi's going to be back up there soon to see you all again! (I'm jealous! hehe)

At 7:32 AM, Blogger ML said...

TAG!--You're it!

Go to my blog for directions.


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