Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The People of the World Chicken Festival

Original or Extra Crispy?

5 bucks for two nickel crowns?
Let's go git some chicken!
So, by now everyone has seen "The People of Wal-Mart" e-mails and web site, right?  Well, I have a new set of amazing people to add.  I like to call it "The People of the World Chicken Festival".  The World Chicken Festival is a festival in London, Kentucky that basically celebrates Kentucky Fried Chicken and Colonel Sanders.  That's basically it.  If you'd like more information (for whatever reason) follow the link above and you can read all about it.  Being a veteran of virtually every county, state, town, village, and holler festival in the state of Kentucky I have just about seen it all when it comes to these events. 
Feathered and lovely
I've never seen people come out of the woodwork like they do for these annual shindigs.  I missed the festival last year, but had the pleasure of returning this year.  The London Women's League, of which The Boss is a member (and Secretary / Treasurer) has a booth every year, the proceeds of which make up the vast majority of their annual budget for giving back to the community.  All joking aside, something cool about the "World Chicken Festival" is that a portion of all vendor proceeds must go to some form of local charity.  It has always been that way, and after 21 years, is still this way.  So, I am dragged down there again this year to do my part in giving back.  I complain about it on here, but once I get down there, I realize how much fun these things can be.  Especially when engaging in one of my favorite pastimes - people watching.
This guy was just out of place
Holy Moses!
For the past few years, the Women's League has had a gyro's booth.  But, the guy they had used turned out to be a real sleaze and had cheated them in the past.  They changed vendors last year, but found another gyro maker to help this year.  These things are so popular thatseveral people came up to me asking where we were last year.  I never knew people in London loved gyro's - or fajitas as they are also called by many, so much.
This years celebrity - Cletus Hogg
Rand Paul ain't got nuthin on Cletus
Which brings me to my next story - me hawking the gyro's left and right.  Something I learned from my dad at an early age, is the power of persuasion in the form of yelling at people to come buy your item.  Reactions vary from stopping and staring to yelling back or simply ignoring me.  Of course, as a natural salesman, albeit an unemployed one, I found a few taglines that got some great reactions.  Also, the best are those that would correct me when I would call them "jyros" instead of the correct "heeroes".  First of all, folks, I know what they are really called.  However, if you start yelling about a "heero" the vast majority of people will think you are a pretentious a-hole, or that you have Superman in your booth slinging sandwiches.

Well I must get on with it, there are a few select pictures that I have included here that are my favorites.  I am off to Oxford, Mississippi to watch the Cats stomp the Rebels this weekend.  After I recover from the weekend I hope to have some good, clean stories about this weekend.  Enjoy the pics and GO CATS!!!

A typical Louisville fan

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daddy Nobucks!!!

What more could I wish for?

So, I've had a fairly busy end of the week and I am trying to get caught up on everything.  Let me start at the beginning of the week.  Tuesday was my 33rd birthday, and as far as birthdays go, I must admit, it was not the best of days.  All was well until about 5:15 when I  got the call that I did not get the job I had interviewed with last Friday.  So, that defintely put a damper on the rest of the day.  Up unitil then, it had been alright.  Earlier I baked my favorite cake - Gigi's Deep Dark Chocolate Cake, and the girl's even helped me . . .lick the bowl.  This cake is pretty awesome, and so rich you need a gallon of milk to wash it down. 
These women love chocolate
Second, Miss Giggles had a soccer game that evening, so I had to put on my happy face at 6 o'clock and coach my team.  Again, things started well for us, the other team only had 5 or 6 kids and we had our full complement of players.  Thinking that we could wear them down, I was substituting a lot, keeping fresh legs on the field.  Of course, at that age how can everyone's legs not be fresh, right?  Well, in the fourth quarter, this kid on the other team, just decided to take over, and scored 3, 4, or 5 goals on us in about a five minute span.  It was such a flurry that I could not keep up.  I've never seen a five year old take a team on his shoulders at the end of a game, and single-handedly beat another squad - but I never saw Pele at five either.  Needless to say, it was impressive.  So, not only did I not get a job, but my team got thumped.  Oh, and I almost forgot the best part.  Their coach was a no show, so I got out coached by some soccer mom that came out of the stands and took on the responsibility.  Is it possible for an under 6 coach to be on the hotseat?  Happy Birthday to me . . .
Along with that the World Famous Chicken Festival is this weekend.  I must admit that this is always a fun event, because I can partake in some of the best people watching to be found.  You've seen the people of Wal-Mart e-mails, wait until you see The People of the World Famous Chicken Festival.  Stay tuned.

Go Team Fury

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Chip Off the Old Block?

No, Daddy.
I will not get in that dirt.
 So, Miss Giggles started playing soccer the day / morning that we returned from Disneyworld.  Not only did she begin her soccer career, I began my coaching career.  It is quite difficult coaching your 3 year old daughter on a team of mostly under six year old boys.  She does not quite have the competitive spirit that her daddy has.  Her, "sense of urgency" is essentially nonexistent.  She really can be quite fast when she is running around the couch in our rec room or the gym at school, but when on the field, she is slowed down by all the pretty flowers and her friends running with her.  The Boss tells me to give her some time - "she's only three", she says.  My response - "at three I was scoring three a game".  Not true, but this is my blog and I can say what I want.  At least I was in on the action.  Well, I won my coaching debut by a landslide.  At this age they don't keep score, but we smoked them.  Of course, I do keep score, but it's hard to keep track of every goal when you are out there "coaching".  I've noticed that at this age, it's not really coaching but yelling "go (insert name)" and directing them on which way to kick the ball.  One of the kids came up to me last night and said "Coach, why do you yell so much?"  I did not quite know how to respond to this, and thankfully the ball came his way, so I just yelled at him to get it and the thought was lost.  This has definitely given me a new level of respect for teachers, because it is difficult to get these kids to listen.  I've found a whistle helps.  If that doesn't I've told them that I am going to tell their daddy that they are being bad.  They perk right up.  It's nice to see that some of the things that my mom said, still ring true today.  So, thanks Mom for making me scared of Dad!

Monday, September 20, 2010

What'll Ya Have?

Why did you tell me to pose like this Daddy?
  So, we arrived back from Disney late Friday night, or early Saturday morning, whichever you prefer.  We left Orlando around noon, taking some pictures and savoring every last moment of vacation before we came back to reality.  We were going to meet Jesse, a.k.a Struggler in Orlando for some lunch before we left, but our plans fell through.  You see, Struggler just had a child of his own, a baby girl that is now about one month old, I believe.  They had come up to Orlando to stay with his sister-in-law for the week while we were there.  On the way out of town, Struggler tells me that he has learned the first lesson of parenthood - all plans are tentative.  In other words, kids change everything.  He said that the baby had been up all night, his wife was exhausted and felt disheveled, and even the dogs had kept him up.  On a side note, Struggler is in the same boat as I, surrounded by women - the only difference; my dog used to have a pair, as did I.
Making our way back home, we found ourselves in Catlanta around dinner time, which calls for a quick pitstop at The Varsity.  For those of you that don't know, The Varsity is disgustingly awesome.  It's right off of I-75 across from Georgia Tech, and is a drive-in with some of the best greasy grub you can find anywhere.  We typically go inside to get the "what'll ya have" experience, and stretch our legs.  I am particularly fond of the chili cheese slaw dogs and the onion rings with a coke and a chocolate shake.  But really it's all good in the sense that you can immediately feel your heart begging you to stop.  Well, after ordering our food, I proceed up the stairs, stacked tray in hand, and Miss Giggles is running towards me yelling "Daddy, we need napkins".  Unaware of the reasoning behind this sudden napkin emergency, I continue to head toward my destination in order to place our food on the table - and then I see it.  Miss Lala has projectile vomited all over The Boss' torso, foot, and onto the floor.  In my infinite wisdom, I grab some napkins and begin wiping . . .the floor.  The Boss commands me to wipe up more important locations such as herself or our daughter.  We had thought Miss Lala was somewhat lethargic and warm when we got her out of the car, but thought nothing of it, merely due to travel and exhaustion.  As The Boss and Miss Lala went out to the car to clean up, Miss Giggles and I finished our meal rather peacefully, and as soon as they returned and ate, we were on our way again.  Probably not the first, or last time a late night drive in across from a college has seen an underage youth vomit on the floor.  Apparently hurling on your mother does wonders for a child's psyche because Miss Lala seemed to perk up shortly thereafter.  Upon our departure, I was promptly reprimanded for my lack of vomit wiping prioritization, and chastised for doing that. . .AGAIN.  Again?  I summoned my short term memory for when such a horrendous crime could have been committed prior to this one, and I had failed to recall such an event.  I was quickly reminded of a recent Coca-Cola spilling incident when I began wiping off the table instead of The Boss' pants, purse, pride, etc.  Wow, the things women remember.
Check back tomorrow for Miss Giggles 1st soccer game, and don't forget to become one of my many followers.  Trust me folks, you want to get in early on this one, cause the train is filling up!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Magical Meltdown

So, I slacked off a bit this week, but for good reason.  I had an interview yesterday morning that I had been doing some research on most of the week.  The interview went well I think, and I hope to be getting a call on Monday or Tuesday with some good news.  So, I'm going to try this again, and take my mind back to Disneyworld.  Here we go!
On Thursday, we had decided to spend our last day at the Magic Kingdom.  It was an extra magic hours day, and at night was the Electric Light Parade - two things that must be taken advantage of.  The park opened early for those staying on property at 8 A.M.  Naturally, we arrived a little late, around 8:45.  It is human nature to take a right when you enter a park or event apparently.  I have read this on many occasion, so we headed to the left - Frontierland, here we come!  It was unreal.  It was as though we had the left hand side of the park to ourselves until almost noon. Which means we also got to see some more characters - Yeahh!!!  We were able to add Woody and Jessie to our list, along with another Ariel spotting - this time with "her daddy".  Her daddy meaning Prince Eric.  This being one of the funnier quirks of Miss Giggles' - calling each princesses' prince her "daddy".  Of course, I see the adult humor in this, and it is something that continues to go uncorrected.

I don't believe what I just saw

Also, while in Frontierland Miss Giggles rode the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with me and we had the opportunity to watch the Country Bear Jamboree.  She liked the ride part of the railroad, but not the "dark part" as you make your ascent.  So, we were one and done on Big Thunder Mountain - but she rode it and that's all I can ask.  As for the Country Bear Jamboree, The Boss and I were awestruck.  I don't believe this "attraction" has changed since the Magic Kingdom first opened its doors on October 1, 1971.  It is considered a Disneyworld classic.  It's classically something alright.  With hillbilly bears singing songs such as "Blood on the Saddle", "Don't Whip Little Buford" and "All the Guys That Turn Me On Turn Me Down" I was amazed that Disney still has an attraction as un-politically correct as this one.  Don't get me wrong, I found the hilarity in this as well, because I am a HUGE fan of things that eschew political correctness.  Because of this, I would say that the Country Bear Jamboree is a can't miss - for all of the wrong reasons.

The Blind Leading the Blind?

Daddy, will you still love me during my meltdown?
After lunch we passed the throngs of people heading across the park to where we had already been.  We headed to the teacups again, one of Miss Giggles' favorites, and let her drive the car with mommy. During "Story Time with Belle" I had noticed that Miss Giggles' eyes were starting to droop a little.  If life had a musical score, I woud have heard a faint "duh nuh, duh nuh" (Jaws) creeping up on me.  After the story ended, we headed inside a store to cool off a bit, but Miss Giggles was just warming up.  She had been playing with a make your own Mr. Potato Head, and I told her it was time to find something for Miss Lala because she had already gotten a toy (baby Simba).  Well, this was apparently unacceptable.  As we began to walk away, she began kicking and screaming, lying on the floor - you know, everything involved with a tired and overheated child's nuclear meltdown.  It was brutal.  Keep in mind, this is a large store, and The Boss and Miss Lala were across the way and not witness to this spectacular event.  As I fireman carry her outside, as though I am kidnapping her, I force her into her kiddy straight jacket, a.k.a the stroller.  It was at this point that a woman walks up to me and offers her words of encouragement stating "aww, mine did that yesterday".  Only at Disney are acts such as this not only common and acceptable, but almost expected.  At that point, we went back inside to find The Boss and Miss Lala.  Apparently, Miss Giggles wasn't done.  Seeing The Boss, she wiggles out of the stroller, and begins flopping on the ground like a fish out of water.  The Boss, had not a clue what was going on.  I told her that she had already missed the first half, and this must be the second.  We immediately headed out of there as though the place was on fire, telling Miss Giggles that because of her antics we were forgoing the afternoon parade.  Secretly, I think this may have been more of a punishment to The Boss than Miss Giggles.  I have never know a grown woman with such an affinity for parades.  We laid her down in the stroller and headed back to the hotel to cool off, both physically and mentally. She was asleep in two minutes flat.
After cooling off in the pool, we hit The Wave restaurant at our hotel and went back to the Magic Kingdom for the Electric Light parade.  Before the parade came the fireworks, which as mentioned previously are not my children's favorites.  So, with everyone outside watching the fireworks, we headed inside and saw Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Belle, Tinkerbell, and two other fairies that I don't know.  Sorry, I can't know them all.  I have to save some space in my brain for sports statistics and other useless facts and figures.  With everyone outside, we almost had the run of the place, and the girls got to spend some extra long quality time with the princesses.  In fact, the crowd was so sparse, Cinderella and Belle came out front because there was no one in line.  It was like an encore, tag team appearance for Miss Giggles, and a fitting end to our character experiences at Disneyworld.

Now this is more my size!
Afterwards we watched the Electric Light Parade.  Yet another parade that Disney throws just because.  It is pretty neat, and something that Miss Giggles also enjoyed - Miss Lala passed out in the stroller shortly after it began.  This provided a fun and fitting end to our Disneyworld vacation - or so I thought.  The Boss, wanting to miss the exodus out of the parks, hatched a plan to weave through the stores on the way out.  An hour later, doors locked, cast members pointing this way and that with directions to the closest exit.  Making my way to the cash register, I am reminded of an old saying - "fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me."  Thus, providing a fitting conclusion to our Disneyworld vacation.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are

On the loose
So, we learned a valuable lesson this year - never go to Animal Kingdom on a Wednesday.  It seems that everyone picks this park for the middle of their trip.  It was packed early on, and though it did thin out around parade time, we were fighting the throngs of people on the narrow, graciously shaded walkways of Animal Kingdom.
It's a bird, it's a plane. . .
Upon arrival we headed straight for the Kilimanjaro Safaris and were given a FastPass by one of the cast members - not a bad start to the day.  We got on after about ten minutes in line and saw a lot of the animals wandering about.  At one point there was a baby giraffe crossing the road that Miss Giggles thought was pretty cool.  Miss Lala kept pointing into the distance with an emphatic "Woww" that is a new trick of hers that The Boss and I got a kick out of all week.  After our safari we went to watch Festival of the Lion King, where Miss Lala promptly fell asleep.  Miss Giggles, who fell asleep last year was able to stay awake this time, and was in awe for the entire show.
I like your pretty necklace
After the show we grabbed a quick bite to eat and hussled back to Camp Minnie to catch the most elusive of princesses - Pocahontas.  We were successful and could now close the book on the princess visits - or so I thought, silly me.  That's like saying no more parades - which was up next for us.  I must say that the parade at Animal Kingdom is one of the best.  The costumes are very detailed and colorful and the floats are pretty cool too.  Plus, you can find a shady spot, it's one of the shorter parades, and is a great finale for our day at Animal Kingdom.  So we left with the masses and the girls were asleep before we were out of the parking lot.  After driving around and checking out some other hotels (Wilderness Lodge looks sweet) for a while to preserve the peace we went back to the pool and swam for a while before the storms came and we called it a night.  We had to get some rest for our last day at the Magic Kingdom - and what a day it would be!
Hakuna Matata

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Daddy Nobucks Day

Strike a pose
So, on Tuesday we went to Epcot for what I like to call Daddy Nobucks Day.  We got off to a late start due to what I call the "Disney Hangover" - aka exhaustion from Mondays trip to the Magic Kingdom.  As I mentioned, Epcot is the place that I enjoy the most - and here's why.  We arrived at Epcot around 11:00 and having only had a quick bite in the hotel room, we headed straight for France.  Of course, on the way, we saw Daisy Duck and had to stop for a visit.  Once in France, The Boss and I decided to wash down our brunch with some wine and champagne - wine not, right?  After we finished we watched a video on France that the girls found extremely boring.  We found this strategy worked well usually leading to either one or both girls falling asleep in the cool, dark, and quiet confines of a Disney indoor attraction.  We then went back up front to the Innovations sections where Miss Giggles rode her first "big girl" ride (I neglected to mention previously that she had ridden the Goofy coaster on Monday and really liked it).  I took her on Test Track, as she was barely over the 40" requirement.  Then we saw Nemo and his friends, and emerged from the aquarium to a downpour, and our strollers unprotected - brutal.  By the time they dried, Miss Giggles had followed that up with a ride on Soarin with The Boss.  I asked her if she liked them and she said "yes".  I followed that up by asking her if she wanted to ride them again - she replied "no".  Oh well, she tried it, and liked it and that's all I can ask.  Besides, I was ready to eat. 
"Daddy she's kind of neked"
I don't recall your name,
but your fez is familiar
We had a reservation at Marakesh, the Morrocan restaurant, so, of course, I needed to stop in Great Britain for my appetizer - fish and chips with a Bass Ale.  Good stuff.  We then proceeded to Marakesh and enjoyed some couscous and other Morrocan specialties.  Miss Giggles and Miss Lala both made friends and certainly enjoyed the entertainment.  The food and atmosphere was great.  I only wish that belly dancer had stayed out a little longer!  But, maybe it was a good thing she didn't because it was getting close to fireworks time, so we high tailed it out of there, and made it back to the Monorail before the show began.  Another successful day at Disney.

What was I thinking?

So, I have no idea what I was thinking.  Attempting to keep up with anything other than my children and my sanity at Disneyworld is an impossible task.  The daily exhaustion was just too much to handle and I was unable to keep up with my blog on a daily basis - plus it cost ten bucks a day.  We had a great time and made it home safely late last night.  Why, the rush you may ask to drive home all in one day.  Well, Miss Giggles had her first soccer game today, and I had my debut as the coach of "The Fury".  So, give me some time - I just woke up from a nice nap with Miss Lala, and I am doing this with a slight "Disney Hangover" while watching football today.  Stay tuned, there is plenty more to come.

P.S. I hope everyone will take a moment to remember the 9/11 victims and their families today.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It’s the Time of Your Life!

DSC06442So we arrived at The Happiest Place on Earth Sunday afternoon.  As a family we have already seen eight princesses (that includes Jasmine twice), “Mommy and Daddy Incredibles”, Lotso, the Little Einsteins, two parades, and two fireworks shows from the safe confines of our balcony.  There is a reason that we got a Magic Kingdom view room at the Contemporary Resort.  It is in our best interests to stay out of earshot from any fireworks displays, of which Disneyworld has around 176 per day.  Neither girl is a big fan, so we are able to turn our television to Channel 20 and hear the music synchronized to the show.  This place really is a spectacle to behold.
We went to Hollywood Studios for a few hours, and saw Disney Playhouse Live, Beauty and the Beast on stage, several characters, and one parade.  We got there in early afternoon, had lunch, and began the festivities.  Afterwards we went to Boma in the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner, which was awesome – again.  We went there last year, and even though we wanted to try new places, Boma was my choice to return to this time.  Boma is a buffet specializing in African cuisine, and it is unlike anything anywhere – the main reason it gets my vote.  At one point Miss Giggles was begging me not to go get another plate because I would “get a big fat belly”.  I had to wonder if her concern was really over my figure, or her desire to leave.


DSC06307Yesterday was the day we all looked forward to.  The Magic Kingdom and breakfast with Cinderella in the castle.  Shockingly enough, we were a few minutes late, but only because we are four stops from the Magic Kingdom on the Monorail.  But, upon returning we are the first stop – which comes in quite handy when the meltdown monster rears its ugly head. It is always a difficult task toeing the line between slap happy and complete meltdown. Thankfully, we were successful yesterday.
DSC06324 Our visit to the Magic Kingdom was cut short by a rain shower around 4:00. However, we were in Tomorrowland and were able to navigate through some indoor attractions and under shelter – it was a great place to hide from the rain. In fact, during the Monsters Inc show, Miss Giggles and Miss Lala were profiled on the audience cam as the little girl “Boo”. We thought that was pretty cool. We were hoping to stay for the Electric Light Parade, which begins at 9:00. But, I think the rain may have been a blessing in disguise, as we were all quite exhausted. So, when the rain let up just a little, we hoofed it back to the Monorail, weaving our way through the Main Street U.S.A. shops to stay somewhat dry. We grabbed a
DSC06375DSC06357quick bite to eat at the hotel, took baths, watched the fireworks, and got into bed. Miss Lala did not make it through the show, passing out as soon as she was able to remain still. Miss Giggles was able to finish and was out almost as soon as the first hair hit the pillow – I’m talking seconds people. It was unprecedented. Even I was victim to a similar fate, watching the Boise St. & Virginia Tech game while beginning to write this post. I made it about halfway through – struggling with my command of the English language, and unable to utilize my extensive vocabulary satisfactorily. See what I mean, no way could I have written that last night. So, I thought I would just close the computer, finish watching the game, and finish this post tomorrow. Well, I woke up to find out that Boise St. ended up winning the game, and it is now about 8:45 and both girls are still asleep. Our theory – let Sleeping Beauties lie.

Today, we are on our way to Epcot, for what I like to call “Daddy Nobucks Day”. I love Epcot, it is a combination of some of my favorite things: technology and foods and beverages from around the world. Of course, there will be some character stops throughout the day. We may even try to have breakfast with the princesses again. In Epcot last year we were able to walk right in, and it is only one credit a piece on our dining plan – quite the value in my opinion. But, if they don’t wake up soon, I know two Sleeping Beauties that may miss breakfast altogether!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

JAX '10

So, we've been to both Atlantic and Jacksonville Beach and seen the Cats whoop the stinkin' Cards.  I would say our time in Jacksonville has been a success and as I type, The Boss is packing for our trip down the Florida "Toll" parkways to Orlando.  Hopefully my coupon clipping wife has mapped out a way to make this trip as cost effective as possible (as if any trip to Disney World can be such).  We have had a wonderful time in Jacksonville catching up with our friends and their lives at home.  Matty is apparently the "hot doctor" in town, and Bowers is on the hot track in the engineering industry.  Both are doing very well and I am proud of them both personally and professionally.  It is fun to see all of us in our roles as daddy - my how things have changed!  Here is a picture of our kids together tonight.  We like to call them collectively the University of Kentucky Class of 2029-2035.
Today before the game we went to the beach and walked along the shore collecting seashells.  I will post pics pf our trip throughout so bear with me.  They may be random, but they are the ones that I like.  If you don't like them go to Picasa and you will see the collection.  Miss Lala is not a big fan of the beach in general as she has a fear of the sand and the ocean/waves.  Not a good combination of fears in this state.  She stayed in the stroller the entire time and had it made.  As for yesterday, we stayed at the beach for about two hours, neither girl entering the ocean above their big toenail.  As for Daddy Nobucks, I did ride some sweet waves, as Hurricane Earl passed some love my way during my day at the beach via large waves and lots of seashells for the ladies.  Sweet on both accounts!
After a walk on the beach, we decided to walk on the pier and see what was happening.  I have always been a sucker for the action on the pier.  Apparently I must not be holding my mouth right, because I can't catch a cold.  The Boss claims I haven't caught anything since we've been married - eight years and counting.  That sucks.  The problem is I catch everything when she isn't with me.  Sure, you say, I have even taken pictures with my current cellular technology.  She suggests that it is someone else's fish.  In my world it is quite emasculating having one's wife tell them they cannot fish.  I just tell her there's a reason they call it fishing and not catching. Anyway, we saw a guy catch a small hammerhead shark. My theory is that Mama is around somewhere, and a shark is a shark is a shark.  I have to ask myself, "am I a true man"?  And I answer - "Hell Yeah"!  I cook, I watch the Today Show, and I LOVE The Price Is Right.  If I had a Facebook page I would add them.  Is there something wrong with that?
Anyway, we leave for Disney tomrorrow and need some sleep.  I will try to update as much as I can.  Apparently Disney charges for daily internet access so I may be out of touch.  Maybe The Boss will find a way to cut some corners! 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Are We There Yet?

So, we made it to Jacksonville last night at about 1:30 A.M.  We left home at around 1:45, so twelve hours of travel time is not too shabby.  The girls were pretty good travelers too, considering we did not break up the trip at all.  We only had a few meltdowns fromm Miss Lala, which consisted of an arching back when being placed back into her seat.  It is not the most pleasant of tasks forcing your surprisingly strong nineteen month old into the confines of her seat.  We stopped in Columbia, South Carolina for what The Boss calls my "obligatory dining wild goose chase".  I am a big fan of South Carolina BBQ, which has a mustard based sauce, that is sweet and gooey, and oh so delicious.  The place we went to last night was called "Little Pigs" and was a buffet with "all the fixins" - green beans, collard greens,baked beans, cole slaw, mac and cheese, hash, BBQ pork, brisket, fried chicken, chicken livers, and on and on.  It was great.  I stumbled on this place looking for a place I had visited before that would give your party a 10% discount if you cleaned your plate.  As an eternal member of the "clean plate club", I remembered this and tried searching for it.  I recognized the pictures on the internet, and called the restaurant for directions.  I also asked them if they were the same place I remembered.  The man replied with a chuckle, and said "No. . . well yeah but that was 20 years ago".  I felt sick.  What a punch to the gut.  I have become old enough to refer to something I remember over twenty years ago - when I was a teenager!  Shocking and stunning.  So, I called my dad and told him, so he could also wallow in my self pity.  So, now we have invaded Matty's, surprisingly well decorated (according to The Boss) bachelor pad, and it may never be the same.  With my two girls, Matty's three year old son, and Bowers' three year old son, we are in for quite a frenetic weekend.  I have a feeling that the fury of Hurricane Fiona will be nothing compared to what we are about to witness.  Hopefully they'll occupy each other between the hours of 3 and 8 tomorrow night so we can watch the Cats whip the stinkin 'Cards.  But, for now it's off to the beach, and I will try to post with some pics from Atlantic Beach later.  In the meantime - GO BIG BLUE!!!