Sunday, August 26, 2012

Good Read

I usually shy away from book reviews, but I had to post this one on the blog. Sometimes you just need to read something like this. This book was, to say the least, AMAZING. I absolutely adored it & just know it will stay with me for a long time. I don't want to give anything away, but basically it is about a doctor who dies in a kayaking accident. She makes a trip to heaven, but is told that it is not her time. This is her story. And not only this, but she tells of several personal encounters she has had with God throughout her life. If nothing else, this book will reaffirm your faith. And sometimes we just need that, you know? A subtle reminder that He is there always. It was a really quick & easy read- I used about 4 lunch breaks to complete it. I highly, highly recommend it! Happy reading!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

2 for Robert Plant, Please!

Sometimes you just gotta get away to the delta to hear some good music. Sometimes, you get lucky and end up with a fabulous place to stay, a band you like as neighbors, and Robert Plant and Patti Griffin as the entertainment you are going to see. Jeremy & I spent last weekend in Clarksdale for The Sunflower Festival & we had such a great time! We were actually in Clarksdale when it was announced that Robert Plant would be headlining this year's festival (back in March). When we found out, we started frantically searching for a place to stay, but everywhere booked up in about 5 seconds. So, we decided to book a room at the Isle of Capri in Lula. UNTIL, our new friend, Joey Young who I had commissioned to paint a piece of art for Jeremy for his bday, said he could hook us up with a shack out at the Stovall plantation. And if you know Jeremy & me, well, you know we love a good Delta shack. 

Check out Joey's painting for Jeremy. How awesome is this? And it is huge. I. Love. It. 

Our little Shack. We about fell out when we walked in. I won't lie. I had my concerns, as Joey stated that these shacks would be ready just in time for the festival. I was just hoping that it ac, electricity, and a private bathroom. This place was niiiiiiiiice. 

Check it out! It's Jimbo Mathis! And he & the band were our neighbors! This was taken Friday night at Hopson Commissary. We bounced back & forth from there to the Juke Joint Chapel Friday night. And we even bumped into our friend, Allen (if you remember from my other posts about Clarksdale- he has always been our bartender/ checker-in-er/etc. at The Shack Up)

I took this Sat. morning off our Cabin's back porch. I just don't feel right calling this place a shack. I just can't do it!

"Hello? Am I excited to be here for my first Sunflower Festival? Why, yes, I am!!!"
I know, I am a complete nerd. Jeremy tells me this on a daily basis. But I couldn't resist. This was at the old radio station. We had an excellent tour guide by the name of Ken (who happens to live in Jackson) and he filled us in on all the details of this little gem. 

The old green room- so cool to think about all the famous feet that walked across this floor.

 Ike Turner used to sit here

Ken's brother, Bubba, owns this building and downstairs is a museum of sorts. And I couldn't resist a photo of this picture-perfect cotton!  

Jeremy asked me to make the goofiest face I could think of. Here it is, people. I had pizza on the brain- we were at The Stone Pony, one of our old standby's. 

Hiya, Robert! Rumor had it that Jimmy Page was backstage & that he was going to make a surprise appearance. We were stoked. It didn't happen. But, that's ok. I'll take Robert Plant any day. 
Kindof reminded me of that time I was in Orlando for the Enterprise yearly Manager Meeting & everyone kept talking about the "surprise band" that was going to play the opening night of the meeting. We were all so convinced it was going to be Dave Matthews. I was so excited, I lost sleep over it. Turned out to be Hootie and the Blowfish. And that was before they went country. We'll call it their "In-Between Stage." Not that I am comparing Robert Plant to Hootie. You know what I mean, right? It was kindof like, "No way! Dave Matthews??? Get out of here! Can you imagine? Would that not be so cool to tell people we saw Dave at a private concert just for E employees? Oh, what, it's Hootie? As in, Let her Cry? Oh. They're still together???" Saturday night was more like this: "You are kidding. Jimmy Page, too? I may faint. I really think I might." Then, after several songs when we realized that Jimmy would have come out by then: "Wellllll, he should be coming out anytime if he is here.....surely he would have been out by now." And towards the end: "No biggie. I mean, who REALLY thought that Jimmy Page would be here, too. That is nuts!!" See the difference? Yes, you are right. You will never get those 15 seconds back that it just took to read  that nonsense. Sorry, but that's just the way my brain works sometimes!

We aren't the spring chickens we used to be. Some of us may have needed a nap mid-afternoon.

Oh my gosh, this little girl ADORED Jeremy. She would not leave him alone & it was so cute. She was Hazel's age so it made us miss her (& Hutch, of course) like crazy. 

Jeremy, don't kill me, but I love this picture. So, I posted it. Welcome. See that shirt?

Do we look tired? Because we were. It was a looooooong day. 

Ground Zero!

Can you see Robert? Yeah, we really couldn't either. Let me also say that Patti Griffin was incredible. Her voice is absolutely amazing. 

The main house on the property where we stayed. Or also known as "Shanda's place" to the locals. It was so pretty! I wanted to go take a look inside so bad!

There's our cabin to the left. And I should have captured this, but there is also an airstream trailer to the right that you can rent if you are on a budget. It was going for 75/ night during the festival. That's where Jimbo's band slept. 

We loved the old brick columns in the driveway. 

While we headed out of town, this little guy headed into Jackson. He brought along his little sis, Mama, and Aunt Haley. We hated this fell on our Clarksdale weekend, but we did get to spend Sun. night with everyone. And, the kiddos stayed at my parents all weekend so they got to spend more QT with their cousins and Aunt Haley who they had not seen since May a year ago! 

Thai boxing shorts!

Reunited!!! And it feels so goooooood! Love, love, love my sisters and I just feel complete now that we are all back on the same continent. Can't wait to spend some time with these girls & our families Labor Day. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rocky Mountain High

I think John Denver had it right. I was fortunate to spend some time in Colorado while I was in college, and while it has always held a special place in my heart, I was reminded of just how much I love this state this past week. As in, gives-me-butterflies kinda love. The summer I spent in Colorado took place in between my freshman and sophomore year and I fell so hard for this place that I actually called my parents to inform them that I was not, in fact, returning to MS to continue my education, but I was going to stay in CO. My plan was to drop out of school for a year (right) and return to CU when I could qualify for in state tuition. And, even better, I was going to support myself by working at the Gap part time. In Colorado. 

Needless to say, I finished out my summer and then headed back home. Anyways! I digress. When my cousin Jenny & her fella, Greg, decided to tie the knot, my Mom & I knew we had to go. Not only to have an excuse to visit a state we both hold close to our hearts, but to spend the weekend with 2 people we absolutely adore. Here are some pics from the trip. AND, let me apologize as they have somehow uploaded out of order and I am just too lazy to fix it. :) 

This one's for you Aunt Lisa! My Aunt Lisa & cuz, Peyton, took the Amtrak out to CO a while back & they made a stop at Glenwood Springs. Thought you may like this!

This is the hotel we stayed at in Glenwood Springs. Super cute place & the staff were awesome! And, you could walk everywhere. AND, it was hooked up to a brewpub. Oh, yeah...

Inside of Hotel Denver

We cruised over to Aspen on Friday on our way back to Denver. Or, well, we thought it was on the way. It wasn't. BUT, we had never been to Aspen, so it was worth the detour. After seeing all the private, chartered planes parked at the Aspen Regional Airport, I was sure I would rub elbows with someone famous. Nope. Oh, well, once again, my celebrity hunt proved to be unsuccessful. 

I can almost picture myself speeding down those Aspen slopes. And I say "almost" because in reality, I don't ski. I never have. I am convinced I would be horrible at it. But if I did, I can picture myself here. 

Another one for you, Aunt Lisa! Rumor has it this where they spent a night or two while they kicked it in Aspen. 

Seeing all these little people on this playscape made me miss my kiddos. The H's would have adored this little park & the background & the lack of humidity. And all of the food options that surrounded the place. 

Check out these you think this is why they call it Aspen? Hmm. This was on Independence Pass on the way out of Aspen. Ok, so for those of you that aren't familiar with the area, Independence Pass is up there. I mean, UP THERE. As in, super high. With no shoulders and extremely narrow lanes. They close it in the winter b/c of snow (as with many other passes, I am sure). It was quite nerve-racking, especially for my Mom, as she was driving. BUT, well worth the amazing views. 

We happened upon an old mining town on Independence Pass.

Me & my Mama at 12,000 feet!

Eisenhower Tunnel

View of downtown Denver from our hotel room for the wedding

Billy & Cindy

Cindy, Mom, Ben

Cindy & Aunt Sybil

We took alot of pics of the 2 of us. And this is the only one where you can actually see us. So, I had to post a pic of me with the bride! And, in case you were wondering if we had any fun at the wedding....well, now you know. :) 

Love my Mom!

My Mom & Cindy

Sunday, my Mom & I headed out to Colorado Springs, but not before spending a few hours at the outlet mall! check out this rainstorm we caught in the parking lot. 

It was always my Grandfather's dream for me to attend the Air Force Academy. As in, he used to bring me brochures and tell me he had already signed me up. I was 5. And, I wasn't excited about this dream of his. I think there were tears involved. SO, this pic is for him. Don't tell him, though, b/c I plan on framing it for him & giving it to him for his bday. Don't worry- he doesn't have the i-net. 

Garden of the Gods!

 Remember when I told you these were out of order? Well, here is a prime example. Our first night, we drove out to Estes Park and spent the night at The Stanley. For those of you who don't know, this is where Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining. Yes, folks, it's haunted! And, we happened to stay on the 4th floor, which is supposedly the floor where the most paranormal activity occurs. Besides a weird sound that we heard on the way to taking our bags to the room (won't get into detail, but we are convinced it was something supernatural), our stay was uneventful. But, we loved the ghost tour and listening to all of the things that HAVE happened and that could possibly happen. Wowers, this place is creepy! But in a good way. The ghosts seem rather nice. And the hotel was beautiful. 

Fat Tire tastes better in CO. And in a haunted hotel bar. If you look to the far left of the picture at the bar, you can see Jackie! Haha!

Isn't this bar beautiful?

Room 217...the room where Stephen King stayed & it all began. It was changed to 273 in the movie b/c they were afraid that they would not be able to book the room once the book came out. Little did they know that it would become their most requested room! 

Our hallway in front of our room. Do you see anything weird or out of place? If so, let me know. Supposedly, people often complain that they hear children playing up and down the hallway in the wee hours of the morning. I have searched this pic for anything out of place, so let me know if I have missed something. 

The elevator. And it works!

The old billiards room....F.O. Stanley's fave room & one that he frequents still today....this was his favorite spot and there used to be a pool table underneath that light fixture. 

I thought these were Elk or reindeer. But, come to find out, they are simply deer. And, they greeted me outside of the hotel Thursday morning. They came right up to the hotel. 

See that big front porch? My Mom & I had so much fun enjoying a glass of wine on that porch Wed. night- the sky was clear & the moon was full. And, it was probably in the upper 60s, if I had to guess. 

I could wake up to this view every morning. 

Stairwell in The Stanley

This used to be the breakroom & supposedly it's super haunted, too. It was even featured on one of those ghost-hunter shows. 

People leave candy out for the little ghost children. 

Check out this hot mama!

Entry way to The Stanley

I think this was Rocky Mountain National Park- we drove this on Thursday to get out to Glenwood Springs. 

Haha! People loved this car....while we were out snapping pics of the scenery, I noticed several people taking pics of our ride! Too funny!

More wildlife!

AND, here we are back in Glenwood Springs. Geez, why can't I take initiative to organize these? 

Our room at Hotel Denver. Sweet little quote to help you sleep better.

Believe, people! 

Amtrak rails going through Glenwood Canyon.

Throughout my trip, I thought alot about how blessed I was to be able to spend some vacay time with my Mom. We had SUCH a blast & I wish that our entire family could have been with us. I can't wait to plan my next trip to Colorado (don't worry, Jeremy, it won't be anytime soon and hopefully you will be there, too!) and spend some time at my new favorite places I discovered. I am so excited for my cousin, Jenny and her new husband, Greg, and their little girl, Marianne. They are such a wonderful couple & I wish them all the happiness in the world! And last, but not least, huge shout out to my in-laws for heading to Jxn to help Jeremy out with the kiddos. 

And, in case you haven't heard, Haley is back!!! Woo-hoo!!!