February 27, 2012

Other sight-seeing places

While in Orlando, we also went to Universal Studios CityWalk and ate at the NASCAR restaurant. I've now been to three of the major restaurants there with a minor goal to visit all seven. I know, a lofty and un-impressive goal in life.

At Universal CityWalk. Yes, same photo quality of every UFO sighting.

We also spent a full day in Nashville, TN on the way home. It was a lot of fun to see Music City and take in the sights/sounds only a city like that can provide.

We toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and as well as Studio B tour. Studio B is where many, many singers and bands have recorded through the years. It was pretty much THE place to record in the 60's. Elvis recorded many hits there. The piano used by him as well as many other musicians is still there and you can have your picture taken there.

Elvis's gold Cadillac.

Outfits from Johnny Cash and Taylor Swift.

The inductee room. Pictures and brief descriptions of the artist on gold plaques.

At Studio B.....

Allison outside the Ryman Auditorium. (Site of the former Grand Ole Opry before new one was built).

Another stop in Nashville was at the Antique Archaeology store (History Channel's American Pickers) There was a line to get in, but it was crammed with cool stuff you can't find anywhere but stores like that or in a back shed or crawl space somewhere. People were actually walking out with stuff, most popular were t-shirts or buttons that read "I picked the Pickers."

We spent a lot of time on Music Row, a long street packed with little shops and bars, most always had a band of varying quality playing on stage. (yes, another quality picture)

Our highlight was attending a show at the Grand Ole Opry. There were eight singers/bands that performed. I knew almost all the songs, so it was pretty cool.

The performers that night were: Jimmy Newman, James Wesley, The Whites, Diamond Rio, Sunny Sweeney, Jan Howard, The Rocky Top X-Press and Craig Morgan. The crowd favorites were "Meet in the Middle" by Diamond Rio, "Rocky Top" by Rocky Top X-Press and "That's what I love about Sundays" by Craig Morgan.

I would definitely recommend a stop in Nashville if you have a chance. If you love country music, or even if haven't realized you do yet, you should also be sure to check out the Grand Ole Opry.

February 25, 2012

At the Home Builders Show

The show itself is quite impressive. Picture the Varied Industries building at the Iowa State Fair, but times 20. We spent all day there and didn't see it all. There were quite a few neat booths to stop at, games to play, and information to collect. I got some neat ideas, but few readers would be interested. You would be more interested in the following people:

Everyones hero: Norm Abram (left) of The New Yankee Workshop and This Old House fame

Richard Trethewey (right) of This Old House and Ask This Old House

A couple designers from Extreme Home Makeover.
I also saw Mike Holmes, people from TLC shows and other various improvement shows.

I almost won a nail driving competition (the closest all day I was told), won free prizes and got lots of free samples and information. Allison even got in the spirit and grabbed as many free cloth bags she could find for future grocery shopping.

Vacation Part 1

A few weeks ago, a very pregnant Allison, myself, and my boss Duane with his wife Danelle took a long drive to Orlando for the International Home builders show. It was a lot of driving, but we had a good time and saw some interesting things and places.

Duane and Danelle knew a fellow who worked at Chick-fil-A national headquarters in Atlanta, so we stopped there on our way down to see it. I'm glad we did, the place was really sweet and the people were super friendly.

Duane's friend took us see S. Truett Cathy (the founder), but he wasn't in that day. Here is his office.

The owner loved collecting cars. He had a lot of neat ones, and of course, no office building is complete without a Batmobile.

I also was given two autographed books written by S. Truett Cathy. I read them both on the trip and was very impressed with his company philosophy and how the company began and has continued to grow. It was really great stop. I asked our guide where the pasture was that corralled all the official Chick-fil-A cows, but was just given an awkward laugh.

We were so impressed we knew we had to stop and eat at a Chick-fil-A later that day for lunch.

February 22, 2012

My Birthday

I had a great birthday this year.

We celebrated the weekend before my birthday with my parents by going out to eat at the Machine Shed. It was delicious.

On my actual birthday itself Jared surprised me with built-in dividers for one of the drawers in our island. I think that this present by far was my favorite because now all the kiddos cups, plates, spoons, ext. are all nice and organized. He also stopped by Panera to get me lunch. (If you know Jared at all this is huge). And then for supper we went out to eat at Pizza Ranch. Which turned out great for two reasons... I didn't have to cook and the kids got to eat free because it was Tuesday.

To finish the day we ate a snowman birthday cake that Makenna (with a lot of help from her mama) made. By the way the choice for the design of a cake was left up to Makenna. She has kinda been on a snowman kick lately.

All-in-all it was a great birthday and I felt very special. Here are a couple pictures of the snowman cake.