Friday, April 29, 2011

Some nostalgia...

OK so they may have spent a bit more on the wedding but can they say that they met in DisneyWorld??;) 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dallas still rocks!

Sometime last year Mike and I were talking about our favorite memories from the '80s and it turned out that Michael had never seen "Dallas"! What??!! I had to put that right, so we started out with Season One on DVD sometime last year and have been watching it every Monday night since. Yes, it's as fantastic as I remembered and we're all hooked, including Madison :).

Anyway, this week was the week that we've all been waiting for. To bring you up to speed...drunken bum Digger Barnes has just died, bitter Cliff Barnes's career is in tatters thanks to the evil genius of J.R., cowboy Ray Krebbs has slept with both Lucy and Pam but did manage to resist the drunken advances of Sue Ellen, Bobby doesn't like how many hours his brainless wife Pam is working at the dress shop (Ewing women should stay at Southfork all day and wait for their men to come home:)), J.R. has managed to trick the entire Dallas oil cartel out of about $10M apiece, wimpish brother Gary and his waitress wife Valene have been driven out of town and have set up home in Knots Landing, Sue Ellen's boyfriend lusty Dusty Farlow has just died in a plane crash causing her to fall back off the wagon, Sue Ellen's twisted sister Kristen is trying to get her locked up in the sanitarium (again) and Lucy has the hots for the gorgeous Mitch Cooper...Phew! At this point even Madison wants to shoot J.R. and the only person in the clear is Miss Ellie...

Apparently the original shooting of J.R. was screened in March, 1980 and it wasn't until November that the secret was resolved! Also, to maintain the dizzy excitement the shooter wasn't revealed until the 4th episode of the new season. It was watched by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the 3rd highest watched American T.V. show in history!

Anyway, as you probably remember the shooter was...

...Kristen!! Anyway, J.R. didn't press charges in the end because she's pregnant...(I'm not a lawyer or anything but I'm pretty sure in real life the police would have prosecuted her anyhow). Only 10 more seasons to go..:)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter!

We had a really lovely family day with the Simards on Easter Sunday and Jen did a fantastic job of the food! Here are our beautiful girls in their dresses...

Jen, Rich and Mya sitting nicely for a lovely Easter family photo for Clare's blog. Thank you very much :)

Why does it take 50 attempts to get a nice photo of me and Mike? To get just one like this...

I had to take another 49 more like this...

Did all that blog sabotage wear you out, Mikey boy?


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Saturday with Doug, Luci and family!

We had the most perfect Easter Saturday with Mike's friends, Doug and Luci and their family! Thanks to Facebook, Mike was able to set up a reunion with his college friends from 20 years ago. Their family took us all out on their boat to a beautiful little island near Tarpon Springs for the day...

The beach was just gorgeous :)

Even dogs on boats wear life jackets apparently...:)

Doug, Nick, Mike and Maddy on the boat on the way back...

Jean, Luci, Benny and Chris...

Mike and Maddy...

Our fine captain Art :). On the way back he found a couple of pods of dolphins - I've never seen so many so close before!

Thank you for such a wonderful day!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Clare's first 15K!

After months of training, I actually ran my first 15K today. That's 9.3 miles! Next to my wedding ring - this medal is now my favorite piece of jewelry and I may never take it off...all of the gory details on the running blog here!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We found our first Geocache!!

I just discovered Geocaching online (, and thought it sounded like a really cool concept. According to the website, 'Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called Geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online.' There are currently over 1.3 million Geocaches all over the world, 634 are within 10 miles of our house! There are different levels of difficulty depending on how accessible they are - some are under the ocean or on top of mountains for example or just really cleverly hidden like this one...(fencepost geocache). Anyway, Maddy and I registered online, uploaded the ipod App (all for free) and set off to see if we could find our first one!

According to the App we got within 6 feet of this one but we still couldn't find it...:(

Maddy was so dissappointed that we ended up having to go home empty-handed. However, with just a couple of clues and no GPS, Mike found one right away when he went running a bit later on:). He replaced it in an area slightly easier to find and we took Maddy back again later so that she could find her first Geocache for herself...just helping the process along a little - that's what parents do :)

Maddy was thrilled when she 'found' her first Geocache. According to the logs, this one was first located last year by a couple of teens at 2:30 a.m....and I always thought teens who were hanging out late at night were up to no good...

We opened it up in the car, completed the log and replaced the goodies with some of our own for the next person to find before putting it back.

I have to admit that it was actually a kind of fun thing to do on a Wednesday night. Take a look at the website (here) and see how many are hidden right on your doorstep - you'll be amazed...:) I know, I know...ghosttowns and geocaching...I admit it...I'm a dork...:)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Suncoast Primate Sanctuary

Suncoast Primate Sanctuary (website here!) is a privately-funded non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of primates. They recently opened to the public so we took a trip over today and stopped in Tarpon Springs on the way for lunch since it's only about 10 minutes away.

I had no idea that Tarpon Springs has the highest percentage of Greek-Americans in the whole of the US. Evidently the town's population originated from about 500 Greek men who emigrated to dive for Tarpon's prolific sponges back in 1905...who knew??

We ate at Hellas - a totally fabulous Greek restaurant...

After lunch we went over to the Suncoast Primate Sunctuary. They have over 70 animals, including over 10 species of monkeys, Cheetah, the now-70 year-old chimp from the old Tarzan movies, a troupe of baboons, exotic birds and an albino Burmese python. Most of the animals were either former pets or animals used for entertainment purposes. Some had even had their teeth removed to prevent them from biting their former owners and many suffered deplorable living conditions before coming to the sanctuary.

I have never seen chimpanzees so close before. They were totally interactive since they have all grown up with humans - one of them even knows some sign language...

And on the way home, I managed to catch on film a rare sighting of daddy monkey acting out in his natural environment...

Friday, April 08, 2011

Chloe and Chef update!

It has now been over a year since we adopted Chloe and Chef, our gorgeous chinchillas! They have settled in so well into our home and they now have a whole room to run around in during playtime. Unfortunately they are very much still rodents and so can't help but try chew off the base boards or burrow through the dry-wall...

So...we just had to repair the damage and redecorate their room and have accepted the fact that we are going to have to repaint more regularly to keep up with them. But they are so worth it...:)