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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Letterboxing in Fredericksburg

This past Saturday, Thomas and I had plans to meet up with my friend Jennifer, who lives in Fairfax. We made plans to have dinner at Fuddruckers in Fredericksburg.

Prior to meeting up for dinner with Jen (and her sister Beth, who came along), Thomas and I spent the afternoon wandering the streets of downtown Fredericksburg. There we walked along brick sidewalks, wandered into antique stores, shared a scoop of ice cream, and bought Smurfs--and it's entirely a coincidence that they resemble us. Seriously--it is. I mean, c'mon--blond hair, cute shoes, and a kick'n bag? Coincidence, I tell you! And just because Thomas wears glasses, you think he could be personified so easily with Brainy? Do you give me credit for no imagination at all?

While wandering around, we went and found two indoor Letterboxes. The first one, cleverly hidden in a bookstore, was perhaps the biggest challenge, due to the smallness of the store, the prevalence of customers, and the trickiness of getting the box out of it's secrete letterbox cave. The second box we went in pursuit of required clever use of the online card catalog and quick on-line visit to verify details we failed to print and take with us. :)

The best part of the letterboxes were--they were very challenging--basically due to all the people who tend to congregate inside air conditioned areas during hot and humid Saturday afternoons. We had to run extremely covert operations to ensure that actual patrons of said establishments did not know what we were doing.

With alot of heat still raging and hours to kill before dinner--we then headed over to Funland to kill some time. This is basically a huge monstrosity of overpriced games, chock-full of screaming brats. Imagine Dave & Busters on a Saturday afternoon--without the great atmosphere, fun games, and ambience--oh, about about 4x as many screaming kids. Yeah--it sucked. But for $7.00, we were able to kill about an hour playing billiards.

Finally, after we exhausted our options there--we finally headed over to air conditioned (although seemingly just as noisy) Borders to chill out until dinner.

Anyways, it was a pretty great day, full of good food, good friends, and alot of fun.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Just because I'm a great friend...

I am entering a blog contest run by Tee at Spilt Milk. Spilt Milk is a blog about many things, including, a meddling mother-in-law, her Latino husband, motherhood, raising boys, reviews of cool products, books, funny life observations, and her struggle with religion and self esteem. The prize is a 3-pack of popular kid's computer games, and all I had to do to enter was to cut and paste this code onto my blog. I hope I win!

On a side note--she really does write about alot of great things. I love to read about whats going on in her life--especially since it's so different from mine. Sometimes, it's nice to see how the other half lives. The other half meaning married, kids, pet, mortgage as opposed to me--single (but in a relationship), no kids, no pets, and renting. I don't even HAVE kids--but I have a friend who does--so if I win, I'll pass the games along to them.

Yes, I too fell prey to the HP craze...

If you hadn't picked up on it during my last post, I am a fan of Harry Potter. I read the first four books years ago in succession--multiple times--and then, I never quite got around to reading books 5 and 6. With the advent of the most recent movie being released, and book 7 coming to print, I finally decided to read books 5 & 6 so that I would be prepared.

And then, this past Saturday morning at 7am, I was at my local Sam's Club, purchasing book 7 for myself (and my friend Tracy) because, well--I knew that if I didn't read it right away, it would be ruined for me by Monday. And I knew that she would love to read it, too.

Starting sometime late Saturday morning, after a trip to the post office to send Tracy's copy to her, eating breakfast, and taking a shower, I finally sat down with HP and the Deathly Hallows.

That afternoon, Thomas showed up for our standing Saturday afternoon/evening date--so I had 7 or 8 hours where I didn't read--but as soon as I got home that night, I picked the book back up and started speeding through chapters again. By the time I went to bed Saturday night, I had finished a little over half the book (and that was with only maybe 4 hours of read time all day).

Sunday morning dawned, and off to church I went (like the good little Christian girl I am), and then rushed home to get ready for my softball games. In between church and softball, I was able to eek out another 2 hours or so of reading time--leaving me around 150 pages to finish that night. And believe me, I did finish it Sunday night.

I won't ruin it for anyone reading here--but let me tell you this. IT WAS FREAKING AWESOME!!! And the best part was, that none of the spoilers that I heard all of last week were true--which totally made my reading experience all that more enjoyable.

I hope that everyone else loved it as much as I did! And this is one series of books that I am sorry to see come to an end--but now, I have to wait for the movies. Please let them come out soon!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Harry Potter revolution...

On Thursday, Thomas and I went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The movie was good, but a bit disappointing.

Although it was great to see the book on the big screen, the detectable differences between the book and the movie irritated me. If you know me at all, I am a STICKLER for details--and alot of things stood out at me.

For example, the crew meets Luna Lovegood on the train--not on the carriage ride to Hogwarts.

Secondly, what happened to the gold coins that the DA used to keep informed of the meetings? Don't those come into play in books 6&7? Won't it be hard to introduce them then, if they weren't introduced at the correct place to begin with?

Thirdly, the DA was revealed by a friend of Cho's--not Cho herself. An the girl that ratted them out was plagued with horrible skin deformities because Hermione jinxed the sign-up list--but in the movie, Cho was forced to talk by use of veritaserum.

Fourthly, was anyone else disappointed in the fight that took place at the Ministry of Magic? In the book, that fight was so awesomely staged, that I had high hopes for the battle that would happen in the movie. Unfortunately, it was short, altered significantly, and nowhere was intense as it should have been.

There were more things I could go into about differences between the book and the movie--but I'll choose to not bore you with that now. Just know, movie makers, I am on to you and your lack of attention to important details! Don't think I won't be waiting for the next installments. And if you DARE skimp on the important details in the 7th movie--well, I would just suggest you don't!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Detroit, representin'!

Tonight, Thomas and I did something we haven't done for weeks---mainly because most of the time we're too tired.

Yes--that something DOES begin with the letter 'S'. And before you say, Dirty Perv---don't worry--we played SCRABBLE. :) Had you going there for a minute, didn't I? Like I would tell you about my sex life.

Anyways, tonight was a monumental occasion, as I broke my all time SCRABBLE high score of 307 with a new high score of 313. See below the picture of the final game board.

Hence the reason that I used the Detroit shout-out--since the venerable city is often referred to in slang by its historic area code. According to Thomas--who is a fount of information about alot of things--which makes him a formidable opponent with NTN trivia--I learned the following little factoid about WHY Detroit has the 313 area code.

This is quoted word for word from Thomas--so if it's wrong--take it up with him!

"Back when there were rotary phones, the largest cities got the easiest to dial area codes. So, New York, being the largest, was given 212, because it requires the least amount of finger movement. The Los Angeles with 213, then Chicago with 312, and finally Detroit with 313. Of course, now it's obsolete with touch-tones, but it's still interesting to know anyway."

So, now you got a little history lesson, too. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Travels with Thomas...

Yesterday, we road tripped to Bladensburg, Md--home of one of the twelve 7-11 to Kwik-E-Mart transitions for the month of July. You can check out the Traveling Turtle Blog
to see pictures of the adventure with Shellby in tow.

Afterwards, we hit up Dave and Busters again, and had a fun time--and we hit the jackpot on the candy claw machine! :)
I also found the most AWESOME shoe store--much better than DSW--to satisfy my Adidas shoe needs. The Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse. If you, like me, wear a size 11--this is the store to go to. Aisles and aisles of beautiful shoes. It was truly a liberating experience.

We've gone on quite a few adventures lately. Dave and Busters at Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, Md.

We drove to NC for the 4th of July.

We've been letterboxing in the general Richmond area.

I've discovered an affinity for Fredricksburg and their awesome Fuddruckers.

And my most favorite little out of the way stop: Hornes for hand dipped Hersheys ice cream!

I've also been playing softball again this summer with the Unwanted. Right now, we're 5 out of 6 in the league (6 and 16 on the season). With only four weeks left in the season, it's doubtful that we'll be contenders for any type of pennant for this season.

Its been a fun summer so far. I hope to be updating alot more now that I can download my camera onto my new laptop now. I have almost a year's worth of things to post about between here and the Traveling Turtle--so check back often for fun and interesting things!