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May. 14th, 2009 @ 11:35 am Euro cruise days 12-13
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Oops, I thought I posed this, had so many things to get back on when I got home. Wow what an incredible trip.

Day 12 Venice, Italy

Wow what another amazing city! Venice is definitely one of a kind, everything is surrounded by water. We arrived early in the morning and I stood out on the veranda as we sailed through the main canal and you could see how unique Venice is. It's like little floating islands with buildings on it. The roads are canals with boats instead of cars and bridges to cross.

After breakfast we headed out to explore the city. We walked from the docks to Piazza del Roma, a 20 min walk. Venice was pretty crowded but once we got to the main area it truly was a sight to see. Canals and bridges everywhere. Out in the main canal you can see water taxis, gondolas, and small motor boats. We walked around and looked at the shops, there's so many fine items for sale there, glass sculptures, masks, lots of other expensive fashion items, and tons of bakery and food. We did some shopping and headed back to the boat to check in for the gondola tour.

We then with the group took a water taxi to San Marco Square and walked to the end where the gondolas are. I've always seen pictures of them, never been in one until today. My family and I got into a boat and we had a musician and singer join us in our boat. It was pretty crazy. The Gondolier steered us through the narrow canals with a whole bunch of other boats while the musician played the accordion and the singer sung everyone some classic Italian songs. That was pretty amazing.

After we got off the boat we stayed in the city instead of returning to the ship, how could you not. We walked around San Marco Square, the church there is beautiful, there was live entertainment going on. We started getting hungry so we stopped at this outside cafe for some real Italian pizza (or well as real as the tourist trap gets.) It was really good, it was a thin crust pizza, we also had some salad and wine.

After our dinner we continued walking around doing some more window browsing and shopping. When the sun started going down we decided to start heading back. We had to buy water taxi tickets and head back to Piazza del Roma to walk back to the ship. Everything had to be stuffed in the suitcases and be put outside the room before bed, and our departure time tomorrow is going to be 6:30am.

Day 13 Return trip

Woke up, threw some clothes on and headed upstairs to get our final breakfast. I can't wait to get home, but I'm going to miss this too. It was nice not having to work, cook, and worry about stuff for 2 weeks. I miss Roo a lot and I can't wait to give him a big hug when he picks me up at the airport. But first we have to get back to America.

When our group was called we left the boat, got on a bus to the Venice airport. Got on the plane and landed in Gatwick, Great Britain, no problems. Our return flight to America is from Heathrow, so we had to take a transfer bus. My dad was freaking out about this the whole time but it was no big deal. We got there with plenty of time to spare. We passed by Plane Food, Gordon Ramsey's (the Hell's Kitchen guy) restaurant. We decided to get a bite there, it was pretty good, probably would have been more impressive if we just didn't have 2 weeks worth of gourmet food. Got on the long ass flight to Philadelphia. Yay, American soil again. Now I just got to get back home to Orlando, that's tomorrow.

Looking back on it, the trip was pretty fun, full of tons of highs and a few lows. Europe definitely is worth spending time there, things are just so different. I think Rome and Venice were definitely my favorite cities, I will have to come back and visit them again at some point. But not before I get a chance to explore Australia. I really want to go there and now that I have my passport and a deeper appreciation of the world outside of America, I can't wait until I book it. But I'm absolutely done traveling with my family. In certain aspects they are so messed up, and now it just makes me so glad I don't live with them any more. But enough of that. I'm finally home, time to kick back and do some decompressing before I go back to work again. Got 400 pictures to sort though, it's going to be hard to create just a “highlight reel”. Going to have to figure out where I travel next.
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roo3k digiroo
May. 5th, 2009 @ 11:16 pm Euro Cruise days 10-11
Current Location: sailing towards Venice, Italy
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Day 10 Greece – Corfu

Damn. I sort of knew it was going to happen it was just a matter of when. I'm sick. Got a nice cough, head ache, and fever. That's always one thing I don't like about cruises, you're stuck with everyone all the time. A few days ago there was a lady on one of our buses that was hacking non stop a few rows behind us. Now my sister and I are sick. You can tell a lot of people are hacking and coughing when wandering around the ship, so it's going around and there's really no avoiding it. I'm not feeling well enough to go on the Corfu tour so my sister and I are hibernating in the room, we stopped by the nurses' station and got some cough medicine, but I can tell that's not going to be enough, I'd kill for a nice antibiotic right about now. Here's to hoping we feel better tomorrow.

Mom and Dad got back from the tour, they said we didn't miss much, there's not really too much to Corfu. The other Greece ports were way better. They bought some jewelry and a little art thing for me. After some light dinner I'm starting to feel a bit better the fever is finally starting to go down.

Day 11 Dubrovnik, Croatia

I'm feeling much better now, yay for drugs. Dubrovnik is a really nice city. The houses in the newer part of the city look amazing. The old part of the city was built with a wall fortifying it from attackers from the sea. If I remember the tour guide right it was Napoleon who had the walls built as a lookout post. It's really interesting. The inner part of town that's surrounded by the walls are all stone, it has a really unique look. The tour took us around the city, our guide was quite humorous for an old lady, and then we had some time to explore the city on our own. The 1st floor of all the buildings are pretty much stores and restaurants. People of the town live on the higher floors. We stopped by a gellato (Italian ice cream) shop, man that stuff is good. It's not quite ice cream back in America, it's softer and creamier and the flavor is richer. My parents bought a few paintings from street vendors. Some of them were quite good, I just don't have any place to put them, pretty much all my walls in my condo are covered. Wish we could have stayed longer for lunch or something but the bus had to leave at noon.

Back on the boat we decided not to do the formal dinner since my sister is still coughing a bit. We ate at the buffet near the top of the ship which pretty much has most of the en-trees in the main dining room but in a simpler presentation. After dinner we watched the nighttime entertainment. It was the 3rd show featuring the boat singers and dancers, this one was better than the last. It was a 50's-70's song and dance show with the theme of cars and romance. After that it was back to the room to do a little bit of pre packing for tomorrow. We're trying to plan to spend the whole day in Venice, but we have to have all our suitcases packed by the end of the day tomorrow. Wow how time flies (other than yesterday), only 1 day left.
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roo3k digiroo
May. 3rd, 2009 @ 11:18 pm Euro Cruise days 8-9
Current Location: Sailing towards Corfu, Greece
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Day 8 Greece – Navplion & Corinth

After some breakfast we headed out on our 1st tour of Greece. From looking outside, it is definitely the most mountainous region in Europe. There's no dock big enough for cruise ships at Navplion so the ship was anchored a ways from shore and we had to take smaller boats to the dock where we got on the bus to take us to Corinth. We stopped at the ancient Corinth canal on the way. It was built a long long time ago and took many years to build and allows small boats to pass though this area without going around this part of Greece. It reminded me of when I saw the grand canyon. We bought a few souvenirs from the stands there and then we continued on our way to Corinth.

Our destination was a site where some ancient ruins from the Greeks and Romans still stand (somewhat). There is the remains of the columns of a temple built for Apollo as well as the remains of a merchant square. There's a small museum there which displayed many artifacts from the site: statues, pottery, art work, other stone structures. Quite fascinating. Pictures are worth a thousand words and so far I've taken 400 of them, yesterday I had a chance to go through them, I got many good shots. I'm going to have to find a place to house them all online when I get back home.

The after dinner entertainment was some ventriloquist comedian and his duck. I was quite skeptical of it but he was actually quite funny.

Day 9 Greece – Katakolon & Olympia

We docked at Katakolon a small village on the coast of Greece. After breakfast we headed out to the local stores past the dock. They had lots of really cool things for sale. Picked up a nice statue of Pegasus for the office, thought I might as well show some school spirit since our academic symbol is Pegasus. After spending some time in the shops it was time for our bus ride to Olympia where we saw the excavation site of the original Olympic area.

Unfortunately I was a little disappointed because things were destroyed a lot more than things were in Rome. Apparently after the site was taken over by the Christians and abandoned for centuries, things degraded pretty quickly and most of it was buried. After the 2nd world war Greece started to get back in touch with its ancient history and found the site and excavated it with the help of several countries. Mostly everything was rounded down broken blocks and columns, nothing in this area was built with marble as there is none in the area. A few columns and structures have been partially put back together but you really have to use your imagination to visualize how the area looked. There were practice halls and fields, baths, a giant temple worshiping Zeus, and then the stadium. It's an open earth arena about the size of 2 football fields. There are and where no seats, just a sloped bank all around, this is where all the various events were held.

After a walk around the excavation site, we headed to the museum where various statues that have fell off the building and other artifacts were held. It's all quite amazing the amount of detail that people of the era were able to put into the statues and architecture considering all this was about 3000 years ago. But then again it's hard to imagine the daily life of someone a long time ago. Now we distract ourselves with a 9-5 job, TV, radio, books, the Internet. What would we be doing if none of our current entertainment options existed?

After we returned to the boat, I took a little nap and then we headed for dinner. We sat with a nice couple who were entertaining to talk to, good thing too because it took over 2 hours for dinner. After we finished dinner it was too late for the nighttime show which oddly enough was another comedian. We strolled around the ship for a while going through the shops looking at watches they had on sale and then headed back to the room.
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roo3k digiroo
May. 2nd, 2009 @ 10:06 pm Euro Cruise days 5-7
Current Location: Greece coast
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Day 5 Italy – Civitavecchia, Rome, Vatican City

Wow. All I can really say about today is wow. I can't really put into words to explain everything I saw today. This by far was the longest tour, 12 hours, but seriously that's not enough time to take in Rome. I don't think even a month is. There's so much history and art. Looking at my camera I took 150 pictures today and I don't think that does justice to the amount of things in Rome.

We docked at Civitavecchia which is about 1 hour from Rome. We took the tour bus which stopped at a gas station stop before entering for people to get refreshments. I ordered a real Italian cappuccino, which was really good. We then entered Rome, it was quite interesting to see the modern city mixed in with the old ruins of the Roman civilization. It is amazing to see these structures still standing over 2000 years later, the aqueducts, the coliseum, the statues. The tour guide pointed out most of the damage to the structures did not occur from time itself but later civilizations that demolished them and took them for their materials to build new things. We went by the Triviloi fountain which is quite amazing. Supposedly there is a superstition that if you throw coins into the fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder it will bring you luck. I had a few coins so I tossed them in, we'll see. We then walked by the ruins of old Roman buildings and structures. All of the roads in Rome are tiled stones which takes some getting used to walking on. The coliseum is just amazing, we couldn't go inside but the outside is amazing enough. You can clearly see that the design of our modern sports stadiums comes directly from this structure.

After our tour around the center of Rome, we got on the bus to go to an authentic Italian restaurant for lunch. Salad, meat lasagna, and tirmasu, plus a nice good red wine. It was all so tasty, tutti bene. After lunch our tour took us to Vatican City to see the Vatican Museum. The amount of art and sculptures in that place is amazing. The amount of detail put into the stone and marble carvings by the Romans is just phenomenal. Just as impressive is the paintings and artwork by Michaelangelo and the other Renaissance painters. The walls and halls are just covered in artwork and carvings, even the ceilings. And then of course we entered the Sistine Chapel. Absolutely amazing. The guide said it took Michaelangelo 4 years to complete the wall to ceiling paintings. No one quite knows how he did the ceiling art, but he explained it would be quite impossible to do it on his back laying on scaffolding as everyone seems to think he did. I don't think it's possible to soak up and take in all the art I've seen in 12 hours alone in month or even a year there. It's just amazing.

Day 6 Italy – Messina & Taormina

The morning didn't start out so good. My sister and my mother both got some kind of stomach flu. The ship doctor told them they couldn't leave for the day. Have to be careful not to catch it. So it was just my dad and I going on the tour to Taormina. It's about 1 hour from Messina where we docked. It's another little European town, started in the middle ages by the Normans, was taken over several times, by the Greeks and Romans. There's tons of shops and bakeries through out the long narrow streets. Europeans and their cars are crazy, they drive up these tiny little streets almost running over people. Speaking of that, I've seen so many Smart cars and other Euro style cars, they're so small they're cute. Now I understand why, there's a lot of small places and very little parking. They park them anywhere there's space, double parking is quite common, and gas is really expensive around 7-8 dollars a gallon here. It looks like Europeans are much more space efficient and worried about their impact on the land than us Americans are. I've hardly seen any single houses or large pickup trucks or huge SUVs, it's totally a different style of living here.

Our tour guide took us to the end of Taormina where there is the remains of an old Greek amphitheater. This amphitheater is quite famous and many venues have been held there. It was quite amazing to see. It's been partially destroyed and rebuilt many times through the years, including after World War II where it got bombed and was recently patched up good enough for use. The place is quite huge, not coliseum huge but still quite impressive. I forget how many people the guide said it held. After that we strolled around the stores for a bit. I went into one bakery and got a cannoli. Wow that was yummy, the filling was so creamy and delicious, it's been a long time since I had one that good. We had time to go into a few other shops and pick up some souvenirs.

We returned to the ship, luckily my sister and mother were feeling better so that was a relief. My dad and I went to dinner and my sister and mother just ordered some simple food from room service. Wow after yesterday and today my feet hurt from all the walking we did. Time to kick off the shoes, catch up with the outside world and get some rest.

Day 7 out at sea

Today the ship is spending the whole day at sea, sailing towards Greece. Finally some time to relax and do nothing. Had some late lunch, then walked around the ship for a while checking things out. It's awesome to be out at sea, there's nothing but blue no matter what direction you look. The fresh air is so nice. After dinner we saw the nightly show, this show was another song and dance show by the cast of the other one from the 2nd night. It was good but it was done in a Dancing with the Stars kind of motif with way too much focus on the slow stuff, ballroom and waltz dancing, not enough modern dancing for my tastes. Tomorrow is a early morning wake up day. I'm starting to get a little home sick, missing my friends and especially Roo. In the few chances I get to talk to him it seems like he's keeping himself busy without me around.
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roo3k digiroo
Apr. 29th, 2009 @ 10:52 pm Euro Cruise days 3-4
Current Location: Mediterranean sea off the coast of Civitavecchia
Current Mood: Amazed
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Day 3 Monte Carlo, Monaco

Got to sleep in a little today, then off to a group tour around Monaco. Unfortunately it was raining pretty much all day, but we did get to see the sights. Thank goodness we brought umbrellas, felt sorry for those who didn't. Monaco is a separate country from France, but it is surrounded by France and as you drive around our tour guide pointed out that you go back and forth between Monaco and France. It's also built into a mountainside which they call “The Rock”. It's really quite amazing to see all the houses built into the mountain side. The bus drove up to the highest point but due to the weather all you could see is white fog. Monaco is ruled by the royal family Grimaldi that took over there 700 years ago. We went to go see the royal part of town where the royal palace and government buildings are. They were actually setting up for the Formula 1 Grand Prix race car event starting in a few weeks. Supposedly the current prince, Prince Albert, likes race cars. Otherwise it's a really small quaint town which only normally sees tourists like us. Apparently there's strict rules on who can live there or who can declare citizenship of Monaco. You have to live there for 5 years and need to keep a certain amount of money in one of their banks before you can obtain citizenship and that also gives you the benefit of not paying taxes, except if you're French.

From there we went to the Monte Carlo casino. The lobby area was quite ostentatious. You have to pay an entrance fee to enter the real part of the casino where all the elaborate tables and games are. Because I don't have 100+ euros to drop on a table game I decided not to enter. There is one hall before you have to pay that has some slot machines that you can go in for free. It's kinda like the “ghetto casino”. After that we went back to the ship, got some dinner, wandered around the ship for a bit and headed back to the room for sleep.

Day 4 Italy – Livorno, Lucca, & Pisa

We woke up a bit earlier to have some breakfast and head out to our tour to Lucca and Pisa. Lucca is an interesting town. It is still surrounded by the walls built to protect it a long time ago. The town never came under attack so all the walls are still standing perfectly. The town is like a maze, tons of little streets and alleys, it's also a very rich town. The streets really aren't that big so most people ride bikes around town, some cars manage to squeeze through making the streets rather congested. There were lots of shops, unfortunately there wasn't time to go in them, but could just window browse as we walked though the streets. There's a church that the facade was elaborately done but is incomplete because the money ran out when it was built a long time ago.

We made our way back to the bus, then it was off to Pisa which is of course famous for its leaning tower. The bus had to park quite a distance from the Piazza del Duomo where the tower and the church are. We walked there and you could see it from the distance and how the tower is leaning. One thing I never noticed is that it was built in stages, when they built the 1st few levels and it started leaning the builders tried to correct the lean by building the rest of the levels at the reverse angle, so it is actually curved a little. The tower is also still sinking on one side little by little, so the tower is weighted down to prevent it from falling. The guide said it should last for another 200 years but after that it may not be possible to prevent it from falling over. The church there was quite large and very beautiful on the inside. I've never seen churches quite like the ones we've seen. It's just crazy how elaborate these buildings are. After I bought a quick souvenir, we headed back to the bus. The tours don't leave you much time to explore and buy things, and at times you really wish you could stay in one spot longer but they keep moving. So much to see in so little time.
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roo3k digiroo
Apr. 27th, 2009 @ 12:33 am Euro Cruise day 1-2
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Yay, I'm paying a fortune for internets, so I can drop some quick updates. Not enough bandwidth for pictures, but when I get back I'll be posting them somewheres.

Day 0/1 Pennsylvania, England, Barcelona
Spent the day at my parents house. We rode to the airport in a limo. Yeah a stretch limo, apparently it was actually cheaper than using a regular taxi. When we got to the airport went through security just fine, there's nothing special about going to the international terminal other than showing your passport instead of your driver's license. After a bit of waiting finally got on the British Air plane for a 7 hour flight to Heathrow, England. It's a nice plane, a bit more comfy than your regular plane. The 7 hours went by faster than I thought.

We got to the Heathrow airport which is crazy. Had to get off the plane take a bus to the terminal, take a bus to the other terminal where the next flight was leaving. This terminal was huge, it has a large central shopping and food area where everyone waits. The gate to the flights aren't announced until about 40 minutes before the flight leaves, then you have to head to the gate. Finally arrived in Spain where we hopped onto another bus to take us to the ship. It was about then I realized I've been up for about 18 hours (24 with the time difference) without much sleep.

Got to the boat, it's crazy big, and looks like most other cruise ships I've been on. Of course the first thing we did was have a lunch buffet. Then we went to the room and crashed for a few hours. The room is quite small for 4 people, I'm going to be very surprised if I don't jump overboard by the end of the trip. My family already is driving me crazy with their constant complaining and overstating the obvious retardation every chance they get. Looking at the other people on the boat makes me long for Roo, wishing he could be here instead of back home, it's mostly older couples, younger couples, or a few families with little kids. I can't really get away and do my own thing because my dad has a tour purchased for nearly every day of the trip, and most of them leave way early in the morning. We did dinner, we sat at a table with a older couple who probably do nothing but wine and cruises now. I pretty much had nothing to say and pretended to be interested as this guy went on about different places he's been. The food was good but surprisingly the service was pretty slow. It came up that this is the 1st cruise since the boat has been in dry-dock for 2 weeks so maybe everyone's a little rusty.

Day 2 Barcelona

We did a bus and walking tour of Barcelona. The city is pretty interesting and the architecture is beautiful. We started in the older more Gothic part of town. There are several buildings there that were designed by Gaudi. He designed an apartment complex and a church which is crazy looking. It was started 200 years ago and still hasn't been completed yet. The city is continuing working on the church following his plans with donations. We hit some rain during the tour and got a little wet but after that it cleared up and the weather was good. The bus then drove up the mountain and we had a spectacular look down at the city before returning to the boat.

Today was dress formal night for a show and dinner. The show was pretty good, apparently a brand new show and it was the day-beau showing. It was a Vegas type song and dance to many popular songs, a bit many love songs for my taste but the choreography was very well done. Dinner was good, I had a shrimp cocktail, followed by cream of 4 mushroom soup, and a roasted rack of lamb with rattollie. And since the cruise was sort of my 30th birthday present from my parents the waiters came over with a cake and sung to me.

After the boat left port I could start to feel the boat rocking, normally it doesn't bother me but by the end of the evening it was rocking pretty bad that I couldn't walk straight. I took a peek outside and the wind blowing across the deck was crazy, it wasn't storming or anything but the waves were pretty bad tossing the ship from side to side. Nothing much to do now but try some internets and then head to bed.
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roo3k digiroo
Apr. 24th, 2009 @ 03:59 am About to be on a boat
Current Mood: excitedexcited
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Tomorrow morning I'm going to be on my way to Europe for a 12 day cruise around the Mediterranean. I'm in Philly now at my parents house. Yes unfortunately this is going to be a family vacation, but hey it's Europe. Tomorrow morning we are catching a plane to Heathrow England, and then to Barcelona Spain. I'm not going to have much internet access (that's not insanely expensive) so I don't think I can do real time updates, but I'll try to write something now and then.
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roo3k digiroo
Dec. 9th, 2008 @ 08:57 pm Life update
Current Location: home
Current Mood: mellowmellow
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I don't know, it's just hard for me to sit down and write out my thoughts or tell the world at large what I've been up to. I've never been much of a writer, always have preferred sitting down and having a nice conversation over dinner or something. But anyway... Been mostly keeping myself busy with work and when not at work with Roo and friends. Work is going okay, I guess. Hard to stay happy when all you hear about is budgets being slashed left and right. Fortunately my department at UCF is okay since we're sort of the outsourcers. It's apparently cheaper to teach a class online than it is face to face. But unfortunately we're sort of in a stand still with doing new things, it's kind of like take a step back in time and just focus on that stuff while everything else just melts away.

I was kind of getting used to the interesting projects and things we could have been doing, now it's back to the drawing board and finding things to do to support online learning. But even more I get frustrated at the total lack of direction of technology in general at UCF. 10 years ago UCF used to be at the top, adopting new ideas and new things, now it's just like survival mode, you get to buy something if something breaks. Sometimes I feel like I'm capable of a lot more, but there's just no direction to do anything new. But I try to keep myself busy and there's plenty of work, just not the cool stuff. Thankfully I have a part time assistant again, who's a good friend of mine so he can take the pressure off and keep me sane too.

I'm looking forward to the holidays to get a chance and hang out with some friends around here. Last month Roo, Mera and I went to MFF in Illinois. It was quite fun and it was a nice break from things. But I never really know what to do at a con though. I feel like I just don't know as many people as I should and making new friends and connections is a bit hard when you're not known very well. For the most part Roo, Mera, and I stuck together, but I did manage to fursuit a bit, the weather was quite inviting for that, any time I felt overheated I'd just step outside for a bit, it felt nice. Otherwise when we had to run outside to go to a restaurant or something I was freezing my ass off. Now I remember why I left the north.

The hotel was nice, apparently they switched hotels and this was the first year here. My only complaint was the lack of places within walking distance. We wound up going to the same restaurant for 4 nights, Claim Jumpers, kind of a wild west themed all American place. Their food was quite good and they had a vast menu (which allowed us to go back many times). We did some room parties and found friends. Then I went to Pennsylvania for the 2nd part of my trip and Roo went back home.

I spent the next few days at my parents' house in Coatsville, Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. It's a small town not too much around, but a nice area. Their house is rather huge, they led me to believe it was a lot smaller. I wish Roo could have been there, but I still think my parents wouldn't have any of that. Sad, but I'll just have to make do. At least I think Roo's parents liked me when I went with him to Minnesota. On Thanksgiving one of my aunt, uncle, and cousins came over and we celebrated Thanksgiving by eating too much turkey, stuffing, and sweet potato. It was nice catching up with them rather than just talking on the phone with them. Friday we went to the historic area of Pennsylvania to sight see. Not much has changed there, well it is history so I guess things should really be changing there :-P Other than that I was slightly bored, but the internets kept me company. I couldn't wait to get back home and be with Roo. Unfortunately he had told me that while I was up there he was getting sick at home.

Of course I caught the bug too when I got back and last Thursday and Friday I called out sick because it had gotten quite bad and went to the doctors to get some meds. I feel a lot better now and now finally Roo is feeling better. Apparently it's making the rounds as a lot of people I know are saying they're sick or have been sick.

Hmmm, now I need to start thinking about Christmas and New Years. I have no idea what to buy, I never do, just not very good at it. I'm just giving my sister money for my parents, we're both buying them like this uber expensive knife set. I'm not really sure Roo and I going to do a real Christmas this year since Roo had to quit his job to go to MFF. Kanes decided not to grant the vacation time because of some stupid 48 hour straight holiday sale. So now he's jobless and doesn't have much pocket change for gifts. But I hope we can do a Christmas party at the house or something to get back in the spirit. At least I've got the lights up now.

Here's to staying sane at work for the next 2 weeks.
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roo3k digiroo
Jun. 11th, 2008 @ 11:06 pm Visit to Minnesota
Current Location: home
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
Tags:
Wow, I haven't posted in a while. Well a few things have happened recently that are notable, so I guess I should start posting again.

3 weeks ago Roo and I went to Minnesota to go to Roo's brother's wedding in Minnesota. It was quite fun, we spent about a week up there. The weather was nice, the mid-west is very similar to the north east during spring. Roo's mom picked us up from the airport and we got some snacks and headed to Roo's parent's house. They are nice people, a bit off color which I kinda like unlike my parents who at times I feel need to loosen up. Roo's dad attempted to cook dinner which turned out to be rather charzarded steak, oops, oh well. From there we went to his brother's place. I met the bride and groom, they seem to make a nice couple. It was nice of them to put us up at their place for a few days.

The wedding was pretty cool. A lot of running around prior for Roo and company to do stuff. Then the wedding ceremony in a nice park, followed by a reception in a reception hall. They had a cash bar which made the night fun. I found some people to mingle with and talk to. Apparently Roo's aunt and uncle are going to be moving to Florida soon and was asking me lots of questions. They also bicycle around a lot which is cool.

For the next few days we hung around Minneapolis, I met a few of Roo's good friends. Greg and Nate who I know for their YouTube videos, the creators of Billiam the snowman. Matt who's another friend. They introduced us to Wii Mario Kart, which was laughable at first after seeing the Wii wheel, but as we played it it started to be really good. We headed over to another friend's house Adam, for some games and drinking. One night his parents took us out to dinner at an Italian place. There's a lot of good independent restaurants up there, not just the chain crap that seems to be in Orlando.

Minnesota is really a nice area for nature walking. There's paths and bicycle lanes all over parks and lakes. We walked around some of the lakes for a bit, the temperature was perfect. One day we decided to go see one of the falls by where one of the lakes meets the Mississippi, that was fun. I think we must have walked 6-8 miles. We played disc golf at a few courses, they are so much better than the courses Florida has.

Minnesota is also famous for malls. There's the first mall ever built that Roo took me to. It's where we bought some frisbee golf discs to play the courses up there. One day we went to the Mall of America. It's quite huge, it has an amusement park in the center, some kind of Nickelodeon land. Unfortunately we didn't go on any rides because Roo's not a fan of roller coasters...darn. So many stores there. We stopped at a game store and bought a board game, Domination. Roo bought some clothes.

It was a pretty fun trip, I didn't look forward to returning to the chaos of work when I got back, but I dealt with that and got caught up.
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roo3k digiroo
Apr. 7th, 2008 @ 07:56 am One more gray whisker
Current Mood: lovedloved
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Saturday was my birthday, I'm now a year older and I have a few gray whiskers to prove it now. I'm 29, one year away from the scary 30 mark. Thanks to all who gave me birthday wishes over the weekend.

I feel like I've done a lot with my life, but there's still tons left to do. It's still hard for me to believe that 10 years ago I was just getting used to college and I started working for UCF and been here ever since. I have learned so much, and been though so much in the last 10 years, and I definitely feel I'm way better off now than I was then. But I can't help to think I need to be doing more. The next 10 years have to be as good. I keep having dreams that I should go back to school (I guess maybe I miss it), maybe for a masters or something. UCF's been nice to me for the last 10 years, but maybe I need to move to something else for a job, a new fresh start, the office seems to be stagnating at least in doing cool things, and lately moral has been dropping because of the political crap going on. I guess it's going to be hard anywhere right now with the economy tanking, and I guess academia is the safest place right now though, so I guess I'll stick it out for a bit longer.

I don't really like to celebrate my birthday, so I didn't ask for anything, but of course Roo wasn't going to just ignore it. He had to work Saturday but when I woke up and sat down at the couch, I saw a note on the coffee table and underneath that is the Legend of Zelda Wii game :-) Coolies. Honestly it was a pretty busy weekend so I didn't have much time to play, only a hour or so, but it looks like a good game so far. Roo got off work early, and came home to be with me.

Later on Mera dropped by, then Fafner, and Zork, and Heartwood, Draxis, Eli, and maybe one or two others (I was getting pretty drunk by that time). Mera gave me the Rayman Rabbits 2 game for the Wii, wow, we've got lots of Wii games now, need to find time to play them all :-) Roo bought some alcoholic party supplies and attempted to make a new drink. I think he's calling it a kangaroo snack. I think it was vodka, midori, malibu, and Squirt soda (yes Squirt), it was pretty yummy, couldn't even tell how much alcohol was in it. I don't really remember much else that night, lots more shots, I remember some hookah, and that's it. Needless to say I crashed (pretty hard) and woke up the next morning.

Zork, Mera, and Fafner were still hanging around and we played some of the Wii Worms game. I'm getting a bit better at that one. I still like the older PC version a bit better, but with more people the game is pretty fun. We met EB for lunch and then he stopped by. Some more Wii, Interneting, chatting, some Funday Pawpet Show and that was about it for the evening. Unfortunately it was raining pretty much the whole weekend, I would have liked to get out a bit more, but oh well. Roo and I had a final bit of more fun after everyone left, and then the weekend was over. It was fun, thanks to all who stopped by or gave me wishes, but come next year I'm going to be hiding under the bed.
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