Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Bust a Move

Today was another completely loaded day for me and my sweet Catholic Peepers, starting out with middle school orientation, back-to-school clothes shopping, a splendiferous spaghetti dinner made personally by incognito, and finally ending with that annual Catechist meeting where we got all wild and danced on tables I received materials in preparation for teaching 7th grade CCD. Lordy. Bring on the new school year!

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California Trip: Day 3

This morning, our second of the big California trip, we actually SLEPT. No more tossing and turning for the Catholic Peeps all night long with messed up internal clocks, because exhaustion finally set in and completely wiped us out for the night. In which case, waking up and getting a move on was that much harder, yet we succeeded and took off for more west coast adventures. And what an adventurous day we had! Here’s how it went:

  • Point Loma – Finally, something for the grown-ups in the group! Not only did we see the coast, but we witnessed breathtaking views of San Diego and the local naval base.
  • Sea World – even though we’d already visited SW in Orlando 5 years ago, the entertainment was nothing less than spectacular in San Diego. Our faves? The Shamu and Dolphin shows, fins down. Did I already say SPECTACULAR? No exaggeration there for us, especially since we sat ourselves in the Soak Zone, named that way for reasons we found out quickly. (Tidal waves. Seriously.)
  • LEGO Land: Day 2 – We really did purchase 2-day passes to this park, especially since it was the primary reason for our visit. So heading back to LEGO Land was a must-do before leaving California, thus our second trip back. With closing hours at 8:00 pm, we had @1+ hrs to take care of missed rides/activities. And you know what? We experienced the best visit of all, with shorter lines, fun ride facilitators who made us scream “Ghost Busters!” when prompted with “Who ya gonna call?”. Not only that, but one of the Picture People gave us a huge discount on the photo we’d taken in the Coaster Saurus ride, probably because we looked so freakishly odd with our funny faces. (Photo to be posted soon!)
  • Oceanside Beach – Thanks to that faithful Garmin of mine, we located the first Californian Subway sandwich shop of the vacation, a place we’ve truly missed since leaving home. And the visit did not disappoint! Those sandwiches gave the Catholic Peeps just enough energy to visit the beach before bedtime, a relaxing (albeit a little cool for my standards) way to end a perfect vacation day.

Next Stop: San Diego Zoo, etc.

Garden Runneth Over

Now’s the time of the summer when our vegetable garden busts a move and starts pumping out all kinds of veggies in our direction. And I must say, these babies make the produce aisle at the supermarket completely green with envy:

That Powered Up Breakfast

This is exactly how to start a summer day filled with instrument lesson taking, housecleaning, DVD watching, and swimming at the pool:

That’s right – homemade Belgian waffles topped with strawberries, bananas, syrup, and whipped cream. Oh, and with 2 espresso shots on the side. (Or Sunny-D if you’re under the age of 20 and don’t really need that extra jolt.)

Total mouth-watering goodness.

Fizzy Refreshments

Finally, the Catholic Peeps and I are back to the regular weekend schedule, complete with Saturday afternoon mass and eating frozen yogurt treats at TCBY immediately afterward. Call it a ‘reward system’ for good church-like behavior. The system works, so we’re sticking with it. Only, today Catholic Girlie scored a fancy new TCBY treat called the “Sorbet Fizz” which basically consisted of strawberry-kiwi sorbet mixed with Sprite. Who thinks of these newfangled things anyway?

Get Your Own Beer

This morning the Catholic Kids and I found ourselves at the tennis carnival, which was basically a big get-together for all kids taking lessons under the city-wide-summer program. We gathered at an amazing outdoor tennis facility with at least 22 professionally maintained tennis courts, where tennis-related games were in full-swing. CG & CS jumped right into the Serving Game and won a Frisbee, wristbands, t-shirt and a nifty tennis racket shock absorber. The games continued until lunch time, then a yummy complimentary hot dog & chips lunch with lemonade satisfied hungry tennis player appetites. Good clean fun!

Back at the homestead, Life-After-Great-Wold-Lodge resumed nicely, with me running around the house like a headless chicken putting more of our travel stuff away and keeping up with business clients. CS suggested that we eat KFC for dinner, and who was I to turn down taking a break from dirtying up more dishes and cooking over the hot stove? So after Hubs returned home from work, I snuck out and managed to find a bucket of chicken (½ grilled & ½ crispy) with baked beans, mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits on the side. We wolfed that whole meal down nicely. How sweet is that Colonel Sanders anyway? Love that guy.

Time to get up and burn off that excess energy, especially for Hubs who’d been trapped in an office all day long, so he took the CK’s biking at the park while I went all crazy in the home gym – elliptical, circuit training, weights and all. Walking up all those water slide stairs helped us all stay fit over the mini-vaca, but I needed a serious workout to get back into the regular routine again. To my surprise, halfway through I heard a voice call downstairs to me sounding strangely familiar, kind of like a deeper-voiced Catholic Son saying:

Hey Brenda, we’re home. Can you get me a beer while you’re down there?

Hmmm… let me see. That would be a no. (As if, dude.)

Home Sweet Home

Once again, we made it back home from our glorified Great Wolf Lodge vacation in record time without a single bathroom pit-stop along the way. The mini-vaca lasted just long enough for us to miss being in the comfort of our own digs and sleeping in a familiar place rather than in a room that resembled a humongous Wolf Den. As much as we enjoyed all of those exhilarating water slides and casually floating around on inner-tubes, home is that nifty welcome-feeling place to return to after being caught up in so much excitement.

*ahh* It even smells good – who cleans this place?

Today, the day after our return, it was back to tennis lessons (the last one for the summer), home cooked meals, swimming at the local pool, and me reclaiming my own personal space for catching up with business clients again. The downer? Heaping piles of chlorinated laundry:

Final Hoo-Rah

This morning was the last of our vacation at the lodge, and we took advantage of the water park to the fullest: meaning, we jumped out of bed @7 am and packed up our luggage before taking ourselves back down for more water sliding goodness. With the park opening at 9 am and check out at 11 am, we really didn’t have much time to waste if we wanted to slide down every water slide a gazillion more times before leaving. So we kicked it into high gear, Starbucks coffee being a big motivator kick in the pants for me, and managed to slide down every ride at least 3 times each, all before 9:45 am. Sa-weet!

Graciously, I offered to head back to the hotel suite before the rest of the crew to make the most efficient use of Shower Time. Yes, Mom takes longer in there. But in no time flat, my peeps were pounding on the door ready for their own showers, thus sending me skittering around the room all wet-towelled. Geez, Peeps. Anyway, everyone finished cleaning themselves up in record time, then we packed up the vehicle and made our way over to the Bear Claw Cafe for that final chance at fudge buying. Personally, I had my eye on the overpriced bag of Funyuns in the gift shop, but no thanks.

So then what? Lunch. Our plan was to visit a favorite Kansas City submarine sandwich shop in the nearby Legends shopping center. Only… where in tarnation did it go? After driving over and checking out the center’s directory to find it NOT THERE, we did what every other family-desperate-for-food would do while starving in a shopping center and settled for the closest eating establishment available: Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. But in no way was that pretzel meal going to hold off our hunger. Nuh-uh. And Hubs accurately described our lunch as ‘only putting a dent’ in our appetite for food after all the morning watersliding we’d accomplished. Metabolism gone completely and utterly wild, I know.

But yet the Catholic Family and I couldn’t very well leave the Legends without poking our heads into the Nike and Adidas shops; because of course, that would be a total abomination. So we meandered into both stores and scored bargains on t-shirts, shorts and a Nike brand Nebraska hat to help me cheer on that Husker football team in the fall.

Wait. Did that really happen? We’re on vacation in Kansas and I’m buying NU paraphernalia for rooting on our favorite football team back home? Something just isn’t quite right with that souvenir purchase. Meanwhile, I tried not to think too hard about that lil’ faux pas as we headed home, snacking on fudge and praying for Smokie’s forgiveness after another summer GWL escape. *fingers crossed*

Frozen Surprises

Yes, today marks the 18th time we’ve visited the pool this summer. Only, guess what? Now we’re in on the big secret:
Free SLUSHIES & red tongues after 6:00 p.m.!

Gnashing of Teeth

Where in the world has this whole Sunday gone anyway? Oh yes, now I remember. After a late night of celebrating Independence Day, the Catholic Peeps and I woke up to Hubs’ Famous Breakfast Smörgåsbord of Belgian waffles (kids), bacon (girlie & me), veggie omelet (hubs & me) and english muffin (hubs). Then we spent the rest of the morning watching Federer beat squeak past a local favorite, Roddick, at Wimbledon. Last and probably least, the four of us enjoyed a relaxing frustrating afternoon at the pool, where we dodged 4-letter words tossed around the deep-end area by a slew of teens who received no less than 3 verbal warnings and scathing looks from nearby adults attempting to sunbathe peacefully beside the pool. *Ugh.*

Reminds me of a song, “Every party has a pooper that’s why we invited you…” (From movie: Father of the Bride)