Thursday, July 29, 2010

The grand finale!

We've arrived at the end! I think I've saved the best for last. These are some totally cool things.
First, at the Closing Banquet, they had Art Explosion Artist Michael Ostaski Art Explosion Official Home Page, Michael Ostaski, Master Artist come in and using nothing but his hands, and LOUD rock music in the background, he painted a portrait of CTMH Founder and President Jeanette Lynton on a huge 6' x 6' canvas in less than 5 minutes. Absolutely amazing.

Next, while I was sitting enjoying the breeze with my shooze off at the Jefferson Memorial, a girl walked by with these shoes on and OMG did they look comfortable! As soon as we got home, I looked them up on and found them. They are called Athena. I ordered them. And they are as comfortable as they look. Maybe more. So I now own FOUR pair of shoes!! They have a "sneaker-ish" sole, but they are so lightweight. I can see me getting LOTS of use out of these.

Last, but in NO WAY least. I gave John one challenge at Convention. Find. Me. A. Sticky. Boy. Anyone who had ever been to any CTMH event knows all about Sticky Boy! I've heard a couple of different stories about him. One is he was the first stamp Jeanette designed. The other is that when she decided to take the company from traditional red rubber stamps to acrylic, her husband David said we should call the new stamps Sticky Boys since they stick to the acrylic block. Whichever it is, it is quite a coup when he is found. The Corp gals go around when we are in classes, meetings, etc and stick them on mirrors in bathrooms, door handles, escalators, anywhere! So John spent the better part of a morning looking for a Sticky Boy for me. And his persistance paid off! Mine was on a display case next to the Art Wall. When we went back so I could have him take my pic where he found it, the gals who were looking at the Art Wall wanted to know if I'd rent him out so he could find THEM a Sticky Boy! Ummm...notsomuch!!
What a great time we had. As I said before, we'd love to go back again. Maybe this time stay a bit closer in to DC proper so it's not an hour into and out of the city. Maybe go during Cherry Blossom time in the Spring. Someday............................

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Three's the charm

Finally! The Tampa Bay Rays were on the winning end of a no-no. (No hits, no runs) We've been on the losing end twice this year. Last night Matt Garza (or as he's known by me...Spitter Boy. Ugh, he makes me sick with his naaaaasty spitting all the time) pitched a no-no against the Detroit Tigers last night at Tropicana Field in St Pete. Twenty seven men up. Twenty seven men out. He walked one batter in the second, who was thrown out on a double play ball with the next at bat. This gives Matt the destinction of being the first Rays pitcher to throw a no-no. And only that one walked batter kept it from being a Perfect Game. Rays win 5-0!

Monday, July 26, 2010

DC continued

I think we are getting near the end of our journey! You can't take pics inside the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Camera's aren't even permitted inside. So they taunt you with enlarged pictures of new money outside the building! Since 9/11, security has become so important around all of the buildings in DC. What you take to be lovely planters with blooming things are really very heavy guards to keep potential car bombs from doing damage to the buildings. So sad that this is the reality we have to now live in. The TourMobile that saved my feet. My blisters had blisters. We bought tickets and rode from one monument to another. The Jefferson Memorial. John's favorite President. I did not know that til we got there. We were about 1/2 hr early for the Ranger talk, so I took the opportunity to take. my. shooze. off and sit and enjoy the wonderful breeze that was blowing. The marble work is amazing. View of the White House and Washington Memorial from the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln is one of my favorite President's. Statue in tribute to the nurses of the Vietnam War. The Wall. John had a cousin who was one of the first casualties of the Vietnam War. He was killed in 1959, so his name is on the very first panel. I think this may have been the hardest thing for both of us. John never knew James. He died before John was even born. It is so sobering to stand and look at the Wall and it not have an impact on you. Much like watching the Changing of The Guard at Arlington. Very sobering.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cute. Squared.

All together now....awwwwwwwwww!

Momma got some new CTMH products to play with yesterday. Convention bundles! Lots of new stuff that I'll be sharing sneak peeks of soon. In the meantime, there are two fur-kids who, much like HUMAN kids are fighting over the same box. There are two of them mind you. Boxes. And cats! But they BOTH want to occupy the SAME box at the same time. As is usually the case in this house...ladiez rulez! Savannah swatted Orleans on the nose and off he went. Now he's in on the La-Z-Boy with his daddy. Both of 'em checking their eyelids for holes!

National Harbor

I've given a couple of sneak peeks at National Harbor. Today will be all about it! The Gaylord is located in National Harbor, MD. It is on reclaimed land that they have turned into a "destination" spot. There are 3 or 4 hotels and a sign that a Disney hotel is "coming soon." It's about a 3 block square area with shops and a few office spaces and condo's above shops. There are also restaurants and a couple of nightclub-y sorts of places. I said more than once that I wondered what price the condo's were bringing with the economy being in the shape it is, but we never found anyplace where we could actually ASK! National Harbor
This is where we found CakeLove and McCormick and Schmicks. We also found a PEEPS store. Yep! Peeps, as in the Easter marshmallow, sugar covered treat! Who knew they had their own store?! Of course I had to get some, and these are brand-spanking new on the market. Their widdwe tootsies are dipped in Dark Chocolate. Be still my beating heart! Also HAD to have one of their coffee (or in my case, tea) mugs. How cute is that?! Maybe my one biggest surprise was at the Fossil store. I have a Fossil watch that I dearly love. I didn't need anything, so every time we'd pass the store, I'd put my blinders on and not look in the windows. Didn't want to be tempted. The morning before we left, I took my blinders off. Now anybody that knows me knows I'm notsomuch a clothes, purse or shoe girl. I have three pair of shoes and generally run around barefoot, or as close to it as I can get and still get into stores! I will carry a purse til it literally falls apart. I don't change purses to match my outfit. Too much trouble! My clothes are basic. Mostly shorts. A couple pair of jeans for those three coldish Florida winter days. Basic tops. Nothing fancy. Anyway! I looked in the Fossil window this last morning and the heavens opened and I heard angels singing. Really! There was this purse. Or maybe I should call it a "bag" since it IS Fossil. I heard it say, "Come in the store and take me home." First time EVER a bag spoke to me. I told John I HAVE to have that bag. And I walked in the store and there it was, on the display that was right in front of me when I walked in the door. I picked it up, put it on my shoulder and told the lovely saleslady that it was going home with me. To which she laughed and said that was the display piece and she'd get me a brand new, still in it's protective covering one that had never been touched by human hands (OK I made THAT part up!) out of the back for me! I'm not even gonna say how much it was. Suffice it to say that I've NEVER paid that much for a PURSE (or bag) before in my life. Nowhere close! But I love, love, love it. The ONLY drawback is there is no outside pocket for my keys. And I can't just throw them in the bottom. Sp I bought myself one of those carabiner clips and I clipped it to the ring on the top and now I just clip my keys to it. Problem solved. And I've had more compliments on the bag. Every.Body loves it. Score for this fashion-backward gal!

While we were walking around, there is this huge sculpture-y thing of Posideon coming up out of the sand. It's totally creepy and cool at the same time. As I was taking pics of it (and John) a lovely CTMH sister who had also extended her vacay asked if we'd like her to take a pic of the two of us. Would we?! We very rarely ever are in a pic together on vacay. Either I'm taking of him or he's taking of me. So she graciously took a couple of shots of us. LOVE them!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sights of DC

Once Convention ended, John and I spent a few days exploring DC. Such history in the city...I spent a good amount of time wiping tears from my eyes and it wasn't because of the heat! It humbled me to think of the sacrifices our forefathers made to give US the rights we have as Americans.

One day we took the water taxi from the Gaylord to Old Alexandria. A short but beautiful trip across the Potomac to the VA side.The water taxi goes under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that we watched being built on Discovery channel so that was pretty cool! We explored King Street, stopping in shops that interested us. Soaked up the charm of the old buildings. Took pics of the cool brick patterns that were so different everywhere. Ended up on the King St trolley which took us to the Metro station and once we finally figured out how to purchase tickets to go to Arlington, we were off. This was one of my "must see's." I'd seen it in '74 when I was a jaded 14 year old with mom and dad, Kathy and Jan on a family vacay. I knew it all and had zero desire to be there with the fam. Arlington opened my jaded eyes. These men and women DIED for ME and we didn't even know their names. It made me cry during the changing of the guard just thinking about it then. And I cried again when I saw the changing of the guard this time. Twenty one steps. Pause for twenty one seconds. Turn. Move the rifle to the shoulder that's away from the tomb. Twenty one steps. Pause for twenty one seconds. Turn. For thirty minutes at a time. Twenty four hours a day. Seven days a week. Three hundred sixty five days a year. In rain, wind, heat, snow. Paying tribute to those fallen men who died unknown but to God. The dedication of the Old Guard. Simply amazing. Those rows upon rows upon rows of gravestones, all in a line, no matter what angle you look at them. So humbling. You can help but be affected. And of course, JFK's grave and the Eternal Flame.