Downtown Eustis Cruise In

Last night we went to the Downtown Eustis monthly cruise-in.  We were going to take the '54 Buick, but it was uncooperative (fuel issue), so we ended up taking the '66 GTO.

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The last time we had gone was a couple of months ago, and at that show the turn out didn't seem like much.  This time, for one thing we were late, but even so, the place was loaded with people.  I was quite surprised.  Since we were late, we actually got a prime parking space right on the main strip. Our friend from Daytona went along with us, and we've also been starting to meet some of the local people.

We were able to walk around a bit and got a chance to see all the cars.  When the show was over we headed out and had dinner at Gator's Dockside.  It's a chain restaurant, but not something we have down in Miami, so it was new to us.  The food was pretty good, and the service was excellent.

The thing I keep finding interesting is how in these (what I would call) small towns, everyone seems to know everyone else, and everybody is polite.  Not something we're used to in Miami.


Utah - Day 9

This morning we had two departures.  Mary and Ann had to be up and ready for the car at like 6:45 AM, and we would be doing the same thing just 24 hours after that.

Todays events started at our final Diners Drive-Ins and Dives location which was Ruth's Diner - which was a diner, Sunday - Diner sign
but hardly a dive.  Ruth apparantly was some kind of character - if you get a chance you might want to look her up - Sunday - Ruth
I'd say she was my kind of woman.  At first I thought there would be a problem because there wasn't seating ready for us but it only took them about 30 minutes to seat us.  We had to be split up into small groups but we were all on the patio and it worked.  This was amazing considering it was a Sunday and not just any Sunday, but Father's Day.  First they have Sunday - Mile High Biscuits
mile high biscuits - and you don't have to order them special they just come with every meal.  We probably could have stopped there (after a slathering of butter), but we also ordered breakfast which was quite delicious.  From breakfast, we were heading down to Park City which is a quaint little resort town.  They have a farmers market called Sunday - Park Silly sign
Park Silly.  The idea here is it is very "green".  They say that they only had one bag of garbage after the event they had last year -- there was recycle bins for paper, plastic, glass, and even some (believe it or not) for diapers and dog poop - I know, I should have taken a picture, but I had my sights set on getting a massage and nothing was stopping me.  I made it to the front and had 10 minutes of bliss (5 minutes were free).  After the massage, and I was feeling fine, some of us caught the Sunday - trolly
trolley to tour the town a bit.  Now with the trolley two things happened, first by the end of our trolley ride, we had met up with everyone in our group except one, and I'm pretty sure we scared everyone else off the trolley because we were the only ones on board.  And second, the ceiling light fixture just fell from the sky and scared the crap out of us (not to mention almost hit Linda).  It landed upright and didn't even break - that would have been a mess.

From Park Silly, we headed back to the Beartrap because not everyone wanted to spend a full day out and about - some people wanted to relax a bit before a full day traveling.  Well, on the way back, all of a sudden we saw smoke coming from the engine - so over to the side we pulled.  It turned out that it was leaking oil (quite a bit), so our driver added in some oil, and continued up the canyon.  Now were were OK with this since, we wouldn't be sitting on the side of the road.  They then decided to drive those of us going to Sundance back down the Canyon and swap out the vehicles (we could use a minibus since only 8 of us were going) which also seemed OK until the brakes started to alarm.  Ugggh.  Not a happy time.  To make a long story short, we made it down the hill safely, swapped the vehicles, and were on our way to Sundance.

At Sundance, we went on the Sunday - ski lift
ski lift and man, you could see for miles.  The views were just Sunday - what a view
stunning.  Linda and Kelly Sunday - linda and kelly ski lift
were in the seats in front of us, Gerri Anne and Sonia were in front of them, and Kip and Jayne were in front of that.  After our little ride to nowhere (they don't even let you off at the top unless you have a bike), we went over to the shops and restaurants.  Of course, when visiting Robert Redford's place, we had to taste his food, so we tried for reservations but they were booked until 8PM.  The Owl BarSunday - owl bar
however, served the same food and you didn't need reservations.  We ordered food and it was delicious.  I had a burger, and substituted Asparagus for the fries.  The Asparagus was perfectly cooked, and Linda thought I was weird because I put them on my burger - I'm known for making sandwiches out of anything.  Sonia just got a side of $6 sweet potato fries
sweet potato fries - we all were surprised to find out that they charged $6.00 for them.  A bit pricey, but hey ... we were at Sundance dontcha know.  The trip back to the lodge was uneventful.  We spent the evening packing up our suitcases (and weighing them), and cleaning out the fridge.  Some played Canasta, and some (me) fell asleep on the couch (again).


Utah - Day 6

Yesterday was a shorter day on the road because we have a class back at the lodge. 

We got up early this morning and found the remnants of our "snow" Thurs - frost
.  There were flakes below the roof edge on the porch and our picnic tables were covered in ice Thurs - ice
.  Did anyone tell them here that it's the middle of June ? From here, we started the day going out to breakfast at Thurs - blue plate

The Blue Plate Diner.  This is a diner profiled on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, and they had old fashioned fountain drinks plus Thurs - blue plate2
huge portions.  From breakfast we headed to the local scrapbook store called Thurs - heartland
Heartland Paper.  At Heartland Paper we were taking a course called Fairy Couture.  The class was taught by Pat Thurs - fairy class
and although it was not scrapbooking in a traditional sense, it was a fabulous class.  Several had to step out of their comfort zone, but in the end we all loved the Thurs - fairy

class.  The store was fantastic and had just about every brand/product.  They gave is a 10% discount on our purchases, and even sent us home with a goodie bag for prizes when we were back at the lodge.

After Heartland paper, we decided to make a stop at another Scrapbook Store - this one we were told about by some ladies at breakfast - this store was called Thurs - paper creations
Paper Creations.  The store was a little on the pricey side, but they also had a great clearance section, and some items we hadn't come across as yet so I'm pretty sure we all walked out with a bag.  After shopping it was time for lunch so we departed for the Thurs - lonestar sign
Lone Star Taqueria.  Lone Star is a Lone star - car
Diners Drive-Ins and Dives location, and although small, they pumped out the food fast, and it was delicious.  I tried Thurs - lonestar food
steak and chicken tacos and a handmade pork tamale - no complaints here.  From lunch we were headed back to the Beartrap Lodge but first we took a little detour and went past the lodge to the ski resorts.  We drove through Solitude and Brighton.  In Brighton, there was still some snow on the ground, so some went off to find it.  I didn't go, but I hear snowballs were made, and a miniature snowman (about 4 inches) was formed.

We headed back to the lodge to get set up for our next class which was a Top 5 Garland Thurs - margie top5 sample
taught by Margie Romney Aslett of the Girls' Paperie.   Margie came with her daughters Thurs - margie & daughters
who helped her with the class.  Many of us completed the pages Thurs - margie class scrapping
but a few were just too tired.  Margie had offered to teach a second class, but I know we wouldn't have been able to stay alert.  After Margies class, we just relaxed a bit and some of us fell asleep. Penny and Jackie had designed a beaded keychain with a Utah plastic tag attached, so in little groups we worked on and completed the project.  It was very cute.

Thurs - relaxing Thurs - relax
Yes ... I was one of those who fell asleep in a chair, and I'm sure someone has pictures.  Many stayed up and played some games, we had LCR (Left-Center-Right), Canasta, Bunco, and Pokeno around.  It was a good break we're about half way through the trip and a resting up a bit was what we needed.

Today we have a train ride and a visit to the Provo/Orem area.


Utah - Day 5

Another wonderfully full day.

We started our morning with a class by Sue Neal - we completed 2 cards and 1 mini album, with a bonus project for us to do later.  Sue neal class
The cool part about the class is that all of the projects were made with envelopes. Here's a group shot Sue neal group
of us with Sue.  After Sue's class we went to do some sightseeing at Temple Square.  We first saw the Temple square - organ Temple square - temple

Organ Recital, which was unbelievable, and then visited various parts of the Temple Square area - there was even a wedding taking place.  After walking around a bit, we had lunch at Nauvoo, and then it was looking like it might rain, so we got on our way to our next site.

From Temple Square we went to Rusty Pickle Rusty pickle - warehouse sale
for a warehouse sale.  Lance will be teaching us a class later in the week, but we went to the warehouse to help them clear out some product.  We did a great job, and they had flat rate USPS boxes Rusty pickle - warehouse
there so that we could ship.

From Rusty Pickle, we went to WeRMemory Keepers, Wermemorykeepers
and did some shopping there.  They have a retail store right in the front of their headquarters.  We did not get a tour, but we did get to shop.  I bought some of the new product lines.

From there we dropped by a local scrap store Pebbles In My Pocket, PebblesInMyPocket
they had some Utah and Temple Square paper and stickers, so that will help us with our albums when we get home.

Then we had to eat so it was a stop at another Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives location - this time Pat's BBQ Pats BBQ Pats BBQ - food

.  It was touch and go for a minute because our driver said he didn't think it was all that, but in the end it was most delicious, and just about everyone loved it.  Several of us got the combo platter which had ribs, brisket, and pulled pork, and you could get jumbalaya as a side, which isn't strictly BBQ, but was excellent.

Afters Pats, we took in a few more sites of downtown SLC.  The capitol Utah - capitol building Utah - olympic cauldron

building, and the olympic caldron.

When we arrived home, we thought we were done for the night but mother nature added one more event to our day.  While some of us were on the deck, it stated to snow (just snow flurries), and we all ran outside in our PJs and took pictures of the falling snow.  It's pitch black outside Utah - snow at cabin
our cabin, but you can see the white specs falling from the sky.

All in all, a great day.

Today we have a class at the local scrap store, another Triple D restaurant and then a class at the lodge.


Utah - Day 3

Today is the day the rest of the crew arrives.

Linda's flight was on time -- can you believe it ?  She took the shuttle over to the hotel to meet us because she had a couple of hours to kill until everyone else arrives.  The first stop we made on the way to the airport was a cupcake shop called Mini's.  We had to get some gourmet cupcakes which were inspired by the Sex and the City movies. Cupcakes
Then onward to the airport where Canyon transportation met us.  They actually were able to fit ALL our luggage which was quite the trick considering we had clothes and scrap supplies.  Here we are all in our places with bright shining faces. On the bus
Our first stop of the day was a fused glass jewelry making class at the studios of artist Amber DeBirk.  Jewelry class with amber
Amber met us when we arrived and gave us a little history of the area that her studio was in.  She taught us about fused glass and we went to work creating jewelry pieces.  Here are the ones that I created.  My jewelry creations before firing
The class included a pair of earrings and a pendant, and I added a barrette as well. From this state, the piece need to be fired and then Amber will deliver them to us over the weekend.  After the jewelry class we made a brief stop at the liquor store (yes, I allocated time for this), and then a stop at the grocery store for the things we thought we couldn't live without.  We have plenty of snack food around the lodge.  After our stocking up we made one more stop which was at the Porcupine Pub for dinner.  Porcupine pub sign
The porcupine pub is at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon which leads up to our lodge.  First, they had a tasting option for some of the local beers, so Mary, Sara, and I tried a few.

Porcupine beers
We tried Polygamy Porter, Captain Bastards Oatmeal Stout, Hefeweizen, Chocolate Stout, and Raspberry Wheat.  We preferred the lighter beers so passed the dark beers down the table for others to try.  For dinner I had the Porcupine pizza
pizza which was fantastic.  From the Porcupine we headed up the canyon to our lodge, unloaded all our luggage, and settled in for the week.  Many people brought little gifts for everyone and I'll have to take pictures and post on another day.  So many pictures so little time.  In addition to the presents, the whole group put together a little present for me for planning the trip and logistics out.   Thank you surprise

They made a Thank you card, all signed it, and included a Visa Gift card and some cash to use while on my trip.  Totally unnecessary, but it was quite the surprise (I'll have to get on Linda for not warning me) and I really appreciate it.  I am truly blessed to have such good friends.  Then Gerri-Anne presented Linda  Messenger bag for Linda

with a messenger bag.  This was for the next time she ends up roaming airports due to mechanical delays.  I have one parting shot to post.  This is the view from our back porch. View of moon off porch
The moon and the stars off our back porch.  There is really nothing more beautiful.

I have so many more pictures but it really bogs down how fast the blog loads.  So far, the rest have been unable to get on the wi-fi service, so I'm about the only one with a connection through my aircard.

I'll post updates daily for as long as I can.


Utah - Day 1

There is a group of us who went to Utah early.  Just wanted to get acclimated to time zone and altitude, and see some things we won't be doing when the entire group is here. We really don't have a specific plan, just kindof hanging out.

After breakfast at the hotel, off we went exploring.  First stop ... Walmart - yes, we have them in Florida, but not like this one.  First it's sort of 2 story.  You can park on the second level and take an escalator down into the store - which is what we did.  Now, who would have thunk it but the view of the mountains was fantastic.  Here's one taken from the parking lot

Mountain view from WalMart lot 

this one is from another angle ... you could really see almost 360 degrees around

Walmart view 2

of course the above pictures are zoomed in - this one you can see more that it's from a the roof.

Walmart view with me

the other thing the WalMart had, although not as pretty as the view, was an escalator for your shopping cart.  We were trying to figure out how to get our purchase up to the top level without having to carry them and low and behold, WalMart had already figured that one out.  You push your card on and up it travels while you travel on the people one.  Jackie, Penny and I thought it was pretty cool.

Alright, enough on WalMart, our second destination was to track down where the Beartrap Lodge was.  We figured we'd drive over just to get the lay of the land.  It's about 10 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon Road.  It's one of those windy mountain roads that we don't have in Florida.  First, the water is flowing - I don't know if they are creeks, or rivers, or streams, but it was coming down quite fast.  I'm assuming it from the melting snow.  This first pic is on the way up

Utah Stream

Now going up, "Fred", Penny's GPS told us to stop and Beartrap was on the right - but there was nothing there.  So we traveled further up the road until we came to the Silver Fork Lodge.  Now SIlver Fork is a bed and breakfast and also a restaurant and the owners of the Silver Fork, also own the Beartrap.  Silver Fork lodge
It was time for lunch, so we decided to have soup and salad and desert while we were there.  Sam, the bus boy gave us directions, and we told him that if we got lost, we'd come back and pick him up to lead us there.  He was sure we'd find it but said he'd go with us if we couldn't find it.

Beartrap sign
We didn't need to go back for Sam, but we did have to make one little U-Turn.  Now that we took the turn off to Beartrap, we started up the road and the current renters must all have come on their own because there were about a dozen cars parked along the should of the road (I use the term road very loosly, it was more of a dirt road, or maybe even a path).  Once we got in, there was no way to turn around.  There was either a car, a rock wall, or a drop off.  Jackie was driving, and man I give her kudos - she was an ace at the wheel.  (She, notice, I'm not saying we - it was all Jackie with Penny doing the navigation - I was covering my eyes in the backseat saying a prayer or two that we wouldn't have to call the rental car agency and report a mishap.).  Jackie backed most of the way out, even up an incline, and the car wasn't responding quickly so she had to really gun it without hitting what was behind her.  Then a quick 5 point turn, and we were on our way.  We passed another car coming in and thought good luck.  I think the bus next week will have to do some maneuvering, but it won't be quite as bad because there won't be a dozen cars strewn about.

On the way down, we stopped at one point to see a waterfall Waterfall over rocks
(I don't know if that's the official term, but that's what we thought it was).  We were heading back to the hotel because we knew that Barb, GA, Sonia, and Jayne were there and we thought we'd head right out to get some dinner.  However ... it was almost "cookie time".  At 5PM every evening the hotel puts out Cookie time
cookies at the front desk.  Now these are fresh baked still warm from the oven cookies and we just couldn't miss that.  So we each had at least one, and some of us put some up in our hotel room for later.  We were originally going to go to Log-Haven for dinner, but they didn't have reservations available until 8:45pm and we didn't want to wait that long, so we decided to try the DoDo this is a local bistro in the Sugarhouse area. 

I started with a Brie cheese and Fruit appetizer Brie and fruit
Barb had some kind of artichoke pie, and GerriAnne had sesame toasted cream cheese - we could have really stopped there, but they already had our dinner orders - the meals were huge. I had a chicken dish with pasta and a side of vegetables Dodo dinner
the meals were delicious but way too much.  I think we've decided that we will order less full meals and just share plates with each other.  That way we won't eat too much and we get to taste a bit of everything.  Do you think we stopped there ?? You guessed it.  They had fresh baked deserts by their onsite pastry chef.  I got the Dodo desert
Toll House Pie, which they said was like a big cookie, I thought it was going to be like those big cookie cakes you find in the mall, but it wasn't - it was really a pie that tasted like cookie dough and had a creamy texture almost like a partially cooked cookie (but in a good way).  It looked rich, but it really wasn't overly sweet.  Excellent - Delicious - even if I didn't really need it.

From there we just headed back to the hotel.  Tomorrow is another day.  Right now, we're undecided as to plan but I'm sure of one thing, we'll have a great time.


Math Day

Today class was very heavy on math.  We were split in groups again but different groups than yesterday so I got to meet a couple of new people.  Another long day, but I think this was probably the worst because of all the formulas and math.  We did get out a little early, so that was a plus.

After class, we decided to go to a restaurant called Claim Jumper.  It's a chain throughout this area - California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Wisconsin, and Illinois to be exact.  The food was excellent - very large portions and great tasting.  For desert they had HUGE  pieces of cake - I'm talking a foot high (10 layer I think) chocolate cake, and an eclair that was about 6" x 12", which is what they got for our table.  There were seven of us and we still didn't finish.

The restaurant was right next to an outlet mall, so we had to make a stop there and do some shopping.  Just about everyone (except me) found and bought a bargain.  The things I found that I liked either were too small or too large.  Because I started the trip with my luggage almost overweight (traveling with about 8 lbs of study materials), I was trying to be good and tonight it worked.

After the mall we headed back to the hotel and hung out in the hotel bar - it ended up being about 9 of us all together - quite the showing considering there are only 16 of us taking the course.  Of all my "work" trips this one we all have just seemed to click.  I think probably because we all hold similar jobs in the same industry, working for the same parent company.  It sure does make the class time sail by and everyone is comfortable enough to ask questions and work through problems together.

Tomorrow is another day ....


In Downtown Phoenix

Class was long today ... lots to review.  Today was the first module of 4 probably the easiest of the bunch.  Tomorrow will involve math - so you just have to know it will be just that much more difficult.

Study method is great - teacher breaks up the lecture with small group projects, which gets us up and standing and interacting.  Actually a great way to learn when you've got lots of material to cover.

The hotel we're at has a shuttle which takes you anywhere within a 5 mile radius.  It takes us to the class site in the morning and tonight we went out to dinner at a steak place called Monti's.  After that we walked around the downtown area a bit.

This is the sign hanging above the restaurant entrance.

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The place was great - padded seats and the restaurant wrapped around with many nooks and crannies for seating.  Almost every section of the restaurant was semi secluded.  I did dinner with 2 ladies from another site that were in my breakout group and another that they knew from another site.  The funny thing was that this was the first time they were in Phoenix so they were taking lots of pictures (cactus, palm trees, restaurant sign) and I was taking pictures for the Project 365.  This is the park near the restaurant - it was still all lit up as for the holidays.

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After we got back to the hotel, we decided to go for desert in the hotel restaurant.  I had chocolate ice cream.  It was quite a bit so I asked if it would keep in the room refrigerator - waitress went to check with the manager - apparently they checked with "the engineer" and he said if I turned the fridge to it's coldest setting it would keep.  Coming from a manufacturing background we thought it was hysterical 2010-011B
that they involved the engineering department.  Even funnier, she not only brought me a container, but it was filled with even more ice cream.  It's in my little fridge now ... it will be tomorrow's snack - that is if the engineer is correct.

It's funny how you cross paths with people.  I didn't / don't know these women, but we've hit it off quite well.   They take pictures, they're on facebook, and they seem to be the people at their companies that stuff falls into the lap of, which is just like my job.  We laughed at dinner as if we had known each other for years.

Tomorrow is another day.


Muffins Muffins

Today we got out hair cut at the new location for our hair dresser.  With that we found a new place to try for breakfast.  This is a mom and pop restaurant called the Muffin Tin.  They serve breakfast and lunch daily.  I had a "normal" breakfast and hubby had a Mexican style in a burrito with salsa.  When we were done, we asked about the name "The Muffin Tin" and were told that they had the best muffins.  With that, we had to have a muffins so we shared a blueberry one. 

2010-002

The unique thing about the muffins is that they toast them.  They cut them in thirds then toast, so the butter melts just so.  Thye were very delicious and we were glad we decided to get one even though we weren't all that hungry since we had just had a big breakfast.  Next time I think we'll start with the muffins.


Just the Two of Us

Last night we went to Chili's for dinner.  We were both tired and didn't feel like cooking.

IMGP1348a This was one of those self portraits where you hold your arm out and take the picture.  Had the combo fajitas and it was fantastic.  Was going to take a picture of the plate when it arrived but the steam from the plate was blowing right into my (our) faces.  First time in a long time that the plate arrived sizzling.  This particular Chili's must send their employees for customer service training because they are all helpful, cheerful, and polite.  In this city that is quite unusual these days as customer service is practically dead.