Monday, October 15, 2012

Run! Ruuunnn! Ruuuunnnnnnn!!!!! (for your life) Part 2

Okay, so here are some more adventures of mini-ing ladies who wine and dine.  :)

Wednesday, October 3rd:  Our original plan for this day was to go into the city, but the weather man said, "Hey, that might not be such a good idea.  Cold and rainy.  Not so hot for your semi-ill friend."  Only, you know, he didn't REALLY say that... but he did say that they weather would be way sucky, so we had a home day on Wednesday.  What did we do, you may ask....  What do you think two mini crazy girls did while stuck in the house?!?!  Uh, der.

Brae, of course worked on the Heritage.  Shingling away and griping about crappy glue.  Isn't that something we all do?  :D  Apparently E6000 and shingles do NOT get along.  I spent way too much time just watching her, and not really getting a whole lot done myself.  I did do SOMETHING though. Something more than drool on her table like an admiring drunk dog even.  :D  We had been talking weeks earlier about me wanting to get candlesticks for the  __________ that I am working on.  (How much does it bug you that you still don't know what it is?  hehehe)  Anyway, I planned on buying the candlestick trio from HBS, when she told me she had some and obviously, I could just have hers.  Yea friends!!  And you know, I am kind of glad that I didn't buy them.  They didn't look nearly as awesome in person as they did in the catalog.  Pooo.

I am referring to this set of course:
Picture from miniatures.com
They aren't.... bad, just not what I was expecting I guess.  In the picture, the finish looks pretty good, but when you get them, they are an obvious not-awesome black plastic.  And they LOOK black plastic.  Add the paint job splotchiness from the candles and that fact that they have nipples instead of wicks, and I was not impressed.  Brae  handed me her fantabulous little saw set and I went to hacking.  First, chopped off the candlesticks and then spent some time sanding the top smooth.  




After they were cut and sanded, we talked a bit about what to paint them... I opted for Bittersweet Chocolate by Americana (is there really any doubt that that would be my color choice?).  After they dried, to add a little bit of dimension, I gave them a wash of Testers Bronze... Brae, let me know if that is wrong.  :)
The one on the right has the wash on it.

They looked much better then.  :)  I also took some time to sand down the parts and dry fit my HOM chest on chest kit.  You will see that piece later on, most likely in the Garfield (Victorian with modern twist).  And that is where I pooped out.  Stupid sickness.  The rest of the day was spent off and on napping and watching some rather fabulous movies.  :)  During my stay there, I saw Plunkett and Macleane, The Young Victoria, Victoria, Everafter, and A Walk in the Clouds.  All very nice.  I had to watch most of them in parts since I kept dosing off randomly.  I passed out on poor Brae several times.  We had grande plans of working late and having drinks and merriness.... until my body decided to crap out on us.  But I had a great time regardless.  :D

That night we went to dinner with her mom and swung by Michaels... for glue and clay. And some other things, since it is nearly impossible to just go into a craft store and get what you NEED.  Especially when you have coupons. 

Thursday, October 4th:  THE CITY!!!!!

Thursday was our city day.  And come hell, high water, flying monkeys, fever or nuclear attack, I WAS GOING.  I felt pretty decent for the first part of the morning.  We caught the train into the city (my first EVA) and then caught a cab (also my first EVA) to the Art Institute of Chicago.  This was one of the "MUST SEE" thing on my list and I am so glad that we got to go.  I have loved art my entire life and really love to look at pieces that I would consider out of my reach.  I don't sculpt, so I generally think sculptures are cool.  I don't always understand them, but I do think they are cool.  I also love impressionism.  I'm a blender when I paint, so the chunky layers of chunky blobs of paint really enthrall me.  Monet is my favorite, and let me tell you, the time that I spent in the room that was full of just Monet's work is probably one of the coolest moments of my life. 
Unfortunately, it wasn't enjoyed nearly as much as I wanted it to be since I was coughing up a lung the entire time.  :/  I felt like I was disturbing everyone in the building. Brae and I had discussed over lunch, that this was something that just wouldn't go away while I was there.  I have spent the last decade in the Southeast USA.... where the humidity is ALWAYS high and you are constantly breathing in wet air... like breathing through a wet towel.  Then, BAM, you're in the midwest and it's dry.  My body was starved for moisture.  I was constantly thirsty, always had dry mouth and felt like I should just attach a horse feed bucket to my face.  Ick.  

Anyway, while we were at the AIC, I saw some really great stuff,  I don't have a lot of pictures of it since coughing all the time means I was not steady.  Not steady means crappy pictures.  You can "Boooooo" if you want.  I certainly did.

Here are some of the things we DID see though:
Tools used to make paperweights.

For my teacher friends.  :)
And it should obviously be mentioned that the first thing we did go look at were the Thorne Miniature Rooms.  Of course.  And they. Are. Spec. Tacular.  I mean, really, out of this world insanely awesome.
Seriously, how could you NOT be in awe of this?!



That picture above is me with a giant old clock.  Clearly.  This should be a caption, but Blogger is having a fit for some reason.  :/  After the museum, we went out for fresh air and a walk to Millennium Park.  I was in such awe of all the tall buildings, the fast paced traffic-foot and vehicle alike, and just all the stuff there was to look at.  I love that Chicago has so many water features and I loved the tall fountains that had pictures projected onto them in the park.

The Lion at the Michigan (Ave?) entrance.
Me with the line.  Yes.  It was necessary.
The first real stop we made in MP was at the Cloud Gate (big metal bean) and I was pretty stoked.  That thing is phenomenal.  Huge!  And swarming with people. Too cool.

Then there was more walking.  :)  Around the park, over the promenade, through the top of the AIC and then several blocks down to the Buckingham Fountain.  Giant fountain.  So much water.  And way cool to see.  It really is beautiful and every 20 minutes, there is a water show put on and the center fountain shoots 150ft into the air. 



 



 Here is a video for your enjoyment:

video

And now you understand the title.  :)  Ahahahah.  It was fabulous.
After that adventure, we started our walk back to a cab friendly area, and that turned into just walking all the way back to the train station.  It was far.  I complained.  But I saw a lot and I am still certain that it was better for my health than sitting in the back of a crazy cab!  

Caught the train back to the station we left from and then I promptly complained some more about the fact that it was cold, windy and raining... and Brae had parked 29857287 miles away.  Okay.  It wasn't THAT far, but it was a hike and my thin blood was frozen.  Thank goodness for butt warmers in the Bug.  :)


















I will finish the rest of the tale soon!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Run! Ruunnn! Ruuuunnnnn!!! (for your life) Pt 1

I PROMISE, I will explain that title in due time.  :)  So HERE it is!  The blog post that tells you all about my trip to visit my dear, dear, Twin Pea, Brae.  To get full effect of the feelings of the trip, we will start at the before of the beginning.

Monday, October 1st: I am running all around like a headless chicken making sure that things are together not only for myself, but for the three men that I am leaving behind to fend for themselves.  They usually manage pretty well, but never for such a long time before.  I made trips to the store for easy cook meals.  Made sure that the laundry was cleaned, folded and expertly put away. Cleaned the house from top to bottom and reminded them that if they picked up a little each night, it wouldn't get out of control.  I also packed extra changes of clothes in the diaper bag in the car, made sure movies were available to take to work and packed up the toys that keep them happiest the longest.  I had all this done by 11am, and good thing, too, because it was then, when I sat down to take a bit of a breather that I got a SHIVER.  A shiver. In my 80 degree house in central Florida, I got a shiver.  I filled with dread and knew instantly what that meant.

                                FEVER!!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

There was a quick dash all around the house as I put on layers of clothes, dug out the comforter, brewed some tea and downed OJ and tylenol in record time.  For the next two hours, I looked like this:
 
image from the internet
By 5:00, my sister had shown up, and I had yet to squelch The Beast.  I was irritated.  But you see, I had been waiting on this trip for MONTHS and not going was simply NOT an option.  So I pulled myself out of bed, took a shower, re-dosed with tylenol and spent the final few hours with my family.  My sister and I left at about 9 to head to Orlando since I was leaving from that airport.  They charge you out the wahzoo for the convenience of leaving from Gainesville.  Plus, Orlando to Chicago was a straight shot, no stops. :)

A quick drive down there, which I spent asleep, and then another shower at my sisters house and some rearranging of packing after I raided her fab shoe collection... I hit the sack again.  Newly dosed with fever reducers and some Aspercreme for my wrenched back.  I had pulled something on Friday getting the tables for the sale on Saturday (which did NOT go well, by the by) and had just been ignoring it.  Now I was being a bit of a baby.  And pointedly so.  How DARE The World try to make me sick on the eve of my trip?!?!

Tuesday, October 2nd:  We awaken, get dressed and dash off to the airport.  Cassie tries to get me checked into my flight and after several minutes of stabbing in the itinerary number, a not-so-helpful TSA person decides to tell here that she needs to use a 6 digit letter code, not the 12 digit numerical.  Then why do they even offer you numbers on the screen?!?!  We finally get that punched in and read the words:

"You are too late to check in for you flight."

                 EXCUSE MEEEEE?!?!?!? 

This just will not do.  There were words.  There were glares.  Eventually, the TSA officer checked me in manually and gave me my boarding pass.  Then Turdface Magoo informed me that the counter was closed for me to check my bag and that I would just have to see if it would fit as a carry on.  Uh..... not happening.
I have to be left at security and this is only the second time I have flown, ever, and the first was nearly a decade ago.  Shit sucks.  And my flight leaves in 32 minutes.  *sigh*   I continue to eek along in the ever so slowly moving line and finally it's my turn to strip off my shoes and other things that I can conceal my death ray in.  I flop it all up there and then prepare to walk through the metal detector.  No.  No metal detector.  Come through this monkey machine instead, where you will be scanned and put up on a screen.  You want your whole body to come out a "Yea!  Go-go Gadget Green."  Nerve racking.  And I pass the sign that says, you may choose to have someone accompany you at any time during your screening.  I snort.  Works out swell for those with a buddy system.  I am cleared and then I get the gruff, "Ma'am, is this YOUR bag?"  I am sure I look a little horrified thinking that, surely, someone has smuggled something awful into my bag.... Nope.  The man just wants to confiscate my brand new can of shaving cream.  The brand new can that nobody would have cared about, because that bag was supposed to be checked.  *sigh*  They send my bag through again and I am certain that they have just robbed me of ALL my flight catching time.  I have to dash to the shuttle, impatiently wait for it and then dash across the terminal to my gate.  Which, of course, is at the end.  And I am dashing with two bags... when I should only have one.  Thankfully, and apparently, they will check your bag at the plane!  Which they did for me and everyone was very kind.  I must have resembled some sort of frightened woodland creature!  :D  But I boarded. We flew.  I slept.  And arrived in Chicago nearly 30 minutes early.

I get off the plane, let Brae know I am in town, locate my bags and then go wait for her.  It was cold.  Certainly not Midwest standards cold, but for getting on in upper 70's weather... the lower 60's I got off in was cold.  And I was still sick.  Pooooo.  When Brae came to get me, I was all bundled up in my jacket, with gloves and a steaming hot cup of coffee.  Pumpkin Spice Latte to be specific.  :)

We went back to her house and the lounged about for a few hours while I realized that I was still being beat up by this elusive fever.  No other symptoms, just fever.  But it made me very tired.  I mustered up strength anyway and she took me to see a couple things before we went to have dinner.  I mostly loved the drives up and down the suburb streets.  The houses there look nothing like the houses here in Florida and the autumn leaves were breath taking against them.  So much to look at outside the window!  And too tired to wield a camera.  For shame.

Our first stop was at the Baha'i Temple in Wilmette, Illinois.  You can read more about it specifically here: http://www.bahai.us/bahai-temple/   It really was a beautiful temple and the grounds were an amazing sight.  I like their message of the oneness of humanity and the oneness of religion.  Like it should be, I think.  Here is 
a shot of the front of it:



                                 
I also got some shots of flowers and some close up shots of the great detailing on this building.  Had I been feeling better, there would have been more.




Gorgeous place.  :)  

Our next stop was at the Lighthouse, which is located on Lake Michigan.  The property was also quite beautiful and the art house next door made me smile, too.  I am a sucker for brick covered in ivy.  :)






And I feel like that is long enough post for today!  I will share the some more tomorrow.  Although, you all are competing for time with my close friend here in Gainesville, who's days are numbered.  She is moving at the end of the week.  :(