Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thanks to many of you for your concern about my parents' wellbeing during Hurricane Dolly. Thought I'd send a quick update so everyone has the latest.

My parents decided to evacuate to Mission, TX last week on Tuesday and stayed there as Dolly came ashore. They took my dad's boat, both of their cars, and their camper so that they could avoid any major damage to their valuable possessions. They got to Mission early enough to be able to enjoy the first day there, even spending some time by the pool at their hotel! On Wednesday, they stayed close to the TV to stay in touch with the latest with the storm, and when they were able to return to the island on Thursday after the storm, they returned to a sweltering hot island without power (this translates most importantly to air conditioning in July) although luckily they did have running water. Their condo, luckily, did not sustain any damage, although the rest of the island did not fare as well. All of the docks along the bay had been washed away by the storm, many of the power poles had been snapped in half, and many of the condos, restaurants, and homes had lost roofs and flooded. For some photos of the storm damage, click here.

We heard that the county parks were closed to the public and that since the surf was so dangerous, the police were arresting people who tried to go surfing!

My parents also experienced in the upper valley a desperate lack of gasoline, since most of the gas stations either didn't have power, or were sold out of gas. Basically, they were stuck in the valley for a day or two without any options of leaving! Finally, they were able to get gas and headed to Corpus to stay with family over the weekend in a more comfortable and air conditioned environment.

Finally this afternoon around 4:00pm, the power was restored to their condo so they have returned home. The docks at my dad's marina have almost already been completely re-built, so he may be able to start working again next week. They have cable, internet, and of course air conditioning. The county parks at the beaches have also been re-opened and my parents can make surf-checks, so all is well with their world, even though there is still quite a bit of construction and re-building to be done for many of the other residents on the island.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Run, Philip, Run!

Philip has decided to run his first marathon! He is registered to run the San Antonio Marathon on November 16th. This year, the theme is a Rock 'n' Roll marathon, which means that there will be live music every mile. Hopefully that will help him get through the 26 MILE run more easily.

He has already started training, and has a routine that he is settling into. This morning was his long run, which translated to 12.65 miles. The run took over 2 hours and he only walked 4 minutes of it; the rest was running!! He has been using his Polar heart rate monitor watch and it has a component that clips to his shoe to measure his stride and distance. This tool should really help him track his training between now and November.

I am so proud of him for doing this, since I am certainly not running right alongside him. I have no desire to mark this off my list of things to do before I die, so my plan is to make signs and hold them up during the marathon to show my support. I have been trying to think of some good running puns that also correspond to Rock 'n' Roll, so if you have any good suggestions for poster slogans, let me know!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Farewell, Awesome Blossom

Yesterday afternoon, Phil emailed me at work and offered to take me out to dinner that evening (after he got home from happy hour with his co-workers). He stated we could go to Chris Madrid's (abbreviated as CM's in his email), Chili's (with appetizer), or Mon's for Thai food. I told him that the appetizer really won me over and beginning at 3:30pm yesterday, my mouth started watering for an Awesome Blossom and the Molten Cake from Chili's. (I decided instead of having an appetizer and entree, I would just forego the entree and have appetizer and dessert!) So we finally arrived at Chili's last night around 6:30pm and of course there was a 30 minute wait. We decided not to wait and that we would go to Chris Madrid's instead. We drove across town to CM's, and the line there was wrapped all the way across the area where you order and around the entire dining room, so we didn't stay and eat there either. We ended up at Taco Cabana and both of us ate for $9.33, which we decided meant that we could go out to eat Saturday night too!

So all day we have been planning to eat at Chili's. We decide to go early so we won't have to wait to be seated and get there before 5:30pm. We sit down, flip open the menu, and...... no Awesome Blossom. What? This cannot be happening. The waitress walks up, "What can I get you to drink?" and we order our beverages. "Any appetizers?" she asks, to which I respond with a question of my own, "do you have the Awesome Blossom?"... here comes the devastating news. "We don't serve the Awesome Blossom anymore." This was the most disappointing news I've heard all day! What was I going to do without this 2,710 calorie fried appetizer I'd been craving for over 24 hours (203g fat for those of you who keep track of this sort of thing)? There was nothing I could do.... it is gone forever. So we decided to boycott appetizers altogether as a silent protest. And in the end, I forewent the dessert as well, for the principle of it all.

So here's to you, Awesome Blossom; you will be missed. You were indeed awesome, when dipped in ketchup.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Apparently the thing to do this summer is to hang out at Lake Livingston and partake in waterports like being pulled behind a boat on a tube. Question is, who do you think was going faster? I think we have the Bergers beat by a long shot- check out the wake in our pics vs. the (lack of) wake in theirs... but we're not competitive!

Here you can see the battle wounds on my elbows, caused by the intense tube riding earlier in the day. (Looks like Greg's only battle wound was a little sunburn... clearly that's not the same thing.)
The weekend at the lake was lots of fun and then........ the boat broke. On the Fourth of July after a fun morning on the boat, we came upon a big rain storm and all ran for cover inside the house. We waited out the storm and after the rain stopped, some of the guys decided to go out on the boat and do some wakeboarding/kneeboarding. They were gone for about 2 hours so we thought they were having tons of fun. Come to find out, the boat broke down 20 minutes into the fun, and the rest of the time was spent with 2 guys in the boat paddling with a paddle on one side and a water ski on the other side, and Phil on the front of the boat swimming/steering the boat. They pulled/paddled all the way out of the cove they were in and finally after about an hour of that, a jet ski graciously stopped and offered to tow them back to the lake house. Needless to say, we didn't expect to see them paddling back towards the house! After they got back, they continued to show their masculinity by taking apart the propellor to try to fix it, even though none of them knew what they were looking at or looking for. We even brought in the professional (Brad) and tried to draw from his Naval experience, but that wasn't fruitful either. So we had to find other ways to keep ourselves busy, like a long walk the following morning around the neighborhood, and swimming in the lake at the dock.
Another fun way to remain entertained, come to find out, is to take care of a newborn. We had fun figuring out how to keep him from crying while riding in the jogging stroller (we determined that one must simulate bumps even when bumps are not present), watching him sleep, and giving him a bath. Everyone stood around on Friday evening watching Felicity and I give Ethan a bath in the kichen sink; apparently we put on a pretty captivating show. Or maybe that is just Ethan- he likes to keep it interesting by shooting out a fun little stream when you least expect it! Luckily, his mom's reflexes are getting to be really good. ;)