Archive for September, 2009

Sheep Flcok to ATL v3.0!

September 18, 2009

I apologize in advance for the length of this post, because I know it’s going to be a long one…

Back in August, Erik had to go to the Ruby Hoedown for work. Being that I enjoy Ruby on Rails ( is written in Ruby), and I enjoy vacations, I got to tag along. We stayed at the Opryland Hotel and Resort in Nashville, TN and to say this place is the ostentatious Bellagio of the south doesn’t even come close. The entire center of the hotel (which is *huge*) is covered by a glass dome so you have picture-perfect weather 24/7 and is divided into several different areas each of which contains some, if not all, of the following: tropical forests and gardens, palm trees, fountains, water features, shops and restaurants, waterfalls and a river which you can actually take a boat ride/tour of. Yes, within the hotel. I spent the weekend wandering around and exploring while Erik had to work. They also had a few Tennessee Walking Horses on the property. Cool!

While we were in town we met up with some friends and had dinner at this really cool place, the Aquarium Restaurant, which literally has a huge aquarium right in the middle of it. You can watch sharks (yay!) and eels and other sorts of under-water interesting things swim and play while you eat.

The following weekend The Girls came to visit me for the third year in a row. I’m so lucky! We’re trying to make it an annual reunion/get-together thing and are already planning to do next year’s at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

The weekend started off by EJ picking up the new Mr. and Mrs. Kern and them all visiting me at work for lunch on Friday. Alyssa specifically told us we were not allowed to have any fun at all until she arrived, so we did our best to remain miserable without her. After work we headed over to the range so Cori and Kern could have their first shooting experience (since they missed out last year) and to kill some time. Headed back to the airport afterwards, picked up Sarah and went to grab some dinner at Spondivit’s before The Princess landed. We had the whole flock back together around 9pm. Time for fun to commence!

Cori, sarah, me, EJ and Alyssa on our way to dinner. I love us!

We started Saturday off right with a trip to Waffle House so we could fuel up for the 2 hour drive down to the Wild Animal Safari! Sure we’re all adults, but we love being silly and believe that you’re never too old to act like a child. We got one of the park’s rental vans and set out on what should’ve been a 1-hour cruise through the preserve to feed exotic animals and pet noses and whatnot. About 2/3 of the way through, our 1970-something how-is-this-thing-still-running van started to give us some trouble and broke down in the middle of the safari. The engine was seized and we had to call for “rescue”. A schoolbus full of tourists drove by and asked if we needed help and then “ooh’ed” and “aah’ed” at us as they realized they were looking at Real Live Northerners. LOL. We finally got a new van delivered to us and finished out our now 3-hour extended tour.

EJ, me, Alyssa, Sarah and Cori. Ready for our safari adventure!

We usually try to do one special dinner when everyone’s together, and this year we chose tiki-themed Trader Vic’s. I had completely forgotten that Dragon*Con was taking place in Atlanta that same weekend, so not only was our dinner spectacularly delicious, it was spectacularly entertaining as we watched some very “interestingly” dressed people wander around.

Cori, me and Alyssa with a Klingon who was sitting at the table next to us.

The next morning we slept in a bit and then went to breakfast at the Flying Biscuit Cafe. If you’re local to Atlanta and haven’t been, you need to go as soon as possible. After, we had planned to go to a place that had Black light Mini Golf, but when we got there we were so disappointed with how lame it was that we decided to go hit up some other place we had seen on the way instead. Later we had a quick pit stop at EJ’s apartment for a very-refreshing pool party extravaganza before heading up to see the Laser Show Spectacular at Stone Mountain. I’ve lived in GA now for 2.5 years and I hadn’t ever been to see this, so I was pretty excited. I don’t know if it was because we were there on Labor Day or if it’s always as awesome, but it really was “spectacular”! The effects were impressive and the firework and pyrotechnic displays rocked. What a great way to end a perfect weekend!

Kern, Cori, me, Erik, Sarah, Alyssa and EJ at Stone Mountain Park

Unfortunately, we decided to grab some ice cream after the show. Kern has a fatal peanut allergy and even though he warned the guy working there, Cori found a peanut butter cup in hers (they had ordered the exact same thing). Fearing the worst and worried that he may have accidentally eaten a peanut-something, we wound up spending the night in the Emergency Room making sure Kern was going to be okay. The verdict? He most likely did not eat a peanut and is very much healthy and alive!

My good friend Arjun from the NYCGs (a car-club offshoot of the forum) bought a Saabaru which happened to be located in Atlanta, so he and his friend flew down the other weekend to drive it back to NJ. They stayed the weekend with us and had a great time doing typical “southern” things. Yes, that means we took them to the shooting range. We take everybody! It was good getting to see him and share in the excitement that is a new toy.

One other bit of news that I’m so excited about and really want to share: as of August 15th, I’ve officially had my braces for 1 year. I can’t believe the progress that’s been made in such a short amount of time. Supposedly it’ll be about 8-10 months more before I’m completely done, but I’m just thrilled. I also managed to make the final payment on them, which is even more reason to celebrate! 😀

October’s going to be a busy month for me, travel-wise. I’ll be at VIRginia International Raceway for the Bosch Octoberfest on October 3-4, in Seville, Spain at the Epona Equestrian Center from October 10-17, and in Nashville for a top-secret event October 17-18. Can’t wait!

More photos from the Girls weekend are at HERE and HERE on Facebook. Enjoy!