Leavin’ Home…Out on the Road

It’s been a little while since I had time to work on our blog. You may have noticed over the past three weeks that I’ve been working on the format of the page. I changed it around a few times after we were forced to upgrade some of our blogging software and not everything worked afterwards. But I’ve got all that squared away now and so let’s take a look at where we’ve been recently…and it’s felt like we were at the Equator. The heat index was near 100 a couple of Mondays ago. The kids stayed home with Matt who couldn’t practice, per doctor’s orders this week…and surprisingly, the kids did really well. We met with our contractor (Golden Rule out of Columbus) and decided upon some colors – clay for siding and tiki for shingles with black shutters. Abby had a bid day as she officially entered puberty today, if you know what I mean. We celebrated her big day by ordering Papa John’s pizza and going out for ice cream at Dairy Point. On that Tuesday, it was even hotter with a 115̊ heat index. We came home from work and ran Bu out to the fairgrounds to participate in the Decatur County 4-H Fair talent show. Even though she should’ve been in the minors category (and would’ve won due to no competition), she bumped up to the senior division and ran with the big kids / young adults. She and Baili did their jazz/hip hop dance routine and did a great rendition of it! They ended up getting 2nd place in their division – losing out to the eventual grand champions – so overall did very good! We stuck around and grabbed some food (Matt & I had to get a pork burger and Ann had a Smyrna burger. I also grabbed a fish sandwich from Lett’s VFD. Ann had to have a Smyrna burger (rendition of a sloppy joe). Next it was off to the midway. Matt ran off with his friends; Bu, Baili and some other gals their age ran off with Amy & Ann. I had Luke and his teammate from league and all-stars, Drew. The rides are basically the same year in and year out – the highlights were the big ones as always, Avalanche, Himalaya and the Storm. We used up our entire sheet of tickets as that was the only night we were able to make it out to the fairgrounds this year.

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On Wednesday, it finally cooled down a little. I finally got a haircut. I took Luke out to all-stars practice and then we went over to Mom & Gigi’s house to mow. That stupid Poulan Pro weed eater broke down again – I’ll have to take back to JT for the 3rd time this season – stupid machine. It was popcorn night. Ann met with Nathan, our contractor, again to hammer out some details. Abby STILL hasn’t cleaned her room! What a pig sty! Matt trimmed the bushes today (they look great buddy – thanks!). Mom took Lukey to get his haircut on Thursday. Golden Rule started repairs on the house today (roof up first)! Matt went back to football for the first time in a couple weeks due to his knees. He attended a scrimmage at Milan. Luke & I made the trip over to watch as well. Greensburg looked good against them. Matt took each offensive snap at center for the 2nd team (JV). He also took a few snaps defensively and had a tackle and almost recorded a sack in 4 plays. There were only a handful of parents in attendance. Our biggest bane last year was our lack of a passing game, meaning the defenses could stack 8 in the box against us to stop our running attack – and we struggled all year (at least the varsity did…you may remember that Matt’s freshman squad won the conference and is coming off an undefeated season). They have a new kid at QB who has a great touch and throws a pretty long ball. We saw plenty of post plays that really opened up the running game.

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This was the longest week ever! I left work early with Ann and we came home, loaded up the Pacifica and got the hell out of Dodge by 2 pm, heading down the road. We made good time until we hit Nashville, where it was a great big parking lot. It took over an hour to get through it and we saw our share of idiots on the highway. It seems folks have somehow forgotten how to drive and how to be a courteous, defensive person sharing the road with others. When did this country get so self-centered behind the wheel? They drive slowly in the fast lane, refusing to get over, take wild chances passing on the right and weaving through traffic and cut people off without even using a turn signal. …All to save what – 20 seconds? 5 minutes? …A half hour? …Pitiful… I drove until we got off I-65, in Alabama – but not before we stopped of to see the Saturn rocket just over the ‘Bama state line. It rained on and off but the car did really well for me. I can’t say how it did for Ann, as I fell fast asleep once we switched. I was glad she was willing to drive – I was pooped. Thanks honey…

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We arrived at some God forsaken hour on Saturday morning. It was nasty out – rain and a little fog. It ended up raining on and off all day again. We got up and went to get something to eat at Mickey D’s before heading over to good ol’ Wal-Mart for our weekly supplies. We came back and the kids and I couldn’t stand it any longer – we had to go to the beach. Despite it raining the whole time, we had a blast – Matt and I went out in to the sea to play catch with our Nerf football. The waves were pretty intense and the current was a little strong. The 2 little ones played up on the shoreline and built a sand castle. The Gulf was pretty yucky though – there was seaweed or algae or what; but it was absolutely everywhere. When we migrated to the pool, we showered off real good but we still didn’t get everything off of us and dumped a bunch of it in the pool. It was even still with us after everything a couple hours later, up in the condo as Ann found it in the washer and even in the dryer…nasty! We came up and took naps. We woke up late so we just had dinner in and chilled until sundown, when we ended up going for a nighttime swim in the pool. There was some kind of frogs that were sooo loud. You can clearly hear them on the video below.

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We were up pretty early for a Sunday morning. It was again overcast and sprinkling. It did not end up raining like the day before, but the sun never came out until sundown. We ended back down at the beach, despite the lack of sunshine. Ann actually joined us today. We had fun down there for about an hour. We did play in the water, even though it was nasty again – absolutely disgusting, even for me. The seaweed (?) was again inescapable. Not only was it in huge chunks on the floor but it was heavily concentrated in the water (and on us). We didn’t stay as long this time. The football wasn’t nearly as exciting as the waves had gone and the water was much calmer. Luke and I played for a while as Ann laid out and read her Kindle. Matt & Bu went back to the pool due to the water. The rest of us ended up joining them after about an hour. The kids swam for several hours as Ann and I had a few brews and got some sun (even though it was cloudy – how does that happen? We’re fried!). Ann’s good friend, Stacey – from college, dropped by with her kids (even though they didn’t plan it; they ended up being down here the same week as us and stayed at 3 resorts down from us!). They walked up the beach and came over to play in the pool with us for about an hour or so and then were gone as quickly. We brought the radio with us and found a couple of good classic rock stations. Matt slept almost the entire afternoon. We came back up in the mid afternoon with lots of sun on and lounged around the pool before getting up and going out for dinner. We went back to our old favorite, Pineapple Willy’s. It was packed as always. We had an hour and a half wait, so we went in to the bar with the kiddos and had drinks / appetizers and caught a local band. The guys were a really good cover band that played songs from the Eagles, Three Dog Night, Paul McCartney, etc. The time flew by as the kids ate alligator again for the first time in years. We had a couple drinks and grooved to the live tunes. We ended up being seated out on the pier. It wasn’t too humid that night, so we were good with that. The seafood sampler was really good but the fried food didn’t agree with me and it would be the last time I had anything fried that week. I paid for my indulgence all night… We came home afterwards and lounged in the condo the rest of the night.

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We had a slow start to our Monday. We tried to go to the beach, but it was really nasty again. We played Frisbee and catch with a new football we found in the sand for about a half hour – much like we did yesterday. It was really hot as the sun finally decided to join us on vacation in the sunshine state! With the sea out of the question, we just put our feet in the water and headed to the pool again. It was packed! I hadn’t seen so many people at the beach or at the pool. We played more football and listened to the radio a little. Contacts suck in a pool. We played for a couple hours and came up for lunch. Matt & I ended up falling asleep upstairs. Ann and the other two went back to the pool for the afternoon and met up with Stacey, Danny and their kids. They woke us up for dinner. We went to the Cobra Race Track and rode our first go-karts. Luke rode with me. It was fun, but we were hungry, so off to the store again we went (man, food goes fast on vacation!). Wal-Mart was packed again and it took us forever to get our business done and back to the condo. I cooked burgers on the grill that night and after dinner; Abby & I watched a couple movies: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 & Season of the Witch.

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We were up early the next day. We were glad to see the sun again, but disappointed to see the gulf was still nasty as ever. We waited in anticipation of Mom & Dad coming to see us! We decided to wait for them downstairs and ended up in the Gulf and pool again. Abby went down to see Devin at Stacey & Danny’s condo – just 3 buildings down from us. Even though it was an under-30 second drive, it took about 20 minutes to walk the beach for whatever reason! We got Mom & Dad settled, rested for a few minutes (napping more like it!) and then got up and went out to eat at an old favorite of ours on St. Andrew’s Marina – Uncle Ernie’s. Ann and I had a couple of the local drafts (she went with the Summer Hummer, I think…or was a Miss Jesse’s??…and I went with the Innes’ Pale Ale – both were still very good). We both ended up ordering the grouper that was equally good. We did a small tour of the marina and headed home and fell asleep early.

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Grandma & Grandpa joined us at the pool, early the next morning. Dad, Ann & I had a few cold ones in the sun. Luke ran around with his new buddy, Michael. They dug a huge hole down by the water front for whatever reason…but they seemed to enjoy it. Dad and I ended up doing shots of Patron in the afternoon and enjoyed a form of drunk cooking downstairs on the grill – with brats and dogs! Not only could we not get the grill lit for about 20 minutes, but then one of the elevators broke down and after waiting for 5 minutes w with warm brats and dogs, Dad & I decided to huff it up 16 flights of stairs – well we actually made it to the 8th floor and then caught the elevator, but we were still proud of ourselves. After dinner, we started making some great frozen margaritas and playing cards with the girls. I have not idea how we did, but I’m sure we whipped their butts!! Danny, Stacey, Darby and Devin came over late that night. Ann & I took a walk on the beach late that night…or perhaps stumbled would be a better description? LOL We loved the fireworks each night. We’ll have to remember that next time and bring some with us!

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Thursday was a slower morning for us for some reason…ha ha! However, that didn’t keep us out of the Gulf due to it being another gorgeous day in paradise! We came back up to the pool and had a lot of fun playing catch and the kids were having fun jumping in and catching the ball – Ann got some great shots of them. After lunch we played a marathon game of Monopoly. Speaking of great pictures, we got some really good ones of the kids with their grandparents in a little garden and then down on the beach at sunset! We really had a lot of fun with those pictures. We ordered pizzas from a really cool place called Mellow Mushroom Pizza (on the recommendation of Danny & Stacey) and the boys went and picked them up (no delivery). They have some really far-out specialty pizzas. We got the house special that was amazingly good! Mom wasn’t feeling real hot, so she took it pretty easy. Dad was a trooper though, and a chick magnet! LOL

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Mom & Dad were up early and gone just before the sunrise on Friday. The kids and I still ended up down at the pool one more time that morning. We came up for lunch and ate up what we could before heading out to play. We picked up Devin and headed over to a couple parks. We started at the Cobra Adventure Park again – this time Matt & I and Abby & Devin went on the Wild Thang. This ride has a couple of chairs mounted to the end of a very tall (15 stories?) arm. It has an open cockpit and it a true thrill ride. It was so much fun. I kept making the chair do flips and Matt was getting mad at me for it and kept saying he was going to die! Ha Ha… Abby screamed the entire time and they only flipped once. Devin and I on the other hand, had great big grins on our faces – wait till you see the pictures and videos below! It was really cool. It was so freakin’ hot that day! Next, we headed over to Super Speed Fun Park – where we rode a couple different tracks. First we did the Grand Prix. Luke was too small to ride, so we had a great time racing (Matt, Bu, Devin and I). I raced with Matt pretty close and accidentally spun him out on the hill. He was so mad at me! A lap later, Devin wrecked Abby – it was so much fun! I ended up passing Devin on the last turn of the last lap to win! We cooled down afterwards with drinks in the arcade…and of course a couple games. We dropped off Devin and headed up the coast to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Pier Park. We had an hour long wait so we walked over to Pier Park and wandered through Ron Jon and through the outdoor mall. We stopped in and got some frozen yogurt samples that helped to cool us down a little. We finally got our table (which actually came a half hour early) and promptly got our margaritas (we both went with the old trusty – Big Rita and our calamari. Matt loved the stilt girls but we ended up getting the dude as our entertainment at our table. He did a great job with the kids though – Abby had some kind of ram-horn hat; Luke got a couple of swords but Matt ended up with the coolest balloon hat – a Jamaican jester-type hat. Matt stayed with the old standby Cheeseburger in Paradise, Ann had the Teriyaki Chicken and I had the Cuban – all of which were delicious. We had to get him pictures with the girls before we left! We then walked down to the Hofbrau Beer Garden and had a couple pints with Stacey & Danny. Matt & Darby took the kids out for a walk as we talked and sang along to the band – 2 Dudes – no really, that was the name! : ) We finally headed back to the condo and started packing to end the night…

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We were up early the next day and loaded up the car. We were bummed to find that all the damn carts were gone – and none were to be found actually being used! So we hoofed everything down to the car, loaded up, got a couple last-minute pictures and then headed down the road. We stopped for lunch in Alabama at a Cracker Barrel and made a couple more stops but made it home in about 13 hours. The kids were pretty good in the car, all things considered. Traffic was MUCH better on the way back – although we still dealt with a couple assholes – but nothing like the ride down. We got home by 9 pm and the house was a wreck! They had worked on the inside of the house and all the furniture was pushed to the middle of the room with lots of dust, etc where the furniture was setting. It took forever to get it back to normal. The outside was also a mess. The roof looked great but everything else was torn off and shit was everywhere! What a mess…the only thing we needed was the truck up on cinder blocks in the front yard! We finally got to bed at some un-Godly time in the morning and slept in the next day. It was great to sleep in our own bed, let me tell ya! We had plenty to do around the house that day and we knocked out everything and got the inside looking halfway decent. We were in bed early in prep of our return to work the next morning. It is great to get away, but it’s always nice to come home too… Ann took a Curious George with her for her friend Shawna to get pictures for her daughter’s school project. I think we got a few good ones.

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Whew! That was a lot of pictures! Congrats on making it this far in to the blog! Believe it or not, that is not even half of the pictures we took during this time frame. We also have a whole bunch of videos this time out to share, including five new ones and a bunch from around the net…

Due to time constraints, we will not be having a Waybac feature, but promise it will return next time out. Thanks as always for getting all the way to the end of this 2XL version of the Scheu Family Blog. We hope you enjoyed the story, pictures and videos half as much as we did creating them. This one took a long time to create and now it’s time to start working on this week’s, which will likely be another double edition, combining two weeks’ worth due to being so far behind. Thanks again and we’ll catch up with ya next time. Until then, have a good one.
Later, Scheu

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