8/1/16 Chronicles



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  Monday 7/25/16

I woke up for good around 1pm. I thought the kid who mows the lawn might have decided not to come, but he finally did arrive later on, around 4:30. I have to be dressed and up, to pay him. Also, we have no curtains on our back windows, so I have to make sure I'm dressed if I'm sitting around and he walks by with his mower! As it turned out, David had forgotten to unlock the back gate, so I had to go out there to let the kid in as well.

I had the last of my gluten free pancakes for breakfast, and some beef lunch meat. I mostly just worked on my site and packed to get ready for our trip.

I had a conference call interview at 4:30 with Mel B (Scary Spice!) and Simon Cowell from NBC's "America's Got Talent," but unfortunately, I didn't get to ask a question. Simon is very popular and this happens often. It's okay...it was a very interesting call.

David came home around 5:30 and we finished getting ready.  We drove to Texarkana, which is an hour away. First we passed a lot of horses and cows at the SAU agriculture area.  Then we passed a farm that had not only horses but zebras! That's always cool to see. Later, we saw a lot more cows. Moooo!

We were pretty hungry, so we stopped for dinner at the nearby Hooter's. There aren't very many choices of restaurants there near our hotel (which we choose because of being near the airport). The waitress checked for me about which foods are gluten free, so I settled on their shrimp and spinach salad. Normally I don't like shrimp, but this was blackened and really delicious.  It was a really good salad. Then we made another brief stop at a little store to get some drinks and snacks for the room.

We checked in and went up to our room. The phones don't work, for some reason.  Thank goodness we have our cell phones to use for alarms in case the one in the room doesn't work right.  The room is very damp, just like last time; especially the floor.

The Hooter's, the store, the hotel lobby and the room all had the a/c turned up really high so that we were freezing! It was "only" 95 today, not 108 like last week. We turned the air off as soon as we got in the room. Brrrr!

Those cookies I made yesterday are even more yummy today! They won't last long.

I hope I can get to sleep soon because we're getting up very early for our flight - 4:30am! As long as I can sleep without coughing or itching...I slept a few hours and then did wake up coughing, but I got right back to sleep pretty quickly.

I really wanted to find a drugstore, but there were none near our hotel, and we just ran out of time and energy. Turns out that you can't buy Sudafed in Arkansas unless you have a prescription! I had hoped to buy some to tide me over until I can go to a doctor with our new insurance. Oh, well.

  Tuesday 7/26/16

We got up really early and drove over to the airport.  It was a short flight to Dallas. We had a few hours to kill there and stopped for breakfast at a place called The Salt Lick. It was a good Southern breakfast with eggs, sausage, potatoes, and biscuits with gravy. I didn't eat the last part, but the rest was really good.

The flight to Washington, DC went pretty quickly. I was tired but couldn't sleep.  Oh, we couldn't get seats next to each other, so David was behind me, both of us in the middle seat. This HUGE guy came and sat in the aisle seat, and I was thinking, oh, great, this is going to be awful. They said it was a full flight, but the person who was supposed to be in the window seat never showed, so I moved over, and we had plenty of room. That never happens! Poor David was still stuck behind us, though. I just mostly listened to my iPod the whole way. I don't sleep too much on planes unless I'm really really tired. It's just too uncomfortable.

For some reason, the planes we had for our flights on American were really warm. Usually planes are freezing, but these were the opposite. UGH.  The airports were nice and cold, though.

We stayed at the Hyatt in Arlington, Virginia.  There are a bunch of other hotels around there, too. We were there for his conference, so I mostly slept in the hotel or worked while he did the conference. My schedule is already so messed up, so I sleep all day, and I'm up all night. We had a nap after we arrived, and then he went to a reception, so I went to the hotel restaurant and got dinner. It was gluten free and delicious. I had some sort of apple and spinach salad that was really good, and then some ravioli (maybe crab? Not sure). It was the best thing ever. So good! Even though it was made with quinoa and had kale and beans, it was fantastic.  Then I had a piece of flourless cake after, but I'm not 100% sure it was all gluten free. There was a thing on top that I thought was chocolate, but it was crunchy. It wasn't marked gluten free like the other items, but the hostess said it was gluten free. However, I had quite an allergic reaction after I ate it, and for the rest of the night. I did get back to sleep a little after that.

After David had his reception, we went over to the Renaissance and he had some more to eat while I just had a soda.  We also stopped back at our hotel bar for a drink. I was not feeling well, though, so we didn't stay long. I slept a little bit but then woke up again, and I stayed up watching TV until about 6 am.

  Wednesday 7/27/16

I went to sleep around the time David got up to go to his conference. He came back later on, around 4pm. We walked about 4 blocks down to the Legal Seafoods. I was ecstatic to see it there because they have quite a few gluten free foods, including the fish and chips, which I had. They also have some good gluten free rolls. Now, I do have to say that the rolls and the fries were a little burnt/overcooked, and the fish was a tad under-cooked, but mostly it tasted really good.  The fish was spicy. I couldn't eat it all, but unfortunately, our room didn't have a fridge.  I love staying at the Hyatt, though, because they have the most comfortable beds of any hotel chain we've stayed at, over the years.

We had some kind of weird service the whole time we were in Arlington. I asked the waitress there at the Legal Seafood about whether they still had the gluten free onion strings (because I didn't see them on the menu), and she said they came with the fish and chips (which I thought was odd because usually you have to order them separately).  Well, of course she was wrong, and they didn't come with the fish and chips. I didn't bother asking her about them again because I didn't need them, any way. There was already way too much to eat!

When we had been at the Renaissance the night before, they took a really long time to bring us more drinks.   Then we went back tonight, and they took a really long time to bring everything! He had to ask for a second drink twice from two different people. I ordered some gelato and it not only took a long time, they never brought me a napkin. So strange!

Oh, and when we went out to dinner, I asked them to make up the room, since we'd had the Do Not Disturb sign on all day. It was not made up, thought. So later, when we went out again, I asked them a second time. Finally they did make it up! Sheesh.

We did have a great time, but it was strange that their service in that area was not as good as it usually is in a big city. Even though I do love the Hyatt otherwise.

 We went up to the top of the hotel and it had a nice look-out area. I took some pics. They also had a great glass elevator. You could see the capitol building from the top of the hotel. Too bad we didn't have more time to actually go over to DC. It's a great city.  We've been there many times for conferences.

We walked around a little bit more tonight and saw some other places. We went to the nearby Holiday Inn and checked out their Irish bar. We saw some baseball and part of the DNC.  We also stopped at the McDonald's next door so I could get a soda.

I stayed up until about 4am. I'm just used to this awful schedule again, and I need to try to fix that.

  Thursday 7/28/16

David had more of his conference today, but he came back in the morning, and I had to get up around 11. We left for the airport around noon. The security line was not too bad, fortunately. I had hoped to eat at Legal Seafood again because they have one there, but it apparently is outside the security area. So instead, we ate at this little Lebanese place. I had a turkey burger, no bun, on spinach, with hummus. It was kind of Greek style with some chopped up onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and Greek olives.  It wasn't bad, actually.

We were sitting together this time, but I had the window seat. This older guy, who didn't seem too friendly or happy, was in the aisle seat, so we had to make him get up a couple of times to use the bathroom. I slept a little bit on the flight, but not too much.  We mostly chatted and read the paper.

We were only supposed to stop in Dallas for a few hours, but our flight was delayed 2 and a half hours, so we were there quite a long time. UGH.  Then they also kept changing our gate, so we had to keep moving around. We napped a little bit while waiting, but not too much. We were both really tired.

We had dinner at this Tex-Mex placed Cantina Laredo. I had Enchiladas Veracruz. They were really good, but way too spicy for me, so I only ate one of the two.  Our waiter was a really nice, funny guy.

Even though our flight was only about 40 minutes, we slept a bit on it. It didn't take too long to get our bags in Texarkana and then drive back to the hotel (The Wyndham Gardens again).  David went to sleep. I watched some TV, and now I'm just typing this up before I go to sleep. We have a long drive ahead tomorrow!

  Friday 7/29/16

Wow, I can't believe July is almost over. July went really fast...

We got up at a really early hour, around 5 am (I had barely had any sleep). It was still dark out. We drove to Little Rock. I was half asleep, so it's a bit blurry now.  We checked in at the Holiday Inn Presidential, which is a pretty nice hotel, downtown. David had a meeting (which was the whole reason we were there), so after we checked in and took our luggage to the room, he left for his meeting, and I went to the hotel restaurant for breakfast by myself. I had intended to take it back to the room, but when I got there, and there weren't a lot of people there, and I thought, I'm tired, and I just said, I'll eat here. I don't think I've ever done that before - eaten in a hotel restaurant by myself. Not that I can remember, anyway.  Anyway, it was a really good breakfast of eggs, bacon, and potatoes. After that, I went to sleep. I was so tired!

Later on, after David came from his meeting and had some time to rest, I went with him to lunch at the same restaurant downstairs. I wasn't hungry, since I'd eaten, so he just ate and I had a soda. I was sick a lot and wasn't feeling that great.

Later, we went out for dinner.  We walked down to the River Market area, where they have lots of restaurants, bars and stores.  I took quite a few pictures around the area.  We stopped at a place called Cache. It seemed like my kind of place - upscale and had foods marked gluten free on the menu. The service was not that great, but I was very pleased that they had gluten free toast for me. I mean, he brought a whole plate of it! Way too much for me to eat, but I did eat a lot of it, and I sure enjoyed it.

The waiter seemed a little snooty, and he was very slow. I asked him twice to bring butter, and he didn't. Then David finally asked, and he brought it! I felt like saying, "Hey, buddy, it's 2016, is there something wrong with a woman asking for butter?" I mean, gee, it felt personal at that point. But I think it was just that he was not  very good at his job.  The food was very good. I had a caprese salad and then a duck leg (confit), and it came with beans and spinach. The duck was good, but there wasn't a lot of it. The beans and spinach were so-so. It was a good place. I would go back. Oh, and we had very good wine as well. The waiter really didn't seem to know much about wine, though. They had the wines listed on an iPad sort of thing, but he didn't seem to know how to use that, either, and we wasted a lot of time trying to find one because of that. Hey, the whole point of having your wine list on an iPad is to make it MORE convenient and efficient, not less!

We walked around after that, and we found a nearby karaoke bar called Damgoode Brews, and they had just started, so we went in there for a few songs. The people were very nice. The music was really loud, so it was difficult to talk or anything.  It was pretty much your typical karaoke bar. Some of the singers weren't bad.  The place had some funny signs that I took photos of. The KJ was a nice guy and had on a T-shirt with Captain America's shield on it, and it said "Captain Awesome." That was cute.  Anyway, I sang "I Will Survive," which I've done a million times before, and it's usually pretty impressive. The crowd seemed to like it, and at the end, the KJ said, "Holy crap!" so that was hilarious. Definitely a first for me!

Later on, I did "All Jacked Up" by Gretchen Wilson, which is another good crowd pleaser, and it went well. That one I recorded.  I messed it up a little, but the crowd was good and didn't seem to mind. I would have liked to stay longer, but David wanted to leave. We stopped at another place called "The Flying Saucer," which has many different types of drinks. We had been in another one of theirs in Houston years ago.  I got a gluten-reduced beer that I'd never tried before called Glutiny. I didn't like it all that much. I've never had one that didn't taste pretty yukky, but some are worse than others. We also stopped briefly at our hotel bar, and there were a few very drunk women in there that had been to some concert with 90's people in it, and they were excited because one of them gotten up on the stage and danced with Salt 'N Pepa! We didn't stay out too late, though.

I had hoped to see the new Star Trek movie while we were there, but we were always just too busy with sleeping or whatever...there wasn't much free time. Hopefully we can see it in a few weeks.

  Saturday 7/30/16

We slept in and then later went to lunch. It was really hot, so I just said, let's stop at the first restaurant we see. That was a place called Dizzy's. It turned out to be a great choice. Their food was outstanding. David had ravioli and said it was really really good. I had an excellent salad. They actually called it a "brie plate," but honestly, it was not a cheese plate. It was a salad with some cheese and chicken on it. I didn't mind. It was really good. It also had walnuts, grapes and apples. It was delicious, and it was nice to eat something healthy for a change.  After that, we wandered down to Dugan's and we had some drinks as well as some vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup for dessert. I was going to walk a mile to this gluten free bakery, but ice cream sounded better. It was just too hot.

We had a nap later. We're on vacation, okay? So napping is required. :)

I had made reservations at this restaurant on the river called Brave New Restaurant. The web site said it had a lot of gluten free dishes, and it was rated very highly for both fine dining and being romantic, so it sounded perfect for our anniversary.  Well, when the time came, it was pouring rain! Good thing we weren't seated outdoors.  We had to take a cab because it's not in walking distance.  The food there was the best we've had anywhere for a long while. I mean, it was all fantastic.

We had some wine, and then they brought me out these gluten free crackers that were really good! They're made by Glutino, which is a company I'm very familiar with. It's just their sea salt crackers, but wow, they were great.  David had a shrimp-avocado appetizer that looked very good.  We had the waiter take our picture, since it was our anniversary.  He was a really nice guy, too. I got the stuffed trout. It was fabulous. It was stuffed with spinach and crab, and it had the skin on. It came with carrots and potatoes, and some other kind of veggie I couldn't identify (It was good, whatever it was). There was so much of it, I couldn't even finish the fish, and I tried. I didn't even touch the potatoes. Everything was just marvelous. Then the waiter told us they made their own ice cream, so they had all of these flavors! So I got butterscotch, and it was divine.

The rain had stopped, so I took quite a few pictures outside of the place, which is a really lovely setting on the river.  It was a really great anniversary night and dinner. Back at our hotel, I took more photos of the hotel. Since it's in Bill Clinton's home town and called the Holiday Inn Presidential, they had many photos and memorabilia all over of past presidents.  Each of their meeting rooms is named after them, too, like the Obama room, the Clinton room, the Bush room etc. Kind of funny, too, since we just left Washington DC a few days ago!

Oh, and their restaurant/bar is called the Camp David, too.  We went there after we got back. The bartender was a nice guy from Mexico. We chatted quite a bit about Mexico, the places he'd lived, and where we'd visited there. Most of his family lives in Houston, but I think he said he came here to Little Rock with his cousin, or brother, and enjoyed living on his own, away from his family. He was a fun guy and made a lot of jokes.

I stayed up pretty late, working on my site. I wasn't all that tired, either, since I've been sleeping a lot during the day. I got our bags all ready, too, so that in the morning, I didn't have to get up too early or try to do much while I was tired. After all the traveling and moving we've done, I'm very good at packing.

  Sunday 7/31/16

We left around 10am. I was very tired and a little cranky. I started getting hungry, and we tried to stop at this little town called Fordyce, but there wasn't much there besides a Sonic, so we continued on. We stopped at a restaurant I'd found in the little town of Camden called Wood's Place. It looks like a little diner and is decorated all over by old stuff, especially for this canned grape drink called Grapette.  It's a Southern Food place, so it's mostly things like meat loaf, fried chicken, fried catfish etc.  I can't eat most of that, so I just had a bacon cheeseburger, with no bun; and a side of green beans and some fries.  David had fried catfish and okra, and a salad. It was really good. I don't know what they do to their burgers, but even thought it was well done and charred, it was tasty. It didn't taste overcooked or dried out. The service was great, too. It was pretty crowded, but our food came really fast.

I just wish all these places didn't serve hush puppies because I love those, and of course, I can't eat them any more!  They're like donuts, which is my favorite thing.

We drove home and stopped at David's office so he could do a couple of things. I hadn't been there before, so I took some photos of his office. Then we went home, and unpacked the car. It's even hotter here than in the Northern part of the state. I went straight to bed because I was so tired.

I keep seeing these beautiful trees everywhere here that have pink, purple or white blossoms. I think, from what I can tell on Google, they're crepe myrtles. So pretty! We have one in our front yard as well. I know very little about plants, but I do love flowers.

After I got up and had some food, I had to tackle the boxes. I've been trying to find the cables that go with my desktop computer, so I can hook it up to my DISH box again to use for my website. It took hours of going through boxes. Mostly I had to open up each box, see if the cables might be there, and check off the numbers on the box with my list.  I did a terrible job of listing stuff, but I was in a hurry to get it all done in time, so that's why. I had a few duplicate numbers, and a few boxes with no numbers, but I think I did get all of our stuff. There are no boxes missing, from what I can tell. I think I got most of the cables, and if not, I think I have older cables that will work. I can't test it out until tomorrow since David's sleeping in that room where I'm going to be using the computer.  I did a little bit of unpacking after that, but then I got tired, so I'm just working a little on my site and watching TV, to rest.

Have a great week! Happy August! Don't forget to look at the photos on my Instagram!

Don't forget to also check out my TV Blog!  I haven't been posting in there lately, though...

This page updated 3/24/17

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