8/6/18 Chronicles



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  Monday 7/30/18

Continuing on with our 36th Anniversary trip to Burlington, Vermont (by way of several towns in Arkansas)!

Happy Anniversary!

I didn't sleep well last night, but I got up pretty early, anyway.  We took the Lyft over to Skinny Pancakes, which is near the lake. It has gluten free crepes and other things. I've never had those before, so I wanted to try them!

Our Lyft drivers here have been great. In fact, most of the people here are very nice.  The one who took us over there used to work in real estate or something, so she knew all about the local political and financial history of Burlington. According to her, the average income is in the 40,000's and people are over-taxed. Also, the average age is pretty old, and they have a hard time keeping the younger people there. I don't know if she was right or not, but she was pretty worked up about it. Anyway, she kept her car really nice and had a little plastic holder in the back seat with things like mints, Kleenex, lotion etc. and also had bottled water in the seat pocket in front of us. Lastly, she had a device for you if you needed to plug in your phone or other device. Wow, I wish all taxi, Uber and Lyft drivers did that.

Anyway, the menu at that restaurant was very large, and the counter person saidcrepes that they could make almost anything GF, so I had a hard time deciding. I finally settled on strawberry crepes with whipped cream, and a side of bacon. She was a very nice person, and wow, she was beautiful. She reminded me of Hayley Erin, who plays Kiki on General Hospital (although, honestly, Erin looks a little too skinny, and this woman was more like a normal person). Except she had a nose ring and a bunch of tattoos. These kids today! ;)

The food was disappointing. For one thing, the crepe was too thick and not very soft or fluffy. Crepes are like pancakes, yet thinner. This was more like an uncooked wonton wrapper.  Also, the strawberries were not very sweet. I only ate about half of it, and the bacon. I would probably go back there, but I would try something different next time.

clock towerFrom there we decided to walk down to the University of Vermont, which was not only over a mile, but mostly uphill. It was quite a walk and getting hot. Fortunately, it's not super hot there, or I would have just given up and insisted we take a Lyft or the free shuttle they have from the lake to the university.  We not only walked there, but we walked around the university as well. I wanted to take photos and buy souvenirs at the book store.  There was quite a lot of walking involved.  First we went to their library. It wasn't very air-conditioned. I was still very hot when we were there.  Then we went to the student center, where the bookstore was. They had much better air conditioning there.  It seemed like a pretty nice little campus with a sense of history.University building

My neck was hurting a lot by the time we got to the university. I started hanging my purse on the opposite side of my neck, which helped a lot. I got some Tylenol at the bookstore to help it. They don't sell regular bottled water there, but they did give me a cup to use the water fountain.

They also had someone sitting at a table in the hallway outside the bookstore, for some bank, giving out stuff, so I got some more business cards and pens. This has view of the mountains from UVMbeen a pretty good trip for getting business cards.

We discussed walking to the mall after that, but we were both pretty tired, so instead we walked back to our hotel.  We walked over 2 miles, all told.  The malls are both on the other side of the hotel from the university.  We both went back to sleep for a while. It was only about 10 am by that point!

Later, we went back to the Church Street area where all the bars and restaurants fries were. I was getting kind of hungry because breakfast was very early and it was not very much.  We stopped at a few places to have drinks and snacks. I really liked this one place called Food with Roots. I had some of their fries, which were delicious. We went walking around and looked at stores. I bought a little box made from a cinnamon tree from this store I love called Ten Thousand Villages. They used to have one in Little Rock, but it closed. Anyway, the box smells like cinnamon boxcinnamon. They had other stuff I liked, but I wouldn't have been able to fit it in the suitcase.  There is another store next to that one that had a lot of handmade art and stuff, but it was all very expensive. Too expensive for me!  There was a clothing store called Fatface. I went in, but no one there was fat except for me! How rude. I left.

We went back to the hotel room for awhile and rested some more.hotel room I didn't want to sleep any more because I knew we had to get up early tomorrow. I kept trying to work and dozing off. So I got up and prepared our clothes and everything for the next day...packed, basically, what I could. This kept me awake.

Then we went back to that area for dinner, to this French restaurant called Leunigs. It was very good, but I got too much food and couldn't finish it. They had many GF choices, too. We shared some wine for our anniversary dinner. I got a salad and then ordered the GF poutinePoutine, which I knew would be filling, but it was really big. They also had great bread, so I filled up too much on that. The poutine was only an appetizer, too! Poutine is usually a dish of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. It's from Quebec.  This dish also had duck in it, including pieces of duck skin. Frankly, I didn't much like the duck skin. It tasted like pork rinds to me. I love duck, too, and their duck MEAT was good. The whole thing was great but really heavy food. I loved the cheese curds. Normally I can't eat poutine because of the gravy, which usually had flour. It was heaven to try it, finally, and have the GF version. I couldn't even eat dessert. David had wild boar, which he'd never had before. He said it was good. I tasted it. It was OK.  I liked what I had better.

This is our 36th anniversary (in our 36th state). That's a long time!

I never knew how to pronounce poutine. First we thought it was like poo-TAN, with a French accent, but it has an E on the end, so I didn't think that was right. I thought maybe it was poo-TEEN, but that's not right, either. Apparently, it's pronounced just like Putin, the Russian president. Wow!!!

We walked around a little to try to walk off that heavy meal. We ended up at thisManhattan's colorful beer menu place called Finnegan's Pub. The bartender was very chatty, so we had a nice conversation with him. There were only a few other guys there at the bar, and they were pretty friendly, too.  I asked if anyone knew where there might be karaoke that night, and they said Manhattan Pizza had it. I was surprised because, when I did my research online, I thought that they had it some other night. Guess I was wrong!

We had to get up at 4am for our flight, so we couldn't stay out too late.  We went over to Manhattan. The karaoke started at 9:30.  One of the guys from the other bar came over, too, after a little while. He was a regular at both places and also worked at another restaurant in a nearby town. Very nice guy. I can't remember his name, but he was from Florida originally. He wanted me to sing the song "Jolene," but I don't know it that well. I was going to try to sing it for him, anyway, but he'd had a lot to drink, and he had to get up for work the next morning, so he left. So then I changed my song to Blondie's "Call Me" instead. The KJ there was also super nice. When I explained to him our situation and asked if I could sing first, he was happy to do it. What a nice guy.  Unfortunately, there was some kind of technical problem. The music and words were not syncing (and in some songs, not showing up at all, apparently, as the woman who tried to sing after me learned).  I know the song very well, but not entirely by heart, so I was messing up the words a little, since it was throwing me off. I sounded ok. I kind of messed up the high note because rather than preparing for that, I was concentrating on the words. Oh, well. They seemed to like it, anyway. It was a pretty young crowd, so I wanted to sing a rock and roll type of song.

This is my 37th state for karaoke! Hurray! Thank you, Vermont!

After we left, we were having trouble getting Lyft to work. We'd had that happen a few times, but this was the worst. We'd taken something called Green Cab on our way back over here, in fact, because Lyft wasn't working (in other words, there were no Lyft cars anywhere near us).  So we had to install the Green Cab app and use that instead.  That app was having trouble, though, on David's phone (my phone had died). We kept trying it. In the meantime, some drunk guy walked behind us to Manhattan, but first he threw a beer bottle down on the pavement, smashing it. Then he started arguing with the bouncers at the Manhattan door, so we quickly moved across the street to avoid whatever might happen. It was weird because Burlington is such a small city and doesn't seem to have a lot of crime.

After that, we saw a cab pull up, so we got that, instead. Apparently, a lot of the drivers for Lyft also drive for Uber.  Also, drivers can't use the Uber and Lyft apps together, so if Uber is keeping them busy, they're not able to see that someone on Lyft needs them.  That kinda sucks. I mean, I think they could just get a second phone for that, but I don't know. I don't like Uber, so I would rather not ride with them. And while we're on the subject, why don't they have the umlaut over the U like they're supposed to? :(

Anyway, it was a great night and very fun. Too bad we couldn't have stayed longer and sung more karaoke. I don't think I went to bed right away, but I didn't stay up too late, either. I won't miss our hotel because it's freezing, especially in the lobby. Our room was OK.

  Tuesday 7/31/18

airportWe had to leave pretty early, so we woke up super early, too. I didn't eat breakfast at our hotel or anything. We went to the airport around 4:30am. They had a free shuttle to the airport, so that was very convenient. It was just us and an airline flight crew on the shuttle. I don't know if they were for our flight or another one. I was too sleepy to care.

We didn't have a lot of time to eat breakfast. They had a Skinny Pancakes place in our terminal, but there was a long line. I just went to the nearest gift shop. They had many great snack foods. I found this Vermont Bacon Stick that was really good. I bought a few of those for breakfast.  They are GF, as were a lot of the snacks there. I had plenty of sugary snacks already. I wanted something with meat or a vegetable in it.

We upgraded to first class, even though our plane wasn't huge. It was a whole lotUs, about to fly away more comfortable. They usually give you drinks before the flight takes off, which is nice. I just had soda. They brought around a tray of snacks, so I just grabbed some chips. They never offered us any other food, so we just went to sleep. First, though, I took this video of our takeoff.  The flight was only about 2 hours, not enough time to watch a movie, I guess.

I took this video of us taking off. It was about 5:30am.

We changed planes in Charlotte this time around.  The terminal was the same one we were in last time. We didn't have much time for anything, so we just got in line. We could have grabbed plane at Charlotte airportsome more food, but we didn't know that they were going to take so long to board.  We were both very tired still. There really isn't much in that terminal I can eat, anyway. I remember that from last time we were there. It was about 8 am central time.

We both slept on this leg of the flight, too. It wasn't first class, but it was fine. We arrived at the Little Rock Airport about 11am.  We called for the Comfort Inn shuttle and they were able to pick us up pretty quickly. We were also lucky that they could get us a room already. We went to sleep for awhile. It was about 4pm when we got up, and I was starving. We'd had so very little to eat. Just snacks.

We called Lyft, and the app said the woman was 16 minutes away. Then the timeComfort Inn Little Rock didn't change, and we kept waiting and waiting. Finally, we decided to cancel that one and try the local Yellow Cab. They said it would take 6 to 20 minutes.  About 15 minutes later, I got an automated call saying that our ride had arrived, but it hadn't. So I called them back and they said, no, there was 10 minutes left before our ride got there. They gave me no explanation for the automated call. Someone messed up, clearly, because our cab never arrived. They probably went to the wrong Comfort Inn. So then we used the Lyft app again, and it said they'd be there in 12 minutes, and it went by fast, so we called back the cab and said, "Never mind."  The Lyft driver was very nice, too, as they usually seem to be.

We were looking for a restaurant that was open between the normal lunch and dinner times because some places close down in the afternoon. I found a restaurant with the app Find Me Gluten Free called Samantha's.  We went there and it was a crème brûléevery nice place, and the food was fantastic.  We will definitely go there again. They had many GF items. I got the Chilean Sea Bass with bacon-wrapped asparagus. It was so good.  I also had some crème brûlée for dessert that was really good.

We've been to Downtown Little Rock many times but somehow missed this street that has 4 or 5 restaurants on it!

We walked over to the regular downtown area near the Riverfront Market area, where we normally go. We stopped at Dugan's, and I also went to the little store next to it that I like. We didn't stay out too long because we were very tired.

The internet in our hotel was pretty bad. It went in and out constantly for a while. I would much rather pay for internet in a hotel than have "free" internet that doesn't work very well. It seems that it always works fine when I pay for it, so what is the darn problem?  Even my internet at home works better than this, and we have pretty bad internet. We live in one of the slowest states for internet in the country, and itDavid Tennant sometimes goes in and out, too, just not quite as bad.

Facebook likes to always remind us of past posts, with photos. 4 years ago we were on our way to Hawaii, and I got to see Mark Sheppard, one of my favorite actors, and take a photo with him. That was so cool!

I went to bed about 12:30, but he hit the hay long before that. I slept pretty well and was having good dreams. I dreamed that it was the last week of the semester, and I was preparing to make cookies for everyone. The people in my class included Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant . We were all good friends, along with other people. I also met up with Robert and Anna Scorpio from General Hospital. Wow, what a great dream that was.

  Wednesday 8/1/18

 We checked out around 9:45 and then drove to the GF bakery, Dempseys. I got a Death by Chocolate cakefew things there. I didn't have a very healthy breakfast, let's put it that way!  Plus I grabbed what I thought was a diet soda, but it wasn't.

We stopped for gas etc. in Prescott, so I grabbed lunch at Hardee's (which is in the truck stop there). They wrapped myrest stop burger in lettuce. Hopefully it won't make me sick. It was a great burger. (It did make me sick, darn it)

We decided to wait until tomorrow to get the dog. Also, the mail didn't come, even though David asked them to deliver it today. They never seem to get that right.

After we got back, David changed and went to work. I was sleepy, so I went back to sleep. I woke up in the afternoon. I've been mostly working on my site and doing social media. I didn't have the energy to do much else.

I've been very itchy today, too. I'm trying to remember to take all of my allergy medicine, every day, to see if that helps.

David came home at his usual time, around 6:30, and we had BLT's for dinner. I sliced up the bakery items I bought and froze them. I was happy to weigh myself and find that I didn't gain any weight on this trip! So I'm going to try to go back to the diet.

48 years ago was the first San Diego Comic-Con! Wow!

It's 10pm and I'm pretty tired. I guess I'll try going to sleep soon! My neck is much better now than it was a few days ago. It hurt the past few days from trying to sleep on the airplane and things like that, but it's fine today. The side of my right knee has been bothering me a lot lately, from bursitis.

I couldn't get to sleep and stay up until about 4 or 4am. I watched some TV until I felt tired enough.

  Thursday 8/2/18

Brandy, happy to be homeI got up around 10am when David phoned. He went to pick up the dog.  It's great to have Brandy home!  She is both very annoying and very cute. She was very happy to be home.

I weighed myself this morning. I was shocked that I haven't gained any weight because I felt like I was just pigging out all week.

I did a little bit of unpacking, but not all of it.

My right knee is still hurting. If it's still hurting by Monday, I guess I'll go to the doctor. Hopefully it's just bursitis.

I mostly just worked on my site. I felt too lazy and tired to do much else.

We went to Antigua's for dinner. I had the Chicken Parrilla, which is basically,Chicken Parrilla sautéed chicken breast with onions and peppers, with melted cheese on top. It was really good. This is the only place I'm eating at this weekend, to test it out, to see if I can come back here and eat again.

I got my article published again in KaraokeScene Magazine! I'm on page 14-18. If you're not able to view it, you can see a screencap here: First Part and Second Part.

Brandy and I had our usual walk in the evening. The boy down the street, Jack, and Brandy, curioushis brother, came over to pet her, and that made her very excited. She always pees a little on the street, which we're all used to (from excitement) but this time she somehow got her tail in it and flung it all over us all! That was gross, but also kind of funny. I advised them to go inside and wash their hands, but I doubt they did it. They have their own dogs, so I guess they're used to that kind of thing.

I had to order a new power cable for my small laptop, the one I use at school. It got bent in our computer bag while we were traveling. I found one for only $20 on Amazon, so that's handy.

I stay up way too late...I just wasn't tired enough.

  Friday 8/3/18

I couldn't get up early enough to walk Brandy. I woke up around 11. I was very tired!

I was sick today (probably from eating at Hardee's), so I felt yucky all day. I did endmountains of laundry! up getting a lot done, though. I finished unpacking, tided up around the house, and did the laundry and dishes. There was a mountain of laundry. Normally I have about 2 1/2 loads of laundry. This was about twice that.nachos

I had leftovers from last night's Mexican restaurant for breakfast. A little too spicy for my stomach, but it was good.

I ordered some of that meat stick I had at the airport from Amazon, but I got the turkey kind, hoping to be healthier. The turkey kind are not nearly as good, though. I also got these cool light switch stickers. We have a lot of different lights and switches in our house, so it can be confusing. I had put round orange stickers on the light switches before, but they kept coming off. These light stickers have different types of lights as well as fans and other things.

ThanosI rewarded myself for all my hard work by watching "Avengers: Infinity Wars" on Amazon Prime, on my TV via ROKU. I was a little annoyed, though, because a lot of the closed-captioning wasn't working, so it made it hard to hear unless I blasted the volume. I had heard that the villain wins, so I read some of the spoilers ahead of time, months ago when the movie first came out. I just wanted to prepare myself because I didn't like being shocked at the end of the last Star Wars movie! It made the movie much better, since I already knew so many people were going to die by the end (and probably brought back in the sequel). I mostly enjoyed it. It was fun and had a lot of great action. It had a little bit too much action for my taste, actually. It went on a little too long. 

My main problem with the movie was that the villain, Thanos' reasoning for wanting to kill half the people in the universe didn't make much sense to me.  His planet had an overpopulation problem, and he suggested killing half the population in order to let the other half live. They thought that was barbaric, and instead, many people died in horrifying ways.  So he went from planet to planet killing half the people.  We already know from previous movies that he is sadistic and likes to kill people, and torture them as well, so that excuse doesn't really work very well. Also, the whole movie, he's trying to gather the Infinity stones so that he can have power over time, space, reality etc.  So then he is able to just snap his fingers and kill half the universe.  But why didn't he just increase the resources, or double the universe? With that kind of power, he could just kill the bad people, for that matter, and spare the innocents.  Not to mention, he'll just have to do this all again the next time the population increases to that extent.  Plus, he was very upset that he had to kill Gamora to get the Soul Stone. So why didn't he just bring her back later on?  I assume that in the sequel, the remaining Avengers will track Thanos down and have some way to use the stones to bring everyone back. That makes the sequel kind of predictable. Well, I hope that I'm wrong, and it's more interesting than that.

Like I said, though, I did enjoy it. I wish I'd seen it in the theater.

I took quite a few naps today, so naturally, I wasn't tired at all when bedtime came. I just stayed up all night so I would make sure to walk Brandy in the morning, when it's cooler...

  Saturday 8/4/18

After our walk, Brandy and I went back to bed for awhile. I woke up around noon.

I'm tired today, but at least I'm not sick!

Brandy and me selfie!I heated up the tortillas from my leftovers, along with some turkey and cheese, to make delicious quesadillas for breakfast.

We went to Wal-Mart briefly to get a few things. We just did our usual Saturday night thing of listening to the 70's music countdown from America's Top 40.

I bought a Wi-Fi Hotspot and it came today. I'm not really sure yet how it works.

I'm hoping to get to bed early tonight...

For some reason, I keep getting more Instagram followers. It's up to 525 already. I must be doing something right, I guess!

I went to bed before midnight, and I slept pretty well.

  Sunday 8/5/18

I woke up around 7:30, but it was hard to get out of bed! I walked Brandy, but I was still half asleep. Not only did I put her harness thingy on wrong, which I didn't notice until halfway through our walk, but I put the leash on her collar, rather than on the harness!  But the good thing about that is that it means she was behaving, even though she was not being controlled by the harness! Hopefully that means she's learned. She's a pretty good dog and does learn pretty quickly, when I bother to teach her. She's learned, for the most part, too, that she needs to behave when she's on the bed, or else I will move her off the bed and tether her to the treadmill.Brandy sleeping next to David

It was hotter this morning than it has been lately, so that means it will be really hot later on, I guess. We're supposed to get a lot of rain this week. I hope that's so! We really need it. I don't mind the dryness too much because it means fewer mosquitoes (I haven't gotten bitten once this year, which is very rare!), and fewer times the lawn needs mowing.

I had breakfast after our walk. I had another quesadilla.  Then we went back to sleep for a while. I had weird dreams about GH characters.

David and I went out around 11 or so to JavaPrimo. He had lunch, and I just had a soda.  Then we went to Wal-Mart for our weekly grocery shopping.

I've just been doing work since then, and watching TV.

I was sick after that...I guess I can't eat at Antigua's again. :(

Kale ChipsSpeaking of restaurants, I just read that Larry's Pizza closed. I'm so bummed. They had great GF pizza. I haven't eaten there in awhile because I'm trying to lose weight. Pizza is not on my diet. It wasn't David's favorite, either, so he didn't want to go there, either. I guess they still have the one in El Dorado and other locations.

I love these kale and pecan salads that they sell at Wal-Mart. I had one for dinner the past two nights. They didn't have more today when I went to look. I hope they get more in!  Speaking of kale, I really love these kale chips made by Rhythm Super Foods. I've tried others, but these taste the best by far. Even David and the dog like them.

18 more days until school starts....AAAAGHH!

I waited too long to do some work for my site, so I stayed up way too late. UGH. I know I'm going to have a hard time getting up tomorrow and my neck will probably hurt.

Brandy loves sleeping next to David on the couch

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