Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Failed Adventure

Picture of the gun I own.

So what do I mean by the title Failed Adventure?  It is not that the adventure itself failed or that we did not enjoy the adventure.  What it means is that I got sick during the adventure and we were not able to complete it.  I felt so bad about this and I was embarrassed as well.  I guess I will start at the beginning.

My husband and I had signed up to take a  Basic Marksmanship (handgun) with Pierce Training in New Castle, Indiana.  My husband was super excited that I was going to take this class with him.  For those of you who know me really well, you know that before I met my husband I had never touched a gun and was not in to them at all, they made me very nervous.  When I met my husband that all changed, as this is one of his favorite hobbies. 

We took off on Friday night to head up to the Indy area.  We were on a tight schedule to arrive to the south side of Indy because my husband had a used gun on hold at a shop up there that he was planning on purchasing.  Due to traffic we were running behind so my husband called the store to let them know that we might be there 10 minutes after closing.  Since they knew he was planning on buying the gun and he knows them personally they said that was not a problem.  10 minutes before the shop was supposed to close he called them again to let him know he would be there 5-10 minutes after close, this time a new employee answered the phone and said they would not stay open, no exceptions.  The manager had left for the day so we could not talk to him.  I was shocked and baffled, they knew we might be a few minutes late and it is not like they are a department store or anything, you had a legit buyer that was coming in to make a purchase.  We tried to get there before they closed but we were five minutes late, he tried knocking on the door and calling but they would not answer.  I felt so bad about this and asked him if he knew of anyone else in the area that had one.  I then thought of Indy Gun Safety (we have purchased two guns from them in the past) and he said that there was one there last time but it was a little more expensive because it was new.  Since they are open only once a week and by appointment only during the rest of the week I thought maybe the owner would come over to make the sale, if he still had it in stock.  So my husband gave him a call, the owner was out of town but his wife was available to come over and meet us to sale it to us.  Yay!  I thought maybe the weekend was off to a bad start but it had just taken a turn for the better.  We were very grateful that she was able to do this last minute, this is what customer service is all about!  So we have now purchased three guns from them and I would not hesitate to purchase from them again.  I find that their prices are lower, probably because he keeps a small stock, a lot of what he does is training.  So if you are in the market to purchase a new gun, check him out and give him a call or check out his website.  http://www.indygunsafety.com/Sales.html  I will not mention the name of the shop that did not sell us the gun because I felt that it was the new employee's fault.  My husband did PM the manager on INGO to let him know what happened and the manager responded.  Unfortunately, they lost a sale that day.

So I thought this was a good omen, everything had worked out, boy was I wrong.  On Saturday, the day of the class, I woke up and I felt a little off.  I figured once I got moving I would be fine.  We arrived at the class before 8:00 a.m. and got settled in, as the morning went on I kept feeling sicker and sicker but I was determined to continue.  I was learning some new techniques and how to draw from a holster and enjoying myself but I still felt sick.  After a quick break we were back at shooting again and I thought I was going to be sick, I will not get in to details on here.  I started walking towards the car and one of the trainers a cop and a trained medic followed me.  Talk about embarrassing.  He put me in his car, a cop car of course and no I was not being arrested. :-)  Turned the air conditioning on for me and gave me some powerade.  I am not sure if it was the heat (heat index was probably somewhere between 105 and 110) or if I had a bug.  I waited a while but we did not think it was a good idea to continue the class.  I felt terrible about this because my husband was really enjoying himself, I would have been if I was not sick and we had friends that were taking the class with us and I had wanted to spend time with them.  In the end we left and we were not charged for the class, which was super nice of them and they did not have to do this, since we did take 1/2 of it.  I believe they will be offering another class in September, which we will probably take.  So this is why it was a failed adventure.  Nothing to do with the individuals training us, it all had to do with me being sick.  So we will give it a try again another time.

I guess the weekend was not a complete waste because we did get to see our friends, even though it was brief and we got to spend a little bit of time with my parents, since we stayed with them.  I did start to feel a little better that night and we watched Tremors (a classic according to my Dad and my friend Lindsey) with my Dad, since my mom was at work.  On Sunday we relaxed for a bit, went to lunch with my parents, mom went to work and we left that night, I still felt a little sick that day.  I went to work on Monday and felt sick, so I stayed home today (Tuesday) and slept and I am finally starting to feel better.  Not sure if I had a bug or if it was the heat but thankfully I do feel better.

Hopefully our next adventure will go much better than this one. :-)

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Yesterday my husband and I went to Homearama in Prospect, Ky which is located in the Norton Commons neighborhood.  There were a total of 21 homes, the majority of the homes had a second story, sometimes even a third and the majority of them of them had finished basements.  This was approximately a total of 63 flights of stairs.  Can you say what a work out?

So why did we decide to make this one of our adventures? 

1.  We love to go and look at different houses, styles and sometimes pick up some decorating tips.
2.  It can be a lot of fun and all of the walking around is great exercise.
3.  I won free tickets from Today's Family Magazine.

Overall, we had a great time and enjoyed seeing some of the neat little touches that they added to some of the homes.  Listed below are some of  our favorite little extras.

1. The coffee maker installed in the wall in one of the master bedroom/bathroom area, along with the refrigerator.
2. Heated floors in some of the bathrooms.
3. The huge sleeping porch off of one of the master bedrooms.
4.  Many of the multiple little porches on most of the homes that had little fountains, screens that would go up and down, tvs on the porch, built in barbecues and fire pits, see through fireplaces.
5.  One of the master bedroom closets was to die for, this was in the same home as the coffee maker in the wall.
6.  Built in litter box area in one of the mudrooms
7. Dog steps that pulled out under a bay window for a dog to be able to get up to the window.
8.  Two of the basements were really awesome and it was a great use of the space.
9.  Some of the master bathroom showers were amazing.

The neighborhood definitely has a different feel to it.  If any of you have ever been to the Village of West Clay, in Carmel, IN it is very much like that feeling but it will probably be on a march larger scale.  Basically it will have that small village atmosphere with lots of different housing, houses that look like they are from the past, in a downtown era kind of feel.  They have small businesses, with apartments above, condos, townhouses, smaller homes, larger homes.  There is a fire station right in front, with a meeting hall, lots of little parks, small little shops and restaurants, dentists, doctors, dermatologists and they are in the process of building a YMCA.

Now, our personal feeling is why would you spend between $500, 000 up to $800,000 on homes that are anywhere from 3,000 - 4,500 square feet  and that are right on top of each other.  Is it that you are trying to keep up with the Joneses, or do you really want to live in one of these homes, are you truly in love with them?  Because for that amount of money, in this area, you could buy a very large piece of land, build an even larger home, with more extras and have an awesome in ground pool.  Below are some of the reasons that some of these homes were not that special.

1.  The kitchens were all basically the same, just with different color cabinets and they were actually pretty small for the price of the home.
2. There was nothing really special about most of the basements, I mean if you are spending this kind of money, I would want a rocked out basement.
3.  In a couple of homes they only had a stacked washer and dryer.  Are you kidding me?  These are how large and how expensive and I do not even get a decent laundry room.
4.  They tried to create an open floor plan in many of the homes but the space was not necessarily functional and flowed very oddly.
5.  In some of the master bedrooms there was not a large jacuzzi or garden tub.  Again, this was an are you kidding me moment.

These were just a few of our ????? moments.  We had others as well.

Overall, there were two homes that we loved almost all that they had done in them, where they did have the extras and two that were 1/2 way there.  The other homes just had bits and pieces that you could pull together.  So if we had the money, would we ever buy one of these homes?  Probably not.  However, we did have a great time and if you are looking for some entertainment that is not to expensive while getting a work out at the same time, then I would recommend going.  It is $10.00 per person, so for 21 homes, I think that is a great price.  However, my price was even better, I do love free!!

Until next time, keep on adventuring!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Smoky Mountains

So, we ventured out of Indiana and Kentucky over the Fourth of July weekend and headed down to Tennessee.  Final destination was Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.  I decided that my husband and I needed to get away for a long weekend and have a mini vacation together. It is not that we do not ever get away, it is just that we have never been away together for more than a night, since we have been married, except for when we go to visit family on the weekends.  My husband and I did not even get to go on a honeymoon because he had been transferred and I was wrapping up my old job, so that I could start my new job and was in the process of moving my things down to his apartment.  So yes, after we got married we went right back to work. :-)  I thought it was high time that we took a vacation that was just not an overnight trip or visiting family!

So when thinking about where to go, I was trying to think of somewhere that was not to far of a drive but something that was different as well.  I came up with going to Gatlinburg.  I remembered that I had gone with my parents when I was about 8-10 and that my best friend had gone with us.  We had such a good time, I thought that maybe my husband and I could make some memories together there and since he had never been before and I knew that he wanted to go, this is where I decided that we would go.

I planned all of this in one week, it was a spur of the moment decision.  We have a family and friends discount that we can use at Holiday Inn hotels so I decided to see if we could use this and found out that we could.  There was availability at the Holiday Inn in Pigeon Forge, TN.

So I took Friday off of work to do some laundry and pack, plus I am trying to burn through some of my vacation days, since they expire at the end of September.  When my husband got home from work we loaded up the car, ran a couple of quick errands and headed out to go to TN.  We did not arrive at the hotel until about midnight and my husband was a little sore from the drive, however the pool was supposed to be closing.  The lady at the front desk was super nice and told us that she would not lock the pool doors up yet, so that we could go and use the pool and hot tub.  We quickly unpacked the car, dropped everything off and put our bathing suits on.  The pool water felt so great and after a swim we felt very relaxed.  When we got back to our room, around 1:00 a.m., what did we discover?  Well, we discovered that our room door was not locking on the outside, so you could push it in, this was not good!  We called down to the front desk to let them know, we were fine for the night, since we could use the dead bolt from the inside to lock the door, but we wanted to make sure that they could fix it the next morning so we could go out and enjoy the sights.

The next morning rolled around and we called the front desk to see about having someone come up and fix the door.  They said that they would send someone up right away, so we waited and waited, then we waited some more, no one showed up and it had been over an hour.  We were not very pleased about this since when you go to Gatlinburg, it is typically not to sit by the pool or in your hotel room all day.  My husband went downstairs to talk the the front desk again.  They tried to give him an excuse but he informed them how long we had been waiting and that we had not come to sit around all day, if he wanted to do that then he could have stayed home.  Way to go dear!  They arrived shortly after that and it took them another hour to fix the door.  Finally we could go out and explore.

We got in the car and the destination was Gatlinburg, so that we could grab some lunch and walk around all the shops and explore.  We decided to grab lunch at Dick's Last Resort, this was a bad idea.  If you go to Gatlinburg, do not go there!  They were trying to be like an Ed Debevic's but Ed Debevic's they were not and the food was terrible.  I would definitely NOT recommend this place.  After lunch, we headed towards the aquarium.  While walking down there we explored some of the shops on the way there.  Now, if you ever go to Gatlinburg, you MUST check out Ripley's Aquarium.  It is amazing and is absolutely worth the money!  They truly have one of the best aquariums that I have ever been to.  I was super impressed.  My husband and I both really enjoyed it and we were able to get a lot of great photos.  After the aquarium we switched sides of the road and looked in the other shops on the way back.  We were able to find some gifts for my parents, beef jerky for my hubby and a bottle of peach wine for myself.  We were both wiped out from the day, we did a LOT of walking.  So we found a restaurant called J.T. Hannah's and decided to have dinner there, it was not bad, the buffalo shrimp salad was actually pretty good. All, in all it was a wonderful day, despite the late start that we got due to the issues with our hotel room door.

On Sunday, we decided to sleep in and then drove up and down the strip in Pigeon Forge, stopping at some of the shops.  We also took a quick trip to the outlet mall to get my husband a new wallet from the Coach store, yes my husband LOVES Coach wallets.  I am so very proud of him!  We had a late lunch at Salsaritas Fresh Cantina, it is kind of like a Qudoba but much better!  Their chicken tacos were amazing, their salsa was just okay.  After that we took a drive through the Smoky Mountains, it is so peaceful and relaxing up there and much cooler temperature wise!  If you do go there you must take a drive through the Smoky Mountains! We had a late dinner at Tony Romas, definitely not somewhere I would go back to, not worth the money.  Then it was back to the hotel for a swim in the pool and a soak in the hot tub.

Then there was Monday, Happy 4th of July! I was sad that we were going to be leaving. We loaded up the car and checked out .  On the way back in to Gatlinburg we stopped to eat at Reagan's Broken Egg and Pancake House.  I think that this is the best place that we ate at our entire stay there.  Their pancakes and bacon were very delicious.  I would go back there and would recommend eating breakfast if you go there, do not eat breakfast at the Holiday Inn.  It was not very good.  After we ate we drove in to Gatlinburg to stop back in at a store that we had seen a piece of art work that we wanted to purchase and some other items.  We made our purchases and headed in to the Smoky Mountains for a scenic drive on our way home.  This kind of turned out to be somewhat of a disaster, we were stuck behind vehicles for about two hours or more. Well we finally found out why there was such a backup, a black bear had been spotted in a tree sleeping and everyone was slowing down to get pictures.  Unfortunately my pictures of it did not come out well, you could not see the bear in the photo because of the shade.  So although it was annoying to sit and not move it was really neat to see the bear!

This concluded our trip to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN.  If you have never been before it is a definite must do, add it to your list.  We would like to go back sometime and stay in a cabin, play some miniature golf and go horse back riding. We had a wonderful time exploring and spending time together.  I was not to impressed with the way that Holiday Inn handled the door issue that we experience, so in the future I would probably stay somewhere else.  The food was not that great, except for Salsaritas (fast food chain) and the pancake place but in tourist traps you come to expect this.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and doing some exploring of their own!