I’m Baaaack!

For the record, I should be cleaning and finalizing my grocery list right now, as the in-laws will be here later this evening and my parents are due in town (to Julie’s apartment first though) in the middle of the night tonight. However, “Do blog entries” is on my list of things to-do today, so technically it needs to get done, right??? At least I’ll get to cross it off in a bit!

Yes, I’m back in the chilly Chicago suburbs. Looks like we may have a White Thanksgiving (well, only a dusting but it still counts!).

Sorry for the delay in posting (but please note that I still posted on my NaBloPoMoFo blog each day, if only a sentence or two!); I didn’t have time to post on Sunday because we were travelling back home, and I worked all day yesterday and had to watch the episode of “The Amazing Race” that we DVRed Sunday evening!

The trip was so fun; nice to get away. The reason we went, so Jim could ride the 109-mile El Tour de Tucson, went really well. He had to get up at O’dark thirty to get to the starting line. One of the other wives (two of his co-workers and their wives travelled to do this, too) took the guys to the race/ride at 4:15 a.m. Here’s a shot of him, all ready to go, that I took while I was awake (but still in bed) for about 30 seconds before going back to sleep until 6:30:


(Yeah, it’s dark. What do you want, for me to turn ALL of the lights on and lose out on the chance of being able to get back to sleep???)

After he left, I watched the news, including the weather forecast:


I checked my mail at the business center, worked out, and met the other wife for the breakfast buffet. The 60-mile mark was just down the street from our resort, so she agreed to take water bottles and energy bars down to her husband and the other guy. (My husband, who was not doing this as a race like they were, preferred to stop at the Tour-run stops, and he also had no idea what time he’d be there so he didn’t want me waiting for hours: how sweet!) Since we ate breakfast together, I walked down there with her and, like clockwork, her husband arrived at just the right time. The other husband? We missed him. He got there “too quickly” and we were still lollygagging at breakfast. Ooops.

After she did the water bottle switch with her hubby, we stood at the corner and cheered on the riders for a while:


Then we drove towards downtown Tucson, stopping off at a roadside stand so I could get some pepper strings for Jim and my dad, and also this awesome wreath to hang on my porch:


Isn’t that cool? Love it!

We went to a Holiday Art Fair in the city, where–again–I found nothing to purchase.

Then we went to the finish line of the race/ride.



What I found so fun about this ride was the energy. Normally when Jim does a Bike Century (100-mile ride, for you non-bikers), the finish line is just that: you cross it, get off your bike, and without any ceremony you might go get a brief leg massage before changing clothes, loading your bike up on the rack, and driving away. The El Tour de Tucson was so different, and fun! The finish line was crowded with spectators. There was a DJ playing great music (both “clubby” tunes and inspiring ones as well). As riders crossed the line, people would cheer for them and sometimes (because all riders wore a chip that registered their name, number, and time in the computer system) the DJs would say, “Hey everybody, let’s all welcome John Smith from Los Angeles California to the Finish Line!”…and then everyone would cheer. What a great experience! (and I was only standing there clapping!) After each rider finished, he/she turned in the chip and received a medal for finishing. I’m so proud of my hubby for this accomplishment!


Yes, it was great to get away, and it was great to come home. Vacation’s over for another who-knows-how-long, but that’s okay: I took lots of great photos that I can see any time, and that’s almost as good as going there. (Not really, but I like to tell myself lies in order to feel better: LOL) Here are some assorted other photos from my trip!

Can’t grow that in Chicago…

Our resort: ahhhhh….

Still at the resort…

Wish I could have brought some of these home…

You all “loved” the other tin men so much I thought I’d share this photo, too!

ALMOST bought this for my living room when we were in Bisbee…NOT!

I’m hoping to post again tomorrow, however brief. If you’re leaving town for the holiday and are staying away from the blogs, let me wish you a “Happy Thanksgiving!” Enjoy! (Those of you who are not travelling or staying away from the blogs will get your holiday wishes tomorrow!)

And for those of you non-Americans, I’ll just say “Have a Happy Thursday!” 🙂


  • Andie

    I love that wreath!

    glad you had a good time. and wow. you’re hosting turkey day right after coming home? you rock!

  • Jules

    Those tin men! Their toes! DO. NOT. WANT. 🙂

    That huge blue planter would look fantastic at your house, probably would have been a problem getting it home, though…!

  • Kat

    Thank you for the lovely pictures. I don’t know where to start. Yay to your hubby. WEll done. How cute is the pepper wreath? And the resort you stayed at? I am so jealous. Glad to hear you had a great time. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Melisa

    Andie: I don’t know if I “rock”; I think I am just STUPID. Ha ha…we didn’t really plan this whole thing out very well. 🙂

    Julie: I know: the toes are definitely WRONG. There was a corner lot absolutely FULL of gorgeous painted pots like in that photo, but I didn’t have time to stop. Also, I figured that if I couldn’t bring any home, why bother? (Actually, I just wanted more photos…)

    Kat: The wreath looks cute next to my front door, too! Although I think that it will probably all freeze and fall apart during the winter…hopefully it will last a while.