Monday, October 30, 2006
Las Vegas!
It's 2:30 A.M., I have my suitcases packed and lined up at the door. At 4:30 A.M. I'll be leaving for the airport.

It's been a while since I've updated here but I have been taking pictures, so I thought I would give a little recap of this week in my life with photographs.

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October 22nd was Eric's Birthday - We started celebrating at 12:30 A.M. at the local pub.

At 3 P.M. We all went Pumpkin Picking as a family.

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It was 20$ for all you can carry. Afterwards we went out to Dinner, then met up with a friend to go bowling. For some reason, Eric loves bowling...I'm simply the queen of Gutterballs. It was a fun day.

October 24th...

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I traveled into Manhattan with my youngest sister Amber to meet Miley Cyrus. (Billy Ray Cyrus's Daughter a.k.a "Hannah Montana")

I thought we would arrive 2 hours early to the signing and be on the safe side. I was surprised to discover that the line already stretched around the entire Virgin Records Building in Times Square and down about a quarter of a mile!

After about an hour, I lost all feeling in my hands. Girls were running around screaming and the MTV building was also running a TRL show. News crews were interviewing fans. I stood there shivering and I couldn't even see where the line ended behind us. It went on for eternity. It was just insane.

It was all worth it in the end when I saw my little sister's huge smile and wide awe-struck eyes.

October 26th...

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Pumpkin carving with Amber. This particular pumpkin is "Horace"

October 27th

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Traveling from Halloween U.S.A., To Party City in hopes of finding the perfect costume.

I returned empty handed after trying on everything I could find in my size...

October 28th...

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Spending time with my sisters. For the first time in over 4 years that my entire family is all under the same roof.

October 29th...

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Preparing for Las Vegas....

I found a costume. Eric and I decided to be matching pirates. Yes, a bit lame but our creativity is tapped dry due to lack of funds and lack of time.

Now it's time to shake Eric awake and eat some early breakfast. My close friend is getting married in Las Vegas and we have a flight to catch. I'm so excited about this trip! My first time in Las Vegas!


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


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posted by Clarity25 at 2:42 AM | 10 comments
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Happy Birthday
"I don't pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me;

Love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person,

Love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of,

Love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you....

love is...."


****


Today is Eric's Birthday!








Happy Birthday, My Love

 
posted by Clarity25 at 8:34 PM | 17 comments
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
He's home
He arrived here safely late last night

Day 8 - He's home



My Father is home!
 
posted by Clarity25 at 10:56 PM | 10 comments
Monday, October 16, 2006
Roadtrip: Georgia - Day 7, 8 and 9
2:35 P.M.

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Today my father is supposed to return home from Iraq.

We're waiting. Everytime the phone rings we jump up hoping that it's him asking us to pick him up at the airport...

Every time there's a knock at the door... we all rush for it.

The waiting..

is driving me crazy.

I can't wait to see him. I'll be able to hug him in real life, not just gaze at a blurry photograph sent via E-mail from Baghdad. It's been two years!

When will my father be home already??

Right now it's 12:45 A.M. Everyone in the family has already fallen asleep. I'm still waiting by the window. After being in Iraq for so long, he shouldn't return to a silent home. This is a big homecoming. I want to be there to greet him at the door.

I'm determined to stay awake.

In the meantime, let me post the final entries and pictures from my road trip already. It will give me something to do to pass the time...

*****

Day 7 - September 29th, 2006

We arrived in Georgia after midnight. Heather called her father on his cell and he told us to meet us at a certain McDonalds parking lot.

I found that rather strange. "why don't we just drive straight to the house?"

"Because it's hard to find and the roads are dangerous at night. Deep slopes, cliffs, sharp turns and uphill dirt pathways." Heather laughed and added "I told you... he lives in the mountains, Clarity"

"hmmm...."

Her Father was waiting for us. When he emerged, I was surprised to see the All American Dad. He looked like he emerged from a Fox television special. The greying hair, the warm smile, and crinkles around his eyes. He had a good sense of humor and started to tell Heather to watch out for the deer.

"If you see what looks like little reflecters in the woods, slow down. Those are deer. They jump out at you and do some crazy shit" Her father explained with a slight southern accent.

(I pictured screaming deers that leap on your car and smash your windows with baseball bats.)

I'm from New York. I don't know anything about country living. This was all foreign to me.

The drive to their home stretched on for eternity. It was scary, bumpy and filled with strange turns. Forest surrounded us on all sides and the roads were narrow. I kept thinking "who lives THIS far away from civilization...besides maybe, Stephen King"

As we're driving, Heather starts to explain that there are three big black dogs on the estate. One that goes by the name... BEAR. Note: I have a massive fear of dogs. There was a steep hill leading up to the home. The wheels spun beneath us, spitting out stones and sand into the air.

The home was beautiful. He showed us to the guest room and we crashed for the night exhausted.

I woke up in the most comfortable bed, all feather and fluff. I could hear dogs barking in the distance and the sunlight was streaming in through the ivory curtains.

Then I heard a gunshot go off.

I went out to the balcony and saw Michael shooting down at a target. (a can, I think)

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I looked over the edge of the balcony and saw Bear. Our eyes met for the first time.

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Not as bad as I imagined.
The home was beautiful. Old fashioned and rustic

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The inside was just as antique and quaint. It was like a movie set for a Victorian film.

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It was so peaceful, nature surrounded us on all sides. It was so quiet except for the birds singing in the trees and the sound of the leaves rustling in the breeze. Completely removed from traffic, commercial buildings and other people. They lived in their own world in the middle of the mountains. I think I could grow to love country living in Georgia.

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I loved the mailboxes at the bottom of the hill. (about a mile from their house!)

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We took a drive through the countryside.

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and we stopped at a stand to buy some Georgia Peaches...

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But later on discovered that even though we were in Georgia, they sold us North Carolina Peaches. Same taste apparently but doesn't sound as cool.

Heather knew that I really miss Germany, so she took me to a special place in Georgia called...HELEN

It's a little town nestled in a mountain that is modeled after a German Village. Everything German and it was in the middle of Oktoberfest

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It was a really unique place

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And it really sparkled at night

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Not quite the same as Germany though.

However it's the thought that counts and Heather is a great friend. She figured since I couldn't get back to Germany, she would bring Germany to me. We had a fun time. Then we went out for Fondue at the Melting Pot with her StepMother. It was such an fun night. The food was...there aren't words to describe it. It was the closest to heaven I ever came through the form of food.

Day 8 - September 30th, 2006

So..that was it for us. We woke up and did some shopping at a local outlet. Then we had to say goodbye to her parents. They are beyond wonderful. She has a great family. A lot of warmth and love.

I wasn't kidding about the bumpy roads..Here is some video footage of the drive.



I have a new vision of Georgia (and to be honest, my previous vision was pretty warped and bad.) This changed my perspective.

We hit the road and embarked on the longest straight drive home to New York. We kept eachother awake by chugging redbulls all night long and talking about everything.

Day 9

Home sweet home. We pulled up the driveway at noon. Eric came running out. He swung open the car door and jumped on top of me. We kissed like maniacs in the backseat. I missed him like crazy.

AND That...concludes my road trip to Florida and Georgia.

To my bestfriend, To Heather, Michael,Tara, Angie, Sheila, and Claudia.

Thank you! You are all amazing. It was truly an unforgettable week and some of the happiest moments in my life. :)


*****
 
posted by Clarity25 at 1:48 AM | 8 comments
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Florida Roadtrip - Day 5 and 6
******



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I actually received this message in my fortune cookie at the chinese buffet a few days ago.

Figures...

At any rate...Here are more entries from my road trip to Florida

****
Day 5 - September 27th, 2006

The morning after our trip to Disneyworld, A friend, Angie woke me up with an invitation to the beach. I excitedly pulled on my swimgear only to have to leave the beach after an hour because it started to rain.

The sky cleared up and we picked up my bestfriend who had just woken up after returning from Dialysis. We all headed towards old town, Saint Augustine to check out the historic district.

It was beautiful... Old buildings from the 1700's, statues, waterfountains and horses pulling carriages. It's the oldest town in the U.S.A. Here are some pictures from our walk.

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This is the oldest house in all of Saint Augustine. Here is a blurb about the history.

"This is reputedly one of the oldest houses in the U.S. It sits on a site that has been occupied by Europeans since the early 1600's. The present structure, also known as the González-Alvarez house, was built sometime around 1702 out of coquina, a soft, local shell-rock. One of the owners was Tomás González, a soldier stationed at the Castillo San Marcos. Another was Geronimo Alvarez, who bought the house in 1790, which stayed in his family for nearly 100 years."

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That was the ancient door knocker on the oldest house in America that has remained preserved for centuries..

We returned to the car as the sun was setting and rain began to fall again. Then we began to drive around town pulling together the cake and party favors for Heather's surprise birthday party. She had taken a day trip with Michael and was due to return in the evening. It was her birthday and we wanted to make it special

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She returned after midnight and we all screamed out surprise. We had a fun night that stretched until the early morning hour. One part of the night included a 3 A.M. car drive that I will never...ever forget.

What occured during that car ride is a secret that I will take to my grave. It involved a lot of laughter and it brought all of us closer.

It also involved sunglasses.

That's all I can reveal.

I stayed up talking with my bestfriend until 7 A.M., eventually we both passed out from sheer exhaustion. It reminded me of the sleepover parties we had during our teen years. It also reminded me of why we have been bestfriends for over 10 years.

****

Day 6 - September 28th, 2006

This is was our last day in Florida.

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We all went to Outback for lunch and then headed one more time to the beach.

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The sun was setting and everything was various shades of pastels.

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Angie, Heather and I ran across the soft sand into the ocean. The water was so warm and lapped around our bodies. We let the waves knock us over and floated in the current. It was so relaxing. I gazed up at the pink clouds moving across the sky. The beach was almost entirely empty...It was just sublime.

I miss Florida beaches. Nothing can compare to them.

Then I had to say Goodbye to my bestfriend. I hate goodbyes....

I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to see her again... if all goes well she'll be visiting New York in December.

Then we hit the road again.

Next destination: Georgia

"My dad lives in the mountains...in the middle of nowhere...", Heather explained during the car ride.

I thought that might have been a slight exagerration.

It WASN'T.

To be continued...
 
posted by Clarity25 at 3:15 PM | 9 comments
Friday, October 06, 2006
Florida road trip: Day 3 and 4
Things have been pretty hectic around these parts for the past few days. I didn't have much chance to log online. Eric and I have been doing some more renovation in the house on his day off and trying to get back into the swing of things since my vacation. There is a lot going on right now. I feel this pressure in my chest and a bit of stress at the moment.

But here are more of the journal entries and pictures from last weeks trip...

*****

September 25th, 2006 - Day 3

We hit the road in the afternoon for Orlando to go to Pleasure Island. It was a 2 and a half hour ride filled with interesting conversation. I was in the backseat, sitting in the middle between Angie and Michael. My bestfriend and Heather were in the front.

We checked into a Motel right next to DownTown Disney, All five of us sharing 2 beds. I felt like I was back in college during springbreak.

We drank Smirnoff Ices out of 24 ounce bottles and laughed about how we hadn't done that in a while.

I had never been to Pleasure Island before. I loved the atmosphere. Music blasting on the walkways. People ran by drunk and laughing. We hopped from club to club taking in the different music. From the B.E.T. club blasting rap music, to the top 40 jam packed club with 3 levels, live bands, A gay club with a floor that revolved in circles, dry ice and blinding strobing lights. I loved the eighties club.

At one point Heather and Angie were dancing in one of the 2 level clubs. I went to the second level with Michael and filmed the crowd of people moving to the beat and The movie screen showing Justin Timberlake singing "SexyBack". Here is the short video...




Heather was running around with her birthday tiara and knocking back Long Island Iced Teas like there was no tomorrow. We were all cracking up by the end of the night...

We came back with overpriced wine to continue drinking... . The last I remember is eating McDonalds indian style on the motel bed while my bestfriend was laughing about something.

....I woke up on the next morning on the floor....

Um.

Yeah.

******

September 26th, 2006 - Day 4

After a long search for Heather's Birthday Tiara...which was sadly M.I.A., we checked out of the motel and had breakfast at Ponderosa.

Then hit the road for Disney World. As we approached the signs for The Magic Kingdom... Heather started blasting "Under the Sea" from Little Mermaid.

Yes, We went from responsible Twenty-somethings... to teenagers at Pleasure Island.. we continued our regression even further back to our childhood.

...And I was enjoying every minute of it because I was with my bestfriend and Heather. Frankly there is no one else in the world that I could do this with.


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Once we entered Disney, we had another surprise for my bestfriend.

I had secretly invited another one of our friend's from childhood and my buddy from my bartending days, Tara to join us at the Magic Kingdom. She showed up and pinched my Bestfriend from behind.

She spun around and screamed out in surprise.

The three of us had not been together for so many years, it was an incredible reunion.

As we walked through Disney's Mainstreet. Heather was stopped by the Barbershop Quartet. It was her birthday and she was given a special pin at the entrance. They sang Happy Birthday to her in the center of the park... She was blushing and laughing.


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Unfortunately we saw dark storm clouds looming over Cinderella's castle...


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and it wasn't long before an immense downpour..


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When the weather cleared my bestfriend caught sight of her favorite character and broke into a run...


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No Pooh isn't leaning over with stomach pains, he's holding his belly and laughing...

I think.

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There was a Country Bear Jamboree hoe down in the middle of everything. All I could think was how those bears looked completely drunk and positively terrifying... Am I the only one that thinks this?

The best part was the fireworks at the end of the night. I've been to Disney World twice before in my life. Once at age 14, and another time at age 19. We had never stayed long enough to see the fireworks display.

For the first time I saw it and this time with two of my closest friends in the world. Two people I never imagined I'd ever go to Disney World with... .

Here is a small video clip I took of the fireworks



Unfortunately my battery died just before the grand finale. There is another person on Youtube that DID catch it on film. I'm posting their video too because it really WAS spectacular especially for those who have never seen it.




Afterwards We bid a sad farewell to Tara (who seriously made my day by showing up!) and We drove home, My bestfriend was exhausted and weak but smiling. She had dialysis at 4:30 A.M.

But it was truly an amazing and unforgettable experience. In all honesty, Disney World in itself isn't all that spectacular, it's really who you are with that makes it great.

I sound so sappy, but I'm really happy to be here in Florida....I can't help it.

To be continued. ...
 
posted by Clarity25 at 4:41 PM | 10 comments
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Florida Roadtrip - Day 1 and 2
I haven't updated in a while because I was away on a road trip to Florida to visit my bestfriend.

I couldn't mention it in this photoblog because my bestfriend reads this and I didn't want to ruin the surprise. She didn't know I was coming. Now I'm back in New York and I have a lot of pictures from the trip. I documented the entire experience through pictures and journal entries. I'll post one a day for the rest of this week.

It was the longest road trip I ever took in my entire life...


*****

September 23rd, 2006 - Day 1


At 12:00 P.M. Saturday morning, Eric gave me a final goodbye kiss before heading off to work. "Stay safe", He whispered "Be careful...it's a long drive, don't push yourself. I know you want to drive 22 hours straight into Florida, but if you need to stop. Please stop. I'm going to miss you so much..."

He held me against him so tightly as though he would never see me again, he touched my face with both hands and gave me a final kiss. I assured him I would return alive and that we would see eachother again in a week. He still appeared worried and didn't want to let go of my hand. I wished he could come with me...

At 12:45 My friend Heather pulled up the driveway. I threw all my luggage into the trunk and jumped into the car. We picked up her cousin, Michael and we hit the road by 1:15.

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(picture taken by Michael)

I was filled with excitement, sitting indianstyle in the backseat with the essentials resting on my lap.

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Sunglasses, Energy drink and a cellphone to keep in touch with my family and Eric.

Yes..that's right...I have a cellphone now. I actually caved in and purchased one a few days before this trip. After 12 years of hating Cellphones with a passion, I realized I couldn't go a week without having contact with Eric. It was time to join the rest of civilization and buy one. Stranger things HAVE happened....

After hours of sitting in the car with the windows open, listening to music, talking and laughing..landmarks seemed to whizz by in blur. Signs, lights, cars... The steady sway of the car caused me to drift off into sleep a few times.

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I also watched the landscape change..

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Eventually the sunset...

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(photo taken by Michael)


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(photo taken by Michael)

We hit North Carolina...the Greeting sign wasn't too impressive

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South Carolina on the other hand...

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We made a stop at 2:30 A.M. at South of the Border

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It was empty...but the lights were still flashing. It looked like an abandoned amusement park with huge 10 foot statues of Mexicans towering overhead

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We wandered around. Michael couldn't figure out if this shop was open or closed...

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Eventually at 3:30 A.M., we realized we couldn't make it the whole way. We hadn't even hit Georgia yet... but Michael was swerving off the road and Heather was nodding off. I could barely keep my eyes open. We stopped at a Motel 8 on the side of the road. The old woman behind the reception desk had a drawling southern accent and moved as slow as a snail. Eventually we received a key for a motel room...

The bed was so comfortable... after Michael finished playing his Bloody Mary games in the dark in a hotel room filled with Mirrors, we all crashed.

September 24th, 2006 - Day 2

We woke up just in time to check out...

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We threw our luggage back into the car and hit the road again at 10 A.M.

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Finally we reached the promised land...

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The weather was warm...the palm trees swayed in the slight breeze. I felt anticipation welling up in my stomach because I knew I would be seeing my bestfriend soon. We had reached our destination and her house was right around the corner.

When we arrived, she was still sleeping. We entered her bedroom. I sat on the edge of the bed in the dark room and gently woke her up. She didn't register it was me until she turned on the lights.

It was so amazing to see her again and every minute of that long road trip was worth it. To see her surprised smile, hug her and be reunited with my bestfriend again after 6 years!

Once she got over the shock, we all went out for dinner. My bestfriend, her cousins, Heather, and Michael.

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Afterwards we all drank Jagerbombs, laughed and talked until the early morning hours. It felt like a dream. I had to keep pinching myself to confirm that it was real. I really did make it to Florida and I really am seeing my bestfriend again.

Tomorrow we're heading to Orlando to go to Pleasure Island and Disney world...

To be continued....
 
posted by Clarity25 at 1:47 PM | 12 comments
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