Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Monday, August 27, 2007

One year... 365 days...

An entire year has passed since we got married... a whole year... 365 days... it seems like it was only a few months ago that we had everyone down in Florida, that our honeymoon is still so fresh within our minds...crazy isn't it? Years pass by so quickly once you are out of high school & when college is over, wow, 'fly by' really just doesn't even sum it up! I still can remember the feeling I had when Marcus first kissed me, our first dance - the Sophomore dance, crying as the boys lost state in football, graduation and realizing our relationship was to be tested, when I left him for Disney & when I came back to him after Disney, when we decided we were actually going to make it legal & get married, when we told everyone at Thanksgiving, when I found the dress, when we made the flight plans, when I woke up that morning before my bridesmaid luncheon & when we looked out over our reception as we made our first dance and smiled, and mostly when we boarded that plane for the caribbean we sighed, smiled, and just laughed out loud & began to discuss how it had already been the best trip ever! Those moments, those memories, are still so fresh! There are a million others in between all of those listed, some so recent & others from what seems like eons ago.

This anniversary marks yet another batch of memories... we went to Sandestin, Florida. Let me tell you, this area is unreal. They named the area Sandestin in order to make a more elite community than regular ol' Destin. Elite is definitely the correct adjective. They made their area a great deal like Celebration, Florida. This resort community is covered in amenities. There are 11 'individual resorts' that act as one. You can use everyone's pools so long as you have a card that you are staying there, everyone's golf course, tennis courts, beaches, marinas, shops, restaurants, bars. The Village of Baytowne Wharf is gorgeous! Lots of wonderful boutiques, great little eateries, & nightlife suitable to any style or choice. But everything has a price. They made Celebration look inexpensive & a great number of major cities I have been to appear to sell burlap! The brands, the jewelry, the food was all exquisite. So everything bought was worth its dollar, but whew! We really enjoyed ourselves.
Due to that 'all resort amenities' thing you can just park, relax, and enjoy everything they offer. You can just call this tram & it will take you everywhere, if you have a little too much to drink, just dial them up & they are there, to the beach, to the bars, to the shops, wherever! There is also boat shuttling, golf carts, ECVs, go carts, bikes, etc. If it has wheels or floats they offer it! It is its own world. You don't have to even go back onto the highway until you are ready to leave, it was wonderfully relaxing. We were staying in a condo/bungalow that belongs to a friend of Marcus & it was beautiful. Very reminiscent of a beach 'cottage'. Location was sensational to all the resort activities. They even have all these nature trails for you & your pet/family. There are activities devoted to kids, to adults, to animals, they really cater to your every need. The weather & water was sensational! The sand dollars were everywhere so I created a nice collection of those.

We hit the Silver Sands outlet mall as well. Coach, Cole Haan, & Brooks Brothers will probably never be the same thanks to us! :) Poppy's in the village is a Surf & Turf restaurant unlike any other. They have a 30 pound lobster that costs $300 to consume. We of course had Steak & Lobster. The Lobster was stuffed & blackened, the steak was perfect!!! HUGE 22 ounce Ribeye!!! But so worth every moment, penny, & decision! Creme Brulee rounded off a perfect anniversary dinner.
The sunset on the bay was so beautiful! The way Poppy's is set up you are on the balcony overlooking the bay, watching that big orange orb dip lower & lower! there is nothing like it, it just sweeps stress away...

Peanut had a great time, we really do think that he believes we live at these beach houses & just visit Tuscaloosa! :) He has become such a little beach bum! Well I hope that these pictures capture how much we enjoyed our stay! We look forward to going back soon!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hot steamy nights...

Whew! This past weekend Eric, Mindy, Marcus & I went to Orange Beach to see Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Jack Ingram, & Taylor Swift in concert at the Wharf. We left out of north Alabama late Friday evening and got down there even later that night :)

Saturday was a hot morning spent with me & Mindy in the pool after lunch up until concert time. Lunch was great at this place on the Gulf called Tacky Jacks. Good seafood, hot weather. The heat was not too bad during the day, definitely cooler than what we had left in Ttown considering the breezes, but as day turned into evening, the temperature rose!!

The Wharf was sold out, 10,000 plus filed into an ampitheater, a rain or shine event that we would have honestly welcomed rain at!!! Taylor started the show & we all were already sweating through our clothes by 8:30 p.m. next up was Jack Ingram, both were great live, Taylor was everything I expected her to be. Good strong voices. Kellie Pickler followed suit and to be utterly honest she blew us away. I had seen her on IDOL of course, but in her element of country music she relaxes, finds her groove & just goes. She is a concert artist. I had really only liked her one song Wonder when heard or seen on Radio/TV. But live every song was good. She is a HUGE Dolly Parton fan & I got to tell you she did a cover of 9 to 5 and the whole arena went wild. I may have misjudged her originally. Brad Paisley puts on a good show. Lights, everything, but the core music is never overshadowed. He plays alone with just his guitar some, they never slow down, they hit you with song after song. We got our money's worth for sure. By the end of the evening all 4 of us were soaked. LITERALLY!! I have never been that wet from my own body! YUCK!

Sunday we woke up & headed back to Camden around 11 a.m. stopping only for lunch at mom & dad's. I had to get back & pack for a work trip to Pittsburgh the next morning, I had to be ready to go to the airport by 5 a.m.

Pittsburgh was gorgeous, work went well, the weather though was wonderful. 80's in the daytime with a breeze, upper 50's low 60's in the evening with a breeze! Downright real fall welcoming weather. Definitely got me in the football mood. Though down here it was around 105. :) This weekend we look to just relax get some weedeating, yard work done, the house has GOT TO BE CLEANED!!! Next weekend we head back to a beach (Destin)! I better have a truly delicious tan after this summer!! :)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Toes in the water, ass in the sand, not a worry in the world, cold colada in my hand... life is good today!!

So here we are Monday, August 6, 2007. Back from a long 8 day beach vacation...ahhhhh... boy do I wish I were still at the beach! :)

The vacation was wonderful! There was a total of 15 of us staying at the Beach House on Pensacola Beach, Florida. 8 adults, 7 kids. (adults = Mom, Dad; Nina, Keith; Eric, Mindy, Marcus, me; kids = Coy, Colton, Jonathan, Christian, Anna, Jessica & Hannah). We were a crew. Pray for those restaurants that serviced us, they were wonderful, patient, & might deserve a medal. Though I must say we have the most well-behaved bunch of kids I have ever been around. As for the adults, one might question our behavior at times :)

We arrived tired, but ready for a week of sand & surf! The first day was eclipsed by travel, settling in, stories, & laughter. Sunday we hit the beach! A beautiful sunny day welcomed us onto white sand and into turquoise waters! The Emerald coastline is so beautiful! Waves softly lapped at the edges & as High Tide came in the more white crests meant even more fun on our boogie boards & skim boards! Our area of the beach that we claimed for 8 days looked like a mini-amusement park. Rainbow umbrellas, a scattering of chairs, beach mats, radios, boards, sand toys, & coolers created an oasis fit for a princess! (or in our case a whole Royal Court!) We all wound down back a the house after a long day of beach tidings to enjoy Hamburgers & Hotdogs on the grill!

Monday found us with a wonderful breakfast of pancakes, sausage & bacon! MMMMM!!! No day begins poorly if you have had Mom's pancakes, YUM! Considering my silliness of rubbing sand all over my right leg on Sunday, it appeared that I had some sort of "rug/sand" burn on that leg. Let me tell you that the sun may burn sometimes, but nothing has ever hurt as bad as a full leg carpet style burn like I had on my right one, YIKES!!! Mom, Nina & myself packed up & decided to head to Foley to hit the outlets (okay, Dad, Eric, Mindy had to return to Camden for various reason just for Monday & returning on Tuesday evening. Considering Mindy had already had her big shopping trip with her sisters, she said she might not want to be tempted and go again, so we chose Monday to go). We left the kids with Marcus & Keith for the day. Our trek to Foley should have taken about 50 minutes, well, lets just say we missed one turn on 98. We end up on 292 and enter Perdido Key, Fl, then Orange Beach, Alabama, then Gulf SHores, THEN Foley. Took about 2 hours, but we did take the scenic route. We saw 3 beautiful beaches. Needless to say, we bought a good bit, the drive home only took the 50 minutes, and we stopped at Landry's in Pensacola on the beach for some GOOD seafood & creme brulee! The kids were good, they had about 2 hours of serious whining with Keith & Marcus, but all in all it was good. We walked in the house around 11 p.m. to find Keith stirring a bit, the kids fast asleep & Marcus right in the middle sleeping like a baby! :o)

Tuesday was a blur. Due to my leg still giving me some issues Marcus & I decided to let everyone else go to the beach & we would run some errands & explore a little. He happened to have busted his cell phone while keeping the kids so we sought out a cingular location. Turns out the guy there was awesome, gave him a discount & boom Marcus got a new really cool phone. We then hit Wal-Mart for some groceries so we could cook that evening for everyone returning. Grilled CHicken & Fried Chicken Tenders was the menu. Boy was everything good!!! Our travelers arrived pretty late so they missed out on some of the entertainment (kids) & the food (we did save a lot because we cooked enough for an army) but everyone returned safely!

Wednesday met us with another trip to the beach & Marcus & I getting ready for concerts!!! Colbie Callait, Lifehouse & Goo Goo Dolls! IT WAS AWESOME!! They all 3 put on a great show. Colbie even signed autographs between the other two performers, it was awesome!! We also went to Peg Leg Petes for dinner before hand & had a great seafood meal!Thursday was a beach day again. Imagine that! Again it seemed we staked out our little oasis, bringing food to eat. The waves were incredible!! High Tide came in early & the waves were impressive enough that surfers were out all over the place! We all had to kind of man each kid so that no one got swept away. The boogie boards were awesome to have. I got air a couple of times due to the waves, pretty impressive I must say so myself ;0). Our bodies were give out that evening!! Mom & Dad decided they needed a date night so they headed off on their own. The 13 of us remaining went to Peg Leg Pete's for some good dinner & laughter. A nice beach storm came through & drowned out our idea for putt putt, but we went back to the house to just chill out & relax a little. The rain sounded great & the lightning show was sensational!

Friday our last full day = putt putt, go carts, pool, whatever! Mom & Dad went souvenir shopping & we took the kids to putt putt & the arcade. After successfully winning over 200 tickets on SkeeBall I got the kids some arcade prizes. Then we all walked over to Sidelines grill for lunch. I tell you the food was great everyday! We ate all the time it seems like! Some of the kids went to the go cart track while Nina, Marcus, Christian, & I headed back to the pool. Marcus took a nap, I swam for a good 2 hours just relishing the relaxation & quiet time. The evening event plan was Crabs with the whole family on the beach. late dinner was good, but we really prefer Peg LEg Pete's over any other seafood restaurant down there!!

Saturday was crazy. Packing, loading, last minute shopping & the drive to the big City of Camden!!! As you can tell from the next pics, Peanut was tired from the vacation and ready to relax on the drive home. Overall the vacay was a lot of fun. I would have been more story like, but for this one I felt day to day & pictures were the best route! I will post even more once I get some from Mom & Nina's cameras! Love y'all!