Eating For Energy

Friday, September 30, 2011

Can you say" DATE NIGHT & NO BABYSITTER!!!"

A week back from vacation and the week flew by! Here it is Friday, September 30th and low and behold we had an amazing situation turn up!! Skylar was still tracked out and we had let her have a sleep over party on Thursday night with her best friend Cassidy. Cassidy's Mom had asked me if the girls were busy and if they could sleep over tonight! Any parent who has been a parent for about as long as Trevor and I have almost 13 yrs will never turn down any parent asking your permission to have your kids over!! Are you kidding me! We love our kids but just had 9 days of vacation with them and even though we have wonderful memories and I blogged about them so they are written down for us to reminisce anytime! Trevor and I miss the days when we can just do what we want when we want. When you have kids you have to plan everything and save for a babysitter as typically the cost of the babysitter was just as much as the Date!  So these dates are far and few between! Well one wonderful turn of events turned into 2 when I got a call from our neighbor Cam who asked if Luke could spend the night with their boys! Seriously wanted to pinch myself; not only did we have our girls going on a sleep over party; we had Luke doing the same and on the same night!! What does this mean? It means a spontaneous DATE NIGHT with my man!! Also beyond best part NO PAYING FOR A BABYSITTER AND NO CURFEW!! What a parents dream!! We can come and go as we please, choose where and how long we want to stay out till and not have to check in with anyone!! Seriously this doesn't happen often!! I called Trevor and said "guess what!?" Trevor said "What?" (didn't see that coming did you! ha ha) Well I explained our new found exciting predicament and he was thrilled. Of course once again when you are a parent for as long as we have been and have a standing weekend routine just like our week we are now in the "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO PREDICAMENT!". Sad isn't it, these moments remind me of a time when we first got married 16 yrs ago when it was a Friday or mid week and we felt like going out and we'd say to one another "what do you want to do tonight? then the other one says "I don't know, what do you want to do?" Do you all remember these times, and then the questions keep going back and forth until one of us figures it out or suggests something!!  Well Trevor being the amazing man I married, surprised me when he got home with several printed out restaurant menu's and low and behold VEGAN one's to boot! We settled on a restaurant called IRREGARDLESS Cafe & Catering! The funny thing is Trevor said "well the pictures look like its' a retirement home filled with old people but the menu sounds good and it's received great reviews." Well I said " lets do it, until we go we'll never know what it's like and if they have great vegan meals!" So off we went downtown Raleigh to venture into our first CATERING TO VEGAN'S RESTAURANT!! Very exciting!! We drove downtown and looked for the first parking garage. Little did we know, Trevor looked for the restaurant online and the address, but what he failed to do was look at the address in comparison to  distance of the parking garage and we ended up walking for over a 1/2 an hour to the restaurant! It was truly an adventure because on the way to the restaurant we were walking farther away from the main hot spots in the city and the street lights were diminishing as well and I was getting nervous. Then we started to see life again and passed the Raleigh Prison! Yes, you read right! The Raleigh, North Carolina Corrections Facility!! How safe did we feel! Not too safe but then again the rest of the buildings surrounding this restaurants were lawyer's and police and believe it or not residential from homes to apartment buildings! Who the hell thought of this layout? Stupid and beyond crazy how our little city of Raleigh is laid out!  Well just when we thought our feet are going to break off from walking so frigging long! Low and behold we found the restaurant! You know what was funny we thought the heavy metal band that was playing at an outside concert was the restaurant and as much as I love live bands, I dislike heavy metal bands. Not for me or Trevor for that matter.  No the restaurant was right next to it! So we heard a lot of heavy metal playing as we walked into the restaurant that looked as old as it smelt! Mothballs! Trevor was right it was a highlight for most 60 yrs old and up. We were not the minority as there was 20 yrs old and 30 yrs old like us but there was definitely more gray hair there then not! We decided we were not going to walk back to the center of the city to find another restaurant and try this one out. We had a lovely waitress and ordered our first ever Vegan dishes.


Here are some pictures of our dinner and the website
http://www.irregardless.com/pages/10/lunch-dinner-brunch-tea-wine-beer-coffee/


Our gorgeous appetizer!! The pita wedges were freshly made and hot right out of the oven!


Our main dishes came with house salads and they were refreshing and delicious!!

My gorgeous guy Trevor enjoying his salad and pita bread wedge.

Thought I'd try a Peartini! So yummy and sweet and delicious!

Trevor's veggie curry! Beautifully presented just a bit sweet &  no kick in sight.

My Acorn Squash Cassolette was presented beautifully as well.
I preferred the baked beans to the black beans. Taste was different, texture was fine.
 I love black beans and typically have them several times a week.

For our appetizer we had:

MIDDLE EASTERN PLATTER

A Middle Eastern appetizer featuring a scoop of hummus, tabouli, and butter bean pâté. Served with grilled pita wedges & kalamata olives.
For our main dishes I had:
¨
ACORN SQUASH CASSOLETTE (vegan)
Slow roasted acorn squash stuffed with a melange of roasted vegetables, served on a bed of black
turtle beans with red beets spiced with cumin & tomatoes and white navy beans with golden beets
spiced with grilled pineapple & carrots. Served with fresh roasted corn and green pea salsa. $16

Trevor had:
VEGETABLE CURRY(vegan)
A mixture of fresh sautéed cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, squashes and onions with our secret
curry recipe served over lentil brown rice, with orange cranberry ginger chutney topped with walnuts. $16




Our dinner was wonderful; we had tons of exciment besides the Jazz player/singer. Outside the Heavy Metal Live Band was marsh pitting and getting very rowdy that 6 cruisers pulled up and 5 ambulances! We didn't know if the Heavy Metal Band was full blown Chaos and the calvary had to come! But it was obvisous either it was happening or they were preparing for it to happen! After dinner we thought it best to get our pigs a barking again and get to our parking garage. We got home, watched a movie with some more drinks and had one of the best spontaneous date nights ever!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Work BBQ - Boca Burgers Beyond!!

Every last Tuesday of the month Prudential - York Simpson Underwood - North Hills office puts on a Lunch Bunch date for all Agents to get together with one another and enjoy some fun quality time!! I feel these lunches have allowed me to get to know my fellow agents on a more personal level. I look forward to them every time!

Sept. 27th was our Parking Lot BBQ and I was looking forward to hanging outside with my new friends. I was also curious to see what would be served! We have an amazing administrator Eileen Finnigan who is so wonderful. She runs the show at our office and never forgets anyone's birthday or special facts like I am vegan and made an extra effort to include me in the BBQ!  There was fresh onions, tomatoes, pickles, potato chips, potato salad, Cole slaw and all the condiments made on this earth!

I got in line and I eagerly awaited to fill up my plate and choose the best vegan choices as possible. I was looking at this huge grill that reminded me of a pig roasting grill and smelt all the poor cows and pigs grilling on that grill and hoped I had a choice for a non-meat burger!  Low and behold, Eileen did her thing and headed out to Costco to purchase veggie burgers. BOCA BURGER is the name of the brand on that box and the picture on the box looked delicious and I was hoping it would taste as good as the picture. I had to wait a bit as the chefs were not sure how to cook veggie burgers compared to the nasty slain beef and pork. But the wait was worth it! Those Boca Burgers were beyond delicious!! I loved it so much and felt like I was eating a meat burger the taste was so similar.  Loving the fact that it was just veggie and an amazing flavor of spices and herbs to make it taste so good!  I had two of them and a plate full of potato chips, fresh tomato, onion and pickles. I will admit my stomach wanted to taste for one last time potato salad and Cole slaw. They both look good  and my old taste buds wanted to try "one last time" but my stomach was not thrilled for the tiny amount I had placed on my plate. I was sick about an hour after I'd eaten.  Gotta learn the hard way! I know better as my stomach doesn't receive cream, milk or any dairy products so why do I still put myself through this every so! It's my learning curve. I mean after 37 years being conditioned to eat one way, it will take years to get "Going Vegan" right! But if you are looking for an amazing veggie burger!! Boca Burger's is the one I'd suggest.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 9 - Last Day of our Vacation; bitter sweet day!

This day was very welcomed as we were so ready not to be driving anywhere again but to our home. This day was also very sad as we do not plan on going on vacation again until June 2012 when we are going to fly to England and visit Trevor's family and partake in a 2 week Canal Boat Holiday! This vacation is going to be beyond awesome as Trevor and I have been wanting to take the kids back to England to see their heritage, show them where Trevor grew up, where we lived while I first lived there for 3 yrs before moving back to the states and taking my new hubby with me.  This was 14 yrs ago! We also love to be outdoors and this is a new version of camping but on water!  OK, back to the last day of our vacation.

We made sure we packed up most of our suitcases and anything we didn't need to have waiting for us in the morning to hold us up from getting on the road on time. We got up fairly early as we wanted to make sure we got the complimentary breakfast.  Once again we made the breakfast as Vegan as possible. We pretty much had everything we ate the day before; oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar and water. Toast or bagels with jam. OJ, Apple Juice. Luke is a huge cereal eater but he's also lactose intolerant and I really believe this happened when we moved here to Raleigh, NC 5 1/2 yrs ago when we switched up Luke's milk from Massachusetts to North Carolina Milk and he was about 15 months old and his body didn't take the change well and had the runs for days until I realized it was the milk.  So Luke and Britain had dry cereal. There was a wonderful selection of fruit! Trevor and I a huge lover's of cantaloupe. We had a huge bowl of cantaloupe, honey dew melon and pineapple. So refreshing!!

We had a wonderful breakfast and took one last walk around the gorgeous Hilton Head Resort and said a sad farewell and got into the car to drive 5 hours back to our house!  Overall we had a wonderful vacation and we enjoyed every day of it! Trevor and I did agree we thought the vacation was too short, as the saying goes "we needed a vacation from our vacation". No one's vacation is ever perfect! There are fights, disagreements, compromises, and weather that you cannot control but overall it's about the memories made perfect or not and that is what we did!  We also learned a lot about being "Vegan on Vacation" It's not easy and it needs to be planned out. That is my goal for the next vacation! It is also my plan for our daily lives. Breakfast and Lunch is so easy but Dinner is the killer! I've loaded up my library with books called "Vegan Lunch Box", "Living Vegan and Cooking Vegan for Dummies". I am currently reading "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Eating for Kids". We are only 3 1/2 months into our new eating lifestyle and it's has been interesting, frustrating, wonderful and yes a ton of tears from me and the kids making our new eating lifestyle not be a quick fad!  But I truly feel if you are armed with knowledge and a full desire to do the right thing by your body, animals and our planet, I think you can keep persevering and making better food choices on a daily basis. What is the saying that makes so much sense "inch by inch its a sinch but yard by yard its' hard!". Basically one day at a time! That's all we can do! Please enjoy our pictures of our last day on vacation!!!

Thanks for reading and remember any comments, questions, suggestions, we'd love to hear about them!

Beautiful Pool, great location, got constant sun and was a nice temp inside at all times!


Our hotel room is the on the top floor, 2nd balcony on the left. We were on the 5th floor and Luke of course wanted to
 see how he could jump off it! Is it me or does all boys try to risk their lives on a continuous basis?

Beautiful open Foyer right in the middle of our hotel!

View looking up from the 1st floor up to our 5th floor! Great Architecture Design.

This is the view looking down from our 5th floor in the open Foyer.

Last day on vacation in Gorgeous Hilton Head Island, SC. Hilton Head Resort.

We had a gorgeous view at our breakfast table!
Beautiful last day, wished we had 1 day more at the beach!

Placing our orders for drinnks and tea, and we self served ourselves for breakfast.

View from our breakfast table! Seriously breathe taking!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 8- Fun long day at the beach!!

We got up, got on our bathing suites and headed back again to the dreaded HHPrime for our complimentary breakfasts. This awas about 11 am as the restuarant closes at 11:30. As you can tell we did definetly sleep in!  We made sure we ate a full vegan breakfast as best as we could with our choices that were presented. Nothing cooked was complimentary so that made it easier! We all ate, toast, oranges, oatmeal with hot water and raisins and brown sugar. The kids loved the bagels with jam and drank a lot of OJ. Trevor and I enjoyed our own individual tea pots of Earl Grey and we let the kids fill plates up of tattor tots! Yummy! Filled up our belliles and out the door we went to find a great spot on the beach for the remainder of the day!

Trevor and I knew we'd get scorched as you do staying in the sun for a full 8 hour day so we rented an umbrella and chairs and made camp. The kids being kids could care less and ran to the water!! It was low tide and there was a ton of sea dollars all over the beach floor. We got our bukets and filled them up with these cool sea dollars as a fun thing to do for the entire day!! Don't worry at the end of the day we threw them back in! Just some fun and an adventure finding the sea dollars under your feet and digging them up.

We ate our muchies of wheat thins, fruit, ordered french fries, drinks from the bar, juice for the kids and tons of water too!  We later built our cool new kite we won on raffle with Trader Joes! It is an alien figure and boy did it fly!! After a full day at the beach we headed back to the hotel to make PBJ's for the kiddies and beans on toast for Trevor and I.  We were not paying that type of money again nor were we going to eat animals again!

We watched a documentary on Micheal Jackson as his Dr.'s trial is coming up and then  hit the sheets as we had another 5 hours to ride back to Raleigh, NC. 

Here are pics from the beach and video too! Hope you like it!


Love all these photos of our kids, but the close ups take my breathe away of how very beautiful they are!







Love this close up of Britain, she is so very striking!!

Beautiful but crazy Sky!!


Back and front view of Sea Dollars we found!


Seriously, why can't I be 12 again!! Love her figure!!


Our Beach Al Bundy!

Gorgeous view of our hotel from the beach!

Gardner's Beach Spot!!

My Gorgeous Man Trevor, enjoying flying the kite we just built!

Video of Trevor flying our kite and the kids swimming.


Kids enjoying Hilton Head Beach!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 7 - Arrival at Paradise!!

After 5 long hours in the car, getting peed on and driving through torrential down pours for most of our journey, we finally arrived at Paradise!! The weather was amazing; about high 70's and not too many clouds in the sky!! Hilton Head Resort, in Hilton Head South Carolina is beyond beautiful!! The Resort is right on the beach and there is a pool, hot tub and bars all around!! Tons of fun to be had at the beach with renting bikes, canoe's, big wheeled paddle boats and so much more!!

We couldn't wait to get up to our bedroom check out our view as we were on the 5th floor (highest floor level) and look at that gorgeous ocean calling our names!!  We literally pulled off our clothes, got into our swim suites and ran for the beach!! It was high tide and the water was coming fast and the waves were pretty high.  The kids were so excited!! Since it was about a little after 4 pm, Trevor and I were not too eager to get wet and then leave in an hour to get ready for dinner so we stayed on the beach and watched the kids have fun! Plus again, not too energetic after a long drive. It's amazing to think how when you were a kid you were just like your kids and had endless energy!! Not to mention their energy had been pent up for 5 hours in a car!

After an hour or so at the beach; we decided to get some drinks at the pool bar, kids jumped into thepool for some more fun before we returned to the room, showered, got dressed and headed to the closest restaurant in the hotel so we didnt' have to get into the car!!

The kids were told they could have only 2 more nights of not being vegan for dinner if they wanted as I was spent from the arguing and Trevor was craving ribs! I was mortified but was again reminded we are new to this and if we fall off the wagon it's OK as long as we regroup and get back on. 

Trevor had lamb instead (and I cried inside as I was disgusted by his choice to be honest). I really do not want any of that in his system or be apart of helping the slaughtering of animals. He doesn't either but he caved! I was not happy about it at all. I wasn't happy with the kids choices either but we were all on vacation and it was our last 2 nights before back to reality and home cooked meals so I again let it go without argument. I then looked at the menu and it should have been called "we kill cows and others animals; what would you like!" but it was called HHPrime and I must say the staff was very nice but our waiter was an ASS! I asked for this veg to be switched by this veg and he said "we cannot do that". then I said but I need to substitute this veg because I don't like it and he said " well that's not going to work with this particular dish!". I wanted to get up and shake the little man as I am 5'9" inches and quite strong! Also Italian and Irish doesn't help for a good temperament!   I then blew it off and switched up my meal and I must admit caved and got the only fish meal that wasn't covered in a cream sauce etc. When we got the meals the kids hardly ate as they were tired and said it didn't taste good. Didn't make us too happy about  spending crazy money but again, didn't wish to start a fight and said "dont' worry about it". Luke hardly ate his chicken tenders and then fell asleep on the booth seat. Trevor loved his lamb and made me sick! I ate all my gorgeous veg up and tried the fish and was disgusted as it tasted horrible and was saturated with fat!  I said to myself right then and there I was going back to full "cold-turkey" vegan and not ever eating any fish ever again! I felt so guilty trying to eat it and then was disgusted as it was disgusting! Our bill came to $145.00 and was disgusting!! Not a good night for the Gardner family for dinner! We walked the kids back to the hotel room and all discussed how we didn't like our meals and how important is to not eat animals now and again but never. How this proves our bodies are healthier without them and we will not be eating this way tomorrow night and wasting money again! 

Have you ever had a situation like this before? Please advise what you would have done differently, I know believe me I do but any advise is helpful!

Here are pictures of our view from the room and resort! Absolutely gorgeous!!

My Gorgeous Trevor!! We walked back from the beach to get some drinks
and watch the kids in the pool before our horrible dinner!

View from the pool bar looking out to the rest of the resort and farther to the beach!

Loved the landscaping and all the beach decking every where! Beautifully done!

The path to the gorgeous Hilton Head Beach!!

Captured this shot just as the sun was setting! Beautiful!!

As we were touring our hotel; we came across a lot of man made ponds and turtles!
You can see this little guy in the left middle of this picture.

This is the view from the restaurant HHPrime in the morning when we had breakfast.

Day 7- 5 hour Drive to Hilton Head, SC and a major Peeing incident!!

Most car rides are typically the same thing every time; we all get pumped up to where we are going next! We get packed and situated. Trevor never lets me drive as he feels he’ll be bored just sitting there; so he gets our music ready to listen to and I get several books ready to read for the journey. The kids have the same seat in the car each time and their headsets ready and waiting for the next movie of choice!  So no big deal right! Well on this particular lovely journey, eating our pre –packed vegan goodies, like the veggie straws, almond bites, apples, oranges, pretzels etc. Not to mention our very non-vegan M&M’s, Star Bursts, Skittles etc. Well I guess the Star Bursts and Skittles are not too bad but not so Vegan on the M&M’s. Remember we are still in weaning mode and the kids are in “what battle do we wish to pick on vacation mode!”

Well I do not know what it is like for your son’s out concerning potty breaks but our son Luke is the worst potty break announcer ever!! I do not know how to politely say this so I am going to be my honest self and make this story as hysterical as it was!! We advised the kids to be kind and let us know well in advance when they needed to go to the bathroom. The Rest Stops are announced every 30 plus miles or so! So we needed to know ASAP; not to mention it’s very dangerous to just immediately stop on the highway and pull over to a shoulder! They typically don’t exist! At least not when you need one too! So we are happily driving, there is no fighting for once and Trevor and I are singing to Yes, John Mayer, Lindsay Buckingham, Tina Turner to name a few or listening to motivational speakers like Bob Proctor, Jack Canfield etc.  Out of nowhere Luke literally screams at us “I gotta pee now!!” Well you can imagine we were startled big time first! Then we were very pissed off as parents get with this news told over and over again before during and after a long road trip!! Trevor is yelling “Luke, seriously I am going to kill you!!!” “You keep doing this to us!!” He does, never a bit a notice, just is ready to explode at any minute!! So as a Mom you are always ready to go at a moment’s notice with incidents like this and have to think quickly on your feet! Well I was thinking quick on my ass as it was seat belted to the seat!  I scanned the car and noticed the Universal Popcorn plastic container next to Luke’s legs that he’d just finished eating moments before and said.  “Luke, unbuckle, pull your pants down and pee in the Popcorn container!” Skylar screams “OMG, no, pull over!” Trevor said "no way, we are going 75 to 80 and there’s no shoulder or rest stop in sight, do it Luke!” I repeat myself and all hell breaks loose as Skylar starts screaming “NO!!!” Britain isn’t too much aware of this as her headset is firmly on but starts to take them off and listen; gets the gist and starts screaming NO as well!  I scream louder and say “do it do it now! “ Luke pulls his pants down and just as you think he’d get that little guy in the container we see spraying pee coming out of his pants all over us like he’s putting out a very intense fire in our Minivan!! We are all screaming now and Luke isn’t sure if he should cry or laugh at us! It only lasted seconds and then he got his bits inside the container and finished in there! But OMG, Skylar was screaming as if she was being stabbed or something!! She wouldn’t stop!  Well I just laughed and laughed and Trevor started too as well! The only ones not doing it was the girls and Luke then started to chuckle!! When I finally stopped laughing I said to Sky, “now when we get older and you think back at all the road trips you’ve ever had this one is going to be on the top of your list and you’ll laugh and say remember when Luke peed on all of us!” She screams; “no I wont, this was so disgusting and how can you laugh!” I said “get over it”.  We then proceeded to Hilton Head, SC with Luke taken care of, Britain mortified and Skylar so shaken up and wet she had to take her pants off until we got Hilton Head! So funny! Any crazy car ride stories you’d like to share! Mines a keeper and so stinking funny!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 6 - Last Day at Animal Kingdom!

It was our very last day at Animal Kingdom and we were all bummed! This was our first shortest vacation ever at a Disney Resort! We’ve normally stay 2 or more weeks! So we felt quite sad our last day had come so quickly and we were not ready to leave!! BOO HOO!!

We didn’t wish to walk our day away at Universal again that is why we only bought a 2 day pass and we had planned to be at the pool every other day. I know I mentioned this earlier but why is it when you walk your legs off at a Park to entertain your kids and of course yourself; it’s blazing hot but the day you choose to be a complete slob and lounge out at the pool its overcast and looks as if it’s going to pour itself-down again!!  Well we didn’t’ care; it was our last day and it was going to be at the pool rain or shine!
We decided to not go to Animal Kingdom’s pool but its neighbor The Jumba House which is a part of the Animal Kingdom. This resort is so much bigger and has in our opinion a much better pool that is much bigger as well. The slide was not as fast or fun according to Sky, Britain and Luke but they still slid down it all day.   They had a great bar right on the pool deck and Trevor and I got comfortable ready to have drinks and read our books.  The kids wanted us in the water most of the time but thankfully for us tired parents there were a lot of other children and an Animal Kingdom Pool Party to entertain them with!
It was really great fun watching our kid’s par take in the activities that would win them prizes. Skylar won the Hula hooping contest. She is really slender and her hips just hook onto those Hula hoops and sway! She got up to 4 Hula hoops and managed to make them go up and down her body!! Very impressive!! Luke and Britain found other ways to use the Hula hoops which was fun to watch and they were very creative.  They both are not as long in the body as Sky is and found it a little more difficult to use them just on their hips!  We had a nice day enjoying what sun we got, ordering French fries hot and tasty!! Drinking up lovely cocktails for me, lager or ale for Mr. Trevor and just NOT watching the time go by!!!


video
Sky being very impressive with Hula Hooping not 1 Hula Hoop but 4 at the same time!!












Unfortunately the rain did win over all and we were rained out by midday!!  Not a problem, we just changed clothes and headed to our community hall for more indoor entertainment. The girls and I made crafts for our friend’s daughter for her 6th birthday. We made bracelets, a dairy book, and I made a fun frame with stick on jewels and animal kingdom logo’s on it etc. We then decided it was best to head back to the room and make another night worth of steamed veggies and rice!! Delicious! The kids dug in too and we finished the evening with a Disney movie! We went to bed a little early as we had to check out the next day and drive another 5 hours to Hilton Head, SC for our 1 ½ days at the beach!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 5 - Pit Stop At Margaritaville in Universal!!

After leaving Universal after a long 7 to 8 hour day! Trevor and I needed some yummy refreshments and the kids were craving Soda after tons of water!
As we were there; we got to see the Biggest Volcano ever that doesn’t shoot out lava but Magaritas!
Very cool!! Thought you’d enjoy seeing it too!


Day 5 of Holiday - Another venturous day in Universal! Do you hear it? My feet are already BARKING!!

Getting up early would be an ideal way to start a vacation but when you stay up to almost midnight, have had a few drinks, and have been making sure your kids have been well entertained (God forbid!) you are a bit pooped to get up and be overly energetic the next day! At least for me and Trevor; we find more reason’s to cuddle in the morning and ignore the sun a bit!

Luke is hysterical; I woke him up a bit from the flash of taking Sky's pic.
He said "Mommy take mine and I'll look like I am sleep walking!"


Took sweet pictures of the babes while they were still sleeping before our 2nd trip to Universal.

Out of all our children Britain is our craziest sleeper! She starts in one postion and you always find her in another postion or off the bed but covered head to toe with many blankets, stuffed animals and my favorite an eye mask!
 She copies me there!

Trevor was still in sleep mode when I decided to take this pic and it's hysterical because it is pitch black in the room and he's being blinded by the flash! What a fabulous wife I am!! Ha Ha!!

It’s day 5 of our 10 day holiday and we had bought a very expensive 2 day park pass to Universal. Our thinking was what if it pours all week; we need a backup plan! So we ended up spending almost $1000 for 6 people (including Sky’s friend Abby) to make this happen! Crazy money spent, I can think of so many wonderful things to invest with that money like Gold or something! Always thinking me! Anyway we decided we had seen enough in Island of Adventure; Hogwarts is very amazing and I’d love to live there (as the kids and Trevor would too as we are beyond crazy Harry Potter fans)as a witch and have magical powers!! How cool would that b!! Unfortunately that’s not reality so we decided we should check out the other park to Universal. I do believe it’s called Hollywood Studios or something to that effect. I can tell you my feet were already dreading this day as you can expect to spend at least an 8 hour plus day there! In our case it was 7.  We headed into the park and the first thing we did was look for Shrek! There he was on a big billboard with Donkey and Phiona!! We got in line and surprisingly we didn’t have to wait long. We were quite entertained by the virtual 3-D images of the 3 little pigs and other Shrek characters as we waited for their ride! It was a very cool ride and it started the day off wonderfully! 
We then got in line to Disasters! All Disastrous films made by some crazy made up director and the best part was, if picked you could be in their latest movie! Well they had asked for an Adult Male Gorgeous man for a part in their move and of course Skylar screamed out her Daddy’s name and got him the role!  So much fun to watch Trevor acts out a part and then watch it in a trailer of their new movie “Motha Nature!” while on their ride and enduring scary “Motha Nature” scenarios of flooding train stations, earth quakes etc.  So funny! We then took our new found "STAR" Mr. Trevor and the rest of us to get some snacks and the only “vegan choices” were popcorn and French fries! So that’s what we had, we also were smart and brought our cool new cups the ones with the lids and the straws. Filled them up with bubbler water and sat down right outside Jaws’ ride to eat. You could hear the screams as Jaws obviously came up out of the water to eat them!
video This was Trevor getting ready for his big 15 mins worth of fame! The next clip will show you his actual action scene!





Trevor is excited and very embarrashed to have been picked! It was awesome to see him being picked!!

We were going to do that ride next but in 90 degree weather with beyond humidity to make it feel like the 100’s we decided to find a ride with little lines. Before we got in line for The Simpson’s Krusty the Klown’s beyond fantastic ride we decided we needed a spritzing break and headed over to the Coke Spritzing Station to literally cool our skins! So wonderful was it to feel all those spritzing nozzles all over your very hot skin!
Trevor was first one in to get spritzed! Kids enjoying Daddy getting slightly drenched!

Luke looks as if he's been swallowed by the Coke Spritzing Machine!

Can you give me an Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Sky said "Now this is what I am talking about!"

Can you give me a double "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Britain needed this cool off! Look at her face! Hysterical!!

Seriously this was luxury at 90 plus degrees!

Still enjoying it!! I'll give  you a big "AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"


Wanted! 3 Crazy Kids who have been enjoying themselves too much!
 After our very crazy but very cool roller coaster Krusty Klown ride we headed over to our final ride with Jaws!! Trevor and I have been on this ride a couple of times and it never fails how the shark scares the living shit out of us both! We scream more than the kids did and we know when it’s coming! How sad!! 
Crazy Gardner Family enjoying the thrill of almost being eatin!!

After a long day, back to Animal Kingdom for some much needed showers and with tons of veg left over we made our gorgeous homemade stir-fry of course “vegan style” but whoever eats stir fry without meat is eating vegan!

Here are some more pics of our day at Universal!

Sky enjoying a mini water park!! She laughed the whole way down!

It's wonderful the details that is put into Universal Studios! So much to look at and enjoy!

What a face! She cracks me up!

This is Back to the Future 3 - Doc's Train

Back to the Future cool time machine car forget the actual name, but funny characters standing around it!

I can hear Madonna's song in my head right now "Strike a Pose!"

Another cool building, love the ambience!