Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lent 2009

Here we are again, day one of the Lenten season. The list seems to get longer each year, so here goes….


1. Red Meat

2. Alcohol, minus beer

3. Fried foods


1. Facebook

2. Swearing

3. Red meat (by marriage)

Kyle has been talking about what he is giving up for about two months. I, on the other hand, just decided this morning, so much so, I checked FB and then decided I don’t need it! Nothing was really calling my name this year. We have a friend that gave up facebook and I thought it was genius! I lived for years without it, and I will survive this 6.5 weeks. I attempted the swearing last year and failed miserably. I am really going to give it a go this year! Now, #3 is not by choice, but by marriage. I do nearly all of the cooking and I am not about to make two meals on occasion. I am not really a pork fan, as some of you know, so this will be a good time to really decide if it is something I like.

I plan our meal on Sundays and actually didn’t have any red meat in the menu this week, maybe we can do this? That is until Kyle got home on Monday night and officially declared his Lent list. Last night we switched to chili cheese fries. This is by far my favorite thing to eat at home. It is delicious and so satisfying, every single time! Ah…..until April 11th at midnight…..

Big Girls Don't Cry

I think I am finally recovered from a great weekend which was packed full of Bachlorette events. Courtney came to town for a big three day boozer! Friday we hung at Angela’s house, which sounds innocent, but it was a late, 20 empty bottles of wine, and bachlorette Paraphernalia kind of night! Saturday we had brunch at the spa and then indulged in spa activities…aahhhh! I ran home for a nap and dinner and then we met up for the “big” night out. It was a lot of fun and we had to do it Court style, dancing! Both mornings I rose to a pounding headache, but I fared pretty well, considering! It was a great kick off to the countdown to her wedding…..Congrats again Court!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A great day at work

After six months of walking on egg shells, round after round of layoffs, endless closed door meetings and simply, the unknown, I am happy to say I have a job and will continue to have a job!!! Yesterday was the best day I have had at work in a long time and it was very refreshing.

Here’s what happened……I have been working on a medical wellness hospital that we were all anxious that it was going to come in wildly over budget. We got final pricing back yesterday and it came in about half a million dollars UNDER budget!!! Not only that but after changing some flooring patterns, it will bring the cost down about another $400,000. That will bring the project to about $1 million under budget. IT IS AWESOME!!!!! I have never worked on a project that came in under budget and this is a big deal for us as a project team. What this really means is that the project is going forward without any delay having to find more money. The construction schedule is 26 months, so I will be happily employed, at a minimum, through this project.

I go through phases where I’m not sure design is where I am supposed to be, but when something big like this happens, I know I am supposed to be here. It is for the love of design, not the pay or stress. I do love my job and am so thankful to have one!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Casa Bonita….A Mexican Bandido Birthday Dinner...A.K.A. The finale to Kyle’s 30th birthday

The Pink Mexican Castle

Finally, the story of our venture to Casa Bonita…..When we were kids, this was the place you went, albeit birthday parties, girl scout trips or because we wanted to. A restaurant in which the entertainment cost was included in the price of your entrĂ©e. Back then, the menu had two options, The Beef Plate or The Chicken Plate. Once seated, your waiter would rattle off the details of the restaurant, the distance from your table to the kitchen, so be patient, and….the best part, bottomless chips and salsa and sopapillas. All you have to do is raise the red flag on your table. You could sit and gorge yourself. We would eat and then run all over the place, Black Bart’s cave, the arcade, the Muppet or magic show. The place was huge and a kid’s delight.

The Evite said it all:
Casa Bonita
"The Taste Magic of Mexico"
• Witness our brave fire juggling cliff divers plunging from a spectacular
30-foot waterfall into our 14 feet deep pool.
• Watch the "gorilla trainer" chase down Chiquita - our 500 pound gorilla
• Gold and silver mines
• Caverns and caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites
• Black Bart's Cave
• Amusement arcade
• Gran Vista Casa El Mercado - a shopper's delight
• Strolling Mariachis
• Puppets, magicians, games and prizes
• Authentic Mexican dancers

DISCLAIMER: Party planners are not responsible for side effects.
Most common side effects: Indigestion, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, excessive bowel movements, vomiting, and ingestion of chlorine.
Other side effects include: Cold sweats, headache, bumps, bruises, temporary loss of hearing, soreness, raw skin, weakness and fatigue. If symptoms persist, please consult your doctor.


Here’s the problem (or a good thing, depending on who you’re talking to)… hasn’t changed one bit! I’m not kidding, the carpet hasn’t been replaced, the tile needs a power washing, the arcade needs all new games to be cleansed of the germs, the air is being re-circulated which means they need a new HVAC system, the kitchen….I won’t even go there. It opened in 1974 and literally hasn’t changed since, 35 years of grime; I’d consider it on the same level as a petry dish!

After researching my question “Has Casa Bonita ever been renovated or updated?” What I found is humorous, astonishing and disturbing. First and foremost, NO, it has never been updated. Secondly and what I find amusing……the man behind the Mexican castle with pink stucco, had FIVE LOCATIONS!!!!! The first one opened in 1968 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and closed in 1993. The second location in Little Rock Arkansas was alive from 1969 to 1993 and a location in Ft. Worth Texas with an unknown opening date closed in 1986. Tulsa Oklahoma, was the second most successful, opening in 1971 as Casa Bonita only to close in the fall of 2005 due to the end of their lease. The founder reopened the restaurant under his other venture, Casa Viva in spring of 2006 and went out of business in December of 2007. Casa Bonita opened their doors once again under the original name in summer of 2008.

This Mexican style Disneyland has been called “tourist attraction”. Casa Bonita is going on 35 years of serving some of the world’s worst food in one of the dirtiest environments I’ve ever eaten. Parents, bring your wipes and anti-bach for an adventure of a life time in Colorado’s most repulsive tourist trap!

Okay….so enough of the drama, we really did have a good time. This all started while Kel, Dan, Jaime, Andrew Kyle and I were at the rodeo. I can’t remember how it came up, but somehow, we were going to Casa Bonita for Kyle, Dan and Angela’s (Kelly’s roommate) birthdays. Ang was the only one who had not previously been there. The rest of us had been there numerous times as kids. When we walked in, it was a blast from the past….literally nothing had changed. We had a great time reminiscing about the food and its still terrible, the shows and attractions. A local columnist had written about the place about two weeks before our trip and he noted to order the nacho salad, and nearly all of us did. A party of nine, with 7 salads and Dan and Andrew were adventurous ordering a #2 and a #3. It was a good laugh, and a great end to a big birthday! I pray this is my last trip for another 20 years!

The group, a table right by the waterfall.....we couldn't have planned it better

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mr. "I don't read books"

My husband reads hundreds of websites, stories from newspapers, blogs, misc. media outlets, magazines etc., but his doesn’t like to read books. He usually has to clarify that he doesn’t read books, and he doesn’t understand how people get into them.

Well folks, this is a ground breaking moment……He has just finished reading his 5th book!!!! Doesn’t like to read books, yet he’s up to five! I’m not exactly sure how he got away with not reading throughout school, Elementary school, Middle school, high school and college for that matter. I guess you can get away with it in K-12, but college? Come on, we all know how much reading is required, unless you went to art school and then it’s close to none, but Kyle was not taking art classes.

The common thread is that they are all non-fiction / biographies.
The finalists are…..
1. Private Parts, Howard Stern
2. Miss America, Howard Stern
3. Next Man Up, John Feinstein
4. A Few Seconds of Panic, Stefan Fatsis
5. Too Fat To Fish, Artie Lange

What an accomplishment. I hope our kids don’t get that gene!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Kyle's BIG 30


This is a big year for us as we both turn 30 within 6 weeks of each other. First is Kyle’s birthday. We started celebrating at my mom’s house Monday night. It was full of laughs and surprises. She had thirty cans of beer stacked in the “Tower of beer”, it was pretty funny, see picture below. When I asked him what he wanted to do, he said eat wings and drink beer, so…..that is what we did. Wednesday, his actual birthday, we went over to "his" bar, College Inn, and did exactly that.

Friday night we ventured over to Texas De Brazil for dinner. Kyle loves the Brazilian steak house, a.k.a. meat orgy. It was great food, I love the salad bar, and we left stuffed. We went there a few years back for his birthday so we learned then that you really have to pace yourself. As soon as you flip that little card to green, the men with meat on sticks come flocking! We had a wonderful time. The celebration continues this Sunday at Casa Bonita…..(graphic) details to follow!

The Tower of 30 cans of Beer