Friday, October 29, 2010

Road Trip gone awry

It all started because it had been 5 years since this picture was taken...

For those who don't know, these girls are my 4 bff's from OSU!  We deemed our little quintet of friendship the Gamma Gallo Girls (it's a looong story, and you really had to be there), so that is what I shall refer to them as for the remainder of this post. :)  Jen, Jenn, Erica and Chelsea....I LOVE these girls and all we wanted to do was have a little reunion in Columbus, Ohio and get an update to this that so much to ask?  Maybe....

We started the weekend off with high hopes.  Chelsea had flown in from Georgia the previous day and was planning on making the 8.5 hour drive with Jen and I to C-bus.  Erica lives in Columbus and Jenn is about two hours away, so the plan was to leave friday afternoon, get to Erica's apt super late friday night, spend the day saturday at the game, tailgating and doing other college football celebratory things and then spend the evening at a fantastic dinner followed by drinks out at our old haunts from back in the day.  Easy enough, right?  Well, when we left the city on friday (with everyone else on the island of Manhattan) we hit an INSANE amount of traffic and it took us more than an hour and a half to get to the GW bridge (that's a hearty 6 miles from my apt folks) and then another 3 hours just to get out of New Jersey.  So, needless to say, we weren't making the best time, but the snacks were flowin' and our spirits were up and we continued on!  

Things were pretty uneventful once we got into Pennsylvania, other than the fact that my navigation kept trying to get us to go in the opposite direction that I thought we should be going.  I've had some negative experiences in the past with Garmina, so she is not always to be trusted fully, but I finally gave into her bossyness and ended up on a really dark, really windy back county road in the middle of podunk PA.  (PS...a little interjection, did I mention that my car is a stick and I was the sole driver of the trip...yeah, smart planning on my part!)  Around 11:30 pm, on RT 22 West we were rounding a very dark curve when all of a sudden a miniature median popped out of nowhere in the middle of the interstate and I ran over it.  The car was instantly undriveable and luckily I was able to pull over to the shoulder where we could assess the situation and call for help.  Thankfully Jen has AAA (my card was MIA, of course, the first time in 12 years of driving I ever need it and can't find it), so we gave them a call and they let us know that in a short 30-90 minutes, help would be on the way to change our (supposed) flat tire with the full spare that I (thought) had in the trunk.  While we were waiting in the car and I talked to Matt and tried not to freak out, I started to question the existence of this supposed full spare tire in the trunk.  After going back and forth a million times whether I should get out of the car on the dark, deserted hwy, unload our 400 pounds of luggage and check or just wait to see when AAA got there, we decided I should probably take a look.  Well, lo and behold, NO SPARE!  Really BMW, really?  So, once this discovery was made, we called AAA back and they had to get a hold of the guy that was coming to help us and tell him that we DID NOT in fact have a spare and he had to turn back around and get a tow truck and it would be another hour before he could get to us.  Well, just fabulous!  
Aw, so sad

Jen on hold with AAA and consulting the BMW owner's manual as to why there is no spare tire in the car

Chels, lookin' cute in the backseat with the AAA card

At around 1:45 am, a State Trooper pulled up to the car, almost immediately followed by the tow truck guy.  Yay, finally, help was here!!  After about 45 minutes of paperwork and figuring out how to get the car up on to the tow truck (apparently I was missing some crucial tool that I need if ever my car gets towed....again, BMW, what's the deal???), the three of us were crammed in the cab of the tow truck with our new friend Dan the Tow Man heading to Monroeville (about 15 minutes away) to find a hotel and drop the car off at the dealership, but not before we took the opportunity to get a photo of me and the PA State Trooper.
I think I look very nerdy in this picture and I'm pretty sure Officer Gabriel has his eyes shut, but I think it just adds to the pitifulness of the night!

My little beamer on the tow bed

By the time we dropped the car off, found a hotel and crawled into our 1 king sized bed, it was around 4 am.  I slept a fitful 3 hours in between my two girls and woke up bright and early at 7 ready to figure out what the heck we were going to do.  I was feeling so guilty for delaying our trip even further that I started coming up with all kinds of crazy ideas to get Jen and Chels to Columbus in time for the game - renting a car one way, booking them a flight, trying to find someone to come pick us up, but my girls were tried and true and stayed right by my side....there was no way they were leaving me by myself in Monroeville!  

We all finally got up and moving and headed downstairs to our free continental breakfast.  Because we didn't know how long the repairs were going to take and we weren't sure how long we were going to be stranded at the Hampton Inn in Monroeville, survival mode kicked in and we took as much food from the buffet as we could fit into our bags.  After we had already eaten a full meal, we took an extra 4 bananas, 4 apples, 5 boxes of cereal, a bagel, an english muffin, a chocolate muffin and a small thing of peanut butter....we were nothing if not prepared!  

Some of our stolen goods

Breakfast of Champions

After we ate breakfast, we decided we didn't want to just sit around and wait by the phone for the dealership to call, so we went downstairs to the fitness center and did a little impromptu zumba class and circuit training to fill the time.

Just a little Saturday morning workout in Monroeville

On hold with BMW....perfect time for ab work!

This was on the elevator door of the hotel....we couldn't have said it better!

Around noon we finally got some good news!  My car was all fixed and ready to go.  It turns out I did a real number on it, cracked the rim and it needed a whole new wheel!  Miraculously, the dealership actually had our exact wheel in stock, which I later learned was a rarity, and there was no other damage done!  Hallelujah!!  So the mechanic came and picked me up from the hotel to go retrieve my car and after many $$$'s later we were ready to hit the road!!

Hooray!!  Columbus, here we come!

Doing O-H-I-O with our brand new wheel!!

So, clad in our best OSU gear, we hit the road and geared up to get to Columbus to catch the tail end of the game.  We could make it...we were only 3 hours away!  

Famous last words....

Not 5 miles out of Monroeville, we were hit with this doozy!!  Come on, can't some Gamma Gallo Girls catch a break!?!

We finally made it into C-bus around 5:30 that evening.  The game was won and done for a few hours by then and we actually weren't even in the state of Ohio while it was going on.  But...we FINALLY made it and we were determined to make the best of our 15 hours there. :)

The five of us got all gussied up and went to a fabulous dinner at this amazing new restaurant called Third and Hollywood near Erica's apt.  

The GGG together again!!


After dinner, we attempted to go to one of our favorite hotspots from over half a decade ago, Brothers, but realized once we got there and made a lap around the bar that we were too old to be hanging with the college kiddos, and settled on a newer more mature venue, Bar Louie.  Surprisingly, even on 3 hours of sleep and many, many hours of driving, we made it through the night and even stayed long enough for last call before we headed back to Erica's apt for some much needed sleep!

Jenny D and Me out and about in C-bus!

The next morning, we fought the urge to sleep the day away and got up early to meet Jenn and little Bex (and Momma Mullet) for breakfast at Panera's!  It was worth the lack of sleep to have one more moment in Columbus with all of our Gamma Gallo Girls present. 

Chelsea, Jenn w/ little Bex, Jen, me and Erica

And after all was said and done...we did get an update of our famous pose!  It was worth all the trouble to see my 4 besties again!!!

I'm happy to report that our drive home was MUCH more uneventful!  We had perfect weather, absolutely no traffic and no emergencies!!!  I even found out that I got a new job on the way home!  So hooray for a less-than-perfect-but-still-fun weekend!  I think we all agree that we'll be flying for the next reunion!!  

'Til next time my faithful followers!! (sorry this was a long one, I even tried to edit to make it a little shorter, but there was only so much I could leave out!)


Monday, October 18, 2010

A weekend with the kiddos!

Last weekend, Matt and I made the 2 1/2 hour trek up to the Berkshires to hang out with our three little Dotson buddies!  Amanda and Paul were going away for the weekend, so we came up to watch the munchkins while they were gone. It had been a little over a month since I had seen the kiddos, but Matt hadn't seen them in over 5, so it was a very heartfelt reunion....for about 5 seconds and then Patrick tackled Matt! ;-)  But really, we had an awesome time hanging with the little ones that I used to spend every day with and miss so much!  

 Matt and Patrick at the Horse Farm playing games on Matt's phone....I thought this picture was so sweet!  

Char and me waiting for her lesson

 Photo by Ali....we have about 400 more just like this, she went a little camera happy!

There's the photographer!  She was more interested in taking the pictures than being in them...but I snuck this quick, sneaky one before she could stop me!

 Patrick, Ali and Charlotte with their face paintings from the Apple Orchard

 Wouldn't this make a great Christmas card.....too bad they aren't ours ;-)

 Patrick working on his 5th apple of the day!

Thanks for a great weekend kiddos....can't wait til we get to see you again!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Matt and Holly on TV!!!

Yup, that's read correctly!!  Matt and I are going to be on TV!!  Two weeks ago we went to an open casting call for the Newlywed Game and they asked us to be on the show!!  We did the taping the very next day and it was hilarious and an absolute BLAST!!  The most amazing part of the whole thing is that my parents were on the show 31 years ago!  So crazy, right?  I'm a NGS legacy....wowweee!  My parents didn't win but they definitely got the prize for cutest couple!  We signed a confidentiality agreement, so I'm not really supposed to talk about it, other than telling people that we were on the show, so if you want to see if history repeated itself, you'll just have to tune in to the Game Show Network and find out yourselves. :)  The season starts November 1st, and I have no idea when our episode will air, so if you really love us, you'll just have to start watching and hope to see us soon. ;-)

These are a couple of shots from our "photobooth" session at the NGS!  They put these up as the backdrop for on the set....don't we just look like winners! :) You'll have to tune in to see!!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mom, Dad and a Dance Performance!

Hi Everyone!

This posting is slightly delayed because we had such a busy, busy week last week and I have so much to fill you in on, but I think I am just going to take it one event at a time!  :)

Two weekends ago, my parents were in town to see me and Vissi Dance Theater  perform in Queens at the York College Performing Arts Center!  We had an amazing show with an even more amazing turnout and it was such a blast!  My mom came in thursday before the show and was a real trooper!  I took her to all the NYC tourist know, grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and Target in NJ, Tech and Lighting rehearsals in Queens, hair modeling appointment at Bumble & bumble, all the fun stuff!  But really, we actually did have a lot of fun!  I just loved having her around to do my normal routine errands with....sometimes it's just better when mom's with ya, ya know!

Me in the dressing room at York before the tech rehearsal....don't you love my beautifully blown out do!?  Thanks to Lauren at B&b I looked fab for a few hours :)

Me and mom in the dressing room

Being the amazing woman she is, my mom brought a cake 3000 miles across the country from our wedding bakery to celebrate our 1 year!!  Can you believe it??? She's unstoppable, that woman! :)

When "Grandma" is in town, Maggie Lu is sure to have an updo!

The next night when my dad got in to town, we got our Anniversary gift from them...

My mom worked for weeks putting together a bound book of photos starting with our engagement all the way thru the wedding!  It was amazing and beautiful!

Mom and Matt

Dad and Mom....he's smiling on the inside :)

The night of the show, these were just a few of my guests that made the long trek out to Jamaica, Queens to support me!  Love you Jen, Nick, Ebonie and of course, Matt!  You are the BEST!!

Shiloh and I just couldn't get enough dancing in that night, we had to keep on moving even after the show was over!

Yup! It's me!! :)

The next day, Matt and I took my parents to see the new place!  We were so excited to show off our new home and see it again thru the eyes of someone else!  We just can't wait to move in!! Only 35 more days!!!
We set the timer here....sorry that 45% of the pic is of the hood of our car, but it's still a cute fam shot! 

Dad and me in front of our building (yes, it's the awesome one with all the windows!)

Me and mom in the fun chairs in the lobby

Another family photo in the living room....this one is a little better.

So happy walking down our new street! :)

Since we were already in NJ, we took the opportunity to take mom by Carlo's Bake Shop....she's a HUGE Cake Boss fan!  Buddy wasn't there, but that didn't stop us from buying a bunch of sweet treats for dessert that night! 

My dad headed back home on Monday, so that gave my mom and I a day and a half to hang out and do girly things!  We got mani/pedis, went to lunch and my mom decided to get a haircut!  I think it turned out absolutely fabulous....isn't she one hot mama?!?

And just when I thought I was going to get away without doing any touristy stuff for the weekend, my mom decided she needed to visit M&M world in Times Square!  Oh well, at least I scored some treats out of the deal....if you haven't tried the new pretzel M&M's I suggest keeping it that way, unless you want to eat about 5000 of them in a row like I did!  They are DELISH!

And one final photo of the girls before we headed to the airport!!  Thanks for a great weekend Mom and Dad!! And thanks to all who came out to support VISSI!!!