Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Orlando (Part 1)

So last weekend, Museum Man and I went down to Orlando.  It was for a conference, which was pretty interesting, but I'll get to that next.  I want to focus on the non "work" part of the weekend.

So I had to go on this trip.  But Orlando?  John and I spent last Christmas in Orlando with my sister and her family.  I had first met his aunt in Disney.  John just loved Disney and we had been there several times.  After Christmas, my niece and nephew called John "Mr. Disney".  He was just a wiz at planning every aspect of the trip.  Which parks to go to. Which rides to go.  In what order.  When (early!) and where to make dining reservations.  He didn't need a map.  He just knew it all.  He even read the Disney food blog which I called his food porn.  How could I go to Disney without John?

But I had to go.  So I asked Museum Man to go with me.  And as luck would have it, John's sister was having her bachelorette weekend at Disney at the same time, so I would get to see her and John's aunt.  So it was sort of like having John with me.

We flew down Thursday afternoon and did the shuttle to the hotel.  I loathe the shuttle.  Disney's Magical Express is really the way to go.  But we were staying where the conference was at the Shades of Green.  My sister stayed there over Christmas and called it SOG.  It's the Armed Forces hotel at Disney and it's a really good deal.  So I couldn't explain.  After we checked in (want to guess the color of the room decor?), we caught a bus over to Downtown Disney and ate at Paradisio 37.  Dinner was good and I had a couple of margaritas to get the weekend started off right!  After dinner we wandered around Downtown Disney a bit.  Who knew MM was a Lego fan.  Too funny.  Here's a pic of me getting buzzed with Buzz Lightyear.

Friday I had my conference, but Friday night we went to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Not So Scarey Halloween Party.  It was something John and I had done on our first trip to Disney and I thought it would be fun.  We got there and bee-lined to Space Mountain.  No line at all.  And I had the front seat.  John would have been so proud.  After Space Mountain, we did the Space Ranger ride where you shoot at targets.  I smoked MM.  Then off to Thunder Mountain.  After which, my stomach started to feel a bit weird.  But we headed over to watch the parade.  Which is just really awesome.  My favorite part is when the grave diggers drag their shovels along the concrete and sparks come up.  Pretty cool.  After the parade, we hit Pirates of Carribbean and then it was time for the fireworks.  Which even MM thought was awesome.

Not awesome?  The strollers.  Seriously, it's like the stroller Olympics.  I was trying to cut through Fantasy Land, but it was just insane.  And if there's one thing I've learned, is that parents with strollers can be ruthless.  They will cut you if you cross them.  Ah yes, the happiest place on earth.  Until someone with a stroller snaps.

Saturday was full with the conference and then the dinner.  Bur on Sunday we met up with John's sister and his aunt to do the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  Now the first time John and I did this, I called it the Disney Death March.  It was mid October, but it must have been 90+ degrees and it was just crazy hot.  And after 7 hours of walking, riding, eating, and drinking, I needed a time out.  And let me tell you the crap I caught for wimping out from John and his family.  Thankfully MM is allergic to getting up early and with my foot problem, I didn't feel like making it a death march.  We got there around noon and then proceeded to eat and drink our way around the world showcase.  Favorite foods?  The beer-cheese soup at the Canadian Pavilion is always excellent.  The ravioli in Italy.  The coq au vin in France.  Potstickers in China.  Favorite drinks?  The iced champagne at the champagne and dessert pavilion.  The Grand Marnier Slushy (with an extra shot) in France.  The Seven Tiki Mai Tai from Hawaii.  Let me tell you, it was all good.

It was really a fun afternoon and it was great to see John's sister and her aunt.

We were supposed to leave on Monday.  But then along came Sandy.  So our Monday flight was cancelled and we were put on a Tuesday flight.  So we stayed at SOG an extra night.  But then our Tuesday flight was cancelled and they said they could get us back on Thursday.  Thursday?  Umm, no.  So I worked with US Airways to get us to Charlottesville, VA.  And then we drove the rest of the way home.

So it was quite the adventure in Florida!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vote Suki 2012!

Admit it, she's much cuter than most politicians right?  And she could probably do a better job.  Well, when she wasn't napping.  But hey, you have to have priorities.  Not the best photo of me, but oh well.

So we went down to the Mall today for a long walk.  She was ecstatic.  New smells.  New places to mark her territory.  And I must have had a dozen people who wanted to pet the puppy.  She's 10.  She's not a puppy.  But whatever.  

They were doing some work on the mall, so the walk was a bit boring, but it was fun.  And the weather was perfect.  I was almost too hot in the long sleeve shirt I was in.  

We also did a quick tour of the sculpture garden which was nice.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Suki Goes To The Beach

So Museum Man, Suki and I did a road trip last Saturday.  We headed out to the eastern shore to go to Rehoboth and Dewey Beach.  I'm fairly certain that John never got a chance to take Suki to the beach and since the weather was going to be almost decent (61 degrees), we decided to go to the beach.  

We had lunch in Rehoboth Beach and found an out door cafe where we could sit with Suki and have lunch.  Needless to say she was thrilled about sitting there while we ate, but she was good.  After that, we headed down to Tower Beach which is the northern part of the Delaware Seashore State Park.  We got there around 130PM and it was empty.  Seriously.  I think there was may be one other car in the huge parking lot.  So we get out and Suki is glad to be free from her cage.  John had a soft carrying container for her that we used.  She tolerated it during the drive, but was happy to get out.

MM and I ditched our shoes and made our way to the sandy pathway that lead across the dune and down to the beach.  Suki was confused about this ground that moves when you walk on it.  She would paw it, then step, then paw it again.  And then finally decided that she could just walk on it.  

It was a clear crisp day and the temp was perfect.  And there was no one on the beach.  It was so cool because it felt like our own private beach.  Off season you can take your dog on the beach, and let them off the leash.  So I took Suki off the leash and we made our way down to the water.  Suki was very interested in the water and made a beeline for it.  And as she chased a wave that was rushing back to the sea, she got hit with a wave coming in.  Not a big one, but it definitely got her wet.  And it was cold.  And that was pretty much all it took for Suki to determine that she didn't want to go swimming.  Which is just as well.  But the problem now of course is that I've got wet dog.  Running around on the sand.  

But she was in heaven just wandering every which way.  Constantly stopping to sniff something to see if she could eat it.  She said no to the jelly fish (good call) and the dead crab.  I let her run for quite a bit and then I would have to go chase her down whenever she got too far away.  And let's be honest, it's not like she's going to turn around and come back to me just because I called her name.  It was really a fun afternoon and I think Suki had a good time.  I tried to brush as much sand off her as I could, but I figured out that she would probably require a bath when we got home.

The trip back wasn't bad.  As long as you appreciate that wonderful wet dog smell.  :-)

Bathing Suki.  Well I had never done it before.  But how hard could it be, right?  Oy vey.  So Suki does not like to be in the tub.  She kept trying to get out and then would slip on the slipper tub.  So not a good start.  I put some shampoo into her coat and start to rub.  It's an anti-shedding shampoo. Which apparently means that all of the loose dog hair comes out in the bath.  So there was lots of dog hair in the tub.  I finally rinse her off, and I lift her out of the tub so I can dry her off in the bathroom. And no sooner were her 4 paws on the ground than she proceeds to shake herself dry.  Flinging water dropplets everywhere.  And I mean everywhere.  My bathroom was just drenched.  Now I know why I take her to the grooming salon.  It's definitely worth the money.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Grief Aftershocks and Suki

I call them grief aftershocks.  The moments when I remember, oh too vividly, that John is gone.  When I realize that all of the hopes and dreams we had together will never happen.  And usually these aftershocks start with something really minor, something stupid, that just hits me from out of no where and it just sort of implodes within me.  And I start to cry.  And cry.  Grief aftershocks.

So I'm going to try to blog again.  I want to tell stories about John.  I want to capture who we has to me, and the good, and bad, times we had together.  I want to put it down into words to make sure I never forget, but also to help me move forward.  Atleast, I think this will help.

After John passed away, I asked his sister if I could keep Suki.  She had spent quite a lot of time at my house, the summer palace, we called it.  Especially when John was traveling or working long hours.  So she was used to my place and I thought keeping her would be good for me.  And she has been.  She's gone through her own process of depression.  But I think she's doing okay now.  And she's been a good thing for me.  I've probably transferred all of my love of John to Suki which I'm not sure is the best thing.  But it's been good.  I love her a lot and taking care of her is something that I know John would appreciate it.

Since I'm not working today (shocker), I decided to take Suki for a long walk down along the mall.  She loves car rides and so we drove down to the mall area.  I couldn't find parking near the Thomas Jefferson Memorial at first, so I continued on to Haynes Point where we got out for a walk.  Suki was intrigued by the water.  It was high tide and the wind had kicked up the waves.  So water was spilling over the low sea wall and she was just fascinated by that.  So we had a good walk there.  And then as we drove back, I scored a parking spot near TJ's so we got out and had a second walk.  Here we are at the steps of the TJ Memorial.      

Monday, October 01, 2012

John Deery Crocetti

April 17, 1972 May 27, 2012

John Deery Crocetti was born in Tacoma, Washington to Mario and Sally Crocetti on April 17th 1972. As an Army brat John moved around the country quite a bit which is where he probably picked up his passion for adventure and travel. An Eagle Scout, in 1990 he graduated from Stevens Point Area High School in Stevens Point, WI. He earned both his Bachelors of Science (1994) and Masters of Science (1996) in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville TN. While in Nashville, John co-founded Wild Dog Technology, LLC, a data base consulting company and taught graduate and undergraduate Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Engineering Management at Vanderbilt. A founding member of the Nashville Predator’s Booster Club, John was very active in the Nashville hockey community. In 2004, John left Nashville to attend law school at the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord NH, one of the top intellectual property law schools in the country. John earned his Juris Doctor (JD) on May 19th, 2007. While still in law school, John interned as a summer associate at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP and accepted an offer to join Finnegan in 2007. At Finnegan, John’s unique electrical engineering background, technical knowledge, and management skills proved crucial on a number of cases regarding wireless communications, smart phones, and cell phone handsets before the International Trade Commission. Outside of work, John had a passion for travel, good food, and good wine. John traveled frequently around the world to experience the best life has to offer, from the Disney International Food and Wine Festival, to the jungles of Belize and Guatemala, to the streets and cafes of Paris. John worked hard and played hard. John’s love of the good life was legendary from five star hotels and resorts to Michelin rated restaurants. John lived life to the fullest. John was a man of unique character, intelligence, love, integrity, humor, and compassion and will truly be missed by all who knew him. John is survived by his sister, Kate Crocetti, his beloved dog Suki, and his partner, Trey Rhiddlehoover.

I love you.  And I miss you every day.