Thoughts From The Mind of A Princess

My faith is like shifting sand changed by every wave; My faith is like shifting I stand on grace. -Caedmon's Call Shifting Sand Isaiah 26:8, James 1:4, James, 1:22-27

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Finally America got it correct...

GONE GONE GONE!!!!!! Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 17, 2006

Chicago, March 2006

The high school marching band that I work with was invited to participate in the 11th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Chicago, Illinois. I was given the opportunity to travel with the band, and since Phil and I have been talking about moving to Chicago, I jumped at this opportunity. It was an exhausting, yet very enjoyable trip.

Thursday: After a long day of school (the last week of FCAT combined with the impending Spring Break antics), we all loaded onto three charter buses to embark on the 24-hour drive to Chicago, Illinois.

Friday: After approximately three meal stops, a few bathroom breaks, two or three restless naps, 29 chatty kids (on my bus) that refused to sleep, and three dvds, we finally pulled into Chicago at 2:30 pm central time. We unloaded the buses and headed to our hotel rooms. Tracey and I roomed together, so we decided to take a quick tour of the hotel and then rested for a little while. That evening, we set out for our first group excursion: dinner at Ed Debevic's ( and Wicked ( Ed Debevic's was very interesting: the servers insulted you, yelled for various reasons, and then jumped onto the tables to perform a poorly choregraphed lip-sync to a cheesy pop song. If I wasn't still in grad school, I'd quit teaching and work at this place--I'd fit right in. Wicked was awesome! It's my favorite musical, so I could watch it over and over; the best part was watching the kids enjoy it. They loved it! Many of them had read the book and/or listened to the soundtrack, so for them to see it all come to life was an amazing experience.

Saturday: We woke up early to prepare for the parade, got dressed, and marched over to the parade site. We stood around for a few hours just waiting for the parade to begin. It was quite amusing watching all the drunk people look at the marching band. At one point, a group of drunk college students came over to the band to take pictures. I am not sure who was more fascinated, the drunk college students or the band members taking all this in. It was a chilly morning but by step-off time, noonish, it was in the 60s. Apparently this was a pretty abnormal day, weather-wise. One of the camera guys told us that it is normally in the 20s on parade day. The parade commentators told the crowd that the band from Florida brought the weather with us and even talked about us on the news--the kids got a kick out of that. Once the parade was over, we walked over to see the toxic green river. I guess it is a city tradition to dye the river green right before the parade begins each year. The kids didn't really care, but I was entertained. I think the kids were more excited by the skyscrapers than the green river. We headed back to the hotel to get ready for our next group excursion: dinner and dancing on Lake Michigan, off the coast of the Navy Pier (, and then a perfomance of the Chicago Symphony ( Dinner was good, but watching the kids dance while the boat rocked back and forth was better. Dramamine was the most requested item of the night. Once we stepped back onto dry land, we headed over to the symphony hall. Tracey and I were given the option to enjoy the city while the kids watched the symphony, something to do with limited tickets. Since Phil and I are planning on returning to Chicago in the summer, I figured I could see the symphony them when I was a little less sleep-deprived. It was not the evening on the town that you'd imagine. We ended up walking around the city just to find out that everything closes at 7 or 8 pm. So we headed over to the Sears Tower, which closes at 8 pm (we got there at 8:05). Then it started raining! Now I can say that I leaned against the Sears Tower and ate at a hole-in-the-wall restuarant.

Sunday: We got to sleep in, but then had to pack. After checking out and loading the buses, we headed to the Museum of Science and Industry ( I love museums but because of our tight schedule, we only had enough time to visit one exhibit, eat lunch, and shop in the gift shop. Then we headed over to a six-story indoor mall. We didn't have much time so we shopped for touristy Chicago items. We then loaded up the buses and headed to the Briar Street Theater to watch a Blue Man Group ( performance. I was entertained by the Blue Man Group, but I am not sure if I'd ever go see it again. I really enjoyed watching the kids enjoy themselves with this quirky, percussion-based show. After taking pictures and getting autographs, we headed to Gino's East ( for Chicago-style pizza, which gave me heartburn to endure on the trip home. After dinner, we headed to the Hancock Observatory to finally see the Chicago skyline at night, but because of the weather, the directors decided to head toward home. I was a little disappointed but I'm sure Phil and I will have the chance to visit this when we return in July.

Monday: It took us 25 hours to get home!! As much as I enjoyed the trip, I was excited to be back. The kids were great, and the city was awesome, making this a pretty enjoyable trip. I have decided that whether Phil goes to Northestern or not, I am moving to Chicago. I am a new fan of Chi-town.

Check out the rest of my photos:

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Spring Break


Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscar Wrapup


Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Grammar Police

Look carefully at this sign, paying particular attention to the second line.

Did you catch it? This is not a joke. Phil and I really saw this sign last night. My English-teacher heart is breaking. **SIGH**

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Important Stuff: Movies and Food

WOW, it's been a long time since I've written on this thing. Instead of giving you the low-down on all that's been going on, let me tell you about the important stuff: movies and food!!

The reason I've been so lax in updating my blog is because I've been really busy with school, work, and my health. Grad school has been kicking my butt this semester, but I've got really interesting classes, so it hasn't been too horrible keeping up--just time consuming. Work is great, even though we are right smack in the middle of FCAT. I feel the most comfortable I've ever been about my students this year compared to the previous four years. There is just something about this year's students... Finally, I've been really sick. Rarely do I get sick but when I do, holy crap! This year I contracted some sort of throat infection. The doctor didn't tell me exactly what caused it, although his comments made me think it had something to do with my sinuses. All I know is that for a little while there, every time I swallowed, it felt like I was swallowing glass. It was awful.

Ok, now on to the good stuff... I must tell you about a few movies and a few restaurants we've been to recently. First the movies: We went to see a couple of the Oscar contenders over the past few weeks and I have to be honest, I'm not all that impressed. First, we got sucked up into the hype about Brokeback Mountain. Unlike many of my friends, I don't really care about the homosexual relationship in the story. I wanted to see it because everyone I spoke with said this movie was amazing. Were they all high when they saw it? I absolutely hated this movie! It was sooooooo boring. I literally fell asleep. I thought the dialogue was poorly constructed, the plot was anti-climactic, but the scenery was beautiful.

The second movie we saw was Walk the Line. Now, we wanted to see this film when it was first released, and then we kinda' didn't care. Last weekend nothing interesting was in the theaters, so we finally went to see this one. Phil fell asleep, but I loved it! I don't know what exactly it was about the movie, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. Both Reese and Joaquin (I don't know how to spell it) did a great job. The story itself was very interesting, and the music was great. I got a kick out of seeing Tyler Hilton play Elvis. I ended up buying this DVD earlier in the week.

Lastly, we finally saw Transamerica. This was a terrific movie. Felicity Huffman did a phenomenal job playing a man wanting to become a woman. She surely deserves the Oscar for this performance. The main character was likeable, the plot was interesting, and the dialogue was quirky. I highly recommend this one.

Ok, now onto the food: We've visited a few new restaurants over the past few months and so I thought I'd pass on the recommendations. First, Cafe Tu Tu Tango. We visited this restaurant for the first time on New Year's Eve. Then we visited it again with a large group of friends about two weeks ago. I love this place!! It is very artsy-fartsy. All of the decor is made of art-pieces created by local artists, and you can purchase anything on the walls. The music is ok, just an eclectic mix of cafe-type music. Every now and then a belly dancer or flamenco dancer will come out and dance (they aren't very good). The best thing about this place is the food. All they serve are appetizer a la carte. It can get bit pricey, but it is totally worth it. My favorite is the Tuna sashimi (sushi). Also, they have the best sangria EVER!.

The second restaurant we've been to recently is Seasons 52. This is the more expensive of the two, but the tastiest. The menu changes every season. We visited during the winter so the vegetables and main courses were all based around things that are fresh during the winter. Everything is very healthy-I think the waitress said less than 450 carbs or calories, I can't really remember. The wine selection is amazing and the dessert is to die for! I highly recommend this place if you are looking for a more intimate atmosphere (we went on Valentine's Day weekend).

I think that's it for now. Spring Break is coming up so I'll let you know how the trip to Chicago went.