Three Down, Many To Go

21 06 2011

It was just 3 years ago on this very day that this happened…

And this happened…


And this happened…

And this happened…

And this happened…

And while June 21, 2008, was a great day for me (and I think Michele!), THIS did not happen on that day…


The Hangout Festival

20 06 2011

If you know the dates of the Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores, then you know that I am still way behind in getting posts up on the blog.  But better late than never, right?

Of course, before I get to any news of the concert, here are a few pics of Mary McCarthy.

As you can see from this, she loves splashing around and gets that hat soaked.

And here’s Lauren with MMK, who is sporting her “what you talking about Willis” face.


Now for the concert.  The event lasted three days and we took on the heat for all three.  In short, here are the bands we saw: Umphrey’s McGee, My Morning Jacket, Widespread Panic, El Mariachi Bronx, Cee Lo Green, Avett Brothers, Flaming Lips, Motorhead, Foo Fighters, Old Crow Medicine Show, JJ Gray and Mofro, Ween, Girl Talk, and Black Keys.

One of the most impressive acts was El Mariachi Bronx.  These guys played at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, and showed up in full on mariachi gear with the temp around 95.  And they put on an excellent show.

Here’s the sunset behind the festival grounds.

I only brought in my phone, so the pictures are not the greatest. This is the Foo Fighters – that’s lead singer Dave Grohl on the big screen.

As you can see, we stepped up our game for watching The Black Keys.  We got a great spot, and they put on an excellent show.


Two more things on this post before I finish up. First, here’s one last shot of MMK, this time working the Lawrence of Arabia.

Finally, here’s some video I took from the Hangout Fest.  Cee Lo Green was supposed to play at 3:30 on Saturday but was late. In one of the highlights of the event, Foo Fighters came out and filled the time playing some cover songs.  Fantastic.  They played Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out For Summer,” Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down,” Tom Petty’s “Breakdown,” and Prince’s “Darling Nicky.”

This is a clip of “Breakdown.”


Trip Interlude

17 06 2011

Apparently Mary McCarthy was looking through our photos at some point, as she did her best impression of Karen on camping weekend for this photo.


And Mary McCarthy…

Looks like they both have worked hard on developing “the eye of the tiger.”

The Home Stretch

16 06 2011

As you will notice, the home stretch features a certain Mary McCarthy in every photo. While we all love the great state of Alabama, we just didn’t take any scenic photos.  But hey, we think MMK is pretty darn scenic.

Here she is at Eva first birthday party (Eva is the daughter of Michele’s good pal Vicky).

And here’s Michele holding MMK and Eva.

After a nice stop in Huntsville visiting Matt and Leah and Vickey and Joe (and me playing some golf!), we headed on to Birmingham to visit a few more folks quickly.  We saw Kate and Patrick first, then spent the night with Brent and Holly. Mary McCarthy got to meet their dog Winston for the first time. And she wasn’t so sure about it.

But then she warmed up to him a bit, as long as there was a door between them.

Before we left Birmingham for Mobile, I let her try on my awesome Mount Rushmore authentic hat.

Somebody was happy to see Mary McCarthy when we finally made it Mobile.

And the paparazzi came out n full force for the Jump-a-roo exhibition.

MMK had her first ever dip in the Gulf of Mexico.  She handled it well.

Again, trying on another one of dad’s awesome hats.

When we  bought her a floating device for the pool, we decided to go top of the line.  And one with a high safety rating!

And last but not least, it’s the whole family in Gulf Shores!

In the end, it was a mere 3,661 miles over 12 days. Awesome road trip.

Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky

16 06 2011

Back on the recap train now, and I’m actually pretty close to getting us to Mobile (believe it or not).  After our time in South Dakota, we began the journey south and east.  We drove down western edge of Iowa, which was actually quite nice.  We stopped for a break in Sioux City (home of the Sioux City Sarsaparilla?) in a very nice park honoring the explorers Lewis and Clark. It was at this park that Mary McCarthy got to swing for the first time – she enjoyed it.


Then she went for a quick run with Michele.

This is the statute commemorating Lewis and Clark.  Of course, I don’t even need to tell you the story about how important Lewis and Clark were to Sioux City, right? It revolves around the truly enormous dog.

As you may recall from our trip to Seattle last summer, Michele and I enjoy mimicking displays in museums. There was a visitor’s center at the Lewis and Clark park, so of course, this ensued.

Then we had a short play time event on a beautiful day in the park. Maybe Ray Kinsella was right about Iowa.

This pic represents one of our prouder traveling moments.  We got a Hilton in Kansas City on Priceline for $45!  Yes, $45! Here is MMK enjoying the Hilton’s wonderfully soft linens.

On our way out of Kansas City, we drove past Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals.  As it turns out, there was no game going on at the time.  The stadium is also this full for home games in September.

We had an excellent time staying with Josh and Leah in St. Louis (as well as Morgan and Emmitt).  Here’s MMK with Morgan and Emmitt.

We did more hanging out there than picture-taking at the Wilson house.  On our way out, we took the required photos of the baseball stadium and the Arch. I did not realize that the Arch was so close to Busch Stadium.




Our pictures of Illinois are zero. We were in the car the whole.  Had we taken any photos, they would have been of state troopers, as we saw about 20 in about 2 hours crossing through the state. Then we hit Kentucky on our way to Tennessee and then to Huntsville. Of course, we took no photos of Tennessee either because – why would you?

But we did sop for a few minutes in the Bluegrass State to check out Lake Barkley. Had to honor the dog in some way! It took us about 10 minutes to get to the actual lake, but it was pretty nice.  We actually chatted with a home owner from the area who told us about how high the water levels had been in the lake due to the Cumberland River flooding.

Here I am in my awesome Mount Rushmore hat and the always awesome Mary McCarthy in front of Lake Barkley.


I think we have a few shots from Huntsville and Birmingham, but I know we took a bunch of fun pictures and video from the Hangout Festival down in Gulf Shores.  So there is still some fun to come from the road trip!

Road Trip Recap

15 06 2011

Sorry for the long break on the road trip wrap-up. I’ve been doing a little more traveling and have just gotten a chance to get back online.

If all goes to plan, photos from the last few days of our trip should be up Wednesday.