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  • Triple duplicate, sorry, folks.
    Last edited by JillT; 05-06-2017, 09:39 AM.


    • "YAY, at least now we're only in the double digits until Indy GenCon instead of the triple digits," said Zhu Xiong.

      Last edited by JillT; 05-08-2017, 06:19 PM.


      • We didn't like 'Moana'. It had WAYYYYY too much singing, the plot made no sense, and the characters' faces were um, odd.

        "A face only a mother could love," said Shellie May glancing one last time at the TV as she crawled off the couch to go do something else.
        Last edited by JillT; 05-08-2017, 05:33 PM.


        • Zhu Xiong is super excited that the exhibit hall map has been published for Indy GenCon. I printed it out on 11” x 17”. This is just the exhibit hall part of the convention center (about 2/3 of the first floor).

          Indy GenCon has also reserved the entire Lucas Oil Stadium diagonally across the street and the adjoining hotels to the convention center also have activities going on. The events calendar will be published 5/17 and we can sign up for activities a couple weeks later.

          “This is STILLLL the longest countdown EVERRRRRRRR,” said Zhu Xiong. She’s been waiting patiently since the end of January when we got our badge. I haven’t heard “boo” from her. But since last week when the exhibit hall map got published, she went nuts and looked at the events from 2011-2016 along with the program book and did some shopping for stuff we missed during those years. Since we found some good deals and she’s been so well behaved, I went ahead and ordered some games to pacify her as the months keep ticking by.

          She, Lo ♥ey, and Peace Hippie, my three most mellow, laid back, noncompetitive bears, are going to enjoy them, having a mini GenCon here in Tennessee, starting tomorrow, Thursday, and running through the weekend.

          Peace Hippie wants to play the game about friendly aliens visiting us on earth.

          “Hmm, that TRAIN game looks fun, I’ll play that with you,” said Duffy.

          Lo♥ey noticed on the BIG BOX of Kingdom Builder, that the expansion allows FIVE players. "We should play this so we can include Shellie May," she said.

          "Yes, I'll play that!" exclaimed Shellie May, padding over in her pajamas. I run a VERRRRY casual household.

          We have some other games on a wishlist hoping we can find them at the GenCon consignment shop at a good price. “Don’t get too far ahead of yourselves, girls,” said Duffy. “At least on ebay and boardgamegeek there is incentive for people to sell well taken care of games due to feedback ratings; if you buy it at GenCon you KNOW it won’t be thrift store or garage sale prices and then if you get home and it’s missing stuff, then what? Stick to new!” he told us. “Plus we need to save money for the new donut shop that is opening so we have energy to play all these games.”

          Duffy is ONE SMART STUFFIE.

          But alas, it’s still three months away!


          • Wow, you and your bears must be so excited about the convention!!

            Hm, I thought Moana herself was beautiful and her hair was amazing (kind of weird how almost all the guys were built like refrigerators though). Even if she were ugly (and I don't see it myself), I am ready to see some more character in the Disney females' faces (and bodies). Aunt Cass from Big Hero 6 looked so much like Rapunzel, etc. it was ridiculous. Men always get varied looks and I hate that all the women were the same. I'd kind of like to see a homely or overweight Disney Princess but I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

            But yeah, I only liked the main song; it might have been better not to make it a musical. And I'm not sure if they used a real myth for the story (aside from Maui and his fishhook) or not but the storyline itself didn't hold up to scrutiny very much. I didn't even really get into it until about 40 minutes in.

            The beginning echoed Tangled too much for me (though I thought Frozen was even more similar overall). I know Frozen is considered the most "amazing" film, but Moana actually made me gasp at the beauty of the scenery multiple times. Now I not only see why people like "the ocean," but I want to go out on it for a few days myself. So I have to give it some points for that.

            But yeah, I went in with floor-low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. Though I do generally like "princess" movies so that might have helped.

            Hopefully I will get around to sharing some more pictures too!
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            • So after we left the Queen Mary, we went to Berth 55, a dive that Yelp had highly rated. It was pretty heavy on the dive. I wasn't impressed, and my friend (who hails from a state that actually has coastline) was downright disappointed.

              Even the little toy machine didn't dispense a good prize! It was like a fake box of birthday candles, nothing inside, but it was an eraser, I think. (Not sure what I expected for a quarter, in fairness.)


              We had some time to kill so we went to the El Dorado Nature Center, a nice little preserve near the Long Beach airport.

              They had signs warning squirrels not to eat human food. What clever squirrels they must have!

              "Oh! This reminds me of Japan!"

              Then we picked up my mom from the airport. She was famished too, even though it wasn't quite dinner time, so In-N-Out Burger! I got my first Animal Style burger. Shellie May thinks they should make bear-style burgers...

              Then off to our next room! This was a lovely place with an obstructed ocean view (it's right past those buildings).

              An easy walk to the beach!

              Then my friend and I went on a grocery/dessert run and snagged some cupcakes. Mmmmm cupcakes.
              Daily Duffy Archive! Adventures with Duffy, ShellieMay, or Gelatoni, updated regularly!

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              • Eeee-va, what do you think of In-n-Out burger? I have never eaten there. My sister has and she says it's decent but nothing she'd drive out of the way for. Maybe I would need to be a native Californian to get the fascination. I'd try it if I was near one, though. Five Guys is big in Tennessee. They're good (very generous with the ingredients and huge fries, but verrry limited drink selection and I don't like carbonation (they don't have shakes)).

                How long were you on vacation or is this multiple trips all to the same location (like long weekends)?

                My bears love cupcakes, too, although ice cream is Shellie May's favorite dessert and Duffy is a donut maniac.



                • I like In-N-Out Burger OK, but I'm not a huge fan. We went there because my friend from Florida had never been, and my mom always likes to eat there when she's in California. They do make good burgers but they're pretty darned greasy. They make their fries fresh (I've seen them cut the potatoes right there!) and you can order them well-done, which is really good. Their menu is extremely limited but they do have shakes. (You can even get a "Neapolitan" shake with all 3 flavors if you ask them!)

                  My friend was out on my side of the country for about 10 days. We made it a part "stay-cation" and part trip to California. I saved for months for the trip! I should do some more local day trips, but it's getting to the hot time of year, so I'm not sure those are in the cards for a while.

                  We went to Newport Beach the next day. We had booked a nicely priced whale watching tour!

                  We had lunch at a barbecue restaurant before our cruise.

                  The special, a steak sandwich!

                  "It is important to keep hydrated, even when the weather is cool."

                  Near the waiting area for the tour.

                  "We are on a boat! How fun!!!"

                  Whale watching is one of those, you kind of had to be there things, but it really was fun.

                  I know it was called "whale watching" but I liked the dolphins best!

                  "The day started out gray but it got very nice!"

                  "And then the human's mom was nice enough to buy us ice cream! YAY!"

                  Looking out at the pier at Newport Beach, I think.

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                  • Hi, Eeee-va, great minds think alike. I have been whale watching and i just went on a 90 minute dolphin cruise in Orange Beach, AL (pictures coming soon), for only $12.50. We did see the dolphins but OMG, the water in that part of the gulf is HORRIBLE.

                    I've heard that Biloxi, MS is worse; I know two people who went for gambling and the beaches were closed due to sewage from a plant 5 miles away that sometimes makes too many bacteria depending on the current and people throw trash all over the beach.

                    Okay, Gulf Shores, AL, and Mobile Bay (which is 45 miles north to south and 11 miles east to west) doesn't have sewage problems, but even with the water lapping up you can't even see 6 inches into it; it is TOTALLY murky! That part of the gulf is known as the Redneck Riviera. There is a country song about it. I must agree. Even when I came home and told Hillbilly Clyde about it he said, "at least Arkansas, hillbilly and redneck as it might be, with country bumpkins galore, is clean!" He doesn't feel like he missed anything by not going.

                    Pictures coming soon but um, yeah, your water looked WAY better. The Alabama coast is GRAYISH water, EW! No kidding!


                    • I took Duffy, Shellie May, and Adelaide on a Redneck Riviera mini vacation.

                      I took Duffy, Shellie May, and Adelaide on a Redneck Riviera mini vacation.

                      Alabama’s gulf shores and Mobile Bay, along with Dauphin Island, are referred to as the Redneck Riviera in a country song and by people at my job. They have not vacationed in Mobile or on Dauphin Island but several people like Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

                      First we arrived in Mobile and went to get biscuits at Hardee’s but the women’s bathroom did not have a working toilet, PASS!
                      Then the gas station did not have any toilet paper or paper towels.

                      Pass on that as we all hurried back to the car.

                      Not a good first impression.

                      Our first actual sight was GulfQuest, a museum that opened in November 2015 but then closed due to losing money, and now is just open 4 days a week (Wednesday-Saturday). We got some views of the ships in Mobile Bay, which is 45 miles north to south and 10 miles east to west. Duffy and Shellie May came with me to a Mobile and southwestern Alabama trip over Labor Day weekend in 2013. I tried to go back two other times but it was going to be a complete washout, so this time I scheduled 5 days figuring we could work around any weather issues. After this trip I am DONE with Alabama (and I’m also done with Mississippi, Maryland, Ohio, and Kentucky), not that I think I even have a chance of seeing my whole country in my lifetime.

                      Once inside GulfQuest, Duffy was especially excited to be able to pilot a simulated ship.

                      Adelaide liked the two uniquely shaped skyscrapers that made up the Mobile, AL skyline.

                      Well, since that didn’t take too long we decided that with the sun out now we would go to Dauphin Island. Da bears got their picture taken when we entered the island, which is driveable from the western end, but if you come from the east you must take a small ferry which only runs every hour for $15.

                      First we went to the estuarium. “Don’t worry, we won’t eat YOU,” said Shellie May to the lobster in the tank.

                      When we were done with that we went to the east beach, with Adelaide squealing, “the BEEEEACH” and all of us covering our ears.

                      Well, the BEEEEEACH had such murky gray water that even when it lapped over the sand with the current, you couldn’t see through even a few inches. Also, there were oil derricks all over the horizon, and I’m not a good judge of how far away they were. You could definitely see their platform and details, but it’s not like they were only 50 feet off shore. You could see them with your naked eyes. “Oh, THIS IS THE BEACH?” asked Adelaide, totally disappointed. All of us refused to enter the water.

                      “Let’s just get our picture on the sand to prove we were here,” said Shellie May, and everyone agreed.

                      We went to the west side beach but lifted trucks were roaring around us and everyone had to park on the sand, sometimes on the small drifts. Oil derricks were visible from this end of the island, too. Since that seemed like a recipe for getting my passenger vehicle stuck, we declined. Shellie May had spotted a shaved ice place so we went there instead. However, the machine looked like something for personal use, and the lady was licking her fingers in between flavors. “Oh, UGH, redneck Riviera is RIGHT!” said Shellie May as we exited quickly!

                      Total time spent on the island 90 minutes.

                      We then went to Battleship Park in Spanish Fort, AL, at the part where Mobile Bay meets the delta (rivers emptying into salt water). We toured the USS Alabama, and a submarine, and there was a large airplane hangar.

                      “This could kill a lot of tenders,” said Shellie May sadly of the missile head.

                      “All I am saying….is give peace a chance,” sang Adelaide, as all da bears climbed back in their bag and told me to let them know when we were back in the car.

                      Next we still had some time in the day so we went to the Bayfront park in Daphne. "No hiking for me today, even if you carry me and there's a donut at the end of the trail!" said Duffy when he saw the beware sign.

                      Then we walked the pier in Fairhope, AL. Shellie May saw a New Orleans snowball truck and asked what that was. When the man told her it was a single scoop of vanilla ice cream surrounded by shaved ice, and she saw that one person was taking the money and the other person was fixing it and not licking their fingers, we decided to try one. “Best part of the day yet,” she said as she ate it.

                      We checked into our hotel back in Daphne, which was super nice, and then we went to the mall across the street and got the pawsport stamped. Adelaide picked out a romper.

                      "I can see it, I can see where she stamped!" said Adelaide.

                      Last edited by JillT; 06-03-2017, 06:10 AM.


                      • Hi guys!! I love all the beach photos!!! JillT, you have such a cute crew!! I loved the photos on the sand the most!!

                        Eeee-va, I actually live in Newport Beach, and had IN-N-OUT for dinner the night I saw you guys were chatting about it!! I was trying to post something too, but sometimes have trouble on this site when I'm trying to post from my phone!!

                        All of the happy sunny pictures are a nice way to kick off the summer!!


                        • Oh, and i don't think Lilo from Lilo and Stitch is probably considered a princess, but i always appreciated that she and the other humans in that movie were animated like everyday people instead of supermodels.


                          • Another day looked stormy but we didn't have any problems.

                            We went to Gulf State Pier Beach. Adelaide wore her new romper.

                            "No swimming, no problem, I wouldn't go in this water anyway," said a dejected Adelaide.

                            "Hey, it beats sitting home on the shelf!" encouraged Duffy and Shellie May.

                            "Well, that's sure true!" she said, brightening up at the reminder.

                            Duffy is not a bird whisperer but he wanted his picture constantly on the pier.

                            We saw Ron Jon's custom surf shop.

                            Turns out the custom surf boards aren't made for stuffie sized bears so Adelaide is keeping her Vermont Teddy Bear Company surfboard.

                            I heard this restaurant is good.

                            It was only 10:47 a.m. but they were open so we ate there. It WAS good. I'm picky about hushpuppies but that and the cole slaw were super flavorful and the cole slaw was REALLY fresh!

                            Duffy wanted the pawsport stamped at the Wharf in Orange Beach. They have the new stamp which we don't like as much because it doesn't have the state on it and it's generic plus takes up half a page.

                            "Yup, I can see it through there!"

                            "Uh, okay, thanks," he said.

                            "At least they should be able to get it right side up," said Shellie May of the new style.

                            We went on a dolphin cruise in Orange Beach on perdido bay.

                            Making waves.

                            On the way back to the hotel we saw the side of Lambert's restaurant and pulled over.

                            "Who throws the rolls?" asked Shellie May.

                            "I think they throw them at us and we catch and eat them," I replied.

                            "Let's DO it!" said Duffy.

                            The person throwing the rolls would whip them across the room either overhand or underhand. He must play baseball as he was quick and accurate. You order off a menu and then they throw the rolls at you and walk around with molasses (ew) and apple butter (yum). They also walk around with black fried peas, fried okra, fried potatoes and onions (hey, it's the south "fried" is the big thing here), and macaroni and tomatoes and you can have some of that, too.

                            Last edited by JillT; 06-07-2017, 03:18 AM.


                            • On the way back from vacation we got up really early and headed to Birmingham. First we visited their botanical gardens. Duffy doesn't know when he will have a chance to wear his swimwear again so he's wearing it today. Shellie May and Adelaide are in palm tree apparel.

                              Next we went to the Birmingham Zoo, only 0.6 miles away.

                              Shellie May thought fondly of Eeee-va as we toured the butterfly house.

                              "I don't know what a pirate is doing in the zoo but I'd like my photo here, please," requested Duffy.

                              Now we are safely home.


                              • JillT, what bad luck you had on your vacation! Those unsanitary restaurants are unbelievable! :o GulfQuest sounds pretty fun, at least...and at least you managed some cute photos! Weirdly, I've never been on a battleship as an adult, but I'd like to someday….even if they aren't all so happy.

                                The New Orleans Snowball looks pretty good, though.

                                Adelaide's romper suits her, and what great bird photos! Shrimp Basket looks delicious. I like your dolphin shot! And Throwed Rolls….goodness! I think I have your Shellie May's palm tree outfit; wow! How sweet about the butterfly house. <3 And Duffy and a PIRATE! Love it!

                                Shellie May, I've heard people say David from Lilo and Stitch is the best Disney Prince, and the way he treats Nani, they may be on to something.

                                Here we go! Just a few photos before the Alabama of our trip. LOL

                                This has got to be Huntington Beach.

                                "What a lovely day!"

                                We spent a long time trying to figure out where to get some delicious seafood. We finally found a well-rated place just a block or two from our hotel. Fish Camp! It was very, very, very good. Finally!

                                Back in the room! I got a dress for my BFF's tiny plushie at Daiso, the Japanese dollar ($1.50) store.

                                Last edited by Eeee-va; 06-14-2017, 08:16 PM.
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