Archive for the ‘Celebrities’ Category

Olympic Qualifying: USWNT in Houston

Saturday, February 1st, 2020

One of Mackenzie’s Christmas gifts was tickets to the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying. Basically, Mackenzie got to see her favorite soccer team, the world cup champions US Women’s National Team, play a game in Houston.

Yesterday morning, we skipped work and school and flew out to Texas. I found a colleague from work on the plane and she sat right next to us. She was going to a wedding in Houston.

We arrived early enough to take a nap and explore downtown Houston a bit.  I wish we had time to check out the Johnson Space Center, but there’s always next time!

The event was actually a double-header. The first game was Costa Rica Vs. Haiti. Not too many folks were in the stadium for that game so we were able to enjoy it from down low.

After the first game, it was time for US vs. Panama. We had to move up to our assigned seats, which weren’t bad, but they weren’t nearly as good as sitting behind the players.  Of course, the US smoked Panama and secured their spot in the Olympics!

Hanson String Theory Tour with ASO

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

From middle school until I was about 17, I listened exclusively to country music.  I went to several concerts, including two Reba McEntire concerts. I was even in her fan club at one point.

In 11th grade, I sat in honors chemistry next to this girl named Travero. We would talk about all sorts of stuff, including our cultural differences. She was a very smart black female and I was just an average white male. At some point, she encouraged me to branch out and give other types of music a try. Of course, I didn’t know which genre to listen to so on the way home, I tuned in to the local pop station.  After listening to that for a few months, I began to watch a little MTV and became hooked on Total Request Live.

Sometime during my senior year, I was exposed to this band of little kids, called Hanson. I was intriqued that these kids, all of who were younger than me, were such talented musicians.  The song MMMBop was a little cheezy — of course, it was the late 90s when everything was cheezy — but when Weird came out, I knew it was my anthem. I bought the CD “Middle of Nowhere”. They quickly became my favorite band.

Unfortunately, they were classified as a “boy band”. All of the other boy bands were a manufactured group of while males who could sing and dance. They had no real musical talent or instrumental abilities. There was 98 degrees, Backstreet Boys, NSync, LFO, and others during that time.  Hanson on the other hand, were a set of brothers who wrote and played their own music. Grouping them with the “boy bands” has caused them to be terminally underrated.  I believe that their Christmas album “Snowed In” (now 20 years old) is the best holiday album of all time.

I attended my first Hanson concert on July 5, 1998 at Lakewood Ampitheatre in Atlanta. Two years later, I followed them from Atlanta to Charlotte to Myrtle Beach. In the years since, I’ve seen them several more times in Atlanta. I have all of their CDs and know all of their songs.  I’ve met them twice. Over the years, their music has consistently matured. Today, their art is so far from MMMBop that when the average person hears their more recent stuff, they are in disbelief when I tell them it is Hanson.

When I was on my 2nd or 3rd date with Kimberlie, I was looking through her CD collection and stumbled across a Hanson album. I knew then that she was the one for me.

It hasn’t been easy being a fan of Hanson.  Their typical fan in the beginning was 12-15 year old white females who had one or more of them as crushes. And then, there was me. I was just there for the music.  I’ve been laughed at, ridicules, called gay, etc. for being a fan.  I’ve made many Hanson friends along the way and I’ll be a fan forever.

Last night, I attended ther Atlanta show on their String Theory tour. They are touring and performing with symphone orchestras around the world.  Last night, they performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Since Mackenzie plays percussion in the middle school band, I took her along. For her, seeing the instruments at work was amazing. For me, hearing my favorite band accompanied by a 75 piece grammy winning orchestra was simply amazing.

Mackenzie and I in front of the tour bus:

Mackenzie playing a random piano outside of the arts center:

Hanson!

Over those 20+ years of attending concerts I’ve noticed that Hanson fans have changed considerably. They are no longer the cute little teenage girls. Now, they are typically 35+, overweight (this is not meant to be derogatory — I am in this boat as well). They also need a glass of wine before the show. They mostly all wear glasses (as do I sometime) and have tattoos. Oddly enough, a good bit of them smoke.  Those are just my observations.

Mercer Fan Appreciation Day

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

Today we went to Macon to my old stomping ground — Mercer University — for fan appreciation day.

It’s a day where the community can come out and meet the student athletes and get autographs. The entire football team and volleyball team were on hand, but we were there for the women’s soccer team.

Mackenzie was able to get autographs from all of them. We look forward to going to a Mercer soccer game soon!

Atlanta United Flag Kids

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Today, we went to the Atlanta United game. First we watched the players enter the stadium and Mackenzie signed the golden spike.

Rilianne met a fan dressed like Santa Claus, which was the highlight of the day for her.

The World Cup final was also today and we were able to watch it on the halo screen at Mercedes Benz Stadium. It was really cool.

Mackenzie and Tristan along with some other kids from Mackenzie’s soccer club were chosen to be “flag kids”. They went out on the field during the national anthem and held the team’s flags.  This was the highlight of the day for Mackenzie for sure!

Washington, D.C. with Tristan

Friday, March 30th, 2018

This past week, I had to work in Washington, D.C. Since Tristan was on spring break, I took him along with me.

At work, I am under a social media policy which restricts me from discussing my job on social media, so this post will only talk about the non-business aspects of the job.

We flew out early Sunday morning so we would have some sightseeing time.

After landing, we went by The White House on the way to The Mall and several Smithsonian museums.

My all time favorite museum in Washington, D.C. is the National Museum of American History. So, we stopped there first. We were starving so we went downstairs for lunch first. We had an awesome view of the Washington Monument and the new National Museum of African American Culture as we ate.

The region had a massive blizzard the week before we arrived and it was still cold!  There was even snow on the ground in many spots.

The National Museum of Natural History is another one of my favorites!

While exploring the city, we stumbled across this dump.

I’m still doing my running streak, which requires me to run at least 3.1 miles each day.  On Monday morning, we woke up and ran by The White House, The Lincoln Memorial, around the tidal basin to the Jefferson Memorial and then to the Smithsonian Metro station to go back to our hotel.

Early mornings in D.C. are absolutely beautiful. And, there are no tourists out that early. This photo looks like a postcard.

Then, I left Tristan at the hotel and went to work, which is right next door to Union Station.

After work, Tristan met me half way down Massachusetts Avenue between our hotel and my work. We visited the International Spy Museum. We also checked out the National Portrait Gallery, where Michelle Obama’s portrait had been recently unvelied.

In the same room is one of my personal heroes: Bill Gates.

For dinner, we ate at one of my favorite places — Hill Country BBQ. We were pretty impressed when Attorney General Jeff Sessions walked in.

I sent Tristan to chat him up and we both got selfies with him.

Tristan was impressed with his entourage waiting outside the restaurant.

On Tuesday after I finished work, we went to the National Museum of African American History. This museum is awesome and I regretted not being able to spend more time there (it was nearly closing time when we arrived).

On my lunch break on Wednesday, I explored Capitol Hill with a colleague.  Still snow on the ground!

Wednesday evening, Tristan and I went to he Holocaust Museum and then for a run around The White House.

On Thursday, it was good to be finished with work. Tristan and I explored The Mall and the National Air and Space Museum.  We found the car from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on display on the mall.

That evening after dinner, we went to Jeni’s Spendid Ice Cream. It did not disappoint!

On my trips, I always get to FaceTime my baby!

On Friday, I reserved some sightseeing time before heading back to Georgia. We started at the Supreme Court. It was my first visit.

Then we went into one of my favorite buildings — The Library of Congress.  I think it is the most beautiful building I have ever been in.

That afternoon, we returned home to prepare for Easter festivities!

Early Santa Saturday

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

This afternoon we dropped Tristan and Mackenzie off at the movie theater and went shopping. We decided to stop by Bass Pro Shops to see if Santa was there.  There was absolutely no line!

Rilianne did really well with Santa. Seeing all of those Disney characters on the cruise really helped!

After seeing Santa, she rode the carousel. Three times.

She also got to play with the various toys — including this special sand.

She also colored a Christmas ornament.

After finishing the ornament, we took some photos with the decorations before riding the carousel some more.

Macon has a nice Bass Pro Shops. We’ve been there many times to see Santa and the Easter Bunny and even run 5Ks. But I’ve never spent a dime in the store. I don’t hunt, fish, camp, or boat so there really isn’t anything for me. And anything that I might be interested is half of the price on Amazon.

Atlanta United Players

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

At Mackenzie’s soccer tournament this weekend, we had the opportunity to meet two of Atlanta United’s players: Chris Goslin and Andrew Carleton.

2017 Reindeer Run 10K

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

This morning, I ran the Reindeer Run 10K with the kids. Before the race, we enjoyed visiting with some familiar faces.

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Mackenzie fell during the first mile and I thought she was going to quit on me, but she pushed forward.

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Rilianne loves dogs, especially one that is decorated for Christmas!

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Mackenzie got first place in her age group:

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Tristan got second place in his age group:

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Walt Disney World Vacation 2016

Friday, October 14th, 2016

For the last week, we’ve been at our “home away from home”: Walt Disney World.

We went down a day early and stayed at the hotel that I recently stayed at for work — Hilton’s Buena Vista Palace. They have great amenities and it was a nice relaxing day.

The view from our tower room was awesome. You can see our DVC home resort, Saratoga Springs, in the foreground and EPCOT in the background.

We also explored Disney Springs.

Rilianne met her first princess. She wasn’t sure what to think about Tiana.

On the second day, we moved over to Old Key West and enjoyed a lazy day by the pool.

Day 3 was Animal Kingdom.

Rilianne loved seeing all of the animals on the safari.

Rilianne saw Chip and Dale (her favorites) and did a side-head peak around the line.

Day 4 was EPCOT. While everyone else went to ride Test Track, Rilianne and I waited to meet some of the classic characters.

We tried to ride the new Frozen ride, but it was down. Later in the day there was over a 3 hours wait.

After EPCOT, we moved over to Bay Lake Towers, which is an awesome DVC resort.

Day 5 was Magic Kingdom.

We took a break in the afternoon to enjoy the pool and observation deck at Bay Lake Towers.

Day 6 was Hollywood Studios

Day 7 was back to the Magic Kingdom, and then later a long drive home.

Cruising with Character(s)

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

One of the unique things about a Disney cruise is interacting with the characters. Each time we cruise, we take this photo in front of the ship model.  I’ll do a post later with all six of our pictures.

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After we boarded, ate, and checked out things, the kids headed up to the pool while I went down to the Disney Vacation Club Member Mingle, where stitch was waiting.

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After the emergency drill, it wasn’t time for dinner so we went around and found more characters. Here is Rilianne meeting Minnie. She was mesmerized by her.

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It was hard to get Rilianne to look at us instead of the mouse, but finally we were able to get a picture.

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Later that evening, we waited to meet Goofy.  By then, Tristan had found something else to do.

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The next morning, we had tickets to the Frozen Meet-up and the Princess Gathering.  Here is Mackenzie with Olaf, her favorite!

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Rilianne was wearing a Frozen dress, so we took her photo with Anna and Elsa.

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Tristan is a princess fan too!

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The Belle on this ship didn’t quite look like the other Belles we’ve met in the past, but it didn’t matter.

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As you can see, we changed Rilianne into her Cinderella outfit. She made the best pictures with Cinderella!

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Rilianne’s favorite characters on the ship were Chip and Dale. She called them cats!

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On pirate night, Pirate Tristan took Pirate Rilianne to meet Pirate Minnie!

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We ended up buying Rilianne her own little Chip and Dales:

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On our final night, the characters do a “Till we Meet Again” routine at 10:00 pm. Rilianne was half awake by then, but she still wasn’t sure what to think about Pluto.

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Rilianne loved Daisy Duck!

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Aurora was also out and about.

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And, she got the opportunity to say goodbye to Minnie.  We’ll see her real soon!

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