You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.

After the prairie we headed to the UF campus for an Einstein Brothers bagel.  Einstein Brothers was closed on Sunday, but we got in another walk and a chance to see my alma mater.  Gators are national football champions again and their is a lot of team spirit around town.

When I was in music school at UF I went up to the top of the century tower with a friend, Jim. He played a carillon concert.

When I was in music school at UF I went up to the top of the century tower with a friend, Jim. He played a carillon concert.

Info about the carillon concerts is online here.

Century tower bricks appear to be all accounted for.

Century tower bricks appear to be all accounted for.

 

 

The music department is sporting a new band building with a Stephen Stills rehearsal room.  What's the backstory on that?

The music department is sporting a new band building with a Stephen Stills rehearsal room. What's the backstory on that?

 

After the hike on the prairie and the walk through campus we were ready for a bagel. We didn't go here.

After the hike on the prairie and the walk through campus we were ready for a bagel. We didn't go here.

 

We ended up at Bageland

We ended up at Bageland for our anniversary bagels. Are those balloons for us?

 

Greg writes an anniversary poem at Bageland

Greg writes an anniversary poem at Bageland

 

finished poem

finished poem

 

2.22.2009

bageland@thornebrook

gainesville, fl

 

 

spanish moss cascading

through streams of

morning sun

white tails flag

as deer leap into

the laurel oak woods

 

Shakespear’s owl

impossibly silent

winging with grace

into a sweet gum tree

to watch as we pass

 

wild horse eating

spanish moss

deep brown horse

with a star on its brow

dream horse

who waking

called us here

this holy morning

this sacred ground

to touch anew

the one from two.

grw

Advertisements

(2/22) The dream image of a dark wild horse was calling me to Paynes Prairie as I woke up on Sunday morning. It was our anniversary and I was hoping Greg would be up for an early morning trip to Bolen’s Bluff trail.  It’s one of our favorite trails to the prairie.

 

We headed out as the day was dawning. We parked just off 441 south of Gainesville and headed down the familiar path through the woods. As we reached the first fork in the path the beautiful dark horse from my dream was waiting for us there as if to say, “Glad you got my invitation and were able to come.”  I smiled, remembering the dream.

Bolen's bluff trail

Bolen's bluff trail

 

 

Bolen's Bluff

the dark horse from my dream was waiting here just on the other side of this fence

 

 

Greg and I remembered once walking this trail late at night under the moonlight

Greg and I remembered once walking this trail late at night under the moonlight

 

Path to the prairie

Path to the prairie

 

Out on the prairie again

Out on the prairie again

 

 

We saw a male and female cardinal and deer on our way out to the tower

We saw a male and female cardinal and deer on our way out to the tower

 

sandhills were gathering, getting ready for the trip north

sandhills were gathering, getting ready for the trip northWe've made many trips to this tower. One October the entire prairie was blanketed with yellow flowers. Looked like the poppy scene from Oz...in yellow.

 

While we were up in the tower a bald eagle flew right over our heads ... a sweet anniversary blessing

While we were up in the tower a bald eagle flew right over our heads ... a sweet anniversary blessing

 

from the tower

from the tower

(by Kiki)

We woke up dark and early on February 11th,  relocating our sleeping son to the back seat of the car. The two hour trip to Disney  was aided by Mom and Gordon’s GPS.  Disney was an unusual birthday choice for Greg, but Basht was highly motivated to see the mouse kingdom and we obliged.

When I was in college, my boyfriend Dave worked in Frontierland and I was afforded free access to the magic Kindom anytime I had the inclination go.  As a seventeen-year -old, I cruised Disney solo having the time of my life. By the end of the summer, I knew Disney like the freckles on my skin.

During the day at Disney with Greg and Basht, I found myself mentally preoccupied with conflicting feelings. Basht was having a blast.  Every Disney cast member who crossed Greg’s path was wishing him a happy birthday. They were obviously having a great time.  On the other hand I was continually distracted by the astronomical amount of trash being generated in the park at any given moment.  My home state of Florida no doubt is feeling the environmental stress of the mouse kingdom.

Disney has some of the more creative minds working for them. Surely if they can figure out how to hurl me through a starfield, make ghosts dance in a ballroom and fly a human Tinkerbell across the park from the top spire of Cinderella’s castle , they can figure out ways to reduce the amount of trash generated in the form of cups, plates, forks, straws and napkins.  Piles and piles of disposable goods were neatly stacked in snack stands, cafes and restaurants. They patiently waited their turn to make the trip to a nearby garbage can, stopping briefly in transit to hold a drink, balance a burger, slurp up a milkshake or wipe a mouth.

While Basht was racing down Thunder Mountain for the second time I was contemplating the fuel burned to transport the disposables into the park and then back out in the form of garbage. And where is all this garbage going? Are they incinerating it? Dumping it in a landfill? There really has to be a creative way to reduce the load.

I kept my thoughts and opinions to myself as we trotted through the Magic Kingdom enjoying a day-long whirlwhind tour of our favorite rides. Disney goes out of their way to make sure everyone has a great time. 

 

Here are the pix…

 

Greg's birthday breakfast was an apple charlotte from the main street bakery

Greg's birthday breakfast was an apple charlotte from the main street bakery

Cinderella Castle - Basht says they use an optical illusion to make the castle look taller

Cinderella Castle - Basht says they use an optical illusion to make the castle look taller

Birthday Boy waiting in line for Thunder Mountain

Birthday Boy waiting in line for Thunder Mountain

big-thunder

thunder_mountain

tombstone

Entrance to the Haunted Mansion

 

The Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion

Basht and Greg checking out the swords on Main Street

Basht and Greg checking out the swords on Main Street

 

disney-main-street

Main Street Gears Up for a Parade

Greg on Main Street

Greg on Main Street

Main Street is photogenic from most every vantage point

Main Street is photogenic from most every vantage point

Tony's on Main Street was inspired by the spaghetti scene in Lady and the Tramp. Greg was able to find a vegetarian entree for his birthday dinner.

Tony's on Main Street was inspired by the spaghetti scene in Lady and the Tramp. Greg was able to find a vegetarian entree for his birthday dinner.

We spent the evening in tomorrowland. This was from a Buzz Lightyear ride where Eatern's "If You Had Wings" used to be.

We spent the evening in tomorrowland. This was from a Buzz Lightyear ride where Eastern Airline's "If You Had Wings" used to be.

 

Waiting on the fireworks

Waiting on the fireworks

Cinderella's castle changed colors many times during the fireworks display

Cinderella's castle changed colors many times during the fireworks display

 

THe fireworks display was expertly choreographed to music

The fireworks display was expertly choreographed to music

 

The day ended with a bang - multiple bangs. The trip back to Gainesville ended as it started...with a happy sleeping boy in the back seat.

The day at the park ended with a bang - multiple bangs. The trip back in the car was much the same as the trip down...with a happy sleeping boy in the back seat.

 

We ran into our friend Tom at Chopstix on Wednesday.  Tom and his wife Shirley are wonderful friends.  We asked how Shirley was doing and to our surprise we learned that Shirley was now the principal of an elementary school in Tokyo!

Tom invited us to his home in MacIntosh, Florida to skype Shirley. Skype is computer software that allows two parties to chat over the internet. If  both parties have cameras and microphones, they can see and hear each other. Tom invited us over at 5pm Florida time which would be 7am the next morning in Tokyo.  We went back to Dad’s house and grabbed the guitar, then headed for MacIntosh.

Shirley was just waking up in Tokyo. Tom told Shirley he had a surprise for her.  We popped in front of the camera and played Rice Cakes from the Moon.  Shirley sang along. We’re pretty sure it was the first time that Rice Cakes was sung simultaneously on two different days. Wow!

Shirley walked around with her skype camera giving us a tour of her apartment.  She took the camera out on her balcony to show us her view of Tokyo. We could see the Tokyo tower outside her apartment window. Looks like a red version of the eiffel tower.

Tom has been to Japan to visit Shirley.  Tom said theft is unheard of  in Tokyo.  One day Shirley accidentally left her purse on a bench. It had her wallet, camera and other valuables in it.  During her day, Shirley realized her purse was missing and returned to the bench to find it. Someone had duct taped it to a public wall near the bench to make it easy for Shirley to find.  The contents were just as she’d left them.

Shirley shared stories of life in Tokyo and the four of us sat around the computers and chatted as if we were all in the same room.

Small world.

We played in Jacksonville at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church with our good friend Kathleen Olive on February 7th for the contemporary service.  Afterwards Kathleen prepared a amazing dinner for us and we thoroughly enjoyed a chance to reconnect with Kathleen and Joseph. 
Some of you may remember the story of our adventure to Naples to see Kathleen and “Jo Jo” two years ago.  We were on our way to their home for dinner and stopped to pick up a bottle of wine at an Albertson’s liquor store north of Naples.
While perusing the shop we came upon a sweet little carrying case, intended to transport a bottle of wine.

wine transport for musicians
wine transport for musicians

 

 

 

 

 

 

At $38 we thought, “cute, but we don’t really have $38 to invest in a novelty case.”  We left the case in the store. Back at the van we kept mulling it over.  Neither of us felt right leaving the case behind.  Kiki had a flash of inspiration.  We’d been looking for a custom case for Kiki’s jingle stick and we wondered…
38 dollars was a great price for a custom jingle stick case!
We took the jingle stick back into the store and left with our purchase and big happy smiles.
So back to 2009.  After dinner, we spent a most comfortable night in Joseph and Kathleen’s home.  We got up the next morning and headed out for Jax beach. We took a nice long walk in the sand and surf, then headed south on A1A.
Greg was hoping to find a stretch of beach in it’s natural state. We came upon a long stretch of A1A that ran out of buildings. We whipped into a parking lot, parked the car and headed east on foot.  The coastal waters of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve are calving grounds for the endangered Right Whale.  Manatees, Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons also find refuge there.
We found an undisturbed stretch of shoreline, south of Ponte Vedra

We found an undisturbed (except for the boardwalk) stretch of shoreline, south of Ponte Vedra

 

 

from the boardwalk looking back toward the parking lot

from the boardwalk looking back toward the parking lot

 

North Atlantic Right Whales (are there wrong whales?) calve in this area.

North Atlantic Right Whales (are there Left whales?) calve in this area.

 

happy to see the Atlantic again

happy to see the Atlantic again

Greg gathering seashells

Greg gathering seashells

Greg found a living starfish

Greg found a living starfish

  

Kiki returned it to the sea

Kiki returned it to the sea

 

cool shade on the way back to the car

cool shade on the way back to the car

 After two long walks on Florida’s east coast we were hungry. We went to a favorite restaurant in St. Augustine, the Gypsy Cab Company, where they made Greg some scrumptious tofu enchiladas. They always go above and beyond at Gypsy Cab and we left with warm hearts and full bellies.

Thanks to Gordon Greenwood for these photos!
Kiki & Greg back at the Thomas Center

Kiki & Greg back at the Thomas Center

 

Leon Larson helped us out on the his granddaddy ashiko

Leon Larson helped us out on his granddaddy ashiko

Greg was amazing

Greg was amazing

 

Kiki, Greg and Leon

Kiki, Greg and Leon

 

Jingle Dancer

Jingle Dancer

 

Meadowdance with Bob and Leon

Meadowdance with Bob and Leon

Dear John Lennon...Cathy DeWitt, Kiki, Greg and Bob Mc Peek

Dear John Lennon ... Cathy DeWitt, Kiki, Greg and Bob Mc Peek

Yes It Does! L to R Cathy DeWitt, Janet Rucker, Kiki, Greg, Robby Rucker, Bob McPeek and Leon Larson

Yes It Does! L to R Cathy DeWitt, Janet Rucker, Kiki, Greg, Robby Rucker, Bob McPeek and Leon Larson

Greg and I are very excited about tonight’s gathering at the Thomas Center. The Thomas Center holds many memories for both of us:  numerous concerts including our first concert together as “Greg Webb and Kiki Carter.” The Washington Sisters, a wonderfully talented gospel group, opened for us.

Greg and I were married in Turtle Court, then had our reception in the Spanish Court.  Turtle Court is outside.  A huge thunderstorm blew in on our wedding day. Miraculously the clouds parted and golden rays of sunlight shone down on our wedding.  Once the ceremony was over and we gathered inside, the sky unleashed its pent up fury.  It stormed for the rest of the day and throughout our wedding night.

 

Turtle Court - first kiss

Turtle Court - first kiss

Reception in Spanish Court

Reception in Spanish Court

We visited the Thomas Center several times this week to make preparations for tonight’s concert.
Greg in front of the Thomas Center fountain

Greg in front of the Thomas Center fountain

in front of Turtle Court

in front of Turtle Court

 

img00489

the Thomas Center was once the "Hotel Thomas"

 

Kiki at the Thomas Center

Kiki at the Thomas Center

We landed in Gainesville last Friday.  Took in the Art Walk downtown. Ran into many friends.  Good to be home.  Mom anticipated our every need and we settled in quicky and comfortably.

backyard at Kiki's Mom and Stepdad's home

backyard at Mom and Gordon's home

 

Sunday afternoon we headed over to the University of Florida to chat with Cathy DeWitt on her radio show, Across the Prairie.  We met another couple from Nashville that was also appearing on Cathy’s show.

Greg outside of WUFT studio

Greg outside of WUFT studio

WUFT.  Kristin at the helm. Cathy through the glass in the booth.

WUFT. Kristen at the helm. Cathy through the glass in the booth. Cathy is the host of "Across the Prairie." Kristen engineers Cathy's show and also has a great show that's her baby called "On the Bridge." Kristen's show comes on just before Cathy's and we like to tune in on our way to the studio.

 

Jeni and Billy were also on Cathy's show. Voices pure as a mountain spring. You can find out more about them at jeniandbilly.com

Jeni and Billy were also on Cathy's show. Voices pure as a mountain spring. You can find out more about them at jeniandbilly.com

 

After the show we went to see the bats at sunset. It was cold and only about 50 or so came out. Will return when it warms up.

Lisa served us up our first ice cream in months at Sweet Dreams, on of Kristen's favorite spots.

Lisa served us up our first ice cream in months at Sweet Dreams, on of Kristen's favorite spots.

Greg outside sweet dreams. MMMMmmmmmmm

Greg outside sweet dreams. MMMMmmmmmmm

 

Kristen turned us onto the Guinness Stout ice cream. Actually was pretty good!

Kristen turned us onto the Guinness Stout ice cream. Actually was pretty good!

Tuesday, January 27th
We took our time leaving Minnesota. The ice storm was blocking our path to the southland. We knew we’d eventually have to wait it out so we moseyed from Minnesota to Madison.
Heading through the twin cities. Happy to be on the road again.

Heading through the twin cities. Happy to be on the road again.

Minneapolis

Minneapolis

through the tunnel

through the tunnel

Driving through Swiss-consin

Driving through Swiss-consin

Ryan's power converter kept us in the lap of technological luxury

Ryan's power converter kept us in the lap of technological luxury

Wednesday, January 28th
Woke up in Greg’s birthplace, Madison, Wisconsin. Greg  lived here until he was about 5 years old.
Madison is beautiful but Kiki is frustrated with Einstien PCS who won’t let her T-Mobile Blackberry access internet data. Hotel gym is a welcome sight as Kiki bicycles for 35 minutes to help her knees cope with the trip.  Basht enjoys the cool gym equipment and tries out each station while we watch a Bewitched rerun on the gym tv.
Weather channel is our new best friend.  Waiting for the ice storm in Kentucky to move from our path. Asked for a late checkout.
Sunrise over Madison, Swissconsin

Sunrise over Madison, Swissconsin

from our hotel lobby

from our hotel lobby

We leave the hotel around 1:30 and head into Madison.
navigating Madison

navigating Madison

Greg in his home city

Greg in his home city

We hit the road after Madison. The ice storm had passed through Kentucky. We were going to have to navigate the roads in its aftermath and we heard that Paducah was hard hit. We kept the Illinois DOT road condition phone number in our Blackberry and periodically checked the interstate conditions.
We decided to head for St. Louis. It was 40 miles out of our way, but the roads were clear to St. Louis and then back into Mt. Vernon, Illinois.  We dragged ourselves into a Quality Inn in Mt. Vernon, which was surprisingly comfortable. Our mukluks helped us through the ice and snow to the hotel back door.
Thursday, January 29th

Woke up at the crack of dawn. Wanted to make Woodstock, Georgia by 6 pm. Fellow travelers at breakfast recounted horror stories of the road ahead. Ice three inches thick on top of the highway, power outtages for a two hour stretch, cars and semis in the ditch. We left Mt. Vernon in a somber mood a little anxious about the day’s journey.

I-57 to Paducah

I-57 to Paducah

on the highway

on the highway

north of Paducah, Kentucky

north of Paducah, Kentucky

Greg driving through the ice storm

Greg driving in the wake of the ice storm

trees are broken under the heavy ice

trees are broken under the heavy ice

trees and powerlines heavy with ice

trees and powerlines heavy with ice

cars and semis were ditched after hitting the ice

cars and semis were ditched after hitting the ice

for two hours we had no phone service – at times not even SOS 911 calls could be made
we decided to turn off for a needed break

we decided to turn off for a needed break

Unfortunately there was no power at this rest stop.

Unfortunately there was no power at this rest stop.

We stopped at a restaurant just south of Paducah. It was the first interchange where limited power was available and some gasoline could be found. Cars were lined up for blocks waiting to fuel up.
the sun came out as we headed into Nashville

the sun came out as we headed into Nashville

 

eastern tennessee was beautiful in winter

eastern tennessee was beautiful in winter

to Chattanooga

to Chattanooga

We arrived in Woodstock at Kiki’s brother and sister-in-law’s home. We were so happy to see them. We hadn’t seen Kiki’s nephew Parker since he was 3 months old. What a thrill!  Chris made a yummy dinner for us. Stacy lit candles throughout the living room and dining room to welcome us. We were enchanted and happy to be in the glow and warmth of family. We watched Chris and Stacy’s wedding video. They were married in Oct of 2001 and it was hard to fly out after 9-11 so we had missed the wedding. Watching the video was great fun and somewhat tearful. 🙂
We read “Snow Bears” with Parker. Parker taught us that all critters with fur and four legs are “poppies.”
brother Chris and nephew Parker

brother Chris and nephew Parker

our beautiful sister-in-law Stacy

our beautiful sister-in-law Stacy

Thursday, January 29th
We woke early and revisited “Snow Bears” before Parker left for daycare. Stacy and Chris were headed for work. We headed for Florida and learned that Georgians are quite fascinated with Mukluks. Everywhere we went people were staring at our feet and whispering.  Dug out the sneakers.
 
day 4 on the road zzzzz somewhere between Atlanta and Macon

day 4 on the road zzzzz somewhere between Atlanta and Macon

 

Feeling claustrophbic and road weary by Friday. Georgia now seems like the longest state in the Union. Each mile seems like ten.

When we hit the Florida state line, we stop at the welcome station.  The welcome station has be giving out free samples of Florida grapefruit and orange juice since I (Kiki) was a little girl.  Always puts a smile on my face.

greeted with grapefruit and orange juice at the Florida Welcome Center

greeted with grapefruit and orange juice at the Florida Welcome Center

Florida and POW/MIA flag

Florida and POW/MIA flag