Wednesday, March 15, 2017

There's Something About Mary

1990 Mazda Miata
 Back in January of 2013, Jim purchased a 1990 Mazda Miata.

Almost one month to the day, Jim was in an accident and the insurance company totaled it.

You would think that would be the end of the story, but it wasn't.  We decided to rebuild.  She wasn't unsalvageable, it was just that it would cost more to fix her than she was actually worth.
Darby loves this car

You may have noticed I started referring to the car as her.  Yep, we named her Mary.  Hence the title.

So we repaired the damage and learned a lot along the way.

We spent many a weekend not only driving with the top down, but doing things on the car.  Be it just checking her fluids or repainting her.

She was repainted numerous times.  She was white and then gray.  Then white and black.  And finally tan and black.  Each time we painted her it was an experience.

She's had a few engine swaps.  One out of need and another just for more power.

I learned about brake jobs, sway bars, oil and other fluid changes and tires.

It became a project car.

And Darby loved going for rides in her.  What dog wouldn't want to go for a ride in a convertible?

We also learned the joys of Auto Cross.  Jim was able to participate in two Auto Crosses while we were in Norfolk.  Each time they were held on Little Creek Base and each time it was a day of fun.

You can tell they were different times because the car is a different color in each one.

One of my favorite memories is going to see Christmas lights in this car with the top down.  Best view of the lights ever!

She made the cross country trip from Virginia to California.  Two adults in a car with no A/C, power steering, cruise control, radio and only a driver's side airbag.  What fun!  And we went the scenic way!

She stayed in California in storage until we moved there.  Almost 7 months.  Of course that's when all the lovely weather arrived that was perfect for driving with the top down.

She became Jim's daily driver because the weather in California was perfect for it.

However, she wasn't as comfortable to us as she used to be.  Age does that to a body.  We would both be tired after a day out in her.  And Jim's Fitbit registered more steps than he actually took with her.  LOL

Fortunately, one of our friends is on the west coast and was happy to use her for auto crossing.

Sad to see her go, but glad she's still going to be driving and not parted out.

Farewell Mary!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy Pie Day

Get it?

I thought it was funny.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Off By A Few Days

We don't really do Valentine's Day, but we are excited about this.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Here's to a wonderful new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wanna Play Catch Up?

Michelle & Jim farewell from Norfolk
Okay so I realize that I've been quite tardy on my blogs lately, so bear with me.

As you may or may not know we've moved from the East Coast to the West Coast.  Such is Navy life.  Always an adventure!

Jim & Darby Cadillac Ranch
So we packed up what was left, after the movers had come, into our two vehicles and traveled from Norfolk, VA to Chula Vista, CA.  We had the two cats, our dog and the bird travel with us.  Don't worry we had the cats in a different car from the bird!

We stopped each night at a pet friendly hotel so that everyone could be out of the vehicle, stretch their legs and be reassured that all was well.  Thank goodness for a bit of  planning ahead of time.

Winslow, AZ
The animals did much better than I had hoped they would.  Although our female cat was none to pleased about life on the road.  Our boy cat on the other hand thought it was a great adventure!  And our little dog?  She loved it.

Even though we were on a deadline to be in California by the end of September, we managed to get in a bit of sight seeing again.

Our stuff has arrived!
We stopped in Texas at the Cadillac Ranch, went to the corner of Winslow, AZ, visited Las Vegas, NM where they filmed the original Red Dawn and of course stopped in Glendale, AZ to visit family.


Fortunately for us, our household good were delivered within days of our arrival.  This pleased the animals greatly!  They were tired of air mattresses and folding chairs.  And I was with them in that regard!
Adina & Michelle

It's taking adjusting since our move here.  We've been blessed with really great weather though.

Jim, Audry & Rebecca
We've caught up with old friends, visited a museum or three, and had company three times already.  Jim has even reconnected with old shipmates.  How great is that!

Michelle's parents even came out for a visit around Halloween.  Insert a squeal here.  To add to the joy her aunt and uncle also came to the area during the same time.  So we did a bit of sight seeing and then back to Casa de Davenport for a lively couple of rounds of Mexican Train.  We're kinda hooked!

While we're getting used to the west coast way of life (and let me just say here that people are way more laid back here, a bit too laid back in some cases), we decided to get museum memberships.  We've already been to the San Diego Museum of Man.  Michelle wanted to see the exhibit on Monsters.  Bonus was the exhibit on Beerology.  Since the exhibits are constantly rotating and this is not the only museum that we have a membership to, this will become a habit for us.

A habit that I look forward to.

The weather here is another change in our life.  We're used to colder climates.  Not that it hasn't gotten cold here, but not for long periods of time.  And people react differently here.  I had a friend mention that they hardly got any rain here.  Plausible since California is in the midst of a drought.  You wouldn't know it by how often people wash their cars around here and how often all the sprinklers for the lawns go off.  However, it has rained quite a bit since we got here.  So much that we've actually turned off our sprinklers for the time being.  People have been known to freak out when it rains here and will treat it like a snow day.  LOL

Michelle & Jim snow selfie
And don't even get me started on snow.  So after Christmas Jim and I decided to drive up to the Palomar Observatory.  We were hoping to go in, but it was closed.  Which was sad.  The drive was lovely until we got higher up.  There was snow.  It wasn't the snow that worried us, it was all the crazy people parking, on the road, to go play in the snow.  I'm still shaking my head over this one.  We even saw people shoveling the snow into the bed of their trucks and on top of their cars (by the way that's a jerk move and quite dangerous) to try to take some back.  I guess they don't realize that snow melts. Can't wait to see what other craziness we will encounter while we're out here.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Fourth of July in Newport, RI

Pell Bridge
 Just before the fourth of July weekend Darby and I drove up from Norfolk, VA to Newport, RI to visit Jim while he was there for school.

Yes, you never stop learning when you're in the navy.

Pell Bridge & Naval Warfare College
That was a long ten hours in the car with only two stops!  

Darby was a trooper.  She didn't get sick once and handled it like a pro.  I was so proud, since in the past we've had to deal with car sickness.  And she was so happy to see Jim!

She wasn't the only one!  It had been a month since we'd seen him.  So this was a wonderful mini vacation for the pup and I.  Plus a fantastic trial run before we go on a major road trip.
Quality Darby & Jim Time

Jim and I had been in Newport twice before.  The joke is that we always seem to come back to Newport every eight years.

I don't think we'll be back in eight years though.

So we went to a few places that held a place in our hearts.  Of course we went to Del's for a frozen lemonade.  I found that it's sweeter than I remembered, but then again tastebuds do change with time.  We were also able to get an Awful Awful from Newport Creamery.    We got a large Oreo flavored one to share.  At first we thought it would be too much, but by the time we finished it I was seriously thinking I should have gotten my own.

What is an Awful, Awful you ask?  I'm so glad that you asked!

It is a blend of flavored syrup, milk, and a secret frozen ice milk mix.  Awful Awfuls are "Awful big, awful good."  Apparently if you can drink three at one sitting, then the fourth one is free.  Although I don't think I could ever do that.

All in all, it was a GREAT trip.  Relaxing and a wonderful time to just get to spend quality time together.  Plus Darby got to explore new areas, which made her a braver dog.

A Peek At Us

Two really cool froods who always know where their towels are.