Sunday, May 31, 2009

Joey and Jenny are getting Married!

Originally uploaded by Rachel and Mark H.
This is the only picture I could find of my brother Joey and his future wife Jenny (in green). Just ignore my sister and cousin and pretend its just them!

They're getting married in September!

We are so utterly excited to have Jenny become a part of the family. She has been around forever, and I have to say, she is the best thing to ever happen to my brother!

CONGRATULATIONS! We love you both!

Mark hit the jackpot!

Originally uploaded by Rachel and Mark H.
Yesterday Mark woke me up to go with him to an estate sale with records. This is pretty common, so I got up out of bed early and we traveled to Shawnee, KS. We arrived at the "estate sale" to find a piddly little garage sale, and Mark was instantly disappointed. "ESTATE SALES ARE ENTIRE ESTATES" he is famous for shouting as we approach garage sales entirely mislabeled. Anyway- So we walked up and found a few boxes of records. The lady said they were .25 cents. Usually Mark grabs about 8-9 MAX if he finds a box of records that cheap. As you can tell by the picture, he was pleasantly surprised and bought a boatload of records, all in great shape for $15. He had a good day!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Originally uploaded by Rachel and Mark H.
I just wanted to acknowledge Memorial Day, not just to all of the soldiers who have lost their lives regardless of how, but to the brave men and women who are serving right now, this very second in horrible places all over the globe. Especially my friend Thomas Adair who is in Afghanistan right now. We miss him terribly.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sourdough Starter

Our friend Sarah came to town for a visit and brought us a jar full of sourdough starter. We are very excited because we both love sourdough and we just got a bread machine!

Today we made blueberry banana cinnamon buttermilk sourdough pancakes... They were the best pancakes I have ever had in my life.

Tomorrow, we're thinking about making blueberry sourdough muffins that Sarah recommended we try!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our house is lovely in the springtime!

Here is the front of our house!


And Beanie... isnt he cute?

Bread Machine!

Mark and I found a brand new bread machine for $5 at the thrift store while we were out searching for bikes. It was brand new with the plastic still on it. 100_5138

We rushed home with ingredients and made a loaf of raisin bread. Right now we're cooking a loaf of whole grain bread!100_5140

How exciting! I am never buying a loaf of bread from the super market again!100_5139

Monday, May 18, 2009

She is so funny!

She is so funny!
Originally uploaded by Rachel and Mark H.
Slappy has the best sense of humor of any dog I have ever met. She knows how to tickle me, she sticks her nose on me and pins me down. She also pins Mark down and licks him to death.

The other night she was laying on her back between us, and Mark tucked her lips under and she looked like this. She ended up just laying there for about 10 mins while we just cracked up and snapped pictures.

I love this dog!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Next road trip! Little Rock, Memphis and the Holly Springs National Forest!

Mark bought tickets for my birthday to go see a couple of fun bands in Memphis, TN on June 20th. We decided to make it a road trip by going south down through Little Rock, Arkansas and spending the night. We will wake up early and drive up to Memphis and spend the day seeing the Sun Studios, Graceland (not the tour, its $45 each, wtf?) and hang out around town. We will wake up early the next morning and head east in to Mississippi to see the Holly Spring National Forest- its neat like a swamp. Then back home through St. Louis.

Should be fun!

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Road Trip 2009: Day Four Home Sweet Home!

We're home!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing fancy happened today. We woke up in our cute hotel room. Got dressed and drove home. We did stop in Oklahoma City to see the capital building. 100_5087Ill post pictures of that later. We got back on the road, drove through lovely Wichita, KS, had lunch at Mr. Goodcents in Emporia and drove straight home.

The dogs were so happy to see us :)

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Road Trip 2009: Day Three

We woke up in lovely Santa Rosa, NM to perfect weather, yet again. 100_4989I wanted to see what the hotel sign looked like in the day time so I opened our front door, and I kid you not, there was the cutest little brown and white pit bull standing right outside the door wagging her tail. I almost ran out there but I was wearing a nightgown, so I came back in, threw on my clothes from the night before and ran back out. She was still there. I sat on the ground and pet her for a good 15 minutes. She gave me smooches and let me cuddle with her. I was conflicted because she was a nice dog, with a collar and a rabies tag, obviously well fed and not beaten, but she was filthy, with a bloody tick on her neck and had large teats, so she had been bred. I tried to coax her into the hotel room so I could at least give her a bath and get rid of the tick. She wasn’t having it, because she was obviously an outside dog. I ran inside to take a shower, and came out and she was gone. I think I would have taken her if she would have come in the room or was there when I came back out, but Mark convinced me that the city is pretty poor and that she might be some little kids dog. She was really cute though, I didn’t even get a picture.

We got in the car and drove down the street a few times to look for her, but she was gone. We headed onto the US-60 hwy towards Clovis and enjoyed the drive. When we arrived in Clovis, we passed the studio, but we were early for our 10am tour. We drove downtown to get an idea of what the place looked like. It was pretty adorable. It had 3 awesome theaters, a nice hotel, cute store fronts including a “Rachel’s” a “Mickey’s” and a “Sassers”- which we found funny. 100_4993100_4997100_5000 We stumbled across the Norman and Vi Petty Rock n’ Roll Museum. We went in, and it was fun. It had a ton of cool records, wonderful photos, We saw this really great picture of Buddy Holly and his band just sitting on a couch, like a snapshot, that was really real- not all promotional.

Our tour was at 10 and we arrived and found our hosts already there. We walked in to Mrs. Shirley Broad playing the piano in the recording studio. It was surreal. She ran up and greeted us so sweetly. She went and got her husband Kenneth who was truly one of the nicest people in the world. 100_5017He gave us a personalized tour of the house and residence out back, which was filled with great information. (Mark) The tour started in the control room of the studio. We were able to see the original equipment that had recorded s many great songs. The original reel-to-reel tape deck was set up and Kenneth played a bit “Heartbeat” of the original tapes through the Altec-Lansing speakers for us and it sounded amazing. It sounded as fresh and clean as the day it was recorded. We chatted a bit about a lot of the songs that were recorded here and Kenneth gave us a little run down on how the studio was run.100_5001 Outside of the control room was the reception area, which doubled as the vocal booth. A lot of the vocals were recorded here. Through the other side of the reception area was the actual recording room where all the instruments were set up. It was really cool! A lot of the original instruments were still there! There was a grand piano, a Hammond B-3 organ, Buddy Holly’s tour amp and a bunch of original microphones. 100_5022100_5020It was really great to see all these things set up the way they were back then. 100_5026 (Rachel) My favorite Buddy Holly song is "Everyday" and while we were in the recording studio, Shirley played the tune of Everyday on this celeste piano and it brought tears to my eyes. Vi Petty played the original on the track that way recorded in that same room. 100_5025

Next, Kenneth took us down a hallway into the guest area where all the bands would hang out when they weren’t recording. There was a kitchen that still had the original wall decorations and curtains and there was a den type room that had a couch and some beds. We were able to sit at the kitchen table and on the couch where the bands would hang out. 100_5032100_5038The room was still furnished as it was back in the late 50’s. After that we were taken out in the back yard where there was a patio with some chairs and a shed that used to be fully stocked with food for the musicians. Buddy Holly and the Crickets shot a lot of their early promo photos out in the yard so that was cool to see. 100_5041We went back in a talked for a while. Kenneth gave each of us a shirt and some promo photos. While we were on our tour a guy showed up and he was introduced as “David Bigham, he recorded with Buddy Holly”. Wow! It turns out that he was in a vocal group called “The Roses” who backed up Roy Orbison on his Sun recordings and Buddy Holly on songs such as “Think It Over”, “Lonesome Tears” & “It’s So Easy”! Real rock ‘n roll history! He was really nice and talkative. He signed one of the promo pictures that Kenneth gave us and then hung around and answered questions. It was a really nice unexpected treat. We ended up spending an hour and a half there and I could have easily spent the day. Kenneth and his wife are wonderful people and they really made the experience special. The fact that we were able to touch things and take pictures was great… most rock ‘n roll museums don’t allow it. Overall, this was a wonderful experience that neither of us will forget.

After the studio, Mark’s little brain was fried. We went to get some Mexican food (huge shock, I know!) at a place called Taqueria Jalisco that was well reviewed on Yelp. 100_5057We walked in and we were obviously the minority in the establishment, always a good sign for food from another country. I ordered the green chile chicken enchiladas which were phenomenal. 100_5054Mark ordered the chile relleno, cheese enchilada and the chicken taco. 100_5056Our chips and salsa came, but Mark was disappointed because it was onion-y and cilantro-y. I was in heaven, because it was a chile, tomato, onion mixture that was just perfection. I would pay for salsa that good in KC. Our food was great, but it was less New Mexican and more Mexican than we have been used to the past few days. I loved mine, and Mark loved his- but I think he was just too overwhelmed from the experience we had encountered at the studio to actually taste anything. He just sat there at the restaurant saying “I don’t know what to say, what just happened to me… I could have spent all day there… holy crap!” It was cute.

We couldn’t quite leave Clovis yet, because Kenneth had told us about a place called Foxys Diner. He said that Buddy and the guys had eaten here pretty often while recording and we had to stop. We got a cherry turnover and a strawberry milkshake from the carhop… it was cute. 100_5060

We drove off onto the famous drive from Clovis to Lubbock… encountering such towns as Bovina and Muleshoe, TX home of the Mules. We found this to be Mule-rific… for lack of a better word. Texas was flat and huge. We arrived in Lubbock a little tired and ready to see more action.

The Buddy Holly Center was in an old train depot and renovated nicely. We arrived and saw a hilarious huge set of glasses out front that we had to take our picture with! The museum was fun, lots of nice artifacts. They didnt allow pictures so bear with me. 100_5066100_5068100_5067We saw Buddy’s recording contracts, his childhood boy scout uniform, his clothing and a ton of records that Mark was drooling over. His original guitar used to record was there, his American Bandstand contract in which he was paid around $320 to play. He tooled leather belt and guitar strap that he made. And last but certainly not least… his glasses. I saw them and walked up all excited until I read the caption. He was wearing them at the time of the crash and they were recovered from the wreckage and kept as evidence in an Iowa police station until the 1980’s. It gave me the chills. Eerie. We weren't allowed to take pictures so check out the website-

We went into another room that was dedicated to the fateful night and we saw his overnight bag that had been found in the field by his brother. It had all of his personal items in it, including tanning cream and his tooth brush. Made me a little sick that they had this stuff out, but I am not into stuff like that. Its sad, and I like to feel a little more removed from peoples deaths.

We drove down the old town to see the historic district and just happened to run into the KDAV 1590 AM station that Buddy Holly used to play at: 100_5072

We ventured forward to Buddy’s grave. We found it. Again, the whole death thing was strange for me. Mark left two guitar picks on the grave site to remember the “day the music died.”100_5077 Mark was pretty blown away, I was bored. I feel bad that I didn’t really get emotional, but I have been in love with Buddy Holly since I was old enough to talk but Buddy was very dead when I was little, and has never been alive, so it was weird to mourn his death. I don’t know.

We got back on the road and passed such awesome towns as Plainview, TX and Happy, TX. Not very exciting. We did arrive in Amarillo ready to eat dinner. We decided to check the historic Route 66 area of town, and pulled up to this crazy biker bar called Smokey Joes. 100_5080It was PACKED to the rim with people drinking beer. We walked in and it just had atmosphere for days. It was in an old garage, and the garage doors were up and the patio was huge. We got stuck eating inside, but they were blasting Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire and we got beer for $1.25 so we knew we were in a great place. The waitress walked up and said “What can I get-y’all?” I ordered the chicken fried chicken with steamed veggies and onion rings. 100_5078Mark had the chile burger with fries. 100_5079Mine was really great, not greasy, the gravy was peppery and the veggies were killer. My onion rings were beer battered perfection. Marks burger looked like something out of a movie, it was huge and great looking. He ate almost the entire thing, I was impressed. We basked in the atmosphere for as long as we could and then got back on the road.

We’re now holed up in a cute little motel off historic Route 66 in El Reno, Oklahoma. Its all renovated and nice… Until tomorrow!

As always- our pics are on

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Road Trip 2009: Day Two

We got up EARLY! We had our breakfast at the hotel and rushed off to Historic Route 66 to get on the road. On the way we encountered two crusty looking guys and a woman who had a rough night in a fist fight on a street corner in Flagstaff at 7am. Makes me really want to move there someday! (I’m joking)

We stopped in Winslow, AZ so Mark could stand on a corner… get it? Good… 100_4870The rest of the city was a dive. I’m talking carcass of a city. 100_4875I want these cities to be cute, but they're just carcasses. People need to watch the movie Cars and get off the freeway to support local business. Mark and I have been eating at local restaurants, and attempting to support small business along our travels.

After Winslow, we saw the signs for the Petrified Forest and got off at the exit in Holbrook, AZ and encountered the wigwam hotel that I am sure you have seen in pictures before. 100_4882They were clean, nice looking and pretty much worth staying in. It was 10am and we had no intention of stopping for the day so we stopped for our photo op and moved on. 100_4885There were tons of other gems in this cute little town that seems to be doing well! 100_4892

We approached the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Park and it was starting to get really pretty. We entered n the south entrance and stopped to see the petrified wood and it was incredible.100_4908 We hiked a mile long trail (remember, Mark’s ankle can't take much) and saw some really amazing tree/rocks. They were all laying on their sides some were almost complete trees. We read that they are 200 million years old from the Triassic period. 200 million years ago this desert was a forest that was a lot like the rainforests that are now in South America. 100_4909Then a volcano erupted, and some other crazy stuff which caused this all to happen. I just impressed myself with my vast knowledge of all things petrified!

We drove on and saw some petroglyphs and they were really neat. As we were walking up to the ruins and petroglyphs Mark jumped about 5 feet in the air and scared the living crap out of me because there were two green lizards on the fence next to us. He scared the entire group of people walking towards us, and we all got a good laugh out of it. The petroglyphs were really cool, 100_4925and the ruins were really solid, I was impressed. 100_4927I have never seen petroglyphs before.

We drove on and the map we had mislabeled where the Painted Desert was, so we thought this really boring area was the painted desert. We came to the freeway, and had to drive around this area to get back on it, and then we saw it… it was breathtaking. 100_4930Pink, orange, yellow, green, beige, and every other beautiful pastel color imaginable was represented. 100_4942It was strikingly lovely and we just stood there and took it all in. I'm not even going to begin to describe the history of this, so read this:,_Arizona 100_4932

Mark took me to the gift shop and I bought a really cool piece of petrified wood. It still has bark on it, and it glitters. We also bought a dream catcher and matching moccasins…. (this is a joke too).

We got back on the freeway and headed east towards Albuquerque. We were starving and we had directions to a well rated restaurant (Mexican, obviously) and arrived to find it closed. Boo! We yelped another restaurant with our oh so handy new blackberries and found a place called Padilla’s. 100_4964It’s a locals restaurant with no frills d├ęcor. Mark ordered the special, which was carnitas, with potato, and some spinach and it was called carnitas, papas y quelitas. 100_4959The potato and spinach was yummy and Mark raved about the carnitas. I had the cheese enchilada and the chile relleno. 100_4958We both got the green and red sauce (Christmas style). Our chips came with a chile sauce which was spicy and delicious. The food was amazing. We both cleared our plates. We were given a basket with 4 sopapillas… 4… holy cow… and you know we ate all 4 of them! They were great! 100_4962

We tried to like Albuquerque. Mark found a record store and got a stack of records that he was excited about. We visited the historic Route 66 downtown area, it was cartoony and lame. Overall, it was a pretty city, but very beige. We headed out to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on some essentials, and got back on the road.
We decided to stay in Santa Rosa, NM for the night and here is where we faced a conundrum… we couldn’t find a motel for under $75 a night. Seriously, Motel 6 was charging $75 a night… That was no good. We decided to cruise the Route 66 strip and find a historic motel and see how much they charge. 100_4986We ended up at the adorable La Loma Motel with a super cute sign, and $30 room, and here we are. The room is the size of our mudroom, but its got a bed, a bathroom, cable tv and free wifi…. Can’t beat that with a stick! Check out the website, there is a picture of the original owners and they are adorable!

Santa Rosa has a neat history: “Santa Rosa's stretch of U.S. Route 66 is part of film history. When John Steinbeck's epic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, was made into a movie, director John Ford used Santa Rosa for the memorable train scene. Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) watches a freight train steam over the Pecos River railroad bridge, into the sunset.” From Wikipedia.,_NM
Tomorrow, we get up early and continue this adventure!

As always, our photos are all on

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