Friday, April 30, 2010

once upon a marathon weekend

This post is dedicated to the one and only Jacob. He's pretty amazing and deserves a shout out for pulling off our adventures last weekend.

Here's what last weekend involved (the short version)...
  • A "spy" "mission"
  • A surprise visit from my brother
  • A makeover
  • A Lincoln MKS
  • A Krav Maga self defense class
  • A surprise party downtown
  • A wedding
  • A fantastic Mariachi Band, Mariachi Sol Azteka
  • A drive up Mount Lemmon
  • a little bit of rock climbing
  • and some delicious Dough Boys.

And the extended version:
Jacob coordinated the whole event: flew my brother in, recruited friends and strangers to participate and do surveillance (I was apparently covertly filmed and photographed throughout the day), arranged for a car, hair appointment, and private Krav Maga class, all without me suspecting a thing.

The story: The FBI recently apprehended a spy named Helena Dashnikova, (wanted poster here ). They need Heather (who looks remarkably similar to Helena), to play the part of Helena. After a new haircut, new clothes, hand-to-hand combat and spy training, Heather will make a drop, then follow the courier, a smuggler named Joe Ramirez, (wanted poster here ), back to the buyer.

I woke up Friday morning intending to get some work done before going out to lunch. Jacob had supposedly taken the girls out to breakfast and open gym. I got a call at about 8:30 from a misidentified male voice (I thought it was Jacob, but it was really one of Jacob's anonymous accomplices).

"Take the Lazer to Java Edge on Nexus. Be there by 9am. Ask for Natasha."

At Java Edge,

an employee (Natasha), slid a plain manila envelope across the counter:

"Take the Lincoln to Bookman's on Speedway. Be there by 9:40AM. There is an Agatha Christie novel in the Mystery section that you are going to want to look at."

Inside the envelope was a wireless key fob. In the parking lot was a black Lincoln MKS that beeped when I pushed the lock button.
In the passenger seat was a box with a black purse and a new cell phone. After finally figuring out how to start the car (you leave the key fob in your pocket, put your foot on the brake, and push a button) I left for the bookstore. While searching the shelves for Agatha Christie, someone handed me a book, and said "is this what you're looking for." I said "I guess," and took the book from him. Then I looked up and saw that it was my brother. Awesome.

Justin showed me the wanted posters and briefed me on the "mission". We headed up to Tucson mall, and I was given an envelope full of $20's for a haircut, and wardrobe change. After a few hours at the mall, and a quick lunch we headed over to Ultima for some hand to hand combat training.

Then off to No Anchovies, by the U of A, where we were instructed to wait for a mustached guy in a leather jacket to show up on a motorcycle. He had "the package" and we had to follow him on foot.

We followed him down University Blvd, down 4th Ave, under the railroad tracks, and down Congress to La Placita Park (amidst a Mariachi event, and a protest). We only lost him once.

Friends (and a friendly homeless guy) were waiting at the park to surprise me with some fantastic Magpie's pizza and European Truffle pie.

Saturday Jacob and I were scheduled to shoot a wedding. Justin came with us, while Ella and Sophie went to a birthday party.

Sunday we went up mount Lemmon after church. We found the rock where Jacob proposed, Sophie peed in the bushes for the first time, we found a suitable picnic spot after some debating, built a camp fire, and roasted dough boys. Then the sun went down and it got cold so we packed up and headed back down the mountain. We stopped at the overlook point and climbed out on the rocks, Justin didn't find any suitable climbing rocks, but we enjoyed seeing the city lights.

By the time we got home the weekend had caught up to us, and we were all in bed by 10:30.

It was such a good weekend that my newly thirty year old self is just now feeling recovered (just in time for this weekend). We were so happy to have Justin down to visit. My girls in particular were sad to see him go. They miss horse rides and playing on the rocks, and were determined to plan a spy mission for Justin's birthday.

Happy (a day late) Birthday Justin!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Mobile Garden Container found here

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

roller coaster

Jacob took this video while riding the Crazy Coaster with Ella. It's a little loud for the first 20 seconds, but after that it's fine.

Ella's Rollercoaster Ride from Heather Dahle on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We had our annual family outing to the county fair last night. This was the first time that the girls have been old enough to understand what it is and to look forward to it. So it was extra fun this year. The weather was perfect, and the girls were on their best behavior. We wandered the exhibits, and admired the animals, pet the goats, saw lots of friends and enjoyed the rides. We just had a few little glitches in our otherwise fantastic night.

Misfortune number 1:Picking the Goliath Slide for Sophie's first ride experience.

After the ride she promptly informed me in no uncertain terms that "it was too scary."
And apparently the adrenaline rush was too much for her bladder. Luckily, there was a port-a-potty with no line at the bottom of the slide.

Phew, accident successfully averted.

Misfortune Number 2: Thinking that the climbing/maze "ride" that parents aren't allowed on would be better for Sophie.

Sophie was excited at first, but lost her enthusiasm when she couldn't make it up the rope ladder. The ticket guy (I'll call him Ticket Guy for short) let me go up far enough to lift her over the rail to bypass that part of "ride."

She happily continued on, until the bridge.
She didn't like the bridge, so she tried the hands and knees approach.
No luck. Still too uncomfortable for her.

We got Ticket Guy to let Ella go up to help her. Ella did a great job coaxing her across the first bridge.
But then she saw the second bridge, and she was done.
She didn't want Ella's help.
She didn't want to go forward.
Or backward.

This guy in the picture (I'll call him Friendly Guy for short) tried to help her but she let him firmly know that he needed to keep his distance.
So he kept his distance.
And she just stood there.
There was no crying, or hysteria. No panicking.
She was just done.
So she stood there.
And Friendly Guy stood there.
We asked Ticket Guy if we could go up and get her, but he said no.
There were a few more minutes of Friendly Guy trying to help, and myself trying to negotiate with her over the noise, and Jacob taking pictures.
Ticket Guy still wouldn't let us up. He was a little annoyed that we sent Ella up again because he'd already let her up once.

At this point, everyone in the immediate vicinity had stopped to watch what was happening.

So Ticket Guy went up to get her.

Still no crying, but she looked a little annoyed that Ticket Guy ignored her protests, and just picked her up and carried her down.

After she came down she told us very matter-of-factly, "It's too scary, I don't like it."

Fortunately we were able to redeem Sophie's 2010 fair experience with the Merry-go-Round...

the dragon roller coaster...

...and the Ferris wheel.
Surprisingly, the Ferris wheel won the Sophie Double Ride Award, so height is apparently not the issue.

And the winner of the Ella Double Ride Award...

Misfortune #3: Not keeping track of how many rides we had left on our pass.
Just before we left, we thought it would be fun to do one last ride all together. We picked the bumper cars. The girls were in line, excited, and then we found out that we didn't have any rides left on our pass. Luckily, the disappointment didn't last too long...we distracted them with ice cream.

We left exhausted, but happy. And the best thing about the end of the's only a ten minute drive home.

We are already looking forward to next year.