Monday, July 18, 2005

Big 'Ol Weekend Wrapup

Had a pretty good, fairly eventful weekend, and things got started during the day on Friday. Friday was the last day for one of our longtime students at work, and to help give him a fun send-off, we got a huge order of Cane's chicken fingers. I've been wanting to try out their Tailgate packs, so it was nice to finally have an opportunity to give it a shot. It's not super cheap, but it's reasonably priced for feeding a big group of folks. My only suggestion for them would be to include the side dishes in the package somehow instead of having to order them seperately.

Friday night we went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Having loved the original so much, I wasn't too sure how it would be going in. On one hand, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp work together SO well, and seemed like they'd have a great take on the story. On the other hand, Gene Wilder IS Willy Wonka so solidly in my mind, and the original Oompa Loompa song and dance routines are so classic. Well, I'm still not quite sure how to reconcile it with the original, but I can definitely say that I LOVED the new movie. It was hysterical, and Depp definitely had a great take on Willy Wonka. I think I'm just going to have to hold them on their own as two separate movies about the same story. I'd really like to see it again. What would be even better is if I could see it in IMAX format - it's so sad that we had one for so long and didn't get much use out of it and it's gone now... And the new Oompa Loompa songs are funny stuff - I was tempted to buy the soundtrack at first, but I don't think they'd be as good without the dancing...

Saturday we headed down to Cincy to finally use our Newport getaway that I got us at the Fall Fireball last year. We dropped off the dogs at my parents, then headed on down about mid-day. After we got there, we did lunch at Dewey's Pizza, then hit the Newport Aquarium. The pizza place was pretty good. It was pizza, sure, but they had some nice gourmet pizza options - I got one called the "Green Latern", with goat cheese, mushrooms, garlic, artichokes and pesto. I think it would have been even better if I'd passed on the red sauce... As far as the aquarium goes, it was a pretty good time, but insanely crowded. I wouldn't recommend anyone going on a Saturday afternoon if you can help it. There were lots of great fish to see, turtles, eels, sharks, rays, and the penguins were fun as well. Watching the penguins swim around and jump in and out of the water was the most fun, but again - the crowds were just nuts. It was so packed it was kind of a single-file shuffle through the place. I'd imagine it would be more fun on a weekday when less people were there. Or maybe right after they open for the morning?

Saturday night we hit up Shadowbox South and checked out their Best Of show. It was a great time. What was really cool was the number of folks that recognized us (from the Patron Talent Show, it seems) - so it was nice seeing all the old Columbus Shadowboxers who work down ther now. There are also some really awesome folks down there who were never up here too... The show itself was good, but it was hard because they did a lot of stuff that they've already done in Columbus, and it was difficult to put the "original" versions out of my head... there was one part I thought was definitely under par, but overall it was a great show. I'm such a Shadowbox addict...

Sunday we hung out with the Voellmeckes in hordes - meeting up for lunch at LaRosa's for Amy's favorite pizza (more pizza - fun fun fun), then off to visit various folks' houses. There are SO MANY of them that it can be overwhelming at times, but they're nice folks, and it was a great time.