Monday, July 26, 2010


Tonight, I will finish reading The Devil In The White City by Erik Larson. What a great read! I really enjoyed all of the history and fun facts it contained.

For example, did you know that Louis Sullivan, the architect for the Transportation Building, fired Frank Lloyd Wright? Or that the original Ferris Wheel held 2,000 passengers?

I mostly loved that all of the quotes came from a letter, memoir, or other written document.

Up next on my reading list:

Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter  by Seth Grahame-Smith

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs : A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman

They are actually being held for me at the library now! I'm so excited!

Have you read either of these books? What is on your summer reading list?

Sunday, July 25, 2010


What a weekend!

On Friday, we traveled to Alma, NE to meet up with our family for the Schlatz family reunion. It was a long drive, but well worth it!

We arrived later than everyone else, and after grabbing a quick bite to eat everyone was ready to head back to the hotel. Everyone except for the "kids". Renee had a campsite and we thought it would be a good idea to have after hours at her site.

There was some rain rumbling past us. Although we didn't catch any of it, we sure felt the wind coming off the lake! Renee's tent may have taken a beating or two.

Trying to start a fire in this wind was quite the challenge (for the boys). But once they got it lit, Chris did a great job getting us firewood. He isn't an Eagle scout for nothing!

Saturday was spent at the lake. We brought food and beverages to the campsite and Merv rented a boat. Jill's boys, Dan and Jake, also brought out their speed boat which put our pontoon to shame! It was a lot of fun and everyone had a great time on the tube.

Pops getting some sun!
Chris didn't like the biting flies.

The best part of the day might have been when we almost sunk the pontoon. Chris was driving and Kyle, Matt, Andrew and I were hanging out up front when we hit three big waves. Three waves big enough to fill the front part of the boat with water. The motor came out of the water, and I thought for sure we were going down! Chris killed the motor and we moved to higher ground. Our weight was enough to level out the boat and the water soon drain. Phewwww!

That night we headed back out to Jill's for dinner and drinks. Pops had bought some steaks and Matt did a great job grilling them up. We played some yard games (Chris and I lost miserably in ladder golf). But once the sun set, everyone was tired from a day of sun and fun.

Dad playing with his new camera

Today we spent the day taking a tour of our family history. First we visited my great great grandparent's house. It was falling in, but it was still very cool to see.

Chris thought it would be a good idea to try to and start the crank tractor on the lawn. No luck today though.

We stopped outside of the hosue to take a few family photos to remember the weekend.

Jalen, Diane, Chris, Lisa, Linda, Matt, Carolyn, Kyle, Amy, Me, Pat, Andrew, Charlotte
Renee, Jalen, Merv, Diane, Chris, Lisa, Linda, Matt, Carolyn, Kyle, Amy, Me, Pat, Mike, Lindsey
The next place we visted was my great grandparent's house. It was within walking distance of my great great grandparent's house, but beacuse of the weeds growing around it, we took the long way around on the road.

I was really excited to see the piano on the in inside. It was rotted and falling apart, but I took a key for myself. Although it was too shabby to go inside. It was cool to see where my mom visited her grandparents.

Pat lives across the road from my great grandparents house, and I was happy to see this sign. The original land purchased is now broken up, but still remains in the family tree! All 600 acres. WOW!

The last stop was the cemetary. We stopped to see where a few of the family members were buried.

I was glad to head back though. These last few weekends had been long. Although next week will be hard too, I'll be glad to be in my new apartment!

Friday, July 16, 2010


I wanted to take a minute to introduce everyone to two of my favorites, Erin and Calypso.

For the last two years, they have been my loyal companions. They were born at Iowa State University in the school of Vet Med. After Andrew's previous roommate could no longer care for them, I decided to take them as my own.

Meet Erin!

Her hobbies include eating, taking up a lot of room on the bed, and sitting in "her" chair. Erin can be very stubborn but shows her love by head butting and licking. She is also very vocal when being affectionate. Her purr is so loud that it can wake you from a deep sleep!

Meet Calypso!

Her hobbies include begging for water from the faucet, talking to the birds, and helping make the bed. Calypso is a lover and enjoys sitting on laps. She is also a master escape artist. Almost everyday, she tries to run out the front door and always likes to stick her head out the window.

I'm sure you will be seeing much more of them in the future.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


As the trip was winding down, I wanted to make sure I took in some of the rich history that St. Augustine has to offer. (It is the oldest town in the US!)

We made plans and took to the city to see some of the sites including....

Ripley's Believe It Or Not

It met all of my vacation criteria, interesting and historic.

This picture is for my dad! I thought it was so cool that it was made from clothespins.

Afterward, we headed to the Castillo de San Marcos. It is a historical monument in the heart of the Old City. Currently, it's the oldest masonry fort in the United States. 

It was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip. I love learning while on vacation! It didn't hurt that it had been featured on a few of our favorite ghost shows either.

Speaking of ghosts.... We went on a ghost tour! Boo!

It was my first ghost tour, and it was a lot of fun! I don't think I was scared on it, but it was cool to hear all of the different stories.

Later we met up with the rest of our group (family), and headed to the beach to attempt to finish off the rest of our fireworks stash. It was short lived because of a rouge bottle rocket, but we saved the rest for our next trip.

Also that night, I saw my first shooting star! I could not have been more excited! (Thanks Jodi!)

 The next day, it was time to come home. Andrew and I spent the morning in the Old City. I picked up some presents for my family back home, and we chowed down on some awesome pretzels from Der Pretzel Haus.

Can't you tell from Andrew's face that he was in love?

We said goodbye to Florida and to Broc for now. Until next time!


The 3rd day of the trip was the 4th of July, and the weather couldn't have been better. So, we took full advantage of it!

We spent most of the day at the beach lounging around and enjoying the sun. I didn't take my camera with me to protect it from the normal elements (sand and water = camera killer!). I wish I had though... because I was able to see my friend Laura Adamson! She decided to spend the day in St. Augustine with a couple of friends from school. It was so good to see her.

But the evidence of this gorgeous day is evident in all of the pictures from here on out. I got burnt! Apparently, I need to reapply sunscreen every hour! I should have known.

That night we decided to have grill back at our place. Everyone was there and there was too much good food! I enjoyed every bite of it.

We also had a chance to meet a few new friends. Introducing our new neighbors....

And another friend who decided to drop by, Broc. We actually found him under Jenny's bed, and I decided that he will now accompany us on ALL Flater family vacations. Expect to see more of him in the future!

The best part of the day came when we took our fireworks to the beach. (Thanks Jim!) If you remember, Jim, Stephanie, Jenny, and Chris's flight was can canceled in Memphis. As unfortunate as it was, it was also an opportunity to get some explosives to celebrate the 4th right!

The girls controlled most of the Roman candles (my new favorite!), and we let the guys handle the big guns. It was a blast!

The night ended with some more adult beverages and lots of much needed rest. The sun really wipes you out!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


On Saturday, we awakened to a gloomy but cool Florida morning. We were slow to get out of bed, but soon made our way to a restaurant down the beach called Beachcombers (how appropriate). Since it was just down the road, we took a leisurely stroll down the beach to get there.

On the way back, we got our first taste of the ocean.

We showered and got ready to head down to what they called Old Town. Once we got there, I could definitely see why. It was a cute part of town with brick streets, old building, and plenty of history.

We took our time browsing through the shops but somehow ended up at a bar called Tradewinds. I wonder how that happened!

After a few drinks (and some buffet popcorn!), we headed back to the condo to shower and get ready for dinner. We all met up for some fresh seafood at Salt Water Cowboys, a Flater family tradition. Many pictures were taken and the food was great!

Although I didn't get any pictures of our nightcap, it was a good time to hang out in a more casual atmosphere. We stopped at a happening place called Oasis. The beer was cheap and the company was good. Couldn't have asked for a better end to our night!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We were up bright and early on Friday, July 2nd, and our cab arrived promptly at 5:40am! Once at the airport, we waited in line for what seemed like forever only to find out that we had to use the kiosk to check-in. Not cool, Delta.

Everything seemed to be going well until we arrived in Jacksonville. That's when Andrew received a call from his sister that their flight, along with there parent's flight, had been cancelled out of Memphis. Shame on you, Delta! Since they were going to be our ride to St. Augustine, we had to wait for his Aunt Lynn to pick us up. She was planning on coming anyway to pick up her husband. The only problem was his flight didn't get in for FOUR HOURS! Oh well... lunch and a few beers soon followed.

To my suprise, Aunt Lynn had brought her two dogs with her to the airport. I feel in love with Augie and Ms. Cooper right away.

Once in St. Augustine we meet up with Jody and Dee's family for drinks and apps before heading off to dinner. We had dinner at an awesome restaurant called Aunt Kate's near the water. It was picture perfect and so was the food! I would recommend the Blackened Red Snapper to anyone!

Since the rest of the family's flight had been cancelled, they rented a car and drove the rest of the way to St. Augustine. Andrew and I said some sleepy hello's to everyone when they arrived at 1:30am!