Sunday, June 29, 2014

Middle Sunday

A lot of the magic with Wimbledon is the tradition. The strawberries and cream, the required white outfits, the Royal Box, and Middle Sunday, which we are about done with.

It's tough to be off work an entire day with no tennis because it feels like such a waste, but it was also kind of nice to have a day for some errands and catching up on other TV. Oh, and I watched the Murray match I missed the other day. So, I guess I cheated a little on Middle Sunday.

Starting tomorrow, the tourney really heats up with the 4th rounds (and, because of some rain on Friday, the conclusions of some 3rd round matches). So let's see where we're at:

The Gentlemen

Djokovic vs Tsonga- I picked Djokovic to get through this one, but Tsonga is a great player. Tsonga will probably be tired from his super long (and rain-delayed) match, but also, who knows if Djokovic's arm was affected by his fall the other day. Head to head Djokovic owns him so I'd put money on him.

Chardy vs Cilic- I had originally picked Gulbis to get through this round after his great French Open, oops! So, Chardy vs Cilic? They've only played once and it was years ago so not much to go on there. I'm gonna go with Cilic based on his winning over Berdych, a tough player, and he has that great serve.

Murray vs Anderson- I, of course, picked Murray to win the tourney so he better make it through this round! Anderson will be tough because he has a great serve, too, but Murray is one of the best returners and he has been looking super sharp so far in the tourney. They've played twice and split the wins, in 2010 and 2011. I can see Anderson getting a tie-breaker set, but I do think Murray will come through this one in 3 or 4 sets.

Dimitrov vs Mayer- Dimitrov is my other favorite player and I've picked him to get through, too. They've never played, but I think Dimitrov will get through in 4.

Note: Wawrinka/Istomin and Lopez/Isner, both in this part of the draw, have 3rd round matches to complete.

Robredo vs Federer- I'm not a big Federer fan so I'd love to see an upset, but Robredo just had a long 5-setter. He has beaten him once, at last year's US Open, but the 10 times prior, Federer won.

Raonic will await the 3rd round match of Botelli/Nishikori.

Kyrgios vs Nadal- Super excited for this match up between the rising and on-fire Kyrgios and Nadal who is a relentless competitor. I think Nadal will win, but I'd love to see Kyrgios get a set (or 2!) off him. I had originally picked Gasquet to be in this match and to actually beat Nadal so what do I know?

The Ladies

Cornet vs Bouchard- I picked Bouchard to win the tournament, but I definitely thought she'd have to beat S. Williams to do it. I think this match might go 3, but Bouchard will come through in the end. They've only played one time before (in 2013) and Cornet came through in 3, but Bouchard has been awesome lately. ( had Cornet!)

Kerber vs Sharapova- Sharapova will probably lose the first set and then find some freakish way to come through and win the thing. That's her thing. Their head to head is 1-4 in Sharapova's favor.

Halep vs Diyas- Halep should get through this. She beat her in the Australian Open this year and has been cruising lately.

Ivanovic/Lisicki and Keys/Shvedova have 3rd round matches to complete from this section of the draw.

Smitkova vs Safarova- I think Safarova will get through this one on experience as the older player who is ranked 23. This is the section of the draw where I thought Cibulkova would have gotten through so these are all just guesses now.

Makarova vs Radwanska- This is really a toss up. Makarova won their last meeting on a hard court and has been playing really well, but Radwanska is the type of player who can get through tough matches. I'm gonna go with Radwanska.

Kvitova vs Peng- Kvitova has owned her in their past 4 meetings and I think this won will go the same way.

Wozniacki vs Zahlavova Strycova- Head to head this goes to Wozniacki and I think that will continue. Zahlavova Strycova just beat Li Na, but it was a tight match and Wozniacki is so consistent that I think she will pull through.

So, my initial picks for winning the tournament are still in play: Andy Murray and Eugenie Bouchard!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dads are Rad!!!

In honor of Father's Day, I wanted to do my own version of the Best Dads in Pop Culture!

In no particular order...

  • Jack Arnold in The Wonder Years.
    • I'm sure not everyone would think of Mr. Arnold as a Dad of the Year, but he was always so heartbreaking in that show. I felt like he was completely misunderstood. He was a man who grew up in the Great Depression and fought in the Korean War. He was an old school man trying to deal with raising a family in the 1960s. I was so sad when they said he died when Kevin was in college.
  • Steven Keaton in Family Ties.
    • No other dad in the universe is as accepting as ex-hippie Steven Keaton, which is constantly explored through his relationship with his Republican son, Alex P. Keaton. I loved how funny he was and how much he obviously loved each of his very different children.
  • Keith Mars in Veronica Mars.
    • I love Keith Mars because he would sacrifice anything for his daughter and also because he believes in her so much. 
  • Eddard Stark in Games of Thrones.
    • More than pretty much everyone, Ned Stark wanted to teach his children right and wrong. He also actually cared about his kids and where they would end up. 
  • George Banks in Father of the Bride.
    • What a great dad! He would do anything to make his daughter's wedding perfect:) 
  • Bryan Mills in Taken.
    • I loooooove that scene when he is on the phone with his daughter and he is all "Listen. You're going to be taken." He is so badass.
  • Charlie in Twilight.
    • He is one of my favorite parts of these books/movies. I just love that he wants Bella safe, but he's not really sure how to do that always. 
  • Harry Stamper in Armageddon.
    • I mean, he gives up his life for his daughter's love. I love this movie!

Do you have any you'd like to add??

Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Day 8: Kirkwall To Glasgow

Getting from Kirkwall to Glasgow was probably the most stressful part of the trip for me. A lot was riding on things going kind of perfectly and, spoiler alert, they did!

We were up at 4am or something to catch the first bus from Kirkwall to Stromness on the bus that we had been assured would arrive in time for the ferry back to the mainland. The bus was to arrive in Stromness with about 10 minutes to spare for us to meet the 30 minute before departure deadline for buying tickets for the ferry. We couldn't buy tickets beforehand because we got a discount with our rail pass and we had no printer. If we missed the first ferry, we would have to wait about 5 hours for the next one and then it would throw our train plans all off. Basically, it would have been really bad to miss that ferry. It's also interesting to note that after our trip I noticed a lot of times during the winter when the ferries would be canceled. I had not even thought about that possibility, thank goodness!

(Note: For anyone planning a similar trip, I would actually recommend looking into the overnight bunks on the ferry.)

The ferry ride itself was also kind of rough. We both slept at first and tried to read for a bit, but we were on the verge of getting SO seasick that we both went back to sleep. I caught a few photos, but man, any more and I would've vomited.

We arrived in Scrabster at about 8am-ish and needed to get to the very nearby town of Thurso to catch the train. This was another moment of the travel day that had me very nervous. We needed a cab and had not pre-booked one. So, we run off the ferry to hopefully be first in line when this bald cab driver with a super thick Scottish accent says, "Need a cab?" Wow! Such good luck! We couldn't believe it.

On the way the cabbies phone rings and basically his accent is so thick we can barely understand him. "I'll be there in 5 minutes," we make out. And then he says, "I thought you were the Sweeneys!" Turns our when we heard "Need a cab?" he had said, "Sweeney? Cab?" Ruh roh! He was cool about it and we tipped him well, but man, we were so nervous to run into the Sweeneys later on the train. We kept imagining them pulling up as the train was departing and our cab driver pointing us out. Yikes!

The train for the first long leg was pretty nice. NOTHING like the Hogwarts Express, much to my disappointment.

Train travel can be tough because it is so long, but the first part of this trip was nice and we saw some beautiful sights.

Check out this Gaellic:

In Inverness we had to switch trains to get on the one headed to Perth. This is when the trains got a bit more cramped both is spacing and with people! And we didn't know people could reserve seats, which kinda freaked us out when we first got on. It was super hard to get around while carrying out huge suitcases and trying to find seats. So, not many pictures of this part of the day.

Ali yelled out, "I got a seat!" so I grabbed the first one I saw, which had plastic on it and a "wet" sign. Oy! I actually stayed dry, but then I started thinking, "What if this is urine?" so after we got going I assessed the situation and moved to another row. Ali and I emailed during the trip since we were far away and planned our next move for when we got to Perth.

This switch was fine, but the train seemed to get even smaller and we were basically on a metro-like train to the city. I stood the entire hour trip because it was too much trouble to try to get my suitcase into an overheard compartment. It was also Halloween so a lot of people were getting on in costumes. That was pretty amusing.

I liked traveling by train because we got to see more of Scotland, but it took forever and the parts without comfy seats together were kinda rough. I think I'd travel by train again, but only if I didn't have to switch trains. (I'm a big fan of planes!)

I was a little nervous pulling into Glasgow because so many people had warned us about it. It's way more city-like than Edinburgh, but for a visit, I really liked it. It reminded me of all the great Scottish bands I like. I could just imagine all of them living there and playing music.

Our hotel was the Alexander Thompson Hotel, which was right by the main shopping area. We checked in to our very spacious and comfortable room and then went for dinner across the street at a restaurant that looked over the street and gave us a great view called The Corner Bar.

It had been a LONG, LONG day so after we dinner we watched some TV and went to sleep!


Pretty Little Liars Intel: There's No Place Like Homecoming

We're on to Episode Six!

So, last episode: Lipstick message on mirror, Hanna sneaks into Jenna's therapist, Spencer meets Alex, Aria's parents are fighting a ton!

Aria has ennui.