why smartphones are awesome (sometimes)

Not much to report.  I had a great weekend in Wisconsin Dells celebrating an awesome friend's 30th birthday.  It's the big year.  We're all turning 30.  Well, a lot of us are, anyway.  We stayed at a water park hotel, which was fun for both adults and kids, alike.  One of my favorite conversations went like this:

Michelle: Aren't you getting in the water?

Me [while holding her 5 month old]:  Maybe later.

Michelle:  You came all the way to a water park hotel in the Dells to maybe come in the water?

Me:  I came all the way to a water park hotel in the Dells for your birthday.

But I did go in the water and played some water basketball - and then hung out in more water in the hot tub.  They really use a lot of chlorine in those hotels - I showered before we left the hotel and when I got home (8+ hours later) I still smelled like chlorine. I think I'm better today, though. We had a little frustration with the restaurant we ate at, but the food was good, and in the end we all had an enjoyable weekend and Michelle had what everyone is entitled to once a year: A happy birthday.

I've been debating sharing the following story with you because I'm worried it will start to look like all I do is make bonehead moves.  Michelle says that I shouldn't write about all of the dumb stuff I do because it will start to look like I only do dumb stuff.  Not so.  And it's not always my fault.  For example, yesterday wasn't my fault - it just happened. 

Every room at our hotel had a balcony with doors that opened (yes, I've been in a couple that have balconies that don't have opening doors - scared of jumpers, I guess... bud I digress.)  We had breakfast yesterday morning and when the others went to get in the hot tub, I went back to the room to suit up.  Before I did, I went out on the balcony and shut the door (yes, it's February in Wisconsin - but it was warm - read: 30 - outside). When I went to go back in, the door wouldn't open. At all. 

How could this happen?  It was obviously was unlocked because I opened the door to go OUT - so why can't I get IN?  I had a moment of panic because my hotel-mates had just gotten in the hot tub, so they weren't coming back any time soon. Then remembered - I have my phone... my SMART phone! I googled the hotel phone number, called them and said:

Hi, I'm in room 402.  So, this is going to be dumb, but I came out on the balcony, shut the door, and now I can't get back in. Can you send someone to come and let me back in?

Yes. That just happened. The lady who let me back in told me that "Yeah... that happens sometimes.  When the door shuts, sometimes it bumps the lock and does that."  Note to self: don't completely shut balcony doors at hotels. And that's why smart phones are awesome (sometimes) - my alternative with out it would have been to yell to a stranger 4 levels down in the parking lot to ask the front desk to come and rescue me... and that is far more embarrassing.

So, now that you heard something dumb that I did, I should compensate and tell you something awesome that I did. Or made, rather.  I'm a nerd and I ask questions on the allrecipes.com forum - so I asked for a recommendation of something that was relatively quick and not terrible for me after eating out all weekend and made this Holiday Chicken Salad recipe that someone recommended from the site.  I'm not going to re-type this here, but recommend that you save this recipe - it's AWESOME and I will have a new go-to chicken salad recipe because of this. 

My notes:
  • I used only 1 c. (vs. 1.5 c.) of dried cranberries and only 1/2 c. (vs. 1 c.) of pecans.
  • Cub foods has a sweet deal on Craisens and other related dried fruits this week because it's Heart Health month.  I'm totally going to stock up at $1.99 (they're normally 3.50+ I think) so worth it.
  • Last night we just had these on buns plain and it was so good. 
  • We had the leftovers tonight warm. I put it on a bun bottom, sprinkled with a little cheese, and baked it for 10-15 minutes.  Then I took the tops (buttered) and put them in the over, too, changed over to broil, and when the tops were browned, it was done. 
  • I think I liked them warm better.  I'm not sure if it was because they were warm or because the flavors had set in for a day.  Whatever.  It was awesome both ways.

The first night
The second night-baked.

And that's all I have to report.  Signing off...


  1. Smart of you to have your smart phone! It sounds amusing. Plus if I got to choose between holding a baby and getting in the water, the water might not win...

  2. funny because just today Pam and I were talking about being a little claustrophobic as in elevators, locked doors, planes etc. I can imagine the slight panic if I would have been in your situation. Glad you could look up the
    telephone no.
    Your salad looks delicious and I will definitely try it sometime. Mom

  3. Chicken Salad looks scrumptious. . . Will definitely try this as a Panini. * Note to self . . . put hotel number on phone, and take phone out on balcony! Glad you could contact someone, and glad it wasn't 25 below!

  4. BEK - I'm really glad I had it with me! Holding the baby was a priority to the water at the time. :)

    Mom - that's funny! Do try the salad. So good!

    Tammy - YUM! It would be great on a panini - do you havea panini maker? I'm glad it was "warm" out, too. That would've been awful!

  5. Locking ourselves out must run in the family. Comparable to when I got locked in the stairwell of a hotel. Every floor door was locked except the very bottom. I think I was about 150 floors up (felt like it). I hate to admit it, but I understand the panic you had. I, unfortunately, did not have a phone. (That was a bit before cell phones were common. Yes, I am that much older than you.) Love the funny spin you put on things, Brenda. Love ya, Julie

  6. Yes, I bought one, and love it. Makes a great chicken breast (very moist and juicy), and Gale uses it for steaks. We try to have Panini~s and soup/salad/veggies, every Monday night. So, I am always looking for good Panini recipes.

  7. Julie - that's hilarious! I almost did that in Miami, too. I get that they lock the stairwell doors for security, but they should tell you that before you get into the stairwell!

    Tammy - that's interesting, maybe I'll have to look at them sometime. I like that you have a panini night. :)


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