Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dustin's Golf Tourney!

My brother's 7th annual "Hope Grows Here" Golf Tournament is just around the corner. This is our largest fundraiser of the year - the event that enables the Globetrotter Program to continue to grow!

Please join us for a fantastic day of golf, fun and philanthropy. Details and registration are available online at

8th Annual "Hope Grows Here" Golf Tournament
Benefiting Dustin's GreenHouse
Sedgefield Country Club
Monday, October 6th

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Weekend Festivities

My family and I celebrated my 28th birthday in Charlotte on Saturday. We were supposed to go to the Panthers Football Game, which we kind-of ended up doing...

We made it all the way to the parking lot (a couple blocks from the stadium) but had so much fun tailgating that we decided to stay outside for the entire game.

Katie and her friend Nicole (who were already planning on going to the game) stopped by our tailgating bonanza too! They were more loyal fans than we were, eventually making it into the game but not until late in the 2nd half.

After the game we made our way to a piano bar called Howling at the Moon (a great recommendation of Nicole's). It was the perfect way to ring in my new year. Mal and I even had a cameo on stage, dancing to a song we requested in honor of Dustin (Jack and Diane).

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Signs of a remarkable journey...

Additional Memories

St. Anthonys, Idaho
(Mike is asking for directions in the first picture. 100% serious, he got directions from two nine year-old Idaho girls.)

Salt Flats of Utah

Mt. Rushmore

Churchill Downs (Home of the Kentucky Derby)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Half Dome; A mixed bag

Our journey east began a day late (thanks to US Air delaying Mike’s flight out of Texas by nearly 12 hours). Nonetheless, he finally made it to San Francisco, California and almost as soon as he arrived, we were off.

Because of this late start, Jay backed out of the Half Dome hike and we started to question if it was even feasible for us… Getting to Yosemite, up the mountain and back down the mountain all in a day is definitely discouraged by park officials.

In true Green/Bucy fashion we decided to squeeze the 17 mile hike in anyway. The memories that stem from that decision are a mixed bag; some priceless, some painful, all unforgettable.

I’ll start with the great parts of our Half Dome hike:
- The scenery was beautiful, our conversations were great, and the sense of accomplishment once it was over was huge!

- Mike spotted a forest fire across the valley from the top of Half Dome. He called 911 and was recognized as the first responder. They immediately sent helicopters and forest fire-fighters out, which we were also able to see from the top of "The Dome."

- We had a unique cultural experience when we stumbled upon a group of Amish teenagers in traditional dress and hiking boots. I was shocked by the fact that these girls could actually hike Half Dome in full length dresses! (This picture is hardly the best shot but it’s the only one I could take without feeling rude. Ironically, the Amish hiker has stopped to share her water with an exhausted stranger she passed on the trail. This confirmed the reputation I had of Amish people as being very generous and kind.)

Now for the not-so-favorable parts of Half Dome...

Before we arrived in Yosemite, Mike mentioned this would be a reasonably tough hike. He also mentioned something about cables and that there are typically one or two people who die hiking Half Dome every year... Arrogantly, I disregarded both points. I made the general assumption that I was in better shape than the average person. I also knew that I had no fear of heights. Silly me!

For starters, we had to adjust to a significant change in altitude. Yosemite Valley rests at 3,800 feet above sea level. By the time we reached the peak of Half Dome, we were sitting at 8,800 feet.

On top of the altitude challenge, we ran out of water. It was 97 degrees and we were on a 17 mile hike. (I’m hardly the nature aficionado, but even I know this is not a healthy scenario. We ended up having to detour to a ranger station to ask for iodine tablets. Reluctantly, I drank brick-colored creek water the entire way down the mountain.)

On top of the altitude, and on top of the water issue, I was nearly paralyzed by fear upon seeing what the last 400 meters of the Half Dome hike actually looks like... Please take a look at this picture and tell me if (in a million years) you would have ever guessed that those tiny black specs are people? People!!! People - in America - who are trekking up a that steep of an incline unharnessed! I am all for adventure but holy $#*!

This second picture was taken merely as proof that the hike whooped-up on everyone (even youngest, most athletic among us).

Favorite memories from our journey east...

Any guesses on where the following set of pictures were taken?
One hint... "If you build it, he will come."

I spent over a month in Iowa as part of Bill Bradley's campaign in 1999 & 2000. Having the chance to go back to the state, and getting to see it without snow-covered grounds, was very special. This was also an exciting stop for Mike... He had the chance to visit the legendary "Field of Dreams" where the Academy Award nominated movie (Field of Dreams) was filmed in 1989. The owners of the farm where the movie was filmed have kept everything in pristine condition. They welcome visitors from across the world to stop by and invite you to play on the fields, walk the grounds and participate in a celebration of Americana.

This last picture was taken on the wood bleachers that Kevin Costner inscribed with "Ray loves Annie." The heart and message are still there.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Heading East

I flew out to California yesterday afternoon and Mike is meeting me here late tonight. Tomorrow will mark Day-1 of our long trip home. The first stop on the agenda is hiking Half Dome in Yosemite. I think a good friend of ours (Jay Trickett) is going with us and I am very excited about the challenge. After conquering The Dome, we will head towards Salt Lake City and then north towards Montana. Stay tuned for updates on the adventure. I am sure there will be many.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Houston Memories

Alas, my Houston adventures are over and (despite all of my whining beforehand) I must say I am a little sad to see them go.

Having the opportunity to spend quality time with Duke, Courtney and Alexandra has been a true gift – probably one of the most fortunate experiences Mike and I have ever shared together. Here are a couple highlights from the trip...

Highlight #1: Mike reaches one of life’s big milestones… He babysits for the first time, EVER!

Yes, Duke and Courtney trusted my husband with their adorable daughter Alexandra (Lexie to us) while they escaped for a much-needed night out.

Being that I was on the road at the time (and knowing Mike is hardly Mr. Diaper Extraordinair) there was eager anticipation as we all waited to see how things would play out.

Yes, I was anticipating the frantic phone calls… “She won’t stop crying!” “I can’t figure out which side of the diaper goes on the front and which side goes on the back.” “Oh my gosh, Lexie swallowed something. What should I do?”

But the reality was that I did not get one, single, freaking-out, first time babysitter phone call... Mike was a natural.

I did manage to pull a brief rundown of the evening's festivities out of Mike on Saturday morning:

Mike: “I am so tired. Kids are really consuming… They require your complete attention. You really can’t do anything else.”
Ashlie: Laughter
Mike: “We read Green Eggs and Ham 7 times Friday night and then 5 more times Saturday morning."
Ashlie: More Laughter
Mike: "I think kids help improve your public speaking… When else can you read a book out loud like that?"
Ashlie: Eye-roll (that is such a typical comment for my husband to make), but with a smile (I love him so incredibly much)

Highlight #2: Alexandra Bucy, Master Doggy Walker

If Mike became the Diaper Extraordinair while we were in Houston, Lexie developed into quite the little Addie assistant. It was amazing to see how quickly she could pick up on things.

If Lexie saw me holding Addie’s leash, she was at the front door ready to go (often quicker than Addie was). She always wanted to be the one carrying the leash, which she insisted on doing all by herself. And whenever she was holding the leash it was always by the bag holder, as opposed to the built-in handle. (My only guess as to why is because the bag holder is pink.)

I will admit that putting an almost two year-old at the doggy-helm made me a little nervous… I could not help but envision one of two scenarios playing out.

Fear number one was that Lexie would use the famous death grip that all babies seem to develop at birth (most often exemplified when hair or jewelry are in-hand), and while Lexie was showcasing the grip, Addie would take off running, dragging poor Lexie down the street by her right arm.

Fear two was that Lexie would let go of the pink bag holder and Addie would take off (at warp speed) afraid of the mini-me she was not accustomed to seeing behind her. At that point I would have to chase her down in heels, in the God-awful Houston heat, with a 35 pound kid in my arms.

I am happy to report that neither scenario played out!

Highlight #3: The Face Game

Lexie and I were having a dance party in Courtney’s living room one afternoon. I must have been trying to buy a couple of minutes for a breather (running in circles while simultaneously spinning a dog and a kid is not easy). Anyway, on a whim I invent something called the “face game.” Well, watch out Milton Bradley because who would have ever imagined my “face game” would become such a hit! Within five minutes I could name a face and Lexie would act it out. The best part was that it was as equally entertaining for me as it was for her.

The faces we worked on most diligently were: happy face, sad face, oh no face, mad face, and scared face. I wasn’t able to capture all of them on camera before I left, but these should give you an idea for my niece’s acting talents.

Sad Face

Mad Face (Typically accompanied with a point of the index finger and a verbal "Stop that!")

My favorite; Oh No Face

Highlight #4: A quick visit from Mike’s Dad

Mike and I don’t get to see a lot of his father (neither do Duke and Courtney) so it was incredibly special that Dr. Bucy and his wife Karen were able to come over from Florida while Mike was in town. As I am sure you would have imagined, Lexie stole the show! Here are a couple pictures from their visit…