Tuesday, July 27, 2010

HullabaLOU Highlights!!!

Mike and I just got back from an awesome weekend in Louisville, KY at HullabaLOU! Between time with our friends, Kelly and Joey, the excellent line-up, lots of frosty beverages, and great weather, it was a BLAST!!! Oh, and did I mention the people watching? Holy canolli - it was a people-watching paradise! What Not to Wear could have made 500 episodes at least! But, people watching is a hobby that the Holtzhower's share, so good times for us!

This is what we saw each day as we entered Churchill Downs. How beautiful is this? It's crazy to think that we are in the middle of the city of Louisville and not out in farm land.

First Night: The only act we got to see was Bon Jovi. (Note the sarcasm on "only") They rocked! We had to look up his age while at the concert - 48! Definitely put on a show though...I don't think we sat down the entire concert! Did I mention it was like 98 degrees too? Fun times :)

Oh, Dierks Bentley performed before Bon Jovi and he came out on the stage during their concert and sang Wanted with Bon Jovi...see photo below...

Day Two: This was the longest day we spent at HullabaLOU - all of the acts were just too good to miss! Also, Mike and I wandered the festival grounds in the heat. However, we did find a sweet tea vodka booth - how could we pass that up???

One of the FOUR stages with a handsome man in front of me!

First up on Saturday was Sara Evans - I had seen her before and she was just as good, if not better! It's amazing how an artist can sound the same live as they do on a recording. That is true talent...also, she is 38? And I was and still am obsessed with her shirt. I need it in my life.

Winner of Most Surprising Act at HullabaLOU: Jason Aldean.

Seriously, we knew that we liked his music, but what a performance too. Not only does he look like some guy you would run in to at the grocery store or gas station up the road from your house, but he is awesome on stage! Now, we love his music! Check out the GA Bulldogs shirt...oh, and those jeans aren't too shabby either. ;)

The Main Stage at Dusk

The headliner for Saturday was Kenny Chesney. Mike had never seen him, so he was surprised at how great his show is.

I will be selling this photo for $10 a piece. Geeze, I love our camera.

Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, and Rastafarian Man?
Day Three: Last day :( We finally had getting to the festival down to a science and we had the best seats of the weekend! Seriously, there were crazy people sprinting to get seats every day. We never sprinted and always had great seats...haha...and we got a koozie and ray bans out of it because crazy sprinters would drop their stuff and never come back to get it.

Southeast Diesel Shout-Out

Me and Mike!

The Zac Brown Band was sooooooooo good. They jammed out the entire concert and even played The Devil Went Down to Georgia -wow. We loved them so much and they are so patriotic. I am glad that young people are listening to their music because so many of them do not realize how and why we are free and why we are so lucky to be free.

Life Milestone Moment of the Weekend: Dave Matthews Band

Dave was the most gracious performer - he said thank you to the crowd after every song. Also, they were the happiest band...and Dave's hippie dancing was contagious. I got to hear my favorite DMB song, #41, and that totally made my weekend complete.

Shout out for HullabaLOU: Like music? Want to see TONS of performances for the cost of about three single concerts? Then HullabaLOU is for you! Check out their website in the future for info. about the 2011 festival!



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Headed to HullabaLOU!

This weekend, me and my wonderful husband are heading to Louisville, Kentucky to spend some quality time with our good friends, Joey and Kelly Nunn at Hullabalou. You may be asking, "Just what is this Hullabalou you speak of, Ashley?" Well the answer will now be revealed....

Welcome to Hullabalou! A three day music festival at Churchill Downs in the rolling, horse-filled fields of KY! 

Churchill Downs from my Helicopter

 Yes, ladies and gentlemen, in that green expanse of horse-racing wonder, there will be four smaller stages and one MAIN stage. The festival will run from 1-11PM each day and the headliners are as follows:

Friday Night: BON JOVI....most excited about THIS song being performed:

Saturday Night: Kenny Chesney...ready to sing to this song:

Sunday Night: Dave Matthews Band...soooo want to hear this one:

Not to mention all of these other people....Dierks Bentley, Gladys Knight, Doobie Brothers, Train,  Colbie Caillat, The O'Jays, B 52's, Jason Aldean, Huey Lewis and the News, Al Green, Sara Evans, Ben Folds, Steppenwolf, Zac Brown Band, Steve Miller Band, Dwight Yokam, Loretta Lynn, Black Crowes, Kansas, 38 Special, and many, many, more!!!

There are a few goals for this excursion:

1. Have at least one celebrity interaction - must have documentation
2. Take at least 200 photos
3. Enjoy beverages...
4. Buy T-Shirts
5. Possible purchase of Bon Jovi poster for classroom display

Prepare yourself for a massive post with photo and video upon our return! HullabaLOU here we come!!!

Take it easy!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Riding Lake Chickamauga

The first time I ever tried wakeboarding was with Mike about four years ago when we first met. I was horrible and couldn't even get out of the water, but after many attempts, and patient coaching from Mike, I did it! Now, Mike and I consider boarding an important part of our lives. It gives us exercise and quality time together, with friends, and in the beautiful outdoors. Actually if it weren't for Mike, I am pretty sure I would NEVER have tried wakeboarding, or even took up such an interest in thanks, husband!

Due to Mike's interest in boating and boarding, he joined the Chattanooga Water Ski Club (CWSC) ,and I recently became a "spouse" member! Yay! Basically, this is a group of people of all ages that enjoy boating for many reasons, and many of those are skiing, boarding, or skating. It's a great group of folks who are fun to be around during those hot, long, amazing summer days...and nights. :)

 That beauty of a boat in the picture above, is our ride on the water. It is a 1999 Nautique and it gets A LOT of use from about April until September!

That hunk pictured above is my husband, who is a GREAT wakeboarder! I love taking lots and lots of pictures of him bias or anything....

And me, well I am pretty much a professional. Check out those mad skills...haha...actually, I am WAY better and I get better every time we go riding! Of course, I have some excellent coaches because there is always at least two or three people on the boat!

There are also a handful of sliders and ramps out in the Ski  Club Slough.

Thanks to our boat and the awesome Ski Club, Mike and I feel very fortunate that just about three weekends out of every month during the hot months, we get to crack open an icy beverage, ride some wakes, and actually be "On a Boat"!

More to come soon...I need to catch up on my posting! :)


Monday, July 12, 2010

A Little Behind, but OUR HONEYMOOOOOON!

So, after getting hitched, Mike and I got home, packed WAY too much (well, that was just me), and boarded a plane bound for Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!

 For those of you who aren't geography buffs, Cabo is on the Baja Peninsula below California. See, I have even included a small map for you! How efficient am I? We actually stayed in San Jose Del Cabo, which is about 20 minutes from Cabo. Mike and me really liked San Jose because it was much more laid back and street vending is not allowed. Therefore, we could walk through the streets without getting hassled to buy a whistle or pet a lizard. Seriously, this lady chased us with three lizards crawling on her!

While in Cabo, we stayed at a wonderful new resort, Barcelo. Here's a few photos!!!

The staircase you see here came from the main was beautiful! Those giant white balls, or orbs, as Mike and I called them, would light up at night! We were kind of obsessed with these....
And this was the VIEW from that staircase....notice the little "island" in the left-hand corner. Those were fun to relax and enjoy a beverage on at night!

Prior to the trip, we had signed up to go on a "tour" of Cabo San Lucas. We thought we would just be riding around town and stopping in a few places, but much to our surprise, it included a glass bottom boat tour!

Like we even needed the glass-bottom boat though...check out that clear water. I got to see yellow-tail fish, which I often, very often, enjoy in my sushi! So, nice to meet you yummy fish!

The best part of the Cabo trip HAD to be the beautiful scenery and seeing some famous landmarks. The rocks were unbelievable, along with Lover's Beach, and of course the famous arch!

We went to a glass blowing factory, where I got to blow glass! No evidence of this, but I really did and it was harder than it looked to do! We also found a mango tree (left photo), and I was oh so tempted to just pick some and carry them back home, because they would have been perfectly ripe by then!

We also went to San Jose Del Cabo for some lunch (fresh caught fish...authentically prepared), shopping, and sightseeing! I got some great photos of the mission pictured on the left!

While at our resort, we ate and drank A LOT! Since those are two things that Mike and Ashley really enjoy, one can imagine that this was a good experience for us! The picture above is before we went to the AH-MAZING Japanese restaurant at Barcelo! Hands down the best sushi and Japanese food I have ever had!

Gotta represent the family business! Too bad Prendergast Construction doesn't have koozies...we could rep. our other family business! :)

For some reason, my husband likes to take photos of me....especially when it is WINDY!!!!

This was the bar we made our home while in Cabo. Best bartender...comfy double lounge chairs...perfect sun! I think we tried 35 different drinks during that week, my favorite being the Mango Mojito!

I could have posted 30 other photos, but I think this sums up our wonderful honeymoon! Neither of us had ever been to Cabo before, but we loved every second of it and would like to go back some day! For more photos check out our Facebooks!

Till we meet again....ADIOS!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

TOP CHEF - Braised Beef Short Ribs

So, I made this dish tonight...well with my own additions and changes...but I MADE THIS! I watched my On Demand Episode of Top Chef this A.M. and made the winning dish tonight!!! Here's what mine looked like...let's compare:

Not too shabby, if I must brag! I have always loved cooking, but this experience made me see what I could actually do in the kitchen! Here's the recipe...try'll love it!!!

*Photo Note: If you like wine and want a good pairing, grab a bottle of Chateau St. Jean Merlot - random wine to choose, but excellent together!

Top Chef Braised Beef Short Ribs

 Alright, now I have to make myself go to bed...I hear my snoring husband :)


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer, Summer, Summertime....

Each summer, I always approach the empty, sun-filled days ahead with grand plans that include running, gym visits, organizational projects at our house, lesson planning and preparing for my classes next year, spending time with friends, wakeboarding, meal planning...I mean the list is so outstanding, it's almost impressive.

Today...I wake up at 9 with the freedom of a teacher's summer day ahead of me. So many plans, so many thoughts...where to start??? Instead of hitting the ground running...I hit the couch for a rerun of Desperate Housewives...steamy and entertaining - perfect start to a Wednesday morning. Not exactly on my list, but I convince myself that I deserve it.

After an excellent lunch with my hard-working, handsome husband, I set out to get a few name-changing tasks completed (2 of them), which end up sucking THREE hours out of my day...well worth it in the end though :)

So, I arrive home, ready to organize our closet in the bedroom AND the office and what do I get done? Ummmm, I cleaned out my dresser...then I got tired? How in the world does a teacher, who is off in the summer get tired? Clearly, what I am lacking people is motivation...a kick in the butt! Therefore, I will use this neato-mosquito blog to make a hard copy of a list of must-do's for the remainder of this week.

    • Get up and make iced coffee
    • Go running
    • Go to the gym and work-out
    • Clean up house for in-laws coming to dinner
    • Organize office
    • MUST read some of book you will be teaching next year....haha even teachers are slackers
    • Cook dinner for in-laws
    • Get up and make iced coffee (do we see a trend?)
    • Go to spinning class!!!
    • Continue with office organization project
    • READ and prep for work next year

Already, I feel remarkably better! Thank you blog for your contribution to my mental health today!!!!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love - Not Necesarily in That Order :)

For months, I kept passing this book in Barnes and Noble. I would pick it up and read the back, then think, "A book about a divorcee, who travels the world to discover who she is?" Definitely not up my alley...Ashley, put the book back on the shelf.
However, the week before my wedding, my Aunt Amy mention the title and her interest in it...that got me thinking...AGAIN. Unfortunately, I am a book addict though and at that time I had four books in my bag that I was reading to some extent, and Eat, Pray, Love was pushed to the back burner again. 
Then, after a marvelous honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (see future post), Mike and I were waiting in the Dallas airport and I realized I was without a book...OH NO! (Those of you who despise reading can laugh and poke fun here...) We went into one of the five million bookstores in that airport and there it was - again - staring me right in the face, and I couldn't resist. Eat, Pray, Love was now my possession.  Mike bought an awesome magazine with Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones on the cover. "A definitely coffee table magazine," he explained. 

Once I opened its pages, I couldn't put the book I had been avoiding down! Starting with the description of her failing marriage, her rebound boyfriend, and the realization she made that her life needed a change, I was hooked! If you like being inspired, I mean inspired, by a book - this is it. This book, in all of its paperback glory, makes you want to tackle every dream and goal you have or have ever had for yourself in your life. Cheesy review? Totally. But when I love something....I tend to go towards the cheese.
Try it, read it, love it...I am only halfway through and I do!

I Started a Blog!!!!

So, after months of pondering and debating whether or not I should start a blog, HERE IT IS!!! My friend, Sarah (, is definitely my inspiration, along with my passion for writing, sharing, and well let's face it - sometimes venting!

While creating this blog, I decided that I will have several categories, which are as follows:

1. Ashley and Mike Holtzhower :)
3. Stories from the classroom of a high school English teacher
4. Trips!
5. Books, books, and more books

I am sure I will develop more as I get used to this whole blogging business, but for now those will do!

Time to do some design work on this blog!