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11th-Jul-2011 10:27 pm - Saratoga Springs Part I.
 It's been two weeks since I experienced Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra in Saratoga Springs, NY. It has taken me this long to synthesize my thoughts into something coherent. First, the travel story.

We got to the venue by way of Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, CT. At least...that's where we first arrived in the region, at 1am, and slept the night at a Sheraton in the airport. How awesome is that? The bedding was about a million threadcount. For some reason, though, I couldn't sleep. But I have no complaints about the hotel. As a matter of fact, the night clerk was friendly and chipper, and the maintenance person who fixed our A/C at 1:30am was extremely gracious. And helpful!

The following morning we rented a truck and drove down to NYC. We needed ample room for John and I, Johanna, and my stepson Jay who is 17 years old and very...sprawly. But back to New York Stories. Geek that I am, I was absolutely thrilled to drive into the city. I've been to there at least half a dozen times, but I've always entered via ferry, train, or subway. It was fascinating to approach the island from the north end and work our way down.  But, of course, we ditched the car in overnight parking and walked or rode subways to get around  while we were there.

Johanna loved New York. I mean, the girl wants to move there. She took to the subway system like a duck to water. By just the second ride or so, she was marching down the stairs ahead of us all. I was worried she wouldn't like the noise and the heat. She paid it no mind, and instead had fun tipping a busker who was playing some lovely guitar music, and singing along with a random fellow during a long ride down to Battery Park. He caught her eye, they made contact, and he customized his lyrics: "Little girl! I know you got SOOOOOOUL!" She started to sing along, and every person on the car was grinning ear to ear by the time we departed.

As a matter of fact, she says her favorite part of the trip was the subway. Followed closely by the Statue of Liberty, which she says "looks like a QUEEN!" We saw Lady Liberty via the 10pm ferry to Staten Island. Yeah...we kept our whole crew up late that night. Johanna also had a blast splashing around in the Washington Square Park fountain. And we arrived hot on the heels of the gay marriage vote, so The Village was festooned with celebratory decorations. Johanna's favorite color is "rainbow!" so she was thrilled! Another highlight, especially for me, was walking across Central Park to see Pale Male. And we all enjoyed the Museum of Natural History. I've been there sooooo many times, but somehow it ever gets old. We had only a day -- about 24 hours -- in the city, but we made the most of it!

We stayed our second night at the lovely Hotel Beacon, and then drove to Saratoga Springs. It was my first time to see the mountains of upstate New York. So green, so beautiful! It was hard to return to Texas after taking in all of that cool, lush landscape. We stayed just outside Saratoga Springs, in Ballston Spa. It seems to all be horse racing country up there...and otherwise is the middle of nowhere. But those who know me are aware that I love the middle of nowhere, so I was content as could be.

Tomorrow I review the concert itself!
11th-Jul-2011 09:34 pm - Facebook ate my LJ
 I'm going to start blogging here again! :) I love FB, and I have my own site as well, but I need a journal that's more ... journaly. More to come!
5th-Jul-2009 11:14 am - Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.
Pretty soon (I HOPE), the url julieholden.com will point to my Realtor website, which is in the works.  If you get here via Live Journal (http://jooley-ann.livejournal.com/) you won't see any changes.  I'll keep that as a personal blog, but I need to use my name domain for professional reasons now.  Which is good, eh!  And hey, you can still check julieholden.com for blog entries!  I'll be blogging about real estate.  And by that I don't mean data, numbers, and hype.  There's too much fun stuff to look at and talk about out there!  :)  So if you're a property and RE development junkie, like I am, consider keeping julieholden.com on your radar.
2nd-Jul-2009 08:23 pm - Like royalty.
king burger
Let's say you twisted my arm and said I had to choose, from current listings, a multi-million dollar property in Austin.  Let's say in the 8-figure range.  You know, to live in.  Here's what I'd pick.  Nice, eh?
30th-Jun-2009 06:15 pm - Exam passed. Huzzah!
This afternoon, I passed both sections of the Real Estate Salesperson exam (state and national). All of my documents are filed, and all my fees are paid, so my next step is to haunt the TREC website to learn when I'm "Active," and wait for JB Goodwin to receive my license in the mail (your broker holds your license).

And now I can GET to WORK on all the fun stuff I want to do!! Yay!!!
25th-Jun-2009 08:30 pm - Exam Looooms.
real estate
I take the licensing exam on Tuesday, 6/30, at 1pm.  Yipes! Provided I pass, I'm pretty much done! For now, it's study study, study.  Will post again on Tuesday.
23rd-Jun-2009 11:07 pm - Julie Update for June 2009
real estate
Let's make this quick!  I've been a busy, BUSY bee.  In class 8-5 M-F at JB Goodwin (the broker I selected as my sponsor), learning amazing stuff from talented, successful, well established Realtors.  My status?
  • I am about TWO WEEKS (maybe fewer!) from getting my license!
  • I am very enthusiastic about the buyers I met at last weekend's open house.
  • I'm holding another house open this weekend, and I am working on ways to get some TRAFFIC.
Don't let the local news discourage you. This might not be the most happenin' time in RE, but a house one street over from me had a contract in 4 days.  With multiple backups.  And it's a well kept, beautiful house with a nice floorplan.  And it was priced just right (IOW it wasn't on the low end, by any means).  FOUR days. 

Huzzah!  I'm having too much fun for this to be called a job!

10th-Jun-2009 10:34 pm - Snapshot of my beloved
jo_kiddie_car
I'm having to do a lot of bio writing and talking these days.  Came up with this to try to cram into a Facebook field:

Home: NW Austin (Oak Forest)

Spouse:  John Watters
Toddler: Johanna (2.5)
Steps:   Ellen (17)
         Jay (15)

Pets: Morgan (female G.Shep)
      Josie (female tortycat)
      Cally (female calico)

Fish: Angelfish, bottomcats,
      pleicostamus, mollies,
      crawfish named Buddy

I think that sums it up.  I live a rather rich life!
25th-May-2009 05:39 pm - Two classes left!
real estate
Every time I complete another Real Estate class, I get excited.  I'm done with all but three classes, now.  Then I take the exam to get my license. Then I start looking for a sponsoring broker.  It's moving so much faster than I thought it would, which is a great thing!

Can't wait to be a real REALTOR.  :)