Monday, June 23, 2008

Mexico - Day 2

The weather cleared up for day 2. Sure, there were 2 or 3 short showers of maybe a minute or a minute and a half, but not enough to move any of us from our loungers. Or should I say – not enough to move the women from the loungers or the men from the pool; the swim-up bar to be exact. Our favorite pool was by a bar called Captain Morgan’s something or another. Did we frequent this spot because it was named after our dear friend Morgan? No, we liked it because it was the closest pool to our rooms.
The boys at the Captain Morgan bar
Mandy, TJ and Hag swam with the dolphins early that morning. I opted not to go because I learned during our snorkeling trip last year that I don’t like fish to touch me so I knew that I wouldn’t like touching a dolphin. The rest of us slept in that morning, met for breakfast and then went to the pool. Water aerobics started in our pool just before lunchtime. Hag, Mandy and Kacie tried it and the rest of sat on our butts (vacation is not for exercising. Besides, I did a lot of walking around that resort and we were on the third floor, so I wasn’t completely lazy). The instructor blew his whistle on every count. For 30 minutes. It got old fast.

Water Aerobics

Rachel and Morgan at the pool

After lunch we headed to the beach and tried out some of the complimentary water sports. There was kayaking and wind-surfing. Freddy and I kayaked and so did Kacie, TJ and Andrew and Morgan and Rachel, but Hag tried windsurfing. It took him awhile, but he KIND OF got the hang of it by the end. Rachel tried it and popped right up and Morgan tried, too, with about as much success as Hag.

Andrew, Kacie and TJ kayaking

Hag got up!

We wrapped up the water sports after about an hour and headed back to the pool. It was a very nice, relaxing day of water and sun!

Determined not to burn, I piled on the sunblock. I tried to do the same for my husband, who you can tell by the pictures is pretty fair but it didn’t help much. He applied sunscreen once and didn’t ask for help, so he burned in the places that he couldn’t reach. All he had to do was ask! Men.

Why wait in line for another drink when you can just order a 6-pack?

This night we ventured to Playa del Carmen. We ate at Carlos and Charlie’s and that was a lot of fun. Kacie didn’t feel well, so her and Andrew hung out at the resort and ordered room service.

We ventured down 5th street and did a little shopping. I had to make my customary Mexico purchases – Vanilla and a refrigerator magnet. I bet we saw three Subways on our walk. Subways were everywhere in Mexico! And McDonalds and Starbucks, too – just like the good ‘ol USA.

This church was in the middle of 6th street. I had to take a picture because it is so beautiful!

This guys paints himself silver and stands like a statue until someoe puts a tip in the container - then he starts dancing and lets you take a picture with him.

After much searching (and asking many people where it was), we found The Beer Bucket. The Beer Bucket is a small bar owned by radio dj in Dallad, Big Al Mac. It was small but we liked it. Freddy especially liked the $2 Coronas.

After a few hours in Playa, we headed back to the resort and straight to bed. The beds were not very comfortable, but they were more comfortable than the ones at the resort where we stayed last year.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mexico - Day 1

3 am came really early last Wednesday, but all I had to do was remind myself that I would be in Mexico in a few hours and I was ready to go.
Kacie, Andrew, Rachel and Morgan in the airport. I started taking pictures early!

We arrived at the airport around 4am and our plane left at 6. We were at our resort by…11:00 or so and we were STARVING! Our rooms weren’t going to be ready until 3, so we headed straight for the buffet – in the rain. Yes, rain. It rained the entire afternoon and into the early evening the first day. Problem? Not for our group of guys. They saw this as an opportunity to have the swim-up bar to themselves.

Freddy, Hag and Andrew all alone in the pool.

Let me take a minute to introduce everyone on the trip. There was me and Freddy, of course. Freddy’s best friend from childhood, Morgan and his wife Rachel. Freddy’s friend from college, Andrew and his wife Kacie. Freddy’s college roommate, John Hagaman who I will refer to as Hag from this point forward. Tonya, our former neighbor and her niece and nephew Mandy and TJ.

Mexico was crawling with high school graduates. Most traveled with parents and acted like it was their first time away from home. It was entertaining for this first minute and then ridiculously annoying. I found myself asking…myself if I was ever that immature. Don’t answer that!

Hag and the recent hs grads.

With no beach to visit (because of the rain), we hung out at the lobby bar. The bar that lacked Corona on tap. Are you kidding me?! We were served Modelo in a can because their contract with Corona was up. Dandy.

Superman came to entertain us. He was entertaining for the first five minutes, then he wouldn’t leave us alone. He took pictures with other people, but always promptly returned to us. It took us a while to shake him. In his spare time (or when it’s not raining) Superman also leads yoga on the beach and water aerobics – but he ditches the costume first. That must be his Clark Kent cover-up.

We don't know these grannies, but we think they are fun!

We ended the night with dinner, a walk to the beach and few minutes of some show.

Stay tuned for days 2-5.

Crazy Car Day

Two weeks ago I jumped in my car to go to the gym and it wouldn’t start. Sure, the radio turned on, but what good does that do me when it won’t turn over? None. No good.

So…I had Freddy drop me off at the gym on his way to a happy hour (yup. That’s what I typed. I prepared for our Mexico trip by hitting the gym, he prepared by hitting the $1 beer happy hour with Clint) and pick me up after my class. When we got home, he took my battery to one of those car places and had it tested. It wasn’t dead, so we were thinking that it was either the starter (because it hasn’t been turning over very smoothly EVERY time lately) or the computer.

The next morning, Freddy wakes up early and calls the tow truck. It is supposed to be there at 6 am, but doesn’t show up until after 8. Typical.

Freddy and I hop in his truck and head to Classic Chevrolet where we speak to the repair man and then pop in to Enterprise to rent a car for me for the day. I hand a credit card and my license to the nice girl behind the counter. She looks at the license and says, “Do you have a current license?”. DIRT! It expired a little under a month ago on my birthday.

Off to the DMV. I know what you are going to say – “Just have Freddy rent the car and you drive his truck”. Nope. Freddy NEEDS his truck for work. “Okay, just have Freddy rent the car and then you can switch”. No again. I can’t drive a standard, so I couldn’t even get it out of the parking lot.

After waiting in line for about 20 minutes, Freddy gets a call from Classic. My battery is dead. Impossible! We had it tested last night. So, rather than pay the million dollars that the dealership would charge to change the battery, Freddy leaves me to buy a battery and change it himself. I wait the next hour and a half alone – Well, not completely alone. I was next to a woman with the worst attitude who won’t stop talking about how much she hates the DMV and the staff. No is talking to her. She just kept complaining…out loud. A lot.

Two hours later, paper license in hand, I walk to Ross to wait for Freddy to pick me up. Why is he late? Because the battery that the sales associate at NTB said would fit my car did not fit my car. Wasted trip.

After lunch with my husband (a rare treat during the work week), he dropped me off at work. An hour later he calls to tell me that Classic has run a diagnostic on my car and come to the conclusion that my only problem was a dead battery.

What could be more frustrating than that? No, not the $250 we spent on a new battery and a diagnostic test that showed nothing was wrong with my car. No, not the fact that we spent this money just days before our vacation. How about the fact that my car is still having some starter issues? Nice.

I’ve been told that this is great preparation for having kids. Car has problems. You take it to the dealership. They find nothing wrong with it. Child is sick. You take the child to the doctor. Child makes miraculous recovery in the exam room. I’m going to love motherhood (someday).

Introducing...The Beardens

Congratulations to John and Tiffany Bearden.
Married June 7, 2008

The wedding was beautiful and we were glad to be able to share this happy day with John, Tiffany, their families and our friends.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Low-Life Criminals

Who, you ask, is lower than a thief? My answer is a thief who robs a non-profit organization.

You guessed it. Big Brothers Big Sisters (my employer) was burglarized over the weekend by professionals who have hit several other offices in the area. Laptops, a safe and other electronics were stolen. Thankfully, no one was hurt and it seems that all personal information was untouched – which is a huge relief considering the number of Big/Little matches we support.

How much of a low-life do you have to be to steal from a non-profit?! Had those burglars had a mentor in their lives, this never would have happened.

Watch the Channel 8 news tonight – they were here today interviewing our CEO.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thirty By Thirty

These pictures have nothing to do with this post. I just don't like to post without any pictures.

Now to the reason for my blog: My thirty by thirty list. I wish that I could write something profound about how I came to decide that I would have a thirty by thirty list…but I can’t. Basically, I heard about a co-worker that had done this and decided that I wanted to celebrate turning 30 in a fun, unique way and a thirty by thirty list would allow me to do that. So, here I am.

Let me get everyone to speed:
Thirty by Thirty list: A list of thirty things that I would like to do before I turn 30
Current age: 28
Date I turn the big 3-0: May 10, 2010
Time left to complete list: 1 year, 11 months and 4 days
Deadline for completing list (not tasks on list): June 30, 2008
Number of items currently on list: 18

While I intend to make an official post about this important time in my life, I can’t do that until I actually complete the list. I still need 12 more things for my list, so I am appealing to you, my blog readers (whoever you are) to offer some suggestions. Let me share with you a few that have already made my list just so that you can get an idea.

Change the oil in my car
Give Blood
Become CPR certified
Learn a ballroom dance
Visit a state I have never been
Start a family
Host a fancy dinner party at which I serve a homemade (by me!) gourmet meal
Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

August 3 - Mark the date!

I can't believe that I have been blogging since March and haven't mentioned the Indianapolis Colts or Peyton Manning (oh, wait. I guess I did mention Peyton in the Romo-Simpson blog, but that really doesn't count).

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
Just kidding! I will spare you - at least until August 3, 2008. While preseason is the definition of anti-climactic, it is the official beginning of football season. And having gone half a year without football, I will take it! I am super bummed that Romo and Peyton will not be playing eachother this year. See you in the Superbowl? Fingers crossed!

And before anyone comments about how Peyton is a "sell-out" for doing commercials, might I mention that practically everyone is doing it now - including Tiger Woods who earned over $105,000,000 last year in endorsements alone while Peyton earned only $13,000,000 in endorsements. Besides, turning down easy, fun money is STUPID.

If you are interested in learning about the top-earning professional athletes, check out this link:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Aloha, Lance and Kyla

This past weekend Freddy and I co-hosted a Couples Shower for our friends, Lance and Kyla. The theme was Hawaiian and we had lots of fun. For those of you who don't know Lance and Kyla, or don't know them together, they are a fantastic couple. We love them very much and can't wait to celebrate their wedding with them on July 12th.
And since they went on our honeymoon, we are currently making plans to go with them on theirs. Just kidding!

Going Green

My sister, Cathy, is so cool. She is an awesome teacher - she teaches her pre-k kids via ipods. Parents can go online and listen to a podcast to find out what their children are learning. How cool is that? She also started a recycling program at her school - with her pre-k students!
Here is a link to a newspaper article about the "Green Bulldogs":

So, being easily influenced, I have started to "go green" myself. I bought reusable grocery bags at Wal-Mart this weekend. They cost $1 each, hold WAY more groceries and have longer handles so you can carry some on your shoulder. Deal or dud? DEAL!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My latest addiction

At work, Shelby and Michelle have been talking about the tv show The Office ever since Michelle and her family discovered it on a ski trip this past Christmas. I had seen parts of an episode or two and thought that I was interested. Michelle brought me the DVD of Season 1 and told me to watch it; I would love it. I doubted her.

In exchange for The Office Season 1, I gave Michelle my copy of 8 Seconds, a movie she had never seen. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! Side note: Michelle still hasn't watched 8 Seconds. So, I popped in the DVD one night a few weeks ago and thus began my obsession with The Office.

The more Dwight in the episode, the better. He is my absolute favorite character.
Here are a few lines from my favorite episode so far, Take your daughter to work day:

Pam: I am actually looking forward to Take Your Daughter to Work day. I am not great with kids, but I want to get better. Because I'm getting married. So I put out a bunch of extra candy on my desk so the kids will come talk to me. Like the witch in Hansel and Gretel.


Michael Scott: Yes. It is true. I, Michael Scott, am signing up with an online dating service. Thousands of people have done it, and I am going to do it. I need a username, and... I have a great one. [types something] 'Little Kid Lover'. That way people will know exactly where my priorities are at.

If you haven't seen The Office, I highly recommend it. Go to Blockbuster and rent them in order - only 99 cents per DVD. What a bargain!