Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fourth of July!!

My parents took Emilee and Trevor to a local 4th of July sidewalk chalk art festival. Each family is given a square to decorate and this is what they created, a scene of a family watching a fireworks display.
We had a BUNCH of people hang out with us over the weekend. Gabby, Charlie and the boys came to town to visit. My parents were still here. And Brad and Jamie and their son, Braeden hung out too! We all went to the town parade on Saturday morning and this is a shot of some of us as we waited for it to start.
Mason and Ethan enjoying some lunch...
Having four little monkeys under the age of four was B-U-S-Y! I tried to get all four of them in a cute picture...nope, they were all moving WAY too fast in too many directions lol. Here's the best I could do...
Joshua, always happiest in the kitchen, held a sushi making class with Charlie and Brad. I didn't get a picture of the end product because we all gobbled it up so quickly! YUM!!! Good job, guys!!

Obligatory wiggly firework picture...why do we always take 50 shots of the fireworks when we know they will come out like this lol?!
Hope everyone had an awesome 4th!!

Mexico pt. 3 --- vacation relaxation

Since we booked our trip in February, the theme of anticiaption has been based on the Zac Brown Band song "Toes in the Water, A** in the Sand". So we decided that we definitely needed an official picture to represent our trip...
Our favorite evening place to hang out became The Piano Bar. Alot of the resort was "party scene" style and the four of us much preferred the quieter, more laid back atmosphere here.
And we even brought along Uno and played cards one evening.
Enjoying coffee and room service breakfast on our patio.
I have to share this dish. One night we tried the French restaurant and this was the soup of the day...cream of something with "corn fungus". It actually tasted pretty good, but as far as marketing goes, major fail on the title.
FAVORITE dish dinner from the next night...SUSHI!!!!
These covered bed thingies were THE BEST! We spent quite a bit of time just doing absolutely NOTHING (read...napping!), enjoying the shade and the breeze down by the pool.
And our bar tender down at our private pool made this to-die-for drink called Purple Rain...oooooh yum!!
Our last night there the resort threw a fancy dinner gala for only the two top levels of guests (we were level #1...soooo worth what we paid for it!). One last pose all four of us!!
The guys' favorite part of the dinner were these get-ya-in-trouble-in-a-hurry chocolate martinis (seriously, have you ever seen this many martinis before lol?!) My favorite part that I didn't get a picture of were the lobsters...ask me how many I ate at dinner that night? Four, yup I ate FOUR delicious lobsters!!
And I'll wrap up with these last two funny pics. We were walking down the main pathway one evening headed back to our room and suddenly Joshua hops up on one of the statues and struck a hilarious pose!!
And may I introduce you to Bob. He lived under Brad and Jamie's stairs that led up to their room and would come out to sunbathe in front of the bottom step. It was amazing to see such a creature just hangin' around the resort...but let me tell you he scared all of us many times when we'd come around the corner to head up to their room and we'd darn near step on the poor guy because we'd forgotten he might be there.
Brad and Jamie...thank you for coming with us to Mexico! It was soooo much more fun this time to have wonderful friends to share our adventures with! And Joshua, I sooo appreciate all of the crazy hard work you put in that allowed us to afford such an amazing vacation! You are the best husband anyone could ask for and the five days we got to spend doing nothing but focusing on each other meant more to me than I'll ever be able to properly say. I love you!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mexico pt 2 -- zipline and cenote swim

I need to mention the second most exciting part of our trip (the first most exciting is just that we got to GO!)...our awesome friends, Brad and Jamie, came with us!! When we went to Mexico eight years ago, we said to ourselves that if we ever came back we HAD to bring we were so excited that they decided to come too!!

We went on an excursion our first full day in Mexico. We decided on a zipline tour and cenote swim. Here's Jamie and I while we were waiting for our shuttle, partaking in a margarita at 9am...not cuz we are alcoholics, but basically, just because you can lol!

We took a shuttle ride into the jungle. Joshua snapped this picture of us all geared up right before we started zip-ing!

The four of us posing with some jungle friends...

This is one of my FAVORITE pictures of the trip. We all had the opportunity to "do it upside down" and here's Joshua having a blast at it! (And it's worth mentioning here that these ziplines are 100+ feet in the air...there was alot of excited/scared/crazy yelling going on lol!!)

Me taking things a bit more seriously...

After ziplining we hopped in these Pinhauzer trucks (read: old OLD jalopy-ish jeep thingies with questionable trailers haha)
(This is Bruno, our HILARIOUS guide, standing on the hitch between the truck and trailer as we made the ten minute drive to the, there are no OSHA safety standards in Mexico aparently!)
(Joshua and I cracking up at Bruno on the drive)

And this was our destination, a "cenote," which is a tropical sink hole filled with fresh water with rock cliff sides. It was really beautiful, especially the waterfall you could swim under off to the right hand side. The tour company set up a zipline you could ride down and land in the water. The swim was so fun and refreshing!!

Me just as I was about to hit the water coming off the zipline...

Check out this video of Joshua showing off a pretty cool back zipping dive maneuver!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mexico!! pt1

Hurricane Alex. Ughh. Two days before we were supposed to leave for our trip, we found out about a storm tracking directly for the Yucatan Penninsula. For a bit, it looked like our vacation was in serious jeopardy. But we got up EARLY Sunday morning, and our flights weren't cancelled (yet) so we headed to the airport. We made our connection in O'hare just fine, but sat on the tarmac for about an hour while a storm unrelated to Alex blew through.

Passin' the time listening to music...

Once we got back in the air, we got to enjoy the perks of first class with a yummy breakfast (and don't miss Joshua's kahlua to go with his coffee haha). I still wish that Joshua could travel less, but since he has to be gone, I have to admit that I'm lovin' flying in the "front of the plane"!

We were pretty worried about landing in Cancun, as the eye of Alex was forecasted to hit almost exactly as our plane landed...but we made it in just fine. Here's an amazing view of the Hotel Strip of Cancun from out the plane window as we were descending...

We got through Immigration MUCH easier than last time that we traveled to Mexico, were picked up by our shuttle and arrived at our resort just a bit later. We stayed at the Grand Princess Riviera and it was AMAZING!

Our room was upstairs

It was absolutely gorgeous, right down to the swan towel sculpture on the bed.

This was Joshua's favorite part of the trip, hands down. It was an ourdoor shower inside our room! Kind of confusing, I know...but there were double doors that led out of our main room (you can see them behind the bed in the picture above), onto a balcony of sorts and it had a shower. It was all enclosed of course, but you could hear the birds and feel the fresh air as you showered. I'm pretty sure in the 5 days that we were there, Joshua showered about 15 times lol!!!

And this is the view from our balcony out over the private pool and decorative lagoons and landscaping.

K...that will have to do for part one...more to come later!

Friday, July 9, 2010

These three pictures are so important to me that they have earned their very own post! While we were in Mexico, Joshua arranged for us to have a private professional photo shoot on the beach. While this is normally a very romantic and wonderful idea, for Joshua to make this gesture to me is PRICELESS. See, Joshua HATES getting his picture taken and can't stand when I drag him in for things like family Christmas photos. He just isn't a photo loving guy. But on his own, he came up with and arranged for us to have these pictures done while we were on vacation. He said he wanted to replace our engagement picture that has hung on our wall for 15 years with something new. The photo shoot was a ton of fun and will be one of my favorite memories of our trip. And even though it was crazy windy, we got some amazing shots (kudos to our photographer)!!

We're BACK and a THANK YOU!!

OH.MY.GOOD.NESS!!! We had such an amazing time the last two weeks! During Joshua's much needed vacation, we packed in a TON of fun! First thing is first...THANK YOU to Mom and Dad for enduring some undeserved miserable travel to come here and take care of our monkeys so Joshua and I could escape to Mexico for 5 days! While we were gone, JoJo and PaPa kept the monkeys very busy and everyone had a blast!

Right before we left, we got to celebrate Dad's 60th birthday with him!!

Fun at the park...

Playin' in the lazy river at the water park...

In front of the children's museum...

Playing "store" at the children's museum (can I just say that it's soooo nice that Em isn't "too big" yet to have fun with her younger brothers at places like this?!)