Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sushi and Champagne

Friday night we went for Sushi with Nicole & Stan. Nicole only has a week and a half to go before baby Charlotte enters the world! Saturday I got up early and ran 4 miles in THIRTY-FIVE degree weather at White Rock lake. It was cold and windy! I don't know how hard core athletes do it, but I was pretty proud of myself.
Saturday night we had an amazing dinner with the Ennens and Hottingers. It was so great to catch up! Joe and Linda cooked and we had a wine tasting (the Syrah from Spain surprised us all), champagne (yay), pheasant with morrel mushrooms (apparently $199 a lb), bananas foster (flames and all).
Today we're laying low and getting some work done. Moorea is camped out in my lap as I write this - not a bad gig....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Movies and Mexican Fiestas

This weekend it was nice to finally be home and just get stuff done! For instance, our Christmas tree just got taken down... we've been a little busy to say the least.

Friday night we had dinner with Lindsey and Randy at a new restaurant called "Go Fish". The sushi was so good and the restaurant had a very cool, trendy vibe. We will definitely be back! Afterwards we say the movie, Slumdog Millionaire, which everyone has been raving about. I honestly think it was the best movie I've ever seen. Totally incredible...

Saturday was the first official day of training for an upcoming half marathon in April. Some of my friends are now meeting weekly at White Rock lake to do our longer runs together. It was cold in the morning, but the run flew by with everyone telling stories to keep us entertained.

Saturday night we celebrated Chad's birthday at a Mexican Fiesta. Janelle and Michael brought baby Maya (who I'm officially in love with) and little Hudson took pictures with his new digital camera. It was great to spend time with the crew!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mexican Marriage

We just returned from one of the most amazing weddings ever! Sara Holben, a college sorority sister, took my advice and decided to marry James Hadden in a destination wedding! We spent 4 wonderful days in Mexico, soaking up the sun with many of our dearest friends. Here are the "nice" pictures.

Mexican Margaritas

After the tequila shots came out.... the "after hours" pictures

Shannon entertains us by dancing to Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer"

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl fun

As a result of an award that Dana won at work, we were blessed with a fun trip to Phoenix to watch the Fiesta Bowl. The surrounding events included a lot of tailgaiting, golf and time at the spa! I even found time to have lunch and do a little shopping with Gita, a dear friend from college.
We had very mixed emotions when we found out that we had both the best seats (50 yd line, 3rd row) and the worst seats (sitting in the Ohio State section... major Michigan rivals). Regardless, it was an amazing game!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Beaches & Belikan Beer: A recap of our Belize vacation

We've been so busy getting ready for our next 2 trips (we're leaving for the Fiesta Bowl today and then Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday) that we haven't yet had time to recap our wonderful Belize vacation!

Here are some memories...

First, it was amazing and beautiful and totally relaxing. I came back 100% refreshed and ready to conquer my everyday life again, which rarely happens.

We spent 8 days total in Belize - 4 at the beach and 4 in the rainforest.

Our first stop was Placencia in Southern Belize. We took a TINY plane there from Belize City - it was a little scary but the view was breath-taking so I'd definitely do it again. I loved where we stayed so much (Chabil Mar) that I want to buy a place there as soon as possible! It was this really small, quiet, luxury beachfront place with new beach villas and an infinity pool. Highlights here included a candlelight dinner on the water looking out on a night sky full of stars under our private thatched hut, bike rides to town, lots of rum punch and a great dinner at one of Francis Coppola's restaurants and an amazing day trip on Monkey River.

During this excursion, a small boat held the 5 of us and took us to a small local village. Then we traveled up the river with Percy (a.k.a Rambo), our local guide. We saw lots of manatees, birds, crocodiles, iguana and healing (medicinal) plants. One highlight was our rainforest walk and hearing the howler monkeys (they make sounds that make you feel like you are walking through a haunted house - totally bizarre). It was a really amazing experience.

Christmas Eve we headed to a resort called Blancaneux, which was truly unbelievable and also owned by Francis Ford Coppola. The 4 hr drive there was over pretty dreadful dirt roads- but it was totally worth it! The small resort is located on Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Preserve it is stunning. There are about 14 teak, eco-friendly units by the river. We were in a villa right by the natural pool and falls and surrounded by palms, pines and numerous lush plants. It was complete relaxation - highlighted by a lot of time spent reading by the pool or on a hammock. During the days we'd hike to the falls or enjoy a bird watching tour at daybreak (LOTS of birdwatchers and divers in Belize). Each evening at sunset we'd sit in the hot pool and enjoy cocktails (basil mojitos and caipirinas).

On our last day we made a trip to the Belize Zoo, which was wonderful. It is really a wild animal park with jaguars, spider and howler monkeys, tapir, crocs, ocelot, parrots, macaw, harpy eagles, jabiru stork, jaguarundi, peccari, coati mundi, deer, short-eared rabbits, . . . very cool.

It was definitely a trip we'll remember and treasure for life!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve we enjoyed a fun Mexican dinner with our community group. Afterwards we went to Cayce and John's for champagne cocktails and a "Catch Phrase" tournament. The guys beat the girls, but luckily all we had bet was our pride : )