Friday, June 28, 2013

New Hobby?

I've been trying to think of something semi-athletic that Nicholas and I could do together...  other than running - I just can't get into running. And, before you go there, something semi-athletic that would get us out of the house. ;)

We are really good at wine tasting and eating and lounging in the pool... but, it's probably a good idea for our health to do something with a little more movement that we could both enjoy. (There I go again with the innuendos...)

I told Nicholas about my idea and the next thing I know, Nicholas is packing up his clubs and we are off to the driving range!

I have never played golf. (Other than miniature golf, of course.) Nicholas, being the gentleman that he his, graciously showed me how to swing... you know, with his arms wrapped around mine and our bodies close up together. I couldn't complain.

We've since been to the driving range a few times together, but I have yet to play a full round of golf. I still have some practicing to do, but I'm happy that I have a patient (and handsome!) instructor!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Half Moon Bay Bike Ride.

Half Moon Bay is one of my favorite coastal towns. Not only do they have an amazing pumpkin festival in the fall, they also have a wonderful bike trail that runs parallel to the coast with some of the most beautiful views there are. HMB is an easy 45 min drive from us here in San Jose, so one Saturday last month, Nicholas and I decided to head up there for the day. We loaded up his bike and rented one for me when we got up there. We rode our bikes along the coast - trying not to get too close to the cliffs' edge! - all the way to the Ritz Carlton (this trail was partially unpaved) in one direction and Pillar Point Harbor in the other. Our loop ended up being about 12 miles! But, thankfully, it was relatively flat and easy! I also loved that 90% of the bike path is car-free.

^The edge of the grass is the edge of the cliff! 

There's just something about these views that are so romantic! We also found a little bench to snuggle up on and watch the fog roll in.

After our ride, we had a much needed warm dinner at Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. It was delicious! If you decide to go to HMB, don't forget your fleece... it's breezy and "brisk" even in June!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Orlando and Universal Studios!

After our trip to the Dominican, I flew straight to Orlando for a work conference. Because of our flight delays, I missed about half of the conference, but still managed to make it worthwhile! 

Drinks in one of the hotel bars after a long day of traveling... I finally made it!

The conference was at the Peabody in Orlando. 

This was the view of the pool from my room - so wish I would've had time to go to the pool. 

The keynote address on the last day was Misty May-Treanor being interviewed by ESPN's Linda Cohn. It was interesting to hear the two women, who are both successful in the world of sports in different ways, talk about their journeys. Misty even talked about meeting Prince Harry! How fun.

Now for the really fun stuff.... the conference wrapped up Thursday afternoon and my manager and I went to Universal Studios and the Island of Adventures for the rest of the day on Thursday and Friday!

First stop, Hogsmeade from Harry Potter!

Don't the snow covered roof tops look odd in Florida?! 
It was really warm out, too!

I tried Butterbeer! 
It was good... it tasted like Cream Soda with a hint of butterscotch, and a whipped cream topping for the foam. 

The ride was so fun. We went on it twice!!

After the Jurassic Park ride. We got splashed at the end.

 On Friday, we went to Universal Studios and rode all the rides there. The Revenge of the Mummy, which is a pitch black, indoor roller coaster, was my favorite.

And, we saw super heros...

And, a replica of San Francisco... even Fisherman's Wharf and the Buena Vista cafe...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dominican Republic Vacation: Part 3

After a relaxing week on the beach and a fun wedding celebration, we were sad to be leaving paradise and to be saying goodbye to family.

We took this picture on the beach on our last day in the Dominican Republic... or so we thought!

After sitting on the plane for 30 minutes, the captain announced that our plane was having a mechanical issue and would not be able to leave until the next morning! We would have to stay another night - shucks!

Luckily, since we were sitting in first class (!!!), we were the first off the play, the first to the shuttle, the first to the hotel that American Airlines put us up in (which was very nice by the way, but not on the beach), and the first to get checked into our room.

Out of everything that could go wrong, we lucked out.

We relaxed at the hotel bar and had one of the best dinners on the trip - local Dominican food.

The downside was that our 3:55pm flight was rescheduled to 7am the next day, and we missed our connections in Miami. Even worse, I was actually traveling straight from the DR to Orlando for a work conference, so wasn't going to be able to make it to the conference in time.

At 2am, we got a call that the flight was rescheduled (again!) from 7am to 3:55pm, a full 24 hours after we were supposed to leave. Nick got on the phone and after a very frustrating talk and multiple disconnections (which is never pleasant, but especially not at 2am!), he was able to play his "Platinum" status card and get us on a different flight.

Once we made it to Miami, we had a 7 hour layover before I was able to get on a flight to Orlando and Nick to SFO. Whew! Not the best end to our trip, but at least we made it to our destinations safe and sound! :) And, we got to hang out in the Admiral's Club all day.... I was spoiled!

(Part 1 and Part 2, in case you missed them!)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dominican Republic Vacation: Part 2

We have Nick's brother, Aaron and his new wife, Annie to thank for our amazing vacation to Punta Cana, because they were the real reason we were there.... we were there for their wedding!

What a gorgeous backdrop!

The rehearsal dinner was on Thursday... right on the beach!

 We were all serenaded by a saxophone for the rehearsal evening!

Nick's siblings, Mom, and new sister-in-law!


CJ played the mandolin at the wedding.
Brought back awesome memories of him playing at our wedding almost 3 years ago!

The ceremony was performed in Spanish (the native language) and then translated to English (for us 'Mericans)

 Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Mead!

Then, the celebration begins!
This trio played one of my favorite songs from the trip... Ai Se Eu Tu Pego by Michel Telo.



After the cocktail hour, we moved to a new spot for the reception dinner!

 Wedding Reception.

We had a delicious seafood dinner and a tequila toast to the bride and groom!
Nicholas gave a very nice speech at the dinner as well that had everyone laughing and tearing up - the best kind of speech!

As the cake was cut, it started to rain... and it didn't stop!
 Imagine the bride and groom splashing around in the rain for their wedding dance. 
So romantic!

Well, the rest of us wanted in on the fun, so we all just started dancing in the rain.

A little rain wouldn't stop us!

 Dancing in the rain was the favorite part of the trip by far! 

The Meads just don't dance, they DANCE. Such a fun wedding.

Congrats to Aaron and Annie!

Some pics taken by friends and family.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dominican Republic Vacation: Part 1.

Sometimes when you travel, you want to explore and see lots of things in a short amount of time and go, go, go.... (like us in the UK!)

And, sometimes, you just want to completely veg.
This trip was the latter.

Our toughest decisions of the day...
Which bathing suit should I wear today?
Should we start at the pool or the beach?
Pina Colada or Rum Punch?

It was perfectly relaxing.

We were also there for Nick's older brother's wedding! (more on that later) So, it was wonderful to have the whole family there, too.

The trip even started off better than I could have imagined... 
We were upgraded to first class there (and back)!
It was my first time in first class and let me tell you... I never want to go back to coach again.

At least there are some perks to Nick's high-travel job.

We made it to the resort after a 45 min white-knuckled ride through the island, at night, with a crazy driver!

 First morning on the beach and couldn't be happier!

My little slice of paradise.

Fresh coconut!

Todd (Nick's Bro-in-law), Aaron (Nick's oldest brother and the groom), Nick, and CJ (Nick's older brother) 
The grounds of the resort were just gorgeous as well... so pretty that we didn't leave the resort once the whole week we were there!

After our days in the sun, we'd meet the whole family for cocktails, then dinner, then we'd eventually make it to the discotech for some dancing!!


In the morning, we'd lay in the hammock on our patio until room service was delivered!

This picture was taken before coffee, hence the sleepy eyes!

We had it rough, didn't we? ;)

One of my favorite spots:

We spent one afternoon boogie boarding! It was so fun. 
It reminded me of summers on South Padre Island when I was younger.
(And, I do have to say that I caught the most waves and rode the farthest!)

My other favorite spot:
As long as I have a good book, I could lay there for hours...