Thursday, April 25, 2013

puerto rico....it's a family affair

Vaca recap time!! Finally! Now that we have Charlotte napping in her crib again, she sleeps better and longer which means I can get a few more things done around the house....like blogging!

Over spring break we went on a family vacation to Puerto Rico. Grandma, Rachel, Sara, Travis Peter, Matt, Charlotte and me. It was the first time all of us (minus Charlotte of course) had travelled together since 2008, back when Matt and I got engaged! It was long over due. 

As you recall, we started our vacation early with a little wine tasting in the Sonoma area with family. On Sunday we met up with Grandma and Rachel near the San Francisco airport since we would be flying together early Monday morning.


crossing the golden gate bridge, on our way to the hotel!

enjoying drinks and food the night before our trip!
 We relaxed, had some dinner and tried to get to bed at a reasonable hour since we had a 6am flight to catch. I don't know about everyone else but it was hard for me to get to sleep....I was just too excited about our trip!

We made our way to the airport, through security, onto the plane and to our first layover - Dallas - without any issues. Charlotte slept for half the flight and was very well behaved the rest of the time. I was on cloud nine, and then I got the voicemail. "Hello, this is American Airlines. We are calling to inform you that your flight from Dallas to Puerto Rico has been cancelled. You have been rebooked on a flight tomorrow, flying from Dallas to NY to Puerto Rico. Goodbye". UM WHAT??!! Not only was our flight cancelled, but we are won't be flying out until the following day, and through New York....WTF? What about my vacation time? It's not like we could just extend the trip an extra day or two. Matt had to be back on Sunday because his first class started Monday. Ugh.

As soon as we got that message we headed over to the counter to ask what was going on. We had heard rumors they had actually rebooked us for that day. The whole time we waited I was anxious and nervous. I just couldn't relax until I knew for sure we were on that flight. We get up to the counter and guess what? They did get a new plane and our original flight was set to leave at the same time. But there were 30 fewer seats on this new plane, and since we were sitting near the back we got booted off. UGH!! So we begged and pleaded and told them we HAD to get on a plane today to get to Puerto Rico! Under no circumstances were we waiting until the next day to fly out. Luckily they were able to book us on another flight, going through Miami (lame) and arriving at 10pm. Not happy about extending our day even longer but at least we were getting there the same day. Needless to say we had drinks while we waited to catch our flight to Miami. 


riding the old people shuttle through the airport to catch our next flight
After arriving at our hotel (Caribe Hilton), ordering room service and hanging out for a bit we were ready for bed! Time to rest up and recharge after all that traveling!!

We spent most of the time we were in San Juan at the pool and beach, which is exactly what I wanted. We were paying for the room and the amenities, we might as well enjoy them right? We wanted as much relaxation and fun in the sun as we could get. It is breezy and cool in Monterey and we were in need of some warm tropical weather. And boy did Charlotte love it! She got to wear her cute sundresses, splash around in the pool, and take naps in the hammocks. Couldn't get any better than that!!


nap time

hammocks

ass beats towel

view from the room

nap time while everyone else enjoyed the bar





 Playing in the pool and the sand was Charlotte's favorite part of the trip!! She is a water baby!



ooo sand



 Our one excursion of the trip was rum tasting at the Bacardi factory. And it was delicious! And it was free! We got two drinks tickets each and a tour of the factory. We also stocked up on a couple of bottles for the room, so we would spend less at the pool bar!


the flying "v". Where is this free booze you speak of?


oh yea give me some rum!!

the Clutes!!


the whole gang
We also enjoyed some shopping and a few dinners in old town San Juan. It is such a cute little downtown area, with tiny streets and bright colored buildings. The roads are stone and there are wonderful little restaurants on the street. Has a quaint European feel.



dinner downtown

Sara getting kissed by an Iguana
her first pina colada! (virgin of course)
Charlotte's friend! She came over and wanted to play with her. so cute!!

 One of the nights the boys decided to explore the city on their own....man was it a shocker waking up to this the next morning!!



and Peter, channeling his inner lion
They obviously had a really great time!!

The whole trip flew by. Before we knew it it was time to go home. :( I definitely could have used a few more days on the beach. I miss wearing my dresses and shorts and flip flops! And spending all that quality family time together was awesome. Lots of good bonding happened during all that time spent day drinking. haha. And watching movies in bed together. And Charlotte did so well! She was a little more attached to us since her surroundings were unfamiliar and she didn't remember who anyone was, but we made due. We just slathered on the sunscreen and spent as much time out and about as possible. It was perfect.

playing with Mommy's hat


Gma!

Gma as a baby? Nope, Charlotte with Gma's wig on!!
And finally, a little video of Charlotte splashing in the water. Pretty sure this was her first time in the ocean! First flight, first time in the ocean, first time in a wig, lots of firsts for this little girl.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

mommy brain at its finest

A month ago I bought a Shutterfly deal that gave me half off a photo book. I usually do the creative memories albums, customizing them and doing everything myself, but I wanted to give these albums a shot. Scrapbooking can take a looooong time and these days I have very little crafty time so anything that speed things along is ideal. And because the coupon expired mid April I actually had a deadline! I chose to put together a photo book of our Australia and New Zealand trip. It was a wonderful vacation with a lot of beautiful pictures that we wish we could put up all over the house, so being able to see them in the album anytime we want was perfect.

I spent a week or more creating the album (1 hour work sessions here and there). Even though it was all online it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. There were a lot of ways to customize it and edit it, which I loved! And after showing off the final product to Matt - and getting his approval - I sent it in to get printed. 

We finally got it in the mail a few days ago and as I am taking it out of the package Matt points out the cover......


and the back...
back quote "the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page" - St. Augustine


Beautiful? yes. 2012?? NO! We went to Australia and New Zealand in 2011!! DAH!! I must have looked this book over 50+ times and never once did I notice that. I thought for sure I would misspell something, somewhere, but nope, just got the wrong year. I am going to blame Mommy brain. LOL. I really want to take a sharpie to that but Matt says to just leave it. In 20 years it will be a pretty funny story.....if we can even remember it is incorrect! hahaha. 

And the reason for the Mommy brain....
worth every silly moment :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

there are sober people in africa

I think the title says it all....we like a good drink! Especially a crisp glass of wine. And in the past month we have tried the fruits of the region, going wine tasting in Sonoma and Carmel. 

Right before our trip to Puerto Rico we met up with family in the Santa Rosa area and spent the weekend wine tasting and relaxing. We arrived on Friday and got a tour of the area including beautiful Bodega Bay. It was windy and cold outside but we sent Matt out for a few pictures of the gorgeous landscape.  


 
Yep Harley got to go too! 

We spent the day wine tasting in Sonoma on Saturday. It was a sunny warm day and I wish I had worn a skirt instead of jeans. I am used to the cool weather of Monterey and missed out on a chance to get some sun. Oh well. 

We stopped at four wineries, and because we were with members all our wine tasting was free! Love free wine! First up was Coppola. It was a Godfather winery, complete with a mansion and lovely pool for the summer. Then there was Pedroncelli and two others that I can't recall the names of. That's a good sign right? It means I was having too much fun to care where we were going!




playing with cousin Gavin



family! Kassidy, Brent, and Marlene

It was so warm out that Charlotte had to take off her pants to stay cool. And she even took a little dip in the fountain to get her splash on!
happy girl 

playing in the fountain at the last winery

our lunch stop

Kassidy :)

post nap confused look

After a full day out and about we ended our adventure with a fun family dinner. As we were leaving Brent and Kassidy's place that night I felt like something was missing. We got in the car...

Me: "I hope we didn't forget anything"
roll down the window, wave goodbye, start backing out....
Kassidy: "you forgot something"
Me "what?"
Kassidy: "any guesses"
mind is totally blank. 
Kassidy: "he has 4 legs"
Me: "H!!!" 
hahaha. Yep we almost left H behind. Poor H. I blame Mommy brain.

It was a wonderful day and we can't wait to do it again! We topped off our mini vacation with lunch in a small town called Occidental. It reminded me of a small West Virginia town. It was super cute.


helping Mommy eat breakfast


And just last weekend we decided it was time to check out the wineries of Carmel Valley. Monterey area was rated one of the best places in the world to wine taste so we knew we needed to see what the fuss was all about. Grandma and Rachel were in town for a visit and Sara made a last minute trip down to join us. It was a full house - 5 adults, a baby, and 2 dogs - but so much fun!! Yes we had just vacationed together 2 weeks prior in Puerto Rico, but apparently we all missed each other and needed a reunion. We were one short - Peter wasn't able to make it - next time Peter!!

dinner at home 

Charlotte remembers Gma and let her hold her! Yay!
 After a lovely breakfast at home - thanks Sara for cooking! - we drove 20 minutes to Carmel Valley and started wine tasting. Our first stop was Chateau Julian. It was a beautiful white mansion with vineyards nearby and a gorgeous outdoor patio. A little pricey for the pours we got but good enough to get us to buy some wine! :)




 The next stop was our favorite - Boekenoogen - generous pours and 10 tastes for $10. Plus the guy was totally cool and we were the only people in there. Grandma bought us a delicious Pinot Noir that we are saving for a special occasion! Can't wait! 


cheers!
Then we walked across the street (all the tasting rooms for the wineries are together in the downtown area) to Bernardus. That place was packed! Maybe it was because they had crackers. I know that sure made us stick around a little while longer. haha. 

kisses from auntie

By the time we were finished with that tasting it was time for lunch. So we headed back to Boekenoogen where we enjoyed our snacks with a glass of their wine. Perfect!!


Our last stop was just down the road, Talbott. It had a great view of the mountains and a generous pour.

give me that glass!

oooo Gma's tongue



And after a nap at home (for me and Charlotte) we headed to downtown Carmel for dinner. We went to this quaint Mediterranean place called Dametra. It was so yummy!!


We are already planning our next trip to Carmel Valley for more wine tasting. There are a ton of wineries right on that strip that we still need to check out! And remember, there are sober people in Africa, so get your drink on!!