Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jamaicaaaaaaaaahhhh

With very minimal sunburns, we return from our vacation relaxed and refreshed. Life at Sandals Montego Bay was tough. Our days mainly consisted of the following schedule:

8:00 wake up

9:00 head out to the beach, sun screened up, grab towels and find a great beach chair under an umbrella. Then head to breakfast

9:30ish, head out to the beach, read, relax, gaze upon the gorgeous ocean and people watch

11:00ish, beach bar opens. Bob Marley begins playing on the loudspeakers. Grab a drink (I preferred the Miami Vice and Dave preferred the Rum Runner) lounge, relax, drink, eat lunch

3:00ish, head back to our room. Continue to lounge, relax, read, drink (from our minibar)

6ish, head out for dinner, enjoy the entertainment

9ish to bed.

Yeah, it was exhausting. So the place was great. The beach was warm, but not too hot. The shade was plentiful and the breeze kept the 'feels-like' temperature at a pleasant 75 or so. It was perfect. The beach bar was really fun. All the bartenders have their own drinks. Dave enjoyed the 'Grant Special' quite a bit. I liked the frozen coconutie things. Ahh, really lovely.

We loved the location, got upgraded upon check in. What is rather funny is the hotel is REALLY close to the airport, which is one of the reasons we chose this resort. However, we didn't realize how close the airport was. When we walked out of our room, we could see, on one side the ocean and the other side the runway. Yes, the runway. So when planes took off, it felt like they were taking off from our room. It was amazing. But after a day you really get used to it. And it was a nice wake up call. First flights were at 8am.

The food was good. One restaurant had a strict dress code (we saw some people get turned away for their outfits) and the food there was amazing! This was the place that served authentic Jamaican cuisine served with white gloves. Our serve didn't wear the white gloves but the food felt like she was wearing them. It did not feel like we were at a place that was mass producing food. It was really quite good.

It was so relaxing to be away. We really did nothing. It was wonderful!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

History of My Luck (on the Internet)

I’m not what one would call an optimist. I try to look for the brighter side of things but it’s not without effort. I have to make a point to do so. I wish I were one of those light floaty optimists, but unfortunately I am not. But the number of times I’ve said ‘I am so lucky’ in the past few weeks is extraordinary. But when you think about it, I really am:

I have a loving husband who I just adore. Whenever we come home, it’s the most warming feeling to just be together. To giggle, be silly, just sit next to each other and hold hands, it is such a perfect feeling. I feel so incredibly lucky to have found him (and hooked him) and that we get to spend all our nights together. We met, like most of the important people in my life, on the internet.

I am lucky to have friends from various parts of my life. I have a dear friend from middle school I still talk to and am so happy to be part of her amazing and fantastic life (http://www.jennifertaylormusic.com/).

Right after college I did Americorps in Sacramento. I lived with 3 (and 4 for a short period of time) other girls in a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath apartment. Yes, there were 5 of us at one point. We got paid $900 a month and it was plenty for us to live the way we did. The quarters never felt cramped, we had a morning shower routine down pat. And despite the 4th girl living on an air bed behind our couch (I kid you not) it was cozy- AND she paid rent! Crazy. Perhaps it was the close quarters or the low income or the not-knowing-another-soul-in-that-timezone, we became lifelong friends. It has been really a blessing to know these 3 girls, all so different, who have lived in NY, Prague, London, Austin, Boston and San Francisco.

After Sacto, I moved to San Francisco. After living in some serious dumpy places, I settled into a 4 bedroom, 2 bath apartment that I found on craigslist (consequently just 2 blocks from the ‘office’ of craigslist). I met some amazing people in that apartment through my roommates and neighbors. We lived in an AWESOME area of the city and it was not weird to meet people via the internet, I met several more friends through a girls networking group.

After trying SF for 3 years, I decided to move back to CT. Since I never thought I would return, I didn’t keep in touch with too many of my college or high school friends. So I knew hardly anyone. But I did what worked for me in the past, went to craigslist and found a bookclub. Bookclub sounds stuffy and old lady-ish. But I knew better. I did a bookclub in SF and it was guaranteed to involve a killer hangover the next day and one the girls always sneaking out to do partake in some illegal activities. My CT bookclub is awesome. It always involves wine, it’s packed with good friends, new and old. And what is really fun- we’ve grown to a good sized group. There is a constant 7 of us now. With a few others who come when they can. So what this turns into is a party, every few weeks with some of your favorite girls, good food and delicious wine. What more could a girl ask for? I am so lucky. Truly so lucky.

There are many other things I am lucky for too, to have loving parents (and in-laws, Hi Paul!) who support me. To have a job that continues to pay me. To have a beautiful home that I get to live in and hasn’t broken (when the wind blows hard I hold my breath the roof doesn’t blow off). I love coming home. I am lucky to have my health, my mind but most of all, I’m so lucky to have all the love in my life, which I found mostly on the internet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Jamaica Mon

So the countdown has begun for our vacation. MAN, I am so excited. We're off to Jamaica for an ALL INCLUSIVE vacation. Yes, a swim up pool with drinks like the Hummingbird, the Bob Marley and the classics- margarita and pina colada. OOH YEAH. And several restaurants, the one I'm most excited about is the Jamaican one served with white gloves. Now, I have no idea why the white gloves thrills me. It seems silly considering how many times waitstaff probably dips their hands in someones dish, accidentally. It's just part of eating, but it does thrill me to pieces.

The reviews of our place all talk about the Jerk Chicken served beach side at some bar/grill type thing. We are BOTH excited about that too, though chicken doesn't make me excited, you have to eat jerk when in Jamaica, right? Our skin is too white, and hopefully remains too white for the whole week. Our eyes haven't seen bright sun in months and our plan is to just stay on the resort, no off-resort excursions. Not that the Dominican is anything like Jamaica, but after our Dominican experience (climbing waterfalls and jumping off rocks into rock pools, sliding down other waterfalls, tucking in elbows and knees but getting some nasty scrapes anyway) we'll stay on the resort, eating, drinking and sleeping our way through each and every piece of it.

I'm also thrilled because I bought myself two new bathing suits. I haven't bought suits in the last few years, and the last time I did, I was trimmer (read: bikinis) and now I'm not. So I have two cute tankinis which are fun and excited and I won't be uncomfortable swimming up to the bar and sitting to drink a drink. I am excited about the swim up bar, can you tell? I've never had the experience of a swim up bar. I'd imagine you have to get there early to really appreciate it, or hover until someone needs to pee... unless... you don't think, do you? That's gross!

Well, anyway, I'm thrilled. I just need to find a sprout sitter for our broccoli sprouts... any takers?

Friday, March 13, 2009

CSI addiction and sleep depravation

So this week has been a weird one for me. First, I am a good, very good sleeper. I rarely have a hard time falling asleep and rarely wake up in the middle of the night (except for the 5am wake up for the gym that I blow off about 50% of the time). So this week I slept terribly. I am blaming the time change for the first two nights I woke up at 3:45. Well, sometimes I wake up at 4:45 in mental preparation of the gym at 5. But 3:45? No one should have to wake up in the 3 o’clock hour. It’s just awful. But, I woke up feeling refreshed, most of the time, and ready for the day, except I am hours too early. So I lay there, angry at myself that I can’t fall back asleep. The next two nights, I was up at 2:15. Exactly 2:15 both nights? So weird. At least with those two nights I fell back asleep. Strangely, I haven’t felt tired. I mean, sure I’m tired, but not like my eyelids are dragging on the ground. Just sort of tired. That’s what is astounding to me. I should be exhausted. But I’m not. Last night, I'm happy to report, I woke up at 4:30, after which I did fall back asleep and blew off the gym so I slept until 6:30. How lovely. Thank goodness. I think I'm back on track, but my goodness... so strange.

Second, I am not normally a big tv watcher. I watch some, which is a drastic increase from my recent watching but I wouldn’t say I watch a lot of tv. Lately, I have had this craving, this strange urge for CSI. Any CSI, not just the Vegas one, ANY CSI. And Spike TV almost always has a marathon every day from about noon to 8pm- I know this b/c one day last week I left work at noon and watched CSI ALL DAY LONG. From 1, to about 7:30. I love CSI. It is a great show. The NY is the one I like most, Vegas second. I like the Miami one the least, because of that red-haired guy, Horatio (I mean, what kind of name is that?) but I will watch any of them. Thank goodness for Spike TV and CSI Marathons.

Perhaps with my sleep my addiction to CSI will fade. I think my husband hopes so. He's not a fan of the show.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Broccoli Sprouts

This picture signifies several accomplishments all in one. Dave and I are starting a vegetable garden. We discovered this concept called Square Foot Gardening which is a raised bed, 4x4 ft garden allowing for 16 different vegetables (or fruit or flowers) to be grown. The idea is, with the raised bed, the ingredients to be filled into the raised bed are ideal for organic vegetable growing. It seems idiot-proof, with directions how to mix the soil ingredients, build the box, even a cover to prevent wildlife from eating the veggies, and how to grown what.


So we've decided on what we'll grow: broccoli, onions, strawberries, sugar snap peas, strawberries, zucchini, beans. We'll also do tomatoes, but not in the square foot garden. The biggest hiccup is figuring out when the Last Spring Frost (LSF) is. All the planting directions are from the last spring frost. So we research that date and then talk to my parents who inform us it's much later. Anyway, we choose the last weekend in May to be a safe date. So broccoli (see photo) needs to be planted 12 weeks before the last spring frost. They sprouted up lovely and are so tall and cute! The sprouts are FUN and we're so happy something has grown. Looking forward to onions in a few weeks...


But what is more exciting is evidence that I have a new camera and it's hooked up to the computer. Yay! We also finally hooked up our Christmas gift (a printer) and it creates AMAZING photos. I can't believe it. I'm ashamed to admit we just hooked the printer up, but we've gone for years without a printer and now I feel incredibly luxurious. After 2 trips to Office Depot to get the right wire (did you know printers don't come with the connection wire thing?) it's up and running and the capabilities are awesome. Thank you Suz and Geoff!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Girl Crush

Ok, I admit it. I have a girl-crush on Michelle Obama. Man, how gorgeous is she? She is like a supermodel, but the one we want little girls to see as a role model. She is beautiful, fashionable (although she wasn’t always), brilliant, a wonderful mother, a strong wife and a real life person with a rockin’ body. She has invited the public into her life and her family in a way I’ve never envisioned. I know that Barack (I’ll refer to him as Rocky) loves scallops and one of the family members loves homemade waffles and grits. I know Rocky coveted Michelle for months and she kept brushing him off. He persisted and she gave in. Their fist date was for ice cream. Rocky respects her family and the relationship he has with his mother-in-law is absolutely precious…

But back to Michelle. She admits her marriage is hard and they have to work at it. She is someone I feel like I know. She’s someone I’d feel excited to meet, shake her hand and even talk to her about books or cooking. She FEELS like a real person, like no other First Lady ever has in my lifetime. And, did I mention, she’s gorgeous with a rockin bod?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ready for a Change... In Clothes

I’m not one to complain about the weather. After living in a place that has the wackiest weather I’ve ever witnessed (San Francisco), I am happy to be back in New England. There are so many differences about living in New England vs. San Francisco. The main one being seasons. Ah yes, hot and cold. So nice. Another is the color brown. Whoever says black is a universal color has not seen my skin tone. I look awful in black (the universal color of San Francisco) so I tend to wear it on my bottom. But brown, oh I love the color brown. Brown is lovely upon my skin and my unnatural hair color. Brown is heaven. But brown is a fall/winter color, not a spring or summer color.

You see, in New England, your wardrobe changes with the seasons. You put your sweaters away in the summer and your tank-tops away in the winter. You don’t need your flip flops in the wintertime, and you don’t need your boots in the summer. It’s just a fact of life. And what is so wonderful about the seasonal wardrobes is just when you start to get bored with your clothes, you swap them out for the new season ones! It’s so nice, like shopping… but not spending money.

So this morning, waking to a beautiful blanket of new snowfall, as I went to pick out my sweaters and shoes, I realized I’m bored with my clothes. I want some new clothes. I NEED some new clothes. But by the time I get around to getting some (I hate shopping) I’m sure it will be the time, at least the beginning, of my warm weather clothes and I thank goodness for that wardrobe swap.