Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adios Mexico!

Today was our last day here and I am so sad. I tried to be "in the moment" all day and not think about going back to the reality of cold weather and responsibility tomorrow! It was fun being carefree for a few days! :

Even though we had a great time today, it doesn't make for a very exciting post. haha Sometimes the funnest days are boring to talk about. :)

Ashley asked me what we did today and I said, "Welllll...we were lazy all day and hung out by the pool eating chips and salsa and fajitas!" Here I am with my favorite thing...an ice cold coke! They put limes in everything here! :)






It was another gorgeous day and I feel so blessed that we have been able to get away and enjoy all this sun and beauty. I know it won't be long before the sun is nice and warm in Charlotte again!

Tonight we went to dinner at a little place called Calypso's. Here we are right before we left the hotel. (Those flowers behind us are real and they have huge arrangements of them everywhere in the hotel lobby!)


Calypso's was a tiny hole in the wall that we would have never stepped foot into if we hadn't seen it on trip advisor.com. We got seafood and it was really good. The owner was so friendly and made us feel very welcome. They had good American music playing and homemade salsa and guacamole. It was fun.


Tonight we are just hanging out and watching American movies with Spanish subtitles and packing up to leave tomorrow.

Adios Mexico!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Adventure

This post has tons of pictures, so I will prepare you upfront...haha!

I think I am still on Charlotte time. I have been getting sleepy really early and waking up really early too! What on earth? I'm on VACATION! haha We woke up to the most gorgeous day today. The sun was shining and the sky was clear blue. I opened the curtains to our room and looked out and saw this view...


We went down to breakfast and this time we just got the fruit and pastries.


Look at this beautiful fruit plate!


Just eating breakfast outside in the warm air is enough to make my day. We went to the pool and beach and thought about hanging out there again today because we love it so much.







But we decided to have a little adventure instead and try some things that there are to do near Cancun. We heard that this place called XCaret was really fun and it wasn't too far, so that sounded good.


And I have the best husband in the world. In less than an hour he had rented us a car and researched how to get the best prices for everything and figured out how to get there...so we were off! We both felt a little weird driving a car in Mexico. All the signs are in Spanish and we were hoping we wouldn't get lost!

I wasn't sure what to expect once we got there. I thought maybe it would be like a cheaper version of Disney World or something? But it was very nice!!

This place was huge and it had so many fun things to do. We saw all kinds of animals like gigantic sea turtles, dolphins, and parrots...


We saw ancient Mayan ruins...


There was a beach where you could snorkel. We have snorkeled in Cancun before and the fish are amazing. But we didn't do it this time.




We stopped here and got some ice cream!


We went on a riverboat tour through a "jungle". That was so pretty and relaxing. Silence was required on the boat and it was very quiet and peaceful.


We even saw a Mexican horse show and listened to a mariachi band. I just love all the colorful dresses they wear! Everything is so bright and pretty.






Here I am with a member of the band! haha


For dinner we had tickets to a dinner show about the history of Mexico. It was two hours long and started with the Mayans and went through the Spanish invasion and all the way up to today. That show was so good. The music and costumes were wonderful and very entertaining!


And our food was delicious. We got steak and shrimp. Here is Steve's yummy dessert...


We had such a fun time! It was fun doing something a little different. If you are ever in the Cancun area, I would definitely recommend XCaret!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Me Gusta Cancun! (I Love Cancun!)

Today we decided to have a day of total R & R. We didn't do much of anything all day except stay at the hotel. We got to sleep in this morning. Then we went down to a huge breakfast buffet which was sooo good. They had everything you could possibly think of including American breakfast food and Mexican breakfast food. You know I was loving that!! This lady was making omelets and we both got one.


Here is just part of the fruit table and let me just tell you that their strawberries and cream was one of the BEST things I have tasted lately!!


Yes, we both ate way too much, but we wanted to try the buffet at least once!




We are staying at the Fiesta Americana and Steve and I have both been so impressed with the customer service at this hotel. There are people waiting on you hand and foot here. There is no need that goes unmet and they are all so friendly! I feel like I'm at Chik-Fil-A because everyone always says, "My pleasure!" haha

After breakfast we headed to the pool and staked out our chairs and that is where we stayed for the rest of the day. I love doing that. Just sitting by the pool sleeping and reading magazines is one of the funnest ways to spend a day for me!






We even ate lunch by the pool. Since I had such a big breakfast, I just got this HUGE smoothie and it was delicious. It tasted like my favorite smoothie from Smoothie King...the light and fluffy (only fresher!)


Steve got some chips and salsa and quesadillas.

Tonight we went to an open air mall called La Isla and had walked around and window shopped and had dinner. We ate at an Italian resataurant called Italianna and it was soo good. On the way over there, we saw a store that sold these cute little Mexican dolls.


When I was little and my dad went to Viet Nam he sent me dolls like this from Thailand, Viet Nam, Japan, and Hawaii and I still have them today! If I still had little girls I would get one of these!

When we got back to our hotel, there were Mexican dancers like this performing!


We watched for a little while, but I didn't take any pictures.

Tomorrow is just another day in paradise! I will keep you updated. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Two Tickets To Paradise

When our kids left home to go off to college and Steve and I were back to just the two of us, even though we were sad, we were kind of excited too. We still get along really well and we just have fun hanging out together! So we decided that when it got cold outside we were going to do something spontaneous and fun and go somewhere tropical! We made our plans and booked our flights and today our little dream is actually happening. We arrived in Cancun, Mexico!

It was crazy trying to get ready to go. I had sooo many lesson plans and materials to get ready and it took me a long time. But it was all worth it.

Today our flight left around 10:00 and we got here around lunchtime. When we got to the hotel, we were welcomed with two complementary fruity drinks! Here is our hotel room and the view from our balcony....




It is very windy here and a little chilly in the shade, but it is GORGEOUS. They even have those beds on the beach!


We had some fajitas for lunch by the pool.




I am wearing a sweater because it is so windy, but there were lots of people in the ocean and at the pool swimming! In the sun it felt so nice.

Tonight our plan was to go walking around a mall near our hotel and then get some dinner and then come back and sit in our little den area and watch the Olympics. But they don't get the Olympics here!! :(


I'm really sad about that because we have been very into the Olympics and I was so looking forward to the women's figure skating tonight!

Oh well, we went out to dinner and had fun watching the women's hockey at the restaurant. Here we are at dinner at a very loud and crazy place called Carlos and Charlie's.


We are home now and have our balcony door open. I can hear the ocean and I don't have to get up early tomorrow. Life is good!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Counting Down...

It's Monday again. Did you have a good weekend? Ours was absolutely gorgeous. It is so crazy that weekend before last it was SNOWING and this past weekend was just like spring!


I made Steve put the cushions back on the chairs on our porch just so we could sit outside for a little while. It made me so excited for spring to get here. I think everyone is feeling that way right about now. I am even starting to shop around online for Easter dresses! But I have heard that we may be in for some more winter weather before we ever really make it to spring!

This weekend was very laid back and I loved it. I got my hair colored...and not a minute too soon. We had dinner at Carraba's on Saturday night to celebrate my aunt's birthday. We watched lots of Olympics and even took a nap or two! Not alot of excitement really. But we are on the countdown to Cancun!


We leave this Thursday. I can't wait to be sitting in the sunshine and walking on a white sandy beach and eating lots of yummy Mexican food! I have sooo much to do between now and then but it will all be worth it.

Before I do and try to get all my schoolwork and laundry done, I wanted to share a really good recipe that I tried last night. I found it on my friend Sophia's blog and I loved it. It's quick and easy and that is what I am all about these days! haha


Italian Chicken

Chicken breasts or tenders

1 large sour cream (You could use the low-fat or no-fat kind, I'm sure.)
2 packages italian dressing mix
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 box Ritz crackers
1 stick of butter, melted

Wash the chicken breasts. Mix sour cream and italian dressing mix. Dip each breast into the sour cream mix and then roll into crushed Ritz crackers. Pour or gently brush the melted butter over the chicken breasts. Bake in a buttered baking dish at 350° over for the first half hour. Then, uncover and continue to bake for another half hour. Enjoy!


I hope your week is off to a GREAT start!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cookies, Crafts, and Cutie Pies

This week has been extremely busy. Wasn't life supposed to slow down once all my kids left home?? I have been taking time out to keep up on the Olympics though. I loved watching Shaun White on the snowboarding. To me he looks just like Carrot Top and he is just totally AMAZING!


And Lindsey Vonn was awesome too!!


I have been a nervous wreck watching the women's skiing after those terrible crashes yesterday!! My favorite part of the Olympics is all the personal stories and just learning new things about the country that is hosting! I love the couples ice skating too and I'm looking forward to that!

Anyway...today I had 8 little girls from school come to my house to make cookies and do crafts. Our school had a raffle to raise money for new computers and every teacher had to offer an item that tickets could be bought for. For example, some teachers did things like provide a homemade fancy dessert brought to the winner every day in the cafeteria...or my friend Candy offered to come over to a child's house in her pajamas and read that child a bedtime story. It's really fun to see what each teacher comes up with!

My raffled item was to have 8 students over to my house for a fun afternoon with me and my friend Ginger, who is also a second grade teacher. For our craft, we decided to make paper flowers. Yes, I am READY for spring...can you tell? Here are the flowers we made.


We also iced cookies with pretty pastel colored icing and sprinkles. And we played some games. The little girls seemed like they had a really fun time and we enjoyed it too!


Right after they left, Steve, Ashley, and I went to pick up my niece Bailey and take her out for her birthday. Her birthday was last month, but her party got snowed out, so we took her out tonight. I got her this little puppy that fits in a purse. It barks and moves and it so cute.


We took her to one of her favorite places...Chik-Fil-A!! This one has an indoor playground which she LOVED.




The Chik-Fil-A cow was there, too. She went up to him and gave him a hug and said, "Cow, I love you!" And he motioned to his heart (since he can't talk!) And she said, "What? You love me too??! Awww....cow!!" It was so cute!


Here she is watching intently as a man was making her a balloon doggy...




She talked non-stop and ran around and right when we were leaving she wanted ice cream. So we got her some of course, then took her right home. Haha! She is going to be wired up tonight!

Tomorrow is another busy day at school. Since we reached our fundraising goals, I promised my class we would have an ice-cream/karaoke/hand-held video game party at the end of the day. They are about to flip they are so excited.

Then tomorrow night the fun just continues...it is movie night at school. I have to go back to school and hang out with the kids while they bring their sleeping bags and watch a movie and eat popcorn.

Whew! I think I am going to crash tomorrow night! I am really looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend. :)

PS-Mark submitted his application to study abroad in Spain tonight! Please pray for him! :)