Monday, May 25, 2009

Bienvenidos a Miami!

Well hello everyone.  I had a fabulous trip to Miami last week.  It all began with little sleep the week before, very little sleep the night before, and then waking up at 5 a.m. to catch an early morning flight. But it was exciting! Boyfriend drove up here to fly with me, then we flew to Florida, went through the grueling process of renting a car and maneuvering around an airport (blah), but at least we were finally there.  Together.  Yay! 

And you know what's even better? My boy told me that he had a surprise for me on the first night 
there. He wasn't going to tell me until we got on the plane. So on the plane I asked him. He told me that we were going on "a nice little drive."  From previous conversations, I then realized that meant we were going to Key West!!  I was sooooo excited! And he totally pulled of surprising me with this part! I didn't have a clue. I might have guessed Disney World, but not Key West. The Keys win any day over Disney World.  Palm trees and amazing clear-blue water, or long lines and crowded, germ-filled rides?  Hmmmm... 

So we drove 3 hours in our little rented Hyundai Sonata (that I sprayed down with my Coconut Lime Verbena body splash to mask the stinky feet smell from the lovely previous renter). Then we were off!  Part of the drive was normal highway stuff (except for the TALL palm trees lining every street. Love it!)  Then as we got into the Keys, the water became more clear blue and more amazing. All I could say for a full hour was "Wow."  I'm sure my boyfriend was amused by my amused-ness.  I have never seen water look like that. Even in Hawaii.  It's so many different depths - deep blue, then clear aqua blue, then a light clear blue in the shallow sandy parts. Simply magnificent! 

Three "wow"-filled hours later we arrived at our hotel. The Sheraton.  It couldn't be a cuter more beachy hotel.  Then the nice guy behind the desk upgraded our room so that we had a balcony view of our pool, which was really nice.  And the shower in this room was so great. It was huge, all marble, gorgeous, and would fit 4 people (not that I would want to shower with 4 people, but you see my point). 

Our 1 day and 1 night trip to the Keys was great! We went out on Duval street that night. That's where all the famous little place are, like Margaritaville. Good times!! 

And you know what's great about getting lost in "downtown" Key West at 1 a.m.? Everything!!!  We accidentally found mile marker zero and the big marker for the southernmost point of the continental U.S.  You could be no further south than we were at that moment.  Those pictures are some of my fave from this trip. Plus, I had a few drinks, which made running amok in a foreign island town super fun.   A few other highlights from Key West included Margaritaville (yum), eating famous Key Lime Pie from the Blond Giraffe (yum again), and the friendly pooch we met who lived on the beach with his bum owner (who I decided would now be known as "Island Puppy"), and an incredible Banyan tree that I happened to get a great picture of.   

Key West is fantastic.  I highly recommend it. 

Then we were off to our main destination for this trip: South Beach.  We drove right through Miami to get to our hotel. The good news was that I got to see beautiful downtown Miami and the water, cruise ships, celebrity mansions and yachts.  The bad news is that it was basically rush hour and Miami traffic sucks!!!! But we finally arrived! Even though this was a very nice hotel and right in the middle of all the action, we realized how very spoiled we were from our hotel in the Keys.  Oh well.   We settled in and rested from our long drive and finally took a walk around the place. We had dinner at our poolside bar where we met our bartender, Jean. Then we met the hotel Manager, who knew my boyfriend's friend who ended up getting us a good deal at this hotel.  So then we all had this common friend and from this point on, we got a 50% discount at this bar/restaurant. Sweet!!!  Then, my man and I proceeded to run around the moonlit beach and snap pictures in the dark (hey, I was determined to get pictures!).  I decided it would be a brilliant idea to make sand angels, although I'm not sure you could see the angel and I'm fairly certain that to any bystander, he and I just looked like drunken idiots flailing about on the sand.  Ha.

Here's my take on South beach and Miami as a whole - it's a lot of fun and there's plenty to do. However, if you aren't filthy rich, have a perfect body, or drive a $100,000 car, then you don't really stand out down there.  Don't get me wrong, it was definitely a worth-while trip, but after visiting Key West, he and I decided that we would have preferred 4 nights in KW and 1 night in SoBe.  Guess it all depends on your current mood: tropical getaway, or party on the beach. 

A few highlights from my SoBe experience: Again, the palm trees (I have a thing with trees), gorgeous blue water and light sand, good food and great poolside bar, Lincoln Road (great shopping, restaurants and people watching), very multi-cultural (lots of Europeans and Cubans), dining at Barton G. (minus the martini going down my dress, but that's a whole other blog), and my sweet boyfriend being a total lobster after not using my readily available sunscreen, and me being able to say "I told you so!!!"   

My boy and I did learn a few things about each other too. We learned that this was our first "grown-up" trip together. Meaning we had been on trips before, but usually with family of some sort. This was our first trip where we were 100% in control of our own schedule, which makes a world of difference.  We also learned that we spent 5 full days/nights together and were nowhere near tired of one another! Nice, huh?!   I think I may even miss his company more after that trip.  Interesting.

I managed to leave Florida with a few souvenirs too.  I got a tee shirt and shot glass from Margaritaville.  Oh, and let's not forget the 150 pictures I took to remember our trip.  I warned my boyfriend I would be a camera freak and I definitely kept my word on that. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To Work I . . . Go?

I realized the other day that I haven't posted a new blog in close to 2 months.  What kind of blogger am I? Not a good one, that's for sure. Certainly you all forgive me.  Right?

Here I sit on my couch, on my comfiest soft chocolate-y brown blankie, chihuahua curled up next to me (of course!), with Beauty and the Beast on in the background. Oh yes, and I'm sipping on hazelnut coffee while my laundry finishes.  And yesterday I went for a nice run, flipped through my People magazine while I layed out (must. get. tan.), showered, made quesadillas, wrapped a birthday gift for my sister, and went to a clogging class (I will explain this later).  I know the excitement must be overwhelming. ;) 

Well, here's the deal.  I have been out of work (I guess you could say that) for a few weeks now.  Since I'm in the oil & gas industry, things go up and down.  Needless to say, this has been a "down" time.  I wasn't worried until about a week ago. Not only was I worried about survival on beans and rice, but about my sanity as well.  I'm one of those people that doesn't like to sit still for too long. I get serious cabin fever. And it's hard not to feel worthless when you aren't working.  AND on top of that, when you have all this (gotta love it) free time, how do you NOT spend money??!!!!  What a predicament!

So this is why I'm a bum, sitting around in my comfy clothes, doing laundry and watching Disney movies.  Whatareyagonnado? (Not to worry, folks. I start back up at work on the 19th. Thank God.)

Now let's talk about this clogging thing. I desperately want to tap or clog or step or SOMETHING! I love rhythm stuff - stepping, stomping, whatever.  I just think it's fantastic!  Ballet isn't really my thing; I've been known to trip over my own feet. Swing dancing looks fun, but I'd 
need a partner. I can't really see my other half taking dance classes with me (although he IS a good sport...hmmmm).  Ballroom dancing in general is too slow for my liking...and what's with the weird head turning thing?  I love dance as a whole, but I don't love ME doing most dances.  

So anyway, I heard of a friend of a friend who takes clogging nearby, so I decided to check it out. Turns out, I think I would really love it.  Still don't have a clue how it's different from tap, but who cares?  And what a fun way to workout?  

In other more exciting news (what!? clogging wasn't exciting enough for you?)...

I'M GOING TO MIAMI IN JUST A FEW DAYS!!!!!  The boyfriend and I have made all the arrangements and we're so very ready to go!  This is why I have been diligent about working out.  I must be in decent bikini shape while I'm there, especially because we're staying in South Beach, and that place is notorious for famous and/or beautiful people. I wouldn't want to offend them with my white-ness or out-of-shape-ness.  Haha!

Ummmkay, don't I have something better to do?  Oh yeah, that's right...