Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sea Grapes and Fish Eyes

We're back!  We were so lucky to have spent the last week in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  We had such a great time - but we are glad to be home!  We arrived on Saturday, June 19 (after a two hour delay at O'Hare!) and were ready to sit in the sun!  But, oh, was cloudy.  In fact, it was cloudy most of the trip but we actually preferred that because we got sun without the burn; we got dark without the crispy burnt lobster feel.

On the plane, heading to our gate

Our room!

The view from our room

On Sunday, we celebrated our one year anniversary with a private dinner on the beach at sunset.  The hotel also gave us a plate of fresh fruit and champagne in our room! 

At dinner

Our waiter had fun posing us and taking pictures with my camera.  I was laughing in this picture because it felt like our wedding day all over again with all the posing!

We spent Monday and Tuesday relaxing in the pool and on the beach.  It was really nice to just unwind with a good book!  On Wednesday, after a day in the pool, we treated ourselves to deep tissue massages at the amazing spa.  We spent an hour in the hydrotherapy room beforehand.  SO NICE!

On Thursday, we got up and went horseback riding!  It was really nice because it was just us and a guide.  We got to ride our horses down the beach and also through the countryside of the Dominican Republic.  My horse's name was Casita (Little House in Spanish) and Rob's horse's name was Cubalibre (Rum and Coke in Spanish - how fitting!).  We had a great time with those horses!  

Urban cowboys....I look like a police officer with that helmet and my sunglasses!

After horseback riding, we went right back to the beach (OF COURSE!).  On Friday, we spent the day relaxing and ended it with more fabulous spa treatments: a hot stone massage for Rob and an after-sun facial for me.  That night, at dinner, our waiter surprised us with champagne and steak and lobster dinners since it was our last night there.  So YUMMY!  We didn't have to leave for the airport until 4:00 on Saturday, so we spent the morning swimming in the pool.  We were able to take showers in the spa since we had to check out earlier.  The flight was good, but long, and we were so excited to get home to see our baby, Francis.  I'm not sure who was more excited: her or me!

You're probably wondering why I titled this entry, "Sea Grapes and Fish Eyes."  On Friday, Rob and I spent some time being goofy (go figure!) and hunting on the beach for those clear watery balls that wash ashore.  Along with those, I found some amber colored disks that had a sort of membrane around them...they looked like eyes!  And you KNOW I took some pictures!

One of the sea grapes!  Rob enjoyed splattering them on the sand.

Rob holding up a fish eye

My prized "fish eye!"

Hanging out under a palapa with margaritas!

Playing on the beach

That same day, I came across a lonely puppy dog hanging out on the beach.  I lovingly named him Jim.  He was so cute but he only made me miss Francis more!

Me and Jim

Yes, we didn't have the most sun (Thursday and Saturday were the best days) but like I said, we preferred it that way.  We were able to sit out all day without being uncomfortable and we weren't in pain from the sun either.  It rained everyday, but we were lucky because it was mostly at night when it didn't matter.  In fact, it rained so hard on Wednesday night, the entire hotel lost power!  It was kind of creepy!  Power in the Dominican is hard to come by, so needless to say, there wasn't any backup power!  

We also met a few people and had fun with them, just about every night, mostly hanging out at our favorite bar "Rendezvous," watching the nightly shows, and even ended up in the disco one night.  The night we arrived, we met a fantastic couple, Jacynthe and Greg, from Halifax.  We really enjoyed their company.  We had dinner with them the first night and spent just about every evening with them!  They were there to plan their wedding for next June!  How exciting!

Rob, Me, Jacynthe, and Greg

Champagne and a cigar - so classy

Bye-bye pool  :c (

About to board the plane - you enter/exit the plane outside in the Dominican because the airport doesn't even have walls!

All in all, we had a amazing trip to Punta Cana.  It was a great way to spend our first anniversary.  The Dominican people are unbelievably friendly and it is absolutely gorgeous there.  If you were ever thinking about going there, we highly recommend it!
Glad to be back!  xoxo

Monday, June 14, 2010

Adjusting to summer vacation

So as of June 4, I have been officially done with school.  Last year, I was frantically running around with the last minute details for the wedding.  But this year, well...this year has been a total different story.  I'm SO BORED!  And the garbage weather has not been helpful - at all!  So I decided to start painting again.  It's been almost three years since I've painted last.  I've been wanting to paint but I just haven't had the time.




If you couldn't already tell, I love to paint flowers.  I just like the different colors that run through a single petal.  I also really love to paint landscapes with lots of trees.  I am still learning how to use watercolors and how to work with them.  I took a course in college and focused primarily on acrylic so that is what I am most comfortable with...and I think it shows.  I tend to like my acrylic paintings better.  I like how you can layer the paints.  The yellow flower is actually the first painting I have ever kept for myself.  I usually give my paintings away, but I kept this one for our family room.

My easel!  I love this folds up into a carrying case and has a nice big drawer to keep some of my paint.  My parents got it for me a few years ago.

Totally off subject, but I thought I'd add in a picture of my new haircut!  I was nervous about cutting it, but it my hair is so thick that it is TOO hot for the summer heat!  
Courtesy of the handsome photographer, Rob

Saturday, we are leaving for Punta Cana, Dominican Repulic!!!  We are going to celebrate our one year anniversary - Caribbean Style!  The next post will be all about it!  We can't wait to share it with you!  We still can't believe it's already been a year!  And what a phenomenal year it was!  xoxo

Blackhawks Parade/Cross-Town Classic

Rob and I have been huge Blackhawks fans for years.  When we first started dating, vendors would call Rob to give away Hawks tickets because he was the only one who would take them!  We would get the best seats near the glass, but nowadays, tickets are hard to come by!  Either way, we were both so pumped that the Blackhawks were in the Stanley Cup Final, and we were beyond excited when they won (even with the delayed reaction due to Kane's shot!).  Because Rob works in the city, he was able to go to the celebratory parade in honor of the Chicago Blackhawks - I, on the other hand, stayed nice and comfy at home and watched the hoopla on television!
The flags that decorated the streets

The parade going by!

Toews and Kane with Lord Stanley!

As the last bus drove by, people broke through the police barricades and began running behind and along side the bus.  The streets quickly filled with red and it was like The Running of the Bulls in Spain - pretty dangerous.  In fact, I actually saw a police officer on a 4-wheeler hit a few people on live t.v. - you can be sure I immediately called Rob to make sure he was ok!

Oh, the people...

The spanish bulls....I mean, Hawks fans.

Since the Hawks won the Stanley Cup, they have been having a great time around Chicago, sharing their victory.  There have been a lot of lucky people to run into them - now, if only we could be one of those lucky few!  However, last night, Rob and I went to the Cubs/Sox game (the last game of the Cross-Town Classic) where Rob had tickets to a Rooftop.  It was awesome because the Blackhawks came onto the field to show off Lord Stanley!  They went around the entire field, got a group picture with them, the White Sox, and Cubs, and then Joel Quenniville (the Hawks coach) threw out the first pitch.  Another exciting part, Jim Cornelison sang the National Anthem.  Now, if you have ever been to a Hawks game, then you know how insane the National Anthem is there.  It's been said on sports shows that the United Center, before a Hawks game, is the best place in the country to witness the anthem.  The fans are CRAZY and they scream the ENTIRE time Jim loud, in fact, that sometimes it's hard to hear him!  And of course, the crowd was definitely loud last night!

The Blackhawks coming onto Wrigley Field

Sharing the victory with the fans

Toews with the baseball...who eventually handed it over to the coach for the first pitch

Time for a big group photo!

The National Anthem - with the Stanley Cup on home plate

A few of the Blackhawks sang the 7th Inning Stretch - all I can say is they better stick to hockey because they are TONE-DEAF!  Sadly to say, despite the fantastic pre-game excitement, the White Sox lost to the Cubs with a score of 0-1.  That's ok though - the Sox won the first two of the series!  As we were leaving the rooftop, heading to the train station, we noticed a TON of police on horses....we then quickly realized that they were guarding the two buses for the Blackhawks.  There was a mob of people waiting for them to come out.  There has been a lot of excitement around here the last week and Rob and I are definitely having a good time with it!  Go Blackhawks!!!