Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Time Flies

It definitely does when you're having fun...not so much for a work week!

We spent the last week in Florida visiting Mike and Susan.  We had a blast! The weather was beautiful (of course we came home to cold and rainy) and the week went by way, way too fast. Here's an overview of our amazingly relaxing week.

(Side note...this would be the second time I've attempted to do this post.  The first time, I uploaded all of my photos and the whole post just disappeared!  I thought I was going to throw my laptop at the wall...so here goes nothing.)

We flew out of Greenville-Spartanburg on Saturday.  We got to the airport and ended up having a 4 hour delay!  Ugh!  The saving grace was that the airport had a nice little courtyard.  So, we spent four hours sitting in the sun, reading, had a few drinks and lunch at the bar, and watched some basketball.  Before we knew it, we were off to sunny Florida!

We flew into St.Pete-Clearwater and headed straight over to Pass-a-Grille Beach in St. Pete.  We walked along the beach a bit, had some drinks on the rooftop of Hurricanes Bar and Grill while listening to some live music, and had a really yummy dinner.  Long day, and I am pretty sure I fell asleep in the car on the way home.  :-)

On Sunday, we spent the entire day lounging by the pool.  It was awesome.  The weather was literally 85 and sunny the entire week!  Sunday afternoon/evening we went to this "old Florida" hole in the wall place called the Nav-A-Gator.  I found my happy place.  :-)  There was a great two person band from SC singing some "trop-rock" (i.e., Jimmy Buffet-esque).  Everyone was just sitting around in lawn chairs enjoying the music and some cold beverages.  There was even a "museum" with some props for photo ops!

Monday, Barrett and I spent another day at the pool...soaking in the sun.  That night, we all went to the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Yankees preseason baseball game.  We rode our bikes there from the house which was a lot of fun!  I was pretty nervous because the last time I was on a bike ended in me having some pretty good scrapes and bruises!  So, riding in flip flops after having a couple of adult beverages made me a little nervous for myself!  No worries - I made it safe and sound.  The game was a lot of fun...Rays won 3-1.

Tuesday we spent our first day of the trip on the beach.  We went to Englewood which is a place we've been before.  The beaches on the West Coast of Florida are so pretty.  Because it's on the Gulf, there aren't many waves and the water looks so blue.  It truly feels like you're in the Caribbean.

On Wednesday, Barrett and I ventured out on our own to Boca Grande.  I think it's probably my favorite beach we've been to there.  It's so quiet and not at all crowded.  It has a super cute downtown with fun little shops and restaurants.  We went into one bar/liquor store (which by the way I thought was an interesting concept) and as we were leaving the bartender asked where we were from.  We told him NC and he said, "You guys are really polite."  Guess they get in a lot of rude folks?!  We had lunch at Miller's Dockside at the Boca Grande Marina.  I had one of the best mojitos of my life...it even came with a sugar cane stirrer!  Then...tuna nachos!  Seared tuna on fried wontons with pickled cucumbers and carrots, seaweed salad, pickled ginger, and wasabi cream.  Holy yumminess.  We even got a fun little show from a porpoise out in the bay!

Thursday we went out on a boat with a friend of Susan's.  We also got to spend the day with two of Barrett's cousins (who I'd never met).  They were great and so much fun!  We went out in Sarasota and saw the fifth largest individually owned yacht in the US.  It was pretty big.  :-)  We then cruised around Sarasota a little and spent some time on a secluded little beach.  Most fun part of the day - I got sun poisoning!  Woo hoo!  It was kind of bizarre...I mean, I wasn't sunburned at all, I just had this rash on the front of my thighs and on the top of my arms.  I googled it, and it said that "photodermatitis" is an allergic reaction that is activated by the sun...it also said it could be caused by sunscreen (seriously?)\, citrus oils, and vitamins.  Interesting.  Anywho...I took a Benadryl when we got back to the house and was knocked out cold for a few hours.

Friday, Barrett and Mike went out fishing in the bays at Boca Grande.  I slept in, read, ran an errand with Susan, and generally tried to stay out of the sun which sort of stunk considering it was our last day there.  Oh well.  Barrett and Mike had a GREAT fishing day...the brought back some flounder, trout, and redfish that we cooked for lunch.  Yum Yum Yum.  That night, we went down to Punta Gorda.  Mike and Susan lived there for a while and it really is a super cute little place.  Little did we know that Friday night there was going to be an air show.  There was a band and lots of people out drinking, lounging, and dancing.  We stayed there for a while and then went up to the roof of the Wyvern Hotel to watch the sunset.  Just as we were leaving, it was go time for the air show...parachuting Elvis impersonators...with pyrotechnics (which I'm still a little concerned about...I mean, is that safe?!).  Good times.

All in all...it was a truly wonderful, relaxing, sunny, trip.  I even got to read three books!  :-)

We are super sad that it's over, but are anxiously looking forward to our next visit.

Thank you Susan and Mike for such an amazing week!

Here are a few of our favorite pics from the week.  (You can find the other 200 or so on Facebook) :-)

Pass-A-Grille Beach

Perfect spot for reading and relaxing!

The Nav-A-Gator

Boca Grande

Hey there friend.

Our dolphin friend at the marina. :-)

Big Boat

Little beach in Sarasota


Baseball game


Remnants of Barrett and Mike's yummy catch

Wyvern Hotel Rooftop

Parachuting Elvis's

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Celebrating in Style

Yesterday was our 2nd Anniversary.  I just can't believe it's been two years since we were married.  It seems like it was just yesterday!  It does, however, seem way too long since I was in the Dominican Republic!  The past two years have been simply amazing, and I know that we'll be just as happy, if not happier (possible?) for the rest of our lives.  We are so greatful for wonderful friends and family and for all of the support we've been shown, not only for the two years of our marriage, but for the nearly nine and a half years of our relationship.

We had a very, very eventful weekend!  Friday night, we went to the March Forth With Hope Gala here in Charlotte.  One of the nice perks of my job is that I get to go to some pretty fun events/fundraisers...and this time, Barrett got to come along!  It was in the Panthers Den at Bank of America Stadium, so we got some pretty fun pcitures of the stadium.  We also got to rub shoulders (literally) with some fun, local celebs.  Steve Smith, Jordan Gross, Coach Rivera, and a few of the original Panthers were there.  I also, apparently, literally ran into Kyle Petty.  Who knew?  Oh! And there was a photo booth...and who doesn't love a good photo booth?!  We had a wonderful time for an even mroe wonderful cause.

On Saturday, our anniuversary present to each other was delivered...

A new mattress!  The traditional gift for the 2nd anniversary is cotton, and we have been wanting  a new mattress for a while...so, voila!  A cotton mattress!  It is AMAZING how much better we are sleeping!  We didn't even realize we weren't resting well at night!  Next up...new cottton sheets and comforter set.  :-)

Saturday night, we went out to dinner at one of my favorite tapas restaurants in Charlotte, D'vine Wine Cafe...cheezy name, great food and wine! 

YUM!  Slow cooked pork over polenta cake with black cherry demi glace, Apple and fig with brie on toasted french bread, Seared scallops in coconut curry sauce, Portabella mushroom stuffed with...something.  :-)
Pear and apple tart...couldn't wait to take a bite before I could get my camera out.

After dinner, we went to Cirque du Soleil!  The show Totem is in town for a couple of weeks.  I've wanted to see a Cirque show for the longest time, so it was such a treat to have it in town when we were celebrating our anniversary.  The show was phenomenal...I highly recommend it, and I'll definitely see another Cirque du Soleil show in the future.

Sunday, my Dad flew into town from Louisiana for a quick visit.  He was off work today (Tuesday) for Mardi Gras, so he decided to fly in for a quick few days.  He flew into Charlotte, we had yummy lunch at Mac's Speed Shop (best BBQ in Charlotte, by the way), spent a few lazy hours around the house with Buddy, then drove to Greensboro to meet my sister for dinner.  It took us THREE HOURS to get to G-boro thanks to CIAA traffic.  Good times.  We all had dinner together at Bonefish, and then my dad zipped off to Raleigh with Rachel.

Monday (our actual anniversary) we both worked.  Boo.  Oh well, gotta pay the bills I suppose!  After a long day at work for the both of us, we celebrated the last few hours of our anniversary by going out for yummy sushi dinner at Pisces and out for ice cream at Kilwin's. 

Cards and a few little gifts we weren't supposed to get for each other...yeah right.  :-)
Ummm...my new favorite ice cream.  Cinnamon Crumb Cake?  Yes, please.

We had a wonderful weekend.  Slam-jammed full of activity and lots of our favorite things to celebrate two wonderful years of marriage.  :-)