Monday, November 30, 2009

The Joke's on Me...

Haha - I put in the post that I pre-scheduled to run over the holidays that I was posting a new picture of my tattoo...and then I forgot to post it!

Silly me!

So here you go. This is the best picture that I could take of it myself...
It's not that great...and I promise when I get home to have B take a better picture for you all to see!

Getting Back to Reality...

Well, taking your honeymoon right before the holidays is kind of nice...but at the same time, it's just exhausting! Right when I got back "in the swing of things" at work, it's time for a five-day weekend away from work visiting family and eating WAY too much food. I sure am glad that the wedding was BEFORE the holiday eating! LOL.

I hope that you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday, and I'll be back to posting regularly soon. Sorry for the delay, but I've been called out of town for work this week, so posting will more than likely be lighter than normal. But since I'm still waiting on the sneak peeks from our photographer...I don't have that much more to share.

Maybe I'll have those sneak peeks at some point this week...then I can start my recaps for real. I can't wait! Believe me, I really cannot wait...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Featured Wedding - Katie and Jimmy

Since I'm all pooped out from travelling, eating and SHOPPING, today you just get a canned post...but it's a beautiful wedding! Doesn't that make it better just a little bit? I hope so!
Christina Carroll of Christina Carroll Photography brings us our featured wedding's what she has to say about these two lovebirds:

"Katie & Jimmy got married at Thurman’s Mansion. It was my first time there and it was such a pretty place! Too bad it rained almost the entire time which meant they had to move the ceremony inside. The rain did let up for about 15 minutes so we could at least get some photos outside with the pretty vineyard view. We had a brief encounter with some fire ants but we all made it through just fine.
Katie & Jimmy’s friends and families were all so nice! You could really feel the love in the room. I love how Katie either is laughing or has a huge smile on her face in every picture. It’s like every moment is the time of her life."

I love her shoes - purple, flat and SO comfy looking!
I lover bright color choices...And we'll end with MY favorite shot of the day...

Congratulations to Katie and Jimmy - we wish you both the best in your new life as husband and wife! Thanks, Christina for bringing us this beautiful wedding, be sure and chekc out her blog to see the rest of the pictures from this event!

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Biggest Adventure to Date...

If you had trouble believing that I did our last activity, hold on to your horses for this one...

No, it’s not the zip’s something that I never in a million years imagined myself doing, though. Here’s the story...and I'll go ahead and apologize for the length of this post!

So I mentioned that while I ran back to the room to get our forgotten voucher that B made friends with one of the beach guys. He worked for a different tour group, and when I walked back up, B and this guy were talking about shops in town. Apparently, B had asked Jesse where in Cabo he would recommend for tattoos. You see where I’m going with this, right? LOL.

B has four tattoos. All of them were done while he was an active Marine, one coming from Australia and one from Japan when he was on tours to both places. They are all military in nature, and personal and meaningful to him. He mentioned several months ago that he was thinking about getting another one after the wedding settled down and we had “extra” money again, but he hadn’t mentioned it recently. So I was shocked to hear that he would consider getting one while we were in Mexico. We didn’t have a chance to talk about it until after we finished parasailing and got back to the hotel.

Apparently, once the idea took hold, it really took hold. He had gotten a name from the guy on the beach and after eating lunch and spending a few hours at the pool, wanted to venture into town and check the place out. He wasn’t sure about doing it and going through with things until he had met the guy and seen his work...and the cleanliness of his shop. So, late that afternoon we ventured off of our resort and into town. We got lucky and caught a taxi with some ladies that we had made friends with who were going shopping in town also. They were shocked to hear where we were going and they immediately asked if I was getting one.

No! Was the immediate response. You see, I hate blood. I hate needles. I have a SEVERE reaction to both items, especially when used on my body in some form or fashion. Never believe a report that I overdosed on drugs because there is no way that I could make it through the process of sticking a needle in one of my own veins. Seriously. Search for the murderer at that point.

But one of the ladies showed me a tattoo that she had gotten of her kids initials and it was very pretty. Plus, I have several friends with tattoos that I just love. I just can’t imagine me surviving the process of getting one. But I digress...

So we wander through town and find the shop. The guy, Bruno, is a great big Mexican and speaks no English to either B or myself. But he has a nice girl working in his shop and she translates for us and shows us Bruno’s work. B talks to her about what he’s wanting and pretty soon Bruno realizes that B wants a custom design. They converse back and forth for a few minutes (through the girl) and settle on us coming back the next morning to see a sketch and decide whether to go through with it at that time. The whole time that they’re talking, I’m just in there flipping through books. And trying not to stare at the girl getting the tattoo by Bruno while we’re all talking. I can’t see anything gross, and she looks like it doesn’t hurt so much...

Anyway. We leave the shop, and wander through town checking out the sites. We come across these two bars, and stop to snap pictures. Totally tourist of me, I know.
Anne, this one’s for you!As we’re meandering through town I start to ask B about his tattoos and how much it hurts. He gets all excited about the thought of me getting a tattoo of my own, but is honest with me and tells me that it’s been 4 or 5 years since he’s gotten one and maybe can’t describe the process for me well enough. We decide to go back to the shop and talk to the girl again. After visiting with her for about 30 minutes, I’m sold on the idea of getting a tattoo souvenir as well, much to my shock and amazement. We settle on a flower design, and select a lily for Bruno to also sketch something up for me to see the next morning and we leave the shop.

Taking another taxi back to the resort, B gets really quiet. Truthfully, I didn’t really notice. But once we were back at the resort and settled comfortably in our sun chairs again, I noticed how quiet he was. Apparently, he was feeling a little bit of guilt over my decision, being afraid that I was getting a tattoo for the wrong reasons. Luckily, having been in bad relationships in the past, communication is a key point for us and we’re willing and able to talk about anything with the other person. So he opened up to me and told me how he felt.

And I was equally honest with him. I told him that I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go through with it, but was kind of excited at the idea all at the same time. That I was worried about the pain, and my fainting during the process, and that I would regret it afterwards. It’s just so permanent, you know? But that I was equally fascinated by some designs that I’d seen and was willing to consider the thought of getting one. I must have put his fears at rest, because he ended the conversation with telling me that I needed to get a tattoo for myself and myself only. That if I changed my mind and decided not to go through with it that no one, not him and not Bruno, would be upset or disappointed in me in any way. Having his unconditional support whichever way I went really freed me up and allowed me to make my decision myself without any pressure.

But you know what happened? I warmed up to the idea. I really like the idea of getting a know, granting that I didn’t pass out before or during the process! But what I wasn’t sold on was the lily. Truthfully, I like lilies, but they’re not my favorites. They don’t mean anything to me. They’re B’s favorite flower. So at one point that night – many drinks into our time at the bar – I sat up straight and told B that I wasn’t going to get a lily if I did get a tattoo. That a lily was HIS favorite flower, not mine, and that if I did this, it would be something that meant something to me. I must have been a wee bit tipsy, because I’m not usually so direct and forceful!

Lucky for me, I’ve got a great man who loves and understands what I was trying to matter how badly I might have delivered the message. He agreed with me whole-heartedly and asked what I was going to get instead. I promptly told him that I didn’t know. But that I was thinking on it. I’m just so funny.

By the next morning, when we ventured back into town (via city bus this time) I had made up my mind. I was going to do this and I was going to get a magnolia blossom put on my shoulder. I’m from Louisiana originally, but never really lived there. It’s the state flower from Louisiana, and I’ve always been proud of my birth state. When I was growing up, I was in love with all things magnolia-related, and both of my grandmothers had magnolia trees in their yards. I’ve associated magnolias with these two wonderful women for as long as I can remember, and in fact, one of my grandmothers painted ceramics and one of my favorite pieces of hers was a magnolia blossom that was given to my mother years and years ago. Not to get too gloomy, but November is also the anniversary of my grandmother’s death just three years ago. This is the same MeMa whose blue clip on earrings I carried on my bridal bouquet as I walked down the aisle to keep her close to me. A magnolia blossom symbolized all of this and more for me, and it was the perfect choice.

The snag? Bruno, having been raised in Mexico, had never seen a magnolia blossom before! Luckily for us, Google images came through with many options for him to work off of, and he agreed with me changing my mind about my choice. (B had assured me that Bruno would understand my change, but I was still a little worried – he’s a big guy!) I really wanted a standard cream blossom, but Bruno was quick to point out that on my pale skin, the cream just wouldn’t work. He was more than willing to do a version of the pink magnolia blossom though, and we left happy with our sketches and our appointment sent for 8pm that evening.

Since there are so many restrictions on what you can and cannot do after getting a tattoo, we soaked up the last of our rays and had thoughtfully scheduled this activity for our last night in Cabo. Lucky for me, right about the time that afternoon when I started to freak out a little about my decision, I ran into a girl from Seattle that we had met a few nights earlier who had two tattoos and was able to talk to her about the pain level and process. She reassured me and I was confident with my decision.

That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t still nervous. Or that I didn’t require a little liquid courage before leaving...That’s our favorite bartender, Luis, doing his infamous rainbow shots for us before we left. No, we didn’t have all of them...but I think that I drank three or four. They were SO yummy! Like liquid popsicles, not shots at all!

One bus ride later...and we were there. I was really nervous. I mean, really nervous. The shots had worn off, and Bruno was taking his time getting ready for me. The guy working on B was ready for him and I managed to get these pictures of them laying on the transfer of the tattoo before they actually started. Not wanting to see anything else, I was not able to take any pictures of B getting his tattoo actually done. I was worried that I would chicken out...or pass out if I saw the process! You can't even see where his transfer laid, since it was just an outline...
Before I knew it, Bruno was ready. I had thought ahead (or B had thought ahead for me) and worn a bikini top under my shirt so that I didn’t feel “exposed” while being worked on. I stood there like a brave little girl and had the image transferred to me. I started feeling a little woozy (too much time to think things through) and Robert (another helper) ran across the street and grabbed me a Coke. After sipping on it for a few minutes, and laying down on the table, Bruno got to work on me.

Surprisingly, it really wasn’t that bad. I was making it WAY worse in my mind than it was actually, and the tattoo process went well for me. It took forever, but that’s what happens when the owner of the shop works on you. He constantly had to stop and talk to other people and customers, so there were lots of breaks. B actually ended up being finished about an hour before I was done, so he had time to get some shots of me on the table. I picked the least gory one that I could! So the pain was manageable, and really only the constant rubbing bothered me. The actual needled process didn’t hurt that much. Sure, some spots hurt worse than others, but for the most part, it didn’t even make me cringe. It was WAY less painful than laser hair removal, I can tell you that!

It seemed to take forever, but I was finally done. I got up and walked over to the mirrored wall and got my first look at it. It looked great! I stood patiently and started to get taped up and then made the mistake of looking over at B’s shirt. Since he had finished so much earlier, he had been taped up for a while and had already put his undershirt back on. But his guy hadn’t done that great of a job on the tape job, because he had “leaked” through his shirt. And instead of just being ink and being all black and fake looking (like what I’d previously seen) this was all blood.

And that’s when I got sick.

I managed to hold it together until Robert got me all taped up, and I even almost made it down to the ground...but I didn’t make it all the way. B was there to catch me before I hit my head, but I was out for the count. When I came to, everyone was standing over me looking very concerned. Once they were assured that I was ok, the jokes started. Yes, I made it through the worst part just to pass out when it was finished. Haha. Not so funny. Well, it’s a little funny now...but it wasn’t as funny then let me tell you.

We took a taxi “home” to the resort and B put me to bed. I felt fine, but he was a little worried about me, having never seen me pass out before. By the next morning, I was 100% recovered and nervous about seeing the damage on my shoulder. I caught a break though, and my tattoo didn’t seep or anything like B’s did. That was good for me. I was a little worried about caring for it without being able to look at it, you know?

It’s been over a week now, and most of the healing is over and done. It’s still a little dry, but getting better every day. Would you like to see the whole thing? Here you go...

I love it. I love the meaning behind it. I loved the reasoning why I chose what I chose, and I love that I made it through the process. I can’t say for certain if I would for sure get another one...that remains to be seen. But I love the one that I have.

Thanks Bruno and the rest of the crew from Psycho Tattoo...I would HIHGLY recommend their shop if you’re in the area... LOL!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Honeymooners Take To the Skies...

The activities that you can find to do in Cabo are pretty typical activities for most tropical destinations. There’s jet skis to rent...Water taxis to hire...some with glass bottoms for your viewing pleasure...Then there’s this...Yep, parasailing. When we first started talking about our activities, I knew that B would probably want to do more “exciting” things than I was wanting to do. My vision of the perfect honeymoon would have involved just laying around sunning all day long...every day. But I can see where that would be boring to some, especially B, and since I finished the one and only book that I brought along with me (what was I thinking?!?!) I was a little bored laying around too.

There were two activities that caught B’s eye. Zip lining and parasailing. Now, I’m not a dare-devil by any means. But I’ve been around several people recently who have done zip lining, and I was willing to try it. Or parasailing, especially when I found out that we could do a doubles parasailing...but I was NOT down with doing the bungee jump that was also offered at the zip line place.

In the end, B didn’t really think that I would zip line with him...he thought I was too scared, and maybe he would have been we opted for the parasailing. What I thought was most cool about this was that neither one of us had ever done this before, so it was a first for both of us. I had worried initially mostly about the height and getting scared while up in the air. Some people worry about the landing or taking off, but I was most worried about freaking out while in mid-air. Knowing that B would be right beside me was a huge comfort.

We called around and scheduled the trip, and agreed to meet the water taxi service that was included a little ways down the beach from our hotel. It was a little trek for us, but we didn’t have anything else to do anyway, right? We got there with plenty of time to spare, and had to stand around waiting while fighting off peddlers and other tour groups. Luckily for us, once we told them the group that we were with, they seemed to respect that and move on.

Not so lucky for us? About 10 minutes before the taxi was supposed to get there, I realized that I had left the voucher in our room. Crap! We talk about it briefly and I win the argument of if they’re really going to require it or not. I race as fast as I can back to the hotel to get the voucher. And it wasn’t very was a LONG walk...and it was hot...but it was better for me to go since the trek would have been too much for B with his injured foot. Don’t you know that walking in the sand is REALLY hard when the joints in your foot don’t bend all that well?

Anyway, by the time that I got back to B on the beach, with the voucher in hand, I was drenched in sweat and ready to hop into the ocean for a quick dip! He had made friends with another tour guy and they were in the process of calling to check on our taxi when I arrived. Luckily, it pulled up right after I got there, and don’t you know, the first thing that they asked for was the voucher!

We rode the taxi back to the tour group base camp, and picked up the other passengers going with us. Then the taxi took us off to the boat and we were on our way. There was another couple going along, as well as a family of four from one of the cruise ships. They ended up being our lifesavers, as we had not brought our camera. We thought that the tour group would take pics and then sell them to you, so we didn’t bother bringing out camera along. We were so bummed when we realized that they didn’t have a problem with it, but the great cruise ship people, the Baker family, saved us. They took our pics and emailed them to me as promised.

Here’s Brent taking off...Moving up higher in the air...All the way up and LOVING it...Coming back down for his landing...The process was actually very simple. They strap you into a harness while the other person is up parasailing. When that first person lands, they simple unhook from the chute, hook to the boat, then hook the next person into the chute and unhook it from the boat. They have you sit down, and then the boat driver guns it and you take off. As the boat picks up speed, the chute picks up air and away you go!

Me sitting down...Taking off...not really sure what to do with my hands...In the air...Coming back in for my landing...I didn’t worry about my landing until right before it happened. Too funny! But it was easy, they just guide you back in and reel you back to them.

Parasailing wasn’t at all what either one of us was expecting. B thought that it would be more of a rush – the height, the air and all...but it was actually very calming and relaxing. It was completely peaceful up there, high above everyone else and the rest of the world. You’re part of it all, but removed from it all at the same time. You can still hear everything, and you can wave at people, but you’re all alone at the same time. My fear about the height proved to be a literally can’t tell how high up you are. Yes things are smaller, but since it’s just water beneath you, there’s no sense of distance. But here’s a picture of me fully extended so you can see that you do get on up there...Cool, huh? Anyone want to go right now? I do, I do!!!

We both LOVED this activity and it was well worth the money. We made a pact that no matter where else we travel in the world, we WILL parasail at each destination that offers it. It was really amazing!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Favorite View...

So after a rough start to our honeymoon, we enjoyed just sitting around and not doing a whole lot for the next few days. There aren’t a lot of pictures of this, because honestly, who really cares to see us just sitting at the pool soaking up some sun and resting? Not me. I will share you my two favorite views for our trip...this is the first one... and this is the second one... The difference? In one, my sun chair is all the wait laid back, and the other is halfway up so that I can sip a fruity cold beverage! LOL.

This is what I saw most often during these lazy days...But I did see a little bit of this too... And just in case you’re curious, these items helped me survive these really “stressful” days... Those are my sunscreens, our big bottle of water from our room, my chap stick, and my favorite daytime drink that our resort served – the Blue Ocean. Yummy, yummy, yummy. I can almost still taste it now. In fact, one night, after consuming three or four of said drinks, B told me that my tongue was actually turning blue!

So our days were long and lazy. We did venture out and about during the mornings while it was still cool, but by 10am or so we could be found at the pool, soaking up some sun, having a nice drink and listening to some music. We ventured into town for a trip to Wal-Mart (Yes, Cabo has a Wal-Mart!) to get some Coca Cola. Our hotel only served Pepsi products, which just didn’t work for me. There was a store on site that sold Coke, but it was expensive buying it by the can. Luckily for us, Wal-Mart was a quick walk away and we bought more than enough Coke to last for our trip. We also picked up a handy portable speaker system so that we could plug B’s iPod in and enjoy music at the pool! He really liked that!

We usually ate lunch and then ventured inside for some cooler shade during the heat of the afternoons. Late in the afternoons we were back at the pools, and then would get cleaned up for dinner. We made reservations for each of the restaurants that our resort offered, one each night, so we always had that to look forward to. After having to secure such late reservations the first night we booked them, we quickly learned to book them out in advance and scheduled the rest of the trip all at once! It wasn’t a problem to get a table, just to get the earlier times that we preferred.

After dinner, we would mosey on over to our favorite outdoor bar with a fabulous bartender, Luis. He made the BEST Blue Ocean’s in the whole resort and he was a riot to sit and observe. We made friends, talked with strangers and sometimes stayed for the show that the resort put on each night. Each night it was something different, so it was always new. The first few nights I had trouble staying awake really late...the time change thing really got to me for some reason, but we still had a blast.

Two days of rest and relaxation, and we were ready to try our hand at some activities...stay tuned for our adventures in Cabo! And yes, I do have pictures...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunset Views...

These are just too pretty not to words needed...

And just to prove how totally awesome the Riu Santa Fe hotel really was, we came "home" to find this little friend waiting for us one night...
I think that Margarita (our housekeeper) left this for us on our last full day there at Riu Santa Fe. What a sweet surprise! The whole time that we were there, all that we could talk about was when we came back! That's when you know it's been a great trip...

We loved every minute of our stay...and we HATED to leave to come back home! But we were gone for almost 10 days...10 days without phones or email...and most importantly - access to our kids! We missed everyone and it was time to go home!

Our Views...

So not only was our suite truly wondering, incredibly romantic and just a place that we didn’t want to had GREAT views. And when I say great, I mean FAN-TAS-TIC!!! When I booked our room with Riu Santa Fe a few months back, I read all the reviews that I could find on the place. Some of them seemed like maybe just grouchy people complaining, but some seemed to have some valid points. Most of them dealt with complaints about how far their rooms were located from the main area of the resort.

I can’t really say that I agree with them. Our room was in the 7000 block of rooms, which IS the furthest block from the main resort, meaning from the front desk, the main restaurant and the sports bar and stores. But it’s also located right on the beach. By the biggest pool, and the only restaurant that was open for lunch was also housed in the 7000 block. So it really wasn’t that inconvenient, if you ask me. Then again, we enjoy our exercise. Maybe other people don’t.

But when I say that our room was right on the beach...I literally mean that it was right. on. the. beach. Take a look at what we woke up to each day...
Isn’t it gorgeous?!?!? And yes, those rocks that you see are the ones that form the world-famous arch that Cabo San Lucas is known for. No, you can’t see the actual arch from our room, but trust me, it’s there.

There was a big tuna fishing tournament that started the day after we got there, so there were dozens and dozens of boats docked out in the bay. Take a look...I took this one because it reminded me of Forest Gump’s shrimp boat...yeah, I’m a dork!
We could also sit on our balcony and watch these bad boys cruise into the bay.
I’ve never been on a cruise before, but these gigantic floating cities literally would come almost all the way up to shore. I guess only one could come in so close at a time, but the others would just stay out in the bay a bit. They were truly amazing to see this close. Each morning one or two ships would pull into the bay, and each night they left again. It was really neat to see some many different ones.

And there’s the beach. We were warned ahead of time by friends who have travelled to Cabo that we might not be able to swim in the ocean. Our resort did not have guards posted to keep you out of the ocean, but there were warnings posted everywhere about the strong riptide. The beach along the stretch of Cabo that we were located on is man-made...meaning that the shelf that extends in the ocean is only a few feet. Once off of that shelf, the drop is pretty good, which makes for strong tides of waves crashing onto shore. We witnessed many people “playing” in the ocean and how fast they would get taken further than they intended. Luckily, no one we were watching was harmed or in any danger.

But with five different pools located on our resort, we never got the urge to try our luck in the ocean, other than just getting our feet wet! We did walk along the beach several times...and with that, I’ll leave you for now, and save some of our activities for another post!

Monday, November 23, 2009

littlebittythings is NOW Open!!!

I'm SO excited to share this with you all...and some of you might already know if you signed up to receive a notice about it, but I'll tell it again!

My etsy shop, littlebittythings, is now open! I worked all weekend putting together some of my favorite purses and totes and barely managed to finish sewing them all before friends were buying them out from under my store! I'm blessed to have SUCH good friends - thank you, thank you!

Hop on over and check it out...or just look to the right on my actual blog page (not in Reader) to see my mini etsy store that's linked.

Thanks for shopping!