Ringin’ It In!

Carl and I went BIG this year for New Years Eve. We joined the masses in San Francisco with a group of friends, and had a great time. Unless you couldn’t tell from this picture, Carl found every noise-maker he could find to help ring in the new decade with some uumpf and passion. Nice work Mr. Hekkert. And, Happy New Year everyone!

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Wild Horses

On this cold day in the city, I couldn’t help but think back to the warm, tranquil days we had in Puerto Rico.

After our time in Old San Juan, we started our beach hopping on Vieques Island, just east of Puerto Rico. Rather than following the guidebooks’ advice of taking the $100 flight, we opted for the $2 ferry ride, like the locals. (After the sticky, sweat-inducing waiting area at the ferry terminal, we could see why this was not recommended… but it was a good cultural experience.)

By way of taxi, we climbed through the lush forests to a remote spot where we were dropped off in darkness (supposedly next to our hotel). We had read great reviews of The Hix Island House, and thought we’d try out our first eco-lodge experience. With the help of a flashlight, our hotel guide led us through the thick grass to our room – in a modern, angular, cement structure with no a/c and plenty of geckos. We soon called the place the Dharma Initiative (if you’re not a Lost watcher, you’ll be “lost” with that correlation). Because it was so remote, the sky was radiant with glowing stars, and the noise of chirping insects filled our ears. The hotel stocked our fridge with breakfast items and fresh baked bread each day, so we could create our own meal and relax on our “jungle patio.”

The next day when we got our rental car, we were told to drive slowly in order to avoid the wild horses roaming on the side of the road.

We lucked out and found a remote white-sand beach where we camped out for the day. That night, we ventured out on the water again, for a kayaking tour of the bio-luminescent bay. Similar to phosphorescence, bio-luminescence is a micro-organism that lights up in the water. As we started paddling, it was if we were paddling through diamonds. Every time our paddles hit the water, it would light up and fish were outlined as they darted away from our boats. As we got to the center of the bay, we hopped in the water to see how the bioluminescence outlined our bodies as we floated around. I couldn’t stop lifting my arms out of the water and watching the diamonds roll off of my skin. Definitely one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced.

El Convento

Highlights from the honeymoon, you ask? Over the next few posts, I’ll try to do my best to hit the highs from our adventures in Puerto Rico.

Through the help of a friend who was writing the guide for Fodor’s on Puerto Rico while we were planning our honeymoon (what kind of coincidence is that??) we were tipped off to a great hotel in Old San Juan. We stayed at the El Convento – an old convent that was converted into an amazing hotel that faced the cathedral. Cobblestone streets led us past an array of pastel colored buildings to the old city wall and fortress. We loved wandering the streets, trying out the local food (mallorca, anyone?), and seeing all of the “gatos” and iguanas.

View of the cathedral from our hotel.

Our tour guide.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro… and that’s not just good Spanish…that was the name of the fort.

Fear and Trust

So… at our pre-marital counseling session this weekend, I was told that as a woman, I will be naturally inclined to be fearful and have a harder time trusting.

This is me casting aside my fears and trusting that Carl can move a full bookshelf on his skateboard. Yes, people. A skateboard. skateboard

Color Decisions

Who knew the kind of pressure the bridal industry imposes on you when you plan for the big day? “Your wedding dress should be the dress of your dreams!” “The invitations set the tone for the entire day.” “What are your colors?” “What kind of cake will you have?” Back, back, you people, I say. These wedding monsters are haunting my dreams.

So, to keep the monster at bay, I’ve made a least one decision – my wedding colors. Why not choose the pastel colors of the rainbow? I thought this was just brilliant.

rainbow-bridesmaid4-878x1024If you have any other color ideas, please do let me know. Although, I’m not sure what could top this.

I had another creative inspiration while talking with my brother. I asked him to be in the wedding, and he said, “What part do I get play?” I told him we wanted him to play the part of the horse. He told me he’d prefer to be the goat. I think having a live nativity scene at the wedding will be so inventive and original. Once I told him there’d be a nativity, he suggested that he play the important role of the “hay.” Done and done.

Those Thriller Days

michael

I couldn’t help but blog about the loss of Michael Jackson today. One of my first cassette tapes was from The Jackson Five. I listened to his song “Ben” as many times as the rewind button would allow. When I was in the fifth grade with my bowl haircut and my matching Hunt Club outfit, in the heart of the Thriller Days, my friends and I would trade magazine pictures of Michael and even performed our own rendition of Thriller for the school talent show. And the ultimate, was the slumber party where someone had the VHS of “The Making of Thriller,” which we watched over and over and over until we drifted off to sleep in our sleeping bags. I even had a Michael Jackson button… which I “earned” after memorizing scripture verses (isn’t that right, Mom?)!! His music left such an impression on me that you’ll often see me bust out the moonwalk on occasion (it’s my favorite dance move). My friends and I even learned the Thriller moves for my 13 Going on 32 Thriller Birthday Party. So many happy memories.

It was clear that the King of Pop had a sad and lonely life during the past decade or so. But rather than going into that, I’ll leave you with this classic.