Thursday, March 29, 2012


If you are here reading this I am sure you have noticed I have been missing in action for the past month.  After the 2 week vacation, I was sent down to Phoenix, AZ for a week for work.  It's been a month full of travel and fun, yet exhausting.  I just needed to cut out some things for a while to give myself room to breathe.  Not only have I not been blogging but I haven't been reading other blogs either, which has been a nice break.  Sometimes I am very hard on myself about the status or quality of my life in contrast with what some one's life appears to be on their blog.  Everyone else seems to have the best clothes, the perfectly decorated homes, and ALL this time to be in the kitchen whipping up great new recipes.  The reality for me is that I work a full time+ job, don't have time to DIY, don't have the energy to go grocery shopping after work to make that new pinterest inspired meal, and am far from 'put together' fashionably on the average day.  Also, due to the nature of my employment, I need to keep myself somewhat anonymous, which limits my posting to a certain degree.  So, in an effort to get back to being me, I might change the way I am blogging moving forward.  More about what is going on with me (the good, the bad, the ugly, and the WTF just happened) and less dreaming of luxury goods and a life which I will never have.  And blogging on a more 'at will' basis instead of putting myself on a 5x week schedule. 

So here are a few snapshots taken during my hiatus...

 Veuve Clicquot champagne tower

 Finally got to visit Sprinkles cupcakes!!  (Saint cupcake in Portland puts them to shame!!)

 I had the Black and White

 Chino Bandido - Mexican Chinese Fusion food - it was AH-MAZING!!

 This is literally the view from our Phoenix office.  These people don't know how lucky they have it.  I would take breaks, walk outside and just bask in it.

 Daiquiris in NOLA

The ever popular Cafe Du Monde.  It was delicious!!  The only downer is that there is a VERY long line, which does go fast, but you are seated in an outdoor tent that has the ambiance of eating at the county fair.

Friday, March 16, 2012


 The pier

 My first Starbucks sighting!!

 Mi gusta tequila!

 Our swimming hole for the day.

 The resort we spent the day at.

 The bar nestled behind palm trees.

 Rustic Cozumel beach.

Playa Azul.

Our last port of call was Cozumel, Mexico.  I spent the morning shopping and negotiating with vendors on some souvenirs.  Bought some beautiful hand embroidered tops and bags.  A few handmade bracelets and hand painted pottery.  Once I was done stimulating the economy at the Cozumel port I went back on the boat and got my travelling partner.  We then headed back out to the taxi stand and I lined up a taxi to take us to a nearby, local beach named Playa Azul.  (My Spanglish was in full force this day!) 

Our friendly taxi driver took us to his 'friends' resort located on Playa Azul and it couldn't have been more perfect.  It was quiet with very few people in sight.  We had waiters standing by to deliver anything our hearts desire, use of the pool and facilities, and a beautiful little beach with sparkling blue water.  We spent the day swimming, drinking Mexican coca-cola which is SO much more delicious due to its use of REAL sugar content (vs the corn syrup we get in the states), and snoozing on padded beach loungers. 

We had the BEST day on our last day at port.  After leaving the beach we finished up at Carlos and Charlies where we had yard drinks and a HUGE platter of local taco fixings.  We were not excited to get back on the boat but we reluctantly got back on and headed back to Nola. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012


 Coxen Hole, Honduras

 A lot of lush greenery with homes built into the hillsides.

 Roatan Bay - Gorgeous white sand beach.

 Velvet white sand and crystal clear turquoise water.

 Quite an active beach, lots of locals mingling with the tourists along the resort lined coast.


Lush green hills

We ported in Coxen Hole, Honduras on our 2nd stop.  After we made it through the new, pristine cruise port full of duty free shops and local artisans we were taxied over the hills and into Roatan Bay.  We spent the day at the Tabayana beach resort.  It was packed full of people with locals wandering through selling anything from Cuban cigars to massages on the beach.  We relaxed in loungers for a few hours, dipped in the water, and chatted with some friends from the cruise.  Ate a BBQ lunch with a local rice & bean dish and the BEST tropical iced tea that have ever passed my lips.  I didn't care if that iced tea was made from the local water source (which appeared to be a stagnant puddle) because it was so delicious and you better believe I had 3 huge glasses. 

Then (you know me, a sucker for a massage) I was convinced by a local woman named Suzi to get a massage under a hut by the ocean.  $25 for 4o minutes sounded like a great deal, especially with this beautiful scenery to add to the ambiance.  Being that I was covered in sand didn't matter to Suzi, but ended up creating more of a 'scrub' than a massage.  She scraped and scratched at me for about 10 mins.  All of a sudden she pulls off my bathing suit top, luckily I was face down, and squirts a ton of massage oil down my bottoms.   All this occurring as she complained to her friend, also massaging another beach goer right next to me, about her boyfriend and kids, throwing in a lot of colorful cursing, and threatening to burn down his house.  In an effort to get out of the awkwardness that was ensuing I asked her to rub aloe vera on my sunburned shoulders, which she did, and then she sent  me packing.  It was a very weird 'massage' and definitely lasted WAY less than the quoted 40 mins, resulting in about 15 mins, which was for the best...  One word...awkward. 

Back on the van to head back to the cruise port we got to take in the rustic beauty of Honduras.   The beaches are pristine, the hillsides are lush and green, and wild flowers grow along the roadside.  This is definitely a place we intend to return to.  We loved every minute of our time here and saw so many beautiful resorts along the coastline.  

You better BELIZE it!

 Our view while on a private island in Belize.  White sand and turquoise water.

The beach on the island was full of gorgeous shells, corals, and other rustic sea elements.  I spent a good hour collecting shells and coral to sneak in my luggage back home. 

 A nearby uninhabited mangrove island.

 The view from our palapa.

 Palapa huts and palm trees.

The island.  There wasn't much to it.  Just pure island paradise.

 Leaving the island.  We were so sad to leave. 

The ship waiting off the coast of Belize.

Belize was good to us.  As we missed our first port of call, Costa Maya, due to high winds, we were EXTRA excited to get off the boat and explore a private island off the coast of Belize.  We were picked up by a ferry, right off of the boat, and jetted off to a private island.  There were about 40 other people on the island, soaking up the sun and relaxing on the white sand.  We had a palapa (palm hut) all to ourselves.  I spent about an hour searching for and collecting the most amazing corals and shells, that I successfully brought home for my collection.  I also made quite a few friends, you know me...Ms. Social butterfly :)   We ate a local lunch, enjoyed the local brews, and simply relaxed lazing the day away under the sun.  We love the island life!!  

We're on a boat!


We are back from our cruise, and back to reality.  Here is the first in the photo series I am going to put up about the trip.

We sailed from New Orleans to Costa Maya, Belize City, Coxen Hole Honduras, and Cozumel Mexico.   Our ship, the Norwegian Cruise Line Spirit, was 'smaller' ship of about 2,500 guests + crew.  I didn't take many pictures around the ship because I kept forgetting the camera and was just too darn busy soaking up the vacation bliss.  We really enjoyed the food.  Breakfast consisted of Cafe au Lait, fruit, oatmeal, pancakes, and the occasional strip of bacon.   There were tons of fresh made pastries, waffles, name it, they had it.  We rarely ate lunch, and when off the boat ate at the excursion location.  We had nice dinners at some of the optional restaurants (this included an additional fee), of Cagney's steak house, La Trattoria, and a French restaurant (coq a vin!) but also enjoyed the buffet.  The head chef on the boat is Indian and we had some amazing curries!

Our cabin was a king bed, a small desk, a sitting chair, a closet, and a bathroom fit for an RV.  The bed was not terribly comfortable but we made the best of it.  The boat was full of a vast array of characters including a bunch of college kids on spring break.  You will note in the picture of the pool how packed it was as they all spent their days and nights partying away.  It was not uncommon to see a frat boy running down the hall with an older gal scooting right behind him on her hover round.  It made for interesting people watching, that is for sure! :) 

We had a wonderful vacation, although aren't convinced cruising is for us.  There is a lot of down time as you sail from port to port, which for a busy body like me drove me a little mad.  When we couldn't dock at the first port, Costa Maya, I thought I was going to lose my mind on another day at sea.  I was also a little sea sick :( 

What we did love were the ports of call.  Which...I will post details on next!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bon Voyage!

...and I'm off to see new places, explore, relax,  try local foods, dive into open blue waters, gain 10 pounds of vacation weight from overindulging, drink cocktails with my toes in the sand, laugh, walk the pool deck in my swimsuit with NO SHAME, sleep in, read, and to have this 10 day journey with my love.  I will miss you all!!  I will come back armed with great photos, stories, recommendations, and souvenirs.  Hopefully, if I get a chance I will blog some live action, real time updates.  BUT! I'm not going to stress about it.  There may be a chance you won't hear from me for a while.  Time to defrag. 

Is today the day YOU plan your vacation?  We planned this 9 months ago... giving ourselves something to look forward to, and the time is here.  Everyone deserves this.   GO FOR IT!!


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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Today I am thankful


As I stare into this closet wondering what to pack for my upcoming venture, I am overcome with a sense of gratitude.  I am very grateful for this life I have.  The over abundance of clothes, makeup, purses, accessories, and the list goes on, remind me of how lucky I really am.  And not just for these material things, but for all the love in my life, experiences, and wonderful people I am gifted with everyday.  But I am no stranger to hardship, and have in the not so distant past put some hard years behind me.  I have fought for what I have and work hard to keep it.  But even still, I know there are others in this world who put in more work than I do, cry more tears, fight harder than I ever have, and yet still don't have the luxuries that I do.  And for this, I look at my life and say thank you to the great beyond.  I feel blessed, and am so thankful for all that I do have.  I know what it is like not to have it, and that in a split second everything can be taken from you.  But for this moment I can feel overcome with joy and appreciation. 

And on a side note...I went to the doctor today, and I have an ear infection in my left ear and a sinus infection.  Now I am on antibiotics and 2 other meds in an effort to get me well enough to enjoy my trip starting in 2 days.  This all started because my 3 year old nephew, while infection with the 'contagion', don't ask me why, put his hand in my mouth while we were playing legos.  I swear little kid germs are 10x  more potent than anything else out there.  Be warned...should you play legos...keep your mouth shut at all costs.

One more good one for ya...

I am waiting in line  a good ten minutes at the Target Pharmacy to fill my Rx (this is the most incompentent pharmacy I have ever seen, mind you one of the pharmasists asked my friend who is mid 20's if she was born in 1946.  Huh!?) and have a gang of 4 teens behind me.  One 17 year old male (I know this because he said his age at least a dozen times) and 3 younger females.  All dressed in black, with safety pins and shaggy hairdos.  Emo.  Talking LOUDLY about their purpose for being in line.  "Plan B, its NOT the abortion pill", "I know" says 17 year old stud muffin...followed by a sobbing "HURRY UP, I feel like I am getting pregnant RIGHT NOW!" girl, who also has a bottle of prenatal vitamins in her hands.  When did teenagers get so weird and akward!?

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