Rangiroa 2016 Part I

img_1782

Two flights later and a gazillion hours, or so it seemed, we landed in Papeete! I was surprised at how hot and humid it was..and  even more surprised was I that I didn’t mind it…at all.

Completely dark at 0430, the airport was small and sleepy yet we were still greeted to the customs entry with live musical and dance entertainment ..Sidetrack moment as I remember back to the flight..the flight attendant brought round customs forms and asked that we complete these before we land. I asked, “Do you have a pen or little pencil”? She replied, “No” and kept walking. Now I know I should be a responsible adult and carry a pen with me at all times but…I am not and apparently nor is the husband because he didn’t have a writing utensil either. Am I wrong to think Air Tahiti Nui should supply us with tiny little lottery pencils to complete our customs documents?

Ok, my opinion over on that topic. 🙂

When I was on the phone booking our travel arrangements with Costco Travel, the agent and I both thought it would be a great idea to book our flights so that we would have a great amount of time to explore the island of Papeete before flying off to our final destination, Rangiroa.

I regret that decision, well ok maybe not so much regret the decision but lesson learned.

As I mentioned, we arrived at 0430..our flight out of Papeete was to leave a 1030. We had SIX hours to wait.  The Costco travel greeter met us, gave us pretty flower necklaces and walked us around the tiny little airport to show us where to go for our next departure. Not necessary but a little comforting. Three hours left before we can even check into our next flight, we sat down and people watched.

Many locals just hanging out at the airport, barefoot. Outside there were roosters cock -a – doodle dooing, I spotted a random homeless dog trotting through airport traffic, pretty sure we witnessed a drug deal as well (not judging..just observing and reporting). Pretty fascinating,  the airport of Papeete.

fullsizeoutput_61e

IMG_1784.JPG

The currency exchange booth opened not so promptly at 0815, we had some coffee and finally it was time to board the plane to paradise!
Papeete to Rangiroa, the flight was only about an hour. When the captain announced our plan to descend, I looked out the window and saw our destination from above…So gorgeous.

fullsizeoutput_621

Arrived to the Rangiroa Airport, we were greeted with more flower necklaces and smiles from the staff of the Hotel Kia Ora. They grabbed our bags, loaded them up and we were on our way. The island is only six kilometers long so it was a matter of a five-minute drive to the hotel. We were greeted with fresh juice and more smiles at the hotel entrance, more forms to complete and then we loaded up on the golf cart as they took us to our room…bags already at the front door. It’s a little thing but it sure was nice not having to tote our luggage around. 🙂

Home sweet home for 5 nights!

Here we enjoyed a celebratory whiskey drink 🙂 We brought two 750mL bottles from home…smart tip from some friends who had been to the French Polynesian Islands, to them I say… thank you! Too bad for Jason, the ice machine was broken..Me? I don’t care for ice so I was content! We splashed in the water for a bit and was glad to find the temperature was PERFECT.

We didn’t know what time it was and we didn’t care but we were hungry..sadly, the staff keeps time and the kitchen was closed for lunch so we sat at the bar and ordered a couple of Jambon Buerre’s (just a ham and cheese sandwich really) and beer, we chatted with the staff about their stories of life on the island.  Soon thereafter, it was nap time!  By the time nap was over it was time for dinner..swim, sleep, eat, drink..repeat? I just knew this was going to be a great week.

I had it in mind to make sure to only eat fish for dinner the entire stay. First night, I had seared tuna with a mixed vegetable salad. I only wish I had made not of what was in the salad because it was truly delicious..I remember there were red peppers and cucumber, absolutely no fluff (by fluff I mean lettuce..not lettuce of any type..strictly vegetables). To wash it down I had to try a glass of the local wine (Rose Nacarat from Vin De Tahiti), this quickly became my favorite.

The ambience of the restaurant in the evening for dinner was so cozy. Calm and quiet but you could hear the water lapping onto the shore from your table which only intensified the pure chillness. No pictures, I didn’t want to be rude or take away from being in the moment. I hope I will always be able to remember.

Needless to say day one was a day of much-needed relaxation. Forewarning, you will see this word…relaxation..quite a bit in this post. 🙂

Day two: The sun woke us up at 0530, the only reason I looked at the clock was because we had plans for an excursion on this day. We woke up with three and a half hours to spare. On the patio, we could hear the waves from the Pacific Ocean side of the island so of course we had to check that scene out!

This early in the morning the tide was quite low. We were the only two on the beach at this time, most likely the only two awake on the island. There was a random dog sitting on the beach watching the waves. He spotted me and started barking so as to say, “get off my beach” and then he ran away.

fullsizeoutput_65a

fullsizeoutput_659

We spent the next hour here, enjoying the sounds and views until it was time to eat! Breakfast buffet is served from 0700-0900 ~ quite a spread actually. Every hotel I have ever stayed in that states “buffet” I think of cold cereal, boiled eggs, nasty pastries from a cellophane wrapper and sub par coffee. Not here, There was bacon, sausage, has browns, all sorts of meats and cheese and croissants and fruits, fresh milk, juices and fresh breads.

The buffet is served in the same space as dinner so you have a gorgeous view of the lagoon area and the negative edge pool. Sadly, I never did make the time to take a dip. I wanted to, just for the novelty but really….salt water ocean and lagoon swimming or a swimming pool..natural water is my preference!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0471.

We met our guides and two other couples at he dock at 0900 to board and head out to the Blue Lagoon for the day! We only took video and a few pictures on this day. Apologies but WordPress won’t let me upload video without upgrading ..pshht.

First thing that made me giggle was this fish! This was to be part of our lunch..just out there in the open trying thaw out before it was cooked.

DCIM100GOPROG0010347.

The boat ride was an hour-long but it didn’t feel so because the ride was so much fun and we soaked up, in amazement at how very far we were from anything else in the world. Surrounded only by mass amounts of water. When we arrived to the spot to drop anchor I realized we were going to have to walk about a 3/4 of a mile to the island through shark infested waters. Ok, Ok..they are docile black tip reef sharks but still..wild sharks none the less..you never know when a shark is going to back shit crazy and bite your legs off…right?

Luckily…the sharks were very well-behaved and only followed us to our little island.

The island had a covered picnic area complete with picnic tables and a make-shift barbecue grill. Side note..I just recalled, walking to the island, Jason insisted on helping the tour guide with the coolers filled with food and water and the guy actually seemed a little put off but allowed Jason to help anyway.

Once settled, we were told to go have fun and meet back in an hour and a half for lunch.

Off we went to snorkel and swim, the hotel had provided us (at no additional cost) with snorkel gear we could keep for the duration of our stay! They came in handy and I was glad we opted not to bring our own which would have taken up a bunch of space in our already booze packed luggage!

In our island walk about, I came across this angry little crab..he wanted to pinch my face off but he was too little so I just laughed at him. 🙂

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0384.

I learned, I suck at swimming and I can’t keep water out of my mask. I learned, Jason is a water bug and is amazing at swimming and snorkeling. He pushed me past my limit and made me less afraid of getting eaten by the unknown.

We built up a great appetite and ventured back to the hut. The delicious smell  that is all things barbecue  hit us immediately. Our guides used dried coconut, prawn leaves and pineapple skin to fuel the fire. More sharks were lurking around the shore close to the picnic area..I am certain the sharks are trained pretty well, like any animal, they know..when the humans come and start the fire…they’re getting some treats!  Sure enough, we caught the guides tossing fish and chicken bits to the sharks, they were happy little fishes! We all sat down to a table of surgeon fish, chicken, couscous and fresh pineapple. There were two other super friendly couples there, young newly weds on their honeymoon from LA, a couple from France celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary and  us, celebrating life together for twenty-eight years. I am glad we were able to show the newly weds..adventures could and should continue throughout the years.

Another hour went by for exploring and then we were called to start heading back to the boat. Time to swim with the sharks! All of the sharks that were parked near the shoreline followed us back into the deeper waters to meet their many many many friends. I was surprised at myself at how calm I was, I was totally OK with swimming with these guys.

Nearer the boat, in deeper waters, just snorkeling around in amazement..Jason pointed in a direction alerting me to LOOK! There was a lemon shark, this guy was huge! Those black tip reef sharks had nothing on this guy..this guy was probably ten feet long and THAT..made me a little nervous. He was all by himself in a sea of us and the black tips. I (kind of frantically) swam backwards to get to the boat..I was out 😉 Not long after so was everyone else. Safe inside the boat the guide took the remaining fish bits and started slapping the sharks with it trying to rile them up, he was also trying to get the big lemon shark up and out of the water for the big prize. Then he says, “ready to go back and swim with them, hahahahaha” obviously he was kidding and obviously..we all said, “NO”.

The ride back was faster than the ride in and we thought we were done but the driver brought us to an area known as the aquarium. screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-6-20-24-pm

THOUSANDS of fish. I did NOT want to jump in, I am completely OK with swimming with the sharks but not schools of fish. They nibble, I don’t like their scales and there was just so..many..of.. them.

The French couple dove right in, the new groom and Jason dove right in. The new bride and me? Sat there for a few saying, “I’m not going in there”. I was happy she was going to stay on the boat with me. Until she didn’t. :/

It’s worth mentioning…. the guides thought it to be hilarious to throw chunks of bread into the water near a person so the ALL of the gazillion fish would charge at the person. Bride and I were not thrilled about that. The French folks didn’t seem to even notice. Jason and the groom…LOVED it, thought it was so cool.

I jumped in. It was beautiful and I’m glad I did. No foul..no harm. Not saying I wasn’t freaked out but I floated and snorkeled and I loved it.

Our guides were having so much fun with us they decided to give us yet another treat. We boated off to the Tiputa Pass. This is a passageway where the ocean meets and mingles with the open ocean. The waves were fantastic in the late afternoon watched dolphins have such a blast playing in the rough waters!

Screen shots from video. ^^

We said our goodbyes and thanked our hosts for such a great day and headed back to our room.

This is what we came back to 🙂 From the good people of Hotel Kia Ora.

fullsizeoutput_604

Such an unexpected kind gesture! The next couple hours or so were spent enjoying this bottle and recapping our amazing adventures from the day.

To Beat or Not to Beat…that is the question…

Cowboys – Josh Brent – KILLED someone – drinking an driving and only got suspended 10 games
Wes Welker – suspended 2 games for using Adderall – Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely for knocking the his then fiancé the bleep out..and most recently..
Adrian Peterson beat his kid with a switch and will most likely only be suspended for 6 games (but I think that has yet to be determined as the charges are so new)
By the way he was quoted as saying: “never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”

Isn’t that what a huge percentage of abusers say? Oh, I’m sorry, please forgive me I didn’t mean to hurt you…at least that’s what I’ve come to conclusion based on my experience in Lifetime movie watching.

I have a friend that actually posted a complaint on FB:
“My view of the nation of nosy liberal pussy children raising parents!!! Mom arrested for letting kid walk to park. So me mom was a criminal!!! Adrian Peterson indited for spanking with a switch so also me grandmother was a criminal wake up people u turned out fine and mind ur own fucking business!! ur creating a nation of pussies!!!”

This person was upset because a woman was arrested for allowing her seven year old (alone mind you) to walk to a park about a mile away from the house. Now I don’t think she should have been arrested BUT it did need to be brought to her attention (shockingly..I mean really??? who doesn’t know that you do NOT let your little walk the street by.themselves….There are way to many freakoids out there that WILL take and do bad things and kill your child…don’t you people listen to HLN??) anyway..I could rant on this topic all day long but moving on to my friends other complaint..

Adrian Peterson..indicted (friend totally spelled indicted wrong) for child abuse. He slashed his sons leg with a switch (because that’s how he as raised..you know..) Adrian Peterson..come on man…your 2 year old DIED at the hands of your baby mama boyfriend (due to chile abuse) and your going to scar your other son by damaging him yourself?? Disgusting.. I am not saying I am pro or anti corporal punishment of our children but even the line has a line and this…obviously is crossing it. And by the way…just because you are a spewing out God this and God that does not make your actions OK. Does not mean that you are a good hearted person. Actions buddy….actions…

OK so I think I have pin pointed both of the FB topics on friends post..A couple more..its says “wake up people u turned out fine” Really? Did we? I did..I was not beaten nor was I out roaming on my own..I had a group of friends and we roamed the neighborhood..travelled in packs or at least pairs! I also lived in military housing where the neighbors all looked out for us kids..If “Johnny” was out roaming the neighborhood believe me all the lookey loos (mom included) knew what he was up to or at least they were going to find out…. “U turned out fine” Notice friend did not say “I” turned out fine…exactly..your grandma beat you with a switch! of course you did not turn out fine…you drink a little, I am sure if you looked inward there are more issues that stem (pun not intended..happy accident) from being beat with a switch. I say this with peace and love of course..just pointing it out.. If I was in the south I would have to say “Bless friends heart”.

“and mind ur own fucking business” This one is the best…These children..that are being abused. They are our business. As a community it is our duty (remember the old saying “it takes a village’) to make sure these kids are safe. The kids are going to go to school with your kids. They are going to share their darkness – with the other kids on the playground. Those kids are going to bring it home and share their new found darkness with an animal in your house or with the other kids in the house or with the neighbor kids. It is a sickness that keeps on giving..

Thank you for letting me rant and my apologies if you do not share my views but that is totally OK.. I don’t judge your thoughts so don’t judge mine…

Now I say…Wake up people..

Arizona Style…

You know you have lived in Arizona for too long when you agree to someones crazy a$$ idea when they say…”Hey, we should go to the desert and take band photos”!

The date was August 31st, it was oh about 110 Fahrenheit and super sunny. I am pretty sure that around the time we left, 16:00, it was the hottest part of the day too. 

The trip was two fold, the guys wanted to get their trucks in 4×4 mode and they needed some updated band photos since the recent departure of our guitar playing friend Craig.

Cooler filled with ice, beer, ciders and burgers we headed up to the Table Mesa exit for some off road and photog fun!

DSC_8054

DSC_8055

DSC_8057

DSC_8061

Our first sign of what was to come was the huge bright orange warning:  ROAD DAMAGE

On the drive up I noticed off to the east of the highway some significant flood damage. We had some good monsoon storms about a week ago and the nerdy people that build their lives and homes in the Arizona riverbeds (yea..I’m judging 🙂 )

…sure paid a good price.

There were trees, cacti, bushes, buildings not very well built, furniture, etc all washed away down the length of the river bed. I would have liked to have had some photos to share with you but honestly I was so wowed I completely forgot to grab the camera.

Back to our road! We met up and traveled east..passed through a rickety fence and as we passed by I see another warning. ROAD IMPASSABLE. Still..we continued on..

DSC_8064

Hmm..conundrum. The 4 wheel drivers assessing the situation.

DSC_8065

Odd enough, I was wearing my vans instead of flip flops so I decided to walk across to test the waters. You know..check out how deep the water was and point out big ole boulders in the wash. The water came up to the middle of my thigh (which if you know me…really is not that tall) and there were a few boulders the guys needed to avoid. Of course I was not done with my assessment before my mister jumped in the Tacoma and cruised across!!

DSC_8066DSC_8067

DSC_8071

Success!

Along came the others. There was only one little hiccup. One of the trucks didn’t have enough clearance to cross so we decided to stay where we were instead of leaving the low rider and driving another five miles to the ancient ruins. All was not lost though..the band photographer got some good shots of the guys in that perfect little spot anyway. You’ll have to check http://www.hogjawmusic.com or look the band Hogjaw up on Facebook to see those as I didn’t take the pics so I don’t have authorization to share. 🙂

I can share some silliness those so keep reading for those little shots!

Those on foot walked across the “pond” to get to the other side.

DSC_8090DSC_8095

Before the sun went down all the 4×4’s crossed back to the other side.

DSC_8156

While the guys were taking pictures, the ladies enjoyed the scenery and company.

DSC_8118

And then the shenanigans began!

DSC_8166 DSC_8170 DSC_8171 DSC_8172 DSC_8175

BOONES FARM! The epitome of teenage drunkenness trouble in a bottle..at least it was in the 90’s haha! Come on now, you lie if you say you never sneaked a slug off the Strawberry Hill back in the day! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beerfest 2014 ~ 10 Year Anniversary

The first weekend of August, for the past seven or eight years (I can’t remember which), Jason, me, the dogs and our daughter head up the hill to the Mogollon Rim with oh about 100 of our “closest” friends to participate in the annual event which is names…Backwoods Beerfest.

Beerfest was started by a close friend of ours ten years ago this year… we missed out on the first two or three but have not missed one since.

If you live or have heard of the hellish hotness that is the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix metro area) you can bet your life we all become super excited to beat the heat, lose touch with the modern world, drink, connect with friends and become one with Mother Nature herself.

Weather wise..we never know what we are going to get..some years it is in the 80’s, dry and hot and some years it’s nothing but torrential rains..this year..we we lucky to get the best of both worlds.

My friend and I sent our other halves up the hill a day early so they could grab a sweet spot and set up camp. We would have loved to go up with them but we had to work…BOOO…who am I kidding 😉 it was the BEST rolling into camp with everything set up already!

This was home for three days and two nights. The mister is so good at making sure everything is as perfect as can be for his lady..his mutts and his self.

DSC_7918

DSC_7924 DSC_7961

I really should not have allowed an entire week to go by before I told you my story because I’ll be honest..I don’t remember much 😉 It is after all…BEERFEST *should be deemed…drunkfest!*

Thinking about it now..I know we arrived around 4 in the afternoon on Friday the 31st..That’s all I remember from that night..not because I was wasted but I think the events of Saturday completely overshadowed my first night in the woods. Holy crap..honestly..there is nothing significant that I remember from Friday..it’s like it didn’t even happen. I do know..it was lovely to be there..the weather was perfect and I behaved myself…as much as this kid can…

The next morning was full of relaxation..

DSC_7938

Even the mister enjoy the most comfy spot in the house..

DSC_7927

There were more than a few “nature walks” ~ My major complaint of Beerfest…It is neat that a bunch of people come together BUT..that also means I have to walk like 1/4 mile just to pee……I know..I know..they have private toilets available for camping but I’m sorry..to me? That’s just gross..

 

DSC_7947

This year, someone bought a live pig, raised it, slaughtered it and brought it to camp for a pig roast.

* Side note: what is a better word for slaughter? The person(s) who raised this pig and “sacrificed” it for the sake of our tummies treated this little guy so much..I mean SO MUCH..better than ANY animal we could ever buy at the meat counter in our grocery stores..to use the word slaughter or sacrifice seems inappropriate. *

Anyway, here is the little guy who served us so selflessly

DSC_7966

DSC_8006

They started Mr. Piggy around 0530 because he needed to roast for like 8 to 10 hours.. I had coffee and continued my stent in the hammock until my friends woke up and made me a bloody mary. So good..the perfect amount of horseradish and olives and vodka and mary mix and whatever else goes into the making of this morning treat! Another one of our camp mates had made a bloody maria..I am not a big fan of those. I had one sip and didn’t like it. I will give it just one more “shot” but it will have to be a different tequila..Jose..is NOT a friend of mine..I am pretty sure the end result will be the same. Mary will win over Maria.

Sometime in the day the rain came in and was more than welcome..her timing was perfect too, rain for a few hours, stopped in time for all of us to gather around the beer tables for the annual tasting! Let the fun begin!

DSC_7969 DSC_8020

Yup, someone brought these flamingos and I LOVE this idea 🙂 NOTHING screams “I am a redneck” more than pink flamingos in your front yard and a rebel flag hah!

There was, of course, even event security 😉

DSC_7975

I mean really..with all of these people here combined with all the beer..you would think it was needed ** Luckily..all was good and I think the shirts were just for fun **

DSC_7994

Shortly after, the rain started again and we all ventured to the pig for some delicious snack time.

photo

Yup! Red solo wine cup and BBQ topped with cole slaw. We know how to camp. 🙂

Sadly, No more pictures of this day… it’s just as well though because had I been running around the forest with my camera..it would not have survived..at least I had enough sense to put it away during the torrential down pour.

That was the beginning of the end for me woooo partay time! Box o’ wine was flowing, red and white. I am pretty sure I made it to all the campsites to spread my joyful cheer until I was poured into my tent for the night. I did not even care that my sleeping bag was soaked along with my pillow and the rest of my clothes. Did you know that when you buy a tent it does not already come waterproof?? That is the goofiest thing ever. A tent is to protect you from the elements..you would think one of those elements would include RAIN..nope.. you buy a tent..you have to water proof it. Apparently the mister knew of this because he said he has a spray that seals the tent..but for whatever reason..didnt do it. Word to the wise..

The next morning we took our sweet time, packed up, said our goodbyes and headed down the hill.

photo 2

Until next year Rim….photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look out weekend..Here I come!

Last weekend, I stuffed my overnight bag into the trunk of my car, strapped myself in and headed to work a half day. Around lunch time I scooted out of there as fast as I could and headed down the highway…

West Coast Snyder family here I come! I was off for my first visit to our long time friends in Southern California. I cannot believe I have let so much time go between visits…no worries, I will be back on schedule ASAP!

The ride there …always sucks. It’s brown, flat and HOT. I do have Satellite radio to help ease the pain but honestly…I almost turned around because I didn’t want to be in the car anymore. I pushed through and rolled into town around dinner time.

I made a bad decision and stopped into the Target in El Cajon to pickup a little goodie gift bag for the preschooler in the family. I’m pretty sure that location is either closing down or their purchaser should be fired because normally…Target has a pretty decent selection for little ones..Not this one. Don’t go… I piddled around there for a good thirty minutes before I finally came to the conclusion..Nothing new is going to magically appear, jump in my basket and scream, “pick me, pick me”!

I settled for a little multipurpose Hello Kitty bag, stuffed it with sidewalk chalk and some bubbles. Not too long after I was parked in the front and being greeted by a super sweet smile from a super sweet little preschooler. 🙂 This little one has a really excellent memory or her mama does an amazing job at keeping close friends and family fresh in K’s mind because she seemed to remember me and even happy to see me. Either way, it was so good to see her little face in person again!

Hugs and hellos were had and I was settled in. And I got to meet the babay!!! 😀

For such a struggle in utero, trying get out too early and all, and a difficult few days of life in NICU, it made my heart happy to see such peace on her tiny tiny face. In my mind she was much bigger..while I was holding her I was mentally kicking myself for not grabbing the newborn cutey pattootey outfit I was going to get for her. Anyhooo…

Into the evening we, adults, enjoyed patio time, conversation and vino.

Cut to MORNING! 🙂

Thump, thump, thump, thump…no gentle pitter patter of little feet here..Little K makes her presence well known with the thump of her little feet bright and early on a Saturday morning. Thankfully..we all fell asleep at a decent hour so I was more than happy to be awoken in such a manner….Again..with the super sweet smile but this time with super sweet major bead head! 😀

Snuggles in the morning before she headed out to Sea World with Grandma and Grandpa while Mommy, Daddy, Uncle B and I took a little day trip to Ramona..La region vinicola del sur California.

First winery stop was to the summer release celebration at Milagro Farm

IMG_5838 IMG_5834

My favorites here were the 2013 Pinot Gris and the 2012 Barbera. I had to bring the Gris home with me though because I knew I was saving my wine allowance for our last stop.

Second stop was the wide open space of Edwards Vineyard & Cellars

A comfortable patio for tasting and enjoying company, perfect weather and the gorgeous view.

DSC_7860

* Disclaimer..I did not steal this grape..it was placed in my hand from an unnamed source * 😀

Colorful, aromatic soaps are made and sold here.

DSC_7871

Big lazy German Shepard’s lounge here.

DSC_7874

Some outdoor decor is staged appropriately here.

DSC_7867 DSC_7870 DSC_7865 DSC_7868

I forgot to mention…Baby A (and when I say baby..I mean like she was 9 days old..baby) all the while this little miss was the PERFECT A*N*G*E*L

She snoozed quietly, awoke quietly and just enjoyed being in this world, our environment, with her mommy and her daddy..pure sweetness 🙂

I’m a little upset with myself for not getting more pictures of her for myself but we did have Uncle B there taking photos so I thought it would be a bit much to be all up in her business right behind the other paparazzi 🙂 I’ll be quicker with the camera on my next visit!

OH! I almost forgot…my favorite taste here was the 2009 Syrah. Again, I was still saving my wine allowance for our last stop. *sigh* Next time..next time..

Not too far away was our final stop, the one I had been waiting for, the ever quaint, ever friendly, ever delicious…Chuparosa Vineyards.

DSC_7888

DSC_7893 DSC_7887 DSC_7889 DSC_7890

Darn it..I just realized (while uploading the above photos) I didn’t even get pictures of the new indoor tasting area. They really did a great job on this structure..comfortable seating, air conditioning (by this time it was starting to get a teeny bit warm), views of the vineyard and tables for our cheese, bread and cracker spread. Oh mylanta we (and by we..I mean I) ate entirely too much bread and cheese. It was all so yummy..too much to pass up.

My favorites this go round were the 2009 Sangiovese and the 2009 Zinfandel. I spent the remainder of my wine allowance and made them my own. 😀

We said our goodbyes, thanked the people of Chupa, piled into the car to headed back to the house.

I wish I could remember what we had for dinner but by the time we got home, I had had a long day of wine tasting :/ I do know there was burrata involved and it was delicious. I’m pretty sure all I did the rest of the night is eat and drink. Between Uncle B and the Mr. of the house…my glass was ALWAYS full of some sort of tasty wine.

There is a vision in my head of the neighbors coming over and we played Cards Against Humanity. Which by the way…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (maybe not in any blogs but I’ve said it..trust me) everyone must own a box of Cards Against Humanity ..seriously one of the best games I’ve played in years. Totally foul and inappropriate fun for friends for hours.

The night ended, I don’t remember how but I woke up Sunday morning in a terrible terrible way. Sadly I rolled around the house for a few hours, eventually had to pack up and head out. I was so bad off I didn’t even get to have a snuggle moment with the teeny baby A 😦 I missed out..Again I have to say..next time.

It was hard to walk out the door but I know I’ll be back soon (because I will make time to do so)!

The ride to the beach was painless, I found a good spot, walked along the beach for about twenty minutes before I found my perfect chill station. Threw the towel down, laid back, closed my eyes and just listened to the sounds of the waves, the children playing and the seagulls squawking..squawking is probably not the best word to use.. it sounds like a bad noise but it wasn’t. It was relaxing. I found myself taking in super deep breathes, the smell of the salty air mades my brain happy.

IMG_5845

I wasn’t able to stay too long but the sun helps all and my horrible hangover state was just about non existent by the time I left!

Thank you friends, Thank you San Diego! 😉 I will be back!


Save the Orangutans – Say “No!” to Palm Oil

Depressing… Disturbing and devastating.. Information that I could really do without.. Only because life is supposed to be all about puppies, rainbows and unicorns..

I am not a fan of reality but sometimes we need a little slap in the face to remind us to think about the items we use on a daily basis and who has to sacrifice what for is to be able to so.
Interesting thing about his post is that earlier, while scrolling through my reader, I came across another post titled, “eat palm oil”

I will be going back to that post and leaving a simple comment., only
The link to this reblog..

Be Like Water

Orangutan-mom-and-baby-537x357

Did you know that most of us are fueling one of the world’s biggest ecological disasters and acts of primate genocide in history? 

Borneo and Sumatra are two of the most bio-diverse regions of the world, yet they have the longest list of endangered species. This list includes the magnificent orangutan. These two South-East Asian islands are extremely rich in life, containing around 20,000 flowering plant species, 3,000 tree species, 300,000 animal species and thousands more being discovered each year. Despite this amazing biodiversity and delicate web of species, an area the size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour in Indonesia and Malaysia to make way for the production of one vegetable oil. That’s 6 football fields destroyed each minute.

This vegetable oil is called palm oil, and is found in hundreds of the everyday products, from baked goods and confectionery, to cosmetics and cleaning agents……

View original post 463 more words

It’s a Girls Day Out…

Crap, I was supposed to wake up, at the latest, 0700. The plan was to hit the 0915 Power Yoga class at Sutra Midtown ~ the drive is a little over 15 miles.

Yea, well Kiah didn’t wake me up until after 0800..no way were we going to make it.. Instead we figured we could make it to the Basic Yoga class at 1045, be done in time for lunch! Perfecto!

We left in a timely manner but stupid construction put us a little bit behind schedule..that and the weirdos on the road doing like five miles UNDER the speed limit..Honestly..I really don’t understand..

I wanted to take some pictures of the place for the you all but we got there just in time to toss our belongings into a cubby and head to class!

From the spacious front room – decorated with super cute yoga apparel along with walls clad with amazing local art – the front desk attendant walked us through the clean hall and into the “dungeoneaque” practice space. The entry door was really neat..it was made of iron and had welding marks.. like it was a bunch of little iron piece welded together..and it was a sliding door.

The room was dimly lit and was full of aspiring yogis in savasana setting all intentions. Kiah and I followed suit.

Just like myself..my yoga practice has been random and inconsistent. With that said..My skill level is somewhere between a beginner and the intermediate level. These past few months have set me back so my STRENGTH is totally at a beginner level.. This class actually worked out pretty well.

The instructor reminded me of Seth Meyers a little (1st impression) as the class (slowly) progressed..I was beginning to work deeper into going back to the basics. Damn…that was tough. I forgot how much hard work it is to build strength. I was surprised my legs were so weak, my wrists had a hard time holding on and that I actually broke a sweat. 😉 Mr instructor did such a great job at reminding us to root ourselves and to keep breathing. Those who don’t yoga..yes…we doing yoga…must sometimes be reminded to BREATHE 😉

Although I would have much preferred an intermediate class (they flow faster and require less strength..in my opinion) it was great to get back to the basics and the instructor did a wonderful job at reeling me back in. I will definitely be back to see what else Midtown Sutra has to offer!

And…next time I go back…I will take pictures..the vibe of the place is excellent..you have to see it..

After class, we jumped into the ridiculously HOT car (thank you to the brilliant man who invented window coverings for cars!!!) and drove downtown for a little lunch.

Again..traffic was HORRIBLE..guess who forgot this weekend was Phoenix COMICON.?? Yep..me..bad decision but we stuck it out. I am pretty sure we drove around for like 25 minutes trying to fight traffic and figure out how to get to the restaurant before finding the parking garage adjacent to out destination.

Walking to the Pizzaria Bianco was like walking in an oven..People..it’s friggin HOT here.

IMG_5375

I have been obsessing about this place for months having heard it was one of the best pizzas in the nation..naturally I was curious!  Surprisingly, the wait was not too long and we were seated within two minutes of arriving. The inside is super small, the tables too close together and the acoustics are not that great..it was loud. We opted to dine outside. Thankfully, there was a little bit of a breeze, some shading and we had cold cold drinks..I prefer dining outdoors so I was completely OK with it.

IMG_5377

IMG_5386

The staff was wonderful. So attentive but not annoyingly so…and the lady who brought us our AH MA ZING pizza margarita even entertained us and took a picture of me and my lovely when I asked her to. 😉 Thanks lady!!

Now..check out the goods:

IMG_5380

Thin crust with just the right amount of crunch with every bite. The freshness of the tomatoes and sauce is well worth the 15.00 we paid for this little pizza. The mozzarella cheese was perfect and the basil…mon amie…I am not a pizza expert and have no idea what constitutes the best pizza in the nation but I would imagine this place deserves big props for what they create.

Here’s a tip thoug…if you are dining with a male…you’ll need to order  two pizzas…Kiah and I could have probably eaten one per.. we are thanking ourselves for not because that would have been glutenous of us but..we totally could have..

We tossed around the idea of checking the menu again for maybe some dessert or a salad..luckily we just paid the check and left.

Half way home Kiah spotted a little cupcake shop she’s been wanting to try out so I swung around and we went in.

IMG_5384

The Treehouse Bakery is a vegan bakery..

IMG_5383

The selection was not big but they did have the vanilla, chocolate and an interesting combo of strawberry basil..I am curious about that one so I just might have to go back for that one.

The lady behind the counter amused me when I asked her to find the biggest one because Kiah and wanted to share one 🙂 and then she offered to us this  cappuccino hazelnut delight!

I am not sure how, without butter, she made the frosting taste so buttery but it was super good!! Glad we stopped. 🙂