Saturday, March 31, 2012

Your Weekend To-Dos

I have a checklist for you this weekend:

1. Go to Home Depot and buy your blue light bulbs so that you can be ready to Light it Up Blue in support of autism awareness starting on Monday. 

This what my house will look like, only less Empire State Building-like.

2. Go buy buttermilk so you can make a Donut Cake. (I'm assuming you've got the other ingredients on-hand, but maybe not.) Doesn't that just sound fun? Not only was it written by the beloved Catherine Newman, but you can eat it for breakfast, which is what I plan to do tomorrow. 

3. Tell me if I should cut my hair or grow it out for, like, the 25th time. This one is time-sensitive because I have my hair appointment in less than 2 hours...quick! What should I do?! I have yet to discern any pattern in when I choose to cut my hair vs. grow it long, so it could really go either way at this point. I'll probably just let my stylist (that's her title, shut up) decide...I think.

4. Plan a vacation - preferably to Las Vegas!* If you watch Boardwalk Empire, maybe you remember when Nucky tells Maggie "It's important to always have something to look forward to." I whole-heartedly agree. And what's more fun to look forward to than Las Vegas?! Have I mentioned we're going in, oh, 36 days? The restaurant reservations have begun.

And that is my list for you today. Happy Saturday!

*The City of Las Vegas does not sponsor this blog, but I think the powers that be might want to consider it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The sunny life

I recommend that everyone who lives in a cold winter climate do whatever it takes to visit a sunny, warm place during the winter. Even if the winter is mild and you think it's not so bad this year. Really.

We were lucky enough to go to Mexico. (I am such a negligent blogger these days that I don't even think I told you I was going.) Puerto Vallarta, to be exact. It was heaven. Seriously, I actually said to my husband during our trip, "I think heaven is an all-inclusive beach resort."

This was my first all-inclusive experience. We found the place on Trip Advisor. And despite my hours and hours and days and hours of research (because I am obsessive when planning trips), it really just came down to searching "Puerto Vallarta hotels" and then picking the top-rated place in the family category, which happened to be Velas Vallarta. I mean, yes, some of the people who give ratings are crazy, of course, but the majority are regular people who leave comments because they want to be helpful. And when a hotel has more than 1500 reviews and still has a 4.5 star rating, I'm in. 

My goals for the trip were: 
  1. Sit in sun
  2. Drink pina colada in sun
  3. Keep my kids entertained while I do the first two things
I am proud to say that I accomplished all of my goals. The boys are at the perfect age to spend hours in the pool while I read a book. Plus, there were waiters at every turn offering me endless amounts of food and drink. 

I will say that the food wasn't stellar. I wish they'd just offer some fabulous, traditional Mexican food rather than trying to recreate Italian and Mediterranean dishes, but there was always steak and shrimp available, so you could never get into too much trouble. Plus, the kids ate without argument, which counts for a lot more than having some molecular gastronomist on staff. 

Despite all of the laying around we did, the highlight of the trip was the one day we ventured outside of the resort and went ziplining. Since Aidan is a bit of a wild card when it comes to thrill rides (he gets very excited and then becomes terrified), my husband and I both feared that this adventure had the potential to trump the trauma of our dune buggy ride last summer, but after some initial nerves, we had an amazing time. Yes, even after spontaneously bursting into tears when I first saw my little Owen flying away through the trees, I loved it. 

If you're ever in Puerto Vallarta, I recommend Vallarta Adventures wholeheartedly. The crew was amazing and always made us feel safe...even when dangling in the treetops. 

And now we are refreshed and loving each other, but also a little tired of each other, and it's the perfect state to be in when you have to return to your crazy real life. 

It also helps that my husband and I are going to Vegas(!) in less than 8 weeks (without kids) thanks to a fabulous Groupon that has to be used before the end of May. I could get used to this kind of travel schedule.