Cancun, Mexico

Oh Mexico, I am glad I gave you a second shot.

(First shot: college girls road trip to Rosartio, Papas & Beers mechanical bull riding type of trip, gross hotel, gross nightlife style of trip that led us to leave on day 2 days into our prepaid 5 day trip.)

This trip was so much different, thank goodness.  The hotel was all ocean view rooms, and the view from our patio was breathtaking!   The food was great and they even had amazing vegetarian options!  Tim and I tried to work off all the food by playing tennis ever day at the resorts rooftop grass court, swimming in the Caribbean Sea, and a Spanish led yoga class at the resort Spa (Tim's first introduction to yoga),.... a tough daily regiment.

The highlights of the trip were two snorkeling day trips we took, first to Cozumel Island and the next day to Isla Mujeres.  In Cozumel I am glad it wasn't my first time snorkeling because our small boat consisted of a local Spanish speaking family on vacation and our guide was only speaking Spanish for them.  It was Tim's first time snorkeling and since he is really into tropical fish, so I was glad he could understand (some of) what our guide was talking about.  We went to about five varied snorkeling spots off Cozumel and it was incredibly beautiful!

The second day trip to Isla Mujeres (Spanish for Island of the Women) was also a trip that I will never forget (and this is where I want to stay on our next trip to Mexico).  This little white sand island in the Caribbean has very shallow waters surrounding it, therefore no tourist cruise ships can dock here, which makes it uncrowded, sleepy, naturally beautiful and very authentic.  Its was refreshing to to visit a place where the guacamole, pico de glallo, and margaritas are made using fresh local ingredients from passed down family recipes.

We travel around the entire island via rented golf cart and we stopped to visit the Mayan ruins on the south end of the island.  The remaining ruins are of a temple dedicated to Ixchel, who is the Mayan goddess of fertility (which is very ironic knowing now what my status was at the time of visiting) in the middle of a beautiful garden with walking paths right along the water.  There is also a beautiful sculpture garden along the walk with brightly colored steel structures commissioned by artists all over the world, the bight colors against the green of the plants and blue of the ocean was just spectacular.

The snorkeling was a bit more "thrilling" then Cozumel.. mostly because of the number of barracudas that we ran into.  Tim and I ended up taking a private snorkeling tour on Isla Mujeres, and our guide would drop us off and have us make our way to his boat down the coast.. so Tim and me were pretty much alone following the underground coral reefs and fish (and a few times I may or may not have have jumped on Tim's back when I could see a barracuda's sharp fang teeth).

My 30th Birthday!!!

My 30th birthday celebration lasted about a month this year.. and I absolutely had the time of my life!  On my actual birthday my friend Leonie and her very charming boyfriend, Jason, took Tim and I to Vegas to celebrate the big day.  Our mode of transportation was Jason and Leonie's plane in which Jason was the pilot!!!  I was pretty nervous to be up in the air in a private plane, but of course, could not turn down such an amazing invitation as this!  Getting to Vegas was like something out of a going to Vegas, Hollywood montage style - we drove up to Van Nuys airport, parked,  the plane was valet up to us, we threw our bags in the plane, put our seat belts on, Jason got clearance for take off, and away we went! The ride was actually really smooth, in fact the smoothest flight I have ever been on, and it was an incredible flight and experience!  When we we showed up in Vegas, we were greeted by a limo to take us to the strip.  This, undoubtedly is the way to travel!  The rest of the trip was spent in typical Vegas style, poolin, drinkin, eatin, etc... plus I swear the best Napoleon Dynamite impersonator in front of the Bellagio and crazy crowd at the flair Carnaval Bar could have kept us entertained for hours!!

The second half of my birthday adventures was spend on the Russian River in Healsburg, CA (the cutest little town I have ever seen).  Jill, Carly, Shanna, Michelle, and Heather had such a fun weekend planned for me, I didn't really know what to expect besides that Jill was going to let me borrow her aqua socks!  We stayed in the cutest place right downtown called the Healdsburg Modern Cottages, an estate like grounds with a pool and separate cottages with sunny breakfast porches... it would fun to rent out the whole grounds for a family reunion or a wedding!  Friday night was spend having a fiesta at the cottages, and no detail was spared, including sombreros and maracas!!  After dinner we shared yummy cupcakes, then went to bed to get ready to river raft the next morning..

I still am laughing thinking about us girls getting ready to head down the river for the rafting.. Jill provided hot pink trucker hats (with embarrassing picture of me of course), Michelle is asking if she can wear real socks instead of aqua socks and getting a color subordinated beer koozie necklace, Carly is buying out the little river stand convenience store of everything cheesy she can get her hands on (including some amazing 80's sunglasses), Shanna is trying to squeeze as many bud lights in the cooler as possible... and I am making everyone put on glitter sunscreen.. and all the cars around us with "serious" river rafters are rolling their eyes at this scene of girls and continue packing their first aid kits.  After spending way too much time at the river convenience store we walked up to the "training" seminar late and the head guy had to repeat everything to a bunch of girls in hot pink trucker hats.  It was pretty hilarious.

The actual rafting (more like floating downstream) was a lot of fun and we had lots of laughs.  The entire trip was about 6 hours, so it was nice to get back to the cottage, take a quick swim, shower and go out to a nice dinner!  I am lucky to have such amazing friends who planned such a fun trip and I definitely want to plan a trip to go back to Healdsburg!