Wanderlust

Wanderlust is defined as a strong desire to travel explore the world. Growing up I have always wanted to travel the world, but travel is expensive and so are kids. When I was young, we weren’t rich (weren’t poor either) and didn’t travel often.  If we did travel, it was normally within the state.   We took an amazing trip to California when I was thirteen.  This trip remains one of my favorite memories from childhood.  In addition, I was fortunate that my parents sent me on a couple of amazing class trips.  My goal growing up was to travel the world and see the sites.  Our last trip, Norway, fed my soul and reawakened my wanderlust. Moreover, it awakened the wanderlust in my kids.

There’s nothing better than exploring our globe and our heritage with the ones you love. Now that I’m getting older and have more money, I’m starting to see the future I’ve always wanted. A future that included exploring the world with my family and seeing all that this life has to offer. I’ve been so excited that this “future” is starting to become a reality.  Moreover, I relish the opportunity to share these experiences with my family.

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After traveling to Europe in high school, I fell in love with European history, architecture and art. The opportunity to traipse around the continent is a complete dream.   Norway was a complete dream as it combined my love of European history with my own heritage.  Moreover, it was made even better by the presence of my entire family and grandma.  For as long as I live, I will never forget the look of wonderment on my Grandma’s face as she looked up at the mountains and hills on the Kongevegen in Borgund.  You can’t script a moment better than this.

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I cannot wait for my next trip!  The future I have always wanted and worked so hard to get is close at hand.  Words are not adequate to describe how hard I have worked to get from the ground floor to where I am now.  Countless hours and years of dedication to achieve the results I have achieved and make my future possible.   All of my adult life, I have been working towards this future.

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As much as I love travel, I enjoy sharing these experiences with friends and family more.    A belief that travel and exploration is inconsequential and a needless expense has stalled my vision for the future. As the wind was knocked from my sails, a crushing pain has taken hold in my chest. The realization that what is important to me does not matter to the one I love most has been a crushing blow.  Nonetheless, I’ll pick up the pieces and move forward my plans for the future somewhat altered, but still intact.

 

 

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Changes

Over the past several months there’s been some changes in our lives. The major change has been a new position for me at work. While the move was lateral, it came with a significant uptick in duty tempo and responsibilities. My role changed in mid-February, which coincides with the stoppage of my daily blogging. I love writing at night, but frankly I’m completely exhausted by the time I sit down to write.

The good news is I love my new role and my new team. Last week some of us participated in the 2018 Mercedes Benz Corporate Run in Fort Lauderdale. I had high hopes for a stellar finish, but the two enormous bridges, my tendons and my endurance had a different idea. Perhaps I’m being too tough one myself after all it’s my first race post injury and with orthotics, but I don’t think so. Of course, the upshot is I know have a new baseline to work from.

This past weekend the Hubby and Goalielocks headed to the west coast for hockey, while I stayed behind. The Mayor headed to Epcot Saturday after an exceptionally early non-hockey wake up call. This was his first time to Disney and he had an absolute blast! He would love to go back some day, but if given the choice he’d rather go to the Keys or back to Atlantis. (He’s a smart boy!)

Saturday I didn’t do entirely too much other than get my hair cut, run to BJ’s to pick up groceries and relax. I spent much of the day following the Humboldt Bronco story, which continues to devastate our hockey community. Life is far too short and far to precious. In honor of the Broncos, I wore green today. Moreover, we’ve put our sticks out in tribute as “the boys may need them.” Please continue to hold these families and their community in your thoughts and prayers.

Exploring The World

There’s nothing I enjoy more than exploring the world with my family and friends.  Last month, we were in the Bahamas for a fun and relaxing trip with family.  This weekend the Hubby is headed West for an adult hockey tournament with Goalielocks, while the Mayor will head to Epcot with school.  Jake will be working, which means I’ll have an entire Saturday to myself!  (Say what!?!?!)  If I didn’t have all these blisters on my feet from starting to run again, I’d probably go get a long over due pedicure.  I’m just a little concerned about picking up an infection with the blisters, so I’ll probably go shoe shopping instead.

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Before I get to my super Saturday, I have a 5K on Thursday night.  It’s all about the preparation with these races, which means I’m facing an uphill battle.   I’ve trained pretty steadily for the past two weeks, but it isn’t going to be sufficient to yield favorable results.  My goal is to get back under 30 minutes, but I don’t think this will be that race.  Nevertheless, it feels great to be running again.  To be clear, it feels good after I’m done running not while I’m running.

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Next weekend I’m headed to the islands for a well deserved momcation.  I can’t wait to be on a beautiful island with incredible women and incredible beaches.  Its been a hell of a first quarter and this is the perfect way to recharge my battery for the second quarter.   Honestly, I cannot wait to disconnect for a few days while in the company of great people.   Plus, you cannot beat the beaches in Turks and Caicos!

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One of my goals has always been to travel more and see different places.  The trips don’t have to be long, but just enough to get away for a bit and explore a new city.  Consequently, I’ve been thinking that for the boys’ birthdays, it would be better to take them on a weekend getaway than buy them something.   I love the idea of shared experiences over material goods.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  Lastly, Goalielocks hit the ice for the first time in earnest since his injury almost two months ago!

The Pain

Oh the pain of a great vacation ending. Naturally, I felt this pain wholeheartedly when I returned from the Bahamas last week. It was hardest to leave the world paradise that is Atlantis. I’ve always thought the first day back at work post vacation was the hardest. After all, there’s nobody to deliver delicious strawberry daiquiris to your desk.

Today left me questioning my preconceived notion. See this vacation was a little bit different than most of our vacation. Usually we all go back to work or school at the same time or there is a protracted period before the boys return to school. This time Hubby and I went back to work last Thursday while the boys chilled at home until today.

Based on the mood of my youngest children today, I’m thinking that the first day back to school may be the hardest. They’re clearly overtired or overstimulated. I’m sure they’re equally upset that nobody’s delivering virgin daiquiris to their desks. All in all, it’s made for an interesting night and an early bed time for both of them.

Lesson learned my friends. Next time to our collective return to reality aligns like this, I’m planning a happy hour. That’s right I’ll be commiserating with my girls over work as the boys drive themselves crazy over their return to normalcy. Seems like a solid plan and I bet most happy hour places even serve delicious daiquiris.

I’m Back

I’m back after taking a much needed and unintentional break. Frankly, vacation got in the way of blogging. I had every intention of blogging the entire trip, however, we had so much fun I was far too tired to write coherently. Admittedly, the vodka sodas from the casino probably didn’t help either.

As I lay in my yoga silk, I’m reflecting fondly on our trip while lamenting the fact we never took a family pic. Whoops! Nevertheless, the trip was absolutely perfect! We had way too much fun in the sun while playing in Atlantis’ Aquaventure Park.

My Mayor had so much fun and stretched himself by trying things he was afraid of. He, Goalielocks, A and J has a great time swimming in the lagoon and seeing the wildlife up close. The lagoon was quite deep when the tide was in and had several barracudas swimming around, but none of that deterred him. He also worked up the courage to ride the slide through the shark tank. I, however, did not.

I did, however, work up the courage to go down what Goalielocks described as a “trash slide.” Atlantis refers to this slide as the Jungle Slide, while I refer to it an instrument of mental and physical trauma. In describing it as trash, he neglected to tell me it would go completely dark (I’m claustrophobia) or that it would fling me awkwardly into a pool where I’d nearly drowned. Yes, it was only 3 feet deep and I’m totally be dramatic.

Yesterday, the boys and TK had the opportunity to swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Cay. Thank you Auntie J! The Mayor, who is a nervous nelly like me, did amazing. I was so proud of him! The boys had a rookie dolphin that disappeared at times, but they still loved it. It was an awesome opportunity for them to get up close and personal with an animal indigenous to the Bahamas and Florida.

Last night we got in some shopping and more time in the casino. While we shopped and hit the casino the older boys watched all the boys. As we walked back to the Reef, we were taking bets as to which kids would still be awake. We entered the room and seeing only the younger boys and the Mayor awake, we lost it laughing. Both Goalielocks and TK had passed out. Fortunately, the Mayor’s a good babysitter and had the scene under control.

We had so much fun and so many amazing moments this trip, I could write forever. It was just the thing we needed after the last month. Moreover, after the last year we’ve had collectively, it was the pitch perfect trip. We came home sun burnt, but with full hearts (and stomachs) and many wonderful memories.

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Another Day In Paradise

Another day in paradise, here in the Bahamas. I started my day with a grueling run along the beach. To be clear, it was grueling since it was my first run since November. The scenery, however, more than made up for the difficulty of the run. Truly, it felt great to be able to run against. Although I have serious work to do before running in the Corporate Run.

After an awesome breakfast, we headed over to the cabana to setup shop. It’s a lot easier navigating this place when you have a singular meeting point for the entire day. Not too mention ample seating and areas out of the sun.

After getting setup at the cabana, A, the Mayor and myself headed to the lagoon to snorkel. I don’t know what the current water temperature is only that it is far too cold to be swimming it. It took me a long time to get acclimated to the water. Once I did, however, the snorkeling was fun and we saw a lot of fish.

After awhile we tired of the lagoon and headed for the beach. The beach is absolutely stunning, but there are street vendors on the beach that are a bit obnoxious. I have no patience for them. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a ton of fish in close to the beach and the jet skis were already all over the place. While there is reef off of the beach it’s a little too far from shore and too close to where the novice jet skiers are riding.

The rest of our day was filled with sun, sand and water. I enjoyed the rapids ride with H. We had a blast in our double tube. Meanwhile, the boys were all over the the place having a great time. We finally headed back to the room around 5:00, so I could get ready for an adults only dinner. Don’t worry the kids got fed! Moreover, I’m pretty sure they enjoyed their Dominoes as much as we enjoyed Nobu.

Nobu was fantastic albeit the last fish was slow to come out. I had left early since Goalielocks was needing to go lay down in our room due to a headache. J ordered the food for all of us and I’m so glad she did. I tried dishes tonight that I never would have tried if she hadn’t ordered them. All of the dishes were absolutely fantastic. I left full and satisfied, but not stuffed.

After a brief and very unsuccessful run in the casino tonight, I’m ready for bed. We have another action packed day on tap, so I’ll definitely need my beauty sleep! Good night all!

Paradise

We made it of Paradise, literally and figuratively, as we arrived at Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It’s a quick 35 minute flight from Fort Lauderdale, so it’s great way to escape into the island life without traveling too far. Moreover, the beaches, the water and the snorkeling are ridiculous here.

It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve been here last. Needless to say it looks way different. There’s been a lot of development here in the last twenty years. All of us were on the same flight, which was great. JK shared his limo with us, so we were able to easily make it from the airport to the hotel.

Paradise Island is incredibly gorgeous. The water is beyond beautiful and the grounds of Atlantis are impeccably kept. My boys were dying to hit Aquaventure and the beach. We spent four hours in the sun, sand and pools before heading up to get ready for dinner.

All around Atlantis there are amazing aquariums teaming with wildlife. We can see the ray tank, the shark tank, sea turtle tank and the sawfish tank from our room. While we waited for a table at dinner tonight, we ventured outside to look at the baby sea turtles. These precious babies are beyond adorable.

Dinner was amazing. We ate a family style restaurant that serves barbecue. If you ever find yourself at Atlantis, do yourself a favor and try Virgil’s Mac and Cheese. It’s amazeballs. Of course good food and good drinks help (would also recommend the watermelon margarita,) but a good dinner is made by the company in which you eat.

Tonight it was fun reconnecting in person with all of the Kennedy clan. We had a blast tonight at dinner and hanging out in the suite afterward. Now it’s time for be because we’ve simply exhausted ourselves.

T-Minus One Day

It’s t-minus one day until spring break starts and we head to the Bahamas. I haven’t been to Nassau in over 20 years, so it will be fun to be back. I’m sure the scenery will evoke many great memories from my first Bahamas trip. Moreover, it will be a great time for us all to decompress after all the stress of the last month.

It will be curious to see how badly the boys can provoke each other during our short flight and drive to the Atlantis resort. Goalielocks has been to Atlantis before and had a wonderful time. This will be the first time there for both the hubby and the Mayor.

Unfortunately, the hubby isn’t gonna be able to stay for our entire trip, but he’ll at least get some time away from home. Sadly, Jake won’t be able to make it all due to his schedule. Meanwhile, tomorrow I’m headed to my dear friend CO’s for a night of Lilly Pulitzer dress and birthday celebration. One simply can’t go to the Bahamas without a few amazing Lilly dresses. (I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, my logic here is airtight!)

Tonight we’re relaxing at home catching up on season 2 of Victoria. Our younger boys are spending their evening with Uncle Jon at the Panthers game. Last I checked the Panthers were winning and I’m sure the bots as enjoying the all you eat option in the Corona Club. I’m off to pack for our trip, wishing everyone an amazeballs Friday!

Captivating

There’s something absolutely captivating about waves as they break and roll on shore. We sat for hours yesterday on a beautiful veranda overlooking Fort Lauderdale Beach. The palm trees, the beautiful blue sky and tropical waters reminded me of how lucky we are to live here (especially in March.)

The beautiful thing about the ocean is it reminds you of how big and beautiful the world really is. It’s an easy place to find peace both from within and externally. Sadly, we get to the beach quite infrequently due to our crazy schedule. Vitamin Sea, as they say, does the body, mind and spirit a whole lot of good. The sun, on the other hand, burnt me to a crisp.

Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to our beach vacation this coming week. I cannot wait to enjoy the beautiful waters of the Bahamas. Our boys, who love being on the water are convinced we need a 30+ foot sailboat. Apparently, the sun got to them. In all likelihood, they probably confused our bank account with someone who’s kids don’t play hockey.

Sunday Funday

After months of endless hockey weekends, it was a Sunday funday for us down in Fort Lauderdale. We started our day off with a mimosa filled breakfast at the Pelican Grand. It was absolutely delicious and you couldn’t find a better view if you tried. We had several mimosas and killed a bottle of prosecco.

Post breakfast the kids headed to the beach and we polished off the wine and paid the bill. The Pelican Grand has an awesome veranda with super nice chairs where you can face the ocean and continue to drink. After breakfast, I switched to water since my stomach is still not super fantastic. The view is absolutely incredible.

One of my friends lives near the Pelican Grand, so she decides to walk over with her puppy. In anticipation of meeting WL, I headed down to the beach to see what he kids were doing. Fortunately, there were no rip currents at our beach and good waves for the kids to play in. Frankly, the water is too cold to swim in, but I might be spoiled.

Goalielocks and I started to meander down the beach in anticipation of meeting up with WL & E. I should say that the weather was absolutely amazing today. We met up with WL & E, which was fun. My boys loved meeting both of them, but especially that precious puppy E.

Afterwards we headed back to the resort, I went back to my seat while the kids headed to the lazy river. The resort has a great pool and lazy river. All of our kids, had a blast in the lazy river while we hung out on the veranda. Honestly, it was the perfect way to spend first Sunday after hockey season.

We finished out our day in Lauderdale by heading back to the marina, so the kids could fish. Unfortunately, there was no bait. This didn’t, however, stop the boys. They started catching their own bait, cutting it up and rigging their poles. We watched from the comfort of RL’s awesome sailboat. Now we’re back home, a bit burnt, and tired, but feeling relaxed and happy after a wonderful day.