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!

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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.

Take Me Back

Yep, take me back to the Bahamas. I don’t think I got enough r&r, strawberry daiquiris or sun while I was there, so I should probably go back. Returning to work after vacation is tough especially after such a sublime and peaceful trip. I really should have bought a talisman while on the island to bring me luck and get me through the day.

Nevertheless, with no talisman in hand and only sun kissed complexion to show for the trip, I returned to work and nearly 700 emails. (Hence the take me back!) I finally got through all of the emails, but didn’t feel super productive today. Thankfully, there’s always tomorrow.

We did get fabulous news today at work, which is so very exciting. As of this afternoon, we know service Purdue University Global. I couldn’t be more excited about our collective future!

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.

Skol Vikings!!!

Skol Vikings!!! Holy cannoli Batman that was a nail biter of a game between my Vikes and the Saints today. Jen and I were biting our nails as we followed the live updates on the Score. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a time delay on the app. So we were a bit behind.

Fortunately, text messages from my hubby, the family group text and Chuckles and Roman kept us updated timely. Honestly, when C&R texted holy cow, what a catch, touchdown, I thought they were messing with me. (It’s not hard to do.) I was in disbelief until my hubby and the family group text confirmed the good news.

Truly it was a game that entertained the masses while giving Minnesota fans a heart attack. I was commiserating the Vikings impending doom with my hubby via text and Jen as watched Goalielocks’ game. When she said, “maybe there’ll be a miracle.” I replied as any hardened Vikings fan would, “miracles don’t happen to us.” Only this time it did thanks to our Keenum led offense and Diggs’ amazing catch.

Aside from the Vike’s amazing win tonight, my boys had four games at two rinks across town. Consequently, I’m utterly exhausted and not looking forward to a 5:00 am wake up and an early morning drive through the snow. Goalielocks’ Team was 2-0 on the day, but I’ll write more about that in a forthcoming post on instant karma.

Meanwhile, the Mayor’s team went 1-1 on the day. The Mayor notched two goals today scoring one in each of the games. In fact, he scored the only goal for his team in the morning game. Both boys’ teams have moved onto the semis bright and early tomorrow. I’ll likely miss the start of Goalielocks’ game.

Lastly, the boys are really loving the Chicago area. Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be able to make it downtown tomorrow due to games. However, today I introduced Goalielocks to deep dish pizza. After their morning game, we went with friends to Giordano’s. Goalielocks and I shared a pepperoni deep dish pizza that was to die for. In his words, “it was the best pizza he had ever eaten!” Moreover, he wants to go back for more tomorrow.

Of course, the plus side is the pizza really fills you up. You really don’t need to eat too much the rest of the day after having that. Even after we got back to the hotel after Goalielocks’s game, I was still full.

I should also mention that it has started to snow here in Chicago, which makes awesome driving – said nobody ever!!! My boys though are loving the weather. In contrast, I’m praying for an early end to the snow and for the roads to be clear tomorrow morning when we leave. I’m off to bed as we have a very early wake up call tomorrow morning.

Game Day in Chicago

It was game day in Chicago for the Mayor and Goalielocks. Moreover, it was a cold game day in Chicago. It was so cold, in fact, that I got to break out my Dale of Norway sweater. Thank god for that sweater as it kept me completely comfortable all day long. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a great photo (my eyes are closed per usual), but you can clearly see the sweater. Also, I totally forgot how I hate static cling. It simply isn’t something we have to contend with in Florida.

The day started out with a nice win for Goalielocks and his squad. Additionally, it was a great start to the day for me as I quickly found a Dunkin’ Donuts in close vicinity to the rink. #winning

Fortunately, all of our games today were at the same rink. In fact, I lucked out as The Mayor’s game was right after Goalielocks’ game. Best of all, I was able to watch the first two games with my bestie from highschool and her kids. We had such a great time, I forgot to take a pic of us! Ugh!

At the beginning of the Mayor’s game, we had some yummy pizza up in the rink’s restaurant/bar. It was super good. Fortunately, the puck luck bounced our way as the opponents inadvertently buried a pass in their net. 1-0 good guys!

Ultimately, the Mayor’s team won in a much more physical than expected game. In fact, it was so chippy that the refs didn’t allow the teams to shake hands for fear an altercation would break out.

Tonight’s game was a complete s@&t show. The first period was pretty good until the train derailed with a bad goal. Let me clear by bad goal, I mean a goal that didn’t actually cross the goal line. It hit the front crossbar went up before landing next to Goalielock’s butt.

Unfortunately, that errant goal derailed the game for our boys. After that moment, the refs grew increasingly belligerent and intolerable. It was clear they had a chip on their shoulders after being questioned on the goal. Honestly, it was the worst officiated game I have ever seen.

Our boys literally spent have their game in the box. While some of the calls were legit, most were outright ridiculous. For example, one of our guys would get boarded and we’d get the penalty. Meanwhile, the other team spent 90% of their time on the power play. In fact, outside of the errant goals all of their goals were scored while on the power play. Take the errant goal and power plays out of the picture and you have a much different game.

Post-game the boys, the parents and coaches were extremely upset. To give to an idea of how bad it truly was, consider that parents/coaches of our rivals from Florida felt compelled to speak with the tournament organizers about how bad it was. Another parent that witnessed the game, from another team, was also compelled to speak to the tournament staff about the officiating.

Life isn’t fair, I get that, but it is a long freaking way to travel to get bent over by the refs! Now it’s time for bed, we have a mere 4 games at two different rinks tomorrow. We will be exhausted by the time Monday rolls around. P.S. nobody needs to tell my podiatrist about kicking the boards…..

We Made It

After two flights and a pit stop at MacDonald’s in Detroit, we finally made it to Chicago! This was my first time back in O’Hare since middle school. I remember the terminal walkways looked much bigger and much newer back then. Now it’s not so big and fancy compared to some of the newly remodeled airports.

Admittedly, I don’t eat MacDonald’s often. If I’m eating MacDonald’s, it’s either a desperation play or vodka made me do it. Today it was a desperation play as we didn’t have too much time between flights.

What a freaking mistake that was! I’m still feeling it! I ordered the artisan grilled chicken sandwich because calorie wise it was semi reasonable and it looked more gratifying than a single cheese burger. Wrong!

I was so hungry having totally forgotten to eat breakfast as we rushed to the airport. Despite this crazy level of hungry bordering on hangry, I couldn’t finish the sandwich. It was truly the one of the most vile things I have ever eaten.

Honestly, I would have been better off eating the soles of my shoes because they would have been less rubbery. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure they stole the rubber chicken from Carrot Top’s prop box and made into my sandwich. If I were him, I’d be mad that his prop was sacrificed for a subpar imitation chicken sandwich.

Now here we are in the Marriott seven hours later and my stomach is still angry with that sandwich. This is why I’m not going to be eating at Macdonald’s again sober. My sandwich today evoked memories of the horrific school lunches they served in elementary.

Meanwhile, my boys feel that the current Chicago weather is nice and comfortable. It’s been a battle since we landed to get them to put on jackets, pants, gloves, etc. “It’s not cold mom.” Yeah, my arse it isn’t cold. I’m looking forward to rehashing this argument tomorrow as we leave for the rink bright and early.

Tomorrow will be a busy day with three games and two team functions. Fortunately, the games are all at the same arena tomorrow. Sunday on the other hand will be a complete disaster. It should be an interesting day as I attempt to make all games in different arenas across town! I’m heading to bed hoping that the nausea caused by that blasted rubber chicken sandwich will be gone tomorrow. Over and out from Chicago!

Chicago Bound

We are Chicago bound, via DTW, for a weekend of hockey. For the first time, the Mayor and Goalielocks are playing at the same out of state tournament. Well, at least this month….

Our flight left out of Chicago on an older formerly Northwest 757-200. Consequently, the bird evokes memories of flying on Northwest out of Minneapolis. For several years, Northwest was really the only game in town for us Minnesotans. While Delta now has most of the airport, there are several other options for flying in and out of MSP. Fortunately, they have a number of low costs carriers flying into MSP, which has somewhat helped lower the cost of flying into Minneapolis.

We just flew over the Appalachian mountains minutes ago and are rapidly approaching Ohio. In less than an hour, we should be wheels down in DTW where will catch our connecting flight to Chicago! Unfortunately, we’ll be pulling into gate 66 and will have to head to gate 6. Should be a fun dash!

I packed several snacks for the flight including almonds, gourmet marshmallows, little bites and Twizzlers. At this point, I’m fairly certain the only items left will be the almonds! This is in spite of the fact we all just enjoyed some yummy Biscoff cookies. As an aside, the cinnamon churro marshmallows are ridiculously delicious!

I’ll post a song of the day in a later post as this bird’s WiFi is not super strong!