Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Labor Day Visitor

Labor Day weekend John's brother Justin came down from Boston for a visit. We love having visitors and had a jam packed weekend full of fun. Saturday we went to the Intrepid Museum which was really cool!
The Intrepid was an aircraft carrier during several wars and then became the recovery vessel for NASA. It's huge and has tons of really neat stuff as part of the museum.
The newest addition to the museum is the Space Shuttle Enterprise which just arrived this summer. Fun fact, the Enterprise is actually named after the Enterprise in Star Trek. Apparently there was quite a letter writing campaign to President Ford and the name was changed from Constitution :)
Since it was a game day we had to show our Razorback pride!
And then we started goofing off :)
After we exhausted ourselves at the Intrepid we made our way over to the Arkansas bar to watch the game. And to make a long day even longer we went to see an interactive play after that! Sunday we were all so tired we just hung out at the apartment and played Settlers of Catan  :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hilton Head

Since I turned 30 this year and my baby sister turned 16 the very next day I thought we should do something special so we went to Hilton Head for the week :)
None of us had ever been to Hilton Head but it was a short flight for John and I and my family drove to meet us. My friend Michael came with my mom and sisters and was way too nice and ended up driving them the whole 13 hours!

It was such a great trip, we stayed in a great house close to the beach that had plenty of room for all of us. We did a lot of relaxing at the house and a lot of cooking too. John got a little excited over actually having a grill so he grilled several nights we were there. Since we were in the South and had access to Walmart we made all kinds of good Southern food, cheese dip, spinach dip, you get the idea :)
Everybody checking out the beach on the first day :)
My sweet family brought me birthday presents :)
We spent a lot of time going between the beach and the swimming pool. We ventured out a few days to do some sightseeing and shopping. In the historic part of Hilton Head there was a nice area with a lighthouse so we went to check that out. The weather was beautiful the whole time we were there!
My mom and I at the top of the lighthouse
Me and my sisters at the lighthouse
Everyone enjoying the rocking chairs overlooking the harbor :)
Everyone besides John and I had to leave a day early to get back to Little Rock so the day that John and I had by ourselves we went on a kayaking tour of the marshes. It was a really nice relaxing outing and we even saw a dolphin :) 

John and I did some kayaking
Our flight was actually out of Charlotte and not until late in the afternoon so John and I got to spend a little time in Charlotte before we left. We decided to check out one of the plantations. 
Magnolia Plantation Gardens
Magnolia Plantation was founded in 1679! Its over 300 years old, crazy! We didn't go in the actual house but we wondered around the grounds and gardens, it was really cool. I loved the Spanish moss everywhere.
Magnolia Plantation Gardens
So fun to get to hang out with my family and have a nice relaxing vacation :)

The Big 3-0

So I turned 30 this year and I was really not looking forward to it. The weeks leading up to the big day I was certain I was going to have a melt down! I have been going through some rough stuff in my personal life and turning 30 seemed like the perfect opportunity to just lose it. Instead my amazing friends and family went above and beyond to make me feel so special :)

My birthday was on a Friday so I started the day with flowers on my desk from the girls at work.
Then we all went out to lunch, someplace Southern of course :)
After work John and I went to Ruth's Chris for my favorite kind of steak, the kind soaked in butter :) John kept trying to play it off like he didn't have plans for after dinner. In reality he had somehow managed to get us tickets to "The Book of Mormon"! He kept it a secret until we actually turned to walk into the theater. He said we were going to see "Phantom of the Opera" so that's where I thought we were walking. He then turned into the theater for "The Book of Mormon" and my mouth dropped open :)
The next day we went to a birthday party for my friend's one year old son. It was such a cute party and it happened to be on a rooftop in Brooklyn so it made for a perfect day. I made the smash cake for the birthday boy and then my friends surprised me with a cake of my own :)
After the baby festivities all the adults went out for drinks. It turned into an epic evening of drinking and dancing, something I probably haven't done since college :) I spent all of Sunday recovering from an awesome birthday weekend and then got ready for even more celebrating the next week!

My sweet friends from Little Rock coordinated with another friend who lives here to take me out for a manicure and dinner. Who doesn't love a manicure but then dinner at Dos Caminos on top of that! They even brought us champagne and birthday dessert :)
The next night a bunch of us all went out for drinks again. This time some of the girls that couldn't go out before got to join us. I think I did more drinking celebrating my 30th birthday than I did for my 21st birthday!

The next morning we got up and packed to go to the beach for a week with my family....awesome 30th birthday if I do say so myself :)

Summer Recap

I guess it really is true that time flies when you're having fun because here it is the middle of September and I haven't posted anything since July! The rest of the summer was just so much fun I don't know where the time went :)
Random summer evening at a rooftop bar
August was jam packed with fun stuff, one of those of course was my birthday! After that we went on a family vacation to Hilton Head, SC. The fun continued into September when we had a visitor for Labor Day weekend and then I took a quick trip to Salt Lake City. This weekend is the first one I've had in a long time where I didn't have plans or was out of town! I'm going to take the opportunity to do some blogging :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Puerto Rico, Part 2

So, I got a little side tracked and forgot to post the rest of the pictures from Puerto Rico, better late than never :)
These are from the day we went to the resort's private island. They had a huge beach with all kinds of activities. We of course decided to hike to the other side of the island where there was a more secluded beach. The picture above is looking down on the regular beach and then below is a picture of the secluded beach with no one on it. Yes, it was private but unfortunately there were rocks and coral in the water so you couldn't really swim :(
And just in case one hike wasn't enough, the next day we went hiking in the rain forest :)
The rain forest is managed by the US Forest Service so it had great paths the whole way. You could drive part of the way up the mountain and stop and check out different areas. We decided to drive as far up as possible and then hike about 45 minutest to the Mt. Britton observation tower.
When we first got to the top of the tower it was sunny and you could see forever.
Then the clouds started to move in and it was like we were in them! The wind was so strong the clouds were just swirling around us, it was very cool :)
On the way down I took my sweet time and took tons of photos.
I was having a blast, apparently John got a little bored (yes, he's texting in the rain forest) :)
The last night of our trip we went on a kayaking tour of the bioluminescent bay. This was by far one of the coolest things we did and probably something that makes the lifetime coolest things list! Unfortunately we couldn't take our camera out on the kayak and it wouldn't have been able to capture the illumination any way so I'll just have to tell you all about it.

We went with a tour guide and were in a double kayak; to get to the bay we had to navigate through a mangrove covered canal that opened into the bay. Our tour didn't leave until close to 9pm so it was pitch black and the majority of the tour group had never kayaked before. It was comical to say the least!

Once we go to the bay it opened up and we could really see what the fuss was about. The bay is home to micro-organisms that light up when disturbed so every time you paddled you could see a swirl of glowing water. If there happened to be fish around you could see them move in the water too! It was such a neat experience and a really awesome way to spend the last night of our trip :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Puerto Rico

In another effort to take advantage of living in NYC and having cheap non-stop flights at our disposal, John and I took a quick trip down to Puerto Rico for the fourth of July. The night we got there the resort had fireworks over the ocean, a very nice welcome to Puerto Rico looking out from our balcony :)
The next morning it was pouring rain so we decided to drive around and ended up going to Ponce which is a couple of hours from where we were staying. On the way we stopped at a beach side bar for lunch. I could definitely get used to eating lunch overlooking the beach, even if it is in the rain!
Once we got to Ponce we took a tour of the family home of one of Puerto Rico's largest rum distillers, Don Q. Apparently its called the house that rum built, it was quite nice :)
The house was built in 1930 up on a hill overlooking the city. We couldn't take pictures inside but the first part of the tour was all in Spanish so even if I had pictures I wouldn't be able to tell you anything about them! 
There also happened to be a gigantic cross that is an observation tower above the house, it was kind of weird to be honest. The hill used to be a watch post so I think the cross is supposed to be a memorial of some kind. Again, all the plaques were in Spanish :)
John and I have been practicing take pictures when its just the two of us and no one is around to take one for us. This is by far one of our better ones and the unveiling of the John's launch beard! He isn't shaving until he and his co-founder launch their start-up, customer.io.
Here are a couple of pics from the resort we stayed at in Fajardo. Its perched up on a hill so you have a great view!
The view from our balcony had one of the pools below and then the ocean. Way off in the distance is the resort's private island! Since the resort is on a hill there isn't a beach so they ferry everyone to their own island all day long. It was pretty awesome :)
I'll post pics from the day we went to the island and the day we went hiking in the rain forest next. I've made up arbitrary rules about not putting too many photos in one post :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Whirlwind Weekend

Last weekend was jam packed with all kinds of fun. Saturday night John and I went on a Hudson River cruise to end a tech conference he had just participated in and then Sunday I co-hosted a baby shower for one of my sweet friends, Susy.

The river cruise started at sunset and was on a beautiful new yacht. Lots of food and drinks, a nice breeze and a great view, lots of fun!
Out of sheer luck we got to end our cruise watching fireworks over the Statue of Liberty :)
All of my free time outside of the river cruise was spent preparing for the baby shower. I, like usual, have a tendency to go a little overboard when crafts are involved :)
Our theme for the baby shower was really just navy and yellow, we thought anything preppy would be great since the shower was hosted by two girls from Arkansas for our other friend from Arkansas! The yellow chevron fabric was my favorite, I even painted little yellow chevron chalkboard frames (or at least I tried, after two I realized that was really hard and so the others got a different pattern) :) 
 Susy got lots of great gifts at the shower which is awesome, she's due in August and I'm soooo excited!
 All the Arkansas girls :)
It was a super fun weekend but I was definitely a little tired afterwards. It didn't help that work was insane that week too. Now I just have to get through two more days of work before John and I are off to Puerto Rico for a much needed vacay!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Upstate NY

This past weekend we took the train about an hour upstate to Sleepy Hollow to tour the Rockefeller estate. The house is called Kykuit which means something like "lookout" in Dutch. Its perched way up above the town and has amazing views!
If you stand in the center of the house you can see all the way through on both sides, its kind of fantastic. The Rockefeller family has an insane art collection but I was more excited by the architecture :)
Below is the view from the front door. We arrived in the driveway and it was like a little piece of heaven for me; a gorgeous view, fountains with the sound of running water, and greenery everywhere!!!
And it got even better when we go to the back of the house, the best view yet, overlooking the Hudson River. Its like a painting!
The house was insane inside but we weren't allowed to take pictures. We were allowed to take pictures in the carriage house though. It currently houses some of the old carriages and then a mini car museum.
One of the carriages was specifically for Winthrop Rockefeller, who was governor of Arkansas. I told our tour guide where we were originally from and she got excited because she had never met anyone from Arkansas :)

We also did a little exploring in Sleepy Hollow. Below is a picture of an old farm house that has been preserved.
We checked out the Sleepy Hollow cemetery and saw Washington Irving's grave site. There are apparently quite a few famous people buried here but for the most part we just walked around and enjoyed the quiet :)