Thursday, November 29, 2007

You Know You Do Too

Last weekend when John and I went to Gus’ we parked behind a bright yellow Audi with the following license plate:

We were laughing so hard that I had to get a photo of to share with all of you! We didn’t see who the owners of this car were though. Who do you think owns it? Is there a retired porn star that lives in the area? Maybe it’s a sex therapist. I mean seriously! Who would have enough guts to have that on their car? Maybe it’s some single middle aged man lookin’ for a good time. I can't believe the DMV approved it! I bet they didn't get it. I doubt they would have accepted it if they did. For all these years I thought SLO was such a pure town…tisktisk. Oh how wrong I was!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fight Like you Live

Our thanksgiving really went off without a hitch…except that our house was a mad house! I'm just not used to A) big families, and B) being around a lot of kids. John told me that is how his household was growing up…always people over, always something going on.

I actually got off work early on Wednesday, can you believe it? I was in such shock that I almost had a coronary. It's the first day ALL year that I got off early. Granted it was at 3:30pm, but I'm not complaining! When I got home John and his dad were the only ones there. (Everyone else was at the hotel). John and I were able to make a few dishes in the quiet house and it was really nice and stressless. Having the family stay in a hotel was already showing its benefits! In less than 24 hours!

My plan for this Thanksgiving was to have as many dishes as possible already cooked BEFORE Thursday. Two years ago I had MAJOR stress in trying to use one oven for 4 dishes that needed to be baked. I was just hoping that my reheating theory would pay off.

The rest of the family, (John's mom, sister, bro-in-law, the 3 nieces, and one nephew), showed up around dinnertime. John's sister informed us that she HAD to eat by 5:30pm or her head would explode. We did not want to take that risk so we immediately headed to Bon Temps, (the local Creole restaurant in town). Dinner went ok, but the twins were awfully fussy. Big Guy told John and I that they normally aren't that fussy, and right after he said that I thought 'yeah right.' Then a split second later John said the same thing. We did learn however that the Big Guy WAS right, because that was the only fussy night the twins had.

Let me just tell you that I do not know how John's sister and bro-in-law do it! You all know how hard one baby is right? Imagine two!! At the same age!! It worked out well though because there was enough family to take over the kid duties. However the twins are in a very positive stage. Allie only wants to be held by John's mom and Chloe only wants to be held by her mom. So needless to say John and I didn't get to do too much holding. Do you think they might be over this phase by Christmas? I hope so!

On Thanksgiving morning John, Sarah, Maddy, Bow and myself headed to a near by park to participate in a fun run/walk! (It was either a two mile walk or an 8 mile run.) We met up with Sam, who ran the 8 miles, and also met up with Jen and her family.

Here is the crew before the start:
Our initial plan was to walk the two miles…but what happens when we start? Maddy and bow take off and decide to run! So John and Sarah ran with them, and I stayed and walked w/ Jen and her family. It kind of stunk that I couldn't walk with everyone, but I was not prepared to run! Let me tell you that it is something that I need to mentally prepare to do.

Here's an action shot of Maddy:

Jen and her family:

After we finished we decided to wait for Sam to come in. She did a really great job!

There was also this one runner who looked totally slim from the backside…but when he turned he had a HUGE beer belly! I had to get a photo because I had never seen a man with a belly like that in such great shape!

I had put the turkey in the oven before we left for the run/walk so it didn't have much time when we got back home. All I had to cook was the ham, turkey and gravy. It was GREAT! I could actually enjoy the day. Once the turkey was done we took it out and then put all the other dishes in the oven to warm up. I still can't believe how perfectly it worked out!

Here is a photo of the spread…along with some crazy man's eyeball.

This photo was actually taken BEFORE we ate.

It's quite similar to a photo I took two years ago. At least this one was AFTER we ate.

As you can tell the meal was a success:

I didn't really plan on any games or activities for the adults since I knew the kids would be entertaining…however the wii totally came in handy!

Here is a video of Maddy and bow boxing:

Here is a video of Auntie Jane and Maddy boxing:

Here's a family photo of the Cox's:
We didn't get any other family/group shots this year. I'm pretty bummed. I should have taken the initiative and done it. I'll have to do it at Christmas.

Here is one last shot. I thought it was too cute not to post!

The next morning everyone came over and it seemed like John's parents dog, Zip, had an accident in the back of the truck due to the ham carcass the Big Guy threw out in the back yard from the day before. Molly was hoping that Bonnie and Clyde didn't eat too much of it as well, since she normally doesn't feed them meat. We all then headed to the beach, (sans John and the Big Guy who stayed home to work on house projects). It was really fun at the beach, and I actually got a few good photos too.

Here is Sarah and Chloe:

Here is Molly and one of her babies Clyde:

Maddy was told to role up her pants so they didn't get wet. She listened really well!

Here's the whole family on the beach.

Here's a cute video of Chloe. She didn't realize I was filming her, and she kind of stops in her tracks when she realizes it.

I should have gone in front of them to get their faces, but I didn't want to get my shoes wet. Lame I know. I did get this portrait though:

Here is Sarah on the way back up the beach:

This has to be my favorite photo of them all. It was one of the few times I got to see Allie smile as well. I think I got 3 good shots of this too!! What a cutie! I think she takes after her Godmother.
We stopped off at the outlets in Pismo to do a little shopping while some of the kids took a nap. Before we headed home Molly decided to let her dogs out and Clyde totally had a diarrhea attack right on the sidewalk! I missed it, thank god, and only saw the aftermath. Molly was totally cursing out the Big Guy for throwing that ham out in the back yard.

That night we went out to Tahoe Joe's for dinner. My table was me, John, Molly, Maddy and Bow. I was a little hesitant about keeping the kids manageable, but the restaurant gave them each an etch-a-sketch and it kept them busy the WHOLE TIME! It was amazing! So if you have a kid(s) from 4-6 years old, get them an etch-a-sketch! The next morning Clyde had more issues in our garage due to the ham…but Molly tried to clean it, so that was nice. When Sarah and the kids came over she said that the Big Guy had a great story to tell from last night, and that we wouldn't believe it.

I guess Allison heard Zip barking in the middle of the night. (She was sleeping in the back of their truck). So Big Guy goes outside around 2:30am. He sees the bed of his truck is open and some guy standing next to Zip. The guy asks him if this was his dog, and he said yes, and then big guy got his dog. When he turned around the guy was gone! So Big Guy decides to put Zip in the front of the truck since she can now let herself out of the back. He goes back to the hotel and hits the hay.

The next morning he goes out to check on Zip. When he opened the door he almost got knocked out by a rancid smell. That is right...poor Zippy had another accident. So Big Guy had to spend the morning cleaning up the mess. Let me just say that I was really glad I did not have to ride in that car!

Right before the Cox's left I got two more cute videos of the twins. They were jumping off our coffee table. Here is Chloe first...she's a bit adventurous.

Here is Allie. She doesn't really jump, but does it matter? She's still super cute!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from the In-laws!

So I originally posted this photo BEFORE the niner game was over. I knew it would look lame to have it on here if they lost, but I was hoping that they would win... AND THEY DID!! IN OVER TIME!! It really was a miracle as Arizona had many chances to twin and blew it every time. All I have to say is that game was WAY too stressful! It brought me back in to the day of when the niners were good, and were always have crucial close games. I must have aged at least a couple of years today, and there was nothing riding on the game for them! However... 5 people in my work football pool got out, and the one person who didn't have any losses finally got her first one. So I am so excited! Now there are only 7 people left. I really hope I can win again!

Hope you all had a great holiday! My Thanksgiving entry is coming soon!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Football and Dogs

This past weekend my parents came into town for the holiday…well sort of. They are staying here until Wednesday and then heading up to San Jose to spend the actually holiday with my sister. Needless to say our weekend was pretty packed.

On Saturday we had planned to meet my parents at Cal Poly when they got into town. We had tickets to the last home football game and to the pre-game BBQ. We knew that the BBQ filled up fast and that we needed to get there early to guarantee a table. We call them to find out where they are and they tell us Soledad. So we figure they will get into town around 11:30am. So we head to VONS to get our turkey day shopping out of the way. At about 10:45 we get a call from them that they are in Paso. So to make a long story short, John and I had to start shopping like crazy people since our schedule had just been thrown off! I totally felt like I was on Supermarket Sweep! Although we weren’t going for any cash prizes.

The game was lots of fun! It was really nice that the Mustangs were leading 44 to 0 in the 3rd quarter when we left. They played IONA who came out from NY to play them. Before you start to think it’s a pretty long trip out here just for a football game, we heard that CP paid them $90K to come out there. So I’m sure it was worth their while. There were actually a lot of NY fans there too! You could totally tell they were from NY. Well they kind of looked like New Jersey dudes…wife beaters, gold chains, HUGE muscles, tan, and spiky hair.

When John was in the restroom one of the IONA fans was in the complaining that he almost got arrested for smoking and having an open beer container in the stands. John decides to tell him ‘that’s how we do it in California.’ I could just see John starting a brawl in the bathroom!

I also must say that my mom was a really good sport throughout the game since she is really not a football fan…any sports fan actually.

On Sunday my dad and John played golf while my mom and I headed up to Paso for the dog show. One of my co-workers has an Airedale terrier that is ranked the #2 terrier in all of the US. John and I went and saw him last year where he won Best of Show! It was very exciting.

This year we got there just in time to see the terrier group. Max (the Airedale terrier) did a GREAT job and got first in the group and actually got first. We then watched the herding group (to see the corgis of course), and then the toy group (to see the Papillion and pom pom). I took a few videos but I don’t think the quality would do their cuteness justice.

My mom fizzed out after the toy group so we left. I found out today from my co-worker that Max did not win Best in Show. I was really shocked, because you can tell that he is way more experienced than the other dogs shown. The judging is just too subjective for my liking. My co-worker said the judge doesn’t normally judge terriers as well. It would be hard for me not to be biased if I was a judge. I mean how can you say no to this face?

In other news…I’m almost done with my Christmas stocking! I really did not believe I would finish it before Christmas, but I am! I am really thankful for that! I mean how sad would it be for John to have a nice homemade stocking on the mantel, and there being a generic store bought one for me! No thank you! Next I just need to tackle my other Christmas gift sewing projects!

Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve added a few new blogs to my side bar. I’ve had a few friends start them, so check them out if you have time! My friend Brianne just got married at the end of last month and has just started her blog. Actually she started out as John’s friend as she was one of his loan officers. She moved to the central coast w/ her then boyfriend, but had to move back a few months ago. We really miss them both, but are so excited that they started a blog. (I will post wedding photos soon).

My friend Jalene also started a new blog honoring her daughter that she had in August. She is a super cutie. I worked with Jalene a few years ago when I worked at the local PR firm.

Stephanie has one again attempted a blog. I talked her into one last January, but she never made it past 2 entries. Now that little Lucas has been born, we will see if she is more motivated. I’m a little concerned though because so far there is only three entries! Come on Steph! I know you can do it!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Are you 'In' or 'Out'?

Well? What did you think? Did you love it like I did? I am SO excited Project Runway is back! There was so much to take in that I don’t even know where to start!


I really love and hate the first few episodes…love it because you get to see so many designs…hate it because there isn’t enough time within the hour to learn about all of the designers. As of now I only know one contestant by his name, and it’s Christian. (The youngest dude). All I have to say is that he reminds me of a young version of Santino! Although he seems he could be a bit funnier. However… what was that crap that he created?? That was one of the worst looking tops/skirts I have ever seen! And the judges LIKED it? Are you kidding me?

Let me say that I am SO glad he didn’t win. If he had won the first challenge, (like Santino), he would become totally unbearable! I was starting to doubt my fashion sense, (when they were bragging about his doggie-esqe jacket,) but I was relived when they awarded bald contestant #1 the winner. I loved that draping he did! He is definitely going to be one of the best designers. I mean he’s already designing for Hollywood peeps…you know he knows what he is doing.

I was totally surprised that Mrs. Earth Wind and Fire did not get the boot. What was that bushel of crap on the back of her dress? Maybe if she was designing for Bjork it would be ok, but not for Heidi!

I think the only reason she didn’t get alphfetweswianed was because the dress was made out of one piece of fabric…that impressed the judges. (Ok that was John’s 2 cents, and he was right).

So I must comment on bald contestant #2. did you notice that he was wearing a boring collared polo shirt? When they first showed him (for a split second), I really didn’t think I saw what I thought I saw. So I was going to give him another chance. Maybe that was his traveling attire? Second shot (a total of 3 seconds), he was wearing ANOTHER plain collared shirt! This guy looks more like a golfer than a fashion designer! Then John reminded me that he works in a museum! Where did they find this guy? Now I know why he didn’t get any air time!

I was totally surprised that this dress was one of the top ones:

That flower totally kills it for me, and the judges liked it! It looked tome like she was worried about making a plain black dress and decided to add the flower at the last minute to give it some flare.

How did this dress not rank low? It fits the model like a sac of potatoes! Totally unflattering! It looked a lot worse on the runway, because the main material was very stiff. I did like how she matched the red shoes though.

Most of the time I don’t notice the models, (that’s John’s job), and he pointed out to me how some of them were SO bad! There were a few that looked like they had never been on a runway before! John swore that one of them was even a man.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tonight is the Night

You all know what is on tonight don’t you?? PROJECT RUNWAY 4!!! After months, and months of waiting this glorious day has finally arrived! I really hope the casting was done well and got some genuine people on the show. A couple of crazies never hurt…I just don’t want a whole cast of Santinos. So tune in on BRAVO tonight at 10pm. Yes, unfortunately it's on at 10pm, so we will be taping it. So please don't tell me anything that happened. I might be able to watch some when I work out tomorrow morning, but it's not a guarantee. But PLEASE watch/tape it. You won't be sorry!

Note: I’ll do my best in blogging this next week in a half, but I can’t guarantee anything. Ofoto is having a 20% of sale that ends on Thanksgiving, so I’m frantically working on trying to get projects completed…and we will have guests for the next week starting on Sat. as well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rock On!

This past weekend John and I cruised Best Buy to look for ‘Christmas gifts.’ (John used the Christmas gift M.O. to get me to go there…which worked…I’m such a sucka!) Well we were kind of going in there for that, but we were really looking to see if they are selling the guitar hero guitars by themselves (not with the game).

So we enter the store and the ‘greeter’ says hello/welcome to us. Do all of your Best Buys employ this position?? I can’t believe they actually PAY someone to greet you! I must say it is the WORST position EVER! I don’t even want to go into their store because I know that greeter is going to be there and force me to interact with them. It takes all that I have to not scream at the top of my lungs ‘STOP SAYING HI TO ME! I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU! And by the way…YELLOW IS SO NOT YOUR COLOR!’

It took me a little while to cool down from my interaction with the greeter, and while I was taking nice deep breaths I noticed a small crowd over near the video game area. John and I decide to take a look to see what the excitement is, and what do you know? There is a guitar Hero battle in progress! There is this little dude playing EXPERT level on the game and totally rocking! John and I just stood there with our mouths hanging open. We have just entered the medium level on our game and could not believe the pace of the expert level. All I could think is that this kid played the game A LOT and had to have had the song memorized. We totally did not blend into the crowd as well. It mostly consisted of teenagers, some punk, some rockers, and then us…and old, white, conservative looking married couple. Generation gap? What generation gap? We’re still cool aren’t we?

So this little rocker totally kicks this other chicks butt, and this new longhaired older kid takes the seat. One kids yells out ‘Do you think you can beat him?’ Longhaired older kids grunts and gets into position. They pick the song ‘One’ by Metallica and the battle begins.

Notes just stared flying by and their fingers were moving at a Kirk Hammet pace (real guitarist for Metallica)! The longhaired rocker was totally giving the little rocker a run for his money…but then the little rocker started coming back, but it was no use. Longhaired rocker totally dominated. By the end of the song little rocker’s mom was there and he had to leave. Such a sad walk of shame. (As you know longhaired rocker probably rode his bike there).

Then, this past week South Park’s episode was based on guitar hero!! (It rang a little to close to home since we had just gotten our game that same week!) The plot was that Stan and Kyle were awesome at the game and were going to perform in front of a live crowd (at a video game store), to try to get 1 million points. It was a very cleaver story, but I didn’t really buy it. Would kids really gather to watch other kids play the game? I guess so, as I was one of those kids at Best Buy 3 days later.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Worst Daughter Ever

I forgot my dad's birthday. Ok, so I didn't really forget it, I just got the days mixed up. Can you believe it?? I am TOTALLY blaming turning 30. I mean everything has gone down hill this year, and now it's my memory?? You've got to be kidding me!

His birthday was on Thursday but I thought it was on Friday. So Friday night after dinner I frantically call him hoping to give him some wishes. Then he tells me his birthday was yesterday! To make matters worse, we have another friend who has the same birthday, and as I'm calling my dad I tell John that he should give her a call as well. Then he tells me he called her yesterday, but didn't tell me! I then thought that maybe I had written it down wrong my my calendar...but nope! I had it right. So I really have no excuse except for old age.

So needless to say I feel really bad that I did not call him on Thursday. However I was early with my gift. But I don't think that matters. I am hoping that this mini photo tribute, (of some of my favorite photos), to my dad will make up for it!

My dad and my Grandma

My dad in high school

My dad in action

My dad doing his typical pose

My parents engagement photo

Family photo

A later family photo

My dad and I at a Giants game (cira 1984)

My dad and I goofing off in our hotel room in Hawaii.

My dad and I in Disneyland in front of the Haunted Mansion

My dad (much later) at another Giants game

My dad and I in Paris

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It's Possessed

193? 193? 33 more peeps checked this site yesterday? My Youtube highest views is still at 27, so I’m still not a total believer.

I’ve come up with another theory. If you are reading this site right now, please go to That link is to my design website. If you all go to that site then I will a more reliable way to track my visitors. I won’t know for sure, as I get traffic summaries each month. So I may have to wait a few weeks. But it could be worth a try! I'm getting desperate!

My profile has only got two new views yesterday, and I’m sure one of them was myself. So the mystery continues...are you getting board of this subject yet? Am I causing visitors to stop coming here because I keep talking about it? Should I find something more interesting to talk about? Like the lame Writers Guild Strike? Yeah I know...we all want more money, but I want my TV shows! What am I going to do if I don't get my weekly dosage of The Office? Do something productive with my time? Clean my bathroom counter that hasn’t been cleaned in 2 months? Yeah right! I’m gonna try to enter that puppy in the Guinness World Book of Records!

I guess I could always become the household master at Guitar Hero and kick John’s butt. (I’m really lucky this is not a mutual blog and can post freely).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What the heck is going on?

My map showed me today that I had 165 visitors to my blog yesterday! That cannot be true! I was so distraught when I saw that number that I ran home from work and called everyone I knew! I had to find out who was checking my blog! I mean this is totally serious!

Ok, so I didn’t act like a telemarketer on crack…but I have come up with a few theories of finding out if the map is telling the truth. The first thing I did, was check my friend Sarah’s blog to see if her map had an obscene amount of visitors on it. I thought for sure that would put my wondering mind at ease. Wrongo bongo! She had 2 visitors yesterday. So that theory went in the crapper.

Theory #2: Check my YouTube account and see how many times the guitar hero videos have been viewed. There should at least be 100 views on one of those videos right? As of now the most is 25 on one video. I’ll give that one more day as well, but that sounds like a pretty realistic number. Maybe it takes awhile for them to tally the viewers?

Theory #3: Check the number of times my blogger profile has been viewed. Currently it’s at 197. Only problem is that I don’t know what it used to be! Real smart I know.

Theory #4: Wait to check the map tomorrow. If the number goes back down to 15 then I know that the stats from the last two days were just a fluke. Even if it is a high number, I think I will still think it’s a fluke since I haven’t received any comments from people I don’t know.

Of course I’d like to think it is legit. Who wouldn’t? How cute do all those little red circles look on my map? But how did all of these viewers come across it? The only thing that I can think of is that someone posted the link somewhere, where a ton of peeps saw it. But who would have posted it and not have contacted me? It's such a mystery!

I thought you all were really excited about my Belize entry, (hence the 53 visits), but by getting three times as many peeps on the day I posted John’s sweet dance vids, I have my doubts.

John tried to tell me it was his guitar playing that brought the people to the site telling me ‘if you rock it they will come.’ Whatever dude. Go take your toy guitar and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Was my map on the fritz?

Thanks to my handy map to the left I found out that 53 of you checked my blog yesterday!!! I almost fell off my seat when I saw that number! Was the Belize entry really that interesting? Who are you people? I can seriously think of about 8 people that might check the blog regularly... Jen, Sam, my mom, my dad, Sarah V., Sarah D., Lori, Maggie, Molly A., Jenna, Stephanie, ..... that is it! I was truly ecstatic when I saw how many people. I think the last highest number was 32. I know most of you don't leave comments, (which is totally fine!), but please feel free to comment if you want. Even if you don't know me, feel free! I was chatting with Sarah today and she made the comment that non-bloggers have no idea how exciting it is to get a comment on your blog...which is totally true!

I've been working on the second Belize entry and while I ws palnning out which photos to use I forgot about my videos! I have one video that would fit with my previous entry. It was taken
on our flight there. I'll try to post the next entry tomorrow. I still need some time. Until then please enjoy!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Is that you Slash?

I had big plans tonight to start working on my second Belize entry, but little did I know that John would be bringing home one of the funnest video games out on the market. That is right... he brought home Pong! Can you believe it? I mean I know it's a total classic, but it always an easy way to waste 4 hours! Ok, just kidding. Well just kidding about the Pong part, because John did bring home Guitar Hero for the Wii!!! Yes they just came out with it! We went to Best Buy this past weekend and they were sold out, but John found one in Santa Maria today! We have been playing it since we got home and almost forgot to cook dinner, (which John is doing now... such a good servant, oh I mean husband).

Even though you don't get extra points for dance choreography I still think John would win any sort of fake guitar competition.

John was intentionally clapping like a spaz in this vid:

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Adventure Begins...

Our flight to Belize City left LAX at 2am. That is right…I was up past 11pm, and I really didn't get that tired until we boarded the plane. Our flight had one stop in San Salvador, so the majority of passengers on our plane were from San Salvador…so just waiting in the boarding area made it seem like we were in a foreign country! So exciting!

Side note: We didn't even have to take out our quart sized carry on liquids in the security screening! That totally ticked me off because I had strategically packed all of my liquids.

We heard both good and bad things about the airline we took, TACA. Overall we thought it was pretty good. However our first plane was really OLD. My butt got sore after the first 15 minutes AND there were even ashtrays in the arm rests! However, the second plane we had was WAY nicer and so comfortable. Of course that flight was only an hour (vs. 5 hours). But we did luck out on the flight back because we got a newer plane for the longer flight.

So the flight was pretty miserable, just because we were supposed to be able to sleep on it. I think I got around 3 hours or so and John maybe got an hour. Poor dude. The flight staff did not make it any easier as well. They did turn down all the lights for the first hour, but then turned them all back on and started serving us drinks! They also were playing a movie on the screens, which were quite bright. I vowed never to take an over night flight after we did it last year to London, but we didn't have any other time options with this flight route. (It's the most direct to Belize).

We landed in Belize City and then checked in for our flight to Flores, Guatemala. As we were standing there this very small man…not a little person…bigger than that, (but he obviously vertically challenged ,) came over to us. He started asking us where we were going and I wasn't sure what he wanted. At first I thought he wanted to get us a cab, but come to find out he was trying to recruit travelers to go to the airport bar to get some rum! He had a very high pitched voice and the whole situation was just odd.

The airline staff for Tropic Air, (the airline we took for the rest of our flights), was a bunch of young guys that were really nice. John asked one of them if he knew of a good place where we could rent a car when we came back from Guatemala, and he did. He introduced John to Tyrone who worked at NextGen car rentals.

Right outside of the Belize airport was a small strip mall of all rental cars…as you can see below:

So we go into NextGen car rental and it's a 64 sq. ft. one room office with one desk, three chairs and a map of Belize on the wall. TOTALLY sketchy! It totally looked like the front for some illegal operation! I'm sure Tyrone was so excited to see a pair of sleep deprived gringos heading his way. I totally thought we were going to get shivved!

Despite all my fears, Tyrone was pretty nice and told us that he would stay open past 5pm on Sunday (our flight was to get in at 4:45pm). He also proceeded to tell us about the rental car and how it had and AWESOME stereo with a CD player. I couldn't figure out why he was raving about it. It wasn't like I brought any CDs with me!

We had a few hours to kill and instead of hanging outside and melting from the humidity we decided to get a bite to eat at The Sungarden Restaurant and Bar. It was located in the airport and their slogan was "For Nice Food." That's a nice attempt for the slogan, but let me tell you their food was not that nice. The waitress told John that their cheeseburger was one of the best things on the menu, so he got that. Big mistake…the meat was an odd grey color. I got fish and chips and they weren't too bad. It was odd because almost all of the dishes on the menu were very American items. John did get is first authentic Belizean brewsky…at 10:30am. It seriously did not feel that early… by that time we had been traveling for 15 hours.

After hanging out in the restaurant for a few hours, (and doing a lot of zoning out), we headed over to our gate. (There are 4 in the airport). Lucky for us the waiting area had AC. Sweet! Time to get dry.

We found a couple of benches and decided to get some rest. John was SO tired. So we laid down and slept for about an hour. I totally felt like a scummy Amazing Race traveler!

Once we woke up guess who can to say hi? The little bar promoter! I had to tell him that it was a little too early for us to be drinking rum, and that we would be back in two days and we would get a drink. As he left I realized what he reminded me of!! He sounded just like the actor who played the umpa-lumpa in the new Willie Wonka movie! NO JOKE! I'm not making fun of the dude, he seriously was just like that actor…maybe Indian?

Our boarding time is getting closer and closer and we both started getting antsy because they hadn't called our flight to board. So I ask one of the tropic Air guys when the flight will board he and he told me 3pm…which is the time that our flight was supposed to depart. He kind of looked at me funny, because I'm sure he was always dealing with paranoid tourists. At least he was nice about it.

Our flight gets the boarding call and there is one other guy on the flight besides us! How crazy is that? John made sure to tell the dude not to take his window seat. Not sure if the dude A) got the joke, and B) spoke English. Our plane was quite large…it held about 10 passengers. I wasn't too scared riding in the small plane, because when I was young we would often go places in my dad's company's plane. It was a 6 seater (7 if needed), BUT it had 2 engines. My parents never wanted me to fly in a one engine plane…sorry pods, but I did that quite a few times during our trip.

The flight was really great and so neat to see the country from the air…and the pilot was really good as well. When we got close to to our destination, the pilot flew right over Flores, which was the peninsula where we were staying. It was an island with a man made road built out to it. (Later when we checked our photos our hotel is visible in the aerial photo I took below)

Francisco, our guide, was going to meet us at the airport. Before our flight John asked me if Francisco would know who we were, and I told him I wasn't too worried. Once we realized there was only one other guy on our flight, I told John that I didn't think Francisco would have a hard time picking us out!

When we landed and submitted our passports it then hit me that we were in a Spanish speaking country. Prior to our trip John told me that his Spanish would come back to him no prob. I totally trusted him because I had seen him whip out his Espanol in a few different Mexican restaurants before. However… his Espanol did NOT come back to him as well as he thought. We really should have brushed up on our numbers before we left, and even our basic vocab. I mean we got by pretty good, but it would have been nice to have felt a bit more confident. Sorry Senora, you would have been pretty disappointed with us.

Anyway… we got our bags and Francisco was waiting for us. He was SO nice, AND knowledgeable! Right off the bat he started telling us all these facts about Guatemala. John started asking him how many tours he does a year. Francisco said he does 100 to 125 a year, but he'd like to do more. He said he used to do about 200 trips a year, mainly with college students and professors interested in Mayan cultures, but that source of income has dried up since he was held captive with a group of professors from Colorado one time for 18 hours. Did I mention we were going to Tikal the next day? This guy really knows how to sell his country. I guess he wasn't worried about us backing out since we had already paid him half of his fee.

I was having a hard time concentrating because I was so mesmerized by what I was seeing. The only other 3 rd world country I had been to before is Mexico…but mostly the touristy towns. It was crazy seeing the buildings and people in person, when I've only seen those living conditions on TV before.

The island of Flores was amazing. One of the neatest cities I had ever seen. Well it wasn't really unique like Amsterdam, but I think with the vibrant colors and different culture is what made it so neat.

We got to our hotel and it was really nice. We made plans with Francisco to meet him the next morning and then we were on our own. Our room was really neat and had an amazing view of the lake.

We finally got to change into some cooler clothes and then cruised the streets. The streets were so small and there were crazy little cab cars all over the streets like the one below:

There were also tons of scooters. We saw one regular sized truck and it seriously took up the whole street. The majority of the buildings were painted in bright colors which was really neat. Most of the souvenir shops had their lights off, I think so save money, but it was weird because I couldn't tell if they were opened. They also didn't have any prices on the items they were selling. I'm assuming they wanted to barter with the tourists, but I felt bad bartering with them since I know they really needed the money. The exchange rate there is 7 to 1. Can you believe it? I got a few small trinkets, and two Guatemalan shirts! I was SO excited about them.

We got ourselves an ice cream treat as well. John got banana ice cream covered in chocolate. We also had the chance to get online at one shop, but I decided not to because it was only day one and I was sure I'd have another opportunity to get online later. (Of course it was much later than I had hoped). We found the local bank so we could exchange some money. The bank looked really dark inside but guard, with a machine gun, opened the door, and John whipped out his Spanish and told him he needed to change his money. He told us ok and then had us wait outside for a minute. Then he let us in. He seemed totally suspicious even though the bank had normal activity inside.

We headed back to the hotel and tried to figure out the AC. It was mounted WAY up high on the wall and I had to use a chair to get to the switches…but nothing happened when I played with them. I seriously did not think it worked and contemplated switching rooms. I did not want to be sweating ALL night. John called the front desk and a guy came up and showed him that yes, it did work…but by remote control! Who know they were so high tech?

Before we headed to dinner we decided to go down and take a dip in the pool. We actually went in the hot tub instead because the pool was pretty chilly, and the hot tub was like a luke warm bath. Let me tell you it felt SO good! While we were soaking our stink off we noticed some lightening in the distance. It was really neat. There must have been 4 different storms. They were pretty far away as we couldn't hear the thunder.

We headed to dinner and I wore one of my new Guatemalan shirts. I totally wanted to blend in with the locals, but I'm not sure how much that shirt helped. I don't think I'd ever been to a country where I was to easily identified as a tourist. There was no way I could blend, even with my awesome Spanish accent.

We ate a La Luna and we had a great meal. I had lobster, John had pasta, we each had two drinks and dessert. Guess how much it cost? Around $40! Such a sweet deal. The waiters were similar to the ones we experienced on our last trip. They just stand around and watch you and wait until you are done with something and then act very quickly to come take the dish away. They also had the smallest napkins!

My lobster
The small napkins were at every restaurant that we ate at on the trip. I wonder what visitors to the states think when we have napkins 6 times the size of theirs? Maybe they think our napkins are blankets. They were also playing some great Guatemalan music, until I recognized one of the songs! What the heck? It was Buena Vista Social Club's hit song. So funny.
The desert we got was hot raspberries with vanilla ice cream. It was really great. While we were eating it I noticed that part of my shirt was gaping open and my bra was totally visible…right in the direction of where the waiters were standing! I was so embarrassed.

After we paid the waiter came over and gave us two complimentary shots of rum! I couldn't believe it! I thought it was so nice that they were thankful for our business. But then I realized it was probably because my boob was hanging out of my shirt!
We walked back to our hotel and I decided to try to get online on their computers, because after a meal like that I knew I'd have a good story to blog about. However their computers were not connecting to the Internet, AND they were all in Spanish! No me gusta.

We hung outside for awhile and watched the lightening in the distance and then went to bed early. It was so nice to lay in a bed after 26 hours.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Moo For Me!

We had a great time last night harassing, oh I mean giving out candy to the kiddies. Unfortunately we did not have as many trick-or-treaters as we did last year, and I blame the delay in day light savings. At first I thought it was a great idea…but when we didn't get our first trick-or-treater until around 6:30pm I thought it was crap!

I had a small group of friends come over, all baring candy, so it made for a great night. We had plenty of candy…enough so that I wasn't stressed out if my guests want to eat some. I was very thankful everyone brought candy as it's much more fun to hand out 2 or 3 pieces, vs. one small piece.

Here are some highlights:

One of the very first trick-or-treaters was a werewolf. I had opened the door w/o the bowl of candy (it was on the table), and when the werewolf saw the bowl, he made a total bee line! He didn't even care that he was entering in a strangers house!

One of my favorite costumes was a little boy dressed up as Rattatouie. Basically any small kid dressed up as an animal was my fave. There were a few cute ninja turtles, an elephant and a ducky. Another cute animal was a small boy who we thought was a cow. As I was letting his dad get candy he started yelling 'No, no, no, no, no!' I had no idea why he was acting like he didn't want any candy. What was wrong with this kid? It's not like I was trying to give him my raisins! It wasn't until today that when I talked with Sam that she told me that they were trying to get the kid to 'moo.' Seems harmless right? Wrooooooooooooong. When the kid turned to leave we saw his tail and he was a skunk and not a cow! The poor kid, we were causing him to have an identity crisis!

There were a lot more adults dressed up this year… NOT to mention how many parents were actually collecting candy! I bet I had about 10 parents getting candy. One parent had a mask on and was trying to act like a kid!

One reoccurring them throughout the night was a lot of 'dead/death' costumes. We had a dead gymnast, volleyball player, Greek goddess, cheerleader, and princess,

A couple of funny costumes were an older boy in a cheerleading uniform, another older boy in a very small Spiderman costume, and a pimp.

One of the biggest highlights was a girl, maybe 14-16 years old in a princess/prom dress that was SO low cut and had MAJOR cleavage! At first I thought it had to have been a parent, so once my eyes finally moved north I saw how young she looked! I looked back at everyone and they all gave me the same shocked look! I think her boobs could have totally been fake…I mean I don't know of many teenagers with that amount of cleavage.

I also kept up with my tradition of handing out raisins to the kids who were not dressed up, or could not tell me what they were dressed up as. The first two boys I gave the raisins to tried to act all cool and told me that they liked raisins. Whatever punks! You don't fool me! No kid would ever choose raisins over candy! The party guests really enjoy it when I give out raisins. We even got a "Give Him Raisins" chant going at one point. One party guest, who we'll call David, slipped some non-costumer some raisins instead of the candy he was handing out so…"He totally got Raisined!"

I had a couple of other kids tell me they were students, but I didn't buy that either. However one kid did have a backpack, and said he was a high schooler, so I did give him some candy. I mean how hard is it to buy a $1 mask at the Dollar Store? Get a bed sheet? Find some whips and chains?

I also had some fake rats by the pumpkins, and one little kid got really scared from them! Poor dude.

Here are a few photos from the night:

Sam the witch and myself:

The musicians, Elvis (aka Ellie) and Meg White. Her costume was so great! She bought all of her accessories separate (glasses, scarf, side burns, microphone) and they definitely completed the ensemble.

Here we are…Jack and Meg White.

Here is the Drexler family with their Halloween burrito.

Lastly here are a few cute photos of Lucas' body parts.