Saturday, July 31, 2010

Projects.....Things I Can Never Get Done!

Grandma T has come to visit us here in Knoxville, TN, and so I have put her to work. This is not a vacation, it is a time to help me with projects I cannot seem to get done. The biggest project has been Taryn's room. Since moving here two months ago, her room has consisted of a dresser, her crib and the rest has become the catch all room. I hadn't really decided how to decorate it until my mom came out to help. I wanted curtains in her room, but not the ugly ones that are out on the market to buy. I wanted to make them, but make them in a way that was one of a kind, unique. Look how they turned out.....

Then we found these DOTS at Kohl's. I love them. They can also be pulled off and moved around, if needed.
Of course she had to have a temple picture in her room. I had this particular one in my bedroom back home, in Circleville, for years. It made the trip out here to Knoxville and now belongs to Taryn. I lucked out that it matches the whole decor.
Mom also came up with a pillow case pattern and we found the pink and brown material and made two of these one of a kind pillow cases. (even though she only uses one pillow) We also made a sheet for the bed to match the pillow case, but I forgot to get a picture of it. This project took us several days and lots of brain cells to concoct it, but it is now FINI!
Then it was time to do my hair. I am not about to pay 150-200 dollars to get my hair colored. So I called Heidi, who colors my hair back home, and asked which store bought coloring I could use and be ok with. She told us how to do my hair, and here we are; attempting to weave color into my hair. I don't have an after picture, not because it didn't turn out, but because I just haven't taken a picture of me yet. Needless to say, it turned out better than I expected. Thanks mom for all your help with all my projects. (These were just two of the 20 that we did.) Now I can start a whole bunch more.

Monday, July 12, 2010

St. Maarten: A Week Vacation (May 22nd-May 29th)

Ok so I am really late in posting this! During the end of May, Vaughn and I were fortunate to be able to go to his graduation on St. Maarten and spend a week vacation there with family and friends. First off, I have to thank my mom for watching the kids for the week, "Thanks mom you are the best." Next I have to thank my wonderful in laws who so graciously let us use their time share. "Thank you for the vacation. " And last thanks to Mark, Jen and their friends for coming with us and having an awesome time!This is my look of shear excitement! I had been up for about 24 hours when this picture was taken, so if I look a little crazy, I probably am! This is us at the St. Maarten airport. We started the night before flying from Las Vegas, NV, to Charlotte, NC and then to St. Maarten. The kiddos were hanging out with Grandma T, so Vaughn and I had a whole week to ourselves.

The "deer in the headlights" look. But trust me he is very happy to be in St. Maarten.

My sister-in-law might kill me for this picture but I had to put it on here. This is Jen, bursting with enthusiasm, ok so she is a bit tired from our long airplane ride, but she is very happy to be on vacation without kids as well.

I think Mark is flipping me off, maybe not, just kidding. Actually he is giving me the peace out sign to signal that we are here and ready to enjoy the time off from our lives and just CHILL!

Once we got out of the airport, got the car from the rental place and checked into our awesome time share place, we were STARVING! Vaughn and I took everyone to one of our places we loved to eat at when we lived on St. Maarten "The Sugar Cane." It was neat to see the waitresses we knew. It kind of felt like we never left. The humidity was still there and yes we did sweat, a lot, but that is just part of the experience.

Vaughn and I were the master drivers of the trip. Since we lived on St. Maarten we played taxi drivers and tour guides and loved every minute of it. The van we rented wasn't the top of the line and so it had a little A/C problem and took an eternity to cool down, so we were hot most of the time in the car.

After eating that night we headed back to Pelican Key Resort, our place, and decided to go for an evening swim in the ocean. It was heavenly! I love the warm ocean water and how you can just float along the whole time! Our place was so spacious and nice. It had two bedrooms and one fold out couch bed, a nice full kitchen, patio, outside hot tub and living room. And the best part was the fact that we were upstairs, no one could bother us, and we were right on the beach. Such a view!

Twilight in St. Maarten. Vaughn and I really needed time to ourselves. It has been 4 years since we went anywhere by ourselves, so this was really fun. I did miss the kids and really wished we had brought Tyson, since he lived there too, but the vacation time for us was desperately needed!

After the swim we played games well into the morning hours. We laughed a lot until some of us almost peed our pants. What a great first day in paradise!

St. Maarten: Church, Beach and Maho

I could wake up to this scenery each day and never tire of it. What a glorious morning it was in paradise. Vaughn and I were up and going, the others slept in a bit, not worries they are all on vacation.

Vaughn and I got the opportunity to talk in our church branch there on the island. The branch president found out we were coming to the island and asked us to give some talks. WHOA! Not what I expected to do on my vacation, but I did want to go to church and see everyone again, so why not speak a little too.The building still looks the same, but the inside had a great surprise. They now have A/C in the building. Lucky!!!! I wish they would have had that when we were on the island. We would sweat to death as the little fans in the chapel would push around the HOT air. It was so nice to sit in the coolness and enjoy church.I had to get a photo by the sign. Lots of good memories here. We talked, saw the members we had missed, and then headed back to our resort for some time in the sun.
But before we could relax in the sun, we went to the grocery store to get some food for the week. Going out every night on the island can get a little pricey and we were on a budget, so we all decided to cook in a few nights and have food for breakfast and lunch. It was weird to walk back into Grand Marche. Felt like I had just been home for a long vacation and now I was back to do my weekly shopping.
Hanging out in the van.
This is a view from the office to the resort. So beautiful. I wanted as many pictures as I could get during this trip because I don't know when I will get back here.
The front of our place.
That evening we went to downtown Maho for some sights and maybe some ice cream. They usually have dancers come out and dance in the streets around 9pm, except for Sundays. CRAP!! I really wanted to see them. Oh well!
Before we left the island two years ago, half of the lights were missing from the overhead display. Looks like they decided to fix them. They looked great!
Me and my sweetheart!
This was our beach outside of our window.
So.....Monday we took the crew down to Frontstreet to shop. What a disaster, at least for Vaughn and I. We lost the other members of our group in the first 10 minutes, and then got swindled into listening to a time share spiel for about 1 1/2 hours and then walked up and down Frontstreet a plethora of times looking for everyone else. Finally after hours of searching we found them and luckily they didn't worry to much about us and went shopping. I was relieved. I was feeling so bad that they wouldn't have taken time to shop. I am glad they did. Our day was shot, meaning mine and Vaughn's, but at least everyone else had a good time.
A look out over the bay in Pelican Key. I love the sounds at night on the island. There are these frogs or bird or insects, never knew which one, but they make the coolest night sounds. AH!!! I have missed those sounds.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

St. Maarten: Orient Beach & Pineapple Pete's

The statue in the Merigot Marketplace. I love this side of the island, the French Side. It looks more like a secluded island than one that has a lot of industry like the Dutch Side.The plan was to go shopping at the marketplace but it was closed for the low season. DUH! I knew that, but since I haven't been on the island for a while I forgot. So the shopping had to be put off for a while. I did, however, get to eat at a little French cafe and get a delectable sandwich and dessert. YUMMY! I have been craving that for about 2 years.

See, this is the French Side. Very pretty and lush.
Orient Beach. This beach was never my favorite, but they say in the Caribbean that it is the "most famous". I think it is ok, but everyone else wanted to see it, so we went. The interesting thing about this beach is that they have a naked side to the beach. Of course all of the beaches are topless and occasionally you will see a random tourist go naked at one of those beaches, which is a shocker in itself, but here at Orient it it's common. Vaughn and I walked over to the naked side of the beach and dared each other to "bare it all." YEAH, we chicken out! HA HA HA
Here we are sporting our beach bods. We worked very, very hard to get this way. Back in Feb-March, Vaughn and I decided that if we were going to go back to St. Maarten we had to do some serious work on ourselves. So we started the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred video and continued to work out with it right up until we left on this vacation. The work paid off. It is nice to be able to fit into things that I haven't been able to fit into for years.
During our time at Orient Beach, we decided to splurge and go Parasailing. I have never been and have always wanted to try it out. We found out we could go as a couple, so we bought the tickets and away we went.This is us preparing to get on the jet skis and head out to the boat that would take us up, up and away. I was so excited I could have jumped around like a little kid.
Lift the look on my face one could deduce that I am a tiny bit scared, but I was just excited to get up and into the air.
And up into the air we went. We got up so high that we could see a whole big part of the French Side. You could even see the bigger fish, possibly sharks???, in the water below us. YIKES!! I could have stayed up there for longer than the 15 minutes they gave us. What a rush!
The decent!Coming in for a landing. The rest of our crew also experienced the rush of sailing in the air. What a memory. I love doing things like this on vacation because it is an experience of a lifetime.
One last picture of the beach. Even though I don't love Orient Beach, it is still a Caribbean beach and they are all gorgeous in my opinion.
We all got a little too much sun and some of us were a bit crispier than others. Even so, we decided that it was time to eat out for a night. We slathered ourselves with Aloe Vera, cleaned up and headed to Pineapple Pete's for dinner.
Me and my honey. Dinner was delightful as it always is at Pineapple Pete's. I had the Mahi Mahi and I could have eaten another full plate of it, just to savor the taste, but I didn't want to have a stomach ache for the next three days.
Yeah, Mark got a bit more burned than the rest of us. He needed to "reapply" the sunscreen a little more than he did. But he was a good sport and had fun with us that night.
Kyle and Jessica, Mark and Jen's friends from Las Vegas, also enjoying dinner.
After dinner, the rest of the crew went back to the resort while Vaughn and I headed to the Red Piano Bar to hang out with Janelle and Trey. We ran into them at the beach and hung out there, and then decided we needed to hang out more in the evening. It was a wonderful time to catch up and reminisce about old times. A perfect evening.

St Maarten: Shopping In Merigot & Dinner Cruise

Time for more pictures of this beautiful place. This is just off of a pier on our resort. A great place for being a tourist.Another shot of the resort.This is a scene I truly love, Merigot Marketplace. On Wednesday the girls and I got up early and left the boys to hang out while we went shopping. The marketplace was open, thankfully, and of course I had to go to Katrina's shop.Yes she is French, and they always kiss. Cracks me up. I shopped in her store at least once a month for jewelry and always for Christmas gifts. It was great to go back there and see all new wares at her place and to see her. She recognized me at once and we caught up on lost time. She was always so good to Tyson and I and she sent me home with little gifts for him and Taryn. Such a sweet lady.

Here we are with all our goodies from shopping. You can't see it, but I was sweating so bad that the back of my shirt was drenched. YUCK!Once we got back we hung out on our beach with the boys for a while and then it was time to head to our dinner cruise. And this is where I got STUPID!...... I forgot that we would be out on the ocean and that it was very windy and wavy, and stupid me forgot to take her Dramamine. SO DUMB! I was so excited for this cruise; we did it once when we lived there and it was unbelievable. So here is a great picture of me before I was sick.
Nice action shot, again before I was sick!
Mark decided to get a little cheeky. HA HA HA
Not long after this my hands and feet went numb and I was sure I was going to pass out. One of the crew members grabbed me and took me to the back of the boat, gave me a plastic bag-to throw up in-paper towels, and ice chips to chew. I crawled into a ball and tried not to watch 6 other people throwing up over the side of the boat. Now in my defence, it was very choppy water and people were getting sick left and right. After about 10 minutes and three cups of ice chips, I felt tons better. YUCK! I was also very ticked off. I was missing out on all the fun because I was dumb!
The Three Munchkins!! Kyle, in the middle, looks like a munchkin from "The Wizard of Oz." I cannot remember what these guys were laughing about, but they were so funny I had to capture it.
The fun loving crew. Notice I didn't take any sick pictures of me. I wasn't about to let anyone get one of me in that state. I never threw up, but I wanted to. I still look a bit piqued in this picture, but at least I am not changing colors.
During dinner, I only ate a few bites of everything. Again I was ticked off. The food on this particular cruise is delectable. Oh well. I will just have to come back in a few years and remember the Dramamine.
Love ya babe!
Once dinner was over, and remember most people on this boat had been drinking for the past 2 hours +(all but us), the party started. Jessica and I and our failed attempts at pole dancing. HA HA
Jen and her sexy moves. Nice job!
The kids aren't here and so we decided to let loose. By the end of the cruise my stomach had settled down and I could have some fun with the rest of our crew. We stayed up late and laugh and giggled. Good times!