Tuesday, September 30, 2008

California Birthday

I know this post is a bit belated...but for my birthday weekend this past weekend Mike and I and his mom Pat headed out to California to visit Mike's Brother Doug, and his girlfriend Carolyn. It was a fantastic trip...so here are some highlights.


The morning of my birthday, Saturday, everyone decided I should open my gift before we did anything. So open the gifts I did. I really had no idea what they were going to get me, because I was having a hard time thinking of anything I wanted. So when I opened the gift my first thought was "do you think i'm fat?", but I was only kidding. They all pitched in a got me a Wii and a Wii Fit! I was so excited!

For those of you that are gaming console challenged, the Wii is the one with the handles that allow you to play tennis, boxing, etc. And the Wii fit is like a balance board you put on the ground that allows you to do strength training, yoga, aerobics, skiing, ski jumping, hula huping, etc. It also tells you how much you weigh and how good your balance and posture is. I felt pretty bad about myself when it told me my Wii Fit age was 32...but then when it told Mike he was almost overweight...I knew the Wii was a bit challenged. So i felt better about myself.


After opening gifts, we went down to Newport and rented some beach cruisers to ride up to Huntington Beach. It was so fun...of course bikey mikey was doing weelies and bunny hops right off the get go. I was watching him thinking 'that bike weighs 200 lbs, and your jumping up and off everything'. But I think he was made to be on two wheels.

When we got to Huntington Beach we ate a restaurant on the beach named Savannah's, i think. The only picture of us there I look horrible in, so i didn't post it.

But on the ride back to newport, we had a little photo shoot action.




Then we stopped at the beach and had more of a formal, prom style photo shoot.




Oh, and we missed a picture for this...but we rented a basket for Carolyns bike so we could put our purses in there. As we were crossing the final intersection to return the bikes Carolyn thought it would be fun to go off the curb. In doing that, the basket flew of the bike spilling both purses upside down all over the side of the road. It was so funny I stopped mid-crossing because I thought I had pulled a muscle in my stomach. We were laughing so hard it took way to long to actually pick up all the pens, phones and candy that had flown all over the road.

Cali cont.

So after our biking adventure, we went back home, took a little nap, cleaned up a bit, then went out for dinner.


After dinner, the waiter came out with the best cake ever that said 'Happy Birthday Lizzie'. I was so impressed. I said to everyone 'I can't believe the restaurant had a small cake and wrote my name on it! That's so nice'. Everyone looked at me for a second and then continued to tell me that they brought the cake in. They were asking questions like 'didn't you think it was weird when we left you at starbucks for 20 minutes when you weren't even getting coffe?' and 'yeah, that's why i just now went back out to the car'. I won the dunce award for that one...but it was a better surprise for me in the end, right?



So thanks to all of Mike's family for being so sneaking and making my birthday so fantastic!


And after dinner we went bowling...don't worry, they didn't let me win. In fact, I lost. I started out with a strike, then quickly went downhill fast, which is usually how games work out for me.

All in all I had a fantastic birthday and love my gifts!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm back

I'm back and officially depressed. France was awesome, and I wish I would've stayed.

I am glad to be home with my husband...but wouldn't it be some much better if he would've just come to france with me? and then we could've never left.... well a girl can dream can't she.

And I almost forgot to mention...but I have the best husband in the world. For the 2 weeks I was gone, he accomplished many house projects that I've been too unmotivated to begin. So it was a nice surprise to come home to a much cleaner house then I left.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Porquerolles

So for our last few days we headed out to the Porquerolles Islands. They're just a cute little island bunch with a small tourist town and a few nice beaches. The beaches didn't have docks, so we had to bring the small tender down from the top deck to drive us up to the beach.
The sand was nice and the water was extremely shallow for quite a while out, so it was great for the kids. They could go feel like they were really far out, and only be waist deep.
We also rented some paddle boats and had some races around the little bay. We ran them into a few rocks as well, trying to get high centered but never quite accomplishing that. There was also a slide on the paddle boat which the kids quite enjoyed. I found myself to be just a bit too wide to really get the satisfaction I was hoping for...

We had lunch at the little restaurant on the island. I, of course, ordered horribly. Everyone at the table almost ordered the pizza, and it sounded delicious. But for some reason I thought I'd take a chance with the sausages. They came out, and really...just hot dogs. Two hot dogs on the plate. That's it. I thought 'maybe they just look like hotdogs but they're really delicious sausages'. So I cute one open, and it looked just like a hot dog. Pressed meat. Normally, this wouldn't bother me too much, because I do enjoy a good dog. But everyone around me was eating delicious pizza....and I was trying to choke down pressed meat drowning in mustard.
I do think I've learned my lesson, always order with your gut, stop trying to be creative. Especially when you're on an island and you don't get a lot of oppurtunities to eat.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Club Cinquante Cinq

One of the ultra hot spots of St Tropez is Club 55, or Cinquante Cinq as the french say. You have to be extremely cool to get into the restaurant, and I'm pretty sure you have to have a reservation at the restaurant in order to enjoy the beach. But enjoy the beach we did (don't worry, we had a reservation)
The beach we had been going to previously was a regular old public french beach. You know, topless ladies....topless 'older' ladies, rough sand and cloudy water. It's fun, don't get me wrong. But the water wasn't screaming 'jump in me'.
When we arrived at Club 55 and our little bungalow, the water was screaming so loudly I almost couldn't hear the kids screaming. But I thought I better wait until after lunch to immerse myself, I didn't want to go into the exclusive restaurant looking haggard. Well more haggard then I already did.

I thought this picture helped depict the large number of yachts anchored in the bay of Club 55. Apparently there are normally a lot more than this, it was a slow day. But seriously, you could almost not see the horizon because it was speckled with massively oversized boats.
Inside the restaurant, we were seated right in the middle. Apparantely that's the favorite table of our hosts. In the center of every table is a garden, literally. You just grab a tomato, some basil, splash on some balsamic and enjoy. Or if you feel like some celery and a radish, that's there too. It was pretty delicious.
We all made Amy translate the menu for us...because our French is not up to par. She did a great job. I ended up having the special, Sea Bass. They cook the whole huge fish, bring it out whole on a platter to show the table, then go back and plate it. It was delicious though, probably some of the best Sea Bass I've ever had.
Oh yeah, and while sitting there enjoying our luxorious lunch, our host yells "hey guys, look, Bono's here" and low and behold, there goes Bono walking by to his hidden table in the corner. Then as my sister purused the reservation card table, she noticed the Oprah was coming in at 4pm, it's too bad we just missed her.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Entertainment

So...I know you'll think I'm crazy, but sometimes when you're on a luxury yacht you can get a bit bored. So, we bought Guitar Hero. And we played it. A lot. Probably more then we should have. Here's a pic of Amy and William battling it out.
They sent me down to the galley to find treats...and treats I found. Emma was there and showed me the secret drawer in the stair that holds all the chocolate, and the secret hatch in the floor that holds all the chips.
Seriously, I never realized it, but they use every last inch of this boat for something. Who knew that the staircase couldn't just be a staircase. It's really a nice stacking of drawers, each one full of some goody or another.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Road to Monaco

So, the weather was a bit hit and miss the first few days in St Tropez...but finally this morning we were scheduled to cruise over to Monaco for the weekend. As you can see, everyone enjoyed sitting out in the sun while cruising.

There are tons of houses dotting the coast...I kept looking at them thinking "wouldn't it be nice"
Oh, and there is a 'tender' to the boat, the mini boat to drive people around in when a 150 footer just gets in the way. So, while we cruise we drag the tender behind the boat. It seems a little uncalled for to drag a $300,000 boat, but I guess in the scheme of things... and you'll notice the flag flying behind the boat is the grand flag of the Cayman Islands. Most of the yachts are registered in the Caymans, I believe for tax purposes...or lack of tax purposes.

So while cruising I went up to the sun deck to relax in the sun. After about an hour I came back down to the bridge deck and noticed everyone was a bit green. It seems that while I was enjoying myself in the sun, everyone below was not enjoying themselves over the edge. My sister Beki and I were the only ones that seemed to make it through without a visit to the edge of the boat.

So, after everyone had dismissed their lunches, the captain and told us we were turning around and going back. Everyone was a bit bummed that they had gone through this ordeal with no reward, but apparently we were scheduled to be 'on anchor' in monaco, and the seas were rough. So no one would enjoy being on a constantly rocking boat....so back to St Tropez we go.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Breakfast on the Boat


So the dining room on the boat is actually on the deck of the second story, outside. But, the weathers always pretty nice so there are no complaints. The first morning I was a bit nervous that I had missed breakfast because it was around 12 noon when I made it upstairs, but low and behold the breakfast buffet was still set out. I felt ultra special, until I realized they keep it out every day until everyone on the boat is awake and fed.

So every morning we enjoy fresh croissants, cereals, cheeses, juices (all fresh squeezed, seriously) etc. It was heavenly....all while enjoying a beautiful view of St Tropez.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I'm Here

So. I made it. After flying and running and carrying my sisters kids around airports and flying some more...I made it. I flew into Nice (pronounced Neece, in case you were wondering) but Nice is not where I stayed. We immediately headed to St Tropez to board the ship. Lovingly named, My Little Violet, after the eldest daughter whom recently turned 3.



A photo of the 'Violet'. I was shown my quarters, which are on the lower deck. I share a room with my sister Amy. I don't know why, but I was suprised to see each room had it's own gorgeous marble bathroom. And everything is the boat is top notch. From the wood, to the art, to the carpet, to the tv's.

The Violet has a crew of about 15. That includes the Captain, deck hands, stewards, chefs, etc. It is just like staying in a hotel, except better. Not only because it floats, but because you can whatever you want, whenever you want. As embarassing as it is to ask for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, they make a heavenly one.

So I'll be enjoying the 2 weeks of stay aboard the Violet....

 
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