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Day 2: The Christ & Jardim Botanico

May 27, 2013

This morning we woke up bright & early to head to Cristo Redentor.  I think my husband had been waiting most of his life for this moment, so he was up and ready to go!  I still wanted to sleep in, so we did compromise a bit.  After we want to our new favorite Patisserie for breakfast, we caught a cab over to the Redentor.   I very much love the cab rides in Brasil, they are crazy and fast.  Great for an impatient girl like me.  You can tell when you are approaching a main attraction, there are crowds everywhere…a welcome sight!!  There was a nice waiting area as you had to wait for your designated time to ride the tram.  There were old tram cars and time to kill, so a few photos were in order!





Thew views were amazing and we were lucky the crowds were not too bad.  The temperature was perfect, the weather was perfect, and I wanted to stay up there forever.  Unfortunately the food at the cafe was disgusting, but it did the trick and the view was worth the over priced grilled cheese.



After finishing we decided to head on over to the Jardim Botanico a.k.a the Botanical Gardens.  It was a very quiet place despite being in the middle of the city.


Day 1: Rio Arrival

May 9, 2013

The day has finally come for our trip to Brasil!!  We have been planning on going somewhere for our 10 year anniversary, but had a big of trouble deciding on where that would be.  We wanted somewhere with things to do, but ultimately wanted to just take it easy by the beach as well.  One destination came to mind…Rio.  We made our plans, booked the Copacabana Palace and were off to celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss.  We arrived into Rio after a 9 hour uneventful flight from ATL.



Upon our arrival, we promptly went to the Copacabana and our room was ready for us.


It is such a nice hotel that has a very authentic feel for Brasil.  The service is great and the staff is wonderful.  The location is amazing as well.  It is right in the middle of all the action making it feel very safe and accessible.  It was pouring down crazy rain, so we settled in and freshened up and promptly headed out.  The great thing about the weather here is that when it rains, it is generally short-lived, so it doesn’t alter your plans much.  The first area we explored was Santa Teresa.  It is the oldest portion of Rio and has a ton of charm.  Unfortunately, it seemed somewhat deserted the day we arrived, but can definitely see that it has a lot of potential on the weekend.



After exploring a bit there, my husband was dying to get to Sugarloaf Mountain, so we made a beeline over to that area.  There were not any crowds so we did not have to wait long at all.  It was a bit cloudy, but still had great views.  I can see why it is a favorite.  We grabbed a drink and watched the sun set over Rio.  It was a great end to a great day.




I understand why people like it here to so much.  The people are very friendly and it is beautiful.  Everyone is so friendly and seemingly carefree exhibited by the great group of people on top of Sugarloaf at sunset.  I hope to go back before we leave.  We have come at a time that is not high season (mid November-mid March) so the crowds are low and the weather is perfect.  We are going to have a great time!

We ended our evening eating at a local establishment O Rei das Empanadas.  You know you are going authentic when there is zero English spoken.  That said, they have great empanadas and is highly recommended!!!


April 13, 2013

I have just returned from a nice little trip to Dallas, this time sans the flu.  I was in Dallas two weeks prior and spent most of it in the bathroom of the Mariott…just sayin’.    We had a great meeting complete with a lot of work and a lot of fun.  We started things off West Coast style with the H@rlem Sh@ke.  Yes, that is me in Hammer pants.  Don’t judge.  I love them.


We were then able to take in a Dallas specialty Ep!c Cones.  It was like two slices of gooey goodness pizza rolled into a cone you ate from a candle holder.  De-lish!


We wrapped up our meeting with a friendly game of family feud that turned not so friendly when I realized I wasn’t going to be winning.  Not that I am competitive or anything.  We were the Brady family taking on the Robertson family.



What up with my expression???  We had a great time, despite the incriminating evidence!

Hi Ho, Hi Ho off to Brans0n we go…

April 7, 2013

One of the nice things about where we live is that we are proximal to Branson.  Some view that as good, some view it as bad, but I am okay with it.  S!lver D0llar C!ty has a lot to offer for children and our kids love it.  While our kids love it and like to get out to do/see new things, this weekend was not Andrew’s best.  The poor guy was acting very feisty which is not the norm for our fun-loving, easy-going little man.  As our children get older, we are getting more adventurous and putting all 4 of us in one hotel room.  This has been a hard stop in the past for traveling, but Ainsley’s sleep is evening out and Andrew is generally a good sleeper, thus we tend to roll the dice.  This weekend, we came up on the short end of that gamble with Andrew up most of the night even after a 30 minute screaming fit.  My suspicions were confirmed when we arrived home…double ear infection!  I will have to say, he is one tough little guy, he still had a pretty good time!

We started off with a ride on the Ducks, which turned out to be an adventure.  We boarded our ill fated vessel and it broke down in the middle of the Highway that goes through town.  Lucky me!!!  After sitting in the middle of the road for 30 minutes, they sent in a replacement duck.  The whole trip took 2 hours.  I would definitely dub this activity a once in a lifetime experience.  Literally, this is the only time in my life I will be doing this.

Andrew trying to escape the madness…


Each ride came with a quacker…ahh, the gift that keeps on giving…


Andrew did enjoy the dog with his head out the window feature…there was enough wind to go around…


Then it was off to the hotel for some splash time and fun.  At least it was fun until the all night screaming started…


After much coffee, we were off to SDC!!! We had a great time, the weather was great and the kids had a blast.


We spent a good majority of the day at the park then it was time to make the trek home.   All the way home Ainsley was able to use her new favorite toy, the gift that keeps on giving. Honk Honk!


Momma been cray cray!

April 4, 2013

I last blogged after my wonderful trip to Miami.  Then I got promoted.  Then there was Christmas.  Then there was a super busy March.  And life continued on with two amazing toddlers.  Things are still moving at an obscene pace, but are starting to slow down just enough where I can start breathing again.   When you start college they refer to the freshman 15, the same holds true for the first year of a new job.  I am now three months in and it has been a huge learning experience, but sometimes I am just grabbing things as fast as they can when they spin through my head.  As a corporate working mother, I have a few choice words for Ms. Sandberg, but that is another post for another day.  I digress…

Christmas was amazing.  Andrew was old enough this year to at least be able to appreciate the fact that he gets toys.  Ainsley now understands (or has at least memorized) what Christmas means and the birth of Jesus.   I love watching them grow, but it is always so bittersweet.


Right after Christmas I was promoted and have been to NYC, AR, Dallas, Denver, & LA.  I don’t really have any photographic gems of my travels, but all the trips have been pretty good.  I hope to get more photographic evidence as time progresses.  I do have one of my team, poor souls…having me for a boss surely will be a trip!


We had a wonderful Easter.  Complete with rest and family time.  I would not have it any other way.  We are soon off to Brazil for our 10 year anniversary.  I can’t wait!!!

Welcome to Miami.

November 24, 2012

One of the more favorable of my work destinations was last week in Miami.  I don’t know how I got so lucky to be in Miami during the best weather I could ask for with some of my favorite people.  I am blessed with amazing co workers.

Though our meetings were very long, to the tune of 12 hours per day and sometimes stressful, we had an amazing time.

I had the most amazing Cuban food at Larios in South Beach followed by the best sandwiches at La Sandwicherie.  I had the turkey & camembert with extra avocado.  Deslish!  We ended our trip with an evening at Lincoln road.  I would highly recommend Miami for a quick get away!

The Kansas Experience

November 20, 2012

As previously mentioned I travel a bit for my job.  Some destinations are glorious, some…not so much.  I had the pleasure of fulfilling my duties to a destination that would fall into the latter.  Wichita, KS.  Nuf said.  I believe I was in such excitement about my destination that I decided it would be the best idea in the whole world to pack up my two toddlers and my husband to share in my road trip experience.  Looking back, it was not my finest decision, but what the hey.  I am all over adventure, and adventure we had.  We set out to complete our 6.5 hour road trip late in the afternoon.  After naps.  Meaning my lovely children would be awake during the whole journey.  In retrospect, I believe that is when I had officially lost all sanity.  They were troopers, and it wasn’t all bad.  There was the throwback to my childhood with the park in Parsons, KS.  I love all the non-OSHA approved equipment!  The slide even shook when you went down!  I will admit, it brought back some great memories!

The jail like swing.  It always reminded me of a cell door clinking shut.  If you want out of the swing, you better move fast or that metal bar will leave a dent.

The shaky slide.

The old wooden “seeder todder” as Ainsley calls them.

And really a no trip through the heartland would be complete without an appearance from my creepy windmill friends.

Once we arrived at the hotel, we proceeded to park our truck in the parking structure which is when I proceeded to SIDE SWIPE A CAR WITH MY DOOR.  If you hear the rumors about the wind in Kansas–ALL TRUE.  There were small dogs flying though the air that night and that is what caught my door and gave the neighboring car a new paint job.  We left a note on the car and we are fixing it, if you are wondering.

Once we checked in, we started the daunting task of getting the kids to bed.  Except, they were not tired.  Of course they were not tired, they essentially sat on their rumps for the previous 6.5 hours.  It was time to par-tay!  They eventually went to bed around 11:30 and my son tossed & moaned all night (he had the beginnings of an ear infection) with his final wake up coming at 4:45 am.  What do you do with a toddler in a hotel at 4:45 am?  I am not sure, but we were all up for the day.  The only problem is that I had to give a presentation to my closest 300 friends on very little sleep.  I give you exhibit A–sleep deprivation.

Suffice to say, I had A LOT of caffiene that day.  I was essentially twitching when I gave my presentation.  Needless to say, we ripped out of there right after it was finished.  We did arrive home safely that evening with a lot of memories.

Oh Dorthy, there is no place like home!!

Come and gone.

November 5, 2012

October is always such a wild month for us.  We have a pumpkin patch and essentially for 8 weeks (especially the last 4) we go into a dark hole full of 20 different varieties of pumpkins.  While the kids love being out at the PP every weekend/evening/morning/afternoon…you get the drift, it is exhausting.   Don’t get me wrong, I love being outdoors with nature, and all the things that come along with it, but by the end of October we are all over it..  But there is a bright side-all the cute pictures!  We get unlimited access to a very festive environment where my SIL and I essentially take photos for a month straight.  I took over 1000 pictures this year, here are a few highlights!

Working hard…

Playing hard…

A picture with the only child I could catch…

Our token pig chasers discussing their pregame strategy…

Ainsley never missed a pig scramble yet never won.  I think she likes the thrill of the chase, just like her mama.

Halloween was so cute, complete with a feisty fairy…

Who was instantly cured when her pirate mate showed up…

Happy Halloween!!

September 28, 2012

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Hindu nuptials of my friend/boss in Detroit.  As a Christian from the midwest, I must admit I have not had a lot of exposure to differing cultural marriage ceremonies, but this wedding was a great introduction!  It was the most amazing wedding I have been to, across any culture.  My friend looked amazing and the festivities were over top in a good way.  I arrived on Saturday, just in time to see the groom arrive on his horse and the dancing in the street.  They blocked off the street and it was a party complete with traveling DJ.  I was ready to get right out there!  Bring on the party!

After the groom’s arrival, there was a slight break then the 2 hour ceremony began.  Props to the bride and groom for their stamina!  The ceremony was a bit odd for me as at a Christian ceremony people sit at attention and don’t move.  In this ceremony people came and went, got coffee, played on their phones, talked.  It was odd.  The only people who did sit at attention were the Westerners.  It was a beautiful ceremony.  They had the ceremony broadcasted onto two screens as it was hard to see what was going on up on the stage.

They threw a fabulous reception complete with trapeeze artists…

Another charming part of the ceremony is that the wedding party spent hours putting on skits and traditional dances for the bride and groom.  It was really sweet and portrayed a wondeful sense of family.  I had a great time with my friends who attended.  I am so very lucky to enjoy getting together with my coworkers and knowing that we are a close group.  I truly enjoy getting to see them and feel very blessed to have such great friends.

Colorado Day 3-Maroon Bells

September 16, 2012

One day we went to Maroon Bells which is quite possibly the prettiest mountain scene ever.  I believe it is one of the most photographed locations in Colorado and I understand why.  We have been coming to Colorado over the summer since 1998 but only discovered this gem three years ago.  It is such a great place just to take in the scenery.  I believe a lot of people fish, but that of course is too much work for me.  I just stick with the camera shots.