Friday, October 31, 2008

Quick Trips: Austin and San Antonio... y'all!

Last week, I was in Austin and San Antonio. It was for work, but I did get to sneak in a few fun lunches.

Austin boasts the mothership of Whole Foods. I was super excited and was told it was several stories high, had resturants inside, a clothing area, etc. This is not your typical Whole Foods. Thankfully my co-worker are cool and went along with my craziness.

I took a picture inside the store and promptly got jumped on by an employee. I guess pictures are not allowed. I didn't argure, since she didn't ask me to delete it. So... here's just a quick look at the inside, looking at all the cafe area.

Isn't it awesome! I opted to do the "salad bar" style lunch, that way I could try lots of different thing. I don't get this type of food often, so I was going to take full advantage!

This is my delish lunch! Complete with the 100% recycleable box I put all the organic food into. I'm such a nerd, but at least a healthy one!

That's about all I got to see of Austin, but it seemed like a nice place.

From Austin, our crew drove to San Antonio for the next stop. Again, didn't get to see too much of the city, but my great co-workers offered to take me to the Riverwalk for lunch. I've only seen it on TV (Pistons v. San Antonio Spurs), and was super excited to see the sights. We had an authentic Mexican feast!

So cool! Wish we would have had time to do some shopping, but we were, after all, there for business. It would have been cool to see it at night, with all of the lights, but I'm just happy to have been able to see it at all. It was a little chilly that day, but nice enough that we were able to sit outside.

I've been MIA since last week... just a tough week. Thankfully, I've been home, but been working too much and have had something going on every night. More on that later...

Hope everyone has a happy halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Here comes the bride...

It was a beautiful wedding and we had such a fun weekend.

Friday morning, JP and I headed across the state so I could meet up with the girls for a group mani/pedi. We went to one of those school salons, which I had never done before. JP didn't think it was a good idea, but I told him it would be fine and much cheaper. Well, it was cheaper, but it wasn't the best job. The bride's looked good though, so I gues mine don't matter too much. The other two bridesmaids didn't say anything to me, so I was kinda dreading spending time with them for the rest of the weekend. Everything was all set up, so I headed back to the hotel to grab a quick snack with JP and get ready for rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

Rehearsal was COLD! We were all wrapped up in our coats, praying it would be warmer the next day. Afterwards, the dinner was lovely. It was located in the little downtown, in what was once a piano factory. Very cool. Of course, the two bitchy bridesmaids didn't introduce themselves to JP and didn't introduce their significant others to us. Grrr... We did get to know the best man and his wife, who live overseas. We hit it off with them right away.

Saturday morning, we met and spent the morning primping and making sure everything was ready to go. The bride was in great spirits, not nervous at all. We did some photos and then just had to wait. About ten minutes before walking down the aisle, we popped open the champagne and toasted the new bride. All of a sudden, it hit her. Nerves took over and we weren't sure her legs were going to hold her up.

The ceremony was beautiful, the park was gorgeous and the weather was sunny and not too cold. Surpisingly, I got a little emotional. Afterwards, we hopped on a trolley and toured the town and went to take pictures down by the beach. BEAUTIFUL!

The reception was tons of fun. The grooms parents were having the time of their lives, we were doing shots at the bar with the brides entire family -- including grandpa (who I couldn't keep up with, by the way), and the music was really good. The night was so much fun that when the reception ended at 11:30 pm, the new couple weren't ready to call it a night. So, a small group of us extended the reception to a local bar. It was perfect because it was empty, so we had it all to ourselves, and there was a live band. I took on the responsibility of getting the bride and groom to their hotel room safely, so I didn't drink so much. The others... not so much...

Let's just say the bride, best man, grooms father and JP were still drunk when they woke up Sunday morning. Not so great when we have to be at the brides family for brunch. We were all a little rough, and nothing fixes that like some spiked coffee and cheesy hashbrowns! :)

Since the best man and his wife live overseas, all he wanted to do while he was in town was watch some American footall. And, since we hadn't had enough to drink all weekend, we decided to meet up with them, on our side of the state, to watch football and... drink some more. GREAT weekend and I was actually physically sore from all the fun we had!!!

In Texas this week, so more on my great adventures later. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Weather Report: Sunny, but a bit chilly

This is a snapshot of what the weather report looks like for where the wedding is this weekend. Keep in mind, it's an outdoor wedding, near the water and the dresses are strapless. Nonetheless it's going to be absolutely beautiful. A pretty fall wedding outside in a park. Super excited!
We're headed over to the other side of the state tomorrow morning. Can't wait!
Good luck to everyone running a marathon (or half) this weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dear, Aquarius

Aquarius - October 14, 2008

Your boat is likely to be rocked today, dear Aquarius, to the point where you and all of your belongings could go overboard. Be prepared to swim for shore. Grounding and stability are the keys to maintaining a healthy headspace, especially when it comes to your ever-fluctuating emotions. Issues regarding the home and people's possessions are likely to surface in a dramatic manner. Listen to your heart for the answers. (

I don't believe in horoscopes, and mostly just look at them when I'm having a bad day and need a little entertainment. But, geez. They sure seem to be right-on at times. Of course, they're always written in such a way that it could seem to be written just for you, for a variety of reasons.

I've been way emotional today, totally in my head and it's just been an all around bad day. And, I'm anticipating a "dramatic" conversation tonight at home... Ironic, huh?

Maybe tomorrow my horoscope will tell me fame, fortune and stunning good looks are around the corner -- oh wait, I already have all of that. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reasons Why I Run:

1. Relatively low chances of slamming head first into a tree
2. No need for crazy gear to get used to (read: hand brakes, gears, etc.)
3. My ass doesn't hurt this much running
4. I'm too old to fall off of...

... a mountain bike.

Really, though, I had a great time biking this weekend. Saturday, after I landed from Phoenix, JP and I biked along the 8-mile paved path at the local metro park. It felt easier than the first time, so we were pleased with our improvement. And, were lured into believing we were ready for prime time.

Sunday morning, we met my parents for brunch, took a perfect Sunday afternoon nap, and then decided we were ready to try a mountain bike trail ride. We went to a local state park, where the trails are supposedly good for beginners. Yeah.

We rode about 2 miles into the park before we got to the trail. We were really excited and knew that it wouldn't be super easy. I didn't think I'd fear for my life. I think I needed to start off on a dirt trail with a few little twists and turns. NOT hills, tight turns, huge stone that looked more like boulders, tree roots that were more like logs ... you get the picture. Every time I went downhill, I prayed to the trail gods I wouldn't slam into a tree. Every time I went uphill, my legs were burning like crazy and I tried not to slip backwards. I admit, we did get off a few times to walk up/down the hills. It was just too tough for us. Thankfully it wasn't too busy, so we didn't upset the pros by our slowness.

We did about 1 1/2 miles before there was a break in the trail and we could jump off and back onto the paved trail. I was a bit disappointed we couldn't do more, but we have to start somewhere. Besides, I've never been on an adult bike until a couple weeks ago. And here I am, trying to tackle the trails. (Like my self-talk so I don't feel so bad?). We were dirty, sweaty and loved every second of it. Obviously, we have to work on it and get into better shape, but we had a great time. I said that I need to toughen up a bit, too. It was scary!

I forgot my camera, so still no pics of my new bike. Here's the website photo, though:

It's the Giant Yukon. Mine's blue and silver and I LOVE IT! I just loved being outdoors (although I'm covered with mosquito bites), getting back into shape and spending some time with JP. In the past, we each did our own thing to work out, so this is a nice change. It was a great workout and I slept so soundly last night. It's still beautiful fall weather, so we're hoping to get a ride in tonight after work. Yay for being active again!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I feel like shopping

Landed in Phoenix this afternoon... much better than Houston. This is what I did tonight ~

A little fashion on display...

Before the fashion show...

We were welcomed by a well-known designer. Look familiar? My client is a sponsor of PR, and he was a guest of a women's business conference. He's super sweet and was definitley enjoying himself. I was invited to do dinner/drinks with him and the crew afterwards, but the autograph/photo line was way too long, and I was starving and just wanted to get back to my hotel room. Plus, I hadn't touched email all day since I was on the plane for the majority of the day. Oh well. I'm not a die hard fan and when a girl's gotta eat, a girl's gotta eat. :) Oh did I mention that when he first got to the hotel, I rode up in the elevator with him and a few of the runway models. Yeah... nothing to boost your self-esteem like standing next to several beautiful, tall, slender models. :)

Throughout the show, they had a dance troupe. Check this out... CRAZY!

The runway showcased Macy's finest and the only problem is now I feel like shopping. Anyway, back in the hotel catching up on email and getting ready for another program tomorrow. I must say, though, Phoenix is a really nice place. I was immediately greeted by the warm weather. The landscape was gorgeous with the mountains in the backdrop, and my hotel room overlooks the entire city.

Okay, so it's like 1:30 a.m. back home and I'm tired. Better wrap up and get a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Home Sweet Home

A tad exhausted, but happy to be home!

Saturday was a FABULOUS time out celebrating with my college roommate! Last big night out as a single gal! We partied in our hotel, downtown Grand Rapids, had a delish dinner at a great tapas place and then danced until 3 a.m. (Yes, my foot was killing me by the end of the night. And, I wore flats!). Still not a fan of the other two bridesmaids, but after the wedding I'll hopefully not have to interact with them again. It makes me so livid that they can't get past themselves to remember that this is all about our friend. Grrr.... Oh well, we didn't let them ruin our good time! :)

Sunday I packed up and headed to hot and humid Houston for work. Not the best biz trip ever... it's sad when the highlight of the trip was a first-time experience at a Waffle House. Hahahahaha -- I do have to admit the hashbrowns were good (unless I was just starving and they tasted good!). JP and I literally passed in the air today -- I was heading home when he was heading to Houston. Too bad we couldn't coordinate better and try to have lunch or something in Texas. :)

Plus, his brother was on the way down to visit their father. Today was a very busy travel day. Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes. JP's dad is home recovering now and in great spirits. Please keep the healing thoughts coming -- I appreciate it more than you know!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Drama, drama, drama

... and it's not even mine!

Life is a tad stressful right now... Let me start by saying that I love my family and friends dearly. I'm glad they feel comfortable with me to share their feelings and come to me if they need an ear and shoulder for support. But... all this has happened in the last few days...
  • The ongoing stress of JP's dad's health (getting stronger everyday - thanks for all your "get well" thoughts!)
  • A girlfriend that lives too far away is going through a tough time. Dumb boys. :)
  • Some dear friends are going through a rocky phase (?) in their marriage
  • Stupid bridesmaids. No bridezilla here, it's her dumb other bridesmaids. (I am by far the best maid of honor EVER!) :)

My "to-do" list is getting out of control and I'm trying not to get overwhelmed.

Saturday is the bachlorette party -- SUPER EXCITED! I fly out for Houston on Sunday night. I return Tuesday and fly out to Phoenix on Thursday. Return on Saturday morning. So lots to get ready!!!!

On a good news note, the doctor said I'm doing great and I can start walking more and ease into running. She stressed it was running 1 mile one day, 1.5 miles the next day if I'm okay, 2 miles the next day... no jumping into an "easy" 5-miler. I'm really pleased with this and ready to start getting out there again. You know, after all the craziness dies down a bit.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!