Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bermuda

Last week Kristian and I went on a fantastic vacation in Bermuda. We went with another couple, one of Kristian's best friends from childhood and one of my friends/coworkers who are now dating thanks to my wonderful matchmaking abilities.

I will admit Bermuda was never really on my radar as a place I wanted to travel too. Not for any particular reason other than it's not a place that I hear much about, but our friend Josh has been there several times and suggested it when we were trying to figure out where to go. What I didn't realize was that Bermuda is not in the Caribbean, it's actually just off the coast of South Carolina (geography is not my strong suit), making it only a 2 hour direct flight from DC.

My mother agreed to come and watch Hunter for the week so that we could have a nice relaxing trip and focus on being husband and wife rather than mommy and daddy. And let's face it, Hunter LOVES his time with nana.



We left on Saturday at 10:30am out of Reagan National. It was our first time flying first class which was pretty exciting. Since it was such a short flight we didn't have too much time to enjoy it however, in my opinion the best part was being some of the first people off the plane and in line getting through customs. 



 We were able to get two rooms next to each other with an ocean view at the Grotto Bay Beach Resort. It was only about a 5 minute drive from the airport and about a 20 minute drive from the city of Hamilton, so very conveniently located. 

The resort was great, there was a pool with a swim-up bar, private beach area, two indoor restaurants and an outdoor restaurant and the best part (and why we choose it) there are caves...that you can swim in...and get spa treatments in. It was pretty awesome. There were actually a lot of families there with young kids and a lot of Europeans. Everyone including the locals that we met and the other tourists were incredibly friendly.





Anytime we go anywhere tropical Kristian becomes obsessed with lizards and trying to catch them. Well he did end up catching one on the second day. The rest of them were a bit too quick for him.

We spent most days on the beach or by the pool. The first day the weather wasn't great, cloudy and rainy on and off but after that it was gorgeous and would just typically rain at night. It was warm without being super hot or humid and the water was great.




The caves were really cool, they were only open from 9am-5pm and you were allowed to go down and swim (at your own risk, no lifeguard). The water was REALLY cold, so I only got in once...briefly, but Kristian got in everyday and would swim around. He loved it.






Our view was pretty amazing everyday.


We ate dinner together as a group three nights and two of the nights we did our own thing to have private couple time. We got the all inclusive food/drink package at the resort which I HIGHLY recommend. The cost of food and drinks down there is VERY expensive. The all inclusive was $100/per person per day which was a bargain. For example had we not been on the package then one of our lunches, just the two of us, of chicken tenders/fries and a fish sandwich with two diet cokes would have cost $60. Yeah. 

The food was pretty good and they had a nice selection to choose from so overall we were very happy with that.

Our traveling buddies- Josh and Cathie. We all had a blast together. 

Spinach and lobster ravioli.

Some Duck dish (it was my husbands)









Definitely one of the highlights was getting a couples massage down in the caves. They have a separate section of the caves just for spa treatments and Kristian and I did two different couples massages down there. Very cool and relaxing. Cathie and I also got facials together but those were done in their spa room.
One of the nights the resort hosted a BBQ dinner out by the pool which included some Bermudian dancers and music. It was a great night. 





On our last full day we all went into the city of Hamilton together to get lunch and do some shopping. Bermuda is a very clean, safe and beautiful island. I always felt very comfortable off of the resort and just walking around the streets unlike some other overseas destinations (i.e. Jamaica). In fact I felt safer walking around Hamilton than I do certain parts of DC. 

There are many high end shops right by the water and this is where the cruise ships let off. After a couple of hours of shopping (including my husband buying me a GORGEOUS David Yurman ring) we headed back to the resort to change and relax a bit.


That night we headed back to Hamilton for dinner and drinks and to check out the Harbor Nights that they do every Wednesday. They shut down the main street and set up little booths where vendors sell various items. We had a blast and stayed out until the bar closed.






While we were out at the bar hanging out with one of the locals we made friends with we ended up meeting the guy below (I don't remember his name) but he's basically one of the most famous guys on the island. Back in the 70/80's he was a world famous Cricket player on the Bermuda team, from what I gathered he was sort of like the Michael Jordan of Bermuda Cricket. Nowadays he owns a lot of restaurants/bars and apparently is co-owner of the resort we stayed at. He was super nice and we talked to him for a while.


This is Jamie, one of the locals we met and became friends with. We hung out with him and his wife and they were both the sweetest people. Jamie seemed to know everyone, perks of living on a small island I guess.


We flew back on Thursday and had a very long travel day including a 5 hour layover in Philly, all so we could wait for a flight that took less than an hour back to DC. We seriously considered just renting a car and driving back from Philly but we would have had to sit in rush hour traffic shich none of us felt very motivated to do so we just hung around the airport and finally got home around midnight.

Overall, we loved Bermuda. Of the four places we've gone together - Jamaica, St. Lucia, Grand Cayman and Bermuda it was our second favorite with St. Lucia being our favorite because well...honeymoon. I highly recommend a trip there but just make sure to go in the summer months, since it's not in the Caribbean it can get a bit chilly and not very beach-like in the off season. We would definitely go back again.



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life Lately

It's hard to believe it's already August and summer is almost over. We've been pretty busy with places to go and errands to run every weekend and it seems that time is just flying by.

A few weeks ago we went down to my in-laws beach house for the weekend and as usual had a wonderfully relaxing weekend. Hunter just adores going to the beach house and being with his grandparents. He can't get enough of digging in the sand, playing on the deck and just exploring a new place. This past trip we took him out on the boat for the first time and after a little bit of initial hesitation he just loved it. Every weekend he asks if we can go back.


A few months back we made a donation to the local fire department and with that donation we were able to get some family photos taken (pets included!) and pick out a free 10x13 photo from the session (with the option to buy more). Well a couple weeks ago was the photo shoot and despite Hunter tripping and falling while we waited and getting a bloody nose right before we had to get our picture taken, the photos turned out great. I chose the below family shot for our free 10x13 and also ordered a 5x7 of the photo with just Hunter and Moxie. I can't get over how much older Hunter looks with his haircut short.

Kristian and I are gearing up for our trip to Bermuda in a couple weeks. Yep we're going to Bermuda for a week with another couple that we are friends with. Actually I played matchmaker and set my friend/coworker up with one of Kristian's best friends. They hit it off immediately and have basically been inseparable for two months now and we are all going on this trip together and cannot wait!! Hunter will be staying stateside with my mom for the week and I know he will love his nana time while mommy and daddy are off relaxing on the beach with a cocktail or 10.

The professional photos from my brothers wedding were posted and I think they all turned out great and I'm dying over all the really cute shot that she got of Hunter and even a few cute ones of me and my hubby. I may end up having as many photos framed of their wedding as I do my own. Once all the photos are uploaded to a photosharing site I will post more but below is a fantastic family shot that was taken during the reception.


*photo by Angela Perez Photography


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2.5

I stopped doing monthly updates for H after he turned 2 but I now that he's officially 2 1/2 (as of June 30th) I wanted to do a small update on what he's been up to lately so that I don't forget years from now.

Hunter has really turned into Mr. Personality, he's such a little ham and he is fortunately growing out of his stranger danger phase. He now very happily talks to cashiers when checking out at the store, saying hi to everyone he passes and trying to have full on conversations with random people we come into contact with. He knows how to turn on the charm with the ladies and whenever he's around older boys or my husbands friends he just wants to rough house and run around and do whatever he can to impress them.

He is still very much a mama's boy and one of his favorite phrases that he uses almost daily is "mommy's pretty". I think he does this in part because he knows I will basically give him whatever he wants when he says it. He will also comment on what I'm wearing and say things like "pretty dress", one time I put on a long maxi style dress and he said "mama go on wedding show?" Yes I still watch wedding shows and Hunter is not a fan of them in fact everytime I have the remote he says "I don't like wedding shows". For the record I don't always watch wedding shows.

Hunter is now about 90% potty trained. He only wears diapers for nap time and bedtime. Otherwise he's in underwear and very rarely has an accident. He's very good about telling us when he needs to go and is able to hold it for quite a while if we're out running errands. He also now prefers to stand up when he pees so that he "can be like daddy".

Hunter has gotten much better with independent play and we've noticed him using his imagination a lot more while playing. He has an "imaginary friend" who he has named Fallax and will give us details about what he looks like and the things he does when asked. Apparently Fallax has blue hair, blue eyes and is 9 years old. Right now he's obsessed with monster trucks and matchbox cars. Those are his favorite but he also still enjoys playing with buses, construction trucks, legos and his wooden train set. He still loves to ride his glider bike outside and will go the entire length of the sidewalk without putting his feet on the ground. His favorite shows are Super Why (this is is #1), Mickey Mouse, Little Einsteins and Chuggington.

He is still sleeping in his crib. He still hasn't tried to climb out (which amazes me) and sleeps so well in it that we figure why mess with a good thing. We will convert it to a toddler bed by the time he's 3 unless there is reason to do it sooner, such as night time potty training. He still take one 2-3 hour nap a day and sleep from around 8pm - 6:30am.

Hunter is talking really well. He speaks in complete sentences and can hold a conversation with someone. He also has an amazing memory and will mention things that happened weeks/months ago. He is really into the repeating phase and will constantly say the same words and phrases that we say often. For instance the cat was meowing at the door wanting to go outside and Hunter yells "Halpert, maybe you can go outside later". He also like to correct us if we are playing with something wrong or doing something incorrectly. He will say "no mama, like this". He also always wants to know what we are doing or where we are and the other day when Kristian and I were in the kitchen he yelled "whatchu guys doing in there?" He is also quite bossy and demanding right now, he will tell me "mama sit on couch now" or when I'm trying to play with one of his toys
he will say "no mama, not like that, like this".

The tantrums have picked up a bit as he tries to become more independent but overall he's really well behaved and seems to do best when we sit calmly and explain to him why he can't have something or why he is in timeout. He is very inquisitive and always wants to know 'why'.

He is still just such a joy and we are so blessed he's ours.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Big Brother's Wedding

My older brother Michael is now officially a married man. He and his wife Melissa, were married on June 7th up in York, PA. It was a beautiful wedding and everyone had a wonderful time. It was such a pleasure seeing my brother so happy and marrying such a wonderful woman. We've all waited a very long time for him to find the right person and he finally has!

Kristian, Hunter and I were all in the wedding party which made things a bit chaotic at times, trying to figure out who would watch Hunter while we were doing our bridesmaid/groomsmen duties but it all worked out in the end thanks to family and friends.

The rehearsal went well and Hunter did great at dinner even though it was about 3 hours long and lasted until past his bedtime. He was very well behaved and just the cutest thing, everyone kept commenting on what a good boy he was.



The future Mr. and Mrs. 

I love this photo which was taken by Melissa's brother with is fancy camera.


Hunter got a little fishing kit including a vest as his ring bearer gift. 


Hunter did pretty well going down the aisle. Being that he's only 2 1/2 you just never know what to expect. He did great in rehearsal but got a little overwhelmed once the pews were full of people. I really couldn't even see him from where I was standing at the front of the church but I'm told he walked most of the way and then ran towards the end. Once he saw me he ran over, grabbed my legs and cried. I tried to get him to quiet down but he wouldn't. Fortunately the organ was still playing very loudly so it wasn't too noticeable. My other sister-in-law came over and grabbed him real quick and tried to settle him into the pew with her but he wouldn't calm down so she took him and my niece (the flower girl) who is 6 out to the lobby of the church. Not sure what we would have done if she hadn't been there to take them out. As for formal pictures, I haven't seen them so I'm hoping the ones that he is in came out okay. The photographer said she got some where he was looking but not really smiling. So that's not too bad.

With my new sister-in-law right before going down the aisle. I LOVE her dress. The lace at the top of the dress actually was a separate piece that she took off during the reception. I also loved my dress which I was able to choose myself. All the bridesmaids had different style and color dresses. It was a vintage theme. 

The cutest little ring bearer ever. He has his GQ pose down pat!

Me and MY Groom. It was so nice getting to walk down another aisle with him. Brought back so many wonderful memories.



The reception went well. Hunter got a bit antsy at dinner but once the dancing started and he could get up he was fine. Since he decided to start finally using the potty right before the trip there were a lot of trips to the bathroom. He was wearing a diaper the whole time, just in case, but he did well with going on the potty despite his diaper. And even though he wasn't able to nap all day he partied until he was in the car at 10pm where he proceeded to pass out and sleep until 9am the next morning.
The Happy Couple!


My brother and his groomsmen which included my husband, my other brother, his best friend from childhood (who flew in from Namibia for the wedding!) and Melissa's brother. 

Me and my gorgeous mama. I loved her dress as well!

After MANY MANY attempts this was the best family photo we could get.

The photo booth was a blast!


I kept having flashforwards of us dancing together at his wedding one day. I know the time will go by way too fast.

I think this if officially my favorite picture of Hunter from the end of the night in our hotel room. I plan to put this in his senior yearbook. 

The whole weekend was pretty exhausting and non stop but we all had such a wonderful time with my family. Hunter really enjoyed his first wedding and even now a few weeks later says "Go to wedding?" Now we get to look forward to the newlyweds moving into their new house just up the street from us and hopefully a future niece or nephew in the near future.