Sunday, November 9, 2014

Paradise and Sunshine

I'm trying to get in the habit of writing more often. Step one: catch up.

Most people know that Zach and I went to the Bahamas for our honeymoon, but that's about it.

Zach planned out our whole honeymoon almost a year before the wedding. It was a complete surprise to me, which was great because I love surprises. At least, I love good surprises. It wasn't hard for Zach to keep it a secret for me because I didn't want to know. I wasn't snooping around for clues or trying to pry things out of him. My office even made it a thing where they pinned up a map on my cubicle and my coworkers put pins where they thought we would go:

Ryan was right and won $40
Flashback to the Monday after our wedding. Zach and I woke up, finished packing the rest of our stuff, and headed to his parent's house in Edina. His mom drove us to the airport so that we wouldn't have to pay for parking the whole week or take a taxi to the airport. All I knew is that we were flying Delta, and our first flight was landing in Atlanta. Those two clues together told me absolutely nothing.

We got to the kiosks in the airport and Zach checked us both in, and we headed over to the sky priority lines. I said, "Zach....those are Sky Priority lines," and he said, "we are Sky Priority."

First Class! Although, with the flight being an early Monday morning, Sky Priority was just as busy with businesspeople traveling as the regular lines. The regular security lines might have even been faster!

We boarded the plane and were served drinks and breakfast! On real dishes, with real silverware!

There were even little bitty salt and pepper shakers!
I don't have any more photos until we landed at our final destination, but we landed in Atlanta, and Zach brought us to the correct terminal, and then had us walk around to all of the gates and guess where our destination would be. At the time, I actually guessed Nassau...and then asked Zach where Nassau was. It's a good thing I guessed right, because he said we would only get on the airplane if I was correct!

We landed in the Bahamas and it took us about an hour and a half to get all the way through customs. Once through, we went to the Sandals office and waited until they brought around the car. And BOY was the car nice. I was kind of disappointed the airport was so close to the resort, because the trip in the car was so short. You should have seen the looks we got from the people at the door when we were getting into this Mercedes.

Once at the resort, we went to go and check in, but apparently we weren't in the right area as someone came up to us and said that we weren't supposed to check in at the main desk (like it was for peasants), but that we should be at the Butler's office. So fancy.

They served us champagne!
So we had to take pictures
And then our butler came in and asked if we wanted a picture - so we did...but it was blurry, darn.
Our butler then took us on a mini-tour of the place and informed us that they had upgraded our room to more of a suite, and then handed us a cell phone so that we could get ahold of him, or our other two butlers, at any time. Pretty cool. The made reservations for us each night at one of the restaurants on the resort, but we were able to change any of them if we wanted. I believe we just changed the Italian reservation to the Japanese restaurant instead. All were very good!

We walked around the resort and got sand between our toes. The island you see in the distance is the Sandals island that a ferry goes to each hour.

Our first night there we went to the piano bar! This guy would have someone call out a song (from the songbooks we had in front of us), and then just play and sing along! It was great fun.
This is how we spent most of our days. Lounging outside and reading. We both brought a book, finished reading them, and then switched and finished those as well.

Dinner on the smaller island

Supper at The Crystal Room

It only rained a couple times while we were there, and only for about 10 minutes each time. Then the rain stopped and the sun came back out right away.

When we got back to our room each night after supper, there was a different towel animal or design on our bed. Very cute!

 Day on the beach:

This night we went to the Japanese restaurant. I had never eaten at a Hibachi-style restaurant before, so it was quite fun. This was our chef, Travis. We had 4 other couples at the table with us, and we were by far the youngest.

Snorkeling! This was one of our favorite parts of the trip! Except for those horrid life jackets. Ouch.

The back side of the smaller Sandals island was probably our favorite place to go. Very quiet and secluded, with a calm little alcove perfect for swimming. Every single day we were in the Bahamas was beautiful.
This was supper at the French Restaurant. Every restaurant at the resort had their own signature drink, and we, of course, had to try them all! We think that this restaurant was our favorite.

Our last day on the smaller island, we drew in the sand and it was beautiful until a group of Italians came and messed it up (dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow, dishonor on your whole family!).

More reading
Our last night on the resort, we ate at Gordon's on the Pier, which was a very small seafood restaurant where? On the pier. Was very lovely and calm. They had lights in the water that attracted the fish, so it was fun to see them all swimming around. We even saw a barracuda!

We had a very lovely time just lounging and trying new things (we went paddle-boarding!) on our honeymoon. It was nice to get away and relax after the stress of planning a wedding and from work. A week was definitely not long enough to be in paradise.

Additional photo tax:
Who is making my ears fly!
Who is making my ears fly?
Sick cat wanting a hot bath

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Update and Burritos's been a while. More than a year. I haven't been in a coma, I've just been busy. Lots of things have happened. I'll try to keep this short, and maybe eventually I'll fill in the blanks with individual posts. But for now, you'll have to deal with a short one or two sentence synopsis of the recent happenings in my life. Warning: many pictures to follow.

1. I got a new nephew! John William Boote and now he's almost a year old!

 2. I made a beautiful quiche.

3. My mother visited and helped me handmake over 200 wedding invitations...and then change them when we had to move our venue.

4. I ran a 10k, and Zach ran a half marathon!

5. We built a fire pit in our yard! Pretend the photos are in reverse order. 

6. I built things

7. We built ourselves a little raised bed garden.

8. My husband bought me a bike!

9. Seating charts were made.

10. Arches were built by fathers.

11. I put together a bed all by myself.


12. My best friend threw me a bachelorette party.

13. Zach and I went to one last Twins game as single people.

14. We celebrated Zach's successful defense of his Master's Thesis.

15. We got married! There were cute people there.

16. We went to the Bahamas for our honeymoon! I'll do another post on this at some point.

17. We celebrated my Granddad's 90th birthday on July 12th.

18. We went to our first Twins game as married people!

19. We bought a piano!

20. I went to New York for a business trip. How adult of me.

21. I had my very first Klondike Bar.

22. Zach and I were able to steal away from the cities for a short vacation over MEA weekend.

23. I turned 25 on Thursday and had a wonderful last few days with a lovely husband.

This next part is for Emily.

Recently, I've begun making weekly menus, then shopping once on Sunday for the meals the rest of the week. On one Sunday recently, I passed the frozen burritos in Target and thought to myself...why can't I do that? I'm sure it would be cheaper. And healthier. And yummier. So I did.

(Sorry Emily, I don't have photos. Use your imagination)

Recipe for 8 beef burritos, 8 chicken burritos
16 - 10" tortillas (or whatever size you want)
2 cans black beans
2 cans refried beans
2 cups shredded cheese (I used the Mexican blend, you can use whatever kind you like)
~1 pound ground beef, browned and taco seasoning added
2-3 cups chicken breast, cooked and shredded
3-4 cups rice, cooked
1 can tomato paste
1 medium onion
Saran Wrap

1. Saute the onion until tender (I added some butter and garlic powder to my onions). Add the onion and tomato paste to the cooked rice and stir until well mixed. 
2. Drain and rinse the black beans
3. Assemble your burritos. If you're smart, you'll put the ground beef with the refried beans and the chicken with the black beans, but I wasn't thinking clearly when I made mine and did the beef/black beans and chicken/refried beans. Still tasty.
       a. Layer as follows on tortilla: rice, beans, meat, cheese. Fold up and wrap in Saran Wrap. 
       b. Can put in gallon bags and freeze right away.
4. To eat, replace Saran Wrap with paper towel and microwave for 3 minutes on high.
       a. Good with salsa or guacamole!

I hope you've made it this far. To reward you, I give you three pictures!

The land before time

Please be careful...
This little kid is on the fast track to being a jackwagon.